Author spotlight: J'Amy Brown

A 25-year resident of Montecito, J'Amy Brown served as Chair/Commissioner of the Montecito Planning Commission, Commissioner, County Historic Landmark Commission, President of the Montecito Association and 20-year Captain of the Middle Road Area Neighborhood Watch. She has written extensively about Montecito for the Montecito Journal, the Independent, Edhat and The News-Press. She says, when it comes to Montecito, she gamely accepts the mantle of "Know it All" because, in face, she probably has seen or done it all. She wants your questions: Contact:

Montecito Community Leader Dan Eidelson Dies
By J'Amy Brown   |   February 25, 2021

If you’ve spent any time in Montecito, it’s a good bet Dan Eidelson’s community involvement efforts touched you. The long-time Montecito resident and prominent community leader died peacefully at his home on January 10, 2021 of non-COVID related causes. He was 89 years old.  During his 35 years residing in Montecito, Eidelson was repeatedly drafted […]

ABCs of Montecito
By J'Amy Brown   |   September 19, 2019

Q: I just opened my September calendar and staring up at me is a bowl of alphabet soup – BOS, MLUDC, LUC, MCP, MAG, MPC, MBAR, MA! Can you help me sort out some of Montecito’s abundant and confusing acronym code? A: What a perfect “Back-to-School” question! Take a seat, grab your pen, and I’ll […]

Life Is A Beach
By J'Amy Brown   |   September 5, 2019

Every beach and ocean’s friend, Hillary Hauser, celebrates her big 75th this week. Thanks to this founder of Heal the Ocean, who is also an amazing writer, artist, musician, raconteur and not-to-be-messed-with advocate, our local ocean is clearer and cleaner.  So, what blessings shall we bestow on this hard-working mermaid? She says all she wants […]

The Clean-Up Bandits
By J'Amy Brown   |   September 5, 2019

Q: In August you wrote about a less-than-perfect clean-up at the 101 Cabrillo off-ramp. This week I noticed a big improvement, but trash is still entwined in branches. This clean-up is like a Dalmatian dog – spotty! What gives? A: It’s true: this ramp clean-up puppy is being attacked by diminutive nips, not big-dog bites! […]

Palm-Lined Path to Paradise?
By J'Amy Brown   |   August 29, 2019

Q. Palm trees are being suggested as part of the recently rolled-out design schemes for the new 101 and Coast Village Road projects. I see from national news reports that palms throughout Southern California are dying from disease and being removed. Why are we installing palms if everyone else is getting rid of them? A. […]

A Visit from Insurance Commissioner Lara
By J'Amy Brown   |   August 22, 2019

Q: I am a Montecito resident, still frustrated by my Thomas Fire and Debris Flow unsettled insurance claim. I heard the California State Insurance Commissioner visited Montecito recently. How come the public didn’t know about this public official’s visit? I would have loved to have bent his ear. A: On August 9, Assemblywoman Monique Limón […]

Oops, You Forgot Something
By J'Amy Brown   |   August 15, 2019

Several weeks ago, Caltrans closed the Hot Springs 101 offramp, causing huge traffic delays. The intention for the closure was to clean out a homeless encampment – but it seems Caltrans forgot a few things. It’s nice to have the brush cut back – but really Caltrans, finish what you started! Come back and pick […]

Bits and Bites
By J'Amy Brown   |   August 15, 2019

Montecito’s Butterfly and Hammond’s beaches seem to be a magnate for chunks of Neptune’s unwanted junk. A few months back it was boat hulls that washed ashore. Now, since July, a rust-crusted corrugated pipe has parked itself on Hammond’s beach. It rolled around for a while before splitting in half and ending perched on the […]

Rocky Road Woes
By J'Amy Brown   |   August 15, 2019

Q. Some Montecito roads are so dinged with ruts, driving on them seems like a game of “dodgem holes.” Are our rocky roads due for a fix? A. What a welcomed question – because it may mean the community is starting to change our focus from survival mode to surface matters. Just 19 months ago […]

Parking Problems
By J'Amy Brown   |   August 1, 2019

Q. What’s the on-street parking game-plan in Montecito? I’ve been shooed away by property owners, blocked by rocks, scarred by hedges, and nearly run off the road when I was walking. What’s private, what’s public, and what’s for pedestrians?  A. Montecito makes jockeying for pavement and parking rights one of our prime sports. With uniform […]

Play It Safe
By J'Amy Brown   |   July 18, 2019

Q: Are burglaries in Montecito on the rise? Actually, break-ins are down since last year – but not gone – and it seems we citizens are leaving ourselves “wide open” by not locking our doors! According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff Lt. Butch Arnoldi, assigned to the Montecito area, 30 of the 72 housebreaks in […]

Get to the Choppa…
By J'Amy Brown   |   July 4, 2019

Q. What’s the buzz on privately-owned helicopters landing on private pads inside our community – legal or not?  That high-flying question got grounded! On June 26, the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission was set to hear a permit application for a proposed private property helistop at Carpinteria Valley Farms on Lambert Road – and it […]

By J'Amy Brown   |   June 20, 2019

Q. That wrecked boat debris, anchored for months on Hammonds Beach, disappeared on Monday. Where did it go? A. After public “take note” shot across the bow, SB County First District Supervisor Das Williams grabbed the helm and swiftly found a crew to attack and defeat the Montecito beach marooned wreckage! Hammonds Beach is once […]

Who Floats a Boat?
By J'Amy Brown   |   June 13, 2019

Q: Months ago, a number of vessels washed ashore on Montecito beaches, and there they still sit. Who’s responsible for ridding our beach of this gnarly debris?  A. Wouldn’t it be grand if beached boats could just be stuffed into glass bottles? Well, no such luck! It seems, unless it’s toxic or dangerous, there aren’t […]