5 Takeaways from Monique's Big Move

With 163 days left before California’s March 3 primary election, the decision by Monique Limon to give up her Assembly seat to run for the state Senate resolves the most crucial unanswered question about Santa Barbara politics in 2020. The second-term state lawmaker drove insiders, ambitious strivers, hungry campaign consultants, geezer gossip mongers and assorted other hacks and flacks nearly nuts with her six-month fulmination on the matter, during which much of the local political world was effectively frozen in place. Monique kept her own counsel until the decision was made, even after she blew by a self-imposed 60 day deadline for announcing her plans, as she routinely deflected questio

Breaking: Monique Chooses the Senate

Monique Limon said on Saturday that she’s running for the 19th Senate District seat now held by termed-out Hannah Beth Jackson -- a long-awaited decision that leaves her 37th Assembly District seat open for the 2020 election and clarifies the shape of Santa Barbara’s political landscape. Mercifully ending a six-month, one-woman Hamlet act about her choice between seeking to move to the 40-member Senate, where she'd represent double the land and twice the people, or stay put in the 80-member Assembly, where she's quickly become effective and gained influence in only a few years, Monique announced her candidacy in a 350-word e-blast. Acknowledging that she has been “thinking about this for a l

New TV: From Farmer's Market & SB Politics to School Breakfast Blunder & ICE Arrests

Most of the panel held off sucking down their snob beers until the show was over, while one member just couldn’t wait (we name no names; hint: it’s Nick) but it all somehow came together anyway for a spirited 30-minutes of conversation about Santa Barbara’s biggest news stories Lizzie Rodriguez leads things off on City Hall’s Crop vs. Cops conflict over displacing the Saturday Farmer’s Market on behalf of the new SBPD headquarters, while Josh Molina handicaps the city council race on the Mesa and offers some pointers to the two candidates challenging incumbent Jason Dominguez on the Eastside. Nick Welsh parses the no-win political situation for Sheriff Bill Brown in the controversy over loca

Election Specials Now Available as Podcasts

In our unstinting efforts to, um, enter the 21st Century, by providing high-quality content about Santa Barbara politics and news as conveniently and accessibly as possible to loyal subscribers and lurkers, Newsmakers now offers all of our TVSB shows in podcast form. This means that all four of our recently produced programs about the Nov. 5 City Council election – the three-way brawl on the Eastside and the five-candidate race on the Mesa, plus one-on-one interviews with unopposed incumbents Oscar Gutierrez and Meagan Harmon – are available for listening when and where it works for you. Hear Cruzito Cruz and Alejandra Gutierrez gang up on Jason Dominguez while you walk the dog! Catch the fi

TV: Newsmakers Hosts First District 1 Forum

For the first time, the three candidates for City Council in the Eastside's District 1 sat down face-to-face-to-face on Wednesday night, in a campaign forum produced by Newsmakers TV. In a spirited and combative half-hour affair, incumbent councilmember Jason Dominguez squared off against challengers Alejandra Gutierrez, who runs the Franklin Service Center, and longtime community activist Cruzito Cruz. The three contenders mixed it up on issues from housing construction and homelessness to gang violence and the right location for the new police department headquarters, in the first of a series of forums that will continue with a scheduled joint appearance at the Rotary Club of Santa Barbara

3 Takeaways from Carp Schools Pot Scandal

On Tuesday night, more than a dozen citizen orators beleaguered the school board in Carpinteria about – what else? – marijuana. The latest outbreak of hostilities over the conflict that increasingly dominates public life in Carp (no truth to the rumor that the city is trying to change its area code to 420) aimed at the board’s recent acceptance of a $189,000 grant from the influential industry group Carp Growers to pay for a middle school, um, drug counselor. Outrage among the anti-weed witnesses, who on this evening outnumbered the pro-ganja deponents, focused as much on the cluelessness of Superintendent Diana Rigby and a posse of four district suits -- who together mugged for a photograph

Newsmakers TV: Who Is Oscar Gutierrez?

Blessed by the political gods, Oscar Gutierrez won 1007 votes in capturing a 2018 special election on Santa Barbara’s Westside– that now have transformed into six years on the City Council. Oscar, who represents District 3 on council, recently was appointed to a five-year term that leaves him in place until 2025 (a one-time anomaly accompanying the city’s changeover to even year elections) after no opponent surfaced to challenge him for the post he won temporarily last year, when Cathy Murillo vacated the seat upon being sworn in as mayor. Nice work if you can get it and Oscar, to his credit, seemed both genuinely humble and truly amazed at his great good fortune as he talked about represent

TV Panel Returns: Disaster, Politics, SBCC

Lizzie Rodriguez, sharp-tongued community activist and SB Fire and Police Commissioner, joins the cast this week for the first episode of a new season of Newsmakers TV. Amid community heartache over the deadly Conception dive boat disaster, Lizzie, Josh Molina, Delaney Smith and Nick Welsh join Jerry for a segment of personal reflections and behind-the-scene glimpses of how the published news got made about the catastrophe, against a backdrop of images from the Indy’s Paul Wellman and the indefatigable Mike Eliason from Santa Barbara County's fire department. The panel discusses how the Democratic Party’s Labor Day celebration, originally planned for politicking and big announcements, turned

Starshine Goes National - Nabs Big Award

Mega-kudos to Santa Barbara word-slinger Starshine Roshell, who will be honored by the venerable Association for Women in Communications this month with its National Headliner Award for her talents as a columnist, teacher and academic marketing whiz. It’s kind of a big deal, given that prior winners not only include niche media stars like Erma Bombeck, Heloise and Judge Jeanine Pirro but also household names like Barbara Walters, Katherine Graham and Eudora Welty. Among other exploits, Starshine has been voted Santa Barbara’s top columnist in the Independent’s “Best Of” reader’s poll for ten years running, much to the chagrin of Nick Welsh and that whingeing geezer guy from “Capitol Letters.

Newsmakers TV: Who Is Meagan Harmon?

In just a few months, SB city council member Meagan Harmon has moved from political unknown into the center of the most substantive and politically thorny policy debates at City Hall. Newsmakers TV scored a scoop last week when we sat down for Harmon’s first interview since she won re-appointment to downtown’s District 6 seat (not to mention her first television interview ever), after drawing no opponent in the Nov. 5 election. In a fast-moving, 30-minute face-to-face, attorney Harmon showed why she’s quickly become a rising star, displaying smarts, clarity and wit, an impressive political combination found all too rarely on the council dais these days. It’s all right here, right now on News

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