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Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Yet Another News-Repress Editorial on Lois Capps


OK, I've had it! The News-Repress is so tiresome in their relentess pursuit of U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) on the narrowest of issues. Excerpts:
[...] The News-Press had hoped the 2004 listing of the island fox as an endangered species would have brought increased scrutiny to the fox recovery program. Instead, federal officials such as Rep. Lois Capps -- despite all evidence to the contrary, she describes herself as "the environmental representative" in a letter today -- haven't exercise[d] more oversight.
Excuse me? Lois Capps not a true environmentalist? What are they thinking? In a letter from the same day, Lois points out that she won the Environmental Hero Award from the League of Conservation Voters. Ask anyone who works at the EDC, CEC or CPA -- and they'll tell you, Capps is one of the best legislators on the environment we have ever had.

Ms. Wendy McCaw, editor and publisher of the News-Press, should not confuse animal rights with environmentalism. This is the person that put "the stolen meercats" above the masthead of the newspaper, with the gigantic type and huge picture taking up nearly all the space above the fold. This is the sort of headline treatment usually reserved for declarations of war or events of 9-11 proportions. I'm all for finding meercats in Texas but let's face it, it was an A-3 story.

[...] The island's "caretakers" have failed to do enough scientific study to determine what might happen to the Santa Cruz ecosystem if a multimillion-dollar campaign to kill all the island's wild pigs succeeds.
How much science is enough? This issue has been studied exhaustively since beforeRep. U.S. Walter Capps (D-Santa Barbara), Lois' now-deceased husband, took office.

The pigs have been on the island for more than 150 years, and removing them surely will have unintended consequences for the native and so-called non-native animals and plants. For example, observers say island foxes have been known to rely on piglets for food.

[...] But scientific examination takes a back seat if it doesn't fit into a preconceived plan. The island's "caretakers" have picked an arbitrary time to try to re-create on the island and, in the process, are throwing out the island ecosystem's evolution over the last centuries. Consider, for example, the lack of any interest whatsoever to determine whether the island pigs in the isolated environment now differ from their mainland counterparts.
Perhaps it is simply that the scientific examinations already performed simply don't align with the opinions and prejudices of the publishers of the News-Press. The pigs are not native and actually threaten much of the horticultural ecosystem that has been there for a lot longer than 150 years.

[...] Officials need to explain their dismissal of scientific inquiry and whether the rush involves an effort to put a hotel or other lodging on Santa Cruz.
Sheesh, if Windin Mycraw and Travis Factswrong are going to make wild accusations about hotels going up at Santa Cruz Island National Park, then they better back be able to back it up with some hard facts -- editorials are opinions, but opinion or not, this is ostensibly the opinion of a news organization -- right?

3 Comments:

Anonymous Greg said...

It's about time somebody did something like this. Thanks, dude.

2/23/2005 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Dillon said...

Someone should have thought of this alot sooner -- good job! Sara -- you sound cute!

2/23/2005 7:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just saw Lois Capps voting record
that was printed in the Saturday
1/21/06 SB Newspress. What a joke.

1/21/2006 8:26 AM  

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