Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Friday, August 29, 2008

Miramar Gets Conceptual Approval

Rick Caruso's Miramar got conceptual approval yesterday from the Montecito Planning Commission after promising less rooms, more parking space and an intention to follow some design gudelines -- did anyone think he wouldn't get what he came for? Being unable to separate the difference between previous owners, their plans and the changes Caruso made -- from the public's desire to have something, make that anything, happen at the hotel property was a challenge for the opposition. Caruso wrote the textbook on how to get a plan passed without environmental review -- and it provides a poor precedent for the future.

Obama Speech and McCain VP Choice

If you missed Obama's speech last night it is on YouTube. He hit it out of Invesco Park.

McCain looks to be choosing Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate today -- which is his 72nd birthday. Choosing a woman is a big step and a symbolic one for the Republicans -- does she have the experience as a first-term Governor? I'm sure we will find out more about her experience and approach in the coming week.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Proposed BOS Letter on Oil Bogus!

The Environmental Defense Center announced today that "Four major local environmental groups, (EDC, CEC, GOO! and SBCAN), together representing more than 120 years of activism to protect the quality of Santa Barbara County’s environment, joined together today to express their opposition to a proposed letter from Santa Barbara County to Governor Schwarzenegger, favoring increased oil exploration and extraction offshore California".

Good for them as the Board of Supervisors' majority is putting national politics over local needs. This same board voted for a moratorium a little over a year ago and the Governator said he supported a moratorium just a little over a month ago.

Word on the street is that not only is Salud Carbajal going to sign a minority letter with Janet Wolf -- but several have questioned if he will sign the letter at all as Chair. I say go for it Salud -- Santa Barbara has a thirty year policy of opposing oil exploration and development. Most of all, our country doesn't need it considering the trickle of oil it would create in comparison to the manufactured need. Tell the "petro-dictators" what we think!

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thoughts on Hillary's Speech...

A little off-topic for this local blog but it is clear that the next two weeks will be held in check by the Democratic and Republican Conventions.

Hillary -- who couldn't mention her husband's name until halfway through her speech -- did an excellent job at leading her supporters into tomorrow night's nomination process. The ending was amazing and the part about women's rights was amongst yourselves.

Also, after a the news from a few weeks ago, we aren't likely to see any mention about Senator John Edwards are we? Yes, I feel betrayed -- but will he be allowed any say for his 200-some delegates? I don't even know if he is scheduled....

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Loaded Questions from Armstrong Mirror Reflection of News-Press Standard Practice

An email exchange between Caruso Affiliated of the Miramar project and News-Press editor Travis Armstrong has been published on Craig Smith's blog.

The email asked Caruso's government affairs representative a few favorites were the following:

5) Is it policy of your company to personally attack or intimidate critics as many believe you have done here on the South Coast? Or is that just your practice?

6) How much money has your company offered local groups?

7) Besides the private parties and free lunches, what else has your company or Mr. Caruso offered, hinted at or given to project supporters?

As Craig points out -- one has to wonder what Marty Blum, Helene Schneider and Brian Barnwell would have to say about number five. Yet again, editorial opinion is being masqueraded as hard news. When will TKA learn? Dude, send a reporter!

Caruso's VP of Government Relations Matt Middlebrook answered the questions in a straightforward fashion by saying "This question is insulting and absurd. We are very proud of the relationship we have with communities where our projects are located".

Despite my opposition to the current proposal for the Miramar I have to say I don't blame Middlebrook for giving that kind of answer. Then again, unlike most of his attacks, at least Armstrong took the time to ask Middlebrook's point of view. Thank goodness for small favors.

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Goleta Council "Streamlines" Environmental Process

The Goleta Valley Voice reports that the Goleta City Council has chosen to "streamline" the environmental review process.

The proposal will remove public hearings on draft environmental documents for development projects from the Planning Commission and City Council and place them before a “staff-level Environmental Hearing Officer.”

The staff level hearing officer then decides whether or not the documents are adequate before sending them to Planning Commission or City Council. Outgoing council member Jonny Wallis pointed out: “I think this is another request to push the public away from their representatives,” and voted against the move along with council member Roger Aceves. I assume she is referring to the rather Bacarra-esque General Plan amendments that received little discussion at Council.

