Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Mock Tombstone Protest on 154

This in from KSBY-TV -- here's the video of the report.(Unfortunately it requires Win-Doze or Flip4Mac)

Up until around 3:30 p.m. Monday, a protest sign was sitting on Highway 154 just east of of the 246.

We can tell you before it was removed, it had been knocked over.

You can tell because the flowers that were part of the demonstration have been pushed aside.

At some point this weekend, a mock tombstone went up at the side of the 154.

It reads, "rest in peace, community voice."

It comes in opposition to the passage of an assembly resolution to rename the 32-mile road as "Chumash Highway."

Community activists have been complaining to Assemblyman Pedro Nava's office about his failure to inform his district the renaming.

But his office says the resolution was written by a Bay Area lawmaker.

And it did go through public comment in Sacramento.

I like Pedro but I have to wonder whether he and even State Senator McClintock dropped the ball on this one -- the "Bay Area lawmaker" likely informed Nava and McClintock of the resolution as a courtesy, no? Ignorance on their constituents' part is no excuse for a resolution going through public comment without a word from our representatives.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

The hue and cry over this is counterproductive, and mainly hurts those who oppose the Casino.

The Chumash leadership loves the comments of POLO and POSY... they surely take press clippings to others in the Legislature to support the Chumash case that whites are oppressing them.

Wise up POLO and POSY. You can't win on this renaming issue. Your best move is to embrace it, and perhaps get all those Coastal Chumash who have been voted off the reservation by the Valley Chumash to join with you in thanking the Valley Chumash. And then if the Coastals happen to make a few remarks how they've been excluded from all Casino Profit, now that would start to help.

But white rage doesn't help at all.

10/02/2007 8:33 AM  
Anonymous allegro805 said...

Nick Welsh's "Angry Poodle" lays this all out in good detail in the current Independent:

The gem below from Welsh makes a good case for shredding Nava's claims that he had "no control" over the renaming measure instroduced by San Jose's Assemblyman Coto:
...the last legislator to try poaching in Nava’s district got nowhere. Earlier this year, Lloyd Levine, one of Nava’s assembly buddies, introduced an anti-oil measure specific to the Santa Barbara Channel in a politically calculated effort to bolster his street cred with enviros. Levine withdrew the bill from consideration after it emerged that he’d never consulted with Nava beforehand. In this case [Chumash Hwy], there’s more than circumstantial evidence to suggest that Nava’s Look-Ma-No-Hands posture is less than believable.

I don't have a problem with the highway being renamed at all, but don't elected officials realize how easily their tactics will be exposed and create ire within their constituencies? Maybe they just don't care? This was just a really LOUSY error in judgment on Nava's part, and has justly brought a lot of bad PR his way. Think about it next time, Pedro, for heaven's sakes!

Question: Can any News-Press readers tell us how this is being spun in those pages? Travis loves to rail on about taking government officials to task... but what about this huge lapse in Nava's judgment? Is Nava being skewered in the SBNP the same way Blum or Barnwell would be? Just wondering....

10/02/2007 9:22 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Neil Graffy is probably the most versed in town on the historic names of our roadways and how they came to be. Let's ask him what he thinks!

Highway 154 lacks a certain charm I must admit. San Marcos Pass is taken. Chumash Highway juxtaposes the modern word "Highway" which positively reeks with the 50s and "I like Ike" resonances up against the historic Chumash. I wouldn't use it in a poem.

This problem for the community could be like the one of moving around rocks. Lots of debate, few solutions in sight. "Tombstone Trail" is too soon to judge.

How about De La Guerra Escape Route?

10/02/2007 9:32 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

OBVIOUSLY, Mr. Nava knows where the pots of money are located around here. Betcha Travis doesn't bonk Nava or the Chumash either. Mr. 'No bias' Travis, your on deck. Roll your bowling ball.

10/02/2007 2:36 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

"I wouldn't use it in a poem."

I love that line, works for so many things...

I think the Naming could have been worse. The Chumash have been a name in this area for a pretty long time...I think. Long before Firestone or Parker at least. What would you have Nava do now? Rename it the "Not Chumash Highway"?

Just think of all those poor cowboys that have to drive all those George W. Bush Highways and byways of Houston and Dallas forever...not to mention all the buildings named Bush there.

10/02/2007 4:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Chumash deserve recognition for their historical role in this area. That's not the issue, and it never was. The problem is that the "Chumash Highway" is like an arrow going to the bull's eye of the Chumash Casino. You can't believe that the commercial interests of the casino were not the driving force behind the renaming. I honestly think it cheapens any honoring of the Chumash heritage by such an obvious commercial connection.

The sleazy politics behind it and the deliberate plan to avoid public comment adds insult. The fact that this issue passed unanimously is indicative of nothing except a willingness by our State lawmakers to scratch each other's backs when political donations are up for grabs.

10/02/2007 4:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoy it when a bunch of rich white people throw a collective tantrum when they don't get their way...

10/02/2007 6:02 PM  
Anonymous Mr. Moreno said...

There's plenty to find objectionable in the tribe's rush to build a gigantic eyesore in the valley, but all the drama about "Chumash Highway" is silly. Ease up, folks. It's just a name on a stretch of asphalt. The new designation is no worse than all those Wilbur T. Whiteguy Memorial Highways around the state.

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

Nava sold out our community for money to the Latino Cacacus and to his buddies campaigns. He was and is a total fraud. The tribe has purchased this community from Joni Grey to Nava and the pro-business crowd.

I cannot stomach that Nava is a Democrate - he is a sell - opportunist. What a sad state of affairs.

The only true protectior against the tribe has been Firestone and he is leaving.

10/02/2007 9:08 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

What I am concerned about is the bias in this naming the highway after the Chumash. After all they're merely one more example of destructive humans. Let's focus this time, not on humans, not even on animals, but let's spread our sincere egalitarian impulse this time to the plant world which is so deserving of our attention and yet so underserved.

I propose renaming the route to:

Poison Oak Way

The Chumash would understand.

10/03/2007 6:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If it was to honor the Chumash, it should be Chumash Pathway. Let's just call it what it is--Chumash Casino Highway, Gambler's Alley would have been cool, though.

10/03/2007 10:25 AM  
Blogger RML said...

The Chumash have a monopoly on gambling for this area. The nearest compettition is 3-4 hrs away. Those few little signs along the pass ( yes, it is still the pass and always will be) will not drive any more customers to the casino. Wake up and lets talk about some real issues

10/23/2007 6:21 AM  

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