Best of Santa Barbara® 2021
By Charles Donelan
Santa Barbara Independent, Independent.com
Nick Welsh, the pen behind the Independent’s Angry Poodle Barbeque, barks, “Thanks, thanks, and many thanks” to those who voted for him as Santa Barbara’s best columnist. A combination of institutional memory and collective conscience for our sometimes-crazy, never-boring community, Welsh reminds us all on a regular basis that it’s not just elections that have consequences. A champion of the needlessly oppressed and a scourge to the overconfident and powerful, Welsh will only admit to connecting “the dots that may or may not be here,” but his faithful readers know better. When it comes to reporting the civic battles that matter, high and low, big and small, there’s no one better. Long may this dog snarl.
Runner-Up: Starshine Roshell
S.B. Radio Station
KJEE sales manager Stephen Meade thanks all the listeners who voted for the station as the best in Santa Barbara. “It’s amazing, after nobody winning concert tickets for 15 months, they stuck around,” he said, adding with reassurance, “Don’t worry, we’re making up for lost time.” Expressing a thought that it’s likely many of the other winners have had, Meade says, “That special feeling each time we hang the Best of Santa Barbara® award on the wall is hard to describe. It’s the genius of the Independent to find a way to get people to display your sign all over town. Wish we would have thought of that.”
Runner-Up: 99.9 KTYD
“We are excited to be named the best website for the fourth year in a row,” says Brandi Rivera, publisher of the Santa Barbara Independent. “We could not do what we do without our readers, advertisers, and contributors. We want to say thank you to everyone who voted not just for Independent.com, but for all of their favorite Santa Barbara businesses. We are a community that supports each other, and Best of Santa Barbara® has always been about celebrating our community. And thank you for looking to Independent.com as a trusted source for news, food, living, and arts & entertainment.”
S.B. Twitter Follow • S.B. Instagram Follow • Local Celebrity
@JohnPalminteri (Twitter), @johnpalminterinews (Instagram)
The ubiquitous John Palminteri walks off with a richly deserved media triple crown this year, having stayed up late, gotten up early, and hustled harder than ever before to be the best at bringing Santa Barbara every kind of breaking news through every available outlet, from television to Twitter. In his heartfelt thanks to the voters, Palminteri acknowledged that this has been a news cycle like no other. “In the last two years, the public appears to be more expressive about issues and media than I have ever seen,” he tells us. “It may be because of the explosive topics from politics to health care to our community’s future, as seen, for example, in the development of the State Street promenade. Or it could be because they have had more time.” One thing is for certain — they all have time for the Palm.
Runner-Up (Twitter Follow): @EliasonMike
Runner-Up (Instagram Follow): @sbgoodeats
Runner-Up (Local Celebrity): Jeff Bridges