Letters for Oct. 25, 2012
NO BUTTS, NO BAGS, NO SENSE:
By John Hadidian
Thank goodness our elected officials now have those dangerous minority nicotine addicts in the ghetto. There is nothing more dangerous than the ire of a former smoker catching a waft of the scent of burning tobacco. The legal use of a taxable product in all open environments must be eliminated by threatening fine and ultimately jail for failing to pay the fine; the perfect supplement to existing litter laws.
Thank goodness our elected officials have replaced single use plastic bags weighing 4 grams with their reusable counter parts weighing 88 to 115 grams. We can get to the 7,000 grams of product packaging in my four reusable bags at a later date. In the meantime, just let me purchase that eighth reusable bag because I left another one in my other car. I know, “Feel globally and react locally.”
It was about time we eliminated all unenlightened choices from the last remaining 35 percent of those reckless decisions to reuse single use bags to pack lunches, wet clothes, and line trashcans before we tried to get recycling them to go above the 50 percent. Education is so inefficient when you have mission oriented public servant benefactors.
CARFREE IS NOT A BAN:
By Lynda Lang
Since the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce’s City Council Candidates’ Forum included a question about turning Carpinteria into a Car-FREE city, many people have begun talking about what the term means. I thought some clarification might help quiet some of the buzz about folks not being able to have cars in Carpinteria.
“Car-FREE Carpinteria” does not mean we will not be able to have cars in Carpinteria! Car-FREE in many California cities and towns, including the City of Santa Barbara, means that people have an option to arrive and enjoy their visit by taking Amtrak or an MTD bus to town. Once here, visitors would take the Seaside Shuttle to their hotel destination, out to shop, to local restaurants and/or to rent a bike and pedal around town.
Of course there is always that great walk out on the beach, on the beautiful bluffs or up and down the sidewalks of our quaint town to get the full feeling of how friendly Carpinteria is. Plus, did you know that Car-FREE towns offer great incentives for visitors to leave their vehicle at home and spend less time trying to negotiate traffic and find parking? Wow! Now that’s what I call a vacation.
I invite you to go to SantaBarbaracarfree.org, to check out discounts offered to travel on Amtrak and other offers for those special visitors who leave their car at home.
It’s the hope of the City of Carpinteria and the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce, that the routing of the Seaside Shuttle could someday include the Carpinteria Amtrak Platform parking lot and the various local hotels on a regular basis (and maybe someday even more area). By closing this service gap, Carpinteria could, also be one of the towns offering all the incentives to visitors who come to town Car-FREE.
GO WITH GURAVITZ:
By Bob Duncan
I would like to say a few words regarding the forthcoming selection of directors for the Carpinteria Summerland Fire District. In my 10 years as a director, I have been pleased to work with talented and devoted public servants whose sole purpose has been to run an extremely well organized and efficient fire district.
Incumbent Lisa Guravitz has been an outstanding board member, contributing new ideas and energy to our group, and I am pleased to recommend that you vote for her this November.
TAFF AND JOHNSON WILL BRING KNOW-HOW:
By Kelley Baker
Whether it is 3 p.m. or 3 a.m., and regardless of the situation, if you are in need of help your local firefighters will come to your aid. For more than 75 years, the firefighters of Carpinteria-Summerland Fire have been answering the call of those in need. Now we are asking for your help by electing Bill Taff and Chris Johnson to the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Board. What do these candidates bring to the fire board? Knowledge and experience.
Bill Taff is a retired firefighter who served with the Santa Barbara City Fire Department for almost 40 years, most of which as a fire captain. With decades of experience under his belt he knows first hand what your firefighters face as emergency responders and will ensure that the agency is striving to meet its service obligation to the community.
Chris Johnson is an emergency room physician with local roots. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from USCB, proceeded to medical school and then finished his training in emergency medicine at USC Medical Center. He is currently acting Medical Director of the Emergency Department at CMH in Ventura and is also completing his last year as the Chair of Medicine for the hospital.
Because of their diverse backgrounds in fire and EMS, these candidates understand what is required for us to get the job done safely and effectively. We feel these candidates will bolster the Fire Board with an element of hands-on expertise, and with their knowledge-based oversight they will undoubtedly prove to enhance the performance of the agency. In closing, please consider helping us by electing these well-qualified candidates, and in due course we feel we will be able to better help you when you are in a time of need.
PROVEN LEADERSHIP A MUST ON FIRE BOARD:
By Craig Price
Since her arrival on the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District board four years ago, Lisa Guravitz has exemplified the kind of leadership that our community expects and needs. The district has managed to avoid the upheaval and controversy that has marked some local agencies. I attribute this in large part to the leadership and fiscal responsibility exhibited by Chief Mike Mingee, backed by a like-minded board working together on behalf of local residents.
