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A tutorial on speech

Free speech allows me to, in a peaceful manner, to speak and voice my opinions.

The 1st Amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. …”

Please note, it states "peaceably" not riot, burn cars, vandalize stores or burn our beautiful flag of red, representing the valor of so many who have died for us, white, for liberty we take for granted until someone threatens us, blue, represents the justice for all, we see in our courts of law, the stars, our independence, a symbol we cherish, leaving us in awe.

Please use your mouth to show you know what speech means in the Constitution. Flex your muscles in peaceful manners.

Anita Dwyer


Get tough on mayhem

When I saw the Santa Ynez High School fight video, the TV station played it over and over. Unnecessary, but I guess reporting violence makes for better ratings.

Parents of the girl accused of beating up the other girl feel that “racial slurs and bullying” led up to the altercation, and that both girls are victims.

I agree. Her parents also mentioned they “don’t agree with violence and they always told their daughter if there’s an issue, there’s a process and that includes informing the principal. …”

Was this situation brought to the principal’s attention? If so, he and school officials share a good part of the responsibility for not treating this as seriously as it should have been.

Kids get into fights. It’s part of growing up and happens to probably most kids in school, as does bullying. But, the beating given to this girl was in no way a typical school fight, with continuous punches to the face and head of the other girl, who didn’t try to defend herself, showing a rage so out of control it could have led to serious injury if not for the teacher’s aide who finally stopped it.

When my three kids went to Santa Ynez High the principal was tough. He had a no-nonsense presence around school. I always felt students feared him, and thought parents respected him. Maybe the current principal and school staff should be less politically correct and start getting tougher with kids and parents.

Santa Ynez High has been given a challenging wake up call that needs immediate attention. 

Steve Hartstein

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Santa Ynez 

Homelessness issue is local

The lack of housing in Santa Maria causes the homeless to camp out in local parks, resulting in a foul smell and indecent exposure.

Because the homeless population is growing at a fast pace, they are beginning to lose out on therapy options, medication and places that help with housing.

Those who frequently shuttle in and out of homelessness are known as episodically homeless. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, those individuals “are most likely to be young, but unlike those in transitional homelessness, episodically homeless individuals often are chronically unemployed and experience medical, mental-health and substance-abuse problems.” Thus, the issue will never be resolved unless proper action is taken, and on a governmental level.

There are ways to help the homeless out of their rut. In the community there is the Salvation Army for emergency assistance with medication payment, room and board, and therapy.

Ashley McNeil

Santa Maria