Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Coastal Woman Magazine Closes Doors

It is with great sadness and dismay that I report on Coastal Woman Magazine's demise. Barbara Lanz-Mateo posted her goodbye letter early this morning. This is a loss for Santa Barbara in that the high level of journalism and commitment to the community that was prevalent on Coastal Woman's pages made a huge impact. Barbara's passionate commitment will be missed and I wish her and the staff of CW the best in all of their future endeavors.


Community Post: Open Houses Galore!

Another nore from a reader! Good resource...Sara

I recently ran into this website, it seems to have all the same open houses that all the print media has but online. So far it's saving me time and money, now I can go Thursday and plan my weekend. I thought you should know about it I think it's going to be very popular.


Community Post: Dems Cave in on Offshore Oil

Received this from a concerned reader. -- Sara

Democrats have decided to allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week, conceding defeat in a months-long battle with the White House and Republicans set off by $4 a gallon gasoline prices this summer.


Sorenson from Select Staffing Responds

Back from a relaxing vacation, I found the following presumably written by Steve Sorenson from Select Staffing -- which was posted in the comments section of a recent post. As always, I'm happy to give a venue to his civil request -- even though I don't agree with all of the reasoning herein. To be clear, he is welcome to his opinion but I am not sure the workplace is where they should be promoted!


Hi it’s Steve Sorensen here! Since my email to our valued employees showed up on your blog, I hope you don’t mind if I respond…

I am a thirteen year resident of Santa Barbara and, as you point out, I am the Chairman and C.E.O. of Select. Select is a company founded by my family—specifically my father-in-law and sister-in-law. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of working with many talented individuals in building Select into a $1.5 billion staffing service which provides a fast “value add” way for employers to find employees and vice versa. I note a few derogative comments on the blog about “temps”. Since the topic is Proposition 8 rather than the benefits of staffing to the economy—I won’t debate the issue here. But, I will note that we found a job for over 300,000 people last year.

And yes, undoubtedly we have valued recruiters among our 1,500 trusted employees who are gay or lesbian. Without question, many of the people for whom we have found jobs are gay or lesbian. I don’t have specific statistics because we don’t attempt to identify sexual preference. I mention it because contrary to what is suggested by your posting—I am not “anti-gay”. In fact, I appreciate the tireless and talented effort offered up by our gay and lesbian colleagues and temporary associates. Furthermore, I am not mounting an effort to reverse domestic partnership rights (already established in California) regarding hospitalization and medical care, fair housing and employment rights, probate rights, etc.

However, I am very “pro-family”! And I feel a strong moral duty to promote traditional family values.

Notwithstanding our business successes, my greatest accomplishment in life—without qualification—is the joyous and fruitful 26 years I’ve achieved in successful marriage to my wife Shannon. Together, we’ve been blessed with 8 wonderful children. And as a family we share a love that brings harmony, satisfaction and prosperity.

Indeed whatever successes in life I may have achieved so far, including any economic, educational, and spiritual achievements, have primarily been made possible by the love and support of either my wonderful wife and children or my incredible parents or my wife’s incredible parents.

I believe every child deserves a mother and a father. I realize this may not be achievable in all circumstances. But it is the ideal. The love of a mother and the love of a father are each unique, powerful, and sacred. To suggest a child will not benefit from both, or does not need both, is beyond the dictates of my conscience.

There is an old adage which states blood is thicker than water. Blood relations carry a powerful genetic and spiritual link which cannot be denied—and cannot be replicated without a man and a woman.

I feel strongly that it is our duty as citizens to make sure our common law reflects this ideal. And I feel strongly that we cannot allow those who put their own interests above the interests of children to obfuscate what is ideal.

Proposition 8 assures clarity. If it passes, our public school curriculum will be protected from having to be modified to teach something other than the ideal. Our churches—including mine—will be protected from being forced to consummate gay or lesbian marriages. Our civil practices will be protected from confusion. Most importantly, as a society, we will maintain the strength to direct our citizens towards a code of conduct that assures the sanctity of our families.

Society benefits from having the correct goal or ideal to aspire to: Family with a Mom and a Dad. I try every day to reach my potential as a father, as a son, and as a husband to my beautiful wife. I want us, as a society, to strive to maintain these ideals.

