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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

City Hall Shocker: Bjork Heads for Exit; Oscar, Ale Fight to Open School Grounds; SBUSD-SBCC Pact

Less than two years after accepting the job, Santa Barbara City Administrator Rebecca Bjork surprised her City Council bosses this week, abruptly giving notice that she’s bailing out at the end of the year.

Bjork and everyone else at City Hall tried to put a happy face on her retirement announcement after 37 years on the city payroll.

Her no-nonsense personal style and impatience with pettier political aspects of her $324,180.48-a-year post coruscated, however, amid some recent public scrapes and scrums with several council members; friends say that Rebecca returned from a four-week vacation in a who-needs-this-aggravation state of mind.

Josh Molina and Ryan P. Cruz return to Newsmakers TV this week to break down the behind-the-scenes story of Bjork’s impending departure, and what it portends for city government moving forward.

Callie Fausey, education reporter for the Independent, joins the gang with an update on a big financial boost for the dual enrollment partnership between City College and the high schools of the SB Unified School District, plus the warmhearted tale of the Housing Authority providing free back-to-school supplies for kids living in public dwellings. She also reprises her reporting on efforts to protect the health and well-being of seniors at a time when Santa Barbara and Ventura are the two most rapidly warming counties in the U.S. as climate scientists declare the “era of global boiling” has begun.

Plus: How Alejandra and (no relation) Oscar Gutierrez are battling to offset cuts in the Parks and Recreation department budget by contriving to open Eastside and Westside school grounds to the community; the latest on a century of controversy about what to do with De La Guerra Plaza; who's left holding the bag in the bankruptcy of the morning paper; and Dodger fan boys Josh and Ryan confront the unfeeling meanness of their team’s management in the wake of a tragic fatal accident at the ballpark.

All this and more, right here, right now on Newsmakers TV.


You can watch the new show via YouTube below or by clicking through this link. The podcast version is here. TVSB, Cox Cable Channel 17, airs the program at 8 p.m. Monday-Friday, and at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. =, 91.9 FM, broadcasts it on Monday at 5:30 p.m.


Images: Shocker - Spider Man Marvel Legend Series (; The New Yorker cartoon b Teresa Burns Parkhurst (h/t Kate Ford).

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