Tuesday, October 6 , 2015, 8:57 pm | Fair 64º

Bill Macfadyen: Horse Hauler’s Activity Spurs Lawsuit Over Deadly, Devastating Trailer Crash

Janene Scully gives Noozhawk a significant presence in the North County; NoozWeek’s Top 5 also includes sharks, Apple, kayaks and a Favorite of Bill’s, Los Agaves

Seven of Shan de Wey’s champion horses were either killed or seriously injured in the March 28 crash of their horse trailer along Old San Marcos Pass Road.
Seven of Shan de Wey’s champion horses were either killed or seriously injured in the March 28 crash of their horse trailer along Old San Marcos Pass Road.  (Paul Mihalec / KEYT News photo)

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

Apparently — or so I’m told — two of Santa Barbara County’s oldest Fossil Media holdouts each had something to announce this past week.

One tried to make the best of its latest bad situation with the spin that it’s good for the community if it outsources its daily production of local news to someplace in the Midwest. With uncharacteristic candor, the other one acknowledged what just about anyone in town could plainly see: It suffers from shrinkage.

Noozhawk, meanwhile, is on a roll. On June 9, we announced that Janene Scully had been appointed North County editor to help us serve what is a rapidly growing readership on the other side of the map.

Janene Scully: We’ve got you covered, North County.
Janene Scully: We’ve got you covered, North County.

A very experienced reporter, copy editor and consummate professional journalist, Janene worked for the Santa Maria Times for the last 23 years, 10 of them as a key colleague of Noozhawk​ executive editor Tom Bolton. She’s already hit the ground running, ranging from the Santa Maria City Council to the Lompoc high school commencements to the possible release of a whack-job Santa Maria hatchet killer.

We also announced the promotion of Giana Magnoli to a second new position, that of news editor. In this post, she’ll be assisting Tom, who has shifted responsibilities to take a direct role as editor of the Mission & State in-depth journalism project, as well as managing editor Michelle Nelson. Giana will be supervising our news staff, using skills and clever strategies she learned as editor of Cal Poly’s Mustang News, but she’ll also continue to report on the community.

We’re very excited about our continued growth, and we look forward to achieving our goal of being our community’s essential, indispensable source for first-class 24/7 local news. Thank you for your support.

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There were 82,393 people who read Noozhawk this past week. What were your top stories?

1. Horse Owner Files Suit Against Trailer Company in Crash

Two horses were killed and five more critically injured March 28 when a trailer hauling the steeds nearly overturned on Old San Marcos Pass Road above Santa Barbara.

An eighth horse suffered minor injuries in the incident, but its presence in the trailer is looming large in a lawsuit filed by the horse breeder who owned the others.

Shan de Wey of Termo in Lassen County has sued the hauling company, Triple-AC-Ranch, and its driver, Mathew Gillispie, who authorities say was operating the trailer without proper licenses when he nearly tipped it over while attempting to make a hairpin turn.

The civil suit alleges that Gillispie broke a contract when he picked up the eighth horse — after an agreed-upon exclusive trip to Laveen, Ariz., from Termo​ with Wey’s seven horses. She is asking the court for more than $25,000 in damages. The horses were valued at nearly $60,000.

The hauling company could not be reached for comment, and a listed phone number and website were not in service.

Mind if I cut in? (Jamie Gonzalez photo illustration / Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara)
Mind if I cut in? (Jamie Gonzalez photo illustration / Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara)

2. Great White Shark Sighting Off Leadbetter Beach Prompts Warning to Swimmers

As longtime readers know, there’s nothing like a great white shark sighting to push traffic Noozhawk’s way. Such was the case June 8, when a 10:30 a.m. sighting off Leadbetter Beach prompted the posting of warning signs at Santa Barbara’s municipal beaches.

Harbor Patrol Officer Larry Nufer said lifeguards immediately set to work warning swimmers that they would be entering the water at their own risk.

