A national study conducted by Congressional Quarterly (CQ Press) has ranked New Orleans as the most violent city in America. This newest tarnishing of the city's reputation comes just two months after the journal Foreign Policy ranked New Orleans 3rd among their top five “murder capitals” of the world, trailing behind Caracas, Venezuela and Cape Town, South Africa.
Foreign Policy explains the Crescent City's malaise as owing to “its grinding poverty, an inadequate school system, a prevalence of public housing, and a high incarceration rate,” and adds that, “Katrina didn’t help. Since the hurricane struck in 2005, drug dealers have been fighting over a smaller group of users, leading to many killings.” The CQ Press study makes fewer attempts to explain why violent crime is raging in New Orleans, but presents a set of statistics that puts the city far above and beyond any other American metropolitan area in almost all measures, but especially murder.
If you ask the local police, CQ Press's study is flawed. If you ask any other local, you're likely to get a “no duh,” kind of answer. It's common knowledge among the city's residents that violent crime is serious problem. Nevertheless, NOPD Chief Warren Riley claimed at a press conference that “it's inaccurate information. There's nothing factual about it. There's nothing scientific about it." Fair enough, the ranking methodology is flawed, but it has captured a stinging truth about the state of post-Katrina New Orleans. CQ Press has even included a “Note on New Orleans” as a preface to their rankings stating for the record that, “New Orleans would have the highest city crime comparison score even if the 2007 Census Bureau population estimates were the basis for the scoring.” No matter the city's true total population figure, it is the most violent locale in the United States hands down. However, the presentation of this fact by the corporate news media remains inadequate and absent of any contexts that might help explain the desperation and crushing inequality that lead to explosive rates of violent crime. Instead the news media have presented images and reports of a pathological culture of poverty preying upon itself and those who veer to close.
Details beyond CQ Press study's most basic crime statistics and city rankings are not being reported by the media and are hard to come by. The report itself is available online, but a print version costs $55. It's $225 for the CD and database version. Compounding this lack of in-depth information, media reports have not attempted put the violence of New Orleans into any sort of context beyond the same sort of over-simplified version provided by Foreign Policy: blaming the poor and their communities such as public housing developments, or else drug wars waged by merciless criminals. Furthermore, the demographics of victims have not been widely disseminated by the press (if the CQ Press study even compiled them) thus leaving perceptions of who this violence affects most wide open to the national audience. The truth in New Orleans is that violent crimes take the heaviest toll on Black communities and Black as well as white working class neighborhoods. The white majority Uptown neighborhoods and the other affluent suburban areas around the city are relatively unaffected.
The most widely circulated media report through the Associate Press leads with with shocking figures such as the 19,000 reported crimes and 208 murders in 2007 that have vaulted New Orleans into a class of its own. AP's report quickly notes that “New Orleans was well ahead of second-place Camden, New Jersey, and third-place Detroit,” and that “St. Louis, Missouri and Oakland, California, rounded out the top five.” Although all of these cities have Black majorities, and although each would rank equally high among the most impoverished and over-policed communities in the US with the accompanying disinvestment and de-industrialization of the past several decades, no discussion of race and racism, nor economic inequality follows. Readers are simply left to conjure up their own images and ideas about these five cities, each long maligned in the national media.
The five “safest” cities mentioned in most media reports are all majority white suburbs built up during the 1960s through the present during an era that historians characterize as “white flight.” Ramapo, NY, Mission Viejo, California, O'Fallon, Missouri, Newton, Massachusetts, Brick Township, New Jersey round out the top five safest towns. Mission Viejo, like the other four, was consciouslly built up as an exclusive suburb, absorbing many white affluent families who fled the slowly integrating public schools, hospitals, businesses, and neighborhoods of the major cities they orbit, Los Angeles in Mission Viejo's case. Today Mission Viejo is 77% white. Blacks make up 2% of its population. The median household income is practically twice the national average. Los Angeles for its part was ranked somewhere in the middle of the report's 385 city pack.
The release of CQ Press's crime report also follows the recent broadcasting of an episode of the television show Gangland on The History Channel featuring the Gotti Boys, a criminal organization from years past. Purporting to tell real histories of gangs in America, Gangland is a smoothly produced program featuring both former gangsters and expert commentators, usually criminologists from major universities. The show often focuses in on a particularly nefarious gang or urban setting and liberally sprinkles scenes with heavy music and sensationalistic imagery of tattooed bodies, weaponry, urban decay and drugs. New Orleans' episode was a virtual collage of images depicting public housing, young black hooded men, and darkened streets of crowded shotgun homes.
Literally within days of the History Channel's depiction of New Orleans' past, CNN ran a special segment hosted by Soledad O'Brien entitled “One Crime at a Time." The show opens with a street sign and skyline introducing New Orleans as a gritty southern city. O'Brien's camera crews follow a murder investigation through the streets of Central City. Two detectives looking for suspects point at houses exclaiming without a doubt, “that could be a crack house, and that could be a crack house.” Stumped for leads they call it quits for the night. The next day they explain to O'Brien that a “wall of silence” prevails in working class neighborhoods throughout the city. No one will talk to the police. Later in the show O'Brien narrates figures provided by the City DA explaining that only 40% of those arrested for homicide will ever face trial. Accompanying images show white police officers ducking cuffed Black men into squad cars, again in darkened ghetto city streets.
The show then features the case of Garell Smith, a young Black man suspected of four murders but never convicted, again in no small part because of a lack of witnesses willing to testify. CNN's attempt to explain the “brick wall” effect comes up short of the total evidence though. O'Brien asks one city prosecutor “do you think he [Garell Smith] has threatened the witnesses?” The prosecutor answers affirmatively. In this particular case it may be true, but CNN presents witness intimidation by perpetrators of violent crime as the sole reason why there is a mass refusal to cooperate with police investigations. To this must be added the fact that the NOPD themselves have a long brutal history and ongoing reputation among Black working class communities in New Orleans as being among the most violent and intimidating forces within the city. Not only do witnesses fear retaliation by criminals, they do not trust the police either. Add to this a widespread skepticism of the legal system which most New Orleanians recognize as existing for the benefit of the few wealthy neighborhoods in the city, and the reasons underlying the “brick wall” effect become clearer.
Even with all the attention being paid to violence in New Orleans by the media in the last week, there remain virtually no detailed investigations into the underlying causes of crime. No sociological evidence has been mustered by the media to discuss the overwhelming structural violence so characteristic of post-Katrina New Orleans, a city devoid of health care, housing, affordable schools, good jobs, and public transport entirely because of conscious decisions made to eliminate these very things.
No presentations in the mass media as of yet have delved seriously into the social and economic conditions of post-Katrina New Orleans as they might be related to violent crime. Viewers of programs like CNN's “One Crime at a Time,” or those who read news briefs about New Orleans' ranking as the most violent city are left to reason for themselves as to why the city has risen again as a murder capital. Studies such as CQ Press's provide no insights beyond raw statistics whereas news and edutainment programs depict problematic imagery of white police and Black criminals, a national norm and a pathological city.
In the aftermath of Proposition 8's victory some within the queer community have been overheard by their brothers and sisters in struggle complaining about how a particular “they” voted anti-gay, and how “they” are ignorant and backward. “We voted for their president! How dare they stab us in the back like this.” The “they” in question was Black and Latino voters and the outraged activists were mostly white gay rights activists. Since November 4, pollsters have been keen to point out that although the average white voter rejected the initiative, the average Black and Latino voter marked a yes on their ballot. This realization, isolated from its context and a wider political analysis of the Proposition 8 campaign has led to some faulty assumptions about why the initiative passed and why many Blacks and Latinos supported it. One message now making its rounds in the media and by word of mouth is that while most of California's white voters are progressives committed to equal rights, Blacks and Latinos cling to the ignorance of their fundamentalist religious beliefs, so much so that they are responsible for passing what is in all meanings and effects a piece of anti-civil rights legislation. The reality, however, is far more complex (for example).
While the poll figures are correct, it appears that they're correct for somewhat different reasons than are widely assumed. Black and Latino voters did cast their ballots mostly in favor of Proposition 8, but when reporters started interviewing people based on these poll figures, they found the reasoning most Prop 8 supporters gave to be somewhat different from what is widely assumed. Instead of finding a vehement religious attitude that homosexuality is a sin or disease and that gay rights must be opposed at all costs, many voters began talking about children. What do children have to do with Prop 8, a mere 14 word addition to the state Constitution reading: “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California”?
As it turns out, among the demographic groups that voted mostly in favor of the marriage ban were parents with children under 18-years of age in their household. The yes on 8 campaign made a brilliant tactical decision when they decided to imply that a no vote for Prop 8 would lead not only to marriage rights for same sex couples, but that it would also fuel an aggressive anti-heterosexual educational campaign in schools. In this imaginary world being conjured up by pro-8 organizers, California school children would be taught that marriage is between and man and a woman, or a man and a man, or a woman and woman, and so forth. Not that children shouldn't be exposed to reality – homosexuality is an identity just as heterosexuality is – but the recent movement to legalize same-sex unions in California has made virtually no efforts to try to introduce gay and lesbian issues into public school curriculum. Not that they shouldn't, but the claim that by not passing Proposition 8 schools will be forced to teach a non-heteronormative definition of marriage has been entirely fictitious and besides the point. That's the brilliance of it.
The reason the yes on 8 campaign made this claim was that it was a coded means of rallying deep seeded anti-gay prejudices in people, but accomplished in a way that didn't overtly call on people to hate others. In this way the Proposition 8 campaign succeeded in playing off widespread homophobia and hatred without actually having to make an unambiguously hateful claim such as “gays prey on children,” which is what they really meant for people to think.
One yes on 8 commercial featuring “Julie,” a self-described “California mom,” explains that “unless Prop 8 passes school children will be taught that marriage is a relationship between two people regardless of gender,” and that “in Massachusetts, a same-sex marriage state, schools use a book entitled, 'Who's in a Family?'” Viewers learn that Massachusetts schools teach same-sex marriage to children “as early as the first grade.” The commercial's Golden State mom concludes by stating what sounds like a simple issue of her rights and power over her own child's education: “I want to be sure that my children are taught that marriage is between a man and a woman.”
Those of us who are outraged by the passage of Prop 8 can critique the flawed logic and total disconnect from reality demonstrated in this kind of argument all we want, but then we miss the point entirely as to why this argument succeeds. It's not designed to make logical sense or hold up under the reality of what California families are actually like. After all, the reality is that most families include gay and lesbian siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, etc., and only a great deal of homophobic repression creates families in which there are no queer members. Rather, this argument is designed to invoke hatred and homophobia without doing so in a straightforward manner. It's a psychologically profound tactic and astute political tool that has been used for years by Republicans and Democrats to stoke white racial fears without explicitly referring to racist beliefs. Indeed, we saw much racial coding in this year's presidential campaign directed at Barack Obama.
“California mom's” concern about what her children are taught turned out to be more crucial for Prop 8's victory than the supposed ideological backwardness of Blacks and Latinos, and “California mom,” at least in the campaign's commercial, was white. Other yes on 8 commercials give a flavor of how sophisticated this anti-civil rights effort was in soliciting the votes of men and women, Blacks, Latinos, whites, and Asians. One commercial opens with a young Asian woman sitting in a park in San Francisco of all places. She explains to us that “if Proposition 8 fails there's a whole bunch of consequences.” We are told that churches could be forced by the state to rent their holy grounds for use by same sex couples for their wedding ceremonies. Another clip features a young white man who tells us that as same-sex marriage becomes recognized by the state, “legal defenses based on religious freedoms are less likely to succeed.” Seconds later, “Suubi,” a young black woman, tells us that religious adoption agencies will be forced to hand over babies to same sex couples or discontinue their adoption services altogether. Again the trope of innocent children being abducted and perverted by sinners, but this much is only implied for it cannot be said. “Geoff” from Brentwood tells us that “based on past experiences, those who oppose same sex marriage on religious grounds will be increasingly labeled as intolerant and subjected to legal penalties or social ridicule.” Geoff even tells us that it's already happening in the debate over Prop 8 with its supporters “having their careers threatened”
It was through careful messaging like this that the yes on 8 campaign was able to succeed in a truly amazing feat: they convinced a majority coalition of the California electorate that the issue wasn't civil rights for untold numbers of Californians who have been discriminated against based on their sexuality and gender, but that it was instead about protecting the religious freedoms, beliefs, and even the safety of their (intolerant) Catholic-Mormon-evangelical Christian communities, “freedoms” and “beliefs” that only exist because of the internal repression of their own loved ones who may not fit their norms. For millions of Californians they made it appear that it was in fact religious communities and even simple traditional parents who were under attack by an aggressive lobby of gay and lesbian advocates who not only want their rights, but want to push what Prop 8 proponents call “their lifestyle” on everyone else in the state, from first graders to the Priest of the local church. This make-believe attack on the church quite possibly resonated with Latino and Black voters, for many of whom the church is a key mobilizing organization in any election, thus explaining their proportionately higher support.
It was all the more amazing that the yes on 8 campaign asked and succeeded in getting voters to forget the massive violence and hate directed at queer communities on a daily basis, and instead entertain a make believe world where straight Christian and Mormon men and women are being persecuted because their identities. The reality is so bad that it's necessary to summarize.
The California Attorney General cites 1,426 hate crimes reported in 2007. Of course reported crimes constitute only the tip of the iceberg with usually much higher proportionate numbers going un-reported for a multitude of reasons (one reason being that many victims of hate crimes do not feel they can trust the police to help them because of institutionalized forms of discrimination and homophobia built into the justice system).
Here's the facts; The vast majority of hate crimes in 2007 were racially motivated with the second and third largest categories being motivated by hatred of religion and sexual orientation respectively. Most racially motivated hate crimes targeted Blacks and Latinos – about 70%. In the two categories that were made issues by the yes on 8 campaign (intolerance directed against heterosexuals, and hate crimes against Catholics, Mormons, and fundamentalist Protestants) we see a startling disconnect with the campaign's rhetoric and the reality. Thus while yes on 8 proponents invoked fear of religious persecution from a Catholic, Mormon or evangelical Christian perspective, we find that the overwhelming majority of attacks against persons based on their religion were directed instead at Jews – 66%, with Muslims experiencing the second highest incidences of hate crimes – 6.4% of the total. Anti-Protestant and Catholic crimes together account for only 10.3%. What about hate crimes and intolerance directed at people because of their sexuality? In all of last year there were only 2 such reports of attacks against straight men and women because of their sexual orientation (this in a state of 36 million mind you). Even if we multiply this by a large factor as we should to account for under-reporting, we remain with a small figure. Hate crimes against gay and lesbian men and women virtually monopolize the statistics of hate crimes based on sexuality – hundreds reported in all – with gay men experiencing about half of all attacks and lesbians about 10%. In other words, violence and discriminatory acts directed at queer communities is epidemic, even in the supposedly liberal California, with the new ban against marrying being just the latest institutionalized form of inequality.
That the yes on 8 campaign so effectively turned the tables and portrayed their coalition's own religiously motivated bigotry as victimhood is all the more astounding given the California Supreme Court's decision back in May of 2008 dealt solely with the civil rights issue of marriage, not the issue of whether church's could be forced to recognize and perform same sex marriages or what children in public and private schools would be taught about “who's in the family.” It was through these speculative non-issues that the yes on 8 campaign was able to mobilize an anti-civil rights majority vote by invoking unspoken tropes of gays and lesbians as mortal threats to society.
However, in the Court's decision the justices did inadvertently provide the seed for this psychological strategy when they wrote correctly that same sex marriage was an issue of “respect and dignity”:
“Our state now recognizes that an individual's capacity to establish a loving and long-term committed relationship with another person and responsibly to care for and raise children does not depend upon the individual's sexual orientation.... An individual's sexual orientation -- like a person's race or gender -- does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.”
No doubt the ability to raise one's children is just as fundamental a right as marriage, just as is any other right extended by our society, but herein lay the poison of the yes on 8 campaign strategy. Anti-gay and lesbian organizers know that in this post-civil rights political era a winning campaign can never be based on rhetoric that openly embraces the discriminatory goals they seek. This is true across the spectrum of civil rights, from race and religion (real religious rights issues that is) to civil liberties, and struggles over sexuality and gender. Knowing that they would have to couch their campaign's rhetoric in the language of the very movements they have traditionally opposed, the conservative churches and fundamentalist non-profits behind Prop 8 built their message around fears that all parents have about the content of their children's education, the upbringing of children who are adopted, the rights of churches to continue their own traditional interpretations and practices, and so forth. By casting the issue as one of tradition and civil rights for God-fearing Californians, and as a protective action against a recklessly aggressive cultural movement led by homosexuals that is supposedly undermining the moral fabric of all communities in California through state fiat, the yes on 8 campaign was triumphant.
Herein lay the political theory behind the yes on 8 campaign that was never successfully deconstructed by the rest of us. It was not enough to call their bigotry out for what it really was because their campaign's rhetoric and talking points were suited to avoid precisely this sort of confrontation and allow supporters to state their supposed tolerance for diversity. Nor was it enough to demonstrate the flawed logic and hypocrisy embedded in their positions because they were never designed to hold that much water from the very beginning: they were instead vessels for a more temporary destination – November 4, not the indefinite future. For the long-term more overtly patriarchal and anti-gay values could be supported, but for episodic electoral struggles a much more broadly appealing and coalition building strategy was required.
Mobilizing Black and Latino voters to support prop 8 in higher proportions than most whites is really just an ancillary fact of the ballot proposition's passage. The yes vote delivered by majorities of Black and Latino neighborhoods had not so much to do with the possibility that these communities are inherently more homophobic than whites, and had everything to do with the ways that the yes on 8 campaign both played to their religious and traditional values, but also to the rhetoric of civil and religious rights so effectively invoked by the yes on 8 propaganda. When someone says your religious freedoms, your church community, and family cohesion are threatened by something, Blacks and Latinos respond to this somewhat differently than whites, and their perception has a lot to do with historical and contemporary assaults against their families and churches by a white supremacist society.
Viewed from this angle we can see how both civil rights movements (concerning race and sexuality) have been co-opted through a verbal commitment to their ideals and simultaneously undermined with aggressive counter movements against the real legal and institutional gains they have made or attempted to make through reforms of the state. For example, affirmative action is banned in California based on a flimsy but appealing logic of colorblindness that selectively summons up the highest ideals of judging not a single person based on the color of their skin. Sounds great, right? The effect is incredibly racist in that it perpetuates the now structurally enforced exclusion of non-whites from higher education and all other institutional channels of economic and civic advancement, and no one has to state that this is what we're doing. It's a racism that need not see, speak nor hear the word race ever uttered. Proposition 8 seems to have thoroughly ushered us into an era of post-civil rights homophobia whereby hatred and fear are projected by a similar means, and power relations are maintained.
