Buckle Up

By Montecito Journal   |   February 18, 2021

Interesting concept, as per last week’s lead piece of this newspaper. Having a COVID vaccination czar in Santa Barbara. It would be even worth investigating if it weren’t so hypocritical and so self centered for this particular newspaper to bring the subject matter up.

Two weeks ago MJ’s investigative reporter Nicholas Schou pointed out, what most of us senior citizens already knew; just how difficult and confusing it is in the South Coast to get our COVID vaccinations in a timely manner.

However what Schou and then MJ’s editor grievously left out was the reason why the County’s attempt to vaccinate our most vulnerable citizens is most definitely inept is not that the fault of the local hospitals, clinics, grocery, and drugstores.

No, it’s the lack of ample vaccination supplies that is coming lock, stock, and barrel from the source who purchased the life savings vials: the Federal Government.

And who was the administration that saw the rise of this pandemic, denied it from the beginning of its deadly crossing from China to the world and then sabotaged all efforts to contain the pandemic from the beginning: the Donald J. Trump administration. A Republican administration as well as a Republican senate.

Which brings me to the original MJ owner, James Buckley, who has apparently never met a Republican official he didn’t like or endorse. Obviously preaching to the choir.

So basically the real problem with the lack of vaccinations here as well as the rest of the country is simple; supply. Asking for a czar of vaccinations is probably as inept an idea as creating a federal drug czar as this country did back in 1990 with William Bennett. How did that work out?

Also asking or rather grilling our first district Supervisor Das Williams, as Ms Lurie did regarding why vaccinations aren’t going swimmingly, is like asking your mom why you have to go to school. He has absolutely no control over the supply nor does our esteemed governor Gavin Newsom

So despite the entitlement that comes from living in the village of Montecito, you’ll have to buckle up for a rough ride until perish the thought, this Democratic administration straightens things out and opens up the supply of vaccination vials so that all of us, rich and poor, can get this lifesaving serum in our bodies. Unfortunately every level of politics entered into this pandemic and unfortunately it has caused some 450,000 American lives to be lost. That is where our outrage should be.

Dave Novis

One Size Fits All?

There’s a group in Montecito pushing to consolidate the local Water and Sanitary Districts, presumably as an effort to streamline and improve service.

This appears to be a case of forward engineering when experience suggests that for complex problems, the best approach is to reverse engineer. That is, first, define the problem, and then solve the defined problem with the appropriate organizational structure, rather than create an organization to solve a problem that is perceived, but may not actually be a problem.

For example, at a recent Montecito Sanitary District meeting, Bob Hazard, a member of the group advocating for consolidation, outlined an idea to combine Montecito, Summerland, Carpinteria Sanitary Districts for the purpose of storing recycled water in aquifers underlying the Carp Sanitary District. (Recent studies have shown that aquifers underlying Montecito and Summerland are not suitable for storing water.) Sounds like a reasonable idea, but before embarking on such an adventure, wouldn’t it make sense to first confirm that it’s feasible to store large volumes of water in Carpinteria? If the answer is yes, proceed to the next step to create the appropriate organizational structure. Imagine creating an organization to implement a project, only to later discover the project is not practical. 

Another perceived problem often discussed by Bob Hazard is the fact that there are five Wastewater Treatment plants within 20 miles of coastline between Goleta and Carpinteria. The implication is that they should be consolidated into one or two centralized plants. That may be, but the first question that comes to mind: Is it a problem? Would one size fit all, or are there unique problems or situations in the different geographical areas, and each plant provides the best solution? Are there efficiencies to be gained by consolidating and what are their potential values? 

Pursuing improvement is always a worthy goal, so why not pursue it in the most logical manner?

Jeff Kerns

We Got Bank

An interesting, enjoyable, and uplifting article about – a bank? 

If there were a prize for the best article on an impossible subject, Jeff Wing’s piece on the Montecito Bank should win it.

Peter Reynolds

Off to a Good Start

I am writing in response to Diana and Don Thorn’s letter of February 4, entitled “Who is Looking Out for America?” In it, the Thorns characterize President Biden’s eight million vote election as reflecting that “The Socialists are now in charge.” They go on to complain that “our freedoms to speak, to act, and to assemble being threatened…”. and they ask, “Who is looking out for America?”

I would like to point out that President Biden is now requiring masks on federal property, has set up a COVID office that reports directly to the President, has rejoined the World Health Organization, appointed the most qualified and ethical Attorney General in memory, has put the definition of justice back into the Justice Department, has frozen student debt collections, restored protections for banning drilling in national parks, strengthened protections for Dreamers, and implemented ethics pledges for all Executive Branch officials. He has appointed top notch cabinet members that have been approved of by Republican as well as Democratic Senators, has sent billionaire ‘watchdog’ regulators packing and has restored a White House staff that is filled with highly qualified appointees rather than unqualified relatives. He is restoring relationships with long-standing allies and NATO, and has chosen an excellent Vice President as his partner. I think that is a pretty good start for his first month in office.

It would not surprise me if the Thorns do not support rejoining the Paris Climate Accords, taking steps to address global warming, and revoking permits for the Keystone XL Pipeline. They will fret that such actions will put people out of work. I doubt it, but I’m sure retraining programs will more than compensate for that. 

With regard to their concerns about first amendment freedoms, I hope they are not defending those that rioted in Congress in their failed attempt to overthrow our government. In any event, I certainly will give the Thorns the benefit of the doubt in that regard. 

Hang in there, Diana and Don. I hope that you wind up pleasantly surprised.

Ray Bourhis


Looking at the mountainside
I did not notice the lattice of your leaves
Or the scaffolding of your branches
Or the framework of your roots
Instead, I noticed the silhouette of the high peaks and ridges
And the contrast of the valleys
And the quiet creek cutting through
After the fire, not a trace of your remains could be seen
You burned deep into the soil
And the mountains came down
And everything was washed away
Shifting my focus
I see the intricacies of your shadows
And the network of your green
And the delicateness of your blossoms
And now, I notice you on every vista
It is your shoots that first find their way into the sunshine
It is you that set the foundation that holds up these hills
When the rains came this year, we feared the shifting landscape
Instead, you guided the water gently into the creeks that now run cool and clear down to the ocean
And we can set our sights on our beautiful Santa Ynez Mountains
And we can live in peace
And for that we are grateful

Kristine Sperling


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