Highway 154 Is Closed Due to a Rockslide

••• “Historic Main-Begg Farmhouse in Goleta Valley Slated to Fully Open for Tours, Events […] Nonprofit organization that is preserving the property built in 1911 hopes to make it a ‘community center.'” Dare we call it Bellosgoleta? —Noozhawk

••• “Road closures, downed trees and flooding was reported Thursday morning after overnight rainfall. Caltrans closed Highway 154 Thursday morning between State Route 246 in the Santa Ynez Valley and State Route 192 in Santa Barbara due to rockslides blocking lanes. There was no estimated time for reopening.” —Noozhawk (UPDATE: Highway 154 has reopened.)

••• The Montecito Journal‘s year-end recap includes an update on the Coral Casino, including how it has split from the Biltmore and aims to reopen in the next few months. The other day, a knowledgeable friend explained that running the club without the facilities and staff of the hotel to support it will be a major undertaking.

••• “Daring Dreams for Dos Pueblos Ranch […] Conservation, Education, Restoration, and More Planned for Historic Gaviota Coast Property.” —Independent

••• A helpful explanation of how the state’s requirement for new housing is affecting local municipalities. —Independent

••• Wendy McCaw took some time off from running the Santa Barbara News-Press—into the ground, I mean—to write a scathing editorial about how “Santa Barbara, once the gem of the Central Coast, is deteriorating into a city that is crime-ridden, graffiti-covered, with inebriated indigents and a disgusting downtown mess.”


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Danielle Chaikin

Main-Begg has regularly scheduled tours that are FREE. It’s the complete opposite of the elitist land grab of Bellosguardo.


I can’t say I have ever agreed with Wendy McCaw on anything ever. And I don’t agree with her hysteria and contempt in this case. However, downtown does need to be sorted out around parklets and promenade traffic and making sure the retailers and restauranteurs have a good infrastructure, guidelines, and planning. I grew up here and I remember going to other beach towns and marveling that Santa Barbara had a remarkably upscale downtown compared to many beach towns (in my youth that vibe stopped at “lower State.”) So it does seem like there’s a pull towards becoming more like a standard beach town–it’s an easy norm to slip into and not recover from. I think if State Street continues to be left just to find its own way without planning or standards, our unique vibe will be lost. If the retail and restaurant community is supported with clarity and the shared street space is planned, then downtown will thrive. Rather than freaking out about the downsides, it’s better to figure out how to support the many many people who are bringing so much creativity to our downtown. We must also support the relatively few people who need better alternatives for housing and health care. But scapegoating them and catastrophizing downtown doesn’t fix anything. I think it’s better to find positive collaboration and leadership to turn the creativity of Covid response into the next chapter of downtown. I’ve watched Santa Barbara reinvent–and mostly triumph–many times for 60 years. I also know how much work it has taken for our once-tiny town to meet challenges and pressures and still keep our spirit. I have never seen complaining or bad-mouthing lead to anything good. But I have seen local individuals, politicians, citizens, artists, entrepreneurs, philanthropists, musicians, engineers, educators, farmers, journalists, etc. step up with great ingenuity. Thanks Siteline for your reporting on the downtown conundrum and please keep it up.

janice ristow

Cynthia, thank you for a perfectly written opinion. Suggested solutions are crucial to solving a challenge. I have wondered why we don’t adopt ideas that are working elsewhere. When I lived in Seattle, there was a gallery sitting empty. The city invited each of 18 artists to create an indoor miniature golf hole. To play was $5 and wine was available after 9 p.m.. There are good examples at Santana Row in San Jose. I don’t think we need to spend so much money on outside advice when we have so much talent here. Of course we have to start with clean. In my experience, many people are willing to do something if they just know what it is.


I’ve been surfing out in front for the coral casino lately and from the water you get a better view of the current construction situation. Sadly, I’d be surprised if it reopens this year