For 2021, Let’s at Least do the Least
By Gwyn Lurie   |   December 31, 2020

It’s hard to believe that this decade (and by decade, I mean this past year) is finally coming to an end. However, for those of us fortunate enough to have made it through, it does seem we are about to see the backside of the most tumultuous, trying, and confusing year in memory. 2020, don’t […]

Santa Barbara’s Next Mayor?
By Gwyn Lurie   |   November 25, 2020

The 2020 political season is over. Mostly. But like California’s fire season, once reserved to only certain months of the year, election cycles now seem to be with us 24/7-52-365. I guess there’s no rest for the weary. So let me be the first to welcome you to the early days of the next important […]

 

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We Must Recover the Lost Art of Compromise. On This There Can Be No Compromise.
By Gwyn Lurie   |   November 19, 2020

The election is finally over. Or maybe it isn’t. But one thing is clear: for some of us this moment brings exhilaration, joy, relief. For others, this moment is profoundly disappointing and downright hard to take.  American Democracy has arrived at a crossroad. If you listen to almost any news outlet, down one road lies […]

A Little Good News Goes a Long Way
By Gwyn Lurie   |   November 12, 2020

By the time we go to press the long-anticipated election will be over, but as I write this letter, I’m in the dark as to what that will mean. What I do know is this past year has been like no other I’ve known; and I suspect I’m not alone. 2020 has moved us from […]

Shouldn’t We Try to Do Better?
By Gwyn Lurie   |   November 5, 2020

My friend’s mother used to say: “Just because you’re the loudest, doesn’t mean you’re right.” From time to time I invoke this during vociferous dinner table debates amongst members of my family. But in a world where facts go unchecked on social media platforms, where vocal minorities can represent anything as truth, it can be […]

Vote.
By Gwyn Lurie   |   October 29, 2020

I’m told that when we have something important to say, we should say it as succinctly as possible. I don’t always adhere to this, but here goes… Don’t fear. Don’t dread. Don’t complain. Don’t regret…. VOTE! Or, as said by others more esteemed and eloquent than I: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate […]

As Supervisors’ Pay Rises, Should Constituents’ Confidence Lower?
By Gwyn Lurie   |   October 21, 2020

On October 7, in a 3-2 vote, our County Board of Supervisors voted to give themselves an optional 3% pay raise. Supervisor Joan Hartmann justified her vote by explaining that “this job is a very demanding one with a lot of responsibilities that are very diverse.” Das Williams and Steve Lavagnino expressed similar justifications for […]

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COVID-19 As Metaphor — A Russian Master Strategist Weighs In — And Our Pick For President
By Gwyn Lurie   |   October 13, 2020

Four years ago this newspaper was one of a handful of publications nationally to announce its support for Donald Trump for president. It did so largely because of Trump’s positions on deregulation and renegotiating many of our trade agreements. In his 2016 endorsement, my predecessor wrote, “We do hope Trump lives up to his promises […]

Whose Montecito?
By Gwyn Lurie   |   August 27, 2020

by Gwyn Lurie As scores of people flee various pandemic-claustro places for the sunny hills and shores of Montecito, it is time to ask ourselves the inescapable question, “Whose Montecito is it?”   This point was underscored by local reaction to last week’s issue of this newspaper which gently poked fun at tabloid culture and expressed […]

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“Tabloid Culture” – A True Oxymoron
By Gwyn Lurie   |   August 20, 2020

For a few decades before and one decade after the Millennium, there was a well-known restaurant in New York named Elaine’s, known as the “it” celebrity hang-out and “the private place where public people go to be private in public.” There was a rigorous selection process to get in (which was conducted by Elaine herself). […]

Ellen DeGeneres, a Stand-Up Person
By Les Firestein   |   August 13, 2020

In recent weeks, sharks have been circling the waters off the coast of Santa Barbara. It is a scientific fact that certain species of shark must always move forward, constantly feeding, or else they will die. This is true of Mako sharks. It’s true of hammerheads. It is true of Great Whites. My big question […]

Pitch Imperfect
By Gwyn Lurie   |   July 30, 2020

Remember the movie Home Alone? It’s a fantasy, a comedy, and a horror film wrapped in one. The parents leave for a family vacation and amidst the chaos of preparing to leave, they forget the most important thing… their son. So the kid gets left home alone with no grown-up in charge, no one to […]

Pride and Prejudice
By Gwyn Lurie   |   July 23, 2020

These days discussions about race are like a knot where the more you work on it, the tighter it gets. I do not recall a more racially charged time and I have been through several of them. To give just a brief summary of the last few days: the entertainer Nick Cannon made some comments […]

Masker-Aid
By Gwyn Lurie   |   July 16, 2020

There’s an old saying, “If you don’t plan on doing it right, you’d better plan on doing it again.” As I write, Governor Newsom has just stepped way out ahead of the federal government and ordered sweeping rollbacks of businesses in 30 counties across California, including our own. In Santa Barbara, not so long ago […]

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