Captain’s Log: Nuclear Subs, Mystery Fish and Tough Nuts to Crack
What I love about fishing in the ocean is that when you put your line in the water, you never can quite tell what might happen. I’ve got stories.
A strapping young man stood on the deck fn my charter boat, WaveWalker, watching in wide-eyed wonder as his reel’s drag system screamed and squealed while his heavy-duty fishing line diminished rapidly.
Before he was completely spooled, I told him he was going to have to button down the drag and pull on that fish. He did and it became a mano-a-mano battle of human powerhouse against unknown powerhouse.
The rod was bent double, the reel was hot, and beads of sweat stood out on the man’s forehead. We live for this stuff!
The line busted off with a sound like a center-fire rifle. A moment later the man stood with the twisted, busted-off end of his line in his hand, looking back and forth between it and me.
I smiled and softly said, “Nuclear sub, no doubt!”
One time decades ago, I was fishing alone in a small aluminum skiff not far from the Santa Barbara Harbor when something picked up my bait and began swimming away powerfully.
I worked that critter, bending my rod deeply and tightening the drag as much as the line could take.
I realized that the critter was towing my skiff — I couldn’t reel it to me. The best I could do was reel the boat closer. It never came to the surface, so I knew it was a fish.
I pulled on that critter and made him give me a Nantucket sleigh ride.
It headed for the deep sea and I hung on tightly, gauging how much fuel I had in my little carry-on fuel tank.
When I knew that getting back was becoming questionable and considering that the seas were building too high offshore for my little skiff, I made the tough decision to bust off the line and give all due credit to a powerful adversary that might have fed my family for a week.
Of course, it may have been a nuclear sub!
Yes, putting a line in the ocean is maybe a little like that proverbial box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.
While sitting and waiting for a fish to hook up, I get to thinking of such things on both a narrower scale and a larger scale.
Today, while shark fishing and waiting patiently, I thought about America, which I see as a bowl of mixed nuts, the imported nuts piled in on top of the indigenous nuts and all together we have proven to be one tough nut to crack.
There is always room in America for more nuts!
— Capt. David Bacon operates WaveWalker Charters and is president of SOFTIN Inc., a nonprofit organization providing seafaring opportunities for those in need. Visit softininc.blogspot.com to learn more about the organization and how you can help. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.
Warrant Issued for Santa Barbara County Woman Who Allegedly Violated Child-Custody Agreement
A warrant has been issued for a Santa Barbara County woman after she allegedly failed to bring her 3-year-old son to a custody exchange with the child’s father in late July.
Faith Merritt, 31, is being charged with withholding a child from a parent, a violation of a court order for not abiding by the terms of a court ordered custody arrangement, according to a statement from the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.
The office announced they had filed criminal charges against the woman after she reportedly took her 3-year-old son, Maxwell DiNardo, from the Santa Barbara County area in late July 2015.
“At that time, Faith Merritt did not exchange custody with Maxwell’s father per the terms of their custody agreement and the father lost contact with Merritt,” a statement from the DA’s office said.
The boy’s father contacted the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office and made a report of the missing child and the case is currently under investigation.
A warrant has been issued for Merritt’s arrest, and she and her son are believed to be in the Northern California area.
Anyone with information about their whereabouts is asked to contract Santa Barbara District Attorney Investigator Jesse Rose at 805.568.2360.
Motorcyclist Suffers Major Injuries in Highway 154 Collision
A motorcyclist suffered major injuries Thursday afternoon in a head-on collision with a pickup truck on Highway 154 in the Santa Ynez Valley, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
The crash occurred ago about 2:40 p.m. on Highway 154 at Edison Street, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The motorcycle rider — a 30- to 40-year-old man — was taken by ground ambulance to the Santa Ynez Airport, then airlifted to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital by a county helicopter.
His name and details on his injuries were not available.
The pickup truck reportedly was westbound on 154, while the motorcycle was traveling east.
The collision remained under investigation by the CHP.
DUI Checkpoint Planned for Friday Night in Santa Barbara
The California Highway Patrol will conduct a sobriety and driver license checkpoint Friday, Aug. 28, 2015, within the Santa Barbara City limits.
Motorists approaching the checkpoint will see informational signs advising them that a sobriety checkpoint is ahead.
Once diverted into the lane, motorists will be detained only a few moments while an officer explains the purpose of the checkpoint and checks their driver license.
CHP sobriety checkpoints are conducted in accordance with the guidelines for checkpoint operations outlined in the California Supreme Court decision Ingersoll vs. Palmer.
Traffic volume permitting, all vehicles will be checked. If volume becomes too heavy, vehicles to be checked will be selected by a pre-set standard such as every third, fifth or tenth vehicle to assure objectivity.
Placing checkpoints on roads identified with DUI problems and detaining drivers for a very limited time help assure that the CHP conforms to the guidelines.
Checkpoints tend to reduce the number of impaired drivers on the road, even though arrest totals do not rise dramatically. A major value of checkpoints is their psychological influence.
The news media is advised well in advance whenever a checkpoint is planned, since extensive publicity is also viewed as a legal safeguard.
The checkpoint will be operated from 9:15 p.m. to 3:15 a.m.
The CHP will generate an e-mail and/or fax notification detailing the location of the checkpoint approximately two hours prior to the start.
— Jonathan Gutierrez is the PIO and court officer for the Santa Barbara CHP.
Man Arrested at Gunpoint After High-Speed Chase on Highway 101
CHP officer, deputy injured during incident, which ended north of Gaviota
A Solvang man who allegedly fought with a CHP officer and a sheriff's deputy during a traffic stop was arrested Thursday afternoon after a high-speed chase along the Gaviota Coast, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
Emanuel Garibay-Padilla, 25, was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on suspicion of felony evading, assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer, threats of violence against a peace officer, and battery on a peace officer, said Kelly Hoover, a sheriff's spokeswoman.
The incident began at about 12:30 p.m. when the CHP officer made a traffic stop at the Mariposa Reina overpass near Gaviota State Beach, Hoover said.
"Upon contacting the driver, who was the sole occupant, the CHP officer observed contraband in plain sight in the vehicle," Hoover said. "The driver got out of the vehicle and began resisting the officer."
A police radio call went out for an 11-99 — law enforcement lingo for “an officer needs assistance” — and deputies and officers began converging on the scene.
A plain-clothes sheriff's deputy was in the area and responded to the scene, where he found Garibay-Padilla fighting with the officer, Hoover said.
The two attempted to take Garibay-Padilla into custody, Hoover said, but he resisted and eventually fled in his car.
Garibay-Padilla headed south on Highway 101 at speeds estimated at 100 mph, then turned around back north near Refugio State Beach, Hoover said.
Garibay-Padilla’s vehicle was disabled by the CHP with a spike strip north of the Gaviota Tunnel, and he was taken into custody at gunpoint after driving off the roadway at the Highway 1 overpass, Hoover said.
Garibay-Padilla reportedly was bleeding from the head, and was treated by paramedics.
The CHP officer, whose name was not released, sustained non-life threatening injuries when the suspect resisted, and was taken by ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Hoover said. The deputy who responded in the unmarked vehicle received minor injuries, and was treated at the scene and released.
Guadalupe Council Agrees To Continue Paying Library Rent — For Now
Elected leaders may pursue a parcel tax measure in 2016 to keep the town's library open after current city-funded lease expires in November 2016
The Guadalupe City Council agreed to pay the library’s rent for the remainder of the current lease, and suggested trying another tax measure to fund the facility in the future.
The council voted 5-0 Tuesday to pay $28,883, the remainder of the rental rate for the lease set to expire Nov. 30, 2016.
“I can’t imagine a town without a library,” said Councilwoman Virginia Ponce, who also belongs to the Friends of the Guadalupe Library.
But the council stopped short of supporting the library financially after the current lease expires.
Instead council members said voters should be asked to cover the costs via a parcel tax measure placed on the November 2016 ballot.
“It is ludicrous to think that every single one of the 1,500 households in Guadalupe have computers. Some of them don’t,” Councilman Jerry Beatty said.
“Some of them absolutely utilize the library for all of their media. I think it’s really, really important to keep this branch open, because where else are they going to go?,” Beatty added.
The library pays $21,500 annually for the building, with the Friends of the Guadalupe Library picking up the $1,500 not covered by the city.
Guadalupe has had a library since 1911, according to Shirley Boydstun, secretary for the Friends of the Guadalupe Library.
The city’s library operates as a branch of the Santa Maria Public Library, along with those in Orcutt, Cuyama and soon, Los Alamos.
Guadalupe's library formerly was housed in 725 square feet of a city-owned building before moving to the storefront site in a small shopping center on West Main Street.
“Two-thousand-square feet sounded wonderful from the 725 square feet,” Boydstun said.
In 2012, city officials announced they could no longer pay the rent, prompting the nonprofit group to launch a “Save Our Library” campaign. Individuals, businesses and corporations raised the needed $20,000 to keep it open.
A parcel tax measure in November 2012 , which would have added $20 per parcel annually for the library, narrowly failed to pass.
“Had it passed we would not be in this position and talking about this right now,” Boydstun said.
Through grants and fundraisers the library has expanded its offerings, including adding special computers for children ages 2 to 12.
In a letter to the council, Santa Maria Librarian Mary Housel said the library serves an average of 40 people each day to take advantage of the 9,689 books, 902 DVDs and other services.
More than 48 percent of Guadalupe’s students are English language learners, she noted.
“There are numerous studies linking early exposure to reading and literacy with a child’s future success in school and life,” Housel wrote.
“The library is a vital resource for Guadalupe families with young children to find the support and resources that promote literacy and school success.”
Amelia Villegas, president of Friends of Guadalupe Library, said it is “pretty inconceivable” to think of Guadalupe without a library.
She recalled being in a meeting where someone asked why Guadalupe has a library when youths have computers at home.
“I thought the individual was joking when the question was asked,” she said. “(I) still am not sure.”
Since the major residential development Pasadera (formerly DJ Farms) has started building homes to add to number of parcels in the small city, the parcel tax put before voters eventually would be less than the $20 estimated during the previous tax measure campaign, city officials noted.
“It would simply help keep the community growing as it needs to grow so I'm in favor of keeping it going,” Beatty said.
City Administrator Andrew Carter said he brought the matter to the council for clarification of whether the previous council agreed to give $20,000 to the library for five years, or through the remainder of the lease.
The $68,883 provided by the city for the library's rent is coming from a $160,000 payment stemming from the Pasadera development.
1369 Oak Creek Canyon Road, Montecito 93108
An extraordinary residence has been created after several years of patient diligence, during which the owners collaborated with talented designers and master craftsmen to assure optimum results with the finest materials and a premium location in the heart of central Montecito’s most desirable view corridor. An abundance of important amenities includes:
» Panoramic ocean, island views
» Gated private enclave
» Extensive hand-cut stonework
» Antique wood floors
» Numerous interior and exterior fireplaces
» True gourmet kitchen
» Spectacular master bedroom suite
» Private paneled study
» Lower-level theater, wine cellar and game room
» Elevator to all floors
» Sun-drenched, South-facing
» Multiple covered loggias and terraces
» Poolside stone terrace with spa, fireplace and barbecue
» Private detached two-bedroom guest house
» Detached versatile artist’s studio/cottage
» Three-car garage with storage
» Private seasonal creek
» Back-up generator
» Sport court
» Impeccably maintained throughout
Click here for more information about this property.
List Price $21,000,000
Coldwell Banker Previews International
BRE License #00622258
Coldwell Banker Previews International
BRE License #01895788
Teen Dating Abuse Seminar Seeks to Reduce One in Three Victim Statistic
A free parent and teen workshop on the topic of teen dating and violence awareness will be presented at the Solvang Library Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 6 p.m.
The workshop will be led by Christy Haynes, founder of What Is LOVE, an organization dedicated to engaging and empowering teens to identify healthy relationships and prevent dating abuse.
This workshop will give parents and teens the tools they need to build those relationship skills and prevent dating abuse.
The workshop will be held at the Veteran’s Memorial Hall, next door to the Solvang Library at 1745 Mission Drive.
Haynes will teach parents how to identify abusive dating, address these issues with their teens and connect with community resources.
Parents are encouraged to bring their teens to the event. Teens and pre-teens are encouraged to bring their parents.
Any student entering sixth grade and older is welcome.
Light refreshments will be provided at the workshop. Spanish translation and childcare will also be available.
Registration is required. For more information or to register, please contact Solvang Library at 805.688.4214 or email [email protected].
“Teen dating abuse is a pervasive issue that plagues our schools and communities on a daily basis,” notes Haynes. “One in three teens in the United States report experiencing physical, emotional, verbal, sexual and digital abuse from a dating partner, and most do not ask for help.”
This event is co-sponsored by the Friends of the Library of Santa Ynez Valley, Solvang Parks & Rec and People Helping People’s Advocates for Domestic and Child Abuse Prevention (ADCAP) program.
ADCAP has been operating for 14 years and is the only organization of its kind that serves the Santa Ynez Valley, Los Alamos Valley, Gaviota Coast and unincorporated parts of the Lompoc Valley.
Any adult, teen or child subject to domestic violence who needs or desires assistance, receives services through PHP’s ADCAP Program. ADCAP staff also performs public education, outreach, training, advocate support and fund-raising.
For information about Santa Barbara Public Library System programs, hours, locations and events, visit online at SBPLibrary.org.
All Library programs are free and open to the public.
— Christine Gallery works for the City of Santa Barbara.
Santa Barbara Unified School District Discuss Final Facilities Master Plan
Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Dave Cash addressed any confusion head on this week, reassuring locals that officials would use a new facilities master plan as a guiding document for future improvements — not ask for an $800-million bond measure to complete everything on the list.
The district’s bond capacity isn’t even that high, but that’s beside the matter, Cash said, adding that it’s closer to $600 million.
“There is absolutely no way under any circumstance … that there would be any discussion of a $800 million bond,” he said at Tuesday night’s Board of Education meeting.
"There are many times in the past four years that I have been the superintendent in Santa Barbara that I’d wished we had a comprehensive facilities master plan.”
Board members opted to “receive” the final draft of the Facilities Master Plan, a massive school-by-school wish list compiled by stakeholders inside and outside the district in a process that began in December 2013.
They cautioned locals against feeling sticker shock — project and construction costs in the plan total nearly $850 million — calling the master plan a “living guiding document” that can aid current and future school officials in infrastructure and development decisions by providing context.
“Acceptance could still sound like we have to raise this money,” board member Kate Parker said, asking to use another word (like receive) to describe the latest and final updates to the initial facilities master plan.
“We will not be able to do everything that’s on it at all.”
Board of Education members also asked to periodically revisit the facilities master plan binder, checking to see if priorities need to change.
“I don’t want to see this thing on the shelf,” board president Ed Heron said. “Obviously, it’s a step-by-step thing.”
Officials took special care to clarify plans weren’t imminent after a student newspaper at one of its high schools — the Dos Pueblos Charger Account — initially reported demolition of part of its campus was looming. That story was since corrected.
The plan, which focuses on the next 10-15 years, includes adding amenities like science labs and renovating or replacing classrooms and buildings at 10 elementary schools, three charter schools, four middle schools and five high schools.
Adding gymnasiums to junior high schools was also among potential plans.
The final draft recommended eventually removing all portable classrooms — an item school board members cited as a top priority.
“I really hope the public will take a look at it,” board member Monique Limón said of the plan.
“Some of this is what we need to do. Some of this is what we want to do.”
Santa Barbara County Once Again in Grip of Summer Heat
One of the hottest summers in Santa Barbara County in recent memory shows no sign of abating.
Another stretch of blistering weather is forecast Thursday into the weekend, with temperatures in the 90s near the coast, and approaching triple digits inland, according to the National Weather Service in Oxnard.
Thursday’s forecast high in Santa Barbara is 91, followed by 90 on Friday and 86 on Saturday.
Santa Maria may be a degree or two hotter, while Santa Ynez is expected to reach the 100-degree mark Friday and Saturday.
Overnight lows are forecast to be around 60 degrees.
Winds of 10-15 mph are expected, with gusts to 25 mph.
The latest round of above-normal temperatures is due to a high-pressure system hanging over Southern California, which is keeping cooler marine air mainly offshore.
Temperatures are expected to return to near normal early next week.
2 Stabbing Victims in Critical Condition After Altercation in Mission Hills
Two people were in critical condition with multiple stab wounds early Thursday following an altercation at a home in Mission Hills near Lompoc, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
At about 9:15 p.m. Wednesday, a woman in her 20s was found by a relative outside a residence in the 3500 block of Via Lato, said Kelly Hoover, a sheriff’s spokeswoman.
About 10 minutes later, a man in his 60s who was related to the female victim was found with stab wounds in the 700 block of Summerwood Lane in the city of Lompoc, Hoover said.
“At this point in the early stage of the investigation, it appears that following the altercation, the male victim left the residence and went to a friend’s home who then called 911 for help,” Hoover said.
The names of the two victims were not released.
“The Sheriff’s Office does not believe there are any outstanding suspects,” Hoover said. “Due to the active investigation, this is all the information that can be released at this time.”
3 Injured in Crash on Via Real in Carpinteria
Pickup truck collided broadside with an SUV; one victim was ejected and another had to be extricated
Three people were injured, two seriously, in a two-vehicle collision Wednesday night in Carpinteria.
The accident occurred shortly after 8 p.m. on Via Real at Vallecito Road, according to Battalion Chief Mike Gallagher of the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Department.
The crash involved a pickup truck that collided broadside with the SUV, Gallagher said.
Two of the victims were in the pickup, and the third was in the SUV.
One victim was ejected, and another had to be extricated with the Jaws of Life hydraulic tool.
All three were transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. Details on their conditions were not available Wednesday night.
The accident was under investigation by the California Highway Patrol.
Santa Barbara Panel Backs New Trail System at Douglas Family Preserve
City wants to remove asphalt, steer people, dogs away from the coastal bluffs
Despite objections from some members of the public, the Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Commission Wednesday night voted unanimously to move ahead with a $300,000 grant application to create a universal trail route at the Douglas Family Preserve.
The city is looking to develop a universal, ADA-compliant trail made out of decomposed granite and other aggregate materials, while steadily moving people and their dogs away from the bluffs to reduce erosion of the cliffside.
The universal trail would not include the current bluff trail, although the city acknowledged there would be nothing to stop people from traversing that route if they chose to.
"We know we need to address the coastal bluff erosion at some point," said Jill Zachary, acting Parks & Recreation Department Director. "In an ideal world, we would have less erosion and be able to vegetate those areas."
Zachary said that people have to realize that at some point, the coastal trail "may not be there in its current configuration."
The Douglas Family Preserve sits high on the Mesa bluffs overlooking the ocean. Commonly known by locals as the Wilcox Property, the 70-acre site was acquired by the Trust for Public Lands in 1996 and then transferred to the city of Santa Barbara in 1997.
It's a popular hangout for people to watch the sunset, take a stroll and walk their dogs.
Although she wasn't specific, Zachary said the city needs to eradicate some of the problems in the park.
"We also have activities in the preserve that sometimes aren't as positive as we would like for them to be," she said.
The city is looking to create 5-foot-wide trails, with signage, and remove the "user-generated" trails that exist in the park.
City officials, however, said during the meeting that the 5-foot-side trails would not be large enough for fire truck access so that vehicles will have to "straddle" the trails with wheels on each side.
The changes, however, upset some people who use the park.
"I think I just heard a proposal to create Tom Sawyer's Island, but that's not what we want," said Santa Barbara resident Wayne Norris. "I don't think you can do a thing to make it better."
Norris said two generations of children have grown up at the preserve, enjoying the user-established trails.
"Not just myself, but I think everyone else loves it just the way it is," he said. "I don't think anybody in the neighborhood is interested in changing anything."
Speaker Steven Crosby agreed that the park should be left alone. The city should do more to enforce the current rules at the park instead of changing the trails, he said.
"If we have some money to spend on the preserve, I would recommend using some for fencing so the existing code could be enforced and hiring rangers to enforce it," he said.
Parks & Recreation commissioners, however, said the city should take advantage of the grant money.
"Thank God we don't have 200 homes there," said Commissioner Beebe Longstreet. "Think we have traffic now? Think about the traffic with 200 homes there."
Longstreet said the property was purchased as a dog park. With all the users, the park just gets dustier, which kills the vegetation.
"It is an overly loved park, and anytime we can apply for any kind of resources to make some improvements, I think we are obligated to do that," Longstreet said.
The department will be conducting a community meeting on Thursday, Aug. 27, at 5:30 pm at the Preserve to discuss the project with the community.
Santa Barbara Commission Backs Removal Of Two Healthy Pine Trees Near Montecito
Plan for Coast Village Plaza moves forward after Parks & Recreation Commission approval Wednesday
One of three Canary Island pine trees in front of the Coast Village Plaza near Montecito will live — the two others are headed for the woodchipper.
The Santa Barbara Parks & Recreation Commission voted Wednesday night to allow the owners of the plaza, H&R investments, to chop down two trees, paving the way for dramatic changes to its 18,869-square-foot shopping center.
The developers want to build a new outdoor dining deck area near where the trees stand now. The trees also contribute to "leaf litter," which H&R investments says creates a safety hazard.
"With all that construction, I just don't see how those trees would maintain a stable life," commissioner Beebe Longstreet said.
The developers had originally wanted to take down all three trees, which bookend the development at 1187 Coast Village Rd.
The two trees that will come down share a trunk and stand next to the driveway on the east side of the development.
H&R investments, however, agreed to save the third tree at the west end of the site, where the developers plan to build a circular staircase leading down to shops and the parking lot.
The owners have submitted an application to the city to build the new dining area, replace the exterior columns and alter the driveway to make it less steep.
H&R investments wants to remove all of the landscaping in front of the building and then add new landscaping, a circular stairwell and other remodeling efforts.
The city has already approved a modification for the project, allowing the decks to intrude within the required 10-foot street setback.
Some of the public speakers said they objected to the removal of the healthy trees, for no good reason other than to make it easier to develop. The developers plan to plant a replacement flame tree.
"I am here to let you know how much we do appreciate our trees," nearby resident Charlene Little said.
"They are very special to us. Especially in this time of the climate warming. Sidewalks can be hot to walk on and we just love the shade of a tree."
Cindy Feinberg, president of the Montecito Association, said she wants to maintain the semi-rural character of the community.
"What we really don't want to happen in Montecito is for the (Coast Village Plaza) to become a strip mall," she said.
"I would encourage all of you to do your best if you could to help protect the aesthetics of Coast Village Road."
Mountain Lion Sighting Reported Near UCSB West Campus
A possible mountain lion sighting was reported Wednesday evening in the West Campus area of UC Santa Barbara.
