Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Citizen McCaw Friday March 7th Premiere

I wanted to give a shout out to the producers of Citizen McCaw which will hold a premiere on Friday, March 7th. It's sure to be an excellent documentary on the News-Press Mess. After you see it, report back as to what you thought!

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Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Thanks to several of you who corrected me on the date of the premiere -- I had to spend a few hours in LA traffic yesterday so I wasn't in top form last night!

2/29/2008 4:21 AM  
Anonymous Plaza Girl said...

Wow, Independent pre-review article showed how very biased the whole approach was from the get go. Figures. Hope Wendy sues their tails off for defamation.

2/29/2008 1:05 PM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

Plaza Girl -- what article are you referring to? The only pre-review I saw in the Independent talked about the hard work the team did, and their hopes and fears for the showing. Is there another article I am missing?

2/29/2008 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Pre-emptive Spin said...

Just keep saying and writing that the film is biased and hope everyone then believes this is true, and all before anyone even sees the film!!!!

Truth by repetition, eh?

3/01/2008 12:15 AM  
Anonymous Plaza Girl said...

wineguy and pre-empt, if you can't see the bias in this article I am glad you are no longer writing in the NewsPress. The whole article is devoted to the rights of the employees and creating an image of Wendy as a privileged monster whose only goal is to upend their sense of entitlement.

The newspaper is NOT a public trust; it is a business and a privately owned one at that. There is no plot and there is no movie here. There is only a blatent propaganda piece. Welcome to Obamaland.

This is not a movie devoted solely to the application of the US Labor Code. It is a personal hit piece directed against the "boss" and over-romanticizes the employee. Indeed, this is Obamaland.

And if you could not get this message screaming at you from this article, you simply have to realize your own bias is so thick it has blinded you to other opinons totally.

You are like the city council person who viewed his colleagues who were all left leaning, progressive, social utopian Democrats and claimed they were a pretty diverse group.

You populist Wendy haters are cut from the same cloth. Try and see the other side. And when you finally do even though this will be a next to impossible mental exercise, go back and re-read the article.

3/01/2008 7:47 AM  
Anonymous Garry Owen said...

Plaza girl, et al...

Newspapers have indeed been viewed as public trusts, in the same vein we choose to view our Presidents as moral princes. We like to believe all newspapers are 100 percent objective and reflect "MY" views while no President would ever play doctor in office. Nice theory, eh? Well, I'd like to live in Theory, because it's the only place everything works as expected.

The difference with the NP, PG, is is that we Americans have to come to expect at least an effort toward objectivity from our newspapers and not the complete abandonment of such by Wendy and Travis. It is sad thing to see the line between opinion and news completely disappear, leaving us with such an ugly mess. I used to enjoy reading the NP, whether agreeing with it or not. Now, on those few occasions I do pick one up I do so carefully, almost as if I'm going to get sick from it. Or with the gruesome facination of watching a don't really want to look, but you do anyway.

Your response to Wineguy and Pre-empt displays some deep anger and extreme bias of your own PG; not a pretty combination. You make a point to demand that folks "try and see the other side", can you do that? Is your "bias so thick" YOU can't see other opinions? And your reference to "Obamaland" is tinged with racism; would you care to explain that?

As far as the movie, if you are at all interested in the opposite point of view, you should see it yourself. I see a danger for you though; you've spent some serious energy railing against something you know nothing about and haven't seen. You must fear the possibility of being wrong; what will you say then?

3/01/2008 1:25 PM  
Blogger Syrah Swigger said...

I just want my paper back- the one that had chef of the week, local news section, police blotter and week long articles that were of interest to me.

The paper is a sad shell of its former self.

I loved how today they had the obituary of a man who used to be the daily editor- and they haven't had one for how long now?


3/01/2008 3:42 PM  
Anonymous wineguy said...

Plaza Girl -- Although I am a former officer in a Union (not the Teamsters), I never worked for the News-Press. I don't know where you got that idea.

But we must be reading different articles. I am looking at "The Wendy Chronicles", from Thursday 2/28 on the Indy website. I see nothing "devoted to the rights of the employees and creating an image of Wendy as a privileged monster whose only goal is to upend their sense of entitlement"

I see a discussion of how the title was chosen, a brief one-paragraph summary of some of the events that occurred, profiles of four filmmakers, a little bit about their efforts to get comments from N-P management, and some stuff about legal attempts to block the film.

Can you please point me to the piece you are reading?

3/01/2008 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Garry Owen said...

Ticket update folks:

According to the Arlington, they've "sold a lot" of tickets already and are "expecting to sell out" the theater. 4,000 viewers; that would be a touch or two more than the 100 hoped for by earlier bloggers (who chose to remain anonymous). Add word of mouth discussion after; say a conservative two folks apiece, and no wonder Wendy and Travis are worried. 12,000 enlightened minds are only the beginning. Can't hide behind the money any longer.

