Stepping Closer

By Montecito Journal   |   September 20, 2018

I would like to thank Dr. Edo McGowan for clarifying his position on recycled water with the residents of Montecito (“Water Warnings,” MJ #24/37). As quoted last year, he supports recycled water “as long as it’s done properly” (“It’s Where the Future Lies…” by Melinda Burns, Edhat and Independent, June 8, 2017).

His words of caution in last week’s MJ, however, must also be heeded. We cannot ignore fundamental public health and safety in treating recycled water. For that reason, California has several laws and regulatory bodies, including the Regional Water Quality Control Board, in place to permit, regulate, and monitor recycled water operations and quality.

Goleta, Oxnard, Ventura, Camarillo, and parts of the City of Santa Barbara use recycled water for irrigation on agriculture, parks, golf courses, and schools. Many communities throughout California, the nation, and the globe rely on recycled water for irrigation and drinking. The widespread and safe use of recycled water for irrigation has been in existence for decades. Montecito does not need to reinvent the wheel to pursue a state-of-the-art recycled water system for irrigation at the cemetery, parks, and golf courses that meets all public health and safety requirements and contains adequately trained personnel with appropriate water quality testing.

Our neighbors have been recycling water for decades, and we can work with them to share their wealth of knowledge. We just need to start the process of building on this vast reservoir of experience and expertise across California to develop a proper recycling program. I am hopeful that Dr. McGowan would use his considerable public health expertise to join the Montecito Water and Sanitary districts in the pursuit of large-scale recycled water for irrigation, so that we may step closer to attaining water security and stop dumping 500,000 gallons a day of water into the ocean off Butterfly Beach. We must not let fear drive our decisions to move forward with sustainable, resilient, and environmentally sound infrastructure.

Cori Hayman

From Boys to Men

In our current divided times, surfing can bring us together and make life better for young, fatherless boys.

For the fifth year, I am surfing in the 100 Wave Challenge on [Sunday] October 7, 2018, at Mission Beach, San Diego. Along with 200 other surfers, I will be catching 100 waves to help provide in-school mentoring for over 800 fatherless teenage boys.

Last year, with your awesome support, I raised $24,050. This year, I want to raise $33,000, and only you can help me do that. Please go to website to learn more about the program and, of course, to donate to the cause.

Shaun Tomson

Photo of Shaun Tomson riding a wave in his distinctive and revolutionary style, was taken by Steve Wilkings, head photographer for Surfer magazine at a break called Off the Wall on the north shore of Oahu, Hawaii in 1976, using a 1,200mm Century lens off a Nikon F3 body; manual focus at 200 meters

(Editor’s note: Shaun was the number one surfer in the world, circa 1977. He just returned from a trip to South Africa, where he was born, called the Positive Wave Tour to celebrate the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth, coinciding with 50 years of pro surfing. While there, he and his group raised money for Ohlange School, the first school started by a black in South Africa; it was where Nelson Mandela voted for freedom in 1994. “Interestingly,” Shaun, who is my next-door neighbor, says in a side note, “the first donor to the cause was professor Paul Bradford and his Westmont class, who were studying in Singapore at the time!” It really is a small world, after all. – J.B.)

Let’s Not Kill Success

Dr. Judith Ishkanian has successfully managed the Montecito Sanitary Waste Water Resources for over 12 years. During this time, Dr. Ishkanian has made sure that in our beloved Montecito wastewater is properly disposed of. Besides her excellent management skills, she has made sure that the employees of the department are adequately trained and compensated.

The people, who want to take over running this complex wastewater management and disposal of wastewater, seem to have no prior knowledge and experience of managing any water-related department.

Dr. Ishkanian’s experience and over 12 years of hands-on dedicated service even during floods and severe drought is invaluable. She is also actively involved in the water recycling project. All aspects of her management skills seem to work harmoniously. For continued success, let us not interfere with her excellent work; if it is not broke, don’t try to fix it.

Helgi Goppelt 

Water Security Needed

Thank you for your extensive coverage of the upcoming elections for the sanitation and water boards. They deserve the attention of everyone in our community. I was shocked to learn about the list of Water and Sanitation District problems that threaten Montecito’s water supply. From the near total dependence on rainfall during this seemingly never-ending drought and in the face of climate change to the wasteful dumping of 500,000 gallons a day of water into the ocean off of Butterfly Beach, to comparing the use of recycled water to spraying our community with Agent Orange, the list of inexcusable inaction on the part of the appointed incumbents is long.

