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Panel: Vaccines, Back to School and SB Unified PR Offensive - Plus Latest on Murals & Mayor's Race


Nick Welsh, Josh Molina and Delaney Smith join the conversation on a new episode of Newsmakers TV, a behind-the-scenes look at this week's big local stories in Santa Barbara.


With a daily record number of new deaths reported in the pandemic, public health officials are outpacing other counties in getting our allocation of vaccines into the arms of Santa Barbara's large population of seniors 75 and older -- but the limited supply threatens return-to-classroom learning plans of local school districts -- unless teachers get moved up in the line.


The Board of Supervisors is also struggling with the byzantine bureaucracies that seemingly afflict every form of pandemic relief, as they face a big decision about the cost-benefits of letting the state be involved in administering millions in rent relief money,


Amid the fraught conditions and confusion about Covid and public education, the gang takes a jaundiced look at Santa Barbara Unified's tone deaf decision to try to low-ball a $50,000 expenditure for a Sacramento consultant to buff up the district's reputation -- at the same time it was boosting the salary of its own handsomely paid public flack.


The conflict over preserving the murals at Ortega Park escalated this week, and the panel examines how what started as a small neighborhood skirmish against City Hall has transformed into a symbolic battle that reflects broader forces of culture, race and ethnicity currently colliding in the city.


And finally, the entry of entrepreneur and longtime legislative aide James Joyce III has scrambled the SB mayor's race, setting the stage for a wide-open contest with consequential and intriguing stakes and scenarios involving race, gender and identity politics.


If it's Friday, it's Newsmakers TV -- all here, right now.


JR


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



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Images: Pacific Media Workers Guild; Zachary Kanin for The New Yorker; Rocky (courtesy)

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