Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Authorities Confiscate 14 Guns During Marijuana Bust

Over a dozen firearms were confiscated on Tuesday at a residence in San Luis Obispo, after sheriff deputies raided an indoor marijuana grow on the 100 block of Foothill Blvd.

22-year-old Michael Heider Samuels was arrested in connection to the raid and now faces drugs and weapons charges.

Deputies served a search warrant at the home and found an indoor marijuana grow in the basement and recovered a number of high-powered guns, including an AR-15 semi-automatic assault rifle.

Several of the guns are believed to have been stolen from a residence in Paso Robles.

Authorities also found ammunition, gas masks and military flak vests.

Samuels was booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail.

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Monday, October 18, 2010

Victim Dies after Brutal Assault


The man brutally assaulted on a Santa Barbara street while walking home from work has died.

Santa Barbara Police confirm 37 year old George Ied died after several men attacked him last Tuesday just before 1:00 a.m..

It happened on the 1300 block of Punta Gorda Street. That's where Ied was walking home after getting off work at a neighborhood market when several men attacked him.

Ied had been on life support.

Authorities confirm he died Saturday morning.

Santa Barbara Police say they will release more information about the case in the days to come.

So far four suspects are locked up in connection with the crime.
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Tuesday, September 7, 2010


As the Haley Street Bridge Replacement Project continues its course, several traffic signs have been damaged (tossed, graffitied, knocked over, and dragged along the pavement).
Neighbors say that club/bar goers who cruise and park throughout West Downtown (to avoid checkpoints/parking lots) have been actively engaging in this type of illegal behavior since their inebriated state severely clouds their judgement. Unfortunately, this nuisance is twofold-disturbing the peace, and vandalism.
Although the police has been informed of this type of behavior, it's difficult to monitor, especially when there are so many bar/club goers on any given weekend to manage. In order to reduce and eradicate such vandalism episodes neighbors must keep alert and report suspicious activity.
Christina Pizarro-WDNG
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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Nava calls for 1000 foot buffer for pot shops - Countdown time

It's about three weeks behind the schedule that officials hoped for, but an ordinance capping the number of medical marijuana shops in Santa Barbara at five, limiting membership in collectives -- and limiting the sources of drugs exchanging hands in them -- to Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties, and preventing shops from opening within 1,000 feet of each other is moving closer to a form suitable to be voted on by the Santa Barbara City Council.
As part of a special meeting on revisions to the city's March 2008 ordinance governing medical marijuana, the three-member ordinance committee on Tuesday also paved the way for Santa Barbara Patients Group, which is operating legally in an illegal location across from a park, to move to a new location without fear of losing its permit.
A multi-point motion to move the revisions along was made by Councilman Frank Hotchkiss and seconded by Grant House, and in the end, committee chairman Councilman Bendy White joined the others in a unanimous vote of the draft. City Attorney Steve Wiley promised a cleaned up version of the ordinance with the proposed changes in two weeks. From there, it goes to the seven-member council for adoption, about three weeks later than originally planned.
Not everyone is pleased with the document -- not to mention the committee's cry that attrition and a crackdown on illegal operators will ultimately cap the number of dispensaries at five, spread them around town and limit children's exposure to the drug. Santa Barbara resident Janet Rowse noted that under the existing ordinance, illegal operators are raided only to open up again. "The citizens really don't believe you, quite frankly," she told the committee.
Longtime nurse Mari Mender leaned on years of working with a variety of patients, including those suffering mental issues and with addiction, in her address to the committee about the lack of a 1,000-foot buffer between dispensaries and treatment facilities.
"It's very important that vulnerable people who live in Santa Barbara need our protection," she said. "Those that are unwilling or unable to control their own behavior need our support."
"The Compassionate Use Act, which I voted for, has a place in our world," she added. "Retail sale of medical marijuana does not have a place in our world. It was never meant to be the unfettered retail sales of a dangerous drug." In the hours leading up to Tuesday's meeting, state attorney general hopeful and Assemblyman Pedro Nava, D-Santa Barbara, threw his support behind the idea of 1,000-foot buffers between what he referred to as "pot shops" and schools and other vulnerable sites.
"It is imperative that the city take action to protect our kids and people in recovery," Mr. Nava, who is running for state attorney general, said in a statement. "A 1,000 foot buffer is the least they can do. If the city of Santa Barbara insists on permitting marijuana dispensaries, the community must be made more secure."
Some of the discussion inside City Hall on Tuesday focused on an upper State Street dispensary's seemingly unblemished record of providing patients with the marijuana they seek for their ailments and how to craft the ordinance to protect that dispensary from losing its permit when it moves.
The Santa Barbara Patients' Group operates in a nondescript storefront in the 3100 block of State. That it is located across the street from MacKenzie Park makes the location illegal. However, since the dispensary has long operated, in the words of Mr. House, "under the radar" and with perhaps only a robbery committed by an outsider in its past, it's a good neighbor that deserves a chance to move to a legal location even if that means the move takes place after the deadline to bring nonconforming dispensaries into compliance.
Attorney Derek Weston, representing the dispensary and operator Heather Poet, was concerned that new language pertaining to the number of dispensaries would allow his client "to obtain a new permit for a new location and close the old location without violating the number restriction."
"I don't think that's intended," he added. "I just want to make sure the wording allows it." No one on the committee disagreed.
Mr. Weston also took issue with limiting suppliers only to the Tri-counties. "Santa Barbara Collective has one supplier in Los Angeles who only supplies to the Santa Barbara Collective, has done so for many years," said Mr. Weston. "They consider that entity to be one of the most caring and responsible and safe providers, and they prefer not to have to stop using that as a supplier."
As long as you supply one collective, as is the case with Santa Barbara Patients' Group member-supplier, said Mr. Weston, there is no reason to restrict the source of the drug.
Mr. Wiley said the city is trying to deter local dispensaries from dealing with "professional" growers that operate for a profit and instead encourage a collective model in which the members use what they grow. But to say it has to be cultivated within city limits could run afoul of state law.
"My gut feeling," said Mr. White, "is that Los Angeles doesn't feel local to me." Tony Vassallo told the committee that, after watching the documentary "Cash Crop," which apparently paints Santa Barbara as one of the friendliest "pot cities" between Los Angeles and Mendocino, he thinks, "We really need to do everything possible to get our community off the stoners' friendly-to-marijuana-city list." One way to do that, he said, is to keep dispensaries from downtown. "They really don't belong anywhere near our downtown area because of our city image we're trying to foster for our tourist industry." Bookmark and Share

