Friday, December 4, 2020     Volume: 21, Issue: 40

Santa Maria Sun / Canary

The following article was posted on October 21st, 2020, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 34 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 34

Party hardly


 I love nothing more than the drama of a good ol’ local government meeting. But what I can’t stand is when someone on a dais doesn’t get the opportunity to respond to an allegation. 


Solvang City Council meetings seem to be a place where the community gathers to pile on City Councilmember Chris Djernaes. The guy is already under recall on the November ballot, and now the council of his colleagues won’t allow him to respond to his detractors during meetings. 

The most recent super Solvang moment is brought to you by a PETA protest against the Solvang Trolley and Carriage Company due to its use of—gasp—horses! These people marched up and down Copenhagen Street with their little signs and a megaphone, causing the trolleys/carriages to shut down operations for the day. 

Djernaes was caught on tape asking the PETA people who their Solvang contact was. How dare a City Council member ask this group of protesters why they were protesting and who asked them to protest! Plus he’s apparently a friend of the person who allegedly called for them—Esko Esko owner Esko K.T. Lama—so it must be Djernaes’ fault they were even in town. 

That’s some proof positive investigative reasoning Solvang’s got going there. Wow. 

Of course, Djernaes’ detractors took the very public opportunity to really rail on him in the waning weeks of an election in which one of the Solvang Trolley owners is actually running for a seat on the council and his ass in on the line with the recall! So naturally, I wanted to hear from him. 

All he got to say was, “It’s not true.” The council didn’t allow him to respond. So now we’ll never get to hear his side to the story. And I always want to hear the other side to the story! The truth almost inevitably lies somewhere in the middle. Shame on you, Solvang. Again. 

And shame on Isla Vista. Again. The county’s really in a predicament over those Isla Vista college residents and their recklessness. Again. Only this time, it’s about COVID-19. Apparently, irresponsible students still want to party hardy—and they are indeed partying hard! 

A pair of outbreaks that started in sorority and fraternity houses has the county scrambling to figure out how to prevent students from behaving like students. And some UC Santa Barbara students and other Isla Vista residents are sick of those renegades! 

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors is giving them what they asked for: party fines. Under the guise of being an ordinance for all of the county’s unincorporated areas that targets large gatherings and non-compliant businesses—let’s be honest, it’s specifically for Isla Vista’s partiers. That was basically the extent of the public discussion over the ordinance. A tool to address pandemic party fouls: Too many people under one roof. 

“Why would we not crack down, in this year of all years, on parties?” 1st District Supervisor Das Williams asked. 

So it should specifically be a pandemic party ordinance, and not act like it’s something else. 

Of course, 4th District Supervisor Peter Adam didn’t want anything to do with it: “People that disagree with this … should watch this and remember this next time they have to go to the ballot box.” 

The canary is hardly partying. Send comments to

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