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Bill Macfadyen: Best of Noozhawk 09.30.11

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

1. Shots Reportedly Fired at Ventura County Sheriff’s Deputy Near Mussel Shoals

Noozhawk’s top story this week didn’t even happen in Santa Barbara County. It was in Mussel Shoals, an elbow-shaped sliver of Ventura County coastline east of Carpinteria. In fact, Mussel Shoals was in the news not once, but twice on Sept. 24.

Late Saturday afternoon, a Ventura County sheriff’s deputy reportedly was fired on while on patrol near the Cliff House Inn, 6602 Old Pacific Coast Highway. The deputy wasn’t injured in the incident, but it sparked a rather large deployment of law-enforcement search teams backed up by a helicopter.

Caught in the Highway 101 backup while returning to Montecito from Oxnard, Noozhawk reader Eric Greenspan, CEO of Make It Work, tipped us off to the spectacle. Then he sat in traffic and crawled through La Conchita.

Neither a suspect nor evidence was found at the scene, and the search was called off Saturday night.

On Saturday morning, surfers in the same vicinity found an abandoned 25-foot panga boat that had washed ashore. Authorities said the vessel, of the kind that is popular with drug smugglers from Mexico, was empty except for some life vests and gas cans. There was no indication that the shooting and the boat were linked.

2. Santa Barbara City Council Candidates Stress Need for Safe Streets at Forum

The League of Women Voters hosted a forum Sept. 24 for the 10 candidates for three Santa Barbara City Council seats in the Nov. 8 election. Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli reported that public safety topped the list of candidate concerns and vows of attention.

The next candidates forum is hosted by La Mesa Neighborhood Association at 3 p.m. Saturday at Holy Cross Catholic Church, 1740 Cliff Drive.

And speaking of the election, Noozhawk’s popular candidate Q&As will begin running Oct. 5.

3. THRIVE Launches on Santa Barbara’s Westside to Help Students, Neighborhoods Succeed

On Sept. 23, staff writer Lara Cooper wrote about THRIVE, a public-private collaboration of foundations, nonprofit groups, schools and community activists that is about to get under way on Santa Barbara’s Westside. The goal of the outreach is to identify and develop a series of steps that can be taken to strengthen the neighborhoods’ sense of community and opportunities for residents, especially its children.

Noozhawk will be closely following the initiative, and later this month we expect to make an announcement about our own involvement. We’re excited about the proposal we’re putting together, and think you will be, too.

4. Primo Boxing, After-School Refuge for At-Risk Teens, Refuses to Go Down Without a Fight

For nearly 20 years, the Primo Boxing Club at 701 E. Haley St. has been a safe haven for Lower Eastside youths looking to channel their teenage angst and aggression into boxing lessons. But the cash-strapped nonprofit organization is on the ropes and the city of Santa Barbara has given the club an Oct. 10 deadline to get current on its lease of an old city firehouse, or move out.

Hat tip to my friend, Tracey Taylor, co-founder of Berkeleyside, the Noozhawk of Berkeley, for giving us the lead that led to staff writer Lara Cooper’s Sept. 26 story. It can be a really small world on the World Wide Web.

Click here to make a tax-deductible donation to Primo Boxing Club. And hurry, the 10-count has already begun.

5. Local Oversight of Prescription Medications Is Far More Focused Than State, Federal Controls

Staff writer Giana Magnoli continued Noozhawk’s series, Prescription for Abuse, with a couple of stories exploring how prescription drugs are monitored at the local, state and federal levels. Our research found that local efforts actually appear to be far more effective than state and federal attempts.

Magnoli and Noozhawk’s Sonia Fernandez also took a closer look at substance abuse by youth, college students and senior citizens.

Meanwhile, thank you to all the Noozhawk fans who stopped by to see us at the sold-out Catalyst for Thought event Sept. 28 at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree Resort. Of course, the ever-beautiful supermodel-turned-super entrepreneur Kathy Ireland was the main attraction. She talked about the motivation that fueled her drive to create kathy ireland Worldwide, her now-$1.5 billion company.

Noozhawk may not be nearly as successful, but we’re on the radar screen of the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review, whose Paige Rentz interviewed me Sept. 30 for an upcoming article. CJR has been exploring the news media’s future in the digital age as part of its News Frontier series. We’re honored to be included and we think our story is an exciting one to tell.

The Week Ahead

On Monday and Tuesday, Noozhawk will resume Prescription for Abuse with Week Four of the series. Our reporters will be examining the role — and challenges — of law enforcement, as well as fraud within the prescription medications system. You’ll definitely want to read these stories. Our series partner, KEYT, also will be reporting on our new findings on Monday evening, I believe.

Click here for a complete series index of what we’ve published so far, including articles contributed by some of our columnists. Fun & Fit identical twins Alexandra Williams and Kymberly Williams-Evans are the latest to weigh in on the topic.

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.

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.

Click here to make a donation online, or mail your check to Noozhawk, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102. Email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to set up recurring credit-card transactions through our PCI-compliant payment gateway. Personal contributions to Noozhawk are not deductible as charitable donations.

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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