Tag archives: environment

Explore Ecology
By Steven Libowitz   |   March 10, 2022

It’s a big honor for Explore Ecology to be receiving Santa Barbara Permaculture Network’s Local Food Hero Award at the 14th Annual Santa Barbara Community Seed Swap this weekend. It’s also a well-earned recognition of the nonprofit’s School Gardens Program and its Garden Educators, who teach garden-based lesson plans in upwards of 30 local schools […]

Clean Coalition: Finding Creative Solutions to Renewables-Driven Energy Resilience
By Steven Libowitz   |   February 10, 2022

Last summer, just a couple of months before Montecito Journal’s 2nd annual The Giving List book was published, Clean Coalition’s work to stage a Community Microgrid in Montecito – a first step toward establishing renewables-driven energy resilience for the vulnerable area – was still largely in the planning stage. The goal to establish individual Solar […]

Building a Regenerative Community on the Jalama Canyon Ranch
By Zach Rosen   |   January 18, 2022

Regenerative agriculture incorporates a variety of pre-modern farming techniques like no-till farming and intensive grazing to help revitalize the surrounding ecology, increase biodiversity, and counteract climate change through carbon sequestration, among many other benefits. While these practices have a noticeable impact on the land, there is still a need for more educational programs and formal […]

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 […]

The Role of Desalination in an Increasingly Water-Scarce World
By Bob Hazard   |   September 28, 2021

The removal of salt from seawater (desalination) is bitterly opposed by the California environmental community and its supporters in academia, government, and the press.  Los Angeles Times editorial columnist Steve Lopez, a four-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, grudgingly acknowledges that “Desalination may have a role to play in addressing California’s long-running water shortage; after all we […]

Invoking the Pause: The power of funding environmental changemakers
By Amelia Buckley and Kristy Jansen   |   August 12, 2021

We’re all familiar with major names in philanthropic giving like MacArthur, Rockefeller, or Ford, but there are hundreds of lesser-known foundations that are making innovative solutions a reality through small-scale funding programs. One of these is Invoking the Pause (ITP), an organization focused on implementing tangible trailblazing climate solutions in the 21st century. In their […]

Trash Treated Like Treasure by Local Brothers
By Stella Haffner   |   August 5, 2021

Today, local superheroes pick up 600 pounds of trash — and how! Sixteen-year-old brothers Ramon and Noah Wang are quickly becoming known in local circles for their tremendous cleanup efforts. The pair have dedicated their summer to keeping Santa Barbara green, and we couldn’t ask for better representatives as they prepare to step out into […]

Mission ‘Impossible’: Despite Untold Obstacles, Campaign to Preserve San Marcos Foothills Succeeds
By Nick Masuda   |   June 17, 2021

“Improbable, but not impossible.” It became a rallying cry that the Foothills Forever campaign team leaned on since February 25, the day a lawsuit was negotiated to allow the community to rise and purchase 101 acres on the West Mesa of the San Marcos Foothills. Ninety days. $18 million. Quite improbable, but activists such as […]

Montecito Miscellany: Down for Earth
By Richard Mineards   |   May 6, 2021

Earth Day, which started in Santa Barbara after a disastrous oil spill of more than four million gallons in 1969 which killed thousands of seabirds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions, has certainly been celebrated by Jennifer Smith, the publisher of Santa Barbara Magazine and C Magazine. Jennifer, daughter of Anne Towbes, tells me they have […]

Earth Day: Backwards and Forwards Looking at the ebbs and flows of environmental wins
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   May 6, 2021

Wow! Hard to believe we’ve celebrated 51 Earth Days and the environmental battles we are fighting are worse than ever. Looking back, we delight in the history of Earth Day, in part catalyzed by the Santa Barbara oil spill of 1969. Earth Day was officially launched in 1970 by Senator Gaylord Nelson and Congressman Pete […]

