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Antioch University Santa Barbara Awarded $1.6 Million Title III Grant

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Antioch University Santa Barbara has been awarded a Department of Education Title III grant in the amount of $1.6 million for the establishment of a five-year initiative supporting low-income and minority student retention and degree completion.

Nancy Leffert
Antioch President Nancy Leffert

Title III grants are allocated to support educational institutions in the expansion of their capacity to serve low-income and minority students by providing funds to improve and strengthen academic quality and institutional management. As a Hispanic Serving Institution, AUSB was eligible to compete for Title III funds. The institution was among 35 higher education institutions nationally, one of only four in California, to receive funds under the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Institutions Program. The federal funds, totaling $1.6 million over the next five years for AUSB’s College-to-Career initiative, represents 73 percent of the program’s $2.2 million cost; the remaining 27 percent will be paid with nonfederal funds.

AUSB’s successful grant application is consistent with President Obama’s priorities to increase the number of Baccalaureate degrees awarded to lower-income and Hispanic students and to prepare them with the job skills necessary for employment after graduation and, thus enabling the U.S. to compete more successfully in the global job market.

“This grant reflects AUSB's dedication to increasing diversity and access to higher education,” Antioch President Nancy Leffert said. “I'm incredibly excited that AUSB will be able to strengthen the things we already do well and provide the additional supports that will assist our students in launching their careers after graduation.”

The innovative and multi-faceted College-to-Career program will offer additional student services support for those students who may be at-risk of not completing their degree as well as enhancing academic success and degree completion through proactive advising and accessible writing and math tutoring.

"The Title III grant award will also enable us to emphasize the development of job skills and the employability of our graduates through a cooperative work education program," College-to-Career program director Dr. Catherine Radecki said.

To enhance the career readiness of AUSB’s graduates, the program will include the development of community worksites and internships that offer students relevant work experience, job skills, and career mentoring. In addition, it will feature career assessment and advising and training in employment skills, such as resume preparation, job interview practice, and networking with potential employers.

AUSB serves a diverse student body, the majority of who have transferred from Santa Barbara City College and other regional community colleges in order to complete their Bachelor’s degree. The program will utilize best practice strategies to increase degree completion among students of whom English may not be their first language.

"As a trustee of AUSB’s Board of Trustees’ and chair of its Hispanic Outreach Committee, I am extremely proud that the U.S. Department of Education has recognized our efforts to serve underrepresented, low-income students," Patricia Chavez Nunez said. "This grant will enable us to provide more services and promote even greater student success."

AUSB will initiate the first phase of the College-to-Career program immediately. For more information about AUSB’s Bachelor of Arts Completion Programs, scholarships and admissions, click here or call the Admissions Office at 805.962.8179.

— Brian Dearth is the marketing manager for Antioch University Santa Barbara.

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County Crews Extinguish Motor Home Fire in Lompoc

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Santa Barbara County Fire crews responded to a motor home in flames in the 3000 block of Avena Road in Lompoc on Monday afternoon.

The fire was reported at 3:42 p.m. in the Cebada Canyon area of Lompoc, firefighter Paul Christensen said.

A 23-foot motor home was fully involved in fire when crews arrived and the fire had spread into nearby vegetation, but firefighters extinguished the fire in about five minutes, Christensen said.

There were no reported injuries and no cause or estimated damage yet, he added.

The motor home was parked near a residence but the structure itself wasn’t impacted by the fire.

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

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Santa Barbara County to Study Future Water Supply Alternatives

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has directed the County Water Agency to undertake a study of local water supply options available now and into the future.

The scope of the report will include evaluation of the feasibility, reliability and cost of multiple water supply options, including recycled water, desalination, reservoir desilting or modification, additional surface water storage, groundwater recharge or banking, non-local supplies, State Water Project options and water transfers, among others.

The study is not intended to solve the current drought but to provide a tool to evaluate local and regional alternatives to ensure adequate water for the future.

“Decades ago planners looked forward at water issues and secured supplies that have made our environment and standard of living what it is today. It’s our responsibility as water planners to do the same for the years ahead,” said Thomas Fayram, deputy director of Public Works.

The county has contracted with RMC Water and Environment as consultants to conduct the study and assist with stakeholder outreach and formation of a Planning Partners group. It is anticipated that the project will take approximately one year to complete.

The Water Agency and RMC will be hosting two public meetings to explain the project and solicit public ideas and feedback. The meeting dates are scheduled for Monday, Sept. 29 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 511 E. Lakeside Pkwy. in Santa Maria, and from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30 at the County Planning Commission Hearing Room, 123 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara.

The study is an important piece of the Water Agency mission to respond to current drought conditions, study existing water supplies, and prepare for water supply and demand into the future.

Click here for more information on the project, public meetings or to submit a water supply suggestions form.

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Jury Returns Guilty Verdict in Lompoc Kidnap Case

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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A jury in Santa Maria found a top-ranking Santa Barbara  County gang leader guilty of kidnapping for extortion in his retrial on the charge for his role in a Lompoc case from 2013.

The jurors returned the verdict against Raymond Daniel Macias on Monday afternoon in Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria before Judge Patricia Kelly. 

The seven men and five women also found him guilty of special enhancements for use of a firearm and gang involvement.

The charge stems from a Jan. 3, 2013, incident in Lompoc that prompted the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury to hand down multiple indictments six months later.

Prosecutors contend Macias, also known as Boxer, was “the big homie” who oversaw collection of drug taxes in Santa Barbara County.

He is a member of the Santa Barbara-based Eastside Krazies, which authorities say is linked to Mexican Mafia Sureño gang.

The Macias case stems from the assault of Sicko, who was behind in his payments and hiding out from those trying to collect the money.

On Jan. 3, 2013, gang members took the victim to a Lompoc garage, where they beat him severely and broke his arm. At the request of prosecutors, Sicko’s identity is not being revealed.

Macias, who was represented by defense attorney Michael Scott, initially was charged with kidnapping for extortion, solicitation for extortion, torture and drug sales.

In late June, however, a jury failed to reach a verdict on the first two charges, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial for those counts.

Prosecutors chose to try Macias again on only the kidnapping for extortion charge and the retrial began in mid-August.

The judge ordered Macias to remain in custody with no bail plus set Nov. 5 for his sentencing for the latest conviction plus the earlier ones.

After Monday's verdict, Senior Deputy District Attorney Ann Bramsen called Macias "one of the most dangerous individuals in our community."

"I didn't feel like 23 to life ensured a life sentence," Bramsen said, noting early releases from state prisons due to overcrowding. "He's now going to receive a life sentence without (parole) so he will never be out on our streets and never be able to victimize anyone again. "

This is one of several cases recently where county law enforcement agencies have targeted multiple defendants. 

"It sends a message to the gangs and to the Mexican Mafia that in this county we're not going to tolerate their criminal activity and we're going to make sure that we do everything we can to  prevent them from continuing to victimize our citizens," Bramsen said.

Law enforcement officers have noted the arrests of Macias and his colleagues affected gang activities in the county, Bramsen said.

"When you take a leader out of his role it shakes up the organization, and so it does have an impact on their ability to be organized and their ability to coordinate their criminal activity," Bramsen added.

She also praised law enforcement agencies for their roles in the investigation, including Lompoc Police Department and former officer Scott Casey (now with Santa Maria Police Department), Santa Barbara Police Department, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

"This investigation and resulting successful prosecutions are the direct result of the hard work, commitment and intelligence of multiple law enforcement agencies and the staff of the District Attorney's Office, led by Senior DDA Ann Bramsen. Collectively we will continue to seek to abolish gang violence in our county," said District Attorney Joyce Dudley. "This conviction alone is a significant blow to the Sureno gang organization."

Macias is the last of the 12 men and women originally indicted in this case, officials noted. 

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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Capps to Visit Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital for National Rehabilitation Awareness Week

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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On Tuesday, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, will highlight National Rehabilitation Awareness Week by visiting the Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital.

Capps, a former nurse, will join staff and patients at the Rehabilitation Hospital to recognize the importance of the facility, which is dedicated to providing care for survivors of stroke, brain and spinal cord injury, orthopedic injury, and other disabling conditions.

“The Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital provides critical medical rehabilitation services to so many in our community,” Capps said. “I look forward to highlighting the important work being done at institutions like CRH during National Rehabilitation Awareness Week.”

Chris Meagher is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

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With ‘Telepresence’ Program, Ocean Explorer Robert Ballard Brings UCSB Students Aboard

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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When famed ocean explorer Robert Ballad and his research team were exploring the complex seamounts off the British Virgin Islands earlier this month from their ship, E/V Nautilus, a group of Santa Barbara elementary school students was right there with them. Virtually.

Thanks to a 24/7 satellite feed from the Nautilus to the auditorium at UC Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute, some 100 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from Adelante Charter School got a peek into Titanic discoverer Ballard’s current expedition — and the chance to chat with experts on board.

The program co-hosted by MSI and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary was a pilot event of what UCSB and Ballard, a 1965 alumnus, say will ultimately become a standing feature of the campus’ new Outreach Center for Teaching Ocean Science.

“Fishies!” went the cry the moment the stream was live, transmitting real-time underwater action from Hercules, one of Nautilus’ remote-operated vehicles (ROV), as it cruised the Anegada Passage. “Good morning, UC Santa Barbara! Hi from E/V Nautilus,” came the reply from Ballard team members Kelly Moran and Art Borja.

Over the course of an hour, as they enjoyed a lively Q-and-A session with Moran and Borja, the students caught sight of a host of creatures, including a bobtail squid, a swimming sea cucumber and an octopus, thanks to Hercules. The ROV also found and retrieved a sample from an unidentified rock during the live broadcast.

“We’ve been diving on underwater volcanoes, exploring them for the very first time,” Borja told the kids. “We’re seeing what’s there, looking at the biology and geology. And we’re constantly on the lookout for new forms of life.”

Before fate brought Ballard to UCSB, where he majored in chemistry and geology and completed the U.S. Army’s ROTC program, he grew up in San Diego. He lived near the ocean, at Pacific Beach, next to the renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Early on, Ballard said, he had his sights set on a marine life.

“As a kid, I wrote a Dear Santa letter to Scripps,” he recalled. “‘Dear Scripps, I want to be an oceanographer.’ They wrote back to me and said they had a program for kids. I was in junior high. That changed my life. I ended up meeting Bob Norris, who was teaching marine geology at UCSB. He invited me to Santa Barbara, I came, and the rest is history. But I saw how important that was — that they had answered my letter.

“When I found the Titanic, I got 16,000 letters from children the first week, asking ‘Can I do what you do?’ and ‘How can I be you? What do I have to do?’” Ballard continued. “That’s what led me to doing these live broadcasts. It’s hard to ignore 16,000 letters when I wrote one of those myself as a kid. And I really enjoy sharing my experiences.”

Which is why Ballard is teaming with his alma mater and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s CINMS to bring his education-aimed broadcast program — Nautilus Live, as it’s known — to campus as a regular offering of OCTOS, once the center is up and running. UCSB is leading an ongoing $10 million capital campaign to design and complete state-of-the-art educational exhibits, such as an interactive virtual dive display and an immersive theater, planned at OCTOS.

“We want Santa Barbara to think of the Nautilus as theirs, because it is,” said Ballard, a newly elected trustee of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation. “We want people from UCSB and the Santa Barbara community — students, teachers, educators, scientists — all to say, ‘That’s my ship.’”

UCSB wants its campus and greater communities alike to feel the same way about OCTOS, which will serve as an extension and expansion of current outreach efforts, according to MSI’s Scott Simon.

“OCTOS will leverage the collective resources of MSI and the National Marine Sanctuary to build a more robust program, including our touch tanks, lab experiences, and the telepresence experience with Bob Ballard’s Nautilus Live,” Simon said. “This dovetails very nicely with what we’re already doing. And how cool is it for local kids to come to college for a day and get that experience right here at UCSB?”

Very cool indeed, by all indications.

The recent Nautilus Live session with Adelante Charter School — kids asked the scientists about everything from what they eat on board to how it feels to find a shipwreck — culminated with some parting words for the students from Ballard himself.

“Deep ocean exploration is important for our planet’s future,” Ballard said. “I can’t think of anything better than having you come with me and letting you experience it. [With Nautilus Live], you can come aboard the ship and see it as it’s happening. You can say, ‘I was there.’”

When the program concluded, emcee Simon asked his young crowd, “So does anybody want to be a marine biologist now?”

“Me!” shouted several voices.

“I want to be an ROV pilot!” said another, just before someone else declared, “I want to be everything!”

And there’s the payoff. In addition to witnessing potential new discoveries underwater, the students may also have found something unexpected in themselves, according to teacher Paula Sevilla.

“Anytime we can get the kids — either literally or through technology — out of their own worlds to see other things, I think we allow them to dream about something they didn’t know was possible, and I think that’s incredibly valuable,” said Sevilla, who heads a fourth-and-fifth-grade combination class at the Spanish-English immersion school. “I think they’ll take this with them. I think it will help them push through barriers and obstacles. And I think it will not only help their current learning about ecosystems but also to continue on and fight for their futures.”

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

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Karen Telleen-Lawton: Symposium at Museum of Natural History Traces Human Origins

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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It amazes me, the ways in which modern archaeologists, geneticists and linguists can tease out clues about human origins. That’s why, when I read about the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s conference on the dispersal of early humans, I dropped almost everything to attend the two-day conference.

While attendees witnessed considerable debate in far-reaching findings, the 18 international scientists agreed on one major point. Humans throughout time have excelled at migrating and sex.

Museum of Natural History President and CEO Luke Swetland introduced the conference, largely organized by former trustee Janet Sands and director emeritus Dr. Karl Hutterer. The goal, according to Swetland, was, “Exploring our human wanderings: How did our journey change us as we encountered new environments? What can this tell us about our current journey?”

To these points, Australian geoarchaeologist Dr. Tim Denham described the adaptive strategies that have allowed people to cross barriers: environmental exploitation, a broad spectrum of plant and animal exploitations, maritime colonization, and mobility. Along the way, complex patterns of diversity developed, resulting in 7,800 languages, 240 language families and 190 isolates (languages that don’t seem related to others), according to Netherlands psycholinguist Dr. Dan Dediu.

At least two major waves of modern humans left Africa. Each time they encountered archaic species of hominids from previous dispersals. They interacted at a genetic level (see first paragraph), leaving markers in their genes. Consequently, all non-African modern humans are 1.3 percent to 2 percent Neanderthal. German anthropologist Dr. Mark Stoneking discussed other groups with traces of pre-humans, like 4 to 6 percent Denisovan heritage in New Guineans.

The earlier of the two waves made their way to Australia, represented genetically in modern-day Aborigines. By genetic analysis, Texas anthropologist Dr. Ted Goebel traced another wave that colonized Beringia, the region around the Bering Straight, as early as 35,000 years ago.

Then the puzzle. There’s a gap in the record: an icy period between 16,000 and 34,000 years where migrants seem to have holed up in Beringia. Perhaps they were awaiting visas? After that mysterious bottleneck, some groups sped south down the Americas, others may have returned west through Asia, and a contingent likely proceeded north and east through the Arctic to Greenland.

Along the way, there was a decrease in genetic diversity corresponding with the distance from Africa. Interestingly, Berkeley linguist Dr. Johanna Nichols — the only female presenter — pointed to increased language diversity with migration: Half the world’s families of languages come from the Americas, which represent much less than half the land.

Museum curator of anthropology Dr. John Johnson delivered the symposium’s capstone address. Johnson has built his career exploring local Chumash history and paleoindian coastal migration patterns. Under his guidance, teams have excavated the Santa Rosa Island location of Arlington Man, the only human skeletal remains discovered to date that are at least as old as 13,000 years.

Making the ancient relevant to youngsters, Johnson worked with the museum’s Quasars to Sea Stars teens to interpret DNA data and create an interpretive poster for the conference. The four-year high school program helps students perform immersive-based science. By museum statistics, it has boosted 90 percent of its graduates to college, two-third of whom have chosen majors in science, math or engineering.

If we’re lucky, one of these young Santa Barbara scientists will be able to solve the riddle of the Beringian gap years.

— 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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‘Tip-an-Actor’ Night at Tom’s Burgers to Benefit Lompoc Theatre Project

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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The Lompoc Theatre Project's second fundraiser of 2014 will be “Tip-an-Actor” Night on Tuesday, Oct. 14 at Tom’s Burgers, Lompoc’s iconic burger joint.

Stepping in to take and serve diners’ orders will be members of the theater project — led by former film and stage actor Mark Herrier, president of the Board of Directors.

All tips raised during the event will benefit the Lompoc Theatre Project’s efforts to restore and reopen the community’s historic theater. Following the meal, homemade desserts will be available for purchase.

The event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. No reservations are required.

Tom’s Burgers is located at 115 E. College Ave. Click here for the menu.

The Lompoc Theatre Project is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization working to restore the historic Lompoc Theatre as a venue for arts, entertainment, culture and education for the community and its visitors.

— Laurie Jervis is the publicity chairwoman for the Lompoc Theatre Project.

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City of Santa Barbara Reports Strong Growth in Sales Tax, TOT Revenue

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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The City of Santa Barbara received nearly $5.4 million in sales tax during the quarter ended June 30, which is 9.1 percent higher than the same quarter last year.

Since sales tax is received quarterly from the state, one quarter in arrears, the city receives the fourth-quarter results for each fiscal year in September, which also marks the final sales tax payment for fiscal year 2014.

More than $20.9 million in sales taxes were received in fiscal year 2014, representing overall growth of 6 percent, exceeding the budget by $231,739. This is the highest level of sales tax ever received by the city, surpassing the previous sales tax record in fiscal year 2007.

The sales tax budget for fiscal year 2015 is $21,317,400 based on a 3.5 percent growth assumption. Sales tax results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 will be available in December.

For additional information on recent sales tax results, click here.

Transient Occupancy Tax Up 13.4% in August

Santa Barbara lodging establishments collected and remitted $2.35 million in transient occupancy tax (TOT) during the month of August, which is 13.4 percent higher than August of last year.

More than $4.5 million in TOT has been collected through August. Year-to-date collections are 9.5 percent ahead of last year, ahead of the 4.9 percent growth needed to meet the adopted budget of $17,641,400.

For additional information on TOT, click here.

— Genie Wilson is the treasury manager for the City of Santa Barbara.

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Caltrans Adds Traffic Camera at Highway 101 and Santa Claus Lane

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Caltrans has announced the addition of three new traffic cameras that show real-time traffic conditions on its District 5 website.

These new cameras have been activated in the following locations:

» Southbound Highway 101 at Santa Claus Lane in Santa Barbara County

» Southbound Highway 101 at San Miguel Canyon Road in Monterey County

» Northbound Highway 101 at Santa Barbara Road in San Luis Obispo County

There are currently 19 cameras in San Luis Obispo County, seven in Santa Cruz County, six in Monterey County and nine in Santa Barbara County.

The statewide network of cameras can be viewed by clicking here. If you have a Mac, click here for the latest version of the Media Player for Mac.

In addition, motorists may call the automated California Highway Information Network at 800.427.7623 or click here to get current conditions for any highway in the state.

Jim Shivers is a public information officer for Caltrans District 5.

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Test Launch of Minuteman III Missile Set for Early Tuesday from Vandenberg

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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An operational test launch of an Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled for Tuesday between 3:45 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. from north Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The purpose of the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system, according to Air Force Global Strike Command.

Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, is the launch decision authority.

"While ICBM launches from Vandenberg almost seem routine, each one requires a tremendous amount of effort and absolute attention to detail in order to accurately assess the current performance and capability of the nation's fielded ICBM force and ensure public safety during the launch," Col. Balts said.

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Alliance for Living and Dying Well Invites Community to Free Film Series

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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When faced with talking about making difficult end-of-life decisions, sometimes just starting the conversation is the hardest part. The Alliance for Living and Dying Well believes that, while painful, these types of conversations and planning for death and dying are also a time of deep meaning and growth, and they can improve one’s quality of life and ability to enjoy life. The organization has found a unique way to spark these discussions through the power of the movies.

This fall, the alliance invites the community to its fourth annual Film Series, a free series of three film screenings, that explore how aging, loss, and recognition of mortality can deepen one’s appreciation of life. Following each screening, trained facilitators will lead discussions encouraging participants to voice their thoughts and express their feelings.

“Each film offers in depth perspectives on living life to the fullest and overcoming the challenges we face along the way,” said Susan Plummer, executive director of the Alliance for Living and Dying Well. “The film series is a unique and meaningful way for the alliance to raise awareness about the importance of speaking openly about the reality of death — to accept and embrace it as inextricably connected to life.”

All films are free of charge, and no reservations are required. Films will be screened in the Parish Hall of the Unitarian Society, 1535 Santa Barbara St., at 7 p.m. on Fridays — Oct. 17, Oct. 24 and Nov. 7. The featured films are:

» Oct. 17 — Shadowlands (1993). C.S. Lewis, a world-renowned Christian theologian, writer and professor, leads a passionate life until he meets spirited poet, Joy Davidman. When she is diagnosed with cancer, deeper feelings surface, and Lewis' faith is tested as his wife tries to prepare him for her imminent death.

» Oct. 24 — I Never Sang for My Father (1970). Gene Garrison, a widowed college professor, wants to get out from under the thumb of his aging father yet still has regrets about his plan to leave him behind when he remarries and moves to California. Gene must decide for himself if he'll stay to care for his father or finally move on with his life.

» Nov. 7 — Rocket Gibraltar (1988). Levi Rockwell, an aging patriarch reunites his entire family at his Long Island estate for his 77th birthday. During the course of the family reunion, Levi's health begins to fail and he passes on a sentimental request that he be given a "Viking funeral" after his death. With his adult children consumed by their own personal worries, it is up to the grandchildren to honor Levi's last wishes.

For more information about the Film Series, please call 805.845.5314 or click here.

The Alliance for Living and Dying Well is a collaboration of Santa Barbara area agencies that seeks a seamless, compassionate continuum of end-of-life care. The alliance fosters growth and learning through discussions of our mortality, and it promotes practical planning, such as advance health care directives. For information, please call 805.845.5314 or click here.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing the Alliance for Living and Dying Well.

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Ventura County Community Foundation Names New VP of Finance

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Bonnie Gilles has been appointed the Ventura County Community Foundation's next senior finance officer, effective Oct. 1.

Bonnie Gilles
Bonnie Gilles

The appointment as vice president of finance follows the retirement announcement of longtime vice president and controller Clare Brown, who will leave the post on Sept. 30 after a decade with the foundation. Brown will remain on staff part-time through December to ensure a smooth transition.

Gilles, a 35-year resident of Ventura County, most recently served for eight years as vice president of finance for Total Woman Gym & Day Spa, headquartered in Westlake Village. Total Woman operates 16 health clubs and employs 1,200 people.

"We were impressed with Bonnie's emphasis on ethics and integrity, as well as her broad and deep background in finance. Those are essential to VCCF, which invests more than $100 million of charitable capital to serve the people of Ventura County," VCCF President and CEO Hugh Ralston said.

Gilles' responsibilities will include oversight of the foundation's more than 600 donor-advised, donor-designated, scholarship, field-of-interest and agency endowment funds, as well as the foundation's investment portfolio, its $2.5 million operating budget and its annual grants and scholarship budget.

Prior to Total Woman, Gilles worked nearly 20 years as controller for the Westlake Village property management firm of Fore Property Co.

A certified public accountant, she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in business administration from California State University-Northridge.

"While my background has been in for-profit businesses, I have strong confidence I quickly can come up to speed in the nonprofit world," said Gilles, 55, of Camarillo. "The opportunity to work in an environment of philanthropy for this county I have called home since 1979 is exciting to me."

Gilles will report to VCCF Interim CEO Stacy Roscoe until the board identifies a successor for Ralston, who leaves the chief executive post on Sept. 30 to head the Fresno Regional Foundation. Morris & Berger of Glendale, which specializes in recruiting nonprofit executives, is conducting the CEO search under the direction of a committee of the VCCF board.

— Hugh Ralston is president and CEO of the Ventura County Community Foundation.

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Jersey Mike’s Subs Leases Space in Loreto Plaza in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Lee & Associates has negotiated a five-year retail lease in the Loreto Plaza Shopping Center, 3325 State St. in Santa Barbara.

Loreto Plaza is home to Gelson's Market, Harry's Plaza Cafe, Chaucer's Books and other retailers.

Pamela Scott of Lee & Associates-Central Coast represented the tenant, Jersey Mike's Subs, in this 1,700-square-foot retail space.

The popular sandwich-shop chain offers authentic Northeast-style sub sandwiches.

This will be the third Jersey Mikes' Subs store in the Santa Barbara/Goleta area. 

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Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s Fall Native Plant Sale Begins Saturday

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s Fall Native Plant Sale begins the last weekend of September — Saturday, Sept. 27 — the perfect time to replace drought stricken lawns and gardens with native plants.

Throughout October, speakers, classes and informational workshops will provide resources to make your home gardens thrive. With more than 6,000 plants and 400 varieties to choose from, you won’t find a larger selection between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Garden members get first choice Saturday morning, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon and receive a 10 percent discount. Doors open to the public at noon Saturday and, as always, there is no garden admission charge to shop at the Garden Grower’s Nursery. The Fall Native Plant Sale continues through Sunday, Nov. 2. The Nursery and Plant Sale are open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“As natural habitats for many native plants disappear, the home garden is an important link in conservation of these specialized species,” said Bruce Reed, the harden’s horticulturist and nursery manager. “The harden helps people to see the beauty of native plants, not just in the wild, but also in their own gardens.”

Fall is the primary planting season in our area. Not only does this give plants time to establish their roots and take advantage of winter rainfall, but many native plants, such as manzanita, bloom in winter. This year’s sale will feature added classes and resources throughout the month to help gardeners make smart water-saving choices. On Drought Defense Day, Saturday, Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., businesses and nonprofits will offer information on water saving products and techniques until 2 p.m., followed by a free drip irrigation demonstration.

Choose just the right plants for your garden with expert garden advice on three Saturdays in October (Oct. 4, 11 and 25). Susan Van Atta, Paige Minney and Bruce Reed will each lead a class and share their favorite pairings of interesting native plants and help participants work through design concepts for their home gardens.

Rare and popular species, such as the Matilija poppy and milkweed, sell out quickly, but new shipments arrive weekly. Shoppers can call 805.682.4726 x127 to check on availability before their visit. As always, garden staff and volunteers are available to provide expert planting advice free of charge.

Each year numerous businesses support the plant sale through sponsorships and in-kind donations of products and services. The garden is especially grateful to this year’s lead sponsor, All Around Landscape Supply. For information about becoming a garden sponsor, please contact Nina Dunbar at 805.682.4726 x151. All proceeds support the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden general fund.

Click here for the full calendar of events and other information. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is located at 1212 Mission Canyon Road.

— Rebecca Mordini is the communications coordinator for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

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Cottage Health System, SBCC Team Up to Study Impact Sports and Brain Injuries

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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Vaquero athletes to wear high-tech sensors to compile data needed for evaluation and identification of cause and effects

As researchers look for connections between impact sports and brain injuries, Cottage Health System and Santa Barbara City College have partnered up to better protect student athletes from harm.

The two institutions recently announced they’ve joined efforts in a new program to monitor injury impacts that Vaquero athletes sustain during games or practice.

The effort involves using Triax Smart Impact Monitor meters, which athletes will wear during practice and competition for the SBCC football, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s soccer teams.

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital purchased 180 of the sensors, about $18,000 worth of equipment, to donate to the effort.

The program is being led by Dr. Stephen Kaminski, Cottage’s trauma services director, who already has visited a number of local schools, conducting seminars on the importance of brain injury awareness in connection with sports.

Brain injuries like concussions are the “signature injury that we see in patients” coming into the hospital’s trauma department, he said.

With student athletes, Kaminski explained, “an 18 year old may not have any problems cognitively, but the repetitive impacts may affect them later in life.”

