Letters to the Editor
Double-Wide Kings in Carp
Thanks to all of you who came out to see us at the Lobero Theatre last November to celebrate the music of Neil Young. Over the past several months, we have been busy mixing down the live recordings from that special night. We are excited to announce that we will be releasing a CD of 16 songs from the show and we will also be putting the music out on the various music streaming services like Spotify, Apple Music, etc.
We are going to celebrate with an “Album Release Concert” at the newly refurbished Alcazar Theater in Carpinteria on Saturday, March 30. It’s a small venue with fewer than 200 seats, but it’s got a great intimate feel and great sound.
We will be playing a few new Neil Young tunes as well as our original tunes and a few special covers. We are grateful that all of our special guests from the Lobero show will be joining us for this show as well; we call it “The Dream Team” and it includes Phil Salazar on fiddle, Bill Flores on pedal steel and Dobro, Elliott Lanam on keyboards and Tina Dabby on vocals.
We look forward to seeing you on March 30. VIP tickets are $85, but they’re mostly sold out. Regular admission is $55 and that includes a Live CD from the Neil Young Tribute Show. Show starts at 8 pm at the Alcazar, 4916 Carpinteria Avenue (805) 684-6380. You can also visit our website: www.doublewidekings.com.
Palmer Jackson, Jr.
(Editor’s note: Just so people know, The Double-Wide Kings – formerly the Mobile Home Boys – are the best “a-little-country-a-little-rock-‘n’-roll” band in, well, a very wide area of the California coast; they’re just dang good and a joy to join and listen to. They usually make an early fall public appearance in Montecito and half the village turns up on what always becomes a very special day of music-food-wine-and-beer for the entire family. – J.B.)
I recently had to have my blood tested before a doctor’s visit, so I dropped into a lab to comply with my doctor’s orders. I was asked to sign a new form entitled “Respect and Care,” asking me to answer a series of questions to ensure that they could respond to my needs “in a way that makes me most comfortable.” The questions were all multiple choice and had to do with Race, Ethnicity, Sex Assigned at Birth, Present Sex (if different), Gender Identity, Sexual Identity, and my Preferred Pronoun.
Answering the questionnaire was optional and each category had a box that said “Unknown” or “Rather not Say,” but the mere fact that they asked me to voluntarily provide such information made me pause. At first I thought it was just a silly manifestation of political correctness, but then it just made me irritated.
How could such personal information possibly help them draw my blood in a way that would make me more comfortable? All it did was make me upset to realize that identity distinctions had made their way into as simple a task as having my blood tested. You may correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems we have arrived at a point where everything we do must be addressed in identity terms that focus on our differences, and further serve to separate us from our common humanity.
Grasping for Straws
Letter writers Kathi King and Charles Newman of the Community Environmental Council accused me of lacking “journalistic integrity” related to my recent Straw Wars editorial, citing a timing error about when the State and local straw bans actually take effect.
The dates are confusing to the general public and to local businesses struggling to implement the ban during 2019. The California straw law took effect on January 1, 2019. The original City of Santa Barbara straw ban, which carried fines and jail time, also had an effective date of January 1, 2019. However, after receiving much ridicule from the national press, on September 20, 2018 the City Council elected to remove the criminal penalties from its ban and to push the start date for the ban back to July 1, 2019.
Single-use straws and Styrofoam containers, we all agree, add to ocean pollution. The purpose of my editorial was not to deny the environmental impacts of plastic products, but rather to point out that legislative mandates for behavioral change can have unforeseen consequences.
No Fantasy Land
They will spend your tax money trying to find a crime to fit their pre-determined guilty verdict. They will provide free health care, free education, and a guaranteed annual income even to those who won’t work. Regardless of your background, they want you to believe you are a victim. Even I, a white male (sorry, it’s the way I was born) should feel guilty because of “white privilege.” They refer to Scandinavia and Canada as successful anti-capitalist examples, seemingly not realizing that these countries have various successful versions of capitalism. They ignore references to Venezuela. Despite being wealthy themselves, they view wealth as greed. They see America’s past as shameful despite that fact that multitudes of people want to come here. They falsely portray American finance as a zero-sum game. They strive to erase portions of American history. They support the Green New Deal.
They are the progressive left. Included among them are presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, and Bernie Sanders. I don’t believe these people are ignorant. I do believe they present fantasy-world ideas and concepts to potential voters. You have every right to disagree with my thoughts, but I strongly encourage everyone to review these people and what the progressive left is proposing. For instance, I’d like Sanders to explain why his Medicare-for-all program was a total failure in his home state, Vermont. And we should note that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez thought that the three-billion dollar tax incentive New York would provide Amazon was real money and offered suggestions as to how it should be spent.
