Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Sunday, December 6, 2009
Saturday, December 5, 2009
WEST DOWNTOWN MURDER TRIAL
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
If you don't act, it may be too late.
Here's what's happening this week:
1. Nov 4, 2009: Hearing on 302 E Haley, 9:00 AM Gephard Room, 630 Garden St. Timothy Cooney is opening this one, oh he that used to run that awful bar on Anacapa and Haley (now EOS). Now he wants to sell pot. Do leopards change their spots? Businesses along Haley are encouraged to come out and stop yet another pot shop from entrenching into the Marijuana Mile in Santa Barbara. We've asked the city to get a legal opinion from the city attorney that they are truly on solid legal ground in continuing to approve dispensaries. Why? Because it looks like at the state level, dispensaries engaging in over the counter sales are illegal. So why is our city continuing to approve these? Lawsuits could be brewing on the horizon. Citizens in Los Angeles sued the city for allowing drug dealing via dispensaries in their neighborhoods. Take note, Santa Barbara.
2. Nov 5, 2009: Hearing on dispensary at 2 W Mission, 1:30 PM Planning Commission. City Hall, Council Chambers. This is a cluster-f*@k. The Staff Hearing Officer approved the permit, and no one filed an appeal to Planning Commission. So it looked like the way was clear. That is, until the County spotted this. Turns out there is a school at 7 E Mission for older kids with disabilities. The County Education Office notified the city, and now they want to revoke the permit. The dispensary is fighting back using, of all things, zoning laws saying there can't be a school there, and it's not really a school. Never mind the fact that it's been there for ages. We lost this before with Girls Inc and the dispensary at 631 Olive. The city attorney said the Girls, Inc couldn't be considered an educational facility, a ridiculous piece of legal advice if ever there was one. Let's see what they come up with on this one...
3. Sign this petition against dispensaries in Santa Barbara: http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/notodispensaries/index.html. It will take you all of one minute.
4. Join this group: http://groups.google.com/group/sb-against-dispensaries. We'll keep you posted on all the goings-on, and we have a lot of good information about this movement.
5. Write to your council members. Addresses:
Remember, if you don't act, you are sending the tacit message that you are ok with dispensaries overrunning our city. Most people get mad when a dispensary parks next to their home, child's school, or business. If everyone waits until one moves in next door, it will be too late.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
A hearing is coming up for a dispensary proposed at 302 E Haley. The dispensary is Aloha Spirt Organic Consumables, Inc. Does that sound like a patient care group to you? No. These folks are planning to sell pot recreationally, and they're going in the Marijuana Mile, a swath of Haley and Gutierrez where there are 7 existing and proposed dispensaries. Businesses already trying to make a living there will be thrilled, I am sure.
If you care about your city and neighborhoods, please come to the hearing and speak out. If no one says anything, then everyone believes pot shops are ok, and when the armed robberies and kids smoking out back starts going down, you can't complain. It will be too late. They're easier to prevent than they are to unseat once they've moved in. 336 Anacapa is illegally operating, and it's been there ages, and no one is shutting it down. See what I mean? Once they get in, they never leave.
Stop the madness now!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
'MARIJUANA MILE' MARCH : Protesters decry proliferation of pot dispensaries; demand tighter controls
MATT BLOISE, NEWS-PRESS CORRESPONDENT
Above, protesters march down Gutierrez Street in an area they call the Marijuana Mile because of its concentration of pot dispensaries, many of them operating outside the city's ordinance governing such facilities. Below, children lead the march along Anacapa Street. At bottom, mayoral candidate Dale Francisco speaks at a rally after the march.
MICHAEL MORIATIS / NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS
October 11, 2009 6:43 AM
One of the most contentious issues in Santa Barbara was brought to the forefront on Saturday with a march across downtown to protest the proliferation of marijuana dispensaries in the city.
Organizers and politicians gathered to express their outrage over what they see as a lack of enforcement which has had negative consequences in Santa Barbara.
About 45 people gathered at Ortega Park for a march through what they called the marijuana mile, a group of about 10 dispensaries that are within a few blocks of each other. A major point of contention is that these dispensaries, which some argue are so densely clustered as to instigate crime in the area, are also very close to centers where young children gather. Santa Barbara Junior High School and Girls Inc. are just outside the mandatory 500 foot distance, but close enough to be affected, protesters said.
According to the downtown organizations that sponsored the march, a primary problem has been the proliferation of dispensaries that are out of compliance with the city's dispensary ordinance. The regulations, which put limits on dispensaries, do not apply to those dispensaries that had already received business permits when the ordinance took effect and are already operating in the city, they said, which means that some dispensaries are closer than 500 feet apart. Those dispensaries are being given a certain amount of time to conform to those regulations or lose their licenses.
