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Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Goletans Appear Ready for Change?

Yesterday's opinion piece on the state of Goleta politics was an interesting and actually provocative piece in that TKA actually makes a few good points. That's right -- you don't have to adjust your screen -- he has a good point here.

The incumbents are vulnerable in that -- a planning commission that could have provided citizen input into the general plan that is soon to be finalized -- would have been a better strategy than doing it all themselves. I've wondered whether the present council thinks they know and understand planning better than the average citizen? Probably so, but that doesn't mean you don't create a planning commission before the general plan is completed.

68 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whover the voters in Goleta elect, they couldn't be any worse than the three incumbents.

Fortunately I know a couple of them and they would be a great improvement for the City of Goleta.

It's a critical time for them and they really need some positive leadership which they won't be able to get from the current "cabal" of Gary Earle bobble-heads.

8/20/2006 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goleta and Travis
Travis has been rolling out the same tired editorials about Goleta for years. It is a cut and paste job each time. Citizen input on the General Plan? There were around 20 community meetings and planning agency meetings all this year on the plan and the EIR. And a Planning Commission will be appointed next month.

8/20/2006 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree - TKA does makes some good points here.

Goleta has not only no Planning Commission but no General Plan advisory commitee. Something ever other city and every area in the county has.

And the reason is the majority of the city council want to control everything and not listen to the public. That is why the new Goleta General Plan and Draft EIR will bring hordes of law suits and cost the city millions of dollars to defend.

Yet that is not why they are vulnerable. The real issue is the deal they cut with the county. They wanted power so much that they gave away the communities future to get it. They gave a percentage of all future sales and property tax to the county - even if that tax did not exist when the county ruled. They created a city that unless it grows like crazy will fail in the near future.

And last they have spent millions on defending and losing law suit after law suit. The only people doing well off the incorporation are the out of town lawyers.

This is not about growth - it is about huge egos and money - our money.

Time for a change - now.

8/20/2006 4:55 PM  
Anonymous Jimmy Johnny said...

I've been sent a new song: (For Travis) The Wrong Way Feels Right

http://www.esnips.com/web/guildedtruthsOtherStuff

Ed I. Torial and the Travisties have released a moving country ballad...

8/20/2006 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

__________________________________________ alert___________

Anonymous said...
Goleta and Travis
Travis has been rolling out the same tired editorials about Goleta for years. It is a cut and paste job each time. Citizen input on the General Plan? There were around 20 community meetings and planning agency meetings all this year on the plan and the EIR. And a Planning Commission will be appointed next month.

8/20/2006 3:51 PM

__________________________________________facts_____________


Citizen input - really?

So some total BS sessions. Most continuations and not noticed. Most not with clear staff reports. Most where the council does not listen or pay attention at all.

That is not citizens particapation.

How about having a Draft EIR before the general plan is complete. They reviewed the Draft EIR as they were completing the General Plan. How do you approve a study for something that was not done when you completed the study.

This is a power play by those in power in Goleta who cut the worse deal in the state history - those who created law suits that have cost us millions and millions of dollars.

They have to go and go now before the county with the north county takes over - that is more at risk then we all want to admit.

Vote out Jack, Cynthia and Margie.

8/20/2006 7:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 4:55 has put it perfectly !! If more Goleta voters really knew these details they would be outraged !! There is no debate, it is time to vote for a change.

8/20/2006 9:35 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

The city of Goleta needs to keep fighting the same demons that have ruined the city of Santa Barbara. Go Jack. Go Cynthia. Go away Margaret.

8/20/2006 10:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How hard is it to put and END to growth?

8/21/2006 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

" How hard is it to put and END to growth?

That's pretty funny. I think the answer is just about as easy as stopping the aging process or the world turning.

Why not do something constructive? This fight is over. The no-growthers have lost. We need to work together now.

