What’s Up in the Sewer System?
By Bob Hazard   |   September 26, 2019

The question before the Montecito Sanitary District (MSD) Board and its Montecito community of ratepayers is whether or not it is a good idea to spend nearly $6 million in ratepayer funds to build an office building for three employees and a receptionist. On the surface, spending $6 million on an office building for four […]

Gridlock Grips Montecito
By Bob Hazard   |   August 1, 2019

It is August, and the living in Montecito is easy… or at least it should be. Gone are May Gray and June Gloom; in their place are sunny skies, a beautiful blue-green ocean and mild temperatures. For the first time in seven years, we have adequate water with no prospect of mandatory rationing. Happiness prevails. […]

 

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Election Intrigue in Montecito
By Bob Hazard   |   July 25, 2019

The big local political news is that Laura Capps is telling friends and political associates that she has decided to challenge Das Williams in his bid for re-election as 1st District County Supervisor. The election will be held March 3, 2020, replacing the traditional June California primary election. Candidates must be certified by December 26, […]

Waiting for the Big One
By Bob Hazard   |   July 11, 2019

Montecito received a warning last week from two of California’s biggest earthquakes in the last 20 years, a 6.4 magnitude quake last Thursday on the 4th of July, followed by a 7.1 magnitude shake and quake 34 hours later at 8 pm Friday evening. Both quakes originated in the Mojave high-desert region near Ridgecrest, a […]

Seeking Perpetual Excellence
By Bob Hazard   |   June 20, 2019

As we wave the flags and cheer for our kids at our annual 4th of July parade celebrating America’s call for independence, we cannot ignore the reality that we are governed by a county that is totally devoid of local long-range strategic planning for Montecito, including coordination of disparate community efforts. Under the present system […]

How Did We Get It So Wrong?
By Bob Hazard   |   June 13, 2019

Throughout history men have made some bad choices by unwittingly clinging to the past, rather than recognizing and embracing an uncertain future. Here are a few memorable misjudgments: In 1903, the President of the Michigan Savings Bank warned Henry Ford’s lawyer, Horace Rackham, to protect his money. “The horse is here to stay but the […]

The Search For “Affordable” Healthcare
By Bob Hazard   |   June 6, 2019

For the majority of the 8,965 residents of Montecito, the cost of healthcare is affordable. Until it is not. Healthcare becomes less affordable, even for affluent residents, when they face the cost of chronic conditions like cancer, when they are forced to finance end-of-life care, when very expensive drugs are prescribed, or when unexpected medical […]

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Local Control of Community Services
By Bob Hazard   |   May 23, 2019

Montecito Association (MA) members have identified three issues – water security, including lifetime independence from drought; effective recycling with re-use of wastewater; safety and security from future flood and debris flows – as critical issues facing Montecito that need to be explored and resolved as the community looks toward a better future. To resolve any […]

Will Montecito Go To Pot?
By Bob Hazard   |   April 18, 2019

Private use of marijuana for recreational purposes is now legal for adults living in Montecito. Recreational use of marijuana for those 21 years and older was approved overwhelmingly by state’s voters in November 2016. The legal sale of adult-use cannabis projects at recreational dispensaries licensed by the California Bureau of Cannabis Control took effect on […]

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Taxing Times in Montecito
By Bob Hazard   |   April 11, 2019

Beware the Ides of April – the time when the Federal and State tax men cometh to collect their share of the money needed to pay for next year’s government follies. Here are some taxing takeaways for Montecito residents: The ZIP Code List Montecito is too often associated with Oprah Winfrey, large estates, and the […]

The Water Wells of Montecito
By Bob Hazard   |   March 28, 2019

After a wet November, a damp December, and a soggy January, February, and March, the good news is that Montecito water bills have never been lower. Seventeen storms have dropped 32 inches of water drenching our community. The heavy downpours in Montecito have temporarily eliminated our “extreme drought” designation but have raised a number of […]

A Night at the Rosewood
By Bob Hazard   |   March 14, 2019

Owner-developer Rick Caruso has transformed a challenging 16-acre site, tucked between the 101 freeway and the single-track Union Pacific Railroad into an oasis of tranquility and taste. The infusion of $185 million in construction costs, plus land and site costs, helped convert the blue-roofed, mid-market and rundown old Miramar into the dazzling five-star Rosewood Miramar […]

Looking for Water Solutions
By Bob Hazard   |   March 14, 2019

In this community, business-as-usual is no longer an option. Separate silos for water and sanitary decisions are as dated as hula hoops. Why? Water in all forms is one of our most fundamental resources. Increasingly, communities are realizing a need for districts to work together on water solutions that deliver more efficient use, integrated management […]

Time for a Montecito Renewal
By Bob Hazard   |   February 14, 2019

A succession of winter storms has dropped four to six inches of intense rainfall on Montecito, and so far, cleaned-out debris basins, combined with wider creek channels, have saved the day. Now is an ideal time to pause and reflect on how you as an individual can help to make the Montecito community a safer […]

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