Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Saturday, November 29, 2008


BlogaBarbara will be dark for a couple of days as I will be visiting far away de la Guerras and am unsure about their Internet access. Enjoy the rest of your holiday weekend and I will be moderating and posting again by Monday night!

Friday, November 28, 2008

HBJ Concedes Race to Strickland

After I made my early morning post yesterday, Hannah-Beth Jackson conceded victory to Tony Strickland.

Here's part of what she had to say about it in an email to supporters:
Now it is time to put the campaign and partisanship behind us, and for both sides to work together without animosity or vindictiveness. We are facing too many challenges with our state budget and the current economic crisis to continue any hostilities that are so counter-productive. We must come together for the common good.

As for me, I will continue to work on important issues in our community and our state. I look forward to working with you again in the near future.

On this day of Thanksgiving, I am very grateful to have had this truly exhilarating experience and to have had your friendship and support along the way. It has been an honor and a privilege for me to have been your standard-bearer for the values and beliefs we share and the vision we have for our state's future.

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all. I'll be having dinner with the de la Guerra family and a friend of ours who was displaced by the fire. I have a lot to be thankful for but hope I can also bring a little bit of home into my friend's life. Have a great weekend!

HBJ Gains Will Likely Mean Little

New vote counts from all three counties have brought the difference between Hannah-Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland to just 903 votes but unless there is a preponderance of votes left in Los Angeles County that happen to be in the district and very pro-HBJ-- this deficit will be too much to overcome.

In my rather "wonkish" assessment last week, we saw that HBJ would have to get over 60% of the votes that were left to win the race. This round of vote counting brought he a 52.7% to 47.2% ratio. This shows that provisional votes in Ventura County gave her a slight bump in likely Democratic votes but not enough to overcome Strickland. Here's a chart and there's more info on this from Jerry Roberts over at The Indy.

(Click to Enlarge)

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

BlogaBarbara Hits Milestone: 1,003 Posts

In writing my last post, I noticed that BlogaBarbara has surpassed 1,000 posts since our first one in February of 2005. Many thanks to all of you for reading BlogaBarbara and for contributing content over the last few years...I want to especially thank long-time readers who write occasionally to tell me to keep it up!


Will Sarvis' Contract be Extended?

Anissa McNeil -- who has been described as having a "breathtaking lack of sensitivity" -- has given her notice as Special Education Director with the Santa Barbara School District. It happened after a contentious board meeting where School Board Trustee Bob Noel and Superintendent Brian Sarvis talked over each other, many parents complained and McNeil presented what Noel called an "infomercial" in her defense. Read all about the meeting from Rob Kuznia's well-written article at Noozhawk.

In the article's comments area -- the comments went generally as follows:

The damage that Anissa McNeil did to this district cannot be overestimated. The damage will not be repaired for years. I’ve been a special ed teacher for over 15 years, and I’ve never seen anyone like her; she was simultaneously imperious and incompetent. She would make proclamations about new programs, then not show up to the meeting where the new program was to be discussed. She would change say one thing to one employee, then another to another, to the point that we could never tell what was a fact and what was a lie. She would intimidate anyone who dared challenge her by approaching the person alone and without witnesses around.

One comment at Noozhawk even mentioned recall of current board members due to what they termed mismanagement by the district. Last night the school board reviewed Sarvis' contract and although running a school district is much more complicated than its special education department -- a high turnover and parent concerns will likely be a key area for improvement should Sarvis' contract be extended. Other issues might include a poor relationship with teaching staff and questions about how district funds are managed. I don't envy the two new board members who will starting soon -- there's a lot of work to do.

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

Enviro Groups File Lawsuit Against County Over Naples

From SB Surfrider. -- Sara

Santa Barbara, CA – Environmental groups gathered at the Courthouse steps yesterday to announce the initiation of litigation to preserve the Naples property on the Gaviota Coast. The Naples Coalition, Environmental Defense Center (EDC), and Surfrider Foundation filed a lawsuit against the County of Santa Barbara Thursday, challenging the County’s approval of the Santa Barbara Ranch Project on October 21, 2008. The lawsuit claims that the County violated several important environmental protection laws, including the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the California Coastal Act, State Planning and Zoning Law, and the California Land Conservation Act (better known as the “Williamson Act”) when it approved the Santa Barbara Ranch Project and authorized the development of 71 estate homes on the Gaviota Coast.

“The County’s action puts the entire Gaviota Coast at risk, by introducing a large mansion development in an area well beyond the urban boundary, and known for its unique scenic, natural, cultural, and recreational importance,” said Phil McKenna, President of the Naples Coalition.

“The County not only ignored its own well established coastal protection policies, but also state law, in permitting a massive development project that is totally incompatible with the rural Gaviota Coast,” pointed out Nathan Alley, Staff Attorney for the EDC, a local non-profit law firm that has represented the Surfrider Foundation in opposition to the Santa Barbara Ranch Project for ten years.

Ken Palley, a member of Surfrider Foundation’s Executive Committee, described the lawsuit as the most important step taken to date in efforts to protect the Gaviota Coast from overdevelopment. “As Naples goes, so goes the rest of the Gaviota Coast. We must turn back this decision, and make sure the County follows the law.”

The Santa Barbara Ranch Project would allow development of 71 homes of approximately 7,500 to 10,000 square feet each, plus accessory structures such as barns, cabanas and guest houses, an 906 Garden Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Phone (805) 963-1622 FAX (805) 962-3152

equestrian center, agricultural support facilities, worker duplex, water supply facilities, three wastewater treatment plants, and other related infrastructure. The Project would result in the permanent conversion of hundreds of acres of agricultural lands, more than 200 acres of important wildlife habitat, and would require a re-zone of the property from agriculture to residential use. The environmental groups claim that such re-zoning and large-scale development is inappropriate for open space coastal lands located far from any other urban development.

“The County’s approval violates State law by not disclosing all of the project’s impacts, and by failing to consider alternatives that would protect the valuable resources at Naples,” said Marc Chytilo, counsel for the Naples Coalition.

“The County clearly crossed the line when it ignored important State laws protecting coastal and agricultural lands,” observed Alley. “Our lawsuit demands that the County rescind its action, and carefully examine the project and its impacts.”

The Naples property is recognized for its incredible beauty, as well as its rich ecological and cultural resources. The project area hosts numerous environmentally sensitive habitats, including coast live oak woodland, coastal bluff scrub, wetlands and native grasslands, that support approximately 80 special status bird and wildlife species, such as White Tailed Kites, California Red-Legged Frogs, American Badgers and more. The proposed development is located next to the Naples Reef, which is an important rocky reef and popular surfing destination. The biodiversity in and around Naples is recognized as having global significance.

The Naples area is also important due to its cultural heritage. Two Chumash villages were located in this area, possessing historical and spiritual value that would be destroyed by the proposed development.

The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of Santa Barbara County and names the County of Santa Barbara and the Board of Supervisors as Respondents. The project applicants and landowners are also named in the lawsuit, as “Real Parties in Interest.”

In addition to filing the lawsuit, the Naples Coalition, EDC and Surfrider representatives said that they intend to appeal the County’s approval to the California Coastal Commission.


SB Yoga Center to Provide Healing Massage for Tea Fire Survivors and Firefighters

This in from the Santa Barbara Yoga Center -- Sara

On December 7, Sunday, the Santa Barbara Yoga Center is organizing a FREE
Healing/Massage clinic for the fire survivors and firefighters.
From 12:30 pm till 6 pm

Massage/hands-on work is very important for dealing with this level of
trauma. We will have simultaneous treatments, in our three studio spaces.

Anyone wanting a treatment please call the Santa Barbara Yoga Center at
805-965-6045 or, and provide the
following info:
-- Name, phone number, email :
-- Time you wish to receive treatment

Any therapist wishing to participate (donate services) please call the Santa
Barbara Yoga Center at 805-965-6045 or email:, and provide the info:
-- Name, phone number, email
-- PERIOD OF TIME you will be there (between 12:30 and 6:00)

We also have a growing "Tea Fire Relief" page on our website:

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19th Senate District Update: HBJ Gains Some Ground on Santa Barbara Votes

In my last post, I outlined what it would take for Hannah-Beth to win the 19th Senate District with the votes that are left to count. She would need over 60% of what is left in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties to win by one vote. An update from the County of Santa Barbara yesterday allowed her to gain ground with 63% of 1,648 votes. Unfortunately, some of this gain was erased by 353 votes which were counted in Los Angeles County where she only received 44% of the updated vote. She is now better off than the other day with a 1,721 vote deficit with the majority of votes to be counted in Ventura County next week.

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

Can Anyone Prove Me Wrong? HBJ Odds of Winning Slim to None with Too Much Ground to Cover

The vote difference between Hannah-Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland in recent days has decreased from 2,141 votes to 1,721 with Strickland still very much in the lead. Here's what the table looks like with Santa Barbara counting 2,000 provisional ballots and HBJ gaining 65% of that vote.

