BlogaBarbara

Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, July 22, 2006

'I'm Running a Newspaper'....I'm a Decider

Under the headline, Santa Barbara a-buzz as newspaper becomes the news, the San Diego Tribune covered the Mess at the News-Press and even gave me a quote in the article....also quoted are Jeremy Tessmer from Arts & Letters, Marshall Rose from the Downtown Organization and our Mayor.

The Wendy is using a few more clichés than one would expect from an owner of a paper. It reminds me of Bush saying he's a "decider" -- what was up by the way with the impromptu backrub of the German Chancellor and the "cutting the Pig" references at a Middle East Summit? Anyway, back on topic...here's her quote from the SD Tribune:

Difficult decisions may not be popular. But I am not running a popularity contest. I am running a newspaper,” she said.

Later in the article -- we get this:
Agnes Huff, a public relations consultant hired by McCaw this week to respond to media questions, said about 1,000 readers have canceled their subscriptions over the flap. However, McCaw said that overall subscriptions are up 406 for the month of July (the newspaper reports it has a circulation of 41,000).

“While the vocal minority has tried to make a lot of noise, the quiet majority are clearly showing their support,” McCaw said.


Does this make me part of the Moral Minority? The subscription info is a little hard to believe -- and I have seen Noleta and Goleta driveways peppered with free newspapers for days. How could you lose 406 and then gain over 1,000 with such a small paper currently that doesn't even have an editorial section?

42 Comments:

Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

I read this article at their web site, link below. The article includes statements attributed to The Wendy, but they were "said through a
spokeswoman yesterday that she is pleased at the depth of support shown by loyal readers and advertisers, most of whom have stuck with the paper."

Of course, this is standard crisis management where the hapless and clueless instigator actually says nothing and the hired flak does the talking, or in this case, Huffing and puffing.

Obviously, their strategy is to ride out the storm and hope the public outrage dwindles with no more concern about The Wall.

http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/state/20060722-9999-1n22santabar.html

7/22/2006 10:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the article:
Even more troubling, many in Santa Barbara say, the editorials also took on a personal and vitriolic tone under Armstrong, who served as the paper's editorial writer before his recent promotion and has taken aim at many of the town's top political figures. “If you have a difference of opinion, that's fine, but say it in a civil way,” complained one observer, who writes the politically oriented Web log “Blogabarbara” under the pseudonym Sara De la Guerra.

Well, it is time to WALK YOUR TALK, sister Sara.
Congratulations. You can now set an example. Since you are against biased reporting that hides its sources, you'll only be breaking your own standards if you allow this article to use you as a source without giving your identity. Time to come out of the closet.

7/22/2006 12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara:

Is it possible to show the date as well as the time of a posting? The Indy blog site does that, and it makes it much easier to tell how current (or stale) a posting might be.

Thanks.

7/22/2006 3:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:10pm says...

We're still waiting for Sara to reveal herself as the source quoted in the article. Sara?

7/22/2006 5:27 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I don't think I would have posted the article if I wasn't...also, 3:31 -- we now have date as well as time of posting. I don't see how to do it in the comments section, however, but will figure that out.

7/22/2006 6:51 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Just figured it out...

7/22/2006 6:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Disagree with 12:10's comment. You HAVE identified yourself: Sara De La Guerra. Why isn't that enough, 12:10?

7/22/2006 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If Sara wants anonymity, I respect that choice. People get fired these days for blogging... of course, bosses have absolute authority to fire at will in the contemporary environment, and to slap gag orders on their employees. So anonymity has real value.

7/22/2006 7:49 PM  
Anonymous Never mind the blowhards said...

I actually appreciate and respect Sara's anonymity; she's not out there gunning for her fifteen minutes of fame like some others are in this News-Press debacle. I support the reporters who are fighting for their professional integrity. I don't support the blowhards capitalizing on the national and world-wide attention. Humility, people?

7/22/2006 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara has decided that double standards are OK!!! All hail Sara the decider.

7/22/2006 9:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So let me get this straight, Sara...you're publicly trashing an award-winning and courageous opinion writer, Mr. Travis Armstrong, and you're working a blog that specializes in rants against him. Meanwhile, you post his address on your blog, but hide behind a pseudonym.

Sad.

