Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Agricultural Board of Review?

I couldn't find this on the city's web site, the phone book or past articles about the Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance....the mention of this new citizen committee showed up in an article in the News-Press today aabout the NPO (thanks for the anonymous tip in a previous comment).

Oh...perhaps they meant "Architectural". It can happen to the best of us -- but isn't this why we have editors review articles before they are printed?

It's also interesting to me that the Fiesta Rodeo got more press for alleged and possible animal abuses than ever before. Is there any reason for that?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh My! Don't tell me that Vlad Kogan is going to try to step into the shoes of Josh Molina.

Poor Vlad has NO IDEA of the major discrepancy between anAgricultural Review Board [no such thing] and the Architecural Review Board since his college had neither.

8/08/2006 10:00 AM  
Anonymous Valerio said...

Here are two short articles today by Vlad Kogan, the new News-Press reporter apparently covering the City government beat. Vlad graduated from UC San Diego a few months ago. Josh Molina covered the City for nearly 8 years, and was a local from the South Coast.

In the first article, notice the reference to the A in the City ABR, and in the second article his assumption that the Santa Barbara City police have any jurisdiction over animal cruelty at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, which is a State government facility with the County having jurisdiction, as deftly reported by KETY television last night when the County official declined to enforce the State law:

Council to address housing size issue

Vladimir Kogan

August 8, 2006 12:00 AM

After years of debate and acrimony, the Santa Barbara City Council will consider tonight whether to adopt restrictions limiting the size of remodeled homes.

Despite many public meetings and discussions, city planners have failed to build a consensus about how best to update Santa Barbara's Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance.

The issue has split the community, pitting property rights activists, who say building decisions should be left up to expert boards, against longtime residents upset over what they see as the so-called "mansionization" of the city.

The council must decide whether to approve a formulaic approach to housing standards and adopt rules that will limit the size of remodels to a percentage of the total area of each lot, a move backed the Planning Commission.

Opponents, including the Agricultural Board of Review, back a more flexible approach that would use the area ratios as a guideline.

The council also must decide whether the new rules should apply to houses larger than 7,500 square feet. The meeting begins at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

Animal rights activist says rodeo used electric prod
Vladimir Kogan
August 8, 2006 12:00 AM

Inoperative device found on premises, according to Fiesta spokeswoman

A local animal rights activist says she has footage that documents the use of electric prods at the annual Fiesta rodeo, in violation of state law.

"I think someone broke the law; it's been documented, and I would hope Animal Control would forward these charges to the District Attorney's Office," said Jolinda Hackett, who runs the Web site, a guide for the city's vegetarians and vegans.

Ms. Hackett says she was sitting in the stands at Saturday's rodeo when she noticed several workers using electric prods on cows waiting in the chute.

In addition to the prods, the use of which she said she caught on video, Ms. Hackett said she witnessed "a number of other abuses," including a cow being kicked in the head and a bull with a bloody, infected wound in place of a sheared-off horn.

Organizers of the rodeo, though they admit a prod was on premises, say it was never used.

"The rodeo officials were unaware that a stock contractor had a batteryless, inoperative 'hotshot' on premises; it had no power," said Jennifer Jimmerson, a spokeswoman for Old Spanish Days.

"As soon as the rodeo officials became aware, appropriate measures were taken."

Santa Barbara's Animal Control and Police Department could not be reached for comment.

California's penal code makes it illegal to use electric prods on rodeo animals while they're in the chute, unless doing so is "necessary to protect the participants and spectators of the rodeo."

The fine for violations is at least $500.

8/08/2006 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In other News Press Mess and Blunder news, the print edition today included a large by-line for a business story by Hildy Medina, when the actual author was Maria Zate, who routinely writes business articles about local real estate. {This article actually was about a prominent building downtown for sale at 104 W. Anapamu St., and was a fantastic advertisement for them with only partial news value, but that is another issue.)

The web site edition of the same story was changed at 7:39 this morning to correct the by-line to show Zate, but the end of the article with the email address still shows

And this is just a simple example of a series of errors. What factual details in the actual articles are incorrect as well?

Comments here at Blogabarbara would be good to point out all these errors as yet more symptoms of the growing News Press Mess.

And just who is the head news editor there? If Travis Armstrong declared he no longer is simultaneous publisher and editor, which I do not believe, so who supposedly is the chief news editor now?

8/08/2006 11:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Naw - it's to make sure the Council's hemp is up to par.

8/08/2006 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, you chase off obvious malcontents with decades of experience covering the city and the coverage is bound to improve, just like Wendy von Weaselstrong said.

8/08/2006 4:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the City has a hand in all of this, so that they can continue the unprofessional way they run this city. With the focus on the NP, who knows what the City is up to.

8/08/2006 6:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are these folks sober? That would be the City and the NP...

Sloppy and dishonest on both sides.

8/08/2006 7:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is the correction, in its entirety, that appeared at the Newspress web site:

August 9, 2006 12:00 AM


"A Tuesday report on Santa Barbara's Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance should have identified as an opponent the Architectural Board of Review.
This is type for corrections. This is type for corrections. This is type for corrections."


So the City ABR opposes the whole Ordinance?!?! Still no correction or update on what the Agricultural Board of Review thinks about the Ordinance!

