Santa Barbara City Councilmember Dale Francisco carved out a unique procedural niche when he declined to vote for, against, or even to abstain last week on a motion designed to create a new taskforce to study homelessness. The motion passed and Francisco’s non-position was not strategically pivotal. Afterward he explained that he had concerns about the taskforce’s lack of direction and that it should be chalked up as an abstention.

The I Madonnari Italian street painting festival on 5/24 and 5/25 at the Santa Barbara Mission will happen without the free opera concert it has had previously: Mission officials opted to enforce the rule that “only music of sacred nature is allowed”a regulation they say has been in place for years.

Drivers can now check the Highway 101 traffic conditions at Milpas Street courtesy of a live video feed viewable online at, Caltrans announced 5/16. The cameras are to help travelers during soon-to-start construction of 101 operational improvements south of Milpas. Caltrans also has a traffic cam at the 101’s Patterson Avenue exit.

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