Sunday, August 1, 2021     Volume: 22, Issue: 22

Santa Maria Sun / Canary

The following article was posted on February 17th, 2021, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 21, Issue 51 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [] - Volume 21, Issue 51

Ever-changing shades


Great news, everyone! California residents eligible for the next phase of vaccines can now make appointments to get vaccinated! 

Well, actually, just kidding! 

According to the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department’s top peeps—Dr. Van Do-Reynoso and Dr. Henning Ansorg—only part of that phase (aka 1B) is actually eligible for vaccines, and they’re only eligible for those vaccines once their local health providers actually receive the vaccines. Got it? 

Yeah. Why is this whole rollout so complicated? 

To lay it out: Phase 1B was supposed to allow those who are 65 and older to sign up for shots, as well as agricultural workers, teachers, child care providers, and emergency services personnel. But that last set of residents is no longer eligible, for now. And not only that, but Do-Reynoso said that state officials recently announced that residents between the ages of 16 and 64 who are disabled or at-risk for morbidity with COVID-19 will be eligible for vaccines before that second group of phase 1Bers. 

So what’s the purpose of phases if we’re not going to stick to them? 

And all of that new stuff, Do-Reynoso said, is subject to change, depending on vaccine availability and allocation, which will be up to Blue Shield of California as of mid-March. And the county will no longer be responsible for vaccine availability and allocation; instead that will be in the hands of a private insurance company! 

Yay! Private companies are so good at keeping the public informed. Not. 

At least we get the convoluted updates on the state’s ever-changing COVID-19 vaccine rollout with the county at the helm. Who knows what things will be like in a few weeks. 

We need some stability in this COVID-19-charged world, you know? Kind of like the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act, which U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) recently reintroduced to Congress. Since 2012, the bill has been reintroduced consistently by congresspeople whose homes were in Santa Barbara—including former Reps. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) and Elton Gallegly (R-Santa Barbara). And, consistently, the bill meant to place thousands of acres on the Central Coast under wilderness protection has gone nowhere. 

See? This is what I’m talking about! Stability and consistency, people.

Like the North County branch of the Santa Barbara County Jail. Consistently behind schedule and over budget. I like that. At least then I know what to poke fun at. Let’s talk about what completion of the jail means, shall we?

The jail’s senior project manager, John Green, said the facility is about 99 percent finished. 

By April 2021 (that’s in two months, people!), the jail is expected to be substantially completed. And that, dear readers, is different from final completion. Obviously, we can’t let people be incarcerated there unless the jail’s finally completed. The difference between the two phases? “Punch list items,” according to Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Raquel Zick. Your guess as to what little details constitute a punch list is as good as mine.

Final completion is expected by June 2021. Once it’s final, the county has 90 days to park inmates in the cells. So before the end of the summer, that $119 million facility could contain about 330 or so inmates. Maybe. 

The Canary wants COVID-19 to reach final completion. Send comments to

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