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Honoring the heroes

As a proud American citizen and after watching the president’s State of the Union address, I’m embarrassed to have these Democrat politicians who have chosen to sit and protest to any and everything our president had to say, and to be part of those who are supposed to represent the people.

How petty to not even stand for those heroes and suffering parents. I cried and clapped listening to the president’s speech, and to see and hear of the losses some had endured.

If your representative is one of those I speak of, I hope you have a long memory and remember when voting.

We are the United States of America. Country before party. Make America strong again

Anita Dwyer


Oil pipelines must be monitored

Thank you for highlighting the pending approval of the Cat Canyon to Sisquoc oil pipelines in your Sunday editorial. You asked "Where were the locals who normally oppose oil projects in North County?" We are here and monitoring proposed, dangerous oil projects in the North County. This one snuck up on us because it was a county ordinance and not a project currently being reviewed through the county planning process.

We are concerned about this pipeline. On the one hand, it is a big safety improvement, especially for the local resident who must deal with the traffic hazards and pollution of hundreds of oil trucks from Santa Maria Mesa Road to Foxen Canyon Road. However, large capacity, buried pipelines also pose significant water pollution and dangerous oil extraction risks if not properly monitored for leaks and maintained in good working order. Proper monitoring and maintenance of these pipelines is very expensive.

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There is a long history and many examples of undetected leaking oil pipelines throughout our county, including in Cat Canyon and in Sisquoc. The extremely expensive and noxious recent Refugio Beach oil spill is just the latest example of oil pipelines, constructed in the county with great promises of safety and comprehensive monitoring only to then be allowed to deteriorate into dangerous and costly releases years later. If this pipeline is then used to expand dangerous oil extraction in the area, our water table and citizens will lose.

The Board of Supervisors will probably approve the construction of the Sisquoc pipeline this week. Oil pipelines can be built and operated safely with expensive monitoring and maintenance processes in place if aggressively and authentically regulated by the county, state, and federal governments. I haven't seen that happen in my 30-plus years in the business.

Larry Bishop