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, […]

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 […]

Water Security from the Santa Barbara Channel
By Bob Hazard   |   May 16, 2019

Last week’s editorial identified the five top concerns facing the residents of Montecito as (1) Safety and Security from future fire, flood, and earthquake; (2) Rebuilding Public and Private Infrastructure; (3) Protecting and Preserving the Semi-Rural Character of Montecito; (4) Traffic Gridlock in Montecito; and (5) Water Securityand Water Independence from future drought. Identifying challenges […]

Is Montecito The Last Perfect Place?
By Bob Hazard   |   May 9, 2019

A year and a half after fire, flood, and mud – and after seven years of extreme drought – the “disaster watch” seems to have receded in 2019. Gentle rains have nearly ended – leaving behind a profusion of May flowers and a greater sense of wellbeing for both community residents and visitors. Never has […]

A Closer Look at Federal Income Taxes
By Bob Hazard   |   May 2, 2019

On or before April 15, 141 million U.S. taxpayers voluntarily shipped to Washington an estimated $1.7 trillion in individual income tax dollars, or about half of all federal revenues, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Taxpayers grappled with a federal tax code that is 73,954 pages long, which Albert Einstein called, “the hardest thing […]

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 […]

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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Montecito Needs Your Help Now
By Bob Hazard   |   January 24, 2019

If you do nothing else this week, pull out your pen and write a check to the Partnership for Resilient Communities, or go to the website (partnershipsb.org) to make a tax-deductible donation through the Santa Barbara Foundation. Contributions can be as low as $10 or as high as $250,000. The future of Montecito may depend […]

The Impossible Made Possible
By Bob Hazard   |   January 10, 2019

While most of us in Montecito were making merry over the holiday season, former City of Santa Barbara Fire Chief, Pat McElroy, who is now Executive Director of the Partnership (Partnership for Resilient Communities), was pounding the halls of government, along with Montecito land use attorney Joe Cole, permitting guru Suzanne Elledge, and local government […]

The Great Straw War
By Bob Hazard   |   January 1, 2019

Last year, a three-year-old video went viral depicting a sea turtle with a plastic straw ensnared in its nose. The tortoise video recorded 30 million hits, setting off a moral panic as teachers all over the country paraded elementary schoolchildren in front of elected officials demanding a straw ban. Film footage of the fabled Pacific […]

All I Want for Christmas is a Wider 101
By Bob Hazard   |   December 27, 2018

The Highway 101 corridor between the Ventura County Line and Santa Barbara is by far the most heavily traveled roadway in Santa Barbara County. Traffic estimates are that by 2020, some 100,000 cars and trucks will pass through Montecito every day. Many of these re-route through local streets, primarily on either the North Jameson frontage […]

The Need for Forward Thinking on the 101
By Bob Hazard   |   December 20, 2018

To plan for the future, it is helpful to recall the past. Montecito’s relationship with the 101 highway dates back 92 years to 1927 when residents approached the State Division of Highways asking them to pave the two dirt lanes through Montecito. John Jameson led a crusade to design America’s first scenic parkway, using planted […]

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