Comments by Eckermann

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Posted on July 17 at 7:49 p.m.

I commuted on my bike for 10 years and, I have to say, I was scrupulous about following all the rules of the road. I stopped at every stop sign and red light, I signaled my lane changes, I road on the correct side of the road. I did so out of self preservation (I had young children and a beautiful wife at home). Now, just so that you all don't think I am taking a holier-than-thou stance: I also used to chase surf before work in the pre-dawn hours (in my car). Before the sun was even a glimmer on the horizon, I was driving around to various surf spots seeking out the best waves to catch before work. In those journeys, I ran stop signs and red lights all the time (time was of the essence). In fact there is a stop sign that I so regularly used to run at 4:30 or 5:30 AM that to this day I have to force myself to stop at it in the middle of the morning (old habits are hard to break). Having been a bicycle commuter for so long, I understand Nick's argument. However, I so much enjoy Nick's writing that I would admonish him to be safe. It does not take much of a bonk on the head to scramble all those wonderfully coherent and articulate verbal brain cells. Be safe Nick.

On You Damn Dirty Dogs!

Posted on July 16 at 8:29 p.m.

I'm confused. Someone enlighten me regarding why anyone would attend Deltopia. Why is it considered "fun." Don't get me wrong, I enjoy a good party with lively and intelligent conversation. I enjoy a day at the beach, surfing, body surfing, throwing the Frisbee around and such. God knows I enjoy a drink or two or three or six. But it escapes me how wondering about the streets of Isla Vista for a day drinking oneself into a stupor would be considered "fun." Please don't give me the "cruising for chicks" explanation. I doubt whether anybody ever hooked up in an environment like Deltopia unless is was a matter of rape. So if they weren't coming to Isla Vista to have "fun," perhaps they were coming to Isla Vista to get drunk and riot. In which case they got what they came for and perhaps will go to jail as a bonus. Good job losers.

On Authorities Make Eight More Deltopia Arrests

Posted on July 16 at 10:17 a.m.

This sounds to me like an internecine spat between the Department of Defense (DoD) and the National Park Service (NPS). There are probably folks in DoD who feel like they lost something when the San Miguel was turned over to NPS and the DoD is now asserting whatever power it has to show NPS who the toughest kid on the block really is. Of course there could more complex, conspiracy-theory type explanations. However, my Occam's Razor simplicity filter tells me that this a macho inflated-ego jock vs. smug tree hugging nature geek kind of conflict. DoD should not waste a single penny of taxpayer treasure on San Miguel Island, turn the whole thing over to NPS, wash their hands, and just walk away.

On San Miguel Island Closure Irks Officials

Posted on July 10 at 9:18 p.m.

To use an analogy from physics, the event threshold of a black hole appears from a distance to be static and stable, but the closer you get to it the more dynamic and shifting the reality becomes. This Sheriff's Department and especially the North County Jail is a sucking black hole of public treasure. Think about it, we could use that money to succor the poor, improve infrastructure, invest in a major public works project that could enhance our water supplies or make our electricity more reliable. But no, instead we are going to spend it on housing criminals and paying salaries and retirement benefits for their keepers. Really? Is this the best use of the community's treasure? Once some out of town contractor (who may hire some local carpenters and buy local concrete) finishes this project, all economic benefit for the County will disappear. The guards will commute from wherever they have their 5,000 square foot houses and children either enrolled in charter schools or home schooled. The facility will continue to drain the County's resources at ever growing amounts year after year. The criminals will serve their time, get out, and commit crimes again, only to return to our new jail, which will soon enough grow old and start falling apart and need to be remodeled at millions of dollars of cost. So it goes.

On Jail Funding a 'Moving Target'?

Posted on July 8 at 5:57 p.m.

So loonpt, what if your neighbor decided to operate a toxic waste landfill in his or her backyard. The lack of toxic waste landfills would make such an enterprise a hugely profitable one. Also, if you didn't like living next to a toxic waste landfill you would be free to sell your property to your newly rich neighbor who could then expand the enterprise to twice its size. Oh the money to be made makes one salivate! I realize that my example is extreme hyperbole, but you get the point.

On Everyone Angry at Proposed Winery Rules

Posted on July 2 at 9:58 p.m.

So can an employer now demand that all his female employees wear veils at work because of his religious convictions? Could an employer dismiss an employee for being an atheist? It is interesting that the Constitution protects religious conviction but apparently does not protect the right to be non-religious. I suspect that judicial findings such as this will ultimately result in single-payer government run health insurance, which would be a good thing. So the liberals should not be so angry and the religious right should not be so smug.

On Santa Barbara Protests Hobby Lobby Decision

Posted on July 2 at 8:41 p.m.

Since deniers like RickSuddes and loonpt are actually representative of the general population in the United States (and maybe worldwide) it is unlikely that we humans will be able to commit ourselves to the policies necessary to halt or reverse global climate change. Therefore, it will become ever more necessary for us to concentrate on adapting to climate change rather than trying to reverse it. Studies like the one that is the subject of this article will help us to focus our adaptation policies where they will be most effective. Adapting to the "water issue" is part of all this. Luckily for Santa Barbara, we're rich and will ultimately adapt by throwing money at any inconvenient results of climate change. As always, it will be the poor who suffer the most.

On $200,000 Grant Approved for Climate Change Study for S.B. Coastline

Posted on June 26 at 5:42 p.m.

The weirdest thing about steaming oil wells is that the process requires way more energy that the oil produced could ever provide, especially after you count in the energy it takes to remove the water and sand from the oil, transport the oil to the refinery and then turn the oil into whatever you can turn that viscous goo into. Actually this stuff is most likely turned into asphalt. All the high ends (which are used to create fuels) have been gone from the Santa Barbara oil fields for a long time now. However, in a way the oil in Santa Barbara County is connected with driving but not as fuel, but rather as the street on which we drive. How weird is that? The truth is that if onshore oil production ended in Santa Barbara tomorrow, it would not have a material effect on Santa Barbara County's economy. We are experiencing the lowest unemployment rates we have seen in many years. Places like Goleta and Buellton are experiencing near full employment. Overall, the County would not notice if the onshore oil producers went away. That said, I am not against oil development. It can be done with minimum impact on the environment and can provide a few (about 1,000) jobs. My solution to this mess is for the oil companies to make peace with environmentalists and come to some long term understanding that provides a win-win for both sides.

On The Anatomy of Cyclic Steaming

Posted on June 21 at 6:13 p.m.

Cayucos is a wonderful town, a secret gem that actually has rich people, middle class people, and poor people all living together in the cutest little beach community you ever saw. There is no crime. There are actually a couple of very good restaurants and the Cayucos Tavern is such a quaint throwback that you can't help but get drunk there and walk home with whomever you were last talking to. There is even surf there! I hope Ms. Hubbard chooses to live in Cayucos, otherwise she will be missing a great opportunity to live in one of the last quaint little beach communities in California.

On Elementary School Principal Departs for San Luis

Posted on June 19 at 7:29 a.m.

Wait a minute! Didn't the voters approve a bond measure for SBCC just a few years ago? What happened to that money? I'm all for keeping the place maintained, but before I vote for another bond measure, I want an accounting of how the last one was spent.

On SBCC Approves $288 Million Bond Measure

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