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Posted on February 9 at 2:14 p.m.
A weekly platform for disinfo queen Kathy Swift and PODER to spew forth? Yet another astonishing move by the Independent, and proof that Santa Barbara still desperately needs a respectable newspaper that the people - not just ideologically-biased factions on the extreme left or right - can rely on for honest reporting and the truth.
On The People's Voice
Posted on February 4 at 2:46 p.m.
Unfortunately, Carolee is right. This state is exporting water we don't have to China in the form of things like high-dollar almonds and even rice. It's past time to rethink what's sustainable in a drying climate, profitability aside. One gallon per nut is just that - nuts. Allowing agricultural interests - whether family farmers or mega-corporations - to pump as much groundwater as they can is as negligent as letting the oil industry inject whatever they please back down into the aquifers the state depends on. If resource management policy doesn't change soon, we'll watch a reverse Dust Bowl scenario play out.
On Drought and the Almond
Posted on January 29 at 2:12 p.m.
Unfortunately, despite great efforts by volunteers, the survey won't reveal much. That's because, as Nick suggests, getting the chronically homeless to answer over a hundred highly invasive and detailed questions truthfully, and then to give their permission to share that "confidential" data with a huge list of agencies won't be easy, coupon or not. It's something few folks would do upon being woken up or confronted by a stranger, especially anyone who is already fearful or has something to hide. If all the organizers do is count completed survey forms and report that result, it will be a tiny fraction of the actual number of people living rough around the streets, in their cars, and in RVs. Many won't even be found, and others won't answer the over-lengthy questionnaire accurately when they are. So this looks like a well-meaning academic research project, but unlikely to reflect the sad reality very well.
On Children of a Lesser Dog
Posted on January 23 at 3:29 p.m.
More proofs that a little disinformation goes a long way. First off, the BID is required to be a new independent entity, not an extension of the MCA or anything else. (BTW, the hostility expressed against that fairly young - and diverse - organization which has tried to help out, and has actually accomplished some pretty good things for the neighborhood, is pretty amazing.) Second, if the BID is smart, it will minimize its overhead so the limited funds the fees would generate can go to projects the members decide are important - maybe graffiti cleaning on non-city-owned property and/or helping work with people camping out in their parking lots and/or building a quick-reference directory to area automotive services or construction trades - but who knows? That would be up to the BID's members. The goal is to pull together to make the area's business environment healthier for both big and small. One thing the association surely wouldn't do is to waste its money renting an office when a member could get a write-off for providing a little space, and especially not paying rent for a separate community organization that doesn't even need one.
On The Eastside Assessment Reaches Beyond Milpas
Posted on January 19 at 10:30 a.m.
Very useful explanation. Thanks.
On Don't Discount Isla Vista
Posted on January 10 at 9:31 a.m.
Let us not, in reacting to the massacre of free speech at Charlie Hebdo, overlook the equally - even more - reprehensible anti-semitic terrorist attack on innocent patrons of the kosher grocery store in Paris.
On Je Suis Charlie
Posted on January 9 at 3:22 p.m.
Thank you, Indy, for standing up for freedom of speech and recognizing the significance of the murders in Paris - not that they are the first nor the last time journalists and satirists will be attacked. When fanatics of any stripe resort to vandalism and violence in attempts to bully voices they don't like into submission to their particular beliefs, it's a slap against everybody's right to free expression. When the simple expressing of an idea warrants the death penalty, something is fundamentally wrong with the system that promotes that. All the cultural sensitivity and political correctness in the world can't justify such things.
Posted on December 19 at 1:21 p.m.
It's great that the collection is now in the public library. I only hope borrowers take as good care of it as the radio pros doubtlessly did. So thanks to those who worked so hard assembling this musical treasure. However, it's genuinely tragic the the Santa Barbara Foundation sold out KDB to a conglomerate, albeit a non-profit one. I still don't understand how they managed - or mismanaged - to sacrifice this wonderful and unique piece of Santa Barbara culture.
On Classical Music Collection Going to Library
Posted on December 3 at 7:59 p.m.
Festive holiday lights went up along Milpas today (Wednesday) thanks to the contributions of many neighborhood businesses and the extra special generosity of a few. MCA volunteers have been going door to door for donations so the association could lease the lights and then pay for things like city-mandated insurance and the holiday parade. This year, the Santa Barbara firefighters donated the holiday tree for the roundabout. Volunteers will put it up and decorate it.
The Milpas parade has always been a community effort for the kids, and it's historically been run by volunteers who take it on for a while but then fall away. New ones then have to step up to pick up the slack, but that’s a poor approach to sustainability. There was no parade in 2010. The MCA brought it back in 2011, and have been putting it on since.
If you aren't a merchant who’s paid to paint over graffiti, or had drunk transients fighting outside your office, or lost business due to the encampment around the corner or the drug dealing at the corner, or passed the guy with the shopping cart who needs to be in housing and rehab, then the work of the MCA will be lost on you. But for those who live and work here, the neighborhood is safer and cleaner than it was even a short while ago. It’s a great place to live, but those improvements depend on continued voluntary contributions.
The way to ensure progress is a business improvement district (BID). Downtown has a BID, created in 1967, that cleans their sidewalks, puts on their parade, their holiday decorations, tree, and First Thursdays. The MCA, in pursuing a BID for the Eastside businesses, was mandated to hire a consultant by the city. They were then required to present a preliminary proposal to the City Council before they were allowed to do outreach to the community-at-large. The Eastside's BID would ultimately be shaped and approved (or not) by the Eastside businesses.
Compared with Downtown, the Eastside business district plan is very modest, but sufficient to pull off events, keep things cleaner, work with the city and other agencies, and promote the businesses, both small and large, that have made this area their home. If the businesses don’t want it, there will be no BID. But this community can no longer continue to rely on the efforts of volunteers for these kinds of services on an ongoing basis. EBID is the way to provide them.
Let the businesses decide if they want a better business district.
On Making Things Better on the Eastside
Posted on November 23 at 3:19 p.m.
Congratulations to the team and its supporter network for engaging in this restorative approach since neither compassionate enabling nor cold 'move it along' tactics helps chronic street people and addicts to get their lives back together. Most residents don't recognize the huge costs associated with homelessness, and some of the parallels of the 1930s Great Depression have been conveniently forgotten with stocks over 17k as the middle class erodes. Restoring lives and helping people get off the downward spiral and back to productive functionality with some hands up instead of out is great.
On Restorative Court Celebrates Three Years of Improving Lives