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Posted on October 21 at 5:07 p.m.
"Byrne, running as an independent, is trying to induce Democrats and Republicans to cross party lines and vote for her."Sharon Byrne isn't just trying, she has been successful. What was omitted from the story (and the author attended the press conference on Tuesday, 10/18 where many spoke in support of Sharon) were some of the names of people-Democrats, Republicans and Independents who are supporting Sharon. People like, Beverly King, Olivia Uribe, Tony and Caroline Vassallo, Chris Casebeer, me, Bob Hansen, Michael Merenda to name a few. She has support from Peter Jordano, John Dixon and many others in the business community, homeless advocates, neighborhood advocates and of course, Santa Barbara's Police and Fire. And to suggest that she only ran because electeds weren't responsive to MCA demands, is a flat out misrepresentation. The "Trouble in Paradise" march (which she helped organize) included people from all parts of the city, not just Milpas.
On Demonizing the Homeless?
Posted on August 26 at 8 p.m.
What is lacking in local elections is accountability to the community. When the city council just a few years ago had a chance to implement district elections, the highest and best form of neighborhood accountability, every one one the then City Council members-("Progressives included") ALL took a walk and denied working families, parents and their children the way to get the results they deserved. Local government is all about street lights, pot holes, schools and the ability to walk to their corner store to get whatever they need without feeling threatened or afraid. No wonder elected officials have no street cred, no wonder those without a voice are convinced no one really wants to hear what they have to say. No wonder voter turnout is depressed. No wonder those who enjoy the perks of power are just fine with the status quo. Unless you are supporting district elections, don't you dare tell me you care about the people.
On Dr. Gus Frias Steps Down After Falling Down
Posted on August 25 at 7:11 p.m.
These are are all wonderful insights as to what contributes to the neighborhood busting consequences of gang membership and the destruction of community that flows almost naturally from failing to invest in our children. Let's move from the abstract to the practical-mothers with children in hand who have to navigate the real streets of their neighborhoods and confront the dangers on their sidewalks, who drag wagons with 5 gallon water bottles to get clean water to cook their meals, who try to shield their kids from the "urban" Santa Barbara reality,-some are criminals who should be kept away from everyone, some are kids who follow a convenient model, most are those who see no hope.
Posted on August 24 at 9:37 a.m.
"...In previous public remarks, Frias had lamented the lack of useful data most nonprofits and service agencies compiled by which such evaluations could be made..."So my question is, when the funds $$ were granted to the various organizations that said they were going to deal with gang issues, why were there not performance standards included? Why wasn't anyone thinking about the significance of collecting data so that at some point an assessment could be made of the efficacy of the effort? And when the Milpas Community Association introduced some SB City Councilmembers to a proven gang-intervention/prevention program why was that successful group ignored?
Posted on July 4 at 2:03 p.m.
And the very same oil company (PXP) that wanted to drill 30 new wells in California Sanctuary Act waters (about 4 miles off the Santa Barbara coast) is opposing AB 591 authored by Assemblymember Bob Wieckowski from Fremont. AB 591 would compel the oil companies engaged in "fracking" to disclose the chemicals used in the process. Recently AB 591 was supported by the LATimes.
Here's what the LATimes had to say: "...AB 591 from Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) would require companies to disclose the chemicals injected into wells, which would be posted on a state website. It's patterned on a similar bill in Texas that's considered by environmental groups to be a national model, though the California version goes further...."
Let's be grateful some California legislators are mindful of the importance of the environment and are working hard so we don't suffer the consequences of our innovations.
On Tarry Feet and Slimy Dogs
Posted on June 28 at 12:31 a.m.
"...he noted that Goleta, Santa Barbara, and Carpinteria’s prevention and intervention programs have plenty of room for improvement..."
Sermon sounding or not, the question is-years ago, before the $$ left the city/county bank, who was supposed to ask about performance based evaluations so that taxpayers and their elected representatives would be able to assess the success or failure of any particular program in order to decide if more $$ should be spent in support of the effort? Why weren't those kinds of standards initially incorporated in the contract for services?
Who-back then-had the responsibility to be sure taxpayers received value for their money? Shooting the messenger (Frias) is messy and does nothing except deflect attention away from the initial failure to act responsibility and anticipate the need to be accountable in the future to the community.
On Discussion and Drama at Gang Task Force Meeting
Posted on June 27 at 7:28 p.m.
Did anyone bring up the attempt to introduce new offshore oil drilling in California Sanctuary Act waters via the PXP proposal?
On Drill, Baby, Drill?
Posted on June 21 at 7:45 p.m.
Re: Primary fights under the new rules-not so important. Candidates need not identify their political party, decline to state voters get to vote in June for whoever they want-all the candidates will be listed on the same ballot, the candidates on the ballot in November are the two who received the most votes in June. We haven't had this kind of election before.
On Mapping the Future
Posted on June 21 at 7:38 p.m.
For those who feel this is too punitive-Privately owned Greka is the only oil company I know who was declined membership in WSPA (Western States Petroleum Association) and CIPA (California Independent Petroleum Association).
The manner in which Greka operated put them at an unfair competitive advantage because they flagrantly ignored regulations (saving money), regulations that responsible operators observed (spending money) to protect the environment, thereby reducing Greka's operating costs. Hundreds of thousands of gallons of crude and processed water (tainted with pollutants) were spilled by Greka for many, many years. Reports revealed a hole in a storage tank plugged with a tree branch. Santa Barbara County Fire repeatedly responded to spills, breaches of containment areas and other violations. If Greka had experienced marine spills, everyone would have known of it and been outraged. As it was, inland spills that threaten blue line streams and our watershed rarely get the attention they deserve.
A single Greka spill in 2007 was about 35,000 gallons. In a 30 day period Greka spilled almost as much as the Cusco Buson in the San Francisco Bay.
Greka's owner has been described as the "Next Energy Billionaire." Instead of investing $$ in the ancient, leaking oil infrastructure, $$ was spent elsewhere.
On U.S. Sues Greka
Posted on June 11 at 7:56 p.m.
New rules in the 2012 "primary" and general elections. New district lines for Congress, State Senate, Assembly and Board of Equalization.Two top vote getters in the "primary" or June election results run against each other in the general. All June voters get same ballot with all the candidates names. No more Democratic or Republican primary ballots. Candidates no longer have to identify their political party affiliation. These changes will alter the physics of the elections in ways that are not yet understood. The "Decline to State" or what are sometimes called "Independent" voters will play a much more important role in the "primary" then they ever have before.
On Redistricting Shakes Up Political Topography