3/01/2008 5:51 PM  
Blogger craigsmithsblog said...

The Citizen McCaw preview trailer is here!

3/01/2008 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Off-Leash Public Affairs said...

Link on my blue commenter name here for the 28-minute short subject to view prior to Citizen McCaw.

Or, see Episode 014 of the video show:

Episode 014... SB News-Mess: Teamsters Endzone Dance

This episode of Off-Leash Public Affairs (OLPA) helps to explain what the latest Decision by Federal Administrative Law Judge William Kocol really means in this saga that will not end.

3/01/2008 8:13 PM  
Anonymous Plaza Girl said...

Garry Owen, you make several really stupid conclusions.

1. The NP is not a public trust. It is a paper owned wholly by Ampersand. It is a business and you can choose to read it and/or buy it or not.

2. Criticism of Obama is not racism. Don't even bother going there. He is a jerk whether he is black, brown, white, green or purple. And his followers are cultist.

3. There are plenty of people who still read and buy the NewsPress who are perfectly happy to have gotten rid of the prior liberal bias.

4. Ask the more important questions about the NewsPress today like why taxpayer money has been buying the huge full page ads supporting the homeless and affordable housing. There is your interesting story and you did not even know it was going on.

5. I saw the Citizen McCaw trailer. It sucks. It is all about "Get the Blonde" which is as hackneyed of a story line any amateur can come up with and what we see everyday trying to "Git Hillary".

6. This movie plays to the minor anti-NP cabal still here and lurid populist voyeurs anywhere who still love to demonize management and the wealthy with their obvious envy. Yawn.

3/02/2008 7:58 AM  
Anonymous Silver Screen vs Silver Spoon said...

NewsPress book review captures it all -- this movie will be the tired "Silver Fork" story line: glee in sticking it to rich people.

To quote Diane Johnson from the NYT:

"The silver fork novel is a subgenre that has been around almost as long as novels themselves, affording the reader the double pleasure of following the lives of the aristocracy and scorning its mindless snobbery, triviality and malice. all of them the high-flying characters people a world most of us can only participate in vicariously, and the endings, mostly by demonstrating the consequences of bad values, reconcile the rest of us to our more mundane lot."

3/02/2008 1:17 PM  
Anonymous Garry Owen said...

Plaza Girl...

You truly do not disappoint. from the WM-TA-NP supporters you walked right by level-headed discourse and launched right into insult. Congratulations; you and your pals are, if nothing else, consistent.

Take a chill pill PG. If anything is idiotic it's your hypocritical insistance that everybody but you is wrong. 'No opinion except ones I like dare be discussed'. 'You're all against Wendy because she's got money...blah, blah, blah.' What a load of crap. You and your pals are just as guilty of the same "sin" you rail against; it's called HAVING AN OPINION. If the status quo in your world means yours is the only opinion that counts, you need to see more of the world.

Now to address some of your numbered issues; not surprisingly we disagree. Difference is, I don't take it personal PG.

1) The NP is a public trust; journalism has a rich history of this, with liberal and conservative approaches. The First Amendment wasn't created solely for the benefit of those who can afford to buy a newspaper; ownership brings some social responsibility as well (and yes, that would include those who disagree with the publisher).

2) Obama: I favor Hillary, PG. Calling him a jerk and describing his followers as "cultists" is a perfect example of all that is wrong with politics these days: polarization and mudslinging come to mind. Politics used to be the art of compromise, remember?

3) While there are people who do buy and read the NP regularly, that would be 25 percent less than before. And would your group include those willing to pay tripled advertising rates to take up the slack?

4) While I agree homeless solutions can use a lot of work, what is your problem with affordable housing? My guess is you don't have to worry about housing and don't care much for those who do. PS, PG. The lack of affordable housing helps create more homeless. Conversely, more housing equals fewer homeless. Pretty simple equation.

5) The trailer. "Get the Blonde?" Yep, you're right. An extraordinary combination of moviemakers and journalists, with literally hundreds of years of documented, proven experience between them, have all conspired the "Get the Blonde" with eight years of small city publishing background. Yep PG, in the Bizarro world, you're dead on.

6) "Lurid Populist Voyeurs" is creative. I'll have to store that for future use (as long as you don't mind). As far as a "minor cabal..." this story has reached across the country PG; the cabal has long since passed the minor mark. And yes, while I admit to a little "wealth envy", no, this issue isn't about that. It is about the abuse of priveledge that wealth has allowed her.

"Stupid Conclusions," Plaza Girl? Nope, just those you disagree with. Keep on truckin...

3/02/2008 6:17 PM  
Anonymous Bob Guiliano said...

