Santa Barbara-Goleta, Saturday, May 30, 2015

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While Animals Suffer at Surface, Refugio Oil Spill’s Underwater Impacts Still Unknown

By | Published on 05/29/2015


The numbers of oil-impacted birds and mammals are rising, but there are no reports yet on the impact to the ocean environment

A black cliff side faced Dave Valentine and his team earlier this week as they approached the Refugio State Beach area, where crude oil had spilled from a 24-inch onshore pipeline, cascading down the bluffs and into the ocean on May 19. 

"You could certainly see where it happened," said Valentine, who is a UCSB professor of earth science and biology and one of the scientists and researchers working to determine the spill's impact on ocean life.

The oil spill's effects are obvious above the surface — there are widely disseminated photographs and statistics of the oil-impacted mammals and birds that have been found dead or injured.

But the spill's impact under the ocean surface is less clear. Response agencies are not offering data on how fish, invertebrates and kelp bed ecosystems have been affected by the spill. 

As of Thursday night, there had been 40 live oiled birds and 22 dead oiled birds, according to the California Department of Fish & Wildlife.

Responders, including volunteers from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network, have reported a total of 28 live mammals and 14 dead mammals. Officials have said that most of the birds have been brown pelicans and most of the mammals have been sea lions. 

Birds are being taken to the International Bird Rescue center in San Pedro for cleaning and rehabilitation, and mammals have been transported to Sea World in San Diego, according to state officials. Some birds and mammals have died in care facilities. 

On the shore, UCSB staff and scientists announced this week that they are working to protect the western snowy plover, which is nesting right now near the Coal Oil Point Reserve.

The species is considered threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Some of the plovers there have been seen with oil on their bodies, and they nest around high tide, near where oil has been deposited, according to reserve director Cristina Sandoval. 

“We need to remove that oil because the plovers are getting tar on their wings and hair. Almost all of them have little black boots because their feet are black from oil," she said.

"They’re getting oil in their beaks because they go peck to try to get the beach hoppers around the kelp and the kelp is tarred. We need to balance the cleaning up with not impacting the plovers too much while they nest.”

Sea birds and mammals aren't the only wildlife being impacted by the spill, however.

"There's a lot going on under the surface," Capt. Mark Crossland of the Department of Fish & Wildlife told Noozhawk.

Crossland, who works with the department's Oil Spill Prevention and Response, said dive teams will soon be sent out to gather information about the oil spill's impacts on invertebrates, the kelp forest and fish, "in order to come up with an accurate count."

He mentioned dead kelp bass, lobsters and other invertebrates washing up on shore in the first few days of the response. 

The dive teams will rely on the expertise of the scientific community, including researchers from UCSB, Crossland said.

Valentine has significant experience with oil spills and studying their impacts on the ocean, including being part of the scientific response team that worked on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010.

At one point, Valentine was just 1,500 feet from the source of that spill and collected samples in the area. He also led expeditions to study the ocean floor and where the oil would end up.

Valentine said last week's Refugio oil spill ran along the shore and "was a heavy oil to begin with."

Crude oil is very adhesive, and any oil that picks up sand in the surf zone could end up sinking to the sea floor, he said. 

So far, no one knows how much oil will end up there, or what that will mean to ocean life under the surface. It's a big enough concern that officials are sending out dive teams to survey the coastline and look for submerged oil. 

"It's an issue of concern," Valentine said. "It worries me and it's something that needs to be looked at." 

As oil is moved to sea, it could change in form by gathering up as tar balls, which could be as small as a penny or as large as a basketball. 

Valentine has already seen some of that coagulation occurring in the form of "tar pancakes," which were seen up to 11 miles offshore.

Since submerged oil has been found along the coast in the spill area, response teams are planning ways to remove it without harming the environment more. 

Plains All American Pipeline, which owns and operates the ruptured line causing the spill, is sending out dive teams to follow up on underwater areas where oil was found. 

Divers searching near Refugio State Park observed pea-sized droplets of oil and oiled kelp in the area, said Rick McMichael, senior director of operations for Plains.

"We don't know the amount of the oil at this time, but it's approximately 20 feet under water and about 150 yards off the beach," he said. "We respect the sensitive biological nature of the kelp beds, and regret this incident has affected them."

Back near the shore, the rocky intertidal zone is home to many invertebrates and other creatures that make their home on some of the rocks that are now covered with oil.

Carol Blanchette, associate research biologist at UCSB's Marine Science Institute, focuses on that intertidal habitat, which is home to algae, crabs and invertebrates such as barnacles, sea stars and snails. They all "vary in their sensitivity to things like oiling," she said. 

Her team was out sampling at some of their research sites last week, which include areas from Arroyo Hondo to Coal Oil Point.

Those locations haven't seen much impact yet, but Blanchette said they likely won't be able to see much until the next negative low tide, a few weeks away.

Blanchette said she plans to look at research from other spills impacting rocky shore areas, such as the Exxon Valdez spill, as they study local changes. 

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


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Letter to the Editor: Oil Companies and the Kochroach Klub

By | Published on 05/29/2015


The environmental and moral filth of oil/gas companies, on almost constant display, have had their most recent exposure with the oil spill at Refugio State Beach, caused by rupture of a pipeline operated by Plains All American Pipeline.

Widespread news coverage of this event, backed in some cases by extensive research, has revealed (1) massive previous regulatory violations by this company, and (2) that the spill was not quickly contained because no automatic shutdown valve had been installed at the site. (It appears the company had vigorously, and successfully, fought any county regulation requiring installation of such a valve, claiming that since it operated nationally, only federal — not local — restrictions could hamper it.)

There are also concerns that Plains did not report the spill, and did not contain it, as quickly as it could and should have. California Sens. Barbara Boxer and Dianne Feinstein and Massachusetts Sen. Edward Markey sent a letter (May 28) to the Pipeline Safety and Hazardous Materials Administration, asking for an investigation into evidence that Plains took “ … 'about 90 minutes after the oil spill was confirmed to notify the National Response Center,' a clearinghouse for reports of hazardous material releases that coordinates responses. Additionally, Plains had reported problems with the line earlier that day.

"'We are concerned that Plains Pipeline may not have detected this spill or reported it to federal officials as quickly as possible, and that these delays could have exacerbated the extent of the damage to the environment ... .'

“Linda Krop, chief counsel of the Environmental Defense Center, said she was at the shore until 10 p.m. the day of the spill and nothing was being done to prevent crude that had fouled the beach and rocks from washing into the sea” (Associated Press).

Of course this event is only the latest in a never-ending tale of oil company corruption, environmental damage, and actual or potential sickening of men, women and children.

My previous posts here have cited and detailed environmental and health damage by oil/gas conglomerates ad infinitum, including law-breaking attempts to prevent discovery of same and innumerable violations of existing environmental regulations.

The vast majority of Americans recognize climate change as a real threat to us and our offspring; they approve measures to combat it, including reduction or elimination of carbon dioxide and methane emissions spewed into the atmosphere by oil/gas conglomerates.

Pope Francis, Bishop Desmond Tutu, Bill McKibben and many other notables have cautioned what we risk by ignoring, and failing to deal with, climate change. Globally, institutions, pension funds and church groups, among others, have begun to divest funds from investment in fossil fuel conglomerates.

But a crew of locals spend much of their lives touting the virtues of these climate-busters and climate-denier-liars.

They are the Kochroach Klub, named in honor of the multi-billionaire brothers whose immense wealth, including oil/gas holdings, have enabled them to fund and prop up the Tea Party as well as the modern GOP, and launch huge media campaigns in an attempt to discredit the science of global warming.

“Under the nearly five-decade reign of CEO Charles Koch, [Koch Industries] has paid out record civil and criminal environmental penalties. And in 1999, a jury handed down to Koch's pipeline company what was then the largest wrongful-death judgment of its type in U.S. history, resulting from the explosion of a defective pipeline that incinerated a pair of Texas teenagers” (, Sept. 24, 2014).

How timely then, and how appropriate, to name and describe the local Kochroach Klub, whose members regularly infest these forums.

They are mostly oil company shills, who daily dart from site to site, touting the virtues of oil/gas conglomerates; excusing, denying or downplaying the extent, or the significance, of the constantly accumulating instances of environmental and health damage these corporations inflict.

Kochroachers daily denigrate or personally insult others while hiding behind fake names. They are of course cowards who, like real roaches, foul wherever they go while hiding their identities in dark places.

Deny — divert — digress — dismiss — distort — denigrate. These are Kochroacher tools. They:

(1) Deny the massive evidence, supported by innumerable scientific organizations, that climate change poses great harm to the Earth and its people and is largely the result of humans' use of fossil fuels.

(2) Divert attention from the known instances of well failures (see below) when citing no known poisonous contamination of clean aquifers by the thousands of injections wells containing carcinogens drilled into protected underground streams in California.

“ ... industry studies clearly show that five to seven per cent of all new oil and gas wells leak. As wells age, the percentage of leakers can increase to a startling 30 or 50 percent” (, Jan. 10, 2013).

(3) Digress from verified citings of oil/gas company corruption and contamination by sneers and ad hominem attacks on the person or organization providing the evidence.

(4) Dismiss as trivial or meaningless the nature and extent of verified oil company environmental and health damage.

(5) Distort the record of oil/gas conglomerates by cherry-picking statistics, and ignore histories of repeated illegal activity and/or regulatory violations.

(6) Denigrate Noozhawk columnists and contributors, elected and appointed officials, religious leaders, news publications, environmental organizations, university professors, scientific study groups, online “watchdog” groups — in effect anyone or anything that criticizes or exposes oil/gas company environmental and health damage.

Kochroachers almost never reveal who they are, what profession they have, whether they are paid, or in any way compensated, by oil/gas companies or by organizations dependent on such companies, what standards of accomplishment they have achieved in life so that one can compare their sneering evaluations of others with their own lives.

Years ago, when I moved from New York City to Los Angeles, I was relieved seemingly to have escaped ever-present roaches. Now, in different form, they are scurrying about among us right here.

William Smithers
Santa Barbara


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Ruptured Section of Pipeline Dug Out for Testing as Refugio Oil-Spill Investigation Continues

By | Published on 05/29/2015


A 50-foot portion of the pipeline is being transported to a federally-approved laboratory; a community open house is scheduled for Saturday

A 50-foot section of pipeline is being trucked to a laboratory as the investigation into the cause of the Refugio oil spill continues.

Plains All American Pipeline, which owns the crude oil pipeline and is responsible for the spill, confirmed that the 40-foot affected joint, plus 5 feet on either side, was removed Thursday morning and split into two pieces to fit on trucks.

Both pieces were wrapped up to preserve the condition and sent to a federally-approved laboratory, which is undisclosed for “security reasons,” Plains operations director Rick McMichael said.

No information is being disclosed about the condition of the pipe or possible causes of the rupture and the spill that sent thousands of gallons of crude oil onto the coast and into the ocean near Refugio State Beach.

The federal Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration regulates the pipeline and is overseeing the work being done to excavate and remove the piece of pipe. PHMSA also issued an order for Plains to shut down Line 901, which carries crude oil from ExxonMobil and Venoco Inc. offshore oil and gas production platforms, and get approval before making repairs and restarting operations.

PHMSA hasn’t been part of the daily media briefings, since the response efforts are being kept separate from the oil spill investigation, officials have said.

On the response front, cleanup teams continue to find and remove oil from the area near the pipeline, the bluffs, the beaches and ocean surface, particularly in the areas of Refugio and El Capitan state parks, which are closed for at least three more weeks.

Dive teams from UC Santa Barbara explored the Refugio Beach area and found submerged oil, so response team divers are further exploring those areas, officials said Friday.

Dave Valentine, a biology and earth science professor at UC Santa Barbara who has been involved in the response effort, said the submerged oil was found mainly in shallow reef areas.

“All along we expected some to sink, which has been confirmed,” he said, adding that crude oil is very adhesive and on the beach it sticks to sand which then acts as ballast, causing it to sink.

Lt. Sean Moe from the Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Oil Spill Prevention and Response team, gave an updated number of oil-impacted birds and mammals found as of Thursday night.

There was one live bird and four dead birds found on Thursday, for a total of 40 live birds and 22 dead birds related to this spill, he said. Responders also found six live mammals and four dead mammals on Thursday, for a total of 28 live and 14 dead animals. Most of the birds have been brown pelicans and most of the mammals have been sea lions.

There is a community open house scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at the Elks Lodge in Goleta, 150 N. Kellogg Ave. Officials plan to have experts on hand to provide information about environmental impacts, cleanup response efforts, public health and safety, volunteer opportunities and animal rescue. 

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


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Neverland Ranch, Former Home of Late Pop Star Michael Jackson, Up for Sale for $100 Million

By | Published on 05/29/2015


The Los Olivos property is described as 'the ultimate ranch retreat and gated estate'

The Los Olivos Neverland Ranch, the former home of late pop star Michael Jackson, is officially for sale and listed at $100 million.

Colony Capital LLC of Santa Monica has been managing the property since 2008, when it bought a million-dollar note on it from Jackson, who was embroiled in post-trial financial woes.

The firm refurbished the property and started considering selling it last year.

Jackson called the property home from 1988 until 2005 and famously added a locomotive, amusement park rides and a zoo to the large estate.

Fans flocked to the property after Jackson’s death in 2009, and the property’s future has been the subject of wide speculation with suggestions to designate the land as a state park, similar to Hearst Castle in San Simeon, or turn it into a Graceland-style attraction, which locals vehemently opposed.

The property at 5225 Figueroa Mountain Road is called Sycamore Valley Ranch in the real estate listings and is described as “the ultimate ranch retreat and gated estate.”

According to Sotheby’s International Realty broker Harry Kolb's website, one of the brokers, the property includes the 12,598-square-foot main house, staff quarters, three guest homes, a stable and other ranch buildings, pool and pool house, tennis court, gardens, a four-acre lake and a 5,500-square-foot movie theater with a stage.

Knowing that the property still has a hold on Jackson fans, real estate brokers told the Wall Street Journal that there would be a strict prequalification process for potential buyers and no tours are planned.

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


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Joseph Kirkland Named New President of Rotary Club of Montecito

By | Published on 05/29/2015


Joseph Kirkland

Joseph Kirkland has been tapped to be the new president of the Rotary Club of Montecito, starting July 1.

All Rotary clubs across the world will be instating new presidents on that date.

Kirkland’s commitment to community involvement is made clear by his track record as a board member, secretary and president-elect for the Rotary Club. He also works with individuals who are interested in socially responsible investment practices.

Kirkland is an assistant vice president and financial advisor at UnionBanc Investment Services in the Central Coast area. His professional career includes positions at Merrill Lynch and Edward Jones.

He is married and has lived in Santa Barbara and on the Central Coast for 21 years.

The Rotary Club of Montecito is a service organization for the local Montecito and Santa Barbara County region established more than 60 years ago. It supports both local and international humanitarian projects.

The group meets every Tuesday for a luncheon at the Montecito Country Club. For more information about attending a Tuesday luncheon at the Montecito Country Club or joining the club, please contact the RCM’s membership chair, Lynda Nahra, at 805.804.1606.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing the Rotary Club of Montecito.


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Oil-Coated Sea Lion Makes Escape from Truck on Highway 101 in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 05/29/2015


A sea lion that was being transported to Sea World for treatment of oil exposure decided to take a detour in Santa Barbara on Friday afternoon, and was found trying to cross Highway 101.

The original report at about 2:15 p.m. was for an injured dog in the lanes of northbound Highway 101 between Highway 154 and El Sueno Road, but the California Highway Patrol soon reported that it was a seal and was bleeding.

However, it turned out the marine mammal was actually a sea lion — one of many affected by the Refugio oil spill, according to Alexia Retallack, a spokeswoman for the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Somehow the sea lion had slipped its cage and jumped out of the truck that was transporting it, she said.

“They’re very clever animals,” Retallack noted.

She said the wayward animal was corralled by Santa Barbara County Animal Services officers, and was checked out by personnel from the Oiled Wildlife Care Network from UC Davis.

“It turns out it was OK,” she said.

The sea lion eventually was put back on the truck — presumably with a securely locked cage — and sent on its way to San Diego for cleaning and treatment.

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


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Man, Woman Injured in Lompoc Vehicle Incident

By | Published on 05/29/2015


A female who was airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on Friday afternoon was one of two people injured in an odd crash in Lompoc.

Emergency crews responded to the 1200 block of West Maple Avenue at 3:51 p.m., where they found a man and woman who had been injured after their vehicle crashed into a parked vehicle, according to Sgt. Allen Chisholm of the Lompoc Police Department.

Officers found the female who was identified as the passenger and the male driver on the ground.

Both victims had been inside a vehicle, but apparently were injured while they were outside the vehicle, police said. 

"This collision is still under investigation, but at this time it appears that both the driver and passenger exited the vehicle prior to the vehicle colliding with the parked vehicle," police said.

A CalStar helicopter landed at nearby Thompson Park to pick up the woman, who had significant injuries.

The man, was taken to Lompoc Valley Medical Center for treatment.

A nearby school bus stop and students in the area were not involved in this incident,  police said.

Lompoc police asked that anyone who saw the accident or the actions of the driver and passenger prior to the collision contact the Police Department at 805.736.2341. Officers also are seeking any video of the crash.

Check back with Noozhawk for updates as they become available.

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


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#SantaMaria Fave 5s for This Weekend

By | Published on 05/29/2015


Friday, May 29

Santa Maria Elks Rodeo

The Santa Maria PRCA sanctioned rodeo performances are held at the Santa Maria Elks Unocal Event Center, just off Santa Maria Way in Santa Maria.

Each rodeo performance is loaded with edge of your seat entertainment! Friday: 5 p.m. gates open for 7 p.m. performance; Saturday: 4 p.m. gates open for 6 p.m. performance; Sunday: noon gates open for 2 p.m. performance. Tickets: 888.695.0888 /

Wine Down Friday at Cottonwood Canyon Winery

Every last Friday of the month from 5 to 8 p.m. featuring live band performances in our outdoor grass amphitheater, food vendors, and wine for sale by the glass and bottle (no outside food/alcohol allowed). Blankets and chairs are welcome. Admission is free! 3940 Dominion Road, Santa Maria. 805.937.8463.

Saturday, May 30

Elks Rodeo Parade
9 a.m. to noon

This beloved Elks Rodeo event will follow a route from South Broadway to Enos Drive featuring over 200 entries: Marching bands, majorettes, floats, equestrians, clowns and more! Streets will be closed from Mill Street to Enos during this parade.

Costa de Oro WineMaker Dinner

Join us at the Point San Luis Lighthouse Winemaker Dinner with Chef Rick’s Ultimately Fine Foods! Tour the lighthouse, a historical landmark and learn the history of this important Central Coast monument. Guests will enjoy hors d’oeuvres and a four-course meal with current and library CDO wines! $125/person. RSVP: 805.922.1468.

Sunday, May 31

The Clark Center Presents: The Addams Family
487 Fair Oaks Ave., Arroyo Grande

The Arroyo Grande High School Theatre Company presents a twist on The Addams Family with a musical comedy: Clark Center in Arroyo Grande. Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. Tickets at the door: $12 for students and $17 for adults. 805.489.9444.

For more events information:


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Santa Barbara Matchmaking Launching Social Club for Central Coast Adults

By | Published on 05/29/2015



Santa Barbara Matchmaking is launching a Social Club in June to help Central Coast adults find the best cultural, dating and social events in the area plus many other benefits to help them navigate the dating waters.

The unique, color-coded Social Calendar includes monthly listings available only to Santa Barbara Matchmaking’s growing number of members.

Santa Barbara Matchmaking is a discreet, upscale company for successful, commitment-minded singles who want to find their soulmates. Click here for more information.

Those who join the Social Club want to know the best events to meet singles, find new places to date, get expert answers to their dating questions and receive great offers exclusive to them. Three local companies will be featured each month to help singles look, feel and have a great date.

Some of these businesses partnering with Santa Barbara Matchmaking include Louie’s Restaurant, Tru Beauty skincare, Grassini Family Winery, Heather Bond fitness and nutrition, Channel Island Outfitters, Santa Barbara Self Defense, Jamie Sloane Wines and many more.

Santa Barbara Matchmaking memberships start at $9.95 a month.

Moving into its fourth year of operation, Santa Barbara Matchmaking just concluded its quarterly mixer at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club, and founder Lisa Darsonval-Amador was selected as a finalist in the 2015 Spirit of Entrepreneurship competition, which honors top women business owners on the South Coast.

For more information, call Lisa at 805.699.5650.


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Captain’s Log: Of Spilled Oil and Critters of the Sea

By | Published on 05/29/2015


Anywhere along the coast between Campus Point and Gaviota can be a truly terrible place to incur an oil leak, in terms of impacts on critters. The finfish, shellfish and other sea life of the area are accustomed to naturally-occurring oil seepage and a sheen on the surface. They know how to deal with it and little harm comes to them. Consequently, they have no fear of oil and that puts them at heightened risk when an unnatural oil spill happens.

Those of us who work at sea and ply this coast regularly call this stretch of coast the “oil patch.” There is always seepage through the sea floor. There is an old and ongoing discussion about whether we should try to pump more oil out to lessen the pressure and reduce the natural seepage.

Other than getting oil on our feet when visiting the beaches of the area, I’m not sure there is a lot of reason to try to reduce natural seepage. The critters are used to it. The natural stuff seeps out of the seafloor and floats slowly to the surface in gooey globules. Once at the surface, it is spread out into a natural sheen and then currents and wind accumulate it into long, meandering current breaks. While floating toward the surface, critters easily move around the stuff.

This unnatural oil spill is very different, but the critters don’t know it and they put themselves in deadly interaction with the yucky stuff. This spilled oil may become thickened by the sea, but it isn’t in globules that can be easily navigated around. This nasty stuff floods an area and coats everything it comes in contact with, including fish, invertebrates and even clams, which are unable to filter this stuff. So this spill is reaching below the surface and killing critters.

Some fish and other sealife have high site fidelity, which means they tend to stay put, waiting out the bad times and knowing fully well how to use their familiar habitat to make the most of the good times. This oil spill is making habitat such as rocky structure spots unlivable, at least the way our critters need to live. The result is dead sealife.

Our volunteers out there working diligently and tirelessly to save fish are my heroes. They are cleaning habitat and finding critters that may be saved, with the right treatment. A harsh fact they deal with and at times can break their hearts is that when you have a finite number of volunteers, trying to saves so many lives, they know they can save the most lives by focusing on the ones that can be saved quickly and relatively easy. It is natural to want to spend time on the worse cases, but that takes so much time, during which other critters are taking a turn for the worse and will die. Making those tough decisions is saddening.

The mechanical methods of the oil spill cleanup may be exacerbating the problem. Mechanical cleanup resources (such as booms, skimmers and scrubbers) are so foreign to critters that many can be killed in the process. This whole incident is saddening and infuriating. We’ll do the best we can.

My hope is that we can open back up the giant incident closure zone rapidly because of the major socioeconomic damage it is doing. Many of the people who have their favorite fishing spots or beaches to visit, also have high site fidelity and don’t tend to just go someplace else. That relates to fewer people recreating. Tourism suffers from the oil spill, and that has a profound effect on lots of businesses besides the ones that support fishing and boating. Our commercial fishers are also taking a pounding because their market is down, even for fish from elsewhere in the Channel and around the Channel Islands. Businesses need saving as well as the critters.

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


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QAD Awards Nearly $65,000 in ‘Project Upgrade’ Grants to Four Local Schools

By | Published on 05/29/2015


Each year, the Santa Barbara-based global software company QAD calculates a percentage of its profits for reinvestment into innovative projects that allow students to spend hands-on time with technology.

Total "Project Upgrade" grants awarded this year were $64,822. Recipients included Santa Barbara High School ($21,605), MAD Academy ($10,000); Hollister Elementary ($23,217) and Foothill Elementary ($10,000).

The grants will be presented on Tuesday at the Multimedia Arts & Design Academy at Santa Barbara High School.

Speakers will include Bill Keese, QAD senior vice president of research and development; Ellen Barger, Santa Barbara County Education Office assistant superintendent; Dr. Dave Cash, Santa Barbara USD superintendent; and William Banning, Goleta USD superintendent.

MAD Academy students and teachers, Computer Science Academy students and teachers, county and school district administrators, MAD Academy board members, and select parent also will be in attendance.

— Kris Bergstrom is the communications director for the Santa Barbara County Education Office.


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Bill Macfadyen: Taking a Stab at Mending a Broken Heart Probably Isn’t the Wisest Course

By | Published on 05/29/2015


NoozWeek’s Top 5 cleans up after two more wrecks, goes riding for a fall, and rescues a trio of UCSB students channeling their inner tubes

Amid the grim — and shocking — news of a bribery scandal in Soccer World, there were 93,171 Noozhawk readers who were able to play through the pain. Here are your top stories:

1. Santa Barbara Man Accused of Stabbing Ex-Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

Breaking up is hard to do. According to authorities, a Santa Barbara man’s apparent inability to let go is going to cost him some jail time after he allegedly stabbed his ex-girlfriend’s new boyfriend.

Police say Daniel Adam Jasso should have left well enough alone. (Santa Barbara Police Department photo)
Police say Daniel Adam Jasso should have left well enough alone. (Santa Barbara Police Department photo)

As our Tom Bolton first reported, 24-year-old Daniel Adam Jasso was arrested May 25 on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon stemming from an altercation the night before.

Santa Barbara police Sgt. Riley Harwood told Tom that officers arrived at an apartment in the 400 block of West Padre Street just before midnight May 24, to check out reports of a woman screaming and a likely domestic disturbance.

Inside, he said, they found the female resident along with a 24-year-old Goleta man who had been stabbed in the chest and slashed in an arm.

Harwood said police learned the victim and the woman are dating, and that Jasso was none too happy about it.

“Jasso, apparently angry that his ex-girlfriend was in a new relationship, went to the apartment to confront both her and the victim ...,”​ Harwood said.

“He subsequently pushed his way in through the front door. Jasso and the victim then fought inside the apartment, during which time Jasso stabbed the victim.”​

The victim, whose identity was not released, was transported to nearby Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment. Authorities said his wounds did not appear to be life-threatening.

The suspect was long gone by the time officers arrived, but detectives obtained an arrest warrant and searched Jasso’s apartment in the 1200 block of Gillespie Street.

He was arrested while at work the next morning and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail.

All that’s left of a Ford Focus after a fatal rollover wreck 20 miles east of Santa Maria. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)
All that’s left of a Ford Focus after a fatal rollover wreck 20 miles east of Santa Maria. (Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

2. Bakersfield Woman Dies in Highway 166 Crash East of Santa Maria

A 20-year-old Bakersfield woman was killed May 24 in a high-speed rollover wreck on Highway 166 east of Santa Maria.

The California Highway Patrol said the woman was ejected from her Ford Focus when the eastbound car tumbled down an embankment near Rockfront Ranch, about 20 miles from Santa Maria. The crash was reported around 7:30 a.m.

The woman, whose identity is being withheld pending notification of relatives, was pronounced dead at the scene, Santa Barbara County fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. The CHP said it was not known if alcohol or drugs were factors.

3. Woman Hurt in Fall From Horse in Hope Ranch

A woman riding her horse at Hope Ranch Beach took a nasty fall May 25, suffering a moderate head injury in the midday incident.

County fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni said the rider, a woman in her 40s, was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment.

The woman’s name was not disclosed. No other details were released.

4. Motorcyclist Suffers Major Injuries in Highway 154 Crash Near Rancho San Marcos Golf Course

A motorcyclist was badly injured when he lost control of his bike on Highway 154 in the Santa Ynez Valley the morning of May 24.

According to county fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni, the crash happened around 10 a.m. near Live Oak Camp and Rancho San Marcos Golf Course.

The rider, whose identity was not released, suffered a likely broken femur and shoulder injuries in the wreck, Zaniboni said. He was taken by an American Medical Response ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the crash.

Not a typical day at the beach. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)
Not a typical day at the beach. (Mike Eliason / Santa Barbara County Fire Department photo)

5. 3 UCSB Students Rescued in Ocean Off Goleta Beach

Three UC Santa Barbara students took to the sea in inner tubes May 22. It wasn’t their intention to sail over to the Channel Islands from Campus Point, but before they knew it, brisk winds had pushed them well away from shore.

Mike Eliason, a county Fire Department spokesman, said a boat associated with the Refugio oil-spill cleanup called 9-1-1 after spotting the ragtag flotilla.

A rescue operation was launched about 4:15 p.m., and Eliason said firefighters on personal watercraft picked up the trio within 15 minutes.

He estimated the three were in the low-60-degree water for more than 90 minutes. Only one of them was wearing a wetsuit.

Two of the students were transported to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital for treatment of hypothermia. The third declined medical attention.

                                                                 •        •        •

Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week, from my peripatetic tour of the World Wide Web: Coffee Could Reduce Risk of Erectile Dysfunction.

HT to my good friend, Jerry Roberts, who — purely by coincidence, I’m sure — sent this to me the morning after his giants humiliated my Dodgers in a series sweep.

Careful with the premature exultation, giants fans. A baseball season’s all about stamina.

But at least it’s not soccer.

                                                                 •        •        •

No matter how many times you click Replay, this won’t rub you the wrong way.

(Aquariumdeslagons1 video)

                                                                  •        •        •

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Santa Barbara Summer Camp Aims to Teach Youths How to Be Financially Responsible Adults

By | Published on 05/29/2015


Camp Millionaire
Creative Wealth International's Camp Millionaire teaches useful money management principles and habits for youths ages 10 to 14. (Creative Wealth International photo)

This summer kids in Santa Barbara County and around California will learn the ins and outs of creating financial freedom at our local Camp Millionaire and Moving Out! for Teen camps. Attendees learn everything from budgeting and investing in assets to how to rent their first apartments and get their first jobs.

Camp Millionaire and Moving Out are offered by Creative Wealth International, which started teaching personal finance summer camps for kids and teens in a fun, unique, camp-like setting in Santa Barbara in 2002 with 39 kids stuffed into a room at a local Boys and Girls Club. Since then, they have become the provider of the popular financial education curriculums, Camp Millionaire and The Money Game, sold all over the United States and Internationally.

Using an experiential, active money simulation curriculum makes learning about money fun!

Camp Millionaire emphasizes immediately useful money management principles and habits for ages 10 to 14. Moving Out! for ages 14 to 19 teaches teens about money and what it takes to move out and live on their own. Using accelerated learning techniques, group activities, role-playing and games, attendees explore popular beliefs about money and then learn the information and tools they need to grow up to be financially free.

The curriculum focuses on time-tested money management principles and habits such as Paying Yourself First, Put Your Money to Work for You and Only Borrow Money When It Makes You Money. They learn that investing in assets that produce passive income is the key to becoming financially free and the way they go out into the world to do a lot of good!

"As kids, most of us weren’t taught about money so we don’t have a clue what to do with it as adults. By creating a fun, game-filled, experiential, learning environment, Creative Wealth’s goal is to create future generations of adults who value financial security and freedom over social status," said Elisabeth Donati, creator of the program and author of The Ultimate Allowance, Rocks to Riches and The Money Jars: Your Magical Money Management System.

