Kindness and Generosity Prevail

By Montecito Journal   |   July 5, 2018

I wanted to write a quick note thanking some people for acts of kindness and generosity in the aftermath of the debris flow.

In the first instance, I parked my backhoe 100 feet from Montecito Creek at the end of Pepper Lane tucked in next to the neighbor’s hedge line. In the morning [the one we now all remember so well], it was gone; I found it 500 yards away in someone’s backyard: tumbled, bashed, inoperable, and 200 yards from Hot Springs Road. I saw the Schwann Brothers Excavation working on clearing out debris with their machinery and asked if I could pay them to drag my backhoe out to the street. They refused to take my money and dragged the backhoe to the road’s edge to a place where it could be put on a truck and removed. That was gracious and kind of them, and I wanted to acknowledge them.

Further along on the theme of generous and kind companies that do excavation and repair of the land, I want to publicly thank Anthony Pozzebon for being very neighborly and kind toward our mutual friends Bobby Webb and his partner, Michael. Anthony went up into Toro Canyon Park Road to make sure Bobby and Michael were okay. Their creek had flooded, three bridges were washed out, killing their flamingoes and all Anthony knew was that he had to get in there to see if they were okay.

God works in mysterious ways they say, and Bobby and Michael’s flight from Hawaii was missed or scrubbed and they wound up dodging the debris flow. Bobby told me later that he and Michael might have died trying to save their birds if they’d been in town. Anthony Pozzebon had no idea where they were, but he pushed in to check on my friends because that is who he is and how he was raised.

We are blessed to have loyal, able, and kind people like this in our community. There are too many more to name, but do share your own names and stories, so when we go to hire someone to help us clean up and resume our lives, we choose local teams whose hearts are part of the community

Steve Gowler
Cold Springs Landscapes, Inc.

A Carlisle Rebuttal

In response to Thomas Carlisle’s retort (“A Liberal Found,” MJ #24/26) of my article citing a conservative philosophy and expressing frustration with having liberals only attack our policy and unable to have a liberal, socialist, or progressive formulate a definition or philosophy on their reasoning and beliefs. I would only say you proved my point. As I anticipated, you attacked with all the liberal talking points expressed by the media, many college students, and headline-grabbing politicians, and could not expound on the roots or a basic premise of your progressive thought.

Of course, war, slavery, class, and God were all invoked. A fine example of debunking liberal spin and strengthening conviction to libertarian and conservative principles was given by Rachel Cooper in her response to Mr. Carlisle’s retort on the specific subject of “What Would Jesus Do” in that same issue. I would also strengthen my beliefs rooted in morality, thought, reason, and facts, with regard to society by referencing Os Guiness in his book A Free People’s Suicide. In it, he crafts his triangle of freedom. Freedom requires virtue. Virtue requires faith. Faith requires freedom. Perhaps some reading of thinkers such as Guiness, along with John Locke, Edmund Burke, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, Milton Friedman, Thomas Sowell, or the late Charles Krauthammer, might enlighten more than I.

I wonder which thoughtful figures influenced the left to statism?

Mike Hornbuckle
Santa Barbara

Back at You, Liberals

I have to respond to Ms [Rachel] Cooper‘s letter in response to my letter, “A Liberal Found.”

I really don’t need to be set straight on statements I made from the word: you misquoted the passage. It says, “If anyone asks (not takes) your cloak, give him also your tunic,” from the King James Bible.

It would be a different context. It also goes on to say, “and give him anything he asks, and don’t ask for it back.” There is no meaning of one’s stealing a cloak. I quoted the passage not to suggest Christ was a liberal (although he made quite a few liberal statements). I believe he was a revolutionist. I also think you’re right, that he was speaking to mankind’s heart. I never mentioned anything about social programs in our taxes. I would prefer my taxes going to social programs than going to wars.

I firmly believe that conservatives resent their taxes going to social programs rather than wars. I also talked to a history teacher who said to me that the Black Plague was years before the Renaissance.

