BlogaBarbara

Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Cabalista Barnwell the New Blum?

Our newest cabalista, SB Council Member Brian Barnwell, got skewered today by Travis Armstrong who got so low as to bring up a personnel matter related to Barnwell's wife when she was working for the News-Press.

Interesting that on Wake Up Wendy Wednesday this "opinion" piece comes out which used the words "free press" and "independent editorial voice" like Ampersand is being criticized without cause. He made a very clear attempt to play Barnwell off of Council Member Williams like Brian doesn't play well with others. Also, yet again -- Armstrong does his bit of revisionism and tries to make Barnwell a friend of developers. Much like with Blum, if you make an unfounded accusation enough times, it must be true. Rather than show proof of his accusations, Armstrong plays the ad hominem game like a pro and simply says that his proof has been recorded already in the News-Press. "Independent editorial voice" must be the theme of the week over at the News-Press. How Karl Rovian of them...

At the risk of being accused of being "moody and impulsive" by Mr. Armstrong -- I don't care if he expresses his opinion but I'd be much more willing to hear him out and respect his writings as just opinion if he backed it up with facts rather than invective. As I've said before, if things start changing on these counts -- I will be the first to acknowledge it.

Conversations he has had with people like Barnwell are hearsay and shows a lack of professionalism on his part -- as I doubt Barnwell was told that the conversation would be saved for future use. The dog-bite episode Armstrong says "raised questions"....well, with whom? Now Barnwell is a friend of developers -- well, where's the beef? Break it down for us! Bringing up Camee Cohee -- who was an excellent reporter -- and revealing her personnel file was another act of betrayal to the newsroom and to his readers. Are the reporters who are left at the News-Press to assume that they will be the subject of his ridicule someday on the editorial page? Does he himself have no ill will toward her or Brian because of their history? -- if so, he should acknowledge his bias. Today's editorial shows that he is not committed to eliminating bias from the newspaper.

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57 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aren't employees entitled to privacy regarding their personnel records locked in a HR vault?

McCaw demands confidentiality from departed employees through cease and desist threats, but has HR deliver employee personnel files to the opinion pages for public disclosure and berating?

Another needed clause in the coming union contract: private and confidential employee files cannot be turned over to newspaper writers as fodder for public attacks.

Armstrong in effect accuses Camie Barnwell of fraud and theft.

Isn't there legal protection, in the Labor Code, for this breach of the expectation of privacy by employees?

Ventura County Star Editor Howry was right--McCaw crossed the line.

Although McCaw thinks of her management as "war," even in war there is accountability for gross atrocities.

2/21/2007 9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The possibility of having my employee records outed to the public by Yolanda and Travis is enough to make me afraid of crossing McCaw further.

2/21/2007 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barnwell is brilliant. Taking on the News-Press while other public "leaders" cower is the best campaign strategy possible. Travis should be forced to file a donation finance report for giving Brian the big boost today.

2/21/2007 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very strange that he would use such private matters as HR information on sick/vacation time to his advantage... I don't know the law, but what did he possibly hope to accomplish by doing so. How do the current employees feel about this?

2/21/2007 10:18 PM  
Anonymous Sally Cappon said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

2/21/2007 10:26 PM  
Blogger George said...

First, has Travis Armstrong violated the California Information Practices Act by releasing information from Cohee's personnel file? If he managed not to break the law, he's certainly sunk to a new low, which isn't easy given his cheap-shot, innuendo-heavy, fact-lite history.

Second, I'm pretty sure Das Williams was at the News-Press protest today. I guess he's still really mad at Brian Barnwell....

2/21/2007 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Valerio said...

The dog that bit Barnwell a few years ago was later up for adoption to a better home instead of living on the street where Barnwell got bit.

I visited that same individual dog at an interim foster home. Barnwell may have exuded a vibe that aggrivated the dog, but I do not. Dogs like me. That same individual dog still bit my foot, sort of as an attempt at a friendly greeting. I was not amused.

In addition to getting bit on the arse then, Barnwell also was bit on the foot.

The same dog later underwent a temperment test and failed miserably, and then was put down because not adoptable.

Point is that anyone could have looked cross-eyed at that individual dog and got attacked.

