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Sergeant Testifies in Trial for Santa Maria Driver Charged in Death of Teen Pedestrian

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Testimony continued Monday in the jury trial of a Santa Maria woman charged with misdemeanor vehicular manslaughter in connection with the death of 15-year-old pedestrian more than a year ago.

Kelsi Lynn Sullivan is charged with driving the car that killed Leticia Hernandez Sanchez, who was crossing Miller Street at Newlove Drive with her brother on June 29, 2013, when she was hit. 

The pedestrians were in an unmarked crosswalk when the girl was hit by a 2000 Infiniti G20 traveling northbound on Miller, police said.

She was taken to Marian Regional Medical Center, where she later died of her injuries. The girl’s brother, Lisandro Hernandez Sanchez, then 13, was not hurt.

Police officers testified Monday in Santa Barbara County Superior Court about their investigation of the accident that occurred at 9:30 p.m. on a clear night and dry road.

Sgt. Jesus Valle of the Santa Maria Police Department noted he observed a shoe scuff near the point of impact.

“Shoe scuffs are marks left on the roadway by shoes when a pedestrian is struck by a vehicle,” Valle said, describing a white spot about 3 inches long and 1 inch wide.

He testified that the scuff mark has “miniscule debris” that indicated it was recent and related to the accident. 

Shoe scuff marks are a very accurate way of determining where the pedestrian was standing or walking at the moment of impact, he added.

“I viewed it close up, and it appeared to be consistent with the outer sole of the type of shoe she was wearing,” Valle said. 

Under questioning by Deputy District Attorney Mai Trieu, Valle said the mark was distinct from the rest of the roadway.

“It stood out. … It appeared fresh,” Valle added, likening it to a fresh tire skid mark filled with a rubberized power.

Defense attorney Tom Allen asked about the victim’s shoes.

“They had a lot of scuff marks on them, didn’t they?” he asked, before Valle said the victim’s shoes were older.

Valle also said he talked to Lisandro, the victim’s brother, who was “obviously distraught” at the accident scene.

However, the police officer eventually asked the boy, who had calmed down, to re-create the pace the pedestrians used to walk across the street. 

Police also interviewed the boy days after the accident, and the defense attorney asked Valle if officers determined the youth had fabricated some information.

“During one of the interviews, yes, he fabricated what had happened,” Valle said. 

Judge Patricia Kelly upheld the prosecutor’s objection to Allen’s line of questioning regarding police assessing the boy’s credibility with other statements.

Later, Officer Ronald Murillo, lead investigator, discussed the video to re-enact the accident scene, using Police Explorers to portray the victim and her brother. 

One purpose of the re-enactment was to see if any obstructions or lighting conditions existed at the scene of the accident, he said.

The judge also expressed concern the defense attorney was attempting to re-litigate a motion she ruled on before the trial started.

That matter related to police officers reviewing Sullivan's cell phone, but Allen said he was taken by surprise when the topic came up during testimony Monday.

Testimony in the trial is scheduled to continue Tuesday afternoon.

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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Public Safety Top Concern Among Santa Maria Council Candidates

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Two incumbents and three challengers are running for seats in the Nov. 4 election

Two incumbents on the Santa Maria City Council will face three challengers — including a familiar face plus two newcomers — in the Nov. 4 election, where public safety remains a top priority and the handling of an immigration facility continues to stir up strong feelings.

Four-year terms held by Jack Boysen and Willie Green are up grabs this year. Also running are Etta Waterfield, Tony Coles and Amy Lopez.

The top two vote-getters will win the seats and take office in early December.

Boysen, 65, is seeking his second term on the council and said he first ran for office amid concerns about the city’s direction.

“Our police department, quite honestly, was in chaos,” Boysen said, adding that morale was at an all-time low, training was inadequate and positions weren’t being filled so he provided a strong voice for voices in public safety. “Public safety, even in economic downturns, that has to be our last cut. We really have to ensure that this is a safe city.”

Now, morale is improved, new fire stations are staffed, many police officers have been hired and a new chief has changed the tone of the department, he added.

Boysen also said he hopes to see the city’s permitting process streamlined.

“We need to make it business-friendly, not just lip service,” he said.

Challenges facing Santa Maria include public safety although Measure U, a sales tax hike to benefit public safety, is a big help.

“I’m looking forward to seeing the city of Santa Maria become much more community police oriented,” he said, adding that the city has some work to do when it comes to community development and business development. “I’d like to see us do an overhaul of our Downtown Specific Plan.”

He said that after seven years without action, the city needs to look at the realities of what developers are willing to create in the area.

He is chief financial officer for Good Samaritan Services. Prior to that, Boysen operated a general construction business and worked at a bank. He and his wife of 40 years have two grown daughters and four grandchildren.

Coles, 45, is a business consultant and legal mediator who said people should vote for him for a couple of reasons.

“It comes down to recognizing the city is in need of new leadership and a change of direction,” Coles said, adding that to continue to operate as the city has been in recent years would cause some “pretty significant trouble.”

Additionally, he said, the city’s leaders need to bring together a “very fragmented” community as it faces challenges in the future.

“Number one, public safety has to be strong,” Coles said. “Not only do we need more feet on the  street and more staff, but we need to develop programs that bridge the gap between the community and our public safety departments.”

Santa Maria also must implement strategic plans and execute the points in that document, he added.

“Right now, our plan is expired. It’s old,” Coles said, adding the community doesn’t agree with it and it’s not been successful. 

The cornerstone of the strategic plan has to be nurturing and developing small businesses, not just retail but also entrepreneurs, he added. Additionally, he said, the city should start to plan for the expiration of the voter-approved Measure U. 

Coles also noted Santa Maria is a diverse community, and “we seem to be struggling with embracing that.” 

Regarding the ICE approval, Coles contended the current leaders ignored what local residents wanted.

“In my opinion the leadership has to be responsive to its citizenship,” Coles said. “That means you have to listen to what they’re telling you. And you have to figure out how to put that into action. “

Coles is married and has two children, an 18-year-old and a sixth-grader.

Green, 80, retired from the Air Force after more than 20 years and later from a civilian job as a labor arbitrator in the grocery store industry. He teaches various business courses on a part-time basis at Allan Hancock College.

He is an appointed incumbent, after being named in February 2013 to fill a vacancy created when Councilwoman Alice Patino was elected mayor. He decided to apply after someone suggested he might be good for the position.

“Number one, whatever I’m involved in I’m totally dedicated to the betterment of the business, the city or whatever it is,” Green said. “I go into things with my eyes open to do the best I can for  the particular job or that particular mission.”

He said he is very proud of Santa Maria’s status as an “All-America City.”

“That’s a very important certificate,” he said. “All-America means that we’re all for each other. It should mean that, I’ll put it that way. A lot of us don’t practice that. If everyone cared the same amount about each other, what a magnificent society that would be. That’s the way it should be.”

Among the biggest issues facing the city in the coming years, Green cites unemployment.

“It’s still a problem area,” he said. “Number two, we have got to find a way to curb the violence and horrible incidents in town. There’s a lot of different things we can do on a  regular basis.”

As for the ICE facility, Green said a lot of folks don’t understand how the agency works.

“ICE, I think, is a check and balance situation,” he said. “I’ll just put it at that.”

Green is married and has three sons plus grandchildren.

Lopez, 39, works for Santa Barbara County Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services. She has been employed for the county since 1999 and previously worked for two other agencies, giving her familiarity with managing government-funded programs and budgets.

She said she is a product of Santa Maria after growing up in a working-class family so understands the plight of small business owners and the struggles of keeping people employed.

“I’m not a politician. I am a community advocate and a leader,” the 1993 graduate of St. Joseph High School said. “That’s what this city needs. The city needs somebody who understands and who can relate to the population, to hear them and to take their voice to the City Council and to speak on behalf of them.”

In mentioning public safety as one of the biggest challenges facing the city, she noted the recent string of armed robberies in the city.

“Community safety is huge right now,” she said. “People are afraid.”

The city’s leaders need to do everything within their fiscal abilities to add police officers and enhance public safety because it impacts every aspect of the community, she added.

“People aren’t going to want to come  to a city that appears to be unsafe or unattractive so public safety affects that as well,” she said.

Job growth, business development and affordable housing are other challenges facing the city which she said has a number of vacant buildings.

Lopez said she disagreed with the council’s approval of the ICE facility on West Century Street, explaining she opposed the location.

“The people spoke and they weren’t heard,” she said

She is married and has two stepchildren, a 19-year-old and a 17-year-old.

Waterfield, 58, missed winning a seat on the City Council by two votes in 2012.

“I’m the poster child for every vote counts,” she said.

Most recently, she has worked as executive director of the Santa Maria Police Council and previously worked for the Santa Maria Valley Economic Development Association.

She has spent 11 years as a planning commissioner, which has served as her impetus to move into another role.

“I just want to go up to the next level that will allow me to do more and make other decisions that will impact the city of Santa Maria in a positive way,” she said, adding a desire to make a difference is the driving force behind her candidacy.

Public safety remains a top priority, and her role with the police council has given her a different look inside the city’s operations, she said.

Santa Maria is the largest city on the Central Coast — “with that unfortunately comes good and bad,” she said, including a rise in crime.

“We’ve got to make sure that the men and women are well-equipped to handle all of those issues,” she added. “We need more boots on the ground.”

Another priority is related to the housing market in the city where some residential developments stalled by the economic downturn have restarted. 

“I want to make sure the people who live in those houses have a job to go to every day,” she added.

As a planning commissioner who reviewed the Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility she said the panel’s members were tasked with looking at permitting and zoning matters to make a recommendation to the City Council and had to remove emotions from the decision.

She and her husband have three children and eight grandchildren.

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

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Letter to the Editor: If Measure P Passes, Then What?

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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As a philanthropic advisor with clients in the energy industry, I can fully attest to the impressive contributions these community partners make to our area nonprofits. Nonprofits ranging from the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County and the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation to the Santa Ynez Valley Fruit & Veggie Rescue — and literally hundreds more — have all benefited from the “giving forward” of our local energy partners.

As voters contemplate a vote to shut down this industry, I ask that we collectively, fully examine and prepare for the economic impacts. More than $400 million per year supports Santa Barbara County through industry taxes, charitable giving and permits. How are we going to replace those funds?

Measure P supporters claim “vested rights” protects existing production, and will not affect current production. In truth, these rights are akin to the county prohibiting two-story homes, and granting those currently living in one to remain — but, the permit(s) needed to upgrade or maintain your second story will now face yet another layer of permitting requirements, without any guarantee of approval.

So you may continue to live in your two-story, but without electricity or plumbing.

Measure P was craftily written. It hooks voters in with the “F” word, having them believe that without such a measure, Santa Barbara County will soon look like a littered, oily wasteland. Really? That’s all that stands between now and then? I’m a born-and-raised SB gal, registered Democrat, a champion for equal rights, school bonds, and lots of things liberal. But, I’m also a champion of economic vitality — for our schools, parks and the hundreds of nonprofits doing phenomenal work, all elements necessary to enjoy this beautiful, robust life of Santa Barbara County.

Again I ask: Where’s the plan? How will we recoup the income lost? If Measure P passes, the truth is our energy industry, as we know it, will no longer exist — and with no alternative energy to adequately replace it.

Before we simply slash and burn, I ask that a collaboration of energy and environmental champions, along with elected officials, commit to developing a cohesive, civil, give-and-take strategic plan. If we don’t, within a few years we will face one whopper of a deficit in our county’s and our nonprofits’ budgets, and as we all know, no good can ever come of that.

Tina Fanucchi-Frontado
Santa Barbara

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Letter to the Editor: Why I Am Voting for Measure P

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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I am voting for Measure P for the following reasons:

» 1. Measure P is about protecting our groundwater from oil industry contamination by banning fracking and acidification processes that mix massive amounts of clean water with hydrofluoric acid and other fracking chemicals, injecting them into the ground under tremendous pressure creating huge amounts of toxic wastewater also disposed of by injection underground.

» 2. In July, California’s Oil & Gas regulators shut down 11 oil field wastewater injection wells because of suspected groundwater contamination. There are over 2,500 toxic wastewater injection wells throughout California, including one just off the Santa Barbara coast.

» 3. A Sept. 15 letter from the State Water Board to the EPA confirmed toxic wastewater from oil and gas operations has been illegally injected into aquifers that supply drinking and irrigation water in the Central Valley. That water source is now polluted and forever unusable.

» 4. This is the tip of the iceberg with investigations into groundwater contamination just beginning. If fracking and acidification practices expand as envisioned by the oil industry, there will need to be thousands more wastewater disposal wells. Regulators have allowed disposal of toxic wastewater underground without monitoring fostering industry claims that these technologies are nonpolluting — claims now proven false.

» 5. In August, after years of denial under gas industry pressure, the State of Pennsylvania finally acknowledged that hundreds of private drinking water wells have been contaminated by extreme oil and gas operations.

» 6. Earlier this year, USGS studies confirmed that fracking and wastewater injection trigger earthquakes.

» 7. In 2013, a NOAA scientist documents a 17 percent methane gas leakage rate at Los Angeles-area oil and gas operations. Recent disclosures confirm adverse health impacts of people living near oil and gas operations.

» 8. The Associated Press reported in 2013 that hundreds of thousands of gallons of toxic wastewater from fracking operations at offshore platforms have been released into our local waters.  Do you eat local seafood or swim or surf in the ocean?

» 9. Other documented adverse impacts from extreme extraction processes not spoken of by the oil industry include toxic chemical spills, explosions, well ruptures (BP Deepwater Horizon), noxious air emissions and massive truck traffic.

» 10. Finally, significantly and contrary to what the oil industry would have you believe, Measure P does not prevent industry from taking oil from the ground. What it does do is prohibit the use of acids, carcinogenic fracking fluids and other dangerous extraction processes. When industry develops safe, nonpolluting methods to extract it, the oil will be there for the taking.

» 11. The right to take a resource such as oil from the ground does not and should not include the right to destroy another more essential resource such as water in the process. A significant amount of Santa Barbara County water comes from wells. When the state fails to protect our water quality, our citizens must act to do so, which is what Measure P does.

Please vote yes on Measure P.

Ben Wiener
Carpinteria

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Santa Barbara Will Consider Harsher Regulations on Active Panhandling, Nuisance Behavior

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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The city's Ordinance Committee will discuss proposed buffer zones near such areas as outdoor dining areas, ATMs and public transportation

Tightening up regulations on panhandling downtown while still preserving free speech and other legal rights of the people involved will be under discussion at Santa Barbara's Ordinance Committee meeting Tuesday.

In April, the City Council asked the committee to look at several issues raised by Councilmen Randy Rowse and Frank Hotchkiss, including expanding the hours of the city's sit/lie ordinance and adding a prohibition on sitting or lying in certain places such as planters, railings or statues placed on a public sidewalk.

The council members also asked the city attorney to look into the constitutional implications of expanding panhandling prohibitions within 80 feet of an ATM, an expansion from the 25-foot limit in place now. 

The city's municipal code defines several types of panhandling, including passive panhandling, which could include holding a sign asking for money while not verbally calling out, as well as active panhandling, which would include someone asking another person directly for money or other items of value.  

Both are protected speech, but active panhandling is prohibited by ordinance in certain areas of the city currently, including bus stops or in lines of people waiting to get into a movie theater or other business. 

The Ordinance Committee will consider "expanded safety zones around sensitive locations where captive audiences feel threatened by active panhandling," according to the staff report. The new zones propose buffers near outdoor dining areas, ATMs, admission lines such as movie queues, public benches or seating areas, and on buses or other public transportation.

Earlier this year, the council also asked city staff to look into prohibiting urinating or defecating in public. Those cases are treated as infractions and citations since they're not specifically mentioned in city or state rules — they fall under a general littering prohibition, according to police.  

The city may also explore what actions, if any, can be taken against people who block the sidewalk to pedestrians or use public benches to display personal items or items for sale.

To prepare for Tuesday's meeting, city staff mapped the downtown core business areas and the areas affected by the ordinances, and included ATMs, movie theater lines, public benches, outdoor dining and paseos on State Street.

This map shows a close-up of the 800 block of State Street with the proposed “buffers” from active panhandling that are being considered at Tuesday’s meeting. (City of Santa Barbara photo)

The committee will have to determine whether ample alternatives exist for protected speech, which includes panhandling, in those areas.

Extending the hours of the city's sit/lie ordinance could also present a challenge, and some precedent exists that the city attorney is asking the committee to consider.

For example, a group of homeless individuals successfully sued the City of Los Angeles in 2006 after the city enacted a law that criminalized sitting, lying or sleeping in public in the city at all times.

They won the case by arguing that the law constituted cruel and unusual punishment because their was no shelter space available for them as an alternative, and that the rules criminalized them for being homeless.

Santa Barbara's ordinance would apply to a specific portion of State Street during certain hours, but the court could still find that the expansion of hours "inappropriately burdens those who have nowhere else to sleep," the staff report said.

The council can enact time, place and manner restrictions on protected speech, but must prove that they are neutral to the content of the message, the rules are narrowly drawn and that there are other ample alternatives for communication.

Tuesday's meeting is scheduled to begin at 12:30 p.m. in Santa Barbara City Hall Council Chambers at 735 Anacapa St.

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

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Santa Barbara High School Theatre Presents ‘Big Fish’

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Once again Santa Barbara High School and longtime director Otto Layman (Chicago, Cabaret, SPAMALOT) continues to push the SBHS Theatre program beyond the ordinary with the production of Big Fish, the new Broadway musical that just closed in December 2013.

Otto Layman
Director Otto Layman

While the trickle down for most Broadway musicals from the Great White Way to high school is eight to 10 years, the success of SPAMALOT (whose rights are held by Theatrical Rights Worldwide, the same licensing company as Big Fish) led to the release of the rights to Big Fish much earlier than was thought possible.

Big Fish is a visually stunning show, with great music, and showcases the talents of Santa Barbara High School actors and the professional designers and artists that work with them to consistently produce high-energy, dynamic shows.

Big Fish is directed by Layman, now in his 19th year at SBHS, and the longest tenured high school theater director in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. He is joined by Dr. Jon Nathan (UCSB Jazz Ensemble and multiple productions both locally and nationally) as the music director, Bonnie Thor, costumer (How to Succeed in Business), Jessica Hambright, choreographer (SB SOPA and many local productions), with technical direction by longtime collaborator David Guy, and production stage management by Beau Lettieri.

Big Fish features a talented cast of 30 actors, including Aaron Linker as Edward Bloom, Andrew Gutierrez as his son Will Bloom, Sable Layman as the elder Sandra Bloom and Lizzie Saunders as the young Sandra Templeton.

Big Fish features the music and lyrics by Tony nominee Andrew Lippa (The Addams Family, The Wild Party) and a new book by esteemed screenwriter John August (Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

Based on the celebrated novel by Daniel Wallace and the acclaimed film directed by Tim Burton, Big Fish centers on the charismatic Edward Bloom, who tells his son, Will, impossible stories of his epic adventures. Edward takes Will through his lifetime of witches, circus performers, a mermaid, and even his friendship with a giant. As Will grows older, he begins to doubt the reality of his father’s stories, eventually coming to the conclusion he doesn’t truly know his father. As Edward’s final chapter approaches, a now newlywed Will embarks on his own journey to find out who his father really is, revealing the man behind the myth, the truth from the tall tales.

Overflowing with heart, humor and spectacular stagecraft, Big Fish is an extraordinary new Broadway musical that reminds us why we love going to the theater — for an experience that's richer, funnier and bigger than life itself.

Big Fish opens at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 at the Santa Barbara High School Performing Arts Center, 700 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara for a special one-weekend run. Additional shows are at 7 p.m. Nov. 14-15, and matinees at 1 p.m. Nov. 15 and 2 p.m. Nov. 16. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, with $25 orchestra seats available at all performances (an ongoing fundraiser for the maintenance and upgrade of the theater). For more information, call 805.966.9101 x5052 or click here.

In addition, there is a free preview of the show at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12. SBHS encourages local senior facilities, clubs and organizations to contact the theater for more information and free access to the first public performance prior to opening night.

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Valle Verde Welcomes New Executive Director

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Valle Verde announces Melissa Beth Honig as its new executive director.

Melissa Beth Honig
Melissa Beth Honig

In her position, Honig will oversee day-to-day operations of the continuing care retirement community, including residential living, dining, health services and life enrichment programs.

“Providing an environment where older adults can live a fulfilling life in their later years has always been my passion, and I’m excited to create genuine relationships with our residents and team members,” Honig said. “Valle Verde has a great reputation in Santa Barbara, and I’m looking forward to building upon its success.”

Honig has more than 15 years of experience working with older adults in a variety of capacities. She’s worked as an admissions coordinator and move-in coordinator at a number of continuing care retirement communities, and as a laughter yoga leader for adults with Alzheimer’s disease.

Honig is a licensed nursing home administrator and worked with The Green House Project, a program that transformed long-term care nationally. Prior to joining the Valle Verde team, she worked as the vice president of clinical services for ABHOW (American Baptist Homes of the West), the nonprofit senior living organization that owns and manages Valle Verde.

“Having previously working with Melissa at a corporate level, I know she possesses the kind of leadership qualities we seek in an upper-management position,” said Jeff Glaze, senior vice president and chief operations manager at ABHOW. “She has a gift for serving older adults and a passion for sharing her professional experience with the team members at Valle Verde.”

Honig is an honors graduate of James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, Va., where she earned a bachelor of science degree in health services administration. She also holds a master of health services administration degree in management and leadership from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

— Dani Row is a publicist representing Valle Verde.

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Five Cases of Whooping Cough Diagnosed at Waldorf School of Santa Barbara

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Five students have been diagnosed with pertussis, or whooping cough, at The Waldorf School of Santa Barbara within the last two weeks, school officials said.

Cases have been reported at the Early Childhood program, which is housed on the Vieja Valley Elementary School campus, and the Grades campus, which is housed on the site of the Goleta Union School District headquarters in Goleta.

No cases of pertussis have been reported at either Hope Elementary School District or Goleta Union School District schools, superintendents Dan Cooperman and Bill Banning said Monday.

The first case at The Waldorf School of Santa Barbara was reported by a parent on Oct. 10, and school officials contacted the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department to get information about the next steps to take, they said in a statement.

Any individuals showing symptoms were required to stay home and see a doctor, and anyone being treated for pertussis was required to stay home from school until a five-day course of antibiotics was completed and verified by a doctor, or be excluded from school for 21 days from the date of diagnosis if any treatment other than antibiotics is used, according to school officials.

“Due to our firm policies, four additional cases were diagnosed after parents requested pertussis tests from their health-care professional because their children displayed early symptoms of pertussis which are similar to the common cold,” according to the school.

They enforce state law that requires students to be immunized before attending school or have an exemption on file. Waldorf “adheres to this law and concurs that the decision to immunize is one that should be made by parents and their physicians,” the statement said.

For the current school year, only 53 percent of Waldorf’s Early Childhood students are fully immunized against pertussis, 16 percent are partially immunized and 31 percent are not immunized, the school said in its statement.

“The Waldorf School of Santa Barbara does all it can to ensure the safety and health of the children at our school,” the statement said. “WSSB continues to work with the Public Health Department, Goleta Union School District officials and Hope School District officials to take steps to ensure the safety of our community during the current statewide pertussis epidemic.”

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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SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning Launches ‘Look & Learn’ How-To Videos Online

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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This fall, the SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning introduces Look & Learn videos, a growing collection of free, short (one to two minutes) online videos of useful how-tos and tips from CLL teachers, all professional experts in their fields.

Videos are available from the CLL website and on the CLL YouTube Channel.

“We are pleased to invite the community to start learning something new right away,” said Andy Harper, executive director of the SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning. “With the new ‘Look & Learn’ video clips, curious students can take a minute anytime to learn something useful or fun, and get a glimpse into all the CLL has to offer lifelong learners of every age — there’s something to suit  everyone’s schedule.”

“Look & Learn” already includes 56 one- to three-minute videos where the community can learn a new skill, learn more about CLL teachers, watch selected recorded lectures — and even hear what other students have to say about programs and classes.

Got a minute? Click here to see CLL "Look & Learn" videos for a mini-lesson on a wide range of subjects, such as:

» "Stress Break Techniques" — CLL fitness instructor Lisa Trivell gives a series of simple exercises you can do right in your chair.

» "Knife Skills" — Learn from culinary expert, Suzanne Landry Lemagie how to chop those veggies like a chef, safely and correctly.

» Make sense of modern art in "What to Do When You Go to an Art Gallery?" where CLL art instructor Dr. Ursula Ginder shares tips on how to enjoy works in a gallery.

» Learn to listen in "Four Simple Rules of Good Communication," with CLL psychology and spirituality instructor Jude Bijou, MFT.

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing the SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning.

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Amgen Bike Race Returning to Santa Barbara in 2015

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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For the third straight year, the city will play host to the prestigious cycling event

Santa Barbara will again serve as a host city for the Amgen Tour of California professional bike race next May, organizers announced Monday.

The eight-stage race, which travels north to south and covers nearly 700 miles, will begin in Sacramento on May 10 and end in Pasadena on May 17.

Santa Barbara will serve as the starting point for Stage 5, which ends in Santa Clarita, on Thursday, May 14.

The 2015 race will mark the third consecutive year that Santa Barbara has been a host city, and the sixth time in its 10-year history.

Two other Central Coast communities — Pismo Beach and Avila Beach — also will serve as host cities — for the second straight year. Stage 4 will start in Pismo and end in Avila on Wednesday, May 13.

The 2015 race will again bypass the city of Solvang, which for several years hosted the time trials for the race.

Here is the schedule for the 2015 race:

» Stage 1: Sacramento

» Stage 2: Nevada City to Lodi

» Stage 3: San Jose

» Stage 4: Pismo Beach to Avila Beach

» Stage 5: Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita

» Stage 6: Big Bear Lake (Individual Time Trial)

» Stage 7: Ontario to Mt. Baldy

» Stage 8: Downtown Los Angeles to Pasadena

This year Amgen is also hosting a three-day women's race to be held prior to the men's race. It will be run on Friday and Saturday, May 8 and 9, in South Lake Tahoe, and Sunday, May 10 in Sacramento.

There also will be a women's time trial on Friday, May 15, in Big Bear Lake.

"The Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring," according to organizers.

The teams chosen to participate have included Olympic medalists, Tour de France contenders and world champions.

Amgen Tour of California is listed on the international professional cycling calendar (2 HC, meaning “beyond category”), awarding important, world-ranking points to the top finishers.

More information is available at www.amgentourofcalifornia.com

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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Man Pleads Not Guilty to DUI in Crash That Left Pedestrian Critically Injured

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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A 23-year-old UC Santa Barbara graduate accused of hitting and critically injuring a pedestrian last year pleaded not guilty Monday to felony DUI charges in Santa Barbara Superior Court.

Brent MacDonald Pella, 23, of Los Angeles is facing charges of one felony count of DUI causing injury and one felony count of driving with a 0.08 percent blood alcohol content causing injury, with a special allegation of causing great bodily injury to a 24-year-old Camden John Partridge of Fullerton.

He is scheduled to be back in court on Jan. 12 for a restitution and settlement hearing, according to Arnie Tolks, who is prosecuting the case for the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.

The incident occurred on Oct. 11, 2013, when the vehicle Pella was driving struck Partridge as he was crossing Carrillo Street near the Bath Street intersection, according to Sgt. Riley Harwood of the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Pella was allegedly driving a Hyundai Sonata and attempting to make a left turn from the 900 block of Bath Street onto the 300 block of Carrillo Street when Partridge was hit.

Partridge was treated at the scene and taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with life-threatening injuries, Harwood said.

Pella was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, and his blood test results showed he had a blood alcohol content of 0.11 percent, over the legal limit of 0.08 percent.

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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Assemblyman Williams to Host Water Conservation Summit in Ventura County

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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In partnership with Ventura Water, the City of Ventura and the Ventura Chamber of Commerce, Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Carpinteria, will be hosting a Water Conservation Summit from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at Ventura City Hall, 505 Poli St.

This event will feature presentations and panel discussions with educators, innovators and government officials as they discuss water conservation efforts, the current status of our water, and why it is so important to conserve for the future.

