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Bill Macfadyen: Thanks to One Guy in Los Alamos, Everyone Else Has to Go Around

NoozWeek’s Top 5 catches up with an improving Grace Fisher, collides with David Crosby, escapes Ebola, and repeats after me

A Los Alamos standoff suspect apparently was stuck on his guns, but didn’t use them in the incident.
A Los Alamos standoff suspect apparently was stuck on his guns, but didn’t use them in the incident. ((Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo))

There were 88,843 people who read Noozhawk this past week. Read on for your top stories.

For the record, Zayn Malik, taking a new direction from One Direction, just missed the cut. 

1. Standoff Shuts Down Highway 101 Through Los Alamos​

A day-long standoff near Los Alamos forced the closure of Highway 101 in both directions March 20, causing a major headache for local commuters and travelers alike.

Acting on reports of a man threatening family members, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies went to a house in the 9600 block of South Highway 101, near Alisos Canyon Road east of Los Alamos.

Ronald Carrari, homebody. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)
Ronald Carrari, homebody. (Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department photo)

As they pulled up, the suspect, 56-year-old Ronald Carrari, barricaded himself inside and refused to communicate. After hours of fruitless attempts to make contact, a sheriff’s SWAT team used tear gas to drive him out.

Carrari was arrested without further incident around 5:35 p.m., according to Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover.

He initially was booked into County Jail on charges of making criminal threats and resisting arrest. Hoover said two more charges — possession of an illegal shotgun and possession of illegal rifle magazines — were filed later, and others may be forthcoming.

She said a search of the house turned up eight guns, seven swords, two fighting knives and thousands of rounds of ammunition.

Highway 101 was closed in both directions for more than two hours during the incident, forcing traffic to make a slow and tedious detour through Lompoc.

Grace Fisher was stricken with sudden paralysis just before Christmas but reports positive progress. (Fisher family photo)
Grace Fisher was stricken with sudden paralysis just before Christmas but reports positive progress. (Fisher family photo)

2. Santa Barbara Teen Grace Fisher Continues Recovery at Colorado Hospital

Grace Fisher, the 17-year-old Santa Barbara High School junior stricken with sudden paralysis in December, has been showing signs of improvement at a Colorado hospital that specializes in brain and spinal cord injuries. Back home, her vast network of supporters is continuing to raise money for her care.

Fisher was hospitalized in Santa Barbara on Dec. 21 for numbness in her extremities. Within hours, she was unable to move. 

Doctors diagnosed her with acute flaccid myelitis, and in late January she was transferred to Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colo. She’s been undergoing an intense regimen of physical therapy, and has regained the ability to eat and speak.

As our Lara Cooper reported this week, Fisher wrote in a March 23 online journal entry that her endurance is getting better, and she can see and feel the progress she’s making during therapy.

As proof, she posted a pair of videos of herself working with a robotic arm and a tilt table.

“One advancement over the past seven to 10 days is my blood tests are normalizing and I haven’t been feeling as sick,” she said.

Making note of her improved appetite, she said “tuna fish sandwiches and Big Macs are my current favorites, although I do mix in enough healthy food to even it out.”​

Fisher’s family — parents Debbie and Bill and sister Emily — have relocated to Colorado to stay close to her side, but friends in Santa Barbara have been keeping the cards, letters and prayers coming.

“It really means a lot to my whole family,” the grateful teen said.

Supporters have been doing a lot more than that, however. Numerous fundraisers have been held to help the family financially, with three more scheduled in the next two months.

The Marjorie Luke Theatre, on the campus of Santa Barbara Junior High School at 721 E. Cota St., will screen The Goonies at 7 p.m. March 27. Admission is free but donations for Fisher’s expenses are encouraged.

Click here for more information on additional benefit events.​

3. Musician David Crosby Identified As Driver In Santa Ynez Crash That Injured Jogger

Rock ’n’ roll legend David Crosby was identified as the driver of a car that struck a weekend jogger on Baseline Avenue in Santa Ynez.

David Crosby called in his own crash.  (davidcrosby.com photo)
David Crosby called in his own crash. (davidcrosby.com photo)

The victim suffered major injuries in the March 22 collision and had to be airlifted to the hospital.

According to the California Highway Patrol, Crosby, a 73-year-old Santa Ynez Valley resident, was driving his 2015 Tesla electric luxury car just west of Mora Avenue about 6 p.m. when he ran into a man jogging on the right side of the road.

CHP Sgt. Don Clotworthy said Crosby was cruising at the posted 55 mph speed limit at the time of the crash, but “driving into the sun.”

The jogger — identified as Jose Jimenez, 46, of Santa Ynez — was flown by CalStar helicopter to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment of multiple fractures, abrasions and lacerations.

Crosby, who was not hurt in the collision, apparently was the one who called 9-1-1 to report it.

The CHP is investigating the crash, and Clotworthy said alcohol and drugs were not factors.

4. Bill Macfadyen: Suicide Near Freeway, Railroad Tracks Further Snarls Evening Commute

I had something for everyone in my last column: A rush-hour suicide between the freeway and railroad tracks. A month-long spree of neighborhood burglaries. The sentencing of a convicted human trafficker. The saga of the foiled party-bus party with underage kids. And an elementary school principal going on medical leave.

According to anecdotal reader feedback, however, it may have been my J.P. Sears video that propelled me into the Top 5. Apparently, a lot of you are glutens for punishment.

If you missed last week’s video, click here and scroll down.

5. Possible Ebola Patient Reported in Santa Barbara County

A Santa Barbara County woman was rushed to a Los Angeles hospital March 22 after she developed a fever and exhibited signs of Ebola, a lethal, fast-moving virus responsible for the deadliest epidemic in history.

Fortunately for the woman — and for the rest of us — subsequent test results and clinical evaluation confirmed she’s in the clear.

Susan Klein-Rothschild, Santa Barbara County’s deputy director of community health, said local health authorities monitor people who return from African countries in the throes of the Ebola crisis. If symptoms don’t develop after 21 days, they’re usually no longer at risk.

When the unidentified woman fell ill, Klein-Rothschild said, the county took precautions and transported her to an assessment hospital in the Los Angeles area.

                                                                 •        •        •

Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week, from my peripatetic tour of the World Wide Web: Wall Street Journal Puts Newspaper Thief in His Place.

HT to my good friend, Tracey Taylor of Berkeleyside, the Noozhawk of Berkeley.

                                                                 •        •        •

A basketball trick-shot video in honor of March Madness. Or is it just a trick?

(SlamTheSlammer video)

                                                                  •        •        •

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— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at [email protected], follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

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