Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, August 24, 2007

POLITICAL PLAY of the WEEK: Al-Qaeda in Santa Barbara

The Terrorists have won.

An adage of diplomacy --American at least, and especially Israeli-- is that if one gives in to threats and intimidation, such as kidnapping for ransom, then The Terrorists have won the battle and therefore grow even more emboldened to commit more acts of terrorism, kidnapping, and the like. Accordingly, the policy should be not to give in to threats and terrorism, as a direct means to discourage future terrorist acts.

By now, most news followers have learned that the backers of the Light Blue Line project have given up and withdrawn their plans, apparently permanently. An irony or tragedy is that only a few hours earlier, a clear, calm explanation of what this public art project is and is not was published by them as an Independent Voice, an opinion piece in the Independent.

In a viral email message sent out Thursday evening to their list of 265 interested people (and all with their email addresses revealed through a CC), the proponents of the Light Blue Line project wrote this explanation about why they caved in to The Terrorists:

“The whole idea of lightblueline is to foster an informed
conversation about our local vulnerability to future sea level
rise due to climate change.
This public conversation requires
a local media that can sustain a civil discourse
At the current time,
a certain local media outlet
has poisoned the flow of
information to its public.
Lightblueline does not have the resources to effectively
respond to this unfortunate situation. We will continue
to work with residents in other cities who want to mark
their local vulnerability to future sea-level rise.

We will continue to work with local environmental groups.
But we have no plans to paint the line on the streets
of Santa Barbara

Translation: we give up and instead are taking our Classic Greek wave stencils and our 140 stainless steel medallions to San Francisco and New York, and maybe even the entire nation of Argentina, all places that have invited us and have no “certain media” and their Castoroid-inspired operatives to terrorize us.

A Thursday morning Blogabarbara comment by a 'Trekking Left' perhaps best encapsulated the irony of this entire Light Blue Line frenzy:

“Doesn't the blue line project really show the problem with the global warming debate in general? ... People are concerned about it, but they don't want to take any action if it adversely affects them in any way. In this case, it's just the "idea" of global warming's effect on SB that has these people up in arms. Shouldn't they (and all of us) be more worried about the real effects?”

Does even the perception of market-bubble-deflating property values decreasing make everyone go nuts when they usually are quite rational?

Why did The Terrorists win this time and intimidate, bully, harass, and/or scare away the Light Blue Line project and its proponents and allies?

Of course, the political effect here is that The Terrorists won this one and now will be more encouraged, emboldened, and empowered to install more IEDs and dispatch more suicide bombers into the usually staid and rational enviro-socio-political discourse of Santa Barbara.

Will the once-sensible politics and culture of Santa Barbara now cut and run even more quickly as a result of this surge from The Terrorists? What will be the next manifestations of terrorist acts from “a certain local media outlet,” now that this truck bomb has been so successful blowing up the Blue Line Embassy?

Will the Santa Barbara establishment, movers, and shakers ever grow a pair and not back down anymore?

This issue already is yielding a huge overlay effect for the ongoing City Council election, but that analysis here apparently would be too many words for some Blogabarbara readers.

And --posted a couple of days early because we know it won't get any better-- that’s the Political Play of the Week.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Once-sensible politics and culture of Santa Barbara...." When was that?

8/24/2007 6:07 AM  
Anonymous Lower Westie said...

I never supported this project and I was never influenced by any local media. I think the public debate killed it because there was no real debate before the project was approved.

And I'm really uncomfortable with how often C. S. uses the term, "The Terrorists". A young man from Carpinteria was recently killed by The Terrorists in Iraq. It's not right to use the same term in regards to those that are opposed to this project.

8/24/2007 6:16 AM  
Anonymous donaldo de Santa Barbara said...

So we are indeed fighting them here. "The Terrorists" are right next door, your co-worker, your family mebers, the lodge member, etc. With an informal sampling I detected the anti-blue line rage early on. I could never really tell what was whipping up the frenzy but the mantra was the same.

People's intestines are just in a knot over this permanent U.S. occupation in Iraq, the liabilities associated with it, paying for the occupation, stock market volatility, the nationawide real estate stumble and these unregulated lending schemes.
So who would want to have rational debate about the consequences of some impending problem decades away.

The question is WHO ARE THE TERRORISTS? The Capitolists, The Republicans? Perhaps the "Got Life" Christains?

The challengers of this Blue line did indeed seem to come from the "right" "groupthink" point of view. I'll just assert that "The Terrorists" are just simply "Americans."

8/24/2007 7:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe the supporters of the blue line realized they did not get the proper permits and go through the same regulatory process that anyone else would have to go thought to get those permits and approval or maybe the realized it was just a really dumb idea and a blight on the city and public.
I for one am glad i wont have to see the blue line on our streets and sidewalks.

8/24/2007 7:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a bunch of garbage. And the use of the word "terrorist" about someone you disagree with is really offensive, more so in this day and age.

If the "Blue Line" project went out and negotiated with individual property owners and the city allowed a few ingots to be placed, no one would have ever said a thing and they could have publicized the project accordingly as public art with a meaningful message.

However the waste of City time and money (yes an agenda item means time was wasted and money was spent) on a questionable project is just another sad example of Santa Barbara pissing it all away. Moreover, the preachy process of the promoters tends to polarize debate rather than help individuals examine and gain more insight into an important question for us all about our environment.

