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Bill Macfadyen: Best of Noozhawk 09.23.11

What were you reading on Noozhawk this week? Here's your weekend recap, and a peek at what's ahead

1. Goleta Officials, New Owners of Bacara Resort & Spa Ready to Begin ‘New Chapter’

Unless you’re a surfer, the site of Bacara Resort & Spa, 8301 Hollister Ave., is probably better known for its spectacular sunsets than its sunrises. But there’s a new dawn in far western Goleta these days, thanks to the arrival of Ohana Real Estate Investors, the hotel’s new owners.

Our Sonia Fernandez reported Sept. 19 that Ohana and its partner, Rockpoint Group, are moving quickly to thaw community relations that have been as icy as the winter ocean off Haskell’s Beach, in large part a result of, shall we say, the distinctively New York flair of the previous owner. For their part, Goleta officials are optimistic that a good neighbor has moved in next door. That can only be a good thing, considering that the 78-acre resort is one of the city’s largest employers and its biggest source of bed taxes.

2. Cox Communications Rolls Out Mobile Phone Service in Santa Barbara

According to business reporter Alex Kacik, Santa Barbara County’s South Coast has a new mobile phone service provider: Cox Communications, heretofore known for its cable and Internet services. According to Cox officials, the company is introducing a number of other features, services and pricing bundles as part of its new deal. Let us know how it works out.

3. Deadmau5 Bringing Meowingtons Hax Tour to Santa Barbara Bowl

Electronic music producer and performer Deadmau5 is bringing his Meowingtons Hax tour to the Santa Barbara Bowl on Oct. 27. Based on the story traffic, you’d better get your tickets early. They go on sale at 11 a.m. Saturday.

4. Dos Pueblos High Struggles with Overcrowding as State Budget Cuts Take Toll on Schools

Haley Peterson, features editor at The Charger Account, Dos Pueblos High School’s student news Web site and Noozhawk’s partner, took a closer look at the state funding crisis that is bedeviling school administrators throughout California. On the Dos Pueblos campus, larger class sizes are forcing a scramble for textbooks, scheduling challenges and reduced one-on-one time with teachers.

Haley also joined Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper at the Sept. 20 Goleta City Council meeting, where the dynamic duo combined to cover the council’s unanimous rejection of Bishop Ranch’s request for a General Plan initiation that could have led to a public-planning process for possible development.

5. Bishop Ranch Decision Expected at Tuesday’s Goleta City Council Meeting

Lara Cooper advanced the Goleta council’s Bishop Ranch deliberations with a Sept. 19 story that outlined what the council would be considering during the meeting the next evening. A day earlier, former City Councilman Eric Onnen weighed in with a commentary arguing in favor of initiation, asserting that by keeping the development decision within Goleta’s planning process, the city would have more control over its outcome. The story got a lot of reads but, ultimately, apparently wasn’t persuasive.

Meanwhile, I would be remiss if I didn’t publicly thank my friends, George Federman and Mike Eliason, for inviting me to speak this week to their SBCC e-commerce and photojournalism classes, respectively. I’ve had the honor of guest speaking in both classes several times now and it’s always exciting for me. George’s class is particularly inspirational because I actually can see the wheels turning in a lot of his students’ heads. I get the unmistakable feeling that they’re generally interested not just in what I have to say but how they can use what I’m saying as entrepreneurs. I’m not sure my own kids do that.

And as a former colleague of Mike’s, and a big fan of his photography skills and strategy, I’m so impressed at what a great teacher he’s become. He’s as gifted as an instructor as he is as a shooter, and I know the late Bob Ponce would be proud. Santa Maria Times assistant managing editor Len Wood, Mike’s old boss and yet another former colleague of mine, was also speaking to Mike’s class that evening and will back me up.

The Week Ahead

On Monday and Tuesday, Noozhawk will resume Prescription for Abuse with Week Three of the series. Our reporters will be explaining how the prescription system works — or is supposed to — and delving into drug use by adolescents, college students and senior citizens.

The Prescription for Abuse project is the result of a partnership between Noozhawk and USC’s Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism, with a big assist from the Noozhawk-sponsored Santa Barbara Teen News Network. The project is sponsored by the Santa Barbara Foundation, the Mosher Foundation, Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, Zona Seca and KEYT.

On Tuesday, we’ll be welcoming a new Noozhawk to the nest: Terry Baxter, who will be joining Melinda Johansson and Chris Donahue on our sales team. Terry will be spearheading a new campaign that we’re about to launch and, having worked with her quite a lot over the years as a publicist and a client, we’re looking forward to having her in the office with us. You can reach Terry at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or 805.574.0973.

Noozhawk needs and welcomes your support. Just as you might subscribe — or formerly subscribed — to a favorite newspaper to keep up with your community news, please consider becoming a voluntary paying subscriber to Noozhawk, for as little as $5 a month, or becoming a member of our Hawks Club.

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Noozhawk publisher Bill Macfadyen can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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