Hazard Is Spot On

I just read your most recent issue (MJ # 14/47) and was touched by the guest editorial written by Bob Hazard.

He was right on the money in so many ways.

Having been a business owner in the upper village, my store, Montecito Video, became a place where I felt as though I matured. The maturation was not due to my prowess in business, or connecting with the "right" folks, however. I felt that the Montecito community caressed me and my business. Friends made from that long ago forgotten business will never be forgotten, at least by me. And, the longer my stay in this community, the greater my appreciation grows.

I thank Montecito for electing me as one of the Directors of the Montecito Fire Protection District, unopposed!

Of the 230 homes burned by this tragic Tea Fire, I knew 41 owners. My heart goes out to every one of those that lost everything.

Also, I am so grateful and proud of our Montecito Fire Department for a superb performance in the face of what could have been so much worse.

Having been a Director of the Montecito Association for 6 years, I also chimed in on comments made about updating the Community Plan.

Thank God for the Montecito Association. The Association published a letter "Had we not been there..." If you live in this wonderful place, call the Montecito Association office (805-969-2026) and request a copy.

I grew up thinking there were only two (2) roles for government: 1) to protect you; 2) to leave you alone.

But, government has become so invasive.

Just to drive a car, have a pet, own a business, hold a profession, drive a fire engine, shoot a gun, go fishing, teach, and care for my elderly clients, I hold 11 licenses. They all cost money and have to be maintained (another type of tax). One could argue the licenses force an individual to keep current or advance new technology. Another argument is that the free market and dictates of competition also encourage one to be "professional." Yes, we need to better define ourselves, before others do it for us!

Have a great Christmas Season,

Dana Newquist

Montecito

Going Mental

Is it just me, or have the mental deficients taken complete control in Washington? Using our money to bail out labor unions; to bail out companies whose idiot CEOs had already stripped out the candy (come to think of it, maybe those CEOs aren’t such idiots). Trillions of dollars! And, no one talks about what the resulting inflation will do; that there is no end to bailouts.

They must be insane, because they don’t see that the problem is akin to raising teenagers: give teenagers cars of their choice and unlimited expense accounts and you will have adult children in your kitchen for life.

Speaking of unlimited expense accounts, does anybody have any memory of the reason given for the establishment of the Department of Energy during the Carter Administration? Anybody? Anything?

No? Didn't think so.

We've spent several hundred billion dollars in support of an agency the reason for which not one person who reads this can remember. Ready? It is very simple, and at the time everybody thought it very appropriate. The Department of Energy was instituted 8-04-1977 to lessen our dependence on foreign oil.

Hey, pretty efficient huh? Thirty-one years later and the budget for this “necessary” department is approximately $24 billion a year, with 16,000 federal employees and another 100,000 contract employees. Some job they’ve done, huh?

This is where you slap your forehead and say “What was I thinking?”

Ah yes, good ole bureaucracy. And now we are going to turn the banking system (and the automobile manufacturing business) over to them? May Heaven help us.

It would not be too important, except the insanity of it all will lead to a revolution of some type. I hope it is in the ballot box and not hand-to-hand. Maybe it is just me.

Randolph Siple

Carpinteria (Founder’s note: No, Randolph, it is not just you. Mental deficients took over Washington long ago. Idiots such as Barney Frank, Christopher Dodd, et al got us into this mess, but phew, lucky us, they’ve come up with the team that will get us out of it: themselves! Yes, indeed, insanity rules in Washington, D.C., which I guess is a good thing for Governor Schwarzenegger, as only a mental deficient – or group of them – could possibly consider bailing out California too. We’ll need more than Heaven to help us out of this. – J.B.)

Happy Holidays!

For my Democrat friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with the respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. We also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the in the Western Hemisphere, and without regard to race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee. By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself to others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

For my Republican friends:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Ryan McNicholas

Santa Barbara

(Ed. note: And a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year back at you – TLB)

A Miracle Moon

I was walking along Coast Village Road last year, searching for some nocturnal subject matter to paint; when I noticed the full moon was rising in the east. I quickly grabbed my digital camera and shot this image of Montecito's Christmas tree, planted outside Maureen Murphy Fine Arts. It was a miracle moment. The Full Moon was like a brilliant star lighting up the night, gracing the top of the tree.

Here's hoping you and all at Montecito Journal have a peaceful Christmas and Happy New Year.

Best regards,

Thomas
 Van Stein

Santa Barbara (Ed. note: See previous response – TLB)

I Beg to Differ

A November 20th (MJ #14/46) article by Michael Jaffe raises questions about appointments to the Montecito Planning Commission (MPC). Mr. Jaffe stretches an upcoming appointment to the MPC way too far in trying to create a controversy to advance his agenda of pushing cityhood for Montecito (three public forums on this idea earlier in the year produced virtually no public interest). Beyond his agenda, Mr. Jaffe reveals a distinct lack of understanding of both the history of the MPC and, more importantly, the rule of law as embodied in the County Planning and Development Codes that include the Montecito Community Plan.

The MPC and MBAR were created as legal County agencies to enable the community to have a high degree of direct control over the planning process for Montecito and to avoid the expense and the burdensome bureaucracy on a small community that cityhood would impose. Mr. Jaffe devotes three paragraphs to explain the process used to appoint commissioners. A process that he apparently has just discovered despite the fact that it has been in use since the inception of the commission.

Then in his grand finale he engages in a flight of fancy about a future Supervisor who may not care about Montecito (and its tax base) and will advocate affordable housing (on multimillion-dollar lots) and therefore concludes we must not trust a system that is working just fine, thank you.

What Mr. Jaffe completely ignores is that Montecito has a Community Plan with associated architectural guidelines and zoning laws. No matter what the disposition of some mythical future Supervisor, Montecito has the law on its side. If and when, some future Board of Supervisors decides it doesn’t want Montecito as a part of the County, well, then there would be time enough to address a real rather than imagined problem.

Dick Thielscher

Montecito

(Michael Jaffe Responds: What are you objecting to? My support of cityhood? Are you so opposed to the concept that you revile public discourse? In this economic climate you think it impossible that the County might one day decide to save $150,000 and shut down MPC?

You describe my speculations about the future as "A flight of fancy." Even you have to admit that Salud can't hold that job forever. Is it inappropriate to speculate about the disposition of the next District 1 Supervisor?

One last observation: if, as you say, "Montecito has a Community Plan with associated architectural guidelines and zoning laws" and that "Montecito has the law on its side," why does the Board of Supervisors overrule the MPC, sometimes on big ticket items? They will do what's good for them and we should do what's good for us.)

Market’s Tough Love

Normally I avoid discussing any advice regarding buying or selling of stocks, but I felt this is important enough to share and warn you since this explosive situation might prove to be yet another Enron.

Please review any holdings you might have in the following stocks: American Can, Interstate Water, National Gas Company, and Northern Tissue Company.

Due to uncertain market conditions, I advise you to sit tight on your American Can, hold your Water, and let go of your Gas.

You may be interested to know that Northern Tissue touched a new bottom today, and millions were wiped clean.

It's a tough market!

Swiped from the Internet