City 7-17

Philip Mangano, the federal government’s top homeless official, came to Santa Barbara touting permanent housing “for every American” as the solution to homelessness, more cost-effective and humane than seasonal shelters. “Rob Pearson is great,” Mangano said of the City of Santa Barbara’s Housing Authority director, after touring the El Carrillo studios for the formerly homeless. (/manganotour)

Mayor Marty Blum denounced as “complete fabrication” a rumor promulgated by Santa Barbara News-Press editorial page editor Travis Armstrong that the mayor planned to resign. Armstrong wrote on 7/12 that Blum had been discussing the possibility with family and friends, and he predicted that she would resign in a few days, citing health reasons. Blum publicly challenged Armstrong to produce any such confidant and said her health-despite a bout with cancer and a double-mastectomy four years ago-has never been better. (/blumquitrumor)

Mel’s Lounge, a State Street institution since 1963, is closing on August 24. Mel’s owner Mike Knapp said his rent was doubled to about $10,000 by property owner Hughes Land Holding Trust of Santa Barbara. A bar and pool hall that opens at 8:30 a.m., Mel’s has been something of an anachronism in Paseo Nuevo ever since the mall was built around it in the early 1990s. (/melsclosing)

The city has ordered an earlier-than-scheduled bathymetric survey to determine how much storage capacity remains in Gibraltar Reservoir, from which the city gets about 35 percent of its water. Storms following the Zaca Fire washed debris into Gibraltar from its 60-percent-burned watershed, and water commissioners fear that the reservoir’s capacity may now be as low as 2,000 acre feet, which is only enough for about 4,000 households for one year.

The Creeks Division and the Parks and Recreation Department are contracting with Questa Engineering Corporation to draw specifications for two more Mission Creek fish passages, one on Highway 192 and the other at Tallant Road. The work would open almost five more miles of creek to migrating steelhead trout.

The Ordinance Committee drafted new rules for the waterfront which, if approved by City Council, will give the Waterfront Director authority to impound vessels whose owners don’t pay their fees, or who moor in the harbor without permission. Now the director merely threatens to seize the vessels.

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