Friday, September 29, 2006


So I'm taking a Writing for Nonfiction class at the adult ed center in Santa Barbara. I'm pretty excited about it as the instructor is Jerry Roberts formerly of the News Press, and he seems quite knowledgeable. I do feel like I should be helping everyone to their seats as I am the youngest by a good 15 years (ok so there is one other person my age there), but many of them do seem to be good writers and definitely not shy about reading their stuff aloud, where as I get nervous and never raise my hand.

At the end of class two younger women came in wearing wigs and boas and did a little scene with Jerry, now of course he didn't tell us before time but after everything happened he told us that we get to write about the little scene. Which is just wonderful, and the main theme of last weeks class was leads so I have to try to come up with a good lead in which to pull a person into the story. And I really should volunteer to read this one aloud as Jerry said he would write me a letter of recommendation. So crap.

- An angel and a devil walk into a class room...
- With twenty minutes left of the class a small disturbance grabbed the students attentions,
- In the doorway stood an angel and a devil, united in an attempt to get the instructors attention.
- Where most people have an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other Jerry Roberts has them walking into his classroom.

Ok I guess I'll have to work on them. Finished story to come.

Thursday, September 14, 2006


I used to read the Santa Barbara News-Press everyday. I had no clue what was going on behind the scenes I just wanted to know what was going on in the local news. About three months ago everyone found out what was going on inside the News-Press and, I at least, was shocked. Instead of some happy news room like out of a scene from Superman, it seemed like it was a dark place where everyone was looking over their shoulders and whispering to each other. I started reading some of the employees and community members’ blogs and got to know a little bit more. I started to read the editorials more and the columns, along with more articles at the Independent, and it just saddened me more. With more and more people leaving, the last two getting fired, and now the author of the Healthspan column Dr. Seabaugh has also decided not to bring his article back to the News-Press it just gets more depressing.

Dr Seabuagh decided not to return to the News-Press because the firing of his editor Andrea Huebner was the last straw. Last week the News-Press felt the need to apologize to Dr. Laura because of what was written in Dr. Seabaugh's column.

"On Tuesday, Santa Barbara News-Press columnist Dr. Michael O.L. Seabaugh wrote an inappropriate personal attack about fellow columnist Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The News-Press asked Dr. Laura to offer her opinions, views and expertise in our newspaper knowing that not all of our readers will agree with her opinions. We also know our readers don't always agree with the opinions or views of all of our other columnists or writers. The Santa Barbara News-Press wants to apologize fully for Dr. Seabaugh's comment. We have apologized to Dr. Laura Schlessinger privately and we also wanted to do so publicly. Sincerely, the publisher and associate editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press."

This was a response to "Dr. Laura may have the cajones to preach against tolerating diversity, but personally, I will not spend one more minute of this precious time I have intolerant of the wonderful diversity of my fellow humans." Dr. Laura is notorious for not excepting diversity, it’s just another News-Press show of protecting their friends.

With 19 people now gone it looks more and more likely to me that the News-Press that people used to love will not be brought back and that we will just have to let it die. In a few years people will probably forget about all of this and start reading it again until the situation explodes again. I hope that is not the case. I hope the community can resuscitate the News-Press and that it can once again be a newspaper that we can trust and that is representative of the community.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Stupid Politics

Why is it that its never about what you have done but about what the other person has done wrong? Political adversaries seem to care more about smear campaigns than showing what they can do for the people. Take for example the gubernatorial election in California. The Democratic nominee's camp got a hold of an embarrassing tape of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger from his website and gave it to the Los Angeles Times. They are claiming that this is legal because it was on the website and Schwarzeneggers camp is saying it isn't because that section was password protected, but just because its legal doesn't always mean you should do it. I'm pretty liberal but do I want to vote for Angelides knowing that he employs people of questionable ethics? Angelides and his camp say that Angelides knew nothing of this debacle, but to me that says that he can't control his underlings, or he's lying. Either way he's either a puppet or lying go for the throat kind of guy, both of which leave me with a bad taste in my mouth. Every election I go to the voting booth not filling in circles thinking that this guy will be a great leader, but more this guy wont do as much bad as the other guy. When did voting turn into choosing the lesser of two evil? Or has it always been this way? I want a candidate that I can get excited about, that I really want to lead my state/country. But thanks to this little stunt I believe that this year I will be voting independent.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

News Press

Noon, just a little off of De La Guerra Plaza (its fenced off so the grass can grow back after fiesta) a small crowd gathered to hear the News Press employee representatives and members of the community give the latest updates regarding the News Press. About 50 people including members of the media were in attendance, and a press packet was handed out which included: A press release from the Santa Barbara News Press Editorial staff regarding the news conference, a letter to local residents set to Wendy McCaw, the letter sent to suspended employees, letters from businesses canceling advertising, and other letters and press releases.

The first to speak was Lou Cannon former Washington Post reporter and famed Reagan biographer. He was part of a community delegation that sent a letter to Wendy McCaw asking to speak to her, which she never replied to. “It’s a bad situation.” He said referring to the Santa Barbara News Press and the fact that the publishers of a small locally owned paper were unwilling to meet with members of the community and that the News Press management was “behaving like a far away chain” instead of the local paper that it says it is.

Many other people got up to speak supporting News Press employees, expressing frustration with current management, and what should be done at the News Press. Although Mayor Marty Blum was unable to attend she sent a letter that told of her long standing support of the paper, and that people should be able to trust what they read, so after 38 years of subscribing to the News Press she was cancelling her subscription.

The over whelming theme of the rally was trust in your paper, and that the News Press had lost the trust of the community. That the publishers had an obligation to listen to local people, and that owning a local paper, isn’t like owning other businesses, it is a public trust, and that the paper must be accountable to its readers.

Also a big push was supporting the employees of the News Press. Of how the employees were being mistreated by current management, with 11 being placed on suspension for trying to deliver a letter to the owner, and new charges filed for unfair labor practice by both employees and management. That though the employees loved the News Press they were fighting for journalistic integrity and the return of it to the News Press.

Union organizer Marty Keegan of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters did say that they had met with some of the News Press people in San Francisco and tried to work things out but couldn’t come to an agreement. They are looking to have a union election on September 26th. He feels that 10% of home circulation will cancel by the end of this week based on support cards filled out in July and August. The union is only for the editorial and newsroom personnel, about 37 people, to form a union they need 50% of the vote plus one person, as of last count they have 75% of the vote.

There was another resignation today by Kim Burnell the Assistant Sports editor, for a total of 17 resignations in the last two months.

To cancel your subscription you can call (805) 564-5200. has dates and information from the newsroom employees.