Tuesday, September 5

LIVE FROM THE BATHROOM: Kyra Phillips, who trashed her
sister-in-law live on CNN during President Bush’s speech the other
day, attended Westmont and worked at KEYT briefly. That’s the word from
Lance Orozco,
who helped Kyra during her KEYT stint before she transferred from
Westmont to USC. Lance is now news director at KCLU-FM. Kyra took a
bathroom break, but left her personal mike on, treating the world
to news that her sister-in-law was a “control freak.” While viewers
saw pictures of Bush, Kyra could be heard chatting with a colleague
about the men in their lives, and at one point she uttered the word
“assholes.” See it below.

UGLY AWARDS: If there was a Santa
Barbara Ugly Award
(and maybe there should be), it might
be a tie between the Verizon building and the
landscaping at the Milpas and Upper State Jack in the
. So moans a city employee who’d rather not be

“One of the potentially loveliest buildings in Santa Barbara
could be the Verizon HQ at Chapala and West Canon Perdido,” he told
me. “But it looks like a massive case of corporate neglect allows
the exterior of the building, and especially the little planting
beds along the sides of the building, to poke its ragged finger of
neglect in the aesthetic eye of our beautiful city.” (Wow, how’s
that for purple prose?)

”I’ve tried calling 411 to get through to someone at the
building, but that didn’t get me too far. I kept getting the retail
phone outlets and no one in those locations even knows that the
building exists. Maybe you could put a little time into contacting
a local property manager and find out if they have any interest in
at least removing the dead plants and hiring a gardener for a few
bucks a month to care for what they have left. Better yet, shame

After leaving a message with Verizon’s PR people, they finally
responded, claiming, “We’ll have it cleaned up immediately.”

DOWNHILL RACERS: Can someone do something about
drivers using the steep, narrow 500 block of Pedregosa on Santa
Barbara’s Upper Eastside as a race track to work and school, pleads
one resident?

“We are just around the corner from Roosevelt School,” he said.
“The hill becomes an attractive high-speed launching ramp to the
Riviera as people constantly gun it up the steep hill. And
conversely, down the hill cars frequently set speed records.
Currently there are no speed limit signs nor speed bumps, nor any
school zone markings, even though this is a well-traveled
pedestrian route for children from the Riviera to Roosevelt.”

He’s been in touch with Mayor Marty
and the police. He’s asking that the street be
surveyed for possible radar control, be posted for a 15-mph limit,
and school zone signs be erected. With the police force down seven
officers, speeders are having a field day, making the street a
“Wild West,” he complained.

True, replied Mayor
, the force is down seven, “but considering that the
Sheriff’s Department was down over 100 officers a year ago, we are
in good shape.” The worst time for speeding seems to be between 7
and 9 a.m., when people are rushing to work and school. One result
of his protest is that an officer stopped by his house to nab
speeders “and was quite successful.”

MICHAEL’S CATS: Since Michael Jackson split from Santa Barbara
County (got out of jury duty claiming that he no longer lives here), people have been
wondering about the health of his menagerie at Neverland Ranch and whether he’ll sell
it. No word on a sale, but at last report the critters are said to
be in good health.

As for the rare tigers, Sabu and Thriller, they’ve been moved to
Shambala, the SoCal preserve run by former actress
Tippi Hendren, according to Parade mag. “We’ve
received no financial assistance from Jackson,” said Hendren, who’s engaged to Neverland vet
Dr. Martin Dinnes, according to

THEY’RE IN SM: Reporter Chuck
, who quit the News-Press a couple of
weeks ago, will find lots of familiar faces at his new paper, the
Maria Times
. He joins a team of ex-News-Pressers:
executive editor Tom Bolton, managing editor
Dave Bemis, news editor Laurie
, reporter Sally Cappon, and former
Scene editor Gary Robb, who’s working the
website. John Lankford, who used to write
N-P editorials, is doing the same for the SM
from his home in Florida. (Keeping a breast of things in
SB County via the Internet, natch.)

And the Montecito Journal confirms reports that it is
going weekly starting in mid-November. The MJ started a
decade ago with an issue every six weeks, then monthly, every three
weeks, and now every other week.

FREE PAPER? “Today I was chatted up outside a
supermarket by a lad trying to give me a free
in an attempt to sell me a
subscription,” reports J.D. “I, of course, politely declined his
offer, but felt obligated to tell him the reasons why, in 60 words
or less. Without missing a beat, he replied, ‘Hey, all you have to
do is subscribe, then cancel your subscription in 30 days and you
won’t be charged anything. I get my commission, you get a free
paper for a month, and the News-Press eats it.’“ Dontcha
just love the loyalty the N-P is shown by its

“My only reservation about doing this is that even though the
subscription would be ‘free,’ it would still register as a paid
subscription—at least for 30 days—and would therefore bolster
Wendy’s circulation figures, albeit
very temporarily.” J.D. said he conferred with other people, but
“all advising against doing it, so I went with that and didn’t do


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