(If you have something you think Montecito should know about, or wish to respond to something you read in the Journal, we want to hear from you. Please send all such correspondence to: Montecito Journal, Letters to the Editor, P.O. Box 50015, Montecito, CA. 93150. You can also FAX such mail to: (805) 969-6654, or E-mail to Tim@montecitojournal.net)

CAMERA AT COLD SPRINGS TRAILHEAD?

I was quite surprised to read in a recent Sheriff's Blotter about the installation of a camera at the Cold Springs Trailhead. I own the property across the street from the trailhead and my property runs over 100 yards in each direction from where Cold Springs Creek runs over Mountain Drive. I have enjoyed owning this magnificent property and living here for almost eight years. The only negative has been the frequent break-ins at the trailhead and then seeing the shocked and tear-stained faces of hikers when they knock at my door asking to use the phone to call the police because of what has happened to their car (as many people know, most cell phones do not work at the trailhead).

Your article states "Residents of the area have expressed interest in placing the cameras on their property, a solution deputies say is feasible." Really? This is news to me and since it would be impossible to place a camera on private property to observe the trailhead without placing it on my property. I wonder who you have spoken to about this?

Lisa Loch

Montecito

(Publisher’s Note: After receiving this e-mail, Montecito Journal contacted Montecito Association President Bob Collector and forwarded Lisa’s number.

Representing the Montecito Association, I phoned Lisa to discuss her interpretation of the Journal article. I found her to be totally supportive of the Sheriff's Department and utterly responsive to the community problem of vandalism at Cold Springs Trailhead. The specifics of a possible video surveillance weren't clear to Lisa, and once I did my best to explain our (the MA's and the Sheriff's Department) intent – the idea of video surveillance we were studying – Lisa understood, supported the notion (so long as her privacy was respected), and vigorously supports the Sheriff's Department's every effort to deter crime at Cold Springs Trailhead. – Robert Collector, President Montecito Association)

To Dalina and Mike

Dalina Lowdermilk and Mike Klan were married at the Montecito Country Club on Saturday July 1.

The bride is a Montecito native, having attended Montecito Union and Mount Carmel and graduating from Westmont College. Her parents are Dale and Pierina Lowdermilk.

The groom is known to people around town as the Sports Guy at Channel 3-KEYT. He is the weekend sports anchor and also produces and hosts the popular and Emmy-award winning “Friday Football Focus!” He graduated from UCSB. The couple met while both worked at KEYT. The ceremony was held on the lawn overlooking Santa Barbara Harbor, and a sit-down dinner followed inside. Local performers and friends of the bride Julie Ruggieri and Jennifer Shepard sang at the wedding, which was officiated by Jon Ireland.

The couple honeymooned in Riveria Maya, Mexico.

Thanks again!

Dalina and Mike Klan

Montecito

Global Warming: A Scientific Perspective

I read with interest the “Enviro Report” written by William Korchinski. I am not a chemical engineer, but I am a geologist who has spent the better part of 30 years studying the evidence of Earth’s past climate changes, so I hope I can provide a few facts about the current situation. In a virtually unprecedented display of unity, hundreds of scientists around the world have joined with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (www.ipcc.ch) to generate reports that are as factual as possible on the causes and outcomes of global climate change. They are currently working on the fourth update to their assessment on climate change and uncertainties. The Summary for Policymakers from the 2001 report, available on the website contains the following description of the report:

“The Third Assessment Report provides an assessment of new scientific information and evidences as an input for policymakers in their determination of what constitutes ‘dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system’. It provides, first, new projections of future concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, global and regional patterns of changes and rates of change in temperature, precipitation, and sea level, and changes in extreme climate events. It also examines possibilities for abrupt and irreversible changes in ocean circulation and the major ice sheets. Second, it provides an assessment of the biophysical and socio-economic impacts of climate change, with regard to risks to unique and threatened systems, risks of large-scale, high-impact events. Third, it provides an assessment of the potential for achieving a broad range of levels of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere through mitigation, and information about how adaptation can reduce vulnerability.”

I urge anyone who would like to be informed on the topic to read the above report.

Tom G. Farr, Ph.D

La Crescenta, California

Bathroom Blues

Regarding Tim Buckley’s view on the proposed restrooms at Butterfly Beach, Bottoms Down At Butterfly Beach. I could not agree with him more. Another problem that would arise would be the use of the restrooms by transients. This proposal would also create a place for drug sales and use out of the public view. These are very real problems in all the public restrooms at the beaches in Santa Barbara. I think Tim is doing a great job on the paper. For a young person he has some very mature views.

Thank you for an informative and interesting paper.

Linda Jamali

Submitted via e-mail

(Publisher’s Note: Judging by the amount of trash transients have amassed in the bushes near Coast Village Road, we can only imagine what Butterfly Beach bathrooms would look like as time went on. The other permanent public bathrooms on East Beach are disgusting. We would be kidding ourselves if we didn’t realize the fate of our bathrooms would be identical. I hope that this proposal quietly disappears. – TLB)

Proud Whistleblower

Thank you to Kim Seefeld’s Private Property Report for having the courage of her convictions to report the extent of the abuse in the Affordable Housing Program. It can’t be easy for people to risk putting themselves in a position where others get to judge their actions. If I ever see a "Proud to be a Whistleblower" tee shirt I'm getting you one.

Thanks,

Karen Friedman

Carpinteria

(Publisher’s Note: It should be self-evident the Affordable Housing Program is a fraud, but for some reason people keep rallying around it. Maybe a 25% abuse rate is considered a successful program in Bureaucrat Land, but to most businesses it would indicate complete failure. Avoiding realities of the effects government programs have on the cost of housing, in the long run, will either collapse the real estate market or make it impossible for people to rent – or buy – without going through a government program. – TLB)

Anti-War Republicans?

