Friday, April 03, 2009

Apple In A State (Street) of Denial

Apple Computer officials are about as tight-lipped about their plans to open a new store in downtown Santa Barbara as they are about the nature of Mac Daddy Steve Jobs' illness.

The Daily Sound reported on Thursday that an Apple spokeswoman refused to confirm or deny that the former Pier 1 Imports building located at 928 State Street is being renovated to become an Apple store.

If they wanted to fly under the radar, perhaps they should have been a little more discreet in seeking a permit from the city.

On Wednesday, the Santa Barbara News-Press reported that Apple has submitted a proposal for a new 19.5-square-foot flag to hang on an existing pole at the State Street site. The store has requested an exemption from a municipal regulation that requires flags not exceed eight square feet.

That exemption was granted on Thursday.

I had been afraid that Apple would announce a tablet computer, a netbook and a new model iPhone before the Santa Barbara Apple Store would ever open its doors. But when I visited the site late Thursday afternoon, it looked like quite a bit of progress had been made since I last stopped by a month or so ago.

For one thing, the back end of the building is now completely closed in and workers were still on the site a few minutes before 5 pm laboring away.

Given the long shifts the workers seem to be putting in, seems like it's safe to say the Apple Store will open sooner, rather than later. And that rustling sound you hear is the Mac Heads in town lining up to be the first to get inside when the store opens up.

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Sam Tyler, director of Citizen McCaw, tells me that based on the momentum from the recent showings of the film on Channel 21, the producers are intensifying their efforts to get documentary distributed nationally. One of the key initiatives of the plan is to get their 3 DVD learning resource, complete with study guide written by Susan Paterno, into use at every high school and college or university that teaches journalism, mass communications, or ethics.

Sounds like Citizen McCaw is getting its second wind.

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Santa Barbara News-Press owner Wendy McCaw will be honored this Sunday, April 5, at a noon-time luncheon at the Four Seasons Biltmore, by the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network.

Several of the illegally fired News-Press reporters along with union organizers are planning a silent protest in front of the Biltmore. They intend to hand out leaflets on the sidewalk in front of the hotel prior to the luncheon, expressing their support for the network’s mission and asking McCaw to treat her own employees as well as she treats animals.

They will be there beginning at 11:15 am and will wind things up about 12:30 p.m. They do not intend to disrupt the luncheon in any way.
© 2009 by Craig Smith and