(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)

Semi-rural Driving Etiquette

So today I had another near miss while running the streets of Montecito with my dogs. A driver in an SUV ran a stop sign to turn right onto Picacho Lane and very narrowly missed me and my two dogs. I had to yell at the top of my lungs to get his attention and he swerved at the last second. In my eight years of running in our beautiful community, this has happened to me many times. Often I run on the 'wrong' side of a lane (i.e., the intersection of San Leandro and Santa Rosa) because I know these are hot spots for stop sign runners and speeders. So what's to be done? I'm really tired of all the lip service about our 'semi-rural environment.' What's the point if we can't safely enjoy this beauty on foot? Last month I had to scramble off the road as a black Hummer came barreling toward me, never giving an inch. I hurt my ankle. At this point I'd rather have sidewalks and street lights than pedestrians who are injured, or worse. Please try to be aware of all those sharing the road with you. Getting to your destination a few seconds late really isn't that big a deal.

Very Sincerely,

Kathi King


(Publisher’s note: I’ve often wondered the same thing. What could be so important that drivers feel compelled and justified driving at NASCAR qualifying speeds around Montecito? – TLB)

Imperfect Processes

I am sorry to see everyone yelling at each other in our beautiful community. As a member of the Montecito Association since 1989, I have been able to air my concerns by attending the meetings. This is open to all of us and perhaps this is the time for us to come together for a fruitful discussion. I am sure the majority of residents want to continue living in a serene and peaceful community. Some want to see more development in our Montecito and I am grateful to the Montecito Association for defending and supporting our Community Plan, which was voted on by the residents in 1992. No process is perfect, mistakes are made and some people will be unhappy. Our priority should be to maintain what we all love about Montecito and work toward that goal. Thank you for presenting the information and ask you to always be factual and tell both sides of a story.


Sybil Rosen


(Publisher’s Note: We concur. The problem is many people have different opinions about the preservation of Montecito. There are plenty of people who believe sidewalks would enhance pedestrian comfort. Are they wrong in suggesting that kind of improvement? Our goal as a community newspaper is to encourage groups and individuals to understand the value of Montecito remaining as much of a semi-rural village as is possible against the pressures of population and interest groups. – TLB)

Voices of Montecito

It already looks like a smear campaign run by people who can't defend themselves with the truth. But maybe it's just misinformation and, if so, I would like to set the record straight.

Four times in the last week (that I know of) The Voices of Montecito was accused of being shills for the public relations consultant John Davies and Ty Warner. Of course, I know who Mr. Warner is but had to ask who John Davies is. With all due respect, Ty Warner is smart enough to fight his own battles. If I write a letter supporting steps to the beach, it doesn't make me a shill for Mr. Warner. It makes me a citizen with a point of view that I want to express.

The best way to avoid thinking about the issues Voices of Montecito is raising is to change the subject. For the sake of clarity, I'm going to reiterate our view of the subject: democracy, that's it. If you believe that in a democratic society organizations mature to a level of perfection at which level they are no longer capable of improvement, then stop reading. You have failed U.S. Government 101 and will never get us.

If, on the other hand, you think that any democratic process can be improved, then sign up with us, because that's all we want: an opportunity to have an independent review of the Montecito planning process with tons of public testimony. If you like things the way they are, come and say so. If you don't, speak up. But don't shame the democratic process by defaming your opponent.

Michael Jaffe

President Voices of Montecito


(Publisher’s note: Our advice to the Montecito Association is to try to absorb what the Voices of Montecito is attempting to say: that elements of the Montecito Association need to be corrected and a thorough self-examination is probably in order. As to the criticism directed towards Ty Warner and/or John Davies, critics should remember that Mr. Warner has dedicated a larger portion of his fortune and anyone ever has and deserves some courtesy. As for Mr. Davies, even if he were behind the Voices of Montecito (and we are not asserting that he is), he’d have every right to voice his opinion; he’s a longtime Montecito resident! – TLB)