One final politically significant point about the passage of Proposition 8 that has been obscured in a lot the reflections on the campaign, especially the more misguided attention being paid to Black and Latino voters, has been a lack of attention and research on the key people and organizations that crafted the yes on 8 campaign strategy. The biggest single reason that Prop 8 passed is because of white fundamentalist Protestant churches, the Church of Latter Day Saints, the Catholic Church and a network of right wing, socially conservative political organizations in and around California, the overwhelming majority of which are run by white men. Again, the similarity to the opposition against racial civil rights movements are many. Just as some of the most public political faces and organizer, even the voters themselves, who are responsible for passing racist legislation and rolling back civil rights can often be Black and Latino (e.g. Ward Connerly), or else whites who present themselves as non-racists, the public face of the yes on 8 campaign has been very diverse, and the coalition of voters they mobilized was genuinely diverse, at least in terms of race. However, the real motivating forces who do the political strategizing, raise or contribute the war chests for expensive ballot propositions or electoral campaigns, or else provide the core grassroots foot soldiers for voter mobilization/suppression are typically very straightforward with their values, politics, and prejudices. They purposefully work behind the scenes of ten for this very reason. So while white racists have often been the propelling forces behind the misleadingly diverse facades of anti-Black and Latino political efforts of the past forty years, so now the less conspicuous foundations of the anti-queer political movement are openly hostile and hating institutions and individuals, hiding behind a fake tolerance. Understanding who these individuals and institutions are should be a much more pressing concern for social justice organizers than speculating as to why so many Blacks and Latinos were capably mobilized to vote in favor of Prop 8. Along these lines, however, it may prove more useful for social justice organizers to unpack the complex ideological workings of the Right's devastatingly effective rhetorical strategy utilizing the language of civil rights to take rights away, than it is to bemoan the homophobia that exist in Black and Latino (and white) communities and that was so effectively mobilized against queer folk this past November.
Three years and sixty-nine days ago the Republican Party was strong if erratic. President Bush was well ensconced in his second term of rule. The nation was bogged down in the disastrous war in Iraq, with troops also dying in Afghanistan and US soldiers making forays into several other nations under the banner of the “war on terrorism.” At the time the US housing market was still booming, as was the demand for other toxic financial instruments being peddled about by Wall Street's titans. Then a catastrophe struck, the first of many.
It was the flooding of New Orleans and the devastation of the Gulf Coast by hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 that began the downfall of the Bush regime. At the time the administration responded to the crisis as they would with most any other challenge confronting them. They framed the disaster as an opportunity and handed out big contracts to well connected corporations to fix the problem. What happened as a result has be detailed elsewhere. To sum it up though, the city of New Orleans was effectively privatized with public schools turned into charters, the public hospital shuttered, public housing demolished, public transportation gutted, etc. The most savage political and profit driven plans of developers, politicians and a suburban white electorate were achieved. After a year of the neoliberal hell that New Orleans and the Gulf Coast had become it seemed things could not get worse, but still the situation descended.
Life has been a constant struggle ever since for the working class people of Louisiana and other parts of the Gulf south. Black communities were hit especially hard. Somehow though it has come to be that this nadir for Black America has proved to be the historic turning point for the Bush regime's fortunes.
Three years and sixty eight days was a lifetime ago in political terms. There are still many Americans living today who grew up in an apartheid America where the concept of even allowing blacks to vote in many states and counties was considered impossible. Today a black man has been elected president of the United States of America. He began his campaign on a cold January day about one year and ten moths ago. It was more than a long shot. He announced his candidacy and then proceeded to outline an agenda of a progressive nature involving accessible health care, affordable education, criticism of the Iraq war, and more. After a grueling primary battle he succeeded against formidable odds, and he trounced his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain the general election.
Tonight New Orleans is ringing with the sounds of celebration. Having endured the brunt and brutality of the Bush administration's neoliberal economic agenda and neoconservative political agenda more heavily than any other community in the United States, the city has begun a party like only this town knows how to throw. The sounds of ship horns along the Mississippi River blasting in jubilation mix with cars honking along the main avenues. Cheers of hooray resonate across the town from victory parties at bars and crowded households. Perhaps there will even be a funeral march for the Bush administration in the coming days? One woman walking to the polls today wore a shirt proclaiming, “New Orleans, we know how to put the fun in funeral,” referring to the city's tradition of second lines full of dancers that follow the more somber funeral processions.
It's hard to tell what the commotion is about in particular swaths of the city though. Among the white sections of New Orleans the celebration seems to be set in a firm repudiation of the Bush administration's political legacy and a desire for a more progressive politics. It's about change, whatever that means. In the black sections of the city it's no less about rejecting the Bush administration, the most anti-black working class political regime in recent history, but it also seems to be about the the singular fact of history that has been made tonight. A black president. Even though Obama went out of his way to eschew the issue of race during his campaign rightly fearing that too many direct confrontations with it would cost him white votes. The chocolate city, however, has turned out a record vote in order to make history by putting a black man in office. For Black New Orleans race always was a key reason to mobilize.
Early on election day I walked through the 3rd Ward of New Orleans, a neighborhood called Central City. Below sea level, cut off from the downtown by hulking freeways, polluted and over-policed with a severe lack of jobs and affordable housing, Central City is one of this city and the nation's poorest communities. It was devastated by Katrina and more so by the political decision made in the aftermath. Many houses remain empty and in disrepair to this day. But the attitude among residents was upbeat no matter where I walked.
In front of the Friendly Supermarket on just off Washington Avenue several men talked about the importance of this election. “Historic,” explained a 43 year-old man named BH. “Obama and the new government are going to stop this shit about the rich getting' richer and the poor getting' poorer.” For BH the election's various issues were never separate. Whereas the major media networks seemed to parse the Iraq war, the economy and energy issues into distinct topics that overtook the campaigns at differet times, BH and his friends in this neighborhood explain the systematic connections they see and which they believe most other Americans see. “The war was for oil. Now look at the price of oil. And notice, every time there's a war, afterward there's going to be a recession, at least for us working people.” BH's understanding is firmly rooted in his experiences with past presidential administrations, particularly Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush. “See, every time there's a Republican President, there's a war,” says BH. Arthur Red, another Central City local agrees and adds, “Yeah, see it's the Republicans who are mostly about going to take over other people's stuff.”
BH, Arthur, and the several other men drinking coffee in front of this corner store on election day all worry about the Republicans trying to steal yet another election, but none of them think it possible with the momentum behind the Democratic Party. Down the street worries about stolen elections lead to a more conspiratorial idea, based less on the fact of past elections and more on the present worries of all that could and has gone wrong for the Obama-Biden campaign. On the stoop of a house off 1st and Saratoga Streets a group of young men and women sit across from a polling station watching their relatives and friends enter and exit. “Did you vote for Obama?” they yell to the occasional face they recognize. As I neared the polling place one of them called across the street to me, “you voted for McCain!”
“Why would you assume that?” I responded crossing the street to meet them. The boy, not older than 8 was blunt in his response, “because your color,” he said, pointing to my white skin. His sisters, brothers and friends gave me the benefit of the doubt though, and we began talking. They explained to me their fears that white America would do anything to keep a black man out of office. One of them speculated that “they” killed Obama's grandmother in the final days of his campaigning in order to cause him distress and ruin his campaign's wrap up efforts. Another said they expect Obama will be attacked and possible killed early in office by white supremacists, while a third offered up a report that an attempt had been made on Obama's life last month. “But he'll survive and win,” they all stated with conviction. Paris Green who had just turned eighteen and cast her first vote for the president offered the most sober opinions.
“I voted for Obama because he's going to change things. He's going to fix schools, provide better housing, shelters for the homeless, jobs for the unemployed, and he'll fix programs like WIC [Women Infants Children], and he'll bring that hurricane relief we never got from Bush down here,” she explained. “And I think he should paint that white house, make it a colored house of many different colors,” she concluded. Green and her friends said they had seen more people voting today than they had in past years and were all confident in the Obama victory that has come to pass.
Februrary 15, 2003, we thought we could stop the Iraq war: we couldn't. Even though millions of people marched globally in the biggest single mobilization of protest in world history it wasn't enough. The powers that be, being as the were designed to be and always have been, they ignored us and moved ahead toward war.
March 19, 2003, we thought we could stand in the way of the Iraq war and prevent mass murder: we couldn't. Even though we disrupted business as usual, the real important business of the usual, the business of global capitalism, the banking and manufacturing, financial speculation, oil production, mono-crop agriculture, mining, and most importantly in the US, mass credit based consumerism, it was all unfazed by the few outbreaks of direct action in the streets of San Francisco and New York. Too few people reached for the real levers of power. They were rounded up by the police, processed, and after the threat receded they were released. Business as usual prevailed.
The war happened and has been happening since then. Perhaps a million... let's face it, who knows how many Iraqis have been killed? There have been ups and downs, mostly downs, and further downwards the spiral of violence and militarism as Iraq's society has been pulverized into what might best be described as an occupied civil resource war zone. And lest we forget, it's all for us, the consumers and so-called middle class of the global north, and also for the major corporations who are fueled by the warfare state's peace winning actions.
The war, however, has been a boondoggle. The “coalition” troops have become disenchanted en mass and have created their own movements to end the fiasco. Meanwhile even the senior US military leadership has lamented the handling of the whole ordeal. Iraq's people themselves have struggled just to survive, as most folks do under circumstances like theirs. Anti-imperialist protest fill Iraq's streets on a weekly basis. The US antiwar movement which mobilized its largest numbers before the first US solider set foot on Iraqi soil has for its own sake continued to mobilize people in opposition to the war. From 2003 through 2006, protests, especially on the commemorative dates of the invasion, March 20th or thereabouts, have gone down in most major US cities. Not much has come of them in a direct sense, but they have helped foster a new political atmosphere. In a way this has been huge. The antiwar movement has kept alive a politics commensurate with real peace, not the fake peace of neoconservatives and the neoliberals.
Capitalizing on the antiwar movement a candidate emerged from the Democratic Party who spoke to more than just that concern. Barack Obama's mercurial rise has been on the tails of several major social movements, and from the beginning his campaign for the US presidency seemed like more than a longshot. Although his origins as a major political figure rest on the antiwar movement, he has invoked the immigrants' rights movement, women's movement, Gulf Coast Right of Return movement, and more to build support in the US for his candidacy as president. He has yelled “si se puede” at rallies, and built his campaign off of vague democratic slogans such as “change we can believe in,” and “hope.” Does he believe it? Is he a part of let alone accountable to our movements? What will an Obama presidency mean for social justice and the environment? These are some of the questions facing radicals as November 4 dawns on us.
Now the catch from my end; I have been a staunch critic of Obama's political career when asked my opinion. I've held off on writing about him or even talking about him favorably with friends and colleagues because I have perceived in him a will to power that is incommensurate with my commitment to real democracy, social justice, and ecological sustainability.
I still do.
That said, I see in his candidacy a potential that is lacking in all other possibilities, but it is not lacking in him. Rather, it is lacking in us. Obama may win at this point. All third, fourth, and fifth party candidates don't stand a chance. McCain, however, does stand a chance in somehow pulling off an upset between now and election day, especially given the recent history of Republican candidates fortune at the polls, polls influenced by tactics of voter repression. It wouldn't be the first time that the US voted along racial lines to support the status quo also. Patriarchal appeal plays a huge role in McCain's presidency. Even though his VP nominee is a woman, she represents to many American men the ideal woman, the virtual 2nd in command, saying yes to whatever the commander in chief calls for. Even though she sports a “first dude” as her husband in Alaska, on the national level her politics are clearly about the subordination of women's lives to men's power. The real first dude at this level is McCain.
What to do?
Vote Obama. Vote for him because he won't do anything truly democratic. In fact, his administration will likely be a close replay of the Clinton years. Worrisome indeed. But herein lies the opportunity. Obama has relied a great deal on our movements to build his appeal. He first identified with the antiwar movement and later with the immigrants' movement and most recently with a number of other social justice causes. The far right of the Republican Party has tried to smear him with this by identifying him with Acorn and 1960's radical Bill Ayers. This they think will turn voters away from Obama. Perhaps it will, but it energized far more potential voters to support him before it turned one away. Obama's possible presidency presents us with an opportunity unlike any other we have seen in a generation. Soon a politician may be elected, largely owing to his popularity and identification with insurgent social movements that have been boiling beneath society. What to do?
Mobilize. Make the pot boil over. Their already exists a well financed and staffed political machine hurling Obama toward election day, building his leads in key states and challenging McCain in the swings. Unfortunately there has also existed, for quite some time, a political machine behind Obama building up his potential staff of advisers on every issue from the economy to US foreign policy. This political machine is made up of savvy Washington insiders and long-time Democratic Party operatives. They will build the Obama administration by drawing from their own ranks to fill key positions in government. They will not end the war. Nor will they move to bail out the millions of Americans who have been preyed upon by US financial lenders. They will not move to socialize healthcare, nor will they rebuild our public schools. Their agenda does not involve Gulf Coast Reconstruction, at least in a just and democratic sense. They are beholden more to big coal and the nuclear industry than the environmental movement.
What needs to happen between now and February when hopefully and Obama administration moves into 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is movement building. Organizers of all stripes need to start laying the foundations for mass mobilizations, direct actions, strikes if need be. For the first time in a long time this nation is about to have a president who owes a large part of his political fortunes to the politics engendered by insurgent social movements. The opportunity this creates for achieving our movements' aims in enormous, but only if we organize for it. There must be pressure applied immediately upon the Obama administration. There can be no honeymoon. The day after he takes office we need to fill the streets as we did on February 15, 2003 to stop the horrendous war. We need to see millions more marching in Chicago and LA on May Day, to say no to racist borders. We need to be prepared to be disruptive and irresistible, all in order to force the change that Obama's candidacy has promised us, but has so far worked to structurally prevent himself from achieving.
This is because authorities have called for a mandatory evacuation. Perhaps they have learned from Katrina. Perhaps also the Republican Party understands how catastrophic a Katrina-like debacle would be for them during this election season, during their national convention of all things? Peter King, a Republican Congressman told the Washington Post the obvious: “If it does work out well, it will probably be a small plus” for Republicans. “Obviously, if it doesn’t work out well, then the Republicans are going to have a problem.” With an equal dose of the over-apparent John McCain told reporters that, "it just wouldn't be appropriate to have a festive occasion while a near-tragedy or a terrible challenge is presented in the form of a natural disaster."
The LA Times sums up the GOP's worries: "Apart from humanitarian concerns, the GOP's image-makers are mindful of the public relations and political cost if the party appears to be partying in Minnesota while Americans are battling to survive a devastating hurricane."
That the Bush administration was widely perceived as doing exactly this during the first critical day of Katrina is all the more reason for Republicans to be worried. Remember Condoleeza Rice's shoe shopping adventure while New Orleans sank? The Great Flood and images of families trapped on roofs, in the Superdome, wading through the water, images of working class men and women struggling to survive in the absence of federal help while water poured in through breached levees was a major moment of undoing for the Bush regime.
It was also a major indictment of the Democratic Party. The biggest failing of the Democrats was two-fold: their inability to hold the Bush administration to account, and their culpability, especially Dems at the local level, in the post-Katrina gentrification of New Orleans. City and State party officials were just as quick as the Republicans to smooth they way for various gentrification efforts.
Mayor Nagin and Governor Blanco gaffed horribly in the face of the Katrina disaster. This time around Nagin seems determined to do the few things he didn't last time - clearly order a full and manditory evacuation and provide the means to do it. (Blanco will not have another chance to redeem herself, of course.) This response is hardly the best possible way that authorities could be dealing with Gustav, however.
Mike Howells, an organizer who lives in the French Quarter reports that in addition to the evacuation order the state has imposed a kind of marshal law. A 24-hour curfew will take effect after evacuations today banning all remaining residents who have chosen to ride out the storm from venturing into the streets, for any reason whatsoever. Howells, who rode out Katrina and plans to endure this storm, writes from his perch in the Crescent City:
"This order essentially places all who remain in the city on lockdown. The potential for misery that the twenty four hour curfew can inflict persons in New Orleans is great. The lockdown effectively discourages people from abandoning their residences even under the most dire circumstances. What is to become of those who flee home in the event of flooding or fire? Official policy dictates that such people be arrested on sight for violating the curfew and sent to Angola Prison. Will this threat of arrest cost lives because some hesitate to flee in a timely fashion due to a fear of arrest? I think so."
Gustav should make landfall sometime early Monday. The National Hurricane Center advisory bluntly states:
"AN EXTREMELY DANGEROUS STORM SURGE OF 18 TO 25 FEET ABOVE NORMAL TIDAL LEVELS IS EXPECTED NEAR AND TO THE EAST OF WHERE THE CENTER OF GUSTAV CROSSES THE NORTHERN GULF COAST."
This is the same kind of storm surge that topped the levees in 2005 and caused the Great Flood. Hopefully there won't be a repeat, but both Raymond Seed and Bob Bea, the Berkeley engineers who surveyed and advised the city on damage done during Katrina think that it's likely.
According to Seed:
"The possibility of significant flooding of any one, if not all three of the main basins [the majority of New Orleans] is still there, and we could again have people up on roof tops if it goes badly. Some of the levees that have been built since Katrina, in our opinion, weren't built entirely to the standards we would have liked to have seen. That's being worked on, and further repairs are being made. But there's also incomplete work, work still in progress, so it's going to be a little dicey in terms of the level of preparation at the time of Gustav's arrival."
Finally, beyond the human toll, beyond the politics of immediacy reflected in the Republicans squirming, is the long-term effects this storm could have, if it maintains its intensity and makes landfall where most computer models predict it will. As of right now Gustav is heading straight toward the Louisiana Offshore Oil Port, the "LOOP." This single port facility is responsible for 13% of the US' foreign oil supply. It connects via pipeline to about 50% of the nation's refining infrastructure. If Gustav damages the LOOP, steep increases in gasoline prices are assured. Beyond this, Gustav is barreling toward the most intensively built-up area of offshore oil and gas rigs in the US and is likely to do damage to many. It could take a significant bite out of US production.
The energy crisis is going to worsen.
But the energy crisis is merely an aspect of the larger crisis that is better understood in terms of ecology and social justice.
That all of this, the hurricane, the human toll, police militarization, the energy crisis is all related needs no explanation, or does it? Here's some basic connections of profound importance:
1. The vulnerability of New Orleans to hurricanes is the product of the death of southern Louisiana's wetlands combined with environmental injustices that have put working class people in harm's way.
2. The wetlands have been destroyed by the oil and gas industry. By digging extensive networks of canals for pipelines and for access to their countless drilling platforms, petro-corporations have allowed salt water to enter the delicate wetland habitats, killing off vegetation that holds silt down, and erasing the barrier that previously absorbed surge.
3. Southern Louisiana's working classes were once protected from hurricanes. Federal investment in necessary infrastructure was a priority. However, in the aftermath of the Civil Rights Movement and with the rise of neo-liberalism has come an attitude among many that the people of southern Louisiana can now be sacrificed. Due largely to automation of the port facilities of the region and de-industrialization of New Orleans, the mostly black working class labor force that used to operate this mega-machine have become supernumeraries under global capitalism.
