Santa Barbara-Goleta, Sunday, September 21, 2014

Weather: Overcast 64.0º

Noozhawk.com Logo

Belmond El Encanto Neighbors Chafe at Hotel’s Employees Parking On Nearby Streets

By | Published on 09/20/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Residents step up complaints, alleging inadequate on-site parking and neighborhood enforcement, but hotel insists it has a plan to resolve the issue

High on the Riviera, where multimillion-dollar homes look out over Santa Barbara’s red-tile roofs and the blue Pacific Ocean, dark clouds are gathering over street parking.

Some residents near the Belmond El Encanto at 800 Alvarado Place are angry that hotel employees are parking in their neighborhood and on their streets. The employees are supposed to park at the hotel or at an off-site lot and shuttle in, but that’s not happening enough, neighbors say.

“When these people are here they have shifts,” Nan Bedford, a nearby resident, told Noozhawk. “When they do park on our street and get off of work, they are together. They are laughing. They are slamming the doors. ... They are gunning (their engines).

“That noise is part of an issue for us in the neighborhood. We have reduced access. There’s noise at weird times of the day and night, and it is disturbing.”

Bedford is one of many residents who spoke out at a recent Santa Barbara Planning Commission meeting, calling for officials to intervene and do something about the parking problem.

Residents say El Encanto employees are parking in front of their houses and that the hotel’s management has done little to ensure they are instead parking on-site as part of the hotel’s agreement with the city. Municipal officials even put up fencing at nearby Orpet Park because hotel employees were parking on side streets and cutting through the park, damaging landscaping.

Bedford said residents have resorted to putting up cones, illegal signs and painting curbs to deter people from parking in the neighborhood.

“I don’t want to feel like I’m living in the El Encanto parking lot,” Bedford said. “We have our rights in the neighborhood that should be respected.”

Santa Barbara officials in 2004 approved a master plan for the El Encanto, which was cleared for a total of 97 guest rooms after an extensive renovation. One condition was that employees park on-site but, after the hotel reopened in 2013, the city determined there was not enough parking on the property for the 215 employees. The hotel has 100 parking spaces on-site and another 40 at an off-site lot.

After steady complaints from neighbors, the city in May sent a letter to El Encanto offiicials requesting that the hotel provide a comprehensive employee-parking management plan within 30 days. The hotel did not provide a complete plan to the city, which prompted a meeting earlier this month. The city is requiring the hotel to patrol nearby streets throughout the day to make sure that employees are parking where they should be.

The parking drama has ignited a furor in the neighborhood, with many residents saying El Encanto management has ignored their concerns. Some say the problem has eased a bit lately, but only because the hotel knows the pressure is on to clean things up.

The stress has highlighted the challenges of a residential neighborhood wrapped around a commercial hotel, in a pocket of the city that has narrow roads, little street parking and residents who enjoy their peace and tranquility.

“If noncompliance continues, this could result in enforcement and fines by the city,” project planner Kathleen Kennedy observed.

Elizabeth Fajardo, the El Encanto’s human resources director, told Noozhawk she was hired in January 2013, but that only recently — in August, after some El Encanto management changes — has she been able to get “up to speed” on all the components of the parking program.

“Our parking has definitely been a challenge in making sure that team members ... truly understand the seriousness of adhering to our parking lot and procedures,” she said.

The El Encanto has partnered with First Presbyterian Church of Santa Barbara, 21 E. Constance Ave., to provide 40 parking spaces for employees. The hotel provides a shuttle that Fajardo said runs every 15 minutes from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m.

At the Planning Commission meeting, she said hotel staff who don’t park in the appropriate areas face a verbal warning, followed by a written warning and then termination. She acknowledged that the hotel has not fired anyone over the parking issue.

“The bottom line is they have overbuilt the property,” said Lynda Courtney, an El Encanto neighbor. “They have taken every inch of space on that property for buildings so they didn’t give any employees any parking like they promised to.”

On any given day, she said, six to 10 employees can be found parking on the streets around the hotel.

“They are not monitoring these cars that well and they are certainly not enforcing it,” Courtney said.

“They tried to turn my quiet, peaceful, scenic, single-family, up-market neighborhood into their own personal, commercial zone,” she added.

Sheri Parker, another neighbor, said the hotel has ignored residents.

“The El Encanto has simply neglected to deal with their employee parking issues and, as a result, their employee parking has dominated Mission Ridge,” she said.

Parker said her 88-year-old mother must park one or two houses up the street when she visits.

“It’s just absurd that we are unable to have street parking in front of our homes,” she said. “It’s just not right.”

Parker said she could understand an employee occasionally parking on the street, but that it’s not a rare thing.

“These are the same people who constantly park in front of our home almost every day that they work,” she fumed.

Not everyone in the neighborhood is upset, however. Sheri Benninghoven used to videotape and write down license plate numbers of cars parked on her street.

“It was the same car in the same spot, every day,” said Benninghoven, adding that the drivers were putting on their work aprons while walking to the hotel. She called the hotel’s general manager, but did not hear back.

“Clearly, there was a plan that didn’t get executed,” she said.

Benninghoven says things are better now. A neighbor put up “No Hotel Parking” signs on private property, a move that seems to have deterred many of the street parkers. And she says she believes hotel officials have worked hard to address the neighborhood concerns.

“Everything has calmed down,” she said. “The hotel’s a treasure. We all have to get along.”

Planning Commissioner Mike Jordan said he’s skeptical of the hotel’s commitment to resolving the parking issue.

“The plan today is a plan that has been nonresponsive to the city’s requests, and has been followed up with a representative standing up in front of us saying, ‘We’ll take care of that,’” he said. “The details of the long-term parking plan are, at best, sketchy.”

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

New Beginnings Counseling Center Refuels with Second Annual Changing Lives Gala

By | Published on 09/20/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

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

By | Published on 09/20/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

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

By | Published on 09/20/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Fire Near Vandenberg Air Force Base Burns 8 Acres

By | Published on 09/20/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

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

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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)

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Friendship Center Raises a Glass for Great Wines for Good Cause

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Santa Maria Cruzin’ for Life to Raise Funds for Cancer Services

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Letter to the Editor: Resisting the Corrupt Oil/Gas Industry

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Dario Pini Sues City of Carpinteria for ‘Unreasonable’ Fees from Code Violations

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Student-Funded Solar Panel Project Starts Taking Shape at UCSB

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Letter to the Editor: Sending U.S. Troops to Combat Ebola in Africa the Wrong Move

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Victor Dominocielo: County’s Vaccination Rates Dropping — at Our Children’s Peril

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

William Sansum Diabetes Center Announces Retirement of Director Alison Wollitzer

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Helicopter Conducts Rescue in Los Padres National Forest

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Letter to the Editor: Kudos to CADA

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Animal Rescue Team Urges Motorists to ‘Watch Out for Wildlife’

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Bill Macfadyen: Suicide Investigation Focuses on Dead Man’s Train of Thought

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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)

                                                                  •        •        •

If you value our unmatched breaking news and in-depth reporting on the issues that you care about, please support our experienced staff of professional journalists and help us continue to provide a vital forum for the community.

How can you help?

» Join our Hawks Club.

Membership Options

 

Red-Tailed Hawk, $5 a month; Cooper’s Hawk, $10 a month; Red-Shouldered Hawk, $25 a month; Birds of a Feather, $52 a year.

Checks can be snail-mailed to Noozhawk, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102.

» .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or market your business, organization, service or event.

» Subscribe to our free daily A.M. Report.

» Display your Noozhawk pride with a 3-inch-square Noozhawk sticker. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Noozhawk Promotions, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102. The free stickers — as well as full-sized bumper stickers and pens — also are available at Noozhawk World Headquarters, 1327-A State St., by the historic Arlington Theatre.

» Like us on Facebook.

» Follow us on Twitter.

Please note that personal contributions to Noozhawk are not deductible as charitable donations.

Thank you for your support.

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Angela Ettinger Named to Devereux California Advisory Board

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

‘Medicare Open Enrollment Choices’ Seminar Planned in Carpinteria

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Learn to Make Compost During Hands-on Workshop at Open Alternative School

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

ONTRApalooza Conference for Entrepreneurs to Be Held in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 09/19/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

BizHawk: PizzaRev to Take Over Kahuna Grill in Paseo Nuevo Mall

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Google Teams Up with UCSB Physics Students for Research Project

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Night Work Scheduled for Next Week on Hollister Avenue in Goleta

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Autism Experts Talk Strategy, Intervention at UCSB Conference

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Capps Continues Fight to Protect California Coastline from Expanded Oil Drilling

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Bishop Diego High School Hires New Director of Development

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

District Attorney’s Office Warns of IRS Telephone Scam

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Firefighters from Santa Barbara County Sent to Battle Raging King Fire

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Joe Conason: American Amnesia — Why the GOP Leads on National Security

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Outdoors Q&A: Is It Legal to Shoot a Deer on My Land from My Porch?

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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).

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

emPower Offers New SimpleStart Upgrade Option for Homeowners

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Notre Dame School Santa Barbara Undergoes $1 Million Makeover

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Three Young UCSB Faculty Receive CAREER Awards from National Science Foundation

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Michael Harris Named Chairman of Devereux California Advisory Board

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

HICAP Schedules ‘Medicare Open Enrollment Choices’ Seminar in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

School District Seeks New Members for Measures’ Oversight Committees

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Hearing Loss Association of America-Santa Barbara Chapter Hosting Open House on Oct. 11

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Reed Interiors Debuts Exclusive Kitchen, Bath Offerings with Designer Michel Clair

By | Published on 09/18/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

High Intensity Surrounds Heated Debate Over ‘Anti-Fracking’ Initiative on November Ballot

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

UCSB Police Conduct Active Shooter Drills at On-Campus Residence Hall

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Officials say the annual training is especially significant in the wake of May's shooting and stabbing rampage in Isla Vista

With Isla Vista still reeling from a mass shooting and stabbing rampage that left seven people dead earlier this year, UC Santa Barbara's Police Department participated in drills this week that they hope will keep the campus community safer from gun violence. 

The campus police department, along with officers from CSU Northridge and the California Highway Patrol, spent Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon conducting active shooter drills in UCSB's Anacapa Residence Hall.

The drills, in which officers train to stop a person armed with a gun moving through the building, take place every year, but this year was especially significant because of the tragic events that occurred in May, according to UCPD Chief Dustin Olson.

Olson said that many of the officers who responded to the killings that night took part of the drill this week.

"They really fell back on that training" when responding that night, Olson said. "That reinforced the necessity for us. We do this for a reason, and everyone took this very seriously."

Officers use the drill to work on communicating as a team in a crisis situation, Olson added.  

During the drills, the officers worked with the department's community service officers, who are UCSB students and potentially exploring a career in law enforcement.

In the active shooter drills, officers train to stop a person armed with a gun moving through the building. (UCSB Public Affairs photo)

The CSO officers were able to role-play as wounded victims, and "they get a good sense of what this job's about," Olson said. "It's very real."

About 20 people took part in the drills this week.

The police department has used other university buildings in the past, such as the UCSB Career and Counseling Center and other residence halls. 

The drills also included a tactical medicine component, in which an officer will encounter a secondary problem, such as another wounded officer, while the shooter is still at large.

"It offers realism," he said. "We've had that a couple of 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.

Role-playing helps add realism to the active shooter drills. (UCSB Public Affairs photo)

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Construction on La Entrada Hotel Project Slated to Begin Next Week

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Los Angeles-based developer sends nearby Funk Zone businesses notice of two-year building plans on the Lower State Street site

La Entrada de Santa Barbara soon will take shape as construction — and demolition — of the large Lower State Street project begins next week, according to city planners.

Los Angeles-based developer 35 State Street Hotel Partners, which is led by Next Century Associates managing partner Michael Rosenfeld, has announced plans to begin construction of the long-awaited project Monday, although it has yet to pull already approved permits, according to George Buell, Santa Barbara’s community development director.

Rosenfeld’s firm, an affiliate of Woodridge Capital Partners LLC, recently sent nearby Funk Zone businesses notice of the two-year construction plans, which center on the previously condemned, vacant Hotel Californian building at 35 State St. 

The former hotel sits on a parcel that’s part of the La Entrada project, a hotel and timeshare plan spanning three plots on the corners of Mason and State streets.

The developer, which bought the 1920s-era Hotel Californian in 2011 and owns L.A.’s famed Century Plaza Hotel, also purchased two adjacent parcels, totaling 2.37 acres, with the intent of revitalizing the State Street Waterfront District.

While the hotel will be updated, developers plan to demolish the building across the street at the corner of Mason and State streets — where Hot Spots Coffee is located — by the end of the year.

The move will also displace an army of artists who for years were permitted to paint murals on the side of the Hot Spots building, a practice locals day makes the Funk Zone so funky.

La Entrada
The building at the corner of Mason and State streets, where local artists have for years painted works displayed on a rotating basis, will be demolished to make way for the La Entrada project. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

La Entrada calls for a 114-room luxury hotel, nine fractional vacation units and 21,557 square feet of retail space with open plazas, paseos and gardens designed in Santa Barbara’s signature Spanish Colonial Revival style.

The project, designed by DesignARC of Santa Barbara, also has received design approvals from the Santa Barbara Historic Landmarks Commission.

Those plans include a boutique-style hotel, neighboring parcel house restaurants, shops, a spa and hotel rooms and vacation units, as well as 243 parking spaces, including 120 accessible to the public.

Sidewalks will be periodically closed throughout construction, a reason the developer notified neighbors.

“The project will greatly enhance the overall aesthetics and value of the area,” the notice stated.

Buell said the city’s public works department would work closely with developers and general contractor MATT Construction to limit disruption.

Weather permitting, La Entrada could be complete by June 2016.

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Goleta Lemon Festival Returning This Weekend with Same Appeal and New Events Squeezed In

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

All the classics will return to this weekend’s annual Goleta Lemon Festival, which will draw thousands to celebrate the tart citrus at Girsh Park on Saturday and Sunday.

Asking attendees to “pucker up,” Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce organizers have set out to bring the same level of family fun, food and entertainment to the 23rd annual event, sponsored by MarBorg Industries, with co-sponsors Venoco Inc. and Cox Communications.

Although the festival already has a winning formula, said Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Kristen Miller, the event will add a “green” car show and an activity allowing participants to jump over logs like lumberjacks.

“We try not to change it much because people love it the way it is,” Miller said.

The Goleta Lemon Festival opens at 10 a.m. Saturday and parties on through 6 p.m., featuring amusement park rides, a petting zoo, mini golf, pony rides, bounce houses, the Goleta Fall Classic Car and Street Rod Show, and “Safety Street” for kids.

The popular bungee jump and bubble fun activities — new last year — will also return to what Miller called one of the most anticipated events in the Goleta Valley.

And no lemon festival would be complete without a Classic Lemon Pie Eating Contest.

The same festivities will run again Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., which is when attendees will get their first glimpse of the new green car show.

The ninth annual Goleta Fall Classic Car and Street Rod Show kicks off at 9 a.m. on the grass, lasting through 3 p.m. Judging will take place in the morning, with awards presented at 2:30 p.m. on the Main Stage.

Arts and crafts vendors will also be out in full force, along with everyone’s favorite carnival food fare.

Miller said handcrafted pies, local home-brewed lemon ale from Hollister Brewing Company and McConnell’s lemon ice cream were other highlights.

“It’s going to be such a beautiful weekend to celebrate together in Goleta,” she said.

Click here for more information.

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

State Enacts Groundwater Regulations as Well-Permit Applications Triple in Santa Barbara County

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

As temperatures soar across the state and the drought stretches on, Gov. Jerry Brown took steps this week to regulate groundwater that is increasingly being used in the wake of dwindling surface water supplies. 

The state has not regulated groundwater usage in the past, giving landowners discretion to pump water from underground sources, even if they remove water before the aquifer can naturally replenish it.

Tom Fayram, Santa Barbara County's deputy public works director, said groundwater plays a "very substantial" part of consumption in the county.

More people are asking to tap into groundwater this year than in years past.

The county has seen the average amount of well permit applications almost triple — 146 in the last fiscal year running from July to the end of June — compared with an average of 50 a year previously, according to David Brummond, supervising environmental health specialist for the county.

Brown signed several bills Tuesday that attempt to regulate groundwater usage, including Senate Bill 1168, which asks local bodies to create groundwater management plans.

Brown maintains that groundwater resources are more effectively managed at the local or regional level.

He also approved AB 1739, which would allow the state to intervene if local agencies aren't regulating usage, and  SB 1319, which would delay the plan in places where surface water has been impacted by groundwater pumping.

The regional State Water Resources Control Board, based in San Luis Obispo, will be the primary driver of the new regulations.

Brummond said the South County relies on Lake Cachuma and state water, so as both of those sources dwindle, more wells may have to be activated to support demand.

Passing the bill at the state level means the "work is only halfway done," he said, as the state now has to figure out the details of the bill.

The details of the regulations are still unclear, such as the target rate for conservation. 

"What's the target? It says sustainable levels, but what does that mean?" Fayram said.

Users of groundwater in the county are primarily using that water for agricultural use, even though certain districts like the Goleta Water District and Carpinteria Valley Water Districts also have agricultural users that use significant amounts of water from their districts.

The new law would not apply to adjudicated districts, in which a previous lawsuit has already dictated where water can go. Adjudicated districts in the county include the Goleta and Santa Maria Valley groundwater basins. 

There are also districts in the county that use only groundwater, including Orcutt, Casmalia and Cuyama, Fayram said.

Because of a reduction of state water deliveries, other entities are using more groundwater and the aquifers around the county are in various states of health.

Cuyama, for example, is in a state of significant overdraft, while Santa Maria and Goleta have more of a managed aquifer system, Fayram said.

Santa Barbara County Supervisors received a report on the Cuyama-area groundwater issues several weeks ago.

Groundwater basins naturally decline during a drought and recover during the wet years, and Fayram said that other aquifers may be in flux that the county may not have a full picture on.

On Oct. 14, the supervisors will hear an update from the Drought Task Force about the drought and groundwater issues will be a part of that. 

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

David Sirota: Shareholders’ Quest for More Transparency

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

If you own a share of a company, how much information about the company are you entitled to? That is the question embedded in the debate over a proposed Securities and Exchange Commission rule that would force publicly traded companies to disclose their political spending to their shareholders.

As of this month, a 2011 petition to the SEC proposing the rule has received more than 1 million comments — most of them in favor of the mandate.

Supporters of the rule, some of whom demonstrated outside the SEC last week, say that's the highest number of public comments ever submitted in response to a petition for a SEC rule. That level of public engagement, the proponents say, means the agency must stop delaying and implement the proposal. They also say that as hundreds of millions of dollars flood into politics through anonymous "dark money" sources, the rule is more needed than ever.

If adopted, the proposal, written by law professors, would codify and standardize disclosures shareholders have long been requesting from various companies. Those requests have been among the most common proposals at annual shareholder meetings. At the same time, major institutional investors such as the New York state and city pension funds have used their shares to press companies to disclose their political expenditures.

