Santa Barbara-Goleta, Friday, October 24, 2014

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Garden Street Academy Completes New Student Recording Studio

By | Published on 10/24/2014

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Garden Street Academy, a K-12 private school, announces the opening of its new student Recording Studio.

An invitation-only opening event on Tuesday will bring together student musicians, teaching staff, guests and luminaries in the music business.

The new recording studio was developed by Ian Putnam and Bryan Kerr, the music and technology directors of the school, in association with student musicians from the Songwriting and Recording program at the school. Performing arts has been a strong focus of the school for many years, and recent course development has incorporated entrepreneurship and aspects of the music industry into the curriculum. The studio grew out of a need for students to learn hands-on aspects of the recording industry.

In spring 2014, the school’s Business of Music class visited two local recording studios, Playback and SB Sound Design. The interest and excitement generated by these visits led to a visit to the school by Dom Camardella from Sound Design, who generously gave his advice and input on the fledgling project. This ultimately influenced the layout of the studio, which uses isolation booths by the internationally renowned “Whisper Room” company. Engineering and recording gear was recently installed to create a professional grade environment in what is a former library.

Kerr used his expertise to install latest version of ProTools and clones of legendary microphone pre-amps such as those from Neve and API. The studio is outfitted with the Fender Deluxe Reverb classic tube amp, the Yamaha MOX8 composing and recording keyboard featuring the Motiv soundbank, a Fender Stratocaster and Precision bass, an Epiphone Les Paul Standard and new DW acoustic drums to help create the most amazing recording experience for young artists.

Further support was provided by the DW drum factory in Oxnard, a site that students in the class have visited twice. DW donated the new acoustic drums that are front and center in the new space. Bob Terry, pro drummer and consultant for Yamaha electronic drums supported the space with a new Yamaha DTX 532K electronic kit that will be used to give students knowledge and practice in MIDI recording.

Garden Street Academy is a K-12 college preparatory school serving the Santa Barbara community.

— John Dewey is the head of school for Garden Street Academy.

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Shark Attack Victims’ Families Find Solace in Each Other

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Commemoration of Francisco Solorio Jr.'s 2012 death will include the dedication of a new bench at Jalama Beach

A colorful array of balloons sailed above Surf Beach on Thursday as more than a dozen people stood on a dune and looked skyward to remember a pair of men killed in separate shark attacks.

Thursday marked the anniversary of the attack that killed Francisco Solorio Jr., 39, of Orcutt in 2012.

A day earlier, the family of UCSB student Lucas Ransom, 19, remembered him on the fourth anniversary of the attack that took his life.

Standing above the beach entrance Thursday, Lucas’s dad, Matthew Ransom of Romoland, gazed across the landscape.

“Just being here and to spend time at this beach, it’s comforting in a way,” he said.

Huge waves pounded the shoreline, but the marine layer was absent.

“This is really pretty today,” he said.

Along with releasing balloons, the families put Celtic crosses and Buddha statues in the sand. 

After the Surf Beach celebration, the Solorio family headed to Jalama Beach, where dozens of Fran’s friends and relatives plan to camp through Sunday and dedicate a new bench in Fran’s memory Saturday morning. 

Before returning home to Riverside County on Thursday, the Ransoms intended to visit Jalama to see the bench location. 

Larry Kase, father-in-law of Francisco Solorio Jr., pauses before a memorial to the men killed by shark attacks at Surf Beach two years and a day apart. He is joined by Fran's daughter, Frankie, and his niece. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Lucas’ mom, Candace, said she recognizes the value of such a memorial since a Monterey cypress tree with a plaque sits at Sea Lookout Park in Isla Vista to remember Lucas, who was studying chemical engineering at UCSB. 

“It holds special meaning,” Candace Ransom said. “They will be there forever, and they will bring beauty, and people will be able to enjoy that tree, to sit underneath it. It’s like the tree of life. It’s special for us to go up there.”

His friends decorated the tree on the first Christmas after Lucas died, and she continues the tradition each year for the holiday season. The Perris High School graduate who was a junior at UCSB had hoped to attend graduate school to study pharmacology.

For Fran’s family, the bench will serve as a spot they can go and feel tranquility while looking at a place that was special to the surfer, Candace said, much like Lucas’ memorial sits at a park overlooking the ocean he also loved.

“I can feel the spirit of Lucas,” she said. “I’m sure for them, they will feel the spirit of Fran when they’re at the bench.”

The families first met in 2013, and share the bond of losing loved ones to shark attacks while doing ocean sports they loved.

“We know the pain that they’re going through,” Candace Ransom said. “Something that horrific, that is so incredible you don’t believe something like that has event happened. It’s so rare that it does happen.”

Thirteen people have died due to shark attacks off the California coast since 1952.

Having Lucas and Fran die at the same beach two years and a day apart, “It’s almost surrealistic,” Candace Ransom added. 

“It’s important to be here to honor their memories,” Candace Ransom said. 

While Lucas moved to the Central Coast for college, Fran grew up in the Santa Maria Valley, graduated from Righetti High School, attended Allan Hancock College and worked at Central  Coast Playgrounds.

Survivors include his wife, Kasey; two daughters, Monique and Frankie; parents, Francisco and Consuelo; several siblings and more.

Fran’s sister, Patricia Solorio, said the family appreciates the support of the Ransoms, who understand the shock and oddness of the loss.

“They’ve been so supportive of our family. We’re just so grateful to them,” she said.

But Solorio also worries others aren’t heeding the danger.

“I wish that people wouldn’t take it so lightly,” she said. “It’s very obvious something’s going on out here.

“I’m not saying don’t go in the water. I’m saying maybe not here, maybe not in October.”

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

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UC Santa Barbara Panel Dissects Solutions in Honor of National Food Day

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Faculty and staff gather to discuss sustainability and social justice

A growing number of UC Santa Barbara students are taking advantage of resources offering free food to those in need, and a panel of university stakeholders Thursday considered ways to halt the trend — locally and abroad.

In honor of national Food Day, which is Friday, select UCSB faculty and staff gathered in a room in the University Center to discuss food justice and campus efforts to embrace sustainable food and feed the hungry.

The panel culminated a week of events leading up to the day reserved for Americans to consider changing diets and food policies.

“There is a rising need among our students,” said Tuyen Nguyen, director of UCSB’s Associated Students Food Bank. “Some of them could be heads of households.”

The Associate Students Food Bank is feeding more than 1,000 students, she said, noting a large increase over the summer and an overall rise in nontraditional university students.

About 34 percent of households choose between buying food and paying to get to work, and more than 27 percent decide between paying for housing and food, according to statistics presented in a Feeding America video Nguyen showed.

A majority are also buying less healthy food because it’s cheaper, she said, explaining that two UCSB students created the Food Bank more than three years ago to feed struggling students and to teach about available resources.

Less predictable eating habits and schedules contribute to the problem, along with students not knowing how to cook the pantry food once they get it, she said.

“It’s hard for them to plan,” she said. “We can only be successful if we’re decreasing that number.”

When an attendee asked how to donate extra fruit and vegetables from her own trees and garden, Nguyen suggested giving to the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

Kristen LaBonte of UCSB’s Greenhouse and Garden Project for staff, faculty and students briefly spoke before environmental studies professor David Cleveland, who wrote a book on the subject of food justice.

He said agriculture businesses contributed the most greenhouse gas emissions — 30 percent.

“That’s the problem, but it also presents the solution,” Cleveland said. “The problem is our food supply. Our diets are unhealthy. Diet has an incredible potential.”

Cleveland’s research showed that eliminating less healthy red and processed meats and certain grains from a person’s diet lowered the rate of illnesses and overall costs to the U.S. healthcare system.

“What’s going to encourage people to do that?” he said. “The trouble is our diets change now based on for-profit corporations.”

History professor Nelson Lichtenstein offered an incremental solution, calling on large grocery chains like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, which serve more organic foods, to let their employees unionize so they can make a fair wage — something he called democracy rather than food justice.

Grocers such as Vons and Albertson’s already allow unions, Lichtenstein added.

“The people involved in them have something to say about them,” he said.

Attendees wondered aloud if employee-owned grocery stores could provide an answer, but Lichtenstein said he’d rather see larger level chains change because they have more stores that impact more economies.

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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Richard Adam Sr., Santa Maria Farmer and Ag Water Advocate, Dies at 84

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Richard “Dick” E. Adam Sr., a member of a pioneering farming family and a man who fought hard to protect groundwater rights for agricultural users in the Santa Maria Valley, died Thursday at age 84.

Adam was a longtime vegetable grower in the Santa Maria Valley, farming first with his brother, Jack, as Adam Farms for more than four decades.

Richard “Dick” Adam Sr.

In 1994, Dick Adam joined forces with his sons — the family’s fifth generation — who still farm under the name Adam Bros.

One of his sons, Peter Adam, currently represents the Fourth District on the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors and remembered his dad as an "extraordinary man."

“He was a guy that wanted to see things done,” Peter Adam said. “He wanted to see improvements. He didn’t stand around and wait for somebody else to do something.”

Richard Adam made a lot of improvements in the lives of people working in the fields, and held two patents for his creations, one of which was a special implement for cutting beans. They were inventions born of necessity to make his farming and harvesting operations more efficient, Peter Adam said.

"He worked on hundreds of little things,” Adam said. “I couldn’t even begin to tell you all of things.”

His dad would “hold court” at whatever local restaurant they ended up at — the lunch location depended on where they were farming at the time, Adam said. 

Through the years, Richard Adam served as a mentor, offering free advice and a few times money, land or other support.. 

“He was just a generous guy and our family, and I think many others, certainly loved him,” Adam said.

Richard Adam served on the boards for the Santa Maria-Bonita School District and the Santa Maria Valley Water Conservation District

But he was especially influential in the adjudication of the Santa Maria Groundwater Basin. The resolution came after a 16-year, massive legal battle in a dispute between agriculture users and public water purveyors.

Additionally, Adam was a pilot and enjoyed flying his Cessna 206 and 337, inline twin-engine aircraft, which was featured in the magazine for the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association,

Adam was a great-grandson of William Laird Adam, one of the founders of Santa Maria. An elementary school in Santa Maria is named for the family's ancestor.

His death comes slightly more than three months after his brother, John “Jack” Adam Jr., died at age 86.

Richard Adam attended local schools and then both UC Davis and UC Berkeley, where he graduated with a degree in agricultural economics.

He served in the Air Force before returning to Santa Maria to farm and raise a family with his bride, Bernadette Florence Lippert of San Francisco.

A Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic Church, corner of Harp Road and East Clark Avenue in Orcutt. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project in his name.

Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Bernadette; sons Peter (Amy), Kerry (Diane), Richard Jr. (Carrick) and Dominic (Hala); and grandchildren, Victoria, Joseph, Olivia, Mattie, Meryl, Audrey, Kate, Henry, Jacob, Austin and Luke.  

In addition to his brother, he is preceded in death by his parents, John and Hester Adam, and grandson Carl Peter.  

Arrangements are being handled by the Magner-Maloney Funeral Home and Crematory. Click here to read his obituary.

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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BizHawk: Piano Riviera Lounge Brings New Flavor, Sound to Downtown

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Hot Spots closes, Brian Johnson hired at Marcus & Millichap and Longoria Wines opens a new tasting room in Lompoc

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

Two local hospitality and entertainment veterans have helped create a new restaurant concept featuring a Mediterranean-influenced menu, music that plays five nights a week and a baby grand piano.

Faced with the task of turning the former French Table into something more casual and fun, Stephen Goularte and Fabrice Allain played key roles in opening the Piano Riviera Lounge at 129 E. Anapamu St.

With prime real estate across the street from the Santa Barbara County Courthouse Sunken Gardens, the manager duo earlier this year combined their knowledge of the local restaurant and nightlife scene.

Restaurant owner Michael Ganz was happy with the end result, a dining and drinking experience that incorporates live music — solo pianist, an eight-piece jazz band or DJ, depending on the night — along with rotating displays of local artwork.

Ganz opened the French Table in that location nearly two years ago, which then became the Piano Gastro Lounge briefly before remodeling and changing the name again. The lounge hosted a grand opening earlier this month.

“We’re just trying to make this vibe standout,” said Goularte, general manager and chef at the lounge. “We’re like a jazz place.”

But that’s not the only music patrons will hear, and Mediterranean style food won’t be all diners see. The menu also incorporates French, Italian, Spanish and California influences.

“We want people to feel like it’s an extension of their living room,” Allain said.

Hot Spots Closes

Per plans to develop La Entrada de Santa Barbara, local joint Hot Spots Coffee has closed its doors on Lower State Street.

The building at the corner of Mason and States streets is slated for demolition by the end of the year, according to plans from Los Angeles-based developer 35 State Street Hotel Partners.

Hot Spots owners could not be reached to share whether the businesses were closing permanently or relocating somewhere else.

Brian Johnson Leaves Radius Commercial

Brian Johnson has been hired as a senior associate at Marcus & Millichap’s new real firm office in Ventura, which will cover from Thousand Oaks to Paso Robles.

Johnson, who most recently served as senior agent and general manager for Santa Barbara-based Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments, will focus on multifamily investments after specializing in commercial property sales along the Central Coast since 2002.

Johnson previously co-authored the South Coast Commercial Vacancy Report for the annual UCSB Economic Forecast Project while still at Radius.

Longoria Wines Opens Lompoc Tasting Room

Family-owned Longoria Wines has opened a new winery and tasting room in downtown Lompoc, fulfilling a 32-year-old dream to own a production facility.

Owners Rick and Diana Longoria have been making wine under their own label since 1982, opening their first tasting room in Los Olivos more than 16 years ago before finding the perfect fit for their own winery.

The couple had been making small-batch, ultra-premium wine at a leased building at the Sobhani Industrial Complex on Industrial Way in Lompoc.

In 2012, they bought that historic nearly one-acre industrial building lot at 415 E. Chestnut Ave. — a former union hall and community center — and completed construction earlier this year, according to Diana Longoria.

The four large rooms of the historic clubhouse were converted to a tasting room, a lounge area featuring the social club’s original fireplace, office space, a separate dining room area for wine club members and a temperature-controlled barrel room, with outdoor patio and garden.

The Los Olivos tasting room at 2935 Grand Ave. will remain open daily, and the new room in Lompoc will be open Fridays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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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Economist Sees Bright Future for Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Tight real estate market forecast during annual Radius event

Two great years are ahead for Santa Barbara County’s economy, which is now officially out of recovery and expanding, along with the rest of the state and nation, according to one economics expert.

Consumer confidence is up, interest rates are lower than a year ago, and unemployment rates are lower than before the recession started, economist Mark Schniepp announced Thursday to a crowded room of locals interested in the ever-changing economic climate.

The only drawback, however, will continue to be the housing market, he said.

Mixed reactions — from excitement to disbelief — accompanied the news, as more than 300 business professionals and real estate moguls gathered for the 7th annual Radius Commercial Real Estate and Investments Economic Forecast at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort.

The invitation-only morning event featured Santa Barbara Acting City Manager Paul Casey as keynote speaker, a commercial real estate panel of Radius associates, and Schniepp, director of the California Economic Forecast.

Real estate market forecasts for property between Santa Maria and west Ventura County showed a similar trend — tight inventory, low vacancy rental rates and higher prices.

Santa Barbara rent was the highest, and Goleta and Isla Vista had similar low vacancy percentages, at 0.6 percent and 0.76 percent respectively, said Steve Golis, Radius principal and co-founder.

“UCSB is just knocking it out of the park,” he said. “It’s very good for us as landlords. It’s kind of tough if you’re a renter.”

He predicted 2014 multi-unit complex sales would outpace those of 2013, and estimated rent in Santa Barbara would increase 5 to 8 percent in 2015.

Sales will likely be constrained in 2015 due to lack of supply, and more foreign investors are eyeing the Central Coast market, Golis said.

So far this year, the area has logged 77 commercial sales, a number Radius Principal Steve Brown expected to easily surpass 100 by the end of 2014.

Of the sales, 12 were industrial, 17 retail, 34 office, 11 land and three hospitality, since it’s been such a good year for hotels, Brown said.

He predicted 2015 wouldn’t be earth shattering, with interest rates creeping up and more pressure on limited inventory.

Schniepp agreed about the interest rates, but contended 2015 and 2016 could be some of the best years the area and nation have seen since before the recession.

“In the business cycle, we are in an expansion right now,” Schniepp said. “Job growth is accelerating.”

California’s economy is outperforming the rest of the country despite the drought that will mostly affect the farm-focused inner valleys, but could lead to a 5- to 10-percent increase in food prices, he said.

Exceptional occupancy rates and visible increases in retail and auto sales and U.S. exports were good indicators, with housing as the only troubling outlook.

While economists previously thought 20-somethings had pent-up demand for housing, Schniepp said they now understand many young people between 18 and 34 want to continue living with parents.

“The weakness in housing really comes from the inability in that age group to form new households,” he said. “We’ve never seen this. The other thing about housing is there’s not much of it. Median home prices are soaring, and that’s happening all over California.”

Schniepp forecast 2015 could be the best year of the economic expansion — hopefully with a strengthened housing market to follow — but, statistically speaking, he said the next recession could happen in 2018.

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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Return of Goleta Water District’s Rebate Program Already Generating Interest

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Approved just last week, water rebates at the Goleta Water District are already generating interest, and officials say the program will repay people up to $1,000 to update their yards with more water-efficient plants and supply systems.

Customers can send an application into the district, and staff will conduct a site visit to determine what improvements could be made to save water.

Those include landscape design, irrigation equipment, water-wise plants and other improvements, and the district will cover 50 percent of those expenses, up to $1,000 for a single-family home or up to $4,000 for multifamily or commercial buildings.

The district takes before and after photos, and after the initial visit the customer has 120 days to make the pre-approved changes. After the district reviews receipts, a rebate will be issued within 60 days.

Ryan Drake, the district's water supply and conservation manager, said about 150 people are on the list to have an official come out and evaluate their yards to see if they qualify.

"It's a very popular program," he said. 

The district also had a rebate program from 2008 to 2011, which was was also very successful, and Drake said customers have been asking for the program to return.

"For every acre-foot of water we can save that way, that's another acre-foot of water we don't have to purchase as a district," he said.

Originally, about 200 people indicated they were interested in the program, but about 50 or so went ahead and updated their yards, so those people won't qualify for the rebate, he said.

The district has a full-time staffer working on the rebates with the help of several interns to evaluate the customers on the waiting list.

"We're out in the field already with customers," he said.

The Goleta Water District began mandatory water restrictions on Sept. 9, which include watering during certain times of day and limit outdoor water use.  

For more information on the rebate program, customers are encouraged to call the district at 805.964.6761 or email conservation@goletawater.com.

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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Hip-Hop Artist MC Hammer Returning to Chumash Casino Resort

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Hip-hop great MC Hammer, who dazzled a sold-out crowd last year at the Chumash Casino Resort, will make his triumphant return to the Samala Showroom at 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13.

Tickets for the show are $35, $45 and $55.

Last year, concertgoers were treated to a high-energy show that left audience members buzzing about the performance, which featured MC Hammer’s greatest hits and creative dance moves that ignited the stage.

Before he rose to fame as MC Hammer, he was Stanley Kirk Burrell from Oakland. In the mid-1980s, while rapping in small venues, MC Hammer started his own record label and kept money coming in by selling singles out of the trunk of his car.

He eventually signed with Capitol Records and released his first official full-length record, Let’s Get It Started. The album went double Platinum with tracks that included “Pump It Up,” “Turn This Mutha Out” and “Let’s Get It Started.” His follow-up album, Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ’Em, would become certified 10 times Platinum thanks to the pop culture phenomenon “U Can’t Touch This.”

His rapid rise to fame made MC Hammer a household name and had millions imitating his flashy dance moves and wearing his trademark Hammer Pants. He has sold more than 50 million records worldwide and continues to bring audience members to their feet during his live performances.

Don’t miss an opportunity to see this one-of-a-kind performer when he returns to the stage in one of the most popular music venues in Santa Barbara County.

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

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

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Draw Out Your Inner Artist at the SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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The SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning will quickly become the center of all your creative pursuits.

Affordable classes span the studio arts, crafts, design, sewing, singing, music, acting and more. Find yourself in a supportive community of beginners, enthusiasts and working professionals, making the world a more beautiful and fascinating place. CLL teachers are highly qualified professionals who are dedicated to sharing their knowledge with their students — including our extraordinary artists.

Here is a sampling from the many art classes available at the CLL now and coming up next term:

Dusk to Dawn: A Plein Air Nocturnal Experience: This unique 12-hour painting class gives the artist an opportunity to completely capture the luminous and glorious full "Cold Moon" of December. Witness and capture the moon in its orbit from one beautiful setting, from sunset through to sunrise. The class will set up in a lovely, comfortable and safe location that allows you complete visibility, while our resident master of night painting, Thomas Van Stein, helps you master night painting techniques, and help you create a series of Nocturnal masterpieces. Click here to register.

Landscape Oil Painting From Photos: Good photographs are just the jumping off point for creating great landscape paintings. Paint with more dynamic colors by applying one of the three great color schemes. This course includes instruction and demonstration of creating an oil painting from a photo from start to finish. Students will analyze their photos through drawing, color mixing and completion. Students will then will create paintings from their own photos, with individual hands on help and critique from the instructor. One class meeting will be a field trip to take photographs and learn to compose with your camera. This class will be offered in the CLL’s winter term.

Portrait Drawing for the Absolute Beginner: Beginning artists receive instruction on portrait drawing from instructor and professional artist Lauren Manzo. Students learn how to break down the forms of the face to the simplest shapes, and how the facial features relate to each other and form with light and shadow. This class will be offered in the CLL’s winter term.

Beginning Outdoor Sketching in Pen, Ink and Watercolor: Beginning artists have the opportunity to discover the transformative effects of adding color to their link sketches while painting many of Santa Barbara’s picturesque scenes. Students receive individual instruction from instructor Tom Henderson on how to find their own style and improve their skill. This class will be offered in the CLL’s winter term.

Animals Alive: Drawing at the Zoo: Looking for a new type of drawing class outside of the classroom? Drawing animals and birds is an exciting and fascinating type of portraiture, and involves unique skill sets. Enjoy meeting your class and teacher, professional artist Lauren Manzo, at the Santa Barbara Zoo to draw rare and exotic animals live, rather than from photography. Learn how to break down the structure of an animal with basic shapes, develop the ability to capture animals' gestures in their movement and enhance your drawings with varying forms and textures. This class will be offered in the CLL’s winter term.

Chinese Brush and Mediating: Students learn to draw, paint and write Chinese calligraphy while using bamboo brushes with ink and watercolors on paper. Each class starts off with a quiet mediation to begin the creative process and includes a lecture on the symbols of common Chinese subjects, including: bamboo, floral, bird, fish and landscape. Award-winning instructor Suemae Lin Willhite briefly explores the art of calligraphy in one of CLL’s Look and Learn Videos, a growing collection of free, short (one to two minutes) online videos of useful how-to’s and tips from CLL teachers. This class will be offered in the CLL’s winter term.

How to Sign Up

Fall class schedules are available at the SBCC Wake and Schott campuses, at newsstands throughout Santa Barbara and online by clicking here. There are still many fall classes starting between now and Dec. 6. CLL winter term registration begins on Dec. 8, with classes starting on Jan. 12.

About the SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning

The SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning mission is to be responsive to the diverse lifelong learning needs of adult members of the Santa Barbara Community. CLL aims to be the educational, cultural and social hub for the Santa Barbara community, continuing a nearly 60-year tradition of excellence. CLL is online at www.sbcc.edu/CLL, and on Facebook (sbccCLL), Twitter (@sbccCLL) and YouTube.

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

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Startup Weekend Santa Barbara Returning Nov. 14-16

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Calling all Santa Barbara entrepreneurs, hackers, hucksters, and hipsters, and makers. Startup Weekend Santa Barbara is back!

On Nov. 14-16, the fourth installment of Startup Weekend Santa Barbara will take place in downtown Santa Barbara at the Santa Barbara Art Foundry, Workzones and the Blind Tiger. Participants will come together for 54 hours to develop business ideas, create innovative products and launch new businesses all while learning methods to help create successful startup companies and networking within the Santa Barbara business community.

Startup Weekend is a global nonprofit organization and network of leaders and entrepreneurs on a mission to inspire, educate and empower individuals, teams and communities. The Santa Barbara event will bring together the local community to celebrate new ideas and make new connections. We will compete again with over 250 Startup Weekend locations around the world in the Global Startup Battle that takes place over two weekends in November.

How does Startup Weekend work? Beginning on Friday evening, participants present business ideas, then everyone in attendance votes on their favorite teams to continue over the weekend. From there teams are formed and fueled by mentors, hands on learning, great food and drink and amazing networking with the local and global startup community. On Sunday, each team presents their new business to a panel of judges.

In the coming weeks, Startup Weekend, and StartupSB a network of local startup enthusiasts, will be announcing additional judges, speakers and sponsors as well as a number of events leading up to Startup Weekend.

“We are excited about the community’s involvement in the weekend,” said Kyle Ashby, Startup Weekend Santa Barbara organizer and global facilitator. “We have great venues and a great group of mentors, organizers and community support to help teams build their businesses. This year’s event is looking to be our biggest yet!”

Individuals interested in participating in Startup Weekend Santa Barbara can register for the event by clicking here. A $100 entry fee confirms your place among the 150 participating entrepreneurs as well food and drink for the weekend and an opportunity to learn from the mentors. The past events sold out, so get your tickets soon, as they are going fast!

The public is invited to attend the opening event at 6 p.m. Friday, Nov. 14 at the Santa Barbara Art Foundry, to network with participants and the business community, see the ideas being pitched, hear from a number of guest speakers, and help select the ideas they would like to see get built over the weekend. Sunday evening’s final team presentations and judging at Blind Tiger is also open to the public beginning at 5 p.m.

Tickets for both the opening and closing events can be purchased in advance by clicking here.