Many agencies and community organizations will also be present to talk about conservation efforts and how the general public can become more water-wise in their residences, businesses, and landscaping efforts. Depending on your water service provider, information on obtaining money-saving devices for household appliances, such as high-efficiency clothes washers and dishwashers, as well as landscaping tools, such as irrigation equipment will be provided. The summit will also be an opportunity to learn about other services offered to residents, such as home water surveys and water-wise educational classes.

“We are in the midst of one of the worst droughts in California’s history,” Williams said. “Although all Californians have been asked to reduce water consumption by 20 percent, more must be done to protect this precious natural resource. Every drop counts.”

Join Assemblyman Williams, the City of Ventura, Ventura Water and the Ventura Chamber of Commerce to find out how you can do your part to combat this severe drought.

Jeannette Sanchez is the district director for Assemblyman Das Williams.

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Off-Duty Lompoc Cop Charged with Domestic Violence

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Lompoc Police Department photo of Officer Matthew Lee Hill.

A Lompoc police detective is facing domestic-violence charges after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

Matthew Lee Hill, 29, was taken into custody at midday on Sunday at a residence in Vandenberg Village, said Kelly Hoover, a sheriff's spokeswoman.

Sheriff's deputies went to the home on a report of a domestic disturbance made by neighbors, Hoover said.

"Hill is a detective with the Lompoc Police Department, and was off-duty at the time of the incident," Hoover said. "As a result of their investigation, the deputies determined that domestic violence had occurred, and arrested Hill for assaulting his girlfriend during a fight inside the residence."

Hill was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail, and was released after posting $25,000 bail, Hoover said.

Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh could not immediately be reached for comment.

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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Jack Friedlander: SBCC’s Center for Lifelong Learning Completes First Year of Operation

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Santa Barbara City College’s Center for Lifelong Learning recently completed its first year of operation, reporting positive results and response from the community.

Dr. Jack Friedlander
Dr. Jack Friedlander

Launched last fall, CLL was developed by SBCC, along with input from a community task force, in response to the State of California de-emphasizing support for personal enrichment classes.

SBCC has a long and proud 60-year history of offering such courses to the community through its Continuing Education Division, using the names Adult Education and more recently prior to 2013-14, Continuing Education.

During the “Great Recession,” the state directed California community colleges to make personal enrichment noncredit classes the lowest priority in allocating their funds to support course enrollments. The state reminded community colleges that their primary mission is to offer credit and noncredit courses and programs to support transfer, certificate and degree completion, career technology education, and basic skills.

Moreover, during this time period, the state was imposing increased curricular restrictions on the types of noncredit classes that could be offered for state support. These included how the classes could be offered, the minimum number of hours the classes had to be offered, and the accreditation requirement to specify measurable student learning outcomes for noncredit classes and to document student attainment of the learning outcomes.

Given the importance of personal enrichment courses to the community, the college proceeded with the creation of a new self-sustaining entity, the Center for Lifelong Learning that is not tied to state funding regulations.

Two years in development, the CLL was established in 2013 with classes primarily offered at the SBCC Schott Campus and SBCC Wake Campus. In its first year, 2013-14, the CLL reported an enrollment of 7,680 unduplicated (individual) students with total class enrollments of 22,879 for the year. During the year, 1,164 classes ran successfully, of which 115 were new offerings. Operating independent of state support and its regulations regarding curriculum, the CLL was able to offer a significant number of classes that would not have been approved by the Chancellor’s Office for the California Community Colleges because they would not have met its curricular requirements.

The CLL reported a balanced budget with the average tuition fee calculated at $5 an hour. The average class size was 20 students and the five top programs by enrollment were: Dance, Fitness, Recreation & Personal; Arts; Psychology & Spirituality; Crafts (Ceramics); and Crafts: Hobbies (General).

Measure S and the CLL

In order to offer the most effective teaching and learning environment, both the Schott Campus and Wake Campus are included on the list of facilities projects that would be undertaken if Measure S is approved by the voters on Nov. 4.

Built in 1935, the Schott Campus would be renovated keeping the building’s historical character intact and on-site portables would be replaced with a permanent building. Built in 1956, the Wake Campus would be replaced with a modern teaching and learning facility and the 11 portables removed with the space replaced and integrated into the reconstructed facility. During construction, displaced CLL classes would be offered in temporary alternative classrooms and remodeling of both campuses would not take place at the same time.

Renovating and modernizing its aging facilities that are in need of major repairs will enable the college to continue its tradition of offering affordable lifelong learning classes and programs to the community on its campuses.

Achieving the Vision for the CLL

In creating the Center for Lifelong Learning, we envisioned it to be the community’s resource for affordable lifelong learning. The types of courses and programs offered by the CLL would only be limited by the interests and creativity of those who propose classes to teach and what the community is willing to support through very modest enrollment fees. Based on the success it has had in its first year full year in operation, the vision we had in creating the CLL has materialized.

In addition to CLL’s current classes, we are interested in expanding the range of courses offered by more fully capitalizing on the deep reservoir of knowledge, talents, and experiences of individuals who reside in our community.

If you are interested in teaching and/or taking courses on topics the CLL is not offering, you can discuss your interests by contacting Andy Harper, CLL executive director, at agharper@sbcc.edu or Ken Harris, CLL associate director, at keharris1@sbcc.edu or by calling the CLL at 805.683.8148 or 805.898.8137. Click here for more information regarding the Center for Lifelong Learning.

— Dr. Jack Friedlander is SBCC’s executive vice president of educational programs. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Community Bank of Santa Maria Reports 20% Rise in Net Earnings

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Steady growth continues at Community Bank of Santa Maria, with net earnings up 20.22 percent.

The bank’s third-quarter earnings were recently released by Jim Glines, chief executive officer, and Janet Silveria, president and chief operating officer.

Net earnings were $674,736 for the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with $561,246 at Sept. 30, 2013.

The two executive officers were pleased with the bank’s performance, especially the increase in net profits, and said it was a clean operation with no regulatory issues. On Sept. 30, the bank had no loans that were more than 30 days past due, no loans on non accrual, and nothing in their "Real Estate Owned" portfolio.

Other important numbers were also impressive for Community Bank of Santa Maria. Growth in total deposits was up 6.43 percent when comparing the bank’s total deposits of $167,969,084 at Sept. 30, 2013, to total deposits of $178,767,608 reported at Sept. 30, 2014. Total loans for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2013, were $ 105,194,518 which represents an 11.8 percent increase to the $117,235,364 reported at Sept. 30, 2014. Likewise, total assets of the bank at Sept. 30, 2013, were $187,602,459 and reflected a 6.37 percent increase to $199,549,585 at Sept. 30, 2014.

Glines thanked the loyal customers of the bank.

“They support our style of banking and see that the bank is increasing its asset base and its earnings as the economy continues to show sustained recovery,” he said, and emphasized that the bank has money to loan. “Every decision is made at a local level. No 800 numbers in this bank. Come in and talk to a decision maker.”

Community Bank of Santa Maria opened for business on March 1, 2001, and presently has three branch locations: South Broadway, Oak Knolls and Lompoc Community Bank, a division of Community Bank of Santa Maria.

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

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Capps to Tour UCSB Cheadle Center for Biodiversity & Ecological Restoration

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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On Tuesday, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, will tour the UCSB Cheadle Center for Biodiversity & Ecological Restoration.

The Cheadle Center focuses on stewardship and restoration of campus lands, as well as the preservation and management of natural history collections.

During Capps’s tour, a fifth-grade class from Franklin Elementary will be present as part of the “Kids in Nature” environmental education program. The center also has collections of plants, animals and algae that provide opportunities to study species distribution, climate, medicine, disease and natural resources.

“The Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration provides diverse research and education opportunities for students of all ages,” Capps said. “I look forward to seeing firsthand the important work being done there.”

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

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Karen Telleen-Lawton: Things to Consider Before Helping Son with Down Payment

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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[One in a continuing series.]

Examining your finances takes fortitude. What are your goals and dreams? What can you afford? Here is another question modified from my financial advisory practice.

Dear Karen: Our son is gainfully employed and looking to buy a large house with a friend from college. They’ll operate a co-op, which is very popular in high-priced San Francisco. He has accumulated quite a bit for his age (31), but he still needs help with the down payment.

My husband and I read your response about loaning money to kids. By your measures, I think we’re ready to do it, though we don’t have enough for large gifts for both our kids. How do we think this through?

— Overwhelmed

Dear Overwhelmed: I have to start by assuming the most important consideration: that you can afford to loan or gift him this money. Your own retirement is paramount; you do your kids no favor if loaning them money now risks your becoming dependent on them later.

Given that, there are several ways for you to help him with his goal.

Invest with him in the house. This could be providing cash or co-signing the loan or both. Be listed on the deed. This involves you with your son and his friend in all decisions, for better and worse.

Sell investments and provide the money as a gift. You may want to change your estate planning documents to make it “even” with your daughter.

Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC). You may still have access to one, even if you’ve paid off your mortgage. If so, you can take out a loan and formally loan him the money. This loan likely would reduce the amount of loan for which he can qualify.

Access a HELOC or a new loan and gift him the money. Since you presumably have better credit and a longer credit history, you would qualify for a larger loan at a lower rate. He would be under no obligation to repay, but he could choose to give you annual gifts. Again, you’d likely want to change your estate documents to reflect this. Consider that if he chooses not to give you annual gifts (or can’t — say he loses his job), you may need to sell investments to make your budget.

Overall, it sounds like the cash that he is requesting represents a nontrivial portion of your estate. If you choose to do this, you need to understand your son’s budget and verify for yourself that it is reasonable. He can find a pro-forma landlord business budget on the Internet, put together his numbers and show you how they work out. It should have, for instance:

» What percent occupancy is he assuming?

» PITI (principal, interest, taxes, insurance)

» Consider any special hazard insurance: earthquake, flood. Is it more or less affordable considering this is a business? If you don't get it and the house is destroyed, what happens?

» Umbrella insurance. This is relatively inexpensive and covers your liability on top of whatever insurance (auto, property) you have.

Finally, you will want to check with your accountant regarding possible effects on your taxes.

Although I’ve thrown a lot of wrenches in your son’s dream, I want to leave you with the bottom line that, approached with open eyes, loaning or gifting money is a good and appropriate way to share your blessings with your children.

— Karen Telleen-Lawton’s column is a mélange of observations spanning sustainability from the environment to finance, economics and justice issues. She is a fee-only financial advisor (www.DecisivePath.com) and a freelance writer (www.CanyonVoices.com). Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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Letter to the Editor: Yes, Virginia, There Is Fracking in Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Yes, Virginia, there is fracking in Santa Barbara County. Your little friends in the oil industry are wrong.

Contrary to their anti-Measure P propaganda, fracking is legal in our county and they know it. Oil companies have fracked in the past, and they still can apply for permits now. Planning & Development staff will process these fracking applications, and if three county supervisors vote yes, it will happen again.

Their endlessly repeated slogan that “there is no fracking” is a carefully crafted half-truth designed to mislead voters. They are deliberately trying to give the false impression that it is not allowed and cannot happen. Sometimes they are so disrespectful of the truth that they come right out and falsely say that fracking is prohibited.

Measure P is based on the truth that fracking is allowed in Santa Barbara County, and Measure P gives the public the right to stop this extreme oil extraction process before the problems that have affected so many others happen here.

Don’t know who to believe? Call County Planning & Development at 805.568.2000 and ask them if fracking is prohibited or allowed by the ordinances in Santa Barbara County today.

The out-of-town oil industry reportedly is spending more than $5 million broadcasting disingenuous statements like this one in their attempt to trick the public into voting against its own best interests.

Ben Franklin said, “Half a truth is often a great lie.” Let’s not be fooled.

To protect the public’s interest in clean air and water, vote yes on Measure P.

Grace Feldmann
Santa Barbara

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High Surf, Wind Advisories Issued for Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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There are wind and high surf advisories issued for the Santa Barbara County area from Monday through Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.

Mountain areas in Santa Barbara and surrounding counties are expected to have gusty winds Monday through Tuesday night.

The winds will impact mountain areas and the South Coast of Santa Barbara County, in addition to the inland Interstate 5 corridor.

This weather outlook combined with the high surf advisory makes the potential for gale-force winds across outer coastal waters Monday night, according to the National Weather Service.

There is a high surf and rip tide advisory issued for coastal Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties with large swells expected from Monday through midday Wednesday.

Northwest-facing beaches will experience the highest surf, with wave sets estimated at 8 to 14 feet, and an increasing risk of dangerous rip currents.

Coastal areas could be at risk for some minor flooding during the high-tide times.

The weather forecast for the coming week is sunny and mostly clear, with highs starting in the low 70s and rising to the low 80s by Thursday and the warmer weather will drop back down to the 70s through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.

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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Sen. Jackson Helps Independent Living Resource Center Honor Retiring Executive Director Jo Black

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Well more than 60 community members attended the Independent Living Resource Center’s reception Sept. 30 held in honor of retiring ILRC Executive Director Jo Black and welcoming newly hired Executive Director Dani Anderson.

The lively event included presentations highlighting Black’s 30 years of service to ILRC by state Sen. Hannah Beth Jackson, Hillary Blackerby representing Assemblyman Das Williams, ILRC board president Dondra Lopez, and Eric Friedman, representing First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, who announced that the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors would be honoring Black during their Oct. 21 board meeting.

San Marcos High School’s Cafe Royale Culinary Program students and chef educator Donna Barker provided catering services at the event.

ILRC's nearly 40 years of strong advocacy and representation of people with disabilities in our communities will continue uninterrupted. The organization appreciated all the community support and feedback.

— Kristyn Barker is an administrative assistant for the Independent Living Resource Center.

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Cinema Italiano Contemporaneo Continues with Saturday Screening of ‘Il Capitale Umano’

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Cinema Italiano Contemporaneo, the 2014 annual series of contemporary Italian cinema, continues at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 25 with an intriguing film Il Capitale Umano (The Human Capital) directed by Paolo Virzi.

Admission is free.

The film will be shown in Italian with English subtitles.

The screening will be held in the Fe' Bland Forum on SBCC's West Campus, 721 Cliff Drive in Santa Barbara.

For the complete line up of this year's screenings, click here or call 805.969.1018. The series is sponsored by the Italian Cultural Heritage Foundation of Santa Barbara, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

— Gabriella Geri-Schooley is president of the Italian Cultural Heritage Foundation of Santa Barbara.

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‘Gone with the Wind’ to Screen for One Night Only at Plaza Playhouse Theater

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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To honor its 75th anniversary, the Plaza Playhouse Theater in Carpinteria will host a one-time-only showing of Gone with the Wind, the Academy Award-winning film that brought Margaret Mitchell’s bestselling novel of life in the Old South to the big screen in 1939.

Gone with the Wind, produced by the legendary David Selznick, has recently been put through an intensive, high definition digital 4k restoration process that brings it back to its original Technicolor brilliance and includes all the footage seen when it was first released.

“On top of that, it has been returned to its original aspect ratio, which means it will fill our screen perfectly,” said Peter Bie, a member of the board of the nonprofit venue.

There was no "wide screen" projection back in the day, so Plaza Theater moviegoers will view the film just as audiences saw it 75 years ago — much like the shape of your old TV before flat screens came along.

“This new restoration gives an eye-popping clarity to every frame and the soundtrack is phenomenal,” said Bie, noting that the movie will be shown using digital projection, which the theater has been proudly doing for several years.

The wildly anticipated production had its premiere in Atlanta, Ga., on Dec. 15, 1939, and most of the stars of the film, including Clark Gable (Rhett Butler) and Vivian Leigh (Scarlett O’Hara), were there along with a million fans, many of whom had traveled across the country to take part in the three days of festivities and to see the picture at the Loew’s Grand Theater. (Tickets were $10 and went to charity.)

Sadly, the black members of the cast were not present due to the Jim Crow laws in effect at the time which would not allow them to be seated in the auditorium with whites. Gable at first refused to attend in protest, but was convinced by Hattie McDaniel, who played the feisty maid Mammy, that he should go.

A fair number of critics panned the film as too long, too melodramatic and with too much of everything and “not much of a story,” but the public ignored them and turned out in droves, driving the movie into the box office stratosphere even though MGM had raised ticket fees to anywhere from a $1 to $2.20, something unheard at the time. It would later play movie houses at lower prices, often proclaimed with the headline “Nothing cut but the price!” It is still considered to be the biggest money making film of all time (adjusted for inflation).

It was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won 10: Best Picture, Best Director (Victor Fleming), Best Adapted Screenplay (Sidney Howard), Best Actress (Leigh), Best Supporting Actress (Hattie McDaniel), Best Color Cinematography, Best Editing and Best Art Direction along with two special Oscars. (Clark Gable had been nominated for Best Actor, but the award went to Robert Donat for his role in Goodbye, Mr. Chips).

But the February 1940 Oscar ceremony at the Coconut Grove in L.A. was bittersweet; while waiting to hear her name called, McDaniel and her escort were forced to sit at a segregated table at the back of the room.

She also endured criticism from the black community and other commentators who said she had “sold out” and was no more than an “Uncle Tom” for taking the role in the film, which they roundly criticized for its depiction of blacks and its glorification of slavery and for perpetuating the long-held myth that slaves were happy and content on the plantations of the South. McDaniel shot back by declaring, “I would rather make $750 a week playing a maid than $7 a week being one!”

Following its initial release in ‘39, the movie was re-released several times to theaters over succeeding decades, often severely trimmed for time and in some instances completely reformatted to allow for wide screen presentation, leaving out portions of the standard frame which made for some odd looking scenes.

It first aired on TV on HBO in June 1976 and came to network TV in November of that year after NBC paid a whopping $5 million for a one-time showing broadcast over two successive nights. It was the highest rated TV program presented on a single network at the time with nearly 48 percent of TV households tuning in totaling 65 percent of all TV viewers.

“For many watching then, especially baby boomers, this was the first time they had seen the film and for most this has remained their experience ever since — watching it on TV, usually with lots of interruptions,” Bie said. “We want folks to come to the Plaza, sit in the dark and enjoy the magic of the movie, uncut, in its original screen format, the way it was meant to be seen--on a big screen, with big sound and no commercial breaks.”

Bie explained that the legacy of GWTW is not necessarily that it’s often been called the greatest movie of all time, but that it was such a monumental undertaking for its day, driven by a producer who would not take no for an answer, shot in a brand new color process (Technicolor), a pre-production nightmare of two years that nearly killed the film and a cast with many of the biggest stars of the day. Notably, it goes from being called "Selznick’s folly" to reaping millions of dollars and securing its place in the annals of moviemaking.

“To give you an idea of how far reaching the book itself has been — which by the way, is still in print — I came across a story by a National Geographic writer/photographer who had visited North Korea," Bie said. "He was startled to learn that the book had been read by millions of people in that cloistered, secretive country and discovered that they felt it was very close to their own history of struggle and survival through wars and famine.”

“GWTW is worth seeing on the big screen because of its scope and grandeur. If you’re a movie lover, a film history buff, or you just want to know what all the hype was about, this is the your opportunity to rediscover this epic or see it for the first time. And when you leave the theater I’ll guarantee you’ll have lots to talk about, discuss and debate.”

Tickets for GWTW, which is rated G, are $5 and available online now by clicking here or at Seastrand, 919 Linden Ave. in Carpinteria, during regular business hours. Check or cash only.

Your price of admission also qualifies you for the drawing of two door prizes: Each is a limited edition numbered gift box set containing the movie, several discs about Hollywood’s and MGM’s history, a two-hour documentary on the making of the picture narrated by Christopher Plummer, reproductions of memos from producer Selznick, a 52-page full color booklet and more.

This cinematic landmark also has an epic running time: three hours and 38 minutes with an intermission, at which time the drawing will be held for the door prizes.

The Plaza Playhouse Theater is located at 4916 Carpinteria Ave. in Carpinteria. Phone: 805.684.6380. Click here for the website. It’s ADA compatible with wheel chair access. The box office opens at 6 p.m. the night of the film’s showing with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. Gone with the Wind screens at 7 p.m. Seating is limited.

— Peter Bie is a board member for Plaza Playhouse Theater.

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New McKinley School Principal Jackie Mora Has Plenty of Reasons to Feel at Home on Campus

By | Published on 10/19/2014

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With numerous ties to Santa Barbara, educator is looking forward to building on school’s academic success — along with some fun field trips

McKinley Elementary School’s lawn was buzzing with activity Friday as Principal Jackie Mora walked through, greeting students leaving their classrooms, excited for the festivities that would take place that evening.

Friday was the school’s annual fall Kermes, or carnival, and the campus PTA had set up booths selling fragrant posole, tamales and other treats that its members had been preparing in the school’s kitchen.

McKinley teachers had been working for a month on the much-anticipated haunted house set up in the basement, and Mora seemed happy to jump right into school life at the elementary school that serves Santa Barbara’s Lower Westside.

She began as principal on Aug. 27, and is one of four new principals in the Santa Barbara Unified School District this year.

“It’s a lot of learning,” she told Noozhawk, adding that she feels like she’s been embraced by the teachers, parents and students.

Originally from Shafter, northwest of Bakersfield, Mora has connections to Santa Barbara from college; she earned degrees in Spanish and Chicano studies from UC Santa Barbara and returned to get her teaching degree from the school in 2000.

During that time, she was granted an emergency credential to teach for the Los Angeles Unified School District, which was facing a dearth of teachers.

Mora taught first grade in a Koreatown elementary school, and returned to Los Angeles again after getting her teaching credential.

One of the reasons that drew Mora to the job in Santa Barbara was her memories of student teaching at Franklin School, McKinley’s Lower Eastside counterpart. She was a student teacher in second- and sixth-grade classes there, and “that experience really made an impression on me,” she said.

Mora also taught in a bilingual program in South Los Angeles, and most recently was teaching at Sanchez College Preparatory School, a pre-kindergarten-to-fifth-grade school in San Francisco’s Castro District.

At that school, in the San Francisco Unified School District, Mora said much of the focus was helping kids set goals and plan their futures moving toward higher education.

“It’s the same here,” she said of McKinley School.

Banners lining McKinley’s hallways proclaim “We Are Going to College,” and pennants from dozens of colleges are secured on the walls, sending a powerful message to the 410 students.

Those were put up during the tenure of former Principal Emilio Handall, who helped bring the school out of program improvement — one of only two schools in Santa Barbara County to do so.

Handall, now SBUSD’s assistant superintendent of elementary schools, made significant changes at the campus, and Mora said much of her work will be building on his legacy of great expectations for students.

“They have the ability and the potential to do unimaginable things,” she said.

Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics, or STEAM, subjects continue to be a focus, and Common Core State Standards are also new at McKinley this year, as with all public schools throughout California. Mora said the teachers are working together to implement the changes.

Mora is excited about the opportunities the students will have this year — the fourth-graders just returned from spending the night aboard the 19th-century tall ships funded by the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.

Sixth-graders will also get to take part in the beloved Science Camp that was discontinued last year because of a lack of funding. The district has made that a priority this year for every school, not just those that could raise enough money to pay for the trip.

Looking ahead, Mora said she’s excited to play her part in the district.

“The reason I’m here is to provide a service to our students and families,” she said.

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

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Casa Esperanza Points to Progress on Financial Stability, Collaboration with Neighbors

By | Published on 10/19/2014

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Santa Barbara homeless shelter reports improvements to Planning Commission, expects new director to be named soon

Santa Barbara’s city council chambers were noticeably subdued Friday afternoon as the Planning Commission listened to how the city’s biggest homeless shelter is getting along with its neighbors, a remarkable departure from the same meeting that took place two years ago.

Casa Esperanza, 816 Cacique St., has long had a tenuous connection with neighbors and businesses in the Lower Milpas Street area. That relationship seems to have calmed a bit, however, based on the lack of public comment at last week’s meeting.

Two years ago, “this room was full of people who were one step away from pitchforks and torches,” commissioner Addison Thompson noted.

“You’ve obviously done something right,” he told Casa Esperanza acting director Joe Tumbler, who has led the organization for the past two months as it searches for a permanent director.

Tumbler outlined some of the major changes the shelter has implemented. The biggest — eliminating the shelter’s free lunch program and day center, and requiring sobriety — appear to have cut down on complaints about troublesome individuals, he said.

He said the organization has worked to raise enough funding to cover payroll and expenses, after its dire financial situation forced the layoffs of its top two positions, including that of executive director.

The shelter is in the final stages of its search for a new leader, and Tumbler said he hopes the new director will have started by Thanksgiving.

Tumbler said Casa Esperanza has a balanced budget moving forward, and that the shelter is actively seeking grants and funding.

The organization has also implemented a homeless-to-housing program that seeks to move homeless people into permanent housing within 100 days.

“In all areas we’ve made substantial improvements to our performance,” he said.

Santa Barbara police Lt. Brent Mandrell was on hand to confirm this. He said Milpas Street calls for service have decreased over the past years and remain markedly lower than the downtown corridor and the beachfront areas.

Mandrell said Casa Esperanza staff have collaborated with police to solve issues, and “we really can see a big difference since the changes they’ve done.”

The shelter’s conditional-use permit requires that it conduct neighborhood outreach and daily patrols, and staff also must check in periodically with the Milpas Area Task Force on complaints.

Dave Tabor, the task force chairman, said the group was formed in 2004, but began meeting regularly again in 2012. Now, the task force meets bimonthly and receives progress reports from the shelter.

Sharon Byrne, director of the Milpas Community Association, said Casa Esperanza’s changes have made a huge difference in the neighborhood.

The MCA even bought the shelter a golf cart to use during security patrols. The shelter even lent the vehicle to the MCA for a recent event.

“That’s a different relationship that we share” than before, Byrne said.

Commissioner Michael Jordan said he was happy to hear that Casa Esperanza is owning up for the tumultuous past.

“That’s a huge step,” he said. “It’s a marked change from two years ago.”

Commission chairwoman Deborah Schwartz said the task force has been a vital vehicle to bring various segments of the community together, to listen and learn.

Former planning commissioner John Jostes was brought in by the city as a mediator for the Milpas Area Task Force and the shelter, a decision that Schwartz said was a significant turning point.

“It seems to me you’ve come through it and out of it to a much better place,” she said.

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

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Woman Reports Shark Attack on Outrigger Canoe in Santa Barbara Channel

By | Published on 10/19/2014

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Teeth marks from 6-foot blue or gray shark mar vessel’s floating arm, but lone occupant is uninjured

A woman paddling an outrigger canoe off the Santa Barbara coast Sunday afternoon reported seeing a 6-foot shark biting her vessel.

She was three miles offshore when she reported seeing a 6-foot blue or gray shark begin biting the ama, or flotation arm, of her outrigger canoe, according to Larry Neufer of the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol.

The incident occurred at about 2:30 p.m. Sunday offshore of the lighthouse located near La Mesa Park in Santa Barbara.

The woman, whose identity was not disclosed, sustained no injuries and paddled back to shore, reporting the incident about an hour after seeing the shark, Neufer said.

She notified Harbor Patrol authorities, who confirmed the bite marks to the boat’s equipment.

“It was damaged and appeared to have been bitten by a shark,” Neufer said.

Blue sharks are common throughout the Santa Barbara Channel and in the area where the woman was canoeing, he said.

Tooth marks scar the outrigger canoe’s ama. (Dan Seibert photo)
Tooth marks scar the outrigger canoe’s ama. (Dan Seibert photo)

Since the incident occurred so far offshore and was from a relatively small shark, Harbor Patrol officials decided not to issue any beach warnings, Neufer said.

Earlier this month, three shark attacks were reported in the vicinity of Vandenberg Air Force Base. On Oct. 2, a surfer was bitten on the knee by a 10- to 12-foot shark just off Wall Beach. The man, whose identity was not disclosed by VAFB officials, was treated for a puncture wound at a local hospital.

The next afternoon, a man fishing from his kayak near Point Arguello was injured when a great white shark rammed the vessel, knocking him into the water.

Less than an hour later, another fisherman escaped injury when a great white shark chomped down on the hard-plastic shell of his kayak, leaving gaping teeth marks.

A nearby fishing boat from Santa Barbara, the Elizabeth Ann, rescued both men, along with their four companions and took them safely back to shore.

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.