Thanks to that pressure, the Center for Political Accountability reports that "almost 70 percent of companies in the top echelons of the S&P 500 are now disclosing political spending made directly to candidates, parties and committees," and "almost one out of every two companies in the top echelons of the S&P 500 has opened up about payments made to trade associations." The center calls that a dramatic increase from a decade ago when "few, if any, companies disclosed their political spending."

In early 2013, the SEC placed the proposal on its regulatory calendar, signaling that the agency would be moving towards a formal rule to make such disclosures a legal requirement rather than a voluntary act. However, major corporate lobbying groups like the American Petroleum Institute and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce filed comments opposing the proposal. Those lobbying groups represent corporations that would have to disclose their political spending under the new rule — including the budget spent on those lobbying groups themselves. Following the pressure from those groups, the SEC removed the proposal from its calendar.

In combating the proposed SEC disclosure rule, business groups are making a constitutional argument, claiming imposing disclosure rules only on one type of entity — publicly traded corporations — violates the First Amendment. In a 2012 Georgetown Law Journal article, two of the lawyers pressing for the SEC rule countered that claim.

"The court's First Amendment analysis has long given the SEC considerable deference in the development of rules that provide investors with information necessary to facilitate the functioning of securities markets," wrote Lucian Bebchuk of Harvard University and Robert Jackson Jr. of Columbia University. They noted the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision reaffirmed the right of the government to mandate disclosure of political spending.

Though the complex legal arguments are important, this all comes back to the aforementioned question: Should shareholders have the right to know how their money is being spent? That question will ultimately be contingent on the answer to an even more fundamental question: Is the government going to side with shareholders or management?

On the merits, it should be an easy call. But a political system dominated by big money rarely is motivated by the merits of an argument. It is anyone's guess how or whether the SEC will act.

David Sirota is a staff writer at PandoDaily and the best-selling author of Hostile Takeover, The Uprising and Back to Our Future: How the 1980s Explain the World We Live In Now. Contact him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), follow him on Twitter: @davidsirota, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Governor Signs Jackson Bill to Encourage Healthy Eating, Exercise in After-School Programs

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed a bill by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, to help prevent childhood obesity by encouraging healthy eating and physical activity in after-school programs.

Senate Bill 949 establishes a voluntary California Distinguished After School Health (DASH) recognition program. It proposes standards for physical activity, “screen time,” and the serving of fruits and vegetables for after-school programs. After-school programs that choose to meet these proposed requirements will be awarded a special “DASH” certification.

Under the bill, parents can access a list of “DASH”-certified programs on the State Department of Education’s website, and after-school programs can display their certification on-site.

“Childhood obesity is a challenge we should be tackling on a number of fronts,” Jackson said. “This bill is about rewarding and recognizing after-school programs that are making that voluntary yet vitally important effort to make children’s health a top priority, and I’m very pleased the governor has signed it into law. Good eating and exercise habits, when developed early, can add to the long-term quality of life and reduce the costs of health care later on.”

In order to be “DASH”-certified, after-school programs must limit television or computer “screen time” and serve fruits or vegetables as snacks on a daily basis; serve no fried foods, candy or sugary or high sodium foods or foods with transfats; and limit the sugary beverages that are served.

In order to be “DASH”-certified, SB 949 also requires 30 minutes to an hour of physical activity a day and staff training on healthy eating and physical activity standards.

There are more than 4,400 publicly funded after-school programs in California serving more than 1.5 million children.

“The YMCA of the USA is extremely pleased that SB 949, a measure sponsored by the California State Alliance of YMCAs, has been signed into law. Not only will the Distinguished After School Health program — DASH — have the potential to benefit over 1.5 million children in after-school programs throughout California, we also see this as a tremendous model for other states as well,” said Judy Barrett Miller, senior manager of state advocacy for Y-USA.

Despite a slight drop in recent years, California’s childhood obesity rate remains dangerously high. In California, one out of three children are obese or overweight.

Obese children are at an increased risk of becoming obese adults and developing chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, stroke, liver disease, depression and cancer.

The standards recommended in the bill are based on research and the Institute of Medicine’s Early Childhood Obesity Prevention policies and the National Afterschool Association’s standards.

DASH certifications would be valid for one year, but could be renewed each year if the program continues to meet the standards.

SB 949 will take effect Jan. 1.

Jackson represents the 19th Senate district, which includes all of the Santa Barbara County and western Ventura County.

— Lisa Gardiner is the communications director for state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Henry Schulte: ‘Climate Change’ and the Fear Tactics of Measure P Proponents

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

It’s amazing how many people are still blindly stuck in the all-encompassing catch phrase of “climate change.”

Al Gore was flying around the country burning up more fuel in one trip to preach his madness that the polar ice would be melted by 2014 than most of us will ever use up in a lifetime. It's kind of ironic that the polar caps have actually grown since his dire prediction — you don’t hear that in the news.

But the ideologically driven are incapable of accepting that what they now have hardwired in their brains — a place where facts can no longer enter, where even switching from global warming to climate change is proving bogus. The indoctrinated can’t accept that maybe all this nonsense is just that — nonsense.

The hue and outcry after Hurricane Katrina was (back then it was still global warming) that hurricanes would be on the rise and become worse than ever. We didn’t even get any more that year, and since then the numbers have dramatically decreased. But in order to try to rationalize this un(expected) turn of events, things were suggested such as the ocean is sucking up the heat or maybe President George W. Bush did something to the Bermuda triangle should cover the error for the moment. Don’t pay attention to his hand.

And here at home, a silly group calling themselves the Water Guardians or some such mystical name managed to once again brainwash a large number of people into believing if they didn’t sign the petition to stop fracking, Santa Barbara was once again doomed. Time and time again, these do-gooders turn to fear tactics make their case.

I was handed a flier at a soccer field of all places and told to read it. Here is a partial list to sway the uninformed: A no vote on Measure P will result in the waste of millions of gallons of water that could otherwise go to families and farms (I know firsthand they don’t give a whit about farms), cause cancer, asthma and other illnesses. Based on what? Generate massive air pollution, not a little but massive and carbon emissions. Where the heck does carbon come in? Increase the risk of earthquakes. They don’t have one scientific clue if that will happen. Kinda like the Katrina myth. Lower property values. Whose property values? If I find oil on my property, I can guarantee the value won’t be going down.

All of the above is based on nothing but fantasies the anti-oil crowd uses to brainwash themselves and others. It’s purely another ploy to fight the oil companies, but as it has been said many times before, they didn’t get to the park walking and they need power to print their propaganda.

We need to get a grip on reality here. Gore, who made a fortune selling out to an oil-rich company, gets away with everything because his followers believe he’s offsetting his carbon footprint. His carbon footprint is so big he’d have to ride a mule and eat grass the rest of his life to come even close. And that’s not even taking into account his houses, and I’m fairly certain, if he even owns a Prius, he’s got a Beamer and Benz or two stashed away somewhere.

And you think the higher-ups in the Sierra Club, for example, work for free. You can look it up; the information is public. They’re making six figures and more — most of it these days preaching the end is almost near, again, if we don’t stop climate change.

I also thought the ocean was supposed to be on the rise by now as well. Maybe we should have painted that blue line after all so we would have something to measure against.

How easy it is to just say and do what you want and go unchallenged all the time. I could just as easily counter the Measure P proponents by stating that fracking stops earthquakes, makes the air so sweet, it cures cancer and will finally stop climate change. After all, isn’t that the end game — to stop climate change once and for all? God knows we can’t afford any more of that.

As with all my ranting, I recognize it won’t change a thing. But if it would only change the mind of one person, then it’s all been worth it.

— Henry Schulte of Santa Barbara owns and operates Dos Pueblos Ranch. He has been politically active in the community for years. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Star Viewing at Westmont Observatory to Zoom In on Summer Triangle

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

A triangle of constellations that holds some of the finest open clusters in the night sky will be the starring attraction of this month’s public viewing at the Westmont Observatory on Friday, Sept. 19, beginning after 7:30 p.m. and lasting several hours.

The free event is held every third Friday of the month in conjunction with the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit. In case of inclement or overcast weather, please call the Telescope Viewing Hotline at 805.565.6272 and check the Westmont website to see if the viewing has been canceled.

Thomas Whittemore, Westmont physics instructor, says Mars and Saturn will be too low in the sky at viewing time.

“I’ll point the scopes to the top of the sky,” he says. “At zenith will be the Summer Triangle, Cygnus (the swan), Aquila (the eagle) and Lyra (the harp). Westmont’s 8-inch refractor telescope will bring out many details in these sparkling gems.”

In the same part of the sky, Whittemore says there will be two interesting nebulae: M57, the Ring Nebula, and M27, the Dumbbell Nebula.

“These two spooky objects show us how an aging star might appear as it sloughs off its atmosphere,” he says. “I will use the Keck Telescope, a 24-inch reflector, for these objects since its large light-gathering mirror will be able to bring out the details in these very different nebulae.”

The Keck Telescope is housed in the observatory between Russell Carr Field and the track and field/soccer complex. Free parking is available near the baseball field.

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Local Seniors Invited to ‘Food Food & Food’ Event in Lompoc

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

A Food Food & Food event, sponsored by several local organizations, will be held at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 26 at the DeWees Community and Senior Center, 1120 W. Ocean Ave. in Lompoc.

“All senior citizens from the Lompoc Valley are invited to this event to celebrate food and our local resources,” said Sue Slavens, city recreation coordinator. "This event will feature three cooking demonstrations, a physical activity demonstration, presentation on ‘Rethink Your Drink,’ a luncheon and goody bags. This event is free to senior citizens age 60 and older.”

“The three cooking demonstrations will focus on 'Cooking Healthy with Vegetables,' 'Cooking on a Budget' and 'Cooking for Diabetics,'” said Margaret Weiss, community educator at Sansum Clinic. “Recent studies prove a direct relationship with healthy eating and physical activity. So we are pleased to have a YMCA representative to show some simple movements that can make a difference.”

Sponsors of this event include the Area Agency on Aging, Community Action Commission, Healthy Lompoc Coalition, Food Bank, The Gildea Foundation, Meridian Senior Living, Sansum Clinic, Lompoc Valley Medical Center, Goleta Senior Center and the City Recreation Division.

For additional information, contact Slavens at 805.875.8098, or Joyce Ellen Lippman, director of the Area Agency on Aging, at 805.925.9554 or 800.510.2020.

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Rae Largura: The Benefits of Extracurricular Activities for Children

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

In one of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books, a frazzled Hermione Granger resorts to the use of time travel in order to fit all of her extra classes into an overly ambitious schedule. With all the extracurricular activities out there readily available to our kids today, it’s unfortunate that more of us don’t have access to Hermione’s time-turner device.

Our town is filled with fun, rewarding extracurricular activities in which anybody, any age, can participate. Whether it’s a team sport, individual sport, student government, school newspaper editor, playing an instrument, volunteering or anything in between, they play a significant role in growing up and growing happy. Extracurricular activities expose our children to new experiences, teach them responsibility and encourage relationship building.

Our brains like the stimulation of a new experience, and so do our children’s. The challenge of the unknown, trying something new and branching out of a comfort zone is very brain healthy. It is a gift to our children to nurture their passion. Sometimes it takes doing something that is scary — that they haven't been exposed to before, to be introduced to that passion.

For those of us without the help of magic, we have to learn how to prioritize activities and manage time. The responsibility of finishing homework, then making it to baseball practice on time and squeezing in a few minutes of violin practice is a life lesson in itself.

Extracurricular activities not only expose us to meeting new people who share some of the same interests, they also put our children in the position to learn how to get along with others. It often doesn’t even take an actual team to expose our children to thinking like a team. Camaraderie is a good motivator and will make our children feel a sense of belonging. Sometimes these activities allow our children to build relationships with older peers, who can also become important role models.

One last benefit, for the high school ages, is that all these hours away from school is mandatory to be competitive with college applications. Colleges want to see the holistic, complete, unique and interested potential student.

The growth opportunities that extracurricular activities provide extend beyond these few. Let’s encourage participation, but unless you have Hermione’s time-turner device, let's also encourage family time, relax time and stress-free homework time.

Any subject, any grade: What is your question for a tutor? Email rae@leadingedgetutors.com.

— Rae Largura is president of Leading Edge Tutors. The opinions expressed are her own.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

3 People Injured in Head-On Collision on Westbound Highway 154

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Three people suffered minor to moderate injuries after a head-on collision on Highway 154 near the summit vista point, according to Santa Barbara County Fire. 

Westbound Highway 154 lanes were blocked and tow trucks were called to the scene.

Two vehicles hit in a head-on collision and airbags were deployed.

Three patients were evaluated and taken to the Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital by ambulance, County Fire Capt. Mike Klusyk. 

Injuries were reported as minor to moderate on the scene, he said. 

The CHP, Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Los Padres Fire Department all responded to the collision. 

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Glow in the Park Balloon Glow Fundraiser Rises Above to Aid Doctors Without Walls

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Inaugural benefit event at Elings Park raises $75,000 in support of the organization's efforts to provide free medical care for those in need

[Click here for a related Noozhawk photo gallery.]

A truly unique experience was provided to more than 400 guests with Doctors Without Walls-Santa Barbara Street Medicine “taking health care to new heights,” at Elings Park on Saturday for the inaugural Glow in the Park Balloon Glow fundraiser benefiting the organization.

The crowd-pleasing event was presented by the experts from the Citrus Classic Balloon Festival and included a VIP reception with tethered rides followed by a champagne toast and a Sunset Glow, where guests gathered to enjoy food and drinks as all of the balloons on hand were inflated.

An AfterGlow dance party with cover band Hollywood U2 followed a scrumptious dinner and dessert. The musicians not only sounded the part but also played the part, performing classics such as "Even Better than the Real Thing" and "Beautiful Day" that got the crowd singing and dancing in a magical setting.

DWW-SBSM has been providing free volunteer medical care from Santa Barbara to Isla Vista for five years, treating the area's most vulnerable year-round and during times of disaster, including the homeless, working poor and wherever the need lies.

“Doctors Without Walls was founded in 2009 by a small group of physicians who saw a need in Santa Barbara,” Executive Director Maria Long said. “They were seeing people die on the streets, they were seeing the poor and unsheltered not getting services they needed.”

The founders of DWW-SBSM originally went out on street rounds offering care and services.

“It’s evolved from a tiny, tiny organization to a mighty one with almost 200 volunteers and doctors,” Long said.

Balloon Glow
Doctors Without Walls-Santa Barbara Street Medicine Executive Director Maria Long, center, with volunteers Wie Denkensahn, Christina Spandler, Jennifer Cohenmehr, Emily Frey, Yidi Wang and Paul Gill at the inaugural Glow in the Park Balloon Glow fundraiser at Elings Park. (Melissa Walker / Noozhawk photo)

Today, a contingent of local volunteer doctors, nurses, social workers, students and community members work together, providing education, training and offering humanitarian aid from medical professionals and community leaders.

“We say that there are two beneficiaries in this,” Long said. “There are the beneficiaries that are our patients, and the beneficiaries are our students and our student volunteers who are next generation of medical leaders and humanitarian leaders.”

The services provided by the organization from mobile clinics and backpacks assisted more than 2,000 individuals in 2013, and help to greatly reduce emergency room visits and more effectively utilizing community resources.

“When you talk about homelessness, you're giving one word which describes a very diverse, complicated, very vulnerable patient population,” DWW-SBSM medical director Jason Prystowsky M.D., told Noozhawk. “So we see a lot of people with chronic illness because it’s their chronic disease that landed them on the streets in the first place.”   

Programs such as Wrap Around Care, Companion Care and UCSB Underserved Medicine Seminar service Santa Barbara County citizens with 79 percent of the organizations' aid going to recipients with a disease putting them at risk of premature death.

The event captured the magic of both the summer evening and Elings Park, but most importantly raised $75,000 toward the mission of DWW-SBSM.

“Tonight is a culmination of celebrating new heights," Long said, "and what better metaphor than to hold a hot air balloon in the park because we’re out in the parks for almost 365 days a year.”

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Ed Fuller: CAR Offering Limited-Time Incentive Program to Help First-Time Homebuyers

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Ed Fuller
Ed Fuller

The Housing Affordability Fund of the California Association of Realtors is in the process of instituting a Seller Incentive Program that will reward owners who use a Realtor to sell to a first-time homebuyer or someone who hasn’t owned a home in the past three years.

This incentive will be a payment after the close of escrow of 2.5 percent of the sales price on properties sold for $600,000 or less.

The Housing Affordability Fund of the California Association of Realtors is allocating $500,000 on a first come, first served basis with a program expiration of March 31, 2015.

Since this incentive payment will be cash to the sellers after closing, the buyers can use their eligibility as a negotiating incentive with their offer. Further conditions are described in the program flyer and application.

This program should be in full swing by Oct. 1, so here is an opportunity to get a head start and avoid the rush.

Although there are only seven single-family homes for sale in the Santa Barbara metro area (South Coast) under $600,000, there are 68 condos, co-ops and PUDs that qualify.

With interest rates in the low fours and a respectable choice of properties, now is the time for first-time homebuyers to take advantage of this temporary opportunity.

Ed Fuller is a real estate broker with San Roque Realty Inc. and president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at ed@sanroquerealty.com or 805.687.1551. The opinions expressed are his own.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Movin’ Up: UCSB Scores Highly on Host of University, College Rankings

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

When U.S. News & World Report included UC Santa Barbara on its 2015 list of the Top 30 National Public Universities, the No. 10 ranking acknowledged UCSB’s stature as a top-tier research institution as well as its commitment to academic excellence.

It was also one of many such honors the campus has received. Over the last year, UCSB has scored among the best of the best on a host of university and college rankings, from Leiden to Net Impact to the Sierra Club.

“These rankings reflect UC Santa Barbara’s remarkable strength across a wide variety of disciplines and departments,” said David Marshall, executive vice chancellor. “Excellence across the campus contributes to the interdisciplinary environment that allows us to provide our students with a deep and broad education, while stimulating innovative research and scholarship.”

While the most recent U.S. News & World Report ranking focuses on undergraduate education, UCSB was highlighted last spring in the magazine’s annual ranking of graduate and professional programs at American universities. The campus’s materials program was ranked No. 2 among all universities and No. 1 among public institutions.

In addition, the chemical engineering program at UCSB was ranked No. 8 overall, and No. 4 among public universities while the College of Engineering came in at No. 19 among all universities and No. 11 among public universities.

“Our faculty’s tremendous research agenda, which in turn stimulates so much research and critical thinking amongst our students, inevitably helps to ensure that we have the highest quality of undergraduate students at our campus,” said Kum-Kum Bhavnani, professor of sociology and chair of the UCSB Academic Senate. “Further, the increase in the diversity of our student population ensures that as a campus we continue to offer much to the residents of California, the nation and, indeed, the world.”

The U.S. News & World Report ranking comes on the heels of Washington Monthly’s National Universities Rankings, which place UCSB at No. 15 among national universities (a jump of seven spots from the previous year) and No. 11 among public universities. UCSB also placed at No. 13 in Washington Monthly’s Best Bang for the Buck ranking.

