Threat of Vandalism Near Hot Springs Trailhead
On May 17, 2021, a car was parked on Mountain Drive near the corner of East Mountain Drive and Hot Springs Road. It was barely sticking into the road, less than other hikers’ cars further west, near Ashley Road. A note was placed on it which said, “Park here again and you will be towed or a rock through your window.” Deputy Brian Dickey of the Sheriff’s department observed this note at 4:15 pm.
Who’s so angry?
At the corner of Mountain Drive and Riven Rock, the sign created by local artist and hiker Matthew O’Hanlon encouraging hikers to respect the neighbors was thrown into the ravine of Hot Springs Creek by the bridge. It has been retrieved but is now heavily damaged with a corner missing.
Hikers are angry, too, getting tickets after decades of parking on Riven Rock Road. Originally, warnings were put on the cars. It was promised that ticketing would begin on June 1, but that date was moved up. A lot of tickets were given when there were no signs warning against parking on the street. Very recently, two signs saying “no parking” have been put up on Riven Rock; that’s not enough. No warning signs were put on Mountain Drive, where hikers are also being ticketed. The ticketing of hikers continues; many of the victims are low income. Why didn’t the county put a notice at the trailhead warning hikers not to park over the white lines? That’s the least they could have done since hikers’ longstanding parking was removed without even a public hearing.
I spoke to a California Highway Patrol officer giving tickets on Mountain Drive west of the bridge over the creek, and he told me that the CHP is only summoned when a resident complains.
When rich people hold events or parties, cars often stick way out in the road. Many gardener vehicles stick out into the roads in Montecito. At the same time the hiker’s car had a threat posted on it, around the corner a gardener’s car was sticking way out into upper Hot Springs Road. Cars sticking so far out into the road, whether belonging to hikers, residents, or gardeners, threaten access for emergency vehicles. If residents are calling the CHP on hikers, hikers can also call the CHP when residents are having an event or a gardener over.
Where does it all end?
Is there no courtesy in the world anymore?
Missing Piece? Diversity.
After reading the Montecito Best Buys column, I am even happier about closing on my Montecito home purchase in April. The article cites the advantages of “land, privacy, views, amenities, location, climate, ease of living, the arts, the beach, etc.,” which I am finding to be very true. However, after moving up from L.A., there is something missing in Montecito. This town seems to completely lack diversity, and the associated cultural benefits. Perhaps I’m too new in town to find such experiences, but this is a stark contrast from the rest of multi-cultural California.
It’s a Matter of Transparency
I have come up with what I feel is a very easy to understand analogy regarding what’s at the crux of the issue at Cold Spring School and the consternation so many of us have for not being given an appropriate and legally required answer.
Suppose as a homeowner you received a report specifying work which needed to be done at your home along with a list of pricing to accomplish the work (2008 Bond Measure).
Next step was to hire a contractor from whom you’ve received an acceptable bid (Bond Approval). You open a bank account with the contractor able to sign the checks and pay for the labor, the materials, etc. needed to accomplish the work (Bond is funded). You also put in place an overseer to make sure the money is spent as agreed upon (Bond Oversight Committee).
After a very long time your contractor asks you to refill the bank account (2020 Bond Measure). You look and see his proposal for needing more money is almost exactly the same as the one you previously approved and funded and yet you don’t see anything having been done from the original proposal.
So, you very reasonably say that you wholeheartedly support the project but before putting in any more money you’d like to see a spreadsheet of how the previous money was spent.
According to the terms of the original agreement, the contractor (Cold Spring School) was informed that this spreadsheet information was to be public information.
You also remind the contractor (CSS) that there was also to be an Overseer (Oversight Committee of the CSS Board) and that this committee had not met in many, many years and that there wasn’t even an oversight committee in place when your request was being made.
AND THEN… the contractor refuses to give you a spreadsheet and starts a campaign to not only not provide this information, but also to start making it a personality issue and not one of just dollars and cents.
I’m a businessperson. I’m also a homeowner who is paying for two school bonds every year as a part of my property tax. This is, in small part, my money. I am asking to know where it has gone. This is in NO WAY a question of who likes Cold Spring School or its teachers. This is a matter of money and, above all, transparency. I cannot come up with one justifiable answer as to why this information has not been immediately forthcoming. It is not information to be doled out on what the school feels is a need-to-know basis.
We the taxpayers of the Cold Spring School District want to know how and where our previous bond money has been spent. Where has the $100,000 donation from Katy Perry gone?
If the school does not have all of this available on one or more spreadsheets, we want to know why. And please, please, please, don’t call me and say you want to explain things. This is not a topic of conversation. It is one of providing public information to the public.
Please, as Tom Cruise once said, “just show us the money.”
Rocking Out With Plenty of Heart
If you are not a big fan of rock and roll you might want to stop reading.
If you are not a fan of Pearl Jam you might want to stop reading.
If you are not a fan of Jackson Browne you might want to stop reading.
If you are you not a fan Steve Van Zandt you might want to stop reading.
On May 8th, there was a global citizen concert to raise money and celebrate the hard work of our health care workers around our country.
Eddie Vedder did his version of “I Am A Patriot” that Jackson Browne has sung passionately for many years.
I know because I have listened to it hundreds of times.
His friend Little Steven of Bruce Springsteen and E Street Band wrote this gem.
If you’re still reading, Steven was Silvio Dante on The Sopranos.
If you missed this live performance in Inglewood with a live crowd, I can say you missed a masterpiece.
If you happened to have missed it, it is on YouTube.
Bada bing bada boom.