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Terrible Traffic Through West Downtown

Talk about a cluster-you-know-what. Some car company got a permit to close off Chapala to do a commercial shoot. Unfortunately, with Haley and De La Vina closed off for bridge construction for the next year, Chapala is now the new main artery for West Downtown traffic heading north. In closing off Chapala, the city stuck the entire artery grid for Haley / De La Vina / Chapala over to Bath and Cottage Grove. Worse, travelers down Cottage Grove are forced to merge with Bath off-ramp highway traffic. The result was a total traffic bog. This is the corner of De La Vina and Cottage Grove at 8:30:

It was made worse by the misleading detour signs directing traffic to Chapala to get around the Haley / De La Vina closure. This is looking north up De La Vina from Gutierrez - the road is closed for the Haley St / De La Vina bridge construction.
Those drivers found themselves unable to turn up Chapala, and then had to swing a u-turn to head back west down Gutierrez, the road they had just come down. Here's a sign telling Eastbound traffic on Gutierrez to turn left on Chapala. This is the detour for traffic that would normally go up De La Vina, but can't due to the Haley St closure. Doh! They can't turn left as usual - there's a commercial shoot and the road is blocked.

The only option was to do a u-turn and go back down gridlocked Gutierrez. That's if the Eastbound traffic, having crawled over from past State, would let a driver in. Two main arteries: Chapala and De La Vina / Haley had all been shunted over to Cottage Grove and Bath, which are tiny local streets completely unable to offload that traffic volume.
By 9:00 AM the city had started to move, after 2 hours of gridlock. Access to Gutierrez has now been stopped at State.

And to top it all off, the crew shooting the car commercial didn't want to unveil the big new car...because they had press and traffic gawkers!!!! Oh darn...those people in the city permitting department didn't think too hard before issuing this one, did they????
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Friday, March 12, 2010

West Downtown Fire

Christina Pizarro video
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-West Downtown, Santa Barbara
An electrical fire erupted on the 100 block of West Haley Street and lit a swaying palm on fire Tuesday afternoon. As the winds blew, City Fire trucks were immediately on scene to suppress the flames before they fanned out to neighboring buildings. 
Many residents at the scene expressed high concern since winds were at an all time high for this time of year. Luckily, no homes were affected by this fire. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Friday, January 22, 2010

Reported Tornado Creates Chaos In Santa Barbara Neighborhood

Reported Tornado Creates Chaos In Santa Barbara Neighborhood

According to eye witness accounts on scene, a forceful wind blew through the area, knocking over trees and power poles, sending live wires into the street. It all happened near the intersection of Haley Street at Bath Street.

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Tuesday, January 12, 2010