For more information on Creative Wealth’s summer money camps or its financial education curriculums, click here, email [email protected] or call 805.957.1024. Scholarships are available for every program.

— Elisabeth Donati represents Creative Wealth International.


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UCSB Protesters Call Out UC Administration Over Refugio Oil Spill

By | Published on 05/29/2015


On Thursday, the UCSB community rallied outside of the university’s administrative building — Cheadle Hall — calling out the University of California for its investments in the fossil fuel industry and having financed the May 19 oil spill near Refugio State Beach.

The rally began with a press conference. A master’s student, Theo LeQuesne, called out to the crowd: “To protect our society, environment and economy, we must stop the source of these tragedies — the fossil fuel industry.”

After the press conference, students participated in street theater featuring UC Regents paying Exxon executives to dump “oil” on students, representing the universities' active investment practices and their impact on their environment and students.

“We are here to share in our anger and sadness,” first-year student Abi Pastrana called out during the mic check. “But we must channel this in positive directions.”

Miranda O’Mahony, a first-year student, called out to the crowd, “This spill was not an isolated incident. It is just one more preventable yet inevitable instance of the fossil fuel industry’s disregard for communities and the environment.”

Oil spills and other accidents related to the fossil fuel industry happen all the time, primarily in areas with communities of color. We cannot discuss the fossil fuel industry’s environmental impacts and ignore the inherent environmental racism it perpetuates.

“While Plains All American is liable, Exxon it culpable," O’Mahony said. "Without Exxon’s offshore drilling, there wouldn’t be a pipeline in the first place.”

ExxonMobil contracted out Plains All American, a company with a track record of spills and violations, to transport its crude oil from Exxon’s storage tanks to a pump station in Gaviota.

The students marched from Cheadle Hall to the Multicultural Center, chanting and carrying the pipeline. Student onlookers met the demonstrators with cheers joined in chanting “UC Regents lead the way, divest our UC today,” and, “We are unstoppable, another world is possible.”

The University of California currently invests its endowment in ExxonMobil, alongside many other coal, oil and gas companies.

Emily Williams, campaign director with the California Student Sustainability Coalition and alum of UCSB, said, “By consciously investing in these companies, the university is willingly profiting off of the practices and ecological, societal and climatological impacts of the company.”

In addition to funding one of the worst perpetrators of social injustice and environmental degradation, the university blatantly demonstrates that it places its profit margins above it students. As administration decides to support the biggest climate drivers, administration is actively condemning its students to facing the worst impacts of climate change

“It’s really very simple,” Pastrana said. “We’re calling on our university to start investing in students, not in spills.”

This industry not only disproportionately impacts communities of color, but also youth and future generations. The Climate Vulnerability Monitor estimates that today 400,000 people die per year from climate change-induced disasters. That number will skyrocket when today’s youth and future generations take office.

This spill is just one example, in a sea of disasters, of the ecological and social impacts of the extractive fossil fuel economy.

We know what the alternatives are to fossil fuels — increased investment in and production of renewable energy that is community owned and operated. We also know that the fossil fuel industry will not lead the renewable and just revolution. Big Oil in the last decade collectively invested $9 billion in renewable energy development, compared to the $341 billion they spent in the same period on tar sands extraction. Comparing those figures to the $257 billion that was invested globally in 2011 in renewables, $9 billion is barely a drop in the ocean.

— Emily Williams is the campaign director for the California Student Sustainability Coalition. The opinions expressed are her own.


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Lompoc Incident With Reportedly Barricaded Man Ends Quietly

By | Published on 05/29/2015


An incident involving a possibly suicidal man with weapons barricaded inside a trailer in Lompoc ended quietly early Friday morning.

Officers from the Lompoc Police Department responded about 9 p.m. Thursday to the 500 block of North Poppy Street about the possibility of a suicidal man who had been drinking alcohol and had two firearms while inside a trailer parked in front of a residence.

The man made comments which concerned family members and prompted a call to police.

Officers helped get the family to a safe location and began talking with them. 

“This led to a dialog via cell phone with the disturbed subject,” Capt. Ed Lardner said. “He began making statements like ‘I’m locked and loaded’ and ‘I’m gonna go Full Metal Jacket’ as he was walking around the location banging on doors and windows.”

Family members confirmed the man had a rifle and handgun with him, police said.

The combination of the weapons and statements, prompted the Lompoc Police Department Crisis Negotiation Team and SWAT Team to respond to the scene.

A phone conversation with the man nearly brought resolution, but he stopped communication with police, Lardner said.

At one point, a loud bang, possibly a gunshot came from the site, and attempts to reach man again were unsuccessful and there was no movement in the trailer.

Authorities used a public address system to contact the man, who began moving again.

“Aid was offered for any injuries he may have suffered during the time of non-communication, but again the subject did not respond and appeared to be OK. In the end the subject covered himself with a blanket and appeared to go to sleep,” Lardner said. 

“It was decided, forcing a violent confrontation, was not in the best interest of any involved party. Since the subject appeared to now be asleep LPD gathered its gear and personnel and left the scene,” Lardner said.

The family vacated the residence for the evening, as a precaution.

Police were investigating Friday if the loud bang was a gunshot, since intentionally or accidentally discharging a weapon is a misdemeanor violation of the city code, Lardner said. If it was determined to be a

For a time during the incident, police block College Avenue between Fourth and Fifth streets.

Residents received reverse 911 calls advising them to remain inside their homes as a precaution.

The effort involved the crisis negotiation team with personnel from the Lompoc Police Department as well as the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department.

"It's a great partnership," he added.

Additionally, the Sheriff's Department assisted with other 911 calls in the city, Lardner said.

City street crews and American Medical Response ambulance also responded to the incident.

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


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Santa Maria Elks Give Youths Taste of Rodeo

By | Published on 05/28/2015


72nd annual tradition runs through Sunday, and includes four performances and a Saturday parade

Riding a sheep racing into a rodeo arena is akin to being on a dirt bike, first-time mutton bustin’ competitor Nicholas Romero discovered Thursday. 

SM rodeo
Nicholas Romero, left, and dad Aaron Romero pose for a photo after the boy won the Mutton Bustin' contest during the Minetti Mini Rodeo on Thursday. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

His skills at hanging onto the woolly beast landed him the belt buckle and bragging rights as the top mutton bustin’ rider during the Minetti Mini Rodeo on Thursday morning when thousands of youngsters got a sampling of the sport.

The invitation-only Mini Rodeo where 6,000 students filled the stands is a prelude to the 72nd Annual Santa Maria Elks Rodeo, which kicked off Thursday night and continues through Sunday at the Santa Maria Elks/Unocal Event Center. Each performance will include a full slate of rodeo competition plus entertainment. A schedule is available by clicking here.

Before announcing this year’s Minetti Mini Buckeroo Award winners, volunteer Tony Gonzales noted it was dedicated this year to the late Rosalie Minetti, who died in April. The annual award is presented in honor of rodeo co-founder Clarence Minetti, who died in 2011, and his wife.

Clarence Minetti led the effort to introduce local youngsters to event through the mini rodeo, Gonzales said.

“This was his vision to see all you out here in the stands having a good time. Are you having a good time?” Gonzales asked as the  youngsters shouted affirmatively. “Then we see the completion of his vision.”

Among those in the audience was Michelle Smith, a Minetti granddaughter who teaches first grade at Guadalupe’s Mary Buren School.

“This was one their favorite events,” she said. “Seeing all of the kids in the grandstands is what truly made their day and to kick off the rodeo like this in their memory is very special. We’re very honored to be here and honor all of the award winners that epitomize what being a buckeroo is.”

Armed with small American flags students held high in the sky to wave, the youngsters stomped their feet on the metal stands and shouted on command during the event. With feet pounding on the metal stands, thousands of elementary school students cheered on athletes races.

A bulk of the students came campuses in Santa Maria-Bonita School District, but other students attend from Guadalupe, Lompoc and Lucia-Mar schools.

In addition to some pro rodeo participants, most of the competitors in the morning session were youths who compete in rodeo. 

SM rodeo
Seven-year-old Kaiden Fernandez of Santa Maria was the winner of the best dressed competition for the Mutton Bustin' competition during the Minetti Mini Rodeo. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

“It’s kind of cool they see someone their own age,” Maggie White, spokeswoman of the Santa Maria-Bonita School District, said of the youth audience. “It also gives our local rodeo contestants an opportunity to compete in front of an audience and it gives them the experience they need if they’re going to continue this on.”

Transportation costs for schools that send students — typically third-graders — is covered by the Elks so districts don’t have to scour their budgets to find the money to make the field trips happen. 

“The Elks just fantastically have all kinds of sponsors who make it possible for the students to be here from throughout Santa Maria Valley,” White said. “It’s the first time a lot of them have seen the rodeo.”

Teachers returned to school with a goodie bag filled with curriculum and teaching resources along with kid’s activity books for each student that included free admission for the students to encourage families to return.

“They see part of Santa Maria’s tradition that they might not have experienced before,” White said. “And the Elks and the rodeo is such a big part of Santa Maria. The rodeo money that’s raised allows the Elks to do the charitable activities throughout the year that make Santa Maria a great community. So we’re showing the kids this is the activity that raises the money that comes back to your community for youth sports and that kind of thing.”

White noted the event also attracts vast volunteer support from local organizations.

“With this many kids you need a lot of eyes and ears," White said. "The Elks make it possible and the volunteers make it safe and fun.”

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


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Officials Extend Oil Spill Closures for Refugio, El Capitan State Parks

By | Published on 05/28/2015


Popular coastal campgrounds, beaches and day-use areas won't reopen before June 18 as the cleanup continues

There was more bad news Thursday for people hoping to spend time at Refugio and El Capitan state beaches on the Santa Barbara County coast.

At the daily press conference providing updates on the Refugio oil spill, which sent thousands of gallons of crude oil onto the shore and into the ocean on May 19, officials said the parks' campgrounds and day-use areas would remain closed until at least June 18.

The previous estimate for reopening was June 4.

"That date is not set in stone," said Eric Hjelstrom, the State Parks superintendent for the two coastal parks shut down by the spill. "State Parks will reopen the parks as soon as we possibly can."

Clean-up efforts continued at full pace Thursday, with workers removing oil from the shores of Refugio State Beach and the adjacent bluffs, as well as the culvert that funneled an estimated 21,000 gallons of oil downhill from a break in a Plains All American Pipeline pipeline on the north side of Highway 101.

Two oil-skimmer vessels continued to operate offshore, Plains officials said Thursday, but little oil has been recovered over the last few days.

The two state parks were shut down almost immediately after the spill, and Refugio in particular has served as the operations hub for the clean-up efforts.

Dozens of steel bins full of oil-soaked material are scattered around the campground, along with vehicles and equipment used by the clean-up crews.

"We can't really reopen the parks until that goes away," Hjelstrom said.

Normally both campgrounds are full at this time of year, but reservations have been canceled for all sites through June 18, Hjelstrom said.

The closures were an especially sad blow for this past Memorial Day weekend, Hjelstrom said, noting that visiting the parks is a tradition for many people.

Refugio has 80 regular campsites and three group areas, while El Capitan has 140 sites and five group areas.

Campers pay $35 to $40 per night for a regular site, and day-use fees are $10 per vehicle.

That means State Parks is losing as much as $8,000 a day in camp fees alone, money that the department expects to recover eventually through a damages claim with Plains All American.

Moreover, on the busiest days, some 2,000 people flock to the day-use areas, Hjelstrom said, losses that would added to the tally.

State Parks personnel continue to staff the parks, Hjelstrom said, and hope to have them reopened quickly once they get the go-ahead from federal officials overseeing the spill response.

"It won't necessarily be 24 hours, but we don't expect it will take long," he said.

The section of pipe where the rupture occurred was finally removed on Thursday, according to Rick McMichael, senior director of operations for Plains All American.

The 50-foot length of pipe was cut in half after removal and wrapped for shipment to a metallurgy lab.

McMichael said Plains officials could not comment on anything they saw or any conclusions they might have drawn after seeing the damaged pipe section.

The remaining oil-soaked soil will be removed, and a new section of pipe will be installed, McMichael said.

The pipeline, which carries crude for ExxonMobil and Venoco from Las Flores Canyon to Gaviota, will remain shut down indefinitely while the investigation continues.

Officials were asked at the press briefing about the spread of oil to other locations, including the discovery of oil on beaches in Los Angeles and Orange counties.

Jordan Stout with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said investigators were still trying to determine the source of the oil on the beaches to the east and south of the spill, but acknowledged it was possible for oil from Santa Barbara County to travel that far.

The latest tally of oil-affected wildlife was 39 live birds found, of which 18 have died, since the beginning of the response. In addition,22 mammals have been found affected by oil and 10 have died.

Nearly 1,200 people were still assigned to the incident as of Thursday evening, officials said.

The following spill-related phone numbers and websites are still active:

» To report oiled wildlife: 877.823.6926 

» Volunteer information: 800.228.4544

» Volunteers interested in signing up for cleanup operations are required to visit

» Claims number: 866.753.3619

» For more information:

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


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Santa Maria ‘Prosecutor At Heart’ Leaving Full-Time Position with District Attorney’s Office

By | Published on 05/28/2015


Kevin Duffy, called a 'tireless warrior,' has worked for Santa Barbara County since 1999 and plans to continue part-time handling selective cases

With retirement looming, Senior Deputy District Attorney Kevin Duffy didn’t slow down as he handled three back-to-back trials for deadly drunken driving, homicide and sexual abuse cases since February.

This, his boss District Attorney Joyce Dudley said, is reflective of Duffy’s approach to his job as a prosecutor.

“Kevin is a tireless warrior who thrives on fighting for crime victims and justice,” Dudley said. “Year after year he has taken on our most heart-wrenching cases, often without any reprieve. He will be greatly missed by me and his colleagues and he will be remembered for his work ethic and passion.”

Duffy’s last day was Thursday, ending a full-time gig he began in 1999. 

“I feel like I’ve had a full career,” the 45-year-old Duffy said. He’s leaving, calling it retirement, “because there’s other stuff I want to do in life.”

After graduating from Cal Poly, Duffy attended Cal Western School of Law in San Diego. 

Following a series of internships, he briefly worked in San Diego prosecuting misdemeanors. A short interview with then-Santa Barbara County District Attorney Christie Stanley led to Duffy landing his job in the District Attorney’s Office in Santa Maria.

While he is leaving his full-time job, Duffy will work part-time handling selective cases.

“I’m just a prosecutor at heart. If you’ve got to work, this is the best job possible. I get paid to do right thing for the right reason,” he said.

He had high praise for the current district attorney — “Joyce Dudley has just been a dynamite boss. The taxpayers of Santa Barbara County are very lucky to have her as the elected DA,” he said — as well as the three others he worked for locally. “I’m very pleased that she’s going to allow me to continue to satisfy that part of me that loves to talk to juries and loves to advocate for vulnerable victims.”

After prosecuting domestic violence cases for two years, he has since handled serious and violent felony cases, including several homicide cases with multiple victims.

Some cases stand out for different reasons.

One included the triple homicide for a man charged with killing his girlfriend, her eight-month fetus and her 2-year-old child at the Palms Motor Hotel on West Main Street in July 2001.

“It was really intense,” he said. “Child homicide is just heartbreaking.”

He also prosecuted quadruple-murderer Lee Leeds, convicted of shootings in an auto salvage yard that killing Leeds’ father and three other men in 2008.

The Leeds case proved to be intellectually challenging as the case involved a half-dozen experts testifying about insanity.

Duffy’s final months in his full-time job have been spent prosecuting Benjamin Bettencourt, convicted of drunk driving causing great bodily injury to his passenger, and Brian Keith Reid, who pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and attempted murder in the shooting of his parents. Duffy also handled a sexual molestation case in his back-to-back trials earlier this year. 

“It was a great way to end my career,” he said, noting he had tried more than 80 cases as prosecutor. 

“I can’t imagine ending my career on a better note. It was just kind of fortuitous how that turned out,” he added. “Now that I’m done it feels that way.”

Prosecuting sexual molestation cases is “emotionally and psychologically draining,” he said, recalling a heart-wrenching case where the teenage victim — and some jurors — were crying as he asked some difficult questions to establish the elements of the case.

“Doing those cases for the last 14 years, it’s been a blessing but it’s also taken its toll on me,” he said.

He called it “extremely rewarding” to have former victims share about the successes in their lives and the healing they received by standing up their abusers in court.

One former victim visits and has invited him to important milestones in her life. 

“I’ve had little kids come and tell me that I’ve changed the course of their lives, that I was there at the most difficult time of their lives,” he said. “How many professions get that kind of additional reward to their job? I feel very very blessed.” 

He already has a busy schedule planned. As a volunteer with the Central Coast Literacy Council, he will continue teaching a man from Vietnam how to speak and read English.

Once his wife retires in a year, they plan to travel across the United States, Canada and Mexico to visit state parks and rock climb. 

This summer, he and a college-bound son will hike the 500-mile Camino de Santiago, retracing several ancient pilgrimage routes in Spain.

“It’s going to be a last chance to bond with my son before he heads off to college on his next adventure,” Duffy said.

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


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Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation the New Title Sponsor of Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon

By | Published on 05/28/2015


The Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half has a new presenting title sponsor in the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.

The seventh edition, scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7, will include two annual highlights: the vintage war plane flyover and the Veterans Final Mile tribute.

With 4,000-plus participants, the largest running event on the Central Coast honors veterans and features courses that begin in the orchards of Goleta and winds past the beautiful UC Santa Barbara campus before heading toward “The World’s Most Beautiful Finish Line” on Santa Barbara’s famed waterfront.

“We welcome Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation as our new presenting title sponsor, and together, we look forward to putting on our best event yet for the runners and the community,” said Rusty Snow, race director. “We also thank Select Staffing for its support and title sponsorship for the past six editions.”

Since 2012, the Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half has partnered with the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation, which has organized the vintage war plane flyovers and a participant favorite, the Veterans Final Mile. The event also offers discounts to members of the military as well as commemorative race T-shirts and dog tags.

“We have been involved with the Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half since 2012 and it has been a wonderful complement to our weekend of events honoring our nation's veterans,” PCVF founding director John Blankenship said. “It is so inspiring and thrilling to see the thousands of finishers concluding their incredible journeys with the one-of-a-kind Veterans Final Mile.”

In addition to Saturday’s races, the expanded sponsorship adds to the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation weekend of Veterans Day events, including the Military Ball, Veterans Day Parade and Concert, and collectively making it one of the largest Veterans Day weekends in the country.

Click here for more information or to register for the 2015 event.

— Ryan Lamppa represents the Santa Barbara Veterans Day Marathon & Half.


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Santa Barbara Police Data Show Rise in Burglaries/Thefts, Drop in Ped/Bicycle Accidents

By | Published on 05/28/2015


Attached is a summary of response times and recent crime data for the City of Santa Barbara collected by the Police Department and provided to the mayor and City Council.

The following are some highlights:

» Response times: The average response times to Priority 1 (emergency life-threatening) and Priority 2 (emergency non-life-threatening) calls for service remained within performance objectives. The average response times to Priority 3 (non-emergency) and Priority 4 (routine) calls for service improved from the previous month but still slightly exceeded performance objectives. Longer response times appear to coincide with a spike in total call volume; greater than the previous six years. Year to date there have been 13,310 calls for service, representing a 12 percent increase compared to the year to date figure from 2014, and an 11 percent increase compared to the same period in 2013.

» Positive trends: The rates of pedestrian- and bicycle-related traffic accidents are significantly lower than previous years. Year to date there has been a 37 percent decrease in pedestrian traffic accidents compared to the year to date figure from 2014, and a 39 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2013. Year to date there has been a 55 percent decrease in bicycle traffic accidents compared to the year to date figure from 2014, and a 27 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2013. The rate of DUI traffic collisions seems to be trending slightly down. Year to date there has been a 12 percent decrease in DUI traffic collisions compared to the year to date figure from 2014, and a 17 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2013.

» Areas of concern: The rates of burglaries and thefts from vehicles and crimes classified as other types of theft (larceny other than burglaries, auto theft, and theft from vehicles) has risen significantly from the last year, back to the levels seen prior to 2014. Year to date there has been a 90 percent increase in burglaries and thefts from vehicles compared to the year to date figure from 2014, however this still represents a 3 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2013. Year to date there has been a 27 percent increase in other types of theft compared to the year to date figure from 2014, and a 1 percent decrease compared to the same period in 2013.

— Sgt. Riley Harwood is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara Police Department.


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Santa Barbara County DA Working with State, Federal Prosecutors on Refugio Oil Spill Case

By | Published on 05/28/2015


There’s been a lot said about the federal government’s plan to investigate the ruptured pipeline that caused the Refugio oil spill, but in the background, prosecutors are meeting up and preparing for potential civil and criminal cases against the oil company responsible for the spill.  

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley has been meeting with DAs from several Southern California counties to get insight on potential prosecution, she told Noozhawk.

She’s also been working with representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and state Attorney General’s office.

“I think it’s pretty clear we’re all going to stay involved, be involved and pursue prosecution or civil remedies,” she said, adding that county, state and federal agencies all have jurisdiction in terms of potential prosecution and the three levels are in constant communication with each other. Her office will use “everything we can in our search for the truth,” including sharing information, interviews and possibly even grand juries, she said.

It appears to be a strict liability case — Plains All American Pipeline owns and operates the Line 901 carrying crude oil that ruptured and caused the spill — but the investigation could discover some third-party cause for the spill, such as an earthquake or someone sabotaging the line, Dudley noted.

Prosecutors could consider civil and/or criminal charges in this case.

The investigation of the oil spill’s cause is ongoing and authorities aren’t releasing any information about the section of ruptured pipe, which was uncovered Wednesday and will be transported to an independent laboratory for testing.

The federal Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration regulates the pipeline and representatives have been on scene to oversee the pipe section removal and repair work, authorities said. PHMSA ordered a shutdown of the pipe and will approve any plans to restart operations on the line.

Line 901 carried oil from Las Flores Canyon to Plains’ Gaviota Pump Station, and the shutdown includes operations at ExxonMobil and Venoco Inc., which both use the pipeline to carry oil north from its offshore oil and gas production platforms. 

On Wednesday, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Coast Guard, which are leading the response effort, issued a Clean Water Act order that formally requires Plains to complete the clean-up. Plains is also financially responsible for all cleanup and response costs, the company has said.  

Dudley has an environmental attorney on the scene of the pipe excavation, and has since Wednesday morning, and brought on retired Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerry Lulejian as extra help with the investigation.

California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ Office is working with Dudley’s office and other agencies to investigate the incident.

“My office is working closely with our state and federal partners on an investigation of this conduct to ensure we hold responsible parties accountable,” she said in a statement.

In addition to potential prosecution, Plains faces significant costs from paying for cleanup response efforts and claims for damages, which can be filed be calling 866.753.3619.

Claims can be filed for a variety of reasons, including a loss of business (for commercial fishermen, hotels in the Santa Barbara and Goleta area, kayaking adventure companies, etc.) and damages to personal or real property.

Governmental costs during the response can be reimbursed, and Santa Barbara County will be filing for staff costs and can even file a claim for lower transient occupancy taxes if the spill impacts hotel bed revenues, county counsel Michael Ghizzoni said.

The county’s Emergency Operations Center has been used as the central command post for the incident, hosting 200 to 250 people every day from numerous agencies. Command will move closer to Refugio State Beach on Friday to an “undisclosed location” and the county will continue running its response operations from the EOC, county emergency management director Ryan Rockabrand said.

He said this incident has been a good “stress test” for the county facility, which was built in 2011 and previously was used for the eight-hour Miguelito Canyon Fire response.

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


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BizHawk: Family Behind Shalhoob Meat Co. Plans to Open Funk Zone Patio Deli

By | Published on 05/28/2015


Killer B’s BBQ closes amid ownership change, Mermaid’s Chest extends closure date and actor Kurt Russell hosts inaugural wine club party

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

LJ Shalhoob couldn’t find the type of outdoor environment he was looking for in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, so his family set out to create it.

That vision will come to life as Shalhoob’s Funk Zone Patio, where the longtime local purveyor of custom-cut meats and poultry — Shalhoob Meat Co. at 220 Gray Ave. — has established an outdoor space for lounging, eating and (hopefully soon) drinking.

LJ Shalhoob manages the Shalhoob shop with sister Leeandra as the children of company president John Shalhoob, who took over the family-owned and operated business his father, Jerry, founded locally in 1973.

LJ calls the patio deli “his baby,” a new idea to keep the longtime staple fresh and to capitalize on the growing popularity of the Funk Zone area, where wineries and breweries are opening faster than new eateries.

Custom-made canopies, picnic tables and metal gates were key parts of renovations completed nine months ago, he said. Now the Shalhoob family waits for official permits to get started.

The business that traditionally serves restaurants, hotels and homes has also expanded into off-site catering and corporate lunch services, with cooking classes in the works.

“Now we’re catering to the public,” Shalhoob said. “This is our vision. It really got us excited.”

The family hopes to open the patio later this year or in early 2016, teaming up with longtime friend and local chef Pete Clements to work on a menu that will undoubtedly include tri-tip sandwiches and more. The plan is to add local beer and wine, too.

Killer B’s BBQ Sold

Santa Barbara’s Killer B’s BBQ has closed and will reopen this summer under new ownership and a new name.

Gabe Clark, who worked as a chef at the restaurant the past three years, recently bought the business at 731 De la Guerra Plaza from its original owner, Will L’Heureux.

After a few months on the job, Clark said he decided to close the eatery this month to renovate the interior and reopen sometime in July as State Streets Backyard, a restaurant concept that will turn the joint into a destination for outside fun with music and games.

“Changes to the outside and inside will be made, but we are keeping our food and vibe the same,” Clark told Noozhawk in an email.

An exact opening date wasn’t yet known, he said.

Mermaid’s Chest Extends Closure Date

The Mermaid’s Chest antique shop has extended its last day to Aug. 1 instead of closing at the end of May, owner Debbie Moore said.

Moore’s mom-and-pop shop near the waterfront at 16 Helena Ave., Suite B, will keep its 50-percent off sale going and will eventually switch to a 75-percent off sale, she said.

Actor Hosts Wine Club Party

Film actor and wine producer Kurt Russell recently hosted an inaugural wine club party for his wine label, GoGi Wines.

The private event was held at the historic 1880 Union Hotel in the quaint town of Los Alamos, featuring the release of his newest vintage of Pinot Noir — 2012 “Tiger,” named for his brother-in- law, Jack Philbrick.

Both Russell and actor Kate Hudson have their wine labels at the Los Alamos hotel.

Rocha Swim Hosts Benefit

Rocha Swim, a locally made line of Brazilian-inspired bikinis, is teaming up with the Dream Foundation to host a runway show fundraiser on June 4.

The Swimwear Runway Show called “Summer Dream” is from 5-8 p.m. at Aperture Collective and Cabana Home in Santa Barbara’s Funk Zone, with 100 percent of proceeds going to the nonprofit.

“I have lost a few family members to illnesses, and now I am dealing with losing another aunt to cancer,” Rocha Swim owner Danielle Rocha said. “The Dream Foundation helps people like myself, my family and my aunt. The Dream Foundation hit close to home when I heard the stories from other families going through the same thing when I attended their Gala this past year, I knew this was a non profit that I wanted to raise money for.”

Tickets for the event are $75, and more information can be found by clicking here.

Mark Johnson

Mark Johnson Hired at Broadview Mortgage

Mark Johnson has joined the Santa Barbara branch of Broadview Mortgage as a senior loan originator, according to branch manager Kelly Marsh.

Johnson will assist clients in choosing the financing options that best suit their individual needs using his expertise in jumbo mortgage products and new residential housing projects.

He has been in the mortgage business since 1999 and previously worked at HomeServices Lending in Montecito, Santa Barbara and Los Olivos, as well as in private mortgage banking at Wells Fargo.

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


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Kim Collins’ Jazz Combo Workshop, Idiomatiques Holding Benefit Concert for SB Youth Music Academy

By | Published on 05/28/2015


On Tuesday, June 2, starting at 7:30 p.m., the Free Methodist Church at 1435 Cliff Drive in Santa Barbara will be swinging with the sounds of cool, sweet jazz performed live.

Kim Collins
Kim Collins

Kim Collins, the Jazz Combo Workshop and The Idiomatiques welcome the public to come and join in the fun and help support the Young Musicians Scholarship Fund.

For 25 years, Santa Barbara jazz bassist, singer, composer and arranger Collins has been teaching the Jazz Combo Workshop. The JCW is now a premiere Santa Barbara-based forum for musicians to learn, practice and perfect the techniques of jazz performance.

Two or three times a year, the JCW stages a student concert open to the public to show off what a swinging good time the musicians have had learning jazz. In this final concert of the 2014-15 school year, everybody present is in for a very special treat.

Santa Barbara’s newest professional Gypsy Jazz band, The Idiomatiques, will be performing in the show. If you like jazz but you’ve never experienced the pure joy and fun of this style of jazz, pioneered by Gypsy guitarist Django Reinhardt, you won’t want to miss this event!

The suggested donation is $10. Make checks out to the Santa Barbara Youth Music Academy, pay at the door. All proceeds go to the Young Musicians Scholarship Fund.

JCW, a proud affiliate of the Santa Barbara Youth Music Academy, will donate all proceeds from this concert to the SBYMA Young Musicians Scholarship Fund.

The participants in the JCW — mostly adults — are very happy to feel that their efforts can benefit the next generation of musicians, and to give them and the public more exposure to America’s great original art form: jazz.

To learn more about The Idiomatiques and Gypsy Jazz, visit the Idiomatiques website by clicking here. If you are interested in joining the Jazz Combo Workshop or to learn more about Kim Collins, click here to visit the Robert Kim Collins website.

— Ed Seaman is a board member for the Santa Barbara Youth Music Academy.


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Mark Richardson: Setting the Record Straight About Grievances Against Santa Maria School District

By | Published on 05/28/2015


In a recent article for the Santa Maria Times, Faculty Association President Mark Goodman made certain claims about the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District and alleged a record 19 grievances had been filed by the Faculty Association this year. I have been repeatedly asked by parents, teachers and community members to set the record straight about these grievances.

Superintendent Mark Richardson

Our district, along with all school districts across the state, is going through a transformative process, implementing significant changes to the educational system and school financing. That process is very exciting, and I am sure will enhance the education received by all of our students. However, big changes can be difficult, and I believe collaboration is the key to student success.

To help implement these changes, the district has utilized committees that include all stakeholders. Teacher voice is instrumental to this process, and Faculty Association leadership has been involved since the beginning along with students, parents and other community members.

Obtaining input from all of these groups is required under the new state reforms. This represents a fundamental shift in our district and has been a cause for concern for some.

So why so many grievances? The district is required to track the number of grievances filed, and there have been seven grievances filed this year. Even that number is, from my perspective, too high. The grievance process is designed to resolve disputes related to contract, and it is the Faculty Association who decides whether to file a grievance.

