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Posted on March 13 at 3:32 p.m.
Casa Esperanza's financials can be found at Guidestar and Charity Watch. Theirs are years out of date, but show a budget overrun of nearly $1 million dollars for the last year they filed, in 2011. Foley's salary is listed as $131,000, far above that earned by other homeless shelter directors in Santa Barbara. They also pay a board member $214,000 for ACCTING, DEVELOP, and ADMIN. For years, the homeless said that place is all about $$$$$. Guess they were right. http://www.guidestar.org/FinDocuments...
On Homeless Shelter Directors Laid Off
Posted on March 9 at 11:37 p.m.
I think John_Adams is missing the point. Sonos is a great high tech company founded by a guy who founded an earlier great high tech company. That earlier company, after a lot of international success, 'merged' (was absorbed) by a Silicon Valley firm that moved north within a few years, took their high tech jobs with them, and shuttered the Santa Barbara offices. So his latest company, Sonos, like the one before it, imports a lot of high tech workers into Santa Barbara because this is a tiny labor market, and many of the skills they need can't be found here. So when they expand and rent a lot of office space for all these imported high tech workers, that's great for low office vacancy, bike programs and the like. Oh wait, if most of their workers are non-Santa Barbarans, where are those folks going to live? Why, in that new downtown housing with no parking that you love so much! At least until they start families and want houses with lawns and garages. So what about the families you displaced from the low-income downtown areas to build that 'workforce' housing with biking and no cars? The families currently living here are mainly Latino, and have vehicles for their constructions, plumbing and gardening jobs. They sure can't do that uber-cool bike commute thing you advocate for so often! Well, who cares about them??? Make room for the urban hipster high tech workers from across the USA! And then we've become Portland, Seattle, Austin, suburbs in Boston, or the East Village in NYC.
If I am not mistaken, you, sir, are a major local Democratic Party henchman, and you advocate here for evicting the very Latino families you court every election so you can displace them with these transplanted high tech workers to fill Sonos' offices and thus prove your little urban-living, bike-commute experiment notions are 'right on'.
At least until they move to the 'burbs to start families, and start voting Republican.
Be very careful... you might get what you wish for.
On Sonos Leasing Gobs of Downtown Property
Posted on October 24 at 10:13 p.m.
Mayor Schneider was right on in that op-ed. Murillo is blustering around blindly, misled, and misinformed. Pritchett is a fool to defend her on these pages, but then again, it was probably his wonderful 'coaching' that encouraged her into this swamp. I'd love to see him get the police and city attorney to say, sure, I'll hand you back my salary from the hours I worked on the injunction. Those hours are sunk costs, because they would have been spent anyway, whether working on the injunction, or something else. It's not like you can siphon off money from full-time staff salaries to fund some program (as of yet undefined) that magically makes this social problem go away. The poor turnout at Cathy's anti-gang injunction meeting last weekend tells the real story on where the public stands on this one. 50 people are pissed. That's all. And some of that headcount was media looking for something controversial to write about, but they didn't find it there. Only Cathy / Pritchett doesn't want to believe that they are carrying a torch for a tiny minority that can't even read a legal document correctly. Those few agitators got them believing this 'movement' was much bigger than it really was. And as to this column, it is perhaps one of Nick's finest. Everyone got looked at, everything got sifted, and it was pretty darned unbiased overall. News story? No. But spot on, regardless.
On Getting to Four
Posted on December 18 at 12:59 p.m.
Good one, Stumbling_Distance! Blowhard John_Adams will be along presently to pompously defend Murillo with all manner of snark attacks on your person.
On Man Charged with Felony Assault After Downtown Stabbing
Posted on July 8 at 12:20 a.m.
Well said, dagny. This is exactly how it is in the area. I should know as I too am a close neighbor to the shelter. To those who poo-poo these kinds of conditions, you don't know what's going on, so quit acting like you do. To john_adams (what a terrible disservice you've done that American patriarch by stealing his name) do some homework. Only ONE business in the immediate area around Casa Esperanza sells alcohol, and he's responsible in his sales practices, as I've seen him run homeless out of his store. The other 18 businesses in the surrounding area that the shelter is supposed to patrol according to their permit (I've read it), do not sell alcohol and yet they are overrun with criminal activity from Casa Esperanza clientele. We've spent thousands on security systems too, and called the police repeatedly. We too are stunned to find out the shelter is supposed to enforce behavior in the area. It has never happened. Their security guard smokes cigarettes and watches as the transients sell drugs and fight on our property. We called their main desk and they asked us how we got this number???? It's way past time for this to stop.