An automated alert from the university indicated a community member reported seeing a mountain lion at about 6 p.m. west of the intersection of El Colegio Road and Storke Road.
Anyone who sees a mountain lion in the area is asked to contact UCPD dispatch at 805.893.3446 or call 9-1-1.
“Never approach any wild animal,” university officials warned.
They also provided a link to the Mountain Lion Foundation website regarding safety tips and general information.
Family Dentistry Beachside Dental Opens on the Mesa
Beachside Dental is pleased to announce it’s opening in beautiful Santa Barbara County. The practice of Michael Savidan, DDS, provides family and cosmetic dental treatment to patients of all ages.
Michael Savidan, DDS, graduated cum laude with a bachelor's in biology from Loyola Marymount University in 2001 and later gradutated from the University of Southern California School of Dentistry in 2005.
Dr. Savidan was a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force, from 2006-2009. During his first year of active duty service, he completed a general dentistry residency program at Nellis Air Force Base, where he became proficient with all facets of general dentistry.
At Beachside Dental, Dr. Savidan and his staff provide comprehensive family dental care, gentle teeth cleanings, cosmetic dentistry, in-office teeth whitening, tooth extractions, dental implants and ClearCorrect “invisible” braces.
Dr. Savidan utilizes the latest technology and techniques to provide outstanding treatment to his patients in a low stress and comfortable environment.
Beachside Dental has chosen the ideal location on the Mesa at 1933 Cliff Drive Suite #8, Santa Barbara, CA 93109.
— Kelly Hoover represents the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office.
Lake Cachuma Emergency Pumping System Put Into Operation
The Cachuma Operation and Maintenance Board has started up the emergency pumping system to continue delivering water from Lake Cachuma to the Santa Barbara County South Coast.
COMB delivers water from the lake to Goleta, Santa Barbara, Montecito and Carpinteria through the Tecolote Tunnel, but the pumping system is needed to feed the system due to the low water level in Cachuma.
“The Emergency Pumping Facility Project was placed into operational mode Monday, Aug. 17, slightly earlier than expected due to the 89-19 Water Rights releases,” according to COMB documents from this week’s meeting.
“During the first two weeks of operations, the pumps are intended to operate incrementally until the lake level declines to a certain elevation, at which time the contractor will commence with automated pumping to meet demand.”
The lake level is at the point where the pump station needs to operate for several hours per day, but when it reaches 674 feet (a 2-foot drop from the current level), it will need to operate continuously, whenever South Coast agencies need water, according to a COMB report.
Lake Cachuma is at 20.6 percent of its capacity, according to the county.
The current drought could be the "new worst" for drought projections and future water allocations, said Tom Fayram, deputy director of the county's Public Works Department.
COMB has budgeted $6.8 million for the pumping project over three years, including construction, energy costs and costs of relocating the pumping barge to a deeper area.
Contractors recently dredged 5 feet of lake-bottom sediment from the barge area, allowing it to stay in its current location for an extra two months, which will save money, according to COMB.
Seasoned Lawyer Joins Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell Firm
Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell LLP is pleased to announce that Chris Jones has joined the firm, effective July 1, 2015.
Jones, a longtime resident of Santa Barbara, has practiced law since 1972. His philosophy of making law easy, understandable, clear and comfortable has helped him become one of the most well respected and knowledgeable trusts and estate planning attorneys in Santa Barbara and on the Central Coast.
His areas of expertise include wills, estates, trusts and probate (including living trusts), tax planning, business succession planning, irrevocable trusts, advanced direction of health care, generation-skipping planning and avoidance of probate.
Jones is a California State Bar certified specialist in estate planning, trust and probate law. He works with a variety of estate planning, investment, accounting and tax professionals, successfully and creatively assisting clients in developing and managing estates of unique, diverse size and content.
He received his bachelor's degree from UC Santa Barbara and UC Los Angeles and his Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Southern California.
Jones is a member of the State Bar of California, the Santa Barbara County Bar Association (co-chair of the trusts and estates section). He is also a member of the board of directors of RSVP, Visiting Nurse and Hospice of Santa Barbara and PathPoint.
He is a hospice volunteer for Santa Barbara VNA Hospice and has also served as a law school instructor at Santa Barbara College of Law, teaching courses in legal analysis, wills and trusts, and advanced legal writing.
— Ed Seaman represents Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell LLP.
Man Killed, Another Injured in Highway 101 Collision in Goleta
Two-vehicle crash sends Volkswagen Beetle down an embankment near Los Carneros Road southbound onramp
One person was killed and another was injured Wednesday afternoon in a two-vehicle collision on a southbound Highway 101 onramp in Goleta, according to the California Highway Patrol .
Shortly after 3 p.m., an older-model Volkswagen Beetle went down an embankment near the Los Carneros Road onramp and overturned, according to CHP.
One of the occupants was declared dead at the scene, and another was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of minor injuries, according to CHP Officer Martin Sanchez.
The victim's name was withheld pending notification of relatives.
Sanchez said the Beetle collided with a Volkswagen Cabrio as both vehicles were headed southbound.
The Cabrio then spun into the center divider, while the Beetle came to rest down an embankment between the freeway and the railroad tracks, Sanchez said.
It’s unclear exactly how the collision occurred, but the Cabrio was entering the freeway from the onramp at the time, Sanchez said.
No one in the Cabrio was hurt, Sanchez said.
The CHP closed the Los Carneros Road onramp while emergency personnel did their work, and the Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Bureau was called to the scene.
The accident remained under investigation by the CHP.
Executive Editor Tom Bolton reported from the scene.
Inc. 5000 Gives Shoutout to Santa Barbara’s BigSpeak
On Aug. 12, 2015, Inc. Magazine ranked Santa Barbara business, BigSpeak Speakers Bureau, on its 34th annual Inc. 5000 — an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies.
The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy — America’s independent entrepreneurs. Companies such as Microsoft, Yelp, Pandora, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, LinkedIn, Zillow, Oracle, Intuit and Zappos gained early exposure as members of the Inc. 5000.
Aggregate revenue from the 2015 Inc. 5000 list is over $205 billion, generating 647,000 jobs over the past three years.
Located on the “American Riviera," BigSpeak is a full-spectrum speakers bureau, representing the world’s finest motivational keynote speakers, consultants, trainers, thought-leaders, world-class athletes, best-selling authors, award-winning entertainers and global icons.
Over 65% of the Fortune 1000 partners with BigSpeak to create hundreds of events each year.
BigSpeak began in CEO Jonathan Wygant’s garage two decades ago and has grown tremendously, impacting thousands of businesses and individuals each year with transformational change.
As of July 2015, BigSpeak has served over four million audience members with impactful keynotes, trainings and coaching sessions that result in proven return on investment.
Wygant founded BigSpeak to address the unfulfilled need to provide top thought leaders, keynote speakers, professional development programs that are uniquely customized to each client’s specific requirements.
This Inc. 5000 award is the second win for CEO, Jonathan Wygant, whose previous company, Iris Arc Crystal, was ranked 281 in the Inc. 5000.
Upon notification of BigSpeak’s selection to the 2015 Inc. 5000 list, Wygant said, “I am extremely proud of the team’s hard work and focus serving our Fortune 1000 clients with excellence that has led to rapid and sustainable growth over the last five years. Many companies such as Microsoft, Fidelity, Johnson & Johnson, GE and Genentech have been clients for nearly 20 years. We have exciting plans to continue on a similar growth curve over the next five years.”
President Barrett Cordero has been at the helm of the tremendous growth, focusing on sales, speaker representation, key investments, disruptive innovations and an exceptional work environment.
BigSpeak team members enjoy flexible schedules, remote work, pet and child friendly offices, HSA health plans, pension plan and profit sharing and off site trips.
Additionally, frequent visits by celebrities and top business thought leaders allows the company to be in the vanguard of smart, nimble and innovative business practices.
— Amber McEldowney is a marketing associate at BigSpeak.
Orcutt Mother Who Fled With Children Surrenders to Authorities in Mexico
An Orcutt woman who fled the country with her two children surrendered to U.S. authorities in Mexico and the two girls have been reunited with their father six months after they disappeared following a custody hearing, according to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney's Office.
Michelle Christine Gibbs, 44, and her daughters, Cassidy, 4, and Gabriella, 6, went missing Feb. 26 after a child custody hearing in Santa Barbara County Superior Court in Santa Maria.
Their whereabouts remained a mystery until Gibbs surrendered at the U.S. Consular Agency in San Jose del Cabo (Los Cabos), Baja California Sur, Mexico on Aug. 18, according to a news release from Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce Dudley.
All three appeared to be in good health, and returned to the United States while accompanied by Mexican immigration officials Aug. 21, the news release said.
The girls were reunited with their father Aug. 24.
Gibbs was arrested by federal marshals for suspicion of felony child abduction. She posted $100,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned Sept. 15 in a Santa Maria courtroom.
The District Attorney’s Office and Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department were helped by a number of state, national and international organizations and agencies including the FBI, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Ventura County Sheriff’s Department and Ventura County District Attorney’s Office.
“Child abduction, even when it is carried out a by a known party, is many parent’s worst nightmare,” Dudley said.
“The safe return of our children is consistently the greatest concern of the District Attorney’s Office. Throughout the process of working these cases, which often are fraught with frustrating delays and legal complications, the well-being of the children remains our highest priority.”
Amateur Cocktail Enthusiasts Encouraged to Debut Funkiest Libation at Screamin’ Pickle Competition
Cutler’s Artisan Spirits, The Good Lion and the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival debut the Screamin’ Pickle Fermented Cocktail Competition, which will be held at The Good Lion Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015.
The Competition is open to amateur cocktail enthusiasts and will encourage participants to craft innovative cocktails featuring spirits made by Santa Barbara’s local distillery, Cutler's Artisan Spirits, paired with traditionally fermented mixers such as shrubs, raw apple cider vinegar, kombucha, beet kvass, ginger soda, kimchi, sauerkraut juice, fermented fruit and other creative libations.
The winning cocktail artist will receive the coveted Screamin’ Pickle Award at a ceremony at the SBFF and have his or her cocktail featured by The Good Lion in the Farm-to-Bar Area of the festival.
Ian Cutler, owner of Cutler's Artisan Spirits and distiller, came up with the contest as a creative way to bring together local spirits created by fermented grains with local mixers also created by the process of fermentation. When he shared his idea with The Good Lion proprietor Brandon Ristaino and SBFF Co-Founder Katie Hershfelt, the trio decided they had to make it happen.
“We couldn’t be more excited to challenge our fellow cocktail enthusiasts and spread the wild world of fermentation to a wider audience,” Hershfelt explained.
Contestants can enter by contacting Ian Cutler at [email protected] by Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. Only 10 slots are available on a first come, first served basis.
Competition and judging by a panel of prominent industry experts will take place at The Good Lion Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2015, during a private event.
First, second and third place winners will be announced and receive their prizes at the SBFF Kick-Off Party at The Good Lion Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015, at 6:30 p.m.
The first place cocktail will be served at SBFF at Rancho La Patera & Stow House in Goleta Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. (An SBFF ticket is required to gain access to the tasting area).
— Katie Hershfelt is the co-founder of the Santa Barbara Fermentation Festival.
1 Person Killed in Vehicle Rollover Near New Cuyama
One person was killed in a vehicle accident in the New Cuyama area Wednesday afternoon after the vehicle rolled over, fatally injuring the driver.
At 1:09 p.m., fire crews responded to a report of a vehicle incident at Alisos Canyon Road and Highway 166, according to Capt. Dave Zaniboni of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Fire responded to the scene with two engines, a rescue ambulance and a battalion chief, where they discovered a single vehicle had rolled over with one occupant inside.
“The driver was pronounced dead on scene,” Zaniboni said.
Rescue helicopters that were initially dispatched were canceled and representatives from the Santa Barbara County Coroner's Bureau was sent to the scene.
No further details were available.
Free ‘Understanding Medicare’ Presentation to be Held at Goleta Branch Library
HICAP (Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program) will sponsor a free seminar for people interested in better understanding Medicare benefits and recent changes.
The "Understanding Medicare" presentation will be held Friday, Sept. 24, 2015, beginning at 1 p.m. at the Goleta Branch Library at 500 North Fairview Avenue in Goleta.
“HICAP is offering this presentation to help people with Medicare and their caregivers better understand this comprehensive health care program and current changes”, announced Jim Talbott, president of the Board of Directors of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens.
Topics will include a general overview of 2015 Medicare changes and recent changes related to the Affordable Care Act.
HICAP is pleased to partner with the Goleta Branch YMCA in presenting this important information to the community.
HICAP offers free and unbiased counseling and information on Medicare issues. It does not sell, recommend or endorse any insurance product, agent, insurance company or health plan.
The presentation is a service of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, HICAP with financial assistance, in whole or in part, through a grant from the Center for Medicare and Medicaid services, the federal Medicare agency.
— Bill Batty represents Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program.
Girls Inc. Board Member Tracy Jenkins Rises to Take on Interim CEO Position
Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara is pleased to announce that Tracy Jenkins, a member of the organization’s board of directors, has been appointed and has generously agreed to serve the organization as interim CEO.
A natural leader with a talent for entrepreneurship and community engagement, Jenkins is a devoted advocate for Girls Inc. and eager to advance the organization and lead it toward a bright future.
She brings with her an extensive background in business operations, marketing, sales and nonprofit management, along with a passion for involving herself in the community and inspiring young women and girls to reach their goals.
“Tracy Jenkins brings solid values and passion for the mission of Girls Inc., which is allowing us to continue this valuable work through a transition period,” said Christi Sulzbach, GIGSB board president. “We are enthusiastic about the candidates we are seeing as we search for our new CEO. In the interim, we were fortunate to have a board member with the skill base and passion who was willing to step aside and into the interim CEO position to help us manage our growth as we complete the process.”
Jenkins was elected to the GIGSB board of directors in 2012 after serving on several of the organization’s committees. Since then, she has served on the finance, strategic planning, marketing and development and executive committees, serving as chair of both finance and marketing, and also as secretary of the board.
Prior to working with Girls Inc., Jenkins served as an assistant girls track and cross country coach in St. Louis, Mo., where she led her teams to earn five individual state championships. She credits this experience with helping her discover a passion for mentoring young women and girls.
Prior to that, she worked as an independent sales representative, building sales in Southern California for brands such as TEVA, Josef Seibel, Etonic and Insport.
Jenkins holds a bachelor’s degree from Principia College in Illinois and completed the Fielding Graduate Institute program in nonprofit management.
She has been actively engaged in community and volunteer initiatives for many years, spearheading the implementation of an elementary school-based Latin learning program into her children's school and supporting educational advancement through parent and donor relations.
She is married to Stuart Jenkins, senior vice president of development and innovation at Deckers Outdoor Corporation. They live in Santa Barbara and have two children: J.J. and Jordan.
— Daniella Alkobi is a publicist representing Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara.
UCSB Hits Alternative-Transportation Milestone
The wheels on the bus go round and round all right.
At UC Santa Barbara, those wheels spun enough in the most recent academic year for students to rack up one million bus rides to or from the campus — a new milestone in the university’s ongoing efforts to encourage alternative transportation.
More impressive than the shiny, new, seven-figure achievement may be the trend it reflects: UCSB has been steadily growing bus ridership via the Santa Barbara Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) for nearly a decade, with 2014–2015 marking a more than 66-percent increase over 2008–2009 levels, and the numbers are likely to climb even higher.
The campus’s long and fruitful partnership with MTD is also resulting in the expansion of two existing lines — 12x and 24x — that run between UCSB and downtown, as well as the creation of a new line altogether.
Slated to begin service in fall of 2016, that line will carry riders between campus, Isla Vista and the Camino Real Marketplace at Storke and Hollister Roads.
“Not only do we value transportation but we made an agreement with MTD to expand services to encourage our students to use transit even more than they have in the past,” said Marc Fisher, vice chancellor for administrative services at UCSB. “In addition to an increase in student ridership of the bus, we’ve also seen a drop in the number of cars on campus. We believe students aren’t bringing as many cars to the community, and we think that’s in large part because of the success of transit in Santa Barbara.
“It’s great in terms of sustainability, and it’s great in terms of reducing parking demand on the campus,” Fisher added. “This is all working toward the environmental goals that we developed with the community. Initially it was the recession that spurred ridership. But also we have really good transportation. That combination over the years helped drive the increase, but this generation seems to be different. Even once the economy started getting better, they didn’t suddenly start bringing cars again. That’s really good news — we’re changing the pattern of use here.”
The campus overall has seen a shift away from single-occupancy vehicles, with biking and walking the top modes of transportation to or from campus. About 10 percent of total campus commuters use the bus on any given day, which primarily means UCSB students, who pay a quarterly lock-in fee of $13.13 that buys them unlimited rides on MTD.
“All the students pay into the bus program, and over time more and more are finding that it serves their needs,” said James Wagner, manager of UCSB’s Transportation Alternatives Program. “People chose alternatives to driving for all sorts of reasons. Some are all money focused — they want to save money. Some people are into environmental things — they want to reduce their carbon footprint. For other people it’s a mix of all those things.
“Since the recession, people are obviously still going to college, but they’re belt tightening,” he added. “We see less permit sales for cars, but we also see increased bus use. People are affording college but they’re doing it in a different way and part of that is using transit more. We are definitely trending in a good direction.”
— Shelly Leachman is the public affairs and development writer for UC Santa Barbara.
English Language Learning Program Welcomes Duo of New Leaders
ELS Language Centers of Santa Barbara welcomes a new center director, Alyssa Stovall, and new housing coordinator, Martha Jin.
Stovall has worked with ELS since February 2011, first as a teacher, and later as the academic director in New Haven, Conn., and now as the center director in Santa Barbara.
She began teaching English during a summer visit to Nairobi, Kenya, and absolutely loved that experience, leading her to pursue teaching English to international students in the U.S.
Stovall has a bachelor's in psychology from Yale University, a master's in international education from New York University as well as a master's in teaching English to students of other languages.
Jin studied music performance at UC Santa Barbara, where she had the opportunity to study abroad in Italy and Germany.
Born in Northern China, she came to the U.S. when she was 17. Her homestay mother became her lifelong mentor.
Jin loves working with international students because it is her way of giving back to the community.
The mission of ELS is to provide English language and educational exchange programs that exceed the academic, professional and social expectations of our clients throughout the world.
Over the past 45 years, ELS has helped hundreds of thousands of students from over 140 countries around the world to learn English using our innovative approach that makes language learning simple, fast and enjoyable.
The goal of the ELS homestay program is to provide an interesting cultural and educational experience for both the student and host family.
Our students come from all over the world, and the best way for them to speed their progress in learning English and to gain first-hand cultural understanding of the people of the United States is to live with an American family.
This unforgettable experience provides a lifetime of memories for both the student and the host family.
As the student Patrycya Przewoznik from Poland said: “staying with a host family helped me to ease my homesickness and make my vacation and studies more enjoyable. What makes homestay special is the daily experience of living with hosts who are eager to help you and care for you as a second family.”
If you are interested in hosting international students from Japan, Russia, Brazil, China and Saudi Arabia, among others, ELS will bring you the best hosting experience.
Hosting international students is a wonderful opportunity to travel without leaving your home. You will also be compensated for providing housing and food. The application process is simple. Email [email protected] or call 805.966.0172 for more information.
— Martha Jin represents ELS Language Centers of Santa Barbara.
Marian Regional Medical Center Exalts Long-Time Employee Mike Fabela
Marian Regional Medical Center’s longest serving employee in the hospital’s 75-year history is a maintenance engineer who still finds plenty to learn even after all these years.
Mike Fabela, 72, has worked at MRMC since 1962, when the hospital was named Our Lady of Perpetual Help Hospital and located on South College Drive before the new facility was opened in 1967 at the current East Church Street location.
Fabela had a friend in the business office at Sister’s Hospital, as Our Lady of Perpetual Help Hospital was fondly referred to, and learned of a job opening in the laundry facilities to which he promptly applied and was hired.
After four years working in laundry, Fabela took an opportunity to become a maintenance engineer, helping with routine maintenance and repairs as needed throughout the hospital. Always mechanically inclined, Fabela jumped at the chance for the more complicated position.
Fabela has witnessed the evolution of MRMC first hand, starting when he was a young father to today, as a proud grandpa of five and as a seasoned and valued member of the Marian team.
He recalls Sister’s Hospital being much less bustling than MRMC is today, and has watched the hospital’s technology advance through the years.
Fabela’s impact on the hospital has been so profound that MRMC’s maintenance facility has been named after him — the Michael Fabela Maintenance Center.
“There’s always something to learn,” Fabela remarks. “Just when I think I understand it all. I didn’t come from a computer world, and now everything is computerized.”
As for being MRMC’s longest-serving employee, Fabela doesn’t often give it much thought until someone mentions the distinction. He simply enjoys his job and is grateful to be a part of the MRMC family.
“I’ve been very appreciative of them throughout the years, and they’ve been very good to me. Hopefully they feel the same about me.”
Fabela’s supervisor, MRMC Director of Plant Operations Dennis Daniel, appreciates Fabela and his knowledge of MRMC’s history. According to Daniel, Fabela’s knowledge of the ins and outs of Marian Hospital was especially beneficial during the process of preparing to open the new 191-bed Marian Regional Medical Center in 2012, as he knew where any item was located.
“Mike is well-liked and an important part of Marian and our history,” Daniel says. “And he certainly has no trouble finding his way around.”
— Megan Maloney represents Marian Regional Medical Center.
Friendship Center Marks Changes to Board of Directors
Santa Barbara's Friendship Center Adult Day Care recently announced changes to its board of directors. Board member Kathy Marden advances to board president, former Vice President Roger Aceves rejoins the board, and Pamela Vander Heide and Julie McGeever are new additions to the group of directors.
Educator and attorney Heide graduated from UCSB and the Santa Barbara College of Law. She practiced education law briefly but soon returned to the classroom, teaching advanced English at Dos Pueblos High School for many years, then supervising student teachers at UCSB.
Heide served on the board of domestic violence for six years and currently serves on the women's board for CAMA and the board of Center Stage Theater.
McGeever is also a graduate of UCSB. She and her husband developed and operate the Heritage House Assisted Living Community.
She manages the recently-opened Oak Cottage of Santa Barbara Memory Care Community and assists clients in the financing and development of senior housing projects throughout the southwest.
McGeever's experience in real estate development spans over 20 years.
She is also on the Board of San Marcos High School Kids Helping Kids Foundation and is committed to helping young adults from all walks of life reach their potential.
Aceves rejoins Friendship Center’s board of directors after serving from 2010–2012, including holding the office of vice president in 2011–12.
