Santa Barbara-Goleta, Saturday, August 29, 2015

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Cliff Drive Care Center After-School Program Has Your Child’s Back — School or No School!

By | Published on 08/29/2015

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Long-standing program on campus of Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara provides caring environment, homework help and plenty of play time

For more than 50 years, the Cliff Drive Care Center after-school program has been providing Santa Barbara’s children with a fun, caring and safe environment so they can do what kids love most: Play!

The center is one of the only after-school program that works hard to provide care for children even during half-days and most school holidays. Operated by Free Methodist Church of Santa Barbara on its campus at 1435 Cliff Drive, the center is open more often than not and is always being adjusted in conjunction with local schools’ schedules.

From arts and crafts and board games, to sports and games of tag, the kids rarely tire from the different activities that the Cliff Drive Care Center offers. One always-popular activity is playing and building with Legos.

While there is always lots of fun to be had, the trained and knowledgeable staff also tutors and helps children with their homework.

On Mondays, the children are invited to attend a weekly chapel service led by the center’s high-spirited youth pastor.

For some of community’s children, the center is simply a safe place to decompress after a long school day under the careful watch of warm and professional child caregivers.

“We create a safe loving environment where children can simply be themselves,” explained program director Jenny Yznaga.

The Cliff Drive Care Center is a fully state-licensed program whose mission is to provide the highest quality of child care possible for children ages 5-12. Although they regularly pick up children from Adams, MonroeOpen Alternative, Vieja Valley and Washington elementary schools, all local children are welcome to attend.

Click here for more information about Cliff Drive Care Center, or call 805.965.4286 x221. 

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Louise Palanker: Struggling with Toxic Relationship, Feeling Threatened by Pretty Girl, Mean Streak

By | Published on 08/29/2015

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Question from Angela

My boyfriend and I got into a really bad argument over something stupid. You see, I had promised to wear my hair down for him but then I didn’t. (I rarely wear my hair down.)

I know that this sounds really dumb but it led to a break up. I kept talking over him and so he walked away from me! He stormed out into the street. I ran after him and yelled his name, and he kept walking and did not turn around.

I told him I was sorry and he ignored me. He walked so fast that I couldn’t keep up. I texted him more than 50 times and called him 20 times. He did not answer me.

So I was like, you know what, screw this. I don’t need someone like that in my life. Do you think I did the right thing? Should I cut it completely off with him or try to fix things? I’m confused and sad ...

Weezy

First let me say that if someone does not answer one text you can maybe text him again and then that really needs to be it. He got the texts. Now it’s time to wait.

Our ability to communicate instantly has us believing that we should. Two texts say, “I really want to talk to you!” 50 texts say, “I have no impulse control!!!! : /” They also hold up really well in court. Calm it down.

Silence is very loud. It has a lot to say. Let it speak.

Now on to your relationship problem. This guy has no business insisting that you wear your hair exactly the way he likes it. He then shows a hand of insecurity and control issues by having a meltdown when you don’t. He gets to express a preference and then the rest is up to you. It’s your hair.

He is behaving badly and you are giving that behavior power by blowing up his phone. Just stop. Do not take part in a toxic exchange of energy.

If you can muster the courage to walk away and mean it, you will be delivering a strong message. You will be saying, “I am a person. I get to decide how I wear my hair. You can choose to be with me or not under those terms and conditions. You do not own me.”

When you hear from him, as I expect you will, talk calmly and tell him where you stand and how you feel. He will either hear that and get that or he won’t. In either case, you will retain your dignity.

Here are Dr. Phil and Oprah with Eight Signs of a Toxic Relationship:

(OWN video)

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Jenna

I have a huge crush on this boy who likes me back. We only recently confessed our crushes even though we have liked each other for a year. Over the summer we have been texting and talking. I like him so much.

The issue is that this year we are going into high school. There is this girl in our partnering town who will be going to our high school. She is very tall, has long blond hair, blue eyes, and she’s just plain stunning. She is so gorgeous and you can’t help but stare at her. She is pretty and sweet and athletic.

I’m petrified that my crush will like her because everybody does. I try not to cry about it because it’s pathetic and I feel guilty for being jealous. I can’t help it, though. She is amazing and I don’t want to lose this guy to her. What can I do?

Weezy

You can be her friend. In your mind you have created an enemy that does not exist. You have also conjured up a situation that is imaginary. She may have no interest in your guy, she will be brand new to this group of kids and she will be scared. The vulnerable one is not you, it’s her.

Think of all the beautiful, accomplished, interesting, funny, kind, loving women on this earth. If this guy likes you and you like him and you grow up and walk out into the world together, you need to both trust that neither one of you will be easily distracted by another seemingly perfect person. If that is not the case, then your bond was not true in the first place.

Women who see other women as a threat rather than as a friend miss out on wonderful people and experiences. They waste a lot of time worrying about something that hasn’t happened and by so doing, they often create it.

Unless or until this guy gives you cause for concern, he is into you. Trust that. Own that. Love can not be explained. It’s two people clicking. When it happens, enjoy it and stop looking over your shoulder.

                                                                 •        •        •

Question from Stephen

How do I be kinder to others? I tend to be honest with others. I mean, I don’t say that someone is fat or anything, but I’m honest in my opinions and like debating and those sorts of things. I tend to hurt other people’s feelings, though.

What I say to someone else wouldn’t offend me if someone else said it to me. I’m often getting in trouble for being argumentative defiant, et cetera, but I can’t help it. How do I make it stop? It’s just who I am. Questioning people, being a troublemaker, not following the rules if there are better options. But others don’t like it. I don’t do it to hurt others.

Weezy

Your goal may not be to hurt others, but if the end result of your behavior is that others are wounded, then you need to take responsibility and see that there is a cause-and-effect relationship between your actions and people's feelings.

Your question is a lot like saying, “I don’t mean to run people over when I drive on the sidewalk. I just really like driving on the sidewalk.” If you do not want to hurt people, you can avoid doing so by steering your car back out into the street.

There is a fairly clean line between honesty and cruelty. That line is drawn in front of personal attacks.

So, if you are debating and you say, “I believe in the death penalty because the Bible says, ‘an eye for an eye,’” and another person says, “Well, I believe that only God should take a life,” and you say, “Well, then you’re an idiot,” you have crossed over that line.

Your comment is not honest. It does not further your argument, it is simply mean. You can debate and debate heartily, but stay classy. Go after the issue rather than the character of your opponent.

Yes, you do get to have your own unique opinions. Use them thoughtfully and effectively. When you blow up the entire room, there is nobody left to play with you. What have you accomplished?

Just because you have thick skin doesn’t mean that others do. It’s not enough to say, “That wouldn’t hurt me.” Maybe not, but If you see that someone else is hurt, take note and think, “How can I make adjustments that will steer me toward better relationships?”

You have written and asked me this question. Therefore, you care about not just people’s feelings but about how you are perceived by these people. You do not have to compromise your sense of self to be kind and thoughtful. You can be strong and opinionated and knowledgeable and snarky and fascinating and still be kind. You can be sarcastic with a twinkle and a grin that keeps the mood light.

You can also choose your arguments carefully. You can learn to apologize and defuse a tense situation with a simple, “Oops, you’re right,” and a warm smile. You do not have to always win. When you fight to be right, both sides lose.

You may always have a rebellious streak. Wonderful. Steer that tendency toward a cause that needs a champion. When you go to the wall, do it over something that matters.

We are “Wired to be Kind.” Here is Dacher Keltner, a psychology professor and founding faculty director of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley:

(Fig. 1 by University of California 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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New Building Blends Into Historic Santa Maria High School Campus

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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Community open house and dedication planned for Saturday

Band and choir students at Santa Maria High School are sounding a happy note since moving into a new classroom facility built for music lessons, not wood working.

Santa Maria Joint Union High School District and city officials will gather at 10 a.m. Saturday on the campus to mark completion of the two-story structure Principal Joe Domingues calls the “new Broadway building.”

A community open house and dedication are planned to celebrate the $11.5 million building, which was partially funded through Measure C, approved by voters in 2004.

With its mission-style architecture, the 26,000-square-foot classroom building sits along the Broadway side of campus, in between the school’s Administration Building and historic Ethel Pope Auditorium

“I think it’s kind of cool and symbolic of the past and future at the same time,” said Domingues, who graduated from the high school in 1993. “I think it’s also pride for the community because obviously the community has shown an investment to their local public schools. And it’s right off Broadway so everyone sees it.”

A building that once sat on the site was torn down in the 1970s, and the area sat empty for a couple of decades, serving as a gathering spot for students until temporary modular classroom were moved in to ease overcrowding for a time in the 1990s.

Santa Maria High is the district’s oldest campus — the first class graduated in 1894 with a handful of members. The campus today boasts an enrollment of approximately 2,600 students.

Students have anxiously awaited the new facility after coping with a converted wood shop lacking acoustical benefits.

“I think we’re pretty grateful for the new room after the years of talking about it,” said senior Azriella De La Pena, who is taking band class in the building. “It’s a big transition moving from an old wood shop to a new building (with) air conditioning and spacing.”

Just weeks since attending their first classes in the new building, the students say they’ve quickly learned to appreciate the improved acoustics, which mean they can hear each other playing and make adjustments as needed.

“It’s a little bit unbelievable because we’ve always talked about this and we always had an idea of what it would look like, but now that we actually get the real thing it’s kind of surreal,” said Francisco Chicas, a junior enrolled in jazz and marching band.

In addition to an office for staff, one small room houses walls of lockers to store musical instruments. New uniform racks are set up for the distinctive red-and-white marching band uniforms.

“I’ve been teaching for twenty plus years, and this is a by far the nicest facility I’ve ever had — acoustically, access to performance area, outside performance area,” said Aaron Thomas, who previously taught in the Midwest and South.

The building is home a variety of music and international language lessons featuring 21st century classroom design and furniture, prompting one student to remark it looked like a university.

Those modern educational features include large sliding and fixed whiteboards, three mounted big screen monitors with the capacity to display the teacher’s tablet screen and other electronics, furniture that can be easily moved into different leaning group arrangements, and other learning aids, district officials noted.

With construction spanning more than 18 months, this school year marked the first time students and teachers move in to use the facility.

“Our new classroom building reflects the historic nature of the campus on the outside with components of 21st Century learning on the inside,’’ said district Superintendent Mark Richardson. “It represents the combined efforts of past and present school boards, district staff, but most of all it is a testament to the resolute community support for education in the Santa Maria Valley.”

The new structure can house 324 students and staff members in 14 classroom spaces (including two spaces for band, two spaces for choir and 10 regular classrooms).

Domingues has heard from community members, especially alumni, about the new addition, worrying whether it would fit in with the other buildings that make up one of California’ oldest schools.

“They did a fabulous job. It fits right in. That’s what impressed me as an alumni and community member is it fit right in,” Domingues said, adding a lot to alumni are proud of the reinvestment. 

Many of those alumni have returned to teach at the campus, he said. 

“There’s a lot of deep tradition at Santa Maria High School, including this guy right here,” Domingues said, pointing to a logo with the Sammy the Saint mascot. 

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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Refugio Oil Spill Cleanup Prepares to Enter Final Phase

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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The initial grunt work of the Refugio oil spill clean up is nearly complete, but that doesn’t mean a mass exodus of crew members will be happening any time soon.

Sure, most volunteers doing less-specialized cleaning of sand and rocks following the May 19 pipeline leak near Refugio State Beach have gone home.

But according to Refugio Response Unified Command, which is handling clean-up efforts along with Plains All American Pipeline, the Texas oil company responsible, two Shoreline Cleanup Assessment Technique (SCAT) teams are sticking around for the third phase of cleanup — monitoring.

Unified command folks are also sticking around, albeit a smaller staff of 17 at a smaller office, said unified command’s Alexia Retallack, who works for California Fish & Wildlife.

This week, unified command announced the second phase of cleansing oil-covered cobblestones and rocks was complete, except at beaches closest to ground zero, where as many as 142,800 gallons of crude oil flowed down the hill and into the Pacific Ocean near Refugio State Park.

The first phase involved gross oil cleanup, and the third includes surveys and SCAT teams regularly checking from Arroyo Hondo to Rincon Point, Retallack said.

“There’s still cleaning going on,” she said. “The area is much more concentrated now.”

Because some of the beaches can only be reached at low tide, Retallack said crews are limited to scraping oil from cobblestones at night.

During phase three, SCAT teams survey for oil uncovered through sand erosion, respond to reports of oil deposits, and conduct periodic sampling.

Samplings are scheduled for December and May 2016, as well as any time there’s a significant storm event, since storms tend to erode beaches and could reveal oil deposits, Retallack said.

Those samples are then compared to oil originating from the spill.                                                                                              

“If they find anything, that team will go back and see if it needs to be cleaned again,” she said.

Along with monitoring comes restoration planning, Retallack said, which involves public comment, results of an investigation, determination of costs, and many years of wildlife habitat re-establishment.

“They’re going to be monitoring for a very long period,” she said.

Unified Command is following a phased cleanup approach according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Shoreline Assessment Manual.

Anyone who sees unusual amounts of tar or oil can report the sighting with the USCG National Response Center at 800.424.8802 or the California Office of Emergency Services at 800.852.7550.

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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High-Speed Motorcyclist’s Past Includes DUI, Hit-and-Run Charges in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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Kaichi Sato of Santa Barbara has extensive record of driving-related charges, including misdemeanor drunken driving and hit and run cases

The motorcyclist who led law enforcement officers on a high-speed chase across Santa Barbara County last weekend has a history of run-ins with police, including arrests for driving under the influence, attempted vandalism of a Santa Barbara Police patrol car, and obstructing peace officers.

They have all been misdemeanor charges until now.

Kaichi Sato, 28, of Santa Barbara was charged this week with two felonies of attempting to evade a peace officer and evading a peace officer/wrong way driver after leading authorities on a high-speed chase from Orcutt to Santa Barbara.

Sato, who has been released from County Jail on $75,000 bail, was also charged with a misdemeanor for driving with a suspended license related to a drunken-driving charge in April.

It’s not the first time Sato has driven with a suspended license.

In fact, according to Santa Barbara Superior Court records, Sato was set to spend 45 days in County Jail for that DUI, starting on or before noon on Sept. 14.

That might explain why Sato covered up the license plate of his motorcycle Sunday.

The hour-long pursuit — reaching speeds of 130 mph during a 70-plus-mile race southbound on Highway 101 — began at about 1:45 p.m. on Highway 1 west of Orcutt, when a Guadalupe police officer observed the motorcyclist driving recklessly on Highway 1 near Brown Road, according to Kelly Hoover, spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Sato refused to pull over, leading sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers on a pursuit through Orcutt streets before getting on southbound Highway 101 at Clark Avenue.

A county helicopter helped track Sato as he sped south on the freeway, at times splitting lanes and passing vehicles on the right shoulder, Hoover said.

Sato exited the freeway at Turnpike Road east of Goleta, then headed east on Hollister Avenue and Modoc Road through Santa Barbara’s Westside.

He took Miramonte Drive up over TV Hill to the Mesa — court records show Sato lived at a residence on Miramonte Drive — then eventually reversed course and headed northbound on Carrillo Street into downtown Santa Barbara.

Hoover said Sato then abandoned his bike on Highway 101 near the northbound Laguna Street exit and fled on foot before CHP officers arrested him at gunpoint in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 500 block of East Montecito Street.

This week, Hoover confirmed Sato hasn’t served any jail time for his last DUI arrest in April and that alcohol or drugs didn’t seem to be a factor in the most recent incident.

“It does not appear that he has ever served a sentence at the Santa Barbara County Jail or spent more than one night in custody,” she told Noozhawk.

Sunday marked Sato’s eighth run-in with police since turning 21. After each misdemeanor arrest, Sato was punished with fines, driver’s license suspensions, community service and probation.

An arraignment court date for Sato’s latest offense wasn’t set as of Wednesday.

Sato’s criminal record is likely what caused Santa Barbara Judge Pauline Maxwell to sentence him last month to 45 days in jail after he was stopped near Fairview Avenue in April and charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and for having a blood-alcohol content level higher than the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

That was his second DUI arrest, according to court records. The first occurred in August 2008, when Sato was arrested after drunkenly driving a BMW registered to his father.

Sato was charged with driving with a blood alcohol level higher than the legal limit and with hit and run for damaging someone else’s property with the car.

He was charged again in 2011 for driving with a suspended license from the 2008 DUI arrest, for not wearing a seatbelt, and for driving without proper insurance, records show.

In 2012, Sato was sentenced to community service for resisting, obstructing and delaying a police officer or EMT in downtown Santa Barbara.

Details about that arrest weren’t included in Santa Barbara County Superior Court documents.

In 2013, police stopped Sato at Coast Village Road near Highway 101 and charged him with reckless driving and possession of less than one ounce of marijuana.

Also in 2013, Sato was charged with attempted vandalism of a Santa Barbara Police patrol car for causing less than $400 in damage with paint and liquid. Records show charges included disturbing the peace with loud noise, and obstructing a police officer.

Records show another obstruction charge in the same year, this time involving UC Police officers at UC Santa Barbara.

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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Outdoors Q&A: Blue Crabs in Mission Bay?

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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Q: I have seen what appear to be blue crabs in the Mission Bay area of San Diego that look like crabs normally found in the southern U.S. What are these? What is the limit, size and permitted way of catching them in California? I cannot seem to find it in the handbook. (Don F.)

A: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has received several reports of blue crabs, Callinectes sapidus, in the Mission Bay area of San Diego; however, none of the reports thus far have been substantiated.

According to CDFW Marine Environmental Scientist Travis Buck of San Diego, the crabs you have seen are most likely Portunus xantusii (swimming crab), which are native to Southern California and resemble the East Coast/Gulf of Mexico blue crab.

To harvest these crabs, you will need a California sport fishing license with an ocean enhancement stamp.

There is no closed season or minimum size limit, but the bag limit is 35, and these crabs may be taken by hand or with a hoop net.

No more than five hoop nets may be used per person from a boat and no more than two per person from a pier or jetty.

There is a maximum of 10 hoop nets per vessel. Also, divers may not possess any hooked devices while diving for crustaceans, including crabs.

Regulations for these crabs fall under section 29.05, “general regulations for invertebrates,” and 29.80, “gear restrictions for crustaceans,” found on pages 46, 49 and 50 in the current Ocean Sport Fishing Regulations booklet.

Can drones be used to find and track wildlife?

Q: A discussion came up at our rod and gun club the other day about whether there are any official regulations or restrictions regarding hunters using drones to assist in locating and tracking big game and/or other wildlife.

I personally can’t believe they would be legal to use but none of us have ever heard any official determination on this subject one way or another.

With deer season in full swing and more people now owning drones, I shudder to think that these increasingly sophisticated aerial contraptions might be used by other hunters for wildlife surveillance and even possibly for the driving or tracking of animals that they are hunting.

Or conversely, what about anti-hunters using them to spook wildlife and disrupt hunters while they are tracking and stocking their animals? What is the official word on this issue? (Anonymous)

A: It is unlawful to use a drone to assist in taking wildlife as you describe, and it would be unlawful to harass legal hunters with a drone (Fish and Game Code, section 2009).

It is also unlawful for any person to “… use any motorized, hot-air, or unpowered aircraft or other device capable of flight or any earth orbiting imaging device to locate or assist in locating big game mammals 48 hours before and continuing until 48 hours after any big game hunting season in the same area” (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 251).

Drone owners/pilots should keep in mind that additional legislation is currently being considered that may further restrict the use of drones in different public and private areas.

Drones are already prohibited in National Parks, and that list may soon grow, so stay tuned.

Crayfish trap limits?

Q: Had a question about crawfishing that no one can seem to answer for me. My question is how many traps are allowed per person with a fishing license?

I have been told that it’s a limit of two, but when I look into the California Fish and Game for 2015–2016 Handbook, it doesn’t say anything about how many traps are allowed. (William P., Lemoore)

A: Crayfish may be harvested year round with a sport fishing license (except for closures listed below), and there are no limits on the number you can possess or take home.

Regarding methods of take, crayfish may be taken only by hand, hook and line, dip net or with traps. There is no limit on number of traps; however, they may not be over three feet in greatest dimension. Any other species taken must be returned to the water immediately. Traps need not be closely attended.

For a list of those areas closed to harvest in order to protect the Shasta crayfish, please refer to section 5.35(d) on page 21 of the 2015–2016 California Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations booklet.

In addition, crayfish may not be used for bait in sections of the Pit River (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 4.30).

The season closures in Chapter 3 (District Trout and Salmon Special Regulations) do not apply to crayfish fishing with methods other than hook and line (see sections 7.00 and 7.50(a)(2)).

Multi-day trip for abalone

Q: I’m a rock picker for red abalone. Because of long distance driving I plan to go for a two-day trip.

With daily limits of three, I would get three on the first day and another three on the second day before driving home. I will then have six abalone in possession. Would this be legal? (Henry)

A: No. The bag limit is also the possession limit. You may only legally possess up to three red abalone.

You would have to eat or give away all or part of your first day’s limit before you picked more abalone on a subsequent day.

— Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. She can be reached at [email protected].

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Donna Polizzi: From Retro to Chic, Laid-Back Los Alamos Makes the Living Easy

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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Old West tranquiltiy and cultural sophistication are part of the draw, but don’t forget the food, wine and antiques

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Wonder where the celebrities hang out these days? Believe it or not, the answer is Los Alamos.

The quiet, rustic town is in the heart of Santa Barbara County Wine Country. It’s less than four square miles, along Highway 101, just 10 miles north of Buellton and 18 miles south of Santa Maria.

Highway 135, which is Bell Street through town, is where you’ll want to hang out. It’s home to The Victorian Mansion, a bed and breakfast at 326 Bell St., and to Gussied Up Antiques, 349 Bell St.

Two blocks away is Los Alamos Depot Mall, 515 Bell St., if you want antique, choice retro and vintage items at reasonable prices. Before you go, grab a croissant across the street at Bob’s Well Bread Bakery, 550 Bell St., but give yourself ample time to browse because the place is huge, and it’s full of treasures.

Trust me, you want to eat lunch at Bell Street Farm, 406 Bell St. Owner Jamie Gluck will greet you with a big smile, a handshake and a list of the day’s delicious farm-to-table menu specials. I like to eat on the back patio, which is dog friendly.

Los Alamos should boast about being home to the 1880 Union Hotel & Saloon. The hotel is a story in itself. Walking inside is like traveling back in time to, well, 1880. There’s really nothing like it in Santa Barbara County.

Originally, the place was a Wells Fargo stagecoach stop. The hotel now has 14 rooms, each with unique themed décor but a definite Old West ambiance.

I always enjoy stopping in for a cool drink and sitting at the bar or out back in the beautiful garden with friends. But you’ll never be bored with the friendly people, pool table or outdoor giant chess set. There are so many interesting things to do and see!

Speaking of seeing things, I’ve been told by a very convincing long-time employee that the 1880 Union Hotel is haunted. She told a compelling story that seemed sincere about things being moved around when she was the only one there. She says she often stays at the hotel, but there is one room that she will no longer sleep in. All I can say is, “Who ya gonna call?”

The 1880 Union Hotel has a rich musical history. “Say, Say Say” what you want in a small town and you’re sure to hear that Michael Jackson, a Los Olivos resident who died in 2009, and Paul McCartney produced a video by that very name at the hotel. The song was released in 1983 and became a No. 1 hit in numerous countries.

The song was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. If that wasn’t impressive enough, “Say, Say Say” was No. 7 of 10 of Jackson’s No. 1 hits in a 12-month period.

Johnny Cash also sang at The Union Hotel in the 1950s.

Los Alamos effortlessly juggles antique and chic. Along with its Western feel and roots, it has some of the region’s best wine tasting, beer and food.

On any given Friday or Saturday night, while enjoying a glass of good local wine and a tasty dinner at Full of Life Flatbread, 225 Bell St., you’re just as likely to run into someone famous in this little town as you are on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.

A great place that features great food, an espresso bar, local wines plus an art gallery featuring contemporary art by local artists, is Café Quackenbush at The General Store, 458 Bell St.

Few small towns can offer old-town tranquility and cultural sophistication as seamlessly as Los Alamos.

