For the Indy’s annual review of stories, our writers and editors have put together lists of the stories they were proud of this year, or just enjoyed writing, reporting, or reading. Here are Blanca Garcia’s picks.
This story touched on so many things central to Santa Barbara County — housing shortage; agriculture; immigration. I learned a lot about the county and the way pieces fit together and influence one another. This is just a jumping board for more stories in the future.
Getting to chat with and interview Anahi Mendoza was the best part of reporting this story. She’s an incredible young woman, filled with stories that could comprise two more cover stories with the notes I have. Her story felt so poignant with all that’s going on in the country surrounding immigration. I also worked closely with our Editor in Chief Chief Marianne Partridge on this one, and I always learn a tremendous amount from her.
I remember walking around Old Town Goleta interviewing people after the raid and feeling uneasy because so few people were out. There was a palpable sense of fear and anxiety in the community. People are deported from Santa Barbara all the time. It’s important to understand what that does to the families and communities that are left behind.
Digital Editor Erika Carlos and I tag-teamed this story and made a couple trips out to the Lompoc riverbed. The people who lived there were heartbroken to have to leave their homes and the riverbed community. Erika’s video detailing the operation was careful to preserve their privacy but still conveyed the loss they felt.
After NPR did a piece on high C-section rates across the country, I took a look at the numbers for Cottage Hospital. In November of this year, Cottage announced it made it onto Smart Care California’s C-Section 2018 Honor Roll for lowering its cesarean section rate to 23 percent.