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Posted on June 3 at 8:26 a.m.
Don, you are so short-sighted sometimes, it's painful. Santa Barbara is not all there is in California. There are severely gerrymandered districts up and down the state, thus the need for Prop 11. Capps' district is the most notorious of all, in Congressional districts. It's known as the 'ribbon of shame' because it's a thin ribbon that runs along the coast and pulls together communities without a lot in common, but which always guarantee a Dem win. Some of the districts in Long Beach, which split the black community into little pieces, guarantee no challenger can mount a winning campaign to unseat an incumbent. Gerrymandering is real, go watch the documentary with the nebulous word in the title: Gerrymandering. Educate yourself, and then come back and make some less insular commentary for a change.
On Double Deadline
Posted on May 12 at 8:02 a.m.
I live near the lower Bath area where Pini owns whole blocks. Those blocks are dangerous, with scary gang bangers jammed in with fearful working class folks just trying to make it. Other tenants are sober-living homes where 8-10 men are jammed into a 2 bedroom house, and not a whole lot of sober living is going on. Major illegal dumping goes on in front of his decrepit buildings, and lower Bath looks awful. He even owns the neighborhood laundromat his tenants use, and half the machines don't work, and no refunds are given. It's really ironic how the Planning Commission and other planning boards sweat hedge heights, tree cuttings, fence style, setbacks, etc. But in Pini-land, entire slums are allowed to fester year after year, and no one does anything. Here's a man who is taking property rights to a whole new level, completely outside the city processes, and nothing can be done to stop him. The rest of us submit our plans faithfully, and those boards tweak this doorknob style and that window height. But he skirts all that openly, quite defiantly, and nothing happens. The city fines him. He doesn't care. The zoning dept goes after him. He doesn't care. We call to have the dump sites in to be cleaned up by the city monthly. That's our tax money subsidizing Pini. Think about that for a minute. The bottom line is there is seemingly no method available in our civic codes to stop this man doing this to his properties and his tenants, and taking whole neighborhoods down into slumville with him. We as neighbors are outraged, but there seems to be no redress available to us to stop this. He spent time in jail rather than fix his properties, and as soon as he was out, nothing changed.
On Dario Pini Nominated to Landlord Hall of Shame
Posted on May 5 at 10:20 p.m.
Wait, didn't the article say Self tried to find creative ways to keep the financing for the task force going?
On Can Rental Task Force Survive Budget Ax?
Posted on May 4 at 8:30 a.m.
Hi Holly,I don't think the article reflects very well the background issue that the subcommittee was talking about. The alcohol impact idea was actually Mike Foley's, the Director of Casa Esperanza, and it's a good one. The issue is that there are 2 shelters in the area, and there are 36 alcohol licenses on Milpas. The alcohol impact area helps reign in problematic liquor sellers who sell indiscriminately. While most alcohol vendors on Milpas are very responsible (Trader Joe's, Tri-County, and others) some create problems in the area. One opens at 6 AM and caters primarily to homeless men at that time. Another close by also starts selling alcohol at 6 AM, and is known for having inebriated individuals passed out on or near the property. The intent with the alcohol impact area designation is to help reign in problematic vendors, and hold them accountable. The article didn't crisply spell that out, unfortunately. All your other comments about various other retail outlets (downtown, the Valley) are right, and it's part of the landscape we're all standing on. Alcohol is portrayed in ads, and pushed by the alcohol lobby, as part of the 'good life' even though the social impacts are terrible, as you've pointed out.
On Subcommittee Tackles City’s Homeless Grievances
Posted on February 26 at 1:11 p.m.
Ortega Park has had a lot of upgrades, thank to the Franklin Advisory Committee's efforts to secure CDBG grants and RDA funding for it.
On Cabrillo Ball Field Brainstorming
Posted on February 26 at 10:37 a.m.
'a place now swarming with homelessness, drug use, aggressive behavior, and other illicit activities.' Not so - it WAS that prior to increased enforcement and the construction of the fence. Now, it's a nice open space with impromptu soccer matches, softball practices and games, and people picnicking and walking their dogs. This is a huge improvement! Love to see it go from this to a vibrant, busy, well-used recreation spot that youth gravitate to. It's the perfect location, and with something there that allows for tournaments, it could be a city jewel.
Posted on February 10 at 1:39 p.m.
Francisco's $36,000 annual salary wouldn't have even covered the bench-moving exercise. Maybe we don't need all these planners after all.
On Crunched by Numbers
Posted on February 6 at 9 a.m.
Holly, you're right. The count should not be used only to drive hysteria over homelessness, and call for more services, more money, more people helping the homeless. We should take that data, and note who's FROM here or the county, and prioritize services accordingly to our own first. Assuming the burden for other jurisdictions, and growing the industry, as you point out, is not a reasonable path. It feels like right now we're trying to help everyone, house everyone, and that's not realistic. Being truly effective at what we're doing regarding the homeless would be an improvement.
I also resonate with your statements on squeezing others. I am a struggling single mom, and I despair at times of ever being able to buy a home here, of being able to make it. This is a hard town to find great job prospects, and I've been tempted to leave for better career prospects, but my daughter is anchored here, and we've stayed to honor her need for stability. It can be demotivating at times to struggle like this, and then to see a chronically homeless man from out of state get housed within a year of arriving here, at our expense. I've known Santa Barbara-born families on the wait list for affordable housing for more than 5 years. Something's not right about this model...
I am volunteering for the count because I do care, and do want to make a difference, but I agree with what Holly articulates. The net goal should not be to ratchet up the call for ever more services, but rather use the data to drive the right services to the appropriate individuals. We do a lot of helping around here, but is it actually working?
On Hard Homeless Data
Posted on February 4 at 6:52 p.m.
Eyewitness (nice anonymous poster id yourself there) Peabody IS a public school. I live among the poor, in downtown, so be careful where you cast that stone. We do have a community organization, consisting of some neighbors who love and care for their area - what's the crime in this? "Sadly, that is what we have learned to expect from that certain narcissistic clique of well-funded connivers orchestrating their campaign to insinuate fear and hatred into the body politic ." I couldn't have summed you up better!
Posted on February 4 at 9:41 a.m.
One of the known side-effects from higher grade, potent pot being grown these days for dispensaries is that it produces paranoia in its consumers. Eyewitness might want to take note of that. Data for data's sake is silly. It's what you do with it that counts. The city is on the right track here. In progressive communities like Santa Monica, where they've been gathering the data on a yearly basis, they use it productively to drive service providers to target long-term chronically homeless, and drive for year-over-year reduction in numbers of homeless on the street. It's working, and it's compassionate. They've also withstood a recent ACLU challenge with the judge finding nothing in their collaborative program of helping the homeless is in any way infringing on their rights. How about we put down the bong and take a positive, productive view of the enumeration count, realizing it will surely help with the appropriate targeting of resources to help the homeless?