Santa Barbara-Goleta, Monday, August 31, 2015

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Maserati, Alfa Romeo Dealership Plans Skid Past Santa Barbara Architectural Board of Review

By | Published on 08/31/2015


ABR members OK luxury car dealership proposal with 5-2 vote, so plans now go to the city's Planning Commission

Maserati and Alfa Romeo are sputtering toward the finish line.

The luxury car dealership skidded past Santa Barbara's Architectural Board of Review on Monday, in a tense meeting that spotlighted sharp divisions among board members. 

After two failed votes, the panel voted 5-2 to support the car dealership proposed for 350 Hitchcock Way, although the support was less than enthusiastic.

New Century Automotive Group wants to build a two-story, 33-foot-tall building, with glass panels allowing buyers to peer inside.

The dealership will feature Maserati and Alfa Romeo cars, and offer storage spots on the second floor for car owners, who make Santa Barbara their "third or fourth home." It would also include a showroom, enclosed service bays, and an office and parts department.

Although Ferrari was depicted in an early architectural rendering of the project, it currently is not part of the proposal.

The board members who supported the project on Monday acknowledged the work efforts the developers had already made to improve the project over the course of three meetings. Even though the project wasn't perfect in their eyes, it was close enough to support.

"We have to be fair to the applicants," commissioner Scott Hopkins said. "I am a process guy."

At one point the developers wanted to cut down a row of eucalyptus trees, but backpedaled on that idea. They stepped the building back further from the street and agreed to add and change the landscaping to soften the look of the industrial building. 

Even on Monday, the board was still wheeling and dealing with the development team. 

Board member Courtney Jane Miller said the developer's proposed 8- and 10-foot palms were too small, requesting that the dealership instead plan a minimum of 12-foot-tall trees. 

And ABR member Howard Wittausch, who made the final motion for approval after two failed votes, told the developers before they go to the planning commission to create the illusion of a reduction of the mass and scale of the building through finish, texture, color and other design elements that "place the architecture more substantially in a Santa Barbara context."

Chairman Kirk Gradin and board member Thiep Cung voted no. 

Gradin said the building is still too large and out of touch with Santa Barbara-style architecture, while Cung disliked the size of the second-story element of the building.

"My feeling is that the building is massive and made to appear even more massive by the giant porte cochères," Gradin said. 

Cung agreed, saying he's not sure how many people in Santa Barbara drive Maseratis. 

"I am really having a problem with the two story portion in the back," Cung said. "Looking at the site elevation, it just seems really massive."

Even though the project has cleared the ABR, don't raise the checkered flag yet. 

The team behind the luxury car dealership must next go before the city's Planning Commission for project approval. The controversy at the ABR over the project will likely spill over to the next review.

Cung said the Planning Commission usually "likes a unanimous ABR vote."

Residential neighbors who oppose the project will likely show up at the Planning Commission meeting.

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


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After Fatal Accidents, Lower Speed Limit Coming To Part of Highway 246

By | Published on 08/31/2015


Santa Ynez Valley residents welcome news of 45 mph zone planned for busy roadway

The speed limit for a busy stretch of Highway 246 will be lowered, welcome news among Santa Ynez Valley residents lobbying for safer roads in the wake of recent fatal accidents.

Instead of the current 55 mph, the limit for the 2.3-mile segment of Highway 246 between the Janin Acres neighborhood and Meadowvale Road will be reduced to 45 mph.

That section of road is especially busy since it includes El Rancho Market, Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, Santa Ynez Valley Christian Academy, the Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA, the under-construction Golden Inn  & Village, the Chumash Casino Resort, and roads leading into downtown Santa Ynez.

Mary Beth Kerr, who has been spearheading a roadway-safety campaign in the valley, announced the reduced speed limit last week after a meeting with local California Highway Patrol Lt. Kurt Kruse.

“The big news is the lowered speed on the dangerous section of 246,” Kerr said on a Facebook page SYV Lives Matter! Project 1 =  4 Way Stop 154/ROBLAR. “It is brilliant news!

“We all want safer roads, and this is part of the solution. Pressing our fellow citizens to abide by this speed and to put safety first on all roads needs to be part of the solution,” Kerr added.

Caltrans District 5 spokesman Jim Shivers said the agency has received several concerns from the community and Buellton-based California Highway Patrol officers.

The concerns centered on the area of Highway 246 encompassing the high school, Shivers said. 

Due to the residents’ complaints, Caltrans prepared an engineering and traffic survey to determine if the speed limit could be lowered below the 55 mph statutory level, Shivers added.

Caltrans must conduct such a survey to  justify a new speed limit. 

The new speed limit will take effect once the 45 mph signs have been installed, Shivers said.

When students are present, the speed limit still will be 25 mph near the schools.

A number of accidents, several fatal, on Highway 154 spurred Kerr and others to lobby for safety improvements, including getting a stop sign install at Roblar Avenue.

But a March tragedy helped widen the focus to include Highway 246 after Santa Ynez Valley Union High School freshman Carina Velazquez was fatally injured when she was struck by a vehicle in front of the campus.

The driver wasn’t charged after the investigation determined she was not at fault for accident.

Led by Kerr, residents also have lobbied for increased enforcement by CHP along the local highways, with another campaign planned this fall.

Kerr said she also hopes to hold a town hall meeting about local road safety issues with participation from local lawmakers and law enforcement members in addition to members of the public.

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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Mobile Home Park Attorney Lambasts Lompoc For Billing Snafu

By | Published on 08/31/2015


An attorney for Del Norte Mobile Estates has fired off a strongly worded letter saying the residents should not be penalized by the city of Lompoc’s “bureaucratic incompetence” that led to a huge hike in wastewater bills. 

The letter demanded the city retract statements the attorney claims disparaged the business and personal reputations of the owner and management, and asserted that the city should take responsibility for its faulty billing.

Additionally, the city should forgive the past claims, amortize the city mistake over a longer period and provide loans for residents who can’t handle the cost, the letter from Orange-based attorney Maureen A. Hatchell Levine said.

“In summary, the city has falsely characterized and besmirched the business practices and reputation for honest dealing by the owners of the park,” Levine wrote. “Worse, the city has attacked my client’s reputation in the effort to obfuscate the true reasons for city action, which trace back to bureaucratic incompetence of the city. “

City Manager Patrick Wiemiller said the letter arrived in Monday’s mail.

“We have not yet internally reviewed or discussed the letter yet, so we are not yet in the position to provide additional information to the public,” Wiemiller said. “Because it is a private billing account issue, we plan to review the merits of the letter and discuss with the customer or their authorized representative.”

Those who live in the 179-unit Del Norte Mobile Estates at 321 W. North Ave. mobilized in July after receiving a notice from property managers that the added costs would first appear on Aug. 1 bills.

The city claimed it had undercharged the park for sewer costs. Those costs are billed to the park, with space tenants providing reimbursement.

Instead of charging $48.09 per month, the city had billed the park residents $15.32 per month for wastewater costs, park managers said.

The new monthly sewer rate as of Aug. 1 was $53.20, plus another $24.58 that is labeled a sewer adjustment fee, putting the new monthly total at $77.78.

The city maintains “rigid controls” over the cost of space rent at the park in addition to utilities, the attorney said. 

“The ineptitude of local government is emblematically reflected in the recent events, which continued to fester in the hands of the city,” Levine wrote. “Perhaps it is too much to ask for fair and honest treatment and competency in the city’s service offered to property owners in the city.”

In the Aug. 27 letter to city leaders, the attorney contends park representatives attempted to point out the problem to city employees, and spells out five errors allegedly committed by city staff.

While the August 2014 bill at $8,608 was correct, the September 2014 was one-fourth the amount, $2,741, the attorney said.

A park representative notified the city and a correct bill was sent. However, the error reappeared with the October 2014 bill. City staff promised to research and matter and contact the mobile home park, but never did.

A city staff member reportedly told a Del Norte representative in November 2014 that the smaller amount was correct, Levine said.

Since this coincided with a project to replace water lines, Del Norte representatives concluded the improved equipment brought water saving measures that meant lower usage, the attorney said.

In June, the city again sent a bill with the alleged wrong rate, and a day later claimed the statements covering September 2014 to June 2015 were in incorrect, the attorney said.

Yet, the city left it up to the park owner to notify residents of the error and need for reimbursements, Levine noted.

And in July, the city sent a statement with a credit of $11,733.96. When the park representatives inquired, the city claimed an adjustment incorrectly was added as a credit — it should have been listed as a charge. 

“On behalf of the owner, a modicum of accuracy is requested in future billing,” the letter said, noting the substantial time park staff spent trying to unravel the city errors in addition to auditing and reconciling park records, city sewer charges and the park’s collection from its residents.

Del Norte resident Jackie Claycamp is hopeful a resolution will be reached.

“Getting the park’s attorney involved — and that was at the owner’s request — I think that was the best thing to do,” she said.

Even as the city sorts this this billing issue, it is scheduled to settle an overcharging and underbilling matter with Santa Barbara County by reimbursing nearly $235,000 for electric services according to the agenda for Tuesday night’s meeting of the Lompoc City Council.

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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UC Santa Barbara to Offer First Master’s Tech Management Degree

By | Published on 08/31/2015


For UCSB's new business degree, 23 students will take part in inaugural technology management program

The competition was fierce and the applicant pool deep, but it’s official — 23 students will begin the track to earn UC Santa Barbara’s first-ever master's business degree this fall.

University officials are in the final stage of preparation for the new professional master’s in technology management (MTM), an MBA-like degree that aims to teach tomorrow’s leaders how to manage fellow engineering and technology industry employees.

Fall UCSB classes begin Sept. 24.

Bob York, who chairs UCSB’s popular Technology Management Program, is quick to point out the degree isn’t your run-of-the-mill MBA.

Those programs train students of any age and experience level to manage employees, regardless of specialty.

The MTM exclusively recruits students with at least two years of work experience on top of college degrees, teaching management skills to technical-minded scientists and engineers with strong leadership potential and drive.

So, marketing and operations classes won’t be cornerstones of curriculum.

“People don’t historically think of UCSB as a business school,” York said. “The world doesn’t need another MBA program. This is the program I wish I had had.”

TMP, which was created in its initial form in 1998, had sights set on offering a degree long before 2015. The program known for its annual New Venture Competition, which allows students to present business venture ideas and compete for cash prizes, earned full academic program status to be able to offer the degree in January 2013.

Right now, students from any discipline earn certificates for participating in TMP, not actual degrees.

York recently showed off the newly renovated MTM program space in Phelps Hall, with a smile rarely leaving his face.

The executive learning center is across the sidewalk from TMP offices in old classrooms with windows as walls, flat screen TVs in the lobby and a large, air-conditioned classroom where students complete nine months of intensive curriculum and where mentors/sponsors can gather to hear business pitches.

Layout features 60 seats — the number of enrollees that the program will one day grow to — at the ready for an incoming class that’s about a quarter female, said York, who noted most students hail from California and at least have a loose connection to UCSB.

MTM students will choose to engage in 20-week projects, either developing a new business idea or innovating some aspect of an already established company, said Paul Leonardi, a TMP professor and director of MTM.

Students get dedicated faculty advisers and mentors similar to groups hawking ideas at UCSB’s New Venture Competition, which could include an MTM tract in addition to being open for graduate and undergraduate students.

“One hard thing to do as a student … is to make the translation between what you’re learning in the classroom and how to apply it,” said Leonardi, a Bay Area native who came to UCSB last year from Northwestern University’s McCormick School of Engineering and the Kellogg School of Management to develop MTM courses.

“This becomes our opportunity to guide them through that translation.”

Leonardi comes from a research background, where he learned employers have a tough time finding the right kind of scientist or engineer to promote into management.

That’s a process MTM and four dedicated faculty are supposed to ease.

Leonardi attributed the degree’s popularity — more than 100 people applied from around the world and went through a rigorous vetting process — to need in technical fields.

The fact that Santa Barbara has a rich ecosystem of tech companies, investment groups and startups doesn’t hurt, either, he said.

“I was really pleasantly surprised this year by how high quality our applicant pool was,” he said, adding that applications for next year’s class would be accepted in late September.

“There’s a lot of demand for the program.”

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


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Santa Barbara Officials Pledge Action After OSHA Violations Reported at Police Station

By | Published on 08/31/2015


City of Santa Barbara officials have pledged to correct violations found after a series of workplace safety inspections took place in the city's police station.

Employees had raised questions about lead, asbestos and other substances in the station, and the Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health issued a citation last week documenting seven infractions.

Cal/OSHA's inspections occurred between February and August of this year, and the violations included not having an effective injury and illness prevention program as well as several infractions related to "bad housekeeping," the report said.

Black dust was observed in the men’s locker room, mold was observed in the fitness room, and stains from water leaks were seem in Murphy’s Room.

The city had established an exposure control plan for officers exposed to hazardous materials such as bloodborne pathogens, but the decontamination area didn't have all the required materials, according to the report. 

There was also documentation stating that the city had not provided asbestos and lead workplace records. Lead was found in samples taken inside the shooting range and asbestos containing materials were found in ceiling material that had fallen on the floor of the station’s fitness room.

The citations must be corrected by Sept. 30, and the $7,875 fine must be paid within 15 working days.

Mark Howard, risk manager with the city's finance department, said that the Cal/OSHA document arrived Monday afternoon and staff from multiple departments met to discuss.

"The important thing is that we do take safety seriously," he said, adding that the city has been working for a while on some of the concerns police have had about air quality at the station.

Because the citations fall into the category of housekeeping, "the good news is those are easily correctable," Howard said. He believes the city can meet the deadline for the changes.

"It's not as if the building is filthy, it's an older building and even when you clean it to your best ability, it still looks well worn," he said.

The fines will be covered by the police department's budget, which comes out of the city's general fund. The police chief will decide exactly where the money comes from, Howard said.

City Manager Paul Casey echoed similar thoughts, saying that the city wants to keep officers safe and will make the changes needed.

“Police employee safety is a top priority and we will fix whatever corrections OSHA has identified,” he said.

Sgt. Mike McGrew, president of the Santa Barbara Police Officers Association, has been pushing for the changes.

McGrew has worked for the department for 29 years, and said more incidents of cancer among employees and retirees have caught his attention in recent years.

“We’re just grateful that the OSHA took this seriously and looked into these matters,” McGrew said Monday.

McGrew said he’s been able to talk with city management and command staff, who have said they’ll get the violations fixed.

“We suspected that there was asbestos in the ceiling,” he said. “We weren’t surprised by anything the report found.”

McGrew represents about 180 members of the Police Officers Association, and said they were “grateful” for the OSHA action.

“It’s been on their minds for quite some time,” he said.

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


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Tropicana Student Living Selects 2015–2016 Resident Staff

By | Published on 08/31/2015


Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall is proud to announce its Residence Life team for the 2015–2016 academic year. 

After an intensive 5-week interview and training process, the top candidates were chosen to provide leadership and build community at Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall for SBCC students.

“Tropicana Gardens’s Residential Life Program is designed to ensure a successful transition from home to independent living for SBCC students," said Dave Wilcox, Executive Director. "Many of our residents form life-long friendships with the people they meet at Tropicana, and the Resident Assistants are essential for nurturing an environment conducive to creating those friendships. Our team works hard to build community and to support our residents’ personal quest for independence and academic success.”

Tropicana’s renowned Residence Life programming follows a wellness model that encompasses physical, spiritual, social, emotional, intellectual and environmental aspects. RAs sponsor over 300 community events designed to nurture, entertain, encourage and integrate new students into their college “home.”

“Resident Assistants are students who help the students living in our communities to get know each other,” explained Director of Residence Life Anna Rodgers. “Each year we interview more than 100 candidates for our resident assistant team. Resident Assistants serve as educators, peer counselors, policy enforcers and resource persons. The candidates we choose are leaders who can inspire our residents and are crucial for creating a tight-knit community.”

New Tropicana RAa for the 2015–16 school year include Pierre Barban from Paris, France; Abby Bolter from Sonora, Calif.; Jeff Carlson from Anaheim Hills, Calif.; Chris Chang from Traverse City, Mich.; Derek Chen from Oakland, Calif.; Chris Cook from Hollister, Calif.; Donovan Floyd from Greenwich, Conn.; Julia Hernandez from Salou, Spain; Brian Ogle from Sonora, Calif.; Blair Rogers from Sacramento, Calif.; Reign Ross-Elliot of Carson, Calif.; Lauren Saussy of Manhattan Beach, Calif.; Danitza Valenzuela of El Centro, Calif.; Maria Velez of Madera, Calif. and Samuel Watkins of Fresno, Calif. 