He cited several high-profile cases, like that of Junior Seau, a star linebacker at USC and in the NFL who committed suicide in 2012. An autopsy revealed chronic brain damage similar to that of other deceased former professional football players.

Kaminski said SBCC Athletic Director Ryan Byrne reached out to him about five months ago and said the school was actively looking for ways to protect its athletes from injuries.

“They’ve tried to become very aware of the risks posed to the student athletes,” Kaminski said.

Byrne had looked into the pressure sensors, which measure impact sustained and fit around an athlete’s head like a sweatband.

At this point, it’s unknown if some people are more prone to brain injuries like concussions or if there is a threshold of impact with which a concussion will occur.

The SBCC effort will provide more information as researchers ponder those questions, Kaminski said.

The athletes will be examined at the beginning and end of the season to compare any changes, with visual and motor tests as well as MRIs conducted at UCSB’s Psychological and Brain Sciences Department.

SBCC is not alone in conducting such research. As many as 20 major universities are looking at force effects this year, but the local effort is one of the few reviewing the results with an MRI.

A concussion management plan will also include information about injury prevention and protocols on when athletes should be removed from and returned to the playing fields.

While Kaminski said “football is the poster child for traumatic injury,” researchers are also seeing comparable injuries in soccer players who head the ball.

Kaminski said girls are more prone to concussion in general when matched with similar impacts as boys, and with a high number of women playing soccer, the SBCC team was one they wanted to reach out to.

He said he expects to evaluate the data around the end of the school year in an effort to identify patterns.

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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Steven Crandell: Thinking Philanthropy All Starts with Motivation

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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In 2011, I started a two-year project with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors writing a series of 19 guides for individuals and families interested in thoughtful and effective philanthropy. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding.

In my “Thinking Philanthropy” blog for Noozhawk, you will find excerpts from the guides and from other sources.

I hope the posts inspire you to consider how you can make giving part of your life.

                                                                        •        •

The Story of Oseola McCarty

The road to effective philanthropy begins with motivation.

In explaining her philanthropic philosophy, Oseola McCarty had a simple explanation: 'I can’t do everything,' she said. 'But I can do something to help somebody.' (findagrave.com photo)
In explaining her philanthropic philosophy, Oseola McCarty had a simple explanation: “I can’t do everything,” she said. “But I can do something to help somebody.” (findagrave.com photo)

Most of us can say what we care about. But can we explain clearly what we want to achieve with our giving?

Such knowledge can help define a philanthropic plan of action and maximize its impact.

The story of Oseola McCarty shows just how powerful focused motivation can be.

McCarty dropped out of school in the sixth grade to care for her ailing aunt. She never went back. Instead, she spent more than 75 years as a washerwoman, doing the laundry and ironing the clothes of families in the town of Hattiesburg, Miss.

Taught frugality by her grandmother, she never owned a car nor even subscribed to a newspaper. She did, however, save. When she finally quit doing laundry at age 86, she had saved more than $200,000. She decided to give $150,000 to the local university, the University of Southern Mississippi, to fund scholarships for financially needy African-American students.

“I know it won’t be too many years before I pass on,” she said in 1994. “And I just figured the money would do them a lot more good than it would me. I’m too old to get an education, but they can.”

When word spread about her generosity, other donors stepped forward to match her gift and create an endowed fund. McCarty received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Bill Clinton, became the subject of a children’s book, and even became an inspiration for Ted Turner’s $1 billion pledge to the United Nations.

“I can’t do everything,” McCarty said. “But I can do something to help somebody. And what I can do I will do. I wish I could do more.”

Inspired to give others what she herself had not received, Oseola McCarty’s philanthropy was made more potent by the clarity of her motivation.

Her story of giving success suggests an important question for any philanthropist to consider:

How well do you know your own motivations for giving?

Click here for more information on “The Giving Commitment: Knowing Your Motivation.”

— Steven Crandell is an author and writer who helps integrate story and strategy for organizations. Nonprofit foundations are a particular focus. This article was cross-posted on Tumblr. Steven can be contacted at news@noozhawk.com, or follow him on Twitter: @stevencrandell. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Santa Barbara Airport Plans to Build Space for Small Businesses

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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City to use proceeds from sale of property to Direct Relief to construct new industrial facilities for small companies, startups

The money earned from selling off a piece of Santa Barbara Airport property will be used to construct new nearby buildings, which would be leased out to local small businesses.

Airport Director Hazel Johns said the plan to build such space has been in the works since 1997.

The development will become reality in the next few years thanks to the recently approved sale of land north of Hollister Avenue in the airport’s commercial industrial area to Goleta-based Direct Relief, a nonprofit humanitarian nonprofit that plans to build a new facility.

Earlier this month, the City Council approved the exchange, agreeing to sell Direct Relief six to 8½ acres of land at 6100 Hollister Ave. at a base price of $25 per square foot — between $6.5 million and $8.5 million, depending on final design plans.

“When that sale occurs, the proceeds will be used to construct new industrial commercial property at the airport,” Johns told Noozhawk.

The industrial buildings with small, generic office space would be built north of Hollister Avenue in the industrial commercial park, along Hollister or in vacant parcels behind buildings that front Hollister.

Johns said the airport currently leases to 135 businesses, having created a niche market for many entrepreneurs who start somewhere small and eventually outgrow the space.

“Right now, we have tenants start off with 1,500 square feet and then need another 1,500,” she said. “We have all kinds of tenants.”

The smaller spaces seem to lease better than those closer to 6,000 square feet, she said, because businesses would still have room for research and development and engineering.

Some contractors lease space for storage, and other tenants include Vista Steel, a state crime lab, Southern California Edison R&D and more.

Johns expected the Direct Relief sales agreement to become effective next month, at which time the organization would begin an 18-month design period through the city — a process that can be extended an additional six months.

The final sales price and a construction date were still fluid, but Johns said the airport hopes to build at least six small buildings for the project.

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 Barbarans Join Global Rallies Demanding Action on Climate Change, Support for Measure P

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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A crowd of approximately 100 people gathered at Vera Cruz Park in Santa Barbara on Sunday to demand action on climate change and support for Measure P.

In advance of a historic summit on climate change convening in New York City this week, more than 300,000 people took to the streets there — the largest march in New York City history — to demand action, not words, a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water; and healthy communities.

The Santa Barbara event was one of 2,808 solidarity events in 166 countries, including many others in California. Click here for more information.

A UC Santa Barbara climate scientist, Dr. Catherine Gautier, addressed the crowd in Santa Barbara.

“When we first started learning about the impact fossil fuels were having on the planet, we thought government would take action,” she said. “It hasn’t. Now we must act.”

She urged support for Measure P, explaining that “the oil extraction they want to do here is the most carbon-intensive. It makes climate change worse.”

“Have you seen the No on P ads that try to scare people about foreign oil?” asked Scott Barnett, a Measure P supporter and volunteer. “In reality, they have sold the rights to our oil fields to foreign companies. We’ll be left with the environmental damage and water and air contamination. We can’t let that happen.”

“What’s going on in Santa Barbara County is the most significant people’s movement since the 1969 oil spill,” said Alex Favacho, member of 350sb, which helped organize Sunday’s event. “Volunteers have collectively spent many thousands of hours qualifying this initiative for the ballot and reaching out to voters.”

Following the climate rally, many people proceeded to go walk precincts or join phone banks in support of Measure P. Click here for more information on Measure P.

— Katie Davis represents Santa Barbara County Water Guardians.

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Breast Cancer Resource Center Bets Big to Benefit Vital Services for Women, Families

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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Dr. Gary Schlegel shares ups and downs of wife’s successful battle against breast cancer, lauds BCRC for its support

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The allure of good ol’ Lady Luck and the excitement, glitz and glamour of an Ocean’s 14 casino-themed fundraiser benefiting the Breast Cancer Resource Center attracted an enthusiastic crowd of more than 200 supporters to the Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.

BCRC executive director Silvana Kelly welcomed and smiled warmly at guests adorned in glittering jewels, shimmering floor-length gowns, sharp tuxedos and fedora hats for the “Vintage Vegas” charity gala.

“Tonight we gather together for an important cause to raise funds to support the Breast Cancer Resource Center,” Kelly said. “The funds will enable the center to continue to provide free support services and educational resources for women dealing with breast cancer diagnoses.”

The fundraiser, now in its 16th year, has raised millions of dollars to support various outreach programs, including patient navigation services and integrative therapies designed to ease the stress of women diagnosed with breast cancer.

One out of eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, the second leading cause of death in women. According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, an estimated 220,000 women in the Untied States will be diagnosed with breast cancer — and more than 40,000 women will die from the disease.

The BCRC mission is to raise awareness in an ongoing effort to save lives to provide vital resources and educate women at risk or those who have been diagnosed in Santa Barbara County.

Kelly explained that the BCRC services function as a nonmedical complement to a physician-led cancer treatment plan. Meanwhile, the educational outreach programs offered at the clinic aim to promote early detection through monogram screening and self-examination.

“We aim to foster healing, encourage hope and survivorship,” she told Noozhawk.

The purpose of the BCRC was further exemplified during the program presentation as special guest speaker Dr. Gary Schlegel shared the heart-warming story about his courageous wife, Roberta, a breast cancer survivor and mother of five children.

“Even with a doctor in the household, our world was turned upside down with questions and concerns,” he recalled. “How and what do we tell all the children? How long would treatment take? Where do we go for the best treatment? Do we stay local or go regional? Do we need a second opinion?

“And, of course, the answer to the one question my wife, Roberta, had foremost in her mind: Am I going to lose all my hair?”

As the questions swirled in their minds and the concern grew, it was the BCRC that was a stable influence and resource for the family.

“And this is where the Breast Cancer Resource Center can help to answer those and many more questions, as well as help guide patients through what is going to be a fairly long journey,” Schlegel said.”

The Santa Barbara community has a long history of philanthropy to support the important work of nonprofit organizations like BCRC, and Schlegel was an enthusiastic voice for the services that are offered as a result.

“Because of that spirit of philanthropy, we are fortunate to have diagnostic and treatment facilities as well as this fabulous resource center, which are all every bit as advanced as a city much, much larger,” he said.

Click here for more information about the Breast Cancer Resource Center, or for details on the BCRC’s next event, the Dec. 7 Holiday Tea and Fashion Show. Click here to make an online donation.

Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz

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Judy Foreman: Instagram Sensation Haley Carrere Has Fashioned Quite a Following

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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Bishop Diego High student provides her fans with style points by deftly using social media — and a keen eye for trends and unique finds

The expression “a picture is worth a thousand words” has taken on new meaning in the Age of Instagram. The app is a big part of the information revolution that is transforming the world.

When Caroline Diani, Santa Barbara’s uber retailer of women’s fashions, came across Haley Carrere’s Instagram feed, she felt they shared a similar eye and that “Haley would be a great addition” to her social media team.

Diani told me she reached out to Carrere and proposed a meeting. She had no idea it would be a 16-year-old Bishop Diego High School junior who would answer the call.

“She had such a mature and sophisticated eye,” Diani recalled.

Diani, owner of two Diani Boutiques and soon a third home-themed store in Arlington Plaza in downtown Santa Barbara, offered Carrere an internship. The teenager initially did basic office work, but the opportunity turned into a part-time job that now includes a shooting blog and social media posts promoting new products.

I met Carrere at a Montecito store opening last year while she was shopping with her mom. Only later did I learn she was not just shopping but doing her homework and “soaking up the scene.” We chatted about her interest in fashion and she suggested that I follow her on Instagram. I was impressed, and later I reached out to her to find out more.

On a recent Saturday at Starbucks in Montecito, Carrere arrived for our meeting dressed in a fashionable Isabelle Marant dress. She was not wearing any makeup and her blunt-cut blond hair was still damp from her morning shower.

Over a vanilla latte I learned that Carrere was just a young child when she moved to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles with her parents, Adrienne and Leon Carrere. She attended local schools — All Saints By-the-Sea Parish School, Montecito Union, Marymount of Santa Barbara and now Bishop Diego.

Carrere credits her mom’s keen sense of adventure and exploration as having nurtured her aesthetic appreciation of the world, which she says she has “been fortunate to be able to have traveled all over.”

Haley Carrere’s follow-through on Instagram is closing in on 11,500 fans. (Haley Carrere photo via Instagram)
Haley Carrere’s follow-through on Instagram is closing in on 11,500 fans. (Haley Carrere photo via Instagram)

She said she also has been influenced by her parents’ French heritage. The Mediterranean home that her parents designed and built near Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club has been featured in Elle Décor.

Growing up near the water, Carrere says her biggest hobbies are anything ocean-related, from swimming to stand-up paddling. A favorite trip was to a very remote island in Indonesia called Rote. There, she and other members of the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit organization, Hands 4 Others, were helping to bring clean water to the country. Carrere’s friend, pro surfer Lakey Peterson, was also a volunteer on the trip.

Like most other 16-year-olds, Carrere spends her weekends with friends — including her mom and her friends.

“We share a very close relationship and take numerous day trips to the Santa Ynez Valley, El Capitán, and four to five times a month, to Los Angeles,” she explained, noting that the field trips are for fun as well as for lifestyle enrichment for her work.

Regular stops are at her current favorite restaurant in downtown L.A., Bottega Louie (loves their macaroons), she checks out the latest offerings at Brentwood Country Mart, and she lunches at Gracias Madre and the boulangerie Le Pain Quotidien. She’ll often top off a fun day with a sprinkles vanilla cupcake. (She is still a 16 year old with a sweet tooth, after all.) 

“Santa Barbara is my sanctuary but Los Angeles is my playground!” Carrere exclaimed.

Her favorite stores to shop for herself are Zara, Topshop, Diani Boutique, Intermix and hunting down those great finds at H&M and Target. She says her favorite designer is Ralph Lauren “because everything in his collections are always timeless.”

“I appreciate the artistry of Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Isabel Marant, Chloé and Céline,” she said.

Other haunts are Bergdorf Goodman in New York City and Harrods in London. 

On Instagram, Carrere works to represent a fun lifestyle and everyday fun things, but her biggest focus is fashion. After getting her feet wet, she began following some aesthetically pleasing accounts of street-styles bloggers, like Santa Barbara’s Samantha Hutchinson and Danielle Bernstein in New York City.

“They were not just people posting pictures of their friends or posting photos of a Starbucks cup,” she said.

Carrere believes her audience — which stands at nearly 11,500 followers and is growing daily — and her blog, thestylesnag.blogspot, took off because she “started posting photos that other people would grasp and appreciate, not just photos that only people who knew me would understand or like.”

She says fashion relates to everyone.

“Everyone puts clothes on in the morning,” Carrere said. “Whether you do it with intention and thought or just throw something on, I hope I am inspiring other people’s outfits.”

Carrere’s biggest goal for her recurring Instagram #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) is to inspire other people her age to try a new look or even just to try. She’s received fan mail from throughout the United States and from as far away as Prague.

“I’m growing with each of my posts, and can look back at some of my older posts and see the growth,” she explained.

In addition to her work with Diani, Carrere has worked at All Saints Parish School, volunteered with the Breast Cancer Resource Center, and recently was asked to participate in an anti-bullying campaign for Teen Vogue.

With only a year and half of high school left, the subject came up as to what Carrere wants to do after graduation. She knows exactly what she wants to do: Move to London, one of her favorite cities, and go to school there.

She says she’d like to work at British Vogue or Elle.

“I feel with my ability to make collages, styling, editing, writing and putting projects together, a high-profile fashion magazine would be good fit for me,” she said.

Diani was effusive in her praise.

“Haley really adds a fresh perspective, and I can relate to her entrepreneurial spirit,” she said. “She knows what she wants and who she is, and that will take her far in this industry.

“I’m grateful that she is sharing this journey with us by modeling our clothes on her Instagram feed. She’s one of Santa Barbara’s stars on the rise to watch, for sure.”

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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Craig Allen: Fed Gives Investors What They Wanted, But Is It Enough to Keep Stock Rally Going?

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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Last week, the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank met to discuss the U.S. economy. Investors anxiously waited for the statement following the meeting for direction from the Fed regarding the timing of interest rate increases to come. A question of when and not if, the Fed will certainly begin raising short-term interest rates in 2015. The timing of the beginning of those rate increases is the hot topic of the moment for investors.

The key language in the previous Fed statements has been “considerable time,” referring to the amount of time that the Fed will wait from when it removes the last of the stimulus from QE3 (quantitative easing round 3) — which should be within the next six weeks — and when it begins raising short-term interest rates.

Investors were relieved and encouraged when the Fed left the considerable time language in its statement, and stocks rallied to new all-time highs for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500. As expected, the Fed also announced a reduction on $10 billion, to $15 billion from $25 billion in bond purchases to continue until the next Fed meeting, at the end of October, at which it plans to remove the remaining stimulus (assuming the economy continues to improve).

Although it is likely that stocks and bonds would have felt the sting had the Fed removed the considerable time language, we know that the clock is ticking — interest rates are going to increase, sooner rather than later. Not only will they move higher, but once the Fed begins raising short-term rates, the pace of the increases will be brisk.

A majority of the 10 Fed officials expects interest rates to rise to a median rate of 3.75 percent by the end of 2017, according to the central bank’s updated “dot plot.” Only four expect rates to be below that threshold. According to the new plot, Fed officials now expect the midpoint of the Fed funds rate to be 1.375 percent at the end of 2015, up from 1.125 percent. If the Fed waits until the middle of 2015 to begin raising rates from zero percent currently, the ace of rate increases will be frantic. The dot pot shows rates rising to 2.875 percent by the end of 2016, up from 2.5 percent from the previous forecast.

In addition to removing the bond purchases from QE3, the Fed continues to reinvest cash from maturing bonds in its bloated $4.4 trillion portfolio. In the statement last week, the Fed indicated it plans to continue reinvesting proceeds from maturing assets until it begins raising rates. The result of this will likely be a double-whammy effect on markets, once the Fed pulls the trigger on rate increases and stops reinvesting proceeds from maturing bonds at the same time, around the middle of next year.

Investors still appear to be focusing on the very short-term — days and even hours, versus looking at the long-term trends for the markets. As a result, both the stock and bond markets are grossly overextended and ripe for major corrections/crashes. While bubbles can form and persist for months or even years, ultimately they must burst. The larger they get, the more dramatic — and painful — the aftermath.

The clock is certainly ticking on the Fed’s next move on interest rates. Whether it comes in the first, second or third quarter of next year, there is no doubt that rate increases are coming, which means in a matter of months. Corrections and crashes, when they come, come fast and fierce. There will likely be little or no warning, and the trigger will likely be something that normally (in a market that was not in a bubble) would be insignificant.

Those committed to a buy-and-hold strategy can sleep well at night knowing they are locked into their strategy, for better or for worse. Everyone else, and especially those with less than a 10-year time horizon, should take action to protect portfolios from adverse moves in asset values.

Craig Allen, CFA, CFP, CIMA, is president of Allen Wealth Management and founder of Dump That Debt. He has been managing assets for foundations, corporations and high-net worth individuals for more than 20 years and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA charter holder), a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) certification. He blogs at Finance With Craig Allen and can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.898.1400. Click here to read previous columns or follow him on Twitter: @MPAMCraig. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Goleta Lemon Festival Is Still a Sweet — and Tangy — Treat after 23 Years

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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Thousands flock to Girsh Park as Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce delivers on food, fun, entertainment and activities

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Thousands of people turned out for the annual California Lemon Festival in Goleta, which added a number of new events for its 23rd year.

The two-day festival at Girsh Park already has a winning combination of a car show, live entertainment, rides and amusements for children, and, of course, tons of lemon-flavored treats.

The Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce organizes the festival and debuted a “green” car show Sunday in addition to the usual favorites.

This festival also hosted arts and crafts vendors, the Classic Lemon Pie Eating Contest and the ninth annual Goleta Fall Classic Car and Street Rod Show.

Sponsors of the festival included MarBorg Industries, Venoco Inc., Cox, Goleta West Sanitary DistrictNoozhawk, ParentClick.comSanta Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and The Towbes Group.

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

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Santa Maria Man Killed in Crash Near Orcutt

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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A Santa Maria man was fatally injured Sunday afternoon in a single-vehicle crash east of Orcutt, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A lengthy extrication was required to free Lawrence David Silva, 61, from the wreckage of his vehicle, said Vince Agapito, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The wreck occurred about 3 p.m. on Dominion Road just north of Clark Avenue, Agapito said.

He said two fire engines and a county helicopter were dispatched to the scene.

Crews spent at least a half-hour trying to remove Silva from the 2011 Lincoln, which slammed into a tree, the CHP said.

Silva was taken by ambulance to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, where he was declared dead.

The cause of the crash 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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Letter to the Editor: Additional Questions about Lompoc Swap Meet

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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This is in reference to Ron Fink’s commentary about the Lompoc swap meet. I was on the City Council when we renegotiated the contract in 2010 and at that time there was supposed to be a monitoring process in effect.

I went to the swap meet Saturday and sent my questions to the city administrator and city hall. I served on the Old Town Market Committee since its beginning in 2000. We followed all the rules associated with putting on an event of this type — all of our vendors had city business licenses, the food vendors had certificates of compliance from the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, and we made sure the areas we were using were cleaned up at the end of the market.

My questions to the city address these issues of licensing and health permits. I also want to know if the concessionaire is paying the owner of the adjacent lots for use of the space. It seems to me if the swap meet organizers want to continue, they should limit the vendors to those who have city business licenses, and the food vendors need to be inspected and approved by the county health department.

It is only a matter of time before someone gets sick because the food is not properly stored, heated and cleaned according to the regulations in place.

Ann Ruhge
Lompoc
 

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Tam Hunt: The Roots of the Bipartisan ‘War Party’

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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“The conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. ... In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. ... Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals so that security and liberty may prosper together.”
President Dwight Eisenhower, 1961, in his farewell address

My 20-year anniversary of leaving the U.S. Army came and went this July. My time as an enlisted soldier seems like a lifetime ago. I served during the first Persian Gulf War in 1991 but didn’t see combat. I was assigned to guard a military hospital in Germany against terrorist threats, serving 12-hour shifts walking the perimeter of the hospital in Nuremberg in sub-zero temperatures.

I didn’t have much of an opinion about the first Gulf War, in terms of its justness or whether President George Bush the elder had followed appropriate diplomatic and legal steps in the run up to the brief war. My main concern at the time was whether I was going to be sent to the gulf to fight. I was told in basic training that as soon as we all finished our training we were “going straight to Saudi” to fight Saddam Hussein. Some of my platoon mates literally cried upon hearing this.

Fighting and killing, or potentially being killed, were not among my motivations for joining the Army. I joined after the end of the Cold War and it seemed to my young and naïve mind that the chances of us going to war after that major shift in world power were very slim. Lo and behold, while I was in basic training, Saddam invaded Kuwait and the gears of yet another U.S. war started churning.

When President George W. Bush the younger first started talking publicly about striking Iraq in 2002, my heart sank. Not again. That war really awakened my political consciousness, and I learned a ton about foreign affairs and U.S. politics in my many extended debates with friends and my copious reading at the time. I even marched down State Street in Santa Barbara against the war, to the bemusement of my peers at the law firm where I worked at the time.

Looking back, I think the first Gulf War in 1991 had decent justification, and the United Nations even approved it with a Security Council resolution, which means a lot to me now. At the time I barely knew what the United Nations was.

The second Gulf War, in 2003, did not obtain the U.N. imprimatur, despite the younger Bush’s efforts to gain this seal of approval from the international body. But he and his war team nevertheless stayed the course and entered into a massive war in Iraq that cost us thousands of U.S. soldiers’ deaths, many more thousands of soldiers injured, maimed and psychologically scarred, trillions of taxpayer dollars, and a million or more Iraqi deaths. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found. And the alleged ties to the 9/11 attacks were thoroughly debunked. Iraq is far from being a democracy today. These were the primary justifications for the 2003 Iraq War, and none of them turned out to be true.

The 2003 Iraq War also led to the creation of ISIS, the new threat that President Barack Obama is citing as the casus belli for a third Iraq war in as many decades. ISIS was not only created by the power vacuum we left with our overthrow of Saddam, it was also more directly empowered through ISIS’ acquisition of U.S.-supplied weapons from fleeing Iraqi troops over the summer. The United States supplies the large majority of arms in the region and to the world (we comprise fully 75 percent of the global arms trade), selling to just about anyone who wants weapons. The Middle East is inflamed in large part because we have supplied the fuel.

It doesn’t matter to me that Obama is calling — for now — for only an airstrike campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. He has already stated that this effort will likely last years, and he has already sent more than 1,000 U.S. military “advisers” who don’t have an official combat role. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the nation’s highest-ranking general as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, just told Congress that he may recommend combat boots on the ground if the current course of action doesn’t work. Dempsey also warned Congress that this is a “generational” fight, meaning that it will likely last decades.

Of course, we’ve seen this movie before and it often escalates into full-scale war before too long. But why? Why wouldn’t regional powers, like Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Jordan, etc., take action against ISIS if ISIS is a major threat to the region? Why are we always at war?

This column examines why the United States fights so many wars. My next piece will look at the role of propaganda in convincing the American public to support these wars.

Eisenhower warned of the power of the military-industrial complex in 1961, and brought this major threat to democracy to the attention of the American public. Since his warning (quoted at the beginning of this piece), the power of what I’ll call the “war party,” which is generally quite bipartisan, has arguably continued to grow.

U.S. military spending peaked, as a share of GDP, during World War II, and we haven’t come close to that high since. We did see, however, a doubling of the military budget under the second Bush, in both dollar terms and percentage of gross-domestic product. Under Obama it has fallen as a percentage of GDP but has risen in dollar terms every year he’s been in office, except for remaining level in 2013 and finally dropping in 2014, due primarily to the sequester deal reached last year in Congress.

You may think that Obama has slashed the military budget, since this is the rhetoric we often hear despite the facts, but in most years of his two terms the budget has actually risen, as is the clear long-term trend.

Military budgets in nominal dollars. (Source: USgovernmentspending.com)
Military budgets in nominal dollars. (Source: USgovernmentspending.com)

We should keep in mind, too, that the figures in the previous chart don’t include the full U.S. military budget because it leaves out Veterans Affairs spending and the share of the national debt interest payments attributable to defense spending. Adding these obvious additional defense spending items in and our military budget already exceeds $1 trillion.

The United States spends about 40 percent of the global military budget, down from about 50 percent not too long ago. Our next closest rival is China, spending only about one-fourth of what we spend on the military.

The U.S. military spans the globe. According to the Defense Department’s Base Structure Report, we have 4,400 domestic bases and almost 600 bases (down from 6,000 and 700, respectively, a decade ago) in dozens of countries around the world. These are conservative numbers since many smaller bases (those below 10 acres) aren’t counted in this report because they don’t meet the threshold for reporting.

Why does the United States need such a broad military reach? Well, we don’t. And, in fact, this type of global military empire is directly antithetical to the long tradition that held sway from our nation’s founding until the end of World War II. The long tradition was to avoid standing armies explicitly because of the corrupting influence of such standing armies. George Washington said it well in his farewell address to the nation in 1796 and his admonition held true as policy for more than a century: “We should avoid those overgrown military establishments, which under any form of government are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to Republican Liberty.”

What happened during World War II? It’s a complicated history that I can’t recount in a single column, but here’s the very short version: the United States found itself as the world’s largest economy in the first few decades of the 20th century, enjoying the benefits of the ingenuity of its people, a capitalist economy, and abundant natural resources. As we became embroiled in the second world war, U.S. leaders seized the chance, as the expected victor in World War II, to create a Pax Americana to replace the Pax Brittanica that had faded since World War I.

The Pax Brittanica had held sway for more than a century, starting from around the mid-19th century. The British empire did very well economically while it also maintained a semblance of order at the barrel of a gun and, later in its imperial run, through economic policies designed to achieve its ends without overt violence.

