Tuesday’s On the Beat

barney%208-22.jpgGETTING GASSED: “Having

just returned from Sacramento, where gasoline is available at $2.97

a gallon, it still puzzles me why Santa Barbara’s prices are so

much higher,” notes Goletan Gary Lapman. “Are there special

requirements by our county regarding the formula for the product

sold here, or is all gas in California the same? I shudder every

time I see the record profits that the oil companies are bringing

in currently. I’m sure it would bother me ever so slightly less if

everyone were paying the same price. What, besides the obvious, is

so damned special about Santa Barbara? Is it that we are just too stupid

to protest and will pay the price because the appearance is that we

can well afford it? Any idea if the so-called ‘gubmint’ has checked

into the oil companies record profits and their legality (re:

gouging)?” Gary, I’ve been asked this same question for decades.The

best answer I ever got from anyone involved in petrol policy is:

“Everything costs more in Santa Barbara, doesn’t it?” Like real

estate. Oil companies charge more here because they can get it.

It’s what the traffic will bear, and I guess we have to bear it

until someone figures out a way to lighten the load. Meanwhile, we

can drive less, use alternative transportation like

the bus, drive

fuel-efficient vehicles, ride bikes, or fuel the family buggy with used cooking oil. The

government is of no use here, since Big Oil

and the automotive industry have a firm grip on the steering wheel

in Washington.

ORPHANS BANISHED: Why, readers ask, was the

orphans’ mariachi band from Mexico that played on the Mission steps

during Fiesta Pequena refused permission to play inside at the

mass, as has been traditional for many Fiestas? The word I get is

that there’s a new administration at the Mission that vetoed

mariachi music in the hallowed halls. Oddly, the kids did play at

Our Lady of Sorrows, I’m told.

MORE PIZZA: Is there some trendy significance

to the fact that JR’s service station on the Mesa is giving way to

Giovanni’s pizza parlor? Putting food in your

mouth instead of petrol in the tank? Realtor Scott Williams reports

that Danny and Debra Babai, who began Giovanni’s restaurants

more than 20 years ago, are building at Meigs

Road and Cliff Drive. There’ll also be another commercial unit, an

office space, and four residential units.

SWEET SAVOY: One of the best things about

moving over to The Independent is that the delightful

Savoy Truffles café and deli (24 W. Figueroa St.) is so close. Paul

and Kathy Shields (Dos Pueblos High grads with my kids) opened it a few

months ago. You help yourself to soup and salad or order a sandwich

or dishes from the showcase and relax. Paul learned his stuff at

San Ysidro Ranch and 10 years with Lazy Acres. (The name, of course, is from the

Beatles’ song. Words are posted by the door,

fortunately, because I could never quite catch up with the lyrics

while listening.)

KONA KOUNTRY: Restaurant king John Scott (The

Harbor and Longboards, El Paseo, Harry’s Café, and the Tee-Off,

plus Scotch and Sirloin at the Ventura Harbor) has opened the Kona

Ranch House on Calle Real in Goleta. Menu includes a 28-ounce

rib-eye paddle steak, luau pork ribs, and huli-huli chicken.

PIRATES TO SHOOT: Guadalupe Dunes

will be the scene of a shoot for Disney’s upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean III, according to Martine White, county

film commissioner. No date set for the three days of shooting.

WHERE’S THE SAUSAGE? Elza Petersons found me

during Fiesta to explain why the Edelweiss Choir

stopped selling those juicy sausages at the Northside Mercado

during Old Spanish Days. “They raised the fees every year,” until

it became impossible to stay, she said. “We’re nonprofit.” But you

can find their sausages and sauerkraut at places such as the

Goleta Lemon Festival and Carpinteria Avocado Festival, she told me.

GOT A PET?: Realtor Nancy Nolan and Amy Love

have started WeTakePets.com, aimed at helping responsible pet owners

to find rentals and other pet resources in Santa Barbara.

HEALIN’ THE OCEAN: Hillary Hauser has rounded

up Seinfeld star and Montecito resident Julia Louis-Dreyfus to be honorary chair of Heal the Ocean’s

benefit concert September 30 at QAD in Summerland. For info, call


9/11 HYMN: Lacy David

reports that her “An American Hymn,” written with Lee Holdridge,

will be sung by New York cop Daniel Rodriguez to commemorate the fifth anniversary

of 9/11 on the Crystal Cathedral broadcast around the world, and that

evening on the Chabad Telethon.


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