Mishandling of COVID-19 may be Trump's legacy
Among falsehoods circulating about the COVID-19 epidemic is that the reported deaths are grossly exaggerated in order to malign President Trump's handling of the crisis and/or, as an effort by health care institutions to inflate COVID relief reimbursements from the federal government.
Claims such as these can be easily verified or refuted by comparing mortality data compiled and published by the national Centers for Disease Control for the years 2019 and 2020. Allowing for a population increase and subtracting deaths resulting from accidents, homicides, and suicides, deaths in 2020 increased by a number consistent with that attributed to COVID-19.
While some of these virus victims would likely have succumbed for other reasons during the course of the year, the overwhelming majority combined to make 2020 the deadliest year in American history since the Spanish Flu epidemic more than a century ago.
Unfortunately, we have as a nation, been forced to deal with this crisis with leadership that has placed its personal well being and ambition ahead of that of its people. We deserve and expect better. Unless eclipsed by his efforts to overturn the verdict on his Presidency rendered in the 2020 election, Trump's mishandling of the COVID-19 epidemic will stand as his legacy.
Questions raised about housing project
Once again, the City of Santa Maria is at it again. As in my previous letter about a low-income housing project on a postage-size lot, we have another necessary but ill-planned project.
I applaud the City Council for holding a public appeal hearing. In reading the article, it was stated that a traffic study of the intersection of West Battles Road and South Depot Street showed no increased usage "at this time".
The intersection in question has a traffic light, but during the day is subject to a lot of left turns as Depot narrows through a housing tract, and Battles is a short cut to Blosser. Parking, again, is a concern, or should be. Three hundred-twenty spots plus 10 for guests doesn't seem enough. Most lower income neighborhoods have more cars, usually one per person in the households.
Go take a look in northwest Santa Maria. As far as the question of lower income housing, it is badly needed, but couldn't the project be located further west on Battle Road at Blosser? People wouldn't object if better thought would be put into a project.
Obviously the City council members would rather okay it over the valid objections of those who live in the area and have to deal with overflow parking from nearby complexes. Looks like the Planning Commission is more concerned about rushing things, not listening to the people. Granted this area used to be strawberry fields, so do they really want or need possibly increased traffic, trash, and parking problems? Or is their philosophy of just "git er done" over actual consequences of living with their decisions?
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