Thank you to all of you who have responded to Noozhawk’s end-of-the-year fundraising campaign. On behalf of my business partners — executive editor Tom Bolton and business development vice president Kim Clark — and our team, we are so very grateful.
Our Hawks Club membership program has come a long way since my friend, the late Larry Crandell, became its very first member back in 2008, a few months after we launched. Mr. Santa Barbara believed — correctly — that it wasn’t enough for Noozhawk to rely only on advertising dollars to survive and thrive.
Larry maintained that true sustainability could only be achieved if the community came to see Noozhawk as an extension of itself and for readers to recognize how indispensable it was to their everyday lives, and then help pay for it.
He was pretty perceptive so I don’t think he’d be at all surprised that we’ve attained that status. You and I both know he’d happily take credit for the accomplishment, though. In his memory, I’m happy to give it to him.
But since Noozhawk was hatched in October 2007, we have strived every day, and most nights, to fulfill our commitment to deliver the freshest news in Santa Barbara County. Because of your stalwart and generous support, you’re putting us in a position to achieve even more in 2020.
If you haven’t yet joined the Hawks Club, just click the link below. We’d love to have you.
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I want to thank you, too, for reading these Best of Bill columns over the years. I enjoy — well, usually enjoy — revisiting the Top 5 most-read stories of the past week, and it’s always fascinating to me what our readers find the most interesting.
This week, of course, there really is no surprise about what’s No. 1, and I’m not talking about the universally snubbed Los Angeles Dodgers, which will never be No. 1 with an ownership so avaricious, disingenuous and, now, incompetent.
According to our Google Analytics, Noozhawk had an audience of 140,734 of you over the past seven days. Read on for the highlights.
Teed up like a baseball moon shot that Anthony Rendon won’t be hitting for the Dodgers, our Tom Bolton’s report is practically begging for the sardonic Best of Bill treatment.
But I just can’t do it. At the heart of the story is an innocent 12-year-old boy who didn’t sign up for any of this crap — either mine or his mother’s.
As Tom first reported, early on Dec. 11, police in Whitefish, Mont., arrested a San José orthopedic surgeon on attempted murder and attempted child abduction charges from Santa Barbara County.
Sheriff’s Department spokeswoman Raquel Zick said a $1 million arrest warrant had been issued for Dr. Theresa Lynn Colosi after a weekend attack on a court-appointed observer outside Zodo’s Bowling & Beyond in Goleta.
According to Zick, the observer was in the Zodo’s parking lot the afternoon of Dec. 8 to supervise the 55-year-old Colosi’s court-ordered visit with her son.
“During the visitation, Colosi began to act suspicious while walking with her son, which caught the victim’s attention,” she said. “Colosi then swung a metal object at the victim, hitting her in the head several times.”
The victim told the boy to run into Zodo’s for help, Zick said, adding that Colosi started to chase him but then ran to her vehicle and sped away.
She said detectives soon discovered that Colosi had withdrawn $900,000 in cash from her bank and chartered a private plane to Glacier Park International Airport in Kalispell, Mont., from Lompoc — “with fictitious names for herself, her son and her dog.”
After determining that Colosi was staying at a Whitefish residence, local police set up surveillance. At about 5 a.m. Dec. 11, Zick said, a taxi picked up a woman matching Colosi’s description and officers quickly conducted a high-risk traffic stop.
The fugitive physician was taken into custody without incident. She is being held without bail at Flathead County Detention Center but waived extradition on Dec. 12, clearing the way for a lengthier visit to Santa Barbara.
The name and medical condition of the court-appointed observer were not released, and Colosi’s son’s name and his circumstances also were not disclosed. And for those of you who are wondering, we don’t know anything about the dog.
In an added twist, Colosi apparently has access to an office in a Lompoc Valley Medical Center building, but hospital officials insist she has never used it.
Owen Hanavan, one of the South Coast’s most accomplished chefs, has at last gone out on his own with the newly opened Lemon & Coriander in Old Town Goleta.
Hanavan took over the space that had been home to the ill-fated Goodland Kitchen at 231 Magnolia Ave., across the street from Santa Barbara Gift Baskets, my friend Anne Pazier’s burgeoning empire.
