Letters to the Editor

By Montecito Journal   |   July 11, 2019

East Valley Road to Perdition

I am astonished to be writing again about the Ennisbrook Owner’s Association and their unwillingness to fulfill their responsibilities to us as members and residents. 

Ennisbrook owns our entire road. It starts at East Valley Road, and continues past ten properties and the four Ennisbrook members are the last four properties. We are the end of the cul-de-sac. 

Their behavior after a disaster of this magnitude is disappointing and beyond hurtful. We have been dues-paying members for 23 years, building our house and moving in 20 years ago. We are the only house occupied and standing of the four houses. The others have been torn down, or will be.

When all four of these Ennisbrook houses were built, there was a brand new, lovely landscaped road, which was not damaged when they were built using the road for all construction. 

Ennisbrook has refused to repair the massive damage to our road from the mudslide. The road is dangerous to walkers and bicyclists, and beyond unsightly. The curbs and landscaping were destroyed, and there are massive potholes. They insist that “reconstruction” will damage the new road. They also insist the ten houses above the four members’ houses must contribute to its repair. Those houses have lived on this road for over 30 years, with Ennisbrook maintaining it and repairing it with no charge to their houses. They were assured when Ennisbrook was built by the developer, Jack Theimer, that this was always going to be the case.

Ennisbrook has been paid by their insurance, and by the assessments to its members for the cost to fix this road (all four of us Ennisbrook homeowners were also assessed). They continue to delay. We were promised they would begin June 19. Then it was cancelled. They refuse to give us a date, and continue to refer to the potential damage from rebuilding, and the neighbors having to pay toward the repair.

We are being held hostage, while they are trying to make the neighbors pay. None of the owners whose houses were destroyed have plans at this time to rebuild. I am sure it will be years.

We are living at the end of a dangerous and unsightly road, which was once a beautiful lane. It is sickening. The Board says it has “a fiduciary responsibility to our members not to waste money on rebuilding a road that could be damaged.”

Excuse me?

What about their responsibility to us? Members for 23 years. We are still paying dues, as are the other three members not able to live here. Their property values have been further damaged by the deplorable condition of the road.

Our enjoyment of our restored property is also negatively affected. It’s like driving through Syria to get home. I think there is no reasonable excuse for their continued treatment of us. From the first day of the disaster to now, 17 months later. It is a disgrace.

Penelope Bianchi

Yet Another Genius

On Wednesday, July 3, I was a member of a sold-out audience at the Music Academy of the West that witnessed another genius at work. The last time I wrote to the Journal was after Jerome Lowenthal‘s solo piano recital last year. I acknowledged that I was not an expert, but I thought he was a genius.

Well, now I think MAW has another genius. Judging from the fact that the audience gave Jeremy Denk a very lengthy standing ovation, many agreed with me. We were rewarded with an encore of a wonderful jazzy ragtime variation on a classical theme. He gave no attribution, but played with such joy that I felt Mr. Denk composed the variation himself.

The concert featured some of the most difficult piano pieces ever written. All played by a virtuoso in total command of his instrument and who – of equal importance – was able to bring the audience along with him on a wonderful ride.

Thanks again Mr. Denk and MAW. We are indeed fortunate to have you here.

Marv Bauer

Moody Musing

In your Issue # 25/24, there was a count of Moody cottages remaining; I wonder if the one on TV Hill in Santa Barbara was included. During the Coast Highway widening of the 1940s, my aunt and uncle, Helen and Clifford Jameson, moved a two-bedroom Moody Cottage from Posilipo Lane to their property on North Jameson Lane (a stone’s throw west of San Ysidro Road). When the highway was widened to become a freeway in the 1950s, the little house was once again in the way of expansion.

Some years ago, my aunt and uncle’s Moody cottage, now on TV Hill in Santa Barbara, was featured in an article in the News-Press. I called the owner who only knew his home had been moved from Montecito. He was pleasantly grateful to learn some history of his cottage; it had originally been on Posilipo Lane and, during the years of WWII, had been a “red light” house. There was a military camp on Fernald Point to watch for submarines and the Miramar Hotel was taken over by the military for servicemen on R and R and as a redistribution center, providing business for the Moody red light cottage.

Also, the article implied that Maureen (Mo) MacQuiddy Mason was the daughter of the Moody’s contractor Dixon Harold MacQuiddy (called DH) when she was in fact his granddaughter. Her father was Dixon Leroy MacQuiddy (called DL), a professional photographer before becoming a full-time educator. D.L. MacQuiddy taught at Harding elementary school, became principal at Garfield elementary and lastly a beloved principal at Santa Barbara Junior High.

Maureen’s mother was a widow living alone, her two daughters grown, when she died in the fire that burned the home down. The house on the property now Maureen had built, by a talented contractor, in a style resembling the Moody cottages.

