Mission & State Closes Down

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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In a letter to Santa Barbara media, Ron Gallo, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation, announced that the Mission & State experiment has ended.

You are receiving this communication because you, in some meaningful way, have been involved with the Mission & State experiment: as a member of the Advisory Committee, as a funder, as a Santa Barbara Foundation trustee or staff, as a media collaborator, and/or as a careful observer of the project. Many of you attended the public meeting held last Tuesday (July 15), and so this also serves as a response to that gathering.

There has been much said and written about Mission & State in the last two months; and I suggest that some of it has been unpleasant, some of it has been inaccurate, and some of it has been very important. It is not my intention with this letter to address the first two parts of that suggestion, but rather only the last part.

There is a larger story here, and it is about doing the right thing for the community. When the Santa Barbara Foundation learned of the push-back to its decision to award the management responsibility of the project to Noozhawk, it immediately scheduled a public meeting. Fifty-five people attended.

The meeting lasted nearly two hours, and I think there would be no disagreement that everyone was given an opportunity to say their piece. The conversation was candid, passionate and civil, and it was clear to me by the end of the interchange that the current management arrangement with Noozhawk did not have sufficient support among potential media partners for it to have a reasonable chance of widespread collaboration.

Accordingly, the Santa Barbara Foundation has decided, with the understanding of the principals of Noozhawk – who have acted honorably and with good intentions throughout – that the current management arrangement must be brought to an end. It is effective immediately (although there will be two more stories; one this week and one next week that will be published under the Mission & State banner).

Unfortunately, with this decision, the Mission & State experiment must come to an end. In an amicable discussion with the Knight Foundation yesterday morning, I learned that its clear preference is that a third iteration of Mission & State not be attempted at this time. We discussed several versions of an idea – which was raised at the public meeting – of a more streamlined (and perhaps more sustainable) model that provides a pool of dollars to an impartial board that would entertain requests from individual journalists and/or media entities to do longer-format stories of importance to the community. Knight believes that would not accomplish the aims of their challenge, which focused on developing new and innovative structural models that increase media cooperation and collaboration.

Knight doesn’t believe that we, as a community, have failed. This was a bold national challenge offered by Knight precisely because of the severe stresses on the journalism industry today. With ever-changing technology and consumer habits coupled with shrinking financial margins, it was their hope to help the industry find new ways forward. If it gives us any comfort, we are in good company. Relatively few of the Knight projects created long-term sustainable projects. Out of the 100 grants given, four have been singled out for additional funding by Knight.

This is a learning opportunity, and I think, once we catch our breath, a thoughtful postmortem is in order. Knight is hungry for “lessons learned.” So too is the Santa Barbara Foundation, and so, I am sure, are many of you.

In terms of next steps, we will be working with Knight, local donors, and Noozhawk to settle existing obligations, return (on a pro-rata basis) unused monies, and most important, commission a “white paper” on our nearly-three-year experience.

With all that said, it is time, I hope you agree, to move on. There is so much of importance that we can do together with creativity, innovation, generosity, and good will … all long-time hallmarks of this wonderful county.


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Sad to say good-bye.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 6:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

A well-deserved demise. Santa Barbara Foundation leadership has some 'splainin' to do for that million dollar debacle. Shocking misuse of donation dollars. But a willing seller did meet a willing buyer. And both sucker-punched the deal.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 6:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Scolding others while burning through other people's money is not new or innovative. It is business as usual in this progressive town. No wonder Knight found the project lacking and wants to move on.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 6:47 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Aside from JarvisFOOJarvis's typical dyspeptic and snide comments, it's really too bad. I liked M&S's longer articles, e.g. this one from Noozhawk July 9th -- -- which gave an in-depth response to typical charges the "IV student vote" distorts all of our local elections: the students' votes do NOT. Jarvis needs to read this one.
So much omnipresent "news", so much chatter and chaff, leads to "global provincialism" as so many have noted. My concern is that with the phony News-SUPPress (they printed CHENEY two weeks ago!), and the Indy's heavy emphasis on almost entirely local news (I know, I know, ya gotta get the local advertising $) we continue to parochialize and provincialize everything. Tiny e.g. -- folks in the Netherlands were so amazed that the Malaysian Airlines plane was shot down over the Ukraine: weren't they reading about the ACTUAL WAR going on there??! That several large military transport planes had been shot down there in recent weeks? Did they know -- you can check -- that British Airways and some airlines were flying AROUND e. Ukraine, but Malaysia, Lufthansa, many others blithely went across... This doesn't lessen the tragedy or take away from Russia's responsibility, but it does show how news organizations fail to "frame" world news appropriately, or offer much at all.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 11:43 p.m. (Suggest removal)

