Thursday, March 13, 2008

Foreclosing On Neverland

In Vegas, they used to say that no one could draw a crowd of gamblers to town like Frank Sinatra could. Here in Santa Barbara, they should be saying that no one can draw a media circus to town like Michael Jackson.

And yes, if next Wednesday's foreclosure sale of the Neverland Ranch goes forward as scheduled, the media circus will be back in town.

Last Thursday I spent nearly an hour with a reporter and cameraman from the German TV network ZDF talking about the arcane nuances of California's foreclosure law.

(Yes it is true, trouble for Michael usually means a job for Craig.)

Besides the arcana the Germans had an interest in other more obvious questions about the procedure such as can Jackson put a stop to the foreclosure? (Yes) What will the terms of the sale be? (Cash) Who might step forward to buy the property? (Haven't the foggiest.)

I spent time explaining how the auction would work, and showed them the spot, the steps at the north entrance to the courthouse on Anacapa street, where the auction will take place.

It's not just the foreign press that is obsessed with anything Jackson. Also expected to show up for the foreclosure are news crews from TMZ, Access Hollywood and E! Entertainment Network.

The Neverland foreclosure hasn't gone unnoticed in our own local blogosphere. Santa Barbara Housing Bubble Blog has a good article on it and there's a post over at Santa Barbara Real Estate as well.

We should know by Monday whether or not the foreclosure will take place on Wednesday March 19. If it does go on as scheduled, and if you don't like media circuses, I would suggest that you avoid the vicinity of the courthouse around 1 pm that day.

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That hearing on whether the News-Press should be required to immediately reinstate eight fired reporters is now scheduled for this Monday, March 17 at 1:30 pm in federal court in Los Angeles.

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The latest reviews of Citizen McCaw can be found at The Channels, the newspaper at Santa Barbara City College, as well as in Starshine Roshell's column this week.

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Spotted dining at Giannfranco's Trattoria in Carpinteria on Wednesday; Wendy McCaw and the Best Kept Man in Santa Barbara. Arrived in a silver Mercedes.

How many cars do those two have between them?