••• “More than 2,000 public complaints [have been] filed with the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department against businesses since the pandemic began. […] Officials maintain that education and communication is the best way to cajole compliance from those who break the rules. Other than a single preliminary injunction filed by the District Attorney’s Office against a Buellton gym very early in the pandemic, and minor charges against a few infected people who broke their mandatory quarantine, Santa Barbara authorities have not taken any punitive measures against either businesses or individuals.” —Independent
••• “Santa Barbara County’s first-ever independent redistricting commission has begun its work with the kind of partisan conflict and maneuvering that the voters had hoped to avoid when they approved the new system in 2018. The stakes are high, tempers are hot and rhetoric is rampant as the County of Santa Barbara Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission embarks on the difficult task of redrawing the boundaries of the county’s five supervisorial districts, based on 2020 Census data.” Melinda Burns’s article can be read on Edhat, the Independent, and Newsmakers.
••• Caltrans “said it will begin major emergency repairs [of Highway 1] at Rat Creek [in Big Sur] on March 1 and they expect that the road will be ready to reopen in early summer. Caltrans plans to reconnect the road where a 150-foot section was washed away with what they call an ‘enhanced fill option.’ That means the canyon will be filled with dirt in a V-shape and the new road will be built on top of it.” —KEYT
••• “A group of environmental protesters have attempted to stop construction scheduled to begin Thursday at the San Marcos Preserve. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office confirming that more than a dozen peaceful protesters have gathered on Salvar Road near what’s known as the Bridge to Nowhere. At least one person reportedly secured themselves to a chain-link fence.” The phrase “more than a dozen” always baffles me—what, you can’t count past 12? Anyway, there’s more on the development (and opposition to it) here. —KEYT
••• “A new backlot plaza is in the development phase behind the landmark Granada Theatre in Santa Barbara,” reports KEYT. It’s between the building and the parking garage. Here’s a description from the theate: “What is now a crowded, unattractive area where cars, buses, and trucks share space with a constant flow of pedestrians will be a landscaped, well-lit space providing safe access to patrons, a limited number of parking spaces, and improved parking and drop-off facility for the backstage of the theater.”
••• Speaking of which, the Montecito Journal takes a long look at the history of the Granada Theatre building. The article isn’t online, and I already recycled my print copy, so I don’t know whether it gets into the plaza mentioned above.
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