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Winifred Lender: Tips for Helping a Friend Who’s Feeling Down

By | Published on 09/23/2014

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Think of the times you received bad news about a friend. For example, you may have heard that your good friend from college was diagnosed with an illness, or your best friend from elementary school lost her husband. Likewise, you may have been told that a work colleague is suffering from severe depression, or a new friend is experiencing a tough financial crisis. While the gravity of the news and the relationship you have with the person affected differ, you will probably experience some degree of feeling sad, angry or even guilty when confronting each of these situations.

After having an emotional response, you may quickly turn to thinking about how to help the friend. In fact, often the first thing out of our mouths when we hear bad news is to ask what we can do to assist the person who is ailing. Most of us have a natural desire to help others, and helping can make us feel more empowered when confronting a situation that we may have little power over.

While the desire to help may be strong, it is often hard to know how to help. We may question what help to give, when to offer the help and how much to persist if our offer of help is not initially accepted. We may feel we are navigating a difficult tightrope of trying to offer support, without offending or invading the privacy of the friend.

At the same time, we need to keep in check our own emotions as we offer help to the affected one and manage our feelings of potential rejection or vulnerability if our help is not accepted. Indeed, offering help to those in need is a balancing act. We need to balance our desire to help against the affected person’s willingness to accept the help, while keeping our own emotions in line.

While it is often difficult to achieve the right balance when offering help, the ability to help a friend in need can pay dividends to the affected person. In addition, through the act of helping we can achieve a sense of purpose and control. Indeed, the research shows that helping others is closely linked to personal happiness and better physical and emotional health (click here or click here).

While each situation will be different, some general guidelines for offering help to friends in need can be a useful guide. Considering these tips as you offer help to others will support you in making a difference.

» Be patient. Realize that it takes time for people to heal. Even though you may want to speed up their recovery, it will progress on their timetable, not yours. If a friend isn’t ready for help at one point, check back in with her after some time to see if she may now be ready.

» Listen. Focus on really listening to your friend. Try to hear what they are saying without putting any of your own judgments on their words or message.

» Avoid giving advice, unless you are directly asked for it. While it is often tempting to try to “fix” the problem, giving unsolicited advice can feel overwhelming, patronizing or insensitive to your friend.

» Be present. Be mindful of being present for your friend. Focus on the present of being with them and not the past or the future.

» Know your friend. Remember to be sensitive to who your friend is when you offer help. If your friend has always been an introvert, inviting her out to a party to “cheer” her up would not likely be helpful for your friend. However, inviting your friend, who loves to go for walks, out for a walk, might be a very supportive gesture.

» Take the friend’s lead. Be sensitive to your friend’s needs and wants. Look to them for cues about how to help. For example, if your friend complains about feeling overwhelmed with daily chores, your offer to prepare a meal for her family, could be very helpful.

» Do not personalize the friend’s response. If your friends reject your offers of help, do not personalize this. Your friend may be progressing through a grieving process and may be rejecting all offers of help. Likewise, realize that irritability or anger on the part of your friend is probably not directed at you, but rather is being expressed at you because you are a safe target.

» Offer empathy, only if you can. If you can show that you understand your friend’s feeling because you experienced a similar situation, do so. If you have not had a similar experience, do not try to offer empathy, as this will be received as patronizing or insensitive. For example, telling a friend with a serious disease that you know what it feel like because you just got over the flu, will not be received as an empathetic gesture.  However, sharing with a friend that you can relate to their diagnosis as you too had a serious diagnosis 10 years ago would likely be seen as empathetic and helpful.

» Provide sympathy. Sympathy is the ability to express sadness for someone. Being able to tell someone that you don’t know what he is experiencing, yet feel very badly for him can be an important message to send.

» Be aware of your own emotions. Be certain to check in with your own feelings as you offer help to a friend in need. Seeing someone we care for experience a difficult time can trigger our own emotions. Be aware that you may not only feel sad for your friend but could also feel angry and guilty.

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

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Santa Barbara Council Approves Moving Forward with Desalination Plant Reactivation

By | Published on 09/23/2014

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The city will solicit bids then decide in April whether to award a contract to update and operate the facility, which would help meet demand for water

Getting the city's desalination facility up and running was the focus of discussion Tuesday among Santa Barbara City Council members, who ultimately voted to move ahead and ask for bids for companies to update and operate the facility.

The Charles E. Meyer Desalination Facility was completed in 1992 and placed in long-term standby mode in 1994.

In the meantime, key pieces of the reverse osmosis system were sold, some of the permits have expired, and the system's pipes and infrastructure must be updated and tested.

The state is entering its fourth year of drought, and the city is looking for ways to increase the water available to its residents.

As water becomes more scarce, conservation efforts have increased.

Santa Barbara residents are using about 100 gallons per capita per day, while the statewide average is more than twice that, according to Rebecca Bjork, the city's public works director.

Acting water resources manager Joshua Haggmark said the public has responded well to calls for reduction, and city residents pumped out a 25 percent reduction of water use in August.

The city is planning ahead, however, and operation of the desalination plant would play an important role in helping meet demand in 2016. It becomes very critical in 2017 to meet the water needs of the city.

The facility's pipes need to be tested, the reverse osmosis membranes need to be replaced and the filter feed station at 420 Quinientos St. would also need to be tested and updated.

Tom Secord of Carollo Engineers, which is evaluating the reactivation of the plant, said that seawater would be pumped in the ocean intake pipe from about 2,500 feet off of East Beach, in water about 30 feet deep, and transported to the desalination plant at 525 Yanonali St.

During the desalination process, the brine is separated from the water and pumped back into the ocean.

There is concern about bottom-dwelling organisms that are sensitive to heavy brine, so the dilution will have to happen before the brine is discharged back into the ocean, Secord said.

The capital cost for reactivating the plant is estimated at $32.4 million, and the plant could initially pump out 3,125 acre feet of water per year. The facility would increase capacity to 7,500 acre feet of water by 2017, and operating costs would amount to $5 million a year.

Producing water through desalination is expensive, amounting to $1,700 per acre foot of water.

The costs would add up to about $20 per single family residence per month, which would still have the city's water rates lower than its neighboring districts in Goleta and Montecito, Haggmark said.

Dudek environmental consultant Joe Monaco said the plant was originally fully permitted in the 1990s, but a new coastal development permit for repair and maintenance would be required to start it up again. A discharge permit, for the brine discharged into the ocean, would also need to be renewed.

The council unanimously agreed to move forward with reactivation plans and issue a request for proposals, asking for bids to design, build and operate the facility. 

The city will send out a request for proposals in November and the chosen contractor would operate the facility for five years after the design and build stages. In April, the City Council will decide whether to award a contract for the job. 

The city is looking at contractors now, including "companies from all over the world," Haggmark said.  

During public comment, several environmental groups called on the city to do more research on approaches that would limit mortality of marine life in the ocean water intake pipe.  

They said a sub-surface intake pipe buried underneath the sand could protect marine life better than an open ocean pipe with a screen, and the council voted to consider the alternative in 2016.  

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

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$3.4 Million Raised in Campaign for New Santa Barbara Children’s Library

By | Published on 09/23/2014

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Another $2.2 million is needed to create a state-of-the-art library space on the bottom floor of the downtown branch

The fundraising campaign for creating a state-of-the-art children's library at the downtown Santa Barbara branch has raised $3.4 million, officials announced Tuesday.

"If there was ever a community that would have a first-class children's library it would be Santa Barbara, and we do not," said Peter MacDougall, the Santa Barbara Children's Library Honorary Committee co-chair. "A first-class children's library is what is needed in Santa Barbara."

More than 50 people gathered Tuesday at the site of the future children's library to announce the next stage of the capital campaign.

Library officials say they need another $2.2 million to complete the project at 40 E. Anapamu St., the Santa Barbara Central Library. 

MacDougall said he is confident the community will come together to raise the money.

"This is a special community in so many ways," MacDougall said. "I feel so privileged to live here. The reason it is so special is because we all work together. Santa Barbara has to have a children's library that we can be proud of, that will make a difference in children's lives."

Officials plan to transform the bottom floor of the downtown branch into the new library.

They say the current section of the downtown library designated for kids has outgrown its space. The new space for children would more than quadruple, from 1,500 square feet to 6,300 square feet. 

Plans also call for "technology hubs" with computers, parent-friendly spaces, an area for performances and story time, and safety upgrades.

The lowest level of the Santa Barbara Central Library will be transformed into a children's library. (Giana Magnoli / Noozhawk file photo)

The library wants to feature popular materials and market them more like a bookstore, not in traditional library style.

Construction will also include modifications to the stairwell between floors, the addition of an elevator, reorganization of staff offices, and a new study room on the upper level.

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider said she could still recall her childhood trips to the library to acquaint herself with literary characters such as Beezus and Ramona and Charlotte and Wilbur.

"When you are in the library you can go anywhere in the world and to any place and time to explore," Schneider said. "The library is a welcoming, inclusive place for all."

Schneider praised the public-private partnership between the Library Foundation, donors and the City of Santa Barbara to help fund the project.

Schneider at one point pointed to an 8-month-old child in the audience, Abigail, noting that the library will be there for her one day.

"By the time she's ready to not be eating the pages, this place will be ready for her," Schneider said.

The current children's library area was designed in 1979. Library officials said in the past two years the library has experienced a circulation growth of 26 percent and a 57 percent surge in the children's summer reading program.

Tuesday's event kicked off with Taj Paszkeicz, a child who read thousands of pages over the summer, talking about his love of libraries.

"The library is very fun, and I get to enjoy it every week," he said. 

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

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Retired Racing Greyhound Beats Cancer with Help of Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group

By | Published on 09/23/2014

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This past February at the Solvang Greyhound Festival, Stella, an 8-year-old purebred greyhound, was clocked at 26 miles per hour and awarded the title of “Fastest Streaker,” beating out more than 130 other dogs.

This happy day was all the more remarkable because Stella was in the middle of her chemotherapy treatment to battle B-cell lymphoma under the care of Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group’s director of oncology, Dr. Lori Cesario.

In her younger days, Stella ran 50 "professional" races at the track in Tucson, Ariz. After retiring in 2009, she was adopted from Homestretch Greyhound Rescue and Adoption in Fillmore by one of their volunteers, Dianne Seno. The most current chapter of Stella’s life began in December 2013 when a mass was discovered in her spleen.

On Dec. 18, 2013, Stella’s spleen was removed by board-certified VMSG surgeon Dr. Mary Dulisch. Follow-up treatment included six chemotherapy treatments in three-week intervals. At the conclusion of the chemo, Stella was in complete remission. This Aug. 5, she returned to VMSG for her three-month post-chemo checkup and the ultrasound indicated no evidence of metastasis/recurrence of the lymphoma. Stella remains in remission.

“I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to all the doctors and the support staff at VMSG who took such good care of Stella,” Seno said. “Their combined medical expertise, their professionalism and compassion, made all the difference for me and for Stella during a very trying time.”

“Stella is a remarkable dog with a dedicated 'parent' in Dianne, and are thrilled that her treatment has been so successful,” Dr. Cesario said. “At VMSG, we understand that when a four-legged family member is given a diagnosis of cancer, it can be one of the most difficult times in our clients’ life. That is why we are dedicated to developing a tailored treatment plan for each individual patient and family. It is about quality of life for patient’s living with cancer."

VMSG is a world-class veterinary specialty and 24/7/365 pet emergency hospital, specifically designed to enhance and strengthen the care provided by a pet's regular veterinarian. VMSG employs board-certified specialists; staff doctors with advanced training; highly qualified intern doctors, and accomplished paraprofessionals who support each other across various specialties to provide a comprehensive team approach for every patient case. VMSG is firmly rooted in four principles — quality, integrity, compassion and service — values that are incorporated into every aspect of the specialty and emergency hospital’s culture.

The Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group is located at 2199 Sperry Ave. in Ventura and can be reached at 805.339.2290. Click here for more information.

— Lynnette Coverly is a publicist representing Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group.

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Capps, Carbajal to Host Climate Change Resiliency Roundtable

By | Published on 09/23/2014

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On Wednesday, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal will host a roundtable with county and UCSB officials to discuss federal and local actions to address climate change resiliency.

The timing of the roundtable coincides with the United Nations Climate Summit currently taking place in New York.

Also attending the roundtable are David Lackie, Santa Barbara County interim deputy director of long-range planning, and Monique Myers, Jenny Dugan and John Melack, who are principal investigators for the Santa Barbara Area Coastal Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment.

“As hundreds of thousands of people assemble in New York City to urge action to respond to climate change, our local agencies are working hard to help build a more resilient Central Coast, leading efforts to assess vulnerabilities and prepare for climate change impacts as a community,” Capps said. “I look forward to hearing from local county and university officials on how they are working together to support climate preparedness, while also providing the group with an update on progress we’ve made at the national level.”

Earlier this year, President Barack Obama announced several actions to help states and communities prepare for the impacts of climate change by building smarter and developing more resilient infrastructure. Several of these actions and recommendations are included in Capps-authored legislation and letters and are the results of efforts by the President’s State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

Capps pushed for the formation of the Task Force, and Carbajal was appointed as a key member.

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

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Ron Fink: Take Time to Study Your Ballot and Vote; Your Choice Matters on Key Issues

By | Published on 09/23/2014

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In the June primary election, a pitiful 37 percent of registered voters in our county cast votes. Maybe it was because it isn’t a presidential election year, maybe it was because there wasn’t much exciting on the ballot, and maybe it’s just because nearly two-thirds of you were too lazy to quit texting and make a choice.

You have a chance to redeem yourself starting when absentee ballots are distributed and up to Tuesday, Nov. 4, and I challenge all of you to cast your vote for the issue or candidate of your choice. Your vote really does matter because most issues are decided based on a simple majority — that means that one vote could decide the issue, and it might be yours.

Who represents us in Congress is important.

If you don’t think that illegal aliens should be allowed free and unrestricted access to education, welfare, legal aid, school loans, medical care and a host of other “goodies” that our taxes pay for, then listen carefully to the candidate's message, and if the candidate is an incumbent, then look to his or her record — then make your choice.

If you think that people should have the water that was legally obtained for them instead of giving it to fish like the steelhead salmon that can’t possibly complete the natural cycle of regeneration (because they can’t get to the sea, or return to fresh water in a dry river bed) or be able to use a beach instead of giving it to a bird, then you need to make the right choice.

If you think the United States should maintain a position of strength in the world and use that power to maintain order and preserve human rights, or that the sacrifices of our brave soldiers, sailors and airmen should not be squandered, then you need to make the right choice.

If you think that expanding the national debt to nearly $18 trillion ($152,000 per taxpayer) isn’t wise, or that wasting billions of dollars on social programs that only exacerbate the desperation that low- or no-income families experience is bad policy, then you need to make the right choice.

On a local level, if you think it is bad policy to deny property owners a vested right to use their property, or you think that it is fiscally irresponsible to exclude an industry that provides millions of dollars of much-needed general fund income to regional and local governments, then you need to make the right choice.

The point is that there are many issues that you have a direct influence on. When you elect a representative to Congress, do you want someone who is beholding to a small minority of political/environmental activists whose only mission in life is to deny people the things they need to make their way through life, or do you want someone who would view the world through a broader aperture and consider the needs of the many?

And would you want to return a representative to Congress who has a long history of doing very little except quietly following the party line on every vote, no matter how harmful it was for his or her constituents?

One of those votes was for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare), which was supposed to create miracles and bring more than 20 million people into the health-care system. Well, according to press reports, there are still 20 million people who don’t have insurance, insurance premiums have risen dramatically and the whole government-run medical program has some serious cash flow problems. So, the ACA didn’t fix anything — it just made the problem worse.

We deserve better congressional leadership than this, and you need to make the right choice.

There are several measures on the ballot, and where you live will determine which ones you’ll get to vote on. Measure P, the anti-oil initiative, is on all Santa Barbara County ballots and is probably the most hotly contested issue. This is yet another poorly disguised attempt by the local anti-oil people to rid the county of all oil production.

The proponents of this measure are attempting to convince the public that there is a problem where none exists. The problem they portray is that our water table will somehow become contaminated if oil operations are allowed to continue. This is a gross misrepresentation of the 100-year history of oil operations in this county.

There have been no reports of any permanent contamination anywhere in this county after 10 decades of oil exploration. So, they are simply using a hypothetical “the sky is falling (or might fall)” strategy to make their case.

If you believe that the proponents of Measure P are purposely distorting history to try to convince you that there is a problem that needs immediate attention, then vote no on this measure.

Study the ballot carefully before Nov. 4, then vote!

— Ron Fink, a Lompoc resident since 1975, is retired from the aerospace industry and has been active with Lompoc municipal government commissions and committee since 1992, including 12 years on the Lompoc Planning Commission. He is also a voting member of the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association. Contact him at news@noozhawk.com. The opinions expressed are his own.

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World-Class Squash Match Comes to Santa Barbara

By | Published on 09/23/2014

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World-class professional squash came to Santa Barbara on Sunday when the world’s No. 5 ranked player, Amr Shabana, played an exhibition match against the former world-ranked No. 20, Shahier Razik, in front of an enthusiastic and cheering crowd of 200 people at the Santa Barbara Athletic Club.

Both players stopped in Santa Barbara on their way to a professional tournament in San Francisco, the NetSuite Open, which will be played on a portable, all-glass court set up outside at the Embarcadero at the foot of the Bay Bridge, from Sept. 24-30. With a purse of $70,000, it is one of the largest professional squash tournaments in the United States.

Sunday’s match — part serious squash, part Harlem Globetrotters-style fun — pitted Shabana and Razik against each other for the second time in Santa Barbara. Although Razik won last year’s match, Shabana won this year, 3-1.

Squash is a sport played with two racquets and a rubber ball inside a closed court. At the professional level, one point can last five minutes or more, making it a sport that demands powerful agility, strategy, talent, and mental and physical strength. According to the U.S. Squash website, more than 25 million people play squash in 175 countries. Forbes magazine has ranked it the No. 1 healthiest sport in the world.

Shabana and Razik grew up playing together in Egypt, but both now reside in Toronto. Along with a partner in Washington, D.C., they own a company called Squash Revolution, a sports marketing and management company that promotes all aspects of the game of squash, including tournament management and adult and junior camps.

Shabana, who is the No. 2 seed for the NetSuite tournament this weekend, is coming off a big win at the JP Morgan Tournament of Champions in New York last winter, played on an all-glass court set up in the middle of Grand Central Station. Shabana said playing the exhibition match in Santa Barbara helped him prepare for the tournament this weekend.

“It’s a very good testing ground for how you are moving,” he said. “But it’s good fun because you aren’t playing to defend your ranking.”

squash
Two professional squash players, Amr Shabana and Sharier Razik, worked with members of the Siegel family (all six of them!) to improve their squash game. Their family helped sponsor the exhibition match, and part of the proceeds benefitted the Santa Barbara School of Squash. (Julia Rodgers / Noozhawk photo)

After the match, adults and juniors participated in clinics with both pros. Razik, who now spends more time coaching than playing, said that bringing top-level squash to Santa Barbara was an important reason for his trip here.

“We’re here to promote and expose the game to the younger generation,” he said. “We are trying to inspire them because that’s how it was passed down to us. It’s key to have an event like this one to help motivate the junior players.”

“Watching them play makes me want to get to the next level so maybe one day I can play like they do,” said Dillon Miller, a freshman at Dos Pueblos High School who is ranked No. 61 nationwide for junior players under the age of 15. Although the junior program at the Santa Barbara Athletic Club is small, several of the players have earned high national rankings.

On the East Coast, Razik said, adults can barely get a court time or lesson because there are so many junior players. Parents push their children to earn national rankings because elite colleges, such as Harvard, Princeton and Yale, recruit top squash players for their teams, he said.

During a Q&A session after the match, the pros were asked what advice they would give junior players.

squash
Sponsors of the professional squash exhibition match on Sunday included families whose children play junior squash at the Santa Barbara Athletic Club. (Julia Rodgers / Noozhawk photo)

“You’ve got to stick with it — it takes time to get better. Think in terms of the long run,” said Razik, 36, who started playing when he was 8.

Shabana, 35, who started playing on the professional tour when he was just 15 years old, had similar advice.

“Have fun, and play as much as you can with your friends,” he said. But he also had good advice for the parents of junior players. “My mother was the national champion of Egypt, but she didn’t really care about the match results as much as my attitude on the court towards other players. Sportsmanship is where the parents need to focus.”

Razik went on to tell a funny story about his mother, who he had to ban from watching his matches when he was younger because he could hear her audible sighs and moans when he lost a point. His advice to parents? “Be balanced. Don’t be too pushy.”

Orla O’Doherty, the teaching professional at the Santa Barbara Athletic Club and former world-ranked No. 69, organized the exhibition match. Graham, the executive director of the Santa Barbara School of Squash and former world ranked No. 30 player, served as referee and added colorful commentary during the match, much to the delight of the audience.

Part of the proceeds from the event benefited the School of Squash, a local after-school program for low-income students that not only teaches the children how to play squash but also provides them with academic tutoring, service learning and mentoring opportunities.

Sponsors of the event included: Jonathan Siegel of Followup.cc, Augustine Painting and Kevin Yardi, among others. For more information about the Santa Barbara School of Squash, click here or contact Robert Graham at robert@sbsos.org.

— Julia Rodgers is a Noozhawk contributing writer and can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Chumash Select Development Team for Hotel, Casino Expansion Project

By | Published on 09/23/2014

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The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians announced it has approved the final environmental evaluation for its hotel and casino expansion project and has awarded contracts to Tutor Perini Building Corp., Delawie and Summit Project Management.

“We are pleased with the high-caliber team we put together for our project,” said Vincent Armenta, tribal chairman of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians. “Tutor Perini has established a strong reputation by executing large complex projects on time and within budget while adhering to strict quality control measures. Delawie has developed a particular expertise in tribal Native American hotel resorts and casinos, and brings proven expertise to every project they undertake. Summit has successfully provided owner’s representative and project management services to Native American clients since 2000.”

The scope of the work for the project includes construction of a hotel tower that will add 215 more rooms and include a 20,000-square-foot pool deck, a parking garage, expansion of the existing gaming floor and additional food and beverage venues.

“We’re considered one of the largest builders of casino hospitality work in the country and we’ve been associated with some of the most iconic projects in the country,” said Dick Rizzo, vice president of business development of Tutor Perini’s Las Vegas office. “We’re particularly proud of the work we’ve done in the Native American arena.”

In addition to working on the construction of the Chumash Casino Resort, Tutor Perini has also worked on MGM Grand at Foxwoods in Mashantucket, Conn.; Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Wilkes-Barre, Penn.; and Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, Calif.

“Delawie’s philosophy toward architectural design is that we strive to create an experience that aligns with the client’s visions while being conscious of the project’s style, priorities and budget,” said Frank Ternasky, principal at Delawie. “We build partnerships with our clients and the community through experience, creativity and experience.”

Delawie has worked with a number of other Native American tribes, including the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.

“We are honored to be able to continue our 15-year working relationship with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians,” said Steve Davis, partner at Summit.

The firm has also worked with the San Pasqual Band of Kumeyaay Indians, the Tohono O’odham Nation and the Jamul Indian Village, among others.

Construction is slated to begin in October with completion anticipated for 2016.

— Hildy Medina is the public relations manager for the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians.

Chumash
A 20,000-square foot pool deck is part of the proposed project. (Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians photo)

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Letter to the Editor: Things We Don’t Need to Know

By | Published on 09/23/2014

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The No. 1 job of our government is to keep its people safe from harm. What it does and how it does it are secondary to the job. At some point, regardless of the political party in power, we have to trust our government to protect our interests. And we don’t need to know in advance or even after the fact what specific actions are being taken or not taken to protect those interests. When the safety of the United States or its people are at stake, results are all that matter.

The world is full of malevolent and immoral characters ... .actors who don’t play by any rules, who fear no consequences for their conduct. They are not interested in democratic processes, fairness, tolerance or compromise. They must be found and eliminated.

Confronting that element of the world requires actions that I simply don’t want to know about, and I really don’t care if those actions invade any country’s sovereignty or violate anyone’s individual rights.

Lately it seems that our government not only refuses to engage in effective actions that could reduce or eliminate this threat but, more alarming, it announces to the world on a daily basis what it will and won’t do. Can you imagine a football game in which one coaching staff tells the other team in advance every play it is going to run, gives them time to change their defensive lineup, and tells them that while they will play by all the rules, they will refuse any penalty the other team commits?

That is the only way to describe the foreign policy of the United States today. Announce to the world well in advance what we intend to do (e.g. sanctions, air strikes, coalition building), and at the same time, tell the world in defiant and absolute terms what we will not do (e.g. use ground troops, rendition, enhanced interrogation techniques). I would like to use the word misguided to describe this approach, but stupid is the only word that is appropriate.

Listen up, opponents: Under no circumstances will we pass the ball on third and long. We firmly commit to you that we will run the ball between the guards and you are free to stack up the middle. Thank God our current leaders were not in charge of the Normandy invasion.

Would somebody please tell the coaches to keep their mouths shut?

Lawrence Dam
Santa Barbara

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Towbes Group Sells Goleta Building for $26 Million to Local Investor

By | Published on 09/23/2014

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The Towbes Group Inc. announced the sale of the building at 75 Coromar Drive, home to a Raytheon business unit for over 50 years, for $26.4 million to local investor Victor Schaff.

The sale of the property is one of the largest commercial real estate transactions in Santa Barbara County this year.

The property boasts 120,000 square feet and is located on a 10-acre parcel. Towbes Capital Partners, a private equity real estate affiliate of The Towbes Group, recognized the property as a valuable investment opportunity, and purchased the building in 2003.

“Collectively, we thought the purchase of this building was a good investment opportunity as it could yield strong annual cash flow plus support Goleta’s thriving business economy," said Craig Zimmerman, president of The Towbes Group. "We are fortunate the current market conditions allowed us to sell the property 10 years later and realize a significant gain for our investors.”

Located in the Raytheon Business Park, the one-story facility was built in 1963 and is comprised of two 60,000-square-feet office buildings, and more than 500 parking spaces. The Towbes Group sold the building to Schaff on July 1, with the Raytheon lease in place until April 30, 2019. Raytheon has been the sole tenant to lease the building since 1963.

“The purchase of the property came to us through shared connections and we are thrilled to add the asset to the Buyer’s portfolio,” said Robin Storey, who assisted the buyer in acquiring the property.

The transaction was a direct sale between the buyer and seller, and no outside agents were involved.

For additional information about The Towbes Group Inc. or this transaction, click here.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing The Towbes Group.

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Allan Hancock College Receives $966,000 National Grant to Continue Cal Poly Transfer Program

By | Published on 09/23/2014

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A program that created science research internships at Cal Poly for more than 60 Allan Hancock College students has been funded for another five years. The National Institutes of General Medical Science has awarded a five-year, $966,000 grant to extend Hancock’s Bridges to the Baccalaureate program in partnership with Cal Poly.

Hancock is one of only three community colleges in the nation to be the lead partner hosting the program.

“We are very excited to be awarded this renewal grant because it shows we have done an excellent job in the last five years,” said Dr. Len Miyahara, the college’s program director.

The unique program seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minority students pursuing degrees in biomedical fields by providing them with paid summer research internships in biology labs with Cal Poly professors. Bridges students also receive assistance to transfer to Cal Poly after finishing their requirements at Hancock.

“The program is about helping students see beyond an associate degree and seize an opportunity to go pursue a bachelor’s degree, and hopefully a graduate degree to do research in the biomedical and behavioral health fields,” Miyahara said. “The renewal will allow us to impact 110 future Bridges scholars on our campus.”

In the last five years, Hancock has accepted 65 Bridges students, 40 of them have transferred to four-year universities like Cal Poly. Hancock students assisted on research projects ranging on topics from how hormones affect behaviors and the brain, fluorescent staining and imaging of skeletal muscle arterioles and capillaries, to creating a dietary supplement to increase exercise performance at sea-level and simulated altitude.

“This grant is not only about helping students who never would have imagined getting an associate degree, let alone a Ph.D. or an M.D., but we could actually turn the destinies of entire families for the better,” said Paul Murphy, Ph.D., academic dean.

The National Institutes of Health grant will also continue to fund the college’s advanced anatomy class and the use of Cal Poly students to serve as teacher’s assistants. The college offers an Anatomy Honors cadaver dissection program, an opportunity Miyahara describes as one of a kind.

“The grant has allowed our students to complete three nervous system extractions," Miyahara said. "These procedures are not done in most medical schools, let alone at four-year universities.”

The Bridges program is currently accepting applications through Oct. 24. Students must first fill out an eligibility form that can be downloaded by clicking here.

For more information, call 805.922.6966 x3658 or email bettie.shaw@hancockcollege.edu.

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

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Food, Drink and Entertainment on Tap for Annual ‘Taste of Milpas’

By | Published on 09/23/2014

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The Milpas Community Association is proud to present the Taste of Milpas from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 4, and invites you to experience a tantalizing culinary adventure along Santa Barbara’s “Eat Street.”

The food culture on Milpas is famous for its diversity, superb taste and affordability. The restaurants on Milpas are excited to show off their finest creations and wow patrons of the Taste. Eat at 20 restaurants and markets on Milpas in one event.

Headliners include:

» La Super Rica — 8th Best Taco in USA, Travel & Leisure Magazine

» El Bajio — featured in Forbes, New York Times

» The Habit — Best Burger in USA, Consumer Reports

» Los Agaves, Jack’s Bistro and Your Place Thai — “Best of Santa Barbara,” Independent, News-Press

» La Colmena — Winner, Foodie Award for best salsa, Independent

» Hot newcomer The Shop Café — American fusion at its finest. A well-kept local secret — amazing Chinese at Shanghai, including great vegetarian options.

Your Place
Your Place Thai will be among the restaurants serving their finest cuisine for Taste of Milpas. (Milpas Community Association photo)

Additionally, patrons can listen to live music at four stages, including the Jim Rankin Band, playing Clapton, Allman Brothers and more great classic rock. Soul Biscuit will make you want to shake your tail with their hot groove, funk and soul. Dezmo’s Blues Band will turn out the toe-tapping classic blues for you. The brand-new Funzone at the East Beach Batting Cages will have exciting youth rock bands playing during the event.

The Taste is an annual fundraiser for the Milpas Holiday Parade and Eastside community nonprofits. Each Taste patron will be awarded three "Taste Bucks" that they can spend with the nonprofits of their choice. Several youth organizations will put on live performances, serve as youth ambassadors and display art as part of the Taste of Milpas. They’ll be bringing their A-game to the Taste to get you to spend your Taste Bucks with them!

This year, the Taste will feature a beer and wine garden at Ortega and Milpas streets. Try handcrafted brews from Telegraph and newcomer Pure Order Brewing Company. Sample delectable local wines provided by Tri-County Produce, with one of the best wine selections available in the city.

