Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Community Post: Gang Injunction the Word?

Written today by ANON 6:21 PM as a commment....what do you think?

Travis today asks for a gang injunction which is another right-on editorial if anyone wants more proof he is touching the nerves of the community right now in the right way.

The sense of safety of the many needs to outweigh letting the "few" feel-good.

As he correctly points out, the good kids in gangs have no penalty with an injunction and the rest of us may be protected against the bad ones.

And it is time our little town and its elected officials sends all gangs a message what our community standards are and it is their choice to agree or not agree with them. And know there are consequences when they step over a line.

Good gang kids should be the first ones in line asking for an injunction because there is no reason they want to put up with the bad gang kids either.

If the police can't figure this out, then it is time for a new police chief to work better with our entire community.

The loudest voices asking for more neighborhood protection come right from the neighborhoods that foster most of the gang activity.

It is time to listen to those on the front lines, and most of them are Hispanic parents trying to do best for their own kids. They don't like seeing punks get away with terrorizing everyone else too.

Who was it here who made the chilling obervation an unintended consequence of illegal immigration is kids black-mailing their illegal parents with threats of turning them in if they don't give these kids their way.

Time to take that choice away from these little tyrants and for the society that benefits from illegal immigration to clean up its own house and streets.

What part of this message does the city council not get?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was rather disturbed when I read the Police Chief's comments the other day that we do not need sanctions and injunctions against the gangs. I can only surmise that if Chief Sanchez is not incompetent then he is hamstrung and a complete puppet of the City Council. Either situation necessitates replacement of him and a change in the council. This is the beginnings of critical mass of the social deterioration of SB. It will not get better without intervention. It's the the thugs against the law abiding and right now the thugs are on the fast track to winning since the city is afraid to offend them.

7/25/2007 7:38 PM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

To address the Blogabarbara host question, I think that this guest comment is just a retread of the editorial. What is the point of that, except to continue the trolling tradition of Astroturf support of those editorials.

In usual fashion, the editorial today endorsing an anti-gang Injunction only tells 2 of the 5 major points.

An Injunction is just that, an order by a Judge at the request of the prosecutor District Attorney, based on police reports and expert opinion.

The City Council has nothing to do with that, unless politicians and elected officials should be given some authority over what law enforcement priorities are... sort of like how the Bush Administration interfered with U.S. Attorneys.

Based on how Injunctions have worked in Lompoc and Oxnard, the severity of crime in Santa Barbara would have to become much, much worse, with frequent attacks on bystanders besides the gangsters. A Judge also would have to be convinced that no other Police methods remained in the toolbox.

As for the claim that children are threatening to turn in their parents to La Migra, such threats may have been made and it makes a nice story and Urban Myth, but does anyone really think that U.S. Homeland Security, ICE, would respond to such a "request" that is really an intra-family dispute??

Gangs indeed are a problem in Santa Barbara, but is this problem "growing" when compared with past years instead of just past months??

For all the recent chatter about an Injunction (perhaps because the City Council has been blamed for everything else, so that is all that is left), do the hot and bothered writers even know what such an Injunction actually entails and the legal findings that have to be made??

Perhaps if this issue first were covered as news, with a variety of objective positions presented, then some readers would not be so quick to drink the Travis Kool-Aid ??

7/25/2007 7:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know if your write hundreds of op-ed pieces every now and then even a idiot can get one or two right. Every dog has its day even bad ones and with that said if you dont think a injunction is a good idea go on myspace and start searching for goleta 13 or other local gangs. Some very nice pictures of them posing with guns, challenging the other local gangs, and read the comments trust me you will want to try a injunction after that.

7/25/2007 7:59 PM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

At this time the Police Chief is opposed to an injunction approach. I'm not sure who the "good gang kids" are, or how you tell them from the "bad gang kids", and I look forward to hearing about that. They instituted something similar in Lompoc with what I understood were good (but not spectacular) results. By which I mean the injunction helped, but the gangs are still there. No one wants their children killed. I think all of us should be able to agree with that.

7/25/2007 8:12 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Posting the comment does not imply support but I do think it is worth talking about...David, you brought up the main issues I hoped would be considered here and still -- the prima facie of it all is that to most people, this makes sense. I think part of what we do here is ask people to look past the least I hope so.

Let's let our Chief of Police decide if and when this is best for our city.

7/25/2007 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, it time to tell our police chief what is good for this city. And it is time now for a strict cool-down period on all gang activity. And have it in place for Fiesta loud and clear.

This is not business as usual time. Kids are weekly getting killed and maimed. The streets in many neighborhoods are full of fear. This has not been business as usual for a long time, but it is the new business now. And it is all of our business.

David P, Hispanic parents are asking the loudest for a much stronger police presence and getting the gangs off the street. They have a right to be listened to. How dare you say they should be ignored.

David, your patronizing comments are irresponsible. You dismiss both the message and the messenger.

Go to H*ll David, which gives you a small taste of the anger boiling over in this town about this issue.

Start the injunction hearing now. And get a new police chief who can run this department for the benefit of everyone in this town, if Sanchez refuses to listen to the voices in this community who want real public safety for everyone.

Thank you SDLG for opening the forum on this topic. We all need more information and we definitely need to start sending another message than what has been sent out so far.

And city council, will you please stay home with us as we go through the rest of this long hot summer.

Viva la Fiesta.

7/25/2007 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have a gang unit in our police department. They get paid to know who the gangs are and claim they do.

If they do not know who the good kids are from the bad kids in this small town, we are in worse shape than we think.

It is time for CPR in this town.

7/25/2007 8:49 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Wow, Dave. Maybe you should change your name to David Preach-ett. It’s only fitting, due to the fact that you seem to be the end-all expert on every, single topic that enters the world of Blogabarbara. Maybe, in some future blog post, you could educate all of us as to your qualifications to be the Shell Answer Man for Santa Barbara.

The heck with injunctions, findings and prima facie. WE HAVE A GANG PROBLEM. These punks are disrupting our community...and our collective pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. Our local officials have been elected by the people of this city, and are thus charged with the responsibility to do something about it. Be it the police department, district attorney, probation, courts, and/or social services...someone needs to address the problem.

Stop trying to dismiss everything Travis says just because Travis says it. Focus on reality. He is right (again). Gangs are bad. Gangs hurt people. Gangs kill people. Gangs need to be stopped.

7/25/2007 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's flesh out those words "gang injunction" because it sure sounds good to me:

7/25/2007 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes simply making something illegal or calling it immoral or habit forming makes it go away. No wait we are talking about youth in the state of rebellion against all society, yeah telling them it's against the law will really work and send a message! Anyone want to buy a slightly used bridge I have for sell?

7/25/2007 8:57 PM  
Anonymous mike jordan said...

(David, why do I find myself agreeing with you so routinely?)

"Good gang kids"- does this mean I'm really over 50, or just so out of touch? Are you so worried about being politically correct that this phrase cannot be considered an obvious oxymoron?

Perhaps a better use of resources would be convincing more "good" kids to join gangs. Close the Y, the B & G's Clubs, the churches, the Teen Center, whatever, and get those kids involved with gangs.

Be very careful what you wish for. The use and stigma of injunctions will be a stain on the fabric of the city that will dwarf the reality of the problem and lead to little improvement.

7/25/2007 9:05 PM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

An Injunction is up to the District Attorney and a Superior Court Judge, not the Police Chief.

Here are 2 Ventura County Star articles on the Gang Injunction in Oxnard:

State appeals court debates future of Colonia Chiques gang injunction
(Wednesday, May 9, 2007)
By Stephanie Hoops
Ventura County's public defender took on the district attorney in the state appeals court in downtown Ventura on Tuesday afternoon, telling a three-judge panel that an existing Oxnard gang injunction is so defective that it can't stand.
"I think it's so flawed it should be reversed," Chief Deputy Public Defender Michael McMahon told the court, adding that he hopes that the court will "strike a blow for civil liberties," rein in the Superior Court and grant a new trial.
The injunction, made permanent in 2005, regulates the conduct of a gang identified in court records as the Colonia Chiques association but does not name any individuals.
Some of the restrictions are that gang members are barred from being in the public "safety zone" after 10 p.m., drinking in public, associating with other gang members, fighting and wearing gang clothing.
Before Justices Kenneth Yegan, Arthur Gilbert and Steven Perren, McMahon argued that the injunction, dubbed "New Rules of Living," is overly broad and vague, and violates the due process rights of hundreds of people living in Oxnard.
"It operates like a general warrant," he said.
Two of the issues that the court inquired about Tuesday were whether proper notice was given to those subject to the injunction, and whether those people have had their day in court.
McMahon argued that they did not get proper notice of a fair hearing.
Perren made it clear that he is no fan of the Colonia Chiques, having learned about them in years spent in juvenile court.
He pressed McMahon to acknowledge that they are at least some type of entity capable of being served notice.
"I'm not here to deny the existence of the mafia," McMahon said, adding that it is not his position that an injunction cannot be had, but that it must be more narrowly focused.
A private criminal defense attorney, Neil Quinn, argued on behalf of an individual who is subject to the gang's terms.
Perren quickly shot down arguments that Quinn raised pertaining to the morality of the injunction.
"It's too late in the day to talk about morality," Perren said. "These are bad people, and the state has an obligation to deal with them."
"I guess I have a different view of morality than he does," Assistant District Attorney Michael Schwartz began in his initial rebuttal to Quinn's argument.
Interrupting, Gilbert dismissed Schwartz's point as not important to their decision and told him to move on.
"Let's talk about the law," Gilbert said.
Schwartz said the terms of the injunction are not so broad and do allow those affected to drink alcohol in their home or go outside the area at night.
"It's just in the target area that they can't drink," he said, prompting Gilbert to ask: "The question is who is 'they?' Who knows this?"
Schwartz said officials served about 150 people with the injunction, but "if we have to name people up front, every time there's a new member, we have to go back to court and get a new injunction."
Also arguing for the District Attorney's Office was Deputy District Attorney Karen Wold, who handled the trial in the lower court.
She said the gang has about 1,000 members and she does not think that it would be possible to serve and find all of them.
Perren said he found that statement troubling.
"It wouldn't be possible to serve and find them," he asked, "but it would be possible to find and contempt them?"
The court has 90 days to make its decision. The Public Defender's Office asked that the opinion point out the injunction's flaws and reverse the lower court's implementation of it.


Gang threatens DA, court papers report
Work for injunction won't stop, Totten says
Jessica Keating,
Friday, May 21, 2004
Ventura County District Attorney Greg Totten said he won't back down from an anti-gang injunction in Oxnard despite alleged death threats against him and other authorities.

