Letters to the Editor

By Montecito Journal   |   December 24, 2020

The Governor Who Stole Christmas

The Board of Supervisors approved sending a letter to Governor Gavin Newsom at last Tuesday’s meeting. I was elated to hear Adams and Lavagnino lead a stronger pushback with the idea of keeping our County evaluated separately. However, Santa Barbara County needs to take even a stronger stand with a definitive timeline!

It is not the place of Grinch Newsom to continue trampling on constitutional liberties! People’s livelihoods are in peril, and people are dying from causes besides COVID, including mental illness and lack of medical care resulting from the lockdowns themselves! (Note: Suicides are at all-time highs, if you can even find the statistics on suicideas that information has not yet been released, but in 2017 we lost 55 souls that way. Would the data for suicides and other causes in 2020 so far not also be important? Why are COVID deaths the only stats that are released before the death data is actually official?)

As a County citizen, I have asked Das Williams, Gregg Hart, and Joan Hartmann, “If you do not stop the lockdowns that are depriving law-abiding employers and employees of their incomes, why don’t you first surrender your own paychecks and your own livelihoods?” Why should they take away the constitutional rights of their constituents for the pretext of a virus that has a 99.8 percent survival rate? The data of deaths do not warrant the closures of businesses, and certainly not the discrimination of some businesses over others. We the people know what to do to prevent the spread of the virus, because the Public Health Department has educated us. Besides, we have a flu season every year.

Why would our government officials use the mongering of FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real), and the metric of the possibility that hospitals will be overrun, when our County has 38 percent of hospital beds and 49 percent of staffed ICU beds currently available? If you recall, we started out that way in March when coronavirus infections were predicted to cause 2.5 million people to die. Sadly, we lost 0.29 million, each death a tragedy, but thankfully only 11 percent of what was forewarned. Yet, the fear-mongering continues for an illness that based upon past death data averaging 3,000 total deaths per year, has caused less than five percent of all deaths in the County!

On Monday, the Solvang City Council decided to defy the Grinch’s new lockdown order, because December is their busiest season, and without it, the merchants cannot survive! District Attorney John Savrnoch has the audacity to say,Businesses do so at their own peril. At anytime the ABC can come and do a sweep… It would be very, very easy, particularly in the context of restaurants, for the State to come in and issue a number of violations, which would functionally close a lot of businesses.”

Has the DA resorted to threatening law-abiding businesses, simply for exercising their constitutional right to make a living? I have asked Mr. Savrnoch why he doesn’t surrender his government paycheck? Because only then would he be on equal footing with those whose livelihoods have been taken away in order to make such judgments.

Have we ever seen such deep hypocrisy as that of Newsom and others who pick winners and losers to stay open or closed? Los Angeles Mayor Garcetti shut down the properly social-distanced outdoor dining area Angela Marston had newly constructed, financially ruining her, and leaving her staff unemployed. But then he allowed a Hollywood movie producer to set up a much larger capacity outdoor eating facility right next door! How is this just?

Stop taking bribes from the State in the form of COVID funding to police law-abiding citizens who don’t need policing. None of us want to get sick! We don’t want to spread the disease, and we already take measures to protect ourselves and others. It is not your decision to trample on the Constitutional rights of small businesses, families, and churches, while allowing big-box stores like Costco and Home Depot to stay open.

What right does Grinch Newsom have to choose winners and losers? Grinch is too kind a name for someone who with impunity takes from COVID funding to support his own businesses. He is not a hermit like the famous Dr. Seuss’s Grinch who hated social gatherings and tried to stop Christmas, as the story goes. Instead, he and 22 of his associates dine at the expensive French Laundry restaurant and do so on the dime of the taxpayers. While he steals Christmas from us peasants, Newsom and his elites laugh and celebrate indoors with no masks nor social distancing. If he really believed that the lockdown measures were effective, why would he break them himself?

This is the largest transfer of wealth from small business to large corporate businesses in the history of the nation. There is another word for this transfer, and it is called theft. It is very hard to be calm while I watch fellow citizens losing everything while government employees and tyrant leaders continue to draw their paychecks!

No, we are not in this together. Please someone grow some courage to push back against this madness!

Peggy Wilson

Taking it Outside

I’m a gardener working for three decades in Montecito and Santa Barbara. And I smoked weed for most of those years, which makes my lungs pretty much shot. Every day this year I have been working outside, if people are near me I’m happy to pull my bandana up over my face. Here’s the thing, shutting down outdoor seating at restaurants doesn’t make sense. If employees keep masks on and patrons stay a safe distance apart the odds are huge that they will be safe.

You know who isn’t safe? People indoors. As Santa Barbara City Council member Oscar Gutierrez found out when he tested positive. He said he was very careful and I believe him. He lives at home with his mother. While most members of the council sat in their offices during council meetings this year Oscar always stayed home. And yet when his mother went out on Thanksgiving she contracted the virus and brought it home. The biggest spreaders of COVID in Santa Barbara County are nursing homes and the Lompoc prison and people spending time indoors. You know where it’s not spread? Outdoors.

I follow the numbers of deaths and where they are located. As of December 14, in 2020 there have been seven deaths in Montecito and fifteen in Santa Barbara. It seems ironic to me that we are approaching the third anniversary of the debris flow disaster where 23 people died in one day. Death comes in many forms, to focus so much on this virus doesn’t seem logical to me.

And full disclosure, I work for a number of restaurants in the Funk Zone and the recently opened La Paloma. La Paloma has a gorgeous outdoor deck and patio. If there was any evidence that COVID spread outside I would not be writing this, but there isn’t. I honestly believe outdoor seating at restaurants in Montecito and Santa Barbara should be allowed.

Dan Seibert


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