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Letters: Santa Barbara, Mob Museum, hotel key cards

January 16, 2011

One more deal in Santa Barbara

Thanks to Rosemary McClure for spotlighting the charms of Santa Barbara that are affordable ["Santa Barbara on a Budget," Jan. 9]. A day at Stearns Wharf can give you million-dollar views for the price of parking, not to mention delicious seafood and entertaining pelicans.

One affordable restaurant McClure needs to include in her list is the locals' favorite, Farmer Boy on State Street. This is a must for our family, featuring homemade American and Latino favorites for breakfast and lunch. Huge bacon omelets, tasty menudo, sandwiches, full dinners and senior citizen specials — there is something for everyone at this homey place.

Check out the menu, and order what the cook and Ralph Karleskint (the second-generation owner) are eating that day.

Julie T. Byers, Arcadia

My first reaction to reading about the opening of the Mob Museum in Las Vegas was one of disbelief and surprise ["Bugsy's Sin City" by Jay Jones, Jan. 2]. After careful thought, I realized that history of that nature is still history and a story that people might want to learn about. I noticed the hefty admission price of $29.95; for a museum about dead and infamous mob figures who murdered people and extorted money, we can only hope they are looking down — or maybe up — and laughing at the absurdity of it all. Just think, next they can open the Al Capone wing in Chicago. The possibilities are endless.

Frances Terrell Lippman, Sherman Oaks

It's ironic that the old Tropicana is spending some $180 million for a fancy facelift. Back when Bugsy Siegel was building the Flamingo, his business partners were upset because he went slightly over budget at $6 million. Ah, well, things change, time marches on and Ben Siegel's dream of a desert oasis is now producing billions of dollars in revenue.

Bill Spitalnick, Newport Beach

Why doesn't anybody mention Gus Greenbaum? He brought Siegel to Las Vegas. Greenbaum lived in Phoenix. He was the "man."

Alberto Rivera, Tucson

Regarding "Key Card Blues" by Catharine Hamm [On the Spot, Jan. 2]: I have traveled for business for nearly 20 years. Cellphones are key card killers. Put a key card in a pocket with a phone, or in your phone's holster or carrying case or in a purse compartment near a phone and voila — you've instantly demagnetized your key.

I am very careful about placing my key in my wallet, where it has some protection from my phone, and to get two copies of the key. If one is demagnetized, you have another without trekking to the front desk.

Wendy Wifler, Irvine

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