Fixing Channel Drive

By Montecito Journal   |   December 6, 2018

A few months before the fires and the terrible mud slides in Montecito, I wrote to Santa Barbara County South Coast Maintenance Superintendent Randy Carnahan and attached a picture of the cracked asphalts on the surface of Channel Drive and asked that it be repaired. He responded that he would place it on the repair schedule for 2018.

We are almost to the end of 2018.

Considering the work being performed on the bridge over 101, the additional extensive damage to Olive Mill Road leading to Channel Drive as well as the damage to Channel drive itself due to excessive truck traffic with heavy loads removing mud and debris all the way to Butterfly Lane, I also asked when the county would be repairing and resurfacing these two roads.

The surface condition of these roads, the median markings, as well at the potholes etc., are embarrassing and damaging our cars, as well as are safety concerns to pedestrians and bikers.

Here was Mr. Carnahan’s response:

“Thank you for your email. Actually I notified you in June that our Road Plan had already been finalized for our 2018/2019-budget year and Channel Drive was not part of that plan. We filled out a Project Initiation Request (PIR) for you and will notify you when we have our planning meeting for the 2019/2020 Road Plan. That will give you the opportunity to voice your concerns. My records indicate the road was slurry sealed in 2005. Channel Drive was patched after the debris flow and we continue to monitor. I will have the field supervisor check for potholes or any patching that is required. Channel Drive continues to remain on our radar.”

So, I wrote back: “Dear Mr. Carnahan, thank you for your speedy response. I live on Channel Drive and other than random filling of the crack with tar – at least 13 years ago, Hill Road was slurry sealed – to my knowledge, Channel Drive has not been sealed or resurfaced at least for the past 30 years that I have lived there. It’s simple; an inspection of the road will render the correct answer.

“In any case, the potholes, cracks and the unsightly condition of the road exist as I write this note and the road justifiably is in dire need of resurfacing. I appreciate your assistance in advance.”

Any help Montecito Journal can give us would be appreciated too!

Hadi Makarechian
A Channel Drive resident

(Editor’s note: It does seem that Montecito, which pays more than its “fair share” of taxes to the County of Santa Barbara, gets way less attention than it deserves. But, let’s see how this rainy season goes, as repairs are probably better off being done in April, especially if we experience even more damage. – J.B.)

Goodbye California

It was the summer of 1960 when we arrived in Santa Barbara. As a third-generation Californian, it truly was the perfect choice.

At that time, we were really fortunate to be able to purchase a fine old Montecito wood house in the hilltop property of George Owen Knapp. Restoration did take much time and effort.

For roughly 25 years, I had a really small antique and art business on Old Coast Village Road. Historically, there were thirteen gas stations on the one-mile long road.

Since reality is a daily fact of life, the deeply tragic Montecito mudslide caused me to now live with one of my daughters in southern Oregon.

Montecito, in spirit, is always where my heart is. Sending best wishes to all. Adios!

Gloria Hebert
Montecito, now Oregon

(Editor’s note: Wow, we are so sorry to hear about your loss. We’ll certainly miss your regular missives and hope you can return to Montecito at some point. – J.B.)

George Bush Sr.

I dropped off my book of paintings that contains a picture of a painting I did of George Herbert Walker Bush, thinking you may want to use it in the paper.

James Paul Brown

(Editor’s note: Well, thank you Mr. Brown! – J.B.)

The Starring Role

Montecito resident Isabella Fuentes was cast as Clara for last year’s production in State Street Ballet’s Nutcracker. Unfortunately for her and the rest of the cast, the production was called off because of the Thomas Fire and the evacuation of so many people from Santa Barbara. However, she will get a make-good on her dream with this year’s performances: she will now dance the star role.

This year’s Nutcracker is particularly important to Gustafson Dance students who were so disappointed by the 2017 show cancellations. These students work diligently; many train throughout their elementary and high school years, hoping to dance a featured role. Many other dance students (several from Montecito), as well as their supportive families, musicians, singers, and holiday theatre-goers will now have their chance to participate in this holiday favorite. 