Among the criteria considered by Washington Monthly are the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants; the difference between predicted versus actual graduation rates; total research spending; Peace Corps service by graduates; community service participation; faculty awards; and faculty members elected to national academies.

The Leiden Rankings, compiled by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies at Leiden University in the Netherlands, places UCSB at No. 8 among the top 750 universities worldwide with the largest publication output in the Web of Science database. The ranking is based on data from the Web of Science bibliographic database produced by Thomson Reuters and includes Science Citation Index Expanded, Social Sciences Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index.

In the 2014 Academic Rankings of World Universities, UCSB’s engineering, technology and computer science departments ranked No. 7 in the world. UCSB also scored a perfect 100 for engineering in the category of percentage of papers published in the top 20 percent of journals in engineering fields.

On its list of America’s Most Entrepreneurial Universities for 2014, Forbes Magazine placed UCSB at No. 20. Among public universities, UCSB ranked No. 5 with the magazine citing the newly opened 4,500 square-foot business and technology incubator established as a partnership among the university, the city of Goleta and the Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Forbes ranked the universities based on the number of alumni and students who have identified themselves as founders and business owners on LinkedIn as compared to the school’s total undergraduate and graduate enrollment.

Focusing on environmental innovation and initiative, Net Impact, the non-profit organization for students and professionals seeking to use business skills in support of social and environmental causes, ranked UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management No. 1 in the country on its Business as UNusual Schools list of the Top 50 Schools for Environmental Sustainability. UCSB received a score of 4.9 out of a possible 5.

Among the Greatist.com Healthiest Colleges in America, UCSB comes in at No. 4. Schools on the list have gone the extra mile to create an environment that nurtures and educates students about healthy eating practices, provides excellent medical and mental health services and programs and offers myriad opportunities for student to get and stay physically fit.

“It’s hard to beat the natural beauty of the University of California, Santa Barbara’s campus: 1,000-plus acres with miles of coastline along the Pacific Ocean against a backdrop of mountains in Los Padres National Park,” the editors noted.

“The students at UCSB are able to take advantage of the nature that lies at their fingertips through the school’s adventure programs,” they continued. “Trips include kayaking to Santa Cruz Island, backpacking in Yosemite, and canoeing on the Colorado River. The school is also known for its bike culture, meaning it’s easy to remain active back on campus, too. And if students find themselves stressed out by coursework, they can reserve egg or massage chairs in the university’s counseling and psychological services building.”

And on the Sierra Club’s list of Cool Schools, UCSB is ranked No. 24, receiving high marks for innovation, planning, energy use, transportation and waste management. As the editors noted, “The colleges at the top of our annual ‘Cool Schools’ ranking are so dedicated to greening every level of their operation — from energy usage to recycling to food sourcing to curriculum — that sustainability has become woven into their very culture.”

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Experts to Give Free Talk at Goleta Library on Writing College Applications

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

The Santa Barbara Public Library System’s Goleta branch library will host a presentation, "Writing College Applications," for high school students applying to colleges this fall.

The talk will be held from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2 at the Goleta Library, 500 N. Fairview Ave. in Goleta.

High school seniors can broaden their college option, and lessen their stress, with useful tips on how to write college essays that will distinguish their applications.

The speakers will review the essay prompts for the University of California application and the Common Application and advise on how to choose an essay topic and integrate each part of the application into a comprehensive portrait of the student.

Local college counselors Tish O’Connor and Betsy Heafitz, both graduates of Dartmouth College who have earned certificates in college counseling from UCLA, reveal what admission officers want to see, and demonstrate pre-writing and brainstorming techniques that stimulate creative responses to standard essay prompts. They will share insight from their prior careers — O’Connor as an editor and writer, and Heafitz in marketing and communication and knowledge of college admissions assessment criteria.

For more information, contact the Goleta Library at 805.964.7878.

Information about Santa Barbara Public Library System locations, hours, events and programs is available at SBPLibrary.org. All library programs are free and open to the public.

— Allison Gray is a supervising librarian for the Goleta Library.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Santa Maria High’s Beef Group, Steers Recoginized for High Marks in Carcass Competition

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

High school FFA students had no beef with the judges.

The Santa Maria High School Beef group’s steers earned the Best Carcass, a gold seal and the Third Best Carcass for efforts at the Santa Barbara County Fair. The FFAers recently received the recognition during a banquet for the Santa Barbara County Fair Carcass Competition.

The 69 steers in the competition were judged for meat quality, yield grade, the size of the rib eye and other criteria. SMHS entered six steers in the contest, five of which earned Carcass of Merit awards. The Angus-Maine Anjou Cross steers were fed Kruse Grain and Milling Beef Grower/Finisher.

Carina Fulgencio, who won first place in the carcass competition, proved she is a natural at raising steers.

“Raising a steer for the first time was an amazing experience," the 11th-grader said. “It taught me that hard work and dedication can pay off."

Eleventh-grader Carla Fulgencio described her market meat project as an “exciting challenge.”

“It was difficult, yet fun in many ways,"said Fulgencio, who received third place. “Having to control a thousand pound animal was not easy. However, the time I put into it paid off in the end."

Beef Team adviser Melissa Flory-Guerra said there are many variables that go into producing the best beef.

“One is genetics, some animals have more muscle and lay down their fat differently," she said. “Another is your feed and how you feed."

The girls are looking forward to getting another steer within the next month to try not only to win the carcass competition, but also Champion Steer at the fair.

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Lane Closures Planned for Paving Project on Highway 101 in Santa Maria

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

A paving project on Highway 101 from Santa Maria Way to Broadway (Highway 135) will result in the following lane/ramp closures this weekend:

» Alternating lane closures on southbound Highway 101 between Santa Maria Way and Broadway during the overnight hours on Friday, Sept. 19 and Saturday, Sept. 20 from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

» The southbound on/off ramps of Highway 101 between Santa Maria Way and Broadway will be closed at various times during the overnight hours on Friday, Sept. 19 and Saturday, Sept 20 from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. Motorists will not encounter two consecutive ramp closures.

Motorists can expect delays not to exceed five minutes. The California Highway Patrol will be present to ensure a safe environment for motorists and highway workers.

The contractor for this $3.4 million project is Papich Construction of Pismo Beach. This project is expected to be completed this month.

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

For traffic updates on other state highway projects in Santa Barbara County, motorists can call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at 805.568.0858 or visit the District 5 website by clicking here.

— Jim Shivers is a public information officer for Caltrans.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Select Staffing Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon Announces Ambassador Program

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

The Select Staffing Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half has announced its inaugural Ambassador Program and Ambassadors for the 2014 event slated for Saturday, Nov. 8: Rob Olson (Select Staffing), Stevie Balfour-Ritchie (American Riviera Bank), Damon Valenzona (AppFolio) and Martha Sundholm (Spectrum Athletic Clubs).

“Our Ambassadors represent what makes our sport so inspiring, life-changing and fun,” race director Rusty Snow said. “On our website, each Ambassador will have a video that tells his or her story as each prepares for our Nov. 8 event.”

Click here to watch the videos or for more information on the Ambassador Program.

The 6th event edition includes the Marathon, Half Marathon and the inaugural Team Competition. Over point-to-point USATF certified courses, the race participants will run across Santa Barbara’s beautiful south county from Isla Vista to Goleta to the new waterfront finish line at Leadbetter Beach. In partnership with the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation, the Veterans Final Mile will once again provide an inspirational boost to the finishers completing their 13.1, 26.2 mile or team journeys.

Click here to register.

Locally owned and operated, the Select Staffing Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half, set for Nov. 8, is the premier running event on California’s scenic Central Coast. The event features a marathon, half-marathon and team competition as well as a one-of-kind Veterans Final Mile in partnership with the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.

For more information, click here, follow us on Twitter @runsbmarathon, Instagram @runsbmarathon and Facebook @santabarbaramarathon and use hashtag #RunAmericasRiviera.

— Rusty Snow is the race director for the Select Staffing Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Assemblyman Williams Interviews CEO of Santa Barbara High’s Dons Net Café

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Assemblyman Das Williams helped the Dons Net Café select a new student CEO last week.

Williams interviewed student Amazing Grace Llanos for the position of Dons Net Café CEO, modeling current best practices in the business context.

The Dons Net Café is a unique program that enables students to “start up” a variety of philanthropic businesses and ventures that serve people around the world. In this two-period class at Santa Barbara High School, each student has his or her own position in the DNC’s governance and operation structure, as well as a venture they support.

At the beginning of each term, the students of the Dons Net Café participate in interviews to determine their roles and responsibilities in the class. All interviews are conducted by local business partners in the Santa Barbara community.

Williams was chosen to interview the CEO candidate in the presence of classmates, school administration and business supporters. Before the interview, Williams gave a brief lesson on interview etiquette, how to conserve water in the current drought and strategies to obtain financial aid students may need for college.

The Dons Net Café, a Regional Occupational Program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office, is a student-run business that represents a 21-year commitment to inspire students to create positive social and environmental change through ethical commerce. These efforts are represented through participation in Virtual Enterprise, Voluntary Income Taxes Assistance (VITA), Roots and Shoots, and Service Learning. All profits benefit students and associated projects because they believe in “Doin’ Some Good in the World.”

Further information is available by contacting Lee Knodel (Mrs. B.) at 805.963.8597 or by email at sbdons@hotmail.com.

— Kris Bergstrom represents the Santa Barbara County Education Office.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Broadview Mortgage’s Kelly Marsh Presents TED Talk at Sales Mastery Conference

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Kelly Marsh, branch manager of Broadview Mortgage in Santa Barbara, presented a TED talk before 1,400 people at the Sales Mastery 2014 conference.

Sales Mastery, the premier mortgage gathering of the year, was a 3½-day event filled with the brightest industry heroes — keynote speakers, industry insider and panelists — all of whom delivered well-honed, proven strategies designed to address and overcome personal challenges in life and business.

Sales Mastery helps build greater success in the short term while equipping you to build trustworthy relationships that create success in the long term.

Marsh delivered her 12-minute TED talk on the power of face-to-face client interaction. Her powerful presentation was designed to give actionable ideas and strategies explaining her three philosophies: 1) educate; 2) guide; and 3) connect with clients.

In the past 2½ years alone, Marsh has closed more than $250 million in loans and ranked in the Top 100 Scotsman Guide for 2012 and 2013.

A Santa Barbara native, Marsh has more than 17 years of experience in the mortgage industry. She is committed to helping her clients navigate the most complex financial transaction, a home mortgage. She believes clients are clients for life and continues to nurture relationships beyond the closing of the loan. She offers a range of specialized programs to clients, including Conventional, FHA, VA, Jumbo and more.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing Broadview Mortgage.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Governor Signs Tuberculosis Bill Authored by Assemblyman Williams

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

The governor has signed a bill authored by Assemblyman Das Williams, D-Carpinteria, which would replace the currently mandated tuberculosis (TB) examination with a TB risk assessment and follow up TB exams, based on the results of that assessment.

“By replacing the exam with a risk assessment and a follow-up TB test, AB 1667 addresses two problems that California currently faces: False positives and shortages of TB tests," Williams said. "My bill is consistent with guidelines from numerous expert bodies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and will allow the tuberculosis control programs to work most effectively to detect and control tuberculosis in California.”

TB is a disease caused by germs that are spread from person to person through the air. It usually affects the lungs, but it can also affect other parts of the body, such as the brain, the kidneys or the spine. The primary test for TB infection is the Mantoux tuberculin skin test (TST). When TST is applied in low incidence populations, its positive predictive value means that there are a high number of false positives.

School employees and volunteers are not considered high- risk populations according to the Health Officers Association of California the sponsor of AB 1667. An estimated 20 percent of teachers in California falsely test positive. These false positives can lead to the administration of unnecessary tests and potentially toxic TB infection treatment regimes, which pose preventable risks for those with false positive TST results.

“The best public health and medical evidence suggests that universal TB testing is neither necessary nor cost-effective," Williams said. "Targeted screening will continue to protect our state’s teachers, volunteers, school employees, and children from tuberculosis.”

AB 1667 does not affect any protocol that county health offices and other public health officials may use for testing when a known case of tuberculosis exists. If there was a person found to have active TB in a particular region, this bill would aid in that situation by making more TSTs available for targeted testing in the area.

Jeannette Sanchez is the district director for Assemblyman Das Williams.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Santa Barbara Museum of Art Announces New Members of Board of Trustees

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Hannaford
Betsy Hannaford

The Santa Barbara Museum of Art is pleased to announce the election of the newest members of the museum’s Board of Trustees: Betsy Hannaford, Laura Shelburne and Jeanne Towles.

In addition, SBMA would like to recognize elected officers co-vice chairs Patricia Aoyama and John Bishop, and secretary Susan Bowey, who will work under the continued leadership of board chair Kenneth Anderson.

The terms of the newly elected trustees officially began July 1.

Betsy Hannaford

Hannaford was raised in Wayzata, Minn. She was educated at Phillips Academy, Andover (cum laude), Pomona College (bachelor of arts degree in history) and New York University School of Law (J.D.).

Following graduation from law school, she worked at Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly in Minneapolis as an associate lawyer in the banking and bankruptcy department for four years.

She left the practice of law and was an active volunteer at her three children's schools.

She also has served on a variety of boards, including Planned Parenthood of Minnesota, The Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis (Executive Committee, chair of Nominating and Building and Grounds Committees) Breakthrough Collaborative in San Francisco (vice president and chair of Development Committee), Woodhill Country Club in Wayzata (secretary and Executive Committee), Stevens Square Foundation in Minneapolis (a foundation giving grants to senior services organizations in the Twin Cities) and Graywolf Press in Minneapolis (board chair, co-leader of capital campaign, chair of finance, nominating and development committees).

Shelburne
Laura Shelburne

Laura Shelburne

Originally from Louisiana, Shelburne left the South to attend Stanford University, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in history. She received her J.D. from the UCLA School of Law and practiced corporate law with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati P.C. in Palo Alto.

She and her husband, Craig, moved to Santa Barbara eight years ago. In the fall of 2003, Laura and the former chair of the SBMA Board of Trustees, Melissa Fetter, founded smART Families, the vibrant affinity group supporting art education at the museum.

Active in her three children’s schools, she is the former president of the Board of Trustees of Crane Country Day School and was integrally involved in its past capital campaign to build a new library and art center.

She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Storyteller Children’s Center, and has served on the Storyteller Gala committee and been a member of the Lotusland Celebrates committee. In addition, she has participated in the fundraising efforts of several other local nonprofits, including the Girls Inc. 100 Committee.

Towles
Jeanne Towles

She previously served on the SBMA Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2013, and was secretary of the board from 2010 to 2013.

Jeanne Towles

Towles has been active in the Santa Barbara area for 20 years.

After vacationing in the area for six years, she and her late husband, Stokley, an SBMA trustee from 2011 until his death in 2013, bought a home in Montecito and had been splitting time between their home in Westwood, Mass., and Montecito since 2011.

She has spent her life involved with family, volunteer work at The Vincent Hospital, literacy tutoring, tennis, golf and bridge. She retired from her career at Mass General Hospital and became very involved for the past 20 years with the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, serving as a docent, organizing the Art in Bloom Fundraiser, managing the information desk volunteers and working with the Associates Group. She and Stokley were very active within the museum as he served as the chairman of the board for four years. Together they collected contemporary prints and supported local artists.

— Katrina Carl is the public relations manager for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Montessori School of Ojai Presents ‘Harvest Moon Affair’ Fundraiser

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Montessori School of Ojai will present “Harvest Moon Affair,” the nonprofit school’s largest annual fundraiser, from 4 to 7 p.m. Oct. 11 at Bodee’s Rancho Grande in Ojai.

This year, wines from internationally acclaimed Ojai Vineyard and beer from Ventura-based Surf Brewery will pair with hors d’oeuvres from Bodee’s catering.

Live and silent auctions will include a two-night stay at Rancho Las Palmas Resort with Spa Credit, The Oaks at Ojai Spa Package, works by local artists and much more.

An appetizer station with domestic and imported cheeses, fruits and nuts will greet guests along with hors d’oeuvres such as crab stuffed mushrooms and chicken pesto baskets. Guests can enjoy these tasty delights while surrounded by the natural beauty at Bodee’s.

Donations to the silent and live auctions are still being accepted. Proceeds will benefit Montessori School of Ojai’s Campaign for the Future, which funds programs and on-campus improvements.

Admission is $35 per person, $65 per couple. For tickets or more information, call 805.649.2525.

Bodee’s is located at 3304 Maricopa Hwy. in Ojai. Parking is limited, so a shuttle will run between the event site and the Montessori School of Ojai before and after the event.

Montessori School of Ojai is a nonprofit private school in the Ojai Valley that serves children from infancy through eighth grade. Based on the philosophy of Italian physician, educator and humanitarian Maria Montessori, the school places a strong emphasis on academics in a child-centered and creative environment. For more details, click here or visit the campus at 806 W. Baldwin Road (Highway 150 near Lake Casitas) in Ojai.

— Sara MacCracken represents Montessori School of Ojai.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Exxon Valdez, 25 Years Later — UCSB Working Groups to Examine Data Detailing Impact of Disaster

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

In the years following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in the Gulf of Alaska, scientists have monitored the impacted areas to understand the effects of the spill on the ecosystem and to assess and promote recovery of affected species.

UC Santa Barbara’s National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis has collaborated with investigators from Gulf Watch Alaska and the Herring Research and Monitoring Program to collate historical data from a quarter-century of monitoring studies on physical and biological systems altered by the spill.

Now, two new NCEAS working groups will synthesize this and related data and conduct a holistic analysis to answer pressing questions about the interaction between the oil spill and larger drivers such as broad cycles in ocean currents and water temperatures.

“Enormous efforts have been made to monitor and collect information about the Gulf of Alaska in the past quarter century since the Exxon Valdez oil spill and now that data are being put to new use in these long-term synthesis efforts,” NCEAS Director Frank Davis said. “By bringing together these diverse data and analyzing them using state-of-the-art modeling and statistical techniques, these multidisciplinary working groups can gain new insights into the coupling between oil impacts on the Gulf of Alaska ecosystem and human communities that directly rely on it, as well as increase our understanding of the relationships between ecological recovery and biological diversity.”

One working group — Understanding Changes in the Coastal Gulf of Alaska Social-Ecological System: Analysis of Past Dynamics to Improve Prediction of Future Response to Natural and Anthropogenic Change (CGoA Futures) — will determine how the structure, productivity and dynamics of socioeconomic and ecological systems in the Gulf of Alaska responded to anticipated changes in environmental conditions and human disturbances.

This working group will consist of two linked subgroups, one studying socioeconomic aspects and the other ecological systems. Both will use statistical and modeling approaches to understand mechanisms of change — and the changes themselves. The findings of each group will be coupled in order to create an overview of past changes and potential futures for the entire area.

