Fracking Ban Igniting a Movement


by Katie Davis
Commentary on the Board of Supervisors meeting held June 13, 2014

You know something unusual is happening when a crowd of people show up for a County Supervisors hearing two hours early to get a seat, and a meeting scheduled to last one hour stretches to a four-and-a-half hour marathon as nearly a hundred people stand up to make public comments.

That was the unusual scene that unfolded in the Santa Maria County Administration building the morning of Friday, June 13 as Supervisors met to consider the “Healthy Air and Water Initiative” to ban fracking, acidizing and steam injection in Santa Barbara County. Despite significant turn out from the oil industry, an overwhelming seventy percent of speakers — from many walks of life and every part of the county — spoke out in favor of the initiative to ban these techniques, emphasizing how critical it is to protect our water supplies.

While the vast majority of current active wells are conventional and do not use these extreme techniques, there has been a recent surge in applications for high-intensity oil production. This type of extraction has more negative impacts, requiring more machinery, derricks and other visual blight and noise, heavier use of water, greater risk of leaks and ground and water contamination, higher air emissions and fumes and greater risks to human health. The Healthy Air and Water Initiative would ban future expansion of these riskier techniques, while allowing conventional oil production to continue.

A number of farmers and ranchers spoke to their concerns about the potential for water contamination. “Our water comes from a well near the San Antonio creek,” said David Holden explaining they were down river of an oil field. “My daughter just had our first grandchild, and I want to assure her that the ranch water will be as good for her daughter as it was when she grew up.”

An oncologist explained that his job was sometimes to tell people the bad news that they have cancer and pointed out all of the toxic chemicals associated with fracking, acidizing and steam injection. “We have enough cancer and the last thing we need is more carcinogens in our environment.”

One proponent spoke to the “myth of oil jobs” pointing out that according to the authors of the Economic Impact Study of Onshore Oil and Gas commissioned by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, the industry self-reported only 336 direct employees, or 0.1% of county employment. A number of speakers also pointed out that extreme extraction is not compatible with wine, tourism, agriculture, tech and other our major employers and could hurt jobs. “It was vintners in France who pushed through a ban on fracking there,” pointed out a resident of Los Olivos.

Supporters of the initiative pointed out that these risky techniques could actually cause a decrease in property values and county property tax revenue. “Who wants to live next to an oil facility?” asked James Downey of Lompoc.

After hours of public comments, Supervisors voted to place the Initiative on the November 2014 ballot.

In most places, voters don’t get to decide if a boom in unconventional extraction is right for them. It just hits, and they have to deal with the consequences. Individuals whose homes are devalued, or who suffer health problems or have their groundwater contaminated don’t get a say in the matter.

Oil use in the United States is decreasing. Fuel efficiency is improving. Whether oil production here goes up or down will have no impact on these macro trends or on global prices of oil or gasoline. Santa Barbara County is a unique place, a biodiversity hotspot, a populous and beautiful region. This Initiative gives us a chance to preserve this area and lead the way in transitioning to cleaner sources of energy rather than doubling down on some of the dirtiest and riskiest forms heavy oil production.

Judging by the energy in the hearing room last Friday, many Santa Barbara County residents agree. To read and endorse the initiative yourself, go to

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This Date in History: Santa Barbara Hit 133°F

Yet another interesting piece of trivia for June 17th… from the View Vault.

For a long time, Santa Barbara held the record for the hottest day-time temperature in United States history. The morning of June 17, 1859, dawned sunny and pleasant, with the temperature reaching about 80 degrees by noon. Then, about 1 p.m., according to Walker Tompkins in his book, Goleta the Good Land, a ‘blast of superheated air’ came from the direction of Santa Ynez Peak and hit the Goleta Valley, alarming the residents and sending them scurrying for cover inside thick-walled buildings. By 2 p.m. the temperature had reached an incredible 133 degrees!

A United States government report stated, “calves, rabbits and cattle died on their feet. Fruit fell from trees to the ground scorched on the windward side; all vegetable gardens were ruined. A fisherman in a rowboat made it to the Goleta Sandspit with his face and arms blistered as if he had been exposed to a blast furnace.” By 5 p.m. temperatures fell to 122 and by 7 p.m. it was back to 77 degrees.