2/21/2007 10:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cohee should sue Armstrong and the NewsPress for libel.

2/21/2007 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis is truly trying to create a man bites dog story here. I don't what the criteria for Barnwell inflaming a junkyard pit bull is, but I'm betting the threshold is pretty low. For example, look at how sensitve Wendy's personal junkyard dog, Travis, has become. Biting and snapping irrationally at shadows, he appears to have lost his tether. And apparently the irony of the publishing of internal personnel matters by a guy who screamed bloody murder when coverage of his very public arrest for DUI was printed is lost on the current leadership of the News Press. I think you would still have to be inside the troika (Wendy, TKA and Yoko, oh, I mean The Baron) to still believe this baloney. They are waaaaaaaaay through the looking glass now. The rest, Capello, Millstein and Huff, are just hired guns. They don't have to believe, and I doubt that they do, they just cash the checks and move on. You didn't have to be in the Plaza today to agree with the sentiments expressed there. It is a tragedy.

2/21/2007 10:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cohee showed huge pro-homeless bias. Good riddence. She was long overdue to get canned. Barnwell has sold out Santa Barbara too and is too clueless to even understand what and how he did it.

The Santa Monica Seven candidates -Falcone, Barnwell, Schneider and Williams are all going down this time. People are finally fed up with them. Put your ears out into the neighborhoods. You will hear ...backlash!

The People's Council of the People's Republic of Santa Barbara will be a sad chapter in our city's history. And we will be able to thank Wendy for making this happen. Thank you Wendy.

For once the new NewsPress will get it right at election time. And that is about time. The new NewsPress is getting it better and better every will sound very hollow when the next election comes around.

But agree, stick a sock in it Travis. There are so many more problems going on than just being stupid and petty about personalities.

That is just journalistic laziness. Get off your duff Travis and dig up the real stories that will bring it all down. They are out there. Why can't you sniff them out?

Quit hitting the hard stuff and get out more while you are sober, Trav.

2/21/2007 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Truth is a complete defense for libel. But not for invasion of privacy.

2/21/2007 11:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like Cohee got what she deserved. How about that?

There is another side here. It is not all just anti-Wendy and mocking her hired goon squad.

Bottom line, it is her paper. And she can do whatever she wants with it and for one, I think she is headed in the right direction.

Go Wendy. Just put a lid on Travis. He is bringing your good intentions down.

2/21/2007 11:21 PM  
Anonymous the True Cabalista said...

So do we now just repeat all the comments from a few months ago about Wrong-Way, Triple-Drunk Driving Armstrong?

Just provide the links and save us the time and typing.

2/21/2007 11:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Laws of entitle-ment allow our betters [those from Wendy world of course], to be above it all; truth, justice, the law, bill of rights, & humanity. the once vital NP newspaper has become the 'NP, the Wrath of Wendy' newsletter. Instead of 'all the news that's fit to print', it has become all the [fill in your own word] that's printed BECAUSE WE CAN. Don't worry Yoko Von and her sleep just fine at night, because she's right and everyone else is , well NOT . Will she be able to sue NLRB for $25 mil if they rule against her? BTW, if an ABC television can 'build' a complete new home in 7 days, what's the delay on the hearing results? The waiting is the hardest part.

2/21/2007 11:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Burning the books, Soviet style.

Where's Starshine?

http://imnotonetoblogbut.blogspot.com/2007/02/diversity-social-justice-yes-starshine.html

Ban the bias.

2/22/2007 5:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The straight news story about yesterday's demonstration from the Santa Maria Times:

http://www.santamariatimes.com/articles/2007/02/22/news/centralcoast/news10.txt

A story we will never see in our own "newspaper of record."

2/22/2007 6:09 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, you'd almost think Barnwell is up for reelection this year, by the spin on this blog and....oh wait, he is! So now he's trying to distance himself from his not-so-populist votes of the past year, and not be "cowered".
Hey, I'm as anti-newspress as the next guy, but pleaseeeeeee..........

2/22/2007 7:51 AM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

Since I don't buy the paper I don't usually see the editorials, but I came across this one at the laundramat. I was shocked at the revelations from the personnel file -- I don't know if it's illegal but it's not the way to do business. And all these personal attacks! This is just bizarre!

