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Bill Macfadyen: Animal House Takes Stage at Righetti High School, But No One’s Laughing

By | Published on 11/21/2014

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NoozWeek’s Top 5 flips a car in a suspected DUI, sizes up a house, attends a teen’s sentencing hearing in a fatal crash, and I get the last word

There were 84,840 people who read Noozhawk this past week. What’s my take on your top stories? I’m glad you asked.

1. Six Arrested After Major Altercation at Righetti High in Orcutt

One day after a melee at Righetti High School in Orcutt, authorities were still trying to figure out how the fracas started and why.

Nine students have been arrested so far in the Nov. 19 incident, which also involved one Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputy being plastered in the back with a plate of nachos, and a second deputy apparently scrapping with a group of female students and ultimately appearing to knock one down. Cell-phone video of that altercation was dutifully uploaded to the Internet.

As our Tom Bolton reported first, a fight that started just after 12:30 p.m. quickly escalated into what responding law enforcement officers were describing as a “riot.”

Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover told Noozhawk that the school’s resource deputy was following up on the initial fight when a second fight broke out as a large crowd gathered to watch the show.

Hoover said the deputy quickly tried to detain the primary aggressor in the second fight, but the student allegedly put up a struggle, and he and the deputy both fell to the ground.

At that point, she said, things got ugly, with an ever-larger crowd of students yelling obscenities at the deputy and throwing food, containers and bottles at him.

Hoover said the deputy called for backup as students closed in, trying to kick him. Campus security officers and administrators, meanwhile, were unsuccessfully holding back the mob.

A second deputy arrived and, she said, when he attempted to detain a female suspect, the teenager tried to run.

“Her friends surrounded the deputy and pushed and hit him,” Hoover said. “In the process of defending himself, he shoved the females away and one of the suspects was knocked to the ground.”

In today’s nanny state, isn’t nacho cheese a banned substance at schools? (Kyler Corral photo via Twitter)
In today’s nanny state, isn’t nacho cheese a banned substance at schools? (Kyler Corral photo via Twitter)

Six students were arrested in the incident, with three more arrested the next day. All were carted off to Juvenile Hall in Santa Maria.

Charges include resisting arrest resulting in injury to a deputy, battery on a peace officer, battery on another student on school grounds, assault on a school employee, possession of a knife on school grounds, possession of marijuana on school grounds, and resisting and obstructing officers in the performance of their duties.

Hoover said the knife apparently was found on one of the students afterward, but was not used in the fight(s).

The Righetti campus, at 941 Foster Road, was placed on lockdown, as was nearby St. Joseph High School. There were no apparent injuries to students.

In addition to sheriff’s deputies, officers from the California Highway Patrol and Santa Maria police raced to the scene, as did our Janene Scully, who provided firsthand reports as Tom updated our story from Noozhawk World Headquarters. Tom also connected with numerous Righetti High students who were posting to their social media feeds from their front-row seats. HT to Kyler Corral.

The next day, a phalanx of law enforcement officers were patrolling on and around the campus, and they had to disperse an unusually large throng that had gathered in the main quad area as lunch was ending.

Mark Richardson, superintendent of the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District, said the district will not tolerate such conduct.

“Students who participate in this type of behavior will be disciplined up to and including expulsion from campus,” he said.

Well, that’s an upside-down end to the evening. (Urban Hikers photo)
Well, that’s an upside-down end to the evening. (Urban Hikers photo)

2. Woman Arrested on DUI Charges After Early Morning Crash in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara police arrested a 23-year-old woman in the early morning hours Nov. 16 after she rolled her car in the 2900 block of State Street.

Nicol Sarah Richardson, 23, of Santa Barbara, was issued a citation for driving under the influence after the wreck, which occurred around 4:20 a.m., according to Sgt. Riley Harwood, an SBPD spokesman.

Richardson was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries.

No one else was hurt in the crash, but authorities say at least one parked vehicle was damaged in the incident.

Looks like this is a hilltop to die on for some residents in the vicinity of Brosian Way, above Cliff Drive west of Las Positas Road. (Cearnal Andrulaitis Architects rendering)
Looks like this is a hilltop to die on for some residents in the vicinity of Brosian Way, above Cliff Drive west of Las Positas Road. (Cearnal Andrulaitis Architects rendering)

3. With Proposed Hilltop Home, Some Santa Barbara Residents Want to Cut House Down in Size

Drs. Grace and John Park want to build a home for their multigenerational extended family on 2.2 acres of vacant land they own on Brosian Way, located in a scenic neighborhood of single-family houses — many of them with ocean views — above Cliff Drive west of Las Positas Road.

Brian Cearnal, the couple’s architect, designed a relatively low-profile, 5,900-square-foot, two-story residence to house John Park, a neurosurgeon with the Santa Barbara Neuroscience Institute at Cottage Hospital; Grace Park, a physician at Sansum Clinic; their three children; Grace Park’s parents; and John Park’s mother.

As a blueprint, the idea sounds good although the concept takes my own clan’s long-running joke about “forced family fun” to TV reality-show levels.

At any rate, the project exceeds Santa Barbara’s arbitrary floor-area-ratio guidelines for the size of the lot and would require a manmade hill from 4,000 square yards of fill dirt at the rear of the property to lift the house so it, too, could see the ocean. You don’t need to be living here long to know where this is going.

Cearnal made his case to the Planning Commission, which voted unanimously Nov. 6 to grant a coastal development permit. But the agency also punted the project back to the Singly-Family Design Review Board — for a fourth time — to see if those appointees can come up with ways to make the Parks’ house smaller.

Our Josh Molina quoted the all-too predictable blah-blah-blahs from all sides of the issue, but it has been our readers who have taken this story and run with it.

In our comments section are multiple strings of entertaining “discussion” covering the Parks, the architect, the neighbors, the neighborhood, property rights, Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, brain surgery, emergency brain surgery, RVs, routes to get to the hospital and much, much more.

I often tiptoe into our comments section dreading what I’ll find, but with this story, it’s been a hoot. Thank you to all who have taken the time to comment.

Click here to add your voice.

4. Teen Driver Sentenced for Death of UCSB Student Struck on Bicycle East of Santa Maria

Marcus Maldonado, the Santa Maria teenager charged in the August death of a bicyclist he hit with the pickup truck he was driving, has been sentenced to formal probation, community service and restitution for his victim’s family.

In a Nov. 14 appearance before Juvenile Court Judge Roger Picquet, Maldonado, now 17, admitted his role in the death of Matthew O’Neill, a 33-year-old UC Santa Barbara graduate student. Picquet had earlier rejected a defense attempt to enter a no-contest plea, pointing out that the purpose of Juvenile Court is rehabilitation and not punishment.

O’Neill, who lived in Carpinteria, was riding a recumbent bicycle on Foxen Canyon Road about 7:30 p.m. Aug. 9 when he was struck from behind by Maldonado’s Chevy 3500 dually pickup.

Maldonado, who was 16 at the time, was pulling a horse trailer, which was not permitted under his class of driver’s license. His 18-year-old brother was a passenger in the truck — another violation as, at that age, passengers must be at least 25 years old.

Our Janene Scully — the only reporter in the courtroom — chronicled the emotional testimony from families on both sides of the tragedy.

Afterward, Picquet sentenced Maldonado to formal probation, suspended his driver’s license for nine months, instructed him to perform 100 hours of community service and ordered him to pay $75,000 in restitution to O’Neill’s family.

Maldonado, the son of former Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado, had been charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter plus infractions for driving a commercial vehicle without a license, and for noncompliance with driving terms and restrictions.

5. Bill Macfadyen: ‘Dead Body’ in the Street Turns Out to Be Dead Body in the Street​

The story of a homeless man who was found lying dead on East Victoria Street outside his minivan continued to draw heavy traffic two weeks after his Nov. 7 death, but my column about it drew even more.

Richard Springer, 73, who had been living in his van there for more than a decade, apparently died of natural causes in the 400 block of East Victoria Street, across from Victoria Market.

In a touching display, dozens of neighborhood residents gathered outside the market Nov. 11 to share their memories of the man.

                                                                 •        •        •

By Santa Barbara standards, these waves aren’t impressive. But when’s the last time you surfed with a wind-chill factor of 13 degrees? You might want to turn down your speakers as the background music sounds like someone succumbing to hypothermia. 

(Kevin Cullen video)

                                                                  •        •        •

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— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at wmacfadyen@noozhawk.com, follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Letter to the Editor: Obama at War with Americans

By | Published on 11/21/2014

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Our dictatorial, deceitful president is at war with Americans. He has targeted the military, law enforcement, tea partiers, conservatives, small business and anyone who disagrees with him.

On Thursday, he threw down the gauntlet, once again running roughshod over the Constitution, Congress and Americans by issuing, by decree, the most sweeping amnesty immigration actions in American history. Never mind that the majority of Americans rejected his policies in the November elections and that 48 percent oppose him acting without Congress on immigration. His actions are a slap in the face to legal immigrants and hardworking Americans.

Sadly, President Obama is doing just what he promised in 2008, transforming America. We now live in a lawless, post-constitutional nation with a radical president at the helm.

Is there anyone out there courageous enough to protect Americans by stopping this tyranny? Will Republicans use the power of the purse and others means to stop this insanity? Or will they whimp out?

Don Thorn
Carpinteria

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Association Breaks Ground on Long-Awaited Ice Rink in Goleta

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Fundraising continues as construction begins on the Ice in Paradise project, expected to be completed next year

It’s not a sentence some people were ever expecting to read, but the Ice in Paradise project has started construction in Goleta, and the ice rink is expected to open next year.

The Greater Santa Barbara Ice Skating Association has been fundraising for years, and its board members are ecstatic to finally see dirt moving around the empty lot at the corner of Santa Felicia Drive and Storke Road, near Girsh Park and the Camino Real Marketplace.

“We’ve never given up the dream of making the ice rink a reality,” board president Kathy Mintzer said at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony.

Campaign chairman Jack Norqual joked that he wondered how many of the attendees came just to see if the groundbreaking would actually happen.

Donors have stuck with the organization for years, and without them, and the community support of the project, it never could have happened, he said.

Philadelphia Flyers NHL owner Ed Snider joined the cause after Norqual made a 20-minute pitch in person.

Snider, a part-time Santa Barbara resident, really inspired the group by giving a big gift early, Norqual said.

It’s always been the GSBISA’s goal to make ice skating and related sports available to the Goleta and Santa Barbara area, which it finally can, he said.

The City of Goleta contributed to the project in the form of development-fee waivers and a $250,000 commitment to help buy equipment.

Mayor Michael Bennett gave some credit to passionate local students, including UCSB’s club hockey and skating programs, who commute down to Oxnard for access to an ice rink.

Kathy Mintzer, president of the Greater Santa Barbara Ice Skating Association, addresses supporters during Thursday's groundbreaking ceremony for the Ice in Paradise skating rink in Goleta. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk photo)

They made good arguments for the city to support this project, he said.

Many families with children came to the groundbreaking, excited to see where the new rink would be.

For some, the bulldozers signal the end to a long commute south.

Alma Peppard’s twins, Audrie and Dennis, head down to Oxnard three times a week for figure skating. The two are ice dancing partners, and Dennis has started playing hockey as well, she said.

They’ve been making the drive for more than five years, and are excited to have a local rink opening up, Peppard said.

The 46,500-square-foot building is designed to include a NHL-sized rink (200 feet by 85 feet) and a smaller studio rink. It will have an after-school homework center, skating lessons, public skating, and programs for figure skaters, hockey players, ice sports and adaptive ice sports for mobility-impaired athletes.

The association has raised about $7 million in pledges and donations, and secured a construction loan to let work start now.

The capital cost is estimated at around $11 million, so the organization is still fundraising.

The organization just launched a community campaign and buy-a-brick campaign. 

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

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Deputies Arrest Three More Students After Altercations at Righetti High School

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Calm is restored at the Orcutt campus, where multiple fights led to a lockdown and a total of nine arrests so far

Three more Righetti High School students were arrested Thursday, a day after multiple fights drew dozens of law enforcement officers and led to a lockdown at the Orcutt campus.

The arrests came as a video showing a deputy knocking down a girl who was advancing toward him continued to spark mixed reactions on social media sites.

Classes resumed Thursday morning amid an obvious presence of law enforcement officers, some to keep calm on campus and others investigating the altercations that occurred Wednesday.

Two of the newest arrests occurred just after school resumed Thursday, and the third took place before lunchtime, with the student led to the front of campus and put into a parked Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department vehicle. 

A female student was arrested on suspicion of battery on a peace officer and obstructing a peace officer by means of force. A male student was arrested and charged with assault on a peace officer. In the afternoon, a female student was arrested on suspicion of battery on a peace officer.

“The Sheriff’s Office anticipates more arrests to follow as evidence is reviewed and suspects are identified,” officials said in a news release, adding that investigators are reviewing video of the incidents provided by various sources.

The trio joined the six arrested and taken to Santa Maria Juvenile Hall on Wednesday afternoon following a series of altercations — first among students and later pitting students against deputies. Some students threw food and bottles at the adults. 

In addition to the officers on campus, deputies and California Highway Patrol officers patrolled the roads around the campus throughout the school day Thursday.

Authorities quickly quelled a mass of students gathering in the main quad area near the end of lunchtime.

Superintendent Mark Richardson said student and staff safety remains the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District’s number one priority.

“We are not going to tolerate this kind of behavior on campus," Richardson said in a written statement. “Students who participate in this type of behavior will be disciplined up to and including expulsion from campus."

Leaving the campus Thursday, senior Martin Mendoza said one teacher expressed disappointment about the incidents involving Righetti students.

The senior didn’t know what sparked the initial fights that spawned the bigger brawl.

“I think they were just being stupid,” he added.

A video depicting a teen girl knocked to the ground by a uniformed deputy has sparked strong reactions on social media and other websites, with some claiming he acted violently and others saying he was defending himself.

One deputy had what appears to be nacho cheese on the back of his uniform.

Word of the video spread quickly, with students sharing about it upon their release from the lockdown that lasted more than an hour Wednesday.

The Sheriff’s Department expects to conduct a standard review of the actions of deputies involved in the incident.

“As is the case with any incident involving use of force, there is a review process. However, at this point, it does appear that the deputy's actions were justified,” sheriff’s spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said Thursday. 

In a written statement, Santa Maria Joint Union High School District and Righetti officials had a second briefing Thursday with sheriff’s deputies and continue to assist in the investigation.

“The day went smoothly with increased administrative and law enforcement presence,” the district’s statement said.

District officials did not say if other students will face discipline by the school for any actions that didn’t rise to the level of a crime but still violated their rules. A spokesman referred questions to the Sheriff’s Department, who said the school would need to answer that question. 

Parents reportedly were updated by Principal Karen Rotondi, and anyone with further questions is urged to contact the high school.

As the altercations occurred Wednesday, some students said they were immediately ordered to their sixth-period class before authorities declared a lockdown and told them to enter the closest classroom.

“Our procedure for a lockdown involves campus notification through the PA (public address system)," the district said. "Students then enter the nearest classrooms. The classrooms are secured and teachers and staff wait for further instructions.”

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

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Goleta Water Line Break Leads to Outage for 750 Customers

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Some 750 customers in the Goleta Water District were expected to be without water service Thursday night into Friday due to a break in a high-pressure water line.

The district planned to shut off service at 10 p.m. to repair the water-line break on Patterson Avenue, said David Matson, the district's assistant general manager.

The affected area was north of Cathedral Oaks Road, between Patterson and Fairview Avenue, Matson said. Also affected were the Twin Ridge and San Marcos Road areas, he said.

Reverse 911 calls were being made to affected residents alerting them to the emergency outage.

District officials hoped to have service restored by 5 a.m. Friday, Matson said.

"This is a high pressure water line with special valves and fittings which were not immediately available in the region," Matson told Noozhawk shortly before 9:30 p.m. " As breaks like this are rare, the parts for the required repair were located this afternoon and arrived this evening via courier.

"Equipment is now being mobilized to the site so that we can complete the repair overnight."

Matson did not provide information on what caused the pipeline leak, or say how much water had been lost.

"Our operations crews will be assessing the system loss overnight as well as the exact age and condition of the pipe that ruptured after they work to restore service and stabilize the system," Matson said. " Given the unique conditions, we were able to prevent damage to the streets and property in the vicinity of the break."

Witnesses told Noozhawk the water was flowing into San Jose Creek.

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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BizHawk: The Good Lion Cocktail Bar Opens in Former Marquee on State Street

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Santa Barbara Wine Collective opens in Funk Zone, 805 Mobile Oil Change launches and Montecito Beach Club finds niche market

[BizHawk is published weekly, and includes items of interest to the business community. Share your business news, including employee announcements and personnel moves, by emailing news@noozhawk.com.]

The Good Lion cocktail bar will open Friday next door to the Granada Theatre in the former Marquee, where new owners — and a one-month remodel — have transformed the historic space.

Adding lighting, custom shelving, stools and antiques, co-owners and newlyweds Brandon and Misty Ristaino have crafted a menu with custom everything, down to the fresh, local and season ingredients.

The Good Lion at 1212 State St. will host a grand opening at 4 p.m. Friday, where locals are invited to enjoy the cocktails, ambiance and — soon — a small tapas menu in partnership with neighboring restaurant Sama Sama Kitchen.

The Marquee wasn’t on the market, but that didn’t stop the Ristainos, who moved to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles two months ago, from striking a deal and opening in a dream location near arts, culture and downtown.

“We wanted to do a bar that looks like Santa Barbara,” said Brandon Ristaino, who brings 17 years of experience in bartending, hospitality and management to the venture, along with his wife’s background in entertainment.

The Good Lion, which is named after an Ernest Hemingway short story, boasts a piano and is still waiting on an official sign, along with a planned official weekly live music lineup and outdoor patio.

Wine Collective Opens in Funk Zone

A variety of Santa Barbara County wines will soon be available to taste by the flight, glass or bottle at the Santa Barbara Wine Collective in the Funk Zone.

The wine-tasting room opened late last week at 131 Anacapa St., Suite C, in a space that had been slated for an Avelina Wine Co. tasting room before owner and Oreana Winery proprietor Christian Garvin decided to instead open somewhere soon in the Santa Ynez Valley.

Santa Barbara Wine Collective is made up of a group of small producers, each offering a different selection of varietals but all working to producing wines with the same local vibe and focus.

So far, tasters can choose from Babcock Winery and Fess Parker, and coming soon will be Ca’ Del Grevino, Qupe, Sandhi, Jonata/The Paring/The Hilt, according to general manager Alejandro Medina.

He said the collective shares many of the same owners as neighbors Les Marchands, Lucky Penny and The Lark, which plans to open a full-production bakery in the same historic warehouse space that already features a new retail pop-up concept called Bird Dog Mercantile.

805 Mobile Oil Change Launches Locally

A local launched 805 Mobile Oil Change last week, providing a service that brings the mechanic to any customer’s location within Santa Barbara County.

Owner Michael Lange, who is based in Lompoc, said he will drive to change oil, rotate tires, change windshield wipers, polish headlights and provide special 12-point full service preventative maintenance onsite — all while a customer’s vehicle is parked in a lot at work or school, a driveway or anywhere else.

The most popular 12-point under-hood service costs $59, Lange said, and word of mouth has served his business well so far.

Montecito Beach Club Opens

A designer resort beachwear boutique has opened in Montecito at 1235 Coast Village Road, Suite A.

Local owners Bill Mancuso and Paula Davidson hosted a grand opening for Montecito Beach Club earlier this month.

The boutique sells exclusive lines of beachwear for men, women and children, along with custom paddleboards, said Mancuso, who added that the retail store is the only one like it in Montecito.

Lee & Associates Moves

Lee & Associates commercial real estate services firm is moving from its current downtown Santa Barbara office to 228 W. Carrillo St., Suite A.

The move, effective Friday, relocates the firm from its space at 1616 Chapala St., No. 1.

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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After Haggling Over Traffic Signal, Santa Barbara Commission Backs $50 Million Museum of Art Project

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Calling it one of Santa Barbara's iconic destinations, the city's Planning Commission in a four-hour meeting Thursday voted unanimously to support the Museum of Art's $50 million expansion and renovation.

Although commissioners haggled over the height of the planned fourth floor, the removal of two mature coast live oak trees and a change to the Anapamu Street midblock traffic signal, the commissioners said the project overall was positive for the community.

"I am really looking forward to this project," former mayor and current planning commissioner Sheila Lodge said. "I think it is going to be a great improvement."

The 8,000-square-foot expansion is designed to increase gallery space and create a rooftop pavilion that the museum would rent to outside groups to make money. Plans also call for seismic retrofits of the building, parts of which are more than 100 years old. 

The commissioners' biggest concerns, however, centered less on the inside or roof of the building, and more on the changes that would affect the public space outside the museum's walls, on the corner of State and Anapamu streets. 

The project includes a new art receiving facility on Anapamu Street with a freight elevator and a hydraulic lift. Currently, art is delivered from a truck onto a forklift.

The museum will need to move a transformer and remove two coast live oak trees to make room for the hydraulic lift area. Some of the commissioners wanted the City of Santa Barbara to find a place for the trees on public property, possibly in the nearby Central Library plaza. 

The city, however, wanted no part of managing the trees, particularly during a time of drought. 

To accommodate the hydraulic lift and new receiving area, the city wants to install a traffic signal that over hangs over the middle of the street, instead of the traditional signal pole currently in the middle of the block.

The city wants to move the light to hang over the middle of the street so it's visible to oncoming motorists, who might otherwise have their views blocked by trucks stopped at the receiving area delivering art or other items.

The commissioners were concerned that a mid-block traffic mast arm that hangs over the street might be out of character for the area.

"Where the project still falls short is in the treatment of public spaces adjacent to it," Commissioner June Pujo said. "This is an extremely important block of the downtown."

Initially, Pujo said she couldn't support the project with the proposed traffic mast signal.

"I would like to see the applicant and staff take some time to sort out some of the details," Pujo said. "I want to see some of the options of not having a signal mast. I would not like to make that intrusion in the public area of downtown."

Assistant City Attorney Scott Vincent interjected that the commission could not legally tell the city's traffic engineer what type of traffic signal to put in.

It looked like Pujo would be on the losing end of the vote until commission chairwoman Deborah Schwartz worked out a compromise, suggesting that the traffic engineer "exhaust all design possibilities prior to implementing a mast arm."

Museum of Art board member Bob Marshall said the public will benefit greatly from the new museum.

"The experience of visiting the museum will totally change," Marshall said. 

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

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Santa Barbara County Agencies Stage Ebola Preparedness Drill

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Public Health, AMR, hospitals and fire agencies test out protocols for infectious disease response

How would Santa Barbara County handle a case of Ebola?

Public Health officials, hospitals and emergency responders participated in an extensive preparedness drill Thursday to test out its infectious disease protocols.

There are written plans, but this was the chance to test it out, said Susan Klein-Rothschild with the county Public Health Department. 

“Because there is a very real possibility that we could have someone with an infectious disease like Ebola, we need to be prepared,” she said.

The drill examined what to do, and how, in the case of a suspected patient. That includes having questions to ask during screening, the county health officer making decisions about transportation and quarantining the patient and other exposed people, and testing out protective gear and equipment for health-care workers.

AMR prepared an ambulance with protective equipment, to make sure there’s no contamination in the case of infectious disease patients, and emergency responders donned protective suits to transport a mock patient to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in Thursday morning’s drill.

The hospital prepared to accept the patient, and other units prepared to take and ship specimens to the appropriate labs for Ebola testing.

Klein-Rothschild said there were many lessons learned from the drill, and the county agencies will be following up on those things to become even more prepared, including a focus on communications, sharing information between agencies and developing protocols for people who had to be isolated or quarantined.

ebola
Paramedic Andrew Westby dons protective gear during Thursday's Ebola preparedness drill. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

“We practiced and talked about what to do with other family members if there is a suspected Ebola case," she said. "The health officer needs to make determinations about what’s appropriate.”

Any place someone is quarantined or isolated needs to be a secure, safe, comfortable place, she said.

The Public Health Department, American Medical Response, County Fire, some health-care centers and all five of the county's hospitals participated in the four-hour drill, including Marian Regional Medical Center, Lompoc Valley Medical Center, Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital, Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital and Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

At Lompoc, the staff coordinated the arrival for a mock Ebola patient, who came to the emergency department pretending to be a health worker who returned from Liberia recently, spokesperson Nora Wallace said. 

"As part of the drill, a second suspected Ebola patient arrived seeking aide at 8 a.m.," she said. "Both patients were taken to decontamination and isolation areas while staff conducted a series of set response procedures, incorporating medical, administrative, environmental services, maintenance and other departments." 

Lessons learned from the drill could lead to new equipment purchases and policy changes, LVMC safety officer Jim White said in a statement. 

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

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Santa Barbara Superintendent Delivers Upbeat ‘State of Our Schools’ Address

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Dave Cash notes that the district has seen a decrease in suspensions, has a strong reserve fund and plans to expand many of its new programs

Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Dave Cash shared a lot of good news in his State of Our Schools presentation Thursday, talking about the district’s successes and plans to expand many of its new programs.

The one-to-one iPad pilot program is doing well and could soon be expanded to more schools in the district, he said.

Restorative approaches, the district’s more progressive attitude toward student discipline, has resulted in fewer suspensions and helps keep students in class, he said. Suspension rates for junior high and high schools dropped 25 percent the first year and 18 percent last year.

The totals were 421 male and 166 female students suspended last year, which is a huge drop compared to the past, Cash noted.

He said that when he was principal at Dos Pueblos High School 15 years ago, he would have suspended that many students from that campus alone.

Like other California districts, SBUSD is preparing for its first year of new student testing that uses computers and the Common Core State Standards for math and English language arts.

The new standards are undoubtedly more rigorous than the old ones, and test scores are expected to drop for the first year, Cash said.

He said teachers are creating the new curriculum for the Common Core State Standards as they implement it, which is exhausting work.

“When you see a teacher, give them a hug because they are working their tails off,” Cash said.

The district has been working hard to recruit and hire teachers, with 170 new teachers hired over the last two years.

One of the district’s major goals for the next three years is to improve “cultural proficiency” at all its schools, making sure all students feel like school is a place that understands their aspirations and will help them succeed. It’s about asking tough questions, even if they make people uncomfortable, Cash said.

The district’s reclassification rate, re-designating English learner students as English-proficient, has been improving but still is only at 11 percent. It was at 3 percent three years ago.

Students can’t take college prep courses, including the prerequisites for University of California and California State University applications, until they get re-designated, which makes reclassification very important to get students ready for college and careers, Cash said.

For some good financial news, Cash said the district is no longer deficit-spending and has a strong reserve fund. Its facility plan is helping staff prioritize maintenance projects, and most of the bond-funded capital projects will be completed soon.

All the projects funded by the voter-approved Measures Q and R in 2010 will be finished by the end of 2016, except the Peabody Stadium renovation, which will take a bit longer, Cash said.

The third annual event was presented by the Santa Barbara Education Foundation, an educational nonprofit that partners with districts to help local students. 

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

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Inmate Recaptured After Escaping at Santa Barbara Courthouse

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Cristian Otey

A Santa Barbara County Jail inmate on his way to court was able to escape Thursday, but was quickly taken back into custody, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Cristian Otey, 41, was scheduled to appear at the criminal court building at 118 E Figueroa St. in downtown Santa Barbara when he made his escape attempt at about 8:25 a.m. , said sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

The incident began as Otey was handcuffed and secured to a chain with other inmates, and they were being unloaded from a sheriff's bus, Hoover said.

"Otey managed to escape out of his handcuffs by using a jail made instrument," Hoover said. "He then slipped between a security door and the bus, jumped a fence and broke away from the grip of a custody deputy."

While running away, Otey stripped off some of his jail-issued clothing, Hoover said.

Sheriff's deputies and a University of California police officer gave chase, Hoover said, and apprehended Otey a few minutes later less than a block away, in the 300 block of West Carrillo Street.

Otey was heading to court after being arrested Monday by the Santa Barbara Police Department, Hoover said.

He is facing charges of battery against a non-cohabitating spouse/fiancée as well as an out-of-county warrant for probable/willful harm to a child, Hoover said.

He also is accused of assault with a deadly weapon other than firearm or force likely to produce great bodily injury; inflicting corporal injury on a spouse, an ex-spouse, a cohabitant, ex-cohabitant, or a child’s parent; and disorderly conduct in public while under the influence of alcohol.

After Thursday's incident, Otey is facing new charges of escape from jail and resisting/obstructing a public officer, Hoover 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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UC Regents Approve 5-Year Tuition-Hike Plan

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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The cost of tuition could rise every year for the next five years — or not at all — beginning next fall, according to a plan approved Thursday by the University of California Regents.

Officials backed the move by a 13-7 vote at a meeting in San Francisco, essentially abandoning a two-year tuition freeze agreement penned between the UC System and the governor’s office in 2013.

Tuition had been frozen for three years.

Students across the state and some elected officials have already condemned what the UC Office of the President called a five-year stability plan, which would allow annual tuition and student fee increases of up to 5 percent for undergraduates and graduate students over five years, beginning in the fall of 2015.

Increases would depend on the level of state funding the UC System receives, and tuition could rise by the entire 5 percent or stay the same.

By that measure, UC Santa Barbara in-state students enrolling in fall 2015 could see a maximum increase of $610 — a total price tag of $12,802.

Hundreds of students protested the vote outside UCSB’s Storke Tower on Thursday afternoon in an event hosted by Associated Students Student Lobby, a group that aligned itself with the UC Student Association and other UC campuses.

“Under the pretense that this increase will provide stability for the years to come, this vote is indicative of the continuous and systemic disinvestment from higher education by the State of California,” the group said in a statement. “This vote represents a broken promise to current, future and former students across the state. Those in positions of power have not only failed us, but also thrown the prospect of having an educated workforce in jeopardy.”

The local protest followed hundreds of other students who showed up to protest planned hikes Wednesday, when a panel voted 7-2 to approve the plan, with Gov. Jerry Brown and a student regent dissenting.

At that meeting, Brown suggested instead forming a committee to investigate a variety of ideas for reducing UC’s long-term costs. While UC President Janet Napolitano and regents liked the idea, she said the UC System could not hold off the increases.

She has touted the plan as one providing students with low, predictable tuition and more access while also maintaining a robust university financial aid program and investing in educational quality.

Assuming an increase in state support of at least 4 percent, the plan is meant to allow at least 5,000 more California students to enroll over five years, reduce the student-faculty ratio, increase course selection and lessen the time to graduation.

“Despite the level of public disinvestment, its research and academic reputation have been largely sustained,” Napolitano said. “Entire swaths of the California economy — from biotechnology to the wine industry — have sprung from UC research. UC graduates lead the creativity and innovation activities upon which California prides itself.

“With this plan we can invest in faculty. This means we can increase course selection, speed time to graduation, and better support graduate education as well as undergraduate education. But we cannot continue to do these things without additional revenue.”

