The author, wife Joanna, son Mason, and daughter Madeline after a recent isolation-style hike. | Credit: Matt Kettmann

Dear Readers,

If you’re one of the 100,000-plus people who regularly read the Santa Barbara Independent every week, you probably know my name. I’ve been an employee of this newspaper for more than 20 years now, from proofreader to news reporter to senior editor.

This is where I grew up. This is where I learned to be a journalist. This is where I came to appreciate what a privileged honor it means to be a citizen of Santa Barbara, high prices and all.

Through my writings, you’ve seen me tackle breaking news, enjoy our great outdoors, explore our culinary scene, and showcase the emergence of our truly world-class wineries and breweries.

I was here when I got married. I was here when we had a son. I was here when we had a daughter. I’ve been here as a renter and as a homeowner. I have been here through wildfires and floods and, now, viral outbreaks.

I will be here when this is all over. So will the Santa Barbara Independent.

But, as for many companies right now, it’s getting harder to keep doing what you’ve come to rely on us to do. 

We’ve furloughed many of our staff, and yet this dedicated crew continues to pump out the news stories you need right now. Aside from the breaking updates, we’re still speaking truth to power and asking the hard questions. We’re still relaying personal stories about what life is like during this unprecedented time.

Over my two decades here, my stories have helped musicians build a following, artists sell their art, chefs fill their restaurants, winemakers boost their wine clubs, and countless new businesses break into the market. My reporting has informed you about the details behind important planning decisions, and opened your eyes to candidates and causes that deserve support.

I’ve never asked for anything in return. Now’s that time.

If you value the Santa Barbara Independent and, please subscribe at to Indy+, where $30 gets you full access to our website and early access to our promotions. If you’d like to make a tax-deductible donation to support environmental and social-justice journalism, you can now do so through SBCAN (details below). And if you’d simply like to support what we do with a straight donation to our staff, that’s cool too. 

Thanks for being a loyal reader, and thanks for supporting us. This is a crazy time that we all hope ends soon.

But until then, we’ll keep hitting the phones, churning out the words, and delivering our reporting to you every single day. We could really use your support to make our work stronger.

Take care,

Matt Kettmann
Senior Editor
Santa Barbara Independent  

How-to Give

  1. Give a one-time or recurring credit card contribution at
  2. Sign up for an annual digital subscription for $29.99 through our Indy+ service at
  3. Make a tax deductible donation, to support environmental and social-justice journalism, of $100 or more by sending checks payable to SBCAN (memo: Journalism Fund) mailed to: 

PO Box 6174
Santa Maria, CA 93456
Or at

Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit whose Tax ID is 73-1676916.

Subscriptions or contributions made directly to the Santa Barbara Independent are not tax deductible. We can accept checks mailed to 12 E. Figueroa St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101 

At the Santa Barbara Independent, our staff is working around the clock to cover every aspect of this crisis — sorting truth from rumor.  Our reporters and editors are asking the tough questions of our public health officials and spreading the word about how we can all help one another. The community needs us — now more than ever — and we need you  in order to keep doing the important work we do. Support the Independent by making a direct contribution or with a subscription to Indy+.


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