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Posted on December 3 at 1:43 p.m.
I do wish generous souls like Mr. Simmons and Ms. Miller McCune would consider subsidizing a shelter in Montecito for a while. Why not distribute the services - and accompanying problems - more equitably? No doubt there would be many volunteers from Westmont anxious to help closer to campus, maybe to share some dorm space. The fallout from the noble Casa Esperanza experiment - those who are drawn but really don't want sobriety and/or can't handle the structure - ends up living rough on the sidewalks, around the freeway, and in the bushes. Without going into gross details, imagine the consequences given the lack of all-day public toilets, mental illness, criminal histories, and over-abundance of cheap alcohol and drugs. Isn't it about time those pleasures were shared with the green manicured lawn and twelve-foot hedge set that generously enables them from behind gates? How about it, Montecitans? Surely you've got room for a shelter in your neighborhood, too. Maybe by your school? It's real educational for the kids.
On Homeless Shelter Numbers Up
Posted on November 27 at 3:52 p.m.
Diablo Canyon is a devlish wicked problem, for sure. Equally concerning is that the dangerous phase of cleanup at Fukushima Daiichi began last week. It will continue for decades. As Nick points out, we could be seriously impacted if someone goes "oops" - or whatever the Japanese phrase is for "Crap...I just slipped up with this joystick and initiated a nuclear reaction that will contaminate the northern hemisphere so much that Chernobyl looks like an exercise and they have to evacuate California while the cloud passes." Dr. Stephen Hosea of Cottage gave a talk on nuclear risks early in November and it's been uploaded to UTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2r7v...
On Diablo Canyon: Mad Dogs and Crazy Chickens
Posted on November 2 at 4:04 p.m.
Just curious to know how many people drove their autos and trucks - some with bikes aboard - down to Cabrillo to celebrate this closure to cars. With the sidewalks, multi-use path, and Chase Palm Park all available, not sure why this gesture was necessary or particularly meaningful. The 4th of July and Farmers' Market close streets to cars, too. So? More mass transit, bike paths, and alternative means of transportation are great. But does blocking a major cross-town artery on a busy Saturday for a few booths that could have been attached to Art Walk really make that point?
On SB Open Streets: ¡Calles Vivas!
Posted on November 1 at 5:29 p.m.
Dr. Hosea's talk was an excellent introduction to this ongoing crisis. Sounds like the Cottage PR department might make it available online, a real service.
Although he offered no surprises to those already concerned with Fukushima and the nuclear problems waiting at San Onofre and Diablo Canyon, his wake-up call - aligned with the S.B. U.N. Association - alerts citizens to the potential catastrophe facing the West Coast and, by extension, the nation and the hemisphere if someone screws up in Japan.
The crisis exists now, today, not in the future. The Pacific is being contaminated with radiation from Fukushima Daiichi non-stop; it concentrates in the food chain, and nobody understands the consequences. The Japanese are building a house of sticks while the radioactive wolf is sucking in deep, deep breaths; one robotic mistake will trigger the huffing and puffing, and we'll feel the heat over here as it crumbles.
The danger escalates over the next few weeks as very risky maneuvers begin to try to clean up fuel rods in a fractured, tilting reactor structure. It's a game of nuclear pick-up-sticks which will be a 0-defect, 0-room for mistakes operation. Data suggests that parts of the plant are already doing the "China Syndrome." One bad slip could out-contaminate Chernobyl many times over. Then the film would switch to "On the Beach." Questions include: Why is the U.N. not more engaged in this threat to the global commons? Where is the "full court press" from the world's nations to help Japan? Forget saving face; radiation plumes tend to disregard nationalistic boundaries, pride and politics. Why is this not already the biggest collective engineering project in human history? Who is monitoring the situation for Santa Barbara? Is there a task force of health department, UCSB/Westmont physicists and oceanographers, and Cottage/Sansum nuclear medicine folks keeping track and preparing scenarios for a Fukushima blow-up? This is not a drill.Is the State of California acting to protect the citizens in case of another catastrophic failure to the west (or on our own coast)? Are the shut-down Feds proactively monitoring the West Coast air and waters? Who's checking - EPA, FDA, DoD, NWS, Coast Guard?Where's the public information? Hot-line? Website with monitor readings? Buoys reports? Seafood cesium levels by species and fishery? This is a "Clear and Present Danger," yet Google is the primary PIO.
While commercial interests might prefer to keep the citizens in the dark about the severity of this situation, those charged with protecting the public health need to step up immediately. We must demand that they do because no less than the viability of the West Coast is at risk.
