Knowledge is Good
By Katie Cusimano   |   October 21, 2020

In the 1950s, Harold Hill sold the kids of River City a band program. In the 2020 revival, he’s selling a bond program. Last week, while checking the Nextdoor website/app to learn which neighborhood cat was missing this week, I stumbled across some residents passionately debating Bond L2020 – Cold Spring School District Bond Measure. […]

 

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Arc of the Moral Universe
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   August 13, 2020

When it comes to criminal justice reform, the compassionate path is also the wisest. President Obama had one quote woven into the carpet of the Oval Office. It read: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” That Martin Luther King, Jr. quote has resonated with us down through history […]

Looters Attack More Than a Courthouse
By Bob Hazard   |   August 6, 2020

Many in Montecito are conflicted. The senseless killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis has jarred 100 percent of us into re-examining the fight for equal rights and justice under the law. Unfortunately, while our country attempts to come together in its search for racial justice, a highly visible minority of violent rioters and anarchists has […]

Why Are We Here?
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 30, 2020

My wife and I have significant comorbidity issues that would be extremely dangerous were we to contract COVID-19. Many of us have been self-quarantined since mid-February with no end in sight. Why are we here? California started way behind New York in experiencing large pandemic infections, only to pass it. Why are we here? Santa […]

Death and Taxes!
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 16, 2020

Benjamin Franklin observed that “In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Right now, we are up to our eyeballs in coronavirus deaths (over 140,000 as of today) and equally consumed by taxes. The coronavirus death numbers conclusively prove the necessity for the U.S. to have a better public […]

Why Did it Take 32 Years for Montecito to Cut a Desal Deal with the City of Santa Barbara? (Part II)
By Bob Hazard   |   July 9, 2020

The story of desalination in Santa Barbara dates back 32 years. Its plot, with all its twists and turns, rivals the movie, Chinatown, a tale of manipulation of water in Los Angeles in the 1930s. Faced with the threat of drought in the late 1980s, the City of Santa Barbara, the Montecito Water District and […]

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Conscious Consumption AS Social Activism
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   July 9, 2020

There is a collective myth of how America started out as a haven for religious freedom. While there’s some truth to that, in fact, America started as a business. The first settlers in Jamestown were commercially organized as The Virginia Company, and granted a charter in 1604 to exploit New World resources for the British […]

Truth, Justice, and the American Way
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   June 25, 2020

Writing this column on Juneteenth, I am reminded of Bryan Stevenson’s fabulous 2014 book Just Mercy. In it, he observes that “Capital punishment means, ‘them without capital get the punishment’…” Stevenson ends the description of his first experience with prisoners on Georgia’s death row with this musing, “My short time on death row revealed that […]

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Ball of Confusion
By Bob Hazard   |   June 18, 2020

I’m confused. Prior to May 25, law enforcement officers, along with firefighters, doctors and nurses, were celebrated as America’s heroes for showing up as first responders when other workers were told to shelter-in-place. What has happened to unleash a flood of angry protestors with signs that read “Eat the rich. Hang Bankers”; “F*** Capitalism”; and […]

The White Solution
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   June 18, 2020

Last week this column was entitled Half Slave, Half Free and dealt with the reality that people of color are not equal in this country; and, that this condition is a fundamental challenge to our “Union” as envisioned by Abraham Lincoln. Hopefully, after the last two weeks of international protests we are ready to embrace […]

Half Slave, Half Free
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   June 11, 2020

The two original sins of this nation are the systematic genocide of Native Americans and slavery. Both were the result of overt racism which has become so imbedded in our culture that we’re now left with only this choice: either be racist, or be anti-racist. There is no longer any middle ground. It’s not going […]

“Plastics, Benjamin”: A Letter to the Class of 2020
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   June 4, 2020

Mike Nichols’ 1967 iconic and classic film, for which he received the Best Director Award among four other Academy Awards, was The Graduate. The film is a masterful exploration of the malaise of college graduation at a time of great social turmoil. A promotional poster captured the tension brilliantly: “This is Benjamin. He’s a little […]

It’s a Wonderful Life (Really?)
By Rinaldo Brutoco   |   May 28, 2020

The American Film Institute honored Frank Capra by selecting his movie It’s A Wonderful Life as the Most Inspirational Film of all time. It was a great pick. Not only has it become a “Christmas Classic” for decades, but Frank Capra is quoted as saying it was his favorite film of all the incredible classics […]

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