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La Casa de la Raza Near Foreclosure?

Latino Organization Again at Risk of Losing Montecito Street Building


Thursday, August 21, 2014
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For the second time in the past two years, officers of La Casa de la Raza find themselves confronting the prospect of imminent foreclosure if they don’t come up with tens of thousands of dollars by this coming Monday. La Casa is both a building ​— ​in this case occupying nearly one square block on East Montecito Street ​— ​as well as an organization dedicated to providing affordable community-center space to organizations serving the city’s Latino population. Founded in 1971, La Casa has been treading on financial thin ice for some time; two years ago, the County of Santa Barbara initiated proceedings to auction the property after La Casa fell $90,000 behind in property tax payments over a 10-year period.

A dispute over property taxes precipitated La Casa’s most recent predicament, as well, though this time the hole ​— ​$45,000 ​— ​is not quite so deep. According to executive Raquel López, nearly $10,000 of that stems from a delinquent property-tax payment that La Casa is contesting. The bank holding La Casa’s mortgage notified López she needed to pay the property taxes now ​— ​regardless of the dispute over their calculation ​— ​or face default action. Until that payment is made, she explained, the bank has also declined to accept La Casa’s mortgage payments for two months. Property taxes and back rent, she said, total about $25,000. The rest, she said, were fees, penalties, and interest charged by the bank. López said La Casa’s attorney Robin Unander is seeking to negotiate less onerous terms with the bank. If need be, she added, La Casa could and would make the payment before a default action takes place.

La Casa’s well-known financial struggles have been exacerbated by past bookkeeping practices that were lax or nonexistent. This resulted in the organization losing its tax-exempt status for a while, during which time the county sought to exact higher property taxes from the organization’s substantial real estate holding. Even with the tax-exempt status now regained, however, La Casa’s path is far from clear. Another issue has been whether La Casa ​— ​a nonprofit organization ​— ​should be taxed for business endeavors taking place on its premises run by for-profit businesses, like the car repair shop. López maintained that issue has likewise been resolved and that the organization is now due a significant credit for having paid excess taxes for 10 years.

The county tax collector maintains just as emphatically that La Casa is entitled to retroactive relief for only four years. In the meantime, however, the drama of this fiscal brinkmanship has rekindled old complaints ​— ​and even older animosities ​— ​between La Casa’s current management and many of its initial founders, who are worried the organization they helped start might go down the tubes.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

What's wrong with this picture?...
So many wealthy liberal-minded people in nearby Montecito who could easily solve this dilemma, yet nobody coming forward.

Seriously, with all the money floating around S.B. county and none to be spared for La Casa?!

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 4:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why should any money or anything else be spared for La Casa if they don't have the ability to properly manage their holdings?

whatsinsb (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 7:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Well Bill,
I guess being liberal minded does not necessarily mean liberal active.

garfish (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 8:22 a.m. (Suggest removal)

This fiscal ineptitude has been going on for years. La Casa personnel always have excuses. Maybe it is time for a change of leadership or even closure of this non-profit. It is NOT helping the city's Latino population.

thunder (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 1:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Good farm club experience for anyone who wants to run for city council. How to balance an insitutional check book.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Rich people get rich by making good investments of their time and money. They look for value. What makes La Casa de la Raza a good value investment when suggesting other people's money should come forward to bail it out?

If they present a good busines plan, they may attract outside interest. If they only want another hand-out to limp along to the next crisis of mismanagement, it won't sell. Once they get serious, they will attract serious attention.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 2:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Moar EDM shows.... spin the music, they will come...

loonpt (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 3:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

This racist organization needs to be closed down once and for all. They have embezzled money for years, then cried for an infusion of cash to carry on their hatred of everyone who is not sympathetic to their cause. If you are Latino(a) and conservative you are not wanted, if you are Anglo you are not wanted, if you are conservative, you are hated. If you desire to have accountability, you are not wanted. If you desire to have clean books and financial statements, you are not wanted. Look at who advises them and you can see their hateful liberal bias and personal agendas are to take as much money as possible and use if for to line their pockets. Any real Non-Profit, Community organization has to be transparent since they are asking for community financing or an influx of capital. Clean house, sell the dump, and build new condo's or professional office space and become a part of the community instead of promoting racism and stupidity. Who the hell runs an organization into the ground and then begs for more money over, over, and over again. In the real world, you get fired! For those of us who have money to invest, we never invest the second, third, or fourth time if we know that the money is being stolen, misused, or misappropriated. They need to take the Executive Director and file criminal charges of embezzlement. Just ask where the money went? She can't tell you because she will plead incompetence because she is a poor, uneducated, Latina who has the entire world against her. Just think about the real world, you get fired for this and handcuffed while being carted off to jail. The Truth Shall Set You Free, but she still needs to go to jail and that dump gets sold off to a developer who will make the property valuable by building condos, apartments, or commercial offices. Adios Casa De La Raza and good riddance!!!