"The news" can help make the world a better place. Too much of the modern news machine "privilege[s] factually accurate, technologically speedy, impersonal, crisis-focused coverage..." leading to boredom and distrust of most of the foreign news. The Indy does a much better job of this, while still mostly emphasizing the local stuff.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 22, 2014 at 11:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan: I'm starting to think you don't like Foo.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 2:03 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Mission and State put out some great in-depth journalism and was unique in that regard.

Fortunately, I saved PDF copies of their series on the evolving economics of Santa Barbara and how that was linked to changing demographics and commuter traffic patterns. Insightful data that folks of all political stripes could appreciate.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 2:34 a.m. (Suggest removal)

DrDan: I'm starting to think you don't like Foo.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 2:03 a.m.

Really? What a brillaint observation clausen. How long did it take you to figure that out?

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 6:32 a.m. (Suggest removal)

EastBeach: thanks for the reminder of some of the past articles; the site is still up and I hope it will remain so. I don't recall that series; when was it and what was the title?

at_large (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 7:02 a.m. (Suggest removal)

City of Santa Barbara evolving demographics:

Present: 20% housing unit permanently dedicated to low-income non-discretionary spenders and frozen property tax base. Hardscape built out. Resources tapped out. No primary new industrial or commercial employers. Primary employers are tax-payer funded government services who are running large budget deficits.

Any changes in commuter patterns are driven outside of the City of Santa Barbara, primarily by Goleta.

Future: move most of county administration to North County; downsize city staff and make bike commuting or public transit mandatory condition for city employment, control SBCC expansive growth and become a local college dedicated to local needs, stop further expansion of subsidized low-income city housing, attract more pensioners with generous discretionary incomes, encourage year-round tourism, encourage high end real estate sales which can increase city's property tax base and reduce need for social services, clean up the downtown retail and entertainment district.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 10:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

@at_large, the lead article ("Which Way Santa Barbara", June 2013) plus source links and additional reading are here:

The same issue also featured a related SBCAG Regional Growth Forecast:

All very good big picture stuff.

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
July 23, 2014 at 10:17 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Thanks Ron for another socialist-democrat agenda driven money-wasting loser-ville effort to erode the New Press.

Buh-bye now.

realitycheck88 (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 4:55 p.m. (Suggest removal)

One guesses self-loathing is a requirement for donors to the Santa Barbara Foundation. They foster a stick it to the rich agenda and then ask the rich to keep funding their operations. Merge with the leftist Fund for Santa Barbara and be done with it.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 6:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Show me one instance of Mission & State publishing a "stick it to the rich" stance that wasn't guest editorial.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 6:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

the "New Press" = SB News-Press I assume, realitycheck, and it self-destructed years ago and we all observed it. McCaw and Nippleburger fired some longtime wonderful journalists, violated their labor rights, and the current wafer-thin irrelevant rag heads on down the tubes. Tom Storke is turning in his grave. Blaming it on Ron & SB Foundation is not only hilarious but also reflective of your tenuous hold on social/political reality: stay hiding out up there in your canyon.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 9 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Noozhawk has a good analysis of what went wrong with Mission and State on many levels. SB Foundation easily carries the blame - they handled the disbursement of the monies and allowed it to go down the drain on this highly flawed product. Failed stewardship by SB Foundation management does not encourage future donations or grants.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 9:13 p.m. (Suggest removal)

