Santa Barbara-Goleta, Saturday, July 04, 2015

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Downtown Santa Barbara Fire Causes $150,000 Damage

By | Published on 07/04/2015


Blaze traced to storage shed behind buildings in 900 block of State Street

[Scroll down to see video of the fire]

Aggressive action by firefighters early Saturday helped keep a structure fire in downtown Santa Barbara from becoming a major conflagration.

Crews were called out at about 1 a.m., and upon arrival found heavy smoke and embers coming from the roof of a building in the 900 block of State Street, said Battalion Chief Mike De Ponce of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

The fire began in a storage area in a courtyard behind the building, De Ponce said, and firefighters pulled hose lines through adjacent stores at 922 and 924 State Street in order to quickly attack the fire.

Namaste, a clothing store, is at 922 and Rooms & Gardens, a furnishing business, is at 924.

Flames had begun extending into second-floor offices above the stores, but crews were able to keep them from the attic and roof areas, heading off what could have become a major fire.

Firefighters hose down the rear of a building in the 900 block of State Street in downtown Santa Barbara after a fire broke out early Saturday. (Urban Hikers photo)

“Had it continued into that space, it really would have done some significant damage to that building,” De Ponce said.

The storage space, which was destroyed, was filled with clothing and other items that were very flammable, De Ponce said.

Damage to the structure and contents was estimated at $150,000.

The building was unoccupied at the time of the fire, and no injuries were reported.

Cause of the fire remained under investigation Saturday.

There were reports of fireworks in the area shortly before the blaze, De Ponce said, but investigators think witnesses may actually have been seeing embers from the fire.

Electricity was shut off to several buildings in the area, and Southern California Edison crews were on scene Saturday working to restore power.

Traffic on State and Carrillo Street was restricted due to fire and utility vehicles, but De Ponce said crews hoped to be out of the way before the starts of Spirit of ’76 Parade, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. and run from Micheltorena Street down to Cota Street.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

State Street Fire in Santa Barbara from Noozhawk on Vimeo.


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Cuyama Crash Victim Flown to Santa Barbara Hospital

By | Published on 07/03/2015


A woman was airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital Friday night after being critically injured in a vehicle accident in the Cuyama Valley.

Emergency crews responded at about 9:20 p.m. to the crash on Highway 166 near Cottonwood Canyon Road, according to Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The vehicle went off the side of the road and started a small vegetation fire, Zaniboni said.

The female driver suffered major injuries, and was taken by Calstar medical helicopter to the hospital. Her name and details on her condition were not available.

The vegetation fire “was pretty much out” by the time firefighters arrived on scene, Zaniboni said.

Additional details were not available Friday night.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Santa Barbara Moving Forward on $12.1 Million Renovation of Cabrillo Pavilion/Bath House

By | Published on 07/03/2015


The city wants the 90-year-old facility to return to its status as 'the crown jewel' of Cabrillo Boulevard

The City of Santa Barbara is about to embark on a $1.5 million fundraising campaign to help pay $12.1 million for a new, state-of-the-art Cabrillo Arts Pavilion and Bath House.

Officials want to make improvements and upgrades to the 90-year-old building and return it to the "crown jewel" status it once enjoyed. 

"It's essentially the same, but a whole lot better," said Jill Zachary, assistant parks and recreation director, of the new building.

A year ago, the city estimated the cost of the overall project at $11 million. Zachary told Noozhawk that the exact cost is still unknown and as renovations plans develop, the city will refine the cost estimates. 

"There are a lot of factors involved including the refinement of the project design, cost of construction, and other considerations," Zachary said. "We will be revising the estimate again once the final plans and construction drawings are complete."

The city already has $9.1 million in previous redevelopment funds set aside for the job, and plans to spend $1.5 million out of its general fund over the next two fiscal years, if approved by the council. To reach the planned $12.1 million, the city plans to seek out state and local grants to fund the project. The building also needs to be brought up to modern Americans with Disabilities Act standards. 

The City Council earlier this week approved a $52,000 contract to a consultant to verify the city's plan to make the building Silver LEED certified, an environmental designation.

The city is also revamping the building with sea level rise in mind.

"It is becoming an increasing concern from coastal communities in general and Santa Barbara specifically," Zachary said. "We need to address potential vulnerability of the site today, in 2030, 2065 and 2100 from sea level rise and the frequency of coastal storm events and come up with a proposed approach for how we intend to adapt the site over time."

The city will seek a coastal development permit for the project and must prepare the sea level assessment report to comply with the city's Local Coastal Program and Climate Action Plan for the project. City officials also plan to share the findings of the report with the California Coastal Commission. 

Zachary said the city plans to waterproof the perimeter of the building and launch a beach profile monitoring study later this summer. It is likely, she said, that by 2065, crews will need to create a winter sand berm to protect the building. 

Renovation plans call for major changes inside and outside. The city plans to install an elevator, build a new, modern kitchen and renovate the main event room and restrooms. The outdoors showers will be renovated, along with the building's facade and beachfront promenade.

Inside, the city plans to make upgrades to the city's electrical, plumbing, communications and structural systems. 

Later this year, the city plans to start a restaurant tenant concession process to determine which businesses will operate at the facility. 

The proposal is expected to go before the Planning Commission in August for the Coastal Development Permit. 

The project will go before the City Council in October. If approved, the city will complete final design over the subsequent six months, embark on a business plan for restaurants and concessions, and then proceed with construction late depending on the success of the fundraising efforts. 

The city also planning to make major changes to the Cabrillo Ball Field across the street. The city has set about $713,000 for improvements to the site. 

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Housing Construction Booming at UCSB in Wake of Record-Breaking Applicant Pool

By | Published on 07/03/2015


The university's long-range development plan is to increase the number of students housed on campus, with one complex slated to open in the fall

UCSB announced earlier this week that more freshmen applied to the school than ever before in its history, and construction is ongoing as the university works to build housing for many of those students.

Part of the university's long-range development plan is to increase the number of students housed on campus over the next decade. To do that, a flurry of construction is taking place, with one complex on track to open to students next school year.

UCSB spokesman George Foulsham said that one of the projects, the Sierra Madre housing complex, is "moving along nicely" and that move-in is still scheduled for September.

That housing project is located at Storke Road near UCSB's West Campus Apartments and will provide housing for 515 students.  

Last summer, a fire broke out on the property, damaging some the framing of the complex as well as a construction trailer and an abandoned building from the former Ocean Meadows Golf Course. The project is on track to be completed in the fall, however.

The project will contain 115 apartments, with double occupancy 3-bedroom, 2-bedroom and single rooms. Thirty-six remaining units will be leased to UCSB faculty and staff families.

The complex will also have a central common areas for study as well as administrative offices, recreation and fitness rooms, and a market.

Currently, four of the six residential buildings have all of the windows, siding and stucco completed, and work is beginning on the other two.

A larger project that will house more than 1,000 students is also under way near the Santa Catalina Residence Halls at Storke and El Colegio roads.

The San Joaquin Apartments and Portola Dining Commons project started in early January, and would provide 178 apartments for 1,003 students, live-in staff as well as four faculty-in-residence apartments.

Four villages of three-story apartments and community buildings are slated for the empty parking lot to the north, as well as two six-story towers along Storke Road.

A central plaza will unite the buildings, and dining commons will rebuilt along El Colegio Road.

Concrete was poured last month for the six-story tower on the corner of Storke Road, and the university said that residential facilities will start taking shape this summer.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Emergency Permit Issued to Energy Company to Contain Onshore Orcutt Oil Seep

By | Published on 07/03/2015


Santa Barbara County supervisors will be briefed Tuesday on an emergency permit given last month to an Orcutt oil production facility after containment measures were needed for an oil seep in the area.

The Pacific Coast Energy Company operates 96 oil wells two miles south of Orcutt, near Santa Maria, that use cyclic steam injection to extract oil from sandstone formations in the area.

The company also operates an oil and gas processing and separation facility.

A county board letter stated that the project site has historically had many oil seeps, and that the shallow sandstone contains considerable heavy oil which can create seeps that reach the ground's surface. 

If the seeps are not contained, they can cause considerable environmental damage, according to the county. 

On May 29, the company discovered an oil seep at its Orcutt Hill property and the county gave verbal authorization two days later for the company to install a seep can to contain the oil.

An emergency permit was issued two weeks later, and notice was mailed to surrounding property owners. A company representative could not immediately be reached for comment.

The company is required to immediately respond to any seeps, and does this by installing the seep can, which is made of corrugated metal pipe about two feet across, which is inserted into the ground to collect the seeping oil. 

Santa Barbara County recently issued an emergency permit for another seep can to contain onshore oil seepage at the Orcutt Hill facility. (Pacific Coast Energy Company photo)

Oil that is collected is pumped out with a vacuum truck or taken to an existing producing well.

In the last seven years, 97 seep cans have been installed at the site via emergency permits from the county. About half of them are still actively collecting oil.  

The seeps seem to be occurring less frequently as time goes on, county documents state.

One reason for that could be the company developing practices with oversight by the California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, or DOGGR, 

"Further, in order to promote early detection of future seeps, PCEC has in place an electronic ground monitoring system and conducts frequent inspections of the project area," county documents state. 

Glenn Russell, director of the county's planning and development department, said the company is not using hydraulic fracking, but uses steam injection to heat up sub-surface oil so it can be extracted from the ground.

"Seeps can be natural, but it's likely that shallow steaming is enhancing the seeps," Russell said. 

"This is nothing new," he said, saying the frequency of the seeps has slowed.

Pacific Coast Energy Company's Orcutt Hill facility is under review to expand the operation and add more wells, according to the county. (Pacific Coast Energy Company photo)

Russell said he wasn't sure how big the latest seep was. County documents do not list a gallon amount but say that 180 square-feet of vegetation was removed in the process.

"They vary in size — some are very small, and some are larger," he said.

The fact that the seep was noticed 10 days after the Refugio Oil Spill was "completely unrelated," Russell said.

Since the permit has already been issued, Tuesday's item will be a report to the Board of Supervisors, not a decision-making item.

The company is currently pursuing a permit for an expansion of its operation, and is seeking to install more wells, Russell said. That project is currently under review, including an environmental impact report. 

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Over Chumash Casino Expansion

By | Published on 07/03/2015


A U.S. District Court judge has thrown out the lawsuit filed by a Santa Ynez Valley group that sought to prevent the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians from expanding the casino on its reservation.

Judge R. Gary Klausner granted the tribe’s request to dismiss the case on Thursday, saying the court did not have jurisdiction because of tribal sovereign immunity, and due to a failure by Save the Valley LLC to show a necessary and indispensable party.

Santa Barbara attorney Matthew Clarke of Christman, Kelley & Clarke, PC filed the lawsuit on behalf of Save the Valley on April 3, requesting a permanent injunction for construction at the Chumash Casino Resort, located on the tribe’s federally recognized reservation at 3400 E. Highway 246 in Santa Ynez.

The Chumash tribe has begun work to add 215 hotel rooms, 584 parking spaces, gaming floor space and other improvements to ease overcrowding at the 190,000-square-foot complex.

The existing hotel has 106 guest rooms and 17 luxury suites.

Save the Valley and other reservation neighbors — along with the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors — have shared concerns about the project's impact to air quality, aesthetics, water supply, law-enforcement resources and more.

Because the tribe doesn’t have to adhere to the county planning process, however, tribal leaders were able to self-certify the project’s environmental evaluation last fall, including refutes to concerns and some concessions — like buying a taller ladder truck so fire crews can get to a new 12-story tower.

The Chumash also will fund more firefighting support and renewed a contract to pay the salaries of some Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies.

The expansion is expected to be completed in 2016, according to Tribal Chairman Vincent Armenta, who was named in the lawsuit along with the tribe and four tribal business committee members.

The judge concluded that sovereign immunity extended to tribal officers as well, dismissing a case seeking declaratory judgment.

“This was yet another frivolous lawsuit brought on by the local tribal opponents,” Armenta said in a statement. “Unfortunately, a small group of anti-tribal folks in the community have made it their mission in life to oppose our tribe on everything we do.

“The Save the Valley lawsuit was based on an intentional misreading of the 1935 deed to the U.S. Government, which specifically says the property that the tribe occupies is deeded for the purpose of an ‘Indian Reservation.’

"Tribal opponents have continually claimed that the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians is not a tribe and the Santa Ynez Reservation is not a reservation. However, significant historical documentation exists to prove otherwise.”

A Santa Maria judge dismissed another Save the Valley lawsuit in late 2014 for the same reason.

That suit accused the Chumash of violating the state’s Williamson Act because the tribe hadn’t yet signed a contract to enjoy tax breaks on the Camp 4 property the tribe is trying to place into federal trust.

In the most recent complaint, Save the Valley argued that the Catholic Church originally owned the reservation land, and that the tribe and government had no right to it. It also alleges the expansion violates state and local ordinances already governing the parcel.

Clarke lamented that the judge didn’t apply a state law that would allow a court to decide property rights of Indian tribes in spite of sovereignty.

“The Chumash have escaped reaching the merits of the federal lawsuit filed by Save the Valley, LLC, based on their claim of tribal sovereign immunity,” he said in a statement. “The Court did not decide the critical question raised by the lawsuit — was a Federal Indian Reservation ever established in Santa Ynez?

"In discussing the facts, the federal court did not agree with the Chumash that the land became a reservation in 1906, but agreed with Save the Valley about a 1906 legal restriction to ‘domestic use.’ Domestic use, of course, means household or family use, not commercial.

"This restriction obviously prohibits a 12-story casino and hotel, and explains why the Chumash want to avoid the real issues. To this day, the Chumash can produce no document showing the creation of their reservation. The public should challenge the Chumash to produce such a document.  

 “Save the Valley, LLC is resolved to reach the merits of the dispute with the Chumash.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Judy Crowell: 9/11 Memorial Serves as a Reflection of the Spirit of America

By | Published on 07/03/2015


The New York City shrine is both serene and gut-wrenching, and should be experienced by all

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Every American should visit the 9/11 Memorial, this hallowed ground, this remembrance of unbearable sorrow, haunting bravery and the indomitable spirit of our country.

It's a tall order to capture in a monument of this magnitude, but Israeli architects Michael Arad and Peter Walker, among 5,201 entrants from 63 countries, did just that, winning the design competition in 2004. Twin pools, each about an acre in size, are set 30 feet deep in the “footprints” of the downed towers. Enormous waterfalls, ringed by bronze railing upon which the names of every victim is inscribed, fall into nothingness, symbolizing the loss of life.

It is called “Reflecting Absence,” and coming upon it, one is staggered at its significance. Each name has a story. Alejandro Castano was 35 years old and making a delivery to a brokerage firm on the 97th floor of the South Tower. He is one of 2,983 innocent victims. Dedicated on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, the memorial opened to the public on Sept. 12, 2011.

The museum dedication took place on May 14, 2014, and opened on May 21, 2014. Within three months, more than 1 million visitors had been through its doors. I highly recommend ordering tickets online and trying for the earliest time in the morning when crowds are lighter.

Coming upon the “Victims’ Quilt” is just one of many exhibits at which you’ll want to linger. Designed by Wisconsin quilt maker Connie Daniel and completed by hundreds of people across America, this 60-foot-long quilt is a stunning tribute to the victims and heroes of that infamous day. Around the corner you’ll come upon pictures of all the victims along with recordings of survivors and first responders, a cavernous hall of people of every walk of life and nationality.

The “Survivor Stairs,” which carried many to safety, was the first artifact to be moved into the museum. Clearly marked with warnings is the section set aside for the fate of the “jumpers,” those who chose to die jumping from top floors. Rescue workers have created a monument of art with inscriptions and mementoes placed on the 36-foot-tall column, the last column to be removed from the South Tower and fittingly called "The Last Column."

The smashed and twisted front of the fire engine from Ladder Company #3 is a knee-buckling reminder of the crew of 11 who helped so many people escape from the North Tower. All 11 crew members paid the ultimate price.

For me, one of the most evocative exhibits was created by artist Spencer Finch, titled “Trying to remember the color of the sky on that September morning.” There are 2,983 square tiles, one for each victim and each in a different shade of blue, and can be seen from many vantage points of the underground museum. Forged in steel, the quote from Virgil, “No day shall erase you from the memory of time,” speaks volumes and instills in all who come the vow never to forget.

It is a shrine of awe, vastness, serenity and gut-wrenching sights. It should be experienced by all. In the Victims’ Quilt is a poem by Marigrace Iodice titled, “The Day My Lady Cried”:

“I saw My Lady, her torch held high, watching planes fall from the sky.
Miles away a terrorist attack, clutching her heart, holding her plaque.
Her world ripped apart, her heart also stopped.
She saw her children fall and die. This day I saw My Lady cry.”

— Judy Crowell is a Noozhawk contributing writer, author, freelance travel writer and Santa Barbara resident. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The opinions expressed are her own.


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Letter to the Editor: Be Proud to Fly the American Flag

By | Published on 07/03/2015


How do we show our love for America on July 4? One way is to fly the American flag.

Then, too, Americans need to stand up for what is right and not let anyone take it away.

Don't be ashamed of our country or our flag. Government is the problem. Enough is enough.

We need to fight, protect and defend our traditions and our way of life.

Fly the flag and love our country on Saturday.

Don Thorn


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Captain’s Log: Fishing Ban Lifted, Seafood Deemed Safe in Wake of Refugio Oil Spill

By | Published on 07/03/2015


We needed some good news, and we got some great news. The California Department of Fish & Wildlife lifted the post-Refugio oil spill emergency fishing closure in Santa Barbara County on Monday, following official notification from the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment that there is no longer a human health threat present in finfish and shellfish from oil chemicals in the incident.

Now we can get back to fishing, both recreationally and commercially in the 138-square-mile area from Canada de Alegeria (between Gaviota and Hollister Ranch) at the western edge to near Coal Oil Point at the eastern edge. Marine protected areas in this area remain in effect, but the rest of the area is again open to fishing.

“We are so glad to announce some good news that is a step towards recovering from this tragic oil spill,” said Charlton Bonham, CDFW director. “Fishing may resume!”

It was quite a process that our agencies went through to determine that our seafood is safe. Scientists from OEHHA and CDFW, with the assistance of local commercial fishermen, collected a broader range of finfish, shellfish, kelp and invertebrates to evaluate the exposure of these fisheries to oil chemicals. Finfish species sampled included sand dab, barred surf perch, kelp rockfish, black and yellow rockfish, vermillion rockfish, bocaccio rockfish, grass rockfish and mackerel. Invertebrates sampled included red sea urchin, mussels, warty sea cucumber, giant red cucumber, brown rock crab, yellow rock crab, sheep crab, ridgeback prawn and spiny lobster.

OEHHA worked with laboratories to turn sample results around as quickly as possible. Recreational angling and commercial fishing leadership in the Santa Barbara area asked CDFW for the broader sampling and faster turnaround on results.

“Getting sustainable Santa Barbara seafood back in the market was important,” said Thomas Cullen, administrator for the Office of Spill Prevention and Response. “Combined with the reopening of El Capitan State Beach, this is great news for the Santa Barbara area.”

While fishing may resume, OEHHA reminds the public that the annual quarantine of sport-harvesting mussels is currently in effect to protect the public from paralytic shellfish poisoning and domoic acid poisoning. This is an annual closure, having nothing to do with the oil spill, but the timing this year is beneficial.

Ending the emergency fishing closure is timed well, and the angling public appreciates the diligent and rapid work by our agencies to make sure our seafood is safe and to get that huge area open to us. Squid spawns are occurring and the quality of fishing in that area is so good that there are few California coastal areas that can compete.

For one thing, fisherfolk who target truly big white seabass prefer this area to spots at the Channel Islands. That happy situation is due to the white seabass hatchery/rearing/releasing program that anglers supported for so many years. Many of those fish are now big adults and they grew up on the coast so they stay on the coast. Other fishing options in that area include halibut, yellowtail, lingcod and rockfish. Surf fishers like that area for halibut, surf perch, cabezon and rockfish.

We needed this emergency closure to end before our busy fishing season ended.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Art Garfunkel Spends an ‘Intimate Evening at the Lobero’

By | Published on 07/03/2015


Simon & Garfunkel created some of the soundtrack of my childhood. I only found out at the last minute that Art Garfunkel was going to give an "Intimate Evening at the Lobero" on June 20 in Santa Barbara, and I was thrilled to get the last VIP seat.

He sat in a narrow spotlight in almost total darkness.

I had seen in the news lately that the two had traded barbs publicly, so I was happy that Garfunkel said only kind words about his creative musical partner, Paul Simon.

Garfunkel had lost his voice several years ago, but seemed to be mostly recovered.

I realized in listening to his performance that I must not be as big of a fan as I had thought. I recognized a few big hits, but many others were unfamiliar and some I have to say I was not so fond of. He seems to be in a sentimental and somewhat religious stage of life.

But it was certainly worth it to hear the songs I loved and to hear some of his "intimate" patter with us.

He had taken the time to write an imaginary letter to his younger self. His main message: Be kind and value love.

Here are some of the songs he played:

» April Come She Will
» The Boxer
» Perfect Moment
» A Heart in New York
» A Poem on the Underground Wall
» Scarborough Fair (including a verse about scarlet battalions that I didn't remember)
» Homeward Bound
» 99 Miles from LA (he noted he was singing this about 99 miles from LA)
» Real Emotional Girl (by Randy Newman, who he says is one of his favorite musicians)
» For Emily
» Sound of Silence
» Kathy's Song
» Bridge Over Troubled Water

Robert Bernstein, a local photographer and frequent Noozhawk contributor, is a member of the Sierra Club Santa Barbara Group executive committee. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Client Adviser Geoff Gaggs Marks 15 Years at Mission Wealth

By | Published on 07/03/2015


Geoff Gaggs

Mission Wealth is proud to announce that client adviser Geoff Gaggs is celebrating his 15th year with the firm in July.

Gaggs, who is a principal with Mission Wealth, has been with the company since 2000. Mission Wealth was formed in February 2000.

A native of Santa Barbara, Gaggs has contributed his skill, energy and loyalty to the company over the years as it has become a nationally recognized firm that manages over $1.3 billion in assets for hundreds of clients across the nation.

Mission Wealth CEO and co-founder Seth Streeter said, “Geoff’s dedication to his clients and the firm has been an anchor to Mission Wealth’s continued success.”

Gaggs earned a bachelor of science degree in business finance from California State University-Northridge. In 1999, he earned his CFP designation and in 2005 completed a master of science degree in financial planning with honors.

Over the years, Gaggs has contributed to the firm’s Investment and Executive Committees, well as being a past member and board member of the Estate Planning Council of Ventura County and Toastmasters International.

Gaggs has also been quoted in various publications such as Money Magazine and has been seen on ABC affiliate KEYT Television.

Gaggs presently lives in Ventura with his wife and two sons and loves being an active dad by helping as a volunteer coach and playing any sport under the sun with his family.

— Renee Hennessee is a marketing coordinator for Mission Wealth.


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Goleta Education Foundation Lemon Run on Track to Return Sept. 20

By | Published on 07/03/2015


The Goleta Education Foundation’s race is on Sunday, Sept. 20.

The Goleta Education Foundation Lemon Run has more choices for runners and walkers this year, including competitive 10k and 5k races and a kids 1k race. Runners and walkers will start and finish at Goleta Beach, and will travel along the Obern Trail.

Log on to to register for the race.

Runners are encouraged to wear their corporate, school or club T-shirts to highlight your participation and support of Goleta Education Foundation and your pride in Goleta!

This event will attract both serious and casual runners and walkers. The Goleta Education Foundation Lemon Run is the first event of Lemon Locals week in Goleta. This week of activities is designed to show pride in Goleta — and the quality of life residents, businesses and students in the Goleta Valley enjoy — and will kick off with the Goleta Education Foundation Lemon Run and end with the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce’s Lemon Festival.

Proceeds from the Goleta Education Foundation Lemon Run will benefit the elementary students in the nine schools in the Goleta Valley.

Click here for more information about the Goleta Education Foundation, Lemon Run sponsorship and details.

This is the 10th year the race has been held in Goleta. After a one-year hiatus, the Board of Directors is happy to have the race back for fun, competition and support for Goleta Union School District students.

The Goleta Education Foundation is dedicated to engaging the community to invest in and enhance an excellent education for all students attending schools in the Goleta Union School District.

— Lisa Rivas is board president for the Goleta Education Foundation.


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Bill Macfadyen: Burton Mesa Brush Fire a Timely Reminder of Vulnerability

By | Published on 07/03/2015


NoozWeek’s Top 5 includes a wedding ring, a fire truck, purse snatching and Taco Bell. Meanwhile, puppy brutality ‘punishment’: Judge for yourself.

Happy Independence Day! If you’re Greek, go ahead and drop the “In.”

There were 94,896 people who read​ Noozhawk this past week. Here are your top stories:

1. Burton Mesa Fire Near Lompoc Held to 320 Acres

A brush fire that ignited near La Purisima Mission State Historic Park the afternoon of June 29 quickly grew to 320 acres before favorable weather conditions helped firefighters gain control.

The wildfire was fueled by heavy brush and oak forest in the Burton Mesa Ecological Preserve, roughly four miles northeast of Lompoc.

Of course, given California’s chronic drought and the fact that it’s summer, the entire state is a tinderbox waiting for a match.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation. In spite of persistent speculation, authorities say fireworks do not appear to be to blame.

Anyone with information about the blaze is asked to call the Santa Barbara County Fire Department tip line at 805.686.5074.

Although as many as 1,200 structures were threatened in the vicinity of Cebada Canyon, none was burned. And within about 36 hours of the fire’s start, all evacuations had been lifted and roads were reopened.

One firefighter was hospitalized with a leg injury, according to fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.​

At the blaze’s peak, about 600 firefighters were involved in the battle. Initial firefighting costs were north of $650,000, Zaniboni told our Janene Scully.

Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.

2. Woman’s Lost Wedding Ring Found on UCSB Campus​

We know Noozhawk readers are the best. Now, a Half Moon Bay woman knows it, too.

A lost-and-found ring sparkles brightest. (Applewhite family photo)
A lost-and-found ring sparkles brightest. (Applewhite family photo)

Juliette Applewhite was in town a couple of weeks ago for her daughter’s graduation from UC Santa Barbara. Somewhere during her visit, she lost her wedding ring.

Despondent, she contacted Noozhawk for help. News editor Giana Magnoli proposed an article to our reporters, and Gina Potthoff said “I do.” Her actual words were “I’ll do it,” but I’m telling the story.

On June 24, we posted Gina’s report about the missing white gold band lined with diamonds and sapphires, the ring Applewhite’s husband proposed to her with 30 years ago.

Almost immediately, several of our readers contacted Applewhite and volunteered to help with her search from here.

Two days later, however, she got a call she never really expected to receive.

On the phone was Cara O’Callaghan, a UCSB Recreation Center employee who had read Gina’s story and then happened upon the ring in a campus parking lot.

“She’s amazing,” Applewhite told Gina. “She’s my new best friend.”

O’Callaghan refused the $5,000 reward that had been posted.

“She didn’t want the money,” an incredulous Applewhite said. “She even offered to ship it.”​

Applewhite said she would do something special for O’Callaghan regardless.

And so will Noozhawk: Cara, when you read this, please email me at [email protected] so we can treat you to dinner.

Thank you for making Santa Barbara — and Noozhawk readers — look good.

Bad Fortune, meet Good Fortune. (Jon Shafer photo)
Bad Fortune, meet Good Fortune. (Jon Shafer photo)

3. Driver Hits Fire Engine After Suffering Heart Attack Near La Cumbre Plaza

A Santa Barbara motorist tooling around in his Porsche convertible took a turn for the worse the morning of June 27, plowing his car into a Santa Barbara County fire truck. The collision may have saved his life.

According to Santa Barbara Fire Battalion Chief Mike De Ponce, the Porsche driver apparently suffered a heart attack as he was turning west onto State Street from northbound Hope Avenue near La Cumbre Plaza.

The man passed out and his car drove head-on into a sedan waiting to turn north onto Hope from eastbound State, then hit the fire truck, which also was waiting at the light.

Fortunately for the driver, the fire truck was loaded with people trained for just such emergencies. They sprang into action.

After the county firefighters stabilized him, the man was taken by American Medical Response ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. His identity and details about his condition were not disclosed.

There were no other injuries in the crash, which is under investigation by Santa Barbara police.

Attention, shoppers: These are bad eggs. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)
Attention, shoppers: These are bad eggs. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

4. Public’s Help Sought Identifying Theft Suspects Who Targeted, Distracted Elderly Victims

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department is warning that brazen grifters are driving local shoppers to distraction. So let you buyers beware.

According to sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover, Ralphs grocery store surveillance video shows two suspects entering the market at 5170 Hollister Ave. in Goleta’s​ Magnolia Shopping Center, on the afternoon of June 22.

Once inside, she said, they trolled the aisles until they made their mark, a 77-year-old woman whose purse was sitting on top of her shopping cart. As one of the suspects, both women, engaged the shopper in conversation, her companion lifted her wallet from the purse, Hoover said.

Two miles away and 20 minutes later, Hoover said, a third suspect was caught on video at Walgreens, 5900 Calle Real, using the victim’s credit card. She said the woman was able to buy a $500 gift card and some other items before a second similar purchase was declined.

All three suspects got away.

An additional investigation is under way in two separate distraction cases, both involving a Hispanic man who allegedly stole purses after using a water bottle ruse to distract his victims — both women, one 82 and the other 78.

Authorities are investigating the crimes of burglary, grand theft person, conspiracy and credit card fraud. Anyone with information is asked to call detectives at 805.681.4101​.​

Live Más, pero ​todavía no. (VMI Architecture rendering)
Live Más, pero ​todavía no. (VMI Architecture rendering)

5. Taco Bell Runs Into Goleta Challenge as Design Board Puts Off Approval of New Plan

The Taco Bell at 140 N. Fairview Ave. in Goleta is about as nondescript a building as I can come up with. I know this because, as often as I’ve driven up and down the street, I’ve never noticed it. I guess I always look west.

Apparently I’m not the only one.

“If you took away the Taco Bell sign you probably wouldn’t even know it was a Taco Bell,” admitted Hugh Murphy, president, CEO and principal architect of VMI Architecture in San Rafael.

Oh, wait. He’s actually talking about the rendering of the new Taco Bell building planned for the site. Now I’m even more confused.

Apparently I’m not the only one.

As our Josh Molina first reported, the property owner wants to demolish the current building and replace it with a taller, bulkier structure on a slightly smaller footprint.

The parking lot also would be reconfigured to move away from the angled spaces that give the appearance of a one-way entrance instead of an entrance and an exit. 

The proposal failed to impress the city’s Design Review Committee, however. With committee chairman Carl Schneider abstaining, the six other panel members voted to postpone for a month.

