On the Beat

If They Weren’t There: Imagine a day without:
cops, deputies, the CHP, firefighters, nurses, doctors, paramedics,
FAA control tower operators, service station attendants,
supermarket clerks, airline pilots and flight attendants, 411
operators, 911 dispatchers, Harbor Patrol, Coast Guard, and
everyone else who does essential work on the day we stuff ourselves
at the Thanksgiving table. And let’s not forget the people who
deliver the papers in the wee hours before we’re up. Also on the
good side: Be thankful that Congress is taking the day off. No
harm, no foul.

Free Turkeys: A pal said over the phone: “A
rich guy’s giving away turkeys at Burl Ives’s old place on East
Valley Road. He’s got a big sign up and there’s a Pilgrim and an
Indian. Noon to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. I sent my
maid over and she got one.” So Sue and I hopped in the Chevy Prizm
and sped over to 1880 East Valley to see what it was all about. Got
there five minutes after 3 p.m. on Monday and no one was there but
the Pilgrim and Indian manikins, pumpkins, corn shocks, bales of
hay, and the huge orange sign: “The Thanks is in the Giving.” The
Indy had an early deadline Monday, so I couldn’t find out more
before I turned this in, but when I do, I’ll report.

Journo Film Fest: There’ll be a free December 9
showing of the 1976 movie All the President’s Men, preceded by a
reception to raise funds for beleaguered News-Press journalists.
Guest speakers at the 5 p.m. reception at Arnoldi’s will include
investigative journalist Ann Louise Bardach, Reagan biographer Lou
Cannon, Pulitzer Prize-winning L.A. Times critic Howard Rosenberg,
and Sander Vanocur, former correspondent for ABC and NBC News.

The film, which features Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman as
the Washington Post reporters who exposed the Watergate scandal,
kicks off the Heroism in Journalism film fest, the first in an
occasional series in Santa Barbara honoring those who report the
news. It will screen at 6:30 p.m. in the Marjorie Luke Theatre at
Santa Barbara Junior High. Wine and snacks will be served at the
Arnoldi’s reception where the public can meet the journalists.

About 30 journalists have left the NP since early July.
“All proceeds go to the Journalists Loan Fund, offering no-interest
loans to News-Press reporters and editors who have been
forced out or fired by Wendy McCaw,” according to the organizers.
The events are sponsored by Sara Miller McCune, Dave Peri,
Arnoldi’s Café, and the Fund for Santa Barbara. To make
reservations for the reception or make a donation, call
640-7340.

She’s Mad: Elaine Aver, “grand prize winner” of
the Santa Barbara Dream Home raffle, is upset. How, she asked me,
can she be the grand prize winner when she didn’t get the grand
prize — the dream home? As of Friday no one had called to tell her
what she won.

A California Academy Foundation (CAF) official I contacted
Friday said the final report had just been completed. After I left
a message, CAF tried to reach her and they’ve been playing phone
tag. It wasn’t until a friend called the Laguna Hills woman and
read my column in The Independent last Thursday that she learned
she’d only won $200,000.

Aver said she’d had a call last week telling her the Santa
Barbara-based CAF wouldn’t be giving her the promised house because
not enough tickets were sold (“That was a shock”) and that she
would be winning at least $200,000. But since then “nobody’s ever
talked to me” about how much she really did win. “What irritates me
is that I don’t see how I can be the grand prize winner without
winning the grand prize,” Aver told me. “I’m happy I won something
but that’s not the right way to go about it. It’s not right that
everyone under me gets their full prizes and I have to share mine.
Mine was cut down. It’s very disappointing.”

There was no mention of this arrangement in the ad she answered
in the Orange County Register, she said. But, CAF
officials told me the rules were spelled out in the information
mailed to her after she bought the $150 ticket and were also on the
Web site. The house, with an estimated value of $1 million, would
not be given away unless at least 15,000 tickets were sold. The
total was far less. It was not until she was told she’d won (“I was
so excited”) that she checked the Internet and learned that only
after all the 260 prizes were awarded and expenses deducted that
the remainder would be split between the grand prize winner and the
nonprofit CAF, which supports Santa Barbara High’s media arts
program. That came to $400,000, to be split two ways.

You can reach Barney at 965-5205 or via barney@independent.com. He also
writes a Tuesday online column at independent.com and Barney’s
Weekend Picks on Fridays.

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