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CALM ready to help out

It's sad to learn about the recent death of a newborn in Santa Maria. CALM’s staff joins the community in grieving for this baby and for the 15-year-old mother who felt she had nowhere to turn.

Over the past few weeks, a 15-year-old boy was murdered and two teens were charged. We are grieving for the missed opportunities to help these children create a hopeful future.

CALM was started in response to the death of an infant. In 1969, Claire Miles, a nurse, learned a stressed and overwhelmed father had shaken his infant son to death. Claire placed a phone line in her kitchen and an ad in the paper urging stressed parents to call for support. When over 40 calls were made to that hotline in the first month, CALM was born.

CALM is working hard to expand and meet the needs of the Santa Maria community, needs this violence reminds us are still very real. CALM has more than doubled its staff in Santa Maria in the past three years, so we are poised to take action.

There are children in our community who still need our help to heal from traumatic pasts. There are parents who still need our support when they feel overwhelmed. CALM will do whatever it takes to prevent deaths and heartbreaks like these from happening. CALM will not be silent until every innocent baby, scared child, troubled teen, fearful parent and family in need has a place to turn to for help.

To learn more about CALM or to access services, please visit us at calm4kids.org or contact us at 614-9160 in Santa Maria, 741-7460 in Lompoc, and 965-2376 in Santa Barbara.

Alana Walczak

CEO

CALM

Being born into mayhem

A timely editorial, "Recipe for safe living,” broaches suggestions to stem Santa Maria's gang problem and the attendant violent crime.

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 The many homicides are shocking. Gangs and violent crime are epidemic across the country. The president's hometown recorded 60 in January.

With blood flowing in the streets of Santa Maria, the demand for exigent corrective action is understandably paramount lest we become a version of Chicago. We need look no farther than the maternity wards of Central Coast hospitals.

Don't you cringe each time you read birth announcements in the Santa Maria Times and the Lompoc Record and discover many of the babies have parents with different surnames? Even worse, in too many cases, the father isn't even identified. These innocent babies, deprived of a nurturing mother and father, are possible future gang members. They are also much more likely to live in poverty, abuse drugs and alcohol and drop out of school.

In politics, the buck stops at the president's desk. As to violent young males and, indeed, most of America's social ills, the buck rests squarely on the doorsteps of single mothers and heartless fathers who abandon their children.

Until we have the courage to address the provenance of misdirected kids, albeit politically incorrect, the village will forever be at risk.

Matt Reeves

Vandenberg Village

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