— Kyle Ashby is an organizer of Startup Weekend Santa Barbara.

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Simple Topography of Dryland Channels Presents Interesting Paradox for UCSB Scientists

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Volatile rainstorms drive complex landscape changes in deserts, particularly in dryland channels, which are shaped by flash flooding. Paradoxically, such desert streams have surprisingly simple topography with smooth, straight and symmetrical form that until now has defied explanation.

That paradox has been resolved in newly published research conducted by Michael Singer and Katerina Michaelides, associate researchers at UC Santa Barbara’s Earth Research Institute. The pair show that simple topography in dryland channels is maintained by complex interactions among rainstorms, the stream flows these storms generate in the river channel and sediment grains present on the riverbed. Their findings appear today in the journal Geology.

Desert streams flow only during infrequent but intense rainstorms, and when they do, only parts of the channel contain water, making the flow irregular and erratic. One rainstorm may erode sediment grains in one section of the channel, while another storm moves sediment in a different area.

“Given this localized sediment movement during rainstorms, one might expect desert channels to contain mounds of sediment that undulate down the stream course reflecting the irregular flow, but they don’t,” Singer said. “The water produced in the channel only flows partially down the stream and then stops because it seeps into the riverbed, and there’s not enough water from upstream to replace it, so it just disappears.”

Because desert river channels do not feature the river bars, pools or riffles common in perennial streams, they decline in elevation downstream very smoothly. According to the researchers’ findings, feedback between two variables — complex water and sediment movements — shape such basins.

Singer and Michaelides used data collected from the Rambla de Nogalte in southeastern Spain to model these dryland channel variables. The area has a semi-arid climate with mean annual rainfall of around 14 inches, which occurs during convective rainstorms, producing large floods that recur about once a decade.

They found that dryland channel width fluctuates downstream. Their observations show that grain size (roughness) also fluctuates from sand to gravel a downstream direction.

“There’s feedback between this fluctuating width and fluctuating grain size,” Singer said. “The stream flow is generated in a discontinuous pattern along the channel. Some rainstorms produce a bit of topography in some parts of the channel. Other spatial configurations of flow generated by storms destroy that topography so the variability of the rainstorms interacting with this channel are creating and destroying the topography constantly to keep it in this simple form.”

Singer and Michaelides also produced simulations of extreme flows to determine the volume of flow necessary to reshape the channel completely. They examined the longitudinal variability of sediment flow as well as sediment storage to find the channel-shaping threshold. This threshold reshapes the entire channel and makes it smooth again. “It’s a really significant threshold that tells us the magnitude of the flood necessary to reshape the channel,” Singer said.

“Semi-arid and arid river systems are extremely important to the populations that live around them,” he concluded. “Water resources are obviously a huge limitation in the development of societies, and a lot of water is being progressively diverted for irrigation, water use and other purposes, so those can further affect the spatial patterns of where flow is in these channels and potentially impact the processes of where topography develops in the river channel. Humans can inadvertently have an impact on the shape and form of river channels like these.”

— Julie Cohen represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

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$65 Million Gift From Charles Munger Marks Largest in UCSB History

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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A billionaire corporate executive at Berkshire Hathaway has donated $65 million of the company's stock to UC Santa Barbara, making it the largest gift in the university's history.

Charles Munger, vice chairman at Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire Hathaway, made the donation to the university by gifting Class A shares in the company led by Warren Buffett.

The money will be used to fund a housing facility for physicists in a project that should be complete in two years.

The Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, or KITP, will run the building, which will be a three-story residence for visiting scientists and preeminent physicists from around the world who participate in KITP programs each year.  

The building's design will feature a variety of common areas meant to foster informal gatherings and scientific collaboration.

“There is no place like KITP anywhere else — and no better programs — so it’s a great thing to be able to give them a nice home of their own,” Munger said in a statement issued Thursday night, adding that the building will foster interdisciplinary conversations about physics.

Construction of the KITP Residence by The Towbes Group Inc. is expected to commence this October, and should be complete in two years, the statement said.

Munger came to the project, and to KITP, by way of close friend Glen Mitchel, who lives in Santa Barbara and is a regular visitor to institute events and public talks.

Mitchel first heard about the housing project from KITP Director Lars Bildsten, and shared it with Munger during a fishing trip, the statement said.

Munger's grandson, Charles, is also a UCSB alumnus.

“This residence is going to be hugely helpful to UCSB. This building will be about as good as it can get, and offer as good an experience as a physicist can have — and I don’t think you could have a better place on earth to do it," Munger said.

Up until Munger's contribution, the 2012 donation of $50 million by UCSB alumnus and Oracle chairman Jeff Henley was the largest single gift in the school’s history. That donation was earmarked for the fields of science and engineering at the university.

UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang said that KITP has been hosting thousands of the world's top scientists since 1979. 

“We are absolutely thrilled and honored that through Charlie’s vision, unbelievable generosity, his love of physics, and his unique architectural and engineering genius and passion, we have been gifted such an unimaginable guesthouse for the visitors of KITP to enjoy and to enable them to continue their groundbreaking research at the endless frontier of physics," Yang said.

KITP Director Lars Bildsten called the donation a "game-changer" for the institute.

“KITP’s mission is to bring together the world’s leading scientists to collaborate on the most challenging and exciting questions in theoretical physics and related fields,” he said. 

“Charlie’s commitment to this mission is profound. Our visitors now spend their day in Kohn Hall, the center of interactions, but once the Residence is complete they will continue those interactions into the nights and weekends. I’m confident we will see an increased number of collaborations and scientific progress.”

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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Winifred Lender: Learning to Say No and Feel Good About It

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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We are flooded with requests daily. They come from strangers, acquaintances, friends and family.

For example, we are given the “opportunity” to buy an item from a telemarketer, donate our time or money to an agency, join a group for dinner, help out our sibling, or assist a colleague with a work-related issue. The deluge of asks can feel overwhelming.

To combat this request overload, we tend to adopt a characteristic pattern of responding to them. For many of us, the pattern is to try to say yes to the request or some part of it. We endeavor to please people and say something along the lines of: “I think I can,” “I am really busy, but if you really need me, I will do it” or “I am not sure if I can do all you are asking, but I will try.” All these responses tend to decrease the initial surge of anxiety we anticipate we will feel if we decline a request.

After agreeing to help, we are typically reinforced by the person seeking our assistance, will probably believe that the person asking for our help now holds us in high esteem. We also may experience a sense of relief that we have made a decision to help and no longer need to ruminate about what to do. However, in short order we may start to feel annoyed that we have said yes to something we may not have wanted to do or had the time to do. The initial relief can be replaced with regret.

Some people speak of feeling victimized by their need to say yes and inability to say no to requests. They report feeling irritable with those who made the request and annoyed every time they are reminded that they could have said no. Feeling powerless to say no can lead to a lack of sense of control, which is compounded when we are busy and stressed.

The drive to avoid saying no to a request, even to strangers, is strong and is borne out in research. Researchers at the University of Waterloo found that participants in a study were so eager to respond positively to a request from researchers that they were willing to engage in unethical behavior (deface a library book by writing a word on one of the pages). While some of the participants initially protested, the drive to please the researcher was so strong that 50 percent complied with the request. In addition, researchers have found that when the request is made face-to-face, people experience more regret about saying no and are more likely to say yes.

The mechanism driving us to say yes is our inherent human need/desire to connect with others. We are programmed to please and connect with others. In addition, we hold an attribution bias that we will be judged more harshly than we actually are if we say no to a request. Thus we assume others will see us in a very negative light if we say no, when in fact, the others will really not judge us so negatively. Our drive to connect and our attributional belief combine to push us toward pleasing others and avoiding saying no.

Research by Julianne Wurm and colleagues show that there is difference along gender lines in the likelihood we will say no to a request. Her research found that women anticipate it will be harder to say no to a request and actually experience more regret when saying no. This is especially the case if the request comes from another woman. In contrast, men anticipate they will not feel badly about saying no, and report after the fact that they did not feel badly about saying no. The gender differences may be the result of differential conditioning and reinforcement afforded to men and women whereby women feel they need to please others more.

Given our inherent drive to say yes, what can be done to swim against this current that pushes us toward saying yes, when we really want or need to say no? Although it may be initially hard to change how we respond to requests and still feel as though we are good people, we can begin to examine our response pattern and evaluate if we want to make a change. We can exert change in our characteristic response pattern and move toward one that is more flexible and responsive to our needs and wants.

Below are some principles to consider when you are confronted by a request.

» Be aware of your characteristic pattern for responding to a request, and know that while this may feel most comfortable, it may not be healthy. Journal or list recent occasions in which you have agreed to a request and how you have felt as a result of it. List the negatives and positives of the experience to truly explore how it made you feel.

» Try to anticipate a request and mentally prepare for it. Consider if your friend will ask you again to help with an event and begin to think about if you want to help.

» Practice saying no to requests so that you become more comfortable with hearing yourself say this.

» Be mindful and focused on what is being asked when a request is made. Often times we become anxious and start thinking about what will happen if we say yes or no and fail to fully attend to what is being asked.

» Do not rush to make a decision. If you are unsure about what you want to do, ask for more time to think about it. Do not be pressured into making a decision before you feel ready.

» Recognize that a no may not be heard or initially accepted. Practice being tough and sticking with your no by repeating the word no in your response.

» Make sure your facial expressions and tone of voice match the message you are sending.

» Remember that you will overestimate the upset someone will feel if you say no.

» Affirm yourself for saying no. Reinforce yourself for making a choice that is initially uncomfortable by saying no but one that may be better for you in the long run.

— Winifred Lender, Ph.D., is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Santa Barbara and can be contacted at drwinifredlender@gmail.com. She is the author of A Practical Guide to Parenting in the Digital Age: How to Nurture Safe, Balanced and Connected Children and Teens available at Chaucer’s and Amazon. Dr. Lender completed her undergraduate work at Cornell University and received her master’s and doctorate degrees at the University of Pennsylvania. She completed a fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia/The University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and is a past president of the Santa Barbara County Psychological Association. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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Letter to the Editor: We Need Chris Mitchum for 24th District

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Lois Capps, the present 24th Congressional District Democratic representative, is now running for re-election to a 10th term. Do you all remember when she promised us never to go more than three terms? She is already vested in the congressional retirement plans.

Ms. Capps gets re-elected and then becomes a stealth representative back in the woodwork of Congress in Washington.

As a Democrat, she supports and goes along with everything Democratic, but you never hear about anything she has done for her district. Probably because there is not much. Ms. Capps is part of the Democrat Congress that has gotten us Obamacare, has increased our taxes and our national debt by a trillion dollars in the last six years, and wants to give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens. She is in the hands of her California Democratic director, Nancy Pelosi, and a lockstep drone for them but not for us back here in California.

Her staff has fallen on its face in Santa Barbara trying to distance themselves from an employee’s personal mistakes resulting in the death of a woman, and then her staff tried to cover up the “whole affair.”

Now Capps and her same staff are running an “I approve of this” TV smear campaign ad against her opponent Chris Mitchum, asking, “What do we know about Chris Mitchum.” She sent her nasty little staffer to photograph Mitch at his forums and campaign speeches. We all asked her to stop and invited her in for food and drinks. She said no and left. Now we know why. Capps is using the TV ad as a screen to cover her tracks so we in the 24th will not know.

We should instead ask, just what do we know about Lois Capps? What she does or does not do seems to be a secret. Ms. Capps will not debate at a forum with Chris Mitchum so we will not know.

We in the 24th District have had enough of these Democrat’s antics and need a new course and change that can be represented for us by Republican Chris Mitchum.

Please elect Mitchum on Nov. 4 to help stop the Democratic financial disaster before us from getting worse.

Concerned Taxpayers, I.N.C.

Justin Ruhge
Lompoc

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Robert Bernstein: Humanist Society Talk Explores Possibility of Death with Dignity Law in California

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Oregon passed the Death with Dignity Act 20 years ago, and it was enacted in 1997. Why don't we have such a law in California?

Toni Broaddus
Toni Broaddus

Toni Broaddus of Compassion & Choices gave a talk on Saturday to the Humanist Society of Santa Barbara telling us the history and her hope that we can soon have such a law.

The case of 29-year-old brain tumor patient Brittany Maynard is putting this front and center in the news. As a young, attractive woman with a supportive family, she stepped forward to promote the cause.

Her six-minute video accompanies this article. In just a few weeks it had 8 million views, and the C&C website was overwhelmed for a while.

Brittany and her husband moved from California to Oregon just to have the peace of mind of knowing she has the option to end her life on her own terms, rather than waiting for the tumor to cause intolerable pain and complete loss of control.

The Oregon law is quite conservative. It requires a doctor to certify the patient is mentally competent and has a terminal illness with less than six months to live. The doctor can prescribe medication for the patient to take to end his or her own life. The doctor does not assist.

Between one-half and one-third of patients don't use the meds. Having the meds gives all of them a sense of control, though.

California has tried six times for such a law. Twice by proposition. One time they failed to get enough signatures. The other one lost. Four more times it was tried in the Legislature. The last time was 2007.

Politicians are usually followers, Broaddus explained. It is up to the people to lead. A C&C poll shows that 64 percent of Californians support the right to die with dignity. Overall U.S. figures are similar.

Who opposes the law? The California Medical Association and the California Conference of Bishops.

The church went after Latino legislators in the past. Called them out at Mass. Threatened with possible excommunication.

Many doctors do support end-of-life choices. The classic Hippocratic Oath seemed to forbid taking a life. But the current 1964 version does not. It just says to "tread with care in matters of life and death". It also emphasizes the importance of "sympathy and understanding."

Disability rights organizations are also concerned. Broaddus thinks this is misplaced. Many disabled people want this choice.

For many, palliative care works. But for some, pain can be untreatable and unendurable.

People can be arrested and put in jail for minor roles in a person ending his own life. 60 Minutes had a segment on Barbara Mancini in Pennsylvania. She had handed her father his morphine which he took for pain relief. He drank the whole bottle and she followed his directive not to send him to the hospital. She was arrested and he was sent to the emergency room against his wishes. He suffered greatly in mental distress for several days until he died.

Broaddus is optimistic that the time is right to pass the Oregon law in California. They selected Santa Barbara as an important action center. It is not "too easy" like San Francisco or Berkeley. Nor is it impossibly conservative.

Cecily Hintzen was hired to coordinate action in Santa Barbara.

Action will happen at all levels. Locally, prosecutors are asked not to prosecute such cases. Doctors and nurses are being asked to stand up and say the California Medical Association does not speak for them. At a state level, the hope is for a law.

Our own Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson is a great advocate and is one of the few who met with C&C in person in Sacramento. She shared her own personal story.

Small choices of wording can matter a lot, as C&C's polls indicate. "Death with Dignity" polls well.

What does not poll so well is talk of "rights" as Broaddus learned from her previous work with HIV/AIDS and LGBT issues.

"Family, love and commitment" are words everyone can relate to. Talk of "people" not "patients" also makes people realize it could be about them.

C&C came together from several previous organizations working on end of life issues, including the Hemlock Society. They are a compromise of different views, avoiding euthanasia and focusing on the terminally ill.

They also are careful to distinguish between death with dignity and any form of "suicide". Broaddus explained that suicide is a term generally associated with mental illness.

Celebrity support has come from Olympia Dukakis, "Dear Abby," Archbishop Desmond Tutu and had been coming from Joan Rivers until her unexpected death.

Personally, you should all have an advance directive. POLST (Physician's Order for Life Sustaining Treatment) is a form your doctor can complete and is the most effective. The C&C website has all of this information.

Broaddus also asked us to contact our state legislators (Das Williams and Hannah-Beth Jackson locally) to support an Oregon type Death with Dignity Law in California. The time is right!

Robert Bernstein is a local photographer and frequent Noozhawk contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Santa Barbara High School Theatre Offering Free Performance of ‘Big Fish’ for Seniors

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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The Santa Barbara High School Theatre department is offering a free Performance of Big Fish to the senior community of Santa Barbara.

Large groups are welcome. Please call to make arrangements for the preview performance at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12 at the Santa Barbara High School Performing Arts Center, 700 E. Anapamu St.

For more information, call 805.966.9101 x5052 or click here.

Big Fish is directed by Otto 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 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).

Other performances will be held at 7 p.m. Nov. 13-15, at 1 p.m. Nov. 15 and at 2 p.m. Nov. 16.

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Letter to the Editor: Yes on Measure P, No on Measure S

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Yes on P

Water, water, water; 500-degree water and caustic chemicals injected into the earth leaking into the watershed. 1969 Santa Barbara oil disaster, 1989 Exxon Valdez, Greka, Venoco, BP Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico disaster.

Germany and many other countries and American states have banned fracking.

Earthquakes caused by fracking might destroy the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant!

"I'd put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don't wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that" — Thomas Edison, 1931.

No on S

One-third of a billion? How many desalination plants could that buy? Pay off school loans, fight cancer, diabetes, reopen Casa Esperanza.

Like politics and religion, education is big business. The chancellor of the university got a 20 percent pay raise — $400,000 with benefits. For doing what? A recent retiree of the university made $300,000 a year with benefits. For doing what?

"Thirty-three different vice presidents each earning $200,000 a year/$110 million lost last year. I'll bet half of that was spent in all the paperwork going back and forth between all these vice presidents. Wall Street — greed is good."

Matthew Hubbard
Santa Barbara

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Bellosguardo Foundation Names Founding Members of Board of Directors

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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After a little over one year of working with the New York Public Administrator’s office and the N.Y. Attorney General’s Charitable Division Bureau, the process of creating a new Bellosguardo Foundation under the late Huguette Clark’s settlement agreement has been completed.

As per the settlement agreement, the foundation's Board of Directors consists of three named individuals and seven others nominated by Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider.

As part of the process, the mayor, public administrator and the board agreed that the foundation would best be served by seating a total of 19 individuals to the initial Board of Directors.

The founding members of the Bellosguardo Board of Directors are:

Members

» Stephen Clark — vice president and general counsel of J Paul Getty Trust

» Joshua Conviser — author/film producer

» Robert Day — chairman, Keck Foundation; chairman, Trust Company of the West

» Ian Devine — Clark family representative

» Perri Harcourt — investor/community philanthropist

» Jim Hurley — retired attorney for the late Huguette Clark

» Peter Jordano — president/CEO of Jordano’s Inc.

» Morris Jurkowitz — investor/community philanthropist

» Robert Lieff — of counsel/founder for Lieff Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein LLP

» Diane McQuarie — co-founder MapFrame (retired)

» Sandi Nicholson — community philanthropist

» Jack Overall — Dantz Development Corp. (retired)/community philanthropist

» Charles Patrizia — Corcoran Gallery representative

» Jim Petrovich — investor/community philanthropist

» Ron Pulice — former chair/CEO of Pulice Construction/community philanthropist

» Joan Rutkowski — retired opera singer/community philanthropist

» Gary Tobey — president of Haworth Marketing & Media Co.

» Anne Smith Towbes — community philanthropist

» Dick Wolf — film and television producer

This foundation will oversee Clark’s Santa Barbara Bellosguardo property once probate is completed in New York State. At that time, this foundation will also take possession of Bellosguardo’s furnishings and artwork, and Clark’s extensive doll collection.

Negotiations between the Internal Revenue Service and the estate’s executors are ongoing, and are estimated to take another 12 to 18 months. During this transition, the estate will continue to provide management of the Bellosguardo property.

“I have full confidence that this group of 19 stellar individuals will engage in a process that will give the Bellosguardo Foundation every chance to reach its full potential,” Schneider said. “As soon as the foundation receives ownership of Bellosguardo, the board can start transforming this 23-acre property from the mysterious mansion on the hill to a place that will foster and promote the arts for the public good. I know the Santa Barbara community has dreamed about this opportunity for decades, and I am very appreciative of everyone’s assistance and patience since the settlement was announced in September 2013.”

“I am very pleased that this important milestone in the settlement of the estate of Huguette Clark has been reached," stated Hon. Ethel Griffin, Esq., public administrator of New York County. "The Public Administrator’s office looks forward to working with the Board to ensure that the property is successfully transferred to the foundation."

Helene Schneider is the mayor of Santa Barbara.

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Sansum Clinic Receives ‘Most Improved’ Award from Integrated Healthcare Association

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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On Sept. 23, Sansum Clinic was honored at the 2014 Annual Pay for Performance (P4P) Stakeholders Meeting as Most Improved by the Integrated Healthcare Association.

The Integrated Healthcare Association is a statewide leadership group that promotes quality improvement, accountability and affordability of health care in California. The P4P program is the largest nongovernmental physician incentive program in the United States, which measures and promotes improved quality among healthcare providers in California.

Awards are based on performance in three P4P quality measurement areas: meaningful use of health information technology, patient experience and clinical quality measures that include priority conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, musculoskeletal and respiratory diseases and prevention.

In addition to celebrating the top performers, IHA honored the physician organizations that demonstrated the most quality improvement from 2012 to 2013, which included Sansum Clinic for the second consecutive year.

“Sansum Clinic strives to provide our patients with the highest quality healthcare, along with an enhanced patient experience,” said Marjorie Newman, M.D., assistant medical director of Sansum Clinic. "This award recognizes the medical expertise and compassionate care that our staff and clinicians provide each day to ensure patients in our community continue to choose Sansum Clinic for their care."

“Most Improved” award winners are determined by calculating the relative improvement for each physician organization on the overall composite score for this year compared to the overall composite score for last year. The physician organization in each of the eight P4P regions that has the highest relative improvement score for overall quality performance — and does not decrease performance in any quality measurement domain — is recognized as the most improved group in that region.

— Jill Fonte is the marketing director for Sansum Clinic.

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HICAP Partners with Sansum Clinic to Offer Free ‘Medicare Open Enrollment Choices’ Seminar

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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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. Tuesday, Nov. 18 at Sansum Clinic, 215 Pesetas Lane 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 Sansum Clinic 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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Jackie Ruka: How to Stop Running in Heels and Get a Life You Want

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Are you a woman running heals, frantic to figure out your time with career, money, family and social life, but end up not doing anything at all to resolve this feeling of disarray? Well, join the club.

Jackie Ruka
Jackie Ruka

I coined this phrase: “Women running in heels,” as we tend to do it all, want it all, try to make it all happen and end up stressed and simply exhausted. That was me about two years ago: giving, giving and giving to others with barely enough time to renew myself or adjust to a life worth creating, without falling short on quality people time, sleep and a life outside of my career.

The American Psychological Association stress-gender survey reports that stress has been significantly more on the rise for women than men. Forty-nine percent of the women surveyed reported an increase in stress during the past five years. As women, we are all too willing to please others while holding a false belief that handling it all will be easier than delegating the details to someone else. So, how is that working for you?

The bottom line is: Life is running you, instead of you creating the life that you desire and deserve. So, what do you really want, or better yet, what do you want to get out of life right now?

The one constant that we can never capture again is our time. Perhaps it's time to just stop the crazy life treadmill and determine what feels right versus what is wrong? Step back and begin to get clear and envision your happiness, as this will attract the abundance, joy and desire you deserve.

I learned this the hard way with a “come to Buddha moment,” where my company car almost crashed after going out of control and landed in front of two 8-foot Buddha statues outside a furniture store in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles. Talk about a wake-up call to the antithesis of my chaotic life careening me to the edge of no return. I certainly would not want this to happen to you.

In hindsight, what I learned was the best choices are the ones we make consciously, not from reactive measures or societal demands. We are human and the universe has a funny way of journeying back to self to test if we are practicing self-love and self-care.

My story, as a woman running in heels, was an opportunity for me to go deep, recognize my soul calling and begin to consciously transform myself into the writer, and now published author and inspiration coach that I deeply yearned to be.

I invite those women, who have so much magic within them and are running from their own soul calling, to take a listen to how I turned my challenge into opportunities in an interview with psychologist Dr. Laura Ciel, on her radio show, empowering individuals going through life transition.

It's short and to the point, however, I would love your feedback. Take a listen to “The Happiness Journey with Jackie Ruka.”

Inspirational Quote: “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experiences.” — Eleanor Roosevelt 

— Montecito-based Jackie Ruka is America’s Happyologist and lifestyle strategist. Click here for more information.

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Local Students Draw Crowds on State Street with Sound of Music

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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For the fifth consecutive year, the Santa Barbara Education Foundation and its collaborators have once again pulled off another successful community project with the widely popular Pianos on State, attracting tourists, locals, and amateur and professional players of all ages to sit down and play music.

On Sunday, passersby stopped in their tracks as three local students performed together, utilizing one of the pianos available for the public through the annual Pianos extravaganza.

Anna Sung-Park, a fifth-grader at Roosevelt Elementary, Joshua Park, a seventh-grader at Santa Barbara Junior High, and Thomas Everest, a ninth-grader from Santa Barbara High School, played together for their families and pedestrians on heavily traveled State Street.

“My favorite thing about playing music is that there are infinite possibilities,” said Park, who was playing the trumpet.

“I think everyone should be exposed to music and have the opportunity to play,” Everest said after a solo on the piano.

His piano in front of Marshalls on Canon Perdido and State streets was one of 11 being put to use over the last 10 days as part of Pianos on State for the public to enjoy, a collaborative musical experiment coinciding with the 2014 New Noise Music Festival.

pianos
Fourth-grade student Audrey Harmond attracts more than a dozen people with her music Sunday on downtown State Street. (Daniella Alkobi photo)

Pianos on State is supported by the Santa Barbara Education Foundation, the Santa Barbara Bowl, the Santa Barbara Arts Collaborative, the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, the New Noise Music Foundation, the Downtown Organization, the City of Santa Barbara and Notes for Notes, all sharing valuable resources to bring this community project to an exciting reality.

Sung-Park and Park have both been involved in the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s BRAVO! program, an after-school program run by district music teachers for students with at least one year of experience on a band or orchestra instrument. Twice a week, students from local elementary schools board the bus after school and get dropped off at Santa Barbara Junior High to make music with new friends.

