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Dust control at standstill

The air downwind from the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area has been especially awful this season. Yet, the state’s Off Highway Vehicles Division (OHV) has completely halted all work for this season's agreed-upon mitigations.

Nothing has been accomplished except a bit of fence. The fierce winds pick up everything. While Mesa and Oceano community residents breath more than they are allowed to by state and federal standards, the California Coastal Commission, OHV and Air Pollution Control District (APCD) play bureaucratic games.

A private business would never be allowed such noncompliance. Furthermore, those who call themselves friends of Oceano dunes (FOOD) delivered yet a new lawsuit on the APCD a few days ago. FOOD is an off-road interest group recruiting members mostly from the valley. By riding on the sand of Oceano Dunes they contribute to the production of the particulate that is choking Mesa and Oceano community residents.

The numerous, inconsistent and harassing lawsuits they have brought against our local government cost us dear time and money, and are aimed solely at slowing down any effective action. Our Local Coastal Plan gives supervisors police powers to stop all this nonsense. Why don't they? Are they waiting for somebody to die of particulate saturation? We need the issuance of a notice of violation against OHV immediately, penalties and possibly shutdown of operations.

Lucia Casalinuovo


Muzzles should be required for dangerous breeds

Pitbull owners. Stop! Get some foresight.

I was on Lookout Mountain today — a designated hiking area with a posted sign: “Dogs Must be on Leash.”

A 100-pound woman had her 80-pound pitbull off leash. I tell her, “Put him on a leash.”

“It’s friendly,” she says.

“I don’t care.”

Fortunately, she did put the dog on a leash, but it still growled when she passed. Friendly dog? Hmmm?

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I don’t care if pitbulls are raised by sweet angels. A sudden noise, a quick movement, a smell, another dog, a bearded fellow with a walking stick — anything might trigger an attack.

A woman in Santa Barbara shot a pitbull to protect her shepherd. A man in Grover Beach faces prison because his dogs killed a man.

The Mayor, City Council, City Manager, and Police Chief need to enforce leash laws. But that’s not enough. Two weeks ago a 6-year old kid was taking a 70-pound pitbull up Lookout. How could he possibly control that dog — on or off a leash? A friend, a long time Lookout hiker, was threatened recently when a pitbull escaped its leash. Fortunately, the owners jumped on the dog to protect her from being mauled or even killed.

Pitbulls are weapons. Folks running meth labs know this. It’s time the City Council created some laws that protect kids and older folks like myself. A muzzle should be required for dangerous dogs — any breed — on city streets and especially in our local parks. A muzzle guarantees safety.

With summer approaching, dog safety should become a top priority in Lompoc. Let’s protect kids. Insist not only on a leash, but require a muzzle if you are in public with your dog.

Fred Manzo