Neither the district nor individual teachers can use this process to file grievances against the Faculty Association. Once a grievance is filed, the district is legally required to address grievances alleging a contract violation regardless of whether there is any merit to those claims.

For example, I believe that graduation is a significant rite of passage for our students and it is important for teachers to be there. We have had low faculty attendance in the past, so this year, we decided to conduct a pilot program where graduation is held during the workday so teachers can attend and the school sites can staff the event at appropriate levels. As a result, we are currently handling a grievance where the entire point of the grievance is that teachers not be required to attend student graduation ceremonies during their workday.

I know a large majority of our high-quality teachers are looking forward to attending student graduations and recognize the positive message teacher attendance sends to our kids. I also know that many district teachers are unaware that these types of grievances are being filed.

Recently, the district has also been defending teachers at Pioneer Valley High School and their right to determine how they utilize their collaboration time. Collaboration time is basically time reserved for teachers to work together (without students present) to better assist students to succeed in the classroom. The teachers at PVHS voted to use a small portion of this time (10 minutes) to meet with their principal. Despite the fact that the teachers at the school site made this decision, the Faculty Association has now filed multiple grievances on the exact same subject maintaining that teachers do not have the right to meet with their principal during this time.

When I was hired in this district by Dean Reece, along with the rest of the school board, I was instructed to engage all stakeholders, set a progressive direction for the district, and to focus on creating the facilities and programs that will best serve our students. With the help and input of all the people who make up our district community, I believe we are well on our way.

I appreciate the opportunity to set the record straight.

— Dr. Mark Richardson is superintendent of the Santa Maria Joint Union High School District.


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Garden Street Academy Sculpture Class Learns to Think Big and Bold with ‘Entropy’

By | Published on 05/28/2015


Teacher Patrick Faulk encourages students to push themselves, follow through with larger-than-life projects

“Ridiculous” seems to be the word to describe the giant, neon green sculpture that is displayed in the middle of the cubicles at Garden Street Academy. The 14-foot structure — made up of 108 equilateral triangles — was designed and constructed by the 12 students in Patrick Faulk’s sculpture class.

Twelfth-grader Connor Lavelle, one of the students who took the lead with the project, describes the tedious process of trial and error, even showing Noozhawk some of the broken-down cardboard prototypes for “Entropy.”

“We made a lot of smaller models at first,” he said. “If one triangle was off, then the whole piece wouldn’t work. So everything needed to be cut precisely.”

Once the idea was in the works, most class periods were spent cutting triangles and testing materials. The process took about six months. Faulk thought that the project took longer than expected.

“I thought, ‘Hey, we’ll be done by September! It will only take a month!’” he said with a laugh. “There were times where we were just yelling at each other for class periods.

“But I think it’s been a good process. It was a bit ridiculous and I kind of think we spent too much time on it. But you need to spend time to make something big like this.”

At Garden Street Academy, this type of “larger-than-life” thinking seems to have a big impact on its students. In Faulk’s art class, students recently were working on their personal projects, all of which include a musical kinetic sculpture, a claymation video, a sculpture of the USS Enterprise as a tribute to the late Leonard Nimoy, a sculpture of a cat’s head, bees encased in a resin heart, or a fish bowl with hanging crystals.

Many of these projects are interdisciplinary, showing off the wide range of extracurricular activities that students can take at Garden Street Academy. Students also must take general courses like math and English at the independent, accredited K-12 school.

“I was sick at some point this year and I was upset about not going to school,” said Ray Kutcher, a sophomore. “The teachers here are so great. I’m taking anatomy, and because it’s a higher-level class, I thought I wouldn’t like it. But it turns out there’s a lot of interesting things that I’ve learned about anatomy and the human body.”

Along with engaging classes and a well-rounded student body, Garden Street Academy teachers are always pushing students to do something they never thought they could.

“I had a student who came in only drawing small things and I said, ‘Why don’t you go big?’” Faulk recalled. “I’m a teacher and it’s my job to facilitate and kind of find the ‘where are you weakest?’ and push you to develop in that way.”

This mentality helped Garden Street Academy students create “Entropy” and can help any child accomplish anything in their future endeavors.

Even if “Entropy” may now be at the point where it’s breaking down and “dying,” as Faulk says, it is an achievement that his students can definitely be proud of.

“I honestly didn’t think we’d finish it,” said ninth-grader Luna Kuttner, who described some structural issues during the last stretch of the project. “We had to revive the sculpture a couple of times. But it’s really awesome to be able to finish something like this.”


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Dozens of Businesses Join Santa Barbara’s Yellow Bin Foodscraps Program

By | Published on 05/28/2015


Spurred by economic incentives and a genuine desire to do the right thing, dozens of local businesses have joined Santa Barbara’s innovative foodscraps composting program in the last six months.

Coffee shops, grocery stores, offices, schools and full-service restaurants have all deployed the yellow bin in the kitchen.

Under the program, they are able to divert food and paper waste from the landfill and frequently save money on their utility bill. The rich compost created from their scraps is used on area parks and returned to school gardens.

The total number of participating establishments is now close to 200. Recent additions include:

The Lark
Anacapa School
Lilac Patisserie
Yellow Belly
Allen Construction
The Little Door
Joe’s Café
The Shop Café
Apeel Sciences
Cajun Kitchen
Persona Pizza
Palace Grill

in La Arcada

Jeannine’s American Bakery and Restaurant
La Arcada Bistro
Petit Valentien

Chris Vigilante, owner of The Shop Cafe on Milpas Street, explains his motivation for joining: “The decision to participate was really a no-brainer for us. We were frustrated by the amount of recyclable material that was being thrown in the regular trash. So the only solution was to make sure that we make it as straightforward as possible in order to really have an impact."

Since debuting in 2009, the foodscraps composting program has become one of the flagships of City Trash & Recycling. It results in 3,000 tons of waste being diverted every year from Tajiguas Landfill. Instead, the items are sent to an industrial composting facility in Santa Maria where they are converted back into a high-quality soil additive that is used by local landscapers and on our parks and school yards. The yellow bin accepts far more than can be composted in a backyard bin: produce, meat, dairy, waxed cardboard, soiled paper towels, dirty napkins and kitchen paper.

City Trash & Recycling staff are available to help local food-serving businesses with a free waste assessment to determine whether this program serves their interests. Free training is offered to kitchen staff, along with assistance selecting and placing bins. Business inquiries can be made to 805.564.5631, and more information is available online by clicking here.

— Seth Nickinson is the outreach coordinator for the City Trash & Recycling for Santa Barbara.


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Capps Announces Central Coast Winner of Congressional Art Competition

By | Published on 05/28/2015


art comp
"Half Dome, Half Paper" by Jenna Skiff, a junior at Mission Valley Preparatory High School in San Luis Obispo, is the Central Coast winner of the 2015 Congressional Art Competition and will be on display in the U.S. Capitol for a year.

On Thursday, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced that Jenna Skiff, a resident of Cayucos and a junior at Mission Valley Preparatory High School in San Luis Obispo, is the Central Coast winner of the 2015 annual Congressional Art Competition.

Skiff’s winning piece, a collage titled "Half Dome, Half Paper," depicts Half Dome dusted in snow, as seen from Columbia Rock on the trail to Yosemite Falls in Yosemite National Park in California.

“California is home to so much natural beauty, and Jenna has done a wonderful job capturing some of that beauty in her piece 'Half Dome, Half Paper,'" Capps said. “Jenna should be proud of her work, and I look forward to seeing her artwork represent the Central Coast’s young artists in the United States Capitol for the next year.”

The annual art competition is open to all high school students in California’s 24th Congressional District. The winning student’s artwork is exhibited in the U.S. Capitol for one year, and the winning student receives two round-trip tickets to Washington, D.C., to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony and reception for the new display in June.

Skiff’s piece was chosen by a panel of judges out of more than 30 entries.

— C.J. Young is a legislative assistant for Rep. Lois Capps.


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Sansum Clinic’s Dr. Joseph Aragon to Be Honored at American Heart Association Heart Beach Ball

By | Published on 05/28/2015


Sansum Clinic cardiologist and division director Joseph Aragon, M.D., will be honored for his service to the American Heart Association at the 2015 Heart Beach Ball on Saturday, May 30.

Dr. Joseph Aragon

Dr. Aragon is a specialist in cardiovascular medicine and interventional cardiology. He is board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in Cardiovascular Disease and Internal Medicine.

He received his medical degree from UC-Los Angeles and went on to complete a fellowship in cardiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, and joined Sansum Clinic in 2005. He has served as an assistant clinical professor at USC’s Keck School of Medicine since 2007.

Dr. Aragon serves on the AHA Western States Affiliate Board of Directors, serving the states of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Utah and Washington. He is a member of AHA’s Heart Beach Ball Committee and former board president of the Central Coat Division of the American Heart Association.

The Heart Beach Ball will begin with a cocktail reception featuring local musical talent and a silent auction at 5:30 p.m., followed by the program at 7 p.m. and dinner and dancing at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday at Bacara Resort & Spa, 8301 Hollister Ave. in Goleta.

Funds raised from the Heart Beach Ball will be used to support the AHA Santa Barbara Healthy Futures program. In addition, three Healthy Futures students who most creatively illustrate the theme, “How do you keep your heart happy and healthy?” will be honored as the winners of the Healthy Futures Coloring Contests during the gala.

Healthy Futures is an AHA after-school program that seeks to empower elementary school children and their families to make healthier lifestyle choices by teaching nutrition basics, including how to read food labels, how to prepare healthy snacks, and how to make healthier choices when eating out.

Congenital heart defect survivor, local philanthropist and patient to Dr. Aragon, Sarah Bishop Jaimes, will chair the Santa Barbara 2015 Heart Beach Ball.

The Heart Ball is one of the premier AHA fundraising events both locally and across the nation. The evening celebrates the lives saved and improved because of everyone’s countless efforts.

Heart disease and stroke are the No. 1 and No. 5 killers in our nation. The American Heart Association’s goal is to help those in need through research education, patient care, and by advocating better health in our population.

As a sponsor of the event, Sansum Clinic supports the work that the AHA does for education and prevention of heart diseases, and aligns itself with their mission of “Building Healthier Lives, free of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.”

Tickets and sponsorship information are available. For more information, click here or contact Sarah Stretz, at (805) 963-8862 or [email protected].

— Liz Baker is the marketing supervisor for Sansum Clinic.


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UCSB Researchers Receive Grant to Study Effects of Earthquakes on Ground Movement, Soil Stability

By | Published on 05/28/2015


When Jamison Steidl heard about the devastating earthquakes that struck Nepal, his first thoughts were for the people.

Jamison Steidl (Spencer Bruttig / UCSB photo)

“The first reaction is, ‘What a tragedy’ and ‘How horrible for people there,’” said Steidl, a research seismologist at UC Santa Barbara’s Earth Research Institute. “The second is, ‘Are we going to get data? Are we going to learn anything?’”

Because of limited strong-motion monitoring in Nepal, scientists learned less than they would have hoped from the destructive series of quakes. However, with a grant from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Steidl and his UCSB team are poised to add to the global knowledge of how earthquakes affect ground movement and soil stability, continuing research that has been underway at the university for more than 25 years.

The grant totals approximately $533,000 over two years.

By monitoring and analyzing data from six West Coast sites, Steidl and project engineer Paul Hegarty, with the help of graduate and undergraduate students, will work to improve scientists’ ability to predict how the ground will shake when a temblor hits. Structural engineers can then translate these ground-motion prediction improvements into safer designs for homes, buildings and critical facilities such as hospitals, dams and power plants around the world.

The NRC will use the information gathered by UCSB researchers to consider potential updates to its regulatory guidelines for nuclear facilities, a matter of significant concern after a 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan damaged the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, causing the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl in 1986.

UCSB monitors six information-gathering sites from Southern California to Alaska, maintaining its own facilities near the California cities of Palm Springs, Brawley, Borrego Springs and Salinas. The researchers also utilize data from sites operated by the U.S. Geological Survey’s Advanced National Seismic System in Seattle and in Anchorage, Alaska.

All the locations are equipped with accelerometers that measure ground-shaking intensity. Sites in areas vulnerable to liquefaction (which occurs when soil is turned fluidlike as a result of a strong earthquake) are equipped with instruments called pore pressure transducers.

“If the pore water pressure at depth in the soil becomes larger than the weight of the soil above it, then you’re basically floating,” Steidl said. “If you have a structure above that, it’s now sitting on a very unstable column of soil.”

Analysis of the data transmitted by the sensors helps scientists predict what is likely to happen in future quakes. Learning how to predict the earthquakes themselves is the Holy Grail, but for now that remains a goal for the future.

“When we talk about earthquake prediction, it has to be the time, the magnitude and the location,” Steidl said. “If you predict there will be an earthquake but it’s a 1, nobody cares. If you predict an 8 but not where it will happen, it’s not useful.

“My own sort of bias is that I probably won’t see an earthquake prediction capability in my lifetime, and the reason is that the human time scale is so different from the earth’s time scale, the geologic time scale. We’re just a little blip. We haven’t been around long enough yet to experience what is called the earthquake cycle. We need more data before we’ll be able to make accurate predictions.”

That data is being gathered quake by quake. But until scientists have the capacity to predict when and where earthquakes will happen and how large they will be, researchers are working to help engineers and governments build stronger buildings around the world to limit the destruction and the loss of life that happens when the ground beneath us shifts.

— Robyn Norwood represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.


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Hospice of Santa Barbara Celebrates New Graduates of Patient Care Volunteer Training

By | Published on 05/28/2015


Hospice of Santa Barbara, a nonprofit organization that provides free compassionate care to people within the community experiencing life-threatening illness or the loss of a loved one, welcomes its new graduating Patient Care volunteers.

After six weeks of comprehensive training that included instruction on Grief and Loss, Family Dynamics and Boundaries, and Cultural and Spiritual Awareness, Hospice of Santa Barbara’s Patient Care volunteers have completed their program and received a certificate of completion.

Prior to beginning training, Patient Care volunteers underwent an extensive vetting process that included application screening, pre-training interviews, background check, fingerprints and TB testing, and a post-training interview.

Patient Care volunteers provide companionship, respite care, transportation, household help and support to our patients and clients. As Hospice of Santa Barbara volunteers, they will become a vital member of the Hospice of Santa Barbara Patient Care Services Team who are dedicated to providing social, emotional, spiritual and practical support for anyone impacted by a life-threatening illness.

Hospice of Santa Barbara “volunteers” its free professional counseling and care management services to any child, teen, or adult who is experiencing the impact of a life-threatening illness, or grieving the death of a loved one. Hospice of Santa Barbara is also present on six local high school campuses to work with children and teens 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.

— Lauren Gunther is a publicist representing Hospice of Santa Barbara.


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Santa Barbara Hosting Listos Day, a Disaster Readiness Program for Spanish Speakers

By | Published on 05/28/2015


The City of Santa Barbara will be hosting it first-ever Santa Barbara County Listos Day in collaboration with FEMA.

Listos is a basic emergency and disaster readiness public education program for Spanish-speaking populations with a grassroots approach, developed by the Aware & Prepare Initiative. The Aware & Prepare Initiative is a public-private partnership dedicated to strengthen community disaster resiliency within Santa Barbara County.

The Santa Barbara County Listos Day event will be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 30 at Ortega Park, 604 E. Ortega St.

There will be several representatives from FEMA, the City Fire Department, Fire Safety House, the American Red Cross, the Police Department, MarBorg Industries, California Edison, L.E.O.N., DogE911 and many more.

For more information on this event, please contact event coordinator Lilana Encinas at 805.564.5779 or [email protected].

— Yolanda McGlinchey is the emergency services manager for the City of Santa Barbara.


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Capps Applauds Covered California’s Efforts to Reduce Cost of Specialty Drugs

By | Published on 05/28/2015


On Wednesday, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, applauded Covered California’s efforts to improve access to high-cost specialty drugs.

Last week, the Covered California board announced that starting in 2016 the vast majority of consumers who get their health insurance through the exchange will see the cost of their specialty drugs capped at $250 per month, per prescription.

Earlier this year, Capps reintroduced similar bipartisan legislation, the Patients’ Access to Treatment Act, which would help patients across the country afford necessary treatments by limiting the cost of specialty drugs for patients with chronic conditions.

When insurance companies move drugs into a “specialty tier,” which often requires patients to pay a percentage of the actual cost of the drugs, access to those drugs can become prohibitively expensive. Many of these drugs do not have a less expensive generic equivalent, which means patients are forced to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars each month or go without treatment. The Patients’ Access to Treatment Act would prohibit insurers from imposing exorbitant co-payment, co-insurance, or other cost-sharing requirements on patients who require specialty medications to treat life threatening or chronic diseases.

“I commend Covered California for once again leading the way forward  in improving access to quality health care,” Capps said. “Ensuring that all Americans have access to these life-saving specialty medications is critically important. I am hopeful that we can once again follow California’s lead here in Washington and work together to reduce the cost of specialty drugs.”

— C.J. Young is a legislative assistant for Rep. Lois Capps.


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Montecito Fire District to Test Emergency Notification Methods on Monday

By | Published on 05/28/2015


The Montecito Fire Protection District, along with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department, will conduct a test of the emergency notification methods utilized by MFPD on Monday, June 1, starting at 10 a.m.

MFPD will be testing the following methods utilized to notify the community during an emergency.

Reverse 9-1-1

Immediate notification sent out by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department. These messages are sent to home phones or cell phones registered with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department. A pre-recorded message will describe the emergency and what actions community members should take.

Hearo Emergency Broadcast Radio

Immediate notification sent out by MFPD personnel. These messages are sent to desktop radios inside homes and businesses. An audible alert tone will sound, with a scrolling message instructing community members what actions to take. The Hearo Radios are available only to community members residing within the Montecito Fire District jurisdiction.

During an actual emergency, the Reverse 9-1-1 and Hearo Radios will only be activated for zones immediately affected by or adjacent to an emergency incident.

Nixle, Facebook and Twitter

Notification sent by MFPD personnel to all subscribers of these social media applications via computer, email accounts and or cell phones. 

AM 1610 Radio Station

This radio station is owned and operated by MFPD. In the event of an emergency, MFPD personnel will broadcast recorded information and what actions should be taken by community members during the incident.

MFPD Website

The website,, is accessible by computer or data phones. Information regarding local  incidents will be displayed on the home page.

The test will be conducted using pre-identified evacuation zones. Click here for the map.

Test Schedule

» 10 to 11:30 a.m.: Zones 1, 2, 3

Western MFPD Boundary — Hot Springs Road, north of Highway 192

» 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.: Zones 4, 5, 6, 7

Eastern MFPD Boundary — Hot Springs Road, north of Highway 192

» 1 to 2:30 p.m.: Zones 8, 9, 10        

Western MFPD Boundary — San Ysidro Road, between Highway 192 and Highway 101

» 2:30 to 4 p.m.: Zones 11, 14, 15

San Ysidro Road — Oretga Ridge Road between Highway 192 and Highway 101

Olive Mill Road — Eastern MFPD Boundary, south of Highway 101

» 4 to 5:30 p.m.: Zones 12, 13         

Western MFPD Boundary — Olive Mill Road, south of Highway 101

After the test, MFPD residents are encouraged to complete a survey by clicking here.

— Geri Ventura represents the Montecito Fire Protection District.


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Florence Chan Joins CenCal Health as Director of Health Services

By | Published on 05/28/2015


CenCal Health is pleased to announce Florence Chan, RN, BSN, MBA, as its new director of health services.

Florence Chan

Chan most recently served as the director of authorization and utilization management units for the Contra Costa Health Plan in Martinez.

During her time with the Contra Costa Health Plan, Chan oversaw employees, assisted the county with the third party administration of the Basic Health Care/Low Income Health Programs as defined by the State of California and Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, and acted as the clinical and technical liaison for the county’s health delivery system, community providers, CCHP staff and committees.

Prior to being named the director of authorization and utilization management units for the Contra Costa Health Plan, Chan was the senior case manager/utilization management coordinator for Pacific Health Care in Pleasanton, and the utilization review coordinator and patient services case coordinator at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.

She has also served as a medical assistant instructor at Western Career College in San Leandro.

Chan received her master's degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix and her bachelor of science degree in nursing from San Jose State University.

She is certified by the Public Health Nursing (PHN), Certified Case Manager (CCM), EPIC Tapestry and EPIC Utilization Management and Case Management. She is also in the process of achieving her certification in Professional in Healthcare Quality (CPHQ).

— Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing CenCal Health.


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Gerald Carpenter: UCSB Wind Ensemble Playing with ‘Water, Winds and Fire’

By | Published on 05/28/2015


The bright, extroverted UCSB Wind Ensemble, conducted by their guiding light, Paul Bambach, will close out their season/academic year with their annual Spring Concert, this year called "Water, Winds and Fire," at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday, May 28, in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall (Music Building).

Composer, pianist and folklorist Percy Grainger became an American during World War I.

The Wind Ensemble's program will consist of John Mackey’s Undertow (2008), Eric Whitacre’s Cloudburst (1992, arranged for wind ensemble, 2001), the "Berceuse" and "Finale" from Igor Stravinsky’s The Firebird, Robert Washburn’s Partita for Band (1964) (conducted by graduate assistant Adriane Hill), Aaron Copland's El Salon Mexico, Percy Grainger's Colonial Song (1911, 1917), William Schuman's Chester Overture, 1958 and Samuel Ward's America, the Beautiful (arranged by Carmen Dragon).

I have now heard this entire program and can assure you that it is a delight from start to finish.

Mackey (born 1973) was the son of musicians, but his parents declined to arrange any music lessons for him. His grandfather taught him to read music and operate a computer. He has never learned to play an instrument, but he was able to study composition at Juilliard, since that visionary institution does not require an audition for its composition applicants. He has produced a substantial body of instrumental music, much of it for wind band. Undertow, like the ocean current of the same name, pulls the listener along with its irresistible momentum.

Whitacre (born 1970) composed Cloudburst as a choral ode, based on the poem "El Cántaro Roto" by Octavio Paz, when he was just 22. It remains one of his best-loved works, almost his signature composition. In 2001, commissioned by the Indiana All-State Band, Whitacre arranged the work for band — thus earning the eternal gratitude of wind ensembles everywhere.

Dr. Washburn (1928-2013) was the dean and professor emeritus and senior fellow in music at the Crane School of Music of the State University of New York at Potsdam, where he himself had earned his bachelor's degree before earning his doctorate (1960) at Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Howard Hanson, Bernard Rogers and Alan Hovhaness. Dr. Washburn spent nearly his whole, long life in Potsdam, as student and then professor at the Crane School (SUNY Potsdam).

Grainger (1882-1961) was born in Australia and left there, at age 13, to attend school in Frankfurt. He began his career in England, 1901 to 1914, but moved to the United States in 1914, became a U.S. citizen in 1918, and spent the rest of his life here. When Sir Thomas Beecham, Baronet, first heard Grainger's Colonial Song, he congratulated the composer (with his trademark bitchiness) on having "written the worst piece of modern times." That was actually typical of English reaction to the piece. America liked it a lot better. When he joined the AEF in 1917, he directed a number of military bands, which probably inspired him to arrange Colonial Song for band, the last of his many arrangements of the work originally composed for solo piano.

Tickets to "Water, Winds and Fire" are $10 for general admission, $5 for UCSB students and non-UCSB students with ID, and free for children age 12 or younger. Tickets can be purchased at the door, by phone at 805.893.2064, or online by clicking here.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Proposal for Four-Story Mixed-Use Project in Downtown Santa Barbara Raises Concern

By | Published on 05/27/2015


Members of the city Planning Commission question the housing density and its compatibility with the surrounding neighborhood

A proposed four-story mixed-use development project for a high-profile corner of downtown Santa Barbara has been met with wide disapproval by the members of the city's Planning Commission.

Architect Jan Hochhauser presented a conceptual plan at last Thursday's Planning Commission for the corner of Santa Barbara and De la Guerra streets. The proposal calls for the demolition of a 1,965-square-foot, one-story building and replace it with a 26,059-square-foot, four-story mixed-use building.

The project would include 1,500 square feet of commercial floor area, 26 residential units and 30 underground parking spaces.

"This is a great project, but it would be better in a different location," said Addison Thompson, chairman of the city's Planning Commission. "It has to be sensitive to the historical context that's immediately adjacent to the project."

The proposal at 800 Santa Barbara St. is near the El Presido de Santa Barbara Historic Park and near the Santa Barbara Unified School District administrative office. 

"You are in one of the most sensitive spots in the city next to the origins of the city, so we can't ignore that," Thompson said. 

The commissioners felt the project was too big for the site and not compatible with the surrounding area. Some commissioners were unhappy with the fourth story and the possibility that it would block mountain views.

Hochhauser did not present an architecture rendering of the project to the planning commission, nor were story poles erected since it was presented as a "concept review" only.

The proposal is located in the historic El Pueblo Viejo District. The property owner already has an approved project for the site, but it is smaller — a three-story building, with six condos, instead of the more dense rental housing project now proposed.

The city's Historic Landmarks Commission is the decision-maker on the project and will work with Hochhauser and the property owner on the new proposal.

Commissioner Deborah Schwartz said she appreciated the rental housing aspect of the new project, rather than the "luxury condos" already approved, but still has concerns.

"We have a dire need for rental housing, the question is in a city that is 90 percent built out where can we find that real estate and where can it be appropriately applied," Schwartz said. "I am hoping for something positive as it goes back to the HLC."

Hochhauser said at the end of the meeting that he didn't get clear enough feedback on what specifically to do to make the project more compatible.

"I had hoped we would have gotten a little bit more specific feedback on where to go," said Hochhauser, adding that he's looking forward to working with the HLC to improve the project.

Commissioner June Pujo said "more than a little bit of change" is required.

"There is too much massing and it is too bulky, and it doesn't respect El Pueblo Viejo to the extent that it needs to," Pujo said. "The bigger issue to me is the sense of place for this very key historic downtown area." 

Commissioner Michael Jordan said the project needs to have "spot-on" architecture that fits in with the historic properties in the area.

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


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Pipeline Company Ordered to Continue Cleanup from Refugio Oil Spill

By | Published on 05/27/2015


Plains All American Pipeline has until June 6 to submit a formal plan to the Coast Guard and EPA

The pipeline company responsible for the oil spill near Refugio State Beach was formally ordered to continue clean-up work inland near the ruptured pipe, the shoreline and the ocean by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Coast Guard, which are co-leading the response effort on the Gaviota Coast.

The Clean Water Act order was issued to Plains All American Pipeline, which operates the ruptured pipeline in southern Santa Barbara County, and requires the company to continue extensive clean-up operations and make a work plan for future response.

It has penalties for noncompliance, but Plains has been cooperating with the response effort and complying with all demands, officials said Wednesday.

Specifically, Plains has to make a plan by June 6 for future response activities, including sampling and analyzing air, water, rocks and soil in the spill area; ensure no more oil is released into the environment; and clean up all remaining oil and contamination at the pipeline break site and oil-impacted areas, according to a statement by the Coast Guard and EPA.

Plains is also responsible for clean-up response costs and has an active claims line for damages at 866.753.3619.

This Clean Water Act order relates to the response effort, EPA federal on scene incident coordinator Michelle Rogow said, while a previous order from the company’s federal regulating agency makes the company shut down the pipe and get approval before repairing and restarting operations on the line.   

Plains was ordered Friday to shut down the pipeline, Line 901, by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, which regulates pipelines.

PHMSA's corrected action order requires Plains to empty and purge the pipe, review its records and its emergency response plan, and commission a "root cause failure analysis."

The company will also have to submit a work plan and restart plan before recommencing operations again.

Line 901 carried oil from Las Flores Canyon to the company's Gaviota Pump Station, and the shutdown includes operations at ExxonMobil and Venoco Inc., which both use the pipeline to carry oil north from its offshore oil and gas production platforms. 

EPA Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld noted that the Clean Water Act was written and the EPA was formed in 1970, the year after the devastating 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill.

It’s “unbelievable” that the same area would be impacted by another crude oil spill, he said Wednesday.

Globs of oil have shown up in recent days on Leadbetter Beach, above, and other beaches in the Santa Barbara area. Officials are trying to determine their connection to the Refugio spill. (Addison Proctor photo)

PHMSA and the EPA are investigating the cause of the pipeline failure and are supervising the excavation and removal of the ruptured section of pipe.

Uncovering the pipe started Tuesday and once it’s done, the section of pipeline will be removed, wrapped, and sent to a PHMSA-approved lab for testing, Plains officials said Wednesday.

Plains operations director Rick McMichael confirmed the uncovered portion of pipe is the area of effected pipe that caused the release, but Plains officials said the investigation prohibits anyone from talking about what was seen once that section of 24-inch pipe was uncovered.

Federal, state and local agencies are responding to the oil spill, which was reported May 19 and has resulted in oiled shoreline, dead wildlife and closed beaches.

There are daily “overflights” of the area by helicopter so the unified command can plan its tactics for the day, in addition to shoreline assessment teams working on the ground.

In response to the spill, 24.6 miles of shoreline has been surveyed and 4.6 miles have been heavily impacted, Coast Guard Capt. Jennifer Williams said.

Six miles have been “moderately impacted,” another 8.9 miles have been lightly impacted, and another 4.1 miles have been very lightly impacted or not impacted by the spill at all, she said.

Nearly all the visible sheen is removed from the ocean surface in the area of the spill and teams are actively resurveying areas to look for pipeline oil that could be underground or underwater, McMichael said.

Dive teams are looking for oil in the kelp beds near Refugio State Beach and have found pea-sized blobs about 150 yards offshore, he said.

Refugio and El Capitan state beaches have been closed due to the oil spill, and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department has been involved in air and water quality monitoring to see if more beaches need to be closed.

As of Wednesday night, no more were closed, but clean-up crews have been deployed at beaches as far east as Goleta Beach County Park and Arroyo Burro Beach, near Santa Barbara.

Trained volunteers are being mobilized for some of these clean-ups. To register to get trained and help, visit the CalSpillWatch website or 1.800.228.4544. 

There have been protective booms placed at some beaches and waterways, including the Arroyo Burro Creek and Goleta Slough, to proactively prevent oil from getting into those sensitive areas, the Public Health Department said in a statement Wednesday.

“Any beach conditions indicating a significant public health risk will result in immediate beach closure,” they said.

Some beaches have “trace amounts” of oil and scattered tar balls — some people have reported seeing tar balls along the high tide long in Goleta and Santa Barbara-area beaches — and testing is being done to determine if that oil is related to the spill or natural seeps, the Public Health Department said.

There will be a community open house held for anyone with questions about the oil spill response on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Elks Lodge at 150 N. Kellogg Ave in Goleta.

To submit comments about the oil spill to the county directly, [email protected]

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.