My friend, Denny Wayman, pastor of Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara, actually was at Leadbetter Beach leading a baptism service.

“Had a first today after 38 years of ministry,” Wayman wrote in a Facebook post afterward. “We were having a baptism service in the Pacific Ocean here in Santa Barbara when a lifeguard ran over and told us they had spotted a great white shark and were warning us!

“We completed the Sacrament, but did move in a little closer to the shore!”

The shark hasn’t been seen since, although it wouldn’t surprise me if Denny baptized it, delivering it from the Jaws of sin.

3. Craig Allen: Will Apple Stock Split Mean More Upside for Investors?

Watching Apple — and Apple stock — is getting to be a national pastime. The company’s already robust share prices have been climbing again, and on June 8, Apple decided to split its stock, which set off a new round of speculation and analysis.

Craig Allen bites into Apple.
Craig Allen bites into Apple.

Our business columnist, Craig Allen, was among those weighing in. In one of his more popular columns, he laid out several scenarios and what they might mean for short- and long-term impacts. I found it to be a good assessment of what various signals might say about Apple and the U.S. economy.

It was also helpful to gain some insight into the thinking behind stock splits in general. As I had long suspected, it’s not that easy to judge results in terms of their effects on subsequent performance — especially in today’s market.

In Craig’s words, “Once the stock has been split, the company no longer trades at the pre-split price, so there is no way to directly compare pre-split performance with post-split performance.” I think what he’s saying is you’re comparing Apples to oranges.

Anchors aweigh. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Anchors aweigh. (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

4. Kayaker Rescued While Trying to Paddle to Hawaii

It must have sounded like a good idea at one point, but a 57-year-old man’s plan to kayak to Hawaii from California came up short June 10 — roughly 2,100 miles short.

According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the intrepid voyager — whose name was, mercifully, not released — paddled away from Monterey on May 30, determined to make it to a relatively tiny archipelago in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, nearly 2,400 miles away.

His trusty solar panel malfunctioned about a week into the trek, however, and he wisely decided to turn back toward civilization. About 63 miles southwest of Point Conception, he became disoriented and sent out a distress call.

“A voyage from California to Hawaii is a long and treacherous journey for any vessel, and exponentially more dangerous for a kayaker,” Petty Officer 2nd Class Timothy Hall observed in what has to be a leading contender for Understatement of the Year.

A Coast Guard cutter and a helicopter were dispatched to search for him — and somehow succeeded. He was unhurt, officials say.

Rather than heading to Honolulu, Noozhawk reader Fred Freddy suggested, “maybe next time he should try kayaking across the Santa Barbara Channel and back 50 times nonstop — same distance.”


When it comes to Mexican food, Goleta residents will soon have their aha momement after Los Agaves Restaurant opens a new location at the former Baja Grill at Camino Real Marketplace. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)
When it comes to Mexican food, Goleta residents will soon have their aha momement after Los Agaves Restaurant opens a new location at the former Baja Grill at Camino Real Marketplace. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

5. BizHawk: Los Agaves Owner Buying Baja Grill in Goleta’s Camino Real Marketplace

Since opening his first Los Agaves Restaurant six years ago, Carlos Luna and his attentive staff have been serving up consistently delicious Mexican food.

I should know; once or twice a week I will happily stand in a line that stretches out the door at either his Milpas Street or De la Vina Street locations. The chalkboard specials never disappoint although Chile Poblano Campestre is probably my favorite standby.

Now, Luna is in escrow to buy Baja Grill, in the heart of Goleta’s Camino Real Marketplace, from Natural Café founder Kelly Brown. Natural Café is itself moving to Camino Real Marketplace from Old Town Goleta.

After a brief remodel, our Gina Potthoff reports, Los Agaves will open its doors for hungry Goleta residents. Luna is due to open a fourth location this fall in the Shoppes at Westlake Village.

                                                                        •        •

Any Tetris fans out there? If so, this achievement will astonish you.

(TOJkero video)

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— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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