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Comments by historypete

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Posted on September 11 at 9:02 a.m.

Parents that oppose vaccination are ill-informed ( NOTE: I am not saying they are stupid, ignorant etc - I am not into name calling).

They might think they are acting in the best interest of their children, but that action is a danger to all children. I do believe it is the right of a parent to raise their child in the way they choose to, however if your child participates in society, and is part of society, you have a responsibility to society as well. If an action you take is harmful to society, you need to ask yourself if the information you have is accurate, and backed by sound scientific research.

To think that everything in life has to have a 100% safety threshold is unrealistic and not level-headed. Everything in life has some danger inherent to it, so why increase that by not vaccinating. I am astounded by the fact that it is seems to be the affluent parts of society, who generally (though not always) are better educated, that believe the vaccination writings of very fringe elements of pseudo-scientists.

I am pretty sure that the majority of these members of society, the anti-vaxxers, are those that would call climate change deniers ill-informed, because the vast majority of scientists say climate change is real. The same can be said of vaccinations - except that I do believe that there is far greater consensus on the safety of vaccinations amongst vaccination scientists than climate change scientists (for the record I do believe climate change is real).

I am old enough to remember the effects of polio, before polio vaccination, and to remember those pictures of many children lying in Iron Lungs. I also knew enough people who had polio as a child and were gravely disabled as adults. I think that once a few of these parents have their children disabled, or tragically die, from very preventable diseases they will live the rest of their lives with regret.

On Anti-Vaxxers on the Rise

Posted on September 8 at 10:19 a.m.

I love it when the "libertarians" have the free market exposes the shallowness of their arguments.

On Can't buy smokes at CVS any more?

Posted on August 15 at 10:32 a.m.

This is such a tragedy for everyone involved. I am just so sad to see that for a few the level of public discourse has taken such a negative and mean-spirited turn. It seems to me there is very little decency left in society.

My heartfelt condolences go out to everyone close to this unimaginable tragedy.

On Holzer Officially Charged with Murders, Appears in Court

Posted on August 15 at 10:27 a.m.

It would have been nice to have a Target store in the Santa Barbara area.

On Goleta Goes Off Target?

Posted on August 15 at 10:25 a.m.

If I was a billionaire I would buy the Ranch in a heartbeat. It is situated in a gorgeous area (I ride my bike past it on a regular basis) and I love the privacy it would afford. They problem is not really the purchase price, it is the cost on maintenance and staff to run it, even if you just live there and have no animals, vineyards, etc.

On Who Could Afford Jackson’s Ranch?

Posted on May 1 at 1:52 p.m.

If the journalist, Tyler Hayden, had even bothered to do just a scintilla of research on the California State Controller's website, under the Government Compensation in California link, he would have seen that no one, absolutely no one, earns even close to a salary $300,000 a year in county employment, let alone in that department. Public Employees compensation is public information and can be found there, and on many other newspaper websites. What they earn is no big secret.

LHThom - you are incorrect in your generalized statement. Although the majority of employees in both the County and the other areas of government have civil service protection, there are several civil servants who are "at-will" in the County of Santa Barbara. They are typically heads of the departments and senior managers. They serve at the pleasure of the Board of Supervisors or their respective department heads.

On Jail Manager Fired for Cancer or Just Cause?

Posted on March 13 at 4:57 p.m.

The total county budget is +- $840 million. Approximately 75% of that is in the form of non-discretionary revenue (from State and Federal sources) that can only be spent on the designated purpose for which the fed and state provided the funds. Therefore a Ballot Box budget would not get access to that money, and by law those funds cannot be used by the Board for any purposes they deem fit, or what the ordinance will force the County to do.

The only money that can be used by the County would be discretionary General Fund money (approx 25% of the $840 million) - and guess what - the Sheriff's Department & Fire Department is funded by General fund money. Those departments account for approximately 60% of the General Fund. So that leaves 40% of 25% for ALL the other discretionary services, including maintenance. So go ahead and vote for the measure M - and you will see less law enforcement, less fire services, less services from planning & development, longer waits for building permits, very little if any agricultural inspections of pests etc. etc. etc.... - but heck they will have real nice roads to drive on if they have the staff to build them!

