Archive | October, 2010

One Thousand Steps Beach

Series on Santa Barbara County beaches by John McKinney the TrailMaster.

A long stairwell, but nowhere near a thousand steps, leads from Santa Barbara’s Mesa neighborhood to the beach located just up-coast from Shoreline Park. The venerable steps, built in 1923 and overhauled in the 1990s, lead to a narrow sand and cobble beach, best enjoyed at low tide when some intriguing tide pools are revealed.
One Thousand StepsOne Thousand Steps Beach
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A Final View of John Hager

In an effort to provide information about the candidates, the Santa Barbara View asked those running for political office, what are the major issues of concern in your race… and what is your favorite view of Santa Barbara.

I am running for election to Congress for the 23rd district as an independent. In response to your candidate inquiries, here are my answers. Most important issues:

1. Problem: Lack of jobs. Uncertainty is the biggest concern.  Businesses aren’t hiring because they are uncertain about taxes and the real costs of the health care legislation.  We are all worried about the economy, and banks aren’t ready to lend the money that they have because they also face uncertainty.  Many people have lost confidence in Congress. Action: We need to restore confidence at every level by changing Congress, providing investment and hiring incentives to small businesses, and fixing the health care legislation to address cost and access issues.

Favorite view: Many—the grassy area outside the library at City College, Campus Point at UCSB, and finally, the dolphin statue at the foot of State Street, where you can see the blue Pacific, Stearns Wharf, the harbor, Chase Palm Park, the business hub of State Street, our beautiful mountains, and people.

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Fresh From the Farm: Jalama Road Family Farm Stand

By Kerry Allen, Weekend Hippie

Tucked among the windswept rolling hills of San Julian Valley, just past grazing cattle and the clapboard remnants of the Jalama Road schoolhouse sits Jalama Road Family Farm Stand, Santa Barbara’s newest farm stand. It’s not only a place to stock the larder with fresh veggies, baked delicacies and small batch canned goods, but it’s also your chance to meet new friends and support local farmers.

hippieJalama Road Family Farm Stand is a collaborative effort put up by the Pata family (their farming history dates to the 1600s) and the Malloy family (part of the well-known surfing Malloys) to bring together produce and artisanal goods from their ranching and farming neighbors from Jalama Road and nearby Highway 1. When I stopped by the stand was in full swing, peddling an array of seasonal produce—plump heirloom tomatoes, pumpkins perfectly shaped for carving, impressively odd squash, and a selection of just-picked herbs. Erin Pata had just added a range of the stand’s branded wild sage honey and butter beans, and Santa Rosa plum jam from Katie Rose Isaacson who lives just up the road on her family’s ranch. Katie picks, cuts and cans fruits from her family’s orchard using recipes from old ranch cookbooks.

Farm stands are your direct line to meeting the people that grow the food you eat. Plus, the produce and homemade goods available at farm stands cost less (no middle man), support Santa Barbara farmers (buy local), and taste better (fresh from the field means everything is vine ripened).  Santa Barbara farmers host farms stands throughout the county giving you plenty of opportunity to support local farmers and eat healthier. You can find more farm stands at Weekend Hippie.

Visit the Jalama Road Family Farm Stand
Open: Friday – Sunday, noon – 5pm. Check fall hours by visiting their Web site.

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Meet Jose

jose hs 72Jose is a 16 pound, 2-3 year-old neutered male mystery mix, has long Italian Greyhound legs with maybe some chihuahua and beagle. Calm and well behaved little gentleman who plays nicely with the other little dogs at DAWG and then wants to settle near you for a nap.  A fast and joyful runner. He appears to have had some training, walks unusually gently on lead. He is awaiting a home at DAWG (Dog Adoption and Welfare Group), 5480 Overpass Rd, Goleta. For more information call,  805-681-0561 or visit,

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EcoFacts: Urban Mining

Column by Barbara Hirsch

As one can imagine, there is much (so very, very much!) to be salvaged besides rare earth materials from the stuff of human society. Metals, minerals and rock that have already been mined, wood that has been grown, are all “industrial nutrients” which can be upcycledused again to make products of similar or higher value - if they can be recovered. (Plastic and other synthetic substances are usually far less “nutritional”, generally being downcycled if ever used again.) Tossed machines and electronic devices are one gigantic mass to be mined. Let’s take a little one. In 2008, 1.3 billion cell phones were sold.