After carefully reading comments by Plaza Girl and Garry Owen, I would have to agree with Garry on all points. Plaza Girl just does not make sense. I read the same Independent article that she referred to, and the charges she made had to be based on what she imagined she read. And her saying that newspapers are not a public trust, that was incredible.

My conclusion is that Plaza Girl dwells not in Reality World, but instead in Make Believe World. Perhaps it is a pleasant place for her. I hope she finds happiness there. I do concede that Reality World is oftentimes harsh. I myself sometimes like to travel to Make Believe World, but usually that's by either watching SciFi, The Twilight Zone, reading a Stephen King novel, or observing how the Santa Barbara News-Press functions these days.

I'm looking forward to watching CNN broadcast people wearing paper bags on their heads as they dare to watch Citizen McCaw debut at the Arlington Theatre on Friday. I'm sure our friends in Cuba, Iran and Venezuela will comment on how our troops sacrifice their lives and bodies overseas to bring freedom to other countries, while in America, some citizens are afraid to be seen showing up at a movie in fear of what one fellow citizen might do to them.

3/03/2008 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Plaza Girl said...

Garry, my man,

1. Until the public buys the NewsPress, it is not a public trust. It is a private business enterprise

2. Don't immediately- raise the racist issue every time some one criticizes Obama. That was your call; not mine.

3. NewsPress subscription rates are adeqate to continue publishing. There is no required optimum number as you oddly claim. It is what it is.

4. Santa Barbara already has plenty of affordable housing; legal and illegal.

5. See description of tired old "Sliver Fork" plot line, pandering to class envy.

6. See description of tired old "Silver Fork" plot line, enduring appeal for the have-nots.

Do you have any issues you actually want to discuss or do you still want to only trade soundbites?

3/03/2008 5:20 PM  
Anonymous no name said...

They wish they could sell 4000 tickets.

100 is much more like it.

3/03/2008 7:57 PM  
Anonymous eggs_ackley said...

I'll agree that the NP is not a public trust. As the newspaper of record for our fair city, I believe it should be, but since management/ownership has declared that the paper shouldn't be trusted, so be it. I think it's a crying shame that Ms. McCaw choses to expend her energies in such a fashion when she could be doing so much good for the community. Our takes on the responsibilities incumbent upon those of wealth and privelege are clearly far apart. I miss the gentility and quiet philanthropy that were once hallmarks of our community, now overshadowed by an attitude of entitlement, choosing to abhor true social responsibility.

There is no cachet in being an "anti-socialite" unless that all your friends are in the same boat.

3/04/2008 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Plaza Girl said...

McCaw has been doing good in this community. She helped get rid of Barnwell, the developers love child. She backs slow and no growth. She exposes county government housing corruption. She keeps elected officials feet to the fire.

She dontates millions to good works in this town. And she is getting rid of the liberal bias in the NewsPress.

She is doing okay. There are many in this community who do think she has the public trust in mind. And yes, we know, there are those who do not. But it is her paper and your choice to buy it or read it or not.

Too many anti-NewsPress people want to overturn the First Amendment, Freedom of Press and demand the NewsPress publish only things they want to appear.

How can they call themselves professional journalists when the first thing they espouse if getting rid of the First Amendment and control content, not just time, place and manner of free expression?

Give it a rest and get your own newspaper on your own dime and do whatever you want. I don't see how you can define the problem in any other way. But keep trying to enlighten me.

3/04/2008 8:06 PM  
Anonymous Spitfire Squid said...

Thanks, Plaza Girl, for the refresher.

Wendy McCaw bought the newspaper. It's her money, her newspaper, her news, her way.

Anyone who wants to disagree should stay silent or expect to hear from Barry Cappello.

3/04/2008 11:52 PM  
Anonymous Plaza Girl said...

Spitfire, are you saying Wendy did not buy the newspaper? That it belongs to "the people" instead?

I don't get your comments. (If one peels away the sarcasm, what is your intent.)

Because some very misguided people who used to work there actually believed your argument that the paper belonged to them, they did some pretty foolish things and they are now being held accountable. How hard is that to understand?

It was their delusion that somehow they had the right to lock, stock and barrel as well as content and exclusive interpretation of the First Amendment, that they felt they had no limits throwing themselves on the cogs of the machine and "bringing the tyrant down to her knees."

Doesn't work that way and because of that built in bias and attitude about private property, the NewsPress under their watch became an irresponsible rag. And the community trust was lost in the process.

3/05/2008 7:13 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Plaza Girl: Some of the notions you are proposing are true.

But please, this constant back and forth about who runs the newspaper, this conversation goes on here much to often, and is too abstract and thus on occasion sterile.

We can see what kind of picture of herself Wendy is painting. We're (those who are not ex Newspress reporters here) clear on issues that matter to Wendy. We get it.