Principal investigators of the CGoA Futures group include Thomas A. Okey of the University of Victoria’s School of Environmental Studies; Terrie Klinger of the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs; James J. Ruzicka of Oregon State University’s Cooperative Institute for Marine Resources Studies; and Amber Himes of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Alaska Fisheries Science Center and the University of Washington’s School of Marine and Environmental Affairs.

The second working group — Applying Portfolio Effects to the Gulf of Alaska Ecosystem: Did Multiscale Diversity Buffer Against the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill? — will evaluate evidence for an oil spill signal among a suite of species, focusing specifically on crabs, groundfish, salmon, herring and the lucrative fisheries they support. The researchers will also investigate the broader food web context using plankton, marine mammals and seabird datasets.

The investigators will use time series modeling approaches to determine the forces driving variability over time in these diverse datasets. They will also examine the influences of multiple drivers, including climate forcing, species interactions and fishing. By evaluating species’ life history attributes, such as longevity and location, and linking them to how and when each species was impacted by the spill, the researchers may help predict ecosystem responses to other disasters and develop monitoring strategies to target vulnerable species before disasters occur.

The second working group is led by Kristin Marshall of the University of Washington and the NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center; Anne Beaudreau of the University of Alaska Fairbanks; Richard Brenner of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game; NCEAS Associate Mary Hunsicker; and Eric Ward and Ole Shelton of the NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

A newly appointed postdoctoral associate, Rachael E. Blake of Louisiana State University, who will be in residence at NCEAS for two years beginning in January, will assist the working groups and conduct an assessment of the relative importance of multiple stressors in near-shore habitats in the Gulf of Alaska.

“The kind of holistic synthesis being done by these working groups is critical to guide future monitoring and recovery initiatives, which are expected to continue for decades, and to inform monitoring design and policy responses in case of future spills,” Davis said.

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Community Invited to Triple Impact for Foodbank During ‘Give a Meal’ Campaign

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Nearly 49 million Americans struggle with hunger. But thanks to generous support from the community, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County is able to end hunger for one in four residents throughout the county each year.

To do so, the Foodbank requires the resources to move millions of pounds of food and to purchase food when donations run low.

This month, during Hunger Action Month, Bank of America has committed to match every individual donation by local supporters 2-to-1 for donations of $10 to $1,000.

During the month of September, follow the simple steps below and triple your impact.

To Donate

» Step 1 — Visit the Bank of America Give a Meal Match page

» Step 2 — Click on “Donate Now” and enter your Santa Barbara County billing ZIP code

» Step 3 — Enter your desired donation amount and use a credit card with a Santa Barbara County billing ZIP code for payment

» Step 4 — Email your receipt to dmdurst@foodbanksbc.org so your donation can be added to the count

During the triple match, the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County will be able to provide 240 meals for every $10 dollars donated, helping even more families and individuals in need.

— Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Makeup Artist Offers Sept. 25 Demonstration at Pali Wine Tasting Room

By | Published on 09/17/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

“All About You,” a second free demonstration by South Coast makeup artist and licensed esthetician Patricia Guerrera, is set for 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 25 at the Pali Wine Co. tasting room, 116 E. Yanonali St. in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone.

Guerrera owns Tru Beauty, her studio at 120 W. Mission St. in Santa Barbara. She will offer free brow wax services and makeup touchups at the Pali wine tasting room event.

“All About You” also will feature Vidal Sassoon alumna Tara Jenée, who has 11 years of experience in hair styling, specializing in precision cut and color, keratin smoothing, natural hair extensions, weddings and events. She will demonstrate style, up do and braiding at Pali Wine Co.

Guerrera also is offering $25 Tru Beauty gift certificates toward any Tru Beauty services for the “All About You” event. Purchase of a certificate includes a glass of Pali wine the night of the event. Admission is free to anyone older than 21 years of age.

“All About You” gift certificates can be purchased at the Tru Beauty shop for $25 or at door for $28 on the evening of the event. The gift certificates may used toward any of Tru Beauty’s services, including the “Mimosa Cocktail,” which is a facial treatment that includes: a shot of concentrated vitamin C; two shots of cell renewal; one shot of brighteners; a shot to repair sun damage; and a shot to boost collagen for brighter skin.

For more information, see Tru Beauty by clicking here.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Goleta Council Approves Development of Marriott Hotel on Hollister Avenue

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

The 118-room project receives the go-ahead despite concerns about water usage and preserving Chumash burials

Despite concerns of using too much water during drought — and upending a tribal archaeological site — the Goleta City Council on Tuesday night approved the development of a Marriott Residence Inn.

The council voted 4-1 to approve the 118-room hotel to be built in the 6300 block of Hollister Avenue, across the street from the Santa Barbara Airport, and an accompanying revised environmental impact review. Mayor Pro Tem Paula Perotte cast the lone dissenting vote.

The hotel was years in the making for developer Bob Olson, who also owns and constructed the Courtyard by Marriott hotel on Storke Road in 2012. D. Olson Development has pursued the project since 2007, when a 140-room hotel was proposed but batted back because the site was part of a larger Chumash archeological site.

After the project was revised to include a sanctuary garden/educational component, the Goleta Planning Commission in late July voted 3-2 to recommend that the City Council also push it forward.

The Marriott hotel was approved on the same night as a drought update from the Goleta Water District, which this month placed a temporary moratorium to deny new water applications effective Oct. 1.

Because the developer already obtained a service letter from the water district in July — based on historic water use at the site and adjacent Hollister Center — the project just has to pay the new water supply charge before Oct. 1 to guarantee service.

Goleta staff gave a brief presentation, showing visual simulations and mitigated impacts on mountain views along with project alternatives, which included a flipped building design. Staff said all earthwork would be done with an on-site archeologist and Chumash representative.

Before 30 public speakers took the podium, developer representative Peter Brown said the council should approve the project, which went through two EIRs, 10 meetings with the Chumash since 2008 and archaeological find mitigations.

“This project has had extremely thorough review,” Brown said, noting that no project alternatives were feasible.

All but eight speakers were in favor of the project, including local businesses, UC Santa Barbara and nine Marriott employees who spoke of rising through the ranks into management positions.

Geofrey Wyatt, president of Goleta’s Wyatt Technology, said his business could use the hotel to house dozens of visitors each month.

“There aren’t places to stay,” he said. “How many years must we wait before this project is approved and built?”

Frank Arredondo, a Chumash MLD (Most Likely Descendent), said human remains would be found on the parcel that might contain a tribal cemetery. As an MLD, Arredondo said he helps recommend where unearthed ancestors should be reburied, something he said happened with Westar and Willow Springs projects. 

“This development will disturb those burials,” he said, adding that most want ancestors to remain on the same site they’re found.

Attorneys for Friends of Saspili, which previously sued the developer on behalf of the Chumash, said the EIR was incomplete, recommending the project be tabled for further discussion.

Another Chumash descendent said she was “pissed off” and especially worried about water, threatening to learn a “no-rain dance” if the project moved forward.

All attendees earlier heard from the Goleta Water District, which reported a 10 percent reduction in water usage since the council declared a Stage One drought in March. Despite efforts, the area could see a Stage Three declaration by May 2015 — or a completely empty Lake Cachuma in 11 months if rain doesn’t fall this winter.

Besides withholding new water applications, the district outlined mandatory water restrictions related to landscaping, conservative incentive programs and a public outreach campaign. Sprinkler watering will be prohibited between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., along with being restricted to two hours per week.

Councilman Tony Vallejo kicked off deliberations, declaring the Chumash an important part of local history but noting the land was already disturbed with nearby development.

Need for another hotel and the projected annual city revenue of $1 million in transient occupancy taxes also swayed him.

“The revenue to the city will be important,” Vallejo said.

He and Perotte agreed they must rely on the water district to determine the availability of the resource for the project, but Perotte said the city should not continue to mishandle or develop on the former Chumash site.

Councilman Jim Farr suggested the city try to create a Chumash village near the Stow House to honor the heritage, an idea supported by Vallejo and Mayor Michael Bennett before the project approval vote.

“We need to do something positive,” Farr 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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Lompoc’s New Police Chief Says He’s ‘Proud to Join Your Ranks’

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Patrick Walsh, who brings three decades of experience in law enforcement, takes the oath of office

Saying he was very honored to be chosen, the Lompoc Police Department's new chief took the oath of office Tuesday night before a packed room of law enforcement officers, family members and local residents.

Patrick "Pat" Walsh was sworn in at the beginning of the Lompoc City Council meeting. 

Walsh, who previously worked as a captain for the Portland Police Bureau in Oregon, replaced retired chief Larry Ralston, who had led the agency for nearly two years.

“It’s an honor to be here and to lead this department,” Walsh said, expressing appreciation for the support his department’s members have given him. “The first day was like going to school the first time.”

The new chief said that before applying for the job, he talked to local residents and received “nothing but glowing remarks” about the police force.

“They knew you by name and they thought very highly of you,” Walsh said. “That was the key for me to apply for this job. I’m very proud to join your ranks. You have a good reputation.”

Maintaining that trust and building upon it are among his top priorities, Walsh added.

“Law enforcement only works if you have that reputation,” he said. “You can’t do anything in law enforcement without the community’s trust and you are trustworthy and you’ve shown that.”

Walsh noted that among dignitaries in the audience were chiefs of other local police departments including Ralph Martin from Santa Maria, Wes Maroney from Hancock College and Cam Sanchez from Santa Barbara along with Ralston, the retired chief.

Members of the Lompoc Public Safety Commission and volunteer chaplains corps also attended the event, including Pastor Bernie Federmann from Lompoc Foursquare Church.

He also was part of the panel that helped pick the new chief, a man he described as very personable.

“I personally felt he was the best fit for the personality of our department, and he could take an already great department to the next level,” said Federmann, a volunteer police chaplain for 17 years. 

Ralston, who worked in Lompoc for seven years, previously spent 18 years with the Santa Maria Police Department. He is now working at the Allan Hancock College Law Enforcement Academy to oversee the advanced officer training program.

City officials announced Walsh’s selection in July. 

Walsh, who grew up in Camarillo, has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience, first serving eight years with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Walsh has a bachelor’s degree in management, communication and leadership from Concordia University, and a master’s degree in security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School and the Center for Homeland Defense and Security.

He and his wife, Catherine, have been married for 29 years, and they have two adult children, Matthew and Lauren.

Walsh also expressed gratitude for the reception he and his wife have received upon moving to Lompoc.

At one gathering he and his wife attended recently, a sign at the front door said, “If you are a friend, come in. If you are not a friend, come in and you will be in a few minutes.”

“I think that should be on the sign when you enter Lompoc, because that’s how the community is here,” Walsh said. “That’s the way you treated us, and that’s the way you treat each other. It’s pretty cool.”

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Vehicle Hits Bear on Highway 154 Near San Antonio Creek Road

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

A full-sized bear was killed by a vehicle Tuesday night on Highway 154 at San Antonio Creek Road, according to the California Highway Patrol. 

Just before 9 p.m., a Toyota 4Runner hit the bear and got front-end damage.

The large bear was on the roadway and was hit by a Toyota 4Runner just before 9 p.m., Officer Jon Gutierrez said. 

The bear was killed and the vehicle had front-end damage. 

Caltrans was called to pick up the bear and remove it from the roadway and will conduct a "dignified disposal" of the bear, Gutierrez said. 

Call response logs mentioned multiple vehicles hitting the bear, but only one collision was reported, he said. 

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Defense Attorney Calls Alleged Gang Leader ‘Lousy Businessman’

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Closing arguments continue in the Lompoc kidnapping-torture retrial against Raymond Daniel Macias

The man law enforcement officials called the top-ranking gang leader of Santa Barbara County actually was a bad businessman who fronted drugs to addicts, his defense attorney said Tuesday.

Raymond Daniel Macias, a gang member from Santa Barbara, is on trial for kidnapping for extortion with special gang and gun enhancements in Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria. 

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

“Mr. Macias is not the devil despite the prosecution’s attempts to demonize him,” defense attorney Michael Scott said Tuesday afternoon.

He added that the prosecution spent countless hours presenting evidence to convince jurors Macias is danger “to frighten you into a guilty verdict.”

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 is linked to Mexican Mafia Sureno 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 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 Superior Court Judge Patricia Kelly to declare a mistrial for those counts.

Scott called Macias “a lousy businessman” who fronted drugs to addicts and put in money when others didn't pay him to ensure he could forward on cash to keep up on payments to the Mexican Mafia.

The defense claims Macias’ co-defendant in his first trial, Luis “Lucky” Almanza, acted abnormally in spearheading the violent assault against Sicko, a gang member from the Lompoc-based VLPs.

“Lucky went off the rails,” Scott said. “His conduct was a shock to all present.’

But in her closing arguments continued Tuesday, Senior Deputy District Attorney Ann Bramsen said a member of a gang would be disciplined if the punishment wasn’t acceptable.

“There’s no evidence, not even a shred, that Lucky was disciplined,” Bramsen said Tuesday. She began closing arguments Monday afternoon.

Scott contended Macias wasn’t at the scene of the incident until much after the violence happened, adding that prosecutors did not produce any texts, recordings or letters showing defendant ordered anyone to hurt Sicko.

“It doesn’t exist because that’s not what he wanted,” Scott said.

Closing arguments are expected to continue Thursday morning.

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Santa Barbara Council Hears Update on Police Department, Water Conservation Efforts

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

The Santa Barbara City Council was updated Tuesday by the Police Department on recent crime stats and heard a presentation on the drought from the Water Resources Department.

The Police Department announced that it will be losing two of its beat coordinators, who work closely with their assigned neighborhoods of the city. 

The Eastside community will be losing its beat coordinator, Officer Adrian Gutierrez, as he transitions to teach an anti-gang curriculum in local schools for the department. Gutierrez has been a beloved beat coordinator in the neighborhood, where he also lives.

He will be heading up a one-year pilot of the Gang Resistance Education and Training, or G.R.E.A.T program. The program is spearheaded by the Department of Justice, which provides the curriculum focusing on teaching children to make the right choices. 

Gutierrez will be teaching this curriculum to fifth-graders at Franklin, Cleveland, McKinley, Harding and several other schools in the Santa Barbara Unified School District starting in October. 

Beat coordinator Officer Kent Wojciechoski, also known as "Wojo," is retiring and his replacement will be sent to the Eastside. 

When asked when the coordinators would be replaced, Police Chief Cam Sanchez said the department was working on making some new hires, one of whom will help fill the coordinator space.

"We're getting there, and we hope to get back to the four (beat coordinators)," Sanchez said.

He also went over Part 1 crimes with the council, which include homicides, rape and burglary. These crime rates saw a 13 percent decrease from 2012 to 2013, Sanchez said. Four homicides in Santa Barbara occurred in 2013, two that were vehicular, one stabbing and one gunshot case, he said.

Sanchez also went over stats for the July 4 holiday as well as Fiesta, which were both relatively quiet compared to past years. The Fourth of July was busy but people were safe, he said, although municipal code violations and traffic violations increased. 

"It was really safe and pretty quiet," he said.  

Fiesta was also a safer event than in the past, with 48 arrests for the week, most of which were people arrested on warrants, not crimes in progress. 

Deputy Chief Frank Mannix said the city is seeing a decrease in violent crimes in general. However, aggravated assaults are up about 6.5 percent this year as opposed to the average over the past five years, he said. That type of assault would include a domestic violence case, assault with a deadly weapon and the like, he said.

One rape occurred last month, compared to an average of three per month, and one homicide — a vehicular death — occurred in the last 12 months. 

Property crimes are generally trending lower than previous years but thefts from vehicle rates have increased. Many of those cases are "smash and grab" situations, where people leave their property inside the car and then the vehicle window is broken and the property is taken, said Capt. Alex Altavilla.

Capt. David Whitham talked about strategies the department is taking to deal with skateboarders in the downtown corridor and also revisited the discussion about nonsworn officers working to patrol the area.

The council recently discussed adding community service liaisons, or "yellow shirts," that are hourly nonsworn officers who work directly with the Tactical Patrol Force, two are on State Street and two are on Milpas Street.

They are a component of the restorative policing program and help identify nuisance-related crimes and help report them, Whitham said.

Whether to fill those positions or to use the money to hire a police officer has been a point of contention among the council members, some of whom asked Sanchez which he would rather see.

"Of course I would take a police officer, but I think there are other ways to go as well," Sanchez said, adding that the yellow shirts are dedicated to that area, whereas a police officer might be pulled away to other things.

The council was also updated on the drought, getting some encouraging numbers that show residents are conserving more water.

The city's conservation efforts saw a 25 percent water reduction in August, according to acting water resources manager Joshua Haggmark

"Whatever people are doing, keep doing it," he said, adding that conservation is particularly important during summer months. 

Conservation is more difficult during the winter months when water use is primarily indoor usage, he said.

Haggmark said water users across the city had stepped up in the effort, and that restaurants, agricultural users and all types of residential users put forward significant reduction.

"We'd be very pleased if this can continue," he said.

The city's desalination plant is expected to start operation in summer of 2016 and next week, the city will go over an in-depth summary of their permits, costs and funding for the plant.

Rebate programs are so popular that city staff are asking for more money to keep up with the staff time spent, 324 people signing up for the smart landscape rebate programs. 

City staff members have also been conducting hundreds of free water checkups and following up on more than 600 water complaints, Haggmark said. 

The department is asking for an additional $225,000 by next year to meet the ongoing staff needs, he said. 

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Man Hit, Killed By Freight Train Near Santa Barbara Zoo

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

A pedestrian was hit and killed by a train near the Santa Barbara Zoo Tuesday night, the Santa Barbara City Fire Department said.

A man suffered massive head injuries and died instantly, Capt. Kevin Hokom said.

The man was hit on the tracks adjacent to the Santa Barbara Zoo, at 500 Ninos Dr., where there isn’t a pedestrian crossing, Hokom said.

Santa Barbara police investigators are looking into the collision as a suicide, Sgt. Riley Harwood said.

The man wasn't identified by name, but Harwood said he is tentatively identified as a 50-year-old local homeless man. 

"Our investigation indicates that the train was going southbound and a pedestrian was walking northbound on the tracks," he said.

"The train engineer observed the pedestrian approaching and made efforts to brake and use the horn, but the man never deviated from path walking straight toward the train."

The Santa Barbara County Coroner's Bureau is working to notify the man's next of kin. 

The collision happened around 6:30 p.m. and the train was a freight train carrying oil tankers, not an Amtrak passenger train. 

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

State Law Requiring 3-Foot Buffer for Cyclists Takes Effect

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Cyclists are riding a bit safer thanks to a new state law that went into effect Tuesday requiring motorists to leave a 3-foot buffer of passing distance for cyclists or face fines.  

Authored by Assemblyman Steven Bradford and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown, the law is designed to lessen cyclist-related traffic accidents, which average roughly 130 deaths and more than 12,500 injuries every year, according to the most recent data from the California Highway Patrol.

Effective immediately, peace officers can fine motorists when they believe drivers are violating the law.

Sgt. Riley Harwood​ with the Santa Barbara Police Department said that while officers may begin issuing citations at their discretion, there is no plan for any targeted enforcement. 

