Corey’s Fire Offer

If you think it's appropriate, it would be great if Montecito Journal could announce that I am donating copies of my young adult novel, “Corey's Fire,” to any family that lost a home – or was evacuated – due to the Tea Fire.

Corey's Fire is geared for ages 10 and up. The story is based on my family's experiences when our home was destroyed in the 1977 Sycamore Fire. We lost everything in that blaze – including one of our cats. Days later, while sifting through the wreckage and ash, I found only two recognizable items: my old baby spoon and our front doorknob! I kept both as souvenirs, and when we evacuated last week during the Tea Fire, I took both the spoon and knob with me.

In the aftermath of the Sycamore Fire, I met and talked with dozens of children and young adults whose homes were also lost. I was impressed with their heroic attitude, and the ‘fire’ they felt inside to rebuild their lives. So I wrote “Corey’s Fire” in their honor – and in honor of my family. The book is dedicated to my mother and brothers. The house my mother rebuilt after the Sycamore Fire was destroyed again in the Tea Fire. Although my mother now lives on Butterfly Lane, it was still disheartening for us to learn of its destruction again.

“Corey's Fire” was published by Avon/William Morrow in 1990. Since then, it's been reprinted by two other publishing houses, has won a number of awards, was considered for an After School Special, and was used by school districts as a therapeutic tool for students affected by similar fire storms such as the Oakland and Painted Cave blazes.

Interested persons may contact me at: or by calling 805-962-8043.


Lee Wardlaw

Santa Barbara

(Founder’s note: Ms Wardlaw has gone on to write a number of books and has become a successful children’s and young adult’s author. She is married to winemaker and vintner Craig Jaffurs and we applaud both her thoughtfulness and generosity. – J.B.)

UCSB Voter Irregularities

I would like to point out, since we have not seen it in the news, the fact that at UCSB we had a 100.2% voter turnout during the election. There are nine precincts on campus with a total of 5,442 voters, yet 5,456 turned out to vote. In precinct 30-3018, 445 voters voted out of 342 registered... a 130% turnout! This is not right, and even worse, the Board of Elections certified the election. If you don't believe me, check out page 12 of the 1891-page document on's 2008 General Election. The third precinct down is 30-3018; add up UCSB and Isla Vista results and see the very high, irregular turnout (totals at bottom). Even further, also look at the url link right next to it showing that the election was certified. We cannot let this stand; this is democracy at its worst.

Voter Turnout:

UCSB 5456 / 5442 = 100.2%

Isla Vista 7749 / 9245 = 83.8%

Combined 13205 / 14687 = 89.9%

These numbers are higher then any stats around the country, even in college-oriented communities. I will not speculate as to why the numbers are so high, but this is something that Santa Barbara residents need to look into. Help, get this information, I beg of you.

We must find out what happened and we must do it now!


Ryan McNicolas


(Ed. note: we had reports of early voting fraud before the election, with students registered to vote in their hometowns filling out absentee ballots locally and then going home and voting again, so it is certainly worth looking into. – TLB)

Taking Responsibility

Our house is located in the heart of the Tea Fire area, and it survived, however most of the houses on our road were burned. We are outraged that the perpetrators are still unknown to us, and have not yet been held accountable. Their carelessness has hurt many people. They need to provide restitution with a year’s service under the sheriff’s supervision helping clear victims’ properties. This will help those they have hurt, but as important, it will help these young adults mature by taking responsibility for their actions in a positive, healing way, both for themselves and the community they have damaged. This needs to happen now.

Sylvia and Bob Easton


(Ed. note: It is still unclear who or what individual or group actually caused the fire, so releasing any names of suspected perpetrators is considered premature – TLB)

Do-nothing Disciples

“Going Mental” in your MJ #14/49 issue mentioned the stellar character and self-proclaimed naval nuclear physicist Jimmy Carter and one of his infamous deeds as president – the creation of the Department of Energy. He also formed the Department of Education, and we all know what miracles that decision has wrought.

But I digress. The mere mention of the Department of Energy always triggers memories of that other stalwart of mediocrity – His Oiliness, Bill Richardson. Anyone remember the Wen Ho Lee case? Richardson has earned his place in the pantheon of Democratic do-nothing disciples. But wait…more is in store for us. He has been chosen by Obama to be the Commerce czar. Outstanding achievements are in the offing – and we can hardly wait.

America, you’re too young to die!

Harry Wilmott


(Ed. note: Too young to die, perhaps, but not too young, apparently, for a medicinal dollop of socialism – TLB)

Only in Montecito

The Music Academy Auxiliary was having its annual fund raiser called "Petit Dejeuner" on what turned out to be the morning after the fire started. With many of our members evacuating, instead of the 200 expected (tickets sold) only 50 showed up.

The show went on, money was made, a decision to donate a portion to fire victims was made, but the food committee was left with piles of food. Committee members loaded it in their cars and drove to the Earl Warren Showgrounds where hundreds of firefighters were staying and rotating shifts on duty.

When they walked into the food station, the firefighters looked at the trays of chocolate-dipped strawberries, chicken salad on cucumber rounds, shrimp on Boursin cheese in endive leaves, piped deviled eggs, cheese puffs, toast squares with curried egg salad, ham in mini-rye buns, assorted cookies and petit fours and much, much more, and said, “Ladies, you must be kidding, this is the best stuff we have ever received.”

Without missing a beat, the committee chairwoman said, “That's what happens when it's a fire in Montecito!”

Linda Beuret

Santa Barbara