Three performances at the Granada — December 15 and 16 — feature State Street Ballet, more than 100 Gustafson Dance students, Opera San Luis Obispo Grand Orchestra, and Matilija Junior High Chamber Choir to perform this time-honored classic. Opulent sets from Russia, a gigantic Christmas tree, elegant costuming, and the Granada’s period-perfect architecture set the stage for holiday magic. 

For 24 years, State Street Ballet has been dedicated to outreach and education, and they see The Nutcracker as the ideal production to foster community participation. The company’s dancers team up with talented students to provide a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for young dancers. Sharing the stage is a unique and wonderful experience for both student and professional, and creates invaluable learning and mentoring possibilities. 

Artistic Directors Rodney Gustafson and William Soleau are proud their company not only fosters local arts outreach, but also serves as cultural ambassadors for the city of Santa Barbara. State Street Ballet performs throughout the country, incorporating local dance students and musicians in many performances, and offering educational opportunities through master classes and community dance lessons. This holiday season, State Street Ballet’s performance in Santa Barbara comes at the end of their Nutcracker tour of Fresno, Spokane, and Durango for audiences ranging from 2,400 to more than 10,000.

Nutcracker performances are Saturday, December 15, at 2 pm and 7:30 pm, and Sunday, December 16, at 2 pm. Tickets are available at or the Granada box office, 805.899.2222.

Barbara Burger
Santa Barbara

The Holy Family

First United Methodist Church presents its Annual Living Nativity Complete with Live Animals.

Bring the entire family for this wonderful seasonal gift to the community – it’s free! The annual Living Nativity will be held for 3 nights: December 20, 21 and 22 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. In a tradition begun almost 30 years ago, the grassy area under the redwood tree next to the church is transformed into a rustic stable with silent tableau of the Holy Family, Wise Men, shepherds, angels, donkeys, goats and…. camels!

The 1927 Spanish Colonial Revival style church sanctuary will be open, decorated in seasonal finery including a display of crèches from around the world. Pianist Ann Leatherman will perform live Christmas music all three nights to add to the “awe” factor. Bring your camera and, if you are willing, volunteer to dress up as a shepherd and help tend the flock. 305 E. Anapamu (corner of Anapamu and Garden). Free parking in the church parking lot, enter from Garden Street. For more information call (805) 963-3579 or visit our website,

Methodist Church Members
Santa Barbara

Enemy of the People

Recently, I watched “Media Buzz” with Howard Kurtz, which is on Fox and tends to lean to the right. They showed a clip from two years ago where President Trump said he was going to be “a voice of the people.”


The President now pontificates that the Press (mostly liberal, but some conservatives) are an “enemy of the people,” which most from the left and right disagree with.

My point is if the President continues this rhetoric he himself may find he’s the enemy of the people, or does he even care? It won’t be fake news either. 

Thomas Carlisle
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: Yeah, we hate the phrase “enemy of the people” too. Even though President Trump says “Fake News” is the enemy of the people, and not all the Press, the context is just too close to the kind of verbiage dictatorial regimes often use. We too hope he stops using those words. – J.B.)

Laid Back Montecito

Thanks for publishing my letter (“Poor Old Charlie,” MJ # 24_48). My husband thinks I’ll get blowback from it. Truth is truth so I don’t care; the information needed to be expressed although I bet it doesn’t change the myth. In today’s Coastal View “Throw Back Thursday” has an article about the Chaplin wedding and a photo of the judge’s home on page 20. It tells about the mad dash through Montecito when a News-Press reporter and photographer followed Charlie Chaplain and Oona O’Neill from the courthouse.

Many years ago Martha Clyde told me about it; her husband, George, was the reporter (later our County Supervisor for Montecito). In the 1950s when Ronald Colman and Al Weingan (later a State Senator) owned the San Ysidro Ranch, we local kids with our own horses had a Pony Club at the stables. The Colmans’ daughter Juliette was a member and we all had great fun riding together. As a special treat, Mr. Colman would have movies sent up from Hollywood and we’d watch them (at night) in the hotel lobby.

We went to a neighbor’s big home to watch Lost Horizons and Mr. and Mrs. Colman sat there with us. What a huge treat to see Juliette’s dad in a movie! Mrs. Colman and Juliette’s governess, Chrissy, came to the stables and painted two rooms that had been used for tack so the riding master could live there. They also made prizes for our horseback games.

