Get Your Priorities Straight

By Montecito Journal   |   July 22, 2021

To the Mayor, 
City Council Members:

4th of July my family and I took a walk down upper State Street in Santa Barbara. As we walked, we had concerns about the planning by the city to provide a safe sidewalk. We also wondered if there would ever be another parade down State Street.

The heritage of the city is at stake here. We have conformity in our architecture to celebrate Spanish heritage. Fiesta parades are part of our heritage. They are a big tourist draw and a city tradition. Everybody comes to State Street to participate. The children’s parade is family friendly. Are we losing city traditions because of restaurants? I am a Santa Barbara native born during the Depression. I remember parades since about the age of 4 or 5. I am now 87 years old. The parade is about who we are. Equestrian, bands and floats are seen up close. How are you going to have a Fiesta or Solstice parade winding through parklets and planters? The historical value of the city is being compromised.

I am just about blind, and I couldn’t navigate down the sidewalk on State Street in a straight line. Ordinances keep everything consistent. That’s why our architecture is consistent. Local citizens’ rights should be placed before local restaurants. Sidewalks and streets belong to the people. We pay taxes and a disabled person has a difficult time getting to where they need to go in the middle of a block. How does a disabled person get to the theatre?

It is unwieldly to block off a main artery and to limit the parking. Please limit the promenade to a temporary time frame and consider a Fiesta parade route. Old Spanish Days is our heritage.

Nancy Minton
Daughter of Santa Barbara

Why Isn’t Education More Critical?

Monica Bond believes our schools teach accurate history so there is no need for Critical Race Theory?

Well let’s see how that works out in real time?

Kayleigh McEnany, former President Trump’s press secretary said on FOX News “liberal haters always get the facts wrong. All our Founding Fathers were against slavery. And recognized as evil.” McEnany was educated at Georgetown University, and has law degree from Harvard. Somewhere along the line nobody informed her that 41 of our 56 Founding Fathers owned slaves, and Washington and Jefferson together owned 917 slaves.

Civil War was truly about slavery. And the Confederacy lost. But there are about 1,500 monuments for Confederate heroes. Just this week the statue of Robert E. Lee was removed from main square of Charlottesville, Virginia. What are we going to do with monuments honoring Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson, and Jefferson Davis carved in Stone Mountain outside Atlanta! And if you visit Mount Rushmore, check monuments nearby for Crazy Horse. You might find out who killed Crazy Horse and why!

We celebrate the arrival of the Mayflower in 1620, the establishment of a colony, honor first settlers and rejoice friendly greetings by native population. Then all of a sudden we read about Project 1619, the arrival of the first slave ship! The Mayflower was really not the great seminal event, and Thanksgiving not an accurate description of history of settlements.

While no school, K–12, teaches Critical Race Theory, Republican state legislators in red states proposed dozens of bills designed to control American understanding of the past. As of now, five states passed laws restricting what can be discussed in classrooms. The emphasis in all those laws are not facts, but how it makes their white constituents feel. 

Danute Handy

Gas Leaf Blowers: Disrupting Our Lives

One of the definitions of a rule is the normal or customary state of things. Wow.

Let me try to break this down.

The rule and law states that there are no gas-powered leaf blowers allowed in the city of Santa Barbara and that smoking is not permitted in public. I know that you’re thanking me for the laugh.

It is a joke.

Secondhand smoke can irritate the lungs and cause respiratory problems and breathing difficulties.

Gas leaf blowers produce hundreds of times more hazardous pollutants than cars.

The average gas blower measures 70-75 dB.

We, other than passing useless legislation, have accepted these actions as normal.

More and more people are working, reading, writing, teaching, being mediative or just listening to music or following the news in our abodes.

Gas leaf blowers, in my opinion, can and do disrupt our daily lives.

Secondhand smoke is a bit less of a problem. As many Europeans are not around it has been markedly better. I empathize with apartment and condo dwellers with a smoker in close proximity of their unit. I lived above a chain smoker and had to move as a result as I felt like I was the one smoking.

Also, the fumes from the pot farms are ruining people’s freedom to clean air.

Again normal.

I guess the only way I can break this down is to use sports metaphors.

People have to keep the ball moving down the field.

It’s nice to go for the third-round knockdown but sometimes it takes 15 rounds.

It’s great to score a lot of runs in the first inning but there are still eight more innings to play.

It’s great to win a set in tennis but there are more sets to be played.

It’s great to have a 20-point lead in the first quarter but there are three more left.

The best we can do is keep moving in the right direction.

One more rule that we should rarely ever break is the golden one.

Gas leaf blowers, smoking when it hurts others, and ruining someone’s space with pot farm smells (especially by schools) is not consistent with the golden rule.

When in doubt do onto others as you would do onto yourself.

Unless of course you enjoy not treating yourself with respect and then keep it to yourself or reach out for help.

Steve Marko
Santa Barbara


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