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  • Writer's pictureNewsmakers with JR

Why Latest, Bright and Costly, "Transformational" Plans for State St. Landed with a Resounding Thud


The Santa Barbara civic soap opera known as the State Street Advisory Committee descended into farce last Saturday, as the private consultant procuring $800,00 to help lead our downtown into a bright economic, social and cultural future laid a major egg with a new presentation of working options.


As for the good news: the consultant group MIG succeeded in lending a rare moment of unity to the community, as everyone on all sides of the perplexing, social engineering undertaking of "transforming" State Street and downtown, found agreement in hating what the consultant brought forth,


After The Independent's Nick Welsh and Noozhawk's Josh Molina, Santa Barbara's top two policy and politics reporters, focused much of their time, industriousness and discernment on the matter over the past week, the dynamic duo returned to Newsmakers TV on Friday, for a conversation unpacking how things at the 17-member advisory committee's May 27 public hearing at the Faulkner Gallery went off the rails, the meeting lurching into a deeply felt and splenetically argued airing of opinions about bicycles, bicyclists, bike lanes, bike traffic, bike accidents, and the role of bicycles in intermodal transportation, punctuated with ongoing rants and kvetching about the myriad pandemic hangover problems that involve outdoor dining.


There were no injuries.


The lads also discussed the simmering political controversy over the Parks and Rec department's targets for budget cutting; SBPD Chief Kelly Gordon's commitment to aggressively seek 5150 powers for police officers dealing with mentally ill people on the streets; two more opiod deaths in County Jail; and the sudden glut of commercial space in SB, driven by the expansion of remote work during the Covid years. Plus: we're all sad over another terrific restaurant shutting its doors.


All this, right here, right now on Newsmakers TV.


JR


Watch the new episode via YouTube below or by clicking through this link. the podcast version is here. The program is broadcast by TVSB, Cox Channel 17, at 8 p.m. on weeknights and at 9 am on weekends. The show airs on KCSB, 91.9 FM, on Mondays at 5:30 p.m.



Image: 3 Amigos Anejo Tequila (totalwine.com).

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