Re: Das Williams
By Montecito Journal   |   February 20, 2024

Your recent editorial describing Das Williams as ‘commitment to self rather than to public service’ surprised me. That is a term I have never associated with him. I have personally worked with Das over these last 20 years on issues that touched on his passion for improving our Environment – bike and pedestrian safety improvements, […]

AI and the Quest for Utopia
By Jeff Harding   |   January 30, 2024

Everyone has heard about artificial intelligence and the computer program ChatGPT. It seems to have reached some level of intelligence by digesting and synthesizing data from billions of articles on the World Wide Web. It’s a stunning achievement and holds the promise to positively transform society.  Let me disclose at the beginning that I wrote […]


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More from Montecito

Partners in Partisanship
By Arthur Merovick   |   January 23, 2024

One aspect of my doddering old age is my witnessing of numerous periods of political upheaval and national distress. Recently I’ve been troubled when I hear several friends of my vintage rationalize our current sad state of affairs as “no worse than the string of 1960 assassinations, the terrible conflict and losses of the Vietnam […]

You’ve Got Better Things to Do with Your Money
By Jeff Harding   |   January 16, 2024

I’m going to take some steel discs, slugs – you know, the kind you find in electrical outlet boxes – stamp HarCoin on them plus my profile, and sell them at auction. I will call them HarCoins. I’m going to number them serially through an RFD chip that will be embedded in the slug. If […]

Location Location Location
By Jeff Wing   |   January 16, 2024

Montecito’s proximity to Los Angeles has long made our village the jewel in the crown for location scouts seeking blue-chip environs for unforgettable Hollywood classics. And then there is the great Olivia de Havilland’s silver screen zenith and its intersection with Montecito. “They shot Gone with the Wind in Montecito?!” No, you lovable fool. I’m […]

Welcoming in 2024
By Gwyn Lurie   |   January 2, 2024

We at the Montecito Journal wish everyone in our local and world community a New Year filled with good health, movement toward world peace, and a willingness to see the shared humanity in us all. We thank you for your ongoing support, and we look forward to what promises to be an interesting and eventful […]

In Caltrans We (Don’t) Trust
By Montecito Journal   |   December 26, 2023

When you wrote the article about Caltrans tearing down the iconic trees in the Montecito median in order to expand the freeway, one of their excuses was that it would allow them to limit tearing up the landscape on the edges of the freeway. I wrote a letter questioning many of the positions Caltrans was […]

  • The Dark Underbelly of County Politics: Nets & the Tale of Two Floods
    By Jeff Giordano   |   December 19, 2023

    This has been an illuminating few months as it relates to the dark underbelly of County politics and disaster-related funding. Allow me to explain: In November, our six ring nets were ripped from the canyons by the Project for Resilient Communities who privately funded their $6M installation. Now, I don’t pretend to know what behind-the-scenes […]

    Love Thy Neighbor
    By Montecito Journal   |   December 5, 2023

    You’d think someone moving into a new neighborhood would want to maybe take a beat and see what the vibe is like, maybe see how things happen, maybe get a feel for the place. After all, who wants to start off on the wrong foot with the people who are going to be living next […]


    Cousin Julia’s and Victor Borge’s Recipes for Thanksgiving and Life
    By Calla Corner   |   November 21, 2023

    “Put the hen in a Dutch Oven. Brown her in butter for 1 minute. If you have a piano in the kitchen, play ‘The Minute Waltz’ 12 times. Add a little water. Put on the lid and let simmer. When you have finished playing half ‘The Dance of the Hours,’ dragging it slightly, you’re ready […]

    The Helicopter War: Things We Cherish and Something Our Community May Lose
    By Ed Foster   |   November 14, 2023

    After a tour in Vietnam, I remained on active duty with an assignment to the Army Combat Development and Experimentation Command, which was tasked with testing new concepts and equipment at Fort Ord.  I didn’t spend much time “back home.” Therefore, instead of being confronted by hostile civilians and old friends who did not serve […]

    Update from The Project for Resilient Communities
    By Pat McElroy and Brett Matthews   |   November 14, 2023

    We have been getting several phone calls, emails, and questions regarding the decision to pull the six Ring Nets out of three canyons above Montecito. This week has been an extremely critical one for TPRC’s project. We are proud to be a part of a community that rose to the occasion to keep our community […]

    Dinner With Friends
    By Gwyn Lurie   |   November 14, 2023

    More than a year ago, in “sleepy” Santa Barbara, long before Hamas ever slaughtered 1,400 innocents at a peace festival or Israel retaliated, a special group of Central Coast locals were incubating a project that could just very well help with this mess. Maybe a lot of messes. Ironically, we may owe a debt of […]

    Ring Nets Removal Response
    By Montecito Journal   |   November 14, 2023

    Regarding the “Ring Nets” installed in the canyons above Montecito in response to the disastrous mudslide of January 9, 2018: As the Executive Director of an environmental organization in Santa Barbara, I joined the Board of The Project for Resilient Communities (TPRC) to watch the proceedings from an environmental point of view. The Ring Nets […]