Should This Block of State Street Be Closed to Cars?

••• As the State Street Advisory Committee continues to mull the street’s future (KEYT), city councilperson Oscar Gutierrez is agitating for the block of State between Haley and Gutierrez to be closed to cars, because the businesses there see how much better life is a block away; moreover, he also “wants the city to consider making Gutierrez and Haley streets two-way traffic instead of one-way traffic to help with businesses” (Noozhawk). Meanwhile, “Fire and police leaders have told the State Street Advisory Committee that the block is vital to response times when units are in downtown and an emergency is in the waterfront or Funk Zone” (KEYT). I drive that block of State often enough, and I don’t relish the thought of having to wind my way around to Chapala.

••• “Carpinterians will decide the fate of Parking Lot #3—the proposed site of the controversial Surfliner Inn—on the November 2022 ballot, following a unanimous vote by the city council on Monday.” I still think the hotel would be awesome for Carp. Don’t be afraid of change, people! —Coastal View News

••• “Santa Barbara County Second District Supervisor Gregg Hart announced on Thursday that he is running for the California State Assembly. […] Candidates Jonathan Abboud and Gabe Escobedo have already announced that they are getting into the contest for the Assembly District seat. […] The 37th District is currently represented by Steve Bennett, a Ventura County resident, who was elected in 2020.” But the recent redistricting didn’t include where Bennett lives. The primary is in June, with a November runoff between the two candidates with the most votes. — Noozhawk

••• “UC Santa Barbara will allow instructors to decide whether to hold classes in person for the last weeks of January, stopping short of continuing the remote-instruction model in place for the start of the winter quarter.” —Noozhawk

••• “Santa Barbara City College will shift most of its classes and services to remote through through at least Feb. 22.” —KEYT

••• “A sign and fencing up at the Bella Vista Trail in Summerland saying it is closed has upset area residents who have fought for the open space access. It is unclear who put the sign up.” Maybe I spend too much time in the real estate world, but I’d look to see whether any properties currently on the market are impacted by the trail…. —KEYT

••• Given that no one else has responded to the city’s RFP, it looks like Santa Barbara Trapeze Co. will get more time in downtown’s Vera Cruz Park. “Recreation Manager Rich Hanna said he envisions a 60/40 split of the park at 130 E. Cota St. between structured activity and passive use,” reports Noozhawk. That’s good to hear, because there has to be a way to allow people to use the park without paying for the privilege. And at some point, it’ll be time to stop using the unfortunate incident three years ago, when a boy stepped on a needle, as an excuse not to figure out a solution.

••• “The County Board of Supervisors approved local capital matching funds in order for the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara to apply for a $16 million state Homekey grant to provide permanent supportive housing for persons who are experiencing homelessness or at-risk of homelessness. The funds would be used to purchase the Super 8 hotel located at 6021 Hollister Avenue in Goleta.” —Edhat

••• If you don’t already believe in UFOs, this op-ed on The Hill (via @Ventura101) might change your mind. Apparently, the Channel Islands have long been a hotspot for sightings.


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