City of Santa Barbara should take back all staff raises and extra time off given to employees over the past 10 years and quit wasting money on public art projects that just bring more controversy. The parking lots should all be sold to operators on a revenue share basis.


Oh, and the comment about the "certain local media outlet" poisoning the flow of information...P'shaw please get real!!! What do you want, the city to declare "PRAVDABARBARA" so the official party line (whatever that is) can come out? We have something here called Freedom of the Press which actually means you might have to do some investigation on your own, which is why God gave you eyes, ears, and a brain.

BTW, there is no lack of information flowing to the public about the blue noose, er I mean line.
Believe it or not, criticism of bias has been media sport in SB since the days of Storke, the Goleta Gazette, The News and Review, Carmen Lodise, Dave Novis, etc., it's nothing new.

Personally the way Fred says it to Lamont makes me think of you: You're a big dummy.

8/24/2007 8:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The interesting thing will be to see if these property owners who claimed the "blue line" would devalue their property will now disclose the risk of global warming to their potential buyers whether or not the blue line exists.

Since the facts of global warming are the same whether or not the blue line were to be painted, and since they are all on record claiming their property would be devalued if it were, they have clearly have knowledge of a material fact that would impact value of their property and now must disclose it to any buyer.

Ironically, their silly and hollow protestations which are now part of a permanent and very public record, will now most certainly come back to haunt them if they do not disclose that material fact to any potential buyer.

8/24/2007 8:26 AM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

The failure of the blue line project is characteristic of a political trend that has been prevalent in Santa Barbara County since the early 1990s. From the mid-70s through the 80s, the politics of the City of Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors was characterized by progressive values in economic, land use, and environmental issues even though most members of the Board of Supervisors and City Council were Republicans. After getting poked in the eye one too many times, the oil companies and developers began to fund groups like COLAB and the Taxpayers Association and threw money into local political contests with the intent of turning the progressive tide. They succeeded, and over the next ten years the progressive land use and environmental institutional structures were systematically dismantled or neutralized. Any policy that does not conform to the libertarian, free-market, private property rights orthodoxy of COLAB and the Taxpayers Association will be blocked, with ample assitance from the Santa Barbara News-Press. This is the little world in which we currently live. Anyone who believes that Santa Barbara County is a progressive place with environmental and social responsibilty values needs a trip to rehab to be weaned from whatever it is that they are smoking.

8/24/2007 8:33 AM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

Even without being painted, the Blue Line has succeeded admirably in raising peoples' consciousness and making us think. Three cheers for the Blue Line!!

8/24/2007 8:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sara, this hyberpolic post is totally inappropriate. Please dump this feature from the blog. There is absolutely no need for these sort of metaphors, which are hardly relevant or understandable and quite insulting on a number of levels, particularly to veterans and victims of 9-11, on your blog.

8/24/2007 8:56 AM  
Anonymous i knew ronny reagan, ronny reagan was a friend of mine, CS, you're no ronny reagan said...

Can someone say hissy fit?

Horrifically inappropriate, credibility damaging analogy puked out by C.S. Especially coming from someone who most likely doesn't even subscribe to a "war on terror" or a Ronald Reagan/Israeli Government doctrine of never negotiating with terrorists.

And why do I assume? Allow me to presume; because of an almost genetic, albeit secret, belief that one man's terrorist is another man's freedom fighter. Isn't that how you folks on the left truly view the geo-political situation in which we live?

Indeed, it is the radical leftist, so-called enviro, wing nuts who are the functional equivalent of political terrorists by stopping every project and suing everyone who stands in their path toward a utopian fantasy world.

The only project they wouldn't sue to stop from being built is a bridge to the 18th century.

Get a grip C.S and for the love of Gaia, get a life and take off the mask and let's debate these issues without the cloak of anonymity.

Think you can handle that?

8/24/2007 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is this paranoid, jumbled, unorganized rant? I hate to say it, but BlogaBarbara is declining in quality and stature. Posts come less frequently and BB is often late to stories. Al-Qaeda in Santa Barbara and trying to tie this to a capitalized The Terrorists is irresponsible and downright incoherent. This has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism, no matter how much you try to say "b-b-b-b-but they're intimidating the truthtellers!!!" A battle over $10k in a city with just under 100k being anything like Al-Qaeda, which flies hijacked aircraft into skyscrapers and kills thousands, is so laughably absurd that any credibility you had is effectively torpedoed. This is so far from Al-Qaeda you would need a plane ticket to get there. Grow up and find a relevant comparison.

8/24/2007 9:23 AM  
Anonymous One Ocean said...

How again would temporary paint on some streets lower property values in coastal Santa Barbara?

Why would that apply only in Santa Barbara and not everywhere else on the planet?

Aren't local coastal property values already depressed at the low areas already in the tsunami zone?
That has to be true already if anyone is to believe that a temporary blue line on some streets really were going to lower coastal property values.

A tsunami hazard is reality, but that does not appear to lower coastal property values in Santa Barbara, but somehow a temporary painted line on some streets would lower property values? Has a temporary public art project ever lowered property values, anywhere?

Someone please explain that.

8/24/2007 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Some nicely painted lines in the street will lower property values?

Yee-haw, let's paint them all over the South Coast! One for the Greenland melt, another for Antarctica, another for the various other ice masses in the Arctic.

That would be a whole lot cheaper than building affordable housing!