Recently the Japanese government launched an advertising campaign that included prizes offered, to get their citizens to recycle their unused cell phones. Over a half million were collected in 100 days, enough to yield close to 50 pounds of gold, 175 pounds of silver, 2 pounds of palladium and over 5 tons (10,000 pounds!) of copper.

Toyota is beginning to recover batteries from hybrid vehicles no longer in use. The nickel will be used to make half again as many new batteries.

The Japanese and Europeans are moving quickly. German corporations Alba, MeWa and Hamos GmbH are three who handle many thousands of tons of e-waste, vehicles, appliances, cabling, etc. or make and sell the equipment to do so.

E-waste and other hazardous waste has been exported from richer to poorer countries where extracting anything of value was toxic and dangerous. An international treaty, the Basil Convention (BAN), was placed into effect in 1992 to limit these activities, although they still occur. As industry finds the economy in dealing with these materials and the ability to do it safely, this business is growing. Perhaps the repair industry could grow too?

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Community March For Public Safety

The citywide march for public safety takes place Saturday at 11:00 am at the Amtrak Train station parking lot at State and Yanonali. A rally will be held at the march’s destination at City Hall in De La Guerra Plaza. (captivating  flier below)

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The Semi Big Game

The Santa Barbara High School Dons football team (2-6, 1-1) aims for the City Championship tonight as they travel to Dos Pueblos. Meanwhile, the Chargers (4-3, 1-0) have their sights on a larger prize, a Channel League championship. Dos Pueblos will need to run the table against Santa Barbara, San Marcos and Ventura to claim both the City and Channel League championships. If the Dons win on the road, Santa Barbara will hoist the City Championship. The semi-big game takes place in Goleta tonight at Scott O’Leary Stadium, 7 p.m.

UPDATE: The Dos Pueblos Chargers won 27-7 and play @ San Marcos next week.

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Santa Barbara Cemetery Walking Tour Passes Through Our Humanity (Part II)

Story and photos by David Petry

One pivotal moment in our country’s history that coincided with a sea change in the way we understood ourselves, and were buried, was the end of the Civil War. As the war progressed, it was assumed that, as with casualties in past American wars, the dead would be disinterred from the makeshift graves on the battlefields, and shipped in simple pine boxes back to their family plots.

There were over 600,000 dead.

Instead of shipping them back home, national cemeteries were devised, either directly on the sites of the battlefields, or close by. Thousands upon thousands of soldiers’ graves were created in these sites, each with a separate wooden marker costing $1.23 a piece.

The lifetime of a wooden marker, however, is roughly five to ten years. The War Department realized that with over 300,000 known burials, that they were in for a huge maintenance cost in the years ahead. According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, “the original and replacement costs would exceed $1 million over a 20-year period.” A more permanent solution was needed.

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Trouble in Paradise

Letter to the Editor, Milpas Community Association

Recently, a neighborhood began forming with a unified voice on Milpas. We are a group of residents and businesses just trying to get our neighborhood back, and make it safe again. During our formation, we have witnessed the beating death of a man on our streets by a gang just released out of prison. His only crime was walking home from his job. A week later a woman was attacked and beaten up in her restaurant on Milpas St.

The Milpas Community Association is rocked by these events, and refuses to let them stand. We’re outraged that this is happening in our neighborhood, and it only reinforces our belief that we simply must take our neighborhood back.

But we are clearly not alone.

Citizens from all over Santa Barbara are uniting to declare that there is indeed “Trouble Here in Paradise.” Anyone who lives, works, or just visits Santa Barbara knows that the quality of life here is spiraling downward.

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Bits from a Barstool….

Pick up this week’s Independent for Cheri Rae’s powerful cover story on dyslexia.

An interested observerPaul Turnbull, former Principal at Santa Barbara High and current Superintendent at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District, has been seen at the local school board forums, leading many to speculate that Turnbull is eyeing Brian Sarