Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

SDLG Signing Off

After 1,111 posts and a wildfire that has led me to reconsider my priorities in life, I decided last weekend that this will be my last post on BlogaBarbara. My adobe is standing and my family is well. This 'gnarly' fire, however, hit close to home and gave me reason to pause.

For a little more than four years, I have done my best to bring you the news and opinion that wasn't printed in our daily newspaper. I also did my best to be of service to our community and provide a platform for opinion -- whether I agreed with it or not. At times it was easy and I would get inspired by the polemic debate that was held on these pages. There were times, however, when I would be less than enthused in deciding whether or not to delete a comment and whether it met our community guidelines. I made poor decisions at times and the correct ones most of the time. One poor decision not to delete a comment immediately -- because of my predilection to dark humor -- led to a News-Press search for my identity and a call from me for 'lawyers, guns, and money'. By the way -- that's a reference to a popular song and has no violent intent at all in case you were wondering.

I'm proud of my support for the Teamsters and former reporters and workers of the News-Press. I was happy to do my part in uncovering where the bias really was at the News-Press. Part of me pleads to myself to not move on until Travis, Nipper and Wendy have moved on from their self-centered ways -- but I am also clear I have done my part.

When BlogaBarbara began, there were few alternative voices online other than Craig Smith whom I believe started some months before BlogaBarbara. Blogging was a nascent medium and Craig Smith's Blog, EdHat and BlogaBarbara were some of the first adopters. No media outlets come to mind as having blogs at the time. Today, media outlets are on Twitter, Facebook and providing streaming video. The competition for eyeballs is heavy for a blog with no budget and no payroll.

I've been considering this for months as the looming mayoral race is looking to be an election out of the pages of a Hunter Thompson novel. The number of mean comments on the blog has noticeably increased and, to tell you the truth, I just don't have it in me. Add atop that a council candidate that wears a fedora on Stearns Wharf and tries to friend anything that moves on Facebook -- and we have the recipe for a long, hot summer.

The Jesusita Fire sealed the deal. The fire came way too close for comfort and had me think about what was truly important to me. BlogaBarbara readers are important to me but my family, friends, career and community are as well. I am clear I can serve our community in other ways and not just under the guise of anonymity.

In case you are wondering, I will not reveal my identity now as Wendy McCaw still owns the News-Press. My heirs will pay for an obituary in the News-Press many years from now and slip the fact that I was Sara de la Guerra into the text. I am reasonably confident that the temporary worker in charge of editing by then will not have the institutional knowledge that a Josh Molina, Dawn Hobbs or a Tom Schultz carries with them. Then again, my plan assumes the News-Press will still be in operation.

What will happen to BlogaBarbara? I will moderate comments for a few days. If you are someone with thick skin and might be someone I would trust to take over the blog, email me at I wouldn't want anything more than your assurance that you would be responsible about keeping the public service aspect of the blog alive -- where all opinions are given a chance to be expressed.

Thank you so much for following my work over the last four years. Special thanks go to Canon Presidio -- a good friend and partner, who helped me get this started. Citizen Stringer for feeding me stories, writing many of them and taking a supportive interest in the blog. Special thanks are also due to Craig Smith and Edhat for their links to our pages. I appreciate that Joe Armendariz and Lanny Ebenstein realized that they could be good Republicans and still contribute to a liberal-leaning blog like BlogaBarbara. I'm not sure if I could have kept the guise at times without Uncle Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega's historical context. The Electronic Frontier Foundation deserves extra special thanks for giving me legal help when I needed it -- I will forever be in their debt. I am sure I have forgot many of you and for that I apologize -- I am clear I will hit "publish" and think of 10 other people to acknowledge.

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Anonymous Eckermann said...

Sara, thanks so much for providing this forum. It is the first blog on which I paticipated. I always wondered where you found the time to keep it going. You provided a valuable service to the community and I am sure that our future endeavors will be service oriented as well. Thanks again.

5/13/2009 7:35 AM  
Blogger Greg Knowles said...

Good Luck Sara, sometimes it is best to just move on. Sounds like you have thought out your decision and it is a good one. Take Care!

5/13/2009 7:55 AM  
Anonymous Thank you, SDLG said...

As a prolific ranter here also under the cloak of darkness, I also share your sensabiliites and growing distaste for anonymous blogging. It drains off energy we all must use in active participation our town so desperately needs.

