Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Soggy Explanation on Underpass

So the Castillo underpass has morphed into a sentient being this morning:
"It's doing it's thing...we just need to keep it on." -- a CalTrans engineer quoted in the News-Press

The car engine quote about the underpass being on all cylinders almost made me spill my coffee. A real sound bite man.

This project seems to have been going on for years -- it's hard to believe them when they say it will be finished by late-January. Let's hope the new technology works! Anyone taking bets?

Who is the mystery candidate?

Chief Sanchez made the right choice in not running for County Sheriff and he did so for the right reasons. The City did give him a great deal on the house loan and salary -- "compacted" or not. Did his "Change of Heart" have to do with former Sheriff Thomas' reference to a candidate that hasn't stepped forward? Usually I'm pretty good at guessing -- but I'm stumped on this one...

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Roundabouts and Traffic Control

I'll be the roundabout
The words will make you out 'n' out...
YES (1972)

What I liked about the article this morning on roundabouts is that it recognized that higher density is part of the underlying problem with in-city traffic in Santa Barbara.

Opponent of roundabouts Michael Self says:
"The purpose of doing this is not to calm traffic -- police control could do that quite well,"..."It is done to get us out of our cars. If you want people out of their cars, you need to build a transit system."

It is put more bluntly by Scott Wenz in the same article:
"They are street obstructions intended to stop people from using their cars."

I'm not so sure police control can do that as as there just aren't enough public safety employees to cover the city all the time -- no matter how many you have. What about a transit system? -- we have one. What would get people to use it more? $8.00 a gallon for gas?

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Newspaper Errors

Interesting article by Jerry Roberts today on errors in the newspaper. Worth a read just to see what his approach to it all is.

In related news, we received a comment yesterday that our "whipping boy", Travis Armstrong will be gone from the paper by the end of the year. Not much more behind the comment than that -- whether they were reading tea leaves or just guessing. Still, there was a visit from the News-Press server yesterday to Blogabarabara at about the same time. Do we have a Deep Throat at the newspaper?

We'll see....

Update 1/1/06: I've been able to confirm one of the comments on this post that it was Jim Farr who resigned from the now News-Press owned paper, The Valley Voice, saying: “It didn’t work out like I hoped,” said Farr. “But there’s no animosity – just a difference of opinion.”

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas from BlogaBarbara!

Cannon, Carlos and I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season. We are looking forward to the new year and hope you and yours have a wonderful day.

It was tough this morning not to overlook Mr. Armstrong's article in favor of a day of peace -- Joe Guzzardi is the one to watch? He's gaining momentum? I wish I had some of the egg nog he had last night!

Finally, the final paragraph about "Skybox Marty" -- is he starting to take after us? -- just shows that if you are ever subject to her man at De la Guerra's machinations, DO NOT RESPOND TO HIM IN ANY WAY. He is not to be trusted and he will say or do anything to push his strange agenda -- The Slugger should know this by now.

Any thing you write or say to him can and will be used against you. Write to him as Editor, he will use the words against you as columnist -- there is clearly no separation between the two roles in his mind. Then again, this is the first time in recent memory where a mention of law enforcement unions was made in the same breath as SEIU....

Enough already -- I'm off to open Cannon's present and meet Carlos for a vodka at the Presidio. He will not be allowed to post later drinking and blogging!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

It's just another day...

Paul McCartney tickets in a skybox for $100 -- pretty good deal but they were paid for. Yet again -- her man at De la Guerra makes a point of pointing fingers at the SEIU but fails to mention law enforcement "largess". Who does he think he's kidding?

Opportunities such as this are common at City Hall but I am not so sure they are ethics violations considering that gifts must be acknowledged and the reports are public documents. Still, what do you think about having an ethics it necessary?

Monday, December 19, 2005

Measure X on the Living Wage

Her man at De la Guerra called for an ordinance to go before the voters today but couldn't hold off a quick jab at SEIU backed candidates in the last election. I hope he says the same about Police Association backed candidates when their next contract is up! Somehow, his history of myopism to POA-funded candidates like Council Member Falcone, will likely rule the day should it come.

I agree with him that the council wage hike was a different situation -- but is it really necessary to say that we'll lose Parks and Rec programs or close libraries? Is there no spectre to large? Also, I wonder if in the modern age thatputting someting on the ballot has replaced true leadership and taking a stand -- why are we afraid of split votes on council? So it's a 3-2 vote -- the voters will retain or replace the candidate if they don't agree....

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Forensic Audits? Call CSI!

Sheriff Anderson pulled away from the Sheriff's Council yesterday asking everyone for their toy gold badges back:
"There's no political agenda behind his decision," said Sgt. Raney, who declared that he knew nothing about pressure on Ms. Jepsen to release council financial records.

