Twenty-One Questions Answered

Last issue we pondered "21 Questions," mostly about Montecito and asked readers to respond to all, some, or even just one of those questions and to respond via e-mail or through our (excellent) website: montecitojournal.net. So far, nearly a hundred responses have been received and they keep coming in, and for that we say “thank you” to all who took the time to answer and participate in our poll. Over the coming weeks, we’ll discuss and dissect answers to those "21 Questions."> Question number one asked how readers felt about Ty Warner’s renovation plans for the wall and steps down to the beach in front of the Biltmore; 87% of respondents backed Warner’s plan, as did the Montecito Planning Commission, except for insisting on removal of brickwork that architects designed to match the brickwork across Channel Drive. The Commissioners objected, opining that the wall and stairways looked too much like the Biltmore and might discourage the public from accessing the beach. While we agree that vigilance is always required to maintain the semi-rural atmosphere of Montecito, we also feel the commissioners are off-base. If access to the beach is the main concern, a sign stating that the new stairway is open to the public should take care of the problem. This is a great opportunity for a substantial community improvement ($2 million) at no cost to taxpayers. Let’s take it.

We asked if the alcohol ban at Butterfly Beach should be rescinded. Over 90% were in favor of retaining the ban. We wonder if this ordinance is really necessary. The young collegians from UCSB and SBCC definitely took advantage of our non-existent alcohol policy, so we do understand why it was passed, but I couldn’t help notice that over Labor Day weekend many beachgoers ignored the ban. We spotted groups and families with picnic baskets and bottles of wine at Butterfly Beach clearly disobeying that ordinance. And so, although this ordinance was passed in response to the irresponsible behavior of some, it affects the behavior of all and reduces responsible citizens’ options. There are other, better, ways of combating irresponsible behavior; it is both dangerous and disheartening that government is given permission to regulate yet another of life’s simpler pleasures.

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!

Come one; come all to the upcoming Montecito Town Hall Meeting. The Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department in cooperation with the Montecito Association and California Highway Patrol invite residents to discuss safety and crime concerns at a community forum called for Monday, September 18 at MUS auditorium, beginning at 7 pm (for more details, click here)

Short Bits

• On Tuesday, September 5, Barney Brantingham in his “On the Beat” column in the Santa Barbara Independent confirmed a rumor that Montecito Journal is going weekly. It is true; as of November 9, we will publish every Thursday.

• Congratulations to both Cold Spring School and Montecito Union School, whose students scored respectively first and third in Santa Barbara County statewide testing (for more details, click here)

• Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club hosted the Triple Crown of Polo recently and ESPN2 was there to film it. The matches will be aired Sunday, September 17 at 10 am and Tuesday, September 19 at 11:30 am. Live polo continues at the SBPRC, 3300 Via Real in Carpinteria, on Sundays at 1 & 3 pm through October 15.

• Hillary Hauser, executive director of Heal the Ocean announced that a final decision to approve sewers (and to do away with septic tanks) on ocean front properties at Rincon, Sandyland, Sand Point, Padaro Lane, and Beach Club Road will be made at a Carpinteria Sanitary District on Tuesday, September 19 at 5:30 pm. It will be held at the Carpinteria Sanitary District, 5300 Sixth Street in Carpinteria.

• The most memorable comment about 9/11 was made by Vice President Dick Cheney at the Pentagon memorial service near the site where American Airlines Flight 77 crashed. "This nation,” he said, “has defeated tyrants and liberated death camps, raised the lamp of liberty to every captive land. We have no intention of ignoring or appeasing history's latest gang of fanatics trying to murder their way to power."

Question of the Week:

Due to the recent success and popularity of our questionnaire, in conjunction with our local news, we will feature a question of the week that can be answered on our website, www.montecitojournal.net or emailed to tim@montecitojournal.net. Thank you again for all your comments.

Q. Are you pleased with the new Westmont proposal? If you aren’t, what about it makes you uneasy? Does the new Westmont proposal address the issues that are important to you? What are those issues you feel are most important?