Letters to the Editor

By Montecito Journal   |   September 10, 2020

Has Summerland ‘Spoken’?

The front-page “hook” for the Summerland cannabis dispensary article repeats a statement from a Summerland Citizens Association email regarding the survey results (which I reject outright). While eye catching, it is not a fair presentation of the facts and could lead a reader to infer that Summerland has “spoken” (another exaggerated claim by those who conducted the survey). There are several problems with their claims.

The first is the statement that 97 percent of the business owners in Summerland don’t support a cannabis dispensary in Summerland. How do we know how the survey was conducted and by who? Was there undue influence? I suspect that business owners would prefer to avoid taking any controversial stances and remain in good favor with all Summerland residents particularly those residents who are influential and active in Summerland affairs. Frankly, I don’t care much about what Summerland business owners think about a cannabis dispensary. Were they surveyed for the Rusty’s Pizza location or the Summerland Winery tasting room? What about Red Kettle? If a future wine tasting room were to be proposed, would all the businesses be surveyed as to allow it or not? I am a strong supporter of reasonable government regulation but to conduct business development in this manner is absurd.

Secondly, with only 25 percent of the residents responding, I don’t think (without further statistical analysis) that entire community has “spoken.” There could be many contributing factors that affected who chose or was willing or available to respond to the survey. In my mind those who conducted the survey had an agenda and were looking for a way to bolster their position at the expense of a true community response.

While I am not a customer of cannabis shops nor do I smoke it, I have visited several. If done properly and responsibly, they are very innocuous and low key. In fact, two I visited in Aspen and Telluride had a very exclusive air about them and the interiors were more akin to a fine jewelry or clothing store than a seedy “drug outlet.” The implication that a cannabis outlet will have an outsize influence on the commercial areas of Summerland is patently false if strict guidelines and regulations are in place. Parking and traffic will not suddenly become a nightmare because of one (hopefully successful) new business in town. We need more businesses in Summerland! And, additional commercial activity will help everyone, despite the dire statements made in the survey. And fear not, the moral integrity and spiritual purity of Summerland will not be the least affected by a single responsibly run cannabis store.

Regards to you,

James T. McClintock Jr.

More Blackouts

We seem to be able to land men on the moon but are unable to deliver electricity consistently. Our neighborhood in Montecito experienced a blackout on Sunday for about ten hours, compliments of Southern California Edison. If we dig deeper as to why these blackouts are occurring all over Southern California, we may find a probable cause. The emphasis on very expensive windmills and solar systems, prompted by our Governor and legislators, may be the reason. And what will be next to make our life miserable?

Frank McGinity

The Dangers of Eucalyptus

Yet another eucalyptus branch down. Different tree, same street. This one missed us and other tourists by seconds.

Jane Walker Wood Orfalea

All Candidates Welcome

The Coalition for Neighborhood Schools will host a forum for Santa Barbara Board of Education candidates on Thursday, September 17, from 7 pm to 8:30 pm via Zoom. All candidates have been invited. The forum will be moderated by former School Board Member Lanny Ebenstein.

The Coalition for Neighborhood Schools has been active for 20 years and focuses on creating broad-based support for neighborhood elementary and secondary school improvement. Questions we will ask candidates include: 1) Do they believe every elementary student should be able to walk to school; 2) Would they support consideration of moving the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s administrative offices and maintenance facility from their current location to allow another downtown elementary school; 3) What models of language instruction do the candidates favor; and 4) How can art and music instruction be expanded for all students and be enhanced in the junior high and high schools. There will also be questions from the floor.

All community members, parents, and teachers are invited to attend and participate. To receive a Zoom link, please email: cns4schools@aol.com and put “RSVP to Candidates’ Forum” in the subject line.