2/22/2007 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let me get this straight. Cohee goes whining she was fired because she printed Rob Lowe's address, yet she was screwing around with her own personnel records which got her fired?

If this is the case, then shame on Cohee for defrauding everyone with her self-concocted smoke screen alibi. This is exactly what Wendy has been saying all along - bias in reporting. First prize today goes to Camy Cohee Barnwell.

Cohee put her own personnel records into the public arena when she claimed she was blameless innocent.

Time to come clean about your personnel records Cohee, and stop hiding behind them. You are misleading a lot of people here who have good intentions.

Cohee: Did you or did you not defraud the NewsPress on your personnel records?

2/22/2007 8:27 AM  
Blogger Honor said...

I'd be beating feet to finding an employment law attorney for revealing my personnel file contents - which is illegal.

I wonder if many of the former employees could make a class-action suit, as I am positive other confidential material has been printed in the NP.

2/22/2007 8:36 AM  
Anonymous Jesse Chavarria said...

Camilla Cohee is a talented writer, an excellent journalist and a good and decent person. It was an honor to work with her at the News-Press and to help supervise her work as an editor. Her dedication, honesty, loyalty and integrity were quite evident on a daily basis.

2/22/2007 9:32 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

11;14 AM -- what a different approach than what we are used to seeing -- Travis' inebriation status, however, has little to do with him doing his job. No matter what I have to say about him -- I bet he is sober when he is working. Many people in our community have that issue -- and unless we find out otherwise, I'm not sure it's a valid reason for what he is writing about....

2/22/2007 10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:27,

Sounds like Wendy is finally getting a blogger. Also sounds like Travis is getting to be a liability for the Queen. But the difference between Cohee's personnel file and Rob Lowe's address is that Lowe's was on Television during a public hearing that disclosed his address on the screen and at which he spoke and in public documents. I guess using your star power to get what you need is okay, but publicity you cannot control is bad. Travis's arrest was also public record as any good reporter covering a police beat would know. Hey, I know you are little short on reporters who might know how to get that info, but you could look it up. I also love the irony of neighborhood protection being Travis's, and the one who holds his chain, new issue. Didn't Wendy try to deny the public and her neighbors access to "her" beach? Wasn't Rob Lowe annoying his neighbors in Montecito and at the beach with bullying tactics to get his developments pushed through? Doublespeak.

2/22/2007 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:21 "Bottom line, it is her paper. And she can do whatever she wants with it and for one, I think she is headed in the right direction.

Go Wendy. Just put a lid on Travis. He is bringing your good intentions down."
and also 11:14, praising the paper but attacking Travis.

Makes one wonder if TKA is next? --- and if he is fired will he receive community support?

As for the comments about the paper being improved, I wonder what they're comparing it with. It's a sad version of what it once was, the local paper of record.

2/22/2007 11:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Barnwell finally found his voice, but it's a little too late for this former planning commissioner to now bemoan the overdeveloped mess he's helped create. And now he's going after the paper for not listening, when as a council member, he never has, either. I hope that his (finally) speaking out against the N-P doesn't turn into the only platform he can run on...the guy who once cheered the "rise of the neighborhoods" has betrayed their interests in every possible way. So does he have a lock on reelection? Don't bet on it.

2/22/2007 12:26 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Dear Misspelled -- couldn't tell to which you were referring, especially by name. Sorry about that...

2/22/2007 12:49 PM  
Anonymous Cohee Barnwell said...

From Cohee Barnwell:

