Newsmakers with JR
Panel: From Barney's Plea for Cops to Das's Self-Own on Pot -- Plus Housing, Homeless, Pensions
Santa Barbara's biggest self-own of 2021 belongs to Das Williams and his pro-pot brethren on the Board of Supervisors, who heard bad news this week about sinking cannabis tax revenues because of a "supply glut." of weed.
Entirely predictably, the sleazy and reckless project with which Williams and his Sancho Panza, Supervisor Steve Lavignino, implanted a vast new cannabis cultivation industry in the county -- colonizing the Carpinteria Valley with an awful stench, both olfactory and political, disrupting the wine industry in Santa Ynez and North County and, oh yeah, inflicting lasting damage to the rationality of local government's planning processes -- has now resulted in such a superabundance of the stinky stuff that legitimate growers have taken to the black market to make some scratch.
The crumbling cannabis cash flow to the county is the point of departure for the most contentious slanging match on this week's edition of Newsmakers TV,, as Nick Welsh, Josh Molina and Jade Martinez-Pogue join the erstwhile genial host for a whirlwind tour of the hottest politics and policy stories in the local news landscape.
At City Hall, the muttonhead response by millennial city council member Meagan Harmon to bad news on pensions was to, um, whine about baby boomers, as interim Police Chief Barney Melekian made the controversial case for law enforcement representation in the city's new SBPD civilian review process, Housing Authority chief Rob Fredericks offered a glimmer of hope on affordable housing and Economic Development czar Jason Harris delivered an update on the city's effort to aid business that appears to have been translated from the original Swedish.
As dope dollars dwindled at the county, meanwhile, public health officials cranked up the alarms to full volume again in response to the Covid omicron variant and campaign rail birds set forth some fearless forecasts of how redistricting of supervisorial districts may shake up the political status quo.
Plus: all the snark that fits.
It's the penultimate show of 2021, as the gang will take next week off for the holiday, before returning on New Year's Eve with some special surprise guests, a look back at the year that was and a glimpse of what future delights and horrors may lie ahead.
If it's Friday, it's Newsmakers TV - all here, right now. Check out the show on YouTube below or by clicking through on this link. And the podcast version is here.
Image: Self-own (merriam-webster.com).