I sure would like to see a Republican candidate for president that promises troops out of Iraq within 60 days of taking office. That would burst the perception that the advocacy for the occupation is partisan. Many people to the Right of 'W' have had enough, also. Not just the Left as talk radio and Faux News would like you to believe.

Anyone else notice that Saddam is being tried in a second trial, yet few know the verdict from the first? He wasn't found guilty in the first.

Big Big Matt

Santa Barbara

(Publisher’s note: A verdict from the first trial is expected to be announced on October 16 – TLB)

Panhandling Economics

For future background – here is an interesting way to look how much money goes towards panhandling in Montecito and what that money could do:

Let’s say that there are three prime panhandling locations in the Montecito area and that the average panhandler can bring in $10 an hour for an eight-hour day – $80 per day. If a panhandler did this each and every day, his/her annual income would be $29,200.

Knowing Montecito, if one panhandler abandons his/her space, it is taken over immediately by someone else. Of course there are more than three panhandling spots in the area. But if you simply assume that those three spots can generate $29,200, folks are giving away, at minimum, up to $87,600 per year.

Casa Esperanza just received a grant to create Santa Barbara’s first team of Street Outreach Workers, who will make a positive impact in helping the chronically homeless – the vast, vast majority suffering from mental illness and disabling addictions – move from the streets into safety and recovery.

This $87,600 would pay the salaries of two full-time Casa Esperanza Street Outreach Workers, plus benefits! If the generous and compassionate folks in Montecito really want to help those experiencing homelessness, their donations have the highest possible impact at Casa Esperanza, Transition House, and the other local programs that are faith-based.

When panhandlers are confronted with why they don’t go to work or don’t access shelters, there are a number of answers. “The Shelters don’t want to help me.” “I’m an outdoorsman.” “I just like being outside.” There are myriad reasons and answers, and sometimes those reasons are truthful and legitimate. The vast majority of the time, however, that is not the case. Just because a person seems able-bodied, does not mean that they are able-minded. The streets are filled with people suffering from mental disorders that leave them able-bodied but functionally disabled, such as attachment disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder, manic depression, borderline personality disorder – the list goes on and on.

The homeless are just like anyone else; when asked why they live in bushes, very few will say “because I am severely mentally ill,” or “I am so addicted to drugs that I can’t think about anything else, no matter how devastated I know myself to be.” Focused exclusively on survival and unable to put voice to finding the help they truly need, sometimes we see lots of anger. I encourage truly compassionate people to take the time to see through a suffering person’s defense mechanisms and support growing the structures where the hurting can get the help they desperately need.

Mike Foley

Executive Director

Casa Esperanza

(Publisher’s Note: Thank you again for clarifying the reasons why giving money to panhandlers on Coast Village Road is a bad idea. If you feel guilty, buy them some groceries or vitamins. Money just prolongs their situation by allowing them to purchase substances that have often gotten them there in the first place. – TLB)

A Delicious Irony

I was going to ignore your irrelevant reply to my letter to the editor published in the 17-30 August issue, but when I read your reply to the letter immediately following ... well, the irony was just too delicious to pass up.

I had written in support of SBCAG's bond strategy for Measure D regional projects, to which James Buckley objects. Indeed, in the 3-16 August issue he wrote, "We suggest voting against the reauthorization of Measure D."

Joe Bike wrote a letter entitled Ode to the Road, in part lamenting the expenditure of funds for the Ortega Hill bypass. The Publisher's note in response said, "You may bemoan the new bike path being built to bypass Ortega Hill, but my dad doesn't. He eagerly awaits the day he can ride from Montecito along that path to have lunch at Café Luna in Summerland."

Are you aware that the Ortega Hill project is being built with Measure D funds?

Milt Hess

Santa Barbara

(Note: I’m a casual bicyclist and refuse to use Ortega Hill to get to Summerland because of its lack of a “bailout” in case of an accident. Because I favor the construction of a safer path around Ortega Ridge rather than over it is hardly a reason to vote “Yes” to a 30-year three-quarter-percent sales tax on every expenditure in Santa Barbara county. So, if it’s a choice between the multi-billion-dollar sales tax boondoggle or the $4-million bike path, I would easily vote against the former and give up the latter. – J.B.)

School Board Real Estate

So now the Santa Barbara School Board is proposing to get involved in high-density real estate development because the district is “out of money?” Except for Bob Noël, this school board has shown itself to be completely inept. It cannot even manage the funds of the school district. If they go forward with developing the Tatum and Hidden Valley properties, the rest of the community will now have to live and deal with their ineptitude as real estate developers: more wasted money, more congestion, overcrowded neighborhoods, more traffic, etc. Rather than destroying more Santa Barbara neighborhoods with high-density development, the Santa Barbara School Board should get its own financial house in order and work to improve the quality of education within the school district…Oh, by the way, did they ever find the bond money they could not previously account for?

Chris Messner

Santa Barbara

(Publisher’s Note: We cringe at the thought of the School Board having anything to do with housing. Not that I am against government workers actually working more…ahem… but I don’t think they are capable enough as a group to tackle housing. Ideas like this make me question God’s existence. – TLB)

Corrections & Amplifications

In "On Stage" two issues ago we incorrectly identified producer Steve Traxler as a Montecito resident. Mr. Traxler, the Tony-award-winning producer, should not be confused with Steve Traxler, the movie filmmaker and producer who lives in Montecito.

In the last editorial Bottoms Down At Butterfly Beach. we stated there were two seats available on the Montecito Water District Board; there are actually three in the November elections. One incumbent is running for reelection, the other two have chosen not to run.