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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

Community Conflict On Pandemic Parklets Heads to SB Council; Laura Drives Overdue Pot Tax Change

City Hall mandarins lowballed a critical public meeting on the future of pandemic-era restaurant parklets, but impassioned feelings on the matter induced a full house of Santa Barbara denizens despite the best efforts of the suits.

Although the confab was scheduled practically at the crack of dawn, the day after a holiday, and nestled within the labyrinth of construction at the Public Library, scores of concerned citizens – led by downtown's Restaurant Mafia -- turned out to argue, variously, that the entropic parklet structures should a) remain as is; b) be restricted to State Street; c) be subjected to appropriate and rigorous design criteria; d) be relegated to the dustbin of history.

There were no injuries.

Noozhawk’s Josh Molina and the Indy’s Ryan P. Cruz break down both the public commentary and the behind-the-scenes politics of the issue on this week’s edition of Newsmakers TV, as the community quarrel heads for a showdown at next week’s meeting of the SB City Council.

The indefatigable Melinda Burns joins the gang to reprise her reporting on how and why the Board of Supervisors – finally – opted to bring a little heat to bear on tax scofflaw cannabis growers who’ve been playing the county for a sucker for five years.

Melinda also heroically maintains her scrupulously even-handed and issue-oriented perspective on the topic, undeterred by the genial host’s attempt to goad her into opining on the politics of SB's biggest hiding-in-plain-sight scandal - or on Supervisors Das Williams and Steve Lavignino, the geniuses behind the shabby weed ordinance, finally dropping their see-no evil, hear-no-evil stance about the scofflaws they’ve empowered and enabled from their start only because of the efforts of newcomer Laura Capps, which not only shamed them into it, but also stiffened the spine of emergent ally Joan Hartmann.

Plus: a vade mecum of new speed limit restrictions on SB streets, Newsmakers' absolution for DP principal Bill Woodard in the Piss Christ uproar, the state of play in Das' re-elect bid and a generational war of words among the panel over bicyclists on State Street,

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


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


New Yorker cartoon by Nathan Cooper.

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