Friday, October 31, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 34
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Should people paint their dry, brown lawns green?

Of course, otherwise it's an eyesore.
Why? That sounds like a waste of money.
Water your lawns people! This drought isn't going to last.
In this drought, people should get rid of their lawns altogether.

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Santa Maria Sun / Letters to the Editor

Let Capps' signs stay

M. Nemec-Ivorra - Orcutt -

Who is taking down Lois Capps For Congress signs? My husband put up 20 signs around the Orcutt/Santa Maria area and within a few days, many of them were gone. In a recent week, he put up about 40 Lois Capps and Heidi Harmon signs in some of the same areas, and the Heidi Harmon signs remain, but Lois Capps For Congress signs are gone.

Are her signs really that threatening to her opponent? If his staff is that worried that a few signs will sway the election, enough to go to the level of taking down Lois Capps signs, maybe he’s not a strong enough candidate to beat her. Let us uphold our First Amendment right of freedom of speech. We do not remove our opponent’s signs. Whoever you are, please show us the same respect.


I do not approve Capps' message

Robert Scott - Santa Maria -

I am very upset that the local media have not done journalistic inquiries into our local races in light of the revelations that were exposed on the Andy Caldwell show as of Monday, Oct. 27. It was my unfortunate duty to have to explain to my high school son how low and despicable politics has become after hearing Mr. Caldwell play both a current Lois Capps radio commercial and the full-length sound clip her Democratic campaign operatives succinctly edited from a Chris Mitchum stump speech.

They chopped it down to only saying, “I will not be going to Washington to represent the people of the 24th District.” Yet, as Mr. Caldwell played for his audience, the clip’s original next words were “to get monies for baseball fields” or something of the nature. Both my son’s and my jaw dropped at the outright lying intention of the ad. It was so wretchedly out of context as to be construed to be libelous—yes, it was that bad. And then it continues with, “I am Lois Capps, and I approved this ad.” My question for the journalistic community, if there still is one out there, is why? Why no follow up? My kudos to the Andy Caldwell show, but he is not a journalist. He should be reporting on the discovery of other local journalists’ reporting. Why? Does Mrs. Capps simply get a pass?

I am not a Lois Capps supporter—never have been, never will be—because I caught onto her a long time ago. I, as a local voter and someone who believes in our system of government, though, should not have to teach a 17-year-old early on just how crass, crude, lying, and deceptive the Washington crowd is, no matter where they started. I want him to believe that honesty in politics and good ideas are what make good candidates and public servants. And in this case, Lois Capps needs to not just pull these ads, but at least have the integrity, guts, and Christian character to admit they are wrong and publically apologize to Mr. Mitchum for them. That, at this point, would allow her to end the campaign season with at least a modicum of respect.


I've got one word for the propositions

August Salemi - Atascadero -

Once again Californians are being inundated with a plethora of “propositions” on which we are admonished to vote. The basic premise of these propositions is increasing taxes and spending, reduction of personal freedom and choice, or a combination of both. This fact persists despite the misleading rhetoric, outright lies, and emotional appeal. (It’s for the children, the poor, etc., ad nauseam.) Fortunately the choice is easy. Vote no.


We need new faces in office

C. Marie Hoffman - Nipomo -

I once believed government officials represented U.S. citizens; they were “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Yet Gov. Jerry Brown signed laws allowing noncitizens to serve as poll workers, to apply for professional state licenses, to obtain driver’s licenses, in-state tuition, student loans, and legal aid for thousands of undocumented illegally in this state. This will attract more noncitizens who will use California resources while greatly burdening those who pay taxes and taking jobs from U.S. citizens.

When the president of Mexico visited California, Brown did not attempt to secure the release of a U.S. soldier who took a wrong exit into that country.

Congresswoman Lois Capps said she will work for the middle class, but why weren’t promises she further made not done during her 16 years in office?

Incumbents in office for many years have forgotten they “serve” people of the United States, not to fulfill their ambitions or to “play God.”

We need a new infusion of representatives with common sense and principles to ensure that the “government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth.”


Yes or no on Measure P?

Ron Faas - Santa Maria -

Stating there is no need for Measure P, many letters have repeated the tired refrain by the energy producers' coalition that "there is no fracking in Santa Barbara County, and no plans for its use in the future."

Such shallow reasoning is similar to stubbornly insisting that because there is no fire in a building and no plans for one in the future, there is no need to have fire insurance!

Would you trust someone who urges you to avoid fire insurance because there is currently no fire nor any plans for one in the future?

Don’t trust those who urge you to ignore the dangers of allowing new wells to use more extreme techniques.

If we allow thousands of new wells to use more extreme techniques, property values will decline and our water will be contaminated by the inevitable. Our economy and our health will be far better off if Measure P passes.

Vote yes on P!


Fracking fears are unfounded

Jared Allegranza - Santa Maria -

Measure P first drew attention through the petition process as an “anti-fracking” measure. Fast forward months later, it’s been confirmed for a while now that fracking is not a process used in Santa Barbara County. Yet even this week, just days before the election, there are still opinion letters urging residents to vote yes on measure P, on the basis of fracking.

The Measure P campaign sold its petitioners on an anti-fracking measure (see also: bait and switch). But what it essentially does is shut down safe oil and gas operations, impact local economy, halt millions in revenue to schools, law enforcement, and fire protection. On top of this would be the loss of thousands of jobs if it were to pass.

I urge anyone unsure at this point to research oil and gas operations on their own—specifically, steam injection and acidizing, which have been safely used for decades. Those processes are at stake, and without them it will be impossible for the  oil industry to continue in Santa Barbara County (see also: termination of thousands of local jobs).

Contrary to certain letters sent in, you are not going to wake up with an oil pump in your backyard one day. And you aren’t going to turn on your faucet and see oil coming out of it. Water used in the oil extraction process is not drinkable water; it is water that has been separated through the oil extraction process and reused. So the hysteria about “protecting” drinking water is unfounded—just like the whole fracking issue.


Huckfest was no great benefit

Lucia Casalinuovo - Oceano -

This year, Huckfest was better, because last year it was a real disaster. Yet, Matt Fountain didn’t speak out on The Tribune last year to sympathize with Oceano residents who had their driveways and streets backed up a mile along Highway 1, nor with Mesa residents who had to breathe extra PM10 caused by the driving on the beach and dunes.

To say that Huckfest was better this year still doesn’t make it fair that thousands of cars drive through our community and beach for a money-making-private event on public land that is advertised as a “family event” but turns out to be an aggressive, dangerous, and economically unproductive jam for our communities. A Huckfest staff member was greeting drivers at the State Park booth on Pier Avenue wearing a T-shirt that said: “Go Huck yourself.” I do not want the state park I support with my tax dollars to be associated with such a T-shirt.

Furthermore, Huckfest was not good for our economy. Many vacation rentals in Oceano were empty. Huckfest participants didn’t visit our restaurants. They brought everything they needed. But they kept our ambulances and fire trucks busy and disrupted our days and nights.