Twenty days after the election, Sheriff Jim Anderson finally
conceded defeat and pledged to work with his opponent, Lompoc
Police Chief Bill Brown, to ensure as smooth a transition as
possible. Brown beat Anderson by about 8,100 votes; 3,000
provisional ballots are left to be counted. Anderson’s campaign
manager, Richard Cochrane, has complained that the election results
were marred because “the playing field was neither fair nor
balanced,” claiming that 47,000 campaign postcards mailed in the
last week of the campaign were delivered to the wrong people
because of faulty lists provided by county elections officials.
County elections czar Joe Holland acknowledged that the names were
wrong, but said the fliers all arrived at the right addresses and
in a timely fashion.

Sylvia Vasquez appeared in court to hear attorneys argue over
what evidence can and cannot be used in her upcoming trial on
charges that she abused her four adopted children. Judge Frank J.
Ochoa ruled that the jury will be allowed to view a cage taken from
Vasquez’s home, and may hear testimony regarding an incident that
occurred 20 years ago in which Vasquez allegedly abducted a child
from Mexico and later singed her tongue with a match. Evidence that
will not be allowed at trial includes testimony from Vasquez
alleging that her oldest adopted son sexually abused his sisters
and was violent toward animals, justifying his confinement to a
linen closet beneath the stairs. The trial is set to begin in

The Santa Barbara News-Press and city officials are in
a face-off over some illegal fencing the News-Press
installed. The newspaper never obtained permission for the fence
and has been asked to take it down, but has opted to negotiate with
the city, claiming that the fencing is meant to protect pedestrians
from a routine power-washing with a hose. Among News-Press
staff, the new addition has inspired the nickname “Wrong-Wall
Wendy” for owner Wendy McCaw, who one employee said should have put
up a wall between herself and the news staff some time ago.

Con artists are once again sending emails to Santa Barbara Bank
and Trust customers telling them to update their account
information. The email links to a Web page that closely resembles
the real thing. Bank spokesperson Debbie Whiteley would not
estimate the number of customers who have fallen for the scam or
complained of being victimized. However, she emphasized that the
bank will never contact customers either by phone or email with
requests for personal or financial information. Not only do these
scams prey on the naïve, said police Lt. Paul McCaffrey, but
members of the public would be misguided to think that the FBI,
Interpol, or local constabularies can spare the resources to track
email scams to their sources.

Bickering between the City and the County of Santa Barbara
escalated to a legal battle last October when City Attorney Stephen
Wiley filed a complaint for declaratory relief against the county,
claiming the city has been wrongfully billed for overhead fees
generated by local elections for the past three years. County
official Woody Lavayen stated that the city has been billed in
exact accordance with the state’s election code, which dictates
that the county must be reimbursed for all election costs. The
city, which owes the county approximately $140,000, has threatened
to conduct future elections through an outside firm.


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