(Click to Enlarge)

Can Hannah-Beth catch up at this point? HBJ's campaign sent out a nice email today to supporters which would have you believe she still has a shot at winning.

This deficit may seem like a lot but there are still over 3,000 provisional ballots in Santa Barbara to count and an estimated 14,000 provisional ballots in Ventura County, and these ballots should favor us.

The bottom line is we are still in the game here and have a good shot at winning. We always knew it was going to be a close race, and it will be close to the very end. We could very well see a little more up-and-down movement while LA and Ventura finish up their non-provisional vote count, so hang in there!

Spin versus statistics, which are we to believe? I wish I could say that she has a chance but, if I did, it would venture it be a very small one. If we are to plot the vote count updates since election day just in Ventura, where most of the vote remains, we never see Hannah-Beth's line cross Stricklands at all which makes the "up and down movement" statement made by her campaign only partially true. The combined differences have gone back and forth a bit but the trend makes it hard to believe that she could end up the victor in this race.

(Click to Enlarge)

If we look at the trends for each of the counties, we see the same thing:

(Click to Enlarge)

With 17,000 votes to count (there may be more to count in Los Angeles but it would likely number in the hundreds), let's say Hannah Beth did as well in Ventura as she recently has done in Santa Barbara. This is unlikely given the demographics of Ventura County and the vote to date but is the best case scenario.  Then let's look at the more likely scenario and what it would take for her to win.

(Click to Enlarge)

I wish Hannah-Beth the best but I don't see these figures working out.  In saying "The bottom line is we are still in the game here and have a good shot at winning.", her campaign is very much hoping for the best.

I believe in the wisdom of many and would be happy to be proven wrong. If I made a mistake in my assumptions or my numbers I would certainly be pleased to eat crow. Take out your TI Calculators! As I am not a mathematician, I would also be interested in hearing if anyone can figure out the probabilities involved with this rather real world math problem.

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Monday, November 17, 2008

'Manifesting' a Home in Santa Barbara

A frequent reader sent this in and I thought it was pretty funny in that it was sent this morning after the surreal long weekend of fighting the Tea Fire. Clueless considering 210 homes were burned and these people will need rentals as well? I'm sure there are a few people that would like to "manifest" a new home right now. -- Sara

I'm on a couple hippie mailing lists and sometimes their housing requests just crack me up. I can't keep quiet about this one. Seriously, what reality are they in??

This one is entitled "Manifesting my new home"

"I am looking for a private studion cottage, 1 or 2BR in the
hills/foothills of SB, anywhere from west SB to west Montecito, by 12/1.
I want a space close to town but with with open land in the wild. I'm
35 years old, a professional massage therapist and landscape/gardner. I
want to pay $1000 or less, but again am open to negotiation. "

I don't see any problem with him finding a place that fits his flexible and easily attainable requirements within his 2 week timeframe. No problem at all.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Community Healing Session Tonight at SB Yoga Center

Sent to me by the Yoga Center -- it is tonight! -- Sara

The Santa Barbara Yoga Center is offering a community healing session with many yoga instructors: today, Sunday Nov 16, 7-9-ish pm at 32 East Micheltorena Street.

7-8:30 pm, -a therapeutic/restorative session, with massage, etc- for the Victims of this traumatic event, and all of you who feel you wish to gather in community.

At 8:30, we will a have a time of singing, and holding prayers in the space of love and healing. The main organizer are cheri clampett, arturo peal, Anne van de water, but many other instructors will be there to offer their skills and support.

Thank you for all who are generously participating!!!

Please pass this message on to everyone you know, and do join us in support
Of our community.

All of us at the Santa Barbara Yoga Center.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Governator to Visit Tea Fire Damage or Congratulate Strickland?

It's been hard to get television coverage on the Internets of the fire. There are decent saved video stories from KSBY and even citizen video that's been great. KEYT looked totally unprepared for their coverage wondering out loud when the fire started during their coverage yesterday morning. Live feeds from FOX 11 disgusted me with their emphasis on whether Oprah and other celebrity's homes were safe. Doesn't Dennis Miller live up there? Is Steve Martin still there?

Although I feel for our local celebrities, like Christopher Lloyd who lost his home yesterday -- Fox LA's morning news team could have taken a better angle. It was like The View for news. The print and internet media led by The Indy and EdHat have been the most useful source of news -- thanks to Ed, Ray Ford and Ethan Stewart and crew for doing an awesome job.

