Thursday, October 27, 2016     Volume: 17, Issue: 34

Weekly Poll
How do you celebrate Halloween?

I take the kiddos trick-or-treating in the safety of our neighborhood.
I hand out healthy snacks--and my business card.
Full haunted house mode!
I put on my best lingerie, throw on a pair of wings, and I'm ready to party!

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Santa Maria Sun / Letters to the Editor

Porter has demonstrated leadership

Kenneth P. Day - Solvang -

I support Bruce Porter for Santa Barbara County 3rd District supervisor. As part of making my choice I reviewed Bruce’s website and found an extraordinary record of leadership that extends from the highest levels of national service to personal leadership throughout a wide range of community needs. 

Bruce is a Stanford-trained engineer. As a West Point graduate he rose to the rank of colonel in the U.S Army and received a Bronze Star for heroism in combat. Upon retirement, he dedicated his life to our community including current service as president of the Santa Ynez High School PTA and as a member of the Central County Coalition’s executive board. 

His former community service includes acting as chairman of the Santa Barbara County Red Cross, president of the Solvang Rotary Club, chair of the Santa Ynez Valley Youth Coalition, and vice commander of the Santa Ynez Valley American Legion. 

This is the kind of demonstrated leadership that we need at this crucial moment in Santa Barbary County history. I am honored to personally recommend this exceptional leader to election as 3rd District supervisor.

Gary Johnson for president

Bill Kleinbauer - Orcutt -

I strongly endorse Gary Johnson for president! Many newspapers have already done so. My vote goes for him based on all his honest, practical, effective positions and achievements. Go to to learn more and to get enthused. Here is a CNN/Dana Bash great interview in Las Vegas:

Trump displays his massive unfitness several times every day. Three losses in three debates—a strike out!

Clinton has too much lack of enthusiasm going for her, based on good reasons. She will easily win California, so you do not hurt her by voting instead for Johnson. This is not “a wasted vote!”

Shame on you, Mr. Porter

Judi Stauffer - Buellton -

Shame on you, Bruce Porter, for spreading lies about your opponent for 3rd District supervisor. Do you really believe this type of behavior demonstrates leadership? I don’t.

Truth is, it is Joan Hartmann, not you, who has a proven record of experience and actual achievements in water-related and conservation issues. It is Joan Hartmann who is committed to safeguarding our local businesses while attracting new technologically green ones that offer higher wages that recirculate within our communities and provide a better quality of life for everyone. It is Joan Hartmann who knows that the 3rd District as well as Santa Barbara County needs to position itself toward regenerative, not extractive, energy and water technologies. It is Joan Hartmann who understands that we must work toward higher functioning sustainable communities that operate within existing resources, not unbridled growth that consumes today the resources that will be needed tomorrow and for generations to come.

As the 3rd District Planning Commissioner, Joan Hartmann carefully balanced all of these priorities and more to ensure that Santa Barbara County remains the desirable and beautiful jewel in California’s crown. Face it, Mr. Porter, you are out-skilled, out-educated, and out-classed.

Porter struck a chord at UCSB debate

Tami Bollay - Santa Ynez -

I attended the recent debate in Isla Vista, hosted by university radio station KCSB, between the candidates for county supervisor, and after making my way through the hecklers at the door I sat beside two students from this great university. For the first time in this ridiculous election season, I was truly hopeful as my two seatmates were polite and genuinely interested in hearing both candidates and making an informed decision. This proved to be challenging as members of the Hartmann team seemed intent on disrupting Mr. Porter’s remarks. Equally discouraging was the intimidating and nasty tone of the disruptive students, and yet my seatmates remained undaunted in their effort to hear from the candidates.

My faith was restored when after a highly disruptive and rude departure by Ms. Hartmann’s supporters during Mr. Porter’s closing statement, a clear majority of the audience remained to hear Porter complete his remarks. Most surprising was the vocal applause at the end of Porter’s remarks, and I sense he struck a chord. Porter was approachable, well researched, and informative about what he would do if elected. He spoke less in generalities than his opponent and showed a particular drive for improving the lives of citizens of Isla Vista, and it seemed to resonate with my seatmates.

As we made our way out of the event and through the crowd of activists, we agreed that despite the distractions, Porter made a compelling case and was a genuinely nice man. They were moved by concern for the environment and for a safer Isla Vista and were embarrassed by their peers’ behavior. For myself, I am interested in solutions, and Porter has my vote. I am pleased that my seatmates shared my enthusiasm.

More corruption or real change?

Justin M. Ruhge - Lompoc -

The choice of president on Nov. 8 is on the brink of history—we have a choice of continuing with the most corrupt Democratic administration since Bill Clinton by electing Hillary Clinton or, we can bring about real change with Donald Trump.

Perhaps, one of the reasons that Obama did not prosecute Hillary Clinton is to get her promise to support his administration’s goals in the future, or maybe, to appoint him to the Supreme Court.

At any rate Hillary’s lackluster performance in the State Department, where she was a straw-man meet-and-greeter for Obama, and as senator, where she did nothing, does not bode well for her would-be performance as a president. A powder puff presidency—all fluff, no substance. Another four years of the Obama policies. We could expect higher taxes and a continued growth in the national debt, which doubled during the Obama administration to today’s $19 trillion. The only thing that slowed it down was the election of a Republican Congress in 2012. 