In response to a couple of anonymous comments made here, I was not "fired" from the News Press. I quit. I quit because I could not work in the environment of hate and distrust that "leaders" at the News-Press had created. All of the editors I had worked under and respected had left, and I could not stomach the idea of having someone like Travis edit or influence a story with my name on it. I never "whined" to anyone about the Rob Lowe address disaster. I explained to anyone who wanted to know that after many years in the business, I covered the Lowe dispute with the same care, interest, consideration and thought that I had on any case before the planning commission. In essence, I felt that I was being reprimanded for doing my job: including the who, what, where, when, why, how that every story is supposed to have.
In response to my time card, there was no fraud or theft. At the NP, we always filled out our timecards before the work week had ended, because we were asked to get them in early. Things got crazy the day Jerry was escorted out of the building. I was getting married in two days, with family and friends arriving to town, and was experiencing major anxiety. My editor George told me to go home, and I'm not too proud to say, I left the building shaking and in tears. I thought I'd be back the next day, to work one more day, but truly could not face the pain and suffering going on inside that building when I was supposed to look like the euphoric bride. Fixing my time card when I came back from the honeymoon required moving hours from one category to another. I had both sick time and vacation time coming to me, so it was really only a matter of adjusting the column to reflect accurately those two days before the wedding. It's funny. I wonder why Yolanda or the News-Press didn't question why I was working an 11-hour day without OT to finish a series when I was 8.5 months pregnant. I wonder why they didn't question my time card the day that Starshine and I were sent out to cover El Nino floods at 4 in the morning and didn't leave workuntil late that evening to finish writing. After ten years there, with OT pay always frowned upon, we all put in odd and long hours that never made it to our time card. Adjustments were commonplace if you had already turned in a time card but then later ended up working later than projected. I'm not complaining about hard work. I loved every minute I spent at the News-Press until everything exploded under Wendy and Travis.
As far as bias, I just laugh at that accusation. Are journalists human beings? Yes. Do we bring our own personal experiences and personalities to our jobs as reporters? Yes. But as John Zant said at the rally, we are absolutely anal about getting the facts straight, about making sure we capture the essence of a story with the right tone and details and voices. I have knocked on doors in dark alleys, called people late at night, conspired to get private cell phone numbers of elected officials, all so that no one could ever say my stories weren't right on target when read in the morning. Reporting is not about pushing an agenda or favoring one side. It's about knowing the beat you cover so well that you can in turn provide readers too busy to attend meetings balanced, interesting, relevant coverage of their community. I loved doing that with all my heart.
As far as my husband, Brian, I will admit my bias. Still, I've covered and have become personally acquainted with many leaders in this town and know only a handful I respect and admire as much as Brian Barnwell. He is a true community servant and civic leader whose biggest flaw may be that he forgets he's a "politician." I am so proud to be by his side and, also, comforted knowing he is helping to shape and lead our beloved city.
Thanks for the chance to respond.
Camilla Barnwell

2/22/2007 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:34: I agree, Wendy has bought herself a blogger.

But, back to the original subject,
one of the sadder components of this whole mess is that the Newspress is deceptively confusing the development issues. I do believe we have been having too much development lately. Perhaps Brian Barnwell has been too ready to build. I am still very sad about the Veronica Meadows development. That should never, ever have come to pass. Santa Barbara does not owe the developers her open space, no matter how much they want it or how hard they schmooze and beg. The same is true for over-building lower state for the top 2% by building La Entrada. That was a bad idea from the get-go.

However, the idea that the Libertarians at the Newspress are anti-development is just not true. They have consistently supported the candidates who are most pro-growth, both in Goleta and in Santa Barbara. It looks like bait and switch to me.

A conspiracy theorist might suppose that gutting the watchdogs of the press and pretending to be against development while supporting rich building-buddies might just be a handy way to finally break down the protections in Santa Barbara. Just sayin'...

Also, it is clear that Wendy and company would just love to remove all those pesky liberal city council members. Can you imagine what SB would look like if the Libertarians got their way. No restrictions on anything, yah-hoo, skyscrapers and convention centers and LA all over again. Free market would just plow right over our special little city. Forget it Jake, it's Chinatown!!

So, the talking points are going to be that the former journalists and the current city council (the cabal), are pro-homeless and pro-development. Yeah, right. Who is pro-homeless? Just want more people to be homeless out there, yessiree.

This is going to be a marathon on many fronts. We cannot give up and we just be vigilant if we are to protect our town from the robber barons. They have been after SB for years and now they are drooling and circling. Horrible but not unstoppable.

2/22/2007 1:58 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Cami -- thanks for the response and background on this topic. You deserve your say -- even if BlogaBarbara doesn't reach the same audience the NP does. Thank you.

2/22/2007 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As one of your former colleagues, thank you Camie. You don't deserve this. None of us do.

