Misinformed and misguided

By Montecito Journal   |   December 7, 2021

Dear Mr. Brutoco,

You certainly are an inventive person.

You begin your “perspectives” column early by whining that the defense counsel for acquitted shooter Kyle Rittenhouse was “allowed” to refer to the two men killed by Mr. Rittenhouse as “rioters and looters,” and then claim, “they weren’t.” Do you have some secret knowledge as to what they were doing during the riots? I don’t know if they looted anything, but setting fires and whacking someone who’s on the ground with a skateboard sure looks like rioting (which you describe as “demonstrations”) to me.

The “victim” may not have been “armed,” but videos of the incident showed that he wielded his skateboard as a fairly substantial weapon that certainly could have killed Kyle if Kyle hadn’t shot him.

I’m a “rational person” and I believe the acquittal will produce less shootings and death than have already occurred and that have been brought about by BLM and Antifa “demonstrations.”

If Mr. Rittenhouse had been convicted of “murder” it would have signaled to those aforementioned “protest” groups that they now had carte blanche to carry on with their destructive mayhem. As it is, they’ll probably act with little more caution from here on out.

I couldn’t get any further into your article, filled with as it was so many misinformed speculations I just had to stop. Why don’t you just stick to your World Business Academy and “the role of business” and let people with some semblance of balance and reason deal with more complicated and nuanced issues?

Carmen Cascalho

Blowing Smoke

Your Mr. Brutoco might consider attending law school before he blows anymore smoke about the quality of the “clearly biased and incompetent” judge as well as various procedural matters in the Rittenhouse case. There were no “vigilante” exercises on the part of Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse turned around to shoot the one who was behind him and threatening to kill him: Rosenbaum. Rittenhouse did not “shoot to kill” before being threatened. The court and the jury agreed that Rittenhouse was justified in legally defending himself. 

John Stewart

Yes, the Peril is Real

Boy, I would love to be so naive as Rog Colley that “the planet is not in peril.” What is he smoking? It’s in peril all right and it’s not just my opinion. I refer Mr. Colley (and everyone) to “Speed and Scale” by John Doerr to catch up on the “peril” coming soon and steps we must take. And — newsflash — the kids already know and are duly alarmed. 

Cheryl Niccoli

Am I Being Punked?

Help me. I feel like I am the victim of a prank. My real estate agent just told me that her services are “free” when I buy a home as they are included in the total commission for the property as my eyes lit up. Explaining further that the commission (anywhere from 4-6% of the sale price) is split between the selling and buying agents. But if the buyer purchases the home without an agent the full commission is paid to the seller’s agent, so it makes no sense not to have an agent. After hearing this I needed to go for a walk around the block, maybe carrying a banner, “Buyer’s Agents Are Free.” Maybe I am too immature to understand my own shortcomings, but I think presently, any commission is built into the price after considering the anticipated expenses directly involved. Maybe it is time for reforming a real estate “sellers” contract. Why should the seller jack-up the price to pay for the buyer’s agent? Why does not the buyer contract and bargain with his own agent and have the agent truly work for the best deal for the buyer, not just complete a transaction? This arrangement would rightly restore some competition to the marketplace and the incentives of paying commissions to those agents who truly represent them. Five percent of $3,000,000 home is $150,000 and with a 50-50 split that is $75,000 per agent or brokerage house. What if, after surveying the landscape, I simply offered an agent $25,000 to find me a median-priced house and complete the transaction. Wouldn’t you take that? Would the agent work any less hard to complete a sale? And wouldn’t the seller of such an arrangement be more willing to sell and at a lower price knowing my agent is covered. Just a thought as these astronomical Montecito/Santa Barbara home prices need to come back down to earth and maybe introducing more competitive agent pricing will help do the trick.

J.W. Burk

The Stink Smells for Itself

Five years into the cannabis takeover of Carpinteria, I am laser focused on the environmental degradation caused by the pot operations nearby. That’s why I’ve started Save the Arroyo Paredon Watershed, an environmental protection and advocacy group, working alongside Concerned Carpinterians, the Santa Barbara Urban Creeks Council and others. I am worried about what is happening to federally endangered steelhead trout and tidewater gobi plus other plants and animals in Arroyo Paredon Creek. To try to understand these problems, I read “A Review of the Effects of Cannabis Cultivation on Fish and Wildlife Resources” by Ange Baker, senior resource scientist for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Baker states that pot operations degrade the habitat for plants and animals through overactive water resource use, pesticides, rodenticides, water diversions, site development, and direct ingestion of the plant itself, among many other issues. According to the report, cannabis “…cultivation in sensitive ecosystems means that marijuana cultivation can have environmental impacts that are disproportionately large given the area under production.”

Cresco Labs is a perfect example of this “disproportionately large impact.” Here, the Michigan-based corporation plans a new, two-story office building and cannabis processing warehouse, right on the banks of Arroyo Paredon Creek. They will have 75 employees parking and working right next to the creek every day 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This new corporate headquarters requires the installation of two new septic tanks, just outside Environmentally Sensitive Habitat, plus two large, new flood control ditches, with massive cut and fill of earth and more.

How could we stop Cresco and Big Cannabis’ slow-motion environmental disasters in Arroyo Paredon Watershed? I urge the Board of Supervisors to reject Cresco Labs’ project at their December 7 meeting. Please support our efforts and choose the environment over cannabis cash.

Maureen Foley Claffey


You might also be interested in...