Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Cumulative Impacts

Two different pieces in the Opinion section of today's News-Press approached the subject of piecemeal planning and the cumulative impact of growth. Although our friend Travis Armstrong may be a bit effusive talking about voodoo parking forecasting and who is "dissing" who, there's a point here that makes sense -- a lot of small projects are being approved and having a larger impact.

Because city government is the author, Armstrong isn't going into any great detail about the fact that the update to the city's general plan is now in process and that the update was the subject of a public hearing yesterday. This update has been the subject of a great many hearings and public input -- maybe our new name for him as Facts-Left-Out is appropriate today.

In all seriousness, the update to the Genreal Plan is what will guide growth or not-so-much growth over the next 20 years or so -- I urge and challenge the News-Press to include it in articles and opinion pieces such as this. It's the only way people will find out about it and provide input for it.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

After reading the News Press this morning I now get it. Sorry it took so long.

With the page one stories on the Santa Barbara Jr. High and Mark Lee's project. Then Travis ranting on traffic. And last and most important Randy Alcorn's column.

So thank you all.

Here it is - the tenets of the News Press, Joe and Das:

1. Not rich, Randy has advice for you:

"You are no more entitled to a place here than I am to a villa in Tuscany. Many residents make financial sacrifices to live here"

Gosh Randy - look at the page one story about families working two or three jobs, cleaning your toilet to live here - maybe you can wash your own - as the money you pay them may help them qualify for a villa.

2. Nothing - Absolutely nothing should change here: Travis -

"The city government is on record supporting a widening of Highway 101 to three lanes to the county line. If this becomes a reality, it will mean even more cars spilling onto our streets."

Wow, Travis I now get it - it is roads that create the traffic - like umbrellas cause rain. So I now get the logic - if we solve nightmare traffic on the 101 caused by the lack of housing it will create more traffic and it will flow on to local streets - because as soon as there is an extra lane people will have to come here. Got it - sorry I am so slow.

3. It is horrible that we do not have a middle class. Page one -

"Santa Barbara Junior High, at 721 E. Cota St., is a campus of contrasts like few others. And, like the city in which it's located, the school appears to be becoming more so. With its plethora of both wealthy and poor students — and relatively few students in between — the school's demographics mirror those of the South Coast, which experts say is losing its middle class."

I see - 'LOSING . . our middle class. Not so - we did not misplace them we replaced them - replaced them to Ventura, Oxnard and Santa Maria. - We chased them out - and now I see the light that is good as they would want to buy a home or even move to a better home - " . . off with their children who may want to live here in OUR town.


If you are NOT rich - leave. This is not the place for you.

Because you blew it by not picking richer parents, marring better or being born here and did not get to buy a home - then you must rent some crap and live in the old St. Francis hospital rooms - better yet leave.

That's it and that is why I will no decided if I will vote for Das or Joe - both who are so right on about this issue.

In ending I have another idea - if you do not own a home here now you should not beable to vote in the second district or any election in the future.

3/05/2006 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't the City spending lots of money on outreach for its General Plan? Hiring expensive consultants? What happened to that effort? Ineffective?

3/05/2006 12:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought everyone knew that this Council's big project was the General Plan update. It was a talked about heavily in the election; for example by Grant House.

3/05/2006 12:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Smaller projects have larger impacts. What does that mean? Smaller redevelopment projects - taking old run down buildings and creating a better use to serve locals has larger impacts? How? Sounds like Travis Make a Fact.

3/05/2006 12:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Finally someone said it. The Joe vs. Das show revealed by the recent Berkus issue is really an anti poor, anti middle class and anti new.

The problem is new means - new born children, new grandchildren, new young teachers and new young nurses and as the first comment stated new house cleaners.

3/05/2006 12:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

A new general plan will determine who and what Santa Barbara will be well into the next generation, which is ironic as the plan could well make it impossible for a next generation to stay here - only those who inherit huge wealth to move here.

If traffic is the worse evil of our modern society - lets all get on the bus and I mean all. But traffic is everyone else problem.

As one who has lived in San Roque for 33 years let me tell you in the last ten years traffic has improved a great deal. Very seldom is there a long wait any where - and they only traffic at all is along State Street at infrequent times.

I for one will not vote for a community of comfortable, fairly well off old farts like me - I like seeing young families and the energy they bring and not just those who are the very rich.

As a lifelong Democrat I am not sure what party these candidates who want to step on the poor and middle class belong to - but it is not my Democratic party.