Thomas Carlisle
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: There is no reason to discuss social programs, but let’s address the Black Plague and the Renaissance. While your history teacher may be correct in pointing out that the worst years of the bubonic plague [Black Death] occurred mid-13th century, so did the beginning of the Renaissance in Italy. Dante Alighieri wrote up until 1321, Petrarch to 1374, and Giotto, known – particularly in Italy and by Italian painters – as “the father of the Renaissance,” was turning out “Renaissance”-style frescoes and paintings from the late 1200s to 1337, when he died. As for the plague, it was an ever-present threat in those times, and sporadic appearances took place throughout the 14th, 15th, and 16th century, as London’s horrific 1665 epidemic will testify, which were pretty much the same years many would identify as the Renaissance. Plague terrorized Marseille and Toulon from 1720 to 1722, and the last European outbreak took place in Moscow, I believe, in 1771. – J.B.)

Rhode Island Reds

Some recent sculpture news:

The first edition bronzes of these birds will be heading to Craggy Range in New Zealand this September. Craggy Range Vineyards, New Zealand, commissioned them to go with a series of cattle sculptures I made previously. They have a large park and wanted to create animal-themed feature sculptures to enhance it, to add interest for the visitors to the winery.

They were made in my studio and are being cast in bronze in the Czech Republic.

Paul Day

London, England

Paul Day (in photo) with his massive Rhode Island Reds set to be placed in a field in New Zealand, joining the giant Paul Day bulls placed nearby a couple years ago

Making Mulch

Recently, a gigantic chipper has been at work in the Ennisbrook nature preserve. An even bigger excavator machine grabs tree trunks and limbs from piles and drops them into the chute. On the other end, 10-foot-high piles of mulch. This is a perfect use of the debris from the mudflow.

On another subject, back in late January I started working on the clean-up on East Valley Lane. Right away, I was bothered by all the dust kicked up by every pickup truck, car, and dump truck driving by. There was a piece of plywood in the debris; I took it and used some of the florescent orange paint to make a big “SLOW” sign. In the months since then, other signs have been made, including one with tractor tread. I’m thinking, since Montecito is a semi-rural community, others should make signs like this and place them along the roads. Just as a reminder, and better than “Drive like your kids live here.”

Dan Seibert
Santa Barbara

Giant chipper-shredder turning mudflow debris into mulch
Excavator machine grabs tree trunks and other heavy limbs off the piles of debris and drops them into the chipper
SLOW signs popping up on East Valley Lane and spreading out into greater Montecito

Stupid and Ugly

Robert De Niro (“F*** Trump”) and Peter Fonda (who recommended placing the president’s 12-year-old son in a cage with pedophiles) are not masculine. De Niro’s wealth is reportedly $200 million, money he could never had made in a socialist-Marxist country. In Havana, all the harbors are empty (no ships) because people would flee if they could. In Venezuela, all is in chaos, with 50 percent inflation and more.

Remember finally that only free enterprise helps the poor. Trump has factually gotten more jobs to women, Latinos, and blacks than either party. President Trump will be protected for standing with Israel, but he will encounter more adversity than any other president for doing so.

Morten Wengler

(Editor’s note: De Niro and Fonda are evidence of a different kind of plague: the Stupid Ugly Plague. As for job creation, we don’t like it when a politician takes credit for “creating” jobs, regardless of party affiliation. President Trump’s “Tax Cuts and Jobs” act certainly spurred the creation of more jobs, and most of those jobs are in the private sector, “created” by small businesses who have responded to lower regulation, lower taxes, and perhaps most importantly, the 100-percent write-off for new equipment that the act outlines. Politicians, particularly President Trump, can take credit for laying the groundwork for a healthier and more active business environment, but they really can’t take credit for “creating” jobs. Only the job creators can do that. – J.B.)

