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Abetting transients

Santa Barbara and the county have encouraged transients to go to Lompoc, and Lompoc City Council has agreed. The transients came and continue to arrive.

Transients are supported by tax money from the county and city. Nonprofit organizations support transients, as do churches and individuals. These are the good people of our greater community.

Now it is time for all of those people to clean up the mess transients are leaving in the river bed. Those generous, caring, people give food, clothing and bicycles to other people who do not care about anything.

I constantly find clothing and blankets cast about the Riverside bicycle trail. All manner of food packaging litters the open space around the trail. I just found a bicycle graveyard when I stepped to the edge of the river bluff to watch the Mission Hills fire. Apparently some bikes are stripped to make two-wheeled carts to trail behind other bicycles.

With the wheels and tires were piles of wood used to make shelters and camp fires. No one expects transients to eat raw food or be cold at night. Fortunately, the Fire Department has so far been able to extinguish every brush fire caused by transients within just a few acres.

I know none of the good people are environmentalists because the good people do not care about damage done to the riverbed or to wildlife chased out of it. However, the good people surely are not slobs or without conscience, so the good people should clean up the mess for which they are responsible.

David Grill


Athletes technically more educated than many

Some thought the office of president would elicit some latent sense of decency and competence in Donald Trump. But instead he’s swearing and name-calling right and left, as if in a bar, focusing on personal vendettas rather than speaking and acting in a presidential way.

He disregarded advice to send the USS Comfort to Puerto Rico weeks ago when disaster was clearly imminent and has not prioritized this humanitarian crisis since. Instead he’s been preoccupied with playing to his base, this time by criticizing athletes who appropriately called attention to the undeniable racism that got him elected.

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Now he strikes out at the San Juan mayor for telling the truth about his failure to aid Puerto Rico in a timely manner. He’s the same unqualified and unethical person he’s always been, a man whose narcissism could conceivably poison the planet with nuclear weapons.

Most Americans disapprove of his presidency. But the third who approve will continue to be our real problem — those who can’t see or disregard the damage Trump’s done. Typically, his supporters blame ballplayers for wanting to improve this country by calling attention to our need to fully live up to the values our songs and slogans proclaim — a nation of freedom, justice, and equality.

Those who don’t mind being hypocrites attack the players. A recent letter called them “uneducated” because they knelt or locked arms before games. As anyone who's conscious in our sports-crazy culture knows, virtually every last athlete has at least a bachelor’s degree.

Even if you disagree with their tactics there is no question that they’re at least technically more educated than most Americans. And they risk their livelihoods by demonstrating, by calling attention to the remaining work required for us to legitimately call ourselves a nation of equality for all.

Jack Miles

Santa Maria