Judge Denise de Bellefeuille (pictured above right) 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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