Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

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By John Palminteri, KEYT News

The historic Casa de la Guerra in downtown was trashed sometime Sunday or Monday.

Several homeless people were sleeping in the area.A crew from the Downtown Organization cleaned up the mess and took out a full truck load of debris.

The site dates back to the 1800's in Santa Barbara and was the home of Jose de la Guerra, a Comandante of the Santa Barbara Presidio.

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a-1589583826 May 15, 2020 04:03 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Reality check. Casa De La Guerra is the private property of the SBTHP. They clearly have a few ducats to hire a drive by security guard. If they see vagrants they should call the SBPD and have them removed / arrested. This is a tempest in a tea pot.

Ahlia May 14, 2020 12:58 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

I'm not a fan of "the house of war" but I must say trashing a building that is used by the public is disgusting ! ... and even more infuriating is if you or I merely littered a little bit we would be $fined$ immediately. Why do the "homeless" always get a free pass for this and public urination/defacation... distubing the peace by ranting in a steady stream of curse words, aggressive panhandling etc. ??? :-(

giftedinSB May 14, 2020 09:50 AM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Someone on here (I think it was FACTOTUM) once suggested that we group the homeless into 3 categories: the have nots, the cannots, and the will nots. Then you tailor your services accordingly (or perhaps not at all for the will nots). Many of the groups or organizations in town that serve the homeless only work with those who are willing to accept the help. Not much you can do for people who don't want to change their lifestyle.

KLZ23 May 14, 2020 09:11 AM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

There is no easy solution, there is no quick fix, but port-a-potties being provided does actually help you step in less shit.

Luvaduck May 14, 2020 08:27 AM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Once a place loses it's status as a tourist destination, it isn't able to be rebuilt for a long time. Word gets around. If indeed, we are supporting vagrants to a better life-style than other places, we need to quit. If you put out bird feeders, you attract birds; if you have cats, just the opposite.

Chris R May 14, 2020 08:23 AM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

It’s time to admit the money spent to improve the homeless problem hasn’t helped. I don’t have an answer how to fix the homeless problem...but I know how to save us a ton of money.

a-1589466410 May 14, 2020 07:26 AM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

What will happen when the city opens State St. as a pedestrian mall? Fingers crossed this is done and fingers crossed the homeless will not be allowed to loiter anywhere near where food is served. Any new homeless gathering area needs to be addressed immediately. The city needs to send a team that day, clear it out, and clean it up. Otherwise, it is build it and they will come. Just like all the encampments near Las Positas that are allowed by the city.

SantaBarbaraObserver May 14, 2020 09:23 AM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

What will happen you ask. The city will hire a consultant who will recommend some common sense solutions for the bargain price of $800,000. Solutions that have been discussed for decades by the people of SB will be ignored and instead the city will implement what the Mayor's hand picked team of local realtors, property developers, accountants, lawyers and insurance salesmen (the make up of the local Chamber of Commerce) thinks is the best plan. The city will then hire Granite Construction who will pull workers from Ventura Co to move a few curbs, put up signs and lampposts for the bargain price of $3m a block. Now flash forward a few years. The homeless problem will have skyrocketed, the majority of storefronts will be empty, the city's budget shortfall will have quadrupled and the newly formed Department of State St will be filled with $250k a year "managers" who are "deeply concerned"... About 3 years into it, the city will pay out a $30m legal settlement to Barry Cappello and team for some idiotic mismanagement and grossly negligent lapse where the city forgot to put in ADA curbs or something equally as dumb... Barry, who by the way has no problem stealing your grand kids lunch money will not think twice about the morality or value of his actions will just buy a bigger house in Montecito and funnel a few bucks to the Montecito Journal. I could be wrong, but based on the last 30 years of action by the city I'm probably not that far off...

a-1589465732 May 14, 2020 07:15 AM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

I never thought in a million years things would get so bad. My only concern is that this is NOT the new "normal." And the finger-pointing has got to stop people.

a-1589429851 May 13, 2020 09:17 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

For the last the courthouse Archway was full trash and shopping carts as well. I remember a few weeks ago seeing about 25 people camping in there all day. The sunken gardens would also have a bunch of homeless guys smoking there all day as well. Looks like they cleaned it up a few days ago. I walked my dog through there today and I didn't see single homeless person. I'm honestly surprised that didn't make the news,it was really bad.

NotReallyDave May 13, 2020 07:04 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Not only across from City Hall and Paul Casey's window seat, but also across from the City Attorney's office. In fact Ariel Pierre Calonne can just look out his window and do a head count below. Or perhaps he was on break that day.

