Board Approves Renewal for Santa Barbara Charter School
Board members, who have the ultimate say on whether to renew the charter, expressed serious concerns when the charter renewal petition first came before them in October. Parents and teachers praised the school’s smaller classes and supportive environment, but board membres said they were concerned about low test scores and a lack of diversity.
On Tuesday night, the board unanimously approved the charter petition on the recommendation of assistant superintendent of elementary education Emilio Handall. The renewal does include conditions — including following the plans and working toward goals identified in the document — but the school is comfortable with them, school director of operations David Weisman said.
In late October, Handall concluded that the school’s education program “is not likely to demonstrate future success.” Since then, he and other district officials have been working with the school to rewrite the charter petition and include much more detail.
The first proposal submitted in October was 89 pages. The revised version, which was approved Tuesday, was 562 pages.
Handall and board members commended the school’s teachers and staff for working so hard on the document and outlining the school’s future plans.
It’s still a conditional approval, requiring the school to improve the academic performance of all student subgroups; meet the new diversity goals or explain why it hasn’t/couldn’t; meet self-imposed goals outlined in the Local Control Accountability Plan; implement its plan to identify and monitor low-achieving students; and implement its English learner plan and report back to the Board of Education on its progress.
The conditions aren’t designed to sanction the school, but the board wants to see good-faith efforts to move in the right direction, according to board member Monique Limon.
“We’re not here to torpedo the school in any way, shape or form — we want it to be a good school,” board member Ed Heron said.
Newly appointed board president Kate Parker complimented the school on its “tremendous amount of work” put into the revised charter, adding that it will be a document the school and district can use as a reference for years.
Teachers and families cheered and clapped with the unanimous support of the charter, and Weisman high-fived people as he headed out the back door of the packed board room and adjoining conference room.
“We’re very happy,” he said.
He said it’s a “perfect storm” for California education right now with new funding, new standards and new assessments, and the charter petition happened to come along at the same time.
Collaborating with the district between board meetings was key to the charter’s success, he noted.
The school is located on the Goleta Valley Junior High School campus at 6100 Stow Canyon Road in Goleta and recently celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Santa Barbara Zoo’s Conservation Efforts Gain Traction with Donated SUVs
Local Toyota dealers provide new four-wheel-drive 4-Runners to help zoo personnel reach California condor nests in rugged terrain
Conservationists will have an easier time climbing the rugged mountains in order to reach the California condor nests they've been monitoring, thanks to a donation made to the Santa Barbara Zoo on Tuesday from a group of car dealers.
Six Gold Coast Toyota dealers came together to donate three vehicles to the zoo that will allow its programs to access tough terrain during fieldwork.
Three 2014 Toyota 4-Runner 4x4 Trail Editions wrapped with photos of California condors, Channel Island foxes and local amphibians were handed over to the zoo Tuesday, a gift that is worth more than $100,000.
Zoo officials said the donation will allow more of its staff and volunteers to access the rugged backcountry during their conservation efforts.
Dr. Estelle Sandhaus, director of conservation and research for the Santa Barbara Zoo, is one of the scientists who regularly travels into that terrain to monitor seven of the condor nests in the Hopper Mountain National Wildlife Refuge near Fillmore and other backcountry areas in Ventura and Kern counties.
The zoo partners with the U.S. Department of Fish & Wildlife for the nest-guarding program for the condors, which seeks to make sure young birds survive into adulthood so they can breed successfully.
The primary cause of mortality among condors is lead poisoning, as the birds eat carrion that may be contaminated by lead shot from hunters.
The nests are located at an altitude of about 4,000 feet and are accessible only by gravel road, said Steve Kirkland, who is the California condor field coordinator for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and works with Sandhaus in the nest-guarding program.
The zoo has been using two of its vehicles in the field, but the main one has been borrowed from the horticulture department and is "not quite up to task," Sandhaus said. "Four-wheel drive is necessary," she said, adding that the new vehicles will be a big help in furthering their work.
Between the zoo and Fish & Wildlife, staff are out in the field monitoring the nests five days a week, Kirkland said.
The partnership between the agencies has seen significant success in increasing the survival of young condors, with survival rate increasing almost 10 times since the program began.
Mike Caldwell, president of Gold Coast Toyota Dealers Association and general manager of Toyota of Santa Barbara, was present Tuesday to hand off the keys to Block, and said the association was excited to support conservation in the community.
Rich Block, CEO of the Santa Barbara Zoo, said the cars will allow an "enormous boost forward" for the zoo's conservation efforts.
"We've had a real need to get people out in the field," he said, adding that he's looking forward to showing Caldwell photos of the now-gleaming vehicles with some mud on them from the scientists' field work in the future.
Santa Barbara OKs Funding for Overflow Warming Center
City Council also approves financing improvements to the Police Department building, including $146,300 for designing a new HVAC system
The Santa Barbara City Council on Tuesday approved more funding for the Freedom Warming Centers because they need to open overflow locations this winter.
The Unitarian Society runs the emergency overnight shelters in Santa Barbara County and has been serving more people since the Casa Esperanza homeless shelter became a sobriety-based program this fall.
The City Council unanimously approved $15,000 in additional funding at Tuesday’s meeting.
Warming centers are hosted in local churches and have already been open for eight nights this year for rain or cold weather, according to Unitarian Society coordinator Maria Long.
The overflow site is activated when the other location is at 90 percent capacity, said Sue Gray of the city’s Community Development department. Warming shelters expect about 50 extra people coming each night due to the programming changes at Casa Esperanza.
Warming centers already have served 597 beds this winter, and 461 of those beds were within Santa Barbara, Long said, adding that the overflow site was already activated the last three nights by pulling in favors from other congregations.
The extra funding for staff, transportation, supplies and insurance will keep another location open for the winter. It will cost $40,000 for an extra center, and the Unitarian Society will go to Santa Barbara County, local nonprofits, foundations and private donors to make up the difference.
For more information about the warming center locations, hours and operation, click here for the Unitarian Society’s website.
The City Council also approved funding for improvements to the Police Department building, including $146,300 for designing a new HVAC system. The city wants to design a new station to replace the 50-year-old building, but there hasn’t been money identified for the purpose yet.
The firm chosen for the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system had been hired in 2009 to design the HVAC system for the proposed new police station, according to city staff.
Council members also acknowledged a $215,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that will be used for a vehicle access security gate project at the police station.
Reporting from closed session, the council appointed assistant city attorney Sarah Knecht to serve as acting city attorney once City Attorney Steve Wiley retires Dec. 28.
Knecht has been with the city since 2004 and will help the department have a smooth transition while the city recruits for a permanent replacement, Mayor Helene Schneider said.
The city expects to find and appoint a new city attorney early next year.
Police Agencies Across Santa Barbara County Gearing Up for Holiday DUI Enforcement
Law enforcement across Santa Barbara County are gearing up to crack down on drunken driving this holiday season with extra checkpoints and saturation patrols in cities and unincorporated areas across the county.
Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said that various DUI patrols will be conducted during the weekends between Dec. 13 and Jan. 1.
Patrols will be hosted by the cities of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Buellton, Solvang, Lompoc, Guadalupe and Santa Maria, all of which are sponsored by an AVOID the 12 grant, she said.
A DUI checkpoint is scheduled for Dec. 21 and a task force operation on Dec. 28.
"Goleta, Santa Barbara, Lompoc and Santa Maria also have their own grants where they will provide saturation patrols and/or checkpoints during this time," Hoover said.
Extra enforcement will be held in Santa Barbara on Dec. 13, 14, 20 and 27 and in Lompoc on Dec. 13, 20, 27 and 28, Hoover said.
The California Highway Patrol also will be increasing its patrol units during this time, and Santa Barbara police Sgt. Riley Harwood confirmed that the department has checkpoints scheduled for four nights in December.
The Santa Maria Police Department will be operating special DUI and driver's license checkpoints on Dec. 14, 20 and 28 within the Santa Maria city limits during various timeframes between 6 p.m. and 3 a.m. to help keep roads safe for holiday travelers.
A statement issued Tuesday from the department stated that it is "giving fair warning to all partygoers," and Police Chief Ralph Martin said law enforcement will be making numerous stops during the highly visible enforcement period.
“If we suspect anyone is driving while under the influence, officers will show zero tolerance for drunk or drugged driving," Martin said.
From 2007 to 2011, there were 4,169 people killed during the month of December across the country in crashes that involved drivers with blood alcohol levels of 0.08 or higher, the statement said. In California, during Decembers in that five-year time period, 505 people were killed and thousands seriously injured.
The department stated that drunken drivers often face jail time, the loss of their driver's licenses, higher insurance rates, and dozens of other unanticipated expenses ranging from attorney fees, court costs, car towing and repairs, to lost wages due to time off from work or could even claim someone else's life, or their own.
Police are encouraging the public to plan ahead, and if they will be drinking at holiday parties, to designate a sober driver before the party begins or to call a taxi, sober friend, family member or public transportation to get home.
If someone you know is drinking, do not let that person get behind the wheel, the statement said, and the public is encouraged to call 9-1-1 should they see an impaired driver on the road.
Detectives Seek Help Locating Armed-Robbery Suspect
Hold-up occurred Saturday night at the Far Western Liquor Store in Orcutt
Detectives are asking the public to help them identify a man suspected of robbing an Orcutt liquor store at gunpoint over the weekend.
The robbery occurred at 9:30 p.m. Saturday, when a suspect wearing a mask walked into the Far Western Liquor Store at 3420 Orcutt Road, according to Kelly Hoover, spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.
"The suspect confronted the owner of the store, pointed a black semi-automatic pistol at him, and demanded cash," Hoover said.
After the owner gave the suspect an undisclosed amount of money, he walked the owner to the back door of the store and took off on foot into the alley.
The owner called 9-1-1 to report the robbery, and sheriff’s deputies responded, secured the area, and began searching for the suspect, Hoover said.
A sheriff’s K-9 Unit was brought in to assist, but the suspect was not found.
The suspect was captured on video surveillance, and detectives are asking for the public’s assistance to help identify him.
He was described as a white male adult, mid-30s, about 6-foot-2 and around 195 pounds.
He was wearing a black ski mask, black sweater, blue jeans and white shoes, Hoover said.
Anyone with information on the crime, the suspect’s identity or his whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff’s Detective Bureau in Santa Maria at 805.934.6170, or leave an anonymous tip at 805.681.4171.
Tam Hunt: Are Electric Vehicles Already Halfway to Market Dominance?
Electric vehicles have been all the rage in the last few years, but those who have studied EVs and their history know that this isn’t the first go-round at the rodeo for this “new” technology. In fact, EVs were the most popular type of vehicle at the dawn of the vehicle era. In 1899, more EVs were sold than gasoline-powered cars. Albeit, the numbers were small (about 1,500 EVs were sold in that year), but nonetheless, EVs were the dominant technology for at least a decade. And then Mr. Henry Ford came along with his Model T and ensured the ascendancy of petroleum-powered cars for the next century.
There were a number of fits and starts in the EV industry, every couple of decades, but at no point were EVs anywhere near as dominant as they were at the dawn of the transportation revolution. Most adults living now are aware of GM’s EV1 and the tawdry history of that vehicle in the 1990s. There was even a movie made about it, Who Killed the Electric Car?
It seems, however, that this latest phase in the development of EVs is likely to be more than a blip in automotive history. EVs have come on strong in the last three years, with dozens of EV designs either on the market today or soon to be. And sales are picking up quickly, albeit from a very modest starting point.
Norway is leading the world in terms of EV sales. In November, EV market share reached a staggering 12 percent. California has reached about 1.2 percent of all cars sold and comprises about one-third of U.S. EV sales.
In terms of the U.S. as a whole, we are fast approaching 1 percent of all sales coming from EVs (pure battery electrics, BEVs and plug-in hybrid electrics, PHEVs, but excluding hybrid car sales). EVs will comprise about two-thirds of a percent for all light-duty car sales in the United States in 2013. We’ll easily pass 1 percent in 2014; 1 percent is still very small — way too small — but it turns out that reaching 1 percent is a really important milestone. In fact, the game may be won when 1 percent is reached.
Ray Kurzweil, an American inventor and entrepreneur, discovered the Law of Accelerating Returns by studying numerous technology adoption curves. The classic example concerns computing power. Moore’s Law holds that computing power will double about every two years for the same cost. Sixty years after Gordon Moore, Intel’s former CEO, made this observation, the law holds true, though we’re actually doubling now about every year.
Kurzweil discovered, however, that Moore’s Law is just the latest paradigm keeping a much longer trend going, as Figure 1 shows.
So how can 1 percent of all EV sales suggest in any way that we’re on the road to a world dominated by EVs? Here’s why: 1 percent is halfway between nothing and 100 percent — in terms of doublings. That is, there are seven doublings from the start of growth to 1 percent and seven doublings from 1 percent to 100 percent. One double is two, which doubled is four, etc.
Kurzweil’s best example of the counterintuitive nature of his law is the Human Genome Project. This was a government-funded effort to decode the entire human genome in about 15 years. Well, halfway through the project the effort was only at about 1 percent completion. Many observers wrote off the effort as a failure that couldn’t possibly reach its goal. Kurzweil, however, wrote at the time that the game was won because 1 percent was halfway to 100 percent in the terms that actually mattered: the rate of improvement in sequencing technology.
And he was right. The Human Genome Project finished slightly early and helped bring down the costs of genome sequencing technologies by orders of magnitude, as well as dramatic reductions in the time it takes for sequencing. We can now pay about $1,000 to sequence our own genome in a matter of days.
Applying the Law of Accelerating Returns to EVs
Back to EVs. It seems incredible, but the following is a mathematically true statement: If customers continue to buy EVs at the same rate of growth as we’ve seen in the last two years, all cars sold in 2020 will be EVs. This is because seven years is seven doublings, and seven doublings from 1 percent gets us past 100 percent. Of course, the “if” in my statement is the key. No one should reasonably expect that we’ll see 100 percent rates of growth in EV sales every year through 2020 — we won’t. This rate will surely slow down substantially as various obstacles present themselves.
But even if the rate of growth averages “only” 50 percent each year, we would reach 100 percent of all sales by 2026. This won’t happen either, but it is reasonable to expect that a very substantial percentage of all cars sold will be EVs by the mid-2020s. Figure 2 shows the result of various average growth rates over time. Even at 20 percent annual growth EVs comprise almost half of all cars sold by 2034.
Figure 2. EV sales as a function of various growth rates.
Year — 100%; 50%; 30%; 20%; 10%
2013 — 1%; 1%; 1%; 1%; 1%
2014 — 2%; 2%; 1%; 1%; 1%
2015 — 4%; 2%; 2%; 1%; 1%
2016 — 8%; 3%; 2%; 2%; 1%
2017 — 16%; 5%; 3%; 2%; 1%
2018 — 32%; 8%; 4%; 2%; 2%
2019 — 64%; 11%; 5%; 3%; 2%
2020 — 128%; 17%; 6%; 4%; 2%
2021 — 26%; 8%; 4%; 2%
2022 — 38%; 11%; 5%; 2%
2023 — 58%; 14%; 6%; 3%
2024 — 86%; 18%; 7%; 3%
2025 — 130%; 23%; 9%; 3%
2026 — 30%; 11%; 3%
2027 — 39%; 13%; 4%
2028 — 51%; 15%; 4%
2029 — 67%; 18%; 5%
2030 — 87%; 22%; 5%
2031 — 112%; 27%; 6%
2032 — 32%; 6%
2033 — 38%; 7%
2034 — 46%; 7%
Barriers to Adoption
The Law of Accelerating Returns isn’t really a law, of course. There’s nothing inevitable about technology development or adoption curves. If there was, the Betamax video player would be in every household today. While Kurzweil’s data shows that many technologies do follow the traditional S-shaped development curve and continuously improve, the fact remains that the vast majority of new technologies and new ideas don’t become ubiquitous.
So the hard question is: Why do some technologies become ubiquitous and some not? And in the case of EVs, are we on the road to ubiquity, or are there a number of roadblocks preventing a future in which every garage or street curb has an EV keeping it company?
There are a number of obvious obstacles right now that are keeping sales figures in the low single digits in the U.S., including, among others: 1) lack of widespread awareness about the availability and benefits of EVs; 2) high upfront cost of EVs, driven primarily by battery costs; 3) range anxiety due to insufficiently widespread public charging stations and similar concerns about the speed or cost of charging; 4) grid integration issues arising from so many EVs (though research has already found that the existing U.S. grid could accommodate, primarily through nighttime charging, a heckuva lot of EVs); and 5) tough competition from other types of vehicles.
I’m going to focus in the rest of this essay on what is probably the most difficult obstacle to overcome — battery costs, because the solution is not simply a matter of throwing money at the problem.
Kurzweil’s Law is a technology improvement law, rather than a technology adoption law, so it’s not directly applicable to adoption rates for EVs. However, it’s indirectly applicable because the adoption rate of EVs is highly dependent on technology improvement; specifically, the rate of improvement of the most expensive (by far) component of EVs — the battery.
Battery costs are already falling rapidly with increased deployment of EVs and other uses for battery technologies. A recent report from McKinsey & Company projected “dramatically” falling prices for batteries by 2020 — to around $200 per kilowatt hour, and $160 by 2025, down from $500-600 at the time the report was written in 2012, and down from about $1,200 in 2009. A 2013 report from Navigant Consulting agrees in general with the McKinsey team, projecting $180 by 2020, down from $500 now.
Navigant also projects a more than tenfold increase in EV battery production by 2020. If we see the same price drop in this area that we have seen with respect to solar panels — a 20 percent drop with every doubling of production — we can expect a bit more than three 20 percent price drops before 2020. This amounts to a net cost reduction of about 55 percent — less than the drops projected by Navigant and McKinsey, but definitely in the same ballpark. This quick calculation gives a little more confidence that these companies’ projections aren’t outlandish.
The battery price reductions bring the cost premium of an EV to only about $2,000 by 2020, when compared to a comparable conventional auto. This premium can quickly be made back with fuel savings, due to the cost of electricity being so much lower than the cost of gasoline, so the total cost of ownership of EVs will at that point be far less than for conventional vehicles.
In sum, while we may not be on the road to an inevitable “EV in every garage” future just yet, due to a number of persistent obstacles, it seems that we are indeed on the cusp of such inevitability. “Just” seven more doublings and all cars sold will be EVs.
— Tam Hunt is owner of Community Renewable Solutions, a consultancy and law firm specializing in community-scale renewables. Community Renewable Solutions can help developers navigate this complicated field and provide other development advice relating to interconnection, net metering, procurement and land use. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.
John Daly: Office Cubicle Etiquette Has Space for Boundaries
You’re sitting in your cubicle at work, busy with a client proposal for the boss. A shrill, irritating cell phone ring pierces the air and interrupts your train of thought. The person in the next cubicle over answers in a loud voice. Suddenly, you hear him jump to his feet and start cursing and screaming. It’s the worst! He’s rude and inconsiderate beyond belief, and you’ve spoken to him about it before. You put on your headphones and turn on some music to block the noise and wish for one of those sound-proof cubicles you’ve heard about. You make a note to ask the boss in your next meeting.
The cubicle world is just the place to show off incredibly poor etiquette! This isn’t just a once-and-awhile event but a daily annoyance. Some of the worst behaviors include:
» The loud person whose every word on the phone or to others literally hurts your ears. You can’t hear yourself think, must less talk to someone on the phone.
» The chronically ill person who refuses to take a sick day and constantly sneezes and hacks while spreading germs with unwashed hands.
» The “over-sharer” who stops by frequently to tell stories about her personal life that you wish you could wash out of your brain. This can happen several times a day because there are no doors.
» The person in the next cubicle who pops his head up into your space just to see what you’re doing.
» The frequent eater who loves food with onions, garlic, fish and pepperoni at his desk.
» Loud personal radios — worse when the person sings along.
» The person who talks to himself out loud all day.
» The chair squeaker.
» The “love bug” who must talk to or have visits from the object of his desire next to you.
» The snoop — the person who goes through the files and drawers of others when they are not around.
What Should You Do?
The positive side of cubicles is that they promote teamwork and collaboration by not cutting people off from one another. But, the poor manners of cubicle inhabitants sometimes overcome the positive effects. If you haven’t already, suggest to management that they institute some simple rules for employees. For those who can’t be handled by management, take some initiative.
» Management should ask everyone to keep their telephone voices at a moderate range. Explain that loud conversations interrupt the work flow of others and lowers productivity of the whole.
» The company should encourage people who are sick to use leave days and don’t come to work until they are no longer infectious. When they do return, ask them to use hand sanitizers, wash their hands frequently and don’t leave dirty tissue lying around. Management should also encourage employees to work from home when they are well enough to work but still dealing with the residual illness.
» Tell the constant over-sharer that you are too busy to take a break. Turn to your work, hoping he/she will get the hint. If the person doesn’t leave, politely explain that you will only be able to visit during breaks. Ignoring the over-sharer will eventually send the right message.
» Management should require that employees take lunch in the lunchroom or out of the office. It’s better for employees to take a break, even a short one.
» The company should request employees keep all radios lowered.
» If someone frequently talks or sings to himself/herself and it disturbs you, respectfully tell him/her it bothers you and to please stop. If the person ignores you, speak to your supervisor.
» Offer to use a can of WD-40 on your neighbor’s squeaky chair!
» Ask your boss to speak to annoying love birds in the office and ask them not to disturb others with frequent visits. If they continue, tell them they are disturbing you. This goes to a matter of wasting time and productivity, and management should be able to handle it for you.
Great Video Information
Social Life Skills 101
Want the Keys to lifelong success for your children? The Key Class will teach them Social Life Skills 101!
Register your child for The Key Class today! Just four classes — on table manners, meet and greet, respect and making others at ease with them. For those seeking jobs, we’ll teach how to create résumés and cover letters!
Held from 6 to 8 p.m. every Thursday at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, 1535 Santa Barbara St.
— 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 get information on Thursday night classes in Santa Barbara. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.
Questioning Einstein: UCSB Physicists Receive $1.32 Million Grant for Study of Matter
Could Einstein’s theory of relativity be wrong? That’s among the burning questions being asked by theoretical physicists today. It’s a startling claim and one that has received a lot of attention from other scientists.
Researchers from UC Santa Barbara's Department of Physics and the Kavli Institute for Theretical Physics (KITP) have received a $1.32 million grant from the National Science Foundation to continue their work on finding an answer. A group of five professors has been collaborating for many years on a variety of theoretical pursuits pertaining to high-energy physics — everything from massive computer simulations of particle physics to dark matter and neutrinos. Two of them focus their attention on string theory and quantum mechanics, the latter of which conflicts with Einstein’s theory when applied to black holes.
“This is one of several directions the grant will support,” said principal investigator Joseph Polchinski, a professor in the Department of Physics and a permanent member of the KITP. “A large part of the funds will be used to train young people. Over the three-year term, four graduate students and three postdoctoral scholars will be subsidized.”
The award will also support research aimed at understanding the basic building blocks of matter and the fundamental laws governing nature through a variety of approaches. Polchinksi and Nobel laureate David Gross, a professor in the Department of Physics who holds the KITP’s Frederick W. Gluck Chair in Theoretical Physics, largely focus on the construction of a unified theory of gravity and the particle interactions, based on string theory and related ideas. Specific approaches include the study of quantum mechanical properties of black holes, the emergence of space-time from a more fundamental theory and the understanding of higher symmetries that appear in these theories.
Robert Sugar, professor emeritus and research professor in the Department of Physics, investigates the properties of strong nuclear interaction using large-scale computation. His work is directed at testing the existing standard model of particle properties and the search for new physics. Physics professors Mark Srednicki and Anthony Zee study models of known and new particles, including neutrinos, supersymmetric particles and dark matter.
These are all areas where a host of experiments will continue to report new results — from the Large Hadron Collider and Fermilab to a variety of deep-mine and space-based observations. The members of the group are broad in their interests and work on other areas as well, including nonequilibrium dynamics; quantum chaos and its connections with mathematics and physics; new methods and applications in quantum field theory (the basic mathematical framework for quantum physics); and the understanding of the cosmological constant, which drives the accelerating expansion of the universe.
“UCSB in general and KITP in particular are outstanding in the field of high-energy physics,” Polchinski said. “We’ve been at the center of both the experiments, such as the discovery of the Higgs boson, and the theoretical side with the KITP. It’s natural that we should be successful in getting this NSF grant because the general scientific environment here at UCSB is tremendously stimulating. It’s a very good place to work.”
Laura Capps, Chris Hahn Join Board of Community Environmental Council
The Community Environmental Council is proud to announce the addition of two new members to its Board of Directors — Laura Burton Capps and Christopher Hahn, both of whom bring a range of experiences and expertise important to the organization’s mission and direction.
Capps has spent more than 15 years developing strategic communications and issue advocacy campaigns for the nation’s highest profile public officials — including President Bill Clinton, Sen. Edward Kennedy and Sen. John Kerry’s presidential campaign — as well as to academic and nonprofit organizations.
She recently established her own public affairs consulting firm in her hometown of Santa Barbara. Her current work involves national and local issues of immigration reform, child hunger, interfaith education and climate change.
Capps has built a reputation as a respected advocate for environmental and climate issues through her roles as senior vice president for government affairs and communications at Ocean Conservancy (2007-09) and as communications director for the Alliance for Climate Protection (2009-10). She is currently serving her first term on the board of Ocean Conservancy, the nation’s largest ocean conservation organization.
She is also on the Board of Trustees for UC Berkeley, her alma mater (1994, history), and was recently appointed as a commissioner to the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women. She also serves on the board of America's Voice (a national immigration advocacy nonprofit), Faith in Public Life (a national progressive faith organization) and the Santa Barbara Committee of Human Rights Watch.
Hahn, J.D., joins the CEC board with more than 20 years of experience in developing a broad litigation and transactional practice in real estate, trust and probate, and business.
He received his juris doctorate from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law, where he was awarded the Order of the Coif, and he joined the California Bar in 1989. Currently, he is a senior associate at Allen & Kimbell law firm.
Hahn actively supports the Santa Barbara community, serving as a board member or volunteer at local nonprofits, including the Environmental Defense Center, California Rural Legal Assistance, the Braille Institute and AYSO. He is also a former national champion bicycle racer and enjoys surfing, creative writing, and whichever local league sport his son is playing any given Sunday.
— Sigrid Wright is assistant director of the Community Environmental Council.
Santa Barbara Council Appoints Acting City Attorney
Santa Barbara City Attorney Steve Wiley will retire from his position on Dec. 28. The City Council has appointed Sarah Knecht to serve as the acting city attorney to provide legal guidance to the City Council, the city administrator and all city departments.
Since 2004, Knecht has served as assistant city attorney, advising departments on a variety of municipal law issues. In this position, she has managed all legal aspects of the former Redevelopment Agency, including projects related to downtown revitalization, affordable housing and the recent dissolution of the agency. She has represented the city in high-profile lawsuits and municipal code violations.
Knecht played a lead role in negotiating the financing of airline terminal improvements and major infrastructure upgrades for water, wastewater and harbor facilities.
Prior to her employment with the city, she worked as an associate attorney for Hatch and Parent (Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schrek) and Rutan and Tucker, providing legal services to public agencies ranging from the City of Carpinteria to the Goleta West Sanitary District.
She received a bachelor’s degree from California State University-Dominguez Hills and a juris doctor degree from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law.
“The council’s appointment of Ms. Knecht as the acting city attorney will ensure a smooth transition for the office while a nationwide recruitment is under way,” Mayor Helene Schneider said. “With her experience and background in Santa Barbara municipal issues, I’m confident that she will successfully represent the city in all legal matters.”
An executive recruitment process is under way with a permanent appointment anticipated by early 2014.
— Nina Johnson is an administrative assistant for the City of Santa Barbara.
Letter to the Editor: Obama’s War Against Income Inequality
President Barack Obama recently declared that income inequality was the "defining challenge" we face. If that is true, he and his wealthy friends should give up their millions of dollars, fancy houses and lavish vacations.
Furthermore, the president should close down Obamacare, the largest redistribution of wealth scheme, and end his failed economic policies and excessive regulations, which have produced poverty and deprivation.
However, don't hold your breath. In reality, there will always be inequality, because people are not equal in ability or talent.
Sadly today, we are locked into a battle for freedom that includes the freedom to earn what we want and to keep or spent what we earn. Unfortunately, the left, which includes progressives, Marxists and Democrats, are using the government to take away our freedoms.
Obama's war against income inequality is a war against us all.
Driver Arrested After Hit-and-Run Involving Pedestrians
A 32-year-old Santa Maria woman was arrested Tuesday on felony hit-and-run charges after she allegedly struck a young mother and her toddler as they crossed a Santa Maria street with a stroller.
Santa Maria police responded just before 8 a.m. to report of a vehicle-versus-pedestrians and hit-and-run traffic accident at Morrison Avenue and Depot Street, according to police Sgt. Jesus Valle.
Further investigation revealed that Guadalupe Espitia-Hernandez of Santa Maria was attempting to make a left turn from southbound Depot Street onto eastbound Morrison Avenue when her white 1992 Ford Aerostar van struck 25-year-old Rosa Ramirez of Santa Maria, who was crossing Morrison Avenue with her 2-year-old daughter in a baby stroller, Valle said.
