ON THE COVER: Taxicabs have been an integral part of the Santa Barbara scene ever since the Huff brothers started taking patrons of the Potter, Arlington, and El Mirasol hotels around town back in the early 1900s. In recent years, the number of cabs and cab companies has exploded, and cabbiessuch as James Houseman (pictured on cover), who owns Rockstarare feeling the pinch of too much competition and too few legal places to pick up people on lower State Street. These days, cabbies play a nightly game of cat-and-mouse with the cops, who often nab them when they make the illegal moves needed to stay in business. So Santa Barbara cabbies, reports The Independent‘s Matt Kettmann starting here, are looking to City Hall for help. Cover image by Paul Wellman.