Parking is available at the Fess Parker Resort. Shuttles provided by MTD and Pedicabs will help ferry you through the Taste route.

Fantastic food, live music, art, and locally crafted beer and wines — and all to benefit the community. What’s not to love about the Taste of Milpas?

— Sharon Byrne is executive director of the Milpas Community Association.

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Minuteman 3 Missile Tested in Morning Launch from Vandenberg AFB

By | Published on 09/23/2014

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The year’s first test of a unarmed Minuteman 3 missile launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Tuesday morning after a four-hour delay.

The three-stage weapon blasted out of an underground silo on North Base at 7:45 a.m. before the weapon traveled some 4,200 miles in about 20 minutes to a predetermined target near the Kwajalein Atoll in the central Pacific Ocean.

"An outstanding display of teamwork ensured 100-percent mission success for the first Minuteman launch of the year here at Vandenberg," said Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander.
"We constantly focus on flawless execution of our launch, range and expeditionary missions."

The missile's departure had a top-level audience as Secretary of the Air Force  Deborah Lee James visited Vandenberg to observe the test. 

A high marine layer over the Santa Maria Valley shrouded the departure of the missile although its rumble could be heard Tuesday morning.

The test occurred four hours into the six-hour window due to an unplanned hold blamed on unfavorable weather downrange.

The 576th Flight Test Squadron, located at Vandenberg, oversaw preparations for the test with assistance from members of the 91st Missile Wing at Minot AFB, North Dakota.

Santa Barbara-based Nuclear Age Peace Foundation criticized the timing of the test which came three days before the official UN Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons on Sept. 26. 

“That the U.S. has chosen this week to test — at a time of heightened tensions with Russia and the one day of the year dedicated to the total abolition of nuclear weapons —says it all. Instead of taking seriously its international legal obligations to negotiate for nuclear disarmament, the U.S. seems content to engage in a tit-for-tat nuclear arms race with Russia, “ said Rick Wayman, director of peace pperations at NAPF. “This Minuteman 3 test is nothing more than the flexing of a horribly dangerous, unusable and totally unnecessary muscle.”

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

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COMB Concerned with Water Release for Fish from Lake Cachuma’s Bradbury Dam

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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The board wants clarity from the Bureau of Reclamation on when a reduced amount of water for steelhead trout would go into effect

The extended drought is forcing agencies and residents in Santa Barbara County to make some hard choices, and Monday's Cachuma Operation Maintenance Board meeting highlighted some of the conundrums facing the agency with a front-row view of the frighteningly-low amount of water in the lake.

County officials have warned that Lake Cachuma may run out of water as early as October 2015 without any significant rainfall, and residents of various water agencies have been asked to voluntarily conserve water.

One of the biggest points of contention present at Monday's meeting was exactly how much water, when and how it should be released from the Bradbury Dam that sits on the lake's edge and into the Hilton Creek.

Periodically, water must be released into the creek to protect what local environmentalists call the most endangered fish in America — the steelhead trout, which makes its home in the creek — but the water releases have been concerning as the drought slogs on.

The decision is largely outside of the purview of COMB, however, since calls about fish preservation and what actions to take are under the purview of the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the National Marine Fisheries Service.

On Monday, the board took just about as strong a stand as possible, voting to send a "non-confrontational" letter urging the Bureau of Reclamation to realize this is an emergency situation and remind them that the pumps that feed water into Hilton Creek are the bureau's responsibility.

Several board members expressed frustration with the federal mandates for the fish.

"We're in an emergency," Beebe said. "If it's people versus fish, I choose people. We may not have the water to comply."

Lauren Hanson, director of the Goleta Water District and president of the COMB Board, said a policy should be in place before critical levels are reached, and not after.

"I think a simple letter… is completely appropriate and I can't imagine us not doing that," Hanson said.

COMB board members want clarity on just when the water levels in Lake Cachuma will become so dire that a reduced amount of water for fish would go into effect.

The magic number seems to be when Lake Cachuma reaches 30,000 acre feet of water — there are about 60,000 in the lake now — but whether the Bureau is interpreting that 30,000 acre feet as the actual amount in the lake or the amount of project water, being stored from other sources, remains unclear. 

There have been hundreds of steelhead deaths in Hilton Creek due to pump failures in the last two years and the Bureau reportedly started a replacement and repair project in June. 

A back-up pumping system slated for the Hilton Creek area has 90 days to get up and running, but it's unclear if work has begun on the project, according to Tim Robinson, fisheries division manager for COMB. 

Robinson said that the lake is expected to reach the 30,000-acre-feet level by the end of next month.

"We better get our act together because this is happening right away,"  he said.

A draft biological assessment is being put together, and the Bureau of Reclamation is looking at options for low flow into Hilton Creek, he said.

"I don't think it can be overstated the type of emergency situation we are in," said Randall Ward, COMB's general manager.

He added that the relationship between COMB and the Bureau of Reclamation had been "less than collegial."

The board ultimately voted to send a letter that encouraged the Bureau of Reclamation to respond quickly and express that the Bureau is responsible to operate the equipment at whatever level is decided on.

The board voted 4-1 to send the letter, with board member Dennis Beebe voting against the decision.

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

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Direct Relief Sends Medical Supplies to Aid Fight Against Ebola in Africa

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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The Goleta-based nonprofit is on the front lines of efforts to curtail the outbreak of the deadly disease

A local nonprofit agency is playing a pivotal role in the fight against Ebola, a disease that is ravaging parts of Africa and has claimed nearly 2,700 lives.

Direct Relief International, a Goleta-based medical relief organization that is active in all 50 states and 70 countries around the world, announced over the weekend that a Boeing 747 the relief agency chartered was filled with 100 tons of emergency medical supplies and bound for communities that have been fighting against the disease in West Africa.

Direct Relief was highly involved with transporting a large amount of medical supplies to Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and is now conducting outreach for help during the Ebola outbreak.

More than 5,300 cases of Ebola have been reported to date, and 2,630 people have died as a result of the outbreak, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Global health organizations have warned of an exponential increase if more is not done to curtail the disease.

Sierra Leone and Liberia have been the hardest hit countries in the outbreak. No cases have been reported in the United States.

The longer the Ebola outbreak goes on, the more difficult it is to get aid and supplies into the country, said Tony Morain, Direct Relief's communication's director.

Flight travel to the area has been restricted, and the commercial flights that Direct Relief might have used have been closed down. The organization decided to charter its own 747 to transport the supplies.

The shipment contained 9.8 million defined daily doses of medications, enough oral rehydration solution to supply two Ebola wards for one year, and enough coverall gowns, masks and gloves to meet the annual needs of approximately 280 health workers. The shipment amounts to nearly $6 million worth of wholesale donations from more than a dozen private companies.

The plane left John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York on Saturday, and was the largest to depart the United States since the outbreak began, according to Direct Relief officials. The plane landed in Sierra Leone on Sunday morning and Liberia later that day.

This weekend's transport of supplies was the 11th trip Direct Relief has been able to make during the Ebola outbreak. It will be making a 12th trip on Tuesday, taking supplies to Liberia's ELWA Hospital, where Ventura doctor John Frankhauser has been working.

That shipment will also include basic medical supplies such as gloves, Morain said, and the Clinton Health Access Initiative will also assist in the national distribution of supplies.

Though the donations the group has received to help with the Ebola outreach have been nowhere near that gathered for Haiti, the amount that has been received helped pay for the plane to transport the supplies, Morain said.

"A little bit can make a big difference," he said, adding that he hopes the news of the supply shipment will build momentum in the effort.

Direct Relief CEO Thomas Tighe called on the public to do what they could to help African countries avoid an even deeper setback than has already occurred.

"Direct Relief mobilized this airlift in recognition that the failure to act now will make the crisis all the more severe," he said.

Click here to make a donation to Direct Relief International.

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

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Santa Maria-Bonita School District Putting $45 Million Bond to Voters

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Measure T on the November ballot would fund a new elementary campus and improvements at 19 schools in the K-8 district

With a new school already under construction and enrollment skyrocketing, the Santa Maria-Bonita School District this fall will ask voters to approve a bond measure to build another elementary campus and complete various projects at existing school sites.

Measure T, as it’s been dubbed, will ask voters Nov. 4 to approve $45 million in bonds for construction.

The measure comes as the district topped 16,000 students this school year, even though its 15 elementary and four junior high schools were built to serve 11,625 students.

“So if you depend on the numbers, you see we’re five or six schools down,” said Mike Cordero, a retired police lieutenant and former city councilman who is spearheading the committee urging voters to approve Measure T.

His wife, Linda Cordero, serves on the school board.

And the growth is expected to continue. The number of kindergartners in the district exceeds the number of eighth-graders, he said. Projections show the district will get another 1,100 students by 2017. In the past five years, the district reportedly has grown by 2,300 children.

Measure T funds would be used to build a new elementary school campus and conduct various projects at the 19 existing campuses. 

“Every campus in the district will receive some sort of the benefit from the $45 million bond,” Cordero said.

These range from repairing plumbing, fixing leaky roofs, upgrading technology and science labs to adding outdoor shaded area for kids to eat outside and improving school safety with fences, lights, alarms and intercom systems.

“There are a laundry list of potential projects,” district spokeswoman Maggie White said, adding that school leaders submitted a lengthy list of projects needed at their campuses. “By no means will all these bullet points be funded.”

Demonstrating the need for the school is the fact that the district is building a new school “that’s going to be full the day it opens and we’re still going to be overcrowded at the other sites,” White added.

The current campus is under construction east of Blosser Road between Carmen Lane and Sonya Lane on property once owned by the pioneering Acquistapace family.

The district funded the new school’s construction through certificates of participation, a form of government mortgage that the district will pay back over several years through general fund revenues. 

That yet-to-be-named school should be ready to open in August 2015, and is expected to get its official moniker later this year or early next year.

Recognizing the need for the new classrooms, the district board already agreed to build the expansion now at the new school, instead of at some point in the future.

Due to cramped facilities, the board also approved taking some money leftover from the new school construction to build 12 additional classrooms at Tommie Kunst Junior High School in northwest Santa Maria.

“That will help alleviate some of the junior school strain as well,” White said, adding that those classrooms should be open for students at the start of the 2015-16 school year.

Even with these added classrooms, the district will need even more room.

A few weeks into this school year, Santa Maria-Bonita officials has three schools with enrollments topping 1,000. Four others have more than 850 students, while three each have 900 and 950 students, respectively.

Every bit of possible classroom space is being put to use at existing campuses, district officials said. For instance, at Alvin Elementary School, a former teacher lounge has become a classroom.

But the district also needs room at each school site to conduct small group instruction for special education students or others in need of one-on-one interaction.

“I think we do the best we can with the increasingly limited space that we have,” White said, “Our teachers are fantastic. … Our cooks, our lunch room crews and janitors make it work.”

The funds from the bond won’t be used for wages and benefits, Cordero added.

“This is all for the kids,” he added. 

If passed, Measure T would cost $25 for every $100,000 of assessed valuation for a property. With the average home price of $189,000 in the Santa Maria, the bond would add up to less than $50 for a property owner whose home was assessed under $200,000. The bond affects both residential and commercial properties in the Santa Maria-Bonita district.

Other options beyond the bond include reinstituting year-round school or implementing double sessions, meaning one set of students and teachers would be in class from 7 a.m. to noon, while the others would at school in the afternoon and early evening.

Cordero said both options are unviable and would only delay the inevitable.

“We know currently we’re going to have to build schools, and we have to start on it now rather than later,” Cordero said. 

Even if the bond is approved, the new campus likely wouldn’t be open to accommodate students until 2017, he added. 

Board member Will Smith, who is opposed to the bond  measure, contends the fact the new school won’t be ready for students for at least three years is why the district should explore the year-round option to solve its overcrowding.

Additionally, he said, year-round education would be better for migrant students.

“I think this is a win-win situation,” he said. 

Smith added that he doesn’t like that bond supporters are making people feel like the Measure T will solve the problems. 

A committee of local citizens would provide oversight on the bond spending, Cordero said. As required by law, the committee would be composed of designated representatives from various sectors of the community.

Santa Maria-Bonita hasn’t had much luck in getting voters to approve bonds, with four tries in the 1990s for nearly $33 million to fund one junior high and two elementary schools.

The first request came soon after the district’s office building on Miller Street was completed in the early 1990s. Critics dubbed the new building the “Taj Mahal.” 

Later efforts failed in a 1995 special election plus a 1998 general election in November and a June 1999 special election.

While those bonds needed two-thirds of the voters to approve the measures, or 66.66 percent, state law changes mean Measure T requires just 55 percent to pass.

State funding helped pay for the district last major expansion, but that money isn’t available any longer, district officials said. 

Santa Maria-Bonita is one of five school district’s in Santa Barbara County asking voters to approve bonds, but the only one in the Santa Maria Valley.

Other school bond measures on the Nov. 4 ballot are Measure Q for the Montecito Union School District; Measure S for the Santa Barbara Community College District; Measure U for the Carpinteria Unified School District; and Measure Y for the College School District in the Santa Ynez Valley.

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

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Community Breakfast Fetes the Success Stories of United Boys & Girls Clubs

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Jeff Henley and Ben Howland, among others, speak from personal experience on the positive impact the organization provides during childhood

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Great futures started early in the morning for more than 150 attendees at the 10th annual Community Breakfast for United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County.

The fete featured some true all-stars, including Jeff Henley, founder and chairman of the board of Oracle, legendary basketball coach Ben Howland and mistress of ceremonies Paula Lopez, veteran newscaster for KEYT, KCOY and KKFX. All three said they had positive childhood experiences at the Boys & Girls Clubs, which they credit with having a significant influence on their future success.

The 7,000-member strong organization boasts sites in Carpinteria, the Westside of Santa Barbara, Goleta, Lompoc, Campus Point and Camp Whittier in the Santa Ynez Valley. Daily activities include homework assistance, computer training, athletics, recreation, fitness, health and life skills, the arts, and character and leadership development.

While annual membership fees are $40 per child, the actual cost to the clubs per youngster is close to 20 times that amount. It is only with the support of the community that the clubs can fulfill their mission “to enable all young people, especially those who need us most, to reach their full potential as productive, caring and responsible citizens.” No child is ever turned away.

The clubs have something for everyone: after-school child care with van pick-up from local elementary schools, age-appropriate site-centered activities, teen clubs, athletics, arts, and off-site trips to camping and backpacking adventures, college visits, mentorships with local businesses, and plenty of opportunities for community service.

Major sponsors for the breakfast included Deckers Outdoor Corp., Milpas Motors and Union Bank.

Henley presented opening remarks, which warranted a keynote. Henley was raised by a single mother and attended a Boys & Girls Club in La Habra.

“Back in the '50s, there was swimming and the gym, not as much as what the clubs offer today," he said. "I am involved in the Boys & Girls Clubs at the local and national levels. I am very proud that over the past 15 years we have doubled the number of clubs — we are in public housing, military bases and right at the schools. It’s a different world now than when I grew up.

"We need to increase our impact, have kids attend more often and have more impactful programs. The clubs make kids believe in themselves, go on to college or trade school or perhaps the military. Visit a Boys & Girls Club. See everything that they are doing!”

Howland was next up and described the day he first came to the Goleta Boys & Girls Club.

“I will never forget it," he said. "I was 6 years old and was holding my mother’s hand. We walked down the hallway with then-Executive Director George Chelini, who showed us the code of ethics on the wall of the basketball gymnasium. I forged friendships there that I still have today. I lived across the 101 freeway but walked twice a day to the clubhouse in Old Town Goleta. The club made what I am today and for many others.”

Howland described a member, Greg Henderson, who was a tough kid whose parents were going through an even tougher divorce.

“Greg told me the club was the biggest part of his life,” Howland said, adding that Henderson is now a CPA for a nonprofit in Albuquerque, N.M., has eight kids and is a strong Christian.

Single mother Melissa Cohen gave a warmhearted yet tearful tribute to what the Boys & Girls Club did for her and her daughter, Alexis.

“You must know that the help that you give to the Boys & Girls Club doesn’t just help the child; it profoundly affects the health of the entire family," she said. "As a single parent, I didn’t have any options; I had to work long hours. The Boys & Girls Club took Alexis in and she loved the club. She got involved in singing, soccer and basketball. Together we would volunteer on Saturdays at the Foodbank at the club. We both learned about the value of community service and giving back.”

In research that the Boys & Girls Clubs of America commissioned through Harris Interactive, club alumnus reported that 57 percent said the club save their life, 67 percent said it kept them out of trouble and 62 percent said it helped them commit to their education.

Longtime volunteer Jim Crook heads up the Board of Directors. Other members include Mike Carroll, Louise Cruz, Lisa Gosdshan, Melissa Gough, Mike Granados. Dave Messner, Peter Muzinich, Eloy Ortega, Jon Perkins, Rich Ridgway and Diana Starr Langley.

For more information about the United Boys & Girls Clubs, click here, call 805.681.1315 or email info@unitedbg.com.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at rrose@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Rona Barrett: Robin Williams — Fears of a Clown

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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As the guy at the suicide hot line said, "Life isn't for everybody!"

OK, I know, suicide isn’t funny. But when Robin Williams told that joke we all laughed.

But we’re not laughing anymore.

He’s out of the headlines now, but still on my mind — for personal reasons and because people continue to ask me, “How could someone so funny do such a tragic thing?”

I was fortunate to interview Robin five times. The first was prior to his playing Mork from Ork in a style he described as CTS — Comedic Tourette’s Syndrome.

Here are a few personal impressions and memory grabs from those interviews.

The more you got to see him and know him, the more you realized that inside that head was an unending reel of unspooling genius film.

He was funny, it seemed to us, 24/7. But when he was safe at home, people close to him told me he let down his guard and went into deep depression.

Robin called cocaine "God’s way of saying that you’re making too much money.” When I first interviewed him, cocaine was fast becoming the new drug of choice in Hollywood. I knew he had addiction problems, but I never saw any of it.

He seemed to believe that it was his job to take care of others by being funny, alleviating the pain that he apparently felt.

He reminded me of Johnny Carson. Both would tell a little bit, reveal something, and the minute they thought, “Why did I say that?" they stopped and went back to making us laugh.

In a later interview I asked, “Robin, what do you think is the most tragic part of your life?” He was very silent and then said, "Needing my father’s approval.” His answer was so scary that he stopped himself — then returned to Ork.

The how and why questions are impossible to answer.

I do know, from personal experience, he may have thought, “I just can’t handle one more thing.”

Things get so black. I have experienced the blackness myself. This unfathomable sense of helplessness and hopelessness takes over from the bottom of your feet to the top of your head. The brain is being squeezed hard, like the blinders on a horse, they close in on you tighter and tighter, until you’re looking through your fingers but you can’t really see the daylight. You come to the conclusion: There’s only one way to end the pain.

I tried but, thankfully, didn’t succeed.

What prevented me from succeeding? I couldn’t believe that at 35 this was to be the end. I thought someone out there must have an answer. Knowing I couldn’t escape the blackness alone, without help, I was referred to a very good psychiatrist who I saw five or six days a week.

There's nothing wrong in seeking help. You’re not alone when you get dark feelings. And that is what you have to tell yourself. No matter how bad it is. You are not alone.

I got a second chance. I wish Robin Williams had a second chance.

Until next time, keep thinking the good thoughts ...

— In honor of her late father, entertainment journalist, author, senior activist and Santa Barbara County resident Rona Barrett is the driving force behind the Golden Inn & Village, the area’s first affordable senior living and care facility, scheduled to begin construction in early 2015. Contact her at info@ronabarrettfoundation.org. The opinions expressed are her own.

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Mona Charen: Adrian Peterson Case Raises the Question, Is It Ever OK to Spank?

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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The image of Adrian Peterson's son's legs has ignited a welcome cultural conversation. This is unusual. Most of these contrived "conversations" are efforts to take one headline and shoehorn it into a narrative that liberals want to advance, usually about race and racism. Those "conversations" are never truthful.

But the discussion of a 4-year-old boy's wounds has elicited some brutally honest commentary.

Writing for CNN, Steven Holmes blasted what he regards as excessive tolerance for spanking and child abuse in the black community. He dispatches the "I was whipped and I turned out all right" excuse. Holmes cites the abundant research showing that "spanking inhibits the learning process. ... It leads to anger, depression, violence and alcohol and drug abuse. It breeds hostility toward authority ... and spawns other antisocial behaviors." Physical punishment, he continues, "is associated with legions of sullen, angry, violence-prone boys."

Peterson advanced the "mean streets" argument.

"I could have been one of those kids that was lost in the streets without the discipline instilled in me by my parents." Holmes replies: "That may have been true for Peterson. But what also could be true is that the streets may not have been so mean if they were not populated by so many kids who are angry at the world because, among other things, they were spanked."

Physical punishment is almost as common among whites. Some conservatives defend spanking because they see critics as liberals who seek to undermine authority across the board. Doubtless, some are — and some liberal parenting approaches are enough to make you want to take a switch to the adult! ("Dylan, how would you feel if someone cut your fingers with scissors?")

But to quote Mother Teresa on the subject of abortion, "Don't resort to violence." Of course there's a difference between a swat on the bottom and a beating with a tree branch or electrical wire. But, frankly, why would anyone defend using violence to teach children right from wrong? We don't do it with puppies and kittens anymore, for heaven's sake.

Some research suggests that 66 percent of parents admit to striking their children, and 30 percent of those say they've spanked children as young as 1 year old. Picture a 1-year-old, just struggling to get to his feet, wobbling between the coffee table and the sofa. Is there no way, other than violence, to teach him not to pull the cat's tail?

This is not to deny that kids can be extremely provoking, and that they are in dire need of limit setting. There is no harder job. When one of our sons was having behavior problems, we enrolled in a course for parents of children with autistic spectrum disorders. We thought we had tried everything (except hitting, of course). We hadn't. Kids with this condition, we were told, don't distinguish between good attention and bad attention. Acting out gets the notice they crave, even if it's in the form of a reprimand or a timeout.

One way to cope was to "catch them being good " and then praise them lavishly. Their need for attention would be filled up with approval. Working toward rewards (tokens for clearing their place, making their beds, putting their shoes in the mud room) that could later be cashed in for prizes helped them plan for the future, delay gratification and receive positive feedback. Did it work 100 percent of the time? Of course not. Did we sometimes resent having to establish these elaborate rituals for tasks that ought to be simple? Yes. But if we had hit the boy, his already fragile ego might never have recovered.

Studies have also shown that verbal abuse can be as damaging as physical violence. Children who are ridiculed or belittled by their parents, dismissed as "stupid" or "idiotic" just for doing childish things, are as prone to negative outcomes as those who are physically assaulted.

Some parents are abusive because they're bad people. But many well-meaning parents may be harming their children in the misguided belief that hitting or insulting them instills important virtues, or at least does no harm. They might want to think again.

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

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Antioch University Santa Barbara Awarded $1.6 Million Title III Grant

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Antioch University Santa Barbara has been awarded a Department of Education Title III grant in the amount of $1.6 million for the establishment of a five-year initiative supporting low-income and minority student retention and degree completion.

Nancy Leffert
Antioch President Nancy Leffert

Title III grants are allocated to support educational institutions in the expansion of their capacity to serve low-income and minority students by providing funds to improve and strengthen academic quality and institutional management. As a Hispanic Serving Institution, AUSB was eligible to compete for Title III funds. The institution was among 35 higher education institutions nationally, one of only four in California, to receive funds under the U.S. Department of Education’s Strengthening Institutions Program. The federal funds, totaling $1.6 million over the next five years for AUSB’s College-to-Career initiative, represents 73 percent of the program’s $2.2 million cost; the remaining 27 percent will be paid with nonfederal funds.

AUSB’s successful grant application is consistent with President Obama’s priorities to increase the number of Baccalaureate degrees awarded to lower-income and Hispanic students and to prepare them with the job skills necessary for employment after graduation and, thus enabling the U.S. to compete more successfully in the global job market.

“This grant reflects AUSB's dedication to increasing diversity and access to higher education,” Antioch President Nancy Leffert said. “I'm incredibly excited that AUSB will be able to strengthen the things we already do well and provide the additional supports that will assist our students in launching their careers after graduation.”

The innovative and multi-faceted College-to-Career program will offer additional student services support for those students who may be at-risk of not completing their degree as well as enhancing academic success and degree completion through proactive advising and accessible writing and math tutoring.

"The Title III grant award will also enable us to emphasize the development of job skills and the employability of our graduates through a cooperative work education program," College-to-Career program director Dr. Catherine Radecki said.

To enhance the career readiness of AUSB’s graduates, the program will include the development of community worksites and internships that offer students relevant work experience, job skills, and career mentoring. In addition, it will feature career assessment and advising and training in employment skills, such as resume preparation, job interview practice, and networking with potential employers.

AUSB serves a diverse student body, the majority of who have transferred from Santa Barbara City College and other regional community colleges in order to complete their Bachelor’s degree. The program will utilize best practice strategies to increase degree completion among students of whom English may not be their first language.

"As a trustee of AUSB’s Board of Trustees’ and chair of its Hispanic Outreach Committee, I am extremely proud that the U.S. Department of Education has recognized our efforts to serve underrepresented, low-income students," Patricia Chavez Nunez said. "This grant will enable us to provide more services and promote even greater student success."

AUSB will initiate the first phase of the College-to-Career program immediately. For more information about AUSB’s Bachelor of Arts Completion Programs, scholarships and admissions, click here or call the Admissions Office at 805.962.8179.

— Brian Dearth is the marketing manager for Antioch University Santa Barbara.

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County Crews Extinguish Motor Home Fire in Lompoc

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Santa Barbara County Fire crews responded to a motor home in flames in the 3000 block of Avena Road in Lompoc on Monday afternoon.

The fire was reported at 3:42 p.m. in the Cebada Canyon area of Lompoc, firefighter Paul Christensen said.

A 23-foot motor home was fully involved in fire when crews arrived and the fire had spread into nearby vegetation, but firefighters extinguished the fire in about five minutes, Christensen said.

There were no reported injuries and no cause or estimated damage yet, he added.

The motor home was parked near a residence but the structure itself wasn’t impacted by the fire.

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

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Triple the Indulgence at CALM’s ‘Wine, Jewelry, Chocolate’ Benefit Event

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Indulge in a few of your favorite things while supporting a good cause!

The CALM Auxiliary will host its fourth annual "Wine, Jewelry, Chocolate" event from 3 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 23 at the Montecito Country Club.

Three irresistible reasons to come spend an afternoon tasting and shopping, CALM’s Wine, Jewelry, Chocolate event has become a favorite in Santa Barbara. The community is invited to come enjoy a day of sips, sweet bites and treasures, all to benefit CALM (Child Abuse Listening Mediation).

Nearly 30 unique jewelry designers will be showcasing and selling their beautiful creations, along with gently used and much adored pieces donated by members of the CALM Auxiliary. The event will also feature chocolate tastings by the Chocolate Gallery, Jessica Foster Confections, Recipes Organic Bakery & Chocolates, Robitailles Candies and Tsora, who will offer samples of their most decadent chocolates. Southern Wine & Spirits will be on hand to do selective wine tastings with some of their favorite varietals.

Admission is $10, and includes wine tasting. Twenty percent of the jewelry and chocolate sales, and 100 percent of the CALM Auxiliary jewelry and wine tasting sales will go directly to CALM.

For more information about this event, please contact Martha Rodgers at mcrogers72@gmail.com or Janice Ingrum at jaingrum@aol.com.

Try on and purchase beautiful creations from the following jewelers: Amberdust, Claire van Blaricum, Mi Juleree, Beth Fergon Jewelry, Claudia A. Designs, NAUTI2, Calla Gold Jewelry, Encanto, Rebecca Plum Jewelry Design, Campiello V by Kathleen Waltrip, ERB, Santa Barbara Jewelers, Caroline Rutledge Designs, Gravity Ranch Designs, SB Silver Fox, Casa Viva, Helen Heising Design, Six Sapphires, Cascata Creations, J. Cinzori Designs, Sweet Cedar, Catlin Blair Harvey Designs, Jewelry by Naomi, The Bakelite Lady, Cindy Bolin, Lisa Duncan Carrillo Jewelry Design, Waxing Poetic, Chanel n Chandeliers and Mary Ann-tiques.

— Rachael Jerse is a publicist representing CALM.

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Santa Barbara County to Study Future Water Supply Alternatives

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has directed the County Water Agency to undertake a study of local water supply options available now and into the future.

The scope of the report will include evaluation of the feasibility, reliability and cost of multiple water supply options, including recycled water, desalination, reservoir desilting or modification, additional surface water storage, groundwater recharge or banking, non-local supplies, State Water Project options and water transfers, among others.

The study is not intended to solve the current drought but to provide a tool to evaluate local and regional alternatives to ensure adequate water for the future.

“Decades ago planners looked forward at water issues and secured supplies that have made our environment and standard of living what it is today. It’s our responsibility as water planners to do the same for the years ahead,” said Thomas Fayram, deputy director of Public Works.

The county has contracted with RMC Water and Environment as consultants to conduct the study and assist with stakeholder outreach and formation of a Planning Partners group. It is anticipated that the project will take approximately one year to complete.

The Water Agency and RMC will be hosting two public meetings to explain the project and solicit public ideas and feedback. The meeting dates are scheduled for Monday, Sept. 29 from 6 to 7 p.m. at the County Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 511 E. Lakeside Pkwy. in Santa Maria, and from 6 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 30 at the County Planning Commission Hearing Room, 123 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara.

The study is an important piece of the Water Agency mission to respond to current drought conditions, study existing water supplies, and prepare for water supply and demand into the future.

Click here for more information on the project, public meetings or to submit a water supply suggestions form.

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Jury Returns Guilty Verdict in Lompoc Kidnap Case

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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A jury in Santa Maria found a top-ranking Santa Barbara  County gang leader guilty of kidnapping for extortion in his retrial on the charge for his role in a Lompoc case from 2013.

The jurors returned the verdict against Raymond Daniel Macias on Monday afternoon in Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria before Judge Patricia Kelly. 

The seven men and five women also found him guilty of special enhancements for use of a firearm and gang involvement.

The charge stems from a Jan. 3, 2013, incident in Lompoc that prompted the Santa Barbara County Grand Jury to hand down multiple indictments six months later.

Prosecutors contend Macias, also known as Boxer, was “the big homie” who oversaw collection of drug taxes in Santa Barbara County.

He is a member of the Santa Barbara-based Eastside Krazies, which authorities say is linked to Mexican Mafia Sureño gang.

The Macias case stems from the assault of Sicko, who was behind in his payments and hiding out from those trying to collect the money.

On Jan. 3, 2013, gang members took the victim to a Lompoc garage, where they beat him severely and broke his arm. At the request of prosecutors, Sicko’s identity is not being revealed.