“As a whole, I am not a big fan of the architecture,” Schneider said. “I am certainly not against tearing the existing one down and rebuilding it.”

                                                                 •        •        •

Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week, from my peripatetic tour of the World Wide Web: When Was the Fourth of July First Celebrated? Not a trick question.​

                                                                 •        •        •

Earlier this week, Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Brian Hill sentenced Duanying Chen, 20, of Santa Barbara, in a heinous case of felony animal cruelty and human assault.

Over the objections of the District Attorney’s Office, which argued for ... actual punishment, Hill sent the smug sadist off to the county kennel for only 365 days — just about the least he could do that didn’t involve a pat on the head, a belly rub and some scratching behind Chen’s ears.

I share the revulsion that many of you have.

Chen’s four-legged victim, a defenseless, 5-month-old Doberman pinscher puppy that suffered unimaginable torture, could not be saved and had to be euthanized.

Occasionally, however, acts of such depravity don’t end so tragically. HT to my friend, Deborah Barnes, for sharing this timely video. Tissues recommended.

(Hope for Paws 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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Harry McMahon, Gamble Parks Join Cottage Health System Board

By | Published on 07/03/2015


Harry McMahon

Gamble Parks

Gamble Parks and Harry McMahon have joined the volunteer Board of Directors of Cottage Health System.

Parks is an attorney specializing in estate planning and administration with Fell, Marking, Abkin, Montgomery, Granet & Raney LLP in Santa Barbara.

Born in Charlotte, N.C., Parks earned her bachelor of arts degree as well as her juris doctor degree from Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.

Parks also serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) and serves on the Board of Directors for the Music Academy of the West, Dog Adoption & Welfare Group (DAWG) and Santa Barbara Hospice Foundation.

She and her husband, Gary Douville, have one son.

McMahon is the former executive vice chairman of Bank of America Merrill Lynch and served on the Global Corporate & Investment Banking Leadership Committee. He was with   Merrill Lynch since 1983.

He received his bachelor of arts degree from Claremont McKenna College and his MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

McMahon also serves as chairman of the Board of Trustees for Claremont McKenna College, and serves on the Board of Advisors of the Henry R. Kravis Leadership Institute.

He and his wife, Jacquie, have four children.

— Maria Zate is a spokeswoman for Cottage Health System.


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Lompoc Woman Killed, 8-Year-Old Girl Severely Injured in Highway 1 Crash

By | Published on 07/03/2015


Driver Manuel Santos of Lompoc, who suffered major injuries, arrested on DUI, manslaughter charges

The July 4 holiday weekend got off to a grim start early Friday when a 22-year-old Lompoc woman was killed and an 8-year-old girl was critically injured in a suspected DUI collision on Highway 1 south of Lompoc.

Three other people were seriously hurt in the crash, which occurred at about 1:20 a.m. on Highway 1 at Jalama Road, according to Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The accident occurred when a 2005 Toyota Corolla that was northbound on Highway 1 drifted off the right side of the roadway, where it struck an asphalt drainage culvert, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The Corolla continued along the dirt shoulder and struck a large bolder, which caused it to become airborne and slam into a power pole, the CHP said.

The Corolla then spun back into the traffic lanes, where is was struck by a 1997 Toyota Avalon that also was northbound on Highway 1.

The 22-year-old Lompoc woman, whose name was withheld pending notification of relatives, was sitting in the Corolla's front passenger seat, and suffered blunt-force injuries, the CHP said.

She was declared dead at the scene.

The young girl, who was sitting in the right rear seat, was not wearing a seatbelt, and suffered major injuries when she was ejected from the vehicle, the CHP said.

Her injuries were considered to be life-threatening, the CHP said, but her name and details on her injuries were not available.

The Corolla's driver, Manuel Santos, 29, of Lompoc, suffered major injuries, and was taken by AMR ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, the CHP said.

Santos also allegedly was drunk, and was arrested on suspicion of felony DUI and vehicular manslaughter, and will be booked into Santa Barbara County Jail once he is released from the hospital, the CHP said.

The driver of the Avalon, Matthew Woodman, 23, of Lompoc, and his passenger, Mia Rodierda-Wallo, 20, of Lompoc, sustained moderate injuries, and were taken by ambulance to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria.

Highway 1 was closed in both directions for a time, but subsequently reopened with lane controls by the CHP, which was investigating the accident.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board Has a New Name

By | Published on 07/03/2015


Beginning Wednesday, and in accordance with federal law, the Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board has a new name: the Santa Barbara County Workforce Development Board.

This change is brought about because July 1 was the implementation date for the new Federal Workforce Innovation & Opportunities Act, which replaces the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

The new WIOA in part creates new membership guidelines for the local countywide workforce board that must partner with the county Board of Supervisors in the local implementation and administration of the national, publicly-funded workforce system.

“Although the official implementation date is July 1, 2015,” said Raymond McDonald, the Workforce Board executive director, “the federal timeline allows for various implementation benchmarks over the next 18 to 24 months, with complete implementation by July 1, 2017.”

Besides a new name, the federal legislation requires a smaller, more flexible workforce board — as well as enhanced participation by key industry sector leaders on the new board. The county Board of Supervisors is the appointing authority for Workforce Development Board members, following strict federal and state guidelines; and the initial appointments to the workforce board is anticipated in late July.

The County Executive Office is working with the Workforce Board executive director in overseeing the nomination and recommendation process.


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Autopsy Concludes Cody West’s Death in Goleta Culvert Was Accidental

By | Published on 07/02/2015


After a week-long search, body of 22-year-old was discovered May 1 under his car below Los Carneros Road

A 22-year-old Goleta man whose body was found underneath his car in a concrete culvert in May died in a freak accident, according to an autopsy report released Thursday by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

The body of Cody West, who had been the subject of an intensive week-long search, was discovered the morning of May 1 in the drainage culvert running underneath Los Carneros Road, between Highway 101 and Calle Real in Goleta.

Blunt-force injuries were listed as the cause of death in the coroner’s report, which indicates West suffered multiple injuries, including “severe head trauma.”

From the time he was found, there were questions about how West’s car, which showed signs of damage, ended up in the culvert with West pinned underneath.

The coroner’s report states that the accident occurred as West was attempting to push his 1999 Audi A4 Quatro sedan, which was off the street and above the culvert.

“He somehow placed himself behind the vehicle and was forced off the roadway, falling from the downward sloping greenbelt and landing in the bottom of the drainage canal,” according to the report.

West’s car left the roadway as well, falling into the culvert and landing on top of him, the report states.

“This conclusion was arrived at after careful consideration and review of the evidence at the scene,” the report said, adding that investigators had conducted several re-enactments.

The autopsy report does not indicate how the car came to be above the culvert.

After West disappeared, his family and friends organized a systematic search of where he might have gone after leaving a party near Lake Los Carneros on April 26.

The Sheriff’s Department assisted in the extensive, multiday hunt, and the county’s Air Support Unit helicopter had conducted aerial searches for several days, as well.

West’s car and body were discovered by a volunteer searcher.

Officials say West was last seen alive in the early morning hours of April 26, leaving a party on Avenida Gorrion east of Lake Los Carneros Park​, officials said. He was found about a mile away.

A toxicology report revealed that alcohol as well as prescription drugs and metabolites of cocaine were present in West’s bloodstream at the time of his death, but does not address whether the substances were a factor in the accident.

The report also details interviews conducted with both of West’s parents.

West’s father, David, told the investigator that his son had been seen last at 3:30 a.m. April 26, when he told friends he was going to take a cab or an Uber to get home.

“It is believed that the decedent drove away from the party in his vehicle,” the report states.

West’s mother also told investigators that her son had been in good spirits and was very excited about his newly purchased car, but that he had had some problems with the car’s clutch and had to pay $2,000 to have it repaired.

“She explained that he did not have a lot of experience driving the stick shift car,” the report states. “(Cody West) had owned the car approximately two weeks, and the car was in the shop for the majority of the time he owned it.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Driver Injured After Vehicle Lands in Ditch Along Harris Grade Road

By | Published on 07/02/2015


One person was injured Thursday evening after a single-vehicle accident on Harris Grade Road between the Santa Maria and Lompoc valleys.

The accident was reported at 6:20 p.m. near the first curve on Harris Grade Road after turning off Highway 135, according to emergency dispatch reports from the California Highway Patrol. 

A red Nissan sedan ended up in a ditch and reportedly was smoking. 

While the driver was able to get out of the vehicle, an ambulance was requested and CalStar was dispatched to the scene. 

Check back with Noozhawk for updates as they become available.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Santa Maria Man Arrested After Fleeing in Stolen Car

By | Published on 07/02/2015


Tyler Hugh Gentry

A Santa Maria man with a handgun was arrested after fleeing — first in a vehicle and later on foot — from officers Thursday afternoon.

Santa Maria police said they were called to the Holiday Motel at 605 S. Broadway regarding a report of a man with a gun, Sgt. Jesse Silva said.

Upon arriving, officers attempted to talk to a man sitting in the driver’s seat of a silver 2000 Honda sedan.

The man, Tyler Hugh Gentry, 19,  put the car in reverse and drove over a flower bed and concrete curb before fleeting north on Broadway, Silva added.

Officers attempted to catch up to Gentry, who later ran away from the vehicle in the 200 block of North McClelland Street, Silva added.

After setting up a perimeter, police searched and found Gentry a short time later. 

He had a .22-caliber handgun in his possession and officers learned he was driving a stolen vehicle, police said.

Gentry was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Falcon Rocket Mishap Delays SpaceX Launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base

By | Published on 07/02/2015


The Jason-3 satellite involves an international mission to monitor sea level

The planned Falcon 9 rocket launch scheduled from Vandenberg Air Force Base this summer is in limbo after another NASA mission ended in failure following liftoff from Florida.

The Jason-3 satellite to continue measurements of the height of the ocean surface had been scheduled for Aug. 8 from Space Launch Complex-4 on South Base.

However, another Space Exploration Technologies Corp. Falcon 9 rocket experienced a failure minutes after blastoff Sunday from Cape Canaveral.

“The unmanned SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch mishap to resupply the International Space Station has impacted the projected launch date for the Jason-3 mission,” National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said.

Jason-3 is the fourth in U.S.-European series of satellite missions that measure sea levels around the globe.

In addition to NASA, the global partnership includes the French space agency, Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT).

“While the incident review team looks into the cause of the mishap, NOAA and NASA are working with the European partners, CNES and EUMETSAT, to determine the next steps toward a new target launch date for Jason-3,” NASA officials said.

The Falcon rocket failure in Florida came 10 days after Jason-3 traveled from France to Vandenberg for final pre-launch preparations in anticipation of an Aug. 8 liftoff.

That trip had been delayed after engineers located contamination in one of the four thrusters on the spacecraft during testing, Jason-3 officials said. Crews replaced the problem thruster and conducted an investigation into how the contamination occurred. 

The contamination prompted officials to delay the launch from the once-planned July 22 departure. 

The Falcon rocket failure occurred during the Commercial Resupply Services 7 (CRS-7) mission to deliver cargo to the International Space Station.

“Following a nominal liftoff, Falcon 9 experienced a problem shortly before first stage shutdown, resulting in loss of mission,” SpaceX officials said in a written statement. “Preliminary analysis suggests the vehicle experienced an overpressure event in the upper stage liquid oxygen tank approximately 139 seconds into flight.” 

However, telemetry data indicated the first stage flight was normal and that the unmanned Dragon spacecraft remained healthy “for some period of time following separation,” SpaceX added.

While disappointed in the loss, NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said astronauts remain safe and have sufficient supplies.

“We will work closely with SpaceX to understand what happened, fix the problem and return to flight,” Bolden said. “The commercial cargo program was designed to accommodate loss of cargo vehicles. We will continue operation of the station in a safe and effective way as we continue to use it as our test bed for preparing for longer duration missions farther into the solar system.”

SpaceX has demonstrated “extraordinary capabilities” in its first six cargo resupply missions to the space station, Bolden said, expressing confidence in the company’s ability to replicate the success.

“We will work with and support SpaceX to assess what happened, understand the specifics of the failure and correct it to move forward,” Bolden added. “This is a reminder that spaceflight is an incredible challenge, but we learn from each success and each setback.”

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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More Travelers Expected to Hit Roadways, Skies for Fourth of July Weekend

By | Published on 07/02/2015


More people are expected to travel the roads and skies this Fourth of July weekend than since 2007.

The number of folks journeying from home over the long holiday weekend is expected to increase slightly — less than 1 percent — to 41.9 million nationwide, according to a Triple A traveler forecast.

Nearly 80 percent of Southern Californians will drive to their destinations, equating to 2.4 million people, the report said.

The Santa Barbara Airport is on the ready, however, since another 355,000 of those residents are expected to venture by air — an increase of 1.4 percent from 2014.

Passengers started departing for long weekend getaways on Wednesday, said airport director Hazel Johns, who expected most travelers to return to Santa Barbara on Monday or Tuesday.

Seattle and Portland are two popular destinations, Johns said, noting those Alaska Airlines flights were over 90 percent full, which is “very high.”

The boost could help the Santa Barbara Airport, which saw two airlines pull flights from its terminal during the past year.

“We’re closing the gap from the loss of Americans’ flights to L.A. and Frontier Airlines,” Johns said. “We’re still down overall.”

She encouraged passengers to leave fireworks at home and to arrive 90 minutes before departure to find parking, check luggage and go through security. Johns also plugged a new Thanks Again program, where passengers sign up for free and accrue points or dollars by flying out of Santa Barbara and several other airports.

Since so many Southern California residents are expected to drive to destinations over the Independence Day holiday, the California Highway Patrol and local law enforcement agencies will be out in full force to reduce roadway deaths and to prevent injuries.

An Independence Day Maximum Enforcement Period begins at 6 p.m. Friday and continues through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, according to the CHP.

All available officers will be deployed, targeting enforcement on occupant restraints, speed violations and those driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

According to CHP data, 32 people were killed statewide during Fourth of July weekend last year — 70 percent of those killed were not wearing a seatbelt — and more than 1,300 were arrested for DUI.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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George Runner: Attempts to Change California’s Proposition 13 Are Misguided

By | Published on 07/02/2015


There’s been no shortage of attempts in recent years in the state Legislature to overhaul Proposition 13 — California’s landmark initiative protecting homeowners and small-business owners from out-of-control property taxes.

George Runner
George Runner

Multiple bills have taken aim at the proposition, but the most popular among these bills pushes the so-called “split roll” property tax, which would eliminate Prop. 13 protections for job creators but leave them in place for homeowners. This split roll idea is especially favored by lawmakers who are eager to bring more money into state coffers.

Given that California has the highest poverty rate in the nation, it seems a bit out of touch, if not downright greedy, for lawmakers to focus on funding government instead of making sure there are economic opportunities for everyone.

A recent study from Pepperdine University shows that split roll would increase property taxes on businesses by an estimated $6 billion. But the same study also shows that split roll could trigger the loss of nearly 400,000 jobs and cost California’s economy a total of $71.8 billion in output within the first five years.

That $71.8 billion loss would cause some serious harm to our fragile economy. Companies seeking to grow and add new jobs need a stable tax base. Why re-impose such financial instability at such a volatile time for our state?

Supporters of split roll often point to the “lost revenue” they claim has been caused by Prop. 13. That’s a misleading argument. Yes, property taxes are a major source of state revenue, but Prop. 13 opponents won’t tell you that even with taxpayer protections, actual property tax revenue has grown steadily since voters approved Prop. 13 in 1978.

For the fiscal year of 2014-15, property taxes accounted for $52 billion in revenue. That’s up from $34.2 billion for the fiscal year of 2004-05. Prop. 13 is not starving government.

Opponents of Prop. 13 put too much focus on large corporations that maintain property in California. They say these corporations unduly benefit from Prop. 13’s protections. However, the simple truth of the matter is that if split roll were to pass, it’s the smaller businesses in your community that would be hit the hardest.

And despite public opinion polls that suggest there’s a willingness to tweak Prop. 13, a recent Public Policy Institute of California poll shows support has dwindled for making changes to the law. Today, 50 percent of likely voters say they favor split roll taxes, while 44 percent say they oppose. That’s down from 60 percent of likely voters in 2012.

Let’s not forget the reason why Prop. 13 passed in the first place: In the 1970s, county governments up and down the state routinely raised property tax rates, in many cases forcing families, especially those on fixed incomes, out of their homes. Left with no other alternative, Californians overwhelmingly passed Prop 13.

There is a valid point to be made for closing a loophole related to Proposition 13. Today, a few bad actors purposefully manipulate the change of ownership paperwork when buying and selling properties in order to escape property tax reassessments. I’m open to closing that loophole, and so is the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association.

But there’s no reason to gut Prop. 13’s tax protections for homeowners and businesses alike, and usher in massive, job-killing property tax increases. It’s clear that most Californians agree.

The business owners and homeowners I hear from every day want, and deserve, stability and certainty in our tax code. Given their contributions to California’s economy, that’s the least we can do.

George Runner represents more than 9 million Californians as a taxpayer advocate and elected member of the California Board of Equalization. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Goleta City Leaders Making the Move to Protect, Identify Historic Buildings

By | Published on 07/02/2015


More than a decade after becoming a city, Goleta plans to create a Historic Preservation Ordinance and appoint a Historic Landmarks Commission

Thirteen years after Goleta became a city, the City Council wants to create a Historic Preservation Ordinance to protect old buildings and appoint a Historic Landmarks Commission. 

Goleta currently has a list of Santa Barbara County-designated landmarks, but it lacks any formal process for designating new properties, or enforcement measures to stop builders from altering any of the county-designated landmarks.

With development projects happening on seemingly every street corner and developers building restaurants, hotels and apartments at a rapid-fire pace, Goleta is looking to get a historic preservation ordinance on the books to catch up with the flurry of change swarming the city. 

"I am real concerned if someone comes in with a demolition permit because I have a feeling it will be authorized and it would be gone and that will be a mistake," Councilman Michael Bennett said.

The Goleta City Council tackled the subject at this week's meeting and voted 4-0, with Jim Farr absent, to direct its ordinance committee to develop a Historic Preservation Ordinance.

Bennett initially wanted Goleta to adopt the county's historic preservation ordinance so that Goleta would have something in place immediately. He noted that Goleta still doesn't have a zoning ordinance on the books.

"We don't move quickly," Bennett said. "I wish to move quickly."

But other council members, and Planning Director Jennifer Carman, wanted to start from zero.

"I have waited too long for this and I don't want to just throw some ordinance in that hasn't been reviewed by our staff or legal counsel," Councilman Roger Aceves said. "We need to adopt one that works for Goleta and we ought to do it right."

Goleta has a list of 46 "historic resources." Places on the list include The Timbers Restaurant Building, built in the 1940s; Stow House, built in 1872; Goleta Valley Community Center, built in 1927; Goleta Bakery, built in 1932; and Santa Cruz Market, formerly an airplane hangar, built in 1939.

Any building over 50 years old is considered a potentially historic building. 

Councilman Tony Vallejo said the city needs to move fast because "people are doing things," especially in Old Town Goleta.

"I am concerned about work being done to historic structures," Vallejo said. 

Council members and staff weren't on the same page for creating a commission to review historic processes. 

"The commission idea, I would fear after the ordinance is in place, they would meet very rarely," Carman said. "I wouldn't want to see, and maybe I am just thinking this out too far, we're planners, that's what we do, a frustrated commission that doesn't have enough to do."

Members of the council disagreed. 

"I think the commission is an important part of it," Mayor Paula Perotte said. 

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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California National Organization for Women Backs Schneider for Congress

By | Published on 07/02/2015


On the heels of earning a formidable endorsement from Feminist Majority Executive Director Katherine Spillar earlier this week, on Thursday National Organization for Women (NOW) California Chapter President Patricia Bellasalma endorsed Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider for California’s 24th Congressional District seat.

In announcing her support, Bellasalma released the following statement:

“I am pleased to endorse Helene Schneider for Congress. As a leader in the gender equity movement, I am confident that Helene will be a force in Washington on behalf of all women and girls. Through her work at Planned Parenthood and on the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee, Helene has demonstrated her commitment to important causes like equal pay for equal work, choice, and a range of other women’s equity issues. She has my enthusiastic support.”

Responding to news of the endorsement, Schneider stated:

“It’s a real honor to have the support of California NOW President Patricia Bellasalma. She’s been a tireless advocate for the feminist movement, gender equity, and protecting the rights of women and girls both in California and throughout our nation. I am excited to be partnering closely with her in my campaign and beyond.”

Earlier this week, Spillar released the following statement:

“In the most advanced nation on the planet, it's unfathomable that our U.S. Congress is comprised of a mere 19 percent women. Not only do we need more women in office, but we need more experienced, battle tested, visionary and highly capable women. That's precisely why I'm endorsing Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider for Congressional District 24. As mayor and as a local leader in the women's right's movement, she's built up a long record of advocacy and deliverables for her constituents. I know she'll make an outstanding representative in Congress.”

Additionally, Schneider has earned the backing of several local women leaders, including the following Past Presidents of the Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee:

» Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee Past President Sharon Hoshida

» Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee Past President Lois Phillips

» Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee Past President Alissa Hummer

» Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee Past President and City of Goleta Mayor Margaret Connell (retired)

» Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee Past President Jane Gray

Schneider’s campaign has been amassing a wide-ranging list of significant supporters from women, education, environmental, gun violence prevention, LGBTQ, working people, and small business leaders as well as local elected officials and key organizations, including the following:

» Women’s Political Committee

» League of Humane Voters California Chapter

» Congresswoman Diane Watson (retired)

» CALIFORNIA LIST founder and President Bettina Duval

» California Board of Equalization Chairman Jerome Horton

» California State Assemblyman Richard Bloom, former CA Coastal Commissioner

» City of Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann

» City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte

» Hope School District Board of Trustees Member Kristi Newton

» City of Santa Barbara City Council Member Harwood "Bendy" White

» City of Ventura City Council Member Carl E. Morehouse

» Santa Barbara Unified School District Board President H. Edward Heron 

» Environmental Defense Center Founder Marc McGinnes

» Central Coast Water Quality Control Board Member (retired) and Santa Barbara City Planning Commissioner Michael Jordan

» Santa Barbara City Housing Authority Commissioner (retired) and board member with Coalition Against Gun Violence Christine Silverstein

» Santa Barbara City Housing Authority Commissioner Catherine Woodford

» Santa Barbara City Housing Authority Commissioner Don Olsen

» Santa Barbara City Council Member Grant House (retired)

» Founder of The Key Class John Daly

» Santa Barbara City Planning Commissioner Bruce Bartlett (retired)

» Santa Barbara City Parks & Recreation Commissioner Lesley Wiscomb

» Pacific Pride Foundation former Executive Director David Selberg

» Small-business owner: Studio One Hair Designs, LGBTQ advocate Robert Johns

» LGBTQ community activist Steve Warner

» LGBTQ supporter and owner of Jill’s Place, Jill Shalhoob

» International Union of Operating Engineers (I.U.O.E.) Local 501

» International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 36

» International Association of Heat & Frost Insulators, Fire Stoppers and Allied Workers Local 5

Schneider was elected to her second term as Santa Barbara’s mayor in November 2013. She has served at Santa Barbara City Hall since January 2004, winning her first election as City Council member in 2003 and first election as mayor in 2009.

Schneider serves in leadership roles on a number of regional-wide policy issues, such as transportation, air quality, solid waste, public education, youth violence prevention and homelessness. She represents the City of Santa Barbara on the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, Air Pollution Control District, Multi-Jurisdictional Solid Waste Task Force, Partners in Education, the South Coast Task Force on Youth Gangs and the Central Coast Collaborative on Homelessness. She is the immediate past-president of the League of California Cities Channel Counties Division.

Prior to elected office, Mayor Schneider spent 11 years in human resources management at Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties.

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Letter to the Editor: Get Real About Renewable Energy

By | Published on 07/02/2015


In his excessively long-winded critique of my article about the misleading junk county Supervisors Salud Carbajal and Janet Wolf have laid on us, Irv Beiman fails, as they do, to name any renewable energy sources except solar.

He pounds his chest about solar on his house. I have it, too. It works fine. However, it cost $80,000 to buy and install. I wonder how many families are capable of that kind of expense in their budgets? True, you can put down around 20 percent and pay off the rest, but the payoff is still roughly equivalent to the average PG&E bill that most folks pay. In the best of circumstances, in about three years, you might break even with your PG&E bill. However, you still have to pay off the balance of 80 percent. Oh, and by the way, Beiman mentions that he has storage batteries. I would ask at what cost to buy and install. I guess he needs them because the sun just doesn't shine all the time.

Beiman also lapses into some bull about my being in the past, etc. I would warrant that I have a lot more knowledge about renewable energy than he apparently does. I would love to stop oil production ASAP. But there is nothing to replace it.

In years to come it is my fervent hope that Beiman and others like him who would try to get rid of oil now with promises of renewable energy sources are not honest. I absolutely favor renewables. Just tell me what they are, their present state, their distribution system, their cost, etc.

I am very aware that most oil companies are researching renewable energy sourcing while producing what Beiman doesn't want to acknowledge: There just is not a feasible energy source available today to replace oil. These companies want nothing more than to be in the forefront of profitable renewable energy.

I will join with him and any others who are willing to put their shoulders to the wheel and subsidize technology innovation that will replace oil. So, join up, Beiman, and try to get real.

Oh, and by the way, address the thesis of my article and don't burden readers with a lot of political rhetoric.

Lee Rosenberg


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Morgen Benevedo Promoted to Multifamily Housing Development Director at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing

By | Published on 07/02/2015


Morgen Benevedo
Morgen Benevedo

Morgen Benevedo has been promoted from project manager to director of multifamily housing development at Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, a nonprofit affordable housing and services provider headquartered in San Luis Obispo.

He has worked in the department since 2013 and contributed greatly to its successes.

Prior to joining PSHH, Benevedo was program manager at a major aerospace company. His past experience also includes land use planning as an assistant planner and clerk at two Central Coast municipalities.

He holds a Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification from the Project Management Institute.

Benevedo earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and a master’s degree in business administration from the University of La Verne.

He enjoys playing the guitar and reading nonfiction.

“We are very pleased to promote Morgen Benevedo to his new position,” said John Fowler, president/CEO of Peoples’ Self-Help Housing. “He brings a lot of knowledge, enthusiasm and experience to the complex world of developing and financing affordable multifamily housing.”

— Angel Pacheco is a publicist representing Peoples’ Self-Help Housing.


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UCSB Collaborates with Santa Barbara County to Digitize Historical Records of Board of Supervisors

By | Published on 07/02/2015


In an effort to expand public access to government records, and to preserve an extensive survey of local history, UC Santa Barbara and Santa Barbara County have joined forces to digitize and archive 127 years worth of legislative records.

From construction of the now-iconic county courthouse to the purchase of the beloved County Bowl, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors debated and decided many of the matters that made the seaside city what it is today. Each and every one of their discussions was recorded — first by hand, later by typewriter — and saved in minute books of board meetings from the first recorded day of county history, November 18, 1850, into early April 1977, when archiving moved to microfiche.

A unique partnership between UCSB and the county will soon see those historical volumes — all 215 of them, some 90,000 pages in total — available and searchable both online and in person. Once restored and digitized, the books will be transferred to the campus, where they will reside in UCSB Library’s Special Research Collections.

“This is a great county and UCSB community project that shows all the potential for these kinds of cooperative ventures in terms of preserving history and making it more accessible,” said John Majewski, UCSB’s interim dean of humanities and fine arts and a professor of history. “And it’s using the expertise of the university in ways that allow people to better understand the history of where they live. I think it’s exciting.”

A selection of the books is now available for a first-ever public viewing as part of a new exhibition at the Channing Peake Gallery inside the Santa Barbara County Administration Building, 105 East Anapamu Street, through September 18. An opening reception for that show, ‘For the People, By the People: Government at Work in Santa Barbara,’ will be held July 2, from 5 to 8 p.m.

“It is critically important that we invest in the preservation of these unique and fragile records which document the history of our county from its very beginning,” said Third District County Supervisor Doreen Farr, a collaborator on the effort. “I am hopeful that this exhibition and corresponding restoration project will enable the public to make new discoveries about Santa Barbara County’s rich local history.”

The project was launched more than a year ago by Mike Allen, clerk of the board for the county, when he approached UCSB historians about a potential collaboration. The endeavor has since tapped scholars and students alike, in the departments of history and of art history, Majewski said, for their knowledge about the value of such records and the best way to display them for viewing.

Also actively involved from the beginning, the UCSB Library will house the original bound volumes in a state-of-the-art storage system for special research collections. The books will be available for the public to view when the library’s new building formally opens in 2016.

“It’s a wonderful example of a partnership among public institutions,” University Librarian Denise Stephens said of the project. “The UCSB Library is honored to bring its expertise to a partnership that ensures the persistence of these original documents and their accessibility to taxpayers and researchers in the years to come.”

For UCSB, the archive effort will also be an especially huge boon to research and teaching, according to Majewski, himself a scholar of 19th-century U.S. history with an emphasis on political economy.

“These kinds of sources are gold mines,” he said. “These books lead you to names of movers and shakers at the time, what the political environment was, where the debates were. Looking at them you begin to realize that decisions that were made in 1850, maybe for somewhat random reasons, actually played huge role in future development of the community. For researchers, sources like these are really, really important.

“And it’s going to be great for students,” he continued of the collection that will ultimately reside on campus. “For undergraduates who are learning the ropes of what it means to be a historian, what it means to be a researcher, to have all these volumes and all this information and see how to make use of it and connect it with other sources of evidence is a really exciting opportunity.”

Providing a unique and invaluable window into the past of the Santa Barbara community, the books are the sole record of the county’s legislative history. They offer a wealth of information about the formation and growth of the county, detailing its political climate as well as developments in architecture, education, infrastructure, land use, public health, policies and more.

Recognition of the records’ historical significance, as well as of public interest in the documents and the physical fragility of the aging volumes themselves is what inspired the county to engage UCSB in executing a plan to restore, digitize and archive the books.

The campus is grateful for the opportunity.

“With this kind of historical source I think this partnership is unique, which is what made it so exciting and why we were so eager and enthusiastic to partner with the county,” Majewksi said. “The history department benefits, the humanities and fine arts benefit, the library benefits and the county benefits. It just made a lot of sense. We’re delighted that the county reached out because we can show the community this is the value of having a major research university in the area. These types of partnerships are possible and they can really do great things.”

— Shelly Leachman represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.


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Public Assistance Requested in Goleta Traffic Collision Investigation

By | Published on 07/02/2015


One person suffered major injuries, another suffered minor injuries from a two-vehicle collision in Goleta at the intersection of Patterson Avenue and Overpass Road Tuesday afternoon. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

The Santa Barbara County Goleta Traffic Unit is requesting public assistance for a traffic collision that occurred Tuesday at approximately 3:30 p.m. on South Patterson Avenue and Overpass Road.  