Safely back onshore, an outrigger canoist recounts her close encounter with a shark while she paddled off La Mesa Park. (Dan Seibert photo)
Safely back onshore, an outrigger canoist recounts her close encounter with a shark while she paddled off La Mesa Park. (Dan Seibert photo)

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NASA Satellite Launched from VAFB Helps Reveal Secrets of the Sun

By | Published on 10/19/2014

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IRIS mission delivers key details about sun’s atmosphere, heat, solar wind and solar flares

Scientists are gaining a few more pieces of the puzzle that is the sun thanks to a NASA mission linked to Vandenberg Air Force Base.

NASA’s Interface Region Imaging Spectrograph (IRIS) has provided scientists with five new findings, officials said.

Details of the findings appear in the current edition of Science and are explained on NASA’s IRIS website.

IRIS headed to space June 27, 2013, aboard a Pegasus XL rocket that was carried aloft under the belly of a modified L-1011 aircraft that took off from VAFB. The small winged rocket was released over the Pacific Ocean and soared into space.

Since it’s been under way, the mission has revealed how the sun’s atmosphere, or corona, is heated far hotter than its surface, what causes the sun’s constant outflow of particles called the solar wind, and what mechanisms accelerate particles that power solar flares.

The new information will help researchers better understand how Earth’s nearest star transfers energy through its atmosphere, as well as track the dynamic solar activity that can interfere with power grid systems on Earth and orbiting satellites in space.

NASA's solar mission is featured in Science magazine.
NASA's solar mission is featured in Science magazine.

“These findings reveal a region of the sun more complicated than previously thought,” said Jeff Newmark, interim director for the Heliophysics Science Division at NASA headquarters in Washington. “Combining IRIS data with observations from other Heliophysics missions is enabling breakthroughs in our understanding of the sun and its interactions with the solar system.”

IRIS had one key goal: track how energy and heat moved through a little understood region of the sun called the interface region. That region is sandwiched between the solar surface and its outer atmosphere.

“This research really delivers on the promise of IRIS, which has been looking at a region of the sun with a level of detail that has never been done before,” said Bart De Pontieu, IRIS science lead at Lockheed Martin in Palo Alto. “The results focus on a lot of things that have been puzzling for a long time and they also offer some complete surprises.”

The discoveries have been given colorful names — twisting tornadoes, heat bombs, nanoflares, jets in solar wind and loops.

The spacecraft equipped with telescope is expected to make almost continuous solar observations during its $181 million, two-year mission.

IRIS marked the final Pegasus launch on NASA’s manifest. The small rocket built by Orbital Sciences Corp. served as a workhorse for lifting the space agency’s, military’s and commercial customers’ various small satellites into orbit in 42 missions since 1990.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter:

A Pegasus XL rocket blasts into space after being launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a NASA L-1011 carrier aircraft in June 2013.
A Pegasus XL rocket blasts into space after being launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base aboard a NASA L-1011 carrier aircraft in June 2013.

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Monday Is Voter Registration Deadline for Nov. 4 Election

By | Published on 10/19/2014

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With Election Day two weeks away, the deadline to register to vote in the Nov. 4 election is Monday.

Voter registration forms must be postmarked on or before Oct. 20, according to the Santa Barbara County Elections Office.

Additionally, the deadline to register to vote using the online system is midnight Monday.

At the beginning of October, the county reported having slightly more than 192,000 registered voters. Earlier this month, elections officials said they had sent 115,000 vote-by-mail ballots to voters.

Vote-by-mail ballots must be received in the county elections offices by 8 p.m. Election Day, or can be dropped off any polling place on Nov. 4.

Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Oct. 28 is the final day to request a vote-by-mail ballot by mail, county officials said. However, voters may go to the county election offices to pick up emergency vote-by-mail ballots between Oct. 28 and Election Day.

In Santa Barbara, the County Elections Building is at 4440-A Calle Real. In Santa Maria, the elections office is at 511 E. Lakeside Parkway, Suite 115, in the Joe Centeno Betteravia Government Center.

Both of those offices are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

The Lompoc office at 401 E. Cypress St., Room 102, is open 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

To qualify to vote in Santa Barbara County, a resident must be a citizen of the United States, a resident of California and at least 18 years old by Election Day.

Voters also may not be in prison, on parole, serving a state prison sentence in county jail, serving a sentence for a felony pursuant to subdivision (h) of Penal Code section 1170, or on post release community supervision. Anyone who has been judged by a court to be mentally incompetent is not allowed to register and vote.

Voters must re-register if they have moved, changed their names, wish to change their political party affiliation, or if their signatures have changed.

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 Rattray: Know the True Greenhouse Gas Effects on Global Climate

By | Published on 10/19/2014

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More has been written, discussed, analyzed, voted or acted on about global warming — now demoted to climate change — than most every other worldly subject in the last decade. School teachers and students, company employees around the water cooler, and campaign platform litmus tests have elevated a foregone conclusion that any climate change is bad and is caused by none other than man.

Michael Rattray
Michael Rattray

Now that this universal understanding ripples through all walks of life, the only topic worth discussion is how fast is fast enough for the fix.

But there are a couple of points that are worth a pause before the curtain closes. Let’s start with an understanding of our planet and its evolutionary history. Although earth dates back some 14 billion years, it didn’t have all five key elements for sustained life until 4 billion years ago (our sun, a perfect orbit, gravity, water and those pesky greenhouse gases in our atmosphere). The constant intersection of these vital elements is the cause for the variability of global warming or global cooling.

Looking under the hood, our sun is 330,000 times the size of earth. Its outer surface temperature is 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit and, according to NASA, climbing, with heat and light hitting the surface of our planet every eight minutes. Put this in a visual, if the sun were the size of a tennis ball, 10 feet away would be earth, equivalent to a grain of sand! It’s important to put this distinction into perspective because our sun is the single most important variable for all global warming and cooling.

Taking a deeper dive, we need to look at the next layers of our world’s evolution. Although there are many independent nature cycles in play (i.e. the heat balance, the hydrologic cycle, the carbon and nitrogen cycles, the atmosphere cycle, the rock cycle), their dynamics continually create change on our earth, with climate and weather an output of these interactions.

And because we are a multidimensional world, nothing ever is the same: solar radiation penetration, earth’s core radioactive decay, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, continental uplifts, sea floor evolutions and climate oscillation in an ever-changing world. The only thing hotter than the sun is the earth’s core decay, which is closer to 10,800 degrees. Talk about cooking on both sides!

If we look at the last 3,000 years, history tells us that earth has come through three global-warming periods and two cooling periods. Surface temperatures in the Sargasso Sea, a 2 million-square-mile region of the Atlantic Ocean, have averaged 73 degrees Fahrenheit.

There were two global-warming periods before 500 B.C., that raised the temperature 4 degrees Celsius, with a smaller one in 1100 A.D. Of the two ice ages, the last, the “Little Ice Age,” ended in the early 1800s with an average sea-surface temperature of 71 degrees Fahrenheit. For the last 200 years, the earth has been warming, and the current sea-surface temperature of the Sargasso Sea is just below the 3,000-year average ... trending back to neutral.

But what gets all the news is those nasty greenhouse gases. Our atmosphere is 99 percent nitrogen and oxygen, with greenhouse gases less than 1 percent of dry air. Without greenhouse gases, there would be no life, period! By absorbing and radiating solar energy, our earth has an average temperature of 57 degrees Fahrenheit; without these gases it would be below zero.

CO2 averages 750 billion tons in the atmosphere, of which 95 percent is part of the earth’s natural carbon cycle and 5 percent an output of burning fossil fuels. Since the start of the industrial cycle, this output has increase sixfold in just the last 50 years. Of the 30 billion tons of CO2 fossil-fuel emissions in the atmosphere, China is the leading producer, increasing about 15 percent annually. The United States produces 5 billion tons, which has been level since 2000. Let me repeat that: Flat.

Any sea-level rise, surface and sea temperature increases in the last 200 years predate the increases in CO2 emissions. This current global-warming period more closely correlates (again) with solar activity. It is estimated that the cumulative impact of CO2 emissions to this global-warming cycle might be in the 1 percent to 2 percent range.

In fact, on the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration website, you can review the sea-level rise in the Santa Barbara Channel. Since 1973 to present, the average sea-level increase has averaged 0.04 inches per year, which equates to 0.5 feet in 100 years. However, California continues to support the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report(s) that forecast up to a five-foot increase by the turn of this century.

Now is a moment for a time-out, a pause to digest the facts as they are, not as others want us to believe. We have been bombarded with the “97 percent settled science,” which is not true.

Let’s be clear: Without the carbon cycle, we would not have life. While humans inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, plants inhale carbon dioxide and exhale oxygen, and our world had little oxygen before plant life.

However, many forms of government have and are taking regulatory, policy and legislative actions to restrict citizens’ lifestyles. California continues to lead the world with powerful laws, strategies and governing mechanisms to reduce carbon emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and an additional 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.

Every citizen needs to take stock in what’s happening to our country, push back and ask if we have really studied the true causes of this current global-warming period. Then we must hold our legislative representatives to be specific, to “show me” the facts and data that prove man-made CO2 emissions is the major reason for global warming.

Between the very first Gov. Jerry Brown and the current Gov. Jerry Brown, our state has gone from a Golden State to a comatose state. Every citizen needs to get better informed of the consequences of these government intrusions and the cost to society.

Click here for more information from The Petition Project, which has had more than 31,000 scientists signing the petition stating “there is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere.”

— Michael Rattray is a retired business executive. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Judy Foreman: As Ebola Crisis Spreads, Direct Relief Proving that Partnerships Matter

By | Published on 10/19/2014

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Susan Craven of U.N. Population Fund provides key insights on outbreak for Direct Relief Women, Global Neighborhood Fund

On a recent morning, more than 100 guests from the all-volunteer ranks of Direct Relief Women and Global Neighborhood Fund got together to hear a compelling and timely presentation on the Ebola crisis.

The presentation was made by Susan Craven, director of the Washington office of the U.N. Population Fund, which promotes health and equal opportunity for men, women and children around the world.

With Ebola dominating the news, and now having reached the United States, Craven’s update was a much-anticipated event. The PowerPoint presentation and Q&A was focused on the Ebola outbreak’s effects on women’s health in western Africa and, specifically, the needs of pregnant women and mothers and infants.

The UNPF estimates that more than 800,000 women in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone will give birth in the next 12 months. As many as 120,000 of them could die of complications of pregnancy and childbirth, if life-saving emergency obstetric care is not provided.

Craven said that in her travels to the hardest-hit countries like Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, residents say “Ebola is worse than war!”

They feel that, in a war zone, they could touch and feel what was happening to them, she said, but “Ebola is striking in the dark.”

Ebola is also becoming known as the “caretakers’ disease,” she said. Mothers and grandmothers, doctors and nurses and midwives — all on the front lines of the epidemic — are putting themselves in harm’s way to try to confront the outbreak and are contracting the deadly virus themselves.

The educational meeting at The Orfaela Foundation Downtown Center included a multitude of disturbing statistics reflecting shortages of supplies, personnel and facilities. The lack of physicians and sterile facilities, and cultural customs for disposing of the dead, are putting these countries into further chaos, Craven said.

After a prolonged civil war, Liberia has been successfully rebuilding its infrastructure and economy under its first woman president, Ellen Johnson Sirleif. But the country is now experiencing a setback, particularly the progress that has been made for safe motherhood.

Among the goals of the U.N. Population Fund is to help pregnant women deliver their children in a sterile environment. (Direct Relief photo)
Among the goals of the U.N. Population Fund is to help pregnant women deliver their children in a sterile environment. (Direct Relief photo)

Part of the intervention process and nation partnering is for long-term help that includes social guidance in planned parenting with education about birth control spacing and incentives to keep girls in school, which cuts down on teen pregnancy.

Craven said the UNPF is laser-focused on strengthening the health implications for pregnant women and helping them deliver in a sterile environment. Because of a shortage of doctors and hospitals, she said, one in 10 women dies in childbirth and 16 million adolescent girls get pregnant each year.

Haley Jessup, Direct Relief’s development officer, and Connie Smith, a founder of the Global Neighborhood Fund, also spoke to the volunteers about the nonprofits organizations’ work.

“As the world intensifies its response to the Ebola crises, Direct Relief has delivered to West Africa the largest shipment of supplies in its history,” Jessup said.

Jessup closed the meeting with the announcement of an Oct. 30 open house at Direct Relief’s “warehouse by the railroad tracks in Goleta.”

The Global Neighborhood Fund is also open to new members. The all-volunteer collective started four years ago by Smith, Nancy Koppleman and Sandra Tyler is a “giving group” providing grassroots organizations in Liberia with grants. Among the areas served are women’s economic empowerment, early childhood education, gender-based violence, services for women and girls, rural health, rural water and the Liberian Fistula Care Project.

Craven quoted Margaret Mead, who is credited with the saying “never underestimate the power of human individuals to change the world.”

Agencies like the UNPA, Direct Relief and Global Neighborhood Fund have taken Mead’s words to heart. They are partnering with as many countries and agencies as they can to provide funds, personnel and actual commodities like gloves, masks, chlorine bleach, birth control, and dignity kits for women who are giving birth at an alarmingly early age, contracting Ebola and passing it on to their unborn children.

Click here for more information about Direct Relief, or call 805.964.4767. Click here to contact the Global Neighborhood Fund, or call 805.963.1873.

— 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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Letter to the Editor: Measure S Missing Steps on Priorities

By | Published on 10/19/2014

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My Santa Barbara County property tax bill shows that I pay $78 a year for an existing “SBCC Bond 2008.” I voted for that one.

The additional bond issue, Measure S, would raise my SBCC Bond taxes to $230 per year. This is probably close to average.

Santa Barbara City College’s Measure S capital projects were not chosen until after the Measure S dollar amount was chosen. This sequence is not needs-based.

Most of us, including government entities, prioritize what needs doing and then quantify. Should SBCC be exempt from such rudiments of good planning? Would it bode well for completion? Staying within budget?

Measure S is not ready for prime time.

Donna Lewis
Santa Barbara

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Annali​ Fuchs of Santa Maria Wins Star Voice Title at Chumash Casino Resort

By | Published on 10/19/2014

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Annali Fuchs took command of the stage and electrified the crowd with her booming vocals Saturday night en route to capturing the 2014 Star Voice title at the Chumash Casino Resort’s Samala Showroom.

Star Voice, a tri-counties solo singing competition from the producers of the popular Teen Star program in Santa Barbara, featured 12 talented finalists, but Fuchs impressed a panel of judges and blew away the audience with her renditions of “They Just Keep Moving the Line” from the TV show Smash and “Gimme Gimme” from Thoroughly Modern Millie.

“This was such a shot in the dark for me, honestly, because I’m so musical theater-based,” said Fuchs, a New York native and current Santa Maria resident. “I really didn’t expect anything. I just thought it would be extraordinarily fun and a great opportunity to meet new people.

“Now, I’m just beside myself because I can now go home for Christmas, I can pay for school and I get to do what I love. This was the best experience.”

Along with the winning the title, Fuchs takes home $5,000 and opportunities to record in a world-class recording studio and open for a headliner at an upcoming concert at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez.

Audience text-message voting and the panel of celebrity judges — Jay Byrd of the William Morris Endeavor Entertainment; Erik Stein, casting director of Pacific Conservatory for the Performing Arts; and radio personality Lin Aubuchon of KTYD — narrowed the field of 12 to the top four performers.

Joining Fuchs in the final four were Luther Richmond of Santa Barbara, Djoir Jordan of Thousand Oaks and Jineanne Coderre of Santa Maria. The remaining finalists included Micaela Board of Lompoc, Joshua Cervantes of Goleta, Andrea Hilbrant of Santa Maria, and Santa Barbara’s Morshid Arpa, Rebecca Broms, Meredith Garofalo, Cassie Kimzey and Roxanne Morganstern.

“I think this year hit some new milestones — the talent level keeps getting higher as more people learn about Star Voice,” said Joe Lambert, the show’s founder and executive producer. “I was absolutely thrilled with the way the show came off.

“The celebrity judges jelled better than any I have ever seen on these types of shows — better than the ones on TV. And the crowd was so responsive to every performer who took the stage. This was a great night for Star Voice.”

Another big winner was Jesus Nava of Santa Maria. He was randomly selected from the crowd, along with two other contestants, to compete in the Star Voice’s Quick Pick competition. He sang a 30-second a capella version of The Temptations’ “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg,” won over the crowd and captured a $700 prize package that included a two-night stay at the Chumash Casino Resort, dinner for two at The Ballard Inn & Restaurant, and gift certificates from Kaena and Larner wineries in Los Olivos.

Located on Highway 246 in Santa Ynez, the Chumash Casino Resort’s Samala Showroom is one of the most popular music venues on the Central Coast. Click here to purchase tickets online.

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

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Jeff Moehlis: The Melvins Are Still Sludgy After All These Years

By | Published on 10/19/2014

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The Melvins have been dishing out their sludgy heavier-than-Black Sabbath sounds for more than three decades, and show no signs of compromising or slowing down. Just last week they released their latest album Hold It In, an awesome, diverse set of songs that feature founder/singer/guitarist Buzz Osborne; drummer Dale Crover, who has been with the band through almost its entire existence; and guest guitarist Paul Leary and bassist Jeff Pinkus from fellow cult rockers the Butthole Surfers.

The Melvins — with Pinkus but not Leary on board — will be performing at SLO Brewing Company, 1119 Garden St. in San Luis Obispo, at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Click here to purchase tickets online.

Osborne had a quick chat with Noozhawk about the new album and some older Melvins-related history.

                                                                        •        •

Jeff Moehlis: You just had the first show of the tour last night. How did it go? How is the band playing together?

Buzz Osborne: It was great! We had no problems. We played in Sacramento — it was a good show, a good set.

JM: The new album just came out, and I’m curious, how do you view the new album in relation to the rest of the Melvins catalog?

BO: I think it’s good one. I mean, I don’t listen to our records a whole lot, but I know I liked it when I made it. I think it’s as good as anything we’ve ever done.

JM: The new album was recorded with Paul Leary and Jeff Pinkus (from the Butthole Surfers). How did their presence stir things up as far as the songwriting and the recording?

BO: Well, you know they’re both really good players. I trusted them to do the right thing, and they did. They added things to the album that we’ve never had before, so that was great.

JM: Have you known those guys from way back?

BO: I’ve known Jeff for several years, and I’ve known Paul maybe five. I’ve been a fan of the Butthole Surfers since the early ’80s.

JM: Just to be clear, my understanding is that Jeff is part of the current tour but Paul is not. Is that correct?

BO: Yeah. Paul might join us in the future but he’s not on this tour.

JM: You’ve released most of your albums on smaller labels, but you did have a short period where you were signed to Atlantic back in the ’90s. How would you describe your major label experience?

BO: Well, we did three albums. I thought they would only do one. So they gave us money to make records, but they didn’t really tell us what to do, so I didn’t have a bad experience. It was fine. I like those records a lot.

JM: So you feel you had a lot of freedom to do what you wanted?

BO: If you listen to the records, I think it’s pretty clear that they didn’t tell us to do anything.

JM: Probably the best-known Melvins album came from that period, the album Houdini. What are your reflections on that particular album?

BO: I don’t like it as much as the other two that we did on Atlantic, but I thought it was good. It was a good major label debut, I guess. There are songs that people like on it. I thought it was OK, but not quite as focused as I would’ve liked. But by and large I’m not complaining. That was a long time ago!

JM: Of course that album had a bit of a Kurt Cobain connection (Cobain co-produced and played on a few tracks on Houdini), and I guess for better or worse you guys are forever tied a little bit to him. (In 1984, Cobain auditioned to play bass with The Melvins, but he was not chosen. The next year, Osborne and Crover played in Cobain’s first band Fecal Matter (with Osborne on bass). Later, in 1988, Crover played on Nirvana’s 10-song demo, most of which was released on their albums Bleach and Incesticide.) How would you describe the Kurt Cobain that you knew?

BO: Troubled. He was very troubled. It’s a sad story. Not a lot of happy memories.

JM: Over the years you’ve done a number of cool collaborations. One that I particularly like is when you played with Jello Biafra. What was it like working with him?

BO: Pretty insane. He doesn’t have much of a filter between his brain and his mouth. He’s not as avant garde as I would’ve liked, but by and large it was a good experience.

JM: I have a question about your songwriting. The music of the Melvins has a lot of complicated time signatures and changes. How do you come up with those, or to you maybe that comes naturally?

BO: We have a lot of simple songs, too, but I don’t know, sometimes it just happens that way. All of a sudden you have this song that’s complicated, but you know it’s good so you finish it.

JM: If it’s good, just go with it, right?

BO: Yeah. I don’t find it to be particularly complicated for me, but I write it.

JM: What are your plans for the near future? Are you guys already thinking about the next album?

BO: The record just came out two days ago, so I haven’t got my heart set on a new one yet. But it won’t be too long. I don’t know exactly, but I’ve always got a lot of new ideas and stuff. What exactly we’re going to do, at this point I’m not sure. But don’t worry, there will be a new one before you know it.

JM: Do you want to set the record straight on anything about yourself or the Melvins? Anything that annoys you that people always get wrong about the band?

BO: Well, most of it’s wrong, but that’s OK. It’s not the best journalism — it’s pure fiction. I’m a private person, believe it or not. There’s not a lot of personal details out there anyway, so I
like to leave them as they are. Let people think what they want to be true.

JM: I’m sort of surprised that, as a rock musician, you’re up and about at 9:30 in the morning. Is that your typical schedule?

BO: I get up about 4 in the morning when I’m at home. Last night we were back at the hotel by about 12:30, and I got up about 6. And now I’m driving north to Washington.

— 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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Lengthy Extrication Needed in Orcutt Pickup Truck Rollover

By | Published on 10/19/2014

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Firefighters work for 73 minutes to free victim, who was then flown to Santa Barbara hospital

It took firefighters more than an hour late Saturday to free a man from the wreckage of his pickup truck, which crashed in Orcutt, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The single-vehicle accident occurred at about 11:40 p.m. on southbound Highway 135 near Clark Avenue, said Vince Agapito, a Fire Department spokesman.

The Chevy pickup rolled several times before coming to rest on its side about 50 below the roadway, Agapito said.

He said the driver, who was wearing a seatbelt, suffered extensive injuries to his legs, which were pinned underneath the dashboard.

Firefighters used the “Jaws of Life” tool to extricate the man from the wreckage, a process that took 73 minutes, Agapito said.

Typically extrications take 10-15 minutes, he added.

“They basically had to dismantle the thing to get him out,” said Agapito, noting that crews had to remove the truck’s roof, cut off the doors, and pry the dashboard away from the victim.

“The victim was conscious throughout the the entire ordeal of his extrication,” he said.

Once freed, the man was taken by ambulance to the Santa Maria Public Airport, where he was transferred to a waiting Calstar helicopter for the flight to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

Details on his condition were not available Sunday.

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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Dyslexia Awareness Month Spurs Flurry of Activity to Build Knowledge

By | Published on 10/18/2014

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Santa Barbara Unified School District holding parent education events, hosting Parent Resource Center meetings

Advocate Cheri Rae and education officials were celebrated for their work by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors in recognition of October as Dyslexia Awareness Month.

Dyslexia means “difficulty with words” and is very prevalent; the learning disability affects one in five individuals.

“We’ve all read about the stories and research that if not diagnosed early with the support needed for our children early on, it can lead to long-lasting impacts,” First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal said.

Rae, who spearheaded the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s Parent Resource Center and runs The Dyslexia Project, was given a special shout-out by county and state representatives.

“I think it’s incredibly important when talking about dyslexia awareness to talk about people who bridged the gap between talk and action,” said Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara.

Rae has distinguished herself as an involved parent and advocate for children with dyslexia in the school system, he said.

Santa Barbara Unified Superintendent Dave Cash said the county’s acknowledgement of the issue was a highlight of his career.

The district has a display up at La Cumbre Plaza, Chaucer’s Bookstore and other locations around town with quotes by famous locals who struggled with dyslexia, such as Santa Barbara High School graduates Charles Schwab and water polo Olympian Kami Craig.

The special education department just created its first-ever newsletter that will be shared with parents, district spokeswoman Barbara Keyani said.

Rae runs weekly discussions at the Parent Resource Center in addition to helping parents and educators find special education information.

“One in five — that’s a lot,” she said. “Kids are needlessly struggling in school, and these are smart kids who just need to be identified and taught the way they can learn.”

The Parent Resource Center will show The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia at an Oct. 23 open house and discussion about assistive technology for students.

Recently, several people have been asking about colleges that specialize in programs for students with dyslexia and other disabilities, she said.

Some schools specialize in dyslexia and there are mainstream universities with robust programs to support those students, such as the University of Arizona, she noted.

“Many students are not identified and may struggle through school and graduate, with less of a grade-point average than they’re capable of, and once they get to college it’s incredibly difficult,” she said.

“We want to identify kids earlier and support them through school so they can move on and do what they need to do.”

Now that people are using the resource center more, the district and Rae plan on more outreach into the community.

“Doing outreach is a lot better than hoping people come in,” Rae said.

Click here to watch a video about the Parent Resource Center.

The district started a series of talks for parents of students with disabilities this year. The next event will be held in the district office board room at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, at 720 Santa Barbara St., and again at 6 p.m. at Dos Pueblos High School, 7266 Alameda Ave. in Goleta.

It’s titled “The Role of the Parent Before, During and After the Individualized Education Plan (IEP) Meeting.”

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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Diane Dimond: U.S. Response to Ebola Outbreak Does Not Inspire Confidence

By | Published on 10/18/2014

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We have got to get smarter about controlling the ever-widening Ebola epidemic — and quickly.

Ebola is not just a problem for the hotspots of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. And the Homeland Security Department’s new system of simply questioning and taking the temperature of incoming air travelers from West Africa isn’t enough to control this potential pandemic.

Naming a new presidentially appointed czar to coordinate an ill-conceived response won’t cut it either.

This is a modern-day Pandora’s box with deadly, worldwide consequences, and our government’s response via the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been pitiful.

At this writing, there are two known cases of American nurses contracting Ebola from a Liberian patient who traveled to the United States in late September and died in a Dallas hospital Oct. 8.

Thomas Duncan did not know he was infected when he flew here. The hospital didn’t suspect it either and initially released him with a temperature of 103. By the time he returned two days later, Duncan, 45, had potentially exposed dozens of people who were then placed in a 21-day quarantine.

As wildly impossible as it seems, however, the CDC never specifically told any of the 75 Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital workers who had contact with Duncan that they should restrict their movements. It took eight days before the CDC had staffers sign a pledge to stay away from public places and mass transit.

Too late. One nurse flew to Ohio to visit relatives and plan her wedding. Sometime during her trip she fell ill with a low-grade fever, called the CDC for guidance, was told she didn’t fall into the “high-risk category” and was allowed to fly home to Dallas. She had Ebola. And now fellow passengers, relatives and others she visited are on an anxious Ebola watch.

A lab worker from Duncan’s team went on a cruise and ultimately self-quarantined herself in her cabin when she realized the risk.

Our nation’s response to the Ebola outbreak has been pitifully lacking focus and coordination. This does not inspire confidence.

How contagious is Ebola? The World Health Organization now predicts West Africa could soon see 10,000 new cases every week. The percentage of infected people who could find their way to the United States keeps increasing, and experts say more cases are surely on the horizon.

The new screening protocols at the five U.S. airports through which most (but not all) West African travelers enter are of questionable value. By the time a foreign traveler makes it off the plane and into the customs area, his or her fellow passengers who might have been exposed are long gone.

A cleanup crew is already on the plane getting it ready for quick turnaround. They could become infected while picking up used paper cups and tissues stuffed in seat flaps. And not to be too dramatic about it, but an infected crew member could unknowingly exchange deadly bodily fluids by simply kissing a loved one. They could cough or sneeze inside another plane — potentially spreading the infection further.

Think about this: As the Ebola threat looms, so does the traditional flu season with symptoms much like, you guessed it, Ebola.

Before public panic sets in and emergency rooms fill up with frantic patients, we need to cut off all air travel from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. We need to flag the passports of citizens from those countries and deny them entry for a period of time. I know this idea has already been dismissed by Washington, but it shouldn’t have been.