TheTruthShallSetYouFree (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 5:51 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ooh looky a new troll!

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 7:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

" Who the hell runs an organization into the ground and then begs for more money over, over, and over again."-TheTruthShallSetYouFree
August 21, 2014 at 5:51 p.m.

Answer: The public education system.

"Ooh looky a new troll!"

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 7:49 p.m.

Why do we need a new one?...I have enough fun with the ones we already have.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 21, 2014 at 8:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"Liberal Minded People" = people who want *you* to pay for their ideas so that they can feel better about themselves, never mind if their ideas actually work or do good.

Why is the Indy posting a story about racists who name their group "The Race" losing their racist HQ due to lack of money to support racism?

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 12:39 a.m. (Suggest removal)

yeah H-G, they're like popups on laptop screens, they fade away soon enough without regular feeding

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 6:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Troll, perhaps. But I am not sure that anything ttssyf stated was incorrect.

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 6:41 a.m. (Suggest removal)

If anyone needs any evidence that there's a strong desire to keep those of a Latino or Hispanic persuasion regulated to a permanent service class, look no further than 'realitycheck88', 'TheTruthShallSetYouFree' and their supporters. It's not surprising that those comments come from the same cast of characters that supply us with other delightfully vapid, dishonest and trolling comments. It's amazing such gross ignorance exists so close to a major university.

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 9:15 a.m. (Suggest removal)

ETR: ......"amazing such gross ignorance exists so close to a major university" ...

You give UCSB too much credit for being a balanced and neutral education resource, as recent UCSB events have clearly disproven. Critical thinking in today's public educaiton system is being taught to be critical of anything other than the tax and spend, big government progressive statist agenda.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 9:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

What UCSB sanctioned events have proven your erroneous thesis Jarvis? None.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 10:09 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The handling of the recent free speech zone violation by UCSB personnel shocks the conscience.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 10:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

but Jarvis, ETR was being "critical" [your term] of posters commenting on the topic in the news item: the closing of Casa de la R. Agree ETR: comments from realitycheck88 [Willy's usual line], TTSSYF, and moreinsanity really do confirm a "strong desire to keep those of a Latino or Hispanic persuasion regulated to a permanent service class, " -- one smells fear, guilt, arrogance all mixed up in a sick stew of negativity.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 10:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

your e.g. doesn't hold water, Jarvis; UCSB Police arrested the Prof., she was charged with 3 misdemeanors and has accepted her penalty (no jail time), UCSB handled this just fine. If you blame Miller-Young, the Prof., I dunno if that's your "UCSB personnel" - she's the violator and was arrested and punished; ... it was "handled" properly. If you just wanna attack UCSB, whatever, and in a minor way I too would like to hear from Chancellor Yang AND the UCSB Academic Senate about their view of this tenured Prof's behavior.
No, no conscience shock about the WAY UCSB handled this First Amendment issue.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 10:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Give it a rest Jarvis. It's over and done with. You know damn well SAH violated proper procedures and were only looking for publicity and money and the Prof was foolish enough to take the bait- her actions were not university sanctioned. Pretty desperate on your part.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 10:29 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@JarvisJarvis: "The handling of the recent free speech zone violation by UCSB personnel shocks the conscience."

You must be referring to the incident is which a religious extremist organization baited a pregnant woman into a confrontation and the pregnant woman was the one arrested. You're right - that does shock the conscious, as do the defenders of the religious extremists.

@JarvisJarvis: "Critical thinking in today's public educaiton system is being taught to be critical of anything other than the tax and spend, big government progressive statist agenda."

A statement so removed from reality and devoid of any 'critical thinking' that I can only assume that this is your failed attempt at some form of irony or sarcasm...

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 10:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Fred Hoffman's prioir commentary in the Independent covers the early and official UCSB stance well enough. UCSB only later responded to the public outcry that blaming the victim and absolving the perpetrator was not good university policy:

http://www.independent.com/news/2014/...

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 10:40 a.m. (Suggest removal)

ETR needs a reality check on what the Miller-Young incident was all about.

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 11:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@Botany: "ETR needs a reality check on what the Miller-Young incident was all about."

I understand it perfectly fine, and if you had any sense, you'd be ashamed of the side you've taken.

EatTheRich (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 11:21 a.m. (Suggest removal)

My side is that of free speech, which obviouly you wish to quash. That is the only side I've taken. Those religious nuts are just that, but it's not your right or mine to take their speech away from them.

