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Santa Barbara Historical Museum Installs Landmark Exhibit on History of Old Spanish Days

By | Published on 08/01/2015


Santa Barbara Historical Museum invites you to the latest installation of their landmark exhibition, "Project Fiesta! Building a Complete History of Old Spanish Days.”  

In 1924, Mayor Charles M. Andrea declared fiesta week "one of festival and gaiety, during which period, which shall be known as 'Old Spanish Days,' the spirit of old Santa Barbara shall be lived again and again and the new Santa Barbara shall give way to the traditions of the city's founders." 

In other words, a time of homecoming for former residents and one of hospitality for guests.

The exhibition, on view now through Oct. 11, is certain to get visitors in the spirit of Fiesta.

Project Fiesta! celebrates 91 years of Old Spanish Days history. Visitors will discover the origins and experience the pageantry, fashion and traditions of this most cherished cultural festival through displays of beautiful restored costumes, posters, artwork, artifacts, oral history and historical photos.

The community is encouraged to share their Old Spanish Days photos and memories on social media using these hashtags: #projectfiesta, #oldspanishdays, #fiestahistory and #sbhistoricalmuseum

To complement the exhibit, Erin Graffy de Garcia, historian, will lead a downtown walking tour of “Old Spanish Days Public Art” beginning at the Museum on Saturday, Aug. 1 at 9:30 a.m. Reservations are recommended.

The exhibition is sponsored by John Woodward, TVSB, Santa Barbara News-Press, Santa Barbara Independent and COX.

Free, docent-led tours of the Project Fiesta! exhibition will be offered Wednesday, Aug. 5 through Saturday, Aug. 8 from 2–4 p.m.

The Santa Barbara Historical Museum is located in the heart of historic, downtown Santa Barbara at 136 E De la Guerra Street. The Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.  

For more information visit

—Dacia Harwood represents Santa Barbara Historical Museum.


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Louise Palanker: Demands of Oral Sex, Official Boyfriend-Girlfriend Status, Unfaithfulness

By | Published on 08/01/2015


Question from Cassie

So basically I’m seeing this guy and we had this talk months ago about what we want in a relationship. I said affection, etc.

You know what he wants? Blow jobs. He says if I give him that, he’ll give me anything and everything I need. That’s all the satisfaction he wants and needs.

I haven’t really given him any because I just think it’s weird that that’s all he wants? He says he has feelings for me and is attracted to me, but he said that if I don’t give him blow jobs, he’ll go find someone else who will. He even said that this is why men cheat.

If he had feelings for me, like true feelings, he wouldn’t be acting like that, right? It’s like if I don’t give him blow jobs, he’ll leave me.

Am I being selfish? I just feel like this isn’t right. I have to give him blow jobs in order to get affection, etc.? That makes me feel like I’m being used or something. Is this normal and am I just over reacting?


You are not overreacting. To be blunt, if he simply wants oral sex, he should just visit a state where prostitution is legal. Then he can get his needs met and give the woman all she wants, which, in her case, will be money. You do not work for him. This is not how a relationship is supposed to look.

If you are under the age of 18, this request from your boyfriend is especially inappropriate. And keep in mind that without going into sexual detail, what your boyfriend is requesting of you is not always enjoyable for the girl. If you are simply “servicing” him, that, in a vacuum, is demeaning.  It is is not a shared romantic experience.

This guy is probably looking at a life of empty, meaningless relationships. Affection is not a commodity.

Where love lives, affection flows as freely as water. Once the love, respect, admiration and affection are established and solid, the two people can talk about what level of intimacy feels right to both of them.

Unless or until it’s coming together in that order, it’s not love.

Get past the magic wall that moves when she moves and listen to some great advice from Lisa A. Romano.

(Lisa A. Romano Breakthrough Life Coach video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Danielle

Well I’ve been off and on with this guy for about a year. We started talking again about six months ago. Back then, he decided that he wanted to make things official on his birthday, the 10th, which is coming up. But we have stopped talking because he was with  A LOT of girls (just as friends) and I’m a very jealous person.

But, anyways, we stopped talking, and his birthday is not until a few more days, so what should I do to try to get him back? I’ve tried leaving him alone, giving him his space and then trying to communicate with him, but he doesn’t respond. Any thoughts on how to get him back?


You cant “get someone back” who does not wish to come back. If his behavior has shown you that he is not ready to be in a committed relationship, then you really should not want him back.

I know that the heart tends to have its own agenda but don’t think of the 10th as some cut-off date. Instead, think long term. Do your own thing. Make plans. Have fun. Learn. Grow. Be an interesting person with plans and dreams.

Be someone who finds her own self interesting and has a lot to offer the world. One of two things will happen: Either he will start missing you or you will stop caring.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Julia

Hi, Weezy. I’m hoping you might be able to help me out with this situation I’m in.

So I’m in a relationship with this guy. He’s recently joined the Army and he’s off at basic training right now. I care for him so much, but I’ve also been unfaithful to him since he’s been gone. Multiple times.

I know it’s wrong of me, and I know that I’m going to have to tell him once he gets back ... And I want to stop dishonoring him but I feel like I’m not strong enough to do so.

I’ve always just let people run all over me, and since I’ve become sexually active, it’s taken a bad turn ... (I’m hoping you get what I mean). I can’t say no when someone wants me in a sexual manner, or even just for something like kisses.

I know what I’m doing is wrong, but I really can’t stop myself. I guess what I need is some advice on how to grow stronger and say no. Because I want to change, and I want to be a better girlfriend because he doesn’t deserve what I’ve been doing to him.

I just don’t know how to get myself to stop. Thank you for your time.


I think that you will need to break up with this guy and be single for a time while you work on this part of your personality. Therapy will probably help you. I feel that self-esteem issues may be at the core of the issue.

Be honest with this question: Do you feel validated when somebody wants you sexually?

I believe that insecurity leads easily to sexual promiscuity. I also think that people can resist infidelity if they make up their minds to do so.

Yes, it can be hard, but a person in love who values him or herself understands what is at stake, so that person learns to control attraction and impulses for the sake of the greater good. When you cheat, you do not just hurt your partner. You also undermine the relationship and de-value yourself.

Your life is going to be very bumpy and chaotic if you don’t get this under control. Before you become further committed to anyone, get yourself single and work on improving this part of your character.

It’s not just that your partner deserves more. You deserve more, too.

                                                                 •        •        •

Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara​. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.


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Heal the Ocean: The Future of Water in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 08/01/2015


On July 21, 2015, the Santa Barbara City Council gave final approval to a redesigned desalination plant as a last-resort water supply for the city, in the throes of one of the worst droughts in California history.

While some have questioned whether more could have been done to stave off this decision, the reality is that the Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant has long been designated within the city’s water portfolio as an emergency supply, and the severity of the current drought has prompted such an emergency, with no other water available to fill the immediate shortfall.

The uncomfortable fact is that even if El Niño returns with a vengeance and brings with it significant rainfall, the growing challenges of climate change make clear that the city cannot rely on conservation measures alone.

The diminishing reliability of water supplies from Cachuma and the State Water Project means that the city cannot depend on the sources of water that have sustained Santa Barbara for decades.

The desalination decision is behind us, but the question remains: If and when the emergency has abated, how will the City proceed with its long term water supply portfolio?

As a requirement of its permit for the desal plant and at its own behest, the city is moving ahead with a significant and progressive study through the National Water Research Institute and Carollo Engineers to not only investigate the feasibility and opportunities associated with subsurface intake technology for the desalination plant, but also to conduct a feasibility study for indirect and direct potable reuse of purified water through either a brand new facility or a repurposed desalination plant.

Every citizen interested in the future of water in Santa Barbara should attend the kick off meeting for this study on Aug. 5, 2015, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon at Santa Barbara City Hall, to provide input and to hear the city's consultant, Carollo Engineers, present an overview of the work plans for these studies.

Potable reuse projects, as detailed in a recently published white paper by Heal the Ocean (HTO), utilize advanced treatment processes – microfiltration, reverse osmosis, and ultraviolet light (UV) disinfection – to treat wastewater into a purified, near-distilled drinking water resource.

Proceeding with a potable reuse project through either indirect or direct reuse methods (once regulations are approved for the latter) could provide significant benefits to rate-payers and the environment.

For instance, as shown in HTO's recently released Potable Reuse: A New Water Resource for California white paper, potable reuse projects are less expensive than many alternative water supplies, including desalination, because they utilize wastewater that is cheaper and far less energy intensive to treat.

Potable reuse projects are also heavily favored by the state – because of their environmental benefits, such that a total of $625 million in Proposition 1 grant funding has been designated to reduce the cost of building wastewater plants into recycled water plants.

And as illustrated in Heal the Ocean’s recently released “Waste(d)water” infographic, the city could produce enough purified water – approximately 5.1 million gallons per day (MGD)– to meet 53 percent of the city’s total water demand.

In other words, if the city expanded potable reuse, it could supply a significant quantity of locally controlled, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly water.

And despite the worries of a relatively loud but diminishing minority of Californians, potable reuse is safe.

The National Research Council, the state of California, and scientists all over the world have evaluated and determined the safety and efficacy of these projects. The technology employed is better than anything used in conventional drinking water treatment.

And, whether the city decides to proceed with indirect or direct potable reuse, any project will be required to follow stringent monitoring, reporting, and regulatory requirements from the state before purified water is allowed to be combined with other sources (e.g., surface water, water from seawater desalination, groundwater, etc.), and treated in a municipal drinking water system.

Heal the Ocean looks forward to further discussing the future of Santa Barbara’s water portfolio at the Aug. 5 meeting and beyond. We have been working for many years with wastewater treatment managers to access State funds for converting their plants into recycled water plants, because it is our mantra to “turn the pipes around,” to cease the disposal of waste(d)water into the ocean.

The first Public Meeting for the City of Santa Barbara Subsurface Desalination Intake and Potable Reuse Feasibility Studies will be held on Wednesday, August 5, 2015 at Santa Barbara City Hall, 735 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara. More information can be found on the National Water Research Institute’s website:

James Hawkins is a policy analyst for Heal the Ocean. He is the author of “Potable Reuse: A New Water Resource for California,” which describes the benefits of advanced treatment technologies to turn wastewater into a purified drinking water resource.


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Budding Engineers Discover Robotics at Museum Camp

By | Published on 07/31/2015


Santa Maria Valley organization host 'Battle of the Bots' as summer program's grand finale

With cheers and groans, young engineers showed off their skills by putting their creations to the test Friday afternoon for the culmination of a crash course in robotics.

Twenty-one youths participated in the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum’s first weeklong Robotics 101 camp.

Orcutt Academy High School students served as mentors. 

They marked “graduation” Friday with a friendly Battle of the Bots competition — based on the FIRST Lego League events— as the young engineers demonstrated their robots’ abilities. 

“What’s really impressive about all the children here is they participated in what is usually a six-week program in just a matter of a week,” said Charlie Miller, an Orcutt Academy graduate from 2014. “This is very much a crash course to robotics, and I think they all did a fantastic job.”

Various challenges were set up on two tables with children able to demonstrate their robotic building and programming skills while earning scores. 

“It’s really for them to put what they’ve learned to good use by having real world competition that's tangible and hands-on, so it’s not just programming in a bubble, it’s programming with a purpose,” said Amy Asman Blasco, program director for the Discovery Museum.

Nine-year-old Andrew Garcia of Orcutt said the camp taught him about programming and another critical skill — patience to get the robot to turn.

Thayne Tubbs, left, confers with a Robo Snakes teammate Friday during the robotics camp hosted by the Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

“It was fun because we got to learn things about robotics and technology,” Andrew said. 

He was part the team named The Shockers, and was pleased by their robot’s first two runs.

“It’s pretty good, but it’s having some problems with some of the tests,” he said.

He competed against his sister, Isabella Garcia, 11, who was on another team, Crazy Tech.

“It was actually pretty fun,” she said of the robotics camp. “I love programming it but it was very hard.”

For one challenge, her team’s robot successfully hurled a ball at the target, as cheers erupted from spectators. 

The Discovery Museum typically hosts summer camps with different themes during July, and hopes to include another robotics program in the future offerings, Blasco said. The robotics camp was so popular it had a waiting list.

In addition to giving community service hours, the robotics camp provided experience for students from Orcutt’s Spartatroniks, according to Ty Fredriks, Orcutt Academy teacher and Spartatroniks advisor.

Serving as mentors lets the teens inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers, Fredriks said.

Fredriks hopes to expand robotics into the Santa Maria-Bonita School District, and happily left Friday’s event with three possible teams. Any Santa Maria-Bonita teachers or parents interested in the robotics team can contact Fredriks by clicking here

“We need an excited teacher and a couple of excited parents,” he said. “If I can get three motivated adults then they can run a team and it doesn’t take experience. You don’t have to know how to build a robot or know how to program. That’s what the kids learn. They’re good at that, as we saw today. That was so much fun.”

Santa Maria business Melfred Borzall provided a grant matched by Santa Maria-Bonita to help fund the expansion. 

“We realize the power of STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), especially if we get into an under-served population. This could be a ticket out. This could give these kids an opportunity to become engineers.

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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Punta Gorda Rental Units Could Be Creative Solution to Santa Barbara’s Housing Shortage

By | Published on 07/31/2015


Tiny, factory-built houses take the place of a bankrupt mobile home park on the city's Eastside

A plot of land with a beleaguered past will soon be the home of 40 new rental units on the lower Eastside, in what the project's backers hope will be part of the solution to Santa Barbara's affordable-housing crisis.

As rental vacancy rates hover below 1 percent, one developer has a possible solution to the shortage of rental housing with tiny houses planned for the area.

Forty units are slated for a small triangle of land bordered to the south by Highway 101, the east by Sycamore Creek, and Punta Gorda Street to the north.

About a dozen of these units have already gone up and can be seen from the highway.

Noozhawk got a tour of the site from the project's architect, Jan Hochhauser of Hochhauser Blatter Architecture and Planning.

The units are small, about 550 square feet for a two-bedroom unit, and are factory built, then installed on top of a permanent cement slab that sits 3-to-4-feet above the ground.

The permanent foundation makes the units less like a mobile home and more like a house, and are necessary since the entire property is in a flood plain and sits near Sycamore Creek.  

The project's developer is Santa Barbara resident Ed Clark, who purchased the property, a mobile home park, in 2011 after it fell into bankruptcy.

Hochhauser and Clark have worked on other projects with the Punta Gorda site builders, Guy Swenson Builders, including the mixed-use Oak Springs Village in Buellton and the luxury Fourth Street Condominiums in Carpinteria.

At the time of the Punta Gorda site's purchase, it was "in total disarray," Hochhauser said, and was plagued by drug users and derelict trailers, with police responding often to the site.

After it was sold to Clark, the city Fire Department was able to use the property for firefighting practice.

A map shows the design for the housing development. (Courtesy photo)

The site falls under state guidelines because mobile home parks are under the purview of the Housing and Urban Development Department.  

Hochhauser met with Santa Barbara's Architectural Board of Review to brief it on the plans, but the permitting for the site falls to the state.

State guidelines are less stringent than the city, which is why a mere 7.5-foot setback from Highway 101's sound wall to the back wall of the southernmost units will fly on the site.

The guidelines also have allowed the project to go up quickly, and the 40-unit design maximizes almost every square foot of the parcel.

Hochhauser expects to be done by December, and the units begin renting out in January.

Each unit has a small driveway for one vehicle to be parked, and the project will also have some shared communal areas for a picnic table or two. 

The access roads into the development will be lined with permeable pavers to help wick standing water away.

(Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

There are 36 two-story units and four one-story units slated for the property, and the first 10 or so are already lining the back of the site. 

As for that Highway 101 noise, extra insulation was in order, along with sound-rated windows, Hochhauser said.

While each unit has a full kitchen and washer and dryer, they make use of the space and are specially sized for the homes.

It's a market-rate rental project, but is affordable by design, he said. The two bedroom units will be rented out at $1,500 to $1,800 a month.

"The rental market is there," he 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 Maria Tow Driver Critically Injured In ‘Freak Accident’

By | Published on 07/31/2015


A critically injured tow truck driver was taken by CalStar medical helicopter to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on Friday afternoon after he was crushed while unloading a vehicle in Santa Maria.

The man, who is in his 40s, became pinned by the winch cable on the tow truck in the 1200 block of West Betteravia Road about 1 p.m., said Santa Maria Fire Capt. Tom Crakes.

The driver became trapped between the side of the tow truck and the cable, according to Crakes.

Other workers freed the man, who was lying on the ground by the time firefighters arrived, Crakes said. 

“It looked like a freak accident,” Crakes said.

The accident occurred at the yard housing Smitty’s Towing.

The victim's name was not release and details on his condition were not available Friday night.

This is the second time this month that a Santa Maria Valley tow truck driver was injured while on the job.

A Santa Maria Towing driver was injured July 8 while helping a disabled motorist in Los Alamos.

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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4 Injured in Highway 101 Collision Near Goleta

By | Published on 07/31/2015


A passenger in one of 3 vehicles taken to hospital with moderate injuries

One person was taken to the hospital and three others were hurt Friday afternoon in a vehicle accident on Highway 101 near Goleta, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The three-vehicle crash — a chain-reaction rear-end collision — occurred at about 4:20 p.m. in the southbound lanes near the Turnpike Road offramp, said fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

One person sitting in the rear seat of the front vehicle complained of severe neck and back pain, Zaniboni said, and was taken by AMR ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Three other people were treated at the scene for minor injuries, but were not hospitalized, he said.

The left-hand lane was closed for a time, but traffic continued flowing in the other two lanes, he said.

The collision was under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

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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Class Action Discrimination Lawsuit Filed Against Haggen

By | Published on 07/31/2015


A class action lawsuit was filed Friday by a developmentally disabled employee of a Goleta Haggen Grocery Store who was laid off earlier this month as the company struggled to establish itself in California.

The Bellingham, Wash.-based chain found itself in hot water this week after news surfaced that the company laid off 14 developmentally disabled people working as courtesy clerks at Santa Barbara County stores. 

The company took over several former Albertsons and Vons locations earlier this year and local nonprofit PathPoint decried the layoffs, since the organization had worked to place those employees in the original grocery stores.

The complaint states that Haggen had assured current employees there would be no changes when the stores were taken over.

"They made promises that everyone would keep their jobs, but that's not what happened," said Matthew Da Vega of the firm Da Vega, Fisher and Mechtenberg, LLP.

Da Vega filed the complaint, which alleges disability discrimination, wrongful termination and unlawful business practices and asks for lost wages, damages and attorney's fees.

The plaintiff in the case is 60-year-old William Morris, who worked as a courtesy clerk at Haggen's Fairview Avenue location in Goleta before being laid off earlier this month.

He had been at the store for three years when it was a Vons location.

He was paid $9.30 an hour and his duties included bagging and carrying out groceries for customers, cleaning areas of the stores like the check-out area, break room and restrooms, and patrolling the parking lot and store to retrieve shopping carts, the complaint states.

The complaint maintains that though the company stated nothing would change during the store acquisitions, "the defendant has engaged in a pattern and practice of discrimination against developmentally disabled employees by disproportionately terminating them from Haggen's employment."

The complaint also states that the employees' job duties were transferred to non-disabled people without legitimate business justification.

The complaint, filed in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, also states that there could be as many as 100 people across the state who were laid off by the company and are developmentally disabled.

Bill Shaner, CEO of Haggen, Pacific Southwest, said earlier this week that the company has found expanding the brand in new markets "challenging" and that employees were laid off based on job classification and collective bargaining agreements.

"As part of the reduction, we eliminated the clerks helper job classification in our stores, which unfortunately included some associates with developmental disabilities," Shaner said.

Da Vega said that the company will likely be served with the suit next week, and will have 30 days to respond.

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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EcoLawn SB Fills Void During Drought With Synthetic Grass

By | Published on 07/31/2015


Business founded in November 2014 has replaced more than 65 local lawns

When Sally Cushman thinks about synthetic grass, she pictures a green —clearly fake — miniature golf course.

That all changed this spring when she was introduced to EcoLawn SB, a local startup that replaces brown, rain-deprived residential and commercial lawns with artificial turf.

Cushman put a sample of the stuff in her backyard, letting her two dogs sniff and play on the turf EcoLawn procures from fellow locals at Aqua-Flo Supply.

The grass looked real and her drought-stricken lawn was in dire need of a makeover.

“I never realized it was as nice looking as this,” Cushman said this month as an EcoLawn crew used nails to hammer custom-cut plastic pieces of All Natural 75 into her grass-free front yard. “These guys have been wonderful. I’m thrilled.”

Beau Lee Schmidt and Jessica Girard are the co-founders of EcoLawn SB, which replaces lawns with artificial turf. (Contributed photo)

EcoLawn SB launched last November when co-founders Jessica Girard and Beau Lee Schmidt brainstormed how to inspire change and help conserve water in a fourth year of drought.

Schmidt, a Santa Barbara native, was finishing up some green building projects as a local contractor. His longtime girlfriend, Girard, had just graduated from Antioch University with a liberal arts/business management degree and finished a stint as team leader with the Santa Barbara County Water Guardians.

“It was sort of a perfect storm,” Girard said. “What can we do to make a difference in this town and in this world?”

They stopped for a picnic on a drive up north, laying the spread on surprisingly comfortable synthetic grass. After calling around, they discovered a niche in the industry, since several companies already installing fake turf locally hailed from out of town.

Since then, EcoLawn has installed more than 65 synthetic lawns on the South Coast — equaling more than 50,000 square footage and helping to save more than 1 million gallons of water, according to Girard.

No more mowing, fertilizing or aerating required.

Girard said the turf is pet and kid friendly, with an infill made by ZeoFill that’s 100 percent organic. The infill slowly releases water to cool turf and captures ammonia in urine to help offset smell. How much infill you need depends on the number and size of pets, and people rake or pick up poop like they would from a normal lawn.

“All of these little things are seriously adding up,” Girard said. “They can do their part.”

EcoLawn doesn’t do advertising, mostly because the signs they put up in yards of customers help spread the word.

Cushman said she was especially motivated to install synthetic turf because the cost is covered by city Water Wise rebate programs.

The city of Santa Barbara's rebate program, which started in 2009 to encourage water conservation, expanded its qualifying projects in May 2014 to include synthetic turf as a way to save water during drought, said Madeline Ward, Santa Barbara’s acting water conservation coordinator.

Other water savers include manipulating a sprinkler system, mulching or replacing lawns with drought tolerant plants.

Of the total rebates in the past year, 68, or 19 percent,  were for synthetic turf, Ward said, noting the city could decide to remove turf from the list depending on rain received between now and next October, when grant funds run out.

“Synthetic turf could handle more foot traffic,” Ward said. “It really depends on what (residents) are looking for. That’s why we have such a wide variety of options. There’s definitely a portion of the community that wants a fake surface without having to water it.”

Rebates cover 50 percent of the installation cost, up to $1,000. Although EcoLawn does any size of surface, Girard said an average lawn install is 1,000 square feet — at $7-9 per square foot, depending on which of 20 varieties used — and the company’s eight-person team can install 500 square feet per day.

Synthetic grass is becoming more popular, but some challenges remain. The turf heats up in the sun and disposing of your pet’s business can be difficult without proper infill.

Girard said EcoLawn is working to create a recycling program for the turf once it’s past a 20-year life expectancy. They’ve installed lawns as far south as Carpinteria all the way up to Ballard in the Santa Ynez Valley, but Girard said they’re willing to travel further.

She isn’t worried about the drought ending — she welcomes it actually — because EcoLawn is being both reactive and proactive in dealing with the environment. She’s confident folks will be water wise even without a drought, knowing another will come along.

“Traditional grass is a thing of the past,” she said.

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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Captain’s Log: Exercise Patience and Camouflage to View Wildlife

By | Published on 07/31/2015


Think about what critters see, hear and smell when you want to view them in candid situations. Prepare correctly and be patient enough and the rewards can be spectacular. Here’s a story of mine.

One time many years ago, I was deer hunting up near Mutau Flats between Rose Valley and Frazier Park. I prepared for critter-camouflage and really got into the moment ... a very long and drawn out moment that was really hours.

I wore colors that blended in with the browns of deadfalls and dirt. I had been camping out of a pack for two days and didn’t have any deodorant.

Walking a good mile upwind from camp, I then began moving very slowly to find just the right spot. I smiled when I saw it ... a 50-yard clearing in a canyon, with a dozen trees, a fair number of bushes and two large, downed deadfall trees with lots of busted branches.

I sat down and watched that clearing from a distance until I was sure there were no critters occupying it. Then I cautiously circled the area until I was downwind, and approached the clearing softly and slowly ... the kind of slowly that takes 10 minutes to move 30 yards.

Rather than moving through open spaces, I kept near trees and bushes. Studying a deadfall at the downwind edge of the clearing, I picked a spot with a good backrest above a flat patch of dirt, and with lots of branches poking out in different directions to break up my silhouette.

Sitting down carefully, so as not to break any twigs, branches or other noisy things, I moved slowly to arrange my things so I could be very still, with my deer rifle across my lap. I sat as motionless as possible for about an hour and a half. I had to tense and then relax muscle groups periodically, but I didn’t want to stretch because that would be too much movement.

Preparation and patience paid off big time. I heard a commotion and a scurrying sound at the far edge of the clearing and then nothing.

After a couple of minutes of wondering what had happened, a large bobcat with a squirrel in its jaws stepped cautiously into the clearing, just 20 yards from me. It stopped and looked all around. Its gaze paused as it passed by me and I held my breath.

The predator looked past me, scanned the rest of the area and then plopped down as if it didn’t have a care in the world and ate its meal with gusto.

Stretching lazily, the big cat took a five-minute snooze, then licked itself clean. It took another good long look around, and then stepped behind a bush and simply disappeared.

I felt really good about the experience and it boosted my confidence as a hunter. I didn’t have a deer encounter that day, at least at a distance I would feel right about taking a shot (and I’m a good shot), but still I ranked that as one of the most successful days of my hunting career.

Preparation and patience paved the way to success yet again!

— 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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David Sirota: Wisconsin’s Economic Cautionary Tale

By | Published on 07/31/2015


The continuum of American politics is not a straight line—it is more like a circle. Travel farther out on the right and left, and ultimately the sides bend to a common position on an issue like taxpayer subsidies for big business.

To many progressives, such expenditures are giveaways to the already wealthy. To many conservatives, they are a free-market-distorting waste of taxpayer resources. Both sides also often criticize the subsidies as an instrument of cronyism and corruption.

In recent years, taxpayer subsidies for corporations have become a huge expense: "The New York Times" estimates that states and cities now spend more than $80 billion a year on such so-called "incentives." For the most part, this gravy train has not faced much pressure to slow down. 

But now, as the 2016 presidential campaign intensifies, both the left and the right will have a prime opportunity to spotlight its critiques. That is because one of the most prominent Republican presidential candidates—Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker—has made such subsidies a central part of his public policy agenda. Those subsidies have produced both high-profile scandals and lackluster economic results.

In 2011, Walker created the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation to give taxpayer loans and grants to business.

Within a few years, state auditors published reports spotlighting "concerns with WEDC's administration and oversight of its economic development programs and its financial management."

Specifically, auditors said "WEDC did not require grant and loan recipients to submit information showing that contractually required jobs were actually created or retained" and also noted that money was handed out "in ways that did not consistently comply" with state law.

Much of the cash flowed to Walker's political allies. According to a new report by the left-leaning One Wisconsin Institute, 60 percent of the $1.14 billion given out by the WEDC went to firms connected to Walker's campaign contributors—that includes more than $2.1 million those donors have given Walker's election campaigns directly.

Had the taxpayer largesse significantly boosted Wisconsin's economy, perhaps the financial management problems and the allegations of cronyism could be downplayed, but Wisconsin's economy has suffered under Walker. As Bloomberg News reported, "Wisconsin ranked 33rd among U.S. states in economic health improvement during Walker's first term" with the state only "a little more than half the 250,000 private-sector jobs that Walker promised during that time." 

Those results, though, have not deterred Walker—his most recent budget proposed to slash $300 million out of higher education funding and spend roughly the same amount to help finance a new arena for the Milwaukee Bucks. One of the members of the investor group that owns the NBA team is the national finance co-chairman of Walker's presidential campaign.

Walker pushed the subsidies despite a widely cited 2008 study by researchers at the University of Maryland and University of Alberta, which found the "overwhelming preponderance of evidence" shows "that no tangible economic benefits are generated by these heavily subsidized professional sports facilities."

As Walker's record faces intensifying scrutiny during his presidential campaign, his free-market rhetoric may conflict with his embrace of market-distorting subsidies for private businesses. Particularly in the Republican primary, conservative candidates and groups will have an opportunity to spotlight Wisconsin as an illustration of why they crusade against corporate welfare. 

Walker, of course, may try to shift the blame for Wisconsin's troubles—but the facts, stats and policies tell a clear and compelling story about why states cannot rely on subsidies as a tool of economic growth.

David Sirota is a senior writer at International Business Times and the best-selling author of Hostile Takeover, The Uprising and Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now. Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), follow him on Twitter: @davidsirota, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Donna Polizzi: Buellton Strikes an Idyllic Balance of Blended Cultures

By | Published on 07/31/2015


In span of just a few miles, you can pay a visit to an ostrich farm and then sip some of the Central Coast's most cutting-edge wines

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Have you ever been to a self-service wine wall? If not, Terravant in Buellton is a fun place to sample some of the Central Coast’s finest wines, with the added convenience of enjoying its innovative self-serve wine dispensers.

At Terravant, 35 Industrial Way, you get to control the size of the pour and, of course, the frequency of the pour, which is my favorite feature.

Trust me, this restaurant has delicious food and an interesting selection. The tapas menu has a wide variety of large and small plates to pair with your wine choices. Without exception, everything I’ve tried on the menu is excellent.

My favorite is the yuppie crack. It’s a crispy, bacon-wrapped date stuffed with goat cheese, drizzled with balsamic and served with basil oil. I order it every time I go so it is indeed addicting.

A couple other must-tries are the Lobster Mac ‘n’ Cheese and the Pear and Prosciutto pizza. Yum!

Terravant has an industrial feel with a sense of sporty sophistication. The lights are somewhat low, and a beautiful mural of Spanish dancers graces the walls.

The view out of the bar window is spectacular. Picture a rustic country setting with mysterious green mountains and low-lying clouds as the backdrop.

Santa Barbara County has many hidden spots that don’t make the national news as often as Santa Barbara proper does. In movies, rarely will a character mention that they’re heading to Buellton.

But located roughly a half-hour from Santa Barbara, the beautiful Santa Ynez Valley has a bounty of cultural and recreational riches, from spectacular outdoor hiking up Figueroa Mountain, to some of the most sensational wineries on the Central Coast. If you want to explore a delightful Danish village, Solvang is unmatched for its quaintness.

Another unusual destination is the OstrichLand U.S.A. farm at 610 E. Highway 246, between Buellton and Solvang. It’s a picturesque property, with rolling hills to your right and green horse pastures to your left. The place is a delightful reminder of a quieter, slower-paced life.

