Joe Armendariz said that Armendariz Partners, his new public affairs firm which will “leverage : relationships with government and business leaders,” will be unlikely to create conflicts of interest with his position as a Carpinteria city councilmember.

The executive director of both the Santa Barbara Taxpayers’ Association and the Santa Barbara Industrial Association, Armendariz said he dreams of assisting anti-tax groups throughout the state to advocate more effectively.

Beads Santa Barbara, one of several East De la Guerra Street businesses shuttered following a 2007 fire, reopened 4/2 at its old location near the intersection with Garden Street. It follows the mid-March reopening of neighboring Mailbox Express, whose owner Mike Pico spent nearly a year handing out mail from the parking lot and reportedly didn’t lose a customer. The Wedding Gallery is also expected to reopen this month.

Longtime Granada Theatre supporters and benefactors Michael and Anne Towbes are willing to donate $5 million to help fund the venue’s first full season of programmingif the Santa Barbara community can match that sum by the end of 2008. The news was announced at a 3/8 press conference at the theater. If raised, the money would bring the total funds donated to the Granada to $60 million.


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