As a city noted for educational opportunity, support of the arts, and the relish of communication of every sort, we may be on the verge of a terrible loss to the spirit and welfare of Santa Barbara. As the city’s first poet laureate, I know that the Channels [public and educational access] stations are crucial to what we are. They’re Santa Barbara’s face to the world. When I heard of a planned slow strangulation to the death of our key resource in the Age of TV, my reaction was, naturally, to write a poem, detailing one citizen’s concern over a sad loss in prospect.


The city was sick, it had to lose weight,

so it cut a bit here, cut down a bit there,

but came up at last with a swifter idea:

to thin oneself down takes heroic cuts …

so it cut out its voice

and it cut out its eyes.

—Barry Spacks


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