4. The operation of neoliberalism - what Naomi Klein has identified as disaster capitalism - in geographies like southern Louisiana is reckless. It exploits "resources" including labor, minerals, timber, water to degrees that are wildly unsustainable, and it externalizes many of the most deadly industrial processes in these zones. The concomitant ecological and social harm done leads to a social state that is highly vulnerable to phenomena that are euphemistically called "natural disasters."
5. Under neo-liberalism natural disasters are defined by the ruling classes as "opportunities." The destruction, pain and suffering wrought on working class communities, (in the US this means particularly those marginalized by racism) is percieved by many as an unfortunate but useful turn of events that allows for everything from the mass expropriation of land and property to the further demonization of the poor.
I'd like to end on a high note, but now is not the time.
Over the past half year I have been researching the history of the Goleta Valley and greater Santa Barbara region as part of a series of small bicycle tours. The purpose has been to give a counter narrative to the predominant interpretations of the area's past, present, and future. Below is the bike tour's written version, dedicated to Kira of course ;)
This text will soon appear with illustrations and photos in book format for distribution.
Goleta, the Bad Land
“In May 1960, I joined an army of young tract home dwellers moving into the Goleta hinterlands like a band of pioneers, carving a brave new world out of lemon orchards. I moved into a brand new $16,900 house in a new town, with a new job and a new baby. The house had no built-ins and neither did Goleta. The sprawling Goleta of 19,000 people had few parks in 1960, no library worthy of the name until 1973, no department stores, one high school, a few elementary schools and no freeway.
What Goleta did have were lemons and children. But the lemon orchards were falling fast before the flashing blades of the bulldozers. Water from lake Cachuma had arrived and ranchers were selling out. A new crop filled the fields” shingle roofs over three bedrooms and two baths.....”
Goleta resident Barney Brantingham, 1988[i]
“There are no unaltered places, time and change being as inexorable as they are.”
UCSB Chancellor Vernon Cheadle, 1969
“This whole country is extremely delightful. It is all good land...”
Franciscan Friar Jaun Crespis upon first seeing the Goleta Valley
Right about 1960 in the Goleta Valley, a coastal plain west of Santa Barbara, about one hundred miles up the California coast from Los Angeles, a second wave of anglo-American pioneers arrived, determined to settle in and build a particular version of the American dream. They came to work in the newly founded military-industrial complex of Goleta, centered around several large firms specializing in aerospace engineering, optics, and the era's positivist brand of socio-economic research that was being conducted under the auspices of the Cold War. These several thousand families were the second pioneers of the third empire to claim dominion over the lands known as Goleta. More than any settlers to come before them, they would carry out immense transformations of the region's ecology, politics, and culture.
However, their transplant relationship to the Goleta Valley caused in them an uneasiness with their own identity. In search of who they were in this time and place on the western edge of North America, during a time of post-War US expansionism and militarism, these pioneer families would literally re-write the history of the Goleta Valley, placing themselves as the logical and rightful heirs to this so-called “good land,” as one local chronicler would call it. Simultaneously these pioneers would work to legitimate the order of things by historicizing and separating themselves from the past.
Severe contradictions would emerge, however, causing ruptures in both their historical narrative about who they were, and about what Goleta is as a community: a landscape colonized by American manifest destiny, pillaged by extractive industries for its natural resources, and finally organized as a scenic suburban paradise, the economic base of which is now research into advanced weaponry of empire.
This essay presents a different history of Goleta and Santa Barbara than that told by most local historians, one that recounts succeeding waves of imperial colonization of the land, but that problematizes the end of the traditional narrative. The traditional history of Goleta finishes with a happy suburban landscape, peppered with lemon trees and palms, bustling with so-called “light industry,” research, and education, all overseen by a liberal and enlightened county and local government. Instead, this history focuses on the continuities of imperial dominion as well as the ruptures, and asks, just who are the Goletans? What is this place called Goleta they have built?
Goletas of the Spanish Empire
The first empire to colonize Goleta was Spain. Arriving from Mexico in 1542, Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed up the Pacific coast of California in search of the legendary Cibola and other riches for plunder. A veteran of Hernan Cortes' wars of conquest, most notably against the Aztec, Cabrillo's goal was to navigate along the coast far north in hopes of smoothing the way for the expansion of Spanish imperium. At the time Spain feared English incursions into Alta California. Shortly after Cabrillo's ocean passage by the Chumash lands of Goleta it is likely that Sir Francis Drake made a pass, perhaps even sailing into the Goleta Slough to repair his ship.
It was not until the Portola expedition that the Goleta area's Chumash inhabitants came into any considerable and lasting contact with the Spanish empire. In 1769 Don Gaspar de Portola set sail from San Diego, the small Spanish port city that Cabrillo helped overtake and establish 227 years before. Portola brought with him a contingent of soldiers and two Catholic priests whom would attempt to map and name portions of the coast for eventual settlement by the Franciscan order under authority of the King of Spain. Arriving in Goleta in that year, Frey Juan Crespi recorded in his journal that they came upon a large estuary (Goleta Slough) that was:
“bordered on the north by a good piece of land of moderate extent, entirely isolated. On that island, which is very green and covered with trees, we saw a large town,... This estuary spreads out to the west, forming many marshes and lagoons upon whose banks there are other towns.”[ii]
These Chumash towns spanned across the Goleta plain, upon the creeks and valleys and into the foothills, and, most notably atop Mescaltitlan Island, a sixty-two acre mesa rising forty feet up from the Slough's brackish waters. Chumash townships made the Goleta Valley one of the most densely inhabited regions in western North America. Upwards of 10,000 Chumash lived in the greater Goleta and Santa Barbara region. Some peg the population much higher. On Mescaltitlan Island stood perhaps two villages of considerable size. The island was covered in oak trees that produced prolific acorns for bread making. The Spanish soldiers most likely named Mescaltitlan Island after another village upon a lake they were familiar with – the ancestral homelands of the Aztec. Chicano Studies scholar Luis Leal speculates that:
“...on August 20, 1769, at what is today Goleta, California, [Portola] baptized the land with the name Pueblos de la Isla, which Father Crespi, who accompanied him, called Santa Margarita de Cortona, and to which the soldiers gave the name Mescaltitlan, believing that they had found themselves in the legendary place of origin of the Aztecs.”[iii]
More likely they recognized the island's resemblance to Mexcaltitlan, an island village in the Mexican state of Nayarit that is widely said to be the cradle of Aztec civilization, or Aztlan.[iv] Present day Mexcaltitlan of Nayarit has become a tourist destination, its original inhabitants still there but living partly off dollars and euros spent by travelers. The Chumash of Goleta's Mescaltitlan were far less fortunate and would not survive their contact with the Spanish and later US empire.
The period following Portola's expedition saw the extensive colonization of Alta California by Spain's imperial Catholic Church and military. The Franciscans who built the mission system using native sweat and blood were out to bring indigenous peoples in from the “wild (native state)” and immerse them in “a way of life that would simultaneously make them good Roman Catholics and obedient workers.”[v] Although it would be inaccurate to view the Chumash and other California tribes as mere victims of colonization – that is, without any agency and never resisting nor manipulating their circumstances – the Spanish empire ultimately had nothing short of genocidal impacts upon most native Californian peoples. As one historian of the Chumash has summed it up:
“After the holocaust of the Spanish-Catholic years at Santa Ynez, La Purissima and Santa Barbara missions, however, this complex society was no more. The numbers of Indians had plummeted due to disease, warfare and depression; in 1839 there were less than 250 Chumash living at Santa Barbara Mission and environs.”[vi]
The genocide of the Chumash was the result of more than just direct military violence. The causes of death and devastation for the Chumash were the combined forces of disease, suppression of culture and language in favor of Spanish custom and tongue, seizure of land, dismantling of food production systems and replacement with sedentary farming, all at the hands of Spain. All of this occurred during a time of rapid climactic fluctuations that compounded the human induced ecological transformations underway. The coming of the Spanish empire coincided and collaborated with an environmental period of “cold and rains,” food scarcity, and “starvation.”[vii] The Chumash experienced not only direct violent subjugation, but also the rapid loss of the whole coherent ecology and economy they had cultivated for 700 years before the arrival of Portola and the Fanciscans. It was a rapid ecological collapse brought on by the Spanish empire's colonization of the Chumash homelands that created a combined natural and political disaster of genocidal proportions.
Afterward the Spanish empire's colonial agents attempted and partially succeeded in reorganizing the Goleta Valley's ecology for a new regime of economic production and political dominion. The subsequent period of Mexican rule and finally US-Anglo empire would re-organize the region's ecology for their own particular aims also.
Spain's imperial agents ruled the greater Santa Barbara region until Mexican independence in 1821. The period of Mexican dominion over the region of Goleta and Santa Barbara would last only twenty-seven years and pales in comparison to Spain and the United States as an imperial period. The rapidly expanding United States, guided by the ideology of manifest destiny and propelled beyond its borders by settler colonists hungry for land and riches to exploit led to the annexation of Texas in 1845. War between the belligerent US and Mexico lasted two years. By 1848 Mexico had lost a major portion of its territory. The war ended with Lt. Colonel John C. Fremont's march over the Santa Ynez Mountains at San Marcos Pass, through Goleta into Santa Barbara where despite the rag-tag shape of his army that had lost hundreds of horses and material in their wintery trudge down from the peaks managed to capture the city. Today there is a particular hiking trail and peak within the mountains above Santa Barbara named after Fremont, just as there are many geographic points across the state named in his honor.
However, the period of Mexican rule was important for the future of Goleta because under Mexican authority much of the land along the California coast was granted out to Irish pioneers. The Californios who received land grants from Mexico included many men who would later turn away from Mexico and join the US troops under leadership of men like Col. Fremont. Included among these early California settlers, predecessors of the US empire's first wave of pioneers, were Nicolas A. Den and Daniel Hill. Den and Hill both received land grants from the Mexican government in what is now Goleta. Both made considerable fortunes selling timber, beef and other goods to later waves of settlers and miners. Den would end up with more than 10,000 head of cattle on his ranch.[viii] Their efforts to enclose the Goleta and Santa Barbara regions within huge ranchos would have a lasting effect on the political-ecology of the area.
Den became a Mexican citizen after coming to Santa Barbara from Ireland via Northern California. After settling north of the town and begging to raise cattle, Den acquired a grant of approximately 16,000 acres mapped out later as including everything between the eastern edge of the Goleta Slough (roughly at about Fairview Ave.) extending to the base of the foothills and west past present day Ellwood – more than half of the entire Goleta Valley. Den built his house on the western edge of his property. Hill settled on the banks of the Slough. A US District Court Land Case map from 1860 shows the Slough with an opening into the ocean, Mescaltitlan Island rising out of its waters.[ix] By this time the Chumash had been virtually exterminated from the Goleta Valley. Those who remained no longer lived the traditional way. There was no Chumash community to speak of. The once thriving township upon Mescaltitlan Island was no more. The oaks covering the island had been chopped down for firewood, as had much of the coastal live oak forests that covered Anisq'Oyo – the mesa between much of the Slough and ocean that today is the UCSB campus. Den, and later the More family felled the trees to feed the energy needs of the whaling industry. Whalers used the fuel to boil blubber. Deforestation led to a loss of topsoil erosion and the permanent loss of nutrients that had built up over previous centuries and nourished coastal live oak trees, toyon, islay bushes and other native flora.
Den quickly became one of the wealthiest men in California largely through his transformation of Goleta into a huge extractive ranch operation. Daniel Hill was Den's father in law. Upon arriving in Santa Barbara Hill took Den under his guidance, married one of his daughters to the Irishman, and brought him into the fold of the area's most powerful. The coming of the US empire didn't necessarily lessen the impact of men such as Den. In fact, Den even greeted Fremont's contingent upon their arrival over the pass and helped negotiate the surrender of Santa Barbara to US forces.[x] The transfer of power from the Californios loyal to Mexico over to US-Anglo settlers was swift.
With US conquest came a renewed wave of settlers into the area. Men like Hope, Hollister, Ellwood, More, Kellogg Stow and Sexton moved to Goleta, buying up divided lands from the original Mexican land grants and establishing orchards and dairies. Ecological changes at this time were rapid as these first pioneers of the third empire sought to reorganize the land and make it “productive” to serve the meteoric growth of urban regions like Los Angeles and San Francisco. While expansive in size, the existing ranchos established under Mexican authority were not nearly as intensive as the enterprises that would be set up by the first pioneers of the US empire.
Among the products cultivated on the new ranches were a diverse array of food stocks, minerals, and exotic plants. Lemons were brought to the Goleta Valley by the Stow family. The Stows arrived in about 1871 when William Whitney Stow acquired approximately 1000 acres of land for his son Sherman Stow. The elder Stow made his fortune as a lawyer for the Southern Pacific Rail Road company, one of the major rail roads conquering the American west and allowing flows of minerals, timber, crops from cantado to city. Using primarily migrant Chinese laborers the Southern Pacific laid thousands of miles of track across southern California connecting the so-called “Golden State” to New Orleans, the Mississippi River Valley and beyond. One historian of the railroad concludes that:
“[t]he Southern Pacific made Southern California accessible; the railway's colonizing program accelerated immigration. Advertising disseminated by the company inducted tourist to visit the state. Immigration agents purchased land and arranged transportation for prospective settlers at nominal cost.”[xi]
The Southern Pacific railway was controlled by the so-called “Big Four”; Leland Stanford, Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins and Charles Crocker, immense figures in California's imperial rise and the state's early role as a colony of massive resource extraction. The Southern Pacific is famous as the company that battled the State of California to the Supreme Court finally attaining a statement from the chief justice that effectively ratified the status of business corporations as legal persons protected by the 14th Amendment and other constitutional rights. William Stow remained instrumental to the Southern Pacific and its parent company the Central Pacific throughout this time, helping raise the immense amounts of finance capital and political capital necessary to build the railroads, and helping to navigate and manipulate the labyrinthine legal hurdles facing the railroad companies. Stow and his bosses are effectively responsible for laying the most fundamental infrastructure undergirding the philosophy of US manifest destiny – the railroads. More so, they consorted along with other prominent businessmen and pro-capitalist lawyers and judges to interpret the constitutional amendments meant to abolish racial slavery and inequity following the Civl War – especially the 14th amendment – to transform the powers of corporations.
On their Goleta ranch the Stows planted thousands of lemon trees and helped found the citrus industry along the South Coast. Following the Stow's lead other ranchers planted thousands of acres of lemons and oranges and soon after other large-scale orchard crops like avocados. Citrus would hereafter dominate the valley's agriculture until the 1950s. In order to intensively plant so many acres of citrus and other water hungry crops the Stows had many acres of oak trees cut down and a huge earthen dam built to create what is today called Lake Los Carneros. The lake captured water from several creeks that were part of the valley's watershed which drains into the Goleta Slough. (This early enclosure of water would later be replicated on a much grander scale to secure 250,000,000 cubic meters of the Santa Ynez watershed through the construction of Bradbury Dam.) Like all of the American west, water projects would feature largely in the transformation of Goleta from a rural landscape to one dominated by ranches, orchards, and later suburbs and industrial parks. To “improve” the valley's waterways and make way for “optimum development” would mean damning up major creeks, filling in natural wetlands, and creating artificial lakes in former valleys. Later in the 1960s and 70s the US Army Corps of Engineers would add straightening streams and concretizing channels to this list of so-called “improvements.”[xii] The effect on the Goleta Valley's watershed ecosystem would be devastating to say the least.
Pampas grass, a highly invasive species was brought to the area by Joseph Sexton. Sexton imported numerous non-native plants to Goleta, some of them spreading beyond the confines of his nurseries and taking root in the foothills and coastal areas. Today, pampas grass can be seen all along the California coast. According to many biologists, pampas is an example of a highly invasive non-native plant, capable of doing considerable harm to native species through competition for light, water, soil and space.[xiii] Sexton raised numerous other exotic plants at his Goleta nursery and was one of the first entrepreneurs to transform and use the area's unique climate and landscape to cultivate profitable ornamental flowers.
Another colonizing species brought to Goleta around this time is the eucalyptus. Imported into North America by Ellwood Cooper and several other entrepreneurs in the 1860s, the tree was designed to solve several major problems for this first generation of pioneers. A rancher who owned much of the present day area know as “Ellwood,” Cooper brought in many varieties of eucalyptus and helped establish the trees widely up and down the west coast. Eucalyptus produced quick timber and fuel wood, stands of the massive durable trees served as wind breaks on ranches along the coast, and, it was believed that the tree, especially the blue gum variety, served to neutralize the gases that were erroneously believed to cause malaria.[xiv] Today eucalyptus dominates the urban forests of Santa Barbara County. Huge stands of it occupy land along the Union Pacific Rail Road tracks and of course in present day Ellwood. The “eucalyptus curtain,” that separates Isla Vista from the UCSB campus was planted as a wind break and line of demarcation between two of Den's children who each inherited parcels from his original land grant.
Numerous other plants were introduced during the 19th Century, especially Anglo-American colonists, with the goal of transforming the flora of the region into commodity crops and useful herbs whose properties they knew of. Plants scattered about included mustard, horehound, and sweet fennel, now all incredibly common across Santa Barbara County. Some of these plants contained allelopathic properties similar to eucalyptus: these plants emit chemicals into the soil around them suppressing and killing off native species. Others were very effective at crowding native species out of their ecological niches.
One of the most dramatic ecological shifts wrought by the initial waves of colonists was the introduction of mediterranean grasses. Bred over thousands of years under the heavy pressures of pastoral grazing, these grass species quickly spread across California's similarly endowed climate and overgrew native plants, many to the point of extermination. These grass species arrived embedded as seeds in the fur and stomachs of cattle, sheep and other animals, especially those imported during the Gold Rush to feed the hordes of miners who were swarming the state.[xv] Ranchers also purposefully seeded lands from Wyoming to California with non-native species with the intent to improve the pastoral value of their holdings.[xvi] The effects of ranching on the Goleta Valley was a microcosm of how cattle, sheep and barbed wire so dramatically enclosed and captured much of the American West in a grid of simplicity and profit, wiping out many native species, and amassing land under huge blocks of ownership. The combined effects of these new species produced a whole new landscape primed for more intense extraction of resources. The economics of ranching and nature of domesticated animals that were brought in to fuel the imperial cities of the US were instrumentally central to the process of European colonization of North America.[xvii] Goleta stands as an exemplary case in point.
The genocide of the Chumash made the introduction of European ethnobotanicals a necessity for the colonists as the indigenous knowledge base was literally wiped out and therefore inaccessible for their use. Many of the native species, however amazing and useful their properties, appeared useless and wasteful to the European settlers. It is likely that most European colonizers (certainly the Franciscans) perceived the Chumash and other indigenous Californians as without a useful ethnobotany, living simply off the luck of a plentiful nature. White supremacist ideology and the early Judea-Christian Capitalist worldview defined native American peoples as primitives whose non-use nor cultivation – as understood in terms of dominating, enclosing, and controlling the land and natural processes – legitimated their total displacement and dispossession in order to make the country productive. Therefore the almost wholesale destruction of the Chumash and radical alteration of the ecology with the introduction of hundreds of new species should be seen as a whole process of colonization – colonization of the entire life-world with much of the flora and fauna eradicated and displaced. The settlers – white civilized men – arrived with a whole ark of species to raise upon the lands they would claim through brutal campaigns of displacement against the indigenous or Mexicanos. Colonization of this era was so much more than the arrival of new humans who sought to politically and economically dominate the indigenous: it was the arrival of a new systematic (mono)culture that eradicated and altered the whole habitat and web of life, from the paths of rivers to the kinds of plants growing in pasture.