But what about some more specifics on certain issues. What about the resistance to the Plaza and the defense of those parking places around the loop? Explain your thinking here.

And now you're on a tirade about Chapala but you've comdemned the group that wants a public initiative to lower height limits and defend set-backs.

What about the urban boundary line?

I care particularly about the Plaza. Let me hear you on that.

3/05/2008 7:29 AM  
Anonymous Garry Owen said...

Plaza Girl and pals...

The Public Trust issue really is moot as far as y'all are concerned; your narrow, convenient interpretation of it won't be changed or modified. Okay, You've carved it in stone...or in your case, petrified poo. So let's move on.

Your reference to the former staff as abusers of the First Amendment is laughable in its hypocrisy; they never threatened local shopkeepers with legal action for exercising their right to Freedom of Speech, did they? If you want to use the First Amendment as a shield folks, you also have to honor the responsibilities that come with that priviledge. Since you won't recognize those, let's move on.

According to Travis, City Hall is "out to get" the NP with its Plaza plan and removing some parking. While I'm still pondering the plan itself, he over rates his self importance. And now his paranoia fuels attacks on KEYT, complaining that CJ Ward and Paula Lopez won't return his calls. Do ya really blame them? Travis has obliterated any barriers that separated opinion from news, much less fact from fiction. No one of any consequence will speak to him because he is completely devoid of objectivity and fairness; sadly, he cannot be trusted. Travis Armstrong makes yellow journalism look rosy; Santa Barbara deserves better.

I'm looking forward to "Citizen of last check yesterday, nearly sold out at 2,000 seats (4,000 was wishful thinking, but wrong).

3/05/2008 8:49 AM  
Blogger LW said...

I'm beginning to wonder if "Poison Pen" can become some others' nickname, especially on this blog. Seriously, you read like TKA. Not that that's a bad thing.

3/05/2008 1:08 PM  
Anonymous Plaza Girl said...

Urban boundary line extension into Noleta brings in more slow-growth voters. Go for it.

Until the city curtails the downtown vagrancy problem, they need to spend RDA money on projects more worthy and beneficial to larger numbers of people: Undergrounding utilities as promised in the last General Plan; Safer sidewalks; Better lighting; More traffic calming; More zoning violation enforcements; More graffiti removal trucks....... blight needs to be corrected first with RDA money; not more minor city enhancements tacked on to already marginally okay projects.

Parking in DLGP is essential. No reason whatsoever to take it out and make this a community dead zone. A few minor clean-ups are fine to get rid of the neglected nature of this spot.

But since it is a magnet for vagrants now and nothing will change that in the future, why waste public money on the few who choose to continually abuse this fair city and do nothing positive in return.

3/05/2008 4:56 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Plaza girl: Thank you for your response. A good start! Good evening to you.

OK for urban boundary line.

I am for undergrounding utilities whereever we can and learned in the discussion here that the RDA map is larger than I thought. So OK.

OK too for safer sidewalks (start with the Plaza), better lighting (start with the Plaza), more traffic calming (start with the Plaza), more zoning violation enforcement--OK by me too. More graffiti removal trucks (Great! And how about arresting more of the idiots who do it?).

Can we work out a compromise on the parking? Diagonal parking on a one -way De La Guerra Street makes for more spaces directly in front of businesses. The City wants to dedicate some spaces in their lot next to City Hall.

You remember that the second inner ring parking next to City Hall was put in haphazardly by George Gerth on City Staff not long ago and isn't historic--how about getting rid of that?

On the vagrancy problem in the Plaza. The more cultural and event things that happen on the Plaza and at the Casa, it seems to me the less likely there will be a problem. What about the restaurants opening up and spilling out into the Plaza? Won't the customers at these restaurants keep away some of the vagrants because of their presence? It's the active community on the Plaza that will keep the vagrancy problem down. And we must think of a real police presence in a bicycle patrol.

Do we have any agreements here?

What do you think about the Harmer Adobe making a comeback. We could use that for some more cultural programing and bring back one of the great adobes.

And how about doubling available parking with a simple parking structure behind the Harmer Adobe using the City Land and Newspress land and sharing the parking permit proceeds?

Thanks for writing. I appreciate it.

3/05/2008 8:28 PM  
Anonymous Plaza Girl said...

Don Jose,

No agreement on downtown vagrants because all you suggest is moving them around, pushing them out of DLGP, but doing nothing when they take over State Street benches and increasingly ruin Alameda Park and Kids World.

Have you seen the ruination of Yanonali and Salsipeudes Streets again. This city has gone backwards pretending they are solving this problem. They have entrenched it, entitled it and made it worse. Total slum and degrades the entire budding business district here.

