Friday, March 05, 2010

How About A Pizza With That Picket Sign?

If you were out at the UCSB campus at noon yesterday, as I was, or downtown late yesterday afternoon, you might have thought it was the 1970's all over again as students took to the streets to protest budget cuts to education and hikes in tuition.

At UCSB, the rally was staged at The Arbor, an outdoor food court. The turnout there was impressive, but there were even more people and longer lines than usual at the other campus food court, The Hub at the UCEN, as students and staff who wanted to avoid the protest and eat in peace (to the extent you can have peace in a place with 30 flat screen TV monitors) packed the area. Coverage of the gathering (the protest not the eating) is at Noozhawk and The Daily Sound

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When I awoke early last Saturday morning, flipped on the TV and heard about the 8.8 earthquake in Chile, my first thought was about my friend and long-time Santa Barbara resident and S.B. High grad Ed Munoz. Ed and his wife Susan moved to Chile several years ago and they live near the small town of Panguipulli.

I immediately e-mailed him knowing that he only had Internet access when he traveled into town from his farm in the country. Anyway, this morning I awoke to find an e-mail from Ed in my inbox reporting that, "I am fine, the animals are fine and the house is fine." Susan, it turns out was on a trip to the States. They live about 225 miles from the epicenter of the quake. That's roughly the distance between Santa Barbara and San Jose.

Ed points out that Chile is 3,000 miles long but only 100 miles wide at its widest point. The country's main highways have been knocked out in the quake. "Imagine if California lost both the 101 and the I-5 at the same time," he writes. "Basically that is what has happened here."

Anyway I'm relieved that Ed is okay and was far removed from the bulk of the destruction. And Ed, I'm sure all of your old bike-riding buddies here in Santa Barbara, like myself, feel the same.

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If you go downtown you're aware of all of the vacant store-fronts on State Street. Well, there'll be one less vacancy in June. G-by Guess, is joining Lucky Brand Jeans and Blue Bee as the latest place in town to buy overpriced dungarees. Yep, it takes a fat wallet to buy those skinny jeans. They'll be moving into the former Anchor Blue site in the 800 block of State.

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The Wall Street Journal's Eco:nomics conference is taking place at the Bacara. Among those attending and presenting are Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, Robert Iger, CEO of Disney, and Peter Voser, CEO of Royal Dutch Shell. Coverage of the high-powered conference about how corporations can lower their carbon footprint and still make a bundle is on the web.

Those wealthy execs who have gathered here might want to look at some real estate while they're in town. Here's a list of the 10 most expensive Santa Barbara real estate sales during February.

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I've never attended a soccer game that one of my kids wasn't playing in. I'd rather go down to the local auto body shop and watch paint dry. But tonight's unprecedented CIF Championship game between Santa Barbara High and Dos Pueblos at Harder Stadium should draw a lots of parents and fans. The action (if you can call it that) starts at 7 pm. Presidio Sports has a preview of the game.

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It seems most Americans can't agree on what it means to "have sex." This according to an article in the LA Times. I guess Bill Clinton was right, "It depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is."
© 2010 by Craig Smith and