Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Monday, June 18, 2007

Community Post: Letter to Goleta Chamber Members

Sent as an FYI by a Citizen Stringer:
Dear Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce Members:

The Chamber Board of Directors and staff have been dealing with an issue recently that I now need to bring to your attention regarding our relationship with the Santa Barbara New-Press.

My husband and I read the News-Press at home each morning before going to work. Lately there has been fewer and fewer business in Goleta stories in this paper, so there was no reason to also receive the paper in our office. Although our office used to diligently clip business and Goleta news from the paper, without any stories to save I felt it prudent to not spend money on a subscription. It was an executive decision, not a public statement.

Travis Armstrong called Friday, June 8th to ask me about the cancellation Mr. Armstrong and I have had a very productive relationship; I always considered him someone I could talk to about local Goleta issues. When he called about the subscription, I was happy to hear from him, but sorry to give him the customer feedback about why I had canceled the subscription. He was angry and very threatening. I imagine there is enormous pressure at the News-Press these days and that Mr. Armstrong is under a great deal of stress.

On Friday, Mr. Armstrong wrote an editorial questioning our volunteer Chairman of the Board. This is an unwarranted criticism as it is common for businesses and individuals to join a Chamber in communities in which they live, work, volunteer or play.

The Chamber Board of Directors has responded to Mr. Armstrong's telephone call to me by reaffirming its support of the Chamber's actions, policies and professional staff.

I look forward to my next communication with you, our membership, and getting back to the important work that is going on in the Goleta Valley, at the Chamber and in our community.

In the mean time I have flown across the country to be with my sister, who is having her first baby. If you need any assistance, please contact Anna Thomas, my administrative assistant, at

Kristen Amyx

Labels: ,


Anonymous Just wondering said...

Will Travis and Scott Steepleton become the next targets of Wendy's wrath?

History has shown us how she blames others when things go wrong.

And now the paper is in ruins, subscribers are gone, advertisers are pulling out, Wendy can't find employees.

Insiders say both Travis and Scott have been acting erratically lately -- like men running scared.

6/18/2007 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I own a home in Santa Barbara but have long considered Goleta my town as well. I shop there, use the library, go to the dog park, attend community events.

I miss the old Valley Voice.

6/18/2007 8:10 PM  
Anonymous David Pritchett said...

I am feeling really neglected about why my household never received an angry call when the subscription ended at my home.

So nice to read today that Goleta Chamber of Commerce and Fess Parker are now members of the Cabal.

6/18/2007 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristen - You should have cancelled your home subscription as well! Travis is a dirty dog with no business at the Snooze Press.

6/18/2007 8:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Travis is using the News Press has his own personal weapon.

It is time for every group that has been abused by Travis' action or been threatened by him unless they did as he wanted to stand up and tell the community.

I have heard of these things, but now it is clear that it is really going on and more than we all know.

6/18/2007 9:25 PM  
Anonymous the Chupacabra said...

this is very interesting, as one could say it sounds more like extortion from Travis Armstrong. Just like the NY POST case where the person was trying to extort money for favorable coverage which got the FBI involved. While Travis wasnt asking for large sums of cash rather a subscription, if the threat was made sounds like extortion.

Im sure Wendy with her desire for truth and justice will of course launch a investigation to find out if a crime was comitted. I wish he had done it to me (since he would also be losing his protected speech) so I could ride one of the tricycles in the lawsuit parade.

Oh well maybe next week...

6/18/2007 9:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Chamber is not the first nor is it the only group that has received this type of treatment and threat.

Talk to CEC and EDC - I have heard they have received they have also been threatened - and we have seen the stories and editorials.

This is called Yellow Journalism and really makes me Red Hot mad.

6/18/2007 9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a fact that Armstrong received his DUI within a few hours after leaving the Goleta Chamber's annual dinner.

It's a fact that News-Press business management killed the story about Travis' DUI sentencing.

It's a fact that this meddling by McCaw management with the public's news is one reason Roberts and the others walked out, which was the shot heard around the world in the News-Mess and McCaw Meltdown.

Any connection with why Armstrong is so angry at the Goleta Chamber for canceling a single subscription?

6/18/2007 9:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is manning the phones as people call in to cancel? One of the private investigators the News-Press now uses?

Maybe it is Baron co-Publisher Nip Nip for Now on the horn.

6/18/2007 9:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Scott Steepleton is the next to go, but he writes the majority of the news. Would she really be that dumb? He can't even go on vacation. She goes to Europe, he stays home.

What's happened with the cease and desist guy, Millsteain?