2nd Pioneers of the 3rd Empire
Closing out the late 19th Century era's wave of pioneers was quite possibly the most important arrival of Charles A. Storke. Recruited by Goleta's rancher elites to work at the newly founded College of Santa Barbara, Storke, an instructor of Latin, quickly integrated himself into the Southern California power elite by marrying the daughter of T. Wallace More. Among the earliest Anglo pioneers of Goleta, More owned an empire of land across Southern California greater in size than Delaware including the Sespe Ranch, Santa Rosa Island, and properties reaching out to the Point of Conception.[xviii] Today's More Mesa is named after him.
Storke worked at the College of Santa Barbara for only a brief time. He soon quit his job and moved to Los Angeles with a $4500 loan from his father in law to purchase and run one of the largest newspapers in that city, the Los Angeles Daily Herald.[xix] Returning to Santa Barbara after selling out his paper to the Hearst Corporation's media empire (the most powerful media conglomerate of the day) Storke took up a legal practice in Santa Barbara dealing in real estate and becoming rather wealthy. In the meantime his son, Thomas M. Stork (M is for More) had become publisher of the Santa Barbara News Press. Storke would become possibly the most powerful man in the greater Santa Barbara region over the next half century using his newspaper, land holdings, political influence, and official appointments to state and federal boards and offices to shape the Santa Barbara region and shepherd the second pioneers of the US-Anglo empire. Time Magazine called Storke Santa Barbara's “benevolent dictator.”
Santa Barbara experienced relatively rapid growth during the late 1800s and early 20th Century as it became an important coastal city. Goleta would remain a rural area, a satellite of Santa Barbara (Santa Barbara itself a satellite region of the swarming Los Angeles). Rural did not, however, mean static or separate from the world at large. In addition to the new and ever-demanding scales of agriculture and ranching, several other major extractive industries would overtake the region. Principle among these was oil.
Petroleum seeps were endemic to the Santa Barbara coasts, especially the span of waters off of what today is called Coal Oil Point. In the 1890s settlers began tapping into petroleum deposits in the region. One of the earliest developments was in Summerland where the first offshore drilling in the United States began in the 1890s. It was not until the 1920s that Goleta was identified as a profitable oil field, however. In 1928 the Barnsdale Rio Grande company set up offshore drilling operations in the Ellwood building huge jetties into the ocean and piping crude oil into holding tanks and refineries onshore. One of these piers connecting offshore wells to on shore refineries would eventually be salvaged, huge beams and planks from it used to build a popular Goleta restaurant called Timbers.[xx]
Oil quickly became the leading industry along the South Coast. Many histories of oil in the South Coast region note that even the Chumash utilized petroleum seeps as caulking for their boats and waterproofing materials for baskets and tools. Venoco, Inc., a major oil corporation that operates offshore in the Santa Barbara Channel remark on their corporate web site that “some 1,500 years ago local Native Americans made use of the natural oil seeps to enhance their standard of living.”[xxi] In truth the utilization of seepage by the Chumash bears no meaningful resemblance to the extractive operations established at the turn of the century and especially in the 1920s and 30s.
Interests from Los Angeles such as Signal Oil Company soon took notice and invested heavily in the Goleta and Santa Barbara fields. Asphalt deposits running from Carpenteria to Gaviota led the Alcatraz Asphaltum Company to establish several mines in the region in the 1890s. One of the largest was on the land of Gus Den, son of Nichola Den who inhereted the parcel of Rancho Dos Pueblos that now is the UCSB campus. The Asphalt mines were enormous operations. Workers for Alcatraz Co. mostly lived in Gaviota but also around the Goleta area. The work was hard and dangerous. Tailings from the asphalt mines were dumped into the Lagoon on the present day UCSB campus and also into the Goleta Slough. The Slough would remain a dump site and burning grounds for industrial operations and construction contractors for the next 70 years.[xxii]
Signal Oil and its President Samuel Mosher became a major player in Goleta's future first through his oil development projects and later as a resident and real estate speculator, and finally a key proponent of the elite consensus that would push Goleta's future as a research and development hub centered on military and aerospace products. Mosher began as a farmer raising fruit and rare flowers in Southern California's balmy climate. In the 1920s he took a chance in the oil business and set up a refinery business near Signal Hill in Los Angeles. Expanding from there Mosher built his company through vertical integration: drilling crude oil, refining, and marketing. Signal Oil Corporation eventually became one of the largest petrochemical companies of its time with operations in Latin America and the Middle East. By the early 1960s Mosher transformed his Signal Corporation into a diversified holding company: Signal acquired a majority stake in Garrett Corp., and aerospace firm, and another major stake in American Presidential Lines, a global shipping company.[xxiii] Mosher was such an important player in the oil industry that he chaired the National Petroleum War Council during World War II.
Petroleum extraction would literally fuel a building spree in the greater Santa Barbara region over the next several decades, making many residents exceedingly rich, and some exceedingly poor. Petro-dollars would be used to build many local landmarks including the famous Santa Barbara Courthouse. Mosher's oil inspired philanthropy would be used to fund physical expansion at UCSB, but most of Goleta would see no benefit from the oil boom. The locally held wealth produced by oil and the environmental damage it caused would also create one of the most enduring contradictions among the modern political regime in the greater Santa Barbara region. Ironically, oil would spur the Santa Barbara region's rise as a tourist mecca in part by the infrastructure and beautification efforts that oil taxes made possible even while oil rigs, pipelines and regular accidents marred the landscape. Oil wealth combined with the area's perceived natural beauty and its proximity to Los Angeles would also make the region a home to many millionaires and other affluent members of the second pioneers who made their homes in Montecito, Hope Ranch, the Riveria, and the foothills of Goleta. For example, Samuel Mosher himself owned a sprawling ranch in Goleta, literally overlooking his companies drilling operations. Here he grew fruit and rare flowers. These settlers came for the area's natural beauty. They were enchanted by Goleta and Santa Barbara's “pristine” and rural aesthetic environment. This contradiction would eventually spill over in 1969 when one of the largest oil disasters in US history occurred just offshore of Santa Barbara. By the early 1970s this confluence of forces – oil fueled growth producing a disproportionately affluent population seeking a beautiful environment, plus the oil facilitated growth of UCSB and the campus community – led to the emergence of a powerful environmental consciousness that has to this day has limited oil and other extractive industries from Gaviota to Carpenteria.[xxiv]
Mosher, Storke and other men who bridged the first pioneers into the 20th Century were instrumental in remaking Goleta into a suburban arsenal. The Goleta they inherited from the first pioneers of the US empire was a seaside plain of ranches, orchards, and a few oil fields. They further expanded these operations, but also had a keen eye for the future they wanted to build. They laid the foundations for the second pioneers, the masses of military-industrial employees, research scientists, suburbanites who would colonize the valley in one massive wave from the 1950s onward. Their efforts to make Goleta and its environs into a center for military-industrial research and development, first and foremost, needs to be seen in light of the overall trajectory of California's elite guided development. As historian Roger Lotchin has shown, Californians worked tirelessly from the start to build up their state as the preeminent manufacturer of weapons for US empire. The basis of this was regional and metropolitan competition whereby local elites from San Diego to San Francisco and every small city in between fought one another for federal military spending, especially for naval bases and supply depots. The driving force and economic anchor for much of California's rise as the largest state in the US was the trillions of dollars dedicated to the production of warships, fighter jets and bombers, missiles, nuclear weapons and reactors, and a dizzying array of other weaponry.[xxv] Early on California was the new center of gravity in a whole shift of economic and political power from the Northeast and Midwest to the West and South, what several economic geographers have dubbed the “military remapping of industrial America,” from the old rust-belt to the dynamic “gun belt,” extending from Florida through portions of the South to Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and especially California.[xxvi]
But the rise of the American West as a seat of political and economic power, as a core of US empire, was by no means an outcome of decisions made in the boardrooms of Northeastern corporations, the Pentagon, White House, or other establishment centers of power. Rather, the rise of California and the West was a longer and deeper running phenomenon intrinsic to the ideology and deeds of the pioneers who overtook lands west of the Mississippi in the latter half of the 19th Century. California's preeminence was self-inspired by a historically unique idea possessed by the first and second pioneers of US empire. Their identity centered on a dichotomy between themselves, the civilized, white, industrious, worthy, supreme humans as opposed to the darker races and aborigines who merely dwelled on and wasted the productive potential of the frontier lands. They believed that the continent and beyond were owed as a matter of right – manifest destiny. But manifest destiny was not the ideology of a period which passed with the closing of the frontier at the shores of the Pacific. The basic will to expand the reaches of Anglo-empire remained through the post-World War II period and spurred enormous enclosures of land and water across western North America, to rationalize it, make it productive grounds upon which modern suburban families could live and work. In short, the rise of California – here told through the microcosm of Goleta – was the result of a unique culture among the settlers who colonized these lands in the two major waves, the first and second pioneers of the US empire. This culture possessed profoundly hyper-militarist values, a white supremacist identity, a distance from the messy and savage natural world that exists to be dominated and tamed, a confidence in science and technology as neutral tools to build a better world, and an external world beyond their soverign borders, a world of darker races and competing empires, the relation to which can only be one of war and dominance or benevolent tutelage in the ways of the American white man. This identity and society would not, however, be stable and without internal contradictions. Eventually the changes wrought by the citizens of American empire upon the land, upon themeselves and even the other would lead to deep fissures in the stability of the settler's communities and the hegemonic ideas that previously guided them.
Although the militaristic identity of the pioneers of the American west was produced among the masses of white settlers themselves, elites played key roles in facilitating and guiding growth of areas like Goleta. Local political and economic elites worked diligently to capture the federal dollars and local political will build the infrastructure necessary for further expansion of embryonic military bases, weapons factories, airports and ports, aqueducts, highways and universities. Men like Mosher and Storke were equivalent to the water czars, land barons, industrialists, politicans and media moguls of other western martial metropolises.
Chancellor Henry Yang remarked of Mosher in 2003 that his “family has been instrumental in the development of UCSB,” and by extension the entirety of Goleta[xxvii]. Chief Justice Earl Warren eulogized Storke at his funeral as “the most powerful citizen of the century,” in Santa Barbara, certainly no understatement.[xxviii] Both men served to bridge Goleta into the present by creating the conditions for the coming of the 2nd pioneers.
In the late 1950s the unincorporated town of Goleta expanded in population by 10%, from approximately 20,000 to 22,000 almost overnight. These two thousand newcomers concentrated in neighborhoods build north of the 101 freeway especially to accommodate them.[xxix] Over the next two decades Goleta would more than double in size and population. The new arrivals were virtually all white Midwestern and East Coast transplants. Most of them were well paid technical and bureaucratic employees of the General Motors Defense Electronics Company, or DELCO. Over the next twenty years they would be joined by thousands more employees of major employers of the Valley's military-industrial complex like Raytheon and Santa Barbara Research Company, and dozens of smaller R&D outfits like EG&G, Astro Engineering, Anacapa Sciences and Litton Guidance and Control Systems.
The 1960s and early 1970s – known fondly as “Delco days” among these pioneers – was a key period in the development of modern day Goleta. During Delco days the Goleta Valley was finally and fully remade from a peripheral agricultural and ranching landscape with a newly founded, undergraduate oriented UC campus and small municipal airport at its center into a hub of advanced military weapons research and development (R&D), a home to affluent and sometimes reactionary suburbanites with a major research university and growing regional airport anchoring the new economy. Surrounding the R&D core was a maze of brand new suburban homes laid out on streets with names like Kellog Avenue, Ellwood Canyon Road, Hollister Avenue and Stow Canyon Road (after prominent first pioneers) or else after more familiar and generic places and names such as the counties of California or kinds of trees. Each home was designed as a tiny American dreamscape with a driveway, lawn, sprawling ranch-style floor plan and ample backyard. The thousands of pioneers moving into them would forever change the ecology of the Valley along with the region's politics and culture. In doing so they would experience several severe internal contradictions stemming from irreconcilable desires and necessities, causes, effects, and dreams they themselves could not and still have not resolved. By virtue of their pioneer lives, their identities based on hypermobility, allegiance to massive corporations and federal bureaucracies instead of local communities, and their anti-indigeneity, they searched about for signs of who they were, what Goleta was, and what it should be. They more or less made a civic project of Orwell's famous dictum on history: “who controls the past, controls the future. Who controls the present now, controls the past.”
The rise of the Goleta Valley's military-industrial centered economy began during World War II. The establishment of the Marine Corps Air Base in the Goleta Slough and atop Anisq'Oyo was the most fundamentally important development in determining the Valley's future as a research arsenal. The base was acquired through some politicking, and after the war refurbished into the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport. This feat laid the necessary transportation and urban infrastructure that eventually attracted GM Delco and made UC Santa Barbara as possibility. Without the airport, Goleta might today might still be a rural landscape dominated by citrus fields and oil rigs, no university, no business parks.
The airport was made possible by legislation that guaranteed federal funds for the construction of municipal airstrips during the war, so long as local governments rendered the land to the federal government and allowed the military to operate there. Santa Barbara acquired its Marine Corps Air Base through the efforts of Thomas Storke and other local power brokers. Savvy to the fact that the Marine Corps Air Base would bring in federal spending in the form of permanent infrastructural improvements, local elected leaders and business elites welcomed the base. The Marine Corps acquired the Goleta Slough site in 1943, not untouched though. Portions of it had been used in the past as an airfield, and there were already some structures on site and other areas across the South Coast. Aeronautics was not new to the South Coast.
In 1911 a Frenchman flew from Hope Ranch to West Beach exciting many Santa Barbarans to the prospects of flight. Efforts to attract and keep aerospace companies in the area had faltered year after year though. For example, Lockheed Martin company actually began in Santa Barbara, but moved on to Los Angeles and other cities that could offer the industrial facilities and scientific workforce necessary for large scale production. The Lougheed brothers partenered with John K. Northrop during their Santa Barbara days. In a garage on the landward side of the Californian Hotel, downtown State Street, the Lockheed company fabricated early airplanes for several years and employed upwards of 80 staff. During World War I, according to one official company history publication, “The Lockheeds offered to place their factory and personal services as trained pilots at the government's disposal in the event of trouble with any other foreign power.” The Santa Barbara News Press reported that the company also planned to offer its F-1, then under construction, to the military, quoting one company official, “We are patterning our new machine in line with government specifications and it would be available for immediate use for observation and reconnaissance work, to which it is especially adapted.”[xxx]
From 1919 to 1922 the Corona Del Mar Airfield was operated in the marshlands near the East Beach of Santa Barbara. The other local airfield was on the edge of the Goleta Slough. An official history of the Santa Barbara Airport authored by the city recalls that:
“In 1928, Gordon Sackett and Royce Stetson landed their airplane in a cow pasture near the corner of Hollistetr and Fairview Avenues. Thery entered into thea land lease with the owners and began a flying school. A 3,000-foot landing strip was graded running southwest from the corner of Hollister and Fairview Avenues towardst he Goleta Slough. This marked the beginning of what was to become the Santa Barbara Municipal Airport.”[xxxi]
During the 1930s the Goleta Slough airstrip was occupied by several short-lived airlines and and a General Western Company aircraft manufacturing plant. None of these operations lasted long, but the city elite of Santa Barbara doggedly stuck to their plans to acquire an airport and make the site viable. The onset of World War II made it clear that all things aerospace would be cutting edge in the future. California cities scrambled to acquire air fields, factories, research shops, and all things airborne.
Congressional legislation enabling Santa Barbara to get their airport financed by federal state led to a local bond proposal in 1941. Passed by voters, this smoothed the way for acquisition of the Slough and surrounding environs from the PG&E company. The military's plans for the Slough were far beyond what had previously been in operation there, however. The Marine Corps planned to train thousands of pilots to fly in the Pacific theater against Japan. To do so they surveyed the site for extensive runways, bunkers and hangers. In order to build these facilities the military bulldozed most of Mescaltitlan Island in late 1941 and used the soil as infill. Reducing the once massive island to a mere fragment the Marine Corps was able to fill in most of the Slough by upwards of 12 feet.[xxxii] This single act was perhaps the most ecologically disastrous incident in the Goleta Valley's history of colonization. In a fell swoop of dozer blades one of only several large coastal Sloughs in California was forever disappeared.
Archeologists scrambled to excavate and map out the Chumash village sites and artifacts embedded in the Island's topsoil, but to little avail as the exigency of the war gave them little time, and local politicians cared not. The Chumash themselves were in no position to oppose or alter the plans of the federal government and local elites. Bulldozing of Mescaltitlan destroyed remaining artifacts and historical evidence of the once thriving Chumash town. In some ways this was the final genocidal blow against the Chumash because it forever erased evidence of their culture at this most important site. Defenders of wildlife had no chance at all to challenge or meliorate the infill scheme, even though filling in the Slough would eradicate a critical habitat for untold numbers of species, especially migratory birds. Today the remnant of Mescaltitlan Island is apparent on the edge of the 217 Freeway just before the entrance to the UCSB campus. It is now part of the Goleta Valley Water District's sewerage plant and partially owned by the Southern California Gas Company. Additional infill material for the Slough was gathered by scraping away at the bluffs of Anis'Qoyo. Offices and barracks for the base were built atop the mesa, and some of the structures still exist on UCSB's campus, in use by the university. When UCSB first opened a considerable number of facilities were re-used by the UC from the air base.
From 1943 to 1945 the Marine Corps trained thousands of airmen at Goleta. Airmen learned not just aviation but ran bombing practices across the area. Parts of Ellwood and Anis'Qoyo were used as bombing ranges. Unexploded ordinance can still be found across the area. To operate the base the Marine Corps had the 101 freeway expanded and built a host of other infrastructure that otherwise would have been impossible in the Goleta Valley: “The base also included its own sewer system and disposal plant and telephone and electrical systems for a city twice the size of Goleta which by 1947 totaled 1,400 people.”[xxxiii]
With the closing of the war the City moved quickly to convert their spoils, particularly the Marine Corps Air Base into post-war assets to build up the Goleta Valley. Post-war development in southern California was propelled by federal spending. Far from stopping the flow of military dollars to the region, the end of World War II only briefly put a damper on the massive aerospace complex that had sprung up in Los Angeles, San Diego and surrounding satellite cities. The Cold War boosted spending on weaponry, especially advanced aerospace and astronautical gizmos of all kinds. As the single largest industrial complex dedicated to aerospace research and production ever assembled on earth, southern California easily scooped up billions in federal contracts and added handily to its military bases.