The Refugio oil spill command is mapping the shoreline oil observed from assessment teams, with levels ranging from no oil/light oiling (blue and green sections) to moderate and heavy oil (orange and red sections). (Joint Information Center courtesy photo)


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Four Designs Revealed as Winners for Lompoc’s First Creative Crosswalks Project

By | Published on 05/27/2015


The contest, funded by a grant from the Santa Barbara Foundation, will turn asphalt into artwork at the intersection of South H Street and Cypress Avenue in Old Town

The wine industry, California’s state flower, artist’s tools and a whimsical design based on native symbols soon will adorn asphalt in Old Town Lompoc.

Four designs from three women were revealed Wednesday night as the winners of Lompoc’s first creative crosswalks project.

More than 50 entries were submitted in the Lompoc Creative Crossings contest to turn plain crosswalks at the intersection of South H Street and Cypress Avenue into canvasses for artwork, under a program funded by a grant from the Santa Barbara Foundation.

“The Santa Barbara Foundation really does believe that a strong arts and culture sector is really essential to a strong economy and the vitality of a community,” said Sharyn Main, senior community investment officer for the foundation. “Lompoc, of course, is known as the City of Arts and Flowers and this project certainly does exemplify that. ... As I look at these pieces today, I can’t help but feel the pride of this community.”

During an intense two hours, a panel of seven judges picked the winners featuring familiar and whimsical designs, according to Ashley Costa, executive director of the Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization.

Along with bragging rights, the winners, all from Lompoc, received $500 for each design. 

Marlee Bedford, 25, actually had two entries in the final four. One features wine glasses, bottles and grapes while the other shows artist’s utensils lying side by side.

Dionne Lugue, 17, submitted an entry that incorporates California’s state flower — the golden poppy.

Creative Crossings
City Administrator Patrick Wiemiller talks about the addition of creative crosswalks in Old Town Lompoc. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Devyn Adams, 22, won for her graphic design depicting the variety of historic native symbols and is meant to engage children who use the crosswalks.

The artwork will be added to the asphalt Aug. 21 during the final night of this summer’s Olde Town Market, according to Costa.

With winning designs selected, stencils now will be created so creative crosswalks can be painted.

The idea for creative crosswalks stemmed from an article, “75 Seriously Fun Ways to Make Your Town More Playful,” shared by the California Park & Recreation Society, JoAnne Plummer, Lompoc’s recreation manager.

Costa said she filed the idea away and remembered it after looking at grant opportunities on the Santa Barbara Foundation website which included “Creative Communities.” 

“They really wanted folks to generate economic activity, create culture, support local young artists and I figured this was perfect,” Costa said. 

Costa assembled a team of partners from the Lompoc arts community, government agencies and business groups. 

“Our idea is we wanted to enhance the pedestrian experience, enhance the public art experience and enhance the economic impact to local businesses,” Costa said. “We think this project is all of that and more.”

The original grant application sought to complete seven crosswalks, but the foundation funded four.

Lompoc City Administrator Patrick Wiemiller, who has a background in public works, said anything that helps add to the pedestrian experience and community’s walkability is a good thing.

“I am looking forward to this intersection being done here, but I think it would really pay off if we could do this at multiple locations,” he said, as those in the audience applauded.

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


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5 Officers Treated After Exposure to Suspect’s Blood

By | Published on 05/27/2015


Five Santa Barbara police officers were being treated for possible blood exposure on Wednesday after subduing a violent man they believed had injured himself while high on psychedelic mushrooms.

The incident began at about 12:20 p.m. in the 1800 block of Chino Street on the city's Westside, according to police Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Police received several calls regarding a man, who appeared to be under the influence of drugs, creating a disturbance, including one from a woman who said the subject was out of control on her front lawn, Harwood said.

The man slammed his hand through a window at a residence, suffering a deep laceration in the process, Harwood said, and was reported to be sitting in the middle of the street.

By the time officers arrived, the man — identified as Robert Alex Kamphaus, 22 — was gone, but he was located a short time later near Chino and Pedregosa Street, Harwood said.

Kamphaus, who was covered with blood from his injury, "was not very compliant, and tried to fight with officers," Harwood said.

It took five officers and use of a taser to subdue Kamphaus, who lives nearby in the 1900 block of Chino Street, Harwood said.

Kamphaus was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of his injuries, then was transferred to the Santa Barbara County Jail.

He was booked on suspicion of resisting an officer with violence, a felony, as well as public intoxication and possession of psilocybin mushrooms, which were found in a search of Kamphaus's residence, Harwood said.

Bail was set at $50,000.

The officers who were exposed to Kamphaus's blood were taken to a medical clinic for evaluation and possible treatment. 

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


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Venoco’s Ellwood Project Hearing Delayed Due to Refugio Oil Spill

By | Published on 05/27/2015


Venoco's proposed South Ellwood Oil Field project would expand the company's oil lease to the east and redrill six existing wells into that eastern portion. (State Lands Commission image)

The State Lands Commission delayed this week's planned meeting to discuss Venoco Inc.’s proposal to drill six wells into a new area of the South Ellwood Oil Field, saying the move was “to avoid any distraction from the efforts to address the recent oil spill response near Refugio Beach.”

The May 19 spill resulted from a ruptured Plains All American Pipeline line transporting crude oil from Venoco and ExxonMobil offshore platforms.

With the delay, there is a new deadline to submit comments about the scope of the environmental impact report documents reviewing the potential impacts and alternatives to Venoco’s proposed project.

Venoco wants to amend one of its state oil and gas leases to expand farther east and include 3,400 acres, in exchange for relinquishing 3,800 acres in northern and southern portions of its leases in the same area, according to the State Lands Commission.

Venoco has produced about 75 million barrels of oil from Platform Holly since 1969, and expects to get another 25 million barrels from existing wells. With the eastern boundary lease extension, Venoco believes it could get another 60 million barrels through Platform Holly, the application says.

Six existing wells on Platform Holly would be redrilled to extend into this new area, and the company would use existing pipelines and processing facilities, including the Ellwood Onshore Facility in Goleta.

The plan to redrill these wells would be to drill in 2017, 2018, 2019 and the other three wells between 2023 and 2030, according to the State Lands Commission. There are currently 30 well slots and not all of them are in production.

Venoco will not use hydraulic fracturing as part of this project, and is not proposing to extend the life of Platform Holly or the Ellwood Oil Field past 2055, according to the application.

Tuesday's meeting was rescheduled for June 24, with sessions at 3 and 6 p.m. at the Goleta Valley Community Center, 5679 Hollister Ave.

The deadline to submit comments about the scope of the environmental review has been extended to June 29.

Comments can be sent to Eric Gillies, assistant chief of the SLC division of environmental planning and management at: California State Lands Commission, 1000 Howe Ave., Suite 100, South Sacramento, CA 95825 or emailed to [email protected]

The City of Goleta sued the State Lands Commission over its approval of another Venoco project to restart its oil production facility at Haskell’s Beach.

The commission voted to re-certify the environmental documents in December and allow Venoco to resume oil production from that pier and process the oil at the Ellwood Onshore Facility in Goleta.

City Attorney Tim Giles has said the lawsuit, alleging violations of the California Environmental Quality Act, will put the project timeline on hold.

The lawsuit has a hearing scheduled for Dec. 15 in Santa Barbara County Superior Court, he said.

Goleta doesn’t have authority over project approval, but Venoco would need the city’s approval to do the processing at the pier and permits for the pipelines between the well and the EOF, which are within city jurisdiction.

Goleta’s City Council also adopted an ordinance that establishes non-conforming use termination procedures, which can put an expiration date on certain zoning uses. The Ellwood Oil Field is one of the city’s legal non-conforming uses, a property that is no longer in compliance with land-use or zoning rules.

The city hasn’t scheduled a termination hearing for the Ellwood Oil Field, Giles said Wednesday.

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


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Santa Barbara District Approves School Leadership Changes

By | Published on 05/27/2015


There’s been a big shakeup in the Santa Barbara Unified School District’s administrative ranks, with several of Superintendent Dave Cash’s cabinet members swapping positions or moving to school sites, in addition to three new principals being appointed for next year.

The Board of Education approved four appointments this week, including a three-way swap of administrative positions among two assistant superintendents and an elementary school principal.

Former McKinley Elementary School Principal Emilio Handall will leave his administrative post as assistant superintendent of elementary education and head back to the school as a special-assignment principal, district spokeswoman Barbara Keyani said.

McKinley Principal Jacqueline Mora, who has held the post for one school year, will take over the district’s English language learner and parent engagement programs, which were created last year and have been overseen by Raul Ramirez.

Ramirez is moving into Handall’s position as assistant superintendent of elementary education.

"It was Emilio's request to return to McKinley, and so in order to grant that request, it required that both Jackie and Raul move their jobs," Cash said. "Both, I would say, are excited about the idea of their new jobs and the promotions they got. I'm certain both are also somewhat sad to leave the current positions they're in." 

Handall's request is what prompted the changes, Cash said.

"This is not some kind of district game-board shuffle," he said. 

Handall keeps the title of assistant superintendent for now, since it's in his contract, but the intention is for him to remain as principal at McKinley, Cash said. Cash was surprised with the request, but says it makes sense upon reflection. 

"This is a permanent assignment that I requested last month," Handall said in an email. "My desire has always been to work directly with students, staff, parents, and the community. This opportunity to return to McKinley affords me to do that once again."

Board of Education president Ed Heron said Handall was well-loved and has a good track record there, bringing the school out of program improvement by improving student test scores.

Ramirez has a “fantastic background” and good rapport with the principals, while Mora has a passion for family engagement, Heron said.

“It’s a whole series of moves that all made really good sense,” he said. “It’s good people moving to new positions, it’ll make a stronger team.”

Cash, who was appointed as superintendent in 2011, brought on Handall and Ben Drati as assistant superintendents of elementary and secondary education, respectively, in 2012.

He expanded his cabinet with the hire of human resources head Margaret Christensen, whom he previously worked with at Dos Pueblos High School, and later added the positions of assistant superintendent of English language learner and parent-engagement programs and chief educational technology officer.

Christensen is retiring June 30 and will be replaced by Mitch Torina, who has worked in the district in a number of different roles since 1998, and was appointed assistant superintendent of student services in 2013.

There’s been no announcement on who will take Torina’s current post, but Marlin Sumpter, who did the job before leaving for medical reasons, is back working with the district as a temporary Cleveland Elementary School principal.

Heron said the board did discuss replacements but has made no decision, including whether it will pursue an inside hire or look for an outside candidate.

Besides the district leadership shakeup, there will be three new principals in the coming year at Cleveland, Monroe and Roosevelt elementary schools.

Gabe Sandoval will take over Cleveland Elementary. Sandoval currently works as assistant principal at Santa Barbara High School, and has worked as a teacher at Santa Barbara Community Academy and Adams Elementary, Keyani said.

Brian Naughton, a principal at Santa Maria’s Family Partnership Charter School, will become principal of Monroe Elementary School as Principal Celeste Darga leaves to serve as a teacher on special assignment.

She requested the position to work with principals, “sort of like a teacher of teachers, a teacher of principals,” Heron said.

Naughton has previously worked at Santa Barbara Unified as an assistant principal. 

Roosevelt Elementary School's principal, Donna Ronzone, is leaving her 10-year post to become part of the district administration in the new position of director of visual and performing arts, and will be replaced this summer by Christy Mendivil, who previously headed OC Johnson Elementary School in Yuma, Arizona, according to the district.

Cash said he's "ecstatic" about the three new principals, and noted that the list of elementary principals went from having no men to three men for the coming year, the same make-up as the year he was appointed to lead the district. 

"We weren't looking for men, it just worked out that way," he said. 

He believed this year would be "quiet" in terms of turnover, with two new principals at Roosevelt and Cleveland, and then the requests from Handall and Varga led to more leadership changes, he said. 

"It's good that basically the same folks are leaders, just doing different jobs." 

Many of the elementary schools have had a lot of recent leadership turnover, some with three principals in as many years. 

Cash said it's "ironic" and not associated with him, but comes from the usual organizational changes of people retiring, moving to another job within the district or taking jobs in another district. 

Handall left McKinley for the district position in 2012, and was replaced by Washington Elementary teacher Tia Blickley, who then retired and was replaced by Jacqueline Mora in the 2014-15 school year. Next year, Handall will be back.

At Cleveland Elementary School, former teacher and district administrator Cynthia White took over for two years, after Michael Vail retired, and she left in March for medical reasons. Sandoval will start working as principal on July 1.

Harding University Partnership School had a hard time replacing former principal Sally Kingston, and the district hired Nuh Kimbwala, who was put on paid leave and then let go. The district replaced him with assistant principal Vanesha Davis, who resigned in 2014 after a year, and then hired current Principal Veronica Binkley.

Washington Elementary’s former principal, Demian Barnett, left for Peabody Charter School in 2012 and was replaced by Anne Hubbard, who led for two years and then left for a job in Cayucos. Current Principal Sierra Loughridge was hired in 2014.

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


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Artists from United Boys & Girls Clubs to Paint Their Futures on SafeLaunch Airplane

By | Published on 05/27/2015


At 9:30 a.m. this Saturday, May 30, a team of artists from the ​United Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Barbara County​ will paint an airplane beneath the control tower at the Santa Barbara Airport.

At 11:30, ​SafeLaunch​, a local nonprofit dedicated to stopping addiction before it starts, will recognize seven young people who died from addiction. With their names affixed beneath the wings of "DJ," the SafeLaunch airplane, their lives give lift to an important mission.

In the coming months, SafeLaunch will fly DJ to six air shows, where young people and their families will learn about the people whose lives were cut short by addiction, pledge to abstain from alcohol and other drugs until their brains are fully developed, and paint their great futures on the airplane.

“Helping youth soar to new heights through the arts and not the use of drugs is a program that fits within our mission,” Boys & Girls Clubs CEO Michael Baker said.

Janet Rowse, co-founder of SafeLaunch and wife of Santa Barbara City Councilman Randy Rowse, believes that "when we mix kids with art and aviation, we inspire them to reach their highest potential.”

SafeLaunch co-founder and pilot Ron Cuff explains that a safe, successful flight is a metaphor for a safe and successful life.

"Every successful flight requires a flight plan with alternatives if bad weather or mechanical problems crop up," he explains to the kids who participate in SafeLaunch programs. "Life is the same way. Young people without a plan are likely to miss their destination.”

The SafeLaunch message is clear. The adolescent brain is up to 600 percent more susceptible to addiction than its adult counterpart, and experimenting with drugs and alcohol is a risk that no children should ever take.

This event is sponsored by ​Santa Barbara Aviation​ and ​Above All Aviation​. For sponsorship information, contact [email protected]​.

— Janet Rowse is a co-founder of SafeLaunch.


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Laguna Blanca School to Celebrate 81st Commencement and Closing Ceremonies

By | Published on 05/27/2015


Laguna Blanca School is proud to announce the closing and commencement ceremonies for the 2014-15 academic year.

The Lower School Closing Ceremony will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, June 4 and the Middle School Closing Ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, June 5.

The 81st Commencement Ceremony for the graduating Class of 2015 will be at 4 p.m. Wednesday, June 10 at the Hope Ranch Campus in Ruston Amphitheatre.

Lower School Closing Ceremony

The Lower School Campus, located at 260 San Ysidro Road in Montecito, will recognize the fourth-graders' completion of the Lower School program and celebrate the year of learning for all students in each grade level.

The ceremony will be held from 9 to 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, June 4. Family and friends are welcome to attend this momentous occasion as the students advance to Middle School.

Middle School Closing Ceremony

Fifth- through seventh-graders will congratulate the eighth-grade students at the Middle School Closing Ceremony at 4 p.m. Friday, June 5 at the Hope Ranch campus’ Ruston Amphitheater, at 4125 Paloma Drive in Santa Barbara.

Many Upper School students will also attend to welcome the eighth-graders into high school.

81st Commencement Ceremony

Laguna Blanca School’s 81st Commencement Ceremony for the graduating Class of 2015 will be held Wednesday, June 10. The event will be held from 4 to 6 p.m., also in the Ruston Amphitheater on the Hope Ranch campus (4125 Paloma Drive in Santa Barbara).

Laguna Blanca’s new head of school, Rob Hereford, has been selected by the senior class to be the commencement speaker.

Laguna Blanca is proud to congratulate the Class on 2015 on a successful year and wishes each one of them the best of luck in all future endeavors. Congratulations!

Olivia Nicole Avery

Martin Pream Barnick

Chris Charles Benwitt

Ryan Walter Bickett

Justin Maxwell Bollag

Madison Amanda Bonser

Rebecca Rosemarie Brooks

Samuel Timothy Brown

Sarah Annabel Butler

Katherine Rose Carrillo-Castro

Mia Alicia Chavez

Ryan Fleming Chiment

MacKenna Donnelly Connor

Monica Mills Criley

Miles Fowler Crist

Cornelius Patrick Curran, V

Alexa Quinn Davenport

Carys Taylor Davies

Elia Marie Ida Doussineau

Connor Dean Elmore

John Hearst Espy

Robert Cooper Farrell

Morgan Diane Gainey

Talia Rose Giordano

Philip Michael Grandidiér

Mitchell Emory Gravelle

Libby Rose Hasse

Bryn Morgan Jewett

Jasmine Jimenez

Kela Sophia Johnson

Scott Michael Johnston

Christian Stewart Kahmann

Ethan Ram Katnic

Jack Francis Kinsler

John Henry Ligon

Stephen Robert McCaffery

Olivia Elizabeth McGovern

Sarah Laureen Moseley

Damian Nuñez

Juliana Martha Ozur

Parker William Wrigley Rusack

Thomas Joseph Sloan

Annabelle Rose Sorensen

Justin Thomas Stockwell

Cole Joseph Strachan

Carter William Thicke

Benjamin Mark Tolan

Conner Brindley Warren

Angus Dorr Watters-Grubstein

Hannah Alexandra White

Spenser Jordan Wyatt

Ashley Makepeace Zangrillo

Laguna Blanca School is an Early K-12 co-educational, college preparatory day school. It guides students to greater heights by building upon its 80-year tradition of academic excellence with new and innovative teaching methods and programs. With the thriving experiential learning, LEGO, STEM, and global studies programs, competitive Condor League athletics and state-of-the-art athletic facilities, the school continues to broaden and enrich its students’ educational experience. For more information, please visit

— Sydney Gardner is a publicist representing Laguna Blanca School.


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County Water Agency, Partners Offering Residents Free Water-Efficient Showerheads

By | Published on 05/27/2015


At its May 5 meeting, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors recognized the continuing drought emergency in California with a resolution proclaiming May 2015 as Water Awareness Month.

With the past four years (2012-15) being the driest consecutive four years ever recorded in Santa Barbara in more than 100 years, the county urges its residents to increase drought awareness and encourages residents to take individual actions to reduce water use.

To that end, the Santa Barbara County Water Agency, in partnership with many local water providers, will soon be offering free water-efficient showerheads in exchange for older models.

Starting Monday, June 1, residents can remove an existing showerhead and exchange it for a water-efficient showerhead at one of the program’s participating co-sponsor’s locations. In all, 10 water purveyors will participate with a list of those participating agencies listed below. Residents within those water purveyor service areas can simply go to that purveyor’s office.

The new showerhead is a Niagara Company’s Earth model, which has been certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s WaterSense Program as being water efficient at 1.5 gallons per minute. Information on this specific showerhead can be found by clicking here.

Participating Water Purveyors

» Carpinteria Valley Water District

» City of Santa Barbara

» Goleta Water District

» LaCumbre Mutual Water Company

» City of Solvang

» City of Buellton

» City of Lompoc

» Mission Hills CSD

» Los Alamos CSD

» City of Santa Maria

For residents on private water supply systems, the County Water Agency will exchange shower heads at its office at 130 E. Victoria St. in Santa Barbara and at 620 W. Foster Road in Santa Maria.

Residents who exchange showerheads are responsible for removing the old showerhead and for installing the new showerhead. Only one new showerhead will be given for each old showerhead exchanged. The old showerhead will be recycled through the existing recycling programs in each area.

Using a water efficient showerhead is just one way to conserve water. All county residents and businesses, including those who rely on their own well water, are encouraged to continue to carry out multiple actions to be water wise indoors and outdoors. Information, ideas and guidance can be found online at, a website sponsored by the Network of Santa Barbara County Water Providers. The website also has details on specific water conservation programs, incentives and assistance which may be offered by individual water providers.

During May, as Water Awareness Month, and then throughout the year, Let’s Save Together!

Showerhead Exchange Program Locations

» Buellton: Planning Dept. office, 107 West Highway 246

» Carpinteria: Carpinteria Valley Water District Office, 1301 Santa Ynez Ave.

» Goleta: Goleta Water District office, 4699 Hollister Ave.

» Hope Ranch: LaCumbre Mutual Water Company, 695 Via Tranquila in Santa Barbara

» Lompoc: City Hall, 100 Civic Center Plaza

» Los Alamos: Los Alamos CSD office, 82 N. Saint Joseph St.

» Mission Hills: 1550 E. Burton Mesa Blvd. in Lompoc

» Santa Barbara: City of Santa Barbara Public Works Counter, 630 Garden St.

» Santa Maria: City of Santa Maria Utilities Department, 2065 E. Main St.

» Solvang: Solvang City Hall, 1644 Oak St.

Any resident can go to:

» Santa Barbara County Public Works Building, 620 W. Foster Road in Santa Maria

» Santa Barbara County Water Agency, second floor of Naomi Schwartz Building, 130 E. Victoria St. in Santa Barbara


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At UCSB, It’s All Hands on Deck to Protect Western Snowy Plover from Refugio Oil Spill

By | Published on 05/27/2015


The western snowy plover is a portly sort of bird, its barrel chest leaving its spindly legs in permanent shadow as it scampers breakneck across the sand in search of tasty bugs. There’s a regal intrigue to this stout, busy ornithoid — the person at the party you’d love to meet, if only you could catch up.

As for proper, official identifying characteristics of the plover, they go like this: A thin, dark bill; pale brown to gray upper parts; white or buff-colored belly; darker patches on the shoulder and head; white forehead and supercilium, or eyebrow line.

Lately though, in Santa Barbara County, there is concern about the emergence of oil as a new feature being found on the local shorebirds.

In the days since the recent spill near Refugio State Beach, some of the plovers populating UC Santa Barbara’s Coal Oil Point Reserve have been seen with oil on various parts of their bodies. University staff and scientists are working nearly nonstop to mitigate potential impacts to the Pacific Coast species designated in 1993 as threatened, in accordance with the federal Endangered Species Act.

“Our favorite resident bird, the western snowy plover, is nesting right now,” said reserve director Cristina Sandoval. “They nest around high tide, just a few feet above where oil has been deposited. We need to remove that oil because the plovers are getting tar on their wings and hair. Almost all of them have little black boots because their feet are black from oil. They’re getting oil in their beaks because they go peck to try to get the beach hoppers around the kelp and the kelp is tarred. We need to balance the cleaning up with not impacting the plovers too much while they nest.”

Extending several yards down the beach at Coal Oil Point is some light fencing, posts and rope meant to be a barrier between the upper beach, where the plovers are nesting, and the shoreline down below. An array of signage does the heavy lifting by warning beachgoers away: “Nests in Sand, Keep Out” and “Sensitive Wildlife Area, Do Not Enter.”

All these things — as well as the reserve docents in regular daylight rotation, posted on the sand to reiterate the signs’ directives and to answer all manner of inquiries — are standard operating procedure at Coal Oil Point, where protecting the plovers and educating the public are among the year-round priorities. Those efforts naturally ramp up during the birds’ nesting season, which runs mid-March to mid-September.

The introduction of oil during this crucial time for the species has taken protection of the reserve — one of six that UCSB administers within the larger, 37-site UC Natural Reserve System — to a new level.

“As soon as we heard the spill had occurred, we realized the wind and currents could bring oil to Coal Oil Point, so we’ve been working since day one to make sure we protect this reserve,” said Jim Caesar, the campus’s emergency manager. “We have been working with the unified command — the U.S. Coast Guard, the state, the responsible party and Santa Barbara County — to coordinate our response and bring resources to the beach to protect the plover. The cleaning crews are working under the supervision of our reserve personnel and making sure anything we’re doing is not interfering with the habitat of the snowy plover.”

UCSB’s broader efforts around the spill, according to Caesar, include activation of its sizable Community Emergency Response Team (CERT), a program that trains individuals and community groups to perform a variety of emergency functions that may be needed after a disaster. Several students are on the UCSB CERT roster, Caesar said, and a small contingent, trained in proper cleanup technique and safety protocols, has been volunteering this week at Goleta Beach.

Back at Coal Oil Point, Sandoval is supervising professional cleanup crews and assorted agencies involved in the spill response, in an effort to minimize disturbance of the plovers and their nests.

From early morning through late afternoon, Sandoval said, she and a team of biologists are monitoring the birds and their nests as cleanup continues, moving workers away from plovers that are incubating their eggs and ensuring that clean kelp doesn’t get bagged up with the tarred. (The birds find much of their food, such as sand fleas and flies, in and around the kelp that washes ashore.)

In addition to serving in this advisory role, Sandoval and colleagues are counting other shorebirds on site and keeping watch for the migratory — and endangered — California least tern, which is due to arrive at the reserve any day. They are also monitoring, as a precaution, the animals that live on the adjacent dunes, including some rare beetles and spiders.

“The entire beach habitat is a very sensitive place,” Sandoval said. “When you think about the kind of habitat that beach is, there’s a really thin line between the aquatic habitat that is the ocean and the land. We don’t have that much beach to begin with and on top of that, most beaches have been degraded to the point that almost nothing is living in there. A place like Coal Oil Point, where the beach is still as pristine as it gets, with all the native species of plants and animals, is hard to find. So the impact of an oil spill is not just on the plovers, but on the entire beach ecosystem.

“The UC Natural Reserve System protects natural areas for research and education,” Sandoval continued. “Protecting is not simply putting a fence around — it requires a lot of stewardship. What we’re doing today is stewardship. Reserves like this, in an urban area, we receive impacts from everywhere — predators like skunks and raccoons that come from neighboring areas, pollution from downstream, and now an oil spill. Our job here is to try to keep the reserve as pristine as possible, to do everything we can to protect this beautiful place.”

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


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Jim Hightower: A Letter Carrier’s Special Delivery to Congress

By | Published on 05/27/2015


Neither rain nor sleet nor snow — nor even the likelihood that he'd be killed en route — could stop this letter carrier from making his appointed rounds.

Doug Hughes is one gutsy and creative mailman. In April, this rural letter carrier from Florida stunned the Secret Service, eluded federal aviation authorities, embarrassed Washington's haughty all-seeing security hierarchy and threw members of Congress into a chaotic panic. Hughes did all this by boldly flying his tiny, homemade gyrocopter right through the heart of our nation's most restricted airspace, then landing it on the front lawn of the U.S. Capitol.

Far from a terrorist or a kook, Hughes was just a mailman on a mission, a patriotic citizen who — like most of us — is disgusted that Big Money interests are able to openly buy lawmakers and laws. But he did more than write a letter to his Congress critter — he wrote letters to all 535 of them, loaded the missives in his mailbag and — as postal workers do — literally went the extra mile to make a "very special delivery" in his gyrocopter.

This was no flight of fancy. Hughes planned his mail delivery for months, and he was fully aware that he might crash, be killed by a scramble of military jets or be gunned down by guards when he landed. Nor was it a sneak attack — he repeatedly posted his intentions in blogs; a reporter was covering his preparations; and the Secret Service had investigated and interviewed him about his plans more than a year earlier.

His landing jolted the Capitol into lockdown. Guards rushed out to arrest Hughes and haul him off to some deep cellblock; a bomb squad arrived; and spooked lawmakers were scared silly. They ran around screeching that they were threatened by terrorists. Of course, the real threat to America is not some guy flying a gyrocopter in protest but the utter corruption of Congress, the courts and democracy itself by the plutocratic elites whom this mailman targeted with nothing more (nor less) dangerous than a bagful of truth-telling letters.

Actually, Hughes was not alone on this heroic mission of civil disobedience — the great majority of Americans are totally on board with him, his message and his bold effort to shake up and shape up Congress.

It's not surprising that when the activist mailman delivered his powerful message to Congress he drew saturation coverage from the mass media.

Not coverage of his message, mind you, but a ridiculous spasm of media scaremongering over the non-existent terrorist threat that our self-absorbed members of Congress say his visit posed to them. While Hughes carried no weapons of terrorism on his flight, the message he brought to Washington is politically explosive. So, congressional leaders, who're always terrified about anything that might ignite public outrage over their pay-to-play corruption, quickly rushed to divert attention from the message — to the messenger.

Shazam! In an instant, the politicos fabricated a sob story about themselves, recasting their role from for-sale villains to pitiable victims. We're threatened by a security network so porous, they squealed, that this dangerous terrorist can easily fly right up to the Capitol building. They convened emergency hearings, went on talk shows and imperiously demanded that they be made safe from such a horrific threat. And the media meekly bought into the whole hubbub, entirely losing sight of the damning message that the mailman was carrying.

Hughes did not commit an act of terror; it was an act of civil disobedience. His flight was a thoughtful, well-planned, nonviolent stand against the tyranny of money, undertaken in the spirit of Henry David Thoreau and Martin Luther King Jr. Hughes is standing up for We the People, and like freedom fighters before him, he's full-aware of and prepared to pay the price of civic defiance.

On May 20, a federal grand jury indicted this messenger of democracy on a mess of charges that could add up to more than nine years in prison. Far from backing away, however, he's now calling out you and me: "We spend billions protecting the United States from terrorists," Hughes recently wrote. "It's time for Americans to spend time protecting democracy from plutocrats."

One time when Thoreau was in jail for his defiance of authority, his friend Ralph Waldo Emerson happened by and asked: "Henry, why are you here?" Thoreau retorted: "Why are you not here?" To help save our democracy from plutocracy, go to

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


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Rae Largura: Is Your Child Ready for Next School Year? (Grades 1-6)

By | Published on 05/27/2015


No two children are alike. Especially in the elementary years, milestones vary greatly. Unless you see large discrepancies, there is no need to worry.

Here are some typical academic and social benchmarks for each grade level:


» Follow class rules.

» Separate from a parent or caregiver easily.

» Be able to take turns.

» Cut along a line with scissors.

» Pay attention for 15 to 20 minutes.

» Hold a crayon and pencil correctly.

» Know the eight basic colors: red, yellow, blue, green, orange,  black, white and pink.

» Write the letters of the alphabet in upper and lowercase forms.

» Spell his or her first and last name.

» Retell a story that has been read aloud.

» Read numbers up to 20.

» Know the basic shapes.

First Grade

» Work independently at his or her desk.

» Know his or her address and phone number.

» Complete homework and bring it back the next day.

» Work out minor difficulties with friendships and peers.

» Write and spell untaught words phonetically.

» Write sentences with correct capitalization and punctuation.

» Read aloud first-grade books with accuracy and understanding.

» Tell time to the hour and half-hour using analog and digital clocks.

» Answer addition and subtraction problems with number up to 20.

Second Grade

» Noticeable difference in focus and understanding information.

» Work well and show cooperation with a partner or a small group.

» Understand the difference between right and wrong.

» Read fluently and with expression.

» Able to use a dictionary.

