Yes on Measure H

There are several issues facing the Santa Barbara High School District on the November ballot that are of importance to Montecito voters. The first is Measure H, the $23 per parcel tax proposed for the next four years in the high school district. The second is the race for the Santa Barbara School Board.

With respect to Measure H, it is endorsed by many Montecito residents, including Larry Crandell, Montecito Union Superintendent Dick Douglas, and former Santa Barbara School Board member Fred Rifkin. Measure H is a specifically targeted parcel tax that would provide funds for additional foreign language electives at Santa Barbara Junior High and Santa Barbara High School, additional electives in music and theater arts at Santa Barbara Junior High, math class size reduction in 9th grade at Santa Barbara High to 20 students to 1 teacher, and math and science technology and equipment.

Perhaps the best aspects of this measure are that the parcel tax would be limited to $23 per parcel irrespective of assessed valuation (no parcel would pay more than $23), and that the measure is limited to 4 years. The time limitation of the measure is the strongest guarantee that funds will be spent as intended. In addition, any senior citizen may opt out of paying the parcel tax, and an independent oversight committee will be established to monitor expenditures and conduct an annual audit.

With respect to the School Board race, three candidates stand out: Ed Heron, Charlotte Ware, and Jacqueline Inda. Ed Heron is an experienced business leader who has emerged in recent years as a champion of public education locally. Charlotte Ware is past PTA president at both the junior high and high school levels, who has also served on the district advisory committee. Jacqueline Inda is a neighborhood leader and parent who is dedicated to the proposition that youth gang violence must be stopped.

Yes on Measure H, and Ed Heron, Charlotte Ware, and Jacqueline Inda for Santa Barbara School Board. This is the best course for the Santa Barbara High School District.

Sincerely,

Lanny Ebenstein

Former Member

Santa Barbara Board of Education

(Editor’s note: Although you make a nice pitch, Measure H is still more spending on continuing educational programs and we are opposed to piling yet another expense onto one class of citizens: property owners; for the School Board, we are most familiar with Charlotte Ware and endorse her candidacy; we’ll examine your support for Mr. Heron and Ms Inda before the election- TLB)

Lincoln Was an Agitator Too!

Reader Byron Ishkanian in last week’s issue writes that Obama “has absolutely no experience except as a street agitator and troublemaker.” Well, in fact, Obama has virtually the same experience that Abe Lincoln had when he ran for President: both served eight years in the Illinois General Assembly (Lincoln) or its successor, the State Senate (Obama). Obama has served as a U.S. Senator for almost four years; Lincoln served one year as a Representative to the U.S. Congress and two years as a U.S. Senator from Illinois. Lincoln turned out to be pretty good for the country, I would humbly suggest. Some even called him a troublemaker when he spoke out publicly against the Supreme Court’s Dred Scott opinion.

One can certainly prefer the Republican candidate, but, for heaven’s sake, please base your decision on some meaningful criteria and not nonsense.

Richard C. Solomon

Santa Barbara

(Publisher's Note: We agree that the experience argument is ridiculous on both ends. It wasn't too long ago that the Democrats backing Hillary said Obama was too inexperienced to run the country but now the same group is attacking Sarah Palin's experience. As far as we are concerned, it would be nice to see a candidate with absolutely no political experience, maybe he or she might actually bring something to the table that wasn't so typical and predictable. It’s good that you mention Abraham Lincoln, America’s first Republican president. ~TLB)

Nothing to Like About Sarah Palin

What's not to like about Sarah Palin?! OK Tim, I've had enough. For several weeks I've picked up my local news journal to find your right-sided, small-minded, unknowledgeable and self-righteous commentary in favor of the quite insulting Sarah Palin. You have yet to come close to being convincing, only sounding juvenile and abusing your power, just like your latest crush. Being an educated and successful mother, wife, and most importantly here, a woman, I find Mrs. Palin repulsive. I see clearly that she has the verve, and even looks that seem to be appealing to men...the "naughty librarian." But she does nothing for me. Sexist? You bet. Reality? Seems so. Her lack of respect for facts, animals, the environment, scientific research, and especially women, doesn't suit any forward thinking and forward moving woman or man.