June 17, 1859 in Santa Barbara remained the highest ever recorded temperature in the United States for 75 years until the Weather Bureau recorded a temperature of 56.6°C(134°F) in Death Valley, California.

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On This Date in Santa Barbara: Sambo’s Opens

sambosThe first Sambo’s opened on June 17, 1957 in Santa Barbara. The franchise quickly became a local success story, growing to 1,200 restaurants in 47 US states.

Unfortunately; Sambo’s associated itself with The Story of Little Black Sambo, an allegedly racist tale, that drove the company into bankruptcy by 1981.

57 years after the first Sambo’s opened, only one restaurant remains… the original restaurant at 216 West Cabrillo Boulevard in Santa Barbara, California.

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Chris Mitchum Leading by 613 Votes

chrisccNearly two weeks since the California Primary, the race for second place in the 24th Congressional District is still up for grabs. As of today, Chris Mitchum leads Justin Fareed by 613 votes. The race to challenge Congresswoman Lois Capps this fall is one of 12 “close contest” races still in play, according to Secretary of State Debra Brown. Mitchum, the son of film star Robert Mitchum, led by nearly 1,000 votes on election night, that number dropped under 500 last Monday and now it has grown to 613 votes. Final results may not be available until Friday, July 11.

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Grieving Fathers Meet

This poignant photo was released today and is worth sharing. The private meeting between two grieving dads, Peter Rodger and Richard Martinez, occurred June 1, about one week after the rampage that left seven dead in Isla Vista, including the gunman.


Photo credit: Simon Astaire

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Library Dances (Santa Barbara)

Ali Azarvan volunteered for 25 local non profits in May and shares his chronicles:

Library Dances
One of the greatest things about my May Days campaign is that it has exposed me to things (and people) I would not normally be exposed to. Library Dances is the perfect example. Outside of watching a couple of my nieces’ ballet recital, I know nothing about this world. Well, outside of my nieces’ recitals AND the 2 hours I spent watching “Black Swan”. So, basically, all I know about ballet is that it’s adorably cute (my nieces) and there’s a lot of blood (“Black Swan”).

Enter Cecily Stewart. I was introduced to the brilliant and talented gal through a mutual friend, Kaitlyn. Cecily is the founder, director, choreographer, head fundraiser, marketing specialist, and, well, I think you get it. She basically wears every hat for this amazing organization.

After watching The State Street Ballet perform “Beauty and the Beast” when she was only in the 2nd grade, she was inspired to pursue a dance career. After living on both coasts and dancing with several professional dance companies, she moved back to Santa Barbara and joined the group that inspired her to take this exciting path – The State Street Ballet.


Cecily wasn’t satisfied merely doing what many girls dream of (dance professionally), she wanted to make a bigger difference. She wanted to expose those who wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to dance. But she wanted to put a special (and brilliant) twist. Here’s her model – Schools teach literature. . . dance teachers teach dance. She wanted to combine the 2 and create a professional dance based on students’ required reading. So simple. So smart. In this model, a child truly understands the dance piece. It’s no longer just a bunch of people “dancing around”. There’s a story. There’s true meaning. Continue Reading →

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Terra Sol Customer

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.

Terra Sol Customer

Yesterday I had intended to visit the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum. I just got my macro lens back from being serviced, and what better place could there be to put it through it’s paces than wandering through the Butterflies Alive exhibit? As so often happens, Saturday flew by too quickly. Fortunately, Terra Sol Garden Center is open until six these days. We stopped there to get some peppers for the garden and I thought I would snap a few shots just to test the lens.

When we arrived we found our peppers, and a great display of various flowers grouped into sections based upon what they will attract to your garden. Sure enough, in the butterfly section right next to the Milkweeds was another Terra Sol customer and my butterfly photo opportunity. This beautiful Monarch was a very patient model too, posing on several different flowers and waiting just long enough for me to catch up and snap a few shots before finding a new perch.

I’ll still find time to make it over to the Butterflies Alive exhibit sometime soon, and maybe I’ll get some great hummingbird photos with my new flowers too.

