Newsmakers with JR
Panel: After 10 Years of Cathy, Dem Party Wants 5 More -- Plus: Variants, Height Limits, Deltopia
In a new episode of Newsmakers TV, our All-Star lineup of A-list local journalists plunges into this week's top Santa Barbara news stories, from politics to planning, the pandemic to partying hearty in I.V.
Josh Molina has the inside story on the Democratic County Central Committee's city election endorsement meeting: Mayor and longtime party servitor Cathy Murillo skunked challengers Deborah Schwartz and James Joyce in winning the nod (from like-minded, hardcore Dem loyalists), while council member (and Apparatchik of the Year front-runner) Megan Harmon also captured endorsement, along with fellow incumbent Kristen Sneddon (but only after she was called to account for past political sins involving independent thought).
The gobsmacking story of the night, however, was that the endorsement of incumbent Eric Friedman, a true-blue Dem if ever there was one, was held in abeyance after he underwent harsh questioning and criticism for the appalling transgression of ENDORSING HIS MOTHER when she ran for City College trustee a few years ago, after falling afoul of right-thinking party types. No, we're not making this up. HIS MOTHER !!! (See Jerry's head explode during the discussion).
Nick Welsh, stepping up to the plate while picking up the gauntlet from his mixed metaphor bag of tricks, breaks down the City Council's confoundingly complex but enormously consequential debate over (all rise) Floor Area Ratios, a proposed new set of design criteria that embodies the fundamental conflict between preserving the uniquely small town sensibility and aesthetic of Santa Barbara and developing vast numbers of new rental housing units - and turning State Street into a canyon of tall buildings to boot.
Jade Martinez-Pogue, Josh's Noozhawk colleague, has all the latest on the pandemic front, including new details about the extent of the appearance of Covid virus variants in Santa Barbara County; public health officials fear such variants could drive a fourth wave of cases, especially if all the good vaccine news leads to people dropping their guard and ceasing to practice proper social behaviors (did we mention mask-wearing, properly-distanced hand-washing?)
Speaking of proper social behavior, Gaucho grad Jade has the scoop on the county's determined efforts to squelch Deltopia celebrations as UCSB students return to campus and I.V. -- as well as her take-it-to-the-bank prediction of exactly when revelers will converge.
If it's Friday, it's Newsmakers TV.
Watch the show via YouTube below, or by clicking through this link. The podcast version is here.