These vagrants need to get a very different message from this town. We take care of more of our share of them and they need to hear the welcome mat is no longer out for their alarming increases in number and aggressiveness.

If they are impaired individuals, they become wards of the public guardian's office and they are relocated to places that can insure their safety, because life on the streets for those so impaired is the worst form of social neglect this city continues to countenance.

And for the rest of them (the other 85%), they get the message just like gangs, they are not welcome and they need to find someplace where they are.

There are tons of bootstraping opportunities in this country, and living on and off the streets and on the rooftops of downtown businesses is not one.

Arrest them for trespass because you can't tell me setting up households on downtown real estate rooftops is something we cannot enforce.

No, Don Jose, you still don't get it. Providing lighting, sidewalk repair and increased security in DLGP at the expense of other areas in town more desparately in need because people actually live in these parts of town is number one priority. Not some vacant lot that only the vagrants have turned their entitled homestead because of the city's lax attitudes does not cut it.

Listen to Frederick Goss, Sullivan and Goss Gallaries who has also gone on record in disgust with the city's far too friendly and accomodating policies letting vagrants take over this town. They make going to the library a run through the gauntlet as bad as the Navy's Tailhook Party.

What value has the millions spent on housing and shelters and hand outs and public nursing done for this group when the problems remain the same and the numbers increase.

Stop spending money on them, because what we are doing is not working. Why is no one held accountable for these misguided programs?

This is insanity. Who granted them rights superior to the rest of us? it is time to stop pouring money down this rat hole and post signs and start enforcing vagrancy laws that work in any other city.

Use RDA money to set up dozens of more surviellance cameras in this town, because they are the only things working where they have been installed to finally break the chronic cycle of crime and graffiti in these few blessed parts of town where they now exist.

Catch and arrest the graffiti perpetrators? You jest. When have any of them ever seen them in action. That is a non-answer.

But it is incentive for a heck of a lot more surveillance cameras. Then you set up a deterrent because you can identify them, even though woefully after the fact. These work. Let's have a lot more of them.

I have no problems with crime prevention cameras at all because the blight and crime and intimidation has curtailed my sense of personal freedom and if a surveillance camera improves the quality of my life to the detriment of the crime peretrators, I call that a step in the right direction.

Bring 'em on.

3/05/2008 11:44 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

OK. Thanks for your response Plazagirl. Good morning. I note that the diction and tone this morning are more, how shall I put it, masculine!

Just like Hillary, you're waving the red flag (or telephone) of fear. Vagrants are your culprit today. I've been around town long enough to know firsthand the baseline for what's a serious problem today. On that we can agree. I ran a Gallery/Publishing company not far from Frank Goss and know what he's talking about intimately.

But let's talk tactics.

First, I am a bit Confucian-like in my philosophy of action. I think you start with your own heart, move outward to your family, then to the neighborhood, ever outward, toward possible solutions for everybody.

Second, if we take a look at the community in urban design terms: this community has a heart and for me it is 'Plaza de la Guerra'. As you've heard me say, it is where the Chumash world, meets the Spanish City, meets the American one. All this is true in other parts of the City too, like the Presidio neighborhood, and up at the Mission. Those are key nodes in the City's fabric. This is where the local civil society works out its public way. Now this seems basic and obvious to me but maybe not to you.

Today in Santa Barbara's news reporting, we can hear about yet another important City node, the "entry gate," where Mission Creek, State Street, Stern's Wharf all come together. Need I mention to you, there was a Chumash village down there too.

The nodes are objective realities in our City's social fabric.

OK. Back to the vagrants.

Frankly, I don't see what good a bunch of surveillance cameras are going to do. They are sort of useful for after action information that might help arrest suspects,...maybe they have a preventative aura, assuming the vigrants won't like having their picture taken. But what kind of infrastructure is it going to take to have this "Big Brother" solution. I found Orwell's Novel kind of convincing about these matters. Cameras should be a last resort in any case. I just don't see any tactical efficiency in this approach. And I think it would be demeaning to our public spirit and consciousness.

Policeman on a beat, where they know everybody, hear the stories, for me are the best bet.

On the other hand, I am quite convinced that public activity drives out the vagrants. The Public Library is obviously a place where there are lots of problems.

Yet, when I think about it, there are lots of high use public places, like the library, the museum, high end shopping nearby in La Arcata, a fine Parking Lot, and good restaurants and all this nearby this trouble spot.

This is a good example you have given against my argument that good infrastructure and lots of locals trump the problems with vagrants.

So let me be honest. I don't really know what to do about the uncivilized vagrants! I really don't. But I don't think surveillance cameras are the answer.

Maybe some of the other bloggers here have an idea of what to do? Around the Public Libary would be a good test case for finding solutions...the infrastructure up there is pretty good. Maybe what we learn could help the Plaza.