The threats, detailed in court documents filed Wednesday, allegedly surfaced in March after prosecutors proposed a crackdown on what they consider the largest and most violent street gang in the county, the Colonia Chiques.
Authorities said threats are consistent with gang behavior and offer more proof an injunction is needed.
"It's a true reflection of how dangerous this gang is," said Totten, who is identified in court papers as the target of an alleged "hit."
Regardless, Totten said, his office remains committed to its duty to protect the community.
"It's the right thing to do," he added. "No amount of threats from these thugs will prevent us from moving forward."
'We cannot back down'
In court documents filed this week, prosecutor Karen Wold said the alleged threats show how little Colonia Chiques members respect their community. She described La Colonia as a community terrorized by gangs, a neighborhood where residents are afraid to walk their dogs, wash their cars or let their children play outside.
"We cannot back down and let them prevail," Wold said in an interview Thursday. "If we back down, what's left for the community?"
The injunction would prohibit gang members from wearing gang clothing, making gang signs, possessing alcohol, associating with other gang members and intimidating witnesses within a "safety zone," a 6.6-square-mile portion of Oxnard that includes La Colonia.
Superior Court Judge Frederick Bysshe is expected to decide the fate of the injunction at a hearing Monday. Opponents have argued the injunction is too broad and gives police too much power to stop and question anyone, anytime, within the safety zone.
Francisco Romero, a representative of the Committee on Raza Rights, a group opposed to the injunction, said the alleged threats brought to light this week detract from the civil-rights issue at stake.
"To us, the threats (against authorities) are hearsay," Romero said. "We're more concerned about the threat of the injunction against the community ... and exposing the unilateral decisions of the Police Department."
But a Torrance attorney representing the unnamed 500 people alleged to be part of the Colonia Chiques said threats against law enforcement officers could make it difficult to fight the injunction.
The alleged threats give prosecutors a passionate argument for cracking down on gangs, John Hachmeister said. Further, he said, he will not represent individuals if he discovers they made threats.
Though gang members may be using the injunction to justify threats against authorities, Hachmeister said, the injunction is also already being used by police officers.
Oxnard called war zone
"From what I've seen, Oxnard has become pretty much a war zone," he said. "The police are using this injunction as another one of their weapons, and the people in La Colonia are lashing back."
Oxnard police Detective Neail Holland agrees the injunction has become a tool for law enforcement.
Crime is down 32 percent in the safety zone since the injunction was filed in March, Holland reported in court documents. There has been only one major assault involving the Colonia Chiques in the past three months, down from eight during the same period last year.
But in the same document, Holland detailed an increase in graffiti and reported threats against police by Colonia Chiques gang members.
Graffiti protesting the injunction was found on houses and businesses. A death threat to police was found on a wall on Terrace Avenue in Oxnard. A news reporter told police a gang member identified Totten as the target of a "hit," and other informants said Colonia Chiques members are planning assaults on police officers.
"We've seen these kinds of threats in the past," Holland said. "They tend to surface on events like an officer-involved shooting or a crackdown (on gangs) in the neighborhood. ... We've heard worse, but these are a concern."
Police are not taking special precautions against threats but say they are "on alert."
On a related note, Judge Bysshe last week denied county Public Defender Kenneth Clayman's request to join the fight against the injunction but left the door open for a second plea. Clayman's office has said it will file a motion renewing its request and presenting new arguments.

7/25/2007 9:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David compares the city of Los Angeles with 11 million plus people to a town like Santa Barbara with 90,000 plus.

Several gang murders and countless fights, melees and stabbings and "fear on our streets" in a town of 90,000 in the past few months sounds serious enough for me. Get an injunction and get it now.

Agree, David, take your patronizing bluster some place else.

7/25/2007 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Injunction should be considered said...

Um, Sara, it is not just up to "our Chief of Police [to] decide"...he is a public servant, responsive to the City Manager and City Council---and that's where COuncil comes in.

I'm most disturbed that Chief Sanchez would reach such a conclusion, rather than asking for input, studying the situation, being able to offer real, tangible STATISTICS about how gang crime has or has not increased, in which areas, etc. Actually, gang injunctions, carefully, surgically targeted, CAN and HAVE worked in many areas to head off a situation before it gets to the point of impossible. The situation on the lower westside has reached the point that law-abiding residents WILL NOT LEAVE THEIR HOMES AFTER DARK. I'm guessing Sanchez does not live there [oh that's right, the City paid his down payment on a home in Montecito] so it's understandable that perhaps he doesn't share those resident's urgency, but it is NOT right for him to reach a conclusion without further study.

And like others have said, while Travis may have been "right on" in his piece today, even a broken clock is right twice per day.

7/25/2007 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Im in favor of trying a injunction, but as for replacing police chiefs and blackmailing parents more blah blah blah its like listening to David no objectivity but you ignore the hot air and take the 10% grains of truth.

Two murders is two to many and perhaps rather than waiting for it to get worse maybe now is the time to act.

7/25/2007 9:52 PM  
Anonymous donaldo de Santa Barbara said...

If the hoods that "house" the gangs want an injunction then I think the larger community should support it....or at least butt out. Chief Sanchez may be correct in his statement but perhaps an injunction would not hurt. David Prichettes facts are important but when it all comes out in the wash a judge could agree with an injunction if proper evidence such as the reported myspace posts and the very real evidence that the gang attacks occurred in very public spaces and are putting "bystanders" in peril.

I also do not know who the good and bad ones are but I do know that all start out good but a few gradually fall victim to politcs. What everyone needs is representation rather than politics.

I do not blame our council. I would however blame the electorate and the Chamber of Commerce for it's pro-growth policies of anything goes business that creates overburdened hoods without consistent police patrols or substations. In order to keep gang activity in check you must have a strong police presence in good times to prevent the bad times. The current policy is that police are removed from the hoods when crime decreases, then not suprisingly a surge in crime appears. The cycle repeats, over and over again.

7/25/2007 9:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds good to me. Legal filing on Lompoc gang injunctions. Getting one for Santa Barbara should be a no-brainer:

7/25/2007 10:45 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

8:46 pm -- almost hit delete with the * used above. David is entitled to his opinions and so are you. I'm happy to provide a forum and try to show all sides...and keep on trying to pull back.

There are valid points on both sides

7/25/2007 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David P calling concerned posters here shills for the NewPress is what needs to be pulled back.

Chill David. Listen to the dude who claimed you disagree with anything just because Travis said it.

7/25/2007 10:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

An article on the Mexican Mafia (I belive their HQ is the Lompoc Pen)

7/26/2007 12:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets see the building of a barrier at any price to save one life from self inflicted suicide on Cold Spring Bridge is ok, but doing something about preventing another youth murder and protecting neighborhoods isn't?


7/26/2007 6:24 AM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

Just like the immigration issue, our police force in town does not have the fortitude to root out these gangbangers and round them up. They don't enforce the law, and they are completely reactionary as opposed to pro-active in that respect. I am of the opinion that with all the detectives the PD employs, we have to have some intel on these people. Raid their homes, round them up, deport the illegals you come across. They'll have so many weapons and drugs charges to file if they took this action that they'd knock out alot of the infrastructure in one fell swoop. SBPD: go after these people before one of these animals stabs a tourist during Fiesta weekend.

7/26/2007 8:10 AM  
Blogger David Pritchett said...

Yes, I always appreciate my fans and their bad spelling, and especially when they write comments here claiming something I did not write.

Is the next question to me about how often do I beat my wife?

And, yes, I DO have an opinion on just about everything posted here at Blogabarbara, but hardly any of it actually becomes a comment posted by me.

7/26/2007 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon7:59 PM......I couldn't find anything on Goleta gangs in My Space, that was outstanding. Do you have a link? Alot of tattoos. I saw no guns. Alot of girls, children, family. Drunken tough guys are not particular to gangs or Goleta. The pictures I saw were tame compared to many others. You might want to consider more about what an injunction involves.

......I have seen other My Space that would terrify anyone. It is common for many in early 20's to expose body parts, same sex, throw up and any numerous vulgar acts. These are well to do whites. I want to injunct them all, I don't know that's a good idea. There have been My Space for the disturbed, like VT shooter, Cho, and others. The Salt Lake Tribune tells a small part about what was put on My Space for a local 20 something soldier. He also took pictures of guns. I have seen other military My Space where you wonder how that is allowed, they are now more restricted. Alcohol and drugs are a survival tool in severe situations, mixed with guns and these young men do crazy things. If you can link to what you saw to motivate an injunction, that would help. All the Goleta gang I've seen so far are very tame, compared to others.

7/26/2007 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

Violent gangs are our insurgents. You don't win with more useless laws or invasion. Temporary fix, maybe.

Military-prisons-drug trafficing.

Injunction is a feel good for no nothing headtrips. Gang violence will increase with or without injunction. Why don't you build bigger prisons and gear up for more war, that always works for your gang. Never mention drug trafficing. If Armstrong ever writes about real issues and stays away from his band-aid, feel good cure for social ills, I might listen to him.

The Armstrong gang needs an issue to resurrect his bad rap, they latch on to a one word concept that is easy to sell (remember 3 strikes). If you believe in those tooth fairy ideals, we're already safer. He wouldn't do this without Wendy hacks and trolls. August and court will be here soon. He who was lashed by Judge for dishonest, silly theatrics needs a good show.

If the hoods don't want meaningful discussions on the problems and Armstrong makes his sale, so it is. We all want senseless killing to end.

What we've seen recently is most tragic because of the young ages. The canaries are warning us, no one pays attention.

7/26/2007 10:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pot dispensary coming to the corner of Micheltorena and San Andreas. That's sure to help with the gang situation. More failed policies under the Blum Administration!

7/26/2007 10:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

07/06/2007 -- California Governor Schwarzenegger announced today that he has signed SB 271 by Senator Gilbert Cedillo (D-Los Angeles) to give prosecutors more tools in the fight against gangs. This bill is consistent with the components of the comprehensive California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention Program (CalGRIP) the Governor announced in May.

“Gangs terrorize our communities and hold our neighborhoods hostage,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “For years our enforcement and prevention efforts have been scattered and inefficient. CalGRIP is a comprehensive program that will streamline all of these efforts and ultimately will make our neighborhoods safer. This bill is consistent with CalGRIP because it has important provisions that will enable prosecutors to go after the financial means that these criminal organizations rely on.”

SB 271 will let prosecutors and city attorneys bring damage suits against gang members who have violated civil injunctions, go after their assets to satisfy the judgment, and return any recovered funds to the community they have terrorized.

CalGRIP targets more than $48 million in state and federal funding toward local anti-gang efforts, including job training, education and intervention programs, and gives law enforcement the tools to closely track gang leaders both inside state prisons and when they are released on parole. The program combines funding from different programs and directs them toward intervention, suppression and prevention.

Source: California Governor

7/26/2007 11:04 AM  
Anonymous david e said...

This is just a question in order to get more info on the injunctions...

Isn't it easy to identify the Colonia gangs by the adoption of the Dallas Cowboys colors and Star insignia? This does make it easier to know the good from the bad, right?

I ask because I wonder how, besides the intelligence collected through arrests and investigations in the past, our local police would be able to identify which 10-16 year-olds are part of a gang and which are not.

White shoes, dark blue jeans and black-navy-gray-white shirts don't necessarily describe the attire of our local gangs and could fit the profile of any number of non-gang-affiliated Latinos in the City.

(And I say Latinos because we are mostly blind to the 'White' youth who wear red and black shoes with tattoos saying 'racial loyalty', skulls and the like that are also present in our community and who believe in doctrines of hate and violence... but that's another discussion)

How would we identify individuals as gang members if they were on the streets in Santa Barbara? I can guess, but I'd like to know how others see it.