The Santa Barbara Education Foundation, a local nonprofit, raises funds for vital programs that benefit all students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District, including BRAVO!

“My favorite thing about the program is that it’s fun and also challenging,” said Sung-Park, who is currently in the BRAVO! program and plays the oboe.

Just a block farther down on State Street, more than a dozen pedestrians had crowded around another piano to listen to the mesmerizing sound of another young talent in the making, fourth-grade student Audrey Harmond.

“She’s incredible,” a passerby said.

— Daniella Alkobi is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Education Foundation.

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GVJHS Band Brings Halloween Spirit to Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool

By | Published on 10/23/2014

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Halloween at Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool. (Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool photo)

We don't know how this partnership began, but for the past 20 to 25 years the marching band at Goleta Valley Junior High School has been visiting the Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool, at 380 N. Fairview Ave. in Goleta on Halloween from approximately 11:20 to 11:40 a.m.

The event includes refreshments, costumes, dancing preschoolers and prancing band members.

— Betty Rosness represents Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool.

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Families Mark Anniversaries of Shark Attacks that Killed Two Men

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Longtime researcher believes several factors most likely contributed to incidents earlier this month off the Central Coast

As the families of two men united by shark attacks two years apart remember their loved ones on the anniversaries of their deaths this week, Ralph Collier of the Shark Research Committee is especially busy. 

He has reviewed two shark encounters involving kayakers off the coast of Vandenberg Air Force Base earlier this month, another in the Santa Barbara area this week and is still waiting for further investigate yet another incident where a surfer suffered a knee injury in early October.

These come as the families of Lucas Ransom, a 19-year-old UCSB student from Riverside County, and Francisco Solorio Jr., a 39-year-old Orcutt resident, remember their loved ones who died in attacks two years and a day apart — Oct. 22, 2010, for Ransom and Oct. 23, 2012, for Solorio.

The families are expected to meet up Thursday morning at Surf Beach to remember both men and release balloons. In a commemoration the Solorio family dubbed “Franfest,” the celebration of life will continue through the weekend with camping and the dedication of a bench at Jalama Beach.

Solorio’s family and friends spent last weekend prepping the bench site for its installation.

“It will be nice place to go,” said his sister, Patricia Solorio of Santa Maria. “Jalama was his favorite surf spot.”

Collier suspects a number of reasons for the attacks — and emphatically says it’s not one rogue shark roaming the ocean every other October.

“Historically, if we look at records of these interactions with humans, they occur in all months of the year,” said Collier, who has studied sharks for more than 50 years. “What we’re looking at today is a lot of it has to do with population dynamics. By that I mean the white shark has now been protected for more than 15 years.”

The great white shark population is slowly rebounding with the protections, he said. At the same time the number of ocean users has climbed in recent years. 

“We have more people today out kayaking than we had 10, 20 years ago,” Collier said. “We have people surfing. We have more people swimming simply because the population has gone up. When you increase those numbers you also increase the probability that there’s going to be an interaction between those two species.”

Several other factors most likely have contributed, including unusual oceanographic conditions this year, he added.

The Discovery channel show Great White Serial Killer, which debuted in 2013 and reran this summer, tried to prove one shark is at fault for the killer attacks. Collier, who was interviewed in the show along with an FBI profiler, rejected that theory, although he noted wryly that many viewers apparently overlooked their opinions.

“One of the major things we pointed out is … there is no scientific evidence to support a rogue shark theory. None,” he said. 

Collier has the credentials to back up his confidence. He has been involved in shark research since 1962 and is director of the Global Shark Attack File of Princeton in New Jersey. The file contains more more than 6,000 cases of shark-human interaction dating back hundreds of years.

Collier said “more than 50 percent of the shark attacks that occur along the California-Oregon-Washington coast” happen at a place of a previous attack. “So this thing with Surf Beach is not uncommon,” Collier said, adding one location north of San Francisco has seen nine shark attacks since 1980.

If a rogue shark existed, the number of attacks would be much higher, he said.

“A shark who’s going to consume human beings that’s what they do — they consume them,” Collier said. 

None of the victims he has examined from 1962 to the present showed evidence the shark attempted to consume the human.

“We had no massive tissue loss or anything like that,” Collier said, explaining that instead the victims has “unfortunate bites” in areas that severed arteries.

Rather than feeding, Collier suspects the sharks this month were protecting their territory or investigating — “they’re curious little fellows.” 

“It’s something other than feeding,” Collier said. “Because in a feeding attack, a shark knows immediately whether or not this is food. If it’s food they’re going to continue to consume it.”

For instance in the Oct. 3 attack of kayaker Ryan Howell, the animal knocked the man 10 feet into the air. Collier’s review of vessel and tooth marks makes him certain what size of animal attacked the kayaker.

“I can tell you emphatically positively that the shark was at least 20 feet in length,” Collier said, adding he has measured dozens of white shark teeth still in the jaw and said the spacing reveals the animal’s size.

Another incident less than hour earlier likely did involve the same animal due to timing and distance of the two attacks, according to Collier.

A day earlier, a shark rammed a surfboard north of Wall Beach, injuring the government civilian employee.

“In his opinion, he did not think the shark really attempted to bite him,” Collier said, explaining the shark’s ramming caused the man to slide off the board while his leg hit the shark in the mouth.

Earlier this week, a woman reported a 6-foot shark bit her outrigger canoe while she about one mile off the coast of Santa Barbara. Harbor Patrol officials initially said the incident likely involved a 6-foot blue or gray shark.

But Collier said a colleague, Peter Howarth, director of the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center, talked to the woman about the incident and relayed the information.

“Peter seems pretty confident it was probably a white shark based on the description,” Collier said Wednesday night.

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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Los Olivos Mourns Death of Maya the Cat

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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The feline, who gained fame for greeting visitors around the small town, reportedly was attacked by a stray dog

Maya the Cat, dubbed the unofficial mayor of Los Olivos, has died after more than a decade fulfilling her role as the small town’s furry and four-legged ambassador.

The petite black-and-white cat apparently fell prey to a stray dog on Sunday and died, according to Muse Management’s Sao Anash, who announced the death in a press release earlier this week.

In a town that once included King of Pop Michael Jackson as a rural resident, Maya became a bit of a celebrity herself.

Maya was a regular sight in the community, spending time at the Judith Hale Gallery, The Fess Parker Wine Country Inn, and other spots, including the Los Olivos Post Office.

“Petite yet fierce, she could be wonderfully haughty, preening or bathing in the sunshine, ignoring passersby who bid her a hello,” Anash said. “On other days, she could be disarmingly friendly, brushing herself up against a previously shunned local, calling out with an uncommonly loud meow for some attention.

"In between her walks about town, she could be seen sleeping on her favorite chair inside the lobby of the inn or lounging in the local park.”

Judith Hale, who closed her Los Olivos gallery in 2010 and now is affiliated with Solvang Antiques, said Maya technically belonged to a local resident but rarely spent time at that home.

“There was no corralling that cat,” Hale said.

Maya had her own rules for when humans could interact with her, prompting Hale to put up a sign.

“She did not want to be pet unless she wanted to be pet and you don’t pick her up,” Hale said. “Everything was on her terms.”

Some estimated Maya had fulfilled that role for closer to 20 years.

Rachel Haas of Coquelicot Tasting Room only learned of Maya’s death Wednesday.

“Oh my God. Oh my God,” Haas said, noting that Maya was old and walked more slowly in recent years.

Haas is allergic to cats but never had a reaction to Maya, who demanded her own seat and only accepted attention on her own terms. Yet Haas kept food and water available for the feline’s frequent visits.

“She would purr nonstop,” Haas added.

Maya also became popular among tourists, who would hear stories about the feline greeter from local shopkeepers or winemakers behind a tasting bar. 

Maya’s role as town greeter drew at least one mention in a hotel review online and several paragraphs in a book, Sideways in Neverland, by William Etling, a local real estate broker.

She apparently once had a Twitter account, with her biography noting, “Came for friendly wine tourists, who pet me and give healthy treats. Stayed for the field mice.”

The announcement of her death on social media sites brought a few dozen comments from visitors, former employees and residents who met Maya through the years.

“We can't count the times Maya made us smile with our chance encounters,” Visit Santa Ynez Valley said in a Facebook post. “She has contributed greatly to Los Olivos' charm and warmth, and will be greatly missed.”

At least one person’s comment called for lowering the flag on the pole that sits in the heart of downtown Los Olivos in honor of the cat.

Some thought she belonged to Los Olivos, but in typical cat attitude, Maya apparently acted as if Los Olivos belonged to her.

“She will be greatly missed by the town of Los Olivos and countless visitors who took her photo and were charmed by her fiery little personality,” Anash wrote.

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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Bureau Finds ‘No Significant’ Camp 4 Environmental Impacts

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Chumash take another step toward placing valley acres into federal trust

A proposed tribal housing development has “no significant” environmental impact on the surrounding area of a parcel near the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians reservation, a federal agency announced Wednesday.

The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact” based on the tribe’s final environmental assessment for planned development on Camp 4, a 1,433-acre agriculture parcel near the 138-acre valley reservation along Highway 246.

The Chumash bought the land in 2010 from the late Fess Parker, and has said it wants to build homes there for tribal members.

The tribe has been working to place Camp 4 into federal trust, a move that would effectively remove the land from the county’s tax rolls and from the oversight of the county planning processes.

The BIA finding, signed last Friday, is not a determination of the Chumash’s fee-to-trust application, and cannot be appealed, according to Chad Broussard, an environmental protection specialist with the BIA’s Pacific Regional Office.

A final BIA decision and accompanying notice will come at least 30 days after issuing the latest finding, Broussard said.

In its ruling, the BIA allowed the building of 143 residential units ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 square feet, an on-site wastewater treatment plant, roads and other infrastructure after also evaluating environmental comments from officials and the public.

An environmental impact statement is not required, the BIA determined, months after the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors slammed the tribe’s environmental review of Camp 4 in a letter to the agency in July, pleading for the area’s oak woodlands and active agriculture.

“What it means is that we’re one step closer to bringing this land into trust,” Tribal Chairman Vincent Armenta told Noozhawk. “I think this decision by the bureau speaks very loud and very clear to the legislators up in DC. Just because Santa Barbara County doesn’t think it’s right, doesn’t mean it’s not right. They refused to work with us.”

Because the county has fought the fee-to-trust process, Armenta expects officials would likely appeal a final BIA decision, something he hopes could be determined by the end of 2014.

The Chumash could also bypass the county, since a bill was introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives nearly a year ago. HR 3313 would authorize the U.S. Secretary of Interior to take the land into trust for the benefit of the tribe and other purposes, and outlaw gambling, a main concern for valley residents.

Beyond being referred into the House Committee on Natural Resources, HR 3313 still awaits a hearing on the floor.

Armenta said he expects that to change soon, possibly after the November election.

He said he hopes the county respects the lengthy, federal process the tribe has gone through, and noted he was glad the county's attorneys advised the Board of Supervisors this week that it has no avenue to sue the Chumash over the planned expansion.

The decision to forgo legal action was reached in closed session Tuesday, another disappointment, said Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr, who represents the valley.

Farr said she hadn’t yet seen a county notice of the BIA filing, but has requested that the supervisors discuss the latest Camp 4 development with county counsel in closed session at the board's next meeting on Nov. 4.

“Clearly it’s very disappointing, but I think, unfortunately, probably not that unexpected,” she said. “We have been very vigilant on this issue from the very beginning. This is an issue that affects the entire county.”

Farr wouldn’t say whether the supervisors would appeal an eventual BIA decision, but noted it would be a board decision and that most of her colleagues have already publicly expressed their concerns with placing Camp 4 into trust.

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

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Santa Maria Empty Bowls Helps Fill the Coffers for Foodbank of Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Hundreds of hungry attendees feast on soup provided by local restaurants; the Santa Barbara Empty Bowls fundraiser is set for Nov. 2

Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Rogelio Flores ladled bacon cheddar beer soup, using his best courtroom voice to lure hungry attendees with empty bowls needing to be filled.

Nearby, TV news anchor Jeannette Trompeter touted the healthier, although less enticing, chicken noodle soup, telling attendees, “It cures what ails you.”

Flores and Trompeter were two of the soup servers at the 13th annual Santa Maria Empty Bowls event Wednesday.

The fundraiser for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County took place at the Santa Maria Fairpark, where this marked the first time the Santa Maria event has held two seatings for attendees.

“It’s been a wonderful event,” said Judith Monte, North County development manager for the Foodbank, noting the varied sectors of the community to show up at the event.

In addition to community leaders and elected officials, those who attended included groups of office workers and parents with children, showing the broad support for the Foodbank, Monte said.

Organizers expected to serve 800 people during the two seatings, with the first at 11:30 a.m. and the second at 12:30 p.m. Soups came from various restaurants in the Santa Maria Valley.

The two serving sessions aimed to address long waiting lines attendees encountered at previous Empty Bowls benefits in Santa Maria, according to Monte.

“We tried to make sure the second seating has the same experience,” Monte said, adding that the soups and bowls matched those of the first hour.

Bowls came from a variety of sources, but Monte said that Allan Hancock College contributed a record number this year.

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Empty Bowls attendees get bowls filled with soup served by Judge Rogelio Flores. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

For a donation of $25, attendees selected a hand-crafted ceramic bowl, enjoyed a meal of gourmet soup and bread, and took home the bowl as a reminder of the event’s purpose: to help feed wholesome and hearty food to needy people in the community.

The Foodbank served 60,000 in the Santa Maria Valley last year, Monte said, adding, “That’s a lot of people.”

Because of the drought, the nonprofit organization had to pay $200,000 more to purchase food for its clients this year, Monte said.

Wednesday’s event was one of three held annually to benefit the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County. 

The 17th annual Santa Barbara Empty Bowls is set for Nov. 2 at the Page Youth Center, 4540 Hollister Ave., with three seating times of 11 a.m., noon and 1 p.m.  Tickets can be purchased for $31 per person by clicking here.

For more information, sponsorship or raffle details, contact events manager Diane Durst at 805.967.5741 x104.

Lompoc’s Empty Bowls fundraiser is held on the fourth Wednesday of March each year. 

The Foodbank also is poised to launch its Thanksgiving turkey drive on Nov. 1.

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.

Empty Bowls
Savannah, left, and Dana Moody make their selections from a variety of handcrafted ceramic bowls at the Empty Bowls fundraiser on Wednesday. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

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Candidates for Goleta Water District Board Weigh In on Drought, Billing

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Water agencies are a frequent topic of discussion during the ongoing drought, and the Goleta Water District has drawn attention as being the last local jurisdiction to put water use restrictions into effect and struggling through more than a year of technical difficulties with a new online customer billing system.

Four candidates in the Nov. 4 election are vying for two seats on the water board: Bert Bertrando, Jack Cunningham, Charles "Chuck" McClure and Meg West.

Bertrando and Cunningham are both running for re-election while the challengers McClure and West are local landscape architects, both with experience on local public agency boards and commissions.

Bertrando, a retired engineer and director of La Cumbre Mutual Water Company, has served on the board since 2006. He did not attend either of the candidate forums or respond to Noozhawk’s requests for comment.

Cunningham, a retired United Airlines employee and former airport commissioner, has served on the water board since 1995. McClure has local experience as a contractor, architect and businessman and serves on the Goleta Cemetery District board. West serves on Goleta’s Planning Commission and has experience as a contractor, landscape architect and business owner.

The candidates agree that the ongoing drought will be the district’s biggest challenge in the next four years.

West mentioned the importance of drought planning and digging into lessons learned from the current drought to get prepared for the next one.

“That’s a silver lining to these crises, every time we get better prepared and learn something,” she said.

No new meters are being approved because of the district’s SAFE Ordinance, which triggers water use restrictions once Lake Cachuma’s deliveries are reduced, as they are for the water year that started Oct. 1.

In times of plenty, however, “water meters are issued without apparent limit,” McClure said. “Droughts are cyclical. … Therefore with each drought, well, the drought becomes more severe because we have more faucets and fixtures out in the community.”

McClure believes new meters can only be issued with a sustainable water source, such as desalination, reclaimed water that changes wastewater to potable water or a piping system from the more water-abundant north end of the state.

“People often say that it’s too expensive, it can’t be done,” he said. “Not true — we need vision and goal setting and the perseverance to achieve that goal. We can and will do it.”

Looking into the current drought, the district plans to take more recycled water from the Goleta Sanitary District and deliver it by tanker truck to areas that can use it but aren’t connected to the recycled water system, Cunningham said.

“The infrastructure for recycled water doesn’t reach their property so what we’re going to do is take recycled water to their property and let the use it," he said, "and of course we’ll charge but it’ll free up their usage of potable water which makes it better down the road for everybody.”

Additionally, Cunningham pointed to maintaining oversight of the district’s $32.5 million budget and making sure the fines and penalties for violating water use restrictions are administered properly. The more people conserve now, the better off the district will be for the next drought, he added.

“It sounds like I’m talking out of both sides of my mouth because I’m preaching conservation while, the less water that’s used, the less water comes into the district bank account," he said. "That’s not the name of the game — the name of the game is for us trying to live up to our mission, which is to provide an adequate supply of quality water at the least possible price.”

The next big step for the district to cut back on water use will probably be the tiered rate system scheduled for spring, West said, adding that tiered systems have been shown to help cut back water use by making water more expensive or people using a lot of it.

“I’m very committed to keeping water rates low for low water uses like myself and many others who put effort into conserving,” she said.

She supports expanding the rebate programs that encourage drought-tolerant planting and wants to focus on customer service.

“I think a lot of relationships have been damaged with billing issues,” she said. “There’s a long history of the Goleta Water District behaving in ways people don’t like and I’d really like to see a little more effort made in customer service.”

West also wants the district to work more closely with the City of Goleta, saying the two agencies don’t coordinate enough now. She believes her experience with the Planning Commission would help in that regard.

“People are really upset when they’re being asked to let their lawns die and they see a big development going up down the street,” she said. “I think there needs to be a lot better coordination and transparency with the public, why these things are being built during the drought.”

In a more long-term perspective, West supports expanding the reclaimed water lines and looking into a groundwater infiltration program.

McClure said the next drastic step for the district to cut back on water use would be to disallow landscape irrigation, starting with lawns.

“We sincerely hope it does not come to that, but if it should, we must be practical, and exterior water for aesthetics would be the place to make the cut,” he said. “I think the people in the district are responding to the request to use water carefully, though some are still maintaining lawns. The upcoming tiered billing system should help with that.”

However, he does not support “the water police” and fines for people violating the rules.

“I suppose very egregious violators must be reckoned with, but by and large I think compliance should be mostly voluntary unless our situation drastically worsens," he said. "Perhaps it has worsened to the appropriate drastic level, remember I am a challenger not privy to the workings of the agency, other than the meetings I have been attending this year.”

In the long term, the district needs to be proactive about conservation and expanding its water supplies, McClure said.

“I have been writing letters to the editor and talking about de-silting of the reservoirs for years now. Crickets," he said. "Now is the time to dig silt out of the reservoirs.”

He also wants to expand Lake Cachuma’s capacity by gouging out the north and east sides and raising the dam by 1 foot.

He also suggests directing more storm water to the groundwater supply to recharge the aquifer and expand the reclaimed water system.

“Currently, 50 percent of the reclaimed water is sent into the ocean, due to a lack of distribution pipes. That’s sad and should be addressed," he said. "Treat that water one more time and pump it underground and our wells would never run dry.”

All four candidates will be vying for the two seats available on the Nov. 4 ballot to win four-year terms.

“I’d just like to add that, for everyone who hasn’t voted yet — vote for me,” Cunningham said. “I’d like to remain on the board so I can help have these things happen, the aforementioned things.”

West pointed to her long list of endorsements.

“They know that we need informed people who are going to be fair and open to public input and they’ve endorsed me because they think I can do this job,” she said. “I really see in the end, if elected, that there are a lot of opportunities for improvement and I want to look at what opportunities there are for working with the university because their growth is an issue as well, it’s not something the City of Goleta has control over.”

McClure said he is the candidate who wants to encourage conservation and pursue new sources of water for the community.

“The challenge is to create a new, permanent source of water without burdening the ratepayers with large new fees,” he said.

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

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Jim Hightower: Going from One Bad War to a Worse One

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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In 2004, Stuart Bowen of Texas was asked by a friend to take on a difficult and important job, which he did.

Bowen's friend was President George W. Bush, and the job was to investigate corruption and waste in Iraq, where his buddy George had launched a misguided and very costly war, as well as an effort to reconstruct that country's fractured economy. The watchdog soon learned that Air Force transport planes had been airlifting whole pallets of shrink-wrapped $100 bills from the United States to Baghdad — totaling some $14 billion!

The bales of cash were delivered to the care of L. Paul Bremer III, a laissez-faire ideologue who'd been installed by the Bush-Cheney regime to rebuild Iraq as a regulation-free corporate utopia. It was quickly obvious to Bowen that the utopia included no accounting of where the $14 billion went, though during the next decade he determined that "billions of dollars (were) taken out of Iraq illegally." But he couldn't get the Bushites to mount a full-fledge investigation and prosecution.

Finally, in 2010, he and his team got a break, learning that about $1.5 billion had been stolen and stashed in a bunker in rural Lebanon. However, the Obama administration wouldn't pursue this lead. Neither did the CIA, FBI or the Iraqi government.

Then, Bowen was stunned that the U.S. embassy in Lebanon was resisting his own attempts to visit the bunker, actually preventing him from entering that country. When two of his investigators did get into Lebanon, our embassy denied them permission to see the bunker, claiming it was too dangerous.

And here we go again — into yet another war in a wide and tumultuous swath of the world involved in centuries-old religio-ethno conflagrations that Euro-centric Americans don't comprehend and cannot resolve. For a clue about what we're stepping into in Iraq and Syria, with our high-tech fighter jets, drones and ultimately with our soldiers on the ground in this new war against ISIS, let's remember Afghanistan.

Beginning in the yesteryear of the Cheney-Bush regime, the promise was that our Afghan excursion would promptly dispatch the Taliban, train an effective Afghan military force and create a stable democratic government. But it turned out to be both the longest war in American history and a dismal failure on all counts. After 13 years, more than 2,000 U.S. deaths, nearly 20,000 of our troops horribly maimed and over a trillion dollars spent — what have we won?

Far from defeated, the Taliban is again on the offensive, Afghanistan's elections are a farce, government corruption is rampant, the infrastructure we built is already crumbling, there is no national unity, and more than $100 billion of the money we sent for reconstruction and training was simply stolen by the elites and shipped in suitcases to their foreign bank accounts.

The good news is that our nation's Afghan debacle is scheduled to end this year. The bad news is that it won't — a contingent of U.S. troops will remain, we will keep paying $5 billion a year to sustain the Afghan army and police, and we're on the hook for billions more each year to fund that country's bankrupt government.

So hi-ho, hi-ho — off again we go to Syria, Iraq and beyond to conquer ISIS in what is already being called "a long war." Last year, Bowen's office was formally shut down, with none of the missing cash recovered or accounted for. Remember Bowen's 10 years of frustration as Washington starts shoving new billions of dollars into the morass of its newest ill-defined war. The tab just for the direct military cost of this latest ISIS, et al misadventure will be as much as $22 billion — a year.

How much of our cash for this misadventure will be stolen or "missing"? And just think how much good that money would do if we invested it here in our own people?

Jim Hightower is a national radio commentator, writer, public speaker and author of Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow. Click here to contact him, follow him on Twitter: @JimHightower, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Gerald Carpenter: UCSB’s Paul Berkowitz to Perform All-Schubert Piano Recital

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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UCSB piano meister Paul Berkowitz will perform an all-Franz Schubert piano recital at 7:30 p.m. Thursday in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall, in the UCSB Music Building.

Paul Berkowit
Paul Berkowitz

Professor Berkowitz's program will include Schubert's Six Moments Musicaux (1828), D. 780, the Twelve German Dances, D. 790 (1823), the Piano Fantasy in C-Major, D. 605a, "Grazer Fantasy" (1818) and the Three Piano Pieces, D. 946 (1828).

Berkowitz is in the middle of a large-scale Schubert recording project that is likely to become as definitive a vision of the composer's piano works as we are likely to get in our generation. Certainly a coherent treatment of any genre of Schubert's compositions — especially by an artist as sensitive and intelligent as Berkowitz — will be most welcome, for there is much that is baffling about this composer. About the only thing about him that is easy to understand is his enduring popularity.

Schubert's fans form as distinct a group of music lovers as those obsessed with Italian opera. Many of those devoted to classical music — including most of the musicians I know — put Johann Sebastian Bach at the summit of composers. Yet they only aver that Bach is the greatest composer, not the only one.

Many of the Schubertians I know, on the other hand, seldom listen to anyone else: He fulfills all their requirements. They aren't so much music lovers as Schubert lovers. Still, while I have many quarrels with Bach supremacists, when I encounter an ardent Schubertian, no grounds for argument ever present themselves. The Schubertians enjoy an irreducible bond with their idol, and there is nothing to be said about it.

Schubert's music, indeed, inspires little in the way of intellectual activity. You need no educational background or wide musical experience. He is as accessible as Pyotr Tchaikovsky. Mainly, he is a songwriter, whether there are words being sung or not. Emotional simplicity is his strongest suit, and he is best appreciated in these small works, as in his songs. He puts you immediately inside the emotional landscape of each piece, and makes it impossible to do anything but let yourself be carried along. Generally, when a piece ends, we wish it would go on.

Schubert's difficulties with larger scaled works are well-documented. When a musicologist says that the symphonies of Bruckner are influenced by Schubert's symphonies, he is not complimenting either composer, but saying that the works of both are shapeless and sprawling.

It seems to me that Schubert had very little influence as a piano composer. Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt and Robert Schumann were the movers and shapers there. In the seemingly fundamental matter of thematic development, Schubert usually gets a C-. But, when one musician asked Igor Stravinsky if Schubert's rambling developments didn't put him to sleep, Stravinsky replied, "Yes, but what does it matter if, when I wake up, I am in Paradise?"