Our best bet is to concentrate on isolating the virus where it was born so it can die there. That is the most logical way to fight an epidemic.

Still, some insist we can’t do that. Critics of a travel ban say it could harm the economies of those African countries, as if the outbreak hasn’t already done that. They say a ban would restrict relief workers and medical supplies from getting into the Ebola Zone.

Nonsense. Anyone who wanted to go help could still go via charter jets or military transports. Their return might be delayed by a quarantine for 21 days, but tightly controlled exceptions could be made if they actually contracted Ebola. They could be transported home for treatment much the same as several Americans who contracted the disease were.

More than 4,000 lives have been lost so far in what is the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history. This is not a time for discussion about America’s traditionally open borders. It is time to slam the lid tight on this plague.

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

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Mark Shields: Honor the Heroic Nurses Fighting on Front Lines of Ebola Outbreak

By | Published on 10/18/2014

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That terrifying Tuesday morning, now 14 Septembers ago, when terrorists connected to al-Qaeda hijacked jetliners and drove them into the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center will be forever with us — just as we can never forget the 343 New York City firefighters who, on a mission to rescue fellow human beings in the burning buildings, walked bravely into the fires of hell to their deaths.

Almost overnight, ambitious politicians everywhere were frantically getting their pictures taken with firefighters, who — in spite of the fact that they were public employees and often even dues-paying union members — had emerged as America’s most popular heroes.

The current Ebola scare in the United States is not 9/11. But once again, we need to recognize American heroes whom we see every day and whom we have too often taken for granted.

Let us begin with Nina Pham, the 26-year-old Texas Christian University graduate who, as a critical-care nurse, voluntarily put herself in harm’s way to treat Thomas Duncan, a stranger from Liberia who would be the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States. The eldest of three daughters born to parents who had immigrated to the United States from their native Vietnam after the war, Nina, according to her medical colleagues, has a single standard for the treatment of those in her care: “What would I do if it were my mom, dad or grandparent?”

As this is written, Nina herself is battling Ebola, while on the airwaves, those who do not know — and who ought to know better — idly and endlessly speculate on whose mistakes caused her infection. Missing is our national recognition of the constant courage and dedication of fellow human beings we sometimes bloodlessly identify as “health-care providers.” Nurses are the firefighters of 2014.

Unlike celebrated Wall Street wiseguys, they don’t spend their time and energy trying to figure out how to move their money into a Cayman Island account to evade taxes. Nurses and hospital workers, after their rent is paid and after the food is put on the table, have precious little money left to spend, let alone to move. They do not do what they do for money or for fame or for celebrity; they do it for humanity.

Nurses and medical workers don’t get asked for their autographs or approached by interviewers for their views on the economy. They do get up every day and they do work long, hard hours — giving of their considerable knowledge, talent and, yes, compassion — to cure the sick, to reassure the fearful and to comfort the dying.

Let us recognize and let us honor these genuine American heroes who walk among us. The next time we see a nurse, let us tell him or her, “Thank you. Thank you for your service.”

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

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Letter to the Editor: Join the Good Guys Who Support Measure P

By | Published on 10/18/2014

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Join the good guys who support Measure P.

ORGANIZATIONS:

Sierra Club – The Fund for Santa Barbara – The League of Women Voters – Audobon Society - California Nurses Association – Physicians for Social Responsibility – Community Environmental Council – Environmental Defense Center – Citizens Planning Association – Carpenteria Valley Association – Summerland Citizens Association – Santa Ynez Valley Alliance – Students Against Fracking – Change.org – Santa Barbara County Water Guardians – 350 Santa Barbara – Channel Keeper – Santa Barbara Womens' Political Committee

ELECTED OFFICIALS:

State Senate: Hannah-Beth Jackson
State Assembly: Das Williams
Santa Barbara City Council: Cathy Murillo - Greg Hart
Carpenteria City Council: (Majority vote)
Santa Barbara County Supervisors: Salud Carbajal - Janet Wolf

BUSINESSES:

Beckman Vineyards – Kaena Wines – Moretti Wines – Firestone Vineyards – Gypsy Canyon Winery - Terra Sol Garden Center – Healing Grounds Nursery -– Earthbound Herbs SB

AGRICULTURE AND RANCHING:

Shepherd Farms – SB Organics – Las Palmalitas Ranch – Classic Organic Farm and Market – – Winfield Farm – Roots Farm – Earthtrine Farm – Red Horizon Farm SB – Hilltop and Canyon Farm – Tutti Frutti Farms – McAfree Farms, OPDC

CELEBRITY:

Robert Redford: “Chevron destroyed Santa Barbara with the 1969 oil spill. We can't let them do it again.”

ACADEMICS (NOT FUNDED BY OIL COMPANIES):

Catherine Gautier, Prof. Emerita, UCSB Geography Dept. 
Bruce Luyendyk, Prof. Emeritus of Earth Science, UCSB
Allan Stewart-Oaten, Prof. Emeritus of Mathematical Biology, Dep't. Of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, UCSB

​William Smithers
Santa Barbara

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Santa Barbara County’s Stand Down Lifts Up Local Veterans with Hope, Services

By | Published on 10/18/2014

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Donations, volunteers fuel third annual, resource-rich gathering at Santa Maria Fairpark

Carlos Madrigal got a huge teddy bear, shoes and much more.

Garwin Weiting’s dog, a Yorkie named Naomi, received veterinary care.

And Shevonne Harris took advantage of services offered before switching roles to volunteer in the clothing area at the Santa Barbara County Veterans Stand Down.

They were among hundreds of former military men and women to receive services and donations during the third annual Stand Down on Saturday at the Santa Maria Fairpark.

“Our hope is you make yourself at home because you’ve earned it,” Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino told the crowd during the opening ceremony. “Welcome home.”

Lavagnino launched the local Stand Down three years ago, rallying donations and volunteers with his aide, Sandy Agalos, whom he credited with turning a “logistical nightmare into a wonderful day.”

Sponsors and donations come from throughout Santa Barbara County, and include corporations such as Raytheon and InDyne; nonprofit organizations like Santa Maria Elks and Santa Barbara Elks lodges, and the Santa Barbara County Cattlemen’s Association; and individuals who just wanted to help. One good Samaritan dropped off 650 pairs of socks while another family offered a few towels.

“This is truly a community effort, and each one of you is amazing,” Lavagnino said.

Several airmen from Vandenberg Air Force Base also volunteered, serving as escorts for the veterans.

Dr. Ruth Corbo checks the microchip of Garwin Weiting's dog, Naomi, at the Santa Barbara County Veterans Stand Down. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)
Dr. Ruth Corbo checks the microchip of Garwin Weiting's dog, Naomi, at the Santa Barbara County Veterans Stand Down. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

The event is funded through the various donations plus a federal grant, Lavagnino explained.

This year’s event added blood-pressure and blood-glucose monitoring along with giveaways of rain coats and boots. Additionally, the event had women doctors for female veterans, increased the number of bus tokens and included an alterations station to make clothing repairs.

The Stand Down was designed to serve up to 500 veterans, but the final number helped Saturday wasn’t expect to be available for a week. While geared toward all veterans, the event targeted special services for homeless veterans, including round-trip transportation from Santa Barbara.

“This year is exponentially easier,” Lavagnino said. “Our volunteers have stepped up in a huge way. ... Now they’ve just taken over their areas.”

Those familiar with Stand Downs held in smaller and larger counties said Santa Barbara County’s rates best for its friendliness and helpfulness.

With the Fairpark filled Saturday morning, Lavagnino said it’s unreal to see the veterans and volunteers.

“I think there’s a pent-up need for a lot of people to let our veterans know how we feel about them,” Lavagnino said. “This is very cathartic for me as well as all of the volunteers. I’ve said it many times, I think I get more out of this than any veteran walks away with.”

The first year, the event aimed at getting veterans various donated items. Now, the Stand Down works to get veterans reconnected to the community and familiar with the services they earned.

Carlos Madrigal, left, was accompanied by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ubaldo Barrios, who toted bags of goodies and a giant stuffed bear that had been given to the veteran. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)
Carlos Madrigal, left, was accompanied by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ubaldo Barrios, who toted bags of goodies and a giant stuffed bear that had been given to the veteran. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Harris, a Righetti High School graduate who served in the Army from 1983 to 1989, attended the first Stand Down and broke through a barrier of getting help she sought to get her military disability.

“It had been taking forever,” she said, adding Stand Down volunteers set up medical appointments and other steps needed to get approval of her disability within six months.

“Actually when I came I had no intention of getting services,” she said of her time at the Stand Down three years ago. “I was just volunteering because I was so glad.”

After visiting service providers Saturday, she planned to volunteer in the clothing giveaway area.

“This is the best thing,” she said.

Harris said she has encouraged younger veterans to take advantage of the event’s services after getting help herself, saying many don’t even know what they need until seeing what’s available.

“You’ve got all these people here who want to do something, who want to help you, who want to give you services,” she said. “Why not get them?”

A former soldier, Madrigal was escorted around the Fairpark on Saturday by Air Force Tech. Sgt. Ubaldo Barrios, who carted a couple of big bags filled with various items, including the giant stuffed bear that already had been named Carlos for its new owner.

They had already picked up shoes, a sleeping bag and toiletries for Madrigal, who enjoyed the attention brought by the bear being carried by Barrios.

“See, what did I tell you, bro?” Madrigal told Barrios. “Carry a bear around with you all the time.”

Ron Herbig of Lompoc attended for the third time with his dog, Juanita Chiquita Margarita.

“I think it’s marvelous, actually,” said Herbig, who served in the Army from 1962 to 1968.

In addition to the help, the Stand Down provided a chance to unite with old friends he hadn’t seen for some time, he added.

But more important, the Stand Down has provided a place to get services while meeting with representatives face to face instead of having to deal with maddening telephone calls, Herbig said.

The help wasn’t just for veterans, but included four-legged members of their families, like Weiting’s Naomi, a Yorkie who received a check-up, vaccinations and ear medication.

“It’s phenomenal,” said Weiting, a Santa Maria resident who served in the Navy on the aircraft carrier, USS Saratoga, during the Vietnam War. “To me, these Stand Downs are just unbelievable. I”m so proud to be a part of it — mainly for the homeless vets who are left behind. They need this desperately bad. To see this kind of stuff go on for veterans is so nice.”

Santiago Salutan’s dog, Toby, also received an exam and reluctantly had his nails trimmed, much to his dismay.

“It means a lot,” said Salutan, who served in the Army from 1967 to 1969. “He’s needed to get his license and some of his shots he didn’t get. I really appreciate it a lot.”

He said he was overwhelmed by the services offered to veterans Saturday.

Dogs also were given flea baths nearby and the owners could pick up a bag of free food.

Inside one Fairpark building, dozens of agencies, nonprofit groups and others set up booths to help veterans with a variety of services.

Hoss Diego represented the Central Coast Amputee and Caregivers Peer Group, which is open to veterans and civilians alike.

“I think this is great,” said Diego, who served in the Army for nine years. “This is really good. It lets a lot of veterans know they’re not forgotten.”

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.

Hoss Diego talks about the Central Coast Amputee and Caregiver Peer Group during the Santa Barbara County Veterans Stand Down. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)
Hoss Diego talks about the Central Coast Amputee and Caregiver Peer Group during the Santa Barbara County Veterans Stand Down. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

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Karl Hutterer: Measure P Will Open Door for Alternative Energy’s Long-Term Solution

By | Published on 10/18/2014

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The fight over Measure P is a David vs. Goliath battle. To date, the “No” campaign has raised $5.6 million, virtually all of it from oil companies, much of it from oil giants; the “Yes” campaign has raised barely $300,000, most of it in small contributions from people like you and me.

Karl Hutterer
Karl Hutterer

This gigantic imbalance alone should tell us whose interests are at stake and who is out there trying to buy an election! This flood of money is financing a flood of advertising that is awash in untruths and misrepresentations.

It is not true that Measure P will shut down existing oil production. It is, therefore, also not true that Measure P will eliminate jobs, nor is it true the Measure P will bankrupt Santa Barbara County and cripple fire and police services.

Finally, it is also not true that Measure P is poorly written and will not survive in court, a red herring even the Santa Barbara Independent has swallowed. Measure P was written by a team of highly experienced environmental lawyers and lawyers familiar with the drafting of propositions. It is legally sound.

What is true, however, is that we absolutely need Measure P. Yes, expanded oil production through enhanced recovery techniques may produce some tidy profits in the short run, but those profits will not go into the pockets of poor people in the North County, nor even into county coffers. They will go to the oil companies. Why do you think they are fighting Measure P so hard?!

Yes, expanded oil production will create some jobs, but those jobs will not go to unemployed or underemployed people in the North County, but they will go to people who will come in from elsewhere to do specialized work.

Worst of all, there may well be a boom in the making, but it will be a short-term phenomenon, and what will happen after the boom is over? Go to a place like Taft in Kern County and see what the oil boom has left behind: a devastated town marked by poverty and environmental destruction.

Most of all, however, we absolutely need Measure P, if we finally want to get serious about addressing global climate change. The scientific verdict is in: climate change is happening, and the release of pollutants from fossil fuels is its primary engine.

We no longer can stop the train; it has left the station, but we can slow it down and prevent climate change to take on proportions that would be truly disastrous. However, we have to act now, act quickly and act decisively.

So far, the preferred recovery technique of “tight oil” in the North County has been cyclic steam injection, which produces four times more of the dangerous pollution than normal pumping techniques. That is bad enough.

Far worse, however, is to bet on a new oil boom that will simply distract us from what we must do: concentrate on investing in the development of green, sustainable energy. Doing anything else would truly be fiddling while Rome burns!

The good news is that development of alternative energy would produce local jobs, and it would be an investment in the long-term future.

— Karl L. Hutterer Ph.D. is the retired executive director of the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and a Community Environmental Council board member. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Cyclists In for the Long Rides During Santa Barbara Century Race

By | Published on 10/18/2014

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Hundreds of bicycles take to the foothills as riders compete along three grueling courses

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Hundreds of cyclists rode through Santa Barbara County’s South Coast on Saturday morning.

Riders participated in the 100-mile Santa Barbara Century, which climbs 9,000 feet up Gibraltar Road, or the 100-kilometer Metric Century race. A third race, the 34-mile Foothill course, was a new addition this year, with riders sticking to Montecito, Santa Barbara and Goleta.

All of the courses headed into the South Coast foothills.

The fifth annual event promotes bicycling and raises money for local charities.

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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Letter to the Editor: Measure P Will Lead to Litigation, and Santa Barbara County Will Lose

By | Published on 10/18/2014

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We have entered the political season. In Santa Barbara County, Measure P is on the ballot. There has been, and no doubt will continue to be, a lot of claims and counterclaims about it. As is always the case in any political struggle, some claims are true, some are not.

A claim made early and often by Measure P proponents is this: “400 communities across the United States have passed similar bans to Measure P.” Measure P supporters have also claimed that none of the existing bans have been litigated. Not only are these claims deceptive — they are flat-out wrong.

So you will know how wrong, let’s dig a bit.

First, some context: The most recent census indicates there are almost 40,000 counties, cities and townships in the United States. If all 400 of the “communities” cited by the Measure P proponents were counties, cities or townships, that would be one thing. But they are not.

The list they tout includes neighborhood groups, school boards and student councils. Obviously, any “ban” (and the word is enclosed in quotes intentionally) passed by these groups is symbolic since they do not have jurisdictional authority over either land planning or oil production matters; therefore, they ban nothing.

Further, almost all of the so-called symbolic resolutions Measure P supporters call bans (exactly 15 of them in California) were nothing more than calls for a statewide moratorium on hydraulic fracturing until regulators completed the scientific studies required by Senate Bill 4.

The definition of “moratorium” is significantly different than the definition of “ban.”

You may recall that SB 4 was signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown in September 2013 and set some of the toughest regulations on energy production technologies in the country. However, first it required certain scientific studies to be completed so regulations could be based on facts, rather than hyperbole.

Using the term “ban” to describe a symbolic resolution is pure hyperbole. Other words for hyperbole are embellishment, exaggeration and overstatement. In this context, it means truth-stretching.

The symbolic resolutions — conveniently and disingenuously relabeled “bans” by the Measure P proponents — were collected by environmental activists while seeking support for Senate Bill 1132, a bill that called for a short-term moratorium while regulations and studies required by SB 4 were completed. It is worth noting, the state Senate rejected SB 1132.

There have only been three actual bans passed in California. One by Santa Cruz County, where there is no oil production — again a symbolic action. One by the City of Beverly Hills, where there is historic oil production, but where none of the techniques Measure P would prohibit are being used. So, it makes sense these two have not been challenged.

However, in the third community, Compton, a ban similar to Measure P was adopted, a lawsuit was filed and the ban has been rescinded, for now.

Likewise, in Colorado, where actual bans have been passed by local jurisdictions, lawsuits have resulted. So far, five separate Colorado cities have passed bans. In one, Boulder, there are no active wells within its jurisdiction, making the ban meaningless from the get-go.

In Broomfield, an oil and gas company that had a prior “memorandum of understanding” with the city, sued and won.

In the other three — Fort Collins, Lafayette and Longmont — lawsuits were filed and all three bans were struck down by the courts.

So to recap, there are not 400 bans nationwide. The rhetoric about 400 bans is simply not true. Where actual bans have been passed, they have fared poorly in court.

Why subject the taxpayers of Santa Barbara County to the cost of defending a ban that will most certainly lead to litigation; litigation Santa Barbara County will lose? Vote no on P.

Edward S. Hazard
President, California Chapter of the National Association of Royalty Owners
Paso Robles

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Lompoc Driver Facing DUI Charge After Hitting School Bus

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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A driver who crashed into the back of a school bus full of students in Lompoc ​Friday afternoon was arrested on suspicion of driving under influence, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The CHP said the bus driver stopped at a stop sign at the intersection of Central Avenue and North A Street at 1:25 p.m.

A GMC pickup driven by Guy Barker of Lompoc slammed into the stopped bus, which was driven by Deborah Clark, also a Lompoc resident.

“Due to the driver of the pickup's level of intoxication, he failed to observe that the school bus had stopped in front of him, and as a result the front of his vehicle struck the rear of the school bus,” the CHP said a news release.

The CHP said 26 students were on board the bus at the time of the accident but none of them was injured.

Clark complained of pain to her back, but was not transported to the hospital and decided to seek her own medical care, the CHP 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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Former Doctor Accused of Overprescribing May File to Withdraw Guilty Pleas

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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A court hearing has been set for Dec. 10, when the defense attorney for Julio Diaz is expected to submit the motion

Julio Diaz
Julio Diaz

The defense attorney for a former Santa Barbara doctor who admitted overprescribing powerful painkillers to patients may file to withdraw guilty pleas this winter.

Julio Diaz, who formerly operated a medical practice on Milpas Street, pleaded guilty to federal charges of overprescribing that led to 11 patient deaths in January 2013

He has been in custody since that time.

A federal affidavit accused Diaz of prescribing “profound” doses of drugs, including strong painkillers such as OxyContin, Fentanyl and Dilaudid.

The court has set a new hearing for Dec. 10, for an anticipated defense motion to withdraw Diaz's guilty pleas, according to federal prosecutor Ann Wolf.

"If the motion is denied, sentencing will be held Jan. 7, 2015," she said Friday. "If the motion is granted, the matter will be set for trial sometime in 2015."

Robison Harley Jr., Diaz's attorney, did not respond to a request for comment.

Two families who lost loved ones to prescription drug overdose have settled with local pharmacies and their pharmacists that filled Diaz's prescriptions in civil court.

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

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Joe Conason: Let Obama and Frieden Do Their Jobs in Battle Against Ebola

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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If the prospect of hanging concentrates the mind, then even the possibility of infection with Ebola should do the same — for all of us. Instead, we seem easily distracted by attempts to blame President Barack Obama and to scapegoat the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Republican politicians and media loudmouths have even demanded the resignation of Dr. Thomas Frieden, the CDC's director, because he's refused to endorse a West African travel ban.

They're all dead wrong.

First, Obama is following precisely the correct approach in addressing the outbreak with his order to dispatch American troops to Liberia. The men and women of the medical corps can swiftly set up emergency tented facilities in every Liberian county while security personnel begin to restore order and prevent panicked destruction.

The president didn't foresee this outbreak, but neither did anyone else, principally because every earlier Ebola outbreak had been contained within a few rural villages. His order to send troops isn't popular; nobody likes the idea of sending our troops into danger. He made a difficult choice, but it was a wise one. (Our British and French allies have agreed to do the same in Sierra Leone and Guinea, respectively.)

Why are the unique characteristics and large scale of the U.S. military so vital now? Simply because no other force can adequately handle the logistical and safety requirements of this chaotic, perilous undertaking in West Africa. To take just one example: Both our troops and the local health care workers will need an enormous supply of protective gear, which must be not just discarded but also carefully destroyed after a single use.

More broadly, the effort to contain Ebola needs very well-trained, well-organized and well-disciplined people on the ground — which is to say, an army. Our military personnel are the best in the world and will be able to provide leadership and guidance to the Liberians, organizing local health workers to restore order amid chaos and fear.

Second, the calls for Frieden to resign by Republican members of Congress resemble cheap midterm campaigning, not intelligent policymaking. Although the CDC has not functioned perfectly in the current crisis, its director is certainly the most qualified and experienced figure to stem a threatened outbreak of infectious disease. His expertise is not merely on paper, either.

During four of the worst years of the HIV/AIDS crisis in New York, when multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis was taking a terrible toll, Frieden oversaw the program that eventually controlled TB and reduced cases by 80 percent. For five years, he worked in India, dispatched by the CDC to work with the World Health Organization to control TB in that country — where his efforts helped to provide treatment for at least 10 million patients and saved as many as 3 million lives. Those are among the reasons that President Obama appointed him in the first place — and why he still deserves far more confidence than the partisan screamers in Congress and on cable television now attacking him.

Now is the wrong time for politicians and pundits to distract the Pentagon and the CDC from the difficult task at hand, which will require months of intensive struggle. There will be plenty of opportunity for recriminations later, if that seems necessary.

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, when the country faced what felt like an existential crisis, many public figures, especially Republicans, urged everyone to put national unity and cooperation ahead of partisan bickering. It would be good if, just this once, they would follow their own advice.

What we will need in the months to come is a fresh assessment of our foreign aid programs. We need to understand why our traditional stinginess does both our country and our children a terrible disservice. Our best hope for survival, in the long term, is to notice how small our world has become — and to recognize that protecting our fellow human beings everywhere is the only way to protect ourselves.

Joe Conason is editor in chief of NationalMemo.com. Click here to contact him, follow him on Twitter: @JConason, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Letter to the Editor: Deceptive Advertising in Support of Measure P

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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I was recently watching Assemblyman Das Williams perform in support of Measure P in a television ad. What amazes me more than anything, whether you are for or against the measure, is the amount of deception in the ad.

The first untruth is that the measure is designed to ban "fracking" (hydraulic fracturing). There is no fracking being performed in Santa Barbara County, and there never will be because the strata is already fractured by nature. How do you ban something that doesn't exist nor will ever exist by nature?

The second untruth is that it will not affect existing oil operations and their respective jobs — that existing permits are not affected. Did he forget that permits have expiration dates and need to be renewed? If Measure P passes, those permit renewals will be denied, resulting in the shutdown of all oil and gas operations.

This is the true intent of the measure, and the proponents continue to spread falsehoods about this effect.

If for nothing else, vote no on Measure P because of the incredible deceitfulness of the proponents.

Steve Thomas
Santa Barbara

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Gerald Carpenter: Santa Barbara Symphony to Open New Season with Weekend Concerts

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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The Santa Barbara Symphony, conducted by Nir Kabaretti, opens its 2014-15 season with a veritable flood of romantic music, in concerts at 8 p.m. Saturday and 3 p.m. Sunday in the Granada Theatre.

The guest artist for these concerts will be the sensational young Argentinean pianist Ingrid Fliter.

The program will consist of three works: Dmitri Shostakovich's Festive Overture (1954), Frederic Chopin's Concerto No. 2 in F-Minor for Piano and Orchestra, Opus 21 (1830) and Sergei Rachmaninov's Symphony No. 2 in E-Minor, Opus 27 (1907).

As I said, a veritable flood of romantic music — except for the Shostakovich, of course: The Festive Overture offers almost no internal evidence of its composer's name. It's what you might call a light neo-classic. There is some historical resonance, however. The overture's upbeat, rather carefree tone, may have something to do with the fact that Stalin had just died. That was certainly enough to put any Soviet artist into a "Festive" mood.

Chopin wrote both his piano concertos when he was 20 and head over heels in love with a young singer at the Warsaw conservatory name Constantia Gladkowska. It was a Dantesque — or, rather, Petrarchian — love. He worshiped her from afar, and even after they had met once or twice, the composer's love was carried on mainly by him pouring out his heart to his friends.

"Tell her," he wrote to one, "that even after my death my ashes shall be strewn under her feet."

The second movement "Larghetto" of this concerto is an open avowal of his love. Nevertheless, the concerto is dedicated to another singer, who was not only talented and beautiful but rich and aristocratic, the Countess Delphine Potocka, who remained his friend and supporter for the rest of his life. When she learned that Chopin was dying, the Countess traveled to Nice, where he was staying, and sang for him. When she entered the room, Chopin said: "Now I know why God has delayed so long in calling me to Him; He wanted me to have the pleasure of seeing you once more." Did I say 'Romantic"? Believe it.

As long as it is, Rachmaninov's 2nd Symphony never bores. One knows it well enough to know that something beautiful, something worth waiting for, is coming right up, and when it comes, that there will be enough of it to satisfy the most insatiable romantic longing.

Tickets to this concert are $29 to $133, with special rates for seniors, students and groups. Discounted student tickets are available for $10 with valid student ID. Single tickets can be purchased from the Granada box office at 805.899.2222 or online by clicking here.

— 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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Goleta Council to Receive Update on Civic Center Feasibility Study

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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The Goleta City Council will be holding a special meeting to receive an update on the progress of the Civic Center Feasibility Study being conducted for the Goleta Valley Community Center.

The workshop is scheduled for 2 p.m. Monday, Oct. 27 in the Goleta City Council Chambers, 130 Cremona Drive, Suite B (rear of building).

The feasibility study includes conceptual site plans for a new City Hall at the seven-acre site, and possible inclusion of the adjoining, yet to be acquired, three-acre site owned by the Goleta Union School District. This overview will include consideration of future space needs and uses to incorporate as part of a potential civic center.

Conceptual site designs and general site development options for a new City Hall and other potential civic uses/structures at the specified location will also be discussed.

As with all of the previous workshops, the public is encouraged to attend and may provide input. The agenda will be posted on the city's website next week. If you have any questions in advance of the meeting, please contact Claudia Dato at cdato@cityofgoleta.org

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Actor Alan Thicke Named Celebrity Grand Marshal for Downtown Holiday Parade

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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Downtown Santa Barbara is pleased to announce that acclaimed actor, composer, writer and reality show star Alan Thicke will serve as this year’s celebrity grand marshal for the 62nd annual Downtown Holiday Parade.

Alan Thicke
Alan Thicke

On Dec. 5, the parade will make its way down State Street amid marching bands, professionally-built floats, huge balloons and performance groups, under the theme “Winter Nights & Holiday Lights.”

Presiding over the 2014 parade, local resident Thicke is a seven-time Emmy nominee, often referred to as “America’s Dad” for his stint as patriarch Jason Seaver on Growing Pains. The popular and beloved sitcom ran from 1985-1992 on ABC.

Currently starring with his family in the second season of the TVGN/Slice sitcom/reality show Unusually Thicke, he began his career as a writer for TV series and specials, including Richard Pryor, Flip Wilson, Bill Cosby, Johnny Cash, Barry Manilow and Olivia Newton-John.

He composed the themes for Facts of Life and Diff’rent Strokes (which he sang!). He had a recurring role on TV’s How I Met Your Mother and appears regularly on Real Time with Bill Maher.

For the Huffington Post, Thicke authors the "Boomer Humor" column, which has so resonated in that demographic that he now fills open dates as emcee or keynote speaker for corporate events and awards shows. A champion for the cause of diabetes, Thicke was the keynote speaker at the annual Sansum Diabetes Research Institute’s “Together We Triumph” luncheon in Santa Barbara.