You didn't take me up Plazagirl, on my questions around the Parking issue.

3/06/2008 7:57 AM  
Anonymous Plaza Girl said...

Read before pontificating, Don Jose. I stated clearly parking in the Plaza is essential.

If the plaza is such a heart and core of this community, do some private fundraising for it just like the community has come forth for the Granada Theater and Cottage Hospital because they have felt these sites are their heart and core of the community.

Turn St Francis into a vagrant housing institution and when the rooms there are full, the city is full and those wishing to be homeless in paradise rather than less amenable spots will simply have to (1) move on or (2) make their lives functional so they can afford to live productively here.

And if housing vagrants is the solution so many people claim, they will have their lives on track and be able to move on and open their beds to more vagrancy rehabilitation.

And if housing them does not work, then no one city such as ours should be forced to solve society's problems alone. We will do our share, but not a single bit more. And filling St Francis to the brim with vagrants is a darn good start and end to our share.

Cottage Hospital is losing far more money treating gang victims and homeless than they will lose not using St Francis for housing their personnel which they can do at their Goleta site.

Send the word out to homeless everywhere you can get ocean view rooms at St Francis, but the ticket in is that you get your life back in order and move on in 18 months.

And while you are there, you actually provide some sort of public service in return for this public largesse. Graffiti patrol and repainting is an excellent place to start. Daily groups move throughout the city cleaning things up.

Can RDA buy St Francis? Will the very idea of vagrants being expected to provide some return service discourage the free ride they currently enjoy in this city. Everyone wins with this proposal, particularly the homeless who break their cycle of dependency and re-enter society.

Just like Iraq, a safety zone is created, but always with the expectations of self-functioning. And if they can't or won't cut it, then those that can't are moved to institutionalized settings and those who won't are moved on.

But at no time is the current pan-handling status quo trashing our streets and neighborhoods with their unlimited sense of unfettered entitlement allowed to continue. Tough love. It works. Because what we are doing, whining and hand wringing does not. These are very capable people and they quickly learn how to game the system.

Put their considerable talents to far better purpose. And teach number one it is all about choices. Cull out the truly unfunctional and guide them into the protective services our society has long been paying for.

Surveillance cameras do work and they are present all over Europe these days with positive results. Far more cost effective and well-accepted. People want the safety they provide because they hate paying for a revolving door of petty crime. We are pouring money down a rat hole with our failed business as usual model.

No one is claiming a big brother scenario. Just high crime areas under surveillance so when crimes do occur, there is a paper trail helping apprehend the perpetrators.

You would be surprised how many places in town already employ this device. Just look at places where graffiti no longer occurs and you have its success proven.

Let's put one on that cleaning establishment by the freeway that welcomes travellers to our fair city to start. Daily graffiti hits.

More are needed along the train tracks, again welcoming train travellers to our fair city long in need of massive clean-up.

Surveillance cameras work and are cost effective. Any neighborhood who petitions to get them should have them.

Let the people speak up on this issue and you will hear a roar of consensus. Public safety is a very key unmet concern in this town.

Bring back the City Hosts and set up surveillance cameras until the message comes across loud and clear this is town where crime is not tolerated and consequences will be direct and immediate.

3/06/2008 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Good evening. I'm absolutely sure Plazagirl, that St. Francis is outside the RDA map. Don't even go there. Think what the NIMBY neighbors would say to a shelter there! I prefer Fess Parker building his shelter for voyageurs.

I am all for graffiti clean up jobs for those who need them (who pays?)and arrest for graffiti vandals. University types will call it art and social expression.

City Host program is good. Police Bike patrol is good.

Surveillance videos only as a last step.

But you didn't really take up the parking question on the Plaza. I have mentioned how many spaces there are and how to take care of more parking while taking cars out of the loop. Why is parking on the loop essential? Give me a direct answer. This can be solved!

I agree with you that public safety is an unmet high priority concern. I have already written about that here.

My experience volunteering at the homeless shelter taught me that one third of their clients are hard luck stories (people and families who need our help), one third are people with drug or alcohol problems or mental instability, and the last third are little Kerouac's "On the Road" who like the lifestyle.

I have no idea how to take care of all that!

And then, there is the question of gangs and this new fetish for stabbing...this stuff is nuts.

So many problems so little time.

But if you think about it, parking near the Plaza is not really a problem.

3/06/2008 10:02 PM  
Anonymous Plaza Girl said...

Parking should not be taken away from the Plaza. How many more times should I say this to you, Don Jose. Get our your ear trumpet, you old fool.

Nor should State Street be turned into a kiss of death pedestrian mall.

If a homeless shelter is NIMBY in Bungalow Heaven, why should it be welcomed in any other neighborhood?

Your arguments are increasingly vacuous, Don. Surveillance cameras are great. Do you boycott ATMs because the Big Eye is capturing your every move? These cameras are great and we need more of them.