7/26/2007 11:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Getting a very mixed message here. We are told there are XYZ "known" gang members in our community. We have a special "gang unit" assigned to this targeted purpose.

And then we are told we don't know who the gang members are and we must avoid overly general "sweeps".

Am I the only one who thinks this is a crazy message and somewhere, somehow we are not getting our money spent well on this issue?

Or is the real issue, we really don't want to do anything except show up for photo-ops hand wringing at the next funeral?

Also can the city order a moritorium on any more marijuana dispensaries until we get that issue far better regulated so we don't have to destroy another city neighborhood?

7/26/2007 6:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to Santa Ganja.

7/26/2007 6:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

david e -- aren't the visual signs of gang activity arbitrary? Dallas Cowboys? Well, maybe...but they have a lot of fans too.

7/26/2007 7:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What are the City's regulations of "medical" marijuana dealers shops??? If the City allows one to open at the corner of San Andres and Micheltorena, they will have nailed the final nail in the coffin of hope of any 'law and order' on the Westside. Councilmembers, what say you?????

other cities who have had to succumb to this folklore about "medicinal" pot, have established strict regulations on the proliferation of the dealer's dens. what's the plan here?

7/26/2007 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Welcome to Santa Ganja, the Land of Paralysis by Analysis. And terms limits, so who cares.

7/26/2007 7:54 PM  
Anonymous First District Streetfighter said...

I would believe many of these so-soooo outraged anonymous commenters are not such shills when their frothy bluster did not follow the Newsmess editorials so closely, in subject and in time.

But clearly, based on all the evidence here in these thorough and detailed analyses, it all continues to be the fault of Mayor Marty Blum, no doubt about it.

7/26/2007 9:11 PM  
Anonymous concerned parent said...

Just making something illegal by having an injunction will do little to stop kids willing to fight, use drugs and kill. It just makes it all the more thrilling to be in a gang.

The best prevention is one on one mentoring. The young kids need advocates who can help them succeed, get them involved, help them be a part of positive experiences so they won't turn to negative gang experiences.

Young teenagers are rather romantic and delusional, also perpetually bored. It is all a big game full of excitement. They see themselves as warriors defending their friends and homes, their "honor" against the "others" who they can blame.

An injunction will have little effect against that kind of thinking. They need alternatives, involved adults whose approval they desire, fun and excitement and hope that is not gang related.

Santa Barbara used to be so good at this. What happened?

7/26/2007 9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stop pretending there will be Big Brohthers and Big Sisters flocking to take on Santa Barbara's increasingly dysfunctional young people.

They can't even get them to behave in Hope Ranch, so who the heck do you think can even be good role models?

So since no one is going to step up to "mentor" all these kids - people in Santa Barbara already pay someone else to raise their own kids, then what is Plan B?

Plan B has to include more hired police presence on the streets and the impacted neighborhoods. Real community policing with substations, beats and precincts.

People did not pay through their noses to come here to have a worse life than they left behind. And they will pay for more police, but no more for addled social programs that simply have not worked.

Forget about solving the causes of crime. Yada, yads, yada from non-experts. It is now time to deal with the consequences of crime.

And that means letting these punks know loud and clear they are not welcome and their behavior choices offend the very community standards they themselves came to enjoy here, but no longer can at our expense...... and their cause.

The cause of crime are punks. Start dealing with the punks first, and then look for airy-fairy "reasons".

7/26/2007 10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good old Beullton put together this list of other cities around California and what they do to regulate marijuana shops:

7/26/2007 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Get rid of marijuana shops in Santa Barbara by demanding the city council uphold federal law over California law - federal pre-emption, just like a lot of other far saner communities in California have done.

Or, throw the bums out. And let's see what The Bushmen will do if anyone wants to take that prohibition all the way to the US Supreme Court.

What was Santa Barbara thinking when they let this grotesque situation to occur? Oh right, they were being "progressive" and "compassionate". And sold us all down the river.

You want medical marijuana? Buy it at a pharmacy just like any other drug. And be sure to see the NO SMOKING sign on the pharmacy wall and don't light the darn stuff up until you are in your own home and out of your ca and off of my streets.

7/26/2007 10:56 PM  
Anonymous kill two birds said...

Injunction sounds good to me for the following two consequences

1) Will empower police to interfere before a violent act is committed.

2) Negative image for SB will help keep housing prices down!

Let's do it!

7/26/2007 11:37 PM  
Anonymous david e said...

Where's the Special Injunction for IV-- how much of the violent crime in the county happens there?

Oh yeah-- looks like there was a stabbing and attempted murder too.

Anon 7:41.... I was referring to Colonia using the cowboys and insignia as symbols of the gang-- take out the 'W' and you have "Co boys" as in "Colonia Boys". Yes, gang attire may be arbitrary, but in that neighborhood the colors and symbols are significant.

7/27/2007 12:19 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We seem to have eliminated what doesn't work. Somebody used a great word and nobody else picked up on it. BOREDOM. I am not for structuring kids 24 hours a day but I certainly believe in keeping them busy and off the streets. Have you noticed that the kids who work, do sports and are active in the community get in less trouble? Not that they are perfect but they have other things in their lives. Most kids are followers looking for a leader to show them the way and give them confidence. Look at all the middle class or better white kids hanging around De la Guerra Plaza panhandling. Get a clue parents. These kids are drifting and bored to death. You really don't need to give them everything. Let them work for the things they want like gas money or a car, entertainment expenses, designer clothes and shoes, and expensive makeup etc.

Bring back the CCC. Get these kids out serving the communities and working hard. That program turned kids around by teaching them values, discipline and accomplishment. In the old days, a judge could offer a kid the option to join the military as opposed to jail. Again, the idea was to teach kids the value of teamwork, discipline and accomplishment.

Advocacy, Big Brothers, Little Sisters, YMCA etc. are great for the younger kids. Older kids need stronger examples of leadership to counter the messages from the gangs.

7/27/2007 5:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If a gang injunction means the police can intervene faster with more authority, then let's do it. If the message on the streets changes, you will see things change.

Right now the punks have the upper hand.

(1) Their parents are not demanding better behavior from them, (2) the schools are just dumping them and scared about being labeled politically incorrect, the (3) churches are all white and clueless, (4) the city and non-profit programs do not even touch the problem with the bad and dangerous kids and (5) and individual citizens are fed up and feel no need to use their own stressed out lives to clean up someone else's mess when they are (6)increasingly seeing this as a police problem, not a people problem.

We have 900 non-profits in this town taking up a lot of everyone's time and money and doing pretty much nothing besides enabling those who know how to game this system, and offering nothing to the real ills of this society - kids who don't know how to grow up and who can tyrannize the rest of us who are spinning into feckless responses.

You are right. These kids need stronger role model parents. But society has not produced them in a long, long time. So finding those that can, already have their hands full.

Moaning about this and shifting the blame further and further away from taking any lawful action is a total waste of time at this point.

You have to start first with the problem - the punk kids and the city should start first with everything they can legally do to get these specific kids out of the way and into something that that protects the rest of us and may in the long run, do them some good too.

But it is time for all those who want to find far-fetched excuses and unsubstantiated causation theories and claims kids are "bored" to just shut up.

I sure would like to know why people want to kill any hard core solutions with their soft, meaningless and unproductive words while our streets continue to burn.

This city needs a better parenting role model too. And soon. The time has come to send a better and stronger message. And listen to the Latino parents - they are begging for help. Why do so many people in this town not want to listen to what they are telling us.

They don't want any more soft white solutions for a looming large brown gang problem. They want actions in their own neigbhorhoods before it all spills out into yours.

Screw whether this affects tourism. It affects Santa Barbara first, right here and right now. Act to limit it. Right here and right now. That is the best message you can send tourists even if that is the only thing you are worried about.

7/27/2007 7:39 AM  
Anonymous watching said...

Is there a list available of all the "medical" marijuana dispensaries in SB? I remember an article about the plant shop at Ontare and State not reporting break ins because they were related to the pot that was being "medically" dispensed there. What is the criteria to be a legal dealer? Oh yeah, raising plants.

7/27/2007 8:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

blaming the medical mj shops for gang violence is like invading iraq to revenge the 9/11 terrorists (from saudia arabia)

apparently the medical mj shops have put the street dealers out of business- in my opinion that is a good thing

mj is not going away any more than prohibition made alcohol dissapear & anyone with common sense knows it causes lethargic rather than agressive behavior (if you want to talk about agressive behavior caused by substances how about alcohol- lets get rid of all the neighborhood liquor shops if you want to get real about this)

did anyone commenting here bother to read the article in the indie (see the link above by 12:04 pm) about the mexican mafia? what that particular article doesn't mention is that they deal in meth & meth is a substance with a lot of violent behavior attached to it

i don't know the solution, this gang thing runs deep (read the article) & those who have the right solutions are probably not the white middle class blogers

but we can educate ourselves on the problem before trying to talk about solutions that have little relation to reality

blaming medical mj shops is a big diversion from dealing with the realities of the problem of gangs

read the article, these gangs are well organized

7/27/2007 9:08 AM  
Anonymous cbg said...

Is there a theme here, no one has time for kids, mentoring won't work... let's have more restrictive structures? Now McCaw has a new interest in child victims and one of her columnists is an advocate for children, what do they propose?

At this time, I'm not for or against an injunction. My first impression is it will not change much. I am open to consideration.

Tagging each new crop of 10 yo's, as the age gets lower it will start earlier, is another monitoring system. Is that cost effective?

Alcohol and cigerettes are the gateway of gateway drugs. They are not being used medicinally. The damage they do in every neighborhood is incaluable. If prohibition works on less destructive substance, why not get rid of the real killers?

How is the medicinal distribution of marijuana going to make the gang problem worse? Other factors corrupt people. Work in a hospital, there are many addicts. They don't become corrupt because sick people are distributed narcotics.

I have to say it does seem some form of astroturfing, a gang mentality, is going on here. They don't seem to have knowledge of children or social ills. The over the top emotional pleas don't show much sincerity. The changes brought about by stirring the public that way won't help.

A townhall meeting the N-P would attend with Police Chief and leaders would make sense. The editorials from someone with so much public disgrace, doesn't work for the little people. The N-P must address their issues in a manner where trust can be restored. New proposals need to be well researched and outlined, after that a townhall discussion.

7/27/2007 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is when kids drop out from wanting to be around adults in their teenage years is when the problems happen.

Let those kids have easy access to mind-altertering drugs and no sense of societal consequence at this stage of their lives, and you have the recipe for disaster, white, black, brown, yellow or green.

Take all the money wasted on do nothing non-profits and create jobs that benefit the entire community and get these kids at this stage in their lives into something productive they do with their own skills and hands.

Incentivize good behavior with good old hard cash. Direct benefits going to these at risk kids is far better than funding a bunch of white people with their stupid feel good theories that have done nothing other than feather their own nests.

7/27/2007 10:18 AM  
Anonymous emily said...

Maybe if kids in school still got to have daily PE classes, electives and other ways they could develop some physical and creative outlets, base violence wouldn't be their only alternative. There was a harsh message sent to kids when the school board recently voted down Bob Noel's attempt to get a non-college-bound high school.