One such base that would come to be exceedingly important in the political development of Santa Barbara County was Vandenberg Air Force Base. Dedicated to missile testing and space operations, Vandenberg had a pull effect on many big military-industrial corporations, prompting them to set up branch operations close by. Goleta and Santa Barbara acquired more than a few firms with strong links to the nuclear weapons, missile defense, and space launch operations at VAFB. The base's mission was four fold: to “maintain operational intercontinental ballistic missiles on alert status; Evaluate the operational effectiveness of these new weapons; train the crews that will man all of the ICBM squadrons across the nation; and support the development of polar orbiting satellite systems.”[xxxiv] An introductory booklet to the base explained it's history and mission in the following terms:
“In November 1952 detonation of history's first hydrogen bomb device at Eniwetok atoll foreshadowed the development of high yield, low weight warheads that could fit into a ballistic missile. This breakthrough provided the impetus which led directly to the current Air Force ballistic missile program and creation of the 1st Missile Division, aerospace descendant of the 1st Air Division, Eighth Air Force, in World War II. Camp Cooke [re-named Vandenberg] was selected by the Air Research and Development Command, primarily because the location provided a safe area from which to launch ballistic missiles.”[xxxv]
Vandeberg drew in thousands of families to work and live on and near the base, creating a model Cold-War community that overlapped with and influenced Goleta's militarized environs. Calling themselves “Vandylanders” the base's residents were urged to understand their place and identity as citizens of America, defenders of freedom, all in line with earlier imperial lineages along the California Coast. The base's introductory guide goes on to narrate:
“Some two centuries ago, Franciscan Fathers on their foot-propelled mission-founding journeys, made spiritual outreach toward heaven from California's Central Coast. Now, in the same setting, a later generation bustles with space-probing activity geared to special needs of our day. As missiles and satellites rise at Vandenberg Air Force Base, a new chapter forms in the already colorful history of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties – the immediate area which supplies the backdrop for the VAFB stage. Someday in the not-too-distant future man may leave the vast expanse of acreage at Vandenberg, via rocket, for a trip to the moon or some other planet high in the heavens. Meanwhile men are coming, and families too – Air Force operating personnel, missileman trainees, civilian contractor workers, and new area residents beckoned by the expanding Vandenberg program – coming to these two California counties by the thousands.”[xxxvi]
The preoccupation with California's Franciscan colonial past is reflective of the historical narrative crafted up and down the coast by the militarized communities of the second pioneers. Goleta and Santa Barbara's Anglo-American residents promulgate similar understandings of the meaning and consequence of Spanish imperium and its relation to today. As the voice of Vandenberg's introductory guide explains it, “California's Spanish Dons set a special pattern of life which still pervades. Attracted by the same sun, shore and mountains, today's resident enjoy the same preferred living advantages of a century ago.”[xxxvii]
The romanticization of Spanish colonization of California seems to have provided the first and especially second pioneers of the Anglo-US empire a solid foundation for beginning a narrative about who they are and where they are. Spain claimed and developed the land for civilization, but large tracts of it remained wild and willy. Furthermore, the Spanish and Mexicans had established a sleepy pace of life, it is said, one in which joviality and pleasure were the main social pursuit. Most popular narratives of this era, like the Vandenberg base account quoted above, gloss over the plight of the Chumash who saw their homeland was colonized and taken from under them by force and fraud. Santa Barbara's La Fiesta (Old Spanish Days) is the best example of this romanticization and aesthetic mystification of a period of imperial brutality and conquest, but space does not permit that account here.
The Spanish and Mexican eras are mostly glossed over. Few accounts of these days impart any of the historical happenings that led to direct outcomes of today such as the mass enclosures of land, enslavement, lynchings, etc. The aesthetic beauty and quirkiness of culture are fixated on almost pathologically. Only today's Anglo-American imperial era is endowed with any seriousness and rationality. As if to drive this point home the voice of Vandenberg base concludes by saying:
“[e]xplorers, priests, pirates, soldiers, early Spanish colonists – all have left their impress, adding color to the living patter of this favored area. None, however, has made as big an impression as will the space exploring undertakings at Vandenberg Air Force Base. Waters of Central California which once bore proud galleons and Yankee clippers, and washed over the bones of the discoverer, Cabrillo, now provide the beginning of a vast testing area for the glistening, metallic missiles launched from Vandenberg AFB.”
True enough, the military bases, R&D companies, and their suburban workforce have made the biggest “impression” by far on the land and culture of the South Coast.
However, the South Coast lacked several other key urban assets to attract the military-industrial complex that the power elite of Santa Barbara sought, particularly the “light-industry” and research outfits of large weapons manufacturers. Water was especially high on this list, as was an anchoring institution around which the intellectual workforce of the military establishment could amass. Both of these assets were acquired through the work of Thomas Storke and Samuel Mosher, with the help of other local shot-callers.
Gibralter Dam and the Mission Tunnel, completed in 1920 had funneled enough water for several decades of growth in Santa Barbara, but to bring water to the Goleta Valley local elites proposed a project larger on several orders of magnitude. Still tapping the Santa Ynez River watershed, this new project would capture more than 200,000 acre feet of water behind an earthen damn and divert it 100 cubic feet of it through a 6.4 mile long tunnel, through the mountains into Goleta. Here a portion of it would be disbursed, then it would travel down another pipeline to Santa Barbara, Summerland and finally Carpenteria. This South Coast Conduit ensured growth for the region for decades to come. And for those who were most responsible for hatching the scheme, one of the main goals was to wet the Goleta plain, this time not for agriculture (as the Stow Family had aimed) but for the university, airport, and business parks, and for the thousands of suburban homes that would soon sprout up.
In the aftermath of the Cachuma project major suburban development of the Goleta plain led the Army Corps of Engineers to incrementally transform the watershed to ensure that the houses, shopping malls, and ever-expanding airport would be free from episodic winter flooding. Although floods are part of the natural process that has built fertile soil by carrying nutrients down from the mountains into the flat lands, the 2nd pioneers and the real estate speculators who built their environs saw the natural flow of water as something that needed to be tamed. In order to do this the Army came in with earth moving equipment and endless amounts of concrete. By 1970 they had managed to straighten and pave over the majority of the Goleta Valley watershed's major creeks. Tecolotito, Carneros, San Pedro, Las Vegas, San Jose, Maria Ygnacio and Atascadero Creeks were all bulldozed and lined with pavement embankments, pumps were installed in the remnants of the Slough and major levees were built between the Slough and Airport's runways.[xxxviii]
The Airport also was continually expanded alongside the waterworks, university, and freeway infrastructure. As the fundametal anchor of the Valley's urban fortunes, local elites knew that the larger the Airport could grow, the greater the numbers of corporations that would cluster around it. In 1965 the City and Goleta boosters moved to expand the Airport's terminal in order to accommodate greater numbers of air passenger and larger types of jets. Explaining this goal, architects hired by the City Council were candid saying, “you don't bring in the type of people on the air line that you bring in on the Greyhound Bus – they're a different breed of people.” In other words, the Airport by definition was a point of entry for the upper classes and the military-industrial complex's employees. Calling them a “breed” too had a curious resonance at the time as black and white activists had been carrying out freedom rides across the nation to de-segregate bus lines and allow non-whites the same privileges of travel by road. Santa Barbara mayor Don MacGillivray was even more straightforward about the importance of the Airport. “[I]t affords the necessary transport for the research and development corporations that will keep coming into Santa Barbara because of the proximity of UCSB. It is a vital necessity to their operations and enhances the potential of the area for a continuing building program in this direction.” One local arms corporation drove the point home to all expressing that, “Raytheon's ready access to the airport is a convenience approaching necessity.”[xxxix]
The Cachuma water project was more or less finalized by 1956, just in time for the first military industrial firms to arrive alongside the new UC Campus. It was a major accomplishment for Storke and his proteges in Goleta. The second major accomplishment was moving the UC Santa Barbara campus to to the former Marine Corps Air Base facilities atop Anis'Qoyo mesa. The Regents voted to do so in 1954. Both the water and university project multiplied the importance of the other and ensured more development to come, especially the military-industrial variety. The very next year Samuel Mosher and Thomas Storke would be appointed to the powerful governing board of the University of California to fill the unexpired seats of Chester Nimitz and John Francis Neylan respectively. Perhaps it was the logic of the times, and perhaps both Nimitz and Neylan saw Mosher and Storke as men who would carry on their work (albeit in a different local setting), whatever it was, Mosher and Storke would help shepherd UC Santa Barbara to become a militarized university, not unlike UCLA and UC Berkley. Neylan especially was a booster for federally funded weapons research at Berkeley and assisted administrators and researchers at that campus in drawing in lucrative Pentagon contracts and helping military industrial corporations cluster around the campus and across the Bay Area. Nimitz of course promoted strong ties between academia and the military – he even served as professor of Naval Science at UC Berkeley in the NROTC program.
The initial plan for UC Santa Barbara called for a liberal arts campus, small and seaside in character. The transfer to Goleta indicated a shift in this plan, however. Storke and Mosher among the other Regents then changed the plans for UC Santa Barbara over the next decade, approving large enrollment increases, expansion of the physical campus, new departments and schools, and bigger plans for the future. Seeing the ways that UC Los Angeles and Berkeley as well as Stanford, USC, and Caltech had meshed tightly with the Pentagon and large industrial corporations to draw in millions in research grants for high tech weapons and nuclear technology among other post-War fevers, the Regents purposefully pushed UC Santa Barbara toward a more militarized path from its renewed start in Goleta. The Regents understood how a university could shape the local economy by taking advantage of Cold War weapons spending. Many of the Regents were also in a position to ensure national policies that would keep California in a lead position as the arsenal of American empire. No sooner had UC Santa Barbara opened its doors in Goleta than the first weapons maker moved in down Los Carneros Road.
In 1955 the Studebaker Packard Corporation purchased a multi-acre swath of land running from Hollister Ave. back to Mesa Road. Intending to set up a research and development branch on site but instead selling that subsidiary to the Curtis Wright Company, the facility remained throughout under the name of the Aerophysics Development Corporation.
Aerophysics was a special research and development outfit run by Dr. William Bollay, a graduate of Caltech and student of Theodore Von Karmen. Bollay was a veteran engineer and designer who became something of a legend working for North American Aviation (NAA) in Los Angeles. At NAA Bollay had guided war time development of various military aircraft. At the height of the war NAA was building thousands of planes for the Navy and Marine Corps making it one of the most powerful aerospace companies alongside Curtis Wright, Convair and Lockheed.
After the war Bollay and his team of aeronautical engineers moved quickly into rocketry helping NAA to establish the Rocketdyne Company. Rocketdyne designed many of the engines used on missiles in the burgeoning nuclear weapons program and US space program.[xl] At their Santa Susana test site above the Semi Valley the company test fired so many rockets as to severely pollute the area's groundwater with perchlorate and other toxic substances. The company also built a nuclear reactor that melted down in 1959. To develop guided missiles Bollay's team, like many other American firms, drew directly from captured German technology, the most advanced at the time. By various accounts the Germans were at least ten years ahead of any other nation in rocket technology. Their V-2 program was literally captured by an American team in 1945 and shipped back to the United States through the port of New Orleans. Hundreds of disassembled missiles were taken from Pennemunde where the Nazi scientists had run a slave labor camp to build the rockets en-mass. The US Government also captured the German's key scientific researchers and brought the most important men into the US to give them a head start on any Soviet effort.
Bollay's team not only had access to the V-2 designs and parts for testing and development, but various German scientists were hired on to the Aerophysics team. According to historian of the space age Mark Wade:
“To assist in this, Bollay's team was free to draw on the expertise of the V-2 designers themselves, now working for the US Army - Wernher von Braun's team, including Walther Riedel, Hans Huter, Rudi Beichel, and Konrad Dannenberg. Dannenberg in particular had been intimately involved with the 'shower head' injector plate that was essential for the single-engine motor. Dieter Huzel, a close associate of von Braun, was hired by North American as a full-time employee in order to better coordinate work with the German team.”[xli]
By 1955 Bollay had already shaped a decade of aerospace research at North American and later in his own independent firm called Aerophysics Corporation. Bollay was among an elite few who managed the scientific talent that produced the missile technologies for nuclear weapons, jet aircraft, and the US space program.[xlii] Aerophysics was purchased by Studebaker with the intent on moving the operation to the Goleta site an dramatically expanding. Bollay oversaw the Santa Barbara operations of Aerophysics for several years until retiring. At the Goleta building research was begun on guided missiles and all manner of advanced weaponry. As an eventual tribute to Bollay's influence a small side street off Storke Road was named after him. Today, Bollay Drive is lined with large squat buildings landscaped with grass berms and fragrant trees. Tenants along Bollay Drive include Lockheed Martin Focalplane (producer of infrared optics for weapons systems) and Texas Instruments, among others.
It was the Aerophysics campus at 6767 Hollister Avenue that formed the core around which the military industrial complex of the Goleta Valley would rise. Bollay's Aerophysics company was a foreshadowing of the future. Employees, essentially the initial second pioneers of the US empire, came and made their homes in Goleta and Santa Barbara.
Among these employees were even a few of the German scientists who had worked under the Nazi regime building warplanes and missiles. Among them were men such as Richard Vogt and Ernst Steinhoff. Vogt had designed dive bombers and fighter aircraft for the German industrial giant Blohm and Voss. After the war he was repatriated to the United States working first in the Air Forces' research lab in Dayton Ohio, but eventually working under the guidance of Bollay's team. Vogt was chief engineer for Aerophysics company, one of a small community of German rocket scientists to live and work in the Goleta Valley.[xliii] Steinhoff came to Santa Barbara in 1957 to work for Aerophysics. During the war Steinhoff had designed the guidance system for the V-2 and was therefore invaluable to companies such as Bollay's. At Aerophysics' Goleta operation Steinhoff and others pushed the predecessors of the V-2 and other missiles designs to accommodate nuclear warheads. Unlike Vogt, Steinhoff and others had to move on from Goleta when Aerophysics was bought out two years later by General Motors. Vogt retired in the hills above Santa Barbara, one of an unknown number of Germans who ended up in the area, having made their technical contributions first to the Nazi war effort and then the Americans.[xliv]
In 1960 General Motors bought the Aerophysics lab and converted it into their Delco operation. Delco was a much larger operation than Aerophysics. Within no time General Motors transferred thousands of employees to Goleta. The wave of second pioneers began to peak. Goleta would never be the same.
Delco's entire research and development activities are unknown to this day. It is known that the company was deeply involved in nuclear weapons research and the space program. For example, in 1963 the company built what has elsewhere been referred to as “the world's biggest gun,” in order to conduct research for the Strategic Defense Command's nuclear war planners. Known as the Hypervelocity Light Gas Gun, the device occupied a long thin warehouse like building off of Los Carneros Road. The gun was designed to shoot tiny mock nuclear warheads at upwards of 3 miles per second to simulate the re-entry of weapons through the atmosphere. Another Delco project involved bulldozing several acres of land on site in order to create a simulated lunar landscape. Here the company tested the rovers that were used on the Apollo moon missions. A 1983 report by UCSB's Department of Economics listed Delco's research over the decades:
“Delco Electronics, soon to be re-christened Santa Barbara Research Laboratories, designs and produces advanced electronic systems for applications in missile guidance, ship positioning, armament systems, and automotive electronics. Delco provided the fire control computer for the F-16, guidance equipment for the Apollo manned spaceflight program, and the fuel savings and cockpit avionics systems for the US Air Force C-135’s.”[xlv]
By the end of the 1960s military-industrial corporations had come to dominate employment in the Goleta Valley. By 1970 Delco, Raytheon, and Santa Barbara Research Center had the three largest payrolls in the County in dollar terms. Countless other companies working for the Pentagon ensured that weapons research, specifically missiles, infrared, and advanced research had become the economic foundation of the new Goleta.[xlvi] Former employees of Aerophysics, Delco, and other 2nd pioneers who moved into Goleta during the booming 1960s fondly remember the 60s and 70s as the “Delco days.”
Research and Development Center, USA
Following Delco into the Goleta Valley came Raytheon, Santa Barbara Research Center, and a jumble of smaller firms. In the two following decades Goleta became an important center of weapons research, particularly missile guidance systems and infrared optical instruments. As the 2nd pioneer families who worked in these companies settled into the Valley they began to search about for a sense of community and understanding about the place they had come to occupy. From them emerged groups of civic leaders who would form non-profit associations and activists groups, their goals merging around efforts to beautify the Goleta Valley, preserve open spaces, learn about the Valley's history, form museums and a historical society all in order to promote civic pride and a particular narrative about the past, with themselves as the rightful heirs to all of this in the present.
The smaller firms clustering around Delco and the Airport employed thousands of Goletans. They worked on everything from guided missiles and optics to computer coding and socio-metrics. During the late 1950s and 1960s especially, many firms sprouted up promising to conduct the kinds of positivist sociometric and logistical research that Defense Department leaders were utilizing. They hoped to bring about a revolution in state planning and operations with rationalized decision making. Research became a booming industry especially as men in suits with advanced degrees in engineering, economics, anthropology and psychology promised politicians solutions to every problem, from budget gaps in municipal governments to armed insurgencies in foreign lands.
Although Goleta possessed several small research firms, the largest brain trust to locate in the area selected its headquarters in downtown Santa Barbara. Taking up the Balboa Building (the five story edifice at 735 State Street at the entrance to Paseo Nuevo) the General Electric Corporation's Technical Military Planning Operation (TEMPO) was in many ways the archetype research outfit of the day. Smaller Goleta firms mirrored its brand of business operation and research agendas. Established in 1956 by General Electrics Aerospace Defense Division, GE executives reasoned that in order to, “insure independent thinking, Santa Barbara was selected as TEMPO’s home, thereby providing isolation from the day to day urgencies of design, development and production.”[xlvii] TEMPO's research was aimed at developing emerging technologies and capabilities for the state, ones that were a decade a more away from practical implementation. TEMPO also would conduct immediate practical work on current federal priorities, especially nuclear weapons. As the research and planning revolution brought about by the so-called “whiz kids” - a cadre of Pentagon bureaucrats who went on to work for the Ford Motor Company – began to overtake politicians across local and state governments, firms such as TEMPO moved to market their research products beyond their primary military customers.[xlviii] One TEMPO pamphlet describing their research projects explains that:
“There has been a considerable interest in the potential application of management techniques developed in the Department of Defnese to the management of cities. This is due, in part, to the increasing complexity of city functions and to the demonstrable success of improved management techniques within the US defense establishment. TEMPO is presently developing a planning, programming, and budgeting system for the city of Detroit.”[xlix]
Most work at TEMPO, however, remained in highly militarized projects such as, “Defense Communication Blackout Effects;” “Effects of Nuclear Detonations on Propagation of Electromagnetic Waves;” “Threat of Communist China;” “Shock-Produced Ionization of the Ionosphere from Nuclear Explosions;” and, “Planning Consultation for Chile-California Program.”[l]
The “TEMPO concept” followed a popular trend of the 1950s among large corporations such as GE, IBM and General Motors whereby the west coast was identified as the preferred environment to conduct cutting edge research. Places like Santa Barbara, San Diego, and Palo Alto were thought to be beautiful, peaceful, and inspiring, providing the lifestyles and leisure opportunities that would increase the creativity and productivity of scientists and engineers. One pamphlet describing TEMPO was bound with a cover donning images of the Santa Barbara Mission, a missile, rancheros traversing the south coast hills, sail boats in the Channel, supercomputers, a world map, and a military ship with detection equipment and a submarine lurking it. The pamphlet goes on to describe TEMPO and their adopted community as it appeared to them – the 2nd Pioneers – in the late 1950s:
“The City of Santa Barbara is located about 100 miles northwest of Los Angeles. It takes its name from the mission which was founded there by Father Junipero Serra [….] The climate of outlying areas is equally moderate. To the east of the City is Montecito, once famed for its multi-million dollar estates (but now home of many TEMPO employees). To the west is the Goleta Valley, site of the University of California at Santa Barbara as well as new industry and homes.”[li]
By the early 1960s TEMPO had grown to be financially self-supporting, taking contracts straight from various military agencies and industrial corporations. The subsidiary opened at Washington DC office to facilitate closer links with government. TEMPO's staff stood at over 300. Approximately half of the company's staff possessed advanced degrees in the social sciences and science and engineering. Virtually all of these core employees were well paid white men – establishment types, exactly the kind of people that Santa Barbara's civic leaders and politicians had long been seeking to attract to the region.