8/21/2006 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

I could care less about the Goleta City Council. They only focus on growth and not on human needs like a living wage, housing for the homeless, job centers for non native working americans,income redistribution through taxation, health care for the needy. Their message is we hate people but love vacant lots. Why be on the city council if you cannot promote a progressive agenda of helping those in need? How can you be a progressive if your only message is " dont build here, build somewhere else." Doesnt anyone care to run on a noble agenda of helping others? Where are the giants? Are we to never see a FDR again? Will all of our elected officials just continue to let us down? Like Das or not but he flew a flag of bold colors not pale pastels.

8/21/2006 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Red and Yellow may be bold, but nothing to be proud of.

8/21/2006 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The City of Goleta was founded on a negative messages - local control to keep the County from abusing Goleta, keep Isla Vista out, fight the Airport...

But the problem with being reactionary is the proactionary is emasculated. The City of Goleta has never had an agenda of what to get done, only what to stop.

And so mostly the City has achieved lots of new regulation - reactionary - keeping people from expanding their homes, getting cars off the street. The only proactionary achievement is Ellwood Mesa, but that actually involved lots of people outside the City of Goleta too, and is a good achievement, but insufficient to build a civic enterprise upon.

Of course governing is darned hard in the Goleta area. But give `em 34 years, and the City of Goleta might be as effective as the Isla Vista Recreation and Parks Department.

8/21/2006 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hold on Pinto Pop. As I recall, your boy Das did not run for Goleta City Council. He ran for 2nd district supervisor and flew a flag of opposing colors. His tune was something like "meeee, me me meeee!" and his song to SB City Council was "...i'm movin' on up..." and he pulled support away from a true grassroots candidate.

The Das I supported for SB City Council was a grassroots guy who would have supported Guzzardi once-upon-a-time. But now Das seems to be trying to dance to the party tune while singing a solo, thereby completely losing his rhythm. I would like to see him get courageous enough to support a non-partisan strong candidate like Guzzardi in the future.

8/21/2006 8:38 PM  
Anonymous Lucas Els said...

I wonder if any city in the history of California's Map Act (enacted 1893) has ever taken longer to adopt a General Plan?

The Goleta council could have used some help from a citizens committee or a planning commission, but that would have defeated their purpose.

With lawsuits from current policy (or lack thereof) likely to last well into the next council's term, the clock has run out on these incumbents.

"No growth" might make sense to some people in Goleta, but I think everyone can agree that the end certainly doesn't justify this council's means.

8/21/2006 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sure it does.

8/22/2006 9:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lawsuit is a small price to pay to stop growth. Which is why Goleta became a City.

8/22/2006 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

How noble. Get elected to stop growth. What about getting elected to help people?

8/22/2006 1:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tone, distortion and attitude of some of these comments on Goleta’s current direction makes me grateful that our General Plan process was run by the Council members, not a general committee of Goleta residents. If the comments are any indication, many people commenting on this blog would have led to a “sub-optimal” General Plan process that sounds like a free-for-all.

People complaining about the current council have offered no solutions, just accusations, distortions and in some instances, venom.

I’d invite people who want to derail Goleta’s current direction to say how they would pay for faster development. It is a well-known FACT that development fees pay about half of what it takes to support the development. Taxpayers pay the rest. Faster development would mean either higher fees and taxes or reduction of service levels.

What should we do about Goleta’s mounting traffic and would an increased rate of development make it better or worse? Inevitably worse!

The county had the upper hand in Goleta’s tax mitigation negotiations to become a city. Would it have been better to give up cityhood and local control, and have us still be unincorporated with our neck’s under the county’s boot heel? I don't think so.

No, the current majority isn’t perfect. They don’t even always agree with each other on HOW to keep Goleta the Good Land. But they do agree that keep it we must, and that will mean we should not just lie down to the wishes of the big businesses and big developers.

The current majority has balanced every budget (Jean voted for ever one of them), fixed roads and sidewalks, fully supported public safety, and promoted local businesses. Let’s be careful about replacing their leadership with a group sponsored by Goleta’s Chamber that puts profits over our quality of life.

8/22/2006 3:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto should have said...

I am proposing a General Plan ammendment for a new People's Republic of Bishop Ranch as a way for Goleta City to help more people, as long as those people have no cars, all home-school, only drink the rainwater that falls on their yurts, and hold their calls of nature.

