Further Consideration Needed

A view of the past should help us decide the future. Mr. Price (owner of the parcel at Olive Mill and Coast Village Road) should be able to have his development, but it should be in harmony and balance with this very special place. The issue is the size. Can he achieve his goal with a two-story structure? Should the planning of the past be ignored and exceptions given just for this development? Would you, the planners, want your name on a plaque in front of this building fifty years from now saying it was your decision to approve the building as currently designed? Such a significant project should be given further consideration.

Charles Crail

Montecito

Get Oil Out or Bring Oil Back?

It's been nearly two decades since the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude oil in Prince William Sound. The company has asked the Supreme Court to reject a ruling that it pay $2.5 billion in punitive damages to the fishing villages left in the disaster's wake. As long as Exxon asserts that punitive damages don't apply to maritime law, how can California coastal towns take John McCain seriously when he insists that drilling and transportation of oil is significantly less risky these days? Considering the outlandish arguments of Exxon I would venture to say that a local, offshore oil industry is as dangerous and irresponsible as ever. I would enjoy Ty Warner's and Rick Caruso's opinion on the threat of oil to our beachfront hotels. Wanna chance it?

Matt McLaughlin

Santa Barbara

(Ed. note: I for one am willing to “chance it,” particularly after the nearly negligible environmental effect caused by the hundreds of downed oil rigs ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. Besides, drillers would all be very aware that any significant mishap would spell the end of any such drilling offshore ever again - TLB)

Not a Figment of Imagination

Recently Senator John McCain stated “I think a lot of our problems today are psychological,” when referring to the concern Americans are experiencing in response to escalating gas prices and the mediocre economic forecast. As a licensed psychotherapist in the State of California, I am writing to express my opinion about the misuse of the word “psychological” by both Senator John McCain and President Bush. The term “psychological” implies that we are imagining it, we are making it up, or more directly – we are blowing things out of proportion.

What I know is this: the reality in our lives is the price of a gallon of gas is over $5.00. People are scared and concerned about the well-being of their lives. There is nothing psychological about that reality. What I know is this: the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Secretary of Treasury Paulson are both concerned about the economic forecast. There is nothing in my head or yours about that reality. There is a body of proof that says this is reality.

Our country is in trouble economically. What Senator McCain and President Bush are attempting to do is to put the onus back on you, me, and the citizens of this country by labeling our behavior to that of "whiners" (per Phil Gramm, former economic adviser to Senator McCain). In my opinion, reality is being manipulated once again to confuse people from staying present to the facts. I am a citizen and community member concerned about the well-being of our country. I see the reality around me. It is not in my head. Please do not believe it is in your head either. It is at the gas station, at the grocery store, at the stock market, and at the unemployment office. Our job as concerned citizens is to not be duped into believing our responses are psychological in tone. Our job is to pull together, express our concerns, vote in the elections, and to work together to ensure that changes do happen. It is up to us.

Kathleen Barry, MFT

Montecito

(Publisher's Note: We don’t recall anyone other than former Texas senator Phil Gramm saying that the problems the U.S. faces are “psychological,” but that aside, wouldn't the belief that gas prices will continually escalate fall in the category of “psychological”? The reality is the futures market has been considerably volatile for the last year and predicting whether it will continue going up or down is difficult, thereby creating a feeling of uncertainty. The reality is that stocks retreat, markets fluctuate, and prices can escalate. If one were to only read headlines of newspapers, one could become nervous about everything, but besides the banking sector, profits remain relatively constant. I am not a psychologist, but I do believe that overreacting to a market crisis is psychological unless in fact your life is literally crumbling because of it. We agree with you, however, on many things: that our job is to pull together, express our concerns, and vote in the elections. Out-of-control government spending and taxation at all levels – federal, state, county, and municipal – is real. Changing that dynamic is up to us. ~ TLB)

Better off on the Streets

Since you seem to know everything there is to know about the panhandling issue, I'll relate the following: first of all, my letter (#14/29), was directed to “J.B.,” your dad, who made the loose comments about the "beggars" ending up in a proposed park at CVR and Olive Mill, which will probably never come to be, anyway.

As far as places for folks in need of help, many moons ago, and not due to any drug problems, I spent two months at a religiously oriented rescue mission, which literally reminded me of being in a state pen. The treatment of the transients there was atrocious. For the staffers – "reformed" alcoholics – to consider themselves Christians is probably the biggest hypocrisy I've ever known.

Via a young couple here from Texas, I've heard the same's true for the local mission, and have a feeling these facilities, in general, operate similarly. They probably don't get much funding and are likely run by people in need of help themselves – as was the situation at that horrible rescue mission. (Ever heard the one about "the blind leading the blind"?)

So, check out one of these places, yourself, for at least a couple of weeks before recommending them to others. You'll probably wish you were on the street, instead.

Ben Burned

Montecito

(Founder’s note: Just to set the record straight, I never used the term “beggars,” as putting the word in quotes implies. I did use the term “transients,” and “panhandling,” which is what many transients do instead of “work.” – J.B. / Editor’s note: Most of the people working at missions and other institutions do so out of the goodness of their hearts, which is, generally speaking, a Christian thing to do. – TLB)

Price is “Outta Here”

I agree with Mr. Crail's observation (MJ #14/29) re the gas station at the corner of Olive Mill and CVR regarding the shabbiness of it. Reflecting on the article, I realized that is probably why I drive right past it to go to the 'other ' gas station on CVR.

I was thinking, also, that Mr. Price’s undone tiles repair on the roof was simply an 'Outta here' attitude.

Too bad...

Thanks for your letter Mr. Crail.

Lynn Jewett

Montecito