Friday, June 5, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 14

Santa Maria Sun / Canary

The following article was posted on March 4th, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 20, Issue 50 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 20, Issue 50

CANARY: Chicken who-now?


Have you ever stopped to think about the idioms attached to birdkind? 


We’ve got some positive: as the crow flies (you know, direct), eagle-eyed, early bird gets the worm, birds of a feather flock together, like a duck to water. 

And we’ve got some negative: burying one’s head in the sand (ostriches totally do not do that), dead as a dodo (this is one maligned extinct bird), proud as a peacock (OK, fair), ugly duckling, tweeting.

I do not invoke this stereotype lightly, but we’ve got a Chicken Little on our hands in the county’s 3rd District. The sky is falling. It’s going to rain oily money on Board of Supervisors candidate Bruce Porter’s campaign. The county’s Republican Party just got $100,000 from some big oil donors, and it’s all going to be given to pay off their guy’s loan to himself—their guy who says he’s not their guy because he’s registered as an independent even though his campaign got $26,000 in late contributions from the county’s party. 

All this hullabaloo is from the manager of incumbent Supervisor Joan Hartmann’s re-election campaign. This just makes her campaign sound crazy as a loon (sorry, my waterfowl friends). There’s no precedent for giving all of such a contribution to one candidate. 

Meanwhile, Porter should let this roll off his back, but no, he’s chirping back. Much of Hartmann’s money is from out-of-district donors, he says. But, turns out it’s about the same percentage as what he’s getting from out-of-district dudes, dudettes, and dudex. 

Also in the 3rd District, there’s something cuckoo going on. Some cuckoos muscle their way into another bird’s nest, plop their birdy butt down, leave something they’ve created behind, and expect the other adults in the room to deal with the consequences. They’re not quiet about it, either. 

Ah-hem, Santa Barbara County is the tree, the Planning Commission is the nest, the new cannabis overlay is the unwanted egg. That means Commissioner John Parke—you know, Hartmann’s guy—is cuckoo. At least when it comes to cannabis. 

At the commission’s Feb. 5 meeting, Parke presented a map that showed sections of the county where the process for getting a permit to grow cannabis would be simple, straightforward. But there would be more stringent guidelines for cannabis farmers who want to grow their crop outside of this overlay area. 

“I’m going to hold you to a much higher standard because you could go to one of these overlay areas instead,” Parke said.

Parke wants the overlay to apply to people who have their cannabis applications in but are still stuck navigating the permit process. This arbitrary guideline is something that the county Board of Supervisors that crafted the county’s cannabis rules deliberately chose not to create. 

Apparently, Parke has appointed himself to rule over cannabis. Cuckoo! Cuckoo! 

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