After not getting the green light he was looking for from the Montecito Planning Commission last night, Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso issued the following statement to the press:
“For the past 18 months we have worked to redesign our Miramar project; the result is a smaller, more efficient project, with fewer impacts on the community and consistent with all of the input we’ve heard from Montecito residents.
Despite a recommendation from County staff to approve the project, a unanimous endorsement from the Montecito Association and overwhelming community support, the Montecito Planning Commission chose to delay approval of our revised Miramar hotel project.
We are obviously very disappointed with the result, in particular with the apparent interest of some commissioners to seek significant changes to the project, which would result in months of further delay.
We appreciate the support of so many in the community and are sorry their wishes were not heard.
The result of yesterday’s meeting has now delayed our planned groundbreaking in June. We will take some time to consider whether there is still a viable path for building the Miramar hotel.”
2. If Buellton is too far to go to a long meeting, here’s one that’s closer and requires significantly less time:
Mental Health Commission Meeting
Santa Barbara Children’s Clinic,
429 N. San Antonio Rd. Santa Barbara
You can speak for a few minutes at the beginning, during public comment, on the importance of providing increased services for the mentally ill in this county, including outreach, supportive services, and housing. Since there is a bucket of funds allocated by Prop 63 for this purpose, we should expect them to be used to the fullest extent possible to resolve the problem of seriously mentally ill individuals living on our streets. The current plan needs bolstering. The only way that will change is if enough of us make it clear that bolstering it is a top priority.
3. I gotta’ work…OR… another meeting just too much for my already crammed schedule. It IS the holidays, after all. Fair enough. Email your county supervisor and express your thoughts to them. That will take you all of 5 minutes. They’re not hard to get hold of, and they’re usually pretty responsive:
The good news is we live in a democracy, whatever you might think of its present state. You can talk to your elected representatives about this topic, and others, that concern you. You can participate in the public process to help determine the shape and scope of programs like the MHSA that address a specific community need. And you can make a difference.
You can even nudge someone who says ‘they ought to do something, darn it!’ to do something, darn it.
If we want to ensure the resources available to us are used to the fullest extent possible to help the most severely mentally ill among us…well, we can do that.
Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Friday after the storm, the late afternoon sun on the mountains was spectacular and the air was clear and beautiful from the rain. As the sun slipped below the remaining clouds there were several light rainbows appearing and disappearing moment by moment as the shafts of light played among the remaining clouds. It was an amazing afternoon to just enjoy our beautiful city at the end of the rainbow.
Each year at this time, Rick Feldman throws his special brand of holiday magic and pulls in dignitaries, doctors, clinics, Santa, and more for the kids of Santa Barbara. It’s Kids Day, now a 20 year tradition in the area, held at the Eyeglass Factory on Milpas. Hundreds of kids come from all over to get free eye exams, health screenings, dental care, and more. Rick gives out loads of free eyeglasses to all the kids, and the event is his enormous gift to our region. In the most recent year, over one thousand individuals were given eye exams and free eyeglasses and, over a period of 20 years, it is estimated that over one million dollars in eye care has been provided.
Rick recalls one of the early Kids Day attendees, and a little girl that got him misty-eyed. As she proudly donned her new glasses, a news anchor asked her, ‘what does this mean to you?’ She turned to him, and proudly announced, “well now I can see!” That’s what it’s all about.
Kids Day at the Santa Barbara Eyeglass Factory - Sunday, December 14, 9:00 am – 1 pm., 1 S. Milpas Street at the corner of Milpas & Quinientos.
Often we hear the term community used in casual conversation. “I’m doing this for the community.” Or “we give back to our community.”
I looked up the word community, to see where it came from. The oldest roots are, not surprisingly, Latin. The word communitas probably evolved from communis: common, public, general, shared by all or many. There is also communitatem: fellowship, community of relations or feelings. Communitas means things held in common, an organized society, a free city. Rome was a giant, ancient metropolis, of course, but the empire spanned across Europe, and included villages of people living together, in communitas.
The next iteration is old French, 14th century, communete. That evolved to communité – everybody, commonness, community. I’ve also read this definition, which I like the most, though I think it’s questionable as to correct etymology:
Community: The origin of the word “community” comes from the Latin munus, which means the gift, and cum, which means together, among each other. So community literally means to give among each other.
That’s certainly how it feels on Milpas, with getting our holiday lights up, raising a Christmas tree in the roundabout, and putting on the big holiday parade! It feels like we’re giving among each other, in community, and that is a very sweet experience.
Here’s a look at our community putting on the holidays on Milpas!
I think I’ve worked for these homeowners for ten years. Doing the gardening, weekly maintenance. The small flagstone patio has turf that was planted too high, although the other hardscapes look great. I spent a good amount of time every week edging around the outline of each stone then mowing the area. Plus the homeowner had to water it three times a week in the summer otherwise it would dry out.
With the drought this year the owners decided to remove the turf and replace it with a ground cover. That idea was abandoned in favor of Mexican river stones. Now the owners save on water and I save by not mowing or edging every week. – Dan
The 2014 holiday parade winners are—Most Theme Oriented: SB All Stars; Most Creative: Santa Barbara Zoo; Most Spirited: Traditional Chinelo de Morelos Comparsa Santa Barbara; Best Performance Group: Young Singers Club; Best High School Band: San Marcos High School; Best Junior High School Band: Goleta Valley Junior High School; Best Elementary School Band: SBUSD BRAVO!; Best Drill Team: Dos Pueblos Chargers; Best Dance Ensemble: Studio B.
The 61st Annual Milpas Holiday Parade takes place Saturday December 13, 2014 at 5:30 PM. The parade route runs along Milpas from Canon Perdido to Mason St. The 29th Annual Parade of Lights takes place Sunday, December 14 and is complete with a 5-7 minute fireworks display at approximately 7 pm. The boat parade is preceded by Santa’s Village activities beginning at 3 p.m.