He said Ramirez and her child were legally crossing northbound within the marked crosswalk on the east side of the street.
The mother and daughter were transported via ambulance to Marian Regional Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries.
Valle said Espitia-Hernandez drove away from the scene but was followed by a witness, who was able to help police locate her on the 700 block of West El Camino Street shortly after the accident.
Espitia-Hernandez was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail for two felony counts of hit-and-run, and for driving while unlicensed, a misdemeanor.
Valle said the accident remained under investigation.
Raymond Morua In Court for DUI, Hit-and-Run Arraignment
Former aide to Rep. Lois Capps is facing charges stemming from accident Friday night that critically injured Mallory Rae Dies, 27, of Santa Barbara
The former congressional aide who was arrested on felony DUI and hit-and-run charges stemming from an accident Friday night that critically injured a 27-year-old Santa Barbara woman made his first court appearance on Tuesday.
Morua, who worked as a district representative to Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara and was a frequent advocate for local veterans issues, was fired after the accident, Capps’ press secretary confirmed Monday.
Morua's attorney, Sam Eaton, asked for the arraignment to be delayed until Friday, which Adams approved.
Santa Barbara police said Morua was arrested after the vehicle he was driving struck Mallory Rae Dies on the 500 block of Anacapa Street as she was crossing the street.
Morua allegedly continued driving and was followed by witnesses, who tried to convince him to return to the scene of the collision.
He was taken into custody after crashing into a palm tree at State Street and Cabrillo Boulevard, police said.
Dies, a bartender at the Tonic Nightclub in downtown Santa Barbara, remains at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, undergoing a series of surgeries and evaluations to monitor her brain function and response, according to a CaringBridge website that was set up to keep family and friends informed of her condition.
A fundraiser for Dies and her family is planned for Sunday, according to a Mallory Rae Support Page on Facebook, but details were not available.
Police said Morua was found to be intoxicated and provided a breath sample that showed a blood-alcohol content of 0.17 percent, twice the point at which a driver is considered drunk.
He has a criminal record from Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, which includes previous DUI charges and a hit-and-run charge from 2006.
Adams also brought up a probation-violation case, which is going through the Superior Court system at the same time.
Morua was convicted of grand theft by embezzlement, a misdemeanor, against the Goleta K-Mart in March 2011, Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter said.
Morua was placed on probation for three years as a result of that case, and was ordered to pay restitution, among other terms and conditions, Carter said.
Girl Up Initiative Uganda Aims to Empower Young Women, Improve Health
Founders Kim Wolf and Monica Nyiraguhabwa hold a Goleta fundraiser to help cover program costs
The idea of Girl Up Initiative Uganda came to founders Kim Wolf and friend Monica Nyiraguhabwa last year as they walked through one of the many slums of Kampala, the largest city and the capital of Uganda.
The pair realized they could make a difference in the lives of young girls living in the borough — many of them in desperate need of leadership, empowerment and health education.
“The Girl Up Initiative Uganda was created to empower young women to stay in school and prevent early pregnancy, HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases,” said Wolf, executive deputy director.
Without proper health education, many young girls in Uganda face the risk of early childbirth and marriage, dropping out of school and acquiring a variety of STDs — all of which greatly diminish opportunities for the adolescent girls and jeopardize their future.
Wolf emphasized that it is not uncommon for young women in the community to engage in sexual relations with older men for economic reasons, and added that there is currently little or no sexual and reproduction health education in schools or homes.
Last year, GUIU partnered with the St. James Biina Primary School in Kampala to promote and organize training, services and programs to young girls, ages 8 to 17, in an effort to help them make a smart and healthy transition into adulthood.
“We organize monthly trainings for girls and young women on topics ranging from sexual and reproductive health and puberty to business and savings skills,” Wolf said. “All girls are members of the Girl Up Club in the school that is facilitated by the head woman teacher, and which meets twice weekly.”
Forty-five girls are enrolled in the program, which also offers free counseling services and referral services for girls dealing with problems, such as sexual violence, harassment, relationship issues and monetary challenges.
“We want to double this number of girls to 100 when we expand into another school in 2014,” Wolf said. “We will also start an economic empowerment program for five young mothers that will include business management skills and savings trainings, startup capital and follow-up mentoring and advice.”
Wolf, 26, holds a bachelor’s degree in international development from the University of California Berkeley, where she was co-president of STAND (A Student Anti-Genocide Coalition) and a member of the Golden Key Honour Society for scholastic achievement. She is pursuing an master's of philosophy degree in African studies from the University of Cape Town.
Her goal is to continue to educate and invest in the future of these young girls who have little or no control over their critical social health and economic sustainability during adolescence.
But, as with most startup organizations, the need for financial assistance remains a vital component of the future success and expansion of GUIU.
Wolf explained to Noozhawk during a fundraiser at the Goleta home of her parents — Harvey and Janet Wolf, a Santa Barbara County supervisor — that the program costs for the next year are $13,640, including staff salaries for one full-time and three part-time employees, an accountant and a security guard. The fundraiser raised $7,500.
“We are also raising money to complete our Girls' space and office for $5,300 for furniture, computers and office supplies," Kim Wolf said. "Rent and Internet for the year will be $3,360 and U.S. registration $1,000.”
Wolf said she works closely with Nyiraguhabwa, executive director of GUIU and a native of the community, to help coordinate GUIU programs and services, but explained that Nyiraguhabwa oversees the day-to-day operations and interaction with GUIU members.
Nyiraguhabwa, an advocate of the women’s rights movement who obtained a bachelor’s degree in adult education from Markere University, has worked for five years as a program manager at the Mentoring and Empowerment Programme (MEMPROW), training young women from primary schools in Kamapala.
“Monica's passion for the rights of girls shines through her speaking,” Wolf said. “Anyone who has talked to Monica can feel her power and influence within the community.”
— Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.
County Crews Contain Fire in Oil Field Near Lompoc
Santa Barbara County firefighters responded Tuesday to a vegetation fire on an oil field near Lompoc.
Crews were dispatched to the 3600 block of Harris Grade Road shortly after 10 a.m., Fire Department Mike Eliason said.
The initial report was a possible oil well on fire, with flames spreading to nearby vegetation, but firefighters quickly determined that no oil facilities were involved, Eliason said.
The blaze, possibly due to a downed power line, was contained at half an acre, Eliason said.
An investigator was called out to confirm the cause of the fire.
Two county engines, a helicopter and a water tender were assisted by a crew from the city of Lompoc.
Free 2014 Solvang & The Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Guide to Debut Jan. 15
The official 2014 Solvang & The Santa Ynez Valley Visitors Guide, a co-operative publication of two area destination marketing organizations — the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau and Visit the Santa Ynez Valley — will make a free, public debut at a “Launch Breakfast” at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 15, sponsored by the Chumash Casino Resort/Chumash Enterprises and hosted at the Hotel Corque, 400 Alisal Road in Solvang.
See this new publication for the first time and obtain copies — a 56-page full-color free magazine encompassing the communities of Ballard, Buellton, Los Alamos, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang. The 2014 Visitors Guide is published by Custom Media Group of Santa Barbara.
The 2014 Visitors Guide is filled with beautiful color photographs featuring attractions, architecture, lush vineyards and historic sites as well as a “Resource” section that feature attractions, farm stands, unique wedding and event venues, dining and lodging. A new section features Solvang and Santa Ynez Valley retail shopping opportunities. A popular fold-out, two-page map returns in this edition and includes hotels, points of interest and wine and beer tasting rooms open to the public throughout the valley. There is also a revised downtown Solvang map featuring key attractions in the village.
“We are excited about our cooperative 2014 Visitors Guide that is vital to our promotion of the entire valley,” Visit the Santa Ynez Valley Executive Director Mary Harris said.
Visit the Santa Ynez Valley is a nonprofit organization founded in 2001 that merged in October with the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association and is committed to promoting year-round sustainable tourism and hotel occupancy throughout all six communities in the valley.
“This is our ninth year of this collaboration, and we are thrilled to debut our joint 2014 Visitors Guide," Solvang CVB Executive Director Tracy Farhad said. "Be one of the first to see this impressive marketing tool designed to entice the visitor to our area and to stay longer.”
The Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau is a nonprofit organization formed in 1986 to promote the City of Solvang, its Northern European culture, cuisine, arts and attractions of the village known as “California’s Little Denmark.”
The 2014 Visitors Guide is available in hard copy (80,000 printed) and will be available online for free viewing and download by clicking here or clicking here. The Visitors Guide is used to fulfill requests received through website inquiries, callers or responses to advertising. Guides are also distributed to media from around the world; at consumer and travel trade shows; and locally in hotels, businesses and visitor centers as well as California Welcome Centers.
To receive a free copy by mail, call toll-free 800.468.6765. To receive a copy in person, stop by the downtown Solvang Visitor Center at 1639 Copenhagen Drive (open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily).
— Laura Kath represents the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau.
Guadalupe Students Paying It Forward with ‘Random Acts of Kindness’ Project
Kindness is more than just a word for Mary Buren Elementary School students in Guadalupe.
Every day, nearly 700 students are participating in the school's "Random Acts of Kindness" project that involves developing and taking action on ideas that help others during the holiday season.
The younger students write down the kind acts in a calendar, then on a paper heart that is posted in the school cafeteria. The older students are on the same page, though the acts also include famous quotes and actions. All acts form a paper chain around the campus eating establishment.
Teacher Maria Gonzalez believes the idea of "paying it forward" makes the school, community and world a better place.
"We want to promote the idea of giving to others and seeing the smiles on other people's faces,'' Gonzalez said. "When you do something for others, it makes you feel good.''
Students are finding kindness to be contagious. They have complimented their parents on appearance, given themselves hugs, helped another with math homework, tied shoes, made a Christmas ornament for a teacher and even shared a cookie.
Student Karla Martinez thinks the selfless and positive behavior is "pretty cool and like an act of friendship," while Lucely Contreras knows she is on the right track because "it makes me feel good inside doing something nice for others."
Student Lesaiah Garcia, who opened a trash can lid for someone whose hands were full, understands the idea of what goes around comes around.
"Maybe they'll turn around and do something nice for someone else,'' Garcia said.
— Kenny Klein is the media contact for the Guadalupe Union School District.
Casa del Herrero Docent Training to Begin Jan. 16
Casa del Herrero, the 11-acre National Historic Landmark in Montecito designed by noted architect George Washington Smith in the mid-1920s, announces its 2014 docent training.
Docents are trained to lead 90-minute walking tours of this community treasure.
Docent training will begin Thursday, Jan. 16 with an orientation and overview, then continue weekly through March 20 on Thursday mornings from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Classes will be conducted by local designers and historians as well as Casa volunteers.
This is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about the work of the noted architect, Spanish history and design, antiques, landscape design and the fascinating Steedman family who lived here for more than 60 years.
If you would like to participate in the Casa del Herrero Docent Training Program, or would like more information about volunteer opportunities, please call Susannah Gordon at 805.565.5653 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We invite you to come learn more about the Casa del Herrero by visiting us online for a virtual tour. Casa del Herrero is a 501(c)3 organization.
— Joni Kelly represents Casa del Herrero.
Mountain Lion May Be Culprit in Fatal Attack on Pet Goats in Santa Barbara
Residents in the neighborhood near Outer State Street are keeping a wary watch after the animals were killed last week
Residents of a Santa Barbara neighborhood off Outer State Street are keeping a worried watch for a large predator — possibly a mountain lion — that killed two pet goats last week.
Roxanne Reginato, who has lived in the 200 block of North La Cumbre Road — where the attack occurred — since she was a child, said she discovered the two pygmy goats dead last Wednesday, and both had large puncture wounds on their necks.
She spoke with Noozhawk at her home Monday afternoon, and shared pictures of the pygmy goats — Briggs and Stratton — that had lived on the property with her family until they were killed last week.
"These were our pets," she said, adding that she could have put the goats away more securely if she had known a large predator was in the area.
State Fish and Wildlife officials said Monday that it was not conclusive whether a mountain lion or another predator had attacked the animals, but they have issued Reginato a depredation permit to kill a mountain lion if one is seen on her property.
The attack occurred just two blocks from State Street on a parcel that backs up to Calvary Cemetery.
It's in close vicinity to several schools, which has some neighbors concerned and puzzled as to why Fish and Wildlife officials have not been more public about the incident.
Reginato noted that bobcats and coyotes aren't unusual in the area, but that a mountain lion is another story.
She expressed dismay that more outreach hadn't been done by the agencies that contacted her after the attack, and has put her own sign out by the roadside telling people to protect their children and pets from a mountain lion.
The night Briggs and Stratton were killed was windy, she recalled.
The bodies of the goats had not been eaten on by whatever attacked them, and Reginato said she thinks that's because the attack occurred near some palms on the property, which had shed some branches, possibly scaring the predator away as they fell to the ground.
Her daughter heard some sounds at 9:30 the night before, Reginato said, but thought it was cats fighting and dismissed it.
Reginato found her goats dead the next morning when she went out to feed them. Both had what she described as "large puncture wounds" in the neck area.
Something had scaled a 6-foot fence that is topped with wire, and had gotten into the goats' cages, which did not have a cover.
There are many culverts in the area, and Reginato said she believes that's how the culprit made its way into the neighborhood from the mountains.
Reginato said Santa Barbara City Animal Control officers told her it was a mountain lion attack, and she also confirmed she been given a depredation license from Fish and Wildlife that allows her permission to kill a mountain lion if one is seen on her property.
"A mountain lion this close to State Street is not cool," she said.
"You're just concerned for the little kids," she said.
Reginato also owns miniature horses on the property, but has moved them since the incident, and said she'd like animal control as well as Fish and Wildlife to put out more information.
Officer Anthony Nunez of Santa Barbara City Animal Control said Monday he could not confirm that the attack was from a mountain lion, but "that was a possibility."
Neighbor Dwight Dumpert, who lives several streets over from Reginato on Primavera Lane, said he and his neighbors were concerned about the situation. He found out about it on Saturday, when he was walking on La Cumbre Road and saw Reginato's sign in front of the home.
Dumpert, who has children who live at home, only found out about the incident because of the sign, and contacted Hope School, where they attend, to let staff know.
"I know we're in a urban/wildland interface, and we live with that all the time," he said, adding that he and his neighbors see and hear coyotes and bobcats often in the area. "But a mountain lion causes concern. It seems to me that animal control should put something on their website letting people know about it.
"It's getting darker earlier and kids are out of school early."
Christine Thompson, a biologist for Fish and Wildlife, said she received a call from a warden who was out on the site last week, but was not able to examine the goats in person because they had already been disposed of by animal control.
"All we had were pictures and it was inconclusive," she said. "It may or may not have been a mountain lion."
Thompson said the animals did display puncture wounds on their necks, and that neither had been eaten, which she said was "uncharacteristic" for a mountain lion.
A mountain lion sighting in the city limits is "not super unusual," she said, adding that the animals will often use the creek beds as travel corridors.
This would not be the first time a mountain lion has found its way into a residential area in city limits. In January, a cougar was spotted in the backyard of a home backing up to the Santa Barbara Municipal Golf Club, and was captured and released into the wild.
"Mountain lions are very secretive," she said, adding that no one had spotted one in this case.
A male mountain lion can have a territory up to 50 square miles, and because of this year's lack of rainfall, more wildlife is coming out of the hills in search of food and water, she said.
When asked why the public wasn't notified, Thompson said it was because it wasn't a confirmed mountain lion, and "because it was a property damage incident, we handled it as such."
Montecito Review Board Takes Up New Telecommunications Project
The Montecito Board of Architectural Review took up a Crown Castle NextG Networks telecommunications project for the first time last week and decided to break it up into two parts, according to county planner Megan Lowery.
She said Crown wants to install a distributed antennae system on utility poles in the Montecito area to broadcast cell and data service. The project proposes adding the telecommunications facilities to 29 existing poles in the public right-of-way.
At last week’s conceptual review, the board asked for the project to be broken into two, between the coastal region’s 11 sites and the inland region’s 18 sites, Lowery said.
Board members will have time to drive by each of the sites and look over the plans and comment letters before the next meetings, she said.
The coastal region is scheduled for Dec. 16, and the inland project will come back on Jan. 6. The Monday meeting was very well-attended, and there was more public comment for the inland portion, Lowery noted.
Resident Betsy Jones, concerned with the Orchard Avenue area of the project, said the project is proposed for a very dense neighborhood with a lot of families. She estimated that about 50 people came out against the project last Monday, with concerns about aesthetics, potential health impacts and property devaluation.
Another telecommunications project in the Montecito area passed without a fuss last week.
AT&T received permit extensions to keep operating the temporary facility at 484 Ortega Ridge Road while the permanent facility goes through the environmental review and planning process, county planner Brian Banks said. It is located at the edge of Montecito and Summerland.
If the extensions weren't been granted by the County Planning Commission, there would be a service disruption to the Montecito and Summerland area residents who use AT&T for cellular voice and data service, he said.
No one commented at Wednesday’s meeting, but the county expects some when the permanent facility comes up for approval around April, Banks said.
Montecito Church Employee Accused of Molestation Freed from Custody After Supporters Post Bond
An All Saints-by-the-Sea Episcopal Church employee accused of molestation has been released from immigration custody after supporters raised and posted a $20,000 bond.
Carlos Ruano, 67, was released over the weekend from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Adelanto Detention Facility in Los Angeles, where the Santa Barbara man had been waiting for a final deportation decision since he was taken into custody at his sentencing on Nov. 15.
Ruano, who has been the Montecito church’s sexton since 2005, agreed to plead guilty to one felony count of false imprisonment in October to stave off a second trial in a felony molestation case.
Prosecutors offered the deal after a jury failed to come back with a unanimous verdict, deadlocking 9-3 after four days in favor of convicting Ruano of lewd conduct against a minor — his then 7-year-old step-granddaughter — during an incident that allegedly took place last July in his Santa Barbara home. A mistrial was declared Sept. 26.
In November, Ruano was sentenced to 360 days in jail and three years of formal felony probation. He was given credit for time served, which was already more than a year.
Ruano — described by church members as a Guatemalan political refugee who arrived in the country in the 1980s — was immediately taken into custody by ICE, and was detained in the Adelanto Detention Facility to await a hearing before an immigration judge.
Spokeswoman Virginia Kice previously said ICE would seek to reinstate Ruano’s prior deportation order and remove him from the country, especially since he had been deported before.
About 30 Ruano supporters and church members were present at a bond hearing in Los Angeles last week, during which a $20,000 refundable bond was set.
Supporters were able to raise the bond within 24 hours, said Alan Hopkinson, a forensic accountant and nonpracticing lawyer who has been a member of All Saints for more than 20 years and has been coordinating support for Ruano and his defense.
Ruano will appear before an immigration judge at least two more times before a deportation decision is made, said Jim Daly, Ruano’s Santa Barbara attorney.
That process could take a couple years, he said, noting that those in custody typically go through the process a bit faster.
“It’s so backed up in the immigration court system,” Daly said.
Kathryn Mattingly, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, said processing times for removal cases are determined on a case-by-case basis.
She said future court hearing dates have yet to be rescheduled on a non-detained docket at the Los Angeles Immigration Court.
State Street Ballet’s ‘Nutcracker’ Shares Coveted Role with Two Rising Stars
For any young girl with aspirations to be a professional ballet dancer, the role of Clara in The Nutcracker is an undeniable goal.
State Street Ballet’s Nutcracker on Saturday, Dec. 21 (2 and 7:30 p.m.) and Sunday, Dec. 22 (2 p.m.) at The Granada Theatre will showcase not one, but two such talented and ambitious young dancers when they each join the professional dancers of State Street Ballet onstage in alternate performances of the much-beloved role of the young girl, Clara, who receives a magical nutcracker for Christmas.
Drawn from the SSB Young Dancer Program, Sarah Block and Lola Crist are amazingly accomplished dancers at the tender age of 13. Both have been dancing since they were toddlers and have worked hard to develop their obvious talent.
This season’s production of The Nutcracker will be the second year the dancers and audience alike will be hearing Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s sparkling score played by the Opera San Luis Obispo Orchestra conducted by Brian Ashor Alhadeff, and in the second act, joined by a chorus of singers from Morro Bay High School. A Music Fund drive is taking donations to help cover the additional expense of a live orchestra.
A perennial favorite, this original production is choreographed by State Street founder and artistic director Rodney Gustafson, with ballet masters Gary McKenzie and Marina Fliagina, and also includes children from the Gustafson School.
About Sara Block and Lola Crist
Block is an eighth-grade student at La Colina Junior High and an Apprentice 2 in State Street Ballet’s Young Dancer Program. She has performed in several productions with Gustafson Dance and in the SSB Summer Intensive workshops in 2012 and 2013. She also participated in the Idyllwild Arts Summer Dance Program this summer and has danced with contemporary choreographers in the area, including Robin Bisio and Melissa Block.
Crist is also an Apprentice 2 in the Young Dancer Program. She is an eighth-grade student at Laurel Springs School. In addition to dancing with Gustafson Dance and SSB’s Young Dancer Program, she is a member of SSB’s Professional Track Program, a year-round program for highly-trained and talented young dancers. In 2012 and 2013, she attended the summer intensives and was invited to stay full-time at the School of American Ballet, the official school of New York City Ballet. Last spring, she danced the role of Peter in the SSB Young Dancer production of Peter and the Wolf at the Lobero Theatre.
Audiences can enjoy Block’s performance of Clara on either of the Saturday performances, Dec. 21 at 2 or 7:30 p.m., or see Crist as Clara at the Sunday, Dec. 22 matinee at 2 p.m.
For tickets, call the Granada Theatre box office at 805.899.2222, or order online by clicking here. Tickets start at $21. Patron tickets (center section) are $100. For group tickets (10 or more), call 805.319.1648.
State Street Ballet is a professional ballet company with a strong commitment to artistic and technical excellence and dedicated to producing original works that combine the discipline and timeless elegance of classical ballet with updated cutting-edge choreography, inspiring and reaching new audiences and training the next generation of dancers. State Street Ballet is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit organization.
— Marylove Thralls represents State Street Ballet.
Sharon Green to Cover ‘30 Years of Yacht Racing Photography’ in Lecture at Maritime Museum
The trademark photography of Sharon Green, “who shoots to thrill,” captures the true essence of competitive sailing at the highest levels. Whether hanging from helicopters or clinging to chase boats, she knows how to freeze the action and preserve its energy in a single frame.
Green will present a slideshow of images from 30-plus years of ultimate sailing in a presentation titled "Ultimate Sailing — 30 Years of Yacht Racing Photography Lecture" at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan 16 at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way. A members-only reception will begin at 6:15 p.m. Note that the lecture will be paired with a theater exhibit of her photography.
The cost of the presentation is free for members and $10 for non-members. To register, click here or call 805.962.8404 x115. (Please register for tickets early to guarantee admittance.)
She will talk about the rigors and challenges of her unique specialization in competitive yacht racing photography and the creation of her brand Ultimate Sailing. She will share some of her behind the scenes stories of working in the world with yachting’s elite as well as discuss the changes in camera equipment and the transition of photography from film to digital.
Green has been capturing electrifying images of performance sailing for more than 30 years. Her annual Ultimate Sailing calendar, featuring the highlights of competitive sailing, is eagerly anticipated by yachting and photography enthusiasts worldwide. She has been published in major boating publications, both locally and internationally, since she first took up a camera while still in high school.
In recognition of her extraordinary accomplishments in photography, Green was awarded an honorary master’s degree from the prestigious Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, where she lives with her daughter, Michaela, and son, Kieran.
Green says she is happiest when she is on the water or hanging from a helicopter in search of the elusive image that can be called "Ultimate Sailing."
“My greatest satisfaction is when it all comes together — the anticipation, the planning, the organizing, the traveling, the epic conditions — to create a thrilling photograph," Green said. "The pursuit of ‘Ultimate Sailing’ images never seems to grow old. Three decades and I still love the challenge of creating memorable images for my clients and the calendar.”
— Lindsay Sullivan represents the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum.
Santa Barbara DUI Roundup: 23 Arrests in November
In November, officers from the Santa Barbara Police Department made 23 arrests for driving under the influence violations. Numerous arrests are made each month when concerned citizens call 9-1-1 after witnessing possible DUI drivers.
The SBPD would like to thank the responsible citizens who take the time to call and report suspected drunken drivers. The following is information on a few of last month’s cases.
» Nov. 1 at 8:11 p.m.: A 32-year-old man was involved in a hit-and-run collision when he collided with a parked car on the 1100 block of Quinientos Street. A witness observed that man exit his vehicle and flee on foot. The witness followed the man until an officer arrived and detained him. The officer immediately noticed that the man smelled strongly of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet. The man denied driving or being in a collision, explaining that he was drunk and unlicensed and therefore could not legally drive. The officer noticed that the man had injuries consistent with having just been in a collision.
The officer completed a DUI investigation and determined that the man was too intoxicated to safely operate a motor vehicle. The man, who was positively identified as the hit-and-run driver by multiple witnesses, was placed under arrest for DUI. He chose to submit to a breath test, providing two samples that registered his BAC at 0.22 and 0.21. He was issued a citation for DUI, hit-and-run, and unlicensed driver and admitted into the Sobering Center.
• • •
» Nov. 1 at 10:43 p.m.: A 34-year-old man was driving with inoperative brake lights in the area of Cacique Street and Alisos Street. An officer observed the violation and conducted a traffic stop. The officer contacted the man at his driver's side window and noticed that he displayed signs of intoxication. He also saw that the man had an 11-year-old boy riding in the front passenger seat of his car holding an infant on his lap. Additionally, there was a 16-year-old boy seated in the rear.
The officer had the man step out of the vehicle and noticed that he had slurred speech, smelled strongly of alcohol and was unsteady on his feet. The officer conducted a DUI investigation and the man was unable to complete field sobriety tests due to his level of intoxication. He was determined to be too intoxicated to safely drive and to have placed the three minor children in the vehicle in danger; he was arrested on charges of DUI and child endangerment. The man provided a blood test that registered his BAC at 0.27.
An inventory search of the vehicle prior to it being towed revealed a black backpack belonging to the 16-year-old. Located inside the backpack were three bindles of cocaine, a bottle of beer and a bottle of tequila. One additional bindle of cocaine was found in the 16-year-old boy’s pocket.
The driver was booked at the County Jail on charges of DUI and child endangerment with a bail amount of $100,000. The 16-year-old juvenile was found to have a BAC of 0.12 and was taken to Cottage Hospital to be medically cleared for booking. He was then booked at Juvenile Hall for child endangerment, possession of cocaine and minor in possession of alcohol. This case was forwarded to Child Welfare Services.
• • •
» Nov. 3 at 6:52 p.m.: A 31-year-old woman was involved in a single-vehicle collision on the 2500 block of Treasure Drive when she collided with a curb, damaging the front of her vehicle and causing its airbags to deploy. Witnesses called 9-1-1 when they observed the woman leave her vehicle in the middle of the roadway and flee on foot. Officers arrived on scene and located the driver at her home near the collision scene. She admitted to driving the vehicle when the collision occurred and was positively identified as the driver by a witness.
One of the officers noticed that the woman appeared intoxicated, but she denied consuming any alcohol. The officer conducted a DUI investigation and determined that she was too intoxicated to safely operate a motor vehicle. She was arrested on charges of DUI, and she chose to submit to breath tests, which registered her BAC at 0.28 and 0.28. She was issued a citation for DUI and hit-and-run.
• • •
» Nov. 8 at 5:46 p.m.: A 30-year-old woman was driving on the 1400 block of East Cabrillo Boulevard when she drifted off the roadway and collided with a tree. An officer arrived on scene and saw that several citizens had stopped to help the woman. The officer contacted the woman, who was being tended to by paramedics, and noticed that she smelled strongly of alcohol and was displaying signs of intoxication. She initially denied having consumed any alcohol, but later admitted to having three glasses of wine about one hour prior to driving.
The officer conducted a DUI investigation and determined that she was too intoxicated to safely operate a motor vehicle. She chose to submit to breath tests, which registered her BAC at 0.19 and 0.18. She was issued a citation for DUI and unlicensed driver and was admitted into the Sobering Center.
• • •
» Nov. 9 at 3:15 p.m.: A 24-year-old woman was driving north on Castillo Street toward the Highway 101 northbound freeway entrance when she made an unsafe lane change and collided with a vehicle. She fled the scene, followed by the driver whose car she struck. The driver of the victim vehicle called 9-1-1 and updated SBPD dispatch with the woman's location.
Officers contacted the woman on the 300 block of West Valerio Street. One of the officers noticed that the woman smelled of alcohol and was displaying symptoms of intoxication. She admitted being involved in the collision and stated she had consumed two beers and one shot of schnapps prior to driving.
An officer conducted a DUI investigation and determined that the woman was too intoxicated to safely operate a motor vehicle. She was placed under arrest on a charge of DUI and provided two breath samples, which registered her BAC at 0.15 and 0.16. She was issued a citation for DUI and hit-and-run.
