On the Docket: Sit-Lie Panhandling Ordinance

Today, the Santa Barbara City Council will discuss the Sit-Lie Panhandling Ordinance. According to the Agenda, “Councilmembers Hotchkiss and Rowse (are) requesting that Council receive a report regarding specific proposals to update the Sit-Lie and Abusive Panhandling Ordinance and consider enacting a new ordinance prohibiting urination and defecation in public.

homelesssleep2The municipal code currently prohibits sitting or lying down on public sidewalks and paseos along the first thirteen blocks of State Street during the hours between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. The recommendation is to expand the hours of prohibition and add a prohibition on sitting, standing or lying down upon any planting, railing or statue place or installed on a public sidewalk. The municipal code currently prohibits abusive panhandling anywhere in the City. “Active” panhandling—meaning a verbal request seeking a donation of money or other items of value is prohibited in certain locations only, ie: within 25 feet of an ATM. The recommendation is to increase that to 80 feet and expand the ban on solicitation to buses and other transportation vehicles.

Finally, neither the municipal code, nor state law, directly prohibits urinating or defecating in public. The recommendation is to add a prohibition on urinating or defecating in public in order to facility enforcement gainst this “nuisance” behavior.

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Earth Day, A Santa Barbara Story


Senator Gaylord Nelson

Earth Day was conceived by Senator Gaylord Nelson following a trip he took to the Central Coast where he witnessed the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. The Senator was so outraged by what he saw that he went back to Washington and helped pass a bill designating April 22 as a national day to celebrate the earth. An estimated one in 10 Americans took part in the first Earth Day, observed across the country on April 22, 1970. Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.”

Earth-Day-2014-v2In the wake of the same oil spill tragedy, the Community Environmental Council was born. Some 44 years, later The Community Environmental Council will host the 2014 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival at Alameda Park on Saturday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Councilmembers Step Up to Improve the Quality of Life for all Santa Barbara Residents

homeless2Tomorrow, councilmemebers Hotchkiss and Rowse will ask the Santa Barbara City Council to direct the City Attorney to undertake research and report back to the Ordinance Committee on the legal feasibility of adding to the municipal codes the following considerations:

• A prohibition on groups of people congregating in a manner that blocks the free movement of pedestrian traffic on downtown sidewalks;
• A prohibition on the use of public benches and street furniture for the storage of sale or display of merchandise or personal items;
• A prohibition on active panhandling within a prescribed distance of a queue of persons waiting to gain admission to a place of business and outdoor dining areas.
• A require for appropriate signage to inform the public of these regulations.

More specifics to update the Sit-Lie and Abusive Panhandling Ordinances tomorrow.

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Coffee with a Cop in Montecito

CWC Flyer 042214.jpgThe conversations continue this week as the Santa Barbara Police Department invites you to have Coffee With A Cop on Tuesday at the Starbucks in Montecito.

The SBPD has been holding these series of informal community meetings at different venues throughout the City. There are no agendas or guest speakers, just an opportunity to sit and talk to a Santa Barbara Police Officer about anything that may concern you.

The last event took place on De La Vina, Tuesday’s conversation will be held in Montecito:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Starbucks Coffee, 1046-A Coast Village Road

Please contact the SBPD Beat Coordinator Unit with any questions (805) 897-2407.

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Happy 232nd Birthday Santa Barbara!

Today marks the 232 anniversary of the Founding of El Real Presidio and the City of Santa Barbara by his Majesty King Carlos III of Spain.

Next Saturday, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation will lead an observance and ceremony in honor of the official Founding Day. The free event takes place April 26, 2014, from noon to 3:00 p.m., at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, 123 East Canon Perdido Street.

El Presidio de Santa Bárbara was the birthplace of Santa Barbara and home to the original founding ceremony, held on April 21, 1782. Next weekend’s reenactment of the founding of the Presidio, will be followed by a celebratory mass held in the Presidio Chapel along with early California music and dance, pottery, Chumash storytelling, archaeology, adobe brick making and a birthday cake. Happy 232nd birthday Santa Barbara!

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Invoking Angels

HEALTH TIPS, By Dr. Kathleen Boisen

Boisen cartoon April 16, 20140001

Illustration by entera-theartist.com

Angels have been with us throughout history, all religions honor them and they have great importance in the lives of our most predominant figures. The question to ask is, do you know how to experience an angelic presence in your life? Do you know how to actually invoke them when help or assistance is needed?

