How Prince Gavin Overruled State Voters

A foe of capital punishment, Gavin Newsom said while running for governor that, if elected, he would not substitute his personal views for the will of California voters, who have repeatedly supported the death penalty. Not three months into his term, Newsom did just that. On March 13, the new governor declared an “executive moratorium” on executions in California, granting reprieves to all 737 inmates on Death Row, most of them murderers. He also canceled the state’s existing lethal injection protocol for carrying out the death penalty and, in a characteristic grandstanding move, had his press office tweet out a photo of San Quentin’s death chamber being dismantled. Never lacking in self-reg

Dem Party Endorsement Deadlines Loom

Kudos to Democratic Party honcho Gail Teton-Landis, for undertaking to advise potential candidates for four Santa Barbara City Council seats that decision day for the county organization to make its waaay early endorsements is fast approaching. Newsmakers has groused and grumbled for years that the party’s process for awarding its key endorsement, which often is pivotal in local races, is treated as a state secret. More than a few candidates have complained in the past that information about the procedure was barely promulgated outside a close circle of party insiders, or much beyond the ken of the vast audience of loyal readers of the SB Democrats' web site. With a majority of council seats

Why Trump Starts as 2020 Front-Runner

Terrifying but true: The nation’s leading bookmakers have installed Donald Trump as the favorite to win next year’s presidential election. With a huge and sprawling field of wannabe Democratic challengers still taking shape, the preeminent professional betting service last week informed clients that they’ve officially made President Hair Boy the frontrunner. Their early line picks Trump as the top seed, at 6-to-5 odds (a $100 bet would win $120 for a total $220 payout). Former vice president Joe Biden has 19-to-5 odds ($100 to make $380) and Senator Bernie Sanders is at 5-to-1 ($100 earns $500), with half the Democratic members of the U.S. Senate, including Favorite Daughter K

New TV: Who Will Pay for Thomas Fire?

Packed with local news, the latest episode of Newsmakers TV leads off with a look at a new forensic report that traces the start of the Thomas Fire to Edison power lines. Tyler Hayden reports that the utility is pushing back hard against the report, raising a host of consequential questions, that range from whether residential customers will end up paying the company’s liability costs, to whether the fallout from the wildfire could inflict the kind of financial damage that pushed Southern California Edison’s sister giant utility, Pacific Gas & Electric Co., into bankruptcy. Nick Welsh is up next with the latest on the county battle over the outbreak of hoop houses – the distinctive, plastic

How Mike Eliason's Storm Photos Went Global

Mike Eliason shot images of Tuesday night’s violent and spectacular storm for 90 minutes, standing in the open at the end of Stearns Wharf, before deciding it was time to pack it in. “At one point there was lightning flashing on all four sides and spider webby ones above me,” he recalled. “I thought, ehh, I probably got enough.” Eliason, once again merging his official duties as Public Information Officer for SB County Fire with his matchless skills as a news photographer, produced a series of stunning and iconic photos that swiftly went around the world, displayed by news organizations in print, video and online, from Mexico City to Mumbai. A year ago, Mike gave Newsmakers the scoop about h

'He Has No Genitalia and He's Holding a Star'

Dustin Hoffman, accepting the Oscar for Best Actor at the 1980 Academy Awards, cast a glance at the statuette and famously declared, “He has no genitalia and he’s holding a sword.” Wrapping up this week’s edition of “Newsmakers TV,” Mr. Cranky Pants paraphrased the film star in thanking the journalists and politicos whose combined and collaborative energy and talents recently led to a coveted TVSB Award – call it the Little Emmy – for television journalism. The winning formula is on full display in this week’s show, as Noozhawk’s Josh Molina ushers in local election season with a rundown on the four city council seats on the ballot in November, while Delaney Smith, editor of The Channels, re

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