7/27/2007 1:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for everyone who is angry about the pot shops, dont bother the city with it they wont act. If you are angry write the DEA they are beginning to mess with the shops in Los Angeles. Medical Marijuana isnt a bad thing unfortunately its been exploited by some of the shops and doctors who will give anyone a prescription if they would tighten it up it wouldnt be a problem and there are definately people it helps.

As for David Pritchetts IV comment its generally not gang related violence out there David, there are some hanger ons for the Goleta gang and visiting gangs from other areas but the sheriffs would be able to use the injuction against those local members. Its like the last homeless murders they are not associated as a gang just victims of reagan the mentally ill, drug abusers etc, a injunction would be used against those who associate in a gang. Of course for someone as all knowing as you Im suprised that fact didnt occur to you.

7/27/2007 3:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is hard to dispute that keeping teens and pre-teens busy is one way to keep them out of trouble. Sports and electives, usually provided by schools and the City Recreation Department, have been reduced in recent years. It is blamed on lack of funding. According to the Santa Barbara School District, it has discovered millions of dollars it didn't know about. Some of that money should immediately be put to the use for which it was intended. What has the School Board or Administration done with the millions found last June except to hire a consultant to help study how the funds disappeared and how and when it reappeared? Is there any reason to not give the students the immediate benefit of the funds provided for them by the payers of taxes? When will the Board decide?

7/27/2007 5:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Das outlined a plan and I think we need to give it more time to work. We need to get some counseling or anger management people out to help them.

7/27/2007 6:39 PM  
Anonymous Adult Ethics First said...

Yes indeed we need police action immediately....the gateway drug is actually gasoline. We're all adicted. The police action needs to start with arresting adults or adult age poppies, mommies, grannies and grampies. If you put the police action on the street, where all crimes begin, with motor vehicle and municipal code infractions. Start correcting the problem with the adults who are the bad examples that lead to our culture of sucessive generational lawlessness. Make a grand statement to children that you will not emulate your elders without punishment....get police on the streets now!

7/27/2007 9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At the very first gang murder, there must be a mechanism in place for an immediate all gang restraining order and a 6 month cool-down period. End of discussion.

Why wait for the first gang murder to lead to the retaliatory second gang murder which leads to the third retaliatory gang murder .etc.

We know this happens. It is the ugly part of this long entrenched culture. We can not get rid of gangs. That is not the issue.

What we need to get rid of are the situations where gang behavior spill out on to the general population. When good people live in fear in their own houses and are afraid to walk their own streets, it is time to take immediate action.

And it is time for gangs to get the message loud and clear they had better get all of their members to behave according to community standards. or they ALL suffer the consequences.

Put police on the streets 24/7 at the very first gang violence. And keep them there .Just like Iraq where they try to win the city block by block - but this time let's start out with enough people to do the job.

And this is no endorsement for Bush - he sucks. Just the Petreus plan of holding block by block until a sense of safety is regained. That is the community policing that I want to see. ASAP

7/27/2007 9:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really am stumped as to why the residents of Santa Barbara are not up in arms about these killings on and next to their main shopping and entertainment streets! I guess they are unaware of the people who usually visit, but have gracefully bowed out of spending their money on a SB weekend and instead chose other safer venues to relax and recharge. Increasingly people are becoming aware of what is going on up/down there.

Who wants to visit a place to relax when young gang members are flashing gang signs as one walks down the street and goes on to kill a block away from where 'weekenders' are relaxing?

We jet set tourists from the north and the south are not at all ignorant about how unsafe Santa Barbara has become. We have just begun slowly to go elsewhere.

Wake up Santa Barbara! Fight for your city! When I have spoken to Santa Barbarans about this they all say, "No problem here. There have always been gangs." Sure, but what of the killings on the street and near the major entertainment and tourist area of town? Where else shall we tourists go? State street is where most all the action is. How long until these thugs replace their knives for guns?

If State street is a diving line for the east/west gangs you are going to be a town held hostage if you don't stop and shut these thugs down now.

Sounds like the city is going to wait until a tourist is dead and maybe a few innocent locals (will one of them be you, a loved one, or a friend?) to really be proactive. Then you won't have a tourist industry, atleast not much of one. Then the city will have more then just one problem. What happens when these gangs increase fighting over meth being shipped up from south of the border, while they are high on meth and that much more unhinged and divorced from reality? Add guns, add cars that race at high rates of speeds through streets and mindless of lights. Add young kids as clients for their wares and college kids.

It is all the rage now in West LA to talk about the gangs and all the killing and fighting in tourist and general residents venues in Santa Barbara. People who would normally think of purchasing a second or primary home are beginning to look elsewhere. We know what the score is and we know unless you get off your analysis paralysis and your 'poor kids' mentality and start showing the thugs they are no longer welcome in your community in a strong enforcement show of force you are ALL going to be held hostage and a few will be dead in time too. Will it be you? A family member? A friend or peer?

The longer this goes on the world of tourist will know too and begin to fade away. There are plenty of safer places to visit with loads of beauty.

Denial pills in the water up there? Santa Barbara's stock is being severly downgraded and will continue to decline until you begin to fight for the safety of your community and make it the number one priority.

For those that despise the rich and monied in their community. Rejoice! One thing you can be assured of is money will not be flowing like a river in Santa Barbara for long if you don't resolve the one thing that the rich will not stand for and that is the feeling of not being safe. There is one group that this will attract though and that is fellow violent offenders and gang members. Which would you rather have as a neighbor?

7/28/2007 2:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of these comments are just raw desperation. Demands for a gang injunction are as practical and rational as enforcing aginst illegal immigration. Sure, it may be a legal option, but what would be the consequences and shock as a result?
Also, would anyone really do it?

I've also noticed alot of comments here in this string complain about prior comments that were not even said by the person (or fake name) that the comment is attributed to.

Please, people, if you are going to debate and criticize someone else, at least get the names right and know who you are really mad at.

7/28/2007 9:42 AM  
Anonymous concerned parent said...

If concentrating our efforts on filling the streets with police were going to work, wouldn't the killing of the young boy near Saks have been prevented? Dozens of police were a couple of blocks away because of some kind of special exercise. It didn't stop a thing.

That is not to say that good police work isn't important, but the trick is to stop it before crimes happen.

Perhaps all the emotional, harsh calls to "crush the punks" are by people who are just lazy. It takes a lot more effort to actually get involved, help on a one to one basis rather than just call for someone else (police) to fix it.

We need to identify the teenagers in trouble, help them, change their behavior, turn things around. Just locking everyone up after they are damaged beyond repair is expensive and stupid.
Santa Barbara is smarter than that.

On another point, Travis is trying to distract everyone from the Newspress mess and from his own scurrilous behavior. Often a Republican trick, change the subject, get a witch-hunt going, mobilize people against the "punks" and they will forget all about you. We see that with the immigration issue. Suddenly everyone on the right is all upset about the immigration problem. Just because bashing gays is not working for them any longer. These emotional, irrational, authoritarian calls to arms against the punks smacks of the immigration issue. A little racism here?

7/28/2007 11:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please stop defining all issues in Santa Barbara as mere NewsPress mess distraction.

That is both insulting and irresponsible and in fact covers up the real issues that Travis and many, many others are finally waking up to address.

And no, I am not a NewsPress hack or FOW.

7/28/2007 2:20 PM  
Anonymous concerned citizen said...

concerned parent said...These emotional, irrational, authoritarian calls to arms against the punks smacks of the immigration issue. A little racism here?

I couldn't say it any better. I've heard others who don't think TA passes the smell test. It's politics and they are doing are not putting on a good show.

7/28/2007 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Vigilante Justice may be what's in order. The Police and the City Government just look the other way. Don't we have the right to protect ourselves and our neighborhoods?

7/28/2007 4:37 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

2:20 PM -- you might have tried to notice that this was a post written by one of our readers that was supportive of TKA's editorial. I actually didn't write it or comment on it...I didn't make it about the News-Press, the reader wanted to talk about the issue written in the News-Press. Nothing wrong with that.

7/28/2007 10:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think our local gov't & police are equipped to deal with this problem. The gangs are very powerful & most of the posts here seem naive as to that reality. It may be something that only the Federal gov't has the ability to address.

7/29/2007 12:28 AM  
Anonymous learningaboutgangs said...

"It's been called the most dangerous gang in American history. In Los Angeles alone, it's responsible for over 100 homicides per year. With less than 300 members, it controls a 40,000-strong street army of gangsters eager to throw down and stand up for the cause. It flies the flag of the Black Hand and its business is murder. Although known on the streets for over fifty years, the Mexican Mafia has flown under the radar of the public's awareness and flourished under a deep cover of secrecy. Members are forbidden to even acknowledge its existence. For the first time, in its history, the Mexican Mafia is getting the attention it's been trying to avoid... As the first prison gang to ever project its power beyond prison walls, the Mexican Mafia controls virtually every Hispanic neighborhood in Southern California and is rapidly expanding its influence into the entire Southwest, the East Coast and even into Canada. With law enforcement seemingly powerless to stop it and riding a wave of unchecked immigration, the Mexican Mafia is poised to become the Cosa Nostra of a demographically changing 21st century America."

"A small group of Mexican-American inmates organized themselves into what would become to be known as the Mexican Mafia. They patterned their organization after the Italian Mafia, which was often discussed in the media during the 1950s. They even copied the Black Hand symbol used by the Italians...

Early requirements of the gang required prospective members to be Mexican. Members also had to have completed at least one ‘hit’ or stabbing and their status in the gang was then based on their seniority and dedication. Dedication was usually proven by how many assaults they had engaged in."

7/29/2007 11:40 AM  
Anonymous david e said...

I was waiting for this one....

As soon as I read about Mr Rafael speaking to the Channel City Club, I knew ignorance would rear its ugly side and folks would be linking our local gangs to the 'Mexican Mafia.'

J'Amy Brown's article in the Independent takes the speaker and his writings out of context-- never providing a quote about our local gang problem and any relation to the Mexican Mafia, but nonetheless inserting a paragraph about local gang incidents into the story in an irresponsible manner. J'Amy goes as far as to question why there were no local government officials in attendance, again without stating if the author/speaker had anything to say about any connection to our local gangs, and again implying to readers that there was a clear connection between the two criminal groups.

The post above referring to stabbings as a means of recognition is also woefully ignorant, as recent stabbings have involved slashing wounds and wounds to parts of the body not containing the vital organs or neck-- meaning harm was meant and not murder. The distinction is necessary-- if a stabbing and murder resulted in respect, it is clearly not the goal of any of the kids who are carrying knives these days. Which is also to say that these kids are so timid, they hide behind the fear induced by a knife.

Please, people. Do not think that these kids are the foot soldiers for the Mexican Mafia. The people in the neighborhoods who are scared simply have to stand up to the kids and say "No! Get outta here!" when they see a group doing nothing but posturing and posing. These are not thugs-- they are kids who think they are tough, and who've never had an adult stand up to them and tell them to get it together. Try it some time-- you won't be stabbed, you won't be robbed, you won't be beaten.