Permits? Gold Hat didn't need any stinkin' badges. But if anyone says we don't need no stinking permits, remember, THAT WOULD BE WRONG.

8/24/2007 11:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe there's a sizable population that doesnt think public property should be used for political speech? Just a thought.

8/24/2007 12:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ok sara---so now your 600 word posting [from the same citizen stringer] offensively compares the withdrawal of the blue line project to the victims of al qaeda terrorism....yuk.

8/24/2007 12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Earlier in the week Bush was compared to Stalin and Hitler, and now Jerry Beaver is a "terrorist." Can I be a "pregressive" too?

8/24/2007 1:02 PM  
Anonymous winning the War on Terrorism without even firing a paint gun shot said...

I disagree with this "political play of the week" analogy here that the Terrorists somehow have won the Battle of the Blue Line.

I suggest a far different interpretation: The lightblueline project already won the public awareness and public relations war without even having to fire its paint gun onto its "Greek wave" stencil laid onto the street.

How much public "dialogue" already has happened and how much exposure has been completed about the whole global warming and rising sea level issue? An obscene amount of discussion and debate, that's for sure! What would a public relations firm charge its client to generate the same amount of buzz and debate through all media in Santa Barbara, and for so long?

For instance, the people who claim that property values will shrink look all the more ridiculous and desperate as they make up excuses for the rest of us to ignore the global warming issue.

That wacky and obsessed newspaper also obviously was desperately trying to distract everyone away from their lies exposed in the courtroom during the same month.

A lot more examples can be written here, but the lightblueline project has achieved its public awarness success without even having to spend that huge $12,000 donation.

8/24/2007 2:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The term "terrorisim" is used so loosely and with little care. Blogabarbara has stooped to a new low.

I have a few thoughts:

Not everyone that disagrees with you is a terrorist.

The current trend of our national "leadership" is to call opponents terrorists and justify destroying them. Is that the latest attack plan against the NP? Sad.

If the pro-blueliners wanted to start a discussion, well they did. But now that they don't like the opinion pages of one local media source, they are accusing them of "poisoning the flow of information." Claiming to be a victim, they look like the bullies to me.

In America, freedom of speech and democracy is more important than the right to demand that your art project gets approved just because it is linked to a good effort. Let it go.

8/24/2007 3:10 PM  
Anonymous mike jordan said...

"Al-Qaeda in Santa Barbara"
"The Terrorists have won the battle"

nice analogy to a public educative project.... certainly comparable terms and concepts in some far-fetched realm of the sicko corner of what can only be your mind.

It is interesting though that as soon as the advertising component of the project was removed, so was the passion to persevere.

Nonetheless, perhaps a better PPOTW would be the unappreciated ability of the News-Mess to turn off and on their coverage of the local news, in particular the NLRB hearings. And I swear I saw an actual letter or two to the editor this past week that embraced a contradictory stance.

Coincidence? Realized the need for supportive evidence? Or just a really neato POLITICAL PLAY of the WEEK? Certainly better than this poor attempt.... second week in a row that made the dumptster. Must be better catchy connections to local, small town issues than war criminals and international terrorism.

8/24/2007 5:11 PM  
Anonymous Roger said...

Sorry to see that this community is not open to the dialogue see below:

Interview - Sea Rise Seen Outpacing Forecasts Due to Antarctica
By Alister Doyle, Reuters

Thursday 23 August 2007

Ny Alesund, Norway - A thaw of Antarctic ice is outpacing predictions by the UN climate panel and could in the worst case drive up world sea levels by 2 metres (6 ft) by 2100, a leading expert said on Wednesday.

Millions of people, from Bangladesh to Florida and some Pacific island states, live less than a metre above sea level. Most of the world's major cities, from Shanghai to Buenos Aires, are by the sea.

Chris Rapley, the outgoing head of the British Antarctic Survey,
said there were worrying signs of accelerating flows of ice towards the ocean from both Antarctica and Greenland with little sign of more snow falling inland to compensate.

"The ice is moving faster both in Greenland and in the Antarctic
than the glaciologists had believed would happen," Rapley told Reuters
during a climate seminar in Ny Alesund on a Norwegian Arctic island 1,200 km from the North Pole.

"I think the realistic view is that we will be nearer a metre than
the 40 cm" in sea level rise by 2100. The UN climate panel in February gave a likely range of 18 to 59 cm this century, for an average around 40 cm.

Asked at the seminar what the upper limit for the rise might be at a probability of one percent or less, he said: "At this extremely unlikely level the maximum would be two metres."

Sceptics often dismiss such low probabilities as scaremongering. But many scientists note that people take precautions such as to insure their homes against far lower risks, such as fire.

The UN panel said that rising temperatures due to more and more
greenhouse gases from human activities led by use of fossil fuels were melting ice.

Antarctica stores enough ice to raise ocean levels by about 57
metres if it ever all melted. Greenland has about 7 metres, according to UN data.

All other glaciers on land, from the Norwegian Arctic to the
Himalayas, are tiny by comparison and contain only enough ice combined to raise sea levels by about 15-37 cm.

Glaciers around Ny Alesund, which calls itself the world's most
northerly settlement, are also retreating fast.

The UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in
February hedged its forecasts by saying that "larger values cannot be excluded" but said there was too little understanding of how ice sheets react if water seeps beneath them and lubricates their slide.