In the world of international relations theory this concept is known as “hegemonic stability theory” and rests on the notion that world order can best be maintained with a single strong power (hegemon) at the center of the international system. So even though bodies like the United Nations might be created and maintained by the hegemon as multilateral institutions (the United States was the prime force behind the United Nations’ creation), real power still rests with the hegemon. This has indeed been the pattern since the end of the Cold War, in particular, since the only real rival to U.S. global leadership disappeared with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

My naïve 19-year-old self thought that the collapse of the Soviet Union would lead to a new era of global peace. What has actually happened is a new willingness to project U.S. military power all around the world because of the disappearance of the deterrent power of the Soviet Union’s unpredictable responses to U.S. actions.

But let me back up a little. The United States found itself in a position of overwhelming global power and influence in the wake of WWII, producing literally half of the global GDP and an unparalleled military capability. Over time, as Europe and Asia recovered from WWII, the U.S. share of GDP fell to “only” 25 percent by the 1970s and is today only about 22 percent. We are still by far the world’s largest economy, but China is nipping at our heels and is expected to become the largest economy within a decade or so (see David Shambaugh’s book China: A Partial Power, for an extended argument that even when China supersedes the United States in terms of the size of its economy China will remain a partial power for decades because it doesn’t have any of the other required elements to become a global power and won’t for many years).

Tracking the rise of U.S. militarism is a bit like detective work. There is no definitive history and debate is possible over almost every facet of this history. That said, there are a number of documents that offer good explanations of U.S. leaders’ intentions during the WWII years until the present.

President Harry Truman approved the NSC-68 planning paper in 1950. This document set forth the U.S. strategy of containing the Soviet Union through a long-term policy of U.S. permanent rearmament. It is widely regarded today as one of the key turning points toward a permanent large standing military. According to David C. Unger, author of The Emergency State, NSC-68 became the “(un)constitutional charter of the emerging security state.”

Another well-known paper from that era is George Kennan’s Policy Paper 23, which set forth his vision, as director of the policy planning staff, of how the United States should project power in the wake of WWII. A key quote gives a flavor of the explicitly amoral and “realist” approach to foreign policy that Kennan subscribed to and that arguably guided U.S. foreign policy for decades thereafter:

“We have about 50 percent of the world’s wealth, but only 6.3 percent of its population. ... In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships, which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity. ... To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. ... We should cease to talk about vague and ... unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.”

Even if this memo wasn’t implemented literally, it is indicative of the mindset of key and influential policy planners at the highest levels of U.S. government.

A well-known planning document from the Council on Foreign Relations (Memorandum E-B19), whose authors shifted from this well-known think tank to become the key staff of the State Department after World War II, stated that the United States “must accept world responsibility. ... The measure of our victory will be the measure of our domination after the victory.”

The same document states: “The foremost requirement of the United States in a world in which it proposes to hold unquestioned power is the rapid fulfillment of a program of complete re-armament.” This was the era that broke from the long tradition of military conservatism defined by Washington’s words from 1796. It was the beginning of the permanent military-industrial complex, which became so strong by the early 1960s that Eisenhower felt compelled to issue his own strident warnings in his farewell address to the nation that I quoted at the beginning of this column.

The first rule of journalism — the art of figuring out why things happen in the real world — is to “follow the money.” If we follow the money in examining the origins of U.S. militarism in the 20th century we quickly find an obvious answer: military budgets became bloated during and after WWII, creating a very strong ecosystem of companies and careers that depended on that pie growing over time, or at least not shrinking too much.

Our military spending was historically spent on our armed forces. In recent years, however, this has shifted significantly toward private contractors. The nearby chart shows the remarkable rise of defense contractor spending since the turn of the century, which now accounts for more than half of the total core military budget.

Creating this ecosystem of defense contractors also creates a powerful and perpetual lobbying army in Washington, D.C., that works every day to continue and expand the size of its trough. These interests are often antithetical to the interest of the American people as a whole.

Defense Department spending on defense contractors. (Source: Center for Strategic & International Studies)
Defense Department spending on defense contractors. (Source: Center for Strategic & International Studies)

It seems, then, that we may explain much of the rise of U.S. militarism by looking only to the increased military budget. It’s not that simple, of course, because there is no necessary linkage between higher budgets and a higher tendency toward using U.S. military power. But as Madeleine Albright, Secretary of State under President Bill Clinton, stated: “What’s the point of having this superb military ... if we can’t use it?” It is almost inevitable that spending $1 trillion a year on our military would lead to a default position of using the tools we know: military force. For those who have the biggest and most numerous hammers, everything does indeed look like a nail.

So what’s the solution? How do we change the mindset of U.S. leaders, to induce them to stop seeing the world’s problems as nothing but nails to be hammered by U.S. military power? It seems to me that the only real solution to this long-standing and growing problem is to elect a president and congressional leaders whose primary mission is to reduce the influence of the military-industrial complex. Rand Paul anyone?

Recommended Reading

»Andrew Bacevich’s The New American Militarism

» Chalmers Johnson’s The Sorrows of Empire

» Paul Kennedy’s The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers

» David C. Unger’s The Emergency State: America’s Pursuit of Absolute National Security at All Costs.

— Tam Hunt is a lawyer based in Santa Barbara. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Belmond El Encanto Neighbors Chafe at Hotel’s Employees Parking On Nearby Streets

By | Published on 09/20/2014

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Residents step up complaints, alleging inadequate on-site parking and neighborhood enforcement, but hotel insists it has a plan to resolve the issue

High on the Riviera, where multimillion-dollar homes look out over Santa Barbara’s red-tile roofs and the blue Pacific Ocean, dark clouds are gathering over street parking.

Some residents near the Belmond El Encanto at 800 Alvarado Place are angry that hotel employees are parking in their neighborhood and on their streets. The employees are supposed to park at the hotel or at an off-site lot and shuttle in, but that’s not happening enough, neighbors say.

“When these people are here they have shifts,” Nan Bedford, a nearby resident, told Noozhawk. “When they do park on our street and get off of work, they are together. They are laughing. They are slamming the doors. ... They are gunning (their engines).

“That noise is part of an issue for us in the neighborhood. We have reduced access. There’s noise at weird times of the day and night, and it is disturbing.”

Bedford is one of many residents who spoke out at a recent Santa Barbara Planning Commission meeting, calling for officials to intervene and do something about the parking problem.

Residents say El Encanto employees are parking in front of their houses and that the hotel’s management has done little to ensure they are instead parking on-site as part of the hotel’s agreement with the city. Municipal officials even put up fencing at nearby Orpet Park because hotel employees were parking on side streets and cutting through the park, damaging landscaping.

Bedford said residents have resorted to putting up cones, illegal signs and painting curbs to deter people from parking in the neighborhood.

“I don’t want to feel like I’m living in the El Encanto parking lot,” Bedford said. “We have our rights in the neighborhood that should be respected.”

Santa Barbara officials in 2004 approved a master plan for the El Encanto, which was cleared for a total of 97 guest rooms after an extensive renovation. One condition was that employees park on-site but, after the hotel reopened in 2013, the city determined there was not enough parking on the property for the 215 employees. The hotel has 100 parking spaces on-site and another 40 at an off-site lot.

After steady complaints from neighbors, the city in May sent a letter to El Encanto offiicials requesting that the hotel provide a comprehensive employee-parking management plan within 30 days. The hotel did not provide a complete plan to the city, which prompted a meeting earlier this month. The city is requiring the hotel to patrol nearby streets throughout the day to make sure that employees are parking where they should be.

Neighbors of the Belmond El Encanto are frustrated with the number of hotel employees parking on nearby residential streets. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

The parking drama has ignited a furor in the neighborhood, with many residents saying El Encanto management has ignored their concerns. Some say the problem has eased a bit lately, but only because the hotel knows the pressure is on to clean things up.

The stress has highlighted the challenges of a residential neighborhood wrapped around a commercial hotel, in a pocket of the city that has narrow roads, little street parking and residents who enjoy their peace and tranquility.

“If noncompliance continues, this could result in enforcement and fines by the city,” project planner Kathleen Kennedy observed.

Elizabeth Fajardo, the El Encanto’s human resources director, told Noozhawk she was hired in January 2013, but that only recently — in August, after some El Encanto management changes — has she been able to get “up to speed” on all the components of the parking program.

“Our parking has definitely been a challenge in making sure that team members ... truly understand the seriousness of adhering to our parking lot and procedures,” she said.

The El Encanto has partnered with First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara, 21 E. Constance Ave., to provide 40 parking spaces for employees. The hotel provides a shuttle that Fajardo said runs every 15 minutes from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

At the Planning Commission meeting, she said hotel staff who don’t park in the appropriate areas face a verbal warning, followed by a written warning and then termination. She acknowledged that the hotel has not fired anyone over the parking issue.

“The bottom line is they have overbuilt the property,” said Lynda Courtney, an El Encanto neighbor. “They have taken every inch of space on that property for buildings so they didn’t give any employees any parking like they promised to.”

On any given day, she said, six to 10 employees can be found parking on the streets around the hotel.

“They are not monitoring these cars that well and they are certainly not enforcing it,” Courtney said.

“They tried to turn my quiet, peaceful, scenic, single-family, up-market neighborhood into their own personal, commercial zone,” she added.

Sheri Parker, another neighbor, said the hotel has ignored residents.

“The El Encanto has simply neglected to deal with their employee parking issues and, as a result, their employee parking has dominated Mission Ridge,” she said.

Parker said her 88-year-old mother must park one or two houses up the street when she visits.

“It’s just absurd that we are unable to have street parking in front of our homes,” she said. “It’s just not right.”

Parker said she could understand an employee occasionally parking on the street, but that it’s not a rare thing.

“These are the same people who constantly park in front of our home almost every day that they work,” she fumed.

Not everyone in the neighborhood is upset, however. Sheri Benninghoven used to videotape and write down license plate numbers of cars parked on her street.

“It was the same car in the same spot, every day,” said Benninghoven, adding that the drivers were putting on their work aprons while walking to the hotel. She called the hotel’s general manager, but did not hear back.

“Clearly, there was a plan that didn’t get executed,” she said.

Benninghoven says things are better now. A neighbor put up “No Hotel Parking” signs on private property, a move that seems to have deterred many of the street parkers. And she says she believes hotel officials have worked hard to address the neighborhood concerns.

“Everything has calmed down,” she said. “The hotel’s a treasure. We all have to get along.”

Planning Commissioner Mike Jordan said he’s skeptical of the hotel’s commitment to resolving the parking issue.

“The plan today is a plan that has been nonresponsive to the city’s requests, and has been followed up with a representative standing up in front of us saying, ‘We’ll take care of that,’” he said. “The details of the long-term parking plan are, at best, sketchy.”

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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Sal Güereña: Dos Pueblos High School Student Interpreters Answer the Call

By | Published on 09/20/2014

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In an unprecedented student volunteer outreach, 50 bilingual Latino students at Dos Pueblos High School answered the call and provided Back to School Night interpretation for Spanish-speaking parents at eight district schools.

After having barely returned from their summer vacation, the Santa Barbara Unified School District came calling and the students responded. They interpreted for parents at three of the four junior highs, they bused into town to help parents at four elementary schools in Santa Barbara, and then they were on point to interpret for the parents at their own school back in Goleta.

Last school year, 246 bilingual high school students from four schools were trained by the school district and then they were sent throughout the school district for the Back to School Nights.

This year the school district trained and deployed bilingual school staff from throughout the district, re-assigning students to guide the parents to their children’s classes. However, the number of available staff interpreters fell short and with only days to go there were simply far too few of them to go around.

In a stroke of good luck for the schools, Dos Pueblos High counted on its cadre of bilingual, experienced returning students who were trained last year to go out and help parents again this year.

When these students were asked why, on such short notice would they slip on their “DPHS en español T-shirts, grab a water bottle, and repeat what they did last year, Yesenia Terríquez, a senior in the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy, replied, “It’s simple, helping parents makes me feel proud of my culture.”

Aidee Pérez, also a senior, affirmed that the benefit works both ways: “It makes us feel proud to use our Spanish to help the parents.”

These same students had practiced their language skills during the past school year by interpreting for parents at DPHS school functions.

So when the students returned to school and were asked if they would be willing to volunteer again, all of them raised their hands. On Sept. 2 they donned their interpreter T-shirts and hopped on a school bus to go help the parents at Roosevelt Elementary School in Santa Barbara, their first assignment.

Senior Kayla Lázaro summed up the students’ passion.

“I love riding the buses with the other interpreters,” she said. “We feel like a family, and being a student interpreter has connected me to my school like nothing else has. This is leadership for us.”

According to Dos Pueblos High Principal Shawn Carey, “This outreach really represents a win/win for everyone involved: families feel more welcomed in their schools, schools benefit from more authentic and representative parent engagement, and students have an opportunity to hone valuable skills that will serve them well in their future endeavors.”

The student interpreters demonstrated through their sense of purpose and commitment that they, too, can be counted on to serve parents when the chips are down and the numbers fail to add up.

— Salvador Güereña is executive director for the school parent advocacy organization United Parents/Padres Unidos. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Capps Seeks to Name Lompoc Post Office after Federal Correctional Officer Killed in 1997

By | Published on 09/20/2014

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Lompoc native and Los Alamos resident Scott Williams was stabbed to death by inmate at Lompoc prison

A bill introduced last week in Congress would name the U.S. Post Office building in Lompoc after Scott J. Williams, a correctional officer killed at the Lompoc federal prison 17 years ago.

If enacted, the legislation would designate the facility at 801 W. Ocean Ave. as the Federal Correctional Officer Scott J. Williams Memorial Post Office Building.

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, introduced H.R. 5562 on Thursday in Williams’ honor.

“Naming this post office after Senior Officer Specialist Williams is a fitting tribute to a man who dedicated his life to serving his country with valor,” Capps said in a news release.

“I hope my House colleagues will join me in honoring this man, whose selfless career has kept our nation and community safe, by swiftly passing this bill.”

According to Capps, the bill is co-sponsored by the entire California congressional delegation.

Williams, a senior officer specialist, was killed in the line of duty at the U.S. Penitentiary in Lompoc on April 3, 1997.

An inmate with an improvised knife delivered the fatal blow in the incident, which also injured four other correctional officers who went to assist Williams.

He had served in the U.S. Marine Corps during Operation Desert Storm, earning a Purple Heart and receiving several awards, including “Marine of the Year.”

The Lompoc High School graduate had been employed by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for four years.

Williams, who was 30, lived in Los Alamos with his wife, Kristy, and their two daughters, Kallee and Kaitlin.

A section of Highway 1 between Vandenberg Air Force Base and Lompoc also recognizes Williams.

In late 2012,  the stretch of roadway was renamed the Federal Correctional Office Scott Williams Memorial Highway after being approved by the Legislature.

A training center at the Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex also bears Williams’ name.

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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Diane Dimond: It’s Time to Seriously Consider Legalizing All Drugs

By | Published on 09/20/2014

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Here’s a riddle: How many knowledgeable people does it take to suggest a policy change before society adopts their sage advice?

Buried in all the recent news about ISIS, horrific weather lashing the United States, the violence of NFL players and the like, came a hardly noticed news item about the idea of legalizing drugs.

Now, stay with me on this. It’s important.

The Global Commission on Drug Policy, an illustrious panel including former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, former presidents and prime ministers of nearly a dozen countries and others issued a detailed study about why it’s smart — for reasons both humanitarian and financial — to legalize marijuana and other drugs.

Yes, all drugs.

Maybe it’s time to consider their suggestion.

After all, our decades-long War on Drugs has been a miserable failure. Actions to curb drug production and violence in other countries and along our border have obviously not worked. Over the last 40 years, countless billions of dollars have been spent trying to corral the scourge, and the result is more drug addicts than ever before. Our prisons are overflowing with dealers and addicts. Yet the supply and demand keeps flowing and growing.

So how long do we keep doing what obviously doesn't work?

The commission's study has several main recommendations and one guiding goal: the “health and welfare of mankind,” including widespread access to essential medicines and pain control. The idea being, I surmise, that patients in pain often graduate to the ranks of full-fledged addicts. Help them early and they don’t graduate.

The commission calls for an end to the criminalization and incarceration of low-level users, instead diverting the money we spend on court costs and prisons to treatment strategies. And to undermine the massive profits of organized crime, the panel recommends law enforcement specifically target top-level criminals and the most violent organizations. In other words, cut off the head of the snake instead of worrying about its tail, as we so often do today.

Governments are called upon to totally rethink their drug problem and not be afraid of new ideas. Gee, it sounds so simple.

This isn’t the first distinguished bunch of thinkers to put forward these suggestions. In 2002, an influential group of American law enforcement professionals, including police chiefs, high court judges and lawyers, got together to formulate better ways to handle the drug plague in America.

They formed Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which has already advocated many of the commission’s ideas, and believes prohibition of drugs is at the center of the problem. Remove the ban, LEAP’s leaders say, and you remove both the colossal profit motive and the violence inflicted upon those who get in the way of the cartels. In the process, you’ve eased the burden on police departments, overcrowded prisons and families whose breadwinners are behind bars.

“We believe that by placing drug abuse in the hands of medical professionals instead of the criminal justice system, we will reduce rates of addiction and overdose deaths,” says LEAP’s mission statement. “We believe that in a regulated and controlled environment, drugs will be safer for adult use and less accessible to our children.”

Can all these people who have stared the drug problem in the face and now advocate decriminalization be wrong? They have lived, breathed and been part of the system that was designed to find solutions. How can we ignore their learned advice?

Oh, there are plenty of outstanding questions about these revolutionary suggestions. If drugs are legalized, regulated and taxed by governments, won’t there still be a black market for those who don’t want to be tracked by Uncle Sam? Isn't there the risk of creating another bloated government entity? Would hardcore drugs such as heroin and meth be available, or would substitutes be offered? How can we know if more money, time and expertise will really be dedicated to treating addicts?

I don’t know the answer to all these questions, but several states have already taken the step of legalizing marijuana, and the gates of hell have not opened. Locking up millions of addicts with the hope that the suppliers will dry up hasn’t worked. So, how long do we keep hitting our heads against the wall with zero positive results?

Doing the same thing over and over is, to me, the definition of stupidity.

I say it’s way past time to seriously consider alternatives.

Diane Dimond is the author of Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case. Contact her at diane@dianedimond.com, follow her on Twitter: @DiDimond, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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Mark Shields: The Rich Have Never Been Richer, But Is That Fair to the Rest of Us?

By | Published on 09/20/2014

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“Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration.”

Any semi-plausible 2016 White House candidate knows it would be the kiss of fundraising death to be caught on YouTube uttering such subversively un-American, anti-business sentiments.

If you want to understand just how far to the right our politics have moved, you only have to know that the opening lines above are a direct quotation from the first annual message to Congress by our nation’s first and greatest Republican president, Abraham Lincoln.

What brought Honest Abe to mind was the Federal Reserve’s recent release of its Survey of Consumer Finances, done every three years, which confirmed conclusively what you probably already knew: The rich are getting ever richer, while everybody else is losing ground.

Between 2010 and 2013 (remember that the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009), the median income for all American families, which has dropped every year since 2006, fell another $2,300, down to $46,700 a year. The only Americans whose incomes did not shrink between 2010 and 2013 were the richest 10 percent.

To me, the most disheartening numbers deal with the growing concentration of the national wealth among the economic elite. The richest 3 percent of Americans controlled 44.8 percent of U.S. wealth in 1989 (right after the second term of Republican Ronald Reagan), which increased to 51.8 percent in 2007 (in the second term of Republican George W. Bush). In 2013, in Democrat Barack Obama’s second term, the wealth share of the top 3 percent had swollen to 54.4 percent.

Conversely, the share of the nation’s wealth belonging to the bottom 90 percent of Americans fell from a third during the Reagan years to less than a quarter. To make the point even more painfully, the nation’s minimum wage, in constant dollars, was worth more — $5.06 an hour — in 1984 (Reagan again) than it was last year, down to only $4.87 an hour.

The evidence is clear. The United States is more and more unequal. Recall the criteria offered by the only American ever elected to the White House four times. A great Democratic leader, Franklin D. Roosevelt, told us in his second inaugural address: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

By every human measurement, we have ignored Lincoln by deferring to and all but genuflecting before almighty capital while treating labor with indifference bordering on contempt. Year after year, as more is added to the record abundance of those who already have too much — and everyone else falls further behind — we fail FDR’s test.

At one time, we honored these two men — Lincoln and Roosevelt — enough to build in our nation’s capital two inspiring memorials to their leadership and their values. Is it not time we answered their summons and met their challenge to build a more human and humane American economy?

Mark Shields is one of the most widely recognized political commentators in the United States. The former Washington Post editorial columnist appears regularly on CNN, on public television and on radio. Click here to contact him, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Fire Near Vandenberg Air Force Base Burns 8 Acres

By | Published on 09/20/2014

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A brush fire broke out near Vandenberg Air Force Base on Saturday afternoon and burned about eight acres, VAFB officials said.  

The Vandenberg Fire Department and Hot Shots crew responded to the fire on Santa Lucia Canyon Road around 11:45 a.m. according to the 30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department assisted in the effort, department spokesman Vince Agapito said.

Crews had the blaze contained, but not controlled, by 1:30 p.m., he said.

The area of Santa Lucia Canyon Road between Highway 1 and the base’s Lompoc gate was still closed as of 5:30 p.m. Saturday for safety concerns, VAFB officials said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The fire was estimated at about 10 acres but Vandenberg released the eight-acre figure later Saturday afternoon.

Crews remained on the scene for several hours to mop up the brush fire site, Agapito said.

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

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Lompoc Chamber of Commerce Serves Up Free Lunch at Vandenberg Air Force Base

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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The annual Airmen Appreciation Barbecue feeds hundreds of military members

As Capt. Miguel Gaytan walked through the food line Friday at Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Cocheo Park, he paused to express his appreciation to each server.

“Thank you. I really appreciate you supporting us,” Gaytan, a 4th Space Launch Squadron member, told each volunteer filling his plate with a food for a free lunch. “Thank you for the support.”

Gaytan was among hundreds of airmen and other military members who attended the annual appreciation barbecue hosted by the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“This is really nice. It makes us feel a part of the community,” added Gaytan, who will be moving to a new assignment in Alabama soon. “This is cool.” 

The chamber’s Military Affairs Committee has hosted the Airmen Appreciation Barbecue for more than a decade, serving up a free lunch funded by donations from throughout the community. 

They also gave away gift baskets and other items through a raffle drawing. 

More than two dozen volunteers served meat, salad, beans, bread and salsa to uniformed enlisted members and officers.

The Vandenberg Non-Commissioned Officers Association barbecued the meal.

“What a super day to have lunch with our friends, our coworkers and members of the community. We couldn’t do it without the fantastic support of all of the sponsors in the community,” said Col. C. Shane Clark, 30th Space Wing vice commander. “The timing of this is great. We’ve had a busy week, but we’re going to have an even busier week next week. We’ve got some very important visits.”

The Air Force Space Command Inspector General arrives Sunday, a Minuteman 3 test launch is scheduled to occur next week and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James plans to visit the base.

Members of the Non-Commissioned Officers Association cooked the food for the Airmen Appreciation Barbecue. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

“It’s our opportunity to shine and show off what Vandenberg and Team Vandenberg can do,” Clark said. “It’s a great way to lead in to the weekend so we can all get charged up for all the activities next week. Everybody enjoy your lunch. Have a safe weekend. Get energized for next week. It’s going to be busy and important.”

Sylvia King, from the Chamber's Military Affairs Committee, said the barbecue is a way to thanks those serving in the military and foster good relations between the base and the community.

“We enjoy the interaction with the people from the base and want to encourage them to come and interact with us in town and patronize the businesses that donated to all this,” King said. 

Signs set up in the park noted the approximately 30 businesses that donated funds or food to the event. In all, organizers said it takes about $7,000 to pay for the event. 

Ken Ostini, CEO/president of the Lompoc Chamber, added that the barbecue is just one way the organization supports the military. 

“This is just kind of the beginning,” he said, noting the group also supports Global Hearts dinners a couple of times a year. 

Through Global Hearts, the Chamber of Commerce paid for families of deployment airmen to have dinner and go bowling.

The Lompoc organization also is working with its counterparts in North County to revive the Vandenberg quarterly awards luncheon.

Among volunteer servers Friday were several members of the Village Dirtbags, a local group of biking enthusiasts who each holiday donate bikes and helmets to dozens of children of deployed airmen at Vandenberg.

They typically give away more than 100 bikes in the event that will mark its ninth giveaway in 2014.

Participating in the Airmen Appreciation Barbecue is another way for group’s members to give back as many of the Village Dirtbags have either family members or friends that have been in the military.

“It’s just a small way to say thank you to them and we appreciate everything they’ve done,” Roger McConnell said. “It’s a good way to see all the men and women and to thank them personally.”

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.

The Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee has hosted the Airmen Appreciation Barbecue for more than a decade, serving up a free lunch funded by donations from throughout the community.(Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

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Friendship Center Raises a Glass for Great Wines for Good Cause

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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The fifth annual Wine Down after-work gathering features 10 local vintners as well as hors d’oeuvres and live music

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Amid cooling ocean breezes and owls hooting in the tall eucalyptus trees, the Friendship Center brought together a nice crowd of supporters for its casual Wine Down to celebrate and raise funds for the South Coast’s only nonprofit, fully licensed adult day-services program.

The fifth annual Wine Down featured 10 local vintners pouring their wines for tasting, along with beers — a new addition this year — in the lovely courtyard on the center’s Montecito campus. Asian-inspired hors d’oeuvres by Spices N Rice were generously passed out by the center’s volunteers, and live music by the Montecito Jazz Project was enjoyed by the crowd of nearly 150 supporters.

The Friday after-work gathering gave guests a chance to enjoy a lovely late summer evening and “wine down“ from the cares of the week.

A small silent auction, all lovingly prepared by committee volunteers, featured themed gift baskets.

Wines were poured by Andrew Murray Vineyards, Buttonwood Farm Winery, Consilience & Tre Anelli, Cottonwood Canyon Winery, Demetria Estate Winery, Fess Parker Wines, Pali Wine Company, Palmina, Santa Barbara Winery and Vinemark Cellars, and beer was served by Surf Brewery.

Dana VanderMey is Friendship Center’s new board president, following the long tenure of the capable Marty Moore.

“I have been active with the center for six years, but I have known about since 1981,” VanderMey told Noozhawk. “My son went to pre-school across the street at All Saints By-the-Sea Episcopal Church. He told me one day that they went to visit the grandmas and grandpas. So I went down and took a look for myself. It is a wonderful idea to bring the two generations together.

“My son is now 38, so that was a long time ago!”

The Event Committee included co-chairs Kathy Marden and Sue Adams, along with Karolyn Hanna, Inge Gatz, Jacqueline Duran, Martí Correa de Garcia and Mary Walsh.

Generous sponsors included the Charles Bloom Foundation, MarBorg Industries, Dana and Randall VanderMey, Castle Wealth Planning LLC, Sharon Kennedy Estate Management, Boone Graphics, Louise and David Borgatello, Coastal Home Care & Senior Planning Services, Sue Adams, Garcia Architects Inc., Inge Gatz and Steven Gilbar, Karolyn Hanna, Vangie Herrera and Al Anglin, Sey Kinsell, Kathy Marden and Pat Forgey, Maravilla Senior Living Community, Dixie and Marty Moore, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, Mary Walsh and Linda Seltzer Yawitz.

In addition to providing adult day services for aging and dependent adults with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease, Friendship Center offers a variety of activity-based programs. Connections is for those in early stages of memory loss, and Brain Fitness for Successful Aging is a six-week series open to anyone in the community wanting to take proactive steps to keep their memory and brain functions sharp.

Click here for more information about Friendship Center, or call 805.969.0859.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at rrose@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Santa Maria Cruzin’ for Life to Raise Funds for Cancer Services

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Annual benefit continues Saturday with a car show, cruise, dinner and auction

Classic cars carrying cancer survivors will cruise Broadway in Santa Maria on Saturday afternoon for the annual fundraiser benefiting cancer care services locally.

Cruzin’ for Life, which began in 2004 and has grown every year since then, kicks off Friday night and continues Saturday with a car show, cruise, dinner and auction. 

