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Posted on October 10 at 4:19 p.m.
Thanks to both of these supervisors who put the long term well-being of the county that today's children and grandchildren will inherit - aquifers, healthy environment - ahead of windfall profits the oil companies want to reap today. If it's desperately needed later, the oil won't go away and future technologies should be less harmful.
People under stress rarely accept that just because industry can do something doesn't mean it should, and Santa Barbara county is under stress. Deniers of climate change and deniers that fracking, steam injection, and acidizing for oil production are risky and ecologically destructive live in the same place - denial. No wonder the opposition has spent so much trying to hoodwink the voters into joining them using scare tactics and threats. If the "Shame On..." Carpenters Union is against it, that alone is grounds for a YES vote - on a banner.
On Wolf and Carbajal Endorse Measure P
Posted on October 9 at 12:09 p.m.
Before asking the voters for big money, SBCC needs to acknowledge the problems its growth-oriented "y'all come" approach has already caused in the neighborhood of the main campus and in I.V. Then detail a plan to fix things and act on it; show some results. Studies and task forces aren't enough; give them two years to help restore the level of civilization that the permanent residents of S.B. and I.V. deserve. Catering too much to transients - whether students, bums, or tourists - is a mistake. And frankly, a political endorsement by the current leadership of the Democratic party only reinforces an emphatic NO - not yet - vote, just like the high dollar propagandizing by oil companies against Measure P suggests a YES on that one.
On City College's Sprawling Impact
Posted on October 7 at 10:51 a.m.
Good piece. The ambitious SBCC leaders seem to envision SBWC - Santa Barbara World College. SBCC is already over-inflated, and the influx of more out of town-county-state-country students with near 0% interest in Santa Barbara, and who see the town as little more that a drunken playground for their entertainment is a serious problem. Before asking for more funding, SBCC needs to show they recognize the concerns and explain how they intend to address them. While school administrators might say that "in loco parentis" is long dead and deny responsibility for students, voters can tell them otherwise - that they do have a role in the off-campus behavior of the people participating in their programs. So long as the neighbors are miserable and I.V. is such a mess, no on Measure S.
On Don't Reward the Wayward College
Posted on October 6 at 10:26 a.m.
We attended the East Side meeting and found Ms. Johnson's presentation very informative. Behind Santa Barbara's sparkly veneer there's a lot of crumbling going on. Upkeep on some facilities hasn't been great, and some has been downright negligent. The design of others (like the police HQ) are substandard and dangerous. Streets are cracked; sidewalks are choppy. For a beach town, our beachfront services are sorely lacking. On and on.Jerry Brown's state government took away redevelopment funds that had been earmarked for local repairs to balance the books in Sacramento. That was a big hit. The council is now asking for input on how to prioritize what we can do without those funds - what to replace, what to repair, and what to defer for later. Mayor Schneider and Councilman Rowse were at the East Side meeting to gather input and respond to questions. Overall, a very useful and well-run process, but one inevitably leading to some hard choices.
On City Faces Massive Repair Backlog
Posted on October 5 at 12:11 p.m.
With the number of international travelers coming and going in student/tourist-oriented Santa Barbara, it's a matter of weeks before Ebola is here, given the present rate of spread and the lax borders. How many isolation beds are in the county? Since our city can't deal effectively with vagrants on State Street and in the parks, what are the odds of a swift and effective response to a health crisis that poses much harder human rights choices?
The fragile public health systems in West Africa were quickly overwhelmed many, many weeks ago. A 'developed world' hospital in Dallas received a traveler who was either remarkably forgetful or outright lied on screening documents to make the trip via Brussels. When he arrived at the ER, the U.S. system broke down on its first test. Do we think there won't be more desperate medical refugees doing whatever they can to get better odds of surviving? Chances of more lies? More mistakes?
Outbreaks used to be contained by geography. But with airlines connecting the globe via mega-hubs and spokes in a few hours, that defense is gone. Because of risk to the world, outbound commercial passenger flights from the Ebola zone should be curtailed, and inbound aid flights restricted to military aircraft with strict infection controls. Cleaners for those airlines which do keep going must quickly be trained to decontaminate, not just pick up trash. So far the response has been too slow, too little, and maybe too late. Maybe our Health Department is more on top of things, but the CDC and WHO reassurances are not reassuring. Until effective anti-virals are widely available or the outbreak abates, limit travel.
At this point Ebola is running wild, and now Marburg virus has hit in Uganda. Without making some tough decisions immediately, we face the prospects of a pandemic. The Obama administration and congress need to shift focus from mid east wars and squabbling about inane politics over to the battle against disease at our own too-porous borders. It's a matter of national security, too.
On Ebola Protocols Established in S.B.
Posted on October 3 at 10:17 a.m.
This happened on a warn evening when lots of A/C was running. Imagine what a serious earthquake would do to Edison's old transformers and the water supply. Every household needs to be prepared to be self-sufficient for a few days - or more.
On Massive Power Outage in Santa Barbara
Posted on September 28 at 11:38 a.m.
It's great that the Indy gave space for this important topic. It goes way beyond water districts and local politics. Our stretch of the Central Coast is heading toward a tragedy of the commons scenario if self-interest prevails under an archaic set of water laws that served in the era of 'good ole boys' but is now past. Today, the aquifers are at risk. There's not enough surface water to supply the demand, much less with climate change combined with more (over-)development. Reducing usage is only a stopgap. A major rethink is needed since the status quo is barely sustainable. Water is a common pool resource that requires a holistic approach - local, state, regional. Vote for people who can see the complexity in the big picture holistically. The time for piecemeal, disjointed, ad hoc solutions is over. Water deserves the best thinking and the best thinkers we've got.
On Goleta Water District Issues Debated
Posted on September 26 at 11:17 a.m.
These are a big mistake, except for the profiteers who develop them. Bad planning will wipe away the character that makes Santa Barbara attractive and distinguishes it from the other boring filled-up suburbs of L.A.'s sprawl. Goleta has been stupid to build too much; Santa Barbara is following in their over-developed footsteps. The Chapala Elephants were a blunder. Stuffing upper State with people warehouses is equally wrong-headed. Doesn't anyone at City Hall recognize that we're negative, water-wise, and that's not sustainable? Adding more consumption is nuts.
On Density on Upper State Will Increase
Posted on September 24 at 2:30 p.m.
Twelve stories of greed is an ugly thing.
On 12-Story Hotel by 2016?
Posted on September 21 at 11:17 a.m.
This is a very consequential and thoughtful piece in need of wider distribution (and popularization). What shines through the bureaucratic and procedural jargon is that continued operation of Diablo Canyon is a big gamble that PG&E and NRC enablers are taking with the Central Coast. It seems that the ongoing and unresolved lessons of Fukushima and Chernobyl remain largely lost.
On Diablo's Former Inspector Explains