Rapley said there were worrying signs of an accelerating thaw both
in West Antarctica, where much of the ice sits on rocks that are below sea level, and on the Cook and Totten glaciers on the fringe of the far bigger ice mass to the East.

"The East Antarctic ice sheet is always dismissed as the big bit
which sits on rock above sea level and so is much more stable. But the
radar altimeters show significant discharge going on," he said.

8/24/2007 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wow. Did anyone ever consider the terrorizing effect the blue line would have had on little kids whose live near it? Try explaining to them that the water won't rise for a long time, and you're going to be safe tonight. A parent talked to me about this subject today, and was quite relieved about the cancellation, because his kids were already getting anxious about the dangers the line posed to them. Might sound silly to adults, but not to those who understand how children think.

8/24/2007 5:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you people are friggen nuts!

8/24/2007 6:27 PM  
Anonymous Reading Comprehension said...

So who is this "play of the week" post really criticizing?

Is it really critical of the newspaper and its editorials, and everyone who thinks property values really would be reduced? Maybe, as that is now a tired theme in these blogs, although still deserving of criticism.

Or, is this posting critical of some other party that needs to grow something?

Also, how do real-world terrorists react and then behave when they win something and the Establishment gives in to the pressure? Why do the Israelis, especially, have their policies about terrorism?

Who are the "Terrorists" in this long metaphor, and what did they win, and how will they subsequently behave now that the Blue Line has been withdrawn?

This first day of comments is really disappointing for the most part. Some readers are not too sharp on what the real point is about.

8/24/2007 7:20 PM  
Anonymous sbcta said...

Eckermann said...

"the oil companies and developers began to fund groups like COLAB and the Taxpayers Association..."

Fact: Less than 10% of Taxpayers Association revenue comes from oil companies and less than 2% is from developers.

50% of Taxpayers Association revenue comes from individuals who pay $50 or less in annual dues. 20% of our revenue is from small family owned businesses located pretty evenly between south and north county.

The bulk of our membership, nearly 60%, is comprised of retired people living mostly on the South Coast.

We are a non-partisan citizen's advocacy group committed to promoting lower taxes and efficiency in the administration of public business.

Our mission has remained the same for 50 years: to keep a watchful eye on City, County, State, education and special district issues in an effort to promote the most economical use of our tax dollars.

8/24/2007 7:38 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

To anon 6:27pm,

The word is "friggin'", and, speaking for myself, I resemble that remark!


8/24/2007 10:51 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

CS clearly likes to McConfrontation -- like several conservatives around here -- and that is fine with me. I'm a bit uncomfortable with some of what is said and wouldn't mind shorter posts -- but CS is just starting out and will get the feel for what works here soon.

We also have 23 comments pretty quickly and some discussion that is relevant, some that is not. That goes in cycles on BlogaBarbara and usually coincides with the upcoming spectre of an election. It's not even Labor Day and everyone is SO serious....take it easy!

8/24/2007 11:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am tired of being scolded by the Blue Line proponents. Don't blame the NewsPress for poisoning support. Some of us thought it was a dumb idea (painting the line, not the topic of global warming) right from the very beginning.

Roger Horton was our local hero because he had the common sense to know this was a misguided activity for the city council to support. So Roger checked in on this with some common sense long before the Newspress helped drive in the final coffin nail.

You won't like hearing this, but the new people with money who have moved to this town in droves lately, who can afford houses in Santa Barbara, did not come here to be scolded and threatened.

They came here for retreat and peace their lifetimes. And this fundamental shift in the old politics of Santa Barbara is slowly making itself felt in this town.

You will have a hard time making any of them feel guilty about much of anything. See I told you, you would not like hearing this. But its true. They can afford this town, so they don't feel guilty about those who cannot.

8/25/2007 12:32 AM  
Anonymous a city watcher said...

12:32 - interesting post about the new people to this town, "here for retreat and peace". (Goes without saying they're rich as, historically, their predecessors: that is why people moved to Santa Barbara in the 1930's and on and before.)

The difference between then and now or a major difference is that those people, many of them, the Pearl Chases, felt a responsibility came with their wealth and worked to better their newly-adopted community.

Most newcomers now demand services (and servants, gardeners, housecleaners, nannies and more). In Hummers and Lexuses they flash by Milpas, the curse the profusion of homeless, moaning 'something should be done' but doing nothing themselves. Except tear down. You see few of them venturing from their clubs and McMansions to participate in the civic organizations like CPA, LWV and all the many others.

Santa Barbara is not as it used to be even 10 years ago. Depending on your point of view, that's a good (or bad) thing — if you like the growth to the south, it's a good thing. Why is it people who "retreat" for peace, bring with them the seeds of the past and remake their retreat into what they left!

Like climate change and global warming, the change is accelerating. The Taxpayers Association and friends can stand there with fingers up their noses and say, what climate change, not us, not here, not our problem.

Yes, I think the "terrorists" did win — and the terror is the lack of on-going civic participation, education and interest in the community as a whole. The light blue project was in the works, in the public city forums, for over a year but the opponents weren't interested in the process, only in destroying.

Certainly doesn't bode well for any future civic efforts.

I was out of town for a week and returned midday Friday, looking at the growth and traffic extending way beyond the Goleta urban boundary and thought that I was not coming "home" but misled to Orange County.

