What were you reading on Noozhawk this week?
Three years ago, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians bought a 1,390-acre tract known as Camp 4. Ever since, the tribe has worked to win approval to "attach" the noncontiguous property to its reservation for the purpose of building homes for tribal members.
On Aug. 8, Santa Barbara County Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr sent an email to her constituents, informing them that the tribe had applied to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to make Camp 4 part of the Chumash reservation and renewing her opposition to the expansion plan.
"Supervisor Farr’s position on this issue has not changed; she remains opposed to any further fee-to-trust applications," according to the email obtained by Noozhawk.
In her email, Farr also noted that the county has received an application for nonrenewal of the Williamson Act contract — which could lead to urban development on the property.
"Any proposed development on Camp 4 should be reviewed and acted upon through the local land-use process," she wrote, adding that the county Agricultural Preserve Advisory Committee would review the tribe's application at its September meeting.
In response, the Chumash on Aug. 9 issued a statement confirming the fee-to-trust application to the BIA and reiterating the intention to build tribal housing.
Vincent Armenta, the tribe's chairman, also noted that the Chumash had tried unsuccessfully to negotiate an agreement with the county over the issue, and he pointedly called out Farr about it.
“More than two years ago we submitted a Draft Cooperative Agreement to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors hoping to negotiate a payment in lieu of property taxes for our Camp 4 land,” he said.
“After repeated attempts to enter into a discussion, the Third District supervisor refused to meet with us and left us with no other alternative than to file a federal trust application with the BIA.”
Armenta said the agreement would have resulted in an annual payment of more than $1 million for the cash-strapped county.
“Essentially, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors walked away from more than $1 million a year in revenue for the county, and will probably spend more than $1 million fighting our trust application with the BIA,” he said.
Back in January, the Chumash held a public meeting about the annexation plan.
“The purpose of purchasing Camp 4 was for tribal housing,” Armenta said at the time. “When we bought it, we said the exact same thing.”
Noozhawk readers were quick to jump in to the fray, with many of them expressing skepticism about the tribe's motives as well as the process.
"Pleasantly surprised to see Farr sticking up for equal rights vis a vis land use in arguing for Camp 4 being governed by LOCAL land use guidelines," sbnative wrote.
Anemonefish said the Chumash should "play by the rules every other county resident does. That means abiding by planning and land use standards. Exceptions end at their present reservation boundaries. Outside of that, they should behave and be treated just like any other business or developer. Prying open a loophole by 'expanding' the reservation is nonsense."
George sees things differently.
"What is wrong with the Chumash tribe getting the land back that was theirs years ago and using it to better the tribe," he asked. "This county is NOT worthy of laying out rules for them to live by."
The opening of The Lark in Santa Barbara's Funk Zone didn't quite approach the traffic Noozhawk drew for our exclusive announcement that the Elephant Bar Restaurant in Goleta was closing. But it was close enough.
Judy Foreman, our 93108 Style columnist, dropped in for The Lark's public opening night Aug. 6, and was impressed by what she found inside. From the atmosphere to the decor to the service and — especially — to the food, she gave it a two forks up and was planning to go back for seconds soon.
"Glancing around at the other tables," she wrote, "we spied beet salads, arugula with strawberries salads, roast chicken with figs and polenta, a pork shank with beer-braised Swiss chard, and smoked ham hocks and blackberry jus served with ancho honey cornbread."
Hmmmm. Is it time for dinner yet?
The Lark is co-owned by Dan Russo and Sherry Villanueva, with chef Jason Paluska and executive sous chef Nick Flores at the helm. It's part of the newly revitalized Anacapa project, which is home to nine new food and beverage businesses in a refurbished warehouse developed by Katie and Doug Hay of Central Coast Real Estate LLC.
Louis Joseph Bristol will spend a year in Santa Barbara County Jail after pleading guilty to having sex with two teenage girls, among other sins.
Bristol, 28, of Carpinteria, had worked as a youth pastor at Carpinteria Community Church, 1111 Vallecito Road, and as an assistant manager at the Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, 5606 Carpinteria Ave. He was accused of using his positions at both places to commit the crimes, which authorities say occurred in vacant hotel rooms.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Paula Waldman told our Giana Magnoli that Bristol pleaded guilty to a lewd act on a 14-year-old girl, and unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor and furnishing marijuana to a 16-year-old girl.
In addition to the jail time, the now-jobless perv is required to register as a sex offender and to avoid Carpinteria for five years after his release.
Carpinteria Community Church released a brief statement after Bristol’s March arrest, saying its policy is to immediately report all allegations to authorities, as church officials did in this case.
On Aug. 9, Pastor Jarrett Johnson said the tight-knit congregation was deeply saddened by the ordeal.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to the victims and their families," he wrote in a letter to Noozhawk. "Consistent with our faith, the church is committed to providing a safe and appropriate environment for our church community. ... As always, we pray for and seek the Lord’s healing and guidance in all matters and for all involved."
Four cars were reported stolen during a two-day spree Aug. 6 and 7, including three that were taken from the Mesa neighborhood in Santa Barbara.
Police Sgt. Riley Harwood said the stolen vehicles are 1990 and 2000-era Honda Accords and Civics. Both models are in the top five best-selling cars in America — which no doubt is why they're popular among thieves, too.
Harwood said two of the cars were stolen from Oceano Avenue and a third from Santa Fe Place, all on the Mesa. A fourth vehicle was stolen from Old Mill Road off Calle Real west of Highway 154.
Santa Barbara County officials on Aug. 9 reported the presence of higher-than-usual bacteria levels at Goleta Beach, Gaviota State Beach and Jalama Beach, and warned the public to stay at least 50 yards away from creek mouths and storm drains, and to avoid contact with creek and lagoon water in the vicinity of the popular beaches.
Yellow warning signs have been posted at the beaches, according to my pal, Willie Brummett, of the county Environmental Health Services Department.
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My Noozhawk colleagues and I would like to thank our very productive summer interns before they scatter to the four winds. It was a pleasure to work with Karina Evans (University of Delaware), Amanda Hoffman (Boston College), Kirsten Macfadyen (University of San Francisco), Will Macfadyen (UCLA Anderson School of Management), Jordon Niedermeier (University of Montana), Linda Sturesson (Santa Barbara City College) and Frankie Victoria (University of San Diego).
We wish them all the best of luck in their next endeavors. And Linda and Frankie are sure going to need it; they're staying on with us in the fall!
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My friend, Bill Mason, works for a Silicon Valley startup called zSpace. Earlier this year, our Gina Potthoff wrote about zSpace's stereo 3D capabilities, and now there's a video. I wouldn't have believed it either if I hadn't done the demo myself in a presentation at Noozhawk World HQ.
(zSpace Virtual Demo video)
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— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.