Comments by RHS

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Posted on July 7 at 9:45 a.m.

SBCC "caps" its foreign student population at 8%? And how was that determined? One suspects that is pretty much anyone who applies. SBCC wants another bond approved for the purpose of improving the campus. I am not inclined to support this in order to cater to rich foreign student tourism.

On Skewed Distribution in Transfers to UC

Posted on July 3 at 8:51 a.m.

Disneyland version of reality is what so much of our community is about. The Presidio being the most blatant example or artifice and nonsense, adulation of a military barracks that suppressed locals and only existed for a few decades. Can we tear it down?

On A Muddy Affair: Historic Home Spared Demolition

Posted on June 26 at 9:36 a.m.

Bendy White apparently has trouble with the real world. Maybe people are already doing well and there is no reasonable way to squeeze what he thinks we should squeeze from ordinary people. Of course the idea of hitting businesses is pretty low on the priority list since they cater to tourism and taxes. Loosing landscaping is just a cost regular folks should accept. Losing business is not so acceptable.

On City Customers Not Saving Water During Drought

Posted on June 16 at 8:49 a.m.

Scientists cannot make ethical decisions based on their training! Nor are they better than us at making political decisions. Each fracked well requires 1 million to 5 million gallons of water a year. This water is contaminated with about 20% of chemicals that cannot be removed. About 20% of this contaminated water remains in the ground. What is the scientific analysis of these facts? My personal analysis as a person who lives in this community is that this sort of destruction and waste for the profit of a corporation is obscene. Don't let it start here.

On High-Intensity Oil-Extraction Ban Headed to Ballot

Posted on June 5 at 8:20 a.m.

While it inherently will divide the city into districts with less homogenous populations than the city as a whole, this is not the purpose of district elections per se. The idea is to bring democracy closer to the voters. Fewer electors can know the candidates better and will become more involved. In return the candidates will be more responsive to those voters and will not be able to hide behind a wider demographic. A major failure of the city for decades has been its ignoring of communities outside of the tourist zone on lower State. This is not just about Westside, Eastside. The Northside is equally forgotten. For example, some streets have no sidewalks and have had none for decades while bulbouts and other "improvements" are lavished in central core State Street. A local rep would advocate for some funding for these areas--this is offensive to the historic "liberal" coalition that has run the city in cooperation with the Downtown Organization for many years. They get aesthetic fun and the merchants get money. Let's stop this and return to a simple idea--local control.

On District Elections: Placebo or Panacea?

Posted on May 29 at 10:18 a.m.

The greatest waster of water in California is not the urban consumers, not the environmentalists that want to protect rivers and bays, not the pointy headed academics but the grotesquely greedy big agricultural interests that flood irrigate, have no meters, have old "rights" to rivers that predate modern society. The expansion of taxpayer funded state water was used to irrigate almond orchards and huge vineyards, not to water lawns or fill swimming pools. Urban users take but 10% of water in California. We don't need a desalinization plant at a big cost that will produce expensive water that tastes bad. We need more efficient commercial use. And fewer people would also help.

On Desalination Plant: Ace-in-Hole or Pipe Dream?

Posted on May 3 at 10:17 a.m.

While this issue is often and appropriately focused on the disenfranchisement of groups of voters by gerrymandering them into districts where they are diluted and ignored, the same happens in city wide elections (the opposite so to speak) because the interests of these groups are submerged into the interests of larger or more powerful groups such as the downtown merchants who want $$$$ and police to support and protect their money making schemes. This is money taken from neighborhoods without sidewalks, safe intersections, water drainage infra structure, good lighting and so forth. So the objection to the present system is at least as much about the lack of attentiveness to the out of downtown districts as it is to ethnic issues. Let's not submerge the discourse in such emotionalism.

On Is the Council Too White?

Posted on May 2 at 11 a.m.

1. Those in favor of non-district elections need to think this through: Should the Supervisors be elected countywide by all voters? Should the state legislature be elected statewide by all voters? Should the US Senate be elected nationwide by all voters? Come on, district elections bring us close to our representatives and allow us to hold them accountable. Small government is best. Big districts allow the politicians and lobbyists to go away and hide behind ads and propaganda.
2. We fought the battle for "even year elections" before. The advocates lost. There is no savings to be had as we are now doing vote by mail at really low cost. Off year elections have the same advantage noted above. They keep the focus on local politicians and local issues and avoid having them smothered by statewide and nationwide campaigns and ads. Keep the local elections local and independent.

On Is the Council Too White?

Posted on May 2 at 10:47 a.m.

Said this before--restaurants should have a container into which they can empty table water glasses. This water could be used for plants and landscape stuff or flushing toilets or mopping floors or ? Still, the amount of water saved by not serving water at tables is silly in perspective. The purpose seems more as propaganda and induction of guilt. My usage is considered and reasonable. I think most people do the same. Urban water consumption is a small part of the state demand for water and we would be better to focus on industrial and agricultural abuse just as has been done with power consumption but they have lobbyists to protect their "rights" and we have nobody but the politicians these lobbyists take golfing.

On Water Restrictions on the Way?

Posted on April 28 at 1:03 p.m.

One of the early (late1800's) Zionist proposed sites for a Jewish state was Baja California. Would have been a good choice and by now it would be part of the US with no international conflagration possibiities.

On UCSB Votes Down Divestment from Israel

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