To Whom It May Concern

By Montecito Journal   |   March 25, 2021

I am writing to strongly oppose the appointment of Santa Barbara County Supervisor Das Williams to the Coastal Commission. My personal experience with Supervisor William’s development and oversight of cannabis regulations, in SBC, has demonstrated to me and many others that he has failed to uphold the laws to ‘Protect Public Health, Safety, Welfare and the Environment.’

The Coastal Commission’s letter states: “The Commission is committed to protecting and enhancing California’s coast and ocean for present and future generations. It does so through careful planning and regulation of environmentally-sustainable development, rigorous use of science, strong public participation, education, and effective intergovernmental coordination.”

Das William’s letter of qualification claims to “…have long been an advocate for pragmatic approaches to protecting our coast and ensuring genuine equitable access to the coast for all Californians.” Will he support or oppose the California Coastal Commission’s recommendations to discontinue motorized recreation on the Central Coast Oceano Dunes? For decades, visitors have been allowed to race their 4X4s, dirt bikes and monster trucks, abusing 1,500 acres of dunes and six miles of beachfront, which have put people and federally protected wildlife at great risk. Will he advocate for offshore oil drilling, too?

It appears that making money, regardless of devastating impacts, is the only thing that many politicians genuinely care about. As a result of Das William’s number one project objective to, “Develop a Robust Cannabis Industry,” he has put our communities, school children, environment, scenic lands, and legacy agriculture at great risk. He has created an ongoing crisis that has and will continue to negatively impact Santa Barbara County for years to come. I sincerely doubt he has any “…deep understanding and respect for the Coastal Act…” any more than he has demonstrated having a deep understanding and respect for Santa Barbara County. His oversight of cannabis has earned us the disgraceful reputation of being the ‘Cannabis Capital of the CA,’ boasting one of the largest cannabis sites in the World (emphasis added). This does not speak well of Das William’s intentions or his claims to respect anything.

In June 2020, the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury filed a scathing report identifying numerous issues and providing detailed evidence in the analysis of what appears to have been a very corrupt and incompetent process in developing cannabis regulations in Santa Barbara County. The Grand Jury’s investigation and subsequent report examined the formation and passage of cannabis ordinances, which validated our extremely negative experiences with this failed process. These regulations resulted in devastating, real-world-consequences that we have been subjected to and forced to live with, in our various neighborhoods.

In addition, there is an ongoing U.S. Attorney’s Investigation, under the Equal Protection Act, due to heavy concentration of cannabis in Das William’s district, surrounding Carpinteria High School and their athletic fields, which have had a substantially, negative impact in this region.

Das Williams has failed to protect Santa Barbara County, our beautifully unique lands and put our residents at great risk, I have no confidence in him “protecting and enhancing California’s coast and ocean for present and future generations.”

Respectfully Submitted,

Renée O’Neill

Coastal Commission Veto

I am writing to object to Das Williams’ seeking the nomination to the California Coastal Commission. We built our house in the Carpinteria foothills as I grew up in Santa Barbara and have always loved our rural unspoiled neighborhood. Das Williams has been a corrupt and self-serving politician. The Grand Jury report on his unethical deals with Cannabis growers makes this clear as does the ongoing U.S. Attorney Investigation into cannabis centering around the Carpinteria High School. 

Please do not give Das Williams any more control. He does not represent the interests of the people he was elected to represent.

Thank you,

Dinah Calderon

Ch, Ch, Changes

I have been acquainted with Mr. Steve Hoyt, former owner of San Ysidro Pharmacy, since the 1990s. 

A friend who had been Steve’s roommate in college introduced us and I have come to rely on Mr. Hoyt’s advice over the years since. Aside from dispensing the usual medications, he has created a topical compound, just for me, that soothes the aches and pains of my arthritic joints and has made various compounds for many in our Little Village, be they human, or animal. He always took time, when he could, to answer questions about my issues and help formulate a positive approach to healing.

When I saw that Steve is retiring, I felt good for him! Change is good.