Obamacare is a dismal failure and our exit from Iraq has been a disaster. Obama, with the help of Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, stopped all efforts to make needed improvements to our national problems. Obama opened our borders to thousands of undocumented immigrants who he sees as future Democratic voters.

Now think about it for a minute, do you want Hillary sitting there in the Oval Office with her hand on the red phone to Russia, or access to the nuclear football by her desk, when she is not capable of managing the national security of her emails? The prospects are appalling.

The situation is aided and abetted by the voters who are uninformed and only take part in elections every four years; and by the partisan and biased media, who shield Hillary and the Democrats from the national view.

Now along comes Donald Trump, a high-powered international businessman and billionaire with credentials miles above Hillary’s. Trump has a record of taking action and successes, and who a vast majority of Americans think can do the job of president. He has a clean slate to make real changes, and he will have the support of the Congress when elected. Our country must change the “Obama direction” if we are to have any bright future for our families and children.

What is before us in this crucial historic election is a choice of Hillary’s leftover Obama corrupt presidency, or real change with Donald Trump. What is your choice? You are voting for all of us. More corruption or real change?

Bruce Porter supports small family wineries

Stephen Pepe - Lompoc -

Recently, after four plus years, scores of outreach meetings and four county Planning Commission meetings, the winery ordinance came up for a final vote. The Santa Barbara Vintners Association, the Econ Alliance, and the Santa Rita Hills Wine Growers Alliance urged the Planning Commission to permit direct-to-consumer (DTC) wine sales for small family-owned wineries. 

More than a score of winery workers, winemakers, and winery owners took the morning off from harvest to urge the Planning Commission to permit DTC sales by small family-owned wineries. The Ballard Canyon folks continued their argument that Ballard Canyon Road is unsafe and no wine tasting should be permitted. Representatives from the county’s Public Works Department reiterated that the traffic usage on Ballard Canyon Road is below the norm, as are its accidents. The Planning Commission voted 4-1 to permit by appointment tasting limited to 20 individuals for the small Tier A wineries in the Rural Area, but not in the Inner Rural Area.

Besides submitting a written comment in support of the wine industry, Bruce Porter also left the campaign trail and spent that morning waiting for his three minutes to speak in support of the wine industry. He urged the Planning Commissioners to permit DTC sales by small family wineries. Bruce correctly noted that if small family wineries cannot make DTC sales they will not be able to stay in business and the large corporate wineries will buy up their vineyard land. Bruce Porter understands that small family wineries are the key to preserving our unique valley. 

Fareed is a voice for agriculture

Kevin Gee - Santa Maria -

I’m a small-business owner in the local agriculture community, and these past few years have been some of the hardest faced by farmers and ranchers on the Central Coast.

Not only are we being hit hard by the drought and environmental issues, we are being hit hard by our own government. There isn’t a day that goes by that a new tax or penalty on the agriculture community isn’t being considered or passed.

People who know nothing about what it takes to maintain crops and land are dictating our fate, and the only thing they’ve accomplished is greater inefficiency and excess regulations. This hurts small, local farmers the most as they do not have the resources to keep up with these bureaucratic burdens.

I’m supporting Justin Fareed for Congress because, as a third generation cattle rancher and small-business man, he understands what it’s like to try to survive in a hostile market driven by federal overreach. After meeting and talking with him at my farm, I am confident in his abilities to rein in regulations and implement lasting solutions to our water shortages.

And unlike his opponent, he fully understands the complex issues facing our agriculture community, from water issues to pesticides.

Justin Fareed will be a true voice for us in Washington, and that’s something we desperately need.

Money and the 3rd District supervisor race

Seth Steiner - Los Alamos -

In the race for 3rd District supervisor, who would best represent us in this large swath of Santa Barbara County? We’ve all read comments and exhortations in this space by informed and loyal supporters of both Joan Hartmann and Bruce Porter. We’ve seen pro and con campaign literature, TV ads, lawn signs and over-sized roadside posters.

Yet most voters have not personally met them or delved deeply into the backgrounds, accomplishments, and problem-solving approaches of these two capable candidates. What really motivates them and whose opinions do they tend to favor?

So how to decide? We all know how loudly money speaks in politics. It can tell us about the nature and breadth of support for candidates, and something about how they would make decisions while in office.

One measure of this is the size and number of campaign contributions. When big contributors contact officials they tend to get big attention. Research shows that large monetary contributions boost the influence of the affluent on the policy topics and ideas officeholders consider. This may bias the public agenda toward the concerns of the most wealthy.

Fortunately, anyone with access to a computer can view the candidates’ required campaign contribution filings. Doing so uncovers significant differences between the campaigns of Joan Hartmann and Bruce Porter.

Both have, thus far this year, amassed roughly the same total amount of money. But almost 40 percent of Bruce’s contributions were in the “super-sized” category of $1,000 or more, only possible for the richest among us. Less than 20 percent of Joan’s contributions were this large. Put another way, Joan’s average contribution is half as large as Bruce’s. And about 75 percent more people have made contributions to her.

This says something about how they would deal with issues that affect our lives. I’m happy to be voting for Joan Hartmann and hope you will, too.