Another jewel is Terramonary Porcelain Dinnerware, 273 Bell St. Its collection is world class, and features porcelain dinnerware, ceramics, gifts and books. 

If wine tasting is your thing, Casa Dumetz, 388 Bell St., is a fun place. On Friday nights, you’re likely to run into Emilio Estevez, a close friend of the owner. Oh, and the wine isn’t bad either. On the weekends, there’s often live music, as well.

Next door is Bedford Winery, 448 Bell St., featuring local wines from the Valley. The staff is like running into old friends —personable, friendly and knowledgeable.

Los Alamos is easy to find and well worth the drive. It’s right off Highway 101 in between the Santa Ynez and the Santa Maria valleys, adjacent to horse ranches, wineries and rolling hills.

It is evident what attracts the rich and famous to live, and play here. But it’s really the locals who make this place shine. Los Alamos has good old-fashioned neighborliness, where everyone knows everyone, the vibe is relaxed and laid back, but with its own “buzz” that never seems to stop.

— 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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Judy Crowell: A Foggy Day in Cambria Town

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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Hearst Castle is the crown jewel of this quaint San Luis Obispo County community

[Click here for a related photo gallery]

How is it that a shroud of fog can transform an already charming ocean-side town into a place of mystery and mystique?

So it was on a foggy autumn day in Cambria, California, an already charming seaside town in San Luis Obisp County midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, and perfectly located minutes away from the magnificent Hearst Castle, William Randolph Hearst’s architectural jewel.

After a day or two of viewing the palatial castle gardens and rooms, you’ll welcome the small town ambience of Cambria.

Even the lodging embraces the ocean mist, as Fog Catcher Inn’s name conveys. Its old English country warmth with fireplaces in every room has made it a top choice of visitors to Cambria.

Also located mere steps from the beach and seaside boardwalk is the Blue Dolphin Inn and Cambria Landing Inn & Suites for ocean-view bungalows.

B&Bs abound in this quaint town. To be transported back in time, there’s the historical Squibb House with the quirky charm (and conveniences!) of the 1800s. Perhaps best viewed from the outside.

Don’t miss the delightful atmosphere and wonderful menu offerings at vegan friendly Robin’s Restaurant. Their salmon bisque alone is worth the drive up the coast, and was so mouth-watering, I brought back an armful for my freezer. All gone!

Madeline’s Restaurant and Wine Shop is a gem. Save this spot for an elegant dinner with excellent wine choices and chocolate truffle mousse cake to top it all off. For fresh seafood served beachside, try the Sea Chest Oyster Bar and chat with the chefs as your dinner is being prepared in full view.

Wine tasting is a favorite here and one of Cambria’s best is the Moonstone Cellars, with award winning wines and its own 24/7 radio station, playing music to taste wine by. No kidding!

Other suggestions: Fermentation, Twin Coyotes Winery, Black Hand Cellars and Stolo Family Vineyards.

Nearby activities include Piedras Blancas Lighthouse, for the mournful cry of the foghorn; elephant seal viewing; live theater; whale watching; art studios and galleries; tide pooling and wildlife viewing; surf and pier fishing; kayaking, hiking and surfing; and unique shopping and antiquing in both the East and West ends of Cambria Village.

If you’re lucky enough to catch the whimsy of the autumn Cambria Scarecrow Festival, you’ll see folk artistry at its most creative.

The 2014 theme was Water Conservation, so on the minds of every Californian, and we laughed and smiled our way through all the outstanding entries.

Favorites were the dapper skeleton and traditional Mexican folk figure, La Catrina, and the hysterical ‘sacred water’ clergy and nuns outside a local church, doing their best to conserve precious and ‘holy’ water.

If you’re REALLY lucky, you’ll catch picturesque Cambria and imposing Hearst Castle enveloped in fog….a sight you’ll never forget.

Turkish novelist, Mehmet Murat Ildan said it best: “The joy of the fog is to beautify further the existing beauties.”

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

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Stranded Hikers Rescued from Cathedral Peak near Santa Barbara

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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At approximately 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, the Santa Barbara County Emergency Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call from two individuals that had become lost while hiking down from Cathedral Peak due to darkness.  

They had driven from their homes in Lompoc to specifically hike this difficult trail above the city of Santa Barbara.

They started their hike from Tunnel Road around 4 p.m. that day and felt they could return before darkness but neglected to take any lighting with them.  

While unhurt, the two subjects indicated they were stuck on a cliff and were not able to go any further fearing they could fall and injure themselves.  

Ten members of the Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue (SBCSAR) team responded and coordinated a search in the Mission Canyon area.

Using various methods of cellular location triangulating, night vision equipment and phone conversations with the subjects about where they might have taken a wrong turn, they were located at approximately 11 p.m.  

Due to their location, SBCSAR personnel had to hike above the subjects and installed a rope anchor system to allow four rescuers to rappel 200 feet down to the stranded subjects.  

After securing the subjects into harnesses, the SBCSAR team then set up additional anchor points and lowered the subjects down the cliff face to a point where they could be hiked out by the rescue personnel back to their vehicle on Tunnel Road.

SBCSAR reminds the public to be prepared when venturing out into the backcountry, which include taking sufficient lights in case of delays.  

For further hiking tips please visit the Search and Rescue Team's website.  

SBCSAR is an all-volunteer branch of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office offering search and rescue services to the public at no charge since the early 1960s.

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

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Santa Barbara Doctor Found Guilty on 79 Counts of Overprescribing

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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A former doctor who worked out of a Milpas Street office before being arrested for overprescribing has been found guilty on 79 counts and will likely spend the rest of his life in prison, according to a prosecutor with the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Julio Diaz was arrested by federal agents on Jan. 4, 2012 after an affidavit accused Diaz of prescribing “profound” doses of drugs, including strong painkillers such as OxyContin, fentanyl and Dilaudid to patients.

The case was drawn out after Diaz pleaded guilty in January 2014 to federal charges of overprescribing painkillers that led to 11 patient deaths, but U.S. District Court Judge Cormac Carney allowed him to later withdraw the guilty plea, ruling that Diaz had not been properly advised by his attorney at the time.

The two-and-a-half week trial began Aug. 11 in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, and the jury began deliberating late Wednesday afternoon.

It returned the verdict on Friday afternoon and found Diaz guilty of all 79 counts he was facing.

Diaz's attorney, Kate Corrigan, said that her client plans to appeal.

The prosecution brought forward a range of witnesses to testify, including doctors from Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, medical experts, several pharmacists, former patients and family members of those patients. 

“There was a quite a lot of very painful testimony,” said prosecutor Ann Wolf of the U.S. Attorney's Office.  

“It was a difficult case for everyone.”

Each of the counts Diaz faced relates to one prescription written, and the counts involved nine different patients of Diaz.

The prosecution put forward a case that had financial motive as a dominant theme for why Diaz began to prescribe such large amounts of powerful drugs to people trapped in addiction, and also painted the former doctor as someone who felt untouchable by the law.

The prosecution looked at 50,000 prescriptions written by Diaz during the scope of his practice, but primarily focused on a small snapshot of those, which were given out when Diaz expanded to include “pain management” as part of his practice from 2007 to 2011.

The patients in the lawsuit had been prescribed drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, alprazolam and fentanyl, among others.

Wolf said she feels the case’s outcome is a warning to doctors who choose to take advantage of vulnerable people.

“Any medical provider that turns people into addicts and takes advantage of that will be held accountable,” she said.

“The fact that someone is wearing a white coat doesn’t give them carte blanche to deal drugs. (Diaz )was a drug dealer.”

Anyone who is a legitimate doctor and is caring properly for their patients has nothing to fear, Wolf said, adding that she feels people like Diaz, seeking to turn a profit off their patients' addictions are rare.

Diaz will be sentenced on Dec. 14, and though Wolf has not done the calculation of prison time for each count, the prison time will be substantial.

“I anticipate he will spend the rest of his life in prison,” she 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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Helene Schneider and Youth Interactive will Unveil Postcards of SB Mural

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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On Sept. 5, 4 p.m. at the Indigo Hotel (121 State Street), Mayor Helene Schneider on behalf of the City of Santa Barbara and in collaboration with Youth Interactive, will unveil 16 8' x 6' murals from the Postcards of Santa Barbara Public Art Mural Project.

Youth Interactive is a 501(c)(3) and a creative entrepreneurship academy supporting youth and the arts in Santa Barbara County.

This one of its kind collaborative within the Santa Barbara art community would not be possible without Santa Barbara’s amazingly talented artists young and old from all walks of life, including Anke Gladnick, Aviel Hyman, Barbara Eberhart, Danny Meza, David Diamant, Earl Arnold, Jess Nieuhues, Jonathan Hernandez, Kathee Christie, Lauren Manzo, Maryvonne Laparliere, Matt Rodriguez, Metrov, Rafael Perea de la Cabada, Sara Wilcox, Shannon McCain Jaffe and Yanely Delgado, as well as the talented assistants Victoria Cutbirth and Madison Dykstra.

The generous benefactors that made this project possible were Santa Barbara Beautiful, The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, The Santa Barbara Foundation, The Ruth and Hal Launders Charitable Trust, The McDonald Boersma Foundation and The High Tide Foundation.  

These murals, created in the future home of the Community Arts Workshop, will serve to beautify the lower block of State Street by covering the construction project which is taking place opposite the Indigo Hotel for one year.

The Sept. 5 ribbon-cutting ceremony with Helene Schneider and patron of YI Michael McDonald will include music from a Mariachi band, canapes and a street celebration with the Santa Barbara community and art enthusiasts.

Please join us in thanking our collaborative working partners, which include; Santa Barbara Beautiful’s 50th Anniversary, the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, the Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, The Downtown Organization, Visit Santa Barbara, the City Arts Advisory, the Visual Arts in Public Places Committee, the Creative Arts Workshop, the Historical Landmark Committee and Woodbridge Capital.

Moreover, we would love thank MarBorg, Art Essentials and CAW for their invaluable support.

This project is created and managed by Youth Interactive, located in the Funk Zone at 209 Anacapa Street, where a youth-run retail shop and studio is open six days a week.

More information and artwork previews for this event can be found on Facebook.

Inquiries about this event or Youth Interactive can be directed to Nathalie Gensac at [email protected] or by phone at 805.453.4123.

— Nathalie Gensac is a publicist representing Youth Interactive.

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CEC Diversifies Partnership Council with Five Incoming Members

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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The Community Environmental Council is proud to announce that five new members have joined its partnership council in 2015.

This group represents a broad spectrum of individuals in the Santa Barbara community who act as ambassadors to advocate, network and promote on behalf of CEC.

Gillian V. Grant has deep roots in Santa Barbara, with a family that goes back a few generations in the area.

She lived in other parts of the U.S. and in India for several years while building Deloitte’s offshoring operations and working as a chief of staff in the office of the CEO.

Now back in Santa Barbara, she is the director of operations and event producer for Merryl Brown Events, a company with close ties to CEC.

Grant was drawn to CEC by the diverse talents of the oard and partnership council, as well as their commitment to getting rid of plastic.

Susan Owens is an artist specializing in pieces made from salvaged materials. She recently won a "bill presenter" contest at The Lark with her beautiful tin bird collage.

She blogs about art, food and gardening.

A dedicated community volunteer, she has served on several PTA boards and committees, and she is currently on the sustainability committee at Santa Barbara High School and is a driving force for greening school events through waste reduction and other means.

With the recent graduation of her youngest child, and thus less participation in the public school arena, Owens is ready for a new volunteer opportunity.

She sees climate change as the single most critical issue of our day and feels that working as a CEC partner is an exciting and meaningful way to be involved in the community.

Laura and Russ McGlothlin are a community-minded, philanthropic couple who live on a ranch they recently refurbished in Goleta. 

Laura is a longtime Green Gala Committee member, who has been instrumental in the success of the annual auction.

Russ is a former CEC Board Member. An attorney at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, he specializes in water rights and helped to pass the first-ever groundwater legislation in California last year. 

Perrin Pellegrin is a managing partner at Innovative Workshop Consulting, a company that specializes in sustainable planning.

She has been involved in LEED certified projects at UCSB and MarBorg Industries, winning numerous awards for her work.

From 2000 to 2008, she served as the sustainability manager at UCSB.

Civically active, she serves on the board of Fairview Gardens and is involved in planning the new Santa Barbara Children’s Museum.

Pellegrin is an active part of the Santa Barbara environmental community, and joining CEC allows her to work toward goals that she values.

— The Community Environmental Council's mission is to identify, advocate and raise awareness about the most pressing environmental issues that affect the Santa Barbara region, and its goal is to change entire systems that were built up over the last 100 years, and to do it in a way that creates jobs, saves money and strengthens the economy. 

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CHP Identifies Goleta Man Who Died in Fatal Highway Collision

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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Driver of Volkswagen Beetle apparently had medical condition, hit another vehicle and veered off the roadway

The man who died in a two-vehicle accident on Highway 101 Wednesday afternoon was 44-year-old Goleta man Ismael Gil, according to the California Highway Patrol

Gil was driving a 1963 VW Beetle southbound near Los Carneros Road and suffered a medical condition while driving, CHP Officer John Gutierrez said. 

The Beetle veered to the right, colliding with another vehicle that was entering the freeway from the Los Carneros Road onramp.

After the two cars collided, the Beetle drove to the right, down an embankment and overturned, landing on the passenger side, Gutierrez said. 

Gil was pronounced dead at the scene by emergency responders and the passenger was transported with minor injuries to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, according to the CHP. 

The collision pushed the other car, a Volkswagen Cabrio, into the center divider. Both occupants had minor injuries and refused treatment at the scene, Gutierrez said. 

"At this point in the investigation, it does not appear drugs or alcohol were a contributing factor to this collision," he said. 

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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Bill Macfadyen: In a Race Against Time, Noozhawk Is in the Right Place to Get a Big Picture

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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This NoozWeek Top 5 is a tough one, with 2 fatal crashes, a gut-shot woman, and felony charges in the case of a severely burned Santa Barbara boy

​​​

There were 111,109 people who read Noozhawk this past week while waiting to see what Joe Biden will say next.

As that oxymoron is yawning on you, here’s my take on your top stories.

1. Motorcyclist Nabbed in Santa Barbara After High-Speed Chase from Santa Maria

Noozhawk is accustomed to chasing the news so it’s a welcome change when the news comes to us. On Aug. 23, however, our Tom Bolton had less than 10 minutes to prepare for it.

Tom and our Janene Scully had been listening to law-enforcement scanner traffic that afternoon as a motorcyclist was leading authorities on a high-speed chase around Orcutt.

The pursuit started about 1:45 p.m. when a Guadalupe police officer tried to pull over a reckless biker on Highway 1 near Brown Road.

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol units took over the pursuit, and the suspect got on Highway 101 at Clark Avenue and headed south.

When Tom heard that the motorcyclist had raced past Refugio State Beach with no end in sight, he grabbed his camera and headed to the highway from his home in far western Goleta.

He was standing on the shoulder west of Ellwood when the guy rocketed past — not five minutes later. Tom had one shot, and he got it.

Hoover said the rogue biker took the Turnpike Road exit, then headed east on Hollister Avenue and Modoc Road through Santa Barbara’s Westside.

She said he raced up Miramonte Drive and over TV Hill to the Mesa, then cut back to Carrillo Street into downtown Santa Barbara.

Had he only looked up, Kaichi Sato might have saved himself some trouble. (Santa Barbara County Jail photo)
Had he only looked up, Kaichi Sato might have saved himself some trouble. (Santa Barbara County Jail photo)

After speeding around city streets, Hoover said the man ditched the motorcycle on Highway 101 near Laguna Street and tried to run for it, this time on foot. Officers collared him a few minutes later in the 500 block of East Montecito Street.

Hoover identified the alleged perp as Kaichi Sato, 28, of Santa Barbara, and said he was charged with attempting to evade a peace officer, evading a peace officer and wrong-way driving — all felonies.

He also was charged with misdemeanor driving with a suspended license related to an April drunken-driving charge.

Sato was booked into County Jail, but posted $75,000 bail and was released. A court date has not been set.

The hour-long chase reportedly reached speeds of 130 mph during the more than 70-mile pursuit down Highway 101.

Although officers backed off at various times for traffic safety reasons, the would-be Fast and Furious fool just could not shake the county helicopter that was following him for much of the way.

Game over.

Emergency personnel tend to a woman with apparently self-inflicted shooting pain. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)
Emergency personnel tend to a woman with apparently self-inflicted shooting pain. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

2. Woman Shoots Self in Stomach at Goleta Shopping Center

Until authorities reveal more details, your guess is as good as mine as to how and why a woman came to shoot herself Aug. 21 at a Goleta shopping center.

The woman, whose identity has not been disclosed, called 9-1-1 just before 2 p.m. to report that she had shot herself in the stomach at University Plaza, in the 7100 block of Hollister Avenue to the west of Camino Real Marketplace.

Sheriff’s Lt. Craig Bonner said deputies first secured the weapon before emergency personnel could tend to the woman.

She was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, but her condition was not available.

A smashed Bug killed one occupant and injured another. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)</div></div></p>
 (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)
A smashed Bug killed one occupant and injured another. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

3. Man Killed, Another Injured in Highway 101 Collision in Goleta

Two Volkswagens apparently collided as the cars drove south on Highway 101 through Goleta on Aug. 26, launching one of them down an embankment near Los Carneros Road.

That car, a Beetle, overturned, killing its driver, who was identified by the California Highway Patrol as 44-year-old Ismael Gil of Goleta. A passenger was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with minor injuries.

No one was hurt in the second car, a Cabrio.

The CHP is investigating the cause of the crash, but indications are that Gil had some kind of medical emergency just before the collision.

The driver didn’t make it but the passenger did. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)
The driver didn’t make it but the passenger did. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

4. Single-Vehicle Crash Near Red Rock Kills Driver, Seriously Injures Passenger​

A Ford Mustang plunged over the side of Paradise Road in the Red Rock area along the Upper Santa Ynez River on Aug. 20, landing upside down 100 feet below the roadway.

The driver was killed in the crash, but his passenger was able to extricate herself from the wreckage and somehow scramble up the steep slope. Passers-by summoned help.

Sheriff’s Lt. Craig Bonner identified the dead man as Reed Gorder, 21, of Isla Vista. He apparently was a Santa Barbara City College student.

The passenger — a woman in her mid-20s whose identity was not disclosed — suffered moderate injuries and was taken by American Medical Response ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the crash, which may have been the result of excessive speed on the steep, winding roadway.

5. Juveniles Face Criminal Charges in Fire Incident That Badly Burned Santa Barbara Boy

Two teenagers are facing two felony charges as a result of a February incident in which a companion suffered life-threatening burns. If they meet certain conditions, the charges will be dropped.

Jacob Keefer, a 14-year-old Santa Barbara Junior High School student, was severely burned Feb. 28 while the three boys were playing with fire at a house in the 700 block of California Street on Santa Barbara’s Riviera.

Keefer was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and later received extensive treatment from the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center Burn Unit. He’s recovering back home in Santa Barbara.

On Aug. 24, Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley announced that Keefer’s friends — identified only as John Does 1 and 2 — will face charges of arson of property and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. Both are felonies.

Because the case involves juveniles, Dudley said she could provide few details.

“They were good friends, all of them, with promising future,” she told a courthouse news conference. “They used really poor judgment, and now they want to do all they can to make amends.”

​Dudley — and Keefer’s family — hope to use the prosecution of the case as a cautionary tale. She said the pre-plea diversion agreement was reached last week, and involves working with children with cancer, community service, counseling and a fire education program. All of the terms must be completed by Feb. 29.

If the teenagers don’t meet the criteria, they’ll face the criminal charges through the court system.

                                                                 •        •        •

Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week, from my peripatetic tour of the World Wide Web: Woman from Famous 9/11 ‘Dust Lady’ Photograph Dies of Cancer.

You know the one. R.I.P. Marcy Borders.

                                                                 •        •        •

Hey, U.S. military veterans, thank you for your service. The commander in chief proclaimed just last month that “patient safety is a top priority at VA hospitals ... Veterans continue to tell us that once they get through the door, the care is often very good.”

Just don’t try to find any at the Memphis VA Medical Center.

HT to my friend, Jim Geraghty

(Timothy Matthews 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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Santa Ynez High School Cancels Friday Classes After Power Failure

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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After a transformer failure near the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School Thursday afternoon, Superintendent Scott Cory canceled classes for Friday. 

The repairs couldn't be finished by 8 a.m. Friday, and the school couldn't open without fire and safety systems, and lights, the school said in a brief statement on its website. 

It also means the air conditioning wouldn't work, and the National Weather Service predicts highs near 98 degrees for Friday, but temperatures falling to around 83 by Monday. 

School officials encouraged others to spread the word through social media and other means, and the Santa Ynez High School PTSA posted a message on its Facebook page to help notify families. 

Classes are expected to resume on Monday. 

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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Record Number of Felines Find Forever Homes during Free Adoption Weekend

By | Published on 08/28/2015

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History was made in the Central Coast community Aug. 15–16, 2015, when in a single weekend, 101 cats and kittens found homes.

This represents the highest number of cats and kittens ever adopted in Santa Barbara County in a single weekend and was the result of a first time, county-wide collaboration between the Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP), Santa Barbara County Animal Services and the county’s three private humane societies. 

ASAP, the nonprofit organization which cares for the cats at the Santa Barbara County Animal Shelter in Goleta, pioneered the free adoption weekend for cats five years ago with the support of Santa Barbara County Animal Services.

This year, ASAP was thrilled to have the two North county shelters in Lompoc and Santa Maria, as well as the Santa Barbara, Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley Humane Societies, join the adoption promotion this year.

The weekend of Aug. 15–16, the six primary shelters and adoption centers in Santa Barbara County offered qualified adopters the opportunity to take home an adult cat for free — and indeed they did — to the tune of 101 cats and kittens finding homes.

“The life-saving impact of adoption weekends like this is immeasurable,” said ASAP’s Executive Director, Angela Walters Rockwell, “because it opens up space in our crowded shelters during the peak season when our area shelters are overwhelmed with cats and kittens arriving daily.” 

Several very memorable adoptions occurred, including some of longest term shelter cats finally finding their forever homes.

A huge, brown tabby named Louie, who was a special project between ASAP and SBHS, found an absolutely brilliant match with his new adoptive family. 

Louie was previously transferred to ASAP, where his special behavior needs were addressed and his frustration was channeled into stimulating activities.

Just prior to adoption, Louie was featured on KEYT news doing one of his famous “roll over” tricks on command. He has already settled into his new home with his adoptive parents and is quickly teaching their three dogs some new tricks.

Participating shelters in 2015 included ASAP, Santa Barbara Humane Society, La Paws, Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society, Santa Maria Animal Center and Santa Maria Valley Humane Society.

— Susan Klein-Rothschild is the public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.

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Fourth Suspect Arrested In Lompoc Drive-By Shooting

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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A  man suspected of firing a gun during a drive-by shooting in Lompoc earlier this month was arrested in Santa Maria early Thursday morning, Lompoc Police said.

Members of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department SWAT unit served a search warrant at 4 a.m. in the 1900 block of Via Carro, the residence of Josue Ponce, 19.

A Lompoc police investigation identified Ponce as the alleged shooter during the Aug. 3 incident where someone in a vehicle shot into an inhabited apartment building in the 300 block of East Airport Avenue.

Ponce has been arrested on suspicion of willful discharge in a negligent manner and shooting at an inhabited dwelling, police said.

He is the fourth person to be arrested in the incident. 

After the 9:30 p.m. shooting Aug. 3, sheriff’s deputies tried to stop the suspects’ vehicle as it left Lompoc, but the driver failed to pull over.

The pursuit continued until the vehicle came to a stop near Casmalia, where the occupants ran. 

With the assistance of dogs from the police and sheriff’s departments, one suspect was located and arrested, police said.

The following morning, police found a second suspect at a Lompoc residence. 

Residents in the apartment building were not injured in the shooting, police 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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Trial Begins For Men Accused of Raping Homeless Woman at Knifepoint on Santa Barbara Beach

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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Emergency room doctor, police officers testify in court for case of two cousins facing charges of rape in July 2014 assault

An emergency room doctor and several Santa Barbara police officers were called to testify Thursday as two cousins began trial for allegedly raping a homeless woman at knife point on East Beach last year.

