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Posted on March 20 at 8:52 a.m.
There's no question it's difficult, if not impossible, for the Sheriff's Department to predict the level of crime his department will encounter in the next fiscal year. But one thing is for sure, building a new jail is not the answer. It's interesting to me that ADMHS is having similar budgetary problems. I believe they have the same problem. Mental Illness. No, not the department heads, or even the county. But if you look at the facts, the jail is overcrowded due to people living with mental illness. Jail is not the place for these people. It's twice as costly to incarcerate someone with mental illness than it is to get them the treatment they need to live productive lives. It was never intended for law enforcement to be the solution to this country's mental health problem. So who should be responsible? Well, you would think that would be ADMHS. But ask anyone who has a loved one suffering from this disease and they will tell you that in a time of crisis, ADMHS is totally and completely unable to deal with that crisis. So, the Sheriff gets a call and the "offender" is carted off to jail where she/he spends some time doing nothing to improve their mental health. They are subsequently released from jail, have another crisis, return to jail (now for a longer visit) and the cycle continues. As for ADMHS, well, that's a tough nut to crack. But it seems to me the ridiculously long list of "services" they provide are not really provided at all. I have a little experience with them, and they are not remotely helpful when a person is in crisis. They are the last resort. And that is wrong. It seems like streamlining the "services" they offer down to some realistic services that people really need would be a good start. Savings from jail incarcerations and ADMHS restructuring would provide a good start to not only helping people that are ill, but saving the taxpayer some money.There are states and municipalities where "jail diversions" allow those suffering from mental illness to get the treatment they need at a cost much reduced than spending time in jail. San Antonio, Texas is a good example.Sure, this would all take a some time to sort out. But these budget shortfalls have been going on for as long as anyone can remember.And it sure doesn't seem like mental illness is the Sheriff's domain. But it's worth it and it's doable. So, to the Board of Supervisors: we need to stop throwing money at the problem and look closely at what's really needed.
On Sheriff, Mental Health in the Red
Posted on March 4 at 5:49 a.m.
For anyone interested, there's a great display of linen postcards at the Natural History Museum.
On Santa Barbara's Postcard Souvenirs
Posted on October 1 at 12:31 p.m.
Kamilla,I think you've entirely missed the point. This country, unlike Denmark, (or anywhere else in Europe) is composed of people from all over the world. "Chinatown," "Little Italy," and the rest are just a place for people with those backgrounds to get a hint of their homeland (usually in the form of familiar foods). But actually, none of them live up to their home country. I hope people aren't visiting Solvang in lieu of actually visiting Denmark! A visit to San Francisco's Chinatown is very interesting and fun, but does anyone think it replaces an actual visit to China?? Solvang was originally settled by Danes and many Danes still own much of the commercial area of Solvang and even sit on the City Council. So, maybe those are the guys you should talk with about your disappointments. Is there an America Town in Copenhagen?
On Danish Days Not Very Danish
Posted on September 7 at 2:14 p.m.
AZ2SB - The County doesn't have a "police chief." We have a County Sheriff. This is a perfect example of not having correct information. And the County Sheriff comes from the Lompoc Police Department. Hardly an outsider who is not familiar with Santa Barbara County issues. It would be a difficult argument to make that the County Sheriff is not well informed of the problems facing his department and the law enforcement needs of this county.
On Must the County of Santa Barbara pay such lavish, "competitive" pensions to its retired executives?
Posted on September 7 at 8:22 a.m.
A couple of things:I agree 100% with Num1UofAn.I also did not vote.Must the Independent phrase the question in such a misleading manner? It was disappointing to see the original article with absolutely no investigative reporting. The paper simply posted a bunch of salaries and called them "lavish." JohnLocke's response is, I think, very typical when there is little information to go on. If there is a money problem, look at who is getting the most money and simply reduce that. Narrow. And, reducing government by half? How about reducing by half how much citizens need to have their hands held? It's amazing how little people do for themselves with the EXPECTATION that government will do it for them. Lastly, there actually are a large number of locals working for the county. When it comes to filling a specific job though, it sometimes is necessary to go outside. Just because one or two high profile positions are held by "outsiders" doesn't mean most of county employees aren't locals.Again, I'm disappointed at the lack of research and investigative reporting done by the Independent.
