Taking a Stand in the Sand
By Mimi Degruy   |   August 6, 2020

Listen, listen, listen. Learn, Learn, Learn. During these past few tumultuous months, that has been my mantra. As a privileged white woman, I feel it is best to stay quiet and listen deeply. I have much to learn from the BLM and BIPOC movements. And yet there are times when darkness surfaces and it feels […]

A Price for a Human Life?
By Robert Bernstein   |   June 18, 2020

New York Governor Cuomo said in March, “If it’s public health versus the economy, the only choice is public health. You cannot put a value on human life.” But public policy absolutely requires placing a value on human life. There are about 35,000 automobile deaths each year in the U.S. If we reduced the speed […]

 

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Vive La France
By Jerold Oshinsky   |   June 11, 2020

Policyholder lawyers in the USA are singing “La Marseillaise” after a decision last week in Paris holding in favor of a French restaurant group seeking insurance coverage for a COVID-related “administrative closure” of its four restaurants in Paris which caused lost profits and extra expense. This is an “order of civil authority” in our parlance. […]

Nature Versus Nurture
By Kyle Slavin   |   June 4, 2020

Which came first, a town’s culture, or the people who inspired it? Two-and-a-half lifetimes ago, in 2012, my newly-minted fiancée and I were wedged in a one-bedroom apartment on the Mesa, utterly broke and enthusiastically optimistic. Those fresh-faced, naïve versions of ourselves would eat trail mix and drink wine on our utter lack of living […]

Ready for the Rush
By Andrew Firestone   |   May 21, 2020

Over the past 10 weeks, Santa Barbara, along with the rest of the world, has been paralyzed with fear over the scourge of COVID-19. People remain frozen in fear of venturing outside, of touching a foreign or unknown object, and in fear of coming within six feet of another person. As the medical community grapples […]

Memories are Made of This
By Jerold Oshinsky   |   May 21, 2020

I am writing this article both as a memorial to a dear friend of 50 years who just succumbed to COVID. And as a reminder to all that the coronavirus remains a clear and present danger to everyone. After eight weeks of hibernation, I am as stir crazy as everyone else, although I have the […]

A Life to Remember
By Gretchen Lieff   |   May 14, 2020

A Lesson in Loss It’s important to tell those we love how much they mean to us – don’t wait. It was another death along the train tracks in Montecito as we waited anxiously for further details and circumstances. Then we heard it was a local hair stylist. That was upsetting. And then the unfathomable […]

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What is Normal?
By Robert Bernstein   |   May 14, 2020

As I write this article, people are asking for a return to “normal.” Is that what we really want? Is it “normal” that tens of millions of Americans have no access to healthcare? That millions of Americans are homeless? That 11 million children in the U.S. literally do not know where their next meal is […]

Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act
By Christopher Gallo   |   April 9, 2020

In response to the massive economic impact of the coronavirus, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) on March 27. This sweeping action brought over $2 trillion to fight unemployment, bolster public health and provide some tax relief to businesses and individuals. Though much of the bill focuses on unemployment benefits […]

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Emotions in Personal Finance
By Christopher Gallo   |   April 2, 2020

A Westmont College-hosted talk in February by Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahneman spoke to the increasing awareness of behavioral economics. Kahneman won the prize in 2002 for his creation of the prospect theory: the concept that investors feel the pain of losses much more than the joy of gains. This echoed a similar sentiment from […]

Voting Paradoxes
By Robert Bernstein   |   March 26, 2020

My immigrant wife Merlie is mystified by our complex voting system. She wonders what these “primaries” are all about. “Why don’t you just vote for your choice among all of the presidential candidates at once and be done with it?” I am going to break Godwin’s Law and invoke the following example. Suppose we had […]

GLORY DAYS / 1964-1967: Introduction to Columbia Law School
By Jerold Oshinsky   |   March 19, 2020

This week I decided to meander a bit further afield – to my Glory Days at Columbia Law School. I loved law school. I was at Columbia Law School during the era of the Beatles when 1964 seemed forever. In fact their years in the spotlight and my law school days overlapped. I missed the […]

Coronavirus Panic Comes to Montecito
By Bob Hazard   |   March 12, 2020

By far, the hottest topic in Montecito this week is the fear of the coronavirus and its rapid spread around the world. Anxiety is high because we are all being warned by the media that the coronavirus has not yet peaked. Social Distancing Wherever cases are reported, the cry escalates for “social distancing,” which means […]

What is Truth?
By Robert Bernstein   |   February 27, 2020

“The moon is made of green cheese.” Fact or Opinion? This was a question we were given in a high school English unit on telling the difference between facts and opinions. This was a required part of the Montgomery County, Maryland curriculum. It took me many years to learn that it was not part of […]

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