Meanwhile stock up on potassium iodide tablets, dust off your old CDV700 from the Cold War, refresh your go bag, check the Qantas schedule, and maybe review the lyrics to 'Waltzing Matilda' just in case.
On Radioactive Fallout from Fukushima
Posted on October 29 at 11:40 a.m.
Very sad news. What a tragedy if 93.7 turns into another canned radio franchise. Why didn't the SBF do more active fund-raising and let listeners know about the dire financial situation? Many of us chip in for KCLU, etc., and would have done so for a local treasure like KDB had the message gone out more clearly. We celebrated when the SBF took it over, assuming the local foundation would have the sense to treat this asset like Dallas does their WRR heritage. But the decision to put the license on the auction block with a callous "whatever" seems irresponsible, short-sighted, lazy and backwards. One wonders which non-profits successfully lobbied the SBF to do this? Who schmoozed whom to undo classical music? What are the underlying politics? Is everything about Santa Barbara to be privatized, commercialized, and corporatized? If KDB is handed off to the highest bidder, what's next in the ongoing sell-out of what's left of the commons?
On KDB 93.7 FM on the Auction Block
Posted on September 30 at 6:05 p.m.
Nadine is both warm and professional. She's easy to work with makes conference guests feel like they're at home in the hotel and welcomed to the city. Hotel SB does run like a hospitable family, and Nadine has no small part in generating that positive energy.
On The S.B. Questionnaire: Nadine Turner
Posted on August 13 at 1:41 p.m.
We also got frisked (again) at the OLG mercado. It was like going to the airport for a flight. What the church realizes that some members of our city government still do not is that gangs are domestic terrorists, and every day they present a more clear and present danger than Al-Qaeda. The gang injunction is a mere drop in the bucket of what's needed. People inhabit incredibly different worlds within this city. Gang values are "normal" for far too many, and their families. Sociopaths are too often made heroes. The smirking mug shots look all too much alike - no remorse, no concern with consequences, no empathy for victims - just off for another loop through the revolving door of the legal system ready to come out more experienced, tougher, respected. That's gotta' end.
On Police Make Arrest in Olive Street Murder
Posted on August 11 at 11:04 a.m.
Skaters' Point has been a lesson. The skate park has problems, including a terrible location chosen because of universal and totally understandable NIMBYism elsewhere at the time, and a lack of responsible supervision largely thanks to user aggression. Because of recurring vandalism, it's a cost center, too. Swimmers, tennis players, golfers, etc., chip in to cover costs of their activities. Why not skateboarders for their very specialized single-use athletic facility(s)? It's a sport, not an entitlement. But the real problem, and the one that must be faced directly if either Goleta or SB plans more skate parks, is "skateboard culture." That's mobile, and it is what's fundamentally wrong at Skaters' Point. It's not what it was 13 years ago when this park was built. A user-monitored drop-in concept depends on responsible users willing to play well with others as part of community, not above or in opposition to it. The skate park is a sports venue, not an adolescent daycare center or skate gang hangout. When that user community lets "punks" and "low lifes" set the standards, things go down hill fast, as they have. For example, during lunch on Friday, we watched over a dozen (lost count at twelve) skateboarders zoom downhill on the pedestrian-filled and narrow State Street sidewalk under the 101. Want to bet they were from the skate park? Think maybe they're literate and therefore chose to willfully ignore the "No skateboarding" ordinance posted on every lamp post? True, not all skateboarders are jerks; several used the bike lane which is equally illegal and dangerous, but not intimidating to tourist families with strollers. And one carried his board while walking down the sidewalk, as he should. Where's the peer pressure for that? Following a long history of problems, the June 30 debacle and the follow-up actions demonstrated an absence of responsibility and accountability at the existing park. And now, rather than recognizing the problem and doing something about it, the skateboard community takes the position of aggrieved party and demands to be listened to, whining of oppression and unjust treatment, all the while lobbying both private donors and the taxpayers for yet more skate parks. Talk about a blind spot; but maybe that's the best evidence of how today's "skateboard culture" works.
On Skateboarders to Speak Out
Posted on August 9 at 8:44 a.m.
Interested parties should definitely view the video (linked in the story). To save time, go to agenda item #6. It's a long discussion of a complex issue, and also informative since several viewpoints are on display.
Posted on August 5 at 3:43 p.m.
Can't disagree with that, Ken. (Anxiously awaiting the debut of the Bezos Post in contrast.) More importantly, I'm curious to know how UCSB was viewed in terms of academics, research, and teaching. Hearty partying always draws the tabloid press.
On New Era in Isla Vista Housing
Known for his affable humor, the popular host and best-selling ... Read More
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