Not to mention having the chance to see these remarkable, prehistoric-looking creatures up close and personal. The gift shop sells ostrich eggs that are roughly the size of a cannonball. One egg is the equivalent of 18-24 chicken eggs, and I hear they’re quite tasty. Now wouldn’t that be an interesting conversation starter for your Sunday brunch?

My guess it that you’ve heard the old cliché, “Pull your head out of the sand,” stemming from ostrich behavior. The truth is that they dig holes in the sand to bury their eggs. Periodically, the birds put their heads in the hole to turn their eggs. Watching this is a fascinating display of effective parenting.

So whether you’re interested in flightless birds or delicious food and wine, or both, the Santa Ynez Valley is the place to go. And at the crossroads of Highways 101 and 246, you’re sure to be awakened and delighted by the myriad of hidden gems in enchanting Buellton.

— Donna Polizzi is a regional travel expert and founder of Keys to the Coast, a Central Coast travel resource providing members with a customized list of recommendations on the best places that locals want to go. She can be contacted at [email protected]. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.


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Thousands of Homeowners Embrace emPower Central Coast Program

By | Published on 07/31/2015


In the year since the emPower Central Coast Program expanded to the Tri-County area, 5,308 homeowners have reached out to the program to find out about lowering their home energy use.

EmPower energy coaches have also visited 355 houses to determine how homeowners can conserve energy, save money and create a healthier home.

Launched by Santa Barbara County in 2011, emPower Central Coast officially expanded to Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties in July of 2014. Since the expansion, the number of homeowners contacting emPower for information on program resources and services has more than doubled to over 10,000.

Project numbers have also increased with the expansion. To date, 675 energy efficiency projects have been initiated with 152 projects completed. Contractor reports estimate that completed projects save 29 percent energy usage on average.

By generating over $3 million in project activity for participating contractors, emPower has also been able to support job growth in the local residential construction industry.

Over the last year, emPower has been working with homeowners and local contractors to overcome obstacles to implementing home energy improvements, such as improving home air sealing and properly installing energy efficient water heaters.

These efforts have included free home energy consultations with energy coaches for homeowners; connecting homeowners with qualified, local contractors and making utility incentives and low-interest financing available.

During the hundreds of home site visits conducted free of charge by emPower energy coaches, poor insulation and air sealing were identified as being among the most common issues affecting inside temperatures and comfort. Fifty-eight percent of the homes were found to have no wall insulation whatsoever, and nearly eighty percent of homes have insufficient or improperly installed “batt” insulation in their attic or no attic insulation at all.

“As we cross the one year mark, we are pleased to report a significant number of community members are taking steps toward creating a healthier environment for all by improving the energy efficiency and health of their own homes,” said Ashley Watkins, emPower Program Services Supervisor.

“Services like our home-energy site visits are having a real impact. We recently surveyed homeowners who took advantage of this service, finding they were 76 percent more likely to make home energy upgrades, with 41 percent having already initiated energy efficiency upgrades,” Watkins said.

One of the easiest opportunities for any home to save on energy is lighting. However, the energy coaches found that 63 percent of the homes they visited were still using outdated incandescent lightbulbs.

In contrast, LED light bulbs use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than standard incandescent bulbs. In the last year, empower has provided 250 LED bulbs to 160 local residents, equating to an annual savings of 6,000 kWh.

Additional statistics about emPower Central Coast’s first year (July 2014-June 2015) as a Tri-County program are listed below:

  • Hosted, presented or exhibited at 133 educational outreach events
  • Increased number of interest individuals contacting the program three-fold over 2013-2014
  • Increase in the number of completed projects by 36 percent
  • Reached $2 million in emPower loan applications received to date
  • recruited 18 new contractors
  • Conducted 17 contractor trainings
  • Doubled social media reach

“We hope all of our Central Coast communities will be proud of the increased levels of program interest and participation we’ve generated with the emPower program expansion,” said Angie Hacker, emPower Program Manager. “We continue to appreciate the support from external funding sources like local utility companies and the California Energy Commission for making the expansion possible, and we intend to keep delivering on our track record of innovation and positive impact.”

About emPower Central Coast Program

The emPower program offers voluntary incentives, financing and other services to help single-family homeowners in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties make home energy upgrades easier and more affordable. EmPower was originally established by Santa Barbara County to help the community preserve the environment by helping to lower energy consumption and stimulate the economy by creating jobs through innovative, voluntary solutions to support a sustainable building performance market.

EmPower is funded by California utility ratepayers and administered by Southern California Gas Company, Southern California Edison Company and Pacific Gas and Electric Company under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission, the US Department of Energy Better Buildings program and the California Energy Commission with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars.

EmPower’s low cost financing is offered in partnership with Coast Hills Credit Union and Ventura County Credit Union. 

For more information, visit

—Angela Pacheco represents emPower.


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Organic Soup Kitchen Receives Grants to Keep Dishing Nutrient-Dense Meals

By | Published on 07/31/2015


Organic Soup Kitchen was recently awarded two Core Support for Basic Needs Grants from the Santa Barbara Foundation and the Hutton Parker Foundation.

Both $20,000 grants are in recognition of the kitchen’s work directly providing food to the county’s most poor and vulnerable communities.

These funds will help us achieve our mission in serving organic, nutrient-dense meals to those in need, specifically our low-income seniors and medical outpatients.

Organic Soup Kitchen is grateful for this opportunity to further its mission with support from the community it serves. They will continue to prioritize support for basic needs services and hope to strengthen their partnership with organizations such as these.

The kitchen is currently accepting donations from individuals and entities alike to further grow their new “Senior Grocery Program.” To do so, please contact Andrea Slaby at [email protected]

—DiAnna Joiner represents Organic Soup Kitchen.


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Marian Regional Medical Center Remembers 75 Years of Health-Care History

By | Published on 07/31/2015


Marian Regional Medical Center (MRMC) staff and physicians have persevered in consistently providing compassionate, quality health care throughout the hospital’s 75-year history, even in challenging circumstances.

This unwavering commitment to providing excellent care was especially apparent in October 1959, when a San Francisco-bound Pacific Air Line DC-3 airplane crashed in a pasture near Santa Maria shortly after takeoff due to the failure of an engine cylinder.


The swift response of staff and physicians, including some off duty, resulted in the treatment of 19 crash survivors within an hour, along with x-rays administered and records taken. Despite the potential for significant loss of life, only one person—the co-pilot—died as a result of the crash.

The October 1959 incident instilled confidence in both hospital staff and the community at large that Marian, then called Our Lady of Perpetual Help Hospital, was able to skillfully handle large-scale emergencies.

“Even today, when we regularly drill and educate our staff to prepare for potential disasters and large scale medical crises of various types, a plane crash involving 19 injuries would be a significant incident at Marian,” says Tauny Sexton, Senior Director Emergency/Trauma Services at MRMC “It’s certainly impressive that in 1959 Marian physicians and staff were able to so skillfully handle a disaster of this magnitude. This performance shows the diligence of these care providers decades ago in working together to provide excellent treatment.”

According to a journal written by members of the Sisters of St. Francis, who in 1940 founded Our Lady of Perpetual Help Hospital, the sisters were enjoying a movie in the staff room when the call of the plane crash came in.

The sisters dispersed and alerted hospital administrators and physicians were quickly summoned to the hospital. Physicians and nurses were ready and waiting when the ambulances began arriving.

The hospital’s halls were bustling with crash victims’ relatives, police and curious bystanders. The entire hospital team involved, from the woman working the switchboard to physicians and nurses, were commended for their apt handling of the emergency.

When the sisters were taken out to see the wreck scene, they marveled that more lives had not been lost.

“It was gratifying to all concerned to see that the hospital was able to handle unusual emergencies,” the sisters wrote.

About Marian Regional Medical Center

Marian Regional Medical Center, located in Santa Maria, Ca., is rated among the top 10 percent in the nation for cardiac care and is a designated STEMI Receiving Center (ST Segment Elevation Myocardial Infarction) in Santa Barbara County.  

Santa Barbara County STEMI-receiving programs earned the Silver Award from the American Heart Association for excellence in patient care. Marian has achieved prestigious designation as a Primary Stroke Center by the Joint Commission.

In addition, Marian has received the Healthgrades Distinguished Hospital Clinical Excellence Award. The medical center’s cancer program is distinguished as the only comprehensive community cancer center on the Central Coast.  

The need to meet the demand for quality, technologically advanced care for a growing community led Marian to open its doors to a new state-of-the-art, 191-bed facility in the spring of 2012. Marian is a member of Dignity Health of the Central Coast, which also includes Arroyo Grande Community Hospital in Arroyo Grande, Ca., French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo, Ca., St. John’s Regional Medical Center in Oxnard, Ca. and St. John’s Pleasant Valley in Camarillo, Ca.

Dignity Health of the Central Coast is an integrated network of top quality hospitals and physicians from the most prestigious medical schools, as well as comprehensive outpatient services including primary care offices, premier ambulatory surgery centers, technologically-advanced laboratories and imaging centers and a full service home-health agency, all recognized for quality, safety and service.  

Each hospital is supported by an active philanthropic foundation to help meet the growing health care needs of its respective community. Learn more about Marian Regional Medical Center at

—Megan Maloney represents Marian Regional Medical Center.


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Bill Macfadyen: Will Santa Barbara Brake Out Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo?

By | Published on 07/31/2015


NoozWeek’s Top 5 covers its bear tracks, rescues a dog, mixes use in Old Town Goleta, and sets the sheen for an enduring controversy


Just under the trade deadline, there were 96,512 people who read Noozhawk this past week. Here’s my take on your top stories:

1. Not So Fast, Santa Barbara Tells Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo — Or So Large

A proposal to replace a long-vacant Hitchcock Way car dealership with ... another car dealership has run into a flashing yellow light from Santa Barbara’s always entertaining Architectural Board of Review.

New Century Automotive Group wants to build a two-story dealership at 350 Hitchcock Way, between DCH Lexus of Santa Barbara and a complex of townhomes to the north.

The plan is for Alfa Romeo and Maserati to have have showrooms on the ground floor, with another luxury car dealer — which may or may not be Ferrari — sharing the upper floor with service bays.

But the ABR, along with a handful of neighbors, has compiled a litany of objections, saying the project is too big, doesn’t have enough landscaping, would mean the loss of too many trees and — the pièce de résistance — is “not Santa Barbara architecture.”

Oooooh. Can’t have that in a part of town where there’s hardly a preponderance of “Santa Barbara architecture.” Or any, if we’re being honest about it — at least by El Pueblo Viejo standards.

I’m not unsympathetic to the conscientious objectors. Although the design is unique for the South Coast, it’s a cookie-cutter look you can see along any freeway throughout Southern California.

That’s not the only issue, though.

“I have a problem with this building and the whole way you have planned activity on this site,” ABR member Howard Wittausch told the applicants.

“The idea of putting showrooms and service bays on the second floor is unnecessary. It is done for the purpose of just creating a big, bulky massive building.”

Nothing was decided at the ABR hearing, and our Josh Molina reports that the project will be back before the board at an unspecified future date.

Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh wasn’t the only one patrolling La Purisima Highlands recently. (Pat Walsh photo)
Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh wasn’t the only one patrolling La Purisima Highlands recently. (Pat Walsh photo)

2. Black Bear Spotted Wandering Around Lompoc Neighborhood​

A black bear wandered around Lompoc’s La Purisima Highlands neighborhood the night of July 19, sparking more curiosity than concern.

The adult bear didn’t make any aggressive moves and appeared to be in good health. Although game wardens were called in, the animal ultimately left on its own.

“Really, all we did ... is monitor the bear’s movement and try to assess its health condition,” Jamie Dostal, a warden with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, told our Janene Scully.

He estimated the bear weighed between 150 and 200 pounds, but said wardens couldn’t get close enough to determine if it was male or female.

The bear eventually ambled behind the old drive-in theater and into the riverbed, heading upstream toward Highway 246.

Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh took to Twitter to joke about the sighting.

“So the answer is, ‘yes’ there are bears in Lompoc,” he tweeted, with a picture as proof.

Luna, in the heat of the moment. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)
Luna, in the heat of the moment. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

3. Firefighters Come to Rescue of Severely Dehydrated Dog on Trail Near Gaviota

A 105-pound German shepherd hit a severe dehydration wall on the afternoon of July 19 while hiking with its owner on the Gaviota coast.

Fortunately for both, firefighters and paramedics from nearby Santa Barbara County Station 18 were in the right place for the rescue.

As our Tom Bolton first reported, fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said the dog, named Luna, and her owner were hiking the San Julian Trail at Las Cruces when the animal became severely dehydrated in the nearly 90-degree heat.

The hiking party was on its way back to the trailhead when Luna pretty much collapsed about a mile out. Her owner called 9-1-1, and the SBCFD entourage trekked up with three bags of ice and a Stokes Basket.

While firefighters iced down the dog, a paramedic administered fluids via an IV.

“They started the IV in the dog’s left, front paw, and she responded and perked up quite a bit,” Zaniboni said.

Luna got a ride back in the Stokes Basket, then was taken by her owner to a Santa Barbara emergency veterinary clinic, where she was “doing just fine,” Zaniboni said.

Forget the design, have you ever seen so many suits in Old Town Goleta? (RRM Design Group rendering)
Forget the design, have you ever seen so many suits in Old Town Goleta? (RRM Design Group rendering)

4. Goleta Planning Commission Approves 175-Unit Mixed-Use Development in Old Town

After years of perseverance, the developers of an Old Town Goleta mixed-use development got a big boost July 27 when the Goleta Planning Commission granted approval of the 175-unit project.

City Ventures has proposed building The Old Town Village on a 12-acre parcel of vacant land west of South Kellogg Avenue and Kellogg Way south of Hollister Avenue.

The project includes 113 townhomes, 34 live-work units, 28 shopkeeper townhomes, a community center, a pocket park and other amenities. The City of Goleta also plans to extend Ekwill Street through to the project from Kellogg.

The commission backed the plan on a 4-0 vote, with commissioner Katie Maynard recusing herself because she lives nearby.

“It will be a wonderful project for Old Town,” Planning Commission chairman Eric Onnen said.

“It provides needed workforce housing and some new commercial space via the shopkeepers’ units.”

Although it approved the development plan, the commission also voted to have the City Council and City Ventures consider reducing the maximum size of some of the buildings, to 25 feet from 35.

Well, isn’t that slick? (U.S. Coast Guard photo)
Well, isn’t that slick? (U.S. Coast Guard photo)

5. Oil Sheen Offshore from Goleta Beach Likely Caused by Natural Seepage

An oil slick reported July 29 by two men kayaking off Goleta Beach Park appears to be the result of ... natural seepage.

Two and a half months after a pipeline leak near Refugio State Beach sent an estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil into the ocean, it’s not surprising that everyone and their brother leaped into action over this week’s discovery. I have a hunch it won’t be the last.

As Noozhawk first reported, U.S. Coast Guard officials concluded that the sheen — which was about three miles long and a half-mile wide — was the result of natural seepage.

The next morning, however, Coast Guard officials at a higher pay grade apparently thought they better be, shall we say, less precise.

“We are actively investigating where it could have originated from,” said Lt. Jeremy Maginot of USCG’s Marine Safety Detachment.

Some sheen was observed in the area of Platform Holly, which is located in the middle of major-league natural seep activity. That was enough for some to speculate that there may be a link.

Not us, says Venoco, the platform’s operator.

“There have been no incidents at Venoco facilities,” said Keith Wenal, health, environment and safety manager.

Of course, there has been no activity at Venoco facilities, either. The company’s local operations have been dead in the water since the May 19 Plains All American Pipeline failure. Without the pipeline, there’s no other currently authorized way for Venoco to move its products to market.

You think Venoco’s inability to extract the oil has any affect on the seeps? Naaaah.

                                                                 •        •        •

Keep it on the DL this time, but here’s Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week, from my peripatetic tour of the World Wide Web: 7 Not-So-Secret Homes of Super-Secret Societies.

Either The Meadows is No. 8 or The Pentaverate is even more powerfully clandestine than we know.

                                                                 •        •        •

Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele school us on the value of teachers. You’ll laugh, too. HT to my friend, Chelsea Duffy, executive director of Santa Barbara Partners in Education.

(Comedy Central 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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Rotary Club Orchestrates Instrument Donations to Carpinteria Students

By | Published on 07/31/2015


According to past-President, Pat Kistler,  the Rotary Club of Carpinteria Noon has been fundraising to purchase new and used band instruments to keep the band programs going in the Carpinteria Unified School District.

The club are also accepting donations of used instruments.

The club has held a yearly talent showcase with the majority of the proceeds going to this cause.  However, this year the City of Carpinteria is celebrating its 50th Birthday, so the club has stepped up its efforts.  

“We are now involved in a ’50 Instruments Celebrating 50 Years’ drive to reach a 50 instrument goal by mid-September 2015,” remarks former club President Lin Graf, who is the current contact for the drive.

“Currently, we have 25 instruments and some cash to repair old instruments and/or purchase new instruments," he says.  

Graf states that among all the families living in the Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta area, many unused instruments can be found in attics and garages. He remarks  that those instruments can be donated to the Rotary’s non-profit, and they will give a Carpinteria student an opportunity to learn to play music in the school’s band.  

Graf encourages anyone with a used instrument or with the willingness to give any amount of cash towards the drive, to contact him as soon as possible. Instruments will be picked up on request.  

The Rotary Club of Carpinteria will supply non-profit letters of acceptance.

Please call Lin Graf at 805.331.8515.

—Patricia Kistler is a past-president of the Rotary Club of Carpinteria.


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A Tribute to Karen Sinsheimer, Santa Barbara Museum of Art Curator of Photography

By | Published on 07/31/2015


The museum family is greatly saddened by the passing of the highly esteemed and beloved Karen Sinsheimer, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s curator of photography.

She was first hired as a consultant in July 1990 to organize the exhibition “From Watkins to Weston: 101 Years of California Photography,” in celebration of the museum’s 50th anniversary.

Soon after, she became a permanent member of the staff as the first full-time curator of photography, and served in that position for the next 25 years. 

According to Larry J. Feinberg, the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz director of the museum: “Through her keen intelligence, determination, and disarming charm, Karen almost single-handedly built the museum’s very important collection of photography and established an exhibition program that has earned the institution much respect and admiration from museums and collectors across the country.

“One could always see much of Karen, herself, in many of the photographs she acquired and the shows she produced. They were, in many cases, psychologically probing or manifested a scientist’s curiosity―and, more often than not, they evinced Karen’s gentle sense of humor.

“She accomplished a great deal and has left an enormous legacy.” 

During her tenure, Ms. Sinsheimer organized more than 120 exhibitions for the museum, many accompanied by a publication, and some that have traveled to national and international venues.

Among her major exhibitions were: Excursions Along the Nile: The Photographic Discovery of Ancient Egypt (1994); Revealing the Holy Land: The Photographic Exploration of Palestine (1998); First Seen: Portraits of the World’s Peoples (1840–1880) (2005); Garbo’s Garbos (2005); Made in Santa Barbara: Contemporary Photographs (2007); Made in Hollywood: Photographs from the John Kobal Foundation (2008); Of Life and Loss: The Photographs of Roman Vishniac and Jeffrey Gusky (2008); Chaotic Harmony: Contemporary Korean Photography (2010); and John Divola: As Far As I Could Get (2013). Most recently, she had been organizing the show Looking In, Looking Out: Contemporary Latin American Photography, which is scheduled to open in October of 2015.

In addition, during her time at SBMA, the photograph collection grew extensively to nearly 7,500 works. Ms. Sinsheimer built several areas of particular strength in the photographic collection, notably works from the 19th century, the Americas, and Western Pacific Rim, as well as important photojournalistic and documentary images, and many related to the sciences, especially astronomy, biology, and zoology.

A visionary curator, Ms. Sinsheimer was often a trendsetter, collecting the works of emerging artists and of photographic genres before they became widely recognized.

Thanks in part to significant gifts from collectors Yolanda and Arthur Steinman, Jane and Michael G. Wilson, and Howard Stein, who were impressed by Ms. Sinsheimer’s vast knowledge of and passion for photography, the museum’s collection has attained national stature.

Due to their profound respect for Ms. Sinsheimer and her kind and thoughtful support, hundreds of photographers, as well as art dealers and galleries representing them, have donated their works to the museum over the years.

In 2002, documentary photographer Pirkle Jones donated more than 90 of his prints. In recent weeks, the photographers Melanie Walker and Nancy Webber, among others, gifted their works to the Museum.

In 1998, Ms. Sinsheimer was responsible for helping to found PhotoFutures, the museum’s dynamic curatorial support group that is dedicated to building the SBMA’s photography collection and to promoting community interest in the collecting of photographs.

The group, comprised of some 45 members, has sponsored numerous exhibitions and lectures over the years and, recently, has made plans to establish an annual photography lecture, in honor of longtime member and former museum trustee Lorna Spencer Hedges.

To date, the group has funded 10 exhibitions and the acquisition of over 200 photographs.

Ms. Sinsheimer received her B.A. in Art History from the University of Redlands, and took graduate courses at UC Berkeley.

While married to photographer William Current, she and her husband received NEA and Graham Foundation grants to produce two traveling exhibitions, accompanied by publications, for the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas.

Ms. Sinsheimer was a board member of the Joy of Giving Something Foundation, since 2004.

She is survived by her husband, Robert L. Sinsheimer, Ph.D., chancellor emeritus and professor emeritus of molecular biology at UC Santa Cruz.


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Search Continues for Source of Oil Slick Off Goleta Beach

By | Published on 07/30/2015


U.S. Coast Guard responds with flyovers of the sheen, which was reportedly three miles long and a half-mile wide

Authorities have yet to officially confirm whether a miles-long oil sheen spotted off of Goleta Beach on Wednesday was a result of a natural oil seep or from petroleum operations, past or present, in the area.

Santa Barbara County fire crews were dispatched to Goleta Beach shortly before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, responding to a smell of gas in the area and after two kayakers reported encountering the slick about 1,000 feet offshore from Goleta Pier

As Wednesday unfolded, conflicting reports emerged from public agencies, with the seep first being stated that its cause was unknown, and then later it was stated that the seep was likely natural.

The U.S. Coast Guard still doesn't have a definitive answer, stating that there is no new information and that testing is still being conducted on the oil's origin.

After a Coast Guard helicopter flew over the area Wednesday, officials stated that the slick or sheen was about three miles long and half a mile wide.

More survey flights took place on Thursday by the agency.

Some sheen on Wednesday was noted in the area of Platform Holly, where other natural seeps are active, and Venoco, Inc. officials stated that no incidents had taken place at the platform.

Locals who walk the beaches, especially in the Goleta area, are familiar with the tar and oil that can coat bare feet and shoes after a day in the sun.  

When asked whether what was seen Wednesday can be characterized as normal for the seeps, experts said it's difficult to say.

This map shows some the location of the seeps off of Coal Oil Point in relation to the shoreline and Venoco's Platform Holly. (Courtesy photo)

Jordan Clark, a professor of Earth Sciences at UCSB who has studied local seeps extensively, said that the seeps are "notoriously hard to characterize."

There is evidence that local seep fields "have little burps every once in a while," he said.

Tide has an effect on seepage — low tide means a reduced water pressure with higher seepage and high tide the opposite effect, he said.

Oil production in the area can also have an effect.

"The result of production of oil from Platform Holly is a reduction in oil seepage from the Coal Oil Point Reserve," Clark said.

As for Wednesday's sheen, "I personally think it was some fisherman who spilled some oil or additive, or it was a burp of the seep," he said.

Clark estimated that the seep's output on Wednesday — based on the size estimated by the Coast Guard — would be close to 2,400 gallons.

"You often will see slicks out there," he said, adding that an estimated 100 barrels, or 4,200 gallons, leak out of seeps near Coal Oil Point each day.

"If it is a burp, approximately half a day's worth of oil came out at once," he said of the slick offshore of Goleta Beach.   

"These fields just do whatever they do. Normal is such a hard thing to characterize." 

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 Backs Plan To Publicly Finance Trash-to-Energy Project at Tajiguas Landfill

By | Published on 07/30/2015


County pursuing new funding plan after private contractor's price comes up higher than expected

The city and county of Santa Barbara are looking at a public financing plan to pay for a new materials and recycling and trash-to-energy project at the Tajiguas Landfill, after a contractor's plan to build came in too expensive. 

"We were unable to reach business terms with Mustang Renewable Power Ventures," said Matt Fore, the city's environmental services manager. "The vendor's price exceeded the original threshold."

Santa Barbara County, along with the cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang and Buellton, wants to build a Materials Recovery Facility and Dry Fermentation Anaerobic Digestion Facility at the Tajiguas Landfill on the Gaviota Coast. 

The landfill will reach capacity in 2026, but officials hope the new facility will extend the life of the landfill through 2038. The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday voted 7-0 to work with the county to pursue a public financing plan. 

Mustang planned to privately finance construction of the project with Tajiguas tipping fees not to exceed more than $100 per ton. But the closest Mustang could come to actually meeting the price stated in the request for proposals was $126 per ton.

"It's too expensive and would likely result in significant risk and cost to the ratepayers," Fore said. 

The cutting-edge facility would cover 60,000 square feet and would strip the recyclables and organic materials from the trash.

The remaining trash would get buried in the landfill 17 miles west of Goleta. The county currently diverts about 70 percent of its trash from the landfill, but still buries about 200,000 tons per year, which when buried under dirt creates methane gas that escapes into the air and creates greenhouse gases.

A new anaerobic digester would reduce the amount of trash buried to 100,000 tons a year, the equivalent of removing 27,000 passenger cars from the road.

The trash that is sorted will go into the landfill, but the organics will be stripped away.

They will then be placed into an airtight chamber, similar to a storage bay, and sprinkled with water. Unlike burying the trash under the dirt, the technology in the digester will capture all of the methane gas and turn it into energy.

The county in early July voted to look at public financing possibilities, including the county paying for the facility through the issue and sale of bond, with Mustang owning only 5 percent of the project.  

Council members supported the county's plan to study public financing schemes for the project. 

Councilman Harwood "Bendy" White said he supports studying financing options, but he has concerns about "the unknown variables" of the technology.

The only similar facility is in San Jose, which has been running for about six months, and officials there are not letting anyone see the inner workings of the plant. 

"The fact that San Jose is not letting people in to look at this thing gives me real concern," White said.

"I would think  that if it were really working they would be proud to be showing it and sharing the facility."

Fore, however, has no concerns about the technology.

"We have settled on the technology that is best for this area," Fore said. "This is still cutting edge."

Despite the financial hiccup, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider said she is glad that the city and county are trying to be proactive. 

"It's a good thing we are figuring out the issue of financing now, as opposed to afterward," Schneider 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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Haggen Lays Off 14 Developmentally Disabled Employees in Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 07/30/2015


Clerks helper positions provided valuable work opportunities in local grocery stores

A Northwest grocery store chain that has expanded to the Central Coast has angered many in the local community after news surfaced that the company laid off more than a dozen developmentally disabled people working as courtesy clerks at Santa Barbara County stores. 

Earlier this year, the Bellingham, Wash.-based chain Haggen completed transitioning all its Central Coast Haggen stores from former Albertsons or Vons locations that were bought by the company.

Layoffs after the transition included 14 people who were placed by local nonprofit PathPoint, which helped place those people with employment in the original grocery stores.

Fourteen PathPoint clients were laid off in Santa Barbara County, three in San Luis Obispo and two in Ventura, confirmed Stephanie Boumediene, vice president of development.

"Some of these people had 15 and 18 years on the job," she said, adding that the loss of job is a blow to anyone, "but for a disabled person it's traumatic."

The community outpouring in support of the organization and those who were laid off has been huge, and "we're so appreciative," she said.

The organization was "working diligently" to try to connect those people with new work, and PathPoint had even been contacted by Vons, Albertsons and Ralphs, all asking what they could do to help, Boumediene said. 

Haggen laid off the courtesy clerks with developmental disabilities that the organization had worked to place with the original corporations that owned the stores.

The news comes just weeks after Noozhawk reported that employees of some of the six new stores in Santa Barbara County would see their hours cut as the brand tried to find its footing locally.

Bill Shaner, CEO of Haggen, Pacific Southwest, said in a statement Thursday that growing the Haggen brand in new markets "has been challenging."

As a result, the company had to resort to layoffs, he said, adding that employees were laid off based on job classification and seniority, in compliance with collective-bargaining agreements.

"As part of the reduction, we eliminated the clerks helper job classification in our stores, which unfortunately included some associates with developmental disabilities," Shaner said, adding that those layoffs had left him "especially disheartened."

Contrary to prior reports about employees not being able to seek employment at other grocery stores, "laid off associates can seek employment anywhere they choose," he said.

"We are working tirelessly to strengthen our business. Our goal is that these cuts are temporary and that we will be in a position to re-hire all our associates over time." 

Earlier this week,  PathPoint CEO Cindy Burton expressed her disappointment with the news of layoffs.

“I understand that businesses make decisions based on profitability goals, but the impact of a layoff on the people we support is so much broader than Haggen has considered," she said.

"I applaud Vons and Albertsons for their long history of providing employment and promotional opportunities for adults with developmental disabilities."

On Thursday, Burton posted a statement on PathPoint's website that said she was confident any employer would welcome the dedication and longevity that the courtesy clerks had demonstrated.

“This is a timely opportunity for local businesses to explore the benefits of working with PathPoint to offer new opportunities for this workforce," she said.

Local shoppers have organized a boycott of Haggen stores on social media and started a petition to rehire the 14 developmentally disabled employees or offer generous severance packages.

As of Thursday night, the petition had more than 1,700 supporters. 

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 Lowering Fees for Solar Energy Permits, Expediting Approval Process

By | Published on 07/30/2015


The city of Santa Barbara is making it easier, quicker and less expensive for people to install solar panels on their home. 

The council voted 7-0 on Tuesday to move forward with a quick-and-limited review of rooftop solar energy projects.

"It's part of a larger statewide effort to encourage more renewable energy," said Andrew Stuffler, chief building official. "The ordinance does encourage the installation of solar energy systems."

Under the proposed rules, homeowners will see the current $395 fee for small solar energy system permits drop to $237. It also eliminates discretionary review by the Historic Landmarks Commission and the Architectural Board of Review for residential solar energy projects.

"These new guidelines will make it easier for residents to add solar panels to their homes, allowing Santa Barbara homeowners to capture the economic benefits associated with solar energy in addition to the greenhouse gas emissions associated with these projects," said April Price, an energy associate at the Community Environmental Council.

Applicants will be able to obtain a permit electronically and will not have to go before the city's discretionary design board reviews.

Review will be limited to health and safety, including zoning setbacks and building heights.

In 2011, the state set a policy that requires at least one-third of the state’s electricity come from clean energy sources by 2020.

State lawmakers in 2014 mandated cities and counties to adopt a solar energy systems ordinance that expedited, at minimal cost, the solar energy system permit process.

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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Outdoors Q&A: Must Hunters and Anglers Carry CDL with License?

By | Published on 07/30/2015


Q: While hunting or fishing, besides carrying the appropriate license(s), do I also need to carry my state driver’s license? I would prefer to leave it in my vehicle, but I also want to be sure I am in compliance with the law if I run into a game warden in the field. So, my question is do I need to carry photo I.D. with my license? (Anthony B.)