Less public input? Not good.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Truth About the Miramar

The Internet is a beautiful would this kind of information have gotten out so easily even ten years ago? Like TV, however, you don't have to turn it on. If you want to -- there's a new site about the Miramar Hotel at

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Monday, August 18, 2008

Indy/KCSB Form Partnership for IndyAlert

Have a few posts today! Here's a press release that is important considering the Gap Fire. -- Sara

For Immediate Release
August 18, 2008

KCSB 91.9 FM and Santa Barbara Independent Form Partnership
To Better Serve the Public During Emergencies

SANTA BARBARA--Radio station KCSB 91.9 FM has partnered with The Santa Barbara Independent to help inform the community during emergencies and public safety threats. This new emergency information service offers email and text-message notifications (IndyAlert), as well as radio broadcasts utilizing the combined news departments of The Independent and KCSB.

“Radio has proven to be the only stable medium during significant public emergencies,” said KCSB’s Chief Engineer Bryan Brown. “KCSB is the only local station with trained staff on-hand 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, who are able to pass on important information during times of crisis.”

Independent publisher Randy Campbell stated: “We’re happy to find a dynamic partner like KCSB that brings passion for community service, reporters on the ground covering news as it happens, and a staff broadcasting live 24 hours a day -- a rarity in modern day radio.

“In the past two years we’ve been on the literal front lines of many of Santa Barbara’s disasters and emergencies, with our website providing timely coverage we couldn’t achieve with the weekly newspaper. But we sometimes found the immediacy of our website was inconvenient or unavailable,” Campbell continued. “By adding text messaging and email alerts, we can use the wide availability of cell phones to keep our subscribers informed. Add radio to the mix and we’ve got particularly valuable tools for communication during a power outage or on the go.”

The two-way exchange of resources and information between The Independent and KCSB 91.9 FM will provide a broader, more portable, up-to-the minute source for news and information during an emergency or disaster. Both organizations hope to maximize their service to the public, local governments, and emergency service agencies.

Representatives from the radio station and the weekly newspaper will speak publicly during the public comment period of government meetings on Tuesday, August 19. These include meetings of the County Board of Supervisors, Santa Barbara City Council, and the Goleta City Council. The Carpinteria City Council meets August 25.

More About the IndyAlert system:
Using the website as the hub, IndyAlert will provide email, text message, and radio announcements to subscribers to this free service.

In the event of an emergency, a brief message will be sent to subscriber’s cell phone or computer. This could be a natural disaster (fire, earthquake, floods), an event with the potential to cause general public harm such as a toxic spill, or a Highway 101 or major traffic artery closure. Any of these problems would prompt an IndyAlert to your phone or inbox (or both). Alerts will also be broadcast by radio.


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Community Post: Building Height Limitation Proponents Submit Petitions

Here's a community post from Lanny Ebenstein:

This past Friday, one of the broadest coalitions ever assembled in Santa Barbara submitted 11,252 signatures to the City Clerk's office to place an initiative on the ballot that would permanently reduce building heights in Santa Barbara. The coalition supporting the building heights limitation charter amendment includes for the most part liberal though not progressive Democrats to moderate Republicans. Individuals who support the Save El Pueblo Viejo proposal include Sheila Lodge, Harriet Miller, Marty Blum, Bill Mahan, Dale Francisco, Joan Livingston, Judy Orias, Cathie McCammon, Connie Hannah, Betsy Kramer, Dianne Channing Joe Rution, Gil Barry, Bendy White, Don Sharpe, Mary Louise Days, Louise Boucher, Beebe Longstreet, Gerry DeWitt, Jim Westby, Michael Self, Steve Forsell, and Elly Langer, among others. Organizational endorsements include the Citizens Planning Association, League of Women Voters, Allied Neighborhoods Association, Pearl Chase Society, and Santa Barbara Safe Streets.

