The last big outbreak of whooping cough, five years ago, hit hard around here.
The nightmarish coughing spasms—so severe they left my then-eight-year-old son gasping for air around the clock, and both of us sleepless at night—were a grim reality for a couple of months, but the damage lingered far beyond.
Shocked by the severity of the vaccine-preventable illness, I learned everything I could and shared that new-found expertise in a memorable cover story for the Santa Barbara Independent, titled “Hundred-Day Hack.” I even ended up on the Today Show, talking about whooping cough. I never expected to address it again.
But the recent epidemic—more than 4,000 cases in California, the most in a half-century, and 45 cases in Santa Barbara County—is so bad that the Santa Barbara school district dialed up robo-calls to inform parents about it. Here’s the follow-up, the cautionary tale about life after the coughing stops. It’s bad enough to contract the disease—coming back from it can be just as difficult.
All of the deceptive practices carried out by the officials ofthe City of Bell reveal that without effective exposure of day-to-day happenings, it is possible to deceive those members of the public who try to stay informed as well as officials from other agencies, including law enforcement charged with the responsibility to be vigilant to questionable practices. Some of Bell’s executives used multiple-year employment contracts to protect themselves from possible reductions in salary which otherwise could happen during a recession.
The public would like to think that public officials now question their own practices and voluntarily disclose employee costs with clear and accurate descriptions of salaries and complicated benefit packages. However, as recently as September 9, 2010, the Santa Barbara School Districts Board approved a one-year extension to June 30, 2012 to the existing 2008-2011 contract for the Associate Superintendent. According to the agenda, approval was granted after more than one closed session; suggesting some discussion or disagreement. By this extension, the Associate Superintendent is conveniently protected for one year from any organizational or budget changes a newly-elected Board might seek to make.
It’s all in the timing: with NBC’s weeklong initiative called “Education Nation,” the upcoming release of the critically acclaimed “Waiting for Superman,” and the issues of union protection, teacher competence, standardized testing and student achievement front and center, it’s time to pay attention to those campaigning for a seat on the local school board.
Meet the candidates, hear them respond to questions from the moderators, ask a question of your own—make an informed choice for two, among incumbent Kate Parker, Monique Limon, Loren Mason and Dean Nevins.
And work crews are set to collect soil samples at the site to test for a number of contaminants related to the tank, according to the work plan as specified by the Santa Barbara County Fire Prevention Division.
The sludge found in the tank tested at high levels for the following contaminants:
Total Petroleum Hydrocarbons (TPH), n Butylbenzene, sec-Butylbenzene, Isopropylbenzene; Naphthalene, n-Propylbenzene, as well as Barium and Lead.
Remaining soil and groundwater samples are required to be analyzed for the following:
The Santa Barbara City Council will be hearing Cottage’s request for additional approvals of the project this afternoon. According to the Staff Report the condo project is now owned by Villa Riviera Real Estate Company, with former St. Francis Hospital CEO Ron Biscaro named as Chief Executive Officer.
Today, the Santa Barbara City Council will discuss and consider another tax on tourists. The proposed hotel tax will be purportedly used to market Santa Barbara as a vacation destination. Does the American Riviera really need to be promoted?
According to officials, the answer is yes. If the City Council approves the Santa Barbara Tourism Business Improvement District tax, hotel owners would be charged between 50 cents-to-$2 per occupied room, per night.
Santa Barbara is not only leading the way in the field of “Rigs to Reefs” but may be a pace-setter for the notion of what I like to call “Pier to Perch.”
Oil drilling once took place just offshore a half mile down-coast from Haskell’s, Bacara Beach. Supporting the drilling apparatus was an old oil and gas pier.
Two oil wells operated until 1958. Forty-seven years later ARCO Company dismantled most of the pier but left behind eight concrete supports, which became the foundation for an artificial reef.
For nearly a half century, the cormorants and brown pelicans roosted on the pier’s old pilings; in 2005, when the pier was removed, four above-water platforms were fashioned for the birds. The artificial reef is expected to nurture marine life, including the kelp forest and assorted invertebrates plus calico bass, sand bass, halibut, perch and rockfish. — Follow-up piece on Rigs to Reef by John McKinney