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Comments by cj138

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Posted on February 20 at 10:38 a.m.

I agree that SIMA is a business looking to make money. But honestly, their rigid business model had led them to have VERY high vacancies and I seriously doubt their agressive attitude has maximized profit as effectively as it has squandered good will.

For example: there is no way you can convince me (short of uploading a complete audit of SIMA's books showing otherwise) that they could not have made MORE money renting out the 1129 restaurant space CONTINUOUSLY at a cut rate price rather than vacant for more than 50% of the time over the last decade.

It should be noted that SIMA's high vacancy rates have happened even in the "good" economic times. I sincerely hope they lose a ton of money right now so that they re-think and change the way they do business in a substantive manner rather than hire a new young face for PR.

I should also add that I am not bashing SIMA for negativity's sake. I want the beautiful and underused courtyard spaces back - plain and simple. They are a tremendous community resource that has been squandered and mismanaged by a number of people (as mentioned in previous posts). But SIMA has been doing the msot damage for a while now and they are in charge so it is their responsibility to fix it.

On Wine Cask Evicted

Posted on February 19 at 12:17 p.m.

Well folks that was it for our loveley courtyard spaces in the Downtown area.

We only have El Paseo restaurant left.

Restaurants and businesses have come and gone with rapid frequency in all of our beautiful downtown courtyard spaces for decades now. None of these businesses work out for a variety of reasons. Right now I mostly blame SIMA, which owns the bulk of them. They are only interested in jacking up the rents as high as they can possibly go without actually working with the businesses trying to rent, to work out a real plan for long term success. It's greed plane a simple. They would rather have their marquee spaces sit vacant downtown than compromise on price - which they have done repeatedly.

I predict all of El Paseo and the 1129 property to be exclusively inhabited by law firms, upscale chains and private fund managers within the next 5 years (and a large portion of them vacant of course) unless SIMA actually changes the way it runs its business or sells out.

Rather than a puff piece on "Our Friendly Commercial Real Estate Brokers" (like last week) how about an investigative piece on SIMA that is similar in detail to the Michael Brown article?

On Wine Cask Evicted

Posted on February 6 at 10:10 p.m.

Just out of curiosity JustFacts why do you hold up Ventura County as an example of an effectively run County Government? Would your own personal political views have anything to do with it?

On Executive Privileges

Posted on February 6 at 10:04 p.m.

[discussion]
Mr Alexeef had barely a year to make critical changes at Planning & Development and could not do it. Okay, so how long has Mr. Brown been in charge of P&D? More than three times as long. Did he change it or make it work? No.

He has replaced many of the upper management positions with people who are seen as intelligent, but not planners (as this article mentioned). Did they make any significant changes? Not really. Most of these people have tried certain things but found themselves over their head and well beyond the learning curve. He believed that the enemy was within and caused either directly or indirectly the vast majority of P&D staff the leave. Did that fix anything? No.

The enemy wasn't the planners or their managers but it is in the actual zoning ordinances and county policies which are a tangle of endless policies that contradict each other as well as State law.

In my opinion Mr. Brown's weakness is that he manages the County on idea that anyone can manage any department without understanding its functions or the laws that govern its operations. He believes that by merely using methods like "ACE" or "managing government as a business" or some other fad in organizational management, all things can be overcome. Well it didn't work in Tucson and it hasn't worked here. Sometimes understanding how an organization works is actually helpful in improving its operations.

Here's another example: The Public Defender left after Mike Brown read him the riot act for not playing along and agreeing to cut his budget. The DA agreed to cut their budget but the PD's office refused to play along. Mr. Brown was incensed and saw this as betrayal and typical behavior of a bureaucrat. The DA's office left the PD hanging out to dry on this one and it is partly their fault in not helping Mr. Brown understand how the law works.

There is a key difference here - the District Attorney can decide whether or not to take a case. If they think it is NOT in the best interest of the public they can not pursue a case or cut it short or limit time spent on it and that is that. The DA has direct control over their case load and that gives it the ability to cut staff and trim back case load in times of budgetary crisis.

The Public Defender has the Constitution in its way. Every person in this Country has the right to legal council. It is the public that decides its caseload not the PD. If 100 people are charged with crimes and need public legal support (for any reason) the PD has to offer it up to all 100. I think Mike Brown forgets these simple facts in the heat of the moment and yes lets his ego and temper get in the way.

I don't think he is as bad as many people make him out to be, but I don't think he is the brilliant mind he or his followers think he is either. I do believe that Santa Barbara County can do better... and it should.

On Executive Privileges

Posted on February 6 at 10:03 p.m.

