Comments by Eckermann

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Posted on April 22 at 9:10 p.m.

I don't understand the fear of otters deal. A long time ago, the before the Russians came to California and started hunting them, otters lived here in balance with all the other sea life. Not only were there otters, but there were clams, abalone, sea urchins, and all the other forms of sea life in abundance. The Russians decimated the sea otter population to provide hats and coats for rich Russians and then left. Now that the sea otters are finally recovering, why is that such a threat? Also, nobody is "moving the sea otters." They are moving themselves down the coast. I see lots of dolphins, leopard sharks, harbor seals, and sea lions out in the water, but I hardly ever see a sea otter. How could they be such a huge threat?

On Navy Closes San Miguel Island to Look for Old Bombs

Posted on April 19 at 8:39 p.m.

Foo, you are so selective in your memory as to render your opinion vapid. Some of the main supporters of the increase of retirement benefits for safety employees were the conservative supervisors Stoker, Staffel, Gray, and Firestone. This was not just a progressive agenda. The conservatives thought that they saw a forever increasing stock market on which they could build a retirement system that cost them nothing. They made a bad bet and now we all have to pay for it. If they had kept the define benefit plans just as they were in the late 1980s, there would be no problem now. But the safety folks (cops and fire fighters) got excited about the rising stock market in the 90s. This all started way back when safety employees were given richer retirements and then forced to retire at younger ages. A lifeguard named Tommy Zahn who could paddle a surfboard from Catalina to Manhattan Beach sued the state based on the fact that he should not be forced to retire when he was in better physical condition than lifeguards half his age. He won the lawsuit, but the richer retirement programs for safety employees were not scaled back to reflect the fact that they no longer had to retire at younger ages. The whole system started to get out of whack at that point and was saved only by the bubble of the 90s. We need to fix this, but putting everyone on a 401k is not the answer. The answer lies in increasing employee contributions, increasing retirement ages, and decreasing health care benefits. This can be done painlessly. This problem requires minor surgery not amputation.

On Wolf, Aceves Square Off During First Candidates' Forum

Posted on April 18 at 3:30 p.m.

I agree that the City of Goleta is being ham handed with its policy, but this is more subtle than folks realize. The City is in a dilemma wherein Venoco is asking them to permit a new use at a facility that does not conform to the current zoning. Also, the current policy is that all new offshore oil gets processed at the Exxon facility. Venoco hates that idea because somehow the fee that Exxon's accountants have determined for providing this service is exactly Venoco's profit margin per barrel of oil processed (oil companies don't play nice together in the sand box). The promise by Venoco to shut down after some amount of time might be a way out of the non-conforming use issue, but first Goleta has to play the CEQA kabuki dance with State Lands to make sure that all other options were considered (otherwise they lose a future lawsuit, the legal costs of which Venoco does not have to pay). It's funny how this field was supposed to play out financially a long time ago, but the price of oil just kept rising and so it is still profitable. Goleta and Venoco are like two adolescent brothers who have shared the same bedroom since they were babies and have grown increasingly annoyed with each other but are stuck sharing the same space for the foreseeable future. These periodic disputes can be expected until they both grow up and start acting like adults.

On Goleta Opposing Venoco, Scraps Deal

Posted on April 17 at 7:57 p.m.

Bill Clausen, I have no argument with anything you wrote. I wouldn't mind if alcohol advertising were banned by law. I drink but I don't drink and drive. Much to my shame, I did when I was young and by pure luck never got arrested, not got into an accident, and never hurt anybody. Like I said, that was luck. Older and wiser, I don't get behind the wheel after I have been drinking. We need to teach that and drill it into to peoples heads over and over again. Perhaps there should be a tax on alcohol that pays for an advertising campaign that instructs people not to drink and drive.

On Morua Pleads Guilty to DUI and Fatal Hit-and-Run Charges

Posted on April 16 at 8:37 p.m.