» Add single and multi-digit numbers with regrouping.

» Tell time to the quarter-hour.

Third Grade

» Work cooperatively and productively with other children in small groups to complete projects.

» Understand how choices affect consequences.

» Read longer stories and chapter books.

» Use prefixes, suffixes, and root words and other strategies to identify unfamiliar words.

» Multiply and divide single and multi-digit numbers.

» Know the products of all one-digit numbers by memory.

» Be able to discuss a topic and present a report.

Fourth Grade

» Begin to make more decisions independently. 

» Increase the amount of detail in drawings.

» Write a complete structured paragraph.

» Use all punctuation appropriately in writing.

» Understand more complex cause-and-effect relationships.

» Add, subtract and compare decimals and fractions.

» Understand the concept of place value.

» Identify points, lines, rays and angles in two-dimensional figures.

Fifth Grade

» Improved problem-solving skills.

» Research a topic using a variety of sources.

» Write an organized, multi-paragraph composition in sequential order with a central idea.

» Use problem-solving strategies to solve real-world math problems.

» Use long division to divide large numbers by multi-digit numbers.

» Appreciate different forms of literature.

» Increased vocabulary through the use of synonyms, antonyms, homophones and analogies.

» Recognize relationships between fractions, decimals and percents.

» Determine the perimeter of polygons and the area of squares and rectangles.

» Understand basic United States history, geography, economics and government.

Sixth Grade

» Write, simplify and manipulate expressions and equations.

» Problem solving, including ratios, proportions, geometry, statistics and probability.

» Use all stages of the writing process (organizing, drafting, revising and editing).

» Set up and conduct simple scientific experiments.

Any subject, any grade: What is your question for a tutor? Email [email protected].

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


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Devereux’s ‘Evening in Italy’ Brings People of All Ages, Abilities Together to Socialize

By | Published on 05/27/2015


Last Thursday evening, 120 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, their staff, friends and volunteers were singing “That’s Amore!” together and dancing to the awesome tunes of Sozo at the Goleta Valley Community Center.

Hosted by Devereux, the eighth annual free event, "Evening in Italy," provides a venue for individuals served by Devereux (and others such as Hillside House and People Creating Success) where they can enjoy an Italian dinner, socialize, and most of all, dance to their favorite tunes played by Sozo, a youth band created and coached by William Fiedtkou, music program director of the Santa Barbara Youth Music Academy.

Along with Devereux staff, community volunteers (Rochelle Lord, Vidal Chiprez, Lindsay Terrel, Shane Nazareth, Kaelyn Maehara and Lauren Harris from the Goleta Rotarak group), served the meal, then encouraged the more reticent guests to get out on the floor and boogie with them! Two very special guests from Philadelphia — CEO Bob Kreider and COO Carl Clark of the Devereux Foundation — attended as well.

This year was very special because the community really pitched in to help out. Numerous local restaurants and stores completely donated food for the event. Many, many thanks to Via Maetra #42, Petrini’s, Pascucci’s, Giovanni’s, Trader Joe’s and McDonalds for donating needed food and related items. Their generosity is invaluable to Devereux California.

Attendees were all smiles during the Devereux California event. (Devereux California photo)

We also sincerely thank Tino’s Italian Market and Woodstock Pizza for significantly discounting their products for our purposes. There are many good hearts and generous businesses in this great community, and we sincerely thank each one who participated in this event.

As one volunteer put it, "It's so good to see these folks who are supported by Devereux and other providers come together and have such a wonderful time. It’s a great opportunity to get to know others who have different abilities by sharing the joy of music and dancing. It’s truly life-changing to experience this party. What a diverse, happy group of people!”

Devereux California currently provides residential, day, supported living and independent living services to 80 people in Goleta, Santa Barbara and Lompoc areas.

Established by Special Education Pioneer Helena Devereux in Pennsylvania in 1912, Devereux is celebrating its 70th anniversary in California this year, and is the largest nonprofit provider of behavioral health care services in the country.

— Cassi Noel represents Devereux California.


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Annette Jorgensen Joins American Riviera Bank as Business Development Officer

By | Published on 05/27/2015


American Riviera Bank is pleased to announce that Annette Jorgensen has been appointed vice president and business development officer.

Jorgensen has more than 26 years of banking experience with an emphasis on Small Business Administration lending. At American Riviera Bank, she will deliver business, real estate and construction financing as well as depository solutions to new clients in the greater Santa Barbara area.

In addition, Jorgensen’s expertise will soon allow American Riviera Bank to originate SBA 504 loans. The SBA 504 program provides growing businesses with long-term, fixed-rate financing for major fixed assets, such as land and buildings.

“We are very excited to have Annette join our team," said Jeff DeVine, president and chief executive officer stated. "Her outgoing personality and considerable experience will enhance our ability to serve the community’s banking needs. We look forward to offering the SBA 504 loan program in the near future.”

American Riviera Bank will celebrate its ninth anniversary this July. The bank provides service with a personal touch and state-of-the-art technology to deliver responsive and flexible banking solutions. American Riviera Bank had $230 million in total assets and maintained a strong capital position with a Tier 1 Leverage Ratio of 12 percent as of March 31, well above the regulatory guideline of 5 percent for well-capitalized institutions.

Jorgensen will be working out of the bank’s branch at 1033 Anacapa St. in downtown Santa Barbara. Her direct line is 805.979.3846 and her email is [email protected].

— Michelle Martinich is the chief financial officer for American Riviera Bank.


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Two UCSB Professors Receive Early Career Research Awards from Department of Energy

By | Published on 05/27/2015


Two members of UC Santa Barbara’s faculty have been named recipients of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Early Career Research Program awards.

Assistant professors Nathaniel Craig in the Department of Physics and Matthew Helgeson in the Department of Engineering are among 44 young scientists and engineers from across the nation selected to receive this year’s awards.

“We are very pleased that UCSB is one of only two universities with two assistant professors receiving these prestigious early career awards,” said Michael Witherell, vice-chancellor for research at UCSB. “We continue to attract some of the top scientists and engineers in the country, doing forefront research on a wide range of problems, from the Higgs boson to polymeric fluids.”

Awardees were selected from a large pool of university- and national laboratory-based applicants. Selection was based on peer review by outside scientific experts. Under the program, university-based researchers will receive at least $150,000 per year to cover summer salary and research expenses.

Physics Beyond the Higgs Boson

“It’s incredibly gratifying to receive this support from the Department of Energy, which will facilitate the research of graduate students and postdoctoral researchers studying physics beyond the Standard Model,” said Craig, whose research investigates physics beyond the Higgs boson.

The discovery of the elusive Higgs boson in 2012 culminated a half-century of searching by thousands of scientists all over the world and marks the completion of the Standard Model of fundamental particle physics. But for Nathaniel Craig, a new search has just begun.

“What I’ve really been drawn to are the set of questions where there is interesting theory, but we also have the data, and we can conduct experiments and test our hypotheses in a progressive way,” said Craig, who will be using the Higgs to dig deeper to uncover the framework of the universe.

If anything, discovery of the rare and peculiar boson has led to more questions: How could it be so light when quantum effects predict it to be much heavier? Is there more than one Higgs boson and could the particle’s generation or decay provide clues to the existence of other as-yet unknown particles?

By leveraging current knowledge of the Higgs gained at the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, as well as data from upcoming collisions planned at the LHC it may be possible to answer those questions.

Because the Higgs interacts with particles it encounters, imbuing them with mass, according Craig, it can provide a very sensitive probe for searching for new physics — particularly new fundamental particles that have yet to be found and placed into the framework of the Standard Model. These interactions may also point to some explanation of how the Higgs has resisted becoming the heavy particle that quantum effects predict.

“Quantum mechanical effects want to pull the mass of the Higgs up to be equal to the heaviest masses of the particles it talks to,” said Craig. “So there’s this mystery: Why is there such a huge difference?”

One answer might lie in an extension of the Standard Model called supersymmetry that introduces new particles that cancel the quantum effects that contribute to the Higgs mass. And, one can’t discount the possibility that there may be several Higgs bosons, in the same way there are multiples of the other particles, noted Craig. Now that they know what to look for, it’s a matter of having a systematic program for conducting the search.

“If we really just study the Higgs, that’s really the most promising way to understand the underlying structure of the universe,” he said.

Probing the Secrets of Complex Fluids

“I am honored to receive this generous award from the Department of Energy, and appreciate the long-term commitment to basic science that it reflects. I would also like to thank the support of neutron scattering programs at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology that provide the facilities that make this research possible,” said Matt Helgeson.

Complex fluids are at the heart of Helgeson’s research. These are materials that exist between two phases and so respond to stress differently than do regular solids, liquids and gases. Common examples include quicksand and shaving gel; these types of fluids are also used in new and high tech processes such as 3D printing.

According to Helgeson, the award will help his group to better understand how complex fluids behave on the nanoscale.

“This award will enable us to develop neutron scattering methods that give unparalleled measurement of the structure and dynamics of complex fluids in situ under flow,” he said. Previous methods of making these measurements take into account steady flows, he added, but real-life use of these complex fluids in industry typically involves different rates of flow and, thus, different behaviors. The group is developing a device that will allow researchers to emulate these complex flows and measure the fluids’ properties and behaviors.

The research also goes toward understanding how these processing flows could be designed to control the formation of materials used in energy production and conversion, such as solar cells and other semiconductor devices.

“These studies may lead to new routes to refined structures that give rise to superior performance in these materials, or perhaps the discovery of entirely novel flow-induced structures with unique or enhanced properties,” Helgeson said.

“This prestigious Department of Energy award recognizes Professor Helgeson’s achievements and his tremendous potential,” commented Rod Alferness, dean of UCSB’s College of Engineering. “I convey the sentiments of the entire College of Engineering community when I say we look forward to the research and student mentoring that will result from this award.”

— Sonia Fernandez represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.


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iCAN Invites Community to ‘Go to the Movies’ Student Concert on Friday

By | Published on 05/27/2015


iCAN (The Incredible Children's Art Network) invites the community to a special end-of-year performance.

The “iCAN Go to the Movies Concert!” will take place from 4 to 5 p.m. this Friday, May 29, at the Westside Neighborhood Center, 423 W. Victoria St.

Students from the iCAN Music Program will perform pieces from feature films, highlighting a variety of musical instrument families. The children will also be playing American fiddle tunes, pop tunes and new music compositions.

The concert is free and all are welcome.

“I am excited for the concert on May 29 because it is very exciting for students and their families to see how much they have learned in nine months. Their progress is beyond phenomenal, and I am blown away by their progress,” said Xóchitl Tafoya, iCAN’s director of music programs. “All of our iCAN students have worked hard with our wonderful teaching artist team to learn their instruments and work together as a family. The concert is sure to be an exciting event to see our future leaders create beautiful music together and sharing it with the community.”

iCAN music is offered at no cost to families at two sites. The program at Franklin Elementary School, in Santa Barbara’s Eastside, serves nearly 100 second- through sixth-grade students. Located at the Westside Neighborhood Center, the pilot stage music program serves nearly 30 students in grades three through six. Students come to this common community setting from several elementary schools to receive intensive high-quality musical instruction, five days a week, two to three hours a day. Students play string, woodwinds and brass instruments and use choir as a method of instruction.

Click here for more information about iCAN.

— Yvonne Leal is the network relations director for iCAN.


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Santa Barbara County Fire Department to Conduct Defensible Space Inspections

By | Published on 05/27/2015


The Santa Barbara County Fire Department will be conducting defensible space inspections beginning Monday, June 1.

A minimum of 100 feet of defensible space is required around your home in Santa Barbara County.

Engine companies will perform inspections and provide homeowners with an inspection form and educational material on how to comply.

With the year- round threat of wildfire in Southern California, the defensible space requirement is enforced at all times in Santa Barbara County. Noncompliant homeowners are subject to be cited.

This year, 13,000 homeowners in the Counties State Responsibly Area (SRA) will receive by mail a wildfire safety brochure, containing valuable tips to help your home withstand wildfire. This brochure is being sent to residents that live within the high fire hazard areas of the county. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department hopes that the information found in the brochure will help homeowners prepare ahead of time before wildfire strikes.

Click here for more information on wildfire preparedness.

— Capt. Dave Zaniboni is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.


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Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara Awarding Record $8.7 Million to County Students

By | Published on 05/27/2015


The Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara will award a record $8.7 million to nearly 3,000 Santa Barbara County students at two annual awards ceremonies this week — Wednesday in Santa Barbara and on Thursday in Santa Maria.

Proud parents, students and local philanthropic leaders will gather at the Sunken Garden of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse to honor students from the southern part of the county on Wednesday and at First Christian Church in Santa Maria to honor students from the northern part of the county on Thursday.

The annual awards ceremonies will be hosted by the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara in conjunction with its largest partner, the Santa Barbara Foundation. Both events are free and are open to the public.

This year, the Scholarship Foundation received 3,481 applications for financial support. While 2,948 of those students will receive critical student aid, over 500 deserving students were turned away due to lack of funds.

“The Board of Directors of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara is extremely grateful to our many contributors who have made it possible for the foundation to award a record $8.7 million in aid this year. This is the largest amount awarded by any community scholarship provider in the nation," said Janet Garufis, president of the Board of Directors of the Scholarship Foundation. "However, as proud as we are of this achievement, we never stop thinking about the many worthy young people that we had to turn away. It is heartbreaking to deny aid to any deserving student who wishes to pursue a higher education degree or credential.”

Community members wishing to show their support are invited to attend Wednesday's awards ceremony at 3:30 p.m. and Thursday's awards ceremony at 3:30 p.m.

— Raissa Smorol is the development director for the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara.


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Special Olympics Honoring Sheriff’s Lt. Butch Arnoldi for 30 Years of Service

By | Published on 05/27/2015


Special Olympics Santa Barbara County Region is proud to announce Lt. Ugo Peter “Butch” Arnoldi as the organization’s Community Service Award recipient.

Lt. Butch Arnoldi speaks at last year’s Special Olympics Santa Barbara County Region's annual Inspire Greatness luncheon. (Special Olympics Santa Barbara County Region photo)

He will be honored for his dedicated support at the organization’s seventh annual Inspire Greatness luncheon this Thursday, May 28, at the Santa Barbara Courthouse Sunken Garden.

Arnoldi, a Santa Barbara native and 41-year veteran with the Sheriff’s Department, has been a volunteer and champion of Special Olympics for more than 30 years. He organized Santa Barbara’s Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run in 1982 — and continued the tradition every year since — and his support doesn’t stop there. He is also a long-standing member of the Special Olympics Southern California Law Enforcement Torch Run Council.

From helping coordinate fundraising events to serving as a member of the organization’s Leadership Council to volunteering at sports competitions, Arnoldi demonstrates his passion year-round.

“Lt. Butch Arnoldi has been the guiding force for over 30 years in making the Law Enforcement Torch Run fundraising component of Special Olympics Santa Barbara Region very successful,” said Gina Carbajal, regional director. “Butch continues to provide stellar support in ensuring that law enforcement officers not only provide support in fundraising, but are present at events to cheer on athletes, give high fives, and honor the athletes with giving out awarded medals.”

Arnoldi’s diverse service to Special Olympics has also played a significant role in the growth of the organization. He recruits and motivates law enforcement volunteers to participate in Tip-A-Cop fundraisers, which help raise critical funds for the nonprofit organization. As chair of the Santa Barbara County Torch Run Committee, Arnoldi also unites officers from law enforcement agencies and manages the Santa Barbara County leg of the annual Torch Run.

“Special Olympics is an outstanding organization, it allows people of all ages with intellectual disabilities the opportunity to compete in various sporting events that truly make a difference in the lives of not only the Special Olympics athletes and their families, but for all of us,” Lt. Arnoldi said. “It is extremely rewarding to be directly involved with the Law Enforcement Torch Run Mission which is a partnership of communities, law enforcement agencies and Special Olympics programming with the goal of raising funds and public awareness for Special Olympics Southern California, while enhancing the quality of life of our athletes.”    

As the longest-serving lieutenant in department history — 18 years and counting — Arnoldi has worked throughout the county, from Santa Maria to Carpinteria, and is the only sheriff’s lieutenant having served as the station commander at every station in the South County. He served as a countywide patrol operations watch commander for five years, as the sheriff’s adjutant to Sheriff Bill Brown for over three years, and is currently the chief of police for the City of Goleta, the largest contract city within the County of Santa Barbara as well as the Goleta Valley Patrol Bureau commander, a position he has held since August 2010.

In addition to Arnoldi, Special Olympics will also honor four other individuals with awards at the Inspire Greatness luncheon, including local Special Olympics athletes Lamarcus Briggs and Jerry Raffealli (Athletes of the Year), Cameron Woods (Outstanding Youth Volunteer) and Dan Weiner (Outstanding Adult Volunteer).

To RSVP for the luncheon or for more information about Special Olympics Santa Barbara County Region, please call 805.884.1516 or click here.

— Daniella Alkobi is a publicist representing Special Olympics Santa Barbara County Region.


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Adams Students Dive Into Free Swim, Water Safety Classes at Santa Barbara YMCA

By | Published on 05/27/2015


Sixth-graders from Adams Elementary School — 63 students in all — are enjoying free swim lessons and water safety education at the Santa Barbara Family YMCA on Hitchcock Way through June, just in time for summer vacation.

Adams physical education director Julie Churchman is assisting YMCA aquatics director Vanessa Tooch, whose expertise working with children in aquatics allows her to see the students go from “never being in a swimming pool and afraid of the water to being excited about coming here to learn how to swim.”

The Santa Barbara Family YMCA provides two certified lifeguards in addition to certified swimming instructors.

The Channel Islands YMCA is a charitable organization providing programs based upon Christian principles to men, women and children of all ages, races, religious beliefs and economic status to develop and enrich the spirit, mind and body.

The Santa Barbara branch is located at 36 Hitchcock Way in Santa Barbara. Visit the YMCA online by clicking here.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Family YMCA.


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Brian Burke: About Your Divorce (Letter 112) — Sometimes You’re the Windshield ...

By | Published on 05/27/2015


Oblique Strategy #9 — “Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you're the bug.”

For years I began a law school class by asking the students to pair off for rounds of “Rock-Paper-Scissors” (R-P-S). Without any explanation, I collected the results for that evening’s competition and ignored the questions: “Why are we doing this?” and “Will this affect my grade?”

Repeated rounds of R-P-S provided a mutual, concrete experience of a competitive activity with mere seconds between the beginning and end. If I’m Rock and you’re Paper — that’s it. There’s no appeal, no replay. The more you play against an increasing number of people, the more apparent it is that strategy is of dubious value and the outcome is random.

The focus of law school and legal practice is on control-of-outcome, so a property of all the situations is a controllable outcome.

Yet, some of the most significant things that happen over the course of a lifetime are beyond control, which creates a set of opposing hazards: we may adopt a core belief that there is something about our being that deserves the effect (positive or negative) of a random event or we may be unable to accept the (usually negative) effect of a random event.

A major premise is that healthy and lasting resolution of post-marital conflict is built on the Overlap of each party’s notion of “fairness.” This is what typically happens by the end of the natural grieving process. On occasion the parties get stuck and there is not sufficient overlap of values with which to fashion a mutually acceptable solution.

There is a differential diagnosis that can be made between being Stuck and The Stall. Neither is intentional but The Stall is normal and will disappear with the passage of time. When the parties are Stuck, they stay Stuck until either or both change beliefs and values to the extent necessary to create the Overlap. Such a change requires effort and can be promoted by a mediator working with the overt dynamic of the case or by personal counseling, which works with the underlying psychological dynamics of either or both parties.

There are three signs that the apparent impasse is merely a normal Stall. They involve timing, magnitude and complexity.

» Timing. The Third Stage of the Kübler-Ross/Yale Grief Model is “false bargaining.” The parties have been able to identify all of the significant issues. They tentatively agree on most of them and have provisionally agreed – either tacitly or expressly — on a viable structure for the settlement. In my practice this point is reached when I know enough about the probable settlement to prepare the first draft of the Marital Settlement Agreement.

» Magnitude. From the subjective perspective of the parties the Stall involves a matter of enormous significance, while from the outside the matter in controversy is small or insignificant. This is how a settlement “breaks down” over the distribution of the “Green Chair in the kitchen” or “the garage door opener you took when you left (for which you have no possible use) and yet now you deny having it.”

» Complexity. From an exterior perspective the solution is simple. From the perspective of the parties involved, there is only deadlock. If a way out is suggested from the “outside” it is rejected and tainted. If it is imposed, disagreement goes so deep that it can’t be fixed from the outside (e.g., a disagreement about what’s in the best interest of the children.)

The Stall indicates that the couple is slipping into the final stage of grief — Depression. They shouldn’t attempt to complete their business with each other. The person at the beginning of divorce is different from the person at the end. The transformation is completed during this situational depression, which is a time each party can “feel his way into” what life will be like under the terms of the provisional agreement. When the Depression lifts, the Stall dissipates. The “Green Chair’s” emotional charge disappears and it once again becomes a green chair that could be sold in a garage sale for $5.

In contrast to a normal Stall, parties who are Stuck reiterate the same futile attempts to deal with one or more issues apparent from the outset and originating at or before the beginning of the marriage.

Consider Ann and Buck who were married for 20 years. Ann stayed at home to raise their three children. Buck finished school after marriage and then figured out how to earn a lot of money. When Buck discovered Ann’s infidelity, he left the family home where two minor children continued to live with their mother.

Buck’s first lawyer — and also his second lawyer — explained that Ann’s infidelity is of no interest to the court. He can agree to the payment of spousal support for a substantial period of time or he’ll be ordered to do it. Buck is overwhelmed by anger and rage he attributes to Ann’s betrayal and says that he will go to any length to avoid paying spousal support.

Buck’s attitude is understandable, but it should diminish during the first year. However, 18 months later, he is as overwhelmed by his sense of betrayal and victimization as he was on the day he left the family home — and he’s still determined to avoid payment of support regardless of the consequences to himself. Buck is Stuck; the case is Stuck. This is not a self-correcting Stall. It’s also extreme behavior more common in novels than in my experience as a divorce lawyer.

We understand Buck’s feeling at the outset, but we grow impatient when he can’t get past the basic fact that IT happened to him.

We might say, “Damn it, Buck, in one way or another 'IT' happens to everyone.”

Buck will receive less and less commiseration from those who care about him, and he will become more and more likely to pay people to agree with him. For me, Buck is a character from fiction and not from practice. Yet, he seems familiar, and he’s easy to understand because he can tell us about his unrelenting psychological pain. We know that his attitude could persist for life and that it could be lethal.

We’ll quickly learn that it’s not effective to say directly, “Buck! Get over it! You’re killing yourself.”

                                                                        •        •

Because his rage has continued for so long and, according to his own report, it hasn’t diminished, I don’t know if there’s anything that can help Buck. This Oblique Strategy is for someone with a case of “Buck Lite” who wants to break out of the jail created by his or her own thinking.

Play 10 rounds of R-P-S with 10 different people. It can’t hurt and the hundred rounds will take less than 15 minutes to complete. R-P-S doesn’t interfere with the exercise of free will, but it may get through the defensive thinking that protects the self-righteous and self-destructive sense of victimhood, and it makes available the explanation that occasionally random events can occur as part of interpersonal experience.

It changes the question from, “What happened to me?” to simply “What happened?”

In terms of R-P-S the answer is, “Paper covers rock, etc.”

The same idea is more poetically expressed in The Bug written by Mark Knopfler and performed by Mary Chapin Carpenter, who sings: “Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you're the bug.”

Next column: Oblique Strategy #10 — Can you describe the way you apologize?

— Brian H. Burke is a certified family law specialist practicing family law and mediation in Santa Barbara. A researcher and educator in the field of divorce and family conflicts, he is also the creator of the Legal Road Map™. Click here for more information, call 805.965.2888 or e-mail [email protected]. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Plaza in Renovated Peabody Stadium at Santa Barbara High to Honor Donors Pete and Gerd Jordano

By | Published on 05/27/2015


On Tuesday, the Santa Barbara Unified School District approved the naming of a new plaza in the renovated Peabody Stadium at Santa Barbara High School. Jordano Plaza, honoring Pete and Gerd Jordano, will be a community gathering space as well as the location of a new donor wall, recognizing contributors to the stadium renovation project.

“Pete and Gerd Jordano have not only made a significant donation to this project, but they have also been tireless volunteers,” said Greg Tebbe, capital campaign chair. “They have been responsible for securing at least $1 million so far for this once-in-a-century project.”

In the beginning of the 2014-15 school year, Pete and Gerd Jordano joined SBHS staff and volunteers for a tour of the existing asphalt track, 90-year-old concrete stadium, and field at Santa Barbara High School.

“Pete and I both graduated from Santa Barbara High School and have very fond memories of our time there,” Gerd Jordano said, “but we hadn’t been to the stadium for a long time. It looks a little sad down there.”

After seeing the poor condition of the track, field and stadium, the Jordanos wasted no time in getting involved. They immediately pledged their support and set about rallying Dons to get involved.

“All the pieces were in place to start this project,” Pete Jordano said. “All we had to do was get our classmates and friends interested.

“Both Gerd and I made connections at SBHS that have lasted a lifetime. We are honored to be part of this project and do what we can for the next generation.”

The Foundation for Santa Barbara High School and the Santa Barbara Unified School District have been working together for three years on a $12.7 million plan to renovate the stadium, track and field at SBHS. The district has already approved $4.9 million in bond funds for the project, and received a seismic mitigation grant from the State of California for $2.8 million. The Foundation for SBHS began its campaign to raise the remaining $5 million from private sources in the fall.

Including the Jordanos’ gift, $3 million has been pledged or donated to the renovation.

“We would not have come this far without the Jordano’s help," Tebbe said. "Their contribution gave us the ‘seal of approval’ we needed.

“In the next year, we need to raise the remaining $2 million. We hope that every Don — actually every person in Santa Barbara who believes in strong schools and offering public places for recreation and exercise — will join the Jordanos in making a contribution.”

Both Jordanos are active community volunteers and business leaders. Pete Jordano is CEO of Jordano's Food Service and Pacific Beverage, the oldest continuing business with common ownership in Santa Barbara and the second largest independent foodservice distribution company in California. Gerd Jordano was honored as the 2011 Santa Barbara Foundation Woman of the Year for her service to many local organizations including Alzheimer’s Association, Cottage Health Systems, Westmont College, Hospice of Santa Barbara, and the Santa Barbara Scholarship Foundation.

The Peabody Stadium renovation will update the facility with a new concrete grandstand as well as an artificial turf field and synthetic track. Currently, use of the facility is severely limited due to its age and condition. The renovation will make Peabody Stadium accessible to all SBHS students as well as to the Santa Barbara community.

The Santa Barbara High School class of 2015 could be the last class to graduate in the original stadium, which was built in 1924. As long as fundraising targets are met, the renovation project will begin in November 2015 and be completed in time for graduation 2017. Graduation in 2016 will be conducted at a different location.

For more information about the renovation of the track, field and stadium, click here and select Peabody Stadium Renovation. Donations can also be mailed to Foundation for SBHS, P.O. Box 158, Santa Barbara, CA 93102.

— Katie Jacobs is the director of development for the Foundation for Santa Barbara High School.


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City of Santa Barbara to Begin Construction of Stormwater Infiltration Projects

By | Published on 05/27/2015


The City of Santa Barbara will begin construction of a stormwater infiltration project at Plaza de Vera Cruz beginning on Monday, June 1.

The asphalt service road through the park between East Cota Street and East Haley Street will be replaced with permeable pavers in order to allow stormwater (rain) and urban runoff to infiltrate into the ground.

This design demonstrates a retrofit that complies with the city’s Stormwater Management Program by detaining and treating the volume of water generated by a one inch storm event. The water is allowed to soak into the ground below the pavers, naturally treating pollutants and recharging groundwater.

Later this summer, permeable pavers will also be installed in the sidewalks surrounding Alice Keck Park Memorial Gardens, and in summer 2016 the street and sidewalks in the 700 and 800 blocks of North Quarantina Street will be replaced with permeable pavers.

Funding for this project has been provided primarily through a grant agreement with the State Water Resources Control Board, and by the City of Santa Barbara Creeks Division through Measure B.

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


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Refugio Oil Spill Command Operation Outgrows County’s Emergency Operations Center

By | Published on 05/26/2015


More than 200 personnel involved in the cleanup effort are overtaxing the Cathedral Oaks Road building, with a move to another facility expected by Friday

The Refugio oil-spill response effort appears to have outgrown Santa Barbara County’s Emergency Operations Center, county Emergency Management Director Ryan Rockabrand told the county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

The majority of the incident command personnel now at the EOC will move to another facility on Friday, Rockabrand said.

About 200 to 250 people have been working out of the EOC to coordinate cleanup response efforts after the May 19 oil spill that sent thousands of gallons of crude oil out of a pipeline, through a culvert, over coastal bluffs and into the ocean near Refugio State Beach on the Gaviota Coast.

Plains All American Pipeline, the company responsible for the Line 901 pipe that transports crude oil from Las Flores Canyon to Gaviota, is involved in the spill response, and was asked to find an appropriate command post location, but the two proposed spots were inadequate, Rockabrand said.

After that, the county offered up the EOC, which was used starting at 6 a.m. May 20 and is now “literally bursting at the seams” as more resources respond to the area, he said.

Representatives from federal and state agencies thanked the Board of Supervisors for use of the EOC, saying the response would not be going as well without use of that facility.

Private security has been controlling the driveway leading up to the EOC at 4408 Cathedral Oaks Road. and turned away county supervisors from the area multiple times.

“I think over 250 people are at the site, and I know security was a concern, but I didn’t appreciate the fact I couldn’t get into the building because Plains representatives stopped me at the gate,” Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf said. “I want to make sure those types of things don’t happen again.”

Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr said she was also stopped twice.

“When three people stopped me in the EOC lobby, I pointed to my picture on the wall and said, ‘That’s me.’”

Federal, state and county agencies are all included in the incident command, and after the big move, Santa Barbara County’s Office of Emergency Management will continue operating the EOC at full-scale activation status to handle the county’s response to the incident, Rockabrand said.

The OEM will be “shoulder to shoulder” with the county Fire Department for the county’s command of the incident, he said.

County Fire personnel were the first responders to the spill and called in hand crews to start damming operations to keep oil from reaching the ocean, Fire Chief Eric Peterson said.

There was some “red tape” to get through during the first few days of the response, but now the county Fire Department is involved in the unified command and directly with clean-up response efforts, he said.

Two hand crews of 12 are doing clean-up operations in the field, and more fire personnel are acting as field observers to provide local knowledge for the U.S. Coast Guard, Peterson said.

Many other departments are involved in the response, and Santa Barbara County will be compensated by Plains for staff time spent on the oil spill response effort, County Counsel Michael Ghizzoni said.

The Oil Pollution Act of 1990, an update to the Clean Water Act, outlines strict liability by the responsible party for removal costs and damages after a spill, he said.

There is an active claims line at 866.753.3619.

The claims process should be “beefed up” to let people know they can file partial claims now, without giving up the right to file additional claims later, Ghizzoni said.