I'd rather not get so cynical about the Governator visiting us in the coming days but it's hard not to considering the vote from the last election is still being counted and it looks like Tony Strickland is pulling too far ahead of Hannah-Beth Jackson for her to catch up with however many votes are left to count. Fridays results pushed Strickland up by 2,141 votes. Let's hope Arnold separates the victory party from the offers of help for our friends on Coyote Road.

(Remember you can click on the image to make it larger).

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Friday, November 14, 2008

Another way to help...Red Cross Training tomorrow.

From the Red Cross -- Sara

This Disaster Training will be held at the American Red Cross, Santa Barbara County Chapter located at 2707 State Street in Santa Barbara. To register, please call 687-1331.

This one-day free course will give you on an orientation to the American Red Cross, show you how to work in an American Red Cross Evacuation Shelter and how to work within the Mass Care arena (including feeding and bulk distribution). You will then be able to assist with the Tea Fire relief effort and future Red Cross disaster responses!

Class Dates:
Friday, November 14 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Saturday, November 15 11:00 am to 4:00 pm
Sunday, November 16 11:00 am to 4:00 pm

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City of Santa Barbara Urges Water Rationing

From the City of SB this morning -- let's conserve our water whether we live in the city or not!. --Sara

SANTA BARBARA, CA – At 9:30 a.m., the Water Resources Division of the City of Santa Barbara is requesting that all businesses and residents in Santa Barbara, Goleta, and Montecito refrain from using non-essential water to allow maximum supplies available for fire fighting.

For more information:

County Call Center 681-5197

Knight Broadcasting: KUHL-1410; KINF-1440 (Both AM). KRAZ-105.9 and KSYV-96.7 (Both FM)

Rincon Broadcasting: KTMS-990 AM, KTYD-99.9, KSBL-101.7 (All FM)

Plus Rincon’s Spanish language FM stations KSPE-94.5 and KIST-107.7


News-Press Radio: KZSB 1290 AM

Indy, LA Times, Flickr and Local Photo Streams of Tea Fire Posted Overnight

There's an LA Times Photo stream here -- (LA Times/Michael Robinson Chavez link on the picture above).

Here's an amazing set of photos on Flickr -- even better here -- from locals. There are some more at City 2.0. Of course, there are also great photos at The Indy.

Direct Relief International is offering emergency assistance and City Administrator Jim Armstrong has called a state of emergency for the city. here's the Office of Emergency Services website at the County.

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Fire Update: 1,500 Acres, 150 Homes Lost in Tea Fire

Here's a handy map which shows the fire area.

See Ray Ford's story here and check with The Indy throughout the day for more centralized information.

According to tThe Indy, current warnings are for:

The area east of Hot Springs Road and West of San Ysidro Road and North of East Valley Road

The area east of Ontare Road and West of Tunnel Road and North of Foothill Road

The area bounded on the North by Alameda Padre Serra, on the East by Montecito Street to Milpas, Milpas to Anapamu, Anapamu to Laguna, Laguna to Los Olivos, and Los Olivos to Alameda Padre Serra.

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Fire in Sycamore Canyon: Mountain Drive Area Told to Evacuate

A 20-acre plus fire is burning in Sycamore Canyon according to Supervisor Salud Carbajal in an article at The Santa Barbara Independent. Apparently several structures at Westmont College have burned. Mountain Drive area residents have been asked to evacuate. This might be a good time to sign up for the Indy Alert.

Just last September Ray Ford at The Indy wrote about the 1977 Sycamore Canyon Fire and fire preparedness. That fire lasted seven hours, burned a few hundred acres, and destroyed 195 houses.


Coalition Formed to Oppose UCSB Plans

Sent by a frequent reader, this press release is a bit long but full of information. UCSB has had one public hearing on their draft EIR and this is a massive project. Technically, they can do almost anything they want as a state agency...but they also are interested in having a good relationship with their neighbors, no? -- Sara

Today a coalition of Santa Barbara County organizations is announcing the formation of Sustainable University Now (SUN). SUN is the product of a series of meetings convened by the Santa Barbara County Action Network (SB CAN) to discuss community challenges raised by UCSB’s Draft Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). SUN members are committed to encouraging wide community participation in reviewing and responding to the LRDP draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR), which is expected to be re-circulated soon.