When referencing another news source, please be so kind as to include link to pertinent article.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 9:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Title is a give away - MacFadyen: Setting the Record Straight about Mission and State


Only thing missing in the article is identifying the "local media" who went ballistic over Noozhawk's possible association with this failed website, in efforts to rehabilitate it. Not sure why leftist writer Josh Molina comes in for special treatment, but there you have it.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 10:06 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thank you very kindly JarvisX2.
Molina isn't a Leftist, I can introduce you to some authentic Leftists. Many establishment Leftists in Santa Barbara are as "Left" as Dwight Eisenhower (and I like Ike.) But they're hardly Leftists.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 10:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Josh Molina is hardly a "leftist"! agree KV. Initially, according to MacFadyen, these news organizations were very favorable toward partnering with M&S, "the enthusiastic commitment from KEYT and its KCOY and KKFX affiliates — also known as Santa Barbara County’s largest news operation. Both the Santa Maria Sun and the Santa Maria Times also had signaled their interest, although the Times initially was opposed. Even the Daily Nexus at UC Santa Barbara was in."
Draw your own conclusions.

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 11:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)

" I can introduce you to some authentic Leftists. Many establishment Leftists in Santa Barbara are as 'Left' as Dwight Eisenhower (and I like Ike.) But they're hardly Leftists."

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 25, 2014 at 10:24 p.m

There will be a party this August 1st at 502 S. State Street hosted by (U guessed it) Kenneth McCormick Volok where every commie pinko Leftie and his brother will be attending.

Among the recreational activities will be the annual Tournament Of Darts where three dartboards, with pictures of Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, and new right-wing media darling Ted Cruz will be featured. After this, a séance headed by Master of Ceremonies Noam Chomsky will attempt to make contact with Ernesto "Che" Guevara.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 6:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Leftist Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz stated recently Ted Cruz, who was his HLS student, was "off the charts brilliant" and no one should under-estimate Ted Cruz.

Cruz is primarily a constitutionalist. Who is presently getting maligned by the professional Leftists in the worst possible way, which indicates he is the one they fear most for their own self-serving.

Ted Cruz is smart and insightful. Pay attention because he has fundamentally important things to say about the direction of our country, but you have to tune out the Leftist din sounded at the mere mention of his name.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 7:25 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Cruz is smart and very sly, indeed.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 8:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Alan Dershowitz is libertarian.

Ted Cruz is brilliant, but if his judgement is clouded by ideology, which it is, then only his ideology will benefit from his smarts. Hence, he fell flat on his face during the government shutdown.

And it is not just the left who have problems with Ted Cruz - a lot of Republicans in Congress are pissed at him.

And the RW noise machine is far louder than the LW din. How many stations is Rush on?

JJ, wrong again.

So far, I have not heard anything of any value from Ted Cruz. This with the proviso, that I do not consider everything Republican wrong. There are times when I have agreed with John McCain (and far more, when I have not), and there are some Republicans (generally old school) that I admire. However, thus far, Ted Cruz has proven to be a brilliant nutcase.

tabatha (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 8:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The direct Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz quote:

"U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas): “Off-the-charts brilliant. And you know, liberals make the terrible mistake, including some of my friends and colleagues, of thinking that all conservatives are dumb.

And I think one of the reasons that conservatives have been beating liberals in the courts and in public debates is because we underestimate them. Never underestimate Ted Cruz. He is off-the-chart brilliant. I don’t agree with his politics.”

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 11:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

The far more quiet strenghts of Ted Cruz among conservatives are growing. It is obvious he has few equals once conservatives themselves get past the Democrat din about him. Joke is on the Democrats trying to make Cruz into a "nut case", just like trying to turn Chris Mitchum into a toupeed porn star. Stick to ideas and ditch the slurs.

Not to worry, Cruz won't be stealing any Democrat votes, but he is steadily making inroads among Independents and even fellow .....Republicans. Only a 100 members in the Senate so his early stumbles there reaching too fast and too far do not define him. Others sense and support his urgency. No harm no foul outside of the old order in the Senate.