By 1969 the Goleta Valley had literally become R&D USA. The 2nd pioneers were eager to develop and civic sense of identity closely linked to the major industry in the area. They were also inclined from the very beginning to take an active role in local politics and community life. As middle class Americans they felt entitled to their government. It was a time of republican activism for those thousands of Goletans who had arrived years earlier and sought to rewrite history, to place themselves in the flow of the Valley's time, to give themselves a sense of rootedness and take what they saw as their rightful place of power as the enfranchised citizens of the United States. In many ways it was a necessary task for the 2nd pioneers, one that would culminate in city-hood and several important consensuses among them.
One of the most central projects in developing their sense of identity was the creation of a civic festival. Most cities have one. Today Goleta's major civic celebration is the Lemon Festival, but its precursors were a series of evolving community parades that reveal much about the efforts of civic leaders to develop a sense of history and identity among the 2nd pioneers. For Goleta this began in 1948 when a group of Hollister Avenue businessmen came together to organize the Magnolia Festival. Sponsored by the Goleta Downtown Merchants Association, Goleta Lions Club and Chamber of Commerce, the Magnolia Festival ran until 1962. The Magnolia Festival did not, however, provide the right sense of community to keep it going.
Goleta had change a lot in the wake of World War II, so in 1969 activists within the Chamber of Commerce (which had since come to represent many of the newly arrived military-industrial companies) hatched a plan for the Goleta Valley Research and Development Week. R&D Month was the brainchild of Betty Rosness. Like other 2nd pioneers, Rosness was a newcomer to Goleta, having arrived in 1968 after her husband retired from the US Air Force. According to one biography of her, Rosness, “immediately devoted herself to the future of Goleta and worked many years for the city hood of Goleta. Through her business, Rosness Advertising Associates, she was called upon by many non-profits to serve on their committees and boards”[lii] Rosness was typical of many middle class white women in post war California. Financially comfortable with their husband's as the breadwinners and having much free time to spare, many women entered into the public sphere not by running for office or seeking power in private industry, but rather by devoting themselves to volunteer boards, citizen's associations, and other activists projects. Rosness and a cadre of other newcomers would literally work over the next several decades to forge a sense of identity for Goleta, a sense that was lacking and obscured by the very nature of their own arrival upon the bones of the Chumash.
Rosness' idea for Research and Development Days was a natural winner among the Goleta Valley's business leaders. R&D Month would celebrate the biggest firms around the airport and give showcase to products of many of the smaller companies scattered about Hollister Avenue. The Santa Barbara National Bank, one of several financial institutions deeply involved in financing expansion of the local military industrial complex, showcased research products of local firms in its lobby, turned into a so-called “Gallery of Progress” on Fairview Avenue.[liii] R&D Month culminated in the coronation of a “Queen of Research and Development.” Local women were sponsored by the Valley's biggest military-industrial companies to compete for the illustrious title. An “honorary Mayor” was also selected for Goleta, which was not yet an incorporated city.[liv]
The official slogan of R&D Month was “Goleta, Research and Development Center, USA.” In 1970 R&D Month held its grand banquet at Timbers Restaurant (a favorite local eatery of Delco employees) where awards and salutations were handed out between movers and shakers of the military-industrial complex. R&D Month typically involved several public lectures given by local scientists. For example, General Research Corporation's William Hamilton II spoke on the futuristic topic of “Tomorrow's Electronic Freeways,” to an audience of fellow 2nd pioneers and lay citizens. Other events included guided tours of facilities and laboratories, a large parade along Hollister Avenue, and a technology symposium at UC Santa Barbara.[lv]
Local publications like the Goleta Valley Sun promoted R&D Month with special edition newspapers containing a schedule of events and advertisements from research firms alongside local news. For example, one major sponsor of R&D Month, the General Research Corporation, ran ads explaining their firm's work as socially beneficent. With a banner headline exclaiming, “How a defense research company helps solve problems of our environment,” the ad explained, “vital problems of national defense – and equally pressing problems of today's society – have certain characteristics in common. For example, many constitute large dynamic systems with many divers components. Such systems are better understood through the application of inter-disciplinary research, modeling, and computer simulation.” Accompanying bedazzling graphics seem designed to give readers a sense that General Research's brilliant team is poised to solve any problem of complex modern society.[lvi]
R&D Month lasted for five years before being transformed into the more broadly themed Old Goleta Days. Old Goleta Days shifted the emphasis away from the Valley's contemporary industry and life and upon the past, particularly the lives and exploits of the 1st pioneers. Old Goleta Days was a week long celebration of men like Hollister, Ellwood, Stow and Den. Old Goleta Days retold the story of the first wave of settler colonists, glorifying their arrival in the Valley and their development of the land.
Old Goleta Days was quickly re-worked by civic activists into Goleta Valley Days, again expanding the exhibits, events and parade to include more local symbols of identity. Still though, the core around which the week-long event revolved remained a specific history of the Valley that valorized the 1st pioneers and served mostly to legitimate the present order of things. In 1990 Goleta Valley Days' theme was “back to the good Ol' days,” and the festival featured four main events: the coronation of a Queen of Goleta; a cross-town parade; Airport Days; and Depot Days. The latter two main events stressed the importance of the railroad, but especially the Airport in the birth of modern day Goleta.[lvii] After the Gulf War in 1991 Airport Days featured Desert Storm Aircraft. No doubt many of the instruments aboard these weapons systems were designed and tested in Goleta's unassuming industrial parks.
Local elites and activists left little to chance to promote Goleta and Santa Barbara as R&D USA. For example, local and county government went out of their way to attract “light industry” by zoning certain urban and suburban areas as specific set asides for companies like Raytheon. Ordinance No. 2808 spelled out in detail the qualities of a C-X zone: no manufacturing permitted other than that relating to testing or prototyping. Aesthetics of the R&D zoning ordinance were designed to encourage beautification of the environs and followed closely the architectural and landscape trend emerging in other cities that gave the suburban business park its modern form. According to the City Council “there shall be a front yard of not less than thirty five (35) feet in depth.” Rear yards were required also. Only twenty-five percent of the land parcel was allowed to be built upon, the rest dedicated to a certain landscaped appearance that can be characterized a Californian abundance: “The remainder of the C-X establishment site area not covered by buildings or structures, parking driveways or walkways, shall be landscaped according to a plan for such landscaping approved by the City Park and Recreation Commission....”[lviii] The flora and layout of the R&D parks built under this ordinance and related county ordinances in Goleta and elsewhere typically involved planting palm trees beside grass covered knolls, hedges of tropical flowers, olive trees and flame coral trees, and other exotic botanicals.
This attention to the beauty of the aesthetic environment seems to have been linked to a deeper desire among 2nd pioneers of the US empire to live and work in a pristine and picturesque California, one of large open spaces, clean air and sun. Ironically they were the very force wiping out this mythical California dreamscape. The closer they got to it, the further away it receded. The 2nd pioneers who settled in Goleta and the greater Santa Barbara area came to work in the sprawling industrial parks. To get to work they used the freeways, freeways that would massively expanded in the early 1970s to make room for the new settlers' auto-centric lifestyle of suburban home and exurban workplaces. The 2nd pioneers were the raison d'etre for the Cachuma water project and the Army Corps of Engineer's plans to “improve” the the Goleta Slough and Mission Creek watersheds by paving over creeks and straightening drainages. They were the consumers who would shop in the strip malls being built, one after another along Hollister and its major cross streets. This contradiction between their desire to be rooted in a Goleta of open spaces and lemon orchards, oak covered hills, and winding wild creeks while at the same time being the driving force behind urban sprawl up and down the coastline would dog the 2nd pioneers time and again as controversial plans came and went, succeeded or failed to rebuild Goleta and Santa Barbara into further concretized urban places.
A UCSB Economics Department development report for Goleta echoed this contradiction in 1985. According to the academic observers:
“To Santa Barbara the fundamental economics of growth is both painful and seriously misunderstood. We have had in the past and continue to have the capacity for tremendous economic expansion, yet we are unwilling at times to accept its natural implications. To maintain our currently defined ‘quality of life,’ we cannot adopt a philosophy of permitting what appears to be innocuous business expansion without fully recognizing (and adequately accommodating) the natural consequences of these decisions. Our future lifestyle in Santa Barbara hinges critically on the kinds of growth policies we make today.”
Even so, however, the 1980s was a high point for military industrial corporations in the Goleta Valley. The Reagan administration's offensive buildup poured billions of dollars into advanced weapons systems, especially those kinds for which Goleta's R&D firms were well placed to contribute to. Again, UCSB's economists commented:
“The high technology sector of the local economy has exhibited the strongest growth record of any industry or composite industry in the county over the last 10 years. High tech firms as a group contribute nearly 12% of the total Gross Regional Product in the County and 16% of the payrolls [….] The potential for expansion of this silent yet pervasive industry in the Goleta area and in the northern part of the County is phenomenal.”
About this time the aerospace companies in Goleta surpassed the billion dollar mark in terms of economic activity. In many ways this was the moment of full realization of the dreams of local power elites who had been working since World War II to remake Goleta into a martial metropolis.
Historical Society, Future Plans
As the Goleta Valley's hyper-conspicuous military-industry matured so did its workforce. The first generation of retirees from Delco and the rest began using their newfound leisure time for civic activism and community beautification. As the festivals celebrating Goleta grew and evolved into more elaborate rituals, a cadre of local historians emerged to re-interpret the past and write themselves into the future. Organizing through the Goleta Valley Historical Society (GVHS), these 2nd pioneers built the dominant local historical institutions that would educate generations of school children and adults in and around Goleta about the past and the implied future.
The Goleta Valley Historical Society was built up over several decades by 2nd pioneers to “collect, preserve, interpret and foster research of Goleta Valley’s history through exhibits, programs, and stewardship of the historic Rancho La Patera, home to the Stow family.”[lix] The Society acquired the Stow House and several surrounding acres of the former lemon orchards in the 1960s as the ranch was put up for sale by its inheritors. Other potential museum sites like the home of Joseph Sexton and the old Southern Pacific Rail Road station, endearingly called the “Goleta Depot,” would be acquired in later years and opened up to the public. Through this institutional base several key historians began researching, writing, and promoting the lives and exploits of the 1st pioneers of the US-Anglo empire.
At the center of the Goleta Valley Historical Society's efforts to research and re-write local history was non-other than a retired aerospace executive turned historian named Justin M. Ruhge. Ruhge's work in the military-industrial complex began in the early 1960s when as he relates in an article about the origins of the US military's Sidewinder missile:
“When I arrived at NOTS [Naval Ordinance Testing Station] in June 1956 as a graduate physicist, the Sidewinder had already been released for production. It was a very impressive sight to see a large poster in the main machine shop showing a drawing of the missile and the words "We Built Sidewinder" above to celebrate the place where the first pilot production of this original A model of the Sidewinder had been carried out. Even after this phase was completed, work continued on the refinement of the inner mechanisms of this missile in which the writer had some small part to play.”[lx]
Working in Goleta's burgeoning weapons research firms, Ruhge moved up the corporate chain of command eventually taking on executive positions. By the early 1980s Ruhge was churning out articles and books related to the history of Goleta and the south Coast. His emphasis throughout has been on military history. Writing in a popular style – often retelling stories about fabled army bases and fighter squadrons, or quirky and mysterious bits of local lore – Ruhge's many books and many more articles were published by local presses and promoted amongst Goletans as among the best sources to learn about Goleta and its environs. Ruhge's most read books include Gunpowder and Canvas (Focusing on the pre-US epoch of Spanish imperium in Goleta); Looking back: A History Goleta’s Historic Structures and Sites and the Pioneer Families Who Made Them (a pictoral tome with accompanying text about the 1st pioneers of the US-Anglo empire); and, The Military History of California: The Chronicle of California’s Historic Presidios, Forts, Camps, Stations, Fields, Bases. This last book is essentially a grand narrative of the 2nd pioneers as told through the physical facilities their war machine has built up across the western edge of North America.
In recent years Ruhge has taken to commenting on immigration and student activism in the local presses. One anti-immigrant essay written in his capacity as an officer of Initiatives for National Change calls Mexico “a corrupt and degenerate” society, and claims that “the majority of Mexicans who come to the United States are uneducated and unskilled Indians.”[lxi] In a letter to the editor of a local paper Ruhge exclaimed in 2001 that “Muslims are out to destroy our world.”[lxii] Residing in Lompoc, a small city northwest of Goleta, Ruhge involves himself in local politics and happenings around Vandenberg Air Force Base. His wife has held office on the Lompoc City Council and he has held official positions on city committees. At times rabidly anti-environmental, Ruhge has long bemoaned the involvement of UCSB students in county politics because of their tendency to vote for the most progressive candidates.[lxiii] At one environmental hearing for the Air Force's missile defense program in 2002 Ruhge butted heads with several students over the merits of building the weapons system. Ruhge said he, “supports the program,” but was concerned that too much money being wasted on environmental studies to ensure the missile platforms and radar stations did less harm to the sensitive ecology of Vandenberg AFB.[lxiv] Ruhge's militarist ideology permeates his historical writings and have been infused into much of the literature on Goleta, although in a way that obscures its violent origins in waves of colonization and its present economic basis of existence in weapons research.
Some of Ruhge and the GVHS's most ardent efforts to re-interpret local history were produced in the early 1990s during the first Gulf War. At the time Ruhge wrote a weekly history column for the Goleta Valley Sun in which he explored everything from oil drilling off Ellwood to the mansions turned museums of 1st pioneers like Sexton and Stow. In 1991 these columns were collected and published as Looking Back: Getting in Touch With Our Heritage.[lxv] Endorsing the book were key institutions and organizations interested the formation of a community identity including the Chamber of Commerce, Santa Barbara Airport, Goleta Valley Community Center, Goleta Valley National Bank, and of course the Goleta Valley Historical Society. Although not a narrative form of history (the book is more a bricolage of the curious happening and “did you know?” variety of historical anecdotes juxtaposed with rare photos) it does follow a rough chronology. Fittingly the book concludes with chapters like Flying Leathernecks and High Tech Center. Flying Leathernecks recounts the history of the Marine Corps Air Base and Airport. Among other wowing factoids Ruhge lists is that Goleta's name was once uttered by non-other than John Wayne himself in the Hollywood produced war story that the chapter's title is taken from. In High Tech Center Ruhge sketches a short but more or less honest picture of the Valley's military-industrial complex. This last chapter is somewhat autobiographical for him and other 2nd pioneers. For the tens of thousands of other Goletans, however, especially the newcomers who arrived in the wake of Delco days and who don't work in the primary arms industry, the history of Aerophysics Development Corporation, Delco, and Raytheon is almost as mythical and revered now as the days of the 1st pioneers. Ruhge concludes that, “since the 1950s high-tech industries have dominated Goleta's economy.” Employees of this industry have also dominated Goleta's politics and civic life. Ruhge is interesting proof of this fact.
Like other 2nd pioneers nearing retirement from their arms industry jobs, Ruhge became a civic activists in order to claim the land he had settled as the result of a historical trajectory that was, according to his stories, not only legitimate and unquestionable in the present, but also fascinating and mysterious. Working through the Goleta Valley Days festivals and later the Lemon Festival, much of his research and writing was used by festival organizers in official publications to educate other citizens as well as visitors.
Another local historian whose work was utilized by civic festival organizers is Walker Tompkins. Writer and staff historian for the Santa Barbara News Press for many decades, Tompkins wrote a seemingly endless number of western themed books and short stories glorifying the American pioneer spirit, the exploits of cowboys, miners, and frontiersmen. Tompkins was to Santa Barbara as Ruhge has been to Goleta, yet perhaps even on a grander scale. His column in the Sunday Newspress, “Old Santa Barbara,” was accompanied for many years by weekly radio shorts, each giving little tid bits about happenings in Santa Barbara from the days of Spanish dominion, through Mexican rule, and the Anglo-American regime. To outline Tompkins' works that have shaped popular understanding of Santa Barbara's history and the citizenry's identity would take up too much space here, but it's worth noting that in addition to his prolific newspaper columns and radio shows, he published Santa Barbara History Makers, a elite-centric narrative about mostly old white men that he considered his most important work, and It Happened in Old Santa Barbara, the sort of pulp historiography that jumps across time to emphasize quirky and bizarre happenings. Tompkins co-wrote Thomas Storke's autobiography California Editor. Storke was keen to the significance of Tompkins' work and constantly sought to recommend the historian's services to his powerful friends:
“Following the publication of my book, and at my suggestion, Samuel Mosher, president of Signal Oil and owner of the famous Dos Pueblos Ranch and Orchid Company, employed Mr. Tompkins to write the story of the Dos Pueblos Ranch which he called “Santa Barbara's Royal Rancho”. This proved to be a most interesting book and had a large sale. The theme of the Royal Rancho is being used this year for our Old Spanish Days Fiesta Bowl Show. Also, Mr. Tompkins has completed the story of the life of the late Colonel W. W. Hollister. This has not yet reached the publisher. The research Tompkins had to do for these three books gave him an unusual insight into the early times in this area, as well as the history of all Southern California and its major families.”
One of Tompkin's books, California's Wonderfu Corner, was even accepted as official history curriculum in Santa Barbara County schools.[lxvi] Mosher also hired Tompkins to write The Little Giant of Signal Hill, a chronicle of Mosher's Signal Oil corporation and exploits. Mosher also funded Tompkins' The Yankee Barbareños: The Americanization of Santa Barbara County, California 1796-1925. Tompkins' work was an important precursor, or building block of popular self-identification, from which the 2nd pioneers of the Goleta Valley built upon.