From the perspective of many proponents of the initiative, the issue of the proposed charter amendment includes affordable housing. The current approach is not working, resulting as it does in high-end supercondos and low-end subsidized or government housing, with nothing in-between for working families and others who wish to own their residence without, as some Save EPV opponents advocate, 60-year restrictions on resale pricing, among other constraints and limitations. What is perhaps most interesting about the advocates and the opponents of the Save EPV initiative is that, for the most part, Save EPV proponents are individuals who have lived, worked, and been involved their whole lives in Santa Barbara, and Save EPV opponents are more likely to be individuals who have moved to our community more recently, though there are undoubtedly exceptions.

Smaller buildings are affordable by design. In addition, the truly substantial development intended by some, perhaps most, Save EPV opponents should be mentioned. At a recent forum before the Board of Realtors on this subject, one prominent local Save EPV opponent, an architect, noted several times the beneficial example of San Luis Obispo, which has raised its building height maximum from 60' to 75'. To be clear, as is evident from discussion on Blogabarbara and elsewhere, some "smart growth" advocates (the primary opponents of Save EPV) would like to see 6 or more floors on construction in Santa Barbara.

Passage of the Save EPV charter amendment would permanently forestall development above 3 and 4 stories in the city. Height maximums would become 40' in El Pueblo Viejo and 45' feet in the rest of the city. This would be down from the current citywide maximum of 60'.

The lines on the Save EPV charter amendment initiative could not be more clearly drawn. Opponents wish to see buildings taller than 40' in El Pueblo Viejo and taller than 45' elsewhere in the city. Proponents wish to see 40' and 45' become the maximums, consistent with the historical development of Santa Barbara. In the event that the Save El Pueblo Viejo initiative qualifies for the ballot (which should be known by about September 15--6,480 valid signatures are required), it promises to be one of the most interesting and consequential initiatives in Santa Barbara's history.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

One of These Commercials is Not Like The Other! What's the difference?

The other day, I did a post about Tony Strickland's attack ad which was paid for by special interests (California Taxpayer Protection Committee). Today, I present to you his ad and her ad. His ad makes false claims -- see below. Her ad shows her experience....

Here's info from HBJ's campaign refuting Strickland's ad:

The advertisement placed on local TV and cable stations by friends of candidate Tony Strickland is patently false in every factual claim it makes.

The ad cites a series of legislative votes cast by Hannah-Beth Jackson to “prove” three assertions. Let’s examine them one by one.

Claim: Jackson “voted to raise the gas tax.”

To support this assertion, the ad cited 5 bills.

AB16, 2003, Hannah-Beth Jackson author.

AB16 had nothing whatsoever to do with gas taxes. AB16 required that petroleum produced offshore be transported to shore by pipeline, not by barge, to help prevent oil spills. It affected only one petroleum operation in the state.

AB1058, 2002, Pavley

AB1058 had nothing whatsoever to do with gasoline taxes. AB1058 was one of Pavley’s landmark greenhouse gas emission bills, requiring the Air Resources Board to adopt regulations to comply with the state’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. Strickland, a global warming denier, voted against this important bill.

AB1706, 1999, Strickland

At least this had something to do with gasoline taxes. This do nothing bill would have required the California Energy Commission to report back to the legislature on ways to lower gas prices. It was an attempt by Strickland to answer skepticism about whether the oil companies would return any reduction in gas taxes to consumers, or simply pocket the extra profit. A vote against Strickland’s bill can in no way be called a vote “to increase gas taxes.”

AB1707, 2000, Kuehl

This is the most ludicrous citation of all. AB1707 was a bill to protect consumers from the release or sale of private financial information without their affirmative approval. Jackson supported this bill. Strickland, ever the slavish servant of his special interest contributors, opposed the bill. Needless to say, this bill had nothing whatsoever to do with gas taxes, or even petroleum

AB1740, 2001, Ducheny

This bill formally enacted the state budget for the 2000-01 budget year. It was 869 pages long, and did not raise gas taxes.

In fact, state gas taxes in California have not been increased since 1990. They have been constant at 18 cents per gallon for 18 years, despite inflation and the fact that gas prices have dramatically increased.

Claim: Jackson “voted to weaken Proposition 13 making it easier to raise property taxes.”

