Letters to the Editor

By Montecito Journal   |   July 4, 2019

Caltrans’ Punishment

Regarding Addison Thompson’s letter (“Fake News Alert,” MJ # 25/25): I sat on the Montecito Association Board of Directors while the Caltrans plan to remove the 101 southbound on-ramp from Cabrillo Blvd. was being considered, and our Board’s objection to such an ill-conceived plan was loudly voiced and well documented directly to the Caltrans representatives. We could not encourage Santa Barbara City representatives or anyone else with SBCAG to support us in this objection.

This was being presented to us by Caltrans as an informational courtesy and Caltrans knew we had no voice in its approval or disapproval. They were extremely condescending in their remarks, explaining that they were the experts in traffic flow and they were certain that a sign on Cabrillo Blvd. would direct all southbound traffic to use Milpas to access the 101 and not progress as far as Coast Village Road.

This opinion was met with loud objections from many Board members and the large number of public members in attendance. The Caltrans representative had the nerve to say that if they were mistaken, they could make “adjustments.” This naive remark turned the room into a riot of laughter and complete frustration with our lack of meaningful input into the plan. To wonder if this was perhaps a plan to punish Montecito for our many years of objections to widening the 101 was certainly a common reaction.

Harry Kolb

(Editor’s note: Caltrans officials brought the same kind of arrogance to smaller meetings with SBCAG members and Santa Barbara City officials. Unfortunately, too many of both the former and the latter agreed with Caltrans. – J.B.)

Attempted Character Assassination

In his recent letter (“Senator Fauxcahontis,” MJ # 25/25) David McCalmont embarrasses himself by casting snide and unsupported aspersions regarding the character of Senator Elizabeth Warren. 

To limit myself to a rebuttal of just one of McCalmont’s assertions: there is no credible evidence whatsoever that Warren attained her academic position at the Harvard Law School by utilizing the fact that she has Native American heritage. That claim was debunked by the Boston Globe in 2012 after a thorough investigation. Thirty-one members of the faculty committee that voted to offer her the faculty seat responded individually to the Globe’s inquiry and asserted unanimously that their committee never even considered her heritage or ostensible minority status when voting to appoint her. In fact, they said that they were not even aware of her heritage. The Globe found the same to be true of her four previous faculty appointments at other institutions.

Documentation of the above may be found at the websites of the Boston Globe and at those of the Washington Post, snopes.com, and politifact.com.

Disagreeing with any politician’s views is understandable and defensible; in contrast, ad hominem arguments and plainly false claims are properly labeled smear tactics.

Steve Daniels
Santa Barbara

(Editor’s note: Senator Warren brought this upon herself by making her ludicrous claim in the first place. As for Harvard Law School denying that her “minority status” had anything to do with her being hired, of course they would say that; anything else would make them look bad. And, whether true or not, Harvard did make note of the “Native American woman of color” on their faculty after Ms Warren was hired. If she had snuffed out that kind of dubious publicity when it was first printed, she would have avoided all the criticism since. – J.B.)

Keep it Up

Once again you have given Transition House Auxiliary another great write-up! Your photos are wonderful and your writing brought it to life, once more.

Thanks for your support over the years.

Jean Keely
Santa Barbara

Natural Weed Killer

This works great, is safe, and cheap:

1 gallon vinegar
2 cups Epsom salts
1/4 cup Dawn Dish Soap
Mix well. Spray on weeds in the morning.

Danel Trevor

Listen Up!

Republicans, if you’re listening, I hope you can hear the president make a fool of himself and his followers. Granted, it’s like trying to drink from a fire hose to keep up with his daily tweets and statements that are ignorant and deceitful. Trump has told his supporters to “not believe what they are seeing or reading” when he denies his own previous statements captured on video. He disparages the “fact checkers” and “note takers” that contradict his “alternative facts.” Like those fact checkers who correctly state that tariffs are paid by the importer-consumer, not the exporters as Trump wants his audience to believe.

What’s worse and more dangerous is that his intelligence briefers have been warned not to give him any intelligence that contradicts his public pronouncements. Indeed, he has sided with Putin, Kim Jong Un, and the bone saw Sheik, against our own government experts. And he ironically opined that not clapping during his State of the Union speech was “traitorous” like it is in North Korea. Trump said the heads of the FBI, NSA and CIA were “misquoted” when they disagreed with his position on Iran, ISIS, etc., when their appearance was broadcast live and reported verbatim.

The pandering to his fragile ego and fear of his temper tantrums has infected his administration to the extent that they created a Potemkin charade by hiding from his view the USS John McCain in Japan. Trump appreciated the effort and said it was “well-meaning.” It is actually pathetic.

Our “extremely stable genius” has declared that he is “the greatest president in history.” Did you know that Trump “knows more about courts than any human being on Earth” and that he “can’t imagine the courts would allow impeachment,” which is the wrong answer on a 6th-grade Civics test. Not to worry Trump says, “I have the absolute right to pardon myself.”

Believe it or not, Trump “knows a lot about wind” and that windmills cause cancer.” How about his ludicrous golf handicap of 2.8, better than Jack Nicklaus’ 3.4 handicap. Why he lies about his father being born in Germany is bizarre. My favorite is when he told a crowd in Nashville that people told him he looked like Elvis in his youth. Trump’s ongoing embarrassment is his high turnover “smooth running machine,” staff with mediocre people who flatter him on Fox News.

It is statements like those above and his ignorance of American and world history that have made our president the butt of jokes and a laughing stock around the world. His braggadocio was even laughed at during a UN speech.

I agree with Mitt Romney who said, “I am sickened at the extent and pervasiveness of dishonesty and misdirection by individuals in the highest office of the land, including the president.”

Martin Scher

(Editor’s note: Wow; President Trump has really gotten to you! As for the President’s golf handicap index versus Jack Nicklaus’s, well, let’s just say they are both probably inflated, Trump’s more than Jack’s. Nicklaus will be remembered as perhaps the greatest golfer ever, but he turns 80 years old this coming January and maintaining a 3.4 at that age is a difficult task for even the greatest ever. President Trump, on the other hand, has a propensity – I hear – to call a six-foot putt a “gimme,” and by doing so keeps his scores down along with his handicap. – J.B.)


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