A: You will need to verify that you are the person holding your own fishing or hunting license. Though photo identification is not mandated by law, being able to identify yourself properly is. If you cannot appropriately identify who you are, you may see yourself in an extended contact with the wildlife officer.

If you’re getting cited for something, the wildlife officer may have to take you to jail until you can be properly identified. The bottom line is even though the law doesn’t state you must have photo identification in possession, it would benefit you greatly to carry photo identification, so you may properly identify who you are to the wildlife officer.

Family crabbing trip

Q: My family plans to take a trip to San Francisco this July. Is red crab season still open or is it open all year? If it is open, please let me in on some rules and regulations, such as the limit and the size. Where can I find more information about crabbing in San Francisco and ask more questions? (Kao X.)

A: Take of rock crab is open year-round. Red/yellow/rock crab are species that may be kept from San Francisco Bay (no Dungeness crab may be kept from the Bay, even during the open season). Rock crab and other non-Dungeness crab have a daily bag and possession limit of 35 crabs that must measure at least four inches across (see California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 29.85(b) on pg. 50 of the current Ocean Sport Fishing regulations booklet).

There are a variety of piers where people go crabbing in the San Francisco Bay area. Try reviewing piers on the website A guide that shows the differences between the crab species is available online at

Be sure to review the above subsection thoroughly for further fishing regulations that pertain to rock crab (bag limit, size limit, etc.). For more information about crab, you can visit our Invertebrate Management Project webpage at

Transporting cleaned and portioned fish

Q: If I take a long road trip with my boat in tow and catch fish over a few days, my concern is that while I will only have legal quantities in possession, the fish will be cleaned, portioned and vacuum sealed before I return home with my boat in tow. I know it’s legal to clean fish after I am at my vacation home, but in this situation the quantities of yellowtail, yellowfin, white sea bass, etc. would be impossible to determine even though I am within the possession limits. How would a wildlife officer deal with this situation if I was stopped on the road trip home with a cooler full of vacuum sealed fish? (Charlie C.)

A: Unless the regulations specifically require that a fish be kept whole until being prepared for immediate consumption, such as lobster and abalone, you may clean and store your fish in any condition you want to once they are brought ashore. In similar situations, people have chosen to package each fish separately and retain the carcass, so that if stopped by a wildlife officer, they could show the officer the legal-sized carcasses, which would also aid in identifying the species of fish. That still would be more complicated than if you hadn’t chunked up the fish, but it would be better than a bag of nondescript cubes of fish. If the quantity appeared highly excessive, a wildlife officer might use a wildlife forensics laboratory to determine the exact quantity.

AO tags during rifle season

Q: Can you use an archery-only tag during rifle season if you’re still using archery equipment as your method of take? (Eric C.)

A: Yes. The archery-only (AO) tag allows hunting with archery equipment only during the archery and general seasons in A, B or D zones and Hunt G10 (military only). You may not possess a firearm or crossbow when hunting under the authority of an AO deer tag, except as otherwise provided.

— Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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Nature Photography Will Inspire and Awe at Wildling Museum

By | Published on 07/30/2015


The Wildling Museum invites the community to come to an opening reception to celebrate the winners of its annual nature photography competition on Aug. 8, from 4 to 6 p.m. 

This year’s theme, "nature’s patterns," elicited many creative perspectives on nature. The exhibition will feature 25 images, chosen from 100 entries.


First place winner was Stuart Wilson, a past entrant into the Wildling competitions and a Brooks Institute graduate who is active in the Channel City Camera Club. Wilson’s entry called “Gills” is a fascinating, close-up view of the underside of a mushroom. 

Second place was won by Vikki Hunt for “Detail of Cardon Cactus.” 

Geralyn Souza took third place with her entry “Marbled Water with Snowy Egret.”

The exhibition will be in the Wildling’s second-floor gallery from Aug. 8, 2015, to Sep. 28, 2015.
The Wildling is grateful to guest judges Richard Salas and Dennis Fisher, both Brooks graduates and professional photographers.  

Salas has spent the last 10 years photographing underwater creatures in order to inspire viewers to care about the ocean’s health and well being. His show “0 to 60: An Underwater Adventure from the Equator to Alaska” will be closing at the Wildling on Aug. 3, but will continue at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and Sea Center until Sep. 7. 

Fisher has over 45 years of experience as a still photographer, photojournalist, cinematographer, range instrumentation optics engineer and electro-optics consultant. Most recently he worked for Red Bull on their "Stratos Space Jump" project, where he was tasked with designing a system capable of photographing a man from 25 miles away and tracking him during supersonic freefall.  

The Wildling Museum is a nonprofit art museum dedicated to using art to inspire and enlighten visitors of all ages about the importance of natural areas both local and national. 

The museum is located at 1511-B Mission Drive in Solvang, CA. Information about exhibitions, programs and events can be found at or on its Facebook page.

—Jessica McLoughlin represents the Wildling Museum.


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Fun & Fit: 7 Quirky Exercise Options When Traveling

By | Published on 07/30/2015


Summer time is travel time. That can also mean spending more time sitting in planes, cars, hotel rooms, and on relatives’ couches. Vacations and travel also disrupt workout and exercise routines. Get in some movement while on the road or in the air by looking at options from a new angle.

1. Escalate Your Choices

Alexandra: Yes, you can take the stairs NEXT to the escalator, or climb the escalator steps instead of standing in place, just as easily as you can walk on the airport moving walkway instead of standing still.

But what about going the wrong way? If few people are about, why not walk up the down escalator, or jog the opposite way on the moving walkway? Kids do it all the time, so why can’t we adults?

2. Check Out the Hotel at Check-In

Kymberly: Overcome travel fatigue by taking advantage of fitness opportunities in your hotel. Check into your room, then check out the options.

First stop: The fitness room. No matter how modest or spacious, this is usually one of the quietest places at the hotel, which means you may have it to yourself.

Wear whatever works, sing along to your iPod, put the TV channel on your favorite rerun as you get in a brisk walk on the treadmill.

3. Step It Up and Down

Next up: Stairs instead of elevators! That first trip with luggage deserves the elevator. After that, step it up! So obvious, yet how many people do you see using hotel stairs?

If you’re staying on a high floor, take the elevator halfway, get out and walk the rest of the way. If your room is on a lower level, take the elevator a few flights past your floor and walk down. Do a mini-step class on the bottom step or landing.

4. Keep Hair Dry with This Water Workout

Alexandra works out on the road, literally.
Alexandra works out on the road, literally.

What next?: The pool!

Hate swimming? Want to keep your hair dry? Can do!

Jog in place at waist to chest depth or do a few powerwalking laps. Stand in a lunge position and jump-switch legs back and forth.

Be creative moving your arms and legs about underwater, creating resistance for a nifty and refreshing muscular endurance workout.

5. Take Off with This Plane Program

Alexandra: On a very long flight to Thailand a year ago, Kymberly and I were in physical discomfort from being seated for too long. Ever since 9/11, it seems we are discouraged from moving about during flights.

Fortunately, we found out that our plane had two levels with a stairwell at the back. So we climbed up and down for a while, then did stretches and leg work in place on the stairs. No one gave us unfriendly looks, and we even spotted a few copycats after we were done.

6. Trot On and Off Trolleys

Some cities offer sightseeing trolleys that allow you to hop off, visit an interesting place, then hop back on, including our home base Santa Barbara.

I was just in Savannah, Ga., and the free on/off buses were a perfect way to sightsee without having to walk the entire historic district or stay on a bus the whole time.

7. Pop a Squat Set

Walk those runways.
Walk those runways.

Even if you are stuck in the crappy middle seat of a domestic flight, and cannot “get up and move about the cabin,” you can still do squats.

Unbuckle, start to stand, then sit back down. Do this 10 times at repeated intervals and you will feel so much better when the flight’s over. You might even avoid having your legs fall asleep, which is what happens to me on flights if I stay still.

Who cares if people stare? They are envious of your talents and ingenuity.

Kymberly: They are probably also jealous of your hot fun in the summertime! Road song! Click to sing along.

Travel to related posts by clicking on the pictures. Where will they take you?

Then journey our way:

» Follow us on Google: +Alexandra and +Kymberly, on Twitter: @AlexandraFunFit and @KymberlyFunFit, and Instagram: AlexandraFunFit and KymberlyFunFit.

» Pick up the phone or email us to book us to speak at your next meeting or conference. Call 805.403.4338 or email [email protected].

— Kymberly Williams-Evans, with identical twin Alexandra Williams, has been in the fitness industry since the first aerobics studio opened on the European continent. They teach, write, edit, emcee and present their programs worldwide on land, sea and airwaves. They co-write Fun and Fit: Active Aging Answers for Boom Chicka Boomers. You can currently find them in action leading classes in Santa Barbara and Goleta. Kymberly is the former faculty minor adviser at UC Santa Barbara for its fitness instruction degree offered through the Department of Exercise & Sport Studies; Alexandra serves as an instructor and master teacher for the program. Fun and Fit answers real questions from real people, so please send your comments and questions to [email protected].


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Truck Catches Fire on Highway 101 Near Goleta

By | Published on 07/30/2015


A truck's cargo caught on fire traveling up Highway 101 on Thursday, prompting the brief closure of the Turnpike Road exit near Goleta and the slow lane in the area, according to authorities.

The stake-sided truck is owned by the Double Barrel Environmental Services Company, and was carrying new clean-up material and equipment for the Refugio oil spill, Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said. 

There was no oily material with the equipment, since it was new and unused, Zaniboni noted.

The cargo was a total loss, as it was all burned up in the fire. 

No injuries were reported. 

The California Highway Patrol responded to the vehicle fire call at 10:22 a.m. and closed down the Turnpike Road exit and the slow lane of northbound Highway 101 while fire crews did clean-up in the area. 

The highway exit and lane were both reopened by 12:15 p.m.

Noozhawk managing 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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Community Action Commission Relaunches 2-1-1 Social Services Helpline

By | Published on 07/30/2015


After going dark for two years, the 2-1-1 Helpline has been relaunched by the Santa Barbara Community Action Commission.

The CAC took over the contract to provide the service in November 2014 after the Family Services Agency stopped running it, and is officially relaunching the phone line and website. 

"2-1-1 is an incredible resource connecting people to vital health, shelter and social services," Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider said.

"I am pleased that CAC is taking the helm for this relaunch as they know the social safety net needs of the full county extremely well."

The 2-1-1 helpline offers a wealth of social services information, including resources on where to find housing, food and jobs. The line also offers help for people struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues. 

"People can dial 2-1-1 when they need help with food, health care and counseling, and don't know where to turn," said Holly Carmody, director of central administrative services at CAC.

"All of us know to dial 9-1-1 in an emergency, but we want people to know what to do when your house isn't on fire, but you need help."

The CAC has been working over the last eight months to rebuild the resources in the 2-1-1 website, and is working with Interfaith, a Ventura organization that handles the calls.

The organization did a "data scrub" of the information to make sure that all of the resources listed were active and reachable, and have slowly been adding more contacts to serve the public.

"Right call we are getting about 400 calls a month," said Carmody, who expects the number to rise dramatically once word gets out that they have launched the service again.

Most of the calls come from Santa Barbara, Lompoc and Santa Maria, Carmody said, typically from families earning less than $26,000 annually.

Tracy Lang Wood, director of family and youth services for the CAC, said her organization has grown the database of information by 14 percent since 2013, when it went dark.  

"People realized the value of this service when it went away," Lang Wood said. "Having centralized information and easy access for the public is very valuable. It helps individuals navigate the web of health and human services."

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley said many injustices in the community don't rise to the level of a crime, but people face crises every day and many of them need help.

"2-1-1 helps people find counseling, safe shelter  and many other critical services," Dudley said.

"2-1-1 also links people to services that can help prevent crime, including drug abuse prevention, sober living homes, and drug treatment facilities."

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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14 Elderly Santa Barbara Felines Find New Homes at Close of National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month

By | Published on 07/30/2015


The Santa Barbara Humane Society is pleased to announce the success of its first adopt-a-senior-cat campaign during June’s National Adopt a Shelter Cat Month. 

The month-long campaign, “Fall in Love with the Senior Class of 2015,” featured a special adoption fee of just $7 for cats 7 years or older. A total of 14 cats were adopted, including their eldest cat, a 15-year-old cat named Cleo who had been living at the shelter for 341 days.

“Animals of every age deserve a loving home, “said Peggy Langle, Santa Barbara Humane Society executive director. “We are grateful to all of our adopters and especially applaud the individuals and families who are offering these senior pets a loving home for their golden years.”

Fifteen-year-old Cleo was adopted from the Santa Barbara Humane Society during National Adopt a Shelter Cat month.

Cleo’s adopting family was also a participant in the Humane Society’s innovative Shelter-at-Home foster program.

About Santa Barbara Humane Society

Since 1887, the Santa Barbara Humane Society has provided service to the people and animal populations of Santa Barbara County, and it is proud to be one of the three oldest agencies in California dedicated to animal welfare. The Santa Barbara Humane Society occupies a five-acre site on Overpass Road, serving the community with a shelter, animal adoption services, a spay and neuter clinic, humane education center, boarding kennels, large animal holding center and corral and inspection and rescue services. For more information, visit or call 805.964.4777. Find Santa Barbara Humane Society on Facebook and Instagram.

—Flannery Hill represents the Santa Barbara Humane Society.


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Public Health Department Initiates Assessment of Community’s Health

By | Published on 07/30/2015


The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is initiating a comprehensive health assessment of our community.

The purpose of the assessment is to understand the current health needs of residents in Santa Barbara County and to help identify where and how we can improve the health of our community. The assessment includes a review of various sources of data along with a survey of County residents. We want to hear from everyone in our community! 

The Community Health Assessment includes a personal survey component. The short survey asks about personal health and wellness as well as priorities to improve health. Individual responses from Santa Barbara County residents will add vital information to our new assessment.

Please complete an electronic version of the survey in English or Spanish. Hard copies of the surveys will be circulated at specific events where we can capture the voices of the community who may not have access to electronic surveys.

Every two to three years a community-health status report has been developed by the Public Health Department to evaluate the health needs of our community and assess the services available to our residents. Historically, information from a variety of demographics and epidemiological and community sources have been gathered to develop a comprehensive picture of areas of strength and areas for improvement. 

Collecting data and analyzing trends gives us a better understanding of where we are and how we, as a community and as the Public Health Department, should focus our attention and resources.

“3-4-50” was a concept that was initially cited in our 2014 assessment impacting the quality of life and premature death in Santa Barbara. Three behaviors (poor diet, physical inactivity and tobacco use) contribute to four chronic diseases (vascular disease, cancer, lung disease and Type 2 diabetes) causing over fifty percent of all deaths worldwide. Local data support the 3-4-50 model here in Santa Barbara County.

We anticipate that the 2016 Community Health Assessment will be available after March of 2016. The assessment for 2016 will include the compiled profiles, personal surveys, updated reports and data. Input from colleagues in the community, including area hospitals, medical clinics and social services will help bring perspective to the data.

We will continue to work on policies and services that will protect the public’s health and support long and healthy lives of everyone in our community.

—Ellen Willis-Conger represents the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.


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A Cataclysmic Event of a Certain Age

By | Published on 07/30/2015


At the end of the Pleistocene period, approximately 12,800 years ago­—give or take a few centuries—a cosmic impact triggered an abrupt cooling episode that earth scientists refer to as the Younger Dryas.

New research by UC Santa Barbara geologist James Kennett and an international group of investigators has narrowed the date to a 100-year range, sometime between 12,835 and 12,735 years ago. The team’s findings appeared on July 27, 2015, in the "Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences."

The researchers used Bayesian statistical analysis of 354 dates taken from 30 sites on more than 4 continents. By using Bayesian analysis, the researchers were able to calculate more robust age models through multiple, progressive statistical iterations that consider all related age data. 

“This range overlaps with that of a platinum peak recorded in the Greenland ice sheet and of the onset of the Younger Dryas climate episode in six independent key records,” explained Kennett, professor emeritus in UCSB’s Department of Earth Science. “This suggests a causal connection between the impact event and the Younger Dryas cooling.”

In a previous paper, Kennett and colleagues conclusively identified a thin layer called the Younger Dryas Boundary (YDB) that contains a rich assemblage of high-temperature spherules, melt-glass and nanodiamonds, the production of which can be explained only by cosmic impact. However, in order for the major impact theory to be possible, the YDB layer would have to be the same age globally, which is what this latest paper reports.

“We tested this to determine if the dates for the layer in all of these sites are in the same window and statistically whether they come from the same event,” Kennett said. “Our analysis shows with 95 percent probability that the dates are consistent with a single cosmic impact event.”

Altogether, the locations cover a huge range of distribution, reaching from northern Syria to California and from Venezuela to Canada. Two California sites are on the Channel Islands off the Santa Barbara coast.

However, Kennett and his team didn’t rely solely on their own data, which mostly used radiocarbon dating to determine date ranges for each site. They also examined six instances of independently derived age data that used other dating methods, in most cases counting annual layers in ice and lake sediments.

Two core studies taken from the Greenland ice sheet revealed an anomalous platinum layer, a marker for the YDB. A study of tree rings in Germany also showed evidence of the YDB, as did freshwater and marine varves, the annual laminations that occur in bodies of water. Even stalagmites in China displayed signs of abrupt climate change around the time of the Younger Dryas cooling event.

“The important takeaway is that these proxy records suggest a causal connection between the YDB cosmic impact event and the Younger Dryas cooling event,” Kennett said. “In other words, the impact event triggered this abrupt cooling.

“The chronology is very important because there’s been a long history of trying to figure out what caused this anomalous and enigmatic cooling,” he added. “We suggest that this paper goes a long way to answering that question and hope that this study will inspire others to use Bayesian statistical analysis in similar kinds of studies because it’s such a powerful tool.”

—Julie Cohen is the science writer for UC Santa Barbara.


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Take a Tour of New Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital

By | Published on 07/30/2015


Cottage Health will be providing a limited number of tours of the new Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital to the community on Saturday, Aug. 15, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tours will visit selected areas of the hospital that highlight the architecture, arts and services of the new building.  

Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital is replacing all of its inpatient care facilities at an estimated cost of $126 million. The new hospital’s healing environment will feature improved patient privacy with all private inpatient rooms.

Expanded services include more than doubling the size of the emergency department for a total of 20 treatment rooms (compared to 8 previously), a Center for Wound Management with 4 hyperbaric chambers (up from 2), a total of 6 surgical suites (compared to 4 previously), and the Cottage Center for Orthopedics and the Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Program. A new medical office building will open in early 2016.

The new hospital’s architectural design is representative of the Goleta Valley area and will be both patient- and family-friendly. Visitors can enjoy a new "Healing Arts" program which will feature 280 pieces of art created by Central Coast artists.

Following the 1994 Northridge earthquake, the California Legislature mandated that all hospitals in the state be retrofitted or rebuilt to withstand a 6.0 earthquake. With no local, state or federal funding provided to meet this new seismic requirement, Cottage reached out to the community for vital support of fundraising campaigns to rebuild three hospitals.

Tours are available in English and Spanish, and reservations are required. To make a reservation, call toll-free 1.888.999.8262.

About Cottage Health

The not-for-profit Cottage Health is the leader in providing advanced medical care to the Central Coast region.

Our specialties include the Cottage Children’s Hospital, Level 2 Trauma Center, Neuroscience Institute, Heart & Vascular Center, Center for Orthopedics and Rehabilitation Hospital.

Our medical staff comprises more than 700 physicians, including many sub-specialists found at academic medical centers.

Last year, the Cottage hospitals in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley provided inpatient care for 20,000 people, treated 72,000 patients through their 24-hour emergency departments and helped deliver 2,400 newborns.

—Maria Zate represents Cottage Health.


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Hidden Wings Film Festival will Premier Student Films in Buellton

By | Published on 07/30/2015


Hidden Wings, a nonprofit organization seeking to "unfurl the gifts of autism," will celebrate the end of its summer session with a student-made film festival at the Parks Plaza Theater in Buellton, on Saturday, Aug. 8, from 10 to 11 a.m., followed by a reception at Hidden Wings in Solvang.

Videos produced through the "beginner's Video Production" class will be shown on the big screen, giving students the experience of a mini premier.

The hour-long event is free and open to the public.

Of the many excellent short movies created by students has been enthusiastically previewed by nearly a million people—depicting a hike and drum circle at Knapp's castle, the film aired at the five "Fare Thee Well" Grateful Dead concerts at the request of the band's drummer. 

A reception will follow at Hidden Wings from 11 a.m. until 12:30 p.m.

Come see great short films created by great teens and young adults, and watch those unfurled wings take flight.

—Jim Billington represents Hidden Wings.


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Bodyworks Wellness Fair Encourages Whole-Body Health

By | Published on 07/29/2015


Santa Barbara Bodyworks school of massage hosted a wellness fair on Saturday, July 18, with a full day of educational workshops and lectures on whole-body wellness.

The free event was open to the community and included opportunities for free bodywork, as well as raffles and prizes.

Featured presenters included Dr. Kathy Gruver, award winning author and internationally recognized speaker on mind-body medicine, along with Barbara Hannelore, author of the award-winning book, "The Moon and You: A Woman's Guide to an Easier Monthly Cycle."  

Santa Barbara Bodyworks, established in 1995, is under new management and has recently implemented new policies and curriculum to offer students a greater chance of success.

The school provides experiential education in the art and science of massage therapy coupled with valuable business skill development, so students complete the program with the necessary tools to start their own business and reach higher earning potential as a massage therapist.  

“Our new policies better support our students and the revised curriculum is more effective and robust when covering anatomy and kinesiology,” says owner and integrative bodywork specialist, Will Thompson.

“Two cutting edge clinical classes, 'Range of Motion Therapy' and 'Orthopedic Massage' have also been added to keep up with growing demands for this type of healing treatment,” Thompson said.  

Massage therapy is a growing profession as people continue to become more health conscious and the demand for bodywork treatment also continues to grow. Those currently on the job hunt might find massage therapy to be an extremely rewarding career with opportunities to work in diverse settings and to work for oneself.

The hourly earnings for a massage therapist in Santa Barbara is upwards of $100 per hour with the average investment of $2,499 for a 250 hour training program. Continued education and training will increase the earning potential along with more experience.  

"People who are good with their hands, have the desire to help others, are compassionate and attentive to detail would make great bodywork practitioners,” Thompson said.

In addition to its massage therapy training programs, Santa Barbara Bodyworks also offers affordable bodywork and massage, both private and in a community room.

For more information about Santa Barbara Bodyworks visit or call 805.569.3230.

—Carissa Nepstead represents Santa Barbara Bodyworks.


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New Jimenez School Dedicated In Santa Maria-Bonita District

By | Published on 07/29/2015


Newest campus named for immigrant brothers, sons of fieldworkers

The Santa Maria Valley’s newest elementary school was dedicated Wednesday in honor of two brothers who worked in local fields as children and credit education for their escape from poverty.

Approximately 300 people gathered at Roberto and Dr. Francisco Jimenez Elementary School for the dedication ceremony held two weeks before the first students arrive on Aug. 11.

Francisco Jimenez sat next to Darlene Jimenez, the widow of Roberto Jimenez, a long-time Santa Maria-Bonita School District employee who died in December at the age of 75.

“Today, we honor brothers who not only attended Santa Maria schools, but who went on to become successful and respected leaders in their careers, communities and families,” said Jody Oliver, Santa Maria-Bonita school board present. “In their personal and professional lives, they have constantly reflected their values for hard work, family, respect and responsibility, and life-long learning through education.”

Roberto and Francisco were the oldest children of migrant farm workers who immigrated from Mexico and traveled from town to town following the work. The brothers started in the fields at ages 6 and 8.

As youths they toiled in the fields before and often school, yet still graduated from Main Street School, El Camino Junior High School and Santa Maria High School. 

While still in high school, Roberto Jimenez worked as a janitor, cleaning local offices and classrooms. He took evening classes and earned his associate of arts from Allan Hancock College.

In all, he spent 40 years employed by the district, rising through the ranks to become a purchasing department supervisor before retiring in 1995.

He reportedly is the first classified employee in the Santa Maria-Bonita district to have a school named for him.

Author and educator Francisco Jimenez, 72, was student body president before he graduated from Santa Maria High in 1962. 

Thanks to scholarships, he attended Santa Clara University, majoring in Spanish studies and history. He went to Columbia University and received a master’s degree and doctorate in Latin American literature.

After teaching at Columbia, he returned to Santa Clara University, filling various roles including professor, department director and an associate vice president.

Francisco Jimenez shared his family’s story in award-winning autobiographical books including The Circuit: Stories from the Life of Migrant Child, Breaking Through, Reaching Out and Taking Hold.

He visits schools throughout the country to discuss his writings and shares about the power of education.

The importance of education is evident by the fact five Jimenez family members work as teachers in the Santa Maria-Bonita district, Oliver said, as the audience applauded.

Darlene Jimenez expressed the family’s gratitude for recognizing her husband and his brother.

Working for the district allowed her husband to break out of poverty and reach his goals, Darlene Jimenez said, adding that the brothers — who also were best friends — often told their story during visits  to classrooms.

"They shared with students that anything is possible if they work hard and learn from their amazing teachers, who are here to help them,” she added.

Francisco Jimenez noted his older brother was “a second father to me, a role model and a guiding star,” so it’s fitting they are joined together for the school’s name.

“The love and respect we had for each other and our work for, and commitment to. education are now symbolically and literally set in stone, if you will,” Francisco Jimenez said. 

The recognition also belonged to their parents, who worked to secure a better life for their children and future generations, he said.

“Furthermore, this school dedication also honors our teachers, past and present, who made a difference in our lives,” Francisco Jimenez said. “Roberto’s life and mine, as well as the life of our siblings, are rooted in the classrooms of the dedicated, selfless and caring teachers of the Santa Maria-Bonita public schools.”

Jimenez School, as it will be known, will be the first in the district to offer lessons with classes in Spanish as the target language for families that have chosen to participate in the dual-language immersion program, Principal Richard Ruiz said. He added the program will lead to students bilingual and bi-literate in both English and Spanish.

Francisco Jimenez commended the district for designating the campus as the home to its first dual-language immersion program.

“I strongly believe that the exposure of another culture and language opens children’s hearts and minds to cultural and linguistic differences,” he said. “It encourages them to respect and learn from each other.”

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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Goleta Gets Step Closer to Solid Civic Center Design Plans

By | Published on 07/29/2015


Goleta officials are working to scale back design plans for a new civic center and city hall in Old Town Goleta, hoping to find a middle ground residents can both admire and afford.

Goleta City Council directed staff last week to continue plans to move the current City Hall at 130 Cremona Dr. to the seven-acre site of the Goleta Valley Community Center

Under the latest proposal, the estimated project cost comes in at just under $33 million — $9 million less than a previous design.

Designers at Ventura-based RNT Architects completed a public Civic Center and City Hall feasibility study earlier this year and have stayed on at the council’s request to narrow down the project scale, which in May ranged from $42.3 million to $72.2 million.

Last week, council asked staff and designers to again come back with updated conceptual drawings and financial estimates based on new changes.

Plans notably include negotiating with the Goleta Union School District to buy 2.8 acres adjacent to the proposed site at 5679 Hollister Ave., where the district has its bus yard and Operation School Bell, an organization that works to clothe needy local children.

Finding a suitable replacement site for the district — a condition of the purchase — has proven difficult, according to city staff.

Three-acre parcels at the southwest corner of Cabrillo Business Park and another on the southeast corner of Thornwood and Technology Drive in Old Town haven’t earned the blessing of the school district.

The first is $39 per square foot because it’s considered prime industrial property, and the second is less valuable since it has no water service available.

The district found noise and safety concerns with both sites, but council ultimately asked staff to continue looking into the Old Town Goleta site — understanding that acquiring the property might be part of a later project phase.

Beyond that element, staff recommended sticking with the preferred courtyard scheme, which would put city hall south of a civic center separated by a public courtyard. All buildings would be one level except a parking garage and a three-story city hall building.

Other proposed concessions included absorbing a separate police substation into city hall, retaining the westerly education building (classrooms currently housing the Rainbow School), not reconstructing the demolished education space or installing portable classrooms for the Head Start preschool program.

Council asked staff to incorporate a storefront or walk-up design that would allow residents to deal with police without having to walk through city hall.

Officials want more information about the costs of keeping both the Rainbow School and Head Start programs on the site, possibly moving them to the back of the parcel adjacent to the Boys and Girls Club building.

No existing structures to the west would be demolished to provide additional parking, but a new access to Rutherford Drive could offer some improved efficiency, with new striping that could result in 60 parking spaces. Staff could work with property owners to generate shared parking agreements allowing public parking not be restricted to a particular business.

Approximately $4.6 million in general fund reserves would help fund the project, along with a bond issuance of $15-16 million, special park and administration facilities funds, and proceeds from the sale of the city-owned “triangle property” on Los Carneros Road.

The city compared project costs to the approximately $646,000 it spends annually to rent and operate the property housing the current City Hall. A staff report showed rent is $476,000, common area maintenance accounts for $85,000 and utility costs hover around $85,000 per year. 

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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Mona Charen: Can the Republican Party Surpass the ‘Trump Bump?’

By | Published on 07/29/2015


The Trump bump tells us something about the state of American politics. Progressives are panting to interpret his surge as evidence of Republicans' black hearts.

Some Donald Trump supporters have suggested that his success, such as it is, was an indictment of the limp "Republican establishment” (this is being written after the McCain flap and before polls have gauged its impact)  

It's neither.

There are 116 candidates for the Republican nomination (I exaggerate slightly). In recent polls, Trump got 18 percent—more than any other candidate, but Scott Walker and Jeb Bush together got 25 percent of the total, and there are so many others that assigning a front-runner is like trying to catch one guppy with a net.

Besides, 54 percent say his views do not represent the values of the Republican Party.

He's been a big donor to Hillary Clinton, Terry McAuliffe and other Democrats. He was pro-choice until about 6:30 this morning. He was for a single-payer health care system, and he's been remarkably uncharitable for a wealthy man.

Ah, they say, but Republicans are seething with hatred for Hispanics, especially illegal immigrants, and this accounts for Trump's hot-air liftoff.

Illegal immigration does enrage some portions of the base, but only some. In a recent Pew poll, fully 66 percent of Republicans said illegal Mexican immigrants are "mostly honest," while only 19 percent said they are "mainly undesirable."

There is a talk-radio drumbeat about illegal-immigrant criminals. Still, most Republican voters are not strongly anti-immigration. They're ambivalent, with 56 percent favoring a path to legal status for aliens living here, according to a Pew poll, but 63 percent viewing immigrants as a burden.

Whatever one's views about immigration, the very worst way to broach the topic is to smear all Mexican illegals as "rapists" and criminals. It's obviously false. It's not even true that illegal immigrants commit a disproportionate share of crimes.

Honest anti-immigration groups like the Center for Immigration Studies agree that first-generation immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native-borns. (And immigration rates are falling.)

Well, we're told, people are choking on political correctness, and Trump is a breath of fresh air. So the best way to discredit political correctness is to embody the worst stereotype of an aggressive bigot?