As a fellow fire board member, I have seen Lisa’s thoughtful, sensible approach to solving many tough issues. Like virtually all public agencies, we are beset with health insurance, workers compensation and pension costs that increase faster than revenues. Lisa has demonstrated strong leadership in dealing with these tough issues through her balanced approach to maintaining needed reserves for continued fiscal solvency, providing local residents with a very high level of emergency service and serving the needs of our dedicated firefighters and other staff.
Lisa’s many other important contributions include being the driving force behind obtaining Green Business certification for our administrative headquarters, the first public agency in the county to be so recognized. Lisa has also been a central figure in planning for much needed improvements at both fire stations.
With your support of her candidacy for re-election, I look forward to continuing serving alongside Lisa in the coming years.
STOKER’S OUR MAN:
By June Van Wingerden
We voters in Carpinteria have a rare opportunity to vote for a resident of Carpinteria for state senate. Mike Stoker has the experience and knowledge to be a great senator. Many of us remember Mike when he was on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors. Mike was a great supervisor. He did not make government his career. Mike has worked in private industry and knows what the crushing government regulations are doing to local business. Mike is a smart guy and lives here. Vote for Mike Stoker for state senate.
PATIENCE IS A VIRTUE ON THE CITY COUNCIL:
By Megan Coates
I am the manager of Silver Sands Village, a mobile home park near the Carpinteria Salt Marsh. When I was first hired, I was overwhelmed by some operations within the park. Fred Shaw was the assistant manager at the time and he was invaluable as a teacher and coach. People skills are really important when dealing with neighbors who are 3-feet from each other. At the time, managing repairs and occasional emergencies were extremely challenging to me. Fred, who was assistant manger for 10 years, knew how to deal with all the varied personalities occupying our park, where the water lines were and which ones were in need of babying, how the pool operated and all the issues related to running a park.
I am still impressed by the patience he offered me and the evenhanded manner with which he solved park issues (often flared tempers at unexpected events). I know that Fred is also a member of the Mobilehome Rent Stabilization Board, which is so important to Carpinteria. Many of my friends live in mobile homes and fear sudden, excessive rent increases will compel them to move.
I am voting for Fred because I see him as a judicious and caring person capable of solving problems both large and small.
J ISN’T THE ONLY ISSUE OUT THERE:
By Rosalyn Kohute
This letter is in response to last week’s “Measure J supporters unfit for office” editorial. Regardless of how one voted on Measure J, as a 28-year member of this community, it is a fact that we have more than only one issue facing our political future. To be so fixated as to say that upstanding citizens of Carpinteria “should be unelectable” is an insult to all voters who still believe in the democratic process.
NEW BLOOD NEEDED ON THE SCHOOL BOARD:
By Melanie Macaluso
At the core of our democracy, we have a citizen legislature that is periodically replaced through elections. Our founding fathers referred to this as “rotation in office.” They believed that the best government is one where citizens serve a term or two and then return to the private sector to become, once again, one of the “governed” rather than a “governor.” Nobody should serve multiple terms in the same office, no matter how well meaning they are. To do so invites stagnation, mediocrity and the creation of an office-holding elite.
This year, two seats are open on the Carpinteria Unified School District school board, and four candidates are vying for them. Of the four, three are entirely new and one has served multiple terms already. Terry Banks has been a CUSD trustee since 1996. In Mr. Pulido’s letter to the editor last week, he lauded Mrs. Banks’ experience on the school board and asked us to re-elect her for another four years. I don’t think that’s right. We all have a stake in public education, and one person should not sit in a school board seat endlessly. We need to keep fresh ideas and energy coming. Mrs. Banks has served a 16-year term. She’s had her chance to provide input, and I think it’s time for her to rotate out and make room for the next contributors.
I think Alison Livett (masters in education, taught math and physics, volunteer tutor) and Blanca Gorman (BA in accounting, parent volunteer in the classroom, bilingual) are great candidates for CUSD School Board. They are smart and capable and will keep the school board fresh, inviting and forward-looking. I urge you to vote Livett and Gorman for CUSD school board.
HOLCOMBE IS THE WHOLE PACKAGE:
By Adrian Butash
Polly Holcombe will make a first class CVWD board member. She has excellent credentials and a passion for evaluating and implementing the best plans for our water needs. I have known Polly five years and observed her activities as a trusted board member at our Santa Barbara Polo Club condos where she served two years as president of our 138 unit complex—in addition to fulfilling her regular management jobs with Fortune 500 corporations.
Our CVWD is burdened with deep and unique problems that are completely out of ratio for such a small town. How can we re-elect the same people who have served for decades? Some say these ladies are inexperienced and are trying to take the current board members’ jobs away.
