Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, February 27, 2006

Wilshire Blvd, Jr. is a Much Better Sound Bite

I got to hand it to Joe Guzzardi for participating on the blog yesterday. We've now had Das and he post here and I think that is a good thing. One of our Anons beat me to it but I got to give Joe a hard time about his quote today -- this has got to be the quote of the week from The Guzz on the Berkus project:

"My opinion of Berkus is, he is like a wolf," said Joe Guzzardi, a Samarkand resident, candidate for supervisor, and vice president of the Allied Neighborhood Association, which opposes the project. "You know how they mark their territory. He is just going around Santa Barbara and urinating on different pieces of property with his monstrosity architecture that doesn't fit and is too big."

Not a great quote for someone running for supervisor...especially in conjunction with the wolf pun. Naomi Kavacs from CPA had a better one -- Joe should take notes and maybe she should run instead:

"Why not try to ascertain what the public thinks of the uptown business district's potential for becoming a well-designed northern gateway to Santa Barbara, marked by reasonably sized buildings, unobstructed mountain views, pedestrian-friendly open spaces, and manageable traffic patterns?" asked Naomi Kovacs, executive director of the Citizens Planning Association. "The alternative is for outer State Street to become a plugged-up arterial -- Wilshire Boulevard Jr., as it were, without comparable cultural attractions."

Sunday, February 26, 2006

City College Dorms

City College has been in the news quite a bit lately and we haven't touched on it at all yet here at Blogabarbara.

Glem Mowrer's piece this morning outlined their plans for a 514 bed "dormitory" on Loma Alta and parking spaces near Garvin Theater will crowd and already existing Cliff Drive and Castillo exit. Compound the agreeement with Indiana University and CalTrans' seeming inability to fix the Cabrillo exit in the mix and we've got traffic.

Should community colleges outreach so far past their region? We have a great community college, is growth the only answer to their success?

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Cycle Race a Contradiction?

An excerpt from Wired News:

Amgen, the maker of Erythropoietin, the banned substance that's the scourge of cycling, is the unlikely sponsor of the Tour of California, the prestigious race currently underway in the Golden State.

Performance-boosting Erythropoietin, or EPO, is the No. 1 target of the World Anti-Doping Agency and the sport's big skeleton in the closet. The group has openly questioned Amgen's motives for sponsoring the Tour. In a November 2005 statement, WADA asked, "What sort of message does this send to our athletes?"

But the drugmaker doesn't see a contradiction in its sponsorship of a major cycling event.

"We think sponsoring the Tour is completely in line with our mission," said Mary Klem, spokeswoman for biotech firm Amgen. "We're using the event as a forum to warn against blood doping and (to) tell everyone how dangerous and unhealthy it can be for both professionals and amateurs."

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Supe Websites and The Flag

There's been some chatter in the comments of late about Das Williams having a flag behind him on the blog his father made for him -- so I decided to check out all the Supervisor candidates websites for myself. See The Das Blog and you'll notice it's not like the flag takes up the whole site. Williams' Dad also seems to be a master at meta tags -- try Googling (unless you think the Bush Administration will find out) Guzzardi's or Wolf's name and Williams' site link is the top spot.

Joe Guzzardi has a flag behind him too on his website and it's pretty much the whole banner. Here's the website for The Guzz.

Best campaign site? By far, it's Dr. Dan Secord's which is replete with sweeping vistas and at least 5 different volunteer forms. It's the only site where you can donate online, too.

Wolf and Zandona do not seem to have sites as of yet.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Sheriff Anderson's Diversion

Hannibal once said, "we will either find a way or make one".

It seems Sheriff Anderson has taken that to heart in his effort to get past the Sheriff Council mess he got himself into. Saying a "politically motivated" FBI agent triggered an investigation into a scuffle between two members of the Sheriff's Council" is like saying "Gee -- if Linda Dozer hadn't said anything about this, you wouldn't know about it".

As our Distirct Attorney said this morning in the News-Press: "Jim's a little off-base there."

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Clean Campaign Talk

Council Member and Supervisorial candidate Das Williams called for a clean campaign yesterday and it's already been described herein by anonymous commenters as him having chutzpah?

What's great about putting yourself out there like this is that if he doesn't run a clean campaign he will be clearly out of integrity -- you would think his opponents would be happy for him to set himself up like this.