In closing, your charges of “electioneering” seem somewhat heavy-handed. Have you also taken Pacific Gas and Electric to task for their $250,000 contribution and official endorsement of No on Prop. 8? Or McDonalds for their large donation and press release? I hope not. I cherish free speech. I cherish my right to speak out. And I cherish my ability to do my part to influence public opinion. I also respect and cherish yours, and PG&E’s and McDonald’s! I hope we can discuss and debate this important issue as fellow citizens and stakeholders in the future of our great country.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dark Through Monday

I will be taking a much needed vacation through Monday...have a great weekend and comments and posts will begin again on the first of October.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Onnen says 'Not my Job' on Oil Moratorium? Whaa?

There will be another vote by the Goleta Council soon on supporting an oil moratorium off our coast. In reading the Daily Sound the other day -- I was surprised to see Council Member Eric Onnen say that he didn't think dealing with the issue was in his "job description". Last time I checked, his job description had to do with the concerns of his constituents, no? He went on to say that he didn't think the issue furthers the goals and objectives of the city. Excuse me? Veneco has a big plant in the city and the possible environmental impacts of a spill would be enormous to both the city and his good friends and donors at The Bacara. Did I just say that? Doh!

The city receives no monetary benefit from oil processing on its land but takes all the environmental risk. In addition, Veneco continues to make noise about expanding their operations. If Onnen's job isn't to protect the welfare of Goleta's citizens and environment, I'm not sure what it is. Council Member Roger Aceves, who had requested the item be put on the agenda, pointed out that there's nothing wrong with reaffirming the city's stance which is included in the General Plan. I agree. What say you?

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Has Strickland Gone Too Far? You Decide...

Got this in the mail today (click to enlarge)...wassup with the Republicans these days thinking they have to mislead people this much to win? It's one thing not to know who the Spanish Prime Minister is or even to blithely say you won't acknowledge a subpoena -- it's another to use imagery and wording like this. It's great that Nick got help from his Assembly Member but this is ridiculous and it is hard not to think he and his pet aren't being used. -- Sara

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Expect Another TKA Exposé on the KEYT Video Soon

After yesterday's post, I was perplexed as to the timing of the massive upload of videos by Lew Marklin of the KEYT Christmas Party Video.

I emailed Marklin and asked what was up. It turns out I missed the fact that KEYT GM Kathy Jaquemin was fired last week and Boston Ventures (or Vultures as Marklin calls them) has replaced her with a Mike Granados from Texas. He is hoping that some management issues are addressed and says that another Travis Armstrong exposé is in the works.

Why the many uploads? He says it would be hard for the videos to be removed from the many servers -- which is kind of like an end run from legal action.

To me this is such a strange, surreal example of the affect of new media in today's world. It also makes me ask if anything is private anymore? Clearly the answer is no.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Travis' Prediction Comes True. KEYT Christmas Video Made Public

In one of his many rants against the "cabal", News-Press Editor Travis Armstrong "predicted" that the controversial KEYT Christmas Video would become public. At the time, I thought it would be a matter of days and that he must have had inside knowledge. Here it is months later -- and it is being published all over the internet by a Lew Marklin. Why now? What precipitated this massive upload project? Shameless self promotion over some kind of internet television show? Here's what I was sent last night.... -- Sara

over the last year or so there has been articles and blogs throughout the internet on the controversial Christmas video by KEYT TV. It was released to the internet last night. I forwarded the link to Travis Armstrong first, and this evening it will go to the Independent, Santa Maria Times, Ventura Star, and the rest of the blogs. Here is the link. Let your readers make the call.

our site:

Yahoo, MySpace, Metacafe, Google, Break,, Veoh, Crackle and Stupid Videos

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Sunday, September 14, 2008

Play It Dumb Strategy by Chamber-Backed Goleta Candidates

The first candidates forum for the Goleta Council race was held and the debate went along familiar lines. Council Member Jean Blois reportedly had the following to say according the the Valley Voice:

Asked where the water, sewage and electrical infrastructure will “come from to the feed all big development,” Blois was surprised by the question.

“I don’t know what they mean by the big development,” she said. “We don’t have any big development going on in Goleta at this moment, and I don’t anticipate any in the future.”

For his part, candidate Dan Gilman -- also backed by the Chamber PAC -- said: “We’ve got people in place now to make sure rampant, uncontrolled growth doesn’t happen".

