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Comments by belkissa

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Posted on November 21 at 6:45 p.m.

No one was hurt, none of the parents are anything but supportive of Lia, and the person who reported the "reckless" climbing is apparently visually impaired. This issue should be dismissed by the authorities, and quickly. I am sorry that Lia and her family are being dragged through this expensive, bureaucratic mess.

On Teacher in Trouble

Posted on September 16 at 9:50 p.m.

"They were maintaining a public trail, something that could not easily be done secretly."

Maintaining? More like desecrating, or effing up the trail for the next 5 or 10 years at least...

Go hike the trail and report back to us. I was there yesterday and it looks like one of two things, either:
1) the work of a compulsive, mentally ill person running wild with a chainsaw
2) someone who has no regard for the wild beauty of the trail, and has other goals in mind - i.e. re-welding or installing new pipes, or possibly transporting something large that must be concealed (wasn't our most recent fire started by illegal marijuana farmers...it's harvest season now)
I'm just trying to understand the motivation for this kind of work, which is actually an enormous undertaking by someone. What could they have possibly been trying to accomplish??? I think if we can answer this question, we can narrow down the possibilities of who is responsible for the mess.

On Illegal Trail-Cutting Efforts Continue to Concern Forest Officials

Posted on September 16 at 11:18 a.m.

I was on Cold Springs trail yesterday for the first time in several months, and was shocked by the awful state of the pathways. Sharp tree stumps jutting out all over the place, and piles of dry brush just waiting to become kindling for the next fire. My hiking partner and I were mystified by these changes in the trail, and I must say I'm glad to hear that it wasn't the authorities in charge of the trails that made this mess. My impression was that the work was done to widen the trails to move equipment through - possibly welding equipment to fix the pipes that transport the hot spring water down to the houses on Hot Spring Road. (I hear they use the medicinal waters for watering their lawns...lovely) I would inquire at the homes of these people FIRST to determine if they had a hand in screwing up the lower canyon trails for everyone else. As for the upper canyon trails, it's hard to imagine why someone would do all that work just to screw up the trail - unless they're trying to move something big through.

On Illegal Trail-Cutting Efforts Continue to Concern Forest Officials

Posted on July 14 at 10 a.m.

AWESOME!!!!! I'm there for sure.

On World Drummers Jam Band -- 07/17/09 at SOhO

Posted on January 21 at 7:33 a.m.

Thanks to the Arlington for opening up the theatre and providing a place for the Santa Barbara community to celebrate President Obama together!!!

On Inauguration Day at the Arlington

Posted on January 7 at 9:16 a.m.

It's fascinating how easily Mr. Marzolla and the Indy have become unwitting propagandists for the Cuban system.

Your editors are still on vacation, right???

On Is Cuba a Jolly Green Giant?

Posted on January 7 at 12:04 a.m.

I read this article yesterday with a feeling of disbelief, and came back to it today for another incredulous read. Apparently Mr. Marzolla has not spoken with any exiled Cubans about the truths behind his apparently well-managed visit to the island. Of course the Cuban government will take visitors to see the model communities along the scenic river and the sustainable farming communities so that you will go home and write glowing articles like this one, extolling the virtues of the Cuban system. GIVE ME A BREAK!!! Sure, Cuba has a fascinating culture that endures despite the political situation, but let's at least try to present a balanced view of matters in this "news"paper.

The so-called universal health care system in Cuba is a well-known canard. People going into surgery have to supply their own sheets and a light bulb for the doctor to see by. Probably missed that on the tour, no? Oh, and all Cuban boys are conscripted into the army at age 13 and can't leave the island until they are old men. Girls are placed into a life of prostitution so their families can have money to buy basic necessities. For years, families have sacrificed EVERYTHING to escape Fidel's Cuba.

Try watching Andy Garcia's "The Lost City" for an exile's perspective on the Cuban Revolution. It will open your eyes to the profound social disaster that communism brought to the country.

On Is Cuba a Jolly Green Giant?

Posted on December 11 at 10:08 p.m.

I attended Zach Gill's show at Soho on Sunday night and agree with nearly all of the glowing sentiments expressed by your reviewer. However, a couple of glaring mistakes haunt an otherwise well penned article. Never mind that the percussion section was manned by 2 kick-a** drummers - Adam Topol (from Jack Johnson's band) and Steve Campbell (Dancing Drum) - who were not mentioned in the article. The biggest faux-pas made by your reviewer was referring to the percussion section as being "bongo-led". Actually, there was not a single pair of bongos onstage... It's quite common for people who know little about the world of percussion to refer to all hand drums as "bongos", however this just portrays a frankly embarassing ignorance of instrumentation. From any person on the street, I can excuse this mistake, but would-be music writers and critics should be held to a higher standard of musical knowledge. Take some time to learn the difference between "bongos", congas, dumbek, djembe, drum kit, etc...Then you can impress us all with your writing that is not only creative, but accurate as well.

On Zach Gill

Posted on July 6 at 12:31 a.m.

Once again, great job Indy on getting the story first. Not a mention of this incident at the NP website...

It's no surprise that kids get involved in violent activities when our culture glorifies violence as a quick way to "greatness" or fame, violent video games like Cop Killer and Grand Theft Auto train people to maim and kill, and there is a lack of parental guidance at home - the result of working long hours to make a living in SB and/or the effect of a cross-cultural disconnect between 1st generation immigrants and their 2nd generation children.

The great economic disparity between the haves and have-nots is another great source of stress and tension in Santa Barbara. Many migrant families live in barely-tolerable, overcrowded conditions, 20 or more to a 3 bedroom house. How can children develop a sense of self-worth when they're coming home to a place where they must sleep in shifts with their housemates?

For many of these families, the basic need of shelter is just barely being met. That's why so many young people end up running around on the streets getting into trouble. There's no space for them at home.

We could address this issue by enforcing limits on the number of people who can inhabit a certain square footage house. I assume that fire codes already have established these limits, but they are not enforced in private homes. Families that cannot provide a suitable home for their children in Santa Barbara will have to move somewhere they can afford to pay rent for an adequate space. Let's get serious about enforcing the laws that are already on the books.

For billclausen - After-school programs DO work by keeping kids occupied with positive activities like sports, the arts, field trips, and more. These kinds of activities help young people develop a sense of self-worth, good character, new skills, and positive relationships with their peers and role-models.

Engaging educational programs - in addition to a space of one's own - are two essential ingredients needed for the healthy development of young people.

Neither of these is a guaranteed fix without at least one supportive parent at home...Anyone having kids before age 21 should be required to attend parenting classes. Otherwise, we have kids raising kids, and that's another source of our current problems.

There are organizations and individuals working to provide these services already (parenting classes, summer and after-school programs) who do an excellent job. United Way, Healthy Start, After-School Opportunities for Kids, PAL, Dancing Drum, City At Peace, and numerous others have been in the trenches with this population longer than most Santa Barbarians suspected trouble in paradise. Guarantee these functioning organizations the support they need to grow more effective, instead of expecting them to rely on questionable grant funding year after year.

On Arrests Made in 4th of July Homicide

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