After having served on Friendship Center’s board of directors since 2011, Marden takes the office of board president.
— Justine Sutton is the grants and development coordinator for Friendship Center.
Early Childhood Educator David Sobel will Lead ‘In Bloom’ Learning Convention
Antioch University New England’s David Sobel, author and senior faculty member, will serve as one of two keynote speakers at In Bloom in Santa Barbara: Promising Practices in Nature-based Early Childhood Education.
His presentation, “Why Young Children Need Nature,” will highlight the important role that nature and outdoor discovery play in early education.
Hosted by Antioch University Santa Barbara, in partnership with AUNE, the Academy of Forest Kindergarten Teachers and the Wilderness Youth Project, the event will be held Saturday, Sept. 19 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Open Alternative School in Santa Barbara.
“Time spent in nature, exploring and discovering, will only enhance a child’s education,” said Sobel. “Studies have shown that children who spend a portion of their day outdoors increase their academic achievements. I’m honored for the opportunity to present at the upcoming event in Santa Barbara and look forward to sharing the significance of nature in learning.”
In Bloom in Santa Barbara welcomes all early childhood and early elementary parents, teachers, outdoor educators and administrators with an interest in tying education to the outdoors.
Elaine Gibson, former education director of the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, will present “Creating the Nature Play Area” at the Natural History Museum.
Additionally, the day will feature a variety of nature-centric workshops including: Creating a Willow House, Play is Children’s Work Outside, The Developmental Role of Risk, Cattails Weaving and Cordage-making, Engaging Families: a Forest Kindergarten Program, Play and Games in Outdoor Education, Monarchs in the Classroom and on Ellwood Bluff, Language Development, Nature and Movement and Whittling Sticks and Making Fires with Young Children.
September 19 will be a day of discovery, learning, fun, listening, doing, thinking and playing. Registration is $75.
For more information, call 603.283.2301 or [email protected].
— Brian Dearth represents Antioch University.
Reyne Stapelmann: Top 6 Concerns for Home Buyer
Rising home prices tops the list of home buyer concerns this year, a shift from last year when nearly half of buyers said their chief concern was the limited number of homes for-sale, according to a new survey of more than 3,500 buyers released by the real estate brokerage Redfin.
In this year's survey, nearly 27 percent of respondents cited high or rising home prices as their top concern.
Another 17 percent of respondents said they were most concerned about competition from other buyers.
First-time buyers were particularly worried about rising home prices. Thirty-one percent of first-time buyers said that higher home prices were their top concern.
The survey identified the following top six home buyer concerns this year:
1. Affordability: "Prices are rising too high" – 27 percent.
2. "There's too much competition from other buyers" – 17 percent.
3. "There aren't enough homes to choose from" – 14 percent.
4. "I need to sell a home first" – 8 percent.
5. "I might not have enough for a down payment" – 6 percent.
6. "Mortgage rates will go up before I can buy" – 5 percent.
Last year, the top buyer concern identified was inventory, followed by home prices, competition from other buyers, rising mortgage rates, and home-shopping fatigue.
Taken from the National Association of Realtors®.
— 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.
Leading From Within Announces New ‘Leaders Fund’
Leading From Within provides high-quality leadership development and powerful networking opportunities to Santa Barbara County's nonprofit leaders.
To date, over 200 local social sector leaders have been a part of Leading From Within’s programs. Foundation grants keep registration fees low; however, the great majority of leaders and nonprofit agencies require an additional scholarship to participate.
The Leaders Fund was created to fill this gap and will help build a vibrant ecosystem of leadership in Santa Barbara County, with social sector leaders who are prepared, renewed, connected and collaborating.
A gift of $500–$5,000 to the Leaders Fund will allow us to develop more leaders with the skills, mindsets and connections to lead their organizations in addressing the toughest challenges facing our community.
The Orfalea Foundation believes in the value of investing in our community's leaders and will generously match Leaders Fund gifts received prior to Nov. 1 (up to $20,000).
Founded in 2008, Leading From Within invests in social sector leaders to make meaningful change within themselves, their organizations and our community.
Courage to Lead, Emerging Leaders, and Katherine Harvey Fellows programs, as well as alumni activities, are unique because of their deep personal nature.
For questions or to make a contribution, please contact Leading From Within’s Executive Director, Carrie Randolph, at [email protected] or 805.770.3232.
— Julie Sorenson represents Leading From Within.
Red Flag Warning PSA from SB County Fire Department
A red flag warning means that critical fire weather conditions are either occurring or will occur soon. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds residents that a Red Flag Warning is a combination of strong winds, low relative humidity and warm temperatures that can create extreme fire behavior.
Red flag warnings are issued by the National Weather Service usually 24 hours in advance of a red flag event.
The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management has partnered with local fire officials to create a text messaging system for local residents when a red flag warning is issued in Santa Barbara County.
Residents can simply text the word "redflag" to 888777. By receiving the message from emergency officials, residents in the high fire-hazard areas can increase their awareness and vigilance.
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department reminds residents that as a result of the issuance of a red flag warning, citizens should take appropriate precautions that include, but are not limited to the following:
» Report any sign of smoke immediately to your local fire department by calling 911 (if you call 911 from your cell phone, you must know your location).
» Use extreme caution when operating spark or flame producing machinery in hazardous grass or brush areas.
» Have an evacuation plan in place and identify two exit routes from your neighborhood. If you are asked to evacuate by fire or law enforcement officials, do so immediately.
» Report any suspicious persons or vehicles to law enforcement.
For more information about red flag warnings, please visit www.sbcfire.com.
— Dave Zaniboni is the information officer for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department.
Jacques Habra: Search Twitter through Google
Even though the majority of Twitter users are mobile users, the functionality did not gain traction as expected.
As of this week, desktop Google users will have the same ability to search tweets from within Google.
What this means is that even if you don’t regularly tweet, you can find out from your desktop what is trending and relevant according to the Twitterati — which is still considered the most relevant trending platform.
The significance of this update is two-fold:
» It seems Twitter wants to be more of a business tool, and not just a consumer tool.
» The further integration into Google suggests an acquisition may now be imminent.
Local business owners can now find out what people are saying about their business, the Santa Barbara experience, and much more without using Twitter and without using a mobile device.
— Jacques Habra is a tech entrepreneur and investor who manages the Noospheric startup consultancy. He is also the quality control director for the online marketing, Web site development, and SEO/SMO agency, First Click Inc. The opinions expressed are his own.
Santa Barbara County Supervisors Agree to Work With Chumash Tribe
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors wrestled Tuesday with whether to open up a better line of communication with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians, ultimately deciding to give it a try.
After hearing about another tribe request to place land into federal trust — this time two reservation adjoining parcels totaling two acres — the supervisors unanimously voted to create an ad hoc committee to work closely with the tribe on issues of mutual interest.
Reporting back to the full board will be Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr, who represents the Santa Ynez Valley, and Fourth District Supervisor Peter Adam, who will sit on the board ad hoc committee featuring Chumash council members and necessary legal and planning staff.
The sticking point of whether those discussions get off the ground, however, remains the same.
Supervisors say they are recognizing the tribe’s sovereignty, but will be asking them to waive sovereign immunity so officials could enforce any agreements.
“I think today we have a real opportunity to move forward,” First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal said.
Farr emphasized that ad hoc committee meetings would be open to the public, with proper noticing.
Before now, all discussions between Chumash representatives and the county regarding specifics have taken place behind closed doors.
Late Tuesday, Tribal Chairman Vincent Armenta said opening those discussions to the public would not improve communications.
"The tribe in 2011 offered the county $1 million a year plus an enforceable waiver of sovereign immunity," said Armenta, who did not speak at Tuesday's meeting. "Now it’s 2015, and the county is asking the tribe for the same sovereign immunity waiver.
"It’s ironic. It’s also interesting to see that they now want to have a discussion with the tribe. But, unfortunately, what should be government-to-government discussions are really government-to-public-to-government discussions. They’ve set them up to fail."
Farr, Adam and Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf said the county has always acknowledged the Chumash as an equal government, but Carbajal and Fifth District Supervisor Steve Lavagnino disagreed.
The somewhat heated discussion began after officials heard an update on HR 1157, the bill working its way through Congress to place the 1,433-acre agricultural property known as Camp 4 into federal trust — thereby removing it from county tax rolls and planning oversight.
The Chumash bought that land from the late Fess Parker in 2010 with the intent of building homes for tribal families.
Farr called the federal legislation inappropriate, opting to heed a request by lawmakers to work with the Chumash on a local level.
If not, staff said HR 1157 could progress through Congress or get bundled into another law that does pass.
The supervisors are still trying to block the Camp 4 fee-to-trust process on a separate track, having appealed the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs decision to allow the tribe to place the land into trust. That appeal — along with other objections from valley groups — has yet to be heard.
Wolf rebuked Lavagnino for attending the June federal committee hearing for HR 1157, where she said County CEO Mona Miyasato was thrown “into the lion’s den” and disrespected by committee members.
Wolf called him out for telling the committee that the supervisors hadn’t treated the Chumash fairly.
Miyasato later clarified that Armenta went up to her after the hearing to apologize for its harsh tone.
“What’s been embarrassing is the way the county has ignored the tribe,” Lavagnino said, admonishing Wolf for not speaking with him privately before the meeting.
The tribe’s latest request to annex the so-called Mooney and Escobar properties near its 138-acre reservation at 3400 E. Highway 246 created a sense of urgency for officials, since the county needs to respond to the BIA on the subject.
According to county records, the parcels are zoned as retail/commercial and have some tax value, although an exact amount wasn’t confirmed.
The Mooney property is on the southern shoulder of Highway 246, and the Escobar parcel contains the bridge on Sanja Cota Road and part of the road.
An ad hoc committee also plans to discuss the tribe’s June purchase of 350 acres of land between Meadowvale Road and Highway 154 along Highway 246.
Two of seven public speakers were in favor of starting the dialogue, with five against.
Farr pointed out she’s always been willing to talk to the tribe, even though she said Chumash representatives have walked away from several discussions in her tenure.
“I think that there are many issues of mutual concern that we can have a discussion with the tribe about,” Adam said, citing economic, gaming and planning purposes.
Legal counsel confirmed starting a discussion wouldn’t interfere with progressing litigation and appeals the county has filed against the Camp 4 fee-to-trust application.
Developers Behind Coast Village Plaza Plan Want To Remove Three Towering Pine Trees
Montecito project asks city for permission to remove trees and then build new outdoor dining area, stairwell at 1187 Coast Village Road shopping center
The owners of the Coast Village Plaza near Montecito want to chop down three towering, 65-foot pine trees in front of the strip shopping center that's home to Giovanni's Pizza, Scoop, the UPS store and other popular destinations.
The proposed tree removal will go before the city's Parks & Recreation Commission in a meeting Wednesday at City Hall.
H&R investments, the owner of the 18,869-square-foot shopping center, intends to remove three Canary Island pine trees to make room for a new outdoor dining deck area.
The group also says the tree's roots are threatening a nearby retaining wall, and the dropping pine needles create a slip hazard.
The owners have submitted an application to the city to build the new dining area, replace the exterior columns and alter the driveway to make it less steep.
H&R investments want to remove all of the landscaping in front of the building and then add new landscaping, a circular stairwell and other remodeling efforts.
The city has already approved a modification for the project, allowing the decks to intrude within the required 10-foot street setback.
Heidi Jones, associate planner for Suzanne Elledge Planning & Permitting Services, said the ultimate goal is to "enhance the streetscape connectivity."
The design team wants to remove the trees because of the "leaf litter."
"They don't necessarily fit in with the new landscape plan," Adam Graham, landscape architect for the project, said at an Architectural Board of Review meeting.
"We would like to have other plant material planted in and around them. At the moment they are basically a wasteland of soil."
An eucalyptus tree stands on the street in front of the project, a tree that Graham called "not a happy specimen."
He said the development would look better without any of the trees.
"It would be nice if that the tree line in front of the building had something more going on than a not-so-great-looking eucalyptus and then the Canary Island pines at both ends of the property," Graham said.
Graham wants to replace the pines with smaller flame trees.
Stephanie Poole, a member of the ABR, said she would like to see the trees stay.
"I am very disappointed to have the pines go," Poole said.
ABR member Courtney Jane Miller also said she likes the existing trees, but acknowledged that pine trees are not ideal and that they don't necessarily work well within the new landscape plan.
"I am very concerned about the removal of the three very large existing skyline trees," she said.
"They really make a statement along this whole block along Coast Village Road."
Santa Barbara Officials Plan To Overhaul Trails At Douglas Family Preserve
City wants to remove asphalt, get rid of user-created trails and restore native habitats at popular open space park
Santa Barbara is looking to restore 1.7 miles of trails at the Douglas Family Preserve, and create a "universal access route" as part of a extensive rehabilitation effort to bring the park up to modern-day standards.
The city wants to remove 36,330 square feet of cracked and eroded asphalt and replace it with native soil.
In addition, officials want to "decommission user-created trails" to improve safety and access, restore native habitats and reduce trail erosion.
Officials also want to install signs that explain the new layout.
"The trails have been compacted and eroded over the years," said Jill Zachary, acting Parks & Recreation Department director. "We have wanted to pursue improvements for many years but have not had the funds."
The city is applying for a grant from the California Department of Parks and Recreation through the Recreational Trails Program to pay for the $300,000 project.
The Parks & Recreation Commission will vote on the project, and whether to submit a grant application, at Wednesday's 4 p.m. meeting at City Hall.
The Douglas Family Preserve is one of Santa Barbara's most iconic local hangouts. The preserve sits high on the Mesa neighborhood bluffs overlooking the ocean, and is an escape for people looking to walk their dogs, take a stroll on a trail or ride a bicycle.
Commonly known by locals as the Wilcox Property, the 70-acre Douglas Family Preserve was acquired by the Trust for Public Lands in 1996 and then transferred to the city of Santa Barbara in 1997.
Although the city is looking to formalize the trails at the preserve, the wild and meandering feel of the site is part of its unique appeal. Fallen trees rest on the ground, creating hideouts for critters.
Swaths of unmanicured vegetation and grasses give the site its rural feel. The preserve is also a daily ritual for Santa Barbara residents who enjoy the sunrise, sunset and conversation with their neighbors.
Preserve users have mixed feelings about the the possible changes.
"I like that it's more natural, but it would be nice if they removed some of the asphalt and put back dirt," said Roni Shen, who was walking her cocker spaniel, Jack, on Tuesday.
Shen said its fun to let her dog off the leash and explore.
"I do hope they keep it as wild as they can," she said.
Longtime Santa Barbara resident Laurence Hauben said she wants the city to leave the preserve alone.
"It's plenty trail friendly as it is," Hauben said. "The fact that it is relatively unimproved is part of its charm."
She said there's no need for a universal loop or more signage.
"It's self-explanatory," she said. "If you can't find the trail, you've got bigger problems."
After Administrative ‘Breakdown,’ Santa Barbara County Delays Decision on Inmate Medical Contract
Board of Supervisors delays discussion of Corizon Correctional Healthcare contract for medical care inside jail and probation facilities
The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors chose to postpone a decision on a jail health-care contract item on Tuesday after an administrative fiasco unfolded.
The supervisors were being asked to renew a two-year, $10 million contract with Corizon Correctional Healthcare, a private company that contracts with the county to provide medical, dental and psychiatric services to inmates in the jail.
Earlier this summer, the board was asked to approve the contract, but expressed frustration that the company had not provided statistics to show how often it is meeting its goals for care, and had only included a one-page summary instead of the entire contract for approval.
The company was granted a short-term contract extension that runs through Oct. 31.
Those expecting a more permanent contract decision on Tuesday were disappointed when several supervisors reported they did not receive binders with key information on the company’s operations in the jail and probation operations.
Because that information was also not made available to the public before the meeting, the decision was put off until Sept. 8, when the board next meets in Santa Maria.
The item will be heard at 10 a.m. that day so that the public can plan on attending, instead of having to wait most of the day as happened on Tuesday.
Board Chair Janet Wolf said that it appeared the binders had been delivered to each supervisor’s offices, instead of to the clerk of the board, as is standard practice.
Supervisor Peter Adam explained that the supervisors get dozens of binders of information for all of the items they review.
“We have 100 of these in my office, but I straight up missed it. Maybe they didn’t come through the right channels, but I did receive them,” he said.
Undersheriff Barney Melekian was in attendance on behalf of the Sheriff’s Department, and said that it was the department’s job to distribute them.
“I apologize,” he told the board and the public.
Members of the public were upset that the hearing was being delayed, as several had showed up and missed work, waiting for most of the day.
“Get your act together,” said Suzanne Riordan of Families ACT!, an advocacy group that has been critical of jail health care in the past. “It’s not fair to us.”
Wolf called it a breakdown in communication, saying, “This has been a nightmare and I apologize to everyone.”
Before the board unanimously agreed to come back on the item, Melekian said that the Sheriff’s Department had “gone to great lengths” to gather information since the last meeting.
Melekian described Corizon as a provider that has been responsible and provided quality health care for inmates in a challenging environment.
One of the metrics Melekian used to showcase that the company had been a success was that the county had seen only six successful litigations regarding medical care in the last 20 years, the average payout of which was $13,000 per settlement.
He also reminded the supervisors that Corizon employees had voluntarily waived cost-of-living increases during the worst years of the recession.
The Sheriff's Department is cognizant of its obligations, legal and moral, to care for inmates, he said.
Central Coast Seniors Elects Three Officials to its Advisory Board
“The Area Agency on Aging advisory council is pleased to announce the election of Barry Jay Marks of Lompoc as Chair for FY 2015–16,” stated board of directors President Jim Talbott. "Mr. marks has served on the council for two years. Mr. Marks is an active member of the Lompoc community. His leadership skills will be invaluable as the Area Agency on Aging readies to continue to meet the challenges of ensuring the safety of older persons.”
Other elected figures include Jim West as vice chair and Cindy Deibert as secretary.
"Mr. West has served on the Council for four years. Mr. West brings to the council extensive experience with State Legislation and regulations, Talbott said. “As an officer, Mrs. Deibert will share her experience in hospice and home care for elders and her knowledge of the needs of older persons to remain safely in their own homes.”
Members of the AAA advisory council invest time into understanding the issues faced by the elderly and making efforts to lessen these hardships.
“The Area Agency on Aging advisory council advocates on behalf of older persons,” concluded Mr. Talbott. “Members of the board of directors appreciate that the council members study the issues and advocate to protect senior citizens. We will wholeheartedly continue action to ensure the safety of honored citizens. ”
For additional information contact AAA Director Joyce Ellen Lippman at 805.925.9554 or 1.800.510.2020.
— Joyce Ellen Lippman is the director of the Area Agency on Aging,
County, Lompoc OK Tax Sharing Plan For 10-Acre Annexation of Summit Homes Land
A proposal to annex 10 acres to Lompoc cleared a key hurdle Tuesday after the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors unanimously approve a tax-split plan created after months of extensive negotiations with the city.
The board voted 5-0 Tuesday to adopt the property tax exchange agreement for the site of Summit View Homes proposed on land northeast of the intersection of Purisima and Harris Grade roads.
The county leaders’ vote follows last week’s unanimous approval by the Lompoc City Council, and culminates more than a year of negotiations between the two agencies.
The agreement hammered out how to divide portions of the 1 percent property tax component, with the city to get 11 percent of the property tax, less than the 14 to 18 percent Lompoc sought.
City Manager Patrick Wiemiller said during the Aug. 18 council meeting that the city conceded rather than delay the project any longer.
“It would certainly cost us a lot more in time, effort, energy and delay to stand firm and continue to battle as we battled over the 3-percent spread," Wiemiller said.
The property tax to be shared is allocated to the county fire protection and the mosquito and vector control districts.
With the undeveloped land's current assessed property tax rate, the agreement would give $1,587 to Lompoc while the county would get approximately $3,832.
Under the agreement, once the homes are developed the county would receive $45,560 while Lompoc would get $18,876, according to estimates.
A fiscal analysis determined 11 percent is the break-even point for the city, but that wouldn’t provide funding for future maintenance.
Wiemiller said the city will seek an agreement from the developer to create a community facility district or similar format to make up the remaining 3 percent.
The county and city will evenly split fire impact fees, recognizing that due to proximity the Santa Barbara County Fire Department Station 51 crews likely would respond first to any incident at the site.
Additionally, the county and city crafted a plan for handling road maintenance around the proposed development.
The developer thanked the city staff for patience and perseverance in reaching a pact with county officials.
“We are anxious to get started with this project. I think it will be great contribution to the housing stock within the city,” said Stephen Hester from West Coast Housing Partners.
Wiemiller said the negotiations showed a need for the cities to band together to hold a summit with the county to iron out issues, policies and tax allocation numbers regarding annexations for a period of time, rather than dealing with it on an individual basis.
“If you can put all those things to rest before you have a presenting project in particular … then as individual projects come along we’re not hung up, we’re not holding up projects while we once again wrestle over a series of policy and financial issues,” Wiemiller said. “We can wrestle over that one time.”
He raised the issue during countywide city managers meetings, he said.
“It’s one of the reasons we conceded a number of points here, is we have a project that is being held up,” he said, adding that it's not fair to delay a developer who has invested time and funding into a project.
Lompoc Police Arrest Husband of Daycare Provider on Child Molestation Charges
On Tuesday, the Lompoc Police Department Detective Bureau served a search warrant and arrest warrant at a home of a licensed daycare provider located in the northeast side of the city.
Recently, a female juvenile came forward with information alleging that one of the day care providers molested her in the past.
Detectives were able to gather probable cause for the issuance of the search and arrest warrants.
Salvador Moreno Mojarras Jr. was arrested at the home without incident.
He was booked in the Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of: a lewd and lascivious act with a child under 14; continuous sexual abuse of a child; suspect over the age of 18 having intercourse with a child 10 years or younger; and suspect over the age of 18 engaging in oral copulation with a victim 10 years or younger.
Bail was set at $250,000.
Lompoc Police Department detectives made an attempt to notify all the parents of the children that currently attend the day care facility prior to the distribution of this press release.
The home day care facility has been in operation for several years. Any other potential victims and/or witnesses that were supervised by Mojarras are encouraged to come forward with information.
If you are concerned that your child may have been the victim of child molestation while attending the day care facility, please do not attempt to interrogate your child.
Instead, please contact Detective Lamar at 805.875.8124 for assistance.
Six SBCC Instructors Earn Award for Faculty Excellence
Santa Barbara City College recently announced the 2015–2016 Faculty Excellence Award recipients.
The six winners, whose disciplines cover a wide range of programs, were selected based on their commitment to teaching and service, to students and to the college.
