Noozhawk’s top story merits far more reporting — and commentary — than our news team and I were able to get to this past week.
No matter how you look at it, the chain of events is an outrageous atrocity, the consequences of which our community must confront honestly and head on.
Executive editor Tom Bolton will have additional coverage of the case next week, and I’ll have some observations of my own to share as Noozhawk’s publisher over the weekend.
According to our Google Analytics, Noozhawk had an audience of 96,912 readers in the last seven days.
Whether you’re new to these Best of Bill columns, or you’ve been reading them every Friday for the past 15 years, please know that this is my weekly commentary recapping the Top 5 stories of the period.
The opinions expressed are my own.
For the second week in a row, our most-read story was Noozhawk’s report on the Jan. 19 arrests of five suspects in the murder of 52-year-old Rob Gutierrez of Camarillo.
Ignoring Noozhawk’s repeated requests for the information, Santa Barbara police did not divulge his identity — or even his death — until the department emailed out a brief statement announcing the arrests last week.
There are so many infuriating elements about this tragic story, starting with the alleged Westside gang connections of the suspects.
I got into some of the details in last week’s Best of Bill column, and will have more to say in a separate, follow-up column we’ll be posting over the weekend.
But enough about the criminality.
Gutierrez, a health-care professional who worked in the field of assisted living, is survived by his wife, Gerallie, and their daughters, Ariana and Carisa.
The devout Catholic’s services were held more than a month after his death and five days after his alleged killers’ arrests.
Dave Reynoso, the owner and founder of the popular Dave’s Dogs Grill in Santa Barbara, has added a unique new ice cream concept to his repertoire of gourmet hot dogs.
As our Josh Molina reported, Dave’s Drip House Ice Cream & Cereal Bar has opened in the Turnpike Shopping Center at 193 S. Turnpike Road, near Dave’s Dogs and across the street from San Marcos High School.
“You can take any flavor of ice cream and mix it with any kind of cereal, creating your own flavor,” Reynoso told Josh.
“We’re also doing funnel cakes topped with different toppings and cereals.”
He needn’t have mentioned funnel cakes; he had me at ice cream. But now that it’s out there, I’ll be right over.
In this age of social media, of course, the Drip House is dripping with Instagram-worthy backdrops, such as a specially made swinging Neapolitan ice cream sandwich, vintage classic pink pay phones, a “Brr” ice cream cone, a “Lick Me, I’m Dripping” ice cream cone sign, and strawberry swirl floors.
A 60-year-old Santa Barbara woman — who lives just down the street from Noozhawk World Headquarters — was arrested on an attempted murder charge after allegedly getting into some kind of a confrontation with a neighbor.
Police Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale told our Tom Bolton that Christine Marie Shelton was taken into custody the afternoon of Jan. 15 in the 3700 block of Monterey Pines Street, at an apartment complex across Hitchcock Way from the Santa Barbara Family YMCA.
No details were disclosed, although a male resident of the complex apparently was the alleged victim.
“It appears the call originated from a neighbor dispute,” said Ragsdale, who added that no one was injured in the incident.
Shelton was arraigned in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on felony charges of attempted murder, assault with a semi-automatic firearm, and threatening a crime with the intent to terrorize.
According to court records, she also was charged with a misdemeanor count of carrying a loaded firearm, and numerous criminal enhancements.
As of Jan. 27, Shelton remained in County Jail with bail set at $1.1 million.
As mentioned above, I’ll have more to say in a separate column to be posted in the next day or so.
Three of four Santa Barbara men arrested as suspects in the attack on Rob Gutierrez have been charged with his murder.
As our Giana Magnoli reported, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office on Jan. 23 filed murder and other charges against 22-year-old Jiram Tenorio Ramon, 21-year-old Christopher Dave Miranda and 20-year-old Ricardo Tomas Jauregui-Moreno.
The three are accused of killing Gutierrez for the benefit of the Westside criminal street gang, according to the District Attorney’s Office complaint.
The complaint identifies Tenorio Ramon as the guy who pulled the trigger against Gutierrez, who has been described by police as “an innocent bystander.”
The fourth man — 21-year-old James Lee Rosborough — was charged with being an accessory after the fact.
The four are being held without bail in County Jail and made their Superior Court appearance via Zoom. They are to be arraigned on Feb. 17.
According to the criminal complaint, all four men:
- Verbally challenged a group of pedestrians while driving on Stearns Wharf
- Stopped their vehicle for the purpose of deploying two of their party to attack the group with a firearm
- Discharged a firearm at the pedestrians and murdered Gutierrez
- Fled the scene, two on foot and two by vehicle
- Returned to the murder scene in vehicles to pick up the two on foot to avoid apprehension
The four defendants also were charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, street terrorism and criminal street gang conspiracy.
A 16-year-old male arrested as a juvenile in possession of a firearm was booked in county Juvenile Hall. His name was withheld because of his age.
By the way, for those who have inquired, local law enforcement agencies have all but abandoned the practice of providing booking photos of adult criminal defendants. Noozhawk is not suppressing them.
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These six stories are also worth your read:
» Volunteers Working to Rebuild Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara After Flood Damage — Having experienced their own great flood, members of Calvary Chapel Santa Barbara have embarked on an impressive recovery mission. Staff writer Serena Guentz wades through the damage.
» Santa Barbara Touts Storm Response But Looks to Learn Lessons — After patting itself on the back for its Jan. 9 storm performance, the City of Santa Barbara says it still can learn a few lessons. Staff writer Josh Molina reports on a few of them.
» South Coast Deli Loses Its Lease for Chapala Street Shop — South Coast Deli has served its last sandwich from its store at 1436 Chapala St., at the corner of West Micheltorena Street. Josh is there for the last bite.
» Storms Washed Away Baby Elephant Seals in San Luis Obispo County — In another example of nature’s survival of the fittest, San Luis Obispo Tribune reporter Christine Heinrichs learns that recent storms have taken a heartbreaking toll on elephant seal pups.
» Mark Patton: Abe Jahadhmy Took the High Road to Becoming Head of the Royals’ Court — Local legend Abe Jahadhmy has retired as San Marcos High’s longtime athletic director. Sports columnist Mark Patton notes that he won’t be sitting still for long.
» San Marcos Puts Together Solid Game, Beats Dos Pueblos in Battle of Channel League Water Polo Unbeatens — Sports editor Barry Punzal keeps his computer dry while the unbeaten San Marcos High boys water polo team makes a big splash against its cross-valley rival.
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Last Year on Noozhawk
What was our most-read story this time last year? After 25 Years, Goleta Coffee Co. Era Coming to an End.
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Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week
One more rain gauge: Why 2023 Could be the Year of the Superbloom.
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Best of Bill’s Instagram
Do I have any recent baby pictures of my grandson, Nico? I’m so glad you asked. He’s in my Instagram feed this past week.
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California’s Surfin’ Safari for the ages.