SUN members emphasize that they do not seek to oppose the University’s future development, but rather to improve it. Olivia Uribe, Associate Director of SB CAN, sums it up this way: “As a recent UCSB grad, I know firsthand what a great asset UCSB is to Santa Barbara County. Our coalition has been clear that we want to have a collaborative, positive relationship with UCSB.” SUN’s statement of principles echoes this approach, stressing the importance of careful planning: “Decisions made by and about the University will have far reaching and long lasting consequences for residents of the campus, Isla Vista, the Cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta and throughout Santa Barbara County.”

Richard Flacks, UCSB Research Professor of Sociology, is serving as interim chair of the SUN Coalition. In announcing the formation of the group he summarized the objectives of the organization as follows: “We want to make sure that this project is based on principles of sustainability, provides broad social benefits and that the project’s impacts on the area’s housing supply, water resources, traffic and commuting help improve rather than threaten our quality of life.”

SUN is requesting that local governmental bodies review and comment on the recirculated draft EIR.

The current list of Coalition members includes these organizations:
Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST)
Community Environmental Council
League of Women Voters of Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara Audubon Society
Santa Barbara County Action Network (SB CAN)
Sierra Club Los Padres Chapter - Santa Barbara Group
Pueblo Education Fund
Santa Barbara Channelkeeper

The Coalition’s Statement of Principles follows:

UCSB is an integral part of the greater Santa Barbara County community.

The University’s current Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) efforts will set the stage for its expansion over the next twenty years. Decisions made by and about the University will have far reaching and long lasting consequences for residents of the campus, Isla Vista, the Cities of Santa Barbara and Goleta and throughout Santa Barbara County.

The LRDP should fully acknowledge the relationship and impact of the University’s development plans on other constituencies and jurisdictions. UCSB must ensure that the cumulative impacts on the resources it shares with its neighbors – roads and intersections, water supply, watersheds and sensitive habitats, etc. – are understood and specifically addressed.

We believe that the following principles should guide this process:

* The LRDP must be based on principles of sustainability and UCSB should demonstrate leadership in such areas as transportation, protection of natural resources, water, affordable housing, traffic, parking, energy conservation, climate change concerns, recycling, etc. UCSB development should seek to promote and include modern sustainability planning principles.

* Any UCSB growth plans should be warranted by broad social benefits as well as institutional needs. UCSB’s development must be at a level that maintains and enhances the quality of life of its surrounding communities.

* Concerns and impacts raised in the draft Environmental Impact Report should be addressed fully, openly, and inclusively, providing specific mitigations, timetables and detailed planning as part of the final plan.

* The final LRDP will benefit from and should be the result of substantial community involvement and local public hearings and meetings on the proposed EIR. UCSB should seek participation from all South Coast jurisdictions and constituencies, including, but not limited to, the City of Goleta, the City and County of Santa Barbara, agencies such as the Isla Vista Redevelopment Agency, the Isla Vista Recreation and Park District, the Goleta Water District, the Goleta West Sanitary District, the Goleta Sanitary District, neighborhood associations and individuals.


19th Senate District Update (11/13, 6 AM) Strickland Now Too Far Ahead?

Late yesterday I realized that I will need to time stamp these updates as the numbers are changing so often. Here's the latest as of this morning - Strickland is now ahead by 1,560 votes. How long will this back and forth go on? I'm afraid that unless there are a great many Santa Barbara-based votes left, Hannah-Beth may not be able to catch up. Hopefully we will get another update today.

As requested, there are totals on the charts now. Remember you can click on them to make them larger.

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

19th Senate District Update (11/12): SB Gains for HBJ Lost in LA

Yesterday, Hannah-Beth Jackson gained on Tony Strickland in Santa Barbara County only to lose that gain in the votes counted in Los Angeles County. Wanting to make sure I didn't have a mess up of Alaskan proportions, I double checked my numbers as math was never my best subject. Sure enough, it showed the difference between them to be the exact same as yesterday, even with 4,604 more votes having been counted. Strickland is still 540 votes ahead. As the line graph hasn't changed all that much, I offer a slightly different look with the over time graph today that shows the trends are staying similar across the district.

Simply Click on the Image to Make The Chart Larger.

In other local races, Ed Heron has increased his lead over Charlotte Ware to 418 votes for the 3rd school board seat. In Carpinteria, Kathleen Reddington has increased her 17 vote lead over Steve McWhirter to 41 votes for the 2nd council seat.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

19th Senate District Update: Strickland Pulls Ahead

More votes were counted yesterday and Tony Strickland has pulled ahead by 540 votes between the three counties in the 19th Senate District. 51,196 votes have been counted since election night and these votes were from Ventura County. The vote in Santa Barbara County hasn't been updated since Friday yet there are some 10,000 votes left to be counted between provisional and vote-by-mail ballots.