Both candidates tried to lay blame on the first council of which Jean Blois herself was part. Playing dumb on the impacts of the General Plan changes instituted by the Chamber PAC Three is the kind of strategy we are seeing at the national level. If you say something that isn't true enough times, people will begin to believe you. If you think otherwise, I've got a "Bridge to Nowhere" to sell you....

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

City of SB Votes to Support Oil Moratorium

From the EDC -- Sara

Santa Barbara, CA: Last night the Santa Barbara City Council voted to support the federal moratorium on offshore oil leasing. On a 5-1 vote, with the seventh member of the Council submitting a note in favor of the moratorium, the Council reaffirmed its longstanding opposition to oil development offshore of Santa Barbara. Several Council members expressed the urgency and import of their vote in light of the pending Congressional debate on the issue and the media attention given to the County Supervisors’ vote two weeks ago asking Governor Schwarzenegger to support new oil development offshore Santa Barbara.

As noted in the Memorandum presented to the Council by Mayor Marty Blum and Councilmembers Helene Schneider and Das Williams,

The national media surrounding the August 26, 2008 Board of Supervisors 3-2 vote reversing the County’s position that supported the continuation of the federal moratorium on new oil and gas leases in federal waters makes it necessary for the City of Santa Barbara to re-emphasize its commitment to energy independence and support of the federal moratorium on new oil exploration, drilling and production in the Santa Barbara Channel.

The resolution adopted by the Council notes that “the City of Santa Barbara is the site of the devastating oil spill of 1969 that led to the forming of the modern environmental movement and Earth Day worldwide.” Santa Barbara based Environmental Defense Center staff attorney Nathan Alley pointed out that the 1969 oil spill first led to new laws requiring the federal government to develop 5-Year Lease Plans and then to the first Congressional moratorium in 1982.

The resolution also points out that “City of Santa Barbara residents have long opposed new oil and gas drilling off their coastline.” The Council read from a six-page memo listing 52 resolutions passed by the City since 1974, opposing offshore oil development and supporting various state and federal moratoria and other actions.

“The City’s vote sends a strong message to Congress that Santa Barbara remains steadfastly in support of the federal oil moratorium,” said Linda Krop, Chief Counsel of the Environmental Defense Center. “Santa Barbara is on the record once more as standing up for coastal protection and a clean energy plan for the future.”

The resolution will be sent to Senators Boxer and Feinstein, Congressmember Capps, Governor Schwarzenegger, Assemblymember Nava, State Senator McClintock and the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors.

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Saturday, September 06, 2008

More Domain Redirect Politics, this time from "Democrats for Strickland"

Got the following from an avid reader -- pretty funny to read how big "D" Democrat Republican Tony Strickland is. -- Sara

Somebody poached the domain name of the phony Democrats for Strickland group.

And you get another web page which then redirects you to this one:

Now spend some time looking at this one. It has a lot of bills posted on it that Strickland supported that would be really embarrassing if his "base" caught on.

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How Not to Make a Candidate Web Site by Goleta Council Member Jean Blois

With little fanfare, Goleta Council Member Jean Blois' web site has gone live at

I'm not always my own best editor and will take my lumps when due, but Jean's web site has a few issues. There are too many spelling errors to mention and a design that screams at you.

Worst of all, when you visit her contribution page -- it refers to some guy named John Smithfield rather than Jean. Who knows if your money would get to her or not?

Likely, she has a volunteer that may not know what they are doing --- still, now that Labor Day has passed, it's time to dot the i's and cross the t's.

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Thursday, September 04, 2008

Oil Drilling Politics Brings Lots of Political Action

50 environmental organizations are opposing reopening our waters to oil drilling. Our Governor continues to oppose it as well. I received under separate cover from this EDC advisory a letter from three former County Supervisors opposing the current majorities support for the City of SB will likely be opposing it as well. -- Sara

Santa Barbara City Council to Vote On Oil Moratorium

WHAT: The Santa Barbara City Council will consider a resolution (attached hereto) in support of the State and Federal Moratoria on New Offshore Oil and Gas Leasing off the Santa Barbara Coastline

WHEN: Tuesday, September 9, 2008, 6:00 p.m.

WHERE: City Council Chambers, Santa Barbara City Hall, De La Guerra Plaza, Santa Barbara, CA

WHY: According to the Memorandum issued by Mayor Marty Blum and Council members Helene Schneider and Das Williams, the proposed Resolution is intended to re-emphasize the City’s support of the oil moratorium, which has taken on new significance in light of the national media surrounding the August 26, 2008 Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors vote against the moratorium. The resolution notes that “City of Santa Barbara residents have long opposed new oil and gas drilling off their coastline” and that “the City of Santa Barbara is the site of the devastating oil spill of 1969 that led to the forming of the modern environmental movement and Earth Day worldwide.”