To start, Prop 13 is a state constitutional amendment, passed by voters, which cannot be changed, altered or “weakened” without a vote of the people.

But the ad nevertheless cites three bills to buttress this laughable claim.

AB94, 2003, Chu

Prop 13 limits property taxes to 1% of assessed valuation with an exemption for public indebtedness approved by voters before July 1, 1978. In 1982 the California Supreme Court ruled (Carmen v. Alvord) that public employee pension obligations approved by voters before July 1, 1978 constituted “indebtedness” and 26 jurisdictions around the state were given the authority to set a somewhat higher property tax rate to meet that obligation. AB94 granted an extension to allow those jurisdictions to cover their voter approved pensions. Jackson’s yes vote did not weaken Prop 13 in any way.

AB822, 1999, Mazzoni

This bill was very similar to AB94, except it affected only public pensions in the city of Oakland, and imposed the additional requirement that the rate be approved by a 2/3rd vote of the electorate.

AB81, 2002, Migden

AB81 resolved an arcane jurisdictional dispute involving whether local county assessors or the State Board of Equalization should perform property tax assessments on large electrical generation plants. Until the passage of energy deregulation in 1996, electrical generation plants had always been assessed by the BOE. Deregulation shifted that responsibility to county assessors. The BOE reasserted their jurisdiction and the whole issue wound up in the state legislature. AB81 had nothing to do with Prop 13. The big utilities preferred dealing with the less experienced local assessors. Strickland toed their line and voted No.

Claim: Jackson “voted to increase the car tax.”

The ad does not cite a specific bill, but credits this claim to the intentionally vague “August 2003 Gray Davis Budget Vote.”

In 1998 the car tax (Vehicle License Fee, VLF) was reduced from its historic 2% rate to .65% as a way of returning a budget surplus to taxpayers. Funds from the VLF, which were channeled to local governments, was “backfilled” by the state to prevent local services from being cut. The VLF program included a provision that ended the reductions if the state did not have the funds to make the “backfill” payments to cities and counties. In 2003 the state faced unprecedented budget shortfalls.

Here is how the respected Legislative Analyst’s Office explained it:

Vehicle License Fee (VLF). The budget assumes that the VLF will increase from the current effective rate of .65 percent to 2 percent beginning October 1, 2003. As a component of the VLF reductions that were enacted in 1998, current law provides that the state "backfill" (and thus make local governments whole) the difference between the lower VLF rate and the 2 percent rate, unless the state has "insufficient moneys" with which to make such payments. In June 2003, the Department of Finance made a determination that the state had insufficient moneys to provide any backfill to local government, and as a result of this determination, the backfill ended and the VLF will return to the 2 percent level in October 2003.

“Major Features of the California Budget” LAO, 2003

The decision to suspend the VLF reduction was made by the Department of Finance.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

Feeling 'Spunky' About Gay Marriage? Select Staffing's CEO does...what was he thinking?

Imagine you are sitting at your desk at work and you get the following email from your CEO -- this may or may not be against the law per se as it involves a proposition and not a partisan candidate or political party. Still, is a request to gather in your company parking lot not electioneering in the workplace? The above image as a PDF attachment(click to enlarge) was one of several allegedly sent with the email below according to a reader who wishes to remain anonymous...

A little background -- Steve Sorenson is the CEO for Select Staffing. The "brother Paul" mentioned in the email is actually his brother who is the President of Select...keep in mind that this is a national staffing company with over 300 offices and franchises across the country.

So, if "you are feeling spunky about it" -- you know where to be tomorrow morning. And, if you think this is homophobia or a violation of election law, you DO have license to say so herein. Most of all, how would your gay and lesbian employees feel after seeing this email?


Santa Barbara Corporate Colleagues:

We have an election coming up!

Those of you who have been with us for a while know that I enjoy sharing my political preferences—along with my political logic—in hopes that I'll stir up some enthusiasm for us all to participate in the process.

This season is no exception! And, as November 4th approaches, you can count on me for my famous (or infamous) voter guide.

HOWEVER—IN ADDITION—this season there is an item on the ballot that is of such great importance that I'm going to be investing significantly more of my personal time and effort to "get out the vote" in a way that will shape the moral climate of our State!