8/22/2006 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where is there a justification of the `fact' that development fees only pay for 1/2 of what it takes to support development?

And does that take into account that new development pays a heck of a lot more in property taxes than old development?

For me, quality of life in Goleta ain't great. Just walk across the Storke/Hollister intersection with a little girl sometime... if you don't run full speed you'll get run over because the lights change so quick. Goleta is totally pro-car.

8/22/2006 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stopping growth is helping people.

8/22/2006 7:08 PM  
Anonymous Lucas Els said...

Lots of asinine, pro-incumbent, anonymous comments = ineffectual campaign consultants loitering on blogs

When Sara, Mike Pinto, the Goleta Chamber, and Travisty all agree, we know something really stinks in Goleta.

8/22/2006 10:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's wrong with getting elected for slowing down growth? That's what people want around here. Slow and sensible. Don't we at least all agree on that ??

8/22/2006 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:22: How about the people who need a job, a better job, a place to own, or a place to rent that's not in Ventura or Santa Maria? How about the people who care about the environment? How about the people who pay taxes? Exactly who is the Goleta City Council helping? How are we better off today than 4 years ago??

8/22/2006 11:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with slowing down growth -- but getting the city in a financial mess with a $32 million lawsuit and perhaps more on the way (State of CA and the inclusionary rate?) is another matter.

8/22/2006 11:47 PM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

I wonder how many of these posts are from citizens of Goleta? The incumbents have done exactly what they were elected to do: Slow down development until the community could establish a comprehensive plan for how Goleta should be developed. Just because the Chamber of Commerce, people who want to double the square footage of their homes, the density true believers, and developers are not happy does not mean that the majority of Goleta families are not satisfied with pace of the process. Slow is good. Developed is forever.

8/23/2006 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Goleta City Counicl has got some real panache for standing to these forces.

8/23/2006 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a retirement community. Why not take all the building elsewhere.

8/23/2006 11:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There's nothing wrong with slowing down growth -- but getting the city in a financial mess with a $32 million lawsuit and perhaps more on the way (State of CA and the inclusionary rate?) is another matter.

The lawsuits ARE the result of slowing down growth. More lawsuits on the way are the result of doing a good job at combatting growth. That's how you can tell that the greedy developers aren't getting their way.

8/23/2006 1:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

--------------

Anonymous said...
What's wrong with getting elected for slowing down growth? That's what people want around here. Slow and sensible. Don't we at least all agree on that ??

8/22/2006 10:15 PM
---------------------
If slowing growth results in a bankrupt city that cannot and is not interested in anything else there is something wrong. Growth can be slowed - controled and planned. This no growth Goleta was tired before by The Goleta Water Board and it cost millions legal fees and gave us the mess we have in Goleta today.

This time it is a city and the result will be much worse.

Slow growth yes - reverse growth - where people are leaving - enrollment at schools is declining is a problem unless we have a plan to handle the social problems - and we do not.

Slow growth is fine - if it is legal but we have a serious legal issue going on here and to date more than a million dollars and as outlined above two or three times $32 million hanging over our head.

And last - these council members treat people very badly - simple folks wanting to remodel or add a bathroom are treated like big Orange County developers.

8/23/2006 1:58 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Sal -- I don't publish comments which try to identify myself in any way. I appreciate your interest and you are welcome to think what you like -- but posts are based in what's in the news and of interest to the community.

8/23/2006 3:05 PM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

By the way, I personnaly feel that I had ample opportunity to comment on the draft Goleta general plan throughout the process. I do not understand people who say that there have not been sufficient opportunities for input. I suspect that such comments are a rather disingenuous code for expressing a dissatisfaction with the result of the process rather than a valid critique of the process itself.

8/23/2006 4:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Philosophe, the Council has not done what they said they would do.

They said, in a negative declaration in lieu of an EIR, in 2001, that they would retain all policies and laws of Santa Barbara County for the interval between cityhood formation and completion of the General Plan. The argument was: if they change nothing, no need for an EIR, prior to the cityhood election.

