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Posted on November 6 at 5:05 p.m.
I hope the city learned something from this once again low turnout election. Let's get back to the way elections are supposed to be run in America -- neighborhood polling places, local precinct workers who know their neighbors watching the polls, the ability to insert your own ballot into the ballot box, an election official making sure the person voting is actually the registered voter, etc. This kind of vote by mail may save the city a little money -- but what price do the voters pay? City officials receiving ballots directly, city officials are able to check the voters name and ballot number on the envelope as well as inked bubbles on the ballot inside and thus being able to discern who voted for whom (so much for secret ballots), etc. I'm certain this was another bright idea from our ego-maniacal city administrator -- who incidentally, almost all city employees work for (hmmmm?).
And then there's the election results themselves! Surprise, surprise -- no real change, no new faces, no new ideas, just more same ol', same ol'! Somebody on here referred to Bendy White as a "raving do-nothing". Wrong! He is not a raving anything -- he doesn't have an original thought to rave about! But, he is the epitome of a "do nothing" -- a timid, whining political empty suit.
And Hotchkiss? Well, what can I say? Frank is, by far, the least qualified and dimmest bulb on the dais and basically does what Francisco and Rowse tell him to do. I wonder if he ever played "The Shadow" when he was a D-List actor eons ago?
And Hart, like so many politicos, has no concept of what a conflict of interest really is. As a paid PR guy for the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG), he thinks there's no conflict to also be one of the leaders of a SBCAG member city. Me thinks he's got no other job or source of income and needs to hang on to that income. The other cities ought to raise a big stink over that one. Ya really think he'll be impartial? (Ever hear of a bridge for sale in a New York City suburb?)
Now, that leaves us Helene -- the darling of the extreme left in this city who likes to act like the mayor actually runs this city -- what d'ya say about that, Armstrong? If she runs for Lois's seat sometime in the next few years, if elected she will get run over by the Washington political bull-dozers faster than she can even call for a blue tsunami-line around Washington DC in case the Potomac unleashes a tidal wave. Unless she has someone at her elbow telling her that to do, how to vote, what to way -- she'll be worse than Lois in Congress.
Well, the voters got what they deserved -- only slightly over 15% of the voters even bothered to vote! This election was a real tragedy!
On 2013 City Council Election Results
Posted on August 10 at 9:16 a.m.
The most offensive aspect of this for the taxpayers is that, actually, we are paying this employee twice for the same time for which he has already been properly compensated. The other problem is, I don't believe for a minute that anyone can go long enough to accumulate that amount of unused sick leave without having been sick at some time. So, this means either he came to work while sick and probably infected co-workers and the public -- or never recorded the days he was off sick. Or, maybe the same woman who collected (and embezzled) the parking ticket money at SBPD was also in charge of recording sick leave -- a quid pro quo?
On Retired Police Captain Cashes Unused Sick Leave for $115,900
Posted on July 11 at 9:42 a.m.
And, I forgot to mention our city management's newest tourist attraction -- almost hourly helicopter flights and landings in the middle of town!
On 99¢ Store Moving to Lower State Street
Posted on July 11 at 9:36 a.m.
Here we go again! Just one more backward spin in the downward spiral of State Street. It's already bad enough that out of town tourists, disembarking cruise ship passengers, and sightseers have to pass through a quasi-skid row, sleazy looking section of lower State St. amidst all of the bars and junk-souvenir shops before entering the "real" Santa Barbara downtown. Now we have our own deep-discount '99 Cents' store with cheap foreign made trinkets, wrong-sized clothing, child-endangering plastic toys, unsold and out-of-date supermarket products, packaged food with labels in foreign languages, and gaudy porcelain dishware and imitation statuettes!! Welcome to Santa Barbara, friends!! C'mon down and see what poor city management hath wrought on the once beautiful and picturesque 'American Riviera!' (cough, cough!)
Posted on June 19 at 3:54 p.m.
Nick hit this nail right on the head once again....(hmmmm, I wonder if that is what could have happened to Wendy some time ago!) The News-Press does itself no favors, nor any for the community, when it spews forth such inarticulate, ill-conceived, inept, and idiotic things as Nick references in this column. But, one thing has always bothered me about all of this, and it is something that gets very little, if any, media coverage. And that is the influence her affianced, carved-in-concrete-toothpaste-commercial-smile ‘svengali’, Arthur von Wiesenberger aka The Nipper, has on her. His having adopted the snobbish royal title of "Baron von Wiesenberger” a few years ago, obviously an attempt to burnish his growing reputation as Wendy's personal "Captain Hook" and aide d’ boudoir , I wonder if he can produce his royal birth certificate or his official Baronesque certificate? The Baron has now craftily maneuvered his way into a Rasputinish-close proximity to the 'McCaw Fortune', a quantum leap forward from having been a local barkeep and self-promoting food and wine connoisseur extraordinaire. (And, ignorant me, I had always thought that there was only one Baron in the McCaw media circles – Baron Ron Herron. ) Anyway, I think it’s a valid question to ask if The Nipper is truly Wendy’s “svengali” in many matters especially in helping to turn the News-Press from a journalistic fine wine into sour vinegar. Just some Hell’s Kitchen food for thought!