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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Susan Miles Gulbransen: Speaking of Stories ... Tom Hanks, Joan Bowman and the Late Charles Champlin

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Storytelling must go back to Adam and Eve. Could it have started when he came home to tell her about the big fish that got away?

Taking the art of storytelling through the ages, Speaking of Stories this weekend offers for the first time Personal Stories: Santa Barbara Voices. These stories — written and read by local writers — will be performed by two lineups Friday through Sunday.

They are much like the Moth Radio Hour, a New York City nonprofit organization dedicated to the art and craft of storytelling. These true stories draw audiences like a light draws moths.

For 20 years, Speaking of Stories has featured professional actors reading published short stories. In September, it ran a contest for true stories to be read by the author. The result is an eclectic collection of humorous, poignant, embarrassing and touching stories at Center Stage Theater at Paseo Nuevo in Santa Barbara. Among the two groups are Linda Stewart-Oaten, Jeff Wing, Dan Gunther, Kathy Marden, Michael Russer and, admittedly, myself. Click here for the complete lineup of 20 authors, times and more information.

                                                                 •        •        •

In a world dominated by computers and high tech, the typewriter barely gets a mention any more. Not with award-winning actor Tom Hanks. Since 1978, he has collected typewriters, both manual and portable dating, from the 1930s to 1990s.

According to the Los Angeles Times, he has written a collection of stories to be released at an unknown date by Alfred A. Knopf.

“The stories are not about the typewriters themselves, but rather the stories are something that might have been written on one of them,” he says.

Hanks’ inspiration goes back to storytelling (a familiar theme in this column?).

“I’ve been around great storytellers all my life and, like an enthusiastic student, I want to tell some of my own,” he says.

Hanks has had one of his stories published in The New Yorker magazine recently, “Alan Bean Plus Four.” He gives credit for the inspiration from being around the space program while making Apollo 13 and From the Earth to the Moon. I’d say he’s a good type of writer if inspired by a typewriter ...

                                                                 •        •        •

When local author Joan Bowman’s father, Joe Marinello, died, she joined her two sisters to honor him by creating a cookbook. In the last year of his life, this outstanding Italian cook wrote down favorite recipes for his daughters. They now appear in La Cucina Marinello: Three Generations of Italian Cooking.

This family cookbook was, as she says, “A labor of love for the last six years. My sisters and I wrote it to celebrate our Southern Italian heritage and honoring our dad’s wish to pass our family recipes down to the next generation.”

A Santa Barbara resident for almost 30 years, Bowman is not new to writing and publishing. She was the acting publisher of Advocacy Press, a nonprofit educational publisher, where she revised the celebrated Choices Life Skills Journals for adolescents and published Letters from the Heart for Girls Incorporated of Greater Santa Barbara.

The cookbook uses her Ph.D. in human development to write about family rituals and traditions. She and her blogging partner, Rhona Gordon, can be read on their blog, Food and Friendship Santa Barbara, which focuses on the essentials of food and friendship, while celebrating our unique area and its bountiful resources.

Bowman found extra pleasure with the book project when doing signings.

“I am having fun with the book,” she wrote. “People’s reaction to it interests and stimulates me. It’s as if they pick out the most important themes, and from their lens you adjust and see your book in a wholly different light.”

Click here for a sneak preview of the cookbook.

“My identity is hidden behind a Scottish last name, but if you were in my kitchen, that’s another story,” she says.

The book demonstrates her Italian side.

Click here for a related Noozhawk article on Bowman.

                                                                 •        •        •

“A gentleman and a scholar.”

That classic handle sums up the late Charles Champlin, the Los Angeles Times arts editor, film critic and columnist for almost three decades. Champlin died Sunday in Los Angeles of complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He was 88.

Even with credentials that any journalist would die for, Champlin was easy to talk to and showed genuine interest in others. He was also a mainstay in Barnaby Conrad’s circle of well-known writer friends, along with Ray Bradbury, Charles Schulz and several others who participated in the Santa Barbara Writers Conference.

As a student years ago at the writers conference, I knew Champlin from a distance: head of his nonfiction workshop or on stage speaking. He was many degrees of separation from me, but not for long. One morning we ended up at the same table for breakfast. Conversation came easily.

In the mid-1980s, Paul Lazaurus, co-director of SBWC, asked me to lead my own nonfiction workshop. I was filled with a “newbie’s” doubts for this assignment. Even though Champlin had graduated from Harvard, served as journalist for two of the country’s top magazines, Life and Time, and personally knew endless celebrities, he again sat at breakfast next to me.

Right away he congratulated me on my new role and proceeded to share encouraging words of wisdom full of common sense and integrity. Soon I was calling him Chuck, a name his friends and colleagues used, and knew I had a friend forever. The world without him will not be nearly as classy has it has been.

Noozhawk columnist Susan Miles Gulbransen — a Santa Barbara native, writer and book reviewer — teaches writing at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference and through the Santa Barbara City College Continuing Education Division. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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Moscow Ballet’s ‘Great Russian Nutcracker’ Coming to Chumash Casino Resort

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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The Moscow Ballet returns to the Chumash Casino Resort to perform its signature Great Russian Nutcracker in the Samala Showroom at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18.

Tickets for the show are $25, $35 and $45. Children 8 and older are welcome to attend at regular ticket prices.

The Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker tells the beloved Christmas story of the girl who falls in love with a Nutcracker Prince — with Russian flair. Praised by The New York Times as “thrilling and expansive,” the 40 impeccably trained Russian dancers leap, spin and lunge as you have never seen before.

Audiences love the Christmas party with magical toys, battles with an evil Mouse King and a journey through the glittering Snow Forrest. Unique to Moscow Ballet productions, Russian folk characters Father Christmas and the Snow Maiden escort Masha (Clara) to the Land of Peace and Harmony where she and the Nutcracker Prince are honored by emissaries from heritages the world over; African, Russian, Asian, European and Hispanic.

Set to Pytor Tchaikovsky’s famous score, Moscow Ballet’s production features lavish costumes, nine hand-painted backdrops with 3-D ornamentation and fanciful, larger-than-life puppets designed by a Russian master.

In 1993, Moscow Ballet toured with the Great Russian Nutcracker for the first time in the U.S. and was welcomed with critical acclaim in cities such as Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Syracuse, Orlando and Fort Lauderdale. The inaugural six-week tour was directed and choreographed by Stanislav Vlasov, a former soloist with the Bolshoi Ballet and well-known “Grand Dance Artist,” and it starred principal ballerina Lillia Sabitova.

It also featured the innovative rolling backgrounds first created by a St. Petersburg Conservatory of Music producer. Since then, the annual tour has increased to include more than 100 performances on the tour to cities from San Juan to Calgary, and from New York to California, traveling with two simultaneously touring companies of 40 dancers each.

Don’t miss an opportunity to see this Christmastime favorite performed by Principal Danseur Anatolie Ustimov and Principal Ballerina Alisa Voronova, who were both featured in Moscow Ballet’s Romeo and Juliet performance in the Samala Showroom on Nov. 6.

Located on Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, the Chumash Casino Resort is an age 18-or-older venue. Tickets for all events are available at the Chumash Casino Resort’s Club Chumash or online by clicking here.

Mike Traphagen is a public relations specialist for the Chumash Casino Resort.

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Computers, Smartphones, Social Media: UCSB Researchers Examine How Technology Is Changing the World

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Years before smartphones and social media dominated pop culture, two UC Santa Barbara professors seemingly divined the explosive future of the information superhighway and then acted on it in a monumental way.

They founded UCSB’s Center for Information Technology and Society a decade and a half ago to explore an ever-changing and unwieldy topic: how information technologies are changing the world.

The two academics hailed from different fields: Bruce Bimber taught political science, Kevin Almeroth computer science. They still do. Their collaboration is particularly fitting given that an interdisciplinary approach is a hallmark of the research center. Both founding scholars also remain affiliated with the center, which is celebrating its 15th year.

“They were really ahead of the curve, astute forward thinkers who could see how these emerging technologies were going to have huge repercussions for the way our society is organized,” said Lisa Parks, professor of film and media studies and the center’s current director.

 “We bring people together to think about how information technologies — computers, mobile phones, satellites, social media and even the Google Glass — are impacting the way we live, work, solve problems and govern ourselves,” she said.

Research at CITS is currently driven by 44 faculty members from more than a dozen departments across campus that include the expected (computer science, communication, electrical engineering) and the potentially surprising (art, English, sociology).

“One of our sources of pride is how genuinely multidisciplinary we are,” said Parks. “We’ll have a geographer working with an artist and a psychologist at the same time. They are pieces of a puzzle that fit together to investigate big research questions related to technology and society.”

For a project examining Internet freedom across three countries — Zambia, Turkey and Mongolia — scholars from the computer science, communications and film and media studies departments have teamed up.

Funded by a grant from the U.S. State Department, they are studying whether people in those countries can talk freely online and use social media without reprisal. Researchers plan to share their findings with organizations that fight repression around the world.

Another project is attempting to bring affordable Internet access to rural communities in Southern Africa “in a way that is sustainable and scaled to local capacities,” said Parks, who is leading the effort with Elizabeth Belding, a UCSB professor of computer science and the center’s associate director.

“People there make less than a dollar a day and don’t have access to electricity,” Parks explained. “Many have mobile phones and can receive incoming calls but can’t afford talk time. We’ve been partnering with that community in an effort to improve their connectivity.”

Parks has traveled to Zambia with graduate students several times to do field work to evaluate the community’s needs and interests. They shared their information with computer scientists charged with developing the network. One tangible result of the 3-year-old endeavor: Belding’s team has developed a free experimental local mobile phone network called VillageCell that has been piloted within the community of Macha, Zambia. The project is funded by a $1.2 million grant from the National Science Foundation.

Through public lectures and programs — more than two-dozen in the past two years — the center shares its research with the campus and wider community. Topics have included the relationship among the mind, brain and virtual reality; the history of air war and drones; and the digital divide, the gulf between those who have easy access to computers and those who do not.

The center also supports an optional Ph.D. emphasis in technology and society that is available to students enrolled in participating academic departments in engineering, social sciences and the humanities. “We’ve placed several of our graduates in really good positions at prestigious research institutions,” Parks said.

When asked how often the center’s projects effect real change in the world, Parks paused before answering. “Every single day,” she said, “in the sense that we are all teaching in the classroom, encouraging new generations of students to think about how our technologies shape our world.”

— Valerie Nelson represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

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Ken Williams: Real-Life Consequences of America’s Growing Income Disparity

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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[Note: This article is dedicated to the Battered Women’s Shelter, Transition House and Joshua, a 5-month-old baby who died homeless on our streets.]

With a raging debate on the subject of the growing income disparity in our country, and in fact around the world, all but lost in the statistics is the flesh and blood of this story. How does the problem of stagnating, and in many cases falling, wages of workers translate into real life? In one segment, that of those least able to defend themselves and most likely to be traumatized by homelessness are our children.

A new and devastating report published by the San Jose Mercury-News documents our society’s retreat from acting as a community to one in which everyone is out for themselves, and damned the ones who fall by the wayside.

Homelessness among our children is at an all-time high. In 2013, 2.5 million children spent some time homeless. That is an 8 percent increase in child homelessness between 2012 and 2013.

Of course, none of this should come as a surprise. With wages still not recovered to pre-recession levels, it becomes harder and harder for those fortunate enough to have a job to make ends meet. With a vengeful Congress rolling back public housing assistance for decades, as well as time-capping how long families can collect public assistance, why are people surprised when the blood payment becomes due?

With the endless Long War bleeding trillions of dollars from our national economy, is it really surprising that money for domestic programs is hard to find? And when the political landscape is strewn with veiled fear and hatred of the underclass and, increasingly, the impoverished tainted middle class, collateral damage that includes our children is a natural outcome.

As a national policy, we have already gutted the African-American communities with a racially tinged War on Drugs. The percentage of Anglo kids using drugs is the same as the percentage of African-American and Hispanic kids using drugs, yet our prisons are crammed full with people of color. For white males, their chances of spending some time in jail during their life is one in 17. For a black man, it is one in three, and for a Latino it is one in six.

Two-thirds of all people in prison because of a drug charge are people of color — two-thirds! Yet it bears repeating that drug usage is equal across all racial groups. The difference is a color-biased and money-based legal system. If you have the money, your attorney can afford to plea-bargain your charges down with sealed records. If you’re poor and uneducated, you end up copping a plea. With a rap sheet upon discharge from prison, loss of voting rights, gaps in employment and a record, what are the chances of landing a decent job?

What are the prospects for children who have been ripped from their homes to live in cars, parks or, if lucky, in big city homeless shelters? The shame cuts deep. Children become worthless in their own eyes. Grades fall, self-esteem plummets and jail is often in their future. For those children unfortunate enough to see their mothers become victims of abuse, another scarring layer is added to their traumatized youth.

There is nothing pretty nor noble about poverty. Homelessness damages, deforms and in many cases condemns our youngest citizens to a lifetime of poverty and/or worse, prison. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but I do know there are solutions to this man-made national tragedy. The first step is to acknowledge there is a problem. The second step is to move beyond our fears that separate us from our homeless neighbors.

All of us also must reject the politics of fear, even if it comes from our own City Council or our congressional and senatorial representatives, or those running for president. They must hear such a loud outcry from us that the politics of fear is replaced by the politics of compassion and reason. By the belief that we are all members of the same community and that we strive for a better world together, or we slide back into a world where the biggest and baddest beast rules all others, and the weak are cast aside. If we are better than mere savages of the jungle, then our children — all our children — need our effort to end this national disgrace. If we do nothing, then that absence of love condemns us before future generations who will question what kind of people turned a blind eye to the welfare of their own children.

We are adults living in a democracy. We have free will. Our children are our country’s most precious resource and its future. If we fail them when they need us most, then no excuse exonerates us. As my D.I. told us enough times in Marine boot camp: Everyone has excuses — especially those who fail.

Ken Williams has been a social worker for the homeless for the past 30 years, and is the author of China White, Shattered Dreams: A Story of the Streets and his first nonfiction book, There Must Be Honor. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Community Invited to Thanksgiving Day Service at Christian Science Church

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Area residents who wish to celebrate their gratitude for the ways God has blessed them are invited to come to the Thanksgiving Day church service at First Church of Christ, Scientist, Santa Barbara at 10 a.m. Thursday, Nov. 27.

Those who study Christian Science and worship at the local Christian Science church practice the laws of God that Christ Jesus relied on when he healed the sick, cleansed the lepers and raised the dead.

Similar healings were performed in the Boston area by the church’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, following her healing of serious injuries in 1866, sustained after a fall on the ice. Her physician had done all he could for her, so she asked for her Bible. After reading a healing account of Jesus, she felt well enough to get up, completely healed, after which she taught hundreds of others how to heal in Jesus’ name for many years.

Those who attend this Thanksgiving Day service will hear readings from the King James Bible and the textbook Eddy wrote, called Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, as well as testimonies given by students of Christian Science who have been helped and healed by reading her book together with the Bible.

The church is a well-known Santa Barbara landmark located at 120 E. Valerio St., between Santa Barbara and Anacapa streets, where ample parking is available.

Children are welcome at the service, and child care is also open for youngsters while their parents attend the Thanksgiving Day service.

— Jonatha King is a publicist representing First Church of Christ, Scientist, Santa Barbara.

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SBCC Theatre Arts Department Names Sara Smith/Phyllis Mailes Scholarship Competition Winners

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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The SBCC Theatre Arts Department, in collaboration with the SBCC Foundation, is pleased to announce 10 student recipients of the Sara Evelyn Smith Endowed Scholarships in Theatre Arts and the Phyllis Mailes Memorial Scholarship for Actors for 2014-15.

Selections were made based on essays detailing educational and professional goals as well as two- to four-minute monologues performed in front of a panel of judges.

This year's recipients are Tessa Corrie, Waldo Damaso-Figueroa, Antonio DeNunzio, Natalie Ginsberg, Emma Jolin, Amanda Probst, Nicole Romero, Samantha Wierick, Laksmini Wiyantini and Zammi Zwane.

The Sara Evelyn Smith Scholarships in Theatre Arts were established in honor of a very special woman who spent over 50 years in theater arts education. She acted in numerous productions, taught theater in the Detroit school system, and directed musical shows and youth theater productions for most of her life. Her son, the late Bob Smith, owned KEYT-TV in Santa Barbara, and her daughter-in-law, Anne, was an educator in theater arts and past president of the Board of Directors of the Lobero Theatre.

The Phyllis Mailes Memorial Scholarship for Actors was established by her son, Tim Whitcomb, in honor of her support of the arts.

A total of 10 $1,000 scholarships are determined by the monologue competition held each fall. Any SBCC theater student who is taking at least nine units at SBCC and is currently enrolled in an acting class is eligible to compete for one of the awards.

A scholarship reception was held Tuesday at the Jurkowitz Theatre, at which time the recipients performed their monologues for donors, faculty, friends and family.

— Jessica Tade is the marketing director for the SBCC Foundation.

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Two-Day Maintenance Project on Highway 246 In Lompoc Begins Monday

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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A two-day maintenance project to grind and pave Highway 246 from O Street to R Street will begin on Monday, Nov. 24 from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Motorists headed westbound on Highway 246 will detour onto the eastbound No. 1 lane while motorists headed eastbound will use the No. 2 lane.

Cross traffic will not be allowed on Highway 246/Ocean Avenue at O Street, N Street, M Street and R Street. Motorists will be able to make right hand turns from South R Street onto eastbound Highway 246.

Motorists can expect a delay not to exceed 10 minutes. This project will be performed by the Caltrans maintenance team from Buellton.

Caltrans reminds motorists to move over and slow down when driving through highway construction zones.

For traffic updates on other state highways in Santa Barbara County, motorists can call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805.549.3318 or visit the District 5 website by clicking here.

— Jim Shivers is a public information officer for Caltrans.

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One Injured in School Bus Crash in Goleta

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Victim transported to hospital with moderate injuries

A Goleta Union School District bus was involved in a collision Thursday that sent one person to hospital with moderate injuries. (Claire Scholl / KEYT News photo)

One person was injured Thursday when a school bus collided with a vehicle on the Patterson Avenue overpass in Goleta, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The accident occurred shortly after 8 a.m., and involved a Goleta Union School District bus.

The bus T-boned a vehicle after exiting the southbound offramp from Highway 101, according to California Highway Patrol Dispatch.

The vehicle that was struck was pushed into another vehicle, said fire Capt. David Sadecki.

There were one student on the bus at the time of the crash, and neither the driver nor the passenger was hurt.

One person in one of the vehicles suffered moderate injuries, Sadecki said, and was transported to Cottage Hospital.

Patterson Avenue was closed for a time in the area.

The bus was taking one student to Mountain View School, according to the Goleta Union School District. The student was picked up by a parent and taken to school after the accident, Superintendent Bill Banning said. 

The district will be cooperating with the CHP's investigation of the collision and conducting an internal investigation, Banning said. 

"The Goleta Union School District would like to express our deep concern for everyone involved in this morning’s accident involving one of Goleta Union School District’s buses," he said in a statement.

"The facts as I understand them currently are as follows. A bus transporting one GUSD student was involved in a collision with a passenger vehicle  at the intersection of southbound Highway 101 and Patterson Avenue this morning. Two other passenger vehicles were involved. The driver of the car that was struck by the bus was transported to Cottage Hospital for treatment. Her condition is not available at this time, but her injuries are not life-threatening. The bus driver and student passenger were uninjured.

"GUSD  is concerned for the well-being and safety of all children who are transported to and from school each day. We maintain the highest standards of training and professionalism for our transportation employees and recently celebrated 118,412 of safe driving miles for the period of June 1, 2013 to May 31, 2014." 

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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Towbes Group Now Pre-Leasing for New Siena Apartments in Santa Maria

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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The Towbes Group Inc. is now pre-leasing its newest apartment community, Siena, located in Santa Maria at the convenient corner of Sonya Lane and Westgate Road.

Siena will feature a gated resort-style community with 211 spacious apartments offering both one- and two-bedroom floor plans as well as community amenities such as a resort-style pool and spa, a fitness center, a luxurious clubhouse, an outdoor barbecue area, professional on-site management and a tot lot play area, and selected units will even be pet friendly.

“We are excited to bring new apartments to Santa Maria plus expand on The Towbes brand, which people have really come to love,” said Danell Dunlap, senior community manager of Siena Apartments. “The resident feedback for our Towbes communities is taken very seriously and we work hard to provide an unparalleled living experience.”

Those looking to rent a home at Siena will have four floor plan types to choose from. All four plan types will feature the same great amenities such as contemporary appliances, private balcony or patio, walk-in closets, energy efficient gas stove, washer/dryer hookups, ceiling fans, and be high speed data and cable ready. Residents will also have assigned covered parking as well as access to a secondary parking space.

For more information on living at Siena, click here or call 805.357.2550.

The Towbes Group Inc. has proven successful track records in the residential and commercial real estate arena. Headquartered in Santa Barbara, The Towbes Group has extensive expertise in development, construction, investment, and asset management. Widely recognized for delivering excellence across all its products and services, the award-winning fully integrated real estate firm has distinguished itself as not only a trustworthy, innovative organization but also as a vital community member.

Under the leadership of Michael Towbes, the company has developed 6,000 residential units and 1.8 million square feet of commercial properties primarily in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties. It manages more than 2 million square feet of commercial space, including offices, light industrial and retail uses, and approximately 2,100 residential units. In addition, it is currently developing new homes and apartments in Santa Maria.

More up to date information can be found by clicking here. The Towbes Group Inc. is located at 21 E. Victoria St., Suite 200 in Santa Barbara.

— Sam Carey is a brand manager for The Towbes Group.

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Prison Parolee Arrested on Carjacking Charges

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Antonino Alexis Hernandez

A prison parolee was arrested Wednesday night after he allegedly tried to car-jack a vehicle in Santa Maria.

Antonino Alexis Hernandez, 30, was arrested at about 8:45 p.m. in the area of Betteravia Road and A Street, according to Sgt. Steve Lopez of the Santa Maria Police Department.

Officers were dispatched to the area on a report of a family disturbance with a possible vehicle theft.

Hernandez allegedly entered a work truck used by a city sub-contractor and attempted to drive off with it, Lopez said.

"The assigned driver of the truck contacted Hernandez and prevented him from driving away, by putting the truck in park," Lopez said. "Hernandez struck the driver and then went after him."

Hernandez eventually was detained by other workers in the area, and was taken into custody by officers.

He was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of car-jacking, Lopez said, adding that Hernandez had recently been released from state prison.

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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Chris Robinson Brotherhood Coming to the Lobero Theatre on Nov. 29

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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The Chris Robinson Brotherhood will perform at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara at 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 29. Tickets are on sale now!

The Chris Robinson Brotherhood is touring in support of its latest release, Phosphorescent Harvest. Praised by Rolling Stone as “at once quirky, trippy, soulful and downright magnetic,” it’s the band’s third long-playing album for Silver Arrow Records. As Robinson declares: "We've created a piece of rock 'n' roll here. People can look to us and rest assured the genre is alive and well.”

The CRB (as they are affectionately known by fans) made an immediate impact upon their boldly unconventional debut in early 2011. They would play close to 50 shows over nine weeks in California before ever leaving the Golden State. In fact, they’d wait until 2012 to truly introduce themselves nationally with the release of two sprawling studio albums: Big Moon Ritual (June 2012) and The Magic Door (September 2012), which presented a freewheeling improvisational chemistry, but with songwriting depth to back it up.

The band — Robinson (lead vocals, guitar), Neal Casal (guitar, vocals), Adam Macdougall (keys, vocals), George Sluppick (drums) and Mark Dutton (bass, vocals) — would further develop their identity as a self-defined “farm to table psychedelic rock band” over a 118-show stretch. Late 2013 saw the fruits of this labor forever captured by legendary tape priestess, Betty Cantor-Jackson (Grateful Dead), on the eight-sided limited-edition vinyl release Betty’s S.F. Blends Volume 1, which documented a glorious five night run the previous December at San Francisco’s famed Great American Music Hall.

Only momentarily content with their auspicious rise, the Brotherhood reconvened with producer Thom Monahan (Vetiver, Beachwood Sparks, Devendra Banhart) shortly thereafter to record yet another set of 10 songs that would become the 2014 release, Phosphorescent Harvest.

Where Robinson had been the primary instigator behind the 14 compositions that populated the band’s first two releases, this latest effort documents his burgeoning songwriting partnership with Casal. It also finds The CRB refining its approach within the studio. The two previous recordings were for all intents and purposes cut live and released as tracked. For Phosphorescent Harvest, the band spent the better part of 2013 crafting a tried and true studio album. For many artists this would imply intentional neutering in the pursuit of commercial upside, but in Robinson and company's hands, it meant utilizing the studio to harness their full sonic vision. Indeed, their expansive sense of space and texture has never been so fully realized until now.

Casal expands on the process: "The approach was get to far out sonically, while retaining a certain focus on the central melody of each song. Psychedelia, sonic density, and expanded arrangements were the order of the day, but the songs are strong. This band is all about musical freedom. Boundary dissolving is our ideal. Boundary dissolving and a good ole’ Saturday night boogie."

In an age when so many put their beliefs in trends, the Chris Robinson Brotherhood is committed to something deeper. In Robinson’s words: "We don't make music that can sell iPads. Our music will not sell you a Prius. I like that. Writing songs has always led me to good things in my life. The songwriting saved me through the dark times, and the songwriting makes it that much sweeter when it’s good. Real success can only come in pursuit of an authentic sound. We’re all very committed to this music, beyond money and egos. That’s a unique place to be."

Don’t miss "An Evening with Chris Robinson Brotherhood" at the Lobero Theatre on Nov. 29. Tickets are $28, plus applicable service charges. Tickets are available through the Lobero Theatre box office at 33 E. Canon Perdido St. in Santa Barbara or by clicking here. Call 805.963.0761 to charge by phone.

— Jessica Puchli represents Nederlander Concerts.

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SBCC’s CLL Presents Floral Arrangement Show to Benefit Public Art School Programs

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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floral
The Floral Arrangement Show and Marketplace will feature daily floral arranging demonstrations. (SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning photo)

The SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning welcomes the community to view and shop for unique floral displays from Las Floralias and the CLL’s Floral Arrangement Class at the 43rd annual Floral Arrangement Show and Marketplace from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 22 and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23 in the Tanahill Auditorium of the SBCC Schott Center, 310 W. Padre in Santa Barbara.

The show, sponsored by the Las Floralias Flower Arrangers of Santa Barbara, will include daily floral arranging demonstrations at 1 p.m.

Succulent wreaths, floral arrangements and calendars will also be available for purchase. All proceeds benefit Public Art School Programs (a $5 donation is suggested).

For more information, email sanroqueflorist@hotmail.com.

Richard Finn, CLL teacher, San Roque Florist owner and member of Las Floralias, will have his work on display. Finn teaches Flower Arranging and Florist Style Designing at CLL. The course teaches students the secrets and techniques of floristry in flowering arranging or western garden style for the home, office, events or competitions. This course will also be offered in the winter term.

Las Floralias Flower Arrangers of Santa Barbara is a flower arranging club with a broad spectrum of members, the majority of whom have taken Flower Arranging classes through the CLL.

CLL fall classes continue through Dec. 13. Winter term class registration opens on Dec. 8, and classes begin on Jan. 12. Classes start throughout the term. Click here for more information.

— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing the SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning.

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Santa Barbara Dentist Office Offering Free Dental Care on Friday

By | Published on 11/20/2014

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Mountain and Sea Dental at 2780 State St. in Santa Barbara will provide free dental care for those who need it from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 21.

"'Dentistry from the Heart' is charity dental help for those who have trouble paying for it,” said Dr. Michael Carley, DDS, at Mountain and Sea Dental.

He said this is done periodically to give back to the community.

Patients are seen by appointment only by calling 805.681.4848.

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Mentally Ill Person in Orange County Sent ‘Suspicious Package’ to Santa Barbara Police

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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The suspicious package and letters sent to the Santa Barbara Police Department on Tuesday were sent by a person with mental health issues in Orange County, authorities said Wednesday.

SBPD’s annex building at 222 E. Anapamu St. was evacuated Tuesday afternoon during a six-hour hazardous materials investigation of a suspicious liquid delivered in the mail. It was determined not to be dangerous.

The correspondence that came with the package, and the letter sent the previous week, made references to a terrorist figure and poisonings, Sgt. Riley Harwood said.

The mail was sent to a SBPD detective.

Hazmat crews place a suspicious item sent to a Santa Barbara police detective into a bucket for examination Tuesday afternoon. It was found not to be dangerous. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

With help from the Tustin Police Department in Orange County, where the package was mailed, local police identified the person responsible for sending the package and letter, Harwood said.

“We believe that these are the doings of someone who in mentally ill, so as far as we’re concerned this investigation is closed," he said. "We’re not looking at this as a criminal issue.”

Police won’t elaborate on the liquid sent in the mail, but Harwood said it was a common chemical substance not a hazardous material.

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

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Santa Barbara Museum of Art Plans Rooftop Garden, 4th Floor with $50 Million Expansion

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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The Santa Barbara Planning Commission will consider the 8,000-square-foot development plan at Thursday's meeting

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art wants to build a rooftop garden with a terrace and pavilion, creating a fourth floor as part of a $50 million, 8,000-square-foot expansion of its downtown building.

Museum officials are scheduled to go before the Santa Barbara Planning Commission on Thursday seeking approval for its development plan. The museum last week erected story poles to show the scope of the expansion, which would reach as high as 59 feet. 

The cost of the project is expected to reach $50 million, including $8 million to establish an endowment for future upkeep of the facilities. The museum, which currently includes galleries, a museum store, a cafe, an auditorium, a library and a children's area, is one of Santa Barbara's most prominent destinations for locals and tourists. 

"Some of our gallery space occupies a structure that is more than 100 years old," museum director Larry Feinberg said in an email to Noozhawk. "So, due to the age of the building and normal wear, the museum faces some critical needs."

Feinberg pointed out that the project calls for seismic reinforcements of the masonry walls, system upgrades and new air conditioning to preserve and protect art work.

In addition, the project includes a new art receiving facility on Anapamu Street with a freight elevator and a hydraulic lift. Currently, art is delivered from a truck onto a forklift.

The museum plans to remove two coast live oak trees to make room of the new portions of the building. One of those trees will be replaced on site, while the museum will plant two oak trees off site at the Santa Barbara Bowl.

The museum moved into the building at 1130 State St. in 1940, before which it was home to the U.S. Post Office. Since 1942, the museum underwent six major expansions. The property is currently owned by Santa Barbara County.

Two basement levels currently used for storage, electrical and phone equipment would be reconfigured for administrative office and conference room use with the expansion plans. The museum's gift show and cafe would be be reconfigured on the lower level. The main level would be redesigned to include a new children's gallery. 

Plans for the museum's expansion include a fourth floor and rooftop terrace. (Joshua Molina / Noozhawk photo)

"This renovation not only addresses immediate needs of the facility, it also allows us to enhance the efficiency and security of art delivery, movement, and storage," Feinberg said. 