You are correct in your ratio regarding shelter occupants and it is time we stop hand-wringing about their treatment.

2/3's of them should be institutionalized or asked to move on due to their own financial circumstances unrealistic for this town.

And the hanger oner one-third should be arrested for abusing public services and made to pay full freight plus fines for their free shelter stay while they attempt suck off misguided public generousity.

Shelters serve no purpose except to increase dependency on non-solutions.

The vast majority of shelter people have learned to game the system. And it is time for the system to tell them loud and clear, games over.

3/07/2008 7:42 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

I admit Plazagirl, that Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega is perhaps an "old fool" needing an ear trumpet. But have a little sympathy, after all, being under the alter of the Mission for the last 152 years in all that humidity, naturally caused a few difficulties for the ol' body you see here. I only come out from time to time for vitamins and to see how things are going at my old house, and on the Plaza...

You don't really get it about parking do you? If I say to you let's eliminate this parking around the loop, and tell you that I'll give you more parking, just as, or even MORE conveniently located, in order to be logically sound, you must say OK. You seem to be hiding something under your bushel basket there--when it comes to this conversation about parking.

You know, long ago State Street used to have diagonal parking--whooaaa, let me tell you, lots of cars. It's gone. Do you think the result was the decline and fall of business and the invasion of vagrants (oops I take that back). Do you think the invasion of tourists qualifies as a vagrancy event?

Now, regarding the sheltering of vagrants. I'm kind of proud of the homeless shelter and what it does.
Some people need help...As for the tourists, they don't seem to be complaining about the hotels.

But this is a big problem and I must say, I don't know the answer. But I don't think you should run around with a red flag broadcasting "danger vagrancy" like some chicken little chirping about the sky is falling.

The Fess Parker youth hostel must get done. Are you in bed with him or something? Why don't you support that bit of vagrant shelter?

Hey I don't use ATM's...they don't give out Spanish dollars, and besides, anybody who uses them is just wasting money. ATM's are on the other side of the fence from where I want to be culturally speaking. And speaking of culture, I am just amazed as I walk down state street and see all these young people with cell phones, often friends three or four across, all together but they are not talking to each other but someone else--maybe in Arkansas. What a world!

Every time I leave my tomb at the Mission, I'm just amazed to witness what every body is up to.

Surveillance cameras! Wow that's something! If I had only had them in 1824 at the Mission and the Presidio when there was the Chumash Revolt.

And Plazagirl, take it from me, you don't want to arrest all the vagrants and put them in prison. We tried that with drunk Chumash, and put them in the prison (prison by the way, was located in City Hall which was right smack in the middle of where the grass is now on the Plaza. It took us almost fifty years to get rid of that monstrousity on the Plaza--that Gringo stupidity went in in 1874)...Prison for vagrants was a cruel policy. But you know those vaqueros would come into town all drunk. Did I every tell you about the shootings in the bars down on lower state street?

Hey, one last thing, don't pick on Bungalow Haven, that's one of the best things to happen in the last twenty five years!

3/07/2008 8:54 AM  
Anonymous Eat the Rich said...

Plaza Girl says...

You are correct in your ratio regarding shelter occupants and it is time we stop hand-wringing about their treatment.

2/3's of them should be institutionalized or asked to move on due to their own financial circumstances unrealistic for this town.

And the hanger oner one-third should be arrested for abusing public services and made to pay full freight plus fines for their free shelter stay while they attempt suck off misguided public generousity.

Plaza Girl,

You're lack of compassion is surpassed only by your willful ignorance.

I find it astounding , really, that people like you get up, look at yourselves in the mirror, and espouse these views that are so entirely self-centered and egotistical in intent and desire - without any sense of morality or humanity - that it almost seems impossible for me to believe that people like you actually exist.

Seriously, you're a fucking miracle.

3/07/2008 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Plaza Girl said...

Eat it, that dog don't hunt anymore. Playing the guilt card to support business as usual hasn't helped anyone.

I stay up at night wondering why we keep spending $23 million plus each year on the homeless sub-industry thats only product is to grow more homeless and hire more people whose goal is to grow even more, because it they actually solved the problem they would be out of their own jobs.

So the homeless industry grows like topsey and no one gets helped, except those doing the "helping" who guarantee themselves their own full employment. The homeless should be so lucky.

This should keep you up at night too. Woof.

3/08/2008 4:20 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

As you are
As you were
As I want you to be
As a friend
As a friend
As a known memory
Take your time
Hurry up
The choice is your
Dont be late
Take a rest
As a friend
As a known memory

3/09/2008 5:59 PM  
Anonymous eggs_ackley said...

Yo, plaza girl,

'splain the "parking on the loop is essential" stance please.

