City is not a public restroom
This is regarding the gentleman who wrote a column in Sunday’s Voices section. He was advocating that the city allow the homeless to “camp” in our public parks. Apparently he has not had the pleasure of finding a pile of human excrement in one of these parks, as I have. Just where are these campers supposed to go when nature calls?
The city just broke up a large homeless encampment on the bank of Arroyo Burro Creek at Hendry’s Beach. When we have the first big rain storm, and the creek level rises, their latrine will be washed out onto the beach and into the ocean. May I suggest that the author and his family go put their beach chairs in the sand the next day. Enjoy yourselves!
Racism in Santa Barbara
We are an immigrant family, with my wife and two sons born in the Philippines. My sons, ages 3 and 4, have been given citizenship; my wife has a permanent resident visa and awaits her chance. She followed our guidelines for her visa, submitting documents from law enforcement in the Philippines attesting to the fact that she has never committed a crime or misdemeanor, and submitting further to medical examinations and vaccinations that ensure that she is healthy upon entrance to our country. She is a hotel and restaurant management graduate of an accredited college in the Philippines, but cannot find a job here because she speaks no Spanish.
Immigrants who do speak Spanish are treated to free English classes, with free child care, that are subsidized by the taxpayer so that they can get jobs in the hotels and restaurants. But as a noncitizen, my wife pays a high price for Spanish classes so that she can be considered for the jobs. If this is not racism, what is it?
Rowland Lane Anderson
A picture of the homeless
Thousands living homeless in L.A.; millions living homeless in the U.S. … the picture is the same everywhere. Why don’t wealthy landowners donate land and the wealthy donate money to build thousands of small houses in thousands of communities around the country? This would alleviate some of the problem that the rich are always complaining about. It is greed and housing shortages that are causing the problems — not only for the poor, but for everyone. Check the prices of rents lately?
Consider yourself warned
If the cannabis folks are going to claim the world is a better place with pot, then at least put some warning labels on the weed packages. If they haven’t figured it out yet, willingly holding smoke from a joint in your lungs for a few minutes, day after day, may not be such a good idea. Even if it makes them giggle.
Put a cap on cannabis sprawl
Vintners, farmers, and residents want to stop large outdoor cannabis grows in the Santa Ynez Valley. Applications are being appealed for Busy Bee (22 acres), Santa Barbara Westcoast (50 acres), Santa Rita Valley Ag (37 acres), and Castle Rock (23 acres). All are huge (a football field is 1.3 acres), and concentrated two miles outside Buellton.
So what’s wrong with big, concentrated grows? Size and concentration increase impacts. Pot growers threaten to sue vintners for using fungicide, skunky smell closes tasting rooms, food farmers are afraid to use organic pesticides, residents complain about odor, and valley tourism is hurt.
There’s peace in other counties. Only 12 of California’s 59 counties allow outdoor cultivation; of those 12, 11 have limits on number of acres per parcel for growing pot. Humboldt limits cannabis to 1 acre per 100 (8 acres maximum); SLO, 3 acres; Santa Cruz and Contra Costa, 2; Alameda, Lake, Trinity, Yolo and Sonoma, 1; Imperial, one half acre; Mendocino and Monterey, one-quarter acre. Santa Barbara County is the only one with no limits.
Counties that limit grow size haven’t stifled the industry; they’ve just kept it local. Mendocino and Monterey, each with a quarter-acre caps, have 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively, of the state’s temporary cannabis cultivation licenses. Santa Barbara has 29 percent, with lots of out-of-town owners.
Some cannabis growers tout how Sonoma County has avoided conflicts between weed and wine. Good idea. Let’s follow Sonoma’s lead and cap cannabis grows at 1 acre per parcel.