2/22/2007 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Previous comments about Brian Barnwell posted l:58

Well, just read the interview with Brian in Barney's column in the Independent. I believe I may have been in error to criticize Brian for being too friendly to development (with the exception of Veronica Meadows). Sounds like he is exactly right in hoping to preserve Santa Barbara's original character by having a moratorium on more 4 story buildings. Thankfully he seems cognizant of the desire of many to reduce SB to only a vacation getaway for LA's new rich. Hope all the City Council re-dedicates itself to stopping the deterioration of our city by too much development.

2/22/2007 3:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's very nice that the newly married Brian and Cami love and respect each other, and are willing to say so in public, ditto for John Zant and his wife who spoke at the rally yesterday. Call me cynical, but isn't this all just getting a little too close, cozy and predictable? Of course, Travis going after the Councilman-married-to-the-former-reporter was predictable, too; the only surprise is that it took so long!

2/22/2007 3:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis has made a big deal out of Camee "fixing" her timecard, meaning falsifying it. Pretty sneaky Travis, but "fixing" generallly means to repair or correct which I think is the proper meaning in this case. I can concur with Cami's time card statements. The NP time cards are manually filled out and often handed in to payroll early by managers who have the weekend off. Sometimes an employee will end up sick on a weekend that they had put down work hours. The timecard would have to be corrected asap before payroll got to it on Monday so that the correct hours would be on the card. If not, the changes would be put on the next time card. It is an honor type system. Fixing the time card entails "whiting out" the straight time and putting the hours under sick time or vacation hours. I don't know of an employee who hasn't changed their timecard because of something like that.

PS- I don't work there anymore so I'm not worried about being fired.

2/22/2007 4:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great job, Camie, and way to take the high road. Because there are people who have no clue what journalists do or what the N-P was like, you're gonna get a lot of crap. Thanks for not putting up with it -- nicely.

2/22/2007 5:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am not certain about this, but as far as I know reporters are not/should not be classified as exempt (management) employees who are not paid for working overtime. Although Ms. Barnwell may not choose to pursue this issue with the Labor Board, and perhaps instead sue Travisty for slander/libel, I thought it worth mentioning. Not paying non-exempt employees for overtime is a big no-no, especially in California.

Finally, I did not think Travisty could get any nastier or slimier, but once again he surpasses all expectations. We haven't even heard from Nelville Flynn lately, maybe even he is disgusted?

2/22/2007 5:49 PM  
Blogger orangstar said...

Yay Camie! Well done!

2/22/2007 8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Save the crocodile tears for Camy. Every lead story from the beginning of the meltdown talked about Camy "unfairly" getting called on the carpet for publishing Lowes's address as the reason she "left".

Who told the reporters this self-serving version of events? Did Wendy" Or, did you Camy?

Shame on you Camy for letting this error persist in the national media for so long. And not admitting to your time card "errors" until now, when you were finally forced to by the truth.

Your husband is not so much in the pocket of the developers as he is in the pocket of the self-entitled who demand to be given free and/or subsidized homes in Santa Barbara.

Yet today in the Independent he claims there are 10,000 already living in illegal dwellings (which he has done nothing to make legal -grounds for impeachment? Yes.)

And he also claims there are 14,000 approved affordable units, the issue he is missing is not being able to say enough is enough.

Wendy and Travis have this issue right on. But all Barnwell and the rest of the Santa Monica Seven do is build, build, build more socialist housing. How dare he claim he is preserving the quality of life in this town.

All he is doing is inviting every whining homeless scum to come to Santa Barbara with the promise of a free place to live. And that is what is not going down with the voters this next election.

Here is a free clue, Barnwell. Your voters live here. They do not live in Ventura, Lompoc or Santa Maria. They live here. Stop making promises to everyone who wants to live here but cannot.

Do you get it, Barnwell. Keep working on this. It might sink in. Because everyone else gets it. Stop selling out this town to everyone except those who live and vote here.

2/22/2007 9:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Libertarians don't like government subsidized housing or social tax supported schemes favoring any particular socio-economic class over another. They want no government.