As Jerry Roberts points out over at The Santa Barbara Independent:
Jackson's best hope of eking out a win now appears to rest with about 4,000 absentee votes still to be counted in Santa Barbara County, where officials in the voter registrar's office also have to contend with 6,000 provisional ballots, which were held out on Election Day because of questions about the registration of those who cast them.

You can click on either chart to see a larger version:

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Art Walk Camino Real Gets Gallery

This from our friends from the Art Walk -- formerly of La Cumbre Plaza before Tiffany's came in :) -- Sara

We have found a wonderful venue at Camino Real Marketplace for a gallery. There are 26 artisans involved in this great space. We are open from 11-8PM daily right next to the theater across from Costco. If you are going to buy gifts please buy American made and that's what you get at the Goodland Gallery....please come to our celebration this Friday from 5-8PM meet the Artisans and enjoy some food and wine!

Art Walk Web Site

Sunday, November 09, 2008

When will the election be over? When all the votes are counted...

Isn't democracy great?  Americans made a resounding statement last Tuesday but there are still several campaigns for public office that will hang in the balance until every vote is counted.

Chuck Shultz at the Santa Maria Times reports that 20,000 votes were counted between Wednesday and Friday of last week. Some 85,000 are still left to be counted in the three county region that includes the 19th Senate District. Even though Los Angeles County only represents a small part of the district -- that is a lot of votes to count before we know who the winner is.

If that wasn't enough a "manual tally" of 10% of the vote is required by state law when there is a State Senate race that is this close.  here's what Schultz wrote in the Santa Maria Times:
The see-saw battle between Jackson and Strickland could stretch into late November or early December before election officials declare an official winner. That is due to a state regulation requiring a “manual tally” of each ballot cast in a randomly selected 10 percent of all precincts, for any race where the semi-official results on election night showed the top two candidates within a half-percent of each other.
I've heard from a reliable source that there are 4,000 vote-by-mail ballots and 6,000 provisional ballots left to be counted in Santa Barbara County.  Although there is no way of knowing where exactly these votes are from -- they could have a direct impact on the school board race where Ed Heron has extended his lead to 320 votes for the third seat and in Carpinteria where Kathleen Reddington is only 17 votes ahead of Steve McWhirter.

We'll stay on top of it here at BlogaBarbara but we may be still waiting for some of these results as we approach the later part of the holidays....

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Saturday, November 08, 2008

More Counts Against The News-Press by NLRB

From the Teamsters....Sara

The General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board has determined after a lengthy investigation and deliberation that it will prosecute the SB News-Press for violating the National Labor Relations Act by hiring and deploying newsroom employees through an employment agency to perform the same work done by Union-represented employees in a putative "temporary" capacity, though they may have performed in that capacity for as many as 16 months. The General Counsel issued a complaint (attached) which says that the N-P violated the National Labor Relations Act by refusing to bargain over the temps' terms and conditions of employment, by paying them less than the people in the unit, and by transferring bargaining unit work outside the unit.

This ruse by the News-Press was central to its longstanding plan to devastate Union support among newsroom employees by dishonestly diminishing the numbers of people it contended were in the unit. With that transparent charade the News-Press has sought and continues to seek to unilaterally decrease the number of newsroom employees represented by the Union, while still having others it disingenuously claimed were outside the unit performing the same newsroom work, in unprecedented fashion. "With the curtain finally raised exposing this longstanding cynical maneuver by the News-Press, perhaps the newspaper will decide it must obey the law", said Ira L. Gottlieb, counsel to the Union. "We hope that management will treat all employees who work in the newsroom fairly and equitably and will no longer use this artifice to decimate the union-represented group for obvious and illegal anti-union reasons", Gottlieb added.

The General Counsel decided to move forward with this prosecution based on charges the Union filed last November. The General Counsel will also prosecute on a number of other labor law violations that have been accumulating since bargaining began almost a year ago, including:

1. Bad faith bargaining (announced in July);
2. Hiring and refusing to bargain over temps as described above;
3. Laying off one alleged temp without bargaining;
4. Failure/refusal to timely provide information about the temps;
5 Assigning a non-unit person (Robert Eringer) to perform bargaining unit work as an "investigative reporter";
6. Discontinuing annual raise policy for 2006 and 2007;
7. Suspending and firing Dennis Moran (and refusing to bargain over those decisions); That set of allegations is not included in the attached complaint because the General Counsel's Office of Advice in Washington, D.C. is deliberating on one further aspect of the Union's charge concerning him before issuing the agency's complaint challenging the News-Press' illegal firing of Moran.
8. Discontinuing annual evaluations policy.

