What were you reading on Noozhawk this week?
A 29-year-old woman was killed and two other people suffered major injuries in a head-on collision on Highway 1 south of Lompoc early on Jan. 30. The wreck closed the roadway for more than five hours, stalling the morning commute to Santa Barbara.
California Highway Patrol Officer John Ortega said the collision happened just before 7 a.m. when a northbound Honda Civic driven by Mirella Hernandez of Lompoc crossed the double yellow line north of Jalama Road and slammed into a Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by Karla Santos-Lomeli, 25, of Lompoc.
Santos-Lomeli and her passenger — her 18-year-old brother, Ricky — suffered major injuries and were rushed to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
Hernandez was pronounced dead at the scene, Ortega said.
The collision remains under investigation by the CHP, Ortega said. A light rain reportedly was falling at the time of the wreck, although it has not been determined if that was a factor.
The highway was reopened just after noon. During the closure, northbound traffic was stopped at Highway 101 and southbound traffic was rerouted to Highway 246.
Santa Barbara is no stranger to celebrity weddings. Many of the brides and grooms go to great lengths to protect their privacy, which can create a certain chaos for the public — not that most of us really care. Now that I think about it, though, Kim Kardashian owes me nine hours of my life back for the helicopter hell she brought with her when she got married down the street from my house — so maybe I do care.
Enter Sean Lowe and Catherine Giudici, participants (contestants?) on the ABC reality show, The Bachelor. From the start, their storyboard wedding was intended to be a made-for-TV event, which may explain a mostly Montecito-as-usual atmosphere before their Jan. 26 date with destiny at the Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore.
While television satellite and production trucks crowded the hotel’s grounds, there were few other outward signs of such a momentous occasion, on the street, on the beach or in the air. Still, our Tom Bolton’s advance story certainly clicked with readers hungry for nuptials news, of which — I’m not ashamed to admit — we actually had very little.
On the happy couple’s wedding day, more than a few locals “randomly” showed up at The Biltmore. My friends, Warren Butler, Leigh and Paul Cashman, and Amy and Shelby Sim, figured the bar was as good a place as any for some star-gazing. Their stealth was rewarded with the appearance of … Andy Dick. Although Dick may not be an A-Lister, he graciously worked the room and posed for pictures.
The couple later tied the knot under clearing skies after a rare burst of rain, which was more of a sprinkle than anything. For me, I was just grateful there were no helicopters. Congratulations to the Lowes, and thank you for that.
Just days after Mallory Dies’ tragic death last December, friends formed the nonprofit Vow4Mal Foundation. The popular, 27-year-old Tonic bartender was struck and fatally injured by an alleged drunken driver in downtown Santa Barbara, and her vast network of fans wanted to honor her by raising awareness of the dangers of driving while impaired.
Operating under the umbrella of the Santa Barbara Foundation, Vow4Mal has quickly gathered momentum as a fundraising force and as a catalyst to “eliminate the excuse” of not taking a cab home after drinking.
On Jan. 27, the organization teed up at Sandpiper Golf Club for a benefit golf tournament that featured an impressive array of prizes, including a Chevrolet Camaro SS donated by William L. Morris Chevrolet in Fillmore and a customized set of Nike golf clubs. Pro golfer Anthony Kim led mini-workshops for golfers.
Ryan Todey, a close friend of Dies, says Vow4Mal is working to partner with cab companies to offer discounted rides to impaired drivers, with the balance paid for by the foundation. He said Lucky Cab and the Uber on-demand car service already are offering a sign-up deal. By using the “4Mal” promo code, he said, passengers can get a $15 credit to their Vow4Mal account and the foundation will receive a $10 donation.
Todey also said the group will be going into local schools to help students understand the importance of avoiding drinking and driving.
“Our goal is to talk about Mallory, talk about what happened and try to get a couple generations of kids saying it’s not OK to drink and drive,” he told our Lara Cooper.
To make a direct donation to the Vow4Mal Foundation, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Santa Barbara County firefighter was seriously injured Jan. 26 when he fell from the roof of a Goleta house while trying to rescue a cat.
Capt. David Sadecki, a department spokesman, said firefighters from Station 12 at 5330 Calle Real were called to the one-story Walnut Lane residence about 2:15 p.m. He said the firefighter fell while trying to get a ladder to the roof, and he was transported by ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital.
The firefighter’s identity and condition were not disclosed. Sadecki said he didn’t know if the cat was ever rescued since the injured firefighter became the priority.
The owners of the always-packed Brophy Bros. seafood restaurant at the Santa Barbara Harbor have purchased the former Maggie’s Restaurant at 1201 State St., and plan to open a new, casual place there in May.
John Bennett, who owns Brophy Bros. with his mom, Susan, told our Gina Potthoff that the new Benchmark Eatery will feature a casual attitude and a variety of reasonably priced American fare with a local twist.
The Bennetts are taking over the Maggie’s site from Margaret and Barry Shulman, who turned out the lights in October after about 15 minutes in business. In addition to Brophys, the Bennetts own On the Alley, also at the harbor, and the Cliff Room at 1828 Cliff Drive on the Mesa.
Bennett promised that “lively, interactive energy” would be a hallmark of the Benchmark.
“There’s nothing real casual where, if you’re a tourist family walking by, you could go in and grab a burger,” he said. “The restaurants up there … are just a little bit more formal.”
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Team Noozhawk is excited to welcome Doreen Stevenson as our new online media consultant for sales and marketing. An experienced and successful sales professional and entrepreneur, Doreen starts with us Monday — much to the relief of vice president of business development Kim Clark. Doreen can be reached at email@example.com.
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Should you somehow tire of Santa Barbara’s standard home options like a pool and an ocean view, how about adding a change of scenery to your train of thought? For a cool $3.5 million, you can buy this “railway resort” in Sherwood, Ore., in the picturesque Tualatin Valley south of Portland. All aboard?
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— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.