He was recently inducted into the Canadian Walk of Fame and is husband to former Miami model Tanya Callau and proud "Pops" to sons Brennan (entrepreneur), Robin (rock star) and Carter (high school genius), as well as grandsons Tyler and Julian.

The Downtown Holiday Parade will also feature the Holiday Prince and Fairy riding in a red 1968 Shelby GT500 convertible, driven by owner Stan Tabler. Santa Claus, the most anticipated appearance of the season, will conclude the festivities. For pre-parade one-on-one time photo op with Santa, kids will find him on his throne at Paseo Nuevo Center Court from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Dec. 5.

Downtown Santa Barbara has balloon and float sponsors available. For more information about sponsorships or for a parade entry form call 805.962.2098 x804. For kids wishing to enter the Holiday Prince & Fairy Art Contest, contact Susie at x800. To attend a Creative Workshop for suggestions on how to enhance your parade entry using costuming, lighting, music, decorations and more, contact cassidy@downtownsb.org.

The Downtown Holiday Parade is free and begins at 6:30 p.m. on State Street at Sola Street and concludes at Cota Street. For more information, contact Downtown Santa Barbara at 805.962.2098 x804 or click here.

— Kate Schwab is the marketing director for Downtown Santa Barbara.

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High-Speed Chase Ends in Crash, 3 Arrests in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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Two of the suspects were involved in a similar pursuit earlier this month on Highway 154

A high-speed pursuit that began in Buellton ended Friday afternoon when the vehicle being chased crashed near Santa Barbara and three people were arrested.

Two of those taken into custody were involved in a similar chase earlier this month, as was the suspect vehicle, a black Jeep Cherokee, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

Arrested Friday for felony evading with a motor vehicle were Camilla DePerna, 24, of Los Osos, and Shane Lydick, 34, of Thousand Oaks, said sheriff's spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

The pair, along with Kristy DeLaCerna, 36, of Thousand Oaks, were also charged with possession of burglary tools, Hoover said.

The three are all acquaintances, she said.

The incident began at about 2:45 p.m. at a gasoline station on Avenue of Flags in Buellton, Hoover said.

"Sheriff’s deputies received a report of a male suspect, Lydick, who was reportedly hitting the windows of a black Cherokee jeep with his fists and was armed with a knife," Hoover said.

Camilla DePerna, 24, of Los Osos is escorted to a waiting patrol car after being arrested following a high-speed chase from Buellton to Santa Barbara. (Urban Hikers photo)

The Jeep headed southbound on Highway 101 with deputies and CHP officers in pursuit.

"Deputies recognized the Jeep as the same vehicle that was involved in a pursuit on Oct. 3 on Highway 154," Hoover said.

During Friday's chase, which at times topped speeds of 110 mph,  the suspect vehicle was using all lanes and both shoulders of the freeway to pass other cars along the Gaviota Coast.

“It was probably one of the most unsafe pursuits I’ve ever seen,” sheriff's Lt. Butch Arnoldi told Noozhawk.

It's extremely lucky that there were no accidents during the pursuit and no injuries, Arnoldi said.

Shane Lydick, 34, of Thousand Oaks was charged with felony evading with a motor vehicle and possession of burglary tools. (Zack Warburg photo)

He added that only one vehicle — a law enforcement car — was damaged in addition to the Jeep.

The pursuit continued into the cities of Goleta and Santa Barbara, and law enforcement was aided by a county helicopter.

Shortly after 3 p.m., the Jeep exited Highway 101 onto Turnpike Road, and almost hit a pedestrian, according to emergency radio traffic.

The fleeing suspects then headed east on Cathedral Oaks Road/Foothill Road, before turning north onto Alamar Avenue, which dead ends at the private Willowbrook Ranch.

The car continued onto the ranch, with a fleet of law enforcement vehicle behind.

"At one point, DePerna exited the driver’s seat, but then returned and continued driving on ranch roads trying to escape," Hoover said. "Upon reaching the main ranch entrance, which had been blocked by law enforcement vehicles, DePerna rammed into an unoccupied sheriff’s patrol unit, then struck a pepper tree and the main ranch gate overhead sign, causing it to fall down and crash.

"DePerna then attempted to put the vehicle in reverse, at which time the sheriff’s deputy, whose vehicle had been rammed, backed his patrol car into the Jeep, pinning it between the tree and the patrol car."

A sheriff's deputy takes information from Kristy DeLaCerna, 36, of Thousand Oaks, who was arrested Friday along with two others following a high-speed pursuit from Buellton to Santa Barbara. (Tom Bolton / Noozhawk photo)

The three suspects initially refused to exit the vehicle, so deputies broke out the windows with their batons and arrested them without incident, Hoover said.

The suspects were observed throwing items, possibly narcotics, from the vehicle during the pursuit, and those items were recovered, Arnoldi said.

Both women and the Jeep Cherokee were involved in a similar pursuit on Highway 154 on Oct. 3, Hoover said. 

The Sheriff's Department was advised that DePerna, who was being sought by Los Angeles authorities for a no-bail felony warrant for burglary, was located at the Chumash Casino & Resort. 

Deputies attempted a traffic stop, but the vehicle "took off at a high rate of speed," Hoover said at the time.

Deputies pursued the Jeep from the casino parking lot onto Highway 154, where it reached speeds of 100 mph.

The pursuit was terminated for public safety concerns, Hoover said.

However, the Jeep was spotted later by a county helicopter near West Camino Cielo as it was headed toward Santa Barbara. 

DeLaCerna was taken into custody near Cathedral Oaks Road, and charged with possession of narcotics.

DePerna, who also is known as Jessica Walters, fled the vehicle near the top of San Marcos Pass, and despite a lengthy search involving K-9 units, was not located.

It was not clear how the Jeep, which had been impounded, ended up back in possession of the suspects.

Noozhawk Executive Editor Tom Bolton reported from the scene.

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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Capps to Visit Santa Ynez Schools, Discuss STEM Education

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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On Monday, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, will visit a morning assembly at Ballard School in Santa Ynez before touring classrooms at Santa Ynez High School focused on the areas of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

After the tour, Capps will meet with David Bernier, the Santa Barbara County Education Office’s coordinator of instructional support and technical integration, and his team to talk about how the County Education Office is supporting STEM programs.

“To compete in a global economy, we must train the workforce of the future, which is why we must continue to improve STEM education,” Capps said. “The Santa Barbara County Education Office realizes this, and I look forward to seeing first-hand how students are engaging in STEM education to apply critical thinking and become problem solvers.”

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

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Piano Riviera Lounge Plays a New Tune for Santa Barbara’s Restaurant Scene

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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The downtown Santa Barbara restaurant scene is swooning with the opening of Piano Riviera Lounge, reviving a prime spot across from the historic Santa Barbara County Courthouse and Sunken Gardens.

The dynamic duo comprised of Stephen Goularte and Fabrice Allain, two local tastemakers and seasoned veterans in the hospitality and entertainment industry, are just the right recipe to make this iconic restaurant location a favorite among the Santa Barbara food, music and cultural scene.

“I feel very fortunate to partner with Stephen and Fabrice who understand the Santa Barbara culture and community, and see the extraordinary opportunity to integrate our casual culinary approach to good food and drinks into the experience,” said Michael Ganz, owner of Piano Riviera Lounge. “They have created the perfect fusion of food, music, art and culture, and we’re excited to share it with everyone.”

The Food

Under the culinary direction of Chef and General Manager Stephen Goularte, whose passion and palate is inspired by casual Riviera cuisine (French, Italian, Spain and California), the menu features local farmer’s market fresh cuisine and seasonal favorites. The menu is inspired by the casual, fresh culture of the Rivieras and in addition to main entrees, a large selection of small plates are designed to be shared amongst friends, or romantic dinners on the patio terrace.

At Piano Riviera Lounge, Goularte pours his heart and soul into the dishes and has created a great selection of vegetarian options, seafood specials and wide variety of wood-fired pizzas. The bar has an extensive beer and wine list featuring local favorites and prime picks from France and Italy, along with handcrafted, fresh fruit Soju cocktails and Sangrias. The synergy of the menu is perfect bistro fare to toast a sunny afternoon lunch, festive happy hour, or cozy dinners with friends and loved ones.

The Arts

Santa Barbara music and art aficionado Fabrice Allain has set the stage with a rhythmic blend of local music talent to compliment the pulsating sounds of world music. The baby grand piano is the highlight, and depending on the day, you will be toe tapping to the tunes of a solo pianist, an 8 piece jazz band, or DJ onstage. The cabaret style entertainment creates the ambiance one would find at a dinner party amongst friends or sitting at a sidewalk bistro in the South of France. Guests can look forward to weekly thematic entertainment that features a specific style of music that will fuse into a fun filled evening for all. There will also be monthly art showcases featuring local artists from Santa Barbara’s creatively diverse community.

About Piano Riviera Lounge

Piano Riviera Lounge celebrates Riviera style bistro cuisine complimented by a vibrant collection of local art and lively entertainment. Piano Riviera Lounge, at 129 E. Anapamu St., is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Catering services available upon request.

Click here for more information about Piano Riviera Lounge, or call 805.882.0050.

— Sydney Gardner is a publicist representing Piano Riviera Lounge.

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‘Faces of Santa Barbara Village’ Speaker Series Presents Artist Florence Russell

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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Santa Barbara Village is delighted to welcome artist and Village member Florence Russell to its "Faces of Santa Barbara Village" speakers series, through which Village members and volunteers share parts of their individual histories and life stories with members of our community, giving people a sense of who Santa Barbara Village members and volunteers are.

This series provides a wonderful avenue for the greater Santa Barbara community to get to know some of the interesting elders and community volunteers who live among us.

Russell's presentation will be held from 2 to 3 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23 at 524 Chapala St. in Santa Barbara.

It is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Please RSVP to Hannah at 805.729.5038.

In this presentation, the artist will share images of her artwork through her travels, through the years, along with commentary on different painting techniques, as well as her personal experiences, influences and progression as an artist.

A “Q&A with the Artist” will follow.

Limited parking will be available on site, or the city’s Paseo Nuevo Mall public parking lot is just up the street on Chapala Street.

Santa Barbara Village serves people age 50 and better who wish to remain independent and living at home, and connected into the community. Click here for more information.

— Naomi Kovacs is executive director of Santa Barbara Village.

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Allan Hancock College Awarded $2.3 Million Grant to Enhance Student Success, Advancement

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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A seamless transition from noncredit to credit classes, as well as increased graduation and transfer rates for all students, is a major focus of a new $2.3 million, five-year federal grant recently awarded to Allan Hancock College.

Called AIM (Advance, Innovate, Maintain), the grant program, funded by the federal government’s Hispanic Serving Institutions Title V program, will focus on two major areas: increasing basic skills and English as a Second Language (ESL) student success and advancement, and developing a strategic approach to college-wide resource development to ensure ongoing support for underserved students in every mission-critical area.

“This award comes at a perfect time for Allan Hancock College, our students, and this region,” said Kevin Walthers, Ph.D., Allan Hancock College superintendent/president. “It will allow us to devote significant resources to streamlining the pathway from basic skills to transfer level courses. It will also allow us to integrate the college’s resource development components to ensure support for underserved students and change the odds of them meeting their educational goals. We want high school students and the community to know that choosing Allan Hancock College to begin their postsecondary education will prepare them to succeed in college and career throughout their lifetime.

“As the only point of access to public postsecondary education in northern Santa Barbara County, AHC has a responsibility to ensure students are prepared to pursue technical and professional careers and have the resources to do so.”

According to the grant project director Nancy Meddings, a major part of the grant over the next five years will be an emphasis on faculty innovation, specifically new approaches like flipped classrooms and piloting remedial courses online, as well as creating faculty workgroups called faculty inquiry groups (FIGs) to share best practices and most effective strategies. Professional develop training will include experts on accelerating remedial students.

In addition, the college will create a 24/7 virtual success center focused on basic skills students. The online support system will pull together student services and academic support especially for remedial-level students. This will include open educational resources, advising and other aids to success.

Suzanne Valery, Ed.D., the college’s institutional grants director, will be focusing on activity two of the grant, which is a push for integrated resource development to ultimately benefit basic skills students, as well as all students. The grant work will include reorganizing the college’s various resource development operations and identifying ways to build an ongoing structure of financial support for students who may not otherwise qualify for scholarships or aid.

— Gina Herlihy is a public affairs technician for Allan Hancock College.

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Santa Maria High School FFA Selected as Chapter of the Year for Santa Barbara Section

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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The Santa Maria High School FFA has been selected as the 2014 Chapter of the Year for the Santa Barbara Section.

The members received the honors last weekend at the annual COLC (Chapter Officer Leadership Retreat) in Hollister.

The chapter looks to continue its success at the national level the last week of October, as nine students and teachers travel to Louisville, Ky., to receive their American FFA Degree in addition to competing in the Hall of States Competition.

FFA Teacher Mark Powell believes winning this award for the second time in three years exemplifies the fact that students are excelling and achieving success on many different levels.

“More impressively, it is accomplished on a consistent basis which really has been the tradition of the Santa Maria FFA," Powell said.

FFA President Luis Salazar knows that they can accomplish most anything with focus and dedication.

“It is an honor and privilege to be the chapter of the year because it represents all that hard work that our advisors and chapter members have put in this last year," Salazar said. “This award shows what we are capable of and able to do if we put our minds to work and strive to better ourselves and the FFA organization."

The Santa Maria FFA has about 1,000 students enrolled in the program on a daily basis, according to Shannon Powell, of the school’s agricultural department.

The Santa Maria FFA was selected out of all FFA Chapters in the Santa Barbara Section. This award is based on student involvement and achievement. It involves leadership above the Chapter level, State FFA Degrees, American FFA Degrees, State Proficiency winners and judging teams.

During the last year, the Santa Maria FFA had two Santa Barbara Sectional FFA Officers, one Regional FFA Officer, 23 State FFA Degrees, eight American Degrees, one State Vegetable Production Proficiency and a State Champion Land Judging Team. They also have had six judging teams (Career Development Events) place in the top five in California.

The Santa Maria FFA contributes the success to the outstanding student involvement and the support from the community, the Powells said.

— Kenny Klein is a media affairs coordinator for the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.

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Housing Authority of City of Santa Barbara Receives National Excellence Award for Bradley Studios

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara has been chosen as a winner of a prestigious National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials Awards of Excellence in Project Design for Bradley Studios, a 54- unit development built in 2012 serving some of the community’s most vulnerable populations.

The Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara served as developer of Bradley Studios, with McGillivray Construction as builder and Peikert Group Architects LLP as designer. An infill project that replaced blighted buildings, Bradley Studios’ street side presence was designed to appear as a group of small homes, but is actually one structure, with separate buildings connected by walkways.

Bradley Studios is not only an innovative and environmentally responsible design, but a community-minded project that caters to those in need. It is home to low- and extremely low-income residents, including special needs and Santa Barbara’s downtown workforce, earning less than 60 percent of area median income ($33,480 for one person), that are seeking an affordable and supportive community in which they can thrive independently.

On-site amenities include community and recreation rooms as well as social service offices for mental health treatment, addiction counseling, job training and life skills classes.

Contenders for the Awards of Excellence are nominated from among the Award of Merit winners each year. National juries then choose the winning developments, and the awards are presented at NAHRO’s annual National Conference and Exhibition. Awards of Excellence winners represent the very best in the nation for innovative programs in assisted housing and community development.

— Jennifer Schipa is a public information coordinator for the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara.

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Captain’s Log: Santa Barbara Lobsters, Fresh for You

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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Santa Barbara lobsters are succulent and available. Lobster season is under way, and the critters are proving to be high grade. Find local lobster for the freshest dinner possible and to keep your local economy strong. If you live local, buy local.

Lobstermen and women are out in force and working hard, even through foul weather and hazardous seas. When the “bugs” are catchable, these hardy folks are working.

The season just opened, and it lasts until sometime in March. But lobster are not always easy to locate and catch. Early season is often the best time.

Here is how it works. Commercial lobster anglers catch or buy a pickup truck full of mackerel, which becomes bait to attract the lobster. They bait their wire, box-shaped traps and drop them off their boats at just the right spots they hope are loaded with lobster. Attached to that trap is a long rope with colorful floating buoys, each of which shows the permit number of the commercial fisher. This is all very tightly controlled and managed for sustainability so that we always have lobster.

The boat heads back to port and returns the next day to pull the traps, measure each lobster, discard the sub-legal units, rebait the traps, drop them back in either the same spot or a new spot, and then bring the lobsters into port to sell.

Local lobster are generally the freshest, and you can even buy them still alive, providing the freshest meal possible. One great local buying opportunity is the Fisherman’s Market in the Santa Barbara Harbor, each Saturday from 7 to 11 a.m. You can buy lobster and other delicious seafood right from the person who caught it.

Some of our seafood markets are very careful to work with local fisherfolk. Others are callous about it. I advise asking your seafood market if these are locally-caught lobster. If not, go to a market that cares about the local economy and our own fleet of hardworking commercial fishers.

It’s simple: When you buy stuff from elsewhere, your money leaves your community. When you buy locally, your money stays in your community. Think about that the next time you consider buying anything online that you could get at a local mom-and-pop shop, or when you are buying lobster from a market that gets it from wherever they can get a cheap price, rather than supporting local workers.

— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Free Seminar on ‘Medicare Open Enrollment Choices’ to Be Held at Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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

The "Medicare Open Enrollment Choices" presentation will be held beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, Nov. 14 at the Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care offices at 602 E. Montecito St. in Santa Barbara.

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

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

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

HICAP is pleased to partner with the Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care Foundation in presenting this important information to the community.

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

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

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

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

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Reduce Water Use: Plant a Drought-Tolerant Landscape

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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With mandatory water reductions taking effect in cities across Southern California, it is time for homeowners to look at ways to reduce water consumption. One of the quickest and easiest means of cutting back on water use is planting a low water use landscape, say experts at Agromin, an Oxnard-based manufacturer of earth-friendly compost products made from organic material collected from more than 50 California cities including those in Santa Barbara County.

Numbers vary, but the average Southern California family uses about 500 gallons of water every day, with 70 percent of that water going to outdoor uses, according to the Los Angeles County Waterworks Districts.

“Replacing high water use plants with drought tolerant plants can quickly meet the state’s 20 percent voluntary water reduction level and any mandatory reductions a city might impose,” says Bill Camarillo, CEO of Agromin.

Tropical and exotic plant species including hibiscus love water. Ferns and some types of groundcovers such as lily of the valley also soak up water.

“Typically, the larger the leaves, the greater the need for water,” said Howard Schau, director of TLM Services Inc., a landscape management company serving Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. “Other big water users are annuals. While they are beautiful in summer, they need lots of water to keep them that way, and then they’re gone. Outdoor container plants also are water wasters. They dry out quickly because they don’t have the ability to store water.”

Schau suggests a landscape with a variety of native plants: “Contrary to what many people believe, many of these plants create beautiful flowers that enhance the garden.”

Flowering shrubs and plants include Russian sage, lantana, azalea, Bougainvillea, bluebeard, hydrangea, lavender, daylilies and snapdragon. Groundcover that does well in drought conditions are festuca, ice plant and Mexican daisies.

“Check with your local nursery. Just about all nurseries now carry a large assortment of low water usage plants,” Schau said. “My clients who have switched to a drought tolerant landscape tell me that they’ve saved on their monthly water bill. With water costs going up, the savings will be even more significant.”

The biggest users of outdoor water are lawns.

“A lot of us water incorrectly so we use more water than we should,” Camarillo said.

He suggests watering no more than two times a week (three times during hot months) for approximately 15 minutes in the evening or in the early morning hours so evaporation is minimal.

“You want the water to penetrate deeply into the soil to force roots to grow downward. Roots will stay cool and moist the farther down they grow. Watering for five minutes a day does nothing. The roots remain near the surface, which means they will easily dry out and your lawn will wither,” he explains.

Better yet, says Camarillo, reduce or remove your lawn altogether. A number of cities are offering lawn removal rebates of $2 a square foot or more.

“Reduce or replace your lawn with drought-friendly plants and with mulch,” he suggests. “Barks and mulches are a beautiful addition to a landscape as well as water savers. A three-inch layer keeps the ground cool and holds in moisture. When it does rain, it prevents soil erosion. It also stymies weed growth.”

Both Camarillo and Schau believe homeowners do not have to give up on their landscape because of drought conditions.

“I’ve seen many homeowners just letting their lawns and gardens die as their answer to high water prices,” Schau said. “You can still maintain a beautiful landscape with minimal cost and maintenance. We’ve experienced drought conditions off and on for a number of years. It’s the new normal. It’s time our landscaping reflect this reality.”

Check with your city for its lawn removal rebate program. For water-saving tips, go to Save Our Water by clicking here. For mulch and bark options, go to Agromin by clicking here.

Diane Zakian Rumbaugh is a publicist representing Agromin.

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X-37B Space Plane Returns Home to Vandenberg AFB

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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Secret craft lands after spending a record 22 months in orbit

Cloaked in a veil of secrecy, the military's reusable mini space plane returned home by landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base on Friday morning after shattering its previous record for number of days in orbit.

After initially saying they were unaware of its return, Vandenberg public affairs representatives confirmed more than an hour afterward that the unmanned X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle had touched down at 9:24 a.m. on the base’s runway.

Lompoc residents had reported on social media hearing a sonic boom about 9:30 a.m.  Additionally, by 10 a.m. the Air Force had lifted all advisories that were in place for boaters and pilots.

"The 30th Space Wing and our mission partners, Air Force Rapid Capabilities Office, Boeing, and our base support contractors, have put countless hours of hard work into preparing for this landing and today we were able to see the culmination of that dedication," said Col Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander. "I'm extremely proud of our team for coming together to execute this third safe and successful landing.  Everyone from our on console space operators to our airfield managers and civil engineers take pride in this unique mission and exemplify excellence during its execution.”

The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle rocketed into space Dec. 11, 2012, aboard an Atlas 5 rocket that blasted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Fla.

The OTV-3 conducted on-orbit experiments for 22 months during its mission, extending the total number of days spent on-orbit for the OTV program to 1,367 days. 

This was the third mission for the X-37B program, and second for this specific vehicle. Each flight has lasted substantially longer than the previous, with this one hitting nearly 675 days in space by the time it returned.

"The landing of OTV-3 marks a  hallmark event for the program,” said the X-37B program manager, whose name wasn’t included in the press release. "The mission is our longest to date and we're pleased with the incremental progress we've seen in our testing of the reusable space plane. The dedication and hard work by the entire team has made us extremely proud.”

It’s not clear if the Air Force purposely withheld the program manager’s name as part of the unusual secrecy surrounding this program or inadvertently left it out of the press release.

The program is shrouded in secrecy, the kind most space programs abandoned more than a decade ago. 

“In broad terms, the purpose of such secrecy is to preserve technological advantages or operational secrets,” said Steven Aftergood, director of the Government Secrecy Project  with the Federation of American Scientists. “Is that approach valid in this case? It could be. But it’s hard to know from the outside.”

Typically, there are two approaches to secrecy, he added, with one focused only on intensively protecting core secrets. The approach is sometimes called “high fences around narrow areas.” 

“A contrasting approach is to surround those core secrets with multiple layers of classification. The outer layers of classified information may not really be very sensitive at all, but they are supposed to serve as a protective barrier to the inner layers where the real secrets are,” he said, adding it appears the Air Force has adopted this approach for the X-37B program.

“Based on past experience, the level of secrecy attached to this program could increase its costs by 50 to 100 percent,” Aftergood added. “It’s expensive, and cumbersome.”

With only vague explanations from the Air Force about the X-37B program's purpose, people have speculated and shared conspiracy theories regarding what they believe its real mission involves, ranging from getting a close-up look at other nation's spacecraft or carrying spy satellite equipment to monitor spots on Earth. 

The program actually began under NASA and was transferred to the Air Force a decade ago.

“Over the years it had many sponsors, and beauty was in the eye of the beholder — it was many things to many people,” said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org.  “Now I think the main purpose is to keep the Red Chinese bewildered, so they would have to respond to every potential mission it might perform.”

Pike added that keeping the program highly secret “makes it seem more important” and helps keeps the China “focused on all the different threats that it might pose to them.”

It’s believed there’s just two X-37B vehicles in the program and the one that returned Friday also flew the first mission. The program's two other launches occurred from Florida on April 22, 2010 and March 5, 2011.

The two previous landings were at Vandenberg in December 2010 and June 2012.

The X-37B, which is 29 feet long, is the newest and most advanced re-entry spacecraft, according to the Air Force. and falls under the Air Force’s Rapid Capabilities Office, which will only say the vehicle performs risk reduction, experimentation and concept of operations development for reusable space vehicle technologies.

The Air Force is preparing to launch the fourth X-37B mission from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in 2015.

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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Jeff Moehlis: Matisyahu — Something Borrowed, Something New

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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Jewish reggae superstar will perform in Ventura on Tuesday night

Matisyahu, which means "Gift of God," is the Hebrew/stage name for Matthew Paul Miller, a (formerly Hasidic) Jewish reggae superstar.

And although this might seem like an unlikely combination, Matisyahu is the real deal, with his talent and musical vision winning him the adoration and respect of fans across the religious and cultural spectrum.

Matisyahu's career took off with the release of his 2005 album, Live at Stubb's, which captured a magical night for him and his band. He has since released a half-dozen or so albums, and his musical style has continued to evolve within and beyond the realm of reggae, including 2012's Spark Seeker that was more pop-oriented without pandering to the club crowd. This year he released Akeda, which is regarded as his most personal album to date and mostly features a less-is-more musical approach.

Matisyahu will be performing at the Majestic Ventura Theater on Tuesday. Tickets are available by clicking here.

He spoke to Noozhawk about his musical influences and the meaning of "akeda." The full interview is available by clicking here.

                                                                        •        •

Jeff Moehlis: Your new album is called Akeda, which is a very interesting concept. What does "akeda" mean to you, personally?

Matisyahu: It's usually used in regards to the idea of binding, because it's the story of Abraham binding Isaac down. That's really what the word akeda means. So that's definitely a theme in my life and in the music, of giving yourself over to things, connecting with things and then breaking free from them. So that juxtaposition between freedom and being bound to something, and going through a lot of those kind of things in my life.

There are the ups and downs of the mountain, and then there's sort of the bravery of Abraham, not in the classical sense in terms of being so given over to God that he'd be willing to sacrifice his son, but for me in terms of doing something so outrageous, like here's the voice of God and then going against all of their logic and everything that they know to be true. Not being afraid to really make an imprint in the world. The sacrifice is really more of a sacrifice to life.

And then there's this concept of fathers and sons, and children, and I've got a lot of that going on in my life. So there's kind of a combination of different things going on. But sacrifice for the sake of love, or being a part of something that's greater than yourself, or what you give up in order to do that, similar with Abraham and Isaac and Abraham sacrificing his son. There's something we do just by bringing children into the world. Also, in terms of what we expose our kids to, and being unfinished products but at the same time being parents and role models and leaders for people as well.

JM: If you don't mind going way back, what initially drew you to reggae?

M: I guess my initial interaction with reggae — I have cousins that are Bajan, from Barbados, and we used to spend the summers together in summer camp in upstate New York. They would play me their music, and that was my initial, I guess, interaction with it.

Later on, I started listening to Bob Marley and that really spoke to me at a time in my life when I was searching, and when the world was kind of starting to open up to me and starting to lead me back to my roots in the Old Testament. It just taught me a lot about music and what kind of musician I wanted to be, and the type of connection that I wanted to have with people. I found myself just drawn to that music, and able to sing those songs really well, and really feel the soul and the spirit in them.

And then I was able to bring my own flavor into those things, and I used that as a backdrop and that led me to listen to more reggae music and more current stuff. That just had a big influence on my style at the time, while I was developing my voice and how I wanted to express myself. I would say that reggae music was the main source for me at that time, probably.

JM: I know that the band Phish was also important to your musical journey. It turns out that Phish is playing in Santa Barbara the same night you're playing in Ventura.

M: You can't get tickets to it. That's how crazy that is.