Macias, who was represented by defense attorney Michael Scott, initially was charged with kidnapping for extortion, solicitation for extortion, torture and drug sales.

In late June, however, a jury failed to reach a verdict on the first two charges, prompting the judge to declare a mistrial for those counts.

Prosecutors chose to try Macias again on only the kidnapping for extortion charge and the retrial began in mid-August.

The judge ordered Macias to remain in custody with no bail plus set Nov. 5 for his sentencing for the latest conviction plus the earlier ones.

After Monday's verdict, Senior Deputy District Attorney Ann Bramsen called Macias "one of the most dangerous individuals in our community."

"I didn't feel like 23 to life ensured a life sentence," Bramsen said, noting early releases from state prisons due to overcrowding. "He's now going to receive a life sentence without (parole) so he will never be out on our streets and never be able to victimize anyone again. "

This is one of several cases recently where county law enforcement agencies have targeted multiple defendants. 

"It sends a message to the gangs and to the Mexican Mafia that in this county we're not going to tolerate their criminal activity and we're going to make sure that we do everything we can to  prevent them from continuing to victimize our citizens," Bramsen said.

Law enforcement officers have noted the arrests of Macias and his colleagues affected gang activities in the county, Bramsen said.

"When you take a leader out of his role it shakes up the organization, and so it does have an impact on their ability to be organized and their ability to coordinate their criminal activity," Bramsen added.

She also praised law enforcement agencies for their roles in the investigation, including Lompoc Police Department and former officer Scott Casey (now with Santa Maria Police Department), Santa Barbara Police Department, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

"This investigation and resulting successful prosecutions are the direct result of the hard work, commitment and intelligence of multiple law enforcement agencies and the staff of the District Attorney's Office, led by Senior DDA Ann Bramsen. Collectively we will continue to seek to abolish gang violence in our county," said District Attorney Joyce Dudley. "This conviction alone is a significant blow to the Sureno gang organization."

Macias is the last of the 12 men and women originally indicted in this case, officials noted. 

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

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Sustainable Living the Focus of Santa Barbara AIA Architectural Tour

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Sustainable living will be the focus of this year’s Santa Barbara AIA architectural tour.

Taylor
The Taylor residence, a Tea Fire rebuild.

The public is invited to tour six residential projects and two institutional buildings featuring the state of environmentally-conscious design. The projects include single-family houses, multi-family projects and a unique shared-workspace environment.

Taylor Residence (John D. Kelley, AIA): This Tea Fire rebuild is located on a spectacular hillside view property, replacing a 1960s rustic timber-frame that could not be rebuilt under current codes. The new design honors the unique character of the original home, while revising the interior floor plan. Energy efficiency, fire safety and improved structural integrity are now apparent throughout, and drought-tolerant landscaping integrates the home into the site.

Overlook House (Ensberg-Jacobs Architects): Enhancing the stunning views of this Southern California ranch house was the goal of this dramatic renovation project. The designers eliminated awkward elements of the original floor plan and exterior hardscape, creating a sustainable environment with natural light, natural ventilation, and graceful function, circulation and comfort.

Tomeo Project (Harrison Design): This major Mesa remodel was once a modest 1950’s ranch house. The interior of the house was opened up for volume and connected indoor and outdoor spaces. Merging the previous living, dining and kitchen space to create one grand room opened views to the outside and added more space. Toward the goal of making the home energy self-sufficient, sustainable finishes are found throughout, a 7kw photovoltaic system provides all the home’s electricity, and a solar water system heats the pool. The landscape design created inviting spaces that include a new pool, deck, turtle pond, a high tech fountain, and ocean view bocce court.

Mesa House (DesignARC/Kevin Dumain, AIA): This California bungalow renovation was designed as a residence for the architect and his wife. The three-story design with a small footprint on a tight site leaves room for outdoor living and provides southern exposure to all the primary living spaces within this passive solar home. The design responds to the downward sloping site by placing the garage on the second floor. The short driveway saves space for landscaping and outdoor living. At the bottom of the site is a meadow like lawn of native grasses that also captures the storm water runoff. Reclaimed materials have been put to use throughout the project.

Habitat for Humanity (DMHA Architecture + Interior Design): This multi-family project contains 12 affordable income units built by volunteers in conjunction with the considerable skills of Santa Barbara contractor Allen & Associates. The sustainability goals are to provide comfortable and healthy homes with low operating costs. Energy savings are projected at 80 percent better than current Title 24 standards. Super-insulation and energy-efficient doors, windows, framing, heat recovery and solar electricity and hot water are features of this project.

UCSB
The UCSB Ocean Science Education Building is made up of a south wing and north wing.

UCSB Ocean Science Education Building (EHDD Architecture): This new shoreline-facing addition to the university complex is made up of two spaces. The south wing houses the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, and the north wing houses the Outreach Center for Teaching Ocean Science to provide hands-on marine education for K-12 students. The OSEB takes advantage of spectacular Pacific views, and the latest in lighting and plumbing fixtures reduce energy and water consumption. Drought-tolerant landscaping and reclaimed irrigation enhance the aggressive environmental goals of this project.

Victoria Garden Mews (Thompson-Naylor Architects): This multi-family project includes four homes surrounded by a peaceful garden, with an emphasis on beautiful design, cutting-edge technology, and sustainable building and living practices. It is within walking/biking distance of city attractions. The project is the vision of three families who had the goal of making this project as green as possible. The four separate homes, tied together through an integrated landscape, was conceived, designed and built by the families involved and their team of architects and landscape designer.

Synergy (DMHA Architecture + Interior Design): This state-of-the-art business incubator and co-working facility was created through the complete re-purposing of a 1920s-era vintage warehouse on the fringe of Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone. The interior architecture was inspired by entrepreneurial culture: lean, clean and functional. Natural materials and finishes are highlighted by high-efficiency LED color lighting, and custom-designed furniture was made from locally-sourced Alder and Spruce trees. The result is an open, collaborative community workspace serving startup businesses and professional design firms.

— Mark Coffin is a board member for the Architects Institute of America-Santa Barbara Chapter.

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Capps to Visit Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital for National Rehabilitation Awareness Week

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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On Tuesday, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, will highlight National Rehabilitation Awareness Week by visiting the Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital.

Capps, a former nurse, will join staff and patients at the Rehabilitation Hospital to recognize the importance of the facility, which is dedicated to providing care for survivors of stroke, brain and spinal cord injury, orthopedic injury, and other disabling conditions.

“The Cottage Rehabilitation Hospital provides critical medical rehabilitation services to so many in our community,” Capps said. “I look forward to highlighting the important work being done at institutions like CRH during National Rehabilitation Awareness Week.”

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

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With ‘Telepresence’ Program, Ocean Explorer Robert Ballard Brings UCSB Students Aboard

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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When famed ocean explorer Robert Ballad and his research team were exploring the complex seamounts off the British Virgin Islands earlier this month from their ship, E/V Nautilus, a group of Santa Barbara elementary school students was right there with them. Virtually.

Thanks to a 24/7 satellite feed from the Nautilus to the auditorium at UC Santa Barbara’s Marine Science Institute, some 100 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from Adelante Charter School got a peek into Titanic discoverer Ballard’s current expedition — and the chance to chat with experts on board.

The program co-hosted by MSI and the Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary was a pilot event of what UCSB and Ballard, a 1965 alumnus, say will ultimately become a standing feature of the campus’ new Outreach Center for Teaching Ocean Science.

“Fishies!” went the cry the moment the stream was live, transmitting real-time underwater action from Hercules, one of Nautilus’ remote-operated vehicles (ROV), as it cruised the Anegada Passage. “Good morning, UC Santa Barbara! Hi from E/V Nautilus,” came the reply from Ballard team members Kelly Moran and Art Borja.

Over the course of an hour, as they enjoyed a lively Q-and-A session with Moran and Borja, the students caught sight of a host of creatures, including a bobtail squid, a swimming sea cucumber and an octopus, thanks to Hercules. The ROV also found and retrieved a sample from an unidentified rock during the live broadcast.

“We’ve been diving on underwater volcanoes, exploring them for the very first time,” Borja told the kids. “We’re seeing what’s there, looking at the biology and geology. And we’re constantly on the lookout for new forms of life.”

Before fate brought Ballard to UCSB, where he majored in chemistry and geology and completed the U.S. Army’s ROTC program, he grew up in San Diego. He lived near the ocean, at Pacific Beach, next to the renowned Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Early on, Ballard said, he had his sights set on a marine life.

“As a kid, I wrote a Dear Santa letter to Scripps,” he recalled. “‘Dear Scripps, I want to be an oceanographer.’ They wrote back to me and said they had a program for kids. I was in junior high. That changed my life. I ended up meeting Bob Norris, who was teaching marine geology at UCSB. He invited me to Santa Barbara, I came, and the rest is history. But I saw how important that was — that they had answered my letter.

“When I found the Titanic, I got 16,000 letters from children the first week, asking ‘Can I do what you do?’ and ‘How can I be you? What do I have to do?’” Ballard continued. “That’s what led me to doing these live broadcasts. It’s hard to ignore 16,000 letters when I wrote one of those myself as a kid. And I really enjoy sharing my experiences.”

Which is why Ballard is teaming with his alma mater and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s CINMS to bring his education-aimed broadcast program — Nautilus Live, as it’s known — to campus as a regular offering of OCTOS, once the center is up and running. UCSB is leading an ongoing $10 million capital campaign to design and complete state-of-the-art educational exhibits, such as an interactive virtual dive display and an immersive theater, planned at OCTOS.

“We want Santa Barbara to think of the Nautilus as theirs, because it is,” said Ballard, a newly elected trustee of the UC Santa Barbara Foundation. “We want people from UCSB and the Santa Barbara community — students, teachers, educators, scientists — all to say, ‘That’s my ship.’”

UCSB wants its campus and greater communities alike to feel the same way about OCTOS, which will serve as an extension and expansion of current outreach efforts, according to MSI’s Scott Simon.

“OCTOS will leverage the collective resources of MSI and the National Marine Sanctuary to build a more robust program, including our touch tanks, lab experiences, and the telepresence experience with Bob Ballard’s Nautilus Live,” Simon said. “This dovetails very nicely with what we’re already doing. And how cool is it for local kids to come to college for a day and get that experience right here at UCSB?”

Very cool indeed, by all indications.

The recent Nautilus Live session with Adelante Charter School — kids asked the scientists about everything from what they eat on board to how it feels to find a shipwreck — culminated with some parting words for the students from Ballard himself.

“Deep ocean exploration is important for our planet’s future,” Ballard said. “I can’t think of anything better than having you come with me and letting you experience it. [With Nautilus Live], you can come aboard the ship and see it as it’s happening. You can say, ‘I was there.’”

When the program concluded, emcee Simon asked his young crowd, “So does anybody want to be a marine biologist now?”

“Me!” shouted several voices.

“I want to be an ROV pilot!” said another, just before someone else declared, “I want to be everything!”

And there’s the payoff. In addition to witnessing potential new discoveries underwater, the students may also have found something unexpected in themselves, according to teacher Paula Sevilla.

“Anytime we can get the kids — either literally or through technology — out of their own worlds to see other things, I think we allow them to dream about something they didn’t know was possible, and I think that’s incredibly valuable,” said Sevilla, who heads a fourth-and-fifth-grade combination class at the Spanish-English immersion school. “I think they’ll take this with them. I think it will help them push through barriers and obstacles. And I think it will not only help their current learning about ecosystems but also to continue on and fight for their futures.”

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

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Karen Telleen-Lawton: Symposium at Museum of Natural History Traces Human Origins

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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It amazes me, the ways in which modern archaeologists, geneticists and linguists can tease out clues about human origins. That’s why, when I read about the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History’s conference on the dispersal of early humans, I dropped almost everything to attend the two-day conference.

While attendees witnessed considerable debate in far-reaching findings, the 18 international scientists agreed on one major point. Humans throughout time have excelled at migrating and sex.

Museum of Natural History President and CEO Luke Swetland introduced the conference, largely organized by former trustee Janet Sands and director emeritus Dr. Karl Hutterer. The goal, according to Swetland, was, “Exploring our human wanderings: How did our journey change us as we encountered new environments? What can this tell us about our current journey?”

To these points, Australian geoarchaeologist Dr. Tim Denham described the adaptive strategies that have allowed people to cross barriers: environmental exploitation, a broad spectrum of plant and animal exploitations, maritime colonization, and mobility. Along the way, complex patterns of diversity developed, resulting in 7,800 languages, 240 language families and 190 isolates (languages that don’t seem related to others), according to Netherlands psycholinguist Dr. Dan Dediu.

At least two major waves of modern humans left Africa. Each time they encountered archaic species of hominids from previous dispersals. They interacted at a genetic level (see first paragraph), leaving markers in their genes. Consequently, all non-African modern humans are 1.3 percent to 2 percent Neanderthal. German anthropologist Dr. Mark Stoneking discussed other groups with traces of pre-humans, like 4 to 6 percent Denisovan heritage in New Guineans.

The earlier of the two waves made their way to Australia, represented genetically in modern-day Aborigines. By genetic analysis, Texas anthropologist Dr. Ted Goebel traced another wave that colonized Beringia, the region around the Bering Straight, as early as 35,000 years ago.

Then the puzzle. There’s a gap in the record: an icy period between 16,000 and 34,000 years where migrants seem to have holed up in Beringia. Perhaps they were awaiting visas? After that mysterious bottleneck, some groups sped south down the Americas, others may have returned west through Asia, and a contingent likely proceeded north and east through the Arctic to Greenland.

Along the way, there was a decrease in genetic diversity corresponding with the distance from Africa. Interestingly, Berkeley linguist Dr. Johanna Nichols — the only female presenter — pointed to increased language diversity with migration: Half the world’s families of languages come from the Americas, which represent much less than half the land.

Museum curator of anthropology Dr. John Johnson delivered the symposium’s capstone address. Johnson has built his career exploring local Chumash history and paleoindian coastal migration patterns. Under his guidance, teams have excavated the Santa Rosa Island location of Arlington Man, the only human skeletal remains discovered to date that are at least as old as 13,000 years.

Making the ancient relevant to youngsters, Johnson worked with the museum’s Quasars to Sea Stars teens to interpret DNA data and create an interpretive poster for the conference. The four-year high school program helps students perform immersive-based science. By museum statistics, it has boosted 90 percent of its graduates to college, two-third of whom have chosen majors in science, math or engineering.

If we’re lucky, one of these young Santa Barbara scientists will be able to solve the riddle of the Beringian gap years.

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

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‘Tip-an-Actor’ Night at Tom’s Burgers to Benefit Lompoc Theatre Project

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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The Lompoc Theatre Project's second fundraiser of 2014 will be “Tip-an-Actor” Night on Tuesday, Oct. 14 at Tom’s Burgers, Lompoc’s iconic burger joint.

Stepping in to take and serve diners’ orders will be members of the theater project — led by former film and stage actor Mark Herrier, president of the Board of Directors.

All tips raised during the event will benefit the Lompoc Theatre Project’s efforts to restore and reopen the community’s historic theater. Following the meal, homemade desserts will be available for purchase.

The event will take place from 5 to 8 p.m. No reservations are required.

Tom’s Burgers is located at 115 E. College Ave. Click here for the menu.

The Lompoc Theatre Project is a tax-exempt nonprofit organization working to restore the historic Lompoc Theatre as a venue for arts, entertainment, culture and education for the community and its visitors.

— Laurie Jervis is the publicity chairwoman for the Lompoc Theatre Project.

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City of Santa Barbara Reports Strong Growth in Sales Tax, TOT Revenue

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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The City of Santa Barbara received nearly $5.4 million in sales tax during the quarter ended June 30, which is 9.1 percent higher than the same quarter last year.

Since sales tax is received quarterly from the state, one quarter in arrears, the city receives the fourth-quarter results for each fiscal year in September, which also marks the final sales tax payment for fiscal year 2014.

More than $20.9 million in sales taxes were received in fiscal year 2014, representing overall growth of 6 percent, exceeding the budget by $231,739. This is the highest level of sales tax ever received by the city, surpassing the previous sales tax record in fiscal year 2007.

The sales tax budget for fiscal year 2015 is $21,317,400 based on a 3.5 percent growth assumption. Sales tax results for the first quarter of fiscal year 2015 will be available in December.

For additional information on recent sales tax results, click here.

Transient Occupancy Tax Up 13.4% in August

Santa Barbara lodging establishments collected and remitted $2.35 million in transient occupancy tax (TOT) during the month of August, which is 13.4 percent higher than August of last year.

More than $4.5 million in TOT has been collected through August. Year-to-date collections are 9.5 percent ahead of last year, ahead of the 4.9 percent growth needed to meet the adopted budget of $17,641,400.

For additional information on TOT, click here.

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

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Caltrans Adds Traffic Camera at Highway 101 and Santa Claus Lane

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Caltrans has announced the addition of three new traffic cameras that show real-time traffic conditions on its District 5 website.

These new cameras have been activated in the following locations:

» Southbound Highway 101 at Santa Claus Lane in Santa Barbara County

» Southbound Highway 101 at San Miguel Canyon Road in Monterey County

» Northbound Highway 101 at Santa Barbara Road in San Luis Obispo County

There are currently 19 cameras in San Luis Obispo County, seven in Santa Cruz County, six in Monterey County and nine in Santa Barbara County.

The statewide network of cameras can be viewed by clicking here. If you have a Mac, click here for the latest version of the Media Player for Mac.

In addition, motorists may call the automated California Highway Information Network at 800.427.7623 or click here to get current conditions for any highway in the state.

Jim Shivers is a public information officer for Caltrans District 5.

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Test Launch of Minuteman III Missile Set for Early Tuesday from Vandenberg

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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An operational test launch of an Air Force Global Strike Command unarmed Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile is scheduled for Tuesday between 3:45 a.m. and 9:45 a.m. from north Vandenberg Air Force Base.

The purpose of the ICBM test launch program is to validate and verify the effectiveness, readiness and accuracy of the weapon system, according to Air Force Global Strike Command.

Col. Keith Balts, 30th Space Wing commander, is the launch decision authority.

"While ICBM launches from Vandenberg almost seem routine, each one requires a tremendous amount of effort and absolute attention to detail in order to accurately assess the current performance and capability of the nation's fielded ICBM force and ensure public safety during the launch," Col. Balts said.

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Alliance for Living and Dying Well Invites Community to Free Film Series

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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When faced with talking about making difficult end-of-life decisions, sometimes just starting the conversation is the hardest part. The Alliance for Living and Dying Well believes that, while painful, these types of conversations and planning for death and dying are also a time of deep meaning and growth, and they can improve one’s quality of life and ability to enjoy life. The organization has found a unique way to spark these discussions through the power of the movies.

This fall, the alliance invites the community to its fourth annual Film Series, a free series of three film screenings, that explore how aging, loss, and recognition of mortality can deepen one’s appreciation of life. Following each screening, trained facilitators will lead discussions encouraging participants to voice their thoughts and express their feelings.

“Each film offers in depth perspectives on living life to the fullest and overcoming the challenges we face along the way,” said Susan Plummer, executive director of the Alliance for Living and Dying Well. “The film series is a unique and meaningful way for the alliance to raise awareness about the importance of speaking openly about the reality of death — to accept and embrace it as inextricably connected to life.”

All films are free of charge, and no reservations are required. Films will be screened in the Parish Hall of the Unitarian Society, 1535 Santa Barbara St., at 7 p.m. on Fridays — Oct. 17, Oct. 24 and Nov. 7. The featured films are:

» Oct. 17 — Shadowlands (1993). C.S. Lewis, a world-renowned Christian theologian, writer and professor, leads a passionate life until he meets spirited poet, Joy Davidman. When she is diagnosed with cancer, deeper feelings surface, and Lewis' faith is tested as his wife tries to prepare him for her imminent death.

» Oct. 24 — I Never Sang for My Father (1970). Gene Garrison, a widowed college professor, wants to get out from under the thumb of his aging father yet still has regrets about his plan to leave him behind when he remarries and moves to California. Gene must decide for himself if he'll stay to care for his father or finally move on with his life.

» Nov. 7 — Rocket Gibraltar (1988). Levi Rockwell, an aging patriarch reunites his entire family at his Long Island estate for his 77th birthday. During the course of the family reunion, Levi's health begins to fail and he passes on a sentimental request that he be given a "Viking funeral" after his death. With his adult children consumed by their own personal worries, it is up to the grandchildren to honor Levi's last wishes.

For more information about the Film Series, please call 805.845.5314 or click here.

The Alliance for Living and Dying Well is a collaboration of Santa Barbara area agencies that seeks a seamless, compassionate continuum of end-of-life care. The alliance fosters growth and learning through discussions of our mortality, and it promotes practical planning, such as advance health care directives. For information, please call 805.845.5314 or click here.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing the Alliance for Living and Dying Well.

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Ventura County Community Foundation Names New VP of Finance

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Bonnie Gilles has been appointed the Ventura County Community Foundation's next senior finance officer, effective Oct. 1.

Bonnie Gilles
Bonnie Gilles

The appointment as vice president of finance follows the retirement announcement of longtime vice president and controller Clare Brown, who will leave the post on Sept. 30 after a decade with the foundation. Brown will remain on staff part-time through December to ensure a smooth transition.

Gilles, a 35-year resident of Ventura County, most recently served for eight years as vice president of finance for Total Woman Gym & Day Spa, headquartered in Westlake Village. Total Woman operates 16 health clubs and employs 1,200 people.

"We were impressed with Bonnie's emphasis on ethics and integrity, as well as her broad and deep background in finance. Those are essential to VCCF, which invests more than $100 million of charitable capital to serve the people of Ventura County," VCCF President and CEO Hugh Ralston said.

Gilles' responsibilities will include oversight of the foundation's more than 600 donor-advised, donor-designated, scholarship, field-of-interest and agency endowment funds, as well as the foundation's investment portfolio, its $2.5 million operating budget and its annual grants and scholarship budget.

Prior to Total Woman, Gilles worked nearly 20 years as controller for the Westlake Village property management firm of Fore Property Co.

A certified public accountant, she graduated magna cum laude with a degree in business administration from California State University-Northridge.

"While my background has been in for-profit businesses, I have strong confidence I quickly can come up to speed in the nonprofit world," said Gilles, 55, of Camarillo. "The opportunity to work in an environment of philanthropy for this county I have called home since 1979 is exciting to me."

Gilles will report to VCCF Interim CEO Stacy Roscoe until the board identifies a successor for Ralston, who leaves the chief executive post on Sept. 30 to head the Fresno Regional Foundation. Morris & Berger of Glendale, which specializes in recruiting nonprofit executives, is conducting the CEO search under the direction of a committee of the VCCF board.

— Hugh Ralston is president and CEO of the Ventura County Community Foundation.

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Jersey Mike’s Subs Leases Space in Loreto Plaza in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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Lee & Associates has negotiated a five-year retail lease in the Loreto Plaza Shopping Center, 3325 State St. in Santa Barbara.

Loreto Plaza is home to Gelson's Market, Harry's Plaza Cafe, Chaucer's Books and other retailers.

Pamela Scott of Lee & Associates-Central Coast represented the tenant, Jersey Mike's Subs, in this 1,700-square-foot retail space.

The popular sandwich-shop chain offers authentic Northeast-style sub sandwiches.

This will be the third Jersey Mikes' Subs store in the Santa Barbara/Goleta area. 

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Ernest Righetti Teacher David Preston Gives Presentation to Royal Geographical Society

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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An Ernest Righetti educator recently became the first American high school teacher to give a presentation to the Royal Geographical Society since it was founded in 1830.

Dr. David Preston joined forces with Cal Poly architecture professor Mark Cabrinha and gave a lecture during the RGS Annual Meeting at the Imperial College in London on “Learning Networks: Accelerating Creativity Through the Entanglement of Social Interaction, Constructed Artefacts and Dynamic Environments.”

More than 1,000 people attended the conference.

At ERHS, Dr. Preston uses the Open Source Learning model to engage students to innovate, collaborate and build a network along the way. The OSL platform allows the students to create value beyond the classroom through the use of technology and social media.

“Digital social networks have become increasingly important to learners because they provide a place to interact that we no longer have in physical space," Dr. Preston said. “In today’s world, the stakes are high. Learners, their families and their schools are struggling to adapt. Technology alone isn’t the answer, but it’s an increasingly important part of our culture, and our students are using it to create competitive advantages."

The joint presentation focused on OSL and how digital networks are changing the learning environment, creating a new sense of geography, relationships and learning dimensions. The educators contend the physical environment and the virtual environment can be designed and optimized for collaboration, creativity and achievement that weren’t possible before on the Internet.

The trip also provided future educational opportunities for Righetti and Cal Poly students. Dr. Preston and Professor Cabrinha have begun to collaborate with educators in England and other countries to create stories through writing, photography, music, architecture — something that is not possible in the “traditional isolated classroom environment.”

Dr. Preston believes the public interest in OSL model stems from the widespread hope that educators and learners can make more effective use of the Internet to meet the needs of the next generation.

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

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Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s Fall Native Plant Sale Begins Saturday

By | Published on 09/22/2014

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The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s Fall Native Plant Sale begins the last weekend of September — Saturday, Sept. 27 — the perfect time to replace drought stricken lawns and gardens with native plants.

Throughout October, speakers, classes and informational workshops will provide resources to make your home gardens thrive. With more than 6,000 plants and 400 varieties to choose from, you won’t find a larger selection between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Garden members get first choice Saturday morning, Sept. 27, from 10 a.m. to noon and receive a 10 percent discount. Doors open to the public at noon Saturday and, as always, there is no garden admission charge to shop at the Garden Grower’s Nursery. The Fall Native Plant Sale continues through Sunday, Nov. 2. The Nursery and Plant Sale are open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“As natural habitats for many native plants disappear, the home garden is an important link in conservation of these specialized species,” said Bruce Reed, the harden’s horticulturist and nursery manager. “The harden helps people to see the beauty of native plants, not just in the wild, but also in their own gardens.”

Fall is the primary planting season in our area. Not only does this give plants time to establish their roots and take advantage of winter rainfall, but many native plants, such as manzanita, bloom in winter. This year’s sale will feature added classes and resources throughout the month to help gardeners make smart water-saving choices. On Drought Defense Day, Saturday, Oct. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., businesses and nonprofits will offer information on water saving products and techniques until 2 p.m., followed by a free drip irrigation demonstration.

Choose just the right plants for your garden with expert garden advice on three Saturdays in October (Oct. 4, 11 and 25). Susan Van Atta, Paige Minney and Bruce Reed will each lead a class and share their favorite pairings of interesting native plants and help participants work through design concepts for their home gardens.

Rare and popular species, such as the Matilija poppy and milkweed, sell out quickly, but new shipments arrive weekly. Shoppers can call 805.682.4726 x127 to check on availability before their visit. As always, garden staff and volunteers are available to provide expert planting advice free of charge.

Each year numerous businesses support the plant sale through sponsorships and in-kind donations of products and services. The garden is especially grateful to this year’s lead sponsor, All Around Landscape Supply. For information about becoming a garden sponsor, please contact Nina Dunbar at 805.682.4726 x151. All proceeds support the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden general fund.

Click here for the full calendar of events and other information. The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is located at 1212 Mission Canyon Road.

— Rebecca Mordini is the communications coordinator for the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.

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Cottage Health System, SBCC Team Up to Study Impact Sports and Brain Injuries

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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Vaquero athletes to wear high-tech sensors to compile data needed for evaluation and identification of cause and effects

As researchers look for connections between impact sports and brain injuries, Cottage Health System and Santa Barbara City College have partnered up to better protect student athletes from harm.

The two institutions recently announced they’ve joined efforts in a new program to monitor injury impacts that Vaquero athletes sustain during games or practice.

The effort involves using Triax Smart Impact Monitor meters, which athletes will wear during practice and competition for the SBCC football, men’s and women’s basketball and men’s and women’s soccer teams.

Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital purchased 180 of the sensors, about $18,000 worth of equipment, to donate to the effort.

The program is being led by Dr. Stephen Kaminski, Cottage’s trauma services director, who already has visited a number of local schools, conducting seminars on the importance of brain injury awareness in connection with sports.

Brain injuries like concussions are the “signature injury that we see in patients” coming into the hospital’s trauma department, he said.

With student athletes, Kaminski explained, “an 18 year old may not have any problems cognitively, but the repetitive impacts may affect them later in life.”

He cited several high-profile cases, like that of Junior Seau, a star linebacker at USC and in the NFL who committed suicide in 2012. An autopsy revealed chronic brain damage similar to that of other deceased former professional football players.

Kaminski said SBCC Athletic Director Ryan Byrne reached out to him about five months ago and said the school was actively looking for ways to protect its athletes from injuries.

“They’ve tried to become very aware of the risks posed to the student athletes,” Kaminski said.

Byrne had looked into the pressure sensors, which measure impact sustained and fit around an athlete’s head like a sweatband.

At this point, it’s unknown if some people are more prone to brain injuries like concussions or if there is a threshold of impact with which a concussion will occur.

The SBCC effort will provide more information as researchers ponder those questions, Kaminski said.

The athletes will be examined at the beginning and end of the season to compare any changes, with visual and motor tests as well as MRIs conducted at UCSB’s Psychological and Brain Sciences Department.

SBCC is not alone in conducting such research. As many as 20 major universities are looking at force effects this year, but the local effort is one of the few reviewing the results with an MRI.

A concussion management plan will also include information about injury prevention and protocols on when athletes should be removed from and returned to the playing fields.

While Kaminski said “football is the poster child for traumatic injury,” researchers are also seeing comparable injuries in soccer players who head the ball.

Kaminski said girls are more prone to concussion in general when matched with similar impacts as boys, and with a high number of women playing soccer, the SBCC team was one they wanted to reach out to.

He said he expects to evaluate the data around the end of the school year in an effort to identify patterns.

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

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Steven Crandell: Thinking Philanthropy All Starts with Motivation

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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In 2011, I started a two-year project with Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors writing a series of 19 guides for individuals and families interested in thoughtful and effective philanthropy. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation provided funding.

In my “Thinking Philanthropy” blog for Noozhawk, you will find excerpts from the guides and from other sources.

I hope the posts inspire you to consider how you can make giving part of your life.

                                                                        •        •

The Story of Oseola McCarty

The road to effective philanthropy begins with motivation.

In explaining her philanthropic philosophy, Oseola McCarty had a simple explanation: 'I can’t do everything,' she said. 'But I can do something to help somebody.' (findagrave.com photo)
In explaining her philanthropic philosophy, Oseola McCarty had a simple explanation: “I can’t do everything,” she said. “But I can do something to help somebody.” (findagrave.com photo)

Most of us can say what we care about. But can we explain clearly what we want to achieve with our giving?

Such knowledge can help define a philanthropic plan of action and maximize its impact.