Plans include new gallery space on the upper levels and an 800-square-foot pavilion on the roof, which would boost the building height to 59 feet from the area of 47 to 49 feet. 

The new pavilion is designed so that nonprofits could hold events on the roof, which would be serviced by an elevator. 

Increasing gallery space will allow the museum to display more of its works because "only a fraction" can be on display at any one time, according to the museum. 

Museum officials said the collection spans "more than 5,000 years of human creativity and includes classical antiquities rivaled in the West only by the J. Paul Getty Museum."

"The proposed project will improve the museum's ability to continue to serve the community and contribute positively to people's life experiences," said Trish Allen of Suzanne Elledge Planning & Permitting Services Inc., the company representing the museum through the planning process. 

Feinberg said the improvements will help the museum "provide cultural inspiration for generations to come."

The museum holds more than 28,000 objects in its collection. About 33 percent of the visitors are from Santa Barbara County; 10 percent from Ventura County; 17 percent from Los Angeles; 15 percent from Northern California; 5 percent from San Diego and 20 percent from out of state, according to data provided by the museum. 

The Santa Barbara Planning Commission is scheduled to meet at 1 p.m. Thursday at City Hall, 735 Anacapa St. 

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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Court Dismisses Lawsuit Against City of Santa Barbara Over Police Press Conference

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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A Santa Barbara court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by 10 people against the City of Santa Barbara and its Police Department for allegedly unfairly smearing their names during a gang-related press conference last year.

The slander and libel suit was dismissed Tuesday, adhering to a city-made motion that the Santa Barbara Police Department, police public information officer Sgt. Riley Harwood and Police Chief Cam Sanchez were exercising First Amendment freedom of speech rights during a news conference touting the department's gang-suppression efforts last November.

Police hosted the media event to highlight successes of “Operation Falling Dawn,” which resulted in 68 arrests — a majority of which police said were gang members or associates.

Authorities said those arrested were responsible for 322 offenses, more than half of them felonies.

Whittier-based attorney James Segall-Gutierrez filed the complaint in August 2013, listing 10 people and accusing the city and Police Department of negligence, slander and libel.

Late Wednesday, the city announced that the Santa Barbara County Superior Court had granted the city’s Anti-SLAPP motion, dismissing a lawsuit brought by Joseph Castaneda and nine other individual plaintiffs.  

An Anti-SLAPP motion, which stands for Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation, allows the court to dismiss a suit in early states if the complaint centers on a defendant exercising First Amendment rights.

“In this regard, the court recognized that ‘criminal gang activity and police operations to suppress criminal gang activity are matters in which the public is interested,'" the city stated in its announcement.

The dismissal without leave to amend awards the city its attorney fees.

City Attorney Ariel Calonne could not be reached for comment late Wednesday, but he previously told Noozhawk the lawsuit was too broad and needed to include more information about exactly what the city or police had done wrong.

Segall-Gutierrez did not respond to multiple requests for comment, either.

The complaint alleged the press conference was an attempt to support the need for a gang injunction, and that injunction was denied by a judge in part because the criteria for gang-related activity was not specific enough.

Plaintiffs listed in the suit are Joseph Castaneda, David Andres Castro, Marci Andrea Estrada, Adriana Marisol Guerrero, Jessica Aguirre Perez and Sergio Sanchez, who previously filed suit in January; and Jason Hernandez, Ruben Rodriguez, Albert Sanchez and Junior Frank Drew.

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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Cinema in Focus: ‘Beyond the Lights’

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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3 Stars — Troubling

Parents’ ambitions for their children often hurt their relationships and damage their identities. Thinking that they are helping their children succeed, their love can be eclipsed by the high expectations placed upon the children, and their highest priorities are placed upon the achievement of goals that were never agreed upon by their children nor modified in ways that allow those children to have a voice. The result is an even more complex parent-child relationship that comes to a head when the child comes of age.

It is this complex relationship that is the theme of Beyond the Lights, written and directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood.

The two young people whose parents have ambitions for them are Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw as an adult and India Jean-Jacques at 10) and Kaz (Nate Parker). Noni’s mother, Macy Jean (Minnie Driver), had Noni when she was a teenager and desperately needed to prove everyone wrong about her inability to care for herself and her daughter. Kaz’s father, Capt. Nicol (Danny Glover), wanted his son to achieve a greater level than he had achieved by being a police captain. Both are consumed by their adult children’s futures.

The plot thickens when Kaz saves Noni’s life in an experience that brings their two lives together. It occurs in a way that would be a spoiler, so we won’t divulge it, but it is their mutual ability to see the other as they really are, and not as who their parents are trying to make them, that bonds them as they begin to take a more active role in shaping their own futures.

One of the interesting things about the tale is that both Kaz and Noni are people trying to live lives of integrity to their own identity. This is difficult in any person’s life, but it is all the more difficult when parents try to make you someone you are not. We see this most glaringly when Noni, a talented singer and beautiful young woman with a natural modesty, is manipulated to be overly revealing and sexualized not only by her record label but by her own mother as well. In a similar way, Kaz’s father is more concerned with a possible political career for his son than he is his happiness when he tells him that Noni is “not first lady material.”

From the Little League dad to the stage mother to the political patriarch to the pastor’s kid, these cliché relationships downplay the complexity of a parent’s ambition for their child, as it is not easy to identify or navigate. This troubling film shows how parental ambitions can have devastating effects on both the children they are so invested in and the careers they are trying to promote at all costs.

Discussion

» The natural musical talent that Noni demonstrated at the age of 9 months was a gift. How do you think a parent should help a child develop a natural gift? What is the limit to a parent’s involvement? Why do you answer as you do?

» The decision by Noni and Kaz to pursue their dreams in their own way allows them to also love who they will. Have you ever been told who you can love and who you cannot? How did you respond?

» When Kaz defended Noni from the on-stage harassment of Kid Culprit (Richard Colson Baker), he was protecting her right to her own modesty. How can we protect performers from being manipulated or harassed into something that makes them uncomfortable but directors and audiences want it and pressure them into it?

— Cinema in Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is a former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is pastor of Free Methodist Church, 1435 Cliff Drive. For more reviews, visit www.cinemainfocus.com, or follow them on Twitter: @CinemaInFocus. The opinions expressed are their own.

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Six Physicians Join Sansum Clinic Medical Staff

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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Grace Park
Dr. Grace Park

Sansum Clinic announced the addition of six new physicians to the medical staff.

“Sansum Clinic has a long history of recruiting the best and the brightest physicians from across the nation, and we are pleased to welcome these highly accomplished physicians to the clinic,” said Kurt Ransohoff, M.D., CEO and chief medical officer of Sansum Clinic.

Grace Park, M.D., Internal Medicine, Pueblo Multi-Specialty Clinic
317 W. Pueblo St., Santa Barbara

Dr. Park recently joined Sansum's Internal Medicine department at 317 W. Pueblo St.

She earned her medical degree from the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine and completed her internship and residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, MA.

Dr. Park was also a clinical fellow at Harvard Medical School.

Ryan Fante, M.D., Ophthalmology, Foothill Eye Center
4151 Foothill Road, Santa Barbara

Dr. Fante joined the Ophthalmology department at the new Sansum Clinic Foothill Eye Center on Foothill Road.

Ryan Fante
Dr. Ryan Fante

Dr. Fante received his medical degree from the University of Colorado-Denver School of Medicine. He completed his internship at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital in Ann Arbor, Mich., and his residency at the University of Michigan, Kellogg Eye Center in Ann Arbor.

Nicole Stern, M.D., Urgent Care, Hitchcock and Lompoc Urgent Care and Multi-Specialty Clinic
51 Hitchcock Way, Santa Barbara
1225 North H. St., Lompoc

Dr. Stern joined the Urgent Care department, working out of both the Hitchcock Way and Lompoc Urgent Care facilities.

She earned her medical degree from the University of Arizona where she went on to complete her internship and internal medicine residency. Dr. Stern then went on to complete a Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

Timothy West
Dr. Timothy West

Timothy West, M.D., Neurology, Pueblo Multi-Specialty Clinic
317 W. Pueblo St., Santa Barbara

Dr. West recently joined the Neurology department at 317 W. Pueblo St.

He earned his medical degree from the University of San Francisco, where he went on to complete his internal medicine internship and neurology residency.

Dr. West was also a clinical fellow/instructor at the University of California San Francisco Multiple Sclerosis Center and his interests include Multiple Sclerosis, Neuroimmunology, Transverse Myelitis, Neurosarcoidosis and Neuromyelitis Optica.

Liana Gonzalez
Dr. Liana Gonzalez

Liana Gonzalez, M.D., Internal Medicine, Pesetas Multi-Specialty Clinic
215 Pesetas Lane, Santa Barbara

Dr. Gonzalez recently joined the Internal Medicine department at 215 Pesetas Lane.

She received her medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin, where she went on to complete both her internship and residency in internal medicine.

Beth Prinz, M.D., Internal Medicine, Pesetas Multi-Specialty Group
215 Pesetas Lane, Santa Barbara

Beth Prinz
Dr. Beth Prinz

Dr. Prinz joins the Internal Medicine department at 215 Pesetas Lane.

She earned her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia and completed both her internship and internal medicine residency at St. Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in New York, N.Y.

Since its founding in 1921, Sansum Clinic has been improving the overall health of our patients by providing the latest innovations in equipment, technology, procedures and treatments. Sansum Clinic is the largest independent nonprofit healthcare organization between the Los Angeles Basin and the San Francisco Bay Area. With more than 180 affiliated physicians, Sansum Clinic provides the full spectrum of healthcare services, from primary care to more than 30 specialties. Sansum Clinic serves more than 150,000 patients (600,000 visits) annually at our 23 patient care facilities in south Santa Barbara County. Click here for more information.

— Liz Baker is a marketing coordinator for Sansum Clinic.

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Jim Hightower: Amazon.com Crushes Main Street, Threatens the Vitality of Communities

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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It's that time of year — the Thanksgiving holiday will be here soon, and we'll gorge ourselves on turkey. And then we'll get to celebrate black Friday (the frenzy-filled shopping Friday right after Thanksgiving, which has actually encroached on Thanksgiving in recent years) and cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving when retail marketers encourage us to shop online). And, if we're shopping online, odds are good that we'll shop on Amazon.com. Maybe we should rethink that.

Even by the anything-goes ethical code of the corporate jungle, Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos is considered a ruthless predator by businesses that deal with him. He has the monopoly power to stalk, weaken and even kill off retail competitors — from giants as Barnes & Noble and Walmart to hundreds of small Main Street shops.

If you think "predator" is too harsh a term, consider the metaphor that Bezos chose when explaining how to approach small book publishers to make them cough up ever-deeper discounts: Stalk them "the way a cheetah would pursue a sickly gazelle."

Amazon's zip-zip, direct-to-customer Internet business structure ripped right through the segmented system of publishers, wholesalers, distributors, bookstores and big-box retailers — and quickly became a monopolistic powerhouse. Today, this one corporation sells a stunning 40 percent of all new books, up from 12 percent five years ago.

With his market clout, deep-pocket financing and ferocious price-cutting, Bezos has forced hundreds of America's independent bookstores to close, which depletes the economic and cultural vitality of the communities they served. The online carnivore has also devastated the haughty superstore book chains that only a short time ago preyed on the local independents and dominated the market. Borders, the second-largest chain, couldn't keep up with Amazon's pace, succumbing to bankruptcy in 2011. Now, Barnes & Noble, the largest brick-and-mortar bookstore, is stumbling.

But it's not just books, for Bezos has laid siege to the market for nearly all consumer products — and to America's business culture itself, stripping out every value except efficiency and price. From A to Z — appliances to zucchini — Amazon really has become the "everything" store. As a result, books now make up a mere 7 percent of Amazon's total business.

Its explosive sales growth in recent years has come from Bezos' realization that his cheetah business model could be applied to any number of product categories being sold in neighborhood shops and suburban malls. Quietly but quickly, he has been poaching millions of customers from those retailers, captivating them with the same dazzling, deeply discounted prices he used to conquer and remake the book business.

Without actually "being" anywhere and without hiring any sales clerks, Amazon is now a top seller of such consumer goods as baby products, jewelry, groceries, sports equipment, cosmetics, auto parts, pet supplies, luggage, kitchen gadgets, musical instruments, garden tools, etc.

Central to the business plan that Bezos drew up in 1994 was a loophole he'd found in a Supreme Court ruling just two years earlier: If a retailer has no physical presence in a state, it need not collect sales taxes. So, he has emphatically insisted from the start that Amazon's only facility is its headquarters in Washington state. Up until recently, Amazon was not collecting sales tax in 49 states (21 states have now closed the "Amazon loophole").

To understand that impact of not paying sales taxes, let's look at my home state of Texas, where the sales tax rate is 8.15 percent. By claiming to be exempt, Amazon gets a price subsidy of more than eight cents on every dollar of its sales — more than the entire profit margin of most independent shops!

Amazon's devious tax ploy has been key to its ability to underprice our hometown retailers, forcing so many of them out of business. But the tax dodge also shortchanges our communities by eliminating billions of dollars in annual tax revenues that cities and states desperately need for schools, infrastructure, parks and other public services.

Amazon's calculated ruthlessness toward employees, suppliers and competitors must be publicly scorned and rejected. This is going to be up to us grassroots folks. We need to let more people know what's going on behind that jazzy website, for Amazon is insidious, far more dangerous and destructive to our culture's essential values of fairness and justice than even Walmart would dream of being.

To support the locally owned businesses in your community, visit the American Independent Business Alliance by clicking here.

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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Homeless Woman Found Dead Near Freeway in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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A local 51-year-old homeless woman was found dead near the State Street northbound offramp of Highway 101 Wednesday afternoon, according to authorities.

The death appears to be from natural causes, Santa Barbara police Sgt. Tom Rauch said.

The remains, found near the Five Points Shopping Center, are in an area frequented by homeless people, who often camp in the bushes.

There is no foul play suspected and there is nothing suspicious about the case, Sgt. Riley Harwood said. 

The woman's name is not being released and the case was turned over to the Coroner's Office, he said. 

Police responded to the scene around 2 p.m. 

No further details were available.

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

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San Marcos Marching Band and Dance Guard Qualify for State Championships

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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The San Marcos High School Marching Band and Dance Guard have won their third competition of the season, at Moorpark High School.

With the win they have qualified for the SCSBOA Championships in Division 2A. They are one of 12 ensembles that will compete for the Southern California state title and enter as the four seed.

Their show is titled "The Domino Effect" and features the music of Radiohead. This is the 10th straight championship qualification for San Marcos and they have won five of the last nine. If they win this year, it will be their third championship in a row, something that SMHS or any band in Santa Barbara has never accomplished.

"This will be the greatest challenge of the year for San Marcos, and to come away with a medal of any color would be a huge accomplishment," director Michael Kiyoi said. "The students have worked extremely hard since the beginning of June, and I have no doubt in my mind that they will perform well on Saturday.

"We always want to win, but the measurement of success we live by is putting our best effort in. Whatever the outcome will not matter if we do that."

Championships will be held at Ramona High School in Riverside on Saturday, Nov. 22.

If you are interested in donating to the band, you can do so with PayPal smbandboosters@gmail.com or contact Kiyoi at mkiyoi@sbsdk12.org.

— Michael Kiyoi is the director of bands for San Marcos High School.

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Tara Jones: Doug Margerum Has Lived a Vintage Life

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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When I was 14 years old, I was all arms and legs. I awkwardly walked around with all the grace of a baby giraffe.

Looking back, I’m pretty sure the only reason I was asked to join the older girls’ dance company was because the school of dance I attended rented a space from my parents’ commercial building.

I was that awkward, floppy dancer in the back row of all our productions, and my “sophisticated” post-ballet snack was a toasted marshmallow Pop Tart washed down with Sunny D.

When Doug Margerum was 14 years old, he traveled with his parents to southern France and participated in his first barrel tasting at wineries in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, which he collected and stored in his bedroom wine rack.

At 19, on break from attending UCSB, Margerum spent his summer in France with his native girlfriend, learning bits about the industry each year, which added to his wine repertoire.

And in 1981, the Margerum family bought the Wine Cask, then a wine store that quickly expanded to include a bistro.

But Margerum’s heart was always in the wine game, and in the years to come he would buy out his family and pursue his dream of winemaking.

Margerum now serves as owner to the Wine Cask Restaurant, with partner Mitchell Sjerven, and Margerum Wines, as well as winemaker for MWC32, Happy Canyon Vineyard, and Jamie Sloan Wines.

Doug Margerum's path to prominent local winemaker started at a young age. (Tara Jones photo)

Margerum Wines serves the flagship wines while MCW32 is a treasure trove of rare and small production wines that are a true reflection of the artistry in Margerum’s ability to create food oriented wines.

The flagship wine, M5, is Margerum’s homage to Chef Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and is a perfect representation of his signature winemaking style that is both bold and delicate with cola and berry notes that are begging to end up on anyone’s Thanksgiving table.

The Uber Syrah, a co-fermentation of four Syrahs, is as rare in taste as it is in vintage.

If one of the Syrahs harvested for the 2011 Margerum Uber Syrah, one of the top shelf wines at MWC32, is not up to Margerum’s standards, the project does not move forward for that year.

The Happy Canyon Valley wines are the heaviest of Margerum’s creations, and are a true find for one who enjoys a rich dining experience.

Jamie Sloan Wines, Margerum’s most recent winemaking project, is where his love affair with wine is most evident.

The 2013 Aloysius Chardonnay, named for Kim Sloan’s father, is absolute perfection.

And perfection is the quintessential blend of creaminess, green apple, and vanilla, with the smell of fresh-baked bread on the nose.

These days Santa Barbara has become the darling of the wine industry, and Margerum is clearly one of the reasons why.

All of the wine tasting rooms mentioned can be found in the historic El Paseo shopping center on De La Guerra and Anacapa Streets.

Tara Jones leads Eat This, Shoot That! and welcomes reader tips and ideas for future columns. She can be reached at tara@eatthisshootthat.com. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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UCSB Anthropologist Uncovers Issues of Gender Inequality in Archaeology Journals

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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On an archaeology field trip in New Mexico as an undergraduate in 2006, Dana Bardolph noticed something that struck her as an odd gender imbalance: The professor leading the dig was a men, while the graduate assistant and all but two of the 14 undergrads were women.

Dana Bardolph
Dana Bardolph

“And it just got me thinking,” Bardolph recalled. “Is this reflective of the profession as a whole, or is it an anomaly?”

The question stayed with her, and four years ago she decided to search for an answer. Her findings — generated after digging through more than 4,500 peer-reviewed papers in 11 archaeology journals covering a 23-year period — are published in a recent issue of the archaeology journal American Antiquity.

Bardolph, a Ph.D. student in UC Santa Barbara’s Department of Anthropology, found that female authors are significantly and consistently underrepresented in American archaeology journals. Indeed, although the gender ratio among researchers is roughly equal, in the journals Bardolph surveyed, female authors account for slightly less than 29 percent of articles published.

“I found that there was no significant difference between any of the regions, any of the journals, so it was really a ubiquitous pattern across the study samples,” Bardolph said.

The results, she and researchers familiar with the paper said, have deep implications not just for women in the field but for the direction and substance of archaeology itself. Bardolph argues, based on feminist theory, that the low rates of publication perpetuate a marginalization of female researchers in academia and demonstrate what she called “a pernicious historical bias with regards to the visibility, recognition, presentation and circulation of women’s writing.”

Bardolph’s adviser, Amber VanDerwarker, associate professor of anthropology and director of UCSB’s Integrative Subsistence Laboratory, said the paper has the potential to catalyze a movement toward greater gender equity in publishing and academia.

“It is hugely significant because there have been articles here and there that talk about this issue of gender equity in the field,” she said, “and none of the studies has done this much data collection and analysis; this is the first study of this scale looking at publication rates.”

Among the articles surveyed in the major journals, Bardolph found 71.4 percent were lead-authored by men and 28.6 percent by women. The regional journals revealed nearly identical numbers. In addition, the data were consistent over time.

While the data demonstrated a clear gender bias, what they didn’t show is the source, said Bardolph, whose specialty is paleoethnobotany, a study of the relationship between humans and plants in the past.

The journals don’t track submissions by gender, so there’s no way to tell if men are being favored explicitly, she said. Other studies, however, have found that men submit papers far more often than women do, with equal rejection rates among the genders.

Amber VanDerwarker
Amber VanDerwarker (Sonia Fernandez / UCSB photo)

Based on her research, Bardolph said she suspects the bias is likely a result of authorial behavior rather than editorial or reviewer bias. Women, she noted, are more likely to take on “nurturing” roles in academia and accept positions in smaller teaching colleges as opposed to large research universities with their more abundant resources.

“When you have grad students you can collaborate with, you publish more than you would if you were doing everything by yourself,” VanDerwarker said. “I spent a few years at a teaching college just struggling to keep up with the publication record.”

Another potential factor Bardolph noted is more subjective: braving the sometimes-brutal journal submission process. The anonymity of peer reviewers occasionally engenders harsh rejections. And archaeology, which has long been dominated by men, is no exception.

“I think it’s highly plausible that the issue of rejection ¾ and whether you do decide to revise and resubmit or discard the manuscript — has a lot to do with confidence issues,” Bardolph said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if that was in fact the case, that perhaps women were revising and resubmitting less often than men.”

For Bardolph, getting academia to acknowledge gender bias is just one step on a long road to equality. “People aren’t really realizing this sort of inequality is still pervasive,” she said. “My real goal is to bring awareness to the issue and to inspire people to delve more deeply into their particular subdisciplines and continue this type of research so we can continue to explore why these inequities perpetuate and think about what we can do about them.”

— Jim Logan represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

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Hospice of Santa Barbara Receives $15,000 Grant for Youth Bereavement Program

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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Hospice of Santa Barbara is pleased to announce a $15,000 Community Expansion Grant from the National Alliance of Grieving Children/New York Life Foundation to support Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Youth Bereavement Program.

The Youth Bereavement Program provides no-cost grief counseling to students in local middle and high schools related to any issues they are experiencing related to the death of a friend or family member.

“We are grateful for the National Alliance of Grieving Children/New York Life Foundation’s investment in our Youth Bereavement Program,” said Tina Fanucchi-Frontado, Hospice of Santa Barbara's acting CEO. “There are more grieving children than most of us realize – one out of 20 children will experience the death of a parent before they graduate from high school while one out of every seven children will face the death of someone close to them. Our work in the schools helps to normalize feelings for these kids who are grieving; to let them know that they aren’t alone and, in fact, there are many other kids experiencing the same kinds of emotions — emotions and feelings that are natural and part of the grieving process.”

As a part of its Youth Bereavement Program, Hospice of Santa Barbara works in six area high schools, including Dos Pueblos High School, San Marcos High School, Santa Barbara High School, Carpinteria High School, Rincon High School, and Los Robles High School at Los Prietos. Hospice of Santa Barbara has four counselors assigned to the schools with five hours per week dedicated to each school.

The grant announcement comes in conjunction with Children’s Grief Awareness Day on Nov. 20. Children’s Grief Awareness Day is designed to help people become more aware of the needs of grieving children — and of the benefits they obtain through the support of others. Children’s Grief Awareness Day seeks to bring attention to the fact that often support can make all the difference in the life of a grieving child.

Grief Reach is a partnership between the National Alliance for Grieving Children and the New York Life Foundation. The goal of this partnership is to provide funds to Children's Bereavement Programs to expand the reach of their programs to include underserved youth populations (18 years and younger). The funds for these grants are generously provided by New York Life Foundation and the oversight and RFP process is managed by the National Alliance for Grieving Children. One hundred eleven Grief Reach grants totaling nearly $4 million have been awarded since the program’s inception in 2011.

— Kelly Kapaun is a publicist representing Hospice of Santa Barbara.

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Jeff Moehlis: Allen Toussaint, Preservation Hall Jazz Band to Serve Up Taste of New Orleans

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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Allen Toussaint has left an incredible mark on music over the years.

As a songwriter, he has penned classics like "Working in the Coalmine," "Southern Nights" and "Fortune Teller." As a producer, he has brought his magic touch to noted recordings by the likes of Dr. John, The Meters and Labelle. He has also recorded several acclaimed solo albums, done horn arrangements for The Band and Paul Simon, and has worked with Paul McCartney, Elvis Costello, Lee Dorsey and many, many more. His honors include being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and receiving the 2012 National Medal of the Arts.

On Tuesday, Nov. 25, Toussaint and fellow New Orleans legends the Preservation Hall Jazz Band will be performing at the Lobero Theatre.

Tickets are almost sold out, but click here to see if any seats open up.

Toussaint graciously took time out of his busy schedule to talk to Noozhawk about the upcoming show. The full interview, including Toussaint's reflections on working with other artists, his thoughts on various cover versions of his songs, and the impact of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans, is available by clicking here.

                                                                        •        •

Jeff Moehlis: What can we look forward to at the upcoming show?

Allen Toussaint: I'm with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, which is a delightful place to be. They come out and play about 20 to 25 minutes first, without me, then they call me and I join them and they accompany me on some of my songs for about 20 to 25 minutes. Then they leave the stage and I'm out there solo to play a while myself, then I call them back out and we finish the show off. It's very comfortable, and I hope quite entertaining. It's been going very well.

I've even written a song inspired by them, because I was so taken by them when we performed together before. They inspired me to write a song about them, and I do that song each night with them accompanying me. I love this band. It consists of great musicians and they play that music so very well. And they're quite united — they're all in the very same boat.

JM: I've been listening to music that you were involved with for a long time. I'm particularly a big fan of the couple of albums you produced for Dr. John back in the '70s. How far back do you and Dr. John go, and what brought you together for those albums?

AT: We go back as far as when we were 15 and 16 years old. We played in the studio on recordings. He was always the guitar player, and I was the pianist whenever we were together. He was a wonderful guitarist then, and he still is. Of course, even then he played the piano, but never when I was around, because I was always there to play the piano. Whenever I was around with him when we were youngsters he played the guitar. That's how far back we go.

From time to time, over the years, we'd come together. Then, when it was time for the Right Place, Wrong Time album, Jerry Wexler put us together. I thought that was so fitting and proper, because we're from the same part of New Orleans. It was so fitting and proper that I would produce him on Right Place, Wrong Time and Desitively Bonnaroo, which was the second album we did, which I like even better than the first. But the first one outsold the second one so I have to go with the winner.

JM: Dr. John has been a bit secretive about what the phrase Desitively Bonnaroo means. Are you willing to let us in on that?

AT: I do know what it means to us in our locale, but I insist on letting him be the source of information on such a metaphor. He's the master of those things, as a discipline of Professor Longhair like myself. He's always the authoritative source of information for such.

JM: You must've been incredibly busy during the '70s. Around the same time you produced the song "Lady Marmalade." How did that song come together?

AT: I did three albums with Labelle — two with the three ladies and one with just Patti, the first one being the one that "Lady Marmalade" came together on. That was actually written by Kenny Nolan and Bob Crewe. That's the original song. Of course, it sounds a bit different than what we did, because it was in New Orleans and I put on my own touch.

It was a pleasure to have Labelle into the studio because they brought such theater into the laid-back city of New Orleans. It was more magic.

JM: A little bit before that, you did horn arrangements for The Band. I'm particularly curious about the Rock of Ages album, the live one. I understand that there's a story behind that involving lost luggage. Can you tell about what happened there?

AT: Oh yes, that's an accurate story. They sent the tracks to me in New Orleans, of course before horns, for me to do the arrangements.

And I did all the arrangements in New Orleans, and when I was through and arrived in Manhattan I had one more leg of the trip to get up to Bearsville, around Woodstock. Someone picked up the wrong bag in the airport, and that was the bag with my arrangements.  Whatever bag they left was exactly like the one they picked up, so it was an extremely honest mistake.

When I got to Woodstock and opened the bag, I saw all these strange clothes and strange things that had nothing to do with my music, so I had to get to work right away and start writing from scratch. And it was the right thing to do, because I felt so inspired to be writing the music that goes with that area while in that area. They gave me a cottage out in the trees, no other houses around. A cottage full of windows, and I put on a pair of pajamas and spent a couple of days writing these arrangements, and had a wonderful time.

Of course there were some challenging times as well, because my ear got infected for some reason, and I was having a real problem with that. Robbie Robertson and the guys called a doctor who was dressed like Li'l Abner and brought some very interesting medicine to put on my ear, and the next day I was just about perfect. But I had a wonderful time doing it, and it was the right thing to happen. I'm so glad that my bag was stolen, because the final arrangements were done where and what they should have been.

JM: Did the old arrangements ever find their way back to you?

AT: No they didn't. But I sure would like them to someday find their way back, but I'm sure they won't. It may have been important to me, it may have been trash to someone else, a whole lot of something that meant nothing to them. It meant as much to them as their dirty clothes meant to me.

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

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Six Arrested After Major Altercation at Righetti High in Orcutt

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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Campus is placed on lockdown, as was nearby St. Joseph High School; some injuries reported

A student is arrested Wednesday after an altercation at Righetti High School in Orcutt. (Kyler Corral photo)

Six students were arrested Wednesday afternoon after a major altercation broke out at Righetti High School in Orcutt, where multiple law enforcement officers converged on the campus from throughout northern Santa Barbara County.

Emergency radio traffic indicated a fight that occurred shortly after 12:30 p.m. escalated into what units on scene described as a "riot."

The campus was placed on lockdown — as was nearby St. Joseph High School as a precaution— while Santa Barbara County sheriff's deputies and officers from the California Highway Patrol, the Santa Maria Police Department and other agencies attempted to control the situation, according to sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

There were reports of injuries, but that could not be confirmed. Hoover said no one was hospitalized as a result of the incident.

Those arrested — four males and two females — were taken to Santa Maria Juvenile Hall, and booked on assorted charges, Hoover said.

Those charges include resisting arrest resulting in injury to a deputy, battery on a peace officer, battery on another student on school grounds, assault on a school employee, possession of a knife on school grounds, possession of marijuana on school grounds, and resisting and obstructing officers in the performance of their duties.

The knife reportedly wasn't used in the fight but was found on one of the students afterward, Hoover said.

She confirmed to Noozhawk that a fight broke out shortly after 12:30 p.m., which spawned at least two other fights.

"How it all started is still under investigation," Hoover said. "There's no reason at this time to believe the two different fights were associated with each other."

A school resource deputy was following up on the initial fight, when another fight broke out amid heightened tension, and a large crowd gathered, Hoover said.

Later, she explained in a news release that while school security officers were escorting the students involved in the first fight to the Administration Office, the school resource deputy observed a physical altercation beginning between two other students.

The deputy intervened and was attempting to detain the primary aggressor in that fight, but the student reportedly resisted and struggled with the deputy, causing both to fall to the ground.  

A large crowd gathered and began yelling obscenities at the deputy and throwing food, food containers and bottles at him, so he called for back-up, Hoover said.

The deputy reportedly was struck several times by items thrown at him. School security officers and administrators attempted to hold the crowd back as the students tried to converge on and kick the deputy, Hoover added.

