Archive » June 28, 2012
By SYVJ Staff
On the billIt was welcome news to hear that SB 162 – the drastically amended bill that would prohibit adjacent communities from having a voice in Indian plans to expand and develop their reservations – was, for the time being, not voted on by the State Senate committee. Had they approved it and sent it on to both chambers of our legislature the governor could have signed it into law by August.
That the Senate committee decided to postpone a vote for “further study” of the bill can be thankfully attributed to intense lobbying (emails, phone calls) by P.O.L.O. and the letters written to that committee by our other Santa Ynez Valley citizens groups, as well as elected officials like our Board of Supervisors, Solvang mayor Jim Richardson, Sen. Diane Feinstein and others.
It would seem that, for the moment, our valley and more than 30 other California communities threatened by unhindered reservation expansion and development have dodged the bullet.
However, as a Japanese military saying aptly states it: “When you have won a major victory, it is time to tighten the helmet straps.” We must be ever vigilant, as this bill can be resurrected at any time and enough elected representatives such as State Sen. Tony Strickland and U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer have not yet revealed their opinions on this matter.
We need to continue to write these letters, type the emails and make the phone calls to our elected officials to blunt the renewed efforts of the pro-casino expansion groups that will continue to threaten our valley’s semi-rural ambiance. Once that goes, it is gone forever.
High school/college instructor
With gratitudeI am writing to publicly thank all those who made the 4-H Horse Show on June 16 possible: the judges, the announcer and the Santa Maria Fairpark.
My daughter and I recently began riding, and this was our first chance to see a full horse show in our own town. Our close-up experience as well as exposure to the judge’s commentary and other horse people provided a tremendous learning opportunity. At our next lesson, we both had benefited from having attended the show.
It was so nice to have an event here in Santa Maria. Thank you especially to Santa Barbara County 4-H for its efforts to provide a Countywide Horse Mastership Project. What a healthy and challenging activity for our youth!
Hidden WingsI am writing in praise of your recent feature of the Hidden Wings facility (June 21-27, Valley Journal) in Solvang.
As a mother of a child with autism, it was with great delight that I received your weekly paper in our mailbox with our dear friend/comrade and aide J.J. Ballentine on the cover!
Our family has been confronted with autism since 2007 when our son, Luciano, was diagnosed at the age of 2 and a half. What ensued post-diagnosis was hour after hour of intense behavioral and speech therapy. The light of our days was his 45 minutes a week spent at the SYV Therapeutic Riding Academy where an alternative form of therapy was offered for our son, a therapy that allowed him to be free, spontaneous, in charge – unlike any other part of his day to day living. In the last year or so we have been able to welcome J.J. into our weekly schedule: a young man, diagnosed with autism. J.J. is a survivor. As a mother of a young son, I have lived for these weekly encounters where I can see there is hope, a light at the end of the tunnel. J.J. is an example of just that. A child who experienced an alternative education, therapy and assistance his entire life and he now thrives, is incredibly social and is one of the best people to understand my young son’s issues.
I am so incredibly grateful to hear that there are forward thinking individuals in our Valley that understand that as our children get older, the services they receive will fade and we will need a place for them to think, explore, learn, grow. Hidden Wings sounds like just the place we will be searching for our son.
Thank you for featuring a facility that is so close to our hearts and focuses on the heart of our town: its people. I am relieved to see that we still place value on the human spirit.
Thank you, SYV Journal. I am hopeful once again!
Amy Koers Curti
Mother, teacher, community member
Buellton’s visionKudos to each of CalPoly’s 20 City and Regional Planning students who participated in the City of Buellton’s Avenue of Flags re-imagining project, their instructor Dr. Umut Toker, and Buellton Planning Director Marc Bierdzinski for moving our community’s vision forward.
The student’s fresh eyes offered innovative options to help realize the Avenue of Flags as the vibrant downtown our community desires. Their four plans were developed over three public workshops and unveiled in a public meeting on June 6. I encourage everyone – Buellton and SYV residents alike – to view their proposals at www.planning.calpoly.edu/buellton. There you will discover four very distinct plans that include illustrative designs, 3D renderings, amazing fly-though animations, and phasing elements.
It is worth noting all four design teams concurred with many of Buellton’s 2010 Community Vision Plan and included in their proposals: that the Avenue of Flags become pedestrian (not highway) scale; re-purpose the present day medians; and transform the old zoo property along Zaca Creek into a greenbelt where recreation and community gatherings such as a farmers market, festivals and events take place, as it is one of Buellton’s most valuable downtown assets.