Returning Tropicana Resident Assistants include Clarissa Fernandez from Riverside, Calif. and Presley Maron from Pasadena, Calif.

Yoli Gavaldon from Garden Grove, Calif. and Jon Sokol from Thousand Oaks, Calif. will be the two new residence directors at Tropicana Gardens Residence Hall for SBCC students for the 2015–2016 academic year.

Allan Ramirez from Los Angeles will be residence director of Tropicana Del Norte Residence Hall.

Tracy Pfister of Naperville, Ill. will return as programming coordinator.

Roger Rodarte of Jurupa, Calif. will work as the courtesy patrol coordinator. 

Community Coordinators of Tropicana Villas Upperclassmen Apartments will be Morgan Ryan of Salt Lake City, and Marisa Allan of Spring Valley, Calif.
— Brendan Langley is the director of marketing and communications at Tropicana Student Living.


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New Goleta Ice Rink will be Home Base for Santa Barbara Royals High School Hockey Team

By | Published on 08/31/2015


The Greater Santa Barbara Ice Skating Association has announced that the Santa Barbara Royals is one of eight teams taking part in the LA Kings inaugural 2015–2016 High School Hockey League.

Ice in Paradise will have one team representing the Santa Barbara area this year but hopes to expand to multiple teams as well as a JV team in the future.

Steve Heinze, Olympian and former Los Angeles King will be head coach of the high school team.

The Southern California teams are as follows: West Ranch High School Wildcats, East County Outlaws, El Segundo Strikers, Greater Santa Barbara Royals, Kern County Knights, San Gabriel Valley Cougars, Santa Clarita Hockey Club and South County Aviators.

The Kings are sponsoring helmets, gloves, home and away jerseys, bags, jackets and more for all players the first three seasons a team is part of the league.

"We are extremely excited to be able to field a High School Hockey Team as soon as we open our doors" said Larry Bruyere, general manager of Ice in Paradise. "The fact that many of these high school players have been developing their game while skating at other ice rinks here in Southern California makes it even more special that they can now represent their sport right here in Goleta.”

The Ice in Paradise ice skating arena, scheduled to open this Oct. 2015, will provide a permanent, state-of-the-art and energy efficient public recreation facility serving youth, adults, students and families in the Santa Barbara area.

The building features a NHL size main rink, a studio rink, homework center, daily public skating, learn to skate programs, facilities and programs for figure skaters, hockey players, and ice-sports for participants with disabilities.

Special design features will also allow for adaptive ice sports.

— Jennifer Ono represents Ice in Paradise.


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Woman Sentenced to Three Years in Prison in Santa Maria Pandering Case

By | Published on 08/31/2015


Brianna Shawntay Jackson Robinson

A 19-year-old woman was sentenced to the three years in prison for pandering while law enforcement officials continue to look for her co-defendant, an alleged pimp accused of human trafficking charges.

Brianna Shawntay Jackson Robinson pleaded guilty to pandering, a felony charge which involves procuring another person for the purposes of prostitution, according to a statement from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.

Robinson was sentenced to three years in state prison on Monday in Judge John McGregor's Santa Maria courtroom, said Jennifer Karapetian,the  deputy district attorney who prosecuted the case.

Robinson, who is from the Bay Area, was arrested March 9 after an 18-year-old victim contacted a human trafficking hotline on the same day, Karapetian said.  

Santa Maria police officers responded to the victim’s location, the Santa Maria Greyhound Bus Station, and took Robinson into custody, who was there with the victim, according to authorities.

Robinson’s pandering charges took place at different locations throughout the state, Karapetian said.

The District Attorney's Office said authorities are still searching for Robinson’s co-defendant, Marcale Emon Alexander, who has been charged with human trafficking and pandering in the case and was allegedly working as a pimp with Robinson.

He is also charged with two separate counts in an unrelated 2014 human trafficking case involving an underage minor, Karapetian said.

Alexander’s charges are alleged to have taken place across California as well as outside the state.

Alexander, who is from the Bakersfield area, remains at large and anyone with information about his whereabouts should contact the Santa Maria Police Department at 805.928.3781, and ask to speak with Detective Michael McGehee.

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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Coldwell Banker Presents Donations to High School Arts and Sports Programs

By | Published on 08/31/2015


Coldwell Banker manager John Nisbet was honored to represent his agents and company Tuesday, Aug 25, by presenting $5,000 checks to each of the three local Santa Barbara public high schools, as well as Carpinteria High School.

Coldwell Banker agents created the CB STAR (a loosely translated acronym for Student Athletics/Arts Resources) program locally, and through the Coldwell Banker Foundation are helping to fund student athletics and the arts in our local schools.

The mission of CB STAR is to partner with our local public high schools and help fill a very real void in funding for athletics and arts programs. 

Coldwell Banker agents fund the program with contributions from their transactions and other fundraising activities.

— John Nisbet is a manager at Coldwell Banker.


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Local Diving Pro Joins SOS California Board

By | Published on 08/31/2015


Stop Oil Seeps California welcomes Santa Barbara City College Professor Don Barthelmess to its board of directors.

Barthelmess is a Professor of Marine Technology at SBCC, where he has trained professional commercial divers for 27 years.

He is passionate about diving safety and marine education and shares his love of the Santa Barbara Channel and the ocean as a critical but fragile resource.

Barthelmess's career has taken him on diving projects all over the world in support of marine research, offshore oil and gas operations and film projects for many organizations, including the National Geographic Society.

This past year, he trained divers for each of SeaWorld's parks.

Professionally, he serves on the board of directors of the Association of Commercial Diving Educators and the technical diving advisory board for the National Association of Underwater Instructors.

Locally, he serves on the board of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum and is currently vice-president of the board of directors. He is also a past president of the Historical Diving Society.

Barthelmess received his associate degree in underwater technology from Florida Institute of Technology and completed his undergraduate work in occupational studies at Cal State Long Beach. He earned his graduate degree in educational technology from Pepperdine University.  

Barthelmess was the Director of SBCC's highly acclaimed Marine Technology Program from 1994–2003, after which he returned to full-time teaching.

In 2007, his peers selected him as Santa Barbara City College's 29th Faculty Lecturer, SBCC's highest honor.

He and his wife Carol Kallman live on the Mesa in Santa Barbara. They have two adult children, son Robby and daughter DeeDee.  

SOS California aims to alert the public to the magnitude of natural seep pollution in the Santa Barbara Channel and to the availability of an invaluable resource to fund environmental cleanup and develop alternative energy sources.  


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FSA Brings Annual Senior Expo to Earl Warren Showgrounds

By | Published on 08/31/2015


Family Service Agency, a local nonprofit organization, is the new presenting sponsor for the Senior Expo of Santa Barbara, the county’s largest health and active aging fair.

Previously managed by Senior Programs of Santa Barbara, the 27th annual event will take place Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2015.

“We are grateful to Senior Programs of Santa Barbara for this wonderful opportunity,” said Lisa Brabo, executive director of Family Service Agency. “With more than 90 exhibitors offering new and creative ways to meet the needs of seniors, family members and caregivers, this annual event is a tremendous resource for our community.”

More than 1,000 seniors attend the Senior Expo held at Earl Warren Showgrounds each year. The event offers low-cost flu shots, health assessments, information for active seniors looking for everything from new fitness programs to financial services, as well as tips for those who need assistance getting around safely and affordably.

Platinum sponsors for the 2015 Senior Expo include Family Service Agency, Cottage Health, Sansum Clinic, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care and Organic Soup Kitchen.

Additional sponsors include Sharon Kennedy Estate Management and Stevens & Associates Insurance as Gold Sponsors and Casa San Miguel, DASH (Doctors Assisting Seniors at Home), Home Care Assistance, the Oak Cottage of Santa Barbara and Union Bank as Silver Sponsors.

Exhibitors are encouraged to register quickly, because spaces are limited. 

Please visit or contact Expo Director Elizabeth Yingling at 805.963.0474 or [email protected].

— Melinda Johansson is the development and marketing manager for Family Service Agency.


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Wolves, Disc Dogs and ‘Pawsitive’ Thinking Part of Upcoming Wags n’ Whiskers Festival

By | Published on 08/31/2015


On Sunday, Sept. 13, C.A.R.E.4Paws hosts its seventh annual Wags n’ Whiskers Festival at Girsh Park in Goleta from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

The free, fun-filled event — the largest animal festival on California’s Central Coast — features dozens of adoptable dogs, cats and bunnies from local animal shelters and rescues and showcases a wide range of pet service providers.

Festival-goers also enjoy a great mix of activities, including a frisbee show with Southern California’s famous Disc Dogs, dog agility, fast-paced flyball with Santa Barbara Supersonic, an exciting military dog performance, as well as cat and bunny training.

They can also meet “Little Star,” a mini therapy horse, along with wolfdogs from WHAR Wolf Sanctuary in Paso Robles.

C.A.R.E.4Paws’s fun Pawsitive Thinking Youth Corner invites kids to learn more about animals and what it means to be a loving, responsible pet caretaker.

In fact, this year — for the first time — Wags n’ Whiskers includes a Pawsitive Thinking Youth Contest. Students K–12 countywide have been invited to create an art piece or poem on the concept of “kindness to all living beings” and submit it to C.A.R.E.4Paws by Aug. 31.

Ten finalists will come up on stage and receive prizes and diplomas at Wags n’ Whiskers. All projects will be on display in the Youth Corner.

Additionally at the event, Project PetSafe provides low-cost vaccines, microchipping and licensing for dogs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., while the festival raffle and silent auction features lots of great prizes, including a chance to win a trip for four to Disneyland.

Wags n’ Whiskers is already attracting a record number of supporters, including VCA Care Specialty and Emergency Animal Hospital, the festival’s “Elite Pack” (top) sponsor and C.A.R.E.4Paws’ “Elite Partner” corporate sponsor.

“We’re thrilled to partner with C.A.R.E.4Paws and support Wags n’ Whiskers again this year, as the festival aims to promote forever homes for Santa Barbara County dogs, cats and bunnies,” says VCA Care’s Dr. Eileen Gillen. “We have been working diligently with this wonderful organization since its inception, and we’re proud to be a member of a community and organization so engaged in keeping pets out of shelters and ensuring their safety and welfare.”

The festival not only joins the local animal community and inspires many forever homes for deserving pets (as many as 40 animals got adopted in 2014) but also creates awareness around the tremendous need for rescue and adoption and sheds light on the crucial work that animal welfare groups do in this community.

C.A.R.E.4Paws (short for Community Awareness, Responsibility, Education) is a Santa Barbara County nonprofit whose mission is to reduce pet overpopulation and keep animals out of shelters.

Services include free spays and neuters for low-income dog and cat owners, bilingual community outreach, "Pawsitive Thinking" humane education, intervention programs that keep animals in their homes and countywide adoption events like Wags n’ Whiskers.

Visit for more details and a list of festival participants or contact anytime with questions at 805.968.2273 or [email protected].

— Isabelle Abitia is the executive director at C.A.R.E.4Paws.


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HICAP brings Free ‘New to Medicaire’ Seminar to Santa Barbara Central Library

By | Published on 08/31/2015


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

The "New to Medicare" presentation will be held Wednesday, Sep. 30, 2015 beginning at 10:30 am. at the Santa Barbara Central Library at 40 East Anapamu Street in Santa Barbara.

“HICAP is offering this presentation to help new beneficiaries and their caregivers better understand this comprehensive health care program,” announced James Talbott, 

president of the board of directors of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens.

Even those who currently have Medicare coverage could benefit from this detailed overview. 

Topics will include a comprehensive introduction to Medicare including what medicare covers, supplemental insurance, part D prescription coverage, medicare and employer group health plans and retiree health plan considerations.

HICAP is pleased to partner with the Santa Barbara Central Library in presenting this important information to the community.

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

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

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

— Bill Batty represents Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program.


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Superior Court of Santa Barbara Honors 20 Prop. 36 Graduates During National Recovery Month

By | Published on 08/31/2015


On Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2015, Judge Kay Kuns will host a commencement ceremony to honor 20 graduates of the Proposition 36 Treatment Court.  

The graduation will begin at 1:30 p.m. at the Santa Maria Veterans Memorial Building located at 313 West Tunnel Street.  

The 20 graduates have successfully completed the 6-month treatment program and have maintained sobriety.  

Graduates will receive certificates of completion and will be given an opportunity to speak about their experience in the Prop. 36 program. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony.

Proposition 36, The Substance Abuse and Crime Prevention Act (SACPA), was passed by California voters in November 2000 and implemented in July 2001. Under Prop. 36, defendants are sentenced to a minimum of 6 months of treatment, probation supervision and multiple court reviews.

The program promotes sobriety, recovery and stability. Successful completion may result in dismissal of charges and early termination of probation.

The court program is multi-departmental collaboration of Superior Court; probation; the Offices of the Public Defender and the District Attorney; the Department of Alcohol, Drug, and Mental Health Services; UC Santa Barbara and the Sheriff’s Department.

The month of September marks National Recovery Month. On Sept. 2, following the Prop. 36 graduation ceremony and reception, the treatment community will celebrate National Recovery Month.  

Recovery Day 2015: A Celebration of Families in Recovery will be held from 4 to 6 p.m. at Buena Vista Park located at 406 West Morrison Avenue in Santa Maria.  

The event is open to the public. Recovery Day 2015 is a community-wide collaboration to promote the societal benefits of prevention, treatment and recovery.

To learn more about Treatment Courts including resources, legislation and statistics, visit

To learn more about National Recovery Month visit

— Kristina Brumbaugh is the public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Probation Department.


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Brian Burke: About Your Divorce (Letter 118) — Stop Making Left Turns

By | Published on 08/31/2015


Oblique Divorce Strategy #14 — Stop Making Left Turns

"A Woman of Independent Means" by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey was published in 1978 and has been in print ever since. It’s an “epistolary novel” taking the form of a series of letters and telegrams written by the protagonist, Bess Steed Garner.

For thirty-five years I’ve been paraphrasing and pontificating Bess Garner’s wisdom because she says things that my mother might have said when I wasn’t listening.

Even though Bess is fictional, she can be annoying in an especially motherly way; however, she isn’t my mother — and she isn’t your mother — so it’s easier to appreciate her wisdom.

One online reviewer put it aptly, “Bess grows because of her losses.” For Checkov and other Russian writers, those who haven’t suffered are not to be taken seriously.

Given the opportunity, I’ve frequently paraphrased an aphorism I remember as part of a telegram from Bess printed in all caps and addressed to one or all of her children. I recall it saying:


Early this summer I took a car trip with my brother, Bruce, and there was an opportunity to interject Bess’s maxim into the conversation.

I am accustomed to and not annoyed by the way he often attempts and usually succeeds in “one-upping” my attempts to make astute observations. One-upsmanship, informed by Stephen Potter's book of the same name, was considered great sport in the house of our youth. 

With respect to left turns, Bruce enlightened me: FedEx had an employee contest that offered to pay $100,000 to the person making the best suggestion for improving business.

One guy scribbled “Don’t make left turns” in pencil on a scrap of paper and dropped it into the box. In a show of good faith, FedEx conducted a mini-experiment where they had a few drivers record the amount of time it took to complete their normal route.

Then, they designed and timed an alternative, no-left-turn route under similar conditions. Management was surprised to discover that a somewhat longer route avoiding left turns could be completed faster than a shorter route that served the same customers.

The conclusion was that it is actually faster to get to wherever you want to go without making left turns.

According to Bruce, the FedEx experiments eliminated the qualification, “SO LONG AS YOU AREN’T IN A HURRY.”

I was trumped, but I’m not sure I was one-upped because the proscription against left turns survives, or was I trumped by not being one-upped?

It doesn’t matter because I want to believe that I’m beyond being trumped or even one-upped.

I’m sure the conversation continued with one of us saying that since the idea was good enough to use throughout the company, paying the employee a mere $100,000 was cheap on the part of FedEx.

If I had been on my game, I could have given Bruce a cue that would have compelled him to say something like, “Oh, FedEx also gave him a 75 percent raise and promoted him to VP.”

Then I would have asked, “VP of what, Bruce?”

He would have replied, “Vice President of Imagineering — what else?”

