Letters to the Editor

By Montecito Journal   |   December 19, 2019

A Campaign Query

Why have so many of us suddenly and recently received political campaign solicitations from Das Williams, when we haven’t heard from him in years? And why are people who didn’t sign up to get official County updates from him now suddenly receiving them? Is he co-mingling his official e-mail lists with his campaign?

If yes, this is at the very least a poor use of judgement, and at the worst, a clear violation of federal and state election laws. This is a pattern of behavior from Mr. Williams on many issues, large and small, and needs to be carefully considered by his fellow Supervisors and us voters. Especially at a time where ethics in government, and trust in our elected officials to know the difference between right and wrong, is so paramount.

We have a rare and important opportunity in this rapidly approaching March 3 election for the critical job of Supervisor of our 1st District, and a choice to vote for competence, integrity, vision and good governance to guide our local issues in the coming years.

Yes, I am for Laura Capps, and I am also raising awareness that we have a chance to focus on the fundamentals of this important choice of before us. Thank you to the Montecito Journal for hosting a debate on January 27th at Hahn Hall, on all of our community’s issues, so we can carefully tune in to our vote in local leadership.

Alixe Mattingly

Support Your Local Talent

Hello Gwyn and Tim. Yours are two names I never thought I’d unite in a salutation, but I’m delighted to do so. Tim’s mother Helen and I have been in a Book Club together for almost 20 years, and – in spite of our widely differing political outlooks – we have become warm friends, and those differences have made for some very lively, interesting discussions. So congratulations, Gwyn on your recent editorial on the Gwyn/Tim team; I wish everyone would take your sentiments to heart. And congratulations, Tim, on the most recent issue of the Montecito Journal glossy; I found it full of very interesting articles and beautifully produced. Great work!

Now, for the request: I founded Santa Barbara Revels 12 years ago, and – in spite of expanding to year-round programming with a number of other events and activities – our primary production has always been “The Christmas Revels: In Celebration of the Winter Solstice.” Each year, we mark this seasonal change by a large, ambitious fully-staged and scripted theatrical production that involves over 60 actors, singers, dancers and instrumentalists, all of them LOCAL talent. We have made a special effort to reach out to adults and children from all segments of our community, recruiting most of our Children’s Chorus from Title 1 schools and charging NO FEES to adults or children to participate (so no one is excluded due to lack of personal resources).

Santa Barbara Revels 12/21/18 The Lobero Theatre

I could go on and on, but clearly this has been a labor of love for me. I feel we’ve made an important contribution to our community in the form of preserving, promoting, and creating traditions associated with this time of year and by introducing people to a wide range of world cultures (we choose a different country and time each year in which to set our production and from which to draw the music, dance and story-telling) and to many different faiths (we draw seasonal inspiration from the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faiths as well as from pagan ritual and tradition).

When I started Revels in 2007, the holiday fare was basically The Nutcracker (in several versions), several choral concerts, or “The Christmas Revels.” Since then, there has been a plethora of Christmas offerings, some enduring and some not. This year, however, we seem to have reached a tipping point at which there is simply too much available, and it appears that ticket sales are down for many of us. Last year when Revels did an Irish-themed show at the Lobero, we were dismayed that the Lobero brought in a touring dance show called “An Irish Christmas” the week before our show. This year, not only has that Irish show returned, but the Lobero is offering two more Christmas-themed presentations. Our ticket sales for “The Christmas Revels” reflect this situation; they are considerably lower than they have ever been during the past ten years we’ve performed at the Lobero.

So, my request is for some attention to be paid to the many talented LOCAL performers who are part of the company of “The Christmas Revels.” Not only do we use exclusively local talent, but – unlike many other Santa Barbara productions – we made a commitment to pay our talent a reasonable amount (having been an actress myself, I was always aghast at how many actors were willing to work for nothing, especially since musicians never do so!). We feel that this is an important practice on the part of Revels that will allow this talent to be able to live and work in Sana Barbara. But we cannot continue to do so if we do not have robust ticket sales.

Our shows are next weekend (the 21st and 22nd) at the Lobero Theatre. However, if there is anything more you feel you can offer us – a cover photo, an editorial article about the depth and breadth of local performing artists who make their home in this area, whatever angle you feel would be of interest – we’d be enormously grateful. You’d be doing us a huge service but also would be paying well-deserved attention to local talent.

Thank you so much for letting me get this off my chest,

Susan Keller, Artistic Director
Santa Barbara Revels

Byte Me

The National “Real ID ACT” (passed on May 11, 2005) will soon become part of our daily life as California’s October 1, 2020 deadline approaches.

If you plan to fly anywhere, this NATIONAL ID CARD will be required to distinguish you from known and potential terrorists. However, if you were Timothy McVeigh (US Army vet), Christopher Dorner (LAPD officer), Steven Paddock (real estate investor, pilot and gambler), or Ian David Long (USMC veteran), you would have likely qualified for the new-and-improved Real ID Card.

The ACLU and several states have filed lawsuits regarding the constitutionality of this law, citing possible intrusions of privacy, unauthorized access of biometric/medical/personal data and risks of database compromise. Experts at Homeland Security, NSA and FBI have reassured lawmakers that the chances of unauthorized access to REAL ID data is astronomical and just as safe, as top secret computers at the Pentagon.

In 2016, Pentagon officials announced a “bug bounty” reward for anyone who could breach its computers, bragging that it could take more than 20 years. Within six hours, 18-year-old David Dworken and a handful of others had identified 200 vulnerabilities.

With the REAL ID ACT, our freedom is being digitized away, bit-by-bit-by-byte.

If you like your privacy, you can keep your privacy… probably.

Cautiously counting the bytes,

Dale Lowdermilk
Santa Barbara


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