On Dog in the Manger or Mangy Dog?
Posted on June 9 at 11:25 a.m.
The primary reason for increases in burglaries and robberies, as many studies have shown, is the absence of a physical police presence in that area. When burglars know that it is highly unlikely, if not improbable, that there might be a police officer cruising by, they know they have almost a zero possibility of being caught. The professional burglars case their target and know who the most vulnerable targets are, and when the best time of day is to hit the place. The only real unknown they must face is a patrol car cruising the neighborhood, but if there are none, then..............
In this town, when our police are consistently understaffed preventing them from conducting routine neighborhood patrols, helping to set up neighborhood watch groups, or keeping tabs on known burglar or burglary high risk areas, the burglar rates go up.
The poor leadership of our police department and our city government in this area is palpable. What is it going to take -- a resident getting killed in their own home by a surprised burglar caught in the act? Or, an officer getting shot after arriving at a burglary in progress alone because there aren't enough officers to provide him or her with a backup? Someone needs to look at police staffing levels in other similar cities and see what they have. I'd bet we'd be surprised.
On Santa Barbara Burglaries on Rise?
Posted on February 2 at 8:20 a.m.
Forgot to include another thought............since Covarrubias had reportedly earlier mentioned something about killing himself if this illicit relationship was discovered, and obviously his best, closest buddy on the department would have known this, any chance there was a pre-arranged scenario in play here?
On Arrest of Officer Goes Terribly Wrong
Posted on February 2 at 8:10 a.m.
Maybe this was suicide by cop, maybe it wasn't. Either way, it doesn't mean his colleagues had to kill him -- especially if there had been less loose talk about the investigation and his imminent arrest (which he had heard or been told) and better planning and execution (no pun intended) for such a dangerous arrest. Was there anything so urgent about this incident that would not have allowed the cops to arrest him in a safer environment? And, come to think of it, why was this female cadet allowed to work on this DUI checkpoint with him if they were already investigating the allegations? A lot of stuff doesn't add up here -- especially with the other shooting debacle back in December where two other SM cops were also shot by their fellow officers in yet another example of either failed training programs, or bad planning, or faulty supervision and fire control.
Posted on March 18 at 10:20 a.m.
Some of the prior comments regarding Eringer's column have touched on the key issue -- is Chief Sanchez honest and credible? Or, is he a prevaricator, an embellisher, a fraudster, a tax cheat, and an elder abuser. If what Eringer wrote in his News-Press column submission about the chief is true, regardless of whether the chief was contacted so he could lie once again, they are still true despite the News-Press firing him and refusing to print the column.
As other comments above also pointed out, aside from conning the city out of a half million dollars of taxpayer money in order to buy a house while concealing his ability to soon buy two rental homes in far-away cities, the legacy the chief is building for himself is quite disturbing. It is punctuated by rising crime rates in terms of increased gang activity and murders, and growing community dissatisfaction with his lagging leadership, and not to forget the questions about his truthfulness. Doesn't all of this sound familiar when put under the same spotlight as the AIG bonus scandals?
But it's not fair to cast aspersions on the whole police force due to the chief's increasingly apparent shortcomings and lack of ethical values. They're doing the best they can despite the odorous lack of leadership wafting out of the chief's office these days.
It's departure time, Chief.
On "The Investigator" Leaves the <em>News-Press</em>
Posted on March 2 at 8:32 a.m.
I still find it quite interesting that the police chief was in "full dress" uniform with all four stars of his rank glinting in the sun while attending a relative's wedding in a public park. I can't help but wonder why would he be wearing his uniform to a wedding -- ego, show-off, Little Napleon complex, his only civilian suit was in the cleaners, etc.?? I don't know the Chief so I can't answer that.
But, I was playing golf the other day (a weekday) at a course in the city when I saw the chief himself out on the course obviously also playing a round. He wasn't in uniform then, yet it was in the middle of a regular workday.
Does he have trouble making a decision as to when he's off duty or on duty? Or when to wear the uniform (at a wedding while off-duty) and when not (on a regular workday). It sure sounds like it. That makes me wonder about his decision-making ability on other things.
On Burning Hot Scoles vs. "Scam" Sanchez
A show about mistaken identity, schemes, hijinks and The Beatles! Read More
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