If Governor Palin had her way, we would be teaching our children that humans and dinosaurs walked the earth together only 6,000 years ago, our foreign policy would be meted out in terms of "good guys" and "bad guys," we'd think we were qualified to be astronauts because we can see the moon at night, polar bears would be extinct, we'd all be referred to as "guys" and "gals" ala Alaska style, and we'd live in a world where women's rights were no longer valid. You may think this is all good, but most Americans disagree. Ms Alaska's become the butt of late night talk show jokes for good reason. Now, as for you? I suggest you get some good therapy and find out why it is you need to pontificate so through our journal. You have a legacy I believe you're obligated to live up to and honor. I never heard your father speak this way. Leave it to the editorial section for honest opinions like mine and keep your spin out of the reporting and everything else, for that matter!

Sincerely,

Noelle Burg

Montecito

(Publisher's Note: Political opinions in Montecito Journal, are only found on the editorial or letters page, unless of course, the column is “Purely Political” or something of that nature. Unlike most major media, we never have inserted opinion into news and never will. I can see how you completely disagree with my approval of Sarah Palin, but repulsive? “a world where women’s rights were no longer valid?” “qualified to be astronauts because we can see the moon at night?” Where do you come up with these? Again, if I were to choose a president and/or vice president it would have been neither McCain or Palin and certainly not Obama or Biden. I do feel, however, that a “moderate” McCain presidency would be a lesser evil than the sharp left turn an Obama administration is likely to take. Either way, when people look back on this election, even academics will come around and accept the fact that Sarah Palin didn't get a fair shake from the beginning. She is a strong-willed and an effective governor of the largest state in the union. Obama has never had to deal with the scrutiny she has had to put up with. ~TLB)

Weigh the Issues

After reading this week’s Letters column (#14/39), the last letter, a short one, brought a smile to my face. The writer, obviously a Santa Barbara McCain supporter, was "shocked" at the attitude of those people (read left-leaning, socialistic, liberals) who had the gall to point out the possible lack of capability of Sarah Palin to fill the number-two spot and quite possibly the number-one office in the course of time. The inference was that this was a very unpatriotic thing to do.

However, what caused me to smile at his observations was that the same group of letters also contained one from a McCain supporter in Montecito. This particular letter writer proceeded with vigor to call Obama a street agitator, troublemaker and weak elitist with absolutely no experience, who also, along with Biden, is an "America Hater."

So much for any reasoned discussion of our nation's many major problems and who might best be the leader to try directing how to correct them. It sure is a lot more fun and less mental strain for this type of person to just scream imprecations and insults than to apply any intelligence to the choice of candidates. When did "weigh the issues" get replaced by "smear the candidate" as the basis of American political discussion and debate? Maybe I've just been a "dead ass golfer" too long to understand.

Bud Stuart

Santa Barbara

(Publisher's Note: “Smear the candidate” is probably as old as our political system, but we agree, campaigns have become nothing more than a “he said and now she said” extravaganza. The American people probably deserve more but I don't believe either John McCain or Barrack Obama have a concrete stance on any issue, although one leans way more left than the other. ~TLB)

It’s My Sign on My Property

A couple of weeks ago, we put up a sign supporting a presidential candidate outside our gate on Hot Springs Road. Three days ago, it was ripped down at night. I subsequently noticed that several other signs supporting the same candidate were also removed from other nearby properties the same night. Clearly this was a systematic effort on the part of some group opposed to the candidate involved, not just a casual act of vandalism by a single individual.

I'm sorry, but this is conduct beyond the pale. This is a free country, where we, and everyone else, have the right under the Constitution to express our views, political or otherwise, in any reasonable way we wish. If I choose to erect a sign expressing my political preferences, no one, but no one, can remove it from my property without my permission. Certainly, had an official body wished me to remove it for some legal reason, they would have contacted me first.

Have the people who did this forgotten that we live in a democracy? Do I have to put up security cameras and lights to protect my right to express myself as a citizen when posting signs? Everyone, whether Democrat, Republican, or Independent should condemn this stupidity.

One asks a final question. Are those who felt it necessary to organize an effort to rip down these election signs aware just how fragile democracy is? Their stupid, unthinking act smacks of intolerance, ideological blinkers, insecurity, and, yes, potential fascism.

And the sign? Yes, another one is going up. But we are reduced to monitoring it 24/7 and will do so.

Sincerely,

Name withheld by request

(Publisher's Note: It’s a shame that even in Montecito there are people who are so insecure about their own political beliefs that they feel the need to squelch other people’s point of view.