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 […]

California Blues
By Bob Hazard   |   November 22, 2018

With the Democratic sweep in the November 2018 statewide elections, the Republican Party in California continues its descent into oblivion. The GOP won no statewide office. Democrats now have a death grip on California’s two U.S. Senate seats, all but eight of the 53 California U.S. House seats and a supermajority in Sacramento in the […]

 

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Montecito Election Results
By Bob Hazard   |   November 15, 2018

No need for us to reiterate the national, statewide, and countywide election results. If you are a Democrat, you are ecstatic; if you are a Republican, not so much. It was, however, a good day for supporters of Montecito’s Water Security Team, all five of whom were elected to their respective boards: Cori Hayman, Brian […]

A Fascinating Future
By Bob Hazard   |   November 8, 2018

The best way to predict the future is to watch those who are working hard to create it. It is fascinating to reflect on how fast the world is changing. The Auto Industry Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that Alphabet Inc’s Waymo has become the first company to receive a permit from the […]

Time for a Change
By Bob Hazard   |   November 1, 2018

Montecito voters will have a rare opportunity to elect two of five Montecito Sanitary District (MSD) Board members this year in a classic contest between appointed incumbents who have already held their board seats for up to 12 years and an exceptionally competent team of challengers who offer new ideas and a solid plan for […]

Election 2018: Sanitary District Voters Have a Choice
By Bob Hazard   |   October 4, 2018

On November 6, Montecito voters will go to the polls. This year’s ballot contains an extreme rarity: a contested election for the Montecito Sanitary District (MSD) Board of Directors. For the first time in anyone’s memory, voters will choose among four different candidates running for two MSD seats. Why is this unusual? Because since 2000, […]

Montecito Falling Behind on Recycled Water
By Bob Hazard   |   August 30, 2018

Recycling of treated wastewater is environmentally responsible and can create a significant new water supply for both landscaping water (sometimes referred to as non-potable or “purple pipe” water) by surface spreading, or even better, indirect potable reuse (IPR) by injecting the purified water into local groundwater basins as recharge water for later withdrawal as a […]

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Desalination Celebrates One-Year Anniversary
By Bob Hazard   |   August 23, 2018

Santa Barbara mayor Cathy Murillo was able to take a well-deserved bow last week as she and Josh Haggmark, City Water Resources manager; Cathy Taylor, Water Systems manager; Randy Rowse and other civic leaders celebrated the one-year anniversary of the reopening of the City’s Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant. All hailed the addition of desalinated […]

Let’s Block the Rocks… Now
By Bob Hazard   |   July 26, 2018

The Montecito community faces a difficult 2018-2019 winter season. If we get too little rain, we will return to drought worries; too much rain and Montecito residents face evacuation and the possibility of additional mud and rock flows. Of the two perils – severe drought versus debris flow – the more pressing danger is the […]

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Freedom Facts and Fictions
By Bob Hazard   |   July 5, 2018

Ask anyone why we celebrate the 4th of July holiday and the most frequent answer is that July 4 represents our nation’s birthday. This is only partially correct.  On July 2, 1776 (not July 4), members of the Second Continental Congress, meeting in Philadelphia, voted to declare independence from Great Britain for the 13 colonies. […]

Addressing the FEMA-Created Mess
By Bob Hazard   |   June 28, 2018

Last week, the SB County Board of Supervisors (BOS) voted unanimously to adopt the FEMA Interim Flood Map in an effort to expedite and control the rebuilding process in Montecito. As chair of the BOS, supervisor Das Williams noted, “I can’t say I’m comfortable with the option of the Interim Flood Recovery map, but the […]

Securing Montecito’s Future
By Bob Hazard   |   June 7, 2018

Without a mayor and a town council that have both authority to set priorities and resources to fund selected programs, disaster recovery options are limited. Local efforts are confined to supporting the county government team and offering a host of volunteer services. The historic role, for example, of the Montecito Association (MA) has been “the […]

Re-Considering Home Rule for Montecito
By Bob Hazard   |   May 31, 2018

In 1991, the residents of Montecito engaged in a heated debate, turning down a vote for cityhood by fewer than 100 votes. Every 10 years or so, the debate over home rule rises again. Advocates believe that local knowledge of local needs allows communities that are self-governing to better plan their own future, to control […]

To Re-build or Not?
By Bob Hazard   |   May 24, 2018

Mark your calendars for June 11, 2018. That’s the expected date for the public release of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Recovery Maps for Montecito. The map release will mark a critical milepost in making the rebuilding decisions that will shape the future character of Montecito for the next 50 years.  FEMA Recovery […]

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