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Posted on January 23 at 10:28 a.m.
Another fine piece of reporting, Nick. The only thing I missed seeing was the original argument for the State Water Project - that California rarely had a drought that affected both north and south simultaneously. The water buffaloes who sold this project to thirsty Southern Californians used that flawed argument (ignoring old records from the pre-1850's) to convince local gov'ts unburdened by critical thinkers to jump on the pipeline bandwagon. For awhile, Santa Barbara resisted joining the SWP (and there would be no coastal branch of the pipeline without SB's participation) until the drought of the late 80's panicked South Coasters into buying back into the project). The problem with humans and water is that they will always use more than they should, and then be in a fix when supplies dwindle. Can you imagine the screams of outrage from some of those Montecito trust fund babies and hedge fund managers when they're told they can't keep their polo fields green because of some nuisance steelhead species in the Santa Ynez? Why, the South Coast may have to call out the National Guard to prevent some of those water hogs from cheating...
I can't imagine a better allegory of the consequences of living among the 1% - there won't be anymore trickle in the 'trickle-down.'
On In Time of Drought, State Water in Serious Doubt
Posted on January 15 at 12:02 p.m.
Meanwhile, back to the real story line: Ty Warner paid his team of lawyers several thousands of dollars per hour to come up with this for a defense: "he had an unhappy childhood"! Wow - what an indictment of capitalism! That no matter how successful, no matter how many BILLIONS a person is allowed to accumulate, an unhappy childhood can never be compensated by insane wealth, and also serves to excuse any anti-social or illegal behavior! With such an idiotic defense thrown up in my behalf, I would have tears in my eyes, too! What a hoot...
As to the back and forth about taxes - - get a life, to those who despise them. Like the old bible says: to whom much is given, much is expected. Complain all you want about the cabal of taxes and Federal Reserve Board conspiracies, the wealthiest middle class in history was created in America during the last hundred years - until greed began to disassemble it over the past 30 years. Ayn Rand admiration is as infantile as she was.
On Ty Warner Avoids Jail
Posted on January 15 at 11:36 a.m.
Hooray for Richard and Thekla! Life shouldn't be as tough as it's been for them, but class and character will prevail. Or, should, as in this case it has.
On Richard Sanford Ditches Debt
Posted on January 15 at 11:31 a.m.
Congratulations to both Marianne and Joe - two of the "good guys" in Santa Barbara - and, by extension, to the crew of the Independent who maintained great print journalism for the city during and after the McCaw Meltdown. Here's to a good future for all concerned...
On New Publisher for <em>The Independent</em>
Posted on December 30 at 6:15 p.m.
@bdhaley - thank you for the clarification of your study on the complicated question of Chumash heritage - it seems that I missed the fact that members of the Santa Ynez band were not included in your definition of "Neo-Chumash". My curiosity about the political realities of recognized Native American tribes, including Chumash, is not based on hostility or ill-will toward any of them - but simply interest in the question about how genetic identity, already substantially "diluted," can be maintained under increasing heterogeneity. Ultimately, the question becomes: when do we become a nation of a blended people, rather than an admixture of different immigrant and original resident groups?
On Lavagnino Sends Letter to Congressman Sponsoring Camp 4 Annexation
Posted on December 30 at 5:46 p.m.
Yup - pretty good film. Time will tell where (or if) it ranks with top-100 films, but definitely worth the price of admission for New Year's viewing. Jennifer Lawrence, while not on screen as much as the three main actors, leaves an indelible impression in her role as a neglected/neglecting housewife - great portrayal of female frustration of the era. The only irritation I felt while watching it is what seemed to be the gratuitous display of Amy Adams' cleavage with the plunging neckline, diaphanous blouses she wore in practically every scene. Not that I minded from an ogling perspective, but if that style of dress was common in the Abscam era, I must have missed it.
The FBI scenes of incompetency and internal strife seemed a bit unrealistic, but who knows? Maybe the agency was that stupid - and sometimes lucky - in those days. The plot twist(s) at the end, while enjoyable, were similarly a bit thin.
Still, all in all, gets 4 stars out of 5 from me...
On Review: <em>American Hustle</em>
Posted on December 26 at 7:35 p.m.
@EastBeach: I appreciate that everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, but proving Irish lineage is much easier that proving Chumash heritage. Here's an interesting and seemingly objective study on the subject: http://www.academia.edu/2222572/How_S...
I hope this subject receives the sort of consideration it deserves. Sympathy with any abused people, mistreated because of their origins, is fine and necessary, but at some point, as time increases the distance between the harm and a period of reparation, assumptions must be critically examined. It may not be an apt comparison, but even Reconstruction following the Civil War had an end point...
Posted on December 26 at 11:59 a.m.
I just don't see the logic in the Chumash request to make non-contiguous ranch land part of their tribal holding - therefore exempt from SB County or state taxes. I could be more sympathetic if two conditions existed: the land was contiguous to their existing holdings; the tribal members needed assistance building personal residences. Last I heard, registered members of the tribe collect $25,000/month (or more) as their shares of casino profits - and I have to believe that that would afford them the ability to purchase a pretty nice spread in the Santa Ynez Valley. And there's another aspect of this that I fail to understand and appreciate: the Chumash are now a genetically blended people and homogenized with the dominant society. Are we to believe that their cultural traditions will be enhanced with small ranch estates on Camp Four property that could not be developed as residential under SB County regulations? Sorry - it just doesn't make sense.
I'm also curious about the long term. Current tribal regulations require a certain minimum of Chumash "blood" to qualify for membership (1/8 ?), and with time, given the lack of "fuller-blood" Chumash, that percentage will very probablydecrease with future generations. What happens years from now when there are fewer and fewer qualifying Chumash? What would happen when there aren't enough "real" Chumash to whom to pass on the homes they propose to build on this tax-exempt property? What happens to the casino when there are no more qualifying Chumash to whom to distribute the profits?
My prediction: While the tribe has been reluctant to drop the already minimal percentage of Chumash heritage required to collect casino earnings, receive health care, and to live on the reservation, with time the percentage will be dropped lower and lower.
Which raises the question: when is a Chumash not a Chumash? Does 1/16th Irish heritage versus 15/16th German make someone an Irishman?
Posted on November 1 at 12:44 a.m.
Richly deserved, Indy! Way to go! Notwithstanding the readers/posters who don't understand the difference between excellent journalists and idiotic posts by readers with too much time on their hands and too little furniture in the attic... Nick Welch should be declared a local treasure.
On Independent.com Named Best Weekly Website
Posted on May 8 at 8:40 a.m.
Having an elected sheriff is an anachronism, an antiquated, Old-West notion that needs to go. As others have pointed out, cities run very well with chiefs appointed by city councils. Sheriff not performing? You don't have to wait until the next election cycle if he/she is appointed. And - independently elected sheriffs complicate the running of county government with their own agendas and rogue political support groups created by "Citizens Sheriff Academies", preventing a better balancing of services - especially in times of fiscal stress. Elected sheriffs are a pain-in-the-ass of county governments, and it's time to get rid of the archaic idea that they need to be elected.
On Sergeant Sandra Brown Looks to Unseat Sheriff Bill Brown
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