-Bill Heller

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EcoFacts: The Hydrogen Potential‏

Column by Barbara Hirsch

Eco FactsWho knows? A couple of decades from now, images of Dickensian energy barons may become history. Even if Jeremy Rifkin’s scenario of the democratization of energy – as we become the producers of it – does not seem a likely future, solar has given us a peek at this. No longer subject to energy price increases, many thousands of people currently produce more electricity than they use and sell it back to utilities. Some drive their cars on it as well. What if hydrogen fuel cells could broaden this base, also generating energy for our homes and cars?

There are plenty of naysayers out there (really, given any positive future topic) but hydrogen fuel cell use is growing fast, globally. An insurance agent in southern California is the first, a few days ago, to get a Hyundai hydrogen powered SUV, leased at $500/month with free fueling for three years. In 2015, Toyota and Honda will deliver theirs to the market. The number of filling stations in California, now at 10, will soon be over 50. Forklifts at Walmart and the grocery chain Kroger are already running on hydrogen. Continue Reading →

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Saturdays with Seibert: Bag Free Santa Barbara

Local Views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

It’s been about a month since the city wide ban on plastic bags took effect. Now I keep a fabric bag in my truck and I have to admit, it’s really been no problem to change my behavior. That’s right, I’m a flip flopper. For the past few years I raised my voice against the ban, now I think, “whatever.”

A few days ago I cleaned out my bag drawer.  It’s was surprising, kind of reminded me of the clowns coming out of the car at the circus. I had to take a photo of them. Here’s the lot on my patio, and if you look close you might see my cats, Meat Loaf and Poke.

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Stage Two Drought, Water Use Regulations

Loretta Redd’s open letter to Oprah, who’s rumored to be the #1 water user in Montecito, brought forward a lot of discussion regarding water conservation and was shared by nearly 2,500 people of Facebook. Montecito water and the City of Santa Barbara are different entities, but here is a good stage-two overview along with water regulations provided by the City of Santa Barbara:

A Stage Two Drought was declared by the Santa Barbara City Council on May 20, 2014. The City is requiring a 20% reduction in water usage from our community due to the projected water supply shortage. About half of the water used in the City is for landscaping. Customers watering their landscaping are encouraged to reduce water usage by more than 20%. Santa Barbara is experiencing an unprecedented drought, with the driest consecutive three years on record. Currently, City water supplies are severely reduced in capacity with Lake Cachuma at 35% and the State Water Project deliveries are projected at 5%. We have no water to waste.

As part of the Stage Two Drought Declaration, the City Council adopted Water Use Regulations, summarized as follows:

  • Hoses must be equipped with an automatic shut-off nozzle.
  • Washing of pavement and other hard surfaces is generally prohibited.
  • Irrigation is limited to evening and early morning hours.
    Cars and boats must be washed at commercial facilities that recycle the water, or by hose with shut-off nozzle.
  • Use of water in ornamental water features and fountains is prohibited except: if located on residential properties or indoors; if total water surface area is less than or equal to 25 ft.²; or if as of May 20, 2014 are home to aquatic life.
  • Pools and spas must be equipped with a cover when not in use.
    No draining and refilling of pools by more than one third, unless authorized.
  • Drought notices required in restaurants and hotels; water served on request only.
  • Gyms, pools and other businesses providing showers must post drought notices and promote limitation of shower use.

The best way to reduce water usage by 20% or more is to evaluate landscape water use and check for leaks. The City’s Water Conservation Program is here to help everyone save water; for assistance evaluating water use and conservation opportunities, receive a free water checkup. To schedule, call 564-5460.

See the City’s Drought Webpage
Visit the Conservation Homepage

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Happy 8th Birthday to the Granada Garage!

granadaOn June 13, 2006, the $30+ million Granada Garage was officially dedicated on behalf of the City Council and Santa Barbara’s now defunct Redevelopment Agency. Happy 8th birthday to Santa Barbara’s barely-used Granada Garage!

Nearly a decade later, the temporary turning lanes placed in the center of Anacapa due to a miss-measurement, remain permanent.