The county told the unified command about its concerns, and there should be a more robust claims procedure soon, he said.

Businesses including kayak tour companies, hotels and commercial fishermen could all file partial claims now to take care of cash-flow problems week to week, Ghizzoni said.

Potential claims can deal with removal costs; natural resources; real or personal property; subsistence use; governmental revenue; profits and earning capacity; and government/public services, he said.

Governments that see a decrease in transient occupancy tax from beach closures can file a claim, as can businesses harmed by a shutdown or people turned away from closed beaches and no-fishing zones, Ghizzoni said.

People who fish for their own food can also file claims due to the fishery closure, he said.

The active fishery closure forbids fishing and taking shellfish in the general area between Gaviota and Coal Oil Point, up to seven miles out to sea. California Department of Fish and Wildlife officials are patrolling the shoreline and in a boat to enforce the closure and educate people, warden Santos Cabral said.

California Department of Fish & Wildlife officers intercept a commercial fishing vessel that was actively fishing in an area closed due to the Refugio State Beach oil spill. (California Department of Fish & Wildlife photo)

The patrol boat has already come across a commercial fishing vessel that had a load of crabs – which they were forced to dump overboard back into the ocean – and a commercial trawling vessel out of Santa Barbara Harbor, Cabral said.

Coast Guard Capt. Jennifer Williams said the federal government mobilized resources as fast as possible using the oil spill liability trust fund, and the agencies will bill Plains later.

Few details about the investigation have been mentioned since there could be civil or criminal penalties as a result of the spill, she said Tuesday.

“I believe there is an interest in this for all possible types of enforcement action,” Williams said.

To submit comments about the oil spill to the county directly, email [email protected]

There will be a community open house held for anyone with questions about the oil spill response on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Elks Lodge at 150 N. Kellogg Ave. 

To register for training and volunteer to help clean-up efforts, visit the CalSpillWatch website or contact the volunteer hotline at 1.800.228.4544. 

The Arroyo Burro and Goleta county beaches are “in good shape,” assistant county executive officer Renée Bahl said, with temporary signs warning people to avoid oil if they see it.

There have been formal clean-up crews at some Goleta-area beaches, including Haskell’s and Ellwood beaches, but it’s still unclear if the amount of oil found near those areas is related to the spill or natural seepage.

Sensitive areas have been boomed off down to the Devereux Slough, according to the county, and there has been light oiling as far east as Coal Oil Point. Those spots are being targeted for removal as needed.

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


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Santa Barbara County Supervisors Continue Questioning Plans for North County Jail Operations

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Santa Barbara County may go out to bid for the new Northern Branch County Jail and Sheriff’s Transition and Reentry Complex projects next week, but the Board of Supervisors still has serious reservations about the plan to staff and operate the expanded custody system.

Sheriff Bill Brown and his department have been granted almost $120 million in construction funding from the state, which represents about 90 percent of the estimated costs. It’s the higher operating costs of staffing the new facilities, in addition to staffing at least a portion of the run-down Santa Barbara County Main Jail, that have county leaders concerned.

Budget director Tom Alvarez said the new jail will have 376 rated beds and an increased operational cost of $16.8 million per year after the planned Main Jail closures, and the STAR Complex would have an additional $1.4 million cost and 228 rated beds.

Supervisors voted to keep moving forward with the projects and will have a consultant look into the operating costs numbers. They also asked for more information about the mental health programming available in the new facilities, since it won’t be licensed as a treatment facility but will have special needs housing for inmates with medical or mental health needs.  

The STAR Complex is meant to have more programs and services available to inmates to help them transition back into the community, including substance abuse counseling, housing placement and legal assistance, according to the sheriff’s department.

Supervisors voted to keep moving forward with both projects for now, though it doesn’t commit them to approving them in the end.

Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf voted against moving forward with the STAR Complex, saying she doesn’t believe it will only cost $1.4 million more to operate it and questions whether the county has the need for those additional beds since daily populations have been dropping.

Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr said her major reasons to pursue a new jail — overcrowding, a state-of-the-art facility to deal with health and mental health issues (since eliminated from the design) and parameters laying out ongoing operational costs — have gotten “shakier” over time as the project and cost estimates change.

The new jail, which will be located on county-owned land at Black and Betteravia roads outside Santa Maria, will house 376 inmates and the adjacent STAR complex will house another 228.

Brown was confronted at an April Board of Supervisors meeting for not presenting a plan for what to do with the Main Jail after the new facilities open, so he came back with a timeline at Tuesday’s meeting.

Operating costs for the custody system will be higher for every housing area of the Main Jail that stays open because of staffing expenses, so the sheriff’s department proposes closing the basement dorms and the Medium Security Facility (formerly the Honor Farm for low-level offenders) to transfer some staff north. The county would also close the small Santa Maria Branch Jail.

Even with those changes, the new custody system is expected to cost $18 million more than the current system in the first year of operation (likely 2018-19) if facilities are at full capacity, with costs going up every year with inflation and salary increases. The proposed budget for the 2015-16 year to operate the custody system, alternative sentencing and transportation to court is $46.7 million, according to the sheriff’s department.

The cost increase includes 109 more custody staffing positions for a net increase of 352 “rated” beds, recognized by the Board of State and Community Corrections as meeting minimum standards, according to the sheriff’s department.

However, the custody system has 1,143 actual beds now, so the 1,199 total beds after the expansion and closing some areas of the Main Jail will be an increase of 56 actual beds.

Brown emphasized the decades-long need for a new jail, pointing to the safety issues in the jail, the lack of programming space and past overcrowding issues that led his department to convert converted conference rooms and storage areas into housing dorms.

Daily inmate populations have decreased, partly due to historically low crime rates and legislative changes, but the county is still running above what’s considered it’s official capacity of 847 “rated” beds, said Laz Salinas, chief deputy in charge of the custody branch. Tuesday’s population was 872 inmates.

Custody staff and inmates are frequently assaulted with 200 inmate-on-inmate assaults in 2014 and an average of one assault every 30 hours in 2013, Salinas told the board.

Brown called the jail an “embarrassment to Santa Barbara County” and urged supervisors to support moving forward. They will consider going out to bid next week, and the last chance to back out of construction of either the Northern Branch Jail or the STAR Complex is when they would award a bid, according to county counsel.

Law enforcement leaders from Santa Maria, Lompoc and Guadalupe spoke in support of the new jail complex, saying it hurts their departments to have officers spend hours to transport inmates down to Santa Barbara. It helps inmates to be housed closer to home, so they can get the family and community support they need while in custody and after they are released, Guadalupe Police Chief Gary Hoving said. 

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


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Grassroots Effort Fixes Up Veterans Memorial Building in Lompoc

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Through grants and donations, the community leads the effort to restore the historic structure to its former grandeur

Lompoc residents celebrated the near-completion of a grassroots effort to restore the Veterans Memorial Building, a mission led by a local woman who called herself the project’s pit bull.

“There isn’t a room in this building that we haven’t touched,” said Alice Milligan, a retired educator who spearheaded the renovation efforts including rallying veterans groups to band together.

The Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building, which sits on Locust Avenue at the southern end of South H Street, was built in 1936 as a Works Progress Administration structure. 

Started seven years ago and with a cost of $1.8 million, the project involved restoring the 20,000-square-foot building to its former grandeur after what some say was years of neglect by the county.

Milligan remembered former county supervisor Joni Gray asking her to spearhead the renovation project.

“Without Alice’s vision and as president of the restoration foundation we would never have been able to accomplish this, so Alice, thank you,” Mayor Bob Lingl said.

More than 125 people attended a celebration of the project Monday and marveled at the dramatically-improved facility. 

“A job well done,” one told Milligan.

“You did a really nice job here. Nobody could have done what you did,” another visitor told Milligan.

“Oh, yeah, somebody could have. They call me a pit bull,” Milligan said.

“I remember when you started that project I said, ‘That is overwhelming’ to you,” Mary Braun later told Milligan.

An outdoor ceremony celebrated the near-completion of the Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building's renovation over the past seven years. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

To complete the project, the Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building Restoration Foundation formed, led by Milligan who served as the general leading the various groups of veterans that use the facility into battle.

“I’ve gotten nothing but cooperation from them,” she said.

In addition to grants, several major donors helped ensure the project could be completed.

Through the years, workers have repaired and added new roof tiles, removed asbestos on the roof, upgraded and remodeled restrooms including making the women’s facilities three times larger, replaced electrical wiring and new breaker boxes plus installed a new fire alarm system, painted the interior, added acoustical tiles to the auditorium, purchased new drapes and curtains, remodeled the kitchen with Santa Barbara County purchasing new appliances installed by Home Depot, refurbished furniture and more. 

Of course, Milligan isn’t ready to call it completed, estimating there’s still 1 percent to finish. 

She wants to add a one-person elevator so people can safely access the upstairs. She hopes to get a grant to hire an acoustic engineer to check out the noisy auditorium.

“It’s still very noisy,”she said.

She envisions adding arches to the stage despite being told it wasn’t historically accurate.

“I haven’t given up on that,” she said. 

She noted several who helped with the project, including Frank Grube, the foundation’s treasurer and author of a book, Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building.

She also announced she had county approval to name the kitchen in honor of Don and Adele Ramirez for their roles in the keeping the kitchen “sparkling like a jewel.”

"It’s their building. It’s their kitchen,” Milligan said.

More recently, the Lompoc Federal Correctional Complex joined the effort, providing valuable inmate labor for the project.

Alice Milligan poses with the children and grandchildren of Lompoc federal prison inmate Fulton Leroy Washington, who painted three murals that now adorn walls in the newly renovated Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

“If we had to pay for all the labor that we received from the Bureau of Prisons we just couldn’t do it. All we had to do was ask,” Milligan said, calling the inmates “delightful to work with.”

Federal prison inmate Fulton Leroy Washington also painted three murals — featuring the seals of military branches, the Honda Point naval disaster and Iwo Jima flag raising — for the facility’s Trophy Room, Banquet Room and kitchen.

Memorial building supporters offered their thanks to the inmate, who wasn't at the ceremony, “for your great ability to vision such wonderful paintings depicting America’s veterans.”

However, his children and grandchildren attended Monday’s dedication ceremony. 

Several lawmakers, including Fourth District Supervisor Peter Adam and a representative of Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian presented proclamations to prison officials and the foundation.

After presenting proclamations on behalf of her boss, Joyce Howerton, aide to State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, recalled the many years Lompoc has sought to restore the building.

“I don’t think anyone could imagine that we would see the building today that we see in the condition it’s in,” Howerton, a former mayor, said.

“It is truly beautiful. This is a historic landmark that will be here, long after all of us today are gone, to honor the people that died in battle, the veterans that stood and came home and the community at large. Each and every one of us will benefit for the rest of our lives for the work this committee did and we could not be more grateful.”

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


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San Diego Cyclist Dies of Injuries Suffered in Lompoc Crash

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Kevin Childre of San Diego died of injuries he suffered May 20 in a cycling accident in Lompoc. (Facebook photo)

A San Diego bicyclist and U.S. Navy veteran who was critically injured in a crash last week in Lompoc has died, according to his family.

Members of the Santa Diego-based club of competitive biking enthusiasts with military ties are mourning the loss of their leader, Kevin Childre, who lived in the Santa Diego area.

The injured rider was flown by a Santa Barbara County helicopter to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment shortly after the May 20 accident, which occurred just before 11 a.m. at the Wye area near the northern entrance of the city.

Crews from the Lompoc fire and police departments responded to the incident, which police said involved the injured riding colliding with another cyclist.

His family announced his death the day after the crash to friends on social media.

“It is with the heaviest of hearts that we must tell you that Kevin suffered a horrendous crash on his bicycle, and the injuries to his brain were too severe to battle,” his family posted on his Facebook page. “It was a nothing little accident, the kind that is so common with cyclists.

"He'd been having a great day on the bike, feeling strong and fit and was with awesome friends. There was no pain.”

The cyclists belong to a private bicycle group called Paladar Navy Cycling Club, whose riders were traveling from San Francisco to San Diego, a 630-mile route that began Sunday and was set to finish Friday.

The Navy Cycling Club is not affiliated with the military, but is made up of current service members, military retirees and civilian bicyclists from the San Diego area. 

Childre served in the Navy and reportedly reached the rank of commander.

In lieu of flowers, Childre’s family has asked that donations be made to the EOD Warrior Foundation via a donation page in his memory.

“His family asks that you remember the Kevin who adored his dog, remember his smile of delight when he saw you walking up, remember his love of pizza, and of Starbucks chai teas. Think of his voice describing an exceptional climb on the bike, swearing in yet another sailor re-enlisting, laughing at anything, everything," the donation page says. "His triumphs, accomplishments are too numerous to begin to list. But this was a man who loved his family, his country, his fellow EOD brothers and sisters, and so many others."

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


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Santa Barbara Junior Counselor Program Gives Tweens Summer Fun Options, Too

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Is your child too old for camp? Check out these youth leadership programs for tweens and young adults

The City of Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Department offers the largest catalog of camps for youth sports, arts and crafts, nature discovery camps, and more for the summer time. However, did you know that the biggest request from parents is programs for young people ages 12 to 17?

These “tweens” or “young adults” might not have many apparent options for their summer hours. Terry Brown, director of the Parks & Recreation Department, works very hard to make sure that enriching and fun programming is available for kids who are too old to be a camper.

“We try to provide as many programs for tweens during those really important discretionary hours of summer,” she said. “We promote it as a youth leadership opportunity. (When they are done with a session) we can provide letters of recommendation for them and give them community service hours.”

The City of Santa Barbara itself provides three big programs for young adults to increase their leadership skills.

The first is the Junior Counselor Program through the Parks & Recreation Department, in which tweens help supervise campers in the summer camps. Junior counselors get leadership training, which includes learning how to give good instructions, how to make positive requests and how to settle disputes between campers.

“A lot of junior counselors were campers at one point, which is great because they already know the culture of the camps,” Brown said.

Another program that promotes leadership in Santa Barbara teens is the Santa Barbara Youth Council. The council is an advisory board made up of teens from all parts of the community. They identify issues that concern local youth and make recommendations to the Santa Barbara City Council and related committees and boards.

Some of these concerns include bullying, e-cigarettes and the education gap in Santa Barbara.

“These young people get a voice, just like the rest of the adults,” said Susan Young, director of the Youth Council.

Youth Council members meet two times a month and get invaluable experience in communication, teamwork, leadership and community service.

Another program the city provides is the Youth Employment Training Program, also known as the Youth Apprenticeship Program. This job-placement program provides opportunities for at-risk young people ages 14 to 21 to get work experience as an employee of the city or an affiliated business or organization. Many of these young adults have faced challenges such as broken homes, undergoing probation or mental health issues.

“Supervisors at the assigned job sites understand these challenges that the students go through,” said Ricardo Venegas, director of the Youth Apprenticeship Program and Franklin Neighborhood Center. “Students then have a mentor and guide throughout the process.”

Many youth apprentices end up getting permanent positions with their program employers. In 2014, 22 of the 37 participants made the transition to a permanent job from their assigned employer from the apprenticeship.

While these three programs put a big emphasis on leadership and hard work, their directors always aim for participants to have fun.

Click the links below to learn more about these city programs:

» Junior Counselor Program

» Youth Council

» Youth Employment Training Program. Email Ricardo Venegas or call 805.897.2582.


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Santa Barbara Man Accused of Stabbing Ex-Girlfriend’s Boyfriend

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Daniel Adam Jasso

A Santa Barbara man is facing felony charges after allegedly stabbing a man his ex-girlfriend is now dating, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department.

Daniel Adam Jasso, 24, was arrested Monday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon on a 24-year-old Goleta man, stemming from an altercation that occurred the previous night, said police Sgt. Riley Harwood.

Officers responded shortly before midnight Sunday to a report of a domestic disturbance involving a woman screaming in an apartment in the 400 block of West Padre Street, Harwood said.

"Upon arrival, they contacted the female resident of the apartment and the aforementioned victim, who was suffering from a laceration to his left arm and a puncture wound to his chest," Harwood said. "The suspect, Jasso, had fled the scene."

Investigators determined that the victim and the woman who lives in the apartment are dating, Harwood said.

"At the time of the incident, Jasso, apparently angry that his ex-girlfriend was in a new relationship, went to the apartment to confront both her and the victim," Harwood said. "When Jasso was refused entry into the apartment and told to leave, he subsequently pushed his way in through the front door.

"Jasso and the victim then fought inside the apartment, during which time Jasso stabbed the victim."

Detectives obtained a $30,000 arrest warrant for Jasso, and a search warrant for his apartment in the 1200 block of Gillespie Street.

Jasso was taken into custody at 10 a.m. Monday at his workplace in the first block of West Cabrillo Boulevard, Harwood said.

He was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

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


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Farmworker Airlifted to Santa Barbara Hospital After Stabbing Near Guadalupe; Co-Worker Arrested

By | Published on 05/26/2015


A farmworker stabbed multiple times by a coworker in a field west of Guadalupe was airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital on Tuesday afternoon.

Sheriff’s deputies arrested a field worker, Ricky Chavolla, 21, following a stabbing at 1:30 p.m. in the 6800 block of West Main Street, west of Guadalupe, according to Kelly Hoover, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman.

Officers from the Guadalupe Police Department responded to the incident and later handed the case over to sheriff’s deputies since it happened outside city limits, Public Safety Director Gary Hoving said.

Guadalupe police located Chavolla sitting on the side of the road, not far from where the stabbing occurred, Hoover said.

“At this point, it appears the victim and the suspect were unknown to each other and the stabbing appears to have been unprovoked,” Hoover said.

Chavolla, a transient from the Santa Maria area, was on his first day of a job cutting broccoli, Hoover added.

The 24-year-old Santa Maria man who was stabbed was in serious condition when he was taken by CalSTAR air ambulance to the hospital but is expected to survive his injuries, Hoover added.

She said Chavolla will be booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of attempted homicide.

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


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Transient Jailed After Altercation in Santa Barbara

By | Published on 05/26/2015


A transient was arrested Tuesday after an altercation with two city community-service liaisons in downtown Santa Barbara.

Gerard Gutierrez Jr., 33, was taken into custody following the incident, said Sgt. Riley Harwood of the Santa Barbara Police Department.

The incident began at about 12:50 p.m. when the two liaisons, wearing their trademark yellow shirts, encountered Gutierrez on State Street, Harwood said.

Gutierez was intoxicated and disturbing people on the street, Harwood said, and was urged by the liaisons to leave the area.

He did, but was observed a few minutes later near Chapala and Figueroa streets throwing a water bottle at a passing vehicle, Harwood said.

The liaisons detained Gutierrez and called police officers to the scene.

"While standing by, he got very agitated, and subsequently punched and spit on one of them," Harwood said. "They grabbed him and held on, and a citizen called for help."

Gutierrez also allegedly kicked one of the officers who responded, but no injuries occurred, Harwood said.

Gutierrez was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on misdemeanor charges of battery and battery on a police officer, Harwood said.

Bail was set at $2,500.

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


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City of Solvang Receives Award of Merit for Santa Ynez River Bank Restoration Project

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Solvang project
An alternative vegetative system as part of the Santa Ynez River Bank Restoration Project consists of heavily native vegetation reinforced with a system of piles and cables. (City of Solvang photo)

During the fall of 2013, the City of Solvang completed the Santa Ynez River Bank Restoration Project adjacent to the Solvang Wastewater Treatment Plant.

Past erosion of the river bank near the WWTP was increasingly putting critical facilities at risk. Instead of armoring the existing banks, the project included an alternative vegetative system that encourages natural sedimentation and rebuilding of the banks of the river closer to its historic flow path.

Specifically, the system consists of heavily planted native vegetation reinforced with a system of piles and cables that collect debris during flow periods and slow the water down.

Due to the slowing of the water, sediment settles out and gradually builds up the eroded bank.  Riparian vegetation is therefore less likely to be scoured out and reestablishes more quickly after large storms.

After several years, the result will be a permanent, mature stand of native vegetation adjacent to the eroded bank that prevents further erosion and gradually rebuilds the natural river bank.

Engineering and design services were provided by Stantec Consulting (formerly Penfield & Smith) of Santa Barbara. Construction was completed by Cushman Contracting of Goleta. The total project cost including design, permitting, and construction was approximately $732,000.

The project recently received an award of merit from the California Chapter of the American Planning Association. The specific award received was the Innovation in Green Community Planning Award.

— Mary Ellen Rio represents the City of Solvang.


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Jackson’s Equal Pay Bill Passes Unanimously Off Senate Floor

By | Published on 05/26/2015


A bill by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, to close the wage gap that women face at work passed off the Senate floor on a unanimous, bipartisan vote today. The vote was 38-0.

Senate Bill 358, the California Fair Pay Act, would ensure that women are paid equally for work that is substantially similar to the work of their male colleagues, and do not face retaliation if they discuss or ask how much their male colleagues are paid. If signed into law, it would be the strongest equal pay law in the nation.

“Equal pay isn’t just the right thing for women, it’s the right thing for our economy and for California. And it is long overdue. Families rely on women’s income more than ever before. Because of the wage gap, our state and families are missing out on $33.6 billion a year," Jackson said. “That money could be flowing into families’ pocketbooks, into our businesses and our economy. After years of dealing with a persistent wage gap, the time is now for women’s paychecks to finally reflect their hard work and true value. It is time that we fix the wage gap that women face at work once and for all, and lead the nation in showing how it can be done.”

The bill has the support of dozens of organizations, including a broad spectrum of labor groups, women’s and legal advocacy organizations, and local government. Although they were initially opposed, the bill also now has the support of the California Chamber of Commerce and is unopposed by the California business community.

"The California Chamber of Commerce is pleased to support SB 358 which seeks to reduce any disparity in pay based upon gender.  We agree with Senator Jackson that employees who are similarly situated should receive the same rate of pay for performing substantially similar job duties, ” said Jennifer Barrera, policy advocate with the California Chamber of Commerce.

The bill would go further than the federal Equal Pay Act in a number of ways:

» It would prohibit retaliation against employees who discuss or ask about pay at work.

» It would allow employees to challenge pay discrimination based on wages paid to other workers at different worksites of the same employer. For example, a female grocery store clerk who works at a store could challenge higher wages being made by male grocery store clerks at a store owned by the same employer just a few miles away.

» Employees could challenge pay discrimination based on wages paid to those doing substantially similar work. For example, a female housekeeper who cleans rooms in a hotel could challenge the higher wages being paid to a male janitor who cleans the lobby and banquet halls.

» It would require employers to show that differences in wages are due to factors other than gender, that the factor is job-related and reasonable, and that these factors — rather than discrimination — account for the difference in pay. For example, if a male chef is making more money than a female chef because he works weekend shifts, the employer would have to show that the weekend shifts are busier and require more work and account for the difference in wages. In addition, the employer would have to prove that the weekend shift position was open to all chefs, and that the employer hired the male chef because he was the most qualified or willing to work the shifts.

In 2013, a woman in California working full-time made a median 84 cents to every dollar a man earned, according to the Equal Rights Advocates, co-sponsors of the bill. The gap is significantly greater for women of color. Latinas in California make only 44 cents for every dollar a white man makes, the most significant Latina wage gap in the nation. African-American women are only paid 64 cents on the dollar. As a group, women who are employed full-time in California lose approximately $33.6 billion every year due to the wage gap.

Jackson is chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus. SB 358 is one of the bills prioritized by the California Legislative Women’s Caucus this year as part of a package titled, “A Stronger California: Securing Economic Opportunity for All Women.” The package of budget recommendations and bills is designed to advance women’s economic opportunities as the state rebounds from the economic downturn.

SB 358 now heads to the Assembly.

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

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


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Letter to the Editor: Empowering High-Schoolers to Save Lives

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Sometimes, we expect too little from the youth in our community. Amidst the schoolwork, hanging out with friends, listening to music and going to football games, it can seem like they’re busy, distracted or just otherwise disengaged. But the truth is the next generation is capable of so much more, and we should expect it. Our lives may depend on it.

Shawn Sanchez would agree with me. It was not by superhuman effort or miraculous fortune that Sanchez was able to save the life of his 9-month-old daughter, but by simple preparedness. One day he decided to take a CPR course not knowing he would ever need it. Then something happened.

Sanchez said his wife was preparing to take their daughter to the doctor while he was getting ready for work, and Kinley, fighting bronchitis, seemed to be struggling for breath. He recalled quickly deciding they would go to the emergency room, and before the family was in the car, Kinley took an alarming turn for the worse — she stopped breathing

“I ran over, just put her on the ground and started doing CPR, and I gave my wife my phone to call 9-1-1 while I was doing CPR,” Sanchez said.

He guessed it was something like three minutes before his daughter revived with a whimper, and they raced to the closest emergency department they could think of, which gave the child oxygen until an ambulance arrived.

Today, Sanchez hopes more parents and even his daughter — when she gets older — take the same feasible precautions and sign up for a CPR class.

Our lawmakers have a bill before them that could create a generation of lifesavers in Assembly Bill 319 (Rodriguez) by requiring hands-on CPR training before high school graduation.

The American Red Cross along with the American Heart Association sponsors this bill. We believe it is time our community became CPR Smart and built CPR training into the high school curriculum. If we equip more high-schoolers with the lifesaving power of CPR, we will hear more stories like Shawn’s, and not the tragic stories of those who died of cardiac arrest because CPR was administered too late.

Are there enough lifesavers in our community to make sure CPR is delivered in time? Today, I’m afraid the answer is no. But if we trained every high school student in CPR, we’d be adding thousands of lifesavers to the community.

So what do you believe high schoolers are capable of? Good grades? A winning game? A fun band concert or theater production? We believe they are capable of saving a life. Already, high-schoolers have saved hundreds of lives around the country, and I think they could save thousands more if only given the training.

The solution is in our hands, by asking the state Legislature and Gov. Jerry Brown to bring CPR training to our high schools. The hands that may or may not save your life belong to the students in a high school near you.

Jessica Piffero
American Red Cross-Central California Region


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Michael Barone: How the World Has Changed Since World War I

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Over the past year, I've been reading books inspired by the centenary of World War I, a war with horrific casualties painful to contemplate. What helps in comprehending the scale of the slaughter is a book by one of Bill Gates' favorite authors, Canadian academic Vaclav Smil, Creating the Twentieth Century: Technical Innovations of 1867-1914 and Their Lasting Impact.

Smil leads the reader through the invention and development of electricity, oil production and distribution, the automobile, steelmaking, the telephone, the airplane and the production of synthetic ammonia — to his mind the most important because without it agriculture couldn't feed the world's 6 billion people.

All these developments were in place and widespread when the world went to war in August 1914.

The three American Progressive Era presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and Woodrow Wilson, all born in the late 1850s, were old enough to have memories of the end of the Civil War — and of an America in which all of these technologies were unknown.

The same technologies, considerably redesigned and more universally available, were in place in everyday life in the mid-20th-century nation in which today's older Americans grew up. New appliances, adapting technology available in 1914, were introduced after World War I — the refrigerator and the disposal, automatic washers and driers, radio and television, and air conditioning.

Americans today are inclined to think that information technology has transformed people's lives, and in some ways it has. Typewriters have become antique and laptops nearly universal; an array of entertainment is available in homes; air conditioning, uncommon in houses and cars back in midcentury America, is regarded as a necessity today.

But surely, there was more change in the work and home lives of the Progressive Era presidents and their contemporaries than there has been in the corresponding years a century later. The experience of driving a car or riding in a jet airplane is not much different in 2015 than in 1965. Tech entrepreneur Peter Thiel was on to something when he said, "We were promised flying cars, and instead what we got was 140 characters."

One thing that has changed, however, is warfare. World War I was an industrial era conflict in which the efficiency with modern weapons could slaughter soldiers in trench warfare and wreck cities through artillery and air bombardment. Armies were huge and casualties high. Historian Niall Ferguson pegs combat deaths at 9 million and wounded at 15 million — estimates, to be sure, but roughly the right magnitude.

On the first day of the Battle of the Somme on July 1, 1916, 19,000 British soldiers died. In the 10 months of the Gallipoli campaign in 1915, 42,000 British, Australian and New Zealand troops died, plus 14,000 of their French allies, in a campaign that was an utter failure. The victorious Turks lost 86,000 men.

Deaths and casualties were even greater in World War II, in which aerial bombing vastly increased the number of civilian deaths. And America's development of the atomic bomb made weaponry even more deadly. Something like 200,000 people were killed by single bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union had the capacity and developed elaborate plans to kill hundreds of millions.

Against this background, information age warfare has proved to be, so far at least, much less deadly. About 6,800 U.S. soldiers died in a decade of warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan — about the same as the average number of soldiers dying every day between August 1914 and November 1918 in World War I.

The small bombing campaigns of World War I and the intensive bombing of World War II produced far more collateral damage than destruction of intended targets. Today, drones almost invariably destroy only the intended targets. The media treat very occasional collateral deaths as some kind of scandal. In historic perspective it's exceedingly minor.

We are told that the American people after Iraq and Afghanistan are war-weary and casualty-averse. But in historic perspective, deaths are relatively low, military medicine saves many who would have died in previous conflicts and prosthetics technology enables many wounded to live far better than those wounded a century ago.

Memorial Day is a time to remember and thank the fallen — and to be grateful that there are so many fewer of them than there were 100 years ago.

Michael Barone is a senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner, a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. Click here to contact him, follow him on Twitter: @MichaelBarone, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Construction to Require Highway 101 Lane Closures in Santa Maria This Week

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Crandall Construction, under contract with the City of Santa Maria, will be performing construction work adjacent to northbound Highway 101 this Wednesday and Thursday, May 27-28.

The intermittent closure is required to move equipment, and will affect the northbound right-hand lane of Highway 101 between Main Street and Donovan Road during the hours of 7 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Statewide Safety will be facilitating the lane closure.

The city and Caltrans recommend that drivers obey all temporary construction traffic control signs and flaggers, and use alternate routes whenever possible to avoid delays in travel time.

Contact the Utilities Department with questions at 805.925.0951 x7270.


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Gerald Carpenter: UCSB’s Ensemble for Contemporary Music to Share ‘Persistent Visions’

By | Published on 05/26/2015


UCSB’s persistently fascinating Ensemble for Contemporary Music, under the brilliant direction of Jeremy Haladyna, will offer its final concert of the 2014-15 academic year (season) at 4 p.m. this Wednesday, May 27, in Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall (UCSB Music Building).

ECM memory
Salvador Dali's "The Persistence of Memory" provides both the theme and the inspiration for the ECM concert this Wednesday.

The program — gathered, for several reasons, under the banner "Persistent Visions" — consists of Scott William Perry’s "The Persistence of Memory" for String Sextet and Piano (world premiere); Arnold Schoenberg’s Transfigured Night for String Sextet, Opus 4 (1899); the Scherzo for Flute and Piano (1957) by Jean-Michel Damase; selections from Pentagrams, Book II & III by Dane Rudhyar; Robert DiDomenica’s Quartet for Flute, Violin, Horn, and Piano; and Patrick Kavanagh's The Debussy Variations: No. 11, for Solo Horn.