And that is why they don't like Barnwell, Rose, Schwartz, and Marshall. And will soon turn on House and Schneider. The sooner the better. Addled headed socialists, all of them.

That means no zoning restrictions. That means letting the market create the community; not the government.

The Santa Monica Seven want to create some false sense idealized white guilt community totally contrary to market pressures.

Santa Barbara is a place for the rich and powerful. There is no place for the middle class to be subsidized.

Why would it still be the middle class if it was propped up like some stuffed museum exhibit with tax advantages. Just so it can falsly exist? Then it is not the middle class; it is just one more welfare class.

Get over it.

And the rich and powerful can start putting their maids and gardeners up on their own property, if they can't find any who live here anymore.

The rich and powerful can fly to regional hospitals and shop online and have their food catered. If you are rich, you don't need the middle class, or the poor. You can hire what you want. The market controls the environment. And that is Wendy's agenda.

She bought a paper and she bought an editor and she bought a "fiancee". She is the new Miss Santa Barbara. And there is not a darn thing you can do about it. Except envy her.

Wedny did what society asked of her. She married well. Case closed.

2/22/2007 9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Department of Labor should conduct an audit of SBNP timecards. They have the authority to audit back three years and the burden of proof regarding the accuracy of the timecards is on the employer - not the employee. Given Ms. Cohee's examples of potential overtime abuse by the employer, there's MAJOR potential here for reporters to receive big $$$ in punitive damages. All someone has to do is create an inquiry with the DOL.

2/22/2007 9:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Camie, you are trying to have it both ways.

You complain you were not treated as an independent contractor having total control over your work product, and then you complain you were not paid as an hourly employee, who has to do what the employer asks.

You want the rights of an employee and the privledges of an independent contractor. Doesn't work that way.

Make up your mind. I think it is time to use all your high-minded principles and apply them to your own life.

But if in fact you think your personnel record privacy was violated, why not see Bruce Anticouni who is a master at employment law.

Or, have you chosen not to put all the facts out into the public arena? What would you not want to swear to under oath?

It is all about scrupulous fact checking, is it not? This is what you are telling me. Put your story in the hands of the court. You have a deep pocket to go after.

2/22/2007 10:20 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Re: Anon 3:42pm. I too read Barnwell's comments in the Barney column. But, wait a minute. Brian spent several years on the Planning Commission, and so far a few more on City Council. Did those monolithic, high-density, mixed-use monstrosities on Chapala get approved on his watch??? Did they get approved despite his objections??? I think not. Brian seems to be learning from Das...say one thing during election season, and DO something else during the rest of your term.

To loosely paraphrase a line from Casablanca, "I'm shocked, shocked that giant buildings are popping up on the Chapala corridor!"

2/22/2007 11:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's little off topic but it is sad to learn about Lopez and Batchelder.
This is sad on so many levels and hope that the madness being shown stops soon.

I sure wish we had a real newspaper.
Maybe the independent could post a daily page of news or updates.

On topic, what was Travis or whoever thinking by divulging that kind of information ?

Thanks once more Travis for making BlogaBarbara one of the best ....oh and you too Sara... I'll let you two fight over the award.

2/23/2007 12:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wendy and Travis have this issue right on. But all Barnwell and the rest of the Santa Monica Seven do is build, build, build more socialist housing. How dare he claim he is preserving the quality of life in this town.

This elitism is very revealing. The whole motivation behind McCaw's actions are to retain this town for a very small elite, rich majority, and to make sure they rest of us who aren't multimillionaires serve their whim.

This isn't just about the News-Press - this is about the many who live here versus the few who use feel entitled to do whatever they want.

By these firings, Wendy has begun a war on the lower and middle class of Santa Barbara. It's inexcusable and disgusting.

2/23/2007 12:51 AM  
Anonymous parkparkpark said...

Wow, what unwarranted vitriol against Camilla Cohee/Barnwell.

Seems to me like Wendy McCaw knows something about violating the law... a little matter with the Coastal Commission a few years ago. Everything was black and white, but she disobeyed the law anyway. Cost her $460,000, but she sure proved that the law, for her, is just a pricey fashion accessory. Honest respect for the law is just for the little people.