3/05/2006 1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe this is cold hearted but i agree with the news press today - not everyone can live here - it a fact - so sorry to say - if "old fart" above want others to live here - why doesnt he give away his home to some poor middle class family with energy.

for me i got lucky - got here in time to buy my first, second and then my present home - i am i too feel guilty or something. i have a good job, a good paycheck, as does my wife, both union jobs.

and yeah i agree traffic is not all that bad most of the time but when it is it bothers me but what bothers me more is busy stores, crowded schools and all the people coming from mexico.

i am a rank and file life long democrat also and either our party changes from one that stands for something other than handouts or we will lose everything.

lets keep santa barbara small or make is smaller with the new plan.

das williams is my candidate - good union democrat and a good anti-growth non knee jerk or tear jerk liberal.

there are great homes all over this nation for $100,000 of less, not eveyone can live here or in tuscany.

my older kids do not live here nor will they but that is not the end of the world - what would be the end is to change their home town to the point they would not recognize it

no growth, increase union wages, das is it

3/05/2006 1:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if the city of santa barbara staff is so flawed maybe travis can get the city of goleta's general plan consultant and the city council to help him remake santa barbara into the image of goleta

3/05/2006 3:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis could suggest that the city of Santa Barbara join in lawsuits against the state and property owners. Good use of our tax dollars.

3/05/2006 3:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/05/2006 6:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/05/2006 7:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


3/05/2006 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am sickened by this blog and the selfish behavior of the News Press, CSP, Joe Guzz and Das. What happened to Democrats?

3/05/2006 8:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

why is it always about travis and the np, doesn't the indi and nick ever say something worth talking about?

3/05/2006 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The indi? Not too much there. It's become a shopping service rather than an "alternative." The aging staff of the News and Review, drifting firmly right, avoiding courage or controversy, but making lots of cash to put kids through college. Safe. Safe. Safe.

Sara has to bring up the news-press and Travis (and sometimes allow him to be called names) for four reasons:

1. np is by far the best source of baseline political information. nowhere else to go really.

2. Agree or not, Travis' opinions still provide intellectual leadership (just look at the "quality" of the above posts if you want to check out the competition)

3. This blog owes most of its ratings, if not existence, to Travis. Many times there are few comments posted here if he's not mentioned.

4. Obsession.

That's why it's "always about the np and travis."

3/05/2006 9:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just read the editorial Sara describes. It's about traffic, all the way through. So the News-Press, which is often critisized here, (biting the hand...), is "the ONLY way people will find out about (the General Plan) and provide input for it"? Good thing Travis is around to help. No need for the city to spend all that dough on "outreach." Send him and Josh the cash.

3/05/2006 9:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't get it. Don't people in this community care about how SB is changing? Say goodbye to families at your local parks. Say goodbye to many of your local teachers, at public and private schools, because they will be let go as enrollments continue to drop. Who is going to care for all these wealthy and aging retirees 10-20-30 years from now?

The living wage will only help a very small percentage of folks in SB, and probably not the people that most need it.

ANd to those of you supporting Joe Guzzardi because he "cares about neighborhoods," I say: He may care about neighborhoods physical appearance, but if he ans CSP cared about neighbors and community, they would be fighting a different battle. The ugly words and tactics used to support "neighborhood activism" is a joke to me. Community means alot more than how many and how big our houses are.

If the CSP-NP backed candidate wins, then this is no longer the town I know and love.

3/05/2006 9:59 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Let's keep from the scatological references and saying people can rot in hell, shall we? Also, please stay away from ALL CAPS -- not a nice thing to yell in the blogosphere....

Anon 9:14 -- yes, unfortunately the NP is a large source of news for all of us and the Indie isn't the same but I don't think Travis' columns or editorials show intellectual leadership! Maybe for the libertarian right!

I see in many comments like yours the assumption that BB wouldn't exist without Armstrong. These kind of assumptions forget that our raison d'etre was to actually provide an alternative to his lack of intellectual leadership. Even so -- our posts that do not address his columns do as well because really -- we are all writing about community and people are interested.

There have been some posts addressing articles that have shown up in the Indie -- but in terms of our role here to contrast when the facts are wrong or left out, that happens much more over at DLG Plaza. As I said, it's also why we created BB....we don't owe Mr. Armstrong anything for high readership, we built it and they came.

3/06/2006 12:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, despite saying that Armstrong is wrong on the facts and failing to delete posts where people call him names about it without backing it up, can you refer us to past posts definatively showing that Armstrong had his facts wrong when setting forth an opinions?

It's easy to see looking over past posts and the number of comparitive responses: when NP editorials are brought into the mix--lots of comments.

When Sara tries to stake out original intellectual ground--pretty quiet. Sara without Travis doesn't "do as well."