The Perry and the Schoenberg will be performed by the ECM Sextet (Matisse Geenty and Johann Velasquez on violins, Carson Rick and Anna Heflin on violas, and Kathryn Carlson and Ian Davis on cellos), with pianist Robert Johnson clocking the Perry. Playing the flute in the Damase and the DiDomenica will be Azeem Ward.

"I'm sure you heard about the 'mime phenom' Azeem Ward," Haladyna wrote to me, "catapulted to fame by a couple of British universities and lots of crazy British kids." Alas, Haladyna was paying me a UCSB compliment. I'm a tourist from another country when it comes to "new media" and from another planet when "social networks" are involved. Clearly, however, Ward plays the flute very well, and both compositions will benefit from his performance.

Violinist Camden Boyle, hornist Jarrett Webb and pianist Haladyna will join Ward for the DiDomenica. Webb plays the Kavanaugh all by himself. Pianist Rosa LoGiudice will play the selections by Dane Rudhyar. Haladyna will conduct the septet playing the Perry.

The name "Persistent Visions" derives from the title of Perry's work, "The Persistence of Memory," which is also the title of Salvador Dali's famous painting, alternatively called — sometimes, by the painter himself — "Soft Watches." When Scott took the name of Dali's work, he also took its images as a kind of program, and created, as Jeremy says of it, "a good audio equivalent to Dali’s picture." Beyond these few clues, it is pointless to speculate.

Most of the works on this program reference a vision of reality that is heightened or mutable far beyond our everyday experience of it. In one form or another, this vision of hyper-reality, and the compulsion to recreate it in a particular medium, is the basis of all creative action. The film director Michael Powell (Black Narcissus (1947), The Red Shoes (1948) and The Tales of Hoffmann (1951)) put it this way: "After I had worked in film for a while, I understood that there was no such thing as realism — there was only surrealism. This insight liberated me."

Rudhyar and Kavanaugh have devoted a great deal of their intellectual energies to studying and writing about the occult — as believers, not debunkers. (A recent ECM concert featured the work of composer Cyril Scott, who also sought to travel on secret paths.) Schoenberg had occult leanings, too — he was devoted to numerology — but this was little more than an advanced form of the superstition that afflicts all great artists (and all great atheletes): they can't really account for their superiority, and they are afraid that it will suddenly vanish as inexplicably as it came. Artists who are sidetracked into the occult underworld invariably find themselves becalmed in obscurity, whatever their merits as artists.

"We all want to live forever," President Bill Clinton said, "and that's a good thing." But Doctor Faustus is fiction, not history. The best way for a composer to live forever is to write great music, not to make a contract with the Devil or sail off into the astroplane. Even Faustus had planty of warning to this effect. In Marlowe's play, Mephistopheles visits Faustus in his study, and Faustus quizzes him about his existence. Mephistopheles tells the prospective client that he, Mephistopheles, is damned and in hell, like all the devils. "How comes it then," asks Faustus, "that thou art out of hell?" "Why, this is hell," comes the demon's reply, "nor am I out of it." (O Mensch! Gib acht!)

Rudhyar (1895-1985) was born in Paris, and given the name "Daniel Chennevière" by his parents. He graduated from the Sorbonne when he was sixteen, and went to study at the Paris Conservatory. Arriving in the United States when he was nineteen, and made his home here for the rest of his life. His spiritual journey is interesting from an autobiographical point of view, but irrelevant (I think) to his music, which is quite powerful and attractive in small doses (such as the pieces selected by Ms. LoGiudice). If we know of him in a hundred years time, it will be on account of his music.

At the invitation of the director, Gunther Schuller, Robert DiDomenica (1927-2013) joined the faculty of the New England Conservatory in 1969 and remained there until 1992. In addition to his admirable work in accademia, and his splendid achievements as a composer, DiDomenica was a virtuoso flautist, and was much in demand as a sideman in classical, jazz, and Broadway performances or recordings. He was, in his own work, a serialist whose gentle work seldom sounds 12-tone.

Tickets to “Persistent Visions” are $10 for general admission and $5 for students (except UCSB students, who will be admitted free), and they are available at the door, by phone at 805.893.2064 or online by clicking here.

— Gerald Carpenter covers the arts as a Noozhawk contributing writer. He can be reached at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.


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William Filippin to Join Community West Bank as Executive VP, Market President

By | Published on 05/26/2015


William Filippin

Community West Bancshares, parent company of Community West Bank, announced that William Filippin will join the bank as executive vice president and market president for the San Luis Obispo County area on June 1.

“We are excited and privileged to have Bill join our executive team. With over 20 years of executive level experience in San Luis Obispo County, Bill brings significant commercial banking expertise and provides additional capabilities and depth to our executive team as we develop our plans for future growth and expansion,” said Martin Plourd, president and chief executive officer. “Bill’s successful career and local market knowledge will make him a valuable asset to our bank.

"We are very excited to be part of the San Luis Obispo County community and offer our banking services to this new market as we continue to expand our footprint along the Central Coast.”

Prior to joining the company, Filippin served with Heritage Oaks Bank (and Mission Community Bank until it was merged into Heritage Oaks Bank in February 2014) as market area president from March 2012 to May 2015; executive vice president and chief credit officer from August 2010 to March 2012; and senior vice president and credit administrator from April 2009 to August 2010.

Filippin is a founding member of the Paso Robles Optimist Club, served as president of the Paso Robles Kiwanis Club and chairman of the Arroyo Grande Chamber of Commerce.

He holds a business management degree from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing Community West Bank.


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Capps Reintroduces Legislation to Ensure Additional Protection, Preservation of Federal Lands

By | Published on 05/26/2015


On Tuesday, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, announced the reintroduction of the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act, legislation that would protect 245,665 acres of new and expanded wilderness in the Los Padres National Forest and the Carrizo Plain National Monument, strengthen protections for wild and scenic rivers, and designate a new national recreational trail.

Sen. Barbara Boxer introduced companion legislation in the Senate for the first time last week.

Among the bill’s highlights is the creation of the Condor National Recreation Trail, which would provide the opportunity to hike approximately 400 miles along the spine of the coastal range from Los Angeles County to the northernmost point of the Los Padres National Forest in Monterey County.

The bill would also create four new wilderness areas and expand nine existing wilderness areas. The wilderness designation is the highest form of protection the government can give to public land. The act would also designate two new scenic areas totaling 34,512 acres in the Black Mountain area and Condor Ridge above the Gaviota Coast and Santa Barbara.

“We are fortunate that the Central Coast is home to some of the most diverse habitats and ecosystems in North America — a national treasure right here in our own backyard," Capps said. “Last week’s oil spill is a tragic reminder of how important these special places are to our community and we have a responsibility to protect them for future generations. This legislation promotes both responsible use and long term protection for these treasured public lands and I am so pleased to be reintroducing this important legislation in Congress.”

“The Central Coast has some of the most magnificent and pristine areas in the entire country,” Sen. Boxer said. “I am proud to join Congresswoman Capps in introducing this bill, which will preserve nearly 250,000 acres of wild and beautiful lands so they can be enjoyed for generations to come.”

Capps worked for more than a year with local stakeholders to develop a consensus bill with broad support. The bill is widely supported by more than 300 businesses, trail user groups, individuals, conservation groups, and local officials. Rep. Sam Farr and Rep. Julia Brownley are original co-sponsors of the bill in the House of Representatives.

— C.J. Young is a legislative assistant for Rep. Lois Capps.


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Seeing the Action: UCSB Researchers Develop Novel Device to Observe Cell Membrane Hemifusion

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Cells are biological wonders. Throughout billions of years of existence on Earth, these tiny units of life have evolved to collaborate at the smallest levels in promoting, preserving and protecting the organism they comprise. Among these functions is the transport of lipids and other biomacromolecules between cells via membrane adhesion and fusion — processes that occur in many biological functions, including waste transport, egg fertilization and digestion.

UCSB researchers
UCSB researchers, from left, Nicholas Cadirov, Jacob Israelachvili, Dong Woog Lee, Kai Kristiansen and Stephen Donaldson. (Sonia Fernandez / UCSB photo)

At UC Santa Barbara, chemical engineers have developed a way to directly observe both the forces present and the behavior that occurs during cell hemifusion, a process by which only the outer layers of the lipid bilayer of cell membranes merge. While many different techniques  have been used to observe membrane hemifusion, simultaneous measurements of membrane thickness and interaction forces present a greater challenge, according to Dong Woog Lee, lead author of a paper that appears in the journal Nature Communications.

“It is hard to simultaneously image hemifusion and measure membrane thickness and interaction forces due to the technical limitations,” he said.

However, by combining the capabilities of the Surface Forces Apparatus (SFA) — a device that can measure the tiny forces generated by the interaction of two surfaces at the sub-nano scale — and simultaneous imaging using a fluorescence microscope, the researchers were able to see in real time how the cell membranes rearrange in order to connect and open a fusion conduit between them. The SFA was developed in Professor Jacob Israelachvili’s Interfacial Sciences Lab at UCSB. Israelachvili is a faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering at UCSB.

To capture real time data on the behavior of cell membranes during hemifusion, the researchers pressed together two supported lipid bilayers on the opposing surfaces of the SFA. These bilayers consisted of lipid domains — collections of lipids that in non-fusion circumstances are organized in more or less regularly occurring or mixed arrangements within the cell membrane.

“We monitored these lipid domains to see how they reorganize and relocate during hemifusion,” Lee said.

The SFA measured the forces and distances between the two membrane surfaces as they were pushed together, visualized at the Ångstrom (one tenth of a nanometer) level. Meanwhile, fluorescent imaging made it possible to see the action as the more ordered-phase (more solid) domains reorganized and allowed the more disordered-phase (more fluid) domains to concentrate at the point of contact.

“This is the first time observing fluorescent images during a hemifusion process simultaneously with how the combined thickness of the two bilayers evolve to form a single layer,” Lee said.

This rearrangement of the domains, he added, lowers the amount of energy needed during the many processes that require membrane fusion. At higher pressures, according to the study, the extra energy activates faster hemifusion of the lipid layers.

Lipid domains have been seen in many biological cell membranes, and have been linked to various diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, and lung diseases. According to the researchers, this novel device could be used to diagnose, provide a marker for, or study dynamic transformations in situations involving lipid domains in pathological membranes. The fundamental insights provided by this device could also prove useful for other materials in which dynamic changes occur between membranes, including surfactant monolayers and bilayers, biomolecules, colloidal particles, surfactant-coated nanoparticles and smart materials.

— Sonia Fernandez represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.


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Santa Barbara Public Market and Wine+Beer Hosting Lutum Winemaker Dinner

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Wine + Beer and the Santa Barbara Public Market will continue their winemaker dinner series on Saturday, June 6 with Gavin Chanin from Lutum Wines, who is teaming up with Derek Simcik, executive chef of Outpost at The Goodland Hotel.

Chef Derek Simcik of Outpost at The Goodland Hotel.

Gavin Chanin of Lutum Wines

Food and wine lovers won’t want to miss this rare opportunity to taste some of California’s finest small production pinots and chardonnays, dynamically paired with a robust menu by Simcik.

Chanin started his winemaking career as a harvest intern at Au Bon Climat and Qupé, where he eventually became Assistant Winemaker at both labels. In 2012, he was named one of Food & Wine Magazine’s “Winemakers of the Year.” He was also recognized as one of FORBES’ “30 under 30” in the Food and Wine category, and a “Winemaker to Watch” by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Born in Greece to American parents, Chef Simcik initially pursued fine art after high school, but was drawn through his family’s deep culinary ties into the world of food. An avid traveler who has visited five continents, Chef Simcik often looks to cuisine as a window into culture. He moved to Santa Barbara in the spring of 2014 to open Outpost at the Goodland, and his cuisine features simple but flavorful fare inspired by the Southern California coast.

The menu features:

Crostini — Garlic, Labneh, Japanese Cucumber, Shallot, Sprouts, House Cured Anchovy

LUTUM "Gap’s Crown Vineyard" Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast 2013

Brook Trout — Cauliflower, Grapes, Hazelnuts

LUTUM "Durell Vineyard" Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast 2013

MonkFish — Hushpuppy, Black Garlic-Tahini, Pine nuts, Orange, Carrot

LUTUM "Sanford and Benedict Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills 2012

Squab — Wild Forage Mushrooms, Potato, Marrow, Blackberry

LUTUM "Durell Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast 2012

Buche Ash — Pop Over, Cherry

LUTUM "La Rinconada Vineyard" Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills 2012

The Lutum Winemaker Dinner on Saturday, June 6 begins at 6 p.m. and is $95 per guest. This is an intimate affair with on 32 spaces available. Advanced reservations are required. Please call 805.770.7702 to reserve.

— Jennifer Zacharias is a publicist representing the Santa Barbara Public Market.


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Central Coast Bioneers to Host Talk, Book Signing with Author and CEC Founder Paul Relis

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Central Coast Bioneers will kick off its 2015 Critical Conversation Series with a talk and book signing by Paul Relis, the founding executive director of Santa Barbara’s Community Environmental Council.

Relis’s book, Out of the Wasteland, takes readers on a journey of the environmental frontier, starting with the birth of environmentalism in Santa Barbara into the intricate, obfuscated but all important world of government and policy, to important new environmental technologies that can, indeed, free us from this age of oil.

The program begins at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, June 11 at the Ludwick Center, 864 Santa Rosa St. in San Luis Obispo. KCBX News Director Randol White, who recently interviewed Relis on “Issues and Ideas,” will lead the discussion.

While Relis was a student at UC Santa Barbara, a massive oil spill erupted off the coast of Santa Barbara on Jan. 28, 1969, devastated the coastline, killed much aquatic life and severely damaged the local economy. The oil spill was a transformative event in the history of the United States that influenced the establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, Earth Day and other landmark environmental programs.

The oil spill was a life-changing event for Relis, who at age 23 became the first executive director of a newly formed nonprofit, the Community Environmental Council. The CEC played a critical role in staving off several proposed developments that would have changed Santa Barbara forever. Under Relis’ leadership, the CEC built visionary projects including recycling facilities, green buildings, urban gardens and an urban farm, that, decades ago, presaged the core elements of sustainability today.

“We are delighted to bring an inspirational person like Paul Relis here, who became instrumental in the environmental movement at such a young age,” Ecologistics chairman Michael Jencks said. “His stories and successes will encourage our local youth to get mad and then get involved.”

In his executive position with the California EPA, Relis helped forge the state’s nation-leading recycling programs. From 1996-2013, Relis taught in the Environmental Studies Department of UC Santa Barbara. He is a board member emeritus of the Community Environmental Council and sits on the boards of the American Biogas Council and the Bioenergy Association of California.

Relis’ book will be available for purchase at the program. A $5 donation to cover expenses is requested.

— Stacey Hunt represents Central Coast Bioneers.


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Capps to Attend Goleta Event Highlighting Her Bill to Protect Federal Lands on Central Coast

By | Published on 05/26/2015


On Tuesday night, Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, will attend a special event highlighting the reintroduction of her bill, the Central Coast Heritage Act (H.R. 1865), at Decker’s Outdoor Corporation in Goleta.

At the event, Capps will speak about her legislation, which would protect 245,500 acres of wilderness in the Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo Plain National Monument, create two scenic areas encompassing 34,500 acres, safeguard 159 miles of wild and scenic rivers, and establish the Condor Train National Recreation Trail, a 400 mile hiking route in the Los Padres National Forest.

Following Capps’ remarks, there will be a special advanced screening of the PBS program This American Land, the leading conservation news magazine program on public television stations nationwide.

The episode will feature areas of the Central Coast that would be protected in the Capps bill and the invaluable resources the Los Padres National Forest and Carrizo Plain National Monument offer to our community and nation.

— Chris Meagher is a press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps.


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Pile Driving Operation as Part of Goleta Drainage Project Postponed

By | Published on 05/26/2015


A pile driving operation as part of the Goleta Drainage Project scheduled to begin Thursday, June 4 has been postponed to a later date.

This pile driving operation is part of the Goleta Drainage Project, which will improve the capacity of two large drainage culverts located along Las Vegas Creek and San Pedro Creek at Highway 101 near Fairview Avenue.

Caltrans is the lead agency for this project, in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Flood Control District and support from the City of Goleta. This project is expected to be completed in early 2016.

All local businesses in the Fairview Shopping Center will remain open for business during the project.

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 District 5.


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UCSB Study Shows How Record-High Temps in California Are Worsening Already Historic Drought

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Two facts are indisputable: California remains in the grip of one of the worst droughts in history, and 2014 proved to be one of the hottest years on record. Now, a group of scientists led by UC Santa Barbara’s Shraddhanand Shukla has quantified the influence one might have on the other.

Chris Funk

Shraddhanand Shukla

The team’s groundbreaking research demonstrates that record-high temperatures could have serious impacts on the state’s water resource that supports the multibillion-dollar agriculture industry. The study is published online in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.

“Although there is a useful conversation going on about the role of temperature, no one had actually looked into how above-normal temperatures made the 2014 drought worse,” said Shukla, an assistant researcher in the Department of Geography at UCSB. “One of the reasons this study is important is that the findings are actually useful for improving seasonal predictions of drought in California. We show that temperatures also play an important role in getting the drought severity right. So if you want to forecast drought severity skillfully, you need to know temperature, too.”

To gauge the effect of high temperatures on drought, Shukla devised two sets of modeling experiments that compared climate data from Water Year 2014 (Oct. 2013-Sep. 2014) with every year from 1916 to 2012. In the first, he substituted 2014 temperatures with the temperatures for each of the study’s 97 years. In the second, he swapped in 2014 precipitation data for those same years. These experiments showed that if the air temperatures had been cooler (like 1916-2012), there was an 86 percent chance that the winter snowpack would have been greater, the spring-summer runoff higher and the spring-summer soil moisture deficits smaller.

“It’s a really elegant experimental setup that lets you isolate the influence of temperature,” said Chris Funk, a scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey and a researcher in UCSB’s geography department. “It’s one of those things you can do in a simulation environment that we can’t do in reality because we only get a sample of one.”

According to Shukla and Funk, the study highlights the potential vulnerability of the state’s water resources and hence the agricultural industry. Not only does high heat increase the evaporation stress on soil, it has a powerful effect on snowpack, on which the state heavily relies for its water supplies. In addition to decreased snowpack, whatever is there melts earlier, which could dramatically decrease the amount of water available for agriculture when it’s needed most.

“The snowpack acts as a buffer from year to year, and it has this really nice attribute that it sits up in the mountains and comes down in the summertime, which is the best time for growing crops,” Funk said. “That’s why California agriculture has been so productive. It has this kind of ideal situation where you get a lot of water that shows up in the summertime, when you also have a lot of sunshine.”

The study also examined the role and efficacy of temperature forecasting in the state. The findings were not encouraging. Shukla noted that while month-long forecasts of winter and spring season temperatures were reasonably accurate, longer forecasts were not accurate enough to be useful. “This will eventually hurt drought forecasting skill in California,” he said.

Funk, who also serves as research director for the campus’s Climate Hazard Group, said the ability to forecast high temperatures is difficult, but will be an important component in water management and in coping with climate change. “We’ve done some preliminary studies suggesting that some of these extreme temperature seasons are predictable,” he said. “So the idea is, can we identify, ahead of time, some of the extreme events that produce warming trends? When you have a warming trend, you still have hot and cool years. The question is, in the future, can we better predict those hot years?”

Although climate change was not addressed in the study, the implications of higher temperatures are clear, according Shukla. “Because of the role of temperatures, I think it is fair to say that if the temperatures keep rising we might be looking at more serious droughts, even if the precipitation variability stays the same,” he said. “We all know that in general, temperatures are rising in many places, including California, but the importance of temperature in drought prediction is likely to become only more significant in the future.”

Other contributors to the study include Mohammad Safeeq of UC Merced, Amir AghaKouchak of UC Irvine and Kaiyu Guan of Stanford University.

— Jim Logan represents the UCSB Office of Public Affairs and Communications.


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Ron Fink: Will the Fourth Attempt Finally Get a Space Center in Lompoc Off the Ground?

By | Published on 05/26/2015


There have been four separate attempts in the last two decades to create some sort of space museum and/or center in and around Lompoc. So far, there have been three failed attempts.

The first attempt was in the Space Shuttle era when a small group of local astronomers tried to establish a small display of spacecraft artifacts near a telescope that was once in Ken Adam Park on the north edge of town. They were unable to get a good start on the project, and with the town moving north, the ambient light from all those new buildings made their stargazing nearly impossible and the project was abandoned.

The second and much more ambitious project was planned for a spot on Vandenberg Air Force Base in what was once a trailer park for military personnel alongside Highway 1. It, too, failed after $19 million in grants was spent over a 10-year period.

Then in 2013 along came a slick entrepreneur who promised thousands of jobs and duped an all-too-willing former Mayor John Linn into believing his PowerPoint predictions. But he didn’t have the right stuff and his effort failed, too.

Now along comes another person making big promises. Can Eva Blaisdell succeed where others have failed? That remains to be seen, but let’s review what we know about her from published reports and her own claims.

In February, Noozhawk reported that, “Despite what staff called a significantly flawed proposal lacking details about the team proposing to develop a space center in Lompoc, the City Council agreed Tuesday night (Feb. 3) to move toward entering into exclusive negotiations with the group led by a woman from Poland (Eva Blaisdell).”

The Noozhawk report continues that Teresa Gallavan, the City of Lompoc’s economic development director and assistant city administrator, cited more than a dozen ways the request for qualifications was incomplete or missing the “evidence of ability,” requested as part of the process to ensure the project succeeds.

In a February newsletter distributed by a Polish publication, Blaisdell claims to be “aided by the Bechtel Company which has offered to construct the (Lompoc project).” But in March, the Pacific Coast Business Times reported that “an inquiry to Bechtel was returned stating the company had no business relationship with Blaisdell” — so this appears to be a misrepresentation of her partnerships.

In that same March news article, the Pacific Coast Business Times reported that “Blaisdell says she has over 30 years of experience as a Silicon Valley executive, high-tech entrepreneur and fundraiser for technology and media ventures. The Business Times could not completely confirm these claims other than the fact that she is the founder of AngelMobile, a digital content provider that had its incorporation papers suspended by the Franchise Tax Board for failure to pay its taxes.”

This is fairly serious since Blaisdell refers to AngelMobile as evidence of her ability to conduct a successful business.

The city staff report on May 19 clearly indicated that “staff were awaiting evidence of registration to do business in California, California Space Center formation documentation including by-laws, and proof signing authority.” In other words Blaisdell’s Limited Liability Company didn’t have authority to do business in California yet. This issue was resolved with the secretary of state the day after the council meeting.

So not much seems to have changed; there is still no tangible information to support entering into any agreement.

But none of this seems to worry one of her biggest cheerleaders — former Mayor Linn. In fact, he narrated a slick video that was specially prepared for the May 19 council meeting. In it many claims are made — for example, she predicts that “3,000 jobs will be created by her project.” Now that’s a lot of jobs, but with no known coalition of reputable companies or businesses currently supporting her project, it is doubtful that these claims can be realized anytime soon.

This time, though, the council didn’t seem willing to allow the process to continue until Blaisdell could prove that she had the authority to sign for the three unknown "managing members"  of the LLC company registered in Delaware.

There are also a lot of short-term milestones that must be met. According to a Noozhawk article, “We put a lot of confidence in you,” Mayor Bob Lingl said after the vote. “Please don’t let us down. I know you won’t. Just as a reminder, there’s some hard deadlines in here. We’re going to hold you to them, OK?”

But given the historic inability of the city to strongly monitor compliance on many of these type projects, we’ll have to wait and see if any of them are met or if the city follows through with termination if CSC fails to deliver.

So, considering all the history concerning Blaisdell, do you think that this effort to develop a space center in Lompoc is realistic? We'll all have to wait to see if the fourth attempt proves to be more successful than the earlier three attempts that failed to get off the ground. 

— 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 [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.


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Helene Schneider Announces Additional Endorsements for Congressional Campaign

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Broadening her coalition of supporters, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider on Tuesday received endorsements from several local women, environmental and community leaders in her campaign for California’s 24th Congressional District seat.

Those endorsing Schneider include:

» Environmental Defense Center founder Marc McGinnes
» Central Coast Water Quality Control board member (retired) and Santa Barbara City Planning Commissioner Michael Jordan
» Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee past president Sharon Hoshida
» Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee past president Lois Phillips
» Santa Barbara Women's Political Committee past president Alissa Hummer
» Santa Barbara City Housing Authority Commissioner (retired) and board member with Coalition Against Gun Violence Christine Silverstein
» Santa Barbara City Housing Authority Commissioner Catherine Woodford
» Santa Barbara City Housing Authority Commissioner Don Olsen
» Santa Barbara City Councilman Grant House (retired)
» The Key Class founder John Daly
» Santa Barbara City Planning Commissioner Bruce Bartlett (retired)
» Santa Barbara City Parks & Recreation Commissioner Lesley Wiscomb

Responding to the endorsements, Schneider released the following statement:

“I am deeply grateful for this support from these influential local leaders, all of whom I have worked closely with on a wide range of issues. Whether it’s advancing women’s rights and equality issues, protecting and conserving our precious natural environment, securing affordable housing, or a myriad other issues, these leaders have played a key role in helping to improve the quality of life for the Central Coast’s residents. It means a lot to have them on my team and I look forward to working closely with them in the coming months on the campaign trail.”

Last week, Schneider secured highly coveted endorsements from the International Union of Operating Engineers (I.U.O.E.) Local 501 and the Painters and Allied Trades District Council 36.

In addition to those listed above, Schneider has locked up endorsements from numerous other leaders, including:

» City of Ventura Mayor Cheryl Heitmann
» City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte
» City of Goleta Mayor Margaret Connell (retired)
» Hope School District Board of Trustees Member Kristi Newton
» City of Santa Barbara City Councilman Harwood "Bendy" White
» City of Ventura City Councilman Carl Morehouse
» Santa Barbara Unified School District board president H. Edward Heron

Schneider was elected to her second term as Santa Barbara’s mayor in November 2013. She has served at Santa Barbara City Hall since January 2004, winning her first election as City Council member in 2003 and first election as mayor in 2009.

Schneider serves in leadership roles on a number of regional-wide policy issues, such as transportation, air quality, solid waste, public education, youth violence prevention and homelessness. She represents the City of Santa Barbara on the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments, Air Pollution Control District, Multi-Jurisdictional Solid Waste Task Force, Partners in Education, the South Coast Task Force on Youth Gangs and the Central Coast Collaborative on Homelessness. She is the immediate past-president of the League of California Cities Channel Counties Division.

Prior to elected office, Schneider spent 11 years in human resources management at Planned Parenthood of Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Counties.

For more information, click here to visit


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Natural Gas Leak Reported at UCSB Faculty Housing

By | Published on 05/26/2015


UC Santa Barbara's Ocean Walk at North Campus Faculty Housing was evacuated Tuesday morning after a natural gas pipe break but reopened to residents and visitors just before 1 p.m. 

The area of the gas leak was reportedly contained around 11:20 a.m. and the gas company arrived just before noon, according to a UCSB campus alert.

Evacuations impacted areas in Phase 2 of the Ocean Walk at North Campus residential area, including homes on Pacific Coast Drive, Sea Coast Lane and a small portion of Marymount, according to the university alert. 

People were asked to stay out of the area while gas company employees repair the broken gas pipe but the area was cleared to re-enter in the early afternoon, the university said in an alert sent out at 12:46 p.m. Tuesday.  

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


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American Heart Association to Unveil Locations of New AEDs in Celebration of National CPR Week

By | Published on 05/26/2015


In celebration of National CPR Week, June 1-7, the American Heart Association will unveil the location of several new automated external defibrillators (AED), gifted by the Hearst Foundation, at a news conference on Thursday, June 4 in the Garden Courtyard of French Hospital Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

In addition to the AEDs, the Hearst Foundation’s gift also provides hands-only CPR trainings to schools and the community.

Immediately following the news conference, local firefighters and paramedics will provide on-site, hands-only CPR and AED training.

National CPR Week, spotlights how lives can be saved if more Americans know CPR and how to use an AED.

An automated external defibrillator (AED) is a lightweight, portable device that delivers an electric shock through the chest to the heart. The shock can stop an irregular rhythm and allow a normal rhythm to resume in a heart in sudden cardiac arrest. AEDs make it possible for more people to respond to a medical emergency where defibrillation is required. Because AEDs are portable, they can be used by nonmedical people.

Most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location die because they don't receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. Hands-only CPR focuses on the first few minutes following a cardiac arrest, since the lungs and blood contain only enough oxygen to keep vital organs healthy for that amount of time. While emergency responders are on their way to the scene, chest compressions using hands-only CPR will provide the ongoing blood flow needed to give the patient a much better chance of survival once responders arrive.

For more information, please contact Tamara White, director of communications and marketing, at 213.291.7028 or [email protected].

— Tamara White is the marketing director for the American Heart Association.


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S. Lombardi & Associates Promotes Whitney Meyer to General Manager

By | Published on 05/26/2015


S. Lombardi & Associates marketing agency has named Whitney Meyer as its general manager, responsible for the agency’s finances, operations and employee development.

Meyer joined the SLA team in 2010 and is a graduate of UCLA, where she earned a degree in economics and worked in the university’s athletics marketing department as well as for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s marketing division.

In announcing Meyer’s appointment to general manager, agency owner Steve Lombardi said, “Whitney is truly an asset to the agency. She has an excellent rapport with our clients and possesses superior leadership and organizational skills. I can think of no one more qualified or capable to continue our legacy of providing marketing direction for businesses on the Central Coast."

Meyer has played for and coached the Cuesta College women’s volleyball team, is an active member of Young Professionals Networking Group, volunteers at the SLO County Animal Shelter and serves as the president and founder of Central Coast Bruins, the local UCLA Alumni Chapter.

Established in 1973, S. Lombardi & Associates is a full-service, multimedia, regional marketing and advertising agency with comprehensive in-house radio, television, web and graphic design production facilities.

— D.C. Carter is a publicist representing S. Lombardi & Associates.


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Steve Stokes Named Athletic Director for Providence School

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Providence is pleased to announce the appointment of Steve Stokes as athletic director, with responsibility for all middle school and high school teams.

Steve Stokes

Stokes joined the Providence Patriots athletics program in 2014-15 as varsity boys basketball coach.

As a Patriots coach, Stokes got a closeup look at Providence this past year. Commenting on that experience, Stokes says, “Providence is a special place where the students get such a unique schooling experience. The school has been rapidly growing and I see our athletic programs growing to elite levels as well.”

Planning for growth, he says, ”We will focus not just on having great teams, but building great programs — not only at the high school level, but also with our middle school and lower school athletic programs.”

In announcing Stokes’ appointment, Chris Rutz, interim head of school, said: "At Providence, we aspire to build an athletic program to be the best Santa Barbara has to offer. While we expect to win many championships in the years ahead, we are equally concerned with developing athletes who compete with character and integrity. Steve has a vision for this kind of athletic experience, and we could not be more excited for the future of Providence athletics.”

