Raquel Lopez speaks to media during at a press conference Dec. 20, 2011

Paul Wellman

Raquel Lopez speaks to media during at a press conference Dec. 20, 2011

La Casa Denies Doom is Imminent

Takes News-Press to Task for Rehashed Story

Wednesday, March 28, 2012
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Insisting that reports of its demise — published on the front page of this Sunday’s Santa Barbara News-Press — were greatly exaggerated, leaders of La Casa de la Raza denounced Santa Barbara’s oldest daily newspaper and demanded a retraction. Raquel Lopez — the organization’s embattled executive — charged the News-Press story grossly missed the mark by relying on reporting that was six weeks old without verifying the facts.

The Sunday article — originally published in the paper’s Spanish-language publication Santa Barbara Latino on February 15 — stated that La Casa de la Raza’s property on East Montecito Street would be sold by the county tax collector at public auction this May because La Casa was nearly nine years and $92,000 behind on paying its property taxes. While La Casa’s tax problems and longstanding financial challenges have been extensively reported upon, assistant county tax collector Clint Donati stated he’d been assured the unpaid taxes would be paid off well before any auction could take place. But even if La Casa didn’t pay, Donati cautioned, new state rules have effectively postponed the next auction for many months. The absolute soonest, he said, an auction could take place is this August, not May.

Lopez confirmed that La Casa is in the process of securing a short-term loan from individuals sympathetic to the organization — possibly from former Santa Barbara school boardmember and architect Ray Franco — to pay off its debt to the county. While the loan has not been finalized, Lopez stated, the county would be paid off no later than April 11. She denounced the article as “irresponsible and unconscionable,” objecting it gave readers a false sense of the institute’s financial troubles. La Casa’s tax-exempt status, she insisted, has not been revoked by the federal government; its state permit to operate as a nonprofit was suspended. She said attorney Nick Schneider — paid for by the McCune Foundation — had paid the state fine of nearly $350. Likewise, she said, the McCune Foundation had paid for a consultant to help La Casa figure out how to best use its property to maximize revenues and programs.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Apparently still suspended according to California State
Business Entity Detail

Data is updated weekly and is current as of Friday, March 23, 2012. It is not a complete or certified record of the entity.
Entity Number: C0623708
Date Filed: 05/07/1971
Jurisdiction: CALIFORNIA
Entity Address: 601 E. MONTECITO ST.
Entity City, State, Zip: SANTA BARBARA CA 93103
Agent for Service of Process: RAQUEL LOPEZ
Agent Address: 601 E. MONTECITO ST.
Agent City, State, Zip: SANTA BARBARA CA 93103

hrhowe (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2012 at 7:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Good luck to them. They seem to be spending a lot of money on the ED's salary: its most recent IRS required form 990 was in 2008, according to; and at that time Lopez was paid $49,843. (Expenses for that year were $472, 182 ($283, 505 = salaries and employee benefits) - while total revenue was $372, 163. )

At least there is now a firm date as to when the County will be paid, April 11.

at_large (anonymous profile)
March 28, 2012 at 11:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Photo caption: "Wait, hang on a minute...check out that sunrise"

billclausen (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2012 at 1:52 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The real making of Mex-Amicans was in the 1930s during very tough times. Those that stayed really fused their presence into
the new Anglo society. Note: when the railroad was complete in 1788 Spanish-speaking population in Los Angeles became a mere %4 of the city's population. In 1848, there were 3 x as many American Indians (240,000) as Mexican subjects (80,000) in what would become the American Southwest.

genamethuen (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2012 at 12:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

1878 I mean. Woops.

genamethuen (anonymous profile)
March 29, 2012 at 12:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Caption 2: "It's a bird, it's a plane.."

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
April 1, 2012 at 3:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Nine years of unpaid taxes and you want to stand out in public and state your organization doesn't have financial problems? What is “irresponsible and unconscionable" is that so called "leaders" of this once proud organization remained in their positions for so long! Everything worked alright as long as you had other peoples money to work with. Typical!

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
April 2, 2012 at 10:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I was born in SB and like Bill another contributor I was a contracted security guard for Presidio Security at Casa for a few events. Wild time back then (1980s) lots of fights, posturing and such by Casa guests and security. Still happy to be there, great local food and excellent music from bands brought up from Mexico. I had a crush on a young lady from Tijuana who arrived in a converted gray hound bus on tour with one of the bands. I was 18+- and she was from Tijuana. My Spanish was in need of work, oh well. We smiled and flirted from a distance (That’s how I remembered it) and she motored off a few hours later.
It’s a shame to see good things ruined by bad decisions. I am amazed how people prioritize important events in their personal and professional lives. Death and Taxes, you need to plan for both they are a sure thing. I hope to get back to Hidden Valley one of these days, Afghanistan is not the same. I am amazed here alot. good luck Casa, Gregory G. Campbell, San Miguel. CA

GregoryIam (anonymous profile)
April 24, 2012 at 1:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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