I have utmost admiration for your skill and balance handling the range of comments here, knowing you inherently disagreed with much I posted yet you allowed its publication with only an occasional yabba dabba.

Whoever you are, you have my deepest thanks for these past four years when the whole world of anonymous blogging was a learning experience for us all.

It is now time for all of us to move on into the light of real world words and real world actions knowing if we only speak our deepest truths out loud do we then find real action and real companions in this journey we call life.

Thank you SDLG. You gave journalism a good name and in this town, this is a good thing.

5/13/2009 8:18 AM  
Anonymous the chupacabra said...


Thanks for your time and effort on this enjoyed the ride when I stopped by here.

5/13/2009 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Thanks Thanks Thanks said...

Thank you and good luck, Sara. Online commenting with anonymity has such great potential, but we've not realized that potential yet.

5/13/2009 8:47 AM  
Anonymous patrick said...

Thanks for your efforts and your contribution to our community.

best wishes,

5/13/2009 9:52 AM  
Blogger rae said...

I'll be sorry to see the end of your blog, but can understand. Have been reading and enjoying it for most of the four years. Good luck.

5/13/2009 10:17 AM  
Blogger George said...

Oh no! We will miss you Sara. You provided a very important outlet and perspective.


5/13/2009 10:52 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't have a sign-in but did just want to say that you and BlogaBarbara will be missed's a loss to the community for your blog to shut down, yet your reasons are compelling and understood by me...long may you run, Sara!

5/13/2009 10:54 AM  
Anonymous Mike of many names said...


So very sorry to see you go, but your reasoning is faultless. I often wondered how you managed to keep this running...

Best wishes for you Sara, and thank you very much for the time and effort you gave your community.

5/13/2009 11:10 AM  
Anonymous Lisa Snider said...

You will certainly be missed!

5/13/2009 1:03 PM  
Anonymous Gary Cortese said...

Sara, I fully know how difficult this blogging business can be and I give you great credit for keeping at it for so long.
Blogabarbara was a service to the community.
I wish you and yours well.

5/13/2009 2:14 PM  
Anonymous citywatcher said...

Indeed, blogabarbara - your posts and openness for a variety of points of view will be missed. This up-coming council/mayoral election needs blogabarbara. Won't you, pretty, pretty please, reconsider, at least until after the election? :)

Whatever, all the best and many thanks. Indeed, your reasoning, explanations, make much sense, but still....?

5/13/2009 2:32 PM  
Blogger Captain Haley said...

You showed us all how to run a blog like this and still stay classy.

5/13/2009 2:48 PM  
Blogger Joseph said...

Thanks, Sara. You provided a great forum and did so with an even hand and lots of common sense. We owe you and we appreciate the aggrevation and the burden you endured. It's great that you know when to walk away and have the resolution to do so on your own terms. Good luck, hope we get to know you in person someday!

5/13/2009 4:38 PM  
Anonymous William Etling said...

Thanks for your hard work and courage. You have made your community a better place, which should be a goal for us all. Well done.

5/13/2009 5:28 PM  
Anonymous AN50 said...

I haven’t been around this blog much and even though I disagree with you and most of your loyal posters, you will be missed. I sincerely hope all goes well with you and who knows, maybe down the road you will once again bless this community with your thoughtful insights.

5/13/2009 7:09 PM  
Anonymous Dirk Brandts said...

Thanks for running the site as long as you did. I think these kinds of local idea exchanges are a good thing, on balance, although they do tend to attract a lot of the pantaloons and defective stooges amongst us. Just don't let them grind you down permanently, and do what you have to do to take care of your emotional self-preservation. I hope you find a worthy replacement.

5/13/2009 7:37 PM  
Anonymous Canon Presidio said...

Well, looks like a I get to say goodbye to ol' girl one last time -- been a great ride eh Lady Sara?

Much Love, Canon Presidio

5/13/2009 7:57 PM  
Anonymous racjax said...

Thanks so much for your blog. I am at the opposite end of the spectrum than most of your views but you were on my favorites shortcut list and a daily read. You will be missed. Again, your hard work has been appreciated and I could always count on you for up to date inside information. Good luck and best wishes.

5/13/2009 8:06 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Thank you all for taking the time to wish me well -- I appreciate it!