7/22/2006 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who cares who "Sara" is! This blog is about the rest of us anonymice. "Sara" is but the instigator of the comments or, rather, the host(ess) of the commenters. Thanks, Sara, aka "moon" in Mongolian.

7/22/2006 9:59 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

9:58 -- Where did I post Travis Armstrong's address? If it appears in a comment, I'll delete it as that's not right....I'm not clear what you are talking about.

I have no problems using a pseudonym -- and you obviously don't either. It has a long tradition with bloggers and even journalists. We only even knew who the poodle was just a few short years ago. The difference here is that I welcome other opinions -- even if I don't share them. It's part of having a conversation about these issues. I even occasionally let people tell me I have double standards as that's part of having a place where people can process the issues in our area are about.

7/22/2006 10:32 PM  
Anonymous Trevor Armstrong said...

What?? "Sara" is a pseudonym? Please cancel my subcriptio... uhh ..wait...I don't have a subscription...

7/22/2006 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, Sara, you did allow Travis' address to appear on this blog, and with all the angry comments that people are making about him, I thought that was heartless at least; dangerous at worst.

I am one of those environmentalists/slow-growth/sensible-planning believers, and I am just appalled by the hypocrisy that I have seen in the attacks on Travis. The guy is a champion to many, and he only had the temp publisher gig for a day before the anti-NP crowd started working on taking him down. In attending the rallies and listening to the "complaints", I have seen nothing of substance and recognize many of the "complainers" as being the usual suspects in the pro-density-at-any-cost-crowd. It's sad.

And while I recognize your right to anonymity, and feel protected by it myself, I have to point out the irony: you encourage and fuel activities to hurt another human being who is brave enough to take a stand against the establishment while having his personal identity FULLY EXPOSED, and all while you critcize his ethics while hiding your own identity. Yes, you have a right to do it, but you might think about taking a deeper look at that choice. You don't need to come out of the closet, but you might want to practice more fairness and compassion in your life. That is my unsolicited advice to you.

Anonymously yours,
a 2nd district resident with no government representative

7/23/2006 12:39 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

The post with the addresses is deleted now although the point the commenter made was a good one -- that getting a person's address is a bit too easy. AND that doesn't mean I need to publish them as they are not part of the story...

If any of you sees something like that again -- let me know! I review so many comments a day that it's easy to miss something....I am happy to review things like that.

7/23/2006 7:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad the address is removed, not that I am any supporter of Travis. Nor am I part of the so-called pro-density crowd. In fact, I tend to support much of the paper's animal rights/environmental stands - with exceptions, notably the emphasis on the feral pigs.

I know some "animal rights" people for whom, yes, Travis is a local hero but, although it is good there is a voice for the voiceless, it's unfortunate that voice dominates, eliminating any discussion. It's too true, however, that for true believers of anything there is no discussion of their beliefs.

What has been absolutely dismaying to me has been the nasty tone of the editorials. (I can't speak to what has been deleted/twisted in the "news" but assume that while Mr. Roberts was at work, efforts were made to have a professional paper. Certainly, it read that way to me. Now it does not.)

However, despite the professional news aspect, the editorial tone more often than not has been mean and petty, sometimes vicious, reveling in a "gotcha" even when they hadn't. As far as I was concerned, it cast a pall over the entire paper.

I am frankly mystified by the hatred for Mayor Blum and the extreme reverence for her predecessor, Ms. Miller. Except that Ms Miller tolerated no discussion, no backtalk and ran the kind of rigid ship that McCaw-Armstrong apparently like.

(It's sort of ironic even given the support for Indian gambling and that prison-lookalike building in Santa Ynez vs the land use preservation struggles of the larger surrounding communities plus the support for the local environment that the paper would not support Mrs Blum who's been a strong supporter of the city's natural environment and of "green" policies in general - not anything Harriet Miller ever was at least publicly enthusiastic about.)

I did not cancel my subscription because I believe one should support the local paper --- and how else get the news, especiallly since the Indy was weak on the news. That is, I have not cancelled yet, but am very close to doing so - it's simply not now worth the money: I can get state and national news in the LAT; it's unbiased local and area news, I want and which is missing.

Here's an instance, Bayard Stockton who ran a community-important series of talks bringing national and foreign representatives to City College adult ed, including, I add, Jerry Roberts, died suddenly on Friday. Bayard was well-known in the community, but no particular friend to the local newspaper management.

