The wonders of good opera

Not knowing quite what to expect, I attended the January Noontime Opera program at the Wildling Museum.

What I found were three delightful, accomplished singer/actors with an accompanist. It was amazing to experience opera up close so one could fully experience both the performers' exciting music and their emotions.

The introductions for each number helped you understand the opera, its setting and the character or characters being portrayed.

I invite you to try something new, revisit opera in a different, more-intimate setting on Wednesday, March 14, at noon at the Wildling Museum.

Thank you to Santa Barbara Opera and the Wildling Museum for bringing us this wonderful opportunity.

Nancy Emerson


Settle arguments maturely, avoid vulnerability

It is ever more important that today’s American remembers that our country was made great primarily through our system of governmental checks and balances and that our custom of across-the-isle differences and arguments have been settled largely in a mature manner.

We need also be aware that the non-democratic Russian government, and even more so, the Communist Chinese government, have infiltrated our country through stealth and by open-ended measures. We cannot allow ourselves to fall into such vulnerability.

With this in mind, I would suggest that Americans who see themselves in patriot light, but indulge in pre-adolescent forms of name calling in public print and otherwise - like a sort of divide and conquer attempt at those who politically disagree with them - surely create the type of thing which would cause smiles to form on the lips of foreign national heads such as those of Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, and of Kim Jong-un of North Korea, if they ever hear of what must seem like such cooperative endeavors.

Al Thompson


Kudos to DICK'S for gun decision

Kudos to the president/CEO of DICK'S Sporting Goods for the courageous move to remove automatic weapons, and large capacity magazines from all their stores, and to not sell any weapons to those under age 21. This decision represents the loss of a ton of business (and profit), but is a beginning step in the right direction towards a solution for the horrible mass shootings which are occurring at an increasing rate. Well done!

As for the Second Amendment, the First Amendment gives everyone a right to speak. No one can speak if they are dead.

Bill Hogarth


County approach to oil measured, educated

Food & Water Watch, an international organization whose goal is to eliminate all fossil fuels, has set its sights on blocking the approval of a permit for new oil wells proposed for a rural area of Santa Barbara County. From their office in Los Angeles, they are actively seeking local support for their mission.

What is clear is that they are ignorant of the facts and distort them as part of their misinformation campaign to end energy production in Santa Barbara County. Energy production in the county is done under the most stringent environmental regulations on the planet. If successful this misguided opposition will ultimately backfire, resulting in making us more dependent on imported oil from the Middle East.

Here in Santa Barbara County we have a reputation for strongly respecting the environment. Our locally elected city councils and board of supervisors have adopted regulations and standards that go beyond what’s required by state and federal law. They’ve done this in a way that’s informed by their knowledge of local conditions and with input from the residents that will have to live with their decisions.

Santa Barbara County is well ahead of the national curve when it comes to regulation of oil and gas production and our county leaders are more than qualified to evaluate projects. Importantly, they understand that by saying “no” to one thing – local energy produced under strict environmental protections – they would be saying “yes” to something less desirable – imported supplies produced under less well-regulated conditions.

They are pursuing policies that advance the goal of cleaner energy in the context of what makes sense for our area. In other words, the county is acting locally while thinking globally. This approach is more successful than that of special interest groups.

Marilu Aguilera

Santa Maria


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