When I made the decision to create the consortium to purchase this newspaper I did so with one primary goal: to create a forum for our community to talk with and to each other, not at each other. Nor to avoid each other. From where I sat, there was a vast diversity of political and social perspectives in our tiny town, and they were not all feeling represented, or more importantly, heard. I hurt for our country right now. I see a dire need for healthy, vital discourse and basic civility. As I see it, the true danger we face as a nation, indeed as a civilization, lies not in our heated arguments, but in our not talking.
This week we have two guest editorials by individuals with very different perspectives and world views. Both stepped up to support my vision for an inclusive community newspaper. Both are my friends. One, David Rintels, though currently residing in Martha’s Vineyard because he lost his home in the 2018 debris flow, is a long-time Montecito resident, a political and social activist, a life-long writer of television, movies and plays (and jokes that always make me laugh). The other, Jim Buckley, is the former owner (and founder) of this paper, and someone with whom I have enjoyed many cups of coffee at the former Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Jim is also someone with whom I agree on almost nothing – including the color of the sky. He’d go for Coffee Bean; I’d go for Tea Leaf. Though I do believe he fathered a wonderful son, who is my partner in this venture and with whom I also often disagree on matters political.
My hope is that regardless of your political proclivities you will take the time to read both of these pieces, even if it means sitting on your hands to do so – something I had to do while reading one of these pieces. See if you can figure out which one. And, whatever your perspective, please know that we welcome you to add your voice to the mix. Montecito and the pages of its local paper want to be as safe for your opinions as they are for mine.