I would have rolled my eyes and shaken my head but, if challenged at this point, Bruce would have at least a dozen replies, including: “Why would it bother you or anyone else if I describe the world as I think it should be; the world as it could be?”

∙ ∙ ∙

To write this column I checked two things: (1) what the book said about left turns and (2) Bruce’s FedEx story.

I was surprised to find that the text I’ve been paraphrasing for so many years does not appear in a telegram, and it is not in all caps — nor is it addressed to Bess’s children.

And while I remember the reference to driving cars was implicit so that the statement was unmistakably metaphoric, that was wrong too.

After two sentences in the second paragraph of a letter to a “Mr. Ferguson” that begins page 34, Bess writes:

“… My husband bought me an automobile of my own last month and though it was terrifying the first time I took the wheel, I now find the experience quite exhilarating. I of course proceed with the utmost caution and plan my routes carefully in advance to avoid left-hand turns. But as long as I am not in a hurry, I find I can reach any destination by turning right.”

I’m surprised I didn’t skim right over these three sentences mistaking them for a worn-out joke about women and driving rather than an instructive metaphor. Was it intended as metaphor?

Yes, it was. Even after 34 pages you know that when Bess writes, there’s a difference between what she says and what she means; it doesn’t take a genius to figure out the latter.

Here, for the literal minded raised by straight-talking mothers (you probably spend life wondering why so many people don’t say what they mean), is the metaphor revealed.

The familiar proposition (the metaphier*) comes from the experience of driving a car (or riding a bike, etc.). We are told or reminded that the shortest distance to get from A to B often requires you to fight the flow by making left turns.

You can get to the same location by deliberately avoiding left turns and thereby engaging with the flow, but it might take longer.

The object of the demonstration (the metaphrand*) is nothing less than the way to live your life. You can go with the flow as long as you are patient and as long as there isn’t a compelling need to deliberately buck it.

The reference to automotive travel is more explicit and the comparison to life is more implicit than suits my taste, so I intend to continue using the same paraphrase with attribution to Elizabeth Hailey despite the inaccuracy because I’m confident that it’s what she meant to say.

(She’s a living author and could correct me, but I’m also confident that she is utterly indifferent to my interpretation of her work.)

∙ ∙ ∙

Here’s what I discovered from Google about my brother’s account of the FedEx exclusion of left turns from delivery routes: It appears to be, ah, bullshit!

As far as I can tell, the story has nothing to do with FedEx.

UPS advises drivers that it may be faster to avoid left turns against traffic. It’s not a policy or even a rule of thumb.

The one driver I questioned explained, “We are always getting safety tips and that’s one of them. Driving is the driver’s responsibility and ultimately depends on the driver’s discretion.”

If there’s a metaphor in that, I don’t see it.

∙ ∙ ∙

The point is simply that there are life tasks you can complete more easily by going slowly. Divorce takes longer than most think it will.

You go slowly whether you like it or not, so STOP MAKING LEFT TURNS and you’ll still get to the end — and you will be in better shape when you arrive.

∙ ∙ ∙

If you believe my brother, you might conclude that you would complete the experience of divorce faster by taking the longer and apparently slower route. I think the conclusion is probably sound, so my brother gets credit if his story helps someone find and adopt this attitude.

Here’s another conclusion: it’s just my personal opinion, but over the years I’ve gathered a lot of evidence suggesting that my brother, Bruce, is definitely a perpetuator and possibly the originator of urban myth. If so, our parents would have been proud.

*The only place I’ve ever seen the use of the terms “metaphier” and “metaphrand” is in The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind (1976), and both terms are useful.

None of the books mentioned in this column are available in the Santa Barbara Public Library; Amazon has them all.

Anyone interested in Bruce’s mind can see it exposed in a blog post I wrote last year.

Next column: Oblique Strategy #15 — Get a tarot card reading without thought or delay.

— Brian H. Burke is a certified family law specialist practicing family law and mediation in Santa Barbara. A researcher and educator in the field of divorce and family conflicts, he is also the creator of the Legal Road Map™. Click here for more information, call 805.965.2888 or e-mail [email protected]. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Santa Barbara Search & Rescue Team Members Help Rescue Missing Hiker in Sierra National Forest

By | Published on 08/31/2015


Two Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team members are back home and forever changed after assisting in an unforgettable rescue that made national headlines. 

Miyuki Harwood, 62, of Orangevale, Calif., was remarkably found alive on Saturday in the Sierra Nevada National Forest near Fresno after being missing for nine days. 

Harwood, who suffered broken legs, survived by drinking filtered creek water and by using a whistle to lead rescuers to her location.

Search and Rescue team members Don Gordon and Craig Scott were searching in the area near where Harwood was found and were able to assist in her rescue.

On Thursday, the SBCSAR team received a state-wide mutual aid request from Fresno County to help search for Harwood who was last seen Aug. 22, near Horsehead Lake, approximately 19 miles from the Wishon Reservoir Trailhead. 

The search area was located in high alpine terrain at elevations over 10,000 feet. Smoke from the Rough Fire, located about 10 miles to the south, was heavy throughout the search area, hampering search efforts and the use of helicopters for search and deployment of over 50 ground search personnel.

The SBCSAR team, a Type I Mountain Rescue team, was assigned four separate search areas that covered approximate 4 square miles located about 1 mile west of Harwood’s last known position.

The team arrived in the field Friday and immediately began a search through technical boulder fields below local steep alpine slopes in their assigned search areas. They set up camp in the area Friday night and continued their search early the next morning. 

At approximately 8:30 a.m., another team heard a whistle down in a ravine near a creek about ½ mile from where SBCSAR personnel were searching. After climbing down steep rocky ledges, a team from Marin County Search and Rescue found Harwood within the Fall Creek Drainage with two broken legs she suffered from a fall after she went for a solo hike nine days earlier. 

SBCSAR responded to the location and was on scene shortly after she was found. They assisted in her medical treatment and rescue which included packaging her in a stretcher, raising her up over a ledge out of the ravine, and then carrying her ¼ mile to a landing zone. 

Harwood was placed into a CHP helicopter and air lifted to a Fresno hospital where she is recovering from her ordeal.

Due to smoky condition, SBCSAR, along with about a dozen other search and rescue teams from throughout California, stayed an extra night and were picked up early Sunday morning by a California Air National Guard CH-47 Chinook helicopter.

Don Gordon, who has been on the SBCSAR team for four years, said it is an experience he will never forget recalling.

"It was very cold at night as was evident in the ice I found in my helmet when I woke up Saturday morning, so to find her alive after all these days was incredible," he said. 

Due to the remoteness of the area and the dense smoke from the Rough Fire, many searchers had to hike in for a day-and-a-half just to get to the search area. When the smoke cleared enough, a Blackhawk helicopter, a Chinook Helicopter and drones were used. 

Search managers felt Harwood was at the end of the time period they thought one could survive. 

However, Harwood was in excellent physical condition and mentally tough as a result of her triathlete training, so searchers were hopeful she could be found alive. After breaking her legs, she crawled two days to reach a small creek with water. 

While she went without food for nine days, she fortunately took a water filter pump with her. 

After filling up a water bottle, she then crawled back up the bank to an area with a layer of pine needles from overhanging trees to provide some insulation from the ground during the nights. Each morning she would crawl back down to the creek to filter water into her bottle before returning to her makeshift bed to await help. 

Several times during the days she was lying on her bed of pine needles, helicopters flew right above her but due to the trees they could not see her. 

Saturday morning she heard voices up on the ridge and, using a whistle she had with her, alerted them to her location. 

Searchers found her conscious and alert, saying how grateful that she was found.

Craig Scott, who has been with SBCSAR for six years said, “We train hundreds of hours each year for these types of search and rescue missions. To help in her rescue after all these days was an amazing experience that just reinforces why we do this work. To have dozen of volunteers throughout the state give up their personal time to participate in this search is pretty incredible.”

SBCSAR is an all-volunteer mountain search and rescue team under the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. As part of the statewide mutual aid system, SBCSAR is frequently requested to assist other counties for lost individuals in wilderness areas.

The SBCSAR team is currently in the process of recruiting new members. If you are interested in learning more how you can participate in this elite volunteer organization to share in these type of experiences and give back to the community, the SBSCAR team is holding a recruitment meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday at the SBCSAR Station located at 66 South San Antonio Rd. in Santa Barbara.  

Also for more information, go to the team’s website at or visit its Facebook page under Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue.

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


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ICE Sweep Nets 20 Arrests in Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 08/31/2015


Officers with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement arrested 20 foreign nationals in Santa Barbara County last week as part of a multi-county sweep of “criminals and individuals who pose a threat to public safety.”

Three others were taken into custody in San Luis Obispo County.

In all, 240 people were arrested in the week-long enforcement action, which encompassed six South California counties — Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, Riverside, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo — according to a statement released Monday by ICE.

“The majority (56 percent) had criminal records that included felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges and drug violations,” according to the statement. “The remaining arrestees had past convictions for significant or multiple misdemeanors.”

Four of those arrested had previously been deported after serving time for criminal offenses, ICE said, and are being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for felony re-entry after removal from the U.S.

Those detained who are not being criminally prosecuted will be processed administratively for deportation.

Other who already are subject to deportation orders, or who returned to the United States illegally after being deported, are subject to immediate removal from the country, ICE said.

The remainder are in ICE custody awaiting a hearing before an immigration judge, or pending travel arrangements for removal in the near future.

Most of those arrested — 191 — were from Mexico, but a total of 21 countries are represented in the total.

“This operation exemplifies ICE’s ongoing commitment to prioritizing convicted criminals and public safety threats for apprehension and removal,” said David Jennings, field office director for enforcement and removal operations in Los Angeles. “By taking these individuals off our streets and removing them from the country, we are making our communities safer for everyone.”

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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7 Healthy Habits for Children Year-Round

By | Published on 08/31/2015


As thousands of students across the South and Central Coast head back to school, parents have an opportunity to get a fresh start on creating healthy habits and routines to help their children succeed in the school year.

While most parents place high priority on their child’s health, 76 percent of parents were unaware of the recommended standards for healthy eating and physical activity for children, according to the YMCA’s Family Health Snapshot survey conducted in March in partnership with the American Academy of Pediatrics Institute for Healthy Childhood Weight.

“Not being informed of how to best support a child’s health can lead to poor behavior patterns during the school year,” said Sal Cisneros, president and CEO of the Channel Islands YMCA. “With better knowledge, parents can make a positive difference in their child’s health and motivation.”

This summer, the Channel Islands YMCA sought to overcome gaps in learning and health through its “Hop the Gap” program that aimed to help kids reach their full potential.

More than 2,000 local youth participated in the program, which focused on five key areas: nutrition, health, learning, water safety and safe spaces.  

While healthy habits and learning retention are at higher risk during the summer months, lessons learned from the program provide valuable knowledge for creating good habits the rest of the year.

Here are seven key ways parents can help their kids succeed year-round:

Nourish Development Through Proper Nutrition

1. Ensure meals are well-balanced.

Less than 50 percent of kids eat the recommended amount of vegetables. Half of your child’s plate at each meal should consist of fruits and vegetables, and they should be served at every meal and snack. 

Allow children to serve themselves (family-style) to limit portions.

Remove partially hydrogenated oils (trans fat), fried or pre-fried foods from kids diets, and serve whole grains when grains are served.

Serve foods with less than 8 grams of added sugars and foods free of sugar as one of the first three ingredients on the list.

2. Limit sugar-sweetened beverages.

About a quarter of kids average one or more sweetened beverages daily or nearly daily, the Family Health Snapshot survey found.

Offer water at the table during every meal and have it accessible at all times. Serve only water and plain, low-fat (one percent) or non-fat milk.

Model an Active Lifestyle

3. Limit screen time.

Sixty-four percent of parents admit that their kids spend three or more hours a day online or watching TV in the summer.

While being at school helps reduce this, screen time can be a big distraction during the school year inhibiting schoolwork completion and exercise time.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends you limit screen time to one to two hours per day.

4. Encourage your child to be active.

Children should get at least 60 minutes of exercise each day. Though many schools have gym class, it’s important to reinforce this at home.

Go on a walk or bike ride after school. Play games outdoors after dinner.

The YMCA offers sports clubs and youth activities and programs to help your child stay fit and healthy.

Close the Achievement Gap

5. Support holistic development.

By fifth grade, children in low-income households are two to three school years behind in reading compared to kids in middle-income households.

Through holistic programs that support academic, physical and social-emotional development, the Y helps students realize who they are and all they can achieve.

Seek a quality, licensed after school program. A 54 percent improvement in social-emotional skills was seen in students who participated in the Y’s Afterschool Child Care.

This state-licensed program is designed with the working parent in mind. Like all Y programs, child care is open to all, with financial assistance available.

Keep Kids Safe

6. Promote water safety.

Drowning is the second leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1–14.

While pools, ponds, oceans, rivers and lakes tend to be a central part of summer activities, they can pose a threat year-round.

Seek a quality swim program staffed by expert instructors and certified lifeguards.

The Y offers recreational, competitive and specialty aquatics programs for all ages and abilities, including parent-child classes, water exercise and therapy, water safety and rescue and water sports.

7. Provide safe spaces.

Unsupervised youth are at high risk for juvenile crime, accidents, substance abuse, gang involvement, teen pregnancy and dropping out of school.

Make sure that children and teens have a space where they can be themselves, learn and make friends, surrounded by caring adults.

The Y offers afterschool enrichment programs as well as Teen Centers to provide a safe and fun place to study and socialize.

To learn more about the various programs mentioned above and how to enroll, visit to find your local branch offerings or call .805.569.1103.

— Hannah Rael is a publicist representing Channel Islands YMCA.


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Bill Cirone: Collaboration is the Stuff of Growth

By | Published on 08/31/2015


Nearly all our Santa Barbara County students have returned from summer break and are back in school. Not long after the school year begins, the time comes for parents to meet with teachers and discuss their children’s progress.

Parent-teacher conferences can be a very helpful means of communication, and they should be a two-way exchange of information about a child.

Parents always want to know how their child is doing, what their strengths and weaknesses are and how they can help, but teachers also want to know of any stresses in a child’s life that could affect classroom performance and, of course, any special needs that a child might have.

To increase the effectiveness of these conferences, parents should consider taking some preliminary steps.

First, take time before the conference to think about your child’s strengths, weaknesses, study habits and classmates.

Ask your child: What do you like about the classroom? What would you like to change? Do you understand the work? Do you feel you’re doing well?

There are also several questions a parent should consider asking the teacher during the conference:

» What are my child’s best and weakest subjects?

» How can I help him improve?

» Is my child working up to his ability? If not, why do you think so, and how can I help?

» Is my child’s schoolwork progressing as it should? If not, how can I help her catch up?

» If my child is ahead of other students, what will challenge or encourage her?

» How does my child get along with other students?

» Are there any special behavior or learning problems I need to know about?

» What kinds of tests will be given this year? What are the tests supposed to reveal?

» Is my child’s homework turned in on time, in completed form, and does it meet your expectations?

» How much time should be spent on homework each night?

Parents and teachers have much in common. Neither wants a child to fail. Neither wants a child to be caught between the pressures of differing standards at home and at school. Both know that learning goes on at school and at home.

“Planning is bringing the future into the present,” says best-selling author and Californian Alan Lakein, “so that you can do something about it now.”

I would encourage parents to plan that conference early. Together, parents and teachers can become a powerful force for positive change in the life of a child.

It’s worth taking a little time to make sure the initial conference is helpful and informative for all involved.

— Bill Cirone is Santa Barbara County’s superintendent of schools. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Domestic Violence Solutions Introduces Six New Board Members

By | Published on 08/31/2015


The Domestic Violence Solutions (DVS) board announced Aug. 26 that six new members will join its board of directors.  

Cynthia Garner, Virginia Benson Wigle, Jackie Hall, Diana Lambeth, J’Aimee Oxton and Dawn Sproul bring with them skills and knowledge that will contribute significantly to promoting community awareness and helping DVS provide shelter and safety to the thousands of Santa Barbara County victims of domestic violence.  

Founded in 1977, DVS for Santa Barbara County works to end the intergenerational cycle of domestic violence by providing prevention and intervention services and by challenging society’s attitudes, beliefs and behaviors to effect social change

“As the only full service domestic violence organization serving Santa Barbara County, we are committed to providing safe and confidential shelter, emotional support, personal advocacy and empowerment to battered women, men, teens and children” said Julie Capritto, board president.  “We also play a leadership role in educating the community and supporting the work of other women’s rights and social change organizations.”

