A New Danger on the Roads

By Montecito Journal   |   July 29, 2021

Am I the only one noticing the dangerous speeds that e-bikes and riders who push them to their limits pose to drivers and themselves in and around Montecito? They seem to zip around as fast as motorcycles, yet no special license is required. It’s great that more people are getting outdoors and traveling farther afield than they would on a regular bike, but I keep seeing kids going as fast as a car and this is just terrifying! Please, parents… talk to your kids about speed and road safety. 

Thank you!

Cathy Clemens

Surfside Tragedy Could Happen Here

Rinaldo Brutoco wisely alerts our citizens that the environmental warning canary is singing, and the tune is unmistakably ominous and clear.

I live in Miami and Montecito. Back east, I am a trial lawyer who along with his law partner have been appointed to co-lead and liaison counsel positions managing the lawsuits filed on behalf of the dead and the survivors of those killed and injured in the Champlain Tower condominium collapse in Surfside.

Mr. Brutoco hits the nail on the head, a nail that was horribly bent by the town of Surfside, the condominium board, “inspectors,” and a host of others who ignored a failing building for decades. The system let it coast or should I say, collapse.

The many similarities between the seaside environments of Santa Barbara and Surfside are unmistakable. The toll the salty air and water take on building materials is well recognized. I hope that Santa Barbara makes it clear that inspections and mandatory repairs of our buildings will not be anything less than stringent.

I thank Mr. Brutoco for localizing the Surfside tragedy. The affected families will be living through this nightmare for the rest of their lives. Let’s not let this happen to us.

Stuart Z. Grossman

An Aware Bear

Carlos, The Bear, was just a cub when the Thomas Fire and Debris Flow violated our Village. He recalls those events vividly. His mother herding him to safe shelter. The helicopters, airplanes, and all manner of emergency vehicles with uniformed authorities making her nervous and tired.

As Carlos watched the flooding in Germany and other parts of Europe on CNN, he felt a pang of post-traumatic stress course through his veins that made his fur stand on end. He felt for the people and animals that had lives changed suddenly with so much loss. He knew well the feeling of helplessness that follows big weather tragedies. His paws shook and he hung his head, global warming again!

And if that was not enough, a Red Flag Day tomorrow! From, of all things, lightning. The monsoonal moisture that Carlos usually revels in, is much more active now. Carlos, being an aware bear, took a quick look at his Go-Bag, just in case, putting in a gallon of fresh water, some cash, and dried grubs. He figured it best to stay close to his den and be ready then put himself to sleep listening to David Bowie’s song, “Five Years.”

Michael Edwards

SBCC’s Campus Return Needs Vaccination Mandate

First and foremost, I want to thank Nick Masuda and the Montecito Journal for running last week’s piece on SBCC.

The article was very well written and extremely comprehensive.

For any president running an operation 85% of the time virtually would be an obvious challenge.

What I find so challenging to believe is that four out of the seven Board of Trustee members have taken it upon themselves to be deniers of science or skeptics.

How can anyone not think or believe that staff, the faculty, and the students should not be vaccinated before returning to school?

The scientists have stated that 99.2% of the people since June who have passed from COVID were not vaccinated.

In its origin the elderly and the sick were the hardest hit.

Now the people getting COVID are younger.

According to Mr. Masuda, the new plan for those headed back to school is based on some sort of the honor system.

I do not know how or what that may look like.

Why would anyone want to be ostracized for their possible recklessness?

With students descending from near and far would it not be reasonable for everyone to be vaccinated when in an indoor environment?

The school should make vaccinations a requirement to return to school and be used as a site for vaccinating those who are not.

As of now there are over 400 colleges that are requiring a shot before the school season starts.

While there will always be science deniers as well as skeptics, they still have the right to determine what enters their bodies.

For those set up cameras in the classroom and learn from home.

I for one just about tear up when I am watching the news and see a very ill person whose last words were, “I wish I would have gotten vaccinated.”

Or a person on the edge says the first thing I am going to do if I make it is to get vaccinated.

In closing, the fairly new Delta variant of COVID is believed to be some 40 to 60 percent more contagious than the Alpha variant.

Thanks again, Nick, as you have shined a bright light on a dark situation.

Steve Marko 

Critical Race Theory is Issue of Choice

On the pages of Montecito Journal, Monica Bond and Daunte Handy engaged in a Miller Lite “less filling, tastes great” exchange. Bond says our schools teach accurate American History; we don’t need Critical Race Theory. Daunte Handy says “Really?” and cites historical instances that are not taught or mistaught in public schools. Is there anything so dangerously useless as a debate about the wrong issue?

In all its forms, the controversy over Critical Race Theory (CRT) ought not to be about content; the debate should be about process. It ought to be about freedom of choice. It ought to be about school choice. It ought to be about the legitimate, Constitutional, efficacious role of government in education. The CRT controversy is an opportunity for a substantial discussion of meaningful school choice.

Irrespective of one’s opinion about Critical Race Theory, where does a government at any level get the authority to either require it or ban it? 

Monica Bond might be correct, and schools teach accurate American history, but where does she get the right and authority to deny exposure to CRT for those families that want that exposure for their children?

Daunte Handy might be correct, but does he have the right and authority to impose his views on those that do not share them? The answer in each case is, “No,” and therein lies the fundamental flaw with government-run education.

History belongs to the victors. In the current public education system, those with political power determine what is and is not taught in our schools. The political majority imposes their educational policy on the political minority. The only alternative for a political minority is to seize power, turn the tables, and impose their views on others. The current system is a Hobbsian struggle for control that whipsaws kids and teachers every time political power shifts.

Meaningful school choice, removing government from the curriculum business and enabling individual schools to determine what they will teach and individual parents to decide where they will send their children, is the only approach that doesn’t require the use of force to impose the will of whomever is in power.

How to facilitate meaningful school choice is the discussion we ought to be having.

Craig Westover

Thanks for the Chuckle

To Mr. Ashleigh Brilliant

And the LOL Award for last week’s funniest line:

“Already, the dead are much less dead than they used to be…”

Laughing all the way,

LeeAnn Morgan


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