Grocery Workers Vote to Call a Strike

••• “Thousands of central and Southern California grocery workers have voted to authorize their union to call a strike against several major supermarket chains. About 47,000 workers at more than 500 Ralphs, Albertsons, Vons and Pavilions stores started voting last week and the results were announced Sunday. No strike date was immediately set and negotiations resume on Wednesday.” —KSBY

••• “Vera Cruz Park on Santa Barbara’s Eastside is now the permanent home to the Santa Barbara Trapeze Co. The Parks and Recreation Commission on Wednesday unanimously supported a one-year contract, with an option for up to three years. About 60% of the park will be occupied by the trapeze company and the rest will be open space.” —Noozhawk

••• Peter Sullivan, founder of a software company called Jackpocket, “launched Silicon Riviera on March 9 […] with the Santa Barbara Foundation. Sullivan said Silicon Riviera will be ‘highlighting Santa Barbara as a place where you can live an amazing lifestyle, but also be part of a thriving tech community. We want to be rebranded externally to the rest of the world.” —Pacific Coast Business Times

••• Santa Barbara magazine’s new issue showcases some neat houses, including the latest makeover by Xorin Balbes, who calls it his forever home. But can a “master flipper” really resist such a hot market? (Full disclosure: I wrote an item for the issue about Galerie XX and Indian Pink.)

••• “Red Tail Multifamily Land Development, The Towbes Group and the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara are behind the [proposed] Heritage Ridge Project slated for a 17.36-acre vacant site north of Camino Vista and east of South Los Carneros Road. […] A two-acre public park is proposed as part of the project. The project would include 228 market-rate units and 104 affordable units.” —Noozhawk

••• “Hearst Castle to reopen May 11. Ticket sales begin March 31.” —KSBY

••• If you mainly keep up with Siteline via Instagram, you might not see everything that gets posted. In an effort to compete with TikTok, reports to the New York Times, the company is prioritizing accounts that post videos (which I have no interest in doing): “Accounts that don’t regularly post the short-form videos appear below those that have embraced the format in users’ Instagram feeds.” To ensure you never miss a post, subscribe to the email newsletter.

••• Letter Perfect stationery shop has left Coast Village Road for a temporary showroom near the Funk Zone; owner Leslie Person Ryan “is actively in negations to reopen a larger store by April.” (Last we had heard, the shop was being sold.) The Montecito Journal thought the Montecito Deli—soon to be under new ownership—might be expanding into the space, but the “for rent” sign outside implies not.

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Comment:

10 Comments

Cat

Someone needs to suggest to Peter Sullivan that perhaps he has moved to the wrong place. He’s obviously completely missing the point of living here as have many of our newest denizens.

Reply
Peter

Feel free to write to me about how I’m missing the point of living here? My email is [email protected] I’d love to hear your thoughts Cat of what it means to live here in your perspective.

Reply
BW

Peter, my understanding is that you have recently relocated here and now are proclaiming “we [Santa Barbara, presumably] want to be rebranded externally to the rest of the world.” You’d think from that statement our reigning monarch died and crowned you emperor. It’s cool that you’re enthusiastic about our city. I am, too. I think you’re right that many people would want to or enjoy living here. But we don’t need a “global rebrand,” nor do most local residents want an even greater influx of the remote PMC, or other monied newcomers. We’ve got enough. Once upon a time (in my short lifetime) Santa Barbara had a thriving working and middle class. The end is already nigh for the working class and the middle class will soon be wiped out entirely. It is increasingly near impossible to lead a middle class existence here given housing costs. A continued tsunami of monied nomads isn’t what we need or want. Here are some young professionals I know of who’ve recently left town for more affordable options elsewhere: my dentist, our veterinarian, my gastroenterologist, and my urologist. I know multiple doctors who can’t retire or even take a weekend off work (I won’t name the specialty so as not to reveal anyone’s identity) because they cannot hire young replacements to fill their seats because housing is both exceptionally unaffordable but also near impossible to get. Take a gander on Reddit. There is a couple with an income of $350k right now who have applied for dozens of apartments and haven’t been able to land one yet. How about you get the lay of the land and truly understand this place and what goes on here before proclaiming we need a rebrand. I think you also have underestimated the global caché Santa Barbara already possesses as a destination known for its character, geography, and laid-back attitude. When I lived in Europe, I don’t think I met one European who didn’t know where and what Santa Barbara was. Many had been here and damn near every one asked me why the hell I was living in Western Europe when I could be living in SB. The idea that people aren’t aware of Santa Barbara as an ideal destination and need to have their eyes opened to it courtesy a PR campaign and a “rebrand” is silly. Newcomers are arriving every day. Most of us cannot read the article you are quoted in in full and it’s my hope your words were somewhat cherry picked from a statement that in fact reflected a broader understanding of this place. There’s an obvious line between promoting your business or trying to network locally with other tech entrepreneurs, and the hubris that comes along with proclaiming a city you just moved to needs a global rebrand. If you truly love Santa Barbara, and decided you wanted to move here ten years ago, maybe try to remember why you fell in love with it to begin with. Don’t be part of the undoing of something you cherish.

Reply
Peter

Hey everyone appreciate the feedback but I think the messaging was lost without the whole context of the article which can be found in the link below.

The “we” means the new organization we are forming called SiliconRiviera.org which is being created to highlight the tech community that’s here and bustling. We’re not trying to rebrand the city to the world but tell the story of all the amazing things that are happening here that aren’t being told to the wider tech community. I agree, the lack of affordable housing is 100% a topic that we’re discussing with city hall right now and we actually think that there are innovative solutions to be had if some of the private sectors lean in.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1OWwpL1Yn_eaiIJjCJS4IDZ40mg_oq6Zm/view?usp=sharing

Reply
BW

Thanks for the link, Peter, and for clarifying your stance. The language itself is not clear in indicating that you’re referring to your org, versus the town. Why would a new organization need a “rebrand”? It seems you’re referring to Santa Barbara. But I’ll sincerely take your word for it. I agree with you that many people are not aware of some of the successful tech companies we have or had here. I have some deep connections to many of those companies and anecdotally I will share that many high value tech employees who have been here are now departing for better (read: cheaper) lifestyles elsewhere. Even those with substantial equity in some of these companies have seen their relative net worth diminished if they had not already secured property before the 2021 surge (2020 made 2021-2022 look like depression-era pricing). I’m also seeing a lot inter-county movement to Ventura, where prices are also rising substantially. Unfortunately, affordable housing in Santa Barbara seems like a pipe-dream for numerous reasons, most of which are intractable. Regardless, it’s great to see an owner-operator in town like you providing jobs here. Generating business, success, and profit locally is what we want, which sounds like a goal we all share.