So, now not only do we still have the dining shacks on the streets of Santa Barbara, but they must be protected by K-rail walls, as reported in the Oct. 17 article, “Santa Barbara Council Backs New Process for Outdoor Dining Parklets.”

Way to go City Council, you’ve outdone yourselves this time. I didn’t think that possible, but you’ve made Santa Barbara even more unattractive than previously.

What do you do for your next act?

Kent Richards
Santa Barbara

•        •        •

The Santa Barbara City Council now mandates that “parklets” will require concrete K-rail walls around them to protect them.

Really?! K-rails like the center median on freeways? If true, that will certainly improve the aesthetics on State Street — NOT! I can hardly wait for the new year to view these bunkered restaurants.

What does the Historic Landmarks Commission think about that “improvement”? What would Pearl Chase say about it? 

Addison Thompson
Santa Barbara

•        •        •

There’s not one good reason to have parklets on public streets. They’re unsafe, block access, hide retail businesses, are incompatible with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and are plain ugly. I often wonder the mindsets of those desiring to pay to eat sitting in the street.

Personally, I’m waiting for a prorated refund to taxpayers from the City of Santa Barbara for the amount of money we paid to create and maintain public streets for circulation and public safety, not for drinking and dining.

Four of the seven council members — Meagan Harmon, Kristen Sneddon, Mike Jordan and Oscar Gutierrez — must be voted out of office. They’re destroying Santa Barbara!

Denice Spangler Adams

•        •        •

We once lived in a quiet neighborhood, where my children were safe to learn to ride their bikes. Now, since the overturning of the short-term rental restrictions in the coastal zones, we are surround by vacation rentals and with out-of-town partiers arriving every few days.

Our once dead-end, quiet road has become dangerous with fast driving cars, loud parties and flying drones.

The news is constantly reporting how Santa Barbara needs viable housing. How about we start with all the homes that have been turned into short-term vacation rentals? Ask how much they are making a month — some up to $30,000 to $40,000 month.

This is not only removing viable long-term residential rentals off the market, but taking from our hotels and those who work in the hotel industry. Additionally, it’s ruining the feeling of a safe neighborhood.

Santa Barbara should reconsider this law and honor our neighborhoods for raising our kids safely, while opening up the rental market to those who need to live in our town.

Brandy Zender
Santa Barbara

•        •        •

Regarding the Oct. 16 article, “State Accepts Goleta’s Revised Housing Element,” why is Noozhawk’s reporting so one-sided in favor of the Goleta City Council and its so-called progress on the new Goleta Housing Element?

Noozhawk never mentions all of the people who come to the hearings to protest what the council is doing.

For example, there is NO mention of the Kenwood Village project at 7264 Calle Real. There are NO quotes from the multitude of people who protested the Kenwood Village project, along with some others.

I think Kenwood Village had the most objections, but it was close with the Dara Road rezoning. Noozhawk simply let the public believe the quote from Councilman James Kyriaco was accurate and unopposed by many people in Goleta.

Kyriaco actually stated: “I’m pleased that our efforts as a city to listen to the community and effectively balance addressing our housing crisis while maintaining Goleta’s community character and small-town feel were recognized by the state.”

Is this meant as a joke/insult? He did not listen to the community at all.

Another council member stated, “Staff had a mandate to hit a target, knowing that if they failed to do that landowners would be able to go ahead and pursue developments without city approvals (the builder’s remedy).”

In other words, the City Council NEVER considered the public’s opinion or whether any of the sites were good places to build. They just wanted the numbers.

The City Council, including Kyriaco, certainly did NOT maintain Goleta’s community character and small-town feel by voting to put high-density housing randomly all over Goleta without considering the best places for the housing, even if the state did mandate a certain number of housing units.

Why does Noozhawk never push back on the City Council’s ridiculous statements pretending to be working with the community or preserving the small-town feel with high-density housing? I am sorry to say this, but you seem to be just writing whatever the City Council tells you without any follow-up or research.

There are so many people really upset with what the City Council did, especially District 3 because ours is the ONLY district that does not have either official or unofficial representation.

Districts 1 and 2 have official representatives on the City Council, so representative-less District 3 got stuck with most of the high-density housing while the other three districts were effectively protected from high-density housing because they have someone on the City Council looking after them.

April Read

•        •        •

Regarding the Oct. 16 Santa Barbara County Housing Element item, these state mandates are forcing counties into a rush to develop and build.

After counties have had their heydays of buildings strip malls, rancho villas and low-end apartments, we thought that was the end. We all could stop development, and the counties could stop planning and building needed infrastructure for water, sewer, roads.

But now the state has opened the borders of California, opened the jobs, welfare, schools, hospitals, jails to a variety of immigrants who, for the most part, add cheap labor but no tax revenues to state government.

And so the result is a Sacramento forced building spree, to accommodate all these newcomers flooding in from all corners of the world.

And just wait because we have no infrastructure to accommodate all these new houses and apartments. That’s really going to cost: new dams, new sewer plants, new schools, hospitals, government buildings and officials.

We are talking about tax, tax, tax and more tax. And soon, Proposition 13 will be gutted because the state wants all this wealth transfer to go to Sacramento, not sons and daughters of boomers.