A silver Volvo SUV was traveling southbound on Patterson Avenue when it struck the driver side of a silver Mercedes traveling eastbound to northbound from Overpass Road onto Patterson Avenue.  

The force of the collision caused the Mercedes to spin counterclockwise coming to rest in the intersection blocking the southbound lane of Patterson Avenue.  

The female driver of the Mercedes had to be extricated from the car due to the heavy damage to the driver’s side area. She was transported to a local hospital with severe injuries and is recovering at this time.

The driver of the Volvo sustained minor injuries and was treated at the scene and released.

The Goleta Traffic Unit is requesting anyone who witnessed the collision to call Deputy Green at 805.961.7518.

— Kelly Hoover is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department


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UCSB Offers Admissions to More Than 29,000 for Fall 2015

By | Published on 07/02/2015


UC Santa Barbara has offered a place in its fall 2015 entering class to a total of 23,074 high school seniors. The prospective UCSB freshmen were selected from a total of 70,474 freshman applicants — the largest applicant pool in UCSB history. The campus expects its fall 2015 entering freshman class to number about 4,380.

The unprecedented academic qualifications and diversity of applicants made fall 2015 admissions the most selective in campus history.

With a top 10 ranking, 11 national centers and institutes, and more than 100 research units, UCSB offers unparalleled learning opportunities for undergraduate students. The world-class faculty includes six Nobel laureates, two Academy and Emmy Award winners, and a Millennium Technology Prize recipient.

Of the applicants admitted to UCSB, the average high school GPA is an all-time high of 4.19, and the average total score achieved on the required SAT is 1975 out of a possible 2400. In addition, of all applicants admitted, 24 percent identify themselves as members of a racial or ethnic minority group. (Individual applicants are not identified to the campuses by race or ethnicity until after admission decisions are made.)

Admission to UCSB continues to be competitive. This year, just over 32 percent were offered a place in next fall’s entering class, down from 36 percent last year.

Based on preliminary admissions data, of the 14,801 students seeking to transfer to UC Santa Barbara, 6,571 California community college students have been offered a spot. The number of transfer applications increased this year by 615, or 4.3 percent. All UC undergraduate campuses except Merced saw an increase in transfer applications.

UCSB acceptance letters were sent in mid-March, and applicants were able to check their admission status via a protected website. Freshman applicants accepted by any UC campus had until May 1 to submit a Statement of Intent to Register.

Led by Chancellor Henry T. Yang, UCSB officials and faculty and staff members have been working diligently to ensure that the class enrolled this fall is the campus’s most talented and diverse ever. In March, Yang served as the host of well-attended California receptions in Los Angeles and San Jose for high-achieving applicants. At these events, volunteers from the UCSB campus — faculty and staff members, as well as alumni and students — met with applicants and their family members to answer questions about UCSB academic programs, student life, financial aid and other topics. Receptions were also hosted at several locations outside of California.

“The admissions office staff reviewed more than 85,000 applications from highly qualified students so selection was extremely competitive,” said Lisa Przekop, director of admissions at UCSB. “In terms of grade-point-average and test scores, the admitted students are the highest-achieving in UCSB’s history. We look forward to welcoming our new freshman and transfer students to campus in the fall and are confident they will make significant contributions to our community of student scholars.”

The UC system received a record 193,873 applications for fall 2015 — 158,146 from freshman applicants and 35,727 from transfer applicants. All nine undergraduate campuses experienced increases in freshman applicants.

The 2015 freshman enrollment target of 4,380 is slightly lower than last year’s target of 4,550. The smaller target is related to an increased undergraduate retention rate. For the same reason, the 2015 enrollment target for new transfer students remains steady at 1,550.

Of all applicants admitted, 81 percent, or 24,406, are California residents. Among those California students, members of underrepresented minority groups (African-American, American Indian and Chicano and Latino students) totaled 6,737 or 29 percent.

— Andrea Estrada represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.


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Robert Perry: A Call to Arms for Local Renewable Energy

By | Published on 07/02/2015


California now faces a critical juncture in energy policy: The state’s energy infrastructure is well beyond its projected useful life, and many older plants are scheduled to be shuttered in the near future. The resulting energy vacuum presents an incredible opportunity to transition our infrastructure to a distributed system where renewable energy is generated, stored and distributed within community microgrids that are no longer reliant on an antiquated and vulnerable network of long-distance transmission lines.

This vulnerability is especially true for South Santa Barbara County, which receives most of its energy via a single transmission line.

State regulators are acutely aware of the coming power vacuum, and a wide slate of policy hearings are under way to not only overhaul the state’s energy infrastructure, but do so in a manner that will enable the state to reach its accelerating greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets. Regrettably, a disconnect exists between policy and development that threatens to adversely impact how energy will be developed in the Santa Barbara area.

While policy hearings aggressively push to develop more renewable energy, current plans by utilities are almost exclusively limited to building natural gas turbines. Unfortunately, in a world where the threats from climate change expand exponentially, we do not have the luxury to engage in timid incrementalism and must push the industry to act boldly.

In researching the transition to a 100 percent renewable energy economy, it is apparent that the problem must be addressed from a variety of perspectives. First, various technologies must be implemented that enable the collection, storage, and distribution of renewable energy. Second, financing resources must be secured to manufacture and install the needed infrastructure. Third, political leaders must be willing to place a high value and priority on developing distributed renewable energy. And finally, an active majority of citizens must demand that government and business leaders act quickly to replace fossil fuel energy with renewable sources.

It’s no coincidence that social activism falls last on the list as it is the least developed variable in the equation. Technologies exist to create a renewable energy infrastructure, as well as numerous methods to finance energy development, and political leadership throughout California has placed a high priority on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The supreme irony is that social will is the most powerful and transformative agent, and can vastly accelerate the overall pace of transition. THAT is where we ALL come into the picture.

California energy policy is generally formed in secluded hearing rooms, where the process occurs largely “out of sight, out of mind” to the general public. Such is the case in the current proceeding before the Public Utilities Commission to approve energy development for south Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, where the World Business Academy is participating as an intervening party and is advocating for local renewable energy development.

However, as part of this proceeding, a Public Participation Hearing has been scheduled for 6 p.m. July 15 at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center. This event will be the only opportunity for the public to directly voice its opposition to state regulators on a proposed development that will haunt us for decades to come. To encourage attendance, the World Business Academy is chartering buses to transport concerned citizens to this hearing. Those interested in attending can reserve a seat online by clicking here or by calling 805.892.4600.

The perception of public sentiment by state regulators will largely be shaped by what transpires at this public hearing. If a large, passionate and coordinated block of opposition is present at the hearing, the adverse consequences from disregarding public sentiment will be recognized and be carefully considered when a proposed decision is issued to the commission.

Right now, committing to ride to Oxnard for this July 15 hearing is the single greatest act to support local development of renewable energy. As in 1969, when Santa Barbara’s passionate response to the oil spill ignited the environmental movement, we face an historic opportunity to tip the scales toward a renewable energy revolution. The only question is whether on July 16, enough concerned citizens can honestly say they helped transform an opportunity into reality.

— Robert Perry is the project manager and director of energy research at the nonprofit World Business Academy in Santa Barbara.


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Bacara Resort & Spa Names Vincent Lesage as Executive Chef

By | Published on 07/02/2015


Chef Vincent Lesage

Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara is pleased to announce the appointment of Vincent Lesage as executive chef.

“Chef Lesage’s impressive career includes three-star Michelin restaurants in Paris as well as experience at some of the world’s most luxurious hotels,” said Kathleen Cochran, managing director of Bacara Resort & Spa. “We are thrilled to share in his expertise as we reinvent our culinary program.”

After graduating from the Institut Paul Bocuse in Ecully, France, Lesage trained at some of the world’s most celebrated establishments, including The Ritz Paris, the Michelin three-star restaurant, L’Astrance, and Michelin three-star restaurant, Bras.

Most recently, Lesage served as executive chef of Balboa Bay Resort in Newport Beach, where he opened two of the city’s only waterfront restaurants, Waterline and A&O Kitchen + Bar. Prior to that, he served as executive sous chef at St. Regis Monarch Beach, managing a culinary team of more than 60.

Today, as executive chef of Bacara’s renowned culinary program, Lesage will oversee the resort’s six dining experiences, including a new signature restaurant opening spring 2016.

When asked about his vision for Bacara, Lesage said, “I approach every outlet as its own distinct concept. From a healthy breakfast at Spa Café to a casual family meal at The Bistro, each experience is unique, and each experience is exceptional.”

When Lesage is not in the kitchen, he enjoys spending time with his family and exploring Santa Barbara’s museums.

— Anne Elcon is the marketing director for Bacara Resort & Spa.


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Rep. Xavier Becerra Endorses Salud Carbajal for Congress

By | Published on 07/02/2015


In strong show of support, Rep. Xavier Becerra endorsed Salud Carbajal for Congress.

Becerra joins Rep. Lois Capps in headlining a growing list of more than 100 elected officials, business and community leaders who have endorsed Carbajal for Congress. Capps recently announced her endorsement of Carbajal after announcing earlier this year that she would not be seeking re-election.

“Salud Carbajal has brought Democrats and Republicans together to solve problems in Santa Barbara County,” Becerra said. “We need more of that kind of leadership in Washington and that’s why I’m proud to endorse Salud.

Becerra is chairman of the House Democratic Caucus and the highest-ranking Latino Democrat in the House of Representatives.

“It is truly an honor to receive the endorsement of Congressman Xavier Becerra,” Carbajal said. “I have long admired the work he has done to increase opportunities for middle-class families and working to strengthen Social Security and Medicare for our seniors. I look forward to working with him on these issues in Congress.”

Other community leaders already endorsing Carbajal for Congress include:

» Congresswoman Lois Capps
» California Secretary of State Alex Padilla
» Former Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell
» Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley
» San Luis Obispo County Supervisor Bruce Gibson
» Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf
» Ventura County Supervisors Steve Bennett, Kathy Long and John Zaragoza
» San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx and Councilmembers Carlyn Christianson, Dan Rivoire and John Ashbaugh

Carbajal was raised in Oxnard and graduated from UCSB, the first in his family to go to college. He went on to serve eight years in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves. He was elected to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors in 2004, where he’s established a track record of bringing people together to get results for the Central Coast.

He’s running for Congress to continue fighting for opportunity for middle-class families and to protect the special quality of life we enjoy here on the Central Coast.

He lives in Santa Barbara with his wife, Gina, and son, Michael.

— Cory Black is a publicist representing the Salud Carbajal for Congress Campaign.


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890 Glen Annie Road, Goleta 93117

By | Published on 07/01/2015


One of a kind, rarely available! This unique property consisting of 1½ acres of land is located in Glen Annie Canyon, surrounded by large ranches, rolling hills and gorgeous mountain views.

The current owners have completely remodeled the main residence to include a Thermador, six-burner gas range, stainless-steel appliances, custom cabinets, walnut floors, vaulted ceilings, skylights, Pella windows and doors, and much more.

They have taken advantage of the outdoor space to add countless amenities, which include:

The living area of the main house opens to a large, private patio with an outdoor kitchen that includes a commercial barbecue, refrigerator, sink, ample seating and a flat-screen TV with surround sound.

The studio has its own deck, as does the Avion trailer, which is completely refurbished and serves as a great guest house. The property has approximately 40 avocado trees, 14 citrus and various other trees. Horseshoe pits, RV parking, dog run and chicken coop also are available. The property is also zoned for horses.

» A creekside studio completely separate from the main house which has maple wood floors, a flat screen TV, and vaulted ceilings.

» The guest cottage is actually a perfectly restored 34-foot Avion travel trailer that includes a kitchen and bath.

» There is a mature orchard with avocado, orange, grapefruit and Meyer lemon trees. There are approximately 40 avocado trees and 14 citrus trees.

» Ample parking allows for more than one recreation vehicle just outside the gates to the grounds.

This property offers the ultimate in peace and serenity yet it is minutes from the best that Goleta has to offer. Bacara Resort & Spa, Sandpiper Golf Course, Camino Real Marketplace, local beaches, UC Santa Barbara, Dos Pueblos High School and Glen Annie Golf Course are all practically next door.

Click here for more information about this property.

List Price $1,695,000

Gay Milligin
Keller Williams, Santa Barbara
[email protected]
BRE License #00683306

(Holly McCord Duncan​ / Keller Williams photo)
(Holly McCord Duncan​ / Keller Williams photo)


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14200 Calle Real, Gaviota 93117

By | Published on 07/01/2015


Villa della Costa overlooks Santa Barbara’s Gaviota coast and its vast panorama of spectacular untouched seaside landscape with breathtaking 360-degree views of the mountains, pastoral countryside, Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands.

The estate was conceived to reflect a passion for privacy, quality and the ever-inspiring drama of this remarkable setting. Newly built and completed in 2014, by architect J.M. Sewall & Associates with interior finishes designed by Mark Weaver & Associates and built by Kitchell, a luxury estate builder, the result is a perfect fusion of early California style with today’s demand for modern technology, convenience and comfort.

Surrounded by large coastal ranch properties, all 106 acres were hand-picked for optimum privacy and views, an ultimate hideaway.

The ultra-high-quality residence was designed as a sprawling single-level floor plan reflecting the rural ranch ambience of its surroundings.   Offering multiple areas for entertaining, the large-scale, well-proportioned rooms incorporate the awe-inspiring, expansive coastal setting.  Interiors are enhanced by custom hand-hewn walnut floors, steel windows and doors with bronze screens, Sun Valley bronze door hardware, and antiqued ceiling beams throughout.

New, high-quality concrete masonry and steel construction, antique roof tiles from Spain and Portugal, wine cellar and abundant private water add to its spectacular appeal.

Click here for more information about this property.

Randy Solakian
Coldwell Banker Previews International
[email protected]
BRE License #00622258

Deanna Solakian
Coldwell Banker Previews International
[email protected]
BRE License #01895788


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1420 East Valley Road, Montecito 93108

By | Published on 07/01/2015


Montecito’s best location at top of quiet country lane near Upper Village, schools, shops and restaurants, Bertram Goodhue’s “La Cabana” circa 1916 recently enlarged with respect to stone walls, brick and ironwork, thick adobe walls, old world charm and patina. Light and bright through-out, savory privacy, three-car garage, mature trees, recently built pool, outdoor fireplace and barbecue terrace. Mountain views.

Click here for more information about this property.

List Price $6,750,000

Randy Solakian
Coldwell Banker Previews International
[email protected]
BRE License #00622258

Deanna Solakian
Coldwell Banker Previews International
[email protected]
BRE License #01895788


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Fireworks Ruled Out as Cause of Lompoc’s Mesa Fire; Crews Fully Contain 320-Acre Blaze

By | Published on 07/01/2015


The Mesa Fire near Lompoc is fully contained, with a small crew of 40 expected to remain at the site Thursday to complete mop-up chores as investigators try to pinpoint the cause.

The investigation into how the 320-acre fire started is continuing, but Santa Barbara County Fire Department Capt. Dave Zaniboni said fireworks weren’t involved.

“I was told it was not fireworks," Zaniboni said. "They're not releasing any information about the cause."

The fire ignited Monday afternoon near the Mission Hills Community Services District's water treatment plant and flames raced eastward, threatening hundreds of residences in the area and leading to evacuations for hundreds of people.

The morning after the fire started, Santa Barbara County authorities sought information about the possible sighting of one or two people, reportedly young males, in the area at the time.

The Fire Department Tip Line can be reached by calling 805.686.5074.

By midday Wednesday, firefighters declared the blaze 95 percent surrounded with full containment expected by 6 p.m. as crews spent the day reinforcing containment lines, checking for hot spots and patrolling the fire.

The cost of fighting the fire has climbed to $650,000, Zaniboni added.

One firefighter suffered a leg injury. No structures were damaged or destroyed.

The force had dropped to 180 people Wednesday and firefighters were continuing to demobilize, according to Zaniboni.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Jeff Moehlis: The Adolescents and The Weirdos to Invade Velvet Jones

By | Published on 07/01/2015


Bassist Steve Soto talks to Noozhawk about his punk rock past

Released in 1981 and clocking in at under a half-hour, the debut album by The Adolescents — affectionately known as The Blue Album — helped to lay the groundwork for the emerging Southern California hard-core and skate punk scene. The teenage band that recorded The Blue Album didn't stay together for long, but their influence was felt strongly in SoCal and beyond.

Several reunions and albums followed, and although their ages are no longer in the adolescent range, The Adolescents continue to record and tour, with an upcoming show at Velvet Jones on Thursday, July 9. Tickets are available by clicking here.

Today's band includes original singer Tony Cadena and bassist Steve Soto, who answered Noozhawk's questions by email. Also on the program is L.A. punk rock pioneers The Weirdos.

                                                                        •        •

Jeff Moehlis: Back in the late 1970s/early '80s, were you a fan of The Weirdos, who will also be performing at the upcoming show?

Steve Soto: Yes, we were all big fans of The Weirdos. It is a big honor for us to have them on the tour.

JM: Before forming The Adolescents, you were in the original lineup of Agent Orange. What are some of your memories of that time?

SS: I was 14, and it was my first band. We played a few parties then started playing Hollywood. I played on "Bloodstains" ...  It was a blast but I wanted to write and be in a band with two guitarists, and we went our separate ways. ...  I think Mike [Palm] is awesome and love that Agent Orange is still out there doing it!

JM: The first Adolescents album is almost 35 years old. What are your reflections on that album?

SS: I've said this before: The album was not dated. It's about teenage alienation from the viewpoint of the teenager, so it means just as much to a disenfranchised kid today as it did in 1981.

JM: How did you know that Tony Cadena was the right singer for The Adolescents?

SS: Instinct. ... I just knew.

JM: Why did The Adolescents break up in 1981?

SS: We were kids. ... It all happened fast and then it imploded — 16 months from start to finish.

JM: What was the good, the bad and the ugly about the early SoCal punk and hard-core scenes?

SS: The good was the music, most of which still holds up. The bad was the drug and alcohol abuse that took many of our scene way too soon. And the violence was the ugly.

JM: What advice would you give to an aspiring musician?

SS: Don't give up if you feel it in your heart. Fight to make it happen.

JM: What are your plans, musical or otherwise, for the near future?

SS: We are gonna start on a new record in the fall after we finish our summer tour with The Weirdos, and go to South America in August.

JM: Do you want to set the record straight on anything related to The Adolescents, or otherwise?

SS: We don't hate children. [JM: The first song on The Blue Album is called "I Hate Children."]

JM: Where are you responding from?

SS: Somewhere in Connecticut.

— Jeff Moehlis is a Noozhawk contributing writer and a professor of mechanical engineering at UC Santa Barbara. Upcoming show recommendations, advice from musicians, interviews and more are available on his web site, The opinions expressed are his own.


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Crews Douse Fire Along Bike Path Near Goleta

By | Published on 07/01/2015


Cause of small blaze adjacent to Maria Ygnacio Creek remains under investigation

Firefighters made quick work of a small vegetation fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon along a bike path near Goleta, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The blaze was reported shortly after 3:30 p.m. along the bike path, which runs along Maria Ygnacio Creek and behind some apartments and offices in the 100 block of South Patterson Avenue.

Two engine companies were able to quickly douse the flames, which were burning in grass and light brush, said fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

The fire charred an area roughly 50 by 100 feet, Zaniboni said.

No structures were damaged and no injuries were reported.

Cause of the fire remained under investigation.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Water-Quality Warning Issued for Leadbetter Beach

By | Published on 07/01/2015


Santa Barbara County's Public Health Department issued a warning Wednesday about bacteria levels that exceeded state standards at Leadbetter Beach in Santa Barbara, but no closure is planned.

The warning was issued after Willie Brummett, who conducts ocean water-testing at each local beach weekly for the county's environmental health services office, went out on Monday to test local waters. He tests water samples for three types of fecal indicator bacteria, including E. coli and enterococcus.

On Monday, he found that the level of enterococcus bacteria "was a little bit high for state standards," but not alarmingly high, since the standard is a fairly low bar, he said.

The source more than likely was bird feces or decaying seaweed or kelp, and Brummett said he observed "quite a bit of kelp in the surf zone," which can produce bacteria.

The department does not plan to close the beach, but Brummett encouraged swimmers to stay away from the storm drain, which is near Shoreline Cafe and the beach's bathrooms.

"It's a kind of 'go in the water at your own risk' thing," he said, adding that knowing what he knows after the testing, "I would swim."

More information on local ocean water quality can be found by clicking here.

The results are also updated weekly on the Ocean Water Quality Hotline at 805.681.4949.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Letter to the Editor: Preventing Underage Drinking, Drug Use Needs to Be Community Effort

By | Published on 07/01/2015


As a teenager, I have noticed that there is a new drug and alcohol trend among my peers. That trend is underage drinking and drug use on party buses.

I know these bus companies market themselves to adults; however, teens are able to reserve and rent a bus for their celebration.

I was surprised by what my peers were doing, specifically the amount of alcohol they were consuming. However, what shocked me the most was that the bus companies were allowing teenagers to rent their buses and to use drugs and alcohol on board. This violates a public utilities code, in that they’re allowing minors to consume alcohol and drugs.

If a minor is caught consuming alcohol on a charter bus, the driver must cancel the trip and contact all proper authorities; however, bus companies weren’t following the proper protocol. As a company they have a responsibility in preventing alcohol and drug use by minors. Also the bus drivers, as adults, have a responsibility to speak up and prevent underage drinking.

I would like to mention that I’m a student leader through Friday Night Live, a prevention program through the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse. I brought up this issue to our club advisor and he brought it to the attention of the Fighting Back Steering Committee. On April 20, local law enforcement, the superintendent of the Santa Barbara Unified School District, a representative of the Public Utilities Commission office and representatives from the bus companies met and spoke about PUC codes. The attendees also discussed ways they can prevent youth from consuming alcohol on their buses.

I believe this meeting was a wake-up call to all of the bus companies. We hope that bus companies realize that preventing underage drinking and drug use is not up to one agency or program but a team effort among the whole community.

I would like to thank you for covering this issue and for your efforts in informing our community about this trend. I believe that with the help of the community we can make our town a healthier and safer place for all youth.

Marina Morales
Santa Barbara


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Jim Hightower: What Moved Marriage Equality from Taboo to Justice?

By | Published on 07/01/2015


From 1956 until 2010, CBS television's daytime lineup included America's longest-running soap opera: As the World Turns. But times change, and now a real-life human drama of profound importance has debuted in America: "As the Generations Turn."

It's the inspiring story of our society's continuing struggle to evolve toward dignity and mutual respect ... as well as love. The moment came on June 26, 2015, when Justice Anthony Kennedy proclaimed from the ornate chamber of the Supreme Court: "The right to marry is a fundamental right inherent in the liberty of the person, and under the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the 14th Amendment couples of the same sex may not be deprived of that right and that liberty."

Kennedy and Justices Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor voted to make this higher level of inclusiveness the law of the land, but they are not the producers of it. Indeed, while the court's ruling debuts a new day, it is the culmination of generations of painful struggle by brave gay and lesbian activists and advocates. And it is particularly the product of a defiant and determined LGBTQ movement for equality that arose from the brutal police riot at the Stonewall Inn in New York on June 28, 1969.

This democratic evolution from rank inequality literally came out of America's closet, rising through only a few neighborhoods at first, but then entering the consciousness of today's youth. Rejecting the shibboleths, ignorance, fears and bigotry that previously permitted such intolerable discrimination, young people have, in a remarkably short amount of time, created a generational shift in the nation's consciousness.

The true Supremes are the people themselves, and it's their awakening enlightenment that has transformed marriage equality from taboo to simple justice.

It is unfortunately true, however, that not everyone has evolved on the issue of equality in our Land of the Free. The Supreme Court's ruling that states can no longer ban same-sex marriage has set off a cacophony of howling hyperbole by the GOP's far-out presidential wannabes.

"I will not acquiesce to an imperial court," blustered Fox News political huckster Mike Huckabee. "Resist and reject judicial tyranny," he bellowed. Huck even couched his cry for continued discrimination against gay people by likening it to Abe Lincoln's principled refusal to honor the court's 1857 ruling that African-Americans could not be citizens. Sure, Mike, you're a modern-day Lincoln — except that he was opposing discrimination, while you're demanding that government enforce it!

Then came the wild hair of the GOP's presidential menagerie, Donnie Trump, trumpeting his keen insight that the court's gay marriage decision is Jeb Bush's fault. Really. The Donald explained that Jeb's brother George appointed Chief Justice John Roberts to the court, so ... there you have it. Shhhh — let's not spoil Trump's hallucination by telling him that Roberts actually voted against letting gays marry.

Now on to Scott Walker, widely touted by the GOP's billionaires as the "serious" contender. Yet, he is seriously pushing a constitutional amendment to allow states to keep prohibiting same-sex marriages. "No one wants to live in a country where the government coerces people to act in opposition to their conscience," said Walker, apparently oblivious to the fact that state governments have long been coercing LGBTQ people to do exactly that. And now Walker is promising, if elected, to coerce them right back into a life of unconscionable injustice.

Every one of the 13 Republican presidential candidates is marching backward into the bigoted past, piously thumbing their noses not only at millions of gays and lesbians and their families, but also at the ever-growing majority of Americans — especially young people — who support marriage equality.

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker and author of Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow. Click here to contact him, follow him on Twitter: @JimHightower, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.


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‘Self Defense Dating’ the Topic of Santa Barbara Matchmaking Event

By | Published on 07/01/2015


“Self Defense Dating” is the topic of an event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. July 17 at Santa Barbara Women’s Self Defense, 517 De la Vina St., in conjunction with the launch of Santa Barbara Matchmaking’s new Social Club Calendar.

SB Matchmaking
Lisa Darsonval-Amador, left, and Tami Finseth.

This event is for single men and women to help them protect themselves on a date.

“This is something we are doing for the community, not just for ourselves,” said SB Women’s Self Defense owner Teri Coffee-McDuffie, who will also announce the start of a nonprofit group to provide self-defense training for those in the community who need it the most.

Last month, SB Matchmaking started offering a free trial of its new online Social Club Calendar listing to help Central Coast adults find the best cultural, dating and social events in the area along with many other benefits. The color-coded Social Club Calendar includes monthly listings available only to SB Matchmaking’s growing number of members.

To get the free trial, singles should go to and use the promo code “TRIAL” to sign up. (Social Club Memberships start at just $9.95 per month!) Members of the new Social Club will have knowledge of the best events to attend and meet other singles, be exposed to some great new and off the radar date spots, get expert answers to their dating questions from the matchmakers, Lisa and Tami, as well as receive great offers from local businesses exclusively for SB Matchmaking members. "You won't want to miss out!" Three local companies will be featured each month through the Social Club to help singles have a great date experiences. This month, along with SB Women’s Self Defense, Zaca Mesa Wines and Shanna Spencer Style are featured.

SB Matchmaking is a discreet, upscale company for successful, commitment-minded singles who want to find their soul mates. SB Matchmaking has experienced significant growth this year with the addition of local matchmaker, dating coach and image consultant Tami Finseth. Lisa and Tami also have a team of three amazing interns that bring enthusiasm, creativity and new ideas with them! The company offers matchmaking, date coaching, image consulting as well as hosting many events through out the year! Santa Barbara Matchmaking is happy to have created many successful matches including marriages and even a baby.

This year Lisa Darsonval-Amador, founder of Santa Barbara Matchmaking, was honored as a finalist in the 2015 Spirit of Entrepreneurship competition, which recognizes top women business owners on the South Coast. 

Santa Barbara Matchmaking has been featured on KEYT News, TVSB, “The Dr. Laura Ciel Show” and several other media outlets.

To learn more about this event or if you'd like to have Matchmakers Lisa and Tami host one of your events, contact Lisa Darsonval-Amador at 805.669.5650 or [email protected]  and Tami Finseth at 805.765.1621 or [email protected].

— Tami Finseth represents Santa Barbara Matchmaking.


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Santa Barbara Recycled Water Plant Project Delayed Due to Design Mistake

By | Published on 07/01/2015


Santa Barbara’s recycled water-treatment plant refurbishing project will take months longer, and more money, than expected due to a design mistake, so recycled-water customers will continue using potable supplies throughout the hot, dry summer months.

The recycled water facility at the El Estero Wastewater Treatment Plant was built in 1989 and has been undergoing a major rehabilitation and replacement project since June 2014.

It was expected to be producing recycled water again by now, but completion has been pushed to October, according to Public Works Department staff.

Since the plant went offline, recycled-water customers including parks and schools, have been using the same potable water from Lake Cachuma and groundwater wells that residential and commercial customers use.

The city started the recycled-water facility project before it upgraded the wastewater treatment plant itself, meaning the recycled-water plant would be receiving a different water quality before and after the other project is finished, Public Works Director Rebecca Bjork said.

Usually the city would have waited to do the wastewater treatment project first, but the city wanted to get the recycled-water plant running as soon as possible due to the drought, she told the City Council.

The design firm, CDM Smith, used the wrong water-quality information in the plan’s specifications, so the wrong filtration membranes were purchased, city staff said.

The extra time and funding, which the City Council approved Tuesday, will be used to get the correct membranes installed.

City Attorney Ariel Calonne said the city expects to recover the extra funding, maybe through an insurance claim.

Council members approved another $1.3 million to get the project completed, including increased contract amounts with construction firm Schock Contracting Corp., MNS Engineers construction management, and Dudek for environmental monitoring.

That brings the total project cost to an estimated $13.6 million.

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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UCSB Marine Biologists Clarify How Specialized Cells in Squid Skin Control Animal’s Coloration

By | Published on 07/01/2015


Perhaps not the brightest of cephalopods, the California market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens) has amazing light-manipulating abilities. While this species shares the gift of camouflage with most other cuttlefish, octopus and squid in the cephalopod family, it is also capable of activating, shuttering and directing its own iridescence in multiple ways.

Lead author Daniel DeMartini. (Sonia Fernandez / UCSB photo)

New research conducted in the UC Santa Barbara lab of Daniel Morse, professor emeritus in the Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology, demonstrates that the squid’s ability to “tune” its colors is correlated with the presence of specific sequences of reflectins, proteins unique to the light-sensing tissue of cephalopods. The findings appear in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.

While the diverse optical behaviors of cephalopod tissues have been attributed to reflectins for almost a decade, this work shows for the first time how reflectin protein subtype structure, localization, distribution and relative abundance correlate with the squid’s optical output. Building on the lab’s previous work, the new research details the mechanisms of the animal’s tunable (adaptive) and nontunable (static) iridocytes. Specialized cells in squid skin, iridocytes — also known as iridophores — produce color via Bragg reflection, by which light is reflected in a very regular and predictable manner.

“The discovery reported in this paper reveals the subtlety and power of the reflectin proteins to fine-tune the colors of living cells with a beauty that reminds us of paintings by Monet,” said Morse, who is a co-author on the paper.