On Good News, Bad News for Casa Esperanza
Posted on June 7 at 8:22 a.m.
I don't know, Nick, if you can lay the blame on this at the NewsPress' feet. Voter turnout here was 40% or so. So, first, more than half of registered voters didn't even bother to weigh in on this one. Second, there have been a lot of news stories about the state's $45 billion education budget (half of the entire state budget), and yet we still can barely beat Mississippi in education. Some of those stories point to the CTA as culprit, and where there's smoke... Parcel taxes used to be a one-time stopgap measure to deal with temporary emergency budget cuts by the state. They're getting an air of permanence now, and taxpayers are questioning that, rightly. Blame failure to pass W&X on low voter turnout, blame it on fatigue with spending ever more on education to get poorer results, blame it on the teachers' unions, or blame it on the state. You'd be right on all counts. I can't stand the NP, but even I don't think they can totally take the hit for W&X's failure to pass.
On Dog in the Manger or Mangy Dog?
Posted on May 24 at 11:42 a.m.
Pritchett, the deal is you don't know which kind of animal you're going to get before it moves in. There's no permitting or regulations on who can open and run a sober-living home. Some are ok. I just happen to live near 3 that are bad operators.
On Mesa Residents Block Sober Living House for Women
Posted on May 24 at 7:37 a.m.
Ken, I think the lack of qualifications or certification was what was most enlightening when I poked into the operation of these facilities in my area. I worked with a guy who had been remanded to one for 6 months. 14 months later, still there. Why? He couldn't pay the $800 per month rent for 1/2 a room. So the facility wouldn't clear him with probation and he was stuck. He was going to become homeless, a probation violation, so I intervened and helped him work with probation to get him out of there. This is the same place the stabbing happened. The 'counselor' was himself a probate for drug use, and was not keeping an eye on the tenants, letting a lot of slides happen. After talking with the management, I realized this was just a business. They wanted rent, and results were secondary. No one had counseling credentials, or drug-alcohol licensing. It explained the shady set - remanded inmates serving out a sentence, and with little incentive to comply or get sober. Some were dealing at the corner while staying there. Without any kind of regulatory oversight on these things, or the ability to feed data back into the probation department that they're poorly run, people keep getting remanded to facilities that really have no business existing. If Mesa residents don't want that in a residential single-family neighborhood, can't blame them one bit.
Posted on May 23 at 9:18 p.m.
Fair enough. I don't think most people understand the business side of sober-living facilities. You don't usually go there voluntarily to dry out. You're remanded there after DUIs or drug violations by the court instead of serving out a jail sentence. Now, once you get in one, they want $700-800 a month for rent and 'program services'. Program = occasional breathalyzer and maybe some counseling. The people who run sober living facilities of 6 or so individuals are often renting a house (usually a Pini one), and collecting $800 per month from 6 individuals while paying out $2000-2500 a month for rent. Nice little business, and you don't have to have any real qualifications to run one. Which means a lot of these are shady operations where there isn't a whole lot of sober-living going on. I live near one of these. We see the tenants buying booze at a nearby liquor store, drinking around the corner, and shuffling back to the facility. Today they're a resident, tomorrow they might be gone. Lot of transitory folks coming in and out. Some of them are on the shady side, and those usually are here for a couple of weeks and then gone. Some end up generating late night 911 calls. One sober living facility featured a remanded resident stabbing another to death in the neck in 2008. I can totally understand if someone doesn't want that in their neighborhood. Really.
Posted on May 11 at 7:46 p.m.
Very true, Holly. Homeless, Inc. Merchants-of-Misery. Poverty Pimps. Gangs, Inc. Government employees that make better wages than the high tech sector now, and have retirements and health care benefits. It's a big business around here, and to grow it requires ever more 'clients'. So everyone in the biz of 'helping' is in the real business of enabling and growing the enabled. Net result: more homeless, and a gang problem that never goes away. It's great being a provider! Come to the dark side! We have cookies over here...
On Suspected Gang Member Violates Bail Agreement
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