Posted on September 1 at 9:07 a.m.
It's obvious to anyone what's been happening here. The minute someone disagrees with the Chumash, you're labeled a racist. Clearly, the tribe has bought-off much of the local community with their disingenuous gifts of football stadiums, roadway improvements, etc... Disingenuous because there are strings attached - support them or you're a bigot. If the Chumash just paid taxes like every one else, the local economy and county would be much better off and not always begging for their approval. The county (through the general plan) has done a very decent job of keeping urban sprawl in check in the Santa Ynez Valley. The Camp 4 property development would be a classic example of urban sprawl. The County Board of Supervisors needs to stick to the plan that they, their staff and the local community put so much effort into. And, I agree with at_large who is worried about Supervisor Carbajal. Thank God that Supervisor Farr and Congressman Gallegly are thinking clearly.And what about inclusion of the Chumash in the local community? How does a remote, exclusive enclave of high end housing development allow any group to become part of a working community?If the reservation has run out of housing, the Chumash can go buy or build a house just about anywhere they want. Why destroy the very character of the place that all valley residents have come to expect?Bad idea Chumash! Play by the rules. And don't even think of pulling the race card on me.
On Chumash Indians, Santa Ynez Residents Clash Over Camp 4
Posted on July 22 at 8:43 a.m.
C'mon city council. Step up to the plate and do the right thing. The citizens of Goleta don't want 1200, 600 or even 100 houses built here. Get creative with ag use or keep it in open space. Housing is a drag on the economy in the long run with crowding our schools, increasing traffic and with property taxes not keeping pace with the needs of all those new people. C'mon city council!
On Bishop Ranch Study Unveiled
Posted on July 21 at 7:10 a.m.
Perfectly stated geeber. It's sad that so many people think that if they can just get that next parcel developed all the fiscal problems of the city will evaporate. It's not just Goleta, it's the mentality of this nation. Think about this though; Los Angeles with a population of 3+ million people and every kind of industry and commerce imaginable must be the wealthiest city in California, right? C'mon, we all know that the only benefit from developing Bishop Ranch will be some short term jobs and of course a big lump of cash for the owners. As always, the rest of the south coast is left with more traffic, more smog, larger classrooms and more people to take care of. The politicians of Goleta should show some real leadership and create a park on the scale of every world-class city that would stretch from Lake Los Carneros all the way to Glenn Annie Golf Course. Now that would be impressive. And it would truly benefit everyone.
On Public Review for Bishop Ranch Development
Posted on July 14 at 10:39 a.m.
Typical Libertarian. Lanny-boy should check the actual facts regarding these retirement plans before he exposes his ignorance any further. Unfortunately, because the economy is in such dire straits, everyone is looking at public employee retirement compensation as a way out. Here are all these public employees who are weathering this storm pretty well because, instead of taking pay raises, they bargained for better retirement benefits. Pretty smart I'd say. And just for the record, I'm not one of the public employees, I just happen to know how the system works. Again, because of the tough times, people will see Lanny's Ballot Initiative as a way to get somebody, anybody, who's making more money than they are. If it hasn't dawned on the rest of the voters out there yet, here's some advice: Start saving/investing for your retirement NOW. Right now. That's how the public employees have been able to get the benefits, they begin saving on day one of employment with funds that otherwise would have been used for salaries.Good Luck Lanny!
On Activist's Ballot Initiatives Goes After Public Employees
Posted on June 25 at 7:21 a.m.
Wow surfrmom. Struck a nerve here I guess. Fact of the matter is that fortunately, not everyone thinks like you. I'll give you that the Forest Service does not receive enough money to manage their assets in any reasonable way. But a wilderness area won't have any roads to manage (road management being one of the costliest issues in the forest). As far as damage incurred by nature, well, that's just wrong. The whole idea is wrong. Nature can only damage what man has created, otherwise, it's just nature. Lesson here is: the less we stick our noses into our natural systems, the less money it costs everyone and less possible damage to man-made structures and systems. This is a great project and I hope Forest Watch and it's cooperators are successful.
On Making the Los Padres Even More Wild