"There are no stakeouts planned," Harwood said. "Basically, obey the rules of the road, like everyone's supposed to, and accidents won't happen."

Motorists can be issued a citation for violating the law in three ways: either by driving too closely to a cyclist, through a complaint issued by a cyclist or as a result of a collision investigation, according to Harwood.

Fines can range from $35 to $220. 

Assembly Bill 1371 passed the California Assembly in 2013 and was signed into law after two previous attempts in 2011 and 2012, which ended in a veto.

California now joins 23 other states that have passed similar laws.

When traffic conditions make driving within 3 feet of a cyclist impossible, motorists are required to slow to a speed that is "reasonable and prudent" and pass only when it will not endanger nearby cyclists.

Noozhawk intern Shaun Kahmann can be reached at skahmann@noozhawk.com. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Venoco Recommissioning Presentation Rouses Emotion at Goleta Council Meeting

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Goleta officials let State Lands Commission representatives have an earful Tuesday during a presentation about the planned Venoco Inc. recommissioning project.

Even though the Goleta City Council appears to be on the same page as the state commission, which in April asked Venoco to provide further environmental review documentation regarding plans to start producing oil from the Haskell’s Beach pier, officials adamantly reiterated opposition to the project as is.

State Lands Commission representatives, who were in town Monday for a public hearing on the same subject, presented the Recirculated Draft Environmental Impact Review to the Goleta City Council during an afternoon session.

Like locals who spoke Monday, city officials were interested in the long-term picture — wanting Venoco out sooner than later.

Venoco wants to restart the 421-2 pier, which stopped production after a spill in 1994 when Mobil still owned it.

The oil and gas lease is within the state’s jurisdiction, but many of the processing facilities, such as the Ellwood Onshore Facility (set to close after Platform Holly stops producing), are within Goleta.

Commission staff recommended the project be approved as is, but wanted to also analyze the Las Flores Canyon facility as an alternative for processing — an option discussed Tuesday.

The public comment period for the recirculated EIR closes next Wednesday, after which the commission will consider and respond to comments and certify the document. 

Venoco’s project would then enter Goleta’s permitting process for the portions taking place within the city.

Anne Wells, Goleta’s advance planning manager, outlined changes made in the EIR released in July, including different alternatives for the project.

The changes include: a modified project objective to return the 421 lease to production; reorganizing the alternatives and analysis of related impact in one section; new analysis of Las Flores alternative; language changed from “no project alternative” to processing on the piers; “no production/quitclaim 421 alternative” added to require the state to terminate and quitclaim the lease (with payout to Venoco) but pressure testing and decommissioning would not occur; and an expanded Vaqueros Reservoir Repressurization discussion moved to the safety section.

Commission expert Steve Kern presented information on repressurization, explaining that natural groundwater movement can cause seeps. He said more data would be needed to decide what long-term effects or risks might be.

City Councilman Roger Aceves asked whether resuming 421-2 would relieve pressure for two seep-susceptible wells out there, and was informed that it would.

Goleta seems to have lost some ground since the last discussion, Councilman Jim Farr said, asking whether the state commission wanted Venoco to pump oil again, either.

“There is enormous concern about the Ellwood Onshore Facility and how it should be used,” he said. “I don’t want to see Goleta pushed around here by Venoco or the State Lands Commission.”

Farr asked that Goleta officials have a place at the decision table.

State commission representatives said while they, too, would like to see oil operations cease sooner than later in its 20-year life, Venoco has a right and obligation to produce under its lease with the commission.

Councilman Tony Vallejo questioned whether a seismic event could trigger a seep — yes, Kern said — and learned hard-to-locate leaks could happen even without that jarring.

Commission staff said they understood Goleta’s frustration, but Mayor Michael Bennett summed up the city’s stance anyway.

“We clearly want to see the EOF go away,” Bennett said, adding his concerns about the full-field development. “The city will resist that at every level, and at every point, that we possibly can.”

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Second Annual Awards to Honor ‘Heroes of Hospice’

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Over its 40-year history, Hospice of Santa Barbara has been fortunate to attract outstanding volunteers and supporters.

This year, the organization that provides free care for anyone experiencing the impact of life-threatening illness or grieving the death of a loved one, will honor three incredible individuals who have made a significant difference both to the organization and to the community by advancing compassionate end-of-life care in Santa Barbara.

On Friday, Oct. 24, Hospice of Santa Barbara invites the community to join their second annual celebration of the 2014 Heroes of Hospice.

The event, which will take place on Hospice of Santa Barbara’s front lawn, will include light refreshments, music, dancing, an art sale featuring work donated by numerous notable local artists, and a book signing for Hospice of Santa Barbara board member Marilee Zdenek’s book Between Fires. The focal point of the evening will be the recognition of the “Heroes.”

Meet the Heroes

Jill Nida — Volunteer Award

Jill Nida’s association with Hospice of Santa Barbara began in 1988 when she joined the Hospice of Santa Barbara Auxiliary.

She has served in a number of leadership positions, including as a past president of the Board of Directors, past president of the Auxiliary Board, as a committee chair and as a volunteer. She was recently appointed to Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Emeritus Board.

Nida, a graduate of San Marcos High School, SBCC and UCSB, has lived in Santa Barbara her entire life. She has shown a remarkable commitment to the mission of Hospice of Santa Barbara over the last 26 years, and brings her dedication and unbounded enthusiasm to all her work. She is one of Hospice of Santa Barbara’s biggest cheerleaders, having been named Hospice of Santa Barbara Cheerleader Emeritus in 2012.

Jill Kitnick — Philanthropist Award

Jill Kitnick first came to Hospice of Santa Barbara in 2006. She started out as a volunteer for Hospice of Santa Barbara’s “I Have a Friend Program,” a mentorship program for children who have lost a parent or sibling. Kitnick was perfect for this role, as she lost both her parents and paternal grandparents who died together in a plane crash when she was 13. Kitnick has helped many mentees to recover in their grief process and begin to feel normal again.

Kitnick is also a Hospice of Santa Barbara Patient Care Volunteer, and helped start Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Pet Therapy Program. Five years ago, Hospice of Santa Barbara launched its “Beloved Bear Program”, whereby a grieving family member who is a client of Hospice of Santa Barbara can bring in a piece of clothing of their loved one who has died, and request a Teddy Bear or pillow be made out of the clothing. Kitnick stepped up to the plate, and has helped to make hundreds of bears with the assistance of volunteer “Bearettes” Roxanne Reginato and Daveena Limonick.

Kitnick is also a regular financial donor to Hospice of Santa Barbara, has hosted fundraisers at her home, volunteer appreciation events, and has been a very strong cheerleader for Hospice of Santa Barbara.

Sarah House — Professional Award

Sarah House Santa Barbara provides a home and end-of-life care for low income people. In 1989, Alice Health devoted her passion, time and energy to inspire the Santa Barbara community by founding a nonprofit for men and women dying from HIV/AIDS, Health House (Health was also the founder of Hospice of Santa Barbara). Health House opened its doors in Santa Barbara to people who were not only dying at a young age, but also dying surrounded by ignominy and fear. Leading with truth and courage, Heath changed much of that.

In the mid-1990s, Sarah Shoresman, already well into her 80s, matched her own countless service hours with a financial gift that enable the group to build a home from the ground up intentionally for its purposes, this time named Sarah House.

With the advent of powerful new medications, the mortality rate for people with AIDS dropped wonderfully and dramatically. Sarah House responded by expanding services to offer end-of-life care for low income and homeless of the Santa Barbara community. Many have had no one to stand with them at this last important and difficult time.

Emeritus Board Recognition

Hospice of Santa Barbara will also recognize emeritus board members Jill Nida, Charlie Zimmer, Peggy Barnes and Thomas Fly at the Heroes of Hospice event.

Tickets for Heroes of Hospice may be purchased online by clicking here or by calling 805.563.8820.

Hospice of Santa Barbara “volunteers” its free professional counseling and care management services to more than 600 adults and 125 children every month who are experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one. Hospice of Santa Barbara is also present on eight local middle and high school campuses as well as UCSB to work with children, teens and young adults who are grieving the loss of a loved one.

For more information about Hospice of Santa Barbara, including volunteer opportunities, call 805.563.8820 or click here. Find Hospice of Santa Barbara on Facebook and Twitter.

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Bishop Diego High School Class of 1964 Celebrates 50 Years as Cardinals

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Bishop Garcia Diego’s first graduating class that spent their entire high school career on the La Colina campus celebrated their 50-year reunion with five days of activities and reminiscing about years past.

This was largest group of “golden graduates” that has participated in a number of years. Many arrived with spouses, significant others and family friends to celebrate this event from all corners of the United States.

Their five-day celebration festivities included an “early bird” informal gathering at the home of alumnus Richard (Ginny) Scholl, allowing the attendees a chance to get reacquainted and discuss the plans for the balance of the week.

On Thursday, the class ventured to Santa Cruz Island, formerly owned by the Gherini family and now owned by the National Park Service. They were treated to a barbecue lunch catered by John (Mary Ann) Gherini at their old ranch house. John talked about his family and their history on the island. One of the highlights of the trip came about on the return from the island when the boat was followed by a school of mother dolphins and their newly born offspring. 

John also challenged the class to continue the legacy of giving back to their alma mater. For each $50 donation, he gave a signed copy of his book Santa Cruz Island: A History of Conflict and Diversity, with all proceeds donated to the school. Close to $5,000 was donated by the Class of 1964.

On Saturday, the class met back at their “old stomping grounds,” Bishop Garcia Diego High School, where they enjoyed a wine tasting, featuring Fess Parker wines. While there, the class was treated to a tour of the campus, which many hadn’t seen since graduation in 1964. Members of the class commented on the beauty of the campus and some wished for a “do-over” of high school so they could have a similar experience to that of current students.

One of the highlights of the tour was the unveiling of the new Pier and Margo Gherini Center for Multimedia Arts and Technology, donated by the Gherini family and an anonymous donor. Renovations and construction of the Gherini Center began the day school ended in June and were finalized the day prior to the class visit. A formal ribbon-cutting celebration for the new Gherini Center will be held mid-October.

The weekend closed with the class participating in Mass together at San Roque Church on Sunday.

Founded in 1959, Bishop García Diego High School is an independent Catholic co-educational secondary 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 multicultural society.

For more information about the Gherini Center or to schedule a tour, please contact Lori Willis, director of communications.

— Lori Willis is the communications director for Bishop Garcia Diego High School.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Cal Poly’s TechPitch Competition Adds Cash Prize, Extends Application Deadline

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Cal Poly’s Small Business Development Center for Innovation has expanded the geographic reach of applicants to its fourth annual TechPitch competition, extended the deadline to apply and added a $5,000 cash prize.

The competition, the only such event in the Tri-County region, seeks early-stage startups ready for angel or venture capital funding. Those who qualify as finalists must be available for pitch coaching with the TechPitch committee during the three weeks prior to the event, set for Oct. 22.

The event invites startups in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties to apply at techpitch.org by submitting an executive summary of their business plan by midnight Sept. 22.

Technology leader Douglas Hutcheson, former CEO of Leap Wireless International, will be the event keynote speaker.

“TechPitch has become a must-attend event that draws hundreds of business, technology and civic leaders,” said Stephen Nellis of the Pacific Business Times.

Michael Manchak of the Economic Vitality Corp. said, “Access to capital for startup businesses remains a challenge, and this event is helping entrepreneurs make investor contacts and gain constructive advice.”

At the event, six selected applicants will pitch their viable technology-related business idea to a panel of industry experts and investors. The winners will share $5,000 in cash prizes for business expenses and investment. All contestants will receive professional consulting services, contacts and opportunities from the affiliate organizations.

“We are seeing the emergence of a real tech hub in San Luis Obispo,” said Judy Mahan, director of the SLO HotHouse and Cal Poly Small Business Development Center. “Through TechPitch, we are building on that, seeking to promote the launch and growth of the region’s hottest new tech companies.”

TechPitch will be held at the Alex Madonna Expo Center in San Luis Obispo on Oct. 22. Tickets are $35 per person and $250 for a table of eight. Student tickets are $15 each. For more information and event registration, click here.

TechPitch is produced through a collaboration by the Cal Poly Small Business Development Center for Innovation; Cal Poly’s Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Softec and the Economic Vitality Corp.  Event sponsors include S. Brett Whitaker, Bank of America and Heritage Oaks Bank.

— Chelsea Brown is a media coordinator for Cal Poly’s Small Business Development Center for Innovation.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Lou Cannon: Once Vaunted Common Core Becomes a Political Football

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

As millions of U.S. schoolchildren learn reading, writing and arithmetic under new national academic standards known as Common Core, a backlash has developed in several states.

Although the noisiest resistance has come from conservatives aligned with the Tea Party, the opposition also includes teachers unions opposed to standardized tests to measure teacher performance and liberals who object to corporate sponsorship of the program.

Forty-six states and the District of Columbia three years ago endorsed Common Core, which sets standards for the academic skills students are expected to master from kindergarten through high school. This year, however, Indiana and Oklahoma abandoned Common Core. Legislatures in three other states — Missouri, North Carolina and South Carolina — have passed laws to reconsider the standards although Common Core is being used by these states this fall.

The revolt against Common Core came as a surprise to many of its supporters. When the National Governors Association and state school officials, with the backing of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, convened five years ago to draft the standards that became Common Core, support was so universal that Time magazine recently described the meeting as “a love-in.”

Small wonder. The nation’s businesses and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce have long complained that high school graduates entering the workforce are too often deficient in basic reading and computational skills. It’s a problem for higher education, too. In 2012, some 20 percent of college freshmen needed to take remedial courses, reducing their chances of graduating. Beginning with President Ronald Reagan, four successive presidents have endorsed proposals for more rigorous academic standards to better equip high school graduates for college or work.

Common Core stresses critical thinking instead of multiple-choice tests. It left development of curriculums to the states but created a set of national standards that can be measured by testing and will supposedly help students who move from one state to another, such as the children of military families.

Under Common Core standards, kindergartners should be able to count from 1 to 100. Third-graders should be able to write a narrative describing real or imagined experiences and to describe and analyze two-dimensional shapes. Sixth-graders should be able to write a narrative of a historical event.

Common Core’s critics on the right portray the program as a distressing example of federal dominance. In Oregon, state Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, the Republican gubernatorial nominee, compares Common Core to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which he said “was passed by Congress before any of our congressional representatives had an opportunity to read it.”

Linking Obamacare and Common Core has become a central element of the Republican narrative of federal overreach, but there’s a notable difference in the way these two programs were created.

The Affordable Care Act, whatever one thinks of it, was indeed a top-down program. Passed by congressional Democrats on party-line votes and signed into law by President Barack Obama, it determined the incomes at which persons became eligible for subsidized health care through exchanges managed by the states or federal government. The law also mandated expansion of Medicaid, the program that provides health services for the poor. States now have an option on Medicaid only because the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to require the states to expand it.

Common Core, in contrast, arose in the states from the wreckage of No Child Left Behind, a policy of President George W. Bush’s administration that tied federal funding to mandatory standardized tests. This well-intentioned effort fell short, in large part because tests differed from state to state, and no one was quite sure what was being measured. As Tim Murphy wrote in a recent issue of Mother Jones: “Many teachers and parents were frustrated by an approach that seemed to punish schools for problems beyond their control, and the lack of uniformity from state to state — even ZIP code to ZIP code — made it impossible to tell how well kids were actually performing.”

Responding to these concerns, the National Governors Association set out to improve upon No Child Left Behind, joined by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), a national organization of education commissioners.

The two groups utilized a report written for the Carnegie Corporation of New York by educators David Coleman and Jason Zimba, which called for fewer and simpler tests. The NGA and CCSSO, devised what they called “a common core of internationally benchmarked standards in math and language arts for grades K-12.” Because the states were financially strapped by the Great Recession, they sought help from the Gates Foundation, which has channeled $200 million into Common Core’s implementation.

Common Core also received a boost from the Obama administration. For Obama, it seemed a safe way to deliver on his campaign promise “to fix the failures of No Child Left Behind.” To Education Secretary Arne Duncan, it seemed promising in its own right. At Duncan’s urging the administration put forth a $4.35 billion program called Race to the Top, which gave money to states in return for ambitious tracking of student performance at all grade levels.

Despite federal support, Common Core remains essentially a state-grounded program. When the standards in an early form were presented to the governors in 2009, only Sarah Palin of Alaska and Rick Perry of Texas opposed them. But as Murphy observes, Common Core did not receive broad public attention during the recession, when the nation was absorbed with the devastating economic issues created by the financial crisis. It wasn’t until 2011, as implementation began, that the Tea Party latched onto the issue, calling Common Core a threat to local control, and more fancifully depicting it as anti-religious or socialist.

The slings and arrows from the right were soon matched by brickbats from the left. Diane Ravitch, a prominent left-of-center education historian, deplored what she saw as corporate pressure on the states to take the money offered by Race to the Top. Randi Weingarten, the influential president of the American Federation of Teachers, withdrew her support for Common Core and said her organization would take no more money from the Gates Foundation.

The testing of students to determine the hiring, firing and promotion of teachers particularly riles the teachers’ groups. Weingarten has called for a three-year moratorium on such testing and, like her Tea Party counterparts, imaginatively compared the advent of Common Core to the botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Duncan partially bowed to the teachers’ demands last month by announcing that states could delay for a year the use of test results in teacher-performance ratings. This modest action was accompanied by sizzling rhetoric that might have come from Common Core’s critics.

“I believe testing issues today are sucking the oxygen out of the room in a lot of schools,” Duncan said in his blog.

Teachers are an important element of the Democratic political base, and Duncan may have been trying to reassure them in advance of the midterm elections, in which for the most part Common Core has been a second-tier issue. It has, however, popped up in races in Florida, Louisiana and Ohio in what could be an unfortunate prelude to the Republican presidential primary contests of 2016.

Common Core until recently was not a partisan issue. Among Republicans, it was passionately backed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and favored to varying degrees by Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida. Now, Jindal and Rubio have joined Perry and Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky in opposing Common Core, while Christie is reconsidering his earlier support.

Unless Bush becomes the GOP presidential nominee — and it’s not even certain he will be a candidate — Common Core could become a partisan football that at the national level is routinely supported by Democrats and opposed by Republicans.

That would be unfortunate. Improving the language and mathematical skills of U.S. schoolchildren is in the interests of everyone, whatever their politics. That doesn’t necessarily mean anointing Common Core: the jury is still out on the new standards and the tests that measure student performance. Neither have been in use long enough to know if they work.

But the verdict on Common Core should be decided on the basis of the evidence, not partisanship. It deserves a chance to rise or fall on its merits.

Lou Cannon, a Summerland resident, is a longtime national political writer and acclaimed presidential biographer. His most recent book — co-authored with his son, Carl — is Reagan’s Disciple: George W. Bush’s Troubled Quest for a Presidential Legacy. Cannon also is an editorial adviser to State Net Capitol Journal, which published this column originally. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Veterinarian Kenneth Bruecker of VMSG Achieves Double Board-Certification

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Already a board-certified surgeon, Dr. Kenneth Bruecker of Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group in Ventura has recently achieved another prestigious career milestone as the newest Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation (ACVSMR).

