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Posted on April 17 at 12:45 p.m.
Sorry, Nick - wrote 'Barney' above instead of 'Nick'. Confusing great columnists once again.
On From the Mouths of Dogs
Posted on April 17 at 10:51 a.m.
A drop in activity does not mean the gangs have gone away. They endure in the culture. The issue now is not West Side Story (or East Side); it's not just punks rumbling with switchblades and cycle chains. They are the front for big business. The drug cartels and prison-based, trans-generational gangs that profit from the activities of street kids are cunning predators. They know enough to order keeping a low profile while the injunction gets attacked, maybe goes away. Gang mammas don't raise no fools.
Whether or not this particular injunction survives a vote or gets dropped, the problem that led to it remains, even if dormant. I'd love to hear the anti-injunction activist community state what they are going to do to preclude a regrowth and an end to recruitment and coercion rather than the stream of tat-covered excuses and intimidating reasons the injunction stinks. The fact that only a few of the named persons are still on the streets suggests it was based in the reality of the time, not racism or illusions. But as Barney says, maybe this injunction is past its time and proceeding with it unnecessary. At this point, it does seem like the funds and energy defending it might be better spent on preventive and remediation programs, along with more proactive law enforcement, more restorative justice, and greater effort to stifling the big players pulling the strings of street puppets doing crimes under gang flags.
Posted on April 9 at 9:38 p.m.
This story warrants more prominence, not to mention a major public education campaign. Drug resistant TB is no joke - a real crisis in South Africa because it's so contagious. An in-depth interview with some docs and epidemiologists about ways to deal with it here would be helpful. So many people live in close quarters or even live rough in camps that spread is a real concern, given that a cough is all it takes for spread. This news makes cruise ship passengers with norovirus look pretty benign by comparison.
On Health Officials Work to Contain Tuberculosis Outbreak
Posted on April 9 at 7:12 p.m.
Agree with Ken...maybe now isn't the time for this particular good idea. Odds are it was planned before the drought declarations. So rather than experimenting with dishwashing for this big festival, it might be better and stick with environmentally responsible compostables/recyclables and focus on saving water for now, even if it's not that much. The Sudbusters website says they've simply "...scaled up a standard dish washing system, common to any restaurant, for large events to create an opportunity for people to gather at a remote festival and still be able to enjoy a waste-free experience." Maybe waste free, but also water dependent. Alas, figuring out what to conserve and what to use isn't easy in times of scarcity.
On Lucidity Festival Lobbies for Legal Dishwashing
Posted on April 6 at 3:44 p.m.
The difference between Fiesta - love it or hate it - and these 'spontaneous' social networked bashes is that the Fiesta at least has responsible people organizing, planning, and working with public safety agencies, not in opposition to them. It's natural for kids to rebel against authority and go into "don't tell me what to do" mode, and to be over confident that they've got it covered when they can't possibly.
But there are some real permanent residents trying to make lives in I.V., not just student renters laying waste - and each other - while only passing through. The county has duties to protect their peace and property, too. It's a permanent urban community, not transitory student housing or South Padre Island. The full-time residents and property owners have a right to live without fear of fair-weather riots and vandalism when irresponsible "come one, come all" invites are broadcast.
If such events as the Halloween thing and this one are going to be permitted, then maybe a visit by some reps of the New Orleans PD are in order to share ideas on managing drunk and rowdy crowds without inciting them to self-righteous indignation. At the least the UCSB administration needs to step up, along with local beer and wine merchants, property owners, law enforcement, and residents to sort lessons learned from this disgraceful showing and structure future UCSB/I.V. festivals more like the organized chaos that is Fiesta than the mess these alcohol-fueled mobs continue to create.
On Deltopia Party Devolves Into Isla Vista Riot
Posted on March 28 at 10:48 a.m.