In previous papers, the researchers demonstrated that the neurotransmitter acetylcholine triggers reflectin proteins to condense and expand deep pleats in the cell membrane through the chemical switch of phosphorylation — a process that turns protein enzymes on and off, altering their function and activity. This in turn tunes the brightness and color of the reflected light so that these layers or lamellae operate as a tunable Bragg reflector.

The newly published research characterizes the mechanistic action of iridocytes by characterizing their reflectin proteins. “It’s a very complicated system,” said lead author Daniel DeMartini, who conducted this research as a graduate student and is now a postdoc in another lab at UCSB. The results suggest that distinctive reflectin subtypes have different roles.

“We found three major types of reflectins — A1 and A2, B and C — which in various combinations determine slightly different iridocyte function,” he explained. “A-type reflectins are found in static iridocytes; B are enriched in fully tunable ones, which contain A as well. We also found reflectin C, a new type that is probably important for anchoring proteins to membranes.”

Reflectin C is found in both static and tunable iridocytes; however, their amount varies. DeMartini noted that because static iridocytes look thicker than the dynamic ones, their potential for increased membrane interface may require larger amounts of reflectin C. Location — responsive iridocytes are located on the squid’s back with more passive ones on its underside — may also be a factor, one that requires further exploration to fully understand.

“Our new work into the cellular mechanisms of squid iridescence allows us to refine experiment design for reflectin-based adaptive photonic structures,” DeMartini said. “In the future, this could be very useful for creating synthetic optical materials that — like squid skin — can be tuned.”

Other members of the UCSB team include Michi Izumi, Aaron T. Weaver and Erica Pandolfi. This work was supported by grants from the Office of Naval Research via a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative award and the Army Research Office.

— Julie Cohen represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.


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Goleta Officials Ask for More Liquor License Oversight

By | Published on 07/01/2015


All proposed license changes will go before the City Council on its consent agenda

The Goleta City Council voted Tuesday to assume more control over businesses that propose to alter liquor licenses and the types of alcohol they sell.

Officials unanimously approved a resolution directing staff to bring all future proposed liquor license changes before the full council on its meeting consent agenda. That way, officials can either pull the item for discussion or approve without asking questions.

The action specifically applies to cases when the Goleta City Council is tasked with determining whether the issuance of a certain license serves as a public convenience or necessity or if it creates an undue concentration of liquor licenses.

In all cases, however, the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control has final say over issuing permits.

City staff urged council members to pass an accompanying resolution letting the city manager and staff continue to recommend if certain conditions should be placed on license issuance — a task where the city typically has just 30 days to respond and one the council isn’t currently involved in.

As of now, Goleta’s neighborhood services and public safety department reviews all ABC license applications and makes recommendations to council if the state agency is concerned about the concentration of places selling alcoholic beverages.

Council members agreed to the stipulation, acknowledging the short time frame made staff better suited for coming up with conditions, such as limiting hours or requiring security for certain events where alcohol would be served.

“I think it’s great,” Councilman Michael Bennett said.

The council asked to have this particular discussion in May when officials recommended ABC approve a request from the owner of the Fuel Depot at 180 N. Fairview Ave. who wanted to sell liquor in addition to beer and wine — the first Goleta gas station to do so.

The power to review ABC licenses used to reside with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department until 2011, when Goleta officials delegated that authority to the city manager, said Jaime Valdez, the city’s economic development coordinator.

“It varies,” he said of how often the city sees ABC change applications. “It may be months in between. We could have two in one month.”

Valdez suggested council could also consider adopting a land-use permit requirement in city zoning code for selling alcohol, but Councilman Roger Aceves said he was concerned that option went too far.

The resolution passed 4-0, with Mayor Pro Tem Jim Farr absent.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Rona Barrett: Ding Dong! The Witch Is ... Me

By | Published on 07/01/2015


All in good time, my pretty, all in good time.

Remember when Dorothy faces The Wicked Witch in The Wizard of Oz? Well, that’s exactly how I felt when I finally got up the courage to ask my boss if I could take a day off.

By the way, I am my own boss –– my own Wicked Witch.

I pleaded with the Wicked Witch in me, “I need to take some Fridays off. I’m tired and under a lot of pressure.”

Demanding that I sit down for a spell, the Wicked Witch became unhitched.

“You call that long? Why, you’ve just begun! Starting construction of the Golden Inn & Village is just the beginning! There’s still so much to do! You’ve got to raise more funds for senior programs, and so affordable assisted living and memory care will become a reality in our community. And you want a day off?”

What I’m feeling, and you, too– – if you can relate to my lament –– is experienced by many general good-deed-doers, anyone who cares about caring for others more than we do ourselves.

Call it “burnout” or “compassion fatigue,” it’s common and renders us “inoperative” –– a clinician’s term for a mix of moderate depression, mild anxiety, emotional and physical exhaustion, and disrupted private lives.

I’m not a therapist or clinician, just Rona the meek and mild. So I’ll just call it the “enough is NEVER enough” syndrome.

Not at all trying to equate what I’m going through with the movie Schindler’s List, but that heart-wrenching “I could have done more” final scene continues to haunt me. But I do take comfort when his assistant quotes from the Talmud: “Whoever saves one life saves the world entire.”

But honestly, for my own sanity, I needed some time off.

So I dumped a bucket of water on the Wicked Witch and turned to my other inner voice: Glinda the Good Witch.

“Glinda,” I asked, “if happy little bluebirds can fly on Fridays, why oh why, can’t I?”

Glinda soothed, “You should Rona. You’re the boss.”

I said, “But I have such guilty feelings. So many people depend on me.”

Glinda crooned, “Well, if you want to stay depend-ABLE, you must take some time off.”

I mused, “There are a few friends I really want to see, but I feel so guilty leaving the office.”

She gently admonished, “How guilty will you feel if you don’t take time to see them?”

“But then a senior told me, ‘Rona, in two years I’ll have absolutely no money and no place to live.’”

Understanding she said, “But you’ve got to think about yourself once in awhile.”

So I decided. All in good time isn’t good enough. I am clicking my heels three times and taking a Friday off ... or two ... or three to take care of myself.

Glinda smiled serenely, “You’ve always had the power, my dear.”

So let the joyous news be spread, the Wicked Old Witch at last is dead –– until Monday, that is.

Until next time ... keep thinking the good thoughts.

— For more than 30 years, Rona Barrett was a pioneering entertainment reporter, commentator and producer. Since 2000, she has focused her attention and career on the growing crisis of housing and support for our aging population. She is the founder and CEO of the Rona Barrett Foundation, the catalyst behind Santa Ynez Valley’s first affordable senior housing, the Golden Inn & Village. Contact her at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are her own.


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Best Friends Animal Society, Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society Help Declare Inde-Pet-Dence

By | Published on 07/01/2015


Food. Fireworks. Fun. That’s the scenario for millions of people who celebrate U.S. Independence Day on July 4, one of the year’s liveliest holidays.

Unfortunately, for pets that get frightened during the festivities, it can be anything but a celebration. Driven by a fearful reaction to fireworks and other loud sights and sounds, dogs and cats that flee from their homes often end up in municipal animal shelters.

"Nationwide, July 4 weekend is the busiest shelter intake time of the year. So, while many of us are celebrating a holiday, the shelters will be flooded with pets, many of which will never find their way home,” said Gregory Castle, chief executive officer of Best Friends Animal Society. “In order to avoid this heartbreaking scenario, we encourage owners to make the holiday as safe as possible for their pets.”

The Best Friends Animal Society offers the following tips to help keep your pets safe over the holiday weekend:

» Bring all pets indoors whenever neighborhood fireworks displays are likely. Secure dogs in a room and play music or turn on the television to drown out the frightening sounds.

» Keep pets away from lit fireworks at all times, including your own backyard, as some will chase after the bright moving objects and are at risk to be burned or blinded in the process.

» Ensure that pets are wearing current identification tags.

» For the ultimate identification protection, all pets should be microchipped so that they can scanned at an animal shelter or veterinary office.

» If your pet does go missing over the holiday, check with local animal shelters immediately. Go to the shelter in person to identify your pet, rather than calling or emailing the shelter, as staff may not be able to respond in a timely enough fashion to ensure your pet’s safety.

To maximize lifesaving efforts in July, the Best Friends Animal Society and the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society are offering $25 “Celebrate Freedom” adoptions. All adult cats and all dogs heavier than 40 pounds will qualify for the $25 promotion throughout the entire month of July.

“The Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society is thrilled to be a part of this celebration to help find homeless pets forever families in this critical time,” said Emily Grossheider, executive director at the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society, “We have dozens of animals patiently waiting-and we know we have the community dedicated to finding them homes!”

The Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society is a participating member of the No More Homeless Pets Network, a program of Best Friends Animal Society that offers help and support to animal rescue groups that save lives in their communities. The Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society is the valley’s only animal shelter that provides pet adoptions, low-cost spay and neuter, clinic services, and more. The SYVHS hopes to see the day where all animals have healthy and happy homes. For more information, please “Like” your Humane Society on Facebook by clicking here.

“Adoption isn’t just the most humane option when adding a four-legged member to your family, it’s convenient and cost-effective, too,” Castle said. “Our hope is that potential adopters will band together with The Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society to declare this Fourth as Inde-Pet-Dence Day for shelter pets in their community.”

— Emily Grossheider is executive director of the Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society.


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Hospice of Santa Barbara Using Cutting-Edge Therapy Proven Effective for Veterans with PTSD

By | Published on 07/01/2015


Whenever possible, Hospice of Santa Barbara utilizes the most effective therapies to help their clients and patients through the difficult and painful experiences that come with grief and loss. One new treatment that a number of Hospice of Santa Barbara counselors use is EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), a short-term treatment modality utilizing eye movement to process trauma.

This therapy has proven especially effective for veterans who return from duty with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Trauma gets stored in a part of the brain (the hippocampus) with all the original raw and vivid imagery sensations and thoughts. During EMDR, this material gets re-processed and stored in to different “files” of the brain, allowing the client to become more objective about the trauma. Clients come to a place of being able to remember the trauma without being flooded by painful and disturbing images and sensations.

This technique is completely non-invasive and involves something called dual stimulation using bilateral eye movements, tones or taps. During the reprocessing phases, the client recalls past memories, present triggers, or anticipated future experiences while simultaneously focusing on a set of external stimulus. During that time, clients generally experience the emergence of insight, changes in memories, or new more positive associations.

Several Hospice of Santa Barbara counselors have been trained and certified in EMDR and are using it with their clients with great effectiveness. Clients often report feeling comforted and relieved in a way that talk therapy alone is unable to do.

“This added tool does not take away or replace the need for counseling, but it can complement it,” said David Selberg, CEO of Hospice of Santa Barbara “The need for sharing grief in ‘talk’ therapy and group settings is still very essential to our work but we strongly believe that other therapies can often assist in the process.”

Hospice of Santa Barbara “volunteers” its free professional counseling and care management services to children and adults every month who are experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one. Hospice of Santa Barbara is also present on local high school campuses to work with children and teens who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call 805.563.8820 or click here.

— Lauren Gunther is a publicist representing Hospice of Santa Barbara.


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Santa Barbara Rolls Out New Bike Station Near Transit Center

By | Published on 07/01/2015


bike station
The new Bike Station in Parking Lot 3 next to the Transit Center in Santa Barbara can hold a couple of dozen bicycles on vertical-rack hooks, and includes a few small amenities such as a bicycle pump and USB chargers. (Robert Bernstein / Noozhawk photo)

A new Bike Station near the Transit Center in Santa Barbara officially opened on Tuesday to encourage bus and bike commuting.

Click here for more photos from the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

And now the back story ...

About 20 years ago, our company moved downtown and I began commuting by bus and bicycle from Goleta. It was a little over a mile ride from the Transit Center to our business on Montecito Street.

At that time, I rented space from a friend with a business near the Transit Center to stash my bicycle each night after work. At the same time, I began working with the City of Santa Barbara to get secure bicycle parking so that others could do the same commute.

It was a very long and winding road! The first success was getting a handful of bicycle storage lockers in Parking Lot 3 next to the Transit Center.

Many years later, in 2006, a Bike Station was opened as part of the Granada Garage project. That provided secure bicycle parking mostly for county employees near the county building. Still, there was no mass secure bicycle storage near the Transit Center.

Until now! A small Bike Station has opened in Parking Lot 3 next to the Transit Center. It can hold a couple of dozen bicycles on vertical-rack hooks. It also has a few small amenities, including a bicycle pump and USB chargers, and some more bits coming soon.

On Tuesday morning, Mayor Helene Schneider cut the ribbon for the official opening. On hand for the occasion were a number of Santa Barbara city staff and elected officials. In addition to Mayor Schneider were City Council members Gregg Hart, Cathy Murillo and Bendy White.

Also in attendance were city transportation manager Browning Allen, principal transportation planner Rob Dayton, SBCAG transportation planner Anne Jensen, transportation project planner Jessica Grant, parking superintendent Victor Garza, parking supervisor Dion Tait and parking resource specialist Sarah Clark, as well as members of the City Circulation Committee and SBBIKE, and Bike Station vice president Todd Boulanger, who came in from Portland.

The goal of the project is to encourage people who drive to Santa Barbara to do a bus/bike commute instead. Click here to sign up.

Robert Bernstein, a local photographer and frequent Noozhawk contributor, is a member of the Sierra Club Santa Barbara Group executive committee. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Letter to the Editor: Future of Energy Requires Forward-Thinking, Strategic Approach

By | Published on 07/01/2015


This is a reply to Lee Rosenberg. I won't argue history with Lee. He has a mind for recall of intricate details, but my impression is that he misses the strategic point by taking issue with all the details. Possibly the strategic risk issue was not made very clearly in the article he refers to.

I attended the World Business Academy (WBA) and CCE panel discussion at the Santa Barbara Library in late May. I was impressed with that as well as the WBA kickoff event several weeks earlier. This is a forward-thinking, strategic approach toward becoming more independent of centralized power companies and centralized distribution systems. What may not be well known is that long-distance centralized distribution systems are VERY inefficient and lose considerable power along the way. Decentralized micro grids offer a much better option.

The strategic issue for Santa Barbara as a circumscribed community unto itself is the perilous journey over mountain terrain that the primary transmission line travels, along with the deteriorated footings for those transmission towers. This exposes Santa Barbara to what appears to be an unacceptable risk of losing primary power source for weeks or longer because of the difficult terrain that repair vehicles and equipment would have to traverse.

Lee questions the facts about the history, but says little about the rationale for renewable energy, other than his one sentence comment: "Please acknowledge that currently available renewables on a large scale are not feasible and that oil (I agree we have to get rid of it someday) cannot be replaced now." This fails to acknowledge the capacity of solar panels to provide more than enough energy to power a home or small service business, with battery backup. I have solar panels on my roof in Santa Ynez Valley and have paid NOTHING to PG&E for power in the last 12 months. I provide PG&E power during the middle of the day, and they provide power at night, unless I use my battery backup.

Further, Lee says nothing about the harmful, toxic and polluting effects of oil, other than we need to replace it someday. That day is here, and there are many organizations working to achieve that all over the country — WBA and CCE among them in Santa Barbara.

Lee adds this comment: "I note that you have endorsed an expense with taxpayer money to do yet another feasibility study to determine what we already know." I wonder what it is that we already know? Do we know the cost of increased health problems to Santa Barbara city and county? We do know there are more and more studies being published that clearly indicate oil production is a major health hazard. Careful ongoing information gathering in Santa Barbara County has clarified where the oil wells are and the path of the pipelines through the entire county. While that seems to be in the less wealthy sections of Santa Barbara County, with wells often hidden from view, this is no longer acceptable. Three generations of families have lived with Big Oil in the county and the toxic effects of their production systems. There is an end coming to that toxic poisoning of this county.

Lee doesn't question the current state of affairs and writes essentially for NO CHANGE. This is not unusual for a person who has a penchant for looking backward into history, rather than forward into efforts to create a BETTER FUTURE than the one we collectively face.

It is not OK, in my value system, for Lee to unfairly criticize the two supervisors who actually dare to vote against Big Oil in this county. He has obfuscated the critical strategic issues, which are risk to health and risk of losing power, and he has failed to recognize what is needed for a better future.

The entire world is facing huge changes because of the release of Greenhouse Gases [GHGs] AND the release of stored deposits of methane from melting permafrost and methyl hydrate release from Arctic and Greenland ocean waters. The standard multiplier for methane reported in the public media is that a molecule of methane has 20x the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of a molecule of carbon dioxide [CO2]. What is not reported, however, is that the reference period for that multiplier is a hundred years! When you reduce the reference period to 20 years that multiplier increases to a range from 70x - 120x, depending on the source used. Now, reduce the reference period to a range from a few days to a few years, and the multiplier can go to 1,000. 

Wake up, Lee! If you have children and grandchildren, you are not taking care of their future by sticking with traditional antiquated centralized power distribution systems that rely on fossil fuels for energy. Looking to the past for answers will no longer work in a world that is heading for serious challenge, with pieces of it already present, e.g. the drought.

Do NOT rely on the predictions made by the UN's Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change. That was as much a political document as a scientific one, because every single word had to be agreed to by every single country participating. The 2007 4th Assessment report used linear rather than nonlinear projections and did NOT include methane at all! Every climate scientist (or at least the 97 percent who are not funded by Big Oil) knows that as the oceans and atmosphere warm, climate change and global warming will accelerate. Warming begets even more warming. So the only rational scientific approach for the statistical models is nonlinear projections. That means the curve goes up, Lee, and things happen faster and faster. 

And do not try to further obfuscate the issue by claiming there has been no warming. The extra heat has gone into the ocean, and that is hypothesized to help account for the rapidly increasing release of methane from Arctic waters. The Gulf Stream is warmer now, warming Arctic waters, triggering the release of huge amounts of methane, one of the most dangerous greenhouse gases.

The only sensible, rational, intelligent and strategic approach worth considering is to do the feasibility study for Santa Barbara with solar as one of the primary sources of renewable energy. We must begin making positive, aggressive change now, before our children's future is lost. Challenging the credibility of these two supervisors is simply not appropriate, when the two supervisors who support Big Oil say nothing about the health effects of the toxic environment their voters are exposed to. Instead, Big Oil buys votes by inviting local voters to "focus groups" where they receive over a $100 for participation and sign legal nondisclosure agreements so they can't talk about what was presented to them.

It is time that good-hearted and well-intentioned people of Santa Barbara County awaken to the truth of what is going on here. This truth is coming out for all to see, hear and know. The truth can no longer be hidden in an era of great risk and the need for strategic change.

Irv Beiman
Santa Ynez


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Free Farmers Market Coupon Books Available for Low-Income Seniors

By | Published on 07/01/2015


The Area Agency on Aging is pleased to announce the availability of a $20 coupon booklet for low-income senior citizens for the purchase of fruits and vegetables at certified farmers markets in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties.

"The Area Agency on Aging has established nine sites for the distribution of the free senior farmers market coupons thanks to the cooperation of our local certified markets," said Amy Mallett, chair of the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council. "Seniors interested in applying for the Senior Farmers Market coupons should attend the distribution site nearest them. A schedule of the distribution sites is below."

The Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program is a 100 percent federally funded program which provides low-income seniors with check booklets that can be used to purchase fresh fruits, vegetables at Certified Farmers’ Markets. The program is administered nationally by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Services Agency, and in California, by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. In 2015, CDFA is providing seniors with almost $890,000 in check booklets to redeem at WIC authorized CFMs.

“CDFA partners with California’s Area Agencies on Aging to distribute the SFMNP check booklets, which include 10 checks redeemable for $2 each,” Mallett said. “The AAAs serve this purpose well because they administer several senior programs on a local level.

"At the check distribution sites, seniors that meet the age and low income eligibility requirements receive one $20 check booklet a year and nutrition education information. Fruits and vegetables are an important component of a healthy diet. I hope seniors will avail themselves of these coupons and enhance their diet with fruits and vegetables with these free coupons."

The distribution sites include:

San Luis Obispo County

» Arroyo Grande Certified Farmers Market — Wednesday, Aug. 19, 8:30 to 11 a.m., Smart & Final, 1464 E. Grand Ave

» Atascadero Certified Farmers Market — Wednesday, Aug. 12, 3 to 6 p.m., Albertsons parking lot

» Baywood/Los Osos Certified Farmers Market — Monday, Aug. 24, 2 to 4:30 p.m., Santa Maria Street between Second and Third, Baywood

» Paso Robles Certified Farmers Market — Tuesday, Aug. 11, 3 to 6 p.m., 11th and Spring streets, Paso Robles

» SLO Saturday Morning Certified Farmers Market — Saturday, Aug. 29, 8 to 10:30 a.m., World Market parking lot, 25 Madonna Road

Santa Barbara County

» Downtown Santa Barbara City Farmers Market — Saturday, July 25, 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., corner of Santa Barbara and Cota streets

» Lompoc Certified Farmers Market — Friday, July 31, 2 to 6 p.m., Oceano and I streets

» Goleta, Camino Real Farmers Market — Sunday, July 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., 7004 MarketPlace Drive

» Santa Maria Certified Farmers Market — Wednesday, July 29, noon to 4 p.m., Broadway and Main in Mervyns shopping parking lot

For more information, please call Joyce Ellen Lippman, executive director, at 805.925.9554, 805.965.3288, 805.541.0384 or 800.510.2020.

— Joyce Ellen Lippman is director of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens-Area Agency on Aging.


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Stomp Your Feet and Swing to the Beat with Count Basie Orchestra at Granada Theatre

By | Published on 07/01/2015


The Granada Theatre will be swingin' with one of the most iconic names in jazz history, the Count Basie Orchestra live, at 4 p.m. Sunday, July 19.

This year marks the 80th anniversary of the Kansas City swing band that was and still is an American institution. This special concert is presented by the Granada Theatre Concert Series and sponsored by Montecito Bank & Trust.

William "Count Basie" (1904-1984) started his orchestra in Kansas City in 1935, and developed with meticulous detail one of the greatest jazz orchestras in music history that continues to perform sold-out concerts all over the world. Count Basie was able to attract many of the greatest instrumentalists and vocalists in jazz to be a part of his orchestra, including Billie Holiday, Lester Young, Sweets Edison, Joe Jones, Joe Williams, Snooky Young, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, Frank Wess and Clark Terry, among many others.

Basie died in 1984, but the band plays on under the direction of Scotty Barnhart, with four musicians who played with Basie performing in the band. The Count Basie Orchestra continues Basie's legacy of stomping and shouting the blues with precision and irresistible swing beat. The Count Basie Orchestra has won every respected jazz poll in the world at least once, and has 18 Grammy Awards, the most for any orchestra.

Don't miss "The Most Explosive Force in Jazz" for one night only at the Granada Theatre. Tickets range in price from $28 to $70, and are available through the Granada Theatre's box office. Click here to purchase online or call the box office at 805.899.2222. 

For all sponsorship opportunities, please contact Kristi Newton, director of development, by phone at 805.451.2932 or via email at [email protected].

— Sydney Gardner is a publicist representing the Granada Theatre.


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Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell Law Firm Names New Partners, Associate Attorney

By | Published on 07/01/2015


Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell LLP of Santa Barbara is pleased to announce that Braden Leck and Daniel David have become partners of the firm and Bradley Hollister has become an associate attorney at the firm.

Leck earned his law degree from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law after graduating with Honors from UC Santa Barbara.

Prior to joining the firm last year, Leck was a partner of the Santa Barbara firm of Seed Mackall LLP. He began his legal career in Los Angeles at the international firm of Latham & Watkins. Leck’s legal practice is focused on real estate and business transactions, estate planning and trust administration.

David earned his law degree from the University of California at Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) after graduating with High Honors, and receiving a master of science degree in environmental science from the University of Virginia.

Prior to joining the firm, David was Of Counsel with the Santa Barbara firm of Price, Postel & Parma LLP.  He began his legal career in Los Angeles at the international firm of Loeb and Loeb. His legal practice is focused on advanced estate and gift tax planning, wealth preservation, trust and estate administration, business formations, business succession planning and business transactions.

Hollister recently earned his law degree from the Santa Barbara College of the Law while working as a full-time paralegal at the firm.

Hollister graduated from Kaplan University after serving in the U.S. Marine Corps infantry, earning the Navy Achievement Medal with “V” for Combat Valor during Operation Iraqi Freedom. His legal practice is focused on business, real estate, estate planning and general legal matters.

Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell LLP is located at 427 E. Carrillo St. For more information, call 805.963.9721 or click here.


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All Evacuations Lifted, Roads Reopened with Burton Mesa Fire Near Containment

By | Published on 06/30/2015


HEET volunteers quickly mobilized to provide shelter for livestock at the Santa Maria rodeo grounds after Monday's blaze broke out near Lompoc

With the Mesa Fire near Lompoc almost contained, the alpacas, miniature donkeys and pot-bellied pigs Tuesday returned home from their temporary shelter at the Santa Maria rodeo grounds.

The fire that began Monday afternoon near La Purisima Mission State Historic Park was 85 percent contained as of Tuesday afternoon, according to Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The blaze charred 320 acres in the Burton Mesa Preserve, and despite threatening 1,200 structures, none were damaged. All evacuations were lifted Tuesday and roads reopened.

At the fire’s peak, authorities ordered hundreds of residents in Cebada Canyon, along Tularosa Road and in Gypsy Canyon to evacuate as the blaze raced through the dry chaparral. 

The orders also meant the rural residents of homes sitting on sprawling parcels with horses and other livestock had to get their animals to safety, prompting the Horse Emergency Evacuation Team (HEET) volunteers to mobilize.

“As soon as we got our call, our volunteers were just ready to take in whatever we needed,” Tina Tonascia from Elks Recreation Inc. said.

The Santa Maria Elks/Unocal Event Center is a designated shelter for large animals during incidents like the Mesa Fire. The Santa Maria Fairpark also may be used, depending on availability.

“It was an unexpectedly eventful Monday,” Tonascia said.

HEET volunteer Bob Taylor of Orcutt spearheaded getting the rodeo grounds open for Mesa Fire evacuees.

The organization works to provide a place for people to keep their animals during an evacuation. 

Mesa Fire
Three alpacas take refuge from the Mesa Fire near Lompoc by sheltering at the Santa Maria Elks/Unocal Event Center in the Santa Maria Valley. (Contributed photo)

“Our responsibility is to get the animals out, but don’t put ourselves in danger,” said Taylor, who also belongs to the Elks.

Many rural residents won’t leave their property unless they know their animals have safe place to go, Taylor said. 

“If you don’t have a place to go with your livestock you really don’t want to evacuate,” he said, adding that others are not equipped to undertake the evacuation themselves. “By giving them an opportunity that one, we will haul out for you, and two, you can haul to us, then we give you the confidence you can get your own life out of the area.”

The Santa Maria Elks volunteers had feed and water in place for the four-legged evacuees, who were calm despite the new surroundings.

For instance, the alpacas — Tonascia described them as precious and darling — were “munching away,” she said.

“It was neat we were able to do that for the community,” Tonascia added. 

While the Mesa Fire sparked near the historic La Purisima Mission, the staff and animals sheltered in place.

“We were completely safe,” State Park Ranger Scott Anderson said.

Hikers were told to leave Monday, but allowed in Tuesday although some trails were still closed due to the firefighting activity.

“Our animals and structures are all safe,” Anderson said Tuesday.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, and the Fire Department on Tuesday sought information about one or two individuals — most likely juveniles — who were on a hiking trail behind the water treatment plant at the time the fire started, Zaniboni said. Anyone with information can contact the Santa Barbara County Fire Department Tip Line at 805.686.5074.

The cost of the firefighting battle reached $650,000 as of midday Tuesday, Zaniboni said. 

Unlike the clouds of billowing smoke seen Monday afternoon from the hills above Lompoc, the fire generated little smoke on Tuesday. Crews continued to mop-up, reinforce containment lines, check for hot spots and patrol the fire, Zaniboni said. 

Firefighting resources were demobilized and made available for response within the Santa Barbara County Operational Area. 

From a peak of 600 personnel, the firefighting force had dropped to approximately 230 on Tuesday afternoon, Zaniboni added.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Southern Santa Barbara County Fishery Closures Lifted After Refugio Oil Spill

By | Published on 06/30/2015


Commercial and recreational fishing and shellfish take are allowed again in the 138-square-mile area off the Gaviota Coast after officials declare no health threat

Fishing areas have reopened along the Santa Barbara County coastline for the first time in six weeks, since the May 19 oil spill off of Refugio State Beach prompted the closure prohibiting commercial and recreational fishing and shellfish take between Gaviota State Park and Coal Oil Point in Goleta.

The California Department of Fish & Wildlife lifted the fishing closure Monday, effectively reopening coastal waters used by many fisherman to catch spiny lobster, rockfish, shellfish and more.

The reopening comes after the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment stated there is no longer a human health threat present in finfish and shellfish from oil chemicals in the Refugio Beach Oil Spill incident.

"Fishing may resume in the 138-square-mile area from Canada de Alegeria at the western edge to Coal Oil Point at the eastern edge in accordance with state and federal ocean fishing regulations," a statement from Unified Command said Tuesday.

The U.S. Coast Guard lifted the marine safety exclusion zone on June 19, the statement said.

Down at the Santa Barbara Harbor, fisherman Matt Liso was working to unload large black and red striped sheepshead fish into a bin for buyers. Liso's crew had caught the fish near the western end of Santa Cruz Island and does not fish in the areas that had been closed.  

Many of the boats owned by nearshore fisherman were docked and vacant at the harbor on Tuesday afternoon and it was unclear if any had been out that day.

As of Tuesday afternoon, Santa Barbara Harbormaster Mick Kronman said he'd only spoken with one fisherman who was headed out to the reopened fisheries. Kronman wasn't aware of exactly what business impacts fishermen had felt since the closure.

At least one lawsuit has been filed against the company responsible for the crude oil spill, Plains All American Pipeline, by a local fisherman for business losses he's sustained in the time that he was unable to fish in those coastal waters.

Sea urchin diver and nearshore fisherman Stace Cheverez filed a class action lawsuit last month, stating that the fishery closures where Cheverez fished for rockfish had caused him losses, and that the spill "translated to profound economic impacts."

Plains is still operating a claims phone hotline for anyone with personal or business losses due to the oil spill and can be reached at 866.753.3619.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Student Injured in Isla Vista Rampage Suing Sheriff’s Department, UCSB and Gunman’s Parents

By | Published on 06/30/2015


A UC Santa Barbara student who was seriously injured last year when a gunman terrorized the streets of Isla Vista on a murderous spree is suing Santa Barbara County, the Sheriff’s Department, UCSB and the shooter’s parents — alleging negligence and false imprisonment after authorities mistakenly placed the student in handcuffs.