The story of Oseola McCarty shows just how powerful focused motivation can be.

McCarty dropped out of school in the sixth grade to care for her ailing aunt. She never went back. Instead, she spent more than 75 years as a washerwoman, doing the laundry and ironing the clothes of families in the town of Hattiesburg, Miss.

Taught frugality by her grandmother, she never owned a car nor even subscribed to a newspaper. She did, however, save. When she finally quit doing laundry at age 86, she had saved more than $200,000. She decided to give $150,000 to the local university, the University of Southern Mississippi, to fund scholarships for financially needy African-American students.

“I know it won’t be too many years before I pass on,” she said in 1994. “And I just figured the money would do them a lot more good than it would me. I’m too old to get an education, but they can.”

When word spread about her generosity, other donors stepped forward to match her gift and create an endowed fund. McCarty received the Presidential Citizens Medal from President Bill Clinton, became the subject of a children’s book, and even became an inspiration for Ted Turner’s $1 billion pledge to the United Nations.

“I can’t do everything,” McCarty said. “But I can do something to help somebody. And what I can do I will do. I wish I could do more.”

Inspired to give others what she herself had not received, Oseola McCarty’s philanthropy was made more potent by the clarity of her motivation.

Her story of giving success suggests an important question for any philanthropist to consider:

How well do you know your own motivations for giving?

Click here for more information on “The Giving Commitment: Knowing Your Motivation.”

— Steven Crandell is an author and writer who helps integrate story and strategy for organizations. Nonprofit foundations are a particular focus. This article was cross-posted on Tumblr. Steven can be contacted at stevencrandell@noozhawk.com, or follow him on Twitter: @stevencrandell. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Santa Barbara Airport Plans to Build Space for Small Businesses

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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City to use proceeds from sale of property to Direct Relief to construct new industrial facilities for small companies, startups

The money earned from selling off a piece of Santa Barbara Airport property will be used to construct new nearby buildings, which would be leased out to local small businesses.

Airport Director Hazel Johns said the plan to build such space has been in the works since 1997.

The development will become reality in the next few years thanks to the recently approved sale of land north of Hollister Avenue in the airport’s commercial industrial area to Goleta-based Direct Relief, a nonprofit humanitarian nonprofit that plans to build a new facility.

Earlier this month, the City Council approved the exchange, agreeing to sell Direct Relief six to 8½ acres of land at 6100 Hollister Ave. at a base price of $25 per square foot — between $6.5 million and $8.5 million, depending on final design plans.

“When that sale occurs, the proceeds will be used to construct new industrial commercial property at the airport,” Johns told Noozhawk.

The industrial buildings with small, generic office space would be built north of Hollister Avenue in the industrial commercial park, along Hollister or in vacant parcels behind buildings that front Hollister.

Johns said the airport currently leases to 135 businesses, having created a niche market for many entrepreneurs who start somewhere small and eventually outgrow the space.

“Right now, we have tenants start off with 1,500 square feet and then need another 1,500,” she said. “We have all kinds of tenants.”

The smaller spaces seem to lease better than those closer to 6,000 square feet, she said, because businesses would still have room for research and development and engineering.

Some contractors lease space for storage, and other tenants include Vista Steel, a state crime lab, Southern California Edison R&D and more.

Johns expected the Direct Relief sales agreement to become effective next month, at which time the organization would begin an 18-month design period through the city — a process that can be extended an additional six months.

The final sales price and a construction date were still fluid, but Johns said the airport hopes to build at least six small buildings for the project.

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

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Santa Barbarans Join Global Rallies Demanding Action on Climate Change, Support for Measure P

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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A crowd of approximately 100 people gathered at Vera Cruz Park in Santa Barbara on Sunday to demand action on climate change and support for Measure P.

In advance of a historic summit on climate change convening in New York City this week, more than 300,000 people took to the streets there — the largest march in New York City history — to demand action, not words, a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water; and healthy communities.

The Santa Barbara event was one of 2,808 solidarity events in 166 countries, including many others in California. Click here for more information.

A UC Santa Barbara climate scientist, Dr. Catherine Gautier, addressed the crowd in Santa Barbara.

“When we first started learning about the impact fossil fuels were having on the planet, we thought government would take action,” she said. “It hasn’t. Now we must act.”

She urged support for Measure P, explaining that “the oil extraction they want to do here is the most carbon-intensive. It makes climate change worse.”

“Have you seen the No on P ads that try to scare people about foreign oil?” asked Scott Barnett, a Measure P supporter and volunteer. “In reality, they have sold the rights to our oil fields to foreign companies. We’ll be left with the environmental damage and water and air contamination. We can’t let that happen.”

“What’s going on in Santa Barbara County is the most significant people’s movement since the 1969 oil spill,” said Alex Favacho, member of 350sb, which helped organize Sunday’s event. “Volunteers have collectively spent many thousands of hours qualifying this initiative for the ballot and reaching out to voters.”

Following the climate rally, many people proceeded to go walk precincts or join phone banks in support of Measure P. Click here for more information on Measure P.

— Katie Davis represents Santa Barbara County Water Guardians.

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Judy Foreman: Instagram Sensation Haley Carrere Has Fashioned Quite a Following

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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Bishop Diego High student provides her fans with style points by deftly using social media — and a keen eye for trends and unique finds

The expression “a picture is worth a thousand words” has taken on new meaning in the Age of Instagram. The app is a big part of the information revolution that is transforming the world.

When Caroline Diani, Santa Barbara’s uber retailer of women’s fashions, came across Haley Carrere’s Instagram feed, she felt they shared a similar eye and that “Haley would be a great addition” to her social media team.

Diani told me she reached out to Carrere and proposed a meeting. She had no idea it would be a 16-year-old Bishop Diego High School junior who would answer the call.

“She had such a mature and sophisticated eye,” Diani recalled.

Diani, owner of two Diani Boutiques and soon a third home-themed store in Arlington Plaza in downtown Santa Barbara, offered Carrere an internship. The teenager initially did basic office work, but the opportunity turned into a part-time job that now includes a shooting blog and social media posts promoting new products.

I met Carrere at a Montecito store opening last year while she was shopping with her mom. Only later did I learn she was not just shopping but doing her homework and “soaking up the scene.” We chatted about her interest in fashion and she suggested that I follow her on Instagram. I was impressed, and later I reached out to her to find out more.

On a recent Saturday at Starbucks in Montecito, Carrere arrived for our meeting dressed in a fashionable Isabelle Marant dress. She was not wearing any makeup and her blunt-cut blond hair was still damp from her morning shower.

Over a vanilla latte I learned that Carrere was just a young child when she moved to Santa Barbara from Los Angeles with her parents, Adrienne and Leon Carrere. She attended local schools — All Saints By-the-Sea Parish School, Montecito Union, Marymount of Santa Barbara and now Bishop Diego.

Carrere credits her mom’s keen sense of adventure and exploration as having nurtured her aesthetic appreciation of the world, which she says she has “been fortunate to be able to have traveled all over.”

Haley Carrere’s follow-through on Instagram is closing in on 11,500 fans. (Haley Carrere photo via Instagram)
Haley Carrere’s follow-through on Instagram is closing in on 11,500 fans. (Haley Carrere photo via Instagram)

She said she also has been influenced by her parents’ French heritage. The Mediterranean home that her parents designed and built near Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club has been featured in Elle Décor.

Growing up near the water, Carrere says her biggest hobbies are anything ocean-related, from swimming to stand-up paddling. A favorite trip was to a very remote island in Indonesia called Rote. There, she and other members of the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit organization, Hands 4 Others, were helping to bring clean water to the country. Carrere’s friend, pro surfer Lakey Peterson, was also a volunteer on the trip.

Like most other 16-year-olds, Carrere spends her weekends with friends — including her mom and her friends.

“We share a very close relationship and take numerous day trips to the Santa Ynez Valley, El Capitán, and four to five times a month, to Los Angeles,” she explained, noting that the field trips are for fun as well as for lifestyle enrichment for her work.

Regular stops are at her current favorite restaurant in downtown L.A., Bottega Louie (loves their macaroons), she checks out the latest offerings at Brentwood Country Mart, and she lunches at Gracias Madre and the boulangerie Le Pain Quotidien. She’ll often top off a fun day with a sprinkles vanilla cupcake. (She is still a 16 year old with a sweet tooth, after all.) 

“Santa Barbara is my sanctuary but Los Angeles is my playground!” Carrere exclaimed.

Her favorite stores to shop for herself are Zara, Topshop, Diani Boutique, Intermix and hunting down those great finds at H&M and Target. She says her favorite designer is Ralph Lauren “because everything in his collections are always timeless.”

“I appreciate the artistry of Valentino, Oscar de la Renta, Isabel Marant, Chloé and Céline,” she said.

Other haunts are Bergdorf Goodman in New York City and Harrods in London. 

On Instagram, Carrere works to represent a fun lifestyle and everyday fun things, but her biggest focus is fashion. After getting her feet wet, she began following some aesthetically pleasing accounts of street-styles bloggers, like Santa Barbara’s Samantha Hutchinson and Danielle Bernstein in New York City.

“They were not just people posting pictures of their friends or posting photos of a Starbucks cup,” she said.

Carrere believes her audience — which stands at nearly 11,500 followers and is growing daily — and her blog, thestylesnag.blogspot, took off because she “started posting photos that other people would grasp and appreciate, not just photos that only people who knew me would understand or like.”

She says fashion relates to everyone.

“Everyone puts clothes on in the morning,” Carrere said. “Whether you do it with intention and thought or just throw something on, I hope I am inspiring other people’s outfits.”

Carrere’s biggest goal for her recurring Instagram #OOTD (Outfit of the Day) is to inspire other people her age to try a new look or even just to try. She’s received fan mail from throughout the United States and from as far away as Prague.

“I’m growing with each of my posts, and can look back at some of my older posts and see the growth,” she explained.

In addition to her work with Diani, Carrere has worked at All Saints Parish School, volunteered with the Breast Cancer Resource Center, and recently was asked to participate in an anti-bullying campaign for Teen Vogue.

With only a year and half of high school left, the subject came up as to what Carrere wants to do after graduation. She knows exactly what she wants to do: Move to London, one of her favorite cities, and go to school there.

She says she’d like to work at British Vogue or Elle.

“I feel with my ability to make collages, styling, editing, writing and putting projects together, a high-profile fashion magazine would be good fit for me,” she said.

Diani was effusive in her praise.

“Haley really adds a fresh perspective, and I can relate to her entrepreneurial spirit,” she said. “She knows what she wants and who she is, and that will take her far in this industry.

“I’m grateful that she is sharing this journey with us by modeling our clothes on her Instagram feed. She’s one of Santa Barbara’s stars on the rise to watch, for sure.”

— Judy Foreman is a Noozhawk columnist and longtime local writer and lifestyles observer. She can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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Craig Allen: Fed Gives Investors What They Wanted, But Is It Enough to Keep Stock Rally Going?

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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Last week, the Federal Open Market Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank met to discuss the U.S. economy. Investors anxiously waited for the statement following the meeting for direction from the Fed regarding the timing of interest rate increases to come. A question of when and not if, the Fed will certainly begin raising short-term interest rates in 2015. The timing of the beginning of those rate increases is the hot topic of the moment for investors.

The key language in the previous Fed statements has been “considerable time,” referring to the amount of time that the Fed will wait from when it removes the last of the stimulus from QE3 (quantitative easing round 3) — which should be within the next six weeks — and when it begins raising short-term interest rates.

Investors were relieved and encouraged when the Fed left the considerable time language in its statement, and stocks rallied to new all-time highs for the Dow Jones Industrial Average and Standard & Poor’s 500. As expected, the Fed also announced a reduction on $10 billion, to $15 billion from $25 billion in bond purchases to continue until the next Fed meeting, at the end of October, at which it plans to remove the remaining stimulus (assuming the economy continues to improve).

Although it is likely that stocks and bonds would have felt the sting had the Fed removed the considerable time language, we know that the clock is ticking — interest rates are going to increase, sooner rather than later. Not only will they move higher, but once the Fed begins raising short-term rates, the pace of the increases will be brisk.

A majority of the 10 Fed officials expects interest rates to rise to a median rate of 3.75 percent by the end of 2017, according to the central bank’s updated “dot plot.” Only four expect rates to be below that threshold. According to the new plot, Fed officials now expect the midpoint of the Fed funds rate to be 1.375 percent at the end of 2015, up from 1.125 percent. If the Fed waits until the middle of 2015 to begin raising rates from zero percent currently, the ace of rate increases will be frantic. The dot pot shows rates rising to 2.875 percent by the end of 2016, up from 2.5 percent from the previous forecast.

In addition to removing the bond purchases from QE3, the Fed continues to reinvest cash from maturing bonds in its bloated $4.4 trillion portfolio. In the statement last week, the Fed indicated it plans to continue reinvesting proceeds from maturing assets until it begins raising rates. The result of this will likely be a double-whammy effect on markets, once the Fed pulls the trigger on rate increases and stops reinvesting proceeds from maturing bonds at the same time, around the middle of next year.

Investors still appear to be focusing on the very short-term — days and even hours, versus looking at the long-term trends for the markets. As a result, both the stock and bond markets are grossly overextended and ripe for major corrections/crashes. While bubbles can form and persist for months or even years, ultimately they must burst. The larger they get, the more dramatic — and painful — the aftermath.

The clock is certainly ticking on the Fed’s next move on interest rates. Whether it comes in the first, second or third quarter of next year, there is no doubt that rate increases are coming, which means in a matter of months. Corrections and crashes, when they come, come fast and fierce. There will likely be little or no warning, and the trigger will likely be something that normally (in a market that was not in a bubble) would be insignificant.

Those committed to a buy-and-hold strategy can sleep well at night knowing they are locked into their strategy, for better or for worse. Everyone else, and especially those with less than a 10-year time horizon, should take action to protect portfolios from adverse moves in asset values.

Craig Allen, CFA, CFP, CIMA, is president of Allen Wealth Management and founder of Dump That Debt. He has been managing assets for foundations, corporations and high-net worth individuals for more than 20 years and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA charter holder), a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and holds the Certified Investment Management Analyst (CIMA) certification. He blogs at Finance With Craig Allen and can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.898.1400. Click here to read previous columns or follow him on Twitter: @MPAMCraig. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Michelle Malkin: America’s Indiscriminate Refugee Policies Enable Jihad Plotters

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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Fresh terror busts in Australia expose a common Achilles’ heel of the West: Indiscriminate refugee policies turn free countries into breeding grounds for jihad. It’s the same game in America. Soldiers of Islam have weaponized our blind generosity against us.

In Sydney last week, authorities detained a half-dozen Muslim plotters and arrested a top collaborator in an alleged conspiracy to kidnap and behead a random Australian citizen. The accused mastermind? Afghan refugee turned Aussie Islamic State recruiter Mohammad Ali Baryalei. He and his aristocratic family were welcomed Down Under decades ago. Baryalei returned the favor by taking to the streets of Sydney to recruit and radicalize dozens of fellow Muslim immigrants or their children.

Baryalei’s minions include Australian jihadist Khaled Sharrouf, the homicidal son of Lebanese immigrants. Sharrouf is now based in Syria, where he infamously tweeted a photo of his elementary school-age son brandishing a severed human head.

The Sydney Beheading Bust comes on the heels of a separate outbreak of violence by Afghan refugees aligned with the terror group Hezbollah. In late August, Aussie police broke up a bloody riot involving members of the “420 gang” — Muslim teenage boys and young men who post sword-wielding, AK-47-toting selfies on social media. The self-described “Shia soldiers” quote Hezbollah militant imam Hassan Nasrallah online, while wreaking havoc in Sydney slums offline.

International “human rights” wags have attacked Australian officials for trying to crack down on unfettered immigration from terror-sponsoring states. Now, many of those ungrateful imports are crying “Islamophobia” as law enforcement authorities try to stop the head-choppers from spilling blood on their soil.

Australia, we feel your pain. America’s unselective and desultory asylum and refugee policies have also enabled jihadists of all stripes and blades to recruit, convert, plot, pillage, rape and kill.

In our heartland, Minneapolis has become “Little Mogadishu” — a haven for Somali refugees targeted by Islamic supremacists. It’s a deadly two-way street. As former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy noted in The Grand Jihad, “We not only import Somali aliens, including their ‘traditional leaders.’ We also send back aspiring Islamist militants, including suicide bombers. Since 2006, the FBI has detected that many Somalis are returning to fight on behalf of al-Shabaab, and more are launched from Minneapolis than from any other U.S. haven.”

But instead of slowing down refugee admissions from terror-sponsoring and terror-supporting states, the Obama administration has jacked them up. Instead of increasing our scrutiny of asylum and refugee seekers who admit to providing “limited material support" to terrorists, the Obama administration has created more loopholes for them.

Last fall, FBI agents admitted that several dozen suspected terrorist bomb-builders may have mistakenly been allowed to move to the United States as war refugees from Iraq. These include two al-Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) jihadists who were resettled as refugees in Bowling Green, Ky. — and then later admitted in court that they had attacked U.S. soldiers in Iraq, according to ABC News.

In Colorado Springs, a gang of Iraqi Muslim refugees monstrously raped and brutalized a woman — after being welcomed here with open arms and, in at least one case, receiving praise and help from U.S. soldiers.

These thugs join a growing litany of asylees and refugees gone wild in America, including:

» The vengeful Tsarnaev family of Boston Marathon brothers and their jobless, mooching sisters.

» Ramzi Yousef, who faked an asylum claim to plot the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

» Gazi Ibrahim Abu Mezer, a Palestinian bomb-builder who entered the United States illegally through Canada and claimed political asylum based on phony persecution by Israelis.

» Palestinian jihadist Mir Aimal Kansi, convicted in 1997 of capital murder for the January 1993 shooting spree outside CIA headquarters in McLean, Va., claimed bogus political asylum based on his ethnic minority status in Pakistan.

» Somali national Nuradin Abdi, the al-Qaeda shopping mall bomb plotter convicted in 2007, first entered the United States in 1995 using a false passport, entered again illegally from Canada in 1997, and then secured asylum on false grounds. He fraudulently obtained a refugee travel document, which he then used to fly to Ethiopia and, yes, Chechnya for jihad training.

» Convicted Fort Dix (N.J.) jihad plotters and ethnic Albanian illegal alien brothers Dritan, Shain and Eljvir Duka, who snuck into the country through Mexico with their parents, who applied for asylum in 1984.

Meanwhile, countless Christians, Jews and other victims of Islamic persecution remain outcast and abandoned around the world. Ain’t diversity and assimilation grand?

Michelle Malkin is author of Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies. Contact her at malkinblog@gmail.com, follow her on Twitter: @michellemalkin, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

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Susan Estrich: It’s Time for Barack Obama to Become Commander in Chief

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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“If we take the proper steps, we can save lives, but we have to act fast,” President Barack Obama said Tuesday. “We can’t dawdle on this one. We have to move with force and make sure that we are catching this as best we can given that this has broken out in ways we have not seen before.”

Obama was in Atlanta announcing an expanded military effort to aid African countries fighting ​Ebola, but he also might have been talking about the necessity of stopping the oil-fueled terrorism and hate of ISIL.

Obama did not set about to be a foreign policy president. He was going to be the health-care president, the guy who focused on jobs and equality and the environment and education.

But with two years left in his term, he can’t do much of anything about any of those things, other than issue executive orders and (if Democrats hold onto the Senate) appoint people. If Democrats lose the Senate, so much for the appointments piece. For better or worse, like it or not, the domestic agenda — whether right or left — is caught in gridlock. For better or worse, like it or not, Obama must face the challenges of a world in crisis.

Amid the horror being wreaked by these extremists is an opportunity for Obama to rise above the pettiness of American politics and act as the commander in chief. The extremists have created a coalition that would not otherwise exist, and, equally improbably, they have silenced the partisan attacks from House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and his crowd. Now Obama must take the next step — away from politics.

Leave it to the Senate Democrats to fight their fights in the battleground states where Obama’s presence doesn’t help anyway. Enough with the endless fundraising for negative ads and back-and-forth blame games.

Enlist former President Bill Clinton to do the domestic rallies. Send Vice President Joe Biden to collect checks from the big donors. The best thing Obama can do is to confront the world, speaking for a united country, facing danger with determination and boldness.

This is not Obama’s natural inclination. His critics, and even his friends, have complained that “not doing something stupid” is not a strategy or a worldview. Even now, with the country, and especially his opponents, ready to give him more authority than he is asking for, the concern — and it is a real one — is that Obama is asking for too little and not too much, that it may take special forces “advisers” to stop ISIL and not just air strikes, that no boots on the ground might more accurately mean no boots on the ground in frontline combat.

We have had too many presidents who have found it too easy to send young men and women into harm’s way. Not making mistakes is not a strategy, but it remains a good idea. The president should not be reckless, but neither should he be timid.

I usually start to laugh when politicians start invoking “the American people,” as if we are a monolith who speaks in one voice directly into the ear that is not hooked up to a television camera. But this is one of those occasions where it seems almost true that the country wants to be united, wants to be strong, wants to fight back and, most important, wants a president we can trust and rely on in the battle.

Easy? Of course not. But Obama is not the newbie he was six years ago. The best thing he can do for his party, his country and his legacy, let alone the people who are in harm’s way, is to focus not only on the belated battle against Ebola, but also on the belated and necessary world effort to deal with the threat of extremism that knows no limits. He might just be the national security president yet. And by the way, the Democrats might even hold the Senate.

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.

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Goleta Lemon Festival Is Still a Sweet — and Tangy — Treat after 23 Years

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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Thousands flock to Girsh Park as Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce delivers on food, fun, entertainment and activities

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Thousands of people turned out for the annual California Lemon Festival in Goleta, which added a number of new events for its 23rd year.

The two-day festival at Girsh Park already has a winning combination of a car show, live entertainment, rides and amusements for children, and, of course, tons of lemon-flavored treats.

The Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce organizes the festival and debuted a “green” car show Sunday in addition to the usual favorites.

This festival also hosted arts and crafts vendors, the Classic Lemon Pie Eating Contest and the ninth annual Goleta Fall Classic Car and Street Rod Show.

Sponsors of the festival included MarBorg Industries, Venoco Inc., Cox, Goleta West Sanitary DistrictNoozhawk, ParentClick.comSanta Ynez Band of Chumash Indians and The Towbes Group.

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

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Santa Maria Man Killed in Crash Near Orcutt

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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A Santa Maria man was fatally injured Sunday afternoon in a single-vehicle crash east of Orcutt, according to the California Highway Patrol.

A lengthy extrication was required to free Lawrence David Silva, 61, from the wreckage of his vehicle, said Vince Agapito, spokesman for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

The wreck occurred about 3 p.m. on Dominion Road just north of Clark Avenue, Agapito said.

He said two fire engines and a county helicopter were dispatched to the scene.

Crews spent at least a half-hour trying to remove Silva from the 2011 Lincoln, which slammed into a tree, the CHP said.

Silva was taken by ambulance to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, where he was declared dead.

The cause of the crash remained under investigation by the CHP.

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

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Jeff Moehlis: In Advance of Paso Robles Show, Beach Boys’ Al Jardine Talks ‘Heroes and Villains’

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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Al Jardine was a founding member of The Beach Boys, and apart from a year off in the early days, he was a key member of the band up until 1998. He was also part of the 50th anniversary reunion tour that visited the Santa Barbara Bowl in the summer of 2012.

You can hear Jardine’s harmonies and/or playing on many classic Beach Boys recordings, including “Surfin’ Safari,” “I Get Around,” “California Girls,” “Barbara Ann,” “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” “Good Vibrations,” and many more. His best-known lead vocal is on the No. 1 hit “Help Me Rhonda.” He also brought the song “Sloop John B” to Brian Wilson’s attention, and helped to arrange The Beach Boys’ version. His songwriting credits include “California Saga: California” and “Susie Cincinnati.”

Jardine and musical genius Brian Wilson will be performing  Saturday at the Vina Robles Amphitheatre in Paso Robles. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.

Jardine talked to Noozhawk about the upcoming show. Click here for the full interview.

                                                                        •        •

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

Al Jardine: Well, you’ll get quite a mixture of things. We’re kind of all over the map, actually. We do some hits from the ’60s, some very interesting songs from the ’70s, and a smattering of stuff from the ’80s. It’s just a heckuva show. Every show is different — you never know what you’re going to get! The song selection’s really interesting, with different eras of The Beach Boys.

JM: If you don’t mind going way back, can you tell me about when you first met Brian Wilson?

AJ: Whew ... We played football together. The first time I met Brian was on the team, football practice. We chatted a little bit. We didn’t know each other personally, other than we’d pass each other on campus and shared some of the same classes. But we didn’t actually strike up a friendship until after we began The Beach Boys. My second year of college we hooked up and started singing together, and then he introduced me to his family, and that’s when everything started taking off.

JM: When you started playing together, was there an instant spark or did that take a while to develop?

AJ: It was instantaneous. He was so into the Four Freshmen, and he was showing me all of these fabulous songs on the piano, and I was showing him a couple of folk songs like “Sloop John B,” for instance. And he was showing me a Four Freshmen tune. We were all over the map. Man, we were having a ball. He said, “You’ve got to meet my cousin, Mike (Love). You’ve got to meet my little brother, Carl,” you know.

I rented some instruments for the first record. I went over and rented all of the equipment and we made our little song called “Surfin’.”

JM: And the rest is history, as they say, right?

AJ: Yeah.

JM: The first song that you sang lead for was “Help Me Rhonda.” How was it decided who would sing the lead on the different songs?

AJ: That was Brian. And that wasn’t my first song, by the way. “Christmas Day” was my very first song, on the Christmas album. But I think his instinct was, hey, the guys are going out 150 days a year. We’d better spread the leads around. (laughs) That would be my guess. I never really asked Brian about it, to be honest with you.

He gave Carl, of course, the lead to “Good Vibrations,” which he could easily have done himself. He was smart. That way he kept himself off the road. He didn’t like to tour. I think that was his way of keeping us all working (laughs) and him off the road.

He knew what keys we all sang in and what best would suit each singer. You know, Mike had those early hits, but that was a certain quality of song, a certain kind of presentation. And then as you grow musically you want a different kind of presentation.

JM: Here’s a question based on the song “Heroes and Villains.” In the story of The Beach Boys, who do you think were the “heroes” and ... maybe you don’t want to say who the “villains” are.

AJ: Is this a leading question? (both laugh) We’re all heroes. I think all of us.

Mike and Brian were first cousins, and they had a relationship that helped cement the musical and lyrical direction of the band from the beginning. Carl was a hero because he was the moral center of the band, also a hell of a guitar player. And Dennis (Wilson), who didn’t even play an instrument, learned to play the drums.

He gave me a lot of trouble over the years. He said, “I hate this song” — “Help Me Rhonda.” I said, “What do you mean?” “I have to hit the drums every quarter note. It’s gonna put me in the hospital.”

Just kidding, I’m overdoing it. But the hardest song he said, on the stage, was “Help Me Rhonda.” Because he played the drums kind of backward. He was an untrained drummer, but had really great time, and great energy. You know, we’d always kid around about “Help Me Rhonda” because that was the one that gave him the most trouble.

All of them are heroes.

JM: I saw the 50th anniversary show a couple of years ago in Santa Barbara. What are your reflections on that tour?

AJ: It was great, and unfortunately came to a close too soon. I would have loved to have seen it go into another year, which is so pragmatic, so logical. But due to certain members of the band it just wasn’t to be. We kind of were hobbled. We added dates, we added up to 74 dates — we added 24 extra dates. It was great while it lasted. We were just getting our motors going, you know, and I would have loved to have seen it continue.

JM: Well, I’m sure that this upcoming show will be wonderful. Thanks for taking the time to talk to me.

AJ: You’re very welcome. My pleasure.

Click here for the full interview with Al Jardine of The Beach Boys.

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

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Letter to the Editor: Additional Questions about Lompoc Swap Meet

By | Published on 09/21/2014

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This is in reference to Ron Fink’s commentary about the Lompoc swap meet. I was on the City Council when we renegotiated the contract in 2010 and at that time there was supposed to be a monitoring process in effect.

I went to the swap meet Saturday and sent my questions to the city administrator and city hall. I served on the Old Town Market Committee since its beginning in 2000. We followed all the rules associated with putting on an event of this type — all of our vendors had city business licenses, the food vendors had certificates of compliance from the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department, and we made sure the areas we were using were cleaned up at the end of the market.

My questions to the city address these issues of licensing and health permits. I also want to know if the concessionaire is paying the owner of the adjacent lots for use of the space. It seems to me if the swap meet organizers want to continue, they should limit the vendors to those who have city business licenses, and the food vendors need to be inspected and approved by the county health department.

It is only a matter of time before someone gets sick because the food is not properly stored, heated and cleaned according to the regulations in place.

Ann Ruhge
Lompoc
 

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New Beginnings Counseling Center Refuels with Second Annual Changing Lives Gala

By | Published on 09/20/2014

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Belmond El Encanto hosts packed fundraiser to make a difference for a broad range of NBCC beneficiaries

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New Beginnings Counseling Center has served more than 2,000 of Santa Barbara County’s most vulnerable residents this year by providing affordable counseling, safe shelter, case management, employment services and community outreach programs.

The center recently held its Second Annual Changing Lives Gala Dinner at the Belmond El Encanto to raise funding for even more mental health services for families and individuals.

“We serve over 2,000 people per year and we have five programs, a community Counseling Center, a Safe Parking Program, Life Skills Parenting Education Program, Support Services for Veterans and Their Families, and our Supportive Services Program for the Housing Authority of the City of Santa Barbara,” said executive director Kristine J. Schwarz, MA, MFT.

These critical programs serve a key number of local needs with 830 clients served in the Safe Parking Program, approximately 60 families each year served by Life Skills, 120 veterans served by the veterans affairs program, and 181 clients served by case managers in the Housing Authority program.

The programs also help fill a need for one in four adults who experience mental illness in a given year. Approximately 26 percent of homeless adults who stay in shelters live with a serious mental illness, officials say.

Following a lively cocktail reception on the outdoor patio high in the Riviera overlooking Santa Barbara, guests settled into their assigned seats for dinner and the evening’s program.

“This is our second annual fundraiser and we are thrilled to be here at El Encanto,” Schwarz said. “We have a great lineup of amazing speakers.”

Special guest speakers included Glenn Bacheller, chairman of Homeless Affinity Group, and Sami Samir Ibrahim, a former Army sergeant who praised the organization for helping him “rebuild his life.”

Midway through the presentation, guests were treated to a short film about Townsend’s personal challenges and the Safe Parking Program made by award-winning filmmaker Michael Nash, the evening’s keynote speaker.

Nash, known for his critically acclaimed films Fuel and Climate Refugees, is currently working on a documentary titled Boomtown, which depicts the rising number of elderly homelessness across the United States.