Now … if homeowners wanted to open their homes, offices, garages, backyards to the masses flooding into California, that would be just swell. Except these friendly Californians who want open immigration for some reason do not open their own homes. They just don’t.

So the option that Sacramento is excited about is forced development. Who voted for this? Well, it must be the dominant political party.

This state-forced development is in overall conflict with the beliefs and dreams of many Californians. Beliefs such as limited growth, limited ecological footprints, limited pollution and crowding are now totally dumped for mass growth.

The whole idea of setting aside agricultural land from development was to prevent the dreaded urban sprawl from sprawling up from the cities. Yet massive urban sprawl is now the order of things.

Now, due to all the above, all thoughts of saving the environment, ecology, limited growth, the peaceful use and enjoyment of one’s land are out the window.

We counties and cities are now forced by Sacramento to build, or else the state will zone land and have it built for us through a “builder’s remedy” process.

When will people realize we cannot flood in the entire world and expect them all to go to Texas. California now must pay the piper for its feigned largess, and it’s a very expensive song.

Thomas Cole

•        •        •

Regarding C. Gonzalez’s Oct. 13 letter to the editor challenging feminists to speak out about the atrocities committed by Hamas in Israel, here is my response:

The violence we have heard and seen since Hamas committed its brutal, barbaric attack could spark a far wider war if/when Israel tries to eliminate Hamas from Gaza.

I personally feel outrage and grief, for my Jewish family and friends, for the disgusting display of barbarism by Hamas, and frustration that after all these years Israel is not able to achieve peace with its neighbors.

The attack on Israel isn’t simply a feminist issue, unless we start to actually condemn the oppression women face in Iran, Afghanistan, Gaza and other places where paternalistic religion dominates.

With all my heart I hope that Israel does not stoop to the degraded horror of similar behavior as it seeks retribution.

Marianne Caston

•        •        •

Thank you to C. Gonzalez for calling out Santa Barbara feminists and their silence about the Hamas atrocities. Their silence is shameful and inexcusable.

Israel is not perfect; no country is. But I would think that these respected local leaders on women’s issues would be the first to speak out against the barbarism that Hamas terrorists committed on innocent women and children. It seems awfully suspicious.

Instead, all we heard is silence. Well, after taking such cowardly positions, I certainly hear them now.

Jessica Levine

•        •        •

I was especially impressed by C. Gonzalez’s letter concerning the invasion of Israel by Hamas.

As an American who loves my country, I am saddened, angered and appalled by the views of many Democrats toward Israel. Where is their sense of decency, morality and patriotism?

Even in Santa Barbara, where is their support for Israel? And do they even care about the
women and children being slaughtered?

Finally, why in God’s name did President Joe Biden tell Israel to stand down? Isn’t Israel fighting for its own survival? Didn’t America attack its enemies after 9/11?

In the future, I will continue to support Israel. As for supporting Democrats, not so much. Just whose side are they really on?

Diana Thorn

•        •        •

We unequivocally condemn, in the strongest possible terms, the terrorism perpetrated on Oct. 7 by Hamas, a terrorist organization, against innocent men, women and children in Israel — including infants and the elderly.

No words can adequately convey the horror of such utterly barbaric and gruesome crimes against humanity. No grievances or injustices, whether real or perceived, justify these atrocities.

Furthermore, we condemn, in the strongest possible terms, any entity, movement or activity that calls for, or supports, the elimination of Israel or any other form of genocide against the members of a nation; or the members of any political, ethnic, tribal or religious community.

We unequivocally support, in the strongest possible terms, Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation, to peacefully coexist with all other nations, and to defend itself against aggression.

We stand with Israel!

Santa Barbara Conservative Republicans Board of Directors
Santa Barbara

•        •        •

As a daily reader of Noozhawk and a former junior tennis player in Santa Barbara, I would like to comment on your recent articles about tennis, and especially Judy Foreman’s Oct. 15 column, “Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons Marks 50 Years of Game, Set Match with Youth.” 

Growing up in Santa Barbara in the 1950s and playing tennis at the municipal tennis courts under the tutelage of Mike Koury and my father, I remember those two, among others, as founding the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons.

My father was the tennis coach at UC Santa Barbara (1955-1957), Koury was “Mr. Tennis” in Santa Barbara at that time, and “Muni” was the center of Santa Barbara junior tennis. 

Among that group of juniors was Harvey Bottelsen, Craig Base, Ed Adlam, Pete Foote, Steve Fisk, my sister Susan and me, plus many others.

A group of parents got together and started the Patrons and we juniors benefited from their efforts. I remember Bottelsen’s mother driving some of us to tournaments in Los Angeles, and I am happy to see Bottelsen and others are carrying on the tradition of promoting Junior Tennis in Santa Barbara through the Patrons. 

Bill Reynolds
Retired Cal State Fullerton head tennis coach

•        •        •

Great article on the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons. Thank you for sharing. 

Brad Blue

•        •        •

Just wanted to thank you for the wonderful coverage of the Santa Barbara Tennis Patrons’ 50th anniversary. This organization is a hidden gem in Santa Barbara, but the community really needs to know what kind of a positive impact it has made for thousands of children. Thank you.

Sarah Robertson
Santa Barbara

•        •        •

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