Brian Sarvis, the superintendent of the Santa Barbara School Districts, said that the dispensaries have been a major problem for schools and have resulted in increased drug use among students. "I voted for medical marijuana, and I assumed that people would be able to go to the pharmacy and get their prescription, like any other prescription," he said. "It has really spiraled out of control. Many of our students have come to school high, or with marijuana. When we ask them about it, they pull out a card and say, 'Hey, it's all right.' "
Once students turn 18 years old -- almost half of all high school seniors -- they are eligible to go to doctor and get a prescription for medical marijuana, he said. From that point, they register with health services, and receive a card in the mail. Dr. Sarvis said it has been remarkably easy to get a prescription, and said that kids can often get an appointment from the dispensary with a doctor in a parking lot.
"It's out of control. The faucet has been opened, and it is so easy to get it. Kids tell me you can just go in and buy a prescription." He added that many who are caught say it is so easy, you might as well sell it from vending machines.
Some in the community have said that crime has increased since dispensaries have been in the area. "We're engaged in an entire cultural shift in the downtown area, and it's to bring in unwanted impacts," said one resident who declined to be identified for fear of reprisals. "Santa Barbara is becoming ground zero in the South Coast for marijuana dispensaries, because all other cities have banned them. It's really getting crazy."
The resident said that most of the dispensaries are now illegal, since the attorney general of California had recently declared that dispensaries must now be collectives and not for profit, and that dispensaries in the area are for-profit businesses. Downtown groups are also trying to change the local ordinance by extending the distance between dispensaries from 500 feet to one mile, and to closely monitor where the marijuana comes from in the first place, which the resident said is not being regulated right now.
"I just love our downtown. I love living downtown, and it's already unfriendly," the resident said. "It's changed so much over the last few years. Proliferation of dispensaries is not the model."
Three mayoral candidates were on hand to give their perspective on the problem.
"There are three problems," said Councilwoman Helene Schneider. "One, is the proliferation of illegal dispensaries that needs to be shut down right now. Two, we need a cap. Three is the proximity to schools. When we voted for it, I imagined this would apply to schools and areas where young people gather," she said, which would include centers like Girls Inc.
Currently, Ms. Schneider said there are two dispensaries which are illegally operating without permits, and three dispensaries which are legally non-conforming, meaning that they received a business license before the city passed an ordinance. The city is actively cracking down on illegal dispensaries, she said. "They should be shut down, either through criminal citations or zoning ordinances. They should be shut down and the city is working on this," she said.
California laws have outlawed marijuana dispensed at pharmacies, and the cities are left to determine how they would like to regulate their own dispensaries, she said. Since the legalization of medical marijuana in the late 1990s, the state has designated a "care-giver" to dispense it, although this does not have to be a dispensary.
Councilman Dale Francisco, who is also running for mayor, agreed that the dispensaries need to be more tightly regulated. "We've got a lot of illegal ones, that's a huge problem, but I think we have a problem with the ordinance itself," he said, adding that it has increased the city's problem with illegal use as well. "I am fine with providing medical marijuana for patients in a safe, legal way. That's what compassionate use is all about. The problem is the whole dispensary idea. This was never a part of state law, and the courts are saying the cities have the right to outlaw dispensaries."
Mr. Francisco said he wanted the city to adopt a cooperative approach for dispensing marijuana, in which members of the collective act as their own caregivers by growing and consuming the marijuana themselves without profit, similar to what is happening in Los Angeles. If the city cannot create an ordinance for using collectives, he said he would prefer to see dispensaries outlawed all together.
The councilman is also on the ordinance committee, which has set a 16-month timeline for legally non-conforming dispensaries to comply with guidelines, which might involve some of them having to relocate or risk being shut down. He said the committee is looking at narrowing this timeline even further. "Obviously, this is very controversial. This isn't settled by any means," Mr. Francisco said. "As a city councilmember, I have been getting so much e-mail on this. This is obviously an important issue for us."
Bob Hansen, another mayoral candidate, was on hand to voice his support of the dispensaries, although he still backs more regulations. "I think the (allowable) number shouldn't be so high, and I think there should be a two week limit (for visits)," he said. A cap should be set at around 10, not 25, and a lottery system may be able to determine who will be allowed to open a dispensary while they are being closely monitored, he said. "In America, you should be able to go to your doctor and get it, if you're not selling it or doing it too much."
He also shared concerns about the dispensary pot falling into the hands of children. "You do have to be careful about it. We should n our kids about it. When I was younger, I did smoke it and get lackadaisical. We really need to teach our kids how to make good choices," he said.