These kids are afraid of adults, and especially afraid of doing harm to any 'white' person lest the full wrath of the government and populous come down upon them. They only attack those like them-- young, latino, shaved heads, baggy black/dark blue jeans, white/black/navy/gray shirts, white tennis shoes is the model. A stereotype, yes, but one to go by and not to fear or at which we demonstrate anger.

Do not be irrational. And don't say that we should do anything harsh, such as an injunction, because the people in the neighborhoods are scared. Every time a kid is arrested for gang-related activity, the relatives and friends of the kids always say the same thing: "We didn't know he was involved in gangs.... he is a good kid." So people who are afraid for their own safety and the safety of their children because they live in the same neighborhoods want OTHER people's kids to be stopped, but rarely know that their own kids are involved. Would these folks say the same things, demand the same actions, if they were told that their own kids, nephews, cousins were tagged as gang-affiliates who would be under the watch of a militarized, authoritarian, combative police force? Not likely.

There are better answers out there. We are smart people in this City-- let's come up with some solutions. Don't just use the murders and violence as a conversation piece when you go have brunch at Mesa Cafe, dinner at Via Maestra, a work-day lunch at the Natural Cafe, sip drinks at Chad's, or look for some produce at Trader Joe's. You can't act simultaneously as though this violence is directly affecting your person, and at the same time separate yourself so much that you demand that it is only the problem of the City and Police to handle it. You wouldn't complain about your house being on fire and refuse to do anything about it, would you?

We all need to get involved. We all need to do something. Ideas? Here's some off the top of my head:

-Neighborhood watch groups, neighborhood meetings in the affected neighborhoods to control any groups of kids who pose in order to intimidate...

-Opening churches and businesses as 'safe zones' where anyone who fears pressure to join or contribute to gang violence can go and feel safe or just to exist for a second while the heat subsides...

-Controlling the sale of alcohol at grocery stores, liquor stores, drug stores that are open at all hours and contribute to binge drinking and allow for easy theft and unscrupulous sales of alcohol by and to underage kids...

-Hiring more police officers and fully funding the SBPD so that walking patrols and bike patrols and community outreach can extend into the affected neighborhoods...

-Removing the continuation schools like El Puente and La Cuesta that house all the troubled kids in one place and make it easy for them to conspire and dream up stupid ideas for trouble and violence...

-Hosting credible and professional athletes or former athletes and coaches to hold sports camps that get kids involved and interested in sports year-round (because kids idolize pro teams and athletes, and demand credibility over just local fame)...

-Provide other kids with something to do like arcades and video games, later-than-7pm movie showings, public events featuring cars, music, etc. that draw on the things latino youth are culturally aligned to...

-Arrest/cite/fine/ban businesses that exploit immigrant laborers picked up 'on the wall' that aren't paid union wages, prevailing wages, etc in order to get parents home raising their kids...

-Adopt city-wide living wages (except for those under 18) to pay parents in our crowded restaurant and service and retail industry money that would allow them to be home with their kids instead of working 2 jobs...

-Assign troubled kids to willing companies who would teach the kids job skills as opposed to sending them to jail, subjecting parents to fines, or expelling the kids from school...

-Organizing local professionals who would teach out youth to buy into the system of 401(k)s, Pensions, Health Insurance, Job Skills, Resumes, Professionalism, Finances/Business/Entrepreneurialism [sic], Certifications, etc over the system of fear, violence, unwillingness to 'rat' on crime, the system of street respect and street credibility, the system where education/jobs/careers are limited by perception of ability and capability...

Come on, Santa Barbara. There's got to be ideas and energy that can be put in here. We're better than this. Win hearts and minds. Come up with long-term solutions. Don't just look for heavy handed solutions because we think they'll work in the short term. Short term solutions never work in the long run. And I know we plan on staying here for a while.

7/29/2007 2:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cities sue gangs in bid to stop violence

By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer

Fed up with deadly drive-by shootings, incessant drug dealing and graffiti, cities nationwide are trying a different tactic to combat gangs: They're suing them.

Fort Worth and San Francisco are among the latest to file lawsuits against gang members, asking courts for injunctions barring them from hanging out together on street corners, in cars or anywhere else in certain areas.

The injunctions are aimed at disrupting gang activity before it can escalate. They also give police legal reasons to stop and question gang members, who often are found with drugs or weapons, authorities said. In some cases, they don't allow gang members to even talk to people passing in cars or to carry spray paint.

"It is another tool," said Kevin Rousseau, a Tarrant County assistant prosecutor in Fort Worth, which recently filed its first civil injunction against a gang. "This is more of a proactive approach."

But critics say such lawsuits go too far, limiting otherwise lawful activities and unfairly targeting minority youth.

"If you're barring people from talking in the streets, it's difficult to tell if they're gang members or if they're people discussing issues," said Peter Bibring, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. "And it's all the more troubling because it doesn't seem to be effective."

Civil injunctions were first filed against gang members in the 1980s in the Los Angeles area, a breeding ground for gangs including some of the country's most notorious, such as the Crips and 18th Street.

The Los Angeles city attorney's suit in 1987 against the Playboy Gangster Crips covered the entire city but was scaled back after a judge deemed it too broad.

Chicago tried to target gangs by enacting an anti-loitering ordinance in 1992 but the U.S. Supreme Court struck it down in 1999, saying it gave police the authority to arrest without cause.

Since then, cities have used injunctions to target specific gangs or gang members, and so far that strategy has withstood court challenges.

Los Angeles now has 33 permanent injunctions involving 50 gangs, and studies have shown they do reduce crime, said Jonathan Diamond, a spokesman for the Los Angeles City Attorney's Office.

The injunctions prohibit gang members from associating with each other, carrying weapons, possessing drugs, committing crimes and displaying gang symbols in a safety zone — neighborhoods where suspected gang members live and are most active. Some injunctions set curfews for members and ban them from possessing alcohol in public areas — even if they're of legal drinking age.

Those who disobey the order face a misdemeanor charge and up to a year in jail. Prosecutors say the possibility of a jail stay — however short — is a strong deterrent, even for gang members who've already served hard time for other crimes.

"Seven months in jail is a big penalty for sitting on the front porch or riding in the car with your gang buddies," said Kinley Hegglund, senior assistant city attorney for Wichita Falls.

Last summer, Wichita Falls sued 15 members of the Varrio Carnales gang after escalating violence with a rival gang, including about 50 drive-by shootings in less than a year in that North Texas city of 100,000.

Since then, crime has dropped about 13 percent in the safety zone and real estate values are climbing, Hegglund said.

Other cities hope for similar results.

San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera sued four gangs in June after an "explosion" in gang violence, seven months after filing the city's first gang-related civil injunction.

Fort Worth sued 10 members of the Northcide Four Trey Gangsta Crips in May after two gang members were killed in escalating violence, said Assistant City Attorney Chris Mosley.

"Our hope is that these defendants will be scared into compliance just by having these injunctions against them," Mosley said.

However, some former gang members say such legal maneuvers wouldn't have stopped them.

Usamah Anderson, 30, of Fort Worth, said he began stealing cars and got involved with gangs as a homeless 11-year-old. He was arrested numerous times for theft and spent time in juvenile facilities.

Anderson says if a civil injunction had been in place then, he and his friends would have simply moved outside the safety zone.

"That's the life you live, so you're going to find a way to maneuver around it," said Anderson, a truck driver who abandoned the gang life about seven years ago and has started a church to help young gang members.

The ACLU and other critics of gang injunctions favor community programs. The Rev. Jack Crane, pastor of Truevine Missionary Baptist Church in Fort Worth, is helping Anderson's group provide gang members with counseling, shoes and other resources needed to help them escape that life.

"We don't want to lose another generation," Crane said.

Some residents in the Fort Worth safety zone say they feel better with the injunction in place.

Phoebe Picazo, who recently moved to the city to care for her elderly parents, said she hears gunfire almost every night.

"This has always been a quiet community with a lot of seniors, but now we're having to keep our doors locked," Picazo said. "With the injunction, I feel better for my folks."

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

7/29/2007 6:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David e, you have a list of excellent suggestions. And there is no reason to have also a heavy-handed punishment system as well. This is not either or. It is time for both. It is stupid to just put all the eggs into "soft" solutions. It is a hard world out there for all of us and the sooner we all learn how to deal with society that has both benefits and consequences, the better.

Think of all the Hindu gods and goddesses with their multiple out-stretched hands. One hand always held a "boon" ( an offering for justice" but the other just as equally held weapons for punishment and revenge. All these aspects are part of healthy human functioning, according to these ancient sages.

7/29/2007 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

david e, what evidence do you have that this escalating gang violence in sb is NOT linked to a larger gang i.e. the mm?

7/29/2007 7:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lets hope the City leaders grow some testicles and go after the gangs. My fear is that something goes down during the annual drunken fiesta and someone gets hurt/killed and we have more reactive and worthless town meetings.

7/29/2007 8:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the article about suing gangs:

QUOTE: Since then, crime has dropped about 13 percent in the safety zone and real estate values are climbing, Hegglund said.

Other cities hope for similar results. UNQUOTE

Sounds like an ecellent idea. Or, does this ruin the city's plan to create affordable housing by letting some neighborhoods become crime infested.

Yes, escalating crime and grafitti are all part of escalating gang activity. The grafitti targets house to late come back and rob, and identifies places to drop and pick up drugs.

7/29/2007 8:37 PM  
Anonymous david e said...

to 6:47--
That's a more thoughtful response than I've been reading and hearing. Perhaps a multi-pronged strategy would work. My only fear is that people act irrationally and emotionally, and the use of 'thugs' shows that people are separated from the violence and know little of what is going on. A cultural divide already exists in Santa Barbara, and 'whites' in this town have always demonstrated antipathy towards Latinos. Violence only gives people a reason to do what they've already been doing-- fearing young Latinos, moving themselves and their kids from Latino neighborhoods... But I appreciate your comments, and consideration for 'alternative' ideas.

to 7:47--
This is an interesting debating tool. It's funny because I just watched 'Thank You For Smoking' again today. There is a scene in the movie where the main character tells his son that in an argument, if you convince people that your opponent is wrong, you have shown people that you are right. My response to you is this: until you can show me how the two are directly connected, your fear is only fear, and irrational and inflammatory. You are asking me to prove a negative, which is impossible. The onus is on you to prove the connection, and until and unless you do so, to insinuate and presume a link is irresponsible and demonstrative of the ugly side of ignorance of which I am speaking. Prove me wrong in a clear cut manner-- not just by showing how some guy in Santa Barbara has a cousin who spent time in Wasco with a friend who's uncle was in the Mexican Mafia, and therefore the West Side gang is affiliated with the Mafia.

To others who use articles citing crime rates--
What are the crimes that are being reduced? Is this violent crime or is it all crime, including traffic violations and misdemeanors? Is 13% directly related to the injunction, or are there other tactics to reduce violence that are being implemented? Is 13% worth the trouble of an injunction and significant enough to warrant the expense? Does the imposition of an injunction create a psychological effect on the gangs and neighborhoods-- to create a fear for the gangs that makes them think twice about committing a crime, or a sense of security among the residence that this is a fix-all solution (this is important to know whether it is knowledge of a policy that reduces crime more than the actual tactics, and if the relief felt by residents is a false sense of security)?