“Our role is to provide the first (highly emotional) emergency step in an integrated community system that aims to restructure the lives of women, teens and children who are in desperate situations because of violence,” Capritto said.

Cynthia Garner

Cynthia Garner graduated from the University of Texas with a bachelor's in secondary education and a double major in history and psychology. She earned her master’s in curriculum leadership.  

Garner is involved with the Junior League, Girl Scouts, Parent Teacher Organizations, the Children’s Museum and Mercy hospital.

In 2010, Garner started her own non-profit called 5 to Live By, which raises money for women and children in need.

She has lived in California for 25 years with her husband Ted and her four grown children: Brittany, Liza, Katherine and Daniel.


Virginia Benson Wigle

Virginia Benson Wigle has played integral roles in the local non-profit sector for over 25 years.

She worked for the Rape Crisis Center and volunteered at the Shelter Services for Women, the Santa Barbara and Ventura Public Health HIV/AIDS Taskforce, Central Coast Coalition for Responsible Parenting and the Teen Task Force.

Wigle served on the board of the Carpinteria Lou Grant Parent/Child Workshop and the Carpinteria Education Foundation.

She graduated UC Santa Barbara with a bachelor's degree in history and art history and resides in Santa Barbara.

Jackie Hall

Jackie Hall is originally from Silicon Valley, and graduated from UCSB with a bachelor's degree in law and society and a minor in global peace and security. She earned her Juris Doctor, Magna Cum Laude, from Santa Clara University School of Law.  

She served as the pro bono coordinator at the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara County.

In addition to serving on the Domestic Violence Solutions board, Hall served on the board and is currently co-chair of the New Member Committee for the Junior League of Santa Barbara, and she served as past board member of the Santa Barbara Barristers. 

Hall lives in Santa Barbara with her husband Jeff, daughter Abigail, and they expect the addition of a son to their family this fall. 

J'aimee Oxton

J'Aimee Oxton is a Santa Barbara native and Bishop Diego Alumni. She attended UC San Diego and earned her bachelor’s in sociology with a minor in law and society.  

Her law practice helps individuals with legal matters related to criminal defense, family law, juvenile delinquency, juvenile dependency, divorce/legal separation/nullity of marriage adoptions, child custody, visitation, child support, domestic violence, parental child abduction and pre and post-marital agreements.

Oxton volunteered at Santa Barbara Rape Crisis Center and CASA. In addition to being a member of the board for Domestic Violence Solutions, J'Aimèe is also a member of the League of Women Voters, the Santa Barbara County Bar Association and the Santa Barbara Barristers.  

She is a devoted single-mother to her daughter, Ashlyn. 

Dawn Sproul

Dawn Sproul earned her bachelor's in communications from UCSB and has a background in both the private and public sectors.

She received recognition as the Pacific Coast Business Times’s “Top 40 under 40” and “Top 50 Women in Business.”

Sproul has volunteered with the United Way of Santa Barbara County, Unity Shoppe, American Heart Association, and she is a current board member for the Goleta Chamber of Commerce and served on the board of the Cox Cares Foundation.  

She currently serves as the Domestic Violence Solutions co-chair for the High “Esteem” Luncheon.  

In addition to her career in executive management and sales development, Sproul is the proud mother of two daughters, Kaylie and Riley.

Diana Lambeth

Diana Lambeth is a psychotherapist in private practice; she works with couples as well as individuals and families and is part of the adjunct faculty at Antioch University in Santa Barbara. 

Lambeth has been involved with Domestic Violence Solutions working as the clinical director for three years. 

She has spent her career working with families and children who have experienced some sort of trauma from teens in out-of-home placement to adolescent sex offenders to women and children at risk due to stressful, challenging life circumstances.

Lambeth lives in Santa Barbara with her husband, Lyndon, three children, Lauren, Geoffrey and Bailey and one grandchild, Zoe.

For more information or to make a donation, please contact Charles Anderson or visit

— Charles Anderson is the executive director of Domestic Violence Solutions.


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Laurie Jervis: The Story of Los Cinco Locos and Home Winemaking

By | Published on 08/31/2015


'The Five Crazy Guys have created a tradition and lots of good wine

This story begins in the late 1990s, when Montecito residents Richard “Dick” Shaikewitz and Lou Weider happened to meet and discovered each had a passion for wine.

Weider, it turns out, had an investment in Rancho Tierra Rejada, a vineyard in Paso Robles.

In the tried-and-true manner by which friends on a mission connect with others on a like path, the two soon joined forces with John Van Atta, a biophysicist with a strong background in chemistry; Dr. George Primbs, an opthamologist and eye surgeon; and Howard Scar, who was renovating a small stable on his Montecito property.

All were fond of good wine and willing to try their hands at making their own.

“We were each in for a fifth” of the costs and the total production, Shaikewitz recalled.

As it turns out, converting an old stable into a small winery is quite easy, and the original Los Cinco Locos found a place to call home: Montecito, where several of the founders lived.

In 1999, the five secured enough grapes from Rancho Tierra Rejada to make their first vintage of red wine.

The late Chris Whitcraft , founder of Whitcraft Wines, sold the group three used barrels, Shaikewitz said, and other local winemakers helped Los Cinco Locos get on its feet.

“Bruce McGuire of Santa Barbara Winery, Craig Jaffurs and David Yates of Jaffurs Wines and John and Helene Falcone (Falcone Wines) are among the many people who have been very nice to us, letting us buy into their orders of (bottle) glass, and corks,” he noted.

Like the region’s winemakers, most of whose production numbers dwarf Los Cinco Locos, the team keeps meticulous, hand-written notes on every vintage, from pick date to barreling and beyond.

Team members share punch-down duties and keep barrels and carboys topped off to prevent oxidation. They keep notes about each vintage in a lab book, comparing details about the entire winemaking process, from harvest to barreling.

Because “Los Cinco Locos” is not a commercial winery, the wines cannot be sold. Instead, the members each keep several cases for their personal use, share bottles with friends, and donate the rest to various nonprofits for use in silent and live auctions, Shaikewitz said.

Among the organizations that have benefited from Los Cinco Locos’ generosity with wine are the Sansum Diabetes Center, the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, Catholic Charities, Stow House, the Music Academy of the West and See International, he noted.

In addition to raising funds, the wines have garnered their winemakers many awards in competitions at both the local and state level, including the Hidden Gems event that took place in Santa Ynez for many years and benefitted Solvang-based People Helping People.

In the years since their initial vintage, the members have added other vineyards’ grapes to their lineup, among them Kick On Ranch and Lucas & Lellewen Vineyards, both in Los Alamos.

The men purchased by the pound, not the ton, with the goal to produce only a handful of barrels of varietals ranging from pinot noir to cabernet sauvignon, merlot and syrah, sangiovese, petit verdot and cabernet franc.

With the exception of pinot noir, each of those red grape varietals play well with others, and blending grape lots has been a goal of “Los Cinco” since day one.

What began with five participants has since morphed into a larger team, with plenty of seasonal help from members’ spouses, children and friends.

The newer members include John Holmes, Jace Yoder, Bill Burke, John Weninger, Larry Weidl and Al Ballabio, and for a while, Charles “Chip” Eckert, Shaikewitz said.

Los Cinco Locos are gearing up for their 16th vintage with the harvest, now under way throughout the Central Coast, and this month bottled prior vintages to free up barrels for the coming grape vintage.

“We always have lots of help from friends when we bottle,” Shaikewitz told me when I met the crew in mid-July. “Bottling turns into two or three days of eating and drinking. It’s very social.”

Many years back, Los Cinco relocated operations to a garage adjacent to Primbs’ Eastside Santa Barbara home. It’s cool enough to function as a working winery, and is complete with a countertop lab, wine in stacked barrels and carboys, and cases and cases of bottled wines.

The group is up to an annual case production of approximately 300 cases.

At Primbs’ home, there’s also plenty of space for various “locos” to convene over red wine and snacks and poke fun at each other — a skill most have had years to perfect.

“You have to have a thick skin to be part of this group,” one member said with a laugh.

Shaikewitz pulled me a barrel sample of Los Cinco’s 2014 syrah. While it’s still quite young and needs much more barrel aging, it definitely holds potential for a moderately fruit-forward bold red.

Already in bottle and cheerfully shared with friends, family and reporters are the 2012 and 2013 Los Cinco Loco merlot, syrah, pinot noir and red blend (cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and merlot), as well as a zinfandel.

The red blend earned the group blue ribbons at Hidden Gems for a couple of years running, Shaikewitz said. It’s a lovely and balanced wine, I discovered.

Los Cinco Locos epitomizes the spirit of winemaking: Hard work, education, fun, food and friends.

— Laurie Jervis blogs about wine at, tweets at @lauriejervis and can be reached via [email protected]. The opinions expressed are her own.


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On Women’s Equality Day, Helene Schneider Rolls Out Expansive Equality Plan

By | Published on 08/31/2015


Continuing to drive the policy discussion in the race for California’s 24th Congressional District seat, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider unveiled Aug. 26 her wide-ranging position paper on the need to protect and expand women’s rights and equality. 

Upon releasing the position paper, titled, "Helene Schneider’s Plan for Full Equality for Women," Mayor Schneider remarked: “Instead of moving our nation forward and towards a more just and equal society for all Americans, particularly when it comes to women — this Congress continues to turn back the clock on our rights."

“Like so many Central Coast residents, I’m fed up with Washington’s lack of action on the issues we care most about — especially as it relates to advancing equality issues," she said. "For far too long, Congress’s relentless partisan bickering and the 'politics as usual,’ where the establishment makes the rules and the status quo is the name of the game, has stood in the way of real progress," she said.

Schneider points to politics as the chief barrier to progressing women's rights and sees herself as a solution to Washington's rigmarole.

“And rather than allowing the Washington power brokers to dictate decisions for local voters by picking candidates who will put politics in front of getting things done — it’s finally time for something different. It’s time for a transformation of our politics. It’s time to put an end to the old ways of doing things and to embrace a new approach," she said. "The issues women are confronting are real and affect millions of us in America every single day. That’s why I’m running for Congress, because it’s vital that we make our government work again."

In addition to championing women, Schneider aims to represent typical Americans, who make up the majority of the population.

“We need a new role for government that recognizes change comes from the bottom up and not the top down, where the priorities of average Americans are more powerful than the billionaire and political class or their financial contributions," Schneider said. "I've heard from Central Coast voters and they tell me that Washington, D.C. is dysfunctional and that it's time for something new" 

“That's why we are building a voter-led, voter-energized and voter-powered campaign to take back Washington and make it work again for women, middle class families and average hard working Americans," she said.

Schneider remains hopeful for political change and results for all citizens. 

“Once we accomplish this, there is no limit to the problems we can solve and the issues we can tackle on behalf of all Americans.”

— Dave Jacobson is a publicist representing Helene Schneider.


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CenCal Health Partners with Care to Care to Manage Advanced Imaging Services

By | Published on 08/31/2015


CenCal Health, which provides service to low-income residents of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, announced a multi-year agreement today that establishes Care to Care as their exclusive provider of radiology benefit management (RBM) services.  

This agreement was based on the principle of providing the right test at the right time, with a focus on patient safety through the use of proprietary evidence-based criteria. 

Working closely with CenCal Health’s providers and hospitals, Care to Care will both assist in promoting the safe use of advanced imaging and provide an objective basis for informed evidence-based clinical decisions.

“Care to Care seeks to collaborate with CenCal Health providers to promote the most effective use of advanced imaging studies through informed clinical decision-making that results in better patient outcomes," said Julian ​Safir, MD, Care to Care’s Chief Medical Officer. "We feel strongly about raising awareness of radiation safety.” 

Care to Care will partner with CenCal Health to manage outpatient advanced imaging for its members including; magnetic resonance (MR), computed tomography (CT), positron emission tomography (PET) and nuclear cardiology (NUC). 

“CenCal Health is excited to move the radiology benefit program forward with Care to Care as its new partner," said Mark Maddox, Chief Medical Officer. "Flexibility, quality, and service to our population were critical in the decision to use Care to Care.” 

Together, Care to Care and CenCal Health are focused on promoting a culture of increasingly thoughtful and judicious use of medical imaging.

— Hannah Rael is a publicist representing CenCal Health.


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Remodeling Magazine Designates Allen Construction as 11th Largest Remodeler in the Country

By | Published on 08/31/2015


Remodeling Magazine has designated Allen Construction as the 11th largest full-service remodeler in the country in the its "2015 Remodeling 550" report. 

The report was generated based on participating companies’ 2014 remodeling revenues. (Allen Construction income also includes revenue from constructing new homes, commercial projects and energy services.) 

Allen Construction was also included in Remodeling’s Big 50, a special designation for companies that have achieved operational and financial excellence.

The Remodeling 550 covers 4 groups: 325 full-service companies, 150 replacement contractors, 20 insurance restoration firms and 55 franchises.

The report also shares good news about the health of the remodeling industry. According to the report, America's biggest full-service remodelers saw their revenues grow 14 percent last year and are looking for another 13 percent climb in 2015. 

There is even more good news about the health of the building industry as a whole; according to a recent report from the U.S. Commerce Department, U.S. home construction picked up in July at a rate of 0.2 percent, higher than previously estimated and the most since October 2007. 

The gain was led by single-family homes, the mainstay of the market.

Allen Construction has received four other major national and regional accolades this quarter. On July 15, Allen Construction’s President, Bryan Henson, was named to Professional Remodeler Magazine’s annual 40 under 40 list.

On Aug. 14, Allen Energy’s Division Manager Shawn Jacobson was named to Pacific Coast Business Times’s annual "Who’s Who in Clean Tech and Sustainability" list.

Allen was also graced with two Professional Remodeler Design Awards for their residential and commercial work during July. Their work was evaluated in 23 categories based on quality, design, problem solving and creativity.

— Karen Feeney is the community relations and PR manager for Allen Construction.


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Salty Girl Seafood Startup Finds Footing in Santa Barbara Retail Market

By | Published on 08/30/2015


Co-founders and UCSB alums Norah Eddy and Laura Johnson keep focus on sustainable, traceable seafood but expand offerings with marinated, ready-to-cook fish

“Where can I get Salty Girl Seafood?”

That was a question startup co-founders Norah Eddy and Laura Johnson kept getting, although neither knew how to answer it.

The pair established Salty Girl Seafood in 2014 after gaining recognition through UC Santa Barbara’s Technology Management Program New Venture Competition, where the finalists raked in more than $40,000 in awards for their business idea.

They envisioned Salty Girl Seafood as a seafood company developing sustainable, traceable sea-found fare, and the software to source products directly from fishermen to chefs in restaurants.

So, technically, no one outside the realm of 30 participating fishermen and 100 restaurant chefs from as far away as New York could get Salty Girl Seafood — until now.

A pre-packaged, ready-to-cook Salty Girl Seafood product line went into select local grocery stores this summer, including Gladden & Sons Produce in Goleta, Isabella Gourmet Foods in Santa Barbara and Solvang’s New Frontiers Natural Marketplace.

Everything comes marinated and seasoned, so customers can buy fish (mostly caught on the Central Coast) and not fret about how to cook it or where it came from.

Within weeks, the retail side eclipsed restaurant sales.

“We let the ‘why’ direct the operation,” Eddy told Noozhawk. “We’ve been very lucky. The community has been great. They wanted to be a part of it. We’re always testing things.”

Keeping to its original mission, each lemon pepper and garlic salmon, sweet and smoky teriyaki black cod, and garlic chili-rub rockfish includes a traceable code on its single-serving packaging.

That code can be entered into the website of the company, which is also in discussions to enter the meal-kit delivery market and major grocery chains.

Retail goals put a pause on the restaurant portion of the company’s online marketplace until its co-founders — both 27 and recent graduates of UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management master’s program — can get a better sense of what customers want most.

Eddy and Johnson both grew up on the water, where they gained an appreciation for fishermen and the responsibility they have to consumers.

They remark how odd it is that Eddy, who hails from a small New England fishing town, and Johnson, a Chicago native, never met before Bren School orientation. They figured out both had participated in the same program years ago as research scientists aboard commercial fishing boats in Alaska.

Salty Girl Seafood has assembled a core team of five employees, including TMP Entrepreneur-in Residence Craig Cummings as CEO and two fellow UCSB grads.