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Santa Barbara News and Notes…

Three Santa Barbara Buildings Given City Landmark Status
The Santa Barbara Club, 1105 Chapala Street
SB-Club-at-SunsetThe Santa Barbara Club building is significant for its Neoclassical style architecture. It was designed 1904 by noted Santa Barbara architect, Francis W. Wilson, who made a significant contribution to the heritage of the City. The Neoclassical style was popular across the United States for affluent and important buildings in the early 20th Century, because the appropriation of classical forms suggested learning, democratic values, moral virtue, and a sophisticated appreciation of beauty. The style represents the confidence of a wealthy new nation coming into its own as a world power in the 20th century. The Santa Barbara Club is the best example of a Neoclassical style building in downtown Santa Barbara with its classical elements of a dentil molding, bracketed cornice, round arches and the symmetrical façade. The Neoclassical Santa Barbara Club gave Santa Barbara a structure that speaks to the importance of the members of the Community and is an important part of Santa Barbara’s heritage.

The Unitarian Church, 1535 Santa Barbara
unitarianThe Unitarian Church building was designed by noted Santa Barbara architect E. Keith Lockard in 1930. The building’s composition, massing and simplicity are exemplary of the Spanish Colonial Revival style which is an important regional style that significantly influenced the heritage of Santa Barbara. The hand cut, stone archway, wrought iron details, intricately carved wood door, and detailed windows are a few examples of the outstanding attention to detail, materials, and craftsmanship.

The Masonic Temple, 16 East Carrillo Street
masonicConstructed in 1924, the Masonic Temple played a significant part in the heritage of Santa Barbara as it was designed by noted architect, Carl Werner in the Italian Mediterranean style. The Temple was designed as a meeting house for Santa Barbara’s influential Freemasons as well as the Scottish Rite. The architect paid great attention to intricate details, as demonstrated in the ornate detail of the elegant terra-cotta and pre-cast stone relief that adorn the entrance, arcade and cornice of the exterior of the Masonic Temple.

Celebrate Flag Day in Santa Barbara on Saturday
Celebrate the birthday of our flag and the 200th anniversary of our National Anthem at El Presidio de Santa Barbara State Historic Park, June 14, 2014 at Noon, 123 East Canon Perdido Street. The Stars and Stripes were created by an act of the Continental Congress on June 14, 1777. The flag was first raised in Santa Barbara in 1846 when Commodore Robert Stockton anchored his warship in the Santa Barbara harbor, and raised the Stars and Stripes for the first time in Santa Barbara at the Presidio. Observe this historic event at the Presidio and enjoy performances by the USAF Color Guard, SBARSAR Color Guard, Los Soldados Color Guard, and the local P.T. Pops Band.

Anonymous Gun Buyback
buybackThis Saturday, June 14, the Santa Barbara Police Department, in conjunction The Coalition Against Gun Violence will be holding a gun buyback event from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday at the Earl Warren Showgrounds. The SBPD will be taking all firearms, including illegal assault weapons. Saturday’s anonymously buyback will allow residents to trade hand guns, rifles, shotguns and ammunition for Vons Supermarket gift cards.

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Political Thoughts: What Does The Primary Tell Us?

By Sharon Byrne, as featured in the Santa Barbara Sentinel

This one had some seriously strange outcomes, which are actually fairly normal for California. The primary has not yet been certified by the Santa Barbara County Elections Office, so things might still be in flux, but as of print time, here’s how it looks.

First, I am a little surprised at the unintentional (hopefully) truncating of the governor’s name in the SB County Elections website display:


‘Jerry Bro’ seems headed to victory this fall, but that might not be the best campaign moniker ever invented.

Secretary of State: Mostly considered a snore in state politics, this is perhaps the most interesting election ever for this seat. The Secretary of State is responsible for voter registration, election administration, and the granting of business licenses to LLCs, to name a few key responsibilities. Currently, registration and elections are administered mainly at the county level, which leads to patchwork outcomes. Get voter registration data from 2 different counties, and you’ll get really different formats, for example. A statewide central voter registration database has been in the works for over a decade, and we still haven’t managed to get it done.

We charge $800 annually for a business license for LLCs in this state. Nevada charges $200, Texas $300. We take up to 6 months to grant new business licenses, adding to our reputation as a very business-unfriendly state.

The current Secretary, Deborah Bowen, is termed out, so some Good Government reformers slugged it out with termed-out state legislators who clearly need to win some seat to keep earning a living. Pete Peterson, head of the Davenport Institute at Pepperdyne University, a civic-engagement think-tank, got the most votes. Right behind him is Alex Padilla, current state senator termed out this year. Oddly enough, when we passed the ’12 years total’ term limits initiative in 2012, it only covers those elected AFTER June 2012. Now legislators can serve 12 years total in the Senate, Assembly, or some combination. Previously one could serve 3 terms of 2 years each in the Assembly, and/or 2 terms of 4 years each in the state senate. Those approaching their grandfathered term limits, like Padilla, need to figure out what they’re going to do, clearly.

