Letters to the Editor

By Montecito Journal   |   October 1, 2019

Sue Happy Supervisors

The old saying, “What goes around, comes around,” should be the new County motto! That is, our County Board of Supervisors (BOS) has done virtually nothing to prevent forest fires by way of reducing fuel loads or creating adequate buffers between the urban and wildland interface. Moreover, they have not maximized the ability of our streams, creeks and culverts to convey storm flows. Neither have they built large enough basins to capture debris flows. Nevertheless, the county has jumped on the bandwagon to sue utilities for their culpability as it pertains to wildfires and the debris flow.

Adding insult to injury, the supervisors and other local entities, including the cities of Goleta and Santa Barbara, have helped put our state utilities in a bind financially by destroying their franchise model and vertical integration as it pertains to power generation and delivery services. This has resulted in a new business model whereby our state’s major utilities will no longer be power generators as much as they will simply deliver power.

Why? Well, because utilities have determined they have no choice but to shut off power when red flag conditions manifest, as the State of California doesn’t allow clear cutting vegetation that can trigger a fire when it comes into contact with power lines. This has left our communities and our residents vulnerable to hardship and potentially deadly situations.

In light of all of the above, what do County Supervisors Joan Hartman, Greg Hart and Das Williams do? They lawyer up! The following two paragraphs, which were part of the Supervisors’ agenda on October 15, are direct quotes pertaining to the untenable position the county board of supervisors find themselves in:

“The Board of Supervisors received presentations from County staff, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), and Southern California Edison (SCE) regarding electric power line de-energization events, also referred to as “Public Safety Power Shutoffs.” The Board expressed concerns about PG&E and SCE meeting their responsibilities for adequate notifications and mitigation measures during electric power line de-energization events as they plan to seek regulations to deal with the same.

“The Board also executed subsequent agreements for professional services between the County of Santa Barbara and the Meyers/Nave law firm for up to $1.5 million. “The primary purpose of the contract is for Meyers/Nave to provide needed legal advice and representation in defending against tort and real property claims and litigation arising from the Thomas Fire and resulting debris flow. A major part of that litigation is an attempt by Southern California Edison to shift billions of dollars of SCE’s potential liability to the County, the Flood Control, Water Conservation District, and other public entities.”

What does all this mean? The county wants to “hold the utilities accountable” – by way of lawsuits and regulations – when they keep the power on… and when they turn the power off. Meanwhile, these politicians are doing everything within their power to escape their own culpability and liability arising from fires, debris flows, and the subsequent power shutoff scenarios.

Meanwhile, on the same October 15 agenda, Supervisor Hartman proposed a resolution to ensure oil operations cannot be initiated in the Los Padres Forest. Yet, if such operations were to occur, it would necessitate the construction of roads that serve as fuel breaks and access for firefighters into the forest.

While the three South County supervisors were pontificating against the use of petroleum products in their echo chamber, outside on the asphalt (asphalt is made from oil, you know) parking lot, county employees were participating in a health benefits fair, which included munchies and massages. Ironically, a gasoline generator that was belching out fumes galore powered the health fair.

Andy Caldwell
Santa Maria

Butterfly Beach Business

Recently, I was lying on the beach in front of the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort and two people came down the stairs with two dogs. As soon as the smaller dog got down onto the sand, it defecated about four feet from where I was laying and a little girl was just two feet from it, making sand castles. I was so grossed out and repulsed and after the woman smeared the dog crap into the sand, left the green plastic bag on the beach until I said something to her about leaving it behind. 

As they walked south on the stretch of sand I noticed the other dog they had with them urinating and then the man left it off the leash. That ruined it for me. As I was leaving, I noticed about five other people with several dogs on Butterfly Road heading toward the beach. I vowed never to go to this contaminated dog cesspool ever again, and right in front of a high-end hotel.

I know a doctor in town that openly admits that he walks his dog daily by East Beach and allows it to defecate in a bush and just leaves it there, for years!! I’m sure he is not the only one. 

The horrible fact is that there is not one beach in Santa Barbara that is not contaminated with dogs. Even though there is a designated dog beach, “Hendry’s,” is not good enough for dog owners that have no respect for the law, the wildlife or other people that want a clean, healthy beach to relax peacefully, listening to the waves and not barking dogs. 

Why is the City of Santa Barbara (and the County) refusing to enforce the laws regarding dogs on the beaches? I called animal control a couple times and the officer tells me, “It is frustrating” that people are breaking the laws, but they do nothing about it. I suggested that the city have officers like the parking police that would patrol the beaches where the signs are posted “No Dogs Permitted”. They would be able to fine for dogs off the leash in addition to being on restricted, protected areas. He used city budget as an excuse. I told him they would make a fortune for the city while protecting the environment!

The LA Times published an article on just how toxic dogs are to the environment that also explained fecal matter. Something needs to be done to stop people from freely breaking the law and turning Santa Barbara beaches into dog cesspools that end up in the ocean causing more bacteria levels to rise. They are also transporting ticks onto the sand that cause lime disease. I’m sure scientists and environmentalists would back me on this. Please come forward.