JM: Well, if tickets were available, what would you say to someone who's trying to decide whether to go to Phish or Matisyahu that night?

M: Well, I would say Matisyahu. I mean, Phish is the best at what they do. They're amazing. But you can see Phish anytime. I mean, I tour a lot also, but I think there's something really unique with the music that I'm making now, and obviously I want people to come to the show.

You know, the biggest place where I would say Phish influenced me, and the biggest similarity I would say that I have with their music is the approach towards improvisation, doing something unique and new every show. Every time you play music trying to reach into new territory and open new doors into new musical experiences. That is such a huge part and element of what I do in making my music, and for the most part I have to credit Phish for that, because that's where I learned about that.

— 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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Letter to the Editor: Measure P — When Watermelon Kool-Aid Is Thicker Than Blood

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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It is unfortunate that the proponents of Measure P have created such a deceptive and devastating measure and are now forced to defend its disastrous impacts.

The facts are clear, so clear that the Board of Supervisors and county staff have been tasked with trying to fix the measure even before it is voted upon.

Facts are stubborn things, but bear repeating:

» 1) If Measure P passes, it will result in the loss of more than 1,000 good-paying jobs for Santa Barbara County families. Do the proponents have a solution for where these families will now work? None that I have seen.

» 2) If Measure P passes, it will cause the loss of almost $300 million of annual economic activity for Santa Barbara County. Do the proponents offer any way to replace that $300 million? None that I have seen.

» 3) If Measure P passes, county schools, fire departments and sheriffs will lose over $16 million a year of taxes being paid by energy companies. Do the proponents offer a way to replace that tax income? None that I have seen.

» 4) If Measure P passes, all oil harvesting activity will be shut down in Santa Barbara County. Apparently the proponents of Measure P support California importing 60 percent of its oil from Iran, Russia and other countries who hate America. Why do the proponents of Measure P like Iran more than other Californians?

The attached photograph is of a “cyclic steaming oil well.” Yes, that is an oil well. This is the process that energy companies have been safely and successfully using to harvest oil in Santa Barbara County for 50-plus years.

Finally, I have heard on more than one occasion that the proponents of Measure P are like watermelons — green on the outside and red on the inside, meaning that their real goal is to deny economic activity that they alone deem wrong.

Supervisor Salud Carbajal announced his support of Measure P late last week. It is ironic that he would choose to support such a deceptive and disastrous measure over people of Hispanic heritage. Supervisor Carbajal certainly knows that 70 percent of oil industry workers are Hispanic. Why would he choose to support such a measure to the detriment of his blood relatives and to the people of Santa Barbara County?

Please join me in voting no on Measure P. Our families, kids and county thank you.

Scott W. Dunn
Santa Maria

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Notre Dame School Santa Barbara Celebrating 40 Years with Open House

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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Named in honor of the seven nuns — all members of the Order of the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur — who first established Dolores School at the corner of Anacapa and Figueroa streets in 1906, Notre Dame School is celebrating an important historical milestone.

During the school’s 108-year history, this landmark has gone through many transitions, while always remaining a fully accredited Catholic school within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. When Dolores School and Our Lady of Guadalupe School merged in 1974, the choice of a name for this new educational institution became clear. With a tip of the hat to the original Sisters, Notre Dame School was born.

To celebrate this 40th year milestone at the venerable downtown campus, the community is invited to attend a free Open House from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Nov. 2. The school is located at 33 E. Micheltorena St. in Santa Barbara.

The event will begin at 9:30 a.m. with Mass at Our Lady of Sorrows Church, followed at 10:30 a.m. with tours of the Notre Dame School campus (adults only please) and at 11:30 a.m. with program and speakers (adults only please).

The celebration will also feature food and entertainment and will be free and open to the public. Members of the community are invited to attend.

For more information about Notre Dame School Santa Barbara, click here or call 805.965.1033.

— Joni Kelly is the communications representative for Notre Dame School.

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Annual Opportunities Expo to Showcase Options for Students with Disabilities

By | Published on 10/17/2014

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The Annual Opportunities Expo will take place from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23 at the Veterans Memorial Building, 313 W. Tunnel St. in Santa Maria.

The purpose of the expo is to highlight the many opportunities available in northern Santa Barbara and southern San Luis Obispo counties to help students with disabilities become working and contributing members of their community.

This one-day public event hosts venders, educators and businesses that support special-education programs, and provides information about getting jobs and living in the community. Parents, guardians, friends, educators and members of the community are invited to attend. Each year local businesses are honored for their contributions and exceptional students are acknowledged for their achievements.

October is also National Disability Employment Awareness Month. In his recent proclamation President Barack Obama stated, “Americans with disabilities lead thriving businesses, teach our children, and serve our Nation; they are innovators and pioneers of technology. During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we celebrate the Americans living with disabilities, including significant disabilities, who enrich our country, and we reaffirm the simple truth that each of us has something to give to the American story.”

More information is available from Cheri Spencer, vocational and transition manager, at 805.922.0334 or spencer@sbceo.org.

— Kris Bergstrom is the communications director for the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

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Schneider Opts Not to Recuse Herself from Discussions on Caltrans Project Litigation

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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Members of the public challenge the Santa Barbara mayor after she publicly supported the legal actions to the Highway 101 widening project

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider won’t recuse herself from discussing lawsuits related to the Highway 101 widening project, even though she has publicly supported the efforts of people suing both Caltrans and the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments over the project’s environmental review.

The SBCAG board discussed two lawsuits during closed session on Thursday, and multiple people called for Schneider to recuse herself from that meeting or resign from the board altogether.

The Santa Barbara City Council voted to pursue its own lawsuit against Caltrans but then dropped the issue for undisclosed reasons, leaving two groups of private citizens to challenge the environmental impact report.

Unnamed Santa Barbara residents are using environmental attorney Marc Chytilo to file suit as the “Transportation Futures Committee” and another suit was filed by Padaro Lane-area residents Lawrence Grassini, Sharon Grassini and Mark Schwartz. Both say the review didn’t adequately analyze the project’s impacts.

After the challenge period closed, Schneider and Councilman Bendy White wrote an opinion piece explaining they don't support the current project and do support the lawsuits.

Santa Barbara officials are concerned about the extra lane’s impacts on local streets and intersections and believe the Caltrans widening project should be reimagined to include these city-jurisdiction projects, they wrote.

During public comment Thursday, people reprimanded Schneider for the public support of the lawsuits that could ultimately delay the project at taxpayer expense.

Joe Armendariz of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association said the SBCAG board is about regional collaboration and “parochial, self-centered political interest” should have consequences.

Andy Caldwell proposed that SBCAG respond by pulling funding for the Ventura-to-Santa Barbara train part of Measure A’s “lane and a train” proposal until Caltrans can complete its freeway project. Caldwell, the executive director of the Coalition of Labor, Agriculture & Business, said the community has been waiting more than 20 years for a third lane.

In letters to the board, people wrote that the concerns of a small group shouldn’t outweigh broad voter support for the project. They were particularly angry with the editorial’s line that stated Schneider and White “fully encourage and will be publicly supporting private parties who have filed lawsuits.”

“An 11-2 vote by SBCAG members in 2014 illustrates overwhelming continued support,” Hayley Jones wrote. “In opposition to this improvement, Mayor Helene Schneider has fought to halt progression of this project through legal wrangling.”

“Schneider and her campaign consultant, Jeremy Lindaman, have led an unrelenting campaign to subvert this voter initiative – by once again instigating yet another lawsuit to delay and sabotage this vitally-needed project,” Sara Miller McCune wrote. “Minimally, the mayor needs to immediately recuse herself from any legal or material issues regarding the 101 as she as publicly and privately repeatedly prejudiced herself.”

Lindaman was a consultant for the Common Sense 101 group that pushed for a “community alternative” plan for the project, fought to keep left-hand freeway ramps and regularly met with Caltrans and other public agency leaders.  

Schneider responded briefly to the comments and said the opinion piece was about public policy and she is not a plaintiff of any lawsuit regarding the Highway 101 project. Councilman White, who helped write the editorial, is not involved with a lawsuit either, she said.

“I have no personal or financial interest in any of these lawsuits,” Schneider said, adding that the confidentiality of closed session discussions is of “utmost importance to me.”

According to county counsel, there was no legal basis to force Schneider to recuse herself from the closed session discussion of lawsuits against Caltrans and SBCAG.

It was left up to her discretion, and she chose not to recuse herself.

Schneider has spoken out on a matter of public policy and public debate, and legislators are given the “widest latitude” in terms of First Amendment rights for public policy, county counsel William Dillon said, adding that someone doesn’t lose their rights to free speech just because they are in the minority on an issue.

Second District County Supervisor Janet Wolf asked about the rules to force a recusal and having someone voluntarily recuse themselves, and Dillon’s answer was the same.

Fourth District Supervisor Peter Adam said Schneider represents certain people’s opinions and she’s entitled to that. He respects that, as a frequent dissenter himself, he said.

Adam was the other dissenting vote against SBCAG moving forward with the Highway 101 widening project in January, saying the county’s voters approved $140 million of funding for the project but they never approved $170 million of local gas tax revenues to go toward this project instead of local street and road maintenance.

SBCAG members said it was up to the City of Santa Barbara to decide if it didn’t want Schneider to represent it on the board anymore.

“I believe the op-ed was published after the lawsuits were filed so again, I do think that if her city has a problem with how she represents them that is their business, not ours,” Guadalupe Mayor Frances Romero said.

The SBCAG board went into closed session for several hours but took no reportable action, according to staff members.

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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Paul Mann: New Noise Music Festival Opens with Sold-Out Show at Velvet Jones

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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The New Noise Music Conference & Festival kicked off Wednesday with its annual opening party concert at Velvet Jones nightclub in downtown Santa Barbara.

The sold-out show was a precursor to the full four-day festival that expands to as many as five venues across the city and culminates in an all-day street festival and indie music conference on Sunday.

This year's festival features more than 75 indie music bands and more than 50 speakers. Well-known local acts such as Carpinteria’s The Upbeat and Dishwalla as well as established indie acts from across the country and even as far away as England will perform. Bands that are darlings of indie music critics like Dawes and Cloud Nothings complete the extensive lineup.

The all-ages show on Wednesday featured four bands, and a long line formed early to pack into the venue. The bar area was reserved for the over-21 drinking crowd, while underage mostly college students were ushered to the second-level balcony. But fans of all ages converged in the front area of the venue and packed together tightly near the front of the stage area.

An up-and-coming rock band also from nearby Carpinteria opened the show early to an already excited crowd. They were followed by Elder Brother, the side project of guitarist and vocalist Kevin Geyer from the evening's headline band, The Story So Far. The band also includes lead vocalist Dan Rose from the band Daybreaker. The band played the most mellow, upbeat and possibly musical set of the evening.

The next band, Gnarwolves, hailing all the way from Brighton, England, turned up the volume and excitement several notches. Except for their thick English accents, the band sounded surprisingly like a Southern California surf punk band. The group even commented on the great skate park they visited along the city's shoreline and the well-known skateboard shop located in an old former downtown church building called the “Church of Skatan.”

New Noise
Gnarwolves, hailing from Brighton, England, rocks the Velvet Jones stage. (L. Paul Mann / Noozhawk photo)

The band connected well with the young audience and had fans moshing and crowd-surfing by the end of their set. Just when it seemed that the band could be pegged as a three-cord surf punk band, the group mixed up the set with more complex and interesting — albeit brief — moments of intriguing musicality. This young band seems to be on a path toward some interesting and sophisticated music in their future, but for now their young fans seem happy with their frenzied, fun simple songs.

By the time the headlining band, The Story So Far, took the stage, the sold-out crowd had packed tightly around the stage in a sweaty mass on this humid October night.

The band, which formed in 2007 in Walnut Creek, just came off a coveted Main Stage appearance at this summer's Vans Warped Tour. Utilizing that same Warped Tour energy and style, the group proceeded to whip the crowd into a dance frenzy.

In what may have been the most passionate and responsive crowd at any concert in the county in the last year or so, the sweaty mass of fans formed a giant mosh pit and crowd surfed and stage dived with abandon. Lead singer Parker Cannon connected early on with the crowd, bonding on a local level, having been a one-time UCSB college student.

The five-piece band played as a well-polished cohesive unit, belying their veteran status formed from their education on the grueling Warped Tour. By the end of their 90-minute set, almost everyone in the crowd had a chance to mosh their way to the front of the stage, and as the lights came up, there were only smiles on the faces of the sweaty masses.

What a great kickoff to the 2014 New Noise Music Conference & Festival.

Click here for more information about the festival.

— L. Paul Mann is a Noozhawk contributing writer. The opinions expressed are his own.

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NASA Soil Moisture Mapper Arrives at Vandenberg AFB

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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Spacecraft set for Jan. 29 launch aboard Delta 2 rocket

A NASA spacecraft designed to monitor Earth’s soil moisture has arrived at Vandenberg Air Force Base, where crews will prep the satellite for a January launch.

The Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) spacecraft arrived Wednesday after a short road trip from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. 

In the next couple of months, the satellite will undergo final tests before being placed on top of a United Launch Alliance Delta 2 rocket in preparation for a planned Jan. 29 blastoff from Space Launch Complex-2.

This mission’s departure once was planned for early November, but was delayed nearly three months to allow for more testing for a critical component on the spacecraft.

SMAP will provide the most accurate, highest-resolution global measurements of soil moisture ever obtained from space, and will detect whether the ground is frozen or thawed, according to NASA.

The data will be used to boost scientists' understanding of the processes that connect Earth's water, energy and carbon cycles.

Scientists hope to use the satellite’s high-resolution global maps of soil moisture to understand how regional water availability is changing, with the information to be used to inform water resource management decisions.

“Water is vital for all life on Earth, and the water present in soil is a small but critically important part of Earth’s water cycle," said Kent Kellogg, SMAP project manager at JPL. “The delivery of NASA’s SMAP spacecraft to Vandenberg Air Force Base marks a final step to bring these unique and valuable measurements to the global science community.”

Soil moisture is critical for plant growth and supplies aquifers, or the underground water supplies contained in layers of rock, sand or dirt.

Through evaporation, water in the soil cools the land surface and lower atmosphere while seeding the upper atmosphere with moisture that forms clouds and rain. 

Among the users of SMAP data will be hydrologists, weather forecasters, climate scientists, and agricultural and water resource managers. Additional users include fire hazard and flood disaster managers, disease control and prevention managers, emergency planners and policy makers.

To make its high-resolution, high-accuracy measurements, SMAP will combine data from two microwave instruments — a synthetic aperture radar and a radiometer.

From their place in space 426 miles above the planet, the instruments will be able to peer through clouds and moderate vegetation cover day and night to measure water in the top 2 inches of the soil.

SMAP is designed to operate for at least three years, and is expected to produce a global map of soil moisture every two to three days.

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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David Sirota: Fracking for the Cure? Komen Foundation Partners with Energy Firm

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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Helping find a cure for cancer or "pinkwashing" carcinogenic pollution?

That is the question being raised upon the news that one of the world's largest fossil fuel services firms is partnering with the Susan G. Komen Foundation on a breast cancer awareness campaign, despite possible links between fracking and cancer.

According to energy services firm Baker Hughes, "The company will paint and distribute a total of 1,000 pink drill bits worldwide" as a "reminder of the importance of supporting research, treatment, screening and education to help find the cures" for breast cancer. The firm, which is involved in hydraulic fracturing, is also donating $100,000 to the Komen Foundation in what it calls a "yearlong partnership."

The announcement comes in the same month Baker Hughes agreed to begin disclosing the chemicals it uses in the fracking process, publishing them at fracfocus.org, the industry's website. Health advocates and environmental activists have long prodded the industry for full disclosure — especially since scientific studies have raised the prospect of a link between oil and gas exploration and cancer.

For example, Texas regulators reviewing cancer rates in an area of heavy natural gas development recently concluded that "consistent with previous analyses, female breast cancer had a higher than expected number of cases in the area."

The Los Angeles Times reported that a recent government study found that "some workers at oil and gas sites where fracking occurs are routinely exposed to high levels of benzene," a chemical scientists believe is a carcinogen that may be linked to breast cancer. And a 2012 study by University of Colorado researchers found "higher cancer risks for residents living nearer to [gas] wells as compared to those residing further [away]."

Yet some of the findings of the studies have been disputed. Responding to the scientific study about cancer and fracking, a spokeswoman for the Komen Foundation told International Business Times that "the evidence to this point does not establish a connection between fracking and breast cancer." The spokeswoman also said the partnership "grew from Baker Hughes' involvement in our Houston Race for the Cure" and that "the issue is personal to them and their employees."

If the Komen Foundation seems like a familiar icon of political controversy, that's because it is. Only two years ago, the foundation provoked a firestorm of criticism for its decision to stop funding Planned Parenthood efforts to combat breast cancer. The move was "seen by many as a statement against legal abortion," said the New York Times.

The foundation has also been accused before of helping "pinkwash" corporations whose products critics say may actually promote cancer. It's the same accusation being aired today. Indeed, writing at EcoWatch, biologist Sandra Steingraber labeled the Komen alliance with Baker Hughes as "pinkwashing," and said of the foundation: "It's time to stop taking money from the frackers."

To be sure, there remain many open questions about the health effects of oil and gas exploration. But with billions of dollars in potential profits on the line, there's little doubt that the oil and gas industry will follow other toxic industries throughout history by trying to downplay such questions.

One of the most reliable strategies to suppress this line of questioning is a public relations campaign designed to recast an industry as an earnest public health advocate, rather than a public health menace. Such initiatives aim to redirect people's attention by convincing them to arrive at industry-friendly conclusions. In this case, the campaign in question aims to convince Americans to equate oil and gas exploration with pink drill bits and anti-cancer crusades rather than, say, huge rigs near schools and scientific studies about carcinogens.

With the help of allies like the Komen Foundation, the audacious initiative may work.

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

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Fugitive Gang Member Arrested in Extortion Plot

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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Edgar Cordova

A suspected gang member wanted on a $1.7 million warrant stemming from an alleged extortion plot was arrested after he attempted to return to the U.S. from Mexico, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Edgar Cordova, 29, of Santa Barbara, who was being held in the San Diego County Jail, was extradited to Santa Barbara Wednesday, and will face charges of conspiracy to commit extortion for the benefit of a criminal street gang, said Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Cordova was was taken into custody on Sunday at a San Diego border crossing, Harwood said.

Cordova is suspected — along with four other men arrested earlier this month — of extorting money on behalf of the Mexican Mafia prison gang, Harwood said.

The arrests were the culmination of a 16-month investigation that began with the June 6, 2013, arrest of Raymond Macias for kidnapping, torture and solicitation of torture, Harwood said.

Macias, a member of the Santa Barbara-based Eastside Krazies, which authorities say is linked to the Mexican Mafia and the Sureño gang, faces a sentence of life in prison without possibility of parole after being convicted of numerous charges.

Arrested Oct. 1 were Benjamin Ybarra, Jesse Martin Enriquez, Franco Eric Aguiniga, and Ruben Jose Regalado Jr.

"Investigation established that Cordova, along with the others, conspired to extort money from Santa Barbara County residents on behalf of the Mexican Mafia," Harwood said. "The victims were involved in both criminal and legitimate activities. This practice is colloquially referred to by gang members as 'collecting taxes.'"

Cordova was already a fugitive, having fled to Mexico after posting bail on three pending criminal cases in 2013, Harwood said.

The California Department of Justice Bureau of Investigation and the Policia Estatal Preventiva of Baja California, Mexico, assisted in efforts to locate Cordova in Mexico.

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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American Riviera Bank Expands Market Share

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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American Riviera Bank announced Thursday unaudited net income of $365,000 (14 cents per share) for the third quarter ended Sept. 30, a decrease from the $473,000 (19 cents per
share) for the third quarter of 2013.

For the nine months ending Sept. 30, the bank reported unaudited net income of $1,033,000 (40 cents per share), down from the $1,203,000 (47 cents per share) for the same reporting period last year. The decrease in net income is due to non-recurring events primarily related to prepayment penalties and gain on sale of loans which were $310,000 higher in the third quarter of 2013 and $350,000 higher for the first nine months of 2013 versus the same reporting periods in 2014.

The bank has achieved exceptional growth in loans, reporting $162 million in total loans at Sept. 30; which represents $27 million (20 percent) growth from the third quarter of 2013. Average total loan balances for the third quarter of 2014 were $159 million, 16 percent higher than the same reporting period last year. Loan quality remains high with no other real estate owned and no loans past due 30 or more days. The aforementioned loan growth enabled the Bank to grow net interest income 9 percent compared with the same quarter last year and 9 percent compared to the first nine months of 2013.

Deposits have also experienced significant growth reaching $183 million in total at Sept. 30; which represents a $41 million (28 percent) increase from Sept. 30, 2013. Average non-interest bearing demand deposits were $49 million for the three months ending Sept. 30, 29 percent higher than the same reporting period last year.

“The bank has made significant strides in growing its market share and is now the third-largest bank headquartered in Santa Barbara County," said Jeff DeVine, president and chief executive officer. "The driving force behind the growth is our ability to provide flexible loans and an unmatched level of service combined with innovative technology.”

American Riviera Bank maintains a strong capital position with Tier 1 Capital to total average assets of 12 percent as of Sept. 30, well above the regulatory guideline of 5 percent for well capitalized institutions. The book value of one share of American Riviera Bank stock

— Michelle Martinich is senior vice president and chief financial officer for American Riviera Bank.

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Guadalupe Police Arrest Alleged Child Rapist

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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A 60-year-old man in Guadalupe has been arrested on suspicion of rape and other sex crimes involving a 6-year-old victim.

Guadalupe police arrested Juan Hernandez Lopez of Guadalupe on suspicion of having intercourse with a child under 10 years old, arranging for a meeting with a minor, raping a victim incapable of giving consent, having unlawful sexual intercourse with a victim under 14 while the perpetrator is over 21 years old, and committing lewd and lascivious acts with a child under 14.

The Guadalupe Police Department was notified of a possible child molestation on Oct. 8, according to a press release.

Officers began investigating the allegations and had the 6-year-old victim undergo a medical examination for possible evidence of a sexual assault. 

“During the investigation, additional details were learned including information that the suspect had intercourse with the child,” the Guadalupe Police Department press release said.

Officers served a search warrant on the suspect’s residence, which is believed to be the crime scene. Police didn't list an address for the residence.

The suspect was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail and is being held on $100,000 bail.

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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Outdoors Q&A: Gaffing Undersized Shark That’s Biting My Thumb?

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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Q: I recently went fishing with a friend and hooked into a 4-foot angel shark (which I had mistaken for a large skate). When I got it close to the boat, I reached down to unhook it and release it (still not thinking it was a shark). As I got close to its mouth it thrashed around and bit my thumb pretty good (suddenly I realized I was in the jaws of a shark). The shark wouldn’t release my thumb, and me being in the boat and it still in the water, the only thing I could think of doing at that moment was to gaff it and bring it on board the boat. When I gaffed it we got it on the boat, my friend held it down and used a screwdriver to pry its mouth open. By this time the shark had lost a lot of blood.

The law says it has to be 72 inches and 100 pounds. The shark died and I was wondering if we violated any laws given that it died while we were trying to save my thumb? In this situation, if we didn’t violate any laws could we have kept the dead shark? Please let me know or put me in touch with someone who can answer this question. Thank you very much for your time. (Sean O.)

A: Sorry about your thumb, but there are no size or weight limit restrictions for angel sharks. Gaffs may be used to assist in landing any fish that is legal to take and of legal size, but they are not a legal method of take for sharks or any other species.

In a case like this where it sounds like your personal safety was an issue, you can use whatever means necessary to ensure your safety. Then when the immediate threat is over, you must abide by current rules and regulations. If the species or size is illegal, you may not possess it. In addition, if you caught the shark illegally, you must release it, dead or alive.

Hunting Ducks on Mountain Lakes?

Q: I have always wondered if it was legal to hunt some of the smaller lakes in the Sierra and foothills bordering forest service land. As long as one follows the standard waterfowl protocol, would it be legal? (Derek C.)

A: Yes, it would be legal to hunt waterfowl on the lake so long as you are not trespassing on private property or violating some other law such as shooting too close to an occupied dwelling.

Trail Cameras — Baiting vs. Attracting?

Q: I want to set a trail camera out on public lands like the national forests in California and attract wildlife to it. Can I use scents or baits to attract the wildlife for photography reasons only? I’m not hunting in the area. Example would be putting a commercially sold scent on a log or the ground by the trail cameras. What about an apple, salt lick or chunk of chicken? When is a permit needed for trail camera photography on public land? If I have a California trapper license or hunting license, would it make a difference? The intent is still to modify the animals’ behavior for a photo, and that seems to be the issue. (Anonymous)

A: Yes, that is the issue. Intentional acts that disrupt any birds’ or mammals’ normal behavior patterns (California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 251.1) or feeding big game mammals (CCR Title 14, section 251.3) is prohibited.

Even if you are not intending to draw an animal in for the purpose of hunting, putting out any type of attractant still falls under the definition of baiting. The definition of “baited area” can be found in the California Code of Regulations Title 14, section 257.5. And under this regulation, the use of any substance (real or artificial) that is capable of attracting an animal to an area, and when used causes the animal to feed (on the substance), is prohibited. Generally, aerosols sprayed into the air are permissible because there is nothing to feed on. But the same products applied to a surface (e.g. tree, brush, rock, etc.) where the animal licks, eats, chews, nibbles, etc. the surface is considered feed and is a violation.

Will CDFW Plant Fish in Private Duck Club Pond?

Q: A pond on our private duck hunting property was accidentally drained in the last year but we will refill it as soon as we can get more water. At that point, can we have the California Department of Fish & Wildlife replant it with fish? (Fishingdude)

A: No, CDFW will only plant fish in public waters that are open and available to the public to enjoy. If this is a private pond, you will need to get a private stocking permit from CDFW and then buy fish from a commercial fish farm, which may also stock them for you.

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

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X-37B Space Plane Not Home Yet as Landing at Vandenberg AFB Delayed

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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The X-37B Orbital Test Vehicle gained at least another day in space when its landing at Vandenberg Air Force Base was postponed until Friday at the earliest.

Vandenberg officials announced last week that the reusable space plane’s return was imminent but remained mum about plans for the specific time and date of the landing at the base’s three-mile runway.

Military officials would say only that landing depends upon weather and technical considerations.

But Vandenberg has issued notices warning boaters and pilots to remain clear of the area several days this week, including Thursday.

The newest advisory warns to remain out of the area Friday. 

The Air Force typically issues such advisories for safety reasons around rocket launches and missile tests but also has done before the two previous X-37B landings at Vandenberg.

Those landings occurred in December 2010 and June 2012.

The current mission — the second for this vehicle — began in December 2012 when it rode into space aboard an Atlas 5 rocket that blasted off from Florida.

The military is especially tight-lipped about the mini space shuttle’s role beyond saying it supports space experimentation, risk reduction, and concept of operations development for long duration and reusable space vehicle technologies.

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

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Letter to the Editor: Chris Mitchum for Congress

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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President Barack Obama and Democrats like Rep. Lois Capps are playing Russian roulette with the lives of Americans, especially children, nurses and our soldiers. It is their job to protect us.

Why are they against securing and closing our border? Then, too, why don't they want to ban flights from West Africa and quarantine travelers from the Ebola zone? And what about the risk to the 5,000-plus American soldiers sent to Africa? Bring them home.

As parents, we are especially upset over the diseases, especially EV-D68, that were transmitted to American children after the flood of illegal minors invaded our southern border.

As a nurse, Rep. Capps should know better and be ashamed.

This is why we will be voting for Chris Mitchum on Nov. 4. He cares about Americans.

Diana and Don Thorn
Carpinteria

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Tam Hunt: Is Germany Moving Away from Its Commitment to the Energy Transition?

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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Germany, the world’s fourth-largest economy, has for a decade now led the world in terms of its commitment to wean itself from fossil fuels and reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. This program is known as the Energiewende, or “energy transition,” a program made into law in 2011. The key laws behind the Energiewende were put in place a decade earlier.