The Proposition is PROPOSITION 8.

The Position I'm promoting is a vote FOR proposition 8 (that's YES on 8).

Proposition 8 creates an Amendment to our State Constitution that clearly defines marriage as a union between a woman and a man.

Opponents of Proposition 8 feel that same sex unions or domestic partnerships should be legitimized by the state.

Select Veterans will recall my enthusiastic effort to pass Proposition 22 back in the year 2000. Proposition 22 also specifically defined marriage to be between a man and a woman, and was designed to preclude state officials from granting State sanction to same sex unions. While slightly controversial (ok—it wound up to be a bit of a firestorm), it turned out we were "on the side of the people" in that one. Prop. 22 passed with a powerful majority.

So why is this controversial topic back? Because our Calilfornia State Supreme Court declared Proposition 22 to be unconstitutional. Those of us who get uptight about this sort of judicial behavior refer to this as "legislating from the bench". The judges see what the people want—but decide they have the power and the duty to deprive them of it. So, in spite of an overwhelming public majority declaring same sex marriage to be "out of bounds", the courts have decided to "let it go". As a result, California is presently one of two States in the United States that is allowing same sex marriage.

Proposition 8 is intended to give the Judges clarity—and establish a firm law that they must enforce. There will be no question. Marriage will be preserved as a union between a woman and a man. Period.

Every once in a while, we get the chance to vote on an issue that will shape the moral foundation of our society. This is one of those chances.

It is SO BIG, that I'm going to do more than just "recommend" you vote in favor of Proposition 8. I'm going to ask you to come join me in a grass roots campaign to support Proposition 8.

I've attached 3 documents that hit the highlights of the issue.

If you feel so inclined, here's how you can get involved: A large group of volunteers are canvassing the Santa Barbara area to identify Prop 8 supporters and help them get out the vote! We'll be meeting this Saturday at 8:30AM in two locations: One group will be meeting right here in our Select parking lot, and one group will be meeting at the San Marcos High School parking lot (that's where Paul and I will be--near the tennis courts).

My brother Paul is heading up many of the efforts in Santa Barbara . If you are interested in coming this Saturday (or any day), please send him an email and he'll ensure that you are signed up!

Of course, this is NOT a requirement of your job. There is no job security risk or reward associated with these efforts.

This is also NOT an invitation to initiate an email campaign of your own—as the owner and C.E.O., I enjoy a few perks of privilege—being able to communicate with you in this fashion is one of them. Please don't use my solicitation as some sort of license to turn our email system into a blog. I've asked our email administrators to help avoid that outcome.

If you aren't registered to vote, we would like to help you get registered. Paul has the materials, and he would be pleased to assist you.

I hope you will vote FOR proposition 8. I hope you will tell your family and friends to vote FOR proposition 8 as well. And if you're feeling spunky about it, I hope you will join us this weekend for our first Precinct Walk and come find out how to get involved!

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Strickland Begins Attack Ads Today

Here's a press release I received from an avid reader. It isn't even Labor Day yet! Coupled with Olympic ads for the last week -- Strickland's strategy seems to be more for the airwaves than in the neighborhoods. -- Sara

It didn't take long. Supporters of Tony Strickland will begin airing a TV spot attacking Hannah-Beth Jackson in the highly competitive State Senate District 19 today. Public information on file at KSBY and KEYT broadcast television stations in Santa Barbara show that a group called the "California Taxpayer Protection Committee" will be airing advertisements attacking Hannah-Beth Jackson beginning 8/13.

They paid $52,750 for the time on these two stations.

The Committee has received over $125,000 in funding from large insurance companies this year. They have also received $20,000 from Howard Ahmanson Jr., a far right-wing activist who has poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into campaigns to elect extremist candidates.

Ahmanson told the Orange County Register in 1985, "My goal is the total integration of biblical law into our lives."

The most recent California Taxpayer Committee campaign filing can be found at:

The Committee is closely allied with the consultants who work for Tony Strickland. Strickland's general consultant Johnson/Clark has been paid over $112,000 by the Committee in recent campaigns. The firm placing the advertising for the anti-Jackson Independent Expenditure (Voter Strategies) is also placing the advertising for the Strickland campaign.