California “Values”

As a longtime native Californian, I am at a loss to understand what the touted “California values” consist of: Our uncontrolled state debt of over $428 billion? Our billions of dollars state, county, and city debt liabilities, including unfunded public employee pension liabilities? Our water crises? Our deteriorating and unsafe roads, highways, bridges, and infrastructure? Our record-high real estate, income, business and sales taxes? Our anti-business laws and regulations? Our flight of businesses and citizens to affordable and job-friendly states? Our high crime rate? Our record of citizens living below the poverty rate and on public assistance? Our record population of homeless? Our 2.6 to 3 million undocumented aliens and costs related thereto? Our record-high cost and record-low national achievement ranking union-controlled schools?

Our high cost and student debit creating universities and colleges with many questionable marketable majors? Our collapsing health care system with its affordable, accessible and quality of care problems? Our global warming claims and their draconian regulation and tax schemes? Our multi-billion dollar slow train to nowhere? The acceptance and promotion of the federal criminal production and sale of marijuana, as a great tax resource, regardless of drug deaths, drug-related crime, and drug-dependency problems? Our acceptance of Retrogressive-Liberal Democrat Party control of state and local government? Our new state motto: “Eureka, we have bankrupted it, doped it, and lost it”?

H.T. Bryan
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: Looks like you’ve covered everything we love about this state. Thank you for being so thorough. – J.B.)

First Party Claims

An important question has recently been raised by one of the major contractors involved in repair and rebuilding work in Montecito. The question is this: if FEMA is requiring that a residence be elevated as a precondition to rebuilding, is that covered by homeowners insurance?

The answer is, it depends. If the total cost of rebuilding, including the cost of elevating the structure, is within the policy limits, then the total cost should be covered under most policies. If, however, the total cost, including elevation, is beyond the policy limits, then the question becomes the same as with any underinsurance situation. Why?

Was the policy limit established by the insurance company or its agent? Or was it established by the homeowner? 

These are important questions and policyholders really need to talk to an expert about them.

If you have any questions, you should present them to your attorney.

Ray Bourhis 
Montecito, San Francisco

Fiesta Finale Gala 

The Profant Foundation’s Fiesta Finale Gala will be held on Sunday, August 5, at the historic El Paseo restaurant from 5:30 until 10 pm. This year’s Fiesta Finale entertainment will include the traditional tableau vivant, “Painting that Comes to Life”, with actors, dancers, and musicians. This year’s tableau will be a replica of a poster from the 1947 movie Fiesta starring Ricardo Montalban, Esther Williams, and Cyd Charisse. Dancers Kristen and Serge Chmelnitzki of the local Arthur Murray Dance Studio will be featured with David Bolton, Richard and Amanda Payatt, Erin Graffy de Garcia, and Dr. James de Garcia as co-stars.

One of the highlights to follow will be the flamenco artistry of Ricardo Chavez and company, always one of the most thrilling acts of the entertainment program. The Profant family and co-chair Julie Ann Brown are planning a delicious gourmet dinner and the traditional après-Fiesta costume contest judged by Montecito Journal columnist Lynda Millner and Karen Woosley, followed by dancing under the stars to the music of the Martinez Brothers 

Nearly 100 years ago, the Profant family began its cultural involvement in the Santa Barbara community by helping to launch CAMA, the Music Academy of the West, and Old Spanish Days. The next generations created a charitable organization in the spirit of generosity established by their father, John E. Profant. Now celebrating its 19th year as a non-profit organization, the Profant Foundation has given hundreds of scholarships to developing artists of all ages. Scholarship recipients the “Piano Brothers”, 13- and 14-year-old siblings Rhyan and Shweyk, will perform for the evening’s guests. Scholarships are made available through community support and proceeds from the annual gala. 

Remember the date and place: El Paseo Restaurant, August 5, 5:30 to 10 pm. For more information and reservations, call (805) 682-8184. Early Bird tickets $160, or $200 after July 10; booth $1,000.


(Editor’s note: Just as a reminder, this is and always has been my favorite part of Fiesta, as the thousands of visitors have gone back home and nearly all Fiesta Finale attendees are people who know, love, and reside in the Santa Barbara area. – J.B.)


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