Comments by Bela

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Posted on December 29 at 9:48 a.m.

Before wishing for more 'controlled' burning, I recommend looking at the science:
"There is no evidence that prescribed burning in these shrublands provides any resource benefit and in some areas may negatively impact shrublands by increasing fire frequency. Therefore, fire hazard reduction is the primary justification for prescription burning, but it is doubtful that rotational burning to create landscape age mosaics is a cost effective method of controlling catastrophic wildfires. There are problems with prescription burning in this crown-fire ecosystem that are not shared by forests with a natural surface-fire regime." [Jon E. Keeley, 2002, Fire Management of California Shrubland Landscapes -- this is available by Googling Jon Keeley USGS Western Ecological Research Center, then scrolling down through the publications]

On Green Thoughts

Posted on November 19 at 4:35 p.m.

This is clearly Op-Ed.
I wouldn't have made it through my journalism classes if I'd tried to pass this off as straight news -- too much opinion-ladened, value-laden, judgmental language.
Consider these from the above piece: "I briefly - albeit hysterically - considered the possibility of being poisoned on the job", "direly named", " 'improvements' " (Kettmann's quotation marks), "granted an audience", and so forth.
Do I think that the coverage in the Independent has be "extremely biased"? I don't know that I would say 'extremely', but I think that there has been editorializing and opinion that indicate that the coverage was not the unbiased 'who, what, when, where, how' that I was taught was necessary in straight news.
I'd be happier if news and opinion were clearly differentiated.

On High Noon in the Garden of Controversy

Posted on August 27 at 8:06 a.m.

Is the hydromulch to be used certified weed-free? Is it certified to contain only appropriate native plants?
My experience is that, even with both of these, hydromulching can and not infrequently does introduce weeds and non-native plants, as well as 'native' plants not actually appropriate for the area into which they are being introduced.

On County Unveils Hydromulch Program for Jesusita Burn Areas

Posted on August 9 at 2:10 p.m.

It is also impressive that so many articulate people support the Garden, although they are not paid public relations people.

On Botanic Garden Plan Presented to County

Posted on August 7 at 12:58 p.m.

Thank you SBP44. I agree with you completely.

I appreciate your comments on the "the largest development project in the history of Mission Canyon".
I wonder if there is other parcel of private property in Mission Canyon can say that only 1% has been built on (current Garden footprint) and 99% is open space, or even that only 1.4% has been built on (the proposed Garden project) and 98.6% is open space.
I doubt that there are any other 78 contiguous acres with that small a building footprint.

On Botanic Garden Plan Presented to County

Posted on August 4 at 8:49 a.m.

Very interesting story. Thank you.

This area was also the first place Santa Barbara morning-glory (a native morning-glory) was collected. Calystegia sepium subsp. binghamiae (first collected by by Mrs. R.F. Bingham and named for her) is now presumed extinct. This plant was only known from wetlands in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Los Angeles Counties, nearly all of which of which have gone the way of the wetlands at Burton Mound.

On Where was Burton Mound?

Posted on August 1 at 7:12 a.m.

Like JanT and tabatha, I am not an 'insider' (just a voulunteer and member), and I agree with what they have said above (more elequently than I could).

On How Our Botanic Garden Grows

Posted on July 30 at 11:32 a.m.

This story was about the vital mission plan.
The 'hard questions' mangomamma and 1wahine mention have been discussed in other articles in the Independent, including some written by this reporter.
Unless all of the striking volunteers oppose the the vital mission plan and the plan is a major issue in the strike, this is not germane to this particular story.

On Botanic Garden Director Speaks

Posted on July 30 at 7:47 a.m.

blueskies12, you do have a 'vote' (or at least a voice). Contact your county supervisor and voice your support. Go to the August 5 Planning Commission hearing and speak up in support for the plan.

On Botanic Garden Director Speaks

Posted on July 29 at 1:03 p.m.

I wonder, would people who ask the Garden to move collections and library materials off-site ask the Natural History Museum or the Art Museum to move their museum collections and libraries off-site? Would they ask the Zoo to move conservation materials somewhere else? Do these people realize how difficult doing this would be for the people who use them? Do they care?

On How Our Botanic Garden Grows

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