"...it was “dramatically downsized” due to the tribal environmental review process." Well, the environment is in more trouble now than it was in 2004 with too many people; too much vehicle traffic (with special thanks to the Chumash along with the wineries); and not enough water to go around. Current consumption levels are not sustainable, and the situation becomes catastrophic if the climate gets dryer. Adding more water consumers is regional suicide. Where did that much-hyped Native American eco-consciousness go, or the respect for the earth attributed to these guys' ancestors? What besides capitalist greed by an extended-family corporation could rationalize up-scaling this casino, in this place, to mini-Vegas proportions? If the reconstituted tribe gets their way yet again, the Camp 4 land won't become shareholder housing, a bingo hall, and/or the Chumash, Inc. golf course; it will just be overflow parking lot #5.
On Chumash Want More Gamblers and Guests
Posted on February 25 at 8:51 a.m.
Very informative piece. Thanks. As bikes get more popular, it's nice to understand the differences (and challenges) of different styles. Sounds like a fixie - as compared with the one-speeds I rode as a kid - demands quick reflexes and considerable strength to handle responsibly. Can't honestly imagine riding anything without brakes in congested areas.
On The Fixie Phenomenon
Posted on February 8 at 10:37 a.m.
Michael Rymer's film, "Face to Face," screened at the SBIFF a couple of years ago. Based on a David Williamson play, it depicts a compacted restorative justice session using the methodology Dr. David Moore and others have implemented widely in the Australian state of Victoria and in other locales, including Baltimore. The process, called "conferencing," applies when a dispute has escalated to become a conflict, even a violent one. So it works in criminal cases, but also in the workplace, in families, and even inside political organizations to bring the impacted parties to a conflict together to sort through the perspectives, explore reasoning and motives, look at consequences, and come up with a plan for resolution, follow-through, and closure. The facilitation of a conference is a readily teachable skill, and it's great to hear that Santa Barbara is looking to add this powerful option. We participated in a training with David Moore in Oz last summer and hope more people here look into it as an alternative to the traditional criminal justice solutions which so often solve nothing.
On Restorative Justice Revisited
Posted on February 6 at 1:21 p.m.
As the drought moves us closer to recycling water from the waste treatment plants for drinking, dumping drug residues and oddball gene-modifying chemicals into the sewer systems really matters. Think costs equivalent to desalination for removing those man-made pharma-pollutants because conventional filters won't. Using gray water for landscaping and irrigating foodstuffs will be - probably already is - a genetic gamble. The petro-chemical age has brought big new problems along with benefits.
On The Dog that Didn't Bark
Posted on January 11 at 9:57 a.m.
Getting back to the original topic, let it be said that proponents of the gang injunction are often too intimidated by the presence of gang members, their girlfriends, parents, boyfriends, and fans who benefit from Gangs, Inc., to attend public meetings, much less to speak up. They don't want to be targeted personally; they already feel threatened. Sometimes they're kin. And the danger is real. It takes a lot of courage - sometimes foolhardiness - to risk family and property, even life, by standing up openly against gangsters whose tactics of choice are payback, revenge, and retribution. The cops can offer them little protection, and the consequences the legal system provides are insignificant to the repeat bad guys, usually earning them status and peer respect rather than triggering guilt or reconsideration, much less empathy for victims. They're willing to do some jail time, wear a bracelet, play the probationer game, or wait out a protracted court process somebody else pays for anyway to avoid the shame of looking weak.
The injunction deprives named persons - named because of prior activities, not whimsy - from participating in further gang-oriented behavior. No shame in obeying it because it's enforced, not weakness. If they're out of the life and clean, then the restrictions with all the built-in exceptions give them a fresh chance to stay out. It's a means to break the cross-generational loop. Those who want to perpetuate the gang cycle will hate it, of course. But former gang members no longer involved should be glad to see their families safer, their kids facing less temptation, and their community not run by murderous cold-blooded mafiosi and malevolent thugs sending orders from behind porous state prison bars. Agreed that we're in a bad place even to need this, but the rights of criminals can't exceed those of victims, and citizens desiring to live peacefully within the law can't surrender to packs of animals who don't.
On Council Hears Tsunami of Criticism over Gang Injunction
This 19 piece 1930s New Orleans orchestra and cabaret will ... Read More
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