Los Angeles attorney Brian Kabateck filed the civil lawsuit in L.A. Superior Court last week on behalf of Keith Cheung, who was among the 14 people injured on the night of May 23, 2014, when 22-year-old Elliot Rodger went on a stabbing and shooting rampage around Isla Vista.

Six UCSB students were killed before Rodger turned the gun on himself.

The lawsuit alleges that Rodger’s L.A.-based parents, Peter and Li Chin Rodger, knew about their son’s “dangerous propensities and desire to cause injury to himself and others” but failed to prevent or mitigate dangers even though a simple online search would reveal videos of Rodger spouting hateful and misogynistic diatribes, mainly against women who had rejected him over the years.

Civil rights violations came into play at the end of Rodger’s rampage, when sheriff’s deputies mistakenly thought Cheung was a second perpetrator of the crimes.

Cheung was riding his bicycle back to his home on Del Playa from his job as a lifeguard at the UCSB Recreation Center when Rodger sped up in his black BMW and struck him from behind, flipping Cheung into the air and through the windshield.

After Rodger crashed his BMW and took his own life, Cheung was ejected from the windshield. 

“Despite his injuries, Cheung was handcuffed by local authorities prior to being transported to the hospital in violation of his constitutional rights,” the lawsuit alleges.

In its own lengthy report released in February, the Sheriff’s Department admitted Cheung was put in handcuffs “for no more than three to five minutes” before law enforcement realized he had been attacked by the suspect.

Cheung’s attorney told Noozhawk that the Sheriff’s Department wrongfully accused and then dragged his client off the car, invading his personal space in unlawful detainment.

The county and UCSB are named in the lawsuit, Kabateck said, because officers from the Sheriff’s Department and UCSB Police responded to the welfare check in April 2014, failing to identify Rodger as a threat or to locate his guns and many rounds of ammunition.

The complaint alleges the Sheriff’s Department ignored earlier signs of Rodger’s aggression toward others, including an instance when deputies responded to the Capri Apartments where he lived with two students who would become his first victims.

Rodger accused his roommate, Cheng Yuan “James” Hong, of stealing candles, which the Sheriff’s Department report later points out was done because Rodger kept hiding his roommates' pots and pans. He didn’t like the smell of their cooking.

Rodger stabbed Hong and Weihan “David” Wang to death before his shooting rampage began, along with their friend, George Chen.

Deputies made contact with Rodger another time in July 2013 after he attended a party in Isla Vista and started an altercation when no one would talk to him. Rodger was injured when he fell from a 10-foot ledge at the party — a fact that deputies and his parents should’ve seen as a warning sign, the lawsuit alleges.

Proper training and protocols could’ve prevented the tragedy, the complaint states.

UCSB spokesman George Foulsham said the university doesn’t comment on pending litigation, and an attorney for Rodger's parents could not be reached.

The county hadn’t been served with the complaint as of Tuesday, so county counsel Michael Ghizzoni and Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said they also had no comment at this time.

The lawsuit demands a jury trial and monetary compensation for damages and attorney’s fees incurred.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Plane Lands On Belly at Santa Maria Airport

By | Published on 06/30/2015


No injuries are reported after the pilot apparently fails to lower the landing gear

A pilot escaped without injuries Tuesday afternoon when his single-engine airplane landed on its belly at the Santa Maria Public Airport.

The Beechcraft Bonanza touched down at 3:10 p.m. after the pilot, whose name was not released, forgot to lower the landing gear, according to Ric Tokopah, airport maintenance and operations manager.

The Santa Maria Fire Department responded to the incident as a precaution, but no fire occurred.

The incident closed the airport's main runway for approximately an hour while firefighters and airport officials dealt with the aircraft.

A large crane and flatbed truck were brought onto the airfield to remove the plane.

David Alberti was watching the arrivals and departures on Tuesday afternoon while listening to the air traffic control tower radio traffic.

The Orcutt resident said he noticed immediately that the Beechcraft Bonanza's landing gear was not lowered.

"Next thing, you know he just bellied that thing," Alberti said. "Fortunately, it came to almost where he is right now. He didn't hardly skid at all."

The air traffic control officer immediately advised other arriving aircraft to go around, Alberti said.

Other small private planes were able to use the alternate runway to land and take off from the airport until the wreckage was removed. 

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Santa Barbara Council Agrees to Loan $1 Million to Low-Income Senior Housing Project

By | Published on 06/30/2015


The city's Ordinance Committee also votes to delay action on regulating news racks

The Santa Barbara City Council agreed to loan the Grace Village senior affordable housing project $1 million on Tuesday to help the Housing Authority achieve more than $8 million in tax equity credits.

Santa Barbara's Housing Authority wants to build 57 one-bedroom affordable apartments for seniors, with rents ranging from $400 to $900 per month.

The $1 million will help the Housing Authority qualify for $8.6 million in tax credits to fund the project. The vote was unanimous, 6-0, with Councilman Randy Rowse absent.

The entire project is expected to cost $16.3 million.

"The individuals we intend to serve is a market in high demand," said Skip Szymanski, deputy executive director of the Housing Authority. "Seniors in this income range are just growing. It is a large population of our homeless as well."

Santa Barbara mirrors the rest of the nation with a dramatic rise in its aging baby boomer population. The number of people 50 years old and older increased by 35 million from 1990 to 2010, Housing Authority Deputy Executive Director Rob Fredericks said. By 2030, the number of people 65 and older will reach 71.5 million, Fredericks said. 

More than 2,000 seniors are currently on the waitlist for subsidized senior housing in Santa Barbara.

The project is located at 3869 State St., near Panera Cafe. Grace Lutheran Church donated the land to the Housing Authority, at an estimated worth of $3 million, and the building will be demolished to build the senior housing. The church held its final service in February of this year. 

If the Housing Authority can secure the tax credits, it hopes to begin construction later this year, followed by an estimated 14-month construction schedule. The loan would be paid back over 30 years, at three percent interest.

In other city news, the Ordinance Committee voted Tuesday to delay action on regulating news racks. Santa Barbara wants to charge annual fees and require rack owners to maintain or upgrade their racks.

Representatives from the Santa Barbara News-Press and the Santa Barbara Independent raised concerns about the public works director holding the power to review racks and decide whether to remove them from the streets, among other concerns. 

"It seems obvious that this needs to go back for some review and coordination with the stakeholders," Ordinance Committee chair Cathy Murillo said. 

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Warm Temperatures to Continue in Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 06/30/2015


Warm temperatures and sunny skies are expected to continue in Santa Barbara County this week, and the summer weather will continue in the run-up to the Fourth of July holiday weekend.

On Wednesday, temperatures are expected to be around 80 degrees in coastal areas, with temperatures 10 to 20 degrees hotter inland, according to Bonnie Bartling, a weather specialist at the National Weather Service Office in Oxnard.

Nighttime lows this week will hover in the 60s.

There's a possibility of isolated thunderstorms farther south in the Los Angeles area due to monsoonal influence and storms from Tucson and San Diego, but it's unlikely that any of those showers will reach Santa Barbara County, Bartling said.

More likely, the storms' impact will mean that temperatures may be a couple of degrees cooler as the week goes on, possibly dipping into the 70s toward the weekend, she said. The forecast also shows the potential for some low clouds and fog in the mornings later this week. 

The weather is expected to be warm and sunny for the Fourth of July holiday, with temperatures in the 70s and clear skies.

A low pressure system this weekend will bring a marine layer, most likely in the early mornings, and that system will last until Tuesday but no rain is expected, Bartling said.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Santa Barbara Man Sentenced to Jail, Probation in Animal-Cruelty Case

By | Published on 06/30/2015


A Santa Barbara man will spend a year in jail and five years on probation after pleading guilty to felony animal cruelty and assault charges, which involved abusing his girlfriend and her puppy, which later had to be euthanized.

Duanying Chen

Santa Barbara Superior Court Judge Brian Hill handed down Duanying Chen’s sentence this week over objections from Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley, who said Tuesday that her office didn’t offer a plea bargain in the case.

Chen pleaded guilty as charged on May 19 to four felony counts and one misdemeanor count, including two felony charges of animal cruelty, felony assault by force likely to produce great bodily injury, witness dissuasion and violating a court order.

Dudley said Chen also admitted a special allegation of personally using a deadly weapon — a utility lighter — to burn his girlfriend’s Doberman pinscher puppy.

Chen was remanded into custody at the County Jail, where he will serve 365 days in addition to completing a one year batterer’s intervention program, paying restitution to the veterinary clinic for treatment of the puppy, and adhering to an order to not have contact with any animal, Dudley said.

“Chen is not allowed to have in his possession or care any animal for a period of 10 years,” she said in a statement. “The prosecutor for the District Attorney’s Office argued for the maximum sentence in this case of seven years, six months (in) state prison.”

The charges stem from May 14, 2014, when Santa Barbara police responded to a local veterinary clinic, where personnel treated the 5-month-old male puppy for broken bones, significant infections and burns over 80 percent of his body, Dudley said.

“Davey was humanely euthanized while surrounded by the veterinary staff who spent weeks attempting to rehabilitate him,” she said. 

Police determined that Chen had tortured the puppy and also assaulted his girlfriend weeks earlier, strangling her until she nearly lost consciousness after a heated argument.

Sgt. Riley Harwood said Chen told his girlfriend that the puppy had been injured in a fall from the top of a ping pong table. He was arrested and taken to the County Jail.

“After his arrest, Chen attempted to have his girlfriend fabricate and destroy evidence in an effort to thwart the criminal prosecution,” Dudley said. “This was an outrageous act of a coward who brutalized a vulnerable woman and a helpless animal. I can only hope his time in jail will help him understand just how despicable his criminal actions were.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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White House Conference on Aging Scheduled for July 13

By | Published on 06/30/2015


The White House Conference on Aging, a decennial event, has been confirmed for Monday, July 13.

This conference will include an event in Washington, D.C., with limited attendance and "watch" sites throughout the nation.

“Three ‘watch’ sites are planned for the Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties area,” said Amy Mallett, chair of the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council. “These ‘watch’ sites will be livestreamed and provide an opportunity to share our ideas and inputs as well as promote local conversation about the issues of aging.

“Cosponsoring these ‘watch’ sites are the Santa Barbara Foundation, Santa Barbara County and San Luis Obispo County departments of Social Services. In preparation for the White House Conference on Aging we held a local public forum to gather inputs. These inputs were sent to the White House Conference on Aging and a short report was prepared.

“These ‘watch’ sites are open to all interested persons. Bring your ideas to improve the quality of life for older adults. The WHCOA has identified four common themes: Retirement Security, Healthy Aging, Long Term services and supports and Elder Justice. Based on the local public forum we added a fifth theme of Family Caregiver.”

“This AAA urges that the WHCOA strongly advocate for the reauthorization of the Older Americans Act,” said Joyce Ellen Lippman, Area Agency on Aging director. “The Older Americans Act is the foundation of home- and community-based services that facilitate aging-in-place. The act hasn’t been reauthorized in a timely fashion and a bill (S.192) is now in the Senate to accomplish reauthorization.”

Three local "watch" sites will be held beginning at 8 a.m. at:

» San Luis Obispo City — County Department of Social Services, 3433 S. Higuera St., Room 101

» Santa Barbara City — Santa Barbara Foundation, 1111 Chapala St., Suite 200

» Santa Maria — Area Agency on Aging, 528 S. Broadway

“Join us for the entire day or several hours,” Mallett said. “Come share in the conversation with local colleagues.”

For more information, contact Lippman at 805.925.9555 or 800.510.2020.

— Joyce Ellen Lippman is director of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens-Area Agency on Aging.


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James Lokey Appointed to Community West Bancshares Board of Directors

By | Published on 06/30/2015


Community West Bancshares, the parent company of Community West Bank, announced Tuesday that James Lokey has been appointed to its Board of Directors and to the Board of Directors of Community West Bank, the company’s wholly owned subsidiary.

“James is exceedingly well known and highly respected,” said William Peeples, chairman of the board. “He will be a tremendous asset to our board as we continue our expansion into the San Luis Obispo County community. We look forward to the addition of his valuable insight and experience.”

Lokey has more than 42 years of bank management experience, including chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Mission Community Bancorp (2010-14); president of Rabobank, N.A. (2007-09); president and chief executive officer of Mid-State Bank & Trust (2000-07); president and chief executive officer of Downey Savings (1997-98); executive vice president of First Interstate Bank/Wells Fargo Bank (1973-96) and past chairman of California Bankers Association.

He has significant ties in the communities of the Central Coast, including serving as a member of the President’s Cabinet at Cal Poly State University in San Luis Obispo; a director of Cal Poly Corporation and chairman of its investment committee; and director of French Hospital Medical Center.

Since retiring in 2014, Lokey has been active as a consultant and featured speaker regarding director education, enterprise risk management and mergers and acquisitions.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing Community West Bank.


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Woman Suffers Major Injuries in Two-Vehicle Collision in Goleta

By | Published on 06/30/2015


Second driver has minor injuries after accident at Patterson Avenue and Overpass Road

A woman was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with major injuries after a two-vehicle collision in Goleta Tuesday afternoon, authorities said. 

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Sheriff’s Department responded to the injury accident at Patterson Avenue and Overpass Road around 3:30 p.m. and found a Volvo SUV had hit a Mercedes sedan on the driver’s side.

Fire crews had to extricate the driver of the Mercedes, who was taken to the hospital with major injuries, County Fire public information officer Mike Eliason said.

The woman’s dog in the backseat appeared unhurt and was taken from the scene by County Animal Control, he said.

The driver of the other vehicle reportedly had minor injuries, Eliason said.

The Sheriff’s Department is investigating the collision and AMR ambulances also responded to the scene. 

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Statewide Paid Sick Leave Law Takes Effect Wednesday

By | Published on 06/30/2015


A new paid sick leave law takes effect Wednesday, mandating nearly all California employers to pay for workers to be off sick.

AB 1522, commonly called the Healthy Workplace Healthy Family Act of 2014, guarantees that any employee who works in the state for 30 days or more within a year from the start of employment the right to accrue paid sick leave effective July 1.

The law applies to full-time, part-time and temporary or seasonal employees, who will earn at least one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked.

Accrual begins on the first day of employment or July 1, whichever is later.

The new law gives a minimum of 24 hours, or three paid sick days, per year to almost all workers, according to the California Department of Industrial Relations.

Paid sick leave can accrue from year to year, but employers can cap a second-year limit at 48 hours, or six days, per year, the department stipulated.

Each boss determines whether paid leave carries over.

“Depending on the way your company’s sick leave policy is structured, accrued paid sick leave carries over to the following year,” said Douglas Large, a partner with Santa Barbara-based law firm Buynak, Fauver, Archbald & Spray LLP.

Large’s firm sent a notice to local residents letting them know about the law and explaining that paid sick leave can be used after the 90th day of employment,

With an estimated 60 percent of California employees already getting some type of paid sick leave, the law firm estimated AB 1522 could cause anyone with employees working more than 30 hours a week to take a “long, hard look at their existing policies on paid time off.”

Small-business owners are not exempt from the law.

Employees covered in collective bargaining agreements, in-home support service providers and certain air carrier employees are not covered by the new legislation.

Per requirements, employers must display posters with the new rules, provide individual notification to workers of sick leave rights and keep record of how many sick days employees accrue over the first three years.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Michael Barone: Supreme Court Lets Obama Administration Have Its Say with Laws

By | Published on 06/30/2015


For most people, words mean what they say. But not necessarily for a majority of Supreme Court justices in two important decisions handed down Thursday.

In the most prominent, King v. Burwell, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for a 6-3 majority, ruled that the words "established by the state" mean "established by the state or the federal government."

In a second decision, Texas Department of Housing and Community Affairs v. The Inclusive Communities Project, Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for a 5-4 majority, ruled that the omission in the 1968 Fair Housing Act of words banning acts that have a disparate impact on people of different races didn't matter. The plaintiff could bring a lawsuit anyway.

Both cases were victories for the Obama administration and for the proposition that the executive branch can rewrite laws to say what they want them to say.

The results are particularly striking, since neither case was a challenge based on the Constitution. They simply required the court to interpret the words of a statute — words that can be changed by an act of Congress.

But waiting around for Congress to act is not the modus operandi of the second-term Barack Obama presidency. Results are what the president wants, and if the plain meaning of words has to be ignored — well, the Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland provides guidance on that.

A contrary decision in King v. Burwell would certainly have had some unpleasant consequences, as the chief justice noted. Obamacare, as passed by Congress, provided for insurance subsidies only in states that established their own health exchanges. It specifically did not authorize subsidies in states that took the other option of using an exchange set up by the federal government.

Obamacare fans dismiss this as a drafting error, an unexplainable glitch. But it's very much in line with the way Congress has drafted numerous statutes. Under settled constitutional law, Congress can't require state governments to do things. But it can provide money on the condition the states do what it wants.

And since the 1930s, the states have usually accepted such bargains. That's how, for example, we had a 55 mph speed limit for several years and have now a 21-year-old drinking age. If you don't accept those conditions, you don't get federal highway (and mass transit and bike path) money.

But much to the surprise of Obamacare's framers, notably MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, 36 states declined to establish their own health exchanges. So if the Supreme Court interpreted the words "established by the state" to mean "established by the state," some 6 million people would have lost their health insurance subsidies.

Obama rightly pointed out that in that case, Congress could restore the subsidies by adding four words — "or the federal government" — to the statute. But a Republican-majority Congress would insist on other changes, though Republicans don't seem to have reached consensus on exactly what.

That could have meant a year-long battle between a statute-writing Congress and a veto-wielding president. The court's decision spares them that battle.

The chief justice's King v. Burwell decision was crisply written and assertive. Justice Kennedy's Inclusive Communities decision, in contrast, was almost apologetic. The issue was not whether the Fair Housing Act prohibits intentional discrimination — everyone agrees that it does. The issue was whether the fact that more monies go to heavily black (or white or Hispanic) neighborhoods than to others — "disparate impact" — was enough to trigger a lawsuit.

The Obama administration has scrambled to keep this issue away from the court, lest it frustrate HUD's program to "diversify" affluent neighborhoods with low-income housing.

Justice Kennedy allowed that but said it didn't justify imposing racial quotas or preferences. But those are empty words. Universities aren't supposed to employ quotas in admissions, but they do. HUD will happily do the same.

These two decisions expanding the power of the executive branch exasperated Republicans. But they also raise issues that hurt Democrats.

One is Obamacare, which continues to be unpopular. Republican presidential candidates will be called on to propose alternatives.

The other is HUD's fair housing initiative. A Rasmussen poll released Thursday had 83 percent of likely voters saying, "It is not the government's job to diversify neighborhoods in America so that people of different income levels live together."

The court may let the executive say that words don't mean what they say. But the voters can install a new executive.

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. Click here to contact him, follow him on Twitter: @MichaelBarone, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Letter to the Editor: Correcting Supervisors Carbajal, Wolf on Renewable Energy

By | Published on 06/30/2015


Dear Supervisors Janet Wolf and Salud Carbajal,

In your letter published in the Santa Barbara News-Press on June 28, you fail to address a critical core question: What are the oft-mentioned “renewables” to which you refer? Are they wind, solar, nuclear, hydroelectric, etc.?

You have also arrogated to Santa Barbara virtual authorship of the Clean Air and Water Acts, the California Coastal Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (wow!) and the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA was formed by Richard Nixon in 1970) — all supposedly as a result of the 1969 Gaviota oil spill. In fact, the California Coastal Commission was formed as a result of a controversy surrounding the development of Sea Ranch in Sonoma County, not Santa Barbara.

To put the record straight, the birth of our water acts occurred in the 1880s and 1890s when Congress directed the USAC to stop dumping and filling in of the nation’s harbors. Elements of these actions can be found in similar legislation today. In 1912, 1924, 1948, 1965 and 1972, legislation was enacted that furthered the purpose of the initial water acts. These, as you can see and with the exception of one, preceded 1969.

Claims you have made against oil are repudiated as follows: First, natural seeps account for 62 percent of annual releases, 4 percent from oil transportation and 1 percent from oil consumption. Neither the 1969 nor the current Refugio spills even rank in the national surveys of spills, leaks and dumps over the last 50 years.

Due to the inevitable necessity of oil and its byproducts, it is statistically predictable that certain spills will take place.

It is further well known that although the seeps release large volumes of oil each year, the surrounding ecosystem adapts and even thrives because the rate of release is very slow.

Since your article contains so many acronyms (CAW, CCA, EPA, CCE, PG&E, SCE and IOU) one is easily confused as to what is the source of your authority.

But let’s concentrate on the CCE idea and what you mean by “renewables.” This is a central question. Without clarification, you invalidate your theory about the benefits to consumers. So, I wonder why, throughout a rather confusing aggregation of justifications for the CCE, you never define the core source of renewable energy. The word “renewable” is simply not enough to gull readers into thinking their energy costs will drop and their communities will become energy utopias.

Or, was this a political statement to reassure voters in 2016 that at least one of you seeking a congressional seat was deeply concerned about energy resources?

Please acknowledge that currently available renewables on a large scale are not feasible and that oil (I agree we have to get rid of it someday) cannot be replaced now.

Speaking of feasible, I note that you have endorsed an expense with taxpayer money to do yet another feasibility study to determine what we already know. There are also hints that other studies, departments, agencies might be created. Please obtain Chinese grants for these dead-ends and not use taxpayer dollars.

You, Supervisor Carbajal, “serve” on 16 governmental and nongovernmental boards. If you are really active, spur action and take a leading role as a board member should, when do you have time for the county’s business or renewable energy sources that might even serve the nation? Or are your board positions chair-warmers? Or gradually developed credentials for your congressional bid?

Be honest and accurate with your facts and advice to constituencies.

Lee Rosenberg


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John Daly: When Are White Lies Acceptable?

By | Published on 06/30/2015


At the end of last year, I wrote a column about lying. In it, I touched upon “white lies.” Here’s what I wrote:

“We’ve all told white lies because brutal honesty might inflict pain or distress on another. For instance, Mary told Tim she couldn’t go out with him on Saturday night because she and her family were going out of town. You are Mary’s best friend and know it is because she doesn’t find Tim attractive and doesn’t want to date him.

“When Tim asks you if the reason is genuine, what do you say? Do you want to be brutally honest and tell Tim the truth or tell him you don’t know if it is genuine or not to spare Tim’s feelings? Perhaps in this instance it is better to be economical with the truth and just say you think Mary has other plans. This isn’t the complete truth, but you are sparing Tim’s feelings on something that won’t have a real impact on his future.

“However, this is one of those instances where you need to clearly think it through. Some would advise you to very gently let Tim know that Mary isn’t really interested in him rather than saying something that will make matters worse. While you never want to hurt someone, there may be a diplomatic solution in which you tell Tim the truth and let Mary know about the conversation. She will probably be grateful that you ended her white lie, and both parties can move on with their lives.”

                                                                 •        •        •

What I wrote may be well and good, but it’s been nagging at me since the beginning of the year. It’s not a complete answer. I may not have the answer in this column, but let’s look at some real-life situations in which telling white lies may be the kind thing to do.

» A relative bakes her chocolate chip cookies and brings them to every family special occasion. The cookies are terrible. But, the relative is so proud of her cookies that no one has the heart or the guts to tell her the truth. In this case, sparing the relative’s feelings is more important than telling the truth.

» A friend gets a terrible haircut. When you are asked what you think, rather than making your friend feel embarrassed or horrible about himself, you can say, “It’s a change! What do you think?” Or, you can simply say “I like really short hair.” Brutal honesty can be toxic. Never feel obligated to tell the whole truth when you know it will make someone ashamed of the way he or she looks.

» If you have done a huge favor for a friend or family member, and they thank you, rather than go into detail about the difficulties you had implementing the favor, simple say, “Oh, it was no trouble at all.” Telling the person how much they put you out will only worry and upset them. Why do that? It’s over and done with.

» When a child excitedly talks about Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny, feel free to protect the child’s innocence and creative imagination by not fessing up that they don’t exist!

» It’s also OK to over-exaggerate when complimenting someone. For instance, I always told my mother that her macaroni and cheese was “the best in the world!” It was exceptional, but best in the world might have been only in my eyes. This is a mild false truth that makes it easier for people to get along and is basically harmless in most cases.

The major difference between a white lie and a hard lie is that a hard lie is said to protect oneself, whereas a little white lie is said to protect someone else.

Relationships can be complex and tricky at times. Sometimes a harmless, thoughtful pleasantry is just what the doctor ordered, especially when it saves others from minor hurt, shame or embarrassment.

Often times, some of us tell a white lie to protect ourselves or others from punishment or disapproval for a minor failing or blunder that hurts nobody. This is borderline but OK as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.

When White Are Lies Unacceptable

White lies cross over into the dark side when we tell them to make us appear better than we really are or to protect some gain acquired previously for which we really aren’t entitled.

This happens at work often and falls under the category of taking credit for someone else’s hard work, getting a promotion because of it, and then making sure the originator of the work is either suppressed or eventually fired to cover up the lie.  This is no longer a white lie but rather a big, black one.

Lies that hurt someone else so that you can gain or that make others do something that would benefit you while harming themselves or causing themselves a loss never fall under the “white lie” scenario. Here we are into deceit, willful malice and sociopathic behavior!

It is not my purpose to give anyone a green light for telling lies. However, always weigh the harm that being brutally honest with someone will do to others. And avoid anything that can seriously damage another.

— John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for good manners and job search success. Click to learn more about The Key Class, or to buy the book.  Follow John on Facebook and Twitter @johnjdalyjr. Do you have an etiquette question? ASK John at [email protected] The opinions expressed are his own.


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Jodi House’s Inaugural ‘Hike, Walk, and Roll’ for Brain Injury Raises $25,000

By | Published on 06/30/2015


Jodi House
Jodi House’s inaugural “Hike, Walk and Roll” for Brain Injury kicks off. (Jodi House photo)

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere appreciation for everyone who made Jodi House’s inaugural “Hike, Walk, and Roll” for Brain Injury successful.

Close to 300 people came out to Elings Park this past Saturday, June 27, in support of the event. Participants either hiked a 5k trail route, or walked/rolled paved routes at the park.

Goleta-based Medtronic (a corporation that manufactures medical/surgical devices that are frequently used in the acute care treatment of traumatic brain injuries) played a huge role in making the event successful as not only gold level event sponsors, but matching the registration fees of their employees so Jodi House received additional revenue, providing substantial volunteer assistance in the planning and execution of the event, and participating in the events.

Other sponsors included Steve Katz/Atherton Lane Advisors, Bank of Santa Barbara, Ice in Paradise, Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital, Rabobank, MarBorg Industries, Jim Cook, Union Bank, Impulse, Solutions at Santa Barbara, Backyard Bowls, Centre for Neuro Skills, Travis Wilson/Mc Gowan Gunterman, Easy Lift Transportation, Hearts Therapeutic Riding, Path Point and Sansum Clinic.

We are so grateful to the sponsors and community members who participated in making the event a resounding success.

The event raised more than $25,000 for Jodi House, providing further support to us in achieving our mission of empowering brain injury survivors to not merely survive but thrive.

— Eryn Eckert is executive director of the Jodi House Brain Injury Support Center.


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Cinema in Focus: ‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’

By | Published on 06/30/2015


2 Stars — Empty

The recent film production of I’ll See You In My Dreams is depressing. That is not to say that it is not good cinema or that the performance of Blythe Danner is not noteworthy. It is the shallow emptiness of the lives of the characters portrayed that saddens us.

Life is meant to be lived with purpose. It is meant to be lived with love. It is meant to be more than just the longing of dreams. For humanity, life is a spiritual existence in which we reach up to God and out to others as spiritual beings beginning eternal relationships that will continue. But the people in this tale settle for little to nothing that matters and seem not to realize the quality of life they are missing.

Written and directed by Brett Haley with the assistance of Marc Basch, this Sundance favorite tells the story of septuagenarian Carol Peterson (Danner). Having lost her husband 20 years earlier, Peterson has settled into a predictable routine that is interrupted when her dog of 14 years dies. This loss creates a longing for relationship and opens Carol to change.

The change comes in three forms. First, a new pool boy shows up in her yard. Lloyd (Martin Starr) is a wannabe singer who notices a picture of Carol taken when she was singing in a band as a young woman. This connection begins an unlikely but understandable friendship.

The second change is the charming comment of a ruggedly handsome older man named Bill (Sam Elliott). Noticing her in the grocery store trying to select the appropriate vitamins, he tells her that she doesn’t need them because she is fine just the way she is. This moment begins a romantic journey that has been missing in both of their lives for years.

The third change occurs when her three friends, Georgina (June Squibb), Sally (Rhea Perlman) and Rona (Mary Kay Place), encourage her to break out of her placid life and take a risk. She responds by going to a speed-dating night for older people at the retirement home and going on a “medical” marijuana trip with her three friends. Both of these provide some comic moments but in a way only increases the pathos of their lives. Even her daughter, Kathryn (Malin Akerman), characterizes her mom as usually “self-absorbed.”

Getting older is not intended to be an empty journey toward inevitable oblivion, nor is life only to be lived in our dreams. When Carol begins to accept change and reach out, she is met with a shallow mortality that reinforces the film’s purposeless view. If this is all life is, then we can agree with the sardonic writer of the Biblical book of Ecclesiastes when he began with the words: “Meaningless! Meaningless! Utterly Meaningless! Everything is meaningless.” But thankfully, that is not true as the God of Love created us for fellowship with Him and others in a shared and unending life.


» Carol explains that she is living off the life insurance of her deceased husband. Do you think this provision was a blessing or a curse in her life? Why do you answer as you do?

» The connection of music allowed Carol and Lloyd to share a friendship despite their age difference of about 40 years. Do you believe their friendship distracts or enriches their lives? Have you shared a friendship with someone decades older or younger than you? If so, how did that friendship impact your life?

» It makes powerful drama for Carol to finally find the man of her dreams only to lose him. Ultimately, does this relationship impact Carol’s character in a positive or negative way? Why do you answer as you do?

— Cinema in Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is a former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is pastor of Free Methodist Church, 1435 Cliff Drive. For more reviews, visit, or follow them on Twitter: @CinemaInFocus. The opinions expressed are their own.


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Ron Fink: No Rubber-Stamp Approval This Time of Lompoc City Budget

By | Published on 06/30/2015


The four budget workshops and one presentation leading up to final approval of the City of Lompoc’s two-year spending plan were both instructive and clearly demonstrated that we have a diligent council/staff team in place. Council members received their draft copies of the 195-page plan just four days prior to the first workshop, but they used the review time effectively.

The staff projected that the General Fund budget would increase by 17 percent to $67,235,238 in the 2015-17 budget cycle.  To balance the GF budget they were asking to use $635,342 from the reserve fund. These numbers would change as the budget was examined in detail.

This year’s budget was unique in several ways. It was reorganized, and according to a presentation made during the May 5 council meeting, the “focus (has) changed to service delivery” — a new concept in the city, a “zero-based” approach meaning you start with no money and justify every expense would be employed.

