Holocaust Memorial Day
Continued education and understanding of cultural groups are needed across our community. Last month, anti-Semitic flyers were dispersed across the Mesa on the first day of Hanukkah. This was a coordinated effort that occurred in the Second District that Laura Capps represents and is compounded by the horrific displays of anti-Semitism across the country. Like many, we were disheartened, frustrated, and ready to support our community members. Thank you to the courageous leadership of the Jewish community, in particular Dan Meisel, Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League Santa Barbara Tri-Counties, for helping us all find ways to do better.
In the vein of education and understanding, Supervisor Laura Capps and Joan Hartmann have collaborated on a resolution in advance of this week’s Holocaust Memorial Day on Friday, January 27. The resolution honors the anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the largest Nazi death camp. Within the resolution, we remind our community about the history, facts, and devastation of the Holocaust, the state-sponsored, systemic persecution, and the annihilation of European Jewish peoples by Nazi Germany and its collaborators between 1933 and 1945. The victims of this devastation included six million Jewish People, including children. Additional victims of the holocaust included Ashkenazic and Sephardic Jewish communities, Roma peoples, people with disabilities, Polish peoples, LGBTQ+ individuals, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Soviet prisoners of war, political dissidents, journalists, and judges. All of these groups suffered grievous oppression and death under Nazi tyranny.
When anti-Semitic flyers are dispersed, we take them seriously. When continued hate incidents occur in our schools, we take them seriously. Our community will not be defined by the actions of a few. Rather we are a community defined by our stance against anti-Semitism, hatred, and violent acts against ALL of our vibrant communities. Our offices will continue to support and collaborate with our cultural communities with education, understanding, and inclusion. We challenge our community members to take a stand, reach out in support, and work together to build a region where all can thrive.
Laura Capps, 2nd District Supervisor
Joan Hartmann, 3rd District Supervisor
It’s Time to Resolve Issues Concerning Montecito Hot Springs and Trailhead Parking
The Montecito Hot Springs were completely wiped out by the big rainstorm that occurred on January 9, 2023, and are now covered with many feet of rocks. That’s exactly five years after new pools were created on January 9, 2018, as a result of mudslides. “The Lord giveth, the Lord taketh.” The stream bed containing the hot springs was filled in as opposed to deepened last time. Quite a few hikers are still going up there, only to be disappointed upon arrival. Pipes taking hot spring water belonging to Montecito Creek Water Company have also been washed away.
Eventually, the springs will be restored. It’s time to resolve issues concerning them and the parking situation below.
It’s not fair that hikers are given tickets for parking on Riven Rock Road but residents who illegally take away public right of way by placing rocks on it are not. What about the parking spot on upper Riven Rock Road (much of it on public land according to Gary Smart of the County roads department) that has a sign placed next to it saying, “Private Property”? The part of that parking spot on public land should be returned to the public, and clearly marked as public. In the meantime, the public has the right to park on the public portion of that parking spot as much as the resident who created it. Anyone who puts rocks on the side of the road to block parking or creates a private parking space on public land should be ticketed or no one ticketed at all. It’s time for equity in ticketing.
Putting rocks on the side of a public road to block parking may be a good idea in some areas, but it should be done legally through a public process.
The parking situation needs to be resolved now. Having cars park under the oak trees next to Riven Rock is no solution – cars compress the ground above the roots, and leak oil. The nine or ten parking spaces that used to be on upper Riven Rock should be restored. This section is wider than farther down the road. Rocks can be placed next to the curb. The curb can be indented a little where parking spaces are created.
In the article, “Montecito’s 2022 Year in Review” (Montecito Journal, December 29, 2022), it is written that “…in pre-pandemic times, it would not be unusual to see 10-12 additional cars parked illegally along Riven Rock Road…”
Vehicles had parked on upper Riven Rock for decades, and if there had been a serious problem the county would have done something about it a long time ago. If it had been illegal to park there, why weren’t signs put up indicating that fact?
A reasonable number of parking spaces, perhaps 25, can be provided in the general area for Hot Springs Trail.
The same article also mentions that in July of 2022 “…15 community and government reps met behind closed doors to discuss the issues at the trailhead” and notes that “…members of the media and public were not privy to the meeting…” The original meeting in early 2021 that led to removing longstanding parking by placing white lines and ticketing without adequate signage also was held in private. It’s like a dictatorship, not a democracy, when governmental bodies make decisions that affect us without taking public input. Just who are the groups and representatives that have been so willing to participate in this flouting of democracy? One is Montecito Trails Foundation, which does so many good things. All meetings addressing the situation in the trailhead area need to be open to the public.
Regarding the hot springs, it’s unethical to take hot spring water from the national forest to the estates below.
The pipes and uglification of Hot Springs Canyon from the private water company need to be removed, and the canyon restored. Please, residents of upper Hot Springs and Riven Rock roads, stop using this sacred water. Do the right thing! Yes, the water company has every legal right to the water, so let it be fairly compensated for the water rights.
Then the hot springs can be dedicated to the Chumash, and a beautiful monument created!