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Obama, McCain, Palin, Biden, etc. Jump

Looks like we better keep the conversation going on a new thread...thoughts on McCain's speech tonight? I've gotta bring up YouTube in a few minutes to see....

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

News-Press Employees Win Small Victory

The Santa Barbara News-Press has been ordered to pay for loss of comp time and forfeited vacation days (see Barney Brantingham's column at The Indy).

It is only $140,000 split between attorneys and 540 employees. A moral victory at best -- it is good to see the wallet being opened for people other than Wendy McCaw's own lawyers for a change. Kudos to former News-Press reporters Hildy Medina and Anna Davison for initiating the action and seeing it through.

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Citizen McCaw Screenings, Blog and Journalism School Materials

The producers of Citizen McCaw are busy and sent out this press release...especially interesting is the "man and woman in the street" series they will be filming on Saturday. -- Sara


The momentum of Citizen McCaw is building. We are firm in our plan to roll Citizen McCaw out nationwide, and we have several important updates to report to the community:

1. We will screen the film locally 4 more times at Santa Barbara's Fiesta Five Theatre in October. The dates are: Thursday, Friday and Saturday, October 9, 10, and 11, at 7:30 PM and Sunday, October 12 at 2:30 PM.

2. On September 17th, the producers of Citizen McCaw will release a brand new video story on our website: Spotlight on Travis Armstrong, the News-Press Editorial Page Editor. This goal is to encourage Wendy McCaw to restore a constructive civic and civil dialogue, with room for opposing points of view, to her paper.

This is the first in a series of filmed critiques of Mr. Armstrong’s writings by citizens. Spotlight will be updated at least twice a month for the rest of the year to give the people he has demeaned a forum to respond. It will also let local citizens give voice to the need for the paper to eliminate permanently Armstrong’s innuendo-laced vendettas.

This new web feature is in response to the many people we have encountered who say Wendy McCaw must restore integrity and trust to her editorial page as a first step in reversing the paper’s course of the past few years. We will closely monitor Travis’ writings and actions in relation to commonly accepted journalistic ethics, and update our website with video responses by people he attacks. We also will host a blog so all can participate in the dialogue at

3. The producers of Citizen McCaw will be filming "man and woman in the street" comments about Travis Armstrong's ethics, editorials and writing style from 9:00am to 10:00am at the Farmer's Market – on Cota Street this Saturday, September 6th and at other locations in Santa Barbara the following week. In addition, the producers will be interviewing several people who have been the subject, recently, of his writings.

4. We are now introducing The 3 DVD “Citizen McCaw” Learning Resource to journalism schools. Our goal is to have the cautionary tale utilized throughout the country as future generations of journalists are educated. A foundation is considering distributing the resource to every journalism and mass communications program in the country. Until they decide, we are implementing our own marketing effort.

5. We have arranged a prime time showing in one of the top 10 TV markets for later if the fall (the initial step toward a national TV release).


Tuesday, September 02, 2008

On redirects, domain names and brand ownership

Got this message from a reader today...

Sara. Just FYI, the santabarbara blog poached from you. I think this sucks because you work hard and do a great job. Don't want to see anyone stealing your thunder.

Unfortunately, the person who runs Santa Barbara's Blog bought the BlogaBarbara domain name before I did and has every legal right to it. BlogaBarbara has been around quite a bit longer -- and it is my fault for not getting the domain right away. Just so everyone knows, I was in communication with the domain name owner in question awhile ago but my efforts to perhaps get traffic redirected here did not come to fruition. At the time, I did not know they were involved with Santa Barbara's Blog and they did not volunteer that information. The truth is it might have even been someone else. I'm not even sure SB's Blog was in existence at that point. Soon after our correspondence with each other, the ownership information was made private and is now directed through some holding company in Portugal.

I also did not know that traffic to is now redirected to their site. It's probably been going on for awhile as I stopped paying attention to "the blog" some time ago.

Yes, it hurts a little and is a bit misleading in my opinion -- but such is life. I hope they are getting their money's worth! Thanks to the kind reader for the nice words...

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