Author spotlight: Bob Hazard

Robert C. Hazard, Jr. is the retired former chairman of Creative Hotel Associates and Choice Hotels International. During Bob’s tenure at Choice, the system grew to one of the world’s largest franchise lodging chains in the world. Before joining Choice, Bob served as chief executive officer of Best Western International for seven years. A cum laude graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International Affairs, he served in the U.S. Air Force, and later IBM and American Express. Father of five grown children and grandfather of nine, Bob and his wife Victoria currently reside in Montecito, California.

Looters Attack More Than a Courthouse
By Bob Hazard   |   August 6, 2020

Many in Montecito are conflicted. The senseless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has jarred 100 percent of us into re-examining the fight for equal rights and justice under the law. Unfortunately, while our country attempts to come together in its search for racial justice, a highly visible minority of violent rioters and anarchists has […]

Why Did it Take 32 Years for Montecito to Cut a Desal Deal with the City of Santa Barbara? (Part II)
By Bob Hazard   |   July 9, 2020

The story of desalination in Santa Barbara dates back 32 years. Its plot, with all its twists and turns, rivals the movie, Chinatown, a tale of manipulation of water in Los Angeles in the 1930s. Faced with the threat of drought in the late 1980s, the City of Santa Barbara, the Montecito Water District and […]

Is the Water Supply Agreement (WSA) with the City a Good Deal for Montecito and for the City? (Part I)
By Bob Hazard   |   July 2, 2020

Last Thursday, the Board of Directors of the Montecito Water District (MWD) voted unanimously to approve the Water Supply Agreement (WSA) with the City of Santa Barbara. Next up is approval by the Santa Barbara City Council. The WSA is expected to go before the City Council June 30. If agreement is reached, city water […]

Divided America – The Importance of National Unity
By Bob Hazard   |   June 25, 2020

The glue binding America is coming undone. Every aspect of life is becoming strained by growing divisiveness. Which media do we trust? Who is worthy of federal aid? How can we ever put this country back together as “one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”? Trust in our political leadership has […]

Ball of Confusion
By Bob Hazard   |   June 18, 2020

I’m confused. Prior to May 25, law enforcement officers, along with firefighters, doctors and nurses, were celebrated as America’s heroes for showing up as first responders when other workers were told to shelter-in-place. What has happened to unleash a flood of angry protestors with signs that read “Eat the rich. Hang Bankers”; “F*** Capitalism”; and […]

Coronavirus Panic Comes to Montecito
By Bob Hazard   |   March 12, 2020

By far, the hottest topic in Montecito this week is the fear of the coronavirus and its rapid spread around the world. Anxiety is high because we are all being warned by the media that the coronavirus has not yet peaked. Social Distancing Wherever cases are reported, the cry escalates for “social distancing,” which means […]

Drug Bust in Montecito?
By Bob Hazard   |   February 20, 2020

Rumors were rampant last Wednesday as federal agents from the Los Angeles Field Division of the DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) swarmed the Upper Village to serve an inspection search warrant on the iconic San Ysidro Pharmacy and its popular owner Steve Hoyt. The audit began at roughly 9 am and ended by mid-afternoon. Customers were […]

Montecito – The Future Starts Now!
By Bob Hazard   |   February 13, 2020

It has been more than 25 years since the formal adoption of the Montecito Community Plan, crafted by concerned citizens, who were charged with protecting and preserving the special, small town, semi-rural residential character of our community. Back in 1995, semi-rural meant the lack of sidewalks and traffic lights, narrow winding roads, subtle road signage, […]

Dueling Dens
By Bob Hazard   |   January 23, 2020

Only in California is it possible for two accomplished Democrats, with near perfect party pedigrees, to run for one job to represent the voters of District 1 as a Supervisor for Santa Barbara County. Political pundits promise that this year’s race for the District 1 seat between the incumbent Das Williams and the challenger Laura […]

Leadership by Laura
By Bob Hazard   |   January 16, 2020

The hottest ticket in Montecito for the month of January is a seat at the Music Academy of the West’s Hahn Hall on Monday evening, January 27, 6 to 8 pm, for a FREE, 1st come, 1st served, debate between the Democratic incumbent, 1st District County Supervisor Das Williams, and the Democrat challenger Laura Capps, […]

Alternative Solutions in a Single-Party State
By Bob Hazard   |   January 9, 2020

California has been reliably blue for most of the last 20 years and is likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. At the state level, Democrats control the Governorship (Gavin Newsom), the Lieutenant Governor (Eleni Kounalakis), the Attorney General (Xavier Becerra), and the Secretary of State (Alex Padilla). They have attained a super majority […]

The Future of the “New” Montecito Journal
By Bob Hazard   |   December 26, 2019

The most frequent community question I am asked is, “What is the future of the Montecito Journal under its new ownership?” As an investor in the “new” Montecito Journal Media Group, along with 30 other locals and families, my answer requires an analysis of the value of a local newspaper as well as a deeper […]

All I Want for Christmas… Is to Keep Our Community Safer
By Bob Hazard   |   December 12, 2019

Last week, several hundred Montecito residents turned out at Montecito Union School to hear Kevin Taylor, Montecito Fire Protection District (MFPD) chief, plus a parade of six county officials, provide an update on Winter Storm Readiness in Montecito.  Montecito Fire Chief Taylor served as “Unified Commander” during the December 2017 Thomas Fire, as well as […]