Newsmakers With Jerry Roberts
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Santa Barbara, CA 93103
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Send Newsmakers Your Questions for Our Das & Laura Show



Honored and delighted, Newsmakers TV is set to host the first in a series of face-to-face campaign forums featuring First District Supervisor Das Williams and his challenger, school board President Laura Capps – and we want to hear what you want to hear the rivals discuss at the event.


On Jan. 21, Mr. Cranky Pants will moderate a conversation with Das and Laura at the fashion-forward world headquarters studios of TVSB, a one-hour episode that we’ll immediately post on our You Tube channel and that also will air on Cox Channel 17 through the March 3 election.


It's Round One of four encounters in the high-profile First District contest, with the Montecito Journal, the Independent and the League of Women Voters all sponsoring a smackdown, details about which we'll keep you informed..


We're interested in matters of concern to Newsmakers readers, along with already-conspicuous issues like the county’s controversial cannabis ordinance, campaign finance reform and clean energy, whether on environmental, fiscal, infrastructure, social welfare programs or any other topic.


Send us an email with your questions for Das and Laura to newsmakerswithjr@gmail.com



Santa Barbara is burning. The horrific bush fires in Australia, which so far have consumed an area the size of Sweden, and are described in an on-the-ground NYT account as "an atomic bomb," remind that we’re well overdue recommending Scott Wilson’s essential report on how climate change manifests in Santa Barbara.


A Santa Barbara homeboy who started his career at the local Morning Blatt, Scott has forged an accomplished and consequential career as a national and international journalist that recently landed him what Newsmakers would previously have considered a fantasy gig -- Washington Post senior national correspondent, focusing on California and the West -- based in Santa Barbara. Sheesh.


Not long after arriving back in town, Wilson performed welcome-home, breaking-news duty covering the Conception dive boat catastrophe, and now his investigative opus on climate change, focusing largely on our own little burg, is the definition of a must-read.


With superb photos by Michael Robinson Chavez and cut-through-the-clutter graphics by John Muyskens, the 3,803 word piece is part of a WashPost series based on a big-data analysis of 100 years of weather statistics. Nut grafs:


The cradle of the Earth Day movement is confronting the consequences of a warming Earth.

The coastal curve that bends south from Santa Barbara through the Los Angeles metroplex to the arroyos along the Mexican border is warming at double the rate of the continental United States, according to a Washington Post analysis of more than a century of temperature data. And during the past five years, the pace has accelerated.


Since 1895, the average temperature in Santa Barbara County has warmed by 2.3 degrees Celsius, according to The Post's analysis. Neighboring Ventura County has heated up even more rapidly. With an average temperature increase of 2.6 degrees Celsius since preindustrial times, Ventura ranks as the fastest-warming county in the Lower 48 states.


As a political matter, what struck us most is the vast discrepancy between the incessant posturing and big talk about Santa Barbara’s alleged leadership on climate issues – and the Actual Facts of what’s happening here.

Despite Santa Barbara’s heritage as the birthplace of the modern environmental movement, the county is falling far short of its own anti-pollution goals, which are meant to serve as a model for others to follow. The failure has activists here wondering: If a place with Santa Barbara’s predominantly green electorate and political class is unwilling or unable to change, who will?


(snip) The results, so far, have been dismal. In 2015, the county pledged to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent compared with 2007 levels. Two years later, a progress report found that, rather than reducing those emissions, Santa Barbara was actually exceeding its 2007 levels by 14 percent.


“The city’s legacy tells a story about how progressive it is on environmental matters,” said Leah Stokes, a political science professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara, who specializes in energy and environmental politics. “But in our own backyard, we are not nearly as progressive as we think.”


Newsmakers says check it out.



This just in. Finally, the ballots all have been counted, and the last hanging chad has been dispensed with, in our exciting Pick the Order of Finish in City Council District 2 Contest.


As loyal readers recall, we offered a raft of Fabulous Prizes to anyone who selected the correct 1-5 candidate finish in last year's wide-open council race on the Mesa.


And the winner is...no one.


That's right, amazing but true, not a single person among the tens of millions of entrants got even the top three order -- Mike Jordan, Brian Campbell, Teri Jory -- right. The final tallies show that the best guesses had 3 out of 5 places in the right order (shout out Wade Cowper, Josh Molina and Nick Welsh) while one completely struck out (no worries, Lannie, your secret's safe with us) with the rest somewhere in between.


Given this sorry-ass state of affairs, the judges have decided to award one of the prizes -- lunch with Our Founders -- to everyone who entered. We'll be in touch about the big event shortly before the March 3 primary. You can't make it up.



Kamala falls flat. The clown car spectacle that has been the race for the Democratic nomination was particularly unkind to California Senator Kamala Harris, who started running in 2017, exactly five minutes after she arrived in Washington as a newbie, and reaped the wages of her extraordinary hubris when she was driven out by a lack of financial support a month ago.


Last year, California political icon Willie Brown, who contrived Harris’s start in politics several decades ago, when the two were in a personal relationship, made light of his considerable early role in her career with a memorable quip: “She loved me, I loved me. It was the perfect relationship."


Now thanks to the indefatigable Carla Marinucci of Politico, Brown is back with the last word on Harris's failed presidential bid, suggesting that her national aspirations would have been better served by sprinkling ambition with a little patience:


"When you're running for VP, you don't do anything. You realize how much better Kamala would be if she didn't do anything? Nobody would ever see the flaws. If you really want to be vice president — you got to be smart enough not to run for president.'''


Ouch.


JR


Images: Laura Capps and Das Williams; Scott Wilson; Australian bush fires (BBC); Oy; Kamala Harris and Willie Brown turned (SF Chronicle).

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