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Corruption and Clinton

Regarding your recent editorial, “The triumph of morality,” which singled out President Trump for using his “bag of tricks, shaming, blaming, denigrating opponents” in order to win a point.

Then you say “Trump himself is the target of sexual abuse accusations from nearly two dozen women …” Next you claim Trump’s “White House is factually, morally and ethically corrupt …”

While these points have some basis in fact, you fail to compare these flaws to the same serious flaws President Clinton possessed when he used exactly the same tactics to get elected, and attacked the character of anyone who suggested that he sexually assaulted scores of women. You also fail to mention the prominent political and media personalities who have been shamed in recent weeks.

Arguably, history tells us that Clinton also had a morally and ethically corrupt White House. Try some objectivity the next time you raise these issues to support a biased political point.

Ron Fink


Risk of fire is increasing

In 2016, one of California's worst droughts ended with a bountiful rainy season in Northern California.

Last winter’s rainstorms produced lots of grass and brush that dried out completely during an extremely hot summer.

The second-largest fire in California history, the Thomas fire, has burned over 270,000 acres in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties as firefighters enter the third week of battling this destructive blaze. Shifting sundowner and Santa Ana winds, with 65-mph-plus gusts, have pushed the fire in changing directions daily. Seven of California’s 10 largest modern wildfires have occurred in the last 14 years.

Climate change is fueling more destructive fires. When temperatures rise, as CO2 levels increase, CalFire predicts a 300-percent increase in wildfire risk by 2050. California’s fires will be larger, more intense and more frequent. The fire season used to last a few months. Now it is almost a year-round activity.

County and city land-use policies do not reflect the increasing fire risk. More and more developments are built in the foothills, forests and chaparral as available urban land shrinks. California has 5 million homes along the wildland/urban interface, which makes fighting fires more difficult, dangerous and expensive.

Climate denial of increasing fire risks is dangerous for all of us. Land-use policies should realistically reflect the consequences of climate change, rising temperatures and the changing weather patterns in California.

Elizabeth Schneider

Santa Maria

Agreement with Chumash an 'embarrassment'

A recent article reported that the county of Santa Barbara is facing 10 major fiscal issues in the next two years. If that is the case why did the County enter into an agreement with the Chumash Tribe in which the Tribe is only obligated to pay an annual amount of $178,000 in lieu of property taxes on Camp 4, a 1400-acre parcel in the Santa Ynez Valley which they purchased for $44,000,000? The agreement ends in 2040.

The Tribe claims they will only build 140 single-family homes along with a Tribal Center. If the homes were valued at $500,000 each the property taxes alone would be over $770,000 per year. That figure doesn’t take into account the taxes that would be paid on the remaining acreage and Tribal Center. There also is no guarantee they will not construct commercial buildings on the property.

The paltry sum of $178,000 doesn’t come close to covering the fiscal impact on the citizens in the County for the services that will be provided. It is not even adjusted for inflation. Supervisor (Peter) Adam was right at the board meeting when he said agreement with the tribe is, “… ambiguous as to the commitments the county is agreeing to and it's ambiguous as to the cost that we are agreeing to and therefore it is a blank check and it is a bad deal for the county.”

Can someone explain to me how Supervisor (Das) Williams got on the negotiating team, especially since he has taken over $172,400 in campaign contributions from CA Tribes including $46,000 from the Chumash, of which $18,000 was given to him after he was elected as a supervisor?

The agreement with the Tribe is an embarrassment that will cost the County and its residents for years to come.

Mike Hadley

Santa Ynez