Juan Carlos Herrera Romero, 30, was arrested on charges of rape in concert with another by force or violence and oral copulation in concert with another, while Gabino Andres Grande Romero, 26, was arrested on charges of rape in concert with another by force or violence.

The arrests took place on July 16, 2014, after police said the men had been charged with assaulting a 62-year-old homeless woman on East Beach adjacent to 600 E. Cabrillo Blvd. during the early morning hours that day.

At the time of the crimes, police said the Romeros spent the evening of July 15 fishing on Stearns Wharf, where they consumed beers, discussed finding a homeless woman to sexually assault and then used knives to subdue the woman and her partner while the assaults took place.

Their trial began on Monday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court before Judge Rick Brown, with defense attorney K.C. Williamson representing Juan Romero and Steven Powell representing Gabino Romero. 

Prosecutor Mary Barron is representing the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office in the case.

Two juries are sitting on the case currently, and the jury box was full on Thursday as well as a good portion of the courtroom seats, where a second jury sat. Each defendant in the case has a separate jury considering the facts of their individual cases.

Thursday’s testimony included that of Santa Barbara Police Department Sgt. Charlie Katsapis, who was working as a major crimes detective at the time of the alleged assault and recalled chilling testimony of a man who witnessed the scene.

Several hours after the incident occurred on July 16, Katsapis was called in to interview the male partner of the female victim.

Both had been sleeping on the beach, adjacent to the bike path, when the man was awoken by his partner telling someone to go away because they were sleeping.

The man described seeing a taller suspect jump on top of him and pin him into the sand, Katsapis said.

Both suspects, described as a tall man and a shorter man, brandished knives and took turns raping the female victim in a small pit of sand near the ice plant on the beach, the sergeant recalled of the man’s testimony.

Though the man screamed for help, his face was pushed into the sand, and he reported the shorter of the subjects telling him “Go to sleep or I’ll cut you.”

The assaults on the woman took place over about an hour’s time, the man told detectives.

After the assault ended, the woman ran down the beach naked and ran into the lobby of the Fess Parker Doubletree Hotel to call for help, the man said.

After looking for her for a short time, the man, who is disabled, eventually sat down on the beach, where police found him later, Katsapis said.

Powell and Williamson each questioned Katsapis about the male victim’s testimony, with Powell pointing to the interview transcript where the man admitted his recollection of the events was fuzzy.

There was some confusion about the beginning of the incident, when one of the assailants held the woman down on top of her partner before she was raped in the sand pit, but Katsapis said the man had been sure that both men had taken turns assaulting the woman.

Williamson asked how much the man could have seen had he been awake, due to lack of lighting in the area.

“I really didn’t see that much,” Williamson read from a transcript of the man’s interview.

Also called to the stand Thursday was Dr. Angelo Salvucci, an emergency physician at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, who was working when the female victim arrived.

Salvucci said she arrived at 5:26 a.m. that morning, with a swollen right cheek, likely caused by blunt force trauma, and abrasions to her back, chest and the tops of both of her feet.

Salvucci said that her injuries were consistent with what she had told the doctor, “in that she was raped on the beach just as she said. I specifically recall exiting the room and speaking with the police officer and saying just that.”

The Sexual Assault Response Team was called in to evaluate the victim and gather evidence from the sexual assault.

Other officers who responded to the scene were also brought to the stand, including one who searched Gabino Romero’s car after he was arrested after a traffic stop on Las Positas Road near Adams Elementary School.

Juan Romero had been located earlier in the day working at a Montecito construction site and arrested.

SBPD Officer Bruno Peterson was one of the investigators and photographed the contents of Gabino Romero’s car, including multiple fishing poles and fishing equipment, an unopened 32-ounce can of Miller Lite, and an eight-inch folding knife in the car’s side door.

Barron asked Peterson to remove the knife from the evidence box and show the knife to each of the juries, which the officer did.

The trial will resume Friday morning.

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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Uber, Lyft Sign Agreements with Santa Barbara Airport

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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Visitors arriving at Santa Barbara Airport last weekend were a tad confused when pulling up Uber apps on their cell phones, discovering something had changed.

Instead of being able to summon the popular ride-sharing company’s cheapest UberX taxi service, one could only call upon an Uber Black — a more expensive option because it involves a luxury car instead of any available driver.

Several people sent complaints to the city of Santa Barbara, which is how Santa Barbara Airport officials found out about the puzzling modification.

Transportation network companies Uber and Lyft have been allowed to pick up and drop off passengers at the regional airport for more than a year, but because some drivers have been violating bans at larger airports such as the Los Angeles International Airport, the state intervened.

The California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates the ride-sharing companies, recently required them to produce documented authorization to operate at each airport.

As of earlier this week, both Lyft and Uber had signed official agreements with Santa Barbara Airport. Before now, they just had verbal go-aheads.

“Uber has always been allowed,” airport Operations Manager Tracy Lincoln told Noozhawk. “Whether it’s Uber, a limo or another cab, it’s all the same. We’ve not had any real problems with them.”

At Santa Barbara Airport, as long as drivers can confirm a pre-arranged pickup, they can load and unload like everybody else, he said.

Drivers for Uber and Lyft are independent contractors picking up passengers who request rides via cell phone, using a credit card to pay a rate that’s calculated based on length of time and distance.

Traditional taxis aren’t fans of the service for stealing business and because its drivers don’t have to secure individual business licenses and permits from the city to operate.

They claim Uber regularly violates a no-hail policy levied by the state commission — a concern shared by officials in many cities where the services operate.

Just this week, LA became the largest city in the U.S. to allow Uber, Lyft and the like to operate at LAX.

Uber came to Santa Barbara in October 2013, with Lyft following soon after.

“We are pleased to offer UberX and Uber Black at Santa Barbara Airport,” an Uber spokesperson said this week. “SBA is one of more than 20 airports around the U.S. that have embraced ride-sharing choice and innovation, and we look forward to connecting area residents and visitors to safe, reliable rides with uberX.”

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: Nuclear Subs, Mystery Fish and Tough Nuts to Crack

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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What I love about fishing in the ocean is that when you put your line in the water, you never can quite tell what might happen. I’ve got stories.

A strapping young man stood on the deck fn my charter boat, WaveWalker, watching in wide-eyed wonder as his reel’s drag system screamed and squealed while his heavy-duty fishing line diminished rapidly.

Before he was completely spooled, I told him he was going to have to button down the drag and pull on that fish. He did and it became a mano-a-mano battle of human powerhouse against unknown powerhouse.

The rod was bent double, the reel was hot, and beads of sweat stood out on the man’s forehead. We live for this stuff!

The line busted off with a sound like a center-fire rifle. A moment later the man stood with the twisted, busted-off end of his line in his hand, looking back and forth between it and me.

I smiled and softly said, “Nuclear sub, no doubt!”

One time decades ago, I was fishing alone in a small aluminum skiff not far from the Santa Barbara Harbor when something picked up my bait and began swimming away powerfully.

I worked that critter, bending my rod deeply and tightening the drag as much as the line could take.

I realized that the critter was towing my skiff — I couldn’t reel it to me. The best I could do was reel the boat closer. It never came to the surface, so I knew it was a fish.

I pulled on that critter and made him give me a Nantucket sleigh ride.

It headed for the deep sea and I hung on tightly, gauging how much fuel I had in my little carry-on fuel tank.

When I knew that getting back was becoming questionable and considering that the seas were building too high offshore for my little skiff, I made the tough decision to bust off the line and give all due credit to a powerful adversary that might have fed my family for a week.

Of course, it may have been a nuclear sub!

Yes, putting a line in the ocean is maybe a little like that proverbial box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.

While sitting and waiting for a fish to hook up, I get to thinking of such things on both a narrower scale and a larger scale.

Today, while shark fishing and waiting patiently, I thought about America, which I see as a bowl of mixed nuts, the imported nuts piled in on top of the indigenous nuts and all together we have proven to be one tough nut to crack.

There is always room in America for more nuts!

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com 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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Warrant Issued for Santa Barbara County Woman Who Allegedly Violated Child-Custody Agreement

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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A warrant has been issued for a Santa Barbara County woman after she allegedly failed to bring her 3-year-old son to a custody exchange with the child’s father in late July.

Faith Merritt, 31, is being charged with withholding a child from a parent, a violation of a court order for not abiding by the terms of a court ordered custody arrangement, according to a statement from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

The office announced they had filed criminal charges against the woman after she reportedly took her 3-year-old son, Maxwell DiNardo, from the Santa Barbara County area in late July 2015.  

“At that time, Faith Merritt did not exchange custody with Maxwell’s father per the terms of their custody agreement and the father lost contact with Merritt,” a statement from the DA’s office said. 

Faith Merritt

Faith Merritt and Maxwell DiNardo

The boy’s father contacted the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and made a report of the missing child and the case is currently under investigation. 

A warrant has been issued for Merritt’s arrest, and she and her son are believed to be in the Northern California area.  

Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to contract Santa Barbara District Attorney Investigator Jesse Rose at 805.568.2360.

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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Motorcyclist Suffers Major Injuries in Highway 154 Collision

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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A motorcyclist suffered major injuries Thursday afternoon in a head-on collision with a pickup truck on Highway 154 in the Santa Ynez Valley, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The crash occurred ago about 2:40 p.m. on Highway 154 at Edison Street, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The motorcycle rider — a 30- to 40-year-old man — was taken by ground ambulance to the Santa Ynez Airport, then airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital by a county helicopter.

His name and details on his injuries were not available.

The pickup truck reportedly was westbound on 154, while the motorcycle was traveling east.

The collision remained under investigation by the CHP.

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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DUI Checkpoint Planned for Friday Night in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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The California Highway Patrol will conduct a sobriety and driver license checkpoint Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, within the Santa Barbara City limits. 

Motorists approaching the checkpoint will see informational signs advising them that a sobriety checkpoint is ahead. 

Once diverted into the lane, motorists will be detained only a few moments while an officer explains the purpose of the checkpoint and checks their driver license.

CHP sobriety checkpoints are conducted in accordance with the guidelines for checkpoint operations outlined in the California Supreme Court decision Ingersoll vs. Palmer.

Traffic volume permitting, all vehicles will be checked. If volume becomes too heavy, vehicles to be checked will be selected by a pre-set standard such as every third, fifth or tenth vehicle to assure objectivity.

Placing checkpoints on roads identified with DUI problems and detaining drivers for a very limited time help assure that the CHP conforms to the guidelines. 

Checkpoints tend to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road, even though arrest totals do not rise dramatically. A major value of checkpoints is their psychological influence. 

The news media is advised well in advance whenever a checkpoint is planned, since extensive publicity is also viewed as a legal safeguard.

The checkpoint will be operated from 9:15 p.m. to 3:15 a.m. 

The CHP will generate an e-mail and/or fax notification detailing the location of the checkpoint approximately two hours prior to the start.

— Jonathan Gutierrez is the PIO and court officer for the Santa Barbara CHP.

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Man Arrested at Gunpoint After High-Speed Chase on Highway 101

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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CHP officer, deputy injured during incident, which ended north of Gaviota

A Solvang man who allegedly fought with a CHP officer and a sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop was arrested Thursday afternoon after a high-speed chase along the Gaviota Coast, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Emanuel Garibay-Padilla, 25, was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of felony evading, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, threats of violence against a peace officer, and battery on a peace officer, said Kelly Hoover, a sheriff's spokeswoman.

He was released Friday morning after posting $75,000 bail, Hoover said.

The incident began at about 12:30 p.m. when the CHP officer made a traffic stop at the Mariposa Reina overpass near Gaviota State Beach, Hoover said.

"Upon contacting the driver, who was the sole occupant, the CHP officer observed contraband in plain sight in the vehicle," Hoover said. "The driver got out of the vehicle and began resisting the officer."

A police radio call went out for an 11-99 — law enforcement lingo for “an officer needs assistance” — and deputies and officers began converging on the scene.

Emanuel Garibay-Padilla

A plain-clothes sheriff's deputy was in the area and responded to the scene, where he found Garibay-Padilla fighting with the officer, Hoover said.

The two attempted to take Garibay-Padilla into custody, Hoover said, but he resisted and eventually fled in his car.

Garibay-Padilla headed south on Highway 101 at speeds estimated at 100 mph, then turned around back north near Refugio State Beach, Hoover said.

Garibay-Padilla’s vehicle was disabled by the CHP with a spike strip north of the Gaviota Tunnel, and he was taken into custody at gunpoint after driving off the roadway at the Highway 1 overpass, Hoover said.

Garibay-Padilla reportedly was bleeding from the head, and was treated by paramedics.

The CHP officer, whose name was not released, sustained non-life threatening injuries when the suspect resisted, and was taken by ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Hoover said. The deputy who responded in the unmarked vehicle received minor injuries, and was treated at the scene and released.

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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Guadalupe Council Agrees To Continue Paying Library Rent — For Now

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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Elected leaders may pursue a parcel tax measure in 2016 to keep the town's library open after current city-funded lease expires in November 2016

The Guadalupe City Council agreed to pay the library’s rent for the remainder of the current lease, and suggested trying another tax measure to fund the facility in the future.

The council voted 5-0 Tuesday to pay $28,883, the remainder of the rental rate for the lease set to expire Nov. 30, 2016. 

“I can’t imagine a town without a library,” said Councilwoman Virginia Ponce, who also belongs to the Friends of the Guadalupe Library.

But the council stopped short of supporting the library financially after the current lease expires. 

Instead council members said voters should be asked to cover the costs via a parcel tax measure placed on the November 2016 ballot. 

“It is ludicrous to think that every single one of the 1,500 households in Guadalupe have computers. Some of them don’t,” Councilman Jerry Beatty said.

“Some of them absolutely utilize the library for all of their media. I think it’s really, really important to keep this branch open, because where else are they going to go?,” Beatty added.

The library pays $21,500 annually for the building, with the Friends of the Guadalupe Library picking up the $1,500 not covered by the city.

Guadalupe has had a library since 1911, according to Shirley Boydstun, secretary for the Friends of the Guadalupe Library.

The city’s library operates as a branch of the Santa Maria Public Library, along with those in Orcutt, Cuyama and soon, Los Alamos.

Guadalupe's library formerly was housed in 725 square feet of a city-owned building before moving to the storefront site in a small shopping center on West Main Street.

“Two-thousand-square feet sounded wonderful from the 725 square feet,” Boydstun said. 

In 2012, city officials announced they could no longer pay the rent, prompting the nonprofit group to launch a “Save Our Library” campaign. Individuals, businesses and corporations raised  the needed $20,000 to keep it open.

A parcel tax measure in November 2012 , which would have added $20 per parcel annually for the library, narrowly failed to pass.

“Had it passed we would not be in this position and talking about this right now,” Boydstun said.

Through grants and fundraisers the library has expanded its offerings, including adding special computers for children ages 2 to 12. 

In a letter to the council, Santa Maria Librarian Mary Housel said the library serves an average of 40 people each day to take advantage of the 9,689 books, 902 DVDs and other services.

More than 48 percent of Guadalupe’s students are English language learners, she noted. 

“There are numerous studies linking early exposure to reading and literacy with a  child’s future success in school and life,” Housel wrote.

“The library is a vital resource for Guadalupe families with young children to find the support and resources that promote literacy and school success.”

Amelia Villegas, president of Friends of Guadalupe Library, said it is “pretty inconceivable” to think of Guadalupe without a library.

She recalled being in a meeting where someone asked why Guadalupe has a library when youths have computers at home.

“I thought the individual was joking when the question was asked,” she said. “(I) still am not sure.”

Since the major residential development Pasadera (formerly DJ Farms) has started building homes to add to number of parcels in the small city, the parcel tax put before voters eventually would be less than the $20 estimated during the previous tax measure campaign, city officials noted. 

“It would simply help keep the community growing as it needs to grow so I'm in favor of keeping it going,” Beatty said.

City Administrator Andrew Carter said he brought the matter to the council for clarification of whether the previous council agreed to give $20,000 to the library for five years, or through the remainder of the lease.

The $68,883 provided by the city for the library's rent is coming from a $160,000 payment stemming from the Pasadera development.

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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1369 Oak Creek Canyon Road, Montecito 93108

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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An extraordinary residence has been created after several years of patient diligence, during which the owners collaborated with talented designers and master craftsmen to assure optimum results with the finest materials and a premium location in the heart of central Montecito’s most desirable view corridor. An abundance of important amenities includes:

» Panoramic ocean, island views
» Gated private enclave
» Extensive hand-cut stonework
» Antique wood floors
» Numerous interior and exterior fireplaces 
» True gourmet kitchen 
» Spectacular master bedroom suite 
» Private paneled study
» Lower-level theater, wine cellar and game room
» Elevator to all floors
» Sun-drenched, South-facing
» Multiple covered loggias and terraces
» Poolside stone terrace with spa, fireplace and barbecue
» Private detached two-bedroom guest house
» Detached versatile artist’s studio/cottage
» Three-car garage with storage
» Private seasonal creek
» Back-up generator
» Sport court
» Impeccably maintained throughout

Click here for more information about this property.

List Price $21,000,000

Randy Solakian
Coldwell Banker Previews International
805.565.2208
[email protected]
BRE License #00622258

Deanna Solakian
Coldwell Banker Previews International
805.565.2264
[email protected]
BRE License #01895788

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Teen Dating Abuse Seminar Seeks to Reduce One in Three Victim Statistic

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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A free parent and teen workshop on the topic of teen dating and violence awareness will be presented at the Solvang Library Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 6 p.m. 

The workshop will be led by Christy Haynes, founder of What Is LOVE, an organization dedicated to engaging and empowering teens to identify healthy relationships and prevent dating abuse. 

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This workshop will give parents and teens the tools they need to build those relationship skills and prevent dating abuse.

The workshop will be held at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall, next door to the Solvang Library at 1745 Mission Drive. 

Haynes will teach parents how to identify abusive dating, address these issues with their teens and connect with community resources.

Parents are encouraged to bring their teens to the event. Teens and pre-teens are encouraged to bring their parents.

Any student entering sixth grade and older is welcome.

Light refreshments will be provided at the workshop. Spanish translation and childcare will also be available.

Registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact Solvang Library at 805.688.4214 or email [email protected]

“Teen dating abuse is a pervasive issue that plagues our schools and communities on a daily basis,” notes Haynes. “One in three teens in the United States report experiencing physical, emotional, verbal, sexual and digital abuse from a dating partner, and most do not ask for help.”

This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library of Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang Parks & Rec and People Helping People’s Advocates for Domestic and Child Abuse Prevention (ADCAP) program. 

ADCAP has been operating for 14 years and is the only organization of its kind that serves the Santa Ynez Valley, Los Alamos Valley, Gaviota Coast and unincorporated parts of the Lompoc Valley. 

Any adult, teen or child subject to domestic violence who needs or desires assistance, receives services through PHP’s ADCAP Program. ADCAP staff also performs public education, outreach, training, advocate support and fund-raising. 
 
For information about Santa Barbara Public Library System programs, hours, locations and events, visit online at SBPLibrary.org.

All Library programs are free and open to the public. 

— Christine Gallery works for the City of Santa Barbara.

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Santa Barbara Unified School District Discuss Final Facilities Master Plan

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Dave Cash addressed any confusion head on this week, reassuring locals that officials would use a new facilities master plan as a guiding document for future improvements — not ask for an $800-million bond measure to complete everything on the list.

The district’s bond capacity isn’t even that high, but that’s beside the matter, Cash said, adding that it’s closer to $600 million.

“There is absolutely no way under any circumstance … that there would be any discussion of a $800 million bond,” he said at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting. 

"There are many times in the past four years that I have been the superintendent in Santa Barbara that I’d wished we had a comprehensive facilities master plan.”

Board members opted to “receive” the final draft of the Facilities Master Plan, a massive school-by-school wish list compiled by stakeholders inside and outside the district in a process that began in December 2013.

They cautioned locals against feeling sticker shock — project and construction costs in the plan total nearly $850 million — calling the master plan a “living guiding document” that can aid current and future school officials in infrastructure and development decisions by providing context.

“Acceptance could still sound like we have to raise this money,” board member Kate Parker said, asking to use another word (like receive) to describe the latest and final updates to the initial facilities master plan.

“We will not be able to do everything that’s on it at all.”

Board of Education members also asked to periodically revisit the facilities master plan binder, checking to see if priorities need to change.

“I don’t want to see this thing on the shelf,” board president Ed Heron said. “Obviously, it’s a step-by-step thing.”

Officials took special care to clarify plans weren’t imminent after a student newspaper at one of its high schools — the Dos Pueblos Charger Account — initially reported demolition of part of its campus was looming. That story was since corrected.

The plan, which focuses on the next 10-15 years, includes adding amenities like science labs and renovating or replacing classrooms and buildings at 10 elementary schools, three charter schools, four middle schools and five high schools.

Adding gymnasiums to junior high schools was also among potential plans.

The final draft recommended eventually removing all portable classrooms — an item school board members cited as a top priority.

Cash said every school administrator lists that as a main concern, except at Santa Barbara Junior High and Roosevelt Elementary, where there are no such classrooms.

“I really hope the public will take a look at it,” board member Monique Limón said of the plan.

“Some of this is what we need to do. Some of this is what we want to do.”

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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Santa Barbara County Once Again in Grip of Summer Heat

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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One of the hottest summers in Santa Barbara County in recent memory shows no sign of abating.

Another stretch of blistering weather is forecast Thursday into the weekend, with temperatures in the 90s near the coast, and approaching triple digits inland, according to the National Weather Service in Oxnard.

Thursday’s forecast high in Santa Barbara is 91, followed by 90 on Friday and 86 on Saturday.

Santa Maria may be a degree or two hotter, while Santa Ynez is expected to reach the 100-degree mark Friday and Saturday.

Overnight lows are forecast to be around 60 degrees.

Winds of 10-15 mph are expected, with gusts to 25 mph.

The latest round of above-normal temperatures is due to a high-pressure system hanging over Southern California, which is keeping cooler marine air mainly offshore.

Temperatures are expected to return to near normal early next week.

[Click here for the latest forecast]

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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2 Stabbing Victims in Critical Condition After Altercation in Mission Hills

By | Published on 08/27/2015

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Two people were in critical condition with multiple stab wounds early Thursday following an altercation at a home in Mission Hills near Lompoc, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

At about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, a woman in her 20s was found by a relative outside a residence in the 3500 block of Via Lato, said Kelly Hoover, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.

About 10 minutes later, a man in his 60s who was related to the female victim was found with stab wounds in the 700 block of Summerwood Lane in the city of Lompoc, Hoover said.

“At this point in the early stage of the investigation, it appears that following the altercation, the male victim left the residence and went to a friend’s home who then called 911 for help,” Hoover said.

The woman was airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, while the man was taken by ambulance to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria.

The names of the two victims were not released.

“The Sheriff’s Office does not believe there are any outstanding suspects,” Hoover said. “Due to the active investigation, this is all the information that can be released at this time.”

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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3 Injured in Crash on Via Real in Carpinteria

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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Pickup truck collided broadside with an SUV; one victim was ejected and another had to be extricated

Three people were injured, two seriously, in a two-vehicle collision Wednesday night in Carpinteria.

The accident occurred shortly after 8 p.m. on Via Real at Vallecito Road, according to Battalion Chief Mike Gallagher of the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Department.

The crash involved a pickup truck that collided broadside with the SUV, Gallagher said.

Two of the victims were in the pickup, and the third was in the SUV.

One victim was ejected, and another had to be extricated with the Jaws of Life hydraulic tool.

All three were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Details on their conditions were not available Wednesday night.

The accident 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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Santa Barbara Panel Backs New Trail System at Douglas Family Preserve

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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City wants to remove asphalt, steer people, dogs away from the coastal bluffs

Despite objections from some members of the public, the Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Commission Wednesday night voted unanimously to move ahead with a $300,000 grant application to create a universal trail route at the Douglas Family Preserve.

The city is looking to develop a universal, ADA-compliant trail made out of decomposed granite and other aggregate materials, while steadily moving people and their dogs away from the bluffs to reduce erosion of the cliffside.