5/13/2009 8:22 PM  
Blogger Bill Carson said...

Good bye Sara. Thanks for giving us a place to vent. It was fun while it lasted. As you ride off into the sunset, I hope you are able to find the buried gold in Sad Hill cemetery.

Best Regards,

Bill Carson

5/13/2009 10:42 PM  
Anonymous marcmcginnes said...

Thank you for your service to the community. Best wishes as you move on along your way. Vaya con Gaia, Sara.

5/14/2009 8:50 AM  
Anonymous SJ said...

Dear Sara,

While I have not posted, I have read your blog for the last several years. From friends who write other blogs, I know the work can be rewarding and draining at the same time, especially when the comments cross the line. You have performed a valuable community service and many will miss your efforts.

Good luck.

5/14/2009 11:13 AM  
Anonymous Don Jose de la Guerra y Noriega said...

Sara, your Uncle Don is so proud of you. You did such a fine job--truly in the tradition of our fine ancient Santa Barbara Spanish family.
I can only hope a family reunion will allow me to embrace you appropriately.

Heartfelt community service is a fine option for the life well-lived...

I am sure many readers will thank you forever...and remember...
CARPE DIEM...toujours....CARPE DIEM...

5/14/2009 11:39 AM  
Blogger Marie said...

Nobody understands your decision better than I do, Sara. Being a blogger is one of the most challenging things I have ever done.

But you've done great work here and I really hate to see it go away.

Take care and the offer of coffee and biscotti is still open. You can wear a mask.

Marie Lakin
Making Waves: A View from Ventura

5/14/2009 2:07 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

Thanks all! This kind of sentiment makes it worthwhile...I appreciate the good words.

5/15/2009 6:30 AM  
Anonymous Joe Armendariz said...

Sara, you are a class act and it was an honor to participate. I appreciated your kind words over the years and hope whoever picks up where you are leaving off will be as fair and thoughtful as you always were.

All the best to you and your family and congratulations on a job very well done.

Joe Armendariz

5/15/2009 6:45 AM  
Blogger Don McDermott said...

Much thanks and all the best to Ms. Peace of the Place and contributors. Even in disagreement I enjoyed editorials, what people thought and wrote. I hope to live long enough to learn of the fascinating SDLG's identity. But I won't be reading it in the News Press, unless there is a new objective owner, perhaps Sara Miller-McCune.

Quoting the RedHotChiliPeppers, Power of Equality;

American equality has always been sour
An attitude I would like to devour
My name is peace, this is my hour
Can I get just a little bit of power

5/15/2009 10:11 PM  
Anonymous J'Amy said...

Sara -- I cut my on-line teeth on Blogabarbara, and was at this site I sharpened my editorial fangs enough to try an online column of my own (Indy’s Montage).

Thank you for your leadership, diligence, provocative subject matter, judicious editing and longtime dedication to providing our community with a place to think about issues and post our viewpoints.

You have done your duty and served Santa Barbara well, so enjoy retirement--but be sure to drop your opinions on other blogs so your fans will know "Sara Lives!" -- J'Amy

5/15/2009 11:07 PM  
Blogger John Quimby said...

Thanks Sara,

I just stopped by to find your farewell entry.

Best wishes to you and congratulations for being one of the new media pioneers in SB.

You performed a real service to free speech in the public interest. Thank you for providing this forum to the community.

Thank you for standing up for all of us.

5/16/2009 11:35 AM  
Anonymous Don Lubach said...

Your fine work has been a pleasure to follow and has added a lot to the community. I am impressed with how many negative posts you endured, managed, confronted, and deflected.

As a career counselor, I have learned that one of the hardest things for us to do is to call it quits and move on to the next thing. You were brave to start this blog and just as brave to wrap it up.

I am glad that you and your house have survived. Like many, I love to speculate about your identity and feel that I probably know you. As a result I hope I have treated all of my "suspected sara" friends with a bit more respect and reverence.

Thank You!

Don Lubach

5/16/2009 12:12 PM  
Anonymous sa1 said...

Peace Out my baby

I'd say somethin' know...

5/16/2009 10:47 PM  
Blogger Honor Adams said...

We'll miss you Sara - you are still an inspiration to many of us bloggers out there.

5/19/2009 2:58 PM  

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