(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, 1122 Coast Village Circle, Montecito, CA. 93108. You can also FAX such mail to: (805) 969-6654, or E-mail to tim@montecitojournal.net)

Miramar Memories

I understand that you're looking for "Memories of the Miramar." I have one that I'm happy to share with you.

The year was 1966, and I lived with my parents in a beach house on Miramar beach. I was 7 years old at the time, and would spend hours on the beach playing and swimming with my cousins. The Miramar Hotel had a lifeguard named Jacques who was the closest thing to Charles Atlas as one could find. That, combined with a killer tan and a killer French accent, made him very popular among the guests. Each morning, in his skimpy red Speedo bathing suit, he would do his exercises on the beach right in front of the boardwalk. Then he would go for a long swim back and forth along the hotel's waterfront.

Jacques was very, very cool in the eyes of a 7-year-old, and was equally friendly to me. He had no objection to my joining him for his daily exercises, so the two of us, like clockwork each day, would do our one-legged squats, push-ups, jumping jacks, etc. Since I couldn't join him for his swim, since I didn't swim, he convinced me to take private swimming lessons with him at the Miramar Hotel pool. He taught me to swim and dive, and any good form I may have today can be attributed to him. One thing I remember about his teaching me to dive was his asking me to bring a quarter to each class. He'd make me put the quarter between my toes and dive in, encouraging me to keep my feet together when I dove. If I lost the quarter, he'd get to keep it. I learned good diving form from Jacques too, but it cost me. In 1967, I moved to Canada with my family, where I reside now. I still have family in Montecito, and have taken regular trips back over the years. For quite a while, I used to look Jacques up, and we'd always enjoy a good chat. Neither his tan nor his accent ever faded. Those were magical days for me, and I'll never forget Jacques, or the wonderful times I spent with him in and around the Miramar Hotel.

Sincerely,

Sven Dickinson

Professor, Department of Computer Science

University of Toronto

Keep It Up

Please continue your comments following the letters from readers. They offer a very good perspective and we enjoy it very much. The Journal is great and your editorials are excellent.

Thank you,

The Keiths

(Publisher’s Note: Thank you for your support. It is always much appreciated. – TLB)

Balancing Act

Here is one vote for the continuing of your comments. I find your comments help clarify and balance many of the letters to the editor. Keep up the good work and an excellent paper.

Elden Dellanina

Safer Roads

Two weeks back, I wrote to express my concern that too many homeowners use the public right-of-way in front of their homes as a garden, hedge, or rock pile. These road easements, which provide for access to cars, and also walkers and bikers, have become so overgrown and developed to the edge of the asphalt that now only cars and trucks pass safely. My suggestion is that if each homeowner would do a bit of clearing, our road shoulders would be safer for people who would like to walk more.

I'm amused that the only comments about my letter were about editorial comments by you. How about some comments from the public on the road issue?

Thanks,

Jeffrey Johnson

Montecito

(Publisher’s Note: The safe routes to school program is exploring the possibility that, with the help of residents, road encroachments may be cleared where high traffic and kids walking to school are a concern. For more information read “Local News” on page 12.)

Our Choice

Newspapers are a source of information, written by the people who have notes and opinions on the subjects.

It is our choice to pick up the paper and read it.

Having the second opinion, or the “Publisher's Note,” create so many other "Notes" shows me how many of us read the Journal with a great interest.

Laura White

(Publisher’s Note: Whether one agrees or disagrees with our opinions, we greatly appreciate every time someone reads the Journal. – TLB)

Morass of Rants

Keep up the editorial responses. As mentioned by others, you often provide some economic education for those who badly need it (whether they'll learn is another question).

You might also consider adding a blog function, but one that requires use of real names (unlike the Independent, which allows anonymous blogging and has turned into a morass of rants).

Robert C. Meltzer

(Publisher’s Note: We are currently creating the ability to add comments on the bottom of each of our online articles. In defense of the Independent, it should be the responsibility of the contributor to use their real name as their handle. We’ve found that one of the reasons letters-to-the-editor sections of many newspapers are filled with left-leaning diatribes is that merchants and other productive citizens fear alienating a large portion of their customer base by voicing an opinion. The screeds are usually written by “activists” who have little else to do and with no customer base to affront can fearlessly release their venom. – TLB)

Off-Topic Issues

Please explain your comment regarding “off-topic” letters to the editor. Do not the actions of our President affect even those who live in Montecito? And your phrase “promoting Al Gore's global warming hysteria” shows your bias. Global warming, believe it or not, is everyone's concern, or should be, even for the wonderful folks who read your newspaper. I confess I enjoy reading your comments (the “Letters to the Editor” is my favorite part of the Montecito Journal), but perhaps all of your readers would be less concerned if you confined your responses to statements of fact rather than repeating and re-emphasizing your opinions – which we all know about already.

Richard Alpert

Santa Barbara

(Publisher’s Note: By “off-topic,” we mean supposed “letters” that are sent out, usually to all media, that simply promote a particular agenda – the Republican Party, PETA, ACLU, etc. – and do not respond to or acknowledge a community event or concern. Of course, Presidential actions can impact Montecito, and when they do, letters addressing those impacts are most certainly welcome. As for climate change, Al Gore has been promoting himself on the back of global warming for years. It is “hysteria” because if global warming were such an immediate concern, shouldn’t its messiah sell one of his three homes (including one at 10,000 square feet), reduce his private jet travel, switch to green energy, sell his shares of Occidental Petroleum, or even shut down his polluting zinc mine that he leases out to Pasminco Zinc that sits on his property?– TLB) (Source: USA TODAY, article written by Peter Schweizer)