Other cityhood efforts had to perform an EIR prior to the Cityhood election. Goleta evaded this requirement by pledging in their negative declaration to keep all just as it was in the County prior to cityhood formation.

Well, after the City was formed, they started making changes, some vast, in the County laws and policies.

They broke their word, pure and simple. For example, all ordinances and hearings for housing mods are very different now than under the County. Projects approved by the County had their approvals rescinded by the City. Commitments made by the County were rescinded by the City.

No problem with a City wanting to do things differently than the County.

But not when they pledged to keep things the same to avoid an EIR about cityhood.

The right way was to put all changes desired in the new General Plan, and then have an EIR on that, allowing everyone to comment, and then implement the changes from County laws and policies after final adoption of the EIR.

But they've been so inept with the General Plan that they couldn't wait that long, and so they broke their promise made in the negative declaration.

It will be totally understandable if they lose >$30 million in lawsuits due to their disrespect for the original negative declaration.

8/23/2006 5:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As long as the Goleta City Council stops growth and development, we should be happy with a few lawsuits.

If you want a bigger house, move.

8/23/2006 5:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Au contraire! Law suits can very much mean more growth if developers get their way and can build more homes per acre. The Goleta Council is so set on no growth that they are shooting themselves in the foot. Pick your battles should be the theme and with only a $6 mill reserve -- the city's financial health is at stake.

8/23/2006 7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why cave in? Pick your battles? How about keep things tied up in the courts for years or decades, to the point where the developers move on.

Find an endangered species or put one there. Find an artifact, play the global warming card, anything to stop growth.

Claim racism... Lots of ways to scare the developers off.

8/23/2006 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these folks talking about a $32 million law suit are forgetting, or never knew, that the appellate court unanimously found for the City of Goleta against the developer and now it is up to the State Supreme Court which has yet to hear the case.

Do these same folk think the city should not be fighting to defend its monile home rent control ordinance?

Law suits come about because people who hope to benefit from the result bring them. It does not mean that they are right.

8/23/2006 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

Oh the hyperbole of it all. Please, let's not get carried away with the law suit scare tactics. In this litigious society of ours people are quick to sue about nearly anything. People use law suits as place holders and negotiating leverage. Cities and counties all over California (and elsewhere) have a steady backlog of law suits with which they deal every week (just look at the closed session agenda of any city council or board of supervisors meeting on any week of the long year). This is just business, American style. In a society in which private property rights are considered precedent to responsibility to the community, we can expect the law suit to be ever blandished as the sword of righteousness against any attempt by the community to establish standards that limit human selfishness and the amoral machinations of the free market. Nobody is going to win a $30 million settlement against Goleta for the City's practice of land use planning. Will lawyers and some greedy developer get a settlement of a few hundred thousand or maybe a million? Maybe. But we cannot let fear of law suits govern our governance. At least Goleta is not being sued because their CEO bullies and abuses people with misogynistic, racist invective and hot tempered, spittle punctuated diatribe. We should consider ourselves lucky that Goleta's law suits concern mundane matters of land use policy.

8/23/2006 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, there was incredible disingenuousness over the original negative declaration that evaded an EIR on cityhood. This just darkly colors the whole subsequent era after cityhood was achieved.

Goleta is a city founded on a lie.

8/23/2006 10:29 PM  
Anonymous city watcher said...

If 50% of development fees pay for the development, very good for them! In Santa Barbara, only 30% of the fees pays the development costs and that's up from the last couple of years.

Who pays the actual costs of development? The jurisdiction's taxpayers do - that's you (and me, whether in crowded conditions, higher fees and water/sewage costs, road repair, etc. etc..

Anon 11:43 wrote: How about the people who need a job, a better job, a place to own, or a place to rent that's not in Ventura or Santa Maria? How about the people who care about the environment? How about the people who pay taxes? I'd like to have a job and an apartment in Paris or London or even Manhattan. Last I knew, it was up to me to be able to afford such an apartment, find/be qualified for such a job.

