Post-Christmas Musings for the New Year

Things I’d like to see in the New Year (but probably won’t):

The Miramar becomes a beach park.

Downtown State Street become a car-free pedestrian

The Levy time-share project become a park.
(Can’t have too many.)

A city moratorium on mega-projects until it
comes up with a coherent growth plan. Will the whole State Street
and adjoining corridors become a solid canyon of four-story
buildings? If so, let’s admit it now.

A city crackdown on creek pollution, including
cement contractors who wash out their equipment into the gutters,
where the pollutants flow into creeks and then the ocean.

When will someone get serious about a commuter
linking Santa Barbara to Ventura County? With the
city of Goleta pushing a major research project, could that just
possibly be a magnet for a flood of even more cars on the freeway?
Or an excuse to cover the hills with McMansions far too expensive
for the new employees? Any chance for more
or is the car still king? A friend suggests a
mass Earl Warren Showgrounds trade-in of SUVs for Vespas.

Then there’s the homeless, a national problem
the nation finds it convenient to ignore.

Crime Story: A Santa Barbara friend who owns
apartment complexes in Oxnard tells about discovering that someone
had stolen a washer-drying combo from one
building. A canny guy who knows his way around, he put out the word
in Ventura County that he’d pay a couple of hundred dead presidents
to get the units back. Soon the word came back and so did the
washer-dryer. The thief, it turned out, was someone (sob!) that he

Black Bag Job: When granddaughter
was a little kid, I joked with her that if she
misbehaved, Santa might bring her coal instead of
presents.coal.jpg Her reply: “What’s coal?”

Jam Session: Those wild and crazy guys who play
New Orleans style jazz at The James Joyce Pub, 813 State Street,
will be celebrating their eighth anniversary there Saturday night,
starting at 7:30 p.m. Ulysses S. Jasz, as they call themselves, have
been swinging at the James Joyce since 1998. ulysses.jpg Casey’s in Sherman Oaks is the only
other venue in Southern California presenting this style of jazz on
a weekly basis.

Pub owner Tommy Byrne will be providing free food Saturday
night. Musicians who have played with them over the years have been

Oops: In last Thursday’s column, I goofed in
reporting the number of homes in Mark Lee’s
project on Las Positas Road. It’s 25. I’m also informed that the
person who spotted those donuts and Brian
’s thank-you note at the city planning office was
not a female opponent of the St. Francis Hospital project but “a
male professional who had no particular issue with the St. Francis
Project but a real concern about neighborhoods and the many
inappropriately cozy relationships between city staff and the
government bodies.”

Come As You Want: I’m told that there is
confusion among folks planning to attend the Santa Barbara
Symphony’s Wild West New Year’s Eve
concert (8:30-10:30)
about the correct attire. Here’s the answer from Symphony sources:
Come in Western duds or dressed to the nines in formal outfits — or
anything in between. Mix or match, I guess.

“We’ll have hats and tiaras plus noise-blowers for everyone and
balloons falling from the ceiling in celebration,” a spokeswoman
told me.

More About the CAF: Michael
of the California Academy Foundation wants to clarify
some things that appeared in my column about the CAF and its home
raffle and the Contemporary Arts Forum (CAF), which also runs a
home raffle.

“The California Academy Foundation has been in existence for
about 10 years. Our use of the acronym, CAF, had absolutely nothing
to do with the Contemporary Arts Forum use of the same acronym. We
are a non-profit organization of parents of high school aged kids
committed to supporting the Multi Media Arts and Design Academy at
the Santa Barbara High School. We have about 155 students and
graduate about 50 each year.caf.gif Over the 10 years we’ve been in existence,
every single graduate has gone on to college.

“The CAF (our foundation) also supports education in general. We
have fundraising events in order to finance that support. The
raffle event this year raised about $220,000 for the California
Academy Foundation which has just become the lead donor with a
donation of $100,000 to a capital fund drive by the Santa Barbara
High School to build a new girl’s locker room, teacher’s lounge,
kitchenette, and storage space for the Academy.

Greg Goggin, who worked for the Contemporary
Arts Forum, was very generous with his advice while we were
researching the idea of a raffle. In exchange, we agreed not to
start our raffle until theirs was over, a decision which left us
with the worst time period to run a raffle — the summer. But we did
it anyway out of respect for the help the Arts Forum had given us.
And Greg thanked us profusely. Any charge that we tried to somehow
capitalize on their name is ridiculous and grossly disrespectful of
the enormous sacrifice, good will, and money that Academy parents
devote to supporting not only the Multi Media Academy but also the
High School.

“Words cannot express our astonishment at the disrespectful view
of our Foundation expressed by others in your column. An apology
would be nice.”

Another Raffle: The Contemporary Arts Forum
plans to launch its fourth annual Million Dollar Home Raffle in
early 2007.


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