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Over, not done

Thank goodness the local election is over. What an ugly season it was! I got call after call about how disgusted people were with Farrís literature and mailers that focused on demonizing Pappas and me. I was called all sorts of names, including a ďpuppeteerĒ which was not only fantasy but insulting. I guess she ought to know about puppets as she is one, one who takes direction from another person rather than being able to think for herself.

There actually is a machine in this county, I believe, and it has shaped elections for the past few decades. Unfortunately, it has not been to the residentsí benefit but has been designed to keep the center of power to themselves through the use of registration and voter fraud in District 3, the swing district by using college students as unsuspecting victims.

I found it amusing that Farr resorted to trying to paint me as some horrible rich person as she has characterized herself in sympathetic publications as having a modest income. If her income has been so ďmodest,Ē how did she pay off the loan for the house on Fredensborg Canyon Road that her son lives in? And where exactly does she live? After all, she was a 2nd District Planning Commissioner and presumably lived in the 2nd District until she moved (?) into the 3rd District to run for Supervisor. Did you know that?

All this classist rhetoric is merely a smokescreen to make sure you donít ask about her record of activity while she was Supervisor. That is because there wasnít one that would actually benefit you. She voted with her buddies Salud and Janet, who also act on behalf of their machine. Speaking of machines, Steveís friends were not happy when she referred to them as a machine. I guess she again is speaking from experience, as that is who she answers to.

As I suspect the national election this fall will also be, there was a stark contrast between the candidates. Did you notice or did you fall for the lies? One candidate talked about the issues facing the district and the county, and the other candidate spent the election season trashing and lying about the other candidate, with no facts to support the claims. That candidate did not want you to look up the facts, hoping you would just accept what you were told and not look for the information yourself.

It is typical progressive behavior to lie and cheat, and I am beginning to think this is the only way they can win. From what Iíve seen, it looks like Farr would have lost by 8,000 votes in 2008 had all of those fraudulent votes been thrown out. Why didnít the Registrarís office see this?

Another common tactic that we all have seen repeatedly is demonization. First, it was the bad Wall Street bankers, always itís the bad Bush, then it was the greedy oil companies and the filthy coal industry. Is there anybody other than them or their mouthpieces who are good people? Even Farr used the tactic by trying to demonize Pappas as wasting taxpayer dollars, which was totally and provably false and tried to demonize me that really made my friends mad. It is obvious that she and her cronies donít know me at all.

We no doubt will see more of this as the national election goes forward and it is clear that at least one group will stop at nothing to lie, cheat and demonize anyone they think they can destroy. This seems to be their goal, and they are doing a good job of destroying the very fabric of our country. It doesnít bother them to rev up your fears and to divide people into groups. Is there a good reason why we canít just be Americans instead of some hyphen American? Division never works. Remember the old saying ďTogether we stand, divided we fall?Ē I believe itís true.

And finally, I continue to believe that the money I have spent on investigating what happened in the 2008 election money well spent. The investigation and litigation continues and will shortly expand. Rant? Someone else will be ranting soon! Also, I feel that donating to a candidateís run for office provides for a choice to the voters. Otherwise, no one could afford to compete with the hundreds of thousands of dollars given to Farr by SEIU and other unions like the firefighters, who claim at the same time while giving $40,000 that they are broke. I actually gave considerably less than the unions. The 460 form Farr used as her last mailer put in multiple years of donations from me but made it look like it was just this year. Very deceitful! She should be ashamed.


Caltrans

What is with Caltrans? The latest construction project of the roundabout on Highway 246 in Lompoc is finally finished and by all accounts of daily commuters, it is another failure. While Caltrans admitted in a public meeting in the Valley, the roundabouts they created in Santa Maria were not done correctly and make navigating them hazardous and confusing. They claimed they would do better with the ones they were planning in the Valley here.

Apparently, they have not. Many employees in the Valley travel daily from Lompoc and I am beginning to hear horror story after horror story of trucks trying to negotiate the tight circle, cars running into the sides and drivers jamming on brakes to try to go through the tiny circle without hitting or being hit by some other car. According to regular commuters, there are some serious flaws in the design because it enables some of the cars to exit the circle unexpectedly from the wrong lane. This is something when people are unfamiliar with roundabouts as most in the Western U.S. are that often and predictably will occur.

Are we to have the same experience at the intersection of highways 246 and 154, and Armour Ranch Road? We have had numerous accidents already at that point for several reasons: drivers who play chicken with on-coming traffic on 154 turning onto 246, drivers coming from 246 to 154 via a badly designed no-stop on ramp that requires the driver to look backward to see traffic they may be merging with while driving forward, excessive speed and just plain rudeness.

Owning two of the four corners of that intersection, I, frankly, am getting tired of cars plowing through the fence into my pasture, leaving behind dangerous chemicals and pieces of broken plastics and glass to hurt my cows. In addition, in the past Caltrans would come out immediately to repair the fence (they own it) so as to maintain oneís property, but now we have to wait weeks or months until they have time to repair it. The question is always, are there animals in the field right now and if you say no, then they feel it is OK to leave it with the hole in it. So what about the second purpose of fences, not just to keep livestock in but to keep people who donít belong there out?

I donít know if Caltrans has new leadership or not, but the behavior certainly has changed. We used to be able to reason with the top people, such as when we asked that they not plant a certain native plant along the highway because it was lethal to livestock, and we had spent many years working to eradicate it from our pastures. We also were successful in explaining why it was so important to keep the roadside free from flammable weeds and grasses for fire prevention, reduction of spreading noxious weeds like yellow star thistle and to keep weeds out of crops grown across the fence.

For some reason, the Caltrans office based in Buellton seems to understand all this and is prompt about maintaining their property while Highway 154 from Highway 246 intersection to Santa Barbara is the purview of the Santa Barbara office, which is virtually always tardy in taking care of their responsibilities. Now the grasses have dried, the Buellton office has mowed its part of 154 and all of 246 Ė so where is the Santa Barbara contingent to remove the fire danger along our roads?

For years, people who farmed next to Caltrans property would disc the side of the road to stop this yearís weeds from spreading into their fields. There was no problem with it. Then, for what reason I donít know, we were told that we could no longer do that, we could only mow it and we had to have a permit. We were using our own equipment, our own fuel and our own labor maintaining THEIR property because they wonít, and we need a permit?! Granted, the permit didnít cost anything but time and labor but really, what is their problem?

As you drive along 154, particularly along the alfalfa fields with all the deer, please note the volume of noxious weeds Ė including yellow star thistle Ė on the other side of the fence from the crops. Also, when either passing 246 and continuing on 154 or turning onto 246, please notice the nice mowing job performed by the Buellton personnel. So why canít we work with Buellton rather than Santa Barbara, which is clearly more interested in process than in taking care of noxious weeds and fire hazards? We pay their salaries; what do you think?


Rodeo

I hope you had a chance to go to the rodeo this past weekend in Santa Maria. Among the participants was our local resident World Champion Luke Branquinho, who finished second in the steer wrestling. It was a great show, with lots of families enjoying the cowboys and cowgirls doing what they do best.

Please enjoy Philís pictures showing some of the different events.


Voter fraud

We have been assured by none other than Mr. Joe Holland himself that we will not see 101% or 130% voter turnout again. What that means, I am not completely sure. Time will definitely show whether we had a fair, honest election. That is all we are asking for. The question now is, did we get a fair and honest election on June 5, 2012?