7/29/2007 11:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i grew up in this town. gang activity is nothing new. the answer isn’t injunction…it’s more difficult and expensive. it’s education, jobs and opportunity.

7/29/2007 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David e, to tell the whole story one needs to also recognize the Latino community has a lot of antipathy towards the Anglo community too. There is a long-standing invisible divide between these two historic and important cultures in this town.

Communication has broken down on both sides. And "Ols Spanish Days Fiesta" is certainly not the place this gulf in knowledge and appreciation gets transversed. Often it represents an exacerbation of misconceptions.

Additionally, Anglos need to understand the Latino community is not monolithic either - there are plenty of sub-groups there two, just like the Anglo community is not monolithic either.

Prejudice exists on both sides, to everyone's detriment. But this is still a later side issue, but an important dialogue that needs to open.

First issue remains isolating violent gang members so that all members of this community, Anglo and Latino and everyone inbetween, can feel safe in their homes, schools, parks and streets.

7/30/2007 7:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Education, Jobs, and Opportunity are already here. This is still the United States. These are just criminals. If they break the law they need to be locked up and it doesn't matter how old they are.

7/30/2007 8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Using your impeccable editorial discretion, it may be timely and helpful to have a discourse on prevailing Anglo/Latio perceptions and mispercetions of each other. This may be a necessary layer to penetrate before we concentrate on the numerous common demoninators we also share.

Here goes:

2. Latinos can think all Anglos are rich and privleged and life is easy for them, not knowing many Anglos had to work hard, came from violent homes and had to boostrap themselves into the middle class with no one helping them at all.

2. Anglos often think every brown person they see in Santa Barbara is an illegal immigrant, or their parents were. Not acknowledging many Hispanic families have been here for many, many generations, long before many of the current Anglo residents.

7/30/2007 8:09 AM  
Anonymous learningaboutgangs said...

david e,

You have already been given quotes about the pervasiveness of the MM that you have not addressed. If you believe them wrong then it is up to you to disprove them, not go off on a philosophical tangent.

I am not sure how long you've lived in SB or or whether you have any direct experience with the violence & drug trafficking that exists here as a result of the MM. If you have not, then you'll need to open your mind, do some research to learn about why SB is a prime breeding ground for such activities.

7/30/2007 10:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly injunction is a news mess distraction, it needs to be said and REPEATED. It's not that hard to get to the facts on an injunction and note T.A. plea and timing. If injunctions are of value here, they could survive T.A. More productive would be to face the issues, it is not a quick fix. It is not only Santa Barbara. Drug trafficing is not isolated from gangs, no one talks about that.

Tourists are a bigger threat to my safety. I am fine if they stay away. The fights and stabbings are among the gangs so far. A bigger threat to tourists comes from the community communication breakdown. And the tradition of images to please the tourist industry causes truth to go out the window. Tourist can see how the Rhino tourist death was treated. This is not a town that warns about serial rapists in tourist areas, remember?

If tourists are wising up about Santa Barbara, maybe the locals will one day.

7/30/2007 11:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Santa Barbara has been in denial. The adults have zero trust in institutions.

I don't like gangs anywhere, but the problems were here before, hidden in neighborhoods. White gangs don't get the press attention. Other gangs can be said to be immigration problems or provoked. More likely it is the prison system. Unjust laws, drug territory. I don't have proof of any specifics. I have known white gangs in a white neighborhood. I don't believe all the drugs are manufactured in Santa Barbara. If white gangs have prison connections, does it make sense zero Mexican prison-drug trafficing gangs here? Santa Barbara is the only place that is uneffected by prison gangs? No drug trafficing? These fatal big problems we're having are from Medicinal marijuana centers and young gang bangers?

Teen gangs are not in control of the city. Now we do have suffering children pouring out into the streets and callous people. The word gang gives more impact to the situation. These things have been kept quiet from the tourists by higher ups for years. The gang incidents are a little more out of the closet now, that's all. Tensions over the arguements and treatments of families trying to work don't help.

Tourists aren't less safe, they are learning they never were safe.

Santa Barbara is run with an unhealthy dependency on the tourist industry. We sacrifice the truth, children, elderly and infirmed at times. Maybe a few more tourist sacrifices. This is what we get and deserve. Housing and everything should go down, (that isn't because of teenage gangs). Problem is, the super rich will buy more and get richer. They will make more laws. They want control & have paranoia to protect. They are not creating a good society for all. When these rich, want they can replace the service industry with workers from 3rd world countries. As the gang stories get blown up, it will seem necessary to replace certain people. If voting is still an option, that is how the people can be heard.

Santa Barbara is held hostage but not by the teen gangs.

7/30/2007 3:11 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

8:09 AM -- I am loath to make race a topic here as some readers are responsible around their comments and some are not.....this could quite easily get out of hand and I WILL HIT THE DELETE BUTTON if I think someone is going too far...does that sound fair?

7/30/2007 7:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The white middle class is dying in this town and soon will be dead. This is a reality. Let's live with it.

The sooner the better we accept this new reality, just the way we had to accept its artificial creation back in the public and defense funded middle class job creation of the 1970's.

The middle class is artificial and has shown no reason it should be saved - all it did was grow government beyond all reasonable expectation and create public employee unions that have a lock on the vast majority of our tax dollars.

What's to save about that?

7/30/2007 7:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sare, regarding recieving comments in your admirable justification should not be printed on this topic of perceptions and misperceptions across Santa Barbara's racial/ethnic/socio-economic divide, would you be willing to sanitize and summarize the gist of them because our community in fact does float on the depth of these comments

Unspoken, they remain the 800 pound elephant that keeps us from really looking at each other and talking and listening.

I would like to have these deep issues tenderly brought out into the sunshine, so we can finally move forward on this smaller and smaller ship we are sailing together on.

Thank you for your consideration of this.

7/30/2007 8:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Mayor was on TV offering again the solution of trying to understand what makes thugs thugs. More failed offerings from the Blum Administration. How about a gang injunction and enforcing the law? Has that ever crossed the minds of City Officials? Time to take the gloves off and take back our streets! Why should I be a prisoner of my own home because my neighborhood has become infected with gang bangers?

7/30/2007 8:03 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

8:01 pm -- that puts me in a tough position don't you think? Am willing with a great deal of understanding from our readers but am not sure that is possible....I see what you are saying and pretty much agree with your assessment that it is the 800 pound gorilla.

If others can chime in and not re-comment in this unscientific poll -- I will consider.

8:03 pm -- our police chief should be the last say on this and I don't think the mayor would approach this otherwise. he deals with this everyday -- more than we do. So does she for that matter...let's let this idea develop rather than being strident about it. I'm not so sure that is the answer -- and I am not sure most Santa Barbarians think that either.

7/30/2007 10:49 PM  
Anonymous david e said...

to learningaboutgangs--

I agree. You have given quotes, as have others, about the pervasiveness, as you say, of the Mexican Mafia and the drug trade. However, you still have not provided, in those quotes or in any other piece of information, a direct connection to the gangs in Santa Barbara. To say that 'Southern California street gangs' are in cahoots with the MM is one thing, but when pressed for specifics, feel free to provide those specifics. Until there is a demonstrated link, simply implying, inferring or insinuating a connection does not, by any measure, warrant a declaration of the subordinated status of our local gangs to the MM. You have not provided the evidence constituting a link. You have only provided generalities about the MM, gangs, and the as yet undefined geographical region of 'Southern California' (the question is begged, by your logic, that if we are no longer in Southern California do we then no longer have a MM connection to street gangs?). Show me, please, because my mind is open and so far there's just nothing there.

to 7/30 @ 7:39am--

I agree with you in all parts. Though I never stated the other side, that there exists antipathy toward 'whites' by many Latinos, it was not for lack of recognizing this as part of the overall problem. Now that you have brought it up, I probably should have made that more clear in what I had written. My comments have been in response to what can very easily be perceived as stereotypical, racial, though not racist, comments about the 'thugs' who more often than not happen to be Latino. Your comment here actually takes both sides of the issue and brings to the attention of everyone-- a valid point, to be sure, and something that should be remembered when trying to discover the root of issues as this. Many thanks.

7/30/2007 11:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Injunction and rigorous policing works. It cut the West LA gangs in half with just these new injunctions and the vigorous police patrols. You can't argue with a stat such as this and in a similar income location.

If Santa Barbara wants to cut their gangs and their activities down by 50%, it is time to pick up tools that have PROVEN to work and with quick results. This will also allow for longer term causitive issues to be addressed without everyone fearing for their safety in their communities and outside their door.

7/30/2007 11:55 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Why does the SBPD and SBSO get a free ride on this subject? Haven't we been paying them huge saleries for many years to keep this problem in check? Seems like they've failed miserably on their way to the bamk.

Maybe we need to summarily fire Sanchez and his top brass and bring in a new effective COP. Works in the big leagues...

7/31/2007 9:26 AM  
Anonymous Shango Barbarino said...

The SB Police alresdy have a very extensive database on gang members. They do a good job controlling gang violence. Some of the posters sound like chicken little; the sky is not falling. The gangs of Santa Barbara are nothing like the Los Angeles gangs or the Mexican Mafia. Our local gangs are much like they were in the 1950's. They are turf gangs that battle over hoods as opposed to the big city gangs that battle over the drug business. No drive by shootings, just bats and knives. Think "Lords of Flatbush" or "Westside Story". A gang injunction here would have little effect and would not have prevented the most recent murders. I think that it is funny that so many sun baked Barbarinos, including Travis, think that because they read something in a newspaper about how an injuction worked in LA or the OC that they suddenly know more about solutions than the professionals at the SBPD. Let Cam and his fine department do their jobs and go back to your yoga classes or whatever you do.

7/31/2007 5:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

for david e-

"Southern California's branch of the Mexican Mafia calls itself the Surenos (or Sur-13)

As a street gang in the United States, the Sur 13 (Surenos) exist in every major city and all states. Specifically, they have been reported in the following cities:

Goleta, California"

From the FBI-

"Los Angeles has long been recognized as the epicenter of gang activity nationwide. Recent estimates indicate approximately 1,350 street gangs, with as many as 175,000 members in the FBI Los Angeles’ seven-county area of responsibility ( San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Orange)"

"With respect to our immediate area of responsibility, the Los Angeles Division of the FBI aggressively targets a wide range of criminal street gangs, including the Bloods and Crips, MS-13 and 18th Street, and the Mexican Mafia. The gangs targeted by the Los Angeles FBI have gained notoriety for their extreme level of violence, their flexibility, their high-level of organization, and their willingness to participate in a wide variety of criminal activities."

"These gangs are primarily engaged in retail drug trafficking, specifically involving powder cocaine, rock cocaine, methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana. These gangs are also involved in a variety of other types of criminal activity, including murder, assault, extortion, robbery and, for the Hispanic gangs, alien smuggling."

