Friday, April 29, 2016     Volume: 17, Issue: 8
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Santa Maria Sun / Letters to the Editor

We are up to the challenge

Jerry Copeland - Santa Maria -

I just read the letter online, in the latest issue of the Sun, sent in by Mr. Bill Denneen (“You’ve been warned,” April 21) and as much as I can understand his attitude on overpopulation and the challenges that such is making and will continue to make upon the infrastructures of governments around the world, Bill’s efforts at education notwithstanding, it’s very sad to see that Bill sees his death as an escape from what he perceives to be some form of impending doom for all of mankind.

The internet is beset with videos and webpages galore on this topic of the carrying capacity of the Earth for humankind. Gloom and doom is sprouting up all over the place. And to add to the fire of fear are biblical references to the end of us all and the soothsayers who use such references to convince one and all to seek salvation in their particular bent of religion.

Yet despite the fall of Rome, its legacy lives on throughout Europe and into the United States and around the Mediterranean. It may have broken but much of it worked, and worked quite well enough to provide the basis for not only government infrastructures but for political blueprints in the challenge of governing and in conducting warfare.

Perhaps the most important lesson I learned from my days of high school and college was that despite the seemingly awe-inspiring challenges that have faced mankind, that basic need to survive despite the odds—and not only to survive but to overcome and build a lifestyle that provides enrichment and a viable foundation for future generations—has ALWAYS seemed to have arisen from the ashes of the gloom and doom of those days. It’s only the nature of man, regardless of where he lives and his cultural heritage, that the tendency is for all challenges to be confronted, to be understood, to be fought against, to be defeated, to be overcome, to be a portent of what should not be.

From the lessons of the past, from the needs of our future, the issue of man’s place upon this world has been laid entirely upon his shoulders. I believe that we are up to the challenge to deal with the insurmountable. Bill, I would hope that in your last days that you would rather hope for the best instead of giving up to the despair of hopelessness. Your rest would be so much more so. Peace.


Porter will get it done

Richard Nagler - Solvang -

I have closely followed the events of the 3rd District supervisor race and have been very impressed with the poise of Bruce Porter. While most of the other candidates have tried to snipe at Bruce again and again, he has refused to attack them. His steadfast focus on the things he will do as supervisor is refreshing in such a negative room.

Admittedly, many of the attacks don’t make a lot of sense. For example, I found it rather confusing that one of his opponents refers to Bruce as a career politician. Bruce served our country for 25 years while with the Army Corps of Engineers, commanding up to 6,000 service men and women in order to protect both people and our Earth. He also spent a couple of years getting two master’s degrees from Stanford, in computer science and civil engineering. In fact, Bruce’s only other elected office has been a very successful eight years on the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District Board, which now graduates, as a percentage, more students than any other school in the entire county. His life, from graduation from West Point onward, has been one of service. 

The other main opponent in this race, Joan Hartmann, promotes her environmental record, which is admirable. In the last few forums she seems to leave out the fact that she spent 20 years as a lawyer for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), suing those individuals and corporations who may have run afoul of those ever-changing regulations. Her solution to the loss of oil revenue supporting our schools is to sue for the lost revenue. It will likely take many years for that revenue to show up again in education coffers, and schools in the meantime, will suffer.

Bruce gets the job done, is aware and ready to act on our environmental challenges, has a proven track record of managerial success, and has the perspective to work on practical solutions.

I would much rather elect a doer, not a suer, to the county Board of Supervisors. I hope everyone reading this will join me in voting for Bruce Porter in the June 7 primary election. 


Joan Hartmann has what we need in a supervisor

Mary Jane Edatalapour - Buellton -

I met Joan Hartmann many years ago through a mutual interest in native plants before their drought tolerance made them fashionable. Since then I have worked with her on the Buellton urban growth boundary and the Buellton visioning process, observed her on the Planning Commission, gone to yoga class with her, and joined her in meals and glasses of wine.

In her civic work I have found her to be calm and articulate, bringing people from different perspectives together. She is incredibly bright but is sincerely interested in other people’s viewpoints. She invites people to talk so she can learn (not just to satisfy some group process) and consolidates and condenses what all the participants say to form a cohesive plan. In civic settings she is a serious woman.

She does her homework, looks at all sides of an issue, never speaks off the cuff, and knows her facts.

In personal settings, I have found Joan to be thoughtful, gracious, optimistic, and incredibly kind. She thinks about other people and puts them before herself, and her integrity is beyond question.

Joan Hartmann embodies the character, decision-making, and leadership traits we need in a supervisor, and I hope you will join me in voting for her.