Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

HDF, Lowe and the Web Hug

This, and several similar posts on this topic have come in to BlogaBarbara in the last day or so, looks like a worthy post topic:

Regarding Lowe and Montecito's Homeowners Defense Fund: Today's new Montecito Journal reports infighting among Montecito Association board members over the infamous Lowe manse appeal, where the normally vigilant Association was MIA "Land Use Committee Chair Susan Keller expressed dismay that Association President Bob Collector had informed members not to participate in the Lowe hearing, " the Journal reports. According the to HDF website (location posted above), Collector is a member of HDF along with Gary Earle and Rob Lowe-- the three photographed together in a web hug, and posting a newsletter thanking Travis for HDF's recent local radio appearance.

[Note from Sara: Here's the HDF WebSite but I am not sure where the big web hug is...]

What is the relationship between Rob Lowe and the reclusive millionaire, her man at De la Guerra and the Montecito Association? Is everyone star struck?

Wikipedia on Rob Lowe mentions HDF this way:

"the president of the Homeowner's Defense Fund, Sally Jordan, characterized California State advocacy for new housing as `like Hitler'.[1] At the same time Lowe opposes new housing for others, he has sought to build a very large mansion for himself at 700 Picacho Lane in Montecito.[2] Lowe's protest over the appearance of the address in the Santa Barbara News-Press precipitated a mass resignation of senior employees at that newspaper on July 6, 2006."

Notice how his address is listed in Wikipedia for everyone to see? Hmmmmm....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The web hug and million dollar smiles (Note SB Bank and Trust Branch Mgr Roy Gaskin is HDF Treasurer!) can be found under "Our Board."

7/20/2006 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says...

Rob Lowe is a fake member of the Hollywood progressive sect. On one hand he spouts the line but on the other he builds a dwelling that is an insult to the masses. Living space in our county should be limited to a total of 2500 per home. Anything in excess of that should be taxed and the proceeds given to homeless programs and adult care.

7/20/2006 9:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to say, for the first time, I agree with a suggestion from Mike---seriously; why do you think Lowe came to SB in the first place---he's a joke even in the hollywood a-lister universe---so he wasn't content to just 'blend in' as many rich and famous have in SB--- he's trying to recreate the Bel-Air/Hollywood Hills colony that rejected him. I look forward to the appeal before the Board of Supervisors.

We'll see if in fact there are to be two sets of rules in this county.

7/20/2006 11:08 AM  
Anonymous Teresa said...

Remember, Mr. Lowe was part of Mr. Schwarzenegger's election team. Lowe's no progressive.

7/20/2006 2:18 PM  
Anonymous Appeal watch said...

All I can say is---- I can't WAIT for the appeal of LOWE's
Picacho Lane extravaganza vanity "home".......what sad irony that a "neighborhood association" champion wants to build such walls and such crass structures in what was once an understated neighborhood. Shame on him.

7/20/2006 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Not so local PR FIRM said...

Here's the website of the "Huff Group", Wendy's latest mouthpiece; based in L.A. Despite all her claims to want to provide "local" news, etc, Mrs. McCaw sure goes out of her way to NOT use local PR professionals.....or maybe no one will work for her?

7/20/2006 8:37 PM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

Dig this radical statment affirming the obvious.
July 20, 2006 03:09 PM US Eastern Timezone

Media Statement From The Santa Barbara News-Press

SANTA BARBARA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 20, 2006--The management of The Santa Barbara News-Press issued the following statement this morning.

The Santa Barbara News-Press respects the right of employees to seek collective bargaining through unionization. We do not believe this is in the best interests of the employees, company, readers or the community.

The company recognizes there are statutes and procedures that have been set by the National Labor Relations Board that must be followed. This includes a secret ballot election that protects the employees from coercion by the union or the company. The company will adhere to this process in a professional manner and expects that the employees seeking representation will do likewise.

As we move through the NLRB process, the company expects everyone involved to continue doing their jobs in a professional manner.

The company remains committed to all its employees and to the business of running a newspaper. The paper continues to have an open door policy for all employees to address their concerns.

Agnes Huff Communications
Agnes Huff, PhD, 310-641-2525

7/20/2006 10:22 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

These comments about Rob Lowe are amazing. I know the guy is wealthy, and wants to build a big home. But is this justification for the personal attacks and unfounded innuendo about him that are now appearing on this blog? seems that the censorship of "personal attacks" is pretty arbritrary. It's O.K. to pile-on comments about Wendy, Travis, Rob....but it's not O.K. to criticize Susan, Marty, Lois....

One sided is not a good thing.

7/20/2006 11:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7/20/2006 11:17 PM  
Blogger Sol Marsh said...