• • •
» Nov. 10 at 12:10 a.m.: A 50-year-old man was involved in a collision when he struck two parked vehicles in the 800 block of Salsipuedes Street. The force of the impact broke an axle of his car; he exited his vehicle and fled on foot. Three independent witnesses observed the collision and gave chase to the man. One witness called 9-1-1 while pursuing the man and continually updated SBPD Dispatch of his direction of travel.
An officer located the man in the 800 block of East De la Guerra Street, and another officer responded to conduct the investigation in Spanish. The man denied driving, stating that just prior to the accident an acquaintance had jumped in his car, driven off with it and crashed. He said that following the collision the acquaintance fled on foot.
The man was positively identified by several witnesses as the driver and sole occupant of his vehicle at the time of the collision. An officer conducted a DUI investigation and determined that the man was too intoxicated to safely operate a motor vehicle. He was arrested on charges of DUI and chose to submit to breath tests, which registered his BAC at 0.18 and 0.18. Following his arrest, the man became uncooperative, prompting the officer to book him into the County Jail on charges of DUI, hit-and-run and driving on a suspended license.
• • •
» Nov. 17 at 7:29 p.m.: A 57-year-old man was involved in a single-vehicle traffic collision at State Street and Calle Real when he collided with a chain-link fence. Several witnesses stated that prior to the collision they observed the man stopped at a red light at the intersection, passed out behind the wheel of his car. The witnesses knocked on the window to check on the man, who, upon waking, drove off and collided with the fence.
Officers arrived and contacted the man, who stated that he had only consumed one beer prior to driving. Officers noticed that the man was on probation for DUI and appeared to be very intoxicated. The officers conducted a DUI investigation and determined that the man was too intoxicated to safely operate a motor vehicle. He was placed under arrest on charges of DUI and he provided two breath samples, which registered his BAC at 0.29 and 0.29. He was booked into the County Jail.
— Sgt. Riley Harwood is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.
French Hospital Receives Full-Body Pregnancy Simulator to Assist with Training
French Hospital Medical Center, a member of Dignity Health, which also includes Arroyo Grande Community Hospital and Marian Regional Medical Center, is proud to announce the addition of a unique obstetric simulator to its health-care education program.
Coco is a lifelike full-body manikin that simulates pregnancy and will help train medical personnel in various pregnancy and birth scenarios. Coco will provide realistic, risk-free experience to the staff that wasn’t previously possible.
Coco, who can be adjusted to simulate the different stages of pregnancy and birth, provides a wide range of possible patient scenarios, which will allow for the practice of multiple procedures that are essential to maternal and obstetric care.
Nurses and other professional staff can now develop their skills in pregnancy check-up methods, delivery positions and maneuvers, and even communication and teamwork. The manikin is so realistic that it even has a heartbeat sound generator that will provide experience with monitoring of the fetal heartbeat.
“Having this opportunity to educate our staff in such a realistic, hands-on setting will be particularly advantageous," said Carla Adams, FHMC CNE and CNO. "We are proud to have this technology that will help our employees provide the best possible care to our patients.”
Coco is made possible by the generous donation of James Flanagan, a retired Cal Poly professor and former FHMC patient. Flanagan has made similar donations in the past, including one in April 2012 that funded the purchase of the SimMan, a realistic, full-body male patient simulator that has been providing training and education to the staff for over a year.
For more information on Coco or FHMC, call Megan Maloney at 805.542.6498. For more information about the FHMC Foundation or to make a donation, call 805.542.6496 or click here.
— Shelby McLean is a marketing specialist for Dignity Health.
San Marcos Thespians to Present ‘An Evening of One Acts’
Please join the San Marcos High School Advanced Acting class for an "An Evening of One Acts."
The performance dates will be Jan. 16-18 at 7 p.m. at 4750 Hollister Ave., and tickets are free.
For more information, call 805.967.4581 x355.
Santa Barbara Club Names Young Professional of the Year Nominees
The Santa Barbara Young Professionals Club has kicked off the holiday season with the much-anticipated news of its 2013 Young Professional of the Year nominees.
This honor is given to one individual every year who has demonstrated the traits and actions of an exemplary young professional in the local community. The 2013 nominees include Melissa Howard (Foodbank of Santa Barbara County), Thomas Kaufmann (Otojoy LLC), Travis Hawley (Blue Star Parking), Austin Lampson (On Q Financial) and Amy Clemens (Alliance Wealth Strategies).
The Young Professional of the Year Award was introduced in 2010 and represents a young professional in the community who has excelled in one or all of the following areas: leadership, mentorship, community involvement and entrepreneurship.
“We are excited to announce the nominees for Young Professional of the Year,” said JJ Lambert, president of SBYPC. “This group of outstanding individuals has shown exemplary professionalism and success in their business as well as influenced the community in very positive ways.”
The winner will be chosen based on several factors such as motivation to inspire within their organization, ability to help others develop their skills, a passion for important causes that affect the community and their use of established relationships to create entrepreneurial endeavors.
The winner will be announced at the 17th SBYPC Holiday Gala at the University Club on Thursday, where Mayor Helene Schneider will present the award.
“This is going to be an amazing event and one that is not to be missed,” said Jon Standring, vice president of SBYPC. “We look forward to seeing many new and familiar faces.”
Tickets for the Holiday Gala can be purchased online only by clicking here. SBYPC is still offering sponsorship opportunities for this event, which anticipates an attendance of over 300 young professionals ages 21 to 45. Additionally, the SBYPC network reaches about 26,000 young professionals on the Central Coast. Please email email@example.com for more information.
— Natalie Wagner represents the Santa Barbara Young Professionals Club.
Michael Barone: Obama Abandons Friends Abroad in Hopes of Appeasing Foes
Watching the twists and turns of American foreign policy while reading Christopher Clark's The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 is an unnerving experience.
Clark's history, unlike many on the outbreak of World War I, starts not with the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in June 1914, but a dozen or so years earlier. He examines the muddled internal politics behind the foreign policies of major and minor powers — and how often they were incomprehensible to each other.
He also shows how different powers formed shifting and sometimes unlikely alliances, with fateful consequences. Britain ended her longtime enmity with France in the 1904 entente cordiale and broke with the Ottoman Empire to join her "Great Game" rival, Russia.
With China they established strong trade and financial ties, while discouraging Chinese military aggressiveness. When China shelled the waters off Taiwan in 1996, Clinton sent in the 6th Fleet.
Clinton cooperated with Boris Yeltsin until he flamed out in 1999. Bush found that his initial faith in Vladimir Putin was ill-founded.
Obama has put a radically different stamp on American foreign policy. Conservative critics perhaps exaggerate, but are on to something, when they characterize him as disrespecting America's traditional friends and truckling to longtime enemies.
The pattern has become more pronounced in Obama's second term. He is making good on his promise to Putin to have "more flexibility."
In his first term, he blindsided allies by canceling missile defense sites in Poland and the Czech Republic to appease Putin. In this term, he didn't lift a finger when Putin successfully blocked Ukraine from establishing closer economic ties with the European Union.
In his first term, he one-upped the Palestinians by demanding that Israel stop building settlements (including additions on houses) in East Jerusalem. More recently, he supported the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt as a step toward democracy until it was toppled by the military.
In his first term, he called for the ouster of Syria's Assad regime and said that its use of chemical weapons would be crossing a "red line." In his second term, he let the red line be crossed and allowed Putin to stage-manage Syria's agreement to relinquish the weapons.
In the process, the United States has abandoned attempts to depose Assad and now depends on his good faith to locate the weapons — a victory for Putin and Assad's allies in Iran.
Obama's sharp reversals on Syria have been echoed by contradictory responses to China's declaration of an expanded Air Defense Identification Zone in the East China Sea, covering the Senkaku Islands owned by Japan but claimed by China.
Obama promptly ordered B-52s to fly through the ADIZ without notifying China. But the Federal Aviation Administration also told U.S. airlines to inform China when flying through this airspace. Japan and South Korea took a contrary stance.
Vice President Joe Biden, visiting China last week, expressed deep concern about the ADIZ and warned against armed clashes that could result. But he did not demand it be scrapped.
The November agreement with Iran, concluded after months of undisclosed U.S.-Iran negotiations, suspended sanctions for six months, but did not require the dismemberment of centrifuges demanded in previous United Nations resolutions.
America's traditional allies, Israel and Saudi Arabia, have made no secret of their opposition to this agreement. They fear a nuclear Iran dominating their region.
The American Interest's Walter Russell Mead sees the emergence of an unlikely Israeli-Saudi alliance against Iran, Russia and China, which he calls the "Central Powers" — the term used for Germany's allies in World War I. Today's Central Powers, he writes, are seeking to diminish U.S. power in the Middle East and East Asia, with some success. The U.S. is abandoning friends in the hope of reducing hostility from enemies.
Sudden reversals of policy, shifting alliances, secret negotiations — these are reminiscent of Clark's statesmen who sleepwalked into World War I. Let's hope that clashes over Asian islets or Iranian centrifuges don't have the kind of consequences as that terrorist murder in Sarajevo did 99 years ago.
— 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.
Plaque, Tree Planting Honor Fallen Santa Maria Soldier
U.S. Army Spc. Kenneth Clifford Alvarez, 23, was killed in action in August in Afghanistan
A plaque and living memorial were dedicated Monday for a soldier from Santa Maria who was killed in action earlier this year in Afghanistan.
The ceremony, sponsored by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce, was to honor the memory of U.S. Army Spc. Kenneth Clifford Alvarez, 23, who was killed Aug. 23 in Haft Asiab, Afghanistan, when his unit was attacked with an improvised explosive device.
Another soldier also was killed in the attack.
Alvarez was a 2009 graduate of Delta High School and enlisted in the Army in 2011.
Robert Hatch, president and CEO of the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce and a highly decorated Vietnam War veteran, was the keynote speaker at Monday's event, which was held at the Freedom Monument Veterans Memorial, 600 S. McClelland St., in front of the Abel Maldonado Youth Center.
Also attending and making comments were Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino, state Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, Santa Barbara County Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino, Santa Maria American Legion Post 56 Cmdr. Frank Campo and Col. Jed Davis, the 30th Mission Support Group commander at Vandenberg Air Force Base.
“We cannot underscore enough the importance as a community to recognize, honor and remember Kenneth Alvarez and the ultimate sacrifice he, and others before him, made to protect and defend our country and the freedoms we have,” Hatch said prior to the ceremony.
In addition to placing the plaque, an evergreen pear tree was planted as a living memorial to Alvarez.
The Chamber of Commerce designed and built the Freedom Monument Veterans Memorial in collaboration with the City of Santa Maria in 2001. Since then, there have been plaques and memorials added each year in an annual ceremony.
For more information, contact the Chamber of Commerce at 805.925.2403 x817 or x825, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Laurel Abbott: Good News for Santa Barbara Real Estate Market
For the past couple of years, the Federal Housing Finance Agency had been considering lowering the limits for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loans. Lowering the loan limits would dramatically affect the real estate market in high-cost areas like California. This action would have made it even more difficult for buyers to get loans as well as hamper homeowners trying to refinance.
The California Association of Realtors as well as the National Association of Realtors jumped into action. Their aggressive efforts educating legislators and making clear that this action could derail the housing recovery have been rewarded.
Just before Thanksgiving, the FHFA announced it will retain the existing 2014 maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at $417,000 on one-unit properties in most areas and a cap of $625,500 in high-cost areas. CAR and NAR have long advocated with our legislators on this issue, and as a result of their efforts, Congress made the maximum conforming loan limits at $625,500 permanent. This is a real victory for our market in Santa Barbara and the real estate recovery nationwide.
Last Wednesday, the California Franchise Tax Board issued a statement that it will not tax homeowners when they short-sell their homes. This conforms to the Internal Revenue Service regulation that income from a short sale, due to debt forgiveness on non-recourse loans, is not taxable income.
Kevin Brown, 2014 CAR president, stated: "Now with the FTB’s clarification, underwater home sellers also are assured that they are not subject to state income tax liability, rescuing tens of thousands of distressed home sellers from California tax liability for debt written off by lenders in short sales. We are pleased with the recent clarifications issued by the IRS and the California Franchise Tax Board, which protect distressed homeowners from debt relief income tax associated with a short sale in California. We would like to thank Sen. Boxer and BOE member George Runner for their leadership in obtaining this guidance from the IRS and FTB. Distressed California homeowners can now avoid foreclosure or bankruptcy and can opt for a short sale instead, without incurring federal and state tax liability, even after the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 expires at the end of this year."
As always, consult with your tax advisor regarding your personal tax situation and contact your local Realtor for assistance with your home buying and selling needs.
— Laurel Abbott is a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway California Properties and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact her at email@example.com or 805.879.8050. The opinions expressed are her own.
Channel Islands YMCA Welcomes New Marketing Director Tina Hernandez
Tina Hernandez, the Channel Islands YMCA's new marketing and communications director, although new to the nonprofit world, brings more than 12 years of marketing experience with her to her new post.
Sal Cisneros, president and CEO of the seven-branch association, characterized Hernandez as having “a personal set of values that align perfectly with the YMCA values.”
“The YMCA is a nonprofit like no other, and I am grateful to be a part of it," Hernandez said. "I have a passion for healthy living, contributing something positive to my community, and for children and teens — having four of my own. The Y encompasses my passions. This opportunity is a dream come true.”
The Channel Islands YMCA serves more than 46,000 individuals and provides over $1.3 million in financial assistance to families in need for childcare, YMCA memberships, away and day camps, youth sports and teen after-school programs.
The Channel Islands YMCA Association Marketing Department offers support and guidance to seven branches, located throughout Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, including Santa Ynez, Lompoc, Santa Barbara, Montecito, Ventura, Camarillo and a Youth and Family Services branch.
Toy Shelves at Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties Need Replenishing
Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties grants the wishes of children with life-threatening medical conditions. It is always in need of certain types of toys used as part of “first gifts” when meeting wish children and at wish presentation parties.
When a team of wish granters goes into a household, they bring a small gift for every child in the house. At a wish presentation party they bring items that will enhance the wish. Items needed include:
» 1. Gift cards — Best Buy, bowling, movies, grocery
» 2. Small travel games, card games, mad-libs, coloring books and crayons — activities for teens are greatest needs
» 3. Hand held electronic games with batteries
» 4. Portable DVD players, MP3 players, iPods
New, unwrapped items can also be delivered to Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties, 4222 Market Street, Suite D in Ventura. Call 805.676.9474 to arrange a delivery time.
— Shanna Wasson Taylor represents Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties.
CoastHills Community Foundation Awards Record $90,000 to Mission Hope Cancer Center
At a CoastHills board meeting, the organization presented a $90,000 check to cancer center representatives. The funds will be used to support cancer patients while they undergo treatment. Support may include help with housing, travel and expenses for patients and their families.
The funds were raised Sept. 21 at Rancho Vino, CoastHills Community Foundation’s seventh annual auction/fundraiser. It is the third year in a row the credit union has focused its major fundraising effort specifically for those being treated at the cancer center.
In total, the CoastHills foundation has raised more than $200,000 to support the center’s patients. The foundation, part of CoastHills Federal Credit Union, focuses its efforts on San Luis Obispo and Northern Santa Barbara counties.
“Marian is so very grateful for partnership of the CoastHills team. Our mission is based upon providing excellent, compassionate care to all,” said Stephanie Grogan, vice president of philanthropy at Marian Regional Medical Center. ”The generosity of our good friends at CoastHills furthers that healing work in ways that make a significant difference for cancer patients and families.”
Mission Hope Cancer Center, located on the Marian Regional Medical Center campus, is the region’s only advanced comprehensive cancer care center. Specialized physicians, oncology nurses and therapists provide integrated oncology care to the Central Coast.
“The support we have provided to Mission Hope over the last three years speaks right to our vision, which is ‘making difference in our neighbors’ lives,” said Jeff York, president/CEO of CoastHills Federal Credit Union. “The fact that our donations fund a program dedicated completely to supporting patients and their families is a perfect match … add to that that the Rancho Vino event is one of our favorite events all year, and it is just a great partnership.”
— Scott Coe is a senior vice president of marketing for CoastHills Federal Credit Union.
Aide to Rep. Lois Capps Fired After Alleged DUI, Hit-and-Run
Mallory Dies, who was struck Friday night by a vehicle allegedly driven Raymond Morua, remains in critical condition
A local congressional aide who was arrested Friday on felony DUI and hit-and-run charges was fired over the weekend after the incident left a 27-year-old woman in critical condition.
Santa Barbara police said Raymond Victor Morua, 32, of Santa Barbara, was arrested following the crash, which occurred shortly after midnight in the 500 block of Anacapa Street, where Mallory Rae Dies was crossing the street.
Morua was a district representative for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, and a prominent local advocate for veterans issues.
Police said the collision occurred after Morua had left a downtown party hosted by the Santa Barbara Independent, where he reported he had been drinking.
Dies remains at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, undergoing a series of surgeries and evaluations to monitor her brain function and response, according to a CaringBridge website that has been set up to keep family and friends informed of her condition.
On Monday, Capps' press secretary, Chris Meagher, confirmed that Morua is no longer an employee at her office.
"While Raymond excelled in his duties as a district representative and was a valued member of the staff, his actions that led to this tragedy are inexcusable," Meagher said in a statement to Noozhawk. "The congresswoman expects all those who work for her and on behalf of the people of the Central Coast to behave responsibly and professionally at all times."
Morua has a criminal record from both Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, which include previous DUI charges and a hit-and-run charge from 2006.
The Ventura County Superior Court Records website states that Morua was found guilty of driving under the influence of alcohol after an incident in July 2006.
Another DUI is listed as occurring in October of that year, with a special allegation of driving with a blood-alcohol level of 0.15 or more, to which Morua pleaded guilty.
Records show Morua also pleaded guilty to hit-and-run and driving on a suspended license on Dec. 21, 2006.
In Santa Barbara County, court records show Morua was arrested along with a fellow employee at Kmart in Goleta, and was charged with grand theft by embezzlement for illegally using coupons to obtain merchandise for himself and friends.
He pleaded no contest to the charges.
When asked about the hiring process that Capps' office used, Meagher said House of Representatives procedures are followed, and potential staff are vetted through a standard process of interviews and reference checks.
"However, the office does not as a routine matter perform criminal background checks," he said, adding that Capps' office has undertaken a review of hiring procedures, and is working with the House sergeant at arms to review its protocol.
Meagher also said the thoughts and prayers of those in Capps' office remain with the victim, her family and friends.
Morua remained in custody in Santa Barbara County Jail, and was scheduled to appear Tuesday in Superior Court for arraignment, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Lee Carter.
May the Cellular Force Be With You
UCSB assistant professor Otger Campàs is one of the minds behind a new method for measuring the cellular forces that shape tissues and organs
Like tiny construction workers, cells sculpt embryonic tissues and organs in 3D space. This task is complicated and requires constant communication between cells to coordinate their actions and generate the forces that will shape their environment into complex tissue morphologies.
Biologists have long studied the communication between cells and their behavior while building these structures, but until now, it had not been possible to see the forces cells generate to shape them. A new method to quantify the mechanical forces that cells exert while building tissues and organs can help answer long unresolved questions in biology and provide new diagnostic tools for medicine.
Developed initially in the Wyss Institute at Harvard University by Otger Campàs and Donald Ingber, this technique is the first of its kind to measure the mechanical forces that cells generate in living embryos. Now an assistant professor who holds the Mellichamp Chair in Systems Biology at UC Santa Barbara, Campàs leads a lab that is developing this droplet technique in several new directions, and applying it to discover the patterns of cellular forces that shape embryonic structures in fish and chicken.
“There is a lot of interest in understanding how genetics and mechanics interplay to shape embryonic tissues,” Campàs said. “I believe this technique will help many scientists explore the role that mechanical forces play in morphogenesis and, more generally, in biology.”
So far, the vast majority of knowledge on how cellular forces affect cell behavior has come from cells studied in vitro — through cultures that isolate cells from their natural environment. Using soft gel substrates or gel matrices, researchers have been able to measure the traction forces of these cells moving in a petri dish. However, almost nothing is known about the forces that cells generate while sculpting embryonic tissues and organs, and how these affect cell behavior in their natural environment.
“In general, cells behave in a different way inside an embryo than in a dish,” Campàs said, adding that some behaviors may be similar, but many others are not. Depending on the environment, cells respond in a variety of ways.
“It has not been possible to demonstrate a direct causal relationship between mechanics and behavior in vivo because we previously had no way to directly quantify force levels at specific locations in 3D living tissues,” said Ingber, director of the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard. “This method now allows us to make these measurements, and I hope it will bring mechanobiology to a new level.”
To measure these miniscule forces, Campàs and Ingber, used tiny droplets of a special, flour-based oil. Once stabilized and with controlled surface tension, the droplet’s surface chemistry is modified to allow for the adhesion of living cells. It is also fluorescently labeled to allow observers to see its shape. When cells push and pull on an oil droplet, they deform it, and this deformation provides a direct read-out of the forces they exert.
Using this technique, Campàs and Ingber showed that it is possible to measure cellular forces in different conditions, such as 3D cellular aggregates or in living mouse mandibles. Research findings for this work are published in the advance online version of the journal Nature Methods.
This method can help answer questions that biologists have been trying to answer for decades: What are the forces that cells generate to sculpt embryonic tissues and organs? And how do these forces affect cell behavior and gene expression in the cell’s natural environment, the living embryo?
“Understanding how cells shape embryonic structures requires measuring the patterns of cellular forces while the structure is being built,” Campàs said. “If you take the cells out of the embryo and put them in a dish, you don’t have the tissue or organ structure anymore.”
The knowledge gained by the ability to observe the behavior of developing cells as they mature could lead to further knowledge regarding a wide variety of conditions including birth defects or tumor growth and metastasis. Moreover, this method can also provide insight into diseases in which imbalances in forces exerted by tissues’ constituent cells are an issue, according to Ingber.
“Examples include hyper contractility in airway smooth muscle cells in asthma; vascular smooth muscle cells in hypertension; intestinal smooth muscle in irritable bowel disease; skin connective tissue cells in contractures and scars, etc. as well as low contractility in heart muscle cells in heart failure, and so on,” said Ingber. Investigating the forces behind tissue stiffness and contractility may also aid the diagnosis of tissue abnormalities.
In addition to Campàs and Ingber, the research team included L. Mahadevan, Wyss core faculty member and Lola England de Valpine, professor of applied mathematics at Harvard SEAS; David Weitz, Wyss associate faculty member and Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics and Applied Physics at Harvard SEAS; Tadanori Mammoto, instructor at Harvard Medical school and Boston Children’s Hospital; Sean Hasso, a former postdoctoral reseracher at Boston Children’s Hospital; Ralph Sperling, a former postdoctoral researcher at Harvard SEAS; Daniel O’Connell, a former graduate student at Harvard Medical School; Ashley Bischof, a former graduate student at Boston Children’s Hospital; Richard Maas, M.D., a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School. The work was funded by the National Institutes of Health SysCode Consortium, the MacArthur Foundation, the Harvard NSF-MRSEC and the Wyss Institute.
McCune Foundation Awards $330,000 in Grants for Social Justice Projects
The McCune Foundation has awarded almost $330,000 for community organizing and social justice projects in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties. Fifteen groups will receive grants to support foster youth, parents, immigrants, teens and other groups of concerned residents in creating beneficial changes in their communities.
“Our aim is to provide financial resources to community groups that empower residents to solve issues of inequality,” said Sara Miller McCune, the foundation’s president and co-founder. “With our support, parents and youth have a stronger voice at local schools, streets are becoming safer for pedestrians and cyclists, and services for immigrants are improving.”
Grant dollars provided by the foundation will pay for salaries for community organizers, trainings and other program expenses. In 2013, the foundation awarded 30 grants and dozens of contributions totaling more than $800,000.
Grassroots groups that meet the foundation’s funding guidelines and that are interested in being considered for a grant may submit a letter of inquiry by the next deadline of Jan. 13. Details on applying for a grant are available by clicking here.
The McCune Foundation was established in 1990 by Sara Miller McCune and George D. McCune, the founders of SAGE Publications Inc. in Thousand Oaks. The foundation focuses its grantmaking in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties with the mission of being an agent of productive change in society by supporting the development of social capital in the region.
Grants Awarded in November 2013
» The ARC of Ventura County — $10,000 for People First of Ventura County and Project R: Rethink, Reconsider, Respect, initiatives led by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to advocate on their own behalf.
» California Center for Cooperative Development — $19,000 to the Lompoc Cooperative Development Project to develop worker cooperatives in Lompoc.
» California Youth Connection — $20,000 for Creating Leaders from Within which provides leadership development, communications workshops, and civic engagement opportunities to current and former foster youth so they can improve policies and practices in Ventura County’s foster care system.
» Central Coast Alliance for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) — $40,000 for general support to build grassroots power to realize social, economic, and environmental justice for the people of Ventura & Santa Barbara Counties through policy research, leadership development, organizing and advocacy.
» Central Coast Future Leaders — $20,000 for youth and family leadership trainings to empower youth and families in Santa Maria, Cuyama, and Guadalupe to become more active leaders in their homes, schools and communities.
» Coalition for Sustainable Transportation (COAST) — $22,500 for Walking & Transit Needs of Working Families, to organize residents of Santa Barbara’s Eastside to advocate for pedestrian safety and improved bus service.
» Cuyama Valley Family Resource Center — $24,000 for Cuyama Planning for the Future, to build leadership and partnerships, especially among parents, youth, and other citizens who are emerging as the driving force in making decisions and developing creative responses to local needs.
» El Centrito Family Learning Centers — $25,000 for Padres Promotores de la Educación Project which trains, organizes, and empowers Oxnard parents to address educational inequities in their children's schools and take leadership roles in the community.
» Just Communities Central Coast — $8,500 for the Parent Involvement through Dialogue and Action project to engage and mobilize parents in Fillmore, in partnership with One Step a La Vez.
» La Hermandad Hank Lacayo Youth & Family Center – $25,000 for grassroots organizing and leadership training among working-class immigrants in Ventura County and Santa Maria to promote immigration reform and social justice for immigrants.
» Mixteco/Indigena Community Organizing Project —– $30,000 to develop community leadership among indigenous Oaxacan farm workers to identify problems faced by the Mixtec community and implement campaigns or programs to create systemic change in Ventura County.
» One Step A La Vez — $28,000 for youth committees in Fillmore and Piru working to expand the community’s voice for social change to address transportation needs, clean-up of a toxic Superfund site, and implement restorative justice practices in law enforcement and schools.
» Ventura County Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice (VCCLUE) — $22,000 for a coalition of faith organizations that provides trainings and leadership development for congregants, students, and immigrants to mobilize in support of affordable housing and just policies for immigrants.
» Ventura County Community Foundation — $20,000 for the Social Justice Fund for Ventura County which engages social justice leaders, donors, and grassroots groups in creating awareness and mobilizing resources for social justice issues.
» Westminster Free Clinic — $15,000 for Youth Advocacy for Better Food, a project to engage low-income youth to advocate for changes in the food options available at local corner markets and convenience stores in East Ventura County neighborhoods.
— Claudia Armann is executive director of the McCune Foundation.
Bacara Resort & Spa to Host Two-Day World of Pinot Noir
The 14th annual World of Pinot Noir, a two-day event celebrating that alluring wine grape, will be held Feb. 28 through March 1 at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara.
The new venue is not only a luxurious feast for the senses, but also recognizes Santa Barbara County's wine country as a place that introduced many to pinot noir, as 2014 will be the 10th anniversary of the iconic movie Sideways.
"It's hard to believe it has been a decade since Sideways came out," muses Norm Yost of Flying Goat Cellars and this year's World of Pinot Noir president. "Having our event at the Bacara Resort and recognizing the effect of the movie is exciting! We look forward to welcoming those who join us each year, as well as newcomers to our 14th celebration of pinot noir."
The effect of pinot noir on film and vice-versa will be explored via a panel comprised of participants from Sideways as well as a more recent wine-related film, Somm, in a Saturday seminar titled "Hollywood & Wine." The main focus of the event, however, revolves around the people and places of pinot noir. The world's most important wine-growing regions will be represented at seminars, dinners and Grand Tastings.
California's coastal appellations will be well represented, joined by winemakers bringing their pinot noirs from Oregon, British Columbia, New York's Finger Lakes, Spain, Hungary, New Zealand, Australia and more. The epicenter of pinot noir and the motherland is, of course, Burgundy, France, which will be well represented at the 2014 event.
Maison Louis Jadot's winemaker, Frederic Barnier, will pour a selection of wines from the Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Ursules Vineyard at a tasting seminar on Friday, as well as hosting an intimate dinner on Saturday evening. WOPN guests can explore the Insider Wines of the Cote d'Or on Saturday with French Wine Society educator Don Kinnan, who will lead participants through a tasting of wines from that hallowed region.
Attendees to the World of Pinot Noir are invited to "taste the world" at two Grand Tastings, which include wines from hundreds of international and domestic wineries.
Because all wines are better with great food and good company, each of the events at the World of Pinot Noir will be accompanied and complemented by the exemplary cuisine of Chef David Reardon's culinary team, including an internationally themed dinner on Friday evening.
