Archive » February 2, 2012
By SYVJ Staff
Location, location, locationAs a tax-paying homeowner living in the residential area of Santa Ynez, I am shocked that a “sober living” home was permitted to open just doors down from my home without my knowledge.
Offering an open invitation for alcoholics and drug addicts to come into our neighborhood without our knowledge or a warning. How was this permitted without notifying or a discussion of the neighborhood? No notices were posted? Who is in charge of this facility? What type of training do they have? What monitoring system do they have for these criminals if they decide to leave the facility and wander the streets of Santa Ynez? Is the sheriff aware of the residence? Is this even legal in a residential area? Are sex offenders or probationers living in this home? Will this decrease the value of our neighborhood even more?
The rumors have begun about this facility already in our small community. The last I heard is [the facility] was established by a wealthy Santa Ynez couple that is tucked safely behind their gated entrance of their 20-acre property out of town. Maybe they would consider putting gates around all of our homes now that they have invited this into our neighborhood? I moved my family to this community because it was a safe place my kids could play in the neighborhood without worry. With just a quick glimpse of the Sheriff’s blotter, it is clear that crime has increased in Santa Ynez, and this is the last thing that was needed in our neighborhood. I realize that addicts live among us everywhere; however, willingly inviting them into our neighborhood for one’s financial benefit without offering the rest of the neighborhood a voice is just unfair. Maybe if more information about this place was available before it opened, and if it hadn’t been forced upon us without notice, I would not be so upset about it.
It is my hope that the editor of this newspaper will make the community aware of this new addition to Santa Ynez and help this neighborhood have a voice in what steps can be taken to monitor such a residence or close its doors, if in fact it’s not permitted in a residential community.
What to doSanta Barbara County has a pension albatross of apocalyptic proportions hanging on its neck, getting more odorous by the day. Its genesis was the liberal generosity of boards past who have talked pension reform and salary restraints, both lamenting and praising them. The only thing they have done is spray perfume on the bird while it continues to rot. The entire compensation system of county employees needs to be changed.
The first step is elimination of the Leadership Project forthwith. The second step is a change from a Defined Benefit to a Defined Compensation Plan. The third step is a more realistic limitation on the limit on maximum wages or salaries that any employee, whether represented or unrepresented, may receive regardless of the number of years of service or positions. Further, quit making the deceiving “salaries of similar positions in other counties of similar size” a criteria for positions in Santa Barbara County. It is a false premise based upon unknown similarities of factors that that justify those salaries or compensation in other counties.
Are any meaningful steps suggested above or any others going to be taken by the board? In view of the latest board action on the Chief Probation Officers salary, the answer is yes, the board will talk about it sometime. After all, talk is easy and cheap. The inevitably bitter confrontation with county SIEU employees and department heads over any meaningful changes is intimidating and to be avoided at all costs to the board. Those costs of funding an unfunded pension obligation is better passed off to the taxpayers as usual. Why change when doing nothing is more palatable?
Weather or not?It was a real shock to learn that Mr. Jim Byrne was laid off at KCOY-TV. Mr. Byrne was one of the best weathermen in the counties of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. He accomplished so much for our community in Santa Ynez and was well respected in the Santa Maria community. Mr. Byrne was also recognized as one of the best community volunteers in the region.
It is hard to believe the “bean counters” of this organization have no idea on how much Mr. Byrne meant to this community and how through the years had made KCOY-TV become a more respected TV station. It is a loss to the station and the community at large. It seems the mighty dollar means more to this organization than the quality of broadcasting in the area. They have no idea, in my opinion, the loss in this community for their selfish actions. In short, I can see the fallout is starting.
Mr. Byrne, you can hold your head tall, as you did wonders for this community; it is KCOY’s loss, as time will show. Congratulations to you, and I hope all goes well for you in the future.
Albert “Aggie” Margolis
Creature comfortsI firmly believe that people give to people, and that is evident by a recent gift to Sansum Clinic’s Oncology Department in Solvang. A long-time Valley family (who wishes to remain anonymous) gave a gift for the purchase of nine brand-new infusion chairs. The family let the staff pick the chairs that we wanted for our patients. This support will make a huge difference and have a long-term impact ensuring a more comfortable experience for our Valley patients.
Many people will benefit from their generosity, and we are grateful for their compassion and support. The staff and I were touched by their gesture.
Office manager, Sansum Clinic’s Solvang Oncology