YEAH! Lay off Rob Lowe and Travis...who cares if they make sex tapes with underaged girls or drive drunk on the streets of SB..these are responsible men and have much more character than Rose or Blum! They deserve every bit of pampering WENDY gives them! BTW, where's ALCORN hiding??

7/21/2006 6:53 AM  
Anonymous rejected by bb said... seems that the censorship of "personal attacks" is pretty arbritrary. It's O.K. to pile-on comments about Wendy, Travis, Rob....but it's not O.K. to criticize Susan, Marty, Lois....

Yes, Bill. I've noticed the same thing. Looks like everyone has their agenda. In light of referring to the News-Press as the News-Suppress, maybe we should refer to this blog a bashabarbara.

(oh, will this comment be posted, or have I crossed the line?!)

7/21/2006 8:10 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Let's keep to the topic boys -- you are welcome to have a blog of your own and have it be a free for all if you like -- but the consensus here seems to be stay on point. I've posted plenty of criticisms but do not do so when it isn't to the point or further the conversation.

7/21/2006 11:02 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I just rejected a comment that tried to identify a poster -- can't allow that unless they have self-identified. Also, I've rejected some off-topic posts related to why I didn't immediately post the day Guzzardi got the NP endorsement. If someone wants to pay me well -- I'd be happy to post every few hours and stay on top of everything -- I haven't even read the paper today! This isn't my whole life....anyway that election is over and we are moving on.

7/21/2006 12:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with staying away from personal attacks: quality of acting, popularity, etc. But I think the political stances and lobbying of the Homeowners Defense Fund and its partner, Coalition for Sensible Planning, and the relationships between these two groups and Travis Armstrong and Wendy McCaw are relevant and important to examine.

I happen to have liked Rob Lowe in The West Wing and was sorry to see him depart the series. But I have always known that it was a role, not him playing himself. He is an actor, fergoodnesssake.

Likewise, attacking people just because they have money is gratuitous. We have some benevolent and helpful wealthy people here in Santa Barbara, and we should be grateful when they help us to have an art museum or the Music Academy, etc. (I am very grateful...that is an important part of the "quality of life" in Santa Barbara.) But at issue is when someone tries to use his/her wealth and influence to manipulate the public or coverup backroom deals, etc.

So, does anyone have any insights on the ties between the Homeowners Defense Fund, the Coalition for Sensible Planning, and Wendy McCaw/Travis Armstrong?

7/21/2006 1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Sara, I'll leave out the name, (even though I did not use the full name before). But let's at least let the rest of the readers know that the poster being recognized is/was a pro-density-in-Noleta advocate being paid by a big local developer (again, I'll leave the name out, so as to stick to your rules).

The paid advocate showed up at a housing meeting and told retired, longterm homeowners in Goleta that they should "be ashamed" of themselves for not embracing high-density developments in the neighborhoods that they had invested their life's earnings in. And here he/she was in the blog complaining that he/she didn't like the way the News-Press had covered that particular meeting. (The details of the "shame" speech were left out.)

...and they say the anti-NewsPress movement has nothing to do with development. It may not be ALL about development, but the pro-density crowd is mighty thick at the rallies....oh, no, wait, they're the ones ORGANIZING the damn things. Interesting.

7/21/2006 3:37 PM  
Anonymous CSP supporter said...

The connection is that Travis understands the issues, seems to agree with the concerns about overdevelopment, and has been willing to give the people of Noleta a voice on the editorial pages. Of course, the opposing sides have been given a voice on the NP editorial pages as well. But Travis's commentaries show that he is more in tune with the slow-growth group.


7/21/2006 3:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I happen to have liked Rob Lowe in The West Wing and was sorry to see him depart the series.

I like how you give a post on relevance, and then have this sentence in the post.

So, does anyone have any insights on the ties between the Homeowners Defense Fund, the Coalition for Sensible Planning, and Wendy McCaw/Travis Armstrong?

They are united in their positions/opinions, nothing more. Much like the relationship between Mickey Flacks, Marty Blum, Michael Towbes and David Pritchett.

7/21/2006 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 4:00:

I can't even foresee a day when the four people you name would be united in a 'group hug' on any one issue.

They are all individuals with distinct interests, professions, and positions.

Alternatively, CSP practices "groupthink"

7/21/2006 6:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 4:00:

I can't even foresee a day when the four people you name would be united in a 'group hug' on any one issue.

Really? Pritchett mc'd the rally. Blum spoke at it. Flacks was trolling around the rally, handing out fliers for the next "groupwhine", and Towbes is loving every minute of it because the NewsPress editorial has been against the high-density development of Noleta.

They are as much individuals with distinct interests, professions, and positions as the CSP, HDF, Armstrong and McCaw.