Danielle Loveall
Santa Barbara

Bill ‘Em and Kill ‘Em

California’s War on Prosperity includes: outrageous gas prices, petroleum prohibition, no new oil refineries, no new water storage for agriculture and citizens, 13% State income tax, State-wide rent control, over-taxing costs burdening building housing, fast-growing homeless, diseases from human fecal matter and needles left on sidewalks and in parks, gainfully employed taxpayers and businesses exiting the State in alarming numbers, welfare recipients welcomed, illegal immigration and laws not enforced, police sanctuary zones, viable independent contractor businesses outlawed, broke public utility power shut-offs, Government salaries and pensions out of control – both unsustainable (Santa Barbara Sups just voted salary increase), over-priced healthcare, over-taxed education with low scoring results, etc., etc., etc.

The musical chairs strategies of the elected are the “generals” in charge that created and perpetuate California’s “War on Prosperity.” Other states are governed better and encourage freedom and prosperity; their populations are living successfully. Is this a war we want to lose? Join the resistance and unite, pick a battle and fight back against California’s War on Prosperity.

Michael C. Schaumburg
Santa Barbara

Feed ’em and Fete ’em

What to do with the Montecito Inn restaurant location? Invite “Jane” to come back, both bar and restaurant. Enough of the “discreet charm of the bourgeoisie” eateries. Take note of the Honor Bar. Bet they could open a second one with a different menu and be successful if the Jane family isn’t interested. Also, I think Kaiser Grill would be a hit. My two bits.

Steve Ruggles

(Editor’s note: Or, how about recreating a bistro-style eatery like Café Au Lait (Full Disclosure: That was my family’s restaurant and, no, we’re not up to it, but we’d donate the recipes) – J.B.)

Travel With Class…

Andrea Newquist on her way to the East Coast with husband Dana remembers to bring her Montecito bible…

Fly Me To the Moon

Let me play among the stars…

But how to get there in the next years will bring controversy.

We will not achieve a future without fuel to get us there.

We will not fly unless we sprout wings if we cannot have fossil fuel. We are not even close to some form of transportation that needs only solar or wind. 

We cannot ride a bike or walk to the moon.

Some ideas are just absurd, that we should go back to walking, riding bikes or some train that can’t be built. Ideas to nowhere abound.

Roads exist for cars and trucks and busses and will for a long time. We can’t just stop fixing them and hope people stop driving. 

More advanced cars still need fuel and most of us drive cars that need gas. We’ve come so far so fast with gas and oil. We still have lots of it.

Time will send us into a future with new technologies and ways to get where we want to go, but we won’t walk to the future as our governor has suggested.

If these officials had to walk or ride a bike for even just a week they might rethink, but we know that won’t happen. They have needs that “we” don’t.

All those attending the climate conference flew in private planes on their private agendas and cared not how much fuel they used. 

They would have us walk, while they fly.

We have words like light-speed, ultrasonic, and supersonic now engrained in our brains. 

Faster, faster, faster. That is the future; to fly faster, to drive faster.

To the Moon Alice…

Chris Frisina

Let’s Make A Change

I am voting for Andy Caldwell because as a conservative Californian I am tired of “Taxation without Representation”. I want my Congressman to represent the principles upon which the country was founded, not a socialist agenda. 

I am voting for Andy Caldwell because Salud Carbajal has proven to me he is a socialist, who believes the government should control every aspect of our lives. He took an Oath of Office to support our Constitution and our current immigration laws, instead he supports illegal Immigration and open borders. Illegal Immigration is unfair to those who are trying to enter the country legally.

America is a nation of laws; our elected representatives must support our current immigration laws. We need to control our borders; a nation without borders loses its sovereignty. If Congressman Carbajal disagrees with our current Immigration Laws he needs to work to change the laws in Congress, not just ignore them. That’s his job as a Congressman.

Salud supports government control of our healthcare system. Government control of healthcare always results in higher costs, higher premiums, higher deductibles, longer wait times, and ultimately the rationing of healthcare treatment. Government controlled healthcare has the efficiency of the DMV, and the compassion of the IRS. Andy Caldwell supports healthcare decisions being made between individuals, families, and their doctors.

I am voting for Andy Caldwell because I believe in a smaller, limited Constitutional government, control of government spending, and a free market economy. Free market economies have raised the standard of living across the globe.

I am voting for Andy Caldwell because I love America as she was founded.

John Texeira 
Paso Robles

Heads Will Roll

Media cannot guide and control this Justice Department investigation. Trump’s Deep State enemies will go to jail and The Donald will coast to reelection in 2020. As a corollary to this, Republicans may control all branches of constitutional government in January 2021.

These dirty Deep State people, caught with their pants down around their ankles, truly are “Scumbags”. To paraphrase AC/DC: Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap are worthy of public shame, humiliation and jail time.

The outright damage these people have needlessly inflicted on America’s free institutions is incalculable.

If Hollywood actresses can get jail time for buying matriculation rights for their daughters at U.S.C, scumbags who were willing to scam, game and trash our democratic systems for personal pleasure and profit should spend at least a decade in the slammer.

See ya, guys. Wouldn’t want to be ya.

David S. McCalmont
Santa Barbara


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