"Clearly, this is the opening shot is what will be a massive campaign by Tony Strickland and his corporate sponsors and extremist political allies to smear Hannah-Beth Jackson," stated Jackson consultant Parke Skelton. "Hannah-Beth Jackson has stood up to the insurance companies to protect consumers and homeowners. Tony Strickland has consistently sided with the big insurance companies and against the interests of our families."

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Watch Out for the Svelte Unionists!

Gosh. I've been trying to hold out on commenting on Travis Armstrong's sophomoric rants posed as editorials for quite some time. In the last month since he spread false rumors about Mayor Blum resigning, I went to Bloggers Anonymous and did some steps. I have respect for anyone that tackles their addiction and totally support 12-step programs AND I'm ready to admit that I have a problem. I read Travis' editorials and they get my blood boiling.

Over the weekend there was a piece on Helene Schneider and her travel expenses that failed to mention other council people that might be running for Mayor. Hmmmm. One council member has been so absent from Travis' rants that it will be no surprise when they are endorsed by the News-Press prior to the election. Even though he kind of made it look like Schneider's husband David might be some kind of paramour in Atlanta, I let that go because at least Travis admitted he had made a mistake in his original piece on the subject -- more than any of us have gotten since he started at the News-Press.

Today, he went after The Teamster's with an accusation that he failed to even make in the content of the opinion piece. What exactly happened? I guess because it is he who is making the accusation -- we are supposed to simply agree that unions are bad. I feel sorry for the reporters who are unionized because they are consistently categorized as "large and intimidating" by Travis. Most of the ones I've seen are actually rather svelte.

The best part of the web version of the piece today though was the following listed below the text which could have been placed above and in the midst:

Need to put dummy text here for the quote. We need to put dummy text here for the pullout. We need to put dummy text here and here and here and here.

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Sunday, August 10, 2008

How do you lose $1 million? CalTrans Can....

Here's a press release from the Friends of the Bridge....Sara

Caltrans has lost the $1,000,000 that had been conditionally approved two years ago to fund its highly controversial proposal to construct unsightly barriers on the Cold Spring Bridge along Scenic Highway 154 near San Marcos Pass.

During the past year the barriers proposal has drawn widespread public opposition from residents and civic organizations in Santa Barbara County based on evidence that Caltrans has utilized false information and flawed analysis it its efforts to justify the proposal as a high-priority suicide prevention measure.

According to Marc McGinnes, a spokesperson for Friends of the Bridge, one of ten citizens groups opposing the Caltrans proposal, “It has long been clear that the barriers proposal is a gross boondoggle, but Caltrans has been able to wave all that money in the faces of local elected officials who should have taken action months ago to stop the project. Unless such officials are now prepared to act decisively to stop the projection which over $500,000 has been spent in staff support costs-- they are likely to seen as undeserving stewards of the kind of funds that they are asking citizens to give them in November when voting on Measure A.”

Caltrans was notified by the California Transportation Commission in late June that the $1 million that had been conditionally approved for the barriers proposal in September 2006 would no longer be available due to "transportation safety priorities statewide and the limited amount of state transportation funding".

According to documents posted on the website of Friends of the Bridge (, the conditionally approved funds had been diverted from taxpayer funds earmarked for “collision reduction safety improvements.” Project opponents, which include the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association, have challenged the diversion of funds earmarked for that purpose, citing the fact that traffic safety problems along Highway 154 are far more serious (an average of 4 deaths a year in recent years in traffic collisions)than the problem of occasional suicidal behavior on the Cold Spring Bridge (an average of slightly less than one jumper a year over the 44 year history of the bridge and just one in the last three years).

Project opponents will appear before the County Board of Supervisors on August 19 and the directors of the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments on August 21 at their meetings in Santa Barbara to request that public hearings be set to consider testimony and evidence concerning a formal request to Caltrans that it promptly withdraw and abandon its deeply flawed and fiscally irresponsible barriers proposal.

