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Up Against the Backlash


Thursday, May 8, 2008

CARPINTERIA WARRIORS: When it comes to jettisoning Native American imagery at Carpinteria High School, a backlash against the backlash seems to be shaping up.

After the school board voted 3-2 to end the Indian icons but keep the team name Warriors, public opposition raged against the move. Now, as people understand the reasoning for eliminating offensive images, there’s growing support for the board majority.

On the Beat

Boardmember Leslie Deardorff, who voted in the majority, said she’s been getting far more emails recently backing her position than opposed. The controversy, which has sparked a Web recall petition drive, will be thrashed out at a school board meeting on Tuesday, May 13, at 5:30 p.m. at the Carpinteria High School gym, the largest venue available to handle the expected large crowd.

District Superintendent Paul Cordeiro feels that the board acted too hastily at the April 22 meeting, Deardorff told me, and he wants trustees to vote Tuesday to postpone until a later date their decision to eliminate the imagery.

My main concern is keeping the community together and moving forward with all the wonderful initiatives” that have been accomplished at the school district and are in the offing, Cordeiro told me. Much has been said about Carpinteria’s so-called small-town ambience and the fact that generations of Carpinteria High graduates still live there as factors in the reaction against the image ban. But the school district has a median home value of $1.25 million and is hardly “Mayberry, U.S.A.,” according to Cordeiro.

UNION FILES NP COMPLAINT: A 2007 USC journ school grad has found himself in the middle of the Teamsters/News-Press brouhaha. Kyle Jahner, hired nearly a year ago as a sports desk temp, was laid off last week, resulting in the newsroom union filing an unfair labor practice complaint this week with the feds. Teamsters contend that the NP had a duty to bargain over the layoff because Jahner was part of the bargaining unit, even though a temp. There are an estimated six other newsroom temps.

HAPPY HORN: This ought to restore at least a touch of your faith in human nature. You’ll recall my story about how Santa Barbara Symphony trombonist Brad Close lost his $3,000 horn, then, against the odds, got it back. Brad, loading his gear into his car after a recent concert, drove off, leaving the horn and case on the sidewalk. A dishonest person might have snatched the horn and tried to make a fast buck. But along came UCSB computer technologist and research assistant Dylan Parenti. Spotting the case, Dylan waited a half-hour for an owner to claim it, then called police and said he waited another half-hour for officers to arrive. A few days later he got a letter of thanks from Close, and a $100 check. “I sent it back,” Dylan told me. “I was just glad that he got his instrument back. You can’t put a price tag on a horn and what it means to a musician.” Dylan also got a letter from the Santa Barbara Symphony offering him two tickets to Saturday’s concert at the Arlington. That he accepted. “I’ve never been [to the Symphony], and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do. And they’re playing one of my favorite pieces, Bolero.” Then there’s violinist Philippe Quint, who performed with the symphony in February and who left his borrowed $4 million Stradivarius in a Newark taxi last month. Quint played 30 minutes to cabbies at Newark Liberty International Airport this week as thanks to driver Mohamed Khalil, who returned the irreplaceable 1723 Antonio Stradivari “Ex-Keisewetter” after it was left behind in Khalil’s cab.

DISAPPOINTED WOMEN: How are Santa Barbara’s Democratic women who back Hillary Clinton for president reacting to Rep. Lois Capps’s endorsement of Barack Obama? Although Capps phoned many local activist women in advance of her announcement, many remain disappointed, one source told me. “We still love Lois,” she assured me. “We won’t abandon the party or Lois, but for right now, it is uncomfortable for a lot of us.” The women, of course, are well aware that Capps’s daughter Laura is married to Obama’s press secretary, Bill Burton, and could be headed to the White House. Capps, by the way, is one of the superdelegates who will apparently be the deciding factor in choosing the nominee at this summer’s Demo convention.

A FEEL-GOOD STORY: Nicole Cabell grew up in a low-income, working class, racially mixed family in Ventura. As a teen with African-American, Korean, and Anglo ancestry, she paid for her singing lessons by doing household chores for her teacher. Now, at 30, she’s internationally famous, having sung on the great opera stages of Europe and the U.S. and been acclaimed for her gorgeous soprano. On Sunday, Cabell will sing in the final concert of the Ventura Music Festival on the stage of her old school, Ventura High School, with tenor David Lomeli and the Festival Orchestra. Tickets and info at venturamusicfestival.org.

• Last Tuesday in Barney’s online column: Hillary-Obama ticket? (independent.com/hillaryobama). Coming Friday: You’re on candid camera at a local high-end eatery.

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Barney Brantingham can be reached at barney@independent.com or 805-965-5205. He writes online columns on Tuesdays and Fridays and a print column on Thursdays.

Billy Collins & Aimee Mann

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