While coaching the high school boys basketball team for the past year, Stokes developed positive rapport with the young men playing for him, demonstrating he understands the importance of Providence coaches serving as positive role models and influences in the lives of Providence student-athletes.

“So much of building a culture involves building relationships,” he says, “not just with families in the Santa Barbara community, but also with the student-athletes in our programs. We want to pour into and invest in our coaches to be able to lead our student-athletes to new levels of success.”

Before joining the Patriots coaching staff, Stokes was associate head coach at Royal High School (Simi Valley) for four seasons. During those four years, the Royal team experienced the most successful run in school history, reaching the CIF finals two years in a row.  He has been coaching high school basketball for the past 12 years, compiling over 250 career wins in the process. Coaching highlights include the two-time CIF Championship Finalist appearances, two State Championship appearances (including an appearance in the 2013 California State Final Four), three-time league “Coach of the Year,” and having his team named LA Times ”Program on the Rise.”

Stokes has developed a reputation in coaching circles as a program builder by leading once struggling programs to new levels of success.

A kinesiology major at California State University-Dominguez Hills, Stokes frequently returns to his alma mater as a special guest lecturer, speaking to undergrad students in the kinesiology department as well as to graduate students getting their master’s degree in coaching education.

As Stokes is fond of saying: "The future is bright. It’s a great day to be a Patriot!”

Click here to learn more about Patriots athletics.

— Elaine Rottman is the marketing director for Providence.


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Children’s Author Beryl Reichenberg to Lead Book-Making Class for Kids at Curious Cup Bookstore

By | Published on 05/26/2015


On June 6 at Curious Cup Bookstore, author and illustrator Beryl Reichenberg will conduct a class for kids on how to make a butterfly book starting at 1 p.m.

The children will make their own book and decorate it with colorful paper, punches, markers and pens. They will be encouraged to write a story, and Reichenberg will read one of her own butterfly stories, either When Caterpillars Dream or Butterfly Girls, both about monarch butterflies.

There is a $5 materials fee for the paper craft and bookmaking class.

After the class, Reichenberg will continue with a free bookmark exercise, where she will show children and families alike how to make their own bookmarks until 4 p.m.

Curious Cup is located at 3817½ Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria.

— Kiona Gross represents Curious Cup Bookstore.


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Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce Hosting B2B Breakfast with Santa Barbara Law Group

By | Published on 05/26/2015


The Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce will hold its June Business-2-Business Breakfast with the Santa Barbara Law Group from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, June 2 in Earl's Place at the Earl Warren Showgrounds, 3400 Calle Real in Santa Barbara.

Attendees will be provided an opportunity to introduce themselves and their business in a 20-second elevator pitch to the crowd.

A hot breakfast from Georgia's Smokehouse, piping hot coffee from Zizzo's Coffee and refreshing water from Team Cashman, State Farm will be served promptly at 7:30 a.m.

The cost is $20 for members and $30 for nonmembers. Register by noon Monday, June 1 to get on the hot sheet.

Click here to register. For more information or for sponsor opportunities, contact David Hunt at 805.967.2500 x5 or [email protected].


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S. Lombardi & Associates of San Luis Obispo Wins Six Advertising Awards

By | Published on 05/26/2015


S. Lombardi & Associates, a San Luis Obispo-based marketing and advertising agency, recently won six American Advertising Awards (formerly The ADDY Awards) in the Coastal California competition.

Brittany Hensley, account executive from S. Lombardi & Associates, was present to receive the awards, which included three awards for Community Bank of Santa Maria. The newspaper ad “Lending Oneself to Growth” and the television campaign “Santa Maria Style Banking” were recognized as well as the SLA designed annual report titled, “A History of Opportunities,” which won in the collateral materials competition.

The Cuesta College television campaign, “That’s Why I’m a Cuesta College Student,” also received an ADDY as did two radio commercials created by SLA: “Sunbathing Neighbor” for Air Vol Block and the Villa Automotive “Feel Good” spot.

Established in 1973, S. Lombardi & Associates is a full-service, multimedia, regional marketing and advertising agency with comprehensive in-house radio, television, web and graphic design production facilities.

“We pride ourselves in giving our clients not just creative but also effective advertising and marketing material," Hensley said. "These are all great examples of what our team can do.”

The American Advertising Awards are presented annually and is the first step in the advertising industry's largest and most representative competition, attracting about 50,000 entries every year in local competitions. Selection of the most creative entries is effected by a scoring process in which a panel of judges evaluates all creative dimensions of every entry.

— D.C. Carter is a publicist representing S. Lombardi & Associates.


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Free Screening of ‘SPLIT,’ Q&A to Focus on Divorce and Effects on Children

By | Published on 05/26/2015


SPLIT, a film about divorce through kids' eyes, will be shown during a free screening event at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 28 on the second floor of the Mental Wellness Center, 617 Garden St. in Santa Barbara.

Almost half the children in the United States will experience their parents’ separation before the age of 16 — more than any other country in the western world.

SPLIT is a candid, poignant and often humorous film about kids and divorce made exclusively from the point of view of the children — no adults, no experts, just kids speaking the powerful truth of what is on their minds and in their hearts.

The film features 12 children ages 6 to 12 who explore the often-frightening and always life-altering separation of their parents. Their wisdom, candor and humor will give courage to other children and encourage parents to make better choices as they move through divorce.

There will be a panel discussion with time for Q&A facilitated by attorneys and mental health professionals who are members of the International Academy of Collaborative Professionals.

For more information and to RSVP, call 805.722.0204 or click here. RSVPs are appreciated, but walk-ins are always welcome.


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3 Women Injured in Butane Explosion at Lake Cachuma

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Emergency personnel responded to Lake Cachuma Tuesday after a camp stove's butane tank exploded, injuring three people.

The incident was reported at about 9 a.m. at a campsite at the lake, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.

A butane tank from a camp stove exploded while in use, said fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni, adding that three women sustained first- and second-degree burns in the blast.

They were treated at the scene by paramedics and firefighters before being taken by ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Zaniboni said. Details on their conditions were not available.

A medical helicopter and two ambulances were dispatched to the call, but the Calstar helicopter was later canceled.

A fire investigator was on scene, looking into the cause of the explosion, Zaniboni said.

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


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Reyne Stapelmann: SBAOR Sponsoring Wine & Music Fest to Benefit Unity Shoppe

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Mark your calendars for July 10 from 5 to 9 p.m. in the Funk Zone, when the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors will be sponsoring its second annual Wine & Music Fest at Oreana Winery, 205 Anacapa St.

Dance to the music of REDFISH, Santa Barbara’s favorite party band, with lead vocalist and Realtor Stu Morse, and enjoy fresh farm to table fare from “Scratch” food truck.

All proceeds go to the Unity Shoppe, and this event will kick off SBAOR's annual campaign to support its efforts

Throughout the year, the Unity Shoppe benefits more than 22,000 local people in need, through a food and clothing store, a Job Smart program, a senior center, long-term disaster services and a Santa’s Toy Shoppe. It provides invaluable support for many, referred by more than 300 local nonprofits.

Alyson Spann, SBAOR's Unity Committee chair, and her committee members, Priscilla Bedolla, Ed Fuller, Dana Hansen, Marisa Holly, Phyllis Lenker, Diana MacFarlane, Eddie Madrigal, Joan Roberts and Christine Salvetti, have put together this fun Funk Zone event.

For sponsorship information, please call or email Kasey Gilles at 805.884.8615 or [email protected].

Tickets are $10, and parking is available just two blocks away at the train station.

Reyne Stapelmann is a broker associate with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, California Properties and the 2015 president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact her at [email protected] or 805.705.4353. The opinions expressed are her own.


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Family Storytime with Monica Robarge Set for Sunday at Curious Cup Bookstore

By | Published on 05/26/2015


"For the Love of Books! Family Storytime with Monica Robarge" will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday, May 31 at Curious Cup Bookstore, 3817½ Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria.

The free event is offered by the Howard School and Curious Cup, and all ages are welcome.

Enjoy friendly stories, musical fun and discounts on books.

— Kiona Gross represents Curious Cup Bookstore.


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Arete Productions Students Stage ‘13,’ a Grown-Up Musical About Growing Up

By | Published on 05/26/2015


Arete Productions, the performance arm of Santa Barbara School of Performing Arts, will present the Broadway hit musical 13, a grown-up story about growing up, at the Marjorie Luke Theater this Saturday and Sunday, May 30-31, with a preview and showcase on Friday, May 29 featuring local artists, SOPA star alumni and the Inner Light Community Gospel Choir.

Proceeds from the showcase will benefit Santa Barbara School of Performing Arts scholarship students.

Featuring a talented cast of local young performers ranging in age from 11 to 15, and set to an unforgettable rock score from Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown, 13 is a hilarious, high-energy musical for all ages about discovering that cool is where you find it — and sometimes where you least expect it.

Directed by Austin Escamilla with musical direction by Dauri Kennedy, the cast of 13 includes Anthony Jensen (12) in the lead role, and Grace Gibbs (15) and Kara Boger (13) double cast in the role of Patrice. Other cast members include Kai Kadlec (15), Greta Regan (13), Drewes McFarlin (12), Logan Fleming, Mariana Mezic (13), Dawson Escamilla (11) and others.

Escamilla is also a homegrown talent who has starred in two SOPA shows; 13 is his second show as director.

Arete Productions is the company that brought the Tony Award-nominated musical Swing! to the New Vic Theatre last March, featuring the beloved music of jazz greats Duke Ellington, William “Count” Basie, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller. In 2014, Arete Productions presented the Tony Award-winning rock musical Rent, with four sold-out shows and a review by the national theater publication Broadway World.

“It's great working with the cast of 13,” said Kennedy, Arete founder and 13 musical director. “Seeing their growth is wonderful. Many of them have been in our debut track, developing singing, dancing, and acting skills; some are brand new to the stage. 13 presents a unique opportunity to develop into mature performers because the entire cast is young.”

The preview night showcase is a perfect accompaniment to this production because proceeds will benefit these and other young and intermediate performers, many of whom go on to  professional training programs based on having their talents recognized and nurtured at an early age. Featured in the showcase will be the local high school band Vital Signs, led by Brolin Parris, who is a SOPA alum and a longtime student of Kennedy's from Marymount of Santa Barbara, the Inner Light Community Gospel Choir, Kennedy's voice students and others.

Santa Barbara School of Performing Arts was founded by Kennedy in 2012. SBSOPA’s mission is to nurture, motivate and build confidence in our community’s youth through the use of contemporary and classic theatrical works.

In addition to directing the Santa Barbara School of Performing Arts and Arete Productions, Kennedy also heads DMK Studio and Performing and Visual Arts Camp. She is on the music faculty of Marymount and Santa Barbara City College Adult Education and director of Inner Light Community Gospel Choir. She attended the renowned New Orleans Center for the Creative Arts, earned a bachelor of music degree from the University of Illinois and a master of music from UCSB. She is an alumna of the Music Academy of the West and was a featured soloist with the SB City College Jazz Band, Chamber Orchestra and Grand Opera. Her extensive opera performances include lead roles with Seattle Opera, New Orleans Opera, and recently Des Moines Metro Opera.

13 will be presented at 7 p.m. Saturday and at 3 p.m. Sunday with a special preview and SB SOPA alumni stars performance showcase at 7 p.m. Friday. All performances are at the Marjorie Luke Theater, 721 E. Cota St. in Santa Barbara. Tickets are $25 for general admission and $20 for students and seniors. Tickets can be purchased through Universe ticketing by clicking here, or for the showcase/preview evening by clicking here. For more information, call 805.708.8897.

New Classes Forming

SB SOPA is pleased to announce its summer lineup of performing arts classes for all ages. Hippity Hop with Mr. Cabrera provides a fun-filled class environment designed to facilitate ongoing skill development and maximum fun, while immersing children in all aspects of motion. With every class, students learn a new set of easy-to-follow mini hip-hop routines and combinations, and work on drilling them together.

Class is on Mondays and Fridays from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. Ballet with State Street ballerina Leila Drake Fossek is a basic class that introduces students age 8 or older to the elementary positions of classical ballet. Classes are thorough to ensure proper alignment and understanding and are held Tuesday and Thursday from 5 to 6 p.m. Both classes are at Santa Barbara Dance Center, 127 W. Canon Perdido St.

Adult Cabaret with Mr. Cabrera empowers the absolute beginner, age 15 and up, with confidence by building physical strength, while unleashing her inner vixen. Adult Cabaret incorporates high kicks, shakes and shimmies with spins and dips. Class is every Wednesday from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at The Dance Network located at 4141 State St., Suite 4A.

All classes are $20 for drop-ins or $18 for a 10-class commitment card. For more information, call Cabrera at 805.637.1191.

— Jackie Goodman represents Arete Productions.


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Crews Work to Uncover Ruptured Pipeline, Continue Cleanup of Refugio Oil Spill

By | Published on 05/25/2015


The cause of the rupture is still unknown, with more than 6,000 gallons of oil removed so far and more than 800 people involved in the response effort

As part of the investigation into the cause of last week's oil spill near Refugio State Beach, crews are preparing to excavate the underground pipeline, officials said Monday.

Cleanup efforts by boom-bearing boats and shoreline assessment crews are still going strong, with more than 800 people involved in the response effort as of Monday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard, which is one of the leading agencies within the incident’s unified command. 

The spill began late on the morning of May 19, when a 24-inch line owned by Plains All American Pipeline ruptured on the north side of Highway 101 near Refugio State Beach, sending an estimated 21,000 gallons of oil down through a culvert, onto the beach and into the ocean. The spill site is about 10 miles west of the City of Goleta

Officials have estimated that as much as 101,000 gallons leaked altogether, with the bulk remaining on shore.

Plains decreased the worst-case scenario from 105,000 gallons to 101,000 gallons on Sunday. As of Monday morning, officials said 6,090 gallons of oil had been removed by vacuum trucks, skimmer boats and other sources.

Federal officials issued an order to have Plains shut down the ruptured pipe indefinitely and remove the damaged section of pipe, which will be sent off for metallurgical testing.

Line 901 carried crude oil from ExxonMobil and Venoco Inc. offshore oil platforms in southern Santa Barbara County north to Plains’ Gaviota pump station. The cause of the pipe rupture is still unknown. 

Patrick Hodgins, safety and security director for Plains, said the pipeline is monitored and inspected regularly, with the most recent inspection done in early May.

A preliminary report back from that inspection shows four areas along Line 901 where they will do “confirmation digs” to see if any maintenance work is necessary. He compared the process to a maintenance light coming on in a car.

“We regret the impact this incident has had on the community, and pledge to remain aggressively engaged in the recovery efforts until the job is done,” Plains said in a statement.

The company will be paying all of the oil-spill response costs.

The unified command for the spill response is dedicated to not using dispersants to clean up the oil, Coast Guard Commander Charlene Downey said Monday.

In addition to boats using hard booms and absorbent booms to collect oil on the ocean surface, crews are using fire hoses and water to “herd” oil away from environmentally-sensitive areas such as kelp forests, she said.

According to the California Department of Fish & Wildlife's Oil Spill Prevention and Response, state regulations prohibit using dispersants on or along shorelines, and other policies limit the use of dispersants in water less than 60 feet deep. 

"Experts also knew that dispersants would not be effective on this type of heavy oil," OSPR said in a statement on its Facebook page. "Other factors influencing the decision, included difficulty in avoiding contact with near-shore wildlife, especially sensitive species like snowy plover. When analyzing dispersant use, the final determinant is whether there would be an overall environmental benefit, and there would not have been one in this case." 

The state, County of Santa Barbara and Goleta declared states of emergency after the spill, and so far, there has been no oil on the shoreline southeast of El Capitan State Beach that has been confirmed to be from the Refugio oil spill.

There is a slick offshore of the Goleta area — and there were boats booming in the area of Haskell’s Beach on Monday evening — but that oil may from natural seepage near Coal Oil Point, said Jordan Stout of NOAA.

Yvonne Addassi, deputy director of the Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Oil Spill Prevention and Response, said oil is being removed from large boulders near Refugio State Beach with shovels and wire brushes, but crews are not removing the mussels, barnacles or kelp from the boulders.

There is an active fishery closure for the area between Gaviota and Coal Oil Point, up to seven miles out to sea, and the campgrounds and day-use areas at Refugio and El Capitan state beaches remain closed to visitors.

As of Sunday night, crews had found 17 oil-impacted birds and 10 oil-impacted mammals, as well as nine dead oil-impacted birds and six dead oil-impacted mammals, said warden Santos Cabral, state on scene coordinator for the spill response.

Anyone who finds oil-impacted wildlife is asked to report the animal to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network at 877.823.6926.

Volunteers are being accepted to help with cleanup efforts after they participate in hazardous-materials training, and more information can be found by clicking here.

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


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New Veterans Plaque Dedicated in Solvang Park Remembering Santa Ynez Valley’s Casualties

By | Published on 05/25/2015


The monument bearing the names of 18 men rests at the base of the park's flagpole, serving as 'a reminder for generations to come'

After the speeches and songs were done, Jeanine Moniot showed her young grandson the newly unveiled plaque bearing the names of 18 Santa Ynez Valley men who died while serving in the military between World War I and today.

Solvang memorial
Eighteen names of men who died while serving in the military are included on the new plaque at the base of the flagpole in Solvang Park. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

Veterans organizations dedicated the new plaque on the base of the flagpole in Solvang Park as part of this year’s Memorial Day ceremony. Included among the 18 names listed on the plaque is Moniot’s first husband, David Tibbetts, who died while serving in the Army in Vietnam.

“I think it’s a great thing,” said Moniot, adding she is pleased at the plaque remembering the valley’s sons. “It’s wonderful. We all kind of try to just put everything behind us and forget. But I don’t think we should forget. 

“It was more than I expected,” Moniot added about the effort to remember her former husband. “It was a beautiful day. I’m very appreciative of what everyone’s done. I know we all are.”

Approximately 400 people, including families of fallen warriors, local residents and tourists, attended Monday’s ceremony.

Memorial Day, which originated from Decoration Day, is considered by many to be the unofficial start of summer and a three-day weekend. 

Col. Shane Clark, 30th Space Wing vice commander at Vandenberg Air Force Base, said those who attended the Santa Ynez Valley ceremony recognize the day means much more.

“It’s a time for reverence and reflection,” Clark said in his keynote speech, adding it’s a time to pay homage to the 1 million people who died while serving the U.S. military.

Clark also reflected on the loss of a Vandenberg employee, noting that this year’s Memorial Day fell on May 25, as it did in 2009 when Naval Reserve Cmdr. Duane Wolfe was killed in Iraq. In his civilian job, Wolfe worked at Vandenberg as deputy commander of the 30th Mission Support Group.

"He, too, was a hero,” Clark said.

Also making this year’s Memorial Day especially poignant is the 70th anniversary of the World War II’s end, Clark said.

Orcutt resident Robert “Bob” Hatch, a highly decorated veteran who served in Vietnam after growing up in Santa Ynez Valley, personally knew three of the people listed on the new plaque. He learned about others through the years.

“This need to remember is why families and friends, along with total strangers, will come here long after today’s dedication is over,” Hatch said. “We are informing all of you assembled here that we will never forget these men. 

Solvang memorial
Robert "Bob" Hatch, a highly decorated Vietnam veteran who grew up in the Santa Ynez Valley, speaks to Benihien Powell, who fled Vietnam 34 years ago and works at a Solvang nail salon. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

“They died so that others might live in freedom and they deserve a place in the valley’s history. This memorial will continue to served as a reminder for generations to come of their sacrifices and that freedom has a heavy price.”

While he prayed for an announcement that wars would end, Hatch said he recognized that in this world today many wish to harm people in the United States — some simply due to their hatred for the American way of life.

“This monument placed directly underneath the symbol of our freedom will act as a reminder to those who will serve in the future that we will remember them and honor them as they continue to defend the United States of America,” he added.

Hatch also expressed his appreciation for those behind creating, sponsoring, designing, installing and maintaining the plaque. 

“The  joint venture between the VFW and American Legion brought a vision to reality,” Hatch said.

After the ceremony, Solvang manicurist Benihien Powell, who arrived in the United States as a refugee from Vietnam 34 years ago,  spoke to Hatch to express her appreciation for his service and share that veterans should not view the war that ended 40 years ago as a loss. Western freedoms are enjoyed by many in Vietnam, Powell added.

Both became emotional during the quick meeting.

"Because I value the freedom," she said afterward about her tears, noting the price paid by the 58,000 American service members killed in Vietnam and the 1,643 still listed as missing in action.

Other Memorial Day ceremonies were held at North County cemeteries in Santa Maria, Orcutt, Lompoc and Guadalupe. 

Additionally, Lompoc residents gathered in the afternoon to celebrate the completion of a multiyear effort to renovate the Lompoc Veterans Memorial Building on Locust Avenue.

The Santa Maria Elks paused during rodeo preparations to hold a short ceremony for Memorial Day on Monday afternoon at the Santa Maria Elks/Unocal Event Center.

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


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Santa Barbara Police Say Meth, Pot Use on the Rise

By | Published on 05/25/2015


Methamphetamine and marijuana use is on the rise in Santa Barbara, and may be tied to a spree of residential and auto burglaries, according to the Santa Barbara Police Department

Meth use is up possibly because of its relatively low cost on the street compared to heroin and cocaine, Sgt. Alex Altavilla said during a recent City Council budget hearing

"Santa Barbara is a really, really beautiful place, but we always recommend that you go ahead and lock your home when you leave," Altavilla said. "And when you leave your car, try not to leave anything inside that's in plain view, and go ahead and lock your vehicle, too."

Heroin right now is $1,000 to $1,200 an ounce, Altavilla said.

"Methamphetamine is $350 to $500 an ounce, which it makes it something everyone is kind of interested in because of the low cost," he said. 

Santa Barbara experienced 21 unusual residential burglaries between Feb. 3 and March 6.

"We do know that there is a subset of people that use narcotics that actually go out and do burglaries," Altavilla said. 

He also noted that applications for marijuana dispensaries are on the rise.

Altavilla was one of the several speakers who gave updates during the Police Department and Fire Department budget presentations. 

The department is also struggling to increase its staffing levels.

"We're hurting for people," Police Chief Cam Sanchez said.

The Police Department is down between nine and 12 employees from injuries, he said.

Sanchez also temporarily suspended the use of a school resource officer. 

"I feel the pain of not having a school resource officer, but to deplete patrol would not be a good thing," Sanchez said. 

The department has seven vacancies and expects to lose about seven more through retirements or to other police departments, according to Capt. Gil Torres.

He said he hopes to hire 15 people out of the police academy over the course of the next year. 

Torres said the Police Department is competing with heavy recruitment efforts from places such as the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, which advertises starting salaries of $75,000 to $105,000, about $14,000 higher than the Santa Barbara Police Department at the high end. 

Fire Department officials also spoke at the meeting, with Fire Chief Pat McElroy saying the department is looking to improve its 9-1-1 dispatch efforts by installing a computerized version of the existing flip chart that allows dispatchers to quickly offer assistance on how to treat the person calling. 

McElroy also said the department wants to develop a Spanish-language certified training program to increase accessibility to the Spanish-speaking community. 

He said the volume of Spanish-speaking calls is "not an insignificant number." He also said that many of the calls that come in are from European tourists.

"We have a tremendous amount of people from Europe, from all over the world, especially during high tourism season," McElroy said. "There's a lot of languages we are running across."

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


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Hundreds Mark Memorial Day with Ceremony at Santa Barbara Cemetery

By | Published on 05/25/2015


The solemn commemoration honors the sacrifices of America's fallen soldiers and salutes the veterans and military families in attendance

Things like the pledge of allegiance, presentation of colors and the national anthem took on special meaning Monday morning at the Santa Barbara Cemetery.

The added meaning — the fact that it was Memorial Day — brought tears to the eyes of many gathered for an annual ceremony at the final resting place of generations past.

Hundreds spent their federal holiday off from work at the Memorial Day commemoration on a hill overlooking the American Riviera and the Pacific Ocean, honoring the sacrifices of those men and women in the armed services who lost their lives in the line of duty.

“Our debt to them is eternal,” said retired U.S. Marine Corps Brigadier General Frederick Lopez, who served as master of ceremonies for the event organized by the Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation.

He and other speakers at the ceremony featuring bagpipers, vintage war flyovers, singing and more remarked on the large size of the crowd as a testament to fallen heroes and the veterans and military families present.

Memorial Day originated in 1868, Lopez said, as “Decoration Day” in Arlington Cemetery as a time to adorn graves with flowers and flags to honor servicemen and women who lost their lives in service of freedom.

Memorial Day
Commander Col. Keith Balts, commander of the 30th Space Wing and Western Range at Vandenberg Air Force Base in Lompoc, delivering the keynote address for Monday's Memorial Day ceremony at the Santa Barbara Cemetery, reminds local residents to remember the sacrifices of soldiers. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Thousands of colorful flowers, wreaths and miniature American flags were strewn Monday for the same reason — respect.

Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, asked that local residents continue to honor veterans by giving them top-notch care after they return home — a cause she champions in Congress.

“I believe the greatest way to honor our heroes is to take care of them,” she said.

Vandenberg Air Force Base Commander Col. Keith Balts served as the keynote speaker, explaining that he represents 3,500 airmen at the Lompoc base.

Balts said the number of people in attendance encouraged him. He told stories about some of the Santa Barbara County servicemen who lost their lives in recent years.

The crowd gathered on the gray morning reserved especially loud applause when Lopez recognized veterans from each war, asking them to identify themselves to receive their thanks.

Acknowledging their service was important, he said, lest we forget their sacrifice.

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


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With Feasibility Study Complete, Goleta Moving Forward with Civic Center/City Hall Project

By | Published on 05/25/2015


Negotiations continue with the school district to relocate its bus yard, and the council votes to extend RNT Architects' contract to allow for further scaling down of plans

The City of Goleta recently took another step toward moving its City Hall, keeping plans alive by working to relocate a Goleta bus yard that would offer the project more space.

Officials hope to move the current City Hall at 130 Cremona Drive to the seven-acre site of the Goleta Valley Community Center on Hollister Avenue in Old Town.

Last Tuesday night’s Goleta City Council meeting marked completion of the Civic Center and City Hall feasibility study, which began in January 2014 and involved numerous public workshops and outreach to residents, stakeholders and officials.

Designers at Ventura-based RNT Architects asked for final direction last Tuesday, this time as guidance for staff who wished to continue negotiations with the Goleta Union School District to buy 2.8 acres adjacent to the proposed site at 5679 Hollister Ave.

That district-owned parcel includes a bus yard and Operation School Bell, an organization that works to clothe needy local children.

School district officials are receptive to the idea, but only if the city can find and build a suitable relocation site.

Council members voted 4-1 to allocate $13,500 from the city’s general fund to conduct a second phase of environmental work on the current school site for additional soils testing.

City Councilman Roger Aceves opposed the motion, explaining he believed there were already too many issues with the site to pursue.

Aceves did, however, side with the rest of council when it unanimously voted to extend RNT’s contract so designers could continue facilitating a scaling down of the project.

“We’ve covered a lot of ground, so it’s not like we’ve wasted money,” Aceves said.

Under the proposed civic center plans, all buildings would be one level except the parking garage and the three-story City Hall, which would be higher at its center so the council chambers could look down on the courtyard.

In addition to the community center, the parcel also currently includes the Boys & Girls Club and educational classrooms for the Headstart preschool program and the Rainbow School.

Officials are fans of a courtyard scheme, which would put City Hall south of a civic center separated by a public courtyard. It would also provide more parking throughout the property and potentially a police substation, a branch library, replacement Headstart and/or Rainbow School classrooms and community swimming pool.

Depending on the project scope and budget, civic center development could also include renovation of the GCC building, which was built in the early 20th century and needs accessibility, seismic, mechanical, electrical, plumbing and other upgrades.

Staff asked the council for a list of project priorities and goals, but officials said they would prefer hashing out those details in a future workshop session, most likely in July.

Council members agreed the project should be refined, especially since designers presented four iterations ranging in size and cost from $42.3 million — basic City Hall, community center renovation, police substation, Headstart classrooms and western parking area — to $72.2 million.

The largest option added features such as a branch library, a swimming pool, a parking structure, commercial space and acquisition of the school district site.

The city compared project costs to the approximately $646,000 it spends annually to rent and operate City Hall. A staff report showed rent is $476,000, common area maintenance accounts for $85,000 and utility costs hover around $85,000.

“We’re not quite sure what it is we’ll be designing here,” Mayor Pro Tem Jim Farr said. “This all began in a discussion to revitalize Old Town. That was the genesis of this, and, of course, it’s still critical. We are looking at the big picture here, and there are a lot of things we’re going to be doing.” 

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


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Association Hosting Outreach Event for Proposed Eastside Business Improvement District

By | Published on 05/25/2015


Instead of just telling locals what a proposed Eastside Business Improvement District could do for Santa Barbara’s Milpas corridor, business leaders want to show them.

The Milpas Community Association will host an outreach “walkthrough” event Friday, explaining what the EBID and MCA do and even letting the public pretend they’re members of the EBID board, according to MCA Executive Director Sharon Byrne.

Since last year, the MCA has been working on plans for the proposed business improvement district, which would assess businesses along the Milpas Street corridor and Eastside commercial/industrial area to pay for marketing and promotion services, events, security and more.

The City of Santa Barbara would collect the EBID fees, and the nonprofit improvement district would decide how to spend funds on services the city doesn’t already cover.

So far, the MCA is about halfway through efforts to gather enough business owner signatures to present the EBID to the City Council for approval sometime in July, Byrne said.

At the event Friday, scheduled for noon to 6:30 p.m. at 331 North Milpas St., an old pot dispensary, Byrne said the MCA would work to “de-mystify” those who have already spoken against the district.

Opposition alleges the EBID could lead to gentrification of the neighborhood or force smaller businesses to close, especially those with owners in the Latino community.

Byrne said that’s the opposite of what the district would do. An EBID would provide funding to help the Milpas corridor as a whole, she said, with a focus on keeping mom-and-pop shops around.

“There’s nothing to be afraid of,” she said. “We want to make this very transparent.”

While collecting signatures — often after more than one visit — Byrne said most businesses weren’t aware they could actually be members who sit on the EBID board. When they found that out, she said, they were more receptive.

The MCA plans to bring bilingual speakers to Friday’s walkthrough, where the public can visit six different stations.

Byrne said she was most excited about an EBID game, where locals make-believe they’re on the board with five other people and then decide how to dole out money based on priorities.

“Here’s a budget,” she said. “Now make budget calls. Anybody can play it. We want them to see how this really is going to work.”

Other stations explain the history of business on the Eastside, what an EBID is and how the Milpas area one would work.

Byrne said the MCA hopes to make peace with EBID opponents, some of whom have formed a group called the Greater Eastside Merchant and Business Association.

The association represents the historical part of Milpas and focuses on improving the business economy, supporting the community and (soon) suggesting some EBID alternatives, according to association leader Jacqueline Inda.

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


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