"Furthermore, the Mexican Mafia, a powerful gang based largely in the state and federal prison system, is coordinating the criminal activities of certain cliques in the Los Angeles area. Moreover, the migration of gang members from Los Angeles to other regions of the United States has led to a rapid proliferation of these gangs in many smaller suburban and rural areas not accustomed to gang activity and its related crimes."

7/31/2007 8:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Longtime residents know there have been gangs on the Central Coast since the 1950s.

"The difference in 12-year-olds in the 1970s and 12-year-olds now is night and day," said Foster. He said some of the crimes include assaults with deadly weapons and drug trafficking.

Crimes committed over the years illustrate just how much gang activity and membership has changed over the years.

Turf wars in the 1980s to mid 1990s used to be the gang-related crime of choice as opposed to drug trafficking. Since then, dealing drugs has become the most popular gang-related crime."

7/31/2007 8:25 PM  
Anonymous emily said...

At the risk of sounding like an incredibly naive Anglo, I admit I don't understand gang activity, and the recent rise in violence and graffiti throughout my neighborhood scares me. I know something is going on and wish I knew more about exactly what it is. Some leadership that would provide reliable information about what's happening, what I can do and what I shouldn't do--for my family, my neighbors, my community-- would really help. But it's missing right now.

7/31/2007 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Shango, you're naive. Its no longer about turf. It is about drug dealing (not just pot) with lots of money involved. And the SB schools are the best place to score hard drugs. This is not some lightweight problem. This is of national epidemic proportions. Wake up people!

7/31/2007 8:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cam Sanchez has lost his effectiveness for a long time. It is time to replace him. Things have gotten worse, not better under this term. That is when the CEO gets fired. It is time for him to go.

And there is no point comparing SB to LA. SB is SB and our community standards do not tolerate gang violence. And we need a new top cop who sends out this message loud and clear.

7/31/2007 9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We learned in our neighborhood that the grafitti identified houses and yards that were later robbed and where drug dealers would make their drops.

You have to remove it the instant you see it. Don't wait for the city to do the small stuff. Get rid of it ASAP and let the city deal with the really large hits.

But those little hits are neon signs for the thugs who come back and do more damage. Don't let a single tag go uncleaned for 24 hours.

7/31/2007 9:34 PM  
Anonymous david e said...

to 8:14--
Thanks for the articles.

The first site,, is an excellent resource and has a lot of information. I could not, however, find the city of Goleta anywhere in the article you linked. I read the article, and did a 'command + F' to find the word, but couldn't. Could you point me to it? One point of contention that I would have with what you posted is that it still does nothing to prove a that our local gangs are subordinate to the MM, that our local gangs share operational control with the MM, or that the MM dictates the local drug trade-- more likely is that the MM sells drugs to a local gang or uses a local gang as an outlet.

Your contention that somehow gangs here are directly connected to the MM is, thus far, the same argument that says Saddam Hussein had direct ties to Al Qaeda and was a terrorist state. Did his government interact with terrorists-- yes. Does that mean he had control over them and provided the same support to terrorists that Al Qaeda does-- not at all. You do business with an unscrupulous person, does this mean you work for them, or just that you are in the same industry?

This article needs some more examination before your point is proven.

The second link, the FBI report, is something you should read again. The first quote says nothing more than "Gangs exist in Santa Barbara County, just as they exist in every county covered by the LA Office of the FBI." The second paragraph says "Some of these gangs are violent and some include the MM." The last portion says "Some members of these violent gangs have moved to other areas." You are confusing the facts presented here. Nothing in that article says "The MM operates in all 7 counties, specifically in the City of Santa Barbara." You make the mistake of leaping from the "There are gangs in Santa Barbara" quote and tying it to the "MM operates somewhere in our 7 county jurisdiction" quote.

Draw it out using Venn Diagrams. Gangs are everywhere, some gangs are violent drug traffickers, the Mexican Mafia is one gang. It would be a logical fallacy to say that because gangs are everywhere and the MM is one gang, all gangs must be the MM. Nonetheless, that's what you did with that article.

Still waiting for the clincher that says "a relationship of operational and coordinated activity, including subordinate status, exists between local gangs in Santa Barbara and the Mexican Mafia, with the prison gang being the center of command and control." No one has that yet. But qualifiers like 'affiliated with' and 'ties to' are thrown around often without demonstrating the nature of such affiliation or ties. Though it is greatly responsible to do so, people continue to do it.

And stop data mining, by the way. Look for more than just what you want to hear.

7/31/2007 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I hear, david e is that you don't want to do a darn thing about gangs. Why is that?

7/31/2007 11:19 PM  
Anonymous david e said...

Wow.... I had a list of almost a dozen things up there and you say it amounts to nothing.

Just because I don't agree that the problem is akin to roving bands of criminals who take whatever they want and run the streets over a powerless city government by no means equates with an unwillingness to resolve the problem. Your statement does more to show that you either want a police crackdown, or see nothing at all can be done.

Yours is an 'either-or' sentiment of the worse kind. There are many things we can do. Many people think that we are two steps away from a modern-day Tombstone, and that nothing short of curfews and police in riot gear will solve the problem. I say we need to do more than that and solve the larger issue. I don't want to plug leaks-- I want to build a better dam.

Just because I don't agree with your prescription doesn't mean that I believe in doing nothing. I know you're smarter than that.

7/31/2007 11:31 PM  
Anonymous david e said...

one more thing for 11:19--

Why do think I wouldn't want to do anything? What reason would I have to suggest we do nothing?

That is an intriguing question you asked.

7/31/2007 11:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

11:19- david e is too busy drawing venn diagrams to be able to connect the dots

8/01/2007 1:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bravo to SBPD for conducting the gang raid yesterday, while David e is still trying to connect the dots and claiming we don't have a problem. Talking things to death does not stop anything. That is the issue. Paralysis by analysis is the issue, david e and your reluctance to actually support doing anything.

Now will come all the screams of police brutality from the "progressives" who for some odd reason just can't make a constructive or productive decision about anything.

Paralysis by analysis is all they offer, when action and living with occasional consequences needs far more to be exercised.

Don't turn everything into an unrealized catastrophe while our streets burn, david e. And stop comparing SB to LA as justification for sitting there doing nothing.

8/01/2007 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

david e you will have to figure out how to find the link to that info all by yourself. It is now clear to me that you are not interested in learning anything that does not fit what you want to believe. Stop data mining? You ask for information and then respond so rudely. I'm smelling a faint scent of a troll in here.

8/01/2007 9:22 AM  
Anonymous david e said...


Good one-- but, as has been done with issues many times by those who act in an irrational manner, and with emotion, people who react instead of respond, you are making up your own dots.

Besides, I stopped playing dot-to-dot when I was a kid.

Nice to see that you can debate in a civil tone, that you can deal with people who don't agree with your every view on the world, that you know how to argue a point without trying to get get personal. You disagree so you make fun-- sounds like a politician.

Anyone else want to take shots because they can't find the evidence in a better argument? I've told you before that I'm open to understanding, and still there is nothing.

8/01/2007 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Shango Barbarino said...

To all of the arm chair cops out there take a look at this link: It looks like the EXPERTS have a handle on our gang problem. Again people, do what you do best and let the professionals do their job. No anonymous, chicken little, the sky is not falling.

8/01/2007 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Curfews, police in riot gear and more round-ups of known offenders is a good place to start, while the community programs to "solve" this issue take root.

8/01/2007 3:50 PM  
Anonymous david e said...

There's a few things here to which I'll have to respond.

I have done nothing to compare LA to SB-- others have in using injunctions as the best course of action, not to refute such claims.

I have specifically cited things that should be done. These are different ideas, and therefore you are assuming that I believed nothing should be done. You need to stop thinking that those with ideas different from your own are entirely on the side of the criminals and the gangs.

No, I did not find anywhere in that link 'Goleta, CA.' And even if it did-- prosecutors and detectives often cite 'affiliations' and 'connections' in order to paint a picture even when such conditions are tenuous at best. You still have not presented any info as to a direct command and operational connection.

I did ask for information-- and you chose to present weak information because it was the only you could find that had even a bit of information supporting your theory. That tells me that you are data mining, and not looking for clear, concise and definite information. Nothing in the FBI report spoke of a direct connection-- subsets, a flow of prose, and you completely missed what the article said. Don't blame me for that.

To say "Bravo" to the PD for conducting sweeps in this manner, as though it is a direct response to the current gang problems, thinking it justification for an injunction, is to be ignorant of practices for years and decades. Sweeps happen before EVERY Fiesta, and do not simply target gangs. Anyone with outstanding warrants, parole violations, or who is the target of investigations gets a knock at the door before Fiesta. The PD is not responding to new events-- they are doing the same things that have worked in the past, and doing so without an injunction.

I do believe there is a problem-- I just choose to handle the problem in a different manner. To utterly dismiss my ideas and say that instead of an alternative to injunctions I believe in doing nothing is the worst kind of debate-- you belittle your opponent because you can't find a convincing bit of evidence to fully support your argument. You feel it is the right thing to do but have no real sense of what is happening-- you base thoughts on fear, you base actions on the fear. And the fear is completely without merit, lest you be one of the members of a rival gang.

No trolls. Nothing could be further form the truth. Someone asked earlier how long I've lived in Santa Barbara. I chose not to answer, but I'll do it anyway. I have lived in Santa Barbara all my life. My family has been in this city for 8 generations. How long has your family been here?

I have asked for answers, evidence to prove what you say. Instead I get what would be a stretch to call evidence, and I get accused of being a troll, accused of being closed minded, and end up having folks think I believe in doing nothing.

There are many things we can do, many things we should do. There is a real problem. Unfortunately, fear and knee-jerk reactions are governing the community's response to tragedies. I don't think it's solely the responsibility of the police to improve conditions in our city. Real change must come from all of us-- not just the ones authorized to carry guns.

But I say again-- people who are supporting injunctions are, by and large, the same who couldn't give a rats ass about the Latino community until the crimes left blood on their cars, blood on their shopping bags, blood on their cafe tables. When it was blood on the East Side and West Side, most of the people in this city didn't care one bit.

Present your information. Call the PD and the DA if you have to. But don't rely on gut instinct to govern how you view the world, and the policies you support.

8/01/2007 6:15 PM  
Anonymous Shango Barbarino said...

You sound like one of those buffs that always wanted to be a cop. If you want, you could sign up to be a reserve officer. On the other hand, you would have to follow the rules. They would frown on head busting, but they might let you try on the riot gear. Better yet go down to the Suppy Seargent and pick up a security guard uniform for when you want to play cop. No just leave the law enforcement to the professionals.

8/01/2007 6:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David e, there you go again putting words in peoples mouths - or your electrons on their fingerstips.

The people asking the loudest for more policing are living in the East and Westsides. And they have been asking and getting ignored for far too long.

Yes, when blood spilled in Anglo SB is when the city council woke up (for a few moments when the cameras were running), but don't ever say again those most affected by crime have not been begging for more and stronger police action and presence. You insult us by your accusations.

I don't know why you are the one wants to polarize these issues and drown action in a bunch of your words and worthless comparisons to ... gee it was worse when Attila the Hun was maurading the strees so just chill everyone.....