Those who care about the environment support slow and careful growth - and those who pay taxes should be happy not to have to shoulder more of development fees and the resulting congestion. I wish Santa Barbara would copy some of what the Goleta council is trying to do!

8/24/2006 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

Run for office to help the people not yourself. I could care less about growth as long as it is collective in nature. I do think the large vacant lot known as bishop ranch should be turned into a collective for homeless and non native working americans. Have the city pay the owner and turn it over to the people. What good is it just sitting there? What good is land if it is not used for the people. Property rights can only be collective in nature.My point is does the council deserve to be re-elected if the only thing they promote is no building? Is this all we asked of our elected leaders. Do they not have to try and help the people as well. Also, not being reactionary but understanding their greed, doesnt restricting growth only serve to drive up the value of the councilpeoples homes? If anyone agrees with me it is because more progressive agenda is starting to make sense to them.

8/24/2006 8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do think the large vacant lot known as bishop ranch should be turned into a collective for homeless and non native working americans.

What is a non-native working american? Does Schwarzenegger qualify? What about white people? Does this mean I have to live with the homeless?

What good is it just sitting there? What good is land if it is not used for the people.

All other species on the planet just collectively shook their heads.

My point is does the council deserve to be re-elected if the only thing they promote is no building?

Yup.

Is this all we asked of our elected leaders.

Yup. Once its solved and we establish buildout numbers, then I'll start asking for something else.

If anyone agrees with me it is because more progressive agenda is starting to make sense to them.

I think it would the national news if you started to make sense.

8/24/2006 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What homeowners on the South Coast want is lots of workers who get minimum wage and then disappear after they clean the homeowners' toilets, attend to their elderly, and trim their shrubbery.

What homeowners on the South Coast want is a warehouse full of sleeping tubes where the minimum wage workers check in at 8pm, get a tranquilizer shot, and then rise at 4am to being the work day again... preferably 7 days a week.

What homeowners on the South Coast want is the sleeping tube dormitory to go under the 101 - state land after all - to house their low wage workers.

What homeowners on the South Coast want is a wonderful cheery sign over the entrance to the sleep tube dormitory that says `Work Makes you Free'. Over the exit a sign that says `Entering Paradise'.

8/24/2006 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

Mr. Pinto, Bishop Ranch is zoned for agricultural use and always has been (at least since we have had zoning laws here). The current owners bought Bishop Ranch on the speculation that they could change the zoning, develop lots of houses and make millions of dollars. That was their risk to take, but, as in all gambling, they are not guaranteed a three cherry jackpot from the pull of that handle. The owners are not likely to sell the property to the city for any price that does not get them a fairly large return on their investment. Simply turning it over to the down trodden would turn the whole place into a shanty town. I don't mind a little creative collectivist musing Mike, but please put on your thinking cap before you start to type.

8/24/2006 12:17 PM  
Anonymous South Coast mortgage payer said...

What homeowners on the South Coast want is for people like 11:02am to stop advocating for developing the F*** out of this place. Go clean your own toilet.

8/24/2006 10:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

south coast mortgage payer...

all those government subsidies you get for making $10,000 a month off your housing value getting you cranky?

feeling a little guilty about all the sub-minimum wage laborers who support your lifestyle?

want to increase open space and lower density on the South Coast?

Donate that house you own to the Land Trust, and move away. The Land Trust will nicely return your property to its natural state, so kites and hawks can hunt again on your land. You'll feel so much better.

8/25/2006 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

More open space would be nice!

8/25/2006 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

I like the progressive talk but we do not need to build for the rich but for the poor. Land should be purchased for the creation of people collectives. Multiple families living in homes, working in cadres in clean industries. Hawks, doves, birds whatever come in a long second to the masses. Bishop ranch needs to be put to use as a collective for homeless and non native working americans. Let the city pay for it and rezone it. This one piece of land can solve the homeless problem for our entire county. One place we could house them in dignity, retrain them for jobs, and allow them to run small collectives so they could grow some of their own food. How would this hurt the enviroment? You have to have too much money to worry about bugs and birds before people. Who could be against lending a helping hand to those in need. Even Bill Carson would have to agree to this.

