Jade Martinez-Pogue was almost home from a visit to Northern California Monday when flames and smoke from the Alisal Fire, roaring down the mountain near the Gaviota Tunnel, suddenly heated her car doors and windows, blinded her vision of the 101 and nearly sent her fleeing from the vehicle.
In a new episode of Newsmakers TV, Jade recounts several moments of fear and trepidation as one of the last drivers who got through the fire zone before the highway was closed (not enough to keep her from recording some scary video of the scene from inside the car, however) which began her week of reporting on the blaze.
She also joined with Noozhawk colleague Josh Molina story detailing the latest in the controversy over vaccine mandates at the Santa Barbara Unified School District, as the number of anti-vaccine protesters at the school board dwindled and the district's strong vaccination stance was buttressed by sweeping new orders about public schools from Gov. Gavin Newsom.
Josh and the genial host then update the latest from the city election, with the week's biggest news the still-unfolding story about a series of questionable campaign contributions to candidates for mayor and city council by downtown power broker Jim Knell, which became the subject of a complaint filed this week with the California's watchdog Fair Political Practices Commission.
Molina also does his best to translate what former Democratic Party everything Daraka Larimore-Hall was trying to say with some volatile comments on Josh's SB Talks podcast, which seem to boil down to: a belief that candidates and office-holders backed by the local party no longer need to practice the politics of persuasion, via campaign messages that reach out to those with whom they disagree in a bid to seek to unify the city, but rather can rely simply on turning out their own base. A sad day in Santa Barbara.