Recent Stories

Our Appeal to Readers

The “Santa Barbara Independent” needs community support to keep reporting.
For the last 35 years, the Santa Barbara Independent has been delivering the news to Santa Barbarans, through wildfires, debris flows, and drought, through civic celebrations and joyful gatherings. During all that time, we have never asked you, our readers, for help. But now we must.

Education: The American Charter High School

On Tuesday, April 10, the governing board for Santa Barbara’s high schools will have a chance to approve a most innovative proposal: the American Charter High School. This new school offers a tremendous opportunity not only to help the significant number of high school students now falling through the cracks, but also to strengthen our whole community.

Legalizing Abu Ghraib

When Americans first saw photos of Abu Ghraib prisoners-hooded, naked, terrified-few doubted they were looking at portraits of torture. On that day in the spring of 2004, Senator Lindsey Graham told the nation that the American soldiers responsible for such outrage would be brought to justice. Not just the sergeants and privates, he promised, but those at the top who failed in their duty to prevent it. So far, however, no senior officer has been charged.

2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf

To be a supervisor on the Santa Barbara County Board, you can run, but you can’t hide.

That’s a lesson the four candidates now running for the 2nd District are fast learning. At interminable forums, from Mission Street to More Mesa, constituents have posed the same conflicting questions that have turned the board into a bitterly divided group. What is needed is a representative who can best navigate the treacherous terrain that is current county politics-one who will not hide behind a wall of rhetoric or a mask of making nice. That candidate is Janet Wolf.

Elect Bill Brown for Sheriff

The Sheriff’s Department is in serious need of help. And that help must come from a new sheriff who is not part of the current infighting, public debacles, or divided loyalties now afflicting the department.

Police Chief Bill Brown fits the bill perfectly. He has the right mix of leadership skills, political savvy, and common sense. With 28 years’ experience as a law enforcement officer, 10 years as Lompoc police chief, Brown has proven to be tough, creative, shrewd, and compassionate. Chief Brown has reduced crime, built public trust, and recruited high-quality officers.

Measure H: The County Split? Absolutely Not.

The most important vote you can cast this June is the one against splitting Santa Barbara County. If Measure H should pass, it would be a cataclysmic disaster for us all-those stuck in the economic chaos of the new Mission County and those stranded in what would be left of Santa Barbara County. If we approve Measure H, the only thing that will not start falling on our heads will be the sky. One doesn’t need to be Chicken Little to know this.

George Thurlow: Our Loss, UCSB’s Gain

It is with deep sadness and great pride that The Santa Barbara Independent must say goodbye to George Thurlow, the paper’s publisher for the last 12 years. He will leave later this month to become the new assistant vice chancellor for Alumni Affairs, and executive director of the University of California, Santa Barbara Alumni Association.

Immigration Reform:

Safe, Not Silly

Imagine if you will the picture of 11 million men, women, and children, all illegal immigrants, being rounded up by United States law officers, charged with felonies, and transported by buses, trains, and planes back to their country of origin.


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