Friday, Feb. 28
» Burgundy and Oregon: Parallels in Latitude — A Look at 45 North. Exploring the wines of Oregon's Willamette Valley and Maison Louis Jadot's Beaune 1er Cru Clos des Ursules vineyard. Moderated by Katherine Cole. The seminar pairing is followed by a three-course lunch, paired with the wines.
» Pinot Noir by the Sea Grand Tasting — A tasting of pinot noir from more than 100 worldwide producers, overlooking the Pacific Ocean and complemented by wine country appetizers and a full array of cheeses from C'est Cheese.
» International Dinner — Chef David Reardon and his Bacara culinary team will team up with our Pinot producers for an incredible internationally focused five-course meal complemented by the exemplary wine service always provided by our team of sommeliers.
» Sea Smoke Cellars Dinner in the Miró Cellar — An intimate dinner featuring the wines of Sta.RitaHills' Sea Smoke Cellars. Wines presented by Victor Gallegos.
» Screening — Sideways and Somm will be screened throughout the day in the Bacara theater.
Saturday, March 1
» The Insider Wines of the Cote d'Or — The secret wine, small producers, and boutique producers of the Cote d'Or, including a look at the mountain of Corton, the greatest expanse of Grand Cru vineyard acreage. Presented by Don Kinnan, followed by a 3-course lunch complemented by many of the wines presented earlier.
» Hollywood & Wine — Panelists on an exploration of just why Pinot Noir has become such a Hollywood starlet. It's Sideways vs. Somm! Lunch will be provided by non other than Frank Ostini of the Hitching Post II restaurant (as featured in the film) and moderated by Sara Schneider.
» Pinot Noir by the Sea Grand Tasting — Featuring a different roster of wines than Friday's Grand Tasting and more than 120 producers. Guests will nosh on wine country appetizers, worldly cheeses and a terrific view of the Pacific from the Grand Ballroom's terraces.
» Mason Louis Jadot Dinner in the Miró Cellar — Three dozen guests will dine with winemaker Frederic Barnier in the beautiful wine cellar. Grand Cru wines and a six-course gourmet meal and legendary wine service.
» The Gala — A communal gathering of friends old and new, winemakers, pinot-philes, chefs and sommeliers. It's our last hurrah of the 14th Annual World of Pinot Noir!
Tickets to the event are sold on a first-come, first-served basis with full details on the World of Pinot Noir website.
— Damon Miele represents World of Pinot Noir.
CADA Launches Parent Pledge Initiative to Encourage Teens to Stay Sober
The Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse has launched a new Parent Pledge Initiative to help parents communicate with each other and encourage local teens to stay sober.
Parents who take the pledge ensure that their home will be a safe place, where alcohol is not served to teens. An online version of the pledge also gives parents the opportunity to be part of a resource directory, promoting communication between like-minded parents to ensure teens are attending alcohol-free parties.
Information on CADA’s Parent Pledge was distributed in school packets at the beginning of the academic year. Since then, more than 750 parents have signed the pledge.
Laura Forster and her husband, Jeff, were among the first to sign. Their daughter is an eighth-grader at Goleta Valley Junior High School.
When Laura Forster said when she saw the pledge she thought, “What a great idea!” and that it presented “an easy way to talk about a difficult topic” and that by signing the Parent Pledge she and her husband felt it was “a tangible commitment to themselves and their daughter.”
Laura hasn’t yet needed to call other parents on the list, but expects when her daughter begins high school that “it will be a vital tool.”
The Parent Pledge Initiative is one of CADA’s many drug and alcohol preventive programs for area youth. Melissa Wilkins, CADA’s prevention coordinator, said she is excited to have a “new resource for parents to network and support one another in keeping kids alcohol and drug free.”
ADA works throughout Santa Barbara County to provide substance abuse prevention, intervention, and treatment services.
To take the Parent Pledge or learn more about this new initiative, click here or call 805.963.1433 x110.
— Suzanne Courson represents the Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse.
County Holding Informational Meeting on Health-Care Reform Implementation
Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal and leaders from county departments of Public Health, Social Services and Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services are hosting an informational meeting on the implementation of health-care reform.
The informational meeting will be held on Saturday, Dec. 14 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the Public Health Department's Santa Maria Health Care Center, 2115 S. Centerpointe Pkwy. in Santa Maria.
The meeting will provide information for residents about health insurance/coverage and the opportunity to actually enroll in Medi-Cal and/or the Health Exchange programs. In addition, the Public Health Department will provide free flu shots and blood pressure checks. The meeting schedule is:
» 11 a.m. to noon — On-site Medi-Cal and health benefit Exchange enrollment, free flu shots and blood pressure checks
» Noon to 12:45 p.m. — Information on health-care reform (speakers)
» 12:45 p.m. to 2 p.m. — On-site Medi-Cal and health benefit exchange enrollment, free flu shots and blood pressure checks
Since U.S. citizens and legal residents are required to obtain health insurance/coverage beginning Jan. 1, county leaders and departments are diligently working to encourage the community to enroll. The staff at the Santa Maria Health Care Center is prepared to assist any community member by enrolling them in Medi-Cal or the health benefit exchange.
An estimated 40,000 uninsured residents of Santa Barbara County will be eligible for expanded Medi-Cal or the health benefit exchange beginning Jan. 1. The open enrollment period for the health benefit exchange through Covered California ends on March 15. Uninsured individuals are encouraged to complete enrollment by Dec. 23 to have active health-care coverage on Jan. 1.
Health-care reform is complex, and many residents who are uninsured may not be aware of how they will benefit from this historic opportunity.
— Susan Klein-Rothschild is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department.
Gifts Support Former Foster Youths in UCSB’s Guardian Scholars Program
With the holidays only weeks away, most university students already know how they’ll be spending their winter break. For them, going home to their families and celebrating the traditions that have been a part of their lives for as long as they can remember is simply a given.
However, 55 students in this year’s freshman class at UC Santa Barbara are silently wondering what they will do — where they will go — when the residence halls close at the end of finals week. These students are former foster children, and many have no families to visit and no permanent place they can call home. In fact, for some of them, the four years they spend at UCSB will mark the longest period of time they will have lived in any one place.
So moved by this reality were UC Regent Hadi Makarechian and his wife, Barbara, they made a $100,000 contribution in 2012 and 2013 to support the work of the UCSB students and staff volunteers from departments across campus who serve as a network of resources for all 150 of the UCSB students who have aged out of the foster care system and are, quite literally, on their own. At UCSB and campuses throughout the country, these students are called Guardian Scholars.
“We are delighted to provide a small help to this huge cause, helping bright students that have overcome adversity in their lifetime and are at a prestigious school such as UCSB,” Makarechian said.
For former foster youths Adeola Adeife, Alana Osaki and Joscelynn Murdoch, the holidays can be a reminder of how alone they are. Or would be, were it not for UCSB’s Guardian Scholars Program.
Last year, in collaboration with the program, the Makarechians hosted a holiday party for the UCSB and Santa Barbara City College Guardian Scholars who, having no families of their own, might have received few — if any — holiday gifts. With several friends of the Makarechians serving as the students’ families for the evening, the event was a tremendous boost to the UCSB Guardian Scholars Program.
Following the overwhelming success of last year’s Guardian Scholars Holiday Party, the Makarechians hosted a similar event last Friday. It marked the beginning of a new annual tradition of bringing their friends together with the Guardian Scholars from UCSB and SBCC.
Recently, the Guardian Scholars Program at UCSB received another huge boost from a generous $500,000 challenge pledge from the Makarechians and a matching gift of $530,000 from the Conrad H. Hilton Foundation. The funds will establish an endowment for the ongoing support of staff to oversee day-to-day operations and take a more proactive approach than the volunteers are able to provide.
Assistance to the Guardian Scholars will come in the form of academic support, enrichment services, advocacy, career guidance, peer networking, housing and financial aid assistance and an emergency fund. These resources will enable these students to better navigate the university system in the absence of parents or guardians who typically provide guidance and support to their students throughout the university experience.
“These scholars may not have any family to depend on for an emergency situation or guidance,” Makarachian said. “This gift will enable the university to play that role when the need arises.”
“I’m very happy to reconnect with UCSB, particularly in the context of awarding a grant to support the Guardian Scholars Program, because it helps foster youth make the transition to life in a university setting,” said Steven Hilton, president, chairman and chief executive officer of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and a UCSB alumnus (’74). “Not only does the Guardian Scholars Program provide financial assistance to students in need, the program also makes sure they have access to mentoring and emotional support. The goal is to help these resilient young adults achieve independence and reach their full potential. I’m particularly pleased to be able to help these deserving scholars at my alma mater.”
"UC Santa Barbara and our community are so fortunate to have Regent Hadi Makarechian and Barbara give us original ideas, visionary guidance and generous financial support to develop and enrich our critically needed Guardian Scholars Program,” Chancellor Henry Yang said. “We are also grateful to our alumnus Steve Hilton and the Hilton Foundation for enhancing and supporting our Guardian Scholars Program through the most generous and inspirational gift, in addition to the exciting commencement speech Steve delivered last June.”
The national statistics on youth in the foster system are staggering. The average foster youth changes schools seven times — or about once every six months — and loses up to six months of academic progress with each move. Studies show that roughly 50 percent of foster youth drop out of high school, and of those who do graduate, only 6 percent will go on to earn bachelor’s degrees.
With no one to turn to for assistance — emotional, financial or otherwise — former foster youth face a particularly rocky academic road; and that’s where the Hilton Foundation and Makarechian gifts will be the most beneficial. “It will make it possible for us to identify the students earlier, before they’re in crisis, and provide them the assistance they need,” said Lisa Przekop, director of admissions at UCSB and one of the program’s co-founders. “We’ll have someone who can check in with them on a regular basis and see how things are going for them.”
Proving the success of UCSB’s Guardian Scholars Program, now in its sixth year, are the number of freshman who return as sophomores (84 percent) and the number who graduate after four years (64 percent). In addition, while excelling academically, the students actively participate in youth groups, conferences and college fairs, where they encourage high school and community college foster youth to consider higher education as a path to success.
“Foster youth scholars will know they are not alone in their endeavors to succeed, and that we all care for them and want them to achieve whatever they choose to achieve,” Makarechian said.
“Guardian Scholars are unlike any individuals I’ve met,” said Osaki, a senior who is completing a Bachelor of Science degree in aquatic biology with a minor in geography. “They have passion, they have hope and they have perseverance. They’re dedicated and determined, and they face adversity and overcome it. And that’s really important because it brings out some true character values that I haven’t seen in any other situations.”
Putting the past behind them and looking toward the future is a common mindset among former foster youth, Osaki continued. “And the future holds whatever you let it, what you work hard to achieve. And I think most of the Guardian Scholars believe that, too,” she said.
Murdoch, who graduated this summer with a degree in sociology, said: “The most beneficial thing Guardian Scholars has given me is the opportunity to have one designated person, for example, in financial aid, who I can go to for help without having to repeat my long, drawn-out, I’m-looking-for-sympathy story. I don’t have to explain myself, which is awesome.
“It doesn’t seem like a big deal to repeat your story, but every time you do it takes you back to that place and you wonder, am I ever going to stop being a former foster youth? Am I ever going to stop being that person?”
For Adeife, who is majoring in global studies with a minor in applied psychology, the Guardian Scholars Program enabled her to reframe her experience with the foster care system.
“Being in Guardian Scholars really helped me, even from that negativity, bring something good out of it, and be proud of who I was and who I am still. Being put into foster care was something that happened to me, but it’s not who I am. It doesn’t define me. And I can say the experiences I got from Guardian Scholars molded me into who I am now.”
Dunn Student Emily Cummings Scores Role in Ensemble Theater Production
Dunn, a private school for grades 6 through 12, announced that seventh-grade student Emily Cummings this month will perform as Fredrika in A Little Night Music, produced by the professional Ensemble Theatre Co. of Santa Barbara.
The humorous musical will be performed in Santa Barbara’s newly renovated New Vic Theater from Dec. 5-22.
As a seventh-grader at Dunn Middle School in Los Olivos, Emily has taken improv and theater classes led by humanities teacher Mac Duncan. Most recently, she acted as the Lone Ranger in a school production of The Lone Ranger. Last summer, Emily acted in the Arts Outreach production of Anything Goes.
Emily adores playing her latest role.
"I like that people in the show confide in Fredrika. I am the secret keeper in this play,” she said, adding that her witty adult cast makes all the hours of rehearsal worth it. "The other actors are hysterical and fun to work with. They all have great senses of humor."
Dunn School is a private school for grades 6 through 12 in Los Olivos. The college-prep middle school and high school offer a distinctive program of challenging academics and hands-on experiences in a community that develops the whole student. Dunn’s scenic 55-acre campus in the Santa Ynez Valley is just 30 minutes from Santa Barbara. Dunn offers day and boarding options for students.
Click here for more information.
— Jessie Brumfiel is the director of college counseling for Dunn School.
Venoco Proposal Would Reopen Well, Pipeline Near Sandpiper Golf Club in New Quest for Oil
State Lands Commission to take public comment on reactivated lease project this week
The oil production pipeline was used from the 1930s to 1994, when it shut down after a 170-barrel spill on the golf course. The proposed project would reopen the pier’s oil operations and permanently decommission the second pier, which has a well and was used for processing and disposal operations.
The proposal expects the production of 150 barrels of oil per day for the first month and then a larger volume, not to exceed 500 barrels per day. The well would have 20 years of productive life but output would taper off to about 50 barrels per day after two years, according to the State Lands Commission.
The resulting water and gas would be separated at the Ellwood Onshore Facility.
South Coast residents will get a chance to comment on the draft environmental impact report for State Oil and Gas Lease 421 this week when the State Lands Commission presents the project and begins accepting comments.
The commission is hosting meetings at 3 and 6 p.m. Wednesday at Goleta City Council chambers, 130 Cremona Drive, Suite B.
The City of Goleta has opposed the project in the past, but the State Lands Commission staff has said Venoco has a vested right to develop its lease, City Attorney Tim Giles said.
“As long as that’s the way State Lands is going to treat it, that’s the way — for all intents and purposes — it is,” he told Noozhawk.
If the state certifies the draft environmental impact report and approves the project, Venoco still must acquire permits from the city and the California Coastal Commission to implement the project development, Giles said.
If the project is approved by the state, the city would have to amend some permits for the extracted oil to be transported to and processed at the Ellwood Onshore Facility. Historically, that oil was processed on the pier and shipped away by barge, Giles said.
Should the city block processing at the Ellwood facility, the draft report identifies the pier itself as an alternative site, a potentially perilous location if oil were to spill directly into the ocean, he said.
If oil is processed at the pier, it would be shipped by pipeline to Line 196 coming out of the Ellwood facility. There’s no scenario under which the barges are reintroduced, according to the proposal.
Giles noted that the city won’t create its own environmental documents for this project, so he said it’s important for residents and the city itself to comment on the state report.
All written comments must be made by Dec. 20 and can be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Revised PRC 421 recommissioning DEIR comments.”
Comments also can be submitted to Eric Gillies, assistant chief of environmental planning and management for the State Lands Commission. He can be reached by telephone at 916.574.1890 and fax at 916.574.1885.
Click here to read the draft report online. Copies also are available at the Goleta Branch Library, 500 N. Fairview Ave.; the City of Goleta, 130 Cremona Drive, Suite B; the Santa Barbara Central Library, 40 E. Anapamu St.; and the County of Santa Barbara, 123 E. Anapamu St.
Parade of Lights Rocks ’n’ Rolls Along Santa Barbara’s Waterfront
Boats and whatever floats set sail with an abundance of colorful holiday spirit and sounds
Brightly lit and decorated boats of all shapes and sizes set sail along Santa Barbara's waterfront Sunday night for the annual Parade of Lights.
The night was cold, the skies were clear and the seas were calm as the armada paraded around Stearns Wharf and thousands of cheering spectators.
This year's theme was a Rock ’n’ Roll holiday and all of the entrants were on board with it — including a few with bands on their boats.
The evening opened with child-friendly activities at Santa's Village on the City Pier in the harbor and the night was capped off with a fireworks show.
— Ron Williams is a frequent Noozhawk contributor.
Hillary Hauser, Bob Evans Elected to Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences Positions
Hillary Hauser, executive director of Heal the Ocean in Santa Barbara, and nature photographer and entrepreneur Bob Evans have been elected to board posts in the Academy of Underwater Arts & Sciences (AUAS), an international honorary organization that each year bestows the coveted NOGI Award to outstanding contributors to the underwater world.
During its annual meeting in November, the AUAS Board of Directors elected Hauser as president and Evans as executive director.
Hauser co-founded the 3,000-member citizens action group Heal the Ocean in 1998, and the nonprofit organization has been highly successful in removing sources of ocean pollution, including the removal of septic systems from seven miles of South Coast shoreline.
The AUAS is an international, multidisciplinary, nonprofit organization dedicated to recognizing pioneers and leaders who have had a global impact on the exploration, enjoyment, safety and preservation of the underwater world. NOGI stands for New Orleans Grand Isle, and the celebrated NOGI statuette is considered the “Oscar” of the diving world.
Winners have included Jacques Cousteau, Jean-Michel and Philippe Cousteau, James Cameron, Mike deGruy, Sylvia Earle, Eugenie Clark and many other illustrious ocean people. Evans won his NOGI in 2005 for Science & Education, and Hauser won hers in 2009 for Distinguished Service.
Once a year NOGI statuettes (designed by Wyland) are given to winners in five categories (Arts, Distinguished Service, Science, Sports/Education and Environment). The 2014 NOGI winners, soon to be announced to the public, will be awarded during the NOGI Gala Ceremony in Las Vegas next November.
Santa Barbara County Counsel Talks Retirement as Supervisors Pile on the Praise
After 5½ years on job marked by disaster recovery and North County Jail work, Dennis Marshall to be replaced by assistant Mike Ghizzoni
County Counsel Dennis Marshall is retiring this month after five-and-a-half years leading Santa Barbara County’s legal department. At last week's meeting, the Board of Supervisors showered him with praise.
Marshall is returning to the Fresno area, where he lived and worked before coming to Santa Barbara.
He says people keep asking him why he wants to leave paradise.
“The only thing this community doesn’t have is my two sons and two grandkids,” he said.
First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, the board chairman, said Marshall has insight no one else does, since he works so closely with the board during closed sessions. He and other supervisors said Marshall was one of their smartest hires and has done an exemplary job with the county.
“Whatever storms have been swirling around, you have been our calm center,” Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr said.
In addition to litigation and policy-neutral legal support to the board, Marshall was honored for his work helping the county through disaster recovery for the Gap, Tea and Jesusita fires and helping with the North County Jail efforts.
Former county counsel Shane Stark also came to Tuesday’s board meeting to congratulate Marshall, thanking him for keeping the office together.
Once Marshall officially retires later this month, Assistant County Counsel Mike Ghizzoni will take over. Ghizzoni was appointed by the Board of Supervisors in November.
Judy Foreman: The Best Dressed Monk Gives Men a New Look, and Outlook
Kira and Allen Gold introduce a new lifestyle that casually dresses up traditional menswear choices
On a chilly recent evening, an over-the-top crowd turned up the heat as throngs of guests jammed the Best Dressed Monk, Montecito's newest men's retail store at 1275 Coast Village Road.
A standout among all the new women’s stores that have seized the spotlight in the 93108 since last summer, this store is one for the guys. The fashion-forward crowd was mostly too busy talking to be shopping, but most of these events are just for that, to bring people together to generate buzz and check out the goods, and that it did.
Guests walked up the red carpet with a big Harley-Davidson parked out front, and munched on great finger food and desserts by Dining with Di. While the Coast Village Road restaurants had their usual Thursday night customers kicking off the weekend, the Best Dressed Monk was definitely the place to be and be seen.
Even before owners Kira and Allen Gold took the brown paper off the window for opening day on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, there was much guessing as to what they would sell based on the name. Speculation ran high, from garments like Nehru jackets of the 1960s, Bali resort, Tommy Bahama best suited for yoga teachers, kale juicers and green tea devotees.
By the time I arrived after stopping by the Upper Village Holiday Gala, the party was in full swing. Lights, action and cameras were going off simultaneously. I had to walk sideways to make my way over to the Golds, who were about as happy as entrepreneurs could be with the turnout.
"After so much hard work it was very gratifying to see such tremendous turnout of so many good, wonderful-looking and stylish people," Gold said. "The vibes in the store were terrific.”
Gold conceived of the collection following a seven-month Buddhist retreat he took several years ago off the coast of Scotland. Shopping for casual attire different than the traditional suit-and-tie wardrobe he donned in his professional life, he loaded up on what he thought he would need from REI and Patagonia. His brother stopped by and took one look at what he was taking and dead-panned, "You are the best-dressed monk.” Something about that phrase stuck with Gold and he trademarked it.
After spending seven months with 15 monks and a group of nuns, he said he noticed when he returned home that “men like me who do not want to wear suits but still want to appear elegantly casual in their dress were majorly lacking options.” After moving to Maui from Northern California, Gold met his life partner, Kira, a former costume designer. They returned to California and lived in Ojai and now Santa Barbara.
As Gold sees it, "the focus on menswear for years has been personal power, authority and wealth." Channeling Don Draper’s Mad Men genre, Gold feels a large segment of today’s man no longer needs that illusion of power. His worth is not all about appearances, it's more a statement of what lies within.
No doubt the introspection that marked Gold's spiritual journey in Scotland, opened up and removed some time-worn traditions that he might have previously ascribed to and stretched the boundaries of what is happening in men’s lifestyle apparel.
Together, the Golds developed a line of simple and elegant jackets, trousers, shirts, scarves made of rich-colored silk, cottons and wools. Tailored tunic shirts not meant to be tucked in, worn with luxurious textured scarves and polished safari jackets and jeans are part of the BDM look. Think Armani after a month in Tibet.
The price point is moderate to high, but the quality of the garments reflects the hard work. The Best Dressed Monk uses earth-friendly textiles and manufacturing processes wherever possible, and all manufacturing takes place in Los Angeles. There is great interest among stores like Barneys and Neiman Marcus to carry the BDM, and additional store locations may be on the horizon.
The age demographic will certainly be determined as the rollout begins, but Montecito photographer Michael Haber, who has a creative and financial interest in the business and was responsible for much of the staging and vignettes to create the ambience, feels “the 30 to 60-ish man will relate and buy."
"They just need to stop by and try on the clothes and let their professional staff introduce them to the fabrications and fit," he said. "The BDM has an exquisite genuineness to it."
The Golds have launched their store as a lifestyle brand with the mindful existence at its heart. The environment, social sustainability and importance of community are part of their core values.
The compact, 850-square-foot space was designed by architect John Mike Cohen and reflects the clean and contemporary aesthetic of the Best Dressed Monk lifestyle, replete with concrete faces, eucalyptus veneers, frosted glass and mahogany floors. The beautiful fixtures and displays for clothes, jewelry, leather accessories and scarves make the place a wonderful environment in which to shop.
The Golds generously donated 20 percent of the opening-night sales proceeds to the Dream Foundation.
The Best Dressed Monk at 1275 Coast Village Road. Click here for more information.
Three Injured in Head-On Crash Near Lake Cachuma
The accident — involving a Toyota Corolla and a Kia SUV — occurred shortly after 7:30 p.m. on Highway 154, two miles east of the lake, fire Capt. Mike Klusyk said.
The Kia ended up on its side, according to the California Highway Patrol.
Three people were transported to local hospitals, two with moderate injuries and another with minor injuries, Klusyk said. A fourth person suffered minor injuries but declined treatment.
Highway 154 was blocked in both directions for a time, but was reopened at about 8:40 p.m., the CHP said.
Michelle Malkin: Obamacare’s ‘Grace’ Period Gives Green Light to Debtors — and Fraud
"Uh-oh." That's the sound being uttered in doctors' offices and hospitals across the country as medical providers realize they're getting stuck with another bottomless Obamacare bill. While the White House desperately tries to pivot from the havoc wrought by the "Affordable Care Act," its hidden regulatory bombs keep exploding.
I heard about the latest problem last week from an eye doctor friend who received a letter from a Colorado-based insurer informing her that she's essentially on the hook for Obamacare's payment grace period for debtors. The optometrist is bracing for a flood of similar letters from other insurers. Like countless other independent providers, she's extremely concerned about the potential liability, uncertainty and fraud the rule imposes on her business.
Here's the raw deal: The Affordable Care Act created a 90-day grace period before insurers can drop patients who fall behind on premiums. So, delinquents who obtain tax-subsidized health insurance through an Obamacare health insurance exchange have three months to settle up their bills prior to their policy being canceled. As written, the law puts insurers on the hook for the grace period.
But the bureaucrats at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services decided to issue a rule in March making insurers responsible only for paying claims during the first 30 days of the debtors' grace period. Who's on the hook for the other two months? Well, customers are entrusted to foot the bills for additional services. But if they blow off the payments, it's up to physicians and hospitals to collect.
In real-world practice, this means providers will be eating untold costs. Several large hospital associations raised red flags over the issue over the summer. In August, the Missouri Hospital Association noted that the regulatory shift "unduly burdens physicians, hospitals and other health-care providers" by making them directly collect payments from patients, which "puts them at an unfair and significant risk for providing uncompensated care to patients."
Emillie J DiChristina of Practicefirst Medical Management Solutions spelled out the financial risks for clients on the company's blog: "This leaves providers in a potentially bad place as they have a high potential for accruing bad debt on services provided between 31 and 90 days of the allowed grace period." Can you spell f-r-a-u-d? People could "go on and off" insurance plans, Tampa Bay health-care lawyer Bruce Lamb told me, and game the system by bailing on payments and exploiting Obamacare protections against denial of coverage.
Or as MHA officials put it: "We also are very concerned that some disreputable individuals will learn they can manipulate the system and win a full year's insurance coverage on only nine months of premiums. Knowing they are entitled to three months of grace-period coverage, dishonest persons could stop paying premiums on the ninth month, enjoy free coverage during the 90-day grace period, have their coverage terminated, and then re-enter the exchange market where the Affordable Care Act's guaranteed-issue mandate would prohibit another plan from denying them coverage."
Think such nefarious behavior won't occur? Then you haven't been paying attention to the data manipulators and con artists in the Obamacare navigator program. As I reported earlier this year, the seedy nonprofit Seedco secured multimillion-dollar navigator contracts in Georgia, Maryland, New York and Tennessee to recruit Obamacare recipients into the government-run exchanges — despite settling a civil fraud lawsuit for faking at least 1,400 of 6,500 job placements under a $22.2 million federally funded contract with New York City a year ago.
Additionally, investigative journalist James O'Keefe and his Project Veritas team have caught Obamacare navigators on videotape advising health insurance exchange customers to under-report their income and lie about their health status to cheat the system.
CMS has made no effort to repeal its cost-shifting rule or to do anything to address the concerns of providers who will be left holding the bag. As one hospital rep told me: "It's potentially catastrophic." Private practices are already being hit hard with slashed reimbursements, the electronic medical records mandate, ICD-10 medical diagnostic code changes and increasing federal intrusions on how they provide care. In yet another entry on the laundry list of Obamacare's unintended consequences, this regulation will hurt patients by dissuading doctors from participating in exchange plans.
In short: less choice, higher prices, increased potential for fraud, more bureaucratic headaches and more disincentives to enter or stay in the medical profession. When the government grants "grace," everyone must watch their wallets. It's always easy to afford compassion when someone else is paying for it.
— Michelle Malkin is author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies. Contact her at email@example.com, follow her on Twitter: @michellemalkin, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.
Gerald Carpenter: American String Quartet True to Name in Art Museum Concert
In honor of its currently running exhibition (Oct. 13–Jan. 12) of the works of the American photographer John Divola, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art will host a concert by the award-winning American String Quartet (Peter Winograd and Laurie Carney, violins; Daniel Avshalomov, viola; and Wolfram Koessel, cello) at 7:30 p.m. Monday in the Mary Craig Auditorium at the museum, 1130 State St.
The American String Quartet's program includes three works — two, praise be, by American composers! We will hear Henry Cowell's String Quartet No. 4 "United Quartet" (1936-1937); Charles Ives' String Quartet No. 2 (1913); and Maurice Ravel's String Quartet in F-Major (1902–1903). On Jan. 26, 1937, Cowell (1897-1965) wrote to a friend that "the string quartet finished in Redwood in the Summer."
The "quartet" was his "United Quartet." The "Redwood" was the Redwood County Jail, where he was awaiting trial for, basically, being a homosexual. Although he always denied he was homosexual, Cowell was subsequently convicted and served four years in San Quentin State Prison before American musicians finally managed to mount a successful campaign to have him pardoned and released.
Most of his friends (John Cage, Virgil Thompson, etc.) kept in touch while he was in prison, obviously, though Ives broke off all contact until long after Cowell was released. Cowell's friends report that he was a radically changed man after prison, timid and fearful where he had been brash and aggressive, and his compositions became more conservative, where he had been a brash and confident leader of the avant garde.
At the same time, while in San Quentin, Cowell produced something like 60 new works, organized inmate musical ensembles, and taught classes on composition and musicology. Cowell is virtually unknown to most American music lovers, while several generations of American composers feel as if they owe him everything.