Another deputy in the immediate area responded to the high school campus and received information about the suspects involved in the altercations. When a deputy contacted one of the female suspects and attempted to detain her, she resisted arrest by pulling her arm away and attempting to escape.

"Her friends surrounded the deputy and pushed and hit him," Hoover said a news release. "In the process of defending himself, he shoved the females away and one of the suspects was knocked to the ground."

Additional arrests are expected, Hoover said. Anyone who has information that may be helpful is asked to call the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office at 805.934.6150 or to leave an anonymous tip, call 805.681.4171.

"The investigation is definitely in the beginning stages," Hoover said, adding that deputies will work to identify other students involved in the fights or throwing items at deputies.

In addition to more than a dozen ground units, a county helicopter circled above the campus during much of the incident,  Hoover said.

"The key here was to get the crowd under control, and to establish calm," Hoover said. "The helicopter just aided in being eyes up in the air to see what was happening and to be able to communicate with everyone here if there was anything they needed to know about."

A video posted on Facebook shows several girls in an altercation with a sheriff's deputy, and one eventually is knocked by him to the ground. 

"I do know it was a chaotic scene," Hoover said, adding investigators will review the video.

"It was a very dangerous situation for these deputies," she said.

A school resource deputy and school security guards typically are on campus on a regular basis. The school has an enrollment of approximately 2,150 students, according to the website.

"The law enforcement that are here are definitely outnumbered," Hoover added. "I'm not sure what happened in that instance, but I feel confident that they were reacting to whatever was happening to them."

Parents arrived Wednesday afternoon to find the school locked down. Staff from other schools also showed up for meetings only to find out about the lockdown. 

"As parents this makes us feel good that this many people are keeping us safe," said parent Andrea Kitchen. "I'm happy to know there's no guns."

At about 1:45 p.m., several school buses responded to the campus, and students began being released from school in groups.

For those who are normally picked up, parents were instructed to retrieve their children at the Your Orcutt Youth Organization (YOYO) Hall in the 700 block of East Foster Road.

By the time they were released, students had seen the video, with one calling it "ruthless."

Many of the students were smiling as they left campus, unfazed by the lockdown and amazed by the number of law enforcement vehicles on and near their campus as parents and school neighbors milled around.  

"I wasn't scared," said Jacob VanMarkhoven, a junior.

"I just think it's ridiculous," added Eric Alvarez, a junior. "The more cops that came, the worse it got."

But not all students agreed.

"I think it's stupid they're blaming the cop," said Christina Jenne, an 11th-grader. "If he saw something, he had to handle it." 

Righetti also was locked down on Oct. 24 after a fight between two students escalated into a larger altercation.

Officials with the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District issued a statement about Wednesday's incident, saying, "A disturbance at Ernest Righetti High School that led to a lockdown today started with a fight between two female students. A second fight between two male students then ensued. During the lunchtime fights, food was thrown.

"A SRO (School Resource Officer) was struck by food and requested backup.

"Law enforcement officials responded and quickly restored order. Students were released early to de-escalate the situation."

District officials said school will be in regular session on Thursday. "Security will be increased and those responsible will be disciplined," the district statement said.

Noozhawk North County Editor Janene Scully reported from the scene.

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

School buses were dispatched to Righetti High School in Orcutt Wednesday after a major altercation broke out on campus. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

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Jim Glines Retiring as CEO of Community Bank of Santa Maria

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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Community Bank of Santa Maria has announced that James Glines plans to retire as chief executive officer on Dec. 31.

Glines was co-founder and the original president and chief executive officer of the bank when it opened for business on March 1, 2001. He successfully led the bank from de novo status in 2000, to opening with one branch in 2001, to a three-branch operation with over $200 million in assets today.

Although retiring as chief executive officer, Glines will remain active in the bank and will be appointed chairman of the board effective Jan. 1. He will retain a desk in the bank and continue to work in marketing, business development and community relations. He will also be available to mentor young bankers in their career development.

The bank’s current chairman of the board, William Hares, will be retiring on Dec. 31. Also a co-founder of the bank, Hares was the original chairman of the board when the bank opened on March 1, 2001. He served in that capacity since formation in 2000 through today. He will continue to serve on the bank’s Board of Directors as chairman emeritus and chairman of the Executive Committee.

The bank’s current president and chief operating officer, Janet Silveria, will be appointed chief executive officer, replacing Glines effective Jan. 1. She started with Community Bank of Santa Maria during its formation in 2000. She originally served as the bank’s chief financial officer and was appointed president and a member of the Board of Directors in August 2012.

Silveria attended Mount San Antonio College and Allan Hancock College, and is a graduate of Western States Banking School in Reno and Pacific Coast Graduate Banking School at the University of Washington in Seattle.

She is a distinguished past president of the Kiwanis Club of Santa Maria, current treasurer for Kiwanis for Kids Inc., and currently serves on that board. She also is a member of the Board of Directors of VTC Enterprises and Santa Maria Valley Humane Society. She proudly volunteers for CASA of Santa Barbara County as a Court Appointed Special Advocate.

Silveria was awarded a Silver Dunlap from Kiwanis International, and has been named in the Pacific Coast Business Times’ "Top 50 Women in Business" in 2013 and 2014.

She took up residence in Santa Maria in 1983, when she went to work for Hares and Glines at the Bank of Santa Maria. The three veteran bankers have worked together for over 30 years.

“That won’t change,” Silveria said. “I look forward to receiving continued guidance and support from Jim and Bill.”

Silveria emphasizes that she will be following the business plan developed for the bank during its formation, because she helped construct it.

“The succession at Community Bank of Santa Maria is the result of long-term planning by the bank’s board," Glines said. "This was not an abrupt move; it was handled carefully over several years.”

With all three bankers retaining executive positions at Community Bank of Santa Maria, it is expected they will continue to act in a cohesive fashion, resulting in consistent strategies for the bank.

— D.C. Carter is a publicist representing Community Bank of Santa Maria.

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Sansum Clinic, SEE International Provide Free Eye Exams to Veterans, Children and Uninsured

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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Many in our community got their first look at the new Sansum Clinic Eye Center at 4151 Foothill Road in Santa Barbara, as Sansum Clinic partnered with Surgical Eye Expeditions (SEE) International to provide free eye exams to veterans, children and uninsured individuals in honor of Veterans Day.

Sansum Clinic’s board-certified ophthalmologists, Drs. Mark Silverberg, Toni Meyers, Ryan Fante and Bret Simon, OD, were joined by more than 30 staff and volunteers who donated their services and time to provide this important care to our community.

Those in attendance were grateful for the opportunity to receive the free eye exams, which included vision tests and eyeglass prescriptions, as well as tests for cataracts and glaucoma. Patients in need of new glasses received a voucher for free prescription glasses at the Santa Barbara Eyeglass Factory.

Those who were not able to be seen at this clinic were given information to attend other free vision testing clinics sponsored by SEE International.

— Liz Baker is a marketing coordinator for Sansum Clinic.

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San Marcos AAPLE Academy Launches Cyber-Tutorial Program at Underserved Elementary Schools

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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The Accelerated Academic Program for Leadership and Enrichment (AAPLE) at San Marcos High School has expanded its tutoring program to reach four underserved elementary schools in Santa Barbara and Goleta.

It has taken nearly two years to launch this initiative, which hopes to reach 40 to 60 students weekly via online support in the subjects of reading, vocabulary, oral fluency and math.

“Elementary school students will be paired with an AAPLE Academy freshman, sophomore or junior on a regular basis to ensure consistency and an ongoing connection,” said Erik Nielsen, director of the AAPLE Academy.

Nielsen said he conceived of the program because he recognized a need at the elementary school level to support students, particularly those for whom English is a second language.

“Having older kids helping younger students reflects AAPLE’s core mission of instilling leadership and community service skills in our scholars," he said. "We also hope that we are helping to better prepare future AAPLE Academy applicants.”

The tutoring program, which was made possible by support from the Mosher Foundation, is becoming a signature leadership endeavor of the AAPLE Academy. It started two years ago on a small scale with several high school students coaching Vieja Valley’s fourth-grade Math Superbowl team. The team went on to win the 2012 South Coast Math Superbowl competition. Last year AAPLE Academy students coached all, three Math Superbowl teams at Vieja Valley with one of these teams again winning first place in the county competition. In addition to math, AAPLE tutors taught reading weekly and added Adams Elementary School to its roster last year.

“In an effort to reach more students more efficiently, we created a cyber-tutorial program this year,” explains Dr. Sharon Goldberg, who chairs the AAPLE community service committee.

Using iPads at San Marcos High and laptops at Vieja Valley, Hollister, Adams and El Camino elementary schools, students will utilize an internet platform linked to the AAPLE Academy website. Parent volunteers at San Marcos High and teachers at participating schools will proctor tutoring sessions. In addition, AAPLE tutors will receive instructive training educating them on effective teaching techniques for various age groups.

Nielsen explains that when his academy students tutor, they also learn.

“Tutoring the elementary-school-aged students teaches our academy students how to be effective leaders and better communicators — skills that are vital to success in many career endeavors,” Nielsen said.

Instilling a sense of responsibility to the community is also integral to the leadership aspect of the AAPLE Academy.

Now in its fifth year, the Accelerated Academic Program for Leadership and Enrichment at San Marcos High School is designed to offer the most rigorous four-year academic pathway in the county while simultaneously providing hands-on, leadership and service opportunities for a diverse group of the highest achieving students in the district. In addition, the program provides students with a broad spectrum of opportunities to extend and enrich the classroom experience through guest speakers, theater, summer programming and field trips.

Click here for more information.

— Ann Pieramici represents San Marcos High School.

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Pivotal Response Treatment Developed at UCSB Found to Be Effective for Autism Spectrum Disorder

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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When it comes to dealing with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), effective early intervention is key.

“With the large numbers of children now being diagnosed with ASD — one in 68 — it is critical that we find the most effective treatments that will result in the fastest gains in the shortest time,” said Lynn Koegel, clinical director of the Koegel Autism Center and the Broad Center for Asperger Research at UC Santa Barbara.

In a pair of studies recently published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, pivotal response treatment (PRT) — a protocol developed by autism experts Lynn and Robert Koegel at UCSB — has proved to be effective in giving children with ASD that critical push that will help them as they grow older and require a greater ability to communicate and interact with others. The two studies are the first group-design studies that compare PRT outcomes with those of other available interventions, and demonstrate that PRT results in statistically significant improvements in its outcomes.

“These studies show the effectiveness of PRT in a wide variety of settings and suggest that we can develop much more effective school and home programs when pivotal areas, such as motivation, are incorporated,” Lynn Koegel said.

Based on principles of positive motivation, pivotal response treatment, as the name suggests, finds and targets “pivotal” areas of behavior, the effect of which ripples out into other aspects of a child’s behavior, as opposed to protocols that target and drill individual behaviors and are more time-consuming.

“This results in a much faster, more efficient and cost-effective intervention,” Koegel said. “But most importantly, it speeds up the habilitation process.”

The focus of the research was motivation as the target behavior. Unsurprisingly, a motivated learner is a faster learner in virtually any circumstance. In the case of children with autism, maintaining motivation is particularly important because it enhances the learning those children need to do in the various aspects of their lives, in and out of the classroom. PRT also generates positive feedback for caregivers and teachers.

“In fact, children with ASD will let the parents or teachers know when the teaching isn’t that great by engaging in off-task and disruptive behaviors, but typically developing children — who are more likely to follow social norms — may not,” said Koegel, adding that the PRT protocol can also objectively measure and score the amount and type of responses the child makes.

Additionally, PRT has been found to result in greater levels of the highly sought interaction and connection between parents and teachers and the children with ASD they care for, compared with other available interventions.

“Our research on motivation can help us improve education — through better teaching — for all children,” she said.

— Sonia Fernandez represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

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CHP Begins New SBCAG-Funded Safety Patrols on Highway 166

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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The California Highway Patrol will begin new Measure A-funded safety and enforcement patrols on Highway 166 from Highway 1 in Guadalupe to Cuyama.

The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments Board of Directors last month approved the Measure A funds to support these additional CHP patrols on Highway 166.

The Measure A Investment Plan, approved by 79 percent of county voters in 2008, included $3 million for safety improvements on Highway 166. The additional CHP patrols will concentrate on the morning (4:30 to 8:30 a.m.) and evening (3 to 7 p.m.) traffic hours when unsafe and illegal passing maneuvers are most prevalent.

This additional patrol effort, which begins Wednesday, extends a previously very successful Measure A-funded increased enforcement effort on Highway 166 east from Santa Maria to Cuyama. That two-year pilot program resulted in a significant decrease in accidents on Highway 166 through increased CHP presence.

The additional $90,000 in Measure A funds will continue the increased CHP patrol capability on east Highway 166 from Santa Maria to Cuyama and expand it to include west Highway 166 from Santa Maria to Highway 1 in Guadalupe. Increased CHP enforcement has proven to be very successful in addressing unsafe passing and speeding on Highway 166. The extended enforcement program will provide for increased CHP patrol the entire length of Highway 166 through 2016.

“SBCAG is investing Measure A funds to improve safety on Highway 166," SBCAG Executive Director Jim Kemp said. "We’d like to let motorists know there will be increased CHP patrols on Highway 166 to reduce accidents and improve safety. The safest way to travel on this Highway is to follow the speed limit and avoid unsafe passing.”

— Gregg Hart represents the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments.

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Challenger Little League Baseball Selling Poinsettias to Fund Uniforms, Scholarships

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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poinsettia
Challenger Little League is selling poinsettias available in red, white, pink or burgundy. (Eric Isaacs photo / EMI Photography)

Challenger Little League Division is seeking your help to "gear up" for the upcoming baseball season, starting Feb. 28.

Its annual poinsettia sale is under way, with 100 percent of proceeds going directly toward uniforms and the player scholarship fund so that no child is turned away — everyone plays!

Little League has teams for all abilities. Children and teens with special needs, boys and girls ages 4 through high school (age 22) with physical, developmental and intellectual disabilities, play Challenger baseball in Ventura, Carpinteria, Goleta and Lompoc. New this year is the Challenger Senior Division for those age 19 or older.

Six-inch potted poinsettias may be purchased for $10 each by cash, check (made payable to Challengers, P.O. Box 1243, Goleta, CA 93116) or by credit card with purchases online by clicking here. You may phone in an order to 805.681.9165. We may be out on deliveries, so if you do leave a message, please include your name, phone number, address, how many plants you would like and delivery date request.

Current color selection includes red, white, pink or burgundy, while supplies last.

Free delivery will be provided through Dec. 14 between Carpinteria and Goleta with each order.

Donations in any amount appreciated toward our upcoming spring season! A donation receipt will be given to you upon request. We are a 501(c)3 youth sports organization.

Volunteers are always welcome. For more information, click here or email info@gochallengers.org.

Don't forget our Challenger motto: "Same Dream, Same Game." Kids with special needs share the same dreams and desire to be included as any child does.

— Retta Slay represents Little League Challengers.

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Assemblyman Williams Issues Statement on Proposed UC Fee Increase

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Carpinteria, released the following statement regarding the proposed tuition and student fee increases at the University of California of up to 5 percent annually for both undergraduate and graduate students.

"I strongly oppose the fee increase proposed by President Napolitano, and instead I urge the governor to meet with the UC president and legislative leaders to negotiate adequate funding for the UC.

"The prosperity of our state depends on qualified and prepared individuals in our workforce; students alone should not have to carry the financial burden of their education. In order for UC to provide affordable, high-quality education to all students who have earned their spot, we must provide the UC adequate financial resources.

"I have seen unprecedented solidary in my meetings with students, faculty and staff in working toward increased funding from the state. I stand with them and will continue to push the governor and the Legislature to increase funding to our higher education segments.

"Ongoing funding for higher education needs to be prioritized. We should not be forced to choose between increased fees and reduced quality or access."

Jeannette Sanchez is the district director for Assemblyman Das Williams.

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Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team Holding Recruitment Meeting Thursday

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team is holding its final recruitment meeting of the year at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20 at 66 S. San Antonio Road.

If you are interested in joining the team and being a part of saving lives and giving back to your community in this way, you are encouraged to attend.

SBCSAR is a volunteer branch of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department and one of the most active search and rescue teams in California. This highly-trained group uses specialized training and equipment to handle a variety of emergencies, including high-angle rock rescues, car-over-the-side accidents, downed aircraft, swiftwater rescues and medical emergencies.

SBCSAR is a California Type I search and rescue team and one of only nineteen teams in California that is fully certified as a Mountain Rescue Team. In order to qualify for MRA status, a team must pass proficiency tests in Snow and Ice, Rock, and Search Operations every three years. MRA teams are viewed as the best in the country and are often requested to support search and rescue personnel of other counties.

Team members are men and women from all walks of life and are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

SBCSAR's primary jurisdiction is the wilderness and urban areas of Santa Barbara County. As such, team members have the opportunity to visit parts of the county very few ever experience to see the unique beauty of our backcountry. In addition, as part of the Mountain Rescue Association, the team responds to emergencies in other counties, states and national parks such as Yosemite, Sequoia and Kings National Parks.

As an active arm of the Sheriff's Office, the team is called to assist on evidence searches, provides medical support for large community events, and is the primary entity to coordinate and carry out evacuations during major disasters such as wildland fires.

For more information, click here or email join@sbcsar.net.

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

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Pueblo Radiology Medical Group Reaches 4,000th 3D Imaging Patient

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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Since installing the only tomosynthesis (3D mammography) imaging unit in the Tri-Counties two years ago, Pueblo Radiology Medical Group recently tested its 4,000th patient using this state-of-the-art technology.

Tomosynthesis, which is a better form of mammography, improves accuracy in detecting breast disease while reducing the number of false positives and follow up examinations. The 3D images, as compared to the 2D images produced by conventional mammography, help radiologists evaluate the overlapping and complex structures of the breast, especially when there is dense breast tissue, according to Dr. Winifred Leung, medical director at Santa Barbara Women’s Imaging.

The other doctors at Santa Barbara Women’s Imaging — an affiliate practice of Pueblo Radiology — using this technology along with Dr. Leung are Dr. Judy Dean and Dr. Laurel Hansch.

“Large, multicenter trials performed in the United States and internationally have found that tomosynthesis reduces false positives by about 40 percent and increases the cancer detection rate by about 25 percent,” said Dr. Dean, senior radiologist at Santa Barbara Women’s Imaging. “Over the past two years, our Santa Barbara office has mirrored these findings.”

Tomosynthesis outperforms conventional mammography by allowing radiologists to see “slices” of the breast. In the 2D images produced by conventional mammography, overlapping breast tissue can simulate a mass or breast cancer. Seeing the thinner “slices” produced through tomosynthesis allows radiologists to see the breast more clearly, according to Dr. Leung.

“Just as digital mammography replaced film-screen mammography in the early 2000s,” Dr. Leung said, “I foresee that tomosynthesis will replace digital mammography within the next 10 years.”

Santa Barbara Women’s Imaging’s tomosynthesis unit is one of the few units in the United States with the added “C-view” software enhancement, which reduces the X-ray dose for tomosynthesis to essentially the same level as a conventional 2D mammogram.

“Patient health and care is our priority,” Dr. Leung said. “By reducing the x-ray dose as much as possible and avoiding unnecessary imaging, we can help protect our patients.”

Pueblo Radiology of Santa Barbara is located at 2320 Bath St., Suite 113. Santa Barbara Women’s imaging, an affiliate practice of Pueblo Radiology, is located at 1525 State St., Suite 102 in Santa Barbara. To contact Santa Barbara Women’s Imaging, call 805.560.8111.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing Pueblo Radiology Medical Group.

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Jackie Ruka: The Pre-Holiday Dos and Don’ts to De-Stress

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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Stress is a very common factor is today’s busy world. Between long to-do lists, managing daily expenses and juggling multiple roles we play in our lives, it is no surprise that stress consumes Americans.

Jackie Ruka
Jackie Ruka

According to the 2013 Stress in America survey, most adults do not believe they’re doing a good job managing the demands of life. The good news is that stress and anxiety are highly manageable. However, there are several myths related to stress as well as realistic de-stressors.

People have various ideas about what stress is. For example, burn out from work is less about the hours you put in and more about feeling unfulfilled or lack of interest about the work involved in the job.

By proactively managing our stress and well-being, you can begin to intentionally create meaning and pleasure in your life toward a lifestyle that has you feeling excited about the holidays and new year to come.

Take note to common myths and de-stressors to improve well-being: Ready, set, go!

» Don’t wait for a rare opportunity to meet with friends once a year.

» Do create more realistic ways in which to spend quality time with friends more often.

» Don’t buy a gift to fulfill an expectation.

» Do buy or create a personal memento that depicts meaning, purpose and pleasure.

» Don’t forfeit your vacation days until the end of the year.

» Do schedule vacations and commit to taking all of your vacation days to rest and enjoy life outside of your job throughout the year.

» Don’t linger in old patterns that stunt your potential.

» Do choose to focus on what brings you closer to your desires by going beyond your comfort zone and try something new.

» Don’t use holiday food and alcohol as an excuse to cope with your anxiety and stress.

» Do exercise 30 minutes a day to reduce stress, which actually makes you 2.8 years younger.

» Don’t focus negative energy toward what is not working in your life.

» Do practice what you have gratitude for and write it in a journal nightly. Those who keep a gratitude journal have been reported to be healthier.

» Don’t put off your dreams any longer.

» Do take time each day to accomplish a task that brings you closer to your life’s dream.

» Don’t ignore what your body is telling you.

» Do get a good night rest, every night.

» Don’t wait to buy gifts and rush to accomplish holiday tasks at the last minute.

» Do get organized and start holiday tasks and purchases, by a specific date, to avoid holiday traffic and the mad rush.

» Don’t think I must fight stress.

» Do think of healing as the answer.

» Don’t feel you need to isolate yourself when holiday blues occur.

» Do surround yourself with people who lift you up, reach out and fake it to you make it. We have the capacity to re-train our brains by changing the energy we create within ourselves.

— Jackie Ruka is a lifestyle expert who founded the Montecito-based Get Happy Zone personal development organization. She is the author of the action guide Get Happy and Create a Kick Butt Life, a Toolbox for Rapidly Activating the Life You Desire. Click here to contact her and take her Fearless Quiz online.

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Man, Juveniles Arrested After Armed Robbery of Santa Maria Gas Station

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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Barrientos
Javier Barrientos Jr.

An adult and two juveniles, all of Santa Maria, were arrested early Wednesday after an armed robbery at the Mobil gas station at 1038 E. Main St.

Sgt. Jesus Valle said officers were called to the scene about 3:12 a.m. The victim reported being robbed by two males, one with a gun and one with a knife.

Valle said that an officer responding to the station noticed a suspicious vehicle leaving the general area and that the occupants partially matched the description of the suspects.

A short time later, officers contacted the occupants of the vehicle in the 400 block of Chaparral Street, according to Valle.

Officers recovered stolen items from the robbery as well as a knife inside the vehicle, and a plastic replica firearm was located in the roadway nearby, according to Valle.

Two boys, ages 15 and 16, were arrested on charges of armed robbery and conspiracy and booked into Santa Maria Juvenile Hall.

Javier Barrientos Jr., 18, was arrested on the same charges and booked into the Santa Barbara County sheriff's substation with bail set at $100,000.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson 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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Area Agency on Aging Council Calls for Better Protections for Residents in Nursing Facilities

By | Published on 11/19/2014

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The Advisory Council of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, Area Agency on Aging voted at its November meeting to urge that the 2015-16 state budget under development be adjusted to reflect sufficient staff and resources to protect the residents of skilled nursing facilities through adequate and knowledgeable staffing at the state Department of Public Health.

“The Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council reviewed the recent State Audit Report that indicated that the state Department of Public Health had a backlog of nearly 11,000 complaints regarding care in skilled nursing facilities,” said Amy Mallett, chairwoman of the AAA Advisory Council. “The members support efforts to protect these residents, who are our family members and the most vulnerable elderly and disabled.

“It is unacceptable that the state Department of Public Health is allowed to have residents in such a situation. The findings in this report reveal that the state department has failed to meet its responsibilities.

“In addition, the State Audit Report identified numerous other problems and presented recommendations. While adequate funding may be a problem, it is not understandable why this situation has not been investigated and a Plan of Correction implemented.

“The council urges all citizens to contact their state senator or state Assembly person to seek remedy of this situation. We need to be sure that the residents of facilities are not forgotten and allowed to live in situations that are unsafe and unhealthy. Urge your elected official to demand compliance with the Audit Report recommendations.”

For additional information, contact Mallett or AAA Director Joyce Ellen Lippman at 805.925.9554 or 800.510.2020.

— Joyce Ellen Lippman is executive director of the Area Agency on Aging.

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Santa Barbara Council Asked to Take a Swing at Budget Deficit for Municipal Golf Course

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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The city's three-member Finance Committee disagrees over how to bring the operations back into the black

Santa Barbara officials are trying figure out how to bring the finances for Santa Barbara's Municipal Golf Course's back up to par.

The city's three-member Finance Committee met Tuesday to discuss the course's ongoing budget deficit, and decided to ask the full Santa Barbara City Council to weigh in.

Finance Committee members — Councilmen Gregg Hart, Bendy White and Dale Francisco — differed over how to bring the operations back into the black, but all agreed the course was an asset to the community.

The committee voted 2-1, with Hart dissenting, to send the item before council next month.

Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Director Nancy Rapp told the committee the course has seen fewer people playing, and those who do come play less frequently.

The course operates on a budget of roughly $2 million a year, about 80 percent of which comes from greens fees paid by golfers.

Play has generally declined 3 to 5 percent per year, and is down from over 100,000 rounds in 1990 to 62,500 rounds during the current fiscal year.

The course has been below its policy reserves since 2008, and could exhaust all fund reserves in the next 12 to 18 months, depending on how many people play during that time, Rapp said.

Golf course funding comes from the city's enterprise fund, which means no tax money is used to pay for the course, and only comes from green fees charged to users.

Whether the city's general fund should subsidize the course's shortfall will be up for discussion at next month's council meeting, which will be held on Dec. 9 at 6 p.m.

The city has been putting off needed maintenance, and took on a $1.3 million debt to renovate the clubhouse and do other improvements.

Because the local golf market is competitive, changing prices at the course isn't necessarily an option, Rapp said.

"It can price us out of the market pretty quickly," she said.

If play stays flat through 2023, the city might be back into a positive situation, but realistically, it is looking at a $100,000 to $500,000 per year subsidy from the general fund, she said.

"The difficult thing is we really don't what to expect with play," she said.

The City Council will have to decide whether to provide a level of subsidy from the general fund or consider an alternate operating model, such as allowing non-city employees to maintain and operate the course, which would cut back on costs.

Fifty percent of the course expenditures go toward salaries and benefits.

The city could contract out maintenance, golf operations, food and beverage costs, or some variation of any of those, which could save anywhere from $180,000 a year to $424,000 a year.

Rapp said other cities are choosing to subsidize their golf courses out of their general funds, and "we think that's appropriate." she said, adding that Los Banos Pool and city tennis courts receive general fund subsidies.

"We are not to the level yet" of talking about closing the course, she said.

Bryant Henson, a marshal of 10 years at the golf course, said that if the city contracted out, maintenance could suffer. 

"The near future is bright," he said, but a cut in service could make facilities degrade.

Rick Salazny, who uses the course once a week, said the course is an asset to the city, but it needs to be operated in a sustainable way.

"It is a good golf course," he said, adding that the city can't afford to have city workers and remain in the black. "It's an extraordinary amount of money spent for maintenance."

Hart said he doesn't feel like the answer is to fully privatize the course, and noted that the course's restaurant, Mulligans, is doing quite well.

Golf was created as an enterprise fund because it was profitable at the time, he said, but that doesn't seem to be the trend any longer.

Hart assured the public that he wants to keep the golf course open, it's just a question of whether to subsidize it.

White said he's optimistic about golf on the course, and that he's interested in the city maintaining substantial control over the facility, though some services could be contracted out. 

"I would like to see this course breaking even," he said. "I don't think it needs to be a revenue generator for the city."

Francisco, who chairs the Finance Committee, said he thinks the golf course can be self-sustaining, and that if a private contractor does displace city workers, "the idea would not be to put these people out on the streets, but find other positions for them in the city."

"The full council is going to have evaluate this and come to a full decision," he said.  

Francisco agreed that the public needs to be consulted before a decision is reached in June during the city's budget sessions.

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

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Santa Maria Adopts Watering Restrictions at State’s Direction; Garbage Rate Hikes to Take Effect

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Watering landscaped areas will be prohibited between noon and 4 p.m. under a Stage 1 plan adopted by the Santa Maria City Council on Tuesday night, as a result of the statewide drought and not a sign the area’s groundwater basis is drying up.

The council unanimously adopted the resolution to enact the Stage 1 measures of Santa Maria’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan.

But the watering restriction is a requirement of the state, which in July adopted an emergency water regulation in response to drought conditions. Based on Santa Maria’s adequate water supply, the city submitted an alternative conservation plan, which the state rejected, saying all urban water suppliers had to meet the regulations.

“We actually have a pretty robust water supply,” Rick Sweet, director of the Utilities Department, said, adding that the city’s healthy water supply stems from past decisions and expenses to import approximately 165,000 acre-feet of water into the Santa Maria Valley. “We like to think that we stored that water in the valley and now we’re pumping some of it out, but not really that much.”

He noted that city residents use about 13,500 acre-feet of water annually. An acre-foot of water adds up to 12 inches deep covering an acre, or 326,000 gallons.

Local residents once used 112 gallons per capita each day, but the daily per capita water use now hovers in the high 90s. Both of those numbers are well below the 160 gallons per day per capita when Sweet arrived more than a decade ago.

“The citizens of Santa Maria have responded quite well to the water situation and shown a considerable decrease in their water usage over the last two years,” Sweet said. 

City staff chose to restrict watering between noon and 4 p.m. since that’s when evaporation, sun and winds are the highest and there’s the largest possibility  for waste, according to Sweet.

The restrictions won’t interfere with those watering large areas of turf, such as Allan Hancock College, school districts or city parks, since they don’t water during those hours, Sweet said.

The new rules don’t apply to agricultural users, he added. 

If someone violates the watering restrictions, the focus will be on education, not enforcement, according to Sweet.

Councilman Jack Boysen praised the Santa Maria Valley’s former leaders for taking steps insulate the area from severe drought situations.

“I can’t say enough about the forward-thinking folks back in the 1960s who had the sense to build Twitchell Dam,” Boysen said of the facility built east of Santa Maria to hold water to recharge the groundwater basin.

“We have an amazing resilient groundwater basin,” Sweet said. “It’s a giant sand pile and when you add water to it, it sinks right through into the water basin.”

A single high-water-yield year with good flows into the Twitchell reservoir the Santa Maria basin would recover within a year, he said.

“It’s an amazing basin and we’re very very lucky,” Sweet said. 

Additionally Tuesday night, the City Council took steps to implement garbage collection rate hikes after a public hearing where no one spoke in favor or against the proposed 3 percent boost annually for the next three years.

