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Posted on August 2 at 8:09 p.m.
Sorry, loonpt, but water supplies are dwindling. The market is drying up. Surplus fresh water is a thing of the past. The Colorado River is in decline, and the aquifers are dropping faster than anyone cares to admit. Cutbacks to present usage and curtailment of new development are essential, and that might not be enough. Tourism is a trade-off. No matter how much money they spend, it can't buy what isn't available. There might come a point where more of them just aren't worth it - unless they pack in their own water. We need renewably fueled desal ASAP, especially if the 'growthers' maintain control.
On Where’s the Best Fiesta Food?
Posted on August 2 at 10:29 a.m.
Hope Barney also goes a few blocks east from State to sample the fiesta fare at the Our Lady of Guadalupe mercado on Nopal Street. Notoriously delicious pork tamales, plus tortas, tacos, enchiladas, and many other delectables, as well as music.
Posted on July 24 at 3:33 p.m.
The southwest appears to be in a tragedy of a commons scenario. If the drought continues, the present consumption for agriculture and big cities that probably should not even exist will deplete the most essential common pool resource next to air, namely fresh water. Individuals and entities working on self-interest will use up both the surface and underground supplies.The thirsty gorilla, irrigation-based agriculture, grew big before there were so many urban mouths and industrial consumers. It staked huge claims which nobody seems to be reconsidering based on watering crops which do not belong - rice? alfalfa? almonds? Now the system is out of balance and unsustainable. Farmers won't stop pumping while they can. Many are corporations that don't care, and others feel they have no options. Regulators won't be able to effect necessary changes fast enough.Bottom line: now, not two or three years from now, is the time for Santa Barbara to begin getting desalination up and running. Things appear to be drying up faster, not slower than projected. If rains come, we will face some added costs for having built insurance that will have to be maintained. But if the climate is changing long-term, or even if this drought is protracted, we'll be very happy to have quintillions of gallons of water lapping on the beach and the means to drink and wash with some of it without being dependent on a valve turned by politicians in Sacramento.
On Water Hogs Facing Stiff Fines
Posted on June 11 at 1:10 p.m.
We need desal capacity sooner rather than later. Santa Barbara is barely sustainable as configured, even in the present climate. What if it gets hotter and dryer for a few decades? Pumping groundwater is a bad sign because relying on the aquifer is a short-term solution, especially when the water laws let commercial agriculture suck up all they want to irrigate non-native crops. There's no way to know when/if replenishment might happen, so making the ocean drinkable is an expensive but necessary fix, along with curtailing more consumption.
On City Fights for Desalination Plant Permits
Posted on May 30 at 1:19 p.m.
Thriving is relative. Perhaps by Chamber of Commerce, condo and business park developer standards. But here's one un-clap for Target. Goleta is starting to look like an over-built mess set on paving over the good land while relying on water that won't exist. They might adapt Malvina Reynolds' lyric for a city anthem to fit the Oxnard Strip Mall West they celebrate becoming: "Big boxes...selling ticky-tacky...facing the hillside...all the same." Let's hope some reconsidering happens before what's left of the lower Central Coast looks like L.A.
On 'Goleta Is Thriving'
Posted on May 20 at 2:19 p.m.
We were recently in Milan and there are dozens of public BikeMi racks all around the large central city in addition to trams. Cost of a 3-speed with basket is 2.5 euro per day and .50/per 30 minutes. Cheaper weekly and annual passes. Requires credit card. Many people - both locals and tourists - chose the inexpensive and healthful transportation since parking cars is difficult. Although scooters are everywhere and dedicated bike lanes aren't, the system appeared to work pretty well. Wonder if the local bike and buggy concessionaires would go for this?
On Shared Wheels
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