New Show: Salcido v. Lozano, SBUSD Double Trouble, $5K/Month Studios, Mickey D Out, Axe Throwers In
Less than three weeks before the June 7 election, Santa Barbara's political landscape is replete with ennui and boredom, largely due to the number of candidates running unopposed (shout out Laura Capps, Steve Lavagnino, John Savrnoch, Harry Hagen, Betsy Schaffer and Judge Stephen P. Foley).
Which leaves the beleaguered local pundit class to obsess over daily developments in the only race that so far has generated many sparks or much drama: the contest for the previously obscure office of, um, County Superintendent of Schools.
In a special Three Stooges edition of Newsmaker TV, Nick Welsh and Josh Molina join the genial host to analyze and opine how and why the contest between incumbent Supe Susan Salcido and PE teacher challenger Christy Lozano somehow became an emblem of the nation's culture wars over what is, and what should be, taught in public schools.
The over-caffeinated trio (no word yet on who's Curly) then clash over the ongoing controversy focused on the leadership of Dr. Hilda Maldonado, the still-new Superintendent of the Santa Barbara Unified School District, and which end of the telescope offers the correct perspective on the mass exodus of highly-placed and highly-paid administrators since she arrived, then go on to dissect the bungled roll-out of her hiring of a new Assistant Superintendent as a start to rebuilding an executive cabinet.
On the housing front, Nick's head explodes over the latest manifestation of the city's AUD program (that's Average Unit-Size Density program for those who've been dozing for the past nine years, or just returned from Mars), a rental housing project on Santa Barbara Street near downtown that now has tiny studios on offer for the low, low price of, gulp, $5,000 a month; Josh meanwhile has the latest on the ever-changing, Ed. St. George inclusionary housing blockbuster that may transform Milpas Street.
Plus: New details about that massive $230 million settlement of a class action lawsuit against Plains All American Pipeline over its negligence in causing the 2015 Refugio oil spill (spoiler alert: über lawyer Barry Cappello, as ever, gets paid) and the demise of McDonald's on State Street -- coupled with cheery news of another business opening on State to fill the ever-growing demand for night spots offering (checks notes) axe throwing.