Thompson summed up his achievement in 1951: "Henry Cowell's music covers a wider range in both expression and technique than that of any other living composer. His experiments begun three decades ago in rhythm, in harmony, and in instrumental sonorities were considered then by many to be wild. Today they are the Bible of the young and still, to the conservatives, 'advanced.' ... No other composer of our time has produced a body of works so radical and so normal, so penetrating and so comprehensive. Add to this massive production his long and influential career as a pedagogue, and Henry Cowell's achievement becomes impressive indeed. There is no other quite like it. To be both fecund and right is given to few."
Tickets to the American String Quartet are $15 for museum members, $19 for nonmembers, and they may be purchased at the Museum Visitor Services desk or by telephone at 805.963.4364, or click here to purchase tickets online.
Susan Estrich: With Sensitivity, How Dumb Does John Boehner Think Women Are?
How do you run against a woman candidate?
It's a question I've been asked since 1984, when I worked for Geraldine Ferraro.
In those days, it wasn't uncommon to see men who were running against women making subtle (and not so subtle) appeals to toughness, using national security and crime issues as a way to raise questions about whether their female opponents had what it takes.
Maybe that's why my favorite ad from 2008 was Hillary Clinton's red phone ad. Twenty years ago, that was precisely the kind of ad you'd run against a woman. In the 21st century, it was a very strong and tough woman who ran the ad. Times have changed — at least on the Democratic side.
Not so, it appears, for Republicans, who are getting special "training" so as to be "sensitive" when running against women or seeking their votes.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, responding to reports that the Republican Party is now giving "sensitivity training" to male candidates, explained last week that Republican men in Congress "aren't as sensitive as they ought to be" when running against women.
"We're trying to get them to be a little more sensitive," Boehner told reporters. "You look around the Congress, there are a lot more females in the Democratic caucus than there are in the Republican caucus. And some of our members just aren't as sensitive as they ought to be."
This is how not to run against women, and how not to win the votes of women. Do what Boehner is doing. Insult them by suggesting that it isn't policy that matters, but sensitivity.
This is why the Republican Party runs the risk of becoming a party of angry white males at a time when there aren't enough angry white males to win a majority.
The way to run against women is the same way that you run against men: by focusing on qualifications, experience and policy.
Imagine holding sensitivity training sessions to teach candidates how to run against men. It's laughable — or worse, insulting. Why should women be different?
What got Republicans into trouble in the 2012 elections was not insensitivity, but stupidity. The two most notorious examples were then-Rep. Todd Akin, R-Mo., done in by comments about "legitimate rape," and Indiana state Treasurer Richard Mourdock, who said that "even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, it is something that God intended to happen." Akin lost to a woman; Mourdock, to a man. In both cases, the two Senate candidates' problems went far beyond sensitivity.
The same is true in addressing women voters. The fact that women are somewhat more likely to support Democrats than Republicans has absolutely nothing to do with sensitivity and everything to do with policy. The gender gap is grounded in issues: the economy (where women tend to earn less), education (where women tend to care more and are more likely to be the primary or sole parent) and health care (ditto). Sure, there are many women who are pro-gun and anti-choice, but there are even more who support reasonable restrictions on gun sales and who believe that they — not the government — should decide whether and when to have children.
"A little bit more sensitive"? Americans, men and women, are disgusted with Boehner's Congress for reasons having absolutely nothing to do with sensitivity and everything to do with his failure, and that of his members, to act like grownups, to put people's needs ahead of partisan gamesmanship, to address problems rather than just rant and rave. Shutting down the government in protest over Obamacare — after we had an election in which Obamacare was front and center and the Republicans lost — isn't an issue for sensitivity training. You don't win votes by patronizing voters, and you don't run against women candidates by focusing on their gender rather than their positions.
How dumb does Boehner think women are?
— Susan Estrich is a best-selling author, the Robert Kingsley Professor of Law and Political Science at the USC Law Center and was campaign manager for 1988 Democratic presidential nominee Michael Dukakis. Click here to contact her or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.
Letter to the Editor: Remember and Recommit to End Gun Violence
When you look at the faces of the 20 children and six educators of Sandy Hook Elementary School whose lives were so violently taken on Dec. 14, 2012, your heart stops, your heart breaks. Sadly, each day in America eight children’s lives are violently ended with a firearm — equivalent to a Sandy Hook every three days.
Saturday, Dec. 14, will mark one year since the families of these young souls were gunned down, their lives lost forever. That is how long a parent and loved ones grieve over the loss of a child — forever.
Think then of the six Sandy Hook Elementary School teachers who instantly knew what they and their children were facing; they had to protect, to give their lives without a doubt. As a teacher you always look at your class as "your children," because they are.
About 275 people are shot every day — about 85 die and about 195 survive. 30,000 Americans have died since the slaughter of these 20 innocent children and six adults in Newtown, Conn. Why do we minimize the carnage with our messaging? The physical, emotional and economic toll to those who survive a gunshot is staggering. In the United States, a person is hit with a bullet every five minutes!
Josh Stepakoff was 6 when he was shot twice in the leg in 1999 at the North Valley Community Center in Los Angeles by Buford Furrow; five people were wounded, including three children. He is among many people who have witnessed the horrific sights and sounds of a mass shooting as a very young child. Like the children of Newtown, Conn., he saw blood, he heard screams and he was scared for his life. Afterward, he said he couldn’t be a normal child. As a teenager, Stepakoff decided to do work with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, and found solace in talking to other victims. Many survivors and family members become involved in gun violence prevention groups in hopes of preventing others from going through what they experience daily.
There will be more talk about the “troubled” shooter now that the Connecticut police report has been released. There are millions of troubled children and adults. Certainly America needs to allocate more money for mental health and take actual concrete steps in communities to help people suffering with emotional problems. Every time there is shooting, we read that the killer was disturbed, mentally ill or had a troubled childhood. However, only 5 percent of the mentally ill are considered dangerous.
We all suffer emotional responses to the crises in our lives. But when a gun is handy, then the anger, the depression takes an ugly violent turn. And what we know is that there are too many guns, and more guns mean more murders and more gun suicides. Realize that many of these mass shooters were angry, depressed males who wanted to commit mayhem and then suicide.
Why? There are too many whys. The country was and continues to be shocked, and yet the carnage goes on day after day. The battles against gun violence prevention laws go on in Congress and state legislatures have gotten as virulent as the battles on the streets and in the homes of this nation as Americans continue to die needlessly from gun violence.
Put your concerns into action, because the shooting war goes on in our nation daily. What motivates those of us who work avidly for gun violence prevention?
An interfaith memoriam service will be held at Trinity Episcopal Church, 1500 State St. in Santa Barbara, from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 14. Remember and recommit. Join us.
— Toni Wellen, chairwoman
Coalition Against Gun Violence
Craig Allen: Ultra-Wealthy Focus on Quality Advisory Services, Not Investment Returns
When I began my career in 1990 as a stockbroker at Lehman Brothers, we had a lot of industry sayings that were thrown around the office to describe various aspects of the investment business. We often used storytelling to drive home a point about an investment, when trying to convince a client that the purchase was in their best interest.
One that really stuck with me had to do with buggy whips — the whips used by those riding in a buggy pulled by horses, before automobiles. Back in that era, there were many companies that made buggy whips.
As cars began to appear on the scene, the weakest buggy whip companies quickly folded. One by one, as cars became commonplace, the buggy whip makers closed their doors. You can imagine that those making the finest-quality buggy whips held out. After all, they were really good at making buggy whips. They couldn’t see — or refused to accept — that the world had fundamentally changed, making them irrelevant.
Today, we see a similar dilemma facing investment management companies. The financial services industry has become commoditized to a certain extent. While there are no signs that investment management services are going away anytime soon, the fundamental structure of the business has changed, and changed for good.
The ultra-wealthy tend to be the trendsetters when it comes to financial services. The first automobiles were purchased by the wealthy who could afford the hand-built cars’ price-tags. Regular folk wanted cars, too, but could not afford them. Later, Henry Ford developed his assembly line methods for producing cars that the average person could afford, and soon almost everyone could buy a car.
The investment business has developed in a similar fashion — what at first had been investment management services that were exclusively offered to the ultra-wealthy, have now been made available to virtually anyone with even the smallest of portfolios. Just as Ford found a way to offer cars to the masses by bringing the cost down, so, too, have investment management firms found ways to package their services for the average investor, bringing fees down dramatically in the process.
There are still those investment management firms that are holding out, just as the buggy whip makers chose to ignore the changing landscape in their day. But the business has changed.
The ultra-wealthy, and, increasingly, the entire investing public, no longer look to investment managers to add alpha — generate returns in excess of market returns. Even if a manager has a documented track record of consistently beating the market, and even if that positive performance was generated without assuming additional risk, investors just don’t care. Sure, everyone wants to make money, but from a practical standpoint, clients are no longer making investment decisions based on performance.
What the ultra-wealthy want is expert, reliable, trustworthy, honest, independent advice. They want advisers who have broad-based expertise in all areas of wealth management, including trust services, financial planning, estate planning, tax planning, educational planning, gifting and more. They really want and need a personal CFO (chief financial officer) who can coordinate and advise them on all aspects of their total financial situation. Investment management is simply one aspect of this total package of services. Further, investment management is a consequence of the planning process, to be implemented only after a comprehensive wealth management plan has been completed.
The implementation of the investment portion of that wealth management plan can be accomplished through the use of multiple investment management firms that meet specific criteria established through the objective setting and risk profile analysis that, again, occurs during the development process for the comprehensive wealth plan.
The evolution of the financial services industry, or to be more precise, the changing needs and expectations of the ultra-wealthy and the rest of the investing public, has not resulted in a lessening of the importance of investment management. The ultra-wealthy still expect their assets to be invested properly. What has changed is the decision-making process used by investors when choosing an adviser — their decisions are no longer influenced by investment performance, at least not positive performance. If a manager materially underperforms his or her stated benchmark (the index that most closely represents the market performance for their investing style), prospective clients will certainly take note.
The ultra-wealthy, in my personal experience, are much more concerned with minimizing the risk of significant losses, maintaining their wealth and generating a reasonable return over time to maintain their lifestyle. They are already wealthy, and therefore do not need an investment manager to make them rich.
As the investment management industry has adjusted to changing investor attitudes, needs and expectations, investment vehicles have been developed that allow for packaging and pooling assets, which in turn has allowed firms to drastically reduce fees. Competition for assets in general has further reduced fees to a point where today, the business has become commoditized. There are so many investment management firms offering similar approaches to investing that it is virtually impossible for investors to see any meaningful differences among them.
With this in mind, advisers who want to survive and thrive in today’s competitive financial services industry will do well to reflect on the buggy whip example, and retool their businesses to offer what investors need and expect: high-quality advice from experts who know what they are talking about and who can be trusted to plan, coordinate and execute a truly comprehensive wealth management plan.
Water-Main Break Floods Homes Near Santa Barbara
Cold weather may be to blame for incident on Sterrett Avenue, water officials say
A water-main break — possibly related to the cold weather the last few days — flooded several homes in a Santa Barbara neighborhood Saturday night.
The incident occurred at about 8:30 p.m. on Sterrett Avenue, which is off North Hope Avenue below Foothill Road.
The break flooded as many as four houses that are on the downhill side of the street.
Santa Barbara County firefighters who responded used a pressurized fire hose to form a make-shift dam and divert some of the water away from the homes.
A Goleta Water District employee was able to partially turn off the water, and additional water crews were called to assist and fully repair the break.
According to a Goleta Water District employee at the scene, water main breaks are not not uncommon when the weather turns cold, as it has this past week.
Firefighters pumped accumulated water from at least one of the houses in the neighborhood.
Additional details were not available.
Supervisors OK Plan to Shift Management of Veterans Building to County Oversight
Board decides streamlined operation will mute rivalries, lead to expansion of vital re-entry programs
After years of infighting as well as a blistering audit, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors sent a strong message last week when it approved a plan to shift management of Santa Barbara's Veterans Memorial Building to county staff.
The supervisors expressed their interest in expanding programs for returning service members at the center, at 112 W. Cabrillo Blvd., but indicated it could be better maintained and managed by county employees. A council of veterans has been running the historic facility facing West Beach.
On Tuesday, the board directed the county General Services Department to create a management plan by July 1 for the Santa Barbara center; the Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building, 100 E. Locust Ave.; and the county Courthouse, 1100 Anacapa St. The county would need an additional $90,000 for the management of the three facilities, officials said.
The Veterans Coordinating Council has been responsible for maintenance and management at the Santa Barbara center, including the coordination of its facility rentals. In the future, however, county staff will take over accounting, facilities management and other responsibilities.
Concerns had poured in to county staff about the building's management, and an audit was conducted last year. A significant reorganization ensued, along with widespread turnover.
A host of speakers, most of whom were veterans themselves, turned out to make their voices heard at Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting. They generally were divided into two groups.
The larger contingent urged the supervisors to allow the new coordinating council to keep operating the building and be given a chance to prove itself. They suggested at least a year was needed to demonstrate a turnaround.
Retired Navy Cmdr. Charles "Crash" Huff assumed management of the property Oct. 15 of this year, and many speakers indicated their support for him.
Members of this group were also concerned that if the county assumed management, veterans could be forced out and made to meet elsewhere.
Steve Penner, council chairman and a Vietnam War veteran, said the facility's problems have been addressed, and the group is almost in compliance with the audit's recommendations.
"Give us another shot for at least another a year," said Vietnam veteran Dennis Hartman, who added that the center's "old guard" had been replaced by new, progressive leadership.
"Keep the veterans running it," he said. "We know what to do."
A smaller group took issue with the extension request and called for county management.
He said the critical needs of returning veterans have not been addressed, and added that there is almost no outreach toward those struggling to readjust to civilian life, especially younger veterans of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The "squabbling and conflicts" between different factions in the organization have prevented it from accomplishing its mission, said Eskin, who urged the supervisors to turn over the management to the county.
Concern was also presented by nonprofit organizations like Alcoholics Anonymous — which serve veterans as well as other citizens — over whether they would be required to relocate.
Supervisor Janet Wolf, whose Second District includes the Veterans Memorial Building, recalled encountering two separate veterans events going on during her first visit years ago.
"Someone told me 'the veterans groups don't get along,'" she said. "I thought ,'That can't be," but it was true and I continued to witness that.
"This issue has been so emotional for me because I can't believe there is a split among veterans," she added. "What has gotten in the way is this continued friction, and it's not the old guard or the new guard, it's both."
Wolf said the intention is for the county to only take over management of the building, so veterans could do what they want with it.
"I just think this is something we shouldn't be fearful of," she said. "It's time to move this forward and get some more services at the vets center ... I think there is so much potential at that center."
Other supervisors supported Wolf and the motion to create a county management plan.
"You guys will still have plenty to fight over, I'm sure," Supervisor Peter Adam said. "(General Services) is just going to manage the building."
"All veterans are great and equal in my book," he said. "We're not going to choose between veterans groups. We're going to support all veterans, and that's what this motion is about."
Junior League of Santa Barbara Presents Festival of Trees, Ice Skating
Festival of Trees is a family-oriented weekend filled with fun and merriment. Enjoy children’s programs, holiday treats and a wonderland of exquisitely decorated trees with your friends and family. Local companies, organizations and talented volunteers have transformed the Fess Parker’s rotunda into a warm, festive holiday haven.
This event will usher in the holiday season with style, showcasing a stunning display of uniquely decorated trees funded by our sponsors and which will be raffled off Sunday evening. Families can delight in watching the joy on children’s faces as they visit with Santa, make a craft for someone special, listen to the merry melodies of local instruments and performers, and enjoy many other holiday surprises.
Entry to the festival is free. Raffle tickets can be purchased for $5.
From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, you also will be able to ice skate on the rotunda amid the decorated trees overlooking the Pacific Ocean for $15. A special skating with Santa will be held from 9:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. The synthetic ice rink is made possible by our generous sponsors at All Year Sports Galaxy and Ice in Paradise. Tickets are available for purchase at the door.
Come see the Aerial Ice Dancing team of Chris Trefil and Tosha Hanford. This amazing team has performed on America’s Got Talent and Snoopy on Ice. They will be performing at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. So please come join us in celebrating a beautiful and festive event. Start a new tradition this holiday season and enjoy the inaugural Festival of Trees!
All proceeds go to the Junior League of Santa Barbara’s efforts to improve youth literacy throughout Santa Barbara.
Thank you to our sponsors: Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort, All Year Sports Galaxy, MoveGreen, Santa Barbara Zoo, Flora Gardens, The Bank of Santa Barbara, The Killgore Family, ParentClick, Town & Country Event Rentals, KnitFit, Ice in Paradise, PSAV, The Rhew Family, PumpFlix, Lilly's Christmas Trees, Ursula Szeles, Pal 8 Media, SFA Designs, Carolyn Williams and Family, Jan Ann Kahler, Alliance Wealth Strategies, American Riviera Bank, Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf LLP, BlueStar Parking, Cabana Home, Caliber Home Loans, Cashmir Beauty Lounge, Cathedral Oaks Athletic Club, El Encanto, Franzblau Landscapes, Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast, Hayes Commercial, Impulse Communications, Jake Ralston Santa Barbara Real Estate, Johnson Family Dental, Killer B’s Fitness, Killer Shrimp, Mary Kay, Michelle Piotrowski, Jayme Dwyer, Molly Dufau, Anne Brink, Karen O'Neill, Suzanne Blanco, Maggie Rhew and Adeline Tognotti, OnQ Financial, ONTRAPORT, Rooms & Gardens, Santa Barbara Athletic Club, Santa Barbara Pet Services, Thatcher Orthodontics, The Lattice Group, Tiffany & Co., White Family Restaurants, JLSB New Member Class 2013-2014, Martin Sosa Graphic Design, Coveted Cakery, FX, Pali Winery, Kimberly Citro Photography, Kendall Pata Graphic Design and Halper Fine Art.
2013 Solvang Julefest Parade Winners Announced
Despite the threat of rain showers, the sun came out about 11 a.m. Saturday to greet more than 400 participants and 40 entries that marched, rolled, trotted and strolled along seasonally decorated Mission Drive, Copenhagen Drive and adjacent streets for the annual Solvang Julefest Parade.
Spectators from near and far enjoyed the parade, snug in unusual winterwear for the city that enjoys 320 days of sunshine each year. Solvang Julefest events are presented by the Solvang Conference & Visitors Bureau on behalf of the City of Solvang with sponsorship support from the Santa Ynez Valley Hotel Association, Chumash Casino Resort, Root 246, King Frederik Inn, Wine Valley Inn, El Rancho Market and other area businesses.
Laura Kath was parade announcer again this year and serving as volunteer judges were area residents Steve Benjamin, Merle Blasjo and William Morton. The following are the “Award Winners” for the 2013 Julefest Parade:
Best Theme Oriented (The Gift of Children): Bethania Lutheran Church and Preschool
Founded in 1912 and celebrating 101 years of worship in Solvang, church members, family and friends joined together on this float featuring Bethania Preschool students singing of the joys of Christmas and invited the community to join in.
Best Float: First Baptist Church of Solvang
Familiar sights of the Christmas season were brought to life on this large float featuring portrayals of Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus, Wise Men and angels.
Best Equestrian Entry: The Solvang Trolley carrying Solvang Chamber of Commerce Board Members
Pulled by two magnificent draft horses, the Solvang Trolley (also known as the Honen) carried Solvang Chamber of Commerce board members decked out in their holiday finery. The Solvang Trolley is a replica of an 1800s Danish streetcar trotting around the village since 1964; it has been owned and operated by the Orona family since 2007.
Best Vehicle Entry: Waste Management “Green” Truck
This massive green truck was festively decorated with live trees, bunting, garlands, flashing lights and a driver who admonished the crowd, “Don’t be in the dumps, we’ll pick you up!”
Best Musical Entry: Santa Ynez Valley Youth Jazz Band
Open to all youth in the area featuring student musicians from local schools--this talented group brought a festive selection of holiday music to the parade and energized the crowd.
Best Performance Group: Nimbus Danish Motorcycle Klub
Nimbus motorcycles were manufactured in Copenhagen from 1934 to 1959. This upbeat local group has restored and driven them in hundreds of parades — for this season, sporting dozens of decorations, reindeer antlers and lights — symbolizing the ties between Solvang and Denmark. Judges remarked that they enjoyed the fact that these vintage vehicles were still “performing.”
Best Overall Entry: Toytown by Julia Tipolt State Farm Insurance Agency
Incredibly creative interpretation of children’s fantasy toy shop, a true crowd pleaser from “Team Tipolt” of Solvang.
Many open houses and special events will be taking place throughout Solvang during Julefest now through the annual Christmas Tree Burn at Old Mission Santa Ines on Jan. 10. Click here for more information, call 805.688.6144, or stop by the Solvang Visitors Center at 1639 Copenhagen Drive (open daily 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.).
— Laura Kath represents the Solvang Julefest Parade.
Letter to the Editor: Vietnam Vet and Navy Mom Honor ‘Wounded Warriors‘
I wrote an article two years ago titled "Lessons from Vietnam save lives." The occasion was the visit of the "Moving Wall" to Santa Barbara. The moving wall is a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the article was to thank Vietnam veterans for their service to this country.
I believe that the lessons learned from the Vietnam War help to keep down casualties in succeeding conflicts. The sacrifices made by Vietnam veterans were not made in vain. Although we all hate war, it is not necessary to hate the warrior. All veterans should be treated as heroes, especially those wounded in battle.
For thousands of wounded service members, the new frontline is coming home. The most difficult part of their homecoming is adapting to the challenges of daily life. The Wounded Warrior Project (WWP) provides tangible practical support for the wounded, helping them to heal both physical and mentally. The project helps veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts obtain VA benefits, develop coping skills, meet educational goals, and participate in sport and recreation opportunities in their communities.
WWP is just like the symbol, somebody carrying someone else. At one point, we were carried, and now it is our turn to carry someone. The greatest casualty is to be forgotten. Never again will the sacrifices of veterans of foreign wars be forgotten. Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another.
— Retired Air Force Sgt. Kelly Reid
(Tan Son Nhut AB, RVN, 1969-1970)
Diane Dimond: Life After the Michael Jackson Tabloid Scandal
I went to a wedding last weekend, and while you may not immediately recognize the name of the groom, I'll bet you know of him.
Despite a lifetime of obstacles, Gavin Arvizo — once at the center of a sensational child sex abuse scandal — has worked his way through to a triumphant life. At 13, Gavin accused Michael Jackson of molesting him, and the superstar was arrested.
It seemed life was stacked against this kid from the very beginning.
As a youngster he lived in a one-room apartment in East Los Angeles with two siblings and his parents. Poverty and domestic abuse was a way of life.
At age 8, this young Hispanic boy and his little brother were instructed by their father to walk out of a J.C. Penney store with clothing that wasn't paid for. Out in the parking lot the boys watched in horror as their father was surrounded by security guards and wrestled to the pavement. His mother, emerging from another store, soon joined in the melee, and both parents were handcuffed and taken to the police station.
At just 10 years old, Gavin was diagnosed with a rare and deadly cancer. As he laid helpless in an L.A. hospital bed feigning sleep, he heard his parents being advised to plan his funeral. Following months of grueling treatments, this plucky kid pulled through.
While in the hospital, the boy's plight came to the attention of the King of Pop. Jackson sent a basket full of toys and good wishes. When he was well enough to travel, the boy and his family were invited to visit the singer's Neverland Ranch in Los Olivos. Knowing of their poverty, Jackson even sent a limousine to drive them. What a wonderful respite for a recuperating cancer patient and his exhausted parents!
But once back home, things got worse. Violence. Restraining orders. Divorce. Yet the limousines kept arriving, and the sleepovers in Jackson's master bedroom at Neverland continued.
The rest is history. Santa Barbara County authorities charged Jackson with child sexual abuse, giving intoxicating substances to a minor to facilitate child sexual abuse, conspiracy to cover up the crimes and more.
During the trial, Gavin, then 15, was vilified as an accomplished liar. Jackson's lawyer, Tom Mesereau, called him and his family "grifters" and "thieves," and he repeatedly warned the jury that the Arvizos were only "in it for the money."
The jury also heard about two other boys who said they, too, had been molested by Jackson. One was a maid's son, the other the son of an L.A. dentist. Both boys received generous payouts from Jackson in return for keeping quiet. The dentist's family got nearly $20 million.
The defense called a group of young men to the witness stand, leading off with dancer/choreographer Wade Robson. Each testified they had often slept in Jackson's bed when they were youngsters and nothing sexual had ever happened. Jackson was acquitted of all charges in June 2005.
In a stunning turnaround, Robson recently admitted he perjured himself at trial. He is attempting to file suit against the Jackson estate, claiming he suffered two nervous breakdowns because of the sexual abuse secret he harbored for so long.
During a Today Show interview, Robson said of Jackson, "He sexually abused me from 7 years old until 14. He performed sexual acts on me and forced me to perform sexual acts on him." Robson bluntly added, "Jackson was an amazing talent, but he was a pedophile."
To this day, attorney Mesereau continues to vilify Gavin as a dishonest character. Nine years later he still ridicules the only youngster with enough courage to have actually gone to court against an international superstar. Mesereau continues to claim Arvizo's allegations were money-driven.
The fact is the defense lawyers and their teams are the only ones who made money from the Jackson criminal case.
Gavin, now 24, has also endured years of being hounded by paparazzi and tormented by a worldwide legion of die-hard Jackson fanatics who have vowed to kill him, maim him and stalk him for the rest of his life for saying their idol molested him. One of the more vicious fans recently discovered Gavin was about to wed a preacher's daughter and urged others to inundate the church with menacing phone calls about Gavin's integrity.
Gavin steadfastly refuses to speak up for himself, believing a man's actions speak for themselves. So let me tell you a little bit about him.
Gavin worked two or three jobs at a time (in restaurants and landscaping) to put himself though community college. Through sheer perseverance he won partial scholarships to attend prestigious Emory University. He double-majored in history and philosophy, made the honor roll, was president of the student union and he still found time to volunteer frequently at his church.
Gavin doesn't drink, use tobacco, drugs or foul language. He is working as a paralegal in a law firm, preparing to take the L-SAT and is applying to more than a dozen law schools. His dream is to go to Harvard.
Most telling about the character of Gavin Arvizo? He has never accepted any of the outstanding six-figure offers to sell his story. Newspapers and television shows continually dangle tempting deals, but Gavin is adamant that the passage of time will best tell his story. He says he knows the truth and believes it will be revealed to the doubters of the world when the time is right.
As I sat in church and watched this resilient young man joyfully take a wife, I thought back to all his trials and tribulations. Poverty, violence, near-fatal cancer, his punishing and unsatisfying ride through the justice system. Amazing.
At the reception, the unknowing DJ played "The Way You Make Me Feel" by Jackson. I caught Gavin's eye as he sat on the dais with his bride, Shelby. He just smiled, grandly shrugged his shoulders and went back to living his life as anonymously as possible.
— Diane Dimond is the author of Be Careful Who You Love: Inside the Michael Jackson Case. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Twitter: @DiDimond, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.
Mark Shields: Time for Liberals to Fight for Citizen ‘Responsibilities’
In the historic struggles to extend and guarantee civil rights for African-Americans, women, workers, gays and lesbians, those with disabilities and immigrants, American liberals have provided truly indispensable public and political leadership. Because of their efforts, the United States is today a fairer, better and more humane place.
But along the way, when almost every disagreement turns into each side asserting and insisting upon its rights, the national debate has sadly become impoverished. When was the last time you heard a national leader talk about the responsibilities each of us has as an American citizen? Perhaps your memory is better than mine.
We live today in an increasingly stratified country, where young Americans can go all the way through school without meeting or knowing anyone from outside their own social and economic classes. Americans are disconnected from each other, and nowhere is this disconnect more alarming and more obvious than between those in the U.S. military and their civilian contemporaries.
In spite of all the "Support Our Troops" bumper stickers on SUVs and the unvarying mantra of how "proud" all our public officials, irrespective of party, are of "our brave men and women in uniform," the American upper class is happy to have all fighting and, yes, all dying done not by its own, precious children but instead by the sons and daughters of waitresses, secretaries and firefighters.
Back when Ronald Reagan was a presidential candidate, 412 members of the House of Representatives and Senate — 77 percent of Congress — had worn their nation's uniform in military service. Today, just 108 out of 535, barely 20 percent, have served. Interestingly, the two female House members in that group are both combat veterans.
Lyndon Johnson was the last president to have a son — or in his case, two sons-in-law — serve, both in wartime. Franklin Roosevelt had four sons. All went to war. Elliott Roosevelt enlisted in the Army Air Corps and flew 300 combat missions. Jimmy Roosevelt joined the Marine Corps, and in combat in the Pacific, earned both the Navy Cross and the Silver Star. Navy Lt. Cmdr. Franklin Roosevelt Jr.'s bravery saving the lives of crew members when under heavy enemy fire was rewarded with a Silver Star. And Navy Lt. John Roosevelt earned a Bronze Star during World War II.
