So there will be some semblance of a Major League Baseball season after all.

If — and it’s a big if — the Los Angeles Dodgers were to finally win their first World Series in 33 years of futility, the title will rightfully come with an asterisk to note the coronavirus-truncated schedule.

How ironic then that the Houston Astros, perpetrators of the biggest scandal in sports history, will continue to flaunt their cheating art, asterisk-free.

But enough about MLB commissioner Rob Manfred, the incompetent common denominator in both outcomes.

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Noozhawk drew an audience of 120,898 readers this past week, according to our Google Analytics, and my weekly Best of Bill column is my take on the Top 5 stories you were reading over that period.

This is my opinion column, so don’t be surprised when you come across some.

1. Hollywood Producer David Guillod Arrested in Santa Barbara County on Rape, Kidnap Charges

Santa Barbara County authorities charged a Los Angeles film producer and talent agent with nearly a dozen felonies in connection with alleged sexual assaults of four women over a four-year period beginning in 2012. One of the incidents reportedly took place in the county.

David Guillod

Charged with multiple rape and kidnapping felonies, Hollywood producer David Guillod is due back in Santa Barbara County Superior Court on June 30. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

David Guillod, 53, turned himself in at the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department on June 22 and was booked into County Jail on 11 felony charges, including rape, kidnapping to commit rape and rape of a drugged victim. He was released the next day on $1 million bail.

As our Tom Bolton first reported, Guillod later made a virtual appearance before Superior Court Judge Clifford Anderson. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Although three of the cases are from the Los Angeles area, the charges were consolidated and filed by the District Attorney’s Office in Santa Barbara County, where a fourth incident — the alleged Dec. 14, 2014, rape of a 23-year-old woman — is said to have occurred.

If convicted on all charges, Guillod faces a potential sentence of 21 years to life in prison, and would be required to register as a sex offender.

A representative of Guillod’s attorney, Philip K. Cohen of Santa Monica, denied the accusations, saying “an overwhelming amount of evidence has been collected over the course of this investigation disputing these charges.”

Guillod apparently is known for producing the films Atomic Blonde, Extraction and The Intruder.

He is scheduled to return to virtual court June 30 to set a date for his preliminary hearing. Senior Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Karapetian told Tom that the case will be transferred to Santa Maria, which is nearer to where the wine country sexual assault allegedly occurred.

2. Public Health Officer Calls Rising COVID-19 Cases, Hospitalizations ‘Very Concerning’

Dr. Henning Ansorg

Dr. Henning Ansorg, sounding the alarm. (CSBTV screen capture)

One week ago, Dr. Henning Ansorg, Santa Barbara County’s public health officer, outlined an array of “very concerning” numbers related to the COVID-19 pandemic that has killed, as of June 25, more than two dozen locals.

As our Josh Molina reported, Ansorg announced at a June 19 news conference that the county had been averaging 50 new cases a day over the last week and had the highest number of hospitalizations since the March arrival of the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China, late last year before radiating across the globe.

“Our hospitals are reaching their capacity for taking care of COVID patients, and we are still battling a severe outbreak at a nursing home,” Ansorg said, referring to Santa Maria’s Country Oaks Care Center skilled nursing facility, where five residents have died of the disease.

He attributed both increases to the easing of the lockdown, beginning with the Memorial Day weekend but apparently not including the following weekend’s massive demonstrations over the killing of George Floyd, racism and police brutality.

As my friend, the late Bob Carlson, was fond of saying, “Perhaps.”

Readers of these Best of Bill columns know how underwhelmed I’ve been with public health officials’ absence of transparency with their COVID-19 reporting. Too often, what they provide seems more apt to drive public fear than understanding. As if the coronavirus’ relative stealth and unpredictability weren’t scary enough.

But while there has been an unmistakable surge in the North County, especially in and around Santa Maria, can the same be true on the South Coast?

Cottage Health releases detailed daily data, and its accounting for hospitalizations, intensive-care unit beds and ventilators appears to be fairly manageable among its three hospitals.

For instance, on June 25, the nonprofit health-care system reported that a total of 283 COVID-19 patients were under its care, with seven of them among the 38 patients in its adult ICUs, leaving a total of 27 ICU beds vacant.

Among 226 patients in Cottage Health’s acute-care system, a step below ICU, 14 were in isolation with coronavirus symptoms, seven of them in critical condition. Eleven acute-care patients were on ventilators, with 73 ventilators available.

What’s more, president and CEO Ron Werft told The New York Times in a June 7 story that Cottage Health hospitals actually were assisting in the treatment of a handful of coronavirus patients airlifted from Mexico. Would that humanitarian gesture really continue if beds were running short? Asking for a friend.

What the county seems to inconsistently reveal are truly useful demographics of those hospitalized and those in ICUs, i.e. young or old, pre-existing conditions, origin of infections and the like. That’s the kind of fundamental information the public needs for its own risk assessment and peace of mind.

The collective we are being asked to make extraordinary sacrifices — physically, financially, emotionally — to blunt an unprecedented and seemingly enduring health threat. The vast majority of us have done so willingly and with remarkable constancy and diligence.

The least that public health officials can do is to treat us as adults and give us all the information they have, not “just enough.”