Spin ain't reality.

3/06/2006 6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NP opinion page the "libertarian right"?? What about the barrage of left-leaning environmental pieces? Week after week? Supporting oaks, for instance, over rancher's property rights is NOT "libertarian right." In a city where ALL SEVEN city council members are left or hard-left, the "libertarian right" opinion page would be considered "middle-of the road" in most of the country, even in most of California. Asking for a non-deficit city budget -- and not to make gifts of taxpayer funds until the city is in the black -- hardly qualifies as "libertarian right."

3/06/2006 8:12 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

6:05 Anon. Thanks for the challenge -- there were two instances just in the last week.

In the very post you commented on it was pointed out that Armstrong failed to reference the General Plan update public hearing that happened the day before the opinion was published.

Earlier in the week, in his support for The Guzz -- he referenced the Mesa candidate forum but failed to mention that Guzzardi was a no show.

These two pieces are important for a comprehensive look at the subject matter -- that ain't spin, it is reality.

As the discussion has pointed out over the last few weeks -- maybe it's more that facts are left out. That's not quite the same as having your facts wrong but close. Also you should acknowledge that there have been plenty of times when I've agreed with him...

With opinion, it's not as important I guess to include all the facts if it doesn't support your thesis -- but it sure would help. He can write whatever he wants...our goal here at BB is to point out when he and others in the media might be slightly off.

You are welcome to think I don't "do as well" by the way -- I don't have the time to write opinion pieces every day and this is far from a paying gig. Armstrong has that luxury.

The fact that this conversation exists, however, shows there's something to the reason behind this blog -- sometimes we will be wrong and I'm willing to admit it when we are.

If you see a post that you think calls names and doesn't back it up -- let us know. I don't catch everything some days and I'm not always sitting at my computer waiting for posts!

3/06/2006 8:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, pleeze

3/06/2006 8:32 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

normally a community would not need a blog like this because the alternative paper would be a watchdog. But I agree with the above post - the indi has become a shopper. I can't think of one piece of standout journalism in the last years.

I don't see anything wrong with this blog in the respect that Mr. T through the editorials a the NP and Valley Voice, his column and radio shows has become the community's most influential commentator.

But I do wish this site would more focus on the facts than name-calling and half-truths.

this site began as a defense of Blum and now is lowering the discourse in our community.

Also, it censors post. If the NP did this, the posters would scream. Here it seems OK ???

3/06/2006 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


In a piece about traffic, traffic and more traffic, Travis doesn't mention the city's 20-year general plan hearings, for which the city hired p.r. consultants and bought ads to promote?

In a piece about three candidates sounding the same at a forum, he doesn't mention Joe wasn't one of the three?

That's it? Pretty weak. And no "FactsWrong."

Maybe he should have included those points. Maybe he ran out of space in the box he writes in, and they were not as key as other points he had to include. The issues seem complex and the space limited.

Simple rule on the name calling: don't allow it. As you asked, I'll try to help you out.

Most of us stay here because this blog has lots of potential when it plays it straight. Since the first of the year, it has been getting better--and therefore more valuable in moving our community's conversation forward.

3/06/2006 9:07 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

8:46 AM -- this isn't a newspaper but like a newspaper, we have editorial discretion. Using scatological references and saying people can rot in hell -- which happened this weekend, isn't okay. That may be censorship but it is also something we have been censoring all along.

As pointed out by 9:07 -- let me know if you think something is objectionable. You don't have to agree with me -- that much is clear by what stays in the comment section.

3/06/2006 9:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear 8:46 am

The NP does censor! They print certain letters to the editor, and refuse to print others. Lots of us are on Travis's "do-not-print-list." When Travis prints a letter opposing his position, he likes to print the most extreme one, so lots of people can write in pointing out its flaws. I'm telling you, that editorial page is a sham. The only column I find worth reading is by Edelen (spelling?) about religion.

3/06/2006 10:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pull on the boots - the Joe machine is in action

Oh Joe please tell it is not true - see Joe's personal slap on his own back - in letter to editor today

But Joe tell us one high density development approved in city? Just one Joe - there is not one -

I love it Joe - was your ugly misleading and anti-senior attacks at Sandmarkand your fight against high density?