There's been not one mention of his death that I've seen in the paper --- today's front page features with 3 photos the ash scattering by the parents of the Los Angeles UCSB student killed June in LA. ...

But I'll hold on to my subscription a little longer, wondering how it is supporting the newsroom staff if one cancels receiving what they write? ...But I'll sign the yellow card, if I find one or download from their site, savethenewspress.com.

7/23/2006 9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara needs to remain anonymous--here's why: 1) this is a small town and we interact in all different ways. If Sara was exposed we'd work hard to gain her favor. 2) What if we knew who Sara was...it could influence our opinion (good or bad) and our posting-- for example what if Sara worked for a developer, or was in government, or running for office or was a civic advocate for an issue we opposed? Would we be giving a nod of approval by posting? Or, worse, we would slant, or not post at all, for fear of economic, social or political retaliation?
I'm pretty new to this blog but I suspect it grew from the frustration of not having a public forum in which to express opinions. It seems to be working, the opinions seem diverse, and if Sara wants to continue to get up at 7AM to post discussion topics and edit threads, and the cost is anonymity, I say that's a small price for forum for freedom of ideas (including apparently blasting her). Furthermore, if someone wishes to start a blog that requires factual signatures,I bet Sara will post the location here and those who are attracted by that structure will follow. As for me--just sign me off as a very opinionated but hidden Anonymous

7/23/2006 10:00 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Thanks 10:00 AM -- I couldn't have said it better myself.

7/23/2006 10:24 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

May Bayard Stockton rest in peace -- a good man who was active in the comment section here at BlogaBarbara. I received an email from him right after the News-Press Mess began with a possible community post on a topic I had literally just posted -- I would have rather posted his instead....

7/23/2006 10:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The post with the addresses is deleted now although the point the commenter made was a good one -- that getting a person's address is a bit too easy. AND that doesn't mean I need to publish them as they are not part of the story...

If any of you sees something like that again -- let me know! I review so many comments a day that it's easy to miss something....I am happy to review things like that.


Your response is a joke and thinly veiled. It's been there for days. I like the positive plug towards the poster. Protecting your fellow mobsters. I love how you use the busy excuse again when it suits you. It's not that you are busy, it's that you are biased.

BTW: "Part of me is ready to move on" from your bias issues, but you keep using the busy excuse in dumb places.

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


9:20am says:
I know some "animal rights" people for whom, yes, Travis is a local hero but, although it is good there is a voice for the voiceless, it's unfortunate that voice dominates, eliminating any discussion. It's too true, however, that for true believers of anything there is no discussion of their beliefs.


His voice certainly does not dominate the land-use/high-density issues. In fact, the Indy, where opinion is allowed throughout the paper, gets no flack (no pun intended) for being slanted toward pro-density-at-any-cost. Travis' editorials have been somewhat of a balancing force in that respect.

Also, I would hope that you would not jump into the assumption that all "true believers" won't discuss their beliefs. That's very closed minded thinking.


9:20am says:
What has been absolutely dismaying to me has been the nasty tone of the editorials. (I can't speak to what has been deleted/twisted in the "news" but assume that while Mr. Roberts was at work, efforts were made to have a professional paper. Certainly, it read that way to me. Now it does not.)


Can you cite any examples?

And if you don't like nasty tones in editorials, you probably steer clear of Nick Welsh, too. Right? (I happen to like reading Nick Welsh, and I love reading Travis Armstrong.)

7/23/2006 11:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have an idea who Sara is..she gives clues: she's 25, blonde and I think I saw her at the beach, or someone who looked just like her!

7/23/2006 12:38 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

11:34 pm -- you need to find time in your busy life to manage a blog and see if you can please everyone all the time. Everyone has bias but you've picked the wrong examples. Each and every time someone has pointed something out like this, I've reviewed it and actually done something about it. The Guzz editorial I missed but had a post right afterwards for instance...in the end, it is my blog and I will post what I want.

Still -- as I have made very clear, I am open to feedback, corrections and community posts. We aren't going to continue this conversation....if all you want to do is point out my bias, you've done it. If you want to continue -- make a saraisbiased.blogspot.com blog and have at it.