“The biggest part that appealed to me was finally having a place that I call my own,” Hanavan told our Josh Molina. “… Goleta is slowly coming around, so it’s a great location with all the businesses around here.”
His concept is a farm-to-table enterprise with “layers of flavors” in his recipes.
“I come at it as an artistic approach, just trying to get those plates looking as beautiful as they can, with colorful, vibrant and obvious immaculate tasting,” said Hanavan, a former executive chef at Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro and head chef at Barbareño in Santa Barbara.
Through the end of the year, Lemon & Coriander is open 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday, with dinner service to begin in January.
The place sounds delicious, and I’m looking forward to exploring the #bestofbillrecommendation possibilities for myself, but I can’t help but wonder whether it was BizHawk’s inclusion of Santa Maria’s new Krispy Kreme Doughnuts that was really driving this week’s traffic.
An early morning argument among three apparently liquored-up people on the roof — the roof — of a downtown Santa Barbara apartment building was almost certain to draw attention.
It did, and Police Department spokesman Anthony Wagner said officers arrived just before 12:30 a.m. Dec. 9 at the site of the fracas in the 300 block of East Carrillo Street.
Our Brooke Holland reported that police found something more than an argument going on among 32-year-old Christopher Alexander Hunt Fox, 35-year-old Ashley Jolene Hamon Sharkey and a 57-year-old man.
“Further investigation revealed that Sharkey and the male victim confronted Hunt Fox regarding an alleged incident earlier in the evening,” Wagner said. “During the confrontation, Hunt Fox assaulted the male victim, causing significant injuries.”
First-responders were summoned to the roof to stabilize the victim, who was transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. The man’s name was not disclosed and the extent of his injuries was not known.
Wagner said Hunt Fox was arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and booked into Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $30,000. Sharkey was arrested on suspicion of resisting a police officer and attempting to destroy evidence, he said.
A brawl near downtown Santa Barbara the night of Dec. 10 sent one of the combatants to the hospital, but police are still trying to figure out the circumstances of the melee.
SBPD spokesman Anthony Wagner told our Tom Bolton that a 9-1-1 caller reported a fight among several people about 9 p.m. in the 400 block of East Victoria Street.
He said officers arrived to find that one man apparently had headed west on Victoria Street, ending up at a residence, where he was located with serious injuries.
The man was taken by an American Medical Response ambulance to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, but his identity and details of his medical condition were not disclosed. There were reports that he had been stabbed but that could not be confirmed.
Nearly a dozen officers swarmed the scene investigating the incident, but Wagner said that no suspects had been taken into custody. He said it had not been determined whether the fight was gang-related.
Santa Barbara County’s last couple of weeks of on-again, off-again storms have been good for greening up the area and great for annual rainfall totals.
As our Tom Bolton reported Dec. 8, the county Flood Control District determined that the county-wide rainfall to date was 105 percent of normal as of that morning for the “water year” that began Sept. 1.
According to Flood Control officials, the usually arid Cuyama Valley was 139 percent of normal — thanks to a mere 2.21 inches of rain so far.
Santa Barbara led the rest of the county with 125 percent of normal, followed by Goleta and Santa Maria at 112 percent, Santa Ynez at 111 percent, Lompoc at 97 percent and Carpinteria at 83 percent.
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Last Year on Noozhawk
What was our most-read story this time last year? Bill Macfadyen: Crushing Death at Construction Yard Starts a Long Day of Bad News.
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Bill Macfadyen’s Story of the Week
Noozhawk and Berkeleyside, the Noozhawk of Berkeley, are quite close. We have comparable DNA and similar entrepreneurial philosophies, and we consult with each other frequently. Our Berkeleyside buddies are about to enter ambitious and unchartered territory, but this is an important development for the cause of hyperlocal news and I’m really excited for them: Berkeleyside to Launch News Site in Oakland, Will Convert to Nonprofit.
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Best of Bill’s Instagram
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Nailed it. Nadolig Llawen from Welsh hardware store owner Tom Jones and his 2-year-old son, Arthur.
(Hafod Hardware video)
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— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at email@example.com, follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk and Instagram: @bill.macfadyen, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.