Opinion: Victories over development few, far between

March 6, 2006 12:00 AM

On Tuesday the City Council did something very special, yet somewhat out of character. It said no to an ambitious mixed-use project that would have changed upper State Street forever.
The State Street Lofts project intended to insert 9,000 square feet of commercial development and 55 condominiums onto a parcel in the middle of one of the most heavily traveled areas of Santa Barbara.
The Planning Commission approved it on a 6-1 vote in December. Planning Department staffers were resolute that the project should become reality.
Thanks to a combined effort by a variety of neighborhood watch-dog groups, the project was defeated on appeal.
An important factor to remember in this story is that if an appeal had not been filed, the Lofts project would have been a done deal.
Allied Neighborhoods Association spearheaded the effort, along with Citizens Planning Association, League of Women Voters and Coalition for Sensible Planning. Good, hardworking community volunteers raised the appeal fee, crafted the appropriate documents, and presented their winning argument in a standing-room only council chamber.
Sadly, victories by these groups over the last several years have been few and far between. Having been in the midst of the fight against high-density development for over a decade, I can attest to the fact that Tuesday night's accomplishment was rare indeed.
I have witnessed countless approvals of high-density, traffic-inducing development. I've watched as planning terms such as "size, bulk and scale" and "adequate setback" have lost all meaning.
The good news is that the council, led by an articulate argument from Councilman Brian Barnwell, finally saw things our way. It agreed to stop a project that was "just too big" and "just too dense."
Most importantly, council members spoke of a need to take a comprehensive look at planning for the upper State Street area.
"There will be a sea change," according to Mr. Barnwell -- a change that neighborhood advocates have been seeking for years.
Included in the conversation was the notion that development in our community is truly a regional issue. The State Street corridor leads into the Hollister corridor, involving parts of two different cities and county unincorporated land.
This fact highlights the need for city-county collaboration on planning issues. Hopefully, decision makers will work together and see to it that development decisions adhere to strict planning standards in order to minimize adverse impacts and maximize quality of life for the entire region.
The City Council took a bold step in the right direction. It is now up to the community to ensure that we stay on course.
Joe Guzzardi is a candidate for 2nd District supervisor.
Joe Guzzardi

3/06/2006 5:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am so personally thankful for Joe for protecting us from this horrible project that replaced a hotel and created housing for all levels of income. With his friend Das acting like the teenager he is they saved us and I am forever in their debt.

The LA Times story says it all - the greedy ones in this town are the NIMBY nutheads who fight everything. Gonna love your Santa Barbara in a decade a bunch of old farts - happy I have a lot of money to travel the world and not have to suffer fulltime in Santa Senior Barbara.

3/06/2006 9:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


3/07/2006 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anon 12:44pm

you are on crack.

3/07/2006 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Das is a leader for OUR generation. Secord was a leader for his WW2. We need a vison to steer our county on a strong course. We need someone who will shut down the polluters..big oil, someone who will stand up to developers and say enough is enough, someone who will build affordable housing that makes sense, someone who will increase revenues by increasing the stake wealthy people must pay to live here, we need someone who is a good native earth son. We need Das.

3/07/2006 3:23 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/07/2006 3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

3:23 is deluded beyond belief.
Why on earth would any city or district "need" someone who has been unable or unwilling to finish serving his first term in office, and who has never maintained a long-term commitment to any one task, profession, job, community. It is Das' right to move around constantly from place to place, job to job. Just don't ask local taxpayers to subsidize his adolescent restlessness.

3/07/2006 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3/08/2006 9:13 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Sorry Bill and especially Anon 9:13 -- we don't need those kind of unfounded allegations flying around about any candidate or their donors.

3/08/2006 11:22 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

But the vicious attack on The Guzz by anon 7:18pm in the March 1st post is O.K.??? Things are a little lopsided here.

3/09/2006 8:47 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

You are right Bill -- I deleted 7:18 pm. Anyone can question whether a comment needs to be deleted -- with sometimes 50 comments in a day, I could use all the help I can get.

I submit, however, that those that run for elected office come under different level of scrutiny than a private citizen like the person in question. I deleted the two comments -- moreso from Anon than yours, because bringing up the person in question was unnecessary and off-topic.

I appreciate your and everyone's input at Blogabarbara but also get frustrated when things get out of hand -- thanks in advance for understanding....

3/09/2006 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Das has a solid plan to improve wages and bring a balance to our community. Does anyone think that a 68 year old former hospital owner who lives in an 8 milliuon dollar home cares about the working poor?

3/09/2006 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

how rude, ageist and perceptioneering of you, anon 409!

3/10/2006 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just who is a former 'hospital owner' - last I checked, our hospitals ( hospital) is 'community-owned' - Sadly misinformed anon 8:36.

3/10/2006 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Das' solid plan only helps people who work on government projects or payrolls....most "working poor" don't fit that description. Next.

3/11/2006 12:27 AM  

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