7/23/2006 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

CSP supporter said...
9:20am says:
What has been absolutely dismaying to me has been the nasty tone of the editorials. (I can't speak to what has been deleted/twisted in the "news" but assume that while Mr. Roberts was at work, efforts were made to have a professional paper. Certainly, it read that way to me. Now it does not.)

Can you cite any examples?"

Unfortunately, I can't - I did not save the papers and there have not been any editorials at all for weeks (except today's repeated from February.) It's not worth it to me to pay for archive access.

But as for comparing the poodle and Travis, Nick Welsh's column is his opinion, not that of the paper, I think, although it may be. It's a personal column rather than an unsigned editorial, often humorous, sarcastic and biting, at times, and always one man's opinion rather than the opinion of the newspaper.

The contest for best columnist always was between the Nick and Barney (Barney won several times - I thought Nick should have), not between the Poodle and the Editorial.

Even when not infrequently I've agreed with the point of the NP editorials, and often prefer them to those of Armstrong's predecessor, there's a whiff of sourness, of bitterness. I don't recall one where there was any apparently intentional humor - while the Poodle's droppings are often very funny. ...Can you imagine Travis using a dog psuedonym? ...I can't but if you can, which would he choose or which animal would he choose?

Somehow, the whole News-Press mess seems to revolve around Armstrong. Is that accurate?

Very sad about Bayard, a big loss to Santa Barbara. His Thursday evening presentations were often extraordinarily incisive on current events and always literate and civil. I'd go home afterwards thoughtful and grateful for having glimpses of different slants on world and sometimes local events. His list e-mailings, too, were a wonder. Very hard to believe he's gone.

7/23/2006 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

52 and blonde? Well, that explains it.

7/23/2006 5:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is a whole lot of nastiness among the no-growth groups... Sally Jordan's comment that the State of California is `like Hitler', Judith Ishkanian's comment that new housing projects are `ghettos', and Gary Earle's comment that new housing will be `crime ridden'. The last two I heard myself.

Additionally, the no-growthers yell and scream at public meetings at those who do not share their views... at the Goleta Community Center, a woman who pointed out the tax subsidy to homeowners known as the mortgage interest tax deduction was mercilessly heckled by the no-growth people.

It is simply not true that many who support new housing are puppets of developers. But by making the charge without evidence, the no-growthers reveal their own desire to cover their own pursuit of the almighty dollar... they have made far, far more money off the constriction of housing in this community than developers ever have. The no growthers feel absolutely entitled to the $100K to $200K per year they make off the escalation of their home value... when multiplied by the number of homes in the area, this amount of money is far higher than any money made by our greedy developers.

And the escalation in home value comes tax free to our no-growthers... due to Prop. 13. And they can pass the tax-free assessment on to their children and grandchildren, due to the successor propositions to Prop. 13.

But for all the monetary advantages the no-growthers get, they still shout and scream at those to oppose them. Support of that attitude is what turned me against Travis.

7/24/2006 4:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

25..TWENTY-FIVE..NOT 52 YOU LITTLE NUMBER SCRAMBLER, YOU! wENDY'S 52ISH AND THAT EXPLAINS NOTHING!

7/24/2006 9:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Additionally, the no-growthers yell and scream at public meetings at those who do not share their views... at the Goleta Community Center, a woman who pointed out the tax subsidy to homeowners known as the mortgage interest tax deduction was mercilessly heckled by the no-growth people.

The reason why Jennifer Mcgovern was not met with the highest of regards is her ties to development. She is a coordinator for the Goleta Housing Leadership Council. Who has funded it you ask?

http://www.scbeacon.com/beacon_issues/2002-11-28/Housing.shtml

"McGovern acknowledged the housing council has been funded so far by Bermant Development Co."

And who's on the Board of Directors? Craig Zimmerman of the Towbes Group.

It is simply not true that many who support new housing are puppets of developers.

Whether that's true or not, your example, Jennifer Mcgovern, is definitely a puppet.

The no growthers feel absolutely entitled to the $100K to $200K per year they make off the escalation of their home value... when multiplied by the number of homes in the area, this amount of money is far higher than any money made by our greedy developers.

Yes, but spread over thousands of more people as opposed to a handful. Would you rather it be the other way around? I got news for ya, EVERYBODY feels entitled to the equity that they make off of their home, not just no-growthers.