Letters: Voice outrage over medical pot shops
Rebecca Betancourt, Santa Barbara
October 23, 2009 7:22 AM
This is re: the Oct. 14 front-page article "Bad vibes?" It is good to read and to believe that others also are outraged by things that might potentially harm our youth. In this case, the fear of "electromagnetic waves" from a proposed cell antenna near Montecito School.
Another issue Santa Barbara residents should be outraged about is the proliferation of cannabis dispensaries in our city. Many people have voiced their concerns at City Hall meetings, including our school superintendent, a junior high principal, Housing Authority officials, Girls, Inc. director, and many professionals in the field of drug addiction and rehabilitation.
Our city officials seemingly had such a nonchalant attitude on this matter that a group of citizens from the Eastside and Westside banded together to protect our children and neighborhoods by appealing permits issued to the dispensary entrepreneurs. The residents worked on revisions to the Marijuana Dispensary Ordinance and submitted them to the Ordinance Committee.
The dispensaries' applicants/owners are in it for the monetary, not the compassion. Why are so many interested in opening dispensaries in our city? Money. Dispensaries are being opened in our neighborhoods near our schools, parks, day care centers, etc. If they are to dispense medicinal cannabis, why not have them in the Cottage Hospital and/or Sansum Clinic areas? Surely, there are vacant offices there.
My hope is to have zero in our city. However, city officials have opened the floodgates while other cities along the coast said no. Another hope is that more local residents become outraged about the marijuana dispensaries that are popping up all over our city. Years ago, we were in denial about gangs in Santa Barbara and look what happened. Let's not be in denial about the cannabis dispensaries .
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Medical-Marijuana Dispensary at Paseo Chapala Wins Conditional Approval
By Giana Magnoli, Noozhawk Staff Writer | Published on 10.07.2009
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
9:00 AM: Clean-up
12:00 PM: BBQ
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Don't know if anyone noticed, but the the public phones located on the Haley side of Brownie's Market have been removed. The reason? Some say it a sign of the times--The phone company who owns the phones is no longer making a profit, since most users usually buy a calling card and dial an 1-800 number to connect to their destination. As a result, there is no need for coins, hence reducing the phone company's profit by large margins.
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Oxnard limits liquor licenses to reduce crime
By Scott Hadly. Sunday, June 28, 2009
Website link for Ventura Star access:
Or see the PDF file I made for this detailed news article, via this link.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
It seems all the residents are indeed being evicted from the Cottage Grove house. Chuck reports that Pini came and talked with him last night, offering him a $750 room for rent on San Pasqual if he'd leave the $700 room on Cottage Grove.
Such a deal...
The plan, according to Pini, is to renovate (slightly) the house, and rent it to a family on July 1. Here's hoping for some great new neighbors, though with Pini as (slum)landlord, nothing's certain.
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
In short, not the kind of property one wants to have in the neighborhood.
Recently, two new tenants moved in, Chuck and Renee. I met Renee when she crashed an informal gathering in my driveway. I politely talked to her, let her know that I was going in to open a bottle of wine, and that I'd prefer she not be there when I came back out. I've been otherwise friendly to Chuck and Renee, even after the police came to interrupt their domestic disturbance, and they got back together 5 minutes later.
If we want to win our case with the police that we need better patrols and more beats on the street, domestic disturbances where the participants immediately get back together is not the way to get to their hearts.
Last Friday, I saw several tenants hustling out of that house. It appears that our notorious neighborhood slumlord, Dario Pini, oh he of the 'hey I'm housing all these illegal immigrants in rundown homes, solving the city's housing shortage' fame. Doncha' just love criminal capitalism of the Pini brand? Makes the Republicans look like a bunch of silly Catholic schoolgirls in comparison, yes?
So, apparently everyone's been evicted out of the Cottage Grove slum, and Chuck has decided that he wants to stay there...alone. He has a few receipts from paying the rent, though he has no rental agreement or contract.
For some reason, there is now a guy harrassing Chuck on the premises named Alejandro. He breaks in, crawls in through windows, and kicks down doors. Now who is Alejandro? According to Chuck, this is Pini's property manager. And he's threatening Chuck that he needs to leave NOW.
I haven't looked into rental laws in California, but it seems to me that it might be a wee bit harder to evict a tenant than Alejandro and Pini seem to believe. Not that I am all that fond of Chuck, but he actually has cleaned up the property quite a bit, and that's always a good thing. It occurs to me that we could maybe use this situation to draw attention to the wonderful slumlord problem in our neighborhood, and give Pini more of the negative publicity he loves so much. And while we're at it, what would the mayoral candidates and city council wannabes have to say about this kind of thing? Do they have any plans for affordable housing so that illegal immigrants can find a cheap place to live without bringing down a neighborhood like ours? Do they have plans to deal with Pini's multiple violations? Would they look at the house at the corner of Bath and Haley which is being ripped apart while renters are still living in it?
