State’s courtsendure third year of cuts
By PAUL ELIAS
SAN FRANCISCO — Thiscounty’s presiding superior court judge stood at the lectern andlooked out at the bank of televisioncameras and assembled press. Shetook a deep breath.‘‘This is the saddest and mostheartwrenching day I have expe-rienced in my professional life,’’said Judge Katherine Feinstein,the daughter of California’s seniorU.S senator. As San Francisco’s top judge, itfell to Judge Feinstein to close thecourt’s $13.75 million budget hole.On Monday, she announced thatshe was laying off 40 percent of thecourt’s work force and shuttering25 of 63 courtrooms and all butputting the civil division out of business.It will now take up to five yearsfor some lawsuits to come to trialand an average of 18 months tofinalize divorces in San Francisco.Lines to pay traffic fines in personare expected to be daunting. And it still could get worse. JudgeFeinstein warned that further cutscould be on their way in January if optimistic revenue projectionsdon’t materialize.‘‘We will be a shell of what we
Former San Marcos studentspass the test of time
Time capsule opening part of 50-yearanniversary celebrations
/ NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS
Above, San Marcos teacher Aaron Solis unveils the time capsule that the class of 1961 had placed in the cornerstone. Below left, the capsulewaits for its unveiling at the hiding spot that held the box for 50 years. Below right, items placed in the time capsule by the class of 1961 sit onthe right as new items placed by the current class of seniors take their place awaiting future discovery.
By BRETT LEIGH DICKS
Fifty years is a long time to wait forthe results of a high school assign-ment. But that is how long a collectionof former San Marcos High Schoolstudents have been waiting to gleanthe results of an assignment theyundertook in 1959. As part of a weekend-long reunionand celebration to mark the 50thanniversary of San Marcos High’s firstgraduating class on Sunday morning,members of the Class of 1961 and theirfamilies returned to the school for theopening of a time capsule that hasbeen lying in wait since May 1959.“I have no idea what we put in thereas it was so long ago,” admitted CarolBowie, a Class of 1961 graduate andone of the students involved in castingthe time capsule, prior to the vessel’sopening Sunday.
SB councilto look atPlan SantaBarbara
By MICHAL ELSETH
NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITER
Plan Santa Barbara, the city’sgeneral plan update, goes backbefore the Santa Barbara CityCouncil on Tuesday.The council will discuss recom-mendations from a council sub-committee on the plan’s elementsfor open space and recreation;environmental resources; econ-omy and fiscal health; and publicservices and safety.The general plan sets the tone forthe policy decisions that shape thecity’s growth over the long-term,with different elements guidingpolicy on everything from devel-opment to historic land use toeconomic policies.Updates to certain elementssuch as residential density anddesign have been divisive issues inthe five years the council has spenton Plan Santa Barbara.Plan adoption requires a super-majority vote, which has hinderedimplementation because of coun-cil members’ widely opposingviews on density allowances.Most of the changes to be con-sidered Tuesday are clarificationsand minor amendments to policiesalready in the city’s general plan.The council will also work outpolicies in the environmentalresources element governinghighway setback distances andlow-emissions vehicles.Councilman Frank Hotchkissalso has challenged goals in theenvironmental resources elementrelated to greenhouse gases,reduction in fossil fuel use andclimate change adaption, accord-ing to the agenda report on theitem.The contentious land use, hous-ing and circulation elements areset to go to the council Sept. 8.The American Institute of Architects has conducted twodesign sessions to illustrate themost recently discussed residen-tial density policies and gathercomments on the issue. AIA willpresent the results to the council on Aug. 2.Once the council has given finaldirection on Plan Santa Barbara,the plan will receive two weeks of public review before adoption.
DUI suspect infatal collisiondies in SBCounty Jail
By MORGAN HOOVER
NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITER
A 29-year-old Lompoc manaccused of causing a fatal collisionin March while DUI died Fridaywhile incarcerated at the SantaBarbara County Jail, said a newsrelease from the Santa BarbaraCounty Sheriff’s Department. According to the release, JuanRodriguez-Zepeda was discoveredunconscious just after 3:30 p.m.Friday in a single-person cell. AMR paramedics were unable torevive the inmate, says the release,and he was pronounced dead lessthan 20 minutes after being found. Authorities do not believe Mr.Rodriguez-Zepeda was the victimof foul play, but Sheriff’s detectivesare investigating the incident.Mr. Rodriguez-Zepeda wasoriginally arrested in connection toa March 19 crash near LakeCachuma that sent three men to alocal hospital.The California Highway Patrolsays Mr. Rodriguez-Zepeda wasdriving west in a Lincoln automo-bile about 9:45 p.m. in a pouringrain when he slammed into aHonda Element heading east.The driver of the Honda, WillyWood, suffered a broken hand andrib and knee injuries, but was ableto get out of the car on his own.His two passengers, DannyOrdas, who was in the front seat,and Ted Adams, who was in theback seat, were taken to SantaBarbara Cottage Hospital after firecrews freed them from thewreckage.Mr. Ordas was in the intensivecare unit for nearly a week, whenhe was taken off life support anddied.Mr. Adams, 71, who sufferedcompound fractures of the neckand other major injuries, washospitalized for weeks.
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Evidence of more forged blood waivers in Beutel/Corbett cases
Eighth in a series
By PETER LANCE
SPECIAL TO THE NEWS-PRESS
In my initial five-part series on KasiBeutel, the Santa Barbara PoliceDepartment’s star DUI officer whoreceived back-to-back awards fromMother’s Against Drunk Driving as the“Top DUI officer” in 2009 and 2010,one of the first revelations was that theactual number of her purported 650arrests was exaggerated by almost 10percent.Those calculations were based on acompilation of Officer Beutel’s DUIarrests furnished to me by the SantaBarbara Police Department itself viaCalifornia Public Records Actrequests. Yet in a letter attacking theseries sent to the News-Press on July11, the law firm of Nye, Peabody,Stirling, Hale & Miller, claimed thatour count was wrong and that Beutel“did, in fact, make 331 arrests in 2009.”While ignoring my findings thatOfficer Beutel received the 2010MADD Award for 50 DUI collars morethan her own department reportedshe’d made, the Nye firm included asan attachment to its letter an unofficialspreadsheet with a series of arrestsunsubstantiated by the officialnumbers.In fact, two of the new Beutel arrestspurportedly took place March 19, 2009, just six minutes apart: at one AlamedaPadre Serra and Moreno Road at 11:11p.m. and the other at the corner of Chapala and Gutierrez streets down-town at 11:17 p.m.David Nye and Jonathan Miller,who sent that letter, represent thesecond set of private attorneysretained by Officer Beutel since theinitial five-part series ran. On June 28she showed up to court with CharlesGoldwasser, a lawyer with offices onWilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.During a hearing in the case of thePeople vs. Batalas, involving a BeutelDUI marijuana arrest, Mr. Gold-wasser counseled her on how to
CarpinteriaCity Councilagain addressesParedon Project
By MORGAN HOOVER
NEWS-PRESS STAFF WRITER
After Measure J was rejected byvoters more than a year ago, theParedon Project will tonight comeback in front of the Carpinteria CityCouncil in the form of an update.Measure J would have allowedDenver-based oil company Venocoto intensify operations of its exist-ing oil processing facilities with theintention of using slant-drill tech-nology to extract oil from oil beds just off the Carpinteria Coast. According to a staff report, Venoco requested in February of 2009 that all-permit processingwork on the original project besuspended.Though voters defeated the