The event will be held at the Santa Maria Fairpark, 937 S. Thornburg St., and began with a car show “meet and greet” from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. 

On Saturday, the all-model car show will be held from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Fairpark with Montgomery-Dougherty performing from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and Unfinished Business playing from 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m.

The cruise with cancer survivors hitching rides in shiny classic cars will fill Broadway between Stowell Road and Main Street from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday as hundreds of supports line the sidewalks in support.

Organizers said some 150 vehicles were registered for Saturday, but expected the number could be near 200.

Drivers are eager to honor the cancer survivors by taking them on the cruise.

Event founder Clifford Labastida said that last year a woman standing on the sidewalk had a sign that read, “I’m a cancer survivor.”

Upon seeing that one of the drivers of the cruising vehicles swerved in her direction and picked her up for a ride.

“I thought that was the coolest thing,” Labastida said.

Santa Maria police warned that Broadway between Stowell Road and Cook Street would be closed from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday due to the cruise. In case of emergencies, Cook Street, Jones Street, Morrison Street and Stowell Road will have officers to assist people across Broadway.

Saturday evening, silent and live auctions are planned along with no-host cocktails and dinner. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. 

Entertainment will be provided by Sammy Labastida Jazz from 5 to 6 p.m. Dinner and the program will start at 6:30 p.m. Later in the evening, Freight Train will entertain.

Tickets cost $40 per person and should be purchased beforehand since the event typical sells out, according to organizers.

Cruzin' for Life was founded in 2004 by Labastida who joined with his brothers and buddies to raise funds to fight cancer while celebrating their top hobby: cars.

In the past, the event has included a tire burnout competition and been held at different locations until outgrowing those sites and ending up at the Fairpark.

The first year raised $15,000. Last year, Cruzin’ for Life gave away $123,000 to four programs the help cancer patients.

“We have a very generous community,” Labastida said.

Organizers said Cruzin’ for Life provides money Marian Cancer Care for a cancer patient outreach fund, covering needs insurance does not, such as transportation while in treatment, mortgage payments and car payments.

The event also helps fund the Make-A-Wish of the Tri Counties. 

Additionally, the event benefits the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recover program to provide funding for patients needing transportation to get care in Santa Barbara or beyond the Central Coast. It also helped the “Tops for Tots to Teens” program to provide a variety of hats, caps, scarves or wigs for small children to teenagers making life easier for them to cope with their hair loss.

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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Letter to the Editor: Resisting the Corrupt Oil/Gas Industry

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Transparency International has published a “Corruption Index” based on 13 surveys globally. It has found that the oil and gas industry and mining are the conglomerates that account for most global corruption. The evaluations were performed by business leaders in each country.

At No. 22 out of 178 countries, the U.S. oil/gas industries were rated below — more corrupt than — virtually every European country, as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It even rated a little below Hong Kong, Chile and Qatar.

How does this corruption manifest itself?

In bribes to public officials for drilling access to coveted areas or for a government entity's favorable laws or regulations; in the purposeful neglect of known safety measures for the sake of enhancing the corporate pocketbook, as recently spelled out by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier when he found BP guilty of “gross negligence,” “willful misconduct” and found Halliburton Energy Services and Transocean Ltd. guilty of “negligence” in their corrupt avoidance of known safety precautions that resulted in the infamous Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“They chose profits over safety,” Judge Barbier said, with “conscious disregard of known risks.”

In a Chevron Kern County steam injection well, the company failed to warn its employees of relevant dangers. Construction supervisor Robert David Taylor was sucked underground and boiled to death. His body was recovered 17 hours later. The company was fined $350.

In our own backyard, Greka Oil & Gas Inc., a company that state officials have called California's worst inland oil polluter, spilled, between 1999 and 2008, more than a half-million gallons of oil and contaminated water in our community, and in 2011 settled with Santa Barbara County for $2 million in fines.

I am not alone in the conviction that oil/gas company corruption is evident in the buying of officials' actions through campaign contributions.

When, in Theodore Roosevelt's second term, he had pushed through legislation to curtail the excesses of various trusts such as railroads and coal, whom he called “malefactors of great wealth,” one of them complained, ”We bought the son-of-a-bitch but he wouldn't stay bought!”

California Gov. Jerry Brown is not giving big oil any such trouble. When the Carson City Council voted for a moratorium on new oil drilling in its community, Occidental Petroleum, which had contributed $500,000 to Brown's Proposition 30 campaign, was upset and asked the governor to step in. He made a personal call to the city's mayor, who changed his council vote resulting in a tie, thus negating the moratorium. Logic prevailed? I use another word.

In California, the Western States Petroleum Association donated $2,308,789.95 in the first half of 2013 to lobby legislators and other state officials, an average of $427,000 for each state legislator. WSPA members: BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillip, ExxonMobil, Navajo Refining Company, Noble Energy Company, Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation, Shell Oil Products US, Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company, U.S. Oil & Refining Company and Venoco Inc.

So now oil companies' big money has come to Santa Barbara, outspending environmental groups 10-to-1 to make sure fracking wells, acidizing and steam-injection technologies will become our daily drinking, breathing and feeding threats. (I name and document these threats in the posts “Measure P – A Non-Industry View” Parts 1 and 2.)

Recently local mysterious telephone surveys representing ??? - “We can't say” - ask what your view is on Measure P. If you say you support it you are not contacted again. If you give a more satisfactory answer, a later call comes offering you more than $100 to attend a “focus group” that will discuss “a ballot measure.”

So now the question stands before the house: Can we in Santa Barbara County be bought and stay bought?

If fracking is permitted here, and from a nearby well your child comes “home from school every day with terrible headaches” *; or begins having “nosebleeds” ** or “seizures” **; if after a well is established on your property your wife and mother-in-law “lose [their] sense of smell and taste” **; and if the Center of Disease Control tells you not to drink from your water supply and, should you bathe or wash dishes in it, be sure to “open the windows so your home doesn't explode from the methane” ** — if any of these or like events are visited on you and your family, you can be sure that Santa Barbara's fire or police departments will not be there to save you. Their concentration will long since have been on the new equipment, upgraded facilities and/or guaranteed pensions they hope increased tax revenues would bring them.

There is no dispute among reputable people about where the vast bulk of money is being spent in this controversy and where it comes from.

Oil companies have the money. You and I have one strength: our vote.

If you want to use that vote to promote energy production that does not contribute to the increasing danger of climate change; if you want to avoid the repeatedly-documented possibilities of poisonous water and air contamination through failures in well casings due to faulty construction and/or earthquakes; if you want to avoid the excessive use of water when we face decades of drought; please vote yes on Proposition P on Nov. 4.

* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH1W9HXne7I (Rodgrigo Romo speaking in Spanish)

** http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b8s1JkkvxI (Wyoming rancher John Fenton)

William Smithers
Santa Barbara

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Dario Pini Sues City of Carpinteria for ‘Unreasonable’ Fees from Code Violations

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Local landlord was issued compliance orders for five of his properties and slapped with more than $27,000 in fees

A local landlord well-known for his run-ins with municipal and building code enforcement officials is suing the City of Carpinteria for what he says are “unreasonable” fines, according to a lawsuit filed earlier this summer.

Dario Pini, who owns more than 100 properties on the South Coast, was cited by Carpinteria for code violations at five of his properties in the community.

​He says the more than $27,000 in fines is unreasonable, according to a lawsuit filed June 18 in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Carpinteria issued compliance orders for Cypress Tree Apartments, 5615 Carpinteria Ave.; Casa del Sol Motel and Apartments, 5585 Carpinteria Ave.; Tomarla Apartments, 1000 Concha Loma Drive; La Concha Apartments, 974 Concha Loma Drive; and Sycamore Apartments, 990 Concha Loma Drive.

All are multiunit apartment complexes that are adjacent to one another, with a total of about 90 rental units among them.

The code enforcement file documents hazardous electrical wiring, rotting drywall, mold and deteriorating balcony floors, among other problems at the properties.

Neither party’s attorney responded to Noozhawk’s requests for comment.

“For a period of years, the buildings and many of the rental units they contain have borne conditions of dilapidation ranging from graffiti to trash marring the exteriors to safety hazards in the dwelling spaces,” the city’s complaint reads.

In 2013, residents and law enforcement officers complained to the city and building inspection officers responded.

They found “dozens of violations pervading all five properties,” according to the city.

The city maintains that it gave Pini and his investment company, DP Investments, ample time to to correct the problems, and even extensions of time, but said inspections revealed that not enough had been done.

“They found that DP Investments had made some repairs, but that every property still suffered from pervasive code violations originally identified in the compliance orders,” the complaint states.

In March, the city held a compliance hearing at City Hall and issued an order that Pini would have to pay $27,881.36 in staff time and administrative costs. The city also said that corrections had not been made at his properties.

Pini’s attorney, Larry Powell, said the city failed to establish that the costs it requested were reasonable, and maintains that city staff duplicated charges and overbilled for the fees.

Judge Thomas Anderle granted a stay in the case on Aug. 27, putting the case on hold until Nov. 3.

Last year, Pini settled a code enforcement lawsuit with the City of Santa Barbara. As part of the settlement, his 100-or-so commercial and residential properties within city limits are under court-ordered operation and maintenance for at least five years.

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

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Student-Funded Solar Panel Project Starts Taking Shape at UCSB

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Campus parking structure is retrofitted with solar panels to generate electricity

Six dollars per quarter didn’t seem like too much to ask from fellow UC Santa Barbara students, who in 2010 had front-row seats to slashes in state education funding.

Clayton Carlson and Michael Hewitt, both Gauchos at the time, were looking at ways to supplement high utility costs so student services wouldn’t endure even more cuts.

They came up with the renewable energy initiative and asked UCSB students to vote on whether they would pitch in extra student fees over a 10-year period to raise approximately $4 million for renewable energy resources on campus.

Although both activists have since graduated, the legacy of their initiative lives on in a quite visible display that began taking shape this summer.

Anyone who’s seen construction of solar panels atop the multi-level 22 Parking Structure can silently thank those UCSB alumni.

“The students voted overwhelmingly in favor of it,” said Andrew Riley, sustainability coordinator for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. “We plan to carry on with this.”

Student fees are funding the $2.6 million solar project, which will generate about 425 kilowatts — more than enough to power the nearby Student Resources Building.

In optimal, sunny afternoon conditions, that energy output also equals about 3 percent of UCSB power demand.

Riley said saved utility costs will be redirected to some 24 student services departments, including counseling, students workshops, organizations and others.

Crews were working to install solar panels on the roof of a campus parking structure this week. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Construction of the 1,800 panels is slated to continue until late November, and officials could be ready to flip the literal switch to generate energy as early as December.

The solar project is by far the largest on UCSB’s campus, which boasts five existing systems for a collective capacity of 220 kilowatts of DC power, according to Jordan Sager of the Department of Utility & Energy Services.

The new system generates nearly two times that.

Areas with solar panels include the Recreation Center (155 kW), the Bren School (47 kW), Carrillo Dining Commons (5 kW), Harder Stadium (10 kW) and the Henley Gate (2 kW), Sager said.

Down the line, university officials hope solar power could play a larger role in sustainability, Sager said, since the average cost of solar modules has dropped 60 percent since the beginning of 2011 while electricity costs steadily increased.

“These two factors have made large solar projects very compelling economically,” he said. “The campus is currently evaluating the addition of a 3-to-4 megawatt system at various buildings across the campus.”

The project would also fall in step with urgings from UC President Janet Napolitano, who hopes campuses move toward renewable energy sources.

If UCSB officials approve the larger solar project, and obtain federal incentive funding, Sager said it could be complete by the end of 2016.

In the meantime, the university plans to use the remaining $2 million from the student initiative to put the seven student services buildings fully on renewable energy within the next three years.

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

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David Harsanyi: Biden Gets Another Free Pass After ‘Shylock’ Comment

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Remember when the media freaked out for three days over Sarah Palin's completely innocuous use of the term "blood libel"?

Nearly every major media outlet took a deep dive on this critical outrage. Millions of Americans learned more about how Jews in the Middle Ages were sometimes falsely accused of kidnapping and murdering Christian children so they could use the blood for ritualistic baking. But more significantly: What did Palin mean? Was she sending a veiled message to evangelical voters? Was it just anti-Semitism rearing its ugly head again?

There will be no such national conversation over Vice President Joe Biden's recent comments. While extolling the virtues of his son Beau at a speech at Legal Services Corp., our Clouseau-esque vice president launched into one of his folksy populist rants. "When he was over there in Iraq for a year," he explained, "people would come to him and talk about what was happening to them at home in terms of foreclosures, in terms of bad loans that were being — I mean these Shylocks who took advantage of these women and men while overseas."

Immediately, the voice of America's aggrieved Jewish community, the Anti-Defamation League, jumped into action with this rather mild condemnation from its national director, Abraham Foxman: "When someone as friendly to the Jewish community and open and tolerant an individual as is Vice President Joe Biden uses the term 'Shylocked' to describe unscrupulous moneylenders dealing with service (members), we see once again how deeply embedded this stereotype about Jews is in society."

There's no need to overreact. It's not as if Biden said, "You cannot go to a bagel store unless you have a slight Yiddish accent." He certainly didn't say, "You Jews are so productive. I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are."

Was he intending to insult bankers as moneylending Jews? Is it an insult? Is there anything wicked about usury? I find it unlikely. I find it improbable he even knew Shylock had anything to do with Jews.

Anyway, Biden apologized. They almost always do.

"Abe Foxman," he said in a statement, "has been a friend and adviser of mine for a long time." If only we all had advisers to help steer us from saying stupid things. (It is worth pointing out that as often as the ADL gets overexcited about minor slights, it is equally fawning for no reason. What on earth has Biden done to make himself a "friend" of the Jewish community? Wear a yarmulke once a year? Sign on to work for the least Israel-friendly administration ever?)

When William Shakespeare wrote The Merchant of Venice and created the character Shylock, there hadn't been any Jews in England for hundreds of years, not since they were expelled in 1290 — and they wouldn't really return to full rights until the mid-1800s. Shakespeare knew nothing about Jews.

There's no need to be offended. Shakespeare is long dead. The Jews are still alive. (Not to mention, I'm strongly pro-Shylock; he was a legitimate businessman screwed over by a technicality.)

So it's not a big deal. Or, I should say, it's as big a deal as the dozens of stories we've had to endure about GOP gaffes. Is there any question that the repercussions for these sorts of mistakes are meted out asymmetrically? There is simply no way a Republican could get away with the buffoonery Biden peddles almost daily. Is the lack of genuine scrutiny over Biden's mistakes a reflection of the media's handling him like an unserious person? If that's the case, then shouldn't the president be open to far more criticism for putting the country in such a precarious position? Or is it that Biden finds himself in the right party?

Either way, it reflects poorly on the media.

David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist. Click here for more information, or click here to contact him, follow him on Twitter: @davidharsanyi, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Letter to the Editor: Sending U.S. Troops to Combat Ebola in Africa the Wrong Move

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Today, we are witnessing a real-life horror story in western Africa — the spread of the Ebola virus.

Experts estimate 5 million people could die and that the time to contain the virus has passed.

President Barack Obama recently pledged to send 3,000 U.S. troops to western Africa, and the Pentagon has requested $500 million in funds toward this effort.

According to administration officials, the "U.S. would help to provide medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health-care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic." The New York Post reports that "the U.S. efforts will include medics and corpsmen for treatment and training engineers to help erect treatment facilities and specialists in logistics in patient transportation."

America, is this the right move, or is it an irresponsible, political move aimed at boosting President Obama's sagging image?

What about our troops? Will sending them to Africa put them, as well as their families, in more danger? How will they be protected? Is the recent order by the Pentagon for 160,000 hazmat suits related to this plan?

And what about the risk to America? Will bringing back 3,000 troops from western Africa be the catalyst for the spread of Ebola in our country?

Once again, the question must be asked: Is President Obama looking out for the best interests of America and our military? As retired Lt. General William G. Boylkin said, sending American troops to combat Ebola in Liberia is "an absolute misuse of the U.S. military."

I ask you, America: Isn't it the job of our military to protect our country, especially against such threats as radical Islam? Our soldiers are not health-care workers.

Diana Thorn
Carpinteria

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Victor Dominocielo: County’s Vaccination Rates Dropping — at Our Children’s Peril

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Kelsy Brugger in The Independent (Sept. 11) writes that Santa Barbara County Public Health Department figures show a rise in vaccine exemptions from 2.9 percent in 2011 to 4.7 percent in 2013.

Herd immunity begins to rapidly deteriorate after 5 percent of the population does not vaccinate. National trends show that vaccination rates often drop within pockets of affluent and highly educated groups and that national high exemption rates hover around 25 percent. Following that trend, 27.4 percent of students at Montecito Union School filed exemptions as did a whopping 41.7 percent of students at El Montecito School, according to Santa Barbara County records.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Hollywood Reporter did an excellent article showing that vaccination rates in wealthy school districts in Los Angeles are as low as those in Southern Sudan! There is even a new term going around calling this phenomenon “affluenza,” suggesting that the affluent/wealthy think they don’t get sick like the rest of us.

PBS/Nova has just released an excellent, science-based video called, “Vaccines: Calling the Shots" that every parent should see. This anti-vax trend in Santa Barbara is significant, very disturbing and potentially harmful to many of our children.

Parents are asked by their physicians to have 28 vaccinations for 14 different diseases within their child’s first two years. That's a lot of shots, and many parents might naturally question if so many are necessary. However, all the shots are necessary, simply because that is the number of serious and life-threatening diseases that children are susceptible to and which vaccinations can eradicate if everyone maintains herd immunity.

Research since the 1950s has shown that after millions upon millions of vaccinations worldwide, that fears of autism, multiple sclerosis, SIDS, heart failure, etc., are completely unfounded. Vaccinations have extremely rare side effects (about one serious side effect for every 1 million vaccinations) and enormous benefits (over 6 million people saved per year from painful suffering and death). Finally, research over many years has demonstrated that the number of vaccinations and the CDC recommended vaccination schedule is safe and effective.

Many parents avoid vaccinations because they follow a naturalistic ideology and consider vaccinations an unnatural substance in their body. Well, there is nothing more natural than measles, whooping cough and smallpox. In fact, we live in a "soup" of natural airborne particles of disease, and our body's immune system stays strong and keeps us healthy by continually fighting off these diseases.

Vaccination exactly mimics this natural process by selectively exposing our immune systems to a very weak form of a debilitating and deadly disease. Our immune systems are then triggered and prepared to fight off that particular disease. The only difference between the normal, natural and continuous operation of our immune system and a vaccination is that medical science picks one of the many diseases that our immune system is continually fighting.

In the PBS video, moms watch their children play and they talk on camera about their confusion over vaccinations: “There’s just so much information, I don’t know who to ask.” “There’s no such thing as an unbiased source.” “Who am I supposed to trust?” One mom relates a story that sometime after her child had a vaccination that she had a seizure, and the mom blames the vaccination.

You don’t know who to ask? How about asking your M.D. pediatrician? Ask 10 pediatricians and see if their recommendations agree. They will agree because they follow the CDC guidelines, and because it is their difficult task in life to sometimes watch children die of these preventable diseases. For that reason, every pediatrician is going to recommend the absolute best and safest procedure and schedule available. Who to trust? How about trusting the M.D.’s four years of medical school, two to five years of residency training and State Medical Board certification?

These moms are practicing the worst and most dangerous form of anti-science, pseudo-skepticism with their child’s health. It goes something like this: “Let’s see. I have to make this life-and-death medical decision for my child. Should I go with the over 200 years of science-based medical research, experimentation and practice, with millions of people saved, horrible diseases wiped off the face of the Earth or … should I go with Betty Sue’s opinion who’s sitting next to me on the park bench? I don’t know. I’m not sure. Betty Sue goes to the health food store. She eats all organic. She’s so natural. I want my kids to be like hers … .”

I want to know who these moms had for science teachers in high school and college. How did they pass any of their science classes without knowing the difference between scientific research and Betty Sue’s opinion? How could they possibly equate 200 years and millions of positive outcomes with Betty Sue’s emotional story? Why didn’t that other mom not understand that just because her child had a seizure sometime after her vaccination, that she did not necessarily have the seizure because of the vaccination (post hoc thinking). Why wasn’t she taught these simple cognitive fallacies when she learned how to examine scientific evidence in high school?

Because vaccinations work so well, each generation of educated parents may try to second-guess their physicians. “Why should I vaccinate against smallpox? No one in the U.S. gets smallpox anymore.” The same could be said for measles in 2000, but now measles is coming back. Cases of whooping cough/pertussis have tripled in California, and Santa Barbara County considers our 81 cases part of the statewide epidemic (8,000 cases). These horrible diseases return when we think Betty Sue’s opinion is equal to or better than medical research.

There is also significant parent resistance to HPV vaccine, which is recommended for the prevention of cervical/anal cancer and genital warts. Many religious parents feel that their message of abstinence is somehow subverted by the vaccination. This does not logically follow: A vaccine that prevents cervical cancer has nothing to do with religious instruction. This situation is particularly frustrating since HPV vaccine actually prevents cancer. Wait, wait. Let me say that again: We have a cure for this cancer. The medical community doesn’t get to say that very often. It’s not a treatment. HPV vaccine prevents cervical cancer! Still, some parents have developed pseudo-skeptical and anti-science views on the subject. Unbelievable.

The Complementary, Integrative and Alternative (C.I.A.) crowd appears to be divided on the issue of vaccinations with some realizing that the scientific evidence for vaccination is so overwhelming that they refer their patients out to M.D.’s and some who still actively preach anti-science and anti-germ theory of disease nonsense.

D.D. Palmer, the founder of chiropractic, said this: “It is the very height of absurdity to strive to ‘protect’ any person from smallpox and other malady by inoculating them with a filthy animal poison. ... No one will ever pollute the blood of any member of my family unless he cares to walk over my dead body ...” (Palmer, D.D. “The Chiropractor’s Adjustor,” 1910). Even in 1910, Edward Jenner’s documented, modern medical vaccination procedure for smallpox (1796) had been successful for 114 years. Alternative medicine may be tolerable when they treat conditions that are going to get better anyway, like colds and flu, but actively preaching against vaccinations is shameful and will only result in the increased suffering of children. Again, I find it amazing that people follow these placebo/belief-based practitioners when their child’s health is at risk.

A few minutes into the “Vaccines: Calling the Shots” video, you will see a 7-week-old baby suffering from whooping cough — I mean on the verge of death suffering. It’s heart wrenching. I spent five years as an EMT on a 9-1-1 ambulance in Manhattan, N.Y. I’ve seen some pretty raw damage. Yet this little baby’s distress really got to me. Prepare yourself.

This mother’s tears and the tiny infant's struggle to breath is something that children no longer have to suffer. If you can watch that little 7-week-old baby struggle for his life’s breath and then go play Russian roulette with your child’s health, you have been misled with false information from the naturalistic, anti-science, medieval medicine crowd. Don’t do that. Your child deserves better. Don’t listen to Betty Sue and the other pseudo-skeptical, mumbo jumbo apologists. Listen to your M.D. and follow the vaccination schedule.

— Victor Dominocielo, M.A., a California-credentialed teacher for 37 years, is the human biology and health teacher at a local middle school. He earned his master of arts degree in education from UCSB. The opinions expressed are his own.

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William Sansum Diabetes Center Announces Retirement of Director Alison Wollitzer

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Alison Okada Wollitzer, Ph.D., has retired from the William Sansum Diabetes Center (formerly Sansum Diabetes Research Institute) after more than 20 years of service.

"We appreciate Dr. Wollitzer's outstanding contributions to the center over her distinguished career," said Robert Nagy, M.D., president of the Board of Trustees. "We thank her for her many years of service and for her dedication to our mission to improve the lives of diabetes patients around the world."

Dr. Wollitzer first joined the center as research administrator in 1987, serving until 1995. She returned in 1998, rising to director of research administration and operations in 2008.

During her tenure, she oversaw the submission and subsequent administration of numerous research grant applications to the NIH, JDRF and other major funders, secured and implemented project funding from local and regional foundations, and directed and/or collaborated on research and outreach projects involving youth and the underserved.

She was a founding member of Partners for Fit Youth, Gold Coast Collaborative for Health and Fitness, and the Community Wellness Coalition. Wollitzer served as interim administrator in 2012.

"It has been an honor and a privilege to work at the center," Wollitzer said. "I look forward to following its new initiatives in diabetes research, education and care."

Dr. Wollitzer received a bachelor's degree from the University of California-Berkeley, a master's degree from the University of Paris and a Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University. She previously held positions at UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley and Cottage Health System. She is the developer of a nationally marketed software program for Institutional Review Boards.

— Nick Valente represents the William Sansum Diabetes Center.

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Helicopter Conducts Rescue in Los Padres National Forest

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Santa Barbara County first responders conducted a helicopter rescue in the Los Padres National Forest Friday afternoon for a man who needed immediate hospitalization.

A call came in at 12:10 p.m. from an individual who reported having some type of medical emergency, according to Capt. Mike Klusyk of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department

The County's Air Operations Program, a joint partnership of the Santa Barbara County Fire and Sheriff's Department, sent Helicopter 3, with two paramedics on board, to the scene.

Klusyk said that the person called from Big Caliente Canyon, which is located about 10 miles northeast of Santa Barbara in the Los Padres National Forest.

"It took a while to get cell phone contact," he said. "They are well back in the forest."

It's unclear if the person was on a trail or calling from campsite in the area, but the only access into the canyon was via helicopter and an engine company and AMR ambulance are staging on a road in the area.

The man, whose identity or condition has not been released, was evaluated by the paramedics, who determined he needed immediate hospital care.

The patient was lifted via hoist onto the helicopter and transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

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

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Letter to the Editor: Kudos to CADA

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Thank you to CADA and  KEYT for spotlighting the importance of mentoring through CADA’s Mission for Mentors telethon.

It was inspiring to see the outpouring of support from our community to help children who would benefit most from the power of mentoring friendships.

Studies have shown that children participating in long, strong, professionally supported relationships with a caring adult role model are more likely to succeed in school, make safer behavioral choices and have stronger relationships with their parents and others.

Way to go!

Sarah Rudd-Lawlor
Program manager
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Barbara County, a program of Family Service Agency

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Captain’s Log: Cut Thirsty Critters Some Slack Until the Rains Return

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Thirsty critters are crawling, walking or flying out of hidden places by the droves. Humans seem to have lots of water around us, so from the critters’ perspective, joining us is a necessity.

Yes (again from the critters’ perspective), humans are dangerous, smelly, noisy and incredibly inconsiderate of the needs of their fellow critters, but dagnabit, humans have water. A critter’s gotta do what a critter’s gotta do! If you were a critter with a few (or a few hundred) mouths to feed and water, you’d join the humans, too.

Here’s a classic example.

My charter boat, WaveWalker, was out of the water having some work done. While out of the water on stands, a very long line of black ants came aboard to find the pockets of water usually found aboard boats. Heck, there might even be a few tiny scraps of bait or fish that got wedged into a crack or crevice.

So they came aboard. The boat was thoroughly washed while out of the water, so yes, the ants found some water. The boat was visited by lots of other thirsty critters, too, but they were all in and out very quickly. Then suddenly the boat work was finished and the boat went back in the harbor. Well, nobody told the ants the boat was leaving! That meant that a few hundred of them were left aboard.

I’ve been watching them for a few days now since we splashed the boat, and they don’t look happy. I prefer not to kill things I don’t intend to eat, so I don’t want to spray them. Each day I see fewer, yet they aren’t able to leave, so I suspect they are dying on their own. It’s sad. But I haven’t figured out how to guide them off via the dock lines. Apparently I’m not a good pied piper of ants.

Backyards are another tough place. Most of us use at least some water in our yards, though our usage during the drought is way down. But what we use is enough to sustain many critters, so they come looking. Those of us with pets in the backyard are giving them a tough challenge to defend their territories against intruders. But maybe some of our pets are wise enough to know that many visitors will only be there long enough for a quick drink and then leave.