Laura Wilson, President
Coalition for Neighborhood Schools

Regulations Needed

I rent a condo at the polo fields in Carpinteria. I am sending this email in an effort to raise awareness and ask for help. The condos have always been a peaceful place to live until recently when a large unknown entity purchased the property directly across the street for over $6 million. This was surprising as the asking price was around $3 million. The intention of this entity was and is to put in an 80,000-square-foot marijuana growing operation. As a California resident I voted to legalize marijuana but never thought in doing so that the regulations around growing it would become so loose and unchecked that a facility of this size could be approved across the street of a high-density residential neighborhood. There are families, small children, and elderly, some with health issues, forced to live within a few hundred feet of this operation. At first we received notices that county planning and building were considering an approval. In response I voiced my opposition. I attended a meeting at the polo fields by Das Williams our [First District County] representative. He spoke as though this was a good thing – that greenhouses today could contain the odor and that we had nothing to worry about. This is absolutely not true. Over the last few weeks the smell coming from across the street has been overwhelming. It is so strong that it makes you want to leave the area just so you can find clean air to breathe. He also said that it would not affect real estate prices. This is also not true. Who would intentionally choose to live across the street from an 80,000-square-foot marijuana grower? This might be why six condos have been on the market here and are not selling even though the real estate market in our area is currently exploding for homes under $1 million. I have spoken with the owner of the condo I live in and told him he should seek legal counsel for financial damages. I myself am currently looking for a new place to live because of what is going on.

I am asking you as representatives, journalists, and law enforcement to please investigate this operation. This is not a local farmer trying to make a living. This is big cannabis with a lot of money and powerful friends. I ask you please create regulations that protect our neighborhoods and oppose facilities like this that violate our rights as citizens. I should be able to breathe clean air, and be at peace knowing that our representatives are looking after our community.

Best Regards

John Phillipes


What a childish but typically Trumpian retort Lorraine Morey gave in her letter to me: name-calling. A poor thinker’s ploy for distracting, for disengaging.

In lieu of logic or intelligent debating, Ms. Morey does what The Don, The Man, The Hair (well, one name-calling deserves another) resorts to, when a press reporter asks a valid question he can’t answer: Trump calls him/her rude for asking, and he never answers the difficult question.

Copying Trump’s modus operandi does not make you believable or endearing, Ms. Morey.

You gratuitously reveal you are over 80 years old.

Unfortunately, wisdom does not always come with age. Take heart: there are remedies.

Attacking my letter for its “rude news” without explaining why or what is rude about what my letter does – it states facts, after all – reveals your incapacity for a logical debate. And your insistence on equating misogynists with Democrats is ridiculous. I never said Trump abused women because he was a Republican. In fact, he did the same when he was a Democrat. If he becomes the dictator he wants to be, I have no doubt he will continue being misogynistic.

Do not attribute a political bias to me, Ma’am. Look to yourself.

It is you in your letter who insists that “…80 percent of the male movie industry have used women …in a horrible degrading way “and you continue, “…most of Hollywood entertainment industry are Democrats.” Maybe those are facts. So what?

Why are you focusing on political parties? That is not what my letter is about.

Nowhere did I suggest Republicans are more prone towards abusing women than Democrats or independents. I have no idea what Jeffrey Epstein’s political views were.

It seems it is you who is reporting the “rude news.” But I don’t mind. I like facts, “rude news“ or not. I don’t think you read my letter, however.

I question you on that score, and let me tell you why: you claim, I quote, “Ms. Freeman was quick to blame Republican men for sexual bad behavior.” Really? I have my letter in front of me. My copy does not mention “Republican men.”

What it does do is refute two statements made by James (G-R) Buckley; namely:

1. Buckley claimed Trump is not a misogynist, and cites as evidence that “Trump dated a number of beautiful women.” What a shamefully inadequate explanation for a widely accepted fact.

2. Buckley additionally claimed Trump is not a racist because he belongs to Abraham Lincoln’s Republican party, which freed the slaves during the Civil War. Ipso facto, that makes him not a racist? How about when Trump was a Democrat: was he a racist then?

What rubbish! It is ridiculous of you to try to make an equation between sexual behavior and political party affiliations.

