What were you reading on Noozhawk this past week?
Marks, 60, of Santa Barbara, was found early on the morning of Sept. 20 on the beach below Shoreline Park. Although police initially said there appeared to be no signs of foul play (and initially reported that the victim was a woman, as well), an autopsy conducted by the Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Office “led us to believe there were suspicious circumstances to the case,” said police Sgt. Riley Harwood, a department spokesman.
“We have not been able to rule out suicide, accidental death or foul play,” Harwood told Noozhawk on Sept. 27.
Harwood would not elaborate on what investigators were looking for, but they were using rakes, shovels, a metal detector and a skip loader to search through the sand and in the vegetation on the bluffs above.
Marks, an attorney, was an owner of Sweeney Canyon Vineyard in Buellton.
A related article that drew the attention of a large number of Noozhawk readers was columnist Tim Durnin’s tribute to Marks.
“The news of Chris’ passing hit like a medicine ball heaved into my chest,” wrote Durnin, who had known Marks for 15 years. “He was a man for whom I have profound respect and admiration. He remains one of the kindest and most engaging people I have ever known. ... You couldn’t meet him without feeling better about yourself and the world.”
A 14-foot great white shark was spotted at the entrance to Santa Barbara Harbor on the afternoon of Sept. 26, the latest local encounter with the mysterious and legendary White Death.
Authorities say an experienced surfer observed the shark while surfing at the sandpit. The man said the shark “charged” directly in front of him, but not at him. The surfer quickly got out of the water and watched as the shark made another pass in about 6 feet of water. The man told authorities he believed the shark was chasing something. The incident occurred around 5 p.m. so it may well have been dinner.
The sighting was the latest of several that have been reported along near-shore waters in and around the harbor in recent weeks. No attacks on humans have been reported, but at least two seals have been casualties.
This story is too revolting to go into the gory details, but a 40-year-old Santa Barbara parolee was arrested on numerous felony charges related to what police investigators described as a “vicious sexual assault” on a 7-year-old Westside girl. The suspect, Jesse Paul Martin, is being held without bail on a previous warrant at the Santa Barbara County Jail.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victim and her family.
Former Santa Barbara City Councilwoman Iya Falcone was arrested on suspicion of DUI and hit-and-run after allegedly hitting a parked car with her BMW on the morning of Sept. 19. According to Santa Barbara police, Falcone, 57, had a blood-alcohol content level of .24 — three times the legal limit — when officers tested her two hours after she was arrested in the incident on the Mesa.
On Sept. 25, the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against her for allegedly driving under the influence and driving with a blood-alcohol level of .08 or more.
If convicted, Falcone faces three years of probation and required restitution to the driver of the car she hit, with the possibility of 15 days in jail, nine months of alcohol education school, a $1,856 fine and a suspension of her license.
Falcone, who is to be arraigned Oct. 25, has referred all questions to her attorney, Sam Eaton, who has declined comment.
Only a month after the death of the first man on the moon, the space shuttle Endeavour made its last voyage — this time at an altitude well below suborbital as it piggybacked around California atop a NASA jumbo jet. The once-mighty United States has all but shelved its manned space program, ceding the Final Frontier to nations that can afford to play in space and have more of an appetite for risk and reward in the advancement of science and mankind.
I was able to catch a glimpse of the Endeavour as it rumbled over The Granada Theatre on Sept. 21. Like a meteor in the night sky, it was there and then it wasn’t. I’m just glad Neil Armstrong wasn’t around to see such an inglorious end to President John F. Kennedy’s ambitious and inspiring challenge to America’s best and brightest. Our space pioneers, and our country, deserved better.
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