Importantly, these are elected positions. These positions belong to the community, and we must install competent and qualified individuals to oversee the intelligent management of our water, which includes electing new officers when necessary.
Polly’s specific experience in key business areas such as HR, project management, budgeting, contracts, negotiations, disaster recovery and working with diverse competing interests is important experience for solving the enormous problems facing the water board. She maintains a quick wit under pressure, something she will need in this role.
Polly has clearly communicated her immediate goals with respect to finances, processes, environmental impact, state water and morale. Her resourcefulness, execution and positive approach to any challenge—which I have seen in action and have full confidence in—calls me to urge the rest of the community to elect Polly Holcombe as CVWD Board member. If anyone can clean up our water issues, she can.
FORDE-ING THE STORMY WATERS:
By Claudia Gottstein
It’s election time, and we are seeing lots of political campaign letters to CVN again. Nothing wrong with that; it saves the cost for an ad and incites the public discussion. What bothers me, though, is when false or misleading statements are made to influence Carpinterian voters in a way that shows under-appreciation of their intelligence (sound familiar?). Let’s take John Schmidhauser’s letter as an example (CVN, October 4). Schmidhauser is an official supporter of Van Antwerp. Van Antwerp’s only challenger for the 2 year term seat is Richard Forde. A nice trick to disguise the strength of Forde and the weakness of VanAntwerp is to say, “All are well educated. … VanAntwerp … (had a career in) business and management … Forde in education and consulting.”
What’s not mentioned is that VanAntwerp founded a software company, while Forde has 25 years of experience in the water business, working for a municipal drinking water plant, as the owner of a water consulting company and as a water science professor. Schmidhauser quotes Forde, taken out of context, on the State Water Project. All candidates say that the state contracts have to be renegotiated. Schmidhauser insinuates that Forde has a different opinion. Not true.
Lastly, to mix in a weak candidate with others is another nice twist. Note that half of the supporting organizations in the Holcombe campaign flyer do not endorse VanAntwerp. In fact, the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee specifically supports Forde. If a women’s political organization supports a male candidate over a female candidate, that’s a statement all by itself. In summary, fresh faces on the water board are a good idea. There are two choices for the short-term seat. Forde is clearly the better qualified candidate.
RIP REPUBLICAN PARTY:
By Mike Rupert
It’s time to say goodbye to the Republican Party. An immovable base which has turned
Mitt Romney’s head in every direction but forward is on the last legs of a movement largely controlled by older—and very angry—white men. The party is now defined by its permanent obstructionism, providing no solutions to an ever changing landscape, slowly being swallowed up by the winds around it.
The pathetic attempt to disenfranchise some through voter ID laws along with its inability to compromise with anyone beyond the radical right, exposes not simply strategy by the GOP, but a fear of anything grounded in the malleable, of the evolution of progressive dialogue and thought.
Conservatism is rooted in fear of change for the comfort of “what is,” rather than the honest and studious, “what could be.” To the GOP, Obama is simply the head of that storm—representational of “the other”—more specifically, of America’s changing demographics that, according to some, will turn red-leaning states like Texas, into swing states, within four to eight years.
Come rain or shine in November, the GOP is sinking, showing no desire to adjust. And, after Mitt Romney loses in his quest for the presidency, apparently the only thing on the horizon for this flailing GOP are those dark, “ominous” individuals gradually, and beautifully, helping to move this courageous country of ours inextricably and forever forward.
RIGHT WING RIDICULOUSNESS:
By Virginia Mariposa
In response to Diana Thorn’s letter of Oct. 18, public sector jobs were only a small percentage of the recent employment gain. The Bureau of Labor Statistics guards its reports like Fort Knox guards its gold. This is a typical Republican response to any fact that makes President Obama look good. They’re like a parent who tells a child that he/she is doing poorly even if the child brings home straight A’s.
In the last month of George Bush’s presidency, 818,000 jobs were lost. The U.S. economy was an open wound that no doctor could staunch. We were in freefall. Barack Obama has worked diligently to create a slow but steady job gain since he took office and bailed out GM, thus saving the employment of nearly a million people not to mention salvaging our car industry. He would have created many more had the Tea Party and the rest of the Republican party not filibustered his every job bill.
What are Ms. Thorn’s sources for unemployment? Are they credible? And what does “black unemployment” have to do with it? She didn’t mention any other ethnic group. Unless you enjoy black people’s pain, I don’t understand her motive. Black unemployment, as we know, is due to fewer educational and financial options for our African-American population, which has raised itself out of slavery with almost no helping hand until the Civil Rights Movement occurred. Enough said.