If you want to throw out "groupinsult", I'll throw it right back.

BTW: To insure that's this gets posted - Travis is sexist, I love the Independent, and I think the rally did some good.

7/21/2006 10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 6:26: All four are against high density homes not financed by Michael Towbes. But you're off topic. The TOPIC is the Montecito Association's takeover by Bob Collector, his connection to Robb Lowe and their "Homeowner's Defense Fund", and McCaw's sympathy to their "Hollywood Mansion Rights" cause.

Dear 3:44: The HDF and Montecito Association could care less about Noleta. Their common policy intiative is getting Lowe's mansion approved.

Dear 3:37: David Pritchett organized the rally, and he fights any and all housing. Whether you agree with him or not, you've got it exactly backward. Are you posting from Singer's office? What planet are you on? Weren't NIMBY Cheri Rae and Marty Blum major speakers at the rally?

So back to the TOPIC: Bob Collector is a B-list screenwriter, Rob Lowe is a B-list actor, and Wendy McCaw is a B-list heiress. They are connected by an inferiority complex and frustration that they live next to people who are many, many times wealthier than they are. (Yes, even you Wendy.)

7/22/2006 2:01 AM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

Some very amusing and/or simultaneously bizarre stuff here about what I supposedly promote or oppose about housing policies and direction.

So if someone has figured out what I supposedly support on that issue, do tell with some actual examples and facts.

7/22/2006 1:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, Mr. Pritchett, here's an example:

You oppose any new homes on a location that has been developed for centuries. You argue that some of these homes are within 100 feet of an urban, polluted creek (a creek that is mostly in a concrete channel, is washing out Las Positas Road, and carries filth from the former City landfill under Elings Park straight to Hendry's Beach.)

It was on City TV, for all to see -- your zeal against any new homes drove you to argue against restoring a degraded creek. Your true colors shined brightly.

7/22/2006 7:27 PM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

Please, do elaborate and cite any references and other facts about these allegations:

"location that has been developed for centuries"

"mostly in a concrete channel"

"washing out Las Positas Road"

"carries filth from the former City landfill under Elings Park"

"argue against restoring a degraded creek"

And also post the comment with your real name. I do. And feel free to bring these allegations to the City Planning Commission when the Veronica project comes up for their deliberation and cross-examination.

Numerous comments above and elsewhere at Blogabarbara complain that the speakers at the Restore the News-Press rally last Tuesday, and the staff news conference the prior Friday, were too much in favor of housing projects and pro-housing policies. Then, other comments complain that some of the organizers, or just me, are supposedly too much against housing. So which is it?

Instead, maybe the rally was about journalistic integrity and the need for building back the wall between opinion and news in the news content? Maybe the rally was about exactly what they all said it was about? Maybe attacking the messengers (with these housing theories) is a routine way to distract from the facts that are too stubborn to avoid about the sinking credibility of the News-Press?

7/22/2006 11:35 PM  
Anonymous Lucas Els said...

Maybe YOU could eleborate on those issues, since you are on the creeks commission. I saw you on TV recently for a hearing on a project next to Arroyo Burro Creek, and it was clear you were taking GREAT pains to try to kill the project.

It seems that you could easily dispel any critisism that you and the other organizers are too pro-housing by pointing out all that you are doing to STOP housing,

7/23/2006 10:07 AM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

If a posting and comments about the proposed Veronica project is desired, this should be a separate topic by the blog host.

I do not know how I could elaborate on allegations that are false. In your prior anonymous comment you made those claims I quoted in my previous comment above, so please explain why they are true, and from where you derived the information.

Nothing said during the Park Commission and Creeks Committee joint 4-hour meeting held on 11 July (and shown on City TV) was about the proposed housing in that under review through the City review process.

On 15 July, I explained the reasons and background on the arroyo setback in a comment posted about their article in the blog forum by Santa Barbara Daily Sound newspaper:

I also said lots about that during the many City government meetings on that proposed project. If I wanted to "kill the project" I would not have made the motion that passed unanimously to allow an exception for the proposed road extending north of Alan Road to be allowed to dip into the 100-ft. arroyo setback.

Anyway, I am not going to debate that proposed Veronica project here; that is why we have City government meetings.

7/23/2006 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara--- can this not be a forum for specific individuals to argue among themselves---maybe Pritchett should have his own website?

The issue is the integrity of the newspaper and the journalistic freedoms of those who still work for it; getting into the egos and motives of others really detracts from that....

7/23/2006 12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are there cancer-causing chemicals in the dump beneath Elings Park? I wouldn't want my child to play in a park on a toxic waste site. Is the Veronica project near the park?

3/23/2007 12:20 PM  

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