8/25/2007 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you live on Laguna Street, you are already claiming your belief in high water marks because that area was underwater, naturally and only the folly of humans started building there.

If you live on Salsipuedes, you have already been given your warning "get out while you can" because this was a malaria swampy marsh. Only the folly of humans started building there.

Screw the stupid blue line and take some history lessons. Chicken Big says the Sky is Not Falling and worshipping at the alter of junk science is bad for your health.

Americans always have to fear and loathe something. Long it was the communists. Then the terrorists. Now any one who dares claim they are junk science skeptics and the Blue Line was pure Junk Science. Thank yabbadabba, we stand for far more than that in this town.

Roger Horton for Mayor.

8/25/2007 8:49 AM  
Anonymous Val said...

city watcher,

I enjoyed your post & agree with you. During the 70's & 80's many of us could see that SB was changing & was in danger of turning into LA. That day has finally arrived & because of this, many who don't want to live in this 'new' SB have left.

When I do come to SB there is little peace to be found. The vibe has become very big city.

8/25/2007 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a rainbow of unfortunate lessons I've learned from lightblueline:

I am black with grief that this community is so completely polarized about everything. (An art discussion, a terrorist act? Please!)

People here are too green in culture or art appreciation to understand the nuances, need and marketing potential of political art. (Art is supposed to provoke discussion, which is exactly what has happened—kudos to the artist!)

I am red with frustration that the NP still wields enormous power, able to bring down the mayor and the project in a few redundant editorials.

City Watcher’s thinking is off color: the rich people do come out of their homes. Just last week they tumbled out from Montecito to ask the Board of Supervisors to use legal efforts to block state affordable housing mandates, with even Joe Centeno nodding colorfully in agreement. Maybe Santa Barbara is already blue-lined—a lifeline tied to the blue bloods and the very green money they give our politicians.

Santa Barbara is changing, and I am blue with frustration.

8/25/2007 12:58 PM  
Anonymous Eckermann said...

sbcta presents some interesting statistics. But as we all know, presenting information in terms of percentages can be tricky and less than revealing. For instance, while sbcta says that revenue to the Taxpayers Association from oil companies represents only 10% of total revenues, the oil companies provide about 0.5% of total jobs in Santa Barbara County and employ only about 0.25% of the County's population. So at 10% of the revenues, the oil companies appear to be disproportionately represented as dues paying members. Granted, the statistics that I just cited are just as deceiving as those sbcta provided, but interesting nonetheless. I really do not have a beef with the Taxpayers Association. It's just that they do not tend to support environmental and social justice policies because such policies tend to result in increased taxes. I do not think that sbcta would argue with that.

8/25/2007 1:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

South County of Santa Barbara has locked itself into a no win situation. Being somebody who now lives and works in North County, I've realized that the City of SB, Noleta, Goleta, Summerland, Monteceito, and Carp are all regressive rather than progressive.

City of Santa Maria has a huge communty recreation center and pool along with building a brand new library. Marian medical center generates its own electric power using methane from the local landfill and the area has stricter recycling separation.

Lompoc's voters pushed through a large bond to build a state of the art hospital and they are building a sewer system that passes higher standards than any other in the Central Coast.

The city of SB cannot even build a public bathroom without years of public review and city council gadflies questioning everything.

8/25/2007 9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rich people with their sense of community philantrophy made Santa Barbara what it is and what made it so attractive for poor people to want to come here too.

Poor people did not build Santa Barbara and they are destroying the very thing they came to enjoy at someone else's expense.

To those whiners who only want to trash "rich" people: Show a little more appreciation for what you get to enjoy that someone else built for you. And then move someplace where you can afford to live. But you are only a short term guest here now. Behave accordingly, and stop trashing the very benefactors who created this town. Santa Barbara did not happen by accident. And you did not do anything, but take from it.

Come back when you too can invest and contribute to its well-being and quality of life. And today, that takes money.

And stop sucking off the rich people supporting non-profits whose goals in fact are counter-productive to the quality of life here. They in fact only support an artificial dependent class of employees, who are not accountable for what they claim they do to "help". And mainly what they do is put on lavish fund raisers so it looks like important people are doing important things. This needs to be investigated.

Then when the money and donors move on to the next pet project, these non-profits come whining to the government actually thinking they were accomplishing something important, which they can never show in fact actually happened.

This is a town of over the top non-profit fund raisers and they need rich people to support this farce. So quit complaining. You would have to find a real job if you could not suck off the rich people here.

8/26/2007 10:24 AM  
Anonymous meredith said...

this terrorism metaphor is very dark and twisty.

8/26/2007 3:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


1) the wealthy did not make SB attractive- that was the work of mother nature which is why people want to live here- the mild weather & natural beauty

2) if you do a bit of research you will learn that nonprofits are largely supported through gifts from the middle class & few nonprofits ever apply for or are eligible for government grants

3) the entirety of your post is a uninformed as those two points I chose to address

8/26/2007 4:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yup, all those rich people paid for Lake Cachuma... NOT... paid for on the US Government's nickel.

And that County Courthouse... NOT... paid for out of Ellwood Oil Field revenues.

10:24am you gave me a good laugh.

8/26/2007 7:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mother Nature made the entire southern California Baja coast. Only the wealthy turned what Mother Nature equitably distributed on the southern California coast into something far more desireable.

We are a scrappy, dry, treeless, rocky desert coast thanks for Mother Nature.

