DID YOU KNOW? Bonnie Donovan
All votes matter! In about 60 days we will exercise our privilege to vote in this most strategic Presidential election. And remember, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment!
Speaking of voting, one of the Propositions on this November’s ballot is to eliminate the Prop. 13 protection from commercial property. All increases in taxes affect everyone somewhere down the line.
Note to self, with the business model in use today, due to the COVID-19- induced government restrictions, we have a question: Will there be a need for commercial property on a taxable scale?
Housing bill SB1120 did fail due to the timing. It was referenced in last week’s column where a single-family residence parcel could be subdivided, and two duplexes built on each half of the lot. It passed the state Assembly but was too late to send to the Senate. Which means it could come back for a vote in a different form. In other words, the same bill can be resubmitted with just a few words changed and a different SB (Senate Bill) number applied, and these bills are run concurrently to further confuse the voters. Congratulations are premature because of this deceptive practice. We do applaud Assembly member Monique Limon for voting against this bill. We thank all the people that wrote, emailed or called in reference to this bill. Your voice does count. Use it!
Santa Barbara, uniquely situated from the ocean to the mountains and stretching from Goleta to Montecito, comprises approximately 26 square miles. Why would Santa Barbara be asked to carry the burden of developing the open space of Santa Barbara County for the purported housing shortage when a vast majority of the county remains underdeveloped — Santa Maria, Cuyama Valley, Lompoc, Buellton?
We have said it before and say again, of course, Santa Barbara is expensive; look at it. The city should not be reduced to a land of dense apartment dwellers and duplexes for the sake of these political agendas. This is the result of voting for people whose objective this was all along. However these plans were not revealed when these candidates campaigned for office. Voters are not doing their homework.
Another overreaching housing bill that has gotten as far as the Gov. Newsom’s desk is Assembly Bill 725. He can sign or veto. If he signs the bill, it takes effect Jan 2022.
This bill empowers developers and disempowers the directions cities choose for their own specialized location, as in an industrialized city, a beach town, a mountain town, a lucky-to-have-both town, sound familiar? This Legislature shifts the power base away from city planners and forces up-zoning for an estimated increase in population, which, according to the census, is not needed.
Due to the pandemic and the “business by Zoom,” the populous is working from home, and it appears the office buildings may not be needed in the future.
Another fallout to Zoom meetings is lack of community input. Without seeing the whites of their eyes — that is, people who would normally show up in person — the city officials execute their plans with less push back from the public. “Let it be noted there was no dissenting public comment,” we have heard city staff say.
Again, is this part of a permanent plan for us to be sheltered in place forever? Socially distanced, breaking down all forms of our society, while we miss weddings, funerals, worship, parades, sporting events — we become completely dependent on the internet, thus ushering in the digital dark ages.
A local neighborhood sign reads “… Make Orwell Fiction Again …” California has the worst student-to-library ratio of the country.In Oakland, 14 of 17 public school libraries are closed. These school libraries are closing with a shrug, using the excuse that students do not read books anymore.
The public schools systematically eliminated art and music from the curriculum over the last three decades. So why not eliminate books too? Literacy goes down along with knowledge.
Historical references are blurred. But athletic programs remain intact. Sports are an important element of education. But where is the balance? Whatever happened to the term “scholar/athlete”?
In Orwell’s “1984,” he writes about the burning of the books. However, Aldous Huxley wrote in his version of future shock, there would be no need to burn books, since everyone will be too preoccupied with their electronic devices. “Brave New World” was written in 1932.
Another chance to rectify a bad situation as a result of complacent voting regarding our local education system: Nine open seats are up for election. Three each for Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees, SB Unified School District and the County Board of Education.
Remember, these people make decisions that steer your child’s development, thinking and ability to reason, and play a strategic role in their character development. Look at the fallout and mayhem many cities are experiencing today because of what the students were taught (or not taught) in our present school system. California schools have remained in the bottom third of the nation’s schools for the last several decades. Fifty years ago, California was in the top three of the nation’s schools, behind New York and Iowa.
The Coalition for Neighborhood Schools is hosting a Candidates’ Forum for candidates for the Santa Barbara Unified School District board at 7 p.m. Sept. 17 on Zoom. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Zoom link.
Kindly put “RSVP to Forum” in the subject line. We encourage the public to attend. Please submit your questions in advance by email.
The League of Women Voters will be having two forums via Zoom this Thursday: at 5:30 p.m., Monique Limon and Gary Michaels, candidates for the 19th District State Senate seat and at 7 p.m.: Steve Bennett and Charles Cole, candidates for 37th District State Assembly seat.
Please submit questions to VoterService@lwvsantabarbara.org.
Remember, your vote makes the difference!