GATE Mess Supplies Winner & Loser of Week

Santa Barbara school board superintendent Cary Matsuoka takes home the Newsmakers (all rise) Biggest Political Loser of the Week Award, for a non-speaking role in the district's big debacle over the GATE program. During two hours of emotional testimony by several dozen parents angry about the district’s sudden, clumsy attempt to effectively dismantle the Elementary Gifted and Talented (GATE) magnet program at Washington Elementary School, Matsuoka did his best imitation of a guy who's just waiting for a bus, as opposed to someone pulling down $354,000 year to provide leadership. Wary Cary sat on the dais without a word, choosing to let assistant superintendent Raul Ramirez, who presented the

Salud on Impeachment: 'Reserving Judgment'

Salud Carbajal believes the explosive investigative report about Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election contains “very damning and very clear evidence” that Donald Trump engaged in obstruction of justice. But he’s not calling for the president to be impeached. “I’m reserving my judgment until we have turned over every stone,” Santa Barbara’s Democratic congressmember told us this week. Salud’s “yes-but” comments on Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report not only reflect one man’s natural political caution but also point to a broader strategic and ethical debate among Democrats over what to do about its findings. Trump and his supporters have shouted from the rooftops that Mu

TV: SBCC, SBUSD, City Hall & Supes Updates

Newsmakers TV this week takes on the allegations of race and gender bias swirling at City College and the ongoing controversy over anti-bias programs in Santa Barbara’s public school system, along with Santa Barbara’s landlord-tenant conflict and the latest sweetheart deal at the county. Delaney Smith, editor in chief of the SBCC Channels reports on a watered-down resolution about racism that’s divided the Board of Trustees and a new lawsuit against the college from a former student employee who says she faced discrimination. Then Laura Capps discusses why the school board believes that the embattled Just Communities anti-bias program helps address the academic achievement gap. Nick Welsh ch

Here's Where to Read the Mueller Report

Not since John Mitchell covered up for Richard Nixon has a U.S. Attorney General abased himself with as much sycophantic dissembling as did Trump flunky William Barr in releasing the report of Special Counsel Robert Mueller a short time ago. Barr’s brief, first-day letter allegedly clearing the 46 percent 45th percent president several weeks ago, his pre-release press conference today and the access that White House lawyers had to the report before Congress generated widespread outrage that led all the way to...Fox News. “I suspect that the President was pretty pleased with the performance of Bill Barr today and particularly on the issue of obstruction,” Fox anchor Chris Wallace said, follow

Hazard's Emails Draw Brown Act Warning

The lawyer for the Montecito Sanitary District has told board members they are violating the state Brown Act and “half a dozen conflict of interest rules” by engaging in group emails with Bob Hazard, a Montecito Journalist columnist and major campaign contributor to officials serving on both the water and sanitary district boards. “You need to be very careful,” Janet McGinnis, the sanitary district legal counsel, said at the board's March 14 meeting. “I’m trying to protect you from missteps." Hazard, an associate editor of the Journal, resident and past president of the Birnam Wood Golf Club on East Valley Road, is a ubiquitous presence at public board meetings. He contributed $5,000 to the

AWC's Big Bash: Communicating Women Bestow Honors on Women Communicators

A double dose of Newsmakers mega-kudos to Beth Farnsworth and Kymberlee Weil, honored on Friday by the Association of Women in Communications during an emotional program stocked with laughs and a few tears, The hottest non-profit ticket of the weekend, the AWC's 12th annual Women of Achievement awards celebration drew more than 150 authors, broadcasters, entrepreneurs, journalists, marketers, messaging coaches, poets, PR practitioners, social and other media type professionals, along with assorted academics, students and at least six men (we name no names) for an El Paseo luncheon featuring salmon salad, creme brulee and a cash bar. "Wussup ladies...and...fellas," whooped Starshine Roshell,

Dem Supes Push Sweetheart Union Scheme

Democrats on the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday are expected to rubber stamp a plan replacing the county’s low-bid system for publicly funded construction projects with a program restricting such work to union contractors. The proposal, by Supervisors Joan Hartman and Das Williams, comes a few months after fellow Supervisor Gregg Hart, then a city council member, rammed through an equivalent scheme in the city of Santa Barbara. Both the city and county policies involve the use of so-called Project Labor Agreements, or PLAs. A rote feature of Democratic Party ideology, support for PLAs is featured in the platform of the Santa Barbara County party organization, among countless others across t

Newsmakers TV: The Mansplaining Edition

From pot to punditry, housing to homelessness and Milpas Street to Farmers’ Market, Nick Welsh, Josh Molina and Mr. Cranky Pants offer a brisk behind the scenes tour of the latest and loudest controversies, conflicts and clashes in the city of Santa Barbara. Leading off with a discussion of the high-decible dispute over the embattled AUD program, the fellas kick around the short and long-range implications of a 76-rental unit project on the Eastside, before untangling the interrelated disagreements over building a new police station, upgrading De La Guerra Plaza and relocating the popular, open-air Saturday market. Then they look at the good news and the bad news in the latest homeless numbe

Monique: Big Decision Deadline is Inoperative

Assembly member Monique Limon, two weeks past her promised date for announcing if she will run for the state Senate or re-election in 2020, declined on Monday to disclose a new time certain for making her intentions clear. “Life happened,” Monique told Newsmakers, by way of explaining why she blew her deadline for a pronouncement about her plans. On January 17, we asked the state lawmaker in an interview whether she would seek the senate seat to be left vacant by termed-out Hannah Beth-Jackson, or run for another term in the Assembly next year. Here's how that went: “By March I will have a decision,” Monique told Newsmakers in a telephone interview from Sacramento on Thursday. “It’s not my i

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