The universal trail would not include the current bluff trail, although the city acknowledged there would be nothing to stop people from traversing that route if they chose to. 

"We know we need to address the coastal bluff erosion at some point," said Jill Zachary, acting Parks & Recreation Department Director. "In an ideal world, we would have less erosion and be able to vegetate those areas."

Zachary said that people have to realize that at some point, the coastal trail "may not be there in its current configuration."

The Douglas Family Preserve sits high on the Mesa bluffs overlooking the ocean. Commonly known by locals as the Wilcox Property, the 70-acre site was acquired by the Trust for Public Lands in 1996 and then transferred to the city of Santa Barbara in 1997.

It's a popular hangout for people to watch the sunset, take a stroll and walk their dogs.

Although she wasn't specific, Zachary said the city needs to eradicate some of the problems in the park.

"We also have activities in the preserve that sometimes aren't as positive as we would like for them to be," she said. 

The city is looking to create 5-foot-wide trails, with signage, and remove the "user-generated" trails that exist in the park.

City officials, however, said during the meeting that the 5-foot-side trails would not be large enough for fire truck access so that vehicles will have to "straddle" the trails with wheels on each side.

The changes, however, upset some people who use the park.

"I think I just heard a proposal to create Tom Sawyer's Island, but that's not what we want," said Santa Barbara resident Wayne Norris. "I don't think you can do a thing to make it better."

Norris said two generations of children have grown up at the preserve, enjoying the user-established trails.

"Not just myself, but I think everyone else loves it just the way it is," he said. "I don't think anybody in the neighborhood is interested in changing anything."

Speaker Steven Crosby agreed that the park should be left alone. The city should do more to enforce the current rules at the park instead of changing the trails, he said. 

"If we have some money to spend on the preserve, I would recommend using some for fencing so the existing code could be enforced and hiring rangers to enforce it," he said.

Parks & Recreation commissioners, however, said the city should take advantage of the grant money. 

"Thank God we don't have 200 homes there," said Commissioner Beebe Longstreet. "Think we have traffic now? Think about the traffic with 200 homes there."

Longstreet said the property was purchased as a dog park. With all the users, the park just gets dustier, which kills the vegetation. 

"It is an overly loved park, and anytime we can apply for any kind of resources to make some improvements, I think we are obligated to do that," Longstreet said.

The department will be conducting a community meeting on Thursday, Aug. 27, at 5:30 pm at the Preserve to discuss the project with the community. 

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

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Santa Barbara Commission Backs Removal Of Two Healthy Pine Trees Near Montecito

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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Plan for Coast Village Plaza moves forward after Parks & Recreation Commission approval Wednesday

One of three Canary Island pine trees in front of the Coast Village Plaza near Montecito will live — the two others are headed for the woodchipper. 

The Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Commission voted Wednesday night to allow the owners of the plaza, H&R investments, to chop down two trees, paving the way for dramatic changes to its 18,869-square-foot shopping center

The developers want to build a new outdoor dining deck area near where the trees stand now. The trees also contribute to "leaf litter," which H&R investments says creates a safety hazard. 

"With all that construction, I just don't see how those trees would maintain a stable life," commissioner Beebe Longstreet said.

The developers had originally wanted to take down all three trees, which bookend the development at 1187 Coast Village Rd.

The two trees that will come down share a trunk and stand next to the driveway on the east side of the development.

H&R investments, however, agreed to save the third tree at the west end of the site, where the developers plan to build a circular staircase leading down to shops and the parking lot.

The owners have submitted an application to the city to build the new dining area, replace the exterior columns and alter the driveway to make it less steep.

H&R investments wants to remove all of the landscaping in front of the building and then add new landscaping, a circular stairwell and other remodeling efforts. 

The city has already approved a modification for the project, allowing the decks to intrude within the required 10-foot street setback.

Some of the public speakers said they objected to the removal of the healthy trees, for no good reason other than to make it easier to develop. The developers plan to plant a replacement flame tree. 

"I am here to let you know how much we do appreciate our trees," nearby resident Charlene Little said.

"They are very special to us. Especially in this time of the climate warming. Sidewalks can be hot to walk on and we just love the shade of a tree."

Cindy Feinberg, president of the Montecito Association, said she wants to maintain the semi-rural character of the community.

"What we really don't want to happen in Montecito is for the (Coast Village Plaza) to become a strip mall," she said.

"I would encourage all of you to do your best if you could to help protect the aesthetics of Coast Village Road."

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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Mountain Lion Sighting Reported Near UCSB West Campus

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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A possible mountain lion sighting was reported Wednesday evening in the West Campus area of UC Santa Barbara.

An automated alert from the university indicated a community member reported seeing a mountain lion at about 6 p.m. west of the intersection of El Colegio Road and Storke Road.

UCPD is currently checking the area, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife has been notified,” according to the UCSB alert.

Anyone who sees a mountain lion in the area is asked to contact UCPD dispatch at 805.893.3446 or call 9-1-1.

“Never approach any wild animal,” university officials warned.

They also provided a link to the Mountain Lion Foundation website regarding safety tips and general information.   

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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Family Dentistry Beachside Dental Opens on the Mesa

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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Beachside Dental is pleased to announce it’s opening in beautiful Santa Barbara County. The practice of Michael Savidan, DDS, provides family and cosmetic dental treatment to patients of all ages.

Michael Savidan, DDS, graduated cum laude with a bachelor's in biology from Loyola Marymount University in 2001 and later gradutated from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in 2005.  

Dr. Savidan was a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force, from 2006-2009. During his first year of active duty service, he completed a general dentistry residency program at Nellis Air Force Base, where he became proficient with all facets of general dentistry.  

At Beachside Dental, Dr. Savidan and his staff provide comprehensive family dental care, gentle teeth cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, in-office teeth whitening, tooth extractions, dental implants and ClearCorrect “invisible” braces. 

 Dr. Savidan utilizes the latest technology and techniques to provide outstanding treatment to his patients in a low stress and comfortable environment.  

Beachside Dental has chosen the ideal location on the Mesa at 1933 Cliff Drive Suite #8, Santa Barbara, CA 93109.

For more information, please visit www.beachsidedds.com, [email protected] or call 805.308.6998.

— Kelly Hoover represents the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.

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Lake Cachuma Emergency Pumping System Put Into Operation

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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The Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board has started up the emergency pumping system to continue delivering water from Lake Cachuma to the Santa Barbara County South Coast.

COMB delivers water from the lake to Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria through the Tecolote Tunnel, but the pumping system is needed to feed the system due to the low water level in Cachuma.

“The Emergency Pumping Facility Project was placed into operational mode Monday, Aug. 17, slightly earlier than expected due to the 89-19 Water Rights releases,” according to COMB documents from this week’s meeting.  

“During the first two weeks of operations, the pumps are intended to operate incrementally until the lake level declines to a certain elevation, at which time the contractor will commence with automated pumping to meet demand.”

The lake level is at the point where the pump station needs to operate for several hours per day, but when it reaches 674 feet (a 2-foot drop from the current level), it will need to operate continuously, whenever South Coast agencies need water, according to a COMB report.

Lake Cachuma is at 20.6 percent of its capacity, according to the county.

The current drought could be the "new worst" for drought projections and future water allocations, said Tom Fayram, deputy director of the county's Public Works Department.  

COMB has budgeted $6.8 million for the pumping project over three years, including construction, energy costs and costs of relocating the pumping barge to a deeper area.

Contractors recently dredged 5 feet of lake-bottom sediment from the barge area, allowing it to stay in its current location for an extra two months, which will save money, according to COMB.

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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Seasoned Lawyer Joins Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell Firm

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell LLP is pleased to announce that Chris Jones has joined the firm, effective July 1, 2015.

Jones, a longtime resident of Santa Barbara, has practiced law since 1972. His philosophy of making law easy, understandable, clear and comfortable has helped him become one of the most well respected and knowledgeable trusts and estate planning attorneys in Santa Barbara and on the Central Coast.

His areas of expertise include wills, estates, trusts and probate (including living trusts), tax planning, business succession planning, irrevocable trusts, advanced direction of health care, generation-skipping planning and avoidance of probate.

Chris Jones

Jones is a California State Bar certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law. He works with a variety of estate planning, investment, accounting and tax professionals, successfully and creatively assisting clients in developing and managing estates of unique, diverse size and content.

He received his bachelor's degree from UC Santa Barbara and UC Los Angeles and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Southern California.

Jones is a member of the State Bar of California, the Santa Barbara County Bar Association (co-chair of the trusts and estates section). He is also a member of the board of directors of RSVP, Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Santa Barbara and PathPoint.

He is a hospice volunteer for Santa Barbara VNA Hospice and has also served as a law school instructor at Santa Barbara College of Law, teaching courses in legal analysis, wills and trusts, and advanced legal writing.

— Ed Seaman represents ​Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell LLP.

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Man Killed, Another Injured in Highway 101 Collision in Goleta

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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Two-vehicle crash sends Volkswagen Beetle down an embankment near Los Carneros Road southbound onramp

One person was killed and another was injured Wednesday afternoon in a two-vehicle collision on a southbound Highway 101 onramp in Goleta, according to the California Highway Patrol .

Shortly after 3 p.m., an older-model Volkswagen Beetle went down an embankment near the Los Carneros Road onramp and overturned, according to CHP.

One of the occupants was declared dead at the scene, and another was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, according to CHP Officer Martin Sanchez.

The victim's name was withheld pending notification of relatives.

Sanchez said the Beetle collided with a Volkswagen Cabrio as both vehicles were headed southbound.

The Cabrio then spun into the center divider, while the Beetle came to rest down an embankment between the freeway and the railroad tracks, Sanchez said.

It’s unclear exactly how the collision occurred, but the Cabrio was entering the freeway from the onramp at the time, Sanchez said.

No one in the Cabrio was hurt, Sanchez said. 

The CHP closed the Los Carneros Road onramp while emergency personnel did their work, and the Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Bureau was called to the scene.

The accident remained under investigation by the CHP.

Executive Editor Tom Bolton reported from the scene.

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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Inc. 5000 Gives Shoutout to Santa Barbara’s BigSpeak

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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On Aug. 12, 2015, Inc. Magazine ranked Santa Barbara business, BigSpeak Speakers Bureau, on its 34th annual Inc. 5000 — an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies.

The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy — America’s independent entrepreneurs. Companies such as Microsoft, Yelp, Pandora, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, LinkedIn, Zillow, Oracle, Intuit and Zappos gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 5000. 

Aggregate revenue from the 2015 Inc. 5000 list is over $205 billion, generating 647,000 jobs over the past three years.

Located on the “American Riviera," BigSpeak is a full-spectrum speakers bureau, representing the world’s finest motivational keynote speakers, consultants, trainers, thought-leaders, world-class athletes, best-selling authors, award-winning entertainers and global icons.

Over 65% of the Fortune 1000 partners with BigSpeak to create hundreds of events each year.

BigSpeak began in CEO Jonathan Wygant’s garage two decades ago and has grown tremendously, impacting thousands of businesses and individuals each year with transformational change. 

As of July 2015, BigSpeak has served over four million audience members with impactful keynotes, trainings and coaching sessions that result in proven return on investment.

Wygant founded BigSpeak to address the unfulfilled need to provide top thought leaders, keynote speakers, professional development programs that are uniquely customized  to each client’s specific requirements.
 
This Inc. 5000 award is the second win for CEO, Jonathan Wygant, whose previous company, Iris Arc Crystal, was ranked 281 in the Inc. 5000.   

Upon notification of BigSpeak’s selection to the 2015 Inc. 5000 list, Wygant said, “I am extremely proud of the team’s hard work and focus serving our Fortune 1000 clients with excellence that has led to rapid and sustainable growth over the last five years. Many companies such as Microsoft, Fidelity, Johnson & Johnson, GE and Genentech have been clients for nearly 20 years. We have exciting plans to continue on a similar growth curve over the next five years.”

President Barrett Cordero has been at the helm of the tremendous growth, focusing on sales, speaker representation, key investments, disruptive innovations and an exceptional work environment. 

BigSpeak team members enjoy flexible schedules, remote work, pet and child friendly offices, HSA health plans, pension plan and profit sharing and off site trips. 

Additionally, frequent visits by celebrities and top business thought leaders allows the company to be in the vanguard of smart, nimble and innovative business practices.

— Amber McEldowney is a marketing associate at BigSpeak.

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Orcutt Mother Who Fled With Children Surrenders to Authorities in Mexico

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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An Orcutt woman who fled the country with her two children surrendered to U.S. authorities in Mexico and the two girls have been reunited with their father six months after they disappeared following a custody hearing, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.

Michelle Christine Gibbs, 44, and her daughters, Cassidy, 4, and Gabriella, 6, went missing Feb. 26 after a child custody hearing in Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria.

Their whereabouts remained a mystery until Gibbs surrendered at the U.S. Consular Agency in San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Baja California Sur, Mexico on Aug. 18, according to a news release from Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley.

All three appeared to be in good health, and returned to the United States while accompanied by Mexican immigration officials Aug. 21, the news release said.

They were met at the Los Angeles International Airport by a Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office investigator and victim’s advocate.

The girls were reunited with their father Aug. 24.

Michelle Gibbs DMV photo

Gibbs was arrested by federal marshals for suspicion of felony child abduction. She posted $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 15 in a Santa Maria courtroom.

The District Attorney’s Office and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department were helped by a number of state, national and international organizations and agencies including the FBI, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department and Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.

“Child abduction, even when it is carried out a by a known party, is many parent’s worst nightmare,” Dudley said.

“The safe return of our children is consistently the greatest concern of the District Attorney’s Office. Throughout the process of working these cases, which often are fraught with frustrating delays and legal complications, the well-being of the children remains our highest priority.”

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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Amateur Cocktail Enthusiasts Encouraged to Debut Funkiest Libation at Screamin’ Pickle Competition

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, The Good Lion and the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival debut the Screamin’ Pickle Fermented Cocktail Competition, which will be held at The Good Lion Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015. 

The Competition is open to amateur cocktail enthusiasts and will encourage participants to craft innovative cocktails featuring spirits made by Santa Barbara’s local distillery, Cutler's Artisan Spirits, paired with traditionally fermented mixers such as shrubs, raw apple cider vinegar, kombucha, beet kvass, ginger soda, kimchi, sauerkraut juice, fermented fruit and other creative libations.

The winning cocktail artist will receive the coveted Screamin’ Pickle Award at a ceremony at the SBFF and have his or her cocktail featured by The Good Lion in the Farm-to-Bar Area of the festival.

Ian Cutler, owner of Cutler's Artisan Spirits and distiller, came up with the contest as a creative way to bring together local spirits created by fermented grains with local mixers also created by the process of fermentation. When he shared his idea with The Good Lion proprietor Brandon Ristaino and SBFF Co-Founder Katie Hershfelt, the trio decided they had to make it happen.

“We couldn’t be more excited to challenge our fellow cocktail enthusiasts and spread the wild world of fermentation to a wider audience,” Hershfelt explained.

Contestants can enter by contacting Ian Cutler at [email protected] by Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. Only 10 slots are available on a first come, first served basis.

Competition and judging by a panel of prominent industry experts will take place at The Good Lion Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, during a private event.

First, second and third place winners will be announced and receive their prizes at the SBFF Kick-Off Party at The Good Lion Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.

The first place cocktail will be served at SBFF at Rancho La Patera & Stow House in Goleta Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. (An SBFF ticket is required to gain access to the tasting area).

For more information and to purchase tickets to the festival, visit www.SBFermentationFestival.com/activities/, follow on Facebook or email [email protected].

— Katie Hershfelt is the co-founder of the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival.

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1 Person Killed in Vehicle Rollover Near New Cuyama

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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One person was killed in a vehicle accident in the New Cuyama area Wednesday afternoon after the vehicle rolled over, fatally injuring the driver.

At 1:09 p.m., fire crews responded to a report of a vehicle incident at Alisos Canyon Road and Highway 166, according to Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

Fire responded to the scene with two engines, a rescue ambulance and a battalion chief, where they discovered a single vehicle had rolled over with one occupant inside.

“The driver was pronounced dead on scene,” Zaniboni said.

Rescue helicopters that were initially dispatched were canceled and representatives from the Santa Barbara County Coroner's Bureau was sent to the scene.

No further details were available. 

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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Free ‘Understanding Medicare’ Presentation to be Held at Goleta Branch Library

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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HICAP (Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program) will sponsor a free seminar for people interested in better understanding Medicare benefits and recent changes.

The "Understanding Medicare" presentation will be held Friday, Sept. 24, 2015, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Goleta Branch Library  at 500 North Fairview Avenue in Goleta.

“HICAP is offering this presentation to help people with Medicare and their caregivers better understand this comprehensive health care program and current changes”, announced Jim Talbott, president of the Board of Directors of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens.  

Topics will include a general overview of 2015 Medicare changes and recent changes related to the Affordable Care Act.

HICAP is pleased to partner with the Goleta Branch YMCA in presenting this important information to the community. 

HICAP offers free and unbiased counseling and information on Medicare issues. It does not sell, recommend or endorse any insurance product, agent, insurance company or health plan.

The presentation is a service of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, HICAP with financial assistance, in whole or in part, through a grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services, the federal Medicare agency.

To reserve a seat and for more information about the ”Understanding Medicare ” seminar, contact HICAP at 805.928.5663, [email protected] or RSVP online at www.CentralCoastSeniors.org.

— Bill Batty represents Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program.

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Girls Inc. Board Member Tracy Jenkins Rises to Take on Interim CEO Position

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara is pleased to announce that Tracy Jenkins, a member of the organization’s board of directors, has been appointed and has generously agreed to serve the organization as interim CEO.

A natural leader with a talent for entrepreneurship and community engagement, Jenkins is a devoted advocate for Girls Inc. and eager to advance the organization and lead it toward a bright future.

She brings with her an extensive background in business operations, marketing, sales and nonprofit management, along with a passion for involving herself in the community and inspiring young women and girls to reach their goals. 

“Tracy Jenkins brings solid values and passion for the mission of Girls Inc., which is allowing us to continue this valuable work through a transition period,” said Christi Sulzbach, GIGSB board president. “We are enthusiastic about the candidates we are seeing as we search for our new CEO. In the interim, we were fortunate to have a board member with the skill base and passion who was willing to step aside and into the interim CEO position to help us manage our growth as we complete the process.” 

Jenkins was elected to the GIGSB board of directors in 2012 after serving on several of the organization’s committees. Since then, she has served on the finance, strategic planning, marketing and development and executive committees, serving as chair of both finance and marketing, and also as secretary of the board.

Tracy Jenkins

Prior to working with Girls Inc., Jenkins served as an assistant girls track and cross country coach in St. Louis, Mo., where she led her teams to earn five individual state championships. She credits this experience with helping her discover a passion for mentoring young women and girls.

Prior to that, she worked as an independent sales representative, building sales in Southern California for brands such as TEVA, Josef Seibel, Etonic and Insport. 

Jenkins holds a bachelor’s degree from Principia College in Illinois and completed the Fielding Graduate Institute program in nonprofit management.

She has been actively engaged in community and volunteer initiatives for many years, spearheading the implementation of an elementary school-based Latin learning program into her children's school and supporting educational advancement through parent and donor relations. 

She is married to Stuart Jenkins, senior vice president of development and innovation at Deckers Outdoor Corporation. They live in Santa Barbara and have two children: J.J. and Jordan.

— Daniella Alkobi is a publicist representing Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara.

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UCSB Hits Alternative-Transportation Milestone

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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The wheels on the bus go round and round all right.

At UC Santa Barbara, those wheels spun enough in the most recent academic year for students to rack up one million bus rides to or from the campus — a new milestone in the university’s ongoing efforts to encourage alternative transportation.

More impressive than the shiny, new, seven-figure achievement may be the trend it reflects: UCSB has been steadily growing bus ridership via the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) for nearly a decade, with 2014–2015 marking a more than 66-percent increase over 2008–2009 levels, and the numbers are likely to climb even higher.

The campus’s long and fruitful partnership with MTD is also resulting in the expansion of two existing lines — 12x and 24x — that run between UCSB and downtown, as well as the creation of a new line altogether.

Slated to begin service in fall of 2016, that line will carry riders between campus, Isla Vista and the Camino Real Marketplace at Storke and Hollister Roads.

“Not only do we value transportation but we made an agreement with MTD to expand services to encourage our students to use transit even more than they have in the past,” said Marc Fisher, vice chancellor for administrative services at UCSB. “In addition to an increase in student ridership of the bus, we’ve also seen a drop in the number of cars on campus. We believe students aren’t bringing as many cars to the community, and we think that’s in large part because of the success of transit in Santa Barbara.

“It’s great in terms of sustainability, and it’s great in terms of reducing parking demand on the campus,” Fisher added. “This is all working toward the environmental goals that we developed with the community. Initially it was the recession that spurred ridership. But also we have really good transportation. That combination over the years helped drive the increase, but this generation seems to be different. Even once the economy started getting better, they didn’t suddenly start bringing cars again. That’s really good news — we’re changing the pattern of use here.”

The campus overall has seen a shift away from single-occupancy vehicles, with biking and walking the top modes of transportation to or from campus. About 10 percent of total campus commuters use the bus on any given day, which primarily means UCSB students, who pay a quarterly lock-in fee of $13.13 that buys them unlimited rides on MTD.

“All the students pay into the bus program, and over time more and more are finding that it serves their needs,” said James Wagner, manager of UCSB’s Transportation Alternatives Program. “People chose alternatives to driving for all sorts of reasons. Some are all money focused — they want to save money. Some people are into environmental things — they want to reduce their carbon footprint. For other people it’s a mix of all those things.

“Since the recession, people are obviously still going to college, but they’re belt tightening,” he added. “We see less permit sales for cars, but we also see increased bus use. People are affording college but they’re doing it in a different way and part of that is using transit more. We are definitely trending in a good direction.”

— Shelly Leachman is the public affairs and development writer for UC Santa Barbara.

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English Language Learning Program Welcomes Duo of New Leaders

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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ELS Language Centers of Santa Barbara welcomes a new center director, Alyssa Stovall, and new housing coordinator, Martha Jin. 

Stovall has worked with ELS since February 2011, first as a teacher, and later as the academic director in New Haven, Conn., and now as the center director in Santa Barbara. 

She began teaching English during a summer visit to Nairobi, Kenya, and absolutely loved that experience, leading her to pursue teaching English to international students in the U.S.

Stovall has a bachelor's in psychology from Yale University, a master's in international education from New York University as well as a master's in teaching English to students of other languages.

Jin studied music performance at UC Santa Barbara, where she had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy and Germany.

Born in Northern China, she came to the U.S. when she was 17. Her homestay mother became her lifelong mentor.

Jin loves working with international students because it is her way of giving back to the community.

The mission of ELS is to provide English language and educational exchange programs that exceed the academic, professional and social expectations of our clients throughout the world.

Over the past 45 years, ELS has helped hundreds of thousands of students from over 140 countries around the world to learn English using our innovative approach that makes language learning simple, fast and enjoyable. 

The goal of the ELS homestay program is to provide an interesting cultural and educational experience for both the student and host family.

Our students come from all over the world, and the best way for them to speed their progress in learning English and to gain first-hand cultural understanding of the people of the United States is to live with an American family.

This unforgettable experience provides a lifetime of memories for both the student and the host family. 

As the student Patrycya Przewoznik from Poland said: “staying with a host family helped me to ease my homesickness and make my vacation and studies more enjoyable. What makes homestay special is the daily experience of living with hosts who are eager to help you and care for you as a second family.” 

If you are interested in hosting international students from Japan, Russia, Brazil, China and Saudi Arabia, among others, ELS will bring you the best hosting experience.

Hosting international students is a wonderful opportunity to travel without leaving your home. You will also be compensated for providing housing and food. The application process is simple. Email [email protected] or call 805.966.0172 for more information.

— Martha Jin represents ELS Language Centers of Santa Barbara.

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Marian Regional Medical Center Exalts Long-Time Employee Mike Fabela

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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Marian Regional Medical Center’s longest serving employee in the hospital’s 75-year history is a maintenance engineer who still finds plenty to learn even after all these years.