“The film is about how this storm is approaching America of elderly people, and it’s really a triangular collision of people just living longer and people being forced out of their jobs early and not getting the pensions for retirement and people not saving like they did in prior generations,” Nash told Noozhawk. “You kind of combine those three things together and it doesn’t take much to have someone out on the streets.

“I think what New Beginnings is doing can be a pilot program for cities and townships across America.”

Guest and former NBCC client Caroline Townsend, 78, a former real-estate agent and property owner of several buildings in Santa Barbara, said she fell upon hard times and lost everything that she owned during the recession, and was forced to live in her car for a couple of months. While homeless, she reached out to NBCC for help and credits the Safe Parking Program for providing her with safe, daily-monitored parking spaces at night.

“When you find yourself sleeping in your car it is really scary, because one it’s illegal, and two it’s a really dangerous thing to be doing,” she said. “So that there is such a program is fantastic. It takes this enormous pressure off.

“It’s really a relief. It makes you feel like, OK, I’m going to be OK and things are going to be fine.”

Townsend, who was diagnosed with breast cancer and had broken an ankle at the time, said she just had to carry on when things got tough.

“When you are unexpectedly in a panic situation where you suddenly realize that this is it, it’s hard to ask people for help,” she said. “The people at New Beginnings were wonderful. They made me feel safe. They made me feel hope.”

Click here for more information about New Beginnings Counseling Center, or click here to make an online donation.

Noozhawk iSociety columnist Melissa Walker can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz

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Sal Güereña: Dos Pueblos High School Student Interpreters Answer the Call

By | Published on 09/20/2014

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In an unprecedented student volunteer outreach, 50 bilingual Latino students at Dos Pueblos High School answered the call and provided Back to School Night interpretation for Spanish-speaking parents at eight district schools.

After having barely returned from their summer vacation, the Santa Barbara Unified School District came calling and the students responded. They interpreted for parents at three of the four junior highs, they bused into town to help parents at four elementary schools in Santa Barbara, and then they were on point to interpret for the parents at their own school back in Goleta.

Last school year, 246 bilingual high school students from four schools were trained by the school district and then they were sent throughout the school district for the Back to School Nights.

This year the school district trained and deployed bilingual school staff from throughout the district, re-assigning students to guide the parents to their children’s classes. However, the number of available staff interpreters fell short and with only days to go there were simply far too few of them to go around.

In a stroke of good luck for the schools, Dos Pueblos High counted on its cadre of bilingual, experienced returning students who were trained last year to go out and help parents again this year.

When these students were asked why, on such short notice would they slip on their “DPHS en español T-shirts, grab a water bottle, and repeat what they did last year, Yesenia Terríquez, a senior in the Dos Pueblos Engineering Academy, replied, “It’s simple, helping parents makes me feel proud of my culture.”

Aidee Pérez, also a senior, affirmed that the benefit works both ways: “It makes us feel proud to use our Spanish to help the parents.”

These same students had practiced their language skills during the past school year by interpreting for parents at DPHS school functions.

So when the students returned to school and were asked if they would be willing to volunteer again, all of them raised their hands. On Sept. 2 they donned their interpreter T-shirts and hopped on a school bus to go help the parents at Roosevelt Elementary School in Santa Barbara, their first assignment.

Senior Kayla Lázaro summed up the students’ passion.

“I love riding the buses with the other interpreters,” she said. “We feel like a family, and being a student interpreter has connected me to my school like nothing else has. This is leadership for us.”

According to Dos Pueblos High Principal Shawn Carey, “This outreach really represents a win/win for everyone involved: families feel more welcomed in their schools, schools benefit from more authentic and representative parent engagement, and students have an opportunity to hone valuable skills that will serve them well in their future endeavors.”

The student interpreters demonstrated through their sense of purpose and commitment that they, too, can be counted on to serve parents when the chips are down and the numbers fail to add up.

— Salvador Güereña is executive director for the school parent advocacy organization United Parents/Padres Unidos. The opinions expressed are his own.

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Capps Seeks to Name Lompoc Post Office after Federal Correctional Officer Killed in 1997

By | Published on 09/20/2014

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Lompoc native and Los Alamos resident Scott Williams was stabbed to death by inmate at Lompoc prison

A bill introduced last week in Congress would name the U.S. Post Office building in Lompoc after Scott J. Williams, a correctional officer killed at the Lompoc federal prison 17 years ago.

If enacted, the legislation would designate the facility at 801 W. Ocean Ave. as the Federal Correctional Officer Scott J. Williams Memorial Post Office Building.

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, introduced H.R. 5562 on Thursday in Williams’ honor.

“Naming this post office after Senior Officer Specialist Williams is a fitting tribute to a man who dedicated his life to serving his country with valor,” Capps said in a news release.

“I hope my House colleagues will join me in honoring this man, whose selfless career has kept our nation and community safe, by swiftly passing this bill.”

According to Capps, the bill is co-sponsored by the entire California congressional delegation.

Williams, a senior officer specialist, was killed in the line of duty at the U.S. Penitentiary in Lompoc on April 3, 1997.

An inmate with an improvised knife delivered the fatal blow in the incident, which also injured four other correctional officers who went to assist Williams.

He had served in the U.S. Marine Corps during Operation Desert Storm, earning a Purple Heart and receiving several awards, including “Marine of the Year.”

The Lompoc High School graduate had been employed by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons for four years.

Williams, who was 30, lived in Los Alamos with his wife, Kristy, and their two daughters, Kallee and Kaitlin.

A section of Highway 1 between Vandenberg Air Force Base and Lompoc also recognizes Williams.

In late 2012,  the stretch of roadway was renamed the Federal Correctional Office Scott Williams Memorial Highway after being approved by the Legislature.

A training center at the Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex also bears Williams’ name.

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

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Diane Dimond: It’s Time to Seriously Consider Legalizing All Drugs

By | Published on 09/20/2014

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Here’s a riddle: How many knowledgeable people does it take to suggest a policy change before society adopts their sage advice?

Buried in all the recent news about ISIS, horrific weather lashing the United States, the violence of NFL players and the like, came a hardly noticed news item about the idea of legalizing drugs.

Now, stay with me on this. It’s important.

The Global Commission on Drug Policy, an illustrious panel including former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz, former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, former presidents and prime ministers of nearly a dozen countries and others issued a detailed study about why it’s smart — for reasons both humanitarian and financial — to legalize marijuana and other drugs.

Yes, all drugs.

Maybe it’s time to consider their suggestion.

After all, our decades-long War on Drugs has been a miserable failure. Actions to curb drug production and violence in other countries and along our border have obviously not worked. Over the last 40 years, countless billions of dollars have been spent trying to corral the scourge, and the result is more drug addicts than ever before. Our prisons are overflowing with dealers and addicts. Yet the supply and demand keeps flowing and growing.

So how long do we keep doing what obviously doesn't work?

The commission's study has several main recommendations and one guiding goal: the “health and welfare of mankind,” including widespread access to essential medicines and pain control. The idea being, I surmise, that patients in pain often graduate to the ranks of full-fledged addicts. Help them early and they don’t graduate.

The commission calls for an end to the criminalization and incarceration of low-level users, instead diverting the money we spend on court costs and prisons to treatment strategies. And to undermine the massive profits of organized crime, the panel recommends law enforcement specifically target top-level criminals and the most violent organizations. In other words, cut off the head of the snake instead of worrying about its tail, as we so often do today.

Governments are called upon to totally rethink their drug problem and not be afraid of new ideas. Gee, it sounds so simple.

This isn’t the first distinguished bunch of thinkers to put forward these suggestions. In 2002, an influential group of American law enforcement professionals, including police chiefs, high court judges and lawyers, got together to formulate better ways to handle the drug plague in America.

They formed Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, which has already advocated many of the commission’s ideas, and believes prohibition of drugs is at the center of the problem. Remove the ban, LEAP’s leaders say, and you remove both the colossal profit motive and the violence inflicted upon those who get in the way of the cartels. In the process, you’ve eased the burden on police departments, overcrowded prisons and families whose breadwinners are behind bars.

“We believe that by placing drug abuse in the hands of medical professionals instead of the criminal justice system, we will reduce rates of addiction and overdose deaths,” says LEAP’s mission statement. “We believe that in a regulated and controlled environment, drugs will be safer for adult use and less accessible to our children.”

Can all these people who have stared the drug problem in the face and now advocate decriminalization be wrong? They have lived, breathed and been part of the system that was designed to find solutions. How can we ignore their learned advice?

Oh, there are plenty of outstanding questions about these revolutionary suggestions. If drugs are legalized, regulated and taxed by governments, won’t there still be a black market for those who don’t want to be tracked by Uncle Sam? Isn't there the risk of creating another bloated government entity? Would hardcore drugs such as heroin and meth be available, or would substitutes be offered? How can we know if more money, time and expertise will really be dedicated to treating addicts?

I don’t know the answer to all these questions, but several states have already taken the step of legalizing marijuana, and the gates of hell have not opened. Locking up millions of addicts with the hope that the suppliers will dry up hasn’t worked. So, how long do we keep hitting our heads against the wall with zero positive results?

Doing the same thing over and over is, to me, the definition of stupidity.

I say it’s way past time to seriously consider alternatives.

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

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Mark Shields: The Rich Have Never Been Richer, But Is That Fair to the Rest of Us?

By | Published on 09/20/2014

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“Labor is prior to and independent of capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital and deserves much the higher consideration.”

Any semi-plausible 2016 White House candidate knows it would be the kiss of fundraising death to be caught on YouTube uttering such subversively un-American, anti-business sentiments.

If you want to understand just how far to the right our politics have moved, you only have to know that the opening lines above are a direct quotation from the first annual message to Congress by our nation’s first and greatest Republican president, Abraham Lincoln.

What brought Honest Abe to mind was the Federal Reserve’s recent release of its Survey of Consumer Finances, done every three years, which confirmed conclusively what you probably already knew: The rich are getting ever richer, while everybody else is losing ground.

Between 2010 and 2013 (remember that the Great Recession officially ended in June 2009), the median income for all American families, which has dropped every year since 2006, fell another $2,300, down to $46,700 a year. The only Americans whose incomes did not shrink between 2010 and 2013 were the richest 10 percent.

To me, the most disheartening numbers deal with the growing concentration of the national wealth among the economic elite. The richest 3 percent of Americans controlled 44.8 percent of U.S. wealth in 1989 (right after the second term of Republican Ronald Reagan), which increased to 51.8 percent in 2007 (in the second term of Republican George W. Bush). In 2013, in Democrat Barack Obama’s second term, the wealth share of the top 3 percent had swollen to 54.4 percent.

Conversely, the share of the nation’s wealth belonging to the bottom 90 percent of Americans fell from a third during the Reagan years to less than a quarter. To make the point even more painfully, the nation’s minimum wage, in constant dollars, was worth more — $5.06 an hour — in 1984 (Reagan again) than it was last year, down to only $4.87 an hour.

The evidence is clear. The United States is more and more unequal. Recall the criteria offered by the only American ever elected to the White House four times. A great Democratic leader, Franklin D. Roosevelt, told us in his second inaugural address: “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

By every human measurement, we have ignored Lincoln by deferring to and all but genuflecting before almighty capital while treating labor with indifference bordering on contempt. Year after year, as more is added to the record abundance of those who already have too much — and everyone else falls further behind — we fail FDR’s test.

At one time, we honored these two men — Lincoln and Roosevelt — enough to build in our nation’s capital two inspiring memorials to their leadership and their values. Is it not time we answered their summons and met their challenge to build a more human and humane American economy?

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

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Fire Near Vandenberg Air Force Base Burns 8 Acres

By | Published on 09/20/2014

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A brush fire broke out near Vandenberg Air Force Base on Saturday afternoon and burned about eight acres, VAFB officials said.  

The Vandenberg Fire Department and Hot Shots crew responded to the fire on Santa Lucia Canyon Road around 11:45 a.m. according to the 30th Space Wing Public Affairs Office.

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department assisted in the effort, department spokesman Vince Agapito said.

Crews had the blaze contained, but not controlled, by 1:30 p.m., he said.

The area of Santa Lucia Canyon Road between Highway 1 and the base’s Lompoc gate was still closed as of 5:30 p.m. Saturday for safety concerns, VAFB officials said.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

The fire was estimated at about 10 acres but Vandenberg released the eight-acre figure later Saturday afternoon.

Crews remained on the scene for several hours to mop up the brush fire site, Agapito said.

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

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Lompoc Chamber of Commerce Serves Up Free Lunch at Vandenberg Air Force Base

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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The annual Airmen Appreciation Barbecue feeds hundreds of military members

As Capt. Miguel Gaytan walked through the food line Friday at Vandenberg Air Force Base’s Cocheo Park, he paused to express his appreciation to each server.

“Thank you. I really appreciate you supporting us,” Gaytan, a 4th Space Launch Squadron member, told each volunteer filling his plate with a food for a free lunch. “Thank you for the support.”

Gaytan was among hundreds of airmen and other military members who attended the annual appreciation barbecue hosted by the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“This is really nice. It makes us feel a part of the community,” added Gaytan, who will be moving to a new assignment in Alabama soon. “This is cool.” 

The chamber’s Military Affairs Committee has hosted the Airmen Appreciation Barbecue for more than a decade, serving up a free lunch funded by donations from throughout the community. 

They also gave away gift baskets and other items through a raffle drawing. 

More than two dozen volunteers served meat, salad, beans, bread and salsa to uniformed enlisted members and officers.

The Vandenberg Non-Commissioned Officers Association barbecued the meal.

“What a super day to have lunch with our friends, our coworkers and members of the community. We couldn’t do it without the fantastic support of all of the sponsors in the community,” said Col. C. Shane Clark, 30th Space Wing vice commander. “The timing of this is great. We’ve had a busy week, but we’re going to have an even busier week next week. We’ve got some very important visits.”

The Air Force Space Command Inspector General arrives Sunday, a Minuteman 3 test launch is scheduled to occur next week and Secretary of the Air Force Deborah James plans to visit the base.

Members of the Non-Commissioned Officers Association cooked the food for the Airmen Appreciation Barbecue. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

“It’s our opportunity to shine and show off what Vandenberg and Team Vandenberg can do,” Clark said. “It’s a great way to lead in to the weekend so we can all get charged up for all the activities next week. Everybody enjoy your lunch. Have a safe weekend. Get energized for next week. It’s going to be busy and important.”

Sylvia King, from the Chamber's Military Affairs Committee, said the barbecue is a way to thanks those serving in the military and foster good relations between the base and the community.

“We enjoy the interaction with the people from the base and want to encourage them to come and interact with us in town and patronize the businesses that donated to all this,” King said. 

Signs set up in the park noted the approximately 30 businesses that donated funds or food to the event. In all, organizers said it takes about $7,000 to pay for the event. 

Ken Ostini, CEO/president of the Lompoc Chamber, added that the barbecue is just one way the organization supports the military. 

“This is just kind of the beginning,” he said, noting the group also supports Global Hearts dinners a couple of times a year. 

Through Global Hearts, the Chamber of Commerce paid for families of deployment airmen to have dinner and go bowling.

The Lompoc organization also is working with its counterparts in North County to revive the Vandenberg quarterly awards luncheon.

Among volunteer servers Friday were several members of the Village Dirtbags, a local group of biking enthusiasts who each holiday donate bikes and helmets to dozens of children of deployed airmen at Vandenberg.

They typically give away more than 100 bikes in the event that will mark its ninth giveaway in 2014.

Participating in the Airmen Appreciation Barbecue is another way for group’s members to give back as many of the Village Dirtbags have either family members or friends that have been in the military.

“It’s just a small way to say thank you to them and we appreciate everything they’ve done,” Roger McConnell said. “It’s a good way to see all the men and women and to thank them personally.”

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

The Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce's Military Affairs Committee has hosted the Airmen Appreciation Barbecue for more than a decade, serving up a free lunch funded by donations from throughout the community.(Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

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Friendship Center Raises a Glass for Great Wines for Good Cause

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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The fifth annual Wine Down after-work gathering features 10 local vintners as well as hors d’oeuvres and live music

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

Amid cooling ocean breezes and owls hooting in the tall eucalyptus trees, the Friendship Center brought together a nice crowd of supporters for its casual Wine Down to celebrate and raise funds for the South Coast’s only nonprofit, fully licensed adult day-services program.

The fifth annual Wine Down featured 10 local vintners pouring their wines for tasting, along with beers — a new addition this year — in the lovely courtyard on the center’s Montecito campus. Asian-inspired hors d’oeuvres by Spices N Rice were generously passed out by the center’s volunteers, and live music by the Montecito Jazz Project was enjoyed by the crowd of nearly 150 supporters.

The Friday after-work gathering gave guests a chance to enjoy a lovely late summer evening and “wine down“ from the cares of the week.

A small silent auction, all lovingly prepared by committee volunteers, featured themed gift baskets.

Wines were poured by Andrew Murray Vineyards, Buttonwood Farm Winery, Consilience & Tre Anelli, Cottonwood Canyon Winery, Demetria Estate Winery, Fess Parker Wines, Pali Wine Company, Palmina, Santa Barbara Winery and Vinemark Cellars, and beer was served by Surf Brewery.

Dana VanderMey is Friendship Center’s new board president, following the long tenure of the capable Marty Moore.

“I have been active with the center for six years, but I have known about since 1981,” VanderMey told Noozhawk. “My son went to pre-school across the street at All Saints By-the-Sea Episcopal Church. He told me one day that they went to visit the grandmas and grandpas. So I went down and took a look for myself. It is a wonderful idea to bring the two generations together.

“My son is now 38, so that was a long time ago!”

The Event Committee included co-chairs Kathy Marden and Sue Adams, along with Karolyn Hanna, Inge Gatz, Jacqueline Duran, Martí Correa de Garcia and Mary Walsh.

Generous sponsors included the Charles Bloom Foundation, MarBorg Industries, Dana and Randall VanderMey, Castle Wealth Planning LLC, Sharon Kennedy Estate Management, Boone Graphics, Louise and David Borgatello, Coastal Home Care & Senior Planning Services, Sue Adams, Garcia Architects Inc., Inge Gatz and Steven Gilbar, Karolyn Hanna, Vangie Herrera and Al Anglin, Sey Kinsell, Kathy Marden and Pat Forgey, Maravilla Senior Living Community, Dixie and Marty Moore, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, Mary Walsh and Linda Seltzer Yawitz.

In addition to providing adult day services for aging and dependent adults with cognitive impairments such as Alzheimer’s disease, Friendship Center offers a variety of activity-based programs. Connections is for those in early stages of memory loss, and Brain Fitness for Successful Aging is a six-week series open to anyone in the community wanting to take proactive steps to keep their memory and brain functions sharp.

Click here for more information about Friendship Center, or call 805.969.0859.

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at rrose@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Santa Maria Cruzin’ for Life to Raise Funds for Cancer Services

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Annual benefit continues Saturday with a car show, cruise, dinner and auction

Classic cars carrying cancer survivors will cruise Broadway in Santa Maria on Saturday afternoon for the annual fundraiser benefiting cancer care services locally.

Cruzin’ for Life, which began in 2004 and has grown every year since then, kicks off Friday night and continues Saturday with a car show, cruise, dinner and auction. 

The event will be held at the Santa Maria Fairpark, 937 S. Thornburg St., and began with a car show “meet and greet” from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday. 

On Saturday, the all-model car show will be held from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Fairpark with Montgomery-Dougherty performing from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and Unfinished Business playing from 11:30 a.m to 1:30 p.m.

The cruise with cancer survivors hitching rides in shiny classic cars will fill Broadway between Stowell Road and Main Street from 2 to 3 p.m. Saturday as hundreds of supports line the sidewalks in support.

Organizers said some 150 vehicles were registered for Saturday, but expected the number could be near 200.

Drivers are eager to honor the cancer survivors by taking them on the cruise.

Event founder Clifford Labastida said that last year a woman standing on the sidewalk had a sign that read, “I’m a cancer survivor.”

Upon seeing that one of the drivers of the cruising vehicles swerved in her direction and picked her up for a ride.

“I thought that was the coolest thing,” Labastida said.

Santa Maria police warned that Broadway between Stowell Road and Cook Street would be closed from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday due to the cruise. In case of emergencies, Cook Street, Jones Street, Morrison Street and Stowell Road will have officers to assist people across Broadway.

Saturday evening, silent and live auctions are planned along with no-host cocktails and dinner. Doors open at 4:30 p.m. 

Entertainment will be provided by Sammy Labastida Jazz from 5 to 6 p.m. Dinner and the program will start at 6:30 p.m. Later in the evening, Freight Train will entertain.

Tickets cost $40 per person and should be purchased beforehand since the event typical sells out, according to organizers.

Cruzin' for Life was founded in 2004 by Labastida who joined with his brothers and buddies to raise funds to fight cancer while celebrating their top hobby: cars.

In the past, the event has included a tire burnout competition and been held at different locations until outgrowing those sites and ending up at the Fairpark.

The first year raised $15,000. Last year, Cruzin’ for Life gave away $123,000 to four programs the help cancer patients.

“We have a very generous community,” Labastida said.

Organizers said Cruzin’ for Life provides money Marian Cancer Care for a cancer patient outreach fund, covering needs insurance does not, such as transportation while in treatment, mortgage payments and car payments.

The event also helps fund the Make-A-Wish of the Tri Counties. 

Additionally, the event benefits the American Cancer Society’s Road to Recover program to provide funding for patients needing transportation to get care in Santa Barbara or beyond the Central Coast. It also helped the “Tops for Tots to Teens” program to provide a variety of hats, caps, scarves or wigs for small children to teenagers making life easier for them to cope with their hair loss.

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

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Letter to the Editor: Resisting the Corrupt Oil/Gas Industry

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Transparency International has published a “Corruption Index” based on 13 surveys globally. It has found that the oil and gas industry and mining are the conglomerates that account for most global corruption. The evaluations were performed by business leaders in each country.

At No. 22 out of 178 countries, the U.S. oil/gas industries were rated below — more corrupt than — virtually every European country, as well as Canada, Australia and New Zealand. It even rated a little below Hong Kong, Chile and Qatar.

How does this corruption manifest itself?

In bribes to public officials for drilling access to coveted areas or for a government entity's favorable laws or regulations; in the purposeful neglect of known safety measures for the sake of enhancing the corporate pocketbook, as recently spelled out by U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier when he found BP guilty of “gross negligence,” “willful misconduct” and found Halliburton Energy Services and Transocean Ltd. guilty of “negligence” in their corrupt avoidance of known safety precautions that resulted in the infamous Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

“They chose profits over safety,” Judge Barbier said, with “conscious disregard of known risks.”

In a Chevron Kern County steam injection well, the company failed to warn its employees of relevant dangers. Construction supervisor Robert David Taylor was sucked underground and boiled to death. His body was recovered 17 hours later. The company was fined $350.

In our own backyard, Greka Oil & Gas Inc., a company that state officials have called California's worst inland oil polluter, spilled, between 1999 and 2008, more than a half-million gallons of oil and contaminated water in our community, and in 2011 settled with Santa Barbara County for $2 million in fines.

I am not alone in the conviction that oil/gas company corruption is evident in the buying of officials' actions through campaign contributions.

When, in Theodore Roosevelt's second term, he had pushed through legislation to curtail the excesses of various trusts such as railroads and coal, whom he called “malefactors of great wealth,” one of them complained, ”We bought the son-of-a-bitch but he wouldn't stay bought!”

California Gov. Jerry Brown is not giving big oil any such trouble. When the Carson City Council voted for a moratorium on new oil drilling in its community, Occidental Petroleum, which had contributed $500,000 to Brown's Proposition 30 campaign, was upset and asked the governor to step in. He made a personal call to the city's mayor, who changed his council vote resulting in a tie, thus negating the moratorium. Logic prevailed? I use another word.

In California, the Western States Petroleum Association donated $2,308,789.95 in the first half of 2013 to lobby legislators and other state officials, an average of $427,000 for each state legislator. WSPA members: BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillip, ExxonMobil, Navajo Refining Company, Noble Energy Company, Occidental Oil and Gas Corporation, Shell Oil Products US, Tesoro Refining and Marketing Company, U.S. Oil & Refining Company and Venoco Inc.

So now oil companies' big money has come to Santa Barbara, outspending environmental groups 10-to-1 to make sure fracking wells, acidizing and steam-injection technologies will become our daily drinking, breathing and feeding threats. (I name and document these threats in the posts “Measure P – A Non-Industry View” Parts 1 and 2.)

Recently local mysterious telephone surveys representing ??? - “We can't say” - ask what your view is on Measure P. If you say you support it you are not contacted again. If you give a more satisfactory answer, a later call comes offering you more than $100 to attend a “focus group” that will discuss “a ballot measure.”

So now the question stands before the house: Can we in Santa Barbara County be bought and stay bought?

If fracking is permitted here, and from a nearby well your child comes “home from school every day with terrible headaches” *; or begins having “nosebleeds” ** or “seizures” **; if after a well is established on your property your wife and mother-in-law “lose [their] sense of smell and taste” **; and if the Center of Disease Control tells you not to drink from your water supply and, should you bathe or wash dishes in it, be sure to “open the windows so your home doesn't explode from the methane” ** — if any of these or like events are visited on you and your family, you can be sure that Santa Barbara's fire or police departments will not be there to save you. Their concentration will long since have been on the new equipment, upgraded facilities and/or guaranteed pensions they hope increased tax revenues would bring them.

There is no dispute among reputable people about where the vast bulk of money is being spent in this controversy and where it comes from.

Oil companies have the money. You and I have one strength: our vote.

If you want to use that vote to promote energy production that does not contribute to the increasing danger of climate change; if you want to avoid the repeatedly-documented possibilities of poisonous water and air contamination through failures in well casings due to faulty construction and/or earthquakes; if you want to avoid the excessive use of water when we face decades of drought; please vote yes on Proposition P on Nov. 4.

* http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH1W9HXne7I (Rodgrigo Romo speaking in Spanish)

** http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_b8s1JkkvxI (Wyoming rancher John Fenton)

William Smithers
Santa Barbara

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Dario Pini Sues City of Carpinteria for ‘Unreasonable’ Fees from Code Violations

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Local landlord was issued compliance orders for five of his properties and slapped with more than $27,000 in fees

A local landlord well-known for his run-ins with municipal and building code enforcement officials is suing the City of Carpinteria for what he says are “unreasonable” fines, according to a lawsuit filed earlier this summer.

Dario Pini, who owns more than 100 properties on the South Coast, was cited by Carpinteria for code violations at five of his properties in the community.

​He says the more than $27,000 in fines is unreasonable, according to a lawsuit filed June 18 in Santa Barbara County Superior Court.

Carpinteria issued compliance orders for Cypress Tree Apartments, 5615 Carpinteria Ave.; Casa del Sol Motel and Apartments, 5585 Carpinteria Ave.; Tomarla Apartments, 1000 Concha Loma Drive; La Concha Apartments, 974 Concha Loma Drive; and Sycamore Apartments, 990 Concha Loma Drive.

All are multiunit apartment complexes that are adjacent to one another, with a total of about 90 rental units among them.

The code enforcement file documents hazardous electrical wiring, rotting drywall, mold and deteriorating balcony floors, among other problems at the properties.

Neither party’s attorney responded to Noozhawk’s requests for comment.

“For a period of years, the buildings and many of the rental units they contain have borne conditions of dilapidation ranging from graffiti to trash marring the exteriors to safety hazards in the dwelling spaces,” the city’s complaint reads.

In 2013, residents and law enforcement officers complained to the city and building inspection officers responded.

They found “dozens of violations pervading all five properties,” according to the city.

The city maintains that it gave Pini and his investment company, DP Investments, ample time to to correct the problems, and even extensions of time, but said inspections revealed that not enough had been done.

“They found that DP Investments had made some repairs, but that every property still suffered from pervasive code violations originally identified in the compliance orders,” the complaint states.

In March, the city held a compliance hearing at City Hall and issued an order that Pini would have to pay $27,881.36 in staff time and administrative costs. The city also said that corrections had not been made at his properties.

Pini’s attorney, Larry Powell, said the city failed to establish that the costs it requested were reasonable, and maintains that city staff duplicated charges and overbilled for the fees.

Judge Thomas Anderle granted a stay in the case on Aug. 27, putting the case on hold until Nov. 3.

Last year, Pini settled a code enforcement lawsuit with the City of Santa Barbara. As part of the settlement, his 100-or-so commercial and residential properties within city limits are under court-ordered operation and maintenance for at least five years.

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

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Student-Funded Solar Panel Project Starts Taking Shape at UCSB

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Campus parking structure is retrofitted with solar panels to generate electricity

Six dollars per quarter didn’t seem like too much to ask from fellow UC Santa Barbara students, who in 2010 had front-row seats to slashes in state education funding.

Clayton Carlson and Michael Hewitt, both Gauchos at the time, were looking at ways to supplement high utility costs so student services wouldn’t endure even more cuts.

They came up with the renewable energy initiative and asked UCSB students to vote on whether they would pitch in extra student fees over a 10-year period to raise approximately $4 million for renewable energy resources on campus.

Although both activists have since graduated, the legacy of their initiative lives on in a quite visible display that began taking shape this summer.

Anyone who’s seen construction of solar panels atop the multi-level 22 Parking Structure can silently thank those UCSB alumni.

“The students voted overwhelmingly in favor of it,” said Andrew Riley, sustainability coordinator for the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. “We plan to carry on with this.”

Student fees are funding the $2.6 million solar project, which will generate about 425 kilowatts — more than enough to power the nearby Student Resources Building.

In optimal, sunny afternoon conditions, that energy output also equals about 3 percent of UCSB power demand.

Riley said saved utility costs will be redirected to some 24 student services departments, including counseling, students workshops, organizations and others.

Crews were working to install solar panels on the roof of a campus parking structure this week. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Construction of the 1,800 panels is slated to continue until late November, and officials could be ready to flip the literal switch to generate energy as early as December.

The solar project is by far the largest on UCSB’s campus, which boasts five existing systems for a collective capacity of 220 kilowatts of DC power, according to Jordan Sager of the Department of Utility & Energy Services.

The new system generates nearly two times that.

Areas with solar panels include the Recreation Center (155 kW), the Bren School (47 kW), Carrillo Dining Commons (5 kW), Harder Stadium (10 kW) and the Henley Gate (2 kW), Sager said.

Down the line, university officials hope solar power could play a larger role in sustainability, Sager said, since the average cost of solar modules has dropped 60 percent since the beginning of 2011 while electricity costs steadily increased.

“These two factors have made large solar projects very compelling economically,” he said. “The campus is currently evaluating the addition of a 3-to-4 megawatt system at various buildings across the campus.”

The project would also fall in step with urgings from UC President Janet Napolitano, who hopes campuses move toward renewable energy sources.