Just travel south where there is little development and you will see what Mother Nature gave us - not much.

Only the efforts of the early wealthy stewards of this land gave us Santa Barbara. Stop trashing it up. hey, we are not going to let you so don't fret about it.

It is time to turn the clock backwards to the days of the early Santa Barbara Montecito philanthropists who loved and cared for this community. And knew a thing or too about size and scale and living within our limits, inflicted upon us by Mother Nature.

8/27/2007 1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those early philantropists built the execrable dams on the upper Santa Ynez river. Luckily they'll silt up and then be useless. Hardly a legacy of living within our limits... living within our limits would have respected the limits of local well water.

Montecito and SB had a whole lot fewer trees, which now survive only because of irrigation. The greening of Montecito and SB is dependent upon importation of water, and is unsustainable.

And those early Montecitans depended critically on shipments of goods by boat and stagecoach and rail, hardly a model of `living within our limits'.

Spreckels decimated the waterfront wetlands for his little harbor.

8:49pm, you are building up a non-reality based myth.

8/27/2007 8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sprekels???? --- c'mon now please read a book about Santa Barbara history if you want to spout off here. You are getting us mixed up with San Diego - which we are well on our way of becoming if the progressives have our way.

Building silted up dams is living within our limits. Not sure what points you were trying to make besides show you don't know enough to really care about this unique town and its history.

The wealthy built it, and the poor people flocked to it looking for handouts. The first law of unintended consequences.

Bottomline message: you need the rich to support your handouts so stop trashing them. You depend on them. Show a little appreciation, please. It is called good manners.

8/27/2007 11:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Building damns that destroy the environment is a crime, and that they silt up means they are not sustainable.

Let the wealthy leave, tomorrow or earlier. Then we can see how much we don't need them.

The wealthy did not build the Mission. The wealthy did not build the presidio. The wealthy have ruined the local environment with water importation and importation of other goods. That's not sustainable. Let the wealthy leave.

8/28/2007 3:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:30 I respect many of those wealthy philanthropists of yore. Today SB is blessed with many of the same ilk. I'm not certain that those who built in SB back then had any sense of scale- if you take a look at some of those early mansions- however, they were built on lots of land so perhaps that is what you meant.

I disagree with your opinion that the wealthy improved on Mother Nature. But then, if I had my choice, I'd prefer to live in Hollister Ranch which for the most part remains pristine, rather than current day Montecito any day. (Actually I did live in Montecito back when it was a desirable place to live. But I wasn't wealthy).

8/28/2007 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The wealthy are not leaving. In fact, just the opposite. They are the only ones who can afford to come here, become residents and then vote.

Take note of this change in demographics: older and wealthier. And they have a unique set of issues which are not being met.

Santa Barbara in the good old days was a retirement town: older and wealthy. It is good we are getting back to the basics that made this town special again.

8/28/2007 9:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

late to this post

but "POLITICAL PLAY of the WEEK: Al-Qaeda in Santa Barbara" is awful and painful for me

and using the term terrorist to anyone who disagree with an idea is so wrong that it is clear the author has lived a very protected life.

I lost a very dear and old friend on 9 -11 and to compared to those who simple disagree with those who killed my friend and thousands of others is an idea that on the face of it was not well thought through or is an insight to the "POLITICAL PLAY " author.

please know for some of us terrorist has a deeper and very painful meaning and you demean what our friends died for.

Sara - time to be done with mr. POLITICAL PLAY

8/28/2007 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tax the wealthy if they won't leave. Yearly tax of 95% of all single family home property value in excess of 2 million. That'll get `em to go.

$20,000 a year tax on giant SUVs.

If they can't afford it let them move away, that is what they say to the middle class in SB.

8/29/2007 4:56 AM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

anon 1021 has it right. most of the progressives/liberals/ecohonks/commies that live in this town could care less about 9/11 or its repurcussions. i saw this from the get-go, starting on 9/12. they never percieved the nature of the threat we still face today because they are so encapsulated in our little enclave, wrapped in the belief that the terrorists have no interest in coming here. they do not feel threatened by the real terrorists, therefore they dont believe in the mission our country has undertaken to combat these evil medievalists. that's what makes it so easy for CS to call the folks that disagree with him/her "terrorists"; it's because (s)he does not comprehend the gravity of the term.

8/29/2007 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why does having money seem to cause people to think that they are somehow superior and more valuable to those who do not have money? Let me clue you in. A community needs people across all educational and skill levels to survive and thrive. Regardless of financial wealth, each person contributes to the success of the community as a whole. Those who can, contribute capital resources. Others contribute their labors and build sweat equity. For my money, the person who gives of himself is still more valuable and and shows a higher level of commitment and love of their community than the person who only contributes money, unless that is all they are physically able to do.

8/29/2007 8:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, the affluent think the sun shines out their posterior, and they'd like to charge you for the light. The non-affluent are worms to them, and they think we should all feel privileged to be their slaves.

They don't even see the rest of us, and if an affluent kid, say, slash-murders a homeless person in a Santa Barbara Park, as happened a while ago here, they blame it on the homeless person.

8/29/2007 4:15 PM  
Blogger jqb said...

most of the progressives/liberals/ecohonks/commies that live in this town could care less about 9/11 or its repurcussions.