Tickets to Berkowitz's Schubert recital are $10 for general admission and $5 for all students except UCSB students, who will be admitted free.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at gerald.carpenter@gmail.com. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Washington Elementary Cooking Up Inaugural Lobster Boil to Benefit Programs, Services

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Washington Elementary School on the Mesa is hosting its inaugural Lobster Boil at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 8 at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club.

“We are so thankful to the Santa Barbara Yacht Club for hosting our first lobster boil,” said Tara Haaland-Ford, Washington School PTO president. “We can’t think of a more appropriate way to raise funds for our educational programs and services than a lobster boil on our beautiful Santa Barbara waterfront.”

Guests will feast on fresh lobster and crab while enjoying the evening’s program of live entertainment, music, dancing and a live dessert auction.

Seating for the lobster boil is limited. Tickets are available by invitation only. Please contact development director Linda Rosso at llindarosso805@gmail.com or 209.601.8918 if you are interested in receiving an invitation.

Sponsorship of the lobster boil includes event tickets and visibility among 600 Washington school families and 200 event guests. Sponsorship opportunities include:

» Wildcat Sponsor $10,000 — includes 25 tickets, VIP parking and premier seating ocation

» Big Cat Sponsor $7,500 — includes 20 tickets

» Top Cat Sponsor $5,000 — includes 15 tickets

» Cool Cat Sponsor $2,500 — includes 10 tickets

» Alley Cat Sponsor $1,000 — includes four tickets

For more information, contact Rosso at 805.845.5143, 209.601.8918 or lindarosso805@gmail.com.

— Linda Rosso is the development director for Washington Elementary School.

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PathPoint’s Residential Support Services Creating Real-Life Success Stories

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Embraced by PathPoint’s Residential Support Services, Nina is now feeling right at home at her downtown Santa Barbara apartment. (PathPoint photo){
Embraced by PathPoint’s Residential Support Services, Nina is now feeling right at home at her downtown Santa Barbara apartment. (PathPoint photo)

After careers as a young woman in the Navy and a professional boxer, “Nina” fell into drugs and alcohol and was homeless for 23 years. With the support of PathPoint’s Residential Support Services, a result of the Behavioral Health Division’s partnership with the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara, Nina was housed and receives ongoing services from PathPoint.

Celebrating 50 years in 2014, PathPoint provides life skills, vocational training and placement services to the underserved who require special assistance. PathPoint’s Behavioral Health Division works side by side with the medical community to improve the lives of our members through housing; supportive services for the homeless and those at risk of becoming homeless; the mentally ill; and those struggling with substance abuse.

PathPoint’s Residential Support Services provide integrated and individualized treatment, rehabilitation and support services to individuals such as Nina. PathPoint collaborates with the Santa Barbara Housing Authority on three innovative projects: El Carrillo, Artisan Court and Bradley Studios. All of these projects are affordable-housing developments in downtown Santa Barbara that provide housing for the formerly homeless and individuals with mental illnesses.

These programs are evidence-based in nature, and support research findings demonstrating that individuals challenged by the disabling effects of mental illness benefit from successful daily life pursuits, including regular, competitive employment; meaningful relationships; and stable, permanent and affordable housing.

During her long history of survival on the streets, Nina used her fighting skills to defend herself, spent time in jail and prison, detoxed from drugs and alcohol and experienced recovery alone, slept in a carport for several years, and lived off of recycling income and whatever resources she could find. When eventually housed after years of homelessness, she found it to be a challenging transition. She could not sleep at night, and would sometimes sleep in her old carport shelter to ease her anxiety.

After meeting weekly with the Residential Support Services coordinator, Nina adjusted to having her own home, was connected to the Veterans Affairs Department, now has full medical services, and her diabetes is under control. Nina has great insight into the spiral of addiction and the trauma of street life, and recognizes that she is no longer isolated thanks to her community of supporters and the PathPoint services she receives with her housing — something she would not give up for anything.

October marks the kick off of PathPoint’s fall 50th anniversary celebrations. PathPoint participants, donors, sponsors, family members, community members and employees will gather to commemorate the special milestone of 50 years of service to adults with special needs Saturday, Oct. 25, at La Cumbre County Club. Call 805.961.9200 x1100 to purchase tickets.

Click here for more information about PathPoint, or call 805.966.3310.

— Corinne Hayhurst is communications manager at PathPoint.

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Jeff Moehlis: Erasure-head — A Chat with Vince Clarke

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Synth wizard talks about the band's upcoming show in Ventura

In the synthpop world, there aren't many artists who have enjoyed the artistic and commercial success that songwriter/synth wizard Vince Clarke has.

As a founding member of Depeche Mode, he wrote the early singles "Just Can't Get Enough," "Dreaming of Me" and "New Life," and spearheaded the band's 1981 debut album Speak & Spell before making a quick exit. Next came the short-lived band Yaz(oo) and songs including "Only You" and the dance masterpiece "Situation."

In 1985, Clarke joined forces with singer Andy Bell to form Erasure, a band that has been going strong ever since. They have sold over 25 million albums, and have an amazing list of hit singles including "O L'amour," "Sometimes," "Victim of Love," "Chains of Love," "A Little Respect," "Blue Savannah" and "Always." Just over a month ago, they released their 16th studio album, The Violet Flame, which has been getting favorable comparisons with their recordings of decades past.

Erasure will be performing at the Majestic Ventura Theater on Sunday, Oct. 26. Tickets are available by clicking here.

Clarke talked to Noozhawk about the upcoming show and more. The full interview is available by clicking here.

                                                                        •        •

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

Vince Clarke: The show's about an hour and a half long, and we'll be playing mostly stuff from our back catalog, a lot of which has been kind of manipulated and extended for this show. And then, obviously, we'll be playing some songs from our new record. It's a bit of a disco show.

JM: Sounds great! You mentioned the new record. How do you view that album in relation to the rest of the Erasure catalog?

VC: Once you've made the record, it's very hard for me to put it into context with everything else that I've done, because it's so new. I think certain songs take on different meanings as we grow older.

That's certainly been true for the songs we've done in the past. Or something that you don't really understand, perhaps, suddenly takes on its own kind of meaning when it's performed live.

JM: I find it amazing that you found Andy Bell just by putting an advertisement in a music newspaper. Do you remember what stood out about him compared with the other people that responded to the ad?

VC: The thing that we noticed immediately was the fact that Andy could sing the songs with such emotion. His emotional interpretations of the songs just seemed to be perfect.

JM: Obviously it worked out — you guys have been making music together for almost three decades now. Do you have a secret that you think has helped you to stay together, and seemingly get along with each other, all these years?

VC: I think the secret really is the amount of trust that we have between us. We both write the songs together, and I think writing songs is a very personal thing. You have to have the right person to work with to do that. You have to work with somebody you trust, and that's something that Andy and I have had between us, that we've learned over the years.

JM: If you don't mind going way back in time, what initially drew you to electronic music and the synthesizer as an instrument?

VC: I guess I was just inspired by people like Gary Numan, The Human League, you know, the first Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark record. They were so unique and different from anything else that was happening. I really felt I wanted to be a part of that scene.

JM: Technology has advanced immensely since you first started writing and recording music. How has that affected the way you approach making music?

VC: I don't think it's changed the way we approach music, because me and Andy still sit down and write songs with guitars. That, for us, is the priority. I mean, all the toys come later. But I guess as far producing a record is concerned, it's a lot easier and there's a lot more choices. And it's good and bad [laughs].

JM: My favorite Erasure song is "A Little Respect." Can you tell me a little bit about how that came together?

VC: That was written ... I had a house in London, and Andy came around and we were just messing about on the guitar, really, and I came up with this guitar riff or this guitar pattern. Andy just started singing little bits of melody into the tape recorder. It was pieced together like that. It's one of those songs that really didn't mean anything in the beginning, and then once it was played and performed, especially performed live, then it started taking on a meaning.

JM: I hope you're finding that America is still receptive to your music.

VC: It's been great. It's been really great. A lot of people come to our concerts that have been coming to our concerts for years, so that's always lovely to see. And nobody's asked for their money back.

JM: You're clearly doing something right!

— 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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Laurie Jervis: Spicy Black Bean Soup for Fall Nights, Hearty Reds

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Despite the recent triple-digit heat wave, the Central Coast's version of autumn has indeed arrived. The afternoon light is softer, winds have mellowed and morning temperatures are cool.

The bulk of Santa Barbara County's winemakers have harvested their 2014 fruit in what some are calling as one of the earliest and "quickest" harvests on record. To be sure, some slower-to-mature red Bordeauxs remain on the vine, but will likely see a cellar by at least the end of October.

We mortals are not the only ones to discern the change in seasons: Vines, when picked clean of grapes, enjoy a proverbial seventh-inning stretch and look ahead to hibernation, known in the plant world as senescence.

Once green leaves' chlorophylls break down and the sugars, proteins and starches are transitioned to storage inside the vine for winter's dormancy, the hues of yellow, orange and brown become clearly visible.

Like many others, I view autumn as a vineyard's prettiest season, and spend most of my commutes admiring the contrast between vines' orange and yellow leaves and the bright green carpet of cover crops that sprout between the rows. 

If by day I admire colorful vineyards, by evening I celebrate autumn with a longtime favorite recipe, Zesty Black Bean Soup. 

I first tried this in 1986 at the Off Broadway Cafe, a Captiva Island, Fla., restaurant that, to the best of my knowledge, no longer exists. No matter. I have a torn, ragged paper copy of a March 1987 column by longtime writer Jeremy Iggers, who then wrote about food for the Detroit Free Press. 

In his column, Iggers highlighted this bean soup as one that doesn't result in the gas that creates havoc with diners' digestive systems. 

Some of the more difficult-to-locate ingredients are likely available in Asian or Indian markets, he noted. 

Ingredients

2 tbsp. vegetable or olive oil

½ cup unsweetened, shredded coconut, finely minced

2 tbsp. fennel seeds

1 tbsp. black mustard seeds

1 tbsp. cumin seeds

1 medium onion, diced

½-inch piece fresh ginger root, minced

Six plump cloves garlic, peeled and chopped (or more to taste)

1 tbsp. ground cumin

1 tbsp. curry powder

½ tsp. ground coriander

½ tsp. cayenne pepper

Three 15-ounce cans black beans

One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, with puree

Juice of one lemon

One bunch cilantro, minced

Salt and pepper to taste 

Directions: In a large, heavy pot, heat oil slightly and add coconut, fennel seeds, black mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Saute two minutes, until slightly brown (don't burn). 

Add onion, ginger and garlic and cook until soft. Stir in ground cumin, curry powder, ground coriander and cayenne pepper. Add beans and tomatoes. 

Mix well and simmer for one hour, covered, stirring occasionally. Add lemon juice, cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with corn chips. Yield: Six generous servings.

This soup is an ideal match for hearty red wines such as syrah, cabernet sauvignon or zinfandel. 

— Laurie Jervis blogs about wine at www.centralcoastwinepress.com, tweets at @lauriejervis and can be reached via winecountrywriter@gmail.com. The opinions expressed are her own.

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3 Suspects Sought in Isla Vista Home-Invasion Robbery

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Investigators were searching for three men who committed a "home-invasion style" robbery early Wednesday in Isla Vista, according to UC Santa Barbara officials.

The incident occurred at about 1:45 a.m. at a residence in the 700 block of Camino Del Sur, according to an alert sent out by UCSB.

"Three suspects entered a residence and demanded property," the alert said. "One suspect brandished a knife, and there was a threat of a gun, however, no gun was seen. The suspects were last seen heading towards El Colegio Road."

The suspects were described as a Hispanic male adult with a heavy build and pony-tail, and wearing a gray shirt; a male approximately 30 years old, with a slender build and pock-marked face; and a male white adult, approximately 20 years old, 6-foot-2, with a slender build and a chin-strap beard.

Anyone with any information about this incident or any other crime is encouraged to contact the Sheriff’s Tip Line at 805.681.4171 or at the following link: www.sbsheriff.org/anonymoustips.html.

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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Steven Crandell: Funding Locally, and the Story Behind the Well

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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In philanthropy, as in most human endeavors, lasting change is elusive.

But when donors act to replace local dependency with local capacity, they can empower a locally led and stakeholder-supported evolution of service. Responsive growth can become part of a project’s DNA. And change, fed by local needs and local dreams, becomes both durable and flexible.

Santa Barbara County is full of generous people who give because they perceive genuine need. There are many nonprofit organizations that exist to fill that need. But we all benefit — donors, nonprofits and the communities being served — when we ask a simple question: Are we building capacity as well as serving immediate needs?

I believe we can all draw inspiration from an African example. The town of Makutano, Kenya, “transformed itself from a poor, inaccessible and arid ‘outback’ into a thriving hotbed of people-led development,” according to a 2011 report.* Part of the story of Makutano’s success depended on its partnership with a key external funder, the Kenya Community Development Foundation (KCDF) working in concert with the Makutano Community Development Association.

The former leader of the KCDF put the key issue beautifully in the following quote, which leads the report:

“Development is the story behind the well ... you can have a community that wants a well to get better water, and most development agencies are happy to just help a community sink a well, get a water pump and say, ‘Hurrah, we have clean water, we have done our job’ ... We were arguing that just getting the well is not enough — because that isn’t the development.

“The development, we were arguing, is the story behind the well; it’s how you get the well that’s important.

“Did you build local capacities? Did you change attitudes? Did you help the community to think differently?

“Did you help them to see that you are not going to be there to repair the well?”

        — Monica Mutuku, founding director, Kenya Community Development Foundation

Here are six factors that helped make the Makutano philanthropy work:

Common Vision and Approach

The donor-community relationship is based on an understanding that residents are owners and agents of their own development.

Harness Local Contributions, Build Local Assets

Encouraging local giving is part of building local infrastructure. And local infrastructure — whether physical, social, organizational or educational — is the key to self-determination.

Build Software and Hardware

This means supporting organizational capacity as well as concrete action plans. Analysis and planning can be funded as well as tangible assets and financial management.

Give Consistently and Consistent with Community Change

Keep your funding at a scale that doesn’t undermine community ownership or overwhelm capacity. Smaller amounts given consistently over a longer term can be very helpful.

Foster Long-Term Sustainability

Mobilize local resources as a means of increasing independence. Use matching funds to encourage other donors to contribute.

Patience

Accept that change takes time and requires multiple participants.

Source: Funding Locally, a guide created by Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors.

* Halima Mahomed and Brianne Peters (2011) “The Story Behind the Well: A case study of successful community development in Makutano, Kenya.” Published by the Global Fund for Community Foundations and the Coady International Institute.

Additional Resources: A 2014 update on Makatuno from PartnershipsInAction, an initiative of the Aga Khan Foundation

— Author and writer Steven Crandell helps integrate story and strategy for organizations, with nonprofit foundations a particular focus. “Thinking Philanthropy” aims to provide practical, thought-provoking ideas about giving. This article was cross-posted on Tumblr. Steven can be contacted at stevencrandell@noozhawk.com, or follow him on Twitter: @stevencrandell. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Cox Communications Doubling Internet Speeds in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Cox Communications on Wednesday began doubling the speeds on two of its most popular Internet service packages, Cox High Speed Internet Preferred and Cox High Speed Internet Premier.

These packages represent more than 75 percent of Cox’s high-speed Internet customers. Internet service speeds also will be increased on Cox High Speed Internet Ultimate service package.

The rollout of the new speeds will be completed by Thursday for customers in the Santa Barbara area.

With speeds as fast as 150 megabits, Cox continues to provide its customers with the fastest residential speeds. The increased speeds come on the heels of the company’s announced plans to offer gigabit speeds in all of its markets by the end of 2016.

Cox High Speed Internet Preferred will increase from 25 megabits per second to 50 megabits per second. Cox High Speed Internet Premier will increase from 50 megabits per second to 100 megabits per second. Cox High Speed Internet Ultimate will increase from 100 megabits to 150 megabits per second.

“Internet usage is doubling every two years, and this increase marks the 10th consecutive Internet speed increase in 11 years for our customers,” said Suzanne Schlundt, vice president of marketing for Cox Communications in California. “Consumers are adding more and more devices to their Wi-Fi networks to stream movies and TV shows, download music and share photographs. We’ll continue to invest in our network to offer a broadband experience that not only meets our customers’ needs, but exceeds them.”

Examples of what customers can do with the new speed increases (depending on the service plan):

» Download an email attachment — in less than a second

» Download 10 MP3 songs — in less than a second to one second

» Upload 30 vacation photos — in less than a second up to two seconds

» Upload a video clip up to 35MB — in two to eight seconds

» Download a full-length movie in one minute up to less than four minutes

In addition:

» Cox offers a wide array of broadband service packages designed to suit anyone’s needs, from the casual email user to power gamers and households with multiple family members using the Internet simultaneously.

» All Cox Internet customers receive free cloud storage, and the Cox Security Suite Plus and McAfee Family Protection, a comprehensive package of Internet security tools to help ensure online safety with anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-phishing, parental controls and more.

» Cox customers with the Preferred or higher packages have free access to 300,000 Wi-Fi hotspots when they travel to cities including Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., so they can stay connected on the go.

Customers interested in experiencing the new Internet speeds can click here or visit a local Cox Solutions Store to test drive the new speeds.

— Ceanne Guerra is the media and public relations manager for Cox Communications.

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Author/Human Rights Activist Stella Pope Duarte to Receive UCSB’s Luis Leal Award

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Author Stella Pope Duarte is this year’s recipient of UC Santa Barbara’s Luis Leal Award for Distinction in Chicano/Latino Literature.

Stella Pope Duarte
Stella Pope Duarte

The award will be presented during a ceremony at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29 in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 Humanities and Social Science Building. The event is free and open to the public.

Duarte is the author of the highly praised novels Let Their Spirits Dance and If I Die in Juárez, as well as two collections of short stories — Fragile Nights and Women Who Live in Coffee Shops and Other Stories.

“Stella Pope Duarte is a powerful writer about Mexican American barrio life in the Southwest and about the role of women in Chicano culture,” said Mario García, professor of Chicana and Chicano studies and of history at UCSB, and the organizer of the annual Leal Award.

A graduate of Arizona State University, Duarte is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Her novel If I Die in Juárez earned a 2009 American Book Award and a Pulitzer Prize nomination. It won the Southwest Book of the Year Award in the Top Pick category, and was named the Arizona Book of the Year in the category of Best in Popular Fiction. The novel also garnered the Foreword Book of the Year award and the Independent Publisher’s Book of the Year award, as well as receiving an honorable mention in the International Latino Book Awards.

Duarte’s novel Let Their Spirits Dance was nominated to Oprah’s Book Sense List and received the AZ Highways Fiction Award. It also was nominated for ONEBOOKAz, a statewide project aimed at promoting literacy and fostering a sense of community.

In 2008, Duarte earned first prize in the 34th Annual Chicano/Latino Literary Prize from UC Irvine for her short story collection Women Who Live in Coffee Shops and Other Stories.

Born in and raised in the Sonorita Barrio in South Phoenix, Duarte is a recipient of the Women In American History award from the Daughters of the American Revolution, and in 2013 was selected to be part of the Public Broadcasting System’s production “Makers: Women Who Make America.” Twice awarded creative writing fellowships from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, Duarte is also the author of Writing Through Revelations, Visions and Dreams: The Memoir of a Writer’s Soul.

The Leal Award is named in honor of Luis Leal, a professor emeritus of Chicana and Chicano Studies at UCSB, who was internationally recognized as a leading scholar of Chicano and Latino literature. Previous award recipients of the award include Demetria Martínez, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Graciela Limón, Pat Mora, Alejandro Morales, Helena Maria Viramontes, Oscar Hijuelos, Rudolfo Anaya, Denise Chávez, Hector Tobar and John Rechy.

— Andrea Estrada represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

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Dead Bird in Santa Ynez Tests Positive for West Nile Virus

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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A western scrub jay collected in Santa Ynez has tested positive for West Nile virus infection.

An alert local citizen reported the dead bird to the West Nile Virus Hotline.

This is the only WNV detection in Santa Barbara County this year. No human WNV cases have been reported in Santa Barbara County this year. West Nile virus has been detected in Santa Barbara County in previous years. This year has been a record year for WNV detections in other counties of California.

"This is a particularly late detection that reminds us that mosquitoes and West Nile virus are still active despite the drought and cooler weather," said Kenneth Learned, vector biologist for the Mosquito and Vector Management District of Santa Barbara County.

The district routinely looks for West Nile virus in adult mosquitoes, in the district's sentinel chicken flocks and in dead birds.

Most people who get infected with West Nile virus do not get sick. Some people will have only mild symptoms, such as fever, headache and body aches and recover after a few days to several weeks. However, the elderly and individuals with suppressed immune systems are at increased risk for more serious, and potentially life-threatening illness.

West Nile virus is passed primarily between birds by mosquitoes. Humans, horses and other animals can become infected with WNV if bitten by an infected mosquito. Human-to-human transmission of WNV does not occur.

The public is advised to take the following precautions to reduce the risk mosquito-borne disease transmission: Avoid outdoor activity when mosquitoes are most active, especially at dusk and dawn. When outdoors, wear long pants and long sleeved shirts and use mosquito repellants. Ensure that door and window screens are tight-fitting and in good repair. Eliminate standing and stagnant water to prevent mosquito breeding. Vaccinations are available for horses from your veterinarian.

More information about West Nile virus is available by clicking here. Dead or sick birds can be reported to the West Nile Virus Dead Bird Hotline at 877.968.2473.

— David Chang is general manager of the Mosquito and Vector Management District of Santa Barbara County.

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UC Santa Barbara Foundation Welcomes New Trustees for New Academic Year

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Five new trustees have been elected to the board of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation, a leadership body that promotes the university by increasing philanthropy, and managing and growing the endowment.

As UCSB’s principal fundraising organization, the nonprofit foundation generates and administers private gifts to the campus, including support for students, research and instruction. It also ensures the appropriate use of all private funds.

Helping to forge links between the professional and business communities and the campus to increase private support for university programs, the foundation plays a critical role in promoting and achieving fundraising goals and priorities. The board consists of philanthropic leaders sharing a commitment to advance UCSB’s mission and sustain its reputation for excellence.

“We are honored and thrilled to welcome these five visionary and dynamic leaders — all accomplished alumni of UC Santa Barbara — to our foundation board,” Chancellor Henry Yang said. “Our academic community is continually inspired and uplifted by the tremendous vision, devotion, guidance and philanthropic support of our outstanding trustees.”

Board chair Marcy Carsey added: “Our new UC Santa Barbara Foundation trustees will add another extraordinary layer to our already stellar board. Collectively and as individuals, our members are devoted to advancing the mission of this great university through private giving, advocacy and engagement. This new group raises the bar yet again. We welcome their vision and leadership.”

The new trustees for the 2014-15 year are:

» Robert Ballard ’65 — Professor of oceanography, University of Rhode Island; Earth Science Distinguished Alumni Award, UCSB, 1998; Distinguished Alumni Award, UCSB Alumni Association, 1985 (Narragansett, RI)

» Elizabeth Gabler ’77 — President, Fox 2000 Pictures, a division of Twentieth Century Fox Filmed Entertainment; member, UC Santa Barbara’s Carsey-Wolf Center Advisory Board; UCSB commencement speaker, 2006 (Santa Barbara)

» Ambassador Marc Grossman ’73 — Vice chairman, The Cohen Group; Distinguished Alumni Award, UCSB Alumni Association, 2001 (Arlington, VA)

» George Holbrook, Jr. ’53 — Managing partner, Bradley Resources Company; member, UC Santa Barbara’s Institute for Energy Efficiency Director’s Council; honoree, UCSB Engineering Exemplary Service Award, 2012 (Santa Barbara)

» Michael Koch ’89 — Surgeon and partner, New York Group for Plastic Surgery; member, New York Campaign Committee (New York)

“The university is so fortunate to welcome these outstanding leaders to our foundation board,” said Beverly Colgate, executive director of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation. “Our trustees bring unique external perspectives to our campus, and we so value their contribution of time, vision and leadership. Our new group of trustees are notably accomplished nationally as well as internationally and we are thankful for their commitment and investment in the university.”

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

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Max McCumber: Time to Salute the Obscure in Sports

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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One doesn't need a Halloween costume to be acceptably obscure, this time of year or ever. Sometimes all that is necessary is a sports jersey. The same athletic costume worn performing a entirely different task than usual suffices.

Max McCumber
Max McCumber

Although its not their primary role, some standing 7 feet or taller on basketball courts have been fair outside shooters. Not Shaquille O'Neal, who could barely sink free throws. I seem to recall a game staged in New Jersey — well before the Nets moved over to Brooklyn, of which the visiting Los Angeles Lakers had all but clinched the victory. In the final minute or so, Shaq fired a shot from the three-point line. I remember broadcaster Chick Hearn half-jokingly saying, "OK, don't shoot the three, Shaq." Whether or not it was an airball has escaped me, but it didn't come close to a swish.

In high school, I threw the shot put and discus on the track team. Most of the throwing event participants are the slowest ones on the roster. As a joke, we sometimes held a throwers 4x100 relay at the end of meets. Vice-versa, a few wiry distance runners tried their hands at the throwing events at some dual meets.

Kids who pitch in Little League baseball are rarely restricted to such activity; it's customary for them to switch field positions. Not so at the big league level, where pitchers are now specialized down to starters, left-handed one-out, set-up and closers.

Which is why the sight of a position player on the mound in an MLB game is regarded as awkward and comical. It only happens if a team is on the losing end of a blowout score, say 16-1, and a prime opportunity to give the bullpen a rest. Then, or a seemingly never-ending affair that lasts 15-20 innings.

Had the marathon 18-inning Division Series game featuring the San Francisco Giants and Washington Nationals taken place in the regular season a few months prior, a position player would have been more likely to pitch. The Giants' Hunter Pence would be the most amusing one to assume this role. Considering how unorthodox his style of play is, Pence would probably have a herky jerky windup.

