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Comments by RHS

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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

Posted on April 28 at 11:43 a.m.

What was the vote? The report is unsatisfactory by simply quoting individual views and not telling us what the body politic (in training) supported. Also report does not even sketch out the merits and objections to the divest idea. What effect would this have on Israel if we pulled out, what effect does the investment have. And what effect, if any, does US investment have on the continued apartheid in Israel?

On UCSB Votes Down Divestment from Israel

Posted on April 22 at 3:22 p.m.

So we are willing to pay "a little more" for healthy food on the premise that it will allow us to live longer but can't walk around the block which is the simple sort of day to day exercise that will definitely help us to live longer? Welcome to Santa Barbara crazy.

On VIDEO: Santa Barbara Public Market

Posted on April 21 at 10:35 a.m.

Not too comforting to be told that such ordinance is available on line for folks to buy. This is really pushing the 2d Amendment if it is, as the NRA and the Supreme Court majority seem to advocate, about self defense. I can see the folks in Solvang lobbing artillery into Lompoc to protect themselves from the imminent invasion threat from the west.

On Solvang Bomb Scare Defused

Posted on April 17 at 1:16 p.m.

20-40% of any jail/prison population has significant mental illness issues. These people do not belong in jail because !. It is substantially more expensive to care for them there ($20K a year or so); 2. They do not get better in a penal setting; 3. The jail is not trained nor sympathetic to the idea of medical care; 4. The jail will not spend money on effective psychotropic medicine; 5. Jail stays are finite and set by issues other than psychological care and progress and are therefore mental health care in the jail is seldom more than a buffer. Building another regressive social system for more money with worse health results is only valuable to the folks who make good money from staffing it and those who get elected by engendering more fear. Next week ADMHS will present another incomplete and inadequate plan to the BOS for providing mental health services in SB County but as bad as that plan is it is better than building 1000 bed jails. Please contact the Board of Supervisors and let them know you support removing a significant and non-threatenting portion of the jail population and p lacing them in residential and other facilities that will make them healthier and save us all huge money.

On Big Plans for the Big House

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