The increases are scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, 2015, plus again on the first day of 2016 and 2017.

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

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Lompoc’s New Police Chief Hosts Coffee Sessions to Connect with Community

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Pat Walsh and his staff are also holding meetings at local churches, with the next one scheduled for Thursday evening

Sitting in a local coffee shop, Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh listened to residents air their concerns and exchanged small talk, the first of two sessions planned Tuesday so he could meet members of his new community.

“A lot of traffic issues came up,” he said of the morning South South Coffee Co. session aimed at introducing himself in an informal setting to people and hearing what worries they had about their city.

Not coincidentally, his agency is implementing some traffic enforcement campaigns to deal with drivers who are speeding and not yielding the right of way to pedestrians.

“One of the things we’re trying to do is to let people know when and where we’re working traffic. We’re not out there trying to write tickets,” Walsh said. “We would just like to change behavior.”

For instance, the department recently announced an enforcement effort over the next two weeks in the 1500 to 2200 blocks of North H Street, following an increase in the number of traffic accidents due to speeding and drivers following too closely to the vehicle in front of them. The “three-second rule” is a good measure of a safe distance between vehicles, police added.

“We’re working that pretty hard because we have a lot of accidents in that area,” Walsh said. 

In addition to the smaller coffee sessions, Walsh and other members of his department are holding community meetings at local churches to build partnerships. The next one is planned for 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at Trinity Nazarene Church, 500 E. North Ave.

He plans to hold similar coffee or community sessions monthly.

“How often do you just get to sit down and talk?”

After all, community members play an important role in law enforcement, he added.

“We don’t do anything without the community telling us. … If we don’t hear that then we can’t help,” he said.

One effort involves reaching out to the Latino community through churches to build a better relationship with law enforcement because gang members often threaten residents that if they will be deported if they report crimes.

“They use their status against them to victimize them,” Walsh said. “That’s just not the case. That’s one of the biggest messages we’re sending to these church groups is that if they’re the victim of a crime we’re here to help them and we don’t care about their immigration status.”

Walsh also wants to launch a mentorship program for youngsters being recruited to join the criminal street gangs.

“If we can interrupt those kids it’s pretty powerful. A lot of them just don’t know they don’t have to go into the gang and they just need an adult to say that,” Walsh said, adding Portland has a successful mentorship program.

He came from the Portland Police Bureau, where he worked for 22 years. He replaced Chief Larry Ralston, who retired after seven years with the Lompoc agency, first as captain and later as chief.

Walsh, 52, also spent eight years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He grew up in Camarillo and Lancaster. He and his wife, Catherine, have two grown children and a grandchild.

Since his arrival in northern Santa Barbara County, another off-duty Lompoc police officer was arrested for alleged domestic violence. The incident marked the third arrest of a Lompoc police officer in 2014.

“I take misconduct — on and off duty — very seriously. I’ve been very specific with my staff. They know where I stand so there’s no ambiguity as to how I will deal with misconduct,” he said.

“It’s not systemic. None of these three cases is related to each other,” he said, adding that department leaders have not hidden the arrests. “I think that’s an important point that people forget to look at.”

He also noted his officers quietly do "incredible stuff." For instance, one found out a family needed something for their kids and purchased the item on his own. Another is working to help organize the Toys for Tots drive at the Lompoc Airport on Dec. 13. His staff was “abuzz” by probation officers’ proposal to partner with police to buy gifts for a disadvantaged families this holiday season. 

When he came to Lompoc as an applicant for the agency’s top job, Walsh, an admitted coffee lover, went to South Side Coffee Co., where he recalled encountering friendly strangers who made an impression on the longtime law enforcement officer.

“I love the community,” he said. “They are so friendly. … It’s been that way since I got here. People are just incredibly friendly, incredibly generous.”

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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Montecito Water District to Ask County for Groundwater Restrictions, OKs Desalination Plant Research

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Feeling the pressure of its limited water supplies, the Montecito Water District board wants Santa Barbara County to stop issuing well permits for the area, saying it compromises the community’s groundwater basin supplies.

There are 550 parcels with private wells within the district, which includes Summerland and Montecito, and the district has no way to measure how much water is being extracted from those wells.

General manager Tom Mosby suggested a letter to county agencies that approve the well permits, since Montecito is unincorporated, asking them to suspend new well permits during the drought, require water measuring devices on wells that come forward to renew permits and give the district a way to monitor the basin water levels.

“We have very little groundwater available and everybody’s putting straws in,” Mosby said.

The Board of Directors unanimously supported the recommendation on Tuesday, saying it was necessary to get a handle on how much water the community actually uses.

It’s asking the county to do what it probably should have been doing all along, director Douglas Morgan said.

There are so many wells because when the board banned new meters added to the district between 1973 and 1997, it led to a wild west of water, where everyone with valuable land built anyway and drilled a private well.

Mosby believes a moratorium on new wells is in order and wants a way for the district to monitor how much water is being sucked out of the district-area basins. There’s no intention to control how much people draw from their wells, just collect data on the usage, he said.

Adding water meters for measuring purposes could be done on a permit-by-permit basis by appropriate county agencies, staff said.

They are specifically asking the county for ways to monitor the groundwater wells and amount of water being extracted from the basins, with water-measuring meter devices installed and easements offered by property owners so private wells can be part of the biannual basin water level testing.

Statewide groundwater regulation legislation could lead to similar monitoring actions, but Montecito’s situation is dire enough to act now, Mosby said.

From the historic highs of 1998, many of the district’s groundwater well levels and water production amounts have dropped significantly in recent years, below the levels of the last bad drought in the late 1980s into early 1990s.

Some are so dry that the district most likely will turn them off and others have an elevation that’s actually below sea level now, according to a staff report.

The district asked for similar terms in 1990 but once it rained, everyone forgot about it, Mosby said.

Ron Blitzer, a representative of the small Lingate Mutual Water Company, said that community is all installing meters and support this action by the district.

“This is critical — not to have water measures is very short-sighted,” he said.

The board also voted to spend $250,000 on the starting steps of pursuing an independent, emergency desalination plant for district use. The seawater-to-potable-water facility would provide more water during the current shortage, and the district staff want to eventually make it a permanent addition to the water supply.

Consultants already created a feasibility report on possible locations for the desalination plant and the seawater intake facility, identifying the district's own headquarters on San Ysidro Road as a potential site.  

On Tuesday, the board voted to have consultants look into the process of permitting an emergency facility, talking to property owners about easements for the potential seawater intake sites and researching whether sub-surface seawater intake is possible in those locations. 

The two intake locations being considered at this point are the former Miramar Hotel property and property in the Santa Barbara Cemetery. An intake at those sites would require an easement from property owners for underground utilities, district staff said. 

Director Morgan voted against the funding, saying the plan was “going overboard.” He objected to doing fieldwork research at the beaches at this point, saying consultants should examine the public data already available. 

People brought up the possibilities of placing the desalination plant on the Montecito Sanitary District site or trying to join the City of Santa Barbara’s plant, as they have in previous public meetings.

The board is still pursuing those options but needs to move as fast as it can to get emergency water, which includes looking at an emergency plant, director Dick Shaikewitz said.

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

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Santa Barbara’s RV Ordinance Soon May Be Modified to Better Define ‘Excessive’

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Santa Barbara police officers could call two or more recreational vehicles parked on city streets an “excessive” amount — and force them to move — if proposed ordinance changes go into effect.

Two notable updates to an RV ordinance the Santa Barbara City Council approved in 2008 were unveiled Tuesday to the city’s Ordinance Committee, including requests to define the term “excessive” and to eliminate “temporary recreational vehicles.”

City counsel Ariel Pierre Calonne said modifications could reduce the level of discretion police officers have to restrict RV parking with the ordinance, which authorized the city to put up “No RV Parking” signs within 500 feet of schools, child-care centers, churches, recreational facilities and more.

Temporary RV describes any automobile that’s equipped for human habitation or sleeping purposes, something Calonne believed could open the city up to litigation, along with continuing without a clear indication of how many RVs was too many.

The city has been sued over the ordinance before, he said, and a recent ruling by a Los Angeles court deemed a similar ordinance too broad, giving police too much discretion.

“That definition is so broad that it could apply to someone driving through town with a sleeping bag in their car,” Calonne said.

He said the city settled a previous lawsuit, the terms of which allow it to forbid RV parking with minimal signage on the waterfront between the bird refuge and Castillo Street.

The committee unanimously voted to eliminate temporary vehicles from the ordinance but split on whether to follow staff’s suggestion to deem three or more RVs excessive.

Committee chair Randy Rowse and City Councilman Frank Hotchkiss voted to adopt an amendment stating “two or more,” while Mayor Pro Tempore Cathy Murillo said three.

The ordinance amendments will be forwarded to the Santa Barbara City Council for introduction and adoption at a future meeting.

During public comment, resident Diane Duncan, who lives on Cliff Drive and owns three adjacent properties there, said the RV trash and safety problem was getting worse, noting how dangerously close RVs were parking to homes and schools.

On any given day, as many as six RVs are parked, she said, sometimes for 10 consecutive days.

“These RVs pose a serious safety threat to being able to see oncoming traffic when pulling onto Cliff Drive,” she said. “I urge your action to resolve this problem.”

The city could soon face another lawsuit for its RV ordinance, this time related to violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by not allowing RVs housing people with disabilities to park closer to churches and hospitals, said homeless advocate Peter Marin.

Hotchkiss sympathized with Marin but said the minority dealing drugs or other illegal things was ruining it for everyone. An RV could also lessen property value for someone who purchased a house, he said.

Marin agreed with Hotchkiss’ point that RVs don’t need to be close to schools, but said limiting where they can park caused the clumping.

“Most of the people in RVs are decent people struggling to get by,” he said. “Many are vets. Many solutions are possible, but no one has sat down and figured out what to do.”

Calonne said ADA rules don’t clearly state whether cities must have RV parking near hospitals or schools, adding that 500 feet away shouldn’t be an insurmountable barrier.

He feared prohibiting all parking near schools would prompt a lawsuit, and Murillo shared similar sentiment.

Rowse and Hotchkiss went ahead anyway, voting 2-1 to ask the entire council to consider prohibiting all RV parking near schools.

“These are people’s lives we’re talking about,” Murillo said, noting she would do research before the issue comes before the council.

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

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Goleta Council Forms Ad Hoc Committee for Airport Property

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Goleta officials want to keep tabs on Santa Barbara Airport property that is slated to be sold to — and developed by — humanitarian nonprofit Direct Relief International.

The parcel at 6100 Hollister Ave. is technically owned by the City of Santa Barbara but is surrounded on three sides by Goleta, which is why the Goleta City Council voted unanimously Monday to create an ad hoc committee to monitor development plans.

Council members appointed Mayor Michael Bennett and Councilman Tony Vallejo to serve on the Ad Hoc Santa Barbara Airport Support Property Development Review Committee, which will work with airport and Santa Barbara officials to learn more about the parcel’s ownership, development plans and possible alternatives for any adverse effects.

The idea for the committee, which would disband after findings were presented to council, came from Councilman Jim Farr at a meeting last month.

City Manager Michelle Greene said Santa Barbara officials were open to collaboration, wanting to ensure future development didn’t conflict with Goleta’s interests, although a timeframe for how long the committee would exist wasn’t known.

Goleta-based Direct Relief plans to open a new state-of-the-art facility on the land in 2016, replacing the nonprofit’s existing building at 27 S. La Patera Lane and a warehouse across the street.

The Santa Barbara City Council unanimously approved an ordinance to authorize the sale of land north of Hollister Avenue in the airport’s commercial industrial area in September.

Direct Relief pledged to pay a base price of $25 per square foot of land — between $6.5 million and $8.5 million — for 6 to 8.5 acres of the 15-acre parcel, dependent on final development plans.

At first, Councilman Roger Aceves said he was concerned a committee would bypass the council as a whole.

Vallejo described the committee as more “proactive,” one that could touch base with Santa Barbara before a final environmental impact report was released to the public.

“Really, it is in our city, and we’re the one who’s going to have to deal with it,” Vallejo said.

Farr indicated he wanted to serve on the ad hoc committee to advocate for Goleta — since the land was in the heart of the city — but Aceves nominated Bennett and Vallejo because he said he feared Farr would do more than gather information.

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

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Santa Barbara Council to Take Bridge Discussion to Court, Gets Drought Update

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday looked at the status of updating one of the city's most visible bridges and received an update on the drought situation.

The council voted to move forward to take an eminent domain discussion to trial after an agreement could not be reached with a private property owner, an agreement that would allow the Cabrillo Boulevard bridge to be replaced.

The property sits at 13 E. Cabrillo Blvd. and is the site of the former Rusty's Pizza. Because the building is physically attached to the bridge that is deteriorating and needs to be replaced, the building's owner is asking for compensation for the replacement of the restaurant building and compensation for the easements needed to do construction.

When the bridge is reconstructed, the building cannot be rebuilt on the bridge because it would violate federal guidelines.

The project, largely paid for by federal transportation dollars, will cost $26.7 million, and of that, $4.1 million is the city's responsibility.

The city awarded the construction contract in October, and the contractor is on site.

The city has been in negotiations with the property owner since 2009 and had made two offers to the property owner, according to Bruce Beech, an attorney specializing in eminent domain that has been hired by the city. The property owner made a counter-offer, which the city has rejected.

If the matter goes to trial, it would start a year or more from the time the complaint is filed, which is expected to be next week, Beech said.

Steve Amerikaner, attorney for the Castagnola family, which owns the property, said the family understands the need for the project and support it.

"We've come to a point where we have to rely on the court to determine compensation," she said.

The city agreed to move forward to trial with a 6-1 vote, with Councilman Dale Francisco voting against the item.

The council also got an update on the city's drought numbers.

The National Weather Service's forecasts this winter is for a weak El Niño, and the city is "hoping for the best, while planning for the worst," said Joshua Haggmark, the city's acting water resources manager. Even if a strong El Niño were to materialize, it would not end the drought, he said.

City residents are still conserving water, and the city met its target of a 20 percent water reduction in October. As long as the city continues with that level of conservation, it will have enough water to meet its needs for the year, Haggmark said.

The city is also looking to purchase 4,500 acres of water to meet its needs for the next two years, looking for additional supplies until the desal plant is opened.

A possible aquifer in the Goleta Valley was discussed, and the city is looking into talking with that aquifer's owner as a possible source of water for the city, Haggmark said.

A coastal development permit application was submitted for the desalination plant on Oct. 31 to the California Coastal Commission. The facility is expected to open in the summer of 2016.

The COMB pumping project is on standby, "which is a good thing," Haggmark said, and that all cities on the South Coast are conserving, which means less of a draw on Lake Cachuma.

Recent water main breaks were also talked about, and the city has had five main breaks between Halloween and Nov. 6, four water main breaks and one service connection break.

Aging infrastructure and temperature changes sent the pipes over the edge, Haggmark said, and reminded council that the city has about 40 to 60 main breaks a year.

"It is rather high," he said, because of the infrastructure, which has been delayed on repairs because of the drought.

Because pipes have to be filled with water and tested when they are replaced, the city decided to postpone those repairs until after the drought and will be put in place at an accelerated level after, Haggmark said, adding that the water used to test the pipes still exceed that which is lost in the breaks.

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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CSF Students at Santa Maria High Collecting Canned Goods for Foodbank

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Cans of food that offer hope are being collected to help the less fortunate during the holidays.

Honors students of the California Scholarship Federation at Santa Maria High School will complete their three-week “Canned Food Drive” on Friday.

The CSF students, who usually collect 700 to 1,000 pounds of food, plan it as a gift to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County on Foster Road.

The canned goods have been collected from about 35 classrooms and administrative offices on campus.

CSF President Lauren Hunt believes helping others is an important civic duty.

“As a school, we all wish to help our community and encourage others to give back to their community and neighbors," Hunt said. “We hope to donate an ample supply of food goods to the community to ensure good holidays for everyone in Santa Maria. We understand the struggles of our community, and this is one avenue through which we can give back to the community that supports us as a school."

English language development teacher and CSF adviser Suzanne Rocco said students really understand what “giving back” means.

“With the help of students, staff and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, SMHS’ CSF members will help make the upcoming holiday season a little brighter," Rocco said.

In the past, the students have donated the canned food to nonprofit organizations, including Catholic Charities, Good Samaritan, the Woman’s Shelter and SMHS families.

— Kenny Klein is a public information officer for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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Casa Dorinda Honors Montecito Firefighters with $2,500 Donation

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Casa Dorinda kicked off the season of giving this year with a $2,500 donation to firefighters and their families on Tuesday with a fire engine ceremony and many thanks from senior residents.

“It is easy to appreciate firefighters in the midst of seasonal fires, because they are so heroic in the face of extreme tragedy," said Ron Schaefer, president and CEO of Casa Dorinda. "On a daily basis, we see their kindness and quick response to a wide variety of everyday situations that we may all face as we age. Our Montecito firefighters are an amazing group of people, and we hope our small contribution helps those firefighters and their families who have given so much serving others.”

“Casa Dorinda is a community benefit organization and a treasure for Montecito," said Chip Hickman, chief of the Montecito Fire Department. "It is gratifying that they chose to honor our firefighters. We are happy to have such a positive working relationship with so many kind people.”

“We really appreciate our community firefighters. They never fail to help us all when we need it most,” said Timm Crull, president of the Montecito Retirement Association’s Resident Council.

— Toby Ayars is a publicist representing Casa Dorinda.

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Gerald Carpenter: CREATE Concert to Serve Up Sampler of Latest Music

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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The UCSB program CREATE — the Center for Research in Electronic Arts Technology — is sponsoring a performance event called "Autumn Waveforms" at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19 in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall (UCSB Music Building).

David Rosenboom, dean of the School of Music at Cal Arts and a double threat as composer and performer, will be headlining the show with a recent work of his for instruments and electronics.

We will also hear the West Coast premiere of Then, a new piece by faculty composer Curtis Roads, who presented its European premiere in Athens in September. Roads acquired the unique sound material of the work by processing electronic pulses through a Studer analog tape recorder in a feedback circuit.

Those who have followed with rapt attention the successive chapters of the Mayan Cycle, the masterpiece in progress by UCSB faculty composer Jeremy Haladyna, will rejoice that this concert will feature the latest installment of the cycle, Maya Zodiac in its eight channel version, which "takes us through the 13 stations of the Mayan zodiac as it clocks heavenly motions taking over 27,000 years." The performance includes recorded vocals and narration by Los Angeles-based soprano Allison Bernal.

Finally, the CREATE Ensemble, led by Matthew Wright, will design and operate an interactive live composition specific to this concert.

Tickets to this concert are $10 for general admission and $5 for students, with UCSB students admitted free.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at gerald.carpenter@gmail.com. The opinions expressed are his own.

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John Daly: What You Can Learn from Madonna About Mastering Your Brand

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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I’ve been really focused on creating personal images and branding with my students of late. So, when I heard two radio personalities discussing Madonna, I was fascinated to learn that her dominance of the pop genre is the reason that virtually every performer (male and female) puts her on their Top 10 Greatest Talent list. Nowadays Lady Gaga and Beyoncé get all of the attention, but Madonna was the original that these talented artists used for inspiration. She became a master at creating her brand and message and never lost sight of her goals.

This led me to do some research about Madonna and what drove her success. Here’s what I discovered.

Stand for Something

Madonna declared that she stood for freedom of expression, doing what she believed and pursuing her dreams. In business, marketers call “what you stand for” your Unique Selling Proposition. If you aren’t living a defined message, you are dying a slow death. That’s why Madonna has made defining and redefining her message her No. 1 priority for the last 20 years.

Always Deliver

Madonna believed in always holding up her end of the bargain and delivering on her contracts and commitments. She was born in Battle Creek, Mich. Her good, old-fashioned work ethic came from her solidly Midwestern upbringing.

Look around and you’ll see that every superstar (in whatever medium) has a relentless drive to keep delivering. They may not like the hours, but they know that the work is required.

Be Clear About What You Want

Madonna’s negotiating skills are legendary in the recording industry. She once was paid $5 million by Pepsi for a commercial the company never even ran. They got cold feet. No matter — Madonna still got paid. Madonna gets what she wants because she’s been focused on exactly that from Day 1.

“A lot of people are afraid to say what they want. That’s why they don’t get what they want.”
— Madonna

Be a Work in Progress

Have fun with your brand. Once you’ve set your goal, have a blast getting there. Madonna is legendary for changing her image to fit the times and her own personal journey. Early on, critics tried to pigeonhole her as another big-hair pop act. “Like a Virgin” was her response. She’s gone on to tweak her brand image for two decades.

“I am my own experiment. I am my own work of art.”
—Madonna

You’ll need to evolve, too. Your core will stay the same, but your tactics will need to change. 

You may have to dial up some part of your personality to make a mark, or abandon a project entirely. Have the wisdom to know what’s important for your brand. And while you’re at it ...

Don’t Be Afraid to Stand Up for Your Beliefs

“Better to live one year as a tiger than a hundred as a sheep.”
— Madonna

The secret to real respect is to absorb criticism, learn from it if that makes sense. Ignore the ones who aren’t your people anyway, and keep moving forward. Remember, if everyone agrees with you, then you might not be saying anything worth talking about.

Conviction, creativity, and hard work, will never lose their appeal — much like Madonna.

John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for job search success. Click here to learn more about The Key Class or to get his book. If you have questions about business or social etiquette, just ask John at johnkeyclass@gmail.com. Connect with The Key Class on Facebook. Follow John Daly on Twitter: @johndalyjrClick here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Judy Foreman: Motorcyclist Carlin Dunne Cruises in ‘On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter’

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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The hometown rider and dealership owner is featured in the documentary, which offers a modern take on the 1971 original

The movie theaters in downtown Santa Barbara are typically very quiet on Monday nights, unless of course it’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival season. However, on a recent Monday evening, it was a whole different story.

The 7:45 p.m. sold-out screening at The Metro was anything but quiet. Filling every available seat, a boisterous and enthusiastic crowd of motorcycle fans came out for a special screening of the documentary On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter, directed by Dana Brown.

It's not my usual choice of movie, you might be thinking from some of my previous column subjects, but after interviewing Carlin Dunne in his Ducati showroom last week for this column, he suggested that seeing the new movie to better understand the motorcycle world would answer all my questions. He was right.

The first On Any Sunday premiered in 1971 and was directed by Brown’s father, Bruce, who also was at the helm of the surfing classic The Endless Summer. The movie gave the viewer an insider look at motorcycle racing, reaching a wide audience with heartfelt stories of real-life riders and earning Bruce Brown an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary film.

Four decades later, his acclaimed filmmaker son, Dana, directs On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter, a modern take on the original, capturing what it means to ride in the United States and globally. Shot in 4K Ultra HD, the action and emotion literally take your breath away.

On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter journeys deeper into the humanity and excitement of the motorcycle culture — across disciplines, passion for the race, the love of family and friends, and the thrill of the ride. Like Formula One drivers, motorcycles have their own distinct culture that is brilliantly photographed in the documentary. Cycling has a strong family connection, which was shown onscreen. Most of the featured superstars and their parents started as young daredevils with a strong affinity for cycling on road and off.

One of the featured cast members is my subject for this column — hometown, award-winning motorcycle superstar (and easy on the eye) 31-year-old Carlin Dunne. With a long history locally and professionally, whenever Dunne appeared on screen he got a big reaction (hoots and hollers) from his fans — men and women, families and friends young and older, who all make up the motorcycle culture as depicted in the documentary.

Dunne and his dad, Trevor, also a world champion, own the Ducati and Vespa dealership on Montecito Street in downtown Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. Becoming a part of community events, a beautiful large, sleek and shiny showroom features Vespas and Ducatis, which are known as the Ferrari of motorcycles made in Bologna, Italy.

motorcycle
Santa Barbara motorcycle club in the 1930s.

Ducati come out with new models every few years, and are known for their sexy and edgy appeal. They come in all sizes, finishes and prices, ranging from $9,000 to $65,000. They carry the latest new Ducati The Multistrada. The dealership and service department on site also carry a generous selection of clothing and accessories. Even if you don’t ride and just enjoy the fashion culture of motorcycling, this is great place to shop or buy gifts.

Growing up in Ojai, Dunne started riding as a young boy, a story not dissimilar to most of the featured cast members, including Ashley Fiolek, Doug Henry, Robbie Maddison, Marc Marquez, Brad Oxley, Travis Pastrana, Dani Pedrosa, Kenny Roberts, Roland Sands and James Stewart.

With a tour of the showroom ending, Dunne and I discussed the obvious dangers inherit in motorcycling (I am a mother, after all). I mentioned the stress of driving on Highway 101 and the cyclists weaving in and out of traffic. He laughed and acknowledged that there are a lot reckless people who, with their need for speed, don’t make the best choices. The DMV does require a special license for on-road driving, which he agreed was "very important," especially when you can go up to 200 miles an hour on some Ducatis and your only protection from the road and other drivers is a helmet.

"Like other ‘in the moment’ sports like surfing and auto racing, skill, fearlessness and sometimes luck are a part of the culture," Dunne said, "but ask most moto devotees and their love of blowing off steam and the heightened senses and danger and love of adventure outweigh the risk vs. fun factor for most riders.”

Ducati of Santa Barbara is located at 17 W. Montecito St. and can be reached at 805.884.8443.

— 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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Lou Cannon: Voters Elect Republicans But Display Independence on Ballot Measures

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Beneath the crest of the mighty wave that carried Republicans to a near high-water mark in the nation’s statehouses, voters in 2014 displayed an independence that ran against the grain of GOP victories.

For Republicans, Nov. 4, 2014, was a banner day. The GOP took control of the Senate, widened its comfortable majority in the House of Representatives, captured 11 state legislative chambers previously controlled by Democrats and won four additional governorships while losing only one.

Republicans now hold both state legislative houses in 30 states, their highest number since the 1920 elections ushered in a period of GOP dominance after World War I. They have a 31-18 edge over Democrats in governorships, with an independent elected in Alaska by a razor-thin margin.

The election left Democrats in control of both legislative chambers in only 11 states, their worst standing since 1860 before the Civil War. Eight legislatures have divided partisan control. Nebraska, unicameral and nonpartisan, is Republican in all but name.

But while voters were delivering legislatures to Republicans, they largely ignored the GOP party line — or any party line—-- on ballot measures. Voters passed 15 bond issues in five states, raised the minimum wage in four states and advised that it be increased in another, approved environmental measures in seven states, legalized recreational use of marijuana in Alaska, Oregon and the District of Columbia, and sanctioned background checks of gun buyers in Washington, where a deadly school shooting occurred 12 days before the election.

The votes on increasing the minimum wage, which Republicans for the most part oppose, were particularly instructive. Voters overwhelmingly approved minimum wage hikes in four states — Alaska, Arkansas, Nebraska and South Dakota — while sending Republicans to the Senate.

In a fifth state, Illinois, voters approved an advisory measure recommending a minimum wage hike to $10 from $8.25 while replacing Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, an outspoken proponent of the increase, with Republican businessman Bruce Rauner, who had a history of opposing minimum wage increases but eventually endorsed the advisory measure.

Voters were generous on bond issues, approving in California a record-high $7.2 billion bond for state water supply infrastructure projects and in New York a $2 billion bond for school technology.

They displayed environmental consciousness, passing measures in Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, New Jersey and Rhode Island that allocated substantial sums to environmental projects. In Florida, 75 percent of voters approved a state constitutional amendment that over 20 years will designate an estimated $18 billion for land acquisition to protect the state’s land and water resources, including wetlands, forests, and fish and wildlife habitats.

Local voters also contributed to environmental protection. In California, two counties banned hydraulic fracturing, known as fracking, a process by which oil and gas are extracted under high pressure. Environmental groups contend that the process contaminates the water supply.

A third “anti-fracking” measure, in Santa Barbara County, lost because of its vague wording and heavy opposition spending by the oil industry. But in Denton, Texas, near the center of the nation’s oil and gas boom, voters approved an anti-fracking measure by a 59-41 percent margin.

The state measures were the achievements of an electorate that was grayer, whiter and supposedly more conservative than the one that re-elected President Barack Obama in 2012. On the face of it, the liberalism of voters on the minimum wage and the environment and their generosity on bond issues would appear to contradict their partisan actions, as well as exit polls that showed skepticism about government spending.

But the apparent contradiction underestimates voters, who tend to make their decisions on ballot measures on their merits without partisan reference, said Wendy Underhill, who tracks ballot measures for the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislators.

“The voters may deserve more credit for independent thinking than they are usually given,” she said.

The 2014 midterms were the sixth year of a presidency, in which the party out of power has always done well. With unintended help from Obama, who somewhat surprisingly said his policies were on the ballot, Republicans managed to make the congressional and state legislative contests — in some cases even the gubernatorial races — a referendum on him.

Political demographer Charlie Cook believes Democrats were also hurt by a public perception that the economy has not sufficiently recovered from the Great Recession.

In the legislative races, Republicans ran the table, winning almost all their target races, while losing nothing to Democrats. Republicans won both houses in Nevada and West Virginia, the latter after a Democratic state senator switched parties after the election.

Republicans also won the state senates in Colorado, Maine, New York and Washington, and the state houses in Minnesota, New Hampshire and New Mexico.

They won three governorships in the blue states of Illinois, Maryland and Massachusetts, as well as the governorship of Arkansas. The sole Democratic bright spot in gubernatorial races was Pennsylvania, where a Democrat ousted an incumbent Republican.

Even in deep-blue California, where Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown was re-elected to an unprecedented fourth term, Republicans claimed a victory of sorts. They won enough seats in both legislative houses to deny Democrats the two-thirds margin they enjoyed after the 2012 elections. This will give the GOP a say on tax issues, which in California require a two-thirds legislative vote for approval.

Overall, Republicans gained ground in every region of the country and now control 68 of the 98 partisan legislative chambers and hold more than 4,100 of the nation’s 7,383 legislative seats. After Democratic victories in 2006 and 2008, the GOP won big in the 2010 midterm election. This was followed by legislative redistrictings that in many states favored Republicans. After modest losses in 2012, when Obama was re-elected, Republicans targeted key states in this year’s election and ran sophisticated campaigns in many of them. But since so many chambers are in Republican control, the party could be at or near its zenith.

“It’s hard to see how the Republicans could go higher or the Democrats lower,” said Tim Storey, a political analyst for NCSL.

Looked at from one perspective, Democrats lost more than Republicans gained. Before the election Democrats controlled both chambers of the legislature and the governorship, a so-called trifecta, in 13 states. Now they enjoy this status in only seven: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont. Republicans control the Legislature and the governorship in 23 states, the same as before the election. The big change was an increase in legislatures split between the parties or with a legislature of one party and the governor of another. There are now 18 such states.

Storey said this division could produce more bipartisan compromise, at least in the states where neither party is in full control. Even if this happens, Democratic losses could make a difference.

In Colorado, for instance, narrowly re-elected Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has been trying for months to engineer a compromise on the fracking issue. With the Colorado Senate in GOP hands, any anti-fracking bill is probably dead.