One of the most notable position players to record a pitching appearance has been Hall-of-Famer Wade Boggs. On a few occasions, Boggs came in relief as a knuckleballer. His stuff may not have been on the same level as R.A. Dickey or the Niekro brothers, but he got the job done.

On the flip side, a pitcher is often the weakest offensive player in a big league lineup. Sure, I like the traditionalist argument against the designated hitter, as the National League lends itself more to strategic intrigue with double switches. Beyond that, though, it's more amusing to see a hurler at the plate with a goofy, upright stance.

In 1967, St. Louis Cardinals hurler Bob Gibson impressively hit a home run. It caught everyone by surprise. Yes, I'd rather see a pitcher bat than just another offensive weapon in the DH spot. However, I would prefer the American League keep the DH and it stay out of the National. This way, if a Junior Circuit pitcher ekes out a hit in an interleague or World Series game, it stands out as something the crowd least expects.

In the World Series this year, the Giants' Madison Bumgarner may not bat in a game if he's not due to start in San Francisco, but he's no slouch. If not for Clayton Kershaw. he would be a front-runner for the NL Cy Young Award. Bumgarner is not too bad of a hitter either, with four homers in the regular season.

The mere sight of the Kansas City Royals in the playoffs is surreal enough for someone my age. Since I was born the year after their last trip in 1985, it was something I had never been alive to see before their thrilling victory in the AL Wild Card Game. To me, its akin to the Chicago Cubs appearing in the Fall Classic.

Last but not least, yet another Derek Jeter salute, but I must mention the flip play. What he accomplished against the Oakland Athletics in the 2001 playoffs is an enduring piece of baseball lore due to its obscurity. When else has a shortstop nailed a runner at home from the first base line?

What if athletes were all automatons programmed to stay the same spot and perform the same function repeatedly? It sounds more like a science fiction premise than a sporting event. Sports would be deprived of too much character without breaks in routines.

— Max McCumber is a Santa Barbara resident.

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Girls Inc. of Carpinteria Fetes Longtime Supporters at ‘Evening in Bloom’

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s second annual fundraiser, "An Evening in Bloom," brought together nearly 250 people on Saturday at Westerlay Orchids in Carpinteria for a glamorous evening filled with beautiful orchids, generous supporters and heartwarming stories.

The gala honored local flower growers with deep roots in community involvement, Ed Van Wingerden, owner of Ever-Bloom, and brother Win Van Wingerden, owner of Maximum Nursery and an honorary member of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s board of trustees. The honorees are both longtime supporters of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria and also served as auctioneers for the event.

“Each year, our fall fundraiser recognizes people in the community who have made a powerful impact on the lives of young girls, and reminds us why it is important that we each do our part as well,” said Victoria Juarez, executive director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria. “Ed and Win are outstanding supporters who are dedicated to our mission to grow healthy, educated and independent girls. We thank them for all they have done and continue to do for Girls Inc. of Carpinteria.”

All proceeds supported the organization’s mission to empower girls and women to achieve personal, social, economic and political success and cultivate confident, successful girls.

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria currently serves more than 700 girls each year through a variety of programs, motivating them to take risks and master physical, intellectual and emotional challenges.

Guests were greeted with a red carpet entrance followed by a cocktail reception, dinner buffet, live and silent auctions, and dancing to The Rincon’s later in the evening, in a unique setting among long rows of stunning orchids.

This year’s event co-chairs were Donna Baird of Baird Wealth Strategy Group and Stefanie Herrington, an estate planning attorney at Bartlett & Herrington in Carpinteria. Carpinteria Unified School board president Andy Sheaffer served as master of ceremonies.

Bloom
Former Girls Inc. of Carpinteria member Graciela Rodriguez speaks at “An Evening in Bloom,” sharing her story of how the organization changed her life. (David Powdrell photo)

Ruthie Tremmel, former executive director of Girls Inc. of Carpinteria, introduced Ed and Win Van Wingerden and presented the honorees with plaques of recognition. The brothers were honored to be longtime supporters of the organization.

Girls Inc. of Carpinteria board president Clyde Freeman recognized Mary Crowley, former president of the board of trustees who served for seven years with the organization. She was presented with a certificate of recognition and Freeman graciously thanked her for the many years of leadership and dedication.

Graciela Rodriguez, a first grade teacher at the Adelante Charter School in Santa Barbara and Girls Inc. alum, shared her story about how the organization helped her discover her potential and opened her eyes to endless possibilities, crediting Girls Inc. for being her lifeline.

“It wasn’t until I received counseling and got involved in Girls Inc. of Carpinteria’s teen programs that my life changed dramatically,” said Rodriguez, who shared her struggles with body image as a teenager and her fight with anorexia and bulimia. “Girls Inc. challenged me to make something positive out of my struggle and gave me the opportunity to do so.”

Rodriguez has been part of the Girls Inc. family for 30 years, as a member, employee, and currently a member of the Girls Inc. National Latina Advisory Board. She holds a master’s degree in multiple-subject education and special education. Rodriguez said she feels blessed for the opportunity she has to inspire young children to pursue their dreams and believe that anything is possible, just as Girls Inc. did for her.

“I wanted to share this with all of you to thank you on behalf of girls everywhere for everything you do,” Rodriguez said to the crowd. “As you think about the future of girls and the future of Girls Inc., please remember that the seeds you plant blossom into generations of strong, smart, and bold women. I am a product of Girls Inc.”

— Daniella Alkobi is a publicist representing Girls Inc. of Carpinteria.

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Bill Cirone: Voting Remains Our Shared Responsibility

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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As the world situation becomes ever more worrisome, we are reminded once again what sets us apart as one of the greatest powers on Earth — our democratic system of governance and our freedoms. Neither comes without a price — and that price is the responsibility to vote. We all know voting is our right. We sometimes forget it is our duty as well, as citizens in a democracy.

Throughout history people have sacrificed their lives for the freedom to vote, and throughout our shrinking world they continue to do so in an effort to elect leaders and influence policies. Yet many in our communities continue to take that right for granted, or relinquish it all together. Statistics from the last California primary show that only 18 percent of registered voters took part in this important civic responsibility.

On Tuesday, Nov. 4, or by absentee ballot in the weeks leading up to that date, citizens will once again have the chance to make their choice among candidates for federal, state and judicial offices, as well as school district, special district and city offices. The ballot will also contain important state and local measures. Once again, apathy or lack of participation will be the greatest threats to the outcome.

I view elections and initiatives through the lens of what is best for children. Because they can’t vote, it is up to us to determine how best to ensure a strong, healthy promising future for this next generation.

Many of the candidates have very clear-cut positions on children’s issues and programs. Plus, several ballot measures and propositions will have direct impact on the children of this state and our community. Several school board seats are also up for election, with direct influence on local school districts.

Parents and adults who advocate for young people can make sure, by their vote, that government will make children a priority in policy matters. As Thomas Jefferson said, “In a democracy, agreement is not essential, but participation is.”

What kind of a nation would we become and what kind of government would we have if people no longer participated?

As we cast our votes for candidates and initiatives, we will be setting priorities for this decade and beyond.

As an educator, I am a strong supporter of school districts’ efforts to support and serve the children and young people in their charge. In this election, several school bonds will appear on the ballot, including Carpinteria, College, Montecito, Santa Maria-Bonita and Santa Barbara City College. Some of the state propositions will also have a direct or indirect effect on school districts. I urge you to get the details of the measures that will affect your family, and cast an educated vote on the various measures.

Santa Barbara County Clerk Recorder Joseph Holland maintains an informative voting website at sbcvote.com. The California League of Women Voters also provides current voting guides at votersedge.org.

I urge all members of our community to learn the positions of various candidates and the details of the various measures, and to use that knowledge to take part in this important aspect of our democracy. Exercise your right to vote and encourage others to do so as well. It’s the price we pay for our freedoms.

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

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Santa Ynez Football Teams, Booster Club to ‘Go Pink’ for Cancer Awareness at Friday’s Games

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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The Boys Will Go Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month as a tribute to their mothers, grandmothers, sisters and aunts. The Santa Ynez Valley Union High School varsity and junior varsity football teams will don pink socks at their game on Friday when they play Pioneer Valley High School.

The game time for junior varsity is 4 p.m., and 7 p.m. for the varsity team.

The Football Booster Club will sell pink cupcakes and run a 50/50 raffle with the proceeds going toward the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic-Solvang Oncology Department. The cupcakes will be donated by the Solvang Bakery.

“They were a huge success last year,” said Charlene Hiatt, Football Booster Club treasurer and coordinator for the “Go Pink” fundraiser. “Last year we had some very generous people paying up to $20 for a cupcake! We’re hoping to see those same generous people embrace our efforts this year.”

Hiatt’s own mother is a breast cancer survivor.

Dr. Jonathan Berkowitz (oncologist) and Mary Fox (manager of the Solvang Oncology Department) were tickled pink to hear that the teams were going to do this again this year. Last year the Booster Club donated $1,500 for oncology programs and services in the valley.

While Hiatt heads up the SYHS Go Pink fundraiser, it is the football players and coaches who are the driving force behind the mission, the pink socks and the theme.

“Some of our current players and coaches have family members who have recently battled cancer," she said. "It has touched our football program personally.”

The teams will take a moment during the game to recognize and support those in their fight against cancer. Both teams want to show their support and do something to help their local community. While the boys are playing hard on the field, Hiatt and the Football Booster Club will work equally as hard off the field selling cupcakes and running the fundraiser.

— Liz Baker is a marketing coordinator for Sansum Clinic.

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Legislature Approvals Proposals to Improve Residential Care Facilities for Elderly

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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The Elder & Dependent Adult Abuse Prevention Council of Santa Barbara County is pleased to note that Gov. Jerry Brown and the state Legislature have approved several state legislative proposals addressing problems in residential care facilities for the elderly in the recent session.

"Our communities have changed in the past 20 years, including the residents of assisted living facilities,” said Joyce Ellen Lippman, facilitator of the Elder & Dependent Adult Abuse Prevention Council of Santa Barbara County. “As our community has aged, so has the resident population. The population in assisted living facilities has aged, grown frailer and with more chronic and disabling health conditions."

“Needs of senior citizens are increasing due to numerous factors, such as increasing numbers of the old-old, reduced personal incomes due to the continuing recession and increasing health care costs,” Amy Mallett said. “As chair of the Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council, we support efforts to meet these needs, including improving care for residents of long-term care facilities.”

“Several bills that made it through the state legislative process are of specific interest to the Abuse Prevention Council,” Lippman said.

These bills include:

» SB 1153, authored by state Sen. Leno, gives the State Department of Social Services the ability to ban new admissions at RCFE’s with significant problems

» SB 911, authored by state Sen. Block, increases requirements for staff and administrator training

» SB 1382, authored by state Sen. Block, raises licensing fees by 20 percent

» SB 895, authored by Sen. Corbett, requires Department of Social Services to post inspection reports and the annual inspection report

» SB 2171, authored by state Sen. Wieckowski, creates the first statutory bill of rights for residents of Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly

» AB 1572, authored by Assembly Member Eggman, strengthens family and resident councils

» AB 1523, authored by Assembly Member Atkins, requires liability insurance for RCFE licensees

» AB 1899, authored by Assembly Member Brown, calls for a permanent lifetime ban for licensees who abandon residents

» AB 2044, authored by Assembly Member Rodriguez, ensures every RCFE has a manager or designee present 24 hours a day

“These bills, when enacted, will improve care of RCFE residents, which is our goal," Lippman said. “There are still several issues that remain due to bills that were unable to make it through the state legislative process. These unsuccessful bills would have allowed expedited inspections, created an online consumer information system and mandated annual inspections of RCFEs.”

“During the next legislative session, we will work with our local legislators to address these three issues,” Mallett said. “It is important to protect the residents and ensure their safety.”

For more information, please call 805.925.9554, 805.965.3288 or 800.510.2020.

— Joyce Ellen Lippman is director of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens.

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Letter to the Editor: Highway 101 Is Just a Ploy

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Are you surprised at Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schnieder and the City Council majority over Highway 101? Choice is not the end game!

The latest uproar over SBCAG and the lawsuit is only the tip of the iceberg with the mayor and council majority.

Cars Are Basic warned voters if they voted for council members and mayors who advocate for street narrowing, taking of traffic lanes, backing "Bulbout Hell," and other anti-car planning that the end game would be "taking" of your option to drive. The city declared open war on auto drivers.

Voters rebelled in 2009 when faced with "Bulbout Hell" and changed the Santa Barbara council majority. The new majority passed resolutions not to obstruct streets and truck routes. The voters falsely believed they won. Thinking they were protected at the 2011 election, they voted for the old tired majority. This old school majority, in open defiance of resolutions of the past council, steam-rolled ahead with anti-car planning.

Business as usual as if the rebellion never happened. Their anger is directed at the public who dared speak against destruction of city streets and free travel. Back came "Bulbout Hell," narrowing of streets and more. Then came the devastating change in the General Plan allowing for high-density overlay and the authority to declare "overriding" issues ignoring CEQA.

CEQA is the California Environmental Quality Act. CEQA is intended to obstruct and prohibit all interests from "despoiling" the State of California. The left has plowed head long into their own brick wall. Their answer? Ignore it. The high density creates ghettos of housing and businesses without critical parking or street access. Congested parking and streets leading to noise, and pollution in "violation" of CEQA!

Senior traffic planner Rob Dayton (as listed by the city directory) has a 15½-year history of distortion and deception regarding transportation issues. Multiple mayors including Mayor Schneider have refused to demote or fire him. It is important the reader understand this is documented history in destroying your freedom of choice.

Joint Planning Commission and City Council meeting of September 2014: Mr. Dayton presented the "City of Santa Barbara Traffic Impact Study," stating the following. The intersection at Cliff Drive and Montecitio Street is completely saturated (as is the traffic load on Castillo underpass). Conditions of one of three primary reasons CAB worked to stop the city's takeover of Cliff Drive. When asked the outcome of the approved high-density infill allowed by the new city General Plan and future density, Dayton's statement was it will significantly increase congestion. Destroying your right to drive is finally revealed as the true intent of 40 years and the council majority.

The city "outed" itself. No longer is there a pretense of "choice" of transportation.

There should be a chill down the spine of every reader who believes in a free society. The openly admitted impacts of this planning (above joint meeting) will create difficult conditions for businesses, making average traffic a nightmare for everyone (not rush hour) and destroy single family neighborhoods. Congestion will significantly increase costs of goods and services, and degrade living. This planning will forever change the very reason people move to Santa Barbara and south county. When informed of the joint meeting presentation, business owners and operators in the city shake their heads and state this is the long-term end of what they do.

Scott Wenz
Cars Are Basic

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Kimberly Horn: Estate Planning Dos and Don’ts

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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The term estate planning can be intimidating when thrown around in conversation. However, it is a vital process that everyone must embrace to eliminate uncertainties associated with the administration of your property. With the proper planning and executed strategies, you can reduce taxes and other expenses while also controlling the distribution of your legacy.

Kimberly Horn
Kimberly Horn

Outlined below are several popular components of estate planning.

Estate planning documents: A will, advance health-care directive, durable power of attorney for finance, durable power of attorney for health care, and a living trust are the typical and key documents to establish. Appropriate titling of your assets is crucial as well. It is important to have a full list of assets and review them with your advisor and attorney every year.

Employer legal insurance: If you work for a large institution, for example UCSB, look into their legal offerings. Typically they offer a discount for employees to secure estate documents. Additionally, they will provide you with a list of approved local attorneys.

Gifting real estate with debt: Beware of unintended consequences when leaving real estate to heirs with mortgages attached to them. This will be important to review with your attorney to ensure that your intentions are properly outlined. For instance, if you are leaving two properties; one to each child and one property has debt associated with it, this should be taken into consideration. Depending on your goals, and if you intend to equalize your assets to your two children, this could become a major entanglement without addressing it in your estate documents.

The one child left behind: Often estate documents are created before a couple is done having children and the “final” child is unintentionally left out. This can easily be addressed by reviewing your documents every few years and updating them with your estate planning attorney.

The one child purposely left behind: If you are intentionally leaving out a child or family member in your living trust and will, please discuss with your attorney to take the appropriate precautions. It is commonly advised to leave $1 dollar as opposed to not mentioning the relative altogether, as it demonstrates it was intentional and not an oversight that can later be contested. An attorney can help with the wording so the language is written in such a way that future legal concerns are avoided.

Successor trustee: Identifying a successor trustee can be an anguishing decision. A family member, friend or corporate trustee are all viable options. Although there are pros and cons for each, I recommend thinking twice before naming all of your children equally. Naming one or two delegates can truly simplify matters. Losing a parent is very painful and difficult. Expecting all your children to be amicable after your death can sometimes be an unrealistic expectation. Family disputes arise even amongst the closest of siblings while working through the complexities of executing a family estate. It is best to communicate your successor trustee plans openly with your children before your demise regardless of your selection.

Bequeathing inhabited properties: Do you have real estate properties which currently have tenants? If so, then consider a clause in the tenants’ lease that will allow your heirs to evict and sell if they should see fit. This can avoid hassles for your heirs down the road should you pass away while holding tenant-occupied properties.

Bank deposit box: Look into labeling your bank deposit box in joint name so that the bank does not seal it closed upon your passing.

Spousal IRAs versus inherited IRAs: It is typically optimal to roll your deceased spouses IRA into a spousal IRA in your individual name and not into an inherited IRA. Not only is this a “free pass” from the IRS so that you can avoid the required minimum distributions of an inherited IRA (and the associated federal and state income taxes), but you are also avoiding a commonly unrecognized risk. Inherited IRAs are not protected from creditors in the event of a bankruptcy case.

Lifetime gifting: Gifting during your lifetime is both admirable and a strategic estate planning technique. But truth be told, it is important to not sacrifice your own retirement plan in the process.Reviewing your retirement plan with your financial advisor is paramount in these situations.

Beneficiaries: Review your beneficiaries on 401(k)s, 403(b)s, IRAs, annuities and life insurance to confirm they are up to date. Otherwise, these assets could transfer to an unintended recipient. Take the time to update them accordingly.

— Kimberly Horn, M.B.A., CFP, AAMS, AWMA, is a client advocate at Monarch Wealth Strategies. She can be reached at kimberly@mwsus.com or 805.564.0800 x123. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

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PacWest Bancorp Reports Net Earnings of $62.3 Million for Third Quarter

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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PacWest Bancorp announced on Wednesday net earnings for the third quarter of 2014 of $62.3 million, or 60 cents per diluted share, compared to net earnings for the second quarter of 2014 of $10.6 million, or 10 cents per diluted share.

When certain income and expense items described below are excluded, adjusted net earnings are $68.4 million, or 66 cents per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2014 and $63.8 million, or 64 cents per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2014.

"The operating metrics of our third quarter are outstanding," President/CEO Matt Wagner said. "We originated $975 million of loans and leases resulting in annualized portfolio growth of 14 percent. Core deposits grew $269 million during the quarter, with $85 million of such growth coming from CapitalSource division borrowers. At Sept. 30, CapitalSource division borrowers had $193 million on deposit with us and our team continues to have a strong pipeline.

"On the earnings side, we posted a robust adjusted earnings of $68.4 million, or 66 cents per share, that represent a 1.73 percent return on average assets and a 15.8 percent return on average tangible equity. Our credit quality remains strong, with substantial reductions in nonaccrual and classified loans and leases. These strong operating results, along with the asset generation momentum from the CapitalSource merger, position us well for continued growth and success."

Vic Santoro, executive vice president and CFO, said, "Our net interest margin and expense control were strong in the third quarter. Our core net interest margin remains quite solid at 5.64 percent. The third quarter adjusted efficiency ratio at 43 percent held steady with the second quarter. We continue to build capital, with a tangible common equity ratio of 12.2 percent at the end of September."

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Westmont Observatory to Open for Partial Solar Eclipse

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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The Westmont Observatory will open for a partial solar eclipse from 2:15 to 5 p.m. Thursday.

At its peak, the moon will cover more than 30 percent of the sun at 3:30 p.m. The viewing is free and open to the public.

Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, and two members of the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit will set up three special telescopes in front of the observatory for the viewing.

“We will have white light scopes, which are equipped with neutral density filters, as well as scopes that will view the sun in hydrogen-alpha, the red line of hydrogen,” he says. “Just for fun, I will also bring a colander from the kitchen to project multiple images of the chunk taken out of the sun onto the wall of the observatory. When viewed this way, these images are a show stopper.”

The moon slid into the Earth’s shadow in April and October, giving us two total lunar eclipses this year. Interestingly, nowhere on Earth will this solar eclipse be a total eclipse.

The observatory opens its doors to the public every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the SBAU, whose members bring their own telescopes to Westmont for the public to gaze through.

The observatory sits between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex at Westmont. Parking is free for guests, but may be limited since classes are in session.

— Scott Craig is the media relations manager for Westmont College.

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Letter to the Editor: A Poem for Election Season

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Election time is upon us. A small, poetic offering — Don Basilio's Aria from The Barber of Seville — to go along with the season.

Let me teach you the art of slander,
So ethereal you scarcely feel it.
Not a motion will reveal it,
Till it gently, o so gently,
Almost imperceptibly begins to grow.
First a murmur, slowly seeping,
Then a whisper, slowly creeping,
Slyly sneaking, softly sliding,
Faintly humming, smoothly gliding.
Then it suddenly commences,
Coming nearer, reaching people's ears and senses.
First a mere insinuation,
Just a hinted accusation,
Slowly growing to a rumor,
Which will shortly start to flow.
What began as innuendo
Soon is swelling in crescendo;
Gossip turning into scandal,
Stopping nowhere, hard to handle;
Louder, Bolder, brazen sounding,
Stomping, beating, thumping, pounding,
Shrieking, banging, booming, clanging,
Spreading horror through the air.
Rising higher, overflowing,
Whipped to fury, madly growing,
Like a stream of lava pouring,
Like a mighty cannon roaring.
A tremendous tempest raking,
A tornado splitting, shaking,
Like the day of judgment breaking,
Pandemonium ev'rywhere!
And the victim, poor accused one,
Has to slink away in shame
And wish he never had been born.

Russell W. Newby
Goleta

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Santa Barbara Transient Occupancy Tax Continues Growth in September

By | Published on 10/22/2014

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Santa Barbara lodging establishments collected and remitted $1.61 million in transient occupancy tax (TOT) during September, which is 6.9 percent higher than September of last year.

In total, more than $6.1 million in ongoing TOT revenue has been collected through September, 8.5 percent ahead of this point last year and ahead of the 4.9 percent growth needed to meet the adopted budget.

The city’s fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30 each year. The fiscal year 2014 TOT budget is $17,641,400.

Click here for additional information on TOT.

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

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Goleta Council Discusses Parking Plan, Law Enforcement for Isla Vista Halloween

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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City officials say they're concerned that the threat of citations won't be enough to deter out-of-towners from parking in residential areas

With Halloween just days away, Goleta city officials on Tuesday discussed a plan they hope will control parking issues, but only after a somewhat prickly exchange between City Council members and law enforcement.

The City of Goleta is enacting street parking restrictions in neighborhoods around Isla Vista that have been used in years past as parking for the thousands of out-of-town revelers attending Halloween festivities in the largely student-populated community. For a map of the impacted area, scroll down.

This year, the city is implementing a resident-only permit parking program in the restricted area.  The permits, which will be mailed to the residents, will allow them to park on the street.

Santa Barbara Sheriff's Department Lt. Butch Arnoldi, who is Goleta's police chief, said that a total of 18 personnel will be in the area over the weekend. 

"Citations will be issued and arrests will be made," he told the City Council on Tuesday.

Some friction arose, however, when council members pressed Arnoldi about the towing of vehicles that would be taking place on Halloween weekend.

Because the purpose of the parking restrictions is to avoid disruptions to the neighborhood, Arnoldi said that revelers returning to the neighborhoods to find their cars missing "would raise heck," most likely causing a scene early in the morning. 

On top of that, towing would cause more paperwork for a staff already stretched thin, he said.

"If the car is blocking a driveway or a fire hydrant, then those people will be towed, but our primary purpose will be citations," Arnoldi said.

Citing the parked cars would be the first line of defense, he said, but the citations issued will only amount to $37.50 apiece, which Councilman Roger Aceves countered was cheaper than a cab ride from downtown Santa Barbara to Goleta.

Halloween parking
Planned parking restrictions for Halloween weekend in Isla Vista. (City of Goleta map)

"Thirty-seven dollars to these kids is not going to be anything," Councilman Jim Farr said, adding that he hopes the fee can be raised in the future.

Perhaps most critical was Mayor Michael Bennett.

"I'm sorry it inconveniences people," he told Arnoldi. "We want the inconvenience. We want tows."

Vyto Adomaitis, director of  the neighborhood services and public safety department for the city, assured the council that staff heard their concerns and would act accordingly.

Another area of concern arose when several council members asked about the patrol shifts deputies will be working. The shifts are from 5 p.m. to 3 a.m., and if any activity is continuing to take place at the end of the shift, Arnoldi said deputies will be required to stay longer to deal with that.

"We will stay as long as we need to stay," he said. "In the past we've towed anywhere from five to 12 vehicles each night, so that will probably be the same, if not more. ... Every sworn deputy will be working that weekend."

Signs will go up next week letting people know about the restricted streets, and tow trucks will be stationed all around the city as a warning.

Permits for residents will be mailed out starting this week, according to Adomaitis.

"They'll probably start going out on Friday and throughout the weekend," he said.

Permits will be delivered to residents in the area before Oct. 27, and if residents do not receive their permit before then, they should contact the city's Neighborhood Services Department at 805.961.7556.

The permits must be requested by noon on Oct. 31 and should be kept in the vehicles parked on the street until 6 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2.

If a vehicle is spotted without a permit on the street, residents can call 9-1-1 and the dispatcher will take the information and route it to a deputy for action.