This is the first time that any city administrator I can remember has directed his staff to take this approach.

Two council members, Dirk Starbuck and Jim Mosby, led the council discussion. They asked methodical questions and allowed staff time to provide clear answers rather than wasting time making assumptions or providing their own “technical input.”

It was very clear that the staff took this new budgeting approach seriously. They analyzed their service delivery tasks and initially concluded that the General Fund services needed 40 additional full-time positions, and the utility enterprise funds would allow 33 additional full-time positions to provide the highest level of service. This totaled 73 new employees and well more than $14 million in salaries, a number that couldn’t be reached due to revenue concerns.

A new cost allocation plan was introduced that distributed administrative costs to each major functional area in a much more equitable manner. At the end of the process, fewer than a dozen full-time positions were approved — three in the fire department, three administrative positions and the remaining were needed to staff the public library after its operation was absorbed into city government.

Some new positions were easily justified. For example, the grant funding for fire department positions will expire during the new budget, and the fire chief requested that these positions become permanent. The adding of three full-time firefighter positions has improved service delivery and nearly eliminated the inability to provide service during multiple calls in the same time period.

There were many unknowns going into these discussions — only the skillful questioning by Councilmen Mosby and Starbuck brought out some serious points to consider. I was impressed with the ability of the staff to respond promptly to the questions of the council members, and those answers required staffers to burn the midnight oil researching each one.

One answer revealed that the staff had not spent an estimated $1 million from the last two-year budget and this money would now be utilized in the new budget. Thus the council and taxpayers learned that the staff didn’t just spend everything they had but instead tried to be disciplined in the operation of the city.

A collateral benefit was that the questioning and answer seeking discovered that some administrative costs were listed more than once by various departments and some revenues were underestimated. Thus the final total was less than originally thought.

There were some unknowns that only time will provide the answer to. For example, when estimating revenue, it’s hard to say what the economy will do, how many new projects will actually be built or what funds will flow into Lompoc from either the state or federal government.

Another unknown is how many new regulations that the state or federal government will create that establish new unfunded mandates that the city must pay for. Recent examples are the new sick leave standards that will increase employer costs and stormwater management and methane gas recovery systems at the landfill.

One thing is clear: The city administration was very conservative with their budgeting estimates, meaning that they probably underestimated revenue and overestimated expenses. One example was the addition of three new administrative staff positions.

The city administrator pointed out that even if the council approved the additional staff, the human resources department couldn’t possibly recruit and hire new folks for several months, thus there would be an immediate “savings” of several hundred thousand dollars in salary costs in the first year.

Another revelation was that a major effort is under way to examine the fee schedule for public services. A several hundred page report is in its final stages and should be put on the council agenda for public discussion in the next few months.

During the last meeting on this subject on June 23, the staff rolled out a well-thought-out graphic. The staff displayed an Excel spreadsheet to automatically calculate the impact of funding their “wish list” on both the bottom line and amount of reserves needed as each decision was made. All funds were approved and they still lowered the amount of reserves needed by 30 percent.

This budget had a lot of moving parts, but at the end of the day taxpayers can feel confident that we have the right membership on the council who ask the tough questions and won’t just rubber stamp anything that comes their way.

Well done, Lompoc!

— Ron Fink, a Lompoc resident since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry and has been active with Lompoc municipal government commissions and committee since 1992, including 12 years on the Lompoc Planning Commission. He is also a voting member of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association. Contact him at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.


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UCSB Scholar Iair Arcavi to Use Harvey L. Karp Discovery Award to Study Supermassive Black Holes

By | Published on 06/30/2015


The mass of supermassive black holes is almost beyond imagining. They can be millions, even billions of times the mass of our sun. While scientists aren’t clear about how such entities could exist, these behemoths apparently inhabit the center of almost all galaxies.

And Iair Arcavi wants to learn more.

Arcavi, a joint postdoctoral scholar at UC Santa Barbara’s Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics and the Las Cumbres Observatory Global Telescope Network, will be able to do just that as the recipient of the 2015 Harvey L. Karp Discovery Award. Funded through a $48,000 gift from international business leader and entrepreneur Harvey Karp, the award is intended to support the innovative research of exceptional early career postdocs in UCSB’s Division of Mathematical, Life and Physical Sciences.

“I was really excited — and surprised — to receive the Karp award,” Arcavi said. “After all, black holes are so esoteric. But I’m happy that curiosity-driven research like mine is being recognized and supported.”

In order to form a more complete picture of supermassive black holes, Arcavi will use the award to advance his latest research project, “Seeing the Invisible: A New Tool for Discovering and Studying Supermassive Black Holes.”

Lars Bildsten, director of KITP, nominated Arcavi for the award. “I have given Iair a large amount of freedom to define his own projects and explore, which he has done with vigor,” Bildsten said. “His publication record speaks to his broad involvement in many distinct activities, and this project is in the prime field where Iair intends to make a distinctive mark.”

To contribute to the science of supermassive black holes, Arcavi and colleagues at LCOGT will look for tidal disruption events in very specific types of galaxies. Tidal disruption occurs when a star orbiting a massive black hole makes a close approach and is pulled apart by the black hole tidal forces.

The idea of tidal disruption events originated in the 1970s, but it wasn’t until 2012 that scientists reported witnessing one of these rare events. In 2014, three more were described in a paper led by Arcavi using data from the Palomar Transient Factory, a Caltech-led transient survey. Arcavi also published new data on a fourth event found by an Ohio State University-led survey called ASAS-SN and linked two other events in the literature to this class of tidal disruption events.

All of these events share common properties. In fact, six out of the seven occurred in a very rare type of galaxy called E+A. The E stands for elliptical and the A for A-type stars, which are overabundant in E+A galaxies.

“It’s been very exciting and we want to find more because seven is not enough,” Arcavi said. “We still don’t understand the events themselves and if we want to use them to deduce the mass of a black hole, we first have to understand what’s going on when a star gets disrupted.”

The project will use the LCOGT’s network to track 100 of the most easily observable E+A galaxies, visiting each of them once a month for a year. Images will be compared to determine whether new points of light have occurred. These could represent tidal disruption events.

“No one has ever specifically monitored E+A galaxies in any kind of transient survey so we don’t know what we’ll find,” Arcavi said. “The worst case is we detect nothing in 100 galaxies. Then we can say the rate is not once per year, not even once per 10 years; it’s probably lower than once in 100 years. That would set some limits, but the optimistic scenario is that we witness stars being disrupted in these galaxies. We’re hopeful — but either way it should be interesting.”

“Iair Arcavi is a visionary, and I’m thrilled to see this acknowledged by the Karp Discovery Award,” said Andy Howell, leader of the supernova group at LCOGT, which includes Arcavi. “His work lets us see the universe in new ways, and the technology he will develop here will allow us to better understand stars being disrupted by black holes but will be useful for all kinds of research beyond that. He’s gambling for big results, but it is built on a safe bet that looking at the sky in a new way is always a winner.”

— Julie Cohen represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.


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Storyteller Children’s Center Selects Donna Barranco Fisher as Executive Director

By | Published on 06/30/2015


The Board of Directors of Storyteller Children’s Center is pleased to announce the selection of Donna Barranco Fisher as its new executive director.

Donna Barranco Fisher

Fisher will succeed Terri Alison, who is retiring after having served as the innovative and compassionate leader of Storyteller for 10 years.

Fisher has spent her entire career devoted to education, with a focus on working with children with special needs and training special education teachers. She comes to Storyteller from Project Optimal, where she directed teacher preparation programs in the subject areas of autism, traumatic brain injury, early childhood special education and emotional disturbance.

"I am thrilled to be joining one of our community's most important and treasured organizations,” said Fisher, who was previously the director of education for the Devereux Foundation in California and was a teacher at The Buckley School in Los Angeles for 13 years. “The dedication of the staff, board and community is one reason why I am so excited to be a part of Storyteller. I look forward to helping our children become fully prepared for kindergarten."

Storyteller is a tuition-free preschool for homeless and at-risk children ages 18 months to 5 years old. It has two sites in Santa Barbara and serves approximately 100 families per year.

An active community volunteer, Fisher has served on the boards of the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Transition House, CALM, Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara, Jodi House, Hospice of Santa Barbara and Casa Pacifica. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education from Mills College and a bachelor’s degree in child development from California State University-Chico.

Storyteller’s Board of Directors conducted an extensive nine-month search process for a new executive director in conjunction with developing a five-year strategic plan.

“We are so fortunate to have found such a well-qualified and experienced candidate who was already living right here in Santa Barbara,” said Tiffany Foster, president of the Storyteller board. “Although we will miss Terri, her heartfelt work over the past 10 years will leave a lasting legacy and a strong foundation for Storyteller children and families in the years to come. We believe Donna is an excellent choice to help us fulfill our vital mission in the Santa Barbara community.”

— Rob Grayson is the director of development for the Storyteller Children’s Center.


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With NSF Funding, UCSB Researchers Study Effects of Novel Way of Eradicating Schistosomiasis

By | Published on 06/30/2015


Built in 1986, the Diama Dam between Senegal and Mauritania was constructed on the Senegal River to improve irrigation for nearby crops and prevent upstream saltwater intrusion. However, shortly after its completion, it became evident that what many people in the area would have gained in economic opportunity they lost in public health.

Lopez Carr
David López-Carr

Armand Kuris

The dam, while improving irrigation and providing a source of fresh water, also presented ideal conditions for snails that host the Schistosoma parasite. As a result, those who live and work around that section of the Senegal River are constantly infected and reinfected by the flatworm and suffer from the effects of schistosomiasis. Senegal has one of the world’s worst schistosomiasis problems.

“It’s a debilitating disease,” said Armand Kuris, UC Santa Barbara professor of zoology and one of the world’s leading parasitologists.

Unlike other serious contagious diseases, such as tuberculosis or HIV/AIDS, schistosomiasis is chronic, said Kuris. Rather than killing outright, schistosomiasis erodes the human host’s health as the worms multiply in his or her body. Eggs, if not expelled in the host’s urine or feces, can migrate to different organs, disrupting their functions. The result is overall poor physical health, an impaired immune system and cognitive difficulty.

A Chronic Disadvantage

The disease has wider implications, according to UCSB geography professor David López-Carr, whose research focuses on the human dimensions of environment change, particularly in the developing areas of the world, as well as rural poverty and development. Those chronically afflicted tend to be the rural poor, people who live and work, bathe and play in the river and surrounding waterways and farms. This is where the infected freshwater snails thrive and continuously shed cercariae, the free-swimming larvae of the parasite that seek out and penetrate human skin. Because the people are constantly exposed to the parasite, and don’t have the means to avoid it in their daily lives or afford treatment, this population is chronically at a health and socioeconomic disadvantage, with poverty and poor health affecting each other in a self-perpetuating cycle.

“It makes you less competent at anything you do,” said López-Carr. “It makes you less effective as a parent or in your work — and that has a huge economic impact on a society.”

Conventional treatments for this ongoing schistosomiasis epidemic have consisted of drug-based control programs and preventive chemotherapy, programs that have had successes. However, the environment of the Senegal River, with its impacted ecology, provides the setting for rapid reinfection, according to Kuris, who has been studying schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa for 25 years. Medical programs to cure people of schistosomiasis, though effective, are ultimately unsustainable if the source of the parasites remains unmitigated, he said.

Looking to Prawns

However, there is hope, and it might be in the form of a local river prawn (Macrobrachium vollenhovenii), currently under study by Kuris and colleagues in Senegal, that has the potential to turn the situation around. Reintroducing the crustacean into the affected areas to prey on the snails could disrupt the parasite’s life cycle and diminish, if not eliminate, the schistosome’s presence in the water.

“In the big picture, what we’d really like to do is eliminate this scourge,” said López-Carr. Depending on the efficiency and effectiveness of the method, efforts in the area to reduce the prevalence of and infections by the parasite may not only get a much-needed boost but the local economy may also profit. The prawns, which do not become infected with the flatworm larvae they eat along with the host snails, could also potentially be farmed for food and sold at market, he said.

This novel way of eradicating an infectious disease like schistosomiasis has many levels and, with a highly competitive $1.5 million grant provided by the National Science Foundation, López-Carr, Kuris and a host of researchers from various disciplines will be studying these levels by looking at, among other things, the complex interaction of human and natural forces that may alter patterns of disease transmission. The principal investigators in this project also include James Sanchirico, professor in the Department of Environmental Science & Policy at UC Davis; Kentucky State University aquaculture expert James Tidwell; and Susanne Sokolow, associate research biologist dually appointed at UCSB and Stanford University.

“The main question is, ‘What are the predictors of human infection or reinfection?’” said López-Carr. Because schistosomiasis is an insidious disease — people can have it without dying and often without obvious outward symptoms for long periods of time — the geographic, social and demographic elements that may influence who gets the disease and how infection, in turn, affects people and their interactions with the local environment have not yet been studied in-depth, according to López-Carr.

Doubling Up on Studies

“We plan to couple the study of the biological dynamics with models of the economics of the disease and of the prawn intervention,” said Sokolow. Small prawns are most effective at killing snails, she added, so the ones that have grown large can be harvested for sale or consumption, provided small ones are stocked in their place. “In this project, our bio-economic models will aim to answer the questions of how many prawns to stock, when to harvest, and how to devise the optimal win-win-win-win solution that benefits human health, environmental restoration, hunger alleviation and economic development,” she said.

This grant, awarded by the NSF’s Dynamics of Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) Program, will fund a multipronged approach that will include drug treatments and reintroduction of the prawns, surveys, monitoring, interviews and experiments that are expected to provide insights across various fields, including trophic ecology, epidemiology, aquaculture, economics and other social sciences as well as mathematical modeling. While the results of this study will relate directly to this region of Africa, the valuable information gained could apply to natural and human systems that involve the transmission of waterborne diseases in rivers and other bodies of water in the world. Progress on the researchers’ efforts can be found at the website for The Upstream Alliance, the umbrella organization under which all collaborators are working.

Funding for the project has also been provided by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Grand Challenges Canada.

“It is, we hope, a very illustrative example whereby we can intervene in a natural system in a way that is not destructive but in a way that can replenish a native resource and improve health and livelihoods,” said López-Carr.

— Sonia Fernandez represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.


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Cynder Sinclair: How to Create a Culture of Disciplined Innovation in Your Nonprofit

By | Published on 06/30/2015


Ever wonder why some organizations seem to always come up with clever ideas for achieving their mission? Do you find yourself wishing you had one of those “creative types” on your staff so your nonprofit could find ways to work smarter not harder? Would you be surprised to know that encouraging this type of innovation in your group merely takes discipline?

Discipline and innovation seem to be at opposite ends of the spectrum. We think of discipline as very structured and clearly defined, while innovation seems very fluid and unpredictable. Many think it takes a special kind of person to innovate — someone who mysteriously thinks of creative ways of doing our work differently.

What Does It Take to Innovate?

Successful innovators say their ideas usually come when they move out of their normal daily environment and are doing something other than their regular routine. Inspiration comes when they are walking on the beach or in the woods, or when working with other volunteers on a project, or coaching their youngster’s soccer team. They connect seemingly unrelated events to systems or projects at work. It’s not mysterious — it’s just how the human brain works.

Stuart Jenkins, senior vice president of innovation at Deckers, says innovation takes passion, courage and persistence. “You don’t have to be an expert to innovate. Have confidence that with what you know and what you’re interested in, you can innovate; you can drive powerful positive change no matter where you are.”

Jenkins further counsels, “When you’re innovating, do not expect the crowd to stand up and applaud. You have to be humble enough to keep moving forward and confident enough not to care what people think.” Jenkins warns that conforming to other people’s ways of thinking inhibits innovation.

And the time is now. Our communities need nonprofits to innovate more than ever before. Management guru Peter Drucker says, “In the years ahead, America’s nonprofits will become even more important. As government retrenches, Americans will look increasingly to the nonprofits to tackle the problems of a fast-changing society. These challenges will demand innovation — in services, and in nonprofit management.”

Innovate for the Present Not the Future

Drucker said the keys to successful innovation are simplicity and focus. Innovations that work are breathtakingly simple and focus on one specific need. They always start small. This keeps the risk and resource requirement modest. Don’t try to be clever or perfect. There will always be time for adjustments. This idea is similar to Jim Collins’ principle of shooting bullets (trial balloons) then calibrated cannon balls as described in his book Great By Choice.

Another key factor, Drucker said, is to not try to innovate for the future, but innovate for the present. The innovation may have long term impact, but if you can’t get it adopted now there won’t be any future.

Drucker recommended that innovators define risks and seek to minimize them. Innovations are successful to the extent that they systematically analyze the sources of opportunity, pinpoint the opportunity, and then exploit it, whether an opportunity has small and definable risk, or larger but still definable risk. Successful innovators are conservative; they are not risk-focused, but rather are opportunity-focused.

Create a Culture of Discipline

And what can a nonprofit do to encourage innovation among its staff and stakeholders? Drucker says the answer is discipline. He revealed that organizations interested in innovation must create a culture that encourages it. Leaders must educate their staff about how innovation works, encourage everyone to innovate, and reward behavior that leads to transformational ideas. Leaders of innovative organizations routinely communicate the value of creative thinking and exploring alternative ways of work. They reward employees who engage in calculated risk-taking, regardless of the result. This can be unnerving but important in creating a work environment where people feel comfortable taking risks. This type of culture leads to innovative outcomes that drive organizational growth and performance.

Drucker assured us that innovation is hard work, requiring knowledge, ingenuity, and creativity. Only those with diligence, perseverance and commitment succeed. Successful innovators build on their own strengths to find innovations that are a good fit with the organizational culture and business strategy.

Innovation Depends on Nonprofits Today

Bill Shore, founder and chief executive of Share Our Strength, believes that “nonprofits need to allocate a portion of their own budgets to innovate, even with all of the risk that entails, and to share what they learn. Investment in innovations that may not pay off until the long term are never easy, but they are the hallmark of adaptation and growth necessary for success.”

This approach to business can be challenging for nonprofits because their limited financial and human resources are always looming over their daily work. So, leaders who want to stimulate innovation are intentional and deliberate about carving out a space for innovation. Nonprofits wanting to drive high performance will set their risk-averse nature aside to intentionally create a culture of disciplined innovation.

— Dr. Cynder Sinclair is a consultant to nonprofits and founder and CEO of Nonprofit Kinect. She has been successfully leading nonprofits for 30 years and holds a doctorate in organizational management. To read her blog, click here. To read her previous articles, click here. She can be contacted at 805.689.2137 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The opinions expressed are her own.


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Bill Cirone: As We Celebrate Independence, We Should Also Strive to Be Better Citizens

By | Published on 06/30/2015


This weekend the United States marks 239 years since the founders boldly asserted certain “truths to be self evident.” They stated early in the Declaration of Independence that “All men are created equal,” and are entitled to “Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.”

But as the awful events that unfolded on a sultry Wednesday evening at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., recently demonstrated, not every citizen subscribes to that elusive ideal of equality. Tragically, some choose not to pursue happiness, but rather pursue bigotry and hate — with murderous zeal.

A member of my staff happened to be visiting family in Charleston during that tumultuous time; his plane touched down in coastal Carolina about an hour after police apprehended the 21-year-old alleged murderer. When David returned to work the following week, I asked him about some of his observations.

“It was surreal,” he said. “The entire community seemed shaken to its core. And there were so many emotions swirling: fear, anger, bewilderment, suspicion. And intense grief. But what was most remarkable was the eagerness with which the victims’ families sought healing and reconciliation, and offered forgiveness.”

Several of us talked about a number of things that afternoon: gun control, the Confederate flag debate, race relations in the U.S. — a conversation that was rich and expansive and thought provoking, and which makes me grateful that we work and live in a place, a city, a state and a country that places a premium on those kinds of discussions.

But we all seemed to gravitate back toward that striking demonstration of forgiveness and healing. I know we were not alone in that marvel. A day earlier New York Times columnist David Brooks told NPR’s Melissa Block that this gesture by the victims’ family members demonstrated a “depth of graciousness of spirit that's almost beyond fathoming.” Indeed.

Last Friday, President Barack Obama delivered the eulogy for the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, who, along with eight of his parishioners, was senselessly gunned down nine days earlier in one of his church’s classrooms. It was clear that Obama, too, was moved by the community’s eagerness to heal, as “grace” was the dominant theme of his message.

“The alleged killer,” the president observed, “could not have imagined … how the United States of America would respond: not merely with revulsion, but with a thoughtful introspection and self-examination that we so rarely see in public life.” In an extraordinary moment toward the end of his remarks, the president leaned into the microphone and began singing “Amazing Grace.” The thousands in attendance at the memorial soon joined in. Only in America.

July 4 marks another anniversary, one considerably lesser known but which also obliges me to say, “Only in America.” On July 4, 1826, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson — the second and third American presidents, respectively — died within hours of each other. These two signers of the Declaration went on to become bitter political rivalries. Later in life, however, they largely set aside their political differences, and in their post-presidencies began a written correspondence that is unmatched in the history of American letters.

The exchange is fascinating, but one quote from Jefferson, writing from his home in Monticello, Va., stands out.

“I steer my bark with Hope in the Head,” he wrote to the New Englander Adams, “leaving Fear astern.” I would argue that the contemporary version of Jefferson’s observation was heard from the pulpit at Pinckney’s memorial service. “Weeping may endure for a night,” Bishop John Bryant said, “but joy comes in the morning. Touch the person next to you and say, ‘Good morning.’”

It is my hope that, as our country once again celebrates its independence this July 4, we renew our commitment to leave behind the fear and hatred that was on such conspicuous, painful display recently. Instead, we should aspire as citizens of this extraordinary nation to heed the admonition of both Jefferson and Bishop Bryant to grow, to be better versions of ourselves, and to continue in our learning and self-discovery.

— Bill Cirone is Santa Barbara County’s superintendent of schools. The opinions expressed are his own.


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California Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Vaccination Bill Eliminating Personal Belief Exemptions

By | Published on 06/30/2015


Children entering public and private schools in California are now required to receive a schedule of vaccinations and their parents can no longer opt out of the shots based on personal beliefs, as Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 277 into law Tuesday. 

The bill was authored by state Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, who is also a pediatrician. One of the bill's co-authors is Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, who represents Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

Now, elementary and secondary private and public schools, day cares, child care centers, development centers and nurseries are all covered by the law, which requires pupils to get immunized by July 1, 2016, in order to be enrolled in the fall.

Students in a home-based private school or independent study program who do not receive classroom-based instruction would be exempt.

Jackson said that she was pleased the Governor had signed the bill into law, and that it was a "balanced and reasonable approach" that puts the health of communities and children first while allowing for medical exemptions at a doctor's discretion.

“As a parent and a grandparent, I support vaccines," Jackson said. "They are a safe and effective way to protect our school children from highly preventable yet very serious diseases like measles and whooping cough.”

Passage of the law comes at a time when the state has suffered both measles and pertussis outbreaks. Santa Barbara County reported its first infant death from whooping cough earlier this year after a unvaccinated caretaker reportedly spread the disease to the baby.

Though Santa Barbara County saw 195 kindergartners entering schools under the personal belief exemptions in the 2014-15 school year, a nearly 2 percent drop from the previous year, rates remain high, especially in certain schools, according to numbers from the California Department of Public Health.

For example, Waldorf School had an opt-out rate of 87 percent of kindergartners in the 2013 school year.

Statewide, 90.7 percent of kindergartners entered public school this year with all required immunizations, while only 86.6 percent of kindergartners at private schools had the required shots.

In a memo to the State Senate sent out Tuesday morning, Brown acknowledged that the bill has garnered widespread interested and controversy, "with both proponents and opponents expressing their positions with eloquence and sincerity."

Brown said that the science is clear that vaccines dramatically protect children against a number of infectious and dangerous diseases.

"While it's true that no medical intervention is without the risk, the evidence shows that immunization powerfully benefits and protects the community," he wrote.

Brown noted that the law had been amended after considerable debate to exempt a child from immunizations whenever the child's physician concludes that there are medical circumstances which could cause the doctor to not recommend immunization.

Dr. Dan Brennan, a pediatrician at Sansum Clinic, said Tuesday he feels the new law will help rebuild school immunity levels back up to 95 percent, the level needed to achieve herd immunity.

When that happens, "then we will have created a safer place for all of our friends, neighbors and relatives who live with fragile immune systems," Brennan said.

The pediatrician said the community still has much work to do, and added that local parents coming into his office "overwhelmingly been looking to immunize their children."

A current vaccination schedule as well as where parents can take their children locally to stay up to date on vaccinations can be found here.

"I am hopeful that SB 277 will continue to help with this momentum," Brennan said.

Dr. Takashi Wada, Director of Santa Barbara County's Public Health Department, said that vaccines are the best tool control the spread of preventable diseases like measles and whooping cough.

"They prevent illness not only in the individual and their families, but also protect the broader community as there are many individuals who are not able to receive immunizations for medical reasons" Wada said.

"The Public Health Department will certainly work with our local partners to fully implement provisions of the bill and vaccination rates in school age children would likely improve within the county.” 

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Cancer Center of Santa Barbara Receives $8.2 Million Gift from Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree

By | Published on 06/30/2015


Cancer Center
Philanthropist Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree with physicians and providers of the Cancer Center for the Santa Barbara. (Cancer Center for the Santa Barbara photo)

Local philanthropist Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree generously contributed $8.2 million toward a new Cancer Center for the Santa Barbara community, announced Kurt Ransohoff, M.D., CEO and chief medical officer of Sansum Clinic.

“Lady Ridley-Tree has incredible vision and generosity and her support is so meaningful to the Cancer Center. This is just one more example of the positive impact she continues to have on our special community," Dr. Ransohoff said. "A new Cancer Center will allow us to centralize all our outpatient cancer care, creating a seamless, personalized experience for the patients who entrust us in their time of need. Lives will be saved and enhanced through this integrated, collaborative approach which is essential in continuing our progress against cancer."

“I have had the good fortune to be able to support many organizations in our community, but this one touches my heart in a very personal way,” Lady Ridley-Tree said as she signed her gift check. “I still remember sitting in the windowless basement of the Cancer Center with my husband, Paul, while he was getting chemotherapy. To imagine future patients enjoying warm sunlight as they look out on a canopy of trees is like a dream. Such an environment will be transformational … inspirational. This new Cancer Center is exactly what this community needs, and I’m delighted to support it.”

A new $68 million multidisciplinary Cancer Center will save and enhance the lives of those diagnosed with cancer by unifying the newest technology, multiple medical departments and wellness programs into one modern facility in line with the National Cancer Institute’s recommended best practices. Located within two blocks of Sansum Clinic and Cottage Hospital in the heart of Santa Barbara’s medical village, this new 54,780-square-foot facility will be a model of coordinated cancer treatment, achieving both scientifically comprehensive and intensely personal care.

"We were founded on a commitment to our community to provide patients with exceptional cancer care, including access to the latest clinical research, the most advanced technology and the most highly-trained physicians, close to home," Dr. Ransohoff said. "Uniting our skilled, experienced and respected medical and support team into one modern facility for more synchronized care and enhanced access to protocols, research and genomics, is a bold demonstration of our commitment to providing the best care possible to patients in our community."

Thanks to the foresight and generosity of our community, the Cancer Center has been home to first-rate diagnostic and treatment equipment, and robust research and supportive care programs since 1949. The highly qualified physicians at the Cancer Center have been trained at leading institutions including Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Dana Farber, Mayo Clinic, National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, USC, Yale, Cornell, UCSD, UCSF and University of New York at Buffalo.

The new facility is designed to coordinate care and facilitate even better outcomes, provide room for the latest treatment technologies, and offer the space needed to care for the increasing number of cancer patients expected as baby boomers age. A 35% increase is projected to occur for patients 65+ over the next decade. On-site clinical research to help develop new cancer drugs will remain an integral component of this new comprehensive Cancer Center with designated space for expanded Phase II and III clinical trials.

Cancer care requires the involvement of a team which includes medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, primary care physicians, geneticists, nutritionists, clinical research coordinators, nurses, social workers and wellness practitioners. Providing all members of the team close proximity to consult and collaborate will improve treatment plans, coordinated care and patient outcomes, while lessening the burden on patients and their family members who support their care.

Santa Barbara’s new Cancer Center will provide a rich environment to propel cancer care in our region to a higher level of excellence, where patients can walk through one door to meet their entire cancer care team. More than ever before, patients will be able to be active participants in their treatment decisions, with less stress and more energy to direct toward their health and healing.

— Liz Baker is the marketing supervisor for Sansum Clinic.


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Suspect in Residential Burglary in Santa Maria Arrested After Short Pursuit, Confrontation

By | Published on 06/30/2015


A man was arrested for residential burglary and resisting arrest after a short pursuit on foot and a confrontation with a Santa Maria police officer Monday night.

A neighbor noticed a man inside a house in the 600 block of East Alvin and knew no one was supposed to be home at the time, Santa Maria police said.

The neighbor called police at 9:38 p.m., and when officers arrived the burglar ran out of the house and down the block, according to authorities.

An officer chased the man to a nearby front yard, “where he suddenly turned and attacked the lone officer, striking him at least once,” police said.

The officer used his Taser and then arrested the suspect, police said. Both the suspect and officer suffered “very minor injury” from the incident, according to the Santa Maria Police Department. 

Officers investigating the residence found forced entry and other evidence, and Derek Andrew Shelton, 28, was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of residential burglary and resisting arrest by use of force, both felony charges, police said. 

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Santa Barbara MTD Announces Winners of 2015 Youth Art Contest

By | Published on 06/30/2015


The Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District is pleased to announce the winners of our 2015 Youth Art Contest.

This year’s theme was “Riding the Bus with MTD.”

Artists in first through sixth grades participated through the many after-school programs throughout the region. Participating programs included our public libraries, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Goleta, Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, Girls Inc. of Santa Barbara and Carpinteria, the A-OK and RAP after-school programs.

Thanks go out to our many local businesses for their generosity in supporting the contestants, including Zodo’s Bowling, Rusty’s Pizza, Blenders in the Grass, Metropolitan Theaters, McConnell’s Ice Cream, the Little Toot, the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and more. These prizes encourage our children to strive to achieve and help to make their summer a little bit brighter!

Grades 1-3

» 1st Place — Jonathan Cabrera, Canalino School, grade 3

» 2nd Place — Camilia Hernandez, Aliso School, grade 3

» 3rd Place — Simon Rencher, Monroe School, grade 1

Grades 4-6

» 1st Place — Fiona Hernandez, Roosevelt School, grade 4

» 2nd Place — Joshua Wazny, Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, grade 4

» 3rd Place — Juliana Ornelas, Canalino School, grade 4

Due to the overwhelming response to the contest, there were also many artists who received Honorable Mention awards and prizes.

— Nancy Alexander is the community relations coordinator for Santa Barbara MTD.


