Wednesday, July 1, 2015     Volume: 16, Issue: 16
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What should be done with the Santa Barbara County Main Jail once Santa Maria's jail is completed?

Keep it, lock more of 'em up!
Demolish it, it's a waste of money.
Turn it into a museum a la Alcatraz.
Move it to Casmalia.

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Santa Maria Sun / Letters to the Editor

Turn to nuclear power for an energy source

David Deick - Atascadero -

Railing against Phillips 66’s rail spur suggests abundant energy from other sources; this is not the case. Terrible as fossil fuel is, modern society has no choice, at this time, but to continue its use. Those believing wind energy and solar are substitutes for fossil fuel live in denial because of the intermittent nature of wind and sun: Until batteries can store enough power to light the night, we will need fossil fuel.

Environmental groups should face the new energy reality of modern life—nobody is giving up their cell phone—we will need ever increasing amounts of energy; conservation is not enough.

Tree Huggers have saved the planet from the short-sighted and gullible. Now is the time for environmental groups to realize their own short sightedness and endorse new age nuclear energy. It is not the same technology as our old wasteful Diablo Canyon design. A modern reactor uses much more of the fuel and wastes less.

This planet cannot wait for the panacea of a new battery that will store enough energy to get us through the night. Solar farms must be three times the size to produce enough energy to charge those batteries, if we get them.

CO2-free nuclear power could be installed for fractions of the price if the public allowed it. The technology exists today and will improve each year, just like our computers; and remember, nobody has ever died from nuclear power generation (in the U.S.), unlike those who have perished from fossil fuel.


Get affordable care close to home

Joseph E. Abraham R.Ph. - Hometown Pharmacies, Santa Maria -

California is experiencing a statewide physician shortage, and the Central Coast is no exception. Provider shortages create an enormous burden for our seniors, who often struggle with chronic conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure. They might not be able to schedule appointments in a timely fashion, or may have transportation issues that prevent them from seeking care from another provider far from home.

With the Association of American Medical Colleges predicting a nationwide shortage of 90,000 physicians by 2025, these problems will not go away anytime soon.

Fortunately, health care is closer than it appears. Nearly all—95 percent—Americans live within 5 miles of a community pharmacy. As a pharmacist, and the owner of Hometown Pharmacy in Santa Maria, I believe it makes sense to utilize pharmacists to alleviate some of the pressure created by physician shortages. We are ready to help seniors with services such as immunizations, health screenings and tests, and chronic disease management, so they can receive care close to home.

Right now, the Medicare Part B program does not recognize pharmacists as health care providers. That is why a bipartisan group in Congress is working to give pharmacists provider status, which would allow us to be reimbursed for the care we provide Medicare beneficiaries in underserved areas.

We ask Congresswoman Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) to support S. 314 and H.R. 592, the Pharmacy and Medically Underserved Areas Enhancement Act, a sensible, cost-effective plan to ensure that our seniors have access to the care they need no matter where they live.