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Veterans can get some help

I would like more people to be aware of the state and federal veterans benefits information available in the Santa Maria Public Library at the Veterans Connect @ the Library desk.

This information is particularly useful for veterans who left the military years, or even decades ago and may not know what they, their spouses and their dependents are currently entitled to. Some veterans may not even know that their eligibility for California benefits does not depend on what state they were a resident of when they entered or left the service.

For veterans, spouses and dependents who feel they meet eligibility requirements for benefits, contact information for Rhonda Murphy, our Santa Barbara County veterans service officer, as well as other California counties' veterans service officers, is available. The county officers help with benefits applications and, if necessary, help with appeals of unfavorable benefits decisions, all at no charge.

To reach the Veterans Connect @ the Library desk from the main library entrance, go to the right just past the stairs and elevator. If no one is staffing the desk, veterans can still pick up a copy of the California Veterans Resource Book, which has the benefit information in it. If there are no copies of the book on the desk, it is available as a pdf on the CalVet website at

Sue Anderson 

Santa Maria

Obama's criticism of Trump is justified

Fox News was chastising former President Obama recently for criticizing Trump's administration on the basis that Obama was breaking a long-standing practice of ex-Presidents not being critical of their successors.

The tradition was developed and practiced for many, many years, but in all previous cases the current President was fully competent, trustworthy and mentally stable; there was no need to speak out. So, in this sense no tradition has been broken.

No doubt, Obama was feeling the same responsibility that many of Trump's handpicked advisers and associates have felt. Bob Woodward has collected this information in great detail and it's beyond question. For the good of the country, many are speaking out.

No past President's advisers have been called "keepers" or "handlers." These warnings are totally patriotic acts, especially justifiable in Obama's case since he understands what the Presidency means and the work that isn't being done, and so is more sensitive to the present and future dangers than anyone else. 

Jack Miles

Santa Maria

Fink misses finer points

If you blindly support columnist Ron Fink like Bob Lingl and Janelle Osborne, you’re good. If you do not, you’re bad, and Fink will bad-mouth you forever.

Fink says when Lingl repeatedly made the motion to pass a bloated and misleading city budget and Osborne seconded, they were good. It repeatedly failed 3-2.

Fink says Starbuck, Mosby and Vega are bad for voting no and then working two months to cut runaway city spending.

Fink says when Lingl said the city would go bankrupt if three new taxes were not passed and Osborne agreed, they were good. Fink says Starbuck, Mosby and Vega are bad because they balanced the budget.

Fink says when Lingl and Osborne wanted to spend $200,000 to convince you to vote for three tax increases that would have cost each family $500 a year, they were good.

Fink says Starbuck, Vega and Mosby are bad because they said no and kept their campaign promises of no new taxes.

Fink wants a new $30-million fire station that Lingl and Osborne voted for, so they are good.

Fink says Starbuck, Vega and Mosby are bad because they voted no. The result, we do not have a million-dollar payment due every year, which would reduce police and fire staffing.

Fink says Lingl and Osborne are good for supporting raising your water rates again.

Fink says Starbuck, Mosby and Vega are bad for stopping the increase in your water bills because the Water Utility already has over $7 million in reserve compared to a City Council-set reserve of $3 million.

Fink just has it backwards. Lingl and Osborne are bad. Starbuck, Mosby and Vega are good for Lompoc, for stopping rate increases, unnecessary new taxes and runaway spending.

John Linn


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