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Gerald Carpenter: Music Academy’s Festival Artists to Perform Schumann, Mozart

By | Published on 06/30/2015


The Festival Artists Series at the Music Academy of the West continues at 8 p.m. Tuesday in the Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St.

Clara Wieck Schumann was the perfect steward of her husband's posthumous reputation.

The three works on the program are Wolfgang Mozart's Serenade No. 12 for Winds in C-Minor, K. 388/384a (1782) performed by Eugene Izotov on oboe, Richie Hawley on clarinet, Dennis Michel on bassoon, Julie Landsman on horn, and several Academy Fellows; Robert Schumann's Fairy Tales (Märchenerzählungen) for Clarinet, Viola, and Piano, Opus 132 (1853) by Cynthia Phelps on viola, Richie Hawley on clarinet and Jeremy Denk on piano; and Mozart's String Quintet No. 3 in C-Major, K. 515 (1787) by Jorja Fleezanis and Kathleen Winkler on violins, Cynthia Phelps and Karen Dreyfus on violas, and Alan Stepansky on cello.

The Schumann is definitely the exotic bloom of this program. The composer's descent into the hell of mental illness — he seems to have suffered an extreme bipolar condition — had all but reached its nadir when an 1853 visit from his young friend and protegee, Johannes Brahms, gave him the will to pull back from the brink of the abyss and even attempt some composition.

Sadly, his brief sojurn in the eye of his own mental hurricane produced only one salvageable work of art, the Opus 132 Fairy Tales. The darkness soon returned, the winds in his soul began to howl, and a few months later he attempted to drown himself in the Rhine. The last two years of his life were passed in an asylum.

After the composer's death, his widow, the celebrated pianist Clara Wieck, called in Brahms and together they went through Schumann's last manuscripts. The few that could be saved they edited and published; the rest they burned ("Why leave this deformed footprint behind?" asks the critic of the director in Fellini's ). The Fairy Tales were the last works to be nudged into shape and allowed into print by the duo.

Thanks no doubt to the calming presence of Brahms, the Fairy Tales show little sign of the the agitation of Schumann's mind. They are charming and lighthearted, full of memorable, graceful tunes, with only the occasional weirdness or eccentricity that I have come to regard as going with the territory when I am in Schumannland.

Also, "Concerto Night" looms, and the Competition Finals for string players will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday in Hahn Hall; Competition finals for winds, brass, percussion and piano come at 7 p.m. Thursday in Hahn Hall.

Tickets to this Festival Artists concert are $10 and $42, with those ages 7 to 17 admitted free. Tickets to the Concerto Competition Finals are $15. For tickets and other information, call 805.969.8787 or click here.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Cody Makela Joins Arlington Financial Advisors’ Santa Barbara Office

By | Published on 06/30/2015


Cody Makela
Cody Makela

Cody Makela has joined the Santa Barbara office of Arlington Financial Advisors as a registered associate.

Prior to joining Arlington Financial Advisors, Makela was a client services specialist at Charles Schwab & Co. Inc. for four years.

“Cody brings a very high level of professionalism and expertise that we believe can be a real benefit to our clients. We are very fortunate to have Cody as a member of our team at Arlington Financial Advisors,” said Joe Weiland, managing partner of Arlington Financial Advisors.

A graduate of UC Santa Barbara with a degree in business economics, Makela has over five years of experience in the financial services industry. He is a member of the Trust for Historic Preservation and the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.

He resides in Santa Barbara with his wife and their daughter.

Arlington Financial Advisors has been serving investors in the Santa Barbara area for over five years and now has five financial advisors on staff. The office is located at 100 E. De la Guerra St. in Santa Barbara. Click here for more information.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing Arlington Financial Advisors.


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Santa Barbara Looks To Crack Down On News Racks, Charge Annual Fees

By | Published on 06/29/2015


City proposes an annual fee for news racks, requiring fresh paint or replacement to make them look the same

The city of Santa Barbara wants to regulate more than 750 news racks around town, forcing owners to pay an annual fee and eventually upgrade or buy more attractive, modern news racks. 

John Ewasiuk, principal civil engineer for the city, said he expects the new regulations to result in fewer news racks in the city.

"We anticipate there will be at least a 10-percent reduction in news racks," Ewasiuk said during a recent budget hearing on the matter. "The media system, the mechanism by which people get information, is changing, and will continue to change. Once we implement the fees I expect a further reduction." 

The new rack regulations will go before the Santa Barbara City Council's Ordinance Committee on Tuesday, and then to the full City Council for a decision.

The city wants to charge owners $13 per rack annually. The city also owns its own "cabinets," where companies place newspapers or magazines.

The city will charge those customers $18 annual fees. All new news racks will cost $236.

Central Coast Circulation owns the largest number of news racks in the city with 284, according to Ewasiuk. Those racks are home to Casa, Homes Magazine, Family Life and other publications. 

City officials say they have worked closely with "stakeholders" on the process.

Manuel Cardoso, owner of Central Coast Circulation, however, isn't thrilled with the new regulations. All together, he said, it is going to cost him an extra $5,000 annually to run his business. 

"Either we have registered racks and we pay the fee or we don't do business in the city," Cardoso said. "We do not have a choice, but to go to them."

In addition to the fees, the city wants to make the racks look uniform. Owners will have to comply with rules laid down by the Architectural Board of Review and Historic Landmarks Commission, and it's proposed to have racks painted a shade of green or, if they are really old, replaced all together.

"They are trying to reduce the number of racks in the city," Cardoso said. 

Brian Smith owns the second-most, with 209. Those racks are home to the Montecito Journal, the Santa Barbara Sentinel and others.

The Santa Barbara News-Press owns 101 and the Santa Barbara Independent owns 77 racks, Ewasiuk said. 

The numbers, Ewasiuk said, were derived from a city survey that shows a total of 770 news racks in the city, but he added that there is no official paperwork documenting the actual number of news racks in the city. 

City officials say they have received "numerous complaints" regarding the condition of news racks. The city would like every news rack owner to register and pay the fees by June 30, 2016. 

"The goal here is to have those news racks be improved," Ewasiuk said at the recent finance committee meeting. "There's a need now for a big improvement in the news rack maintenance."

Councilman Harwood "Bendy" White said he appreciated the city's efforts to "tame this mini tiger."

"It's not been an easy process," White said at that meeting. "It's one more piece of beautification of our city."

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Santa Barbara May Loan $1 Million to Low-Income Senior Housing Project

By | Published on 06/29/2015


Housing Authority's $16-million Grace Village project on the 3800 block of State Street will replace the Grace Lutheran Church at the site

Santa Barbara's Housing Authority wants to move ahead with a plan to build 57 one-bedroom affordable apartments for seniors.

The Housing Authority will bring its Grace Village Apartments project to the City Council Tuesday in search of a $1 million loan to help fund the $16.3 million project

The $1 million will help the Housing Authority qualify for $8.6 million in tax credits to fund the project. 

"We have a large aging population here," said Rob Fredericks, Housing Authority deputy director. "These seniors need affordable housing."

The apartments will be rented on a sliding scale, from $450 a month to $900 a month, "far below market rent," said Fredericks, noting that one-bedroom apartments in Santa Barbara could go for as much as $1,600. 

Santa Barbara mirrors the rest of the nation with a dramatic rise in its aging baby boomer population. The number of people 50 years old and older increased by 35 million from 1990 to 2010, Fredericks said. By 2030, the number of people 65 and older will reach 71.5 million, Fredericks said. 

In Santa Barbara County, volunteers counted seniors who were homeless last year.

"They just can't afford the rent," Fredericks said. 

More than 2,000 seniors are currently on the waitlist for subsidized senior housing in Santa Barbara.

The project is located at 3869 State St., near Panera Cafe. Grace Lutheran Church donated the land to the Housing Authority, at an estimated worth of $3 million, and the building will be demolished to build the senior housing. The church held its final service in February of this year. 

If the Housing Authority can secure the tax credits, it hopes to begin construction later this year, followed by an estimated 18-month construction schedule. The loan would be paid back over 30 years, at three percent interest.

"Rather than closing their doors it was their desire to see the property go to affordable housing for seniors," Fredericks said. 

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider supports the plan.

"The 'Silver Tsunami' is coming and we must be prepared to find new creative ways to provide safe and affordable housing for a growing senior population," Mayor Schneider said. "We are fortunate to have this new public/private partnership between the City of Santa Barbara, City Housing Authority and Grace Lutheran Church to meet this need."

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Karen Telleen-Lawton: The Pope and the Environment — We Should Heed Warnings

By | Published on 06/29/2015


A friend greeted me on the church patio last week, asking, “Did you read the encyclical?” As Episcopalians, we’re not subject to or generally in tune with the pope’s teaching documents, but this one made waves. In a stark, dramatic and damning statement, Pope Francis declared that our “postindustrial period may well be remembered as one of the most irresponsible in history” for its failure to care for the planet. I respectfully agree — and disagree.

The pope was right on when he called out our collective actions causing climate change. “We may well be leaving to coming generations debris, desolation and filth,” he wrote. “The pace of consumption, waste and environmental change has so stretched the planet’s capacity that our contemporary lifestyle, unsustainable as it is, can only precipitate catastrophes.”

The pontiff blames a culture of instant gratification. We have a “disordered desire to consume more than what is really necessary.” We likely are not the first ones to indulge in instant gratification, but this may be the first time instant gratification could be indulged for an extended period without fatal consequence.

I applaud the pope’s statement, but I question whether we’re uniquely depraved. I just reread Jared Diamond’s Collapse (you’ll know why in a later column). Diamond reviewed studies of ancient civilizations around the world, comparing them as natural experiments about why societies succeed or fail.

Diamond’s research supports the pope’s proclamation. The commonalities among the societies that eventually failed included overwhelmingly environmental factors: deforestation and habitat destruction, soil problems (erosion, salinization, and soil fertility losses), water management, overhunting, overfishing, the effects of introduced species on native ones, and human population growth and impact.

Diamond went on to compare the physical characteristics 81 Pacific islands from New Zealand to Easter Island. He found that factors like an island’s rainfall, temperature, elevation, volcanic factors, remoteness and size affected whether the arrival of human colonizers caused dramatic deforestation. Deforestation, in turn, was the most influential factor in explaining whether the societies succeeded or failed.

At the world’s most remote island, for example, “The reason for Easter’s unusually severe degree of deforestation isn’t that those seemingly nice people really were unusually bad or improvident. Instead, they had the misfortune to be living in one of the most fragile environments, at the highest risk for deforestation, of any Pacific people.”

In our generation, we need to come to terms with the environmental fragility of our earth island. Diamond encourages us, “We have the opportunity to learn from the mistakes of distant peoples and past peoples. That’s an opportunity that no past society enjoyed to such a degree.” He alludes to a way forward, suggesting that societies who ultimately have been successful embraced long-term planning and a willingness to reconsider core values when those values prove to be detrimental.

The pontiff would surely concur. “Nobody is suggesting a return to the Stone Age,” he wrote. “But we do need to slow down and look at reality in a different way, to appropriate the positive and sustainable progress which has been made.”

Our generation faces a crucial choice. To whatever societies follow us, will we be known as “the most irresponsible in history,” as Pope Francis warns? Or can we plot a course that diverges from the one we’ve been on since the Industrial Revolution? I think we still have time to tack: to sail our collective ship of state to a more sustainable future.

— Karen Telleen-Lawton’s column is a mélange of observations spanning sustainability from the environment to finance, economics and justice issues. She is a fee-only financial advisor ( and a freelance writer ( Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.


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County-Contracted Forensic Pathologist Investigated By Santa Barbara County DA, Sheriff

By | Published on 06/29/2015


Santa Barbara County's District Attorney has confirmed that the office is investigating a county-contracted forensic pathologist who was put on administrative leave in his role as Ventura County's Chief Medical Examiner and is being investigated by the California Medical Board.

Dr. Jon Smith was placed on paid administrative leave last Tuesday after a search warrant was issued for the examiner's office by Ventura County's District Attorney as well as agents from the California Medical Board.

The Ventura County District Attorney's Office pursued that warrant "after information was received about the performance of unauthorized postmortem procedures by members of the Medical Examiner's Office," according to a statement.

Smith has also been a contract forensic pathologist for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff-Coroner's office since 2014, and on Monday afternoon, District Attorney Joyce Dudley confirmed an investigation is underway by her office and Sheriff Bill Brown's office. 

Dudley said she was notified after Ventura County's District Attorney issued their search warrants, and her office began an inquiry shortly after.

"We're looking closely at what occurred here," she said, noting the investigations conducted by the two counties will be different because Smith was an employee in one county as the chief medical examiner and a contractor in Santa Barbara County.

"The responsibilities and the legalities are different," she said.

No charges have been filed yet, and Dudley said that no warrants have been issued in the Santa Barbara County investigation. Smith has not been placed on leave in Santa Barbara County and as of Monday, was still under contract for pathology services. 

Smith did not return a call from Noozhawk requesting comment.

Santa Barbara County contracts with Smith to perform postmortem examinations and autopsies, prepare tissue sample for lab analysis, prepare reports of pathologic services and provide testimony during criminal prosecution proceeding, among other duties.

He has been a contractor with the county for pathology services since Nov. 2014 after the county's previous forensic pathologist left the county.

"Since that time, Dr. Smith has provided excellent service in the area of pathology and the search for a permanent replacement has resulted in very few candidates," Brown wrote in a May 19, 2015 letter prepared for the County Board of Supervisors. The letter said the move would provide a cost savings to the county in lieu of a permanent pathologist.

Supervisors approved a contract not to exceed $870,000 with Smith for the next three years, or $290,000 annually. Smith can charge $2,500 per homicide autopsy victim and $500 per hour for courtroom testimony.

The contract also states that Smith can bill for travel time for services other than postmortem examinations. The contract states travel time can be billed $250 per hour for the Ojai-based doctor to travel to the coroner's facility located in Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department Spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said the office is aware of the recent events and the investigation in the neighboring county.

"We are conducting our own independent inquiry into the situation and we will take steps to insure that all autopsies and other forensic pathology functions needed by our Coroner’s Office are conducted in an appropriate and professional manner," she said.

No action has been taken by the California Medical Board against Smith and he is fully licensed and authorized to practice and carry out the duties of a pathologist, she said.

Hoover stated that autopsies and forensic pathology services are handled differently in Santa Barbara County than in Ventura County, where the traditional office of Coroner has been replaced by an appointed Medical Examiner who, by law, must be a licensed medical practitioner, practicing in the specialty of forensic pathology. 

In Santa Barbara County, the duties of the Coroner under California law are the responsibility of an elected official who holds the offices of both Coroner and Sheriff, Sheriff-Coroner Bill Brown, Hoover said.

"In addition to his primary duties of law enforcement, Sheriff Brown carries out the Coroner’s official duties of determining cause of death with the assistance of medical doctors specializing in forensic pathology. Autopsy and pathology functions in Santa Barbara County will probably not be significantly affected," she added.

Smith is one of two regular pathologists that the county contracts with for their services, and Hoover said decisions about who will conduct autopsies "will be made as the need arises."

She said Smith is fully licensed to conduct pathology services as needed and other pathologists are also available. 

In Ventura last week, the District Attorney's office stated they seized "significant documentary evidence" and the investigation would take several months to complete.

Family members of decedents referred to the Ventura County Medical Examiner since 2012 who have questions or concerns could contact the Ventura County District Attorney's Office at 805.477.1651.

Part of the investigation includes a cease and desist letter sent to Smith from the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners. Smith allegedly signed for an autopsy performed by a person at a funeral home in Louisiana, even though neither Smith or the person who performed the autopsy are licensed in that state or had the proper legal authority.

A Feb. 10 letter from Dr. Cecilia Mouton of the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners warned of "unauthorized practice of medicine by out of state pathologists marketing autopsy services to funeral homes."

Her letter was sent to the director of that state's Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors, and stated that a family in that state had been referred to Oakland-based Regional Pathology and Autopsy Services, after which Smith had signed for an autopsy he had no legal authority over.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Burton Mesa Fire Near Lompoc Held to 320 Acres

By | Published on 06/29/2015


Full containment expected Tuesday; Investigators looking for 1-2 people seen near fire's origin

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Crews remained on the fire lines throughout the night Monday, continuing their efforts to quell a fast-moving vegetation fire that had charred some 320 acres in the Burton Mesa area near Lompoc.

As of 7 a.m. Tuesday, no structures had been damaged, and the blaze was 75-percent contained, said Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The fire had "laid down" by nightfall, and full containment was expected Tuesday, Zaniboni said.

One firefighters was hospitalized after sustaining a leg injury overnight, Zaniboni said.

Cause of the blaze remained under investigation, but Zaniboni said investigators "are looking for anyone with information about one to two individuals, most likely juveniles, who were on a hiking trail behind the water treatment plant at the time of the fire."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Fire Department tip line at 805.686.5074.

The fire, which was reported shortly before 1:30 p.m. near La Purisima Mission State Historic Park, was fueled by heavy brush and oak forests, Zaniboni said.

He added that firefighters were fortunate they did not have to contend with gusty conditions, and the weather Tuesday also was expected to be favorable.

The fire primarily burned east toward Cebada Canyon, which was the only area to remain under mandatory evacuation orders late Monday night.

"It was flaring up pretty good in that area, but tankers made about five drops and really put a damper on it," Zaniboni said.

Evacuations also had been ordered in other areas to the east, including Tularosa Road and Gypsy Canyon.

Thick smoke billows up Monday afternoon from a 320-acre vegetation fire burning in the Burton Mesa area near Lompoc. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

As of Tuesday morning, all mandatory evacuation orders had been lifted, but only residents were being allowed in Cebada Canyon.

On Monday afternoon, bulldozers were used to carve out containment lines on one side of the blaze while air tankers laid down retardant lines on the other side, Zaniboni said.

The fire began south of Burton Mesa Boulevard near Via Lato, Zaniboni said.

At the peak, four fixed-winged aircraft and three helicopters were assigned to the fire, Zaniboni said. On Tuesday, that number had been reduced to two helicopters, plus two tanker that were on stand-by at the Santa Maria Airport.

More than 600 fire personnel were assigned to the fire as of Tuesday morning, but many of them were expected to be released.

Sites were established for people and animals that needed evacuation as follows:

» An evacuation center was being established for residents displaced at the Trinity Church of the Nazarene. It will be open around 4:15 p.m. Monday The address is 500 East North Ave. in Lompoc.

» For small animal assistance, owners being evacuated are being advised to take them to the Lompoc Animal Shelter at 1501 W. Central Ave.

» For large animal assistance, owners are being advised to call the Animal Services Hotline at 805.681.4332.

Residents in upper Mission Hills gathered near the stairs leading to the lower section of the community to watch the aerial attack in another canyon.

“When it first started, it looked bad,” said Beverly Long, who has lived in neighborhood since 1977.

They could see flames amid the smoke until firefighting aircraft laid down a line of orange fire retardant that provided some comfort to the Mission Hills residents.

Neighbor Grace Olson said they loaded their cars after learning an evacuation warning had been issued, but felt confident they wouldn’t have to flee.

“I was really happy our neighborhood checked on each other,” Olson added. 

Frank Saunders, who works in Solvang, lives in the lower neighborhood, and received multiple phone calls alerting him to the danger.

Since their house sets in the middle of the neighborhood, and not against chaparrel-covered hills, he figured they were pretty safe.

By the time he returned to Lompoc area, he said firefighters had placed the orange line of retardant.

“I was pretty secure that nothing was going to happen,” Saunders added.

Still, his wife gathered up their computer — it houses their important paperwork and photos — and other important items in case they received orders to evacuate. 

In addition to the shelter set up at the church, several hotels offered discounted rooms for evacuees.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Flames from a fast-moving vegetation fire burning in the Burton Mesa area near Lompoc move along a ridge line. Most evacuation orders had been lifted by Monday night. (Scott Wheeler / KCOY News photo)


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Edison Extends Monday’s Planned Downtown Santa Barbara Power Outage

By | Published on 06/29/2015


A planned power outage in Santa Barbara’s downtown area will last longer than expected Monday, according to Southern California Edison.

The equipment upgrades in the State and Victoria streets area were scheduled to end at 10 a.m. but crews “encountered some problems” and the work will continue into the afternoon, public affairs region manager Rondi Guthrie said.

Trucks are staged in the public parking lots on Chapala and Victoria streets and on Anapamu Street and work is expected to get finished by 1 p.m., Guthrie said. The outage map information says 67 customers are impacted, including downtown businesses, and Edison said it has reached out to the city and customers to let them know of the extended outage.

The streak of unplanned outages in Santa Barbara’s commercial corridor caused locals to start a petition in protest of Edison, calling for the company to improve its infrastructure and service reliability.

Edison has funded and started working on infrastructure improvement projects in the city, as well as starting an outreach program to local business owners so utility customers can get more information about outages.

Noozhawk news editor Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Two ‘Drunk’ Pedestrians Hurt in Santa Maria Collision

By | Published on 06/29/2015


Santa Maria police say two pedestrians were drunk Sunday night when they were struck by a vehicle and injured while attempting to cross a street.

The accident occurred shortly after 8:30 p.m. at Cook and Thornburg streets, according to Sgt. Daniel Rios.

Romero Perez Aquino, 18, was eastbound on Cook Street when he collided with the adult pedestrians, Rios said.

One victim suffered major head injuries and was airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. The other had minor head injuries and was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria.

“Both pedestrians were intoxicated and were the cause of the collision by failing to yield to traffic,” Rios said.

Names of the victims and details on their conditions were not released.

Aquino was found to be unlicensed, and was cited at the scene, Rios said.

Noozhawk executive editor Tom Bolton can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Taco Bell Runs Into Goleta Challenge as Design Board Puts Off Approval of New Plan

By | Published on 06/28/2015


Current North Fairview Avenue restaurant will soon be demolished, but committee has problems with aspects of replacement structure

The Taco Bell on North Fairview Avenue in Goleta is headed for demolition, but city planners aren’t ready to approve the design of the new building that will house the fast-food restaurant.

Plans call for a building with a smaller footprint, but a taller, bulkier structure than the recessed rooftop and building that is there now.

The new restaurant will have 15 parking spaces instead of the current 18. Taco Bell also plans to change its angled parking into perpendicular spaces. Right now, because the cars are parked at an angle when motorists pull in from Fairview, there is an illusion of a one-way entrance, when the entrance actually doubles as an exit.

“If you took away the Taco Bell sign you probably wouldn’t even know it was a Taco Bell,” said Hugh Murphy, president, CEO and principal architect of VMI Architecture in San Rafael. “We really have gone away from the branding.”

The Taco Bell, at 140 N. Fairview Ave. just north of Calle Real, is one of two restaurants in transition in the immediate area. Rusty’s Pizza is moving a few blocks east on Calle Real to open an art deco-style building next to Fresco Café North

The Goleta Design Review Committee wasn’t thrilled with Taco Bell’s design. With committee chairman Carl Schneider abstaining, the six other panel members voted to postpone a decision on the design for a month.

“As a whole, I am not a big fan of the architecture,” Schneider said. “I am certainly not against tearing the existing one down and rebuilding it.”

Ron Garber, who owns the building housing VCA Noah’s Ark Animal Hospital behind Taco Bell, spoke out about the project. He said the Taco Bell building is designed attractively from the front, but he has a problem from the rear, where his building is located at 160 N. Fairview Ave.

“From our side, things are changing a considerable amount,” he said. “Essentially, on that side, we are going to have a 20-foot wall.”

Garber said the new building looks like a “big square block,” and he would like to see the façade stair-stepped to relieve the bulkiness.

The committee members instructed the architect to replace some of the site’s proposed plants with drought-tolerant vegetation, to consider planting a vine against the back wall to soften the look, and to add trellising on the patio.

“This is definitely an improvement over traditional Taco Bell architecture,” design committee member Thomas Smith said.

Find a rendering of the proposed project here:

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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1925 Santa Barbara Earthquake Rocked a Community That Would be Reborn from Its Rubble

By | Published on 06/28/2015


Interactive Santa Barbara Historical Museum exhibit ensures 90th anniversary of deadly — and transformative — quake won’t go unnoticed

A thunderous earthquake rattled Santa Barbara 90 years ago Monday.

Here’s how radio reported the news:

“We interrupt this program to bring you a special news bulletin. A major earthquake has struck Santa Barbara, California, at 6:44 this morning. Thirteen people have been reported killed with 30 injured and major damage to the downtown business district.”

On June 29, 1925, the 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook the city to its core. The epicenter was off the coast, where the Mesa and Mission Ridge faults meet. Californians felt the quake from Orange County to Watsonville.

While Santa Barbara’s spirit may have been shaken, it could not be destroyed. Out of the rubble emerged the Historic Adobe, Mission Revival, Spanish Colonial and Mediterranean styles of architecture that the community is known for today.

You can experience an interactive earthquake exhibit at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum, 136 E. De la Guerra St., through July 5.

The exhibit — “​Quake! The 1925 Santa Barbara Earthquake” — includes vintage news broadcasts, newspaper clippings and survivor accounts.

The earthquake lasted for 18 seconds, followed by four sudden jolts. Another 200 aftershocks were recorded over the next months.

Father Augustine Hobrecht was superior at the Santa Barbara Mission, where he taught theology. His account offers a vivid description of what transpired that morning.

“Beginning with a thump that seemed to come from a subterranean explosion, the earthquake shook those mighty walls and made them sway,”​ Hobrecht is quoted in the exhibit’s video as saying of the mission.

“The noise was deafening, subsiding for what seemed for a brief second. Then the rocking began with greater violence, so I expected to see the building crumble at any moment.”

The mission sustained major damage, but Hobrecht led efforts to rebuild the church, which had served Santa Barbara since 1786.

Downtown, three people died when the three-story San Marcos office building on State Street collapsed. Two others died at the Arlington Hotel when a water tanker suspended in a tower collapsed on the floors below.

Capt. G. Allen Hancock — philanthropist, oil tycoon and namesake of Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria — had checked into the hotel the night before with his son, Bertram.

A newspaper headline from Fargo, N.D., captures the impact of the 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake. Newspaper clippings and other vintage material are on display at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum as part of an exhibit marking the 90th anniversary of the quake. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)
A newspaper headline from Fargo, N.D., captures the impact of the 1925 Santa Barbara earthquake. Newspaper clippings and other vintage material are on display at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum as part of an exhibit marking the 90th anniversary of the quake. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

“It all happened in a minute,” Hancock says in the video. “The crash of falling timbers and steel beams and the walls of the hotel made an indescribable inferno of sound that dazed me.

“From the time I leapt from the bed until I was crawling from under the collapsed building seemed but a moment. My son probably never awakened from his sleep.”

Hancock suffered critical injuries in the quake, which killed his 22-year-old son.

The earthquake busted open Sheffield Reservoir, which poured out 40 million gallons of water and flooded Santa Barbara’s Eastside.

The most concentrated quake damage, the video states, took place downtown, where multistory brick and mortar, mixed wood and masonry composition toppled.

“State Street when we came to it seemed to be blocked with debris throughout its entire length,” Edward Selden Spaulding, founder of Laguna Blanca School, says in the video.

“The south wall of the California Hotel lay as a pile of rubble. The Potter Theatre was a pile of rubbish and the Arlington Hotel was a fearful site. It was obvious not all of the guests there had escaped with their lives.”

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum video also explains how alert citizens shut off gas and electricity lines to avoid fires, unlike the case in the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.

In all, more than 400 buildings were destroyed or damaged in the Santa Barbara quake.

The exhibit’s video ends with “​The Santa Barbara Earthquake Song,” sung by Vernon Dalhart: “It’s just another warning, from God up in the sky, to tell all you good people that He still reigns on high. You cannot tell the moment, when He will call us home and we should all be ready before the time has come.”

Noozhawk staff writer Joshua Molina can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Isla Vista Foot Patrol Sees New Community Resource Deputy As Vital Piece of Police Presence

By | Published on 06/28/2015


With the right officer, history of community policing in student-heavy area next to UCSB portends a successful future for concept

Most days, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s Lt. Rob Plastino feels like mayor of Isla Vista — a nonexistent job, he knows, since the small unincorporated area isn’t a city.

Plastino is a public figure as head of the Isla Vista Foot Patrol, whose 22 members walk and bike the streets of the densely populated community to protect 23,000 people living on less than one square mile adjacent to UC Santa Barbara.

He serves as go-between, listening to property owners, student renters, university groups and other stakeholders, along with his own unit of sheriff’s deputies and UC police officers.

Until recently, he’s been stretched pretty thin.

Isla Vista used to only border UCSB to the east, not surround it on three sides (the ocean is on the fourth).

That was in the 1990s — the last time the Foot Patrol saw a staffing level change, although the community has grown 25 percent since then, Sheriff Bill Brown said.

Geographically speaking, Isla Vista is small, yet it accounts for 25 percent of reported crimes in unincorporated areas of the county.

Plastino saw a slight reprieve earlier this month when the county Board of Supervisors approved funding for the department’s first-ever Isla Vista community resource deputy.

The move is unprecedented, since the county has never foot the bill for this post in unincorporated areas. It’s all the more special because Isla Vista residents lobbied for the change.

“They really want to have that tie to law enforcement,” Plastino told Noozhawk. “If you don’t have that connection to the people, perceptions are made. And maybe those perceptions are wrong, but they still weigh heavily on how people look at law enforcement.”

                                                                 •        •        •

With an estimated 23,000 mostly young residents crammed into a one-square-mile community, Isla Vista has long posed a particular challenge for law enforcement. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)
With an estimated 23,000 mostly young residents crammed into a one-square-mile community, Isla Vista has long posed a particular challenge for law enforcement. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

The Isla Vista Foot Patrol was formed after rioting in the 1960s and ’70s, when UCSB students were protesting the Vietnam War and the university during the “bad times,” according to Chief Deputy Sam Gross.

That was not long after UCSB had moved from Santa Barbara’s Riviera neighborhood to the former Marine Corps Air Station where it is today, growing significantly in the process.

After civil unrest led to a police officer accidentally shooting and killing a student in 1970, then-Gov. Ronald Reagan commissioned a report addressing what to do about Isla Vista.

The recommendation, in short, was that the Sheriff’s Department and UCSB should work together.

And so, Gross said, one of California’s first community policing models was born.

In December 1970, the unit that would become the Foot Patrol began walks from campus to the Loop in Isla Vista. The walks got longer, and grant funding established a contingent of six UC police officers and six sheriff’s deputies and a visible station on Pardall Road.

Gross began the first of four stints with the Foot Patrol in 1977, taking to a model that emphasized interaction as much as enforcement.

Back then, he said, the California Highway Patrol still had a heightened presence in Isla Vista.

“It was true community policing,” said Gross, a 44-year veteran of the department. “The Foot Patrol deals with basically a new population every year.”

The Foot Patrol headquarters moved to Trigo Road, where the current makeup is 15 sheriff’s deputies (soon to be 16) and seven UC police officers.