Trump's moment is probably fading, but his little balloon ride is disturbing nonetheless. It's evidence that political intemperance is not limited to the left.

Thanks to the execrable leadership of the Democratic Party and its allies in the press, we have witnessed several years of stoked racial hatred in America. From the Trayvon Martin episode and Michael Brown's death, to the tragic cases of Eric Garner and the Charleston massacre, the country has been bathed in mendacious incitement.

Opinion leaders insist it's still Selma in 1965.

"Black lives matter" has become a movement — as if any decent person disagreed; as if the country had not spent half a century sedulously scrubbing racism from our polity; as if affirmative action were not a feature of educational, corporate and government policy; as if we hadn't elected and reelected a black president. Democratic candidates for president have been reduced to apologizing simply for saying "all lives matter."

The civil pieties that were once taken for granted in the political sphere—"all men are created equal"—are now controversial. The triumph of identity politics is complete on the left.

Barack Obama rose on a promise of harmony, but has used power to rend the nation along all of its weakest seams. This brand of leadership has not left his followers happier, but more bitter.

As for his opponents, they are by turns grieving and disbelieving at the damage he's been able to inflict. The only answer to division and hatred on the left is inclusion and unity on the right.

A number of Republican candidates for president have been seeking to recast the Republican Party as the party of reform and outreach. They recognize that a party that lost not just the Hispanic vote, the black vote, the women's vote and the youth vote, but also the Asian vote has an image problem.

As any number of successful Republican senators and governors have shown, it isn't necessary to adopt any particular policy (e.g., amnesty) to attract the votes of more Hispanics or Asians.

It is necessary for the party to convey a welcoming spirit. Such a tone may even attract fence-sitting white voters who are left cold by a party that appears uninterested in the plight of the poor.

That is the Republican challenge and opportunity. Success beckons — but only post-Trump.

Mona Charen is a columnist with National Review magazine. Click here to contact her, follow her on Twitter: @mcharen, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.


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Rona Barrett: Caring For Our Roots

By | Published on 07/29/2015


Any idea what the two most popular pastimes are in America today? I’ll give you the runner-up now and the most popular later.

The second most popular American pastime is genealogy. Although, “pastime” is really a misnomer because tracing our family’s histories is closing in on becoming a two billion dollar a year industry.

The nationwide genealogy craze started, perhaps, with the Mormon Church opening branch genealogical libraries.

Then came Alex Haley’s "Roots" in the '70s. Then it all moved online.

Then came the television shows, including Oprah’s publicized personal search, advances in DNA, and the advent of over-the-counter genetic test kits.

For many years, I had been aware of it, but I preferred living in the fast lane, not the past lane.

But I’ve come to the realization that as we age, genealogy and DNA gives us benefits previous generations did not have—an opportunity for closure and, perhaps, reconciliation—finding answers and roots. This marvelous tool fills in gaps in our personal histories, helps us to search out long, lost relatives and to discover new ones.

Beyond personal interest or fulfillment, DNA as a search tool can bring about more serious, life-changing forms of closure and reconciliation: solving decades old forensic cases, one separated twin finding another, adoptees reaching out to their birth parents, those with a life-or-death race against the clock to find their family’s medical histories, and individuals who want the real facts about their ethnic mix.

As you may know, I am awaiting the results from my genetic testing done at UCLA to learn more about whether I was diagnosed properly as having an arrested case of muscular dystrophy, which may be coming out of remission, or that I have something else.

So, this new accessibility of DNA testing may be of personal benefit to me. I may find a true answer after all these years as to the condition with which I was born. This has now made me curious about my own family and background.

Since I’ve already provided the first spit for my DNA, I’m now ready to find out perhaps some more surprises about my ethnic mix, and distant relatives along with around $100. In 6-8 weeks I hopefully will get some questions answered about gaps (not saps) in my family tree.

I’m going with It’s one of the many helpful self-starting, self-guiding sites that is the largest with approximately 12.7 billion records, more than two million paying subscribers, 191 million uploaded photos and more than 16 million uploaded stories.

I can even contact a “Search Angel,” who will help me search public records, conduct name searches, connect to relatives, and more—without charge.

In subsequent columns, I’ll let you know what I found out from both UCLA and

So, now that you know more about number two, did you guess America’s number one pastime in America? Gardening!

Isn’t it amazing that our top two favorite pastimes in America are about caring for our roots?

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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Gallery Los Olivos Lines Up Three Woman Artists for August Show

By | Published on 07/29/2015


The August featured show at Gallery Los Olivos titled "A Summer Collection” includes three gallery artists: Deborah Breedon and Terri Taber will display pastel media while Patricia Watkins will display beaded and metal jewelry.

The gallery is open everyday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is at 2920 Grand Ave. in Los Olivos. Featured art will be displayed Aug. 1–31.  

No reception is being held, but artist Patricia Watkins will be in the gallery all day on Saturday, Aug. 29, and Wednesday, Aug. 12. She would love some company on those sitting days!

Watkins has been a member for nine years and has been making jewelry for fifteen. Her display will show a variety of gems, textures, hues and styles.

Traditionally Watkins creates in a classical style, and her necklaces “Summer Sun,” “Venetian Gold” and “Summer Trails” are pieces that showcase her classical designs. 

She recently returned from Hungary and the Czech Republic with raku and torched beads, which she has incorporated into her jewelry. The raku beads, some in metallic hues, lend themselves to an ethnic tone. 

Watkins's trademark is attention to detail and use of fine materials, which is evident in her more traditional and adventurous pieces.   

You must step through the threshold to view her newest, ethnic-toned creations!

—Patricia Robbins represents Gallery Los Olivos.


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Take a Stand Against Crime at National Night Out in Santa Maria

By | Published on 07/29/2015


The community is invited to National Night Out, presented by the City of Santa Maria Police Department, Recreation and Parks Department and PLAY, Inc. (People for Leisure And Youth, Inc.).

Bring the whole family on Tuesday, Aug. 4, to the parking lot of Town Center East on the corner of Miller and Main Street (Highway 135) from 4 to 8 p.m. for a celebration of police-community collaborations, crime prevention and neighborhood camaraderie. 
Several organizations including the Recreation and Parks Department, local law enforcement, fire, military and medical response personnel will be on hand providing demonstrations and activities.

There will also be free food, youth activities, vendors and more. The entire event is free and all ages are welcome. Come out and show your support in the fight against crime.
National Night Out started in 1984 as an effort to promote involvement in crime prevention activities, while building partnerships with law enforcement and local communities.

The event is now celebrated by more than 37 million people in over 16,000 communities throughout all 50 states.
Questions may be directed to the Recreation and Parks Department, 805.925.0951 x260.

—Mark van de Kamp represents the City of Santa Maria.


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Santa Paula Man Arrested for String of Goleta Vehicle Burglaries

By | Published on 07/29/2015


A Santa Paula man is accused of stealing items from seven unlocked cars in the Goleta area of Kellogg Avenue and Berkeley Road in early July and then stealing a car, which he drove home with all the stolen items, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

William Carroll, 48, is in the Ventura County Jail after being arrested by Santa Paula police, sheriff's department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said. 

The Sheriff's Department forwarded charges of grand theft, auto theft and other charges to the District Attorney's Office. 

Investigators say Carroll "set out to steal property out of unlocked vehicles" from 11 p.m. July 6 to 5 a.m. the next morning.

He allegedly stole items from seven unlocked vehicles and took a unlocked vehicle that had the keys left inside, in which he drove back to Santa Paula. 

William Carroll

Santa Paula police pulled Carroll over for a traffic stop 10 days later and discovered he was driving a stolen car, Hoover said.

The officers found stolen property from the Goleta burglaries inside, with a value of more than $2,000, she said. 

Following the thefts, authorities remind residents to lock vehicles and keep windows closed, keep valuables hidden and not leave spare keys inside vehicles. 

Noozhawk managing 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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Oil Sheen Offshore from Goleta Beach Likely Caused by Natural Seepage

By | Published on 07/29/2015


Helicopter overflight determined slick was 3 miles long and a half mile wide, moving towards Santa Barbara

[Scroll down for video from the scene]

The U.S. Coast Guard reportedly has determined that an oil slick discovered Wednesday offshore from Goleta Beach County Park likely was the result of natural seepage.

However, the official cause is pending completion of a Coast Guard investigation, and conflicting information has been put out by public agencies.

A Coast Guard helicopter flew over the area and determined that the slick or sheen was about three miles long and half a mile wide, said Lt. Jeremy Maginot of the Coast Guard Marine Safety Detachment during an afternoon press conference.

"We are actively investigating where it could have originated from," Maginot said, adding that natural seeps are common in the area.

On Wednesday evening, Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department reported that the Coast Guard had made the determination regarding the source of the slick.

However, on Thursday Zaniboni clarified that an official determination by the Coast Guard had not been made.

A Coast Guard helicopter was to conduct additional survey flights on Thursday, and the agency reiterated that no source had been found.

County officials planned to continue monitoring the sheen to determine if any action is warranted, he said.

The sheen was moving south-southeast "in the general vicinity of Santa Barbara, not to Santa Barbara," Maginot said.

He described the slick as having “sporadic coverage,” which means 30-percent coverage of the water with a light sheen, Maginot said.

At midday Wednesday, oil and tar were observed washing up on the shoreline at Goleta Beach. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Some sheen was noted in the area of Platform Holly, where other natural seeps are active.

“There have been no incidents at Venoco facilities,” said Keith Wenal, manager  of health, environment and safety for Venoco Inc., which operates Holly.

The oil in the water "is not in a state that it can be recovered with traditional resources," Maginot said.

Samples were being taken both onshore and offshore by Coast Guard investigators, and they will be analyzed by a lab, Maginot said.

Bob Seiler cleans off his kayak Wednesday at Goleta Beach after he and a friend encountered an oil slick offshore. The U.S. Coast Guard reportedly has determined the oil was the result of natural seepage. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Santa Barbara County fire crews were dispatched to Goleta Beach shortly before 10 a.m. after two kayakers reported encountering the slick about 1,000 feet offshore from Goleta Pier, according to fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

"It was just nasty," one of the kayakers, Henry Duncan of Santa Barbara, told Noozhawk. "There were oil clumps everywhere.”

He and fellow kayaker Bob Seiler estimated the slick covered about a mile when they first encountered it.

"“It’s no small little glob," Seiler said. "I’ve never seen anything like this out here.”

Both men said they kayak in the area frequently, including two or three times last week.

Bob Seiler's legs are coated with oil Wednesday morning after he put them over the side of the kayak and into the water off Goleta Beach. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

At midday, oil and tar were observed washing up on the beach with the rising tide.

People at one point were being kept out of the water, but the ocean and beach remained open, according to county officials.

State and federal officials and the Coast Guard were notified about the incident and had personnel on scene.

Noozhawk Staff Writer Lara Cooper reported from the scene.

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.

Oil washing up at Goleta Beach from Noozhawk on Vimeo.

This video was taken around noon on Wednesday at Goleta Beach.


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Willy Chamberlin Dies at 75; Santa Ynez Rancher, Ex-Supervisor

By | Published on 07/29/2015


Santa Ynez Valley cattle rancher Willy Chamberlin, who was involved in a dramatic bid to represent the Third District on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors more than 20 years ago, is being remembered for his generous nature and strong advocacy for agriculture and land use issues.

Chamberlin died Tuesday at the age of 75.

In 1992, Chamberlin challenged long-time Supervisor Bill Wallace, a Goleta veterinarian and environmentalist, for the chance to represent the sharply divided Third District.

Chamberlin beat Wallace, according to initial election results, and was one of three new supervisors sworn into office in January 1993.

But Wallace challenged the election outcome in court — contending many votes from Isla Vista should have been counted — and a judge finally ruled in April 1993 that Chamberlin narrowly won the seat by two votes.

Wallace appealed that ruling, and the appellate court overturned the Superior Court opinion and deemed him the winner. 

The state Supreme Court upheld the ruling, knocking Chamberlin off the board after serving more than 18 months.

Chamberlin on the dais gave the Board of Supervisors a North County majority, with three members supporting growth pitted against slow-growth representatives from the South Coast.

Those who knew Chamberlin reflected on his generous nature, including helping a neighbor mow a pasture when she was unable to get the chore done.

“Willy Chamberlin was the real deal:  a true cowboy — in character and style — straight out of a Will James novel,” said Jim Youngson, who worked as Chamberlin’s chief of staff and now is a principal at Terrain Consulting.

“He was one of those guys who looked better in a large, white felt hat, with those large shiny belt buckles and boots. His temperament was all cowboy: an ever-present natural smile, even keel and upbeat attitude and a grounded disposition. He lived honestly and modestly.”

Another former colleague and friend, Thomas Widroe, recalled Chamberlin being a “kind of a throwback with old school values, a sometimes stubborn man who always kept his word — a little bit like any number of characters played by Jimmy Stewart in the movies.”

“All this is kind of funny considering how Willy’s political opposition tried to portray him as some of kind of robber baron, an oil man of voracious J.R. Ewing-type appetites,”​ Widroe said. “Of course, the truth was the exact opposite.

“Willy’s family may own one of the largest pieces of land in Santa Barbara County, but that certainly didn’t mean Willy was rich or that he even wanted to be. Apart from a growing collection of shiny big belt buckles that he won in competition for horsemanship, Willy didn't have or need much.

“He lived on the ranch in small if not spartan quarters, drove an old truck, and found a good deal of his satisfaction in public service.”

Despite being booted from the board, Chamberlin remained active in local government issues, often speaking up for farmers’ and ranchers’ interests.

"He never did give up trying to impact local government," his brother Fred Chamberlin said, adding his brother "wanted to see government done right."

"What he wanted to do was protect the ranchers' ability to ranch," Fred Chamberlin said.

One of seven children born to Ailie and Ted Chamberlin, William "Willy" Bradford Chamberlin grew up on the family’s 8,500-acre ranch in Los Olivos. The family’s Rancho Los Potreros was founded more than 85 years ago by Chamberlin’s father.

Chamberlin helped with the Old Spanish Days Fiesta Stock Horse Show & Rodeo, including serving as chairman for team penning over the year.

Among many organizations, Chamberlin belonged to Rancheros Visitadores and Santa Barbara Trail Riders.

"We have lost a great statesman, rider, teacher, mentor and above all, a true gentlemen," Jedlicka's Saddlery posted to the business's Facebook page. "Willy was always cool, gave great suggestions, helped with acquiring rights to ride other ranches and wonderful with dealing with kids and people who had never worked cattle before."

Funeral services are pending. Arrangements are under the direction of Loper Funeral Chapel in Solvang. 


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Woman Killed, Passenger Hurt in Santa Ynez Valley Crash

By | Published on 07/29/2015


A woman was killed and her passenger was seriously injured early Wednesday in a single-vehicle accident on Ballard Canyon Road in the Santa Ynez Valley.

The crash occurred at 2:18 a.m. north of Highway 246, according to Officer John Ortega of the California Highway Patrol's Buellton office.

A 1992 Lexus driven by 19-year-old Emma Lund of Santa Ynez was northbound when, for unknown reasons, it veered off the roadway and struck a large oak tree, Ortega said.

Lund was taken to Santa Ynez Cottage Hospital with major injuries, and was declared dead a short time later, Ortega said. 

Her passenger, Jacob Edwards, 22, of Los Olives, suffered moderate injuries and was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria.

Cause of the accident remained under investigation by the CHP, which indicated that “alcohol and/or drugs did not immediately appear to be a factor in this collision.”

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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Sadako Peace Day: Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

By | Published on 07/29/2015


It was 70 years ago: Aug. 6, 1945. The sun was shining over Hiroshima, Japan, promising a warm and welcoming day.

Instead, at 8:16 a.m., the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city. It was the dawn of the Nuclear Age and the death of countless innocent victims of war.


The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation (NAPF) will host the 21st Annual Sadako Peace Day to remember those victims of the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and all innocent victims of war.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will be held Thursday, Aug. 6, from 6–7 p.m., under the oaks and sycamores in the Sadako Peace Garden at La Casa de Maria Retreat Center, 800 El Bosque Road, in Montecito.

There will be poetry, music and reflections commemorating the story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl from Hiroshima who died of radiation-induced leukemia as a result of the atomic bombing.

Japanese legend holds that one’s wish will be granted upon folding 1,000 paper cranes. Sadako folded those 1,000 paper cranes, saying “I will write peace on your wings, and you will fly all over the world.”

Sadly, Sadako died without regaining her health. Students in Japan were so moved by her story they began folding paper cranes, too. Today the paper crane is an international symbol of peace, and a statue of Sadako now stands in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

The Santa Barbara event is a time to reflect on the past in hopes of building a more peaceful future.

This year’s keynote speaker will be Paul K. Chappell, peace leadership director at NAPF. Paul travels the globe training the next generation of peace leaders while providing new insights into the issues of war and peace, trauma and rage, as well as vision and hope.

There will also be a paper crane folding workshop by Peace Crane Project and refreshments after the ceremony.

The event is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the world today and to meet others in the community who care deeply about peace.

For further information, contact Sandy Jones at [email protected] or 805.965.3443.

About the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation

NAPF’s mission is to educate and advocate for peace and a world free of nuclear weapons, as well as to empower peace leaders. Founded in 1982, the foundation is comprised of individuals and organizations worldwide who realize the imperative for peace in the in the Nuclear Age.

NAPF is a non-partisan, non-profit organization with consultative status to the United Nations.  For more information, visit

—Sandy Jones represents Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.


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14th Annual Casa Cantina Brings Four Days of Music to the Home of Fiesta

By | Published on 07/29/2015


Celebrate Fiesta where it all began as the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and Plus One Events presents Casa Cantina in the courtyard of the historic Casa de la Guerra.

Locals and visitors alike are invited to relax, sip a cold cerveza, margarita or glass of wine and celebrate at the home of Fiesta, Casa de la Guerra in the heart of Santa Barbara, from Wednesday, Aug. 5 to Saturday, Aug. 8, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.

When the first modern Old Spanish Days Fiesta celebration was held in 1924, parties and teas in honor of members from early Santa Barbara families were held at Casa de la Guerra.

Casa Cantina, located across the street from De la Guerra Plaza in the heart of downtown’s Fiesta activities, continues the site’s tradition as a place for civic celebrations and special events.

Guests can relax, have a cold drink for a small fee and enjoy live music in the evening in the Casa courtyard.

All proceeds benefit the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and the continued restoration of Casa de la Guerra.

SBTHP members receive free admission with a valid membership card.

Admission before 4 p.m. includes entrance to the exhibit at Casa de la Guerra, The Art of Preservation: The Oak Group Remembers Ray Strong. Admission before 5 p.m. includes a free beer and reentrance throughout the day.

The event is all ages until 3 p.m., then it will be 21 years of age and up.

Reserve a veranda table available beginning at 6 p.m. on Wednesday through Saturday by emailing [email protected]

For more information call 805.965.0093 or visit

Acts at the Viva La Music stage

Experience some of the best live music in the heart of Old Spanish Days Fiesta, presented by New Noise Santa Barbara. All shows begin at 8 p.m. and end at 12 a.m.

Wednesday, August 5: Spencer the Gardener (CA Indie-Pop/Latin Tinged/Genre Bending Music) with Matt Armor (Americana)

Thursday Victor Vega & The Bomb (Funk/R&B/Soul) with The Traveling Hurtados (Covers/Rock)

Friday, August 7 Day: DJ Sparx; Night: The Upbeat (Ska/Reggae) and Guests

Saturday, August 8 Day: Vincent Zorn (Gypsy Rumba Guitar) Night: The Caverns (Rock) with Omar Velasco (Rock)

Casa Cantina 4-Day Wristband and Viva La Membership can be purchased through Night Out.

About Casa de la Guerra

One of the most important remnants of Santa Barbara's Spanish-Mexican heritage, the Casa has been at the heart of Santa Barbara's history since its construction (1819-1827) by the fifth presidio comandante, José de la Guerra.

The house played an important role in the civic and social life of Santa Barbara well into the twentieth century as the site of regular gala celebrations for family weddings, community gatherings, and visiting government emissaries.

When the first modern Old Spanish Fiesta was held in 1924, parties and teas in honor of members of the early families were held at Casa de la Guerra.

Following the devastating June 29, 1925, earthquake in Santa Barbara, the Casa and neighboring El Paseo served as models for rebuilding parts of downtown Santa Barbara.

Starting in 1990, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation began conducting research to determine the structural history of the Casa, with particular emphasis on its original configuration  during the time José de la Guerra and his family resided there, a thirty-year period between 1828 and 1858.

Today the restored home is a museum featuring original furnishings, a history of the De la Guerra family and rotating exhibits.

About Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP)

For over fifty years the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation (SBTHP) has worked to protect, preserve, restore, reconstruct and interpret historic sites in Santa Barbara County.

Founded in 1963 by Dr. Pearl Chase and other concerned community leaders, SBTHP operates El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, Santa Barbara’s 18th century birthplace, under a unique agreement with California State Parks.

The State has purchased the building that housed Jimmy’s Oriental Gardens, providing an opportunity to interpret the history of Santa Barbara’s Asian American community in the Presidio Neighborhood.

In 2009, SBTHP signed an agreement with State Parks to manage and develop the Santa Inés Mission Mills, located near the town of Solvang, as a future California State Park.

In 2011, SBTHP was awarded the Trustees’ Emeritus Award for Excellence in the Stewardship of Historic Sites by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  

With the help of continuing education programs and exhibits, SBTHP strives to encourage community involvement and foster an appreciation for Santa Barbara County’s distinctive history.  

Learn more at

—Christa Clark Jones represents Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation.


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Santa Ynez Watershed to Receive Recharge from Lake Cachuma Releases

By | Published on 07/29/2015


In response to the continued drought affecting the Santa Ynez Watershed and the rest of California, the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District and the Santa Barbara County Water Agency would like the public to be aware that water will soon be released into the Santa Ynez River from Lake Cachuma’s Bradbury Dam.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation will release water from Bradbury Dam starting at 8 a.m. on Aug. 3, 2015.

The release is being made at the request of the Santa Ynez River Water Conservation District to provide water to recharge the groundwater basins along the Santa Ynez River downstream of the Dam. These groundwater basins provide an essential source of water for the cities, towns and farming interests along the Santa Ynez River.

Initially released at about 150 cubic feet per second (300 acre feet per day), the water will move downstream to provide recharge as far down as the Lompoc Narrows. It will be confined to the “low-flow” channel of the river. At this time, up to 8,000 acre-feet is expected to be released over the course of 2 months.

The flow may impede traffic on low river crossings and caution is advised near moving water at all times. 

The release is consistent with State water rights orders as well as agreements among users who store water in Lake Cachuma. Cachuma Reservoir stores water for the South Coast and downstream users in the Santa Ynez and Lompoc Valleys.

Water for the South Coast is released to the Tecolote Tunnel through the Santa Ynez Mountains. Water for areas below the Dam is released into the river for recharging groundwater basins. 

The water level in the reservoir is expected to be reduced by about 7 feet as a result of this water rights release. Additional reductions in water levels will occur due to South Coast usage. This release will not impact water deliveries to the South Coast and has been coordinated with the Cachuma Operations and Maintenance Board (COMB).

Although the lake will be lower, the Cachuma County Park will remain in full operation. Boat launch facilities are constructed so that all recreational activities can continue as lake levels change.

For online park reservations go to

—Santa Barbara County Public Works Public Information Office


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Three Tips to Improve Your College-Entrance Essay

By | Published on 07/29/2015


With August just around the corner, the new college Common Application will soon be released, allowing eager, rising high school seniors to get a jump on their college essay writing, including the supplemental essays that many top colleges require.  

The good news is that this year’s essays and supplements will be little changed from last year. But the bad news is that many students will fall into the same traps that hurt applicants every year with their writing.  

The following are three sure-fire tips to avoid those traps and to make this important but frequently misunderstood portion of the application shine!  

Boast personality, not accomplishments

Think of the essay’s purpose as not to tout your accomplishments but to reveal your personality.

The biggest trap to which many applicants succumb is viewing the essay as one more chance to flex—that is, to boast some admirable accomplishment, distinction or activity.

In truth, those aspects are better revealed in other parts of the application, including the activities section and in teacher recommendations.  

Savvy applicants use the essay to show their distinctness and individuality—even their quirks—to make themselves memorable as people.  

The essay is a home run if you make an admissions officer smile, yet all too many trigger eye-rolling in the admissions office with their clumsy attempts at self-promotion.  

All readers respond to sincerity, genuine humility and thoughtful self-deprecation, yet many applicants (and their parents) dread saying anything that isn’t self-aggrandizing. Fight this impulse!  

Begin with a scene and build some suspense.

Many young writers struggle with the first paragraph, accustomed to academic writing with a thesis rather than writing fiction which is more open.  

The truth is that several elements from creative writing will provide the spark to keep the reader’s interest.  

Start by placing the reader in an actual moment from your life, complete with sights, sounds, sensations and vivid details.  

Allow the details to speak for themselves—there’s no need to explain everything.  

College admissions readers are smart and will quickly figure things out.  By showing rather than telling, a smart essayist will keep the reader engaged and eager to know more.

Think of the people in your essay as characters and give them dialogue. This will bring them to life on the page, just as it would in a novel or story.  

Perhaps use the second paragraph to provide context for the opening scene.  

Act natural.

Strive to find your natural speaking voice and write with it. This is the way you might speak to a slightly younger sibling or perhaps a grandparent.  

Imagine that you are trying to impart wisdom to someone you care about by way of relating an incident from your life and what you learned from it.  

With family members, it’s highly unlikely that you would try to show off your fancy vocabulary or embellish details to show how smart or accomplished you are; that would sound weird and off-putting, yet many applicants make this mistake every year.  

Here’s a fabulous suggestion: narrate your essay aloud into your smartphone and then play it to a trusted friend.

Does it sound like you?  If so, then it’s probably a success. Naturalness and confidence in your voice is the foundation of a successful essay.  

—Matt Struckmeyer is the director of college counseling at Dunn School. A former teaching fellow at Harvard University, Matt has worked in schools for 24 years and has seen many of his students go on to the college of their dreams. Matt is offering a college-application boot camp at Dunn School from Aug. 3–7. To register, call 805.686.0615. More information is online.


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Little Time Left to Apply to Hancock College Dental Assistant Program

By | Published on 07/29/2015


There are just a few more days left to apply to be a part of the next dental assisting class at Allan Hancock College. Applications for the two-semester program that starts this August are due by Friday, July 31.

Approved by the Dental Board of California, the two-semester program prepares students for employment in a dental office. Students who complete the curriculum will receive a certificate of completion and associate in science degree in dental assisting. They will also be eligible to take the State Board exam.

The 2015 graduating class received a 100 percent pass rate on the written and law/ethics exams required to become registered dental assistants.

There is and will continue to be a high demand for dental assistants in California. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there will be a 16 percent increase in demand for dental assistants through 2022. The median hourly wage in 2014 for dental assistants in California was $17.71 and the median annual income was $36,850.

To be eligible for the program, an applicant must be at least 18 years of age and have completed English 101 with a “C” grade or better, show completion of an equivalent course, or be in the process of taking the class.

Students must complete the application which requires a printout of their unofficial transcripts from Allan Hancock College, official transcripts from previous colleges, as well as copies of their high school transcript or GED certificates.  

The application is available at the Health Science office (building M, room 132) on the Santa Maria campus. Interested students can email [email protected] to receive an application electronically.  

Applicants may deliver their packets to the Health Sciences office (M-132) on the Santa Maria campus or mail it to 800 S College Drive, Santa Maria, CA 93454. Please write “Attention: Health Sciences department” on the envelope.

All students will be notified by email regarding their application and admission status. A total of 26 students are accepted into the program every year. A waitlist will be maintained up until the mandatory orientations, which are Aug. 4 and Aug. 6, 2015, and it will not be rolled over to the following year.

Fall semester courses total 16.5 units and spring semester courses total 15.5 units and include a 240-hour internship in dental offices.

For more information, call the Health Sciences office at 805.922.6966 x3384 or email [email protected]

—Andrew Masuda represents Allan Hancock College.


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Victim Dies After Shooting in Santa Maria

By | Published on 07/29/2015


Attack on Western Avenue came 30 minutes after police broke up a large fight on Broadway

One man died late Tuesday night after being critically wounded in a shooting in Santa Maria,

The report of the shooting victim came 30 minutes after Santa Maria police handled a large fight in an apparently unrelated incident.

The injured man was found shortly after 10 p.m. near Western Avenue and Barrett Street, just north of Cook Street, according to police Sgt. Danny Rios.

The man, whose name was not released, had gunshot wounds and other injuries.

He was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment of “pretty severe” wounds, Rios said.

Police later reported he succumbed to his wounds at the hospital.

Earlier, officers responded at 9:33 p.m. to a large fight involving multiple people in the 1600 block of South Broadway. 

Officers discovered two stabbing victims, at least one of whom is a juvenile. Their wounds were not considered life threatening, Rios said.

The altercation appears to be gang-related, Rios added.

Police detained five or six suspects in the incident.

“We don’t think they’re connected but we can’t rule that out,” Rios added.

Detectives from the investigative unit and gang unit were handling the cases, Rios 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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UCSB Becomes West Coast Hub for National Photonics Manufacturing Institute

By | Published on 07/28/2015


In a bid to boost photonics manufacturing and bring more skilled, high-tech jobs to the country and to push the boundaries of energy efficiency and performance in computing and telecommunications, the Obama administration announced on July 27, 2015, that it has selected the American Institute for Manufacturing of Photonics (AIM Photonics) to lead research and manufacturing of integrated photonic technology and create jobs in this important area.

UC Santa Barbara is leading the West Coast division of this public-private partnership in collaboration with the State University of New York—the lead university in this institute.

In the age of the internet and big data, conventional electronic technology will become overwhelmed by the demand for speed, performance and data capacity, even with the advent of Moore’s Law, which predicts the doubling of transistors and processing power approximately every two years.

The solution to that impending demand lies in photonics, the use of light to transmit massive amounts of data at extremely high speeds, but to make the shift between electronic wires and photonic waveguides, the two technologies must be brought together.

“AIM and UC Santa Barbara are leading a revolution that is integrating photonics and electronics for the benefits of both,” said John Bowers, professor of electrical and computer engineering, as well as of materials at UCSB, director of the campus’s Institute for Energy Efficiency (IEE) and lead of the West Coast hub of AIM.

Bowers said that just as photonics has enabled the fiber optic communications which led to the Internet revolution, the increased data capacity, speed and energy efficiency promised by photonics integrated circuits will result in enormous gains for everything from handheld devices to personal computing to data centers.

“Our goal is to use complementary metal-oxide semiconductor processing to move photonics onto silicon and accelerate the integration of photonics and eliminate the data bottleneck that advanced silicon chips are facing during the next decade,” said Bowers.

“UC Santa Barbara has been a leader in integrated photonics for the past 30 years,” said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang, “and this has been recognized in numerous ways, especially by three Nobel prizes: one in physics to Herb Kroemer, inventor of the double heterostructure laser, which is used in all data communications and telecom systems worldwide; one in chemistry to Alan Heeger, inventor of conductive polymers, which are widely used for displays and photovoltaic devices; and another one in physics to Shuji Nakamura, inventor of the blue LED, which is widely used for lighting.”