Note to Sara: if you are debating whether or not to post this, think about the comments made and the names mentioned towards the "no-growthers" in their post.

7/24/2006 4:51 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

The only thing I hesitate with is calling her a puppet...a little harsh. Let's try other wording next time, hunh?

Thanks,
Sara

7/24/2006 5:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous 4:48 pm said:
"There is a whole lot of nastiness among the no-growth groups... Sally Jordan's comment that the State of California is `like Hitler', Judith Ishkanian's comment that new housing projects are `ghettos', and Gary Earle's comment that new housing will be `crime ridden'. The last two I heard myself.
Additionally, the no-growthers yell and scream at public meetings at those who do not share their views..."

This is what caused me to be suspicious of CSP -- I attended -- out of curiosity -- a meeting at the Goleta Community Center two years ago, called by CSP to try to incite (unsuccessfully) a movement to recall Susan Rose. They were so bombastic and nasty and so distorted information and treated the audience as children, that I came away convinced that the CSP were front men/women for the dirty tricks wing of the Republican Party. I have since retreated a bit from this viewpoint and figured that maybe they are just angry, vicious and clueless about how to affect people. I have also heard from others who have tried to hold some sort of dialogue in public meetings (eg. The Sustainability Group, the Goleta Plan Group, to name two) about how CSP is rude, loud, and disruptive, prevents others from speaking and distorts and falsifies information. They either are indeed completely clueless or have some sort of unspoken agenda that includes preventing dialogue and civic participation and trying to win issues by shouting down those who do not agree with them.

On another topic, did anyone catch the "debate" between Brooks Firestone and someone I'm not familiar with about "compromise on developing the Gaviota Coast" (at least as reported on KCET)? I had a conflict could not attend and looked for some information the next day in the New Supress, but there was none. What interested me was
(1) the very concept that there is a "compromise" in the developing of this lovely and last pristine stretch of coastal land (I had thought that after much study, it was agreed that private parties would be able to keep it from development [led by Travis Armstrong's/Wendy's opposition to Federal protections -- highly suspicious in light of the current attempts to encroach on the agreements]) and (2) the fact that the "debate" was sponsored by the very right wing Young America Foundation, that owns the Reagan Ranch and seeks to transform schools, colleges, and journalism to right-wing thinking. One wonders why they are getting involved in land issues in Santa Barbara and why they are trying to promote a "compromise" that is a fatal retreat from previous preservationist determinations. Anyone have any more information on this?

7/24/2006 7:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know who McGovern is, I was referring to Shirley Smith, a friend of mine who has since moved away; she was ruthlessly catcalled. Neither she or I have any connection to any developers. She is a gentle person, and that incident turned me hard against my fellow homeowners who fight for no-growth.

Whoever says it, one thing is still true: the huge majority of homeowners on the South Coast got their homes through government subsidy... the mortgage interest tax deduction. And their Cachuma water was provided with interest-free loans from the US Government, another subsidy.

Nobody forced Sally Jordan to compare the State of California to Hitler. Nobody forced Judith Ishkanian to call new housing ghettos. Nobody forced Gary Earle to denigrate crime in new housing. These are educated, privileged people who should know better. They've showed what kind of metal they're made of.

Homeowners who garner great profits off of housing value escalation are equal to developers who profit from housing development. Both feel they earn their money. Both are greedy and both destroy our community... developers by not supporting excellent infrastructure that would maintain this community's quality of life, and no-growthers by destroying the local middle class so that our community will turn into low wage slaves servicing affluent equity-protectors, and no-one else.

7/24/2006 8:09 PM  
Anonymous Noleta place like home said...

Judy, Sally and Gary were not fully quoted above. The context of what they said was left out. They are brave people who simply want to see Santa Barbara continue to be a great place to live. They are direct and honest unlike our politicians and soft-spined representatives who candy-coat and mince their words to keep everyone comfortably numb.

...and as for the developer puppets -- they are out there -- maybe that other poster was not referring to Jennifer McGovern, but JM is an example of a developer puppet that has attended public meetings and advocates for density. There are plenty more.

