Sedentary Fishing

Referring to bait fishing as "sedentary" (“On the Fly”, will need some further explanation. As one who has been in pursuit of the "Grander" marlin...that's a 1,000-pound angry fish for those who are unfamiliar with the term, I beg to differ with "sedentary" as a term for bait fishing. My "baits" weigh more than most fish caught on fly. However my hat is off to those who have applied fly fishing skills to offshore marlin fishing...but I doubt those fly fishermen would consider bait fishing for big fish "sedentary"! I once asked a local attorney and soccer coach to accompany me on a fishing trip to Mexico. He responded that he enjoyed a more "active" sport but would come along for fun. After landing his first 125-pound marlin he fell asleep in the fighting chair and complained about sore muscles for the remainder of the trip! Sedentary… that’s funny.

James Towle


Universal Warming

Both Mars and Venus are getting hotter, yet Bush continues to deny responsibility.

In the case of our solar system, the planets Venus and Mars have shown temperature increases over the past six years. It's no coincidence that this heating began about the same time that the Bush Administration began exporting carbon dioxide (aka astronauts) into outer space.

Mr. Sun is a star and it's very hot. Hot things tend to make nearby objects heat up as well. Isn't it remotely possible that the heating of our neighbors (Venus & Mars) has been caused by the Sun? If this is true, there probably aren't any solutions possible until a really smart person takes charge.

Seriously folks, someone who's been nominated for the Nobel Prize, written a bestseller, made a movie, served eight years as Vice-President, won the popular vote but lost the election and thinks he invented the Internet, deserves to be President.

Between now and April 13, 2036 (when asteroid Apophis has a 1 in 45,000 chance of striking Earth), be sure to wear your sunglasses.

Dale Lowdermilk,

Founder, – "Breaking News Before It Happens"


(Publisher’s Note: I truly doubt the sun has anything to do with warming. To think that a giant ball of nuclear energy so far away could possibly affect our earth’s climate is absolutely ridiculous. Please sell crazy somewhere else. On a second note, don’t be so modest about Al Gore, in fact, he also helped popularize the SUV. Maybe in the near future Al Gore will start up a magazine called Al, create a religion and proselytize celebrities. – TLB)

Attack of the Clones

I am writing, in response, to your recent article the "Central Coast Copycat" ( As a lawyer for the KC BRANCH FIRM, A California Law Firm, who has represented family owned wineries on the Central Coast for the last five years (and an active member of the International Wine Law Association), I believe that the copycat syndrome exemplifies the need for our local wineries to protect their market share, their brand name and their “look.” In the article, Dr. Judy Willis correctly points out that the Goliath's blatant use of the same font, colors, as well as our county's name in the name of the wine, quoting Bruce McGuire, crosses "the line of decency." Whether such conduct also breaks the law is subject to the gray area of the law and when it comes to gray areas, small wineries lose against the goliaths of the wine world – simply because the goliaths have more money to litigate the issue long before the local winery can get a judge or jury to decide what constitutes right and wrong. In order to keep the goliaths from taking over the fonts, colors and names, wineries (as well as any other businesses that continuously rely upon their logos and names to sell their product) should not only register their names as state and federal copyrights-trademarks; but also, they should register their logos and "look." If that had that been done by the winery referenced in the article, perhaps the Goliath would have thought twice about trying making its label look so much like that of the local winery.

The effective dilution of the local winery's market share may diminish the value of the local winery in the eyes of the consumer. In other words, if enough people buy the Goliath's wine believing it to be the product of the local winery and then are disappointed by the product as not being a quality wine, people may stop buying the local winery's products all together. Also, since the Goliath wine is being sold for significantly less than the local wine, consumers (who may not differentiate between the two) will stop buying the local winery's stock because they believe they can get the same product for much less. And no one, other than your paper, has bothered informing consumers it’s not the same product! As with many other business situations, wineries have a choice as to whether to spend a few dollars to protect what they have built or spend a lot more money to litigate, or simply lose customers. Making the proper choice there may be the best investment our local businesses can make.


K. Christopher Branch


Encroaching Easements

I am heartened by the emerging interest in reclaiming the use of our local roads by pedestrians and bicycles.

