Judge Denise de Bellefeuille brought the gavel down on
Carpinteria City Councilmember Greg Gandrud, who challenged the
ballot language describing and supporting Measure D 2006 – the $1.6
billion congestion relief and road repair sales-tax increase – as
false and misleading. After hearing six hours of hair-splitting
arguments, de Bellefeuille ruled that Gandrud – an ardent opponent
of Measure D – raised legitimate concerns, but failed to meet the
burden of proof. Measure D proponents were gratified by the judge’s
ruling, but still face an uphill climb in persuading two-thirds of
voters to support the quarter-cent sales-tax increase included in
the measure.

A longstanding danger zone among Santa Barbara County roadways
received a much needed fix this week as CalTrans workers installed
a three-way stop sign at the intersection of Highway 192 and Cold
Springs Road. According to officials, the addition is a direct
result of repeated accidents and delays at the intersection.

Santa Barbara’s fourth train fatality of the year occurred last
week on lower State Street. According to eyewitness accounts,
51-year-old Vincent Bracco walked onto the tracks shortly after 9
a.m. Wednesday morning, and – despite the flashing of warning
lights and sounding of horns – centered himself between the rails,
his arms spread wide as if to embrace the fast- approaching
18-million-pound Union Pacific freight train. According to
authorities, Bracco had a history of mental illness and had been
involuntarily admitted to local mental-health clinics at least 50


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