Wrong Way, Armstrong

Capping two tumultuous weeks for Santa Barbara’s daily
newspaper, News-Press editorial writer Travis Armstrong — famous
for his blistering opinions — was arrested for drunken driving late
Saturday night after police noticed him driving the wrong way down
one-way Santa Barbara Street. Police, who reported a moderate aroma
of alcohol in the car, took Armstrong to the sheriff’s station and
administered a blood test. Armstrong said he had a few drinks at
the Bacara Resort — where he spoke that night — came home, had a
few more glasses of wine, and then went driving to clear his head
of work-related issues. He also indicated he would seek counseling.
Armstrong has been under fire of late from Santa Barbara Mayor
Marty Blum and 2nd District Supervisor Susan Rose, who charged
Armstrong with censorship because he would not allow them to appear
as guests on a public affairs radio show dealing with nonprofits.
The show — whose airtime was paid for by the Hutton
Foundation — was broadcast on KZSB-AM 1290, which is owned by the
News-Press parent company. Armstrong explained in a column that
Blum and Rose were not allowed on the Hutton Foundation show
because they had declined to appear as guests on his own radio
show. Blum countered that she had indeed appeared as Armstrong’s
guest, while Rose — a frequent target of Armstrong’s venom — said
she refused because she wouldn’t receive fair treatment. In the
midst of that controversy, News-Press publisher Joe Cole abruptly
announced his resignation from both the newspaper and the
newspaper’s parent company, explaining he hoped to spend more time
with his children. Arthur Von Wiesenberger — the longtime fiancé of
News-Press owner Wendy P. McCaw — is replacing him temporarily.


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