We care that Osama bin Laden -- a creation of U.S. foreign policy in Afghanistan under Jimmy Carter, BTW -- is still at large, due in large part to George Bush following PNAC strategy (oh, that's right, you've never heard of them).

herefore they dont believe in the mission our country has undertaken to combat these evil medievalists

So you think that the U.S. mission is to kill all Muslims? After all, you have asserted that even the "good" Muslims want to take over the world.

8/29/2007 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the issues here are sort of enlighting:

if you disagree you are equal to a terrorist - seems progressive and open minded.

if you have created wealth for others and yourself - like Geo Soros but have different view or live in Santa Barbara - you are evil.

if you believe that Christians should be respected maybe half as much as Muslims - you are a right wing nut job.

and it is the poor and middle class, that also by the way it seems cannot afford to be here that give all the money - Towbes, Ridley Tree, Orfala, must all be poor as are those who started and support the SB Foundation, one of the largest in the country -

fun to see and read why progressives - are not.

8/29/2007 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This sounds like the same reasoning I am reading here:

Edwards: Americans should sacrifice their SUVs

Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards told a labor group he would ask Americans to make a big sacrifice: their sport utility vehicles.

The former North Carolina senator told a forum by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, yesterday he thinks Americans are willing to sacrifice.

Edwards says Americans should be asked to drive more fuel efficient vehicles. He says he would ask them to give up SUVs.

A photographer yesterday afternoon captured Edwards as he was getting into a SUV after stepping off his chartered jet.

Maybe a blue line around his jet ans SUV?

8/29/2007 8:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one blamed the premeditated murder of the homeless person in Alameda park by some military prep school kids several decades ago on the the homeless person.

It was a savage, brutal and senseless act and the murderer, even though underage, did his time. He only recently was released I believe, decades later.

Please stop making up "facts" to make your point. That makes very unproductive discourse.

Class envy is going to polarize this community far more than any racial or ethnic divide. The hanger-oners who come to suck off the wealthy and then bite the hand that feeds them while still asking for more is not a pretty community picture. Nor should it expect to get any further support.

8/29/2007 8:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:59 pm horsefeathers. I heard lots of folks in Hope Ranch and Montecito at the time say homeless people had no right to breath Santa Barbara air and deserved what those two young men who slashed the homeless folks gave them. Homeless folks and immigrants are worms to the affluent.

That young man recently released from jail would have gotten the death penalty if he weren't from the affluent class. The rich skate in court, period, and poor take the rap every time. What bunk we have in this country about `equal justice'. You get the justice that you pay for in this Country.

Let the affluent leave, or tax them big. They are always saying if you can't afford to live here, you don't deserve to live hear. Let's use the tax code to turn the tables on the insensitive rich and drive them out of town. Let's tax anyone named Wendy McCaw $1 billion a year.

8/29/2007 10:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

8:21 you didn't understand- it is the middle class who give the majority of the money to nonprofits, the ones you mention are wealthy & give generously, but they do not represent the majority of donors

8/29/2007 11:53 PM  
Blogger MCConfrontation said...

According to Ms. JQB, Jimmy Carter gave birth to UBL? I read somewhere that he was the tenth son of a Saudi business magnate. Where's your wikipedia citation on that one? That PNAC website you cited hasn't had a new entry in two years. Could you be any less prescient Ms. JQB?

Darnit, I forgot for a minute I put you in a permanent timeout. Into the corner with you!

8/30/2007 7:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


as a past chair or president of three large local non profits and sitting as a president of another non profit now - you are corrrect that the middle class in numbers give more - there are more checks - but in pure dollars you are so wrong -

Just think - a million dollar donation takes 1000 middle class large $1000 contributions

on face value you got to know that with out the large $50,000, half million, million and larger gifts - there are no non profits really making it here

with most middle class gifts equalling less than $250 - not $1000 - it means for Towbes million dollars per year - it takes 4000 donors

I must stop as it seems so logical that I am over doing it - but you are wrong

8/30/2007 8:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

add poaching water and decimating the steelhead to the list of crimes of the Montecito class. Oh, and shall we talk about phony ag to bilk the water district?

drive them out of town with high taxes.

8/30/2007 10:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What makes the situation in SB really sick is that it is a class struggle not between rich and poor but between rich and middle to upper middle class! Middle class people don't SUCK off the rich. We contribute a helluva lot and we work darn hard to take care of our families. The people needing affordable housing are not just the bottom of the economic ladder. Another crock of doo doo from those who have too much.

8/30/2007 5:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

more crocks... if small donors were irrelevant, non-profits would not ring my phone off the hook during dinner.

8/30/2007 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How come the "middle class" are not buying the affordable condos on 1300 San Andres Street? They are just sitting there with no buyers. Hard to feel sorry for them when they turn their noses up at some parts of town. They demand more than their share and that is not a welcome attitude.

8/30/2007 10:10 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

10:10 pm -- anything on San Andres is going to have a hard time. Great neighbors, not so great kids that think gangs ae their family. Maybe that is like the condos near the train tracks at State and Modoc/Hollister....not sold but they look nice, wonda why?

8/30/2007 10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess according to some here I am the problem.

I have too much.

So I give it away. And I save and invest it for my children. I employ nearly 100 and treat each well with good pay checks and generous bonuses.

I am sorry to have succeeded from a lower income background. You make me feel guilty for succeeding by working hard and doing right.

Please forgive me.