It's not just about who is in today's all-volunteer military but also about who is not. The last major star to serve from the entertainment world was Army draftee Elvis Presley. Because the country's political leadership failed to draft upper class youth during the Vietnam War, the draft lost its legitimacy.
Here is the challenge to my fellow liberals. Let us lead by reminding our fellow Americans and ourselves that our citizenship, while priceless, is not free. We have responsibilities, beyond paying the taxes we owe, to each other and to our country. Universal national service and two years of training and service with no exemptions for every young American could be the liberals' summons to collective sacrifice for the common good.
With a son or daughter in uniform, foreign policy — along with serious questioning of any future president's rush to war — would become the central concern of every family. Beyond military service, other important national tasks include cleaning up our country, bringing hope to children at risk and help to the helpless, and providing company to the lonely. We're winning the fight for citizens' rights. Now it's time to lead the fight for citizen responsibility.
— Mark Shields is one of the most widely recognized political commentators in the United States. The former Washington Post editorial columnist appears regularly on CNN, on public television and on radio. Click here to contact him, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.
Gerald Carpenter: Ensemble Theatre Company Debuts with ‘A Little Night Music’
But Ensemble is opening in its new home venue, the New Victoria Theatre, with a show that will make the most of the expanded resources of the new hall: Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler's A Little Night Music, based on Ingmar Bergman's 1955 film Smiles of a Summer Night, with a truly star-studded cast that includes Piper Laurie, Stephanie Zimbalist and Patrick Cassidy, as well as Carly Bracco, Max Miller, Jordan Miller, Heather Ayers, Misty Cotton, Michael Byrne, Deborah Bertling, and Emily Cummings or Erika Foreman.
Ensemble's executive artistic director, Jonathan Fox, helms the production and Santa Barbara resident David Potter directs the music.
My admiration for Piper Laurie dates back to her starring as Tony Curtis' love interest in the car-racing melodrama, Johnny Dark, and I have had many occasions since then to reaffirm my enthusiasm — Carrie and Twin Peaks, of course, but more particularly, for me, as James Spader's booze-and-tranquilizer-addled mother in the great, sadly neglected, Storyville. Like everyone else, I took to Stephanie Zimbalist immediately in her Remington Steele days, but I have seen enough of her subsequent performances to confirm that her brilliance in the TV series was no fluke.
The title of the musical is a literal translation of the popular name for Mozart's Serenade No. 13 for Strings in G-Major, K. 525 — the name comes from Mozart, but he didn't mean to give it that title, "Eine kleine Nachtmusik" was just the description he wrote in his log, when he had completed its composition. The connection of Mozart to the Sondheim-Wheeler play is somewhat tenuous, except that the play is based on a Bergman film, and Bergman was a well-known Mozartophile.
The structure of the play, as of the film, is that of a round dance (rondo, rondeau, reigen, ronde), in which the partners are handed on around the circle. What must surely be more than a coincidence is that in 1950, five years before the Bergman film, the incomparable Max Ophüls directed one of his masterpieces, La Ronde, based on Arthur Schnitzler's 1900 play of the same name. Schnitzler's play was not a comedy — except, perhaps, in the Dantean sense — and it was not performed until 1920, when it received violently bad press on account of its "sordid" subject matter.
Bergman's previous films had often dealt with the same themes, but in contemporary settings. It wasn't until he switched the setting to Schnitzler's 1900 that he had a genuine hit on his hands. "Even Bergman's epigrams are much improved when set in the quotation marks of a stylized period piece," wrote Pauline Kael, who considered the film "a nearly perfect work." Kael goes no to observe that "In this vanished setting, nothing lasts, there are no winners in the game of love; all victories are ultimately defeats — only the game goes on ... Although benefiting from several ingenious slapstick situations, (the film) is a comedy in the most important meaning of the word. It is an arabesque on an essentially tragic theme, that of man's insufficiency ..."
Most of the above applies directly to A Little Night Music, owing to the sympathetic genius of Sondheim and Wheeler. Despite the contemporary mania for "updating" classics, they did not set their comedy in David Hockney's affluent suburbia or in a Hollywood McMansion, but left it right where it belongs, in the European theatrical milieu at the turn of the last century. The timelessness of a story only becomes clear when viewed in its own, specific time-frame. Jonathan Fox obviously understands this, too.
After previews Thursday and Friday, A Little Night Music opens officially at 8 p.m. Saturday and continues its run until Dec. 22, with performances at 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, and 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays.
Admission is $35 to $75 (depending on performance date). Discounts are available to seniors and groups of 10 or more. Youth price (29 and under) is $20. Tickets are available at the New Victoria Theatre box office at 33 W. Victoria St., by phone at 805.965.5400 or click here to purchase tickets online.
Open House Listings for Santa Barbara, Goleta, Montecito, Santa Ynez: Dec. 8, 2013
Sunday, Dec. 8
Man Shot Outside Santa Maria Discount Store
A 42-year-old Santa Maria man was hospitalized Saturday afternoon after being shot outside a local store, according to Santa Maria police.
Officers responded shortly after 1 p.m. to a report of a shooting at the Discount Mall, 204 N. Blosser Road in Santa Maria, Sgt. Paul Flores said.
When officers arrived, they found the victim with a single gunshot wound to the arm, Flores said, adding that the injury was not believed to be life-threatening.
The victim was airlifted by helicopter to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
The shooting appears to have stemmed from an earlier dispute at the store, Flores said, and the investigation was continuing.
The victim's name was being withheld to protect investigative leads, and no arrests had been made as of Saturday afternoon, Flores said.
Peter Adam: With Gaviota Plan, Radical County Supervisors Again Ignore Peoples’ Wishes
It’s déjà vu all over again.
Two weeks ago, an oil company sought planning permission to drill new wells just south of Orcutt. The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission had given the green light for a project that would bring jobs to our area and pour badly needed tax revenue into the county’s General Fund. The Board of Supervisors rejected the findings of its Planning Commission and voted 3-2 to impose crippling air-quality restrictions.
At its last meeting, the same 3-2 board majority voted to advance a Community Plan for the Gaviota coast toward adoption.
So what, then, is the common thread that makes these two decisions alike? Why is it déjà vu all over again?
With both the Santa Maria Energy project and the Gaviota plan, the folks who live and work in the area and who would be most directly affected by the projects came in to testify and make their wishes known. And in both cases, they were ignored.
The board majority not only ignored the people most affected, they also ignored the advice of its own advisory commissions.
With the Santa Maria Energy project, the Planning Commission selected a mitigation standard for greenhouse gas emissions that exceeded the requirements of California law. The board rejected that advice and voted for an even tougher requirement. With the Gaviota plan, the board majority bulldozed over its own citizens drafting committee and the Agricultural Advisory Committee.
Why is this board majority doing this? Is it the north-south divide that has been well understood for the last 40 years? Or is something else going on? My view is that it’s more than the difference in political coloration between north and south.
We have three supervisors who are significantly more radical than their own constituencies. They share an elitist set of attitudes that makes them comfortable enacting command and control regulatory requirements.
Social engineering is a way of life with them. They have no qualms about coming out to the colonies to tell the folks who own and work the land what they will be allowed to do with it.
They seek to stifle economic development against the will of the governed and against the best interests of the county itself. These three align with the enviro-socialists, self-identified "stakeholders" who would like to impose extreme and unreasonable restrictions on property. Deep down, they do not believe in the basic tenet of private property in the first place, and they use whatever means they can to diminish the value of private property and the generation of wealth. My colleagues in the majority are only too willing to help move forward this radical agenda.
What is common to both Santa Maria Energy and Gaviota is that we have more devaluation of private property and more control and limitation on wealth creation. This is economically suicidal behavior.
Interestingly, the public testimony in both cases was roughly 2-to-1 in opposition to what the South Coast majority ended up voting for. This kind of “tin ear” to the needs and rights of those affected by their decisions demonstrates how out of touch our South Coast supervisors have become. We would like to see folks on the South Coast elect representatives who reflect the needs of the whole county.
Union Bank, Anthony’s Christmas Trees Join Forces with Trees for Troops Donation
The bank is providing 175 Christmas trees to active military families on the Central Coast and 15 trees to the national Trees for Troops program for shipment to military bases.
In Santa Barbara, 25 local military families will pick up their free Christmas trees at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Anthony's Christmas Trees lot at Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real.
Known locally as “A Noble Fir for a Noble Cause,” Union Bank’s support has grown to six locations: Santa Barbara, Lompoc, Paso Robles, Port Hueneme, San Luis Obispo and Simi Valley.
— Randy Weiss is Union Bank's community foundation officer for the Central Coast Region.
Storm Gives Santa Barbara County Gentle Soaking
Mostly gentle rainfall fell across Santa Barbara County on Saturday, with most areas reporting less than a third of an inch.
Showers began in the early morning hours, as a fast-moving frontal system moved through the region.
Snow levels were expected to be relatively low — starting out around 4,000 feet and dropping to 3,000 feet by the afternoon — meaning local ranges may get a white dusting.
High temperatures the next few days were expected to be in the 50s, with the overnight lows near freezing. Frost is likely is some areas, especially inland.
Sunny skies with highs in the 60s are forecast through next week.
Suspect Shot by Police on Santa Barbara’s Westside
Incident stemmed from a disturbance at a home on San Andres Street, according to officers
A suspect was shot late Friday by a Santa Barbara police officer who responded to a disturbance call on the city's Westside, authorities said.
The shooting occurred shortly before midnight when officers were dispatched to the 1200 block of San Andres Street. Multiple 9-1-1 calls had reported a man brandishing a deadly weapon, Sgt. Riley Harwood said.
Shortly after they arrived, one of the officers was assaulted with a weapon wielded by the 26-year-old suspect, and he was shot by police, Harwood said.
The type of weapon involved was not disclosed.
The suspect suffered multiple gunshot wounds, and was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Harwood said. Details on his condition were not released.
None of the officers was injured, Harwood said.
"Because this incident is in the early stages of investigation, many details are being withheld," Harwood said.
San Andres Street was closed for a time in the area of the shooting, according to police.
Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.
Residents Displaced by Fire at Orcutt Home
Firefighters responded Friday night to an Orcutt house fire that left three residents homeless, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
The blaze was reported at about 10:15 p.m. in the 700 block of Union Avenue.
Four county engines responded to the scene of the fire, which reportedly was centered in the attic of the house.
Three people and two dogs were left homeless after the fire, as the residence was declared uninhabitable, and the Red Cross Santa Barbara County Chapter was called in to provide temporary shelter.
Additional details were not available late Friday.
Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.
Spectators Brave the Cold for Santa Barbara’s Downtown Holiday Parade
Spirits are warm and bright as tens of thousands of people line the streets for the 61st annual festive event
Spirited, bundled locals braved the cooler-than-normal temperatures Friday night to kick off the holiday season and welcome one of its biggest celebrities: old Saint Nick.
Street lights and night stars shed a festive glow on State Street as more than 50,000 spectators hunkered down to watch Santa Barbara's 61st annual Downtown Holiday Parade.
Anticipation mounted as parade participants lined up at the 45-foot Douglas fir Community Holiday Tree near the corner of State and Victoria streets for the highly anticipated 6:30 p.m. start time and official tree lighting.
Spectators had staked out spots on State Street down to Cota Street — where the parade ended — hours ahead of the start time of the Downtown Organization-sponsored parade, this year themed “Holidays in Paradise.”
Ron and Fran Strahl of Montecito took a different parade-watching strategy, arriving just before the planned start but finding prime curb real estate near the city’s tree and Arlington Theatre.
“The grandkids are in it,” Fran Strahl proudly said.
“This is like the Fiesta parade, the way people stake their spot,” her husband added as a longtime parade-goer.
The suspense finally subsided just before 7 p.m., when the parade kicked off and the tree’s lights shone bright.
Spectators were wowed with 78 colorful holiday floats, high-stepping marching bands, performance groups and other walkers and riders.
The Strahls cheered on their two grandchildren, who showed off their moves to holiday-themed music as part of the Studio B Dance Company float.
Parents draped their kids in several layers and wrapped themselves in blankets to stave off the steadily dropping night temperatures, which were expected to hover around freezing overnight.
Many parade-watchers were armed with steaming cups of hot chocolate or coffee, and some even opted to watch the festivities from inside Starbucks.
Santa Claus and his festive sleigh were saved for last, when children and adults alike could welcome the jolly holiday icon before making a beeline for their cozier cars and homes.
Santa Barbara Association of Realtors Marks Changing of the Guard
New board officers are installed at the real-estate group's annual luncheon at the Coral Casino
The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors held its 106th Installation and Awards Luncheon on a postcard-perfect day in the Coral Casino Beach & Cabana Club at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara.
Reyne Stapelmann of Berkshire Hathaway Home Service was installed as president-elect. Eddie Madrigal of Pacific Coast Realty was named vice president and Alec Bruice of Santa Barbara Brokers as secretary/treasurer.
Other directors included Andy Alexander, Parker Beatty, David Kim, J.J. Lambert, Bridget Murphy, Adrienne Schuele, Stan Tabler, Doug Van Pelt and affiliate director Dan Skidmore. Abbott will serve as immediate past president.
Paul Hurst served as master of ceremonies for the oceanside luncheon in the Coral Casino Ballroom, where more than 200 Realtors and affiliated business people attended.
Many other awards were presented.
— Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at email@example.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.
Hackers Go to Battle as UCSB Hosts International Cyber-Security Challenge
Computer science students compete for a cash prize and bragging rights at the all-day 'Capture the Flag' contest
Empty coffee cups and plates with half-eaten pizza littered the work area of UC Santa Barbara computer science graduate students on Friday, where about 20 experienced cyber hackers hovered over laptops and desktops.
The select few had spent the past six months preparing for the world’s largest hacking competition, an annual all-day international contest cooked up by UCSB computer-security experts.
More than 1,300 students on 123 teams from universities around the globe compete virtually against each other in an “International Capture the Flag” security challenge, with a $1,000 cash prize and bragging rights on the line.
The graduate students — hand-picked by UCSB professor Giovanni Vigna — were put in charge of running the show, monitoring the codes and making sure everything went smoothly from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
No wonder some of the students hadn’t slept in three days.
“There’s never enough preparation,” said Yan Shoshitaishuili, a 28-year-old grad student who was in charge of writing the scoreboard coding. “This competition can be really tough to follow sometimes. It’s hectic.”
This year’s competition theme was “Nuclear Cyber-Warfare,” wherein teams of students developed their own fictional nuclear weapon program on a server while simultaneously fending off cyber-attacks from other teams trying to block or hinder the program.
Graduate student organizers hunkered down in the entryway of Harold Frank Hall on Friday to monitor the competition scoreboard and overall programming, while other UCSB students — not privy to the predetermined program track — participated from computers elsewhere.
“The flag is actually a piece of data,” Vigna said in explaining what teams are trying to capture. “We have a bunch of students looking at code trying to find hackers.”
Vigna, who has organized the competition the past 12 years, said each team was also mining or building nuclear weapons and refineries as ways to also earn points
The competition allows UCSB to prepare the “cyber cops” of tomorrow, Vigna said, noting the need for more computer security engineers to prevent hacking sensitive information.
No one from UCSB has ever won the hacking contest before — usually Russian and German teams fare well — but the competition does wonders to raise awareness for the university’s security program, Vigna said.
“It’s just for the glory,” he said.
Suspect Pleads Not Guilty to Arson, Attempted Murder
The man accused of starting a fire at Santa Maria’s Town Center Hotel earlier this year pleaded not guilty Friday to arson and attempted-murder charges.
Amos Lee Andrews, 57, of Santa Maria has been charged with attempted murder, arson of an inhabited structure with use of accelerant, residential burglary and two additional counts of arson for setting fire in two separate dumpsters in a nearby area, Deputy District Attorney Brandon Jebens said.
Several people were injured in the fire, which was reported at the residential hotel at 215 N. Broadway shortly before 2:30 a.m. Oct. 12.
Some had to escape by ladders from the second floor and were hanging out the windows to escape the heavy smoke conditions inside, according to the Santa Maria Fire Department.
Seven people were taken to the hospital, and dozens of residents were displaced by the fire.
Jebens said some of the people living in the two-story portion of the building, which wasn’t as badly damaged, have moved back in.
Andrews was arraigned Friday in Santa Maria Superior Court and entered not-guilty pleas, Jebens said.
He remains in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail, and is due back in court Jan. 13.
SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning Holding Holiday Crafts Faire
On Saturday, Dec. 14 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., discover great handcrafted holiday gifts for friends and family at the SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning Holiday Crafts Faire at the Wake Campus at 300 N. Turnpike Road in Santa Barbara.
More than 50 CLL teachers and students will be selling artwork and crafts created in CLL classes. The Holiday Crafts Faire is free and open to the public.
“This year, gift something truly one-of-a-kind, while supporting your community,” said Andy Harper, executive director of SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning. “We are thrilled to welcome the public to be inspired by the crafts made by our CLL students and enjoy great music all day from teachers and students from our music classes.”
CLL e-gift cards will also be available at the Holiday Crafts Faire so you can give the gift of learning this holiday season.
The CLL information/registration office will be open during the Holiday Crafts Faire for anyone interested in enrolling in CLL winter 2014 classes, which begin Jan. 13. Classes start throughout the term.
Give the gift of learning. CLL gift cards available now. CLL e-gift cards for classes are a unique gift for the holidays and any occasion. Purchase online or at the SBCC Schott or SBCC Wake Campus Information/Registration office. Click here for more information.
— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing the SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning.
Proof of Citizenship No Longer Required for Santa Barbara Foundation Student Financial Aid
The Santa Barbara Foundation has announced that beginning in 2014, its student aid funds can be applied to the best qualified students from Santa Barbara County schools regardless of citizenship status.
As the single largest annual donor to the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara, the foundation expects to provide $1.6 million next year in the form of student aid and requests that citizenship status no longer be a criterion determining students’ continuation of higher education.
Provisions for undocumented youth wishing to obtain higher education have become a hot button political issue in many parts of the country.
The Dream Act (Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors) has been the center of much debate over the last year, as government officials determine the best pathways for providing residency status and clear education markers for immigrants. In making this announcement, the Santa Barbara Foundation is acknowledging the changing demographics of the county, while reiterating its commitment to developing the next generation of civic and corporate leaders to support future economic vitality.
“Our country is engaged in a global competition for a talented workforce that can handle the complexities of the industries that propel our economy,” said Ron Gallo, president and CEO of the Santa Barbara Foundation. “As is the case with every region in the United States, Santa Barbara County can not afford to not invest in all of its best and brightest.”
For the past 16 years, the Santa Barbara Foundation has awarded scholarships and loans to local students through the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. This collaboration ensures that millions of dollars are efficiently distributed to the students of Santa Barbara County for student aid. Going forward, the Scholarship Foundation may apply Santa Barbara Foundation funds to the most qualified students regardless of status, using their normal process of identifying the highest achievers throughout the county.
“The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara has been honored to partner with the Santa Barbara Foundation in the distribution of student aid awards since 1997,” said Colette Hadley, executive director of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. “This partnership allows students to apply to one foundation to access funds provided by both groups. Our goal is to inspire, encourage, and support Santa Barbara County students in their pursuit of college, graduate, and vocational education.”
According to CollegeBoard — a nonprofit membership organization committed to excellence and equity in education whose mission is to connect students to college success and opportunity — there are an estimated 65,000 undocumented students (children born abroad who are not United States citizens or legal residents) who graduate from United States high schools each year. These children are guaranteed an education in U.S. public schools through grade 12, but may face legal and financial barriers to higher education as undocumented students cannot legally receive federally funded student financial aid nor can they receive state financial aid in most states.
While there is no federal or state law that prohibits the admission of undocumented immigrants to U.S. colleges, public or private, institutional policies on admitting undocumented students vary. For example, an undocumented student admitted to an institution may be treated as a foreign student, and thus ineligible for state aid and the lower tuition charged to state residents. Understanding the financial barrier this policy creates, the Santa Barbara Foundation is creating opportunity through the ability to apply for student aid.
“The Santa Barbara Foundation takes as its core values compassion, excellence, and integrity,” Gallo said. “Investing in the best students throughout the county regardless of citizenship status will give these young men and women the opportunity to live a more successful life and to acquire the competencies and experiences to contribute to and lead their communities.”
— Jessica Tade is the communications and marketing manager for the Santa Barbara Foundation.
David Harsanyi: What Pope Francis Gets Wrong About Capitalism
Pope Francis' first apostolic exhortation, "Evangelii Gaudium" ("The Joy of the Gospel"), is a beautiful document and a joy to read. I'll leave its theological implications to those who live in the Roman Catholic Church. What's got many people praising the pope today, though, is not his plea for good works but rather his critique of capitalism.
You could always detect a pinch of socialistic seasoning in the church's theological stew. But in this case, the pope doesn't simply point out that the wealthy aren't doing enough to help alleviate poverty. He uses the recognizable rhetoric of the political left to accuse free market systems of generating and nurturing that poverty.
The pope condemns the "new tyranny" of "idolatry of money," reasonably arguing that economic systems should not be accepted with blind faith but also saying that "as long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world's problems or, for that matter, to any problems."
For starters, it's troubling that the pope fails to make any genuine distinction between Western poverty (terrible) and the poverty of the Third World (unimaginably terrible). But is it really true that "absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation" are the driving reasons for poverty and inequality? People in places such as Congo, Burundi and Mozambique live under corrupt authoritarian regimes where crippling poverty has a thousand fathers — none of them named capitalism. The people of Togo do not suffer in destitution because of some derivative scheme on Wall Street or the fallout from a tech IPO.
"While the earnings of a minority are growing exponentially," the pope goes on to say, "so, too, is the gap separating the majority from the prosperity enjoyed by those happy few."
In truth, global inequality has been dropping for years. The World Bank estimates that global poverty was halved from 1990 to 2010. In fact, according to the World Bank, the United Nations' "millennium development goal" of cutting world poverty in half by 2015 came in five years ahead of schedule, despite a major global recession. The decline in poverty coincides, not coincidentally, with developing nations embracing more market-based systems.
Moreover, the pope falls into the trap of conflating inequality and poverty. Some countries enjoy income parity because most citizens are rich, and others do so because most citizens are poor. Put it this way: Egypt, Pakistan and Mongolia all enjoy more economic equality than the United States. The gross domestic product per capita here is $49,800. In Argentina, the pope's homeland, a place where wealth is more fairly distributed, it's $18,200.
Now, no reasonable person believes that any economic system is a cure-all. But how many reasonable people argue that market-based economies — and the underlying morality that drives them — haven't done more to alleviate poverty worldwide than any other system? For the most part, in fact, the more unfettered a nation's economic system is the more prosperous the population becomes and, consequently, the more it spends on charity and safety net programs. When we match up the Heritage Foundation's Index of Economic Freedom with the World Bank's measure of per capita income, we find that the countries with the most unencumbered systems and the most financial "speculation" usually have the least amount of poverty.
Rather than credit those who do their best to balance this imperfect system that lifts millions out of impoverishment, the pope attacks them for the prevalence of imaginary economic Darwinists who callously keep equality from blooming. "Consequently," these people "reject the right of states, charged with vigilance for the common good, to exercise any form of control," Pope Francis contends.
Any form of control? Really? The Federal Register in this country regularly comes in at more than 60,000 pages. Or, to put it another way, it's longer than all 46 books of the Old Testament, the 27 books of the New Testament and every gospel the Council of Nicaea decided to toss, combined. And the United States, a place teeming with these economic Darwinists, also happens to be one of the most charitable places on the planet — even before we begin counting per capita spending on safety nets.
— David Harsanyi is a senior editor at The Federalist. Click here for more information, or click here to contact him, follow him on Twitter: @davidharsanyi, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.
Open House Listings: Dec. 7 and Dec. 8, 2013
Saturday, Dec. 7
Sunday, Dec. 8
Sansum Clinic Enrolling Patients in Trial Studying ‘Disappearing’ Heart Device
Physicians at Sansum Clinic are currently enrolling patients in the ABSORB III clinical trial.
ABSORB III is the first U.S. clinical trial to evaluate the potential benefits of the Absorb Bioresorbable Vascular Scaffold (BVS) in comparison to a medicated metallic heart stent, also called a drug eluting stent, in patients with coronary artery disease, the most common form of heart disease.
The Absorb BVS, made by global health-care company Abbott, is a small mesh tube that is designed to open a blocked heart vessel, restore blood flow to the heart and then dissolve into the blood vessel over time. The scaffold dissolves except for two pairs of tiny metallic markers, which help guide placement and remain in the artery to enable a physician to see where the device was placed.
Sansum Clinic cardiologists Dr. Joseph Aragon (principal investigator) and Dr. Michael Shenoda (sub-investigator) are among the first cardiologists in the Central Coast region enrolling patients into the ABSORB III clinical trial. The trial is being conducted at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Coronary artery disease is a leading cause of death for men and women in the United States. Patients with this disease can experience symptoms such as chest pain and shortness of breath when the demand for blood to the heart is more than the heart's ability to supply blood due to blockages in the vessels. These blockages are caused by the build-up of fat and cholesterol inside the vessel.
Since the 1970s, physicians have treated coronary artery disease patients with balloon angioplasty and metallic and drug eluting metallic stents, allowing many patients to avoid open heart surgery.
Unlike a metallic stent that remains permanently in the body, Absorb is referred to as a scaffold to indicate that it is a temporary structure. This Absorb BVS is made of polylactide, a naturally dissolvable material that is commonly used in medical implants such as dissolving sutures.
The ABSORB III clinical trial will enroll approximately 2,250 patients, the majority in the United States. The primary endpoint of the trial is target lesion failure, a combined measure of safety and efficacy, at one year compared to standard treatment. In addition, a subset of patients within the trial will be evaluated for novel endpoints such as vasomotion, a measure of how much natural motion returns to the vessel as Absorb dissolves into the arterial tissue.
Each year, about 785,000 Americans have their first heart attack. Another 470,000 who have already experienced one or more heart attacks will have another. Heart disease accounts for one of every six deaths that take place in the United States.
— Jill Fonte is the director of marketing for Sansum Clinic.
Marymount Students Earn Top Prizes in Holiday Parade Art Contest
In addition to raising spirit for upcoming sports, games and elective opportunities and reminding the community as a whole of upcoming campus events and activities, Marymount’s lower school morning assemblies are an opportunity for lower school students to demonstrate leadership and receive recognition. This past Monday’s assembly was especially exciting because art teacher Jessica House announced artists who have been recognized not only within the Marymount community, but by the larger Santa Barbara community as well.
The students were thrilled at the announcement that Marymount lower school students had won top prizes in the Holiday Parade Art Contest in which all Santa Barbara elementary schools participate.
"We feel so honored to be a part of an art project that invites reflection and thought," House told the community. "Over several weeks, Marymount's first- through fourth-grade art students explored the ideas of what the holidays truly celebrate, such as kindness, love, family, and the ways we share our joy with those we care about. We discussed families all over the world, many of whom have different religious traditions, but that also have so much in common with us through their love for friends, family and our natural environment.
"The artwork of the students shows images of their favorite holiday traditions that they have with their families, but their drawings additionally include religious imagery from other holiday celebrations to illustrate our spiritual and cultural commonalities. Keeping the theme 'Holidays in Paradise' in mind, art students created their own unique vision of winter wonderlands, tropical islands and nostalgic images of being at home with family.
"Thank you so much for creating such a thoughtful project. There is nothing more joyous than the artwork of children!"
This is the first time that both the Holiday Prince and the Fairy for the Downtown Holiday Parade were from the same school — Anna Lee Kustura and Emmett Mack. In addition to the two top prizes, House continued, “Ten runners-up were also selected. Maddox Henry, Bella Romasanta, Ella Robins, Jenna and Sadie Johnson, all Marymount lower school students, were chosen. In other words, out of the 12 slots the district has for the art contest, Marymount took seven!”
"Marymount’s art program is a cross-curriculum program that impacts student learning in exciting and creative ways,” said Andrew Wooden, head of school at Marymount. “Teachers of various disciplines frequently collaborate with art teacher Jessie House. In addition to dedicated art classes, history, English and the Kaleidoscope Program all have had creative art elements.”
A recent CAIS (California Association of Independent Schools) magazine article showcased Marymount’s uniquely collaborative art program.
“More important than anything for the students is the love of creating and expressing themselves in new ways,” House said. "The Holiday Parade on Dec. 6 is a great honor for our young artists, and a lot of the Marymount community will be there to celebrate their talent and creative spark.”
Without a doubt, the spark of the Marymount’s seven winners will help light all of Santa Barbara this holiday season.
Marymount is an independent coeducational school, junior kindergarten through eighth grade, on a picturesque 10-acre campus nestled on the Santa Barbara Riviera. For 75 years, Marymount has prepared young people for the academic challenges of high school and college, while laying the foundation for lifelong character, achievement and love of learning.
If you are interested in learning more about Marymount or scheduling a tour, please contact the Admission Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or 805.569.1811 x 131.
— Molly Seguel is the director of admission for Marymount of Santa Barbara.