The recipients are Associate Professor Robert “Bob” Stockero, Automotive Services; athletic trainer and Professor Susan Houlihan-Davis, Health Education and Physical Education; Professor Esther Frankel, Computer Information Systems; Professor Gail Tennen, English Skills; Assistant Professor, Counselor and Articulation Officer Laura Castro, Student Support and Success Program and Professor James Kruidenier, Mathematics.
— Joan Galvan is the public information officer at SBCC.
Santa Maria RV Storage Fire Blamed On Electrical Problem; Damage Set at $2 Million
A fire that burned approximately two dozen vehicles, causing $2 million in damages, appears to be related to an electrical issue involving an RV parked at American Self Storage on Skyway Drive in Santa Maria, Fire Chief Dan Orr said Tuesday.
The blaze started at approximately 7:45 p.m. Aug. 11, causing a plume of black smoke to rise above the Santa Maria Valley as several engines from the Santa Maria Fire Department arrived at 3040 Skyway Drive.
Witnesses reported hearing explosions, which fire crews indicated may have been propane tanks in the RVs.
“After completing the fire investigation, arson has been ruled out as a cause of the fire,” Orr said in a news release. “It appears to be electrically related to a recreational vehicle stored at this facility.”
More than two dozen RVs and other vehicles were destroyed or damaged by the blaze, with the loss estimated at $2 million, fire officials said.
In addition to the vehicle, the metal shelter covering the vehicle also was damaged.
Orr said the management and staff at American Self Storage was “extremely helpful” through this entire process.
Crews from Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Cal Fire/San Luis Obispo County Fire Department assisted in covering the seven additional emergency responses while the city firefighters were committed to the structure fire, Orr said.
Workers Union Claims Haggen Layoffs Are Illegal
A workers union is filing charges against Haggen stores, Albertsons and Vons, claiming the grocery chains failed to fully inform workers about job protections — even alleging Haggen had planned all along to close stores and lay off employees.
Los Angeles-based United Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 770 this week announced plans to file complaints levying fraud, misrepresentation and violation of labor contract charges against Haggen, Vons and Albertsons.
Haggen, a Bellingham, Wash.-based chain, earlier this month revealed the chain would be closing or selling 27 stores in five states — many of them acquired this year as part of the 146 Haggen picked up from AB Acquisition LLC and Safeway Inc., the entity created when Safeway (owner of Vons) merged with Albertsons.
None of the six Santa Barbara County stores made the list, but the company didn’t rule out future closures.
Sixteen California stores are on the chopping block, with most of them in Los Angeles and San Diego.
Haggen cut hours for many of its new employees in July and caught heat — and a class action discrimination lawsuit — after laying off 14 developmentally disabled people working as courtesy clerks at some of six Santa Barbara County stores.
Haggen’s response to that lawsuit isn't due for another week, said Matthew Da Vega, an attorney with Da Vega, Fisher and Mechtenberg, LLP who filed the complaint.
UFCW LOCAL 770, which has a Santa Barbara office, sent a letter detailing leadership outrage to its 29,000 Los Angeles area workers in the retail food, meat, drug store and food processing industries.
“We are pursuing every possible avenue to hold both Haggen and Albertsons/Vons responsible and to demand solutions that will provide you with relief and compensation,” the union wrote in a letter.
“This is a top priority for us and we have several attorneys evaluating this matter from every angle.”
The union claims Haggen is illegally laying off workers and cutting hours, according to negotiated protections that led workers to believe they would retain jobs, seniority and benefits.
UFCW LOCAL 770 grievances also cite illegal dismissal of senior and disabled workers.
“We will not stand idly by as management tries to pull the wool over their employees’ eyes,” Rick Icaza, president of UFCW Local 770, said in a statement.
“These companies have misled and mistreated their employees either through gross self-interest or gross incompetence, either of which is unacceptable. Real people are suffering loss of wages, health care, seniority, and outright loss of their jobs. We will do everything in our power to hold management accountable and return our members to their jobs with full benefits intact.”
In a statement Tuesday, Haggen representatives defended the company's commitment to employees.
“Haggen has great respect for the labor unions’ role in supporting our associates,” the company said.
“We care about the people who work for Haggen and are disappointed that factors beyond our control have led to layoffs and closures in some of the new communities where we had expected our stores to thrive. The assertion that 'Haggen planned all along to shut and sell those stores,' as alleged in by the union in its grievance, is completely and unequivocally false.
“Throughout this process, Haggen has abided by the terms of the union contracts and is continuing to do everything it can to ensure the success of all of our stores and employees.”
Channel Islands Lecture Series Takes to the Waves at the CI Boating Center
The 2015 CSU Channel Islands Fall Library Series is taking two of its lectures to the Channel Islands Harbor.
In addition to a dozen free lectures at libraries throughout the county, CI's popular series will include two presentations at the CI Boating Center that overlooks the harbor.
One lecture is about humpback whales, and the other about the prehistory of coastal Ventura County.
"The lectures at the Boating Center are specifically connected to nature and the islands and what we're doing with our research center out on Santa Rosa Island," said the organizer of the lectures, Associate Vice President for Arts & Sciences, Karen Carey, Ph.D. "Besides fascinating presentations, we want people in the community to explore the boating center and get to know all the activities that are available to them."
The CI Boating Center is located at 3880 Bluefin Circle, Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard. Both lectures run from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
On Sept. 24, Biology Lecturer Rachel Cartwright, Ph.D., will present "Humpback Whales: Gentle Giants of the North Pacific." Underwater video, recordings of whale songs and tales of a life spent researching whales will highlight the presentation. Cartwright just returned from her most recent whale research trip to Alaska.
On Oct. 22, Assistant Professor of Anthropology Jennifer Perry, Ph.D. and Associate Professor of Anthropology Colleen Delaney, Ph.D. will collaborate on "The Human Prehistory of the Channel Islands and Coastal California: A 10,000-year Retrospective."
Did you know the people of the Channel Islands, the Chumash and the Tongva, built plank canoes that were some of the most sophisticated watercraft in the Americas? Or that they manufactured a kind of shell and bead money circulated through California into historic times? Perry and Delaney will take us on a voyage through the still-untamed Channel Islands to find out about ancient Californians and why the islands are so important to us today.
In addition to the lectures at the boating center, this fall's lineup boasts a dozen more presentations from CI faculty on everything from Irish music to Nazis to leadership skills to the psychological benefits of a relationship with God, to name just a few subjects.
— Kim Gregory represents CSU Channel Islands.
Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Launches Gold Ribbon Awareness and Fundraising Campaign Sept. 1
Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) announces its third annual month-long pediatric cancer awareness and fundraising effort, the Gold Ribbon Campaign, in recognition of National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
TBCF is the only nonprofit of its kind which provides both financial and emotional support to Tri-County families facing childhood cancer.
“At Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation, we provide a variety of support programs to families of youth up to age 21 with cancer living in Santa Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties,” said Lindsey Leonard, TBCF executive director. “This September, we hope our community will join us in raising awareness and supporting local families during a difficult time.”
Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation’s Gold Ribbon Campaign will launch Sept. 1 with a photo day from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Paseo Nuevo Mall and culminate Oct. 1 with a Gold Ribbon Luncheon at the Biltmore.
The Luncheon will honor long-time supporter Dennis Miller with the organization’s Heart of Gold Award for his generous support to the organization.
The Campaign goal is to generate awareness about pediatric cancer and how it affects families, bring attention to the critical role TBCF plays in supporting Tri-County families that have a child experiencing cancer, raise $250,000 to support TBCF’s emotional and financial support programs and provide networks for youth with cancer and their families.
The gold ribbon is the universal symbol to raise awareness about pediatric cancer. The color was selected in 1997 by a group of parents dedicated to mobilizing support for the cause because it represents a precious metal and our children our precious.
Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation is giving free gold pins to anyone in the community who wants to pledge their support by wearing one during the month of September.
Contact Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation at 805.962.7466 to have one mailed to you or to pick one up.
TBCF’s emotional and financial support programs are designed to offer wrap-around assistance to families from initial diagnosis, during treatment and into recovery.
Financial support programs help families cover basic needs, including hospital stays, rent or mortgage payments, hotel accommodations, counseling, tutoring and childcare. When needed, TBCF assists families with funeral arrangements.
Emotional support programs include family support groups, bereavement support groups, special experiences or “Moments in Time,” and a weekly “Storytellers” program, where volunteers read to children at Cottage Hospital.
In 2014, TBCF supported 649 individuals and to-date has granted $1,300,000 of financial assistance.
Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation would like to acknowledge and thank 2015 Annual Sponsors: Presenting Sponsor, Earl & Claudia Minnis and Family; Ambassador Bear Sponsor, The Carrie Hamilton Fund, established by Jeff & Margo Barbakow.
Visionary Bear Sponsors include: Alamar Capital Management, Jim Bechtel; Avalan Wealth Management; Thomas & Nancy S. Crawford; and Keith Berry Real Estate.
Additionally, TBCF is grateful for the support of numerous other Annual Sponsors, including The Bank of Santa Barbara; Julia Delgado, MD General Pediatrics; Cox Communications; Heritage Oaks Bank; MarBorg Industries; Bill and Kathy Borgers; Larame and Nikki Greene; and Wells Fargo.
2015 Gold Ribbon Campaign Sponsors include Gold Sponsor, Aera Energy LLC; Silver Sponsor, Venoco, Inc.; and Bronze Sponsors, Carolyn Crockett Bell; Fielding Graduate University; Paloma Angel; Roberts Design Group Architecture + Interiors and Maryan Schall.
— Flannery Hill is a publicist representing the Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation.
Incumbent Councilmember Vallejo Launches Campaign to Maintain Seat
Goleta City Councilmember Tony Vallejo launched his election bid for a full term on City Council.
Vallejo filed the required paperwork with the California Secretary of State to open his account and began the running process for the November 2016 ballot.
"Since taking office in 2014, I've worked to preserve the character of our community, improved our business climate by standing up for local small business owners and stood for what makes Goleta the good land," Vallejo said. "I'm running for election to continue the work I've started and build upon successes in my first term."
Vallejo has been a Goleta resident for 13 years and currently owns his own CPA practice. He has served as past chair of Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as several other nonprofit boards, including Dos Pueblos Little League, Santa Barbara Foodbank and Mental Health Association.
The November 2016 race will be Vallejo's first election in Goleta, because he was appointed to Council to fill the vacancy of Ed Easton, who resigned after moving out of the city.
Vallejo's campaign will host a formal announcement event after the Labor Day holiday.
— Tony Vallejo is a CPA living in Goleta.
Car Catches Fire on Santa Barbara Highway 101 Offramp
CHP, Santa Barbara City Fire respond to scene, extinguish flames near Carrillo Street northbound offramp
CHP officers got the call at 11:11 a.m. and found a car on fire, causing them to close the offramp temporarily, according to an incident information report.
There were no injuries, but the vehicle is a total loss from the fire damage, City Fire Capt. Steve Berman said.
The driver didn't report any problems with the vehicle and with the extent of the damage, City Fire couldn't pinpoint the exact cause, he said.
It's not often a vehicle fire gets going that strongly, he noted, but the flames didn't spread to any nearby vegetation.
"It was going pretty good when we got there."
SoCal Women Leaders Coalesce Around Mayor Schneider in CA-24
Expanding her coalition of key California women supporters, today Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider won powerful endorsements from some of Southern California’s most widely respected leaders, including former Los Angeles City Controller and Mayoral candidate Wendy Greuel and West Hollywood Mayor Lindsey Horvath.
“Mayor Helene Schneider has accomplished so much as a local City Council member, as mayor, and also during her time in management at Planned Parenthood for the tri-county area," Greuel said. "She knows what it takes to be a leader and turn great ideas into action. I know she will lead the charge in Congress to advocate on behalf of women to protect their rights and access to reproductive healthcare, equal pay for equal work, paid family leave and so much more. She has my full support.”
“Supporting Mayor Helene Schneider for Congress was an easy choice for me to make," said Horvath. "She’s developed an extensive resume of serving as a local leader for women, having worked at Planned Parenthood for over a decade and in leadership positions for local Central Coast and statewide women’s groups. Additionally, her stellar record on the City Council and as mayor makes her extraordinarily qualified to serve in Washington. I’m proud to endorse Mayor Schneider for Congress.”
Significantly, Mayor Helene Schneider has generated far-reaching support from women's organizations and leaders, including The National Organization for Women and many female politicians and community figures.
Beyond endorsements, much of the dynamics in the race for the 24th Congressional district seat have changed over the course of the last two weeks following news of a poll by the nationally respected firm Lake Research, which showed Mayor Schneider leading the field of Democrats behind Republican Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian, with Achadjian at 24 percent and Schneider at 16 percent, and the next closest Democrat lagging behind at 11 percent.
According to Lake Research, after voters hear positive profiles of all the candidates, Schneider closes the gap with Achadjian, advancing from 16 percent to 23 percent of the vote. The next closest Democrat is 8 points behind, demonstrating that Schneider is the Democrat best poised to advance to the general election.
For more information about Mayor Schneider's campaign or to view her full list of endorsements, please visit www.HeleneSchneider.org.
— Dave Jacobson is a publicist representing Mayor Helene Schneider.
Supervisors Adopt Plastic Bag Ban for Unincorporated Santa Barbara County
The supervisors voted 3-2, with Supervisors Steve Lavagnino and Peter Adam dissenting, to adopt the ordinance which had been approved with the same vote in July.
The law will take effect in 2016, requiring shoppers to bring their own bags or pay 10 cents each for paper bags in retail stores selling food items, such as grocery stores and pharmacies.
Larger stores of 10,000 square feet or more will be subject to the ban on March 22, 2016 and smaller retailers will have to implement the ban starting Sept. 24, 2016.
Lavagnino said that he spent some time in Hawaii over the recent break from Board of Supervisors meetings and noticed that there are no plastic bags on the island, but stores do offer recycled, free paper bags.
With the county’s ban, “it forces you to pay for a paper bag which I think should be provided for free,” he said.
The item was ultimately approved, however.
Before considering the ordinance, the Board of Supervisors certified an environmental impact report that showed positive impacts for air quality, biological resources and water resources with the ban, the county said.
Dozens of municipalities across the state have also adopted their own ordinances.
Carpinteria was the first city in the county to adopt such a ban, with the City of Santa Barbara following suit last year.
The City of Goleta has delayed taking a vote on the issue until a statewide ballot measure can be voted on in November 2016.
PSHH Breaks Ground on $18 Million Renovation Project
Peoples’ Self-Help Housing broke ground Wednesday, Aug. 19, on their $18 million renovation project at Villa la Esperanza Apartments, 131 S. Kellogg Ave., Goleta.
Upon completion, 83 units will have been beautifully restored with a new community room constructed in Old Town Goleta. The project budget allocates $12 million for rehabilitation work and $6 million for new construction, design and engineering costs as well as other fees.
The public, Villa la Esperanza residents, elected officials and supporters attended the groundbreaking ceremony announcing the major rehabilitation project.
Villa la Esperanza was originally constructed in 1971 under the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s 236 Program and was owned and operated by the Goleta Valley Housing Committee (GVHC) — a single-asset non-profit — prior to PSHH assuming management and ownership.
The Aug. 19 ceremony recognized the original sponsors and members of the Goleta Valley Housing Committee who were responsible for the construction of the complex, as well as the final members of the committee at the time of the transfer in 2014.
The property currently consists of seventy-five units, including eight five-bedroom units that were underutilized and don’t meet current needs. As part of the major rehabilitation project, PSHH will convert seven of the five-bedroom units to smaller apartments, increasing the total number of units to eighty-three.
PSHH will also be constructing a new 5,000 square foot, two-story community building that will include a Youth Learning Center, community room, community kitchen, laundry facilities, two tot lots, playground and barbecue area. It will additionally feature office space for a manager, assistant manager and resident services coordinator.
New energy and water saving features will also be installed, included synthetic turf, water conserving hardscape and landscaping, state-of-the-art “smart” water controls, new drip irrigation system and replacement of external lighting with energy-saving LED fixtures.
Speakers included Vito Gioiello, Board Member of Goleta Valley Housing Committee as well as Peoples’ Self-Help Housing, who described the 40-year history of the project and recognized the various churches and nonprofit organizations involved.
PSHH President and CEO John Fowler discussed the rehabilitation project and how the donation of the Villa la Esperanza property will be leveraged through creative financing and tax credits investments to generate funding opportunities for the development of over 250 additional affordable-housing units in the greater Santa Barbara area.
Other speakers included U.S. Congresswoman Lois Capps, Santa Barbara County 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal, City of Goleta Mayor Paula Perotte, District Representative Liora Goodman, State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson, District Supervisor Assistant Hilary Campbell from the Office of Santa Barbara County, 2nd District Supervisor Janet Wolf, Paula Johnson on behalf of the Goleta Valley Housing Committee and Villa la Esperanza residents.
Partners include RMM Design Group Architects, Robert Fowler Landscape Architect and Stantec Inc. Civil Engineers, as well as tax credit equity investor Merritt Community Capital Corporation and construction and permanent lender CITI Community Capital.
Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Kristen Miller and her staff assisted with the official ribbon cutting.
— Angel Pacheco is a publicist representing Peoples' Self-Help Housing.
Carbajal Receives Endorsement from House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi
House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, the first woman Speaker in U.S. History and the top Democrat in Congress for more than a decade, has endorsed Salud Carbajal for Congress.
Pelosi joins Congresswoman Lois Capps in headlining a growing list of more than 100 elected officials, business and community leaders who have endorsed Carbajal for Congress.
"Salud Carbajal is a tenacious and effective champion for California’s hard-working families — and he’s the best person to carry forward Congresswoman Lois Capps’ legacy of bipartisan achievement,” Leader Pelosi said. “Carbajal knows how to bring people together to deliver change and expand the opportunities of the middle-class families of the Central Coast. I am proud to endorse Salud Carbajal for Congress."
As the Democratic Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 114th Congress, Pelosi is fighting for bigger paychecks and better infrastructure for America’s middle-class families.
“It is truly an honor to receive Leader Nancy Pelosi's endorsement," stated Carbajal. “I have long admired her work as the leader of our Party in Congress and her accomplishments as the first woman to serve as the Speaker of the House. I look forward to working with her to deliver results for the Central Coast and bring opportunity and security to middle-class families.”
Carbajal was elected to the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors in 2004, where he established a track record of bringing people together to get results for the Central Coast.
He is running for Congress to continue fighting for opportunity for middle-class families and to protect the special quality of life we enjoy here on the Central Coast.
— Cory Black is a publicist representing Salud Carbajal.
John Daly: Fighting for the Voiceless, Including Animals
Over the past several columns, I’ve been writing about compassion for others. That needs to extend to the animal world.
For those of you who know me personally, it is clear how much my bull mastiff, Cooper, means to my wife and me. That’s why I read with great interest a recent Noozhawk article by reporter Gina Potthoff.
The sad abuse that animals suffer at the hands of “seemingly intelligent” human beings is appalling. It feeds back in to the thoughtless, often cruel, even evil, behavior of some of my fellow man. It is unacceptable and has to be stopped.
Harder punishment for animal abusers is a step in the right direction. Davey’s Law, Davey Alerts and an Animal Abuser database will go a long way to help prevent further abuse. With those tools, people like you and me can play a bigger part in stopping the abuse.
But, what can we do? First, click here to read more about the Davey’s Law effort.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), here’s how you can help:
Know and look out for the animals in your neighborhood. Look for the following signs and symptoms in your neighborhood:
» Tick or flea infestations. If left untreated by a vet, this can lead to an animal’s death.
» Wounds on the body.
» Patches of missing hair.
» Extremely thin, starving animals.
» An owner striking or otherwise physically abusing an animal.
» Dogs that repeatedly are left alone without food and water, often chained up in a yard.
» Dogs that have been hit by cars-or are showing any of the signs listed above-and have not been taken to a vet.
» Dogs that are kept outside without shelter in extreme weather conditions.
» Animals who cower in fear or act aggressively when approached by their owners.
If you detect any of this, here’s what you should do.
» Know who to call to report animal cruelty. Every state and every town are different. Click here to make an anonymous tip with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department or talk to the Santa Barbara Animal Rescue for advice. And support their efforts with a donation. Act. Don’t just shake your head and feel sorry for the animal.
» Provide as much information as possible when reporting animal cruelty. The details that you provide can go a long way toward assisting an investigating officer. It helps to write down the type of cruelty you witnessed, who was involved, the date of the incident and where it took place.
» Contact your local law enforcement department and let them know that investigating animal cruelty should be a priority. Animal cruelty is a CRIME — and the police MUST investigate these crimes.
» Fight for the passage of strong anti-cruelty laws. Start with Davey’s Law and go from there.
» Set a good example for others. If you have pets, be sure to always show them the love and good care they deserve. But it’s more than just food, water and adequate shelter. If you think your animal is sick, bring it to the vet. Be responsible and have your animals spayed or neutered. And give your pets lots of hugs!
» Talk to your kids about how to treat animals with kindness and respect. The ASPCA regularly sees children in homes where animal abuse has been reported. If a parent isn’t treating the family’s pets right, the ASPCA tells the kids that their dog or cat would really appreciate fresh water every day or some daily playtime. If the animal has been left outside without shelter, they’ll say, ‘You have a nice house, and if you get cold, you can put a coat on. But your dog can’t do that.’ Children understand that animals are living creatures that have the ability to feel pain, joy and sadness.
Compassion should extend to all living creatures. Don’t you agree?
— John Daly is the founder and president of The Key Class, the go-to guide for good manners and job search success. Click to learn more about The Key Class, or to buy the book. Follow John on Facebook and Twitter @johnjdalyjr. Do you have an etiquette question? ASK John at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are his own.
Sansum Clinic Upgrades Mammography Technology
Advanced imaging has become a very important tool in the early detection of cancer, and Sansum Clinic recently invested in the newest 3-D Mammography technology available as an option for its patients.
The new Selenia Dimensions from Hologic, can help provide the following:
» Earlier detection: While digital mammography has been the most advanced screening technology available, it is 2-dimensional and has limitations. This new 3-D equipment can detect small cancers that may not be seen with traditional 2-D images.
» Greater accuracy: 3-D mammography results in better survival rates because of early detection.
» Decreased recall rates: Improved accuracy reduces the need for patients to return for additional imaging tests. There is also a reduction in the occurrence of false positive biopsy readings.
Unlike 2-D digital mammography, which takes a full view of the breast tissue as a flat image, 3-D mammography is a 3-dimensional image of the breast tissue with several images that are taken at varying angles along an arc across the breast.
With 3-D mammography, the premise is that what is hidden behind fibroglandular tissue on one image might be visible in another image if the angle is slightly different.