Fighting Fair Housing Initiatives is Counterproductive
By Montecito Journal   |   May 6, 2021

In reference to the recent Montecito Association meeting held on April 13, I was deeply disappointed to see that our esteemed, highly respected former senator, Hannah-Beth Jackson, has agreed to represent the anti-growth side of the discussion regarding California State Bills 9 and 10, or SB-9 and SB-10. The legislation proffered by Governor Newsom will […]

The Oak Group: Artist Activists
By Leslie Westbrook   |   April 29, 2021

Summerland boasts an array of natural beauty. The sea is the most obvious asset, but gently rolling hills dotted with wild mustard, when rains and Mother Nature have cooperated, and other spots beckon nature lovers and wildlife, including Brandt’s cormorants, which I will get to in a moment. The landscape has long lured artists with […]

Merging the Montecito Sanitary and Water Districts: A Foolhardy Step Toward Cityhood
By Eileen Read   |   April 22, 2021

By Charles C. Read & Eileen White Read The Montecito “water wars,” circa 2015-2020, brought ugly, big-city political shenanigans that shattered the peaceful commonweal of our village. We all remember the misleading mailings that implied Montecito was unlawfully dumping sewage in the ocean.  The $100,000 campaign budgets amassed to get a seat on a water […]

Worth Saving: Wetlands at Ormond Beach Need Our Love
By Chuck Graham   |   April 15, 2021

The perpetual northwest winds were up, grooming the exposed foredunes of a windswept Ormond Beach in southern Oxnard. The well-manicured dunes constantly shifted with the winds, buffering a sliver of coastal wetland still hanging on in Southern California. The wetlands at Ormond Beach are one of the last remaining coastal wetlands in the entire state. […]

She’s Our Hero
By Richard Mineards   |   April 8, 2021

Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA, is the recipient of the Santa Barbara’s Community Environmental Council’s 2021 Environmental Hero Award. “Her work exemplifies what it means to build the broad, boots-on-the-ground base of activism that we need to go all in together on the climate crisis,” says the CEC executive director Sigrid Wright, who […]

Can Water and Sanitary Work Together to Shape the Future of Montecito?
By Bob Hazard   |   April 8, 2021

A recent series of letters in the Montecito Journal has questioned the wisdom of the Montecito Water Board and the Montecito Sanitary Board’s studying the issue of consolidation. Jeff Kerns, a respected former Sanitary Director, has raised an important issue. He suggests that the first step is to define the problem you want to solve; only […]

Electric Cars: Look What’s Coming Cars Without Fossil Fuels or Batteries!
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   April 8, 2021

Tesla led the world in electric vehicle (“EV”) sales during 2020 with a total of 499,511 (pure electric vehicles) followed by Volkswagen at 424,729 (if you count plug-in electrics) sold. The three closest competitors after that, all legacy car manufacturers, were in the low 200,000 to 250,000 range of units sold. In the U.S., the […]

San Marcos Foothills: Rich in History
By Lucy Marx   |   March 25, 2021

Julie Cordero-Lamb is an ethnobotanist and a member of the Coastal Band of the Chumash Nation. She joined the effort to protect San Marcos Foothills nearly twenty years ago. She has a unique perspective on the site, which is important to her and to the Chumash community. “We have a connection to that place that […]

A Great Cap to an Otherwise Strange Year
By Leslie Westbrook   |   December 31, 2020

My great Aunt Betty laughed when I bought my house in Summerland in the early 1980s. She told me that her husband, my great uncle Heywood, used to work on those wells when they lived in Summerland in the 1930s. Little did I know at the time that the very oil wells he worked on […]

Keeping the Wild in the Wilderness
By Chuck Graham   |   September 24, 2020

I had to admit it. I was lost and feeling a little meager, the grandeur of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), the largest refuge in North America, was swallowing me whole. Located in northeastern Alaska, the braiding Canning River was a maze of channels that separated me from the rest of my group. I […]