Dr. Kenneth Bruecker
Dr. Kenneth Bruecker

The accomplishment puts Bruecker in an exclusive group of 116 Diplomates from across the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia and South America who have met the stringent ACVSMR requirements. Only four veterinarians in California have achieved this distinguished double board-certification status and Bruecker is the only one in Southern California.

ACVSMR’s rigorous qualifications include having at least 10 years of work experience, having publications in the field, and being a faculty member actively involved in clinical and research aspects of veterinary sports medicine and rehabilitation. This is in addition to passing two exams covering basic physiological, medical, surgical and rehabilitation knowledge as well as species-specific questions.

The American College of Veterinary Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation was developed to meet the unique needs of athletic and working animals and all animals in need of rehabilitation.  ACVSMR was approved as a new college by the American Veterinary Medical Association in April 2010. The college serves the international veterinary community, with current diplomates from across North America and Europe.

A pioneer in the veterinary orthopedics field and the current president of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society of America, Bruecker was the first to offer TPLO surgery, TTA surgery, cementless hip replacement, arthroscopy and other minimally invasive surgeries to owners of pets in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties, as well as in Hawaii. He continues to be an innovator in the development of new surgical techniques and orthopedic implants.

Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group (VMSG), 2199 Sperry Ave. in Ventura, 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.

Click here for more information about Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group, or call 805.339.2290.

— Lynnette Coverly of Coverly Professional Services represents Dr. Kenneth Bruecker of Veterinary Medical and Surgical Group in Ventura.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Project Heroes to Hold Bilingual Forum to Address Youth Violence in Latino Community

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

After a series of traumatic incidents and suicides involving the Latino youth in Santa Barbara County, the ongoing efforts to address violence and raise awareness remains a top priority. As a result of the community’s effort to help the Latino youth thrive and succeed, Project Heroes/Proyecto Héroes, a community-based participatory research program led by Drs. Maryam Kia-Keating (UC Santa Barbara) and Jessica Adams (director of psychology and training at CALM, Child Abuse Listening Mediation), and the Pro-Youth Movement are presenting a Bilingual Community Forum, “This is our Community: These are our Children” at the First United Methodist Church from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 to address the effects of violence exposure and focus on improving the lives of the Latino community.

“Addressing the impact of trauma and violence in our Latino community is a key factor to violence prevention,” said Cecilia Rodriguez, executive director of CALM. “As community leaders, we must recognize all factors that interfere with helping our youth succeed both academically and socially. Through these discussions, we are able foster grass roots solutions and put an end to youth violence.”

The community forum will open a dialogue to share perspectives of parents, youth and community members concerned with increasing safety and reducing the trauma and violence exposure of local Latino youth.

Several keynote speakers will lead the panel discussions, including: Cathy Murillo of the Santa Barbara City Council, Cynthia Cruz and Jazmin Narisco of Project Heroes Youth Photovoice who will introduce and show the video VISUAL+ize: A Photovoice Project; Mitch Torina, assistant superintendent of the Santa Barbara Unified School District; and Dr. Victor Rios, associate professor in sociology at UC Santa Barbara.

“The goal of this forum is to bring people together to learn from their experiences and identify possible solutions,” Adams said. “We encourage all community members to come and share your visions for change.”

The forum has rallied unprecedented community support from many leading local agencies, including the Community Action Commission, Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, CALM, Domestic Violence Solutions, FEN, Isla Vista Youth Projects, Just Communities, La Casa De La Raza, The Promotores Network, Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, SB City Council, SB Police Department, SB Response Network, SB Unified School District, South Coast Youth Gang Task Force, UCSB, and Youth and Family Services YMCA.

The bilingual Community Forum will be held at First United Methodist Church, at 305 E. Anapamu St. in Santa Barbara. The event is free and open to the public. Lunch and child care will be provided. For more information about the community forum or CALM, please call 805.965.2376.

CALM was founded in 1970 to reach stressed parents before they hurt their children. CALM continues to be the only non-profit agency in Santa Barbara County focusing solely on preventing, assessing, and treating child abuse and family violence through comprehensive, cutting-edge programs. CALM offers children, families, and adults a safe, nonjudgmental, caring and strength-based environment to heal and increase family well-being.

For more information about all of CALM’s services, please call 805.965.2376 or click here.

— Rachael Jerse is a publicist representing CALM.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Ron Fink: Is President Obama Really Ready for a War?

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

President Barack Obama isn’t what you would call a hawk. His strongest campaign pledge while running for election in 2008 and re-election in 2012 was to end wars that were in progress and project a softer image for the United States around the world.

He honored those commitments and has subsequently overseen the protracted gutting of our defense capability. This is a strategic mistake that will haunt the nation for at least the next decade as our enemy’s sense weakness and wreak havoc in many worldwide venues.

Last week, Obama made a speech and suggested that he would eradicate the forces of evil in Iraq and Syria. How he proposed to do this left many wondering just how effective his sales pitch was.

Many conservative and liberal journalists panned his speech, and David Frum of The Atlantic in an online commentary summed it up best: “Barack Obama’s address Wednesday on the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria was surprisingly terrible: a disorganized mess, insincere and unconvincing.” It must have seemed this way to other world leaders too since they have had a “tepid response” to supporting the president.

Clearly, Obama doesn’t have the international leadership abilities of past presidents, and it is becoming abundantly clear that he has no idea how to fix the problem. Street activists just don’t have the experience needed to comprehend the tactics and strategy of international conflict.

Even as the hot air of Obama’s speech was cooling, senior members of his administration, including Secretary of State John Kerry, were saying that this wasn’t really a war, but just a “very significant counter-terrorism operation.” The White House contradicted this statement within hours — apparently the president’s team isn’t on the same page with each player running their own game, but that’s no surprise considering their very public disconnects on many major issues.

I am just guessing here, but I’ll bet vocal Democrat enclaves were screeching loudly because they had believed the fight was over when Obama said so and they really don’t like the idea of projecting military power, and that’s why Kerry made this statement.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein said in widely published remarks: “I recognize the reluctance of many Americans to engage in another war in the Middle East. But it is imperative that every American is fully cognizant of how dangerous and deadly ISIS really is.” Apparently she listens to the briefings she gets and has a better grasp of the issue than the commander-in-chief does or his minions.

It was only a few months ago that the president was downplaying the abilities of ISIS. Many would agree that Obama may have been and still is in denial that anything that didn’t agree with his peace and harmony narrative could be going on.

After all, hadn’t he taken a victory lap after he abandoned Iraq and subsequently Afghanistan by pulling all of our military forces out, thus squandering the lives and limbs of our young men and women who plunged headlong into that caldron of snakes and tried to keep very bad people from killing those who just wanted to live their lives in peace?

Obama has blamed his predecessor for everything that’s wrong in the world today, but it turns out that President George W. Bush accurately predicted what would happen if the U.S. left Iraq too soon in a speech in 2007.

So now Obama has concluded that action is needed, but will he have the stomach to see this operation through to the finish line, or will he toss a few bombs around and then say it’s all over?

War is ugly. Ask any combat veteran of the many wars the U.S. has conducted and they will tell you of the hardships and dangers associated with doing what Obama has proposed. Wars like this cannot be won from the air; it will take troops scouring the countryside and mud huts to eradicate the enemy — just whose troop’s remains a mystery.

His strategy — “no boots on the ground” — is weak in its design and laughable since he has already committed over 1,500 boots filled with brave Americans to the fight.

Those of us old enough to remember the Vietnam War can recall that our commitment began by sending military advisors to aid the South Vietnamese military and ended with well over 58,000 dying and 153,000 being wounded before we retreated and left the place in far worse shape than we found it.

If Obama stays the course, our next president will inherit the operation — will he or she have the political will to continue the fight? Will Obama clearly define the mission and then allow his military commanders to execute it? Will the administration rebuild the defense department so that they have adequate resources to wage this war and defend the country from other threats?

Is Obama ready for a war, or was this just another speech to try to boost his poll numbers?

— 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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Jim Hightower: America’s Natural Politics — ‘Everybody Does Better When Everybody Does Better’

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

My father, W.F. "High" Hightower, was a populist. Only, he didn't know it. Didn't know the word, much less the history or anything about populism's democratic ethos. My father was not philosophical, but he had a phrase that he used to express the gist of his political beliefs: "Everybody does better when everybody does better."

Before the populists of the late 1800s gave its instinctive rebelliousness a name, it had long been established as a defining trait of our national character: The 1776 rebellion was not only against King George III's government but against the corporate tyranny of such British monopolists as the East India Trading Company.

The establishment certainly doesn't celebrate the populist spirit, and our educational system avoids bothering students with our vibrant, human story of constant battles, big and small, mounted by "little people" against ... well, against the establishment.

The Keepers of the Corporate Order take care to avoid even a suggestion that there is an important political pattern — a historic continuum — that connects Thomas Paine's radical democracy writings in the late 1700s to Shays' Rebellion in 1786, to strikes by mill women and carpenters in the early 1800s, to Thomas Jefferson's 1825 warning about the rising aristocracy of banks and corporations "riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman," to the launching of the women's suffrage movement at Seneca Falls in 1848, to the maverick Texans who outlawed banks in their 1845 state constitution, to the bloody and ultimately successful grassroots struggle for the abolition of slavery, and to the populist movement itself, plus the myriad rebellions that followed right into our present day.

» What Populism Is Not: An empty word for lazy reporters to attach to any angry spasm of popular discontent. (And it's damn sure not Sarah Palin and today's clique of Koch-funded, corporate-hugging, Tea Party Republicans.)

» What It Is: For some 238 years, it has been the chief political impulse in America's body politick — determinedly democratic, vigilantly resistant to the oppressive power of corporations and Wall Street, committed to grassroots percolate-up economics, and firmly rooted in my old daddy's concept of "Everybodyness," recognizing that we're all in this together.

Although it was organized into a formal movement for only about 25 years, Populism has had an outsized, long-term, and ongoing impact on our culture, public policies, economic structure and governing systems. Even though its name is rarely used and its history largely hidden, and neither major party will embrace it (much less become it), there are many more people today whose inherent political instincts are populist, rather than conservative or liberal.

Yet the pundits and politicos frame our choices in terms of that narrow con-lib ideological spectrum, ignoring the fact that most of us are neither, or a bit of both. Our nation's true political spectrum is not right to left, but top to bottom. People can locate themselves along this vertical rich-to-poor spread, for this is not a theoretical positioning: It's based on our real-world experience with money and power. This is America's real politics.

Today's workaday majority can plainly see that a privileged few at the top are separating their fortunes as fast as they can from the well-being of the rest of us. We've also seen that after the 2008 economic collapse, both major parties rushed to wipe the fevered brows of the pampered few with our tax dollars and did little about the crash in wages, income, wealth and economic power of the bottom 90 percent. Six years later, Congress continues to ignore the ongoing destruction of the middle class and the unconscionable rise in poverty — unless you count last year's cuts to food stamp funding and jobless benefits as "doing something."

Our system of representative government has, in a word, collapsed. Most Congress critters are not even trying anymore — not listening to the people, not even knowing any regular folks, and not representing their interests. But what we also have is a ripening political opportunity for a revitalized, 21st-century populist movement.

Every day, there are populist uprisings, both large and small, all across this country. Towns taking on Big Oil frackers, cities raising the minimum wage, fast-food workers demanding a living wage, states taking on GMO labeling, Moral Monday, Truthful Tuesday and other movements spreading across the South to fight for social justice. These are just a few examples of the budding populist movement that is striving to make everybody do better.

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

John Daly: How to Create Your Personal Image

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Creating an image in the business world for a business or individual isn’t as difficult as you think! But it requires a concentrated effort.

When a brand is built for a company, it happens from the ground up. It is about appearance as well as what is being said. It’s critical to put out to the public what people want to hear. Just as important is keeping things (like profanity, rudeness, harsh criticism of others) that you do not want them to hear under close guard.

So how can building business brand concepts apply to building an individual image?

Appearance

Businesses use billboards for their products, and people use clothing, hair styles and personal hygiene. It’s important to convey just the right message. If you think of your body as a billboard, consider how you present it. Remember when you get a tattoo that it lasts for a lifetime unless you go through a painful laser procedure to take it off. If you must have a tattoo, put it where you can hide it.

How Do You Make Others Feel?

When you create your image, remember that a brand is a feeling.

How do you feel when you see advertisements for the Hawaiian Islands? Relaxed?

How do you feel when you see an ad for Ralph Lauren clothing. Luxury?

How do you feel when you see happy couples on an online dating service commercial?

Lonely, yet hopeful?

How do people feel when they see you? You hold the key to that. It is up to you to make your brand. You make that brand when you walk out of your front door. Do you want flash and dash or a conservative feeling to come from a person seeing you at 10 feet away?

What about the message you present? Always make believe a person cannot hear what you have to say before you meet them and prepare your “package” for that. You may be the most talented person in the world in any given field but first you have to sell yourself. Save the talent for the big surprise.

Are you polite? Do you give up your chair for an older person? Do you open the door for a person you are hosting? Do you smile? So many people don’t smile; they frown instead! This is very off-putting. Develop a ready, genuine smile that will help you connect positively with others in any situation.

Don’t let social anxieties overwhelm you. Smiling can help you get through any situation. It’s a secret weapon that totally disarms people and draws them to you.

What Messages Are You Sending?

What about the messages you send to others on social media? Watch what you post on social media and on the web. Why? Because what shows up on the Internet will stay with you forever. It’s hard to conceive that anything posted during high school could potentially affect a career, but prospective employers and colleges are now using social media profiles as part of routine background checks. This means that scholarship organizations are likely doing the same, and their finding negative information could definitely affect your future.

So, forget the provocative photos and the messages riddled with profanity. Be careful! You’ll never know that those were the reasons you didn’t get the job. Taking it to another level, don’t let what you post on social media get you fired from your job. That’s right. It’s happening more and more these days.

What about the way you act? Create positive trends and habits that draw positive people to you. You can accomplish this through your stylish dress; encouraging and outgoing actions; and willingness to help others. Self-absorption will only produce a negative reaction in most people. Don’t know how to be outgoing with others? Start by volunteering some time to help those less fortunate than you. You’ll quickly learn that your life is fairly wonderful compared to others, and this will teach you how to reach out and encourage other people.

Create Your Image Early

Marketing yourself later in life will be a lot easier if you have already made a statement at school or college with not only your family and friends but your community. Honoring and respecting others is the greatest tool you can have in your self-image toolbox. Part of honoring and respecting others is taking responsibility for not only your actions but also for part of your own livelihood.

These aren’t the only suggestions you should utilize to create a solid image for yourself, but they are the foundation for creating and managing everything else you do as you build a professional business image for yourself and create and perpetuate your company’s brand.

What’s More, On Video

(The Learning Annex video)

John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for job search success. Click here to learn more about The Key Class or to get his book. If you have questions about business or social etiquette, just ask John at johnkeyclass@gmail.com. Connect with The Key Class on Facebook. Follow John Daly on Twitter: @johndalyjrClick here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Vista del Monte Retirement Community Turning 50 Years Young

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

The Vista del Monte Retirement Community in Santa Barbara will turn 50 years young on Oct. 10.

We are celebrating our successes of the past 50 years. We have grown, and we have improved. We have educated, and we have absorbed. Our community has transformed the mindset of growing older. Vista del Monte is where residents don’t retire, they inspire!

Vista Del Monte through her growth and development has created a unique environment that fosters rejuvenation through active living. VDM is one of the only communities having a state of the art aquatic center that is open to greater Santa Barbara. Housed within its walls are a full-size fitness pool, a SwimEx therapy pool, and exercise training area, along with full service outpatient therapy services (physical, occupational and speech therapy) and “personal touch” — VDM's one-on-one fitness training program geared to older adults.

We are proud of our highlights listed below that have helped shift the perception from convalescent rest home to vibrant, active and dynamic wellness community:

» A Fitness, Aquatic and Physical Therapy Center open to the outside community.

» A swim school for babies and kids.

» Vista sponsored the inaugural pumpkin smash at the Santa Barbara Zoo by donating a 400-pounder grown on its campus.

» A full circle of wellness activities are offered, including programs for physical, emotional, social, spiritual, intellectual and vocational as well as community outpatient physical therapy.

» Vista offers an opportunity for Westmont, UCSB and Santa Barbara City College students to get hand-on experience working with older adults.

» Vista residents support a very successful scholarship program for their staff and families to further their education.

We celebrate and honor our current and past alum:

» The former home of Peyton Jordan, Olympic track coach 1968

» The former home of Alice Health, who established Hospice of Santa Barbara and opened Heath House for AIDS patients

» The current home of longest residing resident Ramon Alcerro, 96, physician in neurology and psychology from Honduras who became a fellow and instructor in neurology from George Washington University his first visit to the U.S. in 1943

» The current home of CeCe Hugunin, a youthful 66-year-old and retired high school teacher who spent her career working with some of our toughest emotionally distraught at risk and delinquent teens for 33 years

» Former Vista resident Louise Clausnitzer rescued Anthony’s Christmas Tree lot by purchasing the 30 tree tops that were the victims of holiday vandals. Nursing home residents were surprised with a “live tree” by each bedside.

» The current home of former executive director Charles Frazier, whose leadership spanned two decades. Nothing could speak more highly of a community than when the former “boss” moves in!

Vista del Monte is a member of Front Porch, the largest nonprofit senior service agency in Southern California. In addition to all the wellness activities, VDM meets its resident needs through integrated care in independent and assisted living as well as skilled nursing and memory care. Vista Del Monte is truly a wonder and special place to grow.

Click here for more information.

— Peggy Buchanan is the fitness director for Vista del Monte Retirement Community.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Weather Service Expands Red Flag Warning to South Coast

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Santa Barbara County’s South Coast has been added to the red flag warning the National Weather Service issued Monday for the Santa Ynez Mountains.

Through midnight Tuesday, both areas will experience a heightened level of fire danger due to a high-pressure system and prolonged heat wave.

The weather service expanded the red flag warning Tuesday afternoon, also issuing a wind advisory for the South Coast through midnight.

In response to the fifth straight day of heat, and in anticipation of the low relative humidity and sundowner winds predicted for Tuesday evening, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department increased its staffing levels, according to Capt. David Sadecki.

The department will employ a special task force to include three fire engines, one dozer, one water tender, one crew, one helicopter and one battalion chief, he said.

The task force will be positioned in southern Santa Barbara County, Sadecki said, but will be available to respond throughout the county operation area.

The National Weather Service predicts wind gusts up to 40 mph from west Goleta to Gaviota, with temperatures near 100 degrees and humidity in the 15 to 20 percent range.

Cooler temperatures — down to the low 80s ​— were expected to begin Wednesday, although a warming trend was expected to return by the beginning of next week.