And when she testified in the Greg Parker case? The arbitrator's judgement was that her sworn testimony denied `events even in the face of written evidence to the contrary'. In other words, Wendy McCaw is a cynical liar.

Travis Armstrong and her blogging defenders have zero standing to criticize anyone. Having it both ways? Wendy McCaw is a case study in it.

2/23/2007 5:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, I am no longer surprised by the actions of the trolls at the News Press.

Camee, you should sue (words that I never suggest).

You and Brian rock. Keep up the fight!

2/23/2007 8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is no "war on the lower and middle class". There is just finally a wake-up call to get off your whining duffs and earn your right to continue living here. And that is what the American Dream is all about.

Stop demanding a hand-out. Hispanics are among the leading group of new homeowners. And they are buying homes right here in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara is not losing its middle class. Hispanics are moving into it everyday in this town while all you do is whine about no one handing it to you.

2/23/2007 8:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only class war going on in this town is the Anglos are too blind to see that Latinos have moved solidly into the middle class ..... by hard work and sound ethical values.

Gee, they did it the old fashioned way. They did not sit around and demand someone hand them something they did not earn.

2/23/2007 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Carson, the only thing shocking is your ignornace about the long PUBLIC process both Chapala projects went through with plenty of media reporting and multiple public hearings.

You know why it went through the process so well? Because it granted more than its fair share of socialized housing units - more welfare hand outs.

Berkus was the first project and he had to go back to the drawing board over and over and over again. Where were you?

And finally the Santa Monica Seven were satisfied the project included enough socialized housing to allow for its increased density and height. That was the trade-off. Where were you when these goodies were handed out, Carson. It was published in great detail in your hallowed Old NewsPress.

Bermant, not being stupid, larded up his project with more freebies to the homeless and displaced than god him/herself would require. So this project got the benediction of the Santa Monica Seven a lot faster - more density, more height with more handouts for the homeless.

Again, all of this was well-covered in the Old NewsPress -with its legendary scrupulous detail and exemplary fact finding. Where were you, Carson?

You are a little late to the party and now you try and blame Wendy and Travis and scream unfair?

Nope, Carson. You are an old fool and you have been now fooled twice. Stop looking so stupid in public.

I guess the Old NewsPress didn't live up to your own journalistic standards because they praised and touted both projects and their concessions to the homeless.

And developers Bermant and Berkus were saavy enough to know how to exploit this ...... ahem ... bias.

And the Santa Monica Seven had their hands out for donations as their rewards.

Don't ever blame the new NewsPress for what YOU let happen.

2/23/2007 9:35 AM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

8:24 pm -- you went a little too far and wrote a way too personal of an attack for me to publish. Not necessary when you have the truth on your side.

9:35 AM -- better than 8:24 but can we pull back on the personal attack on someone who posts and contributes to debate here often? Published this with reservations...Bill, I know you have thick skin -- thanks for hanging in there with us.

We need not drive away people with differing opinions -- the fact that they can be said here is what makes BlogaBarbara what it is! I value this and it is one of the reasons I created BlogaBarbara as I saw very little place for public debate in our community -- especially in our daily newspaper.

Ad hominem name calling just isn't necessary -- please play on the field of civil debate and restrain yourself from drawing fouls!

2/23/2007 11:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


You know why it went through the process so well? Because it granted more than its fair share of socialized housing units - more welfare hand outs.


To quote one of my favorite movies, "You keep using that word. I do not think it means, what you think it means."

2/24/2007 8:40 AM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Don't mind being called an "old fool". There was a time when I foolishly thought our "public process" actually meant something. Now, with a stacked Planning Commission, and a homogenous City Council, all the development projects submitted by Berkus, Bermant, et. al. have to do is include the obligatory mixed-use component to gain approval. Never mind that we are rapidly running out of infrastructure to support these behemoth projects. Never mind that the current developer/Council partnership are changing the look of our city and our quality of life forever.

P.S. Anon 9:35 seems to misunderstand where I'm coming from. For the record, I am 98% pro-Travis and 99% anti-developer.

P.S.S. Barnwell is pandering to all the old fools who will probably re-elect him for stating that he wants to stop all this rampant development. To call him disingenuous would be an understatement.

