Coming Un-Tyed

Miramar Blame Game: Ty Warner
is blaming the Montecito Association and others
for his decision to sell the Miramar hotel property, but
association prez Bob Collector calls it “a little
absurd” to point the finger at a homeowners’ group that hasn’t even
seen Warner’s plans.


Besides, Collector told me, “He’s had the word out trying to
sell (the Miramar) since the third week in August. Greg
(Warner’s right-hand-man) has been looking for

“We find it a little absurd that a fellow as smart as Ty
would make a multimillion-dollar decision based on what
a homeowners’ association might or might not do about a plan we
haven’t even seen.”

Rice, in a letter to Montecitans last week, accused the
Montecito Association leadership and other decision-makers of an
“abuse of power” in dealing with other Warner’s projects, resulting
in long delays and “skyrocketing costs due to the ‘arbitrary
conditions of approval’ placed on our projects.” Due to what Rice
called “tangible bias,” he said, “it would be better for us to step
aside and let somebody else complete the renovation of the

Warner paid $43 million for the closed and
partly razed seaside resort. Collector insisted that the group had
never opposed any of Warner’s projects, although it did want
conditions set on them. “We’ve been pretty supportive of what he’s
done.” He said his group was “blindsided” by Warner’s decision and
was “aghast” that the Montecito group would be “singled out” as the
reason for a dollars-and-cents decision by a savvy businessman.
“We’re just volunteers. We were all excited” when Warner announced
that he was buying the Miramar, and have never made any negative
comments about it, Collector said. Rice denies that he was
previously trying to market the Miramar.

Jimmy’s to be a Museum: Tipped by word on the
street, I confirmed that the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic
is buying Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens restaurant as
a museum to honor the heritage of its East Canon Perdido
neighborhood, including Chinese and Japanese history there.
jimmy%27s.jpg The Trust plans to go into escrow
within a few weeks to buy the property at 126 E. Canon Perdido St.
for $3.1 million, the price agreed upon with owner Tommy Chung and
his family, according to Jarrell Jackman, Trust executive director.
The Trust plans to seek low-interest loans from the city, as well
as local nonprofits such as the Hutton
and Santa Barbara
, as a bridge to acquire the property until
the state comes up with the money, Jackman said. Such a museum is
called for as part of El Presidio de Santa Barbara State
Historical Park
, he said.

As an example of how real estate prices in that area are
escalating, the property was appraised five years ago at $1
million, Jackman said. “It’s possible” that the Trust will lease
the Jimmy’s property to a restaurant for a few years pending the
museum development, helping pay the mortgage at the same time, he
said. It would probably be a Chinese restaurant whose owner would
agree to having historic photos and other memorabilia displayed, he

Don’t Fence Me In: That chain-link fence with
green plastic mesh that the News-Press put up around its
parking lots last weekend isn’t permitted under city regulations
and must be removed, city community development director Paul Casey
told me Monday. SBNP%20Fence.JPG “We don’t allow that kind of fencing in
the El Pueblo Viejo district except on construction sites,” and the
News-Press doesn’t have a building permit for any current
work, Casey said. He said he planned to contact the paper’s
management Monday and explain that the fence must be removed. The
paper would have to design an approved-style fence and go through
proper channels, the city’s Historic Landmarks
, Casey said. So far, it’s not clear why the
fence was erected, although some speculate that it was aimed at
blocking pro-union signs criticizing owner
Wendy McCaw in employees’ cars from the passing

No Room at the N-P: The
News-Press TV listing magazine in the Sunday edition now
has deleted local cable Channels 17 and 21 from
the listings, reports David Pritchett. These are
the community-access TV channels from Santa
Barbara Channels
, the local nonprofit organization for
community-access TV. “Apparently, the News-Press‘ excuse
for this is that they do not have room on the page to make the
listings fit, so they dropped both of the channels, 17 and 21, even
though a week and more ago they did have room on the page.


Anyone half awake, though, might surmise that they are just
angry that SB Channels TV has shown a series of video shows, by
local producers, that document the demise of the newspaper and the
various rallies and events where the unionized employees and public
comment about all that. The most recent coverage was the vigil
event and lite demonstration held in front of the Biltmore hotel on
November 11. If one considers TV listings to be news, this is yet
another example of how the opinion stance of the newspaper has
interfered with the news content, by deliberately deleting news
they do not like.”

Roberts Hospitalized: Jerry
, former News-Press top editor who quit in
July, is hospitalized at the UC San Francisco Medical Center after
weekend emergency surgery to remove his spleen and gall bladder,
friends reported. roberts%20gets%20award.jpg “He’s doing much better” and is
expected to be released later this week, said Scott
, former N-P reporter who also resigned.
Roberts was due to be among recent and present News-Press
newsroom employees honored at an Independent Local Heroes luncheon Thursday.

Fashion Talent Needed: Boys 1-12 years old are
needed to appear in a fashion catalog shoot in Santa Barbara. “All
races, all nationalities.” E-mail a photo taken within the past
month, with full name, age, weight, height, hair and eye color,
date of birth, address, and phone number to,
or drop the information off at 1805 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Suite B.
Also needed are males 30-50, “all sizes, colors, and


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