Whomever Shirley Smith is, well it's too bad if she felt heckled at the meeting, but if we are thinking of the same meeting, then there is more to the story. Much more. In October 2004, Susan Rose called a meeting at the Goleta Valley Comm. Center and the crowd was pretty flustered at Ms. Rose. So what?????? That's public comment. Ms. Rose tried her best to calm people down, and she had brought planning staff to spout numbers and give reports. But, basically, the people were angry because the bottom line was not changing:

In spite of all the public input, Susan Rose was trying to push high-density projects in Noleta. People were just fed up with the propaganda, and taking this chance at a public meeting to let Rose know that we wanted her to stop pushing development agendas and START REPRESENTING THE PEOPLE OF NOLETA WHO HAVE NO OTHER REP!!!!.....if your friend Smith got up to the mic and started wagging about prop 13, the crowd was probably not in the mood for it. It takes courage to stand up and have your say, and sometimes the feedback is not positive -- especially when it's coming from a group of people who are fed up with being disregarded by THEIR OWN REPRESENTATIVE.

7/24/2006 11:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not hear Sally Jordan, so I cannot speak to the context. I did hear the other two, and I think the quotes do accurately capture their context. Shirley only made two points, very quietly: that once the middle class could afford housing around here, and that most everyone had benefited from the mortgage interest tax deduction. That's all.

The tactics of the no-growthers alienate many fair and reasonable people here on the South Coast. Whatever mood people are in, that simply does not justify disrespect for other residents with different opinions. Shouting that everyone with a different opinion is a shill or a puppet is quite offensive. The word `development agenda' is an example; many people are simply uncomfortable with the `shut the door and kick new people down' argument of the no-growthers, because unless your descended from the Chumash, you were once a new person in this neighborhood. Many people know of the government subsidies that supported the development of this area... from the San facilities built by the Marines to Cachuma to the mortgage interest tax deduction, and are uncomfortable with the harsh, anti-government attitude of the no-growthers, who got theirs, and now are harshly contemptuous of an open spirit to other middle class people.

All the subsidies from the government, and no-growthers say they are ignored by their government? What a mean-spirited, small-minded rant. Pure selfishness.

7/25/2006 4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only thing I hesitate with is calling her a puppet...a little harsh. Let's try other wording next time, hunh?

Thanks,
Sara


Got it. What about:

"nastiness"
"bombastic"
"dirty tricks wing of the Republican Party"
"angry, vicious and clueless"
"rude, loud, and disruptive, prevents others from speaking and distorts and falsifies information"
"completely clueless or have some sort of unspoken agenda"

Are those bad as well? It's hard to know where the bar is on this blog. Is it because one is about a person with reference to an organization, and another an organization with reference to a person?

7/25/2006 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Noleta place like home said...

To 4:51am,

Talk about a small-minded rant. You're acting out plenty of those right here on this blog. I suggest you relax and get some sleep.

At this point, I don't know which meeting you are referring to (you don't use dates) -- because Jordan referenced "hitler" in May of this year, and the "shame on you who take tax deductions while resisting upzoning" speech was given in Octboer of 2004. People were pretty fired up at the October fest, but that was a crowd of consituents addressing Susan Rose, who arranged the meeting. Other meetings have been very calm. It's been two years since there's been that kind of heat at any of those meetings. Noletans started getting some respect themselves, and dialogue has gotten more civil. So, 4:51am, in the interest of letting this rift in the housing debate have a chance of healing, let's try to be more accurate and listen better. An important note:

"no-growth" is the wrong term
Organized groups such as CSP have used the terms "sensible planning" and "slow-growth."

Get some rest.

7/25/2006 9:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, what housing does CSP and HDF support? Any specific examples, for example plots of land where they support building of housing?

Where can I find recognition from CSP and HDF that they have benefitted enormously from government subsidies? Do they have a simple argument why they deserve government subsidies, but others do not? Can you refer me to it?

I heard Judith Ishkanian on the radio with Travis Armstrong in June of this year. I would characterize her comments as harsh. She said nothing along the lines of `yes, I benefitted enormously from government subsidies. In fact all the equity growth in my home was made possible by the government construction of reservoirs on the north side of the Santa Ynez, which are of course, non sustainable, as they will silt up within 100 years. But I think other people should not benefit from government help, and their resource usage should be sustainable, because...'

Cannon Green is 10 units/acre, built in the 1970's and 1980's. Do CSP and HDF characterize that as a ghetto, and as crime ridden?