Do not attribute to me what is non-critical thinking on your part.

You self proclaim you are “…cheerful, helping others…” It is not helpful to anyone to completely and willfully misconstrue my letter because, it seems, you want to announce that you are a “Conservative Republican” and “love God.”

That sounds like a triple whammy to me.

It must be hard to deal with the inherent contradictions.

I don’t know who your god is, but my simple understanding of gods is that they do not indulge in name-calling, do not intentionally misunderstand good honest English statements as an excuse for blowing off political steam, do not brag about being loving, and gods definitely proclaim it is a sin to tell a lie.

How do Trump’s prevarications sit with you? Or are you going to point to the Democrats’ lies as vindication for Trump’s? I repeat, a poor tactic.

Regarding the remedy for acquiring critical thinking: there are more wise, educated men and women than ever before examining the deplorable state of our beloved democracy. Good books telling truths are everywhere. Our universities are full of political and other academics willing, rightfully, to call out the dismal failings of this administration, with tangible evidence, including the voice of the master himself announcing his labels of “suckers and losers,” names he attributes to American soldiers who have died or lost limbs when fighting for this country.

What is wrong with you?

Facts are “rude news,” you say: Well, here are a few bits of rude news: the Earth is round; two and two are four; the sun is shining today; Trump is a misogynist and a racist.

I ask again: what is rude about stating those facts?

And regarding anger: why are you not angry about the state of our democracy, about all the Americans who have died of COVID? This president is not responsible for the virus’ arrival, but the general consensus is he did not act like the leader he brags he is, by not helping to stem the 185,000 deaths.

Why aren’t you angry that children are being kept in cages, from their parents?

Why aren’t you angry about the swamp he created in the White House; seven or more of his swampees have been indicted. Unprecedented!

There is so much more to be angry about. Something is wrong if you aren’t.

Anger used well is good.

Anger is my least revenge, reaction, when someone has a knee on my neck.

Cheerful is good when you’re at a yard sale, or walking your dog.

Maybe you could stop being cheerful long enough to recite, “I love my democratic country and all it stands for, for liberty and justice for all,” and while you’re at it, “All men are created equal; no man is above the law.”

As to my having what you call a “political bias towards Republican men,” you’re wrong again. I admire honest Republicans, like Mr. Mitt Romney who was our Massachusetts governor, or Mr. John Kasich, for his bravery in speaking truth. John McCain.

There are too many good intelligent Republican men to name here, men who have spoken out, written books, told the truth about the reality of this administration.

Nancy Freeman

Oh Beautiful

Ann Wilder’s letter to the editor in the September 3/10 edition said it all! She took the words right out of my mouth and let’s all long-time Montecitans try to keep/restore ‘Montecito Beautiful’!

Jean von Wittenburg

Room for Improvement

Students from Cold Spring and Montecito Union join Santa Barbara Unified for grades 7th to 12th: alumni of Santa Barbara Unified’s under-performing elementary schools. Every Montecito voter decides who leads SB Unified and public school students stuck with the inferior results!

Our secondary schools and community are as good as every local elementary school.

Quality varies from the best with 98 percent student proficiency to the worst at 13 percent proficiency. Low performing schools costing taxpayers way too much in administrative costs have not improved during my 40 years here as an active citizen advocate for accessible, high quality instruction in every neighborhood public school. I live .7 miles between our community’s best – Cold Spring School – and our worst, Cleveland Elementary. In California, there are 5,887 elementary school facilities serving almost 3 million students.

What’s wrong? Bad leadership! Taxpayer complacency. Absent parents. Neighborhood detachment.

Voter awareness of candidate forums is essential to meet the present and future needs of local students for accessible elementary school facilities providing quality instruction to prepare every child for high school, lifelong learning and civic participation.

The Coalition for Neighborhood Schools is hosting a Candidates’ Forum for the SBUSD on Thursday, September 17, at 7 pm on Zoom.