Mike Fabela, 72, has worked at MRMC since 1962, when the hospital was named Our Lady of Perpetual Help Hospital and located on South College Drive before the new facility was opened in 1967 at the current East Church Street location.

Fabela had a friend in the business office at Sister’s Hospital, as Our Lady of Perpetual Help Hospital was fondly referred to, and learned of a job opening in the laundry facilities to which he promptly applied and was hired.

After four years working in laundry, Fabela took an opportunity to become a maintenance engineer, helping with routine maintenance and repairs as needed throughout the hospital. Always mechanically inclined, Fabela jumped at the chance for the more complicated position.

Fabela has witnessed the evolution of MRMC first hand, starting when he was a young father to today, as a proud grandpa of five and as a seasoned and valued member of the Marian team.

Mike Fabela

He recalls Sister’s Hospital being much less bustling than MRMC is today, and has watched the hospital’s technology advance through the years.

Fabela’s impact on the hospital has been so profound that MRMC’s maintenance facility has been named after him — the Michael Fabela Maintenance Center.

“There’s always something to learn,” Fabela remarks. “Just when I think I understand it all. I didn’t come from a computer world, and now everything is computerized.”

As for being MRMC’s longest-serving employee, Fabela doesn’t often give it much thought until someone mentions the distinction. He simply enjoys his job and is grateful to be a part of the MRMC family.

“I’ve been very appreciative of them throughout the years, and they’ve been very good to me. Hopefully they feel the same about me.”

Fabela’s supervisor, MRMC Director of Plant Operations Dennis Daniel, appreciates Fabela and his knowledge of MRMC’s history. According to Daniel, Fabela’s knowledge of the ins and outs of Marian Hospital was especially beneficial during the process of preparing to open the new 191-bed Marian Regional Medical Center in 2012, as he knew where any item was located.

“Mike is well-liked and an important part of Marian and our history,” Daniel says. “And he certainly has no trouble finding his way around.”

— Megan Maloney represents Marian Regional Medical Center.

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Friendship Center Marks Changes to Board of Directors

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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Santa Barbara's Friendship Center Adult Day Care recently announced changes to its board of directors. Board member Kathy Marden advances to board president, former Vice President Roger Aceves rejoins the board, and Pamela Vander Heide and Julie McGeever are new additions to the group of directors.

Educator and attorney Heide graduated from UCSB and the Santa Barbara College of Law. She practiced education law briefly but soon returned to the classroom, teaching advanced English at Dos Pueblos High School for many years, then supervising student teachers at UCSB.

Heide served on the board of domestic violence for six years and currently serves on the women's board for CAMA and the board of Center Stage Theater.

McGeever is also a graduate of UCSB. She and her husband developed and operate the Heritage House Assisted Living Community.

She manages the recently-opened Oak Cottage of Santa Barbara Memory Care Community and assists clients in the financing and development of senior housing projects throughout the southwest.

McGeever's experience in real estate development spans over 20 years.

She is also on the Board of San Marcos High School Kids Helping Kids Foundation and is committed to helping young adults from all walks of life reach their potential. 

Aceves rejoins Friendship Center’s board of directors after serving from 2010–2012, including holding the office of vice president in 2011–12.

After having served on Friendship Center’s board of directors since 2011, Marden takes the office of board president.

— Justine Sutton is the grants and development coordinator for Friendship Center.

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Early Childhood Educator David Sobel will Lead ‘In Bloom’ Learning Convention

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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Antioch University New England’s David Sobel, author and senior faculty member, will serve as one of two keynote speakers at In Bloom in Santa Barbara: Promising Practices in Nature-based Early Childhood Education.

His presentation, “Why Young Children Need Nature,” will highlight the important role that nature and outdoor discovery play in early education.

 

Hosted by Antioch University Santa Barbara, in partnership with AUNE, the Academy of Forest Kindergarten Teachers and the Wilderness Youth Project, the event will be held Saturday, Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Open Alternative School in Santa Barbara.

“Time spent in nature, exploring and discovering, will only enhance a child’s education,” said Sobel. “Studies have shown that children who spend a portion of their day outdoors increase their academic achievements. I’m honored for the opportunity to present at the upcoming event in Santa Barbara and look forward to sharing the significance of nature in learning.” 

In Bloom in Santa Barbara welcomes all early childhood and early elementary parents, teachers, outdoor educators and administrators with an interest in tying education to the outdoors.

Elaine Gibson, former education director of the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, will present “Creating the Nature Play Area” at the Natural History Museum.

Additionally, the day will feature a variety of nature-centric workshops including: Creating a Willow House, Play is Children’s Work Outside, The Developmental Role of Risk, Cattails Weaving and Cordage-making, Engaging Families: a Forest Kindergarten Program, Play and Games in Outdoor Education, Monarchs in the Classroom and on Ellwood Bluff, Language Development, Nature and Movement and Whittling Sticks and Making Fires with Young Children. 

September 19 will be a day of discovery, learning, fun, listening, doing, thinking and playing. Registration is $75.

For more information, call 603.283.2301 or [email protected].

— Brian Dearth represents Antioch University.

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Reyne Stapelmann: Top 6 Concerns for Home Buyer

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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Rising home prices tops the list of home buyer concerns this year, a shift from last year when nearly half of buyers said their chief concern was the limited number of homes for-sale, according to a new survey of more than 3,500 buyers released by the real estate brokerage Redfin.

In this year's survey, nearly 27 percent of respondents cited high or rising home prices as their top concern.

Another 17 percent of respondents said they were most concerned about competition from other buyers.

First-time buyers were particularly worried about rising home prices. Thirty-one percent of first-time buyers said that higher home prices were their top concern.

The survey identified the following top six home buyer concerns this year:

1. Affordability: "Prices are rising too high" – 27 percent.

2. "There's too much competition from other buyers" – 17 percent.

3. "There aren't enough homes to choose from" – 14 percent.

4. "I need to sell a home first" – 8 percent.

5. "I might not have enough for a down payment" – 6 percent.

6. "Mortgage rates will go up before I can buy" – 5 percent.

Last year, the top buyer concern identified was inventory, followed by home prices, competition from other buyers, rising mortgage rates, and home-shopping fatigue.

Taken from the National Association of Realtors®.

Reyne Stapelmann is a broker associate with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, California Properties and the 2015 president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact her at [email protected] or 805.705.4353. The opinions expressed are her own.

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Leading From Within Announces New ‘Leaders Fund’

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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Leading From Within provides high-quality leadership development and powerful networking opportunities to Santa Barbara County's nonprofit leaders.

To date, over 200 local social sector leaders have been a part of Leading From Within’s programs. Foundation grants keep registration fees low; however, the great majority of leaders and nonprofit agencies require an additional scholarship to participate.

The Leaders Fund was created to fill this gap and will help build a vibrant ecosystem of leadership in Santa Barbara County, with social sector leaders who are prepared, renewed, connected and collaborating.

A gift of $500–$5,000 to the Leaders Fund will allow us to develop more leaders with the skills, mindsets and connections to lead their organizations in addressing the toughest challenges facing our community.

The Orfalea Foundation believes in the value of investing in our community's leaders and will generously match Leaders Fund gifts received prior to Nov. 1 (up to $20,000).

Founded in 2008, Leading From Within invests in social sector leaders to make meaningful change within themselves, their organizations and our community.

Courage to Lead, Emerging Leaders, and Katherine Harvey Fellows programs, as well as alumni activities, are unique because of their deep personal nature.

For questions or to make a contribution, please contact Leading From Within’s Executive Director, Carrie Randolph, at [email protected] or 805.770.3232.

— Julie Sorenson represents Leading From Within.

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Red Flag Warning PSA from SB County Fire Department

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring or will occur soon. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds residents that a Red Flag Warning is a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures that can create extreme fire behavior.

Red flag warnings are issued by the National Weather Service usually 24 hours in advance of a red flag event.

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management has partnered with local fire officials to create a text messaging system for local residents when a red flag warning is issued in Santa Barbara County.

Residents can simply text the word "redflag" to 888777. By receiving the message from emergency officials, residents in the high fire-hazard areas can increase their awareness and vigilance.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds residents that as a result of the issuance of a red flag warning, citizens should take appropriate precautions that include, but are not limited to the following: 

» Report any sign of smoke immediately to your local fire department by calling 911 (if you call 911 from your cell phone, you must know your location).

» Use extreme caution when operating spark or flame producing machinery in hazardous grass or brush areas.

» Have an evacuation plan in place and identify two exit routes from your neighborhood. If you are asked to evacuate by fire or law enforcement officials, do so immediately.

» Report any suspicious persons or vehicles to law enforcement.

For more information about red flag warnings, please visit www.sbcfire.com.

— Dave Zaniboni is the information officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

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Jacques Habra: Search Twitter through Google

By | Published on 08/26/2015

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Back in May, Google announced an exciting new feature that allows mobile users the ability to search the Twitter database through the Google search engine.

Even though the majority of Twitter users are mobile users, the functionality did not gain traction as expected.

As of this week, desktop Google users will have the same ability to search tweets from within Google.

What this means is that even if you don’t regularly tweet, you can find out from your desktop what is trending and relevant according to the Twitterati — which is still considered the most relevant trending platform.

The significance of this update is two-fold:

» It seems Twitter wants to be more of a business tool, and not just a consumer tool.

» The further integration into Google suggests an acquisition may now be imminent.

Local business owners can now find out what people are saying about their business, the Santa Barbara experience, and much more without using Twitter and without using a mobile device.

Jacques Habra is a tech entrepreneur and investor who manages the Noospheric startup consultancy. He is also the quality control director for the online marketing, Web site development, and SEO/SMO agency, First Click Inc. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Santa Barbara County Supervisors Agree to Work With Chumash Tribe

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors wrestled Tuesday with whether to open up a better line of communication with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, ultimately deciding to give it a try.

After hearing about another tribe request to place land into federal trust — this time two reservation adjoining parcels totaling two acres — the supervisors unanimously voted to create an ad hoc committee to work closely with the tribe on issues of mutual interest.

Reporting back to the full board will be Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr, who represents the Santa Ynez Valley, and Fourth District Supervisor Peter Adam, who will sit on the board ad hoc committee featuring Chumash council members and necessary legal and planning staff.

The sticking point of whether those discussions get off the ground, however, remains the same.

Supervisors say they are recognizing the tribe’s sovereignty, but will be asking them to waive sovereign immunity so officials could enforce any agreements.

“I think today we have a real opportunity to move forward,” First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal said.

Farr emphasized that ad hoc committee meetings would be open to the public, with proper noticing.

Before now, all discussions between Chumash representatives and the county regarding specifics have taken place behind closed doors.

Late Tuesday, Tribal Chairman Vincent Armenta said opening those discussions to the public would not improve communications.

"The tribe in 2011 offered the county $1 million a year plus an enforceable waiver of sovereign immunity," said Armenta, who did not speak at Tuesday's meeting. "Now it’s 2015, and the county is asking the tribe for the same sovereign immunity waiver.

"It’s ironic. It’s also interesting to see that they now want to have a discussion with the tribe. But, unfortunately, what should be government-to-government discussions are really government-to-public-to-government discussions. They’ve set them up to fail."

Farr, Adam and Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf said the county has always acknowledged the Chumash as an equal government, but Carbajal and Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino disagreed.

The somewhat heated discussion began after officials heard an update on HR 1157, the bill working its way through Congress to place the 1,433-acre agricultural property known as Camp 4 into federal trust — thereby removing it from county tax rolls and planning oversight.

The Chumash bought that land from the late Fess Parker in 2010 with the intent of building homes for tribal families.

Farr called the federal legislation inappropriate, opting to heed a request by lawmakers to work with the Chumash on a local level.

If not, staff said HR 1157 could progress through Congress or get bundled into another law that does pass.

The supervisors are still trying to block the Camp 4 fee-to-trust process on a separate track, having appealed the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs decision to allow the tribe to place the land into trust. That appeal — along with other objections from valley groups — has yet to be heard.

Wolf rebuked Lavagnino for attending the June federal committee hearing for HR 1157, where she said County CEO Mona Miyasato was thrown “into the lion’s den” and disrespected by committee members.

Wolf called him out for telling the committee that the supervisors hadn’t treated the Chumash fairly.

Miyasato later clarified that Armenta went up to her after the hearing to apologize for its harsh tone.

“What’s been embarrassing is the way the county has ignored the tribe,” Lavagnino said, admonishing Wolf for not speaking with him privately before the meeting.

The tribe’s latest request to annex the so-called Mooney and Escobar properties near its 138-acre reservation at 3400 E. Highway 246 created a sense of urgency for officials, since the county needs to respond to the BIA on the subject.

According to county records, the parcels are zoned as retail/commercial and have some tax value, although an exact amount wasn’t confirmed.

The Mooney property is on the southern shoulder of Highway 246, and the Escobar parcel contains the bridge on Sanja Cota Road and part of the road.

An ad hoc committee also plans to discuss the tribe’s June purchase of 350 acres of land between Meadowvale Road and Highway 154 along Highway 246.

Two of seven public speakers were in favor of starting the dialogue, with five against.

Farr pointed out she’s always been willing to talk to the tribe, even though she said Chumash representatives have walked away from several discussions in her tenure.

“I think that there are many issues of mutual concern that we can have a discussion with the tribe about,” Adam said, citing economic, gaming and planning purposes.

Legal counsel confirmed starting a discussion wouldn’t interfere with progressing litigation and appeals the county has filed against the Camp 4 fee-to-trust application.

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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Developers Behind Coast Village Plaza Plan Want To Remove Three Towering Pine Trees

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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Montecito project asks city for permission to remove trees and then build new outdoor dining area, stairwell at 1187 Coast Village Road shopping center

The owners of the Coast Village Plaza near Montecito want to chop down three towering, 65-foot pine trees in front of the strip shopping center that's home to Giovanni's Pizza, Scoop, the UPS store and other popular destinations.

The proposed tree removal will go before the city's Parks & Recreation Commission in a meeting Wednesday at City Hall.

H&R investments, the owner of the 18,869-square-foot shopping center, intends to remove three Canary Island pine trees to make room for a new outdoor dining deck area.

The group also says the tree's roots are threatening a nearby retaining wall, and the dropping pine needles create a slip hazard.

The trees themselves, however, are healthy

The owners have submitted an application to the city to build the new dining area, replace the exterior columns and alter the driveway to make it less steep.

H&R investments want to remove all of the landscaping in front of the building and then add new landscaping, a circular stairwell and other remodeling efforts. 

The city has already approved a modification for the project, allowing the decks to intrude within the required 10-foot street setback.

Heidi Jones, associate planner for Suzanne Elledge Planning & Permitting Services, said the ultimate goal is to "enhance the streetscape connectivity."

The design team wants to remove the trees because of the "leaf litter." 

"They don't necessarily fit in with the new landscape plan," Adam Graham, landscape architect for the project, said at an Architectural Board of Review meeting.

"We would like to have other plant material planted in and around them. At the moment they are basically a wasteland of soil."

An eucalyptus tree stands on the street in front of the project, a tree that Graham called "not a happy specimen."

He said the development would look better without any of the trees. 

"It would be nice if that the tree line in front of the building had something more going on than a not-so-great-looking eucalyptus and then the Canary Island pines at both ends of the property," Graham said. 

Graham wants to replace the pines with smaller flame trees.

Stephanie Poole, a member of the ABR, said she would like to see the trees stay.

"I am very disappointed to have the pines go," Poole said.

ABR member Courtney Jane Miller also said she likes the existing trees, but acknowledged that pine trees are not ideal and that they don't necessarily work well within the new landscape plan.

"I am very concerned about the removal of the three very large existing skyline trees," she said. 

"They really make a statement along this whole block along Coast Village Road."

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

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Santa Barbara Officials Plan To Overhaul Trails At Douglas Family Preserve

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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City wants to remove asphalt, get rid of user-created trails and restore native habitats at popular open space park

Santa Barbara is looking to restore 1.7 miles of trails at the Douglas Family Preserve, and create a "universal access route" as part of a extensive rehabilitation effort to bring the park up to modern-day standards.

The city wants to remove 36,330 square feet of cracked and eroded asphalt and replace it with native soil.

In addition, officials want to "decommission user-created trails" to improve safety and access, restore native habitats and reduce trail erosion.

Officials also want to install signs that explain the new layout.

"The trails have been compacted and eroded over the years," said Jill Zachary, acting Parks & Recreation Department director. "We have wanted to pursue improvements for many years but have not had the funds."

The city is applying for a grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation through the Recreational Trails Program to pay for the $300,000 project.

The Parks & Recreation Commission will vote on the project, and whether to submit a grant application, at Wednesday's 4 p.m. meeting at City Hall. 

The Douglas Family Preserve is one of Santa Barbara's most iconic local hangouts. The preserve sits high on the Mesa neighborhood bluffs overlooking the ocean, and is an escape for people looking to walk their dogs, take a stroll on a trail or ride a bicycle.

Commonly known by locals as the Wilcox Property, the 70-acre Douglas Family Preserve was acquired by the Trust for Public Lands in 1996 and then transferred to the city of Santa Barbara in 1997.

Although the city is looking to formalize the trails at the preserve, the wild and meandering feel of the site is part of its unique appeal. Fallen trees rest on the ground, creating hideouts for critters.

Swaths of unmanicured vegetation and grasses give the site its rural feel. The preserve is also a daily ritual for Santa Barbara residents who enjoy the sunrise, sunset and conversation with their neighbors.

Preserve users have mixed feelings about the the possible changes.

"I like that it's more natural, but it would be nice if they removed some of the asphalt and put back dirt," said Roni Shen, who was walking her cocker spaniel, Jack, on Tuesday. 

Shen said its fun to let her dog off the leash and explore.

"I do hope they keep it as wild as they can," she said.

Longtime Santa Barbara resident Laurence Hauben said she wants the city to leave the preserve alone.

"It's plenty trail friendly as it is," Hauben said. "The fact that it is relatively unimproved is part of its charm."

She said there's no need for a universal loop or more signage.

"It's self-explanatory," she said. "If you can't find the trail, you've got bigger problems."

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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After Administrative ‘Breakdown,’ Santa Barbara County Delays Decision on Inmate Medical Contract

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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Board of Supervisors delays discussion of Corizon Correctional Healthcare contract for medical care inside jail and probation facilities

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors chose to postpone a decision on a jail health-care contract item on Tuesday after an administrative fiasco unfolded.

The supervisors were being asked to renew a two-year, $10 million contract with Corizon Correctional Healthcare, a private company that contracts with the county to provide medical, dental and psychiatric services to inmates in the jail.

Earlier this summer, the board was asked to approve the contract, but expressed frustration that the company had not provided statistics to show how often it is meeting its goals for care, and had only included a one-page summary instead of the entire contract for approval.

The company was granted a short-term contract extension that runs through Oct. 31.

Those expecting a more permanent contract decision on Tuesday were disappointed when several supervisors reported they did not receive binders with key information on the company’s operations in the jail and probation operations.

Because that information was also not made available to the public before the meeting, the decision was put off until Sept. 8, when the board next meets in Santa Maria.

The item will be heard at 10 a.m. that day so that the public can plan on attending, instead of having to wait most of the day as happened on Tuesday.

Board Chair Janet Wolf said that it appeared the binders had been delivered to each supervisor’s offices, instead of to the clerk of the board, as is standard practice.

Supervisor Peter Adam explained that the supervisors get dozens of binders of information for all of the items they review.

“We have 100 of these in my office, but I straight up missed it. Maybe they didn’t come through the right channels, but I did receive them,” he said.

Undersheriff Barney Melekian was in attendance on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department, and said that it was the department’s job to distribute them.

“I apologize,” he told the board and the public.

Members of the public were upset that the hearing was being delayed, as several had showed up and missed work, waiting for most of the day.

“Get your act together,” said Suzanne Riordan of Families ACT!, an advocacy group that has been critical of jail health care in the past. “It’s not fair to us.”

Wolf called it a breakdown in communication, saying, “This has been a nightmare and I apologize to everyone.” 

Before the board unanimously agreed to come back on the item, Melekian said that the Sheriff’s Department had “gone to great lengths” to gather information since the last meeting.

Melekian described Corizon as a provider that has been responsible and provided quality health care for inmates in a challenging environment.

One of the metrics Melekian used to showcase that the company had been a success was that the county had seen only six successful litigations regarding medical care in the last 20 years, the average payout of which was $13,000 per settlement.

He also reminded the supervisors that Corizon employees had voluntarily waived cost-of-living increases during the worst years of the recession.

The Sheriff's Department is cognizant of its obligations, legal and moral, to care for inmates, 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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Central Coast Seniors Elects Three Officials to its Advisory Board

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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The advisory council of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, Area Agency on Aging, elected their officers for the new year starting Sep. 1, 2015.

“The Area Agency on Aging advisory council is pleased to announce the election of Barry Jay Marks of Lompoc as Chair for FY 2015–16,” stated board of directors President Jim Talbott. "Mr. marks has served on the council for two years. Mr. Marks is an active member of the Lompoc community. His leadership skills will be invaluable as the Area Agency on Aging readies to continue to meet the challenges of ensuring the safety of older persons.”

Other elected figures include Jim West as vice chair and Cindy Deibert as secretary.

"Mr. West has served on the Council for four years. Mr. West brings to the council extensive experience with State Legislation and regulations, Talbott said. “As an officer, Mrs. Deibert will share her experience in hospice and home care for elders and her knowledge of the needs of older persons to remain safely in their own homes.”

Members of the AAA advisory council invest time into understanding the issues faced by the elderly and making efforts to lessen these hardships.

“The Area Agency on Aging advisory council advocates on behalf of older persons,” concluded Mr. Talbott. “Members of the board of directors appreciate that the council members study the issues and advocate to protect senior citizens. We will wholeheartedly continue action to ensure the safety of honored citizens. ”

For additional information contact AAA Director Joyce Ellen Lippman at 805.925.9554 or 1.800.510.2020.

— Joyce Ellen Lippman is the director of the Area Agency on Aging,

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County, Lompoc OK Tax Sharing Plan For 10-Acre Annexation of Summit Homes Land

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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A proposal to annex 10 acres to Lompoc cleared a key hurdle Tuesday after the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors unanimously approve a tax-split plan created after months of extensive negotiations with the city.

The board voted 5-0 Tuesday to adopt the property tax exchange agreement for the site of Summit View Homes proposed on land northeast of the intersection of Purisima and Harris Grade roads.

The county leaders’ vote follows last week’s unanimous approval by the Lompoc City Council, and culminates more than a year of negotiations between the two agencies.

The agreement hammered out how to divide portions of the 1 percent property tax component, with the city to get 11 percent of the property tax, less than the 14 to 18 percent Lompoc sought.

City Manager Patrick Wiemiller said during the Aug. 18 council meeting that the city conceded rather than delay the project any longer.

“It would certainly cost us a lot more in time, effort, energy and delay to stand firm and continue to battle as we battled over the 3-percent spread," Wiemiller said.

The property tax to be shared is allocated to the county fire protection and the mosquito and vector control districts.

With the undeveloped land's current assessed property tax rate, the agreement would give $1,587 to Lompoc while the county would get approximately $3,832.

Under the agreement, once the homes are developed the county would receive $45,560 while Lompoc would get $18,876, according to estimates.

A fiscal analysis determined 11 percent is the break-even point for the city, but that wouldn’t provide funding for future maintenance.

Wiemiller said the city will seek an agreement from the developer to create a community facility district or similar format to make up the remaining 3 percent.

The county and city will evenly split fire impact fees, recognizing that due to proximity the Santa Barbara County Fire Department Station 51 crews likely would respond first to any incident at the site.

Additionally, the county and city crafted a plan for handling road maintenance around the proposed development.

The developer thanked the city staff for patience and perseverance in reaching a pact with county officials.

“We are anxious to get started with this project. I think it will be great contribution to the housing stock within the city,” said Stephen Hester from West Coast Housing Partners.

Wiemiller said the negotiations showed a need for the cities to band together to hold a summit with the county to iron out issues, policies and tax allocation numbers regarding annexations for a period of time, rather than dealing with it on an individual basis.