Eddy concentrates more on the sales side, while Johnson acts as COO.

They don’t get a ton of sleep working in coffee shops or in the kitchen preparing fish, but they hope to have an office space soon and will keep experimenting with their product.

“We have a lot of goals,” Eddy said. “How do we establish our model to know that we’re continuing in an overarching way?”

Salty Girl Seafood also has an educational arm waiting to be tapped, possibly by partnering with others in the future.

“The goal of our company is not just to be a seafood company,” Johnson said. “Large-scale change also comes from collaboration.”

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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Spay Mobile Takes Pet Surgeries to Fertile Sources of ‘Loose’ Dogs and Cats

By | Published on 08/30/2015


C.A.R.E.4Paws vehicle provides vital veterinary services in neighborhoods where pet owners often can’t afford them or have limited transportation options

After just a few hours parked outside a house on Santa Barbara’s Lower Eastside, an animal-care organization was able to offer free services to a pet owner that could keep hundreds of dogs out of local shelters.

Earlier this month, the nonprofit C.A.R.E.4Paws, which provides spay and neuter services for pets whose owners can not afford them, drove its “Spay Mobile” to an East Cacique Street residence that is home to 11 dogs, eight of them puppies.

The vehicle is sort of a surgical unit and veterinarian office on wheels. Over the course of several hours, a team of vets was able to alter nine of the dogs, including all of the puppies and Simba, their pit bull father.

The Boxer mother of the puppies was set up to spayed at a local veterinarian’s office, and the family’s Chihuahua/Corgi mix was too old to be altered.

All of the dogs were vaccinated and microchipped, as well, and the services were performed before the puppies were found new homes.

Because the average female dog can have around 100 puppies in her lifetime, Santa Barbara Animal Control Officer Stephanie Burgard estimates that — potentially — more than 300 unwanted pit bull mixes were prevented from entering the shelter system as a result of the day’s work.

Two weeks earlier, Burgard had gone out to the house, which has received multiple animal control visits over complaints about dog bites, barking and sanitation.

She discovered more dogs than she expected after talking with the owner, who told her that two of her dogs had just had eight puppies between them, in addition to the three dogs that were already living on the property.

“They were super cute and rambunctious, but there were eight of them,” Burgard recalled.

None of the dogs had been altered, licensed or vaccinated.

Burgard was able to explain to the owner that pets that aren’t fixed contribute to full animal shelters, and that there is a large number of pit bulls and pit bull mixes already in the shelter system.

Getting pets altered is technically up to the owner’s discretion, but state and local laws require that dogs be licensed, and licenses cost more for unaltered pets. A note from a veterinarian is also required.

A citation for an unlicensed dog can cost as much as $170, and the cost of the surgery usually runs about $200, Burgard said.

Because the owners were unable to perform the services, Burgard reached out to Isabelle Abitia, executive director of C.A.R.E.4Paws.

“We’re able to help alter about 1,000 cats and dogs each year,” Abitia told Noozhawk, adding that the organization is on target to reach out to even more pet owners this year.

C.A.R.E.4Paws has bilingual workers who help educate pet owners on how spaying and neutering pets can prevent shelter overcrowding, which has been a longstanding problem in Santa Barbara County.

In addition to the Cacique stop earlier this month, C.A.R.E.4Paws has been able to target high-need areas across the county, including major efforts in Guadalupe, Lompoc and New Cuyama.

The Spay Mobile got its start in 2013, and the vehicle allows the organization to bring services directly into neighborhoods — since many clients don’t have transportation. Abitia said New Cuyama, for example, doesn’t have a no- or low-cost veterinarian clinic closer than a 90-minute drive away.

When the C.A.R.E.4Paws team was last in New Cuyama, she said, they were able to alter 38 dogs and cats in one day.

“We can bring it straight into the neighborhoods,” she exclaimed.

In Lompoc, where the group sets up almost every Friday, she said C.A.R.E.4Paws volunteers have seen shelter intake neighbors decline.

They’ve also altered 1,500 dogs and cats there over the last five years, she added.

C.A.R.E.4Paws also works with a dozen veterinary clinics to provide free services.

Burgard said that while the surgeries were being performed at the Cacique Street location, many neighbors came out asking if the vaccinations and surgeries could be made available to their dogs, too.

C.A.R.E.4Paws will be back in the Eastside neighborhood on Sept. 11. Those who cannot afford the procedures can email [email protected], or call 805.968.2273 for an appointment to bring their pets by that day.

On Sept. 11 at Girsh Park, C.A.R.E.4Paws will be holding its Wags n’ Whiskers benefit, the largest animal adoption festival on the Central Coast.

Burgard said she feels the case highlights some of the positive work that animal control is able to accomplish in the community.

“We really aren’t bad guys,” she said. “We do care about animals, and we do try to make a difference.”

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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Vegetation Fire Breaks Out on Jalama Road Near Lompoc

By | Published on 08/30/2015


Firefighters responded late Sunday to a vegetation fire on Jalama Road south of Lompoc.

Crews were called out at about 10 p.m. to the blaze, which was reported in the 4000 block of Jalama Road, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Department dispatchers.

There were reports that at least one structure was threatened in the area, but that could not immediately be confirmed.

Initial units on the scene indicated they could handle the fire, and other incoming firefighters were canceled.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

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


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Santa Barbara School District May Allow Alcoholic Beverages for On-Campus, Non-Student Events

By | Published on 08/30/2015


A new state law allows the use or sale of alcohol on public school campuses when students aren’t present, so Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Dave Cash polled the Board of Trustees on whether to tweak district policy.

From the five members, prevailing opinion seemed to be ... “maybe.”

As of now, no alcohol is allowed on SBUSD school properties, regardless of whether students are around.

AB 2073, introduced by Assemblyman Frank Bigelow, R-O’Neals, and signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2014, permits school districts to use facilities for events involving the acquisition, possession, use or consumption of alcohol when a gathering has a special-events permit (and when students aren’t there).

School board member Kate Parker asked district staff to add an informational item on the topic for discussion at Tuesday’s meeting, but no action was taken.

Instead, the trustees gave Cash direction. All of them expressed at least the tiniest bit of interest in allowing alcohol on sites for fundraisers thrown by nonprofit organizations that regularly donate to local schools, such as the Santa Barbara Education Foundation.

Where exactly alcohol would be allowed — only high schools, just elementary schools or locations kids never go — wasn’t fleshed out.

Board members asked Cash to gauge interest in the nonprofit community, possibly offering a very limited option for which event organizers would need to obtain a permit from the district and adhere to strict time or security conditions.

“These are things we need to think about,” Parker said, adding that the practice could be OK “in a super-restricted way, maybe on a site that doesn’t normally have students.”

She mentioned the district’s Tatum property, a 23-acre undeveloped parcel with a bicycle and pedestrian path near San Marcos High School.

School board vice president Pedro Paz agreed with Parker, saying it might be best to keep alcohol out of high schools, where students are encouraged not to drink and drive or where they could find empty containers in trash cans. It also could result in an additional cleaning responsibility if facility-use agreements change.

Board president Ed Heron felt the opposite, adamantly opposing any alcohol on elementary school sites.

“That’s not the environment I want to see on our campuses,” he said.

Board member Monique Limón called the option “creative.” She suggested leaving current policy as is while allowing limited exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

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


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Judy Foreman: Montecito Mobilizes to Support 3 Young Men on a Mission for Zimbabwe

By | Published on 08/30/2015


Teri and Ken Lebow inspired to host Keegan Cooke, Daniel Hagemann and Taps Mugadza in fundraiser for St. Joseph’s Home for Boys

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

On a recent Saturday evening, Teri and Ken Lebow opened their Montecito house for an unusual art event to benefit St. Joseph’s Home for Boys in Harare, Zimbabwe.

The distance between the Lebows’ historic San Leandro Lane home, once owned by the late Dame Judith Anderson, and impoverished Zimbabwe could not have been more vast. But the fundraiser was inspired by the couple’s relationship with Amy and Keegan Cooke, friends from Zimbabwe now living and working in the 93108.

In 2007, Keegan Cooke and two fellow countrymen — artist Daniel Hagemann and musician Tapiwa Mugadza, better known as “Taps” — relocated to the United States.

The three, who first met on the St. Joseph’s soccer field, share a desire to see Zimbabwe rise beyond its current state, and believe the best way it can happen is through its children and young people.

To help achieve that, they’ve partnered with the nonprofit Rock of Africa Mission, a Costa Mesa-based Christian relief organization working in sub-Saharan Africa, which includes Zimbabwe.

Mugadza was left on the steps of St. Joseph’s when he was just 2 days old. He spent his childhood yearning to do something big with his life through music.

Growing up in an orphanage gave him a perspective on life like no other, he told the more than 100 guests listening at rapt attention at the Lebows’.

When he was accepted to the Musicians Institute-College of Contemporary Music in Hollywood, Mugadza said, “I vowed to never forget where I came from.”

Hagemann grew up loving art, majored in graphic design at Laguna College of Art + Design in Laguna Beach, and sells his graphite drawings to pay the bills. At the gathering, he showed off many of his pieces, which reflect his love for his homeland; the art depicts elephants, zebras, lions and young Zimbabweans.

Keegan Cooke was accepted to Orange Coast College in Costa Mesa, and starred in track and field. After competing in his first decathlon and breaking the Zimbabwe national record in the event, he was offered a full track scholarship to the University of Arizona in Tucson.

After graduating from UofA in 2013, Keegan made the transition to the world of professional track and field. He is training with the Santa Barbara Track Club under the direction of U.S. national coach Josh Priester. He hopes to become the first Zimbabwean to compete in the decathlon at an Olympic level.

The young men have been holding annual fundraising events to help address the most pressing needs of the place that Mugadza used to call “home.” Funds from previous fundraisers have helped install toilets, repair broken windowpanes and provide real beds so children are no longer sleeping on the ground.

This year’s proceeds will be focused on purchasing a new industrial stove and a generator to smooth out the challenges of an unreliable electrical grid.

Those in attendance nibbled on hors d’oeuvres, enjoyed South African wine and had some photo ops with the guests of honor.

After a short presentation by Cooke and Hagemann explaining their interest in helping the “kids back home,” the audience was treated to a guitar performance by Mugadza.

On hand to support St. Joseph’s Home for Boys were many locals with ties to the African continent, as well as athletes and friends of the boyhood trio.

In addition to Hagemann’s artwork, fine artist Karen Bezuidenhout — who splits her time between South Africa and Santa Barbara — donated one of her paintings to help raise funds for the Harare orphanage.

Her paintings, described as rich with an earthy color palette, reflect Bezuidenhout’s sense of adventure, and are sold worldwide. They can be viewed and purchased locally at Upstairs at Pierre Lafond in Montecito’s Upper Village.

Click here for more information about Rock of Africa Mission, or call 949.610.6295.

— 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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Zugan Health Appoints Integrative Medicine Expert as Medical Director

By | Published on 08/30/2015


Zugan Health, a progressive urgent care clinic and wellness provider, has named Alex Torres, M.D., as medical director of its Santa Barbara-headquarted clinic.

Dr. Torres brings to the clinic more than 20 years of sports medicine experience along with more than 15 years practicing family, occupational urgent care and integrative medicine.

His diverse background enables him to address a wide range of patient needs, from common ailments like respiratory or gastrointestinal problems to physical activity-related injuries. 

In addition, he has experience with wellness-related treatments, including nutrition and hydration therapies.

He spent 20 years serving as the team physician for the national volleyball teams, including appointments at the Atlanta Olympic Games in 1996 and the 2008 World Volleyball Championship.

He is board certified in the following disciplines: integrative, holistic, functional regenerative, preventative, nutrition, anti-aging and sports medicine. 

“Dr. Torres is a tremendous resource for our patients, whether they come into the clinic for an injury, need a virtual consultation because they are sick or want to discuss preventative care and wellness treatments,” said Maggie Lacy, CEO and co-founder of Zugan Health. “He personifies the Zugan Health approach by progressively combining tenets of acute care and wellness care to address patient health holistically.”

As medical director, Dr. Torres will direct Zugan Health’s overall operations, which include treating patients in the clinic, at home or work through Zugan’s mobile care services unit and through scheduled “telehealth” video consultations.

He will also develop preventive health and wellness care services to complement and expand Zugan’s current offerings in hydration and nutrition therapy. 

“Consumers today expect more from their healthcare provider in terms of access to care as well as the quality of the experience and outcome,” said Lacy. “With Dr. Torres’s expertise, Zugan Health can continue our commitment to deliver better care that’s convenient and accessible. The clinic will be an ongoing resource to patients who want support in achieving higher levels of health and wellness.”

Prior to joining Zugan Health, Dr. Torres served the Center for New Medicine in Irvine, Calif., as an anti-aging, sports and integrative medicine physician as well as the Harden Urgent Care Clinic in Salinas, Calif., as an urgent care physician.

In 2013, he was a family and integrative medicine physician with Ryan Ranch Medical Group in Monterey, Calif. Prior to that, he served as medical director of Osceola Health and Wellness Center in Kissimmee, Fla., from 2010–2011. 

— Kathleen Porter is a publicist representing Zugan Health.


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Last Dog Days of Summer: Hike Safe with Your Pooch

By | Published on 08/30/2015


Santa Barbara is home to several hiking trails and offers some of the most breathtaking views in California.

Experiencing one of these hikes is a great way for you and your dog to get some exercise and to unwind; however, if not adequately prepared, hiking can be a dangerous activity.

Santa Barbara Humane Society is an expert in pet and large animal rescue and professional safety and rescue training through its Technical Rescue Training program, and it has collected a list of tips to ensure both you and your dog have a fun and safe hiking experience. 

» Bring a leash. Hiking on a trail with other dogs, wildlife and people can be very exciting and distracting for you and your dog. Your dog should have basic obedience and be able to walk on a loose leash.

» Don’t overdo it. Ease in to a fitness routine if your dog is a couch potato. Start with shorter hikes to stay in tune with your pup’s stamina.

» Pay special attention to your dog on hot days. Dogs can overheat very quickly because they do not sweat. Bring plenty of water and remember to give your dog a chance to cool down if they seem overheated. Temperatures can rise quickly as you hike up a trail due to the lack of shade and water. Dogs can only cool themselves off by panting, but if the air is hot and they are dehydrated, they can easily suffer from heat exhaustion.

» Apply sunscreen to both yourself and your dog. If your dog has white or light-colored fur, apply sunscreen on them to prevent sunburns. Human sunscreen can be toxic to pets, so ask your veterinarian to recommend a pet-safe sunscreen for your dog.

» Bring the necessities. Make sure to bring dog tags with your contact information, your dog’s current rabies license tag and bags to scoop up the poop. 

» Don’t wander off. Stay on the trail for your dog’s safety as well as your own. You don’t know what you might encounter in the vegetation or under rocks, so be aware of rattlesnakes, scorpions and foxtails.

» Protect your dog from fleas and ticks. Bring a tick removal tool with you on the hike (available at most pet stores) and be sure to use a safe topical medication once a month or as advised by your veterinarian. It can take up to 24 hours for the medication to fully absorb. For large dogs, you may want to put the medication on several places along his or her spine for faster absorption.

» Be polite to other fellow hikers on the trail. Pull your dog to the side when passing other hikers. Always let horses and cyclists pass you first.

» Be considerate of other dog owners. Always ask a dog owner first if your dog wants to meet an approaching dog. Not everyone will be ready to meet a strange dog; asking first and walking up slowly to the other dog usually allows for a friendly greeting.

Have fun!

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing Santa Barbara Humane Society.


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Randy Alcorn: Socialism Isn’t What Matters, What Matters Is That It Works

By | Published on 08/30/2015


Bernie Sanders, an independent U.S. senator who is running for president under the Democratic Party banner, is routinely referred to as a socialist — even by himself, although he clarifies that he is a “democratic socialist.”

For many Americans, the term “socialist” is associated with tyrannical governments, state-run economies and the general suppression of individual liberty — the primary historical example being the late Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

This negative connotation of the term is wielded by some as a verbal spear to impale anyone who proposes or supports any government action that would impede or interfere with a free market and the acquisition of unlimited personal wealth.

In today’s absolutist ideological thinking, capitalism is always the antagonistic antithesis of socialism. And, indeed, capitalism has been the superior approach to organizing an economy.