6/18/2007 9:46 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

You guys keep your rabble rousing editor on a leash. We don't need that kind of muck rakin' 'round here ;-) Everyone knows what happened, it's all over but the cryin'. I'll give them time, give'em a break, they got curtains for backround, not marble and hardwoods for pete's sake.

I like the staff too. Singers always sounds smart on TV.

6/18/2007 9:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fess is a developer and Wendy is against density less than 30 acres per homesite on a beachfront.

6/18/2007 9:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see...isn't this where we were a year ago. McFlaw and Nip departed for to cruise the Med., leaving Travis in charge.

With him calling the shots, Jerry and 8 editors/reports were fired or quit...and we began, and the world witnessed, the down hill spiral of a venerable institution.

Can't WAIT to see what this year's sail on the yacht will bring us, but it looks like it has already begun. Sara, thanks to Travis, you will have fodder for another year!

6/18/2007 9:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kristen Amyx says Armstrong was "angry and very threatening?"

Extremely troubling behavior for a newspaper editor and sometimes publisher of a once respected daily newspaper! With the clergy finally quiet, maybe he's running out of people to attack, and is finally eating his own.

Is he trying to browbeat people into reading Laura, London Britches and himself? The paper used to have writers who had lived here for a long time, like Barney, Alcorn and Starshine.

Since there's not much local anymore, how about cutting the prices down too, acting publisher Travis, so you won't have to threaten as many people?

6/18/2007 10:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why would Kristen Amyx keep any subscription?

Why does anyone still subscribe?

That would be interesting to know. Can't more and better quality news and information be found elsewhere?

6/18/2007 10:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What's happened to Nelville and Wendy's other -- few that there were -- supporters on the blogs?

6/18/2007 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Al Bacara said...

What? was anyone expecting any different type of reaction or treatment? Any real change would have to start at the top, forget it! It would require some deep personal insight that lots of cash have made MEAN-ingless. 'with us or against us' is the work mantra there. So why do spite, mis-directed anger and over reaction, surprise anyone? They really can't see where the NP or Amper inc could be wrong. Its the cabal, its everyone else, but don't worry, THEY'll [and the bill-able hours gang] show you. It was funny, then became sad, now its tragic and others are having to pay their price. If She had only become interested in stamp collecting or really caring about humans as well animals. never mind.

6/18/2007 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Chambers Speaks said...

No no no....between the lines are the makings of the real problem. The closeness of the press with the "chamber." The rift is nothing to be in support of or against. Yes Armstrong is applying pressure to a client but what the client acknowledges is their "very productive relationship" and the cancellation is due to lack of who is the victim here?

The victimis>>> larger community who doesn't have a "very productive relationship." Bottom line is that the "Chamber" is always over-represented in any advertisement based publication, blog, etc.

The Chamber author Kristen Amyx points out that
"businesses and individuals join the Chamber in communities in which they live, work, volunteer or play."

My observation is that Chamber boards and members, more often than not, reside in secluded communities, often in far far away communities with restrictions far greater than the communities that the chamber members lobby in and for less restrictions. Bottom line your community is toast once the Chamber gets the politcal foothold via the press.

I am so far not a fan of the News Press and its tactics. If, however, the SBNP is an uphill battle to correct representational imbalance, I am in support. I am however not holding my breath because it appears to me to be coersion on both the SBNP and Chambers part.

6/18/2007 10:35 PM  
Anonymous voice of reason said...


Here are two questions for you.

1. You've accused Travis of threatening you. Just exactly how did he threaten you?

2. Do you understand how being on the board of directors for a developer-backed organization that advocates against a community's vision for its neighborhoods can be considered a conflict of interest for someone in your position?

6/18/2007 10:59 PM  
Anonymous No sainthood please said...

Today, Craig Smith posts a startling assertion that Kristen Amyx "must be a saint"------- umm, no she is not, and I would hate to see her canonized just because she has become one of the many to incur the wrath of TKA.....let's not fall into "mine enemie's enemy is my friend" fallacy

6/19/2007 6:30 AM  
Anonymous Buffyfan said...

Wow, after all the negative editorials Travis has written about the Teamsters, how scary they are with tactics such as tossing nails beneath truck tires, Travis is blatantly threatening to "ruin" people who cancel subscriptions?

Pretty scary stuff, when an editorial page editor can use the power of the press to figuratively toss nails under the tires of chamber of commerce folks, the clergy, and other citizens in the community.

Better be careful everyone, or Travis will ruin you by deflating your tires, flattening your businesses, and sucking the soul out of your community.

Has anyone ever held up a mirror to see if Travis, Wendy, Arthur, Scott and Yolanda have reflections?