In today’s world we can all use a little extra help, even if it is unseen. I recently had to invoke many angels from the spirit realm to figure out how to fix a strange and terribly disturbing noise in my house. At certain times of the day it would literally almost drive me insane… a thumping sound combined with the sound of scratching a black board. No, it was not an evil spirit. Turns out it was a plumbing, water pressure problem. An angel did not fix it, but my desperate pleas to the angelic realm helped me find the only brilliant, forensic plumber on the earth plane, who actually did fix it. I didn’t do a Google search, or look in the yellow pages. After long pleas and begging to the angelic realm, it took just one phone call to a friend and I had his phone number. Even though at least 8 other repairmen completely failed to fix the problem or even knew what it was, they just gently indicated I might be nuts and left. Since he was the only one who had any idea of what was going on, and he fixed the problem I’m wondering if he is an angel in disguise. Continue Reading →

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Springtime in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.

Ladubug Daisy

I love the beautiful flowers this time of year, especially on my cacti. Unfortunately I’m not the only one. The aphids seem to be quite fond of them too. But, rather than spray or use soap we went down to the hardware store and got a little box of lady bugs. Most of the nurseries or home and garden stores keep them in little refrigerators, kind of dormant just waiting for an assignment. Mine had two jobs… get the bugs, and look pretty for the camera while doing it.

-Bill Heller

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Saturdays with Seibert: Happy Easter

By Dan Seibert

I want to share what I look forward to every Saturday night at 6:00. Reruns of the Lawrence Welk show on KOCE, channel 10 on Cox cable.

It takes me back to my childhood or adolescence, and while I didn’t watch the shows back then, now I love how it captures a moment in time.

Tonight, April 19 at 6:00 the show is from 1979, an Easter celebration including, “Easter Parade,” “Give Me That Old Time Religion,” “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” and “Love Lifted Me Up.”

Here are some photos from last week that I took of the show. Can you tell which photo is them singing, “Leaving on a Jet Plane?”


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EcoFacts: Another Earth Day

Weekly column by Barbara Hirsch

EarthDayTuesday is the 44th Earth Day, an idea born after a senator came to Santa Barbara to experience the devastation of the ’69 oil spill. The international Earthday.org site states that over a billion people are participating in one way or another. Wow, that is one large percentage of the global population!

To some or many, perhaps, it seems silly to have an Earth Day, because  1. every day should be one, or 2. they are so cynical as to think that all of the efforts we make to be better stewards of the planet are ridiculous. That category can be further divided into those who could care less and those who do care, but feel the futility of it.

Between those extremes, there is the reality that people like to have a reason to gather in a celebrating community fashion,  be amidst visual displays with a theme of some substance, visit booths to learn about cool programs and technologies, hang out with other kindly responsible folks, maybe buy some stuff and eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.   Oops, did I just say that?

In last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine is a certain deeply pertinent (to earth day) piece on one environmentalist’s road to despair and what follows. It is a good read, and even better if you go on to read the comments. Here are excerpts from a few:

“He’s no longer trying to change the big picture, just the one he lives in.”
“You don’t have to save the world, just don’t destroy it.”
“Man’s attempt to control the natural environment will doom him.”
“Nature will take it all back, it’s just that we may not be around to see it.”
“Better to face the facts, and go down fighting the good fight. Drive less, bike more, eat vegan and have fun!”
“…Perhaps we will not pollute every molecule of land, air and sea. Not trying is the greatest moral failure.

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The Milpas-Eastside Community Steps Up to Embrace Better Health

Milpas on the Move by Sharon Byrne

Chance conversations can provide seeds that produce amazing outcomes. I had a chance conversation in January with Luis Diaz of Milpas Chiropractic in the Milpas McDonald’s after a meeting. Diaz teaches at Santa Barbara Business College, and one of his subjects is community health. I wondered how you measure that? And how would we go about improving it?

It turns out that we are embarrassingly rich in resources for healthy living on the Eastside. First, we have great markets: Tri County Produce, Trader Joe’s, Fresh Market, Fresh & Easy – where you can get organic produce, grains, wild-caught fish, supplements, and more.

For fitness, we have Aggressive Soccer, personal trainers, the batting cages, fitness classes, and more.

We also have medical and well being resources: Franklin Clinic, the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinic, and Milpas Medical are all here, as is the Santa Barbara Body Therapy Institute.

Add to that those pushing me to do a Milpas Biggest Loser competition to lose weight… well it all that got rolled into the Milpas Healthy Community Initiative, whose big sponsor is McDonald’s.

Cue the catcalls on McDonald’s, but they do offer healthy items on their menu. When I traveled a lot for business, and despaired over poor airport food choices, my go-to solution was a fruit and yogurt parfait and a bottle of water from McDonald’s. The hardest part of losing weight is dining out – you have to navigate past a sea of temptation to find the healthier items. Make it easier on us, please! McDonald’s separated out their healthy choices on their menu for the Healthy Community Initiative.

They also have a McFit program for their employees. I met Claudia Hernandez, the manager of the Milpas McDonald’s, who lost 20 pounds on that program. She’s gorgeous. And tiny. And she got that way while working at McDonald’s!