Laurel Abbott: Santa Barbara Association of Realtors Receives ‘Water Hero Award’
This is the result of our recent re-landscaping of the front lawn at 1415 Chapala St. As is the case with many commercial buildings in Santa Barbara, the SBAOR building had a grass lawn in front. We had high water bills, and flooding in our basement during high rains that needed to be rectified.
With these ideas in mind, as well as some guidance from our Board of Directors and resident "green" guy Bob Hart, our association executive, we employed our affiliate Wilson Environmental Contracting to change our landscape.
We now have a Demonstration Garden for the community to see how landscaping can be beautiful and yet use less resources. We have a plethora of native, drought-tolerant plants thoughtfully planted for beauty as well as alternating blooming cycles, all of which will significantly cut our water consumption and use of fuel and fertilizer.
The changes have significantly and simply reduced flooding under the building by redirecting roof and landscape runoff away from the building toward a suitable area of the landscape where the water can infiltrate and deep irrigate the plants. We estimate that we have cut our landscaping water usage by 80 percent.
This evolution matches our ideals in reducing waste, beautifying our environment and creating a sustainable landscape for the future.
SBAOR is honored to join the ranks of The Towbes Group and Dennis Allen as previous recipients of this award. Thank you to my Board of Directors and Hart for having the vision to make this change and to the city for recognizing our efforts to reduce water usage and beautify our town.
— Laurel Abbott is a real estate agent with Berkshire Hathaway California Properties and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact her at email@example.com or 805.879.8050. The opinions expressed are her own.
Santa Barbara’s LEGOnardo Da Vincis Capture First Place at Robotics Tournament
The LEGOnardo Da Vincis, a group of six young robot enthusiasts from the Santa Barbara Homeschool Robotics Academy, competed in a FIRST Lego League robotics tournament held at Cal Lutheran University last Sunday.
The local Santa Barbara team achieved the highest score out of 26 teams participating in the event to capture the first-place robot performance award. The team’s robot, named “Mona Lisa,” also earned the LEGOnardo Da Vincis a robot design award at the competition.
At FIRST Lego League tournaments, each team is given three opportunities at the robot game table to operate their robot autonomously in a 2½-minute round.
The objective is to score as many points possible by executing the team’s distinct solution to predefined “missions.” Each team participating has designed, built, and programmed a unique robot from a LEGO Mindstorms kit. The teams typically use myriad sensors that rely on motor rotation, physical contact, reflected light or ultrasound to monitor and control the actions of their robots.
The Santa Barbara Homeschool Robotics Academy brings together kids ages 9 to 14 each year to participate in the annual FIRST Lego League challenge. The program creates an opportunity for kids to learn engineering principles, computer programming, strategic planning, problem solving, and team building in a hands-on, fun environment.
The tournaments offer an opportunity for the teams to compete, but also to share ideas on how different approaches to the robot design and programming are used to solve the mission challenges. Although the robots are all assembled from a standard LEGO Mindstorms kit, the rules allow for any piece of LEGO to be used in the robot design.
As a result, out of all the teams competing at the Cal Lutheran Tournament, no two robots looked alike, and the strategy used by each team to accomplish the missions was unique.
The team’s performance at the Cal Lutheran tournament qualified them to advance to the Los Angeles Regional Championship to be held Dec. 14-15 in Torrance.
Click here for more information on the Santa Barbara HomeSchool Robotics Academy and the LEGOnardo DaVincis.
— Craig Christenson represents the Santa Barbara Homeschool Robotics Academy.
Santa Barbara Running Co. Hosting Ugly Holiday Sweater Fun Run
Santa Barbara Running Co. is set to host its first Ugly Holiday Sweater Fun Run from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21 in downtown Santa Barbara.
The free event is open to all ages and all abilities beginning at 2 p.m. from its store at 110 Anacapa St. Participants wearing their best ugly Christmas sweater or holiday costume will also enjoy 20 percent off the entire store as well as raffle prizes.
Since opening its doors in 2003, the family-operated running and athletic store has become home to the county’s vibrant running community. It now also operates a second location at the Fairview Shopping Center in Goleta as well as the Kid’s Corner within its Funk Zone store.
“We’re excited to host this fun event to celebrate not only a wonderful 2013, but our 10-year anniversary in Santa Barbara,” Santa Barbara Running owner Monica DeVreese said. “I can’t wait to see the sweaters and costumes that our energetic running community pulls out of their closets!”
The event will include post fun-run snacks and drinks.
— Monica DeVreese is the owner of Santa Barbara Running Co.
Bill Macfadyen: Locally, Paul Walker Known for Good Deeds, Not Need for Speed
Police shooting, a strange attempted murder and suicide, UCSB's meningitis outbreak and a bridge fall round out NoozWeek's Top 5, but first: Want a job?
Noozhawk is hiring! We have an immediate opening for an online media consultant for sales, marketing and business development.
Ours is an incredible and exciting story to sell, and you'd be hard-pressed to find other circumstances involving such explosive growth in traffic. We also have a terrific group of loyal and long-standing clients, with boundless opportunity to expand our customer base and a host of new and improved products slated for 2014.
Click here for more information, or to apply online.
• • •
What were you reading on Noozhawk this week?
Paul Walker died the way he lived — at least, in his movies: Fast & Furious. The 40-year-old actor and Santa Barbara resident was killed in a fiery car crash Nov. 30 in Santa Clarita, where he had gone for a charity event on behalf of his nonprofit organization, Reach Out Worldwide.
Walker was a passenger in a Porsche Carrera GT driven by a friend when authorities say the speeding car slammed into a light pole and burst into flames. Both men were killed instantly, officials say.
But the daredevil movie franchise that made him famous was just one aspect of Walker's life, and many of the locals who knew him as a low-key Mesa guy say he was more defined by his involvement with charity work.
Homeless activist Ken Williams credited Walker and his business partner, Brandon Birtell, with caring for and assisting those less fortunate. Walker was a featured guest at a 2009 Casa Esperanza benefit for the premier of Birtell's documentary, Shelter.
"My condolences to his friends and family," John Goerke posted on the Facebook page of the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, where Walker was an honorary member. "I met him at the SB Marina a couple times. He really was a nice down to Earth guy. He enjoyed just being a good neighbor."
Walker is survived by his 15-year-old daughter, Meadow.
A San Diego man was shot by law-enforcement officers the night of Dec. 4 after he allegedly tried to ram a California Highway Patrol car on Patterson Avenue a few blocks south of Cathedral Oaks Road, authorities say. The shooting is under investigation.
Santa Barbara County sheriff's Sgt. Mark Williams said a deputy and a CHP officer were trying to stop a pickup truck that reportedly had been driving the wrong way on Patterson near Calle Real. The two officers spotted the truck near Agana Drive around 8 p.m. but the driver apparently failed to pull over.
Goleta Police Chief Butch Arnoldi told Noozhawk that the driver “attempted to flee and to ram a CHP car, and shots were fired” by the officers.
The suspect, identified as Weldon Patterson Fewell, 52, was hit by the gunfire and transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition, Williams said.
He said Fewell has been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon — his vehicle — on a peace officer.
There were no other injuries in the incident, authorities say.
Both the CHP and Sheriff's Department will be conducting investigations.
What started out as cryptic police scanner traffic about a possible dead body along Highway 101 in western Goleta took a wrong turn into Crazy Town on Dec. 2.
Our Tom Bolton had been trying to confirm details of the reported body found along the freeway early that morning, but the odd response raised more questions than answers. After pressing authorities, he soon learned there was a whole lot more to the story.
Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover later revealed that the body was that of Thomas Hutchison Jr., and that the 66-year-old man had leaped to his death from the Cathedral Oaks Road overpass near Winchester Canyon about 4:15 a.m.
That was just the ending, however. About 15 minutes earlier, Hutchison reportedly broke into the house of his business partner and stabbed him while he slept, Hoover said.
She said the victim, Rubel Trevino, 56, told authorities that he was able to wriggle away from Hutchison during the attack, whereupon Hutchison ran to his car and sped from the scene in the 600 block of Mayrum Street near San Marcos High School.
As deputies converged on Hutchison's neighborhood in western Goleta, he was spotted on the overpass.
"When sheriff’s deputies arrived to make contact with the subject, he jumped from the overpass and landed below on the shoulder of the northbound 101 freeway," Hoover said.
Hutchison was pronounced dead at the scene. Trevino was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he underwent surgery and was recovering from his injuries.
The two men — and a third — were partners in a Goleta company called About the Children LLC, which describes itself on its website as a "parental advocate group" that focuses on child support, custody and visitation, and divorce.
In July, Hutchison filed a complaint in Santa Barbara County Superior Court against Trevino and the third partner, Frederick Gallagher, claiming breach of contract and fraud. He asked for damages and dissolution of the company, but the case was dismissed by his attorney after settlement talks last month.
The four cases — all involving undergraduate students — were reported within a three-week period in November, including three in a week. Authorities say the fourth incident involves an 18-year-old male who was not at school when the disease was confirmed.
The UCSB Student Health Clinic has provided preventive antibiotics to more than 500 students who were identified as having close contact with the ill students.
Meanwhile, one of the victims — freshman lacrosse player Aaron Loy of Carlsbad — had to have both of his lower legs amputated to save his life. The teenager is recovering at the UC San Diego Medical Center, and his parents have been keeping family and friends updated on his condition via the CaringBridge website.
"Aaron is improving both physically and mentally," they said in a Dec. 3 post. "With his intubation tube out, his speech, strength and awareness improve incrementally each day. ... He is currently being nourished via hi-protein, vitamin-enriched tube-feeding, while he develops his taste/appetite for UCSD hospital cuisine — far different than his Habit burgers, Freebirds burritos and DG (De la Guerra) dining commons tendencies."
The family is encouraged by his progress.
"Aaron underwent a successful series of surgical procedures to repair his various skin and tissue wounds," his parents wrote. "The healing process is particularly complex ... Infection remains a dangerous foe. Doctors reported very favorable progress in his healing and were optimistic in his overall health and recovery."
Two funds have been established to help. Click here to make a tax-deductible contribution through HelpHopeLive, or mail a non-tax-deductible contribution to the Aaron Loy Recovery Fund, c/o Pacific Premier Bank, 781 Garden View Court, Suite 100, Encinitas 92024.
A fatal fall from the California Street overpass in Ventura forced the closure of northbound Highway 101 for several hours Dec. 3 as authorities investigated the apparent suicide. Thousands of Santa Barbara-bound commuters were ensnared in the resulting traffic jams.
According to California Highway Patrol Officer Steve Reid, a 23-year-old Ventura man apparently jumped from the bridge just after 3 a.m., landing in the northbound lanes, where he was struck by several vehicles. The man's identity has not been disclosed.
Click here for free suicide prevention resources that are available 24 hours a day.
• • •
• • •
There were 68,408 people who read Noozhawk this past week. If you value our unmatched breaking news and in-depth reporting on the issues that you care about, please support our experienced staff of professional journalists and help us continue to provide a vital forum for the community.
How can you help?
» Join our Hawks Club.
Checks can be snail-mailed to Noozhawk, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102.
» Display your Noozhawk pride with a 3-inch-square Noozhawk sticker. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Noozhawk Promotions, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102. The free stickers — as well as full-sized bumper stickers and pens — also are available at Noozhawk World Headquarters, 1327-A State St., by the historic Arlington Theatre.
Please note that personal contributions to Noozhawk are not deductible as charitable donations.
Thank you for your support.
— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.
Jackson Praises Progress Made Toward More Women in Top Jobs, But Says Work Remains
The UC Davis Graduate School of Management released on Friday its annual study of California Women Business Leaders. In response, state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, the author of Senate Concurrent Resolution 62, the first-in-the-nation resolution urging more women on corporate boards, released the following statement:
“I am pleased that UC Davis has again released this report, which shines an important spotlight on the presence of women in the boardroom and in high-level positions in California companies. I am also encouraged that the report used the standards for the number of women in corporate board seats established in my Senate Concurrent Resolution 62 as part of their ranking process.
“The good news is that California companies have made progress. The percentage of women in board seats and the highest-paid executive positions in California’s 400 largest publicly held corporations has increased over last year.
“But it clear we have so much more work still to do for women to achieve parity. Women hold just 10.9 percent of the top executive positions and boards seats. For every eight men that hold these same positions, there is only one woman. And only 12.3 percent of California’s largest public companies meet SCR 62’s goals for the number of women on their boards of directors.
“At the same time, I am delighted that companies like Deckers Outdoor Corp. in Goleta are leading the way and showing that the goals of SCR 62 are reasonable and achievable. For the last six years in row, Deckers Outdoor Corporation has been among the top 25 most gender diverse large public companies in California.
“California is an economic powerhouse, and we have an opportunity to take the lead on this. Studies consistently show that having women serve in the board room and in top leadership positions is not only good for women, it’s good for business and the economy.”
SCR 62, authored by Jackson and passed by the Legislature this year, encourages publicly held companies with corporate boards of nine or more to fill at least three of those seats with women within the next three years; for boards with five to eight seats to have a minimum of two women on its board; and boards with fewer than five director seats to have a minimum of one woman on its board.
The resolution, believed to be the first of its kind in the nation, while encouraging these goals, is non-binding.
According to the study, Deckers Outdoor Corp. has three women on its nine-member board, and one woman among its five highest-paid executives.
A copy of the UC Davis report is available by clicking here. A copy of SCR 62 is available by clicking here.
Jackson represents the 19th Senate District, which includes all of Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County. She is vice-chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, a bipartisan group of female legislators who advocate on behalf of women, children and families in California.
— Lisa Gardiner is the communications director for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.
Los Padres Seeks Public Comments on Proposed Recreation Fee Changes
Los Padres National Forest officials are seeking public comments on proposed changes to the Ballinger, Mount Pinos, Figueroa Mountain, Goldhill, Santa Ynez, Pozo/La Panza and Rose Valley standard amenity recreation fee areas.
The forest is proposing to substantially reduce the size of the Santa Ynez area, eliminate the remaining six SAF areas and establish special recreation permit fees in two locations. These proposed changes would result in more than 40,000 acres becoming available to the public free of charge.
In June 2011, the U.S. Forest Service conducted a national review of the 97 SAF areas on National Forest System lands. As a result of the review, the Forest Service plans to eliminate the SAF area designation for 73 recreation areas and reduce the size for the remaining 24 nationally.
The proposed changes for the seven Los Padres National Forest SAF areas are consistent with the results of the national review. Consistent with direction on implementation of the national fee area review, the Los Padres National Forest has not been issuing notices of required fees or enforcing recreation fees outside of the sites and reduced areas listed below.
Comments on the proposed changes must be submitted by Jan. 6, to be considered by a citizen’s advisory committee, known as the California Recreation Resource Advisory Committee. Comments may be submitted to the attention of Tamara Wilton, Pacific Southwest Region, 1323 Club Drive, Vallejo, CA 94592, or email@example.com.
The public is welcome to attend and comment at all R-RAC meetings. The next R-RAC meeting is planned for Jan. 15-16. More information about the R-RAC and upcoming meeting can be found by clicking here.
The Adventure Pass and the America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass would be accepted as payment for recreation fees at the following sites and areas: Santa Ynez SAF Area, White Rock Day Use Area, Aliso Trailhead, Lower Oso Day Use Area, Red Rock Day Use Area, Live Oak Day Use Area, Piedra Blanca Trailhead, Cumbre Day Use Area, First Crossing Day Use Area, Upper Oso Trailhead, Falls Day Use Area, Sandstone Day Use Area, Red Rock Trailhead, Pino Alto Picnic Area, Figueroa Lookout Day Use Area, Rose Valley Campground, Middle Lion Campground, Kings Campground/OHV Staging Area, Goldhill Camping Area, Ballinger Campground/OHV Staging Area, Davy Brown Campground, Nira Campground (including Upper Manzana Trailhead), Figueroa Campground, Pozo/La Panza (Off Highway Vehicle SRP) and Mount Pinos (Winter Recreation SRP).
These recreation sites and areas are free: Upper Rose Valley Lake Day Use Area, Lower Rose Valley Day Use Area, Howard Creek Trailhead, Catway Day Use Area, Davy Brown Trailhead, La Jolla/Ballard Trailhead, McKinley Trailhead, Lower Manzana Trailhead, Munch Canyon Trailhead, Pino Alto Interpretive Trail, Sunset Valley Trailhead, White Rock Trailhead and Willow Springs Trailhead.
Recreation fee revenue is used for operation, maintenance and future enhancements of recreation sites. More information about recreation fees and the Los Padres National Forest Recreation Fee Program can be found in the forest’s Annual Fee Program Accomplishment Reports by clicking here.
For more information about this recreation fee proposal, please contact Wilton at 707.562.8965 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Further information about this proposal can also be found on the forest’s website by clicking here.
— Andrew Madsen represents Los Padres National Forest.
Captain’s Log: Critters That Crawl Out of the Beach Sand and Crunch Underfoot
It feels a bit eerie to have critters crunching underfoot while walking along the beach. If you walk or run where the waves wash up and splash a little water as you go along, it is pretty common to step on one or perhaps many sand crabs.
These little critters spend much of their time digging down into the sand, to hide and to feed. Wave action, as waves recede and take sand with them, uncovers sand crabs and rolls them along with the water until they have a chance to dig vigorously and get back down into the sand.
Stu, a good customer at Hook, Line & Sinker fishing center in Santa Barbara, talked about the encounter while surf fishing. He said, “Some days lately, when I’m wading out in ankle deep water, I can actually feel sand crabs crunch underfoot, especially when a wave ebbs and removes the sand from over their heads.”
Stu is a knowledgeable surf fisher who knows the value of reaching down, scooping a handful out of the sand and sifting through them to find a soft-shelled sand crab and putting it on the hook for bait. Doing so can result in an instant hookup with a big barred surf perch or maybe a tasty corbina.
Sand crabs are hardy and plentiful. They serve in an important capacity in the food chain in that they eat stuff we don’t worry much about and they are eaten by things we care a great deal about. That is an essential position in the food chain and one that warrants careful monitoring.
They are kinda cool little critters, once you get used to them and the feeling of them in your hand. They range in size from about the size of the fingernail on your pinky finger on up to the size of your great toe.
So the next time you are playing, walking or jogging along the beach, right at the water’s edge, think about what is crunching under your feet. Reach down as a wave recedes and scoop some out of the sand to take a looksee. If you stop and watch some in action, you’ll see that they are really great at getting back down under the sand. They are fast little guys!
— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.
Aide to Rep. Lois Capps Arrested for Alleged DUI in Injury Hit-and-Run
Veteran faces felony charges in a crash that left Mallory Rae Dies hospitalized in critical condition
An aide to Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, was charged with felony DUI and hit-and-run early Friday in an incident that left a 27-year-old Santa Barbara woman hospitalized in critical condition.
Raymond Victor Morua, 32, of Santa Barbara, was arrested by Santa Barbara police officers following the crash, which occurred shortly after midnight in the 500 block of Anacapa Street, where the victim was crossing the street, Sgt. Riley Harwood said.
Late Friday afternoon, Harwood confirmed the victim's identity as Mallory Rae Dies.
Details on her condition were not available, Harwood said, but a CaringBridge web page has been set up for her, and has been providing regular updates.
The collision occurred after Morua had left a downtown party hosted by the Santa Barbara Independent, where he reported he had been drinking, Harwood said.
Morua, a prominent local veteran, is a district representative for Capps and an advocate for veterans issues.
“I am truly heartbroken at the news of this tragic event,” Capps said in a statement issued Friday. “My heart goes out to the victim and her family and friends in this trying time, and my prayers are with them.
"It would be inappropriate for me to comment further on this legal matter and I have complete trust in our local authorities.”
Marianne Partridge, editor-in-chief and co-founder of the Independent, also commented on the incident.
"We're terribly saddened to hear this and our thoughts are with the woman's family," she said.
Partridge confirmed that the Independent had hosted a party at The Savoy nightclub until 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, but said the event had ended long before Morua reportedly left the venue at 409 State St.
She also stated that the newspaper's party had included a no-host bar.
Morua allegedly was driving a red Dodge Caliber, and was leaving the holiday party at The Savoy, Harwood said.
Dies was walking east across Anacapa when she was hit, Harwood said. Although she was not in the marked crosswalk, he said she was crossing legally because of the positioning of the street's signalized traffic lights.
Harwood said Morua was traveling southbound "at a high rate of speed" in the right lane of the one-way street when he struck Dies, knocking her to the ground.
She sustained "significant head trauma" after hitting the pavement, he said.
Dies was taken by ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where she was being treated for life-threatening injuries.
Immediately after the collision, Harwood said, the driver of the vehicle stopped, looked at the pedestrian from his car, and then fled the scene.
He said witnesses followed the car two blocks to where Anacapa Street dead-ends at Highway 101, where the driver stopped.
Harwood said witnesses tried to convince the man to return to the scene of collision, but he "shook his head" and drove away.
Morua allegedly turned onto East Gutierrez Street and then turned south on State Street, driving under the freeway to Cabrillo Boulevard.
"At the intersection of State and Cabrillo, he tried to turn westbound at a high rate of speed and subsequently collided with a palm tree," Harwood said.
Harwood said Morua was found to be intoxicated, and provided a breath sample that showed a blood-alcohol content of .17, more than twice the legal limit at which a driver is presumed to be drunk.
Morua also provided a blood sample, the results of which were not yet available.
He was arrested for felony DUI, felony hit and run, as well as a second DUI charge, a misdemeanor, because he crashed with the palm tree, Harwood said.
Morua was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail, with bail set at $100,000, but Harwood said police are asking that the bail be increased to $250,000.
According to Sheriff's Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover, Morua remained in custody Friday afternoon.
Dies works as a bartender at Tonic Nightclub, 634 State St., and owner Asaf Dimant provided this statement to Noozhawk on Friday night:
"Tonic Nightclub will be closed tonight, Friday, Dec. 6, so that our staff, managers and owners can support a key team and family member who was hit by a car late last night and is currently in critical condition and fighting for her life in a hospital bed.
"We hope you can help us by keeping her in your thoughts and in your heart, and send your hopes and prayers for her recovery.
"We apologize for the late notice and hope you understand. We will be open tomorrow night at 8 p.m. for our annual Winter Wonderland White Party.
"We hope that tonight you take a second, hug and kiss those closest to you, and remember how fragile our lives are, and how short our time on this earth can be."
Gratitude, Giving Back Focus of Marymount Grandparents Day
Marymount of Santa Barbara's Grandparents Day event is a beloved tradition that takes place a few days before Thanksgiving every year. The focus of this year’s event was the importance of gratitude and of giving back to one’s community. It also highlighted the importance of recognizing what all of us as human beings — regardless of background — have in common.
This year's Grandparents Day was particularly well attended, poignant and packed with activity. Representatives from different religions — Rabbi Suzy Stone from Congregation B'nai B'rith, Father Charles Talley from St. Barbara Parish, Old Mission, and Sister Pravrajika Bhavaprana from the Vedanta Temple of Montecito — gave Thanksgiving blessings and talked about the importance of remembering those in need in our community.
The role that grandparents play in children's lives and gratitude for the gift of a strong educational foundation proved a moving theme when Grandparents Day leaders Ed and Sue Birch, who have had grandchildren at Marymount for the past 14 years, addressed the gathered Marymount community.
The theme of gratitude was also articulately and movingly discussed by this year's Distinguished Alumni Award recipient and Marymount lifer, Ryan Emmons.
Emmons spent nine years at Marymount before graduating in 2004. In his talk, Emmons thanked Marymount for his ability to follow his dreams and for kindling his entrepreneurial spirit. He thanked several of his teachers for inspiring him at a young age. Several of these teachers were in the audience and still teach at the school.
He also discussed his goal of having his work benefit others. This dual sense of purpose showed early in Emmons when he designed a board game called Santa Barbaraopoly along with several of his high school classmates at Laguna Blanca. The game raised close to $20,000 for Hurricane Katrina victims, and Emmons received a United Way Community Hero Award for the project.
Emmons went on to attend USC’s Marshall School of Business as a Rath Scholar. While there, his curiosity was sparked on the subject of business and complexities of water. Emmons’ curiosity further moved him to embark on a three-year feasibility analysis and concept development at the Lloyd Greif Center for Entrepreneurial Studies.
After graduating early from USC, Emmons and co-founder Matt Meyer started working full-time on a concept that was to become the Waiakea Hawaiian Volcanic Water company. Today, Emmons and Meyer are the youngest executives in the history of the lucrative bottled water industry, and seem to have found a meaningful niche.
They have found a niche in several ways. Not only is the company based on a healthy, sustainable and ethical platform using Hawaii’s natural filtration system to produce one of the most alkaline and electrolyte rich waters in the world, but Waiakea was one of the first bottled waters to be certified CarbonNeutral for a combination of eco-initiatives, including use of 100 percent RPET bottles. Its participation in regional reforestation projects and its sustainable sourcing through the Kea’au aquifer that has a discharge of 1.4 billion gallons/day.
Also important for Emmons was figuring out how this entrepreneurial effort would benefit others. Waiakea accomplishes this thorough a strategic partnership with Pump Aid that ensures that for every liter of Waiakea purchased, Waiakea donates 650 liters of clean water to those in need in Africa and other locations around the world. At last count, Waiakea has donated more than 125 million liters of water.
In operation for 17 months, Waiakea is still a young company, but it is already distributed in seven states and is expecting national distribution. The company’s mission — to provide healthy, sustainable, delicious Hawaiian volcanic water with as little impact as possible, while contributing to and promoting clean water access to people in need throughout the world — is one that Marymount celebrated and applauded at the pre-Thanksgiving event.
Marymount’s Grandparents Day and Emmons’ talk were an inspirational reminders of the importance of gratitude, of giving back to one’s community and of the importance of recognizing what all of us as humans have in common. People left the event reminded that something as simple as clean drinking water is a gift, and inspired by the idea that creativity, ingenuity and gratitude can be channeled into accomplishing things that will make the world a better place.
If you are interested in learning more about Marymount or scheduling a tour, please contact the Admission Office at email@example.com or 805.569.1811 x 131.
— Molly Seguel is the director of admission for Marymount of Santa Barbara.
Cinema in Focus: ‘The Book Thief’
3 Stars — Thought-provoking
Death narrates the tale of The Book Thief. Hearing death (Roger Allam) describe the mortality of human life, yet the haunting dignity in which humans live this life adds a fascinating level of transcendence. Written by award-winning author Markus Zusak and adapted for the screen by Michael Petroni, director Brian Percival (Downton Abbey) brings the tale to life.
Set in Germany during World War II, the central character is Liesel (Sophie Nelisse). Liesel is a young teen whose mother (Heike Makatsc) came into difficulty when the Nazi regime deemed her a Communist. Taking her children from her, Liesel's younger brother (Julian Lehmann) dies in the transition.
The government places Liesel, alone and grieving, in the care of Hans (Geoffrey Rush) and Rosa (Emily Watson), who need the stipend her placement provides. What they do not realize is the unique place Liesel will have in their hearts. She will also have the admiration and friendship of a young blond boy who lives next door named Rudy (Nico Liersch).
Perhaps due to Hans and Rosa's Christian faith and certainly due to their loving hearts, they soon find themselves struggling with the Nazi Party's racist and nationalistic policies. Requiring Liesel to study in a state school that includes the party's indoctrinations, they are all placed in danger when Liesel courageously rebels by stealing a book the Nazi Party has tried to destroy.
Her journey from illiteracy to becoming a gifted author is made possible through the two most important men in her life: her new father Hans, who teaches her to read, and her new tutor, who becomes a member of the family through the dangerous decision Hans and Rosa make to take in and hide a young Jewish man who is fleeing for his life. Their decision to allow Max (Ben Schnetzer) to hide in their basement is due in part to a promise Hans had made to Max's father when he saved his life during World War I. But it is clear that this is only the initial reason for their sacrificial act. Hans, Rosa and Liesel all come to feel their moral obligation to protect Max from the horror that has taken over their nation.
We won't tell any more of the story except to note the moral and theological messages within the film. The moral message is obvious. When a nation begins to profile and imprison a racial minority, its citizens must not stand aside, either due to fear or indifference. Similarly, the theological message expressed by death is the assertion that all die and no one lives forever. Though true at the biological level, there is more to human existence than our momentary biological lives.
As people of faith, we believe that we live beyond death. This is not only a hope that changes life now, but also defines the type of people we need to be to live beyond death. Describing Hans as having the soul of a child, the message is clear that he has discovered how to live and that his innocence and joy that helped others live more fully in this life will continue to be his experience in the life to come.
Though we cannot imagine the world ever tolerating another evil like the Nazi Party, the message of death in this film is that humans are capable of both great good and great evil. That choice to do good or evil not only defines who we are but also how we impact others in this life and the life to come.
» It is difficult to imagine being in the situation where your own government commits genocide on your neighbors. What would you do? How far would you go to save the lives of your neighbors?
» The loving infatuation that Rudy has for Liesel becomes a source of true joy in her life. Why do you think love is so important in a place where it is being extinguished?
» The author of the novel on which the film was based had a parent who immigrated from Germany to Australia soon after the war. Do you think this familial involvement in the situation described in the novel helped you understand the experience of those who lived through the war? What did you understand after viewing this film that you had not known before?