8/25/2006 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

all those government subsidies you get for making $10,000 a month off your housing value getting you cranky?

No, 11:02am whiner made me cranky. As for the thousands of dollars you refer to, you must mean the thousands of dollars that I put INTO my house every month. It doesn't make me cranky.

feeling a little guilty about all the sub-minimum wage laborers who support your lifestyle?

You couldn't possibly be talking about the guy I pay to take care of my yard. He owns his home here on the South Coast, too, and just bought a brand new pick-up truck for his landscaping business. He's great guy. Bilingual, too. Oh, and before you go there, he does the labor himself unless there is extra work. And of course, he charges extra for extra work -- usually $25-$50 per hour.

want to increase open space and lower density on the South Coast?

Of course!

Donate that house you own to the Land Trust, and move away. The Land Trust will nicely return your property to its natural state, so kites and hawks can hunt again on your land. You'll feel so much better.

No thanks, I like it here. I do donate to environmental causes -- money and time. What do you do, besides harass homebuying environmentalists?

Oh, and I used to work in a restaurant for minimum wage and tips, and I once I was a janitor for less than minimum wage. Do you find me acceptable yet? Or does the fact that my family is buying a home too offensive for you?

8/25/2006 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, 11:02am whiner made me cranky. As for the thousands of dollars you refer to, you must mean the thousands of dollars that I put INTO my house every month. It doesn't make me cranky.

And you don't take the mortgage interest tax deduction? And you don't drink water from Cachuma, funded with interest-free loans from the government?

And who cleans your house, and who does the custodial work at all the places you shop, and at the restaurants you eat in, and who harvests the food you eat?

If you were a true environmentalist, the joy of seeing wildlife return to the native land that your house has ruined would brink more joy to you than living here would.

And just think: you can lower density here with direct action, no need for all the politicking and blogging and anger... just return your land to nature, move away, and the population density is reduced, and this place becomes closer to paradise!

Let's stop people-packing on the South Coast! Everyone move away!

8/26/2006 8:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't be a homebuyer and an environmentalist. You're olny fooling yourself.

8/26/2006 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

I like the idea of Bishop ranch being used as some sort of organic farming collective. Fairview Gardens Farm has demonstrated that small scale agriculture is viable in Goleta. One way that this could be accomplished is to let the land owner develop some high-end mansions on the property in exchange for donating the majority of the acreage to an agricultural land preserve. Then a non-profit, like the outfit that runs the Fairview Gardens Farm, could manage the property and help train needy people how to farm their own food, maybe even set up a collective roadside stand to sell produce and help the people make a little extra income. It would be worth a few mansions (which would not impact traffic volumes or infrastructure) to save the majority of the property as agricultural open space intended to help the needy.

8/26/2006 11:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To hell with that. Develop nothing. Open space and nothing else.

8/26/2006 2:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can't be a homebuyer and an environmentalist. You're olny fooling yourself.

Where do all the environmentalists live, in their parents basement?

8/26/2006 4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And you don't take the mortgage interest tax deduction?

I do now.

And you don't drink water from Cachuma, funded with interest-free loans from the government?

No I drink water from my faucet, then I pay a water bill. It's pricey. Should I pay more to feel less guilty?

And who cleans your house,

I do.

and who does the custodial work at all the places you shop, and at the restaurants you eat in, and who harvests the food you eat?

Probably some humans, I would guess. I bet they get paid. Would you like me to keep track of all of that? If I don't, should I feel ashamed of myself?

If you were a true environmentalist, the joy of seeing wildlife return to the native land that your house has ruined would brink more joy to you than living here would.

You first, Catholic guilt cannon.

And just think: you can lower density here with direct action, no need for all the politicking and blogging and anger... just return your land to nature, move away, and the population density is reduced, and this place becomes closer to paradise!

Let's stop people-packing on the South Coast! Everyone move away!