LooseCannon May 13, 2020 05:52 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

There's an easy solution to the homeless problem. Address the grotesque inequality in society. Let's have a wealth tax, a tax on investment properties, a pied-a-terre tax on vacation homes, taxes on vacant properties, taxes on McMansions, etc. Let's have some compassion for those who are down and out, stop being judgmental and presumptuous about why they're homeless, give them a roof over their heads, food, and access to health care. It's a no brainer, but every Tom, Dick and Harry aspires to be rich "one day" and refuses to acknowledge what would be a correct, sensible, intelligent, and ethical solution to the problem of homelessness.

Get over it May 14, 2020 07:33 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Come on Loose... Zero response to all of these common sense posts? Nope, just the usual one off trolling.

a-1589468267 May 14, 2020 07:57 AM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Loose: This is exactly why "the rich" hide their money, legally or otherwise. Even those who are not "rich" hide their money as best they can (not reporting cash transactions, tips, etc.). I don't have that much, but I certainly don't want you to tell me what to do with what I have. The "homeless" always have money for tats, piercings, booze, weed, etc., and your easy-peasy solution is to give 'em what I have. Sorry Charles.

a-1589429258 May 13, 2020 09:07 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

This isn't a housing or inequality issue. If it was you would see thousands of illegal immigrants living on the streets. A lot of those people who are homeless are homeless due to drug addiction or refusal to be apart of society. Even though wealth inequality exist, it is a completely different issue.

SBRoses May 13, 2020 09:00 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

I agree with 7:53. Property tax IS the never-talked-about WEALTH tax. We already have it. And the burden falls hardest on the middle class.

a-1589424816 May 13, 2020 07:53 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

@LOOSE Those taxes already exist. They are called property taxes and people who own property in Santa Barbara pay a boatload. What you should be asking is what has happened to all the grant money the city of Santa Barbara receives from the state and various organizations to help the homeless? What about those that refuse help? This isn’t about money, the money is there. If local government really wanted to help they could. Instead of more taxes on property owners how about cutting city employee benefits and pensions?

Get over it May 13, 2020 06:39 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

@Loose So besides taking what people worked for, what is YOUR plan? Increasing taxes on people who have more than a homeless person? Then? That's the issue.

RHS May 13, 2020 04:48 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Edhat seems to have been captured by some scary right wing law and order and mean folks. This is really a pretty minor thing, certainly not worth the "sky is falling" hysterics being posted about it. Clean it up (nothing was permanently harmed) and prepare for the future with proper security. And think about maybe doing something to house the homeless even if "they" were not proven responsible for this incident.

a-1589467871 May 14, 2020 07:51 AM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

I think it has been shown by the now annual point in time counts that moat homeless ARE from Santa Barbara. But whether that is so or not all people here have a right to equal treatment.

a-1589467851 May 14, 2020 07:50 AM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

I think it has been shown by the now annual point in time counts that moat homeless ARE from Santa Barbara. But whether that is so or not all people here have a right to equal treatment.

a-1589447562 May 14, 2020 02:12 AM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

RHS When you step in human feces in front of your place of business it’s disgusting. It is estimated one million illegal immigrants move into LA County from South America every year. You dont see them homeless on the street.. If all those people can figure out housing so can everyone else. It’s a mental illness/ drug / alcohol abuse problem. You cannot help people who don’t want it.

SBRoses May 13, 2020 09:04 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Actually 5:14 there is hard data showing that while yes, some homeless are mentally ill without co-morbid substance abuse problems, that is NOT the majority. I do agree we should increase services for the mentally ill. Unfortunately constitutional rights get in the way of getting people treatment many of them need. Please read more about the Lanterman–Petris–Short Act if you are not already familiar. You cannot force treatment on people who do not want it. And probably a good 90% of the homeless don't "want" it - whether by actual wish, or via impaired judgement due to mental illness and substance abuse. And here is information to back up my previous claim about substance abuse in the homeless: https://abc7.com/ucla-study-homelessness-trauma-homeless-health-problem/5602130/ 75% of the homeless self report substance abuse problems. That leaves a minority with "pure" mental illness not presenting alongside or as a result of substance abuse problems.

Get over it May 13, 2020 06:36 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

@5:14 I totally agree. I think we need to focus and help those with mental illness. A lot of those folks are self medicating.

