Friday, August 01, 2008

Reporter Returns Home, Says "Viva La Siesta!"

Best news I've heard all week: former News-Press reporter Scott Hadly, now working for the Ventura County Star, is safely back home in Santa Barbara after spending the better part of July on assignment in Iraq, embedded with a unit of Seabees from Port Hueneme.

In addition to filing stories for the print edition of the paper, he blogged while over there.

Some of his stories are pretty harrowing.

After dodging danger in Iraq, he's reunited with his family and dodging Fiesta.

Scott says that after arriving home, he laid down for a short nap and ended up sleeping 15 hours straight.

* * *

I didn't dodge Fiesta yesterday. I ventured downtown with the first daughter around sixish last night.

I don't know what there's more of on the streets right now: cascarones or cops. There are vendors selling the confetti filled egg shells on every corner between Carrillo and Ortega and many in between. "25 cents each or four for a dollar."

It seems as if there are more cops downtown for Fiesta than in Times Square on New Year's Eve. They're on bikes, on motorcycles, in patrol cars, in unmarked cars, on foot, outside of bars, going into bars -- they're everywhere. And this is all before it got dark.

I hope I'm not speaking too soon, but given the heavy and visible police presence downtown, my guess is that the worst thing that's likely to happen this Fiesta is somebody choking on a churro.

* * *

I'd be more impressed with Wendy McCaw's bona fides as a champion of animal rights if the News-Press wasn't running ads for the Fiesta Rodeo.

* * *

Required reading for everyone around here: this article in Thursday's L.A. Times on the potential fire trap that our own Mission Canyon has become.

Isn't this the kind and scope of reporting that the News-Press should be doing?