8/01/2007 7:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, David E. People write one thing which you then interpret as something not even close to what was expressed. I'm sure you've heard this from people before. We all have filters but yours is especially clogged.

8/01/2007 9:22 PM  
Anonymous david e said...

I apologize for saying anything that may have come across as insulting. It was never my intent to insult anyone, especially those closest to the crimes and those most affected by the crimes.

I have tried to stick to two points in this comment thread:

1) The situation is bad, but is made worse by folks who think we have no control over our streets, that thugs are everywhere, that the gangs are a threat to the entire city. I do not believe the situation to be related to the Mexican Mafia, and so far no smoking gun has been brought forth, and yet this is an idea pushed by many. These gangs are a bunch of scared kids, and it won't take much to stand up to them-- a friend and his father who lived on W Guttierez were often the only ones in the neighborhood who would tell these kids to get up and leave, while most others were afraid to say anything to them, let alone look them in the eye. The situation needs attention, but it's not, as I said, anything close to the 'two steps from Tombstone' some are suggesting with their comments.

2) The Golden Triangle didn't do much about these troubled youth, or about gangs in general, until it was in their faces. If you look way up in the comments, one of the thing I suggested is an increased police presence and outreach. I know this is a problem, and attention to these neighborhoods by the PD is required. Part of the attention that needs to be given is expansion of patrols, and there are many other things the community needs to do to keep kids from falling into the criminal activity in the first place. Police can only deter crime so much-- it is up to the larger community to come up with ideas and to become more involved in the activities and programs designed to keep kids out of gangs. So far, the Golden Triangle hasn't done enough. Again, I agree that the PD needs more of a presence-- I only disagree with the concept of an injunction. And I also think there are more things to do than this.

That's it: the sky is not falling, and more cops and more community involvement are needed (especially from the Golden Triangle).

My major disagreements are with those who push the Mexican Mafia connection without any proof of a direct command and operational relationship to our local gangs, with those who suggest that the list of a dozen ideas I had amounted to 'nothing' because I opposed an injunction, and those who continue to say that the streets are being run by gangs to the point where people fear going outside.

Polarizing the issue was never an intent-- on the contrary, I called to the carpet 'Anglo SB,' as you put it, to actually do something about the issue instead of thinking this was a police issue alone. Police are needed, and the neighborhoods have been neglected-- but they have been neglected, as well, by community involvement, economic development and opportunity, by cleanup, by being put in a tier lower than State Street and the tourism industry. I pointed to the inaction, not with intent to polarize, but to make people understand that there is more to this issue.

I hope that clarifies my points a bit more. Honestly, this is an issue about which I care very much. I mean no harm, I mean no offense. And I apologize if that is what I have done. And on the whole, I think this is one conversation that has brought out some of the core issues that need to be discussed. Many thanks to you for pointing these things out and bringing them to all of our attention.

Sorry. But I have not been told that. I have been criticized for shooting from the hip on occasion. But clogged is hardly the case. I'm usually the one who will admit fault, who will admit that I was wrong, more often than others. I just need to be shown the argument, the facts, the evidence-- and not just incomplete stats, suggestive bits of information, and common rhetorical mechanisms (I often watch 'the O'Reilly Factor' to see how you can give the appearance of winning an argument without any substance to one's own argument).

8/01/2007 11:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Golden Triangle can start making a difference right away by not hiring illegals to do all their dirty work. Mow your own lawn, sweep your own driveway and dust your own furniture, Golden Triangle.

And stop shopping at Saks and dining at Sevilla instead of taking care of your own kids. Convert your "great room" back into the "maid's room" and that back rental into the "gardener's cottage.

Recently visited several Golden Triangles open houses and 3 (THREE) of them had illegal rentals (badly re-converted for purposes of open house).

8/02/2007 7:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David e, get over your class envy and stop blaming the Golden Triangle for everything. They get out and vote and votes count.

8/02/2007 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

david e, I suggest you get in touch directly with the FBI to find out about what they know about the MM in this area. I'm not sure that the solid evidence you seek is one that any of us can provide due to the nature of the this problem.

Your exaggerated comments and inability to find a simple obvious link on that website shows very little understanding of the gang culture. Which fine if you are trying to learn something. But you are not. Instead you loudly criticize those who have more knowledge and experience with these matters than you appear to by your comments.

A neighbor standing up to a bunch of wannabes does not prove a thing.

For those who say there have been no drivebys I say that is not true. I witnessed one years ago on lower state street years ago (people in the establishment hit the floor, nobody was hurt) and it was never reported in the media. I have no idea if it was gang related.

As far as providing economic opportunities for these youth, you are competing with drug dealing which is unfortunately very lucrative.

I appreciate the comments made by those in the neighborhoods who are dealing with the growing gang problem. I have young friends who recently moved out of the downtown area due to the culture of drug trafficking & violence (such as being held up on the street at gunpoint) that pervaded the area.

8/02/2007 9:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know others also moving out of downtown. And the downtown was supposed to be the model of sustainable urban living. If this is model living, we should all be frightened. Thanks city leaders, for turning it into a cesspool.

The only hope now will come from those living in the 4 story monstrosities who may have the critical mass to make a difference once they see what a mess the downtown has become.

Unless no one buys them and they become tomorrow's high-rise slums, like other "affordable" cram-downs are turning into.

The Golden Triangle will soon be out-voted by the downtown densification. What fate will that be for the Santa Barbara we all used to know?

8/02/2007 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good residents and citizens moving out of downtown Santa Barbara are the canaries in the mineshaft, city council. Take note. This is all your doing.

8/02/2007 5:36 PM  
Anonymous david e said...

Did anyone read the interview with Cam Sanchez in the Independent, or the Op-Ed piece by Richard Ramos in today's Daily Sound?

Cam doesn't see the MM here and explains the local gang situation well. Ramos sees creative community involvement as tools to help. As far as our community is concerned, these are experts.

Btw, I have worked with gang members, they have worked for me, I have had family members in gangs, I have known former gang members, I have family members who are cops and FBI agents and work as prosecutors. I would think that I know something about gangs and have some experience on these matters.

Sorry, Sarah. I won't keep the back-and-forth going in this thread.

8/02/2007 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Shango Barbarino said...

Thank you David E for your clear thinking on this issue. Your posts were a breath of fresh air in all of the hysterical pollution over the gang issue. Again Santa Barbara let the Pros do their job.

8/02/2007 7:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

SAFE PASSAGE TO SCHOOLS PROGRAM - Protects those frightened by gangs

Thursday, Aug. 2, 2007

Program helps students avoid gang members

Schools see results; others want to join
By Tony Manolatos

August 1, 2007

SAN DIEGO – At least two San Diego schools have asked to be part of a program designed to protect students from gang members.

The state's Safe Passage program, rolled out in March at 16 schools in Southern California, relies on police officers and firefighters to ensure children get to and from school without getting accosted.
In San Diego, the concept is in place at Gompers Charter Middle School and Montgomery Middle School. The results have been dramatic.

The City Council Public Safety and Neighborhood Services Committee, which listened to a progress report last week, was told nine gangs are located near Gompers and four near Montgomery. Before the program started, gang members stalked students on school grounds. Some children were harassed. Others were beaten up.

One eighth-grade Montgomery student was so scared that he started getting into trouble on purpose, school counselor Phyllis Meredith told the committee.

“So he could go home early and not have to face the gang group trying to recruit him,” Meredith said.

The stories troubled committee members, including Councilman Tony Young.

“These kids don't feel safe going to school – what a terrible situation,” Young said.

Young helped persuade the California Office of the Attorney General to bring the Safe Passage program to San Diego. The state office works with police, fire and other city officials, including the Commission on Gang Prevention and Intervention.

After identifying problem areas, police, firefighters and parks and recreation workers are instructed to increase their presence an hour before and an hour after school.

“Gang members are literally jumping out of bushes and attacking students,” said Deputy City Attorney Makini Hammond, who organized the first meetings at Gompers and Montgomery.

Both schools are in poor communities, though Montgomery is near neighborhoods lined with shopping malls and newer homes.

Officials like Young insist gangs are a citywide problem. Yet most gang-related killings, which consistently outnumber all other homicides in San Diego, are in southeast San Diego neighborhoods.

A school in Pacific Beach and another in Paradise Hills have asked to join the Safe Passage program.

Meredith, the Montgomery counselor, has seen a difference.

“The major difference is the increase of police and fire,” she said. “Students feel a lot more comfortable.”

The program arrived too late for the boy who was getting into trouble on purpose, Meredith said. His parents moved so he go to school in a safer neighborhood.

Tony Manolatos: (619) 542-4559;
© Copyright 2007 Union-Tribune Publishing Co. • A Copley Newspaper Site

8/02/2007 8:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The exact quote re the Cam aritcle is "I don’t think it’s an issue here in Santa Barbara County."

I hope he's right but his answer sounded a little vague. I have doubts that he'd say so publically if he did suspect that it might be a problem here. This is a tourist town & our community leaders know it is important to keep the appearances up that this is a safe town.

I wonder why people don't believe that it is possible for prison gangs to be affiliated with gangs in this area. After all they make their money in drug trafficking & this is a very wealthy area.

8/02/2007 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about all the gang tags that include the letter "13" or "X3" - the 13th letter in the alphabet is M and police said this stands for the Mexican Mafia. Just wannabees, eh?

8/03/2007 7:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

13 represents M as in Mexican.

Not mafia. just mexican.

Yes, these kids think its cool. They adopt cool things.

Kids are wannabes. nothing new.

8/03/2007 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The thing is about wannabees is that they wannabee in the gang and for that to happen they must do what is neccessary to be accepted. Violence appears to be the key to that.

I moved to SB thinking it was a good place to raise a kid and naively sent my smart, generous hearted, peaceful kid to the JH where he was hit, kicked, & threatened by wannabees. Made our life a living hell for years.

Contrary to what the Police Chief says, this is NOT a small problem by a small few but rather a very pervasive and extremely violent culture among many.

I am friends with so many of the older generation Latinos & they are the most wonderful people I've ever met. But this young group of wannabees is nothing like the older generation. What has happened?

Richard Ramos did some great work with youth here for years. The article says he used to live in SB. What a shame he is no longer here. Where is he now?

8/03/2007 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was easy to find the link that mentions Goleta-

What ignorance in the posts regarding nonprofits doing nothing! As if all 900 (there are actually more than that) are one in the same and worthless. You might as well say all Causian people in SB are millionaires. Or all Latinos are illegal immigrants. Strange distorted thinking by those who don't understand nonprofits. What is overlooked is how many of them provide jobs, training, housing, healthcare, counseling etc. all the things that are neccessary for quality of life.

One last piece of sad irony. I hear people say that jobs will help alleviate the gang problem which may or may be true (depending on whether their gang is trafficking drugs) but how sad that the two recent victims did have jobs.

8/03/2007 12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's unfortunate that the gun control laws in California are so restrictive about concealed weapons carry permits. Law-abiding, fully-investigated citizens should be able to carry handguns and defend themselves.

When a couple gang bangers started messing with the wrong people and would get capped, you'd see a major reduction in gang activity in a short period of time.

8/03/2007 2:30 PM  

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