The temps charge, the temp layoff charge, the annual raise charge, and of course the charge protesting Dennis Moran's suspension and firing - when the complaint on that last set of allegations issues as previously announced by the General Counsel - could mean compensation for people in the unit if successful.

The General Counsel is still investigating and/or deliberating on the Union's pending charges against the News-Press concerning failure and delay in providing information requested by the Union, interference with the NLRB's investigative process by Wendy McCaw, and refusal to bargain over mandatory subjects of bargaining.

The complaint sets a hearing date of February 23, 2009, which is subject to change.

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Friday, November 07, 2008

HBJ Pulls Ahead in See-Saw Race, Other Races Tight in SB County

The see-saw back and forth continues between Hannah-Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland in their race for the 19th Senate District. More votes in Santa Barbara and Los Angeles Counties today bring Hannah-Beth back into the lead after Strickland enjoyed most of the day in the lead from votes he picked up in Ventura County yesterday. Are there more votes? As it is Friday evening, I do not know and would appreciate any update any of you can give our readers.

Here's another look over the last couple of days:

In other news Ed Heron has stayed ahead and actually increased his lead for the third position for the Santa Barbara School Board from 241 to 320 votes.

In Carpinteria, seven precincts have made the second position for council a tight race with Steve McWhirter only 17 votes behind:


Polling VBM Total
Number of Precincts
7 0 7
Precincts Reporting
7 0 7 100.0 %
Vote For
2 2 2
Total Votes
3763 4970 8733

1008 1327 2335 26.74%
949 1239 2188 25.05%
930 1241 2171 24.86%
870 1151 2021 23.14%

Strickland Gains with Conservative Ventura Vote

The BlogaBarbara Magic Voting Chart (well maybe not so much like CNN...) has changed. The Ventura numbers of ballots counted increased since yesterday to 191,394 from from 181,100. The almost 9,500 votes show a switch in the lead to Tony Strickland by 840 votes with 52% of the votes counted in recent days.

Will the provisional and day-of vote-by-mail ballots from Santa Barbara County carry the day for HBJ? Only time will tell but we would have to expect it ain't over until it's over on this one.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

Update on HBJ/Strickland Race

There looks to be some 40,000 to 50,000 votes to be counted in this important State Senate District race wehre Hannah-Beth Jackson is currently just 108 votes ahead. Ironically, they are replacing Tom McClintock who is also in a yet to be decided Congressional race. He's just 400 votes ahead of Democrat Charlie Brown. More soon...

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Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Only 108 Votes Separate Strickland from HBJ's Victory

We all knew this would be close -- but this close? Will there be a recount? A 108 vote victory is the difference between Hannah Beth Jackson and Tony Strickland.

In another tight race, Ed Heron leads Charlotte Ware for the third seat by on 241 votes. Provisional ballots and dropped-off vote-by-mail ballots may decide that one.

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Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election Night Round Up

With many votes still to be counted, there are a few close races and a few for which we need information from other counties.

Our 19th State Senate District, for instance, spans Santa Barbara, Ventura and part of Los Angeles County. It looks as though Hannah Beth Jackson should win with a stronger than expected vote in Ventura County. Currently, she holds a 12,000 vote lead over Strickland in my studies of results from each county.

Santa Barbara School Board shows Cordero, Deacon and Heron squeezing by. Goleta looks like it will have an environmental duo in Connell and Easton. Council Member Aceves will now be the all important third vote on many issues. In Carpinteria, Council Member Joe Armendariz held on to his seat despite a tough challenge in a Democratic year. Doreen Farr looks to have had an easy time with a good 10 point lead over Pappas. Most of the other candidates we expected to win like Capps, Nava and Gallegly look like they will win handily.

The story of the night may be that many of the money-related propositions look like they will pass. Measure A, Measure H, Measure I and even Measure G all look like they will pass.

Tonight will clearly be a night we will all remember for the Obama win and the sobering acceptance speech. He made it clear there is work to do and I am glad he reached out and said he would be "your President too" to those who did not support him.

More on the elections tomorrow.


