Run for the Wall

Vets Roll to D.C. Memorial; Gang Injunction's Dwindling Defendants

<b>ROAD GLIDE:</b> Among the thousands of Vietnam-era vets rumbling along in the Run for the Wall to the memorial wall in D.C. will be LeRoy “Snuffy” Robles.
Paul Wellman

On May 12, LeRoy “Snuffy” Robles plans to climb aboard his gleaming, candy-orange 2013 Road Glide Harley and roar off for the annual Vietnam veterans’ Run for the Wall rally in Washington, D.C.

Snuffy, 73, a Mesa resident and eighth-generation Santa Barbaran, says he’ll be covering more than 3,000 miles, riding with other Vietnam-era vets before taking part in the May 25 rally. He figures there’ll be a half-million vets, families, and supporters in the Rolling Thunder ride, cycling from the Pentagon to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

Barney Brantingham

It’ll be Snuffy’s 10th Run for the Wall, and, he figures, “It’s going to be my last year.” Run for the Wall leaders say it “recognizes the sacrifice and contributions made by all veterans who have served our nation” and promotes healing.

HOODS IN THE HOOD: At the rate the city’s dropping suspects from its proposed gang injunction, there may not be any supposed gangbangers left on the list when the issue goes to court May 5.

The hotly debated injunction started life in 2011 with 30 dire threats to life and limb, but three were cut recently ​— ​apparently no longer dangerous ​— ​and now the city attorney’s office has lopped off 16 more. This leaves just 11 for Superior Court Judge Colleen Sterne to consider. But to fevered injunction backers, the safety for good citizens to walk the streets and no longer cower in their homes depends on keeping the mighty 11 harmless.

Although the City Council voted 5-2 recently to uphold the proposed injunction, that was just politics. Judge Sterne will make the real decision.

The council was split, with Frank Hotchkiss, the cheerleader el supremo, in favor and Cathy Murillo and Gregg Hart outspokenly against. Also voting in favor were Mayor Helene Schneider (up for reelection and not wanting to alienate voters) and Dale Francisco, also vote hunting in his quest to unseat Rep. Lois Capps.

Cost of the injunction effort has been estimated at $160,000 in city administrative and other costs so far, and a ballpark figure of total estimated police costs are about $700,000. Then there are the costs of the trial, expected to take several weeks. What else would we be doing with the dough?

MYSTERY BUT NO CRIME: After copper heiress Huguette Clark died in 2011 at 104, it seemed to many that too many hands had been dipping millions from her estate. Suspicion fell on her attorney and accountant. Was the aged recluse really of sound-enough mind to be giving millions to her nurse and costly gifts to those around her?

New York officials opened an investigation. Meanwhile, her distant relatives, many of whom had not seen her in decades, if at all, sued to put the kibosh on her last will, claiming that age might have robbed Clark of clear thinking.

But on the eve of the New York trial over the will and $300 million estate, a settlement was reached. And now the Manhattan DA has ruled that the attorney and accountant were just carrying out Clark’s wishes, not controlling her, according to NBC News investigative reporter Bill Dedman. Never mind.

CASA KIDS: Kate Burris’s 6th-grade students at Marymount have spent the school year raising money for Casa Esperanza homeless shelter, racking up $4,836 at lemonade stands, a chili cook-off, and the like. Now they plan to top it off with a May 20 benefit concert at SOhO headlined by Diamond Dave Somerville. Who he? Just lead singer of the 1950s group The Diamonds, with hits like “Little Darlin,” “Why Do Fools Fall in Love,” and “Stroll.” He’s also grandfather of proud 6th grader Chae Somerville.

LES MISÉRABLES: San Marcos High’s veteran (30 years) theater arts director, David Holmes, is retiring with a flourish by presenting the world’s longest-running musical May 1-3 and 8-10. After school ends, he’ll be directing a cast-of-80, all-alumni production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show June 12-13.

HOT STRINGS: It takes courage for an unaccompanied violinist to tackle the J.S. Bach sonatas on the Camerata Pacifica menu last Wednesday. They’re mighty difficult for a fiddler. Yet Bach-loving Jennifer Koh carried them off with zest and power. (Her concert was sponsored by UCSB Arts & Lectures.)

ALAN WYNER DIES: Elected to the Goleta Water Board as part of a hard-fought homeowner reform revolt in the early 1970s, Alan Wyner has died at 73. During 40 years at UCSB, he was a political science professor and dean of undergraduate education in the College of Letters and Science


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