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Take a Tour of Goleta with Mayor Jean Blois

The city's top ambassador knows the ins and outs of her community, and is proud to let you tag along.

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Congratulations to Santa Barbara’s Noozhawk! A paperless news media is a great idea, and it also saves going out in the cold and down the slippery driveway to find out what is happening in the wide world out there.

Thanks to Bill Macfadyen for inviting Goleta’s mayor to add community comment. Naturally, we Goletans are very proud of our new city, and always have a lot going on "out here."

I personally don’t do "Black Friday" but I understand Camino Real Marketplace  was mighty busy last Friday. There were many great bargains and I may well regret not joining the group of eager shoppers.

We are fast approaching the time for those great low tides of December and January. How I love to wander on the beach and observe the fascinating activity in the many tide pools. If you want to enjoy this, park at the Goleta Beach parking lot and walk toward UCSB. Keep walking until you come to the big rocks — it will take you some time as you check out all the marine activity along the way. But a word of warning: Don’t dally too long as you must walk back along the beach to the parking lot, and the beach becomes narrower and narrower as the tide comes in until, finally, there is no beach left. At which point you will return to your car with soggy shoes.

Goleta is so very proud to be a part of the public-private partnership funding two disaster relief trailers for our area. The city and local businesses, including the American Red Cross of Santa Barbara County, are jointly working to make our city well-prepared in case of any kind of a natural disaster.

Educating our residents is a vital part of this program. Every family is encouraged to prepare its own personal plan of what to do in an emergency, and to have a disaster kit at the ready with enough supplies for everyone (including pets); the point where all family members intend to meet if normal activities are interrupted; the telephone number of one out-of-town relative or close family friend to notify of the situation; and to become trained in simple first aid techniques.

At City Hall, 130 Cremona Drive, Suite B, (which is now clearly marked for first-time visitors to find) an excellent free brochure on "The 10 Ways You Can Be Disaster Prepared" is available and most helpful. These booklets also are available at American Red Cross headquarters, 2707 State St., Santa Barbara.

For history buffs, the Goleta Valley Historical Society  has five fascinating old cannons on display. They were found in 1981 on Goleta Beach after a very heavy winter storm, accompanied by a very low tide, below the More Mesa Bluffs. After a very extensive restoration process conducted by UCSB archaeologists and volunteers, the Goleta Valley Historical Society and the Santa Barbara Historical Society, these cannons are on public display every Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. The exact origin of the cannons is unknown. To learn more, visit the Sexton Museum  on the grounds of Rancho La Patera (Stow House)  at 304 N. Los Carneros Road.

Right next-door is the South Coast Railroad Museum  at 300 N. Los Carneros Road. The original Goleta Depot is on-site as well as a miniature track railroad. On many weekends, the train runs around the Depot and young future engineers especially love the trip. December even finds Santa Claus taking the trip.

Goleta’s government structure is different than the one in Santa Barbara. We do not elect a mayor for four-year term. Instead, we elect five council members, and, at the first meeting in December of each year, these council members elect a mayor for the year from among themselves. On Monday, we will be electing our 2008 mayor so I bid you all farewell after my second term as mayor.

I extend my wishes for all you readers to have a most safe and happy holiday season. Don’t let the frenzy of parties, card writing, gift buying and such allow you to forget the joy of this time of year and the awesome wonder of those family occasions.

Mayor Jean Blois was elected to the Goleta City Council in the 2001 vote that authorized the city’s creation in 2002, and was re-elected to a four-year term in 2004. She can be reached at [email protected].

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