This commitment to renewables has not been merely rhetorical. Germany has installed more solar power than any other country, despite having a rather modest solar resource, and was until fairly recently also the world leader in installed wind (China and the United States have since surpassed Germany on solar). Figure 1 shows Germany’s installed renewable electricity through 2013.

Hunt figure 1
Germany’s installed renewables. (Source)

Renewable energy is now producing about 30 percent of all of Germany’s electricity needs. On some days, solar power provides half of the total grid demand, which is particularly remarkable considering that Germany only started installing solar about a decade ago. Total installed solar capacity now exceeds 38 GW. Installed wind power is over 35 GW and biomass power still produces almost twice as much power than solar in Germany even though we hear far less about this third major renewable, which is also baseload power.

Germany installed a remarkable 22 GW of solar from 2010-2012 (about 7 GW each year), before slowing to about half the annual rate in 2013 and slowing further in 2014 as previous reforms went into place. Becoming a victim of its own success, in 2014 Germany’s legislature, the Reichstag, with the support of Prime Minister Angela Merkel, enacted additional reforms of the longstanding Energiewende, designed to both slow down the torrid rate of growth and to change the pricing system for new contracts.

Numerous reports in U.S. and other English-language media have announced the death of Germany’s commitment to renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions reductions. Fox News commentators proclaim this shift with a glint in their eye, happy that Germany’s radical green policies have been shown to be wrong and Germany is now being forced to backtrack.

But is any of this true? It is true that reforms have been enacted in 2014, but they’re evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and it is not at all true that Germany is backtracking on its long-term commitments. Let’s examine the evidence. First, a little history.

The Origins of the Energiewende

The primary law behind the transition is known as the EEG (an acronym for a long German title), which was first put in place in 2000. The EEG is a feed-in tariff, modeled on a similar U.S. law passed in 1978 (PURPA). A feed-in tariff allows producers to sell power to the utility under a long-term contract at a set price. It has been key to Germany’s success because it provided the necessary certainty for major investments to be made.

The EEG has been amended many times, but most substantially in 2012 and 2014. The Heinrich Böll Foundation Energiewende website includes a brief summary of its history:

"The German Energiewende did not just come about in 2011. It is rooted in the anti-nuclear movement of the 70s and brings together both conservatives and conservationists — from environmentalists to the church. The shock of the oil crisis and the meltdown in Chernobyl lead to the search for alternatives — and the invention of feed-in tariffs."

The EEG put in place a system of feed-in tariffs for various technologies, with prices set administratively at a level deemed necessary to spur development.

The prices have been adjusted downward (never up) numerous times since the beginning, a mechanism designed to spur early development and rapidly declining costs. Figure 2 shows this history for the solar feed-in tariff for systems 10 kW and below (rates are lower for larger systems and much lower for other technologies like wind and biomass). There was a 74 percent feed-in tariff price decline from 2004 to 2013, which, as the chart shows, correlates very well with the total system price (the green squares).

Hunt Fig 2
Feed-in tariff price reductions for solar 10kW and below. (Source: Lawrence Berkeley National Lab)

"EEG 2.0"

The EEG was substantially changed this July, with strong support for the changes in the German Parliament. Bentham Paulos wrote an excellent summary of these changes here. The new changes took effect Aug. 1.

The key changes are as follows:

» New solar contracts generally limited to 2.5 gigawatts (GW) per year, down from as much as 7 GW each year in 2011 and 2012 (more contracts can be signed but incentives drop as this target is exceeded)

» New onshore wind contracts generally limited to 2.5 GW per year

» New biomass contracts limited to 100 MW per year

» A pilot program to begin in 2017 to test a tendering/auction system as an alternative to the feed-in tariff, but the pilot will only apply to ground-mount solar projects at first

» The goal of 80 percent renewable electricity by 2050 is maintained, as well as intermediate goals of 40 to 45 percent by 2025 and 55 to 60 percent by 2035

The tentative steps toward an auction system and away from feed-in tariffs, for larger systems (over 500 kW), is perhaps the biggest change, but as Paulos points out it’s actually not a big change from the system in place today, under which wind power projects already have to sell their power on the open market and then receive a “market bonus” to ensure that the market rate they receive is equivalent to the posted FIT price.

The difference with the planned 2017 pilot for large ground-mounted solar is that it will use the auction/tendering process to determine the appropriate FIT equivalent price, rather than setting the price administratively. Accordingly, the big change here seems to be a shift to a market-based price-setting process instead of an administratively-set price.

Before then, new solar systems will receive the FIT price but under a different mechanism than before, also relying on the market premium concept. So, in effect, the FIT is still in place, but in concept it’s been revised in anticipation of probably bigger changes down the road in 2016, when “EEG 3.0” is planned.

A key feature of FITs, the constant price during the 20-year contract, is maintained under the new system. So the market certainty that this constant price provides will still be operative.

Restrictions on the size of the market went into place previously for 2014, with the current annual “corridor” for solar planned at 2.5-3.5 GW. Again, this slowdown in annual installations is a product of the amazing success of the FIT, not a sign of failure. Germany’s farmers and companies have simply been adding new renewables, particularly solar, faster than ever expected and fast enough that Germany’s grid operators and others have convinced the policymakers to slow down the transition a bit. This is the result both of an overly rapid growth in renewables and fears that the transition may be costing too much.

Perhaps the most telling fact with respect to the costs and the politics of the Energiewende is that almost everyone in Germany still supports the Energiewende. A February poll this year found that fully 89 percent of Germans support the Energiewende. This is a strong rebuttal to some rather breathless and sensationalized reporting in the US about the alleged failures of the Energiewende. For example, this New York Times article talked about a new “energy poverty” taking hold in Germany due to the Energiewende. The facts don’t support this article’s slant. Calculating the true costs of the Energiewende is, however, complex and I will devote my next column to this issue.

What Has Been the Effect of Germany’s Energiewende Around the World?

Correlation is not causation but very strong correlations are often good indications of causation. We can look at the coincident timing of Germany’s FIT, plummeting prices of solar that track the declining FIT price, and the rise of, in particular, China’s solar production capacity, and draw a pretty clear picture of why solar prices came down so far so fast. In one sentence: Germany’s robust and long-term FIT policies created huge demand for solar and prompted countries around the world, but particularly China, to ramp up production to meet demand. The end result was almost an 80 percent or more module price decline in just a few years.

A final word is warranted on the geopolitics and energy politics prompted by Russia’s new assertiveness in the region. Specifically, Russia’s interactions with Ukraine and Crimea and its demonstrated willingness to cut the natural gas spigot to major customers have rightly worried Germany. If Germany is to transition to renewables and also enhance its energy independence it may need to eventually wean itself not only from coal and nuclear but also from Russian natural gas. About one-third of Germany’s natural gas currently comes from Russia but Germany imports fully 90 percent of its total natural gas needs (including for electricity and for heat, the lion’s share of natural gas consumption). These figures highlight the difficulty that Germany will have in weaning itself from fossil fuels by 2050. My feeling is, however, that the new issues with Russia will, if anything, accelerate Germany’s push on the Energiewende. There is already some evidence for this and I expect to see more on this in the coming years.

Summing up, EEG 2.0 is a substantial reform of the EEG law but it does not diminish Germany’s long-standing commitment to the energy transition. There is a clear shift in the 2014 reforms away from the FIT model for all renewables and toward a more market-based model for larger renewables. This is, in my view, regrettable because Germany’s policies to date have succeeded in bringing new renewables below the cost of grid power, and in many cases below the cost of wholesale power, so new FIT contracts can increasingly save ratepayers money.

The certainty of the FIT process, both in terms of a long-term fixed price contract, and knowing the price ahead of time, have been major factors in spurring Germany’s remarkable transformation. Germany’s far-sighted policies have been successful in bringing costs down dramatically, to the point where ratepayers can actually save money on new contracts, so why pull back on this policy now that is has achieved this major milestone? While the new reforms will water down the major features of the former FIT policy somewhat, it appears that Germany is still well on its way to achieving its energy transition goals, and probably long before the current deadlines.

— Tam Hunt, J.D., is the owner of Community Renewable Solutions LLC, a renewable energy project development and policy advocacy firm based in Santa Barbara, Calif., and Hilo, Hawaii. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Letter to the Editor: Ban the Boom and Vote Yes on Measure P

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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This may only resonate for those of a certain age, but when you come right down to it, Measure P might rightly adopt the slogan, "Ban the Boom."

Measure P is Santa Barbara County's last best chance to prevent an oil industry boom unlike anything we have ever seen in this region, which would explain why Big Oil is funding the opposition campaign to the tune of $5 million.

Today, there are around 1,200 operating wells in the county. Based on their statements in the business press, two companies alone are planning on nearly 10,000 more.

All of the thousands of new wells they hope to drill would use one or more of the high-intensity techniques that Measure P prohibits: hydraulic fracturing, steam injection and acidization. What these all have in common is extravagant water consumption, polluted wastewater, high pressure injection, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and hazard to our water supplies from the inherent risk of spills and accidents.

Don't let Santa Barbara County be bought by Big Oil. Keep our production of oil, oil jobs and oil property tax revenues at the modest level they currently represent.

Measure P made the ballot because the people of Santa Barbara County don't want hazardous chemicals injected into the ground below our feet. We don't want toxic vapors wafting over our vegetables and school yards. We don't want our groundwater supplies put in jeopardy, especially in a time of extreme drought. And, finally, we don't want our beautiful Santa Barbara County to look like the oil fields of North Dakota.

Ban the Boom, and vote yes on P!

Jim Taylor
Carpinteria

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Mayor’s Awards Honor Three Organizations That Employ Workers with Disabilities

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider recognized three local organizations for facilitating employment and increasing access for people with disabilities on Wednesday morning at the 10th annual Mayor's Awards.

DuPont received an award for accommodating an employee with a changing disability. Otojoy received an award for providing civic leadership in "Loop Santa Barbara," a public awareness campaign to promote the usage of hearing loop technology to obtain equal access for individuals with hearing loss. The Lobero Theatre was also honored for numerous renovations to create equal and aesthetic access to the arts.

Keynote speaker Cherie Alvarez, president of Hearing Loss Association of America-Santa Barbara Chapter, presented on disability from her unique perspective.

Mayor Schneider spoke as well, describing disability employment as “not just about hiring, but about a continuum of inclusion.”

She acknowledged the progress to date, but encourage local employers to “expect, employ and empower” people with disabilities.

October is National Disability Month, and this year’s theme is just that: Expect, Employ, Empower.

— Heather Wennergren represents the Mayor's Organizing Committee.

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Barbara Mackie of Los Olivos Named Association’s Cattlewoman of Year

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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The Santa Barbara County Cattlewomen's Association is proud to announce Barbara Mackie of Los Olivos was named this year's Cattlewoman of the Year at its September meeting in Santa Ynez.

Mackie was born in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, and moved to Santa Barbara with her family before the age of 2 raised by a single working mother. Mackie and her sisters learned the value of hard work at a young age including having to live with family in Oregon to help their mother make ends meet.

Mackie has always loved the outdoors, animals and especially horses. Mackie and her sister were involved with 4-H projects, managing to take excellent care of their animals, despite having little for themselves. By age 10, Mackie was riding, training and showing her horses, one of whom was a pony that she found at the Humane Society and the other a horse named "Chato" she had borrowed from a neighbor. At the age of 16, Mackie bought her first horse "Phlea" for one dollar.

After high school, Mackie worked at Jedlicka's Saddlery in Santa Barbara, all the while becoming more involved in the equestrian world, riding and showing horses. She worked extremely hard to become a member of the Santa Barbara County Sherriff's Department and served as a correctional officer for a number of years. During this time, she began training her dog "Magnum" with the Ventura Police Department. "Magnum" was a Belgium sheep dog, trained in obedience, tracking and protection. It was during this time that Mackie met the love of her life, a firefighter named Scott Mackie and were married in 1990.

They moved to their first home in Los Alamos where they soon owned horses and became quite involved in team penning and participating in many rodeos. She also served as the Santa Barbara County Chapter President for Guide Dogs for the Blind. Mackie was the contact for persons interested in the program, conducted meetings and facilitated dog handling and ownership. And just when you think she couldn't possibly have time for anything else, each September, she would lend her services to the Los Alamos Day parade as Carson Scheller's co-host.

It was during their time in Los Alamos that Barbara and Scott were blessed with three boys, Dustin, Carson and Wyatt. After 12 years in Los Alamos, the family moved to Los Olivos where they have been for the past 15 years. Mackie loves her family and friends. She is very active in the community and always willing to help someone in need. She is quick to volunteer, being the first to raise her hand when asked. Mackie loves her ranch work assisting the Branquinho Ranch in Los Alamos any way she can. She helps with round ups and brandings, giving riding lessons, organizing events and office work at the ranch. Mackie loves to ride and rope and continues her rodeo competition having two horses of her own.

Mackie is an outstanding asset to the local Cattlewomen's unit. Whether it is helping plan events, hauling supplies to a meeting, making items for silent auctions or baking for fundraisers, she is always the first to arrive and the last to leave. Her dedication and sacrifice make for long trying days. All the while, she is seen with a smile on her face and the satisfaction that comes from a hard days work.

The Santa Barbara County Cattlewomen’s Association's mission is to educate people of all ages about the beef industry and provide scholarships to local high school students.

— Raiza Giorgi represents the Santa Barbara County Cattlewomen's Association.

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Rona Barrett: Programs Help Make College Accessible, Affordable for Senior Citizens

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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My Mind to Me a Kingdom Is.

Did you know that this is a poem by Sir Edward Dyer? Or is it a poem by Edward de Vere, Earl of Oxford? The Internet poses the question, and various people on the Internet attempt to answer it. You could join the discussion, but why not discuss who the author is and what the poem means up close and personal, say, in a college class?

“Me, in a college class?” you say.

Yes. A college class, and please don’t tell me you’re too old at 55, 65 or 75 to take classes.

"A responsible senior doesn't want to be an (expletive deleted) who thinks wisdom automatically comes with age,” says Ray, an 80-plus-year-old who has taken many classes at Santa Barbara City College. His were not continuing education, senior enrichment or adult education classes, but regular college classes offered to full-time students at full tuition.

For Ray, full tuition classes are a wonderful solution to keep his mind engaged. But what about our seniors who are on a limited income who cannot afford full tuition?

A friend of a friend is a senior enrolled in a Rutgers program called the Senior Citizen Audit Program that permits retired New Jersey residents age 62 or older to attend courses on a space-available, noncredit basis. The only costs are books and transportation.

I’m told Cal State Long Beach offers a Senior Citizen Education Program at a cost of $3 per semester
 on a "space available" basis.

This made me wonder which, if any, of our five major local area colleges and universities offered such a great opportunity for our local seniors.

Santa Barbara City College says it does not offer an audit program for senior citizens, but it does offer "a broad array of approximately 400 classes each quarter focused on lifelong learning topics through its Center for Lifelong Learning" at an average of $5 per hour. (The Center for Lifelong Learning also offers tuition assistance by application prior to the start of each term.)

Cal Poly says budget cuts eliminated similar programs to those of Rutgers'.

Unfortunately, three of the five schools polled — UCSB, Allan Hancock and Cuesta — did not respond. Perhaps they were busy.

But what is it like to be a senior "new kid" in a class of younger, eager and energetic students?

In most cases, Ray finds himself quickly accepted by his younger peers. Many eventually look up to him, resulting in "getting more out of the class than I ever thought possible."

My friend, who was Ray’s screenwriting instructor, told me that for as much as a senior gets out of a class, they also give, "lending a friendly ear, offering real-world perspectives and modeling a solid work ethic."

For a senior, staying mentally active is vitally important. We’ve all heard about the many "use it or lose it" studies that tell us taking a class — any kind of class — can improve seniors' cognitive problem-solving abilities, rejuvenate memory and keep us healthier longer. I call that smart thinking.

Another benefit? The IRS' $10,000 lifetime senior deduction for higher education. I call that smart money.

Until next time, keep thinking … and keep thinking good thoughts.

— In honor of her late father, entertainment journalist, author, senior activist and Santa Barbara County resident Rona Barrett is the driving force behind the Golden Inn & Village, the area’s first affordable senior living and care facility, scheduled to begin construction in early 2015. Contact her at info@ronabarrettfoundation.org. The opinions expressed are her own.

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Friends of Lompoc Library System Holding Fall Book Sale

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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The public is invited to the Friends of the Lompoc Library System Fall Book Sale, which will be held this Friday and Saturday in the Lompoc Library Grossman Gallery, 501 E. North Ave.

The hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. A special “Preview Sale” for members only will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

The Friends' dues are for the calendar year, so this will be the last sale of the year.

The sale will include hardback and paperback books, CDs, videos, DVDs and audio books.

For more information or to help during the sale, call Dorothy at 805.735.3647

Also teachers and nonprofit organizations interested in after sale items should also contact Dorothy at the above number.

— Donna Dimock represents Friends of the Lompoc Library System.

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Bill Medley, KT Tunstall and David Ryan Harris to Add Star Power to Dream Foundation Gala

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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The Dream Foundation, the only national wish-granting organization for adults and their families suffering life-threatening illness, is delighted to announce that Righteous Brother, Bill Medley and Grammy nominee KT Tunstall will perform at the 13th annual Celebration of Dreams Gala on Nov. 8 in Santa Barbara.

Also joining the Dream Foundation’s 20th anniversary celebration will be singer/songwriter David Ryan Harris, whose music ranges from folk to rhythm and blues, and world-renowned DJ, Chris Cox appearing for his second straight year.

Medley and his "Righteous Brother," Bobby Hatfield brought the world such favorites as “You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’” and “Unchained Melody.” As a duet with Jennifer Warnes, Medley released “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life,” which earned them both a Grammy and Academy Award. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, Medley inspires with his words, voice and spirit.

"We are honored that legendary Bill Medley will be taking the stage at this year’s celebration,” said Kisa Heyer, Dream Foundation’s executive director. “His signature baritone will certainly be unforgettable, and we are grateful to have such an amazing talent join us in honoring our dreamers and their families.”

Tunstall first astonished the world with her 2004 live solo performance of her song “Black Horse and the Cherry Tree.” Since then she has released five albums internationally, worked on various movie soundtracks including 2005’s The Devil Wears Prada’s opening hit, "Suddenly I See," "Miracle" for Winter’s Tale and "We Could Be Kings" from Disney’s Million Dollar Arm.

Tunstall received a Grammy Award nomination in 2007 among various other award nominations and wins.

"We are thrilled to have the wonderfully gifted singer/songwriter KT Tunstall join our 20th anniversary Celebration of Dreams,” Heyer said. “We know her powerful lyrics and authentic vocals will inspire and move us all."

In addition to her contributions to Dream Foundation, Tunstall is an active environmental campaigner, and joined an expedition to the Arctic Circle in 2008 with Cape Farewell, a British-based arts organization that brings artists, scientists and communicators together to instigate a cultural response to climate change.

Harris will also be a part of the elite lineup. Experimenting with various instruments before he found the guitar and performing since the '80s, Harris has worked with such talent as Dave Matthews Band, Santana, India Arie, Guy Sabastian, John Mayer’s band and numerous others. Earlier this year, Harris released Lightyears, a follow-up to his album Bittersweet. Harris will engage and delight with his soulful work ranging from folk to rhythm and blues.

For the second year in a row, Grammy-nominated producer, award-winning remixer and DJ Chris Coxwill be offering his musical talent to the gala’s after-party, which will be held in the grand lobby of the Bacara Resort & Spa. Attendees can expect a full dance floor with this master of remix.

“With such an array of talent, Dream Foundation will celebrate its 20th anniversary and fulfillment of more than 20,000 dreams with the support of our friends, both old and new,” Heyer said. “It speaks volumes to have such an extraordinary and diverse group of artists come together in support of our mission, passion and continued efforts.”

Held at the Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara on the evening of Nov. 8, the event will honor John Paul DeJoria who will receive the 2014 Dream Foundation Humanitarian Award and leading biotechnology company Genentech, who will receive the 2014 Outstanding Corporate Partner Award. Celebrities, special guests and foundation supporters will gather to enjoy a night of heartwarming dream reflections, unparalleled entertainment, and both a silent and live auction. Net proceeds are vital to supporting the program, which receives no federal or state funding and relies solely on corporate and individual contributions, grants and in-kind gifts. Dream Foundation has never turned down a qualified dream request.

— Dani Cordaro is a publicist representing the Dream Foundation.

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Santa Barbara Foundation Makes Investments Totaling More Than $7.8 Million Throughout County

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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The Santa Barbara Foundation and its donor investors continue their commitment to the well-being and vibrancy of Santa Barbara County as reflected in grantmaking since April. Focused on having a high impact on critical community issues, the foundation has distributed more than $7.8 million through its discretionary and donor funds.

“By employing a wide variety of tools to build strategic philanthropy, the foundation is helping to bring about a future for Santa Barbara that is sustainable, vibrant and full of possibility,” said Ron Gallo, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation. “A great community foundation must be intentional about keeping up with community changes; about continually acquiring knowledge and expertise; and about finding new ways for philanthropy to work for donor investors, for those working in the social sector, and ultimately, for the people and communities it serves.”

As the third quarter comes to a close, the Santa Barbara Foundation is pleased to share the following community investments made between April and October:

» Through donor advised funds, donor designated funds and field of interest funds, the foundation made grants totaling more than $5.8 million. This included nearly $1 million given to arts, culture and the humanities; more than $2.9 million given to education and youth development; more than $400,000 given to the environment and animals; and nearly $900,000 granted to health and human services.

» The foundation has partnered with the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County, Community Environmental Council and the Orfalea Foundation to develop a countywide food action plan. This plan will address every aspect of Santa Barbara County’s food system to support healthy people, a healthy economy and a healthy environment.

» EnergyPartners Fund (a committee advised fund at the foundation) recently awarded over $26,000 in grants to 19 STEM programs in Santa Barbara County. In addition, two grants totaling nearly $80,000 went to UC Santa Barbara’s Family Ultimate Science Exploration program and to Santa Maria Bonita School District’s Reasoning Mind elementary school math program.

» Convened 24 mental health and substance use treatment organizations, 16 of whom have agreed to participate in a business readiness survey that will measure their effectiveness in nine areas. At the end of the process, they will work with a national health care consulting group to increase their capacity and services.

» Awarded the Marian Medical Center Foundation a $50,000 grant to launch the Chronic Care Program for Northern Santa Barbara County caregivers, which will serve as a model for other communities seeking to create a saftey net for family caregivers.

» Supported Santa Barbara Channelkeeper with a grant to create a new market for marine protected area eco-tours and provide opportunities for people to experience the marine environment firsthand.

— Lynn Penkingcarn is the communications and marketing officer for the Santa Barbara Foundation.

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SWAT Team Aids in Santa Maria Warrant Search

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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Home on West Polk Street targeted after recent armed robbery and sexual assault investigation

Tyrone Leekins

A SWAT team was brought in Thursday to help serve warrants at a Santa Maria home, according to the Santa Maria Police Department.

Officers converged on the home in the 200 block of West Polk Street at about 7 a.m. to serve a search warrant for a recent armed robbery and an unrelated investigation in the sexual assault of a minor, said Sgt. Paul Van Meel.

"During the service of the warrants, Tyrone Leekins, a resident of Santa Maria, was contacted and arrested for lewd acts with a minor," Van Meel said. "Both investigations are currently believed to be unrelated."

Also, in connection with the ongoing investigation into a recent armed robbery in the 600 block of South Thornburg Street, detectives discovered that a suspect who previously had been booked under the name of David Wilkerson had provided a false identity.

The suspect, Lovell McKellop, 20, was re-booked under his real name, and also charged with a felon charge of providing a false identity.

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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Brian Johnson Joins Marcus & Millichap as Senior Associate

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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Brian Johnson
Brian Johnson

Marcus & Millichap is pleased to announce the appointment of Brian Johnson to the position of senior associate in multifamily investments in its new Ventura office.

Johnson has specialized in the sale of commercial properties along the Central Coast since 2002. He's been involved in over $120 million in transactions just since 2012.

Prior to joining Marcus & Millichap, Johnson served as a senior agent and general manager for Radius Commercial Real Estate in Santa Barbara.

His vast market knowledge has contributed to his past work co-authoring the South Coast Commercial Vacancy Report for the annual UCSB Economic Forecast Project and authoring quarterly market reports for clients.

Johnson joins Marcus & Millichap as it opens its new Ventura office that will serve the entire Central Coast, from Thousand Oaks to Paso Robles.

He can be reached at 805.351.8872 or brian.johnson@marcusmillichap.com.

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Catholic Church of the Beatitudes: Two Poems to Ponder

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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All Purpose Saints

Almost everybody knows
Saint Anthony finds lost items
Important things like car or house keys
Even misplaced jewelry

Saint Joseph sells homes that
Have been on the market
For months
You probably would too
If your likeness was buried
Head first
In the back yard

Teresa of Avila helps folks
Converse familiarly with God
Bold as brass she rebuked her Creator
“If this is the way you treat your friends
No wonder you have so few”

Have you heard of Saint Expeditious
You’ll find his icons placed upside down
Like an hourglass
In hopes he’ll speed up the completion
Of onerous tasks

If only tradition had graced us with
Saint Procrastination
She would be canonized for the virtues of
Being captivated by a baby’s first steps
Watching ocean waves wash the shore
Or gazing at a flaming sunset
Maybe lying on the grass
Holding hands with her lover
As the full moon rose

Body and Soul

For better or worse
I’ve lived long enough
To know
My life has been molded
By distant events
I am a Catholic
My worldview painted
By this glorious and appalling
All too human Church

Bible thumping preachers
Are not for me
No TV Evangelism
Espousing health and prosperity
As the reward for positive thinking
I am a sinner
Familiar with damnation and redemption

It is the sensuality of rituals
That entrances me
The fragrant spiraling incense
The cleansing rain of sprinkled holy water
Sacred oil on the foreheads of newborns
And the dying
The cadence of litanies
Shared wine and bread
Gregorian chant
Candlelight
The kiss of peace

The tangible
 
Soul embodied people
Bound together by
The faith of Michelangelo, Dante
Mozart and Gaudi
Dorothy Day
Thomas Merton, Flannery O’Connor

Maybe God and imagination
Are alike
Is it a sensual response to beauty
That births our creativity
Allowing Divinity to caress us
Or is it the humor of the modern day saints
That lightens our profound loneliness
And in awe
Reminds us that we
Each and everyone
Are manifestations
Of Divine Creativity
Body and Soul

Genie Hoyne is a member of the Catholic Church of the Beatitudes, which celebrates Mass at 5:30 p.m. Saturdays at First Congregational Church of Santa Barbara, 2101 State St. Click here for more information, or call 805.252.4105. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are those of the author.

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Journey to Center of Earth: UCSB Geochemist Gains Insight Into Makeup of Planet’s Deep Interior

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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A UC Santa Barbara geochemist studying Samoan volcanoes has found evidence of the planet’s early formation still trapped inside the Earth. Known as hotspots, volcanic island chains such as Samoa can ancient primordial signatures from the early solar system that have somehow survived billions of years.

Jackson
UCSB's Matthew Jackson on the beach in Samoa.

Matthew Jackson, an associate professor in UCSB’s Department of Earth Science, and colleagues utilized high-precision lead and helium isotope measurements to unravel the chemical composition and geometry of the deep mantle plume feeding Samoa’s volcanoes. Their findings appear Thursday in the journal Nature.

In most cases, volcanoes are located at the point where two tectonic plates meet, and are created when those plates collide or diverge. Hotspot volcanoes, however, are not located at plate boundaries but rather represent the anomalous melting in the interior of the plates.

Such intraplate volcanoes form above a plume-fed hotspot where the Earth’s mantle is melting. The plate moves over time — at approximately the rate human fingernails grow (3 inches a year) — and eventually the volcano moves off the hotspot and becomes extinct. Another volcano forms in its place over the hotspot and the process repeats itself until a string of volcanoes evolves.

“So you end up with this linear trend of age-progressive volcanoes,” Jackson said. “On the Pacific plate, the youngest is in the east and as you go to the west, the volcanoes are older and more deeply eroded. Hawaii has two linear trends of volcanoes — most underwater — which are parallel to each other. There’s a southern trend and a northern trend.”