On other controversial legislation, such as voter identification and abortion, GOP-controlled states already have completed much of their agendas. Voter ID is now largely a matter for the courts.

So, too, may be abortion. Since 2010, GOP-controlled states have imposed more than 200 restrictions on abortion. Tennessee may join the list of states with obstructive abortion rules on the basis of a ballot initiative approved in this year’s election that will allow the Legislature to impose additional restrictions. (Two other abortion-related measures on state ballots — defining a fetus as a person — were rejected by voters in Colorado and North Dakota.)

Beyond such hot-button issues, legislatures in 2015 will tackle issues such as education, cybersecurity and prison reform that do not easily break along party lines. The year after midterm elections is often productive in state legislatures, and 2015 should be no exception.

Voters demonstrated both independence and thoughtfulness in the 2014 elections. Perhaps legislators and governors of both parties will follow their lead in the year ahead.

Lou Cannon, a Summerland resident, is a longtime national political writer and acclaimed presidential biographer. His most recent book — co-authored with his son, Carl — is Reagan’s Disciple: George W. Bush’s Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy. Cannon also is an editorial adviser to State Net Capitol Journal, which published this column originally. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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VNHC’s Lynda Tanner Appointed to Board of California Association for Health Services

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Lynda Tanner
Lynda Tanner

Lynda Tanner, president and CEO of Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, was recently appointed to the California Association for Health Services at Home Board of Directors.

Her vast experience includes more than 30 years working in the home care industry.

Prior to Tanner’s recent appointment, she served as a member of the Nominating and Hospice Committees of CAHSAH. As a board member she will be responsible for planning, coordinating, managing and directing activities and program for the organization.

Tanner’s contributions to the home care industry include evaluating home-care agencies for excellence in quality of care for the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations as a surveyor; serving as chief clinical executive for Sutter VNA and Hospice and providing home care consulting services and education for the Corridor Group.

Tanner currently sits on the CenCal Health Provider Advisory Board, the CHAPCA Board of Directors, the Alliance for Living and Dying Well Board and the Casa Dorinda Board of Directors.

She graduated from the University of Idaho with a bachelor of science degree in nursing and also holds a master’s degree in nursing administration.

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care.

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Local Girl Scouts Holding Holiday Food Drive to Benefit Foodbank

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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The local Girl Scout service unit will be holding a holiday food drive this month.

On the weekend before Thanksgiving, Girl Scouts from Goleta to Carpinteria will be at neighborhood Vons supermarkets accepting donations on behalf of the Foodbank of Santa Barbara.

Mother-daughter food drive organizers Michelle and Clare Kelly said the goal of the drive is to collect more than 3,000 pounds of food to help make the holiday season bright for local families in need this year.

“I’ve done a food drive with my Girl Scout troop the past eight years,” Senior Girl Scout Clare Kelly said. “It was so much fun that I thought other troops in our service unit might like to participate and help even more people in need. Last year, the whole service unit participated in the holiday food drive and it was a huge success.”

In 2013, 130 Girl Scouts and leaders from 18 troops collected 3,257 pounds of food in 20 hours.

“The goal of last year’s food drive was a ton — 2,000 pounds,” troop leader Michelle Kelly said. “Since we collected 3,200 pounds last year, the girls set a goal of 3,300 pounds for this year.”

On Friday, Nov. 21, six troops will be collecting donations at the Montecito Vons, the Vons on Fairview Avenue in Goleta and the Vons in Santa Barbara’s La Cumbre Plaza. On Saturday, Nov. 22, 16 troops will be collecting donations at the La Cumbre Plaza Vons, the Vons on Fairview Avenue, the Carpinteria Vons and the Vons on Turnpike Road in Goleta.

The programs receiving assistance from the Foodbank include food pantries, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after-school and senior feeding programs. Items needed include olive oil, fresh produce, peanut butter, canned or dried fruit, canned vegetables, canned stew and vegetarian chili, cornmeal, tortillas, canned meats, fruit juice, pasta, rice, beans, tuna, soup, bread, cereal, spices, coffee and tea.

For those unable to make it to one of the five Vons locations, donations can always be dropped off during regular weekday Foodbank hours (7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) at 4554 Hollister Ave. in Goleta. The Foodbank will also accept checks. For every dollar donated, the Foodbank can provide eight healthy meals for people.

For more information about the food drive, contact the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County at 805.967.5741.

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is transforming health by eliminating hunger and food insecurity through good nutrition and food literacy. The Foodbank provides nourishment and education through its award-winning programs and a network of more than 330 member nonprofit partners. In Santa Barbara County, one in four people receive food support from the Foodbank; more than 140,575 unduplicated people of whom 36 percent are children. Last year, the Foodbank distributed 9.3 million pounds of food – half of which was fresh produce. Click here for more information.

The Costa de Oro Service Unit serves all Girl Scout troops from Carpinteria to Goleta, providing support to more than 65 troops, approximately 700 girls and more than 300 adults. Costa de Oro is one of the largest service units in the Central Coast Council, which serves the six counties of Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura. Click here for more information.

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Real Estate Investment Firm Marcus & Millichap Opens Ventura Office

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Marcus & Millichap, a leading commercial real estate investment services firm with offices throughout the United States and Canada, announces the opening of its Ventura office.

The Ventura office marks the firm’s eighth sales office in Southern California, according to John Kerin, president and chief executive officer.

Overseeing Marcus & Millichap’s Ventura office are Adam Christofferson, first vice president and regional manager, and James Markel, sales manager. Gary Cohen joins as a director of the firm’s national office and Industrial Properties Group, along with Brian Johnson, senior associate of the National Multi Housing Group, Parker Shaw, an associate, also with the NMHG, and James DeBuiser, agent candidate with the NOIPG.

“We are excited to launch our new Ventura office with such a seasoned team of commercial investment professionals,” Christofferson said. “Gary Cohen brings over 25 years of experience to our new office. His expertise assisting clients through all aspects of commercial real estate ownership, acquisition, disposition, leasing and management is of great value. Brian Johnson and Parker Shaw are recognized multifamily experts along California’s Central Coast. Together they bring significant knowledge and experience to our clients in the marketplace.

“Our entire team is enthusiastic about the opportunity to add value to clients in the region by leveraging our firm’s investment specialization, financing capabilities, industry-leading research, innovative technology and extensive management support.”

The Ventura office is located at 1000 Town Center Drive. The phone number is 805.351.8796.

— Brian Johnson is a senior associate for Marcus & Millichap.

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Santa Barbara Vintners’ ‘Key to Wine Country’ Weekend Returning in December

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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The Santa Barbara Vintners is pleased to announce the dates and schedule of experiences for its winter "Key to Wine Country" experience weekend Dec. 5-7.

Three days of unlocking exclusive events and offerings at nearly 40 wineries and vineyards throughout Santa Barbara County’s scenic wine country makes for the perfect wine and food lover’s weekend.

Keys to unlock Santa Barbara’s wine country are valid for Friday, Saturday and Sunday and can be purchased online for $100 per person by clicking here.

A sampling of vintner experiences includes a wine House Party at the new Buellton Bodegas, Pinot Noir and Chocolate Pairing at Cambria Estate Vineyards & Winery, Sit-down Blending Seminar at Fiddlehead Cellars, Vineyard Walk with Chad Melville, Food and Wine Pairing Experience with Winemaker Dieter Dronje and Local Chef at Presqu’ile, Sparkling Wine Seminar at Riverbench, Cooking Class and Wine Pairing with Pascale Beale, and Wine Tasting at the Wine Collection of El Paseo.

Additional benefits of purchasing a Key includes exclusive discounts at restaurants around Santa Barbara County, including: Avant Tapas & Wine, The Hitching Post II, Bob’s Well Bread, Bell Street Farm, Sama Sama Kitchen, Autostrada Wood Fired Pizza, Isabella Gourmet Foods, Wine Cask, Full of Life Flatbread, and Cecco Ristorante.

The Santa Barbara Vintners is partnering with Breakaway Tours, Jump on the School Bus, and Santa Barbara Classic Wine Tours to provide all-inclusive transportation packages for many of the featured experiences with pick-up and drop-off in Solvang on Saturday and Sunday.

Morgen McLaughlin, executive director of the Santa Barbara Vintners, says, “Santa Barbara Wine Country is best explored getting deep into the cellars and vineyards of some of our most esteemed wine properties. Winter is an excellent time to visit; the harvest is over and the winemakers are eager to entertain and educate. With our close proximity to Los Angeles and Southern California, our region provides world-class hospitality, a wide array of outstanding wines, and some of the most beautiful countryside and ocean views of any wine region in the world.”

Looking forward: The Santa Barbara Vintners Spring Weekend & Festival returns to Santa Barbara Wine Country April 23-26. The four-day weekend will include wine maker dinners, winery and tasting room open houses, library tastings throughout the region, wine seminar, and the Vintners Spring Festival returning to the River View Park in Buellton. Tickets are on sale now by clicking here.

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Education Office Celebrating Day of the Farm Worker with Free Event at Santa Maria Fairpark

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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The arduous work of the agricultural worker will be celebrated and appreciated during the Day of the Farm Worker, a free event sponsored by the Santa Barbara County Education Office’s Migrant Education Program and its community partners from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7 at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

The celebration will offer free health screenings, free clothing and books, flu shots, blood pressure checks, vision screenings, fluoride varnish for children under age 6, healthy meal demonstrations, physical activity demonstrations, children’s activities, live music, entertainment, and a community agency information fair, including legal and educational services. Food will be available for purchase.

“We all benefit from the wonderful gifts agricultural workers provide to our own families: meats, vegetables, fruits, dairy, seeds, nuts, grains, eggs and much more. It is fitting that we pay tribute to their hard work and accomplishments,” said County Superintendent Bill Cirone, whose office coordinates the event. “Local businesses and organizations also benefit from the products and services consumed by agricultural workers and their families.”

The Migrant Education Program is a national program that provides educational, health and social support services to eligible children and young adults from birth to 21 years old. California has more than 124,000 migrant children enrolled in its 20 regions. Region 18 serves Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, which are home to more than 2,300 migrant children and young adults. Also part of the Santa Barbara County is Region 22 of the Santa Maria Bonita School District, which serves over 3,400 preschool to eighth-grade students. Information about whether a child qualifies for services is available by contacting the regional office in Santa Maria at 922-0788 or by asking a Migrant Education Services Specialist at the Day of the Farm Worker event.

“Our nation’s economy depends on the agricultural industry,” Cirone said. “We hope the community will join us in paying tribute to the workers of this vital industry.”

For more information, call the Migrant Education Office in Santa Maria at 805.922.0788.

— Kris Bergstrom is the communications director for the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

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Ron Fink: Can Republicans Provide Long-Overdue Leadership?

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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To begin this commentary, I will acknowledge that I align myself with the Republican Party's view on how to approach most problems facing the nation today. That said, we need to take a sober look at what faces them in the next couple of years.

Now that the campaigns are over, the confetti has been swept away and all those campaign signs have been tossed in the trash, it’s time to govern.

Many say that the reason the nation’s forward movement was gridlocked was because Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wouldn’t allow any legislation from the House of Representatives to come to a vote in the Senate. This seems to have been a juvenile approach to governing and one that probably cost Democrats the most stunning political defeat in several decades.

In the days following the election, President Barack Obama seemed to be in denial about the outcome. He maintained that he would continue his strategy of circumventing Congress by issuing Executive Orders to implement his partisan progressive agenda. This is no way to reach out following the historic rejection of his administration’s strategy and policies.

Obama’s logic was that Congress wasn’t doing anything. Well, the Reid strategy had been to do just that — nothing. By not sending any legislation forward, Democrats were isolating their president from making any decisions and setting the stage for unilateral action.

So Obama’s complaint that Congress wouldn’t send him any legislation should have been directed at fellow Democrats and not Republicans. I am sure that he won’t have the same complaint in the next couple of years since I am sure that many pieces of legislation will land on his desk. The only question is, will Obama sign them or be an obstructionist?

So, what should Republicans do to get things moving? Yogi Berra once said, “You have to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” The Republican leadership should plot their course carefully or they may not get there either.

Pundits have speculated and offered their guidance, and much of it was fairly sound advice. Senior Republican members of Congress have also added their voices to the discussion, and we should listen to them. The hard-right voices should temper their rhetoric for the moment — confrontation will not work. What’s needed is adult leadership that provides solutions that correct problems and don’t cause any new ones.

The first thing they have to do is start moving legislative proposals to the president’s desk. There are scores of important measures that have stagnated over the last six years. Among them are what to do about Obamacare, the budget, tax reform, economic growth through employment, national defense, and immigration and tax reform, to name a few.

The stock market may be up for the moment, but those in the lower and middle economic class need jobs. The best thing legislators can do is examine the workplace and determine if any of their previous legislation may have caused the loss of so many better-paying jobs in the manufacturing sector. Two areas come to mind: environmental restrictions and taxing new medical device technology.

Another is the international trade agreements that allow the seemingly unrestricted export of manufacturing jobs out of America. Ross Perot, once a candidate for president, said that “sucking sound you hear is American jobs leaving the country” because of the North American Free Trade Agreement. He may not have been much of a presidential candidate, but he was right about this issue.

Putting Americans to work has to be a priority. We need to pay people to work, not sit at home watching daytime TV. The nation’s public infrastructure is in awful shape and major construction projects are needed to fix it.

The tax system is so complex that the average person cannot understand it. Our immigration laws and their enforcement are nearly nonexistent as millions of illegal aliens are allowed to enter undeterred and then remain in our country even after they have committed serious crimes — including the killing of police officers.

The Defense Department is underfunded and understaffed; protecting the nation from people who are intent on destroying our way of life is critical. It is only through a robust military presence that aggression against the United States can be deterred.

Each of these issues and many more deserve some serious thought, and while a bipartisan consensus is important we should remember that during the first two years of the Obama presidency, Republicans were totally shut out of the debate as the Pelosi-Reid-Obama machine created chaos within the government. And it was the Obama administration that refused to negotiate on any issue, and that’s how we got to where we are today.

Maybe Reid got the message. He is allowing a vote on the Keystone XL pipeline project this week. This project will provide many short-term construction jobs and long-term, well-paying oil industry jobs.

We gave them a majority. Can Republicans provide long-overdue leadership?

— Ron Fink, a Lompoc resident since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry and has been active with Lompoc municipal government commissions and committee since 1992, including 12 years on the Lompoc Planning Commission. He is also a voting member of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association. Contact him at news@noozhawk.com. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Tom Donohue: Intellectual Property Has Huge Impact on Society

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Strike up a conversation about intellectual property (IP) at a party and you’ll likely find yourself standing alone. Though it may seem like an abstract concept to some, IP plays an essential role in our culture and economy by driving innovation, protecting consumers, and supporting everything from music, cinema and sports to health, tech, trade and more.

In other words, anyone who’s interested in the hottest new smartphone, the latest blockbuster film, the most promising new drug therapy, the safest toys for their children or the next major U.S. trade agreement is interested in IP — whether or not they know it.

IP is critical to public safety and consumer confidence. Strong IP protections and enforcement are important to preventing dangerous products — such as counterfeit pharmaceuticals or toys — from getting into consumers’ hands. Trademarks give customers confidence that they are buying genuine, high-quality products from brands they trust.

IP is an incentive for innovations that enhance and improve our lives. When artists, inventors or scientists have assurances that their works will be protected and rewarded thanks to IP rights, they are more inclined or able to produce. With strong copyright laws, musicians are more likely to record new albums. Patent protections enable pharmaceutical companies to take on the costs and challenges of putting lifesaving new drugs on the market. Without opportunities for ownership or profit, the incentive to innovate falls.

IP has an enormous effect on our economy. America’s IP is worth $5 trillion. IP-intensive industries account for 38 percent of total U.S. GDP, support 40 million American jobs and drive 60 percent of U.S. exports. Strong IP provisions have also emerged as a key factor in the negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, a sweeping trade deal that would grant the United States access to booming markets in the Asia-Pacific, adding U.S. jobs and creating more opportunities for industries to export. Such a vibrant and lucrative trade relationship must be built on mutual trust and high standards.

Any issue with such widespread impact and significant ramifications will present unique public policy challenges.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Global Intellectual Property Center will host its second annual Global IP Summit, convening leaders from the private and public sectors to consider IP threats and opportunities. All the stakeholders must unite behind efforts to advance commonsense reforms, strengthen IP at home and abroad, punish those who undermine IP rights, and educate the public on its significance.

IP is an issue that we can’t afford to ignore, dismiss or misunderstand. Its impact on our culture and our economy is far too great.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed are his own.

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‘Suspicious’ Package Delivered to Police Found Not to Be Dangerous

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Annex building near downtown Santa Barbara police station was evacuated while crews investigated

Hazmat crews gather in a carport to examine the contents of a suspicious package sent to a Santa Barbara police detective. A chemical substance found in the package was determined not to be dangerous, according to police. (Urban Hikers photo)

After a hazardous-materials response and investigation on Tuesday that lasted all afternoon, a "suspicious" package delivered to a Santa Barbara Police Department detective was determined not to be dangerous.

The incident began shortly after 11 a.m. when city Fire Department crews were called to the Police Department’s annex building at 222 E. Anapamu St. downtown, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood.

A detective based in the building had received a package that initial examination indicated might be dangerous, Harwood said.

He declined to describe the substance other than to say it was a chemical, but witnesses told Noozhawk it was a liquid.

Harwood also said he could not comment on any other items in the package or whether there was an accompanying note.

The package was sent from out of town, Harwood said, and came a week after the same detective received a similar package, although the earlier one did not contain any chemical substance.

After Tuesday's discovery, all personnel were evacuated from the annex, Harwood said, and a hazmat crew suited up and entered the building at about 2:30 p.m.

Eventually the package and its contents were brought out of the building, and taken to a carport area away from the street for examination, Harwood said.

Anapamu Street remained shut down between Santa Barbara and Garden streets until the operation ended at about 5 p.m.

Hazmat crews place a suspicious item sent to a Santa Barbara police detective into a bucket for examination. It was found not to be dangerous. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

Representatives from the FBI were on scene, but they respond automatically for calls of this nature, he noted. 

A decontamination area was set up in the street to wash down hazmat crews as needed when they came out of the building. 

Bomb squad personnel also responded to the scene, although the substance was not believed to be an explosive, Harwood said.

No injuries were reported. 

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

Santa Barbara City Fire trucks blocked off the 200 block of Anapamu Street during a hazmat investigation Tuesday afternoon. (Zack Warburg / Noozhawk photo)

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Viewing at Westmont Observatory to Feature Celestial Heart, Owl and Christmas Tree

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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This month’s public viewing of the stars will feature astronomical glimpses of a heart, owl and a Christmas tree on Friday, Nov. 21, beginning after 6:30 p.m. and lasting for several hours at the Westmont Observatory.

The free event is held every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit. In case of inclement or overcast weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at 805.565.6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.

Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says he hopes to aim Westmont’s 8-inch refractor telescope at the northern part of the sky where there’ll be a number of open clusters with interesting patterns of stars.

“NGC 225, the Broken Heart Cluster, is a beautiful open cluster that lies some 2,000 light-years away in the constellation of Cassiopeia,” Whittemore says. “To many it does seem to have the shape of a heart. Interestingly, others see a sailboat in this one.”

The public viewing may also focus on NGC 457, the Owl Cluster.

“I have shown this one to the public many times and it’s still a popular target,” he says. “Most people see the owl-like pattern in this distant group of stars that lies some 10,000 light-years away, so its stars must be intrinsically very bright.”

Stargazers may also catch a seasonal favorite, Messier 103, the Christmas Tree Cluster.

“Come and see if you can see the star on the top of the tree,” Whittemore says.

The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.

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UCSB Establishes New Undergraduate Academic Emphasis in Museum Studies

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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In the 1980s, as scholars from various fields increasingly focused their attention on the influential and multifaceted roles that cultural institutions play in society, museum studies began evolving into a full-fledged academic discipline. In response to this development, the Department of the History of Art and Architecture at UC Santa Barbara has established an undergraduate major emphasis in museum studies.

The emphasis draws on the academic expertise in art and architectural history within the department and from several other departments and entities across campus, including art, Chicana and Chicano studies, East Asian languages and cultural studies, geography, history, religious studies, sociology, spatial studies and the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration.

“The museum studies emphasis focuses both on examining the history, functions, practices and ideologies of museums and collections of different kinds as well as on the applications of such knowledge by offering practical training for a variety of museum and related careers,” said Carole Paul, a lecturer in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture and director of the emphasis.

“There are many different types of museums, and they face similar issues and pressures, though there are also challenges specific to each kind,” Paul continued. “Our program is most concerned with art and archaeology museums, but students will have opportunities to explore other kinds of institutions in courses and internships.”

While some museum studies programs are freestanding, according to Paul, because the subject requires a broad understanding of museums and collections and, depending on the institution, expertise in a particular discipline, her department decided to offer the option of an undergraduate degree in art history with this special emphasis.

“There are a number of graduate programs in museum studies, mostly awarding master’s degrees or certificates, offered by colleges and universities throughout the country, and art history departments usually play a major role in these programs” noted Paul. “However, undergraduate programs are more rare, and I know of no others in California, so the emphasis puts our department and UCSB in a unique position to influence both the field of museum studies and the work that is done in museums and related institutions.”

UCSB’s program is wide-ranging, partly because of the broad expertise of faculty members, whose specializations extend from the classical to the contemporary and from art and architecture to visual culture, but also because of the nature of the field itself.

“For example, a museum studies course that I have been teaching, ‘The Grand Tour: Experiencing Italy in the Eighteenth Century,’ explores the close relationship between museums and travel,” Paul said. “Majors in the emphasis will be required to take classes in other departments as well. The courses on public history taught by the history department, for instance, form an ideal complement to our program.”

The museum studies emphasis is designed to help students chart career paths in museums, art galleries, historic preservation, public history and auction houses. In this regard, the relationship of the emphasis to UCSB’s Art, Design & Architecture Museum is especially important, according to Paul. “Students enrolled in the emphasis are required to participate in internships, and the museum already has an outstanding internship program.”

The emphasis also seeks to prepare students for graduate programs in art history, architectural conservation, museum studies, art business, art-related law and arts management.

“Many of the graduate programs that exist are aimed at training students for administrative or curatorial work or museum education in a fairly narrow way,” Paul added. “Our emphasis, even at the undergraduate level, seeks to integrate professional practice with a serious engagement with historical and theoretical questions to prepare our students in a particularly thoughtful way.”

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

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Goleta Valley Philanthropist Betty Rosness Dies

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Betty Rosness

Betty Rosness, a longtime Goleta Valley resident and philanthropic pillar of the South Coast community, died early Sunday at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Rosness, 90, passed away at 12:47 a.m. Sunday with family members by her side, according to her son, Randy Rosness.

"She went very peacefully," Rosness told Noozhawk. "We'll miss her, but she's where she wants to be."

Rosness had gone into the hospital on Saturday for some tests, and suffered a massive stroke while she was there, Rosness said.

A resident of the South Coast for more than 40 years, Rosness served on countless boards for local nonprofit organizations, and most recently was honored for her support of the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission.

"She just loved people, and she wanted to help people and encourage people, and share her faith with those she came across," Rosness said of his mother. "And she was just non-stop."

Rolf Geyling, president of the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission, called Rosness "a force to be reckoned with," and noted that she played an instrumental role in many local organizations.

"We are who we are today because of Betty's decades of service and advocacy," he said, recalling her tenure on the Rescue Mission's board, including a stint as chairwoman.

"There are dozens of nonprofits around the community that owe her a debt of gratitude," Gayling said. "We are lucky that we are one of a small handful that she truly loved."

Kristin Miller, president and CEO of the Goleta Chamber of Commerce, expressed deep sadness at Rosness' passing.

"I looked up to her," Miller said.

"The fact that (her death) seems sudden is only because she was active up until the end," Miller said.

"She had been an active and vital part of Chamber of Commerce for many years, long before me," Miller said. "She consistently promoted the Goleta community and integrating it with the Goleta business community."

Goleta City Councilman Michael Bennett called Rosness "a wonderful, wonderful person," who contributed much to the community over many years.

Characteristically, Rosness found a unique way to mark her 90th birthday back in March, making a tandem skydive in Lompoc. As part of the celebration, she asked friend to skip giving her gifts, and instead donate to local nonprofit organizations.

"I prayed a lot about this before I did it," she said at the time. "I didn't want to do anything silly or stupid. … I just wanted to bring attention to these organizations and the amazing work they do."

An Oklahoma native, Rosness moved to Goleta in 1968, when she opened an ad agency in the area and began learning about the needs of local nonprofits.

Prior to that, she worked as a radio saleswoman, copywriter and broadcaster, and even as a press assistant to then-U.S.Sen. Frank Carlson of Kansas for five years.

Rosness' husband, Hank, was a U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel who flew in the most decorated class in West Point history.

After Hank died in 2012 from Parkinson's disease, Rosness and her three sons and their wives traveled to West Point for the 70-year reunion of Hank's class.

It was a moving experience for the family to see the 12 men in Hank's class, many of them in wheelchairs or with walkers, be celebrated for their heroism, knowing that Hank's contribution was being honored as well.

Rosness was to be cremated and interred at the Goleta Cemetery, Randy Rosness said, adding that a memorial service is tentatively set for Dec. 13, at a yet-to-be-determined location.

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.

To celebrate her 90th birthday earlier this year, Betty Rosness made a tandem parachute jump in Lompoc. The longtime Goleta Valley philanthropist passed away Sunday. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

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Santa Barbara Transient Occupancy Tax Up 25.8% in October

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Santa Barbara lodging establishments collected and remitted $1.62 million in ongoing transient occupancy tax during the month of October, which is 25.8 percent higher than October of last year.

There was an increase in the number of rooms available for occupancy in October 2014 due the closure of a number of hotel rooms for major renovations in October 2013. In addition, October 2014 contained one additional weekend night than October 2013.

Both of these factors play a large part in the impressive growth seen this month.

More than $7.7 million in TOT has been collected in the first four months of the fiscal year, which runs from June to July. Year-to-date collections are 11.9 percent ahead of last year. The fiscal year 2015 TOT budget is $17,641,400.

Click here to view the transient occupancy tax table.

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

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County Issues Notice of Funding Availability and Request for Proposals 2015-16

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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The Santa Barbara County Executive Office and the Community Services Department’s Division of Housing and Community Development announce a joint NOFA for the following programs:

» The Human Services General Fund: There is approximately $1 million available for nonprofit organizations administering human services programs that serve low and moderate income persons and special populations such as elderly, disabled, homeless, people experiencing abuse, and persons with HIV/AIDS. All applicants will be asked to describe how they provide access to services (i.e. language, transportation). There are three applications; 1) mini grants for agency capacity building, 2) basic needs grants for safety net programs such as food, shelter, and services for persons experiencing abuse, 3) evidence-based grants for programs with a strong ability to link services with results.

» Community Development Block Grant Public Services programs: An estimated $170,000 will be available for public services programs countywide. A variety of activities are eligible, including services for low and moderate income persons and special populations such as elderly, homeless, abused children, persons with HIV/AIDS, and persons with disabilities. The county administers the CDBG program on behalf of the Urban County partnership, which includes the county and the cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Lompoc and Solvang. The City of Lompoc issues its own NOFA; contact Trish Munoz at 805.875.8270 or T_Munoz@ci.lompoc.ca.us for more information.

» Community Development Block Grant Capital and other eligible activities: An estimated $1.1 million will be available for capital projects and other eligible activities countywide. A variety of activities are eligible, including housing rehabilitation, economic development, renovation of community facilities, and improvements to meet the requirements of the American with Disabilities Act. Facilities must be used to serve low and moderate income persons and/or persons with disabilities. The county administers the CDBG program on behalf of the Urban County partnership, which includes the county and the cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Lompoc and Solvang. The City of Lompoc issues its own NOFA; contact Trish Munoz at 805.875.8270 or T_Munoz@ci.lompoc.ca.us for more information.

» HOME Program: The County HOME Consortium includes the county and the cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Goleta, Lompoc, Santa Maria and Solvang. Each consortium member receives a sub-allocation of HOME funds. Applicants are encouraged to obtain a letter of support from the member city where the project will be located (letters of support from the county are not necessary). Approximately $1 million will be available for all HOME-eligible activities. Eligible activities include rental and homeownership affordable housing development (acquisition, rehabilitation and new construction), down payment assistance, homeowner rehabilitation and tenant-based rental assistance. Applications for housing development are accepted on a year-round basis; however, developers are strongly encouraged to submit letters of intent to apply for housing development funds by the NOFA application deadline. Applications for other eligible HOME programs must be submitted by the NOFA deadline. Funds provided for housing development projects may include federal and/or non-federal funds, at the discretion of the county (see the section on Affordable Housing Development below).

Affordable Housing Development: In addition to federal HOME funds, the county administers non-federal funds available for affordable housing development, including acquisition, rehabilitation and new construction of rental and homeownership housing. The county will determine which funds are appropriate for the type of housing proposed, the market area, and other considerations. Developers are strongly encouraged to submit letters of intent to apply for housing development funds by this NOFA deadline. Approximately $500,000 in non-federal funds will be available for housing development in 2015-16.

Applications are accepted online only. The following links will take applicants directly to each application:

» For Human Services Commission/CEO General Funding, click here to go to the Human Services Commission website.

» Click here for the CDBG/HOME go to HCD’s website.

Applications are due by 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 16.

County CEO and HCD staff will hold two mandatory workshops for all applicants to review the electronic grants system and application and program criteria:

» North County, Dec. 1, BOS Conference Room 511 E. Lakeside Pkwy., Santa Maria

» South County, Dec. 3, BOS Conference Room 105 E. Anapamu St., fourth floor, Santa Barbara

The schedule for both trainings:

» 12:30 to 2 p.m. — CDBG Capital Projects (with Zoom Grants training)

» 2 to 3 p.m. — CDBG Public Services Programs

» 3 to 3:30 p.m. — Zoom Grants for services applicants (non-capital)

» 3:30 to 5 p.m. — Human Services General Fund

The cities and county promote fair housing and make all programs available to eligible awardees regardless of age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, sexual preference, marital status or handicap.

— Susan Foley is a business specialist for Santa Barbara County.

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Hazmat Incident Prompts Ventura County Evacuations

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Injuries reported, Highway 126 shut down after incident near Santa Paula

Officials at Ventura County Medical Center Tuesday morning are working to decontaminate people who might have been exposed to an unknown substance involved in an explosion near Santa Paula.

Approximately 1,000 gallons of an unknown product were spilled after the rear of a vacuum truck exploded about 3:45 a.m. near the 800 block of Mission Rock Road, officials said.

Two people were injured in the original explosion but only one person was taken to Ventura County Medical Center at the time, said Ventura County Fire Department Captain Mike Lindbery.

The people in the truck said they had been sucking up sewage in the area, but fire officials soon realized they were dealing with a much different substance. The white liquid had spread to a 300 to 400 foot area and would spontaneously combust when dried, Lindbery explained.