We need to be just as wise. Each of us may not like all of the critters who come to visit. Possums, skunks and raccoons come to mind as generally unwelcome visitors. But for the next month (after which hopefully we’ll get an early rain), please cut those visiting critters some slack and let them have a drink. They may not be any more fond of us than we are of them. But they need some water, and we’ve got it. Give ‘em a drink.

— 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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Animal Rescue Team Urges Motorists to ‘Watch Out for Wildlife’

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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As the drought is drawing wildlife in search of food and water from remote areas to urban roads and highways, the Animal Rescue Team Inc. (ART) of Solvang is encouraging motorists to participate in California’s statewide “Watch Out for Wildlife” week by taking the following special precautions while driving:

» 1. Be alert when driving in wildlife areas, such as Highways 154 and 246. Scan both sides of the road for animals, watch for wildlife signs, and never drive distracted.

» 2. Slow down and increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Reducing your speed will increase your response time to avoid colliding and killing a crossing animal.

» 3. Limit driving in wildlife areas at night. More than 90 percent of wildlife collisions occur at night. During dusk and dawn, wildlife activity is highest, and driver’s visibility is lowest. When you do travel at night, watch for animals’ reflective eyes, keep your dashboard lights on low, turn off your vehicle’s internal lights.

» 4. Keep up with regular auto maintenance. Inspect your brakes, make sure your windshield is clean, and keep your dashboard clear of any objects which may interfere with your visibility of the road.

» 5. Think like an animal, and be familiar with wildlife behavior. Many wildlife species travel in groups or herds. When you see one wildlife animal, watch for others.

» 6. Don’t litter. Wildlife is attracted to the smell and will flock to roads and highways.

According to the California Highway Patrol, more than 1,800 wildlife were hit by vehicles in 2010 when the most recent report was available, and according to Caltrans, approximately $1 billion in property damage is caused by these collisions.

Although deer and mountain lions are typically the largest of the wildlife victims of poor motorist behavior, a young bear was struck and killed last Tuesday evening by a Toyota 4Runner on Highway 154.

“This tragedy could have been avoided by taking a few simple driving precautions to watch out for wildlife,” ART Executive Director Julia Di Sieno said. “Not only can watching out for wildlife save our wildlife from injury and death, but it could save your life and property as well.”

— Valerie Walston represents the Animal Rescue Team.

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Coastal Quilters Guild Presents ‘Harvest of Colors’ Quilt Show at Showgrounds

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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The 2014 “Harvest of Colors: A Members’ Showcase” Quilt Show, sponsored by the Coastal Quilters Guild of Santa Barbara and Goleta, will feature more than 200 guild members’ quilted creations and promises to be spectacular.

The biennial show will be held this Saturday and Sunday at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, Highway 101 and Las Positas in Santa Barbara, and will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Weekend passes, good for both days, are $10 at the door, and children under 12 are free.

Free parking is available thanks to Planned Parenthood’s annual book sale, also being held at the fairgrounds that weekend. Parking and entrance are handicap accessible.

The show will have on display traditional quilts, art quilts, quilted wearables and quilted home decor. Visitors to the show will be able to vote for their favorite quilt in the “Viewer’s Choice.” The Education Corner will have activities for both children and adults alike.

Quilting demonstrations will also take place throughout the weekend. A gift boutique will have hand-crafted items for sale and vendors will participate in the merchant mall. Raffle tickets for the opportunity quilt, “O Christmas Tree,” will be available at the show for purchase. The drawing for the quilt will be Dec. 11, and the winner need not be present to win. Plus, raffle tickets for about 25 raffle baskets will also be available for purchase with drawings both Saturday and Sunday, and the winner need not be present to win. Proceeds from the opportunity quilt and the show will go to help fund many of the guild’s community projects.

Recent recipients of the guild’s generosity include the Serenity House, the Assistance League of Santa Barbara, Hospice of Santa Barbara, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, the Goleta Valley Community Center, the Breast Cancer Treatment Center, Unity Shoppe, Habitat for Humanity, Women’s Free Health Clinic of Santa Barbara and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

At this year’s Harvest of Colors Quilt Show, we will be featuring “Route 66 Quilts,” a collective group of quilts that depict Highway 66, the highway, the motels and businesses that cropped up along the highway for travelers.

During the show, the Coastal Quilters Guild will be presenting a very special quilt to the Serenity House, run by Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care. A letter from Serenity House was received, asking if our guild would be interested in creating a quilted shroud for a meaningful and beautiful ceremony. Dr. Linda Boynton de Sepulveda, a Coastal Quilter Guild member, was asked and accepted to design a quilt shroud for them. The Serenity House, now, will have a beautiful tradition to add to their caring services that they provide to our community.

Click here for more information about the Coastal Quilters Guild and the “Harvest of Colors” Quilt Show 2014.

— Rosana Swing is the publicity chairwoman for the Coastal Quilters Guild.

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Providence School Hosting Santa Barbara Christian College Fair

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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For the fifth year, Providence is pleased to host the Santa Barbara Christian College Fair.

Representatives from 34 Christian colleges and universities across the country will be present at the fair, held at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave., from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29.

Sean Smith, director of financial aid at Westmont College, will make a presentation on the college financial aid process at 6:30 p.m.

Hosting the Christian College Fair is a good fit for Providence, where students benefit from up to six years intensive assistance in college planning, from inventorying goals and interests to the college application and selection process. Jen Loomer, who holds an advanced degree in college counseling, directs the college counseling program.

All interested students and their families are warmly invited to attend the Santa Barbara Christian College Fair. For more information and to download a bar code to save time at the fair, click here.

— Elaine Rottman is the marketing director for Providence.

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Angela Ettinger Named to Devereux California Advisory Board

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Angela Ettinger
Angela Ettinger

Angela Ettinger, care manager and fiduciary in the ElderCare field, has been named to serve on the Devereux California Advisory Board.

Ettinger has strong experience in the management, human resources, health and the fitness fields.

Excitingly, this is her first board experience. She has a heartfelt desire to advocate for those who cannot help themselves as she had a close friend in high school who was brain injured and began to need a lot of personal assistance. She has a passion for helping and serving others, and has two beautiful children.

We welcome Ettinger to the board.

Devereux California provides behavioral services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities; emotional, behavioral disorders and mental health issues. It offers residential services, Adult Day and Life Enrichment programs, and Supported or Independent Living programs to individuals in their own homes within Santa Barbara County.

Headquartered in Pennsylvania, Devereux is the largest, nonprofit provider of behavioral healthcare in the country, operating 15 centers in 11 states. Next year, Devereux California will celebrate 70 years in operation.

Contact Cassi Noel, manager of external affairs, to volunteer or donate at cnoel2@devereux.org or 805.968.2525 x202.

— Cassi Noel is the external affairs manager for Devereux California.

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United Way Celebrates Grand Opening of United Learning Center to Assist Students

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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United Way of Santa Barbara County is pleased to announce the launch of its United Learning Center, a unique, highly interactive and individually calibrated K-12 tutoring program.

The United Learning Center is a program that will help advance UWSBC’s community driven goal to improve the number of students reading at or above grade level by 50 percent. Currently, UWSBC partners with 29 schools and organizations that implement UWSBC’s technology driven literacy programs: Power Reading and Power Math. Since 2010, students have experienced positive incremental success.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of the United Learning Center,” said Paul Didier, CEO and president of United Way of Santa Barbara County. “ULC allows students in our community to access unique and engaging educational tools and learning techniques that will help them achieve success in the new school year.”

The educational tools and learning techniques used at ULC are highly interactive and individually calibrated for every learner and will offer instruction in literacy, arithmetic, homework help and test preparation for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Students will learn in a brand new classroom at UWSBC, complete with new laptop computers. The center will also include adult math and reading programs.

“United Learning Center Reading Plus has been the key to unlock my daughter’s passion for reading,” said Heather Smith, whose daughter was enrolled in the ULC pilot summer program. “That passion will serve her throughout her life.”

With a maximum student-to-teacher ratio of four-to-one, each child will receive as much attention as he/she needs to succeed. ULC credentialed school teachers will assess each student and create customized learning plans for him/her. They will also monitor each student’s progress, and instruct and coach him/her along the way. The students can also continue their reading and math programs online, so learning can be done at any time.

For more information, call 805.882.0513 or email info@unitedlearning.org.

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing United Way of Santa Barbara County.

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Museum League Continues 27-Year Tradition with Santa Barbara Artwalk

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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The 27th annual Artwalk returns to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27-28.

Presented by the Museum League and co-chaired by Patti Ottoboni and Sue Adams, the Artwalk will feature 41 artists in the juried Indoor Show Artists of Distinction: An Exhibition.

Curated by Diane Waterhouse of the Waterhouse Gallery, Artists of Distinction highlights an impressive group of nationally recognized artists, whose artwork will be on display in the Fleischmann Auditorium at the museum from Saturday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Oct. 5.

“Artists of Distinction: An Exhibition will be a visual feast,” Waterhouse said. “The show will feature the finest artists in their field from throughout California.”

The featured Artists of Distinction in the Indoor Show include: Peter Adams, Ben Anderson, Bela Basci, Ann Sheldon Beth, Brian Blood, John Budicin, Patricia Chidlaw, John Cosby, Kevin Courter, Steve Curry, Nancy Davidson, Camille Dellar, Gil Dicicco, Dennis Doheny Prisilla Fossek, Ellie Freudenstein, Rick Garcia, Lynn Gertenbach, Cynthia Hamilton, Wyllis Heaton, Ray Hunter, Brent Jensen, Laurie Kersey, Scott Kiche, Ruo Li, Calvin Liang, Laurie MacMillan, Terry Miura, John Modesitt, Craig Nelson, Paul Panossian, Scott Prior, Camille Przewodek, Junn Roca, Ann Sanders, Eric Slayton, Thalia Stratton, Erza Suko, Elizabeth Tolley, Thomas Van Stein and Ralph Waterhouse.

Artwalk festivities commence on Friday, Sept. 26 at the Artist and Patron Reception in the Fleischmann Auditorium, giving attendants a preview of the Artists of Distinction: An Exhibition show as they meet with the nationally known landscape painters featured in the show and enjoy appetizers and wine.

On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27-28, Artwalk continues with the opening of the Outdoor Exhibition featuring a variety of artists, including photography, pottery, sculpture, jewelry and crafts.

Guests can also visit the annual Children’s Artwalk, and see works of art by students from schools in Santa Barbara County.

Participating schools in the Children’s Artwalk include: Adams Elementary School, City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation, Cleveland Elementary School, Cold Spring School, El Camino, El Montecito, Franklin Elementary School, Garden Street Academy, Harding University Partnership School, Hollister School, Hope School, The Howard School, Laguna Blanca, La Patera Elementary School, Marymount of Santa Barbara, McKinley Elementary School, Monroe Elementary School, Montecito Union School, Monte Vista Elementary School, Montessori Center School, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Peabody Elementary School, Saint Raphael School and Washington Elementary School.

This annual fundraising event is presented by the Museum League, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing public interest in the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History with events including Artwalk. Throughout the years, the Museum League has donated thousands of hours in successful events, which have contributed more than $817,000 to the museum. Proceeds from last year’s Artwalk supported summer exhibits such as the popular Butterflies Alive! and Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl: Home Sweet Home.

General admission for the Artwalk on Saturday and Sunday is $12 and $11 for museum members, and are available at the door or at the museum. Tickets to the Artist and Patron Reception on Friday, Sept. 26 include an Artwalk Weekend Pass for free admission to the museum and Artwalk. Reception tickets are available online for $55 by clicking here.

All works displayed at the show (except those in the Children’s Artwalk) are for sale, and proceeds support the museum’s exhibits and science education programs. Click here for more information.

— Valeria Velasco is a marketing associate for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

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‘Medicare Open Enrollment Choices’ Seminar Planned in Carpinteria

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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

The "Medicare Open Enrollment Choices" presentation will be held beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 31 at the Carpinteria Branch Library, 5141 Carpinteria Ave. in Carpinteria.

“HICAP is offering this presentation to help beneficiaries and their caregivers better understand their choices during the Medicare open enrollment period, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7,” said Jim Talbott, president of the Board of Directors for the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens.

Even those who currently have Medicare coverage can benefit from this presentation.

Topics will include an introduction to Medicare including what Medicare covers, supplemental insurance, how to evaluate and choose the best Part D prescription coverage, and Medicare Advantage plan options.

HICAP is pleased to partner with the Carpinteria Branch Library in presenting this important information to the community.

HICAP offers free and unbiased counseling and information on Medicare issues. HICAP 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 Medical services, the federal Medicare agency.

For more information about the "Medicare Open Enrollment Choices" presentation and to reserve a seat at this seminar, contact the local HICAP office at 800.434.0222, 805.928.5663 or seniors@kcbx.net, or RSVP online by clicking here.

— Bill Batty represents the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program.

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Learn to Make Compost During Hands-on Workshop at Open Alternative School

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Learn to make quality compost and understand the soil food web with Bill Palmisano at a one-day, hands-on workshop and demonstration from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Open Alternative School Healthy Lunch Garden, 4025 Foothill Road.

Compost and a healthy food web will:

» Increase the health and yield of the garden, landscape and farm

» Reduce water use, increase water holding capacity and rooting depth

» Make nutrients available to plants at rates they require

» Retain nutrients and stop run-off and leaching

» Suppress disease and pests

» Decompose toxins

Experts and novices will learn to:

» Make the highest quality compost possible

» Build and turn hot aerobic compost piles with the proper tools

» Increase soil organisms and beneficial microbes

The cost is $75. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Space is limited! Call or email to reserve your space: soilfoodwebgardener@gmail.com or Palmisano at 805.570.7965.

— Dana Cisneros is the communication chair for Open Alternative School.

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ONTRApalooza Conference for Entrepreneurs to Be Held in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Ontraport, the innovators behind the all-in-one small-business automation platform, will be hosting ONTRApalooza 2014, its third annual business building conference for entrepreneurs.

Held at the Lobero Theatre Oct. 1-3, this event will bring together small-business owners and business consultants from around the world.

To celebrate its hometown of Santa Barbara, Ontraport is offering discounted pricing for locals. Tickets will be sold at $299, half off the regular price of $599. Register now for your all access pass to ONTRApalooza 2014.

The ONTRApalooza main events will be held at the historic Lobero Theatre while workshops, hands-on training and not-to-be-missed social events will take place at the Canary Hotel.

Keynote speakers include Santa Barbara resident Jack Canfield, beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and America’s No. 1 success coach, as well as many others. Canfields’s Keynote, “The Key to Your Success,” will take place at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Lobero Theatre.

Listed by Forbes as “a must-attend conference for entrepreneurs,” ONTRApalooza 2014 is the premier destination conference for fledgling start-ups, small-business owners and entrepreneurs — or those with a great idea to incubate! Attendees at the three-day event can expect actionable advice from top experts in business education and entrepreneurial growth, hands-on business training including deep-dive workshops focused on content marketing, retargeting, public relations, lead conversion and more.

Click here to learn more or buy a ticket.

— Andrea Webber is a public relations assistant for Ontraport.

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Google Teams Up with UCSB Physics Students for Research Project

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Under the supervision of professor John Martinis, the group is working to develop new quantum-computing processors

A group of UC Santa Barbara physics students is teaming up with Google and NASA to develop new quantum computing techniques.

Google handpicked the UCSB student team this month to work with its Quantum Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab, which was created in May 2013 in collaboration with NASA and a universities group to improve machine learning using quantum computing.

While the work of physics Professor John Martinis and his students isn’t quite ready for public dissemination — Google is keeping it under wraps — those involved are reportedly researching and building quantum-computing processors.

In a nutshell, Martinis and his students are experimenting with D-Wave's quantum computers, which can process data as much as 3,600 times faster than typical high-performance computers.

By testing new algorithmic processes, the group could help others generate useful insights from mounds of simultaneously existing data.

So, researchers could ask complex questions, such as what’s the best route to travel to 10 different cities, and an answer could be derived based on time, money, distance, etc.

“We're looking forward to being part of a serious scientific and engineering effort to build a quantum computer, and we're pleased that Google is very interested in this research,” said Martinis, now also a Google research scientist. “A key reason this is an exciting project is the expertise Google has in mapping machine learning applications to a quantum computer.”

Google’s director of engineering, Hartmut Neven, announced UCSB’s involvement as part of a hardware initiative to design and build new quantum information processors based on superconducting electronics. 

“John and his group have made great strides in building superconducting quantum electronic components of very high fidelity,” Neven said in a statement. “He recently was awarded the London Prize recognizing him for his pioneering advances in quantum control and quantum information processing.

“With an integrated hardware group, the Quantum A1 team will now be able to implement and test new designs for quantum optimization and inference processors based on recent theoretical insights, as well as our learnings from the D-Wave quantum annealing architecture.”

Those interested in following the UCSB team’s progress can track this Google+ page by clicking here.

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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Night Work Scheduled for Next Week on Hollister Avenue in Goleta

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Overnight work is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Monday and will continue through 5 a.m. Tuesday.

These construction activities will be done to prepare for the traffic signal installation at South Glen Annie Road.

A second night of overnight work is scheduled for 7 p.m.Tuesday and will end by 5 a.m. Wednesday. This work will be to install a new sewer manhole and make the connections to the existing sewer lines.

One lane on westbound Hollister Avenue will be closed both evenings.

Construction along this section of Hollister Avenue is part of the public improvements under way in conjunction with the Westar/Hollister Village project.

The city recently added a Westar/Hollister Village email/text notification topic in our notification system to provide updates on the public improvements related to this project. Register for these notifications by clicking Manage Preferences at the bottom of this email or click here.

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Autism Experts Talk Strategy, Intervention at UCSB Conference

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Helping children with autism speak and do desired behaviors that come easier to others their age — and in a positive way — can be a challenge.

That’s why hundreds of autism experts from around the world descended on UC Santa Barbara’s Corwin Pavilion on Thursday to hear what strategies the university’s researchers have come up with.

Robert and Lynn Koegel, a husband-wife duo who direct UCSB’s Koegel Autism Center, kicked off the two-day seventh annual International Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) Conference for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) outlining methods already being emulated in clinics and centers in Greece, China, Canada and more.

Sponsored by UCSB’s Koegel Autism Center, the conference featured scholars, educators, health-care professionals and even parents and family of children on the autism spectrum, which often makes it difficult for those affected to communicate or be social.

The conference discussing innovative, naturalistic intervention strategies for ASD continues Friday and is open to the public.

On Thursday morning, Robert Koegel presented a historical overview of the Pivotal Response Treatment model, explaining that the intervention was originally developed for children making extremely slow gains learning how to speak.

Certain prompts can inspire nonverbal children with autism to produce speech, he said, decreasing disruptive tantrums and stress to parents.

Attendees nodded or took notes on key aspects of the model, including motivation, multiple cues, initiations, self-management and empathy — a relatively new research area because many believed those with autism couldn’t empathize with others.

Robert Koegel of the Koegel Autism Center gives a keynote address Thursday morning during the two-day annual autism conference at UCSB. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

“This year we finally have data on empathy,” Koegel said. “They can empathize very easily, they just can’t express it very well.”

He urged participants to use a treatment they know well, and one that has produced a good amount of data, especially if working with children at schools and other institutions.

Videos of clinicians practicing the PRT model, prompting a child to say a word, then rewarding the successful or valiant attempt.

“All we have to do is reward the children for trying and words pop out,” Koegel said, noting that the university center is now focused on spreading knowledge of the model.

Ty Vernon of UCSB’s Koegel Center took the podium next, explaining implementation of the slow, deliberate PRT model was as simple as the ABCs — sort of.

The ABCs Vernon referred to stood for Antecedent Behavior Consequence.

Antecedent is the trigger or request to speak, he said, and the behavior is whatever response — appropriate or inappropriate — the child produces after the prompt.

Both of those then determine what consequence the child experiences, whether a punishment or positive reinforcement, such as getting to play or have the object or toy in question.

“We really focus on positive strategies,” Vernon said.

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

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Capps Continues Fight to Protect California Coastline from Expanded Oil Drilling

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Thursday led yet another fight against an effort to expand offshore drilling in several sensitive areas nationwide, including the coasts of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

The bill, House Resolution 2, passed on a largely partisan vote, 226-191.

Capps offered four amendments to the bill to protect public health and coastal economies, but all amendments were blocked from consideration, including debate or a vote, on the House floor.

The amendments would have:

» Deleted the portion of the bill that targeted the Central Coast of California for additional drilling

» Strengthened notification and transparency requirements for offshore fracking by requiring the Secretary of the Interior to notify all relevant state and local regulatory agencies and publish a notice in the Federal Register within 30 days after receiving any application for a permit

» Required the Secretary of the Interior, along with the EPA, to conduct a study of the environmental impacts of offshore oil and gas well stimulation activities, including offshore fracking, on the marine environment

» Closed a loophole that allows oil companies to transport bitumen and other material derived from tar sands or oil sands without paying into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, despite the fact that it is a spill risk. The amendment would have ensured that material transported through the Keystone XL pipeline be treated the same way as other oil in case of a spill under the rules of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

HR 2 is not new legislation. Instead, it is a repackaging of bills that have already been considered and passed on largely party lines by the House, and represents the fifth time in four years that the House has attempted to require new drilling leasing off the coasts of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. In addition, the bill includes numerous provisions promoting unsafe and irresponsible energy policies, including some to halt the U.S. progress in cutting carbon pollution and others to weaken the EPA’s powers to protect clean water and clean air.

“This bill is yet another attempted assault on the environment and economy of the Central Coast and coastlines across the country,” Capps said. “And despite the fact that Central Coast residents have repeatedly made their opposition clear, it includes a tired, repeated effort to open up Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties for new offshore drilling.

“Oil and gas production are already near historic highs. Rather than doubling down on harmful fossil fuel production, we should be investing in innovation and a clean energy future. Our constituents sent us here to get work done and pass legislation that will help the Middle Class, not waste time debating the same bills over and over again.”

Capps spoke on the House floor against H.R. 2 on Thursday afternoon. The text of her speech, as prepared, is below:

Mr. Speaker, here we go again.

HR 2 is yet another example of the Majority’s backward energy policy that doubles down on dirty fossil fuels instead of investing in a clean energy future, and I strongly oppose it.

While fossil fuels will undoubtedly be a significant part of our energy mix for years to come, they are only one piece of a very large energy puzzle.

So rather than doubling down on dead-end, short-sighted policies like these, we should be considering comprehensive energy legislation that looks at the big picture.

We should be investing in cutting edge research, high-tech innovation, and new clean energy technologies.

We should be increasing energy efficiency, modernizing the electric grid, and promoting sustainable energy.

And we should be taking action to reduce toxic greenhouse gas emissions and finally embrace the overwhelming science of climate change.

Not only does HR 2 do nothing to address the serious environmental problems we face, it also creates new ones.

HR 2 overrides the expressed will of voters in my district and many other communities throughout the nation by recklessly expanding offshore oil drilling.

We’ve seen time and time again the devastating environmental and economic threats posed by offshore oil drilling.

That’s why voters in my district and California have repeatedly rejected new offshore drilling.

Yet this bill ignores these wishes and explicitly requires new oil drilling off the Central Coast of California and in other areas.

I find it ironic that the same Majority that decries “an over-reaching Federal government” seems to have no qualms about forcing new drilling upon local populations against their expressed wishes.

I submitted several amendments to the Rules Committee to address this and other problems with the bill, but none of them were made in order.

In fact, the Majority has prohibited consideration of any and all amendments. No debate, no votes.

And, if these weren’t enough reasons to oppose HR 2, the bill is also completely unnecessary because the House has already passed every provision included in the bill.

HR 2 is nothing more than 13 previously passed bills stapled together with a new bill number on top.

Even worse, this is the third time this Congress, and the fifth time in four years that we’re voting on the exact same offshore drilling expansion legislation.

Stapling old bills together doesn’t make this a new idea.

One would think that after nearly four years in control of the House, this Majority would have come up with some new ideas by now, but sadly they haven’t; they’ve just found a bigger stapler.

HR 2 is simply a political gimmick and a waste of taxpayer time and money. This is no way to legislate.

Mr. Speaker, the American people expect better from us.

They expect us to find common ground and work together across party lines to solve our nation’s problems.

And there’s certainly no shortage of problems we could be working on right now strengthening our economy, raising the minimum wage, passing comprehensive immigration reform, making college more affordable, and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.

And that list does not even include the multitude of energy challenges that this bill completely ignores.

This is what the American people are calling for.

They’re calling on Congress to stop the political gimmicks.

They’re calling on us to help create middle class jobs and support working families.

And they’re calling on us to get to work and build a more prosperous and sustainable future for our nation.

HR 2 accomplishes none of these things.

This bill is simply harmful energy policy and an embarrassing waste of time.

I urge my colleagues to reject this bill and join me in working toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for the American people.

I yield back.

Chris Meagher is the press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.

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Bishop Diego High School Hires New Director of Development

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Bishop García Diego High School is pleased to announce the appointment of Delene Goodell-Bliss as director of development.

Goodell-Bliss is a nonprofit fundraiser and administrator with more than 20 years of experience in community-based nonprofits and independent schools. She brings extensive marketing, public relations, management and fundraising experience into the director of development role.

“Bishop is fortunate to have identified someone with Delene’s depth and breadth of experience," Head of School Dr. Paul Harrington said. "And her energy and spark are a welcome addition to our staff.”

As director of development, Goodell-Bliss will join Bishop’s leadership team with responsibility for the planning, implementation and assessment of giving campaigns, alumni programs, donor cultivation strategies and fundraising events. She will work closely with the Board of Directors and the head of school in creating and implementing these initiatives.

"I am thrilled to join an organization with such a rich heritage and strong commitment to educating Santa Barbara’s youth,” Goodell-Bliss said.

Her experience as a development officer started with community-based nonprofits in the San Francisco area with the March of Dimes and the Cancer Society. An opportunity as director of development for the Family Services Agency facilitated her move back down to Santa Barbara, where she grew up.

Goodell-Bliss was raised in Santa Barbara and is a graduate of the University of the Pacific with a bachelor of arts degree in communications and an emphasis in business administration.

Bishop García Diego High School is an independent Catholic school that welcomes students of all faiths and provides them with the spiritual, personal, and intellectual knowledge to meet the enduring challenge of realizing their God-given potential in a multi-cultural society.

— Lori Willis is the director of communications for Bishop Garcia Diego High School.

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District Attorney’s Office Warns of IRS Telephone Scam

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley alerts the community about an aggressive phone scam targeting taxpayers in the county, as reported incidents of this crime rise locally and nationwide.

Santa Barbara County residents reported callers falsely claiming to represent the IRS and warns people they are behind on their taxes and must make immediate payments to avoid arrest or other legal action including deportation. In some instances when the scammers are unsuccessful, they call back and try a new strategy. Potential victims may even be told they are entitled to tax refunds and to collect the refund they must reveal personal and financial information.

The Internal Revenue Service has issued two warnings of this pervasive telephone scam in April and again in September of this year.

Santa Barbara County residents are reminded that the IRS always sends taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for a credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone. If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

» If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 800.829.1040. The IRS employees can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.

» If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think you owe any taxes, then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800.366.4484.

Dudley encourages all county residents to remain vigilant against all phone and email scams, especially when you are being asked to provide any personal or financial information.

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Firefighters from Santa Barbara County Sent to Battle Raging King Fire

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Strike team is assigned to help hold the line on the southeast perimeter of the blaze in the El Dorado National Forest

Firefighters and resources from within Santa Barbara County have been sent to help battle the King Fire, which had burned more than 70,000 acres in the El Dorado National Forest east of Sacramento as of Thursday.

The fire nearly tripled in size Thursday, and more than 3,600 fire personnel are working to quell the blaze, which is only 5 percent contained.

Officials announced the arrest of Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, on suspicion of arson connected to starting the fire. He was taken into custody Wednesday and is being held on $10 million bail, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The fire continues to burn near Pollock Pines off Highway 50, between Placerville and South Lake Tahoe, and local firefighters are helping in that effort, according to Santa Barbara City Fire Capt. Gary Pitney.

