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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

Mediation Fails in SBUSD-Teachers Strife; City Hall Wants State St. Owners to Tax Themselves; Miramar Cameo for Caruso

On a new edition of Newsmakers TV (and podcast/YouTube/radio broadcast) our all-star panel of Santa Barbara's top journalists breaks down the week's leading local news stories:

  • Callie Fausey has the latest (bad) developments in the ever-more rancorous contract talks between teachers and district administrators in the Santa Barbara Unified School District, as state-mandated mediation sessions failed to bring any agreement. Next step is a formal fact-finding process, in which the core issue of the dispute -- the teachers' demand for a 23 percent pay increase and the district's insistence that the money just isn't there -- will be tested. If the two sides don't settle their differences in that process - which can take three to six months, the district will be permitted to impose a new contract and the teachers will be legally allowed to strike. Time's running out on this school year, but the start of 2024-25 classes already is cloudy,

  • Nick Welsh reprises his reporting on the push by City Council members for downtown business owners to tax themselves for amenities like private security guards, extra street clean-up and special events via a so-called Community Benefit Improvement District. The problem is, approval of a SEE-bid, for all you acronym fans out there, requires approval by 50 percent of property owners, and City Hall was able to wrangle to 30 percent threshold needed to put it to a vote only by putting its thumb on the scale and counting city-owned properties in the tally of eligible voters. Not to mention the somewhat intractable challenge of actually locating all the downtown property owners, many of whom are absentees hidden within a web of LLC obscurity.

  • Josh Molina recounts a recent stormy session of the (all rise) Montecito Association, where residents were in a fine lather over a proposal by L.A. über-developer and erstwhile mayoral candidate Rick Caruso to expand the Rosewood Miramar Beach by adding some luxury apartments for long-term guests, a raft of boutiques for bored Rodeo Drive fans visiting our sleepy burg, as well as the now-requisite workforce housing units for a few lucky hotel housekeepers and bellhops who win the lottery. Amid the tumult, who should make a surprise cameo but the Great Man himself, whose silky-sleek style and dulcet tones did little to calm the waters among denizens of the village. No word yet from Harry and Meghan.

The gang also offers hot takes on City Hall's latest looming budget shortfall, the city's latest plan to cure climate change via electric bikes, more recycling and a batch of cool and colorful charts and graphs, and the Grand Jury's proposal to stop letting the Sheriff investigate himself in the matter of the deaths of inmates in the county jail.

Plus: Daraka goes scorched earth on Josh's podcast, Nick has absolutely no recollection of one of his better columns written two years ago, and Callie finally has a date for her long-awaited first-person ketamine piece.

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


Check out our new episode via YouTube below or by clicking through this link. The podcast version is here. TVSB, Channel 17, airs the show M-F at 8 p.m. and at 9 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. KCSB, 91.9 FM, broadcasts the program at 5:30 on Monday.

For those who celebrate: This week marked the 41st anniversary of the greatest tabloid headline in the history of American journalism. Read all about it here.

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