Do You Know? Bonnie Donovan
In the New Year, we thought it would be important to reflect upon and state the major focus of this column.
The aim of the “Did You Know?” column includes encouraging the citizens of Santa Barbara to preserve and protect her unique qualities.
We identify major issues that pose the greatest threat of irreparable damage to the qualities of our community. These threats include the rampant changes to the downtown corridor, along with the height and density of buildings with indistinct architecture imposing onto the streetscape. In our world today, many social and political ideologies influence the forces that are working against our way of life in Santa Barbara that we strive to protect.
Some of these ideas we address throughout the year as they pertain to our local situation.
Santa Barbara Mayor Cathy Murrillo appeared on KEYT-TV Monday night after our first rain since April. We received 1.55 inches of rain, and she was informing the public that the rain travels from the street to the ocean, and that grates are in place to catch the natural debris of trash, leaves and even masks.
However, along the shoreline some citizens have spotted hypodermic needles, human feces and other debris issuing from the various transient encampments in town. San Marcos Pass got 3.52 inches of rain and now the creeks are flowing.
We want to warn everyone to stay alert when they are down by the ocean since it is unknown what has washed from encampments along the creek beds and streets. An increasing number of tents have been noticed along Mission Creek by the northbound 101 Carrillo on-ramp.
Speaking of dangers, the “warp speed” delivery of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the last two weeks. Ten million doses were delivered nationwide, yet only 1.9 million vaccines were administered.
The vaccines should have gone to our frontline essential workers and our most vulnerable populations. That is nurses, police officers, firefighters, paramedics, teachers, nursing home employees and their residents, grocery store employees, etc.
To save the most lives, isn’t the priority for these vaccines to go to Emergency Responders and the elderly first? Yet we hear that politicians as well as our own Salud Carbajal are getting the vaccine before the more vulnerable.
Another area of concern that could be spreading COVID is the Labor Line on East Yanonali Street. Besides the day laborers not socially distanced, there can also be up to 20 people playing cards. These people go home to their families, who work locally and may be spreading the virus to vulnerable populations.
Although this lack of social distancing has been reported to the proper authorities, no change in the activity at this location has been noticed. These activities may contribute to the spiking COVID numbers in the local rest homes. Last Sunday, two people died in a local senior living facility.
Four weeks ago, Gov. Gavin Newsom closed the restaurants, gyms, hair, nail salons, and personal services, etc. The churches and places of worship have been closed since March 2020, with an intermittent opening of limited attendance allowed.
Even with this lockdown, for the past four weeks, we have experienced the largest increase of COVID cases.
Just how is this virus spreading anyway?
In San Francisco, the focus is 173 COVID deaths, yet no mention of 621 deaths from overdoses.
San Francisco Mayor London Breed on Friday called out the city’s school district for beginning a process of renaming schools under its control, rather than reopening them.
He said it was an outrage to even consider changing the school names to eradicate names of the presidents of the United States, such as Abraham Lincoln as well as other white Americans (including Diane Feinstein, the first female mayor of San Francisco) to the tune of $9 million — at a time when the focus should be on the repercussions of the virus to all walks of life.
Californians for balanced energy solutions is asking you to Make Your Voice Heard. Tell the City Council NO on a natural gas ban!
On Jan. 12, the Santa Barbara mayor and City Council will consider a law banning the use of natural gas in new homes and commercial buildings.
If approved, the law could prohibit the use of natural gas appliances and equipment for barbecues, spas and pools, water heaters, furnaces and cooktops. Instead, residents could be required to use more expensive electric appliances and equipment that would dramatically increase energy bills for homeowners and tenants, eliminate good paying union jobs and make residents more vulnerable to outages.
In the middle of a public health and economic crisis, now is not the time to impose new costs on Santa Barbara residents and businesses. Tell the Mayor and City Council: NO on a natural gas ban by sending an email to SBCityCouncil@SantaBarbaraCA.gov or call 805-564-5318! (https://c4bes.org/actnow/)
In this New Year, we hope that we all can do our part to be more involved to serve and protect our city. With four City Council seats up for election in November 2021, the stakes are high. Who among us will serve?
We recommend people become more informed about local government and stay tuned to Channels 18 and 20.
“Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.”
— Brad Paisley
Bonnie Donovan writes the “Did You Know?” column in conjunction with a bipartisan group of local citizens. It appears Sundays in the Voices section.