Upgrading to the new 3D technology helps detect cancers much earlier and those cancers can be caught when they are much smaller, making them easier to treat.
A recent article, “Breast Cancer Screening Using Tomosynthesis in Combination with Digital Mammography” from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA- June 25, 2014) highlights the distinct benefit of the technology after a total of 454,850 examinations (281,187 conventional mammograms compared to 173,663 3-D mammograms) were conducted.
Its findings show significant improvements with 3-D mammography:
» A 41 percent increase in the detection of invasive breast cancers
» A 29 percent increase in the detection of all breast cancers
» A 15 percent decrease in women recalled for additional imaging
All patients who need a screening mammogram are good candidates for 3-D screening mammography. Multiple studies have shown that all women, regardless of breast type or density, may benefit from 3-D mammography.
— Liz Baker is the marketing supervisor for Sansum Clinic.
Real Estate Pro Wayne Natale will Lead Salute to Teachers Golf Tournament
Local real estate professional Wayne Natale will serve as event chair of the fifth Annual Salute to Teachers Golf Tournament and Cocktail Party scheduled for Friday, Oct. 2 at Glen Annie Golf Course, located at 405 Glen Annie Road in Santa Barbara.
Registration for the tournament begins at 10 a.m., tee of is at noon, and the cocktail party is scheduled for 5 p.m.
In addition to the golf tournament, there will be contests, a silent auction and plenty of food and drink. All money raised from the tournament is earmarked for the Teacher’s Fund.
Founded in 2002, Teacher’s Fund raises monies for Santa Barbara area teachers for supplies and outside classroom activities not covered by school funding.
Renee Grubb and Ed Edick, co-owners of Village Properties, started the nonprofit, which has given over $1 million to local educators.
Helping Natale stage the Oct. 2 event are the following committee members: Renee Grubb and Sheila Hunt, sponsors organizers; Steve Puailoa, golf activities; Adrienne Schuele, auction; Bob Curtis, volunteers and food & beverage; Dianne and Brianna Johnson, special promotions; Rich Nahas, emcee; and Joan Roberts, Terrie Whipple, Lara Casatagnola, Robert Watt, Lee Hung, Patty Armor and Jon McCusky, volunteers at large. Natale is in charge of set-up.
So far, sponsors of the fifth Annual Salute to Teachers Golf Tournament and Cocktail Party include Cox Media, Santa Barbara Foundation, Prospect Mortgage, Coastal Copy, Heritage Oaks Bank, On Q Financial, Union Bank, Montecito Bank & Trust, Banc of California, First American Title, Chicago Title Company, Fidelity Title Company, Haaland Diving Inc., Adrienne Schuele Real Estate, Marborg Industries and Movegeen and WFG Title Company.
From the time Natale earned his real estate license in 1981, he has sold and marketed residential, ranch, land, vineyard and estate properties in the Santa Ynez Valley, where he and his wife, Patti, have lived since 1976.
When not volunteering with Teacher’s Fund, Natale gives his time as a board member of the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation and sits on their Santa Ines Mission Mills committee.
He is also a member, as well as past president, of the San Lorenzo Foundation and a board/founding member of the Santa Ynez Chamber of Commerce.
To learn about participating in the fifth Annual Salute to Teachers Golf Tournament and Cocktail Party or sponsorship opportunities, contact Natale at 805.686.7454 or [email protected].
— Jennifer Goddard Combs is a publicist representing the Teacher's Fund.
Big-Rig Crash Shuts Down Highway 101 in Carpinteria
A big-rig crash and resulting fuel spill shut down northbound Highway 101 in Carpinteria Tuesday morning, causing a major backup for the morning commute.
The non-injury wreck occurred at about 4:20 a.m. near the Santa Monica Road offramp, and involved a tractor pulling two loaded trailers, according to the California Highway Patrol.
About 40 gallons of diesel fuel spilled, and about 300 feet of guardrail were damaged, the CHP said.
One freeway lane was reopened at about 7:40 a.m., but backups were expected to continue through the morning.
Help Sought Identifying Vehicle Suspected Of Igniting 3 Fires
The largest blaze that sparked Aug. 16, the Cuesta Fire, is 85 percent contained and 2,446 acres, Cal Fire officials say
Cal Fire officials have released a photo of the vehicle suspected of sparking fires at three separate locations in San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara counties on Aug. 16.
The photo, reportedly taken in Arroyo Grande, show a white pickup pulling a trailer towing a Volkswagen Bug, Cal Fire representatives said.
Anyone with information about this vehicle in the photo should contact the Cal Fire arson hotline at 800.468.4408, officials said Monday.
People who call the hotline can remain anonymous.
Sparks from the vehicle are suspected of igniting the Cuesta Fire, now 85 percent contained and 2,446 acres, Cal Fire said Monday night.
The fire’s size is smaller than the 3,500-acre estimate released in recent days, which Cal Fire officials credited with aircraft that conducted previous assessments being limited by dense tree canopy, heavy smoke conditions and local coastal fog.
Firefighters hope to fully contain the fire by Wednesday, with a force of 1,326 members still involved in the battle that last week led to the evacuation of hundreds of homes in Santa Margarita as flames advanced on the small community north of San Luis Obispo.
Before the Cuesta Fire started at 6:12 p.m. along Highway 101 at the Cuesta Grade, another vegetation fire ignited on Highway 101 at the Nojoqui Summit at 4:40 p.m.
The two-alarm fire burned around six acres before it was contained that night, Santa Barbara County Fire Department representatives said.
The blaze sent up a large cloud of black smoke, which firefighters blamed on a burning plastic pipe in the culvert under the freeway. The thick dark smoke made it appear the flames had crossed the highway.
Firefighters used foam and water at both ends of the pipe to extinguish the burning plastic.
After the Cuesta Fire, a third blaze burned on Highway 41 at Cottonwood Pass. The Cholame Fire burned eight acres.
Other drivers had reported the night of the fires that the blazes were started by a vehicle pulling a trailer, and possibly dragging a chain, creating sparks that ignited the drought-thirsty vegetation.
All three blazes occurred adjacent to uphill portions of the roadways, according to Cal Fire.
Santa Barbara Officials, Legislators Concerned About Drone Use, Regulation
State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson backs bills to prevent drone interference with wildfires, privacy violations though there haven't been any local incidents
By now, most folks know what a drone is, based on stories they’ve heard — a swarm of unmanned remote-control aircrafts flying over a Southern California wildfire, interfering with firefighters, or a friend of a friend who bought one to take aerial photographs.
Drones roared into the commercial market in recent years after people outside the government and defense realms were able to buy them. As often happens, laws on the books haven’t quite caught up to challenges the new technology brings.
The number of drone sightings by pilots in the United States has more than doubled this year compared to last year, with 238 in 2014 compared to 650 by Aug. 9, 2015, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which governs the skies.
The FAA rolled out drone regulations this summer, which focused on commercial versus recreational use and generally asked operators to keep drones in line of sight and below 400 feet, three miles from an airport and away from populated areas. They should also weigh fewer than 55 lbs, unless otherwise certified.
Basically, be smart and “drone responsibly.”
Santa Barbara County hasn’t seen the close-call collisions between drones and airplanes or helicopters, or interrupting firefighting efforts, but officials say it’s only a matter of time.
“It could happen in our community,” State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson said. “We shouldn’t treat them as toys because the potential dangerous impact of these drones is tremendous. We haven’t had this problem at this level ever before.”
Santa Barbara Airport operations manager Tracy Lincoln confirmed he’s not aware of any local sightings, but he followed up comments with, “knock on wood.”
He said a couple businesses near the airport asked if they could fly a drone to get cool aerial shots of their buildings, so Lincoln referred them to the air traffic control tower to coordinate with the FAA directly.
“They’re really awesome, but they need to figure out how to control every Tom, Dick and Harry that buys them,” Lincoln said. “I think most people want to be safe.”
Anyone can find a drone online starting at less than $100, with Samy’s Camera in Santa Barbara is selling nearly a dozen different models.
Some local realtors even hire drone photographers to take pictures of listed properties, although most didn’t want to talk specifics because of uncertainty with rules.
Last week, California’s Senate Judiciary Committee and Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management hosted an oversight hearing on the pros and cons of drones.
Jackson, who sits on both committees, acknowledged the exciting potential, including Amazon delivery by drone, farmers flying drones to identify areas on property that need water, or emergency personnel working them into search and rescue operations.
Juxtaposed with her enthusiasm were the horror stories of five drones downing firefighting planes in Riverside or a drone preventing a medical helicopter from landing at a Fresno hospital.
“Along with the positive applications — as we see with most emerging technologies — there really are some significant concerns about privacy,” Jackson said.
“Laws do prohibit interfering with (wildfire) operations but don’t mention drones specifically. It really presents significant problems.”
She has joint-authored a bill in response to drones impacting wildfire operations and penned another to prohibit drones from trespassing on private property.
SB 167, which will soon go to a Senate Public Safety committee, would make it a misdemeanor to knowingly operate a drone in a manner preventing or delaying efforts to extinguish a fire — punishable by up to six months in county jail and a maximum fine of $5,000.
SB 142, which would create a “no-fly zone” of 350 feet above private property, passed off the Assembly floor Monday with a 56-13 vote. The bill heads to the Senate next.
If the FAA catches drone violations, the agency can file criminal charges and impose jail time or fines of $1,000 to $25,000, depending on seriousness of violation, according to FAA spokesman Ian Greger.
He said the FAA doesn’t have any active or closed enforcement cases in Santa Barbara County but noted the agency would work with local law enforcement if it did.
When rules are clearer, Santa Barbara County Fire will be ready to use its recently purchased drone, but not before then, said public information officer Mike Eliason.
“There are definitely positives and negatives involved with it,” he said.
Drones operating near wildfires are especially dangerous because planes, helicopters and air tankers all work together to battle a blaze in an area the FAA designates with a “temporary flight restriction,” Eliason said.
Each operates slowly to drop water or fire retardant — or to coordinate specific locations — and then needs to fly out quickly.
“A little thing such as a drone could get sucked into an engine or propeller,” Eliason said.
Likewise, commercial and private airplanes are notably more vulnerable when flying into or out of an airport.
Lincoln said visibility is reduced during takeoff because the nose of a plane is pointed up, and high power settings during takeoff and departure increase the likelihood of debris like a drone getting sucked into an engine, which could cause engine failure.
Helicopters have similar visibility issues when landing or taking off, Lincoln said.
FAA guidelines say commercial drone users are supposed to obtain licenses and permits through the agency — a process described as taking two months to a year — but the threshold of what constitutes a business use was less clear.
Santa Barbara freelance photographer Eric Isaacs sees a big difference between flying his 1.5-pound plastic drone and the folks with 50-pound metal frames.
He’s had a drone two years, first as a hobbyist or for photo gigs and more recently as a go-to for real estate companies wanting aerial views of residential listings.
Isaacs thinks of all the times he wished he could hover 60 feet up, getting the perfect artistic angle. Now he can.
“For real estate, it’s sort of a no-brainer,” Isaacs said. “Getting an aerial view of something is very valuable.”
Isaacs controls his small drone, which sounds like a swarm of bees, with a remote control that sends video and still images straight to his cell phone. He said he’s following the rules to the best of his ability, staying low and away from other planes.
What some people don’t realize, he said, is that drones are equipped with safety features that won’t let them fall from the sky when batteries run out. They also have wide-angle lenses that are looking forward, not straight into people’s backyards.
“Educating people on that aspect is going to take a while,” Isaacs said, speaking to Jackson’s proposed privacy bill.
“It doesn’t address the reality of the problem; it addresses the perception.”
Suspect In Santa Maria Rape To Return To Court Sept. 2
A Santa Maria man facing rape charges is scheduled to return to Santa Barbara County Superior Court on Sept. 2.
Christian Sandez, 23, was arrested Aug.12 at his home on the 2400 block of Baldwin Way in the northwest section of the city, Santa Maria police said.
Detectives did not respond to a request for further information about the case.
However, court documents said Sandez was arrested on suspicion of rape by use of drugs on an adult female victim in her 40s.
The attack reportedly occurred on or about Aug. 7, court documents filed Aug. 14 said.
Bail was set at $100,000 in this case.
In addition to the violent felony crime, Sandez faces a misdemeanor charge after he was nabbed July 7 for misdemeanor driving with a suspended or revoked license, according to court paperwork.
His bail in that case was set at $10,000, according to paperwork filed Aug. 20.
When he returns to court next month before Judge Patricia Kelly, Sandez is scheduled to be arraigned on the misdemeanor charge and have a preliminary hearing date set on the felony charge.
Sandez remains in custody of the Santa Barbara County Jail.
Santa Barbara Harbor To Add 38 Names To Slip Lottery Wait List
Boat slips are among the city's most sought-after pieces of real estate
Strong demand is expected when the city of Santa Barbara adds 32 names to its exclusive harbor boat slip wait list in a drawing scheduled for November.
The period to submit an application begins Oct. 1 at 8 a.m. and runs through Oct. 30.
Harbor slips are among the most sought-after pieces of real estate on the South Coast. The Waterfront Department, on average, assigns about two to three slip permits per year.
“We have had a lot of early inquiries, so I expect plenty of applications,” said Mick Kronman, harbor operations manager. “With demand for slips in Santa Barbara Harbor outstripping supply, it’s important to maintain this lottery list, to provide opportunity for future slip permitees.”
The draft lottery will be for people on a wait list – people who get second dibs, so to speak, on slips that become available if no one on the master wait list wants them. The slip might be the wrong size for the boat of the person awaiting a slip.
The draft lottery list was created in 2005 and consists of 50 names. When the list drops below 20, the city, according to its municipal code, must add more people to the list.
The master wait list has 27 people on it. The list has been closed to new applicants since 2000.
Spots open on either list in a variety of ways.
Kronman said the Waterfront department sometimes terminates a lease for non-payment, a slip holder dies and has no one to pass the slip onto, or someone moves their boat out of the harbor and returns it to city control.
If selected, boat owners must pay a $50 lottery placement fee. After that, people pay $40 annually to stay on the wait list.
Slips may also be transferred if the owner of a boat with a slip in the harbor sells the boat, at a cost of $200 – $375 per ft.
The Harbor Commission chairman will pull the names at a drawing, during a Harbor Commission meeting, at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, at Santa Barbara City Hall.
Gaviota Rest Stops Closed Again Due to Sewer Repairs
Travelers last weekend were again greeted with closure signs at both Highway 101 rest stops near the Gaviota Tunnel, where crews worked to fix sewer issues in time to reopen later this week, according to Caltrans.
“There was a breakdown in the sewer/septic lines on the (Gaviota) State Park property, which adjoins the rest area,” said Caltrans District 5 spokesman Jim Shivers.
The latest closure began Friday afternoon. Although repairs were completed Monday, Shivers said work needed to set in place for at least 24 hours.
“We anticipate the rest area re-opening before the end of this week,” he said, noting he didn’t have any information on the cost of the recent fix.
Shivers said the rest stops had reopened as of 9 a.m. Tuesday.
That work closed the rest stops for no more than a week, according to Shivers.
Water line issues have plagued the popular rest areas since completion of a 10-month renovation project involving the northbound and southbound rest stop bathrooms.
About 1 million people visit the rest stops each year, which is why Caltrans recently upgraded the restroom plumbing, electrical system and landscape and irrigation systems.
Restrooms were reopened to the public at the end of February, but were forced to close again last month for water line repairs.
UCSB Ranks in Upper Echelons of American Universities
UC Santa Barbara has moved up a notch in the Washington Monthly magazine’s annual National Universities Rankings. Continuing its upward trajectory, UCSB is ranked number 14 on the 2015 list, which appears in the magazine’s September/October issue.
The campus came in at number 15 in last year’s rankings and number 22 in 2013.
In addition, UCSB is listed at number 17 in the magazine’s “Best Bang for the Buck” rankings in the Western Schools category.
The university also is highlighted in the magazine’s College Guide as one of 10 “Access Improvers,” colleges and universities that have increased their enrollments of federally funded Pell Grant students while maintaining strong student outcomes.
“The University of California, Santa Barbara, for example, is in the top echelon of its state’s universities, serving students of variable income and ability,” wrote Mamie Voight, director of policy research at the Institute for Higher Education and Colleen Campbell, a senior policy analyst at the Association of Community College Trustees. “Yet 38 percent of Santa Barbara students are low income, compared to only 15 percent at Penn State, and Santa Barbara charges low-income students about half as much.”
While U.S. News & World Report usually awards its highest ratings to private universities, the editors of the Washington Monthly prefer to give public universities more credit and higher rankings. Fifteen of the top twenty universities in the Washington Monthly rankings are taxpayer-funded.
Among the criteria considered by the report are the percentage of students receiving Pell Grants; the difference between predicted and actual graduation rates; total research spending; Peace Corps service by graduates; community service participation; faculty awards and faculty members elected to national academies.
Regarding the "Best Bang for the Buck" rankings, the magazine’s editors describe it as their “exclusive list of the colleges in America that do the best job of helping non-wealthy students attain marketable degrees at affordable prices.”
Of the 1,540 colleges and universities in the broader rankings, only 386 qualified as "Best Bang for the Buck" schools, and of those, UCSB landed in the top 20.
More information, including the complete rankings, is available at the Washington Monthly College Guide.
— Andrea Estrada is the deputy news director at UC Santa Barbara.
ArchitecTours Announces Nine Stops of Annual Tour
The Santa Barbara chapter of the American Institute of Architects’s annual ArchitecTours, a celebration of local architecture, will showcase nine homes and businesses.
The theme of this year’s ArchitecTours is "buildings with a story." Each of the nine projects features an intriguing personal or construction story that profile many of the design obstacles encountered during the building process.
The nine sites include a contemporary art-filled residence, a modern suburban home addition prototype, The Goodland Hotel, a modern cottage for multiple generations, a gracious downtown home, a mid-century modern library, a tract house, a craftsman's bungalow and the Santa Barbara County offices.
This event draws attention to the extraordinary architectural legacy in Santa Barbara and the value of well-designed architecture to its surrounding community.
Equally, ArchitecTours highlights the expertise that AIA architects possess, including a thorough understanding and expertise in urban design, sustainability, accessibility, structural improvements, building materials and historic renovation.
The tour will be held Saturday, Oct. 3 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will culminate with a festive party.
Early Bird Tickets are $65 for general public, $55 for AIA members and seniors and $25 for students.
Five percent of the proceeds earned by the event will be donated to Habitat for Humanity for their next project in Santa Barbara County.
For more information and to purchase tickets, go to www.aiasb.com or call 805.966.4198.
— Tara Rizzi is the executive director of the Santa Barbara AIA chapter.
PCPA’s 51st Season Concludes with Comedy-Drama ‘Other Desert Cities’
A comfortable Palm Springs home at the holidays turns into a family battle ground in Other Desert Cities playing in the Marian Theatre Friday, Sept. 18 through Saturday, Oct. 3.
Verbal blows and jabs hit deep, opening old wounds in this family’s past that contains a closely guarded secret.
Brooke Wyeth is a middle-aged writer and the liberal daughter of prominent Republican parents who returns home after a six-year absence.
She throws the Christmas-time reunion into turmoil when she announces her plans to publish a tell-all book that dredges up a pivotal and tragic event in the family’s history that would surely tarnish their political and social reputations.
This searing comedy-drama by Jon Robin Baitz shows us a family struggling to keep their fragile façade from shattering.
Director Roger DeLaurier said the script is intriguing on a couple of levels.
“I like the way the story unfolds as a mystery as we get to know and understand and like the characters. It is a complicated family with dark past secrets, which affect their present lives," he said. "The other thing I like about the script is that even through long and deeply held assumptions, love and family trump over those powerful secrets.”
DeLaurier said that while there is a mystery element to the play that serves to keep the relationships unfolding and deepening, the core is really a family drama with a lot of humor.
The cast includes Melinda Parrett as Brooke, Jessica Powell as Polly, Dan Kremer as Lyman, Kitty Balay as Silda and Matt Koenig as Trip.
The creative team includes Director Roger DeLaurier, Scenic Designer Tim Hogan, Costume Designer Robin Newell, Lighting Designer Jennifer 'Z' Zornow, Sound Designer Andrew Mark Wilhelm and Stage Manager Ellen Beltramo.
Matinees begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays. Evening performances begin at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.
Tickets cost $29.50–$39.50 with discounts for seniors, students and children.
Other Desert Cities contains strong language and may not be suitable for small children.
— Craig Shafer represents Pacific Conservatory Theatre.
Annual Antique Car Show will Benefit Hancock College’s Tech Program
Owners of antique Fords are encouraged to enter their car in the 13th annual Santa Maria A's All Ford Car Show and Swap Meet, located at the Orcutt Union Plaza, Sep. 12, 2015.
the event, which celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Ford Thunderbird, includes awards for best of show, best club participation and best original class Model A; 10 trophy divisions; live music and multiple raffles with many prizes, including a Santa Maria-style barbeque.
Admission is free for the public and $20 for sellers and entrants before Sep. 1 or $30 at the door.
The swap meet opens at 7 a.m. and the car show begins at 8 a.m.
Proceeds will benefit the Allan Hancock Industrial Technology Program.
— Jay McCord is the car show co-chair for the Santa Maria Model A Ford Club.
DA Using Case of Severely Burned Teen as Cautionary Tale
Officials and Jacob Keefer's parents hope others will learn from the teenager's traumatic injuries
What started as three 14-year-old boys playing in a Santa Barbara backyard ended in tragedy after one of them was severely burned and left with life-threatening injuries last February.
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office and the injured boy’s family are hoping to use the prosecution of the case as a cautionary tale to parents and their children.
Jacob Keefer, a Santa Barbara Junior High School student, was severely burned on Feb. 28 when he and two friends were playing with fire in the backyard of a house in the 700 block of California Street on Santa Barbara’s Riviera.
Jacob’s family later stated on a fundraising site established to help with medical bills that the boy “was splashed with lighter fluid that immediately set flames to the upper half of his body. This includes his waist, chest, arms, hands, face and neck.”
Keefer was rushed to the hospital in critical condition and later received extensive treatment from the Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center Burn Unit. He continues to recover in Santa Barbara.
A press conference was held Monday morning outside the office of District Attorney Joyce Dudley, who spoke with reporters about the decision to allow the juveniles to meet certain conditions in order for the felony charges they face to be dropped.
Last week, Dudley announced that the two boys with Keefer that day — identified only as John Doe 1 and John Doe 2 — will face two felony counts, including arson of property and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.
Keefer’s mother was in attendance at the press conference on Monday, but did not make a statement.
Dudley said she’d come to know Jacob's family over the last six months, and that the family hopes no one will have to endure a similar incident.
Because the case involves juveniles, Dudley could not discuss the facts of the case or name the charged young people.