Add to this roster of groundbreaking UCSB researchers John Bowers—considered to be one of the world’s foremost authorities in optoelectronics—whose work in the IEE seeks to provide energy efficient solutions for computing while also improving performance.

To create a successful end-to-end integrated photonics manufacturing ecosystem in the U.S., research must be amplified, the technology supplied and a workforce trained. AIM will leverage its federal, state and private funding to expand upon already existing partnerships between research and industry to align efforts and share resources to meet the needs of this emerging industry.

With the $110 million in funding from the government, the new consortium aims to align research strength with development prowess to revitalize critical sectors of the country’s manufacturing economy.

Universities, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Arizona, Stanford University, California Institute of Technology, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, UC San Diego, Columbia University and the University of Virginia will contribute their considerable research to the consortium.

Meanwhile, major integrated photonics companies such as Intel, Hewlett Packard, Infinera, Agilent Technologies, Lockheed and Raytheon, as well as design software companies Synopsys, Mentor and Cadence will lead the manufacturing charge.

According to Rod Alferness, dean of the College of Engineering, UCSB already has the momentum to bring cutting-edge research and software tools for design into the manufacturing and commercial sphere.

“UCSB is a worldwide leader in integrating lasers onto silicon,” he said. “Many new companies have spun out of our photonics research, including Aurrion, Agility Technologies, Calient Networks, SORAA, Aerius Photonics and Freedom Photonics.”

AIM is the sixth research and manufacturing institute to be established under the federal National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), an initiative aimed at scaling up manufacturing technologies and processes and creating a competitive and sustainable national infrastructure for research and manufacturing while creating high-quality manufacturing jobs.

“Today’s announcement is a testament to the outstanding team of industrial and academic leaders assembled by AIM Photonics and that team's plan to establish the U.S. as a global leader in this emerging technology," said Dr. Michael Liehr, AIM CEO and SUNY Poly Executive Vice President of Innovation and Technology and Vice President of Research.

"Being awarded the Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI) would not have been possible without the critical support of Governor Andrew Cuomo, whose pioneering leadership in establishing New York State’s globally recognized, high-tech R&D ecosystem has enabled historic economic growth and innovation and secured our partnership with the state of California,” Liehr said. “SUNY Poly is excited to be working with partners such as UC Santa Barbara on this initiative which will be truly transformational for both the industry and the nation.”


—Sonia Fernandez is the engineering writer for UC Santa Barbara.


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Santa Barbara Privatizing Municipal Golf Course Maintenance, Pro Shop

By | Published on 07/28/2015


City Council votes to contract out for greens maintenance that's currently handled by city employees, also to keep Mulligans Cafe and Bar as the course's restaurant

The Santa Barbara City Council voted Tuesday night to hire an outside company to manage golf course maintenance and the Pro Shop operations, but negotiate separately to keep Mulligans Cafe and Bar as the course's restaurant.  

Play at the municipal golf course has declined dramatically since the mid-1990s and city officials believe that the course would be profitable and less of a city financial burden if it is managed by a private company. 

The city hopes to save about $368,000 annually by making the change. The vote was split, with council members Dale Francisco, Harwood "Bendy" White, Randy Rowse and Frank Hotchkiss in support.

Mayor Helene Schneider, Gregg Hart and Cathy Murillo voted no because they opposed hiring a private company to manage the greens, which is work currently performed by city employees.

"Clearly Mulligans is a cultural center," White said. "You would lose not only the business, but the community feeling."

The council's quarrel over the contract shined a light on the ideological differences among the council members.

Francisco, Hotchkiss and Rowse lean right and are fiscally conservative. Even though he's a Democrat, White fashions himself as a moderate and often plays the role of swing vote on the council.

Hart, Murillo and Schneider are all Democrats who opposed contracting out the jobs currently held by 11 city union employees, who potentially could lose their jobs.

Some of the employees are near retirement age and the city will attempt to find other jobs within the city organization for the rest. 

"There is risk in making the big change," Hart said, noting the issues with transferring city tennis courts to Elings Park control in an effort to save money. 

Schneider said she disagrees with privatizing staff, while Murillo argued that the employees have done "an excellent job" and staff could have been more creative to handle the golf course's financial problems.  

The same council majority had already voted to privatize services in March, so Tuesday's debate was mostly about whether to keep Mulligans Cafe or hire an outside company to seek out other potential restaurant and beverage providers. 

At the meeting, local resident Celeste Barber said Mulligans is an important part of the community.

"It's affordable for us," Barber said. "It's one of the rare places in Santa Barbara that is here for the local residents of this community and not the tourists. You are not in the business to put them out of business. You are in the business to support them. We want our Mulligans."

Some speakers argued that the city should have kept the city employees.

Bret Hughes said the city should have raised the fees on the golfers and increased the fees to the Pro Shop and the restaurant, but kept the city employees.

"How can the management of the golf course area be improved by handing it over to a for-profit corporation?" Hughes asked. "Either those services will become more expensive or they will be degraded."

But Parks and Recreation Director Nancy Rapp, who was speaking at her final council meeting because she is retiring, said an outside company would have better expertise than city workers.

"This decision is bigger than any one group of employees. This is about what is the right decision for the golf course," said Rapp, admitting that she was speaking "from my soap box."

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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Lompoc Billing Error Leads To Huge Hike For Mobile Home Park Residents

By | Published on 07/28/2015


Meter situation leads to snafu affecting city's Del Norte Mobile Estates

Residents of a Lompoc mobile home park are irate after leaning a city error, involving undercharging for sewer services over nine months, will lead to bigger bills for the next year. 

Those who live in the 179-unit Del Norte Mobile Estates at 321 W. North Ave. mobilized after receiving a notice from property managers that the added costs would first appear on Aug. 1 bills.

“The city of Lompoc has just informed us that for the last nine months they had been undercharging us for Sewer,” the July 1 notice to residents says. “Due to this mistake, the city is asking to be reimbursed for the difference due over a period of 12 months, effective August 1, 2015.”

Instead of charging $48.09 per month, the city had billed the park residents $15.32 per month for wastewater costs, park managers said.

The new monthly sewer rate will be $53.20, plus another $24.58 that is labeled a sewer adjustment fee, putting the new monthly total at $77.78.

This adds up to a 500-percent hike in sewer fees for those who live in Del Norte.

Residents of the park also learned their trash rate would rise from $20.97 to $22.26, and water will go from $27.27 to $29.32 with a usage rate from $4.02 to $4.33.

Mobile home owners in the park pay a monthly lease for the land. However, water and wastewater meters sit near the front of the park, which is billed for usage and then assesses those who live there.

Recently, residents circulated a petition and held a meeting attended by up to 60 people concerned about the huge hike.

"This is just the start,” said resident Jackie Claycamp, who is one of the organizers of the effort to sort out the dispute. "This is just phase one of this process. In my opinion, the right thing to do is we don't have to pay it. It's their mistake."

While residents may have wanted a conclusion before the rate hikes take effect, Claycamp said it isn’t going to work out that way. 

Instead, she recommended residents pay the amount, rather than be delinquent with the property managers. 

Paying the added amount won’t be easy for the residents, many of whom are on fixed incomes due to being disabled or senior citizens on Social Security, Claycamp said.

To help sort out the problem, Claycamp is requesting copies of the park’s utility bills with other correspondence for the past two years to confirm the city charges and ensure additional fees were not added. 

An employee who answered the phone at Del Norte’s office said the property managers had no comment and referred calls to the city.

“This is their discrepancy,” the woman said before hanging up the phone.

City Manager Patrick Wiemiller said the problem arose because of the rare configuration at the park, which has three meters for the entire site.

"Our automated system attempted to assign a flat billing based on one meter without recognizing the presence of three meters,” Wiemiller said. “So an incorrect amount that was too low was originally provided to the customer.”

The problem was originally discovered in August 2014 but was fixed, and the customer was provided the correct billing amount, Wiemiller said.

“At some point, the automated system reverted to its erroneous read and the problem was rediscovered in May 2015," Wiemiller said.

Del Norte, like many other older multi-family residential developments, was designed and built to have a single account for water and sewer services. At the time, water was not as critical an issue in California as it is today, Wiemiller said.

Customers, whether in the private or public sector, are required to pay for goods and services, even when under-billed and then correctly billed, Wiemiller said.

“A customer not paying its fair share would mean that other customers would have to pay more than their fair share to make up the difference, which would be neither legal nor ethical," Wiemiller said.

To prevent a reoccurrence of the billing problem, city staff will manually monitor the Del Norte account and others with multiple meters, Wiemiller said.

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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Car Smashes Into Living Room Near Goleta

By | Published on 07/28/2015


No injuries reported in accident at residence on Inwood Drive

No one was injured Tuesday afternoon when an elderly driver smashed into the living room of a neighbor’s home near Goleta, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The accident occurred shortly after 5 p.m. in the 500 block of Inwood Drive, said fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

No one was home when the car slammed through the front of the house and ended up entirely in the living room, Zaniboni said.

The driver, who was not injured, told investigators he was having trouble with the car while backing out immediately before the crash, Zaniboni said.

“There was quite a bit of damage to the structure and the vehicle,” Zaniboni said, adding that a building inspector was being called in to determine if the structure was safe to occupy.

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 Maria Police Arrest Residential Burglary Suspect

By | Published on 07/28/2015


Jeffrey A. Ashworth

A Visalia man wanted in connection with several recent burglaries was arrested Tuesday, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.

A family in the 300 block of East Taylor Street called police at about 9 a.m. after someone broke into the occupied home.

The suspect fled the residence and police began searching the area.

With assistance from a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, officers located the suspect, identified as Jeffrey A. Ashworth, 26, in the area.

Ashworth was wanted in connection with several other recent burglaries in the Santa Maria area within the past couple of weeks, police said.

“Other persons were detained in connection with the investigation, but no other arrests for this crime have been made at this time,” police added. 

Investigators are reviewing all recent burglaries across Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, Santa Maria police said.

Anyone with information should contact the Police Department Watch Commander’s Office at 805.928.3781, ext. 2297.

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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Hospice of Santa Barbara Welcomes Pattie Lorusso, New Executive Assistant to CEO

By | Published on 07/28/2015


Hospice of Santa Barbara (HSB) is pleased to announce Pattie Lorusso as the new executive assistant supporting CEO David Selberg.

Lorusso brings valuable work experience as an executive assistant and officer manager who ensured the smooth operation of oral surgery facilities such ClearChoice Dental Implant Center in Chicago, Il. She supported the center’s Midwest regional director and maintained the budget.

Lorusso also served as the office manager for Dr. Alex McDonald in Berkeley, California, where she oversaw oral surgery operations, staff, coordination and the administration of confidentiality regulations, all while increasing patient satisfaction.

Pattie Lorusso, new executive assistant supporting Hospice of Santa Barbara CEO David Selberg

Born in Illinois, Lorusso grew up in the Chicago area and attended Western Illinois University and Los Angeles Valley College.

As Selberg’s executive assistant, Lorusso will provide him with administrative and clerical support, and she will also support HSB clinical programs with various administrative tasks.
Hospice of Santa Barbara is a nonprofit organization that “volunteers” its free professional counseling and care management services to children and adults 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 area 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 visit

Find Hospice of Santa Barbara on Facebook and Twitter.

—Angel Pacheco represents Hospice of Santa Barbara.


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Water Line Break Floods Haley Street Businesses

By | Published on 07/28/2015


City fire department helps mop up water from Eastside Santa Barbara stores

Several Santa Barbara businesses were flooded after a water line broke at an industrial building on East Haley Street Tuesday afternoon.

A call reporting the flooding came in at 1:23 p.m. after a water flow alarm from the sprinkler systems at 126 East Haley St. was triggered, according to Ryan DiGuilio of the Santa Barbara City Fire Department.

Several businesses were affected by the flooding, including the Packaging Store and Renegade Wines

A sprinkler valve had somehow come loose above the Packaging Store's garage door and flooded several businesses, DiGuilio said.

Three engines, a truck and a battalion chief were dispatched to the scene and firefighters were working to mop up the businesses.

The dollar amount for the damage is unknown, DiGuilio 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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Dunn School Accepting Participants for Upcoming College-Prep Workshop

By | Published on 07/28/2015


On July 23, 2015, Dunn School, a private school for grades 6–12 in Los Olivos, announced it will offer a college-counseling workshop for high school students.

The workshop will be led by Dunn’s director of college counseling, Matt Struckmeyer, and will run August 3–7 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Dunn School.

Limited spaces are still available. The workshop targets students entering their senior or junior year of high school.

Participants will gain an edge as they learn tips and insider techniques to succeed in competitive college admissions.

Topics will include:

» Know what’s out there: Students will get an overview of the college landscape —including small, medium and large colleges, both urban and rural, public and private, and schools for students with special interests like film and art.

» Develop a targeted list: Participants will use one-on-one counseling sessions to identify their needs, values and preferences as they put together ambitious and realistic, personal college lists.

» Nail down the essays: Students will prepare drafts of all college writing, including at least one Common Application essay and, if appropriate, both application essays for UC schools and supplements for various colleges.

» Craft a winning application: Each student will complete a Common Application and/or a UC application, using tips and techniques to best describe their activities, awards and special situations.

» Conquer your test demons: Participants will be offered an assessment around SAT and ACT testing and get a strategy for further study.

» Cut college costs: Each family will be offered advice on maximizing the affordability of college using smart financial aid ideas and merit scholarships.

» Visit colleges: Students will visit Westmont College, UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as they explore the different types of colleges that fit them best.

The workshop costs $1,000, including lunch. 

Families should call 805.686.0615 to register.

Dunn School is a college preparatory private school for grades 6-12 in Los Olivos, California.

Dunn offers a distinctive program of challenging academics, hands-on learning experiences and personal attention from caring teachers.

Dunn’s scenic 55-acre campus in the Santa Ynez Valley is just 30 minutes from Santa Barbara, with daily transportation services.

Dunn offers day and boarding options for students starting in 8th grade.

For more information, visit

—Jessie Brumfiel represents Dunn School.


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Santa Barbara Ordinance to Regulate, Charge Fees for News Racks Moves Forward

By | Published on 07/28/2015


Santa Barbara's three-member ordinance committee on Tuesday approved a news rack ordinance that requires registration, new fees and closer management of the racks on the street.

The vote was 2-1, with ordinance committee chairman Randy Rowse voting no, saying "I am going to say no to stir the pot."

The proposal to regulate news racks will now go the full City Council for a vote in August. 

The new ordinance calls for existing rack owners to pay a $13 annual fee. If the publication is placing their product inside a city-owned rack, the fee would be $18.

All new racks — for a publication looking to start distribution in the area — would cost $236. The city will also require the rack owners to provide regular maintenance of the racks, including painting them a shade of dark green that is uniform throughout the city. 

Assistant Public Works Director Pat Kelley said he has 22 years of news rack experience and that "something has to be done."

He said the publications aren't really taking good care of the racks.

About 10 different owners have about 600 racks across the city. The new racks will have registration stickers on them with contact information for the owners. 

Santa Barbara Independent publisher Joe Cole asked for the meeting to be postponed because he was out of town, but the panel, at the urging of city staff, opted to move forward. 

Rowse, owner of the Paradise Cafe, said that he buys advertising in print newspapers and he worries that the ordinance might be putting  strain on the industry.

"This seems to be a diminishing industry and I don't want to crush the life out of what's remaining," Rowse said. 

Scott Kaufman, circulation director for the Santa Barbara Independent, also attempted to get the meeting postponed to allow Cole to be present, but also said that "we do see the need for this."

Committee member Cathy Murillo said she wanted to delay the vote to allow Cole to be there, but in the end opted to move forward on Tuesday.

She said the city owed it to the news media to allow them to participate. She also expressed concerns about the $236 new rack fees, particularly Spanish-language newspapers.

"The increase in fees will challenge brand new publications that are trying to get into the market," she said. 

If the ordinance is passed, would publishers would have 90 days to register their racks. If they own more than 30 news racks they would have until July 1, 2016.  

Ordinance committee member Frank Hotchkiss said the ordinance is good for the industry.

"I don't think this is going to make or break any newspaper," Hotchkiss said.

"If it does, they are in much worse shape than they would ever admit to. This is the city giving them the very best opportunity to sell their newspaper."

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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John Daly: Is My Wife Having Trouble with Me, or Am I Having Trouble with My Wife?

By | Published on 07/28/2015


I received a letter yesterday. Here’s how it read:

Dear John:

I’m having real problems with my wife. She is always on my case. Nothing I do is ever right. She constantly points out my flaws ... particularly in front of other people. The other night, we went out to dinner. The restaurant was small, and she started in on me immediately with “why did you wear that shirt? You look terrible in it. Why don’t you make more money so we can eat in a better restaurant? Better put a napkin on the front of your shirt. You eat like a slob.”

This went on the entire meal, so much so that I had heartburn when we got home! There are other things that she does that are very troublesome. I feel like I’m either totally inadequate or might be in an abusive relationship. What do you think?


Heart Sick with Heartburn

Here’s my response to Heart Sick with Heartburn:

Take this test to determine if you are in a relationship with a bully.

» Your partner often criticizes you, pointing out your weaknesses and putting you down.

» Your partner makes fun of you critically. When you express that his or her words are hurtful, he or she claims just to be joking.

» He or she tries to force you to mold your behavior to suit his or her wishes. He or she rejects you if you don’t do or say what he or she wants.

» He or she is unpredictable. What you did yesterday may set him or her off today. You never know what to expect from him or her.

» Your partner accuses you of being untruthful, even though you are not.

» Your partner is lovable in private but either shuns or embarrasses you in front of others or in public.

» Your partner makes empty promises to manipulate you into the behavior he or she desires.

» Your partner uses threat of divorce or a breakup if you “don’t come to your senses” and give in to his or her will.

» You have to nag your partner to spend time with you.

» Your partner is never around when you need help or are having a bad day.

» Your partner avoids having you spend time with his or her family and friends. And your family and friends dislike your partner.

» Your partner compares you to others, particularly his or her ex.

» Your partner is abusive, either verbally, emotionally or physically. Your partner screams, loves chaos and is self-centered. He or she often asks for forgiveness and promises to change but never does. This person can act normal but stress often brings out the bully in him or her.

If you answered yes to that last one, I suggest you leave the relationship as soon as possible. This person has a problem and needs to work on it with a professional.

For your own safety and sanity, don’t stay in a relationship where you or anyone you love is at risk. You can’t change your partner. You can only take care of yourself at this point. Be direct about the reason you are leaving and suggest he or she get help.

If you answered yes to most of the rest of the questions but want to work on the relationship, try some of the following:

» When your bullying partner treats you with respect, express your appreciation for the manner in which he or she is communicating and behaving with you.

» Whenever possible, encourage time alone together to work on your relationship.

» When your partner begins to bully, explain how you feel so that he or she won’t get defensive with you.

» Don’t protect your bullying partner’s behavior. Let him or her take the consequences for his or her behavior.

» Remember that if children are involved in your relationship, your bully is “showing” that behavior to the children, and often these children will emulate that behavior as adults. Seek professional advice to help stop this vicious cycle.

The first step is to create an open and very honest dialog with your partner to eliminate bullying behavior together. If your bully refuses to cooperate, then it’s time for you to make some hard choices.

— 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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AHA! Unmasks Newest Board Members

By | Published on 07/28/2015


AHA!, a nonprofit organization that serves over 4,000 area teenagers each year, has added Michele Cuttler and Leandra Harris to its board of directors.

Michele has been an attorney specializing in employment litigation since 1993, and she has lived in Santa Barbara with her family for 20 years.

Throughout this time, she has actively volunteered and helped fundraise for various education-related organizations and non-profits.

She sat on the board and actively raised funds for the Lou Grant Parent-Child Workshop, the Montecito Union PTA, the Montecito Union Education Foundation and the Storyteller Children’s Center.

Michelle Cuttler

She is past president and former board member of the Foundation for Santa Barbara High School, and now brings her considerable experience and skill to her position as a board member and Development Committee member of AHA!.

AHA! welcomes Leandra as an alumni representative on its board. Leandra graduated from Santa Barbara High School and is now a student in the culinary program at Santa Barbara City College.

She has been instrumental as an alumni facilitator and as a role model for AHA!’s Peace Builders program.

AHA! was created by Jennifer Freed, Ph.D, and Rendy Freedman, MFT, after the Columbine shootings in 1999.

AHA!’s facilitation team provides social-emotional learning (SEL) curriculum to teens at Carpinteria, San Marcos, Santa Barbara, La Cuesta, and Dos Pueblos High Schools, as well as at Santa Barbara Junior High.

Leandra Harris

Through its original, interactive, mentorship-based curriculum, they empower youth to stop bullying, create peaceful and socially equitable environments, communicate effectively and deal with strong emotions constructively.

In 2014-15, AHA!’s Peace Builders Initiative enrolled 100 students in a student-driven, grassroots effort to create safer, more connected campuses at Santa Barbara and San Marcos High Schools.

Schools served by AHA! report reduced truancy, bullying and disciplinary referrals.

This year, Peace Builders will roll out at SMHS, SBHS and DPHS in August, serving 150 youth who will then each outreach to at least 40 additional youth over the course of the 2015-16 school year.

For more information on AHA! and its programs, visit or contact Development Director Molly Green at [email protected]

—Melissa Lynn Lowenstein represents AHA!


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Life is a Caberet, ‘Ol Chum, So Come to Music Academy of the West’s Caberet Signature Gala

By | Published on 07/28/2015


On an enchanted summer evening under the stars, The Music Academy of the West will celebrate its 2015 Cabaret Signature Gala on Friday, Aug. 7, in the Plaza del Sol Rotunda at The Fess Parker Doubletree Resort.

The evening program will feature stunning musical performances from some of the most talented young musicians in the world as they perform classical, Broadway and pop favorites under the direction of the legendary mezzo-soprano Marilyn Horne and the Music Academy’s artistic directors.

Cabaret is an annual fundraiser favorite, and all proceeds benefit the Music Academy’s full-scholarship program.

The evening celebration begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception, followed by a delectable dinner among a sea of silver tables twinkling with candlelight and freshly picked ivory garden roses.

At 8 p.m. the performance begins with the Academy’s gifted voice and instrumental fellows performing a musical-revue production led by award winning musical director Gerald Sternbach.

The talented team at Merryl Brown Events is producing what is sure to be another awe-inspiring evening to remember.

Guests can look forward to an exciting live auction with items such as an exquisite private performance and gourmet dinner for 12 with acclaimed pianist and MacArthur Genius Jeremy Denk; A New York musical adventure for 2 with luxurious accommodations for 5 nights at the Four Seasons New York, along with VIP all access at the Lincoln Center including 2 conductor’s box seats for a New York Philharmonic Concert featuring 2015 Global Academy Winners; a winner’s choice, private in-home musical recital by three academy alumni singers curated by Marilyn Horne.

Other dinner packages include a Hahn Hall stage dinner for 12 for a night of storytelling and notable special performances with Marilyn Horne and Martin Katz; and the spirit of 1920’s Paris with accomplished saxophonist Patrick Posey, offering an exclusive salon recital and gourmet 3-course wine pairing dinner for 12, to name a few.

“Cabaret is an extraordinary evening celebrating the exceptional talents of our fellows and faculty of the Music Academy and a wonderful opportunity to support the ongoing success of our scholarship program,” said Scott Reed, President of the Music Academy of the West. “This summer’s Cabaret brings our community together to enjoy a fun evening of world-class entertainment.”

The honorary chair of this year’s Cabaret is Leatrice Luria of Montecito, an Emeritus Director of the Music Academy. 

A longtime supporter of the Music Academy’s full-scholarship program, Mrs. Luria has been pivotal to the Academy’s development in recent years.

Her family has contributed significantly to the Music Academy’s long-range capital improvement campaign, including the lead gift to help fund construction of the Luria Education Center, the Academy’s multifunction educational facility named in honor of her and late husband Eli.

As a Board member, Ms. Luria founded the Music Academy’s innovative Compeer program, which pairs Academy Fellows with donors and other Santa Barbara community members for informal socializing throughout the summer season.

Early corporate sponsors include Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf, David Dahl and the Whittier Trust, Frank Schipper Construction Co., Just Folk, Montecito Bank & Trust and PMSM Architects.

Table sponsorships are available starting at $25,000. Single tickets costs $1,000, $500 and $300 each.

For ticket pricing, sponsorship opportunities, and related information please click here, or call 805.695.7917.

About the Music Academy of the West

The Music Academy of the West is among the nation’s preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted young classical musicians.

At its ocean-side campus in Santa Barbara, the academy provides these musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors and soloists.

Admission to the Academy is strictly merit based, and fellows receive full scholarships that cover tuition, room and board.

The Academy’s distinguished teaching artists roster has included famed soprano Lotte Lehmann, composers Darius Milhaud and Arnold Schoenberg, cellist Gregor Piatigorsky, pianist Jeremy Denk and current Voice Program Director Marilyn Horne.

Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Many enjoy careers as prominent solo artists.

In 2014 the Music Academy entered into a four-year partnership with the New York Philharmonic, resulting in unprecedented training and performance opportunities for academy fellows and summer festival residencies for Philharmonic musicians.

The Music Academy of the West cultivates discerning, appreciative and adventurous audiences, presenting more than 200 public events annually, nearly half of them free of charge.

Events include performances by faculty, visiting artists and fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and a fully staged opera.

The 2015 Summer School and Festival takes place from June 15 to August 8 at the Academy’s scenic Miraflores campus and in venues throughout Santa Barbara.

For more information, visit

—Sydney Gardner represents the Music Academy of the West.


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Goleta Valley Art Association Displays New Artwork at August Show

By | Published on 07/28/2015


The Goleta Valley Art Association invites you to visit us at the Goleta Valley Library located at 500 N. Fairview Avenue for the August Art Show.

The August Art Show begins Friday, Aug. 7 and ends Wednesday, Aug. 26 and is located in the Goleta Library Community Events Room.

Juror for the show will be Warner Nienow, who will share his reflections on each work of art on the closing day at 6:15 p.m..

The community is invited to attend.

Over 40 new works of art of watercolor, collage, and oil paintings will be featured.  

Come and see these beautiful creations by many award-winning local artists. 

To purchase paintings call Goleta Valley Art Association at 805.898.9424. 

Please visit our website,, for upcoming events.

Please call the library at 805.964.7878 for hours.

—Colleen Janée​ represents Goleta Valley Art Association.


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Beach-to-Beach Route Announced for Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon

By | Published on 07/28/2015


The Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half Marathon, presented by Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation, has announced that its half-marathon course will start on the ocean-front campus of the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB).

With 4,000-plus participants,the Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half Marathon is the largest running event on the Central Coast, and it honors veterans and also features a unique beach-to-beach 13.1 mile course ending at “The World’s Most Beautiful Finish Line” on Santa Barbara’s famed waterfront.

The half marathon will take place on Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015.

“For our half-marathon in 2015, we are thrilled to be starting the seventh edition on the UCSB campus. As the runners exit UCSB under Henley Gate, they will get spectacular views of Goleta Beach, the coastline and the Santa Ynez mountain range,” said race director Rusty Snow.

“This will be one of the most beautiful race starts in the world, and we would like to thank UCSB, the Goleta Chamber of Commerce and Caltrans for making this all possible.”

This will also mark the first time a portion of California State Route 217, known as Clarence Ward Memorial Boulevard after the state senator who served Santa Barbara from 1941 to 1955, will be open for runners.

The USA Track & Field-certified 13.1 mile course will start from the UCSB Alumni Association at University Plaza, and go underneath UCSB’s Henley Gate and onto Route 217 before exiting onto Hollister Avenue.

“The new Santa Barbara Veterans Day Half Marathon start on campus means a lot to UCSB, and we are proud to partner with this outstanding community event to promote health and fitness and to showcase the Central Coast’s beauty,” stated Brenda Lear, Director of Gaucho Recreation and Exercise Programs.

After the UCSB start and Route 217 section, runners will head toward the Las Positas Valley before entering the scenic Mesa community overlooking the American Riviera.

The course is downhill for the first 10 miles before a half-mile climb up Cliff Drive. The final three miles descend to the Pacific Ocean and Santa Barbara’s beautiful Leadbetter Beach Park where the Finish Line Festival awaits runners, family and friends.

To register for or learn more about the half-marathon and event, visit:

About the Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half Marathon

The Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half Marathon, presented by Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation, is the premier and largest running event on California’s scenic Central Coast. The seventh edition features a Marathon, Half Marathon and Elite Performance & Rehabilitation Center Relay as well as a Veterans Final Mile tribute.
For more information, go to, follow us on Twitter @runsbmarathon, Instagram @runsbmarathon and Facebook, and use the hashtag #RunSBMarathon.

—Ryan Lamppa represents The Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half Marathon.


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Hancock Receives $1.1 Million to Help First-Generation Students Complete their Education

By | Published on 07/28/2015


A successful program that assists first-generation students at Allan Hancock College will continue for at least another five years after the U.S. Department of Education awarded a $1.1 million federal grant to Allan Hancock College for the TRIO/Student Support Services project, known at the college as the College Achievement Now (CAN) program.

The program helps first-generation students with basic college requirements and provides them motivation to complete their postsecondary education.

“This grant has been instrumental in changing the odds for more than 300 students already served by the project,” said Superintendent/President Kevin G. Walthers, Ph.D.

“In a community where many high school graduates are not readily accepted into our local state universities, Hancock, and the continued support provided for the CAN program, are essential for our students to succeed and reach their educational and employment goals,” he said.

The newly refunded grant will allow the TRIO-CAN program to serve 156 students each year. The previous federal grant allowed for 140 students annually.

As an open-access community college, Hancock enrolls many economically and educationally challenged students, some of whom are veterans, foster youth, English language learners and/or students with a disability.

TRIO-CAN provides personalized support to help them integrate into the academic and social life of the college.

“Our students develop an academic mindset and come to know they can succeed,” said TRIO-CAN Director Petra Gomez. “Students support and encourage each other to persevere and work through frustrating obstacles.”

TRIO-CAN students receive priority registration, academic and career counseling, mentoring, field trips to four-year universities, free printing and a dedicated space for homework and group study.

“The CAN program has been great,” said Gerardo Atilano, who will transfer to California State University, Long Beach in the fall. “I learned what classes I needed to take and was encouraged to join several clubs, which I did.

"CAN helped me achieve my goal of transferring to a four-year university,” Atilano, who was one of nearly 30 TRIO-CAN students who will transfer to four-year universities in fall 2015, said.

The CAN Center, a space dedicated to TRIO-CAN scholars, provides the support network and environment that allow students to work collaboratively and thrive.

“CAN has taught me about a lot of resources I did not know existed,” said student Adrian Garcia. “It is really helpful to come here and study in groups. The center has become like a second home, and we look at each other like family members.”

Students must apply to the TRIO-CAN program. To be eligible, students are required to be a citizen of the United States or permanent resident and must either be a first-generation college student, meet federal income guidelines or have a verifiable disability.

For more information on the TRIO-CAN program, call 805.922.6966 x3434 or email [email protected]

—Andrew Masuda represents Allan Hancock College.