A strike team made of crews from Santa Barbara City Fire, the Montecito Fire Protection District, Lompoc Fire, the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District and the Vandenburg AFB Fire departments are all in the area working on the King Fire. 

A strike team consists of five engines, so the smaller agencies had to band together for the resources to make up an entire team, Pitney said. That team is made up of 22 people along with five engines that are used to fight fires in remote forest areas.

"They are basically wildland engines that are equipped for those types of fires," he said, adding that they have four-wheel drive and a high clearance to access challenging terrain.

Each engine will have a fire captain, an engineer and two firefighters.   Two strike team leaders are also part of the team being sent to the King Fire.

Pitney said the strike team had been working on the Silverado Fire in Orange County for several days before they were called to assist on the King Fire.

"They're working 24-hour shifts with 24 hours off," he said, adding that the strike team's assignment has been to work the southeast perimeter of the fire about a mile from Highway 50. "The assignment is to hold the line and pick up any spot fires that jump over that line."

With high temperatures and sundowner winds in Santa Barbara County, Pitney said the city has plenty of staff to work if any fires should arise locally.

"All of our personnel are backfilled," he said, adding that Santa Barbara City Fire has another wildland engine that it did not send to the King Fire.

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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Joe Conason: American Amnesia — Why the GOP Leads on National Security

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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If the latest polls are accurate, most voters believe that Republican politicians deserve greater trust on matters of national security. At a moment when Americans feel threatened by rising terrorist movements and authoritarian regimes, that finding is politically salient — and proves that amnesia is the most durable affliction of our democracy.

Every year around this time, ever since 2001, we promise never to forget the victims of 9/11, the courage of the first responders and the sacrifice of the troops sent to avenge them all. Our poignant recollections seem to be faulty, however, obliterating the hardest truths about that terrible event, as well as the long aftermath that continues to this day.

The result, attested to by those polls, is that Republicans escape responsibility for the derelictions and bad decisions of their party's leaders at crucial moments in the recent past.

Not long after the 9/11 attacks occurred, the Republican noise machine instantly began blaring a message of blame aimed at former President Bill Clinton, insisting that he had ignored the threat posed by al-Qaeda during his White House tenure. That accusation was wholly false, but discovering the truly culpable wasn't easy — because President George W. Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney, worked hard to prevent a full investigation by the 9/11 Commission.

In due course, that probe revealed how Bush and Cheney had ignored clear warnings — from Clinton himself, from counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke and finally from the CIA on Aug. 6, 2001 — that al-Qaeda was preparing to strike the homeland. Preoccupied by their tax cuts and their plans for an invasion of Iraq, they had done nothing.

The country and the world rallied around Bush as he declared war on the Taliban and sent U.S. and NATO troops into Afghanistan. But thanks to the incompetence of Bush, Cheney and their military command, not only did Osama bin Laden and Mullah Mohammad Omar escape and remain at large for years but also the entire effort eventually collapsed into futility, with no plausible goal or exit strategy. It soon became clear that the Bush White House and Defense Department had other fish to fry, over a few borders in Baghdad.

Even the most forgetful citizens probably recall how Bush, Cheney, their national security advisers and their allies in Congress misled the nation into war against Iraq, falsely alarming us about nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.

They may even recall how those great Republican statesmen pursued the invasion, lawlessly and without adequate preparation or clear objectives, costing thousands upon thousands of Iraqi and American lives and trillions of dollars. Their actions led to horrific human rights and Geneva Conventions violations; they embarrassed the United States and enhanced the regional influence of the ayatollahs in Iran.

And now, of course, the current dismal situation in Iraq — unfairly blamed on President Barack Obama — is a direct consequence of the war, the American occupation and the divisive sectarian government installed in Baghdad by the Bush administration, which also disbanded the Iraqi army and all of Iraq's government institutions. Without the destruction inflicted on that country — especially on its Sunni population — by Bush and Cheney, there would be no burgeoning Islamic State today.

Disremembering all of those unpleasant facts, voters may well consider the Republican Party better able to manage foreign and defense policy. After all, Republicans have long styled themselves as the tough-guy "daddy party" and bamboozled much of the public with that image. What remains to be seen is how much more of their brilliant stewardship this country and the world can survive.

Joe Conason is editor in chief of NationalMemo.com. Click here to contact him, follow him on Twitter: @JConason, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Outdoors Q&A: Is It Legal to Shoot a Deer on My Land from My Porch?

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Q: I have a house on five acres in Northern California and have some really nice bucks on my land. Every day they come within a few feet of my house and graze on my garden and plants. If I purchase an A Zone tag this year, can I legally shoot a deer on my land from my house or porch? My house is situated more than 200 yards from any other property or house and it is outside of the city limits. Thanks. (Brian T.)

A: Yes. The safety zone law prohibits shooting within 150 yards of any occupied dwelling without the permission of the occupant. As long as it is otherwise legal to discharge a firearm in this area (e.g. not in the city limits), then go for it! (August 2010)

Can Lakes Set Their Own Fishing Regulations?

Q: The local municipal water district operates a nearby lake that is open to the public for fishing and day use. My question is regarding the regulations set for this lake. The maximum daily catch limit is lower than the limits the California Department of Fish & Wildlife authorizes. Do they have the authority to do this? Who has the ultimate jurisdiction in this matter? (Roger S., Ojai)

A: Yes, this is perfectly legal for them to do. Private lake managers can be more restrictive than CDFW regulations but not less restrictive. It is their prerogative to impose more stringent regulations in the interest of better managing their individual waters than what the state requires for managing California’s fisheries statewide.

Sorry, I’m sure this isn’t what you’d hoped to hear. For further clarification, please contact your local game warden.

Trap and Release Squirrels and Possums

Q: I live in a city in Southern California and have an avocado tree in my yard. Squirrels and possums have been a big problem recently. Can I use a Havahart trap to catch them and then transport them to a more rural location a few miles away? (David S.)

A: Yes, most squirrels and possums can be trapped, but tree squirrels will need a depredation permit. When trapping wildlife, traps must be checked every 24 hours and the animals either dispatched or released in the immediate area.

According to CDFW statewide wildlife rehabilitation coordinator Nicole Carion, squirrels and possums that have caused property damage can be trapped by legal means (Fish and Game Code, section 4180). They can either be humanely euthanized or released in the immediate area. “Immediate” is not defined in regulations but the immediate area means “near” and most importantly within the normal home range of the animal. The home range of squirrels and possums varies depending on habitat and other factors.

Squirrels and possums may not be “relocated” long distances from where they were trapped for many reasons, the most important being to prevent the spread of disease. No matter how close or far a potential release site may be to the capture site, don’t release any animal in any location for which you do not have specific authorization from the owner of the property, including government agencies on public land. It’s not a law, just common courtesy!

Please be very cautious about trapping in the springtime because this is when wild animals have offspring. Trapped nuisance wildlife cannot be taken to wildlife rehabilitators. Although rehabilitation facilities can take in orphaned wildlife, the orphaned animals will have a much higher chance of survival if they are raised by their wild mothers. Often wild animals only take up residence somewhere temporarily during the springtime.

There are many humane options available for keeping out animals seeking shelter in homes and structures on private property. For more information on preventing wildlife access to human food sources, please visit our website by clicking here.

How Many Abalone in the Freezer?

Q: I have been an abalone diver for nine years now and always keep my abalone frozen in my freezer to enjoy until the next year’s harvest. I am hearing mixed messages about the rules now and am confused as to whether it’s legal to do that. I might have anywhere between one to 20 abalone in my freezer, all still tagged with the appropriate tag. Please confirm if it is legal to keep an overlimit of tagged abalone in my home. (Bill D.)

A: The limit is actually three abalone per day and in possession. This means that legally, one individual can have no more than three abalone in their possession (at the dive site, at home, in your vehicle, in your freezer, etc.) at one time.

You can still give away your abalone to friends or family members living in the same house with you. Each person may have no more than three abalone in their possession at any time.

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

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56th Annual Santa Barbara Community Prayer Breakfast Inspires Perseverance

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Teacher Peter Trabucco, who became a paraplegic after a diving accident, shares his story of faith, strength and support

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

More than 300 people attended the 56th annual Santa Barbara Community Prayer Breakfast early Wednesday morning at The Fess Parker DoubleTree by Hilton Resort.

"Perseverance and Purpose and Praying for Our Community" was the theme of this inspirational event.

The Unity Shoppe’s Tom Reed served as a master of ceremonies with the prayer for leaders led by El Montecito School’s Jeannine Morgan.

The cherub-like children of the El Montecito School Choir sang a couple of well-known hymns for the assembled. El Montecito School was also the major event sponsor.

Andrews Tricerri from MacFarlane, Faletti & Co. CPAs did the Old Testament reading from Isaiah 58, 9-11, and Chris Chirgwin from Lanspeed read John 3, 1-8 from the New Testament.

Peter Trabucco, an 18-year second-grade teacher from El Montecito School, was the main speaker for the gathering. Boy, was he inspirational!

He told about his diving accident while a college student that caused a break in his spinal column. He rehabbed at a Northridge hospital to be near his Santa Barbara parents. His mother, Jane, drove the 1½-hour drive each day for four months during his rehabilitation.

“I did it because I was close enough to do it, which was such a blessing,” his mother told Noozhawk.

Trabucco credited his parents’ incredible support and strength as a remarkable component of his healing adjustment to becoming a paraplegic.

“I never knew the depth of my parents’ pain about my injury until I became a parent myself,” he said.

After the accident, he moved to Santa Barbara and lived in a studio next to his parents’ home.

“Competitive by nature, I traveled all over the United States competing in wheelchair races. Things worked out for me after that," he said. "I attended a men’s Bible study group at the Coral Casino. I was asked to speak at local schools about what it was like to be disabled. While visiting the schools, I started to think about teaching as a career. I got into a state program that paid for everything. Then I was approached by Jeannine Morgan at El Montecito School to teach second grade. I didn’t think I wanted to teach second grade, but it has been a good fit for the past 18 years.”

After graduating from UCSB with a degree in business economics, he met his future wife, Lora.

“She saw me for what I was, not the (wheel)chair,” he said.

The couple will be happily celebrating their 28th anniversary this month. They were blessed with twin daughters after more than five years of invitro fertilization therapy. Both girls are thriving and attending UC schools this year.

During Trabucco’s many trials and joys, he said the following Bible passage held the most comfort for him: Psalm 46:10, "Jesus said, Be still, and know that I am God."

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at rrose@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Breakfast
The El Montecito School Choir sings hymns for attendees at the Santa Barbara Community Prayer Breakfast. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

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emPower Offers New SimpleStart Upgrade Option for Homeowners

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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After hearing from countless homeowners interested in home energy efficiency, the emPower Central Coast program discovered that many homeowners were looking for an easy way to pay for urgent single improvements like furnace or water heater replacements. To meet this demand, emPower created a new pathway to qualify for incentives and financing, called SimpleStart.

SimpleStart allows homeowners to choose one or more qualified upgrades to make their home more energy efficient.

“We know that some homeowners are looking for a simple way to get started on the path to energy savings," said Jason Scheurer, an emPower energy coach. "SimpleStart is perfect for those who are not ready to undergo a comprehensive energy efficiency upgrade or just want to make one last energy improvement to their home.”

Eligible single measure upgrades available through SimpleStart include certain energy efficient heating and cooling units, water heaters, and insulation. As always, homeowners can take advantage of other eligible upgrade options including more comprehensive home energy upgrades, and solar.

In addition, for a limited time, emPower has lowered interest rates for qualified energy efficiency loans over $5,000 in Santa Barbara County. The emPower loan rates typically start at 5.9 percent, but during this promotion, rates start as low as 3.9 percent.

Interested homeowners should visit emPowerSBC.org or call 805.568.3566 to get started with a SimpleStart Upgrade and learn more about low cost financing.

The emPower program offers voluntary incentives, financing and other services to help single-family homeowners in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties make home energy upgrades easier and more affordable. emPower was originally established by Santa Barbara County to help lower energy consumption and stimulate the economy by creating jobs.

emPower is funded by California utility ratepayers and administered by Southern California Gas Company, Southern California Edison Company and Pacific Gas & Electric under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission, the US Department of Energy Better Buildings program and the California Energy Commission with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars. emPower’s low cost financing is offered in partnership with Coast Hills Federal Credit Union and Ventura County Credit Union.

Click here for more information.

— Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing emPower Central Coast.

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Notre Dame School Santa Barbara Undergoes $1 Million Makeover

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Notre Dame School Santa Barbara has been a vital educational partner in the community during its 108-year history. It is a fully accredited Catholic elementary school within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, offers quality kindergarten through eighth grade education, and operates a licensed preschool for children 2½ to 5 years of age.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame School’s auditorium features state-of-the-art sound and lighting. (Fred Hall photo)

Located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, close to museums, theaters and many cultural landmarks, this beautiful campus recently underwent $1 million in capital improvements to become the crowned jewel it once was.

“Our lovely campus was a diamond in the rough,” said Sister Judy Flahavan, principal of Notre Dame School. “We are so grateful to our generous donors, particularly to the J.F. Shea Company, for making all of these improvements possible.”

Some of the projects which have been completed on campus include:

» Auditorium — freshly painted, new lighting and sound system, refurbished stage and floor, renovated balcony

» Playground — featuring a new play structure and repurposed rubber safety ground cover

» Computer system — upgraded schoolwide with Apple TV, iPads, MacBook Pros, whiteboards and projectors in every classroom

» Classroom improvements — installation of new carpeting, window treatments, and lights

» Exterior improvements — outside of buildings painted, asphalt resurfaced, roof repaired, and shade canopies installed

“We were so happy to be able to assist Notre Dame School Santa Barbara in the quest to improve the campus,” said John Shea, chairman of J.F. Shea Co. Inc. “We wanted to support the effort of staying true to the core mission of faith-based education, while helping the school move into the future of education with the latest technology — both in the classroom and in the cultural arts areas.”

Notre Dame School Santa Barbara will host an official Open House in early November. Information will be forthcoming about the event in a separate news release. The celebration will feature campus tours, as well as food and entertainment and will be free and open to the public.

For more information about Notre Dame School Santa Barbara, please call 805.965.1033 or click here.

— Joni Kelly is a communications representative for Notre Dame School.

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Three Young UCSB Faculty Receive CAREER Awards from National Science Foundation

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Helgeson
Matthew Helgeson

Three UC Santa Barbara researchers — a computer scientist, a chemical engineer and a physicist — are among the recent recipients of the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.

The NSF CAREER Program offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards to young faculty who most effectively integrate research and education.

“An NSF CAREER award makes it possible for an assistant professor in science or engineering to launch an ambitious research program,” said Michael Witherell, UCSB vice chancellor for research. “We are extremely pleased that two of our engineering faculty and one of our physics faculty have won these extremely competitive awards.”

‘Liquid Nanomasonry’

Imagine a liquid template that can, from the nanoscale, form sophisticated material structures with enhanced and specific properties.

Molecular self-assembly has been able to create such templates; however, the weak intermolecular forces involved typically limit the size of features to several nanometers.

To overcome this hurdle, assistant professor Matthew Helgeson from UCSB’s Department of Chemical Engineering has received approximately $400,000 to develop generic methods for assembling nanoemulsions — nanoscale droplets of oil in water (or vice versa) — into superstructures for templating sophisticated materials with hierarchical structure.

In a method he calls “liquid nanomasonry,” his experiments involve the application of external stimuli to trigger molecules in a fluid to become a mortar for assembling droplets into clusters with controlled sizes, shapes and features.

Results of this project can be used to expand the use of liquid phase templating to new materials with applications in emerging fields, from nanomedicine to energy storage and photonics. Findings will also go toward a new course on chemical product engineering.

Hardekopf
Ben Hardekopf

Proofing Computer Languages

Dynamic and complex computer languages, such as JavaScript, Python and Ruby, are double-edged swords. They offer software developers great flexibility and the ability to program many things, but their dynamism and complexity also make them difficult to analyze for accuracy and correctness — qualities that are becoming more important the more programs are written in these languages. Most static analyses of dynamic computer languages, it turns out, are inaccurate.

To improve the performance and quality of these analyses before software is deployed, assistant professor Ben Hardekopf of the Department of Computer Science has been awarded about $513,000 over five years to extend the state of the art in terms of correctness, precision and performance for static analysis of dynamic languages.

Research includes static analysis testing to ensure the analyses’ correctness, exploring tunable analysis sensitivity and strategies for optimal analysis performance. Beyond its technical contribution, the research will also have applications in education, by providing content for undergraduate and graduate courses. The project will also provide data to industry.

Jayich
Ania Jayich (Sonia Fernandez / UCSB photo)

The Quantum Made Visible

The nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center is a flaw in the atomic lattice structure in diamond that researchers like assistant professor Ania Jayich at the Department of Physics are using to explore the behavior of the quantum world. Her research investigates how the spin of the NV center — a model quantum system with atomlike properties that are uniquely accessible and controllable — could be used to study, measure and sense tiny quantum forces, yielding information that can advance the science of quantum metrology and computing.

At a wider focus, this research will also investigate what relationship the forces of a single electron spin have with the macroscopic motion of a phonon — billions of atoms vibrating in unison. This study would also enable fundamental research at the border of classical and quantum physics. Through her teaching and work as a mentor, Jayich will disseminate her science to a wide variety of students. This project has been awarded approximately $600,000 over five years.

The NSF promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics and engineering.

— Sonia Fernandez represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

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Michael Harris Named Chairman of Devereux California Advisory Board

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Michael Harris
Michael Harris

Michael Harris, director of government affairs at CenCal Health, will take over as chairman of the Devereux California Advisory Board in November.

Harris has a bachelor’s degree from the California State University-Northridge in public sector management, and more than 23 years of senior management and executive level experience with the County of Santa Barbara.

He has served as director of Emergency Medical Services, assistant deputy director for primary care and was appointed as a deputy director of public health. He also served as chief of emergency management for SB County for six years.

We welcome Harris to the board and congratulate him on his new position.

Devereux California provides behavioral services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities; emotional, behavioral disorders and mental health issues. It offers residential services, Adult Day and Life Enrichment programs, and Supported or Independent Living programs to individuals in their own homes within Santa Barbara County.

Headquartered in Pennsylvania, Devereux is the largest, nonprofit provider of behavioral healthcare in the country, operating 15 centers in 11 states. Next year, Devereux California will celebrate 70 years in operation.

Contact Cassi Noel, manager of external affairs, to volunteer or donate at cnoel2@devereux.org or 805.968.2525 x202.

— Cassi Noel is the external affairs manager for Devereux California.

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HICAP Schedules ‘Medicare Open Enrollment Choices’ Seminar in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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

The "Medicare Open Enrollment Choices" presentation will be held beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29 at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance St. in Santa Barbara.

“HICAP is offering this presentation to help beneficiaries and their caregivers better understand their choices during the Medicare open enrollment period, which runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7,” said Jim Talbott, president of the Board of Directors for the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens.

Even those who currently have Medicare coverage can benefit from this presentation.

Topics will include an introduction to Medicare including what Medicare covers, supplemental insurance, how to evaluate and choose the best Part D prescription coverage, and Medicare Advantage plan options.

HICAP is pleased to partner with First Presbyterian Church and the Parish Nursing Program in presenting this important information to the community.

HICAP offers free and unbiased counseling and information on Medicare issues. HICAP 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 Medical services, the federal Medicare agency.

For more information about the "Medicare Open Enrollment Choices" presentation and to reserve a seat at this seminar, contact the local HICAP office at 800.434.0222, 805.928.5663 or seniors@kcbx.net, or RSVP online by clicking here.

— Bill Batty represents the Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program.

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School District Seeks New Members for Measures’ Oversight Committees

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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There are currently openings on the Measures A and B (parcel tax) and Measures Q and R (facilities bond) oversight committees.

The committees, comprised of community members, meet three times per year to review expenditures and produce an annual report.

The committees are comprised of different representatives: business organization; senior citizens' organization; taxpayers' organization or tax professional; parent/guardian of a child enrolled in the district; parent/guardian of a parent who is active in a parent-teacher organization; member of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation; member of the community at large.

The term for each committee seat is two years. For more details, please see the oversight committee bylaws by clicking on the links: Measure AMeasure BMeasure Q and Measure R.

If you are a member of one of the groups noted above, and are interested in serving, please complete an application and return it (email or mail) to Barbara Keyani, bkeyani@sbunified.org, Santa Barbara Unified School District, 720 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

— Barbara Keyani is the administrative services and communications coordinator for the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

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Hearing Loss Association of America-Santa Barbara Chapter Hosting Open House on Oct. 11

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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The Hearing Loss Association of America-Santa Barbara Chapter will be hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11 at the Louis Lowry Davis Center.

The focus of the open house is how assistive technology can help you live better with your hearing loss.

Three presentations will be given from 10 to 11 a.m. on HLAA, home loop systems and assistive listening devices. Six information booths will open at 11 a.m. You will have the opportunity to learn more about HLAA chapter benefits, talk to an audiologist, learn about Let's Loop Santa Barbara, view the latest captioned telephones, learn more about home loops and see the different types of assistive listening devices that could help you in your everyday life.

Hearing loss effects 20 percent of adults in the U.S. Those numbers climb to 33 percent for adults over 65 and 47 percent of those over 75. Hearing loss doesn't just affect the person who has it, it affects family and friends as well. Learning how to live with your hearing loss, especially if it starts later in life, can be challenging. We can help.

The Hearing Loss Association of America-Santa Barbara Chapter is a nonprofit organization that provides assistance and resources for people with hearing loss, and their families, to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss. Coping with a hearing loss can be difficult and stressful. You are not alone, and you do not have to face the everyday challenges alone.

Our chapter is 100 percent volunteer based. We are devoted to the welfare and interests of those in our community, and their family and friends, who live with a hearing loss. We actively support Let's Loop Santa Barbara and the mission to make Santa Barbara the most hearing accessible city in California. We provide community education on how to effectively communicate with people who have a hearing loss. We provide training to people with hearing loss on effective communication strategies.

Our monthly chapter meetings are held at Wood Glen Hall, 3010 Foothill Road in Santa Barbara, from 10 a.m. to noon (except July and August). We discuss coping strategies, accessibility issues and the latest in hearing technology from hearing aids and cochlear implants to captioned telephones to assistive listening devices. We invite knowledgeable speakers who share their expertise and we have group discussions on the challenges we face and share in our daily lives.

Our meetings are captioned, and our meeting room is hearing looped. Light refreshment and snacks are served. Our meetings are free and open to all.

For more information, please visit our website by clicking here or contact us at info@hlaa-sbc.org or 805.563.1097.

— Cherie Alvarez is president of the Hearing Loss Association of America-Santa Barbara Chapter.

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Reed Interiors Debuts Exclusive Kitchen, Bath Offerings with Designer Michel Clair

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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As summer comes to an end in Santa Barbara and the kids are back in school, it’s the perfect time to renovate the heart of your home into a space you will love. Just in time, Reed Interiors is launching an exclusive new kitchen and bath collection, featuring European-style designs tailored to match any lifestyle.

To turn your kitchen and bathroom designs into reality, Reed Interiors is pleased to introduce its new design partner, Michel Clair, to the Santa Barbara region. Clair is a renowned French architect and designer who specializes in the contemporary space, offering exclusive services for all of your interior renovations.

With 25 years of architecture and design experience, Clair is creating kitchen and bath designs that combine form and function into a single concept reflecting every individual’s unique style and personality.

“Reed is so pleased to partner with such a talented designer like Michel Clair,” said Romain and Myriam Doussineau, owners of Reed Interiors. “More and more, our customers think of Reed Interiors as their home design resource, and with Michel joining our team, we are able to continue to expand and offer the very best quality, service and experience for your home design needs.”

Reed Interiors is also proud to be a new Gaggenau distributor, a German manufacturer recognized as the leading innovator in technology, and the pioneering brand for home appliances for more than 300 years. Not only was the development of the built-in oven heavily influenced by Gaggenau — it’s known innovations include the glass-ceramic cooktop, the pyrolytic self-cleaning oven, the combi-stream oven for the home and the Vario cooling 400 series, the modular system that made the world’s first “refrigeration wall” possible — all now available through Reed Interiors.

The kitchen and bath launch comes on the heels of Reed Interiors’ newly expanded showroom in Carpinteria, now offering even more exceptionally unique and stylish lines of modern indoor and outdoor furniture, floor coverings, lighting, accessories, window treatments, wall coverings, fabrics, upholstery, and now kitchen and bath collections. Home design enthusiasts are invited to stop by to check out the new additions to its collection of stylish home décor.

For more information, click here or call 805.684.7583.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing Reed Interiors.

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UCSB Police Conduct Active Shooter Drills at On-Campus Residence Hall

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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Officials say the annual training is especially significant in the wake of May's shooting and stabbing rampage in Isla Vista

With Isla Vista still reeling from a mass shooting and stabbing rampage that left seven people dead earlier this year, UC Santa Barbara's Police Department participated in drills this week that they hope will keep the campus community safer from gun violence. 

The campus police department, along with officers from CSU Northridge and the California Highway Patrol, spent Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon conducting active shooter drills in UCSB's Anacapa Residence Hall.

The drills, in which officers train to stop a person armed with a gun moving through the building, take place every year, but this year was especially significant because of the tragic events that occurred in May, according to UCPD Chief Dustin Olson.

Olson said that many of the officers who responded to the killings that night took part of the drill this week.

"They really fell back on that training" when responding that night, Olson said. "That reinforced the necessity for us. We do this for a reason, and everyone took this very seriously."

Officers use the drill to work on communicating as a team in a crisis situation, Olson added.  

During the drills, the officers worked with the department's community service officers, who are UCSB students and potentially exploring a career in law enforcement.

In the active shooter drills, officers train to stop a person armed with a gun moving through the building. (UCSB Public Affairs photo)

The CSO officers were able to role-play as wounded victims, and "they get a good sense of what this job's about," Olson said. "It's very real."

About 20 people took part in the drills this week.

The police department has used other university buildings in the past, such as the UCSB Career and Counseling Center and other residence halls. 

The drills also included a tactical medicine component, in which an officer will encounter a secondary problem, such as another wounded officer, while the shooter is still at large.

"It offers realism," he said. "We've had that a couple of years."

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.

Role-playing helps add realism to the active shooter drills. (UCSB Public Affairs photo)

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Huge Berry Processing Plant Opens in Santa Maria

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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Titan Frozen Fruit's operation on West La Brea Avenue marks the valley’s largest and newest strawberry processing facility

Inside a new humongous building in Santa Maria, strawberries by the thousands speed along a conveyor belt en route to being washed, sorted, frozen and boxed.

Titan Frozen Fruit, housed in a portion of the facility on West La Brea Avenue, marks the Santa Maria Valley’s largest and newest strawberry processing facility, prepping the area’s red gems so they can be delivered from the Central Coast around the world.

In addition to an ability to quickly freeze fruit, the plant has equipment for pasteurization and concentration, which will allow the facility to use frozen fruit to create product during the off season.

“We’ve made quite a capital investment in this operation,” Titan president Jon Larsen said. “This is the first new strawberry processing facility built in in California in approximately 20 years.”

The fledgling’s firm motto: Processing for the next generation.

“We want to be proactive and we want to be ahead of the game in every aspect of the processing industry, from a technology standpoint on equipment to food safety regulations,” Larsen said. “We don’t want to wait to be told and for new regulations to come out. … We want to be ahead of the curve.”

Whether quickly frozen, made into puree or condensed into concentrate, strawberry processing has occurred at the site since late May, although the first weeks were spent testing equipment, according to Larsen.

“We weren’t producing product for consumers,” Larsen said. “It was just to test out equipment to make sure everything was sanitized and we were getting proper microbe counts and whatnot.”

While coolers are common around the Santa Maria Valley to keep vegetables and fresh produce chilled before heading to markets, the Titan and Lineage Logistics site offers something new — a zero-degree facility.