All roads are defined by easement widths described by the county for the right-of-way of vehicles and pedestrians. Over time, many homeowners have taken it upon themselves to cover the shoulder of the roadway in front of their parcel. Sometime hedges grow too thick, and all too often, plantings and barriers fill the shoulder area – all encroaching on the public easement. Every homeowner should examine their own frontage and do what it takes to make walking in our "rural" community safer. In this manner, we will all be able to rely on others less to solve a very real problem, branch by branch and stone by stone.

And by the way, TLB, I feel it would be more proper if opinions submitted to this paper weren't so often followed up with your opinionated responses.

Thank you,

Jeffrey Johnson


(Publisher’s Note: You may believe it is “improper” to follow up with responses, but the idea is to stimulate conversation and/or correct the record; we believe most readers understand and encourage that. Besides, if it weren’t for my comments to a letter-writer, this sidewalks issue would never have been brought up! Pedestrian and bicycle issues have only been a serious problem in recent years because of consistent traffic growth in and around Montecito. Although we haven’t reported any horrible accidents lately, as conditions worsen and homeowners build closer to the road I fear the days of a sleepy safe community are coming to an end. – TLB)

Troop 33

I was a member of Troop 33 from 1965 to 1969. Charlie Haslem's January 2007 article about the fall hike to Santa Cruz Station (“Scout’s Honor”, reminded me of identical backcountry trips we took in Los Padres National Forest. Scoutmasters Robert Strahorn and Helge Hansen would take us each summer to the Lyle Fork of the Tuolumne River in Yosemite's backcountry – the highlight of our vacation time. Once, Troop 33 hiked from Giant Forest, Sequoia National Park, to the top of Mount Whitney along the John Muir Trail and then down the other side of the Sierras into Lone Pine. It sounds like my scout troop still shares this legacy of true outdoor adventure!

BRAVO, Troop 33!

Greg Putz,

Bountiful, Utah

Let the Process Work

Before we all resort to name calling and finger pointing, let's let the process work. I am not always happy with the columns Kim Seefeld writes but I find her information credible. Few took her seriously when she first reported the suspected fraud in the Affordable Purchase Program. Well, we are all looking at the issue now.

Housing and Development only redistributes the tax dollars to jurisdictions that promise to use the funding responsibly. I am uncomfortable, in part, because no one has yet to accept accountability and we can't figure out whose job it is.

Whether you like Affordable Housing or not, Fair Housing is protected by law. Someone is stealing tax dollars and housing opportunities from the low and moderate income groups (yes, they are eligible for housing subsidies too, even when they make more money than many others).

Until the whole of Santa Barbara can bring itself into compliance with its Housing Element, Montecito is at risk of attracting the attention of redevelopment professionals And the penalties for noncompliance are weighty.

Public Housing was always my last choice of housing options. But it is one step up from living in the bushes. The world is changing. The population is increasing. Montecito can’t expect to remain as is. So, the moral to the story remains. Any group seeking to retain self-rule will have to act responsibly.

Karen Friedman


(Publisher’s Note: We hope people in support of taxpayer subsidized low-income housing are also in disgust with some of the various affordable programs. If enough pressure is put on local governmental officials change, quite possibly, might be a probability or even better, the program may be scrapped altogether. – TLB)

Shrinking Bureaucracies

Regarding the letter written by Andreas Pyper in Solvang (“Sensationalistic Journalism”,, I've never heard of any Public Defender doing work at 2 am and, in case you've never heard of the term, those who "get fat" off of taxpayer money are said to be "sucking at the public nipple."

Here's one possible solution re: shrinking bureaucracies: There's evidence that doing away with a state's income tax has been shown to improve its overall economy – which, I believe in theory, anyway, would help eliminate a number of ineffective state (and county or city?) agencies.

Someone known as a vocal critic of these various state and public regulatory bureaucracies is Bill Wattenburg, Ph.D., who can be heard on KGO 810 AM Saturday and Sunday nights, 10 pm to 1 am.

Benjamin Burned



I was fortunate enough to visit Lotusland last spring on a weekend there was a garden tour in Montecito. I was wondering if any upcoming garden or home tours might be published in your newspaper. Thank you.


Cindi Allen

(Publisher’s Note: We try to include every event happening in Montecito, especially home and garden tours. Lotusland will have its annual winter walk on Saturday, February 24. Please call 969-9990 for more information. – TLB)