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Bill Macfadyen: Donald Trump Makes America Great for Dissent Again

But if you want to forget the presidential election, NoozWeek’s Top 5 goes down ballot with race results, adds a couple of car crashes, and is thoroughly disgusted by an alleged gas station assault

Down in the dumps over Donald Trump. Click to view larger
Down in the dumps over Donald Trump. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

I may have been wrong, but I’m still right. I pray I’ll be proven otherwise.

Meanwhile, thank you to our military veterans, the men and women who have served our country in war and in peace. We at Team Noozhawk salute your courage, honor, ideals and dedication, and the service and sacrifice you made on our behalf.

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According to our Google Analytics, 102,309 people read Noozhawk this past week. Here’s my take on your top five stories:

1. Santa Barbara-Area High School Students Walk Out to Protest Trump Presidential Victory

President-elect Donald Trump may have turned much of the country red while sweeping to a stunning victory in the Nov. 8 election, but hundreds of South Coast high school students were having none of it the next day.

Throngs of students from Dos Pueblos, San Marcos and Santa Barbara high schools walked out of their classes at high noon Nov. 9 in a coordinated — don’t call it “rigged” — protest of the election results.

Apparently, dissent is patriotic — and trendy — again.

Trump, a longtime Democrat running as a Republican, surprised the heavily favored Hillary Clinton, a Democrat running for President Barack Obama’s third term, amassing 290 electoral votes to her 228. It takes 270 for the win.

To add to Clinton’s irritation, the former first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state is nursing about a 400,000-vote lead over the real-estate mogul, reality-TV huckster and political novice in the popular vote. Michigan and New Hampshire are still counting ballots as you read this.

The civics and mathematics lessons were neither here nor there for the youthful protesters, however. They just don’t like Trump and his past — and prolific — statements on women, minorities, immigrants and, apparently, the LGBTQ community.

As many as 400 Santa Barbara High students marched along Anapamu Street to the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Garden for a rally.

Dos Pueblos High students set out on a really long walk to UC Santa Barbara, where their college counterparts were holding an anti-Trump rally of their own.

San Marcos High students were a little more isolated, so they gathered at the school’s football stadium instead.

A teacher at the Santa Barbara High rally said students will receive unexcused absences for the two classes they missed.

“The presidential election has generated a great deal of discussion and many of our students are concerned about the election outcome,” Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Cary Matsuoka said.

“Students organized a protest to call attention to their concerns ... We understand their desire to express their opinions.”

2. Santa Barbara County Election Results for Special Districts, School Boards

As usual, Noozhawk’s election stories ran strong in precincts throughout Santa Barbara County, but it was Giana Magnoli’s roundup of special district and school board contests that was the landslide winner this year.

Because our readers needed to know how the Embarcadero Municipal Improvement District race turned out. Spoiler alert: Fred Soltysik and Jim Deacon won.

That’ll wake you up. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)
That’ll wake you up. (Urban Hikers / Noozhawk photo)

3. Rollover Crash Ties Up Highway 101 Traffic in Montecito

The driver of a small SUV escaped with minor injuries Nov. 5 after apparently nodding off, losing control and rolling his vehicle off Highway 101 in Montecito.

The midday crash backed up traffic for nearly two hours while authorities investigated the wreck and removed the Ford Escape.

According to the California Highway Patrol, the southbound SUV drifted off the freeway west of the Olive Mill Road exit and rolled over, ending up crumpled into a tree about 50 feet down the embankment.

Santa Barbara Fire Engineer Rich Griguoli told our Tom Bolton that the driver reported falling asleep at the wheel.

The driver’s identity and medical condition were not released. The CHP is investigating the crash.

4. Santa Barbara Man Facing Rape Charges After Allegedly Coercing Woman to Have Sex

A Santa Barbara gas station attendant was arrested after allegedly forcing himself on a woman in the station’s restroom after he noticed that she allegedly was using an illegal drug and he allegedly thought he could use that to his advantage.

Josue Emanuel Torres: They call him Mr. Romance. (Santa Barbara County Jail photo)
Josue Emanuel Torres: They call him Mr. Romance. (Santa Barbara County Jail photo)

Sounds like a real charmer, doesn’t he?

According to Santa Barbara police Sgt. Riley Harwood, 18-year-old Josue Emanuel Torres was arrested Oct. 31 on suspicion of rape by means of duress or fear.

He said Torres was working at the gas station in the 300 block of West Carrillo Street — Eeeeew. I often gas up my pickup truck there! — when a 34-year-old woman entered and asked to use the facilities.

Restroom Romeo consented but apparently saw that the woman was carrying an illegal drug.

“Torres then coerced the victim into having sex by threatening to call the police and having her arrested for the drug violation ...,” Harwood said.

“The victim, fearing arrest and the possibility of going to jail for the drug offense and a violation of probation, acquiesced to Torres’ demand.”

The woman later went to authorities, and police followed up with a forensic medical examination.

Torres was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail, with bail set at $100,000.

Rapid-response rescue. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)
Rapid-response rescue. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

5. Vehicle Plunges Off Highway 101, Catches Fire Near Buellton

A rapid response from emergency personnel is being credited with the rescue of an injured woman trapped in a wrecked and burning car off Highway 101 near Buellton.

According to California Highway Patrol Sgt. Don Clotworthy, the excitement started at midday Nov. 4 when, for unknown reasons, the woman lost control of her Volvo station wagon in the Three Bridges area south of Buellton.

He said the car hit one of the bridges on the southbound side of the highway, plunged down a ravine, smashed into several oak trees and caught fire.

CHP officers and Santa Barbara County firefighters and sheriff’s deputies joined forces to free the victim from the wreckage and move her away from the danger.

“There were a lot of heroic actions,” Clotworthy said.

Southbound traffic was blocked for a brief period so a county helicopter could land and airlift the woman to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said she suffered moderate injuries, including smoke inhalation.

The CHP is investigating the cause of the single-vehicle crash, and Clotworthy said it was possible that “a medical condition” was a factor.

The woman’s identity and additional details were not disclosed.

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Last Year on Noozhawk

What was our most-read story this time last year? Woman Hospitalized After Being Mauled by 3 Large Dogs at Santa Barbara Home.

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Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week

Feeling like you need to get away for a few hours? Or years? Lose Yourself in 12 of the Most Extraordinary Labyrinths Ever Built.

                                                                 •        •        •

Watch It

Alaskan malamute cat toy.

(FoKaBi video)

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— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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