“That’s going to be a huge plus for this whole region I think,” Larsen said.

Titan offers an avenue for growers whose fruit might not have the shelf life to make it to the East Coast or Midwest for fresh markets. In the past, that fruit had to be shipped to strawberry processing facilities north or south of Santa Maria.

President Jon Larsen stands outside the new Titan Frozen Fruit strawberry processing plant in Santa Maria. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The top item processed by Titan is individually quick frozen, or IQF, strawberries put through a special equipment that freezes the fruit in 12 minutes.

“It’s a real quick freeze, and what that does is it helps you preserve the color, some of the nutrients and certainly the flavor,” he said.

They also make pasteurized purees and puree concentrate for use in other products such as jams, jellies, beverages and more.

Despite starting up midseason, Larsen estimated that Titan will still process more than 40 million pounds of berries in 2014. Within two years, they hope to be processing more than 100 million pounds from all three growing areas in the state.

At the peak of the season the firm has approximately 220 employees. 

“We found some real gems down here,” Larsen said, describing employees as hardworking and diversified.

Because it’s seasonal, the bulk of employees will have at least a month without work each year. However, Titan officials are hoping to minimize the time the plant is idle.

“Everything we’re doing right now is exclusive to strawberry products and ingredients, but we are starting just within the next couple weeks doing some R&D on different raspberry and blackberry items because we’ve had our growers in the area come to us,” Larsen said. “That’s a growing marketing down here is the raspberries and the blackberries. There’s a lack of an alternative home once the fresh market leaves the district.”

Larsen and his two other operating partners — Eric Duyck, vice president of operations, and Quinn Johnson, vice president of sales — are childhood friends who grew up in Oregon, harvested berries there as children and worked in Pacific Northwest processing plants after that.

“It became careers for all three of us,” Larsen said, adding they went in their own direction but remained in contact and talked about forming a company.

At one time, Larsen considered a career in law enforcement. 

“I don’t think people, when they’re little kids, grow up and say, ‘When I grow up I want to be a berry processor,’” he said. “It just kind of happens. … After awhile it just kind of becomes a way of life.”

A partner in a similar firm, Larsen’s former company was sold, providing the timing and opportunity to create Titan Frozen Fruit.

When creating the firm and thinking up a name, they latched onto Titan Frozen Fruit, only later making the link to Vandenberg Air Force Base’s heritage rocket and missile programs. They also later learned they share the same name as the mascot of Nipomo High School.

“There was no rationale for it really,” Larsen said, adding it drew a response from friends and growers thinking they were paying homage to the venerable rocket and missile program. “Once we heard that, we knew it was the right name then.”

While most of the strawberries processed this year came from the Santa Maria Valley, Titan officials expect to also handle berries from California’s other two growing districts — Oxnard and Watsonville-Salinas.

The central location among the state’s strawberry growing regions isn’t the only reason Titan chose to set up shop in Santa Maria. This year, Santa Maria represents 27 percent of the strawberry acreage in California, Larsen said.

“That number’s growing,” Larsen said. “Oxnard’s having a lot of a challenges.”

Substantially higher land costs due to commercial development and expanding raspberry production are making it difficult for the Oxnard strawberry growers, in addition to water woes. 

The drawback to Santa Maria centered on the lack of available cold storage for frozen fruit, leading Titan officials to link up with Colton-based Lineage Logistics. Titan has a long-term lease for its portion of Lineage facility in Santa Maria.

“The Santa Maria project is another example of our commitment to our customers and their needs,” Lineage CEO Bill Hendricksen said in a news release. “We are proud to add a Lineage facility in a region where our fruit and vegetable customers need capacity to grow their businesses.”

Last October, the 11-acre site sat empty. A year later, Titan is wrapping up its first season which Larsen credits to the city of Santa Maria living up to its pro-business and pro-agriculture reputation.

“I don’t think that could happen in a lot of local governments," Larsen said. "I just can’t be complimentary enough toward the city of Santa Maria and their cooperation.”

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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Construction on La Entrada Hotel Project Slated to Begin Next Week

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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Los Angeles-based developer sends nearby Funk Zone businesses notice of two-year building plans on the Lower State Street site

La Entrada de Santa Barbara soon will take shape as construction — and demolition — of the large Lower State Street project begins next week, according to city planners.

Los Angeles-based developer 35 State Street Hotel Partners, which is led by Next Century Associates managing partner Michael Rosenfeld, has announced plans to begin construction of the long-awaited project Monday, although it has yet to pull already approved permits, according to George Buell, Santa Barbara’s community development director.

Rosenfeld’s firm, an affiliate of Woodridge Capital Partners LLC, recently sent nearby Funk Zone businesses notice of the two-year construction plans, which center on the previously condemned, vacant Hotel Californian building at 35 State St. 

The former hotel sits on a parcel that’s part of the La Entrada project, a hotel and timeshare plan spanning three plots on the corners of Mason and State streets.

The developer, which bought the 1920s-era Hotel Californian in 2011 and owns L.A.’s famed Century Plaza Hotel, also purchased two adjacent parcels, totaling 2.37 acres, with the intent of revitalizing the State Street Waterfront District.

While the hotel will be updated, developers plan to demolish the building across the street at the corner of Mason and State streets — where Hot Spots Coffee is located — by the end of the year.

The move will also displace an army of artists who for years were permitted to paint murals on the side of the Hot Spots building, a practice locals day makes the Funk Zone so funky.

La Entrada
The building at the corner of Mason and State streets, where local artists have for years painted works displayed on a rotating basis, will be demolished to make way for the La Entrada project. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

La Entrada calls for a 114-room luxury hotel, nine fractional vacation units and 21,557 square feet of retail space with open plazas, paseos and gardens designed in Santa Barbara’s signature Spanish Colonial Revival style.

The project, designed by DesignARC of Santa Barbara, also has received design approvals from the Santa Barbara Historic Landmarks Commission.

Those plans include a boutique-style hotel, neighboring parcel house restaurants, shops, a spa and hotel rooms and vacation units, as well as 243 parking spaces, including 120 accessible to the public.

Sidewalks will be periodically closed throughout construction, a reason the developer notified neighbors.

“The project will greatly enhance the overall aesthetics and value of the area,” the notice stated.

Buell said the city’s public works department would work closely with developers and general contractor MATT Construction to limit disruption.

Weather permitting, La Entrada could be complete by June 2016.

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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Goleta Lemon Festival Returning This Weekend with Same Appeal and New Events Squeezed In

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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All the classics will return to this weekend’s annual Goleta Lemon Festival, which will draw thousands to celebrate the tart citrus at Girsh Park on Saturday and Sunday.

Asking attendees to “pucker up,” Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce organizers have set out to bring the same level of family fun, food and entertainment to the 23rd annual event, sponsored by MarBorg Industries, with co-sponsors Venoco Inc. and Cox Communications.

Although the festival already has a winning formula, said Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Kristen Miller, the event will add a “green” car show and an activity allowing participants to jump over logs like lumberjacks.

“We try not to change it much because people love it the way it is,” Miller said.

The Goleta Lemon Festival opens at 10 a.m. Saturday and parties on through 6 p.m., featuring amusement park rides, a petting zoo, mini golf, pony rides, bounce houses, the Goleta Fall Classic Car and Street Rod Show, and “Safety Street” for kids.

The popular bungee jump and bubble fun activities — new last year — will also return to what Miller called one of the most anticipated events in the Goleta Valley.

And no lemon festival would be complete without a Classic Lemon Pie Eating Contest.

The same festivities will run again Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., which is when attendees will get their first glimpse of the new green car show.

The ninth annual Goleta Fall Classic Car and Street Rod Show kicks off at 9 a.m. on the grass, lasting through 3 p.m. Judging will take place in the morning, with awards presented at 2:30 p.m. on the Main Stage.

Arts and crafts vendors will also be out in full force, along with everyone’s favorite carnival food fare.

Miller said handcrafted pies, local home-brewed lemon ale from Hollister Brewing Company and McConnell’s lemon ice cream were other highlights.

“It’s going to be such a beautiful weekend to celebrate together in Goleta,” she said.

Click here for more information.

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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State Enacts Groundwater Regulations as Well-Permit Applications Triple in Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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As temperatures soar across the state and the drought stretches on, Gov. Jerry Brown took steps this week to regulate groundwater that is increasingly being used in the wake of dwindling surface water supplies. 

The state has not regulated groundwater usage in the past, giving landowners discretion to pump water from underground sources, even if they remove water before the aquifer can naturally replenish it.

Tom Fayram, Santa Barbara County's deputy public works director, said groundwater plays a "very substantial" part of consumption in the county.

More people are asking to tap into groundwater this year than in years past.

The county has seen the average amount of well permit applications almost triple — 146 in the last fiscal year running from July to the end of June — compared with an average of 50 a year previously, according to David Brummond, supervising environmental health specialist for the county.

Brown signed several bills Tuesday that attempt to regulate groundwater usage, including Senate Bill 1168, which asks local bodies to create groundwater management plans.

Brown maintains that groundwater resources are more effectively managed at the local or regional level.

He also approved AB 1739, which would allow the state to intervene if local agencies aren't regulating usage, and  SB 1319, which would delay the plan in places where surface water has been impacted by groundwater pumping.

The regional State Water Resources Control Board, based in San Luis Obispo, will be the primary driver of the new regulations.

Brummond said the South County relies on Lake Cachuma and state water, so as both of those sources dwindle, more wells may have to be activated to support demand.

Passing the bill at the state level means the "work is only halfway done," he said, as the state now has to figure out the details of the bill.

The details of the regulations are still unclear, such as the target rate for conservation. 

"What's the target? It says sustainable levels, but what does that mean?" Fayram said.

Users of groundwater in the county are primarily using that water for agricultural use, even though certain districts like the Goleta Water District and Carpinteria Valley Water Districts also have agricultural users that use significant amounts of water from their districts.

The new law would not apply to adjudicated districts, in which a previous lawsuit has already dictated where water can go. Adjudicated districts in the county include the Goleta and Santa Maria Valley groundwater basins. 

There are also districts in the county that use only groundwater, including Orcutt, Casmalia and Cuyama, Fayram said.

Because of a reduction of state water deliveries, other entities are using more groundwater and the aquifers around the county are in various states of health.

Cuyama, for example, is in a state of significant overdraft, while Santa Maria and Goleta have more of a managed aquifer system, Fayram said.

Santa Barbara County Supervisors received a report on the Cuyama-area groundwater issues several weeks ago.

Groundwater basins naturally decline during a drought and recover during the wet years, and Fayram said that other aquifers may be in flux that the county may not have a full picture on.

On Oct. 14, the supervisors will hear an update from the Drought Task Force about the drought and groundwater issues will be a part of that. 

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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David Sirota: Shareholders’ Quest for More Transparency

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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If you own a share of a company, how much information about the company are you entitled to? That is the question embedded in the debate over a proposed Securities and Exchange Commission rule that would force publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending to their shareholders.

As of this month, a 2011 petition to the SEC proposing the rule has received more than 1 million comments — most of them in favor of the mandate.

Supporters of the rule, some of whom demonstrated outside the SEC last week, say that's the highest number of public comments ever submitted in response to a petition for a SEC rule. That level of public engagement, the proponents say, means the agency must stop delaying and implement the proposal. They also say that as hundreds of millions of dollars flood into politics through anonymous "dark money" sources, the rule is more needed than ever.

If adopted, the proposal, written by law professors, would codify and standardize disclosures shareholders have long been requesting from various companies. Those requests have been among the most common proposals at annual shareholder meetings. At the same time, major institutional investors such as the New York state and city pension funds have used their shares to press companies to disclose their political expenditures.

Thanks to that pressure, the Center for Political Accountability reports that "almost 70 percent of companies in the top echelons of the S&P 500 are now disclosing political spending made directly to candidates, parties and committees," and "almost one out of every two companies in the top echelons of the S&P 500 has opened up about payments made to trade associations." The center calls that a dramatic increase from a decade ago when "few, if any, companies disclosed their political spending."

In early 2013, the SEC placed the proposal on its regulatory calendar, signaling that the agency would be moving towards a formal rule to make such disclosures a legal requirement rather than a voluntary act. However, major corporate lobbying groups like the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed comments opposing the proposal. Those lobbying groups represent corporations that would have to disclose their political spending under the new rule — including the budget spent on those lobbying groups themselves. Following the pressure from those groups, the SEC removed the proposal from its calendar.

In combating the proposed SEC disclosure rule, business groups are making a constitutional argument, claiming imposing disclosure rules only on one type of entity — publicly traded corporations — violates the First Amendment. In a 2012 Georgetown Law Journal article, two of the lawyers pressing for the SEC rule countered that claim.

"The court's First Amendment analysis has long given the SEC considerable deference in the development of rules that provide investors with information necessary to facilitate the functioning of securities markets," wrote Lucian Bebchuk of Harvard University and Robert Jackson Jr. of Columbia University. They noted the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision reaffirmed the right of the government to mandate disclosure of political spending.

Though the complex legal arguments are important, this all comes back to the aforementioned question: Should shareholders have the right to know how their money is being spent? That question will ultimately be contingent on the answer to an even more fundamental question: Is the government going to side with shareholders or management?

On the merits, it should be an easy call. But a political system dominated by big money rarely is motivated by the merits of an argument. It is anyone's guess how or whether the SEC will act.

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

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Governor Signs Jackson Bill to Encourage Healthy Eating, Exercise in After-School Programs

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, to help prevent childhood obesity by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity in after-school programs.

Senate Bill 949 establishes a voluntary California Distinguished After School Health (DASH) recognition program. It proposes standards for physical activity, “screen time,” and the serving of fruits and vegetables for after-school programs. After-school programs that choose to meet these proposed requirements will be awarded a special “DASH” certification.

Under the bill, parents can access a list of “DASH”-certified programs on the State Department of Education’s website, and after-school programs can display their certification on-site.

“Childhood obesity is a challenge we should be tackling on a number of fronts,” Jackson said. “This bill is about rewarding and recognizing after-school programs that are making that voluntary yet vitally important effort to make children’s health a top priority, and I’m very pleased the governor has signed it into law. Good eating and exercise habits, when developed early, can add to the long-term quality of life and reduce the costs of health care later on.”

In order to be “DASH”-certified, after-school programs must limit television or computer “screen time” and serve fruits or vegetables as snacks on a daily basis; serve no fried foods, candy or sugary or high sodium foods or foods with transfats; and limit the sugary beverages that are served.

In order to be “DASH”-certified, SB 949 also requires 30 minutes to an hour of physical activity a day and staff training on healthy eating and physical activity standards.

There are more than 4,400 publicly funded after-school programs in California serving more than 1.5 million children.

“The YMCA of the USA is extremely pleased that SB 949, a measure sponsored by the California State Alliance of YMCAs, has been signed into law. Not only will the Distinguished After School Health program — DASH — have the potential to benefit over 1.5 million children in after-school programs throughout California, we also see this as a tremendous model for other states as well,” said Judy Barrett Miller, senior manager of state advocacy for Y-USA.

Despite a slight drop in recent years, California’s childhood obesity rate remains dangerously high. In California, one out of three children are obese or overweight.

Obese children are at an increased risk of becoming obese adults and developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, depression and cancer.

The standards recommended in the bill are based on research and the Institute of Medicine’s Early Childhood Obesity Prevention policies and the National Afterschool Association’s standards.

DASH certifications would be valid for one year, but could be renewed each year if the program continues to meet the standards.

SB 949 will take effect Jan. 1.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate district, which includes all of the Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

— Lisa Gardiner is the communications director for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.

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Henry Schulte: ‘Climate Change’ and the Fear Tactics of Measure P Proponents

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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It’s amazing how many people are still blindly stuck in the all-encompassing catch phrase of “climate change.”

Al Gore was flying around the country burning up more fuel in one trip to preach his madness that the polar ice would be melted by 2014 than most of us will ever use up in a lifetime. It's kind of ironic that the polar caps have actually grown since his dire prediction — you don’t hear that in the news.

But the ideologically driven are incapable of accepting that what they now have hardwired in their brains — a place where facts can no longer enter, where even switching from global warming to climate change is proving bogus. The indoctrinated can’t accept that maybe all this nonsense is just that — nonsense.

The hue and outcry after Hurricane Katrina was (back then it was still global warming) that hurricanes would be on the rise and become worse than ever. We didn’t even get any more that year, and since then the numbers have dramatically decreased. But in order to try to rationalize this un(expected) turn of events, things were suggested such as the ocean is sucking up the heat or maybe President George W. Bush did something to the Bermuda triangle should cover the error for the moment. Don’t pay attention to his hand.

And here at home, a silly group calling themselves the Water Guardians or some such mystical name managed to once again brainwash a large number of people into believing if they didn’t sign the petition to stop fracking, Santa Barbara was once again doomed. Time and time again, these do-gooders turn to fear tactics make their case.

I was handed a flier at a soccer field of all places and told to read it. Here is a partial list to sway the uninformed: A no vote on Measure P will result in the waste of millions of gallons of water that could otherwise go to families and farms (I know firsthand they don’t give a whit about farms), cause cancer, asthma and other illnesses. Based on what? Generate massive air pollution, not a little but massive and carbon emissions. Where the heck does carbon come in? Increase the risk of earthquakes. They don’t have one scientific clue if that will happen. Kinda like the Katrina myth. Lower property values. Whose property values? If I find oil on my property, I can guarantee the value won’t be going down.

All of the above is based on nothing but fantasies the anti-oil crowd uses to brainwash themselves and others. It’s purely another ploy to fight the oil companies, but as it has been said many times before, they didn’t get to the park walking and they need power to print their propaganda.

We need to get a grip on reality here. Gore, who made a fortune selling out to an oil-rich company, gets away with everything because his followers believe he’s offsetting his carbon footprint. His carbon footprint is so big he’d have to ride a mule and eat grass the rest of his life to come even close. And that’s not even taking into account his houses, and I’m fairly certain, if he even owns a Prius, he’s got a Beamer and Benz or two stashed away somewhere.

And you think the higher-ups in the Sierra Club, for example, work for free. You can look it up; the information is public. They’re making six figures and more — most of it these days preaching the end is almost near, again, if we don’t stop climate change.

I also thought the ocean was supposed to be on the rise by now as well. Maybe we should have painted that blue line after all so we would have something to measure against.

How easy it is to just say and do what you want and go unchallenged all the time. I could just as easily counter the Measure P proponents by stating that fracking stops earthquakes, makes the air so sweet, it cures cancer and will finally stop climate change. After all, isn’t that the end game — to stop climate change once and for all? God knows we can’t afford any more of that.

As with all my ranting, I recognize it won’t change a thing. But if it would only change the mind of one person, then it’s all been worth it.

— Henry Schulte of Santa Barbara owns and operates Dos Pueblos Ranch. He has been politically active in the community for years. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Star Viewing at Westmont Observatory to Zoom In on Summer Triangle

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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A triangle of constellations that holds some of the finest open clusters in the night sky will be the starring attraction of this month’s public viewing at the Westmont Observatory on Friday, Sept. 19, beginning after 7:30 p.m. and lasting several hours.

The free event is held every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit. In case of inclement or overcast weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at 805.565.6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.

Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says Mars and Saturn will be too low in the sky at viewing time.

“I’ll point the scopes to the top of the sky,” he says. “At zenith will be the Summer Triangle, Cygnus (the swan), Aquila (the eagle) and Lyra (the harp). Westmont’s 8-inch refractor telescope will bring out many details in these sparkling gems.”

In the same part of the sky, Whittemore says there will be two interesting nebulae: M57, the Ring Nebula, and M27, the Dumbbell Nebula.

“These two spooky objects show us how an aging star might appear as it sloughs off its atmosphere,” he says. “I will use the Keck Telescope, a 24-inch reflector, for these objects since its large light-gathering mirror will be able to bring out the details in these very different nebulae.”

The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.

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Local Seniors Invited to ‘Food Food & Food’ Event in Lompoc

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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A Food Food & Food event, sponsored by several local organizations, will be held at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 26 at the DeWees Community and Senior Center, 1120 W. Ocean Ave. in Lompoc.

“All senior citizens from the Lompoc Valley are invited to this event to celebrate food and our local resources,” said Sue Slavens, city recreation coordinator. "This event will feature three cooking demonstrations, a physical activity demonstration, presentation on ‘Rethink Your Drink,’ a luncheon and goody bags. This event is free to senior citizens age 60 and older.”

“The three cooking demonstrations will focus on 'Cooking Healthy with Vegetables,' 'Cooking on a Budget' and 'Cooking for Diabetics,'” said Margaret Weiss, community educator at Sansum Clinic. “Recent studies prove a direct relationship with healthy eating and physical activity. So we are pleased to have a YMCA representative to show some simple movements that can make a difference.”

Sponsors of this event include the Area Agency on Aging, Community Action Commission, Healthy Lompoc Coalition, Food Bank, The Gildea Foundation, Meridian Senior Living, Sansum Clinic, Lompoc Valley Medical Center, Goleta Senior Center and the City Recreation Division.

For additional information, contact Slavens at 805.875.8098, or Joyce Ellen Lippman, director of the Area Agency on Aging, at 805.925.9554 or 800.510.2020.

— Joyce Ellen Lippman is director of the Area Agency on Aging.

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Rae Largura: The Benefits of Extracurricular Activities for Children

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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In one of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, a frazzled Hermione Granger resorts to the use of time travel in order to fit all of her extra classes into an overly ambitious schedule. With all the extracurricular activities out there readily available to our kids today, it’s unfortunate that more of us don’t have access to Hermione’s time-turner device.

Our town is filled with fun, rewarding extracurricular activities in which anybody, any age, can participate. Whether it’s a team sport, individual sport, student government, school newspaper editor, playing an instrument, volunteering or anything in between, they play a significant role in growing up and growing happy. Extracurricular activities expose our children to new experiences, teach them responsibility and encourage relationship building.

Our brains like the stimulation of a new experience, and so do our children’s. The challenge of the unknown, trying something new and branching out of a comfort zone is very brain healthy. It is a gift to our children to nurture their passion. Sometimes it takes doing something that is scary — that they haven't been exposed to before, to be introduced to that passion.

For those of us without the help of magic, we have to learn how to prioritize activities and manage time. The responsibility of finishing homework, then making it to baseball practice on time and squeezing in a few minutes of violin practice is a life lesson in itself.

Extracurricular activities not only expose us to meeting new people who share some of the same interests, they also put our children in the position to learn how to get along with others. It often doesn’t even take an actual team to expose our children to thinking like a team. Camaraderie is a good motivator and will make our children feel a sense of belonging. Sometimes these activities allow our children to build relationships with older peers, who can also become important role models.

One last benefit, for the high school ages, is that all these hours away from school is mandatory to be competitive with college applications. Colleges want to see the holistic, complete, unique and interested potential student.

The growth opportunities that extracurricular activities provide extend beyond these few. Let’s encourage participation, but unless you have Hermione’s time-turner device, let's also encourage family time, relax time and stress-free homework time.

Any subject, any grade: What is your question for a tutor? Email rae@leadingedgetutors.com.

— Rae Largura is president of Leading Edge Tutors. The opinions expressed are her own.

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3 People Injured in Head-On Collision on Westbound Highway 154

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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Three people suffered minor to moderate injuries after a head-on collision on Highway 154 near the summit vista point, according to Santa Barbara County Fire. 

Westbound Highway 154 lanes were blocked and tow trucks were called to the scene.

Two vehicles hit in a head-on collision and airbags were deployed.

Three patients were evaluated and taken to the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital by ambulance, County Fire Capt. Mike Klusyk. 

Injuries were reported as minor to moderate on the scene, he said. 

The CHP, Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Los Padres Fire Department all responded to the collision. 

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

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Glow in the Park Balloon Glow Fundraiser Rises Above to Aid Doctors Without Walls

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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Inaugural benefit event at Elings Park raises $75,000 in support of the organization's efforts to provide free medical care for those in need

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

A truly unique experience was provided to more than 400 guests with Doctors Without Walls-Santa Barbara Street Medicine “taking health care to new heights,” at Elings Park on Saturday for the inaugural Glow in the Park Balloon Glow fundraiser benefiting the organization.

The crowd-pleasing event was presented by the experts from the Citrus Classic Balloon Festival and included a VIP reception with tethered rides followed by a champagne toast and a Sunset Glow, where guests gathered to enjoy food and drinks as all of the balloons on hand were inflated.

An AfterGlow dance party with cover band Hollywood U2 followed a scrumptious dinner and dessert. The musicians not only sounded the part but also played the part, performing classics such as "Even Better than the Real Thing" and "Beautiful Day" that got the crowd singing and dancing in a magical setting.

DWW-SBSM has been providing free volunteer medical care from Santa Barbara to Isla Vista for five years, treating the area's most vulnerable year-round and during times of disaster, including the homeless, working poor and wherever the need lies.

“Doctors Without Walls was founded in 2009 by a small group of physicians who saw a need in Santa Barbara,” Executive Director Maria Long said. “They were seeing people die on the streets, they were seeing the poor and unsheltered not getting services they needed.”

The founders of DWW-SBSM originally went out on street rounds offering care and services.

“It’s evolved from a tiny, tiny organization to a mighty one with almost 200 volunteers and doctors,” Long said.

Balloon Glow
Doctors Without Walls-Santa Barbara Street Medicine Executive Director Maria Long, center, with volunteers Wie Denkensahn, Christina Spandler, Jennifer Cohenmehr, Emily Frey, Yidi Wang and Paul Gill at the inaugural Glow in the Park Balloon Glow fundraiser at Elings Park. (Melissa Walker / Noozhawk photo)

Today, a contingent of local volunteer doctors, nurses, social workers, students and community members work together, providing education, training and offering humanitarian aid from medical professionals and community leaders.

“We say that there are two beneficiaries in this,” Long said. “There are the beneficiaries that are our patients, and the beneficiaries are our students and our student volunteers who are next generation of medical leaders and humanitarian leaders.”

The services provided by the organization from mobile clinics and backpacks assisted more than 2,000 individuals in 2013, and help to greatly reduce emergency room visits and more effectively utilizing community resources.

“When you talk about homelessness, you're giving one word which describes a very diverse, complicated, very vulnerable patient population,” DWW-SBSM medical director Jason Prystowsky M.D., told Noozhawk. “So we see a lot of people with chronic illness because it’s their chronic disease that landed them on the streets in the first place.”   

Programs such as Wrap Around Care, Companion Care and UCSB Underserved Medicine Seminar service Santa Barbara County citizens with 79 percent of the organizations' aid going to recipients with a disease putting them at risk of premature death.

The event captured the magic of both the summer evening and Elings Park, but most importantly raised $75,000 toward the mission of DWW-SBSM.

“Tonight is a culmination of celebrating new heights," Long said, "and what better metaphor than to hold a hot air balloon in the park because we’re out in the parks for almost 365 days a year.”

Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz

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Ed Fuller: CAR Offering Limited-Time Incentive Program to Help First-Time Homebuyers

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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Ed Fuller
Ed Fuller

The Housing Affordability Fund of the California Association of Realtors is in the process of instituting a Seller Incentive Program that will reward owners who use a Realtor to sell to a first-time homebuyer or someone who hasn’t owned a home in the past three years.

This incentive will be a payment after the close of escrow of 2.5 percent of the sales price on properties sold for $600,000 or less.

The Housing Affordability Fund of the California Association of Realtors is allocating $500,000 on a first come, first served basis with a program expiration of March 31, 2015.

Since this incentive payment will be cash to the sellers after closing, the buyers can use their eligibility as a negotiating incentive with their offer. Further conditions are described in the program flyer and application.

This program should be in full swing by Oct. 1, so here is an opportunity to get a head start and avoid the rush.

Although there are only seven single-family homes for sale in the Santa Barbara metro area (South Coast) under $600,000, there are 68 condos, co-ops and PUDs that qualify.

With interest rates in the low fours and a respectable choice of properties, now is the time for first-time homebuyers to take advantage of this temporary opportunity.

