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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on March 19th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 3 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 3

Political Watch: March 19, 2020

• Former state Assemblymember and San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Katcho Achadjian died on March 5 from health complications. In the days since, local officials have lamented his passing. In a Facebook post on March 6, Assemblymember Jordan Cunningham (R-San Luis Obispo) referred to Achadjian as a friend and mentor. “He was a true public servant and an American success story,” Cunningham said in the post. “Katcho leaves a legacy of devotion to community, energetic representation, and consensus-building. Our sincerest condolences to his family for their loss. Today is a sad day for the Central Coast.” State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) also acknowledged her former colleague’s passing in a March 6 Twitter post. “Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my former colleague, Katcho Achadjian,” Jackson said in the post. “He was a true gentleman who was always willing to listen to different points of view.” During the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors meeting on March 10, 5th District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino also recognized Achadjian’s life and work as a supervisor and Assembly member. “He never really let party get in the way of what we knew was common sense, and he could always get to the bottom of a problem just by really cutting out all the BS and just getting down to the core of the matter,” Lavagnino said. Achadjian served as a county supervisor from 1998 to 2010, and then as an Assembly member from 2010 to 2016. 

• On Feb. 25, California State Parks announced it had awarded 62 grants, totaling $254.9 million, to jurisdictions throughout the state for park improvement and other projects. The Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department was the only recipient in Santa Barbara County. The department received about $2 million to renovate Veterans Memorial Park on Tunnell Street in the northwest part of the city. This work includes the addition of a walking path, basketball court, exercise stations, and a community garden, among other improvements. These grants are funded by Proposition 68, which voters approved in 2018. “We want to make parks accessible for all Californians so that families and friends can not only bond and connect with nature, but also celebrate their cultural differences,” California State Parks Director Lisa Mangat said in a news release. “Through these exciting grant projects, residents in 62 underserved communities will have close-to-home access to a vibrant park for their physical, social, and environmental health.” 

• During a House Committee on Agriculture hearing on March 4, U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) expressed his disappointment in proposed changes to the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue. Carbajal said a budget proposal President Donald Trump’s administration released on Feb. 10 includes reducing funding for SNAP by $182 billion over the next decade. “In my district alone, I have 110,000 individuals that rely on these important programs,” Carbajal said during the hearing. “And quite frankly, I think it’s not only callous, but I think it’s extremely misguided and I would be remiss if I didn’t share with you my outrage with the direction this administration is going in regards to the SNAP program.”

Weekly Poll
What do you think of the Lompoc prison facilities' ways of mitigating the spread of COVID-19?

Definitely cruel and unusual—more people should have received home confinement.
It was certainly inhumane; inmates couldn't even shower for almost two weeks.
It was not great but was typical of our current institutions.
I think it was adequate given the situation.

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