In Goleta Magazine, an official publication of Goleta Valley Days underwritten by the Chamber of Commerce, Ruhge and others fill the pages with anecdotes about the 1st pioneers that explain the significance of certain symbols and happenings. One essay by Ruhge summarizes the past by focusing briefly on Chumash “pre-history,” Spanish colonization, the 1st pioneers – especially the colorful characters of Den, Hill, Hope, and Hollister – and concludes with a prescription of destiny: “Goleta is a community of housing districts, eight shopping areas and small high technology firms. The future of Goleta is now in technology and commercial development.” The future of Goleta being weapons research and real-estate speculation is a judgement shared by the consensus of 2nd pioneer created organizations and institution's central to civic identity formation. Ruhge's stories about Goleta are profoundly western and celebratory of the 2nd pioneers and have an apologetic quality in that they reach for reasonable explanations to legitimate the present conditions of the Goleta Valley. Goleta Magazine ends with an endorsement of the several local institutions designed by the 2nd pioneers to recast the past as a prescription for future development. Readers are enticed to attend Goleta Valley Days and visit the GVHS's headquarters at Rancho La Patera, or other spots like the Sexton House, South Coast Rail Road Museum in the Goleta Depot, and the Airport.
“From its beginnings as the largest Chumash Indian village in California, Goleta has experienced quite an evolution from the discoveries of the early explorers. From the development of one of the largest oil fields on the west coast and the growth of the lemon industry, to the present day hotbed of high-tech industry, the history of Goleta is rich. For those with an interest in the historical background of the area, Goleta offers several museums and landmarks to help tell the story.”[lxvii]
Telling the story to one another produces an identity as citizens of Goleta, families with a rightful connection to the land. Crimes and tragedies of the past are muffled while prominent white men are celebrated “explorers,” “discoverers,” and “entrepreneurs.” Telling the story has been necessary for the 2nd pioneers for several reasons.
The most underlying reason is a result of the nature of colonization. Clearly the process of colonization, especially US imperial expansion into the American West (especially in California!) involved the destruction of culture and community amongst the indigenous peoples who stood in the way of manifest destiny. It is a history of genocide by which the memory of the past was eradicated. However, colonization also involved a degree of violence and dislocation for the settlers themselves. Much of it was self-inflicted and circumstantial, but nevertheless it left the 1st and later the 2nd pioneers with a profound sense of emptiness and desire to know themselves as Goletans. The waves of white US colonials to make their homes in Goleta had picked up their lives and re-located to what they understood to be a remote place shrouded in mystery. The 2nd pioneers who arrived beginning with Aerophysics and Delco in the late 1950s and early 1960s literally pulled up their roots in Midwestern communities and East Coast cities and came out to Goleta California, a seemingly empty place being built from scratch. They arrived as nuclear families, the smallest units possible, not tied to one another as more organic and deeply rooted communities naturally are. As one 2nd pioneer put it, “young tract home dwellers,” arrived suddenly and overwhelmingly, “moving into the Goleta hinterlands like a band of pioneers, carving a brave new world out of lemon orchards.” Their identity and what it meant to be a Goletan would therefore have to also be built from scratch, in the brave new world.
This necessity to indocrinate newcomers with a particular historical narrative had previously been understood old timers in Santa Barbara, many of them descendants of the 1st pioneer families. The massive influx of the 2nd pioneers, particularly in Goleta, a locale that was swamped with a new majority of military-industrial employees required that self-hood be constructed almost as though the community were a tabula rasa. Santa Barbara proper, however, was never quite so overtaken with 2nd pioneers. Even so, as one resident explained it in an unusually frank letter to Tompkins:
“For years I have enjoyed your articles relating to the history of Santa barbara and environs. I admire your work and the skill with which you have effected it. It seems to me to be very important to give the people of a community some sense of its past, of those traditions or those person who have given the community some particular mark of its own. This need is especially acute in a time when the rate of population growth makes it exceedingly difficult to assimilate the in-migrants into whatever local cultural individuality still persisting. You have been able to make the past of the community more real by the way you have delineated the personal characteristics of some of the early inhabitants.”[lxviii]
It seemed to go without saying though that the “sense of past” being taught was targetted at a particular group of “in-migrants.” Both Ruhge and Tompkins' works are clearly written for audiences of white Anglo-American settlers, not Mexican immigrants, nor black or working class people. Indeed, the glorified place of the military, big strong pioneer men, brilliant entrepreneurs, and the conspicuous lack of women in their works reveals a lot about the kind of Santa Barbara and Goleta they were interested in projecting from the past into the future. When Mexicans, Indians, the Chinese and other communities do appear in their works, they appear as anachronisms or ghosts from the distant past. For example, Ruhge ends his history of the Chumash communities of Goleta in Looking Back with a passage that subsumes the genocidal impact of Spanish colonization under a veil of inevitability, even calling the mass death of the Indians by disease fortunate. “The indians, like other indians in the area, left the Island [Mescaltitlan] to become neophytes at the Mission, or perhaps more fortunately, slipped off into the mountains where they probably eventually died of the white man's disease's.” Thus the Chumash fade from history without any meaningful links into the present era. They become ghosts to be marvaled at in history books like Ruhge's. They supposedly have no future. The future appears as men in suits designing missiles and testing ray-guns, and the future is progress. Artist Joseph Knowles’ “History of Santa Barbara County,” a massive mural assembled from hundreds of thousands of tiles on the side of Vons supermarket in downtown Santa Barbara tells this story visually. Its five panels begin with the Chumash, depict the Spanish missions, Mexican rancheros, Anglo-American 1st pioneers, and ends with a depiction of oil rigs and missiles beside one another in a blissful modernity. Knowles produced the mural in 1959. At the time GE TEMPO, its enormous headquarters just five blocks toward the beach, was promoting itself with the motto, “progress is our most important product.”[lxix]
The 2nd pioneers had other more practical reasons for constructing a sense of community and identity rooted in the past and driving into the future. This was captured in an unpublished essay written by Ruhge about the history the 2nd pioneer's civic festivals, “Goleta Festivals: Evidence of City Identity,”[lxx] a point echoed in a Goleta Magazine essay entitled “History of Goleta Valley Events Reflects Effort and commitment.”[lxxi] This very strain of commitment that emerged in the post-War years as the Magnolia Festival, matured into Research and Development Month, ultimately becoming the Lemon Festival. It was institutionalized through the establishment of the Goleta Valley Historical Society and related local museums. The culmination of these efforts seemed to have come in 2002 when after more than twenty years of activism the 2nd pioneers succeeded in gaining city-hood for Goleta. Halfway through this effort to incorporate the Goleta Valley Voice had bemoaned the community's lack of cohesion in a 1992 editorial:
“Goleta is a fractionalized place. Its housing is spread in pockets, There is no comerical center. There is no area upon which a community can be focused. There is great diversity in its influences, inclding the university campus, the high-tech businesses and nearby student population. But unlike other areas where diversity can be a strength, Goleta's various elements seem too rigidly self absorbed.”[lxxii]
Overcoming these obstacles was partially accomplished by 2002. Cityhood, however, was now a central expression of several deep contradictions deeply embedded in the identity and existence of Goleta and the 2nd pioneers. With a municipal government now established to control future development of the Valley, these contradictions came to the fore of election campaigns whereas previously they had lurked more in the backroom deals of power elites, the machinations of UCSB's administration or decisions made on high by the Santa Barbara City Council and County Board of Supervisors. Robert Bernstein, a runner up in the first campaign for Goleta City Council summed up the contradiction saying, “Most people want the city to try and hold back development. When I was campaigning, I got a pretty consistent message that people didn’t want a lot of change [....] They mostly wanted to keep things from changing a lot. To be successful, they’re probably going to need to develop plans to maintain quality of life.”[lxxiii] Colloquially expressed by Goletans as “quality of life,” this most fundamental contradiction boiled down to ecological change. The identity the 2nd pioneers had produced relied on a historical narrative that placed them as inheriting the “good land” of rural open spaces interspersed with homes and “clean industry.” The Chamber of Commerce put it this way in the mid-1980s:
“The growing industrial development in the Goleta Valley is beneficial to the population, since it is all “clean industry” - based, to a large extent, on electronics and space age research. The resulting employment opportunities and increased financial base only add to the promise of the future in this area. Keeping the air clean, encouraging wise economic growth, providing the best in education, health facilities and recreational activities – these are the constant goals of the people who live and work here.”[lxxiv]
However, it was their very presence and the means by which they had come to inherit the “good land” that was producing the ongoing despoliation of local lands with further industrial and suburban sprawl. In 1987 the president of the Chamber of Commerce explained this central contradiction saying, “Reasonableness tends to be the key to prosperity in the Goleta Valley. We need to continue to balance the environmental mandates of our residents with the need for viable commercial expansion to facilitate economic growth.”[lxxv] Balance in the eyes of most Goletans meant keeping development to a minimum, especially the sorts of development that would create a denser urban area, and in particular the development of housing or businesses that would bring in undesirable residents including Latinos, immigrants, and other working class communities. Balance also meant a peculiar sort of environmental consciousness. Instead of concern for justice or sustainability, the type of environmental consciousness fostered among the 2nd pioneers tends to be aesthetic: much more concerned with appearances than actual ecological health and biodiversity. Goleta Valley Beautiful, one of the main civic pride organizations created by the 2nd pioneers exemplifies this sort of environmentalism. Founded in 1974 “for the purpose of promoting the beautification of the Goleta Valley,” this organization has described its mission as working to “develop and promote activities for a clean, attractive, well-designed community and promotes heightened appreciation of the Goleta area's natural beauty.” Typical Goleta Valley Beautiful activities in the past have involved road and beach cleanups and tree plantings. In 1987 Goleta Valley Beautiful activists reported that, “during March, ten volunteers from Raytheon weeded the median dividers at Hollister and Patterson....”[lxxvi] That year Raytheon took in $4 billion in Defense Department contracts making it the 7th largest arms manufacturer in the world.[lxxvii]
It was also through the machinations of local power elites to produce the founding infrastructure including the university, airport, highways and water projects that had set the stage for their inheritance of the Valley, but simultaneously wrecked the Valley's ecology. As this hungry urban growth machine marched alongside the local military-industrial complex the 2nd pioneers confusedly fought against it, supported it, fed off of it and rejected it, celebrated it and decried it.
Although this contradiction existed in the hearts and minds of the 2nd pioneers themselves, there would also emerge severe contradictions in the power struggle between the counter culture of the Goleta Valley, with its center in the student community of Isla Vista, and what the students used to identify as “UCSB and its camp followers.”
Contradictions and Counterculture
“Looking back on the past twenty years, we see that the opportunities have always been there; our commitments and leadership to capture the potential have been of varying levels,” wrote the Steven Jones, president of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce in 1986. Explaining the ups and downs of Goleta's arms industry and real estate game over the past few decades he continued, “I think the polarization of the 60's and 70's was devastating,” but estimated that, “the level of disagreement in the area now is manageable.”[lxxviii]
The sort of “disagreement” the Chamber's president seemed to be referring to involved a major upsurge in social movements in and around Isla Vista and the Santa Barbara region beginning in the late 1960s and spanning much of the 1970s. It was a time of environmental activism against the oil industry and real estate speculators, anti-war organizing against Vietnam and the local arms manufacturers who profited from that war, Black and Chicano upsurges against racism in schools, housing and the environment, the women's movement, and a deeply entrenched counter culture opposed to the very identity and values that were being forged by the Valley's elite power brokers and its enfranchised citizens, the many thousands of 2nd pioneers.
During the height of the Goleta Valley's counterculture in 1970, Isla Vista and the UCSB campus were rocked with protests. Three separate rebellions shook local and state governments and engendered doubt amongst the authorities in the sanctity and security of the social order they had cultivated across the state of California in hyper-militarized suburbias such as Goleta. Among the most infamous incidents during the Isla Vista “riots” of 1970 was the repeated burning of the Bank of America. Torching of the bank is now recalled as an irrational act of youthful rebellion, but at the time students had reasoned their strike against the bank branch noting that Bank of America was (1) profiting off the war in Vietnam, (2) financing corporate agribusiness expansion through the so-called “green revolution” and, (3) exploiting students through unfair student loan practices.[lxxix] Torching the bank was a radical tactic in a struggle that many Isla Vistans had come to define in terms of a revolution against the dominant society, against capitalism, militarism, and racism.
The bank burning and IV riots were violently repressed with local police forces augmented by the National Guard. The most notorious police agency, the one that really beat back the rebellion was non-other than the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Special Enforcement Bureau. The SEB had honed their tactics during the Black rebellions of the 1960s (Watts and Pomono for example) and become one of the most feared organizations within the sprawling and highly militarized LA police state. Their brutality was sanctioned over a half-decade of suppressing Blacks and Latinos who raged against the white racism of California's largest metropolis. The callous violence of the SEB was so great that the volunteer prosecutor appointed in the wake of the IV riots resigned his post stating, “the criminal conduct by a few young people from Isla Vista is of lesser significance in comparison with official unlawfulness conducted behind the badge of honor.”[lxxx] Nevertheless the Bank of America called the bank burning “a criminal act of violent proportions [...] an insurrection against the democratic process,” in a letter to then Governor Reagan. Commenting on the Isla Vista situation, Thomas Foran, prosecutor of the Chicago 7 sneered, “American youth is being led into a freaking fag revolution.”[lxxxi] Many of the police who swarmed Isla Vista concurred, more or less. According to one historian of the IV riots the police “were unable to look without prejudice beyond the long hair, haphazard clothing, and beards,” and that for many officers, “the prevailing attitude was that we should have gone in and shop people or anarchy would have resulted.”[lxxxii]
In the wake of the Isla Vista rebellions the Bank of America released its 1970 Annual Report. Much of the report was a rebuttal against radicalism in the United States. Much more of it was a contemplative essay calling for significant reforms of corporations alongside more sophisticated forms of social control to contain the countercultural movement and prevent fundamental social change from taking place. It was essentially a report by one of the most powerful transnational corporations about the future prospects for capitalism in light of rebellions in US ghettos by Blacks and Latinos, as well as the opposition emerging as a growing counterculture. Noting the significance of the bank's report in their local context, editors of the Goleta Valley Sun reported on it for their 2nd pioneer readership. According to Bank of America:
“The United States has entered a period of fundamental transition [....] In the period ahead, how well a corporation develops and deals with people – and how it devises the adaptability to meet change – will become increasingly importing in evaluation of its future [....] In the long pull, nobody can expect to make profits – if our entire society is wracked by tension.”[lxxxiii]
The bank burning was in itself a minor incident in systemic terms. (It did end in the shooting and death of one UCSB student by authorities though.) However, it represented a more profound rebellion against the dominant society and its institutions, one that local officials feared would undermine the “good land” they had created in Goleta over the past few decades.
This rebellious spirit was expressed in the pages of many student and youth publications. One was the underground collective known as Strategic Hamlet. Publishing during the year following the IV riots, Strategic Hamlet's stories, essays, poems and imagery evoked all the best and worst of the local counterculture's dreams. One essay on hitchhiking prompted by a crackdown against students who used to regularly thumb rides at the Los Carneros onramp to the 101 explained some of the terms of the youth rebellion. Railing against the empty suburban autotopia that Goleta so profoundly represented they writer expounded:
“Hitchiking has grown into a cultural necessity for the disenchanted children of Babylon. It's in our history. We were white, and our fathers were busy either being rich or getting there. We ran. We heard legends of love in the distance and we filled the roads to get to them. Cars belonged to our daddy. They were part of his happiness, he thought. (They were loveless we replied.) We turned around; happiness was a sister, a brother, a flower. Poverty was pure and beautiful for the children of the suburb; we had the spirit, and our fathers held only the dollar.”[lxxxiv]
More than hitchhiking and bank torching, the counterculture that spanned students and even now long-time Santa Barbara residents posed a threat to the previous consensus amongst the 2nd pioneers, their political leaders, the arms industry, real estate developers, and local power elites.
One such moment when the counterculture succeeded in derailing the logic of militarized growth was the mobilization against the Ward Memorial Freeway extension. Named after Clarence C. Ward, a state Senator who was instrumental alongside Storke and Mosher in locating UCSB upon Anis'Qoyo, Ward Memorial Freeway, or the 217, was completed in 1958 to link UCSB with Goleta and Santa Barbara. More than adequate for the early long range development plan of UCSB (a document that called for a small seaside liberal arts campus) this crucial piece of infrastructure soon became a straightjacket for the UCSB administration, local real estate developers, and political leaders. Plans were quickly made to facilitate far heavier traffic flows. The purpose was to lay the pavement that would allow for massive expansion of UCSB. Several powerful real estate capitalists supported the freeway plans as they were crucial to a scheme being cooked up for the More Mesa and Atascadero Creek area just east of Goleta Beach.
Extension of the 217 meant stretching the freeway from the East Gate of UCSB all the way to Los Carneros Road, below Mesa Road, through the largest remnant of the Goleta Slough.[lxxxv] Although the Slough was devastated by the Marine Corps during WWII, the remaining portions of it, the largest of which sat directly in the path of the proposed freeway extension, still provided crucial habitat for migratory birds, fish, amphibians and countless other species. Many biologists on the faculty of UCSB would eventually make this very point in opposition to the 217 extension. The freeway plan, if successful would be nails in the coffin of the Goleta Slough. Countering this plan, students organized under the name of COPE (Campus Organization for a Pure Environment) proposed “development of the Slough as a Slough. Larger and deeper (unconcreted) channels and ponds....”[lxxxvi] Calling the 217 extension plan appalling, UCSB's Gradate Student Association told Chancellor Cheadle that “your evolving master plan is becoming an increasingly destructive document.”[lxxxvii]
The Santa Barbara oil spill had already awakened environmental consciousness across the nation amongst whole sectors of the population who previously hadn't to worry about the health of their communities. In Santa Barbara it had not only changed people's minds, it had moved them to action. The 217 extension could not have come at a worse time for its proponents. The ecological damage wrought by decades of the local growth machine's operation and all of the contradictions contained in a community obsessed with shallow aesthetic environmentalism (the appearance of pristine air, clean water and open space) yet wholly dependent on building weapons systems for use in Vietnam and other sites of ecocide was reaching a breaking point. The 2nd pioneers and their leadership could no longer legitimate and rationalize their colonizing influence over the Goleta Valley. Indeed, many of the 2nd pioneers began joining the environmental activists.