8/09/2006 12:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yikes! They can't even get a correction correct! The point is that the city's review group is called Architectural Board of Review, not the "Agricultural Board of Review".

That correction reads like they simply just left the real ABR off the list of opponents of the all parts of the proposed complex Neighborhood Preservation Ordinance.

8/09/2006 7:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly, 6:35 -- dumb mistakes and botched corrections are part of a conspiracy! Travis would be proud.

8/09/2006 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The coverage of last night's hearing was somewhat accurate, except it lasted about 3 hours long, from about 7:15 to about 10:30, with a brief break, not the 5 hours mentioned. Nor was it "grueling" -- Kogan clearly has attended no other long Council hearings to call that one grueling! Dianne Channing was the chair of the NPO committee, not just a member; there was no full agreement on the supermajority and other parts of that item, one of 7 specific votes - that aspect wlll be referred to the Ordinance Committee for analysis.

And, although "most" who spoke were in opposition to regulations and preferred guidelines, it was probably 60-40 (I didn't count), because of the heavy advertising for attendance done by the "Citywide" group. Except for Channing, there was no mention of the other FAR/regulation proponents, including former mayor Sheila Lodge. Planning Commissioner White is Harwood White (not his nickname "Bendy" - I thought the NP had gone in the direction of formality rather than referring to peole by their nicknames!)

It seems odd why in what is supposed to be a news story, Kogan feels impelled and the editor allows or maybe encourages quotes from non-participants such as the president of an urban planning consultancy.a private national planning firm (the firm was mistitled: it's proper name is Lane Kendig, Inc. Would seem to be a definite mix here of editorializing in the news.)

And as for the sub headline, "critics say rules will create an exodus of families," I hope the NP (or another medium) will follow up on this and see if there is such an exodus ("exodus" - a mass departure of people.) Somehow, I doubt it. There've already been departures of some on the Mesa because of mini-mansions being built towering next to them, but an exodus because housing sizes are kept to a maximum of 2,700 ft on a 6,000 sq ft lot (and larger houses for larger lots) seems not likely to happen.

What was notably lacking in the coverage were the individual items voted on - and especially lacking was a mention of the tone of the hearing and the Council. This has been a very long, very contentious process, but what was truly encouraging for the future was that there was no contention on the Council, each with different points of view and backgrounds, but a genuine effort to problem solve for the good of the city as a whole, rather than individual property owners. (Would that same attitude were extended to the Cottage - vs - Riviera/Bungalow Haven issues!!)

Although a compromise - many strongly prefer a lower FAR, It's a big win for the neighborhoods, helping preserve what is left. Although there's a way to go before it becomes part of the formal city code, having to go before the Ordinance Committee, then the ABR and, I think, the P.C., before coming back to the Council, it's very encouraging and makes those several years of committee meetings worth while.

8/09/2006 8:37 AM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

Why did the Vlad treatment of the NPO decision by City Council interject some egghead purported expert who knows nothing about Santa Barbara?

Surely in a four hour meeting, something lively and colorful was said to fill the space in the article besides an unknown pontificator confirming that real estate prices are getting higher.

Actually, the coverage of this in the Daily Sound today is quite good, especially to explain what exactly was decided by the City Council and how they did it. Their one and only full-time reporter there is figuring out how to write up a long-term complex story so the readers can understand it, and all in 500 words.

Unfortunately, the Daily Sound web site does not have text that can be extracted and pasted in places like this. Their web site requires Internet Explorer for a Windows computer only. And their text of some articles has not been keep current for a few weeks now.

Anyway, readers should compare the Daily Sound version of the story versus the Vlad-Travis view of the same story. And who knows if the Independent will devote much space to this on Thursday?

8/09/2006 10:14 AM  
Blogger passing-by said...

I second the appraisal that as City Council meetings go, the NPO review was less than "grueling". The cub-reporter's lack of background colors the whole story... chances are he had no clue who Sheila Lodge is and he makes no mention of Bill Mahan, whose support for FAR requirements was remarkable and, in my view, carried great weight with both the Planning Commission and the City Council. Instead, the cub-reporter interviews someone who played no part in the whole process. And he quotes extensively from a pro-big house speaker whose tone during his presentation was the most uncivil, disrespectful, counter-productive and down right stupid ("Don't be mad at me now, Marty.") I have ever heard at a public hearing.

8/09/2006 10:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Daily Sound blog with story on NPO-

8/09/2006 1:52 PM  
Anonymous 1300 sf Homeowner said...

I am anxiously awaiting the "exodus" of all those "No FAR-red-badge"-wearing "stepford families" who packed the City Hall chamber last night, as they leave for Montana because they may not be able to triple the size of their homes for their 2.3 person families. What a charade. They bring new meaning to the term "NIMBY" fact, they want EVERYTHING in their back yards, and front yards too, the rest of the neighborhood, city or region be damned.

So, if the insightful young VLAD KOGAN is right, the exodus is due to happen soon......

8/09/2006 6:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, all those pretentious people who now cannot build their McMansions are free to move out to Montana. Please do the rest of us a favor.

8/09/2006 11:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm guessing the rodeo is getting more attention because the alleged acts were caught on tape. See it here -

8/13/2006 2:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Building destroys our environment. Good for you for trying to stop it. Makes California and Santa Barbara good models for the rest of us.

8/15/2006 7:45 PM  

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