Barney’s On the Beat

How to Crash: After observing many, many
near-collisions at the Five Points roundabout, I’ve decided to
issue some tips about how to avoid near misses and really commit
some serious fender bending. First, especially if you’re coming in
from Salinas Street or APS, speed into the roundabout. True, the
rule is that you’re supposed to approach at around 15 MPH or so,
but what the heck, you’re in a hurry, right? As you speed in, do
not under any circumstances look left or right. True, traffic
coming from your left has the legal right of way and you’re
supposed to yield. But are you going to do that? Heck, no. Let them
stop for you. All of this will of coursel result in horn
blowing, curses, and bird flipping. And, with any luck, someone
will slam into you or you’ll slam someone else. The roundabout has
become kind of a bumper-car derby, with the aggressive scoring
points on the law-abiding. The meek may inherit the earth, but not
the Five Points roundabout.

Tortured fish?: Ms. Anon reports of seeing
“rays that were tied up on the Goleta pier, stabbed, slashed, and
burned with cigarettes. I have seen similar, less horrible activity
at the pier and have stopped going there. I feel that anyone who
would torture animals this way is a danger to all of us.” Was this
some kind of weird payback for croc hunter Steve Irwin being killed
by a sting ray?

dscn1272.jpgCemetery Walk: David
Petry, Santa Barbara Cemetery historian and tour leader, has
published a history of the cemetery, The Best Last Place,
and will be signing and reading from it on Oct. 22 at 3 p.m. at
Chaucer’s. He’ll also give a talk and a walking tour on Oct. 29 at
1 p.m. and again on Oct. 31 at 10 a.m.; meet at the cemetery
chapel. Petry will also give an illustrated talk on Nov. 16 at 5:30
p.m. at the Santa Barbara Historical Society.

Boston Brave: One of the happiest times at the
News-Press began in 1993, when the New York Times named
Steve Ainsley publisher. Steve had a light touch and boyish
demeanor, and he got the paper into the black. For that, he was
promoted in 1999 to head the New York Times regional network of 14
papers and has now been named publisher of the NYT-owned Boston
Globe. Allen Parsons, who left as publisher when Wendy McCaw bought
the paper, is publisher of the New York Times-owned Ocala, Florida
Star-Banner. Former NP sportswriter Dave Loveton, who left
in 2005, is the new sports PIO at Santa Barbara City College.

Beat Goes On: Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti
will make a rare public appearance and read from his poetry at
UCSB’s Campbell Hall Nov. 2 at 8 p.m. You’ll recall him as
cofounder of the City Lights Bookstore in San Fran and publisher of
Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” in 1956. (Why is it surprising that he
served as a ship’s commander in World War II?)

Iraq for Sale: Mo McFadden reports that Robert
Greenwald, director of the film Iraq for Sale, which deals
with war profiteering, will screen it at the Marjorie Luke Theater
on Oct. 13.

No More Flowers: In recent weeks, members of
the embattled News-Press staff have been receiving
anonymous gifts of flowers with messages to the effect of thanks
from the community. Now, I hear, the unknown benefactor(s) has
stopped the flow of petals, leaving only dead blossoms around the
desks. Doesn’t matter to the newsies, though, because they voted in
the union on Wednesday on a 33-6 vote.

Basket Case: Despite what’s going on in Santa
Barbara, journalism can be fun–in fiction anyway. I’m reading
Basket Case by one of my favorite authors, Miami
columnist Carl Hiassen. His character, Jack Tagger, is
stuck doing obits. But then he gets suspicious about a so-called
drowning victim. Add some bad guys, a show biz bimbo, and Jack’s
female editor love interest, and you’ve got light fall reading.

Great Causes: Halloween is weeks away, but the
Legal Aid Foundation wants us to save Oct. 29 for its “Law &
Murder Halloween Bash,” a mystery dinner theater benefit at Fess
Parker’s Doubletree Resort. Come in costume: judge’s robes okay, I
would think, or prisoner stripes. Info. at 963-6754, Ext. 109.

Nobel Prize: It would surely be the first time
a travel writer wins the Nobel Prize, but Montecitan Bill Tomicki,
publisher of Entrée travel newsletter, has been nominated
by Andrew Simmons, professor emeritus at Cal State Fresno. “Mr.
Tomicki is credited with pioneering truth in travel writing,”
Simmons said. Bill plans to attend the medal ceremony in Stockholm
and promises to give half the $1 million-plus prize to charity if
he wins.


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