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Bill Macfadyen: Best of Noozhawk 11.11.11

This week on Noozhawk: Exercising your right to vote, dining and dashing, mental health services, a Westside story and a warm welcome to the USS Milius

By William M. Macfadyen, Noozhawk Publisher | @noozhawk |

11.11.11.

So after 12.12.12, I guess none of us will be around for the next numerically sequential peculiarity.

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1. Outcome Unchanged with Final Ballots Tallied in Santa Barbara Council Election

Santa Barbara voters may have mailed it in for Tuesday’s City Council election, but there were some surprising twists en route to the re-election of Councilman Dale Francisco, the endorsement of Councilman Randy Rowse’s appointment and the election of newcomer Cathy Murillo.

For one thing, Francisco’s a Republican ... and he drew the most votes. In Santa Barbara that happens about as often as proud Democrat and former Mayor Sheila Lodge endorses Republicans. But Lodge was moved to back the three conservative incumbents — Francisco, Rowse and Michael Self (who lost) — because of how politicized and polarized the council had become in the years since she occupied the big corner office at City Hall.

In the 11 months since Rowse’s arrival, council members appear to be getting along much better than before. And while Murillo is a loyal Democrat, there are expectations that she will at least continue the collaborative and collegial environment that often emerges when elected officials are putting people before politics.

As a small business owner, I’m thrilled to have an advocate like Rowse who can effectively articulate the issues our companies face. Very few communities can flourish without a healthy small business environment and it’s vital to have public servants like Rowse and former Goleta City Councilman Eric Onnen in positions of leadership. What a difference their perspective makes.

Murillo, meanwhile, seemingly came out of nowhere. She’s long been involved in the local political scene but she likely wasn’t rated a top-three vote-getter when the race began. She had the last laugh with a second-place finish, though. A happy warrior, I didn’t see anyone who worked — or walked — harder for the job.

2. Fun and Fit: Should You Eat Breakfast Before or After Exercising?

The Fun & Fit twins — Alexandra Williams and Kymberly Williams-Evans — had a popular post Nov. 7 after fielding a question from a Noozhawk reader in Santa Ynez about the best time to eat breakfast.

Now, I see the word breakfast and immediately think of huevos rancheros, which I can put away any time — day or night. Our physical fitness mavens were reading more closely, however, and understood our reader was inquiring about whether to dine before he dashed off to exercise, or the other way around. So what was their response? A king, a prince and a pauper walk into a diner ...

Those of you who know K&A know they’re not short on self-confidence. And if you don’t know them, one look at their groovy cat glasses will give you a good idea. But this week they got a sweet ego boost with their well-deserved inclusion in Shape magazine’s list of 10 Facebook Pages You Will Love to “Like.”

Click here to like their page, then click here to like ours.

3. Guided-Missile Destroyer USS Milius Arriving in Santa Barbara on Thursday

Maybe you noticed that 500-foot Navy vessel anchored on the horizon or the preponderance of clean-cut and smartly dressed young men and women walking around downtown. Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Santa Barbara Navy League, the USS Milius is spending Veterans Day weekend with us. While Santa Barbara rolls out the red carpet for the nearly 300 officers and crew members, they’ll be reciprocating with free public tours of the ship Sunday and Monday. Reservations can be made at Sea Landing, 301 W. Cabrillo Blvd., or by calling Sea Landing at 805.963.3564.

Please join me in thanking them — and all military veterans — for their service. We sleep in peace because of their vigilance and sacrifice in defense of the freedoms we too often take for granted.

4. Santa Barbara County Psychiatric Health Facility In Danger of Losing Medicare Funding

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper has been just about the only local journalist reporting on Santa Barbara County’s mental health services, and specifically its beleaguered Psychiatric Health Facility.

Last year, Lara broke the story of the death of Cliff Detty and chronicled his father’s heartbreaking and so far unsuccessful search for an explanation of how his son ended up dying there while in restraints — a method of securing combative patients that many mental health professionals now consider to be barbaric and antiquated.

Earlier this year, she broke the story of a scathing report by federal investigators who had launched an audit of the facility after reading her articles.

So it’s not surprising that Lara would be the first to report, on Nov. 7, that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is not satisfied with county officials’ lack of urgency in remedying the oversight agency’s criticisms. In fact, the county is now on notice that federal funding is at risk unless it gets its act together with patient health and safety. You have my word that we’ll stay on this important story.

5. Santa Barbara’s Westside Unites to Help Neighborhood THRIVE

THRIVE Westside is an ambitious initiative of the Santa Barbara, Orfalea and J.S. Bower foundations, the Santa Barbara Unified School District, Just Communities and a few other nonprofit organizations. The goal is to develop an action plan to make Santa Barbara’s Westside a better place and provide more meaningful “cradle-to-career” opportunities, with the buy-in of Westside residents and stakeholders.

As of Nov. 11, the first week’s introductory in-person discussions are under way. Noozhawk readers will be able to join the conversation in two weeks when we and Just Communities launch an online public-engagement program to expand and extend participation. We’re excited to have this opportunity and think you all will bring an important voice to the process.

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On Nov. 19, the Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis is holding a benefit to raise money for research and awareness of an insidious lung disease that kills more than 40,000 Americans every year. Pulmonary fibrosis took the life of my father-in-law, Edward O. “Ted” Gaylord, in 2008, and Noozhawk is honored to help Helen Larsen put on this fundraiser.

My friend, Dr. Robert Wright of Santa Barbara Pulmonary Consultants, is the keynote speaker and the event features an array of mouth-watering dishes from French macrobiotic chef Denis Harle.

The benefit is 5 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Goleta Valley Community Center, 5679 Hollister Ave. Tickets are $100 per person, and donations to the nonprofit Coalition for Pulmonary Fibrosis are tax-deductible. Call Larsen at 805.964.1891 to purchase tickets.

Please join us.

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Noozhawk needs and welcomes your support. Just as you might subscribe — or formerly subscribed — to a favorite newspaper to keep up with your community news, please consider becoming a voluntary paying subscriber to Noozhawk, for as little as $5 a month, or becoming a member of our Hawks Club.

Click here to make a donation online, or mail your check to Noozhawk, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to set up recurring credit-card transactions through our PCI-compliant payment gateway. Personal contributions to Noozhawk are not deductible as charitable donations.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.




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