Friday, September 12, 2008

Armstrong Becomes "The Visitor"

Imagine that you are at work, going about your business, when suddenly News-Press editorial page editor Travis Armstrong shows up darkening your door and casting his gloomy shadow.

That's exactly what happened one day around the beginning of August when Armstrong paid an unannounced visit to the offices of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.

And to what did the good folks at the Chamber owe the pleasure of this visit? Armstrong was asking to see the Chamber's income tax returns. Although the Chamber was not able to furnish copies to him on the spot, they did send the requested returns to him later.

So what was Armstrong looking for? Evidence of contributions to political candidates? Indications of lavish and extravagant expenditures or exorbitant salaries paid to Chamber officials? Who knows? Armstrong has not written anything about the Chamber since he made his surprise visit. Either those records are awfully voluminous, or Armstrong came up empty handed.

Actually, Armstrong seldom had anything bad to say about the Chamber until they cancelled their subscription to the News-Press back in June of 2007.

If Armstrong really thinks there are hijinks at the Chamber that are worthy of investigation, shouldn't the newspaper be sending a reporter out there to do the sniffing around? Oh, I forgot. The News-Press doesn't cover Goleta.

* * *

Yesterday, I wrote about the editorial that appeared in Wednesday's edition of the News-Press expressing the paper's -- make that Wendy's -- outrage over the City's tardiness in removing the fence that protects the newly-planted grass in De la Guerra Plaza.

I pointed out that Wendy has fence problems of her own out in Hope Ranch where she lives.

In Thursday's Independent, columnist Barney Brantingham has an update on the status of Wendy's fence controversy. The matter of her building a fence without a permit has been corrected, but only after she accrued $43,200 in fines. She is still accruing $100 per day in fines for allowing vegetation growth on her property to block someone else's ocean views. The tab for that violation so far: $46,600.00, all according to Barney.