Road access won't be restricted and the parking lots at Girsh Park and Camino Real Marketplace will be open to the public during daytime hours.

If this year's effort is successful, the city may consider expanding the restricted parking area next Halloween.

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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Goleta Council Considers Options for Adding Parking Lots in Old Town

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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City officials vote to move forward with discussions to lease or buy certain parcels near Hollister Avenue

Where to add parking lots in Old Town Goleta — and whether to charge patrons — took center stage Tuesday night at the Goleta City Council meeting.

After looking at several options, and disagreeing slightly about when more parking for the downtown area would actually be needed, council members voted 4-1 to direct staff to pursue discussions to lease or buy certain parcels near Hollister Avenue.

City Councilman Roger Aceves voted against the motion in favor of first tackling a better outline for developing the area through the Old Town Revitalization Plan.

The Goleta City Council was also supposed to approve some policy changes to the Old Town plan Tuesday, but tabled discussions to gather more information.

Staff came to the council for guidance after the city’s Economic Development and Revitalization Standing Committee hosted three public meetings on the subject, focusing on where cars could park if spaces are removed from along Hollister Avenue.

Economic development coordinator Jaime Valdez told the council he identified the six most promising parking lots that could be turned into city lots, either through a lease agreement or sale with property owners.

He quoted studies showing a net deficiency of 69 spaces in Old Town Goleta, where residents and customers can currently park in one-hour spaces that often aren’t enforced.

“The Economic Development Committee was really hoping to focus on low-hanging fruit,” Valdez said. “This tends to move really quickly, the real estate world.”

Council members were most receptive to Sites C and D, located south of Hollister, closest to the heart of Old Town.

Site C (5841 Hollister Ave.) currently contains an auto sound shop and is for sale at $1.75 million, and Site D (5827 Hollister) could be leased and shares a corner with Community West Bank and a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department substation, Valdez said.

Council members also showed interest in Site E (5777 Hollister), which shares a lot with Santa Cruz Market and could be leased or purchased.

Those options could offer between 37 new spaces (Site C) to 65 (Site E).

Other potential leased lots included a vacant parcel on Orange Avenue north of Hollister near Natural Café, a vacant lot south of Hollister on Orange Avenue and a Fuel Depot lot at 5755 Hollister Ave. that’s currently leased for three more years.

Valdez said staff hadn’t yet proposed how much the city could charge to park, saying most lot owners would prefer a pilot-parking program instead of entering into a long-term agreement with the city.

City Councilman Tony Vallejo and Valdez agreed Site C would be a lot of money, but Mayor Michael Bennett encouraged them to save cost questions for later.

Vallejo suggested focusing more on finding parking options on the north side of Hollister, a tough street for pedestrians to cross.

“I personally am not in favor of charging for parking for that particular area,” said Mayor Pro Tempore Paula Perotte, who used to work in Old Town.

Business owner concerns with where residents and employees parked prompted the need Valdez said, although he didn’t survey any of them when considering lot locations.

“Parking lots are always very expensive,” Aceves said. “Did we take into consideration the current type of businesses on Hollister and what their needs are? I would think that would be the next step.”

Bennett said he was tired of waiting to fix parking problems, suggesting that by directing staff to look into three sites, more property owners could come out of the woodwork.

“I look at all these as potential opportunities,” he said. “If you provide the parking, they will come. There are challenges no matter what we do. If we don’t do anything, we’re never going to get there.”

City Councilman Jim Farr agreed, noting worst-case scenario would be Old Town having more parking and a slower development.

“I think it’s time,” Perotte said. “Parking has always been an issue.”

Council members directed staff to also look into what charging for parking would look like and different funding mechanisms to maintain lots.

“I understand we all want to start somewhere but we’re not starting with a real plan,” Aceves said. “Now we’re building around (business owners) without their input.”

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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Council Gets Update on Western Goleta Overpass

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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Reducing congestion in western Goleta by adding a highway overpass has been under discussion for more than half a decade, and City Council members got an update on the progress of the project on Tuesday.

Planners have been searching for a way to alleviate traffic congestion at Storke and Glen Annie roads and add another access point across Highway 101, which splits the city in two sections above and below the highway.

Adding an overcrossing would improve emergency response times to the area, while giving more access for cyclists and pedestrians, said Rosemarie Gaglione, the city's interim public works director.

The overpass would have a sidewalk, bike lanes and traffic lanes. 

"Originally, it was looked at as just pedestrian and bike traffic," she said, but for a bit more money, vehicle traffic could be accommodated and could allow development impact fees to be used in the process. 

The city has conducted a feasibility study, and will next work with Caltrans on finalizing the project study report, which looks at different options of where the overpass could be placed.

The three likeliest options are located in the Brandon School area.

One option would connect the Hollister Avenue and Entrance Road intersection south of the freeway to the Calle Real and Brandon Drive intersection north of the freeway.

A second would start at the Entrance Road intersection and connect to Calle Real and San Rossano Drive, and the third would connect Hollister Avenue and Ellwood Station Road to Calle Real and San Rossano Drive.

Two public workshops were held at Brandon School early in the process.

"We blanketed the area with mailers and we promised lots of public interaction," she said.

The project will take two to four years just to go through the design and environmental review process, but remains a priority for the council.

The city has $7 million programmed for construction, but doesn't have enough money available for design of the project, and is looking for possible grant funding.

The cost for the bridge, whichever option is chosen, will be between $22 million and $26 million, according to Gaglione, adding that the city will be fully exploring options for the area.

"We've talked about doing this for years," said Councilman Roger Aceves, adding that city staff must have a shovel-ready project so that they are more likely to be approved for grant funding.

Councilwoman Paula Perotte said she was excited to see an update on the project.

"Whatever we can do to get this going. … It's only going to cost more and more as the years go by, and it's much needed," 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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Car Wash Conflict for Downtown Santa Maria Resolved

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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A possible roadblock threatening plans to modernize an old car wash within the Downtown Specific Plan area has been removed as the Santa Maria City Council took another step Tuesday to allow the renovation project.

Greg and Sheri Jordan, owners of the East Chapel Street car wash, had sought to upgrade the facility, but discovered the Downtown Specific Plan required conditions they feared would make the project too costly.

In August, the City Council took the first step to allow the modernization project, but delayed the second reading of the ordinance for two months because the car wash’s owners balked about what they feared would be burdensome conditions.

In the weeks since, the Jordans have met with city staff and gained help from Dave Cross with the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Commission to appease the concerns. 

“I believe those questions have been answered,” Larry Appel, director of the Community Development Department, said Tuesday night. 

Greg Jordan offered praised for the help received from city staff and Cross.

“Everyone has been stellar,” Greg Jordan said. “They’ve come together and things look pretty good. I appreciate that.”

On Tuesday night, the council approved the second reading of the ordinance creating an amendment to allow the car washes in the area with a conditional use permit. The amendment takes effect Nov. 20, and Appel said he expects his office will receive the application soon after that date.

Councilman Jack Boysen said he applauded the City Manager’s Office and Community Development Department for working to solve the concerns.

“I think this is a prime example of where we’ve run into a situation where we ended up with an unintended consequence and we figured out a way to make it right,” Boysen said, also thanking the Jordans and chamber. “It’s a great partnership we have.” added.

Because of its location within the Downtown Specific Plan and not a commercial district, the car wash project requires a conditional use permit instead of a more basic building permit. Complicating matters is the fact the current car washes in the Downtown Specific Plan area are considered legal non-conforming uses.

The amendment now allows new car washes to be built plus existing car washes to be rebuilt.

“Reconstruction of older, existing facilities could be viewed by the surrounding neighborhood as a positive change,” Appel said in his staff report.

On the other hand, a new car wash in the area could be viewed as negative, he added.

Any car wash project would require a conditional use permit which would include neighborhood notification and a public hearing, Appel said in his staff report. 

“This will allow the city to approve or deny individual proposals based on a case-by-case basis depending on neighborhood impacts,” Appel said in the staff report. “In addition, the five-year sunset clause allows the city to prevent proliferation of too many car wash uses in the Bungalow District.”

In another matter, Phil Alvarado, superintendent of the Santa Maria-Bonita School District, outlined the need for Measure T, a $45 million bond on the Nov. 4 ballot to build a new school and complete projects at 19 campuses.

He told of overcrowded conditions at the district’s schools amid skyrocketing growth in recent years. Most Santa Barbara County schools average a student population of 441, while several of Santa Maria-Bonita’s have topped 1,000. This means a campus like Adam Elementary School has eight shifts to serve lunch to all of its students, he added.

The measure needs more than 55 percent of the voters' approval to pass, Alvarado 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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Santa Barbara Native Riley Berris Takes Over the San Marcos High School Stage

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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Berris, who succeeds longtime theater teacher David Holmes, will make her directorial debut with Picasso at the Lapin Agile in November

For her first directorial offering, San Marcos High School theater teacher Riley Berris is introducing the community to Pablo Picasso and Albert Einstein.

Students are busily rehearsing for the debut of Picasso at the Lapin Agile, which hits the stage in November.

“It’s a short and sweet comment on the connection between science, art and music,” Berris said. “It’s just a very smart play, and I think it’s hilarious.”

Berris, who was a student teacher with longtime theater legend David Holmes before he retired in the spring, took over the theater department this fall.

Upon retirement, Holmes said he was glad to pass the torch to someone he mentored, just as it was passed to him in the 1980s.

Berris is a Santa Barbara native and alumna of Santa Barbara High School, Loyola Marymount University and UCSB, where she recently finished her master’s degree in education and teaching credential.

Like Holmes, she worked with a theater company and pursued professional acting after graduating college and before getting into teaching.

She chatted with Noozhawk during a break in rehearsal this week and seemed right at home directing the students and coordinating with other performing arts staff.

“I am surprised by just how much fun I’m having,” she said.

Berris knew she had big shoes to fill coming after Holmes, but says the students have accepted her, and the classes and directing are going very well.

“I was afraid, for sure,” she admitted.

She teaches beginning acting, stagecraft and play production classes in addition to choosing and directing the fall play, spring musical (it will be Crazy for You next year) and managing the one-act play performances and talent show.

She got to know all but one of the 11 students in the upcoming show last year when she was a student teacher.

“They’re all pretty astoundingly professional and fun to work with,” she said.

A lot of research went into choosing the very first play for fall.

“I honestly read probably 20 plays over the summer,” she said.

Within the first 10 pages of Picasso at the Lapin Agile, she was cracking up and knew she had a winner.

“I think audiences will love the characters we developed together,” she said.

Picasso at the Lapin Agile is a comedy play written by Steve Martin about Picasso and Einstein meeting in a Paris bar as young men.

It debuts at 7 p.m. Nov. 13 and has additional shows on Nov. 14 and 15 at the school's performing arts center. 

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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Councilman Hotchkiss Shares Community Input on Santa Barbara’s Bicycle Master Plan

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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Before the City of Santa Barbara starts its official community outreach for updating the Bicycle Master Plan, Councilman Frank Hotchkiss solicited ideas with an opinion piece printed in local media.

He believes the city shouldn’t lose any parking capacity or driving lanes to make room for bicycles.

Hotchkiss and Councilman Dale Francisco are concerned that the public outreach workshops will only be attended by cyclists and biking advocates so the city would get a “skewed result.”

Hotchkiss received more than 200 responses to the op-ed and presented the results at Tuesday’s City Council meeting. He said everyone agreed that the city should work to make it safer for bicyclists but disagreed over how to do that.

In his proposal, the city would focus on specific streets to become designated bike routes without reducing any car traffic.

He presented a map of the downtown core and suggested that some streets become major arterial routes for bicyclists, which would make motorists expect the bike traffic and create a sort of “freeway for bikes,” he said.

The city has narrow roads with no room to widen, so the city needs solutions that make biking safer and more accessible without reducing car traffic, he said.

He also briefly talked about staging separation between cars and bike lanes to promote biking in certain areas of the city.

There were only four public speakers at Tuesday’s meeting, but there’s no doubt more people will come out to give input as the city works to update its Bicycle Master Plan.

The Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition was pleased with Hotchkiss’ initiative because it started the discussion, Sam Franklin said, adding that the year-long public input process will hopefully lead to an inclusive plan.

“Biking should be something that people can do without feeling like they’re taking their life into their hands,” said Michael Chiacos of the Community Environmental Council.

Surveys continually show that more people would like to bike but don’t feel safe, he said.

The City Council listened to the report and took no action.

Since the Bicycle Master Plan was last updated comprehensively in 1998, the city has expanded to 40 miles of bike lanes from 13 and added 2,000 new locations to lock a bike, according to city staff.

The City Council voted to hire a public relations consultant to develop the community engagement strategy for the plan update, including interviews, an online survey and meetings with various stakeholders.

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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47,000 Marijuana Plants Destroyed During Eradication Season in Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department is releasing the results of the 2014 marijuana eradication season.

For the past several months, the Sheriff’s Department with the assistance of the Campaign Against Marijuana Planting (CAMP), the U.S. Forest Service and the California National Guard have been working together to locate and eradicate illegal marijuana grows in Santa Barbara County.

This year, most of the illegal grows were discovered on national forest land by Santa Barbara County Air Support with the assistance of the Sheriff’s Special Operations Bureau. In all, 10 marijuana eradication operations were conducted resulting in the destruction and removal of 47,000 plants in 18 separate illegal marijuana gardens. The destroyed plants are worth an estimated street value of $131 million.

An additional estimated 18,000 marijuana plants were either harvested prior to eradication or found dead/dying due to the drought. During the marijuana eradication operations, functional high-powered rifles were located in the empty camps used by the marijuana growers.

Large-scale marijuana cultivation is a serious and increasingly widespread problem on public lands in California, including the Los Padres National Forest. These illegal operations threaten the safety of the residents and visitors to the forest, as well as harming the environment. The illegal growers may camp for extended periods of time, leading to large piles of garbage, human waste and the dumping of unregulated pesticides, much of which finds its way into the water table.

Many of these camps are also host to campfires and open flame stoves that are banned in the high-fire danger areas of the forest. The 2009 La Brea Fire, which burned more than 90,000 acres in North Santa Barbara County, is blamed on a cooking fire at a camp within an illegal marijuana grow.

The increasingly large and sophisticated marijuana plantations are very often the work of dangerous drug cartels; forest visitors or residents who happen upon them, may be harassed or assaulted. The growers are usually armed, sometimes with automatic weapons and high-powered rifles, and they have been known to place booby-traps designed to seriously maim or kill intruders.

Over the years, evidence recovered at locations where illegal marijuana grows has been located, indicate that Mexican nationals were living in the gardens and tending to them. Mexican nationals have had an increased presence in illegal marijuana cultivation in the Los Padres Forest, where they grow marijuana and transport it to the Southern and Eastern United States for resale.

The public can assist law enforcement by immediately reporting suspicious activity on forest land such as individuals carrying irrigation tubing, gardening supplies or large amounts of packaged food. If you see someone who seems out of place and may be involved in illegal marijuana grows, do not make contact with them as they may be violent.

Anyone with information is asked to call 805.681.4175 or send a fax to 805.681.4316. You can also send an email to weedinfo@sbsheriff.org. To leave an anonymous tip, call 805.681.4171. Please provide as much detail pertaining to dates, times, locations (GPS if possible) and subject/vehicle descriptions.

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

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Letter to the Editor: Measure P Would Do Far More Harm Than Good

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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Every time I see a news report about ISIS and their latest atrocities and military advances, I can't help thinking about how vital it is for us to reduce our dependence on imported foreign oil.

In the last decade, California has tripled the amount of foreign oil shipped in from overseas — 20 percent of that comes from Iraq!

So why on earth would we deliberately choose to deepen that dependence by approving Measure P, which would end up shutting down the onshore oil and gas production that has been safely occurring in Santa Barbara County since the early 20th century? The less oil and gas we produce here, the more we have to import from unstable and war-torn countries with far less stringent environmental regulations than we have.

Measure P is a misguided and deceptive feel-good ballot initiative that will do far more harm than good.

Rhonda Huesgen
Santa Barbara

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Jeff Moehlis: A Massive Attack of Sound and Vision

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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Trip-hop pioneers return to the Santa Barbara Bowl

It was glorious sound and vision overload at Massive Attack's return to the Santa Barbara Bowl on Friday night, with the trip-hop pioneers — originals Robert "3D" Del Naja and Grant "Daddy G" Marshall along with a couple of incredible singers and a killer but mostly anonymous band — showing that they are still relevant over two decades after their first groundbreaking releases.

The show kicked off strong with "Karmacoma," with the band silhouetted by bright lights and the screens behind the stage getting their first workout with rapidly changing footage of the likes of O.J. Simpson, Rodney King, Lady Diana and problem spots such as Kabul. This was followed by the trancey "Battle Box" from 3D's recent project of the same name and featuring the first of many appearances of the evening by the mesmerizing singer Martina Topley-Bird. Here the screens flashed names of presumably made-up (or future?) drugs, along with different dosages.

Next up was the frenetic "United Snakes," with logos of corporations including Walmart, Facebook and AIG rapidly flashing on the screens. Some crazy-bright white flashing lights were synched to the rhythms, arguably fusing hearing and seeing into a single super-sense, while simultaneously making me wonder if I missed the warning for people who suffer from epilepsy or migraines.

A sensory breather came with the deconstructed reggae of "Paradise Circus," sung by Topley-Bird. This was followed by a mid-set heavy on songs from the band's landmark 1998 electronica album Mezzanine, namely "Risingson," "Teardrop," "Angel" in DJ mode because singer Horace Andy apparently didn't make his plane, and "Inertia Creeps."

For the latter, the screen showed timely headlines about celebrities and local stories like the "Gatorboy" mural and toxic lobsters found in Ventura. As an admitted over-consumer of news both serious and not-so-serious, I found it somewhat  unsettling how many of these stories I was familiar with. Do I really need to know about all this stuff?

Mixed in with the Mezzanine songs was "Jupiter," also from 3D's Battle Box project, made more intense by the screen showing an unfolding transcript of a disturbingly clinical discussion about an unspecified aerial attack, presumably in the Middle East.

The band's first album, 1991's Blue Lines, which is credited with launching the trip-hop genre, got its first nod with the last song of the main set — "Safe From Harm" sung by Deborah Miller. Behind her the screen showed a freakout of social media-inspired text including commands to Like, Follow, Accept, Delete and Connect, along with statements like "Privacy is no longer a social norm."

The encore had Topley-Bird back to sing "Splitting the Atom," with the vibe of a twisted Leonard Cohen song and the screen continuing a not-so-subtle commentary-by-example on the silliness of the modern plugged-in age. This was followed by the sparse "Pray for Rain" in only its second-ever live performance, with Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio on vocals. (Speaking of TV on the Radio, they performed a wonderful, diverse opening set of their brand of indie rock.) The show closed with Miller singing Massive Attack's early hit "Unfinished Symphony," its dance vibe contrasting with the text on the screen about refugees from the crises in Iraq and Syria.

Massive Attack's sound throughout the evening was amazing, and the lighting and text-commentaries were clever, over-the-top and thought-provoking. One could argue that there were many meta moments as people shot camera photos and videos — no doubt to send to "friends" — of a show which often seemed to be calling out our obsession with sharing everything.

But this was one show that was best witnessed in person, because the sound and vision overload couldn't possibly be fully captured on a 4-inch screen. Or a concert review.

Setlist

Karmacoma
Battle Box
United Snakes
Paradise Circus
Risingson
Psyche
Future Proof
Teardrop
Angel
Jupiter
Inertia Creeps
Safe From Harm

Encore

Splitting the Atom
Pray for Rain
Unfinished Sympathy

— 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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Mona Charen: Ebola Response Underlines Obama’s Indifference to Our Well-Being

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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Can you walk out on the messiah?

Appearing at a campaign rally for gubernatorial candidate Anthony Brown in Maryland on Sunday, President Barack Obama sought to capture the magic that had electrified audiences in 2008 and, to some considerable degree, even in 2012.

Obama isn't doing much stumping this year. He limits his campaigning mostly to fundraisers. This is the year, after all, when Democratic candidates are announcing how important it is in our system of government to have honest disagreements with the president. They're hastening to say that they would be tougher than he is on ISIS. They are declaring that a travel ban from West Africa is only common sense. It's the year when some have discovered a sacred constitutional right to keep silent about whom they voted for in 2008 and 2012.

Maryland is an exception. It's about as safe a Democratic state as you can find, and the president was welcomed. The audience at the rally was largely African-American. And yet, according to Reuters, "a steady stream of people walked out of the auditorium while he spoke ... and a heckler interrupted his remarks."

Could it be that even loyal Democrats — even those who want to see Obama in the flesh — feel that they've heard it all before? Their actions send a clear signal: We think you're a historical figure worth laying eyes on, but your words no longer interest us.

In 2012, reluctant to encourage a referendum on the first four years of his leadership, Obama successfully turned attention away from his record and toward Mitt Romney and the Republicans. The race became (with the unwitting cooperation of several cloddish Republican candidates) not about the economy or jobs or debt or America's global retreat, but about saving American women from medieval inquisitors and shielding Hispanics from mass deportation.

Democratic candidates in 2014 are, if anything, even more eager to turn attention away from the president's performance in the past two years. The economy has not improved. Obamacare's debut was a debacle. Foreign policy is a shambles, government agencies from the IRS to the Secret Service are loose cannons, and Ebola threatens.

Democrats are attempting to reprise some of the themes that worked in 2012, notably the "War on Women." But not even that fright mask seems to be working anymore. Sen. Mark Udall's campaign in Colorado was wall-to-wall gynecology — to the point where he was ridiculed as "Mark Uterus." The Denver Post was so disgusted that it endorsed his opponent, Rep. Cory Gardner. Like other "war on women" attacks, Udall's accusations were false. He asserted that Gardner had run an "eight-year crusade to outlaw birth control." Gardner swatted the lie away with ads touting his support for selling contraceptive pills over the counter (a technique originated by Bobby Jindal).

Democrats are struggling not just because the economy is stagnant and the world is in chaos. They are paying the price for something else. Obama has squandered the greatest asset he had: the perception among Americans that he cared about their problems.

Obama telegraphs indifference to Americans' well-being. When the Benghazi compound was overrun and our ambassador killed, he first dissembled (blaming a video) and then thundered about retribution and justice, but what happened? With the exception of one arrest, Benghazi has been dumped. No one has paid a price for that attack on the United States.

The president permitted the ISIS menace to metastasize and dismissed the terrorist army as "jayvee," even as his national security advisers were testifying before Congress that the group was a profound worry. When stories surfaced later that the president attended only 40 percent of his intelligence briefings in person, it fed the impression that Obama doesn't take the time to evaluate threats to the country. He now blames the intelligence community, but a man who goes golfing after an American is beheaded is signaling a certain coldness.

The response to Ebola underlines all of these tendencies in thick black ink. His instinct has been to tamp down fears rather than address threats with alacrity. He is willing to send U.S. troops to Africa to fight Ebola but not to Iraq to fight ISIS. The administration's resistance to a travel ban makes no sense if the top priority is the safety of Americans.

In 2012, most people still believed that Obama cared. How many do today?

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

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New Residence for Low-Income Seniors Breaks Ground in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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Low-income Santa Barbara seniors will soon have an additional housing option.

After several years in the architectural planning and permitting process, Community Achievement Enterprise, headed up by its president, Pastor Wallace Shepherd Jr., broke ground this month on a new seniors-only apartment complex on East Mason Street in Santa Barbara.

CAE, a local nonprofit and subsidiary of Second Baptist Church, will be the managing agent for the new development.

The new building, referenced as H. B. Thomas Manor, was approved by the City of Santa Barbara as a project-based voucher, Section 8 development.

The six one-bedroom apartment units will each have a private terrace and will feature energy star-rated appliances. Their  location — close to downtown and other public services — will make travel easier, enabling residents to be less dependent on the use of private automobiles.

“The new residence will contribute toward decreasing the local housing crisis, and hopefully will act as a model for other organizations, businesses and places of faith that have underutilized space," Shepherd said. "It will be constructed on Second Baptist Church property, which has served the Santa Barbara community for over 100 years. Residents need not be members or attendees of the church.”

CAE anticipates project completion prior to summer 2015.

For more information, contact Shepherd at 805.636.8133.

— Jonatha King is a publicist representing Community Achievement Enterprise.

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Letter to the Editor: Measure P Is Not Right for Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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The onshore oil and gas industry has been a part of the Santa Barbara County economy for more than 100 years, and there has never been any evidence of harm to our water supply.

Additionally, experts and scholars agree that Measure P's sloppy language will be harmful to our quality of life by shutting down the onshore oil and gas industry that helps fund our public safety services, schools and other vital services. The oil and gas industry supports more than 1,000 very high-paying, skilled industrial jobs.

Measure P is not right for our economy and is not right for Santa Barbara County.

Please join me in voting no on Measure P.

Donald Dick
Santa Barbara

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Letter to the Editor: My Experience with No on Measure P Focus Group

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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I want to tell you my experience with a Measure P focus group.

The focus group took place at the end of September at the Fess Parker hotel and resort in Santa Barbara. They paid everyone $125 for over an hour to watch No on P commercials. There were about 50 people in a room and two groups, therefore paying approximately $10,000 to watch these commercials and tell them what we thought.

Many people in the focus group had questions what this measure was and why they were watching all these No on P ads and no Yes on P. We wanted to know in more detail what this measure was. We wanted to know if they were going to do fracking in Santa Barbara County.

The lady in charge said she couldn't tell us and that she was only hired by a company to do the focus group. I asked again if they were going to do fracking in the county and this one man in the group said they were only going to do fracking in North Dakota. So I was going to vote no. But once I researched this and found out they will frack in Santa Barbara County, I changed my mind to vote yes on P.

I just wanted to share my experience. If they did that to us on the focus group, how much more they will try to confuse and fool the whole county? I am voting yes on P.