If UCSB officials approve the larger solar project, and obtain federal incentive funding, Sager said it could be complete by the end of 2016.

In the meantime, the university plans to use the remaining $2 million from the student initiative to put the seven student services buildings fully on renewable energy within the next three years.

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

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David Harsanyi: Biden Gets Another Free Pass After ‘Shylock’ Comment

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Remember when the media freaked out for three days over Sarah Palin's completely innocuous use of the term "blood libel"?

Nearly every major media outlet took a deep dive on this critical outrage. Millions of Americans learned more about how Jews in the Middle Ages were sometimes falsely accused of kidnapping and murdering Christian children so they could use the blood for ritualistic baking. But more significantly: What did Palin mean? Was she sending a veiled message to evangelical voters? Was it just anti-Semitism rearing its ugly head again?

There will be no such national conversation over Vice President Joe Biden's recent comments. While extolling the virtues of his son Beau at a speech at Legal Services Corp., our Clouseau-esque vice president launched into one of his folksy populist rants. "When he was over there in Iraq for a year," he explained, "people would come to him and talk about what was happening to them at home in terms of foreclosures, in terms of bad loans that were being — I mean these Shylocks who took advantage of these women and men while overseas."

Immediately, the voice of America's aggrieved Jewish community, the Anti-Defamation League, jumped into action with this rather mild condemnation from its national director, Abraham Foxman: "When someone as friendly to the Jewish community and open and tolerant an individual as is Vice President Joe Biden uses the term 'Shylocked' to describe unscrupulous moneylenders dealing with service (members), we see once again how deeply embedded this stereotype about Jews is in society."

There's no need to overreact. It's not as if Biden said, "You cannot go to a bagel store unless you have a slight Yiddish accent." He certainly didn't say, "You Jews are so productive. I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are."

Was he intending to insult bankers as moneylending Jews? Is it an insult? Is there anything wicked about usury? I find it unlikely. I find it improbable he even knew Shylock had anything to do with Jews.

Anyway, Biden apologized. They almost always do.

"Abe Foxman," he said in a statement, "has been a friend and adviser of mine for a long time." If only we all had advisers to help steer us from saying stupid things. (It is worth pointing out that as often as the ADL gets overexcited about minor slights, it is equally fawning for no reason. What on earth has Biden done to make himself a "friend" of the Jewish community? Wear a yarmulke once a year? Sign on to work for the least Israel-friendly administration ever?)

When William Shakespeare wrote The Merchant of Venice and created the character Shylock, there hadn't been any Jews in England for hundreds of years, not since they were expelled in 1290 — and they wouldn't really return to full rights until the mid-1800s. Shakespeare knew nothing about Jews.

There's no need to be offended. Shakespeare is long dead. The Jews are still alive. (Not to mention, I'm strongly pro-Shylock; he was a legitimate businessman screwed over by a technicality.)

So it's not a big deal. Or, I should say, it's as big a deal as the dozens of stories we've had to endure about GOP gaffes. Is there any question that the repercussions for these sorts of mistakes are meted out asymmetrically? There is simply no way a Republican could get away with the buffoonery Biden peddles almost daily. Is the lack of genuine scrutiny over Biden's mistakes a reflection of the media's handling him like an unserious person? If that's the case, then shouldn't the president be open to far more criticism for putting the country in such a precarious position? Or is it that Biden finds himself in the right party?

Either way, it reflects poorly on the media.

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.

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Letter to the Editor: Sending U.S. Troops to Combat Ebola in Africa the Wrong Move

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Today, we are witnessing a real-life horror story in western Africa — the spread of the Ebola virus.

Experts estimate 5 million people could die and that the time to contain the virus has passed.

President Barack Obama recently pledged to send 3,000 U.S. troops to western Africa, and the Pentagon has requested $500 million in funds toward this effort.

According to administration officials, the "U.S. would help to provide medical and logistical support to overwhelmed local health-care systems and to boost the number of beds needed to isolate and treat victims of the epidemic." The New York Post reports that "the U.S. efforts will include medics and corpsmen for treatment and training engineers to help erect treatment facilities and specialists in logistics in patient transportation."

America, is this the right move, or is it an irresponsible, political move aimed at boosting President Obama's sagging image?

What about our troops? Will sending them to Africa put them, as well as their families, in more danger? How will they be protected? Is the recent order by the Pentagon for 160,000 hazmat suits related to this plan?

And what about the risk to America? Will bringing back 3,000 troops from western Africa be the catalyst for the spread of Ebola in our country?

Once again, the question must be asked: Is President Obama looking out for the best interests of America and our military? As retired Lt. General William G. Boylkin said, sending American troops to combat Ebola in Liberia is "an absolute misuse of the U.S. military."

I ask you, America: Isn't it the job of our military to protect our country, especially against such threats as radical Islam? Our soldiers are not health-care workers.

Diana Thorn
Carpinteria

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Victor Dominocielo: County’s Vaccination Rates Dropping — at Our Children’s Peril

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Kelsy Brugger in The Independent (Sept. 11) writes that Santa Barbara County Public Health Department figures show a rise in vaccine exemptions from 2.9 percent in 2011 to 4.7 percent in 2013.

Herd immunity begins to rapidly deteriorate after 5 percent of the population does not vaccinate. National trends show that vaccination rates often drop within pockets of affluent and highly educated groups and that national high exemption rates hover around 25 percent. Following that trend, 27.4 percent of students at Montecito Union School filed exemptions as did a whopping 41.7 percent of students at El Montecito School, according to Santa Barbara County records.

Using data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, The Hollywood Reporter did an excellent article showing that vaccination rates in wealthy school districts in Los Angeles are as low as those in Southern Sudan! There is even a new term going around calling this phenomenon “affluenza,” suggesting that the affluent/wealthy think they don’t get sick like the rest of us.

PBS/Nova has just released an excellent, science-based video called, “Vaccines: Calling the Shots" that every parent should see. This anti-vax trend in Santa Barbara is significant, very disturbing and potentially harmful to many of our children.

Parents are asked by their physicians to have 28 vaccinations for 14 different diseases within their child’s first two years. That's a lot of shots, and many parents might naturally question if so many are necessary. However, all the shots are necessary, simply because that is the number of serious and life-threatening diseases that children are susceptible to and which vaccinations can eradicate if everyone maintains herd immunity.

Research since the 1950s has shown that after millions upon millions of vaccinations worldwide, that fears of autism, multiple sclerosis, SIDS, heart failure, etc., are completely unfounded. Vaccinations have extremely rare side effects (about one serious side effect for every 1 million vaccinations) and enormous benefits (over 6 million people saved per year from painful suffering and death). Finally, research over many years has demonstrated that the number of vaccinations and the CDC recommended vaccination schedule is safe and effective.

Many parents avoid vaccinations because they follow a naturalistic ideology and consider vaccinations an unnatural substance in their body. Well, there is nothing more natural than measles, whooping cough and smallpox. In fact, we live in a "soup" of natural airborne particles of disease, and our body's immune system stays strong and keeps us healthy by continually fighting off these diseases.

Vaccination exactly mimics this natural process by selectively exposing our immune systems to a very weak form of a debilitating and deadly disease. Our immune systems are then triggered and prepared to fight off that particular disease. The only difference between the normal, natural and continuous operation of our immune system and a vaccination is that medical science picks one of the many diseases that our immune system is continually fighting.

In the PBS video, moms watch their children play and they talk on camera about their confusion over vaccinations: “There’s just so much information, I don’t know who to ask.” “There’s no such thing as an unbiased source.” “Who am I supposed to trust?” One mom relates a story that sometime after her child had a vaccination that she had a seizure, and the mom blames the vaccination.

You don’t know who to ask? How about asking your M.D. pediatrician? Ask 10 pediatricians and see if their recommendations agree. They will agree because they follow the CDC guidelines, and because it is their difficult task in life to sometimes watch children die of these preventable diseases. For that reason, every pediatrician is going to recommend the absolute best and safest procedure and schedule available. Who to trust? How about trusting the M.D.’s four years of medical school, two to five years of residency training and State Medical Board certification?

These moms are practicing the worst and most dangerous form of anti-science, pseudo-skepticism with their child’s health. It goes something like this: “Let’s see. I have to make this life-and-death medical decision for my child. Should I go with the over 200 years of science-based medical research, experimentation and practice, with millions of people saved, horrible diseases wiped off the face of the Earth or … should I go with Betty Sue’s opinion who’s sitting next to me on the park bench? I don’t know. I’m not sure. Betty Sue goes to the health food store. She eats all organic. She’s so natural. I want my kids to be like hers … .”

I want to know who these moms had for science teachers in high school and college. How did they pass any of their science classes without knowing the difference between scientific research and Betty Sue’s opinion? How could they possibly equate 200 years and millions of positive outcomes with Betty Sue’s emotional story? Why didn’t that other mom not understand that just because her child had a seizure sometime after her vaccination, that she did not necessarily have the seizure because of the vaccination (post hoc thinking). Why wasn’t she taught these simple cognitive fallacies when she learned how to examine scientific evidence in high school?

Because vaccinations work so well, each generation of educated parents may try to second-guess their physicians. “Why should I vaccinate against smallpox? No one in the U.S. gets smallpox anymore.” The same could be said for measles in 2000, but now measles is coming back. Cases of whooping cough/pertussis have tripled in California, and Santa Barbara County considers our 81 cases part of the statewide epidemic (8,000 cases). These horrible diseases return when we think Betty Sue’s opinion is equal to or better than medical research.

There is also significant parent resistance to HPV vaccine, which is recommended for the prevention of cervical/anal cancer and genital warts. Many religious parents feel that their message of abstinence is somehow subverted by the vaccination. This does not logically follow: A vaccine that prevents cervical cancer has nothing to do with religious instruction. This situation is particularly frustrating since HPV vaccine actually prevents cancer. Wait, wait. Let me say that again: We have a cure for this cancer. The medical community doesn’t get to say that very often. It’s not a treatment. HPV vaccine prevents cervical cancer! Still, some parents have developed pseudo-skeptical and anti-science views on the subject. Unbelievable.

The Complementary, Integrative and Alternative (C.I.A.) crowd appears to be divided on the issue of vaccinations with some realizing that the scientific evidence for vaccination is so overwhelming that they refer their patients out to M.D.’s and some who still actively preach anti-science and anti-germ theory of disease nonsense.

D.D. Palmer, the founder of chiropractic, said this: “It is the very height of absurdity to strive to ‘protect’ any person from smallpox and other malady by inoculating them with a filthy animal poison. ... No one will ever pollute the blood of any member of my family unless he cares to walk over my dead body ...” (Palmer, D.D. “The Chiropractor’s Adjustor,” 1910). Even in 1910, Edward Jenner’s documented, modern medical vaccination procedure for smallpox (1796) had been successful for 114 years. Alternative medicine may be tolerable when they treat conditions that are going to get better anyway, like colds and flu, but actively preaching against vaccinations is shameful and will only result in the increased suffering of children. Again, I find it amazing that people follow these placebo/belief-based practitioners when their child’s health is at risk.

A few minutes into the “Vaccines: Calling the Shots” video, you will see a 7-week-old baby suffering from whooping cough — I mean on the verge of death suffering. It’s heart wrenching. I spent five years as an EMT on a 9-1-1 ambulance in Manhattan, N.Y. I’ve seen some pretty raw damage. Yet this little baby’s distress really got to me. Prepare yourself.

This mother’s tears and the tiny infant's struggle to breath is something that children no longer have to suffer. If you can watch that little 7-week-old baby struggle for his life’s breath and then go play Russian roulette with your child’s health, you have been misled with false information from the naturalistic, anti-science, medieval medicine crowd. Don’t do that. Your child deserves better. Don’t listen to Betty Sue and the other pseudo-skeptical, mumbo jumbo apologists. Listen to your M.D. and follow the vaccination schedule.

— Victor Dominocielo, M.A., a California-credentialed teacher for 37 years, is the human biology and health teacher at a local middle school. He earned his master of arts degree in education from UCSB. The opinions expressed are his own.

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William Sansum Diabetes Center Announces Retirement of Director Alison Wollitzer

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Alison Okada Wollitzer, Ph.D., has retired from the William Sansum Diabetes Center (formerly Sansum Diabetes Research Institute) after more than 20 years of service.

"We appreciate Dr. Wollitzer's outstanding contributions to the center over her distinguished career," said Robert Nagy, M.D., president of the Board of Trustees. "We thank her for her many years of service and for her dedication to our mission to improve the lives of diabetes patients around the world."

Dr. Wollitzer first joined the center as research administrator in 1987, serving until 1995. She returned in 1998, rising to director of research administration and operations in 2008.

During her tenure, she oversaw the submission and subsequent administration of numerous research grant applications to the NIH, JDRF and other major funders, secured and implemented project funding from local and regional foundations, and directed and/or collaborated on research and outreach projects involving youth and the underserved.

She was a founding member of Partners for Fit Youth, Gold Coast Collaborative for Health and Fitness, and the Community Wellness Coalition. Wollitzer served as interim administrator in 2012.

"It has been an honor and a privilege to work at the center," Wollitzer said. "I look forward to following its new initiatives in diabetes research, education and care."

Dr. Wollitzer received a bachelor's degree from the University of California-Berkeley, a master's degree from the University of Paris and a Ph.D. from the Pennsylvania State University. She previously held positions at UC San Francisco, UC Berkeley and Cottage Health System. She is the developer of a nationally marketed software program for Institutional Review Boards.

— Nick Valente represents the William Sansum Diabetes Center.

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Helicopter Conducts Rescue in Los Padres National Forest

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Santa Barbara County first responders conducted a helicopter rescue in the Los Padres National Forest Friday afternoon for a man who needed immediate hospitalization.

A call came in at 12:10 p.m. from an individual who reported having some type of medical emergency, according to Capt. Mike Klusyk of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department

The County's Air Operations Program, a joint partnership of the Santa Barbara County Fire and Sheriff's Department, sent Helicopter 3, with two paramedics on board, to the scene.

Klusyk said that the person called from Big Caliente Canyon, which is located about 10 miles northeast of Santa Barbara in the Los Padres National Forest.

"It took a while to get cell phone contact," he said. "They are well back in the forest."

It's unclear if the person was on a trail or calling from campsite in the area, but the only access into the canyon was via helicopter and an engine company and AMR ambulance are staging on a road in the area.

The man, whose identity or condition has not been released, was evaluated by the paramedics, who determined he needed immediate hospital care.

The patient was lifted via hoist onto the helicopter and transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

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

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Letter to the Editor: Kudos to CADA

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Thank you to CADA and  KEYT for spotlighting the importance of mentoring through CADA’s Mission for Mentors telethon.

It was inspiring to see the outpouring of support from our community to help children who would benefit most from the power of mentoring friendships.

Studies have shown that children participating in long, strong, professionally supported relationships with a caring adult role model are more likely to succeed in school, make safer behavioral choices and have stronger relationships with their parents and others.

Way to go!

Sarah Rudd-Lawlor
Program manager
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Barbara County, a program of Family Service Agency

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Captain’s Log: Cut Thirsty Critters Some Slack Until the Rains Return

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Thirsty critters are crawling, walking or flying out of hidden places by the droves. Humans seem to have lots of water around us, so from the critters’ perspective, joining us is a necessity.

Yes (again from the critters’ perspective), humans are dangerous, smelly, noisy and incredibly inconsiderate of the needs of their fellow critters, but dagnabit, humans have water. A critter’s gotta do what a critter’s gotta do! If you were a critter with a few (or a few hundred) mouths to feed and water, you’d join the humans, too.

Here’s a classic example.

My charter boat, WaveWalker, was out of the water having some work done. While out of the water on stands, a very long line of black ants came aboard to find the pockets of water usually found aboard boats. Heck, there might even be a few tiny scraps of bait or fish that got wedged into a crack or crevice.

So they came aboard. The boat was thoroughly washed while out of the water, so yes, the ants found some water. The boat was visited by lots of other thirsty critters, too, but they were all in and out very quickly. Then suddenly the boat work was finished and the boat went back in the harbor. Well, nobody told the ants the boat was leaving! That meant that a few hundred of them were left aboard.

I’ve been watching them for a few days now since we splashed the boat, and they don’t look happy. I prefer not to kill things I don’t intend to eat, so I don’t want to spray them. Each day I see fewer, yet they aren’t able to leave, so I suspect they are dying on their own. It’s sad. But I haven’t figured out how to guide them off via the dock lines. Apparently I’m not a good pied piper of ants.

Backyards are another tough place. Most of us use at least some water in our yards, though our usage during the drought is way down. But what we use is enough to sustain many critters, so they come looking. Those of us with pets in the backyard are giving them a tough challenge to defend their territories against intruders. But maybe some of our pets are wise enough to know that many visitors will only be there long enough for a quick drink and then leave.

We need to be just as wise. Each of us may not like all of the critters who come to visit. Possums, skunks and raccoons come to mind as generally unwelcome visitors. But for the next month (after which hopefully we’ll get an early rain), please cut those visiting critters some slack and let them have a drink. They may not be any more fond of us than we are of them. But they need some water, and we’ve got it. Give ‘em a drink.

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

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Animal Rescue Team Urges Motorists to ‘Watch Out for Wildlife’

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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As the drought is drawing wildlife in search of food and water from remote areas to urban roads and highways, the Animal Rescue Team Inc. (ART) of Solvang is encouraging motorists to participate in California’s statewide “Watch Out for Wildlife” week by taking the following special precautions while driving:

» 1. Be alert when driving in wildlife areas, such as Highways 154 and 246. Scan both sides of the road for animals, watch for wildlife signs, and never drive distracted.

» 2. Slow down and increase the distance between you and the vehicle ahead of you. Reducing your speed will increase your response time to avoid colliding and killing a crossing animal.

» 3. Limit driving in wildlife areas at night. More than 90 percent of wildlife collisions occur at night. During dusk and dawn, wildlife activity is highest, and driver’s visibility is lowest. When you do travel at night, watch for animals’ reflective eyes, keep your dashboard lights on low, turn off your vehicle’s internal lights.

» 4. Keep up with regular auto maintenance. Inspect your brakes, make sure your windshield is clean, and keep your dashboard clear of any objects which may interfere with your visibility of the road.

» 5. Think like an animal, and be familiar with wildlife behavior. Many wildlife species travel in groups or herds. When you see one wildlife animal, watch for others.

» 6. Don’t litter. Wildlife is attracted to the smell and will flock to roads and highways.

According to the California Highway Patrol, more than 1,800 wildlife were hit by vehicles in 2010 when the most recent report was available, and according to Caltrans, approximately $1 billion in property damage is caused by these collisions.

Although deer and mountain lions are typically the largest of the wildlife victims of poor motorist behavior, a young bear was struck and killed last Tuesday evening by a Toyota 4Runner on Highway 154.

“This tragedy could have been avoided by taking a few simple driving precautions to watch out for wildlife,” ART Executive Director Julia Di Sieno said. “Not only can watching out for wildlife save our wildlife from injury and death, but it could save your life and property as well.”

— Valerie Walston represents the Animal Rescue Team.

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Reshaping the Future of Investing at Central Coast Bioneers Conference

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Vangelisti
Marco Vangelisti

Imagine yourself in charge of a large endowment for a health clinic specializing in cancer treatment. And suppose you do a little research and find out that the endowment has major investments in tobacco companies. You bring this apparent dichotomy between the goals of your organization and the companies it is supporting with its investment dollars to the head of the clinic and are told your job is to preserve the endowment assets and earn as much money as possible to fund the clinic's operations.

This is similar to the impossible situation that Marco Vangelisti, a speaker at the upcoming Central Coast Bioneers Conference on Oct. 25, found himself in.

“We are profoundly disconnected from the impact our investments have on communities and ecosystems around the world,” he explains.

Vangelisti, who came to the U.S. as a Fulbright scholar in mathematics and economics at UC Berkeley, left that position and has begun telling the story of his personal journey from conventional finance to regenerative investing. He is developing Essential Knowledge for Transition, a curriculum for activists and engaged citizens to understand the banking, economic and financial systems and how they must be transformed.

Vangelisti is part of the lineup for the fifth annual Central Coast Bioneers Conference, Oct. 24-25 at the SLO Grange Hall in San Luis Obispo.

Topics address a wide range of social and environmental issues, including climate change, a clean, sustainable and reliable water supply, indigenous knowledge, youth leadership, and a major workshop on designing a watershed-wide management plan for the Salinas River as part of the Dreaming the Salinas Initiative.

Tickets and information can be found by clicking here

Ecologistics Inc., a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, hosts the annual Central Coast Bioneers Conference in San Luis Obispo every October and operates the Blue C Community Garden in Los Osos.

— Stacey Hunt represents Central Coast Bioneers.

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Coastal Quilters Guild Presents ‘Harvest of Colors’ Quilt Show at Showgrounds

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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The 2014 “Harvest of Colors: A Members’ Showcase” Quilt Show, sponsored by the Coastal Quilters Guild of Santa Barbara and Goleta, will feature more than 200 guild members’ quilted creations and promises to be spectacular.

The biennial show will be held this Saturday and Sunday at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, Highway 101 and Las Positas in Santa Barbara, and will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days. Weekend passes, good for both days, are $10 at the door, and children under 12 are free.

Free parking is available thanks to Planned Parenthood’s annual book sale, also being held at the fairgrounds that weekend. Parking and entrance are handicap accessible.

The show will have on display traditional quilts, art quilts, quilted wearables and quilted home decor. Visitors to the show will be able to vote for their favorite quilt in the “Viewer’s Choice.” The Education Corner will have activities for both children and adults alike.

Quilting demonstrations will also take place throughout the weekend. A gift boutique will have hand-crafted items for sale and vendors will participate in the merchant mall. Raffle tickets for the opportunity quilt, “O Christmas Tree,” will be available at the show for purchase. The drawing for the quilt will be Dec. 11, and the winner need not be present to win. Plus, raffle tickets for about 25 raffle baskets will also be available for purchase with drawings both Saturday and Sunday, and the winner need not be present to win. Proceeds from the opportunity quilt and the show will go to help fund many of the guild’s community projects.

Recent recipients of the guild’s generosity include the Serenity House, the Assistance League of Santa Barbara, Hospice of Santa Barbara, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, the Goleta Valley Community Center, the Breast Cancer Treatment Center, Unity Shoppe, Habitat for Humanity, Women’s Free Health Clinic of Santa Barbara and the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

At this year’s Harvest of Colors Quilt Show, we will be featuring “Route 66 Quilts,” a collective group of quilts that depict Highway 66, the highway, the motels and businesses that cropped up along the highway for travelers.

During the show, the Coastal Quilters Guild will be presenting a very special quilt to the Serenity House, run by Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care. A letter from Serenity House was received, asking if our guild would be interested in creating a quilted shroud for a meaningful and beautiful ceremony. Dr. Linda Boynton de Sepulveda, a Coastal Quilter Guild member, was asked and accepted to design a quilt shroud for them. The Serenity House, now, will have a beautiful tradition to add to their caring services that they provide to our community.

Click here for more information about the Coastal Quilters Guild and the “Harvest of Colors” Quilt Show 2014.

— Rosana Swing is the publicity chairwoman for the Coastal Quilters Guild.

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Bill Macfadyen: Suicide Investigation Focuses on Dead Man’s Train of Thought

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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NoozWeek’s Top 5 also crashes coming and going, busts a suspected drug dealer, checks in on a new Goleta hotel and gets a taste of ‘air water’

There were 72,597 people who read Noozhawk this past week. What were your top stories?

1. Man Hit, Killed By Freight Train Near Santa Barbara Zoo

A man walking on the railroad tracks near the Santa Barbara Zoo was struck and killed by a freight train as it rumbled through town Sept. 16.

According to Santa Barbara fire Capt. Kevin Hokom, the man suffered massive head injuries and died instantly.

Police Sgt. Riley Harwood said the incident, which occurred around 6:30 p.m., is being investigated as a possible suicide.

“The train engineer observed the pedestrian approaching and made efforts to brake and use the horn, but the man never deviated from (a) path walking straight toward the train,” he said.

The man’s identity was not disclosed, but Harwood said he is believed to be a 50-year-old homeless man.

Click here for free suicide prevention resources that are available 24 hours a day, or call 1.800.273.8255.

Driveway pinball, anyone? (Santa Barbara Fire Department photo)
Driveway pinball, anyone? (Santa Barbara Fire Department photo)

2. Elderly Woman Hits Neighbor’s Tree, Own House in Santa Barbara Crash

A 95-year-old driver had a rough morning Sept. 15 when she backed her car into a neighbor’s tree and then accelerated and ran into her own house.

Santa Barbara fire Engineer Hank Homburg said the one-two punch occurred just before 9 a.m. in the 1600 block of Payeras Street on the Mesa.

He said the woman mistakenly hit the gas while backing out of her driveway and she struck a tree in the yard across the street. The impact toppled the tree, which took down cable wires as it fell.

“She then put (the) vehicle into drive and apparently hit the accelerator, running into her own residence,” Homburg said.

The woman, whose identity was not disclosed, suffered moderate injuries in the collisions and was taken to a local medical center for evaluation, he said.

The front of her house and her kitchen were badly damaged in the incident, and a city building inspector was called out to determine the extent. Meanwhile, a Public Works Department crew removed the damaged tree.

3. Santa Barbara Police Arrest Suspected Drug Dealer

A Goleta man was arrested on drug and weapons charges after a weeks-long investigation of leads identifying him as a go-to guy for cocaine and methamphetamine sales.

Juan Nunez hosted a recent search party. It didn’t end well for him. (Santa Barbara Police Department photo)
Juan Nunez hosted a recent search party. It didn’t end well for him. (Santa Barbara Police Department photo)

Santa Barbara police Sgt. Riley Harwood said narcotics detectives had been tipped that Juan Nunez, 49, was dealing the drugs in Santa Barbara and Goleta. They obtained a search warrant and, joined by investigators with the Santa Barbara Regional Narcotic Enforcement Team, paid a visit to his apartment in the 400 block of Ellwood Beach Drive early on Sept. 11.

Nunez was detained as he left for work just before 7 a.m. Harwood said he was found to be in possession of 11 bindles of methamphetamine and eight bindles of cocaine. A search of his apartment turned up more drugs, $8,000 in cash that is believed to be proceeds from drug sales, and two pistols, he added.

Nunez was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of possession of cocaine for sale, possession of methamphetamine for sale, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a drug offense. Bail was set at $50,000.

A Marriott Residence Inn in the 6300 block of Hollister Avenue may soon be more than a rendering after the Goleta City Council signed off on the project. (Marriott Residence Inn rendering)
A Marriott Residence Inn in the 6300 block of Hollister Avenue may soon be more than a rendering after the Goleta City Council signed off on the project. (Marriott Residence Inn rendering)

4. Goleta Council Approves Development of Marriott Hotel on Hollister Avenue

A Goleta hotel project that has been mired in the city’s planning and review process since the Bush administration has finally been given the green light from the City Council.

The Marriott Residence Inn, a 118-room hotel proposed for the 6300 block of Hollister Avenue across from the Santa Barbara Airport, was approved Sept. 16 on a 4-1 vote. Mayor Michael Bennett and Councilmen Roger Aceves, Jim Farr and Tony Vallejo voted for the project, along with a revised environmental impact review. Councilwoman Paula Perotte voted against it.

The developer, Bob Olson of R.D. Olson Development, first entered the fray in 2007 with a larger, 140-room hotel proposal. But the presence of a Chumash archaeological site in the area sent the project back to the drawing board.

The proposal was revised and reviewed repeatedly over the years by the city and Chumash representatives, but in July the Planning Commission recommended approval after a sanctuary garden and educational aspect were added.

The council chamber was packed with people eager to speak. In all, 30 did, with the vast majority in favor of the project.

Geof Wyatt, president of Wyatt Technology a short walk from the hotel site, said his company could use the hotel to house dozens of visitors it hosts each month.

“There aren’t places to stay,” he said. “How many years must we wait before this project is approved and built?”

Press 1 for cold, press 2 for hot, or press 3 to make it rain. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)
Press 1 for cold, press 2 for hot, or press 3 to make it rain. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

5. Hotel Indigo Shows Off Santa Barbara Area’s First ‘Air Water’ Dispenser

Although my yard sure could use one of these, for now it’s only available at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara — and just one glass at a time.

The boutique hotel at 121 State St. recently installed a dispenser that creates water from moisture in the air. Produced by Santa Monica-based Skywell LLC, the five-gallon Skywell 5T “air water” dispenser draws in air, then purifies the collected moisture through a multifilter process involving ultraviolet and ozone exposure.

Each unit has a touch-screen app to control temperatures and monitor daily water usage, and runs off a standard electrical outlet. Both cold and hot water are available.

The Hotel Indigo machine is a loaner, part of a promotion the Skywell team is conducting with about a dozen Southern California hotels and businesses. The company expects to lease the units for about $80 per month or sell them for about $2,800 apiece.

“The need is pretty dire up here,” Skywell co-founder and president Jonathan Carson told our Gina Potthoff. “It’s very similar to your average small refrigerator when it comes to energy consumption.”

Carson says the company is working on a 100-gallon version for consumption as well as one for irrigation. Figuring out how to filter in additives and minerals will follow, he said.

“We are excited to have this opportunity,” said Dan Alvarado, Hotel Indigo’s manager. “I hope we can keep it long term.”

                                                                 •        •        •

My sister-in-law, Jackie Gaylord, and I had just been discussing the benefits of “cronuts” when my favorite Internet comedian, Natalie Tran, served up a vlog on the idea. Great minds think alike — just not soon enough to capitalize on the concepts, apparently.

(communitychannel video)

                                                                  •        •        •

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Providence School Hosting Santa Barbara Christian College Fair

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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For the fifth year, Providence is pleased to host the Santa Barbara Christian College Fair.

Representatives from 34 Christian colleges and universities across the country will be present at the fair, held at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance Ave., from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Sept. 29.

Sean Smith, director of financial aid at Westmont College, will make a presentation on the college financial aid process at 6:30 p.m.

Hosting the Christian College Fair is a good fit for Providence, where students benefit from up to six years intensive assistance in college planning, from inventorying goals and interests to the college application and selection process. Jen Loomer, who holds an advanced degree in college counseling, directs the college counseling program.

All interested students and their families are warmly invited to attend the Santa Barbara Christian College Fair. For more information and to download a bar code to save time at the fair, click here.

— Elaine Rottman is the marketing director for Providence.

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Angela Ettinger Named to Devereux California Advisory Board

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Angela Ettinger
Angela Ettinger

Angela Ettinger, care manager and fiduciary in the ElderCare field, has been named to serve on the Devereux California Advisory Board.

Ettinger has strong experience in the management, human resources, health and the fitness fields.