Chances are they are vampires, because they all suck the lives out of people. Just ask any present or past employees. Even current employees are seen wandering around like zombies, with blank stares, just poor creatures lost in their workplace.

Pretty scary stuff.

We need a hero, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. How about Sarah Miller McCune rising to the occasion? :) Invite the five to a barbeque, and say you'll be serving "stakes," Ha! Ha!

6/19/2007 8:43 AM  
Blogger jqb said...

Dear voice of ignorance and illogic:

1) You may be the only person in Santa Barbara who doesn't know that Travise said he would ruin her.

2) Irrelevant to the issue at hand. Aside from that, you seem not to have a grasp of the concept of "conflict of interest". Being the head of the GVCC is not a "conflict of interest" for someone in her "position", which is head of the GVCC.

6/19/2007 9:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I recently called to cancel my subscription. I had been a subscriber for over 10 years. I found that over time the paper lacked local stories. Many of the stories were AP, not local. I would rather read the Daily Sound, Edhat, and The Independent to find out what is going on in my community. When I called there was no harrassment, no trying to get me to stay however, I am sure they will start calling me when I fail to renew my monthly ad.

6/19/2007 9:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bullying and threatening and suing. There seems to be a common theme here.

It goes back to one source. Is Wendy McCaw an unhappy person? Did she have a tough childhood? Does she like her employees at the paper? Does she hang out with them? Does she like the community she "serves" with her private property "product"?

6/19/2007 10:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be surprised if Travis' "threats" were related to Krsten's husband's untimely departure from Visitor’s and Conference Bureau. If you recall there were some allegations made that may potentially be embarrassing if Travis were to bring them back to life.

6/19/2007 10:55 AM  
Anonymous not have any friends yet said...

The top 5 search hits are theirs, but then the next 20 are about The Mess.

6/19/2007 1:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Santa Barbara and Goleta residents must be red faced by now. If the News Press served food - after what has happened would we even think of going there.

The only reason anyone still takes the paper as it is habit and it is dropped on the doorstep.

Time to turn up the heat and get more neighbors to drop the paper.

BTY - love it that some attack the "Chamber of Commerce" for being pro-business. Shocking.

Sort of like attacking MADD for being against Drunk Driving.


6/19/2007 9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one, least of all Kristen, should be shocked at what happened. She had no problem with Travis's hatchet job tactics during the last Goleta election. Then the NP was acting in concert with the Chamber to promote their pro-development candidates. Then the use of one-sided attacks and hyperbole were just fine with the Goleta Chamber.

As the old saying goes, "If you lie down with dogs, you will wake up with fleas."

6/20/2007 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mike Pinto says..

If it were not for the chambers capitalist views I would join.

6/20/2007 10:53 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

I don't know if the Newssuppress is anti-Catholic or not. It would appear they are anti-pedophilia. Just think of their actions with respect to Jerry Roberts pedophilic computer.

I just don't get it. The last bastions of discriminatory thought are falling all around us...homosexuality and gay liberation, transgender liberation, etc., but nothing moving for the pedophiles. What's up with that?

Those poor victimized priests. Greek civilization understood the true value of pedophilia. How much longer must the oppressed wait?

6/20/2007 12:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Travis has been right on in his editorials about the subsidized housing scams.

Pleasure to read some of his stuff. Wish he would do more of this investigative stuff and lay off the personal attack stuff.

He does get a few things right. And more than just being a broken clock. He needs to attack failed public programs, not personalities.

Because it is the personalities that can fix the failed programs.

Steepleton and McCaw are another matter entirely, but they keep the house lights on and the home deliveries coming.

6/20/2007 3:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Be sure to read Travis' defense of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce issue - for the rest of the story - 6/21/07 issue - get it at the library. Or a left over copy at your favorite coffee bar.

6/21/2007 6:46 AM  
Anonymous jqb said...

"I just don't get it. The last bastions of discriminatory thought are falling all around us...homosexuality and gay liberation, transgender liberation, etc., but nothing moving for the pedophiles. What's up with that?"

Are you trying to prove what a jerk you are? Pedophilia is a crime, with a grievously harmed victim. For you to equate that with the right of gays to be treated like humans is sickening.

6/22/2007 11:33 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...


I am an ornery cuss--ain't I? There's more to this question than you imagine.

Trying reading the "Memoirs of Hadrian" by Marguerite Yourcenar, a female member of the French Academy, and winner of many literary prizes. This is undoubtedly the best biography (in fact a pseudo first person autobiography) ever written regarding the great Roman Emperor Hadrian -- a pedophile if there ever was one. Quite a sympathic portrait I must say.

Opening minds is a difficult process.

6/23/2007 10:14 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home