Angela Althen
Goleta

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Santa Barbara Seeks Community Input in Recruitment of New City Administrator

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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In September, the City of Santa Barbara's top administrator, Jim Armstrong, retired. The City Council will be appointing the city’s next city administrator and has hired the executive search firm of Ralph Andersen & Associates to conduct the recruitment.

The City Council is interested in receiving public input and has authorized a community survey. The purpose of this open survey is to gather input from the community regarding the challenges and opportunities that will face the new city administrator, as well as the competencies and areas of experience needed for him or her to be successful. The information will be used in the selection process by the recruiting firm and the City Council.

The survey can be located on the Ralph Andersen & Associates website. Community input is requested by Oct. 30. Should members of the public wish to submit their thoughts in hard copy, they may submit them to the City Clerk’s Office at Santa Barbara City Hall by 5:30 p.m. Oct. 30 and they will be provided to the recruiting agency.

The survey will ask two basic questions:

» 1. What will be the primary challenges and opportunities for the new city administrator?

» 2. What competencies and areas of personal experience will be most important in a new city administrator?

Click here for the community survey.

— Kristine Schmidt is the administrative services director for the City of Santa Barbara.

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John Daly: How to Stress Someone Out with Your Cell Phone

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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It’s a great evening. You’re having dinner with a friend. You are just about to tell your friend about this amazing new job opportunity. Just part way through the lead-up to your exciting news, your friend’s cell phone rings. He holds up his finger, stopping you in midsentence, and answers the phone. You’ve lost him. He’s off on another conversation with someone else, and he stays on the phone for more than 10 minutes. You become bored, somewhat agitated and more than a little stressed out.

Has this ever happened to you? Have you been on either side of the table? Do you wish you had a list of rules to follow when it comes to cell phones? Probably not, but I’m going to give them to you anyway. If you don’t want to be rude, hurt someone else’s feelings or stress them out, use this list to temper your behavior with your cell phone.

» Don’t order food or drinks while on your cellphone. If you’re in a line and your phone rings just when it is your turn to order, don’t carry on a conversation. Don’t answer the phone until after you’ve completed your order. Why? Because if you are having a conversation and ordering at the same time, you are being rude to your server and inconsiderate to those in line behind you. Return the call after you are out of line.

» Don’t keep checking your cell phone during dinner with family or friends. How do you feel when you’re having a conversation and the other person pulls out his or her cell phone and checks it? You might as well set off a flare gun that signals you aren’t really listening to the other person. If this is a problem, leave your cell phone in the glove compartment of your car!
When you are with your children, don’t look at your phone. If you keep fiddling with your phone while they are trying to get your attention, you are teaching them a) that someone else is more important than they are and b) that this is the behavior they should imitate.

» If you are having a fantastic experience, stay focused on the experience and not taking a photo of it with your cell phone camera. Learn to be in the here and now and enjoy it. Once you have, then get out your phone and take a picture.

» During meetings, movies or large events, put your phone on silent. Do you realize how disruptive and annoying you being on your phone can be to others? If something urgent occurs, silence your phone, leave the meeting, movie or event and call back once you are in a quiet place where you won’t disturb others.

» Never ever use your phone while driving. It is as worse as drinking and driving, and responsible for just as many accidents. If you must use your phone, pull over, stop the car and make or answer a call. The same goes for walking and texting on your cell phone. Don’t walk down the sidewalk playing Angry Birds and not look where you are going. It could mean a trip to the hospital, or worse.

» If you are getting a haircut, a manicure or interfacing with a service person, don’t be disrespectful to the professional providing you service by talking on your phone. Put your phone on airplane mode and leave it there until the professional has finished providing you the service.

Cell phones didn’t become popular until 1998. We were all able to somehow live without them up until then. Putting them aside for an hour or two won’t be the end of the world.

Cell phones are great convenience factors, but they can have good and bad applications. For many it becomes a source of stress instead of a helpful tool.

The Dangers of Texting While Walking

(Associated Press video)

John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for job search success. Click here to learn more about The Key Class or to get his book. If you have questions about business or social etiquette, just ask John at johnkeyclass@gmail.com. Connect with The Key Class on Facebook. Follow John Daly on Twitter: @johndalyjrClick here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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EnergyPartners Fund Awards $119,000 in Grants for STEM Programs in Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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The EnergyPartners Fund, a committee advised fund at the Santa Barbara Foundation, awarded $119,000 in grants for educational programs focusing on STEM. The grants were presented in early October at Presqu’ile Winery in Orcutt.

Grants from the fund support programs from simple to complex — all with the goal to foster learning and enthusiasm in STEM. While most of the grants went to elementary and secondary schools in Santa Barbara County, a few reached as far as Fillmore and Nipomo. EnergyPartners Fund representatives presented awards to teachers and administrators for equipment including interactive computer projectors, iPads and air quality probes, as well as for programs to support math and robotics teams, teacher training and curriculum development.

For the first time since its inception in 2008, the EnergyPartners Fund awarded two large grants that exemplify the benefit of community-based partnerships. The first of these grants went to support the Family Ultimate Science Exploration (FUSE) nights at UC Santa Barbara. This program supports underrepresented students and their families to gain familiarity with the practice of science, its importance in education, and its promise of exciting career options. At FUSE events, students and their families rotate in 30-minute sessions through three bilingual activities related to physics, chemistry, and biology. The activities are led by UCSB undergraduate and graduate students.

A second grant was jointly funded by the EnergyPartners Fund and Highland Santa Barbara Foundation, Inc. to support Reasoning Mind, a pilot program in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District. Reasoning Mind is an interactive, computer-based mathematics program designed to engage elementary students in the development of strong critical thinking, reasoning, and logic skills. The focus on deep conceptual understanding and computational fluency prepares students for success in higher level math courses. Implementation in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District began this fall and is expected to impact about 500 students.

Phil Alvarado, Santa Maria-Bonita School District superintendent, applauded the support of EnergyPartners and the willingness of teachers to embrace change.

“Teachers are living in a sea of change with common core standards, a new assessment system, and technology that requires skillful users,” he said. “Since 2008, the EnergyPartners Fund has been key to our STEM efforts by supporting teachers and allowing them to experiment with learning while increasing student engagement. We look forward to our continued partnership with the EnergyPartners Fund — a model of what the corporate world and public education can be when collaboration is student-centered, teacher-empowered, and invested in the workforce of the future.”

To date, the EnergyPartners Fund has awarded more than $850,000 to local classrooms, schools, districts and nonprofit organizations with a cumulative impact exceeding 50,000 students.

2014 Grantees

» Allan Hancock College — Event expenses for STEM Week of Discovery
» American Association of University Women, California Special Projects Fund — One scholarship for an eighth-grade girl to attend camp at UC Santa Barbara
» Arroyo Grande High School — Materials for eight laboratory investigations in AP Biology
» Blochman Union School District — Interactive computer projector
» Boys & Girls Club of Santa Clara Valley — Professional development, materials, and competition travel
» Brandon Elementary School — Civil engineering curriculum units
» Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy Foundation — FIRST Robotics Team
» Los Olivos School District — Paper circuits that light up as an art project
» Nipomo High School — VEX Robotics
» Ontiveros Elementary School — Engineering kits
» Orcutt Academy High School — FIRST Robotics Team
» Pioneer Valley High School — Air quality monitoring probes
» Peoples’ Self-Help Housing — Two computers and 30 calculators
» Providence, A Santa Barbara Christian School — Materials to support a new elective course
» Santa Barbara Community Academy — Trained teacher with Play-Well TEKnologies 
» Santa Barbara Unified School District — Supplies for six Science Olympics projects
» Santa Maria-Bonita Elementary School — Awards, calculators, pencils, and math test creator stipend for Math Superbowl
» Santa Maria-Bonita Junior High School — Awards, calculators, pencils, and math test creator stipend for Math Superbowl
» Santa Maria-Bonita School District — Reasoning Mind elementary math program
» Santa Maria Valley Discovery Museum — Three iPads and stands
» University of California, Santa Barbara — Family Ultimate Science Exploration (FUSE) nights

— Lynn Penkingcarn is a marketing officer for the Santa Barbara Foundation.

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City Receives Helen Putnam Award for Goleta Prepare Now Program

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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The California League of Cities presented the Goleta City Council with the Helen Putnam Award for Excellence for the city’s Goleta Prepare Now program.

The Goleta Prepare Now program is designed to increase the level of overall awareness and emergency preparedness for residents, visitors and local businesses.

“The league is proud to recognize the Goleta Prepare Now program as the 2014 Helen Putnam Award of Excellence recipient in the category of public safety. This award recognizes outstanding achievements by California’s cities and Goleta is certainly deserving of this recognition,” said David Mullinax, regional public affairs manager for the California League of Cities who presented the award at the City Council meeting.

Mayor Michael Bennett said, “We are honored to receive this prestigious award and appreciate the work of our dedicated staff. Because of their efforts, we now have a greater number of residents who are prepared to help in the event of an emergency.”

The City Council has placed a high priority on emergency preparedness and this is achieved through bilingual public education, the provision of emergency preparedness materials and the training of volunteers as well as continuing training opportunities and outreach for program graduates.

This is Goleta’s second Helen Putnam Award. The first was received in 2005 for the city’s role in preserving the Ellwood Mesa.

For more information, please contact Luz Reyes-Martin, management analyst in the city’s Neighborhood Services and Public Safety Department, at 805.961.7558 or lreyesmartin@cityofgoleta.org.

— Valerie Kushnerov is a public information officer for the City of Goleta.

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To Frack or Not to Frack? Researchers Studying Best Practices for Oil, Gas Development

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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Hydraulic fracturing is a polarizing issue, one that will be addressed at the polls in several California counties — including Santa Barbara — in November. Better known as fracking, the process releases gas or oil trapped in shale by injecting water, sand and chemical additives under high pressure.

Chemicals used in the extraction process pose potential risks to water quality, and the industry’s demand for water can create conflicts with residential and agricultural water users as well as ecological communities. However, the overarching problem is a lack of integrated knowledge.

“Right now, a lot of the decisions and debate about hydraulic fracturing, unconventional oil and gas development, are taking place in the press and the court of public opinion with very little data and information informing that,” said Joe Kiesecker, lead scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s Global Conservation Lands Program. He is part of a two-year working group organized under the auspices of Science for Nature and People (SNAP) that aims to change that.

SNAP is a scientific collaboration among UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), The Nature Conservancy and the Wildlife Conservation Society.

“There are thousands of news articles that have been written about hydraulic fracturing or fracking but only a handful of scientific papers that seek to inform how and where and what the risk is around it,” continued Kiesecker, who is a co-lead of the SNAP working group.

Consisting of specialists from academic institutions and conservation organizations across the United States, the group, Grounding Hydraulic Fracturing Policy in Science, meets twice yearly at UCSB’s NCEAS. There, group members discuss how they can provide better science on the potential effects of water withdrawals and chemical contamination associated with hydraulic fracturing.

“Hydraulic fracturing can be very contentious and part of it is the lack of information and data,” said Sharon Baruch-Mordo, a spatial scientist with The Nature Conservancy and one of the leads of the SNAP working group. “So that’s exactly where we want to come in as objective researchers and collect information and ask the questions a lot of citizens and regulators are asking.”

Rather than conduct primary research, this interdisciplinary group of ecologists, hydrologists and legal experts is synthesizing fine-scale information from the 48 contiguous states and reviewing existing water use and waste management plans. The group's final report will be used to inform best management practice recommendations for states and countries with emerging fracturing industries.

The History of Fracking

Fracking began as an experiment in 1947, and the first commercially successful application followed two years later. According to the Department of Energy, as of 2013, at least 2 million oil and gas wells in the U.S. have been hydraulically fractured, and up to 95 percent of new wells being drilled are hydraulically fractured. In California, fracking is used to recover oil rather than gas.

“When fracking is done improperly, problems arise, particularly if wells aren’t properly completed,” said David Valentine, a professor in UCSB’s Department of Earth Science and an expert in microbial geochemistry. “In that case, there is a high potential for chemicals to get into the drinking water supply or into the groundwater. But if things are done properly, chemicals are released so far down in the subsurface that they’re not going to be coming up any time in the foreseeable future.

“One of the big issues is that every operator does things differently,” Valentine added. “There are big operators and there are small operators, so it’s very hard to maintain the same level of quality in how things are done.”

In Santa Barbara County, a process similar to fracking called cyclic steam injection is being used to access oil in pockets that cannot be reached directly. Both processes use water and chemicals to liquefy the oil in order to make it flow more easily into the well. In addition to the potential for chemical contamination, water use is another issue, particularly in drought-stricken states. For example, in 2010, water use in Texas’s Barnett Shale represented 9 percent of water use in Dallas, one of the 10 most populous cities in the U.S.

Because many of the risks of hydraulic fracturing are still not fully known or quantified, the SNAP working group fills a gap in existing research and policy work. The investigators’ goal is to identify the risks, determine which risks should be priorities and then specify policies that better address those risks.

“We will produce a document that investigates various risk or impact pathways and the types of activities at shale gas and oil sites that could lead to problematic consequences for humans, wildlife and habitat,” said Hannah Wiseman, an assistant professor at the Florida State University College of Law who is part of SNAP’s hydraulic fracturing working group. “We will then, after identifying those potential impact pathways, look at policy options for mitigating those impacts or preventing them from the start and provide some sort of menu of policy options for states as well as other countries to use as potential models.”

Secondary Effects

Another concern, according to some scientists, is the potential for fracking to create small earthquakes. Climate change expert Catherine Gautier, professor emerita in UCSB’s Department of Geography, notes that because fracking pushes water into the ground under high pressure, it creates cracks that can affect seismic activity.

“It’s not the process itself that generates earthquakes, it’s putting the water back into the ground,” she explained. “What happens to the water depends on where it is and what cracks exist where it can come back up. The research is not there to know how fast it will come back and where it will migrate.”

As a climatologist, Gautier is also worried about the secondary effects of releasing methane into the atmosphere, an event largely overlooked in the ongoing fracking debate. “No matter how oil or gas is extracted, there is methane that leaks,” she explained. “Methane is really, really bad for the climate because it has high potential for contributing to the greenhouse effect.”

When it comes to greenhouse gas emissions, the warming effect of methane is 30 to 100 times more potent than carbon dioxide, scientists say.

“There is research being done on what happens to the methane, but it depends on whether it can be tracked and the time scale examined,” Gautier added. “If you look at methane over a 20-year period, it’s much more powerful than if you look at it over 100 years. On the other hand, carbon dioxide — the primary driver of global climate change — is problematic at the 100-year time scale.”

Reduction of carbon emissions is important to both the state of California and Santa Barbara County. “Our county has a plan to decrease carbon emissions consistent with the state of California,” said Corrie Ellis, a sociology graduate student and community activist. “These techniques, including cyclic steam injection, are really carbon intensive. Their emissions are not really compatible with the county’s plan.”

While the SNAP working group is careful not to take sides on the issue of fracking, Kiesecker noted that potential benefits in using unconventional oil and gas development exist.

“Clearly the potential is there for reductions in CO2 emissions relative to coal if we can figure out issues such as methane emission,” he said. “The reality is that in the next 20 to 30 years energy demand is going to increase dramatically. And we’re going to have to find a variety of ways to meet those growing energy needs.

“Traditional forms of energy are still going to be in the mix. The debate is really about how we develop those energy resources and where. Any kind of energy development has an impact, so the question is: How can we do a better job as we develop unconventional oil and gas through hydraulic fracturing as well as wind energy or solar energy? All can be done better.”

— Julie Cohen represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.

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Moscow Ballet to Perform ‘Romeo and Juliet’ at Chumash Casino Resort

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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The Moscow Ballet will return to the Chumash Casino Resort’s Samala Showroom for a special performance of Romeo and Juliet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 6.

Tickets for the show are $25, $35 and $45.

Alisa Voronova will make her U.S. debut and portray Juliet, while Anatolie Ustimov returns to play Romeo following his 2011 debut to critical acclaim.

Romeo and Juliet is the tragic tale of two lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. The Moscow Ballet pre­miered Shakespeare’s classic love sto­ry in 2011 with bold new choreogra­phy by ballet master Andrei Litvinov. The 2014 North American tour premieres in select cities throughout the U.S. before it arrives in Santa Ynez. Children 8 and up are welcome to attend at regular event prices.

Set to the famous score of Russian composer Pytor Tchaikovsky, the lavish production features all new opulent costumes designed by nationally renowned expert and Moscow ballet resident designer Arthur Oliver. The sets are hand painted and created in the style of the Italian Re­naissance in one of St. Petersburg’s oldest theatrical shops.

The company of nearly 40 award-winning dancers has won over audiences and critics alike. Ron Hubbard of the Twin Cities Daily Planet in Minneapolis says, “When per­formed by masters like these, ballet seems effortless, elegant and easy.”

Don’t miss an opportunity to see this world renowned ballet company when it takes the stage in one of the most popular music venues in Santa Barbara County.

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

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

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Lou Cannon: GOP Dominates Legislative Races But Democrats Take Aim at Governorships

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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The last four years have been golden for Republicans in the nation’s statehouses, and GOP fortunes appear to shine brightly in the 2014 state legislative elections. But Democrats have hopes of dulling the Republican luster in the Nov. 4 balloting by taking several governorships away from the GOP.

Entering the election, Republicans have a 29-21 edge in governorships. The GOP controls both legislative chambers in 27 states compared to 19 for the Democrats. Legislative control is divided in three other states.

Republicans are better off than these numbers. Nebraska has a unicameral Legislature that is technically nonpartisan but Republican in all but name. Coalitions favorable to Republicans control the state senates in New York and Washington, even though Democrats have slight majorities in these chambers.

Democrats hope to win an extra Washington Senate seat, which would enable them to scrap the coalition. They are also striving to win the Iowa House, which Republicans now control by three votes.

But Republicans have more opportunities in this year’s legislative elections, said Tim Storey, a political analyst for the nonpartisan National Conference of State Legislators. GOP prime targets include the state senates in Colorado, Iowa and Nevada and the state houses in Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire and West Virginia, all held now by the Democrats.

History is on the Republican side. Since 1900, the party in power in the White House has never gained legislative seats in the sixth year of a president’s term. A recent ABC News/Washington Post Poll put President Barack Obama’s approval rating at a record-low 40 percent, the same as President George W. Bush when Democrats swept the 2006 midterm elections. GOP candidates are also often helped by low voter turnout, which Gallup predicts will be the case this year.

Nonetheless, Democratic prospects are bright in several governor’s races, especially in Pennsylvania, where Democratic businessman Tom Wolf leads incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett by a wide margin. The average of polls by RealClearPolitics, a political website, puts Wolf ahead by 15 percent.

In normally Republican Kansas, polls say that Democrat Paul Davis, a leader of the House of Representatives, is virtually tied with incumbent GOP Gov. Sam Brownback. The conservative Brownback cut taxes deeply but was forced to slash spending when anticipated revenues didn’t materialize, igniting a bipartisan backlash.

Democrats are competitive in five other states — Florida, Georgia, Maine, Michigan and Wisconsin — now governed by Republicans.

Republicans are favored to win the governorship in Arkansas, an open race in a state now in Democratic hands, and have opportunities in five other states governed by Democrats: Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois and Massachusetts.

Of the GOP-held states, Georgia is most problematic for the Democrats because of a state law requiring a majority for victory. Republican Gov. Nathan Deal is slightly ahead of state Sen. Jason Carter, grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, but third-party candidates may prevent either from winning a majority. Deal would be favored in a Dec. 6 runoff because Republican turnout is usually higher in such elections.

The race in Florida between incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott and challenger Charlie Crist — a onetime GOP governor turned Democrat — is tied in recent polls.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder has received high marks for fiscally reviving Michigan and helping to rescue bankrupt Detroit but has received a stiff challenge from former Democratic Rep. Mark Schauer, backed by organized labor because Snyder signed “right-to-work” legislation. Snyder leads by 3.5 percent in the RCP poll average.

Even more disliked than Snyder by organized labor is Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who in 2012 survived a union-led recall effort. Nipping at his heels is Democratic challenger Mary Burke, a wealthy businesswoman and member of the Madison school board. Recent surveys show a virtual tie.

In Maine, Democratic state Rep. Michal Michaud is trying to unseat Republican Gov. Paul LePage, a Tea Party favorite. Michaud would be the first openly gay candidate to be elected governor of any state. His task is complicated by the presence of independent Eliot Cutler, who narrowly lost to LePage four years ago. This time Cutler seems cast in the role of spoiler. Recent surveys put Michaud slightly ahead of LePage but well within the margin of polling error.

Maine demonstrates the potential liability to Democratic candidates of Obama’s low approval ratings. Obama overwhelmingly carried Maine two years ago but now has a high disapproval rating among the independents Michaud needs to win. First lady Michelle Obama and former President Bill Clinton have campaigned for Michaud, who has not asked Obama to do the same.

Among Democratic-held states targeted by Republicans, Arkansas seems most likely to change partisan hands. The candidates are two former congressmen, Republican Asa Hutchinson and Democrat Mike Ross. Hutchison has led all the way; Ross trails him by a commanding 6.4 percentage points in the RCP average.

Beyond Arkansas, the best chance for a GOP gubernatorial victory in a Democratic state may be Connecticut, where Gov. Dan Malloy and Republican challenger Tom Foley, a former ambassador to Ireland, are staging a rematch of their close 2010 race. Gun control is an issue. After the Newtown school massacre in 2012, the Legislature passed strict gun-control laws that Foley wants repealed. Malloy, slightly ahead in recent polls, has struggled to unite his own party after raising taxes and cutting pension benefits for government workers.

Republicans also have a chance in normally Democratic Massachusetts, where Gov. Deval Patrick is retiring. The race pits two 2010 losers, Democratic state Attorney General Martha Coakley, who lost a U.S. Senate race, and Republican Charlie Baker, who lost to Patrick last time. The lead in this race has switched hands several times in the polls.

Party loyalty could be decisive in Democratic-leaning Illinois, where polls show Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn to be unpopular. He nevertheless holds a slight lead over his Republican challenger, businessman Bruce Rauner.

Colorado is another tossup. Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper has been on the defensive in a campaign focusing on a reprieve granted by Hickenlooper to the murderer of four Chuck E. Cheese employees in 1993. Hickenlooper favored capital punishment when he was elected but now opposes it. His challenger, Republican Bob Beauprez, who lost a race for governor in 2006, said he will let the execution proceed if he wins. The two candidates have traded leads in recent polls.

In Hawaii, perhaps the only competitive state in which Obama is not a liability for Democrats, state Sen. David Ige routed Gov. Neil Abercrombie in the Democratic primary. He leads Republican Duke Aiona by 3.6 points in the latest RCP poll average. But the presence in this race of independent Mufi Hannemann adds a note of uncertainty, as does the lack of recent polls.

Alaska, normally Republican, could be lost to the GOP but won’t go Democratic. Republican Gov. Sean Parnell was so far ahead of his Democratic opponent, Byron Mallott, that Mallott withdrew and threw his support to independent Bill Walker. Recent polls put Walker slightly ahead.

Democrats overall stand better chances in governors’ races than in the battle for control of legislative chambers because Democratic voters tend to be concentrated in urban areas, while Republican voters are dispersed in smaller towns and rural areas. This helps Democrats in statewide races but gives Republicans an advantage in district elections for the U.S. House of Representatives and state legislatures. Republicans won many legislatures in the 2010 midterm elections and padded their advantage in 2011 with skillful but partisan redistricting.

Illustratively, Republicans control both legislative chambers in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, states twice carried by Obama in which Democrats are now mounting strong gubernatorial challenges. Storey observes these states are politically similar to Iowa, another state twice carried by Obama.

But Iowa, unlike the other three states, has nonpartisan redistricting. As a result, legislative control is split, with Democrats narrowly holding the Senate and Republicans the House. Both chambers are in play in this election.

National media attention is understandably focused on Republican efforts to win the U.S. Senate, but the state elections may matter more. Regardless of which party controls the Senate, Republicans seem assured of holding onto the House of Representatives. This means divided government in the nation’s capital and the gridlock it produces for at least the remainder of Obama’s second term. In contrast, in a convincing demonstration of federalism, states with single-party control have shown in the past four years that they are willing and able to act.

Republican-run states have cut taxes, limited abortion, tightened voting rules and restricted unions. Democrat-run states have expanded health care under Medicaid, granted in-state tuition to unauthorized immigrants and raised the minimum wage. Republican-run and Democratic-run states alike have authorized massive new spending for transportation and higher education and attempted prison reform.

The domestic direction of American government in the next two years will be determined most by the governors and state legislators voters will choose in next month’s elections.

Lou Cannon, a Summerland resident, is a longtime national political writer and acclaimed presidential biographer. His most recent book — co-authored with his son, Carl — is Reagan’s Disciple: George W. Bush’s Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy. Cannon also is an editorial adviser to State Net Capitol Journal, which published this column originally. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Assemblyman Williams Gets Perfect Rating on Sierra Club California Report Card

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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When it comes to votes on key environmental protection bills, the 2014 Sierra Club California Report Card found that Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Carpinteria, has sided with environmentalist 100 percent of the time.

The group gave Williams a 100 percent score for supporting bills of importance to the environment. Each autumn, Sierra Club California staff advocates review legislator’s voting records for the year on key issues affecting the environment.

“It is an honor to be recognized as a lawmaker who stands up to protect and restore our environment,” Williams said. “I will always be an advocate and fighter for environmental reforms.”

Sierra Club California was established in 1986 to help ensure that the club speak with one strong voice on statewide environmental policy issues before the legislature and state agencies. California is unique among states that it has 13 chapters representing nearly 150,000 members.

Among the bills that Williams is noted for casting the correct vote for the environment is the Single-use, Carry Out Bags (SB 270), which is a statewide policy for restricting the use and distribution of plastic bags at grocery stores and other similar retail outlets. Williams also voted favorably on behalf of the environment in support of Assembly Bill 2188, which would bring together best practices from solar permitting procedures currently used throughout the state to create a streamlined process for the permitting of small residential solar systems.

