Pixel Tracker

Wednesday, December 12 , 2018, 12:54 am | Fair 45º

 
 
 
 

Bill Macfadyen: Suicide Investigation Focuses on Dead Man’s Train of Thought

NoozWeek’s Top 5 also crashes coming and going, busts a suspected drug dealer, checks in on a new Goleta hotel and gets a taste of ‘air water’

There were 72,597 people who read Noozhawk this past week. What were your top stories?

1. Man Hit, Killed By Freight Train Near Santa Barbara Zoo

A man walking on the railroad tracks near the Santa Barbara Zoo was struck and killed by a freight train as it rumbled through town Sept. 16.

According to Santa Barbara fire Capt. Kevin Hokom, the man suffered massive head injuries and died instantly.

Police Sgt. Riley Harwood said the incident, which occurred around 6:30 p.m., is being investigated as a possible suicide.

“The train engineer observed the pedestrian approaching and made efforts to brake and use the horn, but the man never deviated from (a) path walking straight toward the train,” he said.

The man’s identity was not disclosed, but Harwood said he is believed to be a 50-year-old homeless man.

Click here for free suicide prevention resources that are available 24 hours a day, or call 1.800.273.8255.

Driveway pinball, anyone? (Santa Barbara Fire Department photo)
Driveway pinball, anyone? (Santa Barbara Fire Department photo)

2. Elderly Woman Hits Neighbor’s Tree, Own House in Santa Barbara Crash

A 95-year-old driver had a rough morning Sept. 15 when she backed her car into a neighbor’s tree and then accelerated and ran into her own house.

Santa Barbara fire Engineer Hank Homburg said the one-two punch occurred just before 9 a.m. in the 1600 block of Payeras Street on the Mesa.

He said the woman mistakenly hit the gas while backing out of her driveway and she struck a tree in the yard across the street. The impact toppled the tree, which took down cable wires as it fell.

“She then put (the) vehicle into drive and apparently hit the accelerator, running into her own residence,” Homburg said.

The woman, whose identity was not disclosed, suffered moderate injuries in the collisions and was taken to a local medical center for evaluation, he said.

The front of her house and her kitchen were badly damaged in the incident, and a city building inspector was called out to determine the extent. Meanwhile, a Public Works Department crew removed the damaged tree.

3. Santa Barbara Police Arrest Suspected Drug Dealer

A Goleta man was arrested on drug and weapons charges after a weeks-long investigation of leads identifying him as a go-to guy for cocaine and methamphetamine sales.

Juan Nunez hosted a recent search party. It didn’t end well for him. (Santa Barbara Police Department photo)
Juan Nunez hosted a recent search party. It didn’t end well for him. (Santa Barbara Police Department photo)

Santa Barbara police Sgt. Riley Harwood said narcotics detectives had been tipped that Juan Nunez, 49, was dealing the drugs in Santa Barbara and Goleta. They obtained a search warrant and, joined by investigators with the Santa Barbara Regional Narcotic Enforcement Team, paid a visit to his apartment in the 400 block of Ellwood Beach Drive early on Sept. 11.

Nunez was detained as he left for work just before 7 a.m. Harwood said he was found to be in possession of 11 bindles of methamphetamine and eight bindles of cocaine. A search of his apartment turned up more drugs, $8,000 in cash that is believed to be proceeds from drug sales, and two pistols, he added.

Nunez was booked into Santa Barbara County Jail on charges of possession of cocaine for sale, possession of methamphetamine for sale, and possession of a firearm in the commission of a drug offense. Bail was set at $50,000.

A Marriott Residence Inn in the 6300 block of Hollister Avenue may soon be more than a rendering after the Goleta City Council signed off on the project. (Marriott Residence Inn rendering)
A Marriott Residence Inn in the 6300 block of Hollister Avenue may soon be more than a rendering after the Goleta City Council signed off on the project. (Marriott Residence Inn rendering)

4. Goleta Council Approves Development of Marriott Hotel on Hollister Avenue

A Goleta hotel project that has been mired in the city’s planning and review process since the Bush administration has finally been given the green light from the City Council.