A little known fact; in the 1930s Mildred Moody was considering buying the Miramar Hotel when it was owned by the bank due to the Doultons’ bankruptcy. She took her trusted contractor, Dixon H. MacQuiddy, to look the grounds and cottages over. He suggested having the roofs all blue to attract the attention of motorists traveling on the highway. An agent for Paul Gawzner, who eventually bought the hotel, overheard the conversation and passed the information to Paul. Hence, the Miramar’s famous “blue roofs.”

Judy Pearce

P.S. The name is MacQuiddy, not McQuiddy as in the article. Dixon L. MacQuiddy’s daughter Kathy MacQuiddy Gailbraith gave me this information.

J’Amy’s Back!

In her first “Just ask J’Amy” article (MJ # 25/23), the question was asked: “Who is responsible for clean up of the boat and boat engine that’s been on the beach since the first of the year?”

That question got the process rolling. Kadie McShirley from the First District Supervisor’s Office went to work and organized a great “A TEAM” from Parks & Recreation. That team hit the sand like Super Heroes with a well-organized plan, equipment, and can-do attitude. They completed the job in half of a day (June 17). Well done, guys.

A big “Thank You” to the Montecito Journal, J’Amy Brown, Parks & Recreation, Kadie McShirley, and 1st District Supervisor’s Office. 

Enjoy your beach.

C. L. Buergey

“Free” Not Reasonable

It was difficult listening to 20 bellyaching presidential hopefuls in the recent Democratic debates. Nary a one stressed the qualities that have made the USA the greatest and most successful country in the world: individual hard work and personal effort to achieve success, along with collective efforts to assist others in need, both internally and abroad.

I have personally grown tired of the mantra that we are all victims of capitalistic greed. I have yet to hear anything close to a reasonable explanation of how all the “free stuff” the debaters offered (medical care, education, guaranteed salary, elimination of debt, healthcare for illegal immigrants, reparations) would be financed. Higher taxes on the individual rich and successful corporations wouldn’t come close to covering the costs. Specifically, I’d like to have Bernie Sanders explain why single payer health care was a total failure in Vermont, his home state.

I encourage good folks to do individual research. One can easily determine that Elizabeth Warren’s 2% wealth tax wouldn’t come close to covering her gift programs and Medicare-for-all would be a national health care disaster. At least Kamala Harris backed off her ridiculous support for elimination of private health insurance.

I’m conservative. I was hoping that at least one of the 20 Democratic debaters would have had the guts to argue that common sense needs to prevail and that “free everything” is not reasonable. Maryland representative John Delany (on the far right during Debate #1) came close to doing so. In my opinion, he was, by far, the least ridiculous in the group of 20. I don’t know much about Delany, but I hope to hear more from him.

A bit of levity: Regardless of political party I will consider voting for a candidate who will put an end to robocalls.

Sanderson M. Smith, Ed.D.

No More News at the Y

I am a long-term member of the Montecito YMCA. I enjoy going there, the people I meet there and the staff. However, this took an abrupt change this past week. While I and others were working out in the gym, the staff came in and said that we no longer could watch major news channels, e.g., CNN, Fox, etc. (they were blocking them).

We asked why. We were told that there were ‘some’ folks were being discourteous and arguing about which TV cable news station to watch. So, because of a small number of impolite folks, the majority of the well-mannered Y members can no longer watch the news while working out. I spoke with the Executive Director about this. I opined that he/they were catering to a minority and the majority was paying the price. I also pointed out that he, as Director, should just approach these ‘trouble makers’ and inform them that this is their first and last warning. If they continue this impolite and disruptive behavior they would no longer be allowed to utilize the YMCA.

He disagreed. So it seems that being politically correct and catering to the few, the majority must suffer. While I’m sure this sounds like sour grapes to some, it is a source of catching up on the news while working out prior to going to work or whatever is on our agenda for that day. Finally, none of us who use the Y were asked our opinion on this new decision. I’m not asking for a ‘vote’ by the members, but I am asking that common sense be used and that the majority of well-mannered Y attendees not be forced to suffer for the actions of a few.

Ed Dewey

Flying the Flag

I know this was the biggest flag on Coast Village Road!

Lee Artman

Lee Artman’s U.S. flag festoons the outside of his Coast Village Road apartment

Time to Clean House

Anyone who can actually compare the situation we have at the border with the following has really gone off the rails of logic and reality. Shame! And shame on the complicit politicians like Schumer, Pelosi, AOC, and nearly all the Democratic presidential front runners who voted not once, but twice, to withhold humanitarian aid for the border, claiming it was a ‘made up’ crisis. It became a crisis to them when it was politically useful. Their open border policy, and refusal to change it, brought this whole mess upon us. It could be fixed in about two hours. Time to clean house and get rid of all of them. I now refer to most of them as ‘political whores.’

