Reagan’s Disciple

Summerland Authors Pen New Book, Rob Lowe's Quirk Tale

On the Beat

Reagan’s Disciple: So how does President George W. Bush stack up against the late President Ronald Reagan? Reagan biographer Lou Cannon of Summerland and his son Carl have written a book entitled Reagan’s Disciple: George W. Bush’s Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy. An advance review by Kirkus Reviews says, “As Bush’s beleaguered presidency winds down, the Cannons deem him a worthy heir to Reagan on matters of tax and economic policies, judicial appointments, and immigration issues. Otherwise, Bush shrivels in comparison to the Great Communicator. Where Reagan was flexible but aggressive, ruthless when necessary, attuned to public opinion, and optimistic, Bush is stubborn, excessively loyal, passive, and oddly indifferent to public opinion. Mindful of Reagan’s failures in office, the authors, nevertheless, find none as egregious as the Iraq War, a conflict they conclude Reagan would have avoided, and one which will likely doom Bush’s legacy.”

No Stinkin’ Pemit: “The Wendy story actually made it into the Seattle Times,” reports Dr. David Welton, a physician who moved from Santa Barbara to the Emerald City. “She used to live here. Her ex has 71 acres in the city of Medina and built a two-story ‘playhouse’ on the property line for his daughter. The neighbor did not like the kids looking into his bedroom. Craig said he did not need a permit, as the structure was temporary and would come down when the daughter was grown up. And around and around it goes . . .”

Bye-Bye Birdie: That’s how Parade Magazine headlined Rob Lowe‘s golfing goof in its “Quirkiest Stories of the Year” feature. Seems as though Montecitan Lowe, “golfing at Glen Oaks Country Club in West Des Moines, Iowa, struck a young goldfinch in mid-flight with his approach shot to the par-4 fourth hole.” Parade quoted Lowe as saying, “That’s unbelievable. Who comes here and kills the state bird? Only me.” Added the mag, “Lowe is running for President on TV’s Brothers & Sisters. Good thing he’s not in the Iowa primary.”

Santa Barnaby: Barnaby Conrad passed on a letter about long term care (why does an ageless guy like Barnaby need that?) addressed to “Barbara Santa.” He wrote me: “I keep getting these letters to our address. Don’t you think they might need a new advertising executive?”

Cutting Building Heights: The Santa Barbara League of Women Voters, always mother-henning the civic nest, plans to support a proposed building height limitation at the next Community Forum. The proposed November ballot measure would cut the height limit to 40 feet from its present 60-foot restriction in the El Pueblo Viejo district downtown, and to down to 45 feet in other hotel and commercial zones. Let’s see who objects to that.

Up in Smoke: “At the Ralphs grocery store in the Magnolia Center off of Hollister Ave., two UCSB students were offering free copies of the News-Press to any shopper entering or exiting, DH reports. Although there were no takers while I was there, I imagine a few needed some paper to start their fireplace fires this wet weekend. Do you suppose these are included in the NP‘s circulation numbers? When I replied, ‘Anything but the NP‘ one student offered to tear the front page off and give me the rest of the paper. I declined.”

Thanks DH, but I don’t think it’s good to burn newspapers in a fireplace. Besides, shouldn’t they be recycled?

The Music Fest is On: The Santa Barbara Chamber Music Festival, which lapsed in 2007, is now scheduled for June 13-15. Posters of Oprah Winfrey’s estate are being sold to benefit the fest for $20 a pop.

Prune Them Roses: Calling all volunteer rose pruners. The City of Santa Barbara is asking for your help in the annual pruning of the A.C. Postel Memorial Rose Garden (up by the SB Mission) on Saturday, January 12. The event starts at 9 a.m. No experience necessary. Experts rose buffs will be on hand to guide your hands. Wear work clothes, long pants, long sleeves, and bring eye protection, leather gloves, hand pruners, and a leaf rake. Info is available by calling 564-5433. Refreshments will be provided by the Santa Barbara Rose Garden Society. In case of rain, the reschedule date is the following Saturday, January 19.

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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