Other community organizations that have called upon Caltrans to abandon its barriers proposal include Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, Citizens Planning Association, Santa Barbara County Action Network, Pearl Chase Society, Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club, Los Padres ForestWatch, Womens Environmental Watch, and Santa Ynez Valley Alliance.

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Exageration of Olympic Proportions?

Fellow blogger Craig Smith reports this morning on a story that started with George over at I'm Not One to Blog.

It seems the News-Press is heavily promoting the fact that they are "sending one of their own" to the Olympics. Sounds great, right? Interestingly enough, they don't say who the writer is in the flyer included in the newspaper yesterday. Craig points out on good authority, however, that the reporter in question is paying his own way to China.

Ouch. Doesn't anyone review their marketing over there? Craig points out that this is almost as good as not seeing any of the annual editorials against the Fiesta Rodeo now that they have chosen to run large ads about the event in the paper.

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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

KIST-AM Sold to Cal Lutheran

Our friends at Edhat gave us some links to more news related to the AM dial yesterday in that KIST will soon be owned by Cal Lutheran University and turned into a public format radio station. I assume this means we get yet another NPR station on our dial as Cal Lutheran owns KCLU in Thousand Oaks. KIST was sold for $1.4 million.

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Monday, August 04, 2008

The Edhat Emergency Preparedness Manifesto Goes to BOS on August 19

Our friends over at Edhat have been organizing around emergency preparedness, held a town hall meeting and have prepared a letter to present to the Board of Supervisors. Here are the main points:

1) During an emergency there must to be a dedicated AM radio station that does nothing else but communicate relevant community information. This radio station should be well publicized during non-emergency times, so that every person in the County knows about it, and dials it up when needed. Ideally this station would have emergency generation.

2) The information on the radio station (as well as on official websites) must be updated regularly. And most importantly, the updates should come at predictable and pre-publicized intervals. When hearing or reading emergency information, the information should be time-stamped so citizens know when it was last updated and when the next update will come. Even if there is no new information available, the timestamp of the current update should change.

Consider adding your name at the link above as this is an important effort. Kudos to Edhat for doing something of value with their community.

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Jean Blois Announces Reelection Bid

Goleta Council Member Jean Blois announced here bid for reelection saying in the Goleta Valley Voice:

As the sole vote for this goal, I watched from the sideline as the first City Council produced an unworkable General Plan.”

Blois said the current City Council is working hard to fix the General Plan currently.
"I hope to be present in my third term on the Council when the corrected General Plan is finalized and our zoning ordinances are completed ... I would like to finish what I started".

Although not mentioned in the article, the inclusionary housing rule percentages in the General Plan were agreeably not realistic. Still, the basis of the plan was sound. Since Blois became part of the majority, quite a few changes have been made already and Bacarra has had their day with more amendments allowed than I can remember for a single development interest. I hope she addresses this during the campaign and also whether she expects Bishop Ranch to return with their application for development during the second week of November.

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Friday, August 01, 2008

Dueling Bedfellows: Moderate Republicans versus Conservative Democrats

A couple weeks ago, I did a post on the Democrats for Strickland web site. Today I heard about a new group called Moderate Republicans for Jackson. Many thanks to a dedicated reader for sending me the press release.

They claim to include former State Senator Cathie Wright, former Ventura Republican Chair Bill Larkin and a few other notables that are primarily Ventura County-based. Of course, Strickland's tobacco contributions were mentioned in the press release. Perhaps most interesting was comments about the California Club for Growth -- which we are told has a mission to kill the careers of moderate Republicans. Their website is located at

“Our group, Moderate Republicans for Jackson, was formed out of concern that Strickland is a man who is far removed from the beliefs and ethical standards held by the majority of people in our neighborhoods,” Larkin said. “Tony Strickland is an extremist. He was the founding president of the California Club for Growth, part of the ultra right-wing National Club for Growth which has made it a mission to destroy the political careers of moderate Republicans.”

It seems both campaigns feel this race will be won or lost in Ventura County -- and they are probably correct. It also seems this race is more about who is more extreme than the other. At least we are seeing Jackson's supporters back their support up with descriptions of legislation she authored and exactly who supports her.

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