“If you can put all those things to rest before you have a presenting project in particular … then as individual projects come along we’re not hung up, we’re not holding up projects while we once again wrestle over a series of policy and financial issues,”​ Wiemiller said. “We can wrestle over that one time.”

He raised the issue during countywide city managers meetings, he said.

“It’s one of the reasons we conceded a number of points here, is we have a project that is being held up,” he said, adding that it's not fair to delay a developer who has invested time and funding into a project.

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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Lompoc Police Arrest Husband of Daycare Provider on Child Molestation Charges

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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​On Tuesday, the Lompoc Police Department Detective Bureau served a search warrant and arrest warrant at a home of a licensed daycare provider located in the northeast side of the city.

Recently, a female juvenile came forward with information alleging that one of the day care providers molested her in the past.

Detectives were able to gather probable cause for the issuance of the search and arrest warrants.

Salvador Moreno Mojarras Jr. was arrested at the home without incident.

He was booked in the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of: a lewd and lascivious act with a child under 14; continuous sexual abuse of a child; suspect over the age of 18 having intercourse with a child 10 years or younger; and suspect over the age of 18 engaging in oral copulation with a victim 10 years or younger. 

Bail was set at $250,000. 

Lompoc Police Department detectives made an attempt to notify all the parents of the children that currently attend the day care facility prior to the distribution of this press release.

The home day care facility has been in operation for several years. Any other potential victims and/or witnesses that were supervised by Mojarras are encouraged to come forward with information. 

If you are concerned that your child may have been the victim of child molestation while attending the day care facility, please do not attempt to interrogate your child.

Instead, please contact Detective Lamar at 805.875.8124 for assistance.  


 

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Six SBCC Instructors Earn Award for Faculty Excellence

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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Santa Barbara City College recently announced the 2015–2016 Faculty Excellence Award recipients.

The six winners, whose disciplines cover a wide range of programs, were selected based on their commitment to teaching and service, to students and to the college.
The recipients are Associate Professor Robert “Bob” Stockero, Automotive Services; athletic trainer and Professor Susan Houlihan-Davis, Health Education and Physical Education; Professor Esther Frankel, Computer Information Systems; Professor Gail Tennen, English Skills; Assistant Professor, Counselor and Articulation Officer Laura Castro, Student Support and Success Program and Professor James Kruidenier, Mathematics.

— Joan Galvan is the public information officer at SBCC.

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Santa Maria RV Storage Fire Blamed On Electrical Problem; Damage Set at $2 Million

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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A fire that burned approximately two dozen vehicles, causing $2 million in damages, appears to be related to an electrical issue involving an RV parked at American Self Storage on Skyway Drive in Santa Maria, Fire Chief Dan Orr said Tuesday.

The blaze started at approximately 7:45 p.m. Aug. 11, causing a plume of black smoke to rise above the Santa Maria Valley as several engines from the Santa Maria Fire Department arrived at 3040 Skyway Drive.

Witnesses reported hearing explosions, which fire crews indicated may have been propane tanks in the RVs.

“After completing the fire investigation, arson has been ruled out as a cause of the fire,” Orr said in a news release. “It appears to be electrically related to a recreational vehicle stored at this facility.”

More than two dozen RVs and other vehicles were destroyed or damaged by the blaze, with the loss estimated at $2 million, fire officials said.

In addition to the vehicle, the metal shelter covering the vehicle also was damaged.

Orr said the management and staff at American Self Storage was “extremely helpful” through this entire process.

Crews from Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Cal Fire/San Luis Obispo County Fire Department assisted in covering the seven additional emergency responses while the city firefighters were committed to the structure fire, Orr 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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Workers Union Claims Haggen Layoffs Are Illegal

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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A workers union is filing charges against Haggen stores, Albertsons and Vons, claiming the grocery chains failed to fully inform workers about job protections — even alleging Haggen had planned all along to close stores and lay off employees.

Los Angeles-based United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 770 this week announced plans to file complaints levying fraud, misrepresentation and violation of labor contract charges against Haggen, Vons and Albertsons.

Haggen, a Bellingham, Wash.-based chain, earlier this month revealed the chain would be closing or selling 27 stores in five states — many of them acquired this year as part of the 146 Haggen picked up from AB Acquisition LLC and Safeway Inc., the entity created when Safeway (owner of Vons) merged with Albertsons.

None of the six Santa Barbara County stores made the list, but the company didn’t rule out future closures.

Sixteen California stores are on the chopping block, with most of them in Los Angeles and San Diego.

Haggen cut hours for many of its new employees in July and caught heat — and a class action discrimination lawsuit — after laying off 14 developmentally disabled people working as courtesy clerks at some of six Santa Barbara County stores.

Haggen’s response to that lawsuit isn't due for another week, said Matthew Da Vega, an attorney with Da Vega, Fisher and Mechtenberg, LLP who filed the complaint.

UFCW LOCAL 770, which has a Santa Barbara office, sent a letter detailing leadership outrage to its 29,000 Los Angeles area workers in the retail food, meat, drug store and food processing industries.

“We are pursuing every possible avenue to hold both Haggen and Albertsons/Vons responsible and to demand solutions that will provide you with relief and compensation,” the union wrote in a letter.

“This is a top priority for us and we have several attorneys evaluating this matter from every angle.”

The union claims Haggen is illegally laying off workers and cutting hours, according to negotiated protections that led workers to believe they would retain jobs, seniority and benefits.

UFCW LOCAL 770 grievances also cite illegal dismissal of senior and disabled workers.

“We will not stand idly by as management tries to pull the wool over their employees’ eyes,” Rick Icaza, president of UFCW Local 770, said in a statement.

“These companies have misled and mistreated their employees either through gross self-interest or gross incompetence, either of which is unacceptable. Real people are suffering loss of wages, health care, seniority, and outright loss of their jobs. We will do everything in our power to hold management accountable and return our members to their jobs with full benefits intact.”

In a statement Tuesday, Haggen representatives defended the company's commitment to employees.

“​Haggen has great respect for the labor unions’ role in supporting our associates,” the company said. 

“We care about the people who work for Haggen and are disappointed that factors beyond our control have led to layoffs and closures in some of the new communities where we had expected our stores to thrive. The assertion that 'Haggen planned all along to shut and sell those stores,' as alleged in by the union in its grievance, is completely and unequivocally false.

“Throughout this process, Haggen has abided by the terms of the union contracts and is continuing to do everything it can to ensure the success of all of our stores and employees.”

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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Channel Islands Lecture Series Takes to the Waves at the CI Boating Center

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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The 2015 CSU Channel Islands Fall Library Series is taking two of its lectures to the Channel Islands Harbor.

In addition to a dozen free lectures at libraries throughout the county, CI's popular series will include two presentations at the CI Boating Center that overlooks the harbor.

One lecture is about humpback whales, and the other about the prehistory of coastal Ventura County.

"The lectures at the Boating Center are specifically connected to nature and the islands and what we're doing with our research center out on Santa Rosa Island," said the organizer of the lectures, Associate Vice President for Arts & Sciences, Karen Carey, Ph.D. "Besides fascinating presentations, we want people in the community to explore the boating center and get to know all the activities that are available to them."

The CI Boating Center is located at 3880 Bluefin Circle, Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. Both lectures run from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
 
On Sept. 24, Biology Lecturer Rachel Cartwright, Ph.D., will present "Humpback Whales: Gentle Giants of the North Pacific." Underwater video, recordings of whale songs and tales of a life spent researching whales will highlight the presentation. Cartwright just returned from her most recent whale research trip to Alaska.

On Oct. 22, Assistant Professor of Anthropology Jennifer Perry, Ph.D. and Associate Professor of Anthropology Colleen Delaney, Ph.D. will collaborate on "The Human Prehistory of the Channel Islands and Coastal California: A 10,000-year Retrospective."

Did you know the people of the Channel Islands, the Chumash and the Tongva, built plank canoes that were some of the most sophisticated watercraft in the Americas? Or that they manufactured a kind of shell and bead money circulated through California into historic times? Perry and Delaney will take us on a voyage through the still-untamed Channel Islands to find out about ancient Californians and why the islands are so important to us today.

In addition to the lectures at the boating center, this fall's lineup boasts a dozen more presentations from CI faculty on everything from Irish music to Nazis to leadership skills to the psychological benefits of a relationship with God, to name just a few subjects. 

— Kim Gregory represents CSU Channel Islands.

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Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Launches Gold Ribbon Awareness and Fundraising Campaign Sept. 1

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) announces its third annual month-long pediatric cancer awareness and fundraising effort, the Gold Ribbon Campaign, in recognition of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

TBCF is the only nonprofit of its kind which provides both financial and emotional support to Tri-County families facing childhood cancer.

“At Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, we provide a variety of support programs to families of youth up to age 21 with cancer living in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties,” said Lindsey Leonard, TBCF executive director. “This September, we hope our community will join us in raising awareness and supporting local families during a difficult time.”

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation’s Gold Ribbon Campaign will launch Sept. 1 with a photo day from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Paseo Nuevo Mall and culminate Oct. 1 with a Gold Ribbon Luncheon at the Biltmore.

The Luncheon will honor long-time supporter Dennis Miller with the organization’s Heart of Gold Award for his generous support to the organization.

The Campaign goal is to generate awareness about pediatric cancer and how it affects families, bring attention to the critical role TBCF plays in supporting Tri-County families that have a child experiencing cancer, raise $250,000 to support TBCF’s emotional and financial support programs and provide networks for youth with cancer and their families.

The gold ribbon is the universal symbol to raise awareness about pediatric cancer. The color was selected in 1997 by a group of parents dedicated to mobilizing support for the cause because it represents a precious metal and our children our precious.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is giving free gold pins to anyone in the community who wants to pledge their support by wearing one during the month of September.

Contact Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation at 805.962.7466 to have one mailed to you or to pick one up.

TBCF’s emotional and financial support programs are designed to offer wrap-around assistance to families from initial diagnosis, during treatment and into recovery.

Financial support programs help families cover basic needs, including hospital stays, rent or mortgage payments, hotel accommodations, counseling, tutoring and childcare. When needed, TBCF assists families with funeral arrangements.   

Emotional support programs include family support groups, bereavement support groups, special experiences or “Moments in Time,” and a weekly “Storytellers” program, where volunteers read to children at Cottage Hospital.  

In 2014, TBCF supported 649 individuals and to-date has granted $1,300,000 of financial assistance.

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation would like to acknowledge and thank 2015 Annual Sponsors: Presenting Sponsor, Earl & Claudia Minnis and Family; Ambassador Bear Sponsor, The Carrie Hamilton Fund, established by Jeff & Margo Barbakow.  

Visionary Bear Sponsors include: Alamar Capital Management, Jim Bechtel; Avalan Wealth Management; Thomas & Nancy S. Crawford; and Keith Berry Real Estate.

Additionally, TBCF is grateful for the support of numerous other Annual Sponsors, including The Bank of Santa Barbara; Julia Delgado, MD General Pediatrics; Cox Communications; Heritage Oaks Bank; MarBorg Industries; Bill and Kathy Borgers; Larame and Nikki Greene; and Wells Fargo.

2015 Gold Ribbon Campaign Sponsors include Gold Sponsor, Aera Energy LLC; Silver Sponsor, Venoco, Inc.; and Bronze Sponsors, Carolyn Crockett Bell; Fielding Graduate University; Paloma Angel; Roberts Design Group Architecture + Interiors and Maryan Schall.

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.

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Incumbent Councilmember Vallejo Launches Campaign to Maintain Seat

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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Goleta City Councilmember Tony Vallejo launched his election bid for a full term on City Council.

Vallejo filed the required paperwork with the California Secretary of State to open his account and began the running process for the November 2016 ballot.

"Since taking office in 2014, I've worked to preserve the character of our community, improved our business climate by standing up for local small business owners and stood for what makes Goleta the good land," Vallejo said. "I'm running for election to continue the work I've started and build upon successes in my first term."

Vallejo has been a Goleta resident for 13 years and currently owns his own CPA practice. He has served as past chair of Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as several other nonprofit boards, including Dos Pueblos Little League, Santa Barbara Foodbank and Mental Health Association.

The November 2016 race will be Vallejo's first election in Goleta, because he was appointed to Council to fill the vacancy of Ed Easton, who resigned after moving out of the city.

Vallejo's campaign will host a formal announcement event after the Labor Day holiday.

Tony Vallejo is a CPA living in Goleta.

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Car Catches Fire on Santa Barbara Highway 101 Offramp

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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CHP, Santa Barbara City Fire respond to scene, extinguish flames near Carrillo Street northbound offramp

The California Highway Patrol and Santa Barbara City Fire Department responded to a car engulfed in flames Tuesday morning near the Carrillo Street offramp on northbound Highway 101. 

CHP officers got the call at 11:11 a.m. and found a car on fire, causing them to close the offramp temporarily, according to an incident information report. 

There were no injuries, but the vehicle is a total loss from the fire damage, City Fire Capt. Steve Berman said. 

The driver didn't report any problems with the vehicle and with the extent of the damage, City Fire couldn't pinpoint the exact cause, he said. 

It's not often a vehicle fire gets going that strongly, he noted, but the flames didn't spread to any nearby vegetation. 

"It was going pretty good when we got there." 

 

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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SoCal Women Leaders Coalesce Around Mayor Schneider in CA-24

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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Expanding her coalition of key California women supporters, today Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider won powerful endorsements from some of Southern California’s most widely respected leaders, including former Los Angeles City Controller and Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel and West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath.

 “Mayor Helene Schneider has accomplished so much as a local City Council member, as mayor, and also during her time in management at Planned Parenthood for the tri-county area," Greuel said. "She knows what it takes to be a leader and turn great ideas into action. I know she will lead the charge in Congress to advocate on behalf of women to protect their rights and access to reproductive healthcare, equal pay for equal work, paid family leave and so much more. She has my full support.”

“Supporting Mayor Helene Schneider for Congress was an easy choice for me to make," said Horvath. "She’s developed an extensive resume of serving as a local leader for women, having worked at Planned Parenthood for over a decade and in leadership positions for local Central Coast and statewide women’s groups. Additionally, her stellar record on the City Council and as mayor makes her extraordinarily qualified to serve in Washington. I’m proud to endorse Mayor Schneider for Congress.”

Significantly, Mayor Helene Schneider has generated far-reaching support from women's organizations and leaders, including The National Organization for Women and many female politicians and community figures. 

Beyond endorsements, much of the dynamics in the race for the 24th Congressional district seat have changed over the course of the last two weeks following news of a poll by the nationally respected firm Lake Research, which showed Mayor Schneider leading the field of Democrats behind Republican Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, with Achadjian at 24 percent and Schneider at 16 percent, and the next closest Democrat lagging behind at 11 percent.

According to Lake Research, after voters hear positive profiles of all the candidates, Schneider closes the gap with Achadjian, advancing from 16 percent to 23 percent of the vote. The next closest Democrat is 8 points behind, demonstrating that Schneider is the Democrat best poised to advance to the general election.

For more information about Mayor Schneider's campaign or to view her full list of endorsements, please visit www.HeleneSchneider.org.

— Dave Jacobson is a publicist representing Mayor Helene Schneider.

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Supervisors Adopt Plastic Bag Ban for Unincorporated Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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Santa Barbara County Supervisors adopted an ordinance Tuesday that will ban single-use plastic bags in unincorporated county areas.

The supervisors voted 3-2, with Supervisors Steve Lavagnino and Peter Adam dissenting, to adopt the ordinance which had been approved with the same vote in July.

The law will take effect in 2016, requiring shoppers to bring their own bags or pay 10 cents each for paper bags in retail stores selling food items, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.

Larger stores of 10,000 square feet or more will be subject to the ban on March 22, 2016 and smaller retailers will have to implement the ban starting Sept. 24, 2016. 

Lavagnino said that he spent some time in Hawaii over the recent break from Board of Supervisors meetings and noticed that there are no plastic bags on the island, but stores do offer recycled, free paper bags.

With the county’s ban, “it forces you to pay for a paper bag which I think should be provided for free,” he said.

The item was ultimately approved, however.

Before considering the ordinance, the Board of Supervisors certified an environmental impact report that showed positive impacts for air quality, biological resources and water resources with the ban, the county said. 

Dozens of municipalities across the state have also adopted their own ordinances. ​

Carpinteria was the first city in the county to adopt such a ban, with the City of Santa Barbara following suit last year

The City of Goleta has delayed taking a vote on the issue until a statewide ballot measure can be voted on in November 2016.

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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PSHH Breaks Ground on $18 Million Renovation Project

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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Peoples’ Self-Help Housing broke ground Wednesday, Aug. 19, on their $18 million renovation project at Villa la Esperanza Apartments, 131 S. Kellogg Ave., Goleta.

Upon completion, 83 units will have been beautifully restored with 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 as well as other fees.

The public, Villa la Esperanza residents, elected officials and supporters attended the groundbreaking ceremony announcing the major rehabilitation project.

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 recognized the original sponsors and members of the Goleta Valley Housing Committee who were responsible for the construction of the complex, as well as the final members of the committee at the time of the transfer in 2014. 

The property currently consists of seventy-five 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 eighty-three.

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, two tot lots, playground and barbecue area. 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 included Vito Gioiello, Board Member of Goleta Valley Housing Committee as well as Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, who described the 40-year history of the project and recognized the various churches and nonprofit organizations involved.
 
PSHH President and CEO John Fowler discussed 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 over 250 additional affordable-housing units in the greater Santa Barbara area.
 
Other speakers included U.S. Congresswoman Lois Capps, Santa Barbara County 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte, District Representative Liora Goodman, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, District Supervisor Assistant Hilary Campbell from the Office of Santa Barbara County, 2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf, Paula Johnson on behalf of the Goleta Valley Housing Committee and Villa la Esperanza residents.

Partners include RMM Design Group Architects, Robert 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. 

Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Kristen Miller and her staff assisted with the official ribbon cutting.

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

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Carbajal Receives Endorsement from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the first woman Speaker in U.S. History and the top Democrat in Congress for more than a decade, has endorsed Salud Carbajal for Congress. 

Pelosi joins Congresswoman Lois Capps in headlining a growing list of more than 100 elected officials, business and community leaders who have endorsed Carbajal for Congress.

"Salud Carbajal is a tenacious and effective champion for California’s hard-working families — and he’s the best person to carry forward Congresswoman Lois Capps’ legacy of bipartisan achievement,” Leader Pelosi said.  “Carbajal knows how to bring people together to deliver change and expand the opportunities of the middle-class families of the Central Coast. I am proud to endorse Salud Carbajal for Congress."

As the Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 114th Congress, Pelosi is fighting for bigger paychecks and better infrastructure for America’s middle-class families. 

“It is truly an honor to receive Leader Nancy Pelosi's endorsement," stated Carbajal. “I have long admired her work as the leader of our Party in Congress and her accomplishments as the first woman to serve as the Speaker of the House. I look forward to working with her to deliver results for the Central Coast and bring opportunity and security to middle-class families.” 

Carbajal was elected to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors in 2004, where he established a track record of bringing people together to get results for the Central Coast. 

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

— Cory Black is a publicist representing Salud Carbajal.

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John Daly: Fighting for the Voiceless, Including Animals

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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Over the past several columns, I’ve been writing about compassion for others. That needs to extend to the animal world.

For those of you who know me personally, it is clear how much my bull mastiff, Cooper, means to my wife and me. That’s why I read with great interest a recent Noozhawk article by reporter Gina Potthoff. 

The sad abuse that animals suffer at the hands of “seemingly intelligent” human beings is appalling. It feeds back in to the thoughtless, often cruel, even evil, behavior of some of my fellow man. It is unacceptable and has to be stopped.

Harder punishment for animal abusers is a step in the right direction. Davey’s Law, Davey Alerts and an Animal Abuser database will go a long way to help prevent further abuse. With those tools, people like you and me can play a bigger part in stopping the abuse.

But, what can we do? First, click here to read more about the Davey’s Law effort.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), here’s how you can help:

Know and look out for the animals in your neighborhood. Look for the following signs and symptoms in your neighborhood:

» Tick or flea infestations. If left untreated by a vet, this can lead to an animal’s death.

» Wounds on the body.

» Patches of missing hair.

» Extremely thin, starving animals.

» Limping.

» An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal.

» Dogs that repeatedly are left alone without food and water, often chained up in a yard.

» Dogs that have been hit by cars-or are showing any of the signs listed above-and have not been taken to a vet.

» Dogs that are kept outside without shelter in extreme weather conditions.

» Animals who cower in fear or act aggressively when approached by their owners.

If you detect any of this, here’s what you should do.

» Know who to call to report animal cruelty. Every state and every town are different. Click here to make an anonymous tip with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department or talk to the Santa Barbara Animal Rescue for advice. And support their efforts with a donation. Act. Don’t just shake your head and feel sorry for the animal.

» Provide as much information as possible when reporting animal cruelty. The details that you provide can go a long way toward assisting an investigating officer. It helps to write down the type of cruelty you witnessed, who was involved, the date of the incident and where it took place.

» Contact your local law enforcement department and let them know that investigating animal cruelty should be a priority. Animal cruelty is a CRIME — and the police MUST investigate these crimes.

» Fight for the passage of strong anti-cruelty laws. Start with Davey’s Law and go from there.

» Set a good example for others. If you have pets, be sure to always show them the love and good care they deserve. But it’s more than just food, water and adequate shelter. If you think your animal is sick, bring it to the vet. Be responsible and have your animals spayed or neutered. And give your pets lots of hugs!

» Talk to your kids about how to treat animals with kindness and respect. The ASPCA regularly sees children in homes where animal abuse has been reported. If a parent isn’t treating the family’s pets right, the ASPCA tells the kids that their dog or cat would really appreciate fresh water every day or some daily playtime. If the animal has been left outside without shelter, they’ll say, ‘You have a nice house, and if you get cold, you can put a coat on. But your dog can’t do that.’ Children understand that animals are living creatures that have the ability to feel pain, joy and sadness.

Compassion should extend to all living creatures. Don’t you agree?

— 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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Sansum Clinic Upgrades Mammography Technology

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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Advanced imaging has become a very important tool in the early detection of cancer, and Sansum Clinic recently invested in the newest 3-D Mammography technology available as an option for its patients.

The new Selenia Dimensions from Hologic, can help provide the following:

» Earlier detection: While digital mammography has been the most advanced screening technology available, it is 2-dimensional and has limitations. This new 3-D equipment can detect small cancers that may not be seen with traditional 2-D images.

» Greater accuracy: 3-D mammography results in better survival rates because of early detection.

» Decreased recall rates: Improved accuracy reduces the need for patients to return for additional imaging tests. There is also a reduction in the occurrence of false positive biopsy readings.

Unlike 2-D digital mammography, which takes a full view of the breast tissue as a flat image, 3-D mammography is a 3-dimensional image of the breast tissue with several images that are taken at varying angles along an arc across the breast.

With 3-D mammography, the premise is that what is hidden behind fibroglandular tissue on one image might be visible in another image if the angle is slightly different.

Upgrading to the new 3D technology helps detect cancers much earlier and those cancers can be caught when they are much smaller, making them easier to treat. 

A recent article, “Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination with Digital Mammography” from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA- June 25, 2014) highlights the distinct benefit of the technology after a total of 454,850 examinations (281,187 conventional mammograms compared to 173,663 3-D mammograms) were conducted.

Its findings show significant improvements with 3-D mammography:

» A 41 percent increase in the detection of invasive breast cancers

» A 29 percent increase in the detection of all breast cancers

» A 15 percent decrease in women recalled for additional imaging

All patients who need a screening mammogram are good candidates for 3-D screening mammography. Multiple studies have shown that all women, regardless of breast type or density, may benefit from 3-D mammography.

To learn more about this exciting new technology, please contact your primary care doctor or visit www.hologic.com or www.sansumclinic.org/mammography.

— Liz Baker is the marketing supervisor for Sansum Clinic.

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Real Estate Pro Wayne Natale will Lead Salute to Teachers Golf Tournament

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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Local real estate professional Wayne Natale will serve as event chair of the fifth Annual Salute to Teachers Golf Tournament and Cocktail Party scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2 at Glen Annie Golf Course, located at 405 Glen Annie Road in Santa Barbara.