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 11:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Botany "needs a reality check on what the Miller-Young incident was all about." -- didn't you get the cute way Jarv referred to the WAY UCSB "personnel" managed to "handle" the situation. BUT the scene in front of the ECen was like KV describes: "SAH violated proper procedures and were only looking for publicity and money and the Prof was foolish enough to take the bait- her actions were not university sanctioned."
Your demagogue twists change nothing Jarvis: the Prof embarrassed herself; UCSB personnel responded properly and defended the First Am. rights of the provocative SAH group. Note, the leader of SAH in this instance, Ms. Katie Short, is also threatening to sue the City of SB over its buffer rule protecting Planned Parenthood in SB. Duh.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 11:55 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Fred Hoffman covers your points DB, with his one on site observations to the contrary. We shall have to agree to disagree on this one and get back to La Raza - is it a racial supremacy organization, or merely an ethnic social club like Sons of Norway that teaches young people folk dancing and where adults can get a good plate of gfultefisch..

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 12:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

The truth shall set you free...Other than the Los Lobos concert I saw back there in in the 80's I haven't had much use for the place and it's politics.

bimboteskie (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 2:19 p.m. (Suggest removal)

While UCSB is typical of most major institutions in their liberal point of view, they did nothing particularly wrong other than have a faculty with zero legitimate credentials for peer reviewed research.
I don't understand why folks are attacking the commenters about their view of LDdlR without refuting the facts.

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 5:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)

UC employees top the list of donors to the Democrat Party:

http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2010/...

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 5:42 p.m. (Suggest removal)

To Whom It May Concern: Why should Casa take the rap of not being profitable like Starbucks if they're a non-profit?

atomic_state (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 11:21 p.m. (Suggest removal)


ETR needs a reality check on what the Miller-Young incident was all about.

Botany (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 11:08 a.m

We already have a blogger called "realitycheck88" (probably not their real name) so Y R U complaning?

Fred Hoffman covers your points DB, with his one on site observations to the contrary. We shall have to agree to disagree on this one and get back to La Raza - is it a racial supremacy organization, or merely an ethnic social club like Sons of Norway that teaches young people folk dancing and where adults can get a good plate of gfultefisch..

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
August 22, 2014 at 12:12 p.m.

Jarvis, U silly ghoul!
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gefilte_...

Wrong spelling, and...it's a Jewish dish, not a Norwegian one, not that Norwegian people can't be Jewish, and vice-versa.

There is much more to the Sons of Norway that you can imagine. http://www.sofn.com/home/index.jsp

By the way, NEVER argue with a dolphin about fish. U'v just been pwned by a dolphin!

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 4 a.m. (Suggest removal)

agree dolphin14: "There is much more to the Sons of Norway that you can imagine. http://www.sofn.com/home/index." Have you tried their lutefisk or potato lefsa?

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 6:12 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Snicker - pardon my linguistic Gemisch Salat. Correct you are - lutefisk, Tak.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 8:51 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@DavyBrown, the link provided had a 404 error.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 4:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

oops, anyway, the lutefisk was rancid.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 4:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

the link had 404 errors? that's hardly credible, even for a dolphin

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 4:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sorry nativists, Casa De La Raza is not going anywhere. They will pay the tax man and every thing will be ok. Viva La Raza!

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 6:09 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Their affiliate and moral equivalent, the Mexican Mafia, will surely come up with the funds.

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 6:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

nativists, jingoists, Know-Nothings... viva la Raza!

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 6:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

La Raza humana? Ojala!

billclausen (anonymous profile)
August 23, 2014 at 8:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Not just humans, clausen.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
August 24, 2014 at 1:07 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Davey-Do you even know what Jingoism is?
And yes, I oppose the unregulated and unlawful entry into the US of illegal aliens. Even those illegal aliens of largely European cultured, Spanish descent and language people that are supported by LCdlR.
I support the legal immigration of all people as duly regulated by the federal government, even those folks from the south of us that have the customs and language of their European oppressors from Spain.

nomoresanity (anonymous profile)
August 24, 2014 at 6:33 a.m. (Suggest removal)

enuff to know I dislike 'em all, all those jingoists (like TR and Bush '43 and Pres. Polk), nativists, and freaking Know-Nothings, whom Lincoln had to contend with in the 1840s.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
August 24, 2014 at 9 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Why don't members of the Hispanic community step up to the plate and help out? They seem to be the first in line as takers, but do they give back as much as they take?

zuma7 (anonymous profile)
August 24, 2014 at 1:34 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Why is the Indy posting a story about racists who name their group "The Race" losing their racist HQ due to lack of money to support racism?

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
August 25, 2014 at 5:31 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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