Claudia Hernandez of Milpas McDonald’s with giveaways at Milpas Moves! event.

Dave Peterson, the owner, is a fit and healthy guy. He connected us with Choo Choo – a tall, slender nurse from Cottage Hospital that oversees weight loss programs for their employees.

We felt we had the start of something that could be really fun and healthy for this community.

So we kicked it off April 12th with the Milpas 1000 Challenge – we’re losing 1,000 pounds on the Milpas-Eastside. Cottage nurses were on site on that cold, foggy Saturday morning to weigh us, advise us on healthier habits, and give us support materials. Teams from the neighborhood signed up for the Challenge. When you lose 10 pounds, you’re eligible for a drawing for prizes like a brand new bike from Hazard’s, a $100 shopping trip at Tri County Produce, gorgeous gift basket from Fresh Market, massage from the Body Therapy Institute, and more.

After weigh in, it was time for Milpas Moves! We’re bringing a free workout class every month to the neighborhood and moving together as a community. Casa De La Raza brought in a Zumba class that kicked mine and Monique Limon’s butts. People from 6 to 75 were out there moving to Latin dance music, doing Salsa moves on steroids.  It was a total blast!


Esteban Ortiz teaches first Milpas Moves! Zumba

Being a gym rat….well…it’s just not appetizing for some of us. So we want to introduce the community to fun fitness activities with free classes! If you like the class, you can take more of them right here on the Eastside. The Zumba classas at Casa De La Raza are only $5 Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 PM. That’s fitness everyone can afford!

Want to get in on it? Weigh in at the Milpas McDonald’s Tuesdays or Thursdays at 6 PM. The next Milpas Moves! is May 17th 9-11 AM. We weigh in 9-10 AM, and workout 10-11 AM. Follow the Milpas Community Association on Facebook so you can stay abreast of all the offerings. It’s free and fun!

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10,000 Facebook Likes

droughtIn honor of reaching 10,000 Facebook likes today, here is a recent fan photo that is representative of the mobile uploads and humorous observations:

Daytime Dirt Watering During Drought.

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A Bird’s-Eye View of Santa Barbara, California

Happy anniversary… to Santa Barbara’s iconic news personality Paula Lopez who has been with KEYT-TV News Channel 3, for 18 years this April.

In honor of national parks week, April 19-27, our national parks will be free this weekend, April 19-20. To help restore our national parks, pledge to volunteer.

Did you know… there are 392 National Parks in America; of which, the Channel Islands National Park, five remarkable islands and their ocean environment, is the least visited?

The City-sponsored Eggstravaganza is this Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and is for toddlers to 8-year-olds. Egg hunters are organized by age group at Chase Palm Park. Families interested in a more intimate hunt are invited to Parque de los Ninos.

Think the Golden State’s highways are full of potholes? Not true says the Department of Transportation. In a recent pavement survey, Caltrans bragged that the percentage of lane miles deemed “healthy” rose to 84% in 2013, up from 75% in 2011.

Thank you for your social support… Santa Barbara View just hit 10,000 likes on Facebook! If you haven’t checked it out, the Facebook page has mobile photos, custom content and additional commentary that is a lot of fun.

Speaking of socialWhat is my Twitter worth, values @sbview at $1,905.12 or the equivalent of 476 Big Macs. Thank you to our 2,645 followers there too.

Local history isn’t lost on a Philadelphia-based company… Hersha, new owners of Hotel Oceana at 202 W. Cabrillo Blvd., will rename the property Hotel Milo in honor of Milo Potter who opened the former West Beach hotel in 1903.

More on Milo… Although the Potter Hotel was not a commercial success, it introduced America’s wealthiest families to Santa Barbara and the City acquired the image of an ideal place for the wealthy to retire and establish vacation homes. The hotel also lured business tycoons and the brightest stars of show business – not to mention the 40th president of the United States. The man who did the most to bring about that image change was the handsome Milo Milton Potter, 1854-1925 – Walker A. Tompkins.

Royal Pride… San Marcos High School puts out a 2014 prom promo video.

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Can’t Break this Habit

Weekly column by Loretta Redd

Brent and Bruce Reichard, owners of the Habit on lower State Street,  know a lot about burgers, but policing, social work and sanitation were outside of their expertise until they decided to reclaim the block where the restaurant is located.

Realizing their food service and ‘captive’ audience of patio diners was contributing to the growing number of young urban drifters in front, drunks and drug sales in back, and trash and cups in the streets, they did what successful entrepreneurs always do: they found a solution.

IMG_4124Gone, today, are the vacuous vagabonds of urban yoachers,  gone are those who used the garden circle as their urinal, who shot-up in the shadows of back alleys, and others who fished out empty cups to bilk “free” refills from the soda machines.