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Venoco Asking Goleta, Coastal Commission for Emergency Permit to Truck Oil

By | Published on 07/28/2015


Company says it needs to clear out tanks, pipelines in advance of inspections; production would remain shuttered

Venoco Inc. is asking the city of Goleta and the California Coastal Commission for emergency permits to truck crude oil and other liquids from its Ellwood processing plant.

The request for the interim permit — two tanker trucks per day for 17 days — would allow the company to clear out crude and other liquids from two tanks on its offshore Platform Holly, two tanks at the Ellwood plant in western Goleta, and the associated pipelines, according to a letter signed by Keith Wenal, the company's manager of health, environment and safety.

If approved, the permit would not allow Venoco to restart production on Holly, which has been shut down since shortly after the Plains All American Pipeline failure and oil spill May 19 near Refugio State Beach.

A company spokesman indicated Venoco wants to move out the oil in advance of inspections scheduled for next month, and also is concerned about keeping oil in lines that are designed for constant flow.

The request is to truck out some 5,500 barrels — or 231,000 gallons — that would be taken to the Phillips 66 Santa Maria Pump Station in Santa Maria and the Santa Paula Crimson Truck Rack in Santa Paula.

If those facilities are not available, the oil would be taken to Bakersfield.

Each truck would carry 160 barrels or 6,720 gallons.

The request is being made on an emergency basis, the spokesman said, because the regular process for such permits normally takes 6-7 months.

After the Plains pipeline was shut down following the spill, the southern Santa Barbara County offshore oil and gas operations of Venoco, ExxonMobil and Freeport-McMoRan were stopped, since the platforms had no way to move the oil to refineries. 

ExxonMobil previously had asked Santa Barbara County for permits to truck oil from its processing facility in Las Flores Canyon. 

That request, which would have allowed ExxonMobil to restart its local production, was denied.

A letter from the California State Lands Commission, signed by Executive Director Jennifer Lucchesi, supports Venoco's request, noting that removing the oil "will reduce the risk and magnitude of any potential spill while the platform and (Ellwood processing facility) are temporarily shut down."

She also noted that removing the oil will facilitate the Lands Commission staff's inspection of Venoco facilities.

Valerie Kushnerov, a city of Goleta spokeswoman, confirmed that the city received an emergency trucking permit from Venoco.

"It is incomplete at this time. Once we have the complete application, we can provide more information," she 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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Providence Adds Three Star Players to Girls Volleyball Coaching Roster

By | Published on 07/28/2015


Steve Stokes, Providence athletic director, is pleased to announce that the Santa Barbara Christian School has hired three new girls volleyball coaches.

“In our coaching search, we focused on finding the right group of people to build a great volleyball program here at Providence. We have found that dynamic group,” Stokes says, announcing the appointments of head coach David Goss, head junior varsity coach Luke Sunukjian and assistant coach Madison Serrano.

“Beyond the coaching pedigrees our staff brings to the table, they are all incredible leaders for our student-athletes,” he says. 

Dave Goss, Head Girls Volleyball Coach

Dave Goss joins the Patriots as head girls volleyball coach. Goss was an All-Channel League volleyball player at San Marcos High School under legendary coach Jon Lee.

He was a scholarship athlete and two-time First Team All-American at Stanford University.

While playing for the Cardinal, Goss set the NCAA record for most kills in one match (55) in a 1992 showdown against UCLA in Pauley Pavilion. 

Dave Goss

After college, Goss continued his playing career as a professional with Team Nossa Caixa in Suzano, Brazil and in a seven-month stint with the US National Men’s Team.

Goss began his coaching career as a graduate assistant at Stanford in 1994. He went on to launch the “Dave Goss Beach Volleyball Camps” in Redondo Beach in 1996, running them through 2000.

During those five years, Goss served as head boys volleyball coach and assistant girls volleyball coach at West Torrance High School.

The team competed in the prestigious Ocean and Bay Leagues, and Goss led the boys to their first CIF playoff victory in over ten years in his second year at the helm of the program.

Today, Goss pastors Light and Life Goleta, a Free Methodist church serving Isla Vista, launched in 2008 by himself and his wife of 15 years, Tracey (TJ Buckner) Goss.

They are the parents of three boys, Noah (13), Caleb (11) and Micah (9)—all Providence students.

Athleticism runs in the family; Tracey Goss played collegiate volleyball at Texas Tech and Cal State Dominguez Hills. Her sister, Annett Davis, was a National Champion and All-American at UCLA and Olympian in 2000.

Goss’s father-in-law, Cleveland Buckner, was a professional basketball player for the New York Knicks.

Luke Sunukjian

Stokes welcomes Goss to the Patriots coaching roster and foresees the program's growth under his lead.

“It is an exciting time in school history, with an already strong girls volleyball program developed under retiring coach Laura Newton, who led Providence to it's best performance ever last season. With Dave Goss and his assistant coaches on board, we are confident the program will continue its ascent. Players will flock to join this fun, champion-building program.”

Luke Sunukjian, Head JV Girls Volleyball Coach

Luke Sunukjian was raised in Santa Barbara and grew to love playing volleyball while at San Marcos High School.

He played on an elite-level club team while studying business and economics at Westmont.

After graduating, Sunukjian worked as personal trainer at 24-Hour Fitness in Huntington Beach before turning to a career teaching math and coaching volleyball.

After working at Traduce Hills High School in Washington, D.C. and completing a masters degree in mathematics from the George Washington University, Sunukjian and his family (wife Melanie and four children) moved back to Santa Barbara in 2011.

He currently teaches math at San Marcos HS and has coached the Royals freshman boys volleyball team the past four years.

“It is my desire to develop players love for volleyball through team building, learning skill and strategy, and competing with intensity and humility,” Sunukjian says. “I am excited to work with Dave Goss to create an environment where our players will learn to work hard, be good teammates and thrive in competition.”

Madison Serrano, Assistant Girls Volleyball Coach

Madison Serrano comes to Providence after playing for Westmont the past four years. She graduated this past spring with a degree in political science.

Madison Serrano

She was the Westmont team captain, a two-time All-GSAC player, an NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, and she received the Cliff Hamlow Character Award.

Serrano left her mark on the Westmont women's program: she is fifth all-time in career kills, fourth all-time in aces, and fourth all-time in digs.

A decorated high school player for Basha High School in Chandler, Arizona, 

Serrano was also president of Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) chapters in high school and college, where she was instrumental in bringing FCA to Westmont. 

Serrano began her coaching career at FCA summer volleyball camps.

“It is there I was able to develop players not just on the court, but also to create a spiritual experience,” she says. “I look forward to doing the same at Providence.”

Providence is a member of the CIF. The school serves 275 students, preschool through high school.

—Steve Stokes is the athletic director at Providence


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JDRF Supporters in Santa Barbara to Join One Walk for Type 1 Diabetes Research

By | Published on 07/28/2015


More than 1,000 advocates representing local businesses, families, schools and other organizations are expected to participate in the JDRF One Walk in Santa Barbara on Saturday, Oct. 10, 2015, at Leadbetter Beach.

The event is the JDRF Central Coast Council’s annual One Walk, and is one of more than 200 community walks nationwide, which bring together hundreds of thousands of people each year who share JDRF’s mission to create a world without Type 1 diabetes (T1D).

The chapter has set a fundraising goal of more than $173,000, which will help fund critically needed T1D research.

“Whether you have type 1 diabetes, know someone who does or want to simply participate in an event that makes a huge impact on so many lives, JDRF welcomes you to our team,” said Genny Bolton, local development manager.

“Thanks to the incredible supporters of the JDRF One Walk, the community of Santa Barbara, and supporters like Dr. Steve Johnson of Johnson Family Dental, JDRF is able to direct even more funding toward important type 1 diabetes research for the millions of people with this serious disease," Bolton said. "We are confident that together, we will reach our fundraising goal and ultimately be a part of turning type 1 into type none.”

The walk is expected to draw an enthusiastic crowd of all ages from the tri-counties area, motivated to support a great cause while enjoying an event that includes activities for kids, DJ TomKat and recognition of top fundraising  teams.

On-site registration begins at 9 a.m. on Oct. 10. The entire walk will be approximately 3 miles long, starting at Leadbetter beach and looping back.  

JDRF One Walk is the most powerful peer-to-peer fundraising program in the world for T1D, raising over $75 million annually.

Since 1992, the event has raised more than $1 billion for life-changing T1D research — research that has led to breakthrough discoveries, many of which have already moved into clinical trials and real-world testing.

Although there has been considerable progress, there is plenty more we have yet to accomplish.

As JDRF’s flagship fundraising event and the largest T1D event in the world, JDRF One Walk provides the perfect opportunity to get more involved in your local JDRF community and show your commitment to creating a world without T1D.

“I’m someone who’s lived many decades with the ever-changing nature of type 1 diabetes,” said Sydney Bush, RN certified diabetes educator, "and I’m inspired by all those facing this challenging condition with determination and courage.  I’m honored to be part of JDRF's efforts to rid the world of this disease."

JDRF gratefully acknowledges its national corporate partners who support its efforts to create a world without T1D.

The JDRF’s Elite Partners include Advance Auto Parts, Ford Motor Company, Marshalls and Walgreens. Local corporate partners for the Central Coast Council’s walk include Dr. Steve Johnson of Johnson Family Dental

About Type 1 Diabetes

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease that impacts millions of people around the world.

The disease occurs when the body’s immune system attacks and destroys the beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin, a hormone essential to turning food into energy. Without insulin, glucose from food stays in the blood, where it can cause serious damage to all of the body’s organ systems.

T1D strikes both children and adults suddenly and is unrelated to diet or lifestyle.

It requires constant carbohydrate counting, blood-glucose testing and lifelong dependence on injected insulin. With T1D there are no days off, and there is no cure.

About JDRF

JDRF is the leading global organization funding type 1 diabetes research. JDRF’s goal is to progressively remove the impact of T1D from people’s lives until we achieve a world without T1D.

JDRF collaborates with a wide spectrum of partners and is the only organization with the scientific resources, the regulatory influence and a working plan to better treat, prevent and eventually cure T1D.

As the largest charitable supporter of T1D research, JDRF is currently sponsoring $568 million in scientific research in 17 countries.

For more information, please visit

—Genny Bolton represents JDRF.


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Cynder Sinclair: Using a Financial Dashboard Helps Your Nonprofit Board Focus on Essentials

By | Published on 07/27/2015


Financial oversight is one of the most critical responsibilities of a nonprofit board of directors, yet many boards fall short of optimum performance in this area.

Some aren’t sure where to start. Many don’t know how to gauge the financial health of their organization. Most are afraid that asking questions like “What reports should we be looking at?” or “What questions should I be asking?” will reveal their lack of understanding. So they keep quiet and pretend to understand.

Even if your organization produces monthly financial reports, understanding the implications of the data can be illusive for the very people who are charged with oversight.

Creating a financial dashboard — reports that illustrate key pieces of data, often in a graphical format — can focus attention on the vital signs of a nonprofit’s fiscal well-being.

A recent Forbes magazine article gives some excellent pointers on how to develop a financial dashboard and how to use it for optimum decision-making.

Graphs and visuals encourage storytelling, a sign of active interaction with the numbers.

Thoughtful financial analysis requires as many words as numbers. We encourage organizations to highlight meaningful variances — significant departures from budget — in financial reports.

Variance analysis goes beyond identifying financial trends. A nonprofit’s management team needs to be able to explain variances to the board and other stakeholders and determine appropriate action.

Seeing the numbers visualized prompts the question: “Why did we bring in less revenue than projected this quarter?” A practical conversation ensues: “Our income is actually highly seasonal. Should our revenue budget be modified to reflect this?”

Dashboards are effective tools for ensuring shared financial comprehension and engagement among board members.

Nonprofit boards are often a motley crew of professionals not accustomed to being at the same table: they may range from private-sector finance heavyweights to social-sector types. Given the varied governance responsibilities of a nonprofit board, a healthy tension among perspectives is inevitable, but it can be a tricky dynamic to manage.

Dashboards create a common language between board members, allowing those inclined to pore over the financials to communicate with those less driven by financial data.

Dashboards also convey to the board the level of information that is expected — and appropriate — for them to be familiar with.

The process of developing a dashboard can help define measures of success.

Leaders of dynamic nonprofit organizations move fast. When faced with time-sensitive decisions — about things like funding, program changes and partnerships — it helps to have a shared understanding of the organization’s priorities and measures of success.

By coming together to design a concise reporting tool, organizational leaders are forced to make choices — simply because you can’t pay attention to everything at the same time.

If any of the above sounds familiar, then a dashboard may be a useful tool for your organization. Developing the dashboard report in a thoughtful and inclusive way is essential, in order for the tool to be accepted and used by decision-makers across the organization.

Here are a few pointers to help get you started:

Create a diverse working group to identify what matters to your organization.

One of my clients, a growing youth-services organization, assembled a dashboard project team comprised of leaders from finance, development and programs. The team brainstormed valuable metrics from their respective functional areas to track over time.

This wish list was progressively brought into focus. By the end, the group had settled on a dozen metrics that they agreed the organization needed to pay attention to in order to succeed.

While this short list of measures will vary by organization, here are a few standard areas that we recommend tracking:

» Operating results for the organization and major programs

» Strength of balance sheet measures, particularly liquidity

» Fundraising performance

» Program outcomes tied to your theory of change.

Measure performance against a desired target. 

Displaying targets alongside actual performance on a graph helps tell an interesting story about different parts of an organization: revenues, expenses, program results. Setting targets is an exercise informed by historical data and gut instincts.

A good place to start is the current fiscal year’s operating budget. As you reforecast and adjust your budget, update your dashboard’s targets accordingly.

Pilot the dashboard for a set time, then re-evaluate.

Dashboards are only as useful as their applications. It can be tempting to stay in perpetual R&D mode to arrive at the perfect set of metrics, but you miss out on valuable user feedback.

Another data-savvy client, a food justice organization, committed to piloting their dashboard for a full year. They identified strategic questions for each graph to guide the conversation.

For example: Do year-to-date trends in budget-versus-actual performance align with seasonality and timing expectations? How does the number of people served relate to impact goals for each program area?

Build a dashboard that you can maintain.

There are many options for building dashboard reports: ranging from Microsoft Excel to systems like Intacct or Salesforce. An automated dashboard on a specialized software platform may seem ideal, but you can develop perfectly functional dashboard reports in Excel.

Rather than over-engineering your dashboard, prioritize a tool that will be painless for you to update on a monthly or quarterly basis.

Click here for a sample dashboard from CompassPoint as a good example of how relatively simple dashboards can be highly effective decision-making tools.

Over the past 10 years, dashboards have emerged in nonprofit parlance as a “best practice” for financial management. They are not a fix-all, but if financial reporting feels like an administrative, rote exercise at your organization, then a dashboard may be just the thing to energize internal discussions around finances.

— 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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Suspect Arrested in Domestic-Violence Incident In Santa Maria

By | Published on 07/27/2015


A Santa Maria Police Department K-9 helped sniff out a domestic-violence suspect hiding inside a residence Monday afternoon. 

Officers responded at about 4 p.m. to the 200 block of South Western Avenue for an incident involving a girl being struck and threatened by a man inside a residence on that block, police Sgt. Daniel Rios said. 

The 16-year-old victim and two other people were removed from the residence and officers used a K-9 to find the suspect hiding inside, police said. 

Lucio Olivero-Velasquez, 19, received a bite wound from the K-9 as he was taken into custody and was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center, police said.

Velasquez was later booked on charges of domestic violence, brandishing a knife, kidnapping, resisting arrest, and child endangerment.

The woman suffered a minor injury in the altercation, Rios said.

As a precaution, officers closed at least one street in the area while they handled the incident.

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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Western Goleta Residents Meet with Power Company Over Ellwood Plant’s Noise, Emissions Concerns

By | Published on 07/27/2015


The Hideaway residential development was built near the plant, which company officials say will be getting refurbished and new battery storage to cut down on operations

Some residents in a recently-built housing development in Western Goleta say they're concerned about a nearby power plant that they say has been busier than usual.

About 25 residents from The Hideaway, a 101-unit development located at the 7900 block of Hollister Avenue, met with officials from a nearby power plant that sits on the east side of Las Armas Road, just south of the railroad tracks.

The plant, owned by NRG Energy, is known as the Ellwood Unit and serves as a "peaker plant," meaning it kicks on when there is a peak need on the electrical power grid. 

The plant would also be used in an emergency situation to keep electricity going at hospitals and other key locations if the power lines were disrupted for some reason.

Resident Robert Miller moved to the development in March 2014, and his unit is about 200 feet from the plant.

The existing power plant has been at the site for decades and predates the homes, and Miller said that residents were told that the plant would operate an estimated one hour per week. 

The plant is limited by permit from the Air Pollution Control District to operate 400 hours a year.

But Miller and other residents say that in the last few months, the plant has been operating many days a week and sometimes for several hours at a time.

Noise has also been an issue.

"If it was only going to operate an hour a week, the concerns wouldn't be as great," Miller said. "It sounds like a freight train coming down the tracks."

The company that owns the plant reached out to Miller and offered to meet with neighbors and about two dozen people attended a meeting last week with a handful of NRG officials, who allowed residents to submit questions ahead of time.

"It was very helpful," Miller said.

NRG Spokesman David Knox told Noozhawk that the company "really did appreciate the neighbors being there."

The plant produces about 54 megawatts of power, which means that 43,000 homes can be powered at that time. 

Power demand starts building in the morning as people wake up and at about five or six p.m., renewable power generation starts falling off, he said.

"That's when you see the greatest need for that dispatchable power," he said, which could be why people are noticing the plant at night.

Anne Wells, planner for the City of Goleta, also stopped by the neighborhood meeting to hear the presentation.

She said the NRG has met with city staff about their plans to refurbishment the plant  as well as install a storage battery," but we're awaiting an application."

Knox said no changes are planned for the plant during the refurbishment process, and that it will be "an overhaul of the units to get them in top notch shape."

NRG Energy is planning refurbishments and battery storage for its Ellwood Generating Station on Las Armas Road. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

The battery project has "great potential," he said, adding that a battery will be installed on the property to help store solar and wind power.

"Electricity is the one thing we sell as a nation that we can't store," he said.

Miller has also organized a group of neighbors called the Westside Goleta Coalition, which is also opposed to plans for a California Highway Patrol facility that would sit to the east of the Hideaway development.

"It just doesn't fit here," he said.

With the power plant, neighbors are also concerned about electromagnetic fields, or EMFs, from the power lines, as well as the emissions that come from two turbines at the plant that run on natural gas.

Miller said an environmental impact report on the Hideaway involved some testing and learned that certain amounts of electromagnetic frequency "arguably presented some risk."

The neighbors talked about doing their own testing, but ran into a challenged because the plant operates at unpredictable hours.

The neighbors also say there's "an occasional gas smell," Miller said, which they've reported to the Southern California Gas Company.

Staff couldn't say exactly why the plant was operating more frequently because it is operated by a separate entity that manages the electrical grid. The company will be looking at the EMF issue and if something can be done to diminish the sound coming from the engines, Knox said. 

"We're going to see if we can make them a bit quieter," he 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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Family Mourns Death of 7-Year-Old Gwendolyn Strong

By | Published on 07/27/2015


Her parents started a foundation in her name to fund research for a cure for spinal muscular atrophy

Gwendolyn Strong, 7, of Santa Barbara died over the weekend, with her parents at her side, after living her whole life with a disease called spinal muscular atrophy. (Contributed photo)

Gwendolyn Strong, the 7-year-old Santa Barbara girl who was the inspiration behind the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, died over the weekend, and her family is grieving her loss.

Strong was born with a disease called spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, and her parents, Bill and Victoria Strong, started a foundation after she was born to reach out to other families of children with SMA and help fund research for a cure.

One in every 40 people carry the gene, and the group has also been working to raise awareness about prenatal genetic screening.

Noozhawk first wrote about Gwendolyn and the Strong family in 2008, when Gwendolyn was just 10 months old and Bill and Victoria had begun gathering signatures for congressional action for funding for SMA research.

Strong died in the early morning hours on Saturday, with her parents by her side.

"We're missing Gwendolyn, but at peace with her passing," Bill Strong told Noozhawk Monday in an email. "She was an incredible little girl loved by many."

Victoria wrote in a moving blog post that the family feels fortunate to have had Gwendolyn in their lives for almost eight years.

"We are filled with gratitude for that time. For all the many memories that we know will now carry us through," she said.

Victoria wrote that the Gwendolyn had been struggling in the last month, but they had thought she would be able to recover, and chronicled some of the special times they had been able to spend as a family, including Gwendolyn swimming with her dad while she wore a mermaid tail and going to Disneyland together.

Gwendolyn began having fevers, however, and the family noticed that the young girl was not herself, even though tests and x-rays showed that she wasn't sick.

The family detailed Gwendolyn's last moments on their blog and wrote about how they went into her room and comforted her.

"We told her it was okay to let go," Victoria wrote. "That we will always love her. Her gaze softened. And we felt a peacefulness run through her.  We talked to her the whole time and told her we will always be proud of her. We talked to her about all the special people who were waiting for her and ready to dance. I sang to her and Bill talked to her softly. We held her hands and rubbed her hair. And reminded her what an amazing gift she has always been.

"She was so incredibly calm. She never struggled.We hugged her and kissed her and held her and talked to her until we heard her heart stop as she slipped peacefully out of this world."

Strong told Noozhawk that the family will be holding a public celebration of Gwendolyn's life on Sunday, Aug. 2 at 3 p.m. The event will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church at 1500 State Street in Santa Barbara.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting tax-deductible donations be made to the Gwendolyn Strong Memorial Fund through the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation. 

"We'll be doing something very special to honor her life," Strong 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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Wardens Monitor Bear As It Leaves Lompoc Neighborhood On Its Own

By | Published on 07/27/2015


Department of Fish and Wildlife officials keep an eye on the black bear sighted in the La Purisima Highlands area as it wanders into a wooded area

A black bear who visited a Lompoc neighborhood ended up leaving on his own as wardens watched the departure since the animal didn’t act aggressively or display health problems.

“Really, all we did last night is monitor the bear’s movement and try to assess its health condition,” said Jamie Dostal, a warden with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. 

Wardens were called after the bear was spotted in the La Purisima Highlands neighborhood Sunday night. 

“At this point, we’re hoping he’s moved back to where he was living before,” Dostal added Monday.

Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh noted the sighting Sunday night on Twitter, saying it answered the question of whether Lompoc has bears.

“So the answer is, ‘yes’ there are bears in Lompoc,” Walsh said via his Twitter account. He also posted a photo showing the animal from afar.

Dostal estimated the lone adult black bear weighed between 150 and 200 pounds. Since responding wardens couldn’t get closer to the animal, they don’t know if it was male or female.

“It appeared to be healthy,” Dostal said. “There didn’t appear to be any injuries.”

Wardens watched as the bear left the neighborhood, worried it might head toward busy Highway 1 where it could be struck by a car.

However, the animal moved behind the old drive-in theater and into the riverbed, heading upstream toward Highway 246.

They were concerned the animal might veer back toward the more populated area of the city, but were hopeful a thick woody area would serve as a barrier to keep the bear in a remote location.

Wardens prefer to take a hands-off approach in bear incidents, Dostal said, since tranquilizing the animal and relocating it can lead to other problems.

In his 20 years on the job, Dostal said he recalls just one other bear incident in Lompoc, noting they are more common in Santa Ynez Valley, around Santa Barbara and even near Santa Maria.

“Lompoc is kind of a rare area to have a bear appear,” Dostal said.

It’s difficult to say if the bear was pushed toward populated areas in search of water, Dostal added.

“That’s definitely a possibility that it was drought related,” he added.

To avoid attracting wild animals, Dostal recommended residents should remove any possible water sources or food sources. Pets should be locked up overnight since wild animals are more active in evening and near dawn.

“We just want people to be aware we do have wildlife like that in the county,” Dostal said. “People don't have to be paranoid, but they should be alert.”

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 Creates Real-Time Downtown Parking Availability App On City Website

By | Published on 07/27/2015


The City of Santa Barbara Transportation Division of the Public Works Department has recently developed a Real-Time Parking web application that provides up to date parking availability for all of the Downtown Parking lot locations.

The Real-Time Parking web application is accessible through all internet connected devices, either using your home computer, tablet, or a friendly mobile version if you’re on the go using your smart phone.

Updated every 15 seconds, the public can now view how many spaces are currently available in the parking lot nearest to their destination.

For visitors and shoppers not familiar with downtown Santa Barbara, the Real-Time Parking interactive map will sync with their phone’s GPS to provide turn-by-turn driving directions to the parking lot of their choice.

Whether you’re a local making your way downtown for Fiesta, or a tourist visiting for the weekend, the Downtown Parking Program now has made it even easier to find the parking lot that best suits your destination.

The web application can be viewed here and at: 

— Justin Berman is parking coordinator for the City of Santa Barbara.


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Deputies Searching for Armed-Robbery Suspect in Isla Vista

By | Published on 07/27/2015


Sheriff’s deputies were searching Monday afternoon for the suspect in an armed robbery in Isla Vista.

The incident occurred at about 1 p.m. at an apartment in the 6600 block of Picasso Road, according to Kelly Hoover, a spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

"Two women at the apartment reported that a male suspect, who they thought may be armed, stepped into the residence and demanded a specific amount of money," Hoover said. "The women ran out of the residence and the suspect did as well.

"The suspect fled, and the women chased him about a block before they lost sight of him."

The suspect reportedly was last seen going over a fence northbound toward Abrego Road.

In addition to ground units, a sheriff’s helicopter was involved in the search, but they were unable to locate the suspect, Hoover said.

The suspect was described as light-skinned with green eyes, approximately 20 years old, wearing dark shorts, Hoover said, adding that he was Spanish-speaking..

Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Isla Vista Foot Patrol at 805.681.4179.

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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Online Support System for Sexual-Violence Survivors Launches in Tri-County Region

By | Published on 07/27/2015


In Santa Barbara, Ventura and Santa Maria counties, Global Change Project Inc., a Santa Barbara-based global 501(c)(3) organization, is piloting a technological solution to the most common obstacles faced in addressing sexual violence—namely survivors staying silent about their victimization and the resulting lack of data needed to solve this problem that plagues our communities.

Whether victims of sexual assault, child sexual abuse, domestic violence, sex trafficking or forced prostitution, an estimated 87 percent of victims never report or get needed recovery support.

Based upon available data, including a 2013 global study by the World Health Organization, Global Change Project has calculated that in real numbers more than 1.14 billion women, men and children—18% of the world’s population—suffer from sexual violence in silence.

“Being sexually violated is one of the most horrifying things that can happen to a person, but even worse is to suffer this tragedy alone,” says Jeni Ambrose, Global Change Project Executive Director.  

“When sexual violence survivors stay silent, not only do they lack the protection and support they need but our law enforcement, public health officials, lawmakers and communities lack vital information needed to prevent further acts of sexual violence and keep our communities safe,” Ambrose said.  

MapYourVoice can offer sexual violence survivors a place to take an important first step on their road to recovery,” said Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley in her endorsement of MapYourVoice.

“As a non-profit aimed at supporting and strengthening the existing survivor support network, MapYourVoice can play a vital unifying roll within the community to help solve the serious social problem of sexual violence,” Dudley said.

MapYourVoice is a social web-mapping platform where survivors can safely and anonymously share their experiences, easily access the complete support network available within their communities and participate in a confidential social network with other survivors.

With the aggregate data garnered from anonymous intake questionnaires, MapYourVoice will be able to provide innumerable customized data sets for law enforcement, academia, public health officials and advocates to support their efforts to develop well-founded, effective solutions to ending sexual violence.

"MapYourVoice will illuminate the lives of women, men and children sexual violence survivors by giving them a place to tell their stories and will harness the power of big data to address the issue of sexual violence,” said Lori Lander Goodman, Chief Development Officer of Child Abuse Listening Mediation (CALM) in CALM’s official endorsement of MapYourVoice.

“MapYourVoice is designed to capitalize on worldwide smart phone/device use, the viral potential of social media and web geo-mapping technology,” says Ambrose. “Like the ‘Bill Cosby Effect,’ you start with one brave survivor speaking up, and before you know it, three dozen more have the courage to come forward as well.”

A crowdfunding campaign is currently underway to support the development of the Beta Version of MapYourVoice.

We need everyone who cares about this issue to support and help fund the project, which allows us to move forward with the tri-county launch.

The campaign can be accessed through our website or directly at

Global Change Project is also seeking partnerships with visionary philanthropic individuals and corporate entities who want to make a big impact on the issue of sexual violence and are interested in being founding supporters of the MapYourVoice's full-scale development.  

All donations are tax-deductible.  

—Jeni Ambrose is the executive director of Global Change Project and a creator of MapYourVoice.


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Community Arts Music Association Elects President for 2015–16 Season

By | Published on 07/27/2015


Community Arts Music Association of Santa Barbara, Inc. (CAMA), which is entering its 97th concert season in 2015–16, has elected Robert K. Montgomery as president of its board of directors.

Montgomery recently retired as a senior partner of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher after spending more than 40 years as a business and finance lawyer with that firm.

He currently produces and sells wine as the owner and proprietor of Montgomery Vineyard, Inc. in the Calistoga region of Napa Valley.

He serves on boards of directors of several private and publicly traded companies and is active in many charitable organizations, including the Board of Visitors of Duke University Law School where he served as Chairman for eight years.

Robert K. Montgomery has been elected President of CAMA's Board of Directors.

CAMA, Santa Barbara’s oldest arts organization, brings the finest classical musicians from around the globe to Santa Barbara’s Granada and Lobero Theatres.

Other officers on CAMA’s 2015–2016 Board of Directors include Deborah Bertling, first vice-president; Craig A. Parton, second vice-president; William Meeker, treasurer and Joan R. Crossland, secretary.

—Justin Rizzo-Weaver represents Community Arts Music Association.


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First United Methodist Church Plans Fiesta Feast to support Children’s Hospital in Haiti

By | Published on 07/27/2015


First United Methodist Church of Santa Barbara will host a Fiesta Feast on Friday, Aug. 7, from 5 to 7:30 p.m., to raise money for Grace Children's Hospital in Haiti.

Haiti is still recovering from the heavy damage sustained in the earthquake of 2010. The earthquake forever changed the nation of Haiti, and severely damaged the Grace Children's Hospital campus.

The hospital has rebuilt transitional facilities that continue to serve the people of Haiti, and it has new outreaches to the tent communities near the hospital. Grace

Founded in 1967, Children's Hospital is recognized as Haiti's leading medical facility dedicated to the treatment of children with tuberculosis (TB). Each year, the hospital receives thousands of children who are suffering from TB, HIV and other diseases.

Children who are seriously ill are admitted to the inpatient ward, where they receive constant care from the hospital's all-Haitian staff.

Both children and adults can receive treatment at one of Grace Children's Hospital's many outpatient clinics. Via Maestra 42 will donate all the food for this event, so 100 percent of your donation goes directly to the hospital. Tickets are $25 per person.

The Fiesta Feast will be set up at 305 E Anapamu Street on the Anapamu side of our campus under the redwood tree. 

—Caroline Kavanagh represents First United Methodist Church of Santa Barbara.


