Letters to the Editor

By Montecito Journal   |   May 13, 2021


A Community Voices column in the April 29-May 6 edition entitled, Despite Recent Narrative Cold Spring School Deserves Community’s Support, was written by a group of community members and not a single author.

Cold Spring School: Time to Pony Up Legal Docs

I truly cannot understand all the controversy surrounding the issue at Cold Spring School. Letters being signed by those attending the school, who by available statistics are more families renting than those owning homes in this district, have nothing to do with what is a very simple single issue.

The accounting of the last two bond measures is legally public record. The people at the school, who, I am assuming are the principal and chairperson of the school board, need to produce those line-item documents. This is not a secret. Many of us who have lived in this part of Montecito since 1995, such as me, have two bonds on our property tax statements. As those paying for the measures, we are entitled to know exactly how each dollar has been spent.

If that information is being withheld, it has literally nothing to do with personalities, who likes the school, nor who now or in the past has attended the school.

The current administration is withholding public information. It should be published and made available to whoever wants to see it. Everything else happening at the school are separate issues, but I believe all of it is based on lack of any transparency on the part of the administration. They are not entitled to parse out this information. Either publish for the public how that money has been spent or resign and let new responsible people who understand their legal responsibility to take charge.

Sandy Stahl

Building More Doesn’t Solve Real Housing Issue

I would like to respond to Ms. Steinbeck’s letter regarding her “sadness” to Hannah-Beth Jackson’s apparent unwillingness to support State Bills, SB-9 and SB-10. Once again, Ms. Steinbeck, as with many others follow this wrong assumption we are in a “housing crisis.” There is no “crisis,” as there is plenty of housing available, one only needs to look in any real estate magazine. The “crisis” is the affordability of the housing, the pricing of which is governed almost completely independent of building or local municipal codes or local design guidelines!

It is more expensive to build in the Santa Barbara area, primarily because of its very popular and beautiful location, the types of people and property investment companies that buy here, and the return they get in their investment, which right now, is very good and has a history of being so.

Whether this becomes high density or piled high with multi-family (workforce housing) it will still be expensive!

So that comes to my next point. What type of community do the people who actually work and live here want?

Yes, we have working families, as Ms. Steinbeck points out, the seniors, educators, healthcare professionals, etc., that are generally priced out of being able to afford a home and in order to do so would need subsidized housing. Which adds another tax burden to those that actually live here and pay those taxes. It becomes a vicious cycle, it’s this assumption of mass high-density construction that everything will become magically cheaper.

Real estate values do not operate that way, at least not in this location. It seems odd hearing about this chronic housing shortage, yet we also hear about California losing its population. In fact, we will be giving up one congressional seat in Congress for the first time in our state’s history.

Yes, California is expensive, it’s the price we pay to live in one of the most beautiful and most diverse locations in the world. There are forces actually at work now driving down home and rental prices that have nothing to do with the “exclusionary zoning laws” that Ms. Steinbeck references, but the very fact many people can stay home and work anywhere in the country, you can thank the internet for that.

The more accurate issue, I believe, is how to manage our success that actually addresses the needs for housing without making things even worse.

Building more, more, and more is not that answer. And what about quality-of-life issues, the indirect impact of all this new construction? Traffic, water use, overall experience of living here? The fact that no one is really addressing that, or in many ways trying to sabotage it, is what’s really sad and not responsible!

Brian Miller

Of Liars and Unspectacular Speeches

I am a registered independent.

What does that mean?

First of all, it means taking in data to make the most informed decision as possible.

I realize as a forward-thinking person that the media tries to play to our emotions.

I also realize some of the media relies on the us-against-them mentality.

But to paraphrase a blue-collar, hard-working president, here’s the deal:

It is extremely refreshing to have a person in the highest job in the land trying to heal and unite our United States and beyond.

I can blame Sen. Ted Cruz for an abundance of things.

I was really pulling for Beto O’Rourke to take his Senate seat.

Cruz is sharp and one of the best debaters I have ever seen.

He is a Harvard Law School prodigy.

Cruz authored some 70 Supreme Court briefs and presented 43 oral arguments. Yet, he somehow forgot to tell the Federal Election Commission that he took out nearly $1 million in low-interest loans and failed to report it.

Let us also remember what our former president called the senator.

“Lyin” Ted Cruz.

That brings me to President Joe Biden’s 100-day speech.

I saw Sen. Cruz fall asleep during his speech.

I do not like the man who kissed up to 45 after the vitriol he spewed day after day.

Not to mention the bullying of his own wife with an unflattering photo.

Also, 45 repeating a National Enquirer story that his father helped Lee Harvey Oswald assassinate JFK does not sit well with me.

As much as I dislike this Senator, I completely understand him falling asleep during the President’s less-than-dynamic speech.

I took a nice little nap myself.

Steve Marko
Santa Barbara

Where, Bear?

Carlos, the Bear, was reading the Montecito Association’s latest email and saw that he was mentioned inside. Apparently, a Santa Barbara County Sheriff was responding to a call on Toro Canyon Road and caught a glimpse of him walking down the road. He had seen the patrol car, but since it did not stop, and he had not found any easy food, figured he was not their bear. However, it was enough to give him the sense to head to better hunting grounds.

So, Carlos made his way to San Ysidro Road. The pickings were slim along the way, as this night was not prior to a trash day. He missed Wendy Bear as he walked. She was upset about his poor diet and eating habits, so she had been staying away. Still, he could not help himself, or his penchant for fast food and fresh poultry, so he went about looking for an unelectrified chicken coop. He found one and this promptly brought the heat. The Sheriffs lit the place up like Liberace’s candelabra, so Carlos high tailed it out of there with only a mouth full of feathers. This was also mentioned in the article. He was getting famous, for all the wrong reasons!

Carlos felt bad afterwards, but it was so easy that he could not help himself. He did not want to hurt any humans, though he knew he had. He could still hear the whistling of the beer bottle that whizzed past him, just before the next one clonked him on the head. 

“Wendy Bear is upset, the humans are mad at me, what am I going to do?” he thought. “We can’t raise cubs this way, and Wendy Bear says she wants cubs.”

Carlos went to his den, opened the fridge, pulled out a carton of berries, and ate them as he prayed for more electrified coops, motion lights, and bear-proof trash cans.  

Michael Edwards


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