I rarely comment on the Independent website because comments are limited to the usual right-wing trolls (you know who they are). This article has interestingly brought out another minority opinion to the forefront: supporters of Mike Brown. An extreme minority to be sure - especially among those that work at the County.

I am certain that most of the defending comments come from members of the CEO's office - they are nothing if not loyal. This is not necessarily a criticism by the way. The other defending comments are from those like Andy Caldwell; a supporter of Mr. Brown because he hates County government and follows the simple (and often fallible) logic of "the enemy of my enemy is my friend."

The facts are these: Mr. Brown has made many insensitive comments about minorities and especially women in the workforce and most of them were not reported in this article. He does have a bad temper and he does seem to value loyalty over qualifications not unlike our recently outgoing president. Again this is not a bad thing if it works. Well has it worked for the County?
... [discussion to follow]

On Executive Privileges

Posted on November 20 at 6:41 p.m.

"Legendary status" among the skating community is a fair if even understated comment.

The T-Bowls had a great skateboarding revival in the late 80s when me and several of my friends spent days of work digging out the dirt from the lower Bowl. That ended when it was re-dynamtied in 1990 (or 1991?)... rumor was that it happened after one young fellow skater got a concussion and his parents threatened legal action. A terrible and predictable shame if true.

Also vandals destroyed some of the more amazing fountains (the stepped basins that empied out into the lower bowl) around 1987. Since 1987, there has not been much to look at as far as the fountains were concenred. However the view from the ruins of the house at the top of the trail is a more sepctacular and unobstructed version of the view from the top of Cold Springs Trail.

One other thing... I am not a botanist, but there were some very unusual and beautiful plants along the main trail.

On The Unusual History of the Tea Fire's Point of Origin

Posted on May 23 at 1:37 p.m.

The point Mr. Duncan made is valid. Pappas should not take credit for things he did not do.

Similar to Pappas I see "sbcres" is also engaging in exageration and hyperbole - campaign staffer perhaps?
So much to point out and yet so little time.

The POLO lawsuit was not the *only* thing that stopped Fess Parker and the Casino getting together - that was a very tenuous deal at best.

And the closed SY Airport Landfill collected community waste for 11 months in 1969 - hardly the "years of contaminated waste" described in your post. Pappas wrote a letter of opposition as did others, but I will give you both credit for making stuff up.

On None

Posted on May 16 at 2:48 p.m.

I totally disagree with the implication of Mr. Pritchett's first comment.

This IS Conservative commentary exemplified - hate & hyperbole. And for the most part they are NOT fine. Horowitz is an excellent standard bearer, let's not pretend otherwise.

On David Horowitz Provokes Extreme Response with Anti-Arab Remarks

Posted on May 16 at 10:28 a.m.

The only hole in the argument I heard for removing the Indian Head as a mascot is that many people claimed to speak for the entire Native American community and that they were unified in opinion. They weren't and they're not. However, they are speaking for the majority of Native Americans and the majority of Native American institutions. They are also speaking from a position that is shared by most national academic institutions (including the NCAA).

Ask yourself: Why is it that the Indian head (complete with red-red skin and big nose) is okay to put on things, but if we placed a characterized black man in black face or squinty-eyed east Asian man we would be offended? It is a double standard in society with many causes. Partly because the Indian head is still common and the people it is supposed to represent are less than 1% of the population... a population incidentally that is disporportionately rife with poverty, low education levels, high suicide and poor health. All of these problems facing this community are a result of being systematically marginalized (first by war/murder and later by isolation) for hundreds of years.

This type of damage done to a people and a culture doesn't go away in a short period of time... nor does their resentment. So I can understand (even as a white American) how if I claim to use characatures of Native Americans (and their symbols or names) as a way of "honoring them" some of the members of that community... probably most of them... might get a little pissed off. Predictably a common response by a large number of the "Keep the Indian Head" faction is to counter that emotion by getting even more pissed off. Well touche... way to show how people can't get along.

The primary arguments for keeping the Indian head are the same arguments that were used to support segregation. The majority of kids (and their families) are opposed to the change and its part of the history and identity of the local community. The comaprison to segregation is not an unfair one incidentally considering that the Carpinteria school district was one ofthe last in the State to desegregate. The irony: they kept latinos out of white schools by saying "ethnic indians" (of both the US and Mexico) were too different from white kids so they needed seperate (but equal) "indian" schools.

On Warriors Speak Up

Posted on May 7 at 5 p.m.

A disappointing album - and this is coming from someone who places their debut of "Dummy" in their top ten of all time.

On Portishead

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