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EmPower Central Coast will Host Free Workshop to Keep Homeowners Cool

By | Published on 07/27/2015


With temperatures rising, the county of Santa Barbara’s emPower program is inviting homeowners to a free workshop Aug. 4 from 5:30l to 7 p.m. at the Far Western Tavern in Orcutt to learn about how they can keep their home cooler and more comfortable without wasting energy or water.

The workshop is being held in this particular area because homes in Orcutt and Santa Maria have been identified as having the greatest opportunity for energy savings in the entire county.

“We are committed to helping our residents reduce water and energy use so they can save on utility bills and enjoy their homes” said emPower Program Services Supervisor Ashley Watkins.

Jason Scheurer, emPower Energy Coach, will present real examples of energy efficiency issues he has seen in homes throughout the Tri-County region, such as improperly operating furnaces, leaky ducts, drafty windows and poorly installed insulation. Scheurer will also offer recommendations on fixing common issues.

“We’re getting into the hottest part of the summer, and this workshop will be a great chance to take a look at your home and consider how you can keep your home cooler in the remaining warm months without wasting energy,” said Scheurer. “What you take away will also help your home stay warm as we move towards the winter months.”

Workshop attendees will be able to enjoy appetizers and learn about available utility incentives that can exceed $6,500, as well as low-interest, unsecured financing that starts at 3.9 percent. Visitors can also schedule a free home-energy site visit from an emPower Energy Coach for a comprehensive look at their home-energy performance.

EmPower can also connect homeowners with qualified local contractors for home energy audits and conduct upgrades identified by the Energy Coach.

The Far Western Tavern is located at 300 E Clark Ave., Orcutt, CA. The workshop is free.

For more information or to RSVP, contact emPower Central Coast at 805.568.3566 or [email protected], or visit

About emPower Central Coast

The emPower program was established by Santa Barbara County both to help the community preserve the environment by lowering energy consumption and to stimulate the economy by creating jobs through innovative, voluntary solutions to support a sustainable building performance market. The program recently expanded its services to Ventura County and San Luis Obispo residents as emPower Central Coast.
EmPower is funded by California utility ratepayers and administered by Southern California Gas Company, Southern California Edison Company and Pacific Gas and Electric Company under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission, the US Department of Energy Better Buildings program and the California Energy Commission with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars.

EmPower’s low cost financing is offered in partnership with Coast Hills Credit Union and Ventura County Credit Union. More information at

—Angel Pacheco represents emPower Central Coast.


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Black Bear Spotted Wandering Around Lompoc Neighborhood

By | Published on 07/26/2015


California Fish & Wildlife warden responding to La Purisima Highlands after sighting

A bear was spotted Sunday evening near a Lompoc Valley neighborhood, according to Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh.

“So the answer is, ‘yes’ there are bears in Lompoc,” Walsh said via his Twitter account. He also posted a photo showing the animal from afar.

The critter was spotted about 7 p.m. near the La Purisima Highlands neighborhood, Walsh said.

The La Purisima Highlands neighborhood is at the northern edge of the city limits and sits above a closed drive-in theater.

A California Fish & Wildlife warden was en route to deal with the bear, Walsh added.

California’s black bear population has increased over the past 25 years, according to the state Fish & Wildlife data.

In 1982, California’s bear population was estimated to be between 10,000 and 15,000, officials said. Today, conservative estimates put the statewide black bear population between 25,000 and 30,000, the department’s website said.

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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Vegetation Fire Chars 8 Acres along Highway 101 at Gaviota

By | Published on 07/26/2015


Blaze burning in brush on ocean side of highway; no structures threatened

Santa Barbara County firefighters responded Sunday afternoon to a vegetation fire burning between the railroad tracks and Highway 101 in the Gaviota area.

The blaze was reported shortly after 5:30 p.m. just west of Mariposa Reina on the ocean side of the freeway, according to fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

He said five engines and a helicopter responded, and crews were able to stop the forward progress of the fire and limit it to about eight acres.

The fire was burning mainly in grass and light brush, he noted.

No structures were threatened and no injuries were reported.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

Railroad traffic was temporarily shut down in the area, but Highway 101 remain “open but slow,” Zaniboni said.

Firefighters expected to remain on the scene into the evening, mopping up and looking for hot spots.

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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Michelle Malkin: Denver’s Top Officials Coddling Colorado’s Social Justice Jerks

By | Published on 07/26/2015


“All cops are bastards!”

“F**k cops!”

“This is what white supremacy looks like!”

On a tranquil Sunday afternoon in Denver, hate-mongering zealots hijacked a rally held by citizens and families of fallen police officers, who had gathered to pay tribute to Colorado’s honorable men and women in blue.

The event organizer, local businessman Ron MacLachlan, followed all the rules and obtained a city permit. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a proclamation declaring July 19 Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.

The idea, MacLachlan explained to local reporters, was to show his teenage children and other young people the myriad positive contributions of those who protect and serve.

The rally was supposed to be a counterbalance to the poisonous post-Ferguson propaganda that has cast all cops as antagonists.

Instead, a mob of anarchists and social justice jerks (who didn’t bother obtaining a permit) held another profane seminar on intolerance.

Rally attendee Monica Goodfellow — the wife of a retired Denver police veteran who served 35 years and the mother of a rookie Denver police officer — told me the grievance grifters were “marching, screaming their vile chants and waving flags” that bore their well-worn “F**k the police” slogan.

Then they bullied the relatives of police officers killed in the line of duty over a loudspeaker by bellowing:

“Cops are your enemies!”

Keepin’ it classy, as always.

“There were families at the rally with young children who had to stand and watch the disgusting scene,”​ Goodfellow added. “There were uniformed (Denver police) officers standing at the perimeter watching, and (they) did nothing to stop the protesters or move them to another area so we could hold our rally without harassment.”

Were the cops ordered to stand down by Denver's liberal city leaders? It wouldn't be the first time.

Back in February, rank-and-file officers and their families erupted in fury after DPD’s top brass forbade their own men and women in uniform from stopping two thugs who brazenly defaced a hallowed memorial for fallen officers.

Both the Fraternal Order of Police and the Denver Police Protective Association called for the resignations of Police Chief Robert White and city public safety director Stephanie O’Malley. The FOP reported that officers “were forced to watch as the vandals poured red paint on the memorial to fallen officers, spray-painted obscene slogans in the plaza and pasted stickers with a death threat for one officer.”

The mobsters ripped down the American flag flying over the memorial and then spat and stomped on it.

Several patriotic officers who sought to replace the desecrated flag (including one cop who had served in the Marines) were reprimanded and interrogated by command staff for doing so, according to the FOP.

The animosity toward cops in the bowels of liberal Denver’s political bureaucracy runs deep. In a revealing moment of social media candor uncovered this spring by local TV station CBS 4, the daughter of the city’s deputy manager of safety exposed the hostility.

Elena Vigil bragged online that her father, Jess, is a “former Chicano rights activist and hater of police” who “obviously hates his job because he has to follow the rules and they’re always skewed towards cops.”

Denials abounded. Rank-and-file protests against the city’s anti-law enforcement bias were met with ... nothing. Hickenlooper and Democratic Denver Mayor Michael Hancock are AWOL.

Last week, politically correct White shook up his department and demoted several commanders for unknown reasons “to take us to the next level as a police agency.” Whatever that means.

Bottom line: He’s still in top office after the stand-down fiasco, which sent a clear signal to Denver’s social justice jerks that they are the ones in charge.

For the men and women in blue in Colorado’s capital city, Goodfellow wants the nation to know: “The city of Denver is a disgusting, intolerant place.”

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: ‘Pro-Life’ Pranks Harming Planned Parenthood, Vital Research

By | Published on 07/26/2015


No one has a later term abortion because she’s changed her mind about having a baby.

Doctors in almost all states won’t perform them for that reason; and, by the way, what kind of beasts do you think women are? Late-term abortions are tragedies, often a last resort because much-wanted babies, or their mothers, develop conditions not consistent with life.

The saddest day I ever spent in a chemotherapy room was the day I sat with my friend (who was dying in her 60s), and watched as a brand-new mother was wheeled in, baby in lap, by her own mother, to begin the chemotherapy she had deferred, risking her own life.

That a bunch of pranksters eager to score deceptive political points can take tragedies like these and turn them into political games is shameful.

Calling this a scandal about the sale of fetal tissue is like calling the organ donation program a scandal. No one is “selling” anything; this is not a revenue stream for Planned Parenthood, which is a nonprofit organization. Planned Parenthood gets reimbursed for transportation and related costs.

And why are these “ghouls” so interested in donating fetal tissue? Some ghoulish game? No. These “ghouls” are medical researchers trying to save lives, so that maybe someday if your baby is found to have such a condition, he can survive.

And yes, sometimes parents actually say they want their lost dream, their tragedy, to potentially help others, so of course the abortion procedure, consistent with putting the mother’s health first, should be performed in a way that might maximize the potential to recover particular or valuable tissue that might save lives in the future — and is saving no one now.

How exactly did these folks manage to own the moniker “pro-life”? Pro whose life?

I am pro saving lives. I am pro helping mothers to have healthy babies. I am pro doing everything we can to spare mothers the heartbreak of not hearing a heartbeat or the long pause when someone realizes the organs aren’t developing right.

Forcing a mother to give birth to a child who cannot live, and denying her the chance to contribute to future scientific research (a tiny consolation that some good might come from such sadness) — how is that pro-life?

Eventually the storm will blow over, as people watch the whole unedited tape and realize that no one at Planned Parenthood was headed for Vegas with the proceeds of tissue sales, that no one was seeing it as a way to make money but as a way to maximize much-needed research.

And the two doctors mentioned on the tape are probably under police protection now, along with their families, assuming the usual quotient of crazy death threats in this debate.

Hopefully no one will die. Hopefully no “true believer” out there will make the mistake of thinking this rhetoric is something more than the fire breath of cowardly dragons, and try to act on it.

But you have to wonder: If you were an obstetrician with young children of your own, would you take a job at Planned Parenthood? Would you help a woman in her third trimester who found out the pregnancy could kill her and her unborn child?

Or would you grab a video camera, hide it away and see if you could somehow incriminate these brave and courageous doctors, who are literally risking their lives to help patients and trying to contribute to the next generation of research so that someday another woman may be spared the pain that she will never forget.

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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Letter to the Editor: Political Rhetoric and Phony Credentials

By | Published on 07/26/2015


Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal announced his candidacy for Congress recently on Noozhawk. I noticed that he stated one of his highest priorities as a congressman would be the national infrastructure. I assume the candidate meant roads, bridges, power distribution, public facilities and buildings, federal highways, rail and railway construction, aqueducts, dams, maintenance, etc.

Of course, the candidate did not mention any of the million and one tasks that must support his national infrastructural initiative, nor the taxpayer money that would be involved, much less the overloaded budget of our nation’s treasure.

What really struck me about this “pledge” was that last year Carbajal performed a circus act in a television commercial (with Supervisor Steve Lavagnino) jumping fences in opposition to Measure M. This measure, first proposed by Supervisor Peter Adam, called for Santa Barbara County to allocate sufficient money to fix the county infrastructure and many of the aforementioned deficiencies, including maintenance.

One wonders what precipitated his 180 degree-turn of mind. I think I know the answer: he wants to get elected and will say anything to impress potential voters of his dedication to their interests.

This “flippage” is common to would-be office holders, and it is hoped that thoughtful voters will recognize it and oppose those who would engage in this nonsense. In fact, do we want a representative of this congressional district flipping all over the place, playing games with our interests?

It is well known that Carbajal for a number of years has been collecting credentials from participation in more than 16 organizations that would give him an aura of public service dedication and help propel him into Congress. These credentials are so numerous that one wonders how he could execute his responsibilities to the county and his district while doing the same for all 16 organizations in which he claims some participation.

Having a seat on an organizational board requires a great deal of time and dedication. Unless one is simply warming a seat or collecting plaques for hanging on office walls, this responsibility is a big deal.

So, how does a supervisor of a large and complex county find the time to collect the aforementioned credentials?

Simply lending one’s name to the masthead of organizational stationery is not much of a credential. Claiming four for one (as in the case of NACo) seems a bit of a stretch.

To check it out, click here to see Carbajal’s webpage.

One last concern I wish to identify is the dual responsibility of a supervisor. They are elected by a district and must listen to district concerns. There is always the staff and the Planning Commission (on which each supervisor has a designated member) to lean on.

But, then there is the county as a whole. Having attended many hearings and watched our supervisors’ behavior, more often than not they play to their district. This bifurcation leads to many diversions away from county business, except, of course the thousands of burdensome ordinances, permits and other time and money pits they create.

The one supervisor who seems to have the county in mind is Peter Adam. The poor guy has consistently borne an almost unanimous and continuous dismissal by Carbajal and the other three supervisors, while he fights for broad county issues.

Thus, we end up with a condition that is intolerable: a politically defined North and South County with self-interested liberals in the south and at least one strong conservative voice in the north.

By the way, however you stretch it, I am on the left. Odd, isn’t it, the bedfellows we choose when we want to get big things done.

Lee Rosenberg
Santa Ynez


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Santa Barbara Dunkin’ Donuts to Open at Taco Bell Site on Upper State Street

By | Published on 07/26/2015


Coffee-and-doughnuts chain battles some Architectural Board of Review resistance over plan to alter mission-style, curved architecture

The rapidly expanding Dunkin’ Donuts coffee chain plans to open a store on Upper State Street, but the company’s proposal to transform a Taco Bell building so far isn’t as palatable as its glazed doughnuts.

Dunkin’ Donuts, which has emerged as a coffee competitor to Starbucks, plans to open at 3771 State St., at an existing Taco Bell near Whole Foods and La Cumbre Plaza.

But first, Quincy, Mass.-based Dunkin’ Donuts and its architectural firm, Armet Davi Newlove & Associates of Santa Monica, will have to figure out the recipe for how to design a building in Santa Barbara.

The company wants to get rid of the curved, bell-shaped architecture that adorns the front of the building, squaring it off. It also wants to add a fire pit to the front of the store.

Dunkin’ Donuts spokeswoman Mallory Schluter told Noozhawk that architectural renderings of the proposed building are not yet available. Instead, she emailed over photographs of the chain’s coffee and doughnuts.

Some members of the city’s Architectural Board of Review weren’t enamored with the proposed changes. Thiep Cung said he likes the current building, which was designed by Santa Barbara architect Brian Cearnal in the 1990s. He would like some of that distinctive mission architecture to remain.

“Can you just make a Dunkin’ Donuts with a curve?”​ Cung asked. “You can save a lot of money. I just feel that by spending all the money here you are kind of making it a box. Will the corporation, can it live with a curved Dunkin’ Donuts?”

Franchisee B.J. Kim said Dunkin’ Donuts needs to design the building with its own corporate branding in mind.

“The building is so Taco Bell,” Kim said. “If you have seen any of the the other Dunkin’ Donuts that are coming online in Southern California, our prototypical architecture is really modern.

“We’re trying to juxtapose our really ultra modern architecture and branding with something that will work in Santa Barbara.”

The Santa Barbara store is one of 54 planned to open in California over the next few years as part of a major expansion into the West Coast market. Dunkin’ Donuts is looking to brand its stores as restaurant-style coffee and bakery destination shops, a la Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.

The restaurant is facing what corporations and consultants often encounter when trying to break into the Santa Barbara market: A lack of understanding of the the community’s culture, ignorance of its architectural standards, and inability to grasp the nuance for navigating through the planning process.

In trying to defend the squaring off of the front of the building, architect Paul Deppe, a partner with Armet Davi Newlove, said the new structure would be very similar to other nearby buildings.

“We would still like to square the building off, give it a more modern feel,” Deppe said. “I think it would work very much in context with some of the banks across the street.”

ABR chairman Kirk Gradin said he wasn’t thrilled about the proposed fire pit.

“I am having trouble with the fire pit,”​ Gradin said. “I think that is going to be visually predominant. It is going to be quite a statement to have flames right there out in front of the building.”

Kim said the point of the fire pit was to attract people to Dunkin’ Donuts.

“It’s really something to say ‘Look over here. We’re something different,’” he said.

Kim said Dunkin’ Donuts, unlike Taco Bell, will be a place for everyone to gather.

“When was the last time we all went to Taco Bell,” Kim laughed. “People are all moving toward healthier menus. People are all moving toward hanging out. That’s why we love this site. It’s a huge front. It’s engaging the street. It’s activating.”

Gradin also said Dunkin’ Donuts was making a poor choice by squaring off the building.

“I think it is unfortunate to just box it off and get rid of what was otherwise an interesting parapet detail,”​ he said.

Some ABR members were satisfied with the removal of the curved architecture in front. They also supported some of the other proposed changes, including the landscaping plan, a redesign of the outdoor seating area, and decorating the plaster columns with a stone façade.

Dunkin’ Donuts will return to the ABR next week for another attempt at approval. ABR members told company representatives to come back with a plan to reduce the height of the parapet wall and present a color and and lighting plan. 

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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Vehicle Fire Sparks Small Blaze Along Highway 154 Near San Marcos Pass Summit

By | Published on 07/26/2015


Flames spread to nearby grass and light brush but are quickly contained; no injuries reported

Firefighters responded Sunday afternoon to a vehicle fire on Highway 154 near the top of San Marcos Pass that was spreading to nearby vegetation.

Crews from the Santa Barbara County, the U.S. Forest Service and the San Marcos Pass and Painted Cave Volunteer fire departments were dispatched at about 1:30 p.m., according to county fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni.

He said when firefighters arrived, the van was engulfed in flames, which had begun burning through grass and light brush along the side of the roadway.

Crews quickly knocked down the flames and contained the blaze, Zaniboni said.

The incident, which destroyed the vehicle, was along the eastbound lanes just below the summit.

No structures were threatened and no injuries were reported.

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.

A fire that destroyed a van Sunday afternoon along eastbound Highway 154 near the San Marcos Pass summit spread to nearby vegetation, but was quickly contained. (Ryan Cullom photo)


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CSU Channel Islands to be Launch Pad for Star-Studded Teachers’ Summit

By | Published on 07/26/2015


Actress Nicole Brown and U.S. Astronaut Leland Melvin are the keynote speakers at an unprecedented teachers' summit taking place on the CSU Channel Islands (CI) campus on July 31. 

CI is one of 33 locations across California that will be hosting the Better Together: California Teachers Summit 2015, a one-day opportunity for all P–12 teachers and teacher candidates to network, brainstorm, learn and share classroom practices.

The event is expected to draw about 20,000 teachers and teacher candidates around the state with about 250 gathering at the CI campus. Sixteen of the thirty-three locations hosting the statewide event are CSU campuses.

"First and foremost, it gives teachers a chance to come together and share and have spontaneous conversations about their craft when they're relaxed during the summer," said Dianne Wilson-Graham, Executive Director of the California Physical Education-Health Project. "They'll be listening to other teachers' best practices and inspiring stories."

There are keynote speakers, but largely, the 8 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. conference is going to follow the fluid "EdCamp" model, an educator-specific conference model developed in 2009 by teachers in Philadelphia, Pa.

Nicole Brown is best known for her role on "Community."

Unlike a regular conference set up months in advance, this "un-conference" doesn't have an agenda set up until the start of the event.

Instead of one person standing in front of the room and talking for an hour, educators will be encouraged to develop group discussions. Participants will then gravitate toward the session that most interests them.

Organizers have selected certain people to give "EDtalks," which are funny, poignant or informative stories designed to act as catalysts for each spontaneous session.

Redwood Middle School teacher Elizabeth Dixon, who earned her Master's degree in Educational Leadership at CI, has been tapped to tell a story about the joy of teaching. She said it was one of the easiest homework assignments she's ever had.

"Kids are so inspiring—they will try anything," Dixon said of the age group she teaches at the Redwood Middle School. "They are invincible right now, fearless."

Underscoring the talks will be stories about the most effective methods teachers have used to teach the new California Standards.

Leland Melvin is an astronaut, football player and advocate for STEM education.

"We have all the resources between us to be effective for our students," Dixon said. "To give them enough challenge to unsettle them, but also to give them enough confidence to meet that challenge."

The keynote speakers are both advocates for education.

Nicole Brown, best-known for her role on NBC's "Community," recently joined talk show host Stephen Colbert with an initiative to fund education projects in South Carolina.

Leland Melvin, a football player turned NASA astronaut, exemplifies the galaxy of possibilities for someone with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Math) education.

Melvin has served as co-chair of the White House task force charged with developing the nation's five-year STEM education plan. He also serves on the International Space Education Board, a global collaboration dedicated to learning about space.

The one-of-a-kind free summit is sponsored by the California State University (CSU) system; the Association of Independent California Colleges and Universities (AICCU); and the New Teacher Center, a national non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the practice of beginning teachers. 
The free conference is almost full, but teachers can register for any remaining spots at and follow #CATeachersSummit for up-to-date information.

About California State University Channel Islands

CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County, and it is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, as well as its emphasis on experiential and service learning. 

CI's strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials and innovative master's degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research.

CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond.

Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI's Social Media.

The California State University (CSU) will reach a significant milestone of 3 million alumni during commencement in spring 2015 and has launched the world's largest yearbook.

The Class of 3 Million online yearbook is an interactive platform where alumni can create a profile and connect with the millions of other alumni from the 23 CSU campuses across the state.

Alumni who sign up for the yearbook will also be entered into a special contest to win one of three $10,000 scholarships for a current or future student, sponsored by Herff Jones.

For more information about the yearbook and the Class of 3 Million, visit

—Kim Gregory represents CSU Channel Islands.


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Another Round of Hot Weather Headed for Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 07/26/2015


Keep the swimsuits, sunscreen and fans handy.

Santa Barbara County is due for another hot spell this coming week, with highs reaching the upper 80s near the coast, and into the 90s in some North County locations, according to the National Weather Service.

On Wednesday, a high-pressure area currently centered over Texas will begin moving west, bringing with it above-normal temperatures for Santa Barbara and the Central Coast, forecasters say.

Highs of 89 are predicted for Santa Barbara and Santa Maria on Wednesday and Thursday, and 88 on Friday.

The Santa Ynez Valley should easily make it into the 90s on Wednesday and Thursday.

Overnight lows in the low 60s are expected.

» 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 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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Trent Benedetti: Refugio Pipeline Leak Spills A Lot of Inconvenient Truth

By | Published on 07/26/2015


Refugio State Beach reopened July 18, two months after a pipeline leak spilled approximately 2,500 barrels — or, if you prefer the more sensational, 105,000 gallons — of oil. About 500 barrels, or 21,000 gallons, went into the ocean.

The spill made a mess but the amount of oil that actually reached the water was less than what goes into the water every week from naturally occurring seeps. Of the 1,200-plus natural seeps in the Santa Barbara Channel, approximately half are located very near Refugio State Beach.

This is an inconvenient truth that some would rather not face. This truth did not prevent extremist in our midst from trying to advance their own radical agendas in the wake of Refugio.

Regrettably, the effort to make a mountain out of a molehill included far too many of our politicians. It is a sad fact of life that a professional political class exists that is, unfortunately, disconnected from reality.

A discussion of this disconnect would go considerably beyond the topic of this column and require more space than is available. Unquestionably, the phenomenon transcends party lines.

Think about the politicians you saw stampeding toward television cameras in the aftermath of the spill and ask yourself which one of them would have the best chance of finding a job in the private sector with the same compensation, benefits and flexibility as the public sector job now held.

What else could explain why so few voluntarily leave public office for the private sector? Instead, they are constantly maneuvering toward the next elected office.   

Is it mere coincidence that those who preened most for the media’s attention and who were most loud and long-winded about the spill are also most limited in their command of objective facts pertaining to supply and demand of energy resources in our nation, state and county?

There is nothing wrong with not knowing all the facts. There is a solution for that. The more pertinent issue is: Are known facts intentionally distorted? Facts are generally synonymous with truth. For some, truth can be inconvenient.

What is true about the Refugio incident?

First, it should not have happened. But it did. Now that it has been cleaned up, there is opportunity to properly assess the incident without the hyperbole associated with emotions run amok.

Second, the spill was not a disaster, as some would have you believe. That no one died is proof. Loss of human life is a common element of any disaster. And the dictionary says “great damage” is also common to disaster. Facts do not support the claim that great damage was done.

It is true that visitors to the reopened beach reported seeing residual oil. But the Unified Command for the Refugio Oil Response collected tar-ball samples from various sites and only one of the 44 could positively be linked to Plains All American Pipeline.

It seems logical to assume that the residual oil that visitors saw on the beach may have come from the very active natural oil seeps located near Refugio.

Finally, some have gone so far as to question whether producing offshore oil is safe. But in the last almost 50 years, there has been approximately 3 billion barrels — approximately 126 billion gallons — of oil produced offshore and transported to shore ... safely. If that does not define “safe,” what does?

Simply put, much of the bombastic rhetoric about the Refugio incident was, and is, inconsistent with reality. For some, that is a very inconvenient truth. Of course, people are entitled to their opinions even if based upon make-believe.

In retrospect, the Refugio experience reinforced what we already knew: Take everything politicians say with a big grain of salt.

— Trent Benedetti is a member of the board of directors of the Committee to Improve North County and a longtime local business owner. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Groundbreaking Set for Remodel of Goleta Affordable Housing Complex

By | Published on 07/26/2015


Peoples’ Self-Help Housing (PSHH) will break ground Aug. 19 on the $18 million renovation project at the Villa la Esperanza Apartments.

Upon completion, 83 units will have been beautifully restored and a new community room constructed in Old Town Goleta.

The project budget allocates $12 million for rehabilitation work and $6 million for new construction, design and engineering costs, along with other fees.

The public is invited to attend a groundbreaking ceremony and press conference announcing the major rehabilitation project at the Villa la Esperanza Apartments, 131 S. Kellogg Ave., Wednesday, Aug. 19, 2015, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Villa la Esperanza was originally constructed in 1971 under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s  236 Program and was owned and operated by the Goleta Valley Housing Committee (GVHC), a single-asset non-profit, prior to PSHH assuming management and ownership.

The Aug. 19 ceremony will recognize the original sponsors and members of the GVHC who were responsible for the construction of the complex in '70s, as well as the final members of the committee at the time of the transfer in 2014. 

The property currently consists of 75 units, including eight five-bedroom units that were underutilized and don’t meet current needs.

As part of the major rehabilitation project, PSHH will convert seven of the five-bedroom units to smaller apartments, increasing the total number of units to 83.

PSHH will also be constructing a new 5,000-square-foot, two-story community building that will include a Youth Learning Center, community room, community kitchen, laundry facilities, playground, barbecue area and two tot lots. It will additionally feature office space for a manager, assistant manager and resident services coordinator.

New energy and water saving features will also be installed, included synthetic turf, water conserving hardscape and landscaping, state-of-the-art “smart” water controls, new drip irrigation system, and replacement of external lighting with energy-saving LED fixtures. 

Speakers at the groundbreaking will include Vito Gioiello, board member of Goleta Valley Housing Committee and Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, who will describe the 40-year history of the project and recognize the various churches and nonprofit organizations involved.

Original sponsors and members of Goleta Valley Housing Committee include: Christ Lutheran Church, Goleta Presbyterian Church, University United Methodist Church (previously Korea United Methodist Church), Cambridge Drive Community Church (previously First Baptist Church of Goleta), Catholic Charities (previously Catholic Welfare Bureau), Goleta Neighborhood Association and the final members of Goleta Valley Housing Committee at time of the transfer to PSHH.

PSHH President and CEO John Fowler will discuss the rehabilitation project and how the donation of the Villa la Esperanza property will be leveraged through creative financing and tax credits investments to generate funding opportunities for the development of more than 250 additional affordable housing units in the greater Santa Barbara area.

Other speakers will include a representative from the office of Santa Barbara County Supervisor Janet Wolf, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal and City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte.
Partners include RRM Design Group Architects, Robert Andrew Fowler Landscape Architect and Stantec Inc. Civil Engineers, as well as tax credit equity investor Merritt Community Capital Corporation and construction and permanent lender CITI Community Capital. 

The event is free and open to the public. Tours of the property and a light lunch by The Fig Grill of Goleta will be provided after the program.

The Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce will assist with the official ribbon cutting.
RSVPs are appreciated by Aug. 14 by calling Monica Scholl at 805.699.7220 or emailing [email protected]

About Peoples' Self-Help Housing

Founded in 1970, PSHH is an award winning non-profit organization that develops affordable housing and community facilities for low-income households and homeownership opportunities for working families and special needs populations, such as seniors, veterans, the disabled and the formerly homeless. With nearly 1,200 self-help homes completed and over 1,500 rental units developed, PSHH is the largest affordable housing developer on the Central Coast, with offices in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo. For more information on Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, visit, email [email protected] or phone 805.781.3088.

—Angel Pacheco for Peoples' Self-Help Housing.


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2015 Fiesta Flower Girls, Las Senoritas Provide a Colorful Picture of Old Spanish Days

By | Published on 07/25/2015


Over 140 members of the Class of 2015 are ready to serve as official greeters for Fiesta, Aug. 5-9

Old Spanish Days’ symbolic hostesses, Fiesta Flower Girls and Las Senoritas, stepped in front of the camera Saturday to get their individual and group pictures taken.

More than 140 Flower Girls and Senoritas will carry on the 67-year tradition as the official greeters of 2015 Old Spanish Days, as started in 1949 by Ruth Dow Figg-Hoblyn.

The ambassadors extend welcome to thousands of guests by presenting flowers from their baskets.

Generations of young Santa Barbara area residents have served as the smiling faces of Old Spanish Days.

Old Spanish Days runs Aug. 5 to 9. Click here for more information about Old Spanish Days, as well as a complete schedule of events.

Viva la Fiesta!

— Erik Davis is publicity chairman of Old Spanish Days.

Fiesta Flower Girls and Las Senoritas have been part of the Old Spanish Days celebration for 67 years. (Fritz Olenberger photo /
Fiesta Flower Girls and Las Senoritas have been part of the Old Spanish Days celebration for 67 years. (Fritz Olenberger photo /


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iCAN Music Program Develops Instruments for Success for Students — and Their Families

By | Published on 07/25/2015


From choir to the violin, cello and viola, emphasis on musical performance develops a sense of community that will last a lifetime

[Noozhawk’s note: This article is the third in a series sponsored by the Hutton Parker Foundation. Click here for the first related article, and click here for the second.]

A unique approach to arts education and community engagement nurtured by the nonprofit iCAN (incredible Children’s Art Network), has influenced 3,000 budding artists and musicians — an incredible story told both visually and with sound and tone.

Performance is a highly valued component of the iCAN Music Program. Students spend up to two hours a day making music as an ensemble or in group lessons that are focused on musical fundamentals to emphasize the experience of shared success.

iCAN offers high-quality arts programs, and today it boasts 43 artists, musicians and advocates for the arts. Among the students served by more than 30 iCAN teaching artists and musicians, 89 percent are Latino and 70 percent are English language learners.

“The music program especially is an after-school program, but it’s five days a week and three hours a day, so the parents make a big commitment to support their kids participation in the program,” said Jeffry Walker​, iCAN’s executive director.