Attempts to organize economies around state-run collectivist models have been dismal disasters. The clear winner of the Cold War has been capitalism.​

Capitalism won because it complements rather than clashes with natural human tendencies of competition and greed. By sublimating these tendencies into individual enterprise and invention, capitalism has broadly raised living standards and spread prosperity among more people than any economic system ever has.

If left unattended, however, free-market capitalism eventually degenerates into abusive exploitation. Some prudent policing is necessary to keep the marketplace clear of piratical predators and entrenched monopolies.

Regulatory mechanisms that ensure equal opportunity for all players and prevent manipulations that concentrate wealth with the few are crucial for maintaining a democratic society and vibrant markets.

The essential economic mainstay of democracies — and of free-market capitalism — has been a strong, expanding, middle class. Marxists clearly understood this and saw “the bourgeoisie” as a formidable obstacle to establishing their communist paradise.

The threat to America and free-market capitalism, is not socialism, it is unmitigated greed.

The “trickle-down” brand of capitalism sold to the nation 30 years ago by President Ronald Reagan’s band of Randian economists has resulted in the steady demise of the American middle class and a growing national debt abetted by reckless tax cuts. Not to mention the transmogrification of health care, higher education, charity, government service, and just about every sector of the economy into voracious profit centers for the grasping economic elite.

Corporations and the 13,400 American families who own most of them have effectively captured government and declawed the regulators.

Notice that virtually no Wall Street banker was prosecuted for the massive fraud that resulted in the Great Recession. Although independent journalists found more than 100 insider whistle-blowers who fingered bank executives, federal prosecutor Lanny Breuer claimed he could not find enough evidence to indict any of them.

Breuer later resigned his federal post to become vice chairman of a law firm that represents many of the banks he had so feebly investigated as federal prosecutor.

A continuing cascade of data reveals that the greed of the few is undermining the general welfare of the nation.

For example, nearly all the wealth generated in the United States since the Reagan years of the 1980s has gone to the tiny tip of the economic pyramid. In that time the economic elite have increased their annual incomes several fold, while the annual income of the average American has virtually stagnated.

Is this happening because Americans are not working hard enough? No.

U.S. productivity has increased significantly since the Reagan years. The problem is that the forces of greed have uncoupled compensation from productivity and have compressed American wages to the lowest level among the world’s advanced economies.

In fact, America’s wage profile looks more like that of a developing nation than that of an advanced one.

Reagan’s voodoo economics promised prosperity for the many, but mostly enriched the few. A key element of voodoo economics is lowering tax rates on wealthy individuals and corporations.

But for the forces of greed, that isn’t enough. By working the tax code and exploiting offshore tax havens they have driven their effective tax rates even lower — well below the nominal rates, even into the single digits.

Those who howl that efforts to remediate economic imbalances are class warfare are right about the warfare part. But as Warren Buffet noted a few years back, “There has been class warfare going on now for the last 20 years and my class has won.”

Compared to the United States, Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy, with its high pay scales, ample benefits, and health care and college provided for all, is a socialist country. The same can be said of Australia, New Zealand and many northern European nations.

These nations have strong middle classes and vibrant economies with a more even distribution of wealth. They are not oppressive collectivist tyrannies. They are social democracies that practice a healthy form of capitalism.

The forces of greed attempt to discredit Sanders by calling him a “socialist.” But, listen to what he has to say and evaluate his proposals objectively.

Whether they are called “capitalist” or “socialist” doesn’t matter. What matters is what works to strengthen the nation and preserve capitalism for the benefit of everyone, not just the few.

— Randy Alcorn is a Santa Barbara political observer. Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.


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CenCal Health and Cottage Health Create New Program To Serve Vulnerable Populations

By | Published on 08/30/2015


CenCal Health, the health plan serving the Medi-Cal population in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, and Cottage Health have partnered to create a unique program to serve the area’s homeless and lower income populations.

The Access to Care for the Expansion Population (ACE) program is aimed at coordinating the many health care needs of those approximately 16,000 previously uninsured individuals that now have health coverage under the federal Affordable Care Act (ACA).

The rollout of this program is intended to identify, address and coordinate the medical and social needs of these individuals to successfully transition them into seeking appropriate care in the appropriate setting, as opposed to utilizing hospital emergency departments.
“CenCal Health now provides health insurance for one in four residents of Santa Barbara County" said Bob Freeman, CEO of CenCal Health. "Giving patients better access into our health care system is more important now than ever. Cottage Health was well suited to provide patient education and connect these patients into primary care clinics.”
“The ACE program reinforces the commitment of both organizations to maintain a healthy population,” said Ron Werft, president and CEO of Cottage Health. “Our community care management program has been successful in ensuring that high risk patients served by CenCal Health were able to connect to resources that enabled them to thrive in their home environment.” 
Cottage Health will help facilitate the following for CenCal Health patients who are part of the ACE Program:

» Arrange primary care provider follow-up after hospital discharges

» Improve and simplify medication management for patients after hospital stays

» Help patients avoid readmission to the hospital for the same or similar health events

» Connect patients to community resources that support health and well-being

» Enhance care coordination across the health delivery system through partnerships with skilled nursing facilities, physician clinics, home care agencies and other post-acute care agencies

» Improve patient health outcomes and reduce the risk of adverse events by arranging home visits, providing case management services and coordinating with primary care providers as needed

— Hannah Rael is a publicist representing CenCal Health.


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UCSB Grad Students Break Down Micro Bacterial Warfare

By | Published on 08/30/2015


It’s bacteria against bacteria, and one of them is going down.

Two UC Santa Barbara graduate students have demonstrated how certain microbes exploit proteins in nearby bacteria to deliver toxins and kill them.

The mechanisms behind this bacterial warfare, the researchers suggest, could be harnessed to target pathogenic bacteria. Their findings appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Lead authors Julia L.E. Willett and Grant C. Gucinski have detailed how gram-negative bacteria use contact-dependent growth inhibition (CDI) systems to infiltrate and deliver protein toxins into neighboring cells.

By studying the bacteria E. coli, they were able to document how CDI “translocation domains” can use multiple pathways to transfer those toxins into a cell. By understanding that mechanism, Willett said, it could be possible to use it as a model for pinpoint targeting of bacteria.

“The long-term, real-world potential is that if we know bacteria can deliver their own proteins into other cells, we might be able to use this as a delivery system for antibiotics and other therapeutics,” said Willett, a doctoral student in UCSB’s Department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology.

She and Gucinski conducted the work under the direction of faculty adviser and MCDB professor Chris Hayes. Hayes is the third author on the paper.

“If we know the detailed mechanisms of delivery, maybe we can target specific groups of bacteria,” Willett continued. “Instead of taking an antibiotic that targets all bacteria, we might be able to deliver one that could specifically target one group of bad bacteria that leaves the good bacteria in your gut alone.”

Gucinski, a graduate student researcher in UCSB’s Biomolecular Science and Engineering Program, began studying E. coli as an undergraduate. Although it has a reputation as a nasty pathogen, that group of bacteria is generic enough to make an ideal research subject.

“E. coli is the easiest system to work with and very representative of the majority of other bacteria,” Gucinski said. “The kind of CDI systems that we study are also found in a lot of different kinds of bacteria. This is the tip of the iceberg in our understanding of what we’ll find in other CDI systems in other bacteria.”

CDI were first described by David Low, professor of MCDB, in 2005. Low, a co-author of the current PNAS paper, reported how a bacterial cell would touch a neighboring cell — one that was competing for resources in the environment — and inject it with a toxin.

Willett and Gucinski’s research builds on Low’s work by identifying the multiple ways CDI toxins exploit target cells. The key was in understanding the genetics of those targeted bacteria.

“We know that the cells would have these CDI systems; we know the genetics that are required to make this toxin system, but we were interested in the genetics on the other side, the genetics that are required in the cell that’s being inhibited or the cell that’s receiving this toxin,” Willett explained. “What specifically in that cell is required for the toxin to go from outside the cell to inside the cell?”

Willett and Gucinski found that mutations in the target cells allowed CDI to exploit those cells and inject them with toxins.

“What these CDI systems have done is they’ve actually hijacked machinery that the cells already have,” Willett said. “And so cells when they’re growing need to take in nutrients, and the CDI systems hijack those pre-existing systems to deliver these toxins."

Looking ahead, Willett and Gucinski say potential therapeutic applications are tantalizing but years away.

“We’re still trying to understand the routes that we can get different CDI toxins into the cell,” Gucinski said. “One interesting direction would be what other cargo we can deliver with E. coli, how we can manipulate and control the system to target the pathogens.”

Given the rise of drug-resistant bacteria and a dearth of research into new antibiotics, Willett and Gucinski’s research has the potential to open a new front in the fight against pathogenic bacteria.

“We hear on the news that a lot of pathogens are becoming resistant or people can no longer take certain antibiotics,” Willett said. “And so this might be a new way to get around that. Instead of treating everything on a broad spectrum, if we could learn how a natural antibacterial system delivers things that kill other bacteria, we might be able to more learn how we can deliver things like specific proteins or specific antibiotics to kill other bacteria.”

Also contributing to the research was UCSB undergraduate Jackson P. Fatheree. The study was supported by a grant from the National Institutes of Health and a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship.

— Jim Logan for UC Santa Barbara.


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Cal/OSHA Issues Citation, Fines for Santa Barbara Police Station Workplace Violations

By | Published on 08/29/2015


East Figueroa Street building has been under investigation since February for mold, dust, lead paint residue and inadequate decontamination areas

Cal/OSHA issued a citation to the City of Santa Barbara for workplace violations found during its inspections of the police station, mainly related to “bad housekeeping,” documents show.

The Santa Barbara Police Department’s building at 215 E. Figueroa St. has been investigated since February, according to the state Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health.

The citation, with seven separate items totaling $7,875 in penalties, accuses the city of establishing but not implementing an effective Injury and Illness Prevention program for employees.

In the police station, there is “bad housekeeping throughout the facility, such as mold on walls, dirty locker rooms, construction dust and debris in work areas, the deterioration of lead paint on the wall of the fitness room, and stained ceiling tiles in Murphy’s Room, as well as the lack of controls in relation to dust and construction material being released by renovation activities.”

Work areas were not kept clean from mold, construction dust, or a black dust that built up in the men’s locker room, according to the citation signed by Andreea Minea, Cal/OSHA district manager and compliance officer.

The building’s two eyewash stations hadn’t been activated monthly to verify they operated properly, and the designated decontamination area didn’t have the materials to use in case of exposure to human blood or body fluids — which include hot water, germicides, antibacterial soup and bleach solution — according to Cal/OSHA’s investigation.

Additional items pointed out violations for not keeping surfaces as “free as practicable” of accumulations of lead, as found from wipe samples taken in the shooting range.

Pieces of ceiling material found on the fitness room floor were tested and determined to have asbestos-containing materials, the citation states.

All the violations must be abated by Sept. 30 and penalties paid — unless the findings are appealed — within 15 days, according to the Cal/OSHA documents.

The citation was delivered to the city Friday, which was a no-work day for the city, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood, an SBPD spokesman.

Municipal officials, including City Administrator Paul Casey and Police Chief Cam Sanchez, plan to discuss the citation Monday, Harwood said.

“The Police Department takes these concerns identified by OSHA very seriously,” Harwood said.

Members of the Santa Barbara Police Officers’ Association have long had concerns about asbestos in the building and lead exposure in the building’s shooting range.

Sgt. Mike McGrew, president of the POA, said employees pushed for testing and noticed pieces of the ceiling falling onto desks during renovations to replace the HVAC system.

He also pushed for a decontamination area; He was one of five officers who was treated after being exposed to a violent subject’s blood after the man slammed his hand through a window and then resisted officers.

McGrew said the suspect’s blood made contact with an open wound on his body, and McGrew and the other officers had to be tested for HIV and hepatitis C.

Officers didn’t have anywhere to clean up after the incident, he has told Noozhawk.

After news of the Cal/OSHA investigation came out, the city released a statement saying employee safety is a top priority.

“The police station is an old building, but the city has been assured on multiple occasions by environmental health professionals that the police station is a safe work environment for its employees,” the statement said.

“Nevertheless, management continues to take all employee concerns seriously, and will respond in any way we can to alleviate these concerns.”

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


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Select UCSB Freshmen Check Out Campus Early, Get Head Start on College

By | Published on 08/29/2015


Ahead of fall's first day of classes, 400 teens get a chance to gain academic credits and get to know the campus

An incoming freshman at UC Santa Barbara emerged from a dark campus lecture hall last week, trying to get his bearings as the bright sun and heat enveloped him.

Once his eyes adjusted, he smiled, waved and said “hello” as he walked past Jane Faulkner, the university’s student success librarian.

UCSB’s fall 2015 quarter doesn’t begin until Sept. 24, but already this student — along with about 400 others — was getting to know the lay of the land.

He was also earning college credit through the university’s Freshman Summer Start Program, which allows incoming students to jump-start college careers by earning seven to 13 college credits in the six-week summer session before fall.

“It’s a big deal to have six weeks,” said Faulkner, who teaches a seminar during the program to acclimate students to the library — a place she says will undoubtedly be a big part of their college careers.

“They come in and they think they know everything (about academic research),” she said, adding that the breadth and pace of college coursework soon humbles them.

Now into the fourth week, more than 100 students listened Wednesday to a lecture on Greek mythology (in that same dim, theater-like classroom).

Many took notes on laptops or in notebooks, but a large number seemed unsure about what information was important.

The program gives first-timers the choice of 90 courses, seminars and workshops, with most students this year majoring in pre-biology, pre-psychology and economics.

Program director Ralph Gallucci, who is also a lecturer in UCSB’s Classics Department, said any student could enroll, especially those interested in learning about undergraduate research or finding a faculty mentor.

When Freshman Summer Start Program began in 2002, just 200 students signed up. The program has steadily grown since until reaching 400, which taps out how many students can live in San Nicolas Hall.

Gallucci hopes the program will keep growing by possibly commandeering another dorm.

Highly motivated academics tend to enroll, wanting to graduate early — the early graduation rate is higher among FSSP participants — or to save some money.

Out-of-state and international students pay the same for summer credits as in-state students, and the program awards more than $1 million in grants and loans annually.

“We want them to bond with each other,” Gallucci said. “We want them to think about the next four 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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45 mph Wind Gusts Turn Up the Heat on Santa Barbara County’s South Coast

By | Published on 08/29/2015


As the sun set Saturday, hot, gusty winds began kicking up in the upper foothills along Santa Barbara County’s South Coast. The ​National Weather Service issued a wind advisory through Sunday morning.

The weather service said intermittent northwest to north winds of 25 to 35 mph were expected overnight, with gusts up to 45 mph.

A second Wind Advisory was issued Sunday morning — effective from 5 p.m. until 4 a.m. Monday.

The winds are likely to be strongest below canyons and passes of the Santa Ynez Mountains, especially in the Montecito foothills, on Highway 154 over San Marcos Pass, and along Highway 101 on the Gaviota coast.

The strongest winds are expected to taper off after midnight, and the advisory is set to lapse at 3 a.m. Sunday.

Sunday’s high temperatures should reach the upper 70s and low 80s on the South Coast, with overnight lows in the 60s. The rest of the week should see more of the same.

» Click here for the complete National Weather Service forecast.

» Click here for the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services. Click here to sign up for the OES’ messaging service. Connect with the OES on Facebook.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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Serve Santa Maria Volunteers Fan Out, Pitch In for 10th Community Cleanup Day

By | Published on 08/29/2015


Scene of a brutal murder is among sites receving TLC from hundreds of volunteers tackling projects at homes, parks and schools

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

A broken saw and two overgrown juniper trees were no match for determined Serve Santa Maria volunteers Saturday. After a quick phone call, help arrived and the trees were cut down to size.

Similar chores — and collaborations — were completed across the Santa Maria Valley at nine private residences, four parks and three schools Saturday by approximately 350 volunteers participating in Serve Santa Maria 10.

Additionally, a team visited sites to pray for participants’ safety and success.

Volunteers who descended on a house in the 900 block of North Dejoy Street, a few blocks south of Oakley School, were briefly thwarted by equipment failure as they tried to remove stubborn juniper trees.

But Santa Maria police Sgt. Eligio Lara called a buddy, retired Santa Maria firefighter Dennis Szczepanski, who came right over with a chainsaw.