Have a great day living in the best country in the history of mankind. For those who don’t like it, get out … and don’t let the door hit you in the behind on the way out. I suggest you try Afghanistan, or maybe Syria, or better yet Bernie’s and AOC’s panacea: the Socialist Republic of Venezuela … but be sure to take plenty of toilet paper, as they have none. Perhaps North Korea would welcome you. There is an endless list of options.

Ray Winn

The Mural Project

The Funk Zone Mural on the side of the building at 22 Anacapa Street represents Santa Barbara’s rich legacy and contribution to the History of flight. I chose to paint the famed Santa Barbara Pilot, Earle Ovington, flying in his open cockpit monoplane over Santa Barbara in the early 1920s. Some of the feats of Earle Ovington included being the first pilot to fly the mail out to the Channel Islands. Around this time and just down the street, Lockheed Aircraft built and flew their seaplanes from Cabrillo Beach, and soon became an aviation powerhouse.

To construct my mural, I consulted with Historian Michael Redmond of the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. He provided me with an aerial photograph of the Funk Zone area of Santa Barbara (Circa 1920s). The reference photograph I used shows both the building where the mural is to be unveiled, as well as the original version of Stearns Wharf, before the Breakwater was built. It was the roaring ’20s and the height of Santa Barbara’s golden age of art, hosting a population of just over 20,000.

I created an idealized interpretative rendition and chose colors closely related to and inspired by an early Art Deco Style travel poster, framing it in a graphic “citrus label,” typical from this time period. One often saw graphic images gracing the sides of the warehouses of the day. Today, this historical type of imagery is more prevalent in neighboring cities of Santa Paula and Lompoc. 

I hope my mural will spark the imagination, and inspire nostalgic interest in the legacy of Santa Barbara’s golden age, and its contribution to aviation history. My hope is that visitors who park in the parking lot will be drawn into the adjacent alleyway to view the other murals along the former warehouse, and lead them into the heart of the Funk Zone.

Thomas Van Stein, M.A. in Art
Adjunct Professor
SBCC Continuing Education

This mural, done in a 1920’s “lemon-packing label style” of early flight pioneer Earle Ovington in his plane over Santa Barbara will soon emblazon the building at 22 Anacapa Street
Earle Ovington (far left) was the first to fly mail out to the farms and ranches on the Channel Islands

Epstein and Clinton Together Again

Donald Trump has never been on one of Jeffrey Epstein’s private jets headed for an exotic location with a planeload of liquor and young women (some reportedly very young) onboard. But, former president Bill Clinton has. Yet, the mainstream media can dredge up a 19.5-year-old photo taken at Trump’s Mar-A-Lago Resort in Florida, with Epstein and Trump’s future wife (First Lady) Melania, plus a British socialite.

The mainstream media then claims to associate a quote from Trump with this photo, which states that Epstein loves women as much as he (Trump) does, and, “I’ve heard he (Epstein) likes them on the young side.” This may, or may not, be true, but it should be noted that Donald Trump was unmarried at the time the quote was attributed to him, and Trump has probably hosted thousands of A-tier celebrities and lounge lizards at his famous, and in-demand, soirees.

What the mainstream media can’t do is paint a picture of Trump and Epstein doing anything together, apart from the obligatory poses for paparazzi on hire to Page Six. However, with a little legwork, what the mainstream media could do is establish a link between Bill Clinton and Jeffrey Epstein on flights to overseas Clinton Foundation gigs, and a follow-the-paper-trail investigation tying Epstein to both legal and under-the-table contributions to a corrupt Clinton Foundation, where by the foundation’s own admission doesn’t distribute more than 5% or 8% of its donations to charitable events, functions, enterprises.

The Clinton Foundation is nothing more than a slush fund to keep Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea living the high-life on someone else’s dime. Indicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein is heavily entwined in the affairs of the Clinton Empire, yet, the mainstream media distracts the public with a two-decades-old party-hearty paparazzi photo of Trump and Epstein, and a supposed quote Trump made about Epstein at the time of the photo (while he was between marriages).

This is another glaring example as to why the public doesn’t trust the mainstream media to give a paying public its money’s worth when it comes to covering public affairs in an increasingly politicized culture. The first question the mainstream media asks in the opening moments of any “breaking story” is “What effect will the facts of this story have on the fortunes of Democrat and leftist politics?” The next question they pose to themselves is “How can we link this story in a damaging way to Donald Trump, or Republican interests?”

This is all the mainstream media amounts to in 2019, and it is really sad.

David S. McCalmont
Santa Barbara


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