Dunno about you, but I would want my children to believe that their future existence would be determined by hard work and effort. They live in the greatest country in the world, not fantasy land. They are not victims.
Sanderson M. Smith, Ed.D.
Now we have another challenge. The Debris Flow Establishment seems to be out of dry powder. More folks seem to have an interest in hysteria and the activity it generates than in calmly looking at all the information and calculating the risks and accepting a reasonable level of same and some uncertainty. Some times doing little is better than doing a lot.
When too many want to appear to be doing something it may be counterproductive in the short and certainly in the long run. With no dry powder, the next real threat will be more difficult to contain. And the next long run problem is that trees are suffocating. Mud must be removed from the base of our trees. Covering the area where roots first are evident at the base of a tree will over time suffocate the tree. This condition is especially evident in areas such as East Valley Lane. Most of the land is private, of course, but with restrictions and nightmarish memories, who can blame the owners for ignoring these properties and the trees? If something is not done, what remains a tragic scene will become a tragic desert of neglect.
The Montecito Association is in a unique position to rally the troops once again. The time is now. It breaks my heart to have witnessed the expenditure of energy and resources over the last few days when other matters are much more in need.
The main story in a recent issue of the Santa Barbara News-Press that appeared on page 1 in their Business section, is pretty negative, re Mr. Trump’s performance since taking office, and appears pretty thorough, too. And don’t forget the paper endorsed him.
Methinks his chances of reelection are maybe only 50%.
Raising the Level
I should like to thank Larry Bond for his response to my suggestion about how to increase the storage capacity of Lake Cachuma (“Raising Lake Cachuma,” MJ #25/9). He is correct; my suggestion to increase the height of the steel plates in the spillway of the Bradbury Dam does come with its own set of issues, but they are either minor or nonexistent compared to those raised by Mr. Bond’s dredging proposal. Permit me to offer some brief comments.
1) Yes, there would be an increase in hydrostatic pressure on the dam as a result of the lake being six inches or a foot deeper. If the level of the lake were increased one foot, the increase in pressure at the base of the dam, where the pressure is the greatest, would be only one psi, which is a .67% increase over the current pressure at that depth. All engineering calculations have, or at least should have, a built-in contingency factor of at least 10%, so an increase of.67% would not materially affect the design parameters or performance of the dam.
2) It is extremely doubtful that a six-inch or one-foot increase in the level of the water in the lake would cause any lakeside vendors or camp sites to have to be relocated. If that were truly the case, then clearly those facilities are currently located too close to the lake’s edge and should be relocated further away from the lake’s edge whether the level is raised or not.
3) Mr. Bond suggested that because I was not an Egyptian historian I used the wrong word, sludge, in describing what would be dredged from the lake’s bottom. While not an Egyptian historian, I am familiar with Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary. If Mr. Bond checks the definitions of both silt and sludge, he will find that sludge is in fact an appropriate description of the dredged material.
4) Mr. Bond claimed he was not qualified to contest my figures. All my figures were derived from data available on the web about Lake Cachuma and then manipulated using only simple arithmetic operations, multiplication and division, all of which are taught in grammar school and which are far more relevant in today’s society and economy than a knowledge of Egyptian history. I would encourage Mr. Bond to check my calculations, a task I feel confident he could do regardless of his claim to the contrary
5) Mr. Bond’s vision of depositing the dredged material close to the lake so it could be accessed by people with their own vehicles is fantasy. Do the arithmetic; it’s easy. A one-acre foot increase of water capacity created by dredging will require storing 43,560 cubic feet of sediment. Since the dredged material is not a solid, you’d be lucky to be able to store it at a depth of one foot, so how many 43,560 sq ft locations are available and accessible for storage? He likens it to the county’s free mulch program. Mulch is one thing, dry and easily handled. The dredged material will be messy, gooey, wet and slimy. Who in their right mind would load their truck or trunk of their car with that stuff??
6) Dredging is costly and environmentally damaging. Increasing the height of the spillway plates is significantly cheaper and causes little or no environmental damage.
I leave for consideration those final thoughts and comments on this topic. I must now return to more practical matters: income taxes. It is my hope that I will have to pay only a minimal amount to the state of California to be squandered away on such ridiculous projects as the high-speed bullet train which will go from one relatively small city to another, transport only very few people, require expensive terminals at both ends and require substantial subsidization for the duration of its life. There are those who believe the bullet train to be an excellent expenditure of funds and those who don’t. It is one more fantasy that cannot and will not be sustainable, is neither practical nor affordable, but oh, what a vision it is. Visions are one thing, reality is another.