Column by Outdoor Editor John McKinney, aka The Trailmaster, follow on Facebook.
There she was, in the shadow of the Acropolis: Saint Barbara. My son Daniel and I just finished touring the Acropolis alongside hordes of tourists, pictured below, and were walking to The Acropolis Museum when we came upon a little shrine to Saint Barbara.
A framed painting of her, tucked into an alcove, adorns the front of a lovely little church, St. Sophia of the Acropolis. In the painting, she stands on a beautiful coastline (which could be a lovely Greek island or even our own Santa Barbara) while holding a chalice and a scroll.
Saint Barbara is given near equal billing to church namesake Saint Sophia, who is also on display along with her three daughters Faith, Hope and Love. The church is supported by the Meropion Foundation, a charity for underprivileged girls and women. No doubt Saint Barbara (so strong in her faith) and Saint Sophia (“Wisdom” in Greek) are inspirational figures.
Athens is a crazy place in the best of times and these are not the best of times in the Greek capital city. Daniel and I were happy to find a quiet sanctuary, Saint Barbara, and a reminder that there’s no place like home.
Editor’s Note: The 42nd Annual Santa Barbara Greek Festival takes place August 1-2, Saturday and Sunday at Oak Park. Santa Barbara is well known as a beautiful, Mediterranean-style community located on the scenic California coast. It’s less well known, but still significant, as home to a diverse population—including a thriving Greek community. The heart of this Greek community—indeed its very soul—resides within the congregation of Saint Barbara Greek Orthodox Church. Members of the congregation have long shared their beloved Greek culture with all of Santa Barbara at the annual Santa Barbara Greek Festival.
Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
The beautiful view from the Santa Barbra County Courthouse Clock Tower officially reopened Friday after many months of work. Now the view is easily accessible by all with the elevator opening right out on the observation deck. The only drawback is, newcomers might not notice the beautiful clock gallery below that you had to walk past to get to that last flight of steps to the tower. The elevator still stops at the Clock Gallery though, so you can still enjoy every part of this local treasure!
Drone photo of Hope Ranch by Mark Sanchez, one of our 15,000+ Facebook Friends.
Weekly column by Barbara Hirsch
What is the state of air-conditioning, you might ask? Well, it’s been a warmer summer than usual, so I did.
“Two-thirds of all homes in the United States have air conditioners. Air conditioners use about 5% of all the electricity produced in the United States at an annual cost of more than $11 billion to homeowners. As a result, roughly 100 million tons of carbon dioxide are released into the air each year — an average of about two tons for each home with an air conditioner.”
Today, the Plains All American Pipeline, L.P. ran a full page ad in the Santa Barbara News-Press. The ad reads:
Two months have passes since the accidental crude oil release from line 901 in Santa Barbara County. Together with organizations in Unified Command and local volunteers and groups, these united efforts have made a significant difference.
The waters are open to fishing and El Capitan State Beach and Refugio State Beach are now open. Our Work in not complete.
We deeply regret this accidental release and the impact it had on the community, the environment and wildlife. Plains is committed to doing the right thing and remaining an engaged member of the Central Coast Community. If you were adversely impacted, please call. 866-753-3619 to file a claim.
Santa Barbara’s next Community Clean-Up Day is Saturday, July 25th. Every year, the event grows larger, drawing more than 500 volunteers from throughout the community, and producing long-lasting effects volunteers had first hoped for. Here’s what has been accomplished over the past 10 years:
- 3,600 volunteers since 2003
- Total of 10,900 hours of volunteer time donated
- Volunteer time valued at $270,211
- Approx. 70 tons of trash/recycling gathered
- Over 300 trees planted
If you wish to participate, simply arrive at one of the two volunteer locations on Saturday, July 25th at 9:00 am.
- East Side: Ortega Park, 600 block of Salsipuedes St.
- West Side: Cavalry Baptist Church, 736 W. Islay St. (pancake breakfast from 7:30 – 9:00)
Afterwards, all the volunteers eat lunch (provided) in Ortega Park and celebrate as a community. The event is put on by the City’s Looking Good Santa Barbara program, whose mission is to reduce waste (reduce, reuse, recycle and compost) and contribute to a clean community through graffiti and litter abatement.
Local views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert