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Making (the) Nooz

Target has recently opened several stores, including this one in Richmond, Texas, that have been remodeled as small-format stores like the one planned for Santa Barbara.
Target has recently opened several stores, including this one in Richmond, Texas, that have been remodeled as small-format stores like the one planned for Santa Barbara. (Target photo)

Making the Nooz: Week Ending Jan. 6, 2018

Noozhawk answers a few reader questions, highlights your comments and provides some backstory on what we’ve been reporting

Noozhawk readers have a lot to say about our decision to eliminate comments, with some people applauding the change and others calling us names, without giving their own.

Most of the feedback was positive, however.

We encouraged people to send us a Letter to the Editor and you all really took that to heart.

What follows are excerpts from a few submissions this week about our decision on comments, edited for length.

You can read the full letters, and more of them, in this weeks roundup.

“I can easily understand you decision to cut off reader comments despite freedom of speech being critical to our society,” wrote Matt Cheresh of Santa Barbara.

Winston Churchill said, ‘The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with a voter.’ Thank you and the best of luck going forward.”

Fran Finney of the Santa Barbara area wrote: “I also believe in the ideal of free speech to express one’s valid opinions. However, I have been very disturbed by the lack of professionalism in many (if not most) of the online ‘reader comments’ that Noozhawk readers have been expressing. Readers have been using that platform to spout unbacked opinions and very childish comments. I personally gave up commenting on serious issues because the level of interaction on that platform had become so juvenile.”

Bud Stuart of Santa Barbara wrote: “Please allow me to join the crowd of readers you will hear from that tell you how disappointed they are about this news. We readers have such a pitifull [sic] voice in all the pages we read!! Now even less!! Is this how you serve the public??”

Facebook Comments

Target’s finally coming to Santa Barbara and people are really excited about it.

However, that first reaction was quickly followed by the realization that it won’t be a full-sized store, and the inevitable South Coast question: Where the heck is everyone going to park?

Target announced plans to open a small-format store at the Galleria mall on Upper State Street in Santa Barbara. Click to view larger
Target announced plans to open a small-format store at the Galleria mall on Upper State Street in Santa Barbara. (Target rendering)

The Galleria mall, at the corner of State Street and La Cumbre Road, has a medium-sized parking lot of its own and is near La Cumbre Plaza, which has more than enough parking for its stores but probably would notice a line of customers making a beeline off the property.

Noozhawk readers who commented on the Facebook story post suggested that Target take over for Sears instead, or the vacant Macy’s in Paseo Nuevo.

“You would think the city would want to encourage Target to take over the old Macy’s downtown to provide a shopping option for all those AUD (Average Unit-size Density program) units they have been approving in that area so residents don’t need to have cars,” reader Ebby Dark commented.

“Plus it would increase local traffic to the area, which could be great for the other businesses downtown.”

Target reportedly doesn’t want the Macy’s space because it’s too big (141,000 square feet), which would make sense given its recent focus on the smaller-scale stores, like the 34,000-square-foot one planned for the Galleria.

Some Santa Barbarans are clearly disappointed that, after waiting for so long, the Target coming to town is a small one.

“Go big or go home,” wrote Kurt Liestenfeltz. “They should take over the Sears. Will be a failure because of parking and limited product offerings. Better to drive to Oxnard.”

And Erica Hoover, someone who knows we have been burned before, posted this gif:

(via GIPHY)

Reader Photo

Sue Grafton, center, with her husband, Steve Humphrey, and longtime friend Susan Miles Gulbransen at Grafton’s Louisville home. Click to view larger
Sue Grafton, center, with her husband, Steve Humphrey, and longtime friend Susan Miles Gulbransen at Grafton’s Louisville home. (Susan Miles Gulbransen file photo)

Best-selling author Sue Grafton died last week at age 77, a letter away from completing her A-Z mystery novel series.

In Santa Barbara, Grafton is remembered not only for her books, but her generosity with other writers and her friendships.

Thanks to Noozhawk columnist Susan Miles Gulbransen for sharing her memories and photographs of Grafton, a longtime friend. 

“Her loss in my life is a big one,” she said.

Story Update

The fundraising effort for Ventura County ham radio equipment burned in the Thomas Fire reached its goal of $5,000, organizer Benjamin Kuo said Friday.

Noozhawk published Ventura County Star reporter Gretchen Wenner’s story about amateur radio volunteers’ role during the fire response. The GoFundMe page raised money to replace equipment and improve the information network.

Reader Email

Thanks to Bryan Latchford for this week’s thoughtful correction, in regards to our story about how to get rid of your Christmas tree.

Reporter Josh Molina made it clear that people should dump their trees curbside, or next to trash and green waste containers, not in them.

Don’t do this with your tree. Click to view larger
Don’t do this with your tree. (Brooke Holland / Noozhawk photo)

The photo we ran with the story was of someone who put out their tree early but did it all wrong: bottoms-up in a bin.

Latchford, who works as an outreach coordinator for the City of Santa Barbara’s Environmental Services, pointed out the “what not to do” picture and worried it could be misleading for people who didn’t read the entire article. It was a good catch, and we edited the photo caption.

Noozhawk Asks

Reader Jill Mosher used Noozhawk Asks to submit her question, which we opted to answer briefly here instead of running a standalone story.

“Why is the blower ban not being enforced? How (do you) get enforcement when you see blowers being used?” she asked.

Gas-powered leaf blowers are banned in the city of Santa Barbara, but it is a low priority for law enforcement, according to city officials.

The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District and the county Public Health Department both recommended that people do not use leaf blowers to clean up ash from the Thomas Fire.

Residents in Santa Barbara County can file complaints with the Air Pollution Control District, which has said that enforcement action can be taken against people who “use a leaf blower in the aftermath of the Thomas Fire, where a threat to public health in violation of state law and district regulations is determined.”

Complaints can be made to APCD by calling 805.961.8810.

Noozhawk managing editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

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The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

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Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

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