Because the volcanic composition of parallel Hawaiian trends is fundamentally different, Jackson and his team decided to look for evidence of this in other hotspots. In Samoa, they found three volcanic trends exhibiting three different chemical configurations as well as a fourth group of a late-stage eruption on top of the third trend of volcanoes. These different groups exhibit distinct compositions.

“Our goal was to figure out how we could use this distribution of volcano compositions at the surface to reverse-engineer how these components are distributed inside this upwelling mantle plume at depth,” Jackson said.

Each of the four distinct geochemical compositions, or endmembers, that the scientists identified in Samoan lavas contained low Helium-3 (He-3) and Helium-4 (He-4) ratios. The surprising discovery was that they all exhibited evidence for mixing with a fifth, rare primordial component consisting of high levels of He-3 and He-4.

“We have really strong evidence that the bulk of the plume is made of the high Helium-3, -4 component,” Jackson said. “That tells us that most of this plume is primordial material and there are other materials hosted inside of this plume with low Helium-3, -4, and these are likely crustal materials sent into the mantle at ancient subduction zones.”

The unique isotopic topology revealed by the researchers’ analysis showed that the four low-helium endmembers do not mix efficiently with one another. However, each of them mixes with the high He-3 and He-4 component.

“This unique set of mixing relationships requires a specific geometry for the four geochemical flavors within the upwelling plume: They must be hosted within a matrix that is composed of the rare fifth component with high He-3,” Jackson explained. “This new constraint on plume structure has important implications for how deep mantle material is entrained in plumes, and it gives us the clearest picture yet for the chemical structure of an upwelling mantle plume.”

Co-authors of the paper include Stanley R. Hart, Jerzy S. Blusztajn and Mark D. Kurz of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Jasper G. Konter of the University of Hawaii and Kenneth A. Farley of the California Institute of Technology. This research was funded by the National Science Foundation.

— Julie Cohen is a publicist representing the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

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Free Halloween Makeup Demonstration Set for Oct. 29 at Pali Wine Co.

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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Tru Beauty is hosting a free Halloween “All About You” makeup and hair styling demonstration from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 29 at the Pali Wine Co. tasting room, 116 E. Yanonali St. in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone.

“All About You” includes demonstrations by makeup artist Shannon Jordan performing Halloween makeup and eye touchups, as well as hair touchups and styles by Ronda Cooper Albanez and Halloween nail art by Katarina Adamovich. Also featured will be $10 flash jewelry tattoos.

“Ladies, we are back to pamper you,” said makeup artist and esthetician Patricia Guerrera, owner of Tru Beauty skin care, makeup and wax bar, 120 E. Mission St., which is marking its fourth year in business.

Tru Beauty hosted two similar events in August and September.

Those who attend the Halloween “All About You” will receive free glass of Pali wine that evening with a purchase of a $25 gift certificate from Tru Beauty, which can be used toward any of Tru Beauty’s services at any time.

Prizes of free services will be raffled off.

For more information, click here or call 805.637.6334.

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Teacher’s Fund Golf Tournament Raises $73,000 to Support Local Educators

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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The fourth annual Teacher’s Fund Golf Tournament — held this month at the Glenn Annie Golf Course — raised $73,000 to help local teachers purchase supplies, materials, equipment and special projects for their classrooms, according to Renee Grubb of Village Properties Realtors, who chaired the fundraiser.

Founded in 2002, the Teacher’s Fund helps support local public and private K-12 school teachers buy specifically-requested items that each teacher needs to benefit their classrooms.

“Teachers desperately need supplies that school funding no longer covers,” said Grubb, who co-founded Village Properties, Santa Barbara’s largest independent real estate brokerage, in 1996. “This is our way of supporting our local teachers and thanking them for tirelessly educating our children.”

The golf tournament was preceded by a putting competition and followed by a catered dinner, silent auction and raffle items. Each golfer received a goody bag decorated by students at Washington Elementary School.

Joining Grubb were golf tournament committee members Lara Castagnola, Sheela Hunt, Dianne Johnson, Brianna Johnson, Adrienne Schuele, Carol Frazzano, Gary Welterlen, Wayne Natale and Bob Curtis from Village Properties; Steve Puailoa and Grant Brostrom from Cox Media; Amy Clemens from Alliance Wealth Strategies; and Kris Listoe.

Village Properties underwrote the event.

Click here for more information about the Teacher's Fund.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing Village Properties Realtors.

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Friends of Lompoc Library System to Hold Annual Membership Meeting

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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The Friends of the Lompoc Library System's 2014 membership meeting and election of officers for the 2014-15 year will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 28 in the Grossman Gallery.

All members and the public at large are invited to attend; we welcome all our members to become more involved.

The current slate of officers has been nominated to stay on for another year. They are president Cathy Rudolph, vice president Norma Gillingham, secretary Sally Prentiss and treasurer Bob Vossler.

Other nominations will be accepted from the floor at the meeting.

— Donna Dimock represents Friends of the Lompoc Library System.

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Santa Barbara Village to Host Free ‘Medicare Open Enrollment Choices’ Seminar

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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

The "Medicare Open Enrollment Choices" presentation will be held beginning at 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6 at the Santa Barbara Village offices, 524 Chapala St. in Santa Barbara.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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San Marcos Senior Andrew Rodriguez Making a Difference in Santa Barbara’s Anti-Bullying Efforts

By | Published on 10/16/2014

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Rodriguez
Andrew Rodriguez

San Marcos High School senior Andrew Rodriguez is a young man on a mission.

As a member of Santa Barbara's Youth Council, and because of personal experiences, he rolled up his sleeves and volunteered to help Mayor Helene Schneider's bullying campaign.

"In Santa Barbara, it's a topic that isn't brought up as often as it should be," Rodriguez said.

Last week, he was recognized by the Santa Barbara City Council for his commitment to anti-bullying work.

His work in the community doesn't stop there. He is also involved with the Coalition of Youth Advocates, is a youth intern on a Santa Barbara Parks and Recreation committee, and serves a devoted member of AHA's peacebuilders.

"My dedication to my community has influenced interests in politics and business," Rodriguez said.

As for college, he hopes to attend Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo, San Diego State, UCLA or UC Santa Cruz.

— Barbara Keyani is the administrative services and communications coordinator for the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

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Isla Vista Pastor’s Future in Ministry Uncertain After Officiating Gay Son’s Wedding

By | Published on 10/15/2014

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Supporters hold a vigil in solidarity with the Rev. Frank Schaefer, who next week will go before the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church

Kneeling beneath a crucifix hanging above the Korean United Methodist Church sanctuary, the Rev. Frank Schaefer lit a candle and took a moment to pray about what he'll be facing next week when he steps in front of a group of church leaders who will determine his future in ministry.

Schaefer, who leads the congregation in Isla Vista, will go before a judicial council who will decide whether Schaefer's action to officiate his gay son's wedding should or should not allow him to practice ministry.

"I have so many emotions," he said, adding that they range from feeling happy and supported by his flock to being tired from the seven-year battle stemming from his decision to officiate his son's wedding.  

By next week, Schaefer will have an answer, as the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church conducts a hearing on whether the pastor's actions conform to church law. The decision will be final. 

The United Methodist Church accepts gay and lesbian members but does not sanction officiating gay and lesbian weddings.

Schaefer was formerly the pastor of Zion United Methodist Church of Iona in Lebanon, Penn., and was defrocked for officiating the same-sex marriage of his son in 2007.

Schaefer appealed and was reinstated in another hearing held last December, and moved from his church in Pennsylvania to the United Methodist Korean Church in Isla Vista this summer.

The hearing is scheduled for Oct. 22 in Memphis, Tenn.

An event was held Wednesday night to pray for Schaefer as he faces the council and to light candles in solidarity.  

pastor vigil
Congregants show their support for the Rev. Frank Schaefer. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

Fifty or so congregants came and went, filling the church with a diverse crowd including local politicians, Rep. Lois Capps and her family, churchgoers, Isla Vista neighbors, students, and leaders from Jewish and Muslim communities of faith stopping in to hug Schaefer and issue support. 

"I am going there with a lot of hope and support," he said.

When Schaefer began serving in Isla Vista earlier this summer, the community was still reeling from the mass murder that occurred in May. He said the community was still dealing from the trauma those events brought and recalled touring Isla Vista and seeing each of the places that students were killed and injured and said it was a moving experience.

He'll be going through his first Halloween in Isla Vista in a few weeks, and says the church will have its doors open to anyone needing a respite from the activity.

"We'll have food and maybe karaoke," he smiled. "We want it to be welcoming to the community."

Reconciliation is a big part of his work, and Schaefer said he's gotten a warm reception since coming to Isla Vista.

"I get a lot of hugs," he said.

One of Schaefer's congregants who showed up to support him was Ethan Betrand, a freshman SBCC student from New Jersey who learned about Schaefer's journey after reading about it in a Los Angeles Times article.

"I'm gay and I'm also a strong Christian," he said, and sought Schaefer out and is now very involved in the church.

Bertrand plays guitar on the church's worship team every Sunday, and said he hopes the judicial council will remember that Christ's message is for everyone.

"Jesus didn't turn anyone away, and yet the church is right now," he said. "It's so important that everyone feel welcome here."

Bertrand said attitudes in the church are changing, mentioning the Vatican's recent statement that said gay people have gifts and qualities to offer to the Christian community. He sees that as a sign of hope.

"That really shows the positive direction things are going," he said.

Another vigil will be held for Schaefer next week on the eve of his hearing. The event will be held at First United Methodist from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday and is open to the public.

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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Guadalupe Seeking Applicants for Empty City Council Seat

By | Published on 10/15/2014

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After the first attempt to fill the vacant seat failed, the Guadalupe City Council decided to solicit applications from the community.

The four council members are trying to fill the seat held by Jerry Tucker, who died Sept. 13 after battling a series of health problems.

Tucker, a former police chief, was in the middle of his four-year term on the council when he died.

With a special election deemed too costly for the cash-strapped city, the council decided to appoint someone to finish Tucker's term.

Time is running out for the council to make an appointment, which must be done by Nov. 12. If the council can’t agree on someone to fill the seat, members would have to call a special election.

At the urging of Councilman John Lizalde during the Sept. 23 meeting, the council first asked candidates who lost in the 2012 race if they remained interested in the job and told them to apply.

City staff discovered two of former candidates — Alejandro Ahumada and Ken Chamness — remained interested in the job. Eric Chavez is no longer eligible since he has moved out of the city, City Administrator Andrew Carter said. David Radmacher said he doesn’t have enough time to serve on the council, Carter added.

The council interviewed the two men during Tuesday night's meeting. However, a motion to appoint Ahumada failed Tuesday night in a 2-2 vote with Lizalde and Councilman John Sabedra in favor and Mayor Frances Romero and Councilwoman Gina Rubalcaba against. 

A person must receive three votes to be appointed to the council and would be sworn in immediately.

Whoever is appointed will complete Tucker’s term, which expires in December 2016.

Applications are due by 4:30 p.m. Oct. 22 and and should be submitted to the City Administrator’s office at City Hall, 918 Obispo St. in Guadalupe.

Any registered voter in the city may apply for the vacancy. To apply, candidates should submit a written statement of interest and experience in a format of the applicant’s choosing and provide complete contact information — name, street address as it appears in voting records, phone number and email address. 

The City Council will consider the applications at the Oct. 28 meeting, scheduled to start at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

For additional information, interested individuals should contact City Administrator Andrew Carter at 805.356.3892 or acarter@ci.guadalupe.ca.us.

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

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Santa Barbara Children’s Museum Celebrates Groundbreaking, New Name

By | Published on 10/15/2014

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The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation, also known as MOXI, is named in honor of donors Dick and Noelle Wolf

Wednesday's groundbreaking had been a long time coming for the supporters and funders of the Santa Barbara Children's Museum, which is closer than ever to opening its doors.

The event gathered several hundred supporters, community leaders, board members and others to celebrate construction beginning at the site, which is located in the heart of the lower State Street neighborhood at 125 State St.

The groundbreaking also served as an unveiling of the museum's rebranding and new name honoring the couple who made a multimillion-dollar gift to the organization.

The Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation, also known by its acronym MOXI, was named in honor of Dick and Noelle Wolf.

Wolf is the Emmy-winning creator of the television series Law & Order and said he was drawn to help fund the museum after reading an article that stated the United States was lagging behind other countries in its math and science scores.

In order to keep up with the rest of the world, children must have more educational opportunities, he said.

"It's an absolute necessity," Wolf said.

Though it's vacant now, the lot that sits between the Santa Barbara Train Station and Hotel Indigo will be home to a 25,000-square-foot museum that opens to the public by summer of 2016, if the project's organizers have their way.

Donors Noelle, left, and Dick Wolf along with Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider break ground Wednesday on the Wolf Museum of Exploration and Innovation. (Lara Cooper / Noozhawk photo)

The museum will focus on exhibits centered on science, technology, engineering, arts and math, or STEAM, learning opportunities. Plans include 17,000 square feet of exhibits, a smart classroom, a new media theater, a museum store and a rooftop sky garden.

The target age range of the museum is children ages 3 to 12, but exhibits and programs are for children of all ages.

Construction is beginning now and is expected to last about a year and a half.  

The project has long been in the city's pipeline, but it hit a hurdle when the state began to reclaim Redevelopment Agency properties, one of which was the museum site. 

City and museum officials fought hard to keep the site under city control, and the municipality now leases the site to the museum for a dollar a year under a 50-year ground lease. 

The project's fundraisers have raised $15 million of the $25 million needed to complete the building's capital campaign and that includes a $5 million endowment, which the organization is hoping to grow.

Designs for the new children's museum were created by the late architect Barry Berkus. (Courtesy photo)

"Please don't think of this as the end, it's only just the beginning," said board president Jill Levinson, who implored the community to continue giving to the effort.

Mayor Helene Schneider said it touches her heart to know that the building is the last design of late architect Barry Berkus, who died in 2012 and was a storied architect in the local Santa Barbara community and around the world.

"His last project is going to help shape the minds of the next generation and the generation after that," she said.

The space is projected to attract over 95,000 visitors per year, and will host more than 15,000 school children per year for a standards-linked program, which will align with the new Common Core State Standards for education put in place this year.

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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Tara Jones: Family Vibe Brewing at Pure Order Brewery

By | Published on 10/15/2014

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Owner James Burge pours his heart and soul into the micro-brewing clubhouse on Santa Barbara's Eastside

The one thing on my wish list as a kid, aside from the magical flying unicorn that could take me to Disneyland anytime I wanted, was a clubhouse full of friends.

I had dreams of bringing all my buddies to said clubhouse where we would have big plans for great things, secret passwords for coming and going, and everyone would be the best of friends.

Nestled in an older section of the lower Eastside and operating in less than 1,800 square feet, Pure Order Brewing Co., which opened six months ago, is Santa Barbara’s ultimate micro-brewing clubhouse full of big plans.

Owner James Burge started his fantasy career of brewmaster at the young age of 16 when he gave his father a home brewing kit for his birthday. While his father’s interest waned, Burge’s interest grew and became a new passion that would lead him to open his own shop 14 years later.

The name Pure Order is derived from the German Rheinheitsgebot of 1516, meaning Purity Order, which states that only four ingredients — malt, hops, yeast and water — can be used in the brewing of beer.

Coupled with Western traditions, Burge’s motto of purity is evident in each of the six flagship beers on tap.

A firm believer that there is always a better way of doing things, Burge’s approach to brewing is truly an art form as he adds a dash and spoonful to his recipes until he declares them perfected.

And perfected they are. As his sales manager and cousin David Burge says, “The signature of James as a brewer is that all his beers finish cleanly.”

Owner Burge has named Santa Barbara The Garden of Eden since growing a crop of hops on-site for the newest brew to be released this fall, a brown ale made with hops in every step of his Rheinheitsgebot process.

Pure Order
The flagship and seasonal beers on tap, from left: Crooked Neck, Viva Lager, Red Eye Wheat, Willie Waught, Scottish Ale, SB Common Ale, SB Pale Ale and Black Gull Porter. (Tara Jones / Noozhawk photo)

With the occasional hot day gracing Santa Barbara as the fall winds begin to blow through, there is a Pure Order beer that will perfectly match each of the upcoming seasons.

Crooked Neck, named after Gemina the late Baringo crooked-necked giraffe that lived at the Santa Barbara Zoo, is a traditional Bavarian-style hefeweizen with heavy banana tones perfect for these last few summer days.

When the winds truly change as winter approaches and the cold from the ocean has you longing for cable knit sweaters and hot comfort food, cozy up with the Black Gull Porter and its mocha, coffee flavors that are reminiscent of a double chocolate stout.

And when Mother Nature won’t settle on a particular season, stop by for a flight of 4 beers for $5 and decide for yourself what the weather calls for.

As we wrapped up our visit and I made my way outside, a Volkswagen bus was parked out front, holding a car seat in front and two kegs in the back.

On weekends the place is said to be “a park with beer” as kids and dogs run around on the lawn and adults play with a life-sized Jenga and Connect Four.

With a close-knit family vibe and the local culture deeply ingrained in every aspect of the business, I left feeling like one of the buddies — an honorary member of the club.

Pure Order Brewing is located at 410 N. Quarantina St. in Santa Barbara. Tasting room hours are 3 to 7 p.m. on Fridays and noon to 7 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.

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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Buellton CHP Searching for Driver Who Hit New Highway Sign, Fled Scene

By | Published on 10/15/2014

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The California Highway Patrol on Wednesday was searching for the driver of a black Ford Fusion who collided with a newly erected highway sign — dedicated to a fallen CHP officer — and then fled the scene.

CHP Officer John Ortega said just before noon Wednesday, the driver of a black Ford Fusion exited onto the southbound Highway 101 offramp at Highway 154 near Buellton and, for unknown reasons, drifted onto the right shoulder and collided with a new sign dedicated to fallen CHP Officer James C. O’Connor.

The driver fled the scene, leaving a torn-off right-side mirror behind, Ortega said.

Ortega encouraged anyone who has seen that make and model of car with a missing right-side mirror and ride-side damage to report the information to the Buellton Area CHP office at 805-688-5551.

For phone calls after 5 p.m., the public should contact the CHP Dispatch Center at 805-593-3333, he said.

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

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Laguna Blanca School to Celebrate Homecoming Weekend

By | Published on 10/15/2014

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Laguna Blanca School is soaring high with school pride and inviting all alumni back to campus — in spirit, celebration and Laguna tradition. Homecoming Weekend kicks off on Friday and continues through Saturday, and will be jam-packed with new and old friends, good fun and family-friendly festivities.

On Friday, swing into Laguna Blanca’s special homecoming weekend, with a game of golf at the oceanfront Sandpiper Golf Club in the Peter “Ace” Angeloff Golf Classic for a shotgun start at 8 a.m. A lunch will be provided on the course, and golfers will have the chance to win prizes by participating in a long drive and closest to the pin contest.

Next, lace up your sneakers and make your way to the track for a favorite Laguna Blanca tradition — the annual Jogathon! Beginning at 3p.m., all students will run to raise funds for the school’s athletic and physical education programs. After you cross the finish line, enjoy a classic All-American BBQ & Fair from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Parents, alumni, family and friends are invited to enjoy a barbecue dinner with carnival-like game booths, a petting zoo and activities for all ages, while the Laguna Blanca Jazz Band entertains the crowd.

On Saturday, all alumni can look forward to reconnecting and reliving memories with old friends at the Alumni Picnic on the Green at 11:30 a.m. Laguna Blanca will honor all members of its Grand Class (alumni celebrating their 50-plus-year reunions) and welcome new Head of School Rob Hereford.

At 1 p.m., pump up your school spirit and cheer on the Lady Owls at the girls’ volleyball game vs. Providence Hall, and then follow with the boys’ football game vs. Villanova Preparatory at 3 p.m. At 5 p.m., there will be a post-game celebration featuring a ribbon-cutting ceremony to unveil the school’s new sand volleyball courts.

Laguna Blanca’s Homecoming Weekend wraps up with wine tastings from alumni vintners for the adults, and an exclusive Kids’ Play Zone for the kids.

Click here to register for this memorable Homecoming Weekend or for more information about Laguna Blanca School.

Laguna Blanca School is an Early K-12 co-educational, college preparatory day school. It guides students to greater heights by building upon the 80-year tradition of academic excellence with new and innovative teaching methods and programs. With the thriving experiential learning, STEM, and global studies programs, resourceful iPad initiative, and state-of-the-art athletic complex, , the school continues to broaden and enrich its students’ educational experience.

Click here for more information.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing Laguna Blanca School.

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‘Heroes of Hospice’ Art Sale to Benefit Hospice of Santa Barbara

By | Published on 10/15/2014

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Devereux
“Devereux, Sands, Gaviota," oil on canvas by Chris Potter, will be among the works available for purchase at Hospice of Santa Barbara's Art Sale.

For the past 40 years, Hospice of Santa Barbara has been fortunate to attract outstanding volunteers, supporters and partners. On Oct. 24, Hospice of Santa Barbara will honor three champions who have made a significant difference both to Hospice of Santa Barbara and to the community by advancing compassionate end-of-life care in Santa Barbara.

The event, which takes place on the Hospice of Santa Barbara front lawn, will include a full bar, catered food, music, and an exclusive art sale featuring works donated by numerous notable local artists. One-hundred percent of proceeds from the sale of the artwork will benefit Hospice of Santa Barbara.

Heroes of Hospice will showcase an exclusive Art Sale from 4 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 24. The art sale will feature an array of donated works by more than 30 local artists.

For more in-depth viewing of all pieces, with artist information, click here.

Hospice of Santa Barbara will also accept sales after the event for any unsold pieces. Please click here or call 805.563.8820 for more information.

Tickets for Heroes of Hospice may be purchased by clicking here or by calling 805.563.8820.

Hospice of Santa Barbara “volunteers” its free professional counseling and care management services to more than 600 adults and 125 children every month who are experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness or grieving the death of a loved one. Hospice of Santa Barbara is also present on eight local middle and high school campuses as well as UCSB to work with children, teens and young adults who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call 805.563.8820 or click here. Find Hospice of Santa Barbara on Facebook and Twitter.

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

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Santa Barbara Dance Institute Receives Grant from California Arts Council

By | Published on 10/15/2014

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The c provided more than $1 million to 119 arts organizations for artists in school. The Santa Barbara Dance Institute was one of them.

SBDI will have financial assistance from the CAC this year in placing teaching artists in schools to teach year-long weekly classes, placing the arts in equal standing with other academic subjects.

"Arts education leads to higher graduation rates, increased creativity and greater aspirations," said Craig Watson, director of the California Arts Council. "Through our Artist in Schools program, the California Arts Council strives to improve K-12 education for thousands of our state's young people — many of whom might not have access to arts education without the high-quality teaching artist residencies made possible by these grants."

Ten years ago, SBDI’s founder, Rosalina Macisco, created an expressive outlet for Santa Barbara’s underserved children using methods developed by the National Dance Institute. Since then, over 3,000 students have participated in SBDI’s programs.

Starting with just two schools and 80 students, SBDI has grown quickly to serve 12 schools and organizations with over 550 students per year.

“Every year more students attend our classes, more teachers see the positive effect of our programs and more schools request our services,” said Rosalina Macisco, executive and artistic director.

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Goleta Council to Appoint Interim City Manager Michelle Greene to Permanent Post

By | Published on 10/15/2014

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The Goleta City Council plans to appoint longtime employee Michelle Greene as its new city manager next Tuesday, making it official when members approve the contract in open session.

Michelle Greene

Greene has been serving as interim city manager since Dan Singer resigned in April to take a city manager job in Poway.

Greene previously served as deputy city manager and administrative service director and has been a Goleta employee since 2004.

Council members interviewed multiple candidates and decided Greene was “our best pick,” Mayor Michael Bennett said.

“Truly, she knows the organization in and out. She’s been there while we’ve grown, and I think she’s just fantastic for the job,” he said. “And the fact that she’s a Goleta resident makes it even nicer!”

Approving the contract “puts the bow on the package,” but Greene has been doing the job since her appointment to interim city manager in April, Bennett said.

“We gave her all the authority and responsibility to go forward in that position when we made that appointment," he said. "She’s not letting any grass grow under her feet.”

The search firm Bob Murray & Associates was used to find candidates for the city manager position and more than 70 people applied, according to Goleta public information officer Valerie Kushnerov.

Greene was chosen after two rounds of interviews.

“I’m pleased to be able to continue to serve the city that I love and also the community where I live,” said Greene, who has lived in Goleta for eight-and-a-half years.

“The council’s candidate in my ability to lead the city is really gratifying of course and I’m grateful to work with the really high-skilled employees in Goleta.”

She said she appreciates the support of her family, especially in the last six months as they got used to her extra time commitment as interim city manager.

“I’m looking forward to what the future holds for Goleta and the opportunity to be a part of it.” 

Before her 10 years with Goleta, Greene worked as city clerk/personnel manager in Grover Beach and assistant city manager in Escalon.

The city is still in need of a new public works director and finance director and is using search firms for those two positions as well. Kushnerov said there will be an appointment for a public works director within a few weeks and interviews are under way for a finance director. 

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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David Sayen: With Open Enrollment Under Way, It’s Time to Review Your Medicare Coverage

By | Published on 10/15/2014

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Medicare’s annual open enrollment season is under way, and I want to encourage everyone with Medicare to review their current health and prescription drug coverage.

Sayen
David Sayen

Open enrollment began Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7. If you want to change your Medicare Advantage or Medicare Part D (prescription drug) plan, this is the time of year to do it. Any new coverage you select will take effect Jan. 1.

If you have Original (traditional) Medicare and you’re satisfied with it, you don’t need to do anything during open enrollment.

My agency, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, announced recently that the average Medicare Advantage premium for 2015 is projected to be $33.90 monthly. CMS also estimated that the average basic Part D premium in 2015 would be $32 per month.

Since passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010, enrollment in Medicare Advantage has increased 42 percent to an all-time high of more than 16 million people. Medicare Advantage premiums, meanwhile, have decreased 6 percent. The law is also closing the Part D “donut hole,” with more than 8.3 million people saving more than $12 billion on prescription drugs through last July.

Meanwhile, the quality of Medicare Advantage and Part D plans continues to improve. This year, people with Medicare who enroll in such plans will have access to more high-rated, four- and five-star plans than ever before. About 60 percent of Medicare Advantage enrollees are now in plans earning four or more stars in 2015, compared to an estimated 17 percent in 2009. Likewise, about 53 percent of Part D enrollees are currently in Part D plans with four or more stars for 2015, compared to 16 percent in 2009.

Medicare plans’ coverage options and costs can change each year, and Medicare beneficiaries should evaluate their current coverage and choices and select the plan that best meets their needs. If you think your current coverage will meet your needs for 2015, you don’t need to change anything.

A variety of resources are available to help you compare your current coverage with new plan offerings for 2015. You can:

» Visit Medicare.gov to review plans available in your area, as well as their costs, and enroll in a new plan if you decide to. Open enrollment information is available in Spanish.

» Call 800.MEDICARE (800.633.4227) for around-the-clock assistance to find out more about your coverage options. TTY users should call 877.486.2048. Counseling is available in a wide variety of languages.

» Review the 2015 Medicare & You handbook. This handbook has been mailed to the homes of people with Medicare and it’s also online by clicking here.

» Get free, unbiased, one-on-one counseling from your local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP). Local SHIP contact information can be found by clicking here, on the back of the 2015 Medicare & You handbook or by calling Medicare at the 800 number above.

People with Medicare who have limited income and resources may qualify for Extra Help to pay for their Part D drug plans. There’s no cost or obligation to apply for Extra Help. Medicare beneficiaries, family members, or caregivers can apply online by clicking here or call Social Security at 800.772.1213 (TTY users should call 800.325.0778) to find out more.

Better quality in Medicare Advantage and Part D plans isn’t the only good news for people with Medicare.

For most seniors who have Original Medicare, the 2015 Part B premium will stay unchanged for a second consecutive year, at $104.90. This means more of your retirement income and any increase in Social Security benefits will stay in your pocket. The Part B deductible will stay the same as well.

— David Sayen is Medicare’s regional administrator for California, Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada and the Pacific Trust Territories. You can always get answers to your Medicare questions by calling 800.MEDICARE (633.4227).

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