State Street retail was dead long before the COVID-19 pandemic and the closing of the street downtown.

When is the commercial real estate contingent, or anyone for that matter, going to acknowledge that Proposition 13, high rents and absentee landlords are a big part of the problem with vacancies?

Are downtown San Luis Obispo or Ventura experiencing the same vacancy issues? Not really.

The promenade certainly has problems, but isn’t it disingenuous to blame the current situation solely on the promenade and parklets, and not admit Prop. 13 and high rents are part of the problem?

Steve Fort
Santa Barbara

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Regarding Santa Barbara Mayor Randy Rowse’s July 6 commentary, “We Can’t Afford to Wait Three More Years for State Street’s Revitalization,” all I can say is right on!      

We all know that government decisions are slow but this State Street episode is becoming epic.

Rowse must keep pushing. There are a lot of us rooting for him!

Addison Thompson
Santa Barbara

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As part of the revitalization of State Street in downtown Santa Barbara, perhaps there is a need to develop ways to get more people downtown, people with money in their pockets, and let the vendors figure out how to get their hands on the money.

A start. Bring the Fiesta Parade back to its historic route on State Street and the downtown.

Find an engineer to design platforms to go under the large planters that block State Street that can also double as forklift-capable pallets. On parade day, a forklift goes up State Street and lifts the planters from State and moves them to block the side streets. State Street is open from Stearns Wharf north. The parade proceeds and after the street cleaners go by, a forklift returns the planters to block State Street and the side streets are reopened.

As part of this we would, of course, require that State Street be free of all encumbrances from curb to curb. Little kids can again sit on the curbs for the parade. The horses have full reign. The carriages can do 360s in the street. Vaqueros swing lassos, the Fiesta flags fly again, music flows from El Paseo, De la Guerra Plaza dishes out pre- and post-parade snacks.

State Street is fun again. Downtown Santa Barbara is festive again. Music flows. Fiesta has returned to downtown.

Then thoughts go to the Fourth of July, Christmas, Veterans Day, Solstice parades and the favorite of all, the kids fiesta parade. And more ways to promote bringing people downtown.

Once money is downtown, the issues may take care of themselves. Plus, the noise and commotion may cause the homeless to move elsewhere to get peace and quiet so they can sleep.

Ron Nichols
Santa Barbara

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It’s time for a news story about the road fatalities in northern Santa Barbara County.

There have been about 25 in the last 24 months in and near Lompoc. There is virtually no traffic enforcement there.

Please do some real journalism, Thomas Storke-style.

A.J. Tarman

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If Noozhawk REALLY wanted letters to “be BRIEF — as in 200 words BRIEF,” it would not post longer letters. It would return noncompliant email submissions to their authors for revision. It would put a maximum word limit or character limit on the online letters to the editor submission form.

Because “letters under 150 words are given priority,” it would post the shorter letters FIRST in Saturday’s “From Our Inbox.”

For many of us, writing is easy; brevity is harder.

Richard Closson
Santa Barbara

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Mail Calls

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