Chancellor Vernon Cheadle of UCSB defended the freeway extension as necessary and good for the public. Former Santa Barbara mayor Don MacGillivray boosted the plan and tacked on further ideas including building a recreational lake between the proposed extension and airport runways. A self-identified “water skiing enthusiast,” MacGillivray and the City Council had approved an Airport layout map as early as 1965 that had demarcated the the Slough as “existing swampland, proposed recreational lake.”[lxxxviii]
MacGillivray's lake, however absurd and destructive a proposal, actually paled in comparison to serious behind the scenes plans developers had for the area. These plans depended in no small part on the successful completion of the 217 extension. Unveiling their plan to a posh audience at the La Cumbre Country Club in August of 1969, developers Art Mendolia and Herbert Braun proposed nothing short of terraforming a large portion of Goleta and building a city from scratch. Their $100,000,000 vision included an artificially dredged small craft harbor, six-hundred room hotel, convention center, and 18-hole golf course surrounded by residential neighborhoods. All of this was to be scratched into the landscape between the 217 freeway and Patterson Avenue. Atascadero Creek was to be scraped out and made into the harbor's entry point.[lxxxix]
Students who returned that Fall to UCSB noted that much critical work had been hurried over the summer by 217 freeway boosters like Chancellor Cheadle, the Mayor and the Valley's corporate occupiers. Bonnie Adams, an investigator for the Probe newspaper summarized the political maneuverings stating that a massive rally in April of 1969 had delayed the freeway extension and gained many powerful allies for the environmentalists, but that the UCSB administration moved hard in the summertime and secured the City Council's support. She noted that “shortly thereafter, blueprints for a multimillion dollar real estate development began to appear in the press alongside a proposal by local real estate mogul Fess Parker to build a trailer park by the Slough.
In late October the mobilization against the freeway extension was gaining ground. Students organized under groups like COPE and Students for Environmental Defense held huge rallies, one ending in an occupation of Chancellor Cheadle's office. Cheadle stuck to his guns, rejecting the movement's ecological sympathies by claiming, “it's not really a question of ecology at stake here. Isn't it a matter of needing to get the cars on and off campus?”
Getting the cars on and off campus was a major part of the same latter day mission that Storke, Mosher and others elites had worked so hard to ensure in securing and building up the Airport, 101 freeway, Goleta suburbs, and UCSB campus in the first place. Freeways were also central to the California dream of the 2nd pioneers whose lives were more or less auto-centric. The 217 extension was a small but important step in the process of shaping Goleta into a particular kind of “good land.” Any stalling of this process could severely limit the future expansion of the military-industrial complex in the Goleta Valley by allowing other competitive martial metropolises, ones with weaker opposition such as Santa Maria to the north, to scoop up the branch R&D labs of industrial corporations and the real estate capital of developers like Mendolia and Braun. Finally, the deepest fears of the loyal 2nd pioneers and their leaders (who the students called “the establishment”) was that the new values and lifestyles underlying the mobilization against the freeway could very well lead to a wider rebellion against the dominant values and ideologies (some acknowledged, others not) that served as the glue of Goleta's identity: capitalism, militarism, white supremacy, patriarchy, economic growth and nationalism.
The mobilization against the 217 extension succeeded, and not for the most radical demands, but rather because the new values of the counterculture had seeped far enough into the mainstream so as to create the conditions for a wider coalition against ecological destruction. Many faculty and staff came out against the road building scheme, as did many of the 2nd pioneers themselves, who were working with their own newfound sense of ecological commonweal, even if it remained limited by shallow aesthetic concerns rather than those of environmental justice.
Cheadle's philosophizing became somewhat desperate as the movement grew. At one point he justified the freeway by claiming, not incorrectly that, “there are no unaltered places, time and change being as inexorable as they are.” However, not as prone to the contradictory aesthetic environmentalism that limited the radicalness of others, the students rejected Cheadle's almost dialectic approach to ecology. Change might be the only constant, but not all change need be the variety that Cheadle and his Goleta industry supporters sought. Slough activist Virginia Caretto rejected Cheadle's logic saying, “it is natural change, not man's deleterious interference with his environment, that has been beneficial to life....”[xc]
By blocking the freeway extension the environmental movement slowed further devastation to the Goleta Valley's watershed and prevented expansion of the military-industrial complex and the staggering plans of real estate capitalists. It was a major local victory. It was also a small victory in a larger upsurge against freeway expansion around the nation. From the mid-1960s through the 1970s the federal government poured billions into interstate projects. The states poured billions more into roadways. Many stretches of freeway were nixed by activists, however. Most of these miles were nixed by communities that resembled the 2nd pioneers – affluent, white, enfranchised, and newly energized with an environmental consciousness because for the first time they had come to see that capitalist society's toxic byproducts cannot be totally externalized, that their “good lands” are not even safe from industry. Sadly, many communities of color were over-run by the freeway building scheme. Coalitions against freeways like the 217 bridged profound divides of age, status and political ideology, but few coalitions brought together white, black and brown communities. As happened so often, racism prevailed. Goleta and Santa Barbara have been no exceptions to this fact.
In downtown Santa Barbara, for example, expansion of the 101 freeway was opposed by a spirited coalition. However, their concerns seemed to target the stretch of freeway that would cut off Anacapa, State and Chapala Streets from beach access. Leaders of the freeway opposition included two prominent members of the 2nd pioneers – Bud Bottoms, a General Electic TEMPO employee, and Nyle Utterback, a GM Delco employee. Utterbeck was even the originator of the idea of hiding the freeway in a tunnel under the downtown so as to create a clear passage from State Street to the beach. These 2nd pioneers were prominent organizers against what they identified as destructive growth and undesirable forms of dirty industry. Bottoms was also a board member of GOO (Get Oil Out), an organization founded in the aftermath of the spill to stop drilling in the Channel.[xci] Again, oppositional consciousness was rooted in an aesthetic desire to live in a beautiful and clean environment. The section of freeway that ran through the East Side and cut off the West Side from the environs of State Street's posh shopping mall and the tourist businesses along the beach were left mostly to fend for themselves.
In the succeeding decades the counterculture and other oppositional forces against ecological destruction, the militarized economy and racist social order of the Goleta Valley have fought a mostly rearguard battle. Although large scale real estate development remains checked by a slow-growth consensus (even no-growth), the overall direction remains the same: toward that ideal of progress first articulated in the late 1950s and throughout the Delco days. The economic basis of the Goleta Valley remains advanced weapons research. UCSB's role in this has only become more prominent. Goleta's elected leaders remain believers in the “good land.”
Even so, the desire to live in a beautiful place, one with clean water, mountain and ocean views, open spaces and gorgeous sunsets, free of “societal tensions,” was itself a contradiction that continues dog the psyches of the 2nd pioneers, and prompt them at times to resist the very “growth” and destruction that they were the cause of. Being the settler colonists for whom tracts of suburban homes were put up, for whom the Cachuma water project was partly built, the Airport being their anchor, the industrial parks where their weapons manufacturing employers set up shop, being the boosters of UCSB, the 2nd pioneers were themselves the cause of the ecological change they increasingly came to fear and oppose. The consequences of their culture and values has created a host of effects, ecological and social, that they have no solution to other than to retreat further into their insulated communities. Building walls, they attempt to keep out the undesirables. Preventing sprawl and keeping heavy industry out of Goleta they attempt to preserve and beautify the environment. Preventing the construction of affordable housing they try to keep the working class (Latinos) contained. Their concerns have remained mostly aesthetic over the decades, rarely reaching the level of consciousness that would be required to resolve the fundamental imbalances at hand. Nevertheless, their fear of change seems to have a basis in their need to feel rooted in Goleta, to feel as though they themselves are indigenous to a good land that they and their leaders have continually turned bad.
[i] Brantingham, Barney. “Those Days that Goleta Grew.” Santa Barbara Newspress, Thursday, Oct. 6, 1988. Brantingham worked for the Santa Barbara News Press for 46 years.
[ii] Huggins, Dorthy H. “Unhallowed Place Names from Portola's Soldiers.” California Folklore Quarterly. Vol. 4, No. 3 (July., 1945), pp. 284-288. Western States Folklore Society.
[iii] Leal, Luis. “In Search of Aztlan,” in A Luis Leal Reader. Northwestern University Press, 2007, p. 10.
[iv] Vento, Arnold Carlos. “Aztec Myths and Cosmology: Historical-Religious Misinterpretation and Bias.” Wicazo Sa Review, Vol. 11, No. 1, (Spring, 1995), p. 14.
[v] Sandos, James A. “Christianization among the Chumash: An Ethnohistoric Perspective.” American Indian Quarterly, Vol. 15, No. 1, (Winter, 1991), pp. 65-89.
[vi] Peter Nabokov. “Reconstituting the Chumash: A Review Essay.” American Indian Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 4, Special Issue: The California Indians, (Autumn, 1989), pp. 535-543.
[vii] Larson, Daniel O., John R. Johnson and Joel C. Michaelsen. “Missionization among the Coastal Chumash of Central California: A Study of Risk Minimization Strategies.” American Anthropologist, New Series, Vol. 96, No. 2, (Jun., 1994), pp. 263-299.
[viii] Pendergast, Thomas F. “Don Nicolas Den,” in Forgotten Pioneers: Irish Leaders in Early California. Minerva Group, 2001.
[ix] Terrel, J. E. “Plat of the Rancho Los Dos Pueblos, finally confirmed to Nicolas A. Den : Surveyed under instructions from the U.S. Surveyor General / by J.E. Terrell, Dep. Surr., November 1860.” United States. District Court (California : Southern District). Land case. 150. From: U.S. District Court. California. Land case map D-1164 (Land case 150 S.D., p. 163) in the Bancroft Library.
[x] Ellison, Willaim H. “San Juan to Cahuenga: The Experiences of Fremont's Battalion.” The Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 27, No. 3, (Aug., 1958), pp. 245-261.
[xi] Parker, Edna Monch. “The Southern Pacific Railroad and Settlement in Southern California.” The Pacific Historical Review, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Jun., 1937), pp. 103-119.
[xii] US Army Corps of Engineers. “Santa Barbara South Coastal Streams, California Preliminary Interim Report on Survey for Flood Control, Goleta California and Vicinity.” March, 1968.
[xiii] Lambrinos, John G. “The expansion history of a sexual and asexual species of Cortaderia in California, USA”
Journal of Ecology 89 (1) , 88–98. 2001.
[xiv] Thompson, Kenneth. “The Australian Fever Tree in California: Eucalypts and Malaria Prophylaxis.” Annals of the Association of American Geographers, Vol. 60, No. 2 (Jun., 1970), pp. 230-244.
[xv] Schoenherr, Allan A., C. Robert Feldmeth and Michael J. Emerson. Natural History of the Islands of California. UC Press, 2003.
[xvi] Schwendiman J.1956.Improvement ofnative range though new grass introduction.Journal ofRange Management 9:91–95. Island Press.
[xvii] Anderson, Virginia DeJohn. Creatures of Empire. Oxford University Press, 2006.
[xviii] Starr, Kevin. Material Dreams: Southern California through the 1920s. Oxford University Press, 1990.
[xix] Rapoport, Edward. “Charles Albert Storke.” Department of Journalism and Advertising. San Jose State College. undated. In, SBHC Mss 19, Box 8, “Storke Family.” UCSB Special Collections.
[xx] Timbers Restaurant menu.
[xxii] Santa Barbara News Press. “Slough at City Airport Used as Burning Dump.” April 27, 1969.
[xxiii] Time Magazine. “Signal in Space.” November 1, 1963.
[xxiv] Easton, Robert. “Black Tide: The Santa Barbara Oil Spill and its Consequences.” Delacorte Press, 1972.
[xxv] Lotchin, Roger. Fortress California. University of Illinois Press, 2002.
[xxvi] Markuson, Ann, Peter Hall, Scott Campbell and Sabina Deitrick. The Rise of the Gunbelt: The Military Remapping of Industrial America. Oxford University Press, 1995.
[xxvii] UCSB. “Mosher Foundation Donates $3 Million for UCSB Alumni Center .” Press release. November 24, 2003.
[xxviii] Santa Barbara Club. “Distinguished Members.” http://www.santabarbaraclub.org/Distinguished%20Members.htm
[xxx] Lockheed Corporation. “Of Men and Stars: A History of the Lockheed Aircraft Corporation. Chapter 2” Lockheed Corporation, April 1957.
[xxxi] City of Santa Barbara: Planning and Airport Commission's Staff Report – Airport Industrial Area Specific Plan. September 4, 1997.
[xxxii] Rhuge, Justin. Looking Back: A History of Goleta's Historic Structures and Sites and the Pioneers Families Who Made Them. Quantum Imaging Association, 1991.
[xxxiii] City of Santa Barbara: Planning and Airport Commission's Staff Report.
[xxxiv] Vandenberg Aerospace Center Strategic Air Command. “Vandenberg Air Force Base Directory – An Unofficial Publication Produced in Cooperation with Vandenberg Air Force Base – 1961 Edition.”
Pacific Coast Publishing Company. Santa Barbara CA.
[xxxviii] Goleta Valley Citizen. “14.3 Million to Protect Goleta.” October 13, 1966.
[xxxix] Adams, Bonnie. “The Rape of the Goleta Slough By UCSB and its Camp Followers.” Probe. Vol. II, No. 7, October 1969.
[xl] Kraemer, Robert S. Rocketdyne: Powering Humans Into Space. American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, 2005.
[xlii] Interview with Mr. J. Leland Atwood by Martin Collins. North American, El Segundo, Calif. June 20, 1989. http://www.nasm.si.edu/research/dsh/TRANSCPT/ATWOOD2.HTM
[xliii] Vogt, Richard. Weltumspannende Memoiren eines Flugzeug-Konstrukteurs. Steinebach/Wörthsee: Luftfahrt-Verlag W. Zuerl, 1976.
[xliv] Interview with Astrid Webster, March 15, 2008.
[xlv] Economic outlook, Santa Barbara and the Tri-Counties area. [Santa Barbara, Calif.] : Dept. of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1983-1984.
[xlvii] GE TEMPO Mss 139, Box 8.
[xlviii] For more on the “whiz kids” and the rationalizing trend in industry during this era see, Byrne, John. The Whiz Kids. Doubleday Business, 1993.
[l] Ibid. The GE TEMPO Collection contains more than 100 declassified research project reports.
[liii] Goleta Valley Sun. “Many Events Scheduled for R&D Month.” September 29, 1971.
[liv] Ehrhardt, Sheila. “History of Goleta Valley Events Reflects Effort and commitment.” Santa Barbara Newspress. Oct. 6, 1988.
[lv] Rhuge, Justin. “Goleta's Festivals: Evidence of City Identity.” Unpublished draft. Justin Rhuge Collection, SBHC, Mss 27, Box 6. UC Santa Barbara Special Collections.
[lvi] Goleta Valley Sun. February 17, 1971.
[lvii] “Goleta Valley Days.” Santa Barbara News Press. Oct. 10, 1990
[lviii] City of Santa Barbara. Santa Babara City Council Ordinances. Ord. No. 2808, 1961]
[lx] Ruhge, Justin M. “Evolution of the Sidewinder.” Wings of Gold. Association of Naval Aviation Spring, 2001.
[lxi] Ruhge, Justin M. “We Have a Mexican Problem.” ELREPORTEROSF.COM, May 21 - 30, 2008, Volume 18, No. 12.
[lxii] Los Angeles Times. “Panelist Faces Ouster Over Anti-Muslim Letter.” November 24, 2001. Among Ruhge's many other far-right opinions are his disdain for bicycles and bicycling (Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition. “Ruhge Opinions Provoke Strong Rebuke.” Quick Release. November, 1997.) and his avid support for George W. Bush's so-called War on Terror (“Hippies Aside, George Bush is the Bomb.” Daily Nexus. October 4, 2004.).
[lxiii] Ruhge, Justin M. “UCSB Students Shouldn’t Vote in County Elections.” Daily Nexus, October 15, 2002.
[lxiv] Santa Maria Times. “Missile Defense Program Reviewed.” April 26, 2002.
[lxv] Ruhge, Justin M. Looking Back: A History of Goleta's Historic Structures and Sites and the Pioneer Families Who Made Them. Quantum Imaging Associates, 1991.
[lxvi] Thomas M. Storke to Captain and Mrs. Allan Hancock. March 5, 1962. Walker Tompkins Collection. SBHC Mss 19, Box 2, 1960-1973.
[lxvii] Goleta Magazine. Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, 1986.
[lxviii] Robert H. Billigmeier to Walker Tompkins. December 26, 1970. SBHC Mss 19, Box 2, 1960-1973.
[lxix] GE Tempo. Promotional pamphlet, undated. GE TEMPO Collection. Mss 139, Box 8.
[lxx] Ruhge, Justin M. “Goleta's Civic Festivals: Evidence of City Identity.” Unpublished paper. Justin Ruhge Collection, SBHC, Mss 26, Box 6.
[lxxi] Ehrhardt, Sheila. “History of Goleta Valley Events Reflects Effort and commitment.” Santa Barbara Newspress. Oct. 6, 1988.
[lxxii] “A Sad Day for Goleta.” Goleta Valley Sun. December 21, 1992 p. 5A.
[lxxiii] Hawkins, Kirk. “First Goleta City Council Takes Office.” Daily Nexus. February 1, 2002.
[lxxiv] Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce. Goleta Magazine. 1986.
[lxxv] “President's Message.” Goleta Magazine. Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, 1987.
[lxxvi] Goleta Magazine. Goleta Chamber of Commerce, 1987.
[lxxvii] Rueters. “COMPANY NEWS; Raytheon Contract.” New York Times. April 1, 1987.
[lxxviii] Goleta Magazine. Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, 1986.
[lxxix] Olson, Gayle Clark. “Campus Cop Talk: The Oral Historian, The Law Enforcement Officer, and the “War in Isla Vista”.” Oral History Review. Vol. 10 (1982), p. 17.
[lxxx] Santa Barbara News Press. “Volunteer Prosecutor Quits; Cites Official Unlawfulness.” June 14, 1970.
[lxxxi] Newsweek. “Run on the Bank.” March 9, 1970.
[lxxxii] Olson, Gayle Clark. “Campus Cop Talk: The Oral Historian, The Law Enforcement Officer, and the “War in Isla Vista”.” Oral History Review. Vol. 10 (1982), p. 17. Olson Interviewed police involved in the IV riots years later and bases her work on these recollections.
[lxxxiii] Goleta Valley Sun. “Companies Must Adapt to Social Realities, Says Bank.” Goleta Valley Sun, February 17, 1971.
[lxxxiv] Strategic Hamlet. Vol. 1, No. 3, October 28, 1970.
[lxxxv] UCSB Office of Architects and Engineers. Ward Memorial Blvd & the Goleta Slough. November 4, 1969.
[lxxxvi] COPE. “Goleta Slough Clean-In Proposed.” Press Release, undated. Fred Eissler Collection, SBHC, Mss 15, Box 1. UCSB Special Collection.
[lxxxvii] UCSB Graduate Student Association. Open Letter to Chancellor Cheadle. Oct. 1, 1969. Fred Eissler Collection, SBHC, Mss 15. UCSB Special Collections.
[lxxxviii] Santa Barbara News Press. “Goleta Slough Recreation Proposal Comes Up Again.” October 10, 1966.
[lxxxix] Santa Barbara News Press. “Small Craft Harbor, Hotel, Convention Center Planned.” August 24, 1969.
[xc] Caretto, Virginia. “Wreck More of the Slough?” Letter to the Editor. Santa Barbara News Press. December 20, 1969.
[xci] Datton, Keith. “Advocate of Depressed Freeway Gets Layoff Notice.” Santa Barbara News Press. January 22, 1972.