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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

Untangling La Cumbre Housing Muddle; Decoding DA-County Beef on Oil Spill; Rent Spike, SBUSD, Covid

Newsmakers' all-star panel of top local journalists celebrates the dawn of 2023 by diving deep into the weeds surrounding the conflicts and controversies over building thousands of new housing units at La Cumbre Plaza.

Do we know how to have a good time, or what?

A recent performative piece of political grandstanding by Supervisor Das Williams, bashing SB Mayor Randy Rowse and the city's desire to have a comprehensive, so-called "specific plan" for the entire 30-acre La Cumbre site -- while favoring a project from a private developer, aided by a well-connected political fixer, to develop one portion of the area separately -- brought the long-simmering matter to a near-boil.

Josh Molina, Nick Welsh and Ryan P. Cruz joined the genial host on Friday to break down the reasons behind Das' little hissy fit - and what it portends for the future of housing at the mall, beleaguered by the same macro-economic forces damaging retail businesses downtown.

The panel then looks at the complex housing issue from another perspective, examining a recent spike in rents that has made the already pricey Santa Barbara market among the top two or three most expensive cities for tenants in America.

In a week when longtime District Attorney Joyce Dudley retired from office, the gang also seeks to decipher the bizarre story of the District Attorney's office filing legal papers against the County Counsel in a bid to obtain documents detailing efforts to clean up a chronic oil spill into Toro Canyon Creek.

Plus: interviews begin for applicants trying to win appointment to a vacant seat on the Santa Barbara Unified School District; an update on the big battle over the county's lucrative ambulance service contract; a look at the new "Kraken Strain" of Covid, perhaps the most transmissible variant of the virus yet; and our Man in Washington weighs in on the embarrassing spectacle of the fight for the Speakership of the House of Representatives.

All this and more, right here, right now on Newsmakers TV. You can watch the new show via YouTube below, or by clicking through this link. The ro; check TVSB and KCSB program schedules for air times of the program.


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