Letters to the Editor

By Montecito Journal   |   January 9, 2020

Enough is Enough 

Conversation following Mt. Carmel’s school Christmas program, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Carpinteria, should have been about the adorable children and plans for the holidays. Instead, it instantly moved to concern about the near contact-high adults and children alike were experiencing that night in the Church. The odor of cannabis in the parking lot between St. Joseph’s School and the Church was even more overwhelming.

Those of us living in Montecito have largely been spared the reality of the impact of cannabis production in Carpinteria. Obligated to breathe the air, however, it becomes clear just how seriously the growing of marijuana compromises the quality of life for those living in Carpinteria.

Experiencing the heavy odor of pot on the campus of St. Joseph’s School, first hand, was a powerful wake-up call. The shared shock and dismay of many attending the event quickly turned to politics. It rapidly became the consensus that, given her willingness to resist the influence of cannabis industry-related campaign funding, we would be working for the election of Laura Capps. The residents of Carpinteria, especially the children, require Laura’s good judgment and protection.

D.C. McGuire


Lutah’s Success

Santa Barbara residents were probably not surprised at Ms. Riggs’ successful career in architecture. While she was still in Indianapolis, Indiana, she had won a contest by selling newspaper subscriptions, and was sent to Washington, D.C. to watch the inauguration of President Woodrow Wilson. 

Here in Santa Barbara, she earned a four-year scholarship to UC Berkeley by selling subscriptions to the Daily News & Independent in August 1917. 

She told the paper, “Drawing has always appealed to me … and I am ambitious to complete a college course in architecture … The part I took in the contest has been invaluable to me in many ways … not the least of which has been the development of self-reliance which each day’s work has strengthened.” (Daily News & Independent, August 13, 1917)

Betsy J. Green

Santa Barbara

Loving Lynda

I am writing in praise of reporter Lynda Millner and her column Seen Around Town. Lynda is such a wonderful representative for the Montecito Journal at every event she attends. Always professional, with well-researched descriptions of local events and personal travels, Lynda’s columns are a pleasure to read.

Maria McCall

Montecito Bank & Trust

A Dangerous Game

Every day, there are articles and advertisements about marijuana in our local papers and magazines. The drug is being promoted for medical, recreational, and economic reasons.

However, has anyone considered the devastating affect marijuana has on teens and young adults? According to Joseph Garbely, chief medical officer for the Caron Foundation, we now see “on a regular basis young people with marijuana-induced psychosis. Ages 18-26. At Caron, the number of patients who were admitted with a primary diagnosis of cannabis use disorder increased more than 22% from 2014 to 2019. In those five years, people admitted to treatment for marijuana addiction rose from more than 27% of Caron’s total admissions to nearly 40%. Also, Independent Blue Cross has seen claims for cannabis use disorder rise between 2012 – 2018, 180%.

Including a 100% claim rise for patients 19 to 25. Is marijuana more dangerous today? “The nature of what’s being consumed has changed dramatically,” said Itai Danovitch, an American Society of Addiction Medicine fellow and psychiatry Chairman at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. The concentration is stronger and cannabis is being used in vaping. The marijuana of today is not the “reefer of the Woodstock” generation. How does the drug affect young people? Terri L. Randall, medical Director of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s Substance Use Disorder Clinic, said young patients can experience anxiety and detachment from reality from cannabis use, and the damage done to their brains is a real concern. According to the American Medical Association, there is evidence that people who start using cannabis as teenagers risk suffering from impaired memory, attention, and cognitive function that may not improve.

Citizens of Santa Barbara, it is time to get real. It is time to get informed about the dangers of cannabis to our young people. Our children are our future.

Diana Thorn


Hope is Not the Answer

What do we expect?

With our taxes, our businesses, our lives?

How do we equate what has happened to our beautiful state?

How do we understand the loss of what we grew up with and expected to always be here? How do we explain these tents on the street to our children?

We always had it here, we always had the land, the ocean, the air, the sky.

And then, what happened? Who took it away? Who said we weren’t good enough to take care of it? Who decided to give it away?

Who decided to let it fall apart, to go to ruin and decay? Who said we have to tolerate disease and decay and all the filth? 

What governor is this that lets this happen and then blames our President? Who is this crazy person that thinks he will win when he has done such harm to all of us?

These homeless and mentally ill and displaced people can be moved to safe places in the desert and then rehabilitated. This is the only way. We can’t tolerate them living on the street and creating disasters.

With compassion we can deal with them and not let them ruin us and our businesses and lives.

If we don’t deal with them and let them know they can’t just come and sit on our streets, more will come and more and more… We are seeing this now.

If the word is out maybe they will stop coming and stop ruining our state. 

Only care and moving them out will help. It is unfortunate we have let it get to this point.

We have seen the ruin of San Francisco and parts of Los Angeles. We just avoid these places and hope it stops. Hoping is not the answer.

We must save our State of California and all we know it to be.

Chris Frisina

The Case for Civics 

Do young students have a constitutional right to an adequate public education to prepare them for civic life? Such a question may be decided in a U.S. District Court which will soon be crammed with high school teenagers. The students are objecting to leaving high school without key skills and knowledge to exercise basic civic responsibilities as voting or jury duty. The question goes to the heart of the relationship between education, participatory democracy and the “distinctiveness” of the American Experiment as laid down by the Founding Fathers:

•     It acknowledged that certain individual rights are natural and self-evident.

•     It recognized human imperfection and that a tendency to abuse power is ever present in the human heart.

•     It restrained those in power through a written Constitution which carefully divided, balanced, and separated the powers of government and then intricately knitted them back together again through a system of checks and balances.

•     It left all powers with the people, except those which, by their consent, the people delegated to government – and then made provision for their withdrawing that power, if it was abused.

Civic classes in high school are almost non-existent, some may be offered at some schools as advanced classes but “Civic Education” is not currently required. An important corollary to civic education is the ability to distinguish between fact and opinion in complex texts, and to be taught English well enough to qualify to serve on a jury. Few public schools offer related activities like debates, student newspapers w/ editorials and opinion sections that are the training grounds for civic life. Such activities are often seen at wealthy school districts but seldom at public. Public schools need to provide an equitable experience where kids get what they need, namely, to know how to participate in a democracy.

If these public-school kids win the lawsuit, it will give all youth in the U.S a federal constitutional right to instruction in theoretical, political and practical aspects of citizenship.

But should not this be done in our schools anyway without making a Federal case out of it?

John Burk

Santa Barbara

Hard to Explain 

“Peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations-entangling alliances with none.” Thomas Jefferson.

Why does the U.S. have a military presence in Iraq and Kenya where Americans were recently killed? Why does the U.S. have troops at risk in 150 other countries around the world? “Peacekeeping,” you say; I ask where is the peace? “National defense,” you say; I ask why not at home?

Fellow American, how would you like another country having a military presence in the U.S.?

Steve King



You might also be interested in...