Nah, not all of us, just the Jeniifer McGovern types who are funded by Towbes that use guilt as a weapon to suppress neighborhood preservation groups.

8/26/2006 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Philosophe, what a rotten idea. Housing for the rich! Economically ridiculous farming on the rest!

The best deal on food for the needy will always come by importing food from Mexico. Much better bang for the buck.

Here is a better idea for Bishop: a land value bank, where South Coast homeowners specify a fraction of their home value toward buying out the Bishop owners at full price. In other words, no taking of property at all, let everyone (with land value) tax themselves to buy out the Bishop owners. Obviously some financial expertise would be needed to arrange this, but in the end the Bishop owners would get a check every time someone sold their property.

And then make it a nature preserve.

8/26/2006 4:47 PM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

Hey Anon. 4:47, I like your land value bank idea. A problem with it is that not everyone on the South Coast would feel that they would derive an equal benefit for their investment. The folks who live in El Encanto Heights and the Lake Los Carneros environs would love a nature perserve so close by. I imagine the citizens of Carpinteria or even Mission Canyon, would not think it such a good idea. But all in all, I like your idea better than mine. However, I still believe that Michael Ableman (or someone else with his vision and skill) could make quite a successful community garden project out of a portion of Bishop Ranch.

8/26/2006 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Philosophe... I'm not a big fan of agriculture. The Chumash did not practice agriculture, and actually American-style ag messed up the ecology of Goleta big time.... the wetlands were decimated.

It may well be that ag is unsustainable for more than a hundred years or so here... don't know if a good study has been done.

But why not let some other area grow the food and then why not let our environment revert to its natural state that existed from the last ice age to 1800 or so?

8/26/2006 10:15 PM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

While I would agree that most modern agricultural models are unsustainable, there exist sustainable models that have been proven to work on a small scale. Fairview Gardens Farm is good local example of sustainability. I will grant that the Cachuma lake water source raises a big question about any type of carrying capacity here on the South Coast. But what is here is here and I doubt we will be going back in time to the 1800s any time soon. My point is that small scale organic farming would have a lot less impact on the environment and infrastructure than condos and house and retail outlets would. Sure, leaving it to nature is the least amount of impact, but that may not be a realistic expectation.

8/27/2006 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Use eminent domain and take the land for the good of the community. Make it a nature preserve.

8/27/2006 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

But why have ag here at all? Use of fertilizer of any sort is ecologically detrimental. Turning over the soil is detrimental. Irrigation is detrimental.

If people can live elsewhere and commute, than certainly our vegetables and cereals can commute as well. Economically, local food production is marginally viable, in part because of water subsidies (vegetables are better than humans for local subsidies).

Certain segments of ag have vanished entirely from our locality... pigs, cattle, and chickens are not locally produced. That's because of their environmental impact, mostly smell.

Vegetable production has insidious local environmental impacts too, but it just doesn't smell as bad.

8/27/2006 4:31 PM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

So 4:31, do you eat? If farming produces such a terrible impacts and you are suggesting that we get our food from somewhere else, are you condoning moving the impacts to someone else's backyard. That's not very neighborly. I'm afraid that returning to the days of hunter/gatherer culture, while a romantic notion all dressed up in buckskin and accessorized with stone-tipped spears, is not a viable option at this point. Food does not appear by magic at the grocery store. Energy (in many forms) is invested in cultivation and edible calories are harvested. And yes, more calories go in than come out of that process. However, growing food locally can potentially reduce the amount of energy it takes to get the food from seed to our tables. Organic farming practices can improve the sustainability of soils and reduce water use. Even if you live on Snickers Bars and Coke, the ingrediants that go into your sugary diet were grown somewhere. It is irresponsible to ignore our relationship with agricultural by shipping agriculture's impacts to some other community, especially when we have at least two and sometimes three growing seasons here. Bon appetit!

8/28/2006 8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's give Mexico three days to surrender. Move our workforce and farming over there.

8/28/2006 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, philosophe, nice comment... the South Coast houses most of its younger workers in outside communities, like Camarillo and Santa Maria, with far, far greater environmental impacts from fuel consumption and pollution than off-site food production has.

