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Voters get short end

Have you noticed your grocery bill lately?

Thanks to Gov. Brown and his gas tax increase, truckers have had to increase their prices on produce and other items to compensate for the boost in a gas tax we did not get to vote on, as well as California becoming a sanctuary state.

Speak up and be heard. Let us write our representatives.

Anita Dwyer


True winners finally emerge

I was one of the original members who started Pack 95 Boys Scout in the Orcutt area in the mid 1980s, and was one of its den leaders for many years.

Among other things provided for scouts was a bikeathon held in the Orcutt area on Aug. 13, 1988. Starting in the Saint Luis de Montfort church parking lot, I led the team as we rode on our pre-designated route.

All scout members were informed to stay behind the leader for safety reasons. As we headed to the finish line, two brothers started to pass me and were told to stay behind me, which they did. I told them they would be first of the participants to cross the finish line behind me. A little later another scout started to pass me and I told him the same thing, but he ignored my directions as he came to the end of the race.

I told the head of the scouts who the real winners were but was ignored. While following the rules and direction of their leader, these brothers came in second, officially, and were denied the first place they had earned.

After almost 30 years I would like to set the record straight on who really won the Pack 95 bikeathon that August day in 1988.

Kenneth McDaniel

Santa Maria

Nudge toward plant-based diet

The Trump administration ruled on Friday that animals raised for food under the “USDA Organic” label need not be treated any less cruelly than those in conventional farming.

The decision reverses years of U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, which held that the "organic" label should impose minimal ethical, health and environmental standards. For the animals, this included adequate space, light and access to the outdoors.

Under the Trump administration, this will no longer be the case. "Organic" farm operations will be allowed to cram laying hens five to a small wire cage that tears out their feathers, and to grind or suffocate millions of male chicks at birth because they don't lay eggs. Mother pigs will spend their miserable lives in tight metal crates, as their babies are torn from them and mutilated with no anesthesia. And dairy cows will continue to cry for their babies torn from them at birth, so we can drink their milk.

Caring consumers opting for "organic" animal products, to reduce their role in subsidizing these abuses, will now have no choice but to switch to plant-based foods, including the widely available nut and grain-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams.

Sedrick Mackenzie

Santa Maria

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