“Survive today,” said Rich Thompson, a weather specialist from the National Weather Service office in Oxnard. “Through the weekend, today should be the warmest day by far.”

The Montecito Fire Protection District has also increased staffing levels — adding one patrol unit and one dispatcher — and Los Padres National Forest fire crews will be on 24-hour staffing levels through Thursday morning, since the weather service has predicted sundowners and extreme temperatures through that time.

The red flag warning also prompted the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden to close at 3 p.m., with plans to reopen at 9 a.m. Wednesday. 

Sadecki encouraged locals to take appropriate precautions with the higher risk of fire, including reporting any sign of smoke immediately, using caution when sparking a flame-producing machinery near hazardous grass or brush areas, and having an evacuation plan in place.

Sundowners were expected to keep locals uncomfortable Tuesday night, Thompson said, with temperatures lingering in the mid-70s, but that should cool down to the 60s by overnight Wednesday.

Temperatures will be 10 degrees cooler by Friday, he said, hovering in the upper 70s in Santa Barbara and a bit cooler near the beaches.

“Any relief we get is good relief,” he said.

Warm temperatures will return slightly over the weekend, Thompson said, bringing the potential for more significant heat by the middle of next week.

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Cynder Sinclair: How to Optimize Your Nonprofit Advisory Groups

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Does your nonprofit use advisory groups? Maybe you call them advisory councils or advisory boards. Some nonprofits think creating an advisory council will solve all their problems, others have no idea what to do with an advisory group, and still others have tried and failed to use this secret resource to their advantage. A few nonprofits actually excel at working with this model.

I recently received the following question on the Ask Cynder section of my website. It’s a question I’ve encountered many times, so I will address it in today’s column.

Dear Cynder: Can you speak to the healthy and well functioning Advisory Board (as opposed to Fiduciary Board)? Typically, how do the roles of chair and executive director interact in the advisory capacity? How do you build a sense of responsibility with this kind of board?

Trying to create an advisory board and then figuring out how best to use it is often a murky and challenging area for nonprofits. I will try to offer some approaches and ways of thinking about advisory groups that might help you find what will work best for your organization.

First, let’s align our terminology. Calling it an Advisory Board can be confusing. People may get it mixed up with a governing or fiduciary board. So, let’s call it an Advisory Council to differentiate it from the Board of Directors.

Next, let’s establish a clear purpose. Often, nonprofits will form Advisory Councils just because it seems like a good idea to have a group of local luminaries on their letterhead or to use as a place to park termed out board members. This is a formula for frustration, confusion, and wasted energy. You must be very clear about why you want to form an Advisory Council, what its purpose will be and who will oversee its function.

Here are some things you can do in preparation to help ensure you build a healthy, well functioning Advisory Council:

» Clearly identify the specific reason you are forming the group.

» Articulate the criteria for membership (for example, will individuals be invited to join because of their specific expertise?).

» Make the group’s charge clear to all members and involve them in the process.

» Establish the reporting structure.

» Clarify the staff and/or board support that will be available to the group.

» Determine the relationship between the Advisory Council, the Board of Directors and the staff.

The nature of the Advisory Council helps determine the role of the executive director and/or board chair. Often the executive staff officer is the one who interacts the most with the Advisory Council; however, there must also be a good connection with the board in order for the organization to benefit from the group’s advice and for the Advisory Council to feel engaged. So, the board chair and other board members are often involved as well.

An Advisory Council is usually formed to fill a gap in expertise with the board and/or the staff. For example, if an organization is preparing to purchase a building they may want to form an Advisory Council comprised of realtors, property managers, city planners and government officials. If a nonprofit board consists of members who are well versed in the mission and has lots of community connections but doesn’t really understand advocacy, they may form an Advisory Council comprised of community leaders with political connections.

Building a sense of responsibility with an Advisory Council can be tricky. The key is to make sure everyone is clear about their purpose, help members feel that their advice is valued by the board and staff, and maintain a lively connection to the organization. For Advisory Councils to be effective, you will need to spend time laying the foundation for their success and making the plan for how members will interact with the board and staff. This takes concerted time and effort but it can be worthwhile.

Here is an example of how the local nonprofit the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation uses this model. This organization has three distinct groups: the Emeritus Council, the Honorary Council and the Advisory Council. Each has its separate role and criteria for membership. Here’s how it works.

The Emeritus Board is comprised of former board chairs. This is especially important because many nonprofits lose track of board members after they cycle off the board; thereby losing a significant source of support. Adding past board members who have been effective contributors to your organization to your Emeritus Council would be a good way to keep them involved. Members of TBCF’s Emeritus Council are invited to the annual meeting and encouraged to make annual and planned financial gifts. They are also invited to act as ambassadors for the organization when they are out in the community. Responsibility for this group is shared by the development director, the executive director, and the board chair.

The Honorary Council at TBCF is comprised of community leaders whose affiliation enhances the nonprofit’s status in the community and contributes to its diversity. Members of this group are encouraged to make annual and planned financial gifts and to act as a ambassadors in the community. It’s also a good idea to invite Honorary Council members to an annual breakfast to update them on the organization’s progress, thank them for their service, and solicit their ideas for improvements; thereby keeping them involved and engaged in the nonprofit’s work. The executive director takes the lead for keeping this group together and the board chair makes a key presentation at the annual breakfast.

The TBCF Advisory Council is composed of community members who will lend assistance as a resource in their specific field of expertise. Advisory Council members are also invited to participate in the strategic planning process, make an annual or planned gift, and act as an ambassador in the community. Members are usually added to the Advisory Council based on the needs of the organization. For example, another local organization which has embarked upon a building project added members to their Advisory Council that include architects, realtors, contractors, attorneys, bankers, insurance brokers, and government officials who can offer advice on the various aspects of the building project. Members are contacted by the executive director on an individual basis depending on the phase of the project. They can also be invited to an annual breakfast to receive an update and gratitude for their service.

With careful planning, your nonprofit can create and utilize Advisory Councils and other special groups like an Honorary Council and Emeritus Council to enhance your mission. It’s a way of drawing your circle wider by including people who can add value without actually joining the board. To be effective, Advisory Councils take time and intention; but it’s well worth the effort if managed with consistency.

— Dr. Cynder Sinclair is a consultant to nonprofits and founder and CEO of Nonprofit Kinect. She has been successfully leading nonprofits for 30 years and holds a doctorate in organizational management. To read her blog, click here. To read her previous articles, click here. She can be contacted at 805.689.2137 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). The opinions expressed are her own.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Pop Legend Neil Sedaka to Perform at Chumash Casino Resort

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Legendary pop singer/songwriter Neil Sedaka will perform his greatest hits at the Chumash Casino Resort’s Samala Showroom at 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 9.

Neil Sedaka
Neil Sedaka

Tickets for the show are $35, $45, $55, $65 and $75.

With nearly 60 years in the recording industry, Sedaka has seemingly done it all. He was one of the first teen pop sensations of the 1950s, a prolific songwriter in the ’60s, a bona fide superstar in the ’70s and he remains a constant force as a writer and performer, having sold millions of records while writing or co-writing more than 500 songs for himself or others.

Sedaka catapulted into stardom after Connie Francis recorded his “Stupid Cupid.” She then sang the theme song Sedaka had co-written with Howard Greenfield for the 1960 MGM spring break classic, “Where the Boys Are,” which would be her biggest hit.

Rhythm and blues stars Clyde McPhatter and LaVern Baker also scored hits with Sedaka’s songs. As a result, Sedaka was able to sign a contract with RCA as a writer and performer of his own material.

Sedaka soon recorded chart-toppers “The Diary,” “Oh! Carol,” “Stairway to Heaven,” “Calendar Girl,” “Little Devil,” “Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen,” “Next Door to an Angel” and “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do.”

Sedaka’s extensive song catalog has become the soundtrack of his devoted fans’ lives.

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

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

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

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Tom Donohue: Five Ways to Improve Our Education System

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Last week, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released its Leaders & Laggards report on K-12 education. The data paint a grim picture. Without meaningful reform and sustained improvement, the United States will lose its edge in global competition, put the economy at risk and consign future generations of Americans to limited opportunities.

Acknowledging that we have a problem is the “easy” part. Addressing it is where things get tough.

Here are five ways we can work to improve our education system:

First, stay the course on accountability. It’s not always popular, but accountability is crucial to closing the achievement gap. If there are no consequences for underperforming schools, the status quo will prevail and broad swaths of students — most of them minority or low income — will continue to slip through the cracks. This is unacceptable for a nation founded on the promise of opportunity, and it’s a recipe for economic decline.

Second, allow choice. When schools prove to be chronically failing, parents should have the option to send their children somewhere else — whether a public or private school or online learning. If schools know there is an alternative, they’ll up their game — and the competition will serve students well.

Third, demand higher standards and implement them. We’ve seen a nationwide movement to raise standards so that our students are better prepared for college or career and can contend with international competitors. This signals progress, but we’ve seen implementation of initiatives, like the Common Core State Standards, lag as opponents or advocates for the status quo spread misinformation. We must drive the debate forward.

Fourth, encourage innovation. Though there are exceptions, the American classroom has been virtually untouched by the technology revolution that has swept the rest of society. The smart deployment of technology could empower teachers, engage students, customize learning, and make schools and districts more efficient. Data should also be used to improve students’ performance, enabling educators to predict successes and intervene when risks emerge.

Fifth, educate our students to be competitive — and employable. High-growth sectors like information technology require a workforce with advanced skills. We must increase access to STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education, encourage students to pursue STEM studies earlier and with greater focus, and better train STEM educators.

Some of these changes will be difficult to implement and met with resistance. But can we really afford the alternative, which is to do nothing at all? Our students deserve better, and our economy and competitiveness demand more.

— Tom Donohue is president and CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The opinions expressed are his own.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Sierra Club Event to Celebrate 50th Anniversary of Wilderness Act

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Meet S.C.A.P.E. artists, Sierra Club members, district foresters, trail and hike experts, plus guest juror and noted local wildlife artist Patti Jacquemain at a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 19 at the Santa Barbara Art Foundry & Gallery, 120 Santa Barbara St.

Join in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act and view over 100 inspirational paintings, with 40 percent of sales benefiting the Los Padres Chapter of Sierra Club.

Enjoy live music with keyboardist singer/songwriter Ruston Slager and accompanists, as well as refreshments, a raffle, wine bar, maps/advice and lots more.

Art will continue to be on display Sept. 20-21, with selected pieces through Oct. 4.

— Bonnie Freeman is the coordinator of the Wilderness/50 celebration to benefit the Los Padres Chapter of Sierra Club.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

15th Annual Creek Week Celebration Begins Saturday

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

The 15th annual Creek Week includes events and activities for all ages throughout Santa Barbara, Goleta and Carpinteria.

Scheduled for Sept. 20-28, Creek Week is an annual celebration of our local watersheds, and an opportunity for community members to learn more about local creeks and the ocean through hands-on activities and volunteer events.

Creek Week festivities will kick off Saturday to coincide with Coastal Cleanup Day, and will continue through Sunday, Sept. 28. This 15th annual event raises awareness of the many ways to enjoy, protect and restore our local watersheds.

Creek Week is coordinated by the City of Santa Barbara Creeks Division, County of Santa Barbara Project Clean Water, the City of Goleta, the City of Carpinteria and UC Santa Barbara with fun and educational events planned and hosted by many community groups and environmental organizations. Included in the weeklong calendar of events will be creek and beach clean-ups, habitat restoration efforts, guided nature walks, film screenings, project tours and more.

At 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 21, join us at the Brewhouse at 229 W. Montecito St. for a special Creek Week Trivia Night. Test your knowledge of our local creeks and watersheds and win fun prizes. Don’t miss our first official Creek Week beer, the Creek Week Elderberry Wheat.

At 9:30 a.m. Friday, Sept. 26, the Creeks Division will partner with Horny Toad Clothing, Channel Islands Outfitters and Santa Barbara Zoo staff to clean up East Beach near the Mission Creek Lagoon. Community members are invited to join in, and we will meet on the grass just east of Stearns Wharf between the restrooms and the lagoon. Bags and gloves will be provided, as well as light refreshments.

At 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 27, the Creeks Division will host a tour on the Land Shark, visiting creek restoration and water quality improvement project sites on land, then venturing into the ocean to discuss the upcoming Mission Creek Lagoon and Laguna Creek Restoration Project. Space is limited, $5 RSVP required. Click here to sign up.

For a complete list of Creek Week events, call 805.897.2606, click here or “like” Creek Week on Facebook.

— Cameron Benson is a creek restoration/clean water manager for the City of Santa Barbara.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Junior League of Santa Barbara Celebrates 90 Years of Giving to Community

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

For nine decades, the Junior League of Santa Barbara Inc. has provided thousands of volunteer hours, trained thousands of women leaders and helped establish many programs to benefit the Santa Barbara community.

Along with city dignitaries and guests, JLSB Active and Sustainer members will gather to celebrate their 90th anniversary at a reception on Sept. 27.

The Junior League of Santa Barbara organizes women committed to promoting volunteerism, develops the potential of women, and improves communities through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. JLSB also enhances the lives of its member by providing valuable training and volunteer opportunities.

Many JLSB members are leaders in community businesses and organizations who have put their JLSB skills and experiences to use in their professional lives. Among these are: Helene Beaver, former mayor of Santa Barbara; Jan Abel, former president of the Santa Barbara Art Museum board currently serving on the Montecito Water District board; Joanne Rapp, past president of CALM, the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation and many other nonprofit organizations; and Penny Jenkins, former CEO of the Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse and 2014 Chamber of Commerce Businesswoman of the Year.

Since 1924, when JLSB was founded by a group of 24 young women who had a vision of impacting the community through volunteerism, JLSB members have contributed to our community in many different ways:

» 1963: the JLSB contributed to the building fund of the Girls’ Club of Santa Barbara and helped to develop the Child’s Estate, a community project that later became the Santa Barbara Zoo.

» 1975: the JLSB celebrated its 50th anniversary, 85 members successfully completed the FOCUS Education Course, a leadership-training program.

» 1995: During the 70th anniversary of JLSB, the League became a partner in the national Silent Witness Project and helped in opening the Sexual Abuse Response Team (SART) Cottage.

» 2005: The JLSB partnered with the Santa Barbara Public Library System to renovate the Eastside Children’s Library.

» 2014: The Junior League is over 500 members strong and continues to be a leading volunteer organization within the Santa Barbara community, providing thousands of hours of volunteerism, annually.

For more information, call 805.963.2704, visit our website by clicking here or follow us on Facebook and Twitter @JuniorLeague_SB.

— Heather Hambleton is a communications coordinator for the Junior League of Santa Barbara.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Santa Barbara Center for Performing Arts Celebrates 2014-15 Season On Stage at Granada

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

The Santa Barbara Center for the Performing Arts kicked off Santa Barbara’s 2014-15 performance season with a celebratory event on Sept. 9 on stage at the Granada Theatre.

The evening’s program featured a special tribute honoring Sara Miller McCune for her commitment and vision as a founding member of the SBCPA board, leader of the Granada Theatre’s Restoration Campaign, and for her extraordinarily generous financial contributions to all of the Santa Barbara’s performing arts organizations — including a new five-year pledge commitment of $750,000 to the SBCPA.

The season kickoff also celebrated the recent formation of Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District; a growing collaboration among three of Santa Barbara’s downtown historic theaters — the Granada Theatre, the Lobero Theatre and the Ensemble Theatre Co. at the New Vic — aimed at fostering a thriving downtown performing arts scene. This collaboration has long been a vision of McCune’s, as well as other key arts philanthropists, to more effectively attract larger audiences and more supporters by bringing Santa Barbara’s performing arts community together in new and exciting ways.

Working together as Santa Barbara’s Historic Theatre District, the three venues are ushering in a new era of cooperative programming and convenient access to the performing arts to Santa Barbara’s savvy patrons and presenters.

“The Granada Theatre has always been a physical manifestation of our community’s values and traditions,” McCune said. “Restoring and sustaining Santa Barbara’s historic center for the performing arts is an extraordinary gift to future generations.”

McCune’s success in the publishing world is rivaled only by her philanthropic work. In addition to starting (in 1965) and overseeing one of the leading academic publishing houses in the world, SAGE Publications, she founded both the Miller-McCune Center for Research, Media and Public Policy (2007) and the McCune Foundation (together with her late husband George).

A dedicated philanthropist, she has funded schools in the developing world, and made leading contributions to California nonprofit organizations and educational establishments, including Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, UCSB and the SBCPA.

SBCPA
From left, Leni Fe Bland, Craig Springer and Sara Miller McCune. (Photos by Priscilla photo)

In 2012, McCune received an honorary doctorate from her alma mater, Queens College, for her visionary work as publisher, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. In July of this year, she was awarded an honorary fellowship from Cardiff University and an honorary doctorate from Bath University. An active supporter of the behavioral and social sciences, McCune serves on the Board of Directors of Stanford University’s Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences as well as the Visitor’s Committee at the Social Science Research Council based in New York, and she was a long-serving member of the board of directors of the American Academy of Political and Social Science.

“As we prepare to start another outstanding performance season in Santa Barbara, we are pleased to join with our resident company partners and our Historic Theater District friends in celebrating and honoring Sara Miller McCune as one of the most generous and thoughtful arts philanthropists in our community,” said Dr. Craig Springer, the SBCPA’s Chrisman Executive Director.

Unlike many performing arts centers around the world, the SBCPA does not receive ongoing financial support from local or state government. Similar to most world-class theaters, the SBCPA covers approximately half of its annual budget through ticket sales and other earned income. Each year the SBCPA benefits from private funding and community support to maintain the level of excellence in programming and theater operations that local audiences and the Granada Theatre’s eight resident companies expect. A contribution at any level helps the SBCPA assist the resident companies in bringing the very best in the performing arts from around the world for the entire Santa Barbara community and region.

The SBCPA Board of Directors and staff acknowledge and honor the incredible support the organization has received over the years from all of Santa Barbara and its neighbors on the Central Coast. The SBCPA recognizes that it is only through the community’s sustained generous financial support that the organization and the Granada Theatre will remain an enabling pillar of the Santa Barbara performing arts community for many decades to come.

2014-15 Granada Theatre Concert Series Performance Preview

Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood: Two Man Group — Saturday, Sept. 20 at 8 p.m.

When it comes to live improvisation and effortless comedy, Who’s Line Is It Anyway?’s Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood are two of the country’s top-performing and well-known funnymen. Their high-profile presentations have played to sold-out venues all over the country. Don’t miss "Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood: Two Man Group," the most exciting and hilarious comedy event to hit Santa Barbara this year! Colin and Brad team up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy. Using their quick wit, Colin and Brad take contributions from the live audience to create hilarious and original scenes … just like a live version of Whose Line!

Big Bad Voodoo Daddy — Sunday, Oct. 4 at 8 p.m.

