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Go meatless without fear

I have no fear of goblins, witches or evil clowns lurking on Halloween. What really scares me is the meat industry.

This is the industry that deprives, mutilates, cages then butchers billions of cows, pigs, turkeys, chickens — animals who feel joy, affection, sadness and pain, as we do — that exposes undocumented workers to chronic workplace injuries at slave wages, and exploits farmers and ranchers by dictating market prices..

The industry that contributes more to our epidemic of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer than any other, then bullies health authorities to remove warnings from dietary guidelines.

The industry that generates more water pollution than all other human activities, that spews more greenhouse gases than all transportation, that destroys more wildlife habitat than all other industries.

These are the things that keep me up at night.

Fortunately, my local supermarket offers a rich selection of plant-based meats, milks, cheeses and ice creams, as well as a colorful display of fresh fruit and veggies. It gives me hope and courage for my future. But I still fear for my friends and neighbors.

Stinson Miner

Santa Maria

Bad behavior provokes action

Hollywood isn’t the only progressive bastion dealing with a crisis of bad behavior.

The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) recently suspended Executive Vice President Scott Courtney for inappropriate behavior with female employees. Courtney has subsequently resigned.

Like Harvey Weinstein, Courtney’s transgressions were known among women who worked with him. And like Weinstein, complaints about Courtney’s wrongdoings were ignored.

The allegations are especially embarrassing for the SEIU, which claims restaurants should be unionized partially because of supposed pervasive sexual harassment in the workplace. Several SEIU members admitted to the media that the values the union practices are opposite to the ones it preaches.

The SEIU should get its own house in order before preaching moral superiority to the rest of us.

Jordan Bruneau

Senior research analyst

Employment Policies Institute

Schools should sell land for full market value

On Oct. 10 the Solvang school board was presented a letter from the Solvang Lutheran Home regarding their wish to purchase property above "Elks Field." The superintendent went on to talk about how money from the sale could be used to fund his "world language" program that he is proposing to the school.

Board members did comment on the very low numbers provided in the letter, but the superintendent did not offer any comments on the dollar figures and stated he would carry this forward for consideration.

The Lutheran home reportedly has an appraisal on the property for a value of $125,000. They referenced a prior offer for $250,000 to the school, plus a current offer where they would like to secure a lease and an option to buy the property for $325,000. Nothing was said about how much land, but it appears to be more than 2 or 3 acres when you look at the parcel maps.

The biggest question is whether a school should ever sell land? If they do sell land, that could become high density senior housing, then they should sell it for its full market value at the price that brings the highest value. This appears to be an item that is under the radar.

Don Bratt


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