I expected Dan Schnur, former head of the California Fair Political Practices Commission, and Derek Cressman, former VP of Common Cause, to do better than they did. I especially expected them to beat Leland Yee, who dropped out due to his indictment for illegal arms racketeering. His name was still on the ballot, though – clearly an election reform that needs to happen. Some media outlets have run apologist stories on Yee’s 3rd place finish, hoping to deflect the only possible conclusion here: California voters are just not very informed…

Congressional District 24, or Republicans ‘Bungle in the Jungle’ primary. Could they possibly have run any more candidates??? In Santa Barbara style, the candidates, though perhaps ‘normal’ for this area, would not have stood a chance in a more cosmopolitan or (oddly) more rural American district. In the end, it boiled down to the Conservative Sophisticate (Francisco) vs the Kid (Fareed) vs the Soft-Porn Star (Mitchum). The winner? Capps, who looks to get her wish granted in choice of opponent. Mitchum will be Taking One For The (Republican) Team this time.

Footnote: San Luis Obispo holds onto its title as the place moderate Republicans go to die. Just ask Abel Maldonado. I bet Boehner pops a TUMS every time he thinks of the 24th…

Assembly District 35: Das gets 58% of the vote, doesn’t campaign, and neither does the other guy. Kind of like Yee, you gotta’ wonder, after Das squirmed on CNN over abstaining from removing sexual predators from the classroom…can we just not do any better here?

Sheriff: Brown vs Brown, and the winner was…Brown. I’ve worked with Sheriff Brown on various things over the years, and have been impressed every time. He did a good job representing the office on national TV during Isla Vista. Strangely, for a town that views itself as highly sophisticated, Santa Barbara often comes off sounding utterly provincial when thrust under the unflattering glare of national media spotlight. I was watching Isla Vista on CNN while I was still up in Eugene, and even the ATF guys were impressed by SBSO’s response time in that terrible tragedy. Good job, Bill.

2nd District Supervisor: Wolf beats back Aceves. Money sometimes just can’t buy you (enough) love here.

Measure M: CLOSE. Every public official came against it, except for the one sponsoring it. It was tempting to immediately support it just because all the electeds were so vehemently against it. Peter Adam is either the crazy outlier, or the lone sane guy. The fact that it was so close suggests that there is something a little deeper at work here than potholes. Would it have forced the county into a maintenance discipline lacking at present? The first Supervisor meeting post-election quickly devolved into maintenance issues. Hmmm. Would the county have to scramble for new revenues to pay for all the stuff M would have kicked to the curb? Would they have been forced to consider wild, crazy ideas like opening up oil drilling in the north county area? Hmmm. I suspect this is not the last time we’re going to visit this particular set of questions.

Government as lifetime employment: Some county officials have really safe jobs. Really, no one else wants to run for Superintendent of Schools, Auditor-Controller, etc? Anyone?


Finally…a note on democracy. One wonders, if one were sitting in the nosebleed seats of the Ukraine, for example, if democracy is ultimately a wasted exercise. 25% turnout, criminals on the ballot, entrenched mediocrity in office, and ridiculous over-regulation…is this the ultimate future you get to after shedding blood for the right to self-govern?

Something to ponder…

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Ms. Winfrey, Turn That Verdant Green to Gold

Dear Ms. Winfrey,

Perhaps during a recent take-off or landing in your private jet, you might have glanced out the window and noticed how ‘golden’ our region has become.  Unfortunately, this time  California gold doesn’t refer to rocks along the riverbeds, but rather the dried and parched hillsides throughout our State.


Oprah Winfrey’s 42 acre estate

Let me be clear…I fault no one for their success and wealth; especially a woman of color who has built her empire through diligence and determination, and has become an icon of integrity for many.