Deputies volunteer for positions, most walking the beat that’s busiest on Friday and Saturday nights for two to three years, while UC police requires officers to serve the multijurisdictional unit on a rotating basis.

The Foot Patrol has a liaison to the Greek community, but beats aren’t otherwise assigned because everyone patrols.

In the late 1990s, when Lt. Butch Arnoldi commanded the station, he made each deputy a point person for specific stakeholders like businesses, renters, property owners and more.

Until he was reassigned three years later, Arnoldi said he saw a big change in attitude toward police — something a new community resource deputy could re-establish.

“Things don’t just happen 8 to 5 Monday through Friday,” he said. “You built that public trust back up in the community. You were actually there to help them.

“You weren’t there just to give them a citation or to arrest them.”

                                                                 •        •        •

Isla Vista Foot Patrol Deputy Karen McCormick patrols the seaside community, interacting with people she meets on the street wherever she goes. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)
Isla Vista Foot Patrol Deputy Karen McCormick patrols the seaside community, interacting with people she meets on the street wherever she goes. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Hiring a community resource deputy was on the back burner for years, but the push gained momentum last year when Isla Vista endured rioting during Deltopia, a nearby gang rape and the massacre of six UCSB students by a deranged college dropout.

Everyone called for change, and UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang pledged a larger role in the community where so many students live.

The university hired more UC police officers and provides up to eight additional officers in Isla Vista every week, Thursday through Sunday nights.

UCSB also paid for more lighting, sidewalks and fencing in parks along Del Playa Drive, a primary party location.

A report released by the UCSB Foundation Trustees’ Advisory Committee on Isla Vista Strategies​ recommended more uniform community policing training and resources.

The sheriff asked county supervisors for an Isla Vista community resource deputy, an idea Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr championed as representative of the area.

Letters of support poured in from UCSB’s Associated Students and the Isla Vista Recreation & Park District, noting an unbalanced growth between population and law enforcement.

Community resource deputies serve Goleta and Solvang, but each city pays for them.

“Isla Vista is a very unique place,” Brown said. “It’s a community that has a turnover of the majority of its population every four years. Establishing relationships and getting to know them is made a lot more difficult because of that.”

Out of the fire came support. The Board of Supervisors allocated $114,000 for the resource deputy.

Likely to be dressed in khakis and a polo shirt with the sheriff’s crest instead of a green or tan uniform, the resource deputy will be armed but focused more on community relations than writing tickets.

“There are ways we can make an impact in Isla Vista,” Gross said. “I hope we find the right person. He or she is going to be very, very busy.”

                                                                 •        •        •

Now that funding has been approved for the Isla Vista Foot Patrol’s first-ever community resource deputy, the agency is about to embark on a weeks-long interviewing process to find the right person for the job. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)
Now that funding has been approved for the Isla Vista Foot Patrol’s first-ever community resource deputy, the agency is about to embark on a weeks-long interviewing process to find the right person for the job. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

The perception of law enforcement in Isla Vista might already be on the mend.

Student residents recently took part in a Foot Patrol “thank you” video filmed by UCSB’s Mu Delta fraternity.

“I think the main body of the I.V. community sees the police’s appearance through a negative lens,” said Will Mehring, a second-year pre-med major and Mu Delta member.

“Our goal in this was to shift the perspective to a feeling of safety and relief when the Foot Patrol and UCPD are seen. I think that the officers do an outstanding job.”

Plastino hopes a community resource deputy will lay a foundation for the future, staying longer than two years, when some I.V. deputies get burnt out on the job.

“To build a connection, to understand the public, you need to really think long term,” he said. “We’re looking for people who can talk to others; can see other creative ways of accomplishing goals and tasks.”

Plastino will begin a weeks-long process to review candidates in July, letting community members help decide who will be selected to start in late July or early August.

“This was a grassroots effort by the community,” he said. “They did all the work. They should absolutely have a say.”

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Michelle Malkin: Media Continue Vile Attacks on Conservative Assimilationists

By | Published on 06/28/2015


I have had enough of smug liberal elites wrapped in their “Celebrate Diversity” banners tearing down minority conservatives.

Look in the mirror, media and academia bigots. Your own reflexive racism and divisive rhetoric are poisoning public discourse. There’s nothing “progressive” about attacking the children and grandchildren of immigrants who proudly embrace an American identity.

We are not “self-hating.” You just hate what we believe.

The most recent grenade tossed by the jack-booted Enforcers of Ethnic Authenticity came from The Washington Post last week. The Beltway fish-wrapper hyped a 2,100-word investigation of Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal with a condescending quote from professor G. Pearson Cross, who sneered: “There’s not much Indian left in Bobby Jindal.”

Has pallid Professor Cross invented an ambient diagnostic test to measure sufficiently acceptable levels of ethnicity?

The Post quoted a grand total of one disgruntled Democratic donor who railed against Jindal for “forgetting” his “heritage” and his “roots.” But that was more than enough for the apartheid-lite adherents to heed the dog whistle immediately. The Post’s splashy attack on Jindal’s assimilationist ethic spawned a vile Twitter hashtag game: #BobbyJindalIsSoWhite.

Left-wing racists mocked his skin color, his kids and his decision to change his name from “​Piyush” to “Bobby.” A New York Times digital editor, Shreeya Sinha, gleefully linked to a BBC compilation of “The best of #BobbyJindalisSoWhite.”​ NBC News gloated over tweets from liberal Indian-Americans who mocked the accomplished governor, Rhodes scholar and father of three as a “​Jindian.”

It’s the same old, same old from radical academics and reporters who spurned assimilation as a common goal long ago. As I’ve long observed, the media-ivory tower complex’s fidelity lies with bilingualism (a euphemism for native language maintenance over English-first instruction), ethnic militancy, extreme multiculturalism and a borderless continent.

If we conservatives “of color” refuse to promote the welfare state, unfettered abortion, affirmative action and massive immigration, we are guilty of “selling out.”

Conversely, if I point out that my skin is far darker than that of the TV progressives of pallor who presume to know more than me about what it’s like to experience prejudice, I’m accused of exploiting my ethnicity.

We’re coconuts, bananas and “​Oreos” (brown, yellow or black on the outside and “white” on the inside).

We’re accused of “thinking” and “acting” white if we quote the Constitution, shoot, hunt, oppose high taxes, homeschool, take personal responsibility or demand that government leave us alone.

You can’t win with these insane identity-mongers who preach compassion and peace while practicing vicious demagoguery. Black conservatives are “Uncle Toms.”​ Jindal is an “Uncle Bobby.”

And Republican South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, born to Indian Sikh parents, has been derided as a “female Uncle Tom.”​ Jindal is “trying to be white” even though his parents are Indian and his wife’s parents are both from India.

Meanwhile, haters have accused me of being an “Auntie Tomasina”​ for marrying outside my race and taking my husband’s name.

Marriage choice and marriage equality are sacred rights for everyone except minority conservatives.

Jindal and Haley are just the latest targets. Last month, it was the son of Cuban immigrants, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz. White liberal journalist Mark Halperin took it upon himself to drill the Texas senator on his “favorite Cuban food” and demanded that he welcome socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont to the presidential race “en Espanol.”

Que estupido.

The civility police and tolerance mob find nothing wrong with their ad hominem assaults and vulgar litmus tests. They’re just trying to make the world safe from the liberated minds of minority conservatives. Those of us who dare to succeed in America without relying on tribalist entitlements must be dragged back and down by the resentful, seething crabs in the collectivist bucket.

We are scorned for abandoning the militant hyphenated fetishism of the left.

We are punished for rejecting rigid boxes and boundaries and one-drop blood rules and permanent castes.

Assimilation is a Class A felony in the liberal rulebook and a threat to the Democratic grievance racket. Tell me who the real racists and bigots are again.

Michelle Malkin is author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies. Contact her at [email protected], follow her on Twitter: @michellemalkin, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.


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Susan Estrich: What Courts Do Best Is Fix Bad Laws

By | Published on 06/28/2015


Sometimes what courts do best is the same as what second-grade teachers do best: clean up sloppy sentences. You know what the student meant to say, but what they actually did say doesn’t quite make sense.

Six words: If you can’t afford health coverage, subsidies are available through “an exchange established by the state.”

But what if the state didn’t set up an exchange and instead is relying on the exchange set up by the federal government?

Do you then NOT get a subsidy?

The U.S. Supreme Court’s majority opinion in King v. Burwell last week referenced “more than a few examples of inartful drafting,” but concluded that “the context and structure of the act (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) compel us to depart from what would otherwise be the most natural reading of the pertinent statutory phrase.”

In other words, Congress meant for the act to work, not to fail, and so the court, recognizing the frenzied state of drafting and redrafting midelection, decided to read the bill so that it would work. It decided to read the bill so that poor people would get subsidies regardless of whether their state created an exchange.

Congress was trying to help people who needed help, and the Supreme Court, as it has done in the past (maternity leave being an example of a gendered law that was upheld), has cleaned up the inartful language that would bar precisely what Congress was trying to provide.

So what’s everyone yelling about?

Simple. This was never about principle. This wasn’t a dispute about the separation of powers or abuse of executive power or anything like that. This has been a fight about politics, fair and square. Plenty of elections turning on it. But all politics.

So the people from the states that “weren’t entitled” to subsidies actually wanted the subsidies — they were just against the law. You won’t see many people sending those subsidy checks back in the mail, or insisting that their 20-something kids not be covered, or — imagine — excluding people from buying insurance precisely because they are sick. What could be more ridiculous?

I hope someone has tallied up the amount of time the Republicans have wasted filibustering and coming up with votes sure to fail in an effort to thwart their political defeats. And then what do they do? They go running to the courts to demand that the judiciary, known as unduly active when they’re against you, become the staunch defenders of constitutional government when you’re out to crush Congress.

In his dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said: “We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.”

By Scalia’s lights, the court has saved the law twice now from its sloppy drafting — or unconstitutional abuse of power, which is how he would have it.

But there is another way to see it, which is simply this: The court did its job. It cleaned up some drafting and interpreted the law as a good-faith effort to accomplish what its drafters set out to do, which is expand affordable access to quality health care.

No small job and not done perfectly, certainly not this time. But if we would spend half as much time figuring out how to fix the law, which is here to stay, as we have playing games that would neither destroy nor fix it, Americans might be better off in more ways than one.

Susan Estrich is a best-selling author, the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at the USC Law Center and was campaign manager for 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis. Click here to contact her or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.


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Judy Foreman: Santa Barbara Wine Festival Portrays Wine Country at Its Best

By | Published on 06/28/2015


Benefit for Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History delivers wine, food and fun to hundreds of satisfied guests

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The expression “eat, drink and be merry” aptly summed up Saturday’s Santa Barbara Wine Festival, one of the Central Coast’s premier wine events and a benefit for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

Although Santa Barbara is renowned as a beachside resort community, Santa Barbara County also happens to be one of the top wine regions in the world.

The topography is perfectly suited for growing grapes, with the inland flow of fog and the presence of the nearby Pacific Ocean creating an ideal environment for the cultivation of classic varietals.

Santa Barbara County’s growing season in the five federally recognized American Viticultural Areas, or AVAs — the Santa Maria and Santa Ynez valleys, Ballard Canyon and Happy Canyon of Santa Barbara and Sta. Rita Hills — is considerably longer than some other wine-producing regions.

As a result, oenophiles know the unusually long “hang time” on the vine makes for world-class wines with many notable characters.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s sumptuous, oak-shaded campus provided an ideal backdrop for the more than 1,000 guests — all of whom were over 21. The property at 2559 Puesta del Sol Road, right around the corner from the Santa Barbara Mission, was packed with tables and booths set up for wine and food tasting, from 2 to 5 p.m.

Even though the focus was wine, food purveyors partnered with dozens of wineries on pairings that were unmistakably delicious and fun. Just ask those who were there … like me.

Upon entering the event, guests received a pro forma wine glass. Because of the enormous crowd, I was unable to get to all of the vintners’ tables (probably a good thing) and food booths.

Without intending to slight the more than 60 wineries and three dozen food vendors, I did make it to Alma Rosa, Au Bon Climat, Beckmen, Koehler, Lindquist, Margerum, Qupé, Rancho Sisquoc, Tatomer, Vogelzang and Whitcraft.

Food morsels that I sampled included treats from Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro, cupcakes from Coveted Cakery, Neighbor Tim’s BBQ pulled pork, Sama Sama Kitchen, Tartisan’s handmade sweet and savory pastries, and Bloody Mary and many pickle choices from Pacific Pickle Works.

Also, il Fustino lemon olive oil, sage and butternut squash ravioli from Ca’ Dario’s, ceviche from Country Catering, The Berry Man strawberry wine, salad from The Berry Man drizzled with olive oil from Le Sorelle, Jessica Foster Confections’ dark chocolate salty caramel truffles, and iced tea and ice coffee from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

There was much more than anyone could eat or drink, but the opportunity to hang out with the vintners and local food purveyors made for a first -class community event.

It was also more affirmation that living in Santa Barbara is so sublime. Exalted, elevated, noble, majestic, magnificent, glorious, superb, wonderful, marvelous, splendid … you pick the superlative; they all captured the day.

All proceeds from the event benefited the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s exhibits and education programs at both the museum and the Sea Center on Stearns Wharf.

Festival sponsors included Mission Wealth, Riviera Insurance Services, Real Water, On Q Financial, Noozhawk, The Berry Man and Classic Party Rentals.

Click here for more information about the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, or call 805.682.4711. Click here to make an online donation.

Click here for Noozhawk’s iSociety coverage of the Santa Barbara Wine Festival.

— Noozhawk columnist Judy Foreman is a longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.


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Basehart Foundation Gets $10,000 Grant to Help Low-Income Pet Owners with Veterinary Needs

By | Published on 06/28/2015


The Diana Basehart Foundation is pleased to announce that it has been selected to receive a $10,000 Veterinary Assistance Grant from the Banfield Charitable Trust in recognition of its efforts to help low-income pet owners with their pets’ health needs.

Among the top 10 pet-related nonprofit organizations, the Banfield Charitable Trust has been working since 2004 to keep people and their pets together.

As the only organization solely focused on preventing the surrender of pets, the Banfield Charitable Trust shares the concerns of the Diana Basehart Foundation that for many vulnerable pet owners, their pets may provide their only reason for living.

Established in 2013, the Diana Basehart Foundation has helped qualified Santa Barbara County residents with essential veterinary care for more than 600 beloved companions — pets that might otherwise have to be given up for lack of funds, or that are critical to their owners’ physical and emotional well-being.

Many of the individuals who receive assistance for their pets are elderly, disabled, homeless or otherwise in financial distress.

Diana Basehart, a Montecito resident who, along with her late husband, actor Richard Basehart, founded Actors & Others for Animals in 1971, started her latest endeavor to continue her dream of making sure no animal suffers, dies or has to be handed over to a shelter just because someone can’t afford to pay for veterinary care.

“Too many times an elderly person has no choice but to give up their pet — sometimes their only friend — just because of financial strain,” Basehart said. “That is heartbreaking and unacceptable to me. We can provide a lifeline for people and their pets.

“We appreciate the support and recognition of the Banfield Charitable Trust, and look forward to continuing to help the people and pets of our community,” she added.

Click here for more information about the Diana Basehart Foundation, or call 805.222.4567. Click here to make an online donation.

Patti Teel represents the Diana Basehart Foundation.


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Santa Barbara Gets a Feel for Rain, But Nothing More

By | Published on 06/27/2015


The skies looked ominous enough to rain Saturday afternoon on Santa Barbara County’s South Coast, and rain it did. Sort of.

Several times throughout the day, clusters of a few dozen raindrops fell around the area. It was just enough to get drought-weary locals to look up to see if there might be more where they came from.

And there is. Sort of.

According to the National Weather Service, there’s a 20 percent chance of showers in the Sunday forecast, and an ever-so-slight chance of thunderstorms in the mountains and the Cuyama Valley on Tuesday.

But mostly, we’ll just see cloudy skies the next few days.

The weather service said Sunday’s high temperatures should reach to the mid-60s and low 70s along the coast and in the mid- to upper 70s in the foothills.

A warming trend is expected to push daytime temperatures into the 80s and even 90s on Tuesday and Wednesday, the weather service said, before they drop back to the 60s and 70s beginning Thursday.

The Fourth of July weekend forecast includes partly cloudy conditions and high temperatures in the mid-60s to low 70s along the coast and in the 80s in the foothills.

» Click here for the complete National Weather Service forecast.

» Click here for the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services. Click here to sign up for the OES’ messaging service. Connect with the OES on Facebook.

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.

It sure looked like rain Saturday afternoon in Santa Barbara, and — sure enough — it did. Sort of. Several times throughout the 


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Frank McGinity: Amsterdam’s Allure Flows Easily with Canals, Bikes, Food and Museums

By | Published on 06/27/2015


For drought-weary Santa Barbarans, the presence of water is a welcome sight — but a vital part of the historic city’s identity

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There is no drought in Amsterdam. In fact, there’s water everywhere.

Amsterdam has more than 160 canals, along with pumping stations and dikes. They’re all part of a complex water management system, which is crucial since much of the Netherlands’ capital and surrounding area is below sea level. The international airport, for example, is about 20 feet below.

But the charm of the water and canals makes for a unique experience, especially for visitors from drought-challenged Santa Barbara. Our hotel, The Ambassade, was on a canal. Frequently passing by the hotel are tour boats navigating under the many bridges and waterways. A boat tour of the city can be a fun — and easy — day trip.

Along the waterways are the stately mansions from the golden age of Amsterdam. At one time, the Netherlands was the most powerful trading nation in the world, and very rich. The mansions along the canals reflect that opulence.

Two particular tours we took — the Museum Van Loon and the Museum Willet-Holthuysen — demonstrated life in that era. The paintings, furniture, chandeliers and gardens were all there for our tour. You were carried back in time.

Carrying us forward was the obvious bike culture in Amsterdam. Like water, there are bicycles everywhere. It was estimated by our guide that there are more than 900,000 bikes in Amsterdam, which has a population of only 800,000. Special bike paths are designated throughout the city, so be careful as you walk. Or better yet, join them in a special bike tour. No traffic jams here.

Carrying us forward and back are the extensive number of museums.

The Van Gogh Museum was our first stop. It probably houses the most extensive collections of Vincent Van Gogh’s work since he was a native Dutchman. Three floors tell the story of his life and premature death by suicide at age 37. We were able to view two of his best-known paintings, “Sunflowers” and “Vincent’s Bedroom.”

Not far from the Van Gogh is the Rijksmuseum, which was founded in 1885 and covers the history of the Netherlands. It has more than 8,000 pieces of art and historical objects. Of course, Rembrandt’s famous “The Night Watch” is prominently displayed, along with several Vermeers.

The final museum in this complex is the Stedelijk. We were fortunate to be there for a premier showing of Matisse paintings. Some of his great renderings of this type of art are on full display, and from sheer size and color, they are overwhelming.

It wasn’t all museum hopping during our stay, however.

We took several side tours. One was to Rotterdam, the City of the Hague (home of the International Court of Justice) and Delft, famous for its unique pottery.

Another excursion was to the famous flower auction in Aalsmeer. Here, 20,000 different varieties of flowers and plants are auctioned off using the “Dutch auction” formula. Using the auction clock, all the characteristics of the flowers are recorded inside the clock with the bids noted on the periphery.

More than 100,000 transactions a day are recorded using this method. And flowers purchased in the morning, may show up on the streets of New York in the afternoon.

Our final stop — you guessed it — was to a windmill. While at one time there were 30,000 windmills in the Netherlands, today there are 1,000.

Windmills, as we know them, are used to generate electricity. But over the centuries, they had many other uses, such as grinding corn, making furniture and pumping water.

The one we visited, called the Sloten Windmill, was used to pump and stabilize water levels. Today, this mill can pump more than 60,000 gallons a minute using a large steel cork screw, all powered by the wind. The miller explained how it worked and even let us move the windmill to the right angle for the wind.

We shouldn’t skip over the many fine restaurants in Amsterdam. Just within walking distance from our hotel were two very good, moderately priced restaurants — the Proeverij 274 and Casa di David.

Our final night, however, was a highlight: Dining at Johannes. The proprietor said the restaurant would soon be written up in The New York Times, and we experienced why.

A nice way to leave this city. Call it a city that works and inspires.

— Frank McGinity is a Santa Barbara resident. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History Hosts Annual Mega Wine Festival

By | Published on 06/27/2015


63 wineries and over 30 food purveyors keep 900 guests in a happy mood in support of museum and Sea Center programs

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It’s hard to pop a cork these days without hitting a wine festival on the Central Coast. But the Santa Barbara Wine Festival is a cut above the rest. In fact, Santa Barbara’s first wine festival just celebrated its 25th year.

Saturday’s skies were a little cloudy so the temperature was mild for the 900 attendees who made up the sold-out crowd at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s oak tree-studded grounds along Mission Creek. By the end of the afternoon, some raindrops were felt by the satiated supporters.

Everyone from Alma Rosa to Zaca Mesa was there in the vintner department, often with the winemakers themselves pouring.

“I was here for the first festival and here I am today, over 20 years later,” Jim Clendenen of Au Bon Climat told Noozhawk. “I am proud to be part of this festival.”

There were vintners participating from all ends of the spectrum. As an example, Clendenen decided along with Adam Tolmach to start a winery dedicated to Burgundian varietals in leased quarters. Through careful reinvestment from its own production, Au Bon Climat has grown to more than 50,000 cases annually. Au Bon Climat sources fruit from several of the most highly regarded vineyards in the Central Coast. These include Clendenen’s own Le Bon Climat Vineyard and estate plantings at Bien Nacido Vineyard — both in the Santa Maria Valley — Sanford & Benedict Vineyard in Sta. Rita Hills, Los Alamos Vineyard (Santa Barbara County) and San Luis Obispo County's Talley Vineyards.

Along with many other honors, Clendenen was inducted into the James Beard Foundation’s “Who’s Who of Food and Beverage in America” in 2007.

Also participating was new winemaker Sandra Newman, who is the proprietor and winemaker of Cebada.

“I got into winemaking because is am a horticulturist," Newman said. "I love to make things grow. I have grown berries and many other things. But growing grapes gave me the opportunity to make a wonderful product wine. Cebada now produces pinot noir and chardonnay. I am doing marketing to promote my vineyard and winery in Lompoc and my tasting room in downtown Santa Barbara.”

Among the 63 participating wineries were Alexander & Wayne, Andrew Murray Vineyards, Arthur Earl, Avelina Wine Co., Babcock Winery, Beckmen Vineyards, Bedford Winery, Black Sheep Finds/Holus Bolus, Blair Fox, Brander Vineyard, Brewer-Clifton, Buttonwood, Byron, Cambria, CORE, Crawford Family Wines, Daniel Gehrs Wines, Dierberg Estate Vineyard, Epiphany Cellars, Falcone Family Vineyards, Feliz Noche Cellars, Fess Parker Winery and many others.

Joining the wineries were more than 30 food purveyors, from Arch Rock to Truffle Gateau. Ca’ Dario’s Foodie Award–winning sage-butter ravioli was presented, as well as scrumptious desserts from Jessica Foster Confections, Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro, Coveted Cakery and others.

Prior to the public tasting, museum staff hosted a small VIP reception. President and CEO Luke Swetland thanked the sponsors who covered the event costs.

“One hundred percent of the Wine Festival proceeds support museum programs,” development director Caroline Grange told Noozhawk. “Our goal today is to raise $65,000 or more. We are so grateful to our generous purveyors who donate the wine, refreshments and food tastings.”

The Santa Barbara Wine Festival was sponsored in part by Mission Wealth, Riviera Insurance Services (represented at the VIP reception by Barbara and Chris Hill), Real Water, Classic Party Rentals, Noozhawk and many others.

The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History — which includes both the museum, at 2559 Puesta del Sol, and the Sea Center on Stearns Wharf — serves the southern and central coast of California, including the counties of Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Ventura. In addition, the museum and Sea Center host approximately 20,000 K-12 students annually and 45,000 students off-site through its Nature Collections lending library.

Click here for more information about the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History, or call 805.682.4711. Click here to make an online donation.

Click here for a related article from Noozhawk columnist Judy Foreman.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Taliban Survivor Malala Yousafzai Brings Message of Empowerment to Santa Barbara

By | Published on 06/27/2015


Pakistani teen and youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner recounts her inspiring life story, and the cause she represents for youth around the world

Thousands listened attentively as a brave 17-year-old Pakistani girl recounted her story of being shot in the head by the Taliban, and her fight for global education for girls.

Malala Yousafzai, last year’s Nobel Peace Prize laureate and the youngest person to ever win the award, spoke to a sold-out crowd at the Arlington Theatre on Saturday as a part of UC Santa Barbara’s Arts & Lectures Series.

The event was such a success that it was simulcast to full auditoriums at the New Vic Theater nearby as well as UCSB’s Campbell Hall.

Yousafzai drew an enthusiastic crowd in spite of long lines for security checks outside of the Arlington prior to her talk.

Questions for her had been gathered from UCSB students as well as those with the Santa Barbara Middle School Teen Press and at Montecito Union School and Harding University Partnership School.

“Her cause is simple: For the rights of girls around the world to go to school,” said Susan McCaw, a Montecito resident and former U.S. ambassador who introduced Yousafzai.

McCaw — a founding member of the Malala Fund and a sponsor of Saturday’s speech — asked Yousafzai a series of questions while seated on the stage at the Arlington.

More than 66 million girls around the world do not have access to education, Yousafzai said, and in her home region of Pakistan, only one in five girls is allowed to go to school.

Yousafzai’s internationally best-selling book, I Am Malala, recounts her life growing up in the Swat Valley of northern Pakistan, a lush area of mountains and forest that represented a kind of paradise for the young girl and her family before Taliban rule was imposed in her village when she turned 10.

After that, public beatings and executions became the norm, freedom of expression was extinguished and oppression of women ran rampant.

Girls were forbidden to go to school, and during that time, she said, more than 400 schools in the region were destroyed.

Yousafzai’s father, who ran a school for boys and girls in the area, and her mother, both encouraged their daughter to pursue her education, inspiring her to continue speaking out for the rights of other children.

“He did not clip my wings, he let me fly,” she said of her dad.

In 2009, Yousafzai began writing a blog called Diary of a Pakistani Schoolgirl for the BBC’s Urdu website. The blog chronicled her firsthand experience of life under Taliban rule.

Yousafzai posted her entries under a pen name to protect her safety, and she wrote about the threats to schoolchildren; the banning of music, dancing and colorful dress that Taliban leaders said conflicted with Sharia law; and being awoken by artillery fire in the night.

When asked about why she spoke up, Yousafzai said her choice was clear.

“One was to remain silent and wait to be killed, or speak up and be killed,”​ she told the crowd, adding that she felt she might as well get her message out if her life was at stake anyway.

Although the Taliban influence has been curbed in Pakistan, at least for now, domestic child labor and forced marriage continue to be issues for young girls there, she said. Education for those children must be encouraged in Pakistan, and around the world.

“It’s our future, not just their future,” she said to applause.

Yousafzai was the subject of a New York Times documentary called Class Dismissed, and her outcry against the Taliban’s crackdown on education made her a target of the fundamentalist Islamic political group.

In 2012, as she was coming home from school with other classmates, a masked gunman boarded the bus and demanded to know which one of the girls was Yousafzai. He then shot her in the head, with the bullet traveling through the left side of her head, neck and shoulder.

She was taken to a Pakistani military hospital for treatment and later airlifted to Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, where she underwent multiple surgeries and rehabilitation.

Since then, Yousafzai has traveled around the world speaking on behalf of children’s access to education. The cause has taken her from working with boys and girls in Syrian refugee camps to addressing the United Nations to urging Nigeria’s president — in a face-to-face meeting — to do more to help the 276 school girls kidnapped by the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, in 2014.

She recalled for Saturday’s audience the day she learned she had won the Nobel Prize. She was at school and at first thought she was in trouble when her headmaster walked into her classroom. She was told she had won the award, and her teachers began to cry.

When asked about the United States’ dropout rate, Yousafzai encouraged students to remember that on the other side of the world, children are fighting for their right to receive quality, free education and that students in the developed world should not take that access for granted.

“They should be very thankful to God,” she said.

Yousafzai was also asked about Islam and terrorism, and she responded that tolerance is a key tenet of the faith.

Problems arise, she said, when “people are not allowed to interpret the Koran in their own way.” She added that poverty and other factors also play into an environment that could encourage extremism.

“My Islam means peace, education and speaking up for what’s right,” she said.

On her latest tour of the United States, Yousafzai has spoken to Congress in Washington, as well as at events in New York and the San Francisco Bay Area. After Santa Barbara, she’s headed to Los Angeles for another speech.

Yousafzai also made a stop in Denver, where she surprised a dozen women who were reading her book as a group at a maximum-security prison.

The women had been gathered in a room to talk about the book when the author herself walked in. 

“It was an emotional meeting,” she recalled, adding that many tears were shed by all of the women involved. She said they expressed how they were inspired by her book, and were looking forward to their own second chance to contribute to society.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Flower Festival Parade Brings an Explosion of Color to Heart of Lompoc

By | Published on 06/27/2015


Community cheers fuel the blooms during 63rd Annual Lompoc Valley Flower Festival celebration

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Thousands of people lined Lompoc’s H Street to watch the Flower Festival Parade on Saturday morning, and the bloom-covered floats and vehicles delighted the spectators as the entourage made its way through downtown.

With a theme of “This Land is Your Land,” the 63rd Annual Lompoc Valley Flower Festival got under way Wednesday.

Events will continue through Sunday afternoon, but the highlight was Saturday’s parade, which drew many children and families to the route.

Floats covered in colorful gladioli, delphiniums, roses and other local flowers made their way in and around downtown, along with marching bands from Cabrillo and Lompoc high schools, auto clubs, vintage tractor enthusiasts, equestrians and numerous dance groups.

Mayor Bob Lingl and various council members also appeared in the parade, along with 2014 Lompoc Valley Man and Woman of the Year, Jules Hain and Marie Shlueter, respectively.

Flower Festival Queen Tess Leach and her court were also decked out in hot-pink ball gowns and bejeweled crowns, waving to the crowd as their float moved through the city. 

One delighted fan who waved to the festival queen and court as they passed was 8-year-old Hannah Rodriguez, who said it was her first year to come to the parade. She was accompanied by her grandparents and a cousin.

“It’s amazing,” she said, after several of the flower princesses had waved at her from their perches on the float.

The five-day festival was coordinated by the Lompoc Valley Festival Association. Among this year’s events were an arts and craft show, food booths and entertainment.

The festival’s signature flower show also took place Saturday, with awards being presented after the parade. The flower show will continue until 3 p.m. Sunday at Ryon Memorial Park, 125 W. Walnut Ave. 

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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