Hazmat crews on scene have determined that the substance is “some sort of organic peroxide that is sensitive to shock, pressure and the application of water or oxygen,” Lindbery said.

Three firefighters were eventually taken to the hospital in Ventura with medical symptoms as well as the other person in the truck.

The immediate area has been evacuated and authorities are concerned about exposure to nearby Todd Road Jail. The Briggs Road exit to Highway 126 is closed and the smell of fumes is noticeable from the freeway.

It is unclear how many people have been exposed to the substance and the exact cause of the explosion is under investigation, Lindbery said.

Ventura city and county fire departments, as well as hazardous material crews from Oxnard and Santa Paula fire departments were on scene assisting with the situation.

[Click here for updates to this story from the Ventura County Star]

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Isla Vista Strategies: Trustees’ Advisory Committee Outlines Recommendations

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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In a written report presented to the UC Santa Barbara Foundation Board of Trustees in November, a special committee charged with advising the university on issues facing the Isla Vista community outlined several goals, recommendations and action items.

Over the past five months, the UC Santa Barbara Foundation Trustees’ Advisory Committee on Isla Vista Strategies, operating independently of the University, has studied Isla Vista — the good and the not so good — and its relationship to UCSB and the larger Santa Barbara area.

Chaired by Duncan Mellichamp, professor emeritus in the Department of Chemical Engineering and a trustee himself, the committee’s goal was to develop mid- and long-term recommendations that enhance safety and security and improve the culture and quality of life for students in Isla Vista and the Isla Vista community as a whole.

“I am indebted to our dedicated Trustees for the time and energy they devote to our University and the Isla Vista community, and for their timely report and thoughtful recommendations,” said UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry Yang. “I would also like to express my sincere appreciation for the leadership and support from UC Office of the President, and for the valuable input from our students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and all stakeholders in the community. We will continue to build on the strong foundation we have developed together and the initiatives that have been put in place, especially during the past intensive half-year.”

These initiatives — and many others in the works — are outlined in two letters that Chancellor Yang distributed to the campus in September. They can be found at Isla Vista Safety Progress Report and at Chancellor’s Coordinating Committee on Isla Vista.

Among the initiatives is the Chancellor’s Coordinating Committee on Isla Vista, co-chaired by David Marshall, UCSB executive vice chancellor, and Kum-Kum Bhavnani, professor of sociology and chair of the UCSB Academic Senate.

“The Chancellor’s Coordinating Committee on Isla Vista looks forward to reviewing the analysis and recommendations contained in this important report,” said Marshall. “In addition to underlining many of the key areas on which UCSB must continue to focus, it emphasizes the need for collaboration and cooperation with our partners outside of UCSB. I am grateful for the enormous amount of work and thought that went into this report, which will add to our momentum as we move forward to seize this opportunity to improve the Isla Vista community.”

Collaboration Is Key

The Trustees’ Advisory Committee on Isla Vista Strategies functions entirely separately from the university. However, as Marcy Carsey, chair of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation Board, noted, “While the Foundation Trustees are not a governing board, we felt we could bring together our unique and collective experiences in business and community-building to support the campus and provide leadership for the University.”

UCSB’s role in the process was one of information provider, similar to that of other stakeholders. In its analysis, the committee focused on five key areas — governance, safety, support services, communications and the physical environment — and factored in the social, architectural, demographic and geographic elements that make Isla Vista the unique community it is.

The findings and recommendations presented in the report result from a collaborative effort that involved more than 125 meetings with representatives from UCSB faculty, administrators, staff and student groups, the County of Santa Barbara, the City of Goleta, Santa Barbara City College, Isla Vista property owners, Isla Vista residents, community members and business owners. In addition, the committee called on four outside consulting firms that specialize in areas related to the scope of the report.

“The report fundamentally addresses two issues,” said Mellichamp. “First, there needs to be an effective governing mechanism in Isla Vista to provide a safe and congenial environment — that has to be the top priority— and, second, the campus needs to develop an administrative structure that is equipped to address the challenges of Isla Vista. The Isla Vista Redevelopment Agency, which operated until 2012, had a public advisory committee. After it was gone, many latent problems in I.V. got out of hand.”

While the committee consisted solely of members of the board of trustees, non-trustees participated in the process through eight working groups. “We consulted with outside experts and brought aboard many individuals from the community who made the groups functional,” Mellichamp said. “It’s the work group approach that led directly to the recommendations.”

Self-Governance

In the area of governance, the committee set as a goal the development of a form of self-governance for Isla Vista that can provide necessary infrastructure and services and promote the safety and wellbeing of its residents. The committee recommends that a legislated community services/municipal improvement district be formed in Isla Vista with authority over infrastructure, utilities, police services, parks and recreation, cultural facilities, fire, security and roads.

“Isla Vista is one of, if the not the largest urban communities in the State of California not within the boundaries of a city,” said Trustee Mark Linehan, president and chief executive officer of Wynmark Company. “As a result, the lack of urban governance continues to result in inadequate representation, insufficient public services and a lack of infrastructure, which exacerbates the concerns regarding the security and welfare of the residents of this college community.”

Safety First

Regarding safety and security in Isla Vista, the committee recommends strengthening community policing, integrating the information systems of crime data and establishing an Isla Vista neighborhood restorative justice court and a dedicated deputy district attorney. “With so many UC Santa Barbara students residing in Isla Vista, the vitality, safety and welfare of the Isla Vista community is of paramount importance not only to UCSB, but to the adjacent cities of Goleta and Santa Barbara,” Linehan continued.

The Trustees’ Committee also suggested stricter enforcement of existing laws, regulations and ordinances; improving the physical environment for safety and health; and establishing a Joint Safety & Security Task Force composed of representatives from Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office, UC Santa Barbara Police Department, California Highway Patrol, the District Attorney, UC Santa Barbara Student Affairs, Graduate Student Association, UCSB Associated Students, Santa Barbara City College and community residents to actively address safety and security issues in Isla Vista.

Urban Planning

To enhance Isla Vista as a livable urban community, the committee recommends creating a “town” with services and amenities that reflect a viable environment; diversifying the age of the population to include mature adults and families; and expanding the mission of the UCSB Community Housing Authority to include responsibility for all UCSB/Isla Vista development strategies. Additionally, the committee supports a reduction in the over-occupancy of existing units and addressing substandard housing conditions through a variety of means, both public and private; enforcing existing codes and developing new codes and ordinances to control density, parking, noise and nuisance activities; and developing lease standards for privately owned property that mandate acceptable use and behavior.

Community Services

Creating a dynamic and diverse intellectual environment is critical to Isla Vista’s wellbeing, according to the committee. Achieving that involves working with current Isla Vista businesses and encouraging new business ventures, and designing activities and programmed events within Isla Vista, including collaborations with Santa Barbara City College. Establishing a community center in Isla Vista as well as community-oriented programming that serves all constituencies, and creating a new Isla Vista academic events programming committee are also high on the committee’s list.

The Student Factor

Students play a key role in effecting positive change in Isla Vista-related issues, and the committee includes them in suggesting lasting solutions. Among its recommendations are a reexamination of the rights and responsibilities of UCSB students, as iterated in campus regulations; revising the student code of conduct to eliminate the distinction between on- and off-campus infractions; and working through students to change the party culture of Isla Vista.

The committee also called on Santa Barbara City College students, as well as non-student residents, to participate in and contribute to efforts to effect positive change in Isla Vista.

The University’s Role

With some 10,000 UCSB students making Isla Vista their home, the seaside community enclave is an integral component of university life. To enhance and communicate the overall excellence of UCSB — and the university’s ability to administer programs involving Isla Vista — the committee makes a number of recommendations. Among them are showcasing UCSB’s accomplishments and achievements to offset the campus’s social reputation; creating an internal UCSB “Oversight for Isla Vista” committee composed of administrators, faculty members and students interested in community development; and creating a stakeholders group to work jointly — Associated Students, faculty and administration, local residents, businesses, SBCC, and the County of Santa Barbara — on Isla Vista governance issues.

“The time for UC Santa Barbara, the County of Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara City College, and the residents and stakeholders of Isla Vista to act is now,” the committee noted in the report’s conclusion. “Long-sustaining changes in Isla Vista require all parties to work collaboratively.” To that end, the committee recommends the establishment of an Isla Vista Stakeholder Work Group.

“It will take an enormous amount of heavy lifting from both the local stakeholders and government officials along with UC Santa Barbara,” said Linehan. “It is imperative and urgent those who have the ability, step up and make Isla Vista the great community it has the potential to be.”

Added Academic Senate Chair Bhavnani: “This detailed report is a critical step in ensuring that Isla Vista develops into the college town that we all want for it. There are short- and mid-term recommendations in here that are very insightful. Further, the long term recommendation of shifting Isla Vista student cultures — through more faculty and graduate student involvement than at present — is an exciting possibility.”

The complete report can be found at A Call for Action: Report of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation Trustees’ Advisory Committee on Isla Vista Strategies by clicking here.

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

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Cinema in Focus: ‘The Better Angels’

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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3 Stars — Thought-provoking

Abraham Lincoln is an American icon and one of the most beloved people in American history. His oversized presence in the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., is a tribute to the immense impact he had on saving the United States as we know it today. But what gave him the courage and presence of mind to be the right person at the right time in our nation’s history?

The Better Angels in young Lincoln’s life were his mother and stepmother, both of whom instilled in him a remarkable sense of confidence and a deep and abiding faith in God. This story focuses on his life as a young boy about to become a man in 1817, living in a log cabin in the Indiana wilderness.

To say that life for young Abe was void of intellectual stimulation would be an understatement. Few people even lived near where his family survived on a subsistence farm. His parents were uneducated and unable to read. Outside of working the fields from sun up to sun down, there was little to talk about.

Mealtimes were not filled with conversations about how your day went. Abe was among the first in his family to go to school, and the only book available to people in rural Indiana was the Bible. But within its pages was magnificent prose and a wealth of moral and ethical teaching that shaped how Lincoln saw the world, how he reacted to it and the source of inner strength to which he turned when adversity arose.

Watching The Better Angels can be tedious as the film gives you a sense of the tedium of everyday life in 1817 rural America. But with much of the same experiences that you would find in a monastery, daily silence gave birth to great insight and a depth of understanding. Through it all, his stepmother, and his mother before her death, gave him love and support in a way that invaded his soul.

The story is told from the perspective of Lincoln’s cousin who lived with Abe’s family. Although this story takes place almost entirely in 1817, the end of the story flashes forward to April 1865 when President Lincoln was assassinated. It fell to Lincoln’s cousin to travel back to the log cabin that was still in the rural woods of Indiana to tell his stepmother that Abe was no longer with us.

We don’t know how she reacted to the tragic news, but we do know that the saving of this nation was due in no small part to the whispered words of love and compassion that came from these better angels whose faith and Godly nature was made manifest in the life of one of our most treasured and inspiring presidents.

Discussion

» As you look back at your own childhood, who provided you with a supportive foundation that made you who you are today? How are you providing the same to others?

» Immersed in the Bible’s teachings, President Lincoln approached life with a biblical worldview. How different do you think our nation would be if he had not had that biblical foundation?

» It is difficult to know all that goes into the making of a mature person. It is not only the advantages but often the disadvantages that have far more impact. How do you think the rural subsistence life was an advantage to President Lincoln?

» In modern life, we often do not “have the time to think.” What do you expect will be the type of person who doesn’t have time to think through the great questions of life?

— Cinema in Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is a former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is pastor of Free Methodist Church, 1435 Cliff Drive. For more reviews, visit www.cinemainfocus.com, or follow them on Twitter: @CinemaInFocus. The opinions expressed are their own.

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Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association Outlines Events for ‘Coming Home’ Annual Meeting

By | Published on 11/18/2014

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Pacifica Graduate Institute’s Alumni Association has announced through the director of alumni relations, Dianne Travis-Teague, the planned events for its “Coming Home” Annual Meeting, a weekend of educational and exciting festivities for alum, family, friends and the community.

“Coming Home” will be held Friday, Jan. 16 through Sunday, Jan. 18 at Pacifica’s campus, 801 Ladera Lane in Santa Barbara.

The three-day, action-packed “Coming Home” Annual Meeting includes The Chancellor’s Reception, Writers/Media Workshops “So You Want to Publish!” and “Writer’s Block and Me!” (co-sponsored by the Pacifica Bookstore), a Writer’s Boot Camp, an Alumni Authors Book Faire, Campus Tours (both Ladera and Lambert), PGIAA Business Session, Alumni/ae Networking, and Lecture Series featuring Dr. Dennis Patrick Slattery, Dr. Stephen Aizenstat and others.

On Saturday will be the highly anticipated screening of Finding the Gold Within (a feature-length film that follows six black men from Akron, Ohio, through their first two years of college) followed by a reception honoring its filmmaker, Karina Epperlein. Come out and meet Epperlein and these six young African-American men behind this wonderful film. Finding the Gold Within and reception are co-sponsored by The Fund for Santa Barbara.

The weekend concludes on Sunday with a celebration in conjunction with the Santa Barbara MLK Committee honoring Dr. Martin King Jr. that will include a community panel and Q&A titled “Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Celebrating the Dream.”

“Over the past four years, the Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association was born and is now a 501(c)(3) organization," Travis-Teague said. "This year’s event is designed not only to build community, but to share the wealth of talent found amongst our alumni/ae. We hope you will join us for this momentous celebration.”

Pacifica Graduate Institute is a WASC-accredited graduate school with two campuses located between the coastal foothills of the Pacific Ocean, a few miles south of Santa Barbara. The institute offers master's and doctoral degree programs in psychology, the humanities and mythological studies all informed by the traditions in depth psychology. Pacifica has established an educational environment that nourishes respect for cultural diversity and individual differences, and an academic community that fosters a spirit of free and open inquiry. In the last 35 years, Pacifica Graduate Institute has graduated over 4500 alumni and alumnae.

Travis-Teague facilitates the ongoing collaborations between Pacifica's Office of the Chancellor and the Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association to extend and nurture the Pacifica experience in and through the world. In partnership with Travis-Teague and her team, the Alumni Association provides programs and services that strengthen the connections between graduates and the institute.

Travel, hotel accommodations and car rental information: For travel arrangements, contact Linda Borgatta at Santa Barbara Travel, the official travel agency, at 800.350.9333 x123 or lborgatta@sbtravel.com. For hotel accommodations, contact the Best Western Hotel, 4558 Carpinteria Ave. in Carpinteria, at 800.528.1234 (use rate code: PGIALUM2015). For discounted car rental, contact Enterprise Rent-a-Car at 601 Chapala St. in Santa Barbara at 805.966.3097.

For additional information, click here or contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 805.679.6163 or alumnirelations@pacifica.edu.

It’s a great time to come home to Pacifica!

— Allison Queen is a publicist representing the Pacifica Graduate Institute Alumni Association.

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Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Courts Potential Corporate Partners

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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The high school program, for the first time boasting a full class of 100 in all grade levels, counts on donations from Goleta-area companies

“Cool” was a word liberally thrown around Monday as Dos Pueblos High School’s Engineering Academy courted a possible corporate sponsor.

Looking to join the ranks of Raytheon, ATK Space Systems and other local tech giants-turned-sponsors was Curvature, a leading global provider of pre-owned and new networking and datacenter solutions located near the Goleta school.

A more casually dressed Mike Sheldon wore blue jeans and sat in a swivel chair next to student-manufactured robots lining a wall of an academy room, where the Curvature CEO listened to a brief presentation before taking a tour.

“We run this as a small business,” said Gary Simpson, a volunteer member of the DPEA foundation board. “We could likely be training your future employees.”

Supporters and school officials lead potential donors, visiting teachers and others on weekly tours, hoping to nail down some of the funding stream for the curriculum that concentrates on providing valuable hands-on experiences in engineering as well as art.

A third of the ninth-through-12th-grade academy’s annual budget of about $555,000 comes from corporate sponsors, with another third from foundations and philanthropists and a third from parents, Simpson said.

“Our retention rate is virtually 100 percent,” he added.

This year marks the first time the academy has boasted a full class of 100 in all grade levels, Simpson said, making up 20 percent of Dos Pueblos’ total student population.

Curvature CEO Mike Sheldon listens as Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy students talk about their future goals and careers in science fields. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

DPEA Director Amir Abo-Shaeer, who founded the academy in 2002, took the torch from there to outline the academy’s creative processes, which have changed over time but still emphasize learning by doing through class projects and internships.

Students create light sculptures and robots with the help of equations, and some seniors were working on a new yet-to-be unveiled project called Mechatronics Installation.

“Most companies produce something,” Abo-Shaeer said. “What we’re doing is very, very challenging.”

Sheldon followed the director around academy buildings within Dos Pueblos, channeling his own physics knowledge and periodically saying, “That is cool” or “That’s really neat.”

Students were quality-testing parts in one room and designing lights or demonstrating robotics in another.

Sheldon and a small contingent of his employees heard from students, who all agreed the academy opened their minds to a career that could benefit from the experiences, whether in biomedical engineering, business and marketing, or astrophysics.

The CEO was impressed with what he saw, pledging Curvature would donate by offering summer internships and paying for necessary IT gear.

“It’s really terrific to have these corporate partners in the community,” said Susan Deacon, a foundation board member and former trustee of the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education.

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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Helicopter Dispatched for Hoist Rescue on Gaviota Coast

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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Santa Barbara County firefighters launched a helicopter hoist rescue at a Gaviota Coast beach Monday night after someone was reportedly unconscious from an injury, Capt. David Sadecki said.

County Fire responded two engines, a ladder truck and a helicopter to the beach, which is west of Vista Point, at 6:02 p.m. and worked to reach a 45-year-old male patient on the beach who was reported unconscious.

Firefighters rappelled from a helicopter down to the beach and hoisted the man up around 7:35 p.m.

He was then transported to the hospital by county helicopter, Sadecki said.

It's unclear what caused the injury, he said. 

No further details were available.

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

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Seein’ Spots Farm Shuts Petting Zoo, Explores Options for Keeping Animals

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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Conditions imposed by Santa Barbara County force the owners of the miniature donkey farm in Solvang to limit public visitation

Seein’ Spots Farm, home of miniature donkeys and assorted rescue animals, has closed its petting zoo, as the owners explore options for getting the proper permit to keep most of the animals at the rural Solvang site.

“Unfortunately, we had to shut our doors this weekend,” owner Linda Marchi said, adding that the county granted the request for an extension through Jan. 12 to explore options to get the proper permits. “We didn’t know they would have conditions on it.”

Over the weekend, Marchi posted messages to the farm’s Facebook page and website that the farm now is closed to the public.

“The county has granted us an extension with the unexpected condition that public visitation be limited to the ‘donkey breeding and sales operation,’” Marchi wrote. “We will do everything possible that we can to reopen. Your support is greatly appreciated. “

Marchi and her husband, Brett, have been in talks with the county since September, when someone filed a complaint against the farm and a county inspector visited the site at 2599 Baseline Ave.

Seein’ Spots apparently has too many “hoofed” animals plus had been operating as an unpermitted petting zoo, hosting visitors and small groups of children for a small fee to show off the critters plus raise money for their expenses, Marchi said. 

Since their parcel is less than 5 acres, Seein’ Spots reportedly is allowed nine hoofed animals, but the farm is home to approximately four times that number, according to Marchi.

While she breeds and raises miniature donkeys, Seein’ Spots Farm also has rescued animals in need of a home. She recently received a phone call asking her to house to pig, but had to decline the swine.

"I had to say, 'No, I can’t do it anymore,'" she added.

After the inspector visited, the county sent a formal notice of violation. County staff since then have met with the owners to spell out various paths they could take. 

“It could be as easy as complying with the regular existing regulations for the zone they’re in,” said Glenn Russell, director of the Santa Barbara County Planning and Development Department

Other options for Seein’ Spots range from seeking a conditional use permit to keep the excess animals or applying for the rezoning and General Plan amendment to operate a petting zoo.

A conditional use permit would cost several thousands of dollars to obtain, while a rezoning and General Plan amendment most likely would run up to tens of thousands of dollars since it requires a more extensive level of review and hearings, according to Russell.

“It’s a big difference,” Russell said.

The 60-day extension will allow the couple time to consider the options without racking up fines. 

“We will be as understanding and as flexible as the code allows us to be,” Russell said.

Marchi expects they will apply for the conditional use permit to be allowed to keep more than the allowed number of animals at the site.

“It doesn’t look real good for the petting zoo, unfortunately,” Marchi said.

The farm's owners have urged people to contact Supervisor Doreen Farr by writing her at Santa Barbara County, 105 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101, sending an email at dfarr@countyofsb.org or calling 805.568.2192. Letters should spell out the support for the farm’s rescue animals, the reopening of the farm to the public while they seek a conditional use permit and a change to the county zoning laws to make it easier for the public to visit animals on well-maintained agricultural properties.

Marchi reminded supporters to be polite, writing, “We believe Supervisor Farr will support our efforts to fix the county zoning ordinances and reopen the farm,” she added.

Letters and emails also can be sent to Director Glenn Russell, Santa Barbara County Planning & Development Dept., 123 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101, by emailing grussell@co.santa-barbara.ca.us or by calling 805.568.2085.

The Marchi family moved to the Santa Ynez Valley in 2005 and bought the property in 2008 from a friend who was a donkey breeder and had goats and sheep on the apple farm, which now has about 80 trees. The former owner also let people visit with the animals, Marchi said.

The business near the border of rural Solvang and Ballard attracts tourists from all over, Marchi said, adding, “It was kind of sad this weekend seeing cars turn away.”

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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Lake Cachuma Emergency Pumping System Still in Standby Mode for Now

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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Considering the amount of water in Lake Cachuma, Santa Barbara County officials believe they won’t need to turn on the reservoir's new emergency pumping system until at least December.

The pumping system, initiated by the Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board, is already operational and on standby mode until the lake’s water level gets too low for gravity to feed the Tecolote Tunnel that supplies the South Coast with water.  

When water levels drop below the gates for the North Portal Intake Tower, pumps will be needed to get water into the tunnel.

In an update to the COMB board this week, Ward said the current levels mean the gravity feed could keep working into December. 

Contractors finished construction in late August, and the pumps, when turned on, will be able to deliver 45 million gallons per day.

The project is being partially funded by COMB member agencies, including the Goleta Water District, the City of Santa Barbara, the Montecito Water District and the Carpinteria Valley Water District.

COMB also is anticipating about $2 million in funding from state and federal grants, according to COMB general manager Randy Ward.

The lake is at 28.7 percent capacity, with 55,474 acre-feet of water left, according to county numbers.

For the first two weeks of November, there was an average of 41.3 acre-feet of water going out through the tunnel and another 8 acre-feet per day being released into Hilton Creek as required for the steelhead trout population.

An acre-foot of water is 326,000 gallons. 

The Central Coast Water Authority, which manages the State Water Project deliveries for the Santa Barbara region, has been delivering an average of 42 acre-feet per day into Cachuma.

Santa Barbara County’s other reservoirs are also at low levels, with Santa Barbara’s Gibraltar Reservoir at 12.6 percent capacity, Montecito’s Jameson Reservoir at 47.9 percent, and Santa Maria’s Twitchell Reservoir at zero.

In January, the month before most South Coast water agencies declared a drought and started implementing restrictions, Cachuma was at 40.3 percent capacity.

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

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Santa Barbara’s Restorative Court to Celebrate 3 Years of Success

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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Every Wednesday morning for the past three years, a dozen or so people have met in a basement courtroom for about 90 minutes to process some of the city's most frequent offenders.

Those people make up Santa Barbara's Restorative Court, which seeks to rehabilitate homeless individuals who are arrested and cited — dozens and sometimes hundreds of times — for offenses such as open containers of alcohol and illegal camping.

Many of those cited have substance-abuse histories, mental-health issues, or both, and their cases are reviewed by those who make up the court's core group: police, mental-health workers, public defenders and advocates in the homeless community. 

If people remain citation free for six months, their cases are dismissed, and the court works to get those people into substance-abuse programs and/or housing, receiving mental-health treatment and more.

Since beginning in 2011, the Restorative Court has been quietly working in that basement courtroom with over 300 of those clients, and many of those involved in the court's successes will be gathering Wednesday night to celebrate.

Santa Barbara Women Lawyers is hosting a celebration called "Open Doors Change Lives" at the Cabrillo Arts Pavilion on Wednesday night.

The event is for the court's partners and agency officials and is not open to the public, but those wanting to learn more about the court or donate can visit the Santa Barbara Women Lawyers website.

Mureen Brown, who works as an outreach specialist for the Santa Barbara Police Department, said other departments of similar-sized cities have come to observe the restorative policing effort in action.

Brown works with Officers Keld Hove and Craig Burleigh to help look for alternatives for chronic offenders.

"We're excited to share how many people we've served and placed in programs," she said. "There is a way other than arresting and holding our mentally ill people… It's an expensive band-aid that does not work."

One of the court's success stories came when a chronic offender — he had racked up 747 offenses, Brown said — came into the court and was ready to change his life.

"This group of the public is immune to arrests and tickets. They don't care," she said.

The man had been a fixture in the homeless community for years, and most thought he was beyond help because of his struggle with alcoholism, Brown said.

That alcoholism almost cost him his life and cost the community hundreds of thousands of dollars between ER visits, jail stays and police efforts.

"He came into Restorative Court, and Hove was able to talk to him and get him to want housing more than drinking," Brown said.

The man now lives at the Faulding Hotel, and "his life has completely turned around."

That story is one of several featured in a seven-minute documentary that Brown wrote and directed with help from Life Chronicles and will be shown at Wednesday night's event.

Brown said she wants the public to know that the Restorative Court is working to get people off the streets and into better lives, even if their work is behind the scenes.

"There is a tremendous group of highly committed people who are working to make this work," she said. "It is a complete paradigm shift from regular police work."

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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Cyclists Getting Secure Storage Option Near MTD Transit Center in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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The city plans to install a $340,000 Bikestation facility for 30 bikes on Chapala Street

Bicyclists using the MTD Transit Center as part of their commute will get a new storage option to protect bikes that were formerly being vandalized and stolen, according to Santa Barbara city officials.

Last Tuesday, the Santa Barbara City Council approved a $340,000 project to install a Bikestation module behind the transit center at 1020 Chapala St.

The new enclosure won't be a new building, but a pre-fabricated module that will be located in Parking Lot 3, located at 11 W. Figueroa St., in an existing concrete median behind the transit center.

The location will be operated by the company Bikestation, and it will require a membership to park a bike there. The company also operates the Bikestation near City Parking Lot 6, behind the Granada Theatre, which holds about 100 bikes.

The new Bikestation will be 10 feet by 20 feet and will hold about 30 bikes.

Rob Dayton, principal transportation planner, said that the city had gotten many comments from bus riders who would park their bikes at the station overnight, or leave their bikes at the station for some portion of the day, that bikes were being vandalized or stolen.

Those riding their bikes to the transit center often find that their bus already has two bikes in its front bike rack, the most that each bus can haul, Dayton said.

"The big thing we want to communicate is that we are to try to stave off congestion," Dayton said. "We have to keep people not in cars happy so they don't get in the car and onto the road."

Dayton said he think the 30 spaces in the module will be used.

"We think it will be very successful," he said.

The project will cost almost $340,000, and Dayton said that part of the reason the cost was so high was that the project had to be approved by the Historic Landmarks Commission and needed a "Spanish revival flair… We had to pay to dress it up."

Because the city is doing a project in the parking lot, Dayton said that triggered a number of ADA accessibility improvements that needed to be done, including curb improvements and signage.

The city was awarded a Measure A grant of $120,000 for the project from the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments. Another $40,000 is also coming from the Streets Capital Program and $180,704 from the Downtown Parking Capital Program for the site improvements.

Draper Construction out of Somis, Calif., was selected for the project, and construction is expected to start in early February 2015.

The parking lot will stay open during construction, though a portion of the parking spaces will be closed off as a staging area.

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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Sheriff: Suspicious Man Follows Righetti High Student

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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Composite sketch of a suspicious man who followed a student at Righetti High School in Orcutt.

A female student at Ernest Righetti High School in Orcutt said she was followed to the campus Friday morning, and another time in August, by a man she didn’t know, prompting authorities to release a sketch of the suspect they want to question.

Righetti officials and Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the incident, according to Santa Maria Joint Union High School District officials.

School officials have notified staff and parents, the district said in a statement.

Late Monday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Department released a composite sketch in the hope that someone may recognize the man and have information that will assist detectives in this case.  

“We also want to warn the community about this suspect,” sheriff's officials said.

The first incident occurred in late August in the area of Hillview Road and Dahlia Place, officials said.  The female student noticed a white male adult in his 20s to early 30s following her.  

On Friday, at approximately 8:15 a.m., the student noticed the same suspect loitering near her residence and then following her while she walked to school.   

“The suspicious subject walked closely behind her and made statements to her that made her fear for her safety,” the Sheriff’s Department said. “The suspect followed her until she reached the steps leading to the school’s north perimeter pedestrian gate on Larch Avenue.”

The subject was described as a thin, white male adult in his mid-20s to early 30s.  He is approximately 6 feet tall, clean shaven, with short blonde hair. He was last seen on Friday wearing a black short-sleeve T-shirt and blue jeans.

This subject is wanted for questioning. Anyone with information about the investigation can call the Santa Maria substation at 805.934.6150 or the non-emergency dispatch number at 805.692.5743. An anonymous tip may be made by calling 805.681.4171.

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

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Santa Maria Judge Hears Juror Hardship Pleas in Multiple-Defendant Trial

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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Would-be jurors cited a litany of hardships ranging from health ailments, scheduled medical procedures and prepaid vacations as a Santa Barbara County Superior Court judge dealt with deferrals Monday in a Santa Maria trial with multiple defendants.

Six men will stand trial for the torture-slaying of Anthony Ibarra, 28, of Santa Maria in March 2013. He allegedly was attacked in a house on Donovan Road and his body was found in a U-Haul rental truck parked on a street in Orcutt.

The number of defendants and 2,100 people summoned for potential jury service mean the first part of the trial is taking place at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

On Monday, Judge Rick Brown efficiently handled the various requests to defer jury service as candidate after candidate cited numerous excuses. 

The trial is expected to last three to four months, according to earlier estimates.

One man has a seriously ill baby. Another has a scheduled procedure to remove a large cyst causing him headaches. Another has a mother undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.

“It’s the length of the trial that’s a concern,” one man told the judge. 

Another woman didn’t speak English well enough to explain her deferral request, so defense attorney Addison Steele stepped up to help translate.

“Well, we didn’t expect that,” the judge noted about the lack of a readily available court interpreter.

A breast cancer survivor has several tests and appointments scheduled in the coming weeks. 

“If everything is OK after all these tests, I would be happy to serve,” she told the judge.

Deferrals ranged from 60 days to eight months with people to be called back for likely shorter trials.

Sympathetic with health issues, the judge was more inquisitive when it came to prepaid vacations, asking when tickets — to the Bahamas, China, Mexico and other locales — were purchased.

“It appears you booked it after the summons went out on this case,” Brown told one woman, later granting a deferral. 

A man planning trips to Alabama and Utah nearly lost his deferral. 