Their dysfunction in failing to plan for Montecito’s water future raises the costs of water and lowers property values for every homeowner and rate payer in Montecito. It was not that long ago that we were paying penalties just to keep our landscaping and fruit trees barely alive. The incumbents had their chances. They did not deliver. 

Thank you, Water Security Team (Coates, Hayman, Goebel, Newquist, and Barrett), for stepping up and giving the voters a choice for much needed change. You have my vote!

Michael J. Davenport

Tax Returns

Brett Adams made some excellent parallels to his letter (“Pardonable Offenses,” MJ #24/36). Maybe this president in the back of his mind is including himself when Mr. Adams suggests the “best people” be overlooked when they get caught cheating on their taxes. Very smart for him to think this way, since he hasn’t released his taxes (or paid any in seven years?). But that will happen, when Sarah Huckabee Sanders is crowned in one of his beauty contests.

Thomas Carlisle
Santa Barbara

Swamp Dwellers React

My first reaction on Saturday [September 8], after the historic upset of 37-year-old Serena Williams by 20-year-old Naomi Osaka, and witnessing the childishness of Williams, and the churlishness of the United States Tennis Association officials toward their own U.S. Open Women’s Singles champion was: This isn’t right

A (young) woman of color (Japanese/Haitian ancestry) beats a veteran tennis woman of color (African-American). An outsider who doesn’t deserve to be in the same venue with the iconic insider bested the latter only because she was enabled by a racist and sexist umpire in the process.

Of course, the blunt assault of racism and sexism doesn’t work well in this situation. Both players are women of color. Ah, but the chair was officiated by a Portuguese male, known for being a hard-ass and going by the book. Supposedly, this guy was ruling in behalf of a white male North American-European tennis patriarchy. There are oppressors and those oppressed everywhere.

In the face of sheer dominance on court, the crowd jeers and boos the name of the young woman who dares to defeat their icon and deprive them of their sense of achievement and elation. Most of the crowd had not come to witness a competitive match, but a coronation. Most had come to witness, so to speak, Apollo Creed put on a clinic for the benefit of Rocky Balboa. Instead, Rocky thinks it’s “a damned fight” (as Creed’s handlers said in the classic film).

It wasn’t only Serena Williams who was robbed of a major victory. The crowd reacted as if the audacity of Osaka’s superior performance plunged a dagger into the heart of their settled, comfortable life. First, Trump defeating Hillary. Now, an unknown outsider taking apart the beloved tennis mama.

Elitism is becoming a contagious sickness across Western cultures. We are breeding an insulated class of people who believe every element of society must be governed, populated, and controlled by specific sets of people, and that membership in these cliques is determined by the cliques themselves. 

It’s time to Drain the Swamp everywhere, not just Inside the Washington, D.C., Beltway.

David S. McCalmont
Santa Barbara

Paying Your Way

Passing a neighboring mobile home park, I see friend Marcia on her front porch. Her little dog, Beau, starts barking when he hears me. Beau contentedly sits on my lap while we visit on the porch. Marcia has two teenaged girls and a 62-year-old husband. Girls are in school, husband works, and Marcia is a stay-at-home mom with a couple entrepreneurial ventures. They own a newer mobile home worth about $300,000.

Simply curious, I ask, “What’s your health insurance situation?” “None, we stay healthy. If we need a doctor, we go to the med center.”

I was a bit shocked and asked what would happen if someone had an accident or got really sick. She acknowledged that possibility and said they’d probably go bankrupt. I said it’s one thing to have no assets and no insurance, but if you have assets, you are exposed to collections. 

Moreover, I said society at large is made responsible if they are unable to provide for themselves. I said I don’t agree that should be the case, but it is. I asked how she would feel if her neighbors were reckless and irresponsible and got sick or injured as a result, and then demanded that she cover their expenses? I said this is exactly what is happening when people don’t buy insurance or otherwise cover their misfortunes: the state demands that someone else pay, including future generations.

Mind you, this is a friendly conversation between friends.