A very casual Montecito in those years. I consider myself extremely lucky to have grown up in Montecito when I did. Well, done with your history lesson for today!

Judy Pearce

More Than a Trace

Mr. Ray Winn is once again using his cherry-picking skills to defend his political conclusions regarding climate change (“Weather or Not,” MJ # 24/47). He portrays CO2 as a ‘trace gas’ implying it has no effect. Cyanide is also a ‘trace gas,’ so what’s his point? As I explain in my Planetary Exploration class at SBCC, CO2 is an important greenhouse gas because it absorbs thermal IR radiation emitted by the warm Earth. Thus, as we’ve doubled the amount of CO2 in our atmosphere, the amount of heat retained by CO2 has also doubled. Venus is a good example of a ‘runaway greenhouse.’ Its atmosphere is 90% CO2 and its surface is hotter than the innermost planet, Mercury. But I agree with one point Mr. Winn makes: Earth needs some CO2 and the mild greenhouse it provides. If there were no CO2 in our atmosphere, Earth would be a very cold place. 

The other important aspect of CO2 which makes it more effective than water vapor (another greenhouse gas) is that it’s ‘well-mixed,’ meaning that once it gets into the atmosphere, it disperses and takes a long time (centuries) to leave. Water vapor concentrations are continually evolving (though rain has been rather sparse lately) and is not increasing steadily as CO2 is. Mr. Winn undoubtedly knows all this, but it apparently doesn’t fit his ‘political party affiliation.’ He also knows the difference between weather and climate. And while weather forecasting has benefited from the use of new observations and atmospheric models and supercomputers on which to run them, climate models are different and have progressed markedly. But even disregarding our ability to perfectly predict weather and climate, it’s common sense that if we double the amount of heat stored by CO2 in the atmosphere, something is going to happen.

Mr. Winn concludes his letter with a plea for us to use the best science to “rationally draw the best conclusions.” Again, his party affiliation may have kept him from noticing that it’s been done. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ( made up of thousands of scientists has released several reports and the Fourth US National Climate Assessment was just released ( Its first summary conclusion: “Climate change creates new risks and exacerbates existing vulnerabilities in communities across the United States, presenting growing challenges to human health and safety, quality of life, and the rate of economic growth.”

Tom Farr, PhD

Progressive taxation

I believe the only way a voting democracy can succeed, is when every voter contributes nearly an equal amount to government funding. Otherwise, folks will tend to vote for anything they see as a personal benefit to themselves, with little or no concern for those providing the funds.

How does progressive taxation tally with the 14th amendment equal protection clause? “Another argument raised is that because the federal income tax is progressive, the discriminations and inequalities created by the tax should render the tax unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment, which guarantees equal protection under the law.”

But of course, government courts, in on the fix, “have ruled such arguments have been ruled without merit under contemporary jurisprudence.” Right, right, right. Other arguably valid constitutional arguments (1st, 5th, 13th, 16th, 17th), have likewise been swatted down by the courts whose employees thrive on lordship and taxation. 

This is the fatal flaw with progressive taxation.

30 children on a bus decide to vote whether to go to Disneyland or head home. Fifteen children will not have to pay. Ten children will get in at half price. Five children will pay the rest of the bill. Majority rules.

How do you think the vote will go?

Steve King

(Editor’s note: “Progressive” taxation was a favorite scheme of Karl Marx, and unfortunately, it has taken hold in virtually all Western style democracies, none more so than here in the U.S., where nearly 50% of the population pays nothing and regularly votes for more taxes anyway. Everyone should pay something. – J.B.)

Online Lawyers

Regarding Bob Hazard‘s Legal Revolution remarks, I’m all for eliminating as many lawyers as possible (and their often unconscionable fees, usually accompanied with no guarantee), however, how’s Watson ever gonna be admitted to the Bar?

More seriously, an attorney told me a premier, I guess, general law look-up site is if one can’t hire the doctor.

Ben Burned

P.S. I’m still interested in hearing where the Thorns in Carpinteria pick up their political beliefs (I’ll bet Alex Jones fits in there somewhere).

(Editor’s note: If the Thorns are reading this they’ll probably respond in an upcoming issue – J.B.)


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