Election Results Link

An historic evening, tonight may have been encapsulated by seeing Jesse Jackson cry on TV and John McCain all of a sudden becoming his old self in his concession speech. The bad self that could have made this a real race.

For Santa Barbara results, see the Elections Office Web Site. More on the SB County races later in the evening.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Predictions Board

After a long, surreal day in traffic due to the La Cumbre overpass incident (see EdHat for an opportunity to comment -- they have had a whole day of discussion already) -- I realized I forgot to ask if there are any predictions for tomorrow?

I'll stretch and say Obama by 4% when it might be just 3%, Farr in the 3rd by 1% only because of Democratic turnout; and, Easton and Connell will win because Blois can't carry Gilman's day in Goleta. Heron, Deacon and Cordero in that order for school board.

What say you?

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Local Amateur Videographer Wins Statewide Prize for Socio-Political Production

Community Post by: Off-Leash Public Affairs producer

Entitled "Proposition 4: What Part of NO Don't They Understand", the 2:55 minute video was produced by David Pritchett as a Short-Leash Subject for his video show Off-Leash Public Affairs ( The video is one of 10 from throughout California selected for a $1000 prize awarded by the No-on-Prop.-4 campaign, also called the Campaign for Teen Safety (

The video contest winners were announced by the campaign last Thursday (, and all 10 videos --hosted by YouTube-- are compiled at the Campaign for Teen Safety website ( The video by Pritchett is the one at the bottom of that webpage.

Pritchett's 2:55 minute video features a rally held early last September at the County Courthouse, with a heartfelt message to the crowd by Joel Rodriguez-Flores and cheers led by Helene Schneider. A longer 10:30 version of the video ( also was produced and features additional speakers advocating for the NO vote on Proposition 4.

"While I am pretty good at editing and camera work, the real success of this video comes from the people who spoke out about this critical issue," remarked David Pritchett, the video producer. "I will be glad share some of the prize money with the non-profit organizations of my on-camera talent," Pritchett added, to the chagrin of his tanked Roth IRA account.

Off-Leash Public Affairs is a video series about news, events, and politics of the Santa Barbara area, playing regularly on cable TV-17, Santa Barbara Channels ( and always at the show website ( During the 2007 and 2008 political seasons, Off-Leash Public Affairs featured political candidates, ballot propositions, and local measures in 25 separate video productions, from the very local Measure A-2007 to Barack Obama at SBCC.


No on 8 Endorsement from The LA Times

You may remember my post on Select Staffing's email to employees that should scare any person who happens to be gay from ever working for them. Today I drove by Select Staffing and noticed a huge vinyl sign on the side of their building supporting Proposition 8. I wonder if they own the building or had permission? In any event, the vote will be close on that one...

If you had any hesitancy about voting no on Proposition 8, please read the LA Times endorsement of the "no" position....

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Saturday, November 01, 2008

New anti-HBJ Hit Piece Shows Ties to GOP

These scans of a recent mailer were sent by an avid reader last night...thanks much for the scans and most of the text below. -- Sara

The "California Citizens for Ethics in Government” sent out this mailer which many Ventura County residents received yesterday. This new PAC has the same phone number as the Republican Party’s lawyer. They pretend it’s a real ethical research outfit and it’s the Republicans’ lawyer!!!!

They are telling us they “investigated” the charges and “Tony Strickland’s record is far more independent.” The PAC showed that it is funded by Indian tribes and Republicans in a late expenditure report.

This is the same lawyer who just issued a threatening letter with unspecified charges to the VCDCC and Vote Blue over voter fraud and it’s the same one who handled the VCRCC’s “membership mailer” case a year and a half ago.

A search at Call-Access shows the committee has the same phone number as:

Charles H. Bell, Jr.
Bell McAndrews & Hiltachk LLP
455 Capitol Mall, Suite 801
Sacramento, CA 95814

They also haven't filed any forms for this election:
FILER ID: 1311427

This committee has not electronically filed a Form 460/461/450 for this election cycle. For further information, click on prior year displays to see if historical filings are available. Also check for late contribution filings if a major filing deadline has not yet occurred for this election cycle.

Hmmmm, when will it be too expensive for these groups to feel forced to file their pre-election campaign reports on time? Right now, the fees are so low they figure it's the cost of doing business....dirty business.

Note: It turns out they filed a late report -- funded by the above mentioned Republicans and Indian Tribes. I guess I missed it the first time I checked. Still, you would have to really search to find the money trail.

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