Personally I think he would make a terrrific Speaker of the House to rebalance our seperation of powers and control the Republican agenda, but obviously that is not going to happen. I hope he lays low for another term and becomes a highly effective Senate Majority Leader, or perish the thought an even more effective Senate Minority Leader, to give any future Democrat Senate Majority a run for it..

He is not yet ready for President and frankly see this executive function office as a waste of his skill set. We have now done rank amateurs in this office. Never again.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 6:05 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mitchum should embrace the porn star concept and run with it. It'd counter the image of Republicans as being boring and stale amongst the younger electorate. Get some photos with Mitchum, Ron Jeremy and a buncha hot girls. Have him host a Pasolini screening as a fundraiser - do meet and greets at the adult stores- million ways he could milk that if he had the guts.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 6:20 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mitchum was not so much of a traditional porn star. He was the star of exploitation movies in the seventies. He was like a white version of Shaft but in lower budget productions. He really was a poor actor and has spent the last three decades blaming the failure of his career on liberals in Hollywood.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 6:41 p.m. (Suggest removal)

He should skip highlighting the failure part and run with the image. the voters deserve some entertainment with everything they suffer thru each election cycle.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 6:59 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Mitchum is an experienced loser. I am sure that his impending ass kicking by Capps at the polls will be chock a block with crazy Tea Party and Culpepper hilarity.

Herschel_Greenspan (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 7:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

You see people, I *can* start an intelligent thread about politics. Life isn't all fun and games.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 7:07 p.m. (Suggest removal)

M&S is worthless with Noozhawk managing it; it's dead. Bolton and Macfadyen are right-wing editorial narcissists who support SB's corrupt power structure, are opposed to freedom of speech, and censor comments to create the delusion of community support for dumbed-down, error-ridden and biased journalism. It would be a better move for the community to end M&S and look for alternatives than to have a point of view radically skewed from reality represented by Noozhawk. They're also by far the most biased voice against the rights of the most needy citizens in the community - the voice of the 1%.
I hope there's an alternative.

14noscams (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 7:26 p.m. (Suggest removal)

great H-G, Mitchum 'the white Shaft' ... he could get elected on that!

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 7:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

20% of all city housing dedicated to low-income "needy" is not good enough for you noscams? Top that with your $40,000 social safety net in goods and services that requires no work other than cashing in on the benefits. (Social safety net: Food, housing, cash, medical, social services and legal services)

Tell us, what else is it that "needy citizens" are demanding. You still have a progressive city council so ask away and see what can top what you are already getting. Is it free drugs and booze that is still missing?

Read the hand-writing on the wall noscams: Donor fatigue and taxpayer backlash.

JarvisJarvis (anonymous profile)
July 26, 2014 at 7:38 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Well folks I hate to break it to you, but The Independent has, by fiat, become the de facto voice of the people by allowing us all to air out our views on these blogs.

Blogs have already become the media and many don't even realize it.

By the way, I didn't realize MacFadyen and Bolton were Fascists bent on destroying democracy--somehow that got under my nose in all the years I worked among them but I will run for cover if I see them coming down the street.

I think I better start being more careful around friends and family members as well.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
July 27, 2014 at 6:48 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I know Tom Bolton, he's a cool guy, 14!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 27, 2014 at 6:56 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I know Tom Bolton, he's a cool guy, 14!

DrDan (anonymous profile)
July 27, 2014 at 6:56 a.m.

I never said Bolton wasn't a cool guy! Oh wait, you're referring to noscams aren't you?

I'm getting tired of being mistaken for that person. This isn't working very well, so I may have to change my handle to avoid further confusion.

Anyone have any suggestions?

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2014 at 4:27 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I enjoyed the articles. I hope partisan politics didn't kill the project.

Beep (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2014 at 8:18 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Dolphin, just change your number. dolphinpod99

Beep (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2014 at 8:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
July 28, 2014 at 8:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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