Registration for the tournament begins at 10 a.m., tee of is at noon, and the cocktail party is scheduled for 5 p.m.

In addition to the golf tournament, there will be contests, a silent auction and plenty of food and drink. All money raised from the tournament is earmarked for the Teacher’s Fund.

Founded in 2002, Teacher’s Fund raises monies for Santa Barbara area teachers for supplies and outside classroom activities not covered by school funding.

Renee Grubb and Ed Edick, co-owners of Village Properties, started the nonprofit, which has given over $1 million to local educators. 

Helping Natale stage the Oct. 2 event are the following committee members: Renee Grubb and Sheila Hunt, sponsors organizers; Steve Puailoa, golf activities; Adrienne Schuele, auction; Bob Curtis, volunteers and food & beverage; Dianne and Brianna Johnson, special promotions; Rich Nahas, emcee; and Joan Roberts, Terrie Whipple, Lara Casatagnola, Robert Watt, Lee Hung, Patty Armor and Jon McCusky, volunteers at large. Natale is in charge of set-up. 

Wayne Natale

So far, sponsors of the fifth Annual Salute to Teachers Golf Tournament and Cocktail Party include Cox Media, Santa Barbara Foundation, Prospect Mortgage, Coastal Copy, Heritage Oaks Bank, On Q Financial, Union Bank, Montecito Bank & Trust, Banc of California, First American Title, Chicago Title Company, Fidelity Title Company, Haaland Diving Inc., Adrienne Schuele Real Estate, Marborg Industries and Movegeen and WFG Title Company.

From the time Natale earned his real estate license in 1981, he has sold and marketed residential, ranch, land, vineyard and estate properties in the Santa Ynez Valley, where he and his wife, Patti, have lived since 1976.

When not volunteering with Teacher’s Fund, Natale gives his time as a board member of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and sits on their Santa Ines Mission Mills committee.

He is also a member, as well as past president, of the San Lorenzo Foundation and a board/founding member of the Santa Ynez Chamber of Commerce. 

To learn about participating in the fifth Annual Salute to Teachers Golf Tournament and Cocktail Party or sponsorship opportunities, contact Natale at 805.686.7454 or [email protected].

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing the Teacher's Fund.

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Big-Rig Crash Shuts Down Highway 101 in Carpinteria

By | Published on 08/25/2015

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A big-rig crash and resulting fuel spill shut down northbound Highway 101 in Carpinteria Tuesday morning, causing a major backup for the morning commute.

The non-injury wreck occurred at about 4:20 a.m. near the Santa Monica Road offramp, and involved a tractor pulling two loaded trailers, according to the California Highway Patrol.

About 40 gallons of diesel fuel spilled, and about 300 feet of guardrail were damaged, the CHP said.

One freeway lane was reopened at about 7:40 a.m., but backups were expected to continue through the morning.

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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Help Sought Identifying Vehicle Suspected Of Igniting 3 Fires

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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The largest blaze that sparked Aug. 16, the Cuesta Fire, is 85 percent contained and 2,446 acres, Cal Fire officials say

Cal Fire officials have released a photo of the vehicle suspected of sparking fires at three separate locations in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties on Aug. 16.

The photo, reportedly taken in Arroyo Grande,  show a white pickup pulling a trailer towing a Volkswagen Bug, Cal Fire representatives said.

Anyone with information about this vehicle in the photo should contact the Cal Fire arson hotline at 800.468.4408, officials said Monday.

People who call the hotline can remain anonymous.

Sparks from the vehicle are suspected of igniting the Cuesta Fire, now 85 percent contained and 2,446 acres, Cal Fire said Monday night. 

The fire’s size is smaller than the 3,500-acre estimate released in recent days, which Cal Fire officials credited with aircraft that conducted previous assessments being limited by dense tree canopy, heavy smoke conditions and local coastal fog.

Firefighters hope to fully contain the fire by Wednesday, with a force of 1,326 members still involved in the battle that last week led to the evacuation of hundreds of homes in Santa Margarita as flames advanced on the small community north of San Luis Obispo.

Before the Cuesta Fire started at 6:12 p.m. along Highway 101 at the Cuesta Grade, another vegetation fire ignited on Highway 101 at the Nojoqui Summit at 4:40 p.m.

The two-alarm fire burned around six acres before it was contained that night, Santa Barbara County Fire Department representatives said. 

The blaze sent up a large cloud of black smoke, which firefighters blamed on a burning plastic pipe in the culvert under the freeway. The thick dark smoke made it appear the flames had crossed the highway. 

Firefighters used foam and water at both ends of the pipe to extinguish the burning plastic.

After the Cuesta Fire, a third blaze burned on Highway 41 at Cottonwood Pass. The Cholame Fire burned eight acres.

Other drivers had reported the night of the fires that the blazes were started by a vehicle pulling a trailer, and possibly dragging a chain, creating sparks that ignited the drought-thirsty vegetation.

All three blazes occurred adjacent to uphill portions of the roadways, according to Cal Fire. 

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 Officials, Legislators Concerned About Drone Use, Regulation

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson backs bills to prevent drone interference with wildfires, privacy violations though there haven't been any local incidents

By now, most folks know what a drone is, based on stories they’ve heard — a swarm of unmanned remote-control aircrafts flying over a Southern California wildfire, interfering with firefighters, or a friend of a friend who bought one to take aerial photographs.

Drones roared into the commercial market in recent years after people outside the government and defense realms were able to buy them. As often happens, laws on the books haven’t quite caught up to challenges the new technology brings.

The number of drone sightings by pilots in the United States has more than doubled this year compared to last year, with 238 in 2014 compared to 650 by Aug. 9, 2015, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which governs the skies.

The FAA rolled out drone regulations this summer, which focused on commercial versus recreational use and generally asked operators to keep drones in line of sight and below 400 feet, three miles from an airport and away from populated areas. They should also weigh fewer than 55 lbs, unless otherwise certified.

Basically, be smart and “drone responsibly.”

Santa Barbara County hasn’t seen the close-call collisions between drones and airplanes or helicopters, or interrupting firefighting efforts, but officials say it’s only a matter of time.

“It could happen in our community,” State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson said. “We shouldn’t treat them as toys because the potential dangerous impact of these drones is tremendous. We haven’t had this problem at this level ever before.”

Santa Barbara Airport operations manager Tracy Lincoln confirmed he’s not aware of any local sightings, but he followed up comments with, “knock on wood.”

He said a couple businesses near the airport asked if they could fly a drone to get cool aerial shots of their buildings, so Lincoln referred them to the air traffic control tower to coordinate with the FAA directly.

“They’re really awesome, but they need to figure out how to control every Tom, Dick and Harry that buys them,” Lincoln said. “I think most people want to be safe.”

Anyone can find a drone online starting at less than $100, with Samy’s Camera in Santa Barbara is selling nearly a dozen different models.

Some local realtors even hire drone photographers to take pictures of listed properties, although most didn’t want to talk specifics because of uncertainty with rules.

Last week, California’s Senate Judiciary Committee and Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management hosted an oversight hearing on the pros and cons of drones.

Jackson, who sits on both committees, acknowledged the exciting potential, including Amazon delivery by drone, farmers flying drones to identify areas on property that need water, or emergency personnel working them into search and rescue operations.

Juxtaposed with her enthusiasm were the horror stories of five drones downing firefighting planes in Riverside or a drone preventing a medical helicopter from landing at a Fresno hospital.

“Along with the positive applications — as we see with most emerging technologies — there really are some significant concerns about privacy,” Jackson said.

“Laws do prohibit interfering with (wildfire) operations but don’t mention drones specifically. It really presents significant problems.”

She has joint-authored a bill in response to drones impacting wildfire operations and penned another to prohibit drones from trespassing on private property.

SB 167, which will soon go to a Senate Public Safety committee, would make it a misdemeanor to knowingly operate a drone in a manner preventing or delaying efforts to extinguish a fire — punishable by up to six months in county jail and a maximum fine of $5,000.

SB 142, which would create a “no-fly zone” of 350 feet above private property, passed off the Assembly floor Monday with a 56-13 vote. The bill heads to the Senate next. 

If the FAA catches drone violations, the agency can file criminal charges and impose jail time or fines of $1,000 to $25,000, depending on seriousness of violation, according to FAA spokesman Ian Greger.

He said the FAA doesn’t have any active or closed enforcement cases in Santa Barbara County but noted the agency would work with local law enforcement if it did.

When rules are clearer, Santa Barbara County Fire will be ready to use its recently purchased drone, but not before then, said public information officer Mike Eliason.

“There are definitely positives and negatives involved with it,” he said.

Drones operating near wildfires are especially dangerous because planes, helicopters and air tankers all work together to battle a blaze in an area the FAA designates with a “temporary flight restriction,” Eliason said.

Each operates slowly to drop water or fire retardant — or to coordinate specific locations — and then needs to fly out quickly.

“A little thing such as a drone could get sucked into an engine or propeller,” Eliason said.

As part of its “When you fly, we can’t” public awareness campaign, CalFIRE last week launched an anonymous tip line to report drones seen interfering at fire scenes. The number is 1-844-DRONE11.

Likewise, commercial and private airplanes are notably more vulnerable when flying into or out of an airport.

Lincoln said visibility is reduced during takeoff because the nose of a plane is pointed up, and high power settings during takeoff and departure increase the likelihood of debris like a drone getting sucked into an engine, which could cause engine failure. 

Helicopters have similar visibility issues when landing or taking off, Lincoln said.

FAA guidelines say commercial drone users are supposed to obtain licenses and permits through the agency — a process described as taking two months to a year — but the threshold of what constitutes a business use was less clear.

Santa Barbara freelance photographer Eric Isaacs sees a big difference between flying his 1.5-pound plastic drone and the folks with 50-pound metal frames.

He’s had a drone two years, first as a hobbyist or for photo gigs and more recently as a go-to for real estate companies wanting aerial views of residential listings.

Isaacs thinks of all the times he wished he could hover 60 feet up, getting the perfect artistic angle. Now he can.

“For real estate, it’s sort of a no-brainer,” Isaacs said. “Getting an aerial view of something is very valuable.”

Isaacs controls his small drone, which sounds like a swarm of bees, with a remote control that sends video and still images straight to his cell phone. He said he’s following the rules to the best of his ability, staying low and away from other planes.

What some people don’t realize, he said, is that drones are equipped with safety features that won’t let them fall from the sky when batteries run out. They also have wide-angle lenses that are looking forward, not straight into people’s backyards.

“Educating people on that aspect is going to take a while,” Isaacs said, speaking to Jackson’s proposed privacy bill.

“It doesn’t address the reality of the problem; it addresses the perception.”

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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Suspect In Santa Maria Rape To Return To Court Sept. 2

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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A Santa Maria man facing rape charges is scheduled to return to Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Sept. 2.

Christian Sandez, 23, was arrested Aug.12 at his home on the 2400 block of Baldwin Way in the northwest section of the city, Santa Maria police said.

Detectives did not respond to a request for further information about the case. 

However, court documents said Sandez was arrested on suspicion of rape by use of drugs on an adult female victim in her 40s.

The attack reportedly occurred on or about Aug. 7, court documents filed Aug. 14 said. 

Bail was set at $100,000 in this case.

In addition to the violent felony crime, Sandez faces a misdemeanor charge after he was nabbed July 7 for misdemeanor driving with a suspended or revoked license, according to court paperwork. 

His bail in that case was set at $10,000, according to paperwork filed Aug. 20.

When he returns to court next month before Judge Patricia Kelly, Sandez is scheduled to be arraigned on the misdemeanor charge and have a preliminary hearing date set on the felony charge. 

Sandez remains in custody of the Santa Barbara County Jail.

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 Harbor To Add 38 Names To Slip Lottery Wait List

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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Boat slips are among the city's most sought-after pieces of real estate

Strong demand is expected when the city of Santa Barbara adds 32 names to its exclusive harbor boat slip wait list in a drawing scheduled for November.

The period to submit an application begins Oct. 1 at 8 a.m. and runs through Oct. 30.

Harbor slips are among the most sought-after pieces of real estate on the South Coast. The Waterfront Department, on average, assigns about two to three slip permits per year.

“We have had a lot of early inquiries, so I expect plenty of applications,” said Mick Kronman, harbor operations manager. “With demand for slips in Santa Barbara Harbor outstripping supply, it’s important to maintain this lottery list, to provide opportunity for future slip permitees.”

The draft lottery will be for people on a wait list – people who get second dibs, so to speak, on slips that become available if no one on the master wait list wants them. The slip might be the wrong size for the boat of the person awaiting a slip.

The draft lottery list was created in 2005 and consists of 50 names. When the list drops below 20, the city, according to its municipal code, must add more people to the list.

The master wait list has 27 people on it. The list has been closed to new applicants since 2000.

Spots open on either list in a variety of ways.

Kronman said the Waterfront department sometimes terminates a lease for non-payment, a slip holder dies and has no one to pass the slip onto, or someone moves their boat out of the harbor and returns it to city control.

If selected, boat owners must pay a $50 lottery placement fee. After that, people pay $40 annually to stay on the wait list.

Slips may also be transferred if the owner of a boat with a slip in the harbor sells the boat, at a cost of $200 – $375 per ft.

The Harbor Commission chairman will pull the names at a drawing, during a Harbor Commission meeting, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, at Santa Barbara City Hall.

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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Gaviota Rest Stops Closed Again Due to Sewer Repairs

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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Travelers last weekend were again greeted with closure signs at both Highway 101 rest stops near the Gaviota Tunnel, where crews worked to fix sewer issues in time to reopen later this week, according to Caltrans.

“There was a breakdown in the sewer/septic lines on the (Gaviota) State Park property, which adjoins the rest area,” said Caltrans District 5 spokesman Jim Shivers.

The latest closure began Friday afternoon. Although repairs were completed Monday, Shivers said work needed to set in place for at least 24 hours.

“We anticipate the rest area re-opening before the end of this week,” he said, noting he didn’t have any information on the cost of the recent fix.

Shivers said the rest stops had reopened as of 9 a.m. Tuesday.

News of the rest stop shutdowns follows a closure last month, when crews fixed the supply line bringing water to restrooms along the roadway and the nearby Gaviota State Park.

That work closed the rest stops for no more than a week, according to Shivers.

Water line issues have plagued the popular rest areas since completion of a 10-month renovation project involving the northbound and southbound rest stop bathrooms.

About 1 million people visit the rest stops each year, which is why Caltrans recently upgraded the restroom plumbing, electrical system and landscape and irrigation systems.

Restrooms were reopened to the public at the end of February, but were forced to close again last month for water line repairs.

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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UCSB Ranks in Upper Echelons of American Universities

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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UC Santa Barbara has moved up a notch in the Washington Monthly magazine’s annual National Universities Rankings. Continuing its upward trajectory, UCSB is ranked number 14 on the 2015 list, which appears in the magazine’s September/October issue.

The campus came in at number 15 in last year’s rankings and number 22 in 2013.

In addition, UCSB is listed at number 17 in the magazine’s “Best Bang for the Buck” rankings in the Western Schools category.

The university also is highlighted in the magazine’s College Guide as one of 10 “Access Improvers,” colleges and universities that have increased their enrollments of federally funded Pell Grant students while maintaining strong student outcomes.

“The University of California, Santa Barbara, for example, is in the top echelon of its state’s universities, serving students of variable income and ability,” wrote Mamie Voight, director of policy research at the Institute for Higher Education and Colleen Campbell, a senior policy analyst at the Association of Community College Trustees. “Yet 38 percent of Santa Barbara students are low income, compared to only 15 percent at Penn State, and Santa Barbara charges low-income students about half as much.”

While U.S. News & World Report usually awards its highest ratings to private universities, the editors of the Washington Monthly prefer to give public universities more credit and higher rankings. Fifteen of the top twenty universities in the Washington Monthly rankings are taxpayer-funded.

Among the criteria considered by the report are the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants; the difference between predicted and actual graduation rates; total research spending; Peace Corps service by graduates; community service participation; faculty awards and faculty members elected to national academies.

Regarding the "Best Bang for the Buck" rankings, the magazine’s editors describe it as their “exclusive list of the colleges in America that do the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.”

Of the 1,540 colleges and universities in the broader rankings, only 386 qualified as "Best Bang for the Buck" schools, and of those, UCSB landed in the top 20.

More information, including the complete rankings, is available at the Washington Monthly College Guide.

— Andrea Estrada is the deputy news director at UC Santa Barbara.

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ArchitecTours Announces Nine Stops of Annual Tour

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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The Santa Barbara chapter of the American Institute of Architects’s annual ArchitecTours, a celebration of local architecture, will showcase nine homes and businesses.

The theme of this year’s ArchitecTours is "buildings with a story." Each of the nine projects features an intriguing personal or construction story that profile many of the design obstacles encountered during the building process.  

The nine sites include a contemporary art-filled residence, a modern suburban home addition prototype, The Goodland Hotel, a modern cottage for multiple generations, a gracious downtown home, a mid-century modern library, a tract house, a craftsman's bungalow and the Santa Barbara County offices.

This event draws attention to the extraordinary architectural legacy in Santa Barbara and the value of well-designed architecture to its surrounding community.

Equally, ArchitecTours highlights the expertise that AIA architects possess, including a thorough understanding and expertise in urban design, sustainability, accessibility, structural improvements, building materials and historic renovation.

The tour will be held Saturday, Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will culminate with a festive party.

Early Bird Tickets are $65 for general public, $55 for AIA members and seniors and $25 for students.

Five percent of the proceeds earned by the event will be donated to Habitat for Humanity for their next project in Santa Barbara County.

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.aiasb.com or call 805.966.4198.

— Tara Rizzi is the executive director of the Santa Barbara AIA chapter.

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PCPA’s 51st Season Concludes with Comedy-Drama ‘Other Desert Cities’

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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A comfortable Palm Springs home at the holidays turns into a family battle ground in Other Desert Cities playing in the Marian Theatre Friday, Sept. 18 through Saturday, Oct. 3.

Verbal blows and jabs hit deep, opening old wounds in this family’s past that contains a closely guarded secret.

Brooke Wyeth is a middle-aged writer and the liberal daughter of prominent Republican parents who returns home after a six-year absence.

She throws the Christmas-time reunion into turmoil when she announces her plans to publish a tell-all book that dredges up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history that would surely tarnish their political and social reputations.

This searing comedy-drama by Jon Robin Baitz shows us a family struggling to keep their fragile façade from shattering.

Director Roger DeLaurier said the script is intriguing on a couple of levels. 

“I like the way the story unfolds as a mystery as we get to know and understand and like the characters. It is a complicated family with dark past secrets, which affect their present lives," he said. "The other thing I like about the script is that even through long and deeply held assumptions, love and family trump over those powerful secrets.”

DeLaurier said that while there is a mystery element to the play that serves to keep the relationships unfolding and deepening, the core is really a family drama with a lot of humor.

The cast includes Melinda Parrett as Brooke, Jessica Powell as Polly, Dan Kremer as Lyman, Kitty Balay as Silda and Matt Koenig as Trip.

The creative team includes Director Roger DeLaurier, Scenic Designer Tim Hogan, Costume Designer Robin Newell, Lighting Designer Jennifer 'Z' Zornow, Sound Designer Andrew Mark Wilhelm and Stage Manager Ellen Beltramo.

Matinees begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays. Evening performances begin at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. 

Tickets cost $29.50–$39.50 with discounts for seniors, students and children.

Other Desert Cities contains strong language and may not be suitable for small children.

— Craig Shafer represents Pacific Conservatory Theatre.

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Annual Antique Car Show will Benefit Hancock College’s Tech Program

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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Owners of antique Fords are encouraged to enter their car in the 13th annual Santa Maria A's All Ford Car Show and Swap Meet, located at the Orcutt Union Plaza, Sep. 12, 2015.

the event, which celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Ford Thunderbird, includes awards for best of show, best club participation and best original class Model A; 10 trophy divisions; live music and multiple raffles with many prizes, including a Santa Maria-style barbeque.

Admission is free for the public and $20 for sellers and entrants before Sep. 1 or $30 at the door.

The swap meet opens at 7 a.m. and the car show begins at 8 a.m.

Proceeds will benefit the Allan Hancock Industrial Technology Program.

— Jay McCord is the car show co-chair for the Santa Maria Model A Ford Club.

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DA Using Case of Severely Burned Teen as Cautionary Tale

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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Officials and Jacob Keefer's parents hope others will learn from the teenager's traumatic injuries

What started as three 14-year-old boys playing in a Santa Barbara backyard ended in tragedy after one of them was severely burned and left with life-threatening injuries last February.

The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office and the injured boy’s family are hoping to use the prosecution of the case as a cautionary tale to parents and their children.

Jacob Keefer, a Santa Barbara Junior High School student, was severely burned on Feb. 28 when he and two friends were playing with fire in the backyard of a house in the 700 block of California Street on Santa Barbara’s Riviera. 

Jacob’s family later stated on a fundraising site established to help with medical bills that the boy “was splashed with lighter fluid that immediately set flames to the upper half of his body. This includes his waist, chest, arms, hands, face and neck.”

Keefer was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and later received extensive treatment from the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center Burn Unit. He continues to recover in Santa Barbara.

A press conference was held Monday morning outside the office of District Attorney Joyce Dudley, who spoke with reporters about the decision to allow the juveniles to meet certain conditions in order for the felony charges they face to be dropped.

Last week, Dudley announced that the two boys with Keefer that day — identified only as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 — will face two felony counts, including arson of property and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.

Keefer’s mother was in attendance at the press conference on Monday, but did not make a statement.

Dudley said she’d come to know Jacob's family over the last six months, and that the family hopes no one will have to endure a similar incident.

Because the case involves juveniles, Dudley could not discuss the facts of the case or name the charged young people.

“They were good friends, all of them, with promising future,” she told reporters. “They used really poor judgment, and now they want to do all they can to make amends.”

Tara Haaland-Ford, who represents one of the boys accused of the crimes, said that her client was Jacob’s best friend at the time of the incident.

The other boy’s attorney, Megan Leisz, was not in attendance at the press conference and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Haaland-Ford could not speak as to exactly what prompted the incident other than “three boys that got an idea in their head” that had tragic repercussions.

“Three friends hanging out together made split second decisions that have changed them all forever,” she said.

The boys did not have any criminal records before the incident and have not had any contact with Jacob since.

“They would like to be in touch with Jacob, but it’s a process,” she said.

Dudley described the pre-plea diversion agreement, which was the result of six months of meetings with law enforcement, Fire Department officials, attorneys for both Jacob’s family and the suspects, and the DA’s office.

They came to an agreement on the terms last week, and Keefer's mother wanted the experience to be one that stuck with the boys.

“She always felt that she wanted them to learn from it, to become better men, and to impress upon the community how dangerous this is,” Dudley said.

The boys will have to work for 10 days with child cancer victims, and while the initial goal was to have them work with burn victims, the facilities that were found would not take juvenile volunteers.

Additionally, they will have to attend a program for fire education “to understand the ramifications of the danger of fire," Dudley said.

They also will have to complete 60 hours of community service in Santa Barbara County, and will not be able to possess any incendiary device or participate in any sort of social media, including Snapchat and Instagram.

The boys also must meet with Jacob’s mother, who will show them photos of what her son endured, Dudley said.

“They’re going to write a letter, one to Jacob’s mom and one to Jacob, explaining what they learned and how they feel about what happened,” she said.

Three months of counseling will also be required, and all of the terms will need to be completed by Feb. 29, 2016.

If they do not meet the criteria, they will face the criminal charges through the court system.

Though the charges will be dismissed if the terms are met, "it will never go away” for anyone involved, Dudley said.

As for Jacob, Dudley described him as "a beautiful extraordinary young man" and that he was recovering from his injuries.

“He’s still in a lot of pain," she 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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Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care Receives Four-Star Performance Rating

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have awarded Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care a four-star rating for top performance.

The ranking is part of the new CMS Quality of Patient Care Star Ratings within its Home Health Compare database, a service on the Medicare.gov website that helps consumers make informed choices about where to seek care.

Nationally, 9,359 home health agencies met the criteria to receive a rating, of which 26.3 percent received four or more stars.

