Did You Know? Bonnie Donovan
“Once you wake up and smell the coffee, it’s hard to go back to sleep.” — Fran Drescher
In reference to last week’s column, one of our contributing writers made the following comment, “So far as I can discern, Santa Barbara City Council wants to go into the clean energy business. It is not clear to me whether their company will generate electricity and distribute it as a monopoly within the city limits. Or, whether it intends to buy open market supplies under contracts from existing generators of solar and wind power.
“Either way, one wonders where the expertise lies within the city to manage either approach. There are also the questions of scale and monopoly …” He continued to say he came to Santa Barbara from a small town in Florida, which had been in the electricity supply business for many years.
When the power plant that the town was using eventually became obsolete, the city-owned electricity business shut down in deference to PG&E, which was offering lower rates and better equipment. However, he goes on to say, it took a lot to accomplish the changeover because the City Council had become dependent on those annual profits.
So this is not a new story.
Santa Barbarans, beware.
An important reminder: The Sustainability Council Committee meeting’s webinar is 11 to 12:30 p.m. Monday.
This group has created the city’s new electrical company and will also make recommendations to pursue development of all-electric “Reach Code” for new buildings.
Be aware of the Planning Commission’s Dec. 3 meeting, where the HLC “amendments” will be discussed.
More community input is coming forth to state a renewed concern about protecting the natural beauty of Santa Barbara and the small-town scale that is its intrinsic component.
Think of the heart of Paris. All the tall business buildings and apartments are built away from the city center in the outlying areas.They do not take over and destroy the beauty and history of this unique city.
During the 1930s in New Orleans, there was a movement to raze a portion of the French Quarter and build public housing. Imagine that jewel being destroyed by developers with the same cry, “We need more “affordable” housing.”
Therefore, we continue to press for development to take place outside these precious city limits.
There is plenty of room in Santa Barbara County for housing or business needs. The stories and the battle cries go on and on.
There is always someone willing to take advantage of the unassuming. That never changes. But they are only successful when people are asleep at the wheel.
Please, we urge you to go to Chaucer’s and buy Sheila Lodge’s book, “Santa Barbara – An Uncommonplace American Town.”
Speaking of the threatened charms of Santa Barbara, it appears that the city is finally reacting to the complaints by the tourist to the hotel industry. While we applaud the city for addressing a situation that affects us all, these same complaints have been voiced by Santa Barbara citizens for years, with little response.
In fact, the response that citizens received when voicing such concerns were answered with their most recent excuse, that their hands were tied due to the COVID restrictions of the movement of the homeless.
Way before COVID, a series of weak city councils placed the blame on court cases involving the ACLU in regards to anti-sleeping ordinance, etc. As a result, beautiful Santa Barbara is littered with campsites at the Santa Barbara County Administration Building, Alameda Park, all along East Beach, on the hill behind the Carriage House Museum in Pershing Park, and beyond. How does that add up for the tourist trade?
Will the transient cleanup be funded by the waterfront, from Parks and Recreation or another city department, or will the funds come from Visit Santa Barbara?
We are fairly sure that the monies will not be coming from the Transportation Department, headed by Rob Dayton.
His project, BCycle, will use the waterfront and State Street rent-free.
If an individual wanted to do the same, they would pay dearly.
By the way, the bikes will charge $7 for 30 minutes. That’s a price point that caters to tourism, but is not meant for any traffic circulation abatement for the local public.
Mr. Dayton feigned surprise over the fact that 11-feet high black solar kiosks are part of this package.
Apparently, the Planning Commission was only notified at the 11th hour. This came after numerous requests were made regarding the height from many respected boards and commissions over an extended period.
Classic bait and switch.
Santa Barbara needs four good men or women to run for City Council. Available positions for election November 2021 include those currently held by Meaghan Harmon, Kristin Sneddon, Eric Friedman and Mayor Cathy Murrillo.
If Santa Barbara, the way we know and love it, is going to be saved, a clean slate is required. We want leaders who care about Santa Barbara and are not positioning themselves to further their own political aspirations.
Have we ever seen so many Christmas lights on display so early in neighborhoods around town? Traditionally Thanksgiving would get its due, and then let the Christmas season begin.
However, this early Yuletide is obviously a sign of how much everyone yearns for relief from this malaise caused by a masked lockdown forced on the world by “experts in charge.” Our holiday celebrations provide us with a much-needed sense of belonging connecting us to our family, our community and our history.
“Community leads to understanding, intimacy and mutual valuing.”
— Rollo May
Bonnie Donovan writes “Did You Know?” in conjunction with a bipartisan group of residents. The column runs Sundays in the Voices section.