Click here to view the entire 2014 Legislative Report Card for the Sierra Club California.

Jeannette Sanchez is the district director for Assemblyman Das Williams.

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Dos Pueblos Students Participate in First-Ever All-School Lip Dub

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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More than 1,800 Dos Pueblos High School students participated in the first-ever All-School Lip Dub as part of the Macy's $50,000 lip dub contest.

Students showed their spirit by spending their lunch running the halls and following the camera crew managed by the DPNews media team. The event served as a start to the Homecoming week events at the school, and was described as "The most spirit I have ever seen on our campus" by principal secretary Marietta Sanchez, class of 1973.

The school has created two senior class lip dubs in the past, but this was the first time that the whole school was involved. The voluntary lunchtime activity was packed, and students clearly loved the event, as can be seen in the video. Contest rules stated that it had to be one continuous take from one camera, and that provided more challenges for the media team used to blending multiple angles and shots. All entries also had to use the song "Be True to Your School" by the Beach Boys.

The video can be seen by clicking here along with one shot for Brandon Elementary School last Thursday.

Last week the team also completed their third senior class lip dub, which will be released later this week on the DPNews.org site. The seniors chose to perform their event to the song "We're All In This Together" from the High School Musical movies.

Results from the Macy's contest will be announced at the end of the month with three winners among all entries in the nation from elementary to college.

— John Dent represents Dos Pueblos High School.

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Ron Fink: Lengthy Lompoc Council Meeting Produces Huge Utility Rate Increase

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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Lompoc City Council meetings have been notorious over the last four years for going well past the 11 p.m. deadline that council members agreed to when they amended their Council Handbook.

Mayor John Linn likes to hear himself talk. Take a look at the video of the council meetings — any council meeting — and you’ll see the mayor overselling his point of view at almost every meeting. Instead of trying to move the agenda along, allowing for staff reports and council members’ comments, he dominates every council meeting. Since he controls the flow of the meeting, no one can shut him up.

He has been timed at taking an average of 20 minutes every time he offers his sage advice on how matters should be handled. Routine matters that had previously taken only a few minutes to discuss now take well over an hour — most of the time being consumed by the mayor.

Frequently some very important items are moved to the end of the meeting as the mayor changes the order of the agenda to accommodate his favorite topics. So members of the public who may want to participate get fatigued after sitting for several hours in the uncomfortable audience seats only to find out that the item they wanted to address won’t be heard until well past the 11 p.m. cutoff time.

This is what happened on May 6, when the council approved an item referred to as “Financial Reserve Policies and Follow-up to Midyear Review.” This sounds a lot like a very wonky policy that may make the average person cringe at the thought of having to read it.

But in true Linn style, he moved a controversial item to discuss annexing a piece of property ahead of the reserve policy. Normally, annexation requests are made by the property owners who submit a development plan and pay for all the costs associated with the annexation. These documents include a cost-benefit analysis to see if the city will generate enough revenue from the proposed project to provide needed services.

In this case, the property owner had not requested annexation and had not submitted any development plans, and that’s why this was controversial.

Linn had requested that the planning staff commit a significant amount of time to preparing a staff report even though they had told him this wasn’t the way any other annexation had ever been handled.

There were numerous technical issues associated with the mayor’s request. First was that some parcels would be divided by the proposed annexation and the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) would reject the request out-of-hand. Not to mention that the property was in both the airport approach zone and the flood plain, and this would severely limit future development.

Then there was the cost to the General Fund, estimated at $177,000, which the staff pointed out didn’t include the cost of preparing the financial analysis that was required by the General Plan.

After a lengthy discussion of Linn’s proposal, the council wisely decided that this was a bad idea and directed that no further action should be taken.

Then after midnight to an empty council chamber came the discussion of the “Financial Reserve Policies and Follow-up to Midyear Review.” Local print media had an extensive report concerning this item.

During a presentation three months earlier, there had been a 47-page chart flip, but at this late hour maybe council members forgot that a substantial water and wastewater rate increase was on page 31 of this highly technical presentation.

During the May 6 meeting, the finance guru began by saying he wouldn't go over the resolutions they were about to adopt because they were essentially unchanged from March 25. This turned out to be an error because the rate increase appeared in a newly minted council resolution.

But apparently not all council members even read what they were approving, specifically Mayor Linn, who admitted during a recent forum that he hadn’t bothered to read them.

One council member abstained from voting on the matter saying that this was simply too much technical information for her to digest after an 18-hour day, which included this meeting — now lasting a staggering six hours.

Council members had previously said that when rate increases were the specific topic that they wanted to discuss it in detail. One of the things they wanted was an in-depth analysis and full justification for the rate increase — something that was missing from the initial action they took.

Once ratepayers started getting their new bills — mine went up $24 for the same amount of water over last year and my sewer rates went up $12 — they started calling their council members!

In this case, the mismanagement of the council meeting and wasting staff time to accommodate a personal agenda led to a significant rate increase — which translated to more money out of our pockets.

Increasing utility rate discussions should be scheduled when the public is still awake — and not after midnight!

— Ron Fink, a Lompoc resident since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry and has been active with Lompoc municipal government commissions and committee since 1992, including 12 years on the Lompoc Planning Commission. He is also a voting member of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association. Contact him at news@noozhawk.com. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Tom Donohue: Elections Have Consequences; What’s at Stake This Year?

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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For better or worse, elections have consequences. That’s good news if engaged voters exercise their civic duty and thoughtfully send qualified men and women to Washington to fix our broken government. It’s bad news if people don’t learn the issues, don’t know the candidates or don’t show up at the polls — potentially deepening our leadership deficit and allowing damaging policies to stand.

Here is what’s at stake in this year’s national elections.

A political system that works. Gridlock and gamesmanship will only come to a stop if we elect leaders who choose constructive leadership. That doesn’t mean tossing aside principle, but it does mean taking a pragmatic approach.

We should pay close attention to what candidates plan to do if sent to Washington — is it their goal to shut the place down or to get something done? Their commitment, or lack thereof, to the hard work of governing and legislating matters, and it should matter to voters as well.

A government that knows its size and role. We’ve seen government pushed well beyond its intended limits through massive, misguided legislation like the Dodd-Frank financial reform law and Obamacare. Rampant overregulation has empowered unelected bureaucrats to reach farther into the lives and affairs of individuals and businesses.

And executive power grabs blur the lines dividing our branches of government. Bureaucracy will continue to balloon if Americans elect politicians who believe that the government knows best. Electing leaders committed to creating a limited, modern and transparent government will give businesses confidence to hire, invest and innovate.

An economy that can grow. We need to elect policymakers who understand that a growing economy is essential to job creation, higher incomes and greater opportunity for Americans. Leading up to the elections, a lot of emphasis has been put on policies to slice up the economic pie into smaller and smaller pieces. What we need to do is grow the economic pie! The right policies on energy, trade, taxes and education could contribute to a strong and growing economy. Economic growth won’t solve all of our problems, but we won’t be able to solve any of them without it.

It’s easy to be cynical in this political environment. Some think that our problems are too big and that our politics are too small. Some wonder if voting is worth the bother or if it will make a difference.

But every vote represents a voice, and every candidate represents a choice. Make yours heard — and choose wisely. Elections have consequences. Visit GOTV.VoteForJobs.com to find the tools you need to vote, whether early, absentee or in person on Election Day.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Letter to the Editor: Measure Q Is for Questions

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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We are long-term residents of Montecito who care about the educational mission of Montecito Union School and, above all, the safety of the children in its care.

The school is in evident need of upgrading, but Measure Q provides for far more than this: It involves a good deal of new construction, some of which appears to be unnecessary and inappropriate for our community, and which does not address the educational needs of our children. We are concerned that the project’s significant impacts have not been properly addressed, and we expand on a number of them.

The absence of acceptable regulatory review. The California Environmental Quality Act (“CEQA”) makes environmental review a mandatory part of the decision-making process. The proposed expansion project at MUS would have significant impacts to the local residential community, public lands (Manning Park) and the YMCA, including impacts to traffic/circulatio/parking elements, noise, air quality, open space, nuisance (odors) and visual resources. The lack of an EIR has been brought up on many prior occasions, but now, even though the Board of Trustees approved the MUS District Bond Master Plan on May 27 of this year, no progress on an EIR or environmental review has been reported.

The funded project would proceed over time in three phases. Notably, the first phase incorporates the construction of the cafeteria/multipurpose building, this in 2015, while the last is mainly devoted to the upgrading and retrofitting of the historic main building, in 2019.

The cafeteria/multipurpose building. This is to be a 6,000-square-foot structure that peaks at 27 feet. It is to sit on the west boundary of the school grounds, above the level of the surrounding residences, and significantly so above its immediate neighbors. The number of meals served per day is conjectured to be 250 per day, significantly more than the number of meals regularly dispensed at present. There are plans to mitigate the effects on theschool’s nearest neighbors of the noise and smells associated with its food processing. However, without formal evaluation, their success will only come to be known over time. The cost of administering the cafeteria function, as against the contracting of food service now in place, has not been made clear.

The high priority that this aspect of the project has been accorded seems hardly consonant with the fact that the provision of a food service, and not a cafeteria, is what the state mandates. The multipurpose nature of the building ensures that the student body, staff and faculty can gather together, something not now possible. It is unclear how this large space will otherwise be utilized and, in the surrounding neighborhood, there is considerable concern about the traffic, air quality impacts, excessive noise and night lighting that can results from additional functions held there. Such impacts of the proposed expansion need to be evaluated and mitigated to insignificance.

Upgrading and retrofitting the main building. In a November 2013 phone survey financed by MUS, in conjunction with a bond feasibility study, voters were “more interested in renovating deteriorating and aging plumbing systems, upgrading inadequate electrical systems and making energy efficiency and water conservation improvements.” Even with this guidance from the community, much of this work is to be delayed until the third phase. It is not at all clear to us why such work, identified long ago, should come under the heading of deferred maintenance.

Traffic and parking. The San Ysidro and Santa Rosa intersection is presently chaotic during the hours that students arrive and depart the school, as is the School House Road curve behind the school. Parking along School House Road, adjacent to the school, is overburdened during school hours. The lack of an adequate shoulder, in conjunction with parked cars, creates a dangerous situation for students and residents alike. The project suggests that the School House Road parking lot is to be eliminated, and more parking added to the San Ysidro lot. Queuing lines, set for the San Ysidro lot, are expected to ease traffic flow at drop off and pick up times, with quite limited vehicle access from School House Road.

The impacts of these proposed changes have not been adequately addressed or analyzed. They should be addressed in an environment document that accounts for air quality (URBEMIS model) and traffic safety. The district implicitly assumes that parent parking on School House Road and surrounding streets will not be a problem, although a circulation analysis has not been presented to address the situation. We are concerned that parents will drop off and pick up children at the already dangerous School House Road curve in order to bypass the San Ysidro queuing lines. It is not clear how this can be mitigated.

After decades of neglect and code changes there is little doubt that much of the improvement work needs to be done. Such work and the expanded wish list needs to be better thought out, independently reviewed via an EIR and discussed openly before being put to a vote.

We are more than willing to support a revised bond measure that will help the school and address the concerns of the community.

Signed,

Barbara Loebman
Stephen Beck
Louise Janis  
John Kelly  
Don Ylvisaker
Judy Blankenship
Kay Stern
Ted Stern
Anna Ylvisaker
Cliff Scholle
Nicola Hesketh

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Phone Scam Targets SCE Customers in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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Southern California Edison has notified the Santa Barbara Police Department of a telephone scam that has recently targeted customers in the Santa Barbara area.

In the fraud, victims receive a telephone call informing them that they are past due on their bill and that their electricity will be disconnected if they do not pay over the telephone with the purchase of a prepaid debit card.

Southern California Edison does not demand payment and threaten customers with disconnection of service in this manner.

Customers who receive a suspicious phone call should not provide personal information or payment over the telephone. Instead, they should call SCE’s Call Center at 800.655.4555 to report suspicious activity and to verify information.

— Sgt. Riley Harwood is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.

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Crane School’s Annual Country Fair Saddling Up for ‘Harvest Hoedown’

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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Dust off your boots and saddle-up for Crane Country Day School’s annual Country Fair, which embraces a “Harvest Hoedown” theme when it opens its fields to the community on Sunday, Oct. 26.

Offering line dancing, kid-powered game booths and the return of the Haunted House, this year’s fair promises old-fashioned fun and a small dose of fright.

The Crane Country Fair will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the school’s 11-acre campus at 1795 San Leandro Lane in Montecito. Admission is free, and the fair is open to the public, with tickets available on site for booth activities and an impressive raffle.

“We are thrilled to be bringing back the Haunted House,” said Erin Eberhardt Spence, who is co-chairing this year’s event alongside Crane moms Tasha Marlow and Susan Monaghan.

Crane has incorporated the creation of the Haunted House into its Upper School theater tech curriculum, which means that kids are responsible for conceptualizing and building sets, creating sound effects, engineering scare tactics, designing makeup, distressing costumes and acting in the cast. The Haunted House is kid-friendly and age appropriate, with options to tone down the terror for toddlers.

The preschool set will also enjoy Coyote Cub Corner, with its own petting zoo, toddler bouncy and Wahooo pets, a new addition of electric ride-on animals. Older kids will appreciate the jousting booth, giant slide, football throw, obstacle course and dunk tank. New booths this year include sack races, an old-fashioned candy booth and country line dancing, in keeping with the hoedown theme.

In fact, the day will be filled with music, as well as food. Musical performances will include Crane students, music teacher Konrad Kono, the Figueroa Mountain 4 and the Young Singer’s Club. And there will be food aplenty — those with a sweet tooth will find satisfaction with Scoop ice cream, cotton candy and delicious homemade goods at the Country Kitchen. There are also nearly 200 cakes used as prizes for the cakewalk, if you’re lucky enough to win one.

Conversely, the Healthy Hut will serve vegetarian cuisine while Big Daddy’s BBQ prepares tri-tip, hot dogs and chicken. There will also be tamales and a pig roast, so be sure to come hungry.

Fairgoers are encouraged to bring their own water bottles, which can easily be refilled, at one of several filtered water dispensers provided by Matilija Pure Water Systems.

This is the first year that Crane moms Spence, Marlow and Monaghan have chaired the fair, and they said they volunteered because it’s one of their favorite events at the school.

“The fair gives the children so much freedom and the whole event really represents what the school stands for — the generosity of the entire Crane community coming together to work and play on the safe, open fields,” Marlow said. Spence agrees: “This is a great way to start off the school year.”

Key committee members and donors include the Caleel Family, Erika Delgado, Janet Friesen, Suzanne Garrett, JC Gordon, Linnea Haddock, Emily Jones, Mia Morphy, Mari Powell, Nancy Sheldon and Sarice Silverberg.

For more information about Crane Country Day School, contact the admissions office at 805.969.7732 or click here.

— Ann Pieramici represents Crane Country Day School.

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Three Reported Hurt in Wreck Near Santa Maria

By | Published on 10/21/2014

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Three people reportedly suffered moderate injuries Tuesday in a vehicle accident west of Santa Maria, according to the California Highway Patrol.

The collision, involving an SUV and a big-rig, occurred shortly after 7 a.m. at West Betteravia Road at Brown Road, the CHP said.

Reports from the scene indicated the three people hurt were taken by ground ambulance to Marian Regional Medical Center.

Brown Road was reported blocked for a time by the wreckage.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.

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

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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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Ray LaMontagne Brings Soulful Sound to Santa Barbara Bowl

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Grammy winner Ray LaMontagne played the Santa Barbara Bowl on Saturday.

He is supporting his new album, Supernova, and having a lot of fun doing it.

His joy of songwriting was clearly evident as he moved through his set with a soulful rustic sound. Backed by his ensemble, he offered a romantic, bluesy night, excellent for couples under the stars. The toe-tapping, rootsy rock swayed the audience all night along.

Portions of the proceeds from his "meet and greet" packages went to benefit LaMontagne's favorite charity, the National Children's Cancer Society.

This was the third show of six held during this historic seven-day run of shows at the Santa Barbara Bowl.

— Steve Kennedy is a Noozhawk contributor. The opinions expressed are his own.

LaMontagne
Backed by his ensemble, Ray LaMontagne offered a romantic, bluesy night Saturday. (Steve Kennedy / Noozhawk photo)

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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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Michael Barone: Does the End of History Result in Political Decay?

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Francis Fukuyama picked an auspicious publication date for his latest book, Political Order and Political Decay. The news is full of stories of political decay: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Ebola; the Department of Veterans Affairs' health service; the Internal Revenue Service political targeting.

Europe gives us the dysfunctional euro and no-growth welfare states. Not to mention failed states in the Middle East and the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Critics have lambasted Fukuyama for proclaiming, in the title of his 1992 book, The End of History. That's not entirely fair. His argument there was that the battle of ideas was over since no one had advanced convincingly a superior alternative to capitalism and democracy. Challengers have emerged in recent years — Islamist terrorists, Russia's Vladimir Putin, China's capitalist Communists. But their regimes lack broad appeal beyond the reach of their arms. Most of the world is still bent on "getting to Denmark" — Fukuyama's shorthand phrase for an effective, accountable, tolerant and law-bound society.

Getting even close to Denmark took a long time. In his 2011 book, The Origins of Political Order, Fukuyama surveyed the development from prehistoric times to the year 1800 of the three institutions he argues are indispensable for a decent polity: an effective state, the rule of law and democratic accountability.

The Chinese developed a competent bureaucracy around 200 B.C., but have still not yet embraced the rule of law and have only disorderly accountability (see Hong Kong). In Western Europe, the Catholic Church emerged as a rival to weak states and imposed the rule of law upon them. Democratic accountability grew from England's Magna Carta in 1215 but had made only limited progress in Europe by "Origins'"1800 cutoff date.

The going has remained hard because, in Fukuyama's words, "All good things do not necessarily go together." His three goals are often in tension with one another.

Good things produce bad things; bad things produce good things. China produced an effective state bureaucracy 2,200 years ago and Prussia in the 18th century because they faced aggressive neighbors and needed to fund a competent military. That gave them rule by law, but not a rule of law capable of binding emperor or Kaiser or Fuhrer.

Democratic accountability grew in Britain's distant North American colonies and flowered in a republic, with a Constitution and courts imposing the rule of law and legislatures establishing democratic accountability through universal (white) manhood suffrage. But the young republic's political patronage system meant that America lacked an effective state bureaucracy until the Progressive reforms of the early 20th century.

Moreover, there is the possibility — probability, likelihood, certainty — of decay. Fukuyama is disappointed that the U.S. Forest Service, his paragon of (large-P) Progressive bureaucracy, has decayed because of contradictory congressional commands and court mandates. Too much democracy and rule of law make for an ineffective state.

But there's a bigger problem here. Fukuyama compares Progressive bureaucracy with Taylorite management of assembly lines. Neither factory workers nor bureaucrats are automata. They work better when they have discretion.

Markets discipline manufacturers, but bureaucracies, as Fukuyama notes, decay through intellectual rigidity and regulatory capture. The interests they supposedly regulate use the instruments of democratic accountability and rule of law to get their way over the years.

Despite his broad historical sweep, Fukuyama's diagnosis of decay seems over-focused on the minutiae of current American political battles. Much recent gridlock comes from President Barack Obama's disinclination or inability to negotiate. His two predecessors did better.

Nor, as he acknowledges, do parliamentary systems operate much differently these days. Some governments have managed to scale back unsustainable welfare state commitments. Others, like ours, haven't.

The bottom line is that good things (stable government, lack of defeat in war or major economic collapse) tend to produce bad things (decay of bureaucratic institutions, capture of regulators by the regulated, protracted litigation over needed projects and changes). And conservatives' lament that a government that tries to do too many things ends up doing none of them well rings true.

The lesson I take from Political Order and Political Decay is that getting to Denmark is Sisyphus' work. You can get that stone uphill, with great effort, but there's always a tendency for it to slide down again — and for those who started off at the bottom to pass you later on their way up.

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. Click here to contact him, follow him on Twitter: @MichaelBarone, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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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 Accused of 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 possible 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.

Sgt. Chuck Strange, the department's public information officer, referred questions about the matter to Lompoc Police Chief Pat Walsh.

Walsh did not respond to requests 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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UCSB Alumna’s Gift Will Help Renovate Historic Ranch House at Sedgwick Reserve

By | Published on 10/20/2014

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Situated between what were once the two largest Chumash villages in the Santa Ynez Valley and part of the historic 1845 Mexican land grant Rancho la Laguna de San Francisco, the property now known as Sedgwick Reserve has a storied past. Named for its last private owners and residents — artist and rancher Francis “Duke” Sedgwick and family, including his daughter and Andy Warhol “Factory Girl” Edie Sedgwick — its history is nearly as colorful as its landscape.

But it wasn’t the backstory that hooked Linda Duttenhaver on the 6,000-acre expanse now run by UC Santa Barbara. It was her love of old barns that reeled her in. The natural beauty and a desire to preserve it are what keep her coming back.

Duttenhaver, a 1977 graduate of UCSB, fell hard for Sedgwick Reserve the moment she spotted its centenarian barn during her first visit to the site nearly a decade ago. Traveling cross-country to photograph the often-storied old structures was already one of her passions; saving this one, part of her alma mater, made perfect sense. It wasn’t long before she offered to finance its restoration.

The barn project was completed in 2009 and heralded with a barn dance that has since gone annual — the fifth iteration was held this summer. Duttenhaver celebrated anew by making another major gift to the Reserve: $2 million to help renovate the Sedgwick Ranch House, the site’s primary accommodation for visiting researchers.

“The more you’re up there, the more you fall in love and the more you see opportunities to make a difference,” said Duttenhaver, a longtime advocate for both conservation and outreach at Sedgwick, one of seven natural reserves administered by UCSB. “The Ranch House was the clear next step. It will be used to support research activities on the Reserve, to inspire creative and productive environmental work, to attract new researchers and to promote collaborations among scientists and scholars. This will really help continue the mission of Sedgwick, and UCSB, in a meaningful way.”

UCSB Chancellor Henry Yang couldn’t agree more.

“Our campus is deeply grateful to alumna Linda Duttenhaver for her visionary investment in renovating the historic Ranch House at our Sedgwick Reserve,” Chancellor Yang said. “This truly magnificent contribution will enhance educational and research efforts at the Reserve. Linda’s ongoing partnership with Sedgwick is helping to advance the overall scientific, educational and conservation mission of the entire UCSB Natural Reserve System.”

Sedgewick
The 1950s-era Ranch House at Sedgwick Reserve will be renovated and modernized for efficiency and usability with a gift from UCSB alumna Linda Duttenhaver.

Sedgwick is one of seven conservation sites administered by UCSB’s Natural Reserve System (NRS) as part of the larger, systemwide UC NRS, which boasts 39 reserves — and more than 756,000 acres — across California.

Situated at the foot of Figueroa Mountain, in an area above Santa Barbara known for its ranches, wineries and rich Native American heritage, Sedgwick’s nine square miles include two complete watersheds and habitats for everything from black bears and mountain lions to pallid bats, golden eagles, tarantulas and some 178 species of moths.

And that’s just a small sampling of the wide array of fauna found on the Reserve, where the vegetation features a rare collection of the region’s most prized plant communities, such as coastal sage scrub, native grassland, chaparral, gray pine forest, and coast live and blue oak woodland.

“There’s a real richness to this place and a real value to this kind of landscape — these big, open, oak woodlands,” said Kate McCurdy, Sedgwick’s resident director. “We shouldn’t take for granted that they’ll be here forever. Certainly it’s about preserving the land, but it’s also about the cultural history of the buildings that are here.”

That includes the Ranch House, which McCurdy described as “one of the most unique and special parts of the Reserve.” The four-bedroom residence serves as Sedgwick’s primary housing quarters for scientists, scholars, students and other professionals whose work requires a stay, whether short- or long-term. With rustic charm and sweeping views from every window — it’s a bright and sprawling place — the 1950s-era house is a crucial component of Reserve operations.

All of which underscores the impact of the upcoming renovation to update the building, making it more energy efficient and more functional for visiting researchers.

“Linda Duttenhaver has a keen interest in improving facilities at the field station to better promote research and educational uses of the property,” McCurdy said. “We are hugely indebted to our supporters, like Linda, who get the value of having land set aside for conservation and learning more about the land itself. This is Linda’s most significant gift to date, providing greatly needed improvements, such as plumbing and electrical upgrades, new energy efficient windows and a modernized kitchen.”

Sedgwick’s biodiversity and unabated beauty are what already make the Reserve a destination for ecological research, scientific investigation and outdoor education for all ages. It is also the only reserve in the entire UC NRS with a telescope, the Byrne Observatory.

The Duttenhaver-funded makeover and modernization will bolster Sedgwick’s popularity with scientists, said Patricia Holden, director of the UCSB NRS and a professor of environmental microbiology at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management.

“The UCSB Natural Reserve System is so very fortunate to have as its true friend Linda Duttenhaver, who time and again expresses her deep commitment to Sedgwick Reserve through generously giving to the university on the reserve’s behalf,” Holden said. “Each year, Linda returns to Sedgwick to celebrate her gift of restoring the barn to its original glory. The celebration manifests in a barn dance that draws attendees from throughout the Reserve, the university and across the region. Now, and once again, Linda will give us a great reason to celebrate: Because of her philanthropy, the historic Ranch House will be renovated as a haven and retreat for Reserve scholars. Through all of her gifts to Sedgwick, whether for large capital restorations, programmatically for education, or for Reserve operations, Linda epitomizes the meaning of ‘donor,’ and we are ever grateful for her friendship.”

For Duttenhaver, whose philanthropist father instilled in her a devotion to giving back — and to protecting the environment — she’s simply doing what feels right.

“I just follow my passions,” she said, “which is the advice I always give to other philanthropists. That’s the way you can have the most impact and gain the satisfaction of knowing you are truly making a difference.”

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

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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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