Conserve ... conserve ... conserve
We keep hearing these words over and over. Yet we are still running out of water. Everyone by now should be aware of the fact that the water supply situation will not get any better, it will only worsen. How will we be able to conserve when there is no water to conserve?
For decades, our water gurus have known this, yet no meaningful action has been taken to solve this problem. A desalination plant was built in Santa Barbara years ago, then we had a wet winter and the plant was shut down.
Apparently they thought the one wet winter had solved our water problems. I have heard they are re-building it, or have already. The story has been so quiet, why has it not been thought to be a newsworthy subject?
Are we, the consumers, to sit quietly and trust those water providers to do something to solve the problem, while more houses and businesses are being built, and more people are moving into our drying up California? At the same time, the Colorado River is drying up. All our rivers are drying up, in addition, our lakes are near to going extinct.
Action should have been taken decades ago to build desalination plants all along the coast of California. If that had happened, we would have more water in our rivers, lakes, and dams right now. We could be helping Nevada and Arizona with their water problems. We could have more recreational activity on our rivers and lakes.
Are our water providers waiting until we have no water left so they can raise our taxes by 5 or 10 percent to build those facilities, while we wait, dehydrated and with stinking bodies, for the water to arrive? Or will we be forced to move, as so many cultures have done in the past because their water supply dried up?
Our long road, winding road to inflation
My neighbor and I were talking yesterday, and he said, "That crummy President Biden caused all this inflation we're having."
Being the pink'o liberal I am, I said, "wait a minute, the start of this inflation goes back almost 23 years."
In 1999, Democrat President Bill Clinton got together with Republican Senator Phil Gramm and repealed the Glass-Steagall Banking Act of 1933. The law included regulation to control and protect the public from banks and Wall Street putting our money in unscrupulous investments. With Glass-Steagall gone we got the housing crisis and the 2008 recession.
In 2001 and 2003 we got Republican President George Bush's two tax cuts, instead of raising taxes to pay for the 2003 $2trillion dollar war in Iraq. He keeps interest rates at near zero, pouring gas on the fire of the already heated housing market.
The 2008 and 2009 recession begins with a new President. Democrat Barack Obama is elected President in 2008, and he inherits an economic disaster. He pumps more money into the economy and keeps interest rates at near zero to help with a recovery.
Now we get Republican President Donald Trump on Jan. 20, 2017. To prove he can really spur the economy, he decides to goose it, and pushes the Fed for really negative interest rates and passes a big tax cut in late 2017. He adds 25% tariffs on Chinese goods, so goods from China cost more. To help the people out of work because of COVID-19, he gives away money.
Jan. 20, 2021 Democrat President Joe Biden gives away more money because of COVID-19. He leaves Trump's 25% tariffs on Chinese goods and keeps interest rates at near zero. After 18 months things start costing more.
Do you wonder why inflation is off and running? Twenty three years of self-serving bankers, stock markets, corporations, Presidents and Congress. You can't just blame Biden for inflation, he got caught in the game of inflation musical chairs. The music stopped and he has no chair.
Cary De Grosa
Let's talk it over
Today’s social atmosphere is too inflamed to permit discussions and debate about things that affect all of us. If you raise a contrary voice to either side of an issue, whether liberal or conservative, you’re bound to be shouted down before granted a hearing. Something has to change.
Several years ago, when I was traveling through Spain, I enjoyed the marketplaces during the siesta period. People recessed in the town squares to converse for a couple of hours before returning to work. It seemed they were more concerned about relating than disagreeing, although honest debate is always fair game. I wonder if it is the same in Spain today.
Things are not like that in America today. Somehow in the rage to win, and I do mean rage, honesty is no longer essential. Whoever cries the loudest and vilifies the most claims victory, usually at the expense of the truth.
How did we get to this place? How is it that a highly qualified candidate for the Supreme Court is unable to define what a woman is? Does political expediency have to triumph over common sense and science?
Well, when the screams of the mob overcome the obvious, perhaps the answer is yes. Or, do the rights of the unborn need to be lost to the loud clamors of the living?
Democracy is supposed to be born out of the legitimate concerns of the people. Issues could be fairly debated and votes would be taken. Today we can’t even agree on things like what inflation or a recession are, much less what is moral or what is truthful.
One doesn’t have to be a Biblicist to sense the urgency of the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.”
Here’s the challenge. If you have a conviction, if you want to bring truth and honest debate into the public marketplace, stand up for what you believe. Be respectful of a dissenting opinion. Don’t be a coward, speak up. But don’t disrespect others in the process, either. It’s high time for you and me to do the right thing.
UMass Global Santa Maria should be part of 4-year degree discussion
In his opinion piece from Aug. 7, Dr. Kevin G. Walthers, superintendent and president of Allan Hancock College, calls for California's community colleges to become 4-year degree granting institutions.
I am not opposed to this. But I do want to note that the university where I am a professor -- formerly Brandman University and Chapman University College, now University of Massachusetts Global -- almost always gets left out of the local conversation.
Yes, we are more expensive, and we are mostly online. But we allow students to finish degrees on an accelerated schedule, without having to commute or give up their full-time jobs -- all of which help students save money while pursuing their four-year degree.
Also, many of our students, including active-duty military and military veterans, receive financial aid. Plus, many are enrolled concurrently at Hancock or Cuesta College while taking classes with us; and Hancock and Cuesta are our feeder schools.
So, I am a little disappointed that Walthers doesn't refer to us by name (only as an "expensive online program") but refers to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and University of California Santa Barbara by name. They are not the only options. We are a local option too, with a campus off Highway 101 near IHOP and Marian Hospital.
Of course, 4-year community college may still be a better option for many local residents. But, at the moment, the Santa Maria Valley is not a "higher education desert."
University of Massachusetts Global has a long history of providing four year degrees on the Central Coast; and during my 11 years of working as a professor for UMass Global, both for the Santa Maria campus and online, most of my local students have been more than satisfied with the education they have received from us, in great part because our instructors include local professionals working in the careers our students seek to pursue.
We exist too, as a four-year degree option for many local residents. Don't be so quick to dismiss us. Instead, include us in discussions about higher education on California's Central Coast.