7/25/2006 10:05 AM  
Anonymous school bored said...

Today's English lesson:

Main Entry: pup·pet
Pronunciation: 'p&-p&t
Function: noun
Usage: often attributive
Etymology: Middle English popet youth, doll, from Middle French poupette, diminutive of *poupe doll, from Vulgar Latin *puppa, alteration of Latin pupa
1 a : a small-scale figure (as of a person or animal) usually with a cloth body and hollow head that fits over and is moved by the hand b : MARIONETTE
2 : DOLL 1
3 : one whose acts are controlled by an outside force or influence
(from www.m-w.com)


Today's Math lesson:

+1,406 new subscriptions
-1,000 cancelled subscriptions
========================
+406 net total

in other words, 406 MORE subscriptions than you had before!!

I really hope this clears things up for everyone!!

7/25/2006 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Noleta place like home said...

OK, what housing does CSP and HDF support? Any specific examples, for example plots of land where they support building of housing?
Many properties in Noleta still have zoning that would allow some growth. Tatum property is one of them. CSP has said that they would support development there under the current zoning which would allow 65-75 units on that entire parcel, (leaving room for parks and greenspace). What they are against is any upzoning. That would result in 300++ units on that same parcel. That IS a scenario that is/was being considered by the current development company that the school board has hired.

Where can I find recognition from CSP and HDF that they have benefitted enormously from government subsidies?
In fact, equity does not equal monetary gain unless you cash out (leaving you without that home), or if you take out an equity loan, which is still something you have to pay back. If you are referring to the fact that any homeowner is allowed to use their mortgage interest as a deduction, it's safe to assume that most people do that. I don't think anyone would deny that.

Do they have a simple argument why they deserve government subsidies, but others do not? Can you refer me to it?
It's the high-density growth and impacts that they are against, not helping people with subsidies. "Subsidy" is a general term that gets dragged into the argument and muddies up the issue. Preserving the environment and keeping the quality of life are the main objectives. And they advocate for all communities to keep local control when it comes to major development decisions.

I heard Judith Ishkanian on the radio with Travis Armstrong in June of this year. I would characterize her comments as harsh. She said nothing along the lines of `yes, I benefitted enormously from government subsidies. In fact all the equity growth in my home was made possible by the government construction of reservoirs on the north side of the Santa Ynez, which are of course, non sustainable, as they will silt up within 100 years. But I think other people should not benefit from government help, and their resource usage should be sustainable, because...'
I didn't hear her say that either, and can't imagine why she would. Does this imagined answer even apply to a question she was asked, or are you just wishing?

Cannon Green is 10 units/acre, built in the 1970's and 1980's. Do CSP and HDF characterize that as a ghetto, and as crime ridden?
I don't know where that is. The point is that placing lots of dense, cheap housing in one area without adequate services and environmental concerns creates the conditions from which ghettos can be formed. It's setting up a neighborhood for a degraded future. It's better FOR EVERYONE to scatter the affordable units throughout desirable areas. (But remember, affordable units don't have to be NEW units, or even owner-occupied).

7/25/2006 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, there is no evidence that CSP or HDF consider that:

1)they have benefitted from the largesse of *other taxpayers* both local and national, in the form of the mortgage interest tax deduction (not available to renters) and federal subsidies for water and sewage. With this benefit comes a responsibility to consider the needs of others.

2)Their own members cause traffic and environmental degradation. An obvious way to maintain the good environment on the South Coast is if *everyone* improves their lifestyle to move away from the LA lifestyle: use the car less, use local native plantings, reduce water consumption, reduce landfill usage, etc. HDF and CSP never call on *their own membership* to do these things, but point a finger at the degradations that might come to pass if new residents behaved just like HDF and CSP members.

3)Densities of 10 units/acre already exist in this area... Cannon Green is one example... and are neither ghettos nor environmental disasters.

4)Home ownership is an aspect of the American Dream since WWII.

5)Home ownership near employment results in overall environmental benefits... less car miles overall, better involvement of workers in their community, among others.

6)Building Contractors (not developers) have raised their rates mercilessly... citing raw materials competition with China, and just about everything they can. I don't think development at 3 units/acre at Tatum results in units affordable to the middle class. Given that Cannon Green is fine at 10 units/acre, why not go up to 230 units or 10 units/acre at Tatum? Cannon Green is intermingled with standalone single family units on their own plots (across Cannon Green Drive).