The Marriott Residence Inn, a 118-room hotel proposed for the 6300 block of Hollister Avenue across from the Santa Barbara Airport, was approved Sept. 16 on a 4-1 vote. Mayor Michael Bennett and Councilmen Roger Aceves, Jim Farr and Tony Vallejo voted for the project, along with a revised environmental impact review. Councilwoman Paula Perotte voted against it.

The developer, Bob Olson of R.D. Olson Development, first entered the fray in 2007 with a larger, 140-room hotel proposal. But the presence of a Chumash archaeological site in the area sent the project back to the drawing board.

The proposal was revised and reviewed repeatedly over the years by the city and Chumash representatives, but in July the Planning Commission recommended approval after a sanctuary garden and educational aspect were added.

The council chamber was packed with people eager to speak. In all, 30 did, with the vast majority in favor of the project.

Geof Wyatt, president of Wyatt Technology a short walk from the hotel site, said his company could use the hotel to house dozens of visitors it hosts each month.

“There aren’t places to stay,” he said. “How many years must we wait before this project is approved and built?”

Press 1 for cold, press 2 for hot, or press 3 to make it rain. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)
Press 1 for cold, press 2 for hot, or press 3 to make it rain. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

5. Hotel Indigo Shows Off Santa Barbara Area’s First ‘Air Water’ Dispenser

Although my yard sure could use one of these, for now it’s only available at Hotel Indigo Santa Barbara — and just one glass at a time.

The boutique hotel at 121 State St. recently installed a dispenser that creates water from moisture in the air. Produced by Santa Monica-based Skywell LLC, the five-gallon Skywell 5T “air water” dispenser draws in air, then purifies the collected moisture through a multifilter process involving ultraviolet and ozone exposure.

Each unit has a touch-screen app to control temperatures and monitor daily water usage, and runs off a standard electrical outlet. Both cold and hot water are available.

The Hotel Indigo machine is a loaner, part of a promotion the Skywell team is conducting with about a dozen Southern California hotels and businesses. The company expects to lease the units for about $80 per month or sell them for about $2,800 apiece.

“The need is pretty dire up here,” Skywell co-founder and president Jonathan Carson told our Gina Potthoff. “It’s very similar to your average small refrigerator when it comes to energy consumption.”

Carson says the company is working on a 100-gallon version for consumption as well as one for irrigation. Figuring out how to filter in additives and minerals will follow, he said.

“We are excited to have this opportunity,” said Dan Alvarado, Hotel Indigo’s manager. “I hope we can keep it long term.”

                                                                 •        •        •

My sister-in-law, Jackie Gaylord, and I had just been discussing the benefits of “cronuts” when my favorite Internet comedian, Natalie Tran, served up a vlog on the idea. Great minds think alike — just not soon enough to capitalize on the concepts, apparently.

(communitychannel video)

                                                                  •        •        •

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?

» Join our Hawks Club.

Membership Options

 

Red-Tailed Hawk, $5 a month; Cooper’s Hawk, $10 a month; Red-Shouldered Hawk, $25 a month; Birds of a Feather, $52 a year.

Checks can be snail-mailed to Noozhawk, P.O. Box 101, Santa Barbara 93102.

» .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or market your business, organization, service or event.

» Subscribe to our free daily A.M. Report.

» 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.

» Like us on Facebook.

» Follow us on Twitter.

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 [email protected], follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made using a credit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments and a mailing address for checks.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Noozhawk Supporter

First name
Last name
Email
Select your monthly membership
Or choose an annual membership
×

Payment Information

Membership Subscription

You are enrolling in . Thank you for joining the Hawks Club.

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover
One click only, please!

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.
You may cancel your membership at any time by sending an email to .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.