Santa Barbara County Is Getting Close to the Red Tier

••• “The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported the county might be able to move into the red tier as early as this Friday.” —Edhat

••• Newsmakers‘s interview with Santa Barbara mayor Cathy Murillo, who is running for a second term, included this: “She favors a possible tax increase—perhaps a countywide property tax levy—to finance expanded services for the homeless, while listing several sites she is exploring for a ‘sanctioned’ homeless tent encampment.” I don’t know what the answer to the homeless problem is, but the idea of official favelas gives me hives.

••• “In recent months, [Marge] Cafarelli—a successful entrepreneur, developer and owner of the Public Market in downtown Santa Barbara—has been greeting the dawn by visiting homeless encampments (as they are invariably called) along the railroad paths and the city’s waterfront. […] In 2019, she returned from a trip to Africa both astonished and inspired by the intensity of poverty and grace she experienced there. She put the Public Market up for sale and became passionately engaged with SB ACT, a faith-inspired nonprofit seeking to coordinate efforts of the 45 nonprofits currently trying to help people without housing.” The Independent then goes on to look at the homeless situation in depth and how SB ACT would go about addressing it.

••• Noozhawk ran a much more thorough article on the “list of 20 cannabis dispensary operators competing for 6 locations.”

••• “The future of State Street will be in the hands of the Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday. The seven-member council will vote on recommendations from the State Street subcommittee. Those recommendations include creating a downtown State Street master plan; establishing a master plan advisory committee; and the permanent closure of downtown State Street to vehicles.” But first, they have to decide who gets to be on the committee…. —Noozhawk

••• “For the third time in 20 years, Santa Barbara County is in the running to have a local elected official appointed to the California Coastal Commission. That coveted seat may come down to a battle between Santa Barbara County First District Supervisor Das Williams and Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Meagan Harmon.” —Noozhawk

••• With the exception of a certain ice cream shop, I don’t follow Ojai all that closely, so I had to learn about two new developments there from an article in Departures magazine (not online). First, Eric Goode—of the turtle sanctuary and Tiger King—bought the former Oaks at Ojai spa (and before that, El Roblar hotel) with two partners and is renovating it with the goal of reopening  as El Roblar by year end. The property’s restaurants will be run by Warner Ebbink of Little Dom’s Seafood. And on Ojai’s main drag, sisters Maeve and Rory McAuliffe are opening Rory’s Place, which “will have a raw bar and a wood-fired grill, along with pay-what-you-wish nights featuring surplus and imperfect produce from local farms.” It’s opening this spring, according to the website. UPDATE: I heard from Ebbink, who said that he’s also a partner in the hotel, along with Ramin Shamshiri, and the property will be known as Hotel El Roblar. Moreover, his partner/chef at Little Dom’s, Brandon Boudet, will be the chef at the hotel.


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