“They were good friends, all of them, with promising future,” she told reporters. “They used really poor judgment, and now they want to do all they can to make amends.”
Tara Haaland-Ford, who represents one of the boys accused of the crimes, said that her client was Jacob’s best friend at the time of the incident.
The other boy’s attorney, Megan Leisz, was not in attendance at the press conference and did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Haaland-Ford could not speak as to exactly what prompted the incident other than “three boys that got an idea in their head” that had tragic repercussions.
“Three friends hanging out together made split second decisions that have changed them all forever,” she said.
The boys did not have any criminal records before the incident and have not had any contact with Jacob since.
“They would like to be in touch with Jacob, but it’s a process,” she said.
Dudley described the pre-plea diversion agreement, which was the result of six months of meetings with law enforcement, Fire Department officials, attorneys for both Jacob’s family and the suspects, and the DA’s office.
They came to an agreement on the terms last week, and Keefer's mother wanted the experience to be one that stuck with the boys.
“She always felt that she wanted them to learn from it, to become better men, and to impress upon the community how dangerous this is,” Dudley said.
The boys will have to work for 10 days with child cancer victims, and while the initial goal was to have them work with burn victims, the facilities that were found would not take juvenile volunteers.
Additionally, they will have to attend a program for fire education “to understand the ramifications of the danger of fire," Dudley said.
They also will have to complete 60 hours of community service in Santa Barbara County, and will not be able to possess any incendiary device or participate in any sort of social media, including Snapchat and Instagram.
The boys also must meet with Jacob’s mother, who will show them photos of what her son endured, Dudley said.
“They’re going to write a letter, one to Jacob’s mom and one to Jacob, explaining what they learned and how they feel about what happened,” she said.
Three months of counseling will also be required, and all of the terms will need to be completed by Feb. 29, 2016.
If they do not meet the criteria, they will face the criminal charges through the court system.
Though the charges will be dismissed if the terms are met, "it will never go away” for anyone involved, Dudley said.
As for Jacob, Dudley described him as "a beautiful extraordinary young man" and that he was recovering from his injuries.
“He’s still in a lot of pain," she said.
Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care Receives Four-Star Performance Rating
The ranking is part of the new CMS Quality of Patient Care Star Ratings within its Home Health Compare database, a service on the Medicare.gov website that helps consumers make informed choices about where to seek care.
Nationally, 9,359 home health agencies met the criteria to receive a rating, of which 26.3 percent received four or more stars.
VNHC, which has served the comprehensive home health and hospice services on the Central Coast since 1908, is among 42 other Visiting Nurse Associations of America member organizations who received top performance ratings.
— Hannah Rael is a publicist representing Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care.
Summerland Beach Reopened to Public After Oil Closure
Summerland Beach has been opened to the public again, Santa Barbara County Public Health officials announced Monday.
The beach had been closed since Friday because of a large volume of oil on the beach along with strong petroleum odors in the area, which public health officials said could cause adverse health effects.
On Monday, those impacts seemed to have lessened enough to open the beach again.
“Oil and odors have decreased due to tide activity and natural processes, thus immediate health concerns have diminished,” according to a statement from the Public Health Department.
The department-issued warnings remain in effect, saying people and animals should avoid exposure to crude oil compounds and strong odors.
County staff have been monitoring the beach on a daily basis and kept tabs on the quantity and nature of the oil and the presence of the odors since last week.
The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District has also been working with the Public Health Department to assess conditions.
“The primary concern is first and foremost to protect public health,” Public Health said.
Both agencies have taken water, sand and air samples for testing, but it could be several days before results are available.
The cause of the oil hasn’t been identified yet, though the department acknowledged that there are seeps and old oil wells in the area, either of which could be the cause.
It likely isn't connected to the May 19 oil spill near Refugio State Beach, which occurred about 28 miles west of Summerland Beach, officials have said.
“Long-term analysis and evaluation will be required to make determinations as to the source of the increased oil and odors,” the statement said.
“While the source of the oil will be important for developing long-term solutions, the Public Health Department and Air Pollution Control District will remain vigilant in timely posting of warnings and closures when there is a potential risk to public health.”
The Channel City Club Hosts History with Panel of Veterans
The Pierre Claeyssens Veterans Foundation will hold a luncheon Wednesday, Sep. 9, 2015, at The Fess Parker's San Rafael Room entitled "Vietnam: The War & Its Veterans 50 Years On"
History will come alive at this luncheon and symposium featuring nine of Santa Barbara's Vietnam veterans telling personal stories, along with an encapsulation of the history of that war interspersed with music and films from and about the era.
Local veterans in the presentation include Peter Bie, John and Hazel Blankenship, Fred Clough, Phil Conran, Joe Danely, Carol Fritz, Fred Lopez, Steve Penner, Dennis Peterson, Jose Ramirez and Patricia Rumpza.
Registration begins at 11 a.m., and doors open at 11:30 a.m.
Tickets cost $40 per person. These events are usually sell-out events, and no tickets will be sold at the door.
Advance reservations are required and must be made no later than Friday, Sep. 4, 2015.
To make a reservation, call The Channel City Club at 805.564.6223 or visit The Channel City Club's website.
— The Channel City Club is a Santa Barbara-based non profit that aims to provide the community with a local venue for outstanding speakers on state, national and international issues.
Duo of Award-Winning Poets will Present at Episcopal Church in Los Olivos
The public is invited to attend a free evening of poetry, featuring readings by award-winning poets Richard Jarrette and Pamela Davis Saturday, Sep. 5, 2015, at 7 p.m. at St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church in Los Olivos.
Complimentary refreshments and book signing opportunities in Stacy Hall will follow the readings.
Poet Richard Jarrette will read from his newest book A Hundred Million Years of Nectar Dances (Green Writers Press, 2015), which was described as a poetry cycle of singular beauty in nature that reveals an inherent religious quality.
The poems dance and sing and play and rest with their subjects.
Jarrette is the author of Beso the Donkey (MSU Press, 2010) and the winner of the Gold Medal, Poetry, 2011 from Midwest Independent Publishers Association; Finalist, and 2011 Book of the Year from Foreword Reviews.
Reviewer Jane Hirshfield remarked, “I am entirely taken and altered by these spare, wise, hauntingly conceived, brilliantly crafted poems.”
Jarrette lives in the Santa Ynez Valley after formative years in Los Angeles and North Carolina.
Poet Pamela Davis will read from her new book Lunette (ABZ Press, 2015), an innovative and compelling collection of poems previously published in national magazines.
Lunette won the 2014 ABZ Press First Book Poetry Award.
Davis has received the International Poetry Publication Prize from Atlanta Review and is also published in Nimrod International Journal as a semi-finalist for the Neruda Award.
Davis received her bachelor's in English from California State University, San Francisco.
She is the co-founder of the Independent Writers of Southern California and resides in Santa Barbara.
The Rev. Dr. Randall Day, St. Mark’s priest and rector stated, “We welcome absolutely everyone to attend this magical evening of poetry and enjoy these creative muses. St. Mark’s is pleased to offer a variety of artistic and literary events throughout the year. This one will be particularly uplifting with soaring poetry!”
St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church is located at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue in downtown Los Olivos.
For more information, please call the office at 805.688.4454 or email [email protected].
— Laura Kath is a publicist representing St. Mark's-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church.
New E-Cigarette Restrictions Take Effect in Santa Barbara
The Santa Barbara Board of Supervisors approved July 21, 2015 amendments to County Code Chapter 37, Smoking, Tobacco Product and Electronic Smoking Device Control Ordinance, which includes e-cigarettes and vaping devices in all tobacco restrictions.
The law now treats electronic smoking devices (ESD), such as e-cigarettes and vaporizers, just like conventional smoking and tobacco products.
One of the main changes will be an increase in the number of outdoor places where both smoking and tobacco/ESD use are restricted, including dining areas, public events and around county sites. All businesses that sell ESDs will be required to place the products and related paraphernalia behind the counter or out of customer reach.
“Everyone should be able to live, work and recreate in a smoke free environment. These amendments to our county’s Tobacco Control Ordinance move us in the right direction and help keep the public healthy and safe,” said Dr. Takashi Wada, Public Health Department director.
“I was pleased to cosponsor these amendments to the County’s tobacco control ordinance with our Public Health Department because I believe that the proliferation of 'ESDs' presents an increasing risk to the public, especially children. Other amendments to our ordinance strengthen protection of the public and employees from second-hand smoke,” said Second District Supervisor and Chair of the Board Janet Wolf.
Other elements of the new ordinance include smoking and vaping restrictions in common areas of multi-unit residences and specific requirements for shops that specialize in selling tobacco and ESD products and paraphernalia.
Currently, California State law does not regulate the use of ESDs at worksites or in public places. The unincorporated areas now join four cities within the County that already restrict ESD use in both indoor and outdoor settings.
The amendments to the ordinance will take effect on August 22, 2015.
— Susan Klein Rothschild represents the Santa Barbara Public Health Department.
Admission to Botanic Garden for Active Duty Military and their Families Free through Labor Day
The Santa Barbara Botanic Garden honors those who serve our country by participating in the national Blue Star Program.
A collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense and museums across America, Blue Star Museums offers free admission to the nation’s service members, including National Guard and Reserve, and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2015.
During the rest of the year, the garden offers military with ID a reduced admission rates. Those who visit in uniform are given free admission all year round.
Bring your whole family and your dog to cool off in the redwoods, take a free guided tour on weekends and enjoy five miles of trails through native plant communities from all over California.
Climb high for great views or stick to the paved paths around the meadow area for easy wheelchair and stroller access.
Check the garden's website for more details.
— Rebecca Mordini is the communications coordinator at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden.
Karen Telleen-Lawton: Eenie Meenie Miney Moe Part 1
Dear Karen: The event I have anticipated and dreaded for years is upon us in a few weeks. My folks are still active and relatively astute at 85 and 86. Nevertheless, they are moving to a retirement home that is just now under construction. They’ve lived in their house for over 50 years!
I am grateful that they have decided on their own, and my siblings and I will help them move, of course, but I’m anxious about divvying up fifty years’ worth of accumulation.
Mom has asked us for years to put our names on stuff, but we all felt awkward about it, and now time’s up.
There’s everything from our third grade pottery to a large silk carpet I suspect is quite valuable. How do we do this with three siblings 3,000 miles apart, and still keep speaking to each other?
— Dreading sibling confrontation
Dear Sibling: Congratulations to your parents on their upcoming milestone. You and your siblings are fortunate indeed that your parents are healthy and that they made their own decision. They are leaving under their own power.
The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College says Baby Boomers will eventually inherit $8 trillion in cash, real estate and a whole lot of curios. You’re not alone in your predicament.
Ask your folks about any items they’d like specifically to go to one of you — or someone else.
Since your folks seem pretty prepared, they likely already have wills and perhaps a trust. These should be consulted for any special instructions as to the division of assets.
Aside from specific wishes by your parents, the actually choosing of household items presents challenges that are best solved on the ground.
There are as many opportunities as challenges. If your parents are willing, you might want to spend some time asking them about the provenance of various objects. They will likely appreciate your caring about family heirlooms, keepsakes and momentos.
At the same occasion or a subsequent one, you can assemble an inventory list including this special information. E-bay or Google can be a valuable resource for some ballpark values, if you choose to include that in the list.
Then it’s time to hold the Great Eenie Meenie Miney Moe event.
On the day of the event, realize, remember and keep remembering that your relationships with your siblings are more important than stuff. Agree to try to be your best selves, and forgive each other for inevitable moments if old hurts get in the way.
Money Magazine lists some rules that may help smooth the way on Eenie Meenie Day. In addition to not allowing the transactions to tear siblings apart, they suggest you share with each other what are the top items on your lists.
Then decide on a basic process, such as drawing straws for order and then taking turns. If multiple siblings share a “must have” item, you may want one sibling to pay the others for it, rather than keep it as part of the regular pick.
Or in some cases, if the item can’t be shared or paid for, an alternative is to sell it and split the proceeds among the siblings.
I agree with most of these tips, but used a slightly different process for our own Eenie Meeny Miney Moe event. In a subsequent column I’ll list the tips that worked for us.
— Karen Telleen-Lawton’s column is a mélange of observations spanning sustainability from the environment to finance, economics and justice issues. She is a fee-only financial advisor (www.DecisivePath.com) and a freelance writer (www.CanyonVoices.com). Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.
CHP Identifies Los Alamos Crash Victim as Jack Owens
The name of the man who was killed over the weekend in a rollover crash on Highway 135 near Los Alamos was released Monday by the California Highway Patrol.
The victim was Jack Owens, 29, of Los Alamos, the CHP said.
The wreck occurred shortly after 4 a.m. Saturday as Owens' 1996 Toyota 4Runner was southbound on the highway, south of Harris Grade Road, the CHP said.
Traveling at an unknown speed, the 4Runner swerved to the left across the northbound lane, ran off the roadway and overturned several times, the CHP said.
Owens, who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle and suffered critical injuries, the CHP said.
He was transported to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, where he was pronounced dead.
The crash remained under investigation by the CHP.
A GoFundMe site has been set up to help cover Owens' funeral expenses. Click here to donate.
Cal Lutheran Psychology Doctoral Program Receives Accredidation in Time for First Graduates
The American Psychological Association has accredited California Lutheran University’s new doctoral program in clinical psychology for the maximum term of seven years.
Cal Lutheran launched the program in 2010 at its Oxnard Center in response to an increased need for mental health professionals. It applied for accreditation in 2014, the first year it was eligible to do so.
The designation is retroactive to April 21, which means that all students will have completed an accredited program. The first graduates finished their requirements in either May or the beginning of August.
Accreditation assures students, employers and others that a program meets nationally endorsed standards for the profession, is accountable for achieving what it sets out to do and is engaged in continuous review and improvements to provide the highest quality of graduate education and training in psychology.
The Commission on Accreditation commended the Graduate School of Psychology’s program for its thoughtful curriculum, state-of-the-art technology and strong support from university administration.
The report lauded the program’s efforts to attract and retain diverse students and faculty and to integrate issues of diversity into training and practice.
In particular, the commission noted that Ventura County’s only doctoral program in clinical psychology “is dedicated to serving the high-need Oxnard community.”
With the highest concentration of ethnic minorities and a per capita income 37 percent below the average for Ventura County, Oxnard needs additional trained professionals who can provide high-quality and culturally sensitive psychological services, research that can influence policy and resources and consultation and training to increase the effectiveness of community organizations.
The doctoral program is not only based in Oxnard but also operates a clinic in the city where graduate students provide low-cost bilingual assessment and counseling under the supervision of licensed clinicians as part of their practical training.
While some training programs in psychology focus primarily on clinical skills, Cal Lutheran balances the development of both clinical and research skills.
The commission commended the program for having a core faculty with a variety of theoretical orientations and research interests. This helps students consider clients’ issues from many different perspectives.
The program’s first graduates are Bonnie Brown of Santa Barbara, Daniel Knauss of Flagstaff, Katherine Oring of Playa del Ray, Ashley Ribeiro of Oxnard, Kristina Rodriguez of Thousand Oaks, Kristen Roye of Ventura and Miranda Sager of Canyon Country.
— Karin Grennan represents California Lutheran University.
Cottage Health President Named Fellow for International Health Care Study
Ron Werft, president and CEO of Cottage Health, has been awarded the 2015 Walker-Sullivan Fellowship award.
Presented by California Health Foundation & Trust, which is based in Sacramento, the award is given to recognize outstanding health care leaders who are willing to study health care in one or more foreign countries.
Fellows are required to prepare summary reports for the foundation as well as the California Hospital Association. The objective of the study is to compare and contrast health care delivery and responsibility in other nations and better understand how these methods might have application in the United States.
Werft will focus his fellowship on population health and end-of-life care. His intensive study will begin in Prague, Czech Republic.
He then will travel to Bratislava, Slovakia; Oslo, Norway and London, England. The trip is sponsored by the California Health Foundation & Trust.
“I am deeply honored to have been selected as a Walker-Sullivan Fellow. This is a rare opportunity to be able to learn first-hand from health care leaders in other countries, and to exchange ideas and share experiences with them,” said Werft, who joined Cottage in 1987 and has been its president and CEO since 2000.
Fellowship award recipients in past years have included Thomas Priselac, president and CEO of Cedars-Sinai in Los Angeles Dr. Steven Packer, president and CEO of Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula.
— Maria Zate represents Cottage Health.
UCSB Ecologist Untangle Food Webs with Mathematical Model
Food webs are incredibly complex networks of interactions between organisms and the things they eat. One creature’s prey is another creature’s predator, while some organisms consume one type of food in their juvenile stage and another as adults.
Thousands of modeling studies have been developed to describe different consumer-resource relationships in the natural world, but a new general consumer-resource model, developed by ecologists affiliated with the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at UC Santa Barbara, captures the underlying structure of all ecological food webs and provides a framework from which new models that share the same assumptions and mathematics can emerge.
“It rolls a century’s worth of food-web mathematics into a single model,” said U.S. Geological Survey/ UCSB ecologist Kevin Lafferty, lead author of the report published in Science Magazine.
He and co-authors from Stanford University, Princeton University, Santa Fe Institute and the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom formulated a mathematical model that outlines behaviors, circumstances and effects of the various strategies employed by consumers, from social predators such as the enormous killer whale to tiny parasites and pathogens.
“There’s a long history in ecology of striving for generality through the use of simple models, because models can help identify the key dynamical features common to many ecological systems,” said co-author Cheryl Briggs, professor in UCSB’s Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology.
The effects of this general consumer-resource model are far-reaching: resource management, conservation efforts, public health, urban planning and agriculture are but a few of the fields that could benefit from this wide-reaching concept.
“This is a key step to a unifying theory of ecology,” said co-author Armand Kuris, zoologist and professor in EEMB. “By removing the hidden assumptions of earlier work, we can now model all complex life cycles for all feeding strategies. These new models can more effectively tackle urgent problems such as climate change.”
Giulio De Leo of Stanford University; Andrew P. Dobson of Princeton University and Santa Fe Institute and Thilo Gross of the University of Bristol also conducted research for this model.
— Sonia Fernandez is the engineering and public affairs writer at UC Santa Barbara.
Devereux California Receives Media Grant from Hutton Parker Foundation in Time for 70th Anniversary
This Media and Marketing Grant Program provides Santa Barbara-based organizations an opportunity for targeted, timely community outreach. Since the funding program’s inception in 1998, more than 220 nonprofit organizations have benefited from this small grant funding opportunity.
This award is certainly timely, as in 2015 Devereux celebrates its 70th anniversary of caring service in this community.
Thanks to the Hutton Parker Foundation, Devereux will have a four-page marketing centerpiece spread in this week’s Independent (issue available Thursday, Aug. 20).
The adult-care organization is grateful to have the support of a partner like the Hutton Parker Foundation, a company that encourages local nonprofits to flourish and progress through financial assistance.
It is also excited to expand and grow community relationships and partnerships with the assistance of this advertising insert.
For 70 years, Devereux California has provided quality behavioral health services in residential, day, supported living and independent living programs to over 100 adults throughout Santa Barbara County.
Established by special education pioneer Helena T. Devereux in Pennsylvania in 1912, and in 1945 in California, Devereux is one of the largest national nonprofit providers of behavioral health care services in the country.
To get involved or for more information, please contact the Manager of External Affairs Cassi Noel at 805.968.2525 x1-202 or [email protected].
— Cassi Noel represents Devereux California.
Closures Scheduled for Jalama Road During Final Week of August
Jalama Road will be closed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. at milepost 8.8 on the nights of Aug. 24, 25 and 26 ending at 6 a.m Aug. 27.
The closures are scheduled for girder construction activities.
Portable changeable message boards are in place to alert travelers on Jalama Road near Highway 1 and at Jalama Beach.
A full road closure is required because of the size of cranes required to lift each 118 Ton precast concrete girder into place.
For questions, please contact the Public Works Department during regular business hours at 805.739.8780 or at 805.681.4990; you may also call their 24-hour phone information line at 805.681.4995.
Updates will be posted at the following County of Santa Barbara, Public Works Department sites:
The Public Works Department would like to thank local residents, cyclists, pedestrians and the traveling public for their patience and cooperation during these critical work periods.
— Eric Pearson is the construction section manager for the Public Works Department, Transportation Division.
With SBCC Classes Resuming Monday, Santa Barbara MTD Girds for Bus Line Backups
Ongoing Castillo Street underpass construction expected to further tangle traffic when thousands of students return to campus
Ongoing construction on the Castillo Street underpass has forced lane closures and detours, inconveniences that will be amplified when thousands of students return to campus.
“MTD is experiencing some delays due to congestion, as is everyone who regularly uses that roadway,” said Jerry Estrada, MTD’s general manager. “Delays may increase once SBCC classes begin on Monday.”
Caltrans is attempting to solve the riddle of the continual water seepage at the Castillo Street underpass by installing interlocking concrete pavers. Groundwater seeps have been a decades-long problem at the site, wrecking roads, creating potholes and creating a slippery look and feel for motorists.
The southbound Highway 101 entrance ramp from Castillo Street has been closed for two weeks, and is expected to re-open Aug. 31. That same day, Caltrans will close the southbound exit ramp for four weeks.
Crews hope the $873,000 project, expected to be completed by the end of September, will allow groundwater to drain, while improving road conditions.
Estrada said the existing entrance ramp closure contributes to congestion in the area, which slows down bus travel times.
The upcoming exit ramp closure will require MTD to detour its Line 15x from Isla Vista. Those buses will instead exit on Garden Street, turn right on Yanonali Street, right again on Montecito Street, and then head toward the intersection of Castillo and Montecito streets.
If that detour proves to be too congested for MTD and its bus riders, MTD will exit on Las Positas Road, then continue to Cliff Drive and on to SBCC.
“Every effort will be made to accommodate our passengers as well as possible, given the conditions,” Estrada said.
SBCC also is encouraging its students to take alternative transportation to avoid the congestion.
Goleta Officials Question Financials, Ownership of Goleta Valley Community Center
Council will wait for a complete audit, but discusses taking over management of deficit-plagued facility from its nonprofit operators
After hearing a comprehensive update on the facility’s operations Tuesday, one City Council member suggested taking over operations of the city-owned property from the namesake nonprofit organization that’s managed the site since 1977.
The somewhat confrontational exchange between council and GVCC leaders ended with a unanimous vote of the four council members present to take up the issue again in October — when the center’s audit and a five-year plan could shed clarity on issues.
“At the very least, I think we need to give them a chance to come back here with a plan,” said Councilman Tony Vallejo, who as a CPA and relatively new council member cut the GVCC some slack for not having an audit completed.
