Obstacles from City Council
The gentleman who wishes to build on lower Milpas Street is receiving blowback from the Santa Barbara City Council unless he modifies his design for a hotel. Of course, because it is not a housing project, the city grumbles that “we need housing!”
First of all, the aforementioned property belongs to the owner, and it is his right to utilize it to his best interest. OK, says the council, but you must modify it, which means more money out of pocket and countless review boards weighing in.
Something else I will never understand: Why on God’s earth doesn’t the City Council revisit the height limit of construction, especially on State Street? “It will spoil the view of the mountains, etc.,” they say. Ridiculous! Walk down State Street, and with one or two exceptions (our revered Granada Theatre and the Arlington Theatre) those mountains are bigger than life and are not going anywhere soon.
And the hotel design for lower Milpas? Our city would suffer financial collapse without the tourists.
Bonnie B. Raisin
Housing won’t fix the problem
Regarding Monday’s News-Press article about the City Council looking for housing for the homeless: I support families who need a leg up, but does the City Council truly believe that finding rooms for the homeless men and women walking up and down State Street, using it as their outdoor bathroom and camping in dangerous fire areas, is going to fix the problem?
Mental illness should be the priority in addressing homelessness. There is a certain percentage of those that have fallen on difficult times. And from my observations, the majority are mentally ill alcoholics who do not want to get sober. Why should they?
The City Council needs to look deeper than housing, and look into addressing addiction and stop enabling the homeless. But we have too many inexperienced individuals on our City Council. Housing isn’t going to be the fix they were looking for.
No wonder people are leaving. This is not the same Santa Barbara of 20 years ago. Once a jewel, now just a dirty, tarnished, smelly place to go. It’s so very sad.
So, Tuesday morning, two Santa Barbara County supervisors and the mayor of Santa Barbara showed up, with suitably concerned expressions, at the Cave Fire press/media conference. Other than getting in the way, did any of the three have anything to contribute or any useful purpose — other than their own publicity — for being there?
The fire is in the county, not near the city, and only one supervisor’s district is affected — although perhaps that supervisor has some special insight into firefighting?
No rest for the politically weary
Readers expecting a Thanksgiving respite from political wars instead received holiday greetings from Andy Caldwell that invoked the pilgrims to target the usual suspects: deadbeats and socialists (“If you don’t work, you don’t eat”).
Especially in these polarized political times, there is a value to a community newspaper occasionally reminding us that all we Whos down in Whoville are in this together. While not expecting “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus” from Mr. Caldwell, I would hope that he might consider a holiday political ceasefire, lest he be visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past.
Representatives ignoring state
To Salud Carbajal, Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff: There are thousands of people in your congressional districts who are living and sleeping in their vehicles, in tents, under freeways, and on city streets. Many are mentally ill, drug or alcohol addicted, and some just have had unfortunate circumstances happen in their lives. Clearly they need help.
Santa Barbara’s downtown and parks have become a mecca for the homeless. The once beautiful streets of San Fransisco are being used as a gigantic toilet. Does it not bother you that the city of Los Angeles has the largest homeless encampment in the United States?
The millions and millions of dollars being spent on the partisan impeachment inquiry, that each of you voted for, could be used to help with housing, medical and mental health services. But instead, the obsessive hatred of a duly elected president has blinded you to the desperate situations in your own communities. I sincerely hope the citizens who elected you, and pay your salary, wake up and hold you accountable.
Make change with your ballot
I agree with Lee Rosenberg’s commentary about cannabis in Santa Barbara County in the Nov. 17 Voices section. I would also add to his comment about the benefit to county coffers that the Das Williams campaign received a good bit of money from the cannabis supporters as well.
While the past may be difficult to change, the future can be helped by electing Laura Capps to replace Das in the upcoming election.
‘Opt out’ policy: No thanks
Laura Capps presents herself as running for county supervisor as a campaign ethics reformer. Unfortunately, her deeds do not seem to match her words.
Recently I was shown an email from the Capps campaign informing “supporters” that they need to let the campaign know if they do NOT want to be on her list of endorsers. In other words, they have to take action to “opt out” even if they have not endorsed her. It’s not clear where the campaign decided who are her “supporters,” since the email went to at least one person who does not identify as a supporter of Laura’s campaign.
Requiring a presumed supporter to opt out in order NOT to be listed as an endorser is NOT standard practice; candidates are supposed to actively request endorsements, and often collect written permission from endorsers to ensure that they don’t claim support they don’t have. Indeed, two people in my acquaintance have already objected and asked to be removed, both because they are not supporters and had not endorsed Laura, and because they are concerned about the ethics of using an “opt out” process.
It strikes me as less than ethical to claim support from people who have not explicitly given it.
If you’ve ever belonged to a wine club and had to opt out of a shipment you didn’t want — and gotten stuck with a magnum of wine you didn’t order — you know what it feels like to have to get out of a commitment you never made. This is the political equivalent, and is equally unpalatable.
Also, you might want to check and make sure you aren’t on her endorsers list yourself, if you don’t support her campaign.
‘Tis the season to thank providers
We are entering a lovely time of year when most people gather with friends and family, often sharing a good meal. We are fortunate in this country to have fresh, affordable food. According to the USDA, Americans spend 6.4% of their income on food, compared to British citizens who spend 8.2%. Australians spend 9.8% and people in the Philippines spend 41.9% of their income on food. We are blessed with productive land, good weather and people who work very hard to bring food to our tables.
Although many farmworkers earn minimum wage, the average worker makes $17 per hour, but very few have full-time employment. Laborers on a poultry farm earn $11.50- $12 per hour. Workers who process livestock can earn between $15-$20 per hour, but the job requirements include: “Working around a wet and/or bloody area” and the “Ability to work in less than 35° Fahrenheit for minimum of 8 hours.”
The truck drivers who deliver your food earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $22 per hour. These numbers are rough estimates based on recent job postings, but the point is that a lot of men and women work very hard so we can enjoy a holiday meal. This holiday season, as you enjoy good food with family and friends, please take a minute to be thankful to everyone who made that meal possible.