@RHS Yeah, it's not the end of the world and was cleaned up. It's the example of the larger picture though.

a-1589415281 May 13, 2020 05:14 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

My brother is homeless (although down in LA County somewhere) and is mentally ill but does not take drugs or drink alcohol. Many homeless are mentally ill due to medical reasons and not by choice. It would be nice if there was a way to increase services for the mentally ill.

SBRoses May 13, 2020 04:54 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Sure, this in and of itself is a minor thing. But the issues of homelessness in general and its effects on downtown, our parks, etc. is not a minor thing. Most homeless are not from Santa Barbara. And most do not have housing issues. What they actually have are drug/alcohol and subsequent mental illness problems. It's not about building more homes for them. And we should not have a come one, come all policy to providing shelter.

420722 May 13, 2020 03:53 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

They may as well leave the trash there. That’s what California is going to look like the longer we keep the economy on lockdown. I expect homelessness and mental illness to rise astronomically. Also, how is that curbside pickup going? Not well from what I understand. A total bust of a plan. Phase 3 anyone?

Get over it May 13, 2020 06:29 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Yeah, that's how to deal with it... Porta potties, wash stations, benches ect, just like they did for the illegal labor line. So SB

a-1589415355 May 13, 2020 05:15 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Thanks to emails from community members alerting councilmembers Eric Friedman and then Alejandra Gutierrez; prior to the community emails, the city had set up a PortaPotty welcoming those homeless. (Both those underpasses, as well as by Quarantina, have been cleaned up before; let's hope that this cleanup lasts longer which may happen because of the publicity.)

a-1589409883 May 13, 2020 03:44 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

I give money to the homeless to send them to SB on the bus. More resources in SB than here. Thank You SB.

a-1589408011 May 13, 2020 03:13 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Casa De La Guerra is not City property. It is owned by the Santa Barbara Historical Trust for Historic Preservation in partnership with the State Parks System. They can legally give them the bum's rush, but they are too cheap to hire enough security.

Luvaduck May 14, 2020 08:19 AM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Fence it like a mititary base. Accordion wire, barred windows, steel doors with 3 locks, the new "landscaping" fashion for downtown and suburban living. . .

Ahchooo May 13, 2020 03:32 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

You make it sound like the Trust for Historical Preservation has piles of money that they refuse to spend on security. Is that true? Don’t their funds come from donations?

SBRoses May 13, 2020 02:50 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Absolutely disgusting. I had to go to city hall before COVID hit (so before downtown became 100% zombified) and there was a guy sleeping on the upper walkway/patio by the entrance on DLG plaza side. In DLG itself were the usuals - tons of homeless camping out on the grass. I purchased a copy of Lutah Maria Riggs' plan for DLG plaza, which has it as a lovely park with a fountain and benches, etc. I would LOVE to see that as a central feature downtown. DLG reclaimed as a grand park - plus a park extension in the existing News Press parking lot - which is totally wasted space as it stands now. The problem - as always in SB - is how to keep the homeless from overtaking it. Remember when they spent millions to build Chase Palm Park? I hear some locals actually go there and I guess there are some decent concerts, but as a woman I find it downright menacing. I have never been there in the 20+ years since it was built and have no plans to. It is filled with homeless and has been from day one. When will the rights of the many - to access clean and safe public spaces - take precedence over the rights of the few? Right now the rights of the few (the homeless) trump the rights of the many. For those who are interested in seeing Lutah's plans, you can see a copy here: https://sbhistoricalblog.com/2015/02/11/the-life-of-lutah-a-panel-discussion/

a-1589415113 May 13, 2020 05:11 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

I am a woman and I walk my little dog through Chase Palm Park and along the coast/bike path part of Chase Palm Park. I'm there quite regularly and I've never had a problem there from homeless folk. ...That has nothing to do with litter and vandalism at the Casa de la Guerra or at the de la Guerra Park. As for homeless people sleeping on the steps to City Hall, staff should tell them to move on. Prior to Covid-19, they did do so but probably now think that none of us care.

Lucky 777 May 13, 2020 02:21 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

The bums are a protected species. If any of us did that in front of our houses we'd be fined.

AdamVant May 13, 2020 02:04 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

Unlike the rest of us, bums and hobos and criminals all have amnesty from laws and regulations.

Get over it May 13, 2020 06:23 PM
Historic Casa de la Guerra Trashed

@2:09 It's not so much the laws not applying as nonenforcement of said laws. Not that it would matter anyway since the whole Zero bail thing.

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