Did You Know? Bonnie Donovan
In the Dec. 20 News-Press (“Santa Barbara Rent Stats Released”), Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murillo said that as a renter herself, she understands why people make sacrifices to live in this town. She went on to say that the City Council approved “programs to help renters during the pandemic, such as the no-fault eviction ordinance that requires property owners to pay displaced tenant relocation assistance …”
We want to make it clear that the program she mentions is not a temporary arrangement to assist renters during the pandemic. We have written extensively about this situation.
Reminder: After more than two years of negotiations, this program awards the tenant three months of rent as relocation fees if the lease is not renewed for any reason. Mayor Murillo seems to understand the renter, but what about the property owners? In other words, does she represent all of Santa Barbara?
On this same note, not only is City Transportation Planning and Parking Manager Rob Dayton taking street parking from the city — the first blocks on both of east and west sides of State Street, from Victoria to Haley — which hurts our downtown businesses and restaurants, he insists on cluttering State Street with docking stations and “pay towers” for his BCycle program. By the way, these bicycles use an app for expediency — another win for Google and Apple. The uber rich keep getting richer.
Do Cathy and Rob eat at the same restaurant as Dick Cavett who said, “I eat at this German-Chinese restaurant, and the food is delicious. The only problem is that an hour later I am hungry for power.”
BCycle’s Regional Manager Jesse Rosenberg said, “… that action on this program of 250 battery-operated bikes with 500 electric docks this year, has been such an instrumental step into climate change and into making other transportation options for SB.”
How does this operation of battery-operated bikes lend itself to “carbon control” more efficiently than a plain old bicycle run on human pedal power? Regular bikes are good enough for New York City, Denmark and even at our beach hotels.
And how does this support our elderly population? With downtown street parking disappearing, the State Street promenade makes it impossible to drop off anyone at The Granada for events or anywhere else downtown.
The Arlington Theatre and its neighbors stood their ground to retain a section of the street for parking. See what happens when you stand your ground?
Here’s a note from good, loyal, longtime Santa Barbara citizens Mark and Margaret Huston, who own Jane restaurants. They wanted to get a word out to the public. “Hello friends. Today …. Went to Kohl’s, packed! Home Depot … packed! Trader Joe’s…packed! But we (restaurants) are shut down? REALLY?
“Restaurants already have the highest safety standards with the Santa Barbara County Department of Environmental Health and with the fire marshall. Did you know that every restaurant employee must have a California ServSafe certificate and that all chefs and bartenders have an additional certificate?” the Hustons noted.
“Do Kohl’s or Home Depot or Trader Joe’s have those regulations or standards? NO!
“Plus, with the new COVID rules on top of it, with 6 feet distancing for staff and guests, masks, disposable menus, nobody using the restrooms, etc … Are you kidding me?” the Hustons said. “And the health department doing unannounced checks (we passed of course) — This is such craziness!!! This is information of which the public needs to be made aware. Please help small businesses like ours stay afloat!! If you really want to help or care, write your representatives and tell them to stop this nonsense!!”
As we have stated in other columns, neither the Hustons nor we are advocating that any other businesses be shut down. It is simply the fact that restaurants and bars are being unfairly targeted along with other privately owned businesses, such as hair and nail salons, which also follow rigid safety standards. It appears the common denominator is private enterprise.
Speaking of COVID-19 rules and regulations, is this part of the priming for the “The Great Reset,” about which we hear so much lately? Since climate change is such a part of this idea, it has been noted that during COVID-19 lockdowns, which resulted in the halting of our society, claims have been put forth that pollution went down by 5%. Really 5%?
And what are the percentages for suicides, unemployment and depression?
Those in charge are proposing a climate change lockdown to reduce more carbons. A miniscule 5%?
Those in charge are the government officials we elected. It is past time to push back.
Call your representative and demand your freedom. Think of what we have lost regionally, nationally and globally.
And pay attention to those entities that have profited exponentially during this shutdown.
Look to see how the extensions just keep coming. When the Voices section went to press last week, the lockdown was expected to be extended beyond Monday. How long does it take to break the human spirit?
As we make our resolutions to improve ourselves for the coming year, we generally raise the bar for our own self expectations.
Let us tell the city we expect the same. The city had good intentions when it used a buzz phase: City Water trucks are tooling around our streets with a large sign on the top that reads — “WTF” — What To Flush. But truly, using that phase lowers the standard that we expect for our city. Water seeks its own level. We want that removed.
Despite all the difficulties and challenges during 2020, may we thank God for all the blessings that He has bestowed upon us. May the upcoming year unite us in His Grace, Hope and Strength.