Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Visits to the USS Reagan -- Only for the Connected?

In todays News-Depress, our man at De la Guerra Plaza says that only the connected got to go on board the USS Reagan during the navy ship's recent visit. In the editorial he blames the Waterfront Department for not being more organized on a busy summer weekend to facilitate the thousands of visitors.

Even though it sounds like a logistical nightmare, he may have a point. I want to know why, however, he didn't take the Navy League to task for not admitting they had already raised $30,000 from Dr. Laura to City Council. "Hoodwinked" is what Das Williams and The Slugger called it.

What do you think?


Blogger David Pritchett said...

If one believes the hyperbole by Navy League during their presentation to City council, the US Navy (i.e., a Federal government Defense agency) actually would be paying the fee for the private ferry service. Accordingly, since when, then, is Federal government (especially any Defense agency) a charity that City of Santa Barbara should subsidize?

The Slugger should have stuck to her fiscal conservatism, so toughly displayed by challenging the police union earlier, and voted NOT to waive the fee for Navy League. That was a disappointing vote and the ones really hoodwinked were Schneider and Williams instead, who expended their political capital to request this be on the Council agenda at such short notice.

Whether Navy League had a private donor or not really was not relevent, although it did make a good explanation after the fact. City council instead should have not offered to put it on the agenda, essentially enacting a NO vote because no vote would have occurred.

So what do any of the councilmembers now have to say to any other groups that wave the flag or make up any story as a justification about why they also should not be charged the usual fee for waterfront uses? At least a majority of them during the vote were smart enough to toss this to Harbor commission, which will be pressed heavily by the existing fee-paying merchants in the waterfront area.

8/31/2005 1:36 PM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...


Navy sources say the real reason the ship visited Santa Barbara, then simply returned to San Diego, was to appease poliical friends and receive donations of support goods and services.

What should have happened was that the full fee should have NOT been waived, then Waterfront Department would have had enough revenue to hire some temporary help and amenities to accomodate the locals and visitors who wanted a ship tour.

But, all those cheap and dirty masses visiting and crowding the ship and the ferry would have diminished the experience for the Navy League friends who were the big donors, reducing the total donations.

Follow the money.

8/31/2005 2:00 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Right you are Valerio -- I'm concerned too about future requests in the name of God and country. Your proposed solution may have worked...

In terms of navy league motivations, we can also look at how Dr. Laura was at the Lobero during this time period as well no?

Interesting article from Barney today about The Slugger and Dr. Laura's rendez-vous on the ship in question. Does the "adoption" aspect make a difference here?

8/31/2005 2:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really great of the Slugger to vote for the fee waiving, then complain about being hoodwinked,(actually she borrowed that complaint) then go "comped" to every Navy League sponsored event all weekend, then go on the radio, again, rip the Navy, again, then throw out the first ball for the Navy game. Then rip the Navy League again. I think you have run out of sides to be on. Fish or cut bait Madame Mayor.You are either a really bad host or a really bad guest.

Sal Si Puedes

8/31/2005 10:20 PM  
Anonymous 3rd District Streetfighter said...

In response to Valerio-

Helene and Das did ask for it to be on the agenda, but Iya made it very clear at the hearing that if they had not, she and another councilmember would have put it on the agenda. I think Helene and Das knew what was going on the whole time, and decided to at least see if the Navy League could agree on something reasonable. The Navy League leadership, like many who have a sense of power and priveledge, simply would not accept less than everything they wanted. It took a lot of guts for Das and Helene to stick to their principles - it didn't look like an easy week.

9/01/2005 9:44 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Thanks 3DSF -- especially for getting a Blogger name. For Sal and Ana, or maybe SalAna, they can get one at

9/02/2005 7:56 AM  

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