Please RSVP and submit your questions to candidates by email to cns4schools@aol.com to receive the Zoom link. In the subject line, kindly put “RSVP to Forum.”

Denice Spangler Adams
40-year resident, Parent

Is Skin Cancer a Bigger Threat Than Coronavirus?

The COVID-19 pandemic is a petty nuisance compared to the approaching skin cancer catastrophe.

According to February 2020 updates at IBISWorld.com, there are only 5,360 dermatologists in the US who share a combined annual caseload of 196,000 new cancer patients. (See https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/number-of-businesses/dermatologists-united-states/)

Every practicing dermatologist in the United States agrees that unprotected exposure to the sun increases your chances of both basal and squamous cell skin carcinomas. Although most cases are curable if caught early, the medical costs, both public and private, will, with global warming, be a disaster. (See https://www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/skin-cancer-facts)

Farmers, fishermen and golfers are less inclined to apply sunscreen because it makes hands slippery and is often viewed as “unmasculine.” Most men, and those who identify as male, consider slathering on skin protection a sign of weakness. These “cancer-deniers” need to be re-educated, surgically (or chemically) feminized and harshly regulated to correct their medical illiteracy.

According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) the annual cost of treating skin cancers in the U.S. is estimated at $1.8 billion for nonmelanoma and $3.8 billion for melanoma skin cancers. Once diagnosed with a malignancy these “tough guys” could become a huge financial burden to the healthcare system, similar to the way motorcyclists and outlaw bikers (who refuse to wear helmets) end up on life-support, at taxpayer expense.

For societal and financial reasons, reckless millstone-individuals should not be allowed to engage in high-risk sports or sun exposure that will turn them into the fried albatross around the neck (or wallet) of taxpayers. Helmet-less motorcycling and unprotected sun exposure (or sex) are dangerous undertakings.

Other activities worthy of sunscreen and helmets include; mountain climbing, daredevil stunts, tightrope walking, auto racing and especially the blood sports (boxing, rugby, bull fighting, divorce, street luge, hunting), skateboarding and, of course, surfing.

Parents should be charged with child endangerment for allowing their children to participate in foolhardy sun bathing, tanning salons, beach BBQs (disguised as piñata parties) that usually lead to drunken orgies – aka skin cancers and unplanned pregnancies.

Restaurateurs who serve meals “outside” must provide hats, sunscreen and eye protection against macular degeneration, photokeratitis, pinguecula, pterygium and cataracts. Sporting event organizers are equally responsible for protecting the spectators and fans from eye and skin damage. (See https://www.caringvillage.com/2017/07/19/top-5-eye-problems-resulting-from-uv-exposure/)

Failure to apply lotions, sunscreens, and ointments or provide a hijab, niqab, burkinis or burkas for their children or wives is criminal neglect. Wearing Islamic clothing reduces the incidence of skin cancers. Vitamin D supplements are safer than cooking your epidermis.

(See https://gatesofvienna.net/2016/09/wearing-the-burkini-reduces-the-incidence-of-skin-cancer/)

Despite the preoccupation with COVID-19, -20, or -25, our highest priority should always be child safety and cancer reduction. This can best be achieved through mandatory education, strict monitoring, and regulation of parents. Government tools to achieve this objective include social-shaming, fines, public service, counseling, unscheduled 2 am full-body epidermal exams, surprise visits by CPS assisted by law enforcement (with flash/bangs or teargas) and, if necessary, incarceration on felony charges for failing to abide by simple, common-sense “cancer-aversion” laws and expert medical guidelines.

As the frequency of deadly heat waves increase worldwide, it’s imperative that Federal Sunburn Laws (FSLs) be enacted requiring everyone to wear hats, sunglasses and sunscreens (SPF 50 or higher) when outdoors or near tanning salons. Voluntary compliance and universal safety monitoring of FSLs will gradually “evolve” and become mandatory. What could possibly go wrong?

If these actions save only one life, it’s worth it.

Dale Lowdermilk, Founder NOTSAFE(dot)ORG


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