— Cinema in Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is a former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is pastor of Free Methodist Church, 1435 Cliff Drive. For more reviews, visit www.cinemainfocus.com, or follow them on Twitter: @CinemaInFocus. The opinions expressed are their own.
Quire of Voyces Opens 20th Season with Christmas Concert, New CD
Quire of Voyces, Santa Barbara’s esteemed vocal ensemble, launches its 20th anniversary season with their popular Mysteries of Christmas Concert, displaying the group’s luminous blend of Renaissance and contemporary sacred music on seasonal themes, and the release of a new CD, Christmas with the Quire of Voyces, a gorgeous gift box of choral Christmas ornaments, crafted over four years from its ever-changing repertoire.
Mysteries of Christmas, a Santa Barbara holiday tradition, will be performed in the resonant acoustic and serene setting of St. Anthony’s Sanctuary at the Garden Street Academy. Lovely a cappella melodies ranging from 16th century composer William Byrd to a first-time performance of a new work by composer-in-residence Michael Eglin will make this concert a perfect way to embrace the peace and joy of the season.
Christmas with the Quire of Voyces is a shimmering collection of 16 songs gleaned from its repertoire of the past five years. The melodies range from early 20th century English beauties to plaintive Appalachian Christmas folksongs movingly rendered for our distinctive blend of voices by Eglin. Christmas with the Quire of Voyces is available at Chaucer’s bookstore and online at CDBaby.
Mysteries of Christmas performances will be Saturday, Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 22 at 3 p.m. at the newly, more accessible St. Anthony’s Sanctuary on the Garden Street Academy campus located at 2300 Garden St. in Santa Barbara. Tickets are available at the door or at SBCC’s Garvin Theater Box Office at 805.965.5935.
The Quire of Voyces is a nonprofit, volunteer professional ensemble that is associated with SBCC. Directed by Nathan Kreitzer, the Quire is dedicated to performing the finest of sacred a cappella music from the Renaissance to the present for our Santa Barbara audiences. The Quire of Voyces has toured Europe on four occasions, and in 2010, its tour to Italy included a performance at high mass in St. Peters.
For further information, email David Hodges at firstname.lastname@example.org.
— David Hodges represents the Quire of Voyces.
Highway 154 Open Again After Fatal Accident
Emergency crews thought there initially might have been hazardous-materials contamination
A woman was killed early Friday in a single-vehicle accident that shut down Highway 154 for several hours, and prompted a hazardous-materials response, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
The wreck occurred at about 5:30 a.m. on the highway between San Antonio Creek Road and Windy Gap, fire Capt. David Sadecki said. The victim, who was headed up the pass, was fatally injured when her vehicle rolled over for unknown reasons.
Initial crews arriving on scene found evidence that the vehicle may have been contaminated with hazardous materials, Sadecki said.
Precautions were taken, and haz-mat crews from both the county and the city of Santa Barbara were called in, he said.
It eventually was determined that there were no hazardous materials, Sadeki said.
The victim, identified Monday as Keri Dee Savala of Santa Barbara, was declared dead at the scene.
Highway 154 remained shut down more than three hours after the crash, but was reopened shortly before 9 a.m..
Two Students Arrested in Santa Barbara Home Invasion
Two 19-year-old men are facing a variety of felony charges stemming from a home invasion that occurred last week, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.
Tobias Seth Minehan of Carpinteria and Ryan Timm Larson of Santa Barbara were booked into Santa Barbara County Jail, with bail set at $100,000 each, said Sgt. Riley Harwood.
The alleged attack occurred Nov. 26, when Minehan and Larson, armed with a replica Uzi, went to an apartment on the 100 block of Oceano Avenue to beat up one of the victims for having a relationship with Minehan's ex-girlfriend, Harwood said.
Four people were at the apartment — two 19-year-old roommates, the 19-year-old girlfriend of one of them, and a 21-year-old neighbor.
"They stated that during the incident, one of the 19-year-old male victims was beaten repeatedly by the unmasked perpetrator while the other male victims were held at bay by the masked gunman and the female victim remained locked in a bedroom," Harwood said. "They said they did not immediately report the incident to the police because they were fearful of retaliation by the suspects."
Three of the four victims reported the crime the next day, while the fourth had left town.
"The victim whom Minehan sought to batter was asleep in his bedroom," Harwood said. "Minehan entered that victim’s room and repeatedly punched him on the head while clenching a roll of quarters wrapped in duct tape to increase the severity of the blows.
"The victim woke from the assault and fought back, ultimately arming himself with a metal exercise bar and chasing Minehan out of the bedroom.
"When he followed Minehan out of the room, however, he was confronted by Larson who pointed the replica gun at him, threatened to kill him, and ordered him to return to his room."
Minehan and Larson eventually fled the scene.
The victim who was battered sustained bruises, cuts, and abrasions to his head, arms, and torso as a result of the attack, Harwood said.
Investigation determined that Minehan and Larson were the suspects in the case.
Larson was arrested Tuesday in class at Santa Barbara City College, while Minehan, who had returned to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, turned himself in on Wednesday, Harwood said.
Minehan was charged with burglary, false imprisonment, intimidating a witness by force or threat of violence, conspiracy, and assault with a deadly weapon.
Larson was charged with burglary, false imprisonment, intimidating a witness by force or threat of violence, conspiracy, and brandishing a replica firearm.
Following Larson’s arrest, officers located the ski mask and replica Uzi submachine gun used in the incident at his residence, Harwood said.
Atlas V Rocket Carries Top-Secret Satellite from Vandenberg
Late-night launch boosts payload into space for National Reconnaissance Office
An Atlas V rocket carrying a top-secret satellite roared into space late Thursday night from Vandenberg Air Force Base.
The towering rocket put on a fiery show as it cut through the cold night sky, and could be seen and heard throughout much of Santa Barbara County.
Earlier in the day, launch forecasters indicated the chilly weather gripping the Central Coast could force a scrub of the launch, but by late afternoon they were saying the chances looked good.
At 20 minutes prior to scheduled blastoff, officials had ruled out weather as a possible impediment to launch.
The launch was the eighth by United Launch Alliance for the National Reconnaissance Office, and the fifth from Vandenberg.
"This was our eleventh launch for 2013 and I couldn't be more proud of this team of professionals," said Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander. "This new capability represents our commitment to enhanced competitive launch services in support of national defense."
The Atlas V launched Thursday night was 192-feet tall, and weighed some 76,000 pounds. I develops 860,000 pounds of thrust at liftoff.
In addition to the National Reconnaissance payload, the rocket also delivered 12 small CubeSats into orbits for a vareity of clients.
Larry Crandell the Life of the Birthday Party as Seniors Celebrate 90-Plus Years
Honored guests share a few jokes and reveal their secrets to longevity at a well-attended event hosted by the City of Santa Barbara
The first thing that came to Larry Crandell’s mind when the 90-year-old was handed a microphone Thursday afternoon was a question.
“Are there any single ladies in here?” Crandell said, immediately enveloping the dining hall of the Carrillo Recreation Center in laughter.
The longtime Santa Barbaran looked out over a crowd of more than 200 during the annual birthday party for Santa Barbara residents 90 years or older.
He spotted a raised hand.
“Will you marry me?” Crandell said, smiling and sending his fellow seniors into another chuckling fit.
So the jokes went Thursday as Crandell played to his audience during the 24th 90+ Birthday Party, hosted by the City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department and sponsored by HUB International, the PARC Foundation and a host of others.
Crandell has long emceed and helped organize the event, although this year he was able to join the exclusive club by turning 90 — a reason he was recognized Thursday as a special honoree.
Crandell and about 100 others from what organizers were calling the “greatest generation” gathered for a collective birthday party, complete with free lunch, birthday cake, live music and even some sing-alongs.
Thursday’s soiree was the largest one the city has thrown since at least 2007, when the event was temporarily put on hiatus because of budget constraints.
“This population is exploding,” said Jason Bryan, senior recreation adviser. “It is encouraging. It’s great to bring people of this exceptional experience together. You have to keep engaged in the community.”
Crandell set out to discover how old everyone was by asking certain ages to raise their hands or stand.
“We have something in common,” he said to a 96-year-old man who couldn’t quite understand his questions. “I can’t hear either.”
Crandell publicly interviewed different members of the “90+ Club,” sitting down first with Crispina Briones Irabon, a longtime Santa Barbara resident who actually turned 97 on Thursday.
Two of Briones Irabon’s five children accompanied her to the party, describing their mother as a former teacher who leaned on her faith for support and never sweat the small stuff.
Between jokes, Crandell asked seniors to share the secrets to their longevity.
“Eat and sleep on time,” Briones Irabon said.
Other old-timers said genes had something to do with aging, as well as people's habits.
“Scotch and water at 4 o’clock,” a 92-year-old man offered.
No matter the secret, Crandell happily said he hoped to see everyone back and healthy again next year.
Deceased Stabbing Suspect Had Business Dispute with Victim
The stabbing suspect who killed himself by jumping from a Highway 101 overpass in western Goleta earlier this week had been involved in a business dispute with his victim, according to Santa Barbara Superior Court records.
Thomas Hutchison Jr., 66, leaped from the Cathedral Oaks Road overpass about 4:15 a.m. Monday, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
About 15 minutes earlier, deputies responded to the 600 block of Mayrum Street and found Rubel Trevino, 56, who had been stabbed multiple times, Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said.
Trevino told deputies that his business partner, Hutchison, had broken into his residence, attacked him while he was sleeping, then fled the scene, Hoover said.
A short time later, deputies responded to the report of someone attempting to jump from the freeway overpass. When they arrived to make contact with the man, he leaped to the road below and was pronounced dead at the scene, Hoover said.
Hutchison, Trevino and Frederick Gallagher, another local man, were all partners in a limited liability company called About the Children, according to court records.
Hutchison filed a complaint in Superior Court against his two partners in July, claiming breach of contract and fraud. He asked for damages and dissolution of the company, but the case was dismissed by his attorney in November after settlement talks.
Hutchison alleged that the three men had signed a partnership agreement in February 2009, and another in December 2009, which included the clause: “Financial, corporate, legal decisions made by either three or at least two members of About the Children LLC.”
The agreements stated that all three men would equally own the company, yet this clause meant two could make major decisions, his complaint argued.
Trevino and Gallagher excluded Hutchison from management, an equal share of the profits and blocked him out of all records and accounts, the complaint alleges.
Hutchison’s home was used as the business’s office for 14 months and he contributed $3,000 as startup money, according to the complaint.
The complaint was filed in July and the attorneys started discussing a settlement in October, according to court records.
In November, Hutchison’s attorney filed a request for dismissal of the lawsuit.
BizHawk: Lilly’s Taqueria Opens Goleta Location
Velo Pro Cyclery to consolidate store space, downtown Marshalls building is sold and SurfMedia Communications hires Flannery Hill
[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 email@example.com.]
Popular demand has prompted Lilly’s Taqueria in downtown Santa Barbara to open a second location, in Goleta.
Locals can now get their taco fix in the second space at 290-D Storke Road, near the Kmart shopping center.
The restaurant was set to open Friday with the same menu and service, according to general manager Cesar Sepulveda.
Sepulveda’s parents and restaurant owners, Jose and Sonia Sepulveda, opened the first Lilly’s Tagueria at 310 Chapala St. nine years ago, and have always hoped to expand, he said.
“We have a lot of Goleta clients, and they kept on asking,” Cesar Sepulveda told Noozhawk. “We’re very thankful for all the support.”
Velo Pro Cyclery to Consolidate Store Space
Velo Pro Cyclery plans to pare down its downtown Santa Barbara location by the end of January, consolidating its business into one storefront that’s close to — and no longer on — the corner of State and Ortega streets.
The bicycle shop at 633 State St. is hosting its biggest sale in 30 years in order to resize stock for a smaller space, according to general manager Gregg Hirsch.
Velo Pro’s location at 5887 Hollister Ave. in Goleta will not be affected.
Velo Pro Cyclery, which was founded by Daryl Abrams, moved into the Trailhead space about 10 years ago and will move out to remain financial afloat.
“We want to be here a lot longer,” Hirsch said.
Marshalls Downtown Building Sold
One of downtown Santa Barbara’s most recognizable buildings, the Marshalls building formerly occupied by Borders Books, recently sold to an out-of-state investor for a little less than $14.3 million in cash in an off-market sale.
Austin Herlihy and Steve Brown of Radius Commercial Real Estate & Investments represented the buyer, 900 State Street Associates LLC, which is owned by an investor with strong local ties.
The sale of the building at 900 State St. marks the largest sale of retail property in downtown Santa Barbara in several years, according to Radius.
Marshalls holds a long-term lease through 2015, with multiple options.
SurfMedia Hires Flannery Hill
SurfMedia Communications has hired Flannery Hill as a new public relations account executive.
Prior to joining SurfMedia Communications, Flannery interned with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s public relations team. She also worked for the German Academic Exchange Service, interned for Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s Health and Corporate Communications team and wrote web editorials for Time Out New York magazine.
Night Out Plans Ugly Sweater Event
Night Out is asking each guest for a donation to the Toys for Tots Foundation and the Unity Shoppe of Santa Barbara to help spread the message of hope to disadvantaged children. For every new toy brought in at check-in, Night Out will give an extra drink ticket to use at any participating location during the event (limit two per person).
The Ugly Sweater Crawl will be next Saturday, and attendees must sport an ugly sweater, with a special prize awarded for the ugliest at the after party.
Presale tickets are available for $20 (regularly $25 or $30 at the door) and can be purchased online by clicking here.
Assemblyman Williams Remembers Nelson Mandela as ‘Man of Courage’
Assemblyman Das Williams respectfully requests that people take a moment to remember the works of former South African President and anti-apartheid activist Nelson Mandela, who died Thursday at 95.
“Nelson Mandela was a man of courage, vision and unparalleled strength,” Williams said. “He stood up for what was righteous and changed lives in South Africa and around the world.”
Williams worked for Mandela’s African National Congress in South Africa during the country’s first Democratic elections.
“I was inspired by the power of his grassroots activism and his ability to build communities,” Williams said. “An icon of human rights activism has passed, but his inspiring acts will live forever.”
Mandela fought to end apartheid in South Africa. He was sentenced to life in prison after he was charged with conspiracy to overthrow the state. He spent 27 years in prison. He was elected the country’s first black president in 1994.
— Josh Molina is the communications director for Assemblyman Das Williams.
Carpinteria-Summerland Firefighters Sue District, Chief Over Safety Concerns, Labor Practices
Three firefighters filed a lawsuit last week against the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District and its chief, claiming that they were retaliated against for pointing out safety violations that endangered themselves and potentially added cost to taxpayers.
Firefighters Christopher Blair, Han Domini and Michael Hayek brought the suit against their employer as well as Chief Michael Mingee, who is also named as a defendant on the suit.
The complaint was filed Nov. 27 in Santa Barbara Superior Court. The plaintiffs are being represented by Jonathan and Jennifer Miller of Nye, Peabody, Stirling, Hale and Miller LLP.
The three men claim that they were subject to retaliation by the district and its chief, and one claims he was wrongfully terminated.
Each of the men, described in the complaint as "firefighters with long-standing exemplary careers," are alleging labor violations and asking for a jury trial.
The complaint begins by stating that the men "discovered numerous health and safety violations by the district and raised several workplace safety concerns."
Among their concerns was the district not providing proper equipment to firefighters, failing to implement and uphold physical fitness programs, and failing to allow the firefighters to submit forms documenting that they had been exposed to hazardous materials, the complaint states.
The complaint also states that the district failed to follow the "two in and two out" rule when fighting fires and failing to provide proper fire and safety training, resulting in unsafe working conditions, the men said, as well as jeopardizing fire prevention and suppression in the community.
Chief Michael Mingee told Noozhawk on Thursday that he couldn't comment on the case, and Ben Miller, the district's board president, had no comment other than stating that "the district and the fire chief are defending against the plaintiffs' allegations."
The complaint from the firefighters states that when they tried to raise concerns, they were disregarded and retaliated against.
The complaint states that Blair had been appointed to oversee health and safety issues for the district after he was hired in 2012 and had supervised Domini and Hayek, the other two plaintiffs, who also served on the district's health and safety committee.
Blair discovered that the district was not complying with health and safety regulations, which could result in Cal-OSHA fines and a lower Insurance Services Organization rating, potentially increasing taxpayer costs, the court documents stated.
One example listed was after firefighters fought a fire on Nov. 9, 2012, in which they were exposed to hazardous materials. The three plaintiffs filled out a hazardous materials exposure forms, which are required by law, but which Mingee allegedly refused to sign and accept.
Ultimately, an audit was done by the insurance organization that affirmed that the health and safety concerns the men had raised were valid, the complaint states.
"As a result of the district and Chief Mingee's failure to address these concerns, the ISO downgraded the district, which resulted in higher insurance costs to the district and to taxpayers," according to the complaint.
The health and safety committee the plaintiffs served on was also responsible for overusing individual firefighter's levels of fitness, and the complaint states that when Mingee found out the assessments were going on, he put a stop to them.
One of the assessments identified that one of the district employees "did not have the sufficient physical capability to complete the test," which Blair reported to Mingee, who "refused to act on those findings and provide additional physical training."
That employee was injured a few weeks later, the complaint said, after which "Mingee then requested a letter to be drafted absolving him of liability."
Mingee also allegedly refused to comply with the "two in, two out rule" because he did not want to go out on rescue calls, the paperwork states.
The chief refused "because he was not capable of passing the required physical fitness assessment test. It was for this reason that Chief Mingee also objected to the physical fitness assessment program."
The complaint states that within days of the firefighters raising concerns, Mingee "personally manipulated" the promotional test results of Domini to deny him a promotion to an engineering position.
When Blair confronted the chief about the results, "he was immediately terminated with explanation."
Mingee also allegedly circulated a picture of a snake wearing a firefighter helmet with the words "bad attitude" to other management and claimed the picture was representative of Hayek.
Hayek claimed that when he applied for a promotion, "he was denied the necessary materials required to test for the promotion."
Mingee "routinely referred to the plaintiffs as 'the cancer'" and suggested that those who raise health and safety concerned need to be managed out of the department, the complaint said.
Joe Conason: Why Republicans Can’t Address Rising Inequality
So far, the Republican response to President Barack Obama's historic address on economic inequality has not veered from the predictable cliches of Tea Party rhetoric. It was appropriately summarized in a tweet from House Speaker John Boehner, complaining that the Democrat in the White House wants "more government rather than more freedom," ignoring his challenge to Republicans to present solutions of their own.
But for Republicans to promote real remedies — the kind that would require more than 140 characters of text — they first would have to believe inequality is a real problem. And there is no evidence they do, despite fitful attempts by GOP leaders on Capitol Hill to display their "empathy" for the struggling, shrinking middle class.
Back when Occupy Wall Street briefly shook up the national conversation, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Budget Committee chairman Paul Ryan both professed concern over the nation's growing disparities of wealth and income. But their promises of proof that they care — and more importantly, of policy proposals to address what Cantor admits are "big challenges" — simply never materialized.
Meanwhile, working Americans learned what rich Republicans say in private about these sensitive topics when the "47 percent" video surfaced the following summer, in the final months of the 2012 presidential campaign. In Mitt Romney's unguarded remarks to an audience of super-wealthy Florida financiers, the contempt for anyone who has benefited from public programs (other than banking bailouts) was palpable. Whether that sorry episode turned the election is arguable, but the GOP brand has never recovered — and the perception that Republicans like Romney and Ryan are hostile to the interests of working people remains indelible.
Of course, the House Republicans have done nothing to diminish that impression and everything to reinforce it. They have set about cutting food stamps, killing extended unemployment benefits and rejecting Medicaid expansion, as if competing in demonstrations of callous indifference. They complain about the lack of jobs — so long as they can blame Obama — but undermine every program designed to relieve the suffering of the jobless.
Callous or not, they are certainly indifferent to the injuries of inequality. In a party consumed by right-wing ideology and market idolatry, the further enrichment of the super-rich at the expense of everyone else is a feature of capitalism, not a bug. Whenever they bray about "getting government out of the way," they mean removing the last defenses against that process.
With Pope Francis and Obama — a pair of the world's most powerful voices — warning against the dangers of social exclusion and excessive greed, we can expect to hear expressions of remorse, as well as rage, from all the usual right-wing suspects. But what we shouldn't expect is honesty. Republicans know worsening inequality disturbs the great majority of Americans, so they cannot confess that they aren't troubled at all.
Congress could begin to address the income gap, which conservative policies have exacerbated for three decades. Raising the minimum wage significantly would be a first step toward restoring fairness. Rebuilding the nation's infrastructure and school systems, rather than letting them continuously decay, would substantially raise employment and improve incomes. Removing obstacles to unionization would begin to level the gross disparities in economic power between the 1 percent and the rest of us.
Now the president has vowed to fight inequality for the rest of his days in office. He is taking that fight directly to the Republicans, who have frustrated so many of his initiatives. He will have to cast aside the last illusions of bipartisanship.
No matter what he says or does, he won't not be able to win a higher minimum wage, serious jobs program or universal pre-school with the other party controlling Congress. But if he consistently challenges us — and his adversaries — to restore an American dream that includes everyone, he may yet fashion a legacy worthy of his transformative ambitions.
Outdoors Q&A: Serving a Charity Dinner with Donated Game
Q: An organization I belong to wants to do a benefit event with donated fish and game meals prepared for the homeless and the hungry. I know that waterfowl regulations are set by the federal government, but wonder if it may be possible to accept donated wild ducks and geese and turn them into a meal for a few hundred.
It would be a one-day event to draw attention to a local shelter and help boost the image of us hunter types as charitable people who help to conserve our resources. At some point, someone is going to be over their possession limit to make this happen. Obviously, we won’t charge for the event, and our organization often leaves a generous donation to the facility, but I always thought there was a possession problem. Whaddaya think? (Scott L.)
A: Yes, an event like this can be done. A designated person may receive and possess game birds and mammals from multiple donors to give to or prepare for a charitable organization or charitable entity (under Fish and Game Code, section 3080) as long as they have:
» 1) Copies of the hunting licenses and validated tags for the species possessed. They must be issued for the current or immediate past license year and signed and dated by the donor confirming the donation.
» 2) The charitable organizations or charitable entities receiving and distributing game birds or mammals for charitable or humane purposes, must maintain the documentation described above for one year from the date of disposal.
Fishing License for Collecting Seaweed?
Q: Is a fishing license required to collect seaweed? (Jane S., Monterey)
A: A fishing license is not required to take seaweed but there is a daily bag limit of 10 pounds wet weight in the aggregate. There are three prohibited species that may not be cut or disturbed: eel grass (Zostera), surf grass (Phyllospadix) and sea palm (Postelsia).
Legal Shoot Time
Q: If you are sitting in your duck blind waiting for legal shooting time, and you have a shotgun loaded and ready to go (in other words shells in the magazine and chamber), can you be cited for hunting before legal shooting time? Some say yes since you’re loaded up and ready to go, so you are technically “hunting” (even if you have the shotgun sitting in the corner of the blind and never touch it until the legal shoot time). Others say it’s legal because you aren’t shooting … so as long as you don’t fire the gun, you’re good. Who’s right? (Eric M.)
A: As long as you make no attempt to take a duck, there is no violation for loading your gun as you wait for legal shooting time. However, having a live round in the chamber while you are waiting is not advised for safety reasons.
Q: How do I go about reporting my annual abalone harvest take? I just want to find out where I should go on the website to report my abalone harvest. Otherwise, do I have to mail the original in by mail? Please advise. (Richard S.)
A: You have two options. You can either report your abalone harvest date online by clicking here, or you can mail your completed Abalone Report Cards to: California Department of Fish & Wildlife, 32330 N. Harbor Drive, Fort Bragg, CA 95437.
Cards or card data must be submitted to the California Department of Fish & Wildlife, even if the card holder did not take or even try to take abalone. All card data provides information necessary for annual take estimates.
Fishing for Sturgeon
Q: When sturgeon fishing, is it true we cannot use sinkers on leaders or steel leaders? I don’t find these laws stated in the regulations booklet, so are they true? (Mon S., Stockton)
A: When fishing for sturgeon, only one single barbless hook may be used on a line (see California Code of Regulations Title 14, sections 5.80 and 27.90). The use of sinkers or steel leaders while fishing for sturgeon is not prohibited in most waters, but the use of any hook that is attached closer than 18 inches to any weight exceeding one half ounce is prohibited (CCR Title 14, section 2.10(b)(2)). (Exception: Sacramento River from Keswick Dam to the Highway 162 Bridge, no wire leaders may be used and no sturgeon may be taken.)
Bio-Inspired Research Expands at UCSB with $48 Million Army Funding Renewal
UC Santa Barbara’s Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies has received an extension of its contract with the U.S. Army Research Laboratory-Army Research Office, providing an additional $48 million over three years to support research that is inspired by biological systems.
The continuation in ICB funding speaks to the success of a decade of fundamental research in the areas of biotechnology, chemistry, engineering, physics, materials science, computer science, neuroscience and medicine.
“This award extends the ICB contract forward, supporting dozens of existing projects and opening doors for several exciting, new projects,” said Frank Doyle, director of the ICB. “It is noteworthy that the Army continues to invest in the groundbreaking research conducted by the ICB, even in this time of uncertainty in federal funding.”
Established in 2003, the ICB has received over $118 million in funding from the Army during the past decade for bio-inspired research conducted at UC Santa Barbara, Caltech and MIT, often in collaboration with researchers from Army and industry laboratories. Over the past five years, the ICB has conducted an annual average of 50 research projects, produced more than 500 publications, and supported hundreds of graduate students who earned their doctoral and master’s degrees.
“The common mission of the ICB is to use inspiration from biological systems to solve these basic challenges: How are materials designed in natural systems? How do organisms solve difficult networking problems? How are biological organisms made more resilient?” said Scott Grafton, ICB associate director.
The ICB supports basic research in six themes that, while stemming from very diverse disciplines, are inspired by examples in nature such as the structure of sea sponges, the intricacy of a moth’s eye, the adhesion of gecko feet, and the locomotive abilities of bipedal mammals (humans). These themes range from understanding complex biological systems on a cellular level, to engineering synthetic materials inspired by natural models.
“The unclassified research made possible by the ICB is 20 years ahead of its time and enables technological advances that will benefit society in many different ways,” said David Gay, ICB director of technology. “Over the past decade, funding from the Army has resulted in bio-inspired research results that have opened doors for applications in materials, biotechnology, sensors, network science and cognitive neuroscience.”
For example, ICB researchers are working to understand how enzymes produced by plant fungi work on a molecular level. This basic research will enable them to engineer synthetic enzymes that can break down plant biomass for efficient biofuel production. An ICB study of the microscopic structure and properties of the gecko’s feet has led to reversible adhesion technology that can support weight while also offering an easy mechanism for release.
In biomedical applications, researchers have developed a molecular sensor that can detect drug concentrations in vivo — which could lead to real-time measurement of the dosage and effectiveness of therapeutic drugs. By closely examining the design of mussel cuticles, ICB researchers are developing synthetic polymer materials with remarkable properties of both elasticity and toughness.
“The Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies is the kind of collaborative research environment at UC Santa Barbara that allows faculty to amplify the impact of their research across broad frontiers of science, engineering, and technology,” said Rod Alferness, dean of UCSB’s College of Engineering. “We look forward to continuing our productive partnership with the Army Research Laboratory and our academic and industry partners.”
“UC Santa Barbara continues to be on the forefront of research that is changing the world and I am pleased the Army has chosen to continue its partnership,” said Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on the contract extension. “This contract extension will allow researchers at UC Santa Barbara and other world class universities to focus their resources on areas critical to the Army’s mission and this research will help our military remain at the forefront of innovation and biotechnologies.”
San Diego Man Shot By Officers Arrested on Assault Charges
The alleged wrong-way driver who was shot by law enforcement officers Wednesday night has been identified as Weldon Patterson Fewell of San Diego, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
Fewell, 52, was in stable condition at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, and has been arrested for assault with a deadly weapon – the vehicle – on a peace officer, Sgt. Mark Williams said Thursday afternoon.
The incident unfolded shortly before 8 p.m. Wednesday, when the California Highway Patrol issued a be-on-the-lookout alert for a red pickup truck after a motorist was seen driving the wrong way on Patterson Avenue near Calle Real, according to authorities.
A sheriff’s deputy and CHP officer located a vehicle matching the description, and tried to make a traffic stop on Patterson Avenue at Agana Drive, officials said.
It’s unclear how the incident escalated, Lt. Kelly Moore said Wednesday night, but several shots were fired at the vehicle.
Fewell was transported to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, and no deputies or officers were injured in the incident.
Lt. Butch Arnoldi, Goleta’s police chief, told Noozhawk that the driver “attempted to flee and to ram a CHP car, and shots were fired” by both CHP officers and sheriff’s deputies.
Investigators cordoned off part of Agana Drive late into the night and searched a residence’s front yard for spent rounds or other evidence related to the incident.
Both the CHP and Sheriff's Department will be conducting investigations.
Each agency has its own procedures to follow for officer-involved shootings, but the investigations will be conducted simultaneously, Moore said.