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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

Panel: School Races Tout Local Midterm Political Action; Ariel in Penalty Box; UCSB's Gag Reflex

The convergence of back-to-school days and election filing deadlines underscores Santa Barbara's mid-term election reality: the most energetic and entertaining campaign activity will come in a batch of local school board races.

KEYT's Jade Martinez-Pogue, Jun Starkey of the Independent and Noozhawk's Josh Molina break down some of the more intriguing match-ups in education trustee contests, as they join the genial host for this week's episode of Newsmakers TV.

Christy Lozano, the disaffected Santa Barbara physical education teacher whose failed, right-wing challenge of county Superintendent Susan Salcido drew most of the attention of the political class in the June primary, is staging an encore in Goleta, where she is one of three candidates running for an open seat on the Goleta Union School District board, against teacher Emily Zacarias and business owner Bert Haley. A second contested district race in Goleta will pit longtime incumbent Richard Mayer against challenger Caroline Abate, an enthusiastic Donald Trump supporter and Republican activist who has run previously and lost.

The campaign for the open Santa Barbara Unified School District seat being vacated by Kate Ford, in which Democratic activist Gabe Escobedo is considered an early front-runner, got more competitive this week, with the entry into the race of Dan Le Berge, a non-profit organization executive and parent of three kids in SB public schools, with former classroom assistant Efigenia Banales also on the ballot.

In other education news, the gang also discusses SBUSD Superintendent Hilda Maldonado's new executive coach, and the SB Zoo's new pre-school, the first such operation accredited to operate outdoor in the state, and kicks around the City Council's clad-in-mystery decision to put powerful City Attorney Ariel Callone out on paid leave, after an apparent altercation with another City Hall employee, as well as inveighing against the latest demonstration of world-class non-transparency by UCSB, where officials now have clammed up about a campus police officer charged with DUI in a hit-and-run.

Plus: There is such a thing as a free lunch, which is exactly what the Santa Barbara Airport is offering those who volunteer to portray bystanders or dead people in its upcoming, required-by-law, preparedness drill. No word yet if the bystanders get to claim the lunches of the deceased.

It's all here, right now at Newsmakers TV.


Check out the new show via YouTube below, or by clicking through this link. The podcast version is here.


Cartoon by Jon Adams for The New Yorker.

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