Miramar Delayed

Miramar beach area property owners’ statement in response to Rick Caruso’s decision to redesign the Miramar Hotel project:

The Miramar Beach area neighbors are appreciative of Mr. Caruso’s willingness to finally consider their property rights and related concerns. The neighbors are as eager as the balance of the Montecito community to have this critical site redeveloped in an appropriate and timely manner.

Mr. Caruso’s current plans, including moving the private easement, regrading the easterly portion of the property, and building in the Oak Creek floodplain, were not presented to all of his neighbors until after being submitted to the County for approval.

The neighbors only became aware of the current plan and its implications on the only access to their homes when the plan was published in the April 19 issue of the Montecito Journal. This is what triggered the current delay.

Miramar Beach Area Property Owners


Long Live Montecito Market

Well, I have about had it with the Johnny-come-latelys… talking against our local Montecito Market. We are so lucky to have the market. We have a real butcher, real rolls, the world’s best tuna salad, enchiladas, … I could go on and on.

There are a wealth of products that you can’t get anywhere else in town. But, the biggest plus is the help. Yes, the help. The human equation. Remember that?

The butcher, the manager, the people who stock the shelves, give you a smile (imagine that!) answer your questions, and mark down things that you think they should stock.

I was reminded of this during recovery from knee surgery. Everyone was ready to help and they did. They even laughed at my jokes and helped me negotiate the aisles and get the stuff into my car.

Viva the Montecito Market! Long may it live!

Christina Allison


(Publisher’s Note: The value of local run stores is priceless. Having a Butcher that one can trust for good cuts and grilling advice is a valuable commodity. We share your sentiments about the Montecito Market! – TLB)

Cruel and Unusual Punishment

I was employed at the Michigan Humane Society in Detroit for 9 years before moving to Santa Barbara 3 years ago. In Detroit, I witnessed animal cruelty like you wouldn't believe. But what I saw yesterday at Leadbetter Beach was almost unspeakable.

I caught a Santa Barbara city worker stomping a squirrel to death. I confronted him about it and he first pretended to not understand English, and then told me he didn't do it. Only after I wouldn't leave did he admit that he killed a squirrel by stomping it. He told me that he was ordered to go around and see if any squirrels "escaped" from the death traps in the green plastic boxes placed throughout Shoreline Park by the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department. I cannot believe that he was given orders to stomp them to death, but my call to the Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation Department was never returned, so I can't say that the order was or was not given.

There are many other humane solutions to the squirrel overpopulation problem:

1. People can help by not feeding the squirrels. Allowing squirrels to become accustomed to receiving food every time they approach a human, they will be likely to always come over to a person for a handout. Feeding the squirrels also keeps the squirrels' population growing more steadily then it normally would, resulting in overpopulation and the need for the city to address the overpopulation problem. We are essentially saving the squirrels by not feeding them.

2. Leave the plastic boxes where they are, but remove the death traps and the poison and add dirt and grass to the empty boxes. Squirrels may then nest in them instead of burrowing in the hillside, preventing erosion.

3. Use an injectable birth control to prevent overpopulation.

4. Live trap and release the squirrels into less inhabited areas.

I also would like to point out the possibility that a companion dog, child, or other wildlife may inadvertently get caught in one of these traps. There is unsecured plastic netting around some of the traps, but it is so flimsy the death traps are easily accessible by humans or animals.

High profile cruelty cases, such as the one surrounding Michael Vick, receive much attention (as it should), however, it's unfortunate that little attention is paid to what's going on in our own community. If a city worker is allowed, perhaps encouraged, to stomp a squirrel to death, what is this teaching our children? That animal cruelty is okay as long as it's not a cat or dog?

One of many reasons my husband and I chose to move from Detroit to Santa Barbara was to get away from the ignorance and callousness of the city. It never occurred to me that these same atrocities would be occurring in my own backyard.


Lisa Acho Remorenko

Executive Director, Animal Adoption Solution

(Publisher’s Note: I bet that after you called and after this letter is published, city workers may think twice about stomping squirrels to death. – TLB)

Give Us Our Beach Back

After over 30 yrs. of Butterfly Beach experience inside my soul, I've recently been seeing promotion & advertising banners tied to the steel safety railing next to the entrance steps down to the sand. Last Sunday 9/7/07 not only an approximately 3' x 6' banner, but bright-colored posters were taped to the beach side of the concrete retaining wall. Is this an appropriate use of our public spaces? Whoever is in charge of these matters, please give us back our unobstructed views and natural surroundings.

A Concerned Citizen


(Publisher’s note: No, this is not an appropriate of Montecito’s public spaces, but what is all that crap on the wall behind it? – TLB)