It’s what can happen when all of the ‘gatekeepers’  trade keys and share the combination to unlock the doors of possibility.

First the brothers found a local advisor with knowledge of the area and connections to various groups, both enforcement and non-profit types.  Then they called a series of meetings with the interested parties and created action items.

Rather than creating another program to rescue those on the street, rather than bemoaning that nothing had ever worked before, rather than complaining about how slow government was to react, or fearing their actions might be considered police brutality, they focused on their one block of State Street.  What was the source of the problem, what made this an inviting block for misbehavior, what were the liabilities and limits of their authority, and who can make things happen?

photo 1Spontaneous solutions began to fly like synergistic popcorn…the guys from the parking garage recommended fencing the circle, which would let the greenery grow and dissuade its use as a porta-potty.  Signs were erected  that the dark alleyway between Blush, Dargan’s and the Habit was under camera surveillance (why not, they’re everywhere from traffic lights to ATMs) to reduce the drug commerce occurring there.

Then the artist who installed the brick “wall” in front of the Habit was invited to consider a new, more visible and artistically appreciated location…though for now, it remains encircled with yellow construction tape.  Artistic expression yes, but I doubt the creator envisioned  his work  as the Greyhound bus stop bench it had become.
trashThe garbage cans, once easily accessed by poachers and pigeons, sidewalk sitters and seagulls, have been replaced with those at Lake Tahoe, where trash attracts 500 pound black bears as customers.  These new trash containers require the contortion of Cirque du Soleil to successfully excavate a drink cup.

Over the course of a couple of weeks, the Habit is no longer in-habit-ed.  Without heavy-handed police presence or sidewalk bouncers, without Council declarations or new ordinances, without denying anyone’s civil rights, this small group of dedicated citizens, business owners, and organizations formed a tiny army of determination and took back their block of State Street.

It would appear those lost souls who had helped create an environment of intimidation and illegal behavior have completely dispersed, not just moved to the next block.  But if  they re-congregate, there’s now a menu of delicious action items the Reichard brothers have helped create for other business owners to select from.

And for those still on the street, there may be a job at the Habit waiting, whenever you decide to seek the programs that are available to get cleaned up, and back to work.  They’d love to have you…we all would.

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On the Docket: Drought and Water Rates

Santa Barbara View photo: Cachuma Lake, April 2014

SBView.com: Cachuma Lake, April 2014

Today at their weekly meeting, the Santa Barbara City Council will talk drought along with proposed changes to local water rates. According to the Agenda, “while the Santa Barbara area has had some recent rainstorms, the rainfall has not been enough to end the area’s persistent drought condition. Extraordinary conservation to meet the 20% demand reduction is needed. Staff anticipates the need to declare a Stage Two Drought Condition in May 2014.” Continue Reading →

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Death on the American Riviera

Peter Lance Photo: Raymond Victor Morua III and Congresswoman Lois Capps.

Peter Lance Photo: Raymond Victor Morua III and Congresswoman Lois Capps.

Controversial journalist Peter Lance returned to the local scene on Sunday with an investigative report on “the Congresswoman, the Iraq war vet and the cover-up of a DUI scandal”.

Lance, who has most recently penned lengthy reports on Santa Barbara DUI police corruption, published PART ONE: Memories of Mallory in the Santa Barbara News-Press and online.

The first report suggests that former Lois Capps’ aide, Raymond Morua, who allegedly killed Mallory Rae Dies while drunk driving, was actually on the job 45 minutes before the fateful incident, working for Representative Capps. If so, the government could be responsible for Mr. Morua’s actions, click read PDF, Part I.

The second of this five part series, in Monday’s issue of the Santa Barbara news-Press, continues with the theme that Mr. Morua was working for the Congresswoman at a local holiday party and at a cigar bar after that on December 5, 2013, an issue critical to whether Mallory’s family can recover damages from the government.
Part Two: Everybody Loves Raymond, click to read PDF.

Update: Peter Lance was back at it Wednesday with his 2014 DUI Series PART THREE The “Hero” And The High Speed Chase, click to ready PDF. Today’s piece notes that Mr. Morua is expected to plead guilty to manslaughter which will likely bring a sentence of 15 years to life.  Lance writes about government officials who first sought to protect Raymond, but then rapidly distanced themselves from Morua. Lance also writes about the young man who tailed Morua after the accident. However, the important part of the story is that Mallory’s family has filed a claim for damages with House Speaker John Boehner. The legal position reportedly taken by Lois Capps’ office and the counsel for the US House of Representatives is that Raymond was out and about on his own volition that night and was not on the job. If that theory prevails, the Dies family will purportedly have little hope for proper legal compensation.

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