I hope that he enjoys his favorite pastimes and gets some well needed rest. And I also hope he will continue to reside in our Little Village. He has been of service to our community for such a long time, I can only hope he continues, in some way, to be a guiding light. Reading how he helped keep The Pharmacy from becoming a chain and get the new owner to be a local, without having his staff to find work elsewhere, shows just how much he cares.

Thank you, Steve, for your service to Montecito!

Michael Edwards

More on Meghan

Amazing insight into the lives of Harry and Meghan. But why wasn’t her baptism into the national church discussed?

The BBC has it, ‘The Church of England, being the established church, had links to slavery through the United Society for the Propagation of the Gospel missionary organisations, which had plantations in Barbados; while the Bishop of Exeter was a personal slave owner. Moreover, Anglicans involved in slavery often poured their ill-gotten gain into Church coffers. And in cities such as Bristol, the church bells pealed when Wilberforce’s anti-slave trade Bills were defeated in Parliament.’

It might have been beneficial to mention George III’s 17-year-old bride, Charlotte, who was of lineage from south of the Pyrenees.

Matt McLaughlin

17 Million Viewers?

Does that count all the people who couldn’t stand it and turned it off? Just curious.

Nancye Andriesse

Options and Safe Routes in Montecito!

Walking and biking to get to your Montecito destination? Kids and families walking to school? A casual morning walk downtown for breakfast? Family headed to the beach for the day? It’s crucial to have safe options!

Not only options, but a myriad of benefits: A more active community is a healthier community. People who are out walking and biking feel more connected to their community. For kids, it’s a way to get places that would foster independence – a quality missing in youth experiences these days. And of course, the environmental benefits that come from reducing our use of fossil fuel.

In 2008 it took four years of merciless five-hour-long community meetings where the same topics were hashed and re-hashed every couple of months and a resulting $500,000 price tag to get the path built along San Ysidro Road from Jameson Road to MUS. Now, the trail is universally popular. It is used by people of all ages: moms with strollers, dog walkers, older people, kids going to and from school.

Recent concerns over the aesthetics of the Hot Springs Trail project bring back memories of 2008. Please – let’s not get stuck for four years discussing the nuances of path-making. We now know that these paths work and are an asset to the community.

Montecito has an incredible community resource called the SB Bucket Brigade. You’ve seen the paths the Bucket Brigade has built – they are aesthetically pleasing trails and paths in keeping with the rural feel of Montecito. Let’s get more paths and trails built under budget, in line with the community plan, maintaining the rural feel and enable kids who want to walk to school in the next year or two, to do so!

Let’s get paths and trails built TODAY so that Montecito residents have safe and pleasant options for walking and biking to their destination TOMORROW.

Kim Stanley

Walkability is Livability

What a difference trails make.

Thank you to all involved with making this legal, public right of way, semi-rural character trail on Hot Springs Road.

It’s fantastic. Walkability is livability in the 21st century.

I can understand that some feel they weren’t informed, but you were, and as Chris Sneddon said, “This is a gift.”

Something like this can get bogged down in bureaucracy for years. 

Enjoy it, celebrate it, take care of it, don’t trash it.

I hope that Sycamore Canyon Road is next.

The Cold Spring School District deserves major pedestrian safety improvements on their main route to school, Sycamore Canyon Road.

Keep on making trails!

Tracey Willfong

Honesty, Humor, Knowledge 

This is my first “Letter to the Editor.” We enjoy your publication and in particular the “BRILLIANT THOUGHTS” BY ASHLEIGH BRILLIANT. He never fails to entertain our family… either with something profound that we did not know, or something hilarious that leaves us laughing out loud. His willingness to share personal things from his life so honestly makes me think “I would never tell anyone that…” but that is MR. BRILLIANT’S style… Honesty, Humor, Knowledge all wrapped into a great column, “BRILLIANT THOUGHTS.”

Thank you from the McIntosh Family.


Sharon McIntosh (the MOM)


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