And BTW - I obtained all this information from the budget book posted on the County website.

On Budget Talk Centers on Jail, Maintenance Measure

Posted on March 10 at 4:43 p.m.

The ignorance and naivete displayed by Sandra Brown is mind numbing. This candidacy sounds more to me like a disgruntled employee who was passed over for promotion, and now would like to jump to the top through distortions and bumper sticker slogans. Not a single thing she has stated here in this letter are backed up by facts. It seems to me more like innuendo and department gossip.

Heaven help the county if this person is elected Sheriff. I would rather vote for the current sheriff, not because I support everything he does, but rather to not have a "disgruntled employee" who seems to have an ax to grind, become Sheriff. Please have some ideas - not slogans.

On A Word from Sandra Brown

Posted on March 10 at 4:34 p.m.

Once again the "let us bash public sector employees" crowd is at the forefront and are not bothered by facts. So I looked up the County Budget available online (gosh FACTS)!! and here is what I found.

The total county budget is +- $840 million. Approximately 75% of that is in the form of non-discretionary revenue (from State and Federal sources) that can only be spent on the designated purpose for which the fed and state provided the funds. Therefore a Ballot Box budget would not get that money, and by law those funds cannot be used by the Board for any purposes they deem fit, or what the ordinance will force the County to do.

The only money that can be used by the County would be discretionary General Fund money (approx 25% of the $840 million) - and guess what - the Sheriff's Department & Fire Department is funded by General fund money. Those departments account for approximately 60% of the General Fund. So that leaves 40% of 25% for ALL the other discretionary services, including maintenance. So go ahead and vote for the measure M - and you will see less law enforcement, less fire services, less services from planning & development, longer waits for building permits, very if any agricultural inspections of pests etc. etc. etc.... - but heck they will have real nice roads to drive on!

What amazes me is that many of the commentators here believe that the solution for all the ills in the world is is to insult, belittle and beat up on public sector employees. Guess what - public sector employees are our neighbors, they go to the same church as you, they shop at your business, their kids go to the same schools as your kids and drive on the same roads as you, I wish that people would just show some common decency and manners and stop listening to the "facts" the get from their Tea Party sources.

On Maintenance Ordinance Dead on Arrival?

Posted on October 14 at 2:14 p.m.

The Affordable Care Act has no relation to this issue and anyone who thinks it does has a "bumper sticker" view of the world. But that is besides the point as facts seem to interfere with the Tea Party types "righteous anger".

The writer of this opinion piece also shows complete ignorance of how health insurance and health care costs work. Cottage Hospital and Sansum are a monopoly and charge almost 40%-50% more for the same procedures (look it up on any 3rd party health care cost comparison site, even the Centers for Medicare shows it). You cannot have "cheap" health insurance and have expensive services - that is the way the world works. If the true cost were charged in premiums then the UCSB faculty would be up in arms how expensive premiums are - so they have a choice. Drive 25-30 miles to Ventura or even a little further; or take what you call Tier 2 insurance.

For too long people want to pay e.g. $10,000 a year in premiums and demand $20,000 in services. Put pressure on Sansum and Cottage as these 2 "non-profits" is what is making health insurance un-affordable in Santa Barbara. I know how hospitals and places like Sansum work as I have worked on the financial side of this industry for over 30 years

And just throw a little factoid to the the Tea Party types - The Affordable Care Act holds health insurers accountable (all PRIVATE SECTOR companies) to consumers and ensures that subscribers receive value for their health insurance premium dollars . One such mechanism is the 80/20 rule, or Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) rule. This rule requires that the spend $0.80 ($0.85 for large employer plans like UCSB) of every $1 collected, on healthcare. Prior to this there was no law and they could spend 50% on healthcare and 50% on "admin fees". I am sorry that facts sometimes do get in the way of the Fox News slogans.

On UC (Doesn't) Care

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