She said she never thought of it that way. She asked what she could do anyway? True enough, there isn’t anything we can do about the policies, but to every extent possible, it would be wise to protect your assets. Her husband gets $800 in Social Security and $500 for a teenage child because he is an “elderly father.” I said, I don’t blame anyone for taking advantage of such benefits, but they also require others to pay for them. It’s a wholly unfair, redistributive scheme, popular with beneficiaries, but burdensome for everyone else. 

How should it be, then, she asked, in your libertarian fantasy land?

Very simple, we each fully pay our own way through this life. We practice thrift, industry, savings, and investment. We insure ourselves against misfortune. If for any reason we fail, we must then be at the mercy of our family, friends, and society at large. Not because they are forced to help us, but because they desire to help us. Voluntary giving and nothing more. If that fails, we will be forced to admit our concern is false and hypocritical, and that we only care about others to the point we can force someone else to care for them. 

I can hear the disparaging remarks now, but remember, before you insist that welfare, education, and the like, should be society’s problem, you are allowing the state to forcefully take away your and other people’s property. A violation of the very protections we rightfully expect the law and the state to provide. Remember too, the state will keep a large portion of this plunder for itself and inevitably everyone will be taking far more money out than anyone can ever replace. 

Or, as Frederic Bastiat has stated: “The state is the great fiction by which everyone endeavors to live at the expense of everyone else. How can we identify and stop plunder?” he continues. “Quite simply,” he concludes. “See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime. Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law – which may be an isolated case – is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.”

Steve King

5G is Coming

Coming soon to a street near you: the 5G “lamp” post. The first is on the 1100 block of State Street; second is at Carrillo and Anacapa.

Did you know 5G is coming to Santa Barbara? Barring normal repairs, you’ve run into torn-up and blocked-off streets across town in preparation for its arrival. Now in Beta testing across the state and the country, 5G aims to be fully installed between late 2018 through 2020. Plans exist to deploy it around the world by 2025, even to the most remote regions on earth.

5G is the “Fifth Generation” of wireless technology. It transmits extremely fast, short, millimeter-length radio frequencies in the Gigahertz bandwidth. We are currently in 4G, which transmits longer, fast microwaves in the Megahertz bandwidth, allowing distant cell towers and fixed antennae to transmit to our devices.

5G promises to deliver blisteringly fast download speeds, usher in no dropped calls, with strong, reliable signals no matter where we are or how many of us are using our devices at the same time. It will connect each one of us to the Internet of Things (IoT), and will bring us Artificial Intelligence (AI), more human-like robots, self driving cars, and Smart Homes and Cities, for starters. The 5G compatible mobile stations (mobile devices), portable stations (desktop computers, routers), and appliances are currently underway. We all will be connected from the ground to the sky and back again to a central data/information receiving and transmitting center.

Because 5G’s waves are shorter than an inch, they don’t travel very far. Faster, shorter frequencies carry enormous amounts of data, but because they don’t travel, they need continuous boosting to reach us. Industry’s mega answer is to install in every city, neighborhood and rural area countrywide, close-up mini cell towers every 10 to 12 buildings, or every 1,000 feet. In Santa Barbara proper, that translates to several hundreds of mini cell towers all over town and many hundreds more in our neighborhoods. If your office or home happens to land at the 10-12 building mark, or at the 1000 foot mark, a cell tower will be installed there. The FCC has effectively stripped municipalities of their right to choose tower locations.

Each tower will be carrying about one hundred ports and approximately one thousand tiny, “phased array” antennae. Phased Array antennae accelerate the waves into concentrated, narrow, steerable, high power beams to penetrate walls providing us with high-speed, efficient cell service, 24/7, indoors and outdoors. These antennae track each other so wherever you are, a beam from your smartphone will be aimed directly at a cell tower and a beam from the tower will be aimed directly at you.

Santa Barbara is now placing the necessary transformer boxes, heaters, fans, and cable under the streets. The mini cell towers on the ground are being installed as new, fake lamp posts, or on existing lamp posts. The dummy posts look exactly like our normal street lights, except where the light would normally be, there is instead a solid canister, which houses the towers and antennae. On existing lamp posts, the tower canister is added as an extension to the pole.

