It’s really a sign of our times to see our local leaders ganging up on Helene Schneider like Puritan inquisitors against a wayward woman. Not that they have nothing to hide, like decades of inaction on almost every critical issue, from homelessness to Isla Vista to a countywide sustainable coastal development protocol.

For longer than any of us can remember our transportation nightmare has been a continual catastrophe. So what has our leadership decided is The Answer? Freeway widening and carpool lanes! I drive south almost every morning around 7 a.m. and the new southbound carpool lane is completely empty! Wasn’t a flaming nutcase named Mike Dukakis in town some years ago to talk up the revolutionary idea of a light rail system integrated with countywide public transit? Too radical for SBCAG.

Instead, 15 years of freeway widening and community disruption is underway. Challengers are publically “shunned,” and Helene Schneider has become our Hester Prynne. And I thought WASP Santa Barbara was a thing of the past!


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