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Lots of roses to distribute this morning, so we’d better get started.

First up are functions of Santa Barbara County government, and we must admit that over the years we’ve tended to be raspberry-ish toward county government operations.

But the flowers are richly deserved for some of the county’s services and programs, and today the bouquets go to the county’s Office of Arts and Culture, Arts Commission and the Alliance for Arts Education.

The reason for roses is a special program, “Come Together: An Exhibition of Student Artwork Created in Santa Barbara Schools.”

The show puts the spotlight squarely on art created during school by student artists. The show runs through May 19 in the Betteravia Galleries at the Santa Maria County Administration Building, 511 E. Lakeside Parkway.

With budget reductions in public education, and with arts programs usually the first to suffer, it’s encouraging that our elected and appointed county officials are promoting young art.


A rose to the decision-makers at the Santa Ynez Valley and the Elverhoj Museum of History and Art, Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum, and the Wildling Museum of Art and Nature for making today Museum Day, which means free admission, special activities and displays throughout the day at various locations around the Valley.

Having free access to our community, region and nation’s history is of vital importance, especially for young people, whose view of “history” often is represented by what happened a few seconds ago on the internet.

We may not wish to repeat some of that history but it’s good to know about it, and what it meant to the history we’re making today.


Roses to all local residents who are taking time out of their busy work schedules to spend some quality time with some of society’s most unfortunate castoffs — the animals at the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society shelter.

If you have ever walked the gauntlet at an animal shelter, you know the meaning of “sad eyes.”

Most of the caged kitties and pups are looking for a good home with loving caretakers, and most will achieve that goal. But while they wait, it helps to have caring humans showing the kind of affection they crave, if only for a few minutes during a lunch break from the job.

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Special roses for the volunteers from the Bonipak Packing Co. across the street from the shelter. They visit the waiting animals when they can — and both givers and recipients of such attention surely benefit.


We couldn’t find enough raspberries for a suitable rebuke to individuals, companies and governments that allow plastic waste into our oceans.

A diver in Indonesia recently swam through a sea of floating plastic near Bali, taking a video selfie of the mess.

And it’s massive. Several million metric tons of plastic materials flow into the Pacific Ocean from the Los Angeles Basin daily. Giant islands of floating plastic pollute areas as large as the state of Delaware in both the Atlantic and Pacific. And the worst part is the plastic mass seems to be nearly doubling each year.

Here’s how it can affect you — sea creatures nibble at the plastics, absorb the toxins, and those poisons become part of the food chain. Think your seafood is safe?

The world has a lot of problems, but the fouling of our oceans with plastic debris is one that can be solved. Recycling is a viable answer to the problem, but the real key is mankind’s diligence in keeping pollution out of our ecosystems in the first place.

The problem is us.