These ground-level installations are only a portion of what is planned for 5G. Low-orbit satellites are now being launched into our skies by SpaceX, Boeing, and World View to name a few, with many thousands more on contract. SpaceX alone plans to deploy 12,000. As many as 20,000 satellites are currently applied for. Each satellite will have thousands of millimeter-sized antennae in a phased array, all working together to send narrow beams of energy to Earth all over the planet. Each beam from each satellite will have an effective radiated power of up to 5 million watts. This massive fleet will occupy our ionosphere over the entire globe.

Why does 5G need satellites? These satellites will transmit the IoT to each of us and to every person on Earth. Over 1 trillion things will be active on 5G, let alone the millions of cell phones that will use it. It will also provide cell service to the underserved. These same satellites will simultaneously receive detailed information from each one of us just as the mini cell towers on the ground will do, along with all our devices. It is called Multiple Input-Multiple Output.

I don’t know anyone yet who can’t wait for their bed (which will know when you rise and apparently a lot of other things), to tell the coffeepot to make the brew so you can awaken to its fresh aroma.

Industry scientists say there will be no environmental or biological impact from 5G on any level, though as yet, none of the required impact studies have been done by the FCC. Independent scientists and physicians are strongly advising the FCC to do the required studies before they allow 5G to be fully deployed. The 5G beams have the potential to go through the body and will have an effective radiated power 10 times as high as that of 4G phones. These beams will overlap in a crowd.

It is not clear yet how the low orbit satellites will affect our delicate skies electromagnetically. With mounting correlation and evidence, there is growing, serious concern that for our ever-intensifying technological dependency, our demand for high-speed conveniences, and for the goals of the industrial complex, significant collateral damages, Earth-wide, will not only continue, but will unmistakably escalate.

Miriam Lindbeck
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: Ms Lindbeck refers to herself as an EMRS – ElectroMagnetic radiation specialist – and building biologist. She invites questions, comments, and inquiries and can be reached at

Elect the Whole Team

We are writing to support the candidacy of the five members of the Water Security Team for election to the Boards of the Montecito Water District (Cori Hayman, Ken Coates, and Brian Goebel) and the Montecito Sanitary District (Woody Barrett and Dana Newquist) in this November’s balloting.

The incumbents against whom these five team members are running are well-intended citizen-volunteers who have, in recent years, helped to make some progress. But these efforts have been slow, incremental, non-strategic, misguided and ineffective in many cases. These shortfalls, exhibited over a long period of time, have led to an unacceptable situation for the water and sanitary customers of Montecito and Summerland, especially as we head into the eighth year of an unprecedented, drought and continue to see the appalling discharge of more than a half-million gallons of partially-treated wastewater into the Channel each day. 

The familiar saying about getting the same old results by doing things the same old way is as apt for the peril threatening our community as the classic warning that nothing is as expensive as poor management. With your support for this Team in the coming election, creative approaches – undertaken by new players taking into account the best practices of other districts in California and elsewhere – will get the job done.

The five candidates of the Water Security Team are seeking our votes on the basis of their substantial track record of accomplishment in the business and non-profit sectors as well as their commitment to the initiatives that are going to get us out of the danger we now face. In his recent essay in the Montecito Journal, Ken Coates, leader of the Water Security Team, summarized these initiatives well: diversification of our water supply through local, controllable solutions (such as completion of the inexplicably delayed desalination agreement with the City of Santa Barbara), creative recycling of treated wastewater, better management of our existing groundwater, and further conservation efforts. This is the right focus, and what is needed now is the communal will to transform these initiatives into realities through election of the right Board members.

As a couple, our support is for the entire Water Security Team because of its members’ abilities and the importance of bringing a critical mass of new talent to bear on the task at hand. Emblematic of this group’s promise is the track record of its leader, Ken Coates. By coincidence, over the past twenty years we have been Ken’s near-neighbor in Michigan as well as Montecito. As a result we have seen his sterling performance in leadership roles at such wide-ranging organizations as the Ford Motor Company and the Duke Cancer Institute as well as this area’s Direct Relief International and Sansum Clinic. For the benefit of our community, we urge you to join us in supporting Ken and his four colleagues on the Water Security Team. 

Bill and Pat MacKinnon


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