2014 marks the 21st anniversary of Big Bad Voodoo Daddy's remarkable arrival onto the music scene. In it's first years, having secured their legendary residency at the Derby nightclub in Los Angeles, they reminded the world — in the middle of the grunge era, no less — that it was still cool to swing, big band style. The band often plays more than 150 shows a year and has appeared as special guests with many of the great American symphony orchestras, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra. Don’t miss these contemporary swing music masters as they take the stage at the historic The Granada Theatre for a night of great showmanship and musical memories.

An Evening with Christopher Cross — Saturday, Nov. 22 at 8 p.m.

Christopher Cross was arguably the biggest breakout star of 1980 and virtually defined adult contemporary radio with a series of smoothly sophisticated ballads, including the No. 1 hit "Sailing." Cross' 1980 self-titled debut album with the lead single "Ride Like the Wind" rocketed to the No. 2 spot; the massive success of the second single "Sailing" made Cross a superstar, and in the wake of two more Top 20 hits, "Never Be the Same" and "Say You'll Be Mine," he walked off with an unprecedented and record-setting five Grammys in 1981, including Best New Artist and Song of the Year for "Sailing." He soon scored a second No. 1, as well as an Academy Award, with "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)," which he co-wrote with Burt Bacharach, Carole Bayer Sager, and Peter Allen for the smash Dudley Moore film comedy Arthur. Cross charted eight songs into the Billboard Top-40 charts between 1980 and 1983. Four years, two albums, eight hit singles, several world tours, five Grammys, and one Oscar marked Christopher's meteoric rise to the top.

Tower of Power — Saturday, Dec. 6 at 8 p.m.

For the past 46 years, Tower of Power has been creating a unique kind of soul music. Since 1968, Tower of Power has delivered their unique brand of music to their fans, appearing before sold-out crowds as they tour the world each year. Tower’s sound can be hard to categorize, but the band’s leader and founding member, Emilio Castillo, has labeled their sound an “Urban Soul Music.” Tower’s rhythm section lays down a groove like no other band. The band’s horn-driven sound is unparalleled, and the way that they approach writing, arranging, mixing, and performing is totally their own. Combine all of that with an outstanding lead vocalist, and you have one of the most dynamic groups of musicians to ever hit the Granada Theatre’s stage.

A Very Electric Christmas — Wednesday, Dec. 10 at 7 p.m.

A Very Electric Christmas is performed in complete darkness and features creative storylines centered around Nutcracker soldiers, candy canes, naughty rats, an electric Christmas tree surrounded by presents, glow worms, dancing flowers, and many other holiday creatures that light up the stage. Celebrate the holiday season with a truly unique musical evening to remember!

Peking Acrobats — Sunday, Jan. 11 at 3 p.m.

The largest and most acclaimed group of its kind returns to The Granada Theatre. Carefully selected from the finest acrobat schools in China, these expert gymnasts, jugglers, cyclists, and tumblers transform 2,000-year-old athletic disciplines into a family friendly kaleidoscope of eye-popping wonder. A live Chinese orchestra accompanied by dazzling lights and jaw-dropping acrobatics set a scene fit for an emperor — and for you and your family!

Vienna Boys Choir — Sunday, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m.

The Vienna Boys Choir is the modern-day descendent of the boy’s choirs from the Viennese Court, dating back to the late Middle Ages. The choir was established by Emperor Maximilian I of Habsburg in July 1498. Since then the Vienna Boys' Choir has been a fixed attraction in Austrian musical life. Over the centuries, the choir has worked with many well-known composers, including Salieri, Mozart, Schubert, and Bruckner. The more than-500 year-old choir boasts around 100 members today, between the ages of 10 and 14, who are divided into four touring choirs. The four choirs combine for around 300 concerts and performances each year, in front of almost half a million people. Their repertoire includes everything from medieval to contemporary and experimental music.

To learn more about how to support the Granada Theatre, please contact Kristi Newton, director of development, at knewton@granadasb.org or 805.899.3000 x130, or click here.

— Sydney Gardner is a publicist representing the Granada Theatre.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Goleta Man Accused of Killing Four Family Members Pleads Not Guilty

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Nicolas Holzer's attorney says she reserved the right to later enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity

A man accused of stabbing four family members to death in their Goleta home pleaded not guilty to murder in Santa Barbara Superior Court on Tuesday.

Nicolas Holzer, 45, was charged with four counts of murder after allegedly calling 9-1-1 late Aug. 11 to report that he had murdered his family.  

When deputies arrived at the house in the 600 block of Walnut Park Lane a short time later, they discovered the bodies of Holzer’s parents and his two sons, all of whom had suffered multiple stab wounds.

The family’s Australian shepherd also had been stabbed to death.

The victims were identified as William Charles Holzer, 73, Sheila Garard Holzer, 74, Sebastian Holzer, 13, and Vincent Holzer, 10.

Holzer's attorney, Deputy Public Defender Christine Voss, entered the plea before Judge Thomas Adams Tuesday, and added that she reserved the right to enter a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity later during the court process.

"When you enter an insanity plea, it's something that both the attorney and the client need to jointly do," Voss told reporters outside the courtroom, adding that further discussion would need to take place.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen briefed Holzer on Tuesday, asking if he understood that the soonest Holzer's case could be brought to jury trial was January 10, 2015.

Holzer, who appeared in a jumpsuit and handcuffs, replied softly that he understood.

Holzer will appear again in court on Nov. 4 in order to set a date for a preliminary hearing in Judge Brian Hill's courtroom.

The arraignment was continued last week after Voss filed for a disqualification and asked that Judge Jean Dandona be removed from the case. She didn't give a reason for 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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Commission Accepting Community Arts Enrichment Grant Applications

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

The Santa Barbara County Arts Commission is accepting applications for Community Arts Enrichment Grants for its fall cycle.

The final deadline is Sept. 30.

This is the sixth grant cycle since 2012 when the grants program was developed through a partnership with the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission and Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation.

This cycle, there is $12,500 in funding available to award as grants. Grant requests may range from $500 to $5,000. Funding for the grant pool comes from an established Arts Subsidy fund that earmarks 25 cents of every Bowl concert ticket sold going to support the grants program.

The Community Arts Enrichment grant funds provide support for a variety of new and innovative projects, joint and collaborative efforts that leverage community resources, and provide greater and more diverse participation in the arts throughout Santa Barbara County.

This cycle the  grants will be reviewed by a panel made up of county arts commissioners from the second, fourth and fifth supervisorial districts; a member of the Santa Barbara Bowl Foundation; and Arts Commission staff. Grant applicants will be notified within 45 days of the grant application deadline.

The next Cultural Arts Enrichment Grant cycle will take place in the spring of 2015. Grant information is available online by clicking here, or call 805.568.3990 for more information.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Santa Barbara Executive Roundtable Names Board Members for 2014-15

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

The Santa Barbara Executive Roundtable, Santa Barbara’s premier small-business educator and networking organization, recently announced its board members for 2014-15.

Eldon Edwards, a multiyear recipient of Best Business Broker of the Year in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, is president of the board. He specializes in business acquisitions and divestitures, business valuations and appraisals and related fields.

Joining Edwards on the board are Annette Jorgensen, vice president and SBA business development officer at Business First Bank; Gary Kravetz, small-business consultant; Steven Woodward, executive vice president of Riviera Insurance Services; Michael O’Kelley, co-owner of Palius + O’Kelley LLP CPAs; Trish Miller, president of Spherion Staffing Services; Jennifer Goddard Combs, president of The Goddard Company Public Relations & Marketing; and Denny Cooper, president of Santa Barbara Credit Solutions.

Board members are responsible for planning and scheduling expert speakers and noteworthy topics for each monthly meeting. In addition to providing networking opportunities, meetings are designed to enhance the professional lives and skills of SABER members through education and panel discussions.

Meetings are held 8 to 10 a.m. on the second Thursday of every month at the University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara St. in Santa Barbara.

Click here for more information.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Executive Roundtable.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Shift Happens: MIT Enterprise Forum Event to Focus on Adapting to Changing Market Conditions

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Spievak
Jason Spievak

For any growing company or competitive business leader engaged in today's fast paced world, shift definitely happens. Whether it is changes in market conditions, changes in technology, changes within your own company structure or changes on the competitive business landscape, change is inevitable.

The general public is invited to join the MIT Enterprise Forum from 5 to 8 p.m. this Wednesday at the Cabrillo Pavilion Arts Center, 1118 E. Cabrillo Blvd. in Santa Barbara, to learn why shift happens, and why it is good for you and your organization to adapt to change and find a strategic advantage in doing so.

This presentation is the first in a series that will focus on the topic of change and how local, successful technology companies have experienced the challenges of change, embraced it head on and shifted their company structure and business strategies to capitalize on the opportunities which change create.

The keynote speaker for the event will be Jason Spievak from INVOCA, and a panel of experts including Mike Pugh from j2 Global, Albert Oaten from Secure Docs and Bryan Coryat from Local Market Launch will round out the presentation.

The program will be moderated by Michael Holliday of DMHA Architecture + Interior Design.

The cost is $30 for general (online pre-registration only) or $40 at the door, and $15 for students. Parking is $6. Registration includes appetizers and refreshments.

Click here for registration an information.

— Michael Holliday is an MIT Enterprise Forum board member.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Montecito Bank & Trust Teams Up with Deckers Outdoor for B2B Keynote Event

By | Published on 09/16/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Montecito Bank & Trust held its fourth annual B2B keynote event on Sept. 9 at the stunning and unequivocally cool Deckers Outdoor corporate campus in Goleta.

B2B attendees arrived for socializing and networking while enjoying wine and hors d’oeuvres, with an added treat of shopping in the enticing Deckers retail store showcasing all of their footwear brands.

The atmosphere exuded high energy, and many attendees took advantage of the evening’s special purchase discount.

Janet Garufis, president and CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust, and a marathon runner, was all smiles as she took the presentation stage in new Hoka One One running shoes after her visit to the store.

Garufis welcomed attendees by declaring that the keynote topic of innovation is certainly relevant and of interest by simply looking at the size of the evening’s audience. The explosively fast rate of change today requires everyone in their business and personal lives to continually innovate. She shared that the innovation keynote topic was determined by business owners and managers taking the B2B topic survey the bank posts on its website and by last year’s B2B attendees.

Deciding who would deliver a meaningful address on innovation was an easy choice having worked with Stuart Jenkins, vice president of innovation at Deckers Outdoor, on community projects and having heard him speak on innovation before an audience of bankers in the past.

By way of introducing Jenkins, Garufis shared that his Deckers innovation responsibilities include corporate culture building, footwear production and manufacturing processes. Jenkins has years of work experience in many industries including sports marketing, new technologies and education. He is an inventor, holding several patents, and is a firm believer that everyone can innovate.

B2B
Robert Skinner, left, chief innovation officer and general counsel for Montecito Bank & Trust, Janet Garufis, president and CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust, and Stuart Jenkins, vice president of innovation at Deckers Outdoor Corp., stand in the Hoka One One showcase store at Deckers. (Clint Weisman photo)

Garufis turned the stage over to Jenkins, whose keynote title was “Innovation: Not Luck, Not Genius, but a Business Practice.”

The audience was fully engaged as Jenkins presented his approach on how to frame innovation as a means to make incremental product or process improvements, or a business model to sustain growth, or as a means to become a disruptive and powerful force in your marketplace. He shared that as a boy growing up on a cattle ranch near Broken Bow, Neb., he practiced innovation addressing his own shoe pain as a long-distance runner. His mother’s kitchen became his first innovation workshop, eventually transplanting him to Pebble Beach promoting the development of the “air shoe,” which took years to hook a manufacturer’s interest. Failings are a great teacher and perseverance a necessary companion to innovation.

By sharing some of his life experiences, Jenkins walked the audience through a deliberate approach to innovation starting with the mindset of being humble, optimistic, positive and open to change. He explained the difference between invention and innovation and that the word innovation is of Greek derivation meaning “into the new.” He advocated that companies must be structured for innovation with a risk tolerance to experiment.

By paying attention to your competitors, customers and prospective customers, you can empower your colleagues to make meaningful contributions with bottom line results. Pick innovation strategies for your industry and client segments, have a plan, and track and measure the results. He cautioned that in today’s world, the only risk is failure to innovate.

The evening concluded with a question-and-answer session before Garufis thanked Jenkins and Deckers Outdoor for such a wonderful evening, thanked the attendees and promoted the upcoming B2B Leadership Workshops, one to be held in Solvang this Wednesday, Sept. 17, and one in Ventura on Thursday. Click here for information and registration.

— Andy Silverman is a marketing coordinator for Montecito Bank & Trust.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Prosecutor Cites ‘Plethora’ of Evidence Against Alleged Gang Leader in Lompoc Kidnapping-Torture

By | Published on 09/15/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Raymond Macias retrial reaches closing arguments in case involving drug dealer who failed to pay gang his taxes

The kidnapping of a Lompoc gang member delinquent in paying his drug taxes occurred with the full knowledge of “the big homie” in Santa Barbara, a prosecutor said Monday afternoon in the retrial of Raymond Daniel Macias.

In a Santa Maria courtroom, Santa Barbara County Senior Deputy District Attorney Ann Bramsen began her closing argument in the retrial of Macias, who stands accused of the kidnapping for extortion of a drug dealer and gang member known as Sicko.

“Raymond Macias is a hard-core Sureños gang member,” Bramsen said. “Mr. Macias was head of the crew. As such, he set the rules and expectations for those who worked for him.”

Bramsen is set to finish her closing arguments Tuesday, and will be followed by defense attorney Michael Scott.

Macias, a member of the Eastside Krazies in Santa Barbara, oversaw drug tax collections in the county for the Sureños, an affiliate of the Mexican mafia, according to Bramsen.

“There is a plethora of evidence on his role in the organization and his role as chief of Santa Barbara County,” Bramsen said, citing calls recorded by law enforcement officers of gang members in and out of prison.

She told the jury that while not paying taxes to the government might result in fines in a normal society, the gang culture is different.

“In the gang society, the consequence is violence,” she said.

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 him 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, also known as Boxer, arrived after the initial assault as the victim sat bound and gagged in the garage. Testimony during the trial noted the victim began shaking upon Macias’ arrival.

“That’s because he knows the one person deciding his fate that night is Mr. Macias,” Bramsen said. “He was scared to death.”

Sicko was freed once he agreed to pay back Macias and to later be “poked,” or stabbed, by a Lompoc gang member, she said.

Macias 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 Superior Court Judge Patricia Kelly to declare a mistrial for those counts.

His co-defendant in the first trial, Luis “Lucky” Almanza, was found guilty of kidnapping for extortion, torture plus special allegations for use of a firearm, gang involvement, and use of a deadly or dangerous weapon. The prosecution contended Almanza was selected to collect taxes on behalf of Macias in Lompoc, which is notorious for being delinquent on its payments to the gang.

Another recording captures a jailed Macias using sign language to communicate about one gang member, “He was there when I had Sicko,” Bramsen said, replaying the video.

“The defendant’s own words or signs are telling,” she added.

A  newspaper quote from Lompoc’s then-police chief about the county Grand Jury indictments stemming from the kidnap-torture case prompted Macias to make a sound of disgust in one recorded conversation, Bramsen said.

“He’s offended because Chief (Larry) Ralston used the word ‘kind of’ in the sentence,” she added.

Several gang members indicted alongside Macias and Almanza ended up testifying for the prosecution in exchange for lighter sentences.

But the plea bargains come with a high price: more than one has had his life threatened and one had to be rescued by a Special Weapons and Tactics team, Bramsen said. She said that by testifying for the prosecution, more than one will enter the witness-protection program.

“As Officer (Scott) Casey testified, the benefit to him as we sit here is that he stays alive,” Bramsen said of the former gang member.

In a recorded conversation with a gang member, Macias expressed anger about the newspaper article noting his arrest and ties to Palabra, a nonprofit organization that works to stem youth-on-youth violence in Santa Barbara.

Juan Pablo Herrada, executive director of Palabra, was the final witness Monday morning before closing arguments in the afternoon. He and the prosecutor verbally tussled over the definition of active gang member.

Earlier, Bramsen listed a serious of gang-related violent crimes in Santa Barbara before asking, “So Palabra has not stopped gang violence?”

“We’re out there all the time,” Herrada said, adding the organization has stopped more gang violence.

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.

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk

Santa Barbara County Officials Consider Replacing Goleta Beach Park Bridge

By | Published on 09/15/2014

E-MAIL PRINT COMMENT Share

Sole vehicle route to Goleta Beach Park will be replaced with wider bridge across Goleta Slough

Goleta Beach Bridge, the sole vehicle access route to Goleta Beach Park, will soon be replaced with a safer, wider structure featuring new separate bike and pedestrian paths.

The bridge connecting Sandspit Road near Santa Barbara Airport to the popular Santa Barbara County park near the entrance to UC Santa Barbara is set to be replaced in spring 2015, when crews will build a new, less obstructive bridge over the Goleta Slough.

The current bridge, built in the 1970s during the Highway 217 project, will remain open and be demolished after construction of the new one is complete, hopefully by fall 2016, according to Charlie Elbert, project manager with the county Public Works Department.

The county Board of Supervisors is expected to approve the project, and an accompanying Mitigated Negative Declaration of environmental impacts, during Tuesday’s meeting, also making way for the public works department to put out construction bids for the work early next year.

Elbert said the county has been working on the project since 2010, two years after Caltrans was forced to make emergency repairs on Goleta Beach Bridge, installing extra support to piles suffering from an irreversible condition called “reactive aggregate.”

“The concrete and the rock they used in the concrete have a chemical reaction going on that causes deterioration from the inside out, which is a real bummer,” he said.

The project is complicated, since the existing 137-foot concrete bridge is located near the environmentally protected Goleta Slough and serves as a vital connection for the coastal bike path to UCSB across the slough to the park, which sees one million visitors each year.

“It’s very sensitive,” Elbert said.

“We’ve got at least three endangered species in the area. It’s going to be tough because we have to protect everything.”

To mitigate some potential significant impacts, public works will conduct an Erosion and Sediment Control Plan, Water Pollution Control Plan, pre-construction biological surveys and environmental monitoring throughout construction and restoration.

Although the new 168-foot long structure will be built 60 feet west of the current bridge, locals will still see some inconvenience, since a contractor will use about 40 parking spaces to store equipment.

The new bridge will be 20 feet wider, offering enough room for a raised five-foot pedestrian path — currently three feet — adjacent to a 12-foot bicycle path running parallel to, but separate from, northbound traffic.

The bridge will be more aesthetically pleasing, Elbert said. It will feature guardrails stained to look like wood and will be eco-friendly, since just one supporting pier will be located on the north bank of the slough, outside of the normal wetted perimeter of the channel.

Since the Federal Highway Bridge Program will fund nearly 90 percent of the $3.2 million project — the state pays the rest — Elbert said the county must abide by a longer list of regulations, which include working alongside the California Coastal Commission and several other federal and state agencies.

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.

The new bridge will be built 60 feet west of the current bridge to Goleta Beach Park and will be wide enough for pedestrian sidewalks and a bike lane.(Quincy Engineering photo)

Share

Noozhawk Newsletter

subscribe to Noozhawk