Excitingly, this is her first board experience. She has a heartfelt desire to advocate for those who cannot help themselves as she had a close friend in high school who was brain injured and began to need a lot of personal assistance. She has a passion for helping and serving others, and has two beautiful children.

We welcome Ettinger to the board.

Devereux California provides behavioral services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities; emotional, behavioral disorders and mental health issues. It offers residential services, Adult Day and Life Enrichment programs, and Supported or Independent Living programs to individuals in their own homes within Santa Barbara County.

Headquartered in Pennsylvania, Devereux is the largest, nonprofit provider of behavioral healthcare in the country, operating 15 centers in 11 states. Next year, Devereux California will celebrate 70 years in operation.

Contact Cassi Noel, manager of external affairs, to volunteer or donate at cnoel2@devereux.org or 805.968.2525 x202.

— Cassi Noel is the external affairs manager for Devereux California.

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United Way Celebrates Grand Opening of United Learning Center to Assist Students

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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United Way of Santa Barbara County is pleased to announce the launch of its United Learning Center, a unique, highly interactive and individually calibrated K-12 tutoring program.

The United Learning Center is a program that will help advance UWSBC’s community driven goal to improve the number of students reading at or above grade level by 50 percent. Currently, UWSBC partners with 29 schools and organizations that implement UWSBC’s technology driven literacy programs: Power Reading and Power Math. Since 2010, students have experienced positive incremental success.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of the United Learning Center,” said Paul Didier, CEO and president of United Way of Santa Barbara County. “ULC allows students in our community to access unique and engaging educational tools and learning techniques that will help them achieve success in the new school year.”

The educational tools and learning techniques used at ULC are highly interactive and individually calibrated for every learner and will offer instruction in literacy, arithmetic, homework help and test preparation for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Students will learn in a brand new classroom at UWSBC, complete with new laptop computers. The center will also include adult math and reading programs.

“United Learning Center Reading Plus has been the key to unlock my daughter’s passion for reading,” said Heather Smith, whose daughter was enrolled in the ULC pilot summer program. “That passion will serve her throughout her life.”

With a maximum student-to-teacher ratio of four-to-one, each child will receive as much attention as he/she needs to succeed. ULC credentialed school teachers will assess each student and create customized learning plans for him/her. They will also monitor each student’s progress, and instruct and coach him/her along the way. The students can also continue their reading and math programs online, so learning can be done at any time.

For more information, call 805.882.0513 or email info@unitedlearning.org.

— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing United Way of Santa Barbara County.

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Museum League Continues 27-Year Tradition with Santa Barbara Artwalk

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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The 27th annual Artwalk returns to the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27-28.

Presented by the Museum League and co-chaired by Patti Ottoboni and Sue Adams, the Artwalk will feature 41 artists in the juried Indoor Show Artists of Distinction: An Exhibition.

Curated by Diane Waterhouse of the Waterhouse Gallery, Artists of Distinction highlights an impressive group of nationally recognized artists, whose artwork will be on display in the Fleischmann Auditorium at the museum from Saturday, Sept. 27 through Sunday, Oct. 5.

“Artists of Distinction: An Exhibition will be a visual feast,” Waterhouse said. “The show will feature the finest artists in their field from throughout California.”

The featured Artists of Distinction in the Indoor Show include: Peter Adams, Ben Anderson, Bela Basci, Ann Sheldon Beth, Brian Blood, John Budicin, Patricia Chidlaw, John Cosby, Kevin Courter, Steve Curry, Nancy Davidson, Camille Dellar, Gil Dicicco, Dennis Doheny Prisilla Fossek, Ellie Freudenstein, Rick Garcia, Lynn Gertenbach, Cynthia Hamilton, Wyllis Heaton, Ray Hunter, Brent Jensen, Laurie Kersey, Scott Kiche, Ruo Li, Calvin Liang, Laurie MacMillan, Terry Miura, John Modesitt, Craig Nelson, Paul Panossian, Scott Prior, Camille Przewodek, Junn Roca, Ann Sanders, Eric Slayton, Thalia Stratton, Erza Suko, Elizabeth Tolley, Thomas Van Stein and Ralph Waterhouse.

Artwalk festivities commence on Friday, Sept. 26 at the Artist and Patron Reception in the Fleischmann Auditorium, giving attendants a preview of the Artists of Distinction: An Exhibition show as they meet with the nationally known landscape painters featured in the show and enjoy appetizers and wine.

On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 27-28, Artwalk continues with the opening of the Outdoor Exhibition featuring a variety of artists, including photography, pottery, sculpture, jewelry and crafts.

Guests can also visit the annual Children’s Artwalk, and see works of art by students from schools in Santa Barbara County.

Participating schools in the Children’s Artwalk include: Adams Elementary School, City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation, Cleveland Elementary School, Cold Spring School, El Camino, El Montecito, Franklin Elementary School, Garden Street Academy, Harding University Partnership School, Hollister School, Hope School, The Howard School, Laguna Blanca, La Patera Elementary School, Marymount of Santa Barbara, McKinley Elementary School, Monroe Elementary School, Montecito Union School, Monte Vista Elementary School, Montessori Center School, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Peabody Elementary School, Saint Raphael School and Washington Elementary School.

This annual fundraising event is presented by the Museum League, a nonprofit organization dedicated to enhancing public interest in the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History with events including Artwalk. Throughout the years, the Museum League has donated thousands of hours in successful events, which have contributed more than $817,000 to the museum. Proceeds from last year’s Artwalk supported summer exhibits such as the popular Butterflies Alive! and Smokey Bear & Woodsy Owl: Home Sweet Home.

General admission for the Artwalk on Saturday and Sunday is $12 and $11 for museum members, and are available at the door or at the museum. Tickets to the Artist and Patron Reception on Friday, Sept. 26 include an Artwalk Weekend Pass for free admission to the museum and Artwalk. Reception tickets are available online for $55 by clicking here.

All works displayed at the show (except those in the Children’s Artwalk) are for sale, and proceeds support the museum’s exhibits and science education programs. Click here for more information.

— Valeria Velasco is a marketing associate for the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History.

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‘Medicare Open Enrollment Choices’ Seminar Planned in Carpinteria

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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

The "Medicare Open Enrollment Choices" presentation will be held beginning at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 31 at the Carpinteria Branch Library, 5141 Carpinteria Ave. in Carpinteria.

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

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

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

HICAP is pleased to partner with the Carpinteria Branch Library in presenting this important information to the community.

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

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

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

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

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Learn to Make Compost During Hands-on Workshop at Open Alternative School

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Learn to make quality compost and understand the soil food web with Bill Palmisano at a one-day, hands-on workshop and demonstration from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Open Alternative School Healthy Lunch Garden, 4025 Foothill Road.

Compost and a healthy food web will:

» Increase the health and yield of the garden, landscape and farm

» Reduce water use, increase water holding capacity and rooting depth

» Make nutrients available to plants at rates they require

» Retain nutrients and stop run-off and leaching

» Suppress disease and pests

» Decompose toxins

Experts and novices will learn to:

» Make the highest quality compost possible

» Build and turn hot aerobic compost piles with the proper tools

» Increase soil organisms and beneficial microbes

The cost is $75. Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m. Space is limited! Call or email to reserve your space: soilfoodwebgardener@gmail.com or Palmisano at 805.570.7965.

— Dana Cisneros is the communication chair for Open Alternative School.

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ONTRApalooza Conference for Entrepreneurs to Be Held in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 09/19/2014

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Ontraport, the innovators behind the all-in-one small-business automation platform, will be hosting ONTRApalooza 2014, its third annual business building conference for entrepreneurs.

Held at the Lobero Theatre Oct. 1-3, this event will bring together small-business owners and business consultants from around the world.

To celebrate its hometown of Santa Barbara, Ontraport is offering discounted pricing for locals. Tickets will be sold at $299, half off the regular price of $599. Register now for your all access pass to ONTRApalooza 2014.

The ONTRApalooza main events will be held at the historic Lobero Theatre while workshops, hands-on training and not-to-be-missed social events will take place at the Canary Hotel.

Keynote speakers include Santa Barbara resident Jack Canfield, beloved originator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series and America’s No. 1 success coach, as well as many others. Canfields’s Keynote, “The Key to Your Success,” will take place at 4:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Lobero Theatre.

Listed by Forbes as “a must-attend conference for entrepreneurs,” ONTRApalooza 2014 is the premier destination conference for fledgling start-ups, small-business owners and entrepreneurs — or those with a great idea to incubate! Attendees at the three-day event can expect actionable advice from top experts in business education and entrepreneurial growth, hands-on business training including deep-dive workshops focused on content marketing, retargeting, public relations, lead conversion and more.

Click here to learn more or buy a ticket.

— Andrea Webber is a public relations assistant for Ontraport.

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BizHawk: PizzaRev to Take Over Kahuna Grill in Paseo Nuevo Mall

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Killer B’s will close location, Fresh Venture Foods leases Santa Maria space and Fielding Graduate University opens East Coast office

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

Southern California pizza chain PizzaRev will open its first Santa Barbara County location early next year in the Paseo Nuevo mall downtown.

PizzaRev, which was founded in Los Angeles in 2012 under the “craft-your-own” stone-oven pizza model, will move into the current Kahuna Grill location at 12 W. De la Guerra St. in Santa Barbara in early 2015, according to Monica Rutkowski, a PizzaRev spokeswoman. A more exact date wasn’t available.

Kahuna Grill will close Oct. 26, although owner Kelly Brown said he will maintain the second location in Goleta’s Camino Real Marketplace.

Brown, founder of the Natural Café regional chain, told Noozhawk the Kahuna Grill lease is up in October, around the time he will open a Natural Café restaurant, also in the Camino Real Marketplace.

“We’re just going to focus on running the Natural Cafes,” said Brown, who owns nine of them and plans to open more in the near future.

Santa Barbara won’t be the only city to see its first PizzaRev. The pizza chain, which has locations in California, Minnesota, Texas and Utah — the closest now is in Oxnard — plans to open nearly a dozen more in California alone. Restaurants will also soon open in Missouri, Nebraska, South Dakota and Utah.

Killer B’s Closes Original Location

Killer B’s BBQ and Bar will close its downtown Santa Barbara location at 718 State St. with the hope of expanding into a larger space.

The restaurant, which opened in 2011, was offering a limited menu and scaled-back hours this week at the original location, and will close up for good next Monday, according to owner Will L'Heureux.

He said he was still working on nailing down an official new location.

“We will be relocating to a larger space, and our goal is to reopen at our new location by no later than Nov. 1,” L'Heureux posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

He encouraged patrons to follow the page for updates on the planned grand reopening.

Fresh Venture Foods Leases Building in Santa Maria

Produce distributor Fresh Venture Foods will lease an industrial space at 1259 Furukawa Way in Santa Maria.

According to Lee & Associates, which negotiated the lease, Fresh Ventura Foods has leased the 31,500-square-foot space for a four-year term and will occupy a state-of-the-art cooler and distribution building.

Fielding Graduate University Adds East Coast Location

Santa Barbara-based Fielding Graduate University has added a new office on the East Coast.

Fielding, located at 2020 De la Vina St., will have a presence in Washington, D.C., at 1101 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 450, allowing the university to advance its strategic objectives of enhancing academic quality and innovation and strengthening its faculty development efforts nationwide.

Orlando Taylor, vice president of strategic initiatives and director of the Institute for Social Innovation, will serve as Fielding’s primary representative in the new location, where he will focus on advancing Fielding at a national level, forging partnerships for programs, new opportunities and faculty research and practice projects.

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

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Google Teams Up with UCSB Physics Students for Research Project

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Under the supervision of professor John Martinis, the group is working to develop new quantum-computing processors

A group of UC Santa Barbara physics students is teaming up with Google and NASA to develop new quantum computing techniques.

Google handpicked the UCSB student team this month to work with its Quantum Artificial Intelligence (AI) Lab, which was created in May 2013 in collaboration with NASA and a universities group to improve machine learning using quantum computing.

While the work of physics Professor John Martinis and his students isn’t quite ready for public dissemination — Google is keeping it under wraps — those involved are reportedly researching and building quantum-computing processors.

In a nutshell, Martinis and his students are experimenting with D-Wave's quantum computers, which can process data as much as 3,600 times faster than typical high-performance computers.

By testing new algorithmic processes, the group could help others generate useful insights from mounds of simultaneously existing data.

So, researchers could ask complex questions, such as what’s the best route to travel to 10 different cities, and an answer could be derived based on time, money, distance, etc.

“We're looking forward to being part of a serious scientific and engineering effort to build a quantum computer, and we're pleased that Google is very interested in this research,” said Martinis, now also a Google research scientist. “A key reason this is an exciting project is the expertise Google has in mapping machine learning applications to a quantum computer.”

Google’s director of engineering, Hartmut Neven, announced UCSB’s involvement as part of a hardware initiative to design and build new quantum information processors based on superconducting electronics. 

“John and his group have made great strides in building superconducting quantum electronic components of very high fidelity,” Neven said in a statement. “He recently was awarded the London Prize recognizing him for his pioneering advances in quantum control and quantum information processing.

“With an integrated hardware group, the Quantum A1 team will now be able to implement and test new designs for quantum optimization and inference processors based on recent theoretical insights, as well as our learnings from the D-Wave quantum annealing architecture.”

Those interested in following the UCSB team’s progress can track this Google+ page by clicking here.

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

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Night Work Scheduled for Next Week on Hollister Avenue in Goleta

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Overnight work is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Monday and will continue through 5 a.m. Tuesday.

These construction activities will be done to prepare for the traffic signal installation at South Glen Annie Road.

A second night of overnight work is scheduled for 7 p.m.Tuesday and will end by 5 a.m. Wednesday. This work will be to install a new sewer manhole and make the connections to the existing sewer lines.

One lane on westbound Hollister Avenue will be closed both evenings.

Construction along this section of Hollister Avenue is part of the public improvements under way in conjunction with the Westar/Hollister Village project.

The city recently added a Westar/Hollister Village email/text notification topic in our notification system to provide updates on the public improvements related to this project. Register for these notifications by clicking Manage Preferences at the bottom of this email or click here.

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Autism Experts Talk Strategy, Intervention at UCSB Conference

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Helping children with autism speak and do desired behaviors that come easier to others their age — and in a positive way — can be a challenge.

That’s why hundreds of autism experts from around the world descended on UC Santa Barbara’s Corwin Pavilion on Thursday to hear what strategies the university’s researchers have come up with.

Robert and Lynn Koegel, a husband-wife duo who direct UCSB’s Koegel Autism Center, kicked off the two-day seventh annual International Pivotal Response Treatment (PRT) Conference for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) outlining methods already being emulated in clinics and centers in Greece, China, Canada and more.

Sponsored by UCSB’s Koegel Autism Center, the conference featured scholars, educators, health-care professionals and even parents and family of children on the autism spectrum, which often makes it difficult for those affected to communicate or be social.

The conference discussing innovative, naturalistic intervention strategies for ASD continues Friday and is open to the public.

On Thursday morning, Robert Koegel presented a historical overview of the Pivotal Response Treatment model, explaining that the intervention was originally developed for children making extremely slow gains learning how to speak.

Certain prompts can inspire nonverbal children with autism to produce speech, he said, decreasing disruptive tantrums and stress to parents.

Attendees nodded or took notes on key aspects of the model, including motivation, multiple cues, initiations, self-management and empathy — a relatively new research area because many believed those with autism couldn’t empathize with others.

Robert Koegel of the Koegel Autism Center gives a keynote address Thursday morning during the two-day annual autism conference at UCSB. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

“This year we finally have data on empathy,” Koegel said. “They can empathize very easily, they just can’t express it very well.”

He urged participants to use a treatment they know well, and one that has produced a good amount of data, especially if working with children at schools and other institutions.

Videos of clinicians practicing the PRT model, prompting a child to say a word, then rewarding the successful or valiant attempt.

“All we have to do is reward the children for trying and words pop out,” Koegel said, noting that the university center is now focused on spreading knowledge of the model.

Ty Vernon of UCSB’s Koegel Center took the podium next, explaining implementation of the slow, deliberate PRT model was as simple as the ABCs — sort of.

The ABCs Vernon referred to stood for Antecedent Behavior Consequence.

Antecedent is the trigger or request to speak, he said, and the behavior is whatever response — appropriate or inappropriate — the child produces after the prompt.

Both of those then determine what consequence the child experiences, whether a punishment or positive reinforcement, such as getting to play or have the object or toy in question.

“We really focus on positive strategies,” Vernon said.

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

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Capps Continues Fight to Protect California Coastline from Expanded Oil Drilling

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, on Thursday led yet another fight against an effort to expand offshore drilling in several sensitive areas nationwide, including the coasts of Santa Barbara and Ventura counties.

The bill, House Resolution 2, passed on a largely partisan vote, 226-191.

Capps offered four amendments to the bill to protect public health and coastal economies, but all amendments were blocked from consideration, including debate or a vote, on the House floor.

The amendments would have:

» Deleted the portion of the bill that targeted the Central Coast of California for additional drilling

» Strengthened notification and transparency requirements for offshore fracking by requiring the Secretary of the Interior to notify all relevant state and local regulatory agencies and publish a notice in the Federal Register within 30 days after receiving any application for a permit

» Required the Secretary of the Interior, along with the EPA, to conduct a study of the environmental impacts of offshore oil and gas well stimulation activities, including offshore fracking, on the marine environment

» Closed a loophole that allows oil companies to transport bitumen and other material derived from tar sands or oil sands without paying into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, despite the fact that it is a spill risk. The amendment would have ensured that material transported through the Keystone XL pipeline be treated the same way as other oil in case of a spill under the rules of the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund.

HR 2 is not new legislation. Instead, it is a repackaging of bills that have already been considered and passed on largely party lines by the House, and represents the fifth time in four years that the House has attempted to require new drilling leasing off the coasts of Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties. In addition, the bill includes numerous provisions promoting unsafe and irresponsible energy policies, including some to halt the U.S. progress in cutting carbon pollution and others to weaken the EPA’s powers to protect clean water and clean air.

“This bill is yet another attempted assault on the environment and economy of the Central Coast and coastlines across the country,” Capps said. “And despite the fact that Central Coast residents have repeatedly made their opposition clear, it includes a tired, repeated effort to open up Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties for new offshore drilling.

“Oil and gas production are already near historic highs. Rather than doubling down on harmful fossil fuel production, we should be investing in innovation and a clean energy future. Our constituents sent us here to get work done and pass legislation that will help the Middle Class, not waste time debating the same bills over and over again.”

Capps spoke on the House floor against H.R. 2 on Thursday afternoon. The text of her speech, as prepared, is below:

Mr. Speaker, here we go again.

HR 2 is yet another example of the Majority’s backward energy policy that doubles down on dirty fossil fuels instead of investing in a clean energy future, and I strongly oppose it.

While fossil fuels will undoubtedly be a significant part of our energy mix for years to come, they are only one piece of a very large energy puzzle.

So rather than doubling down on dead-end, short-sighted policies like these, we should be considering comprehensive energy legislation that looks at the big picture.

We should be investing in cutting edge research, high-tech innovation, and new clean energy technologies.

We should be increasing energy efficiency, modernizing the electric grid, and promoting sustainable energy.

And we should be taking action to reduce toxic greenhouse gas emissions and finally embrace the overwhelming science of climate change.

Not only does HR 2 do nothing to address the serious environmental problems we face, it also creates new ones.

HR 2 overrides the expressed will of voters in my district and many other communities throughout the nation by recklessly expanding offshore oil drilling.

We’ve seen time and time again the devastating environmental and economic threats posed by offshore oil drilling.

That’s why voters in my district and California have repeatedly rejected new offshore drilling.

Yet this bill ignores these wishes and explicitly requires new oil drilling off the Central Coast of California and in other areas.

I find it ironic that the same Majority that decries “an over-reaching Federal government” seems to have no qualms about forcing new drilling upon local populations against their expressed wishes.

I submitted several amendments to the Rules Committee to address this and other problems with the bill, but none of them were made in order.

In fact, the Majority has prohibited consideration of any and all amendments. No debate, no votes.

And, if these weren’t enough reasons to oppose HR 2, the bill is also completely unnecessary because the House has already passed every provision included in the bill.

HR 2 is nothing more than 13 previously passed bills stapled together with a new bill number on top.

Even worse, this is the third time this Congress, and the fifth time in four years that we’re voting on the exact same offshore drilling expansion legislation.

Stapling old bills together doesn’t make this a new idea.

One would think that after nearly four years in control of the House, this Majority would have come up with some new ideas by now, but sadly they haven’t; they’ve just found a bigger stapler.

HR 2 is simply a political gimmick and a waste of taxpayer time and money. This is no way to legislate.

Mr. Speaker, the American people expect better from us.

They expect us to find common ground and work together across party lines to solve our nation’s problems.

And there’s certainly no shortage of problems we could be working on right now strengthening our economy, raising the minimum wage, passing comprehensive immigration reform, making college more affordable, and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.

And that list does not even include the multitude of energy challenges that this bill completely ignores.

This is what the American people are calling for.

They’re calling on Congress to stop the political gimmicks.

They’re calling on us to help create middle class jobs and support working families.

And they’re calling on us to get to work and build a more prosperous and sustainable future for our nation.

HR 2 accomplishes none of these things.

This bill is simply harmful energy policy and an embarrassing waste of time.

I urge my colleagues to reject this bill and join me in working toward a cleaner, more sustainable energy future for the American people.

I yield back.

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

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Bishop Diego High School Hires New Director of Development

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Bishop García Diego High School is pleased to announce the appointment of Delene Goodell-Bliss as director of development.

Goodell-Bliss is a nonprofit fundraiser and administrator with more than 20 years of experience in community-based nonprofits and independent schools. She brings extensive marketing, public relations, management and fundraising experience into the director of development role.

“Bishop is fortunate to have identified someone with Delene’s depth and breadth of experience," Head of School Dr. Paul Harrington said. "And her energy and spark are a welcome addition to our staff.”

As director of development, Goodell-Bliss will join Bishop’s leadership team with responsibility for the planning, implementation and assessment of giving campaigns, alumni programs, donor cultivation strategies and fundraising events. She will work closely with the Board of Directors and the head of school in creating and implementing these initiatives.

"I am thrilled to join an organization with such a rich heritage and strong commitment to educating Santa Barbara’s youth,” Goodell-Bliss said.

Her experience as a development officer started with community-based nonprofits in the San Francisco area with the March of Dimes and the Cancer Society. An opportunity as director of development for the Family Services Agency facilitated her move back down to Santa Barbara, where she grew up.

Goodell-Bliss was raised in Santa Barbara and is a graduate of the University of the Pacific with a bachelor of arts degree in communications and an emphasis in business administration.

Bishop García Diego High School is an independent Catholic school that welcomes students of all faiths and provides them with the spiritual, personal, and intellectual knowledge to meet the enduring challenge of realizing their God-given potential in a multi-cultural society.

— Lori Willis is the director of communications for Bishop Garcia Diego High School.

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District Attorney’s Office Warns of IRS Telephone Scam

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley alerts the community about an aggressive phone scam targeting taxpayers in the county, as reported incidents of this crime rise locally and nationwide.

Santa Barbara County residents reported callers falsely claiming to represent the IRS and warns people they are behind on their taxes and must make immediate payments to avoid arrest or other legal action including deportation. In some instances when the scammers are unsuccessful, they call back and try a new strategy. Potential victims may even be told they are entitled to tax refunds and to collect the refund they must reveal personal and financial information.

The Internal Revenue Service has issued two warnings of this pervasive telephone scam in April and again in September of this year.

Santa Barbara County residents are reminded that the IRS always sends taxpayers a written notification of any tax due via the U.S. mail. The IRS never asks for a credit card, debit card or prepaid card information over the telephone. If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS, here’s what you should do:

» If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe taxes, call the IRS at 800.829.1040. The IRS employees can help you with a payment issue, if there really is such an issue.

» If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think you owe any taxes, then call and report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800.366.4484.

Dudley encourages all county residents to remain vigilant against all phone and email scams, especially when you are being asked to provide any personal or financial information.

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Firefighters from Santa Barbara County Sent to Battle Raging King Fire

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Strike team is assigned to help hold the line on the southeast perimeter of the blaze in the El Dorado National Forest

Firefighters and resources from within Santa Barbara County have been sent to help battle the King Fire, which had burned more than 70,000 acres in the El Dorado National Forest east of Sacramento as of Thursday.

The fire nearly tripled in size Thursday, and more than 3,600 fire personnel are working to quell the blaze, which is only 5 percent contained.

Officials announced the arrest of Wayne Allen Huntsman, 37, on suspicion of arson connected to starting the fire. He was taken into custody Wednesday and is being held on $10 million bail, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The fire continues to burn near Pollock Pines off Highway 50, between Placerville and South Lake Tahoe, and local firefighters are helping in that effort, according to Santa Barbara City Fire Capt. Gary Pitney.

A strike team made of crews from Santa Barbara City Fire, the Montecito Fire Protection District, Lompoc Fire, the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District and the Vandenburg AFB Fire departments are all in the area working on the King Fire. 

A strike team consists of five engines, so the smaller agencies had to band together for the resources to make up an entire team, Pitney said. That team is made up of 22 people along with five engines that are used to fight fires in remote forest areas.

"They are basically wildland engines that are equipped for those types of fires," he said, adding that they have four-wheel drive and a high clearance to access challenging terrain.

Each engine will have a fire captain, an engineer and two firefighters.   Two strike team leaders are also part of the team being sent to the King Fire.

Pitney said the strike team had been working on the Silverado Fire in Orange County for several days before they were called to assist on the King Fire.

"They're working 24-hour shifts with 24 hours off," he said, adding that the strike team's assignment has been to work the southeast perimeter of the fire about a mile from Highway 50. "The assignment is to hold the line and pick up any spot fires that jump over that line."

With high temperatures and sundowner winds in Santa Barbara County, Pitney said the city has plenty of staff to work if any fires should arise locally.

"All of our personnel are backfilled," he said, adding that Santa Barbara City Fire has another wildland engine that it did not send to the King Fire.

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

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Joe Conason: American Amnesia — Why the GOP Leads on National Security

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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If the latest polls are accurate, most voters believe that Republican politicians deserve greater trust on matters of national security. At a moment when Americans feel threatened by rising terrorist movements and authoritarian regimes, that finding is politically salient — and proves that amnesia is the most durable affliction of our democracy.

Every year around this time, ever since 2001, we promise never to forget the victims of 9/11, the courage of the first responders and the sacrifice of the troops sent to avenge them all. Our poignant recollections seem to be faulty, however, obliterating the hardest truths about that terrible event, as well as the long aftermath that continues to this day.

The result, attested to by those polls, is that Republicans escape responsibility for the derelictions and bad decisions of their party's leaders at crucial moments in the recent past.

Not long after the 9/11 attacks occurred, the Republican noise machine instantly began blaring a message of blame aimed at former President Bill Clinton, insisting that he had ignored the threat posed by al-Qaeda during his White House tenure. That accusation was wholly false, but discovering the truly culpable wasn't easy — because President George W. Bush and his vice president, Dick Cheney, worked hard to prevent a full investigation by the 9/11 Commission.

In due course, that probe revealed how Bush and Cheney had ignored clear warnings — from Clinton himself, from counterterrorism adviser Richard Clarke and finally from the CIA on Aug. 6, 2001 — that al-Qaeda was preparing to strike the homeland. Preoccupied by their tax cuts and their plans for an invasion of Iraq, they had done nothing.

The country and the world rallied around Bush as he declared war on the Taliban and sent U.S. and NATO troops into Afghanistan. But thanks to the incompetence of Bush, Cheney and their military command, not only did Osama bin Laden and Mullah Mohammad Omar escape and remain at large for years but also the entire effort eventually collapsed into futility, with no plausible goal or exit strategy. It soon became clear that the Bush White House and Defense Department had other fish to fry, over a few borders in Baghdad.

Even the most forgetful citizens probably recall how Bush, Cheney, their national security advisers and their allies in Congress misled the nation into war against Iraq, falsely alarming us about nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.

They may even recall how those great Republican statesmen pursued the invasion, lawlessly and without adequate preparation or clear objectives, costing thousands upon thousands of Iraqi and American lives and trillions of dollars. Their actions led to horrific human rights and Geneva Conventions violations; they embarrassed the United States and enhanced the regional influence of the ayatollahs in Iran.

And now, of course, the current dismal situation in Iraq — unfairly blamed on President Barack Obama — is a direct consequence of the war, the American occupation and the divisive sectarian government installed in Baghdad by the Bush administration, which also disbanded the Iraqi army and all of Iraq's government institutions. Without the destruction inflicted on that country — especially on its Sunni population — by Bush and Cheney, there would be no burgeoning Islamic State today.

Disremembering all of those unpleasant facts, voters may well consider the Republican Party better able to manage foreign and defense policy. After all, Republicans have long styled themselves as the tough-guy "daddy party" and bamboozled much of the public with that image. What remains to be seen is how much more of their brilliant stewardship this country and the world can survive.

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

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Outdoors Q&A: Is It Legal to Shoot a Deer on My Land from My Porch?

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Q: I have a house on five acres in Northern California and have some really nice bucks on my land. Every day they come within a few feet of my house and graze on my garden and plants. If I purchase an A Zone tag this year, can I legally shoot a deer on my land from my house or porch? My house is situated more than 200 yards from any other property or house and it is outside of the city limits. Thanks. (Brian T.)

A: Yes. The safety zone law prohibits shooting within 150 yards of any occupied dwelling without the permission of the occupant. As long as it is otherwise legal to discharge a firearm in this area (e.g. not in the city limits), then go for it! (August 2010)

Can Lakes Set Their Own Fishing Regulations?

Q: The local municipal water district operates a nearby lake that is open to the public for fishing and day use. My question is regarding the regulations set for this lake. The maximum daily catch limit is lower than the limits the California Department of Fish & Wildlife authorizes. Do they have the authority to do this? Who has the ultimate jurisdiction in this matter? (Roger S., Ojai)

A: Yes, this is perfectly legal for them to do. Private lake managers can be more restrictive than CDFW regulations but not less restrictive. It is their prerogative to impose more stringent regulations in the interest of better managing their individual waters than what the state requires for managing California’s fisheries statewide.

Sorry, I’m sure this isn’t what you’d hoped to hear. For further clarification, please contact your local game warden.

Trap and Release Squirrels and Possums

Q: I live in a city in Southern California and have an avocado tree in my yard. Squirrels and possums have been a big problem recently. Can I use a Havahart trap to catch them and then transport them to a more rural location a few miles away? (David S.)

A: Yes, most squirrels and possums can be trapped, but tree squirrels will need a depredation permit. When trapping wildlife, traps must be checked every 24 hours and the animals either dispatched or released in the immediate area.