Within minutes of his arrival, the juniper branches rested on the ground, where volunteers picked them up to toss into a nearby roll-off debris bin.

“That guy’s a lifesaver, believe me,” volunteer Alfonso “​Jasso” Diaz, a retired Montecito Water District employee, told Noozhawk during a short pause from the buzzing saw.

Serve Santa Maria, a community cleanup launched five years ago by Pastor Carl Nielsen of Bethel Lutheran Church, involves work teams spreading out across the Santa Maria Valley to complete various projects twice a year.

Other organizations and businesses supported the projects. Pepsi Bottling Co. donated 500 bottles of water, Hugh Bedford of Bedford Enterprises provided five roll-off debris bins, and The Salvation Army delivered lunches for the volunteers.

Additionally, Thrivent Financial and the Santa Barbara Foundation provided funding to support the day’s projects. The Santa Barbara Foundation has selected Serve Santa Maria as the recipient of a $5,000 challenge grant, with any donations to be matched up to $5,000 through Dec. 31.

On Saturday afternoon, Nielsen emailed a report of the “amazing” day as he noted efforts to turn Serve Santa Maria into a nonprofit organization.

“We are paid, not with dollars, but with a glad heart and a good feeling of helping another person or the community,” he said. “And we know God is honored through our service.”

At municipal sites throughout the city, volunteers spread bark. At schools, they painted and removed weeds. And at individual homes, they cleaned yards.

A future project, planned for another day due to its complexity, will see the installation of a wheelchair-accessible ramp at a residence occupied by dialysis patients.

Those who worked at the North Dejoy Street address were particularly driven. The house was the home of Marilyn Pharis, who was viciously attacked as she slept July 24. She died of her injuries eight days later.

Two men, one of whom is an undocumented immigrant with prior arrests, face first-degree murder charges as well as other charges in the case.

Diaz’s wife, Nancy, a friend of Pharis’ and a previous Serve Santa Maria volunteer, served as the project leader at the house.

“We’re trying to soften up and give this house a little curb appeal,” Diaz said, adding that the work focused on front and back yards, including removing the juniper trees so the home can be treated for termites.

Nielsen said most of the volunteers at the site were Pharis’ friends and coworkers.

“It was very healing for many of her coworkers to do something,” he said.

Mayor Alice Patino was among those at the site, picking up brush and twigs and loading debris in a wheelbarrow.

“It brings all of Santa Maria together,” she said. “It’s beautiful. It’s so energizing for all of us.”

Observing workers quickly transform the yard, Nancy Diaz said she was overwhelmed.

“The family is just going to be amazed,” she said, adding that Pharis’ family had seen police photographs from the gruesome crime scene.

“Now it’s going to be a whole new picture.”

In Orcutt, First Christian Church volunteers loaded equipment after completing the day’s list of chores, and were making plans to return to tackle the backyard of the residence, according to project leader Lynn Spier.

The home’s octogenarian resident, who asked not be named, said the help meant a lot to her.

“They’ve just been wonderful,” she said. “I’ve always been a giver and I had to learn to receive today.

“It’s nice when people give like this and don’t expect anything in return.”

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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Mark Shields: Pat Moynihan Would Call Donald Trump a Mole of the Democrats

By | Published on 08/29/2015


The late Daniel Patrick Moynihan — four-term U.S. senator from New York, ambassador and White House adviser — was that rarest of combinations: a gifted public intellectual and a talented, practical politician.

He alone, in January 1980, during the depths of the Cold War, dared to say, “The defining event of the decade might well be the breakup of the Soviet empire.” On Nov. 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall came down.

Moynihan also had a wicked sense of humor. At Washington’s annual Gridiron Club dinner March 28, 1981, with President Ronald Reagan sitting not 10 feet away from him, the Democrat told the crowd how David Stockman, Reagan’s controversial boy-wonder budget director, had, as a graduate student, been the Moynihan family’s live-in baby sitter.

Young Stockman, according to Moynihan, railed endlessly against “American imperialism and the immorality of the Vietnam War.”

Moynihan continued: “So we installed him in the top floor of our house and got him into the Harvard Divinity School. There he was taught, of course, that there is no such thing as morality.”

Moynihan then “confided” to the dinner crowd and Stockman’s boss that “Dave was everything you could dream of in a mole,” that Stockman had been programmed to sabotage the Republican revolution from within by running up record-shattering budget deficits, thus swelling the national debt and destroying any Republican claim to fiscal responsibility.

Do we not know that if Moynihan ​— who departed these earthly precincts in 2003 — were still here, he would have, long ago, sounded an eloquent alarm on the Republican presidential front-runner, real estate billionaire Donald Trump, and identified him for what he obviously is, a Democratic mole?

Look at what the maverick front-runner has already done to subvert the party where there had previously been, at the presidential level, overwhelming consensus — for example, on the virtue and value of free trade.

Trump inconveniently pointed out how the United States’ trade deficit with Mexico increased more than 50-fold in the first 15 years of NAFTA and has insisted on ignoring the big picture of increased “economic growth,” while harping on the American jobs that have been sacrificed to foreign competition and on the people who lost those jobs and their hometowns.

The only non-negotiable unanimity among contemporary Republicans is found in the party’s uniform opposition to any increase in taxes.

So what has Trump done? He has spouted heresy, saying he would be “OK with” raising taxes. He, of all people, wants to punish success.

Of big earners in hedge funds, he has said: “They make a fortune. They pay no tax. ... The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder.”

Yes, he would even “take carried interest out” (referring to the preference that taxes hedge fund and private equity income at only about 20 percent).

This man is clearly a Democratic plant, subversively but brilliantly undermining the Republican Party by smashing party consensus while rising to the top of polls of party members.

All this is not to mention Trump’s immigration position, which has effectively driven voters who are themselves or who have family or loved ones who are immigrants away from the GOP and into the open arms of the Democrats.

Reagan was the man who put a smiling face on American conservatism, and Trump could be the man who puts a pouty face on this year’s conservatism.

Moynihan would have warned us months ago: Donald Trump is obviously a double agent for the Democrats bent on sabotaging Republican hopes for 2016.

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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Vehicle Rollover on Highway 101 Turns Tables on Santa Barbara Fire Battalion Chief

By | Published on 08/29/2015


Veteran firefighter Robert Mercado escapes serious injury in Gaviota mishap while driving home to Buellton

As a battalion chief for the Santa Barbara Fire Department, Robert Mercado has responded to countless car crashes, many with tragic consequences.

But on Saturday, Mercado for the first time found himself on the receiving end of an emergency call after his SBFD vehicle overturned on Highway 101 near Gaviota.

“I don’t like being part of the news story,” he told Noozhawk on Saturday afternoon from his home in Buellton.

Mercado, who suffered only a few minor cuts to his hands in the wreck, was northbound on Highway 101, heading home at about 8:30 a.m., when his right rear tire began to delaminate.

“It felt like I’d run over something,” he recounted. “I looked in my rear-view mirror and saw rubber flying up in the air. Then I started to fishtail and couldn’t control the vehicle.”

The Ford Excursion went up a dirt embankment and overturned, trapping Mercado in the wreckage for a time.

“I couldn’t get myself out of there, I was essentially hanging upside down in my seat belt,” he said, adding that his foot was caught beneath the dashboard.

Eventually he was able to free his foot and crawl back through the busted-up vehicle, then extricate himself through a rear window.

He was standing near the wrecked SUV when Santa Barbara County firefighters from nearby Station 18 arrived on the scene minutes later.

Mercado, who has seen more than his share of highway carnage in nearly three decades as a firefighter, was quick to point out how important it was that he was wearing his seatbelt.

“I’m really lucky to be walking around after something like that,” he said.

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


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Saturday Night’s Super Moon Is Summer’s Biggest, Brightest

By | Published on 08/29/2015


If the full moon rising Saturday evening seems larger and brighter than usual, well, it is. The moon is just about at its closest point to Earth in its elliptical orbit, making this full moon a “super moon.”

At around sundown Saturday, the moon will reach its closest point, known as an orbital perigee, at 222,631 miles away from Earth. On average, the moon is 238,855 miles away.

Lunar scientists say the moon will appear about 14 percent larger than normal Saturday.

This super moon is the first of three that will be appearing over the next two months.

On Sept. 27, the Harvest Moon will herald autumn’s arrival. One more super moon will follow on Oct. 27, but it will be slightly more distant than the previous two.

Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.


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yCREATE After-School Program Directs Students’ Focus to the World of Video, Film Production

By | Published on 08/29/2015


Innovative, new TV Santa Barbara opportunity cues the art of broadcasting and media production, as well as critical career skills

yCREATE, a new innovative after-school media program, provides local youth with hands-on, real-time experience in broadcasting and media production.

Youth and teens ages 10 to 18 will gain invaluable experience into the world of video production, including learning about a number of techniques and skills, such as basic animation, script writing, video editing, sound design and more.

Essentially, “they will be learning about how media is created,” said Matt Schuster, executive director at TV Santa Barbara.

“It takes them from being just a consumer of messages to showing them how different messages are shaped,” he said.

The program was a collaboration between TV Santa Barbara and other community partnerships to expand its Teen News Network into both an after-school and Saturday morning program.

Although the after-school yCREATE program might be new, the organization has been doing youth programs in partnership with other community nonprofit organizations for almost a decade.

Throughout the quarter, students will have an opportunity to create their very own short or documentary-style film with the help of the experienced crew at TV Santa Barbara, whose studio is located at 329 S. Salinas St. on the Lower Eastsisde.

During the after-school sessions, students will be encouraged to create a video documentary or news packet for Teen News Network, while the Saturday morning classes will be focused on creating short films.

Not only will the students be learning highly valued media production skills, but they will be learning “workplace skills that they can apply to any career down the road,” Schuster said.

Using the skills taught in each session, students will create and produce their very own short film, which will be aired on TV Santa Barbara at a later date and premiere at a community screening event in December.

Students and their families will have the amazing opportunity to watch their creations live on a big screen at the screening event toward the end of the semester.  The event, which will be open to the public, will be hosted in partnership with Girls Incorporated of Greater Santa Barbara, Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara and The Arts Fund Santa Barbara.

Click here for more information about yCREATE at TV Santa Barbara, or call 805.571.1721.


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

By | Published on 08/29/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Refugio Oil Spill Cleanup Prepares to Enter Final Phase

By | Published on 08/28/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Mona Charen: The Republican Face of Caesarism

By | Published on 08/28/2015


Among a very long list of harms inflicted upon the United States by Barack Obama and his party, perhaps the worst was Caesarism.

Obama relished the worship of millions in 2008. From his star turn at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, he was treated not as a political candidate, but as a savior.

Progressives fell into a swoon, typified by Newsweek editor Evan Thomas's 2008 comment, "I mean in a way Obama's standing above the country, above — above the world; he's sort of God."

Now, a similar kind of unreasoning adulation is greeting (improbably enough) Donald Trump. Fred Barnes reports that a focus group of Trump supporters is swept up in a kind of worship, too: "He's not just their favorite candidate. Their tie to him is almost mystical. He's a kind of political savior, someone who says what they think."

If Obama had accepted the reverence of the crowd but governed as a normal president, his sin would have been merely aesthetic, but he did not.

Contempt for law and tradition has been the hallmark of his presidency. His lawlessness makes Richard Nixon's look penny ante

In addition to his blatantly illegal grant of legal status to 4 million illegal immigrants — a move Obama himself declared he lacked the authority to make — Obama has acted as an autocrat in dozens of other instances.

Without any legal basis, he imposed a fine on BP after the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and unilaterally suspended offshore drilling.

He bypassed the plain language of Obamacare multiple times, whenever enforcing the unpopular or unworkable aspects of the law would be politically inconvenient. (The employer mandate, for example, was supposed to go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.)

He attempted to make recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board when the Senate was not in recess.

He waived the work requirements of the 1996 welfare reform law.

Earlier this year, the Associated Press reported that the Obama administration "set a new record again for more often than ever censoring government files or outright denying access to them last year under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act."

His administration has ignored repeated congressional subpoenas, while his attorney general was found in contempt of Congress.

Obama perhaps calculated that he could get away with this lawlessness because of his uniqueness. The Constitution provides a remedy for lawless executives — but while Obama has arguably committed acts that merit impeachment, he knows that his status as the first black president gives him immunity.

Impeachment would tear the country apart.

The courts have thwarted some of Obama's power grabs. The Supreme Court has rebuked him several times. The NLRB appointments were reversed, and the immigration waiver has been judicially stayed for now. But much damage remains.

Obama's legacy is a profound weakening of respect for law and tradition in this country.

That Democrats are fine with this isn't a huge surprise. They've long demonstrated that they are ends-justify-the-means types.

Since the era of Woodrow Wilson, they've decided that if they cannot get their preferred policies through legislatures, they're happy to see them imposed by courts — and if not by courts, then by executive fiat.

They conveniently uphold a "living" Constitution — which is pretty much no Constitution at all but just the raw exercise of power by those in robes.

Conservatives and Republicans, by contrast, have traditionally stood for the rule of law — with all of its frustrations and inefficiencies.

Respect for the rule of law is more precious than any given policy outcome. If we are not, as John Adams said, a "government of laws and not of men," we will soon drift into the kind of despotism that characterizes nations without a strong legal tradition.

Putinism is destroying what is best in Russia. Peronism devastated Argentina. Franco crushed liberty in Spain for half a century. The Castro brothers have imposed their tyranny on Cuba for longer than that.

The list of countries that succumbed to Caesarism is very, very long.

The appeal of Trump falls into this category, too. Though one might suppose that his borderline pathological narcissism, his arrested emotional development and his nearly incoherent ramblings would exclude him from consideration for county clerk, he sits atop the GOP field.

The message from a segment of the Republican Party is: "OK, we're an autocracy now. So let's have this guy govern by fiat."

Unless the rest of the Republican Party makes a different case — namely that the answer to Obamaism is a return to law — it may be game over for self-government in the world's oldest democracy.

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


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Outdoors Q&A: Blue Crabs in Mission Bay?

By | Published on 08/28/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Can drones be used to find and track wildlife?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crayfish trap limits?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Multi-day trip for abalone

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

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

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

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

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


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

By | Published on 08/28/2015


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

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Judy Crowell: A Foggy Day in Cambria Town

By | Published on 08/28/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Stranded Hikers Rescued from Cathedral Peak near Santa Barbara

By | Published on 08/28/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Santa Barbara Doctor Found Guilty on 79 Counts of Overprescribing

By | Published on 08/28/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“It was a difficult case for everyone.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“I anticipate he will spend the rest of his life in prison,” she said. 

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


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Helene Schneider and Youth Interactive will Unveil Postcards of SB Mural

By | Published on 08/28/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Nathalie Gensac is a publicist representing Youth Interactive.


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CEC Diversifies Partnership Council with Five Incoming Members

By | Published on 08/28/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She blogs about art, food and gardening.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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CHP Identifies Goleta Man Who Died in Fatal Highway Collision

By | Published on 08/28/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

By | Published on 08/28/2015


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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Game over.

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

2. Woman Shoots Self in Stomach at Goleta Shopping Center

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                 •        •        •

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

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

                                                                 •        •        •

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

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

HT to my friend, Jim Geraghty

(Timothy Matthews video)

                                                                  •        •        •

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


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Santa Ynez High School Cancels Friday Classes After Power Failure

By | Published on 08/28/2015


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

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

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

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

Classes are expected to resume on Monday. 

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


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Record Number of Felines Find Forever Homes during Free Adoption Weekend

By | Published on 08/28/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Fourth Suspect Arrested In Lompoc Drive-By Shooting

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Residents in the apartment building were not injured in the shooting, police said.

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


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Trial Begins For Men Accused of Raping Homeless Woman at Knifepoint on Santa Barbara Beach

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The trial will resume Friday morning.

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


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Uber, Lyft Sign Agreements with Santa Barbara Airport

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Santa Barbara Zoo Helps Launch California Condor Live Cams

By | Published on 08/27/2015


Organizations partner up to provide livestreaming cameras in condor nests in Big Sur and Ventura County

Biologists have installed two new nest web cams where scientists and members of the public can watch the nesting process.

The new nesting webcams are at Ventana Wildlife Society Condor Sanctuary in Big Sur and the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge, just a few minutes south of Fillmore.

“Webcam viewers can now see condors feeding in the wild and now inside a condor nest,” said Kelly Sorenson, executive director of the Ventana Wildlife Society. “Viewers will see the parents feeding the chick and can watch it grow and become increasingly more active up to the day the chick fledges from the nest.”