Ed Fuller is a real estate broker with San Roque Realty Inc. and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at ed@sanroquerealty.com or 805.687.1551. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Movin’ Up: UCSB Scores Highly on Host of University, College Rankings

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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When U.S. News & World Report included UC Santa Barbara on its 2015 list of the Top 30 National Public Universities, the No. 10 ranking acknowledged UCSB’s stature as a top-tier research institution as well as its commitment to academic excellence.

It was also one of many such honors the campus has received. Over the last year, UCSB has scored among the best of the best on a host of university and college rankings, from Leiden to Net Impact to the Sierra Club.

“These rankings reflect UC Santa Barbara’s remarkable strength across a wide variety of disciplines and departments,” said David Marshall, executive vice chancellor. “Excellence across the campus contributes to the interdisciplinary environment that allows us to provide our students with a deep and broad education, while stimulating innovative research and scholarship.”

While the most recent U.S. News & World Report ranking focuses on undergraduate education, UCSB was highlighted last spring in the magazine’s annual ranking of graduate and professional programs at American universities. The campus’s materials program was ranked No. 2 among all universities and No. 1 among public institutions.

In addition, the chemical engineering program at UCSB was ranked No. 8 overall, and No. 4 among public universities while the College of Engineering came in at No. 19 among all universities and No. 11 among public universities.

“Our faculty’s tremendous research agenda, which in turn stimulates so much research and critical thinking amongst our students, inevitably helps to ensure that we have the highest quality of undergraduate students at our campus,” said Kum-Kum Bhavnani, professor of sociology and chair of the UCSB Academic Senate. “Further, the increase in the diversity of our student population ensures that as a campus we continue to offer much to the residents of California, the nation and, indeed, the world.”

The U.S. News & World Report ranking comes on the heels of Washington Monthly’s National Universities Rankings, which place UCSB at No. 15 among national universities (a jump of seven spots from the previous year) and No. 11 among public universities. UCSB also placed at No. 13 in Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck ranking.

Among the criteria considered by Washington Monthly are the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants; the difference between predicted versus actual graduation rates; total research spending; Peace Corps service by graduates; community service participation; faculty awards; and faculty members elected to national academies.

The Leiden Rankings, compiled by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, places UCSB at No. 8 among the top 750 universities worldwide with the largest publication output in the Web of Science database. The ranking is based on data from the Web of Science bibliographic database produced by Thomson Reuters and includes Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index.

In the 2014 Academic Rankings of World Universities, UCSB’s engineering, technology and computer science departments ranked No. 7 in the world. UCSB also scored a perfect 100 for engineering in the category of percentage of papers published in the top 20 percent of journals in engineering fields.

On its list of America’s Most Entrepreneurial Universities for 2014, Forbes Magazine placed UCSB at No. 20. Among public universities, UCSB ranked No. 5 with the magazine citing the newly opened 4,500 square-foot business and technology incubator established as a partnership among the university, the city of Goleta and the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Forbes ranked the universities based on the number of alumni and students who have identified themselves as founders and business owners on LinkedIn as compared to the school’s total undergraduate and graduate enrollment.

Focusing on environmental innovation and initiative, Net Impact, the non-profit organization for students and professionals seeking to use business skills in support of social and environmental causes, ranked UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management No. 1 in the country on its Business as UNusual Schools list of the Top 50 Schools for Environmental Sustainability. UCSB received a score of 4.9 out of a possible 5.

Among the Greatist.com Healthiest Colleges in America, UCSB comes in at No. 4. Schools on the list have gone the extra mile to create an environment that nurtures and educates students about healthy eating practices, provides excellent medical and mental health services and programs and offers myriad opportunities for student to get and stay physically fit.

“It’s hard to beat the natural beauty of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s campus: 1,000-plus acres with miles of coastline along the Pacific Ocean against a backdrop of mountains in Los Padres National Park,” the editors noted.

“The students at UCSB are able to take advantage of the nature that lies at their fingertips through the school’s adventure programs,” they continued. “Trips include kayaking to Santa Cruz Island, backpacking in Yosemite, and canoeing on the Colorado River. The school is also known for its bike culture, meaning it’s easy to remain active back on campus, too. And if students find themselves stressed out by coursework, they can reserve egg or massage chairs in the university’s counseling and psychological services building.”

And on the Sierra Club’s list of Cool Schools, UCSB is ranked No. 24, receiving high marks for innovation, planning, energy use, transportation and waste management. As the editors noted, “The colleges at the top of our annual ‘Cool Schools’ ranking are so dedicated to greening every level of their operation — from energy usage to recycling to food sourcing to curriculum — that sustainability has become woven into their very culture.”

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

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Experts to Give Free Talk at Goleta Library on Writing College Applications

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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The Santa Barbara Public Library System’s Goleta branch library will host a presentation, "Writing College Applications," for high school students applying to colleges this fall.

The talk will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2 at the Goleta Library, 500 N. Fairview Ave. in Goleta.

High school seniors can broaden their college option, and lessen their stress, with useful tips on how to write college essays that will distinguish their applications.

The speakers will review the essay prompts for the University of California application and the Common Application and advise on how to choose an essay topic and integrate each part of the application into a comprehensive portrait of the student.

Local college counselors Tish O’Connor and Betsy Heafitz, both graduates of Dartmouth College who have earned certificates in college counseling from UCLA, reveal what admission officers want to see, and demonstrate pre-writing and brainstorming techniques that stimulate creative responses to standard essay prompts. They will share insight from their prior careers — O’Connor as an editor and writer, and Heafitz in marketing and communication and knowledge of college admissions assessment criteria.

For more information, contact the Goleta Library at 805.964.7878.

Information about Santa Barbara Public Library System locations, hours, events and programs is available at SBPLibrary.org. All library programs are free and open to the public.

— Allison Gray is a supervising librarian for the Goleta Library.

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Santa Maria High’s Beef Group, Steers Recoginized for High Marks in Carcass Competition

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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High school FFA students had no beef with the judges.

The Santa Maria High School Beef group’s steers earned the Best Carcass, a gold seal and the Third Best Carcass for efforts at the Santa Barbara County Fair. The FFAers recently received the recognition during a banquet for the Santa Barbara County Fair Carcass Competition.

The 69 steers in the competition were judged for meat quality, yield grade, the size of the rib eye and other criteria. SMHS entered six steers in the contest, five of which earned Carcass of Merit awards. The Angus-Maine Anjou Cross steers were fed Kruse Grain and Milling Beef Grower/Finisher.

Carina Fulgencio, who won first place in the carcass competition, proved she is a natural at raising steers.

“Raising a steer for the first time was an amazing experience," the 11th-grader said. “It taught me that hard work and dedication can pay off."

Eleventh-grader Carla Fulgencio described her market meat project as an “exciting challenge.”

“It was difficult, yet fun in many ways,"said Fulgencio, who received third place. “Having to control a thousand pound animal was not easy. However, the time I put into it paid off in the end."

Beef Team adviser Melissa Flory-Guerra said there are many variables that go into producing the best beef.

“One is genetics, some animals have more muscle and lay down their fat differently," she said. “Another is your feed and how you feed."

The girls are looking forward to getting another steer within the next month to try not only to win the carcass competition, but also Champion Steer at the fair.

— Kenny Klein is a media affairs coordinator for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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Lane Closures Planned for Paving Project on Highway 101 in Santa Maria

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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A paving project on Highway 101 from Santa Maria Way to Broadway (Highway 135) will result in the following lane/ramp closures this weekend:

» Alternating lane closures on southbound Highway 101 between Santa Maria Way and Broadway during the overnight hours on Friday, Sept. 19 and Saturday, Sept. 20 from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

» The southbound on/off ramps of Highway 101 between Santa Maria Way and Broadway will be closed at various times during the overnight hours on Friday, Sept. 19 and Saturday, Sept 20 from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Motorists will not encounter two consecutive ramp closures.

Motorists can expect delays not to exceed five minutes. The California Highway Patrol will be present to ensure a safe environment for motorists and highway workers.

The contractor for this $3.4 million project is Papich Construction of Pismo Beach. This project is expected to be completed this month.

Caltrans reminds motorists to move over and slow down when driving through highway construction zones.

For traffic updates on other state highway projects in Santa Barbara County, motorists can call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805.568.0858 or visit the District 5 website by clicking here.

— Jim Shivers is a public information officer for Caltrans.

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Select Staffing Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon Announces Ambassador Program

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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The Select Staffing Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half has announced its inaugural Ambassador Program and Ambassadors for the 2014 event slated for Saturday, Nov. 8: Rob Olson (Select Staffing), Stevie Balfour-Ritchie (American Riviera Bank), Damon Valenzona (AppFolio) and Martha Sundholm (Spectrum Athletic Clubs).

“Our Ambassadors represent what makes our sport so inspiring, life-changing and fun,” race director Rusty Snow said. “On our website, each Ambassador will have a video that tells his or her story as each prepares for our Nov. 8 event.”

Click here to watch the videos or for more information on the Ambassador Program.

The 6th event edition includes the Marathon, Half Marathon and the inaugural Team Competition. Over point-to-point USATF certified courses, the race participants will run across Santa Barbara’s beautiful south county from Isla Vista to Goleta to the new waterfront finish line at Leadbetter Beach. In partnership with the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation, the Veterans Final Mile will once again provide an inspirational boost to the finishers completing their 13.1, 26.2 mile or team journeys.

Click here to register.

Locally owned and operated, the Select Staffing Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half, set for Nov. 8, is the premier running event on California’s scenic Central Coast. The event features a marathon, half-marathon and team competition as well as a one-of-kind Veterans Final Mile in partnership with the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.

For more information, click here, follow us on Twitter @runsbmarathon, Instagram @runsbmarathon and Facebook @santabarbaramarathon and use hashtag #RunAmericasRiviera.

— Rusty Snow is the race director for the Select Staffing Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half.

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Assemblyman Williams Interviews CEO of Santa Barbara High’s Dons Net Café

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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Assemblyman Das Williams helped the Dons Net Café select a new student CEO last week.

Williams interviewed student Amazing Grace Llanos for the position of Dons Net Café CEO, modeling current best practices in the business context.

The Dons Net Café is a unique program that enables students to “start up” a variety of philanthropic businesses and ventures that serve people around the world. In this two-period class at Santa Barbara High School, each student has his or her own position in the DNC’s governance and operation structure, as well as a venture they support.

At the beginning of each term, the students of the Dons Net Café participate in interviews to determine their roles and responsibilities in the class. All interviews are conducted by local business partners in the Santa Barbara community.

Williams was chosen to interview the CEO candidate in the presence of classmates, school administration and business supporters. Before the interview, Williams gave a brief lesson on interview etiquette, how to conserve water in the current drought and strategies to obtain financial aid students may need for college.

The Dons Net Café, a Regional Occupational Program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, is a student-run business that represents a 21-year commitment to inspire students to create positive social and environmental change through ethical commerce. These efforts are represented through participation in Virtual Enterprise, Voluntary Income Taxes Assistance (VITA), Roots and Shoots, and Service Learning. All profits benefit students and associated projects because they believe in “Doin’ Some Good in the World.”

Further information is available by contacting Lee Knodel (Mrs. B.) at 805.963.8597 or by email at sbdons@hotmail.com.

— Kris Bergstrom represents the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

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Broadview Mortgage’s Kelly Marsh Presents TED Talk at Sales Mastery Conference

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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Kelly Marsh, branch manager of Broadview Mortgage in Santa Barbara, presented a TED talk before 1,400 people at the Sales Mastery 2014 conference.

Sales Mastery, the premier mortgage gathering of the year, was a 3½-day event filled with the brightest industry heroes — keynote speakers, industry insider and panelists — all of whom delivered well-honed, proven strategies designed to address and overcome personal challenges in life and business.

Sales Mastery helps build greater success in the short term while equipping you to build trustworthy relationships that create success in the long term.

Marsh delivered her 12-minute TED talk on the power of face-to-face client interaction. Her powerful presentation was designed to give actionable ideas and strategies explaining her three philosophies: 1) educate; 2) guide; and 3) connect with clients.

In the past 2½ years alone, Marsh has closed more than $250 million in loans and ranked in the Top 100 Scotsman Guide for 2012 and 2013.

A Santa Barbara native, Marsh has more than 17 years of experience in the mortgage industry. She is committed to helping her clients navigate the most complex financial transaction, a home mortgage. She believes clients are clients for life and continues to nurture relationships beyond the closing of the loan. She offers a range of specialized programs to clients, including Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo and more.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing Broadview Mortgage.

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Governor Signs Tuberculosis Bill Authored by Assemblyman Williams

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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The governor has signed a bill authored by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Carpinteria, which would replace the currently mandated tuberculosis (TB) examination with a TB risk assessment and follow up TB exams, based on the results of that assessment.

“By replacing the exam with a risk assessment and a follow-up TB test, AB 1667 addresses two problems that California currently faces: False positives and shortages of TB tests," Williams said. "My bill is consistent with guidelines from numerous expert bodies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and will allow the tuberculosis control programs to work most effectively to detect and control tuberculosis in California.”

TB is a disease caused by germs that are spread from person to person through the air. It usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys or the spine. The primary test for TB infection is the Mantoux tuberculin skin test (TST). When TST is applied in low incidence populations, its positive predictive value means that there are a high number of false positives.

School employees and volunteers are not considered high- risk populations according to the Health Officers Association of California the sponsor of AB 1667. An estimated 20 percent of teachers in California falsely test positive. These false positives can lead to the administration of unnecessary tests and potentially toxic TB infection treatment regimes, which pose preventable risks for those with false positive TST results.

“The best public health and medical evidence suggests that universal TB testing is neither necessary nor cost-effective," Williams said. "Targeted screening will continue to protect our state’s teachers, volunteers, school employees, and children from tuberculosis.”

AB 1667 does not affect any protocol that county health offices and other public health officials may use for testing when a known case of tuberculosis exists. If there was a person found to have active TB in a particular region, this bill would aid in that situation by making more TSTs available for targeted testing in the area.

Jeannette Sanchez is the district director for Assemblyman Das Williams.

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Santa Barbara Museum of Art Announces New Members of Board of Trustees

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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Hannaford
Betsy Hannaford

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is pleased to announce the election of the newest members of the museum’s Board of Trustees: Betsy Hannaford, Laura Shelburne and Jeanne Towles.

In addition, SBMA would like to recognize elected officers co-vice chairs Patricia Aoyama and John Bishop, and secretary Susan Bowey, who will work under the continued leadership of board chair Kenneth Anderson.

The terms of the newly elected trustees officially began July 1.

Betsy Hannaford

Hannaford was raised in Wayzata, Minn. She was educated at Phillips Academy, Andover (cum laude), Pomona College (bachelor of arts degree in history) and New York University School of Law (J.D.).

Following graduation from law school, she worked at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly in Minneapolis as an associate lawyer in the banking and bankruptcy department for four years.

She left the practice of law and was an active volunteer at her three children's schools.

She also has served on a variety of boards, including Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis (Executive Committee, chair of Nominating and Building and Grounds Committees) Breakthrough Collaborative in San Francisco (vice president and chair of Development Committee), Woodhill Country Club in Wayzata (secretary and Executive Committee), Stevens Square Foundation in Minneapolis (a foundation giving grants to senior services organizations in the Twin Cities) and Graywolf Press in Minneapolis (board chair, co-leader of capital campaign, chair of finance, nominating and development committees).

Shelburne
Laura Shelburne

Laura Shelburne

Originally from Louisiana, Shelburne left the South to attend Stanford University, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in history. She received her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law and practiced corporate law with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati P.C. in Palo Alto.

She and her husband, Craig, moved to Santa Barbara eight years ago. In the fall of 2003, Laura and the former chair of the SBMA Board of Trustees, Melissa Fetter, founded smART Families, the vibrant affinity group supporting art education at the museum.

Active in her three children’s schools, she is the former president of the Board of Trustees of Crane Country Day School and was integrally involved in its past capital campaign to build a new library and art center.

She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Storyteller Children’s Center, and has served on the Storyteller Gala committee and been a member of the Lotusland Celebrates committee. In addition, she has participated in the fundraising efforts of several other local nonprofits, including the Girls Inc. 100 Committee.

Towles
Jeanne Towles

She previously served on the SBMA Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2013, and was secretary of the board from 2010 to 2013.

Jeanne Towles

Towles has been active in the Santa Barbara area for 20 years.

After vacationing in the area for six years, she and her late husband, Stokley, an SBMA trustee from 2011 until his death in 2013, bought a home in Montecito and had been splitting time between their home in Westwood, Mass., and Montecito since 2011.

She has spent her life involved with family, volunteer work at The Vincent Hospital, literacy tutoring, tennis, golf and bridge. She retired from her career at Mass General Hospital and became very involved for the past 20 years with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, serving as a docent, organizing the Art in Bloom Fundraiser, managing the information desk volunteers and working with the Associates Group. She and Stokley were very active within the museum as he served as the chairman of the board for four years. Together they collected contemporary prints and supported local artists.

— Katrina Carl is the public relations manager for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

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Montessori School of Ojai Presents ‘Harvest Moon Affair’ Fundraiser

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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Montessori School of Ojai will present “Harvest Moon Affair,” the nonprofit school’s largest annual fundraiser, from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at Bodee’s Rancho Grande in Ojai.

This year, wines from internationally acclaimed Ojai Vineyard and beer from Ventura-based Surf Brewery will pair with hors d’oeuvres from Bodee’s catering.

Live and silent auctions will include a two-night stay at Rancho Las Palmas Resort with Spa Credit, The Oaks at Ojai Spa Package, works by local artists and much more.

An appetizer station with domestic and imported cheeses, fruits and nuts will greet guests along with hors d’oeuvres such as crab stuffed mushrooms and chicken pesto baskets. Guests can enjoy these tasty delights while surrounded by the natural beauty at Bodee’s.

Donations to the silent and live auctions are still being accepted. Proceeds will benefit Montessori School of Ojai’s Campaign for the Future, which funds programs and on-campus improvements.

Admission is $35 per person, $65 per couple. For tickets or more information, call 805.649.2525.

Bodee’s is located at 3304 Maricopa Hwy. in Ojai. Parking is limited, so a shuttle will run between the event site and the Montessori School of Ojai before and after the event.

Montessori School of Ojai is a nonprofit private school in the Ojai Valley that serves children from infancy through eighth grade. Based on the philosophy of Italian physician, educator and humanitarian Maria Montessori, the school places a strong emphasis on academics in a child-centered and creative environment. For more details, click here or visit the campus at 806 W. Baldwin Road (Highway 150 near Lake Casitas) in Ojai.

— Sara MacCracken represents Montessori School of Ojai.

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Exxon Valdez, 25 Years Later — UCSB Working Groups to Examine Data Detailing Impact of Disaster

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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In the years following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in the Gulf of Alaska, scientists have monitored the impacted areas to understand the effects of the spill on the ecosystem and to assess and promote recovery of affected species.

UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis has collaborated with investigators from Gulf Watch Alaska and the Herring Research and Monitoring Program to collate historical data from a quarter-century of monitoring studies on physical and biological systems altered by the spill.

Now, two new NCEAS working groups will synthesize this and related data and conduct a holistic analysis to answer pressing questions about the interaction between the oil spill and larger drivers such as broad cycles in ocean currents and water temperatures.

“Enormous efforts have been made to monitor and collect information about the Gulf of Alaska in the past quarter century since the Exxon Valdez oil spill and now that data are being put to new use in these long-term synthesis efforts,” NCEAS Director Frank Davis said. “By bringing together these diverse data and analyzing them using state-of-the-art modeling and statistical techniques, these multidisciplinary working groups can gain new insights into the coupling between oil impacts on the Gulf of Alaska ecosystem and human communities that directly rely on it, as well as increase our understanding of the relationships between ecological recovery and biological diversity.”

One working group — Understanding Changes in the Coastal Gulf of Alaska Social-Ecological System: Analysis of Past Dynamics to Improve Prediction of Future Response to Natural and Anthropogenic Change (CGoA Futures) — will determine how the structure, productivity and dynamics of socioeconomic and ecological systems in the Gulf of Alaska responded to anticipated changes in environmental conditions and human disturbances.

This working group will consist of two linked subgroups, one studying socioeconomic aspects and the other ecological systems. Both will use statistical and modeling approaches to understand mechanisms of change — and the changes themselves. The findings of each group will be coupled in order to create an overview of past changes and potential futures for the entire area.

Principal investigators of the CGoA Futures group include Thomas A. Okey of the University of Victoria’s School of Environmental Studies; Terrie Klinger of the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs; James J. Ruzicka of Oregon State University’s Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies; and Amber Himes of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center and the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs.

The second working group — Applying Portfolio Effects to the Gulf of Alaska Ecosystem: Did Multiscale Diversity Buffer Against the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill? — will evaluate evidence for an oil spill signal among a suite of species, focusing specifically on crabs, groundfish, salmon, herring and the lucrative fisheries they support. The researchers will also investigate the broader food web context using plankton, marine mammals and seabird datasets.

The investigators will use time series modeling approaches to determine the forces driving variability over time in these diverse datasets. They will also examine the influences of multiple drivers, including climate forcing, species interactions and fishing. By evaluating species’ life history attributes, such as longevity and location, and linking them to how and when each species was impacted by the spill, the researchers may help predict ecosystem responses to other disasters and develop monitoring strategies to target vulnerable species before disasters occur.

The second working group is led by Kristin Marshall of the University of Washington and the NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center; Anne Beaudreau of the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Richard Brenner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game; NCEAS Associate Mary Hunsicker; and Eric Ward and Ole Shelton of the NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

A newly appointed postdoctoral associate, Rachael E. Blake of Louisiana State University, who will be in residence at NCEAS for two years beginning in January, will assist the working groups and conduct an assessment of the relative importance of multiple stressors in near-shore habitats in the Gulf of Alaska.

“The kind of holistic synthesis being done by these working groups is critical to guide future monitoring and recovery initiatives, which are expected to continue for decades, and to inform monitoring design and policy responses in case of future spills,” Davis said.

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

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Community Invited to Triple Impact for Foodbank During ‘Give a Meal’ Campaign

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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Nearly 49 million Americans struggle with hunger. But thanks to generous support from the community, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is able to end hunger for one in four residents throughout the county each year.

To do so, the Foodbank requires the resources to move millions of pounds of food and to purchase food when donations run low.

This month, during Hunger Action Month, Bank of America has committed to match every individual donation by local supporters 2-to-1 for donations of $10 to $1,000.

During the month of September, follow the simple steps below and triple your impact.

To Donate

» Step 1 — Visit the Bank of America Give a Meal Match page

» Step 2 — Click on “Donate Now” and enter your Santa Barbara County billing ZIP code

» Step 3 — Enter your desired donation amount and use a credit card with a Santa Barbara County billing ZIP code for payment

» Step 4 — Email your receipt to dmdurst@foodbanksbc.org so your donation can be added to the count

During the triple match, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will be able to provide 240 meals for every $10 dollars donated, helping even more families and individuals in need.

— Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

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Makeup Artist Offers Sept. 25 Demonstration at Pali Wine Tasting Room

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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“All About You,” a second free demonstration by South Coast makeup artist and licensed esthetician Patricia Guerrera, is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Pali Wine Co. tasting room, 116 E. Yanonali St. in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone.

Guerrera owns Tru Beauty, her studio at 120 W. Mission St. in Santa Barbara. She will offer free brow wax services and makeup touchups at the Pali wine tasting room event.

“All About You” also will feature Vidal Sassoon alumna Tara Jenée, who has 11 years of experience in hair styling, specializing in precision cut and color, keratin smoothing, natural hair extensions, weddings and events. She will demonstrate style, up do and braiding at Pali Wine Co.

Guerrera also is offering $25 Tru Beauty gift certificates toward any Tru Beauty services for the “All About You” event. Purchase of a certificate includes a glass of Pali wine the night of the event. Admission is free to anyone older than 21 years of age.

“All About You” gift certificates can be purchased at the Tru Beauty shop for $25 or at door for $28 on the evening of the event. The gift certificates may used toward any of Tru Beauty’s services, including the “Mimosa Cocktail,” which is a facial treatment that includes: a shot of concentrated vitamin C; two shots of cell renewal; one shot of brighteners; a shot to repair sun damage; and a shot to boost collagen for brighter skin.

For more information, see Tru Beauty by clicking here.

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Goleta Council Approves Development of Marriott Hotel on Hollister Avenue

By | Published on 09/16/2014

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The 118-room project receives the go-ahead despite concerns about water usage and preserving Chumash burials

Despite concerns of using too much water during drought — and upending a tribal archaeological site — the Goleta City Council on Tuesday night approved the development of a Marriott Residence Inn.

The council voted 4-1 to approve the 118-room hotel to be built in the 6300 block of Hollister Avenue, across the street from the Santa Barbara Airport, and an accompanying revised environmental impact review. Mayor Pro Tem Paula Perotte cast the lone dissenting vote.

The hotel was years in the making for developer Bob Olson, who also owns and constructed the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Storke Road in 2012. D. Olson Development has pursued the project since 2007, when a 140-room hotel was proposed but batted back because the site was part of a larger Chumash archeological site.

After the project was revised to include a sanctuary garden/educational component, the Goleta Planning Commission in late July voted 3-2 to recommend that the City Council also push it forward.

The Marriott hotel was approved on the same night as a drought update from the Goleta Water District, which this month placed a temporary moratorium to deny new water applications effective Oct. 1.

Because the developer already obtained a service letter from the water district in July — based on historic water use at the site and adjacent Hollister Center — the project just has to pay the new water supply charge before Oct. 1 to guarantee service.

Goleta staff gave a brief presentation, showing visual simulations and mitigated impacts on mountain views along with project alternatives, which included a flipped building design. Staff said all earthwork would be done with an on-site archeologist and Chumash representative.

Before 30 public speakers took the podium, developer representative Peter Brown said the council should approve the project, which went through two EIRs, 10 meetings with the Chumash since 2008 and archaeological find mitigations.

“This project has had extremely thorough review,” Brown said, noting that no project alternatives were feasible.

All but eight speakers were in favor of the project, including local businesses, UC Santa Barbara and nine Marriott employees who spoke of rising through the ranks into management positions.

Geofrey Wyatt, president of Goleta’s Wyatt Technology, said his business could use the hotel to house dozens of visitors each month.

“There aren’t places to stay,” he said. “How many years must we wait before this project is approved and built?”

Frank Arredondo, a Chumash MLD (Most Likely Descendent), said human remains would be found on the parcel that might contain a tribal cemetery. As an MLD, Arredondo said he helps recommend where unearthed ancestors should be reburied, something he said happened with Westar and Willow Springs projects. 

“This development will disturb those burials,” he said, adding that most want ancestors to remain on the same site they’re found.

Attorneys for Friends of Saspili, which previously sued the developer on behalf of the Chumash, said the EIR was incomplete, recommending the project be tabled for further discussion.

Another Chumash descendent said she was “pissed off” and especially worried about water, threatening to learn a “no-rain dance” if the project moved forward.

All attendees earlier heard from the Goleta Water District, which reported a 10 percent reduction in water usage since the council declared a Stage One drought in March. Despite efforts, the area could see a Stage Three declaration by May 2015 — or a completely empty Lake Cachuma in 11 months if rain doesn’t fall this winter.

Besides withholding new water applications, the district outlined mandatory water restrictions related to landscaping, conservative incentive programs and a public outreach campaign. Sprinkler watering will be prohibited between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., along with being restricted to two hours per week.

Councilman Tony Vallejo kicked off deliberations, declaring the Chumash an important part of local history but noting the land was already disturbed with nearby development.

Need for another hotel and the projected annual city revenue of $1 million in transient occupancy taxes also swayed him.

“The revenue to the city will be important,” Vallejo said.

He and Perotte agreed they must rely on the water district to determine the availability of the resource for the project, but Perotte said the city should not continue to mishandle or develop on the former Chumash site.

Councilman Jim Farr suggested the city try to create a Chumash village near the Stow House to honor the heritage, an idea supported by Vallejo and Mayor Michael Bennett before the project approval vote.

“We need to do something positive,” Farr said.

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

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