3. 6 Arrested After Allegedly Threatening 2 People with Gun in Goleta


The Goleta motel rogues’ gallery, clockwise from top left: Yesenia Ybarra, Ana Sanchez, Dylan Jaregui-Salinas, Gilberto Solis, Brandon Topete and Jorge Fernandez. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photos)

A Goleta motel was abuzz with activity the night of June 22, and a half-dozen people were arrested on felony charges all triggered by an alleged confrontation in the parking lot followed by a lot of lying.

As our Tom Bolton first reported, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies converged on the Motel 6, at 5897 Calle Real, to check out a 9-1-1 call about two people being threatened with a gun.

According to sheriff’s spokeswoman Racquel Zick, deputies arrived just after 8 p.m. and quickly identified a vehicle and a motel room associated with the suspects.

“While deputies were searching for the armed suspects, two women exited the hotel room with three young children,” she said. “Deputies warned the women about the potential danger in the area, and asked if they knew anything about it.

“The women said that they didn’t know anything about the incident, they were the only people in the hotel room, and they did not have a vehicle at the hotel.”

Too bad for the pair, the deputies didn’t just take their word for it. In fact, it turns out that one of the women, 24-year-old Ana Sanchez of Santa Barbara, was the registered owner of the suspect vehicle as well as the name on the motel room registration.

Sanchez and her companion, 27-year-old Yesenia Ybarra of Santa Barbara, were detained, and Zick said the children were turned over to a family member.

And then things got even more interesting.

Zick said deputies found a loaded shotgun on the backseat floor of Sanchez’s car — between two child car seats because, you know, safety first.

During the investigation, she added, motel management asked the deputies to clear out Sanchez’s belongings. When they tried to enter the supposedly empty room, however, it was barred and four men were seen inside.

So, Zick said, the deputies broke through the door and arrested four more people, all from Goleta: Brandon Topete, 25; Gilberto Solis, 24; and Jorge Fernandez and Dylan Jaregui-Salinas, both 18.

The lot of them was hauled off to County Jail.

» Solis was booked on suspicion of felony conspiracy, assault with a firearm, being a felon in possession of a firearm, being a felon in possession of ammunition, and possession of a firearm while on probation. He was being held without bail. 

» Fernandez, Jaregui-Salinas and Topete were booked on suspicion of felony conspiracy and assault with a firearm, with bail set at $50,000 each.

» Sanchez and Ybarra were booked on suspicion of felony child cruelty, being an accessory and misdemeanor obstructing a peace officer.

Topete posted bail, and Sanchez and Ybarra were released under the popular coronavirus “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

And, with that, I just gave these blockheads far more attention than they deserve. Shame on me.

4. Sprouts Farmers Market Continues to Grow with Planned Santa Barbara Location

Sprouts market

Ready to Sprout, on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside. (Barry Punzal / Noozhawk photo)

A second Sprouts Farmers Market is nearing completion on the South Coast, this one expected to open Sept. 2 on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside.

As our Barry Punzal reported, the 24,000-square-foot store is under construction at the Milpas Shopping Center, at 29 S. Milpas St. on the roundabout. The site is the former home of Petco and Trader Joe’s.

Company officials say the market will soon be hiring for 110 full- and part-time positions, and a virtual jobs fair with video interviews is scheduled for July 22-23. Click here for more information.

Sprouts planted a store at 175 N. Fairview Ave. in Goleta in 2016.

5. BizHawk: Coast & Olive Restaurant Opens at Montecito Inn

Jim and Jason Copus

Brothers Jim, left, and Jason Copus have a more personal stake in the new Coast & Olive restaurant inside their family-owned Montecito Inn. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

The Montecito Inn has another new marquee restaurant, but this time the family-owned hotel is in on the ground floor, literally and figuratively.

Since the ever-popular Montecito Café closed its doors in 2016, the hotel has not had the best luck with replacement tenants in the space. That may change with the June 18 opening of Coast & Olive, which is owned and operated by the hotel.

“We’ve always had aspirations to do it ourselves and have the restaurant fit better with the hotel,” said my friend, Jim Copus, operations manager and co-owner of the Montecito Inn at 1295 Coast Village Road.

“We just decided this was the right time for us to do it.”

He told our Josh Molina that the menu is California cuisine, with some French Riviera inspiration for good measure. There are also cocktail and children’s menus.

For now, Coast & Olive is only serving dinner, but there are plans to add breakfast and lunch once the coronavirus chaos recedes.

“We want it to be a place that the locals can embrace,” Copus said. “We want it to be a place where people would feel comfortable coming more than once a week.”

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Last Year on Noozhawk

What was our most-read story this time last year? Bill Macfadyen: Hope Ranch Couple Found Dead in Parked Car Is Doubly Heartbreaking.

                                                                 •        •        •

Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week

Because we’re all going stir crazy and dreaming of places we can’t go: NASA Video Reveals Haunting Beauty of Sunsets on Other Planets.

                                                                 •        •        •

Best of Bill’s Instagram

#sorrynotsorry, but @sadiethealaskanmalamute and her #malamuteadventures are again the star attractions in my Instagram feed this past week.

                                                                 •        •        •

Watch It

I doubt he’s reading my column, but this one’s for you, Brodie Clark. HT to Cara Stuart.

YouTube video

(Life with Labradors video)

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

Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at, and follow him on Instagram: @bill.macfadyen. The opinions expressed are his own.