7/26/2006 9:31 AM  
Anonymous kelly said...

responding to 9:31am...

I am a big supporter of CSP and I gladly acknowledge that:

1. I deduct my mortgage interest when I file my taxes.

2. I drive a car and use water and resources like everyone else.

3. Density already exists within my neighborhood (no parks though). We also do happen to have a lot of gang activity in the neighborhood, and their have been drug-related violent crimes including a murder within the last couple of years.

4. Homeownership is part of the American Dream. So is freedom and responsibility and diversity and tolerance.

5. Job location and home being nearby is ideal, but not the only factor in deciding where to live. I do not wish to move everytime I or my spouse changes jobs. We would have to determine which job to move closer to even if we did practice that behavior. Then, if kids are involved, changing schools everytime there is a job change would create even more chaos.

6. Tatum is an interesting case, because the most EXPENSIVE part of housing here is the land. In the case of the Tatum property, the school district (public) already owns the land. Whats wrong with building less dense, desirable homes and making them available for the teachers? Build less, and carve out a large chunk for a park and reserve. Of course, there will still be impacts on the area, but far far less than a high-density 230+ complex would have.

7. CSP members that I talk with definitely understand and consider all these factors. There our some honest and sincere people leading that group.

7/26/2006 1:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kelly, that is refreshingly honest... the first CSP/HDF supporter I've heard who acknowledges that they too have impacts on the environment and local quality of life.

Still... no response to an important aspect of this... why can't the impacts of *all of us* be considered by CSP/HDF, and why can't those organizations support non-LA car and lifestyles so that the environment becomes better for *everyone*? Instead, there is a relentless focus on the impacts of new people, and a blindspot to what we could all do to keep our quality of life while accomodating some new people.

Some specifics: a lot of people live in Camarillo or Santa Maria and commute to the South Coast here. This is not a `lifestyle choice' as some on this blog have stated, but an economic necessity. I think that distance is unhealthy for at least two reasons: 1)auto impacts, like pollution, global warming, and pressure on world oil production causing destruction in places like Nigeria and Ecuador; 2)impacts on family life from the time spent commuting that is not devoted to family and community life.

Crime is everywhere on the south coast... a horrible death in Montecito a few years ago... cocaine related in the Montecito Inn, young woman with an older LA lawyer. And a little over 10 years ago a young man kidnapped and sexually abused by another young man in Hope Ranch... restauranteurs were killed in a single-family home neighborhood in Goleta a few years ago, and a gang drive-by shooting in El Encanto Heights a few years back too.... I do not think there is a correlation of serious crime rates with population density. Crime happens everywhere in all sorts of neighborhoods on the South Coast.

Certainly the Cannon Green development, 10 units/acre, has no special record of crime.

At 8 units per acre, I think local construction costs amount to $400K/unit. I think that is within the range of affordable for middle class people, just barely. Public entities like the school district must pay local prevailing constructions costs, which are driven up by all the rich folk on the Riviera and Montecito remodeling (when I go through those places I am amazed by the remodeling rate)... they cannot import a contracting crew from the high desert or Las Vegas who might be a lot cheaper, and maybe could do 4 units/acre at that cost.... but 4 units/acre is probably $600K at least, which I think is beyond the affordability range for the middle class here.

I'm not a developer, so I'm not really sure of these numbers. But that would be a good focus for a serious discussion... precisely what are the costs for various densities of development, and what are the long term needs of the school district? Unfortunately, I have not been impressed by CSP's discussions of the Tatum property, they make insincere comments focusing exclusively on the remuneration of the Tatum consultant. That issue might be improper, but the consultant is a small portion of the overall problem... teachers cannot live here, and that is bad for the community, the teachers, and the environment.

I would be much more impressed if the CSP honestly and sincerely researched serious tables of numbers for density and costs, and for the long-term demand by the school district. If they could show numerically that the school district and teachers would do fine at 3 units/acre, I'd go along with CSP. But that has not been the focus of CSP's arguments: they have pretty much practiced drive-by sniping at the school district.

And remember, again: 10 units/acre works fine at Cannon Green, since the 1970's.

7/27/2006 10:35 PM  

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