“It would appear you wouldn’t qualify because it’s not a prepaid vacation,” Brown said.

The man explained he had use-it-or-lose-it vacation, and Brown granted a 90-day deferral.

One woman started to explain her connection to someone involved in the case, and Brown cut her off, saying he was only dealing with hardships. 

The same thing happened in the afternoon session as a man claimed he was related to three of the defendants.

“It may sound strange, but I can’t take that today,” Brown said, instructing the man to return Thursday and to return with his juror badge and a packed lunch.

Six men and one teen will stand trial in connection with the gang-related slaying of Ibarra. Charged are the teen’s dad, Ramon David Maldonado, and the boy’s grandfather, David Maldonado, along with Reyes Gonzalez, Santos Sauceda, Anthony Soils and Jason Castillo. 

The teen, Ramon David Maldonado Jr., will be tried in adult court separately from the others. Four other defendants, Pedro Torres Jr., Carmen Cardenas, Verenisa Aviles and Robert Stan Sosa, accepted pleas in the case.

People in the process of moving were excused from jury service — if they told the judge about “concrete steps” toward a relocation out of the county.

A hay farmer said he needed to begin harvesting soon, so Brown deferred service for 60 days.

“I’m going to be optimistic it’s going to be the rainy season,” Brown said.

A specialized math teacher’s explanation it would be problematic to find a substitute able to carry on the complex lessons earned him a deferral until summer.

“The students would suffer the most, yes,” he told the judge.

A helicopter pilot asked to return for service at another time, explaining his firm is bidding on a contract that requires him to be available.

“If I’m gone that long, there’s no way the company will survive,” he said.

Two more groups are expected to show up Tuesday and Wednesday with similar hardship requests to be handled before attorneys on both sides begin their questioning.

The Santa Maria Fairpark’s Fountain Pavilion has been transformed into a makeshift courtroom with the judge’s bench sitting on a raised platform, draped in black bunting. The six defendants and their attorneys are sitting behind long tables, with the prosecutor to their left

Multiple deputies are positioned inside and outside the building.

Court officials rented a second building at the Fairpark to hold jury orientation.

In all, court officials summoned 2,100 potential jurors for this case, expecting the fact it’s supposed to last a few months would prompt a number of hardship requests.

The last time court officials require needing such a large number of jurors was the 2005 Michael Jackson child molestation trial held in Santa Maria.

While the Ibarra case has had a high profile locally, it hasn't received the global awareness of the trial for the international pop star. 

“This case doesn’t come anywhere near that,” Courts Executive Officer Darrel Parker 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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Michael Barone: Where the Polls Were Wrong — And, Maybe, Why

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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Were the polls wrong? It's a question asked after every election. Sometimes, as in 1948, the answer seems as obvious as the answer to the question, "Why did Custer lose at Little Bighorn?" Sometimes the answer is less obvious, as it is this year.

"The polls were skewed toward the Democrats," writes Nate Silver, who as proprietor of FiveThirtyEight has earned the distinction of being the nation's most assiduous polling analyst.

Silver gives short shrift to partisans — Democrats this year, Republicans in 2012 — who complained that polls were systematically biased against their side. The skew varies unpredictably, he says, perhaps because pollsters overcompensate in response to previous mistakes. He finds polls skewed against Democrats in 2006 and 2012 and against Republicans in 2002 and 2014 — all winning years for those parties.

Silver measures the skew by comparing the percentage margin for candidates in his website's average of the most recent pre-election polls to the percentage margin for candidates in the actual results. He finds that Republicans this year won bigger margins than in the polls in 24 of 36 Senate races and 28 of 35 governor's races.

Here's another way of looking at it, concentrating on those races that were seriously contested. In seriously contested Senate races — the chief event of this election cycle — the polls were quite accurate in presaging the percentages received by seven Democratic incumbents. Those Democrats ran from 3.2 percent ahead to 1.7 percent behind their RealClearPolitics polling averages. Also, three of the four Democrats running in open Democratic seats ran within that range of poll results.

Where the polls missed was in projecting Republicans' votes in Republican-held seats. Pat Roberts ran 10.6 percent ahead of polls in Kansas, Mitch McConnell 7.2 percent ahead in Kentucky and David Perdue 5.2 percent ahead in Georgia.

There's a similar but not identical pattern in seriously contested races for governor. In seven states where Democrats were defending governorships, Democratic nominees ran very close to the polls in five. Only in two close New England races, where polls had high undecideds, did they run further ahead.

In nine states with Republican-controlled governorships, Republicans all ran ahead of their poll numbers, from 3.2 percent in Alaska (where final results are not in at this writing) to 7.4 percent in Kansas.

All this suggests that pollsters did a better job of finding Democratic voters than they did of finding Republican voters. That accounts for the Democratic tilt in polling Silver finds when looking at candidates' percentage margins rather than percentage totals.

One possible reason is that Republican-leaning voters were more hesitant than Democratic-leaning voters about committing to vote for their party's candidates. The bulk of those undecided in polls in Kansas, Kentucky and most of the states with Republican governors were Mitt Romney voters in 2012.

There has been a similar phenomenon when pollsters ask people to rate the two parties' members of Congress. During most of this campaign cycle (but less so toward the end), Republicans in Congress were getting lower ratings than Democrats in Congress because more Republican voters gave their own party's members negative ratings.

Another possible reason, advanced by Henry Olsen of the Ethics & Public Policy Center, is that pollsters are doing a poorer job of sampling opinion in rural areas than in large metropolitan areas. Outside their states' three major metropolitan areas, Roberts won 63 percent of the vote, and McConnell won 61 percent. Polls seem to have missed this.

A third possible explanation — and all three may be overlapping — offered by RealClearPolitics analyst Sean Trende is that local pollsters were able, because of their greater experience and understanding of their states, to spot Republican trends that national pollsters missed. Trende credits the University of Arkansas poll, Ann Selzer's Des Moines Register poll in Iowa and Charles Franklin's Marquette University Law School poll in Wisconsin.

Pollsters face an increasingly difficult task. Telephone polling techniques were developed in a nation with universal landline phone service and a population that answered the phone when it rang. We no longer live in such a nation.

Only 9 percent of pollsters' calls resulted in completed interviews, the Pew Research Center reported in 2012. Maybe rural Republican voters are harder to reach or maybe they're too grumpy to commit until they have to.

In 1948, Gallup famously stopped polling eight days before the election, and "Dewey Defeats Truman" became one of history's most famous headlines. Gallup stayed in the field later after that had happened. The good news is that today's pollsters, too, can learn from experience.

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. Click here to contact him, follow him on Twitter: @MichaelBarone, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Foothill Teacher Molly Rothman Wins National Competition By ‘Bringing Science to Life’

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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Goleta teacher Molly Rothman has won the national “Teachers Bringing Science to Life” contest and will receive $1,000 and a science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) classroom makeover.

The contest, sponsored by National 4-H Council and Lockheed Martin, was created to provide resources and rewards for educators who encourage their students to explore the field of aerospace engineering.

Rothman, a science teacher at Foothill Elementary School in the Goleta district, was surprised with the makeover Monday morning. Rothman had submitted photos of her students conducting the 4-H National Youth Science Day “Rockets to the Rescue” experiment, which incorporates engineering, math and food security concepts to help youth learn how to apply science to solve a relevant, global issue.

Rothman has taught students at virtually all stages, from kindergarten to university levels. She has been a science specialist in Goleta and Santa Barbara for 15 years, including at Foothill for the majority of those years. She is also the academic outreach coordinator for the Molecular, Cell and Developmental Biology Department at the University of California at Santa Barbara.

The “Teachers Bringing Science to Life” contest is part of National 4-H Council’s and Lockheed Martin’s ongoing collaboration to get American youth engaged in STEM education. Studies estimate that the United States will need to produce approximately one million more STEM professionals than are expected to graduate over the next 10 years in order to ensure the nation’s global competitiveness.

“America’s public school teachers on average spend $1,000 out of their own pockets on items for their classroom,” National 4-H Council President and CEO Jennifer Sirangelo said. “And with the equipment-intensive nature of teaching STEM subjects, teachers like Molly can especially use the help. That’s why we’re proud to have partnered with a leading technology company like Lockheed Martin on this contest, and why we congratulate Molly not only for winning, but also for helping to raise the next generation of STEM professionals.”

“Molly is a terrific example of our nation’s STEM teachers, who are working hard every day to help our nation’s young people see the magic and rewards of a STEM education,” said Emily Simone, Lockheed Martin’s director of community relations. “Lockheed Martin is fully committed to working with organizations like National 4-H Council to get America’s youth interested in pursuing a STEM education to help keep our nation competitive.”

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Children’s Author Jim Miles to Sign Copies of His Books at Granada Books

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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Jim Miles
Max and the Lowrider Car by Jim Miles.

Children’s book author and South Coast resident Jim Miles will sign copies of his books, including Max and the Lowrider Car, at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20 at Granada Books, 1224 State St. in Santa Barbara.

Children, parents, teachers and librarians are invited to the free event.

America’s happyologist, Jackie Ruka, will read passages from the books and answer questions about the meanings behind the story, which primarily is for elementary school children. The Hound’s Glen series of books are available on Amazon.com and at Granada Books.

Max and the Lowrider Car is written to be enjoyed by children and grownups alike. The humor ranges from tongue-in-cheek wordplay to fairly hilarious silliness. Ed Lyon’s colorful pencil-and-watercolor illustrations help bring Miles’ memorable characters to life. Max and the Lowrider Car is the first in the Hound's Glenn series.

The story starts in the town of Hound's Glenn, where the inhabitants are dogs and wolves. The young canines can be kids, the teenagers are teens and the grownups act grown up. The book’s main character, wolf cub Max, lives there.

Max has a creative mind for a wolf cub in the fifth grade. However, when his teacher gives him an assignment to find something amazing to write about in their small town, Max is pretty sure that’s impossible. Then he discovers Mr. L. Lobo’s auto body shop and his customized car “Numero Uno,” and life changes for Max, his friends, his big brother and nearly everyone in the town.

The quest for more cars to customize leads a small mixed band of adventurers (wolves and hounds, pups and grownups) on a road trip with campfire monster stories, motorcycle-riding wild boars and an invasion by a town full of very perturbed birds. In the end, Max dreams up a way to fix everything.

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UCSB Theater Department Celebrates 50th Season, Coveted 50/50 Applause Award

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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The Department of Theater and Dance at UC Santa Barbara has reason to celebrate. This fall marks the beginning of its 50th season of presenting high-quality productions that showcase the campus’ hugely talented theater and dance students.

Middletown
Top row from left, Rigo Sanchez, Blythe Foster and Dillon Francis, and bottom row from left, Quinlan Fitzgerald and Ian Elliott perform in the UCSB Theater and Dance Department’s production of Middletown: A Play. (David Bazemore photo)

Also cause for celebration is the department’s receipt of a 2014 50/50 Applause Award from the International Centre for Women Playwrights. The award recognizes theater companies and programs around the world that devoted 50 percent or more of their 2013-14 seasons to female playwrights.

UCSB is one of 67 recipients from nine countries. In addition to the United States, the list of winners includes theaters in Afghanistan, Australia, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy and New Zealand.

“It is a sad truth that often women are not as easily able to access platforms as men are, and there are so many stories that go untold,” said ICWP President Karen Jeynes of South Africa. “This award is a fantastic way to acknowledge those who are producing women’s work, and encourage those who aren’t to think about whether there are more ways to include women writers in their lineup.”

Risa Brainin, professor and chair of UCSB’s Department of Theater and Dance, said: “We are truly honored to be one of the recipients. We are one of only three universities to be recognized internationally for gender parity on our stages: four of the six plays presented on the 2013-14 main stage were written by women.”

Those plays include Top Girls by Caryl Churchill, The Fairy Tale Lives of Russian Girls by Meg Miroshnik, Untitled IV by Ruth Markofsky by Alison Tatlock and Arabian Nights by Mary Zimmerman.

“We thank the IWCP for this wonderful award and plan to continue supporting the work of women writers over the next five years to help the organization achieve its goal of ‘50/50 in 2020,’” Brainin said “We aim to present a multiplicity of voices on our stages, giving students and audiences the opportunity to engage with a variety of writers with a wide range of ideas.”

Brainin, who in October was elected to a two-year term as president of the board of directors of the National Theatre Conference, expressed confidence that organization members can work together “as a community in the theatre world both professionally and in the university setting to ensure that all voices are represented on our stages,” she said.

UCSB theater and dance’s 2014-15 season kicked off with a production of Middletown: A Play written by Will Eno and directed by Tom Whitaker, associate professor of theater at UCSB. Written in 2010, Middletown received the inaugural Horton Foote Prize for Promising New American Play. Performances continue in the campus’s Performing Arts Theater through Saturday, Nov. 22.

The season continues with the annual Fall Dance Concert on Dec. 12-13 in UCSB’s Hatlen Theater. Directed by Christina McCarthy, a lecturer in the theater and dance department, the concert will highlight 35 dancers performing six new works choreographed by fourth-year students, along with pieces by faculty members and guest artists. It will also feature original costumes and lighting created by advanced design students in collaboration with faculty mentors and choreographers.

More information about the 2014-15 season, including a schedule of dates and times, is available by clicking here.

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

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Organic Soup Kitchen Hosting Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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The Organic Soup Kitchen will celebrate its sixth annual Thanksgiving Day Community Dinner from noon to 4 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 27 at the Veterans Memorial Building, 112 W. Cabrillo Blvd.

The event is free and open to the public.

Come alone or bring your family, sit back enjoy the entertainment, great food and wonderful people. It's an experience that you will cherish forever.

Menu: traditional roasted turkey, cranberry sauce, gravy, mashed potatoes, grilled veggies, soup, bread, dessert, fruit smoothies, coffee, tea and water.

The turkey will be basted and the table all set, all we need now is you as our guest. Join us for a Thanksgiving feast fit for a king.

— DiAnna Joiner represents the Organic Soup Kitchen.

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Preview: John Cleese to Talk Life and Comedy in Granada Theatre Appearance

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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John Cleese’s autobiography, enigmatically titled “So, Anyway,” is a hugely entertaining read for devoted fans. In it, Cleese goes into elaborate detail about his upbringing and school days. An only child with a loving father but a mother who was withdrawn, he was awkward and insecure, not particularly good as sports, and 6 feet tall already by age 12.

John Cleese
John Cleese

Cleese’s appearance at the Granada Theatre at 7 p.m. Wednesday is courtesy of UCSB Arts & Lectures, and will have him in conversation with former BBC TV director Terry Hughes. Perhaps Cleese will share some of his later adventures with the audience, as his book only takes us up to the brink of the Monty Python era, with a final, epilogue-type chapter on this year’s MP reunion shows in London.

While Cleese felt out of place among his schoolmates, by the time he got to secondary school, he learned that quite often he was able to make them laugh, and that was worth a lot. At Cambridge University he joined Footlights, the comedy troupe. As both a writer and performer, he honed his fascination with satirizing ever-so-proper British life, which was to become a cornerstone of his humor.

At Cambridge, he found a kindred spirit in Graham Chapman, longtime writing partner and friend, and later a fellow Python. He also made the acquaintance of David Frost, who he later wrote for, and who he commented was to become “the single strongest force shaping my career.”

Within this rich history are nuggets of inspiration for future Monty Python work, which aforementioned serious fans will delight in uncovering, including a headmaster’s exhaustive catalog of instructions to students at a boarding school and Michael Palin’s experience with an evasive mechanic, which later became the classic Dead Parrot sketch.

Time and again, Cleese emphasizes the value he placed in those early years on warm, friendly camaraderie and the occasions and places in which he happily found them, mainly in his writing and performing pursuits.

He is quick to point out that he was never particularly ambitious or focused on career — he studied law but as soon as he was out of school lucked into a job writing comedy for the BBC — but serendipitously found his way into roles and jobs that evolved into the rich career that has extended over the past 50-plus years.

While good fortune may have smiled upon him in many ways, it is clear that his own warm, friendly nature and innate comic talent went far in making connections with those who could help him along this path, for which millions of us all around the world are thankful.

For tickets or more information, call UCSB Arts & Lectures at 805.893.3535 or purchase online by clicking here. Tickets are also available through the Granada Theatre at 805.899.2222 or online by clicking here.

— Justine Sutton is a Santa Barbara freelance writer and frequent Noozhawk reviewer. The opinions expressed are her own.

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Transition House Helps Spread the Word About Growing Family Homelessness Crisis

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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When a national news story breaks, reporters turn to experts in the field for comment and insight. When a new report on family homelessness was released last week, the national media looked to Santa Barbara’s own Transition House, which has become a role model for how communities can come together to help homeless families with children.

Executive Director Kathleen Baushke helped Associated Press reporters, who also spoke with TH client families.

“We were very happy to help to spread the word nationally about a crisis we know all too well right here at home,” Baushke said. “Transition House is very proud of how our community is responding, though the need for more support remains critical. If we can help other communities recognize this problem, we are excited to be a part of that.”

The report, issued by the National Center for Family Homelessness, exposed the silent and under-reported crisis, revealing that more than 2.5 million children are homeless nationwide, with more than 500,000 of those in California alone. And with more than 7,000 such children — as much as ten percent of the school-age population — Santa Barbara County is in the unfortunate position of being second in the state. The report also noted that family homelessness increased nationally by 8 percent from 2012 to 2013.

The good news is that the Associated Press article that featured Transition House was picked up around the country, with dozens of major newspapers from San Jose to Denver to Boston to Washington running the story, along with web sites including Huffington Post, which had the story on its front page Monday.

“The issue of homelessness in families with children fights for attention with the more visible issue of individuals living on the streets,” added Baushke, noting that the vast majority of children without permanent homes are not in shelters, but in temporary, crowded situations, doubling or tripling up with other families. “People in Santa Barbara know how important helping families is, so we hope this article will spur a growing national effort, too.”

Click here to find out more about Transition House and its programs.

— Jim Buckley is president of the Board of Directors of Transition House.

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Sarah Ilenstine of Santa Maria Honored for National Family Caregiver Month

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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Caregivers belong to one of the fastest-growing occupations in America. Every day they provide skilled care to the millions of Americans who require in-home support: seniors, children and adults with disabilities, and people who are injured or ill.

Caregiving is vital. And yet 34 million caregivers in America are unpaid, and those who are paid make poverty-level wages for the work they do.

On Monday, United Domestic Workers of America launched part two of a three-part video series for National Family Caregiver Month called "Thank You Caregivers."

The second episode features Santa Maria resident Sarah Ilenstine. She takes care of her granddaughter, Crystal, who was born with spina bifida and has intellectual disabilities. In spite of low wages, Ilenstine pours her heart and soul into Crystal’s care, and in addition cares for other home-care clients in Santa Barbara County. Click here to watch Ilenstine tell her story.

The stories we’ll share throughout the month are not unique. They are the stories shared by millions of caregivers and their families across the country. Today and throughout the month of November, UDW highlights and appreciates the selfless work caregivers do for our neighbors and loved ones.

United Domestic Workers of America (UDW)/AFSCME Local 3930 is a homecare union made up of over 66,000 in-home caregivers across the state of California, including over 2,411 in Santa Barbara County. UDW caregivers provide care through the state’s In-Home Supportive Services program, which allows seniors and people with disabilities stay safe and healthy at home.

— Kim Moore is a communications specialist for United Domestic Workers of America.

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Capps Applauds Final Climate Preparedness Task Force Recommendations to President

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Monday applauded the release of final recommendations from the President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience, which included several recommendations from Capps-authored bills.

Capps pushed for the formation of the Task Force and recommended that Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal be named to the Task Force, on which he has served since its establishment in 2013.

The final report from the Task Force, which can be viewed here, identified roughly 50 major recommendations that fall within five overarching principles: consideration of climate risk assessments and vulnerabilities; maximizing opportunities that both promote resilience and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions; strengthening partnerships between federal, state, local and tribal entities; providing actionable data on climate impacts and useful tools to assist in decision making; and encouraging cooperation and consultation with indigenous communities on Federal climate change policies.

Some of the recommendations stemming from Capps-authored legislation include:

» Recommendation 2.1 — Helping coastal states plan and implement resilience strategies (H.R. 764, Coastal State Climate Change Planning Act)
» Recommendations 2.2 and 2.3 — Making water systems more sustainable and resilient (H.R. 765, Water System Resiliency and Sustainability Act)
» Recommendation 3.3 — Improving/increasing ocean acidification research (H.R. 5545)
» Recommendation 4.2 — Strengthening preparedness/resiliency of the public health system (H.R. 2023, Climate Change Health Promotion and Protection Act)

“I am pleased these recommendations have been completed,” Capps said. “Climate change is one of the most urgent problems we face, and we need to act now to prepare for the inevitable impacts. The Task Force’s recommendations will be a valuable guide as we work together to build a smarter and more resilient infrastructure, prepare local economies and our public health system for the realities of climate change, and continue our efforts to address the root causes of this critical issue.

“I thank President Obama for his leadership on this issue, and I commend the members of the Climate Action Task Force, including Supervisor Carbajal, for their hard work. I look forward to working with the Administration and my colleagues to find ways to implement these critical recommendations.”

“The final recommendations from the Task Force were developed through a science based bi-partisan collaborative process that will enhance climate adaptation planning efforts at the local, state and national level,” Supervisor Carbajal said.

In September, Capps and Carbajal hosted a roundtable with county and UCSB officials to discuss federal and local actions to promote climate change resiliency. The White House also launched the U.S. Climate Resilience Toolkit, which can be found by clicking here.

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

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Registration Under Way for Spring Credit Classes at Allan Hancock College

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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The Allan Hancock College spring 2015 class listing is available online now, and priority registration for spring credit classes is under way. Open registration begins Nov. 22. Spring classes begin the week of Jan. 20.

Students and prospective students who believe they are eligible for priority registration should check with their appropriate program coordinator or the Admissions & Records office to confirm.

To view spring classes, visit the AHC website by clicking here and click Class Search in the upper right corner of the homepage.

Copies of a printed spring 2015 Schedule at a Glance are available at all college locations and public libraries. However, this document only contains a basic listing of credit classes available at the time of publication. Students must still access the online Class Search to obtain the detailed information needed to plan their registration.

All students register for classes online via myHancock, which is accessed from the college website’s homepage. Click the Apply & Register link on the home page.

New students and those without a user name and password must first apply for admission to the college, which is also completed online. Click Apply & Register and then select the appropriate credit or Community Education admission application link.

All California residents pay a $46 per unit enrollment fee. A typical semester-length class is three units. In addition to enrollment fees, all students pay a $19 health fee per semester. Students attending classes at the Santa Maria campus also pay up to $10 a year for the Student Center fee. These fees continue to be the lowest college costs in the nation.

Some fees for qualified low-income students may be waived. In addition, there are many financial aid programs to help students meet college costs. Call the financial aid office at 805.922.6966 x3200 for details, or go online by clicking here.

Community Education students may also apply and register in person. For more information, call 805.922.6966 x3209. For credit class registration information, call Admissions & Records at 805.922.6966 x3248. To call toll free within Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, dial 866.DIAL.AHC (342.5242), followed by the four-digit extension.

— Gina Herlihy is a public affairs technician for Allan Hancock College.

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UCSB’s Kevin Lafferty, Team of Scientists Identify Culprit in Sea Star Wasting Disease

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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Since 2013, millions of sea stars native to the Pacific coast of North America from Baja California to southern Alaska have succumbed to a mysterious wasting disease in which their limbs pull away from their bodies and their organs exude through their skin — a disease researchers say could trigger an unprecedented ecological upheaval under the waves.

Kevin Lafferty
UCSB researcher Kevin Lafferty. (Sonia Fernandez / UCSB photo)

Now, a team of researchers, including UC Santa Barbara’s Kevin Lafferty, has identified the likely culprit as the Sea Star Associated Densovirus (SSaDV), a type of parvovirus commonly found in invertebrates.

In a study published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists present a genomic and experimental analysis of the newly discovered virus prevalent in symptomatic sea stars.

“I was diving off the UCSB campus in January and came across hundreds of sea stars that were contorted and disintegrating,” said co-author Lafferty, a specialist in marine diseases. “It looked like a battlefield. I’ve seen no sea stars since.

“Even though they were across the country, scientists at Cornell started pulling together a group of colleagues to figure out what was going on, and their discovery of the virus was as mysterious as it was unprecedented,” added Lafferty, a principal investigator (PI) at UCSB’s Marine Science Institute, an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology and a marine ecologist with the Western Ecological Research Center of the United States Geological Survey.

“There are 10 million viruses in a drop of seawater, so discovering the virus associated with a marine disease can be like looking for a needle in a haystack,” said lead author Ian Hewson, a professor of microbiology at Cornell University. “Not only is this an important discovery of a virus involved in a mass mortality of marine invertebrates, but this is also the first virus described in a sea star.”

Hewson suggests that the virus has been smoldering at a low level for many years. It was present in museum samples of sea stars collected in 1942, 1980, 1987 and 1991 and may have risen to epidemic levels in the past few years due to sea star overpopulation, environmental changes or mutation of the virus. Seawater, plankton, sediments and water filters from public aquariums, sea urchins and brittle stars also harbored the virus.

The research lays the groundwork for understanding how the virus kills sea stars and what triggers outbreaks. The stakes are high, according to the investigators. As voracious predators on the ocean floor, sea stars are keystone species that have a large role in maintaining diversity in their ecosystems.

“It’s the experiment of the century for marine ecologists,” said co-author Drew Harvell, a Cornell professor of ecology and evolutionary biology. “It is happening at such a large scale to the most important predators of the tidal and subtidal zones. Their disappearance is an experiment in ecological upheaval the likes of which we’ve never seen.”

Both the National Science Foundation and Cornell University’s David R. Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future provided rapid response funds to Hewson and his co-PI Ben Miner of Western Washington University.

“The recent outbreak of sea star wasting disease on the U.S. West Coast has been a concern for coastal residents and marine ecologists,” said David Garrison, program director in the NSF’s Division of Ocean Sciences. “This study, supported as a rapid response award, has made a significant contribution to understanding the disease.”

Geographically diverse samples of diseased stars were provided by committed citizen scientists, research aquariums and academic institutions on the West Coast, facilitated by Harvell’s NSF-funded Research Coordination Network for the Ecology of Marine Infectious Disease.

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

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State, Local and Tribal Leaders Climate Task Force Presents Final Recommendations to White House

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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President Barack Obama’s State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience presented its final recommendations to Vice President Joe Biden and senior administration officials Monday morning.

The recommendations reflect the collective opinions of the 26 bipartisan members who served on the task force made up of governors, mayors, county supervisors and tribal leaders, including California Gov. Jerry Brown and Santa Barbara County First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal.

The task force began its work in December 2013. Its formation was encouraged by 40 members of Congress, including Rep. Lois Capps, with the goal to strengthen federal support for local climate change preparedness and resiliency efforts.

“These recommendations came from a science and data driven process that will ultimately benefit local communities as we prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change,” Carbajal said. “We identified a number of opportunities to strengthen collaboration and enhance our capabilities to take actions that will ultimately upgrade our critical infrastructure and improve our natural disaster preparedness and emergency response planning as well as make our economic, public health and natural resource systems more resilient to the threats posed by climate change.”

Supervisor Carbajal was unable to attend Monday’s announcement due to preexisting commitments related to his county service. His input, along with that of a wide range of stakeholders from the Central Coast, is reflected in the final report.

The final report identified approximately fifty major recommendations that fall within five overarching principles which include: consideration of climate risk assessments and vulnerabilities; maximizing opportunities that both promote resilience and mitigate Greenhouse Gas Emissions; strengthen partnerships between federal, state, local and tribal entities; provide actionable data on climate impacts and useful tools to assist in decision making; and encouraging cooperation and consultation with indigenous communities on Federal climate change policies.

“The work of the task force has added significance with China now joining the administration in taking action to mitigate and adapt to climate change. As our countries move forward, the process and outcome of the task force can serve as a model for how to develop sound public policy based upon the best available science and open minded collaboration.”

A copy of the final recommendations can be found online by clicking here.

— Jeremy Tittle is an executive assistant for Supervisor Salud Carbajal.

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Paul Mann: New Indie Duo Play Showcase Concert at The Mint in Los Angeles

By | Published on 11/17/2014

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Every time I visit the little Los Angeles venue The Mint, I am reminded of the legendary Sex Pistols gig at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in Manchester, England, on June 4, 1976. Although that historic old building is a much larger venue than The Mint, the legendary concert by the Pistols attracted a crowd of fewer than 40 people, which is just about a full house for the tiny club.

The Pistols show turned out to be a defining moment in rock music history, with members of that audience going on to form some of the most influential bands of the early 1980s, including members of the Buzzcocks, Joy Division, The Fall, and Morrissey of The Smiths fame.

With that in mind, I always approach a gig at The Mint, found in an obscure working-class section of west Los Angeles, with an open and optimistic attitude. The club has been the scene of a who's who of live pop music since 1937, but the most memorable concerts there are usually the debut shows of up-and-coming artists, yet to be on the radar of national pop reviews.

The show by the new indie music pop duo from Texas called Team, on a sleepy Monday night in November, was a classic example of a great showcase concert with little fanfare. The band, composed of Caleb Turman and Rico Andradi, along with two support musicians, played an upbeat hour-long showcase set, featuring songs from their first, newly released album, Good Morning Bad Day.

The two energetic frontmen played off each other in a frenetic style with catchy lyrics, bringing a feel-good sound to the stage akin to that of the band Fun or Arcade Fire. The young Texans are fast garnering accolades for their new music and the crowd of about 40 people at the Monday night show responded energetically, making up for their small numbers, with an enthusiastic response to nearly every song.

Team may not be the next Sex Pistols, but they are certain to make a name for themselves in the pop world, and their new album is definitely worth a listen or two. Team has been blanketing online media with an array of projects associated with their new release, including premiering two new live acoustic videos with Guitar World Acoustic Nation! Both tracks, “Say My Name” and “I’m Just Like You (When You Turn Out the Lights),” are from the band’s new album.

The new album was produced and mixed by Will Pugh (Cartel), and was released via South By Sea. Good Morning Bad Day is available now on iTunes by clicking here. You can watch TEAM*’s live acoustic videos on Guitar World Acoustic Nation by clicking here. TEAM* recently performed three of their new tracks for Daytrotter, including “Intro/Alone In My Room,” “Say My Name” and “I’m Just Like You (When You Turn Out the Lights).” You can check out TEAM*s Daytrotter session by clicking here.

The band also recently premiered the first two singles off the album, “I Like It” and “I’m Just Like You (When You Turn Out the Lights).” Fans can stream “I Like it” on Baeble Music by clicking here, and “I’m Just Like You (When You Turn Out the Lights)” over at PureVolume by clicking here. Fans can also watch the new video for “I Like It”on Buzznet by clicking here. Noisetrade also recently featured TEAM* along with a mixtape of the band’s music, which can be sampled and downloaded by clicking here.

— L. Paul Mann is a Noozhawk contributing writer. The opinions expressed are his own.

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