Did You Know? Bonnie Donovan
Coming into the new day, a New Year, a new mayor.
The citizens of Santa Barbara face a unique challenge and are on the precipice of opportunity to protect its vital interest, its people and its landscape. This cannot happen solely through the yo-yo of the current political climate.
Locally, speaking of new year, new things — Dale Francisco, the former city council member, is now hosting “Voices of Santa Barbara”on KZSB, AM 1290, the News-Press radio station. It plays live 10 a.m. Wednesdays, with taped repeats at 8 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. Sundays.
Last Wednesday’s program focused on energy sources of solar, coal, nuclear and natural gas, and their impact on the environment.
A lack of human energy has caused several of our favorite local haunts to cut their normal hours of operation because not enough people want to work. Not due to COVID, but we suspect due to COVID checks. We will miss happy hour and dinners at the Mesa Café and Monday night football at the Brewhouse.
We hope things will open when the employees are stimulated enough to go back to work.
Now we see the tragic loss of Santa Barbara Arts in La Arcada Court. Have we not said all along that State Street as a promenade closed to traffic would benefit only one facet of business along our traditional downtown corridor? Take a stroll through that unique court sometime soon. It rivals anything you would see in Paris or London.
Santa Barbara Arts owner Lynn Adams said that business changed when the pandemic hit, and State Street closed to vehicular traffic. The service provided to the community is immeasurable: Giving locally made jewelry, art and crafts a yearlong outlet — now lost. Thanks to the lack of vision by the present city government.
Carmel and other seaside towns reopened their streets, understanding the climate that allows for many businesses to thrive. Please wake up, Santa Barbara, before our town is gone, replaced with something nondescript and ugly.
Street vendors stand in front of brick and mortar, even in front of Joe’s Cafe, just like carnies in a carnival. No sales tax.
Meanwhile, at 2 p.m. Tuesday, our new mayor, Randy Rowse, will be sworn in with the returning Santa Barbara City Council incumbents on the steps of City Hall instead of Chambers, again, due to COVID. Will this stimulate the city officials to update the city’s website?
The photo of the city officials is sorely outdated, and most of the players have been retired.
Statewide, did you know that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed 770 new laws that came into effect in 2022? California laws are divided into 29 codes/ categories.
As of Nov 3, 2020, California had 395,600 regulatory restrictions/ laws on the books. The average number among other states is 103,400.
Gov. Newsom’s 770 additional laws in one year, raises the question: Why does California have three times the number of laws than the average of all other 50 states?
Although Gov. Newsom did the signing of so many bills this year, remember these 770 laws came from our elected state senators and assembly members. So when Gov. Newsom is gone from office, these same elected bodies can continue to bring us mountains of restrictions, which nobody has the time to read nor understand, but by which we may be subjected. This accounts in large part for the grand California exodus, which is happening for the first time in its history.
And what is all this about a housing shortage? It is nonsense and it is untrue.
Read the article in last week’s editions of the News-Press about the reporting from U-Haul that could not meet the demand of outgoing Californians in 2021. The article states that “the U-Haul Growth Index is an effective gauge of how well cities are both attracting and maintaining residents.”
The government, both local and statewide, can make all the claims it wants to create a false sense of housing need. The statistics point otherwise. The truth is that a concerted effort exists to pack people into downtown corridors. Certainly, the excuse is to put people near work. What work? What businesses exist in the downtown area besides retail and restaurant? When you add this to all the other reasons people are leaving California, why isn’t there more outrage among those who remain?
What about all these narrative changes from one day to the other, being decided by whomever wields control of the platform?
Recall March 16, 2020: We were all willing to stay home for two weeks and eat brownies and watch television, while we sacrificed our freedom to flatten the curve. Back then, anyone who tested positive or had been exposed, was isolated for 14 Days. Then it changed to 10 days. Almost two years later, it is five days of quarantine.
We heard that Delta Airlines complained to the CDC that with a long quarantine the airline industry could not function. Then it changed to five days. Is that following the science? Or a business model? Tell us the narrative does not fit the checkbook. Their checkbook.
Think about it. If not for a shorter isolation period, not enough employees would be available to staff the airlines.
Last week, California adopted the CDC’s new quarantine guidelines of five days. And everyone, vaccinated or not, must wear a mask through Feb. 15 under the state mandate.
We agree that science should be corrected as more information is discovered. However, without a control group, how can the comparisons be made, monitored and recorded of the experimental group? The idea that the pharmaceutical companies have requested to release the results in 75 years, when most people today will not be alive to see the results, is nonsense.
Translation: We aren’t held responsible to anyone nor to any standards. There it is again, no accountability. The mantra of our modern society.
But a whole lot of control on our way of life, to flatten a curve and to prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed for a virus that every month a new variant warrants more control by the people not elected but mandating you from the TV screen.
Is it not obvious what is going on? Could the amount of people now infected with omicron lead us to herd immunity?
Omicron is said to be very transmissible. Which brings us again to the question of why our leaders are allowing immigrants crossing our borders to be flown to the interiors of our nation without any COVID-19 testing, or protocols. It’s a given that COVID and its variants all came from other countries. After all, nothing is made in America anymore.
So are we intentionally letting this virus be spread, which infects our economy, our populace and our way of life?
Private individual choice is the driving force for our forefathers who created this country. Most of the immigrants that are coming here are leaving a socialist or communist country, run by dictators, despots etc.
But what do 90% of them do as soon as they arrive? They sign up for all the government services that control the human spirit in exchange for a modicum of what? The perception of security? They get subsidized government housing, food, medical care, schooling. Then we even provide translators for convenience.
Meanwhile this overbearing, overreaching government control is not what formed this country, nor is it what made us what we are — and remain — a beacon for the free world.
No one can deny, the results of our social and personal neglect of spiritual engagement over the past 40 or 50 years is showing itself in every aspect of our world as we know it.
The Judeo-Christian ethos carried us only so far, and now it is stretched so thinly that we can no longer depend upon common decency to rule.
Without going into all that the world is showing us to prove the point, it may be time for each of us to take stock and up the ante on our spiritual practices. As the proverb says, desperate times call for desperate means.
We have been complacent and comfortable post-World War II. If we do not turn to something beyond politics, we may lose our way of life entirely. In the current climate, we cannot convince the “other side” to cooperate and to get things done for the greater good of society. Four years of progress followed by four years of dismantling that progress.
Let’s face it, it is our obedience to God that will set us free from the negative forces in our world, allow us to make good decisions, and make our lives fruitful and beautiful again.This would be the time to return to the source of the values, and decency, inspiration, strength and courage. Attend your traditional places of worship — churches and synagogues — and re-connect with the traditions and values that perhaps were wrung out of you during the college years.
It was a remarkably effective way, those college years, of destroying and tampering down the morality and faith that our forefathers fought so hard to retain for us.
“We stand like a race with shrunken muscles, staring helplessly at the weights our forefathers lifted easily.”
— Henry James
Bonnie Donovan writes the “Did You Know?” column in conjunction with a bipartisan group of local citizens. It appears Sundays in the Voices section.