Executives with Waste Management, the trash hauling company, have resumed negotiations with the Santa Barbara County Counsel’s office over allegations they underpaid the county hundreds of thousands of dollars in recycling revenues. The county claims Waste Management – which serves much of North County – owes roughly $1 million, including interest. A recent audit of Waste Management’s books indicated the company could have pocketed anywhere from $500,000 to as much as $1.2 million in recycling revenues that by contract should have been funneled to the county. After negotiations between the two sides broke down, county supervisors authorized legal action against the waste giant, bringing Waste Management back to the bargaining table. The company’s franchise agreement with the county expires next June.
With relatively little advance notice, the Santa Barbara College of Oriental Medicine announced it will close its doors for good this December after 25 years in the community. According to school founder and president JoAnn Tall, the decision – forced by declining enrollment and resulting financial peril – wasn’t made until last Thursday, though the writing was on the wall after classes began on August 31. Students in their final year of acupuncture and assorted other training will be allowed to continue and graduate as scheduled in August, but the remaining 41 other students will be forced to transfer after December 11. The school’s clinic will remain open until September 1, 2007.