• • •
What were you reading on Noozhawk this past week?
The story is horrific. A couple from Canada on a motorcycle tour of the western United States, struck head-on by a motorist suspected of driving under the influence. Husband and wife both lose their left legs as a result of the collision, and one’s left arm may require amputation as well. Wreckage strewn everywhere along Old Coast Highway adjacent to Montecito Country Club, part of a gruesome scene that turned the stomachs of even battle-hardened first responders.
Everyone starts with a presumption of innocence, but sometimes a defense attorney just doesn’t have much to work with. How else to explain the rather stunning comments from the suspect’s legal counsel at a June 4 hearing?
According to Noozhawk’s Lara Cooper, Martin Maguire, 51, of Montecito, appeared before Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Tom Adams to enter a plea of not guilty to the felony DUI charges against him. At the hearing, his attorney, Christine Voss, also asked Adams to lower Maguire’s bail, which had been set at $100,000.
“As you can see, Mr. Maguire has a very insignificant record,” Voss told Adams, referring to a misdemeanor reckless driving charge four years ago. “He is otherwise a lawful-abiding citizen.”
She went on to note that Maguire would be unable to drive if he’s released on bail, since his SUV was so badly damaged in the May 29 collision.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Jeff Gittler was having none of it.
Because of the severity of the victims’ injuries, he argued, “(Maguire) is very fortunate this is not a murder charge.”
Adams sided with Gittler, declining to reduce the bail amount and ordering Maguire to return to court June 13 for a preliminary hearing.
Meanwhile, the victims —James Atwood, 63, and his wife, Ellen, 59, of Orangeville in Ontario, Canada — are not likely to be going anywhere anytime soon either. They remain in critical condition at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Dr. Scott Conner was a thoughtful, soft-spoken and humble man — and one of the nation’s top brain surgeons. He died at his Mission Ridge home on June 1 of an apparent heart attack.
Conner and his longtime business partner, fellow neurosurgeon Thomas Jones, founded Neurosurgical Associates of Santa Barbara in 1987. The firm specializes in brain and spinal surgeries, and later added a third partner, Dr. Richard Chung. Countless locals have been saved by their steady hands and expertise.
I knew Conner not as a patient but as a friend. He would call or email me with questions, suggestions or what often were really good news tips for Noozhawk. There were few health-care professionals in Santa Barbara with a greater command of the political and public-policy issues confronting their industry, and he had the ability to explain it in terms even I could understand. Maybe he picked up the expertise from former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., a heart and lung transplant surgeon and Conner’s longtime close friend from prep school at Philips Exeter Academy and later at Harvard Medical School. Or maybe Frist learned everything from him.
Santa Barbara has lost a community treasure. Prayers go out to Conner’s wife, Maryann, and their three children, Edison, Andrew and Amy. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Santa Barbara police say a man found dead near Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital last weekend died from an apparent overdose of nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas.”
The body of Darren Boe, 29, was discovered June 1 in a car at an office parking lot in the 2300 block of Calle Real. Sgt. Riley Harwood, an SBPD spokesman, said there were no signs of foul play but the Santa Barbara County Coroner’s Office will determine an official cause of death.
Two weeks after a Santa Barbara mother was arrested on felony DUI and child-endangerment charges following a wreck that broke the neck of her 3-year-old son, a Santa Barbara mother was arrested on felony DUI and child-endangerment charges after she allegedly crashed into two parked cars while driving with her 3-year-old daughter on her lap. This time, the child wasn’t seriously hurt.
Police Sgt. Riley Harwood said officers were called to the waterfront on the afternoon of June 3 to investigate two hit-and-run collisions involving parked vehicles, one a Toyota Tacoma in the 300 block of East Cabrillo Boulevard and the other a Honda CRV in the 400 block of Por La Mar Drive. A witness followed the getaway car to South Milpas Street, where Officer Daniel Garcia found Adriana Cardenas passed out behind the wheel of her Audi A4, with her daughter in her arms.
Cardenas, 34, was arrested and booked into County Jail on charges of felony child endangerment as well as misdemeanor DUI and hit-and-run. Bail was set at $100,000.
County Child Welfare Services took custody of her daughter.
Three vehicles, a light pole and a fire hydrant were the casualties in a dramatic late-night crash on Carrillo Hill in Santa Barbara. Amazingly, there were no injuries in the unfortunate chain of events.
According to police Lt. Jim Pfleging, the driver of a Chevy Avalanche lost control of the truck on the way down West Carrillo Street near Vista del Pueblo on the night of June 4. The truck hit the light pole, then sheared off a fire hydrant before colliding with a parked Volkswagen Golf. As the light pole toppled on to the Golf, the car was propelled into a Chevrolet Camaro that was parked in front of it.
The driver, whose name was not released, was cited for being unlicensed and not having insurance.
• • •
A video of a robo raven being attacked by a hawk? Who wouldn’t watch this?
• • •
There were 66,100 people who read Noozhawk this past week. If you value our unmatched breaking news and in-depth reporting on the issues that you care about, please support our experienced staff of professional journalists and help us continue to provide a vital forum for the community.
How can you help?
» email@example.com or market your business, organization, service or event.
» Display your Noozhawk pride with a 3-inch-square Noozhawk sticker. Send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Noozhawk Promotions, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102. The free stickers — as well as full-sized bumper stickers and pens — also are available at Noozhawk World Headquarters, 1327-A State St., by the historic Arlington Theatre.
Please note that personal contributions to Noozhawk are not deductible as charitable donations.
Thank you for your support.
— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.