“And over time they’ve generated their own social vibe and connection to it, so they’re not only attending events but they’re bringing food and chaperoning on field trips — and that’s community.”

A child’s growth and learning is part of the community bond as parents are regularly engaged in discussions about their students, who are provided with regular opportunities to teach other students.

“Frequent community performances and concerts serve as a powerful motivating force for excellence, and provide students with a platform to showcase their hard work and practice,” said Yvonne Leal, iCAN’s director of network relations.

Founded in 2011 at Franklin School on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside, the iCAN Music Program each school year serves nearly 100 students in grades second through sixth. iCAN runs the program in partnership with the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

Angelica and Fortunato Castro with iCAN student Thomas. (Melissa Walker / Noozhawk photo)
Angelica and Fortunato Castro with iCAN student Thomas. (Melissa Walker / Noozhawk photo)

Every iCAN music student at the Franklin site begins by joining a choir and learning to play the violin before being introduced to the cello and viola. As the program advances, each student then selects an instrument of his or her choice for performances and practice until the fifth grade, when the option of a wind or brass instrument is offered.

This introduction of new and more complex instruments adds to the development of the orchestra that becomes the primary music-making vehicle for all students.

In 2014, the City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department and iCAN began a partnership that brought the Music Program to the Westside.

Currently serving nearly 30 students in grades third through sixth, the Westside Neighborhood Center site provides intensive high-quality musical instruction to students from several elementary schools. The schools all use choir and play woodwinds, string and brass instruments as a method of instruction.

Established by philanthropist Jim Kearns in 2005, iCAN offers high-quality arts programs to those students who are least likely to receive the opportunity.

Highly skilled professionals and some credentialed iCAN music teaching artists offer no-cost music instruction at both Eastside and Westside sites to bring these valuable lessons to a wide range of the community, increasing the likelihood of social change, a key talking point for the organization’s goals.

“Talking about our music program in the context of social change and advocacy, which is very much a part of the El Sistema music instruction model,” Walker explained.

The internationally renowned social model El Sistema teaches students about their own potential through collaboration, hard work and passion in performance-based music activities like choir, orchestra and group lessons.

iCAN’s Music Program has hosted and joined several Seminarios with Sistema-inspired programs throughout Southern California.

“A Seminario is a special, collaborative and musical experience where people come together and contribute to the success of a musically excellent day,” Leal said.

Community members and parents are encouraged to participate and join in creating a larger orchestra through which learning during these Seminarios is accelerated. Students with varying abilities work together toward the common good.

And, in 2014, the iCAN Music Program was selected from a national list as one of nine programs invited to participate in a three-year study on the benefits of El Sistema-inspired programs, in partnership with the Longy School of Music at Bard College and the WolfBrown arts research firm.

Visual arts and music programs are offered across nine sites in Santa Barbara with one full-time iCAN teaching artist and one professional art assistant are assigned to each campus. The sites include Adams School, Adelante Charter School, Cleveland School, Franklin School, Harding University Partnership School, McKinley School, Monroe School, Santa Barbara Community Academy and the Westside Neighborhood Center.

Click here for more information about iCAN. Click here to make an online donation.

Noozhawk contributing writer Melissa Walker can be reached at [email protected]. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

iCAN Westside Neighborhood Center Music Program staff, from left, César Alcalá, site coordinator; Stephen Hughes, teaching artist, brass; Lito Hernandez, teaching artist, woodwinds; Angela Miller, teaching artist, strings; and iCAN Music Program director Xóchitl Tafoya. (Melissa Walker / Noozhawk photo)
iCAN Westside Neighborhood Center Music Program staff, from left, César Alcalá, site coordinator; Stephen Hughes, teaching artist, brass; Lito Hernandez, teaching artist, woodwinds; Angela Miller, teaching artist, strings; and iCAN Music Program director Xóchitl Tafoya. (Melissa Walker / Noozhawk photo)


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Diane Dimond: Office Surveillance Creepy, But Not Always a Bad Thing

By | Published on 07/25/2015


Is your boss spying on you? There’s a good chance. These days employers are monitoring their workers in all sorts of ways you might never have thought about.

Your employer can look back at anything you’ve done on your office computer, checking what websites were visited and what was written in interoffice emails, and they can even capture keystrokes to see what was typed on outside sites such as your personal email, Facebook or Twitter. If they are the snoopy-snoop type they're probably already watching your social media output anyway.

Management can also monitor the time spent on a desk phone and the numbers called. They can listen to workers’ voicemails, even the deleted ones. And if you drive a company car or use a business cell phone, the boss can tell via built-in GPS systems where you are at any given time and how long you linger.

Supervisors may say the surveillance cameras in your workplace are watching for consumer theft, sabotage or vandalism. But they also capture employees’ performance, conversations with customers and with each other. Grouse about the person in charge and run the risk that a supervisor is listening or may hear the conversation later on playback.

You may think, “Well, my boss would never do any of that.” You sure about that?

The American Management Association conducts surveys about this kind of activity and reports that 66 percent of the small, medium and large companies responding admitted they monitor employees’ Internet use. 45 percent log workers’ keystrokes and automation can recreate what was written. 43 percent track their staffs’ emails.

Undercover employer monitoring is widespread. It just makes good business sense if you stop and think about it — for the company and for you.

Supermarket devices clock how fast cashiers scan groceries. So, guess who gets the raise come evaluation time? The best performers, that’s who.

Some hospitals require nurses to wear a special badge that registers how often they wash their hands. When the boss disciplines a lax hand washer, employees spread the word and the result is a healthier environment for patients.

A point-of-sale computer system at a restaurant can log more information than just a customer order or credit-card number. It can also keep track of how often a server steers a customer to the special of the day. Again, this is data that could be used to reward the most enthusiastic employees.

But you might wonder if all this surveillance is legal. Yes, it is. Privacy on the job is almost nonexistent, so keep that in mind. The only place recording devices are forbidden is in a locker room, restroom or in areas where union business is being discussed.

Only Connecticut and Delaware require employers to tell workers that they are subject to surveillance. But the aforementioned AMA survey discovered a majority of companies, nationwide, do inform their employees about their monitoring policies.

Myrna Arias, 36, of Bakersfield, was told when she took a sales executive job with the international wire-transfer service Intermex that her movements would be monitored. She was instructed to download an app on her company phone that kept track of her whereabouts.

In a lawsuit she filed a few months ago, Arias claims she became uncomfortable with the 24/7 monitoring after her direct supervisor joked that he knew how fast she was driving on any given day. Arias claims she was not allowed to turn off her phone after hours, so she disabled the app and was fired.

Now she wants $500,000 for invasion of privacy, wrongful termination and lost wages.

Arias’ test case could change the employer-employee surveillance dynamic, but it seems unlikely she will change the status quo.

In the meantime, businesses determined to weed out slackers and get the most from their staff continue to explore their options. There’s no dearth of think tanks and private firms studying what makes a single employee or group of employees more productive.

Sociometric Solutions of Boston is currently testing a new kind of employee ID badge at some 20 different companies. The badge helps gather data on how employees interact with each other.

Among other things, they discovered that something as simple as a shared 15-minute coffee break not only fostered better staff interaction, but also increased productivity and made employees 70 percent less likely to quit.

As creepy as the boss spying on you sounds, in the end, it is not against the law and it could make for a much more enjoyable place to work.

Diane Dimond is the author of Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case. Contact her at [email protected], follow her on Twitter: @DiDimond, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.


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Mark Shields: Donald Trump Flunks the ‘Like’ Factor Test

By | Published on 07/25/2015


Bill Cohen, the former three-term Republican senator from Maine who served as secretary of defense in Democratic President Bill Clinton’s second administration, offered this key to the art of winning tough elections: “I don’t care how great your ideas are or how well you can articulate them. People must like you before they will vote for you.”

Nowhere is this “like” factor more important to the decision of voters than when they choose a president.

Consider this: In the campaigns of 2000 and 2004, the Democratic nominees, Al Gore and John Kerry, were both seen by voters to be more knowledgeable and more intelligent than George W. Bush, the Republican.

Yet Bush was seen, by those same voters, as more personally likable than Gore and Kerry, and Bush won. In the experienced judgment of Democratic pollster Peter D. Hart, “voters value ‘I like’ over IQ.”

Which brings us directly to the 2016 presidential campaign and the doomed candidacy of real estate billionaire Donald Trump. A quick check of the record reveals this representative sample of individuals Trump has publicly branded as “a loser”: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. John McCain, President Barack Obama, conservative columnist and Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer, British Prime Minister David Cameron and Meet the Press host Chuck Todd.

According to Trump’s discriminating tastes, Sen. Lindsey Graham is “an idiot” and Hillary Clinton “was the worst secretary of state in the history of the United States,” while the 2012 GOP nominee is dismissed this way: “I have a Gucci store that’s worth more money than (Mitt) Romney.”

OK, Trump’s defenders concede, their candidate’s language can sometimes be insulting and offensive. But they make the case that Trump’s wounding rudeness is just proof of his refreshing candor.

You can argue he’s blunt and unscripted, but you cannot believably argue that either he or what he regularly spews is likable.

Americans want their chief executive to be more than just the commander in chief. They also want their president to be, in time of crisis, the comforter in chief, as well as the teacher in chief and a leader in chief who understands when to stand firm and when to compromise in the national interest.

On the commander-in-chief test, recall what Trump recently said in Iowa about McCain. He declared that the Arizona Republican was “not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured, OK?”

McCain was not a hero because he was captured in the Vietnam War. What made him a hero was how he conducted himself in captivity.

In spite of sustaining permanently crippling injuries and enduring brutal torture, McCain, the son and grandson of Navy admirals, rejected his captors’ offers for early release, choosing to endure — for five years — that ordeal with his fellow prisoners in Hanoi.

Trump, like so many sons of privilege of his generation, made sure he was among the “people that weren’t captured” by avoiding the U.S. military draft, pleading a bone spur in his foot.

While McCain was being brutalized by the North Vietnamese, Trump had his own challenges stateside, where he was able to join “the hottest club in” New York.

“It was the sort of place where you were likely to see a wealthy 75-year-old guy walk in with three blondes from Sweden,” he wrote.

McCain probably had no idea what he missed by volunteering to serve his country.

People must like you before they will vote for you. Donald Trump is not a likable man.

Mark Shields is one of the most widely recognized political commentators in the United States. The former Washington Post editorial columnist appears regularly on CNN, on public television and on radio. Click here to contact him, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Santa Maria Man Facing Attempted-Murder, Sexual-Assault Charges in Back-to-Back Break-Ins

By | Published on 07/25/2015


Victor Aureliano Martinez

A 29-year-old man is facing attempted-murder and other charges after allegedly breaking into a San Maria home and attacking a woman.

Victor Aureliano Martinez of Santa Maria was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on Friday on suspicion of attempted murder, sexual assault and residential burglary, according to Santa Maria police Sgt. Jesus Valle.

He said Martinez broke into a residence in the 900 block of Dejoy Street at about 9:45 a.m., and physically assaulted a 67-year-old woman.

In an attempt to evade officers, Valle said, Martinez fled and broke into another home in the 1000 block of West Donovan Road.

“The victim, who was also sexually assaulted, suffered severe injuries as a result of a violent struggle with the suspect,” he said.

The woman, whose name was not released, was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center.

Details on her condition were not available.

The police investigation of the case is continuing.

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 Spurns Effort to Modify Property Sale Zoning Information Reports

By | Published on 07/25/2015


City Council votes to keep real estate transaction-related reports mandatory, despite calls from agents and county Grand Jury to make them voluntary

The City of Santa Barbara has no interest in making zoning information reports voluntary, despite a request from the Santa Barbara County Civil Grand Jury and the longtime advocacy of local real estate agents.

Dozens of real estate agents on Tuesday called on the City Council to make the reports — performed by city staff at a cost of $465 each — voluntary and informational rather than mandatory during a home transaction.

Sellers are required to apply for a zoning information report no later than five days after entering an agreement for sale. If the report reveals violations, the problems must be fixed, often jeopardizing the sale of the house close to escrow.

Some real estate agents said the reports are often riddled with errors and performed by zoning staff members, not building officials who have expertise in the area.

City officials, however, believe the reports are essential to identifying illegal add-ons and remodels that may pose health and safety issues or adversely affect neighborhood culture and quality of life.

“This is the time to fix illegal alterations and add-ons that are dangerous,”​ Councilwoman Cathy Murillo said. “It is a time to catch safety violations.

“Zoning information reports are an important part of the process. I have always said that.”

In May, the grand jury issued a report requesting that the reports be voluntary and be used for informational purposes only, fueling emotions among many in the real estate community.

The City Council plans to send a letter to the grand jury explaining that it is working to improve the city’s zoning information report process, but it won’t make the reports voluntary.

According to city officials, about 45 ZIRs are prepared each month by staff and only about four of them have discrepancies.

If a zoning report reveals violations, such as an illegal dwelling unit, an illegal conversion to habitable space, or additions that cause health and safety risks, it’s up to the seller to fix the problem. The situation casts a shadow of doubt over the buyer’s enthusiasm for the deal, real estate agents say. 

Agents contend that city zoning officials are not qualified to make determinations about what is safe and what isn’t, and often end up making mistakes in reports.

Reyne Stapelmann, president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors, said zoning officials are not qualified to identify problems with building and safety. She said building officials are finding errors that aren’t there.

“​ZIRs are not the best fix,” said Stapelmann, who, in her capacity as SBAOR president, writes a monthly real estate column for Noozhawk.

The grand jury and real estate agents also argued that city records are incomplete. For example, they say, the reports often assert that a carport was illegally added on or a garage was moved, and it’s up to the sellers to prove that they didn’t commit the alleged violation.

In one case, according to the grand jury, a homeowner was forced to dig up a 30-year-old photo of himself — taken in front of the garage when he was 6 — to prove that the original placement had not changed.

Homeowner Joan Russell Price criticized the ZIRs.

“I love this city,” she said. “I have lived here for 25 years. I am here because I am ashamed of what the ZIR process does in our community.”

Price said a ZIR revealed an incorrect violation, and “it was on me to prove that I had not done anything to my house.”

She said she was forced to force to produce property tax records that showed the original square footage of the house to prove she had not added anything to the house.

“Just because the city didn’t have in their records, it was my fault and was going to get ripped down,” Price said.

Community Development director George Buell said the city is working to correct many of the issues that the grand jury has noted.

“As long as you have people working on something, there is going to be a factor of human error,”​ he said. “To guarantee it would trail off to nonexistent is probably not realistic.

“It is our hope to see that there is increased accuracy and consistency in those reports.”

The city had already corrected many of the concerns raised by the grand jury. The City Council took up the issue in 2013 and a working group met several times in 2014. The city decided to create “major” and “minor” categories.

They also plan to create a zoning checklist for zoning inspectors to use and create a frequently asked questions sheet. 

Councilman Frank Hotchkiss, a Realtor, expressed mixed feelings about the ZIRs. He said he understands the criticisms, but he also knows Realtors who support ZIRs.

“For a buyer it’s one thing, for a seller it’s another,” he said.

“I am not sure we should throw the baby out with the bath water, even though I would sort of like to. It is more important to preserve our neighborhoods even though it is a pain for us.”

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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4th Suspect Arrested in Gang-Related Fatal Stabbing in Lompoc

By | Published on 07/25/2015


A fourth person has been arrested in connection with a deadly gang-related stabbing last month in Lompoc.

Damian Simpson, 20, was taken into custody last week, Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh said.

Simpson is the latest suspect arrested in connection with the death of Jesse Lara, 29, of Lompoc.

Police say Lara was stabbed multiple times the night of June 6 near North M Street and Maple Avenue. He died later at a local hospital.

Hours after the stabbing, officers arrested Edward Dion Carter Jr., 21.

A couple of days later, Walsh announced the arrest of two other suspects: Dequan Matthews, 18, and a male juvenile whose name wasn’t released due to his age.

Those arrested face murder and gang involvement charges, authorities said.

The killing reportedly involved rival gangs and prompted city and faith leaders to join forces and gather at City Hall to call for calm.

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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Chris Jones: Well-Designed Trusts Support Your Family’s Well Being

By | Published on 07/25/2015


Planning for the well-being of your family requires that you take into account the special circumstances or needs of each member. While one person has the training and ability to manage money well, others may not be so fortunate.

Since every person is unique, the question is how you can best support each family member so that they are a success and are provided with comforts that you want them to have. How can you support them so that they continue to develop and achieve their goals?

A well-designed trust can address the needs of each beneficiary in a way that supports them and conserves their resources for as long a period as possible. You might wish to consider implementing the following clauses in your trust:

» Keeping assets in trust: Surveys have shown that the average inheritance is spent within eight months of receipt.

You can provide that a beneficiary’s assets remain in trust so that the beneficiary receives regular income payments and the trustee has discretion to expend the principal as needed. You can define the standards to be used in making discretionary payments.

Keeping assets in trust also has the advantage of protecting assets from creditors. For example, if one of your children divorces, there would be no danger of their spouse making claims against the trust.

» Trustee’s discretionary distribution: With a trust, we try to look as far into the future as possible so as to anticipate how children or beneficiaries develop into adults. Because we cannot anticipate every event, many people use a clause that allows the trustee to postpone distributions to a beneficiary if the trustee determines that the beneficiary has substance dependency problems or is unable to prudently manage their financial affairs, are subject to a creditor’s claim, or subject to an existing or pending divorce proceeding.

By giving the trustee discretion to postpone payments, the odds of the distribution being used improperly or contrary to the wishes of the trust creator are maximized.

» Spendthrift clauses: A trust can provide that a beneficiary’s income or principal is not subject to transfer, either voluntary or involuntary. This is a “spendthrift clause” and prevents a judgment debtor’s interest in a trust from being subject to enforcement of a money judgment until payment is made to the beneficiary.

As it is usually up to the trustee’s discretion to determine when those payments are made, that may never happen. The exceptions to this rule are debts for child support or alimony, money owed to the federal or state government, or where the debtor is both the creator and beneficiary of the trust.

» Special needs trusts: A special needs trust can be used for beneficiaries who are disabled and receive some form of government benefits. The beneficiary may be a developmentally disabled minor or adult.

A special needs trust is fully discretionary. Its purpose is to provide a means for allowing funds to be used for a disabled beneficiary tht will not interfere with the government benefits the beneficiary is receiving, for example, Medi-Cal, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or services through a local regional center.

These trusts are not required to contain “pay back” provisions, so the trust may provide for assistance during a beneficiary’s lifetime, then can be distributed to others.

» Co-Trustees: It is often advisable to use a co-trustee to assist a family member in administering a trust and making investment decisions. A co-trustee is also useful if you anticipate that there may be disagreements between the beneficiaries, such as siblings.

By using a trust department, accountant or financial planner as a co-trustee, the family member trustee will find the job to be much easier and they will be insulated from the typical family disputes.

By recognizing and accounting for the special circumstances or needs of a beneficiary, you can leave not only a financial legacy, but also a legacy of peace, support and well-being.

Trusts can be uniquely crafted to meet your exact requirements and wishes and fully support your family.

Chris Jones is an attorney at Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell LLP of Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own. This article is not intended to provide legal advice. For legal advice on any of the information in this post, click here for the form or phone number on the Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell Contact Us page.


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Not So Fast, Santa Barbara Tells Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo — Or So Large

By | Published on 07/25/2015


Size and appearance of proposed two-story dealership on Hitchcock Way runs into opposition from nearby residents, city’s Architectural Board of Review

Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo want to open a two-story luxury car dealership in Santa Barbara.

But the upscale Italian automobile makers may be headed for a spinout on the American Riviera if they don’t dramatically redesign their proposal.

New Century Automotive Group wants to build the two-story dealership at 350 Hitchcock Way, between DCH Lexus of Santa Barbara and a complex of town homes to the north.

Alfa Romeo and Maserati would have showrooms on the first floor of the proposed building and Ferrari, along with service bays, would take up the second. A vacant, single-story building currently occupies the site, which is used to park cars.

But members of the Santa Barbara Architectural Board of Review and some residential neighbors are looking to put the brakes on the proposal. They say it’s too big, has too much asphalt and not enough landscaping, would cut down too many trees, and is overall “not Santa Barbara architecture.”

“I have a problem with this building and the whole way you have planned activity on this site,” ABR member Howard Wittausch told the applicants.

“The idea of putting showrooms and service bays on the second floor is unnecessary. It is done for the purpose of just creating a big, bulky massive building.”

The proposal calls for a 35-foot-tall, two-story building, with glass panels allowing buyers to peer inside, and a Ferrari arch hanging over the side of the structure.

The proposed 39,000-square-foot building would include 12,500 square feet of showroom space, 11,500 square feet of interior car storage, 9,500 square feet of enclosed service bays and 5,500 square feet for the office and a parts department.

“The Ferrari arch is something that really throws this building out of scale,” said Scott Hopkins, ABR vice chairman. “It strikes me  as something that is not characteristic of Santa Barbara architecture.”

Board member Stephanie Poole said the building should be smaller.

“The front of the building could be lowered to a more pedestrian-friendly height,” she said. “It seems really monolithic and bigger than it needs to be.”

Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Maserati also want to cut down a row of 22 eucalyptus and pine trees between the dealership and homes on the other side.

“We feel that they are dropping limbs and we fear for the neighbors living that close to them, as well as the cars,” landscape architect Chuck McClure said.

The dealership wants to park cars against the back of the lot underneath the trees.

The proposal to remove the mature, 80-foot-tall trees irked ABR members. Even though the eucalyptus trees are not native to Santa Barbara, removing them in this spot is not an automatic decision.

“I am having a real issue with the removal of 22 trees on this property,” said Courtney Jane Miller, an ABR member. “I would challenge the applicant to design the parking layout such that you are protecting the trees and not vice versa.

“It looks like you have the room. I don’t see why that can’t be accommodated.”

Miller said the trees are “a valuable skyline ... resource to this community,” and she also expressed concerns about the building’s height.

Some residents of the nearby Francisco Villas have also complained about the proposal.

“I strongly oppose such a huge structure right next to my complex,” said Rhonda Adawi, a homeowner. “The car dealership is my backyard. This is my only home and I intend to remain here permanently, but this project will ruin my neighborhood.”

The proposed complex is located in a three-block area of Santa Barbara that already is home to several automotive dealerships, including a new Tesla dealership.

Adawi, in a July 16 letter to the city, called the proposal a “monstrosity of a car dealership” that would decrease property values.

New Century Automotive Group and its team, which includes Suzanne Elledge Planning & Permitting Services, will continue shaping the proposal for a return to the ABR. It’s not known how long it will take team to modify the plan, though. 

“There’s a lot of work that needs to take place,” Poole 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.

The site at 350 Hitchcock Way, where Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo propose to open a joint dealership, currently has a vacant building and is used as an overflow parking lot by the DCH Lexus of Santa Barbara dealership next door. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)
The site at 350 Hitchcock Way, where Ferrari, Maserati and Alfa Romeo propose to open a joint dealership, currently has a vacant building and is used as an overflow parking lot by the DCH Lexus of Santa Barbara dealership next door. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)


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The Samarkand Opens 100-Year Storybook with The Retrospect History Gallery

By | Published on 07/25/2015


The Samarkand — a non-profit, continuing-care retirement community operated by Covenant Retirement Communities — welcomed Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and about 75 fellow dignitaries, guests and residents to debut The Retrospect History Gallery, a 480-square-foot gallery located on campus detailing the property’s 100-year history in the Santa Barbara community.

Schneider joined Covenant Retirement Communities President and CEO Terri Cunliffe, Executive Director Ruth Grande, and Samarkand Residents' Council President Dolf May for the ceremonial ribbon cutting on June 29, 2015.

A private reception and tour of the gallery followed, along with a presentation about The Samarkand by Santa Barbara historian Erin Graffy de Garcia.

“Our history began 100 years ago when a gentleman by the name of Prynce Hopkins purchased 32 acres of land to build a Montessori boys’ school,” said Grande. “We were a boys’ school, a luxury hotel, military housing, and now we are a vibrant retirement community where people live and work. We are proud to be part of this rich history and we’re excited to share The Samarkand’s story with the community.”

The Retrospect History Gallery features original and reproduced photographs, floor-to-ceiling wall murals, story panels, collages and artifacts in display cases to tell the century-old story.

At the center of the gallery is an oversized guestbook from The Samarkand Persian Hotel. It contains tributes from world-famous guests including art, cartoons, poems, comments and more.

Present-day photographs and videos show The Samarkand as it is today, a thriving community where seniors live with purpose and joy.

“This gallery has been a labor of love and a true collaboration among many,” said Paula Bodnar Schmitt, principal of Bodnar Design Consultancy in Chicago. She began the project in 2011 with former Samarkand Executive Director Paul Peterson. “It didn’t take long to realize the collection of materials was as unique and special as the story itself.”

Schmitt worked with The Samarkand archives committee, which assisted with research, review and fact checking. Gledhill Library at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum and author Ronald Koegler provided additional collaboration. Goleta's Goodland Signs crafted and installed the exhibit.

"The Samarkand's high standards for beautiful architecture and design were long set before the gallery project got underway,” said Schmitt. “We knew anything we created would have to match that level of sophistication.”

Grande said the gallery reflects the community’s elegant, Persian-style architecture and décor.

“Paula immersed herself in our history and created a beautiful work of art that complements our community while telling a factually accurate, yet entertaining story,” Grande said.

About The Samarkand

The Samarkand, a faith-based, nationally accredited, not-for-profit continuing-care retirement community, is located at 2550 Treasure Drive, Santa Barbara, CA. It is administered by Covenant Retirement Communities, one of the nation’s largest not-for-profit senior services providers. Covenant Retirement Communities serves 5,000 residents at 14 retirement communities nationwide and is a ministry of the Evangelical Covenant Church. For more information on The Samarkand, please call 877.231.6284 or visit

—Ruth Grande and Wendy D’Alessandro represent The Samarkand.


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Louise Palanker: When Is Rape Rape; Foster Care Hell; Empathy and Co-Dependency

By | Published on 07/25/2015


Question from Amber

Hi, Weezy! This question may be a bit graphic, but is it considered rape when I say no multiple times but the person gets annoying so I say yes even though it is very uncomfortable?

This has happened many times with the same person. We broke up two months ago. I don’t think it’s rape but others do. Is it?


If you eventually said yes, then it would be difficult to get this person convicted in a court of law. There is legal accountability and there is moral accountability.

As a society, we try very hard to have these standards match but in reality, that can not always happen. My view is that this boy is very morally WRONG. NO MEANS NO.

However, there is a lot of “romantic fiction” that depicts a “No! No! Yes!” sort of scenario in which she says no, but deep down she means yes and so the man just has to keep asking.

Of course, this is not OK or remotely romantic to me but it’s out there and I’m sure that some guys talk to each other and encourage each other to just keep trying until they get the answer they want. Give ONLY the answer YOU wish to give.

The difficult question you must ask yourself is, why did you eventually say yes? Only you know the true reason but If he wasn’t hurting you, threatening you or forcing you, then social pressure or the need to please or the hope that he may love you more are never a good enough reason to have sex.

EVERY time you have sex you may get pregnant. EVERY time you have sex you are vulnerable. You should only have sex with a guy whose primary goal is not to control you but to protect you. It needs to be a loving partnership.

When you say, no, back it up with behavior. Get away from him. If you are making out with a guy and he tries to have sex and you say, no, you can not just return to kissing him. You need to get up and go home at that point. If you continue making out, he hears “no,” as “not yet.”

On another day when you are both fully clothed and not in the heat of a moment you can discuss your boundaries and what you expect from one another. Be very clear with this guy. If he is an ex, why exactly is he expecting sex?

My best advice is that you stop spending time with this person. He is not respecting you. Love looks far different than this. You will only be free to see it once you move on.

Watch this video from the Stuff Mom Never Told You website. Cristen has been through your exact situation, and she has some words of wisdom for all women:

(Stuff Mom Never Told You — HowStuffWorks video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Tyler

My foster parents are rude to me and the things they say are serious. I got put into a family that I barely even like talking to. I was folding my dad’s socks today and he was blaming me that I mismatched them, and he said I was dumber than a bag of hammers. It really got to me because they always say things about me that are not even true!

I feel almost like an orphan because my biological mom abused me and my older sister. She left and so did my dad. Now I’m stuck with foster parents who I don’t even like because they always say the rudest things that really do effect me.

I feel like if my biological parents wouldn’t have left, my life would be normal.


You are having a rough childhood. That is for sure and I am so sorry to hear about it. But the “What If” game is going to get you nowhere.

Your life would not have been normal with your biological parents. It probably would have been worse because they are people who were not equipped or prepared to raise a child, and that is just entirely sad for all three of you.

You can certainly tell your social worker that these foster parents are emotionally abusive. They call you names and insult your intelligence. That is by no means OK, and it should NOT be happening.

I will be blunt. Being in the system can really suck. But there is always hope that your situation can and should improve. Click here for more information about foster care.

The miracle is that you are here. That means there is a purpose for your life and your mission is to go and find it.

Maybe you will grow up and make the system better and more emotionally healthy for kids. Maybe you will raise loved and cherished kids and by so doing, you will feed your own soul with what was missing from your childhood. Maybe anything and everything.

Keep going. Life will become beautiful for you.

You are not alone:

(Annie E. Casey Foundation video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Rebecca

Weezy, how do I stop being an empath and co-dependent? When someone is sad, I start feeling sad. When around an upset friend, I feel equally upset because I feel how they feel.

I tend to bottle up my emotions. I’m extremely sensitive to other people’s sadness and anger, and when they express those emotions, I cry. I try not to feel sad, but I can’t! No matter how hard I try!

I also am very indecisive, and I say I agree with other people, even when I disagree with them, to make them happy. I put others’ happiness before my own. But I feel upset in the end.

How do I stop this? How do I become assertive?


What you are calling empathy sounds more like a fear that YOU will not be liked. I believe that true empathy comes only after you know that you are OK. Once Self is protected and safe, one can go deeply and purely into the feelings of another person, knowing that another person’s feelings do not threaten one’s own.

Instead, what is happening is that you fear that anyone’s negative emotions are because of you. Therefore you try to please everyone and to agree with everyone SO THAT you can feel safe and loved. This will inevitably push people away because they are getting no sense of the true you.

YOU are losing yourself in others. You are altering your moods and your views to suit others. You have compromised your sense of self.

You have in essence lied to people. You are resentful. They feel deceived. Nobody is happy. However counter-intuitive it may feel, your authentic self will earn you more respect.

Yes, co-dependent is a better term to describe yourself. You should see a therapist to talk about what may have led to this.

Remember that YOU matter and that people do want to know the real you. The most important person who wants to know the real you is YOU. Don’t let her down.

Here is Terri Cole with more about “The Disease to Please”:

(Terri Cole video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Got a question for Weezy? Email her at [email protected] and it may be answered in a subsequent column.

Louise Palanker is a co-founder of Premiere Radio Networks, the author of a semi-autobiographical coming-of-age novel called Journals, a comedian, a filmmaker (click here to view her documentary, Family Band: The Cowsills Story), a teacher and a mentor. She has a teen social network/IOS app and weekly video podcast called Journals, built around a philosophy of cyber kindness. She also teaches a free stand-up comedy class for teens at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara​. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.


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