Parking Fiasco: The creation of a residents-only parking zone on Hermosillo Drive, just above Coast Village Road (CVR) seemed like a good idea.

Alas, it was not meant to be.

According to Gina Ferrari, employees of several CVR businesses have been taking up the parking spots, putting the squeeze on spaces. Workers at one Chinese restaurant “drive from Oxnard and surrounding areas, so rather than driving home between shifts, they take naps in their cars,” Gina told me.

“I have pictures with their feet hanging out of the car windows. We have had gardeners not be able to park, so they warned certain homeowners that they would not be able to maintain their gardens if they could not find parking.

“Since the lots are small, most residents only have room for one car to park off-street,” Gina said. “So they rely mostly on street parking for their vehicles.”

The residents-only plan in effect on many Santa Barbara streets sounded good to Gina. But CVR is in city limits and Hermosillo is under county jurisdiction.

“I first approached the county and was told that they do not have a resident parking program in existence,” she said. (Actually, I learned, there is one, but it’s seldom used.) “So I then contacted the city of Santa Barbara, since the problem is coming from the city.” “[City Councilmember] Brian Barnwell was extremely helpful, and encouraged me to pursue this venture.

“I then contacted [First District Supervisor] Salud Carbajal, who passed me to his assistant, Jeremy Tittle. Jeremy said that it ‘definitely could be done.’ Jeremy then scheduled a meeting with the county, city, and residents of Hermosillo Drive, informing us that if we jumped through the hoops, we would get resident parking,” Ferrari said.

“Jeremy then created a petition that required 80 percent of the homeowners to sign an agreement with the resident parking. I had no trouble getting more than 80 percent. I’m quite tenacious,” Ferrari continued.

“After I achieved all of the goals set in my path and turned in the petition in December, 2006, I started phoning Jeremy Tittle, wondering when resident parking would be instituted. It wasn’t until April, by means of a letter that all of the residents of Hermosillo were informed that we did not meet the Qualifications of Resident Parking.”

“I have phoned, as well as e-mailed several times wondering what the qualifications are,” she said. Apparently (a city employee) drove down Hermosillo on two separate occasions, early in the morning before any businesses were open, and made the determination.

“It’s kinda funny that over 80 percent of the street says we have a problem; shouldn’t that be enough?”

Actually, no. I checked with Barnwell and Tittle on Monday and learned what happened. An independent study is required before resident-only parking can be instituted. Numerous visits by city and county employees at various times of the day showed that the count of parked cars was insufficient by a large margin to justify the program. The problem is mostly at the lower end of Hermosillo, near CVR.

And it’s not feasible to create a program for just part of a street, Tittle told me. But Tittle said there are plans for a “good neighbor” effort involving the Montecito Association and CVR business groups to encourage employees not to park on adjacent residential streets.

It’s Crooked: And a salute to Gemina, the Santa Barbara Zoo’s famed crooked-neck giraffe. People used to wonder if she’d survive, but now Gemina is turning 21. She was born at the San Diego Wild Animal Park and arrived here at the age of one. Her condition developed over the years, and the cause is still unknown. Radiographs and examinations by the zoo’s veterinary staff have been inconclusive. She does not appear to be in pain and exhibits normal giraffe behaviors. In fact, Gemina has had one calf since she arrived.

Wacky Crossing: It’s silly, it’s fun. It’s a marvelous spoof of those 1930s musical comedies set aboard an ocean liner. It’s the Santa Barbara City College Theater Group’s current production of Rough Crossing; written by playwright Tom Stoppard with music by Andre Previn. The witty repartee alone is worth the time, but top-notch performances by native son Tony Miratti, zany Edward Lee, and the rest of the bunch make for a truly sparkling evening. But be warned; serious types who scorn at wanton silliness might want to stay in and read the Wall Street Journal instead. Info is available at 965-5935.

Free Food and Music: Ulysses S. Jasz is losing two of its members, adding two new ones, and planning a Grand Farewell Party July 28 at the James Joyce. Ulysses has been piping out traditional jazz there on Saturday nights for eight years. It’s losing Bill Dods (trombonist, pianist, singer, and entertainer), and Dick Miller (cornettist and singer), who’s moving to Bellingham. But trombonist Larry Jones and pianist John Slais will be stepping in as replacements. “There will be a free food buffet and the many players who have participated in this unique band are invited,” says Alex Marshall. “Mike Jones, who made the video currently on YouTube, will be there with his film crew and a separate sound recording of this gig will be made.”

Lives of Others: If you missed the political thriller “The Lives of Others”when it was in town, you’ve got another chance. The winner of an Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film will be screened at UCSB’s Campbell Hall on Wednesday, July 18 at 7:30 pm. Admission is $6 for the public and free for UCSB students. On July 25, UCSB will screen the Iranian film “Offside.” It’s set in Tehran, where women are banned from attending men’s sporting events. But a group of young women endeavor to sneak into a World Cup qualifying match. On Aug. 1, the highly acclaimed “The Wind That Shakes the Barley” – which was set during the Irish Civil War – will be at Campbell Hall. And on Aug. 8, the documentary “An Unreasonable Man” will trace the life of someone many hate and many others praise, Ralph Nader.

Shela West Fund: Friends of special education teacher, Shela West, whose home was destroyed by fire on June 26, have established a fund for her at Santa Barbara Bank & Trust. All branches are accepting donations.

Make Money: You can make bucks by allowing your home or boat to be used for movies or commercials. Makers of a TV feature are looking for a home that screams “rich,” but must have a pool and garage, or car barn capable of holding at least five cars. It’ll be shot in the last week of July, or possibly early August. Then a fashion celebrity shoot is looking for a 60-foot or larger sailboat. Also needed are five over-50 surfer guys. More info can be found by calling Reel Talent at 969-2222.

Barney Brantingham can be reached at or 805-965-5205. He writes online columns on Tuesdays and Fridays and a print column on Thursdays.


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