Harbor Board Pushes for Early Cruise Ship Returns - Seriously? City Hall, Politics, RIP Gary Hart
The Omicron variant has triggered the highest case loads of the pandemic in Santa Barbara County, even as public health leaders suggest the worst may be over and at least one supervisor (we name no names, Gregg Hart) performs a touchdown dance on the two-yard line.
Sure, a little optimism and hope is nice for change, but is it really time to start inviting cruise ships back to town?
That appears to be the most pressing priority for the members and staff of the city Harbor Commission, who had the misfortune of getting giddy at the prospect of renewed cruise ship fees while Nick Welsh was home sick with the Covid, amusing himself by tuning in via the miracle of Zoom to one of their otherwise habitually ignored meetings -- then being forced to pick his jaw up off the floor.
"It seemed to me insane," the Angry Poodle his own self says on this week's edition of Newsmakers TV, recounting his scooplet on Team Harbor's brazen cluelessness about the ongoing menace of the pandemic.
The commissioners weren't the only ones having a bad week in city government, as Josh Molina discusses the public dunking, at the hands of city council members led by Mike Jordan, endured by city staffers, for crafting an ordinance imposing new burdens on State Street Promenade restaurateurs -- without first consulting with (checks notes)...State Street Promenade restaurateurs.
And Jade Martinez-Pogue* checks in to break down the difference between pandemic and endemic, as she explains some of the reasons behind the sudden wave of hopefulness of public health types, despite the grinding gloominess of recent Covid case load, hospitalization and death tolls.
Plus: With the aforementioned Hart running for Assembly, the race for his Second District seat on the Board of Supervisors could become a liberal-lefty contest between Laura Capps and Jonathan Abboud; a key ideological split in the Formation Commission's efforts to shape a new Police Department civilian review process; a new tenant for the empty Sears Building at La Cumbre Plaza; and the M.C. Escher puzzle that is the bid to map new districts for the SBUSD board..
And we offer remembrances and condolences to mark the passing of former state legislator and Santa Barbara political powerhouse Gary K, Hart, who died of cancer this week at 78. R.I.P.
*P.S. Jade's also making professional news herself this week, as the gang's agog at word that she's bidding fond farewell to Noozhawk to take up assignment editor duties on News Director Jim Lemon's team over at KEYT-TV. Godspeed, or something.