We spend a lot of newsprint and webspace on building heights. Yet there is this whole underground economy of slumlord and illegal immigrants receiving no attention at all, though they are contributing to the denigration of a neighborhood.
Seems to me that someone's missing the boat here.
On the plus side, at least I don't get maddogged when I walk by the Cottage Grove house anymore. I guess that's progress.
Friday, June 19, 2009
Commentary: When Taggers Aren’t That Bright
By Sharon Byrne | Published on 06.18.2009
I live in that famed part of city called “West Downtown,” where the neighborhood is coming together to fight big-city urban issues in the small-town enclave of Santa Barbara. Thursday morning, while walking the dog, I noticed that city-owned property at the corner of De La Vina and Haley streets had been tagged overnight. I had walked the dog past that same spot about 11 p.m. Wednesday night, and the tag wasn’t there, so it was a late-night tag.
First, I dislike the term “tagging.” Tagging is a subset of graffiti, where the tagger develops a unique — usually unreadable — signature for his or her work. Lately, we seem to see less graffiti and a whole lot more indistinguishable scribbles as tags. But my issue with the moniker tagging is that it seems like a fun description for what is essentially defacing public buildings. Why not call it defacing or vandalizing, rather than tagging? Tagging seems so much more friendly and fun and far less irritating than the straight-out defacement it is.
When passing by the numerous tags in my neighborhood, I often wonder why the author, if so intent on making his or her mark on a wall, couldn’t have at least said something of importance? Graffiti has long been with us, as even Roman, Pompeiian and Greek ruins contained scratchings that advertised brothels or condemned bad tavern owners. The 20th-century graffiti around the world often spoke out against oppression, racism and political issues.
I understand that youths want to make their mark and have their dissidence felt by the blind masses, so to speak. If you’re going to take all the risk of writing on walls, hang yourself over bypasses and possibly get arrested, why not use the opportunity to say something a bit more profound than the unreadable gibberish that shows up?
I don’t want to get Santa Barbarans up in arms, as we all dislike graffiti in our fair city. I am not throwing down a challenge to taggers to come up with clever catchphrases to paint all over our city in a sort of graffiti version of “American Idol.” But, hey, if they’re going take all this risk and make all this effort, why not at least do something with some intelligence and thought behind it? Why not provoke some insight into our political and cultural woes as a nation, a state and a city?
The overnight tagger thought he or she was indeed making such a profound statement. Unfortunately, because of poor planning, the majority of the message is lost behind a bush on the sidewalk. Those driving by won’t get the gist of it at all. Since the tagger used the entire side of a house to paint the message, he or she obviously intended a billboard effect. But what is seen is meaningless scrawls that dissolve into ... shrubbery.
Instead of being annoyed that we had been tagged — or defaced — yet again, I found myself laughing over the tagger’s silly mistake.
This is probably not the reaction they were looking for, but if you’re going to do something, at least try to do it well. If you’re going to mark up our neighborhood, be prepared, as an urban artiste wannabe, to have your work admired or scorned in equal measure, especially if you’re not smart enough to plan it out properly.
— Sharon Byrne represents the West Downtown Neighborhood Group.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Monday, May 4, 2009
Friday, May 1, 2009
Three SBPD Vehicles responded to an early morning call placed from a Local Liquor Store known as Brownies Market (located on the corner of Haley and De La Vina) after a customer spilled some milk on the premises. The SBPD arrived immediately, since the attendant claimed that the customer had brandished a knife. Upon careful review of various surveillance cameras, no weapon was ever brandished at that location. Calling 911 for spilled milk is a waste of city resources; falsifying and/or amplifying statements, is a crime.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
April 28, 2009 08:44 PM
April 28, 2009 09:56 PM
SANTA MARIA - Officers in Santa Barbara have arrested two men accused of extortion.
Police say 45 year old Tharon Weighill and 43 year old Scott Weighill held a 34 year old man captive in a back room of the Sacred Mountain Medical Marijuana Dispensary on Parker way.
The victim is a part owner of the business and his partner, Tharon Weighill, was trying to force him to sign over his share of the business at knife point.
Scott Weighill kept watch as the victim was being threatened.
Both men were booked into jail on charges of conspiracy, extortion and robbery.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Call Dispatch to report Crime. *897-2410-Program this # to your phone!