3/10/2008 8:21 PM  
Anonymous Plaza Girl said...

I love the buzz of activity that car traffic brings, as well as being able to find an occasional parking place down there when business calls. I hate the deathly silence of pedestrian malls in America.

In Europe, some of them work okay because they are surrounded by highrise residential areas and the pedestrian plaza area is the only open gathering space in town.

But that is not the case in Santa Barbara. We have to drive to downtown for the most part, not walk out our door into the care free community center. We don't have adequate public transportation to connect us readily and easily to a downtown carefree plaza.

The Santa Monica mall sucked totally until the poured in massive money to make one end of it where the cars could access work. Sacramento 19th Street pedestrian mall (or whatever) is a total nightmare. Care free downtown areas in the US scare me silly. Please show me some examples that actually have worked.
Why are you so against cars?

I really do not get the urgency to do over this space at all. Please explain the motivation and justification. And I don't think it has anything at all to do with "getting back" at the NewsPress.

It appears more like the Iraq War -someone has a reason, but it sure is not clear to the rest of us. What is it that moves this thing so emotionally for you?

3/10/2008 11:47 PM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Well! Good morning Snowgirl, I mean Plazagirl. Hope all is well with you. I am very pleased you've brought the conversation back around to the Plaza.

To begin with, it's wonderful that you understand and appreciate the European idea of a Plaza! That's great news.

And I agree with you 100% that American Malls are detestable.

We are very lucky here in Santa Barbara that our Plaza is the real McCoy, Spanish in design, and thus could, with proper handling, feel like a European Plaza, don't you think? I do.

All we're asking for here is not to Park on the Plaza loop. And I've given you in the design terms plenty of concepts that would yield plenty of more parking spaces, nearby and useful parking places, where you can enjoy the noise and smell of cars all you want.

Let me note however, that having just seen on television this morning a car-jacking of a young woman, and some purse snatchings, I'm not so sure that a parking lot is the high security environment you're suggesting or looking for on the present Plaza!

Why my enthusiasm? I spent 15 years, pretty much full time down there in the Plaza. I love Santa Barbara. I could feel what a great thing the Plaza is. The people who walk by, stop to talk, the community events, the politics, --all the elements of the life of the spirit of the community. It all happens there.

Over those fifteen years, the crowdedness of parked cars, the futility of cars just driving around the loop, rarely finding parking, the continual dense and rude violation of human space, noise and fumes, and irritated, frustrated drivers, all this convinced me that the future didn't look good for the Plaza.

I studied the history of the Plaza, and as you know as a historian yourself, nothing yields more understanding then putting things in a historical perspective.

I am in Europe all the time, especially France. I feel that certain resonance with Europe when I'm on the Plaza. It's a place a little more cosmopolitan, and little less Britney Spears and the Mall of America.

The density of Santa Barbara is going to increase whether you, or anyone else, doesn't like it. Might as well figure out how to do it best. The Plaza will be a culturally refreshing spot in the midst of the increasng boom and bustle. Don't get me wrong, I'm for limited height ordinances, set-backs, good architecture. But a dense, rich, life downtown, sounds good to me. AND a Spanish Plaza in Spanish Santa Barbara sounds just like the proper note of civilization to make it better by augmenting what Santa Barbara is.

Do you know the little Plaza near the port in St. Tropez?

I think you just don't sense yet, the wonderful potential of Plaza de la Guerra.

Yes to business. Yes to the Plaza.
Campbell's restoration plan, is a good step forward.

3/11/2008 7:24 AM  
Anonymous Plaza Girl said...

Nothing in the Plaza plan resembles a European working model.

Sorry Don Jose, you need to stay awake in this century a bit more. We don't have almshouses either.

Bring those back first, and then let's see if the few people actually residing downtown are going to gather and kibbitz in this back street dead zone.

No, increasing density in this town is not a given. Overwhelmingly the public stated they wanted to retain the small town atmosphere of this town. Density increases are a product of accomodating zoning codes and zoning codes are a product of the public process.

The public is rising up and saying no more, never more. Get those bats nests our of your ear trumpet Don Jose, because your hearing ain't so good anymore.

Your dreamy vision of the plaza has no grounding in 21st century reality. And the long State Street commercial corridor that passes for a central downtown ain't no European city built around the central market place you used to drive your oxen into when you came to buy pigs and geese.

We is what we is, and we is not what you want. DLGP time and place has passed and it is only a hiccup in this town now. Leave it alone and let it be what it is - hollow empty space to occasionally be a respite of emptiness and only occasionally alive with limited time and place public activities.

Spending money and time here is low priority. Keep it in reserve. Let the parking continue. DLGP is a spare part we may need in the future. Let it be, or use it to pen your ox cart.

3/12/2008 9:41 AM  

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