Parking at Costco a bad dream

I had a dream last night, a dream of a new Costco on Betteravia Road where I drove 10 days before Christmas into the parking lot, slipped quietly into a parking space, and, after shopping, I followed arrows on the pavement to the left-turn light to go south and home.

But suddenly the light turned into a blazing neon sign, 20-feet high, with bright lights flashing. As I got closer, the lights changed into letters and the letters rearranged themselves into the words "Get Real Fool; this is Santa Maria."

My dream repeated itself, turning into a nightmare. I drove into the parking lot with no idea how to navigate it. The parking lot was laid out like the Badlands of New Mexico, with twists and turns and no clue as to how to get around. Returning to my car, I had to return my shopping cart to the store because a two-block walk was closer than walking up-and-down aisles looking for a cart return.

Getting into my car, there were no arrows to show me how to find my way out. Finally, after an age of going systematically around the parking lot, I headed toward the gas station, hoping it would provide a hint of how to leave. There, I found cones blocking aisles to prevent frustrated customers from slipping by. Finally arriving at the exit, I found no way to go south. Ahead of me, the line of cars backed up two blocks from the nearest turn, blocking the exit itself, and forcing me to wait until a kind driver allowed me in.

Michael Farris

Los Alamos

Getting real for Christmas

Come on, Solvang, you can do better than that spindly little pole with strings of lights in the park? For heaven’s sake, you can do better than Santa Ynez’s very tall real tree.

Maybe it’s the classic case of not seeing the forest for the trees. However, just a few feet away to the south from the present, symbolic tree, and practically next to the pavilion, stands a magnificently tall and real, live Christmas tree.

It’s not too late to decorate that magnificent tree like Solvang deserves.

Lloyd Sorensen


A fitting memorial for Joni Gray

The memorial service for Joni Gray was everything anybody could have wanted. The Elks Lodge managed the event flawlessly. The presenters gave homage to Joni by describing her influence in our community while emphasizing her humanity and her great relationships with individuals.

The music was excellent and connected with important themes in Joni's life. The media was respectful and documented the memorial well. Kudos to all involved.

The only thing that could have made it better would have been if Joni had been there. A fitting memorial to Joni would be to make sure we honor important people in our own lives while they are still with us to appreciate hearing what we think of them.

Andrew Millar

Santa Maria

Capitalism under siege

Thinking global warming threatens only polar bears and a few Pacific Islanders is foolish.

Already climate change is hurting agriculture, airlines, all outdoor-worker industries, fishing and many more.

Eventually unchecked fossil fuel use will end capitalism.

Demand we end all fossil fuel use as soon as possible if you want to protect capitalism and money-making in general.

William Gloege

Santa Maria


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