Officials called the Goleta Valley Community Center at 5679 Hollister Ave. a gem that serves as a venue for everything from child care to senior services and rentable special event space, with an added commitment to nonprofit organizations.
Topping a list of grievances were unmaintained playing fields and parking lots, inconsistent rental rates and at least a four-year record of operating in the red.
The city has owned the seven-acre facility valued at $4.5 million since 2013, first taking over the lease from Santa Barbara County when Goleta incorporated in 2002.
The iconic building has been in the heart of Old Town Goleta since 1927, when it was built as Goleta Union School before it closed in 1976.
It could also be the site of a new civic center and city hall if Goleta officials decide to relocate from 130 Cremona Drive.
Goleta subleases to the GVCC and supports operations by not charging rent — the county was charging $3,000 a month — and by donating approximately $100,000 toward activities and programming over the years.
The GVCC, which currently has a month-to-month lease with the city pending negotiations, has saved some $470,000 in lease payments, which made the revelation all the more hard to swallow for the city.
With revenues of $447,482 in the 2013 fiscal year — the most recent data given to the city — the GVCC finished nearly $20,000 in the hole.
Councilman Roger Aceves admonished the eight-member volunteer GVCC nonprofit board for not having an audit.
GVCC general manager Rob Locke said there had been confusion over whether the city wanted a review or full audit, but he confirmed one was under way.
“We’ve asked for it, even offered to pay for it,” Aceves said. “The reluctance to do the audit is very concerning.”
He wondered why the GVCC was charging its four tenants — the Community Action Commission running Head Start, Klong Fitness, Rainbow School and St. Therese Classical Academy — below fair-market value rent since not all of them were nonprofits, but Locke later clarified that they all were.
City management analysis Luz Reyes-Martin said rents weren’t consistently increased over the past 10 years (0 percent to 2 percent) although the nonprofit board just increased Locke’s salary by 8 percent. The center employs eight people in six full-time equivalent positions.
The city recommended a re-evaluation of rates, since most revenue comes from rent and user fees.
Reyes-Martin said alternative management options included not renewing a lease and taking over operations (city staff or contracted personnel); replacing the GVCC with another nonprofit operator (city sets rental rates); negotiating with the GVCC (city sets rates); or adopting a wait-and-see approach.
“Clearly, if you’re losing money every year you can’t sustain an operation,” Councilman Michael Bennett said.
“I will tell you now I will never support public employees running the operation,” he said. “I think we need more answers to the issues you’ve raised.”
Aceves, on the other hand, leaned toward city or contracted employees operating the facility instead. Mayor Paula Perotte expressed similar frustration.
Councilman Jim Farr did not attend the meeting.
“We’ve tried and tried to work with the board, and every time we try we just get basically nonresponsive answers,” Aceves said.
“It’s a big city asset with a big responsibility. I don’t see how it’s going to get any better.”
The council appointed Vallejo to be its liaison to the GVCC board — a change the organization is excited about, Locke told Noozhawk on Wednesday.
Locke said he’s already contacted the CPA firm conducting the audit — MacFarlane, Faletti & Co. — asking the firm to expedite the process.
Contrary to council belief, Locke said the GVCC is actually increasing its revenues. He said 2014 financials show the organization in the black by about $45,000 for the first time since the economic downturn.
“It’s difficult to say what the city has in store for the property,” he said. “I heard some positive things, and I definitely heard some concerning things. We want to fall in line with whatever the requests are.
“We’re kind of turning the corner. I remain optimistic that they’re going to find something that works for the city and the community.”
Man Injured in Fall From Top of Santa Barbara Parking Garage
Authorities say victim fell 20 feet to roof of Dargan’s Irish Pub, transported to hospital
A man fell onto the roof of a popular downtown Santa Barbara pub from the top floor of an adjacent parking garage Sunday night. The victim was transported to the hospital with undisclosed injuries.
He said it’s about a 20-foot drop to the roof from the top of the City Parking Lot 10 garage.
“We packaged the patient and the truck company and engine company lowered him down using a ladder slide,” McCoy said.
The man was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital with undisclosed injuries.
It’s unclear how the man ended up on the Dargan’s roof, McCoy said.
“He didn’t really state how he got there, so we don’t really have a reason why he was in one location and on the roof of another,” he said.
Santa Barbara police also responded to the scene, McCoy said.
The man’s identity and the extent of his injuries was not known early Monday.
Ventura Man Arrested as Suspect in Spree of Overnight Auto Burglaries in Montecito
A Ventura man was chased down by police and arrested on burglary and other charges Sunday morning in Montecito, after nearly a dozen break-ins were reported overnight.
According to Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover, a suspect was observed breaking into a vehicle in the 100 block of Olive Mill Road about 6 a.m. Sunday. The couple who witnessed the incident reported that the man then ran off toward Coast Village Road.
Santa Barbara police and sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene, and Hoover said an SBPD sergeant observed a man matching the suspect’s description walking west in the 1200 block of Coast Village Road near Middle Road.
She said the man refused to stop and a foot chase ensued. Although the sergeant was able to apprehend the suspect, Hoover said both men were injured in the altercation.
Hoover identified the suspect as 25-year-old Timothy Rodriguez of Ventura. He was arrested and booked into County Jail on charges of burglary, identity theft, petty theft, possession of stolen property, possession of burglary tools and resisting arrest with injury.
Hoover said Monday that Rodriguez had given a false name at the time of his arrest, that of his deceased brother, Daniel Ricketts, but that his identity was revealed during the fingerprinting process.
"Rodriguez likely provided his family member’s information in an attempt to conceal a misdemeanor warrant out of Ventura County," Hoover said, adding that additional charges will be submitted to the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.
Rodriguez was treated for minor injuries at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital before being transferred to jail, Hoover said. The sergeant, whose name was not disclosed, was treated at a local medical facility.
Hoover said Rodriguez originally provided a false identity to law enforcement. She added that he was found to be in possession of stolen property from other reported auto burglaries and thefts in the Montecito area.
Eleven cases were reported in the neighborhood overnight.
Hoover commended the citizens who reported the incident and provided information on the suspect.
“We also want to remind vehicle owners to utilize anti-theft devices, lock their vehicle doors/windows and keep their valuables out of plain view,” she said.
Anyone with information on the string of Montecito auto burglaries and thefts, including any suspicious subjects involved, is asked to call the Sheriff’s Department at 805.681.4100.
Los Olivos Rancher Willy Chamberlin to be Honored at Saturday Tribute
A tribute to William “Willy” Bradford Chamberlin will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Chamberlin family ranch near Los Olivos.
The 75-year-old cattle rancher died July 28 at the ranch on Figueroa Mountain Road.
After growing up on Rancho Los Potreros, Chamberlin attended Claremont McKenna College and served in the military before returning to Los Olivos to help manage the ranch.
He was elected to the county Board of Supervisors and served for 18 months before a court battle ended with his challenger being declared the winner instead.
Chamberlin remained active in agriculture issues, including serving on the county’s Agricultural Advisory Committee.
He also served 50 years on the board for Bixby Land Co., and was in this 10th year as chairman, his family said.
Survivors include his wife, Ann Peterson Chamberlin, from whom he is separated; Jerrie Gove, his companion of 11 years; his former wife, Gail Wagenseil Gelles; his daughter, Ann Martha Chamberlin, and her husband, Sami Revah; his son, Russell Chamberlin and his fiancée, Monika McCoy; two grandchildren, Olivia and Layne Chamberlin; his sister, Sarah Chamberlin, and her husband, Ben Bottoms; his brother, Fred Chamberlin, and his wife, Johanna; and a nephew and several nieces.
Chamberlin was preceded in death by his daughter, Beth Chamberlin. In her honor, he had helped establish The Beth Chamberlin Endowment for Cultural Understanding under the auspices of UCSB Arts & Lectures.
The family has said that donations can be made in Chamberlin’s honor to the Beth Chamberlin Endowment for Cultural Understanding, to the Clarement McKenna College Tortuga Endowment or to the Santa Ynez Historical Society.
An online memorial site for those who knew Chamberlin has been created at Never-Gone.com.
Arrangements were handled by Loper Funeral Chapel in Solvang.
Driver Reportedly Flees Santa Maria Rollover Crash That Left Passenger with Major Injuries
SUV flips into strawberry field off Highway 1 near Rancho Maria Golf Course
One person suffered major injuries Sunday afternoon in a single-vehicle rollover crash on Highway 1 in front of the Rancho Maria Golf Course.
The red SUV ran off Highway 1 at about 1:45 p.m., landing on its side in a strawberry field east of the roadway, the California Highway Patrol said.
The driver, whose name wasn’t released, ran away from the crash scene, the CHP said.
One passenger was taken to the hospital with major head injuries, but a second passenger was unhurt, the CHP said.
The CHP said the SUV’s speed at the time of the rollover has not been determined.
The cause of the crash is under investigation.
Popularity of Stand-Up Paddleboards, Kayaks Spurs Harbor Education Effort to Keep Waters Calm
In wake of close calls, Santa Barbara waterfront officials want to teach paddlers and kayakers how to co-exist with motor boats
The Santa Barbara Waterfront Department plans to install signs, hand out lanyards and create an educational plan to soothe tensions between stand-up paddleboarders, kayakers and motor boat users.
Waterfront harbor manager Mick Kronman said the popularity of the harbor has skyrocketed.
“It’s a crowded house down there,” he told the Harbor Commission last week.
“We have gotten to the point in the harbor where it is really, really congested with watercraft of all kinds,” he said. “Motor boats, sailboats and especially ... the exponential expansion of stand-up paddleboards and kayaks; it has really become a crowded area.”
So far, Kronman said, motor boat users and paddlers have been able to avoid accidents, but there have been close calls.
“Everyone is pointing fingers at each other,” he said.
The educational campaign will be directed toward paddleboarders because “there are far more of them,” Kronman said.
The waterfront department studied harbors in Dana Point and Santa Cruz to come up with a template for an education plan.
Harbor officials plan to install several bright green and red signs to warn people to avoid the main channel.
They want paddleboarders to stay on the edges and sides of the harbor, while boats use the middle.
In addition, waterfront staff plan to hand out lanyards with laminated cards, which will include a map and educational reminders about how to avoid contact with motor boat users.
The lanyard will be color-coded to identify which company rented the gear.
The lanyards come off easily when pulled in the case of an emergency, although Kronman said he knows of no problems that have arisen from using them on the water.
“It comes apart very easily if they need to remove it,” he said.
“We are confident they are safe, easily released and, if they do fall into the water, they can be picked up really fast.”
The lanyards also will help harbor officials identify who is renting from a company and who is bringing their own paddleboards.
“I don’t think the problem will be within the rental companies, but it is going to be with the people who bring their kayaks and paddleboards,” said commissioner Betsy Cramer, who also suggested an on-site video to educate people. “I don’t know how individuals are going to figure out what to do. People don’t read signs.”
“People don’t generally pay attention to what they are doing,” he said. “They’re on vacation.”
Kababik says he does his best to inform people of the potential dangers, and has talked to the waterfront department about hiring a guard to direct paddlers and kayakers in the harbor.
Kronman said the city is considering a part-time position to maintain safety.
“This is a reminder to boaters, too,” he said. “Everyone has got to share the harbor.”
Lompoc’s Creative Crosswalks Add Artistic Flair To Pedestrian Street Scene
By painting four winning designs from street art competition, community turns Olde Town Market intersection into celebration of Lompoc
Four crosswalks received creative touches Friday in Lompoc.
This summer’s final Olde Town Market — with a theme of celebrating Lompoc — included the unveiling of the city’s first creative crosswalks at the intersection of H Street and Cypress Avenue.
Using stencils, workers spent five hours Friday afternoon turning the boring black asphalt into canvases for art with four designs selected after a competition earlier this year.
“The excitement, the energy here tonight is just unparalleled,” said Ashley Costa, executive director of the Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization.
“It’s new. It’s unique. It’s the first in our area, the first in Santa Barbara County, of course, the first in Lompoc so we’re making history.”
With the pilot project becoming reality, Costa hopes donors will support funding more crosswalk conversions.
“I think it will be a lot easier to convince funders that this is a valuable, easily executed project,” she added.
The project, aimed at dealing with obesity and physical inactivity, also was supported by the City of Lompoc, the Lompoc Valley Arts Council and the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Bureau.
The four winning designs by three artists — Dionne Lugue, Marlee Bedford and Devyn Adams — represent the local arts and culture of Lompoc: trailing flower vines, painting tools, grapes and glasses, and Native American-inspired paintings.
Lompoc businesses helped complete the crosswalks, with Armorcoat Painting Co. doing the painting and New Lows making the stencils and creating the 300 tote bags that were snapped up in the first hour Friday.
Designs are original artwork and were limited to the safety colors of yellow and white with black asphalt as the canvas. The new crosswalks still meet traffic and safety regulations, officials said.
Olde Town Market is an annual summer event series presented by the Lompoc Valley chamber, and it showcases local community attractions each Friday evening in July and August.
Healthy Lompoc Coalition is a multisector stakeholder group created by the Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization in response to the growing problem of obesity and physical inactivity in the area.
Cinema in Focus: ‘Amy’
3 Stars — Powerful
Amy Winehouse was a musical genius. She was also a troubled and conflicted young woman whose downward spiral ended her life in a drug-induced heart failure at the age of 27.
Perhaps the defining description of Winehouse’s musical skill woven with her drug addiction came in 2008, when she won five Grammy Awards.
Pulling her childhood friend off-stage at this moment when she is receiving the greatest recognition of her musical ability, she says to her: “It’s so boring without drugs.”
The sad irony of this moment is unparalleled by the fact that her song about refusing to go to rehab gave her three of those awards.
A troubled young woman whose father began an affair when Winehouse was 18 months old and then divorced her mother when she was 9, her mother was too weak to guide her strong-willed daughter. The combination left her vulnerable to experimenting with alcohol and drugs from an early age.
The absence of her father created in Winehouse a tormented and troubled soul who turned to music to find an outlet for her pain. She surprised everyone — including herself — with her talent that began winning singing competitions in her early teens.
This blend of pain and genius created a soulful jazz musician with skill and depth far beyond her years. She was signed at the age of 16 and quickly moved out of her mother’s home and began both her meteoric rise to fame as well as her rapid descent into addiction.
Her longing for love made her especially vulnerable to doing drugs with the man she fell in love with and eventually married, and it was he who led her deeper down the path of addiction.
The sorrow of Winehouse’s life cannot be expressed in words. The weaving of her family’s early videos with the observations of the various people who knew her is masterful.
Perhaps the most telling example of this is when her old friends and managers try to get her to go to rehab and she turns to her father who has re-entered her life now that she is rich and famous. Winehouse is described as acting like a 7-year-old child sitting in his lap and says she will do what her father tells her to do. He informs her that she does not need rehab.
As others observe, that was the moment when she could have been kept from the path that destroyed her. It is no wonder that her father, Mitch, contests this depiction of himself and withdrew his support and cooperation from the making of the film.
The premature death of so many young artists is a great loss, not only for them and their families, but also for all of us who could have benefited from their artistic genius. Winehouse primarily expresses her pain through her music, proclaiming for example that “Love is a Losing Game,” but she could have experienced far more if she had lived a long life after recovering from her addictive loves that harmed her.
Although Winehouse was Jewish, there is no mention of her or her family following their faith tradition. We wonder what would have been different for this young artist if she had a family and a faith community to support her, and help her evaluate the path and choices of her life.
» Singing the blues with sophisticated jazz forms not only allowed Winehouse to find healing for her own soul, but also for her listeners. How do music and the arts bring healing and insight into your life?
» Winehouse’s addiction to Blake Fielder’s affection was a love that she later described as a losing game because of their shared drug and alcohol addictions. Have you ever experienced an “addiction to love” that caused a decline in your life? How would you understand that relationship now?
» The power of crack cocaine to addict the brain is well documented. What would you have done if you were a friend or family member of Winehouse? Do you think their “hands-off” approach was justified?
— Cinema in Focus is a social and spiritual movie commentary. Hal Conklin is a former mayor of Santa Barbara and Denny Wayman is pastor of Free Methodist Church, 1435 Cliff Drive. For more reviews, visit www.cinemainfocus.com, or follow them on Twitter: @CinemaInFocus. The opinions expressed are their own.
Mona Charen: Donald Trump Will ‘Take Our Country Back’ ... From Whom?
Let’s assume, for fun, that Donald Trump’s supporters are thinking with their brains, not their viscera. If so, they will want to know that the issue he has lassoed for self-aggrandizement has been utterly demagogued.
Trump is playing them for chumps.
A young woman was murdered by an illegal alien in a so-called “sanctuary city.” Awful, of course. San Francisco’s officials bear some of the blame for Kate Steinle’s death by declining to enforce the law.
Trump has abused the trust of his audiences by suggesting that an illegal immigrant crime spree is the great threat to our nation. Trump admirers yearn to “take our country back.”
The United States is very much in decline, but the role of illegal immigration in that slide is negligible. Our lack of economic growth, our withdrawal from world leadership, the decline of work and the rise of dependency on government, law flouting by those in power, the degradation of our entertainment culture, rent-seeking by entrenched interests, the stultifying politicization of education (especially higher education) — to say nothing of the nuclearization and enrichment of the world’s worst terror state — those are the great challenges we face.
Obama’s flagrantly illegal waiver for illegal immigrants living here made everyone who values the rule of law see red (The judiciary has thus far stayed the amnesty), and yet, a little perspective is in order.
Illegal immigration is declining. Between 1990 and 2007, the number of illegal immigrants tripled. In 2000, an estimated 1.6 million such immigrants entered the United States. Since 2012, that number has dropped to about 400,000 (even accounting for the flood of underage migrants last year).
We’ve built fences along all but the most inaccessible areas along the border. Over the past decade, we’ve spent $10.7 billion on fences, cameras and other measures, including doubling the number of Border Patrol agents to 18,000.
We’ve also spent billions of dollars on biometric identity management and other things, bringing the total expenditure for border control to $16.2 billion last year. Those truly serious about ending illegal immigration altogether must grapple with national identity cards.
Another fence isn’t going to do it. Forty percent of illegals are visa overstays.
The population of illegal immigrants here is aging, which suggests that fewer young people are making the increasingly treacherous journey across the desert.
Meanwhile, the dramatic drop in Mexico’s birth rate, to 2.4 children per woman today from 7.3 in 1960, suggests a problem that is on the way to solving itself.
Demographers say that when the birth rate falls below two, emigration stops. Other Central and South American nations are experiencing similar drops.
As for the epidemic of crime for which illegal aliens are said to be responsible — it’s a myth. Crime rates have declined as immigration has increased.
Much has been said about the percentage of federal prisoners who are illegal and/or Hispanic, but federal prisoners represent only about 14 percent of total U.S. inmates, and according the Bureau of Justice Statistics, only 7 percent of federal offenders are incarcerated for violent crimes (most violent crimes are state matters).
As the Pew Research Center notes, the past two decades have seen a spike in the number of immigration-related crimes leading to federal prison sentences. These “unlawful re-entry” convictions have changed the complexion of federal inmates.
Whereas in 1992 Hispanics comprised 23 percent of federal inmates, that share has grown to 48 percent today.
Second- and third-generation Hispanics commit crimes at higher rates than non-Hispanic whites, but at lower rates than African-Americans. As for the foreign-born — that is, first-generation immigrants — for the most part, they keep their noses clean.
The American Immigration Council records that “among men age 18–39 (who comprise the vast majority of the prison population), the 3.5 percent incarceration rate of the native-born in 2000 was 5 times higher than the 0.7 percent incarceration rate of the foreign-born.”
Having stoked rage about illegal immigrants, Trump now urges that after deporting 11 million or 12 million people, he will “let the good ones come back,” force Mexico to pay for a “wall” and “impound remittances” from “illegal wages.”
A candidate for student council president of a third-rate high school could devise more serious solutions than those, but then, student council types tend to be in earnest.
Trump is simply on the ultimate ego trip.
Letter to the Editor: Here We Go Again with ‘Black Lives Matter’ Movement
Recently, the “Black Lives Matter” movement kicked into high gear. What is it all about?
According to some, the BLM movement “was born out of hatred and has shifted from talking about police brutality to being violent against officers.”
To Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clark, a Democrat, the BLM movement protests have turned into “a political construct” and are “nothing more than an attempt to energize and mobilize the black vote for the 2016 elections.”
He goes on to say once again thugs, criminals and race hustlers are destroying Ferguson, Mo. He concludes, this dangerous movement will be coming to cities near all of us.
I ask you, America, are these BLM activists promoting black racism, especially an anti-white agenda? If not, why do they reject “All Lives Matter”? Furthermore, why are they not equally concerned about black on black killings, especially in Chicago?
It is time for the black community, the media, our divisive president, Barack Obama, and politicians to face reality. America and the majority of police officers are not racist. It is time to look for the real solutions concerning the black community.
Letter to the Editor: If Investors Are Smart, They’ll Get Out of Oil
The price of oil is plunging at an almost unprecedented rate. On Aug. 19, 2015 Brent Crude - a standard used by all nations - sold at $46.94/barrel, thirty cents above its January low. In mid 2014 it had peaked at $115+/barrel.
Industry insiders told us these prices are typically at their best from March to May. Sure enough, during that period Brent Crude prices rose to the mid 60s; immediately afterward, however, they began a relentless decline that shows no sign of stopping. There was an especially sharp drop on the day the accord with Iran was announced.
There are many reasons for this phenomenon. The CEOs of oil/gas conglomerates had gravely miscalculated the degree of demand growth worldwide; the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), notably including Saudi Arabia, refused to play its usual role of cutting production to support prices; the looming prospect of renewed production in Iran and other countries threatened to inflate supply.
The economic viability of oil/gas companies big and small has been vitally affected: their stock prices are in free fall, their investors are losing money. "An index of publicly traded energy stocks in the Standard & Poor's 500 fell 24.3% during the [fiscal year] ..." (Los Angeles Times, Aug. 14, 2015)
In the fiscal year ending June 30, two of the nation's biggest pension funds, The California Public Employees' Retirement System and the California's State Teachers' Retirement System, together posted losses of $5 billion in their oil and gas portfolios. Both organizations posted overall gains for the year: " CalPERS, with $300 billion in assets under management, reported an overall gain of 2.4%. CalSTRS, with about $150 billion in assets, had a total return of 4.8%." (ibid.)
So - surprise or not - we now know that moral and environmentally-conscious investment is the profit-making investment. Drastically reduced oil prices are only one of the reasons for this. There is growing awareness among sophisticated individual and organizational investors that oil/gas producers have in the ground five times more product than the planet's climate can tolerate if we hope to sustain the life of our species here. No matter how big or influential these corporations are, most of what they have to sell will become "stranded assets," product that can never be sold because eventually communities and governments will, for the sake of their own survival, forbid its excavation and use.