Bill Clausen, thanks for your honesty and keen insight. However, I doubt that Beachgirl77 is a liberal. On the drinking issue, I agree that it is complex. I'm a drinker. My parents were drinkers. In my family tree I have Kentucky horse farmers and Irish railroad workers who were notorious for the amounts of whiskey they could consume at a sitting. In my family, I have members who have been able to be drinkers and not have the habit affect their lives in any substantial way and members who have had their lives destroyed by alcoholism. I don't know what the answer is unless everyone decides to give up drinking alcohol, which is an unlikely outcome. More likely, we will just have to adjust to this odd evolution of human behavior and try to educate our children in the hazards, risks, and responsibilities of drinking alcohol. Perhaps it would have been better if we had never discovered it, but, alas, that is water (and a lot of booze) under the bridge.

On Morua Pleads Guilty to DUI and Fatal Hit-and-Run Charges

Posted on April 16 at 8:08 p.m.

Beachgirl77 and Foofighter, Lois Capps is only anathema to Republicans and other stripes of conservatives. To us Democrats and other stripes of liberals, she is doing just fine. Don't try to use your tortured logic and hyperbole to convince us to change our stripes. Just go vote. The majority wins. It's democracy baby! P.S. If a conservative wins the election, I promise not to whine and complain and go on and on about it.

On Morua Pleads Guilty to DUI and Fatal Hit-and-Run Charges

Posted on April 15 at 9:24 p.m.

The Supreme Court of the United States says that this is free speech. So the Koch brothers get free speech with their money and SEIU gets free speech with its money. I don't necessarily agree with the SCOTUS on this issue, but it is currently the law of the land. Personally, if I had a choice between an SEIU candidate and a Koch brothers candidate, I'd go with the union every time. Call me pink, it's just the way I role.

On Wolf Collects Another $20,000 From Labor Union

Posted on April 15 at 9:04 p.m.

As much as I would prefer that the Gaviota Coast remain just as it is forever, the reality is that we have only two choices. Either we (as a community of preservationists) buy it, or we (as a community who votes for our Board of Supervisors) makes the best deals we can to preserve as much of it as we can. There is a lot not to like about this project, but then again, it is only two houses and they are providing access to the beach (a two sided sword for those of use who like our solitude on that stretch of coastline). Unless we are prepared to buy the whole thing, we need to find a way to make deals that preserve as much as possible while at the same time saying yes to something. Using CEQA and the courts to preserve the Gaviota Coast is a losing proposition. You know, what happened out at Hollister Ranch was not great, but it was better than what might have happened. We should learn from that experience and figure out how to find a compromise between the land owners and the preservationists that works for everyone. It won't be easy, but I am sure that it could be done.

On CA Coastal Commission Approves Paradiso del Mare Project

Posted on April 15 at 4:52 p.m.

This is a decent outcome. A lot of time and money will be saved by Morua taking responsibility for his crime. I don't understand why it is important to the victim's father that Morua's employer state that he was "on the clock" at the time of the incident. During my career, I attended countless cocktail party events to which I was invited solely due to my employment status and my professional association with the hosts or other guests. Never once did I consider myself "on the clock" while I was standing around swilling liquor and schmoozing with all the other guests. In fact, had I considered myself "on the clock," I would have had to refrain from drinking because my employer had a strict no drugs or alcohol while working policy. Just because someone is invited to a party because of the professional associations of one's employer, does not mean attendance at the party is "working." A parent can never get over the death of his or her child, the grief will last for the remainder of the parent's life. I suppose it is quite natural to attempt to assign blame to every factor that combined to culminate in the tragedy. However, at some point one must decide when justice (as imperfect and unsatisfying as it is) has been done and move on to grieve in private.

On Morua Pleads Guilty to DUI and Fatal Hit-and-Run Charges

Posted on April 13 at 9:53 p.m.

Now you are making sense Foofighter. Now I understand. This is not about public sector pensions. This is about the ideological slant of the Board of Supervisors. So be it. My problem with Aceves in that regard is his history as a councilman for the City of Goleta. What is happening in Goleta now is not so good. A lot of the development standards that were established to protect Goleta from becoming another form of what happened to the San Fernando Valley were weakened under the leadership of Roger Aceves. That is not good. In fact, he never did anything while working in City government to reduce the cost of City government. His idea is to increase revenues ( by increasing commercial development) not decrease costs. His idea is to pay for government by monetizing land use. So no, I don't see him as a solution. Thanks for your last post Foo. It was honest and rational and it made sense to me. I just don't agree with you.

On Aceves Accuses Wolf of Donation Conflict

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