Letters to the Editor
MWD: Reconsider Water Deal… Please
(The following letter was sent to Floyd Wicks, President of the Board of Directors of the Montecito Water District, and its Board members, and a copy was cc’d to Montecito Journal by the letter writer.)
I am writing to support the recommendations of your former General Manager Bob Roebuck (“Water Deal Worth $100+ a Month?” MJ # 25/11) that a Supply Analysis be conducted and made available to all district customers before your Board acts to execute the agreement with the City of Santa Barbara to purchase additional water.
The proposed agreement, which would bind the District for fifty years, is much too important and far-reaching to be undertaken with a comprehensive analysis of the costs to its individual customers.
I urge your Board to consider the implications of making a decision on the proposed agreement without the full understanding, input and general buy-in of its customers. Full transparency with its customer base must be the guiding principle of the Board in a decision of this magnitude.
They’re Not Rose’s
The photo that graced the cover of Montecito Journal’s Issue # 25/10 (“It’s a Jungle Out There”) was taken by me, not Rose Eichenbaum. I hope you will run a correction.
(Editor’s note: We try very hard to give credit whenever it is called for and we certainly apologize for not giving Mr. Bazemore credit and also for crediting Ms Eichenbaum instead, whose name was on the press release. David Bazemore takes most of the spectacular photos of many of Santa Barbara’s productions, especially those of the State Street Ballet. – J.B.)
Well, what we’ve been afraid of is happening: Miramar beachgoers are parking in the hedgerow and it’s only March. Not that I’m opposed to parking in our neighborhood, walking to the beach is one of the perks of living in this neighborhood; it’s the severe pedestrian danger the proposed roundabout at San Ysidro and North Jameson will pose to what will be vastly increased foot traffic now that Miramar beachgoers will be parking here in increased numbers, especially during the summer. That intersection is the de facto gateway to the beach for lower Montecito already and we’ve long been concerned about the danger of a roundabout where eastbound traffic doesn’t have to stop for the existing foot traffic of kids, bikes, dogs, strollers and the like, much less what it will be like during summer weekends, Memorial Day, 4th of July, etc.
With much less parking available, now that the hotel has reopened, this is an accident waiting to happen. We’re expecting the public to safely traverse this eight-legged monstrosity where traffic doesn’t have to stop. Public safety should be paramount in any such an endeavor.
Historically, Miramar Beach wasn’t popular with Montecito families until the summers of 2004 and 2005 when it really caught on. With the Miramar Hotel closing in 2000 those two groups, hotel guests and mostly local beachgoers, have yet to meet until now, and again it’s only March.
Not more than 100 yards from the mossy wall illustrated with my photo in last week’s issue (“Unlike a Rolling Stone,” MJ # 25/11), I saw this Red Fox eating a fresh kill. All the more reason to ban poisons to kill gophers.
Your latest issue arrived outside Jack’s Bagels in Carpinteria just as I sat down for breakfast. I especially enjoyed Ashleigh Brilliant’s “Brilliant Thoughts” on “How to be Gone,” as it struck a personal chord. Also enjoyed Dale Lowdermilk‘s timely and amusing satirical piece, “On Becoming Special,” and the informative, wise counsel, water/desal article by Bob Roebuck as well. Keep up the good work.
Of Silt and Sludge
This will be my last missive regarding the best way to increase Cachuma Lake’s capacity. In my original letter (“Sucking It Up,” MJ # 25/7), I commenced by stating “As purely a layman’s observation…”. I make no pretensions about being an “expert” on anything, I simply wanted to get my two cents in on an issue that I thought was a discussion that was long overdue. We still do not know whether Mr.Schenck is voicing his opinions as that of a layman or some sort of “expert”. Whilst I’ve already conceded that “I was not qualified to contest Mr. Schenk’s figures “regarding the increased capacity of the lake his proposal would produce, I do not see the point in doing so now, especially as he has already admitted they are “manipulated” (MJ # 25/10).
I did however take him up on his challenge to look up the definitions of silt and sludge in the Merriam Webster Dictionary, and here they are: “silt; (1) fine earth; esp: particles of such soil floating in rivers, ponds, lakes. (2) a deposit (as by a river) of silt”. “Sludge: a slushy mass: ooze esp: a solid produced by sewage treatment processes.”
I do not doubt that given the current crop of Democrats vying for the 2020 POTUS position and only one of them may get in, that there will be plenty of idiots around who will try to load the trunks of their cars with the dredged product in liquid form. Normal people would either wait until it dries, transport it in watertight containers, or pay the County to deliver it.
In summary, hopefully this back and forth between Mr. Schenck and myself has caught the eye of the appropriate “experts” whom we pay to take care of this sort of thing; If it has, I say to them: “for Pete’s sake, lets get this ‘dam’ thing looked into and acted upon if it’s deemed viable.”
Little Boxes in a Row
(The following was addressed specifically to Allegra Roth of ASM and forwarded to a number of media outlets, including this one.)
It’s amazing how much our citizens were offended by the unsightly row of houses that suddenly appeared on Highway 101 between Santa Barbara and Montecito. It’s also amazing that visitors to Santa Barbara driving in from the south are subjected to this “first view” of our great city and that no one in City, County, or State Government will accept responsibility for this blunder and work toward correcting it.
Criticizing without offering a solution is not in my nature so I would like to suggest the following. A number of cities around the country have had success by highlighting houses with soft pastel painting and turning them into tourist attractions to the benefit of their communities. I’m enclosing several examples of success with this process and that I think could work in Santa Barbara.
I realize this would require cooperation between the owner of the properties and the community but with strong leadership from someone in government I believe could be done. If you would pass this on to someone who has the authority and would be willing to take on this project the entire community will be grateful.
(Mr. Lilly is Chairman of SJL Broadcast Management Corp., based in Montecito)