Condor enthusiasts can also follow the lives of individual condors by getting to know them at and watching them on the cams over them, Sorenson said. 

The nest webcams went live Wednesday and now people around the world have the unprecedented opportunity to observe nesting California condors and their young chicks in real time.

The webcam also allows biologists to monitor the nesting process. Scientists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service came up with the idea in 2010 after a remote California condor nest failed due to an injured chick.

“What started out as a way for biologists to monitor the health of endangered California condor chicks and the breeding success of the species has become an important tool for outreach about this incredibly rare bird,” said Joseph Brandt, a USFWS biologist.

The two live-streamed nests from Ventura and Monterey counties are two of 11 nests that are still currently active.

Biologists and staff from the Wildlife Service, Santa Barbara Zoo and Ventana Wildlife Society hiked heavy camera equipment on foot along deep canyons and steep ridgelines to install the cameras.

“Many people are aware of our conservation work at Santa Barbara Zoo, but our team also works in the field alongside (Fish and Wildlife) Service biologists to help train volunteer nest observers and monitor wild California condor nests, making sure eggs and chicks are healthy during the nesting season,” said Estelle Sandhaus, director of conservation programs for the Santa Barbara Zoo. 

The webcams are part of a decades-long effort to save the condor from extinction. About 430 condors exist in the wild. In 1982, the condor population had dropped to 22. 

In 1992, the Wildlife Service began reintroducing captive-bred condors into the wild. 

“Seeing these huge birds raise their young in the wild is unforgettable,” said Charles Eldermire, Bird Cams Project Leader with Cornell Lab of Ornithology, which hosts the livestream webcam of the nest in Ventura County.

“Their success in raising their chicks is critical in the effort to bring the species back from the brink of extinction.” 

To visit the Big Sur web cam, click here.

To visit the Ventura County web cam, click here.

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


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Captain’s Log: Nuclear Subs, Mystery Fish and Tough Nuts to Crack

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Of course, it may have been a nuclear sub!

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

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

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

There is always room in America for more nuts!

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


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Warrant Issued for Santa Barbara County Woman Who Allegedly Violated Child-Custody Agreement

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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

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

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

Faith Merritt

Faith Merritt and Maxwell DiNardo

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

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

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

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


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Motorcyclist Suffers Major Injuries in Highway 154 Collision

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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

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

His name and details on his injuries were not available.

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

The collision remained under investigation by the CHP.

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


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DUI Checkpoint Planned for Friday Night in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Emanuel Garibay-Padilla

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Guadalupe Council Agrees To Continue Paying Library Rent — For Now

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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1369 Oak Creek Canyon Road, Montecito 93108

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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

Click here for more information about this property.

List Price $21,000,000

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

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


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

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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


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

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

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

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

Any student entering sixth grade and older is welcome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

All Library programs are free and open to the public. 

— Christine Gallery works for the City of Santa Barbara.


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Santa Barbara Unified School District Discuss Final Facilities Master Plan

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Santa Barbara County Once Again in Grip of Summer Heat

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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

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

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

Overnight lows are forecast to be around 60 degrees.

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

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

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

[Click here for the latest forecast]

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


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2 Stabbing Victims in Critical Condition After Altercation in Mission Hills

By | Published on 08/27/2015


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

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

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

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

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

The names of the two victims were not released.

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

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


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3 Injured in Crash on Via Real in Carpinteria

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The accident was under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.

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


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Santa Barbara Panel Backs New Trail System at Douglas Family Preserve

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Mountain Lion Sighting Reported Near UCSB West Campus

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Family Dentistry Beachside Dental Opens on the Mesa

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Lake Cachuma Emergency Pumping System Put Into Operation

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Excitement Fills Halls of Santa Barbara Public Schools as Classes Resume

By | Published on 08/26/2015


Santa Barbara Unified, Goleta Union K-12 districts and others on South Coast welcome students back to school

Sporting new backpacks and expressions of anticipation and anxiety in equal measure, young students walked onto the campus of Goleta Valley Junior High School Wednesday morning to start the school year.

It was the first day of classes for Goleta Union and Santa Barbara Unified school districts, and seventh and eighth grade students streamed onto Goleta Valley Junior High’s campus in the early morning sunlight.

One teacher watching the students make their way to their classrooms compared them to a school of fish grouping together.

Overheard on the patio were fragments of conversation from students, and squeals rang out as they spotted friends they hadn’t seen all summer, expressing joy and surprise at the changes that had occurred in the meantime.

“You have braces now?!” one student called out incredulously to another.

While students relieved to spot their peers in the middle of the courtyard embraced, two girls huddling shyly on the patio’s edge buried their faces in their class schedules, waiting for the bell to ring.  

“I’m scared,” one could be heard whispering to her friend.

From behind her own schedule, her friend replied only in affirmation, “I know.”

School staff members sipped coffee as they greeted students and helped them with their schedules.

Lizbeth Perez, a seventh grade student beginning her first day at junior high, stopped by a check-in table to receive an agenda book that will help her keep track of her homework from office manager Jetton Grunt.

Perez said she was nervous and excited to start classes.

A group of seventh-grade boys grouped together nearby, comparing backpacks and class schedules.

Principal Veronica Rogers said that seven different elementary schools and 15 private schools bring students into the junior high classes located on the 6100 Stow Canyon Rd. campus in Goleta. 

In order to make students feel welcome at the school, four “houses” were organized at the school, putting kids in groups and rallying school spirit, sort of similar to the concept of houses in the Harry Potter books, Rogers said.

Returning eighth graders are encouraged to help the school welcome every new seventh grader, she said.

This year, the school has 804 students enrolled, a boost that Rogers thinks could be due to an uptick in housing and more families moving to the area.

Rogers, who has worked at the school for 12 years, walked in the school’s front courtyard and greeted students with high fives.

“Are you ready?” she called out to a clustered group of incoming seventh graders, who responded in the affirmative, but timidly.

An exciting first day played out at the junior high, and some positive news for the new school year has come out district wide as well.

Barbara Keyani, spokeswoman for Santa Barbara Unified, said that two of the district's bond-funded facilities projects — new libraries for Washington and Adams Elementary Schools — will have their ribbon cutting ceremonies in September.

Roofing projects are underway at Goleta Valley Junior High and Roosevelt School, also has an ongoing heating ventilation and cooling project.

Keyani said the district will also be evaluating its iPad programs to see if they warrant expansion.

The district currently has 1,800 iPads in grades 3-6 at Adams, Franklin and Washington Elementary Schools, as well as all of La Cuesta Continuation High School.

Wednesday was also the first day of class for several new school principals, including Gabe Sandoval at Cleveland Elementary, Brian Naughton at Monroe Elementary, Christy Mendivil at Roosevelt Elementary and Elise Simmons at La Cuesta Continuation High School and Alta Vista Alternative High School, Keyani said.

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


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Seasoned Lawyer Joins Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell Firm

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

Chris Jones

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

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

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

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

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


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Man Killed, Another Injured in Highway 101 Collision in Goleta

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No one in the Cabrio was hurt, Sanchez said. 

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

The accident remained under investigation by the CHP.

Executive Editor Tom Bolton reported from the scene.

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


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Inc. 5000 Gives Shoutout to Santa Barbara’s BigSpeak

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Amber McEldowney is a marketing associate at BigSpeak.


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Orcutt Mother Who Fled With Children Surrenders to Authorities in Mexico

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

The girls were reunited with their father Aug. 24.

Michelle Gibbs DMV photo

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

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

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

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

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


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

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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1 Person Killed in Vehicle Rollover Near New Cuyama

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

No further details were available. 

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


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

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Bill Batty represents Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program.


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

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

Tracy Jenkins

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

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

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

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

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

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


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UCSB Hits Alternative-Transportation Milestone

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Jim Hightower: It’s Time to Free Students From Debt

By | Published on 08/26/2015



Butch Hancock, one of Austin's finest singer-songwriters, grew up in the Texas Panhandle, out among dry-land farmers and strict fundamentalist Christians.

Butch once told me that he felt he'd been permanently scarred in his vulnerable teen years by the local culture's puritanical preaching on sexual propriety: "They told us that sex is filthy, obscene, wicked, and beastly — and that we should save it for someone we love."

Today, America's higher education complex approaches students with the same sort of convoluted logic that guided Butch's sex education: "A college degree is the key to prosperity for both you and your country, so it's essential," lectures the hierarchy to the neophytes. "But we'll make it hard to get and often not worth the getting."

Touted as a necessity, but priced like a luxury, many degree programs are mediocre or worse — predatory loan scams that hustle aspiring students into deep debt and poverty.

On both a human level and in terms of our national interest, that is seriously twisted. Nonetheless, it's our nation's de facto educational policy, promulgated and enforced by a cabal of ideologues and profiteers, including Washington politicos, most state governments, college CEOs, Wall Street financiers and debt-collection corporations.

What we have is a shameful ethical collapse. These self-serving interests have intentionally devalued education from an essential public investment in the common good to just another commodity.

Back in the olden days of 1961, I attended the University of North Texas. At this public school, I was blessed with good teachers, a student body of working-class kids (most, like me, were the first in their families to go to college) and an educational culture focused on enabling us to become socially useful citizens.

All of this cost me under $800 a year (about $6,250 in today's dollars) -- including living expenses!

With close-to-free tuition and a part-time job, I could afford to get a good education, gain experience in everything from work to civic activism, make useful connections, graduate in four years and obtain a debt-free start in life. We just assumed that's what college was supposed to be.

It still ought to be, but for most students today, it's not even close. In the U.S., tuition and fees charged by public four-year colleges and universities average more than $20,000 per year. For a private four-year college, it's more than double that amount. Even public two-year colleges cost around $11,000 per year.

The nation's fastest growing provider of higher education is unfortunately also the worst: private, for-profit schools. While a few deliver an honest educational product, honesty is not a business model embraced by most of these sprawling, predatory chains largely owned by Wall Street. 

To achieve the Wall Street imperative of goosing ups stock prices and maximizing profits, this educational sector routinely applies the full toolkit of corporate thievery, including false advertising, high-pressure sales tactics, bait-and-switch scams, legal dodges, political protection and outright lying.

Rather than educating students and broadening life's possibilities, many for-profit colleges have bankrupted hundreds of thousands of students. Worse, many of theses "schools" prey on struggling, low-income workers desperately hoping a degree will provide a toehold in the middle class.

To say there are lots of horror stories about private, for-profit colleges gouging students is like saying there are lots of ouchies in a bramble patch. A profusion of books, articles, reports, investigations and lawsuits, as well as websites such as My ITT Experience, document the toll.

You might ask, "If they're so awful, how do they stay in business?"

The old-fashioned way: By lavishly spreading money around to the right people. And since most of their revenue comes from taxpayers, it's actually your money they're spreading.

"Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife," said American philosopher and education reformer John Dewey.

It's time we give birth to a new of debt-free democracy. Put a tiny tax on the billions of daily, automated transactions by speculators, and more than enough money will come into the public coffers to free up higher education for all.

For information, check out United States Students Association (

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


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English Language Learning Program Welcomes Duo of New Leaders

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Martha Jin represents ELS Language Centers of Santa Barbara.


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Marian Regional Medical Center Exalts Long-Time Employee Mike Fabela

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

Mike Fabela

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Megan Maloney represents Marian Regional Medical Center.


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Friendship Center Marks Changes to Board of Directors

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Brian Dearth represents Antioch University.


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Reyne Stapelmann: Top 6 Concerns for Home Buyer

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Taken from the National Association of Realtors®.

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


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Leading From Within Announces New ‘Leaders Fund’

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

— Julie Sorenson represents Leading From Within.


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Red Flag Warning PSA from SB County Fire Department

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

» Report any suspicious persons or vehicles to law enforcement.

For more information about red flag warnings, please visit

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


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Jacques Habra: Search Twitter through Google

By | Published on 08/26/2015


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

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

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

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

The significance of this update is two-fold:

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

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

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

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


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Santa Barbara County Supervisors Agree to Work With Chumash Tribe

By | Published on 08/25/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

By | Published on 08/25/2015


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

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

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

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

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

The trees themselves, however, are healthy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Graham wants to replace the pines with smaller flame trees.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Santa Barbara Officials Plan To Overhaul Trails At Douglas Family Preserve

By | Published on 08/25/2015


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Douglas Family Preserve is one of Santa Barbara's most iconic local hangouts. The preserve sits high on the Mesa neighborhood bluffs overlooking the ocean, and is an escape for people looking to walk their dogs, take a stroll on a trail or ride a bicycle.

Commonly known by locals as the Wilcox Property, the 70-acre Douglas Family Preserve was acquired by the Trust for Public Lands in 1996 and then transferred to the city of Santa Barbara in 1997.

Although the city is looking to formalize the trails at the preserve, the wild and meandering feel of the site is part of its unique appeal. Fallen trees rest on the ground, creating hideouts for critters.

Swaths of unmanicured vegetation and grasses give the site its rural feel. The preserve is also a daily ritual for Santa Barbara residents who enjoy the sunrise, sunset and conversation with their neighbors.

Preserve users have mixed feelings about the the possible changes.

"I like that it's more natural, but it would be nice if they removed some of the asphalt and put back dirt," said Roni Shen, who was walking her cocker spaniel, Jack, on Tuesday. 

Shen said its fun to let her dog off the leash and explore.

"I do hope they keep it as wild as they can," she said.

Longtime Santa Barbara resident Laurence Hauben said she wants the city to leave the preserve alone.

"It's plenty trail friendly as it is," Hauben said. "The fact that it is relatively unimproved is part of its charm."

She said there's no need for a universal loop or more signage.

"It's self-explanatory," she said. "If you can't find the trail, you've got bigger problems."

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


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After Administrative ‘Breakdown,’ Santa Barbara County Delays Decision on Inmate Medical Contract

By | Published on 08/25/2015


Board of Supervisors delays discussion of Corizon Correctional Healthcare contract for medical care inside jail and probation facilities

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors chose to postpone a decision on a jail health-care contract item on Tuesday after an administrative fiasco unfolded.

The supervisors were being asked to renew a two-year, $10 million contract with Corizon Correctional Healthcare, a private company that contracts with the county to provide medical, dental and psychiatric services to inmates in the jail.

Earlier this summer, the board was asked to approve the contract, but expressed frustration that the company had not provided statistics to show how often it is meeting its goals for care, and had only included a one-page summary instead of the entire contract for approval.

The company was granted a short-term contract extension that runs through Oct. 31.

Those expecting a more permanent contract decision on Tuesday were disappointed when several supervisors reported they did not receive binders with key information on the company’s operations in the jail and probation operations.

Because that information was also not made available to the public before the meeting, the decision was put off until Sept. 8, when the board next meets in Santa Maria.

The item will be heard at 10 a.m. that day so that the public can plan on attending, instead of having to wait most of the day as happened on Tuesday.

Board Chair Janet Wolf said that it appeared the binders had been delivered to each supervisor’s offices, instead of to the clerk of the board, as is standard practice.

Supervisor Peter Adam explained that the supervisors get dozens of binders of information for all of the items they review.

“We have 100 of these in my office, but I straight up missed it. Maybe they didn’t come through the right channels, but I did receive them,” he said.

Undersheriff Barney Melekian was in attendance on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department, and said that it was the department’s job to distribute them.

“I apologize,” he told the board and the public.

Members of the public were upset that the hearing was being delayed, as several had showed up and missed work, waiting for most of the day.

“Get your act together,” said Suzanne Riordan of Families ACT!, an advocacy group that has been critical of jail health care in the past. “It’s not fair to us.”

Wolf called it a breakdown in communication, saying, “This has been a nightmare and I apologize to everyone.” 

Before the board unanimously agreed to come back on the item, Melekian said that the Sheriff’s Department had “gone to great lengths” to gather information since the last meeting.

Melekian described Corizon as a provider that has been responsible and provided quality health care for inmates in a challenging environment.

One of the metrics Melekian used to showcase that the company had been a success was that the county had seen only six successful litigations regarding medical care in the last 20 years, the average payout of which was $13,000 per settlement.

He also reminded the supervisors that Corizon employees had voluntarily waived cost-of-living increases during the worst years of the recession.

The Sheriff's Department is cognizant of its obligations, legal and moral, to care for inmates, he said.

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


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