You may have noticed Santa Barbara is a unique place.  Perhaps that ‘s why you selected it for a place to call “home.”  Montecito, our tiny little enclave community, is an interesting hodgepodge of souls and saviors, wouldn’t you agree?  Your neighbors are tree-huggers and oil Barons, they are college students and corporate moguls, tiny houses and rambling residences.  It is a place where the fallen live next to the rising, and where people are mostly left unbothered, regardless of their celebrity status or bank account.

We like you, and we want you to stay.  But we also want you to respect us.

In case you haven’t heard, Santa Barbara and Montecito are in a pretty severe drought, and it isn’t expected to get better before it gets worse.  Simply put, the only people using more water than you to keep their landscape looking like Oregon are the pot growers hiding in the Los Padres forest.

I have every respect for your capacity to pay ‘whatever’ it costs to sprinkle your lawn; it’s just that we can’t make more water, regardless of what it costs per acre foot.  There’s a caveat, I suppose, as it’s rumored that Birnam Woods home owners association has authorized an obscene amount of money to ‘purchase’ a well in Carpinteria and truck its water up to their golf course…so maybe some people can make water when the price is right.

Unfortunately, our groundwater isn’t able to recharge in many places, due to the rise in demand such as this.  Santa Barbara is spending millions to retrofit pumps able to suck up the puddles left in Lake Cachuma, and crank up the desalination contraption. So using all that water to keep your 42 acres green, seems a little un-neighborly.

Trees are ancient creatures and expensive- many were here before us, and I’d vote to try and keep them alive.  Plants and shrubs might be next down on the vegetation list, as they can be very costly and their pollen in necessary to bees and hummingbirds, while their flowers and seeds support other life.

But grass?  Sorry, Ms. Winfrey, time to turn that verdant green to gold, and set an example for your neighbors in Montecito (even though they can’t see past the gates.)   When a private home with a part-time owner uses more water each month than the entire Four Seasons Biltmore hotel in high season and almost double that of Westmont College, we have what I might call an ‘issue.’   Long showers are one thing, but seventy-five percent of your water use is for outdoor irrigation.

I don’t really think of you as an “I’ll do as I please” type of billionaire in the ranks of Madoff, Sterling or Koch.  You’ve done global-wide good with your wealth; you’ve inspired millions of young people, and you’ve become a ‘brand’ aligned with hard work and smart investment.

So, I’m going to assume being the largest water consumer in most of Santa Barbara county is simply an oversight on your part, and that you really do care about your community.  If you wouldn’t mind asking your ground crew to cut the irrigation back a little, we’d all be deeply grateful.

“If it’s yellow let it mellow,” only has to apply to your lawn…at least for now.


Your neighbors and friends

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State Street Sidewalk Behavior and Panhandling

Today at their weekly meeting, the Santa Barbara City Council will once again discuss and review the State Street Sidewalk Behavior And Panhandling Ordinances. The City Council will also consider enacting a no-brainer ordinance to prohibit public urination and defecation. An April, 2014 memorandum from Councilmembers Hotchkiss and Rowse raised the possibility of taking these action steps:

• Expanding the 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. hours of the current Sit/Lie prohibition
• Adding a prohibition on sitting, standing or lying down upon any planting, railing or statue placed or installed on a public sidewalk
• Expanding the “active” panhandling prohibition near ATM’s from 25 feet to 80 feet, subject to constitutional analysis by the City Attorney
• Expanding the “active” panhandling prohibition to other areas where there are captive audiences, such as busses and other public transportation vehicles
• Prohibiting urinating or defecating in public

homelesssleep2These action steps do require legal review, according to the Agenda… “with respect to sitting and lying down regulations, Eighth Amendment cruel and unusual punishment concerns may arise when insufficient shelter space is available and an ordinance criminalizes behavior such as sitting, lying, or sleeping at night while being involuntarily homeless. The Ordinance Committee should be cautious to take these concerns into account as it seeks legal guidance on potential ordinance expansion or other changes.”

While on the topic, the City Attorney will also be asked to research and report on the legal feasibility of adding to the municipal code the following considerations:

• A prohibition on groups of people congregating in a manner that blocks the free movement of pedestrian traffic on our downtown sidewalks
• A prohibition on the use of public benches and street furniture for the storage, sale or display of merchandise or personal items
• A prohibition on active panhandling within a prescribed distance of a queue of persons waiting to gain admission to a place of business and outdoor dining areas

The Ordinance Committee also wants to hear from the publicso here you go:

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