(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)

A Better Time

As a resident of Santa Barbara County since 1942, and a resident of the City of Santa Barbara since 1943, I have witnessed drastic changes, morally and physically. There was a time when youngsters could attend a matinee movie, visit friends, sell “Girl Scout Cookies,” visit city beaches without fear of being molested or having their property stolen.

Inclement weather was usually the reason parents would go to pick their children up. Those privileges vanished as a newer generation came on the scene. Parents are usually on the receiving end of a two-way conversation; statements by youngsters, unthinkable during yesteryears, such as, a child will say to a parent, “You SHUT UP!” “I know what I’m doing, and I can take care of myself.”

Parents should be able to recognize when “tolerance” is at the breaking point. One has to reflect on past history. The law prohibiting teachers from administering corporal punishment when needed applies to parents as well.

Parents, if you have waited until your child has reached the “teenage years” and you try forcing a control upon them that was neglected at an earlier age, you should be prepared for a surprise of your life. Anything could happen – altercations, abusive language, social embarrassment, and occasionally, much worse!

Grover Barnes

Santa Barbara

(Publisher’s note: Longtime Miramar Hotel employee Grover Barnes recently celebrated his 100th birthday, so his recollections do indeed go back a ways – TLB)

Panhandling Gone Wild

Why is it that panhandlers are allowed to be at the Stop sign at Hot Springs and Coast Village roads, all day, every day? I recently had friends in town and as we approached this intersection, two of the panhandlers began arguing over the spot and a fistfight ensued that spilled onto the road, stopping cars with the children in our vehicle terrified by what they were witnessing. They make people uncomfortable causing them to roll up their windows and lock their doors. I give clothing and money to the homeless shelter next to the Detox Center off Milpas in Santa Barbara and there are plenty of assistance programs to help these people instead of the Santa Barbara Police allowing them to be sitting in this same place every day and urinating across the street on the 101 side. It is past the time this should be allowed to continue.

Thank-you.

Submitted via www.montecitojournal.net

(Publisher’s Note: Many panhandlers choose not to use the shelters, because sobriety is required. Besides, they may be vagrants but they aren’t dumb; they would not sit there every day if they weren’t making money. The only way to truly end the “uncomfortable” begging would be to stop encouraging it by giving them money. Until that day, we will have transients, vagrants, bums, and beggars fighting for loitering spots on Coast Village Road. On another note, many of the locations currently occupied by members of this group will be removed due to the creation of a roundabout at the intersection of Coast Village Road, Hot Springs Road, and Old Coast Highway. – TLB)

Montecito’s Used Car Lot

Is it just everyone I know and myself who are sick of the ever-increasing number of cars for sale on Coast Village Road across from Starbucks and Vons that has turned this section of Montecito into a Swap Meet for Used Vehicles? It should not be the purpose of this section of road to be a place to leave vehicles all day to sell. The parking signs should be changed to two-hour parking and once changed, law enforcement must actively ticket cars which are there for more than two hours, the same as they do if you park outside Tre Lune, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, or anywhere else on Coast Village Road. It is a blight on Montecito to allow this to continue.

I ask that everyone who agrees and the Journal press whoever is responsible to make these changes immediately.

Thank-you,

USA805

(Publisher’s Note: The parking area on the opposite side of Coast Village Road near Starbucks will be removed when the roundabout is constructed, possibly as early as the beginning of next year – TLB)

Just Publish Comments

Having just read the current issue of MJ, I say dump all the letters to the editor from those whiny, pabulum-eating geezers, and just publish the comments from the Editor!! And all comments should contain a minimum of 300 words.

John Macker

Montecito

(Publisher’s Note: Gee thanks; you are our kind of reader! But, we hasten to add that we appreciate every letter submitted, and hope people continue to send us their thoughts, suggestions, solutions, gripes, worries, and fears. – TLB)

Fraudulent program

Having read your editorials and the “affordable housing debacle” by Kim Seefeld, I could not agree with you more. I waited five and half years (disabled veteran’s widow, 4-star credit, 1st and last key deposits) to get into an affordable “low rent for seniors” complex. After moving here, I discovered 7 of the 11 units (section 8) were occupied by daughters, nieces, and relatives of Santa Barbara County Housing employees. When I first lived in Santa Barbara – 1978 – rent was between $475 and $525 a month. I had two businesses, one was catering and the other was a floral business. I cannot count the times I made deliveries to Willow Springs and other developments when the door was answered by a person of foreign extraction and spoke little or no English.

After doing some investigation on my own, (I was in law a school and I needed an investigative assignment!) I found out many people who had money from businesses in other counties were buying apartments (supposedly designated for city police, firemen, parks and recreation), and were being leased by county employees to relatives at a huge profit. Also, leasing a “walker” and living mid-town Santa Barbara (Garden, Bath, and Micheltorena) for 14 years, I cannot enumerate the illegal dwellings (10 cars for a single-family residence) garages, and mom in-law suites that proliferated in the areas. I have put $300 into a “drawing” for “affordable housing” twice and lost. By doing research, public records, County courthouse many of the “affordable houses” were sold then rented out by the buyer who then sold the “affordable house” at a great profit. Many of those owners did not even work for Santa Barbara County or City. Many were only here in the U.S. on work visas.

Yours and Seefeld’s articles are quite revealing.

Name withheld upon request

Santa Barbara

(Publisher’s Note: While there is no way to prove what you write is true, anecdotal evidence indicates at least some of what you assert happens regularly. Changes to the housing program may soon be on their way. The affordable “purchase” program has actually undermined efforts to supply housing to working people unable to afford Santa Barbara property. Every house that was sold as “affordable” and sold back into the market at market price effectively removed that property from the affordable housing program. Retaining houses by only allowing “affordable” leases, will expand the affordable housing stock and is more likely to alleviate the City/County’s worry that Santa Barbara doesn’t achieve state housing mandates. Even so, allowing people that make $160,000 a year to qualify for affordable housing is ridiculous and an insult to people who actually need financial assistance. – TLB)