VNHC, which has served the comprehensive home health and hospice services on the Central Coast since 1908, is among 42 other Visiting Nurse Associations of America member organizations who received top performance ratings. 

See the list here.

— Hannah Rael is a publicist representing Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care.

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Summerland Beach Reopened to Public After Oil Closure

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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Summerland Beach has been opened to the public again, Santa Barbara County Public Health officials announced Monday.

The beach had been closed since Friday because of a large volume of oil on the beach along with strong petroleum odors in the area, which public health officials said could cause adverse health effects.

On Monday, those impacts seemed to have lessened enough to open the beach again.

“Oil and odors have decreased due to tide activity and natural processes, thus immediate health concerns have diminished,” according to a statement from the Public Health Department.

The department-issued warnings remain in effect, saying people and animals should avoid exposure to crude oil compounds and strong odors.

County staff have been monitoring the beach on a daily basis and kept tabs on the quantity and nature of the oil and the presence of the odors since last week.

The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District has also been working with the Public Health Department to assess conditions.

“The primary concern is first and foremost to protect public health,” Public Health said. 

Both agencies have taken water, sand and air samples for testing, but it could be several days before results are available.

The cause of the oil hasn’t been identified yet, though the department acknowledged that there are seeps and old oil wells in the area, either of which could be the cause.

It likely isn't connected to the May 19 oil spill near Refugio State Beach, which occurred about 28 miles west of Summerland Beach, officials have said. 

“Long-term analysis and evaluation will be required to make determinations as to the source of the increased oil and odors,” the statement said.  

“While the source of the oil will be important for developing long-term solutions, the Public Health Department and Air Pollution Control District will remain vigilant in timely posting of warnings and closures when there is a potential risk to public health.”

People should report any oil sighting immediately to the USCG National Response Center at 1.800.424.8802 or the California Office of Emergency Services at 1.800.852.7550.

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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The Channel City Club Hosts History with Panel of Veterans

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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The Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation will hold a luncheon Wednesday, Sep. 9, 2015, at The Fess Parker's San Rafael Room entitled "Vietnam: The War & Its Veterans 50 Years On"

History will come alive at this luncheon and symposium featuring nine of Santa Barbara's Vietnam veterans telling personal stories, along with an encapsulation of the history of that war interspersed with music and films from and about the era.

Local veterans in the presentation include Peter Bie, John and Hazel Blankenship, Fred Clough, Phil Conran, Joe Danely, Carol Fritz, Fred Lopez, Steve Penner, Dennis Peterson, Jose Ramirez and Patricia Rumpza.

Registration begins at 11 a.m., and doors open at 11:30 a.m.

Tickets cost $40 per person. These events are usually sell-out events, and no tickets will be sold at the door.

Advance reservations are required and must be made no later than Friday, Sep. 4, 2015.

To make a reservation, call The Channel City Club at 805.564.6223 or visit The Channel City Club's website.

— The Channel City Club is a Santa Barbara-based non profit that aims to provide the community with a local venue for outstanding speakers on state, national and international issues.

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Duo of Award-Winning Poets will Present at Episcopal Church in Los Olivos

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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The public is invited to attend a free evening of poetry, featuring readings by award-winning poets Richard Jarrette and Pamela Davis Saturday, Sep. 5, 2015, at 7 p.m. at St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church in Los Olivos.

Complimentary refreshments and book signing opportunities in Stacy Hall will follow the readings.

Poet Richard Jarrette will read from his newest book A Hundred Million Years of Nectar Dances (Green Writers Press, 2015), which was described as a poetry cycle of singular beauty in nature that reveals an inherent religious quality.

The poems dance and sing and play and rest with their subjects.  

Jarrette is the author of Beso the Donkey (MSU Press, 2010) and the winner of the Gold Medal, Poetry, 2011 from Midwest Independent Publishers Association; Finalist, and 2011 Book of the Year from Foreword Reviews.

Reviewer Jane Hirshfield remarked, “I am entirely taken and altered by these spare, wise, hauntingly conceived, brilliantly crafted poems.” 

Jarrette lives in the Santa Ynez Valley after formative years in Los Angeles and North Carolina. 

Poet Pamela Davis will read from her new book Lunette (ABZ Press, 2015), an innovative and compelling collection of poems previously published in national magazines. 

Lunette won the 2014 ABZ Press First Book Poetry Award.

Davis has received the International Poetry Publication Prize from Atlanta Review and is also published in Nimrod International Journal as a semi-finalist for the Neruda Award. 

Davis received her bachelor's in English from California State University, San Francisco.

She is the co-founder of the Independent Writers of Southern California and resides in Santa Barbara. 

The Rev. Dr. Randall Day, St. Mark’s priest and rector stated, “We welcome absolutely everyone to attend this magical evening of poetry and enjoy these creative muses. St. Mark’s is pleased to offer a variety of artistic and literary events throughout the year. This one will be particularly uplifting with soaring poetry!”

St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church is located at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue in downtown Los Olivos.

For more information, please call the office at 805.688.4454 or email [email protected].

— Laura Kath is a publicist representing St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church.

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New E-Cigarette Restrictions Take Effect in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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The Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors approved July 21, 2015 amendments to County Code Chapter 37, Smoking, Tobacco Product and Electronic Smoking Device Control Ordinance, which includes e-cigarettes and vaping devices in all tobacco restrictions. 

The law now treats electronic smoking devices (ESD), such as e-cigarettes and vaporizers, just like conventional smoking and tobacco products.

One of the main changes will be an increase in the number of outdoor places where both smoking and tobacco/ESD use are restricted, including dining areas, public events and around county sites. All businesses that sell ESDs will be required to place the products and related paraphernalia behind the counter or out of customer reach.

“Everyone should be able to live, work and recreate in a smoke free environment. These amendments to our county’s Tobacco Control Ordinance move us in the right direction and help keep the public healthy and safe,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, Public Health Department director.

“I was pleased to cosponsor these amendments to the County’s tobacco control ordinance with our Public Health Department because I believe that the proliferation of 'ESDs' presents an increasing risk to the public, especially children. Other amendments to our ordinance strengthen protection of the public and employees from second-hand smoke,” said Second District Supervisor and Chair of the Board Janet Wolf.

Other elements of the new ordinance include smoking and vaping restrictions in common areas of multi-unit residences and specific requirements for shops that specialize in selling tobacco and ESD products and paraphernalia.

Currently, California State law does not regulate the use of ESDs at worksites or in public places. The unincorporated areas now join four cities within the County that already restrict ESD use in both indoor and outdoor settings.

The amendments to the ordinance will take effect on August 22, 2015.

A copy of the ordinance can be found here. For more information, please contact the Tobacco Prevention Settlement Program at 805.681.5407.

— Susan Klein Rothschild represents the Santa Barbara Public Health Department.

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Admission to Botanic Garden for Active Duty Military and their Families Free through Labor Day

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden honors those who serve our country by participating in the national Blue Star Program. 

A collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums across America, Blue Star Museums offers free admission to the nation’s service members, including National Guard and Reserve, and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2015.

During the rest of the year, the garden offers military with ID a reduced admission rates. Those who visit in uniform are given free admission all year round. 
 
Bring your whole family and your dog to cool off in the redwoods, take a free guided tour on weekends and enjoy five miles of trails through native plant communities from all over California. 

Climb high for great views or stick to the paved paths around the meadow area for easy wheelchair and stroller access. 

Check the garden's website for more details.  

— Rebecca Mordini is the communications coordinator at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

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Karen Telleen-Lawton: Eenie Meenie Miney Moe Part 1

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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Dear Karen: The event I have anticipated and dreaded for years is upon us in a few weeks. My folks are still active and relatively astute at 85 and 86. Nevertheless, they are moving to a retirement home that is just now under construction. They’ve lived in their house for over 50 years!

I am grateful that they have decided on their own, and my siblings and I will help them move, of course, but I’m anxious about divvying up fifty years’ worth of accumulation.

Mom has asked us for years to put our names on stuff, but we all felt awkward about it, and now time’s up.

There’s everything from our third grade pottery to a large silk carpet I suspect is quite valuable. How do we do this with three siblings 3,000 miles apart, and still keep speaking to each other?

— Dreading sibling confrontation

Dear Sibling: Congratulations to your parents on their upcoming milestone. You and your siblings are fortunate indeed that your parents are healthy and that they made their own decision. They are leaving under their own power.

The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College says Baby Boomers will eventually inherit $8 trillion in cash, real estate and a whole lot of curios. You’re not alone in your predicament.

Ask your folks about any items they’d like specifically to go to one of you — or someone else.

Since your folks seem pretty prepared, they likely already have wills and perhaps a trust. These should be consulted for any special instructions as to the division of assets.

Aside from specific wishes by your parents, the actually choosing of household items presents challenges that are best solved on the ground.

There are as many opportunities as challenges. If your parents are willing, you might want to spend some time asking them about the provenance of various objects. They will likely appreciate your caring about family heirlooms, keepsakes and momentos.

At the same occasion or a subsequent one, you can assemble an inventory list including this special information. E-bay or Google can be a valuable resource for some ballpark values, if you choose to include that in the list.

Then it’s time to hold the Great Eenie Meenie Miney Moe event.

On the day of the event, realize, remember and keep remembering that your relationships with your siblings are more important than stuff. Agree to try to be your best selves, and forgive each other for inevitable moments if old hurts get in the way.

Money Magazine lists some rules that may help smooth the way on Eenie Meenie Day. In addition to not allowing the transactions to tear siblings apart, they suggest you share with each other what are the top items on your lists.

Then decide on a basic process, such as drawing straws for order and then taking turns. If multiple siblings share a “must have” item, you may want one sibling to pay the others for it, rather than keep it as part of the regular pick.

Or in some cases, if the item can’t be shared or paid for, an alternative is to sell it and split the proceeds among the siblings.

I agree with most of these tips, but used a slightly different process for our own Eenie Meeny Miney Moe event. In a subsequent column I’ll list the tips that worked for us.

— Karen Telleen-Lawton’s column is a mélange of observations spanning sustainability from the environment to finance, economics and justice issues. She is a fee-only financial advisor (www.DecisivePath.com) and a freelance writer (www.CanyonVoices.com). Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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CHP Identifies Los Alamos Crash Victim as Jack Owens

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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The name of the man who was killed over the weekend in a rollover crash on Highway 135 near Los Alamos was released Monday by the California Highway Patrol.

The victim was Jack Owens, 29, of Los Alamos, the CHP said.

The wreck occurred shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday as Owens' 1996 Toyota 4Runner was southbound on the highway, south of Harris Grade Road, the CHP said.

Traveling at an unknown speed, the 4Runner swerved to the left across the northbound lane, ran off the roadway and overturned several times, the CHP said.

Owens, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle and suffered critical injuries, the CHP said.

He was transported to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, where he was pronounced dead.

The crash remained under investigation by the CHP.

A GoFundMe site has been set up to help cover Owens' funeral expenses. Click here to donate.

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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Cal Lutheran Psychology Doctoral Program Receives Accredidation in Time for First Graduates

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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The American Psychological Association has accredited California Lutheran University’s new doctoral program in clinical psychology for the maximum term of seven years.

Cal Lutheran launched the program in 2010 at its Oxnard Center in response to an increased need for mental health professionals. It applied for accreditation in 2014, the first year it was eligible to do so.

The designation is retroactive to April 21, which means that all students will have completed an accredited program. The first graduates finished their requirements in either May or the beginning of August.

Accreditation assures students, employers and others that a program meets nationally endorsed standards for the profession, is accountable for achieving what it sets out to do and is engaged in continuous review and improvements to provide the highest quality of graduate education and training in psychology.

The Commission on Accreditation commended the Graduate School of Psychology’s program for its thoughtful curriculum, state-of-the-art technology and strong support from university administration.

The report lauded the program’s efforts to attract and retain diverse students and faculty and to integrate issues of diversity into training and practice.

In particular, the commission noted that Ventura County’s only doctoral program in clinical psychology “is dedicated to serving the high-need Oxnard community.” 

With the highest concentration of ethnic minorities and a per capita income 37 percent below the average for Ventura County, Oxnard needs additional trained professionals who can provide high-quality and culturally sensitive psychological services, research that can influence policy and resources and consultation and training to increase the effectiveness of community organizations. 

The doctoral program is not only based in Oxnard but also operates a clinic in the city where graduate students provide low-cost bilingual assessment and counseling under the supervision of licensed clinicians as part of their practical training.

While some training programs in psychology focus primarily on clinical skills, Cal Lutheran balances the development of both clinical and research skills.

The commission commended the program for having a core faculty with a variety of theoretical orientations and research interests. This helps students consider clients’ issues from many different perspectives.

The program’s first graduates are Bonnie Brown of Santa Barbara, Daniel Knauss of Flagstaff, Katherine Oring of Playa del Ray, Ashley Ribeiro of Oxnard, Kristina Rodriguez of Thousand Oaks, Kristen Roye of Ventura and Miranda Sager of Canyon Country.

— Karin Grennan represents California Lutheran University.

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Cottage Health President Named Fellow for International Health Care Study

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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Ron Werft, president and CEO of Cottage Health, has been awarded the 2015 Walker-Sullivan Fellowship award.

Presented by California Health Foundation & Trust, which is based in Sacramento, the award is given to recognize outstanding health care leaders who are willing to study health care in one or more foreign countries.

Fellows are required to prepare summary reports for the foundation as well as the California Hospital Association. The objective of the study is to compare and contrast health care delivery and responsibility in other nations and better understand how these methods might have application in the United States. 

Werft will focus his fellowship on population health and end-of-life care. His intensive study will begin in Prague, Czech Republic.

He then will travel to Bratislava, Slovakia; Oslo, Norway and London, England. The trip is sponsored by the California Health Foundation & Trust. 

“I am deeply honored to have been selected as a Walker-Sullivan Fellow. This is a rare opportunity to be able to learn first-hand from health care leaders in other countries, and to exchange ideas and share experiences with them,” said Werft, who joined Cottage in 1987 and has been its president and CEO since 2000.

Fellowship award recipients in past years have included Thomas Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles  Dr. Steven Packer, president and CEO of Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. 

— Maria Zate represents Cottage Health.

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UCSB Ecologist Untangle Food Webs with Mathematical Model

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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Food webs are incredibly complex networks of interactions between organisms and the things they eat. One creature’s prey is another creature’s predator, while some organisms consume one type of food in their juvenile stage and another as adults.

Thousands of modeling studies have been developed to describe different consumer-resource relationships in the natural world, but a new general consumer-resource model, developed by ecologists affiliated with the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at UC Santa Barbara, captures the underlying structure of all ecological food webs and provides a framework from which new models that share the same assumptions and mathematics can emerge.

“It rolls a century’s worth of food-web mathematics into a single model,” said U.S. Geological Survey/ UCSB ecologist Kevin Lafferty, lead author of the report published in Science Magazine.

He and co-authors from Stanford University, Princeton University, Santa Fe Institute and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom formulated a mathematical model that outlines behaviors, circumstances and effects of the various strategies employed by consumers, from social predators such as the enormous killer whale to tiny parasites and pathogens.

“There’s a long history in ecology of striving for generality through the use of simple models, because models can help identify the key dynamical features common to many ecological systems,” said co-author Cheryl Briggs, professor in UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology.

The effects of this general consumer-resource model are far-reaching: resource management, conservation efforts, public health, urban planning and agriculture are but a few of the fields that could benefit from this wide-reaching concept.

“This is a key step to a unifying theory of ecology,” said co-author Armand Kuris, zoologist and professor in EEMB. “By removing the hidden assumptions of earlier work, we can now model all complex life cycles for all feeding strategies. These new models can more effectively tackle urgent problems such as climate change.” 

Giulio De Leo of Stanford University; Andrew P. Dobson of Princeton University and Santa Fe Institute and Thilo Gross of the University of Bristol also conducted research for this model.

— Sonia Fernandez is the engineering and public affairs writer at UC Santa Barbara.

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Devereux California Receives Media Grant from Hutton Parker Foundation in Time for 70th Anniversary

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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Devereux California would like to thank the Hutton Parker Foundation for a recently awarded $3,000 media grant.

This Media and Marketing Grant Program provides Santa Barbara-based organizations an opportunity for targeted, timely community outreach. Since the funding program’s inception in 1998, more than 220 nonprofit organizations have benefited from this small grant funding opportunity. 

This award is certainly timely, as in 2015 Devereux celebrates its 70th anniversary of caring service in this community.

Thanks to the Hutton Parker Foundation, Devereux will have a four-page marketing centerpiece spread in this week’s Independent (issue available Thursday, Aug. 20). 

The adult-care organization is grateful to have the support of a partner like the Hutton Parker Foundation, a company that encourages local nonprofits to flourish and progress through financial assistance.

It is also excited to expand and grow community relationships and partnerships with the assistance of this advertising insert. 

For 70 years, Devereux California has provided quality behavioral health services in residential, day, supported living and independent living programs to over 100 adults throughout Santa Barbara County.

Established by special education pioneer Helena T. Devereux in Pennsylvania in 1912, and in 1945 in California, Devereux is one of the largest national nonprofit providers of behavioral health care services in the country.

To get involved or for more information, please contact the Manager of External Affairs Cassi Noel at 805.968.2525 x1-202 or [email protected].

— Cassi Noel represents Devereux California.

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Closures Scheduled for Jalama Road During Final Week of August

By | Published on 08/24/2015

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Jalama Road will be closed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at milepost 8.8 on the nights of Aug. 24, 25 and 26 ending at 6 a.m Aug. 27.

The closures are scheduled for girder construction activities. 

Portable changeable message boards are in place to alert travelers on Jalama Road near Highway 1 and at Jalama Beach.  

A full road closure is required because of the size of cranes required to lift each 118 Ton precast concrete girder into place.

For questions, please contact the Public Works Department during regular business hours at 805.739.8780 or at 805.681.4990; you may also call their 24-hour phone information line at 805.681.4995.

Updates will be posted at the following County of Santa Barbara, Public Works Department sites: 

» Website

» Facebook

» Twitter

The Public Works Department would like to thank local residents, cyclists, pedestrians and the traveling public for their patience and cooperation during these critical work periods.

— Eric Pearson is the construction section manager for the Public Works Department, Transportation Division.

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With SBCC Classes Resuming Monday, Santa Barbara MTD Girds for Bus Line Backups

By | Published on 08/23/2015

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Ongoing Castillo Street underpass construction expected to further tangle traffic when thousands of students return to campus

The Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District will likely face gridlock and congestion this week during trips to and from Santa Barbara City College.

Ongoing construction on the Castillo Street underpass has forced lane closures and detours, inconveniences that will be amplified when thousands of students return to campus.

“​MTD is experiencing some delays due to congestion, as is everyone who regularly uses that roadway,” said Jerry Estrada, MTD’s general manager. “Delays may increase once SBCC classes begin on Monday.”

Caltrans is attempting to solve the riddle of the continual water seepage at the Castillo Street underpass by installing interlocking concrete pavers. Groundwater seeps have been a decades-long problem at the site, wrecking roads, creating potholes and creating a slippery look and feel for motorists.

The southbound Highway 101 entrance ramp from Castillo Street has been closed for two weeks, and is expected to re-open Aug. 31. That same day, Caltrans will close the southbound exit ramp for four weeks.

Crews hope the $873,000 project, expected to be completed by the end of September, will allow groundwater to drain, while improving road conditions.

Estrada said the existing entrance ramp closure contributes to congestion in the area, which slows down bus travel times.

The upcoming exit ramp closure will require MTD to detour its Line 15x from Isla Vista. Those buses will instead exit on Garden Street, turn right on Yanonali Street, right again on Montecito Street, and then head toward the intersection of Castillo and Montecito streets.

If that detour proves to be too congested for MTD and its bus riders, MTD will exit on Las Positas Road, then continue to Cliff Drive and on to SBCC.

“Every effort will be made to accommodate our passengers as well as possible, given the conditions,” Estrada said.

SBCC also is encouraging its students to take alternative transportation to avoid the congestion.

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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Goleta Officials Question Financials, Ownership of Goleta Valley Community Center

By | Published on 08/23/2015

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Council will wait for a complete audit, but discusses taking over management of deficit-plagued facility from its nonprofit operators

Not happy would understate how City of Goleta officials reacted last week to news that the Goleta Valley Community Center doesn’t have a strong financial footing.

After hearing a comprehensive update on the facility’s operations Tuesday, one City Council member suggested taking over operations of the city-owned property from the namesake nonprofit organization that’s managed the site since 1977.

The somewhat confrontational exchange between council and GVCC leaders ended with a unanimous vote of the four council members present to take up the issue again in October — when the center’s audit and a five-year plan could shed clarity on issues.

“At the very least, I think we need to give them a chance to come back here with a plan,” said Councilman Tony Vallejo, who as a CPA and relatively new council member cut the GVCC some slack for not having an audit completed.

Officials called the Goleta Valley Community Center at 5679 Hollister Ave. a gem that serves as a venue for everything from child care to senior services and rentable special event space, with an added commitment to nonprofit organizations.

Topping a list of grievances were unmaintained playing fields and parking lots, inconsistent rental rates and at least a four-year record of operating in the red.

The city has owned the seven-acre facility valued at $4.5 million since 2013, first taking over the lease from Santa Barbara County when Goleta incorporated in 2002.

The iconic building has been in the heart of Old Town Goleta since 1927, when it was built as Goleta Union School before it closed in 1976.

It could also be the site of a new civic center and city hall if Goleta officials decide to relocate from 130 Cremona Drive.

Goleta subleases to the GVCC and supports operations by not charging rent — the county was charging $3,000 a month — and by donating approximately $100,000 toward activities and programming over the years.

The GVCC, which currently has a month-to-month lease with the city pending negotiations, has saved some $470,000 in lease payments, which made the revelation all the more hard to swallow for the city.

With revenues of $447,482 in the 2013 fiscal year — the most recent data given to the city — the GVCC finished nearly $20,000 in the hole.

Councilman Roger Aceves admonished the eight-member volunteer GVCC nonprofit board for not having an audit.

GVCC general manager Rob Locke said there had been confusion over whether the city wanted a review or full audit, but he confirmed one was under way.

“We’ve asked for it, even offered to pay for it,” Aceves said. “The reluctance to do the audit is very concerning.”

He wondered why the GVCC was charging its four tenants — the Community Action Commission running Head Start, Klong Fitness, Rainbow School and St. Therese Classical Academy — below fair-market value rent since not all of them were nonprofits, but Locke later clarified that they all were.

City management analysis Luz Reyes-Martin said rents weren’t consistently increased over the past 10 years (0 percent to 2 percent) although the nonprofit board just increased Locke’s salary by 8 percent. The center employs eight people in six full-time equivalent positions.

The city recommended a re-evaluation of rates, since most revenue comes from rent and user fees.

Reyes-Martin said alternative management options included not renewing a lease and taking over operations (city staff or contracted personnel); replacing the GVCC with another nonprofit operator (city sets rental rates); negotiating with the GVCC (city sets rates); or adopting a wait-and-see approach.

“Clearly, if you’re losing money every year you can’t sustain an operation,” Councilman Michael Bennett said.

“I will tell you now I will never support public employees running the operation,” he said. “I think we need more answers to the issues you’ve raised.”

Aceves, on the other hand, leaned toward city or contracted employees operating the facility instead. Mayor Paula Perotte expressed similar frustration.

Councilman Jim Farr did not attend the meeting.

“We’ve tried and tried to work with the board, and every time we try we just get basically nonresponsive answers,” Aceves said.

“It’s a big city asset with a big responsibility. I don’t see how it’s going to get any better.”

The council appointed Vallejo to be its liaison to the GVCC board — a change the organization is excited about, Locke told Noozhawk on Wednesday.

Locke said he’s already contacted the CPA firm conducting the audit — MacFarlane, Faletti & Co. — asking the firm to expedite the process.

Contrary to council belief, Locke said the GVCC is actually increasing its revenues. He said 2014 financials show the organization in the black by about $45,000 for the first time since the economic downturn.

“It’s difficult to say what the city has in store for the property,” he said. “I heard some positive things, and I definitely heard some concerning things. We want to fall in line with whatever the requests are.

“We’re kind of turning the corner. I remain optimistic that they’re going to find something that works for the city and the community.”

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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