2/24/2007 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cami you were prettier, smarter and had a better looking beau than McFlop--so, of course, the aging alpha female was gunning for you. It was just a matter of time!

As someone whose beat you covered, I found your newspaper skills well oiled, your reporter instincts on target and your professionalism ABOVE reproach.

I am sorry, just when your life seems so much better, that you have been sucked back into this witch's cauldron. Fight On!

2/24/2007 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

I was going to stay out of this string, having nothing to add to what I have already said on the subject in previous strings. However, I cannot resist a comment on the bantering about of the word "socialism." I appears as if some folks who like to post on this blog are either unfamiliar with basic political theory and philosophy or simply enjoy using an emotionally charged word as an attention-getting epithet. The kind-hearted doyennes and dedicated public servants in this communty notwithstanding there is not a single institutional structure or policy in Santa Barbara County that remotely approaches socialism. The fact that the developers are allowed to make huge profits and that some are allowed to go bankrupt, the heartbreaking sight of homeless people sleeping on sidewalks, the political power exhibited by oil companies and corporate farming operations, the lucky windfall that every long-time homeowner is this community enjoys are all evidence that the free market, social Darwinism, and capitalism are very much alive and well in Santa Barbara. We may not like the way that public officials are molding our community, but we can hardly blame it on socialism.

2/24/2007 10:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are correct, it is not pure socialism of which I speak because that is a workable system as evidenced by the general overall economic and social health and smaller class stratification found in successful European nations.

It is addled "socialim" perpetrated by the Santa Barbara Seven (SM7) who think they can put some feel-good bandaids over endemic issues which in fact only make things worse and with term limits, leaves the mess for someone else to clean up and more likely make even worse with more bandaids and scab picking.

There is nothing heart breaking or agonizing about seeing "homeless" on the streets any more because we now have millions of dollars spent on their welfare in this town.

If you still find the condition "heartbreaking" and an idictment of capitalizm, then the millions already spent on them has been money down a rat hole and it is time to cease and start all over. Because it simply ain't working.

Or is it a prime example of built it and they will come. We built it. They came and they are still coming. And the SM7. How guilty do you propose we feel. Some of us have not ripped off the system apparently as badly as others who we have limits to our "guilt".

2/25/2007 1:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is nothing heart breaking or agonizing about seeing "homeless" on the streets any more because we now have millions of dollars spent on their welfare in this town.

Utterly false, not to mention that subsidized housing has nothing to do with homelessness - but the fact that you cannot differentiate the two is not surprising.

Santa Barbara is rapidly losing key local service workers. Police and firefighters cannot afford to live in this town. If there is ever a serious emergency that closes the 101 and requires additional reinforcements, then you're going to be eating your words - unless you propose that, in addition to housing their butlers and maids, the rich can house their own fire and police departments.

The fact that the housing conversation even gets to this point shows just how out of touch the anti-affordable housing crowd is in this town. You people live in your own worlds that has no reflection on reality. The problem is that ALL of us are impacted by the ignorant few.

2/25/2007 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are using the exact arguments the developers have programmed you to parrot. Emergency personnel can easily be flown in or boated in in case of a true emergency. They are NOT signing up for socialized housing because with 14% of housing already affordable in town we should be up to our ears in emergency workers. Everyone commutes no matter where they live in the South Coast areas. There is nothing special about Santa Barbara that is supposed to make it commute free - certainly not building more affordable housing ghettos which the police and fire people have already rejected.

No my dear bleeding heart, you are just parroting the exact arguments the developers have programmed you to say.

The ignorant few are the ones who still have not figured out you cannot build your way out of this situation. You adapt to the situation and you accept knowingly the consequences of the situation but you will never be able to build your way out of it.

You need to learn a bit more from history. And find a way to get back the millions spent every year already on the homeless because it ain't working. All it has done is grow more homeless and I for one want a little more return than more homeless for the millions spent in taxpayer dollars on them already.

If it ain't working, stop doing it.

2/25/2007 6:48 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Can we get away from the SM7 stuff? This is Santa Barbara! You say it like Santa Monica is supposed to mean something...homeless issues and socialism are not what this post was about. Let's get back on track!

2/25/2007 10:16 PM  

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