8/31/2007 1:06 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:06am save us the propaganda

sure there are good people who've made money fairly. some of them are wonderful. just that most of affluent are selfish and treat the poor as worms, while the affluent skate in court and destroy the environment like they've destroyed Montecito with non-native plants, water thievery, and the dumping of tons of fertilizers on the land and into the watershed.

not to mention the eternal argument the affluent make that only the rich deserve to live in Santa Barbara. Let's tax them so they can taste their own medicine!

There is an enormous class war going on all the time, where the rich punish the poor in this country. If anyone brings it up, the rich propagandize against all the others. Let the rich wash the feet of the homeless.

8/31/2007 6:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:06 save the sweeping generalizations

your view is that the only wealthy are in Montecito and that is not true.

there are wealthy plumbers and electricians and small business owners who live in most neighborhood and the only thing you notice different is they have more money to give

most rich are not focused on money as much as you and those you are fixated upon in Montecito. the noisy in Montecito are LA transplants who still play the LA game and I agree have ruined the village

but instead of considering all people with means as Montecito like - just look up and look around there are a lot of wealthy people who you have swept up and accused of being mean

and if supporting transition house, buying and serving meals this is class war make my family and I guilty

yet in this town poor and rich are pretty relative compared to other parts of the world where some shelter and food every three days is a luxury

I do not weep for those who choose to be homeless and drunk, i help the rescue mission sober them when they are ready

for children around the globe without a parent, a roof or food I weep

step up yourself - you are wealthier than 95% of the world - so be very careful with your sweeping justification for disliking someone not based on their skin color but size of their bank account

time for you to step up to and if I need to I will wash your feet

9/01/2007 7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9/02/2007 1:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Modoc Road condos have not sold because of the high proportion of affordable inclusionary units which all did sell.

They get subsidized condo fees as well and what full market price buyer in their right mind will buy a condo and then spend the rest of his life subsidizing half the other owners of the affordable condos?

This is a social engineering mistake of the highest order. And this is a housing project that is now a duck dead in the water - tomorrows slums because unsold units and reduced condo fees mean poor longterm maintenance and bad property management by those who could never get into housing on their own anyway and have neither the means or abilities to take care of it.

The city council again failed to understand the full range of consequences from the private property ownerships perspective when they just jammed through more onerous inlcusionary rules.

This is just one more example of their ludicrous "blue line" mentality - screw property owners while selling out lock stock and barrel for feel-good special interests.

But maybe we should not complain because they essentially dried up any desire for any new construction under these highly punitive inclusionary rules.

9/02/2007 12:39 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Modoc Road condos lack of sales have nothing to do with sharing their back yard with the railroad, hunh? or the exorbitant price for their location? Inclusionary rules had less of an impact that you say...

9/02/2007 1:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1:46 AM: Your hateful comment about CPA and that poor dear boy offends the sensibility of any decent person, and I strongly object to its posting here. Anonymity is one thing, pure venom is something else, and I'm frankly surprised that sara would allow it.

9/02/2007 8:06 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

I'll delete that one for good measure....thanks for saying something.

9/02/2007 8:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I do feel that the CPA are strong supporters of cars, and I have experienced the wrath of the CPA when I argue against car usages.

Sara, deleting that post was simply wrong... the comment was way inside of the `Al Qaeda' comments that start these threads. What about the 2800 or so dead in the WTC? The post at the top of this thread is rather disrepectful of those victims.

I'm sorry, a result of CPA's overly enthusiastic support of the car through the years is the raft of fatal accidents to bicyclists we have had, from Kendra Payne to Jake Boysel to the recent Kellogg/Hollister death. If making that connection is not allowed on this blog, you've taken a step in the direction of the News-Press. You're nowhere near the News-Press in bias or closed-mindedness, but the CPA should not be a sacred cow protected from scrutiny.

9/02/2007 8:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw, 8:06pm calling the comment `hateful' is a personal attack ant that post should be removed (by your guidelines). There was venom, but no hate.

9/02/2007 8:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lots of expensive property right next to the railroad tracks from Carp to Montecito to Santa Barbara.

Nope, it was not the location that screwed the sales, it is the high proportion of subsidized units which made this a terribly undesirable market rate purchase opportunity.

Don't forget the high prices on the non-affordable units subsidize the affordable units. That makes for a very unhappy long term relationship among future owners.

If I were a market rate owner I would be really ticked having to give any condo ownership power to a subsidized unit owner. Really ticked, that is why these units are not selling.

Which is also why no developer now that they see how inclusionary units screw the market rate unit sales, particularly now at a 50% affordable ratio to market rate units, will ever try and build anything in this town.

The city council just shot the multi-unit housing market in the foot. Duh?

Look next for tear downs in multi-unit zones and single family houses being built instead, until the city council puts the kabosh on that too and demands the lost multi-family units be replaced or paid for in-lieu.

The city council would do a lot better banning short-term vacation rental units which are taking a lot of former apartment units off the market, and the conversion of lots of single housing units into grow-light marijuana farms, also limiting the number of people now housed in them.

The city does not even keep score on that one, but there are now plenty on them, even in the best neighborhoods which is how a lot of people are affording to buy in Santa Barbara - they use the house to grow and sell pot.

Afterall, the city council made this place a wide open "medical marijuana" city, when all other cities banned its sale totally.

9/02/2007 9:07 PM  

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