In response to this growing awareness, and because increasing numbers of investors think that those who act to wreck the planet through endless greenhouse gas emissions should not be supported, the fossil fuel divestment movement is expanding exponentially worldwide.
" ... according to research published earlier this year by Impax Asset Management, 'historical data shows that over the past seven years eliminating the fossil fuel sector from a global benchmark index would have actually had a small positive return effect.' ...
"RBC Capital Markets has a division called SRI Wealth Management that can help clients create fossil fuel free portfolios, and companies like Progressive Asset Management support networks of investment consultants who can work with clients on eliminating fossil fuels from their holdings. ... The Green Century Equity Fund invests in names in a well-known index of environmentally sustainable companies, the MSCI KLD 400 Social Index. Both have three-star ratings overall from Morningstar. Another equity fund option is Portfolio 21, which says it 'invests in companies designing environmentally superior products, using renewable energy, and developing efficient production methods.' ...
Shelton Green Alpha Fund was offered to investors only in March, so it doesn't have much of a track record yet." (cnbc.com, Sept. 17, 2013)
I believe Fidelity offers a fund that tracks one of the MSCI indexes. Perhaps you can provide more up-to-date information along this line.
Earlier this year, having learned from American Century staff that that fund group provided no fossil-free fund choice, I switched my IRA to Green Century Equity Fund, mentioned above. (The company also provides a bond fund.)
If you are an investor, big or small, and you want to improve your chances of making a profit, review your holdings for their inclusion of fossil fuel producers and their associated industries. If you find them there, shift to one of the above.
Get smart and get out!
Letter to the Editor: Oil/Gas Companies Reap Benefits of California’s Corruption
The web site of California's Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board bears a photograph of Governor Jerry Brown, and the motto "Protecting California's Water."
If truth were to replace hype, that motto would read "Protecting California's Oil and Gas Industries."
The never-ending accumulation of moral and environmental degradation thrust on the citizens of this state by its governor - that PR magician cloaked in the robes of a forward-looking progressive who asks us to recognize the threat posed by climate change, and who recommends committing future state executives to environmentally sound policies - that never-ending accumulation is now piled even higher, since - is this any longer a surprise? - still more putrid agency misbehavior has been added to the history of Jerry Brown's maladministration.
"Despite a finding that unlined wastewater pits near Kern County's Edison oil field have contaminated groundwater, ... The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board ignored its own staff recommendation and voted to let Water Management Co. continue disposing of excess wastewater by spraying it on hillsides for another 2 1/2 years.
"The board's staff report cited high levels of salt and boron accumulated in the unpermitted spray field, which could make its way into nearby Cottonwood Creek and eventually the Kern River. It recommended Valley Water be ordered to cease the practice by Aug. 15.
"But Thursday's vote gave the company until January 2018 to come into full compliance.
"Clay Rodgers, assistant executive officer of the water board's Fresno office argued ... that the spray field should be shut down immediately and told the board that the company's 27 waste pits in the Race Track Hill area were the source of 'significant' contamination.
"The company's experts ... disputed how far the contaminated plume had traveled and whether ... its slow progression presented an imminent threat. ... according to the company, cutting by half the amount of water they could store would reduce oil production among the companies that rely on its facilities.
"Rodgers acknowledged that the water board staff had failed for decades to properly regulate the sites." (Los Angeles Times, July 31, 2015)
Have we heard this before? And from every California regulatory agency?
18th century playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan memorably had one of his characters observe: "Fertilizer does no good in a heap, but a little spread around works miracles all over."
That has become the byword of the Brown administration: fling perfumed manure to the media but, absent the glare of national scrutiny, spread actual contaminant filth into the earth, air and water used by the state's citizens - in many cases, its poorest.
Does any sophisticated person believe that the Central Valley Water Board acted without the governor's knowledge and approval? Does anyone believe the universal, constant failure of the state's regulatory agencies to monitor or control the behavior of oil/gas conglomerates - or the universal, constant failure of these agencies to enforce federal/state environmental law with regard to these companies - is a result of rogue behavior by agency heads? Does anyone believe these agency heads are - one and all - incompetents whose failures to do their jobs pass unnoticed by a governor too busy with other matters? Does anyone believe these agency heads are all simply swamped by duties too difficult for decent human beings to manage, while the official who appointed them wrings his hands in helpless confusion?
Agency heads follow their marching orders. They know too - as does anyone who has the interest to inquire - that in 2011 Governor Brown fired Conservation Dep't. Director Derek Chernow because Chernow would not accede to the governor's directive to violate environmental law by giving oil/gas companies drilling permits absent the rigorous scrutiny required by the Environmental Protection Agency. (Los Angeles Times, Jan. 12, 2012)
The director of the state's Division of Oil, Gas and Geothermal Resources knew this when his agency looked the other way while oil companies illegally injected contaminated wastewater into wells drilled through aquifers containing clean water.
The Water Quality Control Board knew this when it remained silent while oil/gas conglomerates poured toxic "flowback" material into hundreds of illegal - often unlined - pits where the contamination could migrate to aquifers used for drinking and/or irrigation for crop lands.
The Department of Toxic Substances Control knew this when it permitted Exide Technologies to operate for decades without a permanent license while that company racked up dozens of serious environmental law violations: arsenic emissions that posed increased cancer risk to 110,000 citizens in Vernon, CA; lead contamination that has infiltrated the soil of up to 10,000 area homes.
Following his dismissal of Director Chernow, Governor Brown appointed Mark Nechodom, who saw to it that fracking permits were readily distributed, resulting in massive drilling throughout the state, primarily in Kern County. Unencumbered by any effective regulation, wells sprouted up close to schools, homes, farms and orchards. Poisonous flowback liquids were dumped into open ponds, "flared" (burned off) into the air, expelling noxious fumes for miles around, giving schoolchildren and their parents, uncles and aunts - mostly Latino - severe headaches, nosebleeds, asthma, seizures, skin lesions and possibly cancer.
From these working families 50,000 petitioned the governor to come see for himself what his policies had done to them; asked that he ban fracking or at least institute regulations that would protect their health. Brown ignored their pleas, issuing from the statehouse a press release to the effect that fracking has no ill effects.
Environmental activist Bill McKibben, in a recent Op-Ed piece for the Los Angeles Times, said of Brown's fracking policies, "It's as if the governor banned smoking in California but turned the Central Valley over to growing tobacco."
McKibben ignored the millions of dollars contributed by oil/gas producers to the campaign coffers and favorite ballot measures of Jerry Brown; I don't. McKibben called the governor's behavior a "blind spot." I call it corruption.
We in California are fortunate to have some true environmental champions among our state legislators: State Senator Fran Pavely (D-Agoura Hills) and our own Hannah-Beth Jackson and Das Williams among them. Like the legendary Sisyphus, they keep pushing uphill, against massive oil/gas conglomerate opposition, the most effective environmental legislation they can achieve. But their efforts to secure from Governor Brown even a meeting - or a direct answer to their appeals that he take specific action to address these widespread regulatory failures - are ignored.
The media often trumpet Governor Brown's highly-publicized recommendations to address climate change: restricted vehicle fuel use, cleaner heating fuels, increased amount of electricity obtained from renewable sources, etc. But few seem to notice that these Brown-sponsored policies do not include a ban on greenhouse-gas-emitting unconventional drilling; few seem to notice that the proposals are mandated to be implemented by 2030, long after Brown has left office. In other words, they commit a government other than his own to fulfillment of these far-seeing provisions!
It's unfortunate that many Democrats here seem not to have the character to face up to this notable corruption by one of their own - though its evidence stares us in the face. It's unfortunate, too, that many Republicans, who dislike the governor and enjoy any criticism of him, stay silent on his failure faithfully to execute the law because they love the result of his being in bed with oil/gas companies.
There is, however, one state official who is standing up for those who demand of their government lawful conduct: attorney and Lancaster Mayor Rex Parris.
"[Dep't. of Conservation Director Mark} Nechodom was named this week in a federal lawsuit on behalf of a group of Kern County farmers who allege that Brown, the oil and gas division and others conspired with oil companies to allow the illegal injections and to create a more lax regulatory environment for energy firms.
"Nechodon ... resigned Thursday. ... The lawsuit was filed under federal racketeering statutes and claims the conspiracy deprived Kern County farmers of access to clean water.
"Attorney Rex Parris, whose firm filed the lawsuit, said in a written statement ... that the case alleges a broad and complex conspiracy involving other officials. 'We are not surprised that Nechodom resigned a day after the filing of this lawsuit. ... We are confident he is just one of many resignations to come.'" (L.A. Times, June 6, 2015)
"[Parris] has won several multimillion-dollar jury verdicts for clients, and ... was lead trial counsel in a civil defamation lawsuit filed by five former employees of Guess, Inc. that resulted in a $370-million judgement against company co-founder Georges Marciano." (L.A. Times, Sept. 20, 2009)
I am not alone.
Los Alamos Man Dies of Injuries from Rollover Crash on Highway 135
A 29-year-old man suffered fatal injuries early Saturday in a rollover crash on Highway 135 near Los Alamos, according to the California Highway Patrol.
The wreck occurred shortly after 4 a.m. as the 1996 Toyota 4Runner was southbound on the highway, south of Harris Grade Road, the CHP said.
Traveling at an unknown speed, the CHP said, the 4Runner swerved to the left across the northbound lane, ran off the roadway and overturned several times.
The driver, a Los Alamos resident who was not wearing a seat belt, was ejected from the vehicle and suffered critical injuries, the CHP said.
He was transported to Marian Regional Medical Center in Santa Maria, where he was pronounced dead.
His name was withheld pending notification of relatives.
The crash remained under investigation by the CHP.
Brake Failure Suspected in Truck Crash That Shut Down Mission Street in Santa Barbara
Driver suffers minor injuries when box truck overturns while trying to make turn from southbound Highway 101 exit ramp
Eastbound Mission Street was shut down near Highway 101 on Saturday after a box truck overturned after exiting the freeway, according to the Santa Barbara Fire Department.
The crash occurred at abut 8:40 a.m. when a large Mission Linen Supply truck came down the southbound Highway 101 exit ramp, and attempted to make a right turn onto Mission Street, fire Battalion Chief Robert Mercado said.
The truck, which may have had a brake failure, ended up rolling over onto the driver’s side in the eastbound lanes near the railroad overcrossing.
“It appears the driver may have lost his brakes coming down the offramp,” Mercado said. “Just because of the sheer size of the vehicle and the speed, he ended up on his side.”
Fortunately, no other vehicles were in the immediate area, so only the single truck was involved, Mercado said.
The driver was able to get out of the truck on his own, and was taken to nearby Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of minor injuries.
The crash was under investigation by Santa Barbara police.
Mission Street between San Pascual Street and the freeway was expected to remain shut down for a couple of hours, as a specialized tow rig was needed to remove the wreckage. Traffic was being detoured south on San Pascual.
Vigil Remembers Life of Santa Maria Attack Victim
Marilyn Pharis was an animal lover, world traveler and woman of peace
Marilyn Joy Pharis was remembered Friday night as an animal lover, world traveler, reader and much more during a candlelight vigil to mark the life of the Santa Maria resident described as a woman of peace who died due to violence.
More than 50 people gathered at the courtyard of Santa Maria City Hall to reflect on the life the 64-year-old woman, who was beaten and raped in her home last month.
She died eight days later while still hospitalized.
Some who attended knew Pharis for years, others for only hours, according to Ann McCarty, associate director for the North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center.
Many who attended had never met the woman yet showed up Friday to reflect on her life.
“Tonight we come to together in peace, a familiar word for Marilyn, as we’re told that how’s she lived her life,” McCarty said. “It was her mantra, so to speak, with buttons and stickers surrounding her, promoting peace and the courage it took to stand for it.
“Tonight we stand for her,” McCarty said. “Tonight we speak about her. Tonight we grieve together as a community united.”
The Air Force veteran worked at a satellite tracking facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base for 40 years and lived in northwest Santa Maria.
She loved to travel and had been planning a trip to Denmark. To prepare, she was learning the language through a CD player in her vehicle.
Pharis was generous with the time, talents and money, helping charities locally and globally. She also had many medals from her years of participation in Santa Maria’s annual Bull Canyon Run.
A friend clearing Pharis’ house discovered a scribbled list of eight things to accomplish, with the final item being “take an important risk.”
“Marilyn's list is now complete,” McCarty said. “She risked everything fighting for her life. She showed an incredible amount of strength and determination to all of us who knew her. She can now rest in peace, knowing she gave her all until the very end.”
The ceremony included reflections, poetry readings and singing. A memorial table with her pictures included purple flowers, her favorite color.
Two men have been arrested in connection with the attack as the case attracted nationwide attention because one of the suspects is an undocumented immigrant with a prior criminal history.
"We are angry and want justice, but tonight we channel our anger and rage into a place of peace and remembrance that lifts up Marilyn’s soul and helps each of us relieve that hurt,” McCarty said.
As the evening grew darker, McCarty noted the lit candles many in the audience held.
“Our candles with their flames burning bright are small and easily extinguishable, but they will illuminate our night just as Marilyn’s memory illuminates our soul,” she said. “May their light be a reflection of the generous heart that she had. May they shine long after the night is done as reminder of her spirit and her passion.”
An advocate who met Pharis in the hospital hours after the attack shared about the woman’s generous spirit.
Despite her critical injuries from being choked, raped and beaten with a hammer, Pharis reached out a hand to offer comfort to the advocate, she recalled.
“She was an amazing lady,” Pharis’ advocate said. “She just wanted to move on already, and it was just a couple hours. She was just a very strong lady and I wanted to share.”
The center’s Alison Wales said victims often are confused about the advocate’s role, which is simply to provide support, to hold a hand, to listen and to speak when the victim cannot with a goal of helping in their healing.
“Many times survivors touch and make a difference to their advocate’s lives,” Wales said. “This time, Marilyn, you made a difference to those whom you met.”
Donations in Pharis’ memory may be made to The Animal Clinic, 2650 S. Miller Street, Santa Maria, CA 93455, to a special fund to care for her cat, Tigga’s, future care needs.
Donations also may be to the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society, 1687 W. Stowell Road, Santa Maria, CA 93458 or the North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center, P.O. Box 148, Lompoc, CA 93438.
Area Agency on Aging Advisory Council Discusses Issues Afflicting Seniors at Recent Meeting
The advisory council of the Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens, Area Agency on Aging, voted to request Congresswoman Capps and Senators Boxer and Feinstein to investigate the implementation of the mental health parity law.
“The Area Agency on Aging advisory council learned at its meeting that implementation of the 2008 law to achieve parity for mental health care has been unevenly implemented by health insurance companies,” stated Barry Marks, chair, AAA advisory council. "The members support the law passed by Congress in 2008 and want to see that its implementation by the health insurance industry and the government achieves the goal of parity.”
Many older adults face inequality in their healthcare, simply because low payouts from Medicare result in being turned away from the services they need.
“Medicare is one of America’s most important health programs, providing health insurance for millions of older adults and persons with disabilities," Marks said. “For Medicare beneficiaries it can be very difficult to secure mental health care in this two county region. Practitioners find the Medicare payment extremely low, and as a result many will not accept Medicare payment. The result is that needed mental health care for Medicare beneficiaries is not accessible.”
The AAA advisory council notes upsides from their most recent meeting.
“In addition, at their August meeting the council learned that the distribution of senior farmers market coupons to low income older persons is proceeding well. The council is sponsoring two more distributions at the farmers market in the City of San Luis Obispo on Aug. 29 and in the City of Arroyo Grande on Aug. 19,” Marks said.
“Additionally, the Council is looking for new members who are interested in issues affecting older adults,” concluded Marks. “This is an opportunity to work with others to review and discuss issues affecting older persons and advocating on behalf of older persons.”
For additional information contact Barry Marks or AAA Director Joyce Ellen Lippman, AAA Director at 805.925.9554 or 1.800.510.2020.
— Joyce Ellen Lippman is the director of the Area Agency on Aging.
Thunder Over the Valley Air Show Set For Santa Maria Airport
Annual event is organized by the Santa Maria Museum of Flight
The annual event is organized by the Santa Maria Museum of Flight.
Gates to the show on the south side of the airfield will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with access off Blosser Road, near Foster Road.
Admission is $10 for adults, $9 for senior citizens, $3 for youths ages 7 to 13, and free for children under age 6. A family of four will admitted for $25.
Military members and their dependents will be admitted for free.
Approximately seven vintage warbirds landed in Santa Maria by Friday afternoon for this year’s event, with some performers taking to the sky for practice.
“The theme is as always we’re honoring our fallen and wounded warriors and promoting support of troops, veterans and their families. said Mike Geddry Sr., event director and chief executive officer of the Museum of Flight.
“It has always been and will be always be as long as I can do it.”
Performers include John Collver flying his North American AT-6/SNJ, a military trainer built in 1944 and named War Dog for its civilian role.
Also scheduled to perform is Greg Colyer, who does aerial acts in his restored T-33 jet trainer decked out in a paint schedule from the Korean War era.
Another performer will be Bill Cornick in his Pitts S-2C biplane he called “Big Bad Green.”
This year’s show also have top-notch remote-controlled large model aircraft demonstrations through the Academy of Model Aeronautics.
“That might help with kids getting into aviation,” Geddry said.
The Santa Maria event is being held the same weekend as the Wings Over Camarillo Airshow.
Adding to the Santa Maria show’s struggles is the fact some sponsors didn’t come through for this year’s event.
Additionally, military support for small civilian air shows has fallen off in recent years due dwindling defense budgets.
However, the show has lined up sponsors including the Santa Maria Public Airport, Toyota and Honda of Santa Maria, Don Lehr Welding, Daren’s Berries and Quinn Rentals.
Coastal Self Defense Academy Celebrates Spirit with Successful Fundraiser
Over 50 people attended the Celebration of Spirit fundraiser July 25, 2015 in support of the Coastal Self Defense Academy, a new non-profit organization that provides self-empowerment and self-defense classes to at-risk members of the Santa Barbara community free of charge.
The celebration and auction, which took place at a private residence near the Santa Barbara Mission, raised nearly $2,000 through sponsorships and auction items, providing a great start to the organization's efforts.
The silent auction items included a wide-range of local items, gifts certificates and tickets to various Santa Barbara venues. Some of the highlights included donations by BlueStar Parking, Santa Barbara Gift Baskets, Windrun Winery, Head West Salon, the Frame-Up, Church of Chocolate, Madphoto.com, Jang's Karate Center, Santa Barbara Women's Self Defense and tickets to the Santa Barbara Polo Grounds and Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens.
After the event, Executive Director Teri-Coffee-McDuffie expressed her appreciation: "It was with generous spirit and warm support, the Santa Barbara Community welcomed Coastal Self Defense Academy during our inaugural fundraising event on July 25. Thank you to the incredibly generous host, Coastal Self Defense Academy board and staff, corporate and silent auction sponsors and attendees, who all contributed to making this event such a great success!"
Coastal Self Defense Academy provides free self-defense training to the most at-risk people in our community to increase their confidence and teach them skills to defend themselves when they’re caught in potentially harmful situations. Vulnerable segments of the local population include senior citizens, college students, young children, people in recovery centers or shelters and the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.
Classes are also offered to people with physical impairments, such as failing eyesight or hearing loss or who are physically unable to move out of harm’s way quickly.
"As Executive Director, I am looking forward to continuing to expand, introduce and share our programs to the most vulnerable and at-risk people in the community we all live in," Coffee-McDuffie said.
The vision of the organization is to create a strong, healthy and vibrant community, composed of confident and empowered individuals. The mission is to provide transformative educational tools to promote empowerment and an enlightened recognition of one’s potential and value.
Coastal Self Defense Academy is currently working with the Braille Institute of Santa Barbara, Alexander Gardens Assisted Living Care, Girls Inc. of Carpenteria, and St. Vincent's of Santa Barbara. For more information, visit: www.coastalselfdefenseacademy.org or contact Executive
— Teri Coffee-McDuffie represents the Coastal Self Defense Academy.
Montecito Treasures Recognized as Award-Winning Thrift Store
Montecito Treasures has been selected for the 2015 Best of Santa Barbara Award in the Thrift or Consignment Store category by the Santa Barbara Award Program.
Each year, the Santa Barbara Award Program identifies companies that it believes have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category.
These local companies enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and the community as well as help make the Santa Barbara area a great place to live, work and play.
Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category.
The 2015 Santa Barbara Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners were determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Santa Barbara Award Program and data provided by third parties.
— The Santa Barbara Award Program works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups, and its mission is to recognize the small business community's contributions to the U.S. economy.
Summerland Beach Closed Due to Oil, Petroleum Vapors
Santa Barbara County Public Health Department warns of adverse health effects; length of closure uncertain
Summerland Beach is closed to the public in order to prevent adverse health effects due to the volume of oil on the beach and sand and strong petroleum odors in the area, the Santa Barbara County Public Health announced Friday afternoon.
Located beneath Santa Barbara County’s Lookout Park, Summerland Beach extends eastward towards Loon Point.
Officials said the area could remain closed through the weekend and did not know when it would reopen.
The beach will continue to be monitored by various county agencies including Public Health, Parks, and the Air Pollution Control District.
"The public is reminded that avoiding exposure to crude oil compounds is strongly recommended," according to a statement from the Public Health Department.
Earlier in the day, officials had issued a warning to people in the area, but by late afternoon, the beach had been fully closed.
The department warned of exposure from oil vapors, contact with skin or ingesting crude oil through contaminated seawater or seafood.
“Depending on the level of exposure, breathing crude oil vapors may cause coughing and throat irritation, headache and nausea, drowsiness, or dizziness,” according to an earlier statement from Public Health.
Skin and eye contact can also cause irritation and redness, and people who discover crude oil or tar balls on their skin should wash the area immediately with soap and water.
“Some people may be more sensitive to these the chemical components of crude oil compounds than others, and avoiding exposure is recommended,” the statement said.
The cause of the oily substance at the beach is unknown at this point, though department officials said they do not believe it is directly related to Refugio Oil Spill that occurred on May 19.
Mary Byrd, spokeswoman for the Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District, said that inspectors would be testing air quality on Friday afternoon and would have results back in several days.
Byrd said that the office has gotten complaints from Summerland residents about oil smells off and on for several years, and noted that there is a history of oil wells in that area.
On Wednesday, the State Lands Commission approved studying the oil resources in that area, and some Summerland residents appeared at that hearing, she said.
Byrd urged the public to stay out of the area if the smell of oil persists, and said that the APCD can be reached at (805)681-8800 for more information.