Please -- watch the tone and tenor of your comments here. For some reason, the 2nd District as a topic has been going south right away -- let's take it easy!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Gov't Likes to Grow

The North County Trio of Centeno, Gray and Firestone want to to look at moving the county seat to north county -- yikes. Then again, maybe I could find a parking spot near the library now -- where did Firestone get $300 million as a valuation for the Admin Building? Was one recently done? That sounds like a lot.

Who will run?

One of the stories these days not making the papers is the fact that no one is maneuvering to run against Supervisor Centeno in the North County.

While so many of us here at BB kvetch about what Das, The Guzz and Wolfe are doing (rumour has it -- Keith Zandona from the Surfrider Foundation is now running too)-- this important North County seat looks as if it will go unchallenged.

That's just wrong on so many different levels...

BTW -- here's a link to a Citizens Planning Foundation web-based candidates forum with lots of info on the 2nd District candidates.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Visioning Committee and Housing

Is Travis right? Is this non-BOS, Brown Act-free committee a sham for tearing up Goleta and Noleta agricultural land in favor of high density housing? Is it "smart growth" gone awry?

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Das Does What He's Gotta Do, Too

Is The Guzz right? Is $25,000 from one person 'obscene'? That's a big chunka change! As the Slugger said -- you gotta do what you gotta do.

Is it so early in the campaign the voters won't remember this? Do they care? Does this give Das a boost?

The surreal nature of the second district race continues to rear it's ugly head...

You Do What You Have To Do...

Mayor Marty "The Slugger" Blum probably said it best this morning in a newspaper article on Council Member Falcone's massive spending on the November city council race:
"She obviously had to raise that much money to get elected," Mrs. Blum said. "You have to do what you have to do to get elected."
The $81,000 that News-Repress reporter Josh Molina pointed at was only the surface. If he had dug a little deeper, he could have talked about what it would take for the police association to saturate television for several weeks --- this pushes the number to well over $100,000.

Now that it's over -- you can tell the tone of quotes from former opponents of Falcone have gone down precipitously. Are they serious about finance reform? -- let's see a plan and talk about it here.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Online Permit Notification

County Planning has announced an online permit notification service via email --- sign up for your zip code at

Kudos to County Planning -- this is a good idea and helps create transparency.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

SBIFF Good for Santa Barbara?

There's bound to be a letter to the editor in the next week reeking of isolationism saying the Santa Barbara International Film Festival isn't good for Santa Barbara.

While the paparrazi surrounding George Clooney and Naomi Watts may not seem very Santa Barbara to many of us -- I like the film festival and it certainly brings in business during what would normally be a slow month in town.

If you are one of those locals that hasn't gone -- try it out. Here's a nifty schedule of movies at EdHat that gives you a description of the movie when you roll over the name with your mouse.

Neighborhood Myth and Noleta

Interesting opinion piece in The Independent this week by Mickey Flacks on neighborhood preservation and she makes a good point that the 2nd District race may be contextualized within the state-mandated affordable housing grab in the Noleta/Goleta Valley.

Her piece is probably best summed up by the following quote:
What is now being debated, however, is not any particular development, but the very concept of putting higher density, low- and moderate-income housing in any Noleta neighborhood. People in a neighborhood should be informed and consulted about changes that might take place in their neighborhood, but those residents owe to the larger Neighborhood an understanding of overall community needs. They should be judging those projected developments not only in terms of their neighborhood, but in recognition of the concerns of the South Coast Neighborhood — and the many other neighborhoods it contains. What is really at stake is not “neighborhood preservation,” but the diversity of the Neighborhood’s population and its quality of life.

Related to this opinion piece is Coalition for Sensible Planning President Gary Earle's quote in the News-Press that he's worried the "Visioning Committee" is working backwards while the committee's chair says that he's only doing his job if everyone's a little uncomfortable and you have the makings of a big fight that isn't getting much attention from Joe Public.

Noleta needs representation now.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

St. Athanasius Orthodox Church

Tuesday night during the state of the union, everyone was talking about Bush's "laundry list" -- trickle down on Wednesday to Cecilia Brown, 2nd District Planning Commissioner on what might be a hot issue for the second district in Noleta:

As quoted in the News-Press:"On Wednesday, Ms. Brown read what she called a "laundry list" of concerns focused mainly on the design of the complex, which would include a 750-square-foot chapel, a 15,000-square-foot fellowship hall, a 2,800-square-foot administration building and 90,000 square feet of walkways and parking spread across 5 acres. The property, a strip with a relatively narrow entrance way, is perpendicular to Hollister."

The church is 30 feet away from Goleta city limits...this could get interesting. I'm glad they delayed the decision.