According to CDFW statewide wildlife rehabilitation coordinator Nicole Carion, squirrels and possums that have caused property damage can be trapped by legal means (Fish and Game Code, section 4180). They can either be humanely euthanized or released in the immediate area. “Immediate” is not defined in regulations but the immediate area means “near” and most importantly within the normal home range of the animal. The home range of squirrels and possums varies depending on habitat and other factors.

Squirrels and possums may not be “relocated” long distances from where they were trapped for many reasons, the most important being to prevent the spread of disease. No matter how close or far a potential release site may be to the capture site, don’t release any animal in any location for which you do not have specific authorization from the owner of the property, including government agencies on public land. It’s not a law, just common courtesy!

Please be very cautious about trapping in the springtime because this is when wild animals have offspring. Trapped nuisance wildlife cannot be taken to wildlife rehabilitators. Although rehabilitation facilities can take in orphaned wildlife, the orphaned animals will have a much higher chance of survival if they are raised by their wild mothers. Often wild animals only take up residence somewhere temporarily during the springtime.

There are many humane options available for keeping out animals seeking shelter in homes and structures on private property. For more information on preventing wildlife access to human food sources, please visit our website by clicking here.

How Many Abalone in the Freezer?

Q: I have been an abalone diver for nine years now and always keep my abalone frozen in my freezer to enjoy until the next year’s harvest. I am hearing mixed messages about the rules now and am confused as to whether it’s legal to do that. I might have anywhere between one to 20 abalone in my freezer, all still tagged with the appropriate tag. Please confirm if it is legal to keep an overlimit of tagged abalone in my home. (Bill D.)

A: The limit is actually three abalone per day and in possession. This means that legally, one individual can have no more than three abalone in their possession (at the dive site, at home, in your vehicle, in your freezer, etc.) at one time.

You can still give away your abalone to friends or family members living in the same house with you. Each person may have no more than three abalone in their possession at any time.

— Carrie Wilson is a marine biologist with the California Department of Fish & Wildlife. She can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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56th Annual Santa Barbara Community Prayer Breakfast Inspires Perseverance

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Teacher Peter Trabucco, who became a paraplegic after a diving accident, shares his story of faith, strength and support

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

More than 300 people attended the 56th annual Santa Barbara Community Prayer Breakfast early Wednesday morning at The Fess Parker DoubleTree by Hilton Resort.

"Perseverance and Purpose and Praying for Our Community" was the theme of this inspirational event.

The Unity Shoppe’s Tom Reed served as a master of ceremonies with the prayer for leaders led by El Montecito School’s Jeannine Morgan.

The cherub-like children of the El Montecito School Choir sang a couple of well-known hymns for the assembled. El Montecito School was also the major event sponsor.

Andrews Tricerri from MacFarlane, Faletti & Co. CPAs did the Old Testament reading from Isaiah 58, 9-11, and Chris Chirgwin from Lanspeed read John 3, 1-8 from the New Testament.

Peter Trabucco, an 18-year second-grade teacher from El Montecito School, was the main speaker for the gathering. Boy, was he inspirational!

He told about his diving accident while a college student that caused a break in his spinal column. He rehabbed at a Northridge hospital to be near his Santa Barbara parents. His mother, Jane, drove the 1½-hour drive each day for four months during his rehabilitation.

“I did it because I was close enough to do it, which was such a blessing,” his mother told Noozhawk.

Trabucco credited his parents’ incredible support and strength as a remarkable component of his healing adjustment to becoming a paraplegic.

“I never knew the depth of my parents’ pain about my injury until I became a parent myself,” he said.

After the accident, he moved to Santa Barbara and lived in a studio next to his parents’ home.

“Competitive by nature, I traveled all over the United States competing in wheelchair races. Things worked out for me after that," he said. "I attended a men’s Bible study group at the Coral Casino. I was asked to speak at local schools about what it was like to be disabled. While visiting the schools, I started to think about teaching as a career. I got into a state program that paid for everything. Then I was approached by Jeannine Morgan at El Montecito School to teach second grade. I didn’t think I wanted to teach second grade, but it has been a good fit for the past 18 years.”

After graduating from UCSB with a degree in business economics, he met his future wife, Lora.

“She saw me for what I was, not the (wheel)chair,” he said.

The couple will be happily celebrating their 28th anniversary this month. They were blessed with twin daughters after more than five years of invitro fertilization therapy. Both girls are thriving and attending UC schools this year.

During Trabucco’s many trials and joys, he said the following Bible passage held the most comfort for him: Psalm 46:10, "Jesus said, Be still, and know that I am God."

Noozhawk contributing writer Rochelle Rose can be reached at rrose@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkSociety, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Become a fan of Noozhawk on Facebook.

Breakfast
The El Montecito School Choir sings hymns for attendees at the Santa Barbara Community Prayer Breakfast. (Rochelle Rose / Noozhawk photo)

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emPower Offers New SimpleStart Upgrade Option for Homeowners

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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After hearing from countless homeowners interested in home energy efficiency, the emPower Central Coast program discovered that many homeowners were looking for an easy way to pay for urgent single improvements like furnace or water heater replacements. To meet this demand, emPower created a new pathway to qualify for incentives and financing, called SimpleStart.

SimpleStart allows homeowners to choose one or more qualified upgrades to make their home more energy efficient.

“We know that some homeowners are looking for a simple way to get started on the path to energy savings," said Jason Scheurer, an emPower energy coach. "SimpleStart is perfect for those who are not ready to undergo a comprehensive energy efficiency upgrade or just want to make one last energy improvement to their home.”

Eligible single measure upgrades available through SimpleStart include certain energy efficient heating and cooling units, water heaters, and insulation. As always, homeowners can take advantage of other eligible upgrade options including more comprehensive home energy upgrades, and solar.

In addition, for a limited time, emPower has lowered interest rates for qualified energy efficiency loans over $5,000 in Santa Barbara County. The emPower loan rates typically start at 5.9 percent, but during this promotion, rates start as low as 3.9 percent.

Interested homeowners should visit emPowerSBC.org or call 805.568.3566 to get started with a SimpleStart Upgrade and learn more about low cost financing.

The emPower program offers voluntary incentives, financing and other services to help single-family homeowners in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties make home energy upgrades easier and more affordable. emPower was originally established by Santa Barbara County to help lower energy consumption and stimulate the economy by creating jobs.

emPower is funded by California utility ratepayers and administered by Southern California Gas Company, Southern California Edison Company and Pacific Gas & Electric under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission, the US Department of Energy Better Buildings program and the California Energy Commission with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act dollars. emPower’s low cost financing is offered in partnership with Coast Hills Federal Credit Union and Ventura County Credit Union.

Click here for more information.

— Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing emPower Central Coast.

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Notre Dame School Santa Barbara Undergoes $1 Million Makeover

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Notre Dame School Santa Barbara has been a vital educational partner in the community during its 108-year history. It is a fully accredited Catholic elementary school within the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, offers quality kindergarten through eighth grade education, and operates a licensed preschool for children 2½ to 5 years of age.

Notre Dame
Notre Dame School’s auditorium features state-of-the-art sound and lighting. (Fred Hall photo)

Located in the heart of downtown Santa Barbara, close to museums, theaters and many cultural landmarks, this beautiful campus recently underwent $1 million in capital improvements to become the crowned jewel it once was.

“Our lovely campus was a diamond in the rough,” said Sister Judy Flahavan, principal of Notre Dame School. “We are so grateful to our generous donors, particularly to the J.F. Shea Company, for making all of these improvements possible.”

Some of the projects which have been completed on campus include:

» Auditorium — freshly painted, new lighting and sound system, refurbished stage and floor, renovated balcony

» Playground — featuring a new play structure and repurposed rubber safety ground cover

» Computer system — upgraded schoolwide with Apple TV, iPads, MacBook Pros, whiteboards and projectors in every classroom

» Classroom improvements — installation of new carpeting, window treatments, and lights

» Exterior improvements — outside of buildings painted, asphalt resurfaced, roof repaired, and shade canopies installed

“We were so happy to be able to assist Notre Dame School Santa Barbara in the quest to improve the campus,” said John Shea, chairman of J.F. Shea Co. Inc. “We wanted to support the effort of staying true to the core mission of faith-based education, while helping the school move into the future of education with the latest technology — both in the classroom and in the cultural arts areas.”

Notre Dame School Santa Barbara will host an official Open House in early November. Information will be forthcoming about the event in a separate news release. The celebration will feature campus tours, as well as food and entertainment and will be free and open to the public.

For more information about Notre Dame School Santa Barbara, please call 805.965.1033 or click here.

— Joni Kelly is a communications representative for Notre Dame School.

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Three Young UCSB Faculty Receive CAREER Awards from National Science Foundation

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Helgeson
Matthew Helgeson

Three UC Santa Barbara researchers — a computer scientist, a chemical engineer and a physicist — are among the recent recipients of the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.

The NSF CAREER Program offers the NSF’s most prestigious awards to young faculty who most effectively integrate research and education.

“An NSF CAREER award makes it possible for an assistant professor in science or engineering to launch an ambitious research program,” said Michael Witherell, UCSB vice chancellor for research. “We are extremely pleased that two of our engineering faculty and one of our physics faculty have won these extremely competitive awards.”

‘Liquid Nanomasonry’

Imagine a liquid template that can, from the nanoscale, form sophisticated material structures with enhanced and specific properties.

Molecular self-assembly has been able to create such templates; however, the weak intermolecular forces involved typically limit the size of features to several nanometers.

To overcome this hurdle, assistant professor Matthew Helgeson from UCSB’s Department of Chemical Engineering has received approximately $400,000 to develop generic methods for assembling nanoemulsions — nanoscale droplets of oil in water (or vice versa) — into superstructures for templating sophisticated materials with hierarchical structure.

In a method he calls “liquid nanomasonry,” his experiments involve the application of external stimuli to trigger molecules in a fluid to become a mortar for assembling droplets into clusters with controlled sizes, shapes and features.

Results of this project can be used to expand the use of liquid phase templating to new materials with applications in emerging fields, from nanomedicine to energy storage and photonics. Findings will also go toward a new course on chemical product engineering.

Hardekopf
Ben Hardekopf

Proofing Computer Languages

Dynamic and complex computer languages, such as JavaScript, Python and Ruby, are double-edged swords. They offer software developers great flexibility and the ability to program many things, but their dynamism and complexity also make them difficult to analyze for accuracy and correctness — qualities that are becoming more important the more programs are written in these languages. Most static analyses of dynamic computer languages, it turns out, are inaccurate.

To improve the performance and quality of these analyses before software is deployed, assistant professor Ben Hardekopf of the Department of Computer Science has been awarded about $513,000 over five years to extend the state of the art in terms of correctness, precision and performance for static analysis of dynamic languages.

Research includes static analysis testing to ensure the analyses’ correctness, exploring tunable analysis sensitivity and strategies for optimal analysis performance. Beyond its technical contribution, the research will also have applications in education, by providing content for undergraduate and graduate courses. The project will also provide data to industry.

Jayich
Ania Jayich (Sonia Fernandez / UCSB photo)

The Quantum Made Visible

The nitrogen-vacancy (NV) center is a flaw in the atomic lattice structure in diamond that researchers like assistant professor Ania Jayich at the Department of Physics are using to explore the behavior of the quantum world. Her research investigates how the spin of the NV center — a model quantum system with atomlike properties that are uniquely accessible and controllable — could be used to study, measure and sense tiny quantum forces, yielding information that can advance the science of quantum metrology and computing.

At a wider focus, this research will also investigate what relationship the forces of a single electron spin have with the macroscopic motion of a phonon — billions of atoms vibrating in unison. This study would also enable fundamental research at the border of classical and quantum physics. Through her teaching and work as a mentor, Jayich will disseminate her science to a wide variety of students. This project has been awarded approximately $600,000 over five years.

The NSF promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics and engineering.

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

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Michael Harris Named Chairman of Devereux California Advisory Board

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Michael Harris
Michael Harris

Michael Harris, director of government affairs at CenCal Health, will take over as chairman of the Devereux California Advisory Board in November.

Harris has a bachelor’s degree from the California State University-Northridge in public sector management, and more than 23 years of senior management and executive level experience with the County of Santa Barbara.

He has served as director of Emergency Medical Services, assistant deputy director for primary care and was appointed as a deputy director of public health. He also served as chief of emergency management for SB County for six years.

We welcome Harris to the board and congratulate him on his new position.

Devereux California provides behavioral services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities; emotional, behavioral disorders and mental health issues. It offers residential services, Adult Day and Life Enrichment programs, and Supported or Independent Living programs to individuals in their own homes within Santa Barbara County.

Headquartered in Pennsylvania, Devereux is the largest, nonprofit provider of behavioral healthcare in the country, operating 15 centers in 11 states. Next year, Devereux California will celebrate 70 years in operation.

Contact Cassi Noel, manager of external affairs, to volunteer or donate at cnoel2@devereux.org or 805.968.2525 x202.

— Cassi Noel is the external affairs manager for Devereux California.

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Five Trends That Are Changing Home Design

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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Circular rooms with 360-degree aerial views, automated kitchens with robotic chefs and house cleaners; a futuristic fantasy less than realized by our digital revolution. Homes built today are noticeably dissimilar to dwellings built over 50 years ago, and share little resemblance to The Jetsons-style images we all envisioned for the third millennium.

Ryan Brautovich
Ryan Brautovich

Once abiding in smaller homes, we now have “McMansions”; rooms that were once separated, now are combined; kitchens have been enlarged with additional island space; bathrooms and closets are nearly the size of rooms unto themselves.

The evolution process of home design and function has been driven by the buyer. Practical application of energy-efficiency remains in demand while encouraging gathering of family and friends.

The trend for smaller homes and larger outdoor spaces the last several years is reversing and the McMansion-style house is returning with the growing economy.

Here are five trends changing the future of our home design:

» 1. Tiny home trend is over for now.

In 2007, the average home size nationally was 2,500 square feet. By 2009, it had dropped to 2,362 square feet for the average size home. As the economy began to recover in 2013, the average home size was reported to be 2,679 square feet.

“It’s the mix of buyers that are still in the market that’s driving the characteristics of homes being built now," said Rose Quint of the National Association of Home Builders. "Buyers that don’t have the means don’t have access to mortgages right now. Wealthier buyers are more likely to have the income and credit scores for a home and the result is that the homes being built are bigger.”

» 2. A walk-in closet in the master bedroom is a must.

Only a few decades ago, walk-in closets were a feature found only in the homes of the super-rich. Today this is a common, almost standard feature, built into all newly constructed master bedrooms.

» 3. Laundry demands its own space.

Homeowners no longer want to haul their laundry up and down stairs and out to the garage. One of the most essential features for a new home is a laundry room. In fact, a dedicated first floor laundry room is all but a normal design element for many new homes.

» 4. The kitchen is multi-functional.

Due to homeowner’s demand, kitchen size continues to grow in cutting-edge homes, increasing food preparation and cooking space, clean up areas, craft stations, work areas, snack areas, etc. Kitchens have become a focal point in the home for entertaining, doing homework and social activities, and not just for cooking as in previous years.

» 5. What is a living room for these days?

Nobody knows what to do with the living room, and noticeably few are being designed into the floor plan. Living rooms are being replaced with open TV-focused great rooms, game rooms or any number of useful spaces.

Click here for more information on home design tips.

Ryan Brautovich is a general contractor in Santa Barbara and published author. For more information, please email info@sbhomebuilder.com.

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HICAP Schedules ‘Medicare Open Enrollment Choices’ Seminar in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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

The "Medicare Open Enrollment Choices" presentation will be held beginning at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 29 at First Presbyterian Church, 21 E. Constance St. in Santa Barbara.

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

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

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

HICAP is pleased to partner with First Presbyterian Church and the Parish Nursing Program in presenting this important information to the community.

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

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

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

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

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School District Seeks New Members for Measures’ Oversight Committees

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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There are currently openings on the Measures A and B (parcel tax) and Measures Q and R (facilities bond) oversight committees.

The committees, comprised of community members, meet three times per year to review expenditures and produce an annual report.

The committees are comprised of different representatives: business organization; senior citizens' organization; taxpayers' organization or tax professional; parent/guardian of a child enrolled in the district; parent/guardian of a parent who is active in a parent-teacher organization; member of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation; member of the community at large.

The term for each committee seat is two years. For more details, please see the oversight committee bylaws by clicking on the links: Measure AMeasure BMeasure Q and Measure R.

If you are a member of one of the groups noted above, and are interested in serving, please complete an application and return it (email or mail) to Barbara Keyani, bkeyani@sbunified.org, Santa Barbara Unified School District, 720 Santa Barbara St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.

— Barbara Keyani is the administrative services and communications coordinator for the Santa Barbara Unified School District.

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Hearing Loss Association of America-Santa Barbara Chapter Hosting Open House on Oct. 11

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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The Hearing Loss Association of America-Santa Barbara Chapter will be hosting an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 11 at the Louis Lowry Davis Center.

The focus of the open house is how assistive technology can help you live better with your hearing loss.

Three presentations will be given from 10 to 11 a.m. on HLAA, home loop systems and assistive listening devices. Six information booths will open at 11 a.m. You will have the opportunity to learn more about HLAA chapter benefits, talk to an audiologist, learn about Let's Loop Santa Barbara, view the latest captioned telephones, learn more about home loops and see the different types of assistive listening devices that could help you in your everyday life.

Hearing loss effects 20 percent of adults in the U.S. Those numbers climb to 33 percent for adults over 65 and 47 percent of those over 75. Hearing loss doesn't just affect the person who has it, it affects family and friends as well. Learning how to live with your hearing loss, especially if it starts later in life, can be challenging. We can help.

The Hearing Loss Association of America-Santa Barbara Chapter is a nonprofit organization that provides assistance and resources for people with hearing loss, and their families, to learn how to adjust to living with hearing loss. Coping with a hearing loss can be difficult and stressful. You are not alone, and you do not have to face the everyday challenges alone.

Our chapter is 100 percent volunteer based. We are devoted to the welfare and interests of those in our community, and their family and friends, who live with a hearing loss. We actively support Let's Loop Santa Barbara and the mission to make Santa Barbara the most hearing accessible city in California. We provide community education on how to effectively communicate with people who have a hearing loss. We provide training to people with hearing loss on effective communication strategies.

Our monthly chapter meetings are held at Wood Glen Hall, 3010 Foothill Road in Santa Barbara, from 10 a.m. to noon (except July and August). We discuss coping strategies, accessibility issues and the latest in hearing technology from hearing aids and cochlear implants to captioned telephones to assistive listening devices. We invite knowledgeable speakers who share their expertise and we have group discussions on the challenges we face and share in our daily lives.

Our meetings are captioned, and our meeting room is hearing looped. Light refreshment and snacks are served. Our meetings are free and open to all.

For more information, please visit our website by clicking here or contact us at info@hlaa-sbc.org or 805.563.1097.

— Cherie Alvarez is president of the Hearing Loss Association of America-Santa Barbara Chapter.

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Reed Interiors Debuts Exclusive Kitchen, Bath Offerings with Designer Michel Clair

By | Published on 09/18/2014

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As summer comes to an end in Santa Barbara and the kids are back in school, it’s the perfect time to renovate the heart of your home into a space you will love. Just in time, Reed Interiors is launching an exclusive new kitchen and bath collection, featuring European-style designs tailored to match any lifestyle.

To turn your kitchen and bathroom designs into reality, Reed Interiors is pleased to introduce its new design partner, Michel Clair, to the Santa Barbara region. Clair is a renowned French architect and designer who specializes in the contemporary space, offering exclusive services for all of your interior renovations.

With 25 years of architecture and design experience, Clair is creating kitchen and bath designs that combine form and function into a single concept reflecting every individual’s unique style and personality.

“Reed is so pleased to partner with such a talented designer like Michel Clair,” said Romain and Myriam Doussineau, owners of Reed Interiors. “More and more, our customers think of Reed Interiors as their home design resource, and with Michel joining our team, we are able to continue to expand and offer the very best quality, service and experience for your home design needs.”

Reed Interiors is also proud to be a new Gaggenau distributor, a German manufacturer recognized as the leading innovator in technology, and the pioneering brand for home appliances for more than 300 years. Not only was the development of the built-in oven heavily influenced by Gaggenau — it’s known innovations include the glass-ceramic cooktop, the pyrolytic self-cleaning oven, the combi-stream oven for the home and the Vario cooling 400 series, the modular system that made the world’s first “refrigeration wall” possible — all now available through Reed Interiors.

The kitchen and bath launch comes on the heels of Reed Interiors’ newly expanded showroom in Carpinteria, now offering even more exceptionally unique and stylish lines of modern indoor and outdoor furniture, floor coverings, lighting, accessories, window treatments, wall coverings, fabrics, upholstery, and now kitchen and bath collections. Home design enthusiasts are invited to stop by to check out the new additions to its collection of stylish home décor.

For more information, click here or call 805.684.7583.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing Reed Interiors.

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High Intensity Surrounds Heated Debate Over ‘Anti-Fracking’ Initiative on November Ballot

By | Published on 09/17/2014

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Both sides spar over what Measure P will and will not ban if approved, and the extent of its impacts on Santa Barbara County water, jobs, tax revenue and litigation

Liars, manipulators and outsiders are lined up on either side of Santa Barbara County’s “anti-fracking” ballot initiative, if local voters are to believe the rhetoric leading up to the November election.

Officially known as Measure P, “The Healthy Air and Water Initiative to Ban Fracking” has reignited a long-running debate pitting priorities of environmentalists and oil opponents against those of industry supporters — limiting oil production versus jobs, energy independence and county tax dollars.

Far from so simple, Measure P would ban fracking, cyclic steam injection and other high-intensity petroleum operations in the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County.

Fracking, or hydraulic fracturing, employs high-pressure fluids to create fractures in rock that allow oil and natural gas to escape and flow from a well. The procedure is not used locally, but Measure P proponents say the land-use initiative would prevent the possibility, along with future oil extraction expansion.

Supporters say the measure exempts existing oil operations if the ban violates constitutional rights, is deemed an “unconstitutional taking of property” or applies to an individual or entity with a “vested right” as of the date it takes effect.

Oil backers worry anyway. According to county staff, 30 percent of 1,200 active area wells use a cyclic-steaming process, and the rest will use one or more of the prohibited procedures in their lifetimes.

Since the word “existing” does not appear in the text of the ballot measure, the county was asked to determine how “vested rights” exemptions would be carried out — a process the county Board of Supervisors is supposed to approve at a meeting Oct. 7.

Holding a “vested right” is more subjective than either side suggests, however. According to the County Counsel’s Office, vested rights would be determined on a case-by-case basis in a process that, up until this point, has been established largely through litigation.

Meaning, if Measure P is approved by voters, the county will most certainly be sued.

                                                                  •        •        •

Fracking hasn’t been tried locally since 2011, when one oil company tested the method in the Orcutt hills — a fruitless venture, since area oil is heavy, tar-like and less responsive to the technique, said Dennis Bozanich, former assistant to the county CEO.

The county hasn’t banned fracking, although companies must obtain a permit to do it.

Fearful of the prospect, members of the Santa Barbara County Water Guardians took action last spring, gathering nearly 20,000 signatures on a petition asking the county to ban the procedure. In June, county supervisors punted the decision to voters via a Nov. 4 ballot initiative instead of adopting an ordinance outright.

The San Francisco law firm of Shute, Mihaly & Weinberger LLP, which specializes in land and environmental issues, crafted the ballot language, and the Environmental Defense Center also vetted it, said Water Guardians spokeswoman Katie Davis.

Existing oil and gas operations will not be affected, Davis maintained, dismissing such talk as a misleading mantra proliferated by “No on Measure P” backers who condemn the initiative as a deceptive and flawed job-killer that puts the county and taxpayers at risk.

A handful of wells operating within the Santa Maria city limits also would not be affected, she said.

“We felt very confident that it was well written,” Davis told Noozhawk. “‘Existing’ is not a legal term. Our own land-use planning code refers to vested rights. If there is a legal risk, then it doesn’t apply. There’s no way we could shut down existing wells.”

She said fracking bans have gained momentum nationally, especially in New York. Santa Cruz County became the first to pass a ban in California, although the prohibition is largely symbolic since there is no commercial petroleum production in that county.

A ban similar to the one proposed in Santa Barbara County is also on the ballot in San Benito County in November.

Davis said concern for an oil-ravaged environment and an increase in permit applications prompted the Santa Barbara County initiative. She pointed to the more than 7,000 potential drilling locations identified in a recent filing from privately held Santa Maria Energy.

The county has 903 anticipated wells in the pipeline, 89 percent of which would use petroleum operations described in Measure P, according to an impartial impact analysis prepared by Bozanich and the county counsel.

Five oil companies have submitted proposals: Santa Maria Energy, Amrich Energy, Freeport McMoRan Oil & Gas, PetroRock Energy and Kern County’s Aera Energy. Bozanich said Bakersfield-based ERG Resources is preparing to file for a 533 cyclic-steam-well project.

Acidization, a third oil-extraction technique named in Measure P, uses the same chemical mix as fracking, and Davis said such water-intensive processes can contaminate groundwater, waste precious supplies during drought or even increase earthquake risks.

Davis hopes Measure P will provide a much-needed framework for approving future oil projects, something officials lamented last year when considering the Santa Maria Energy project.

“The risks that people associate with fracking apply to all three kinds of these techniques,” she said. “The problem in our current planning code is that it has conflicting goals. It allows oil production, but encourages environmental preservation.”

                                                                  •        •        •

Where proponents see clear-cut wording, energy companies view a threat to their livelihoods and those of more than 1,000 locals, mainly in the North County.

The oil industry contributes to the employment of nearly 2,000 locals and generates more than $291 million annually, either directly or indirectly, according to a 2013 UC Santa Barbara economic impact study commissioned by the Santa Maria Valley Chamber of Commerce. The Santa Maria Valley chamber — as well as chambers of commerce in Goleta and Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara County Taxpayers Association — opposes Measure P.

Opponents say the initiative would cut more than $16 million in annual county tax revenues that fund schools, public safety and other services, as well as increase dependence on imported foreign oil.

The county’s impartial analysis confirms that the oil and gas industry makes up about $16.4 million, or 2.65 percent, of its total tax roll, finding about 1 percent of all county jobs are at least loosely tied to the activity.

Helping lead the fight against Measure P is Santa Maria Energy president David Pratt, who believes his company’s recently approved permit to develop 110 wells outside Orcutt is in jeopardy.

Santa Maria Energy, which uses cyclic-steam injection for 26 diatomite wells, obtained a permit for new wells in November, but hasn’t yet acquired all the permits it needs to start construction. One of the permits won’t be issued by the state until January, pushing the company’s build date through the rainy season and into next June.

The Santa Maria Energy booth at the Santa Maria Business Trade Show last week included No on Measure P displays. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

If substantial construction hasn’t begun by November, and the measure passes, Santa Maria Energy could miss out on money already invested, said Beth Marino, the company’s vice president of legal and corporate affairs.

The company also worries ballot language would prohibit routine maintenance, which for all local well operators includes injecting acids and other chemicals to clean natural waxes and scaling that can clog old wells and stifle flow, said Kevin Drude, deputy director of the county energy and minerals division.

Santa Maria Energy employs 30 local workers now, and intends to hire 50 to 70 more for the new project, Marino said.

“The way that measure is designed, we would not be allowed to go forward with project,” she told Noozhawk. “There is no statute that defines what vested rights are. Generally, it means you have all of the permits.”

Pratt said his company uses water from the Laguna County Sanitation District, which can’t be used for human consumption. Other oil companies use recycled or on-site produced water, he said, quoting a study that found while oil production in the county is expected to increase, water usage isn’t.

“We are literally talking about thousands of people who would be displaced,” Pratt said, noting most Measure P supporters live on the South Coast. “The fields don’t affect their daily lives. It’s not their children who will be harmed when funding for schools is curtailed. There is a certain equity argument in that. It’s simply not right.”

Pratt said Santa Maria Energy will assess its options if Measure P is approved, but two other companies — ERG Resources and PetroRock Energy — have threatened litigation. More could follow.

A permit doesn’t necessarily guarantee vested right, County Counsel Michael Ghizzoni said, although in some cases it could.

He pointed to a 1976 legal case the county typically relies on for such determinations. In Avco Community Developers Inc. v. South Coast Regional Commission, the state Supreme Court ruled that vested rights occur when a property owner has performed substantial work and incurred substantial liabilities in good-faith reliance upon a government-issued permit.

Even though the property developer in that case was already invested heavily, the court ruled against the project moving forward.

“The area of vested rights is much more a creature of case law than anything else,” Ghizzoni explained. “If Measure P passes, some exemptions would be clearer to process than others.”

Since Measure P would take effect immediately, and an exemptions ordinance takes effect 30 days after passage, the county counsel hopes the Board of Supervisors will approve such an ordinance next month.

The county Planning Commission pushed the ordinance forward last week, recommending supervisors approve rules allowing the Planning Department director to make the vested rights determination. For constitutional takings determinations, the commission will make recommendations to the supervisors, who would host a hearing.

Two attorneys would have to be reallocated or hired to help vet vested rights cases, Ghizzoni said, an important job since the county is generally self-insured for $500,000.

“The litigation is going to tell us,” he said.

                                                                  •        •        •

On a warm afternoon last week, Measure P proponents and opponents each held events at which they demanded the same thing: “the truth.”

Crowding the steps of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, dozens of blue shirt-clad activists surrounded two state legislators to push for passage.

“We know that this measure is going to help Santa Barbara County,” said state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, flanked by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Santa Barbara, and Santa Barbara City Councilman Gregg Hart. “Vested means you can’t take it away. If they tell the truth, they can’t win this ballot initiative.”

“They cannot say conclusively that it eliminates a single job,” Williams added.

Just up the street, opponents called for the same candor.

Calling Williams and Jackson “termed-out Sacramento politicians,” Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino said there’s a reason why California hasn’t yet passed a similar fracking ban: economic impact.

“I would advise people to get their facts from the real experts, not career politicians, paid activists or the Internet,” he said. “The real experts in this case are Santa Barbara County’s Energy Division and the Office of County Counsel. Both of these nonpolitical, nonpartisan experts agree — Measure P does affect existing onshore oil operations and will expose the county to the largest liability it has ever faced.

“While disregarding sound legal advice might be the norm in Sacramento, I find it to be very irresponsible.”

All five supervisors were able to file arguments for or against Measure P to appear on the official ballot, but none chose to do so.

First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal hadn’t taken a stance as of this week, saying he was still weighing arguments and information from both sides. 

Big money backs the battle, another reason for supervisors to take a hands-off approach.

“No on P” supporters raised more than $3.8 million as of earlier this month, with $3.6 million coming from Californians for Energy Independence (including energy producers) and $90,893 from ERG.

“Yes on P” supporters collected more than $91,000, including more than $10,000 from individuals.

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

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