November 1992 was the last time I voted for a Democratic
presidential candidate. Following that election, I changed my party
affiliation from Democrat to either Independent or Not Affiliated.
While I continued to cast votes for a few Democratic candidates, my
decision was due mainly to feeling disaffected from not only the
Democratic Party, but both major parties and what they failed to
stand for.

Then I met Jill Martinez. My introduction to Jill was by
invitation at the home of a Democratic supporter. With 10 people in
attendance, we spent three hours expressing our concerns and
listening to Jill’s responses. My own concerns dealt primarily with
the rights of children and adults with disabilities. With great
surprise and joy, I discovered Jill was not only understanding of
my concerns but agreed to attend a series of statewide conference
calls sponsored by a group who advocates for the rights of
children, adults, and elderly who are disabled.

This was very refreshing. I have sent numerous emails to our
current 24th congressional district representative expressing many
concerns and have never received even a canned response letter.
Jill, who grew up on the Central Coast, has worked tirelessly for
average-and-lower income citizens. Thanks to her efforts, thousands
of these citizens have a decent place to live and better
opportunities for employment and advancement, and feel part of our
communities. In a city such as Lompoc, community cohesion is
critical to its prosperity. Through her leadership by example, Jill
has helped cities strengthen their cohesion. For the first time in
many years, I’ve met a candidate who believes what many of us do
and backs it up with action. Jill has numerous office locations
throughout our district.

This spring, I reregistered as a Democrat, joined a committee,
and now lead volunteer operations in the Lompoc Valley for Jill
Martinez. I encourage anyone who believes in family, neighborhoods,
and communities to join us in electing a person who talks the talk
and walks the walk. —David Eccles

Artistic Differences

News coverage of the News-Press uproar was well-documented in
The Independent. Chief among the complaints is the editorial
domination of multi-millionaire publisher Wendy McCaw. Yet other
significant issues are obvious to those of us living or working in
Santa Barbara. In my profession—music and the arts—we find coverage
that more resembles society page puff pieces than substantive
articles. For example, news about contract negotiations for the
local Symphony, Opera, and Chamber Orchestra is nonexistent.
Out-of-town musicians and artists receive far more coverage than
accomplished individuals in local institutions. It is of no
concern, too, to the News-Press that many musicians playing in our
local ensembles live in Los Angeles, and are performing under the
guise of the Pasadena Symphony one night, the Glendale Symphony
another night, and the Long Beach Symphony on yet another night. It
also may be asked why the Santa Barbara Symphony’s only local
outreach is children’s concerts, for which the attendees are bussed
downtown. What is the value of a “local” newspaper if it does not
value or cover the artists in its own city? Let us hope that this
local newspaper “asset” will some day find its bearings. —Dr.
Steven Gross
, Professor of Music, UCSB

Legal Battles

During some of the press coverage for the sheriff’s race,
Sheriff Anderson was quoted as saying, “He’s [Chief Brown has] done
a lousy job as a leader of a small law enforcement agency to tackle
the problems of Lompoc.” Sheriff Anderson has also said something
to the effect that he has the endorsement of the Deputy Sheriff’s
Association and Chief Brown has the endorsement of the “lawyers,”
referring to the highly sought-after backing of the Deputy District
Attorney’s Association. For readers who don’t know, the DA’s office
works intimately with every law enforcement agency in the county,
including the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department. Chief
Brown also has countless other well-earned and respected

I believe most importantly, Chief Brown has the formal
endorsement and whole-hearted support of the people he leads: the
Lompoc Police Officer’s Association. Chief Brown has undoubtedly
earned this endorsement and we were honored to give it to him.
During his service with the Lompoc Police Department, Chief Brown
has done an outstanding job and his track record shows it. Since
his tenure with our agency, Chief Brown has implemented a narcotics
team, a bike patrol program, fully supported the growth and needs
of our SWAT team, established a combined gang and narcotics
enforcement team, and installed an ncomparable community oriented
policing program. For Sheriff Anderson to say that Chief Brown is
doing a poor job in Lompoc is absolutely incorrect. —Nate
Flint, president,
Lompoc Police Officers Association •••
During the past couple of months, I have personally witnessed
representatives of Chief Bill Brown spreading vicious rumors in the
Hispanic community regarding Sheriff Anderson’s position concerning
illegal aliens. And Brown has been standing right there as if he
supports these lies! The information being spread is that Sheriff
Anderson wants to “round up all the Mexicans and send them back to
Mexico.” This is a blatant lie. Brown was at the forum when the
Sheriff said, “I think the federal government needs to step up to
the plate and do something about border control and local law
enforcement needs to have the authority to arrest people when they
are in this country illegally and right now we don’t have that
authority.” This forum was videotaped. The transcript is available
to anyone who wants “truth.”

Brown has publicly stated, “If law enforcement had the authority
to arrest illegal immigrants, it would shatter the community
policing efforts we have with the Hispanic community.” The Lompoc
Record reports that Chief Brown’s department has added this on to
over six recent arrests since he said it. So it is really Brown who
is rounding up Hispanics to “send them back to Mexico.” [This
letter was printed as received, unedited.] —Judi Fitzgerald

Unhealthy Decision

After six years, the UCSB bureaucracy has killed a wonderful
social get together: a healthy vegetarian lunch group on campus,
the Bhakti Yoga Lunches. This is very sad for many UCSB grads,
undergrads, and employees who attend the lunch each week. I’ve had
former grad student friends write back from Japan and Europe,
fondly remembering their days at UCSB; among the highlights is the
$5 all-you-can-eat Bhakti lunch get-togethers with fellow
vegetarians—and that wonderful salad dressing made with ground

The greedy UCEN merchants have apparently pressured the
University to halt the Bhakti Yoga lunches. They have over 22,000
potential customers; what little customer base is lost by at most a
couple of hundred employees, students, and grad students peacefully
eating $5 lunches? Many of the UCSB employees that come to the
lunches would bag their own meals anyway instead of patronizing the
UCEN food court.

I think it’s outrageous that the UCSB bureaucracy is killing a
good thing and potential fond memories for future students. In
fact, I know two entering grad students who had heard about the
Bhakti lunches and had been eagerly looking forward to them. In my
opinion, the people who killed the Bhakti lunches should be sent to
the planet Douglas Adams created for such bureaucrats. —William


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