Although I have a hard time believing that statement after the "we need a jail" news cover of his recent $26,000 raise -- this is one instance of "backsies" (see Stephen Colbert) that makes sense and was likely a good move for the Sheriff. Yes -- let's see the forensic audit of the last fundraiser.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Transparency in Government

Her man at De la Guerra, Travis Armstrong, is correct in calling for a planning commission from the City of Goleta. The Council acting as the Commission may have been appropriate for awhile -- but it's far past time for citizens to be involved in the planning process at this level.

He's also right about televised meetings at Santa Barbara City Hall -- can anyone tell me what's wrong with taping finance committee meetings?

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Floor Sleepers at County

Although it seems a few of you might want to talk about the article on Daraka -- I'd rather it not degenerate into name calling. Suffice it to say, I don't know if I'd use Lenin as a backdrop for a photo but I'd rather not have a long series of posts on just how "radical" he is. I hope you all agree we should take a pass on this one. Let's look at something a bit more substantive.

The "County Jail Crisis" is an interesting follow-up to news that Sheriff Anderson will be receiving his substantive raise. Overcrowding at County, however, has been a problem for a few years and if this was a "deflective" PR move on the part of the department -- it doesn't quite land with me. Paying our Sheriff and top managers more -- especially in pensions that Joe Six-Pack will likely never see in this day and age (Verizon last week switched all pensions for managers to 401(k)s-- has little correlation to solving this problem.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Thanks Barry Berkus!

Architect Barry Berkus gave $250,000 worth of art the the County of Santa Barbara consisting of 43 works spanning three decades -- including many local artists. To have that kind of art available to the public is fantastic! It's a donation worth much more than the dollar worth of the art.

Wrangle? Orchestrate?

These sound like words that could describe her man at De La Guerra's behavior over the last few months in relation to the City Council and Mayor race. Yes -- let's hear from the candidates but a simple press release from Capps does not a winner make. What this shows is really how important the second district is...

Already this morning we've seen some posts from our readers in another thread -- here's some highlites from their posts to start the discussion:

From Anonymous:
I agree with that editorial: let the voters see who's available, what the positions are, not the premature endorsements of friends of Janet Wolfe and her attorney husband, Harvey. Further shades of Rose and HER attorney spouse.

There are too many status quo establishment types on board her campaign ship. What, exactly, (other than the school board), has she done or said for the Goleta Valley - and the County issues! - over the recent years?

From Anonymous:
the supervisor race is not a primary. it is an election that will be decided by a runoff if nobody get 50.01% or more you not all see Secord chuckling in the background? Wolf or Das can both beat Dan one on one but not after a bruising election where one of them limps into a run off while Dan sticks to the high road and coasts on his voter registration coup....

Monday, December 05, 2005

To Be or Not To Be...

I hesitate this morning to make any literary references because of yesterday's posts on "Funky" Town -- as in "won't you take me to". Hopefully, literary versus pop culture is a trivial pursuit we can all be comfortable with...

I also wonder whether to open the flood gates on this morning's article on whether Council Member Williams is a "young man in a hurry" as former Supervisor Schwartz says or if he's simply a victim of age discrimination. I tend towards the former myself but also think a thirty one year old is going to have a lot more problems in the early going.

Williams has been a heated part of many posts here at Blogabarbara -- let's try to keep our comments within reason please....

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Won't you take me to Levy Town?

The endless delays in construction of Levy Town do remind me of the "black hole" on Carrillo and Chapala that finally became the Hotel Andalucia just a few years ago. The News-Press reported today that Bill Levy promises that money for the "Dead Zone" will be in place soon but he's been saying that for a year or more.

The fate of the site of The California Hotel, former home of Rocky's, sits in the balance -- as does the face of the waterfront area. Levy says he'd be "crazy not to be nervous". Well Bill, we're nervous too.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Carbajal Coffers

A day after nasty emails by Carpinteria Council Member Greg Gandrud were made public by the News-Press, it's reported that Carbajal has $100,000 in his war chest -- impressive. It's gotta make Gandrud think twice about running against him in 2009....whether or not Carbajal is a "BMW driving elitist" as the BMW driving Gandrud claims. Passive agressive? Maybe. Wierd -- definitely. Civil? Definitely not.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Bored in Montecito

We read in the Montecito Journal the usual snide condescension toward Santa Barbara's elected government, Jaime the editor regularly hyperventilating tired comparisons to creeping communism. One wonders what era this is. The journal conforms to no discernable journalistic standards, largely featuring vanity articles wrapped around lucrative local display ads.

The rare news caters to the wealthy residents' major preoccupation in the virtual gated community, complaining about the neighbors messing up their views. The other is offering praises and adoration to the Great Realtor© who bestows the blessings of rising values in a community run by a handful of the self-appointed guardians of the status quo where substantial wealth is the only requirement for entry. Montecito's real secret is its terminal boredom, so many trying so hard to figure out something to do. I'll take the relatively more real world of Santa Barbara's democratic squabbles.

Yo el Rey