The usual attitude on the South Coast is: grow food here, house workers elsewhere. Actually, growing food here has local environmental impacts that are never accounted for. In particular, the wetlands of Goleta were decimated by turning the soil, which led to the siltation of most of the marshes. And it goes on today still... in the last year there has been an enormous amount of dredging in Atascadero Creek and San Pedro Creek, beneath the radar of everyone who purports to be environmentalists.

The South Coast simply may not be the environmentally superior place to grow food. All ag here is supported by artificial irrigation... Cachuma was an environmental crime, and it is silting up so it will not last more than another 80 years or so. Similar comments pertain for Jameson and Gibraltar. Better to grow food where the water situation is more natural... the earliest Spanish maps of California's Central Valley show it as a vast lake, `Cienegas o Tulares'. Maybe that is the environmentally superior place to grow food, since water has always been part of the environment there.

It may well be that housing with appropriate native plants as landscaping has fewer local impacts than local farming does. Of course all the homeowners with green, fertilized lawns decimate the environment too.

If local food production is so important, where are the local hog farms (the slaughterhouse in Old Town Goleta disappeared years ago)? Where are the South Coast cattle ranches? Where are the South Coast chicken farms? Why don't you advocate siting those locally too?

8/28/2006 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Philosophe said...

Actually, there are chickens all over the South Coast in small family run operations, even some at Fairview Gardens. There are cattle on the Gaviota Coast, I saw some grazing there just a couple of days ago. Hogs are probably a little too water intense for this area, but I would bet you could find a few if you looked. The farming in the San Joaquin Valley is much more environmentally harmful than the organic farming conducted here. All the water is pumped using diesel engines and the mono-cropping requires massive use of pesticides and herbicides, as well as synthetic fertilizers.

I would doubt that significant increase in population would have less environmental impact than adding few more organic farms to the South Coast. But since neither of us has conducted the analysis, neither of us can say for sure.

I am not denying that we have a workforce housing issue here on the South Coast. For many reasons, I just doubt that we are not going to be able to build our way out of it.

8/28/2006 2:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, what acreage is devoted to chickens, and how does it compare tot he acreage devoted to lemons and avocados (I bet no more than 2%)? What fraction of Fairview is devoted to chickens? I bet no more than 5%.

If there was even one chicken farm the size of Fairview or Lane, the neighbors would complain intensely due to the stench.

Similar comment for cattle.

South Coasters want boutique ag that makes them feel good but does not really feed them.

Getting the San Joaquin Valley to adopt sustainable techniques would mean a whole lot more than diddling with boutique acreage here on the South Coast. And after all, my main point was: the San Joaquin Valley always has had the water, unlike use.

Simply irrigating does serious damage to our local environment... this place was neither tilled nor irrigated between the last ice age and 1800. We lost a heck of a lot of wetlands... enough to sustain a couple thousand Chumash... by introduction of ag. And the ag we introduced cannot sustain as big a population as the Chumash had, at least not until Cachuma, Jameson, and Gibraltar, as well as the tunnels through the Santa Ynez and also pipe irrigation in Goleta from wells, were built.

The organic farmers have never undertaken any environmental study of their impact here on the South Coast. Housing at least has some kind of EIR since 1974, although imperfect. So the comparison is always one sided.

8/28/2006 5:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

Councilperson Jack emits a bad vibe. I have read he is a "progressive" but being a progressive is more than just being an angry old man. It appears his scene is to stop building and leave it open for snakes and bugs and things. Stopping growth is good but only if it is coverted into housing for the homeless and non native working americans. The vacant lot known as Bishop Ranch should be purchased by the city and turned into housing for the homeless. Just that lot alone could house every homeless person in both Santa Barbara and Ventura County. We could become the example of how to treat the homeless and poor.Oh, send money to Ned Lamont.

8/29/2006 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

progressive = communist. Stopping all housing good enough. Sending money to Red Lament - bad idea.

8/29/2006 5:11 PM  

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