Paul Wellman

Obama Country: Whaddaya make of this? Virtually all of Southern and Central California went for Hillary Clinton – except for Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties.

California Democrats voting in the Super Tuesday primary backed Clinton 52 percent to Barack Obama’s 42 percent. So what was going on in these two former “cow counties?”

The college vote? A festering cluster of anti-Clinton sentiments among Democrats? Another indication that we’re different from the masses to the South? More Obama newspaper endorsements? (The Santa Barbara Independent endorsed the Illinois senator.)

The other night I had dinner with some Republicans who are solidly backing Obama and can’t stand Clinton, which isn’t too surprising because she’s certainly attracted more than her share of negatives. These were not fuzzy-cheeked college kids either, but adults closer to Social Security age. And no way, they say, will they back anyone the GOP puts up for the White House.

So, what happened in our neighbor to the Southeast, Ventura? They went for Clinton too – along with every other county down thataway.

Citizen McCaw: All you ever wanted to know about Citizen McCaw, the Santa Barbara-produced film about the News-Press meltdown, can be found at online at The feature film will premiere Friday, March 7 at the Arlington at 7:30 p.m., with a dialog involving the audience and producers to follow at 9 p.m. Admission is $15, VIP admission is $200, which will help offset the cost of making the documentary and includes prime seating and a reception to follow with the filmmakers and special guests from the film. Tickets are available by calling 963-4408 or visiting

During the National Labor Relations Commission hearing last year, McCaw’s lawyers tried to get access to the then-incomplete film and producers’ notes, but a judge refused to allow the fishing expedition. Over 80 hours of high-definition film was shot, including interviews with myself and other former News-Press journalists, Washington Post editor-emeritus Ben Bradlee (of Watergate fame), and local journalist Ann Louise Bardach, former NBC News reporter Sander Vanocur, and Ronald Reagan biographer and former White House correspondent Lou Cannon. Producers, with a total of almost 140 years of award-winning cinematic experience between them, are Rod Lathim, Charles Minsky, Peter Seaman, and Sam Tyler. Brent Summer of Studio 8 in Santa Barbara is the film’s principal cinematographer and editor.

Adios, Dick Headley: Next time you drive past the Rusty’s Pizza Parlor at 232 W. Carrillo St., take a good look. Does it remind you of an English pub? That’s exactly what Dick Headley intended it to be when he built Poor Richard’s Pub years ago. The pub didn’t last and the proud replica became a pizza parlor. Headley, a sea captain who captured sea lions for zoos and aquariums using the two-masted schooner The Swift of Ipswich, retired in 1983 as a vice president of Castagnola’s Sea Food Restaurants. Headley died Thursday, January 31. A memorial service was held Thursday at the Welch-Ryce-Haider Funeral Chapel.

Grazing in the Grass: Who can forget that delightful 1960s hit by Hugh Masekela? Well, he’s coming to UCSB’s Campbell Hall tonight at 8 p.m. Hel’ll be bringing along his Chissa All-Stars and Afropop jazz.

Well Met Helmets: The Unity Shoppe, which serves 15,000 low-income families, sent thanks to the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition for donating 100 bike helmets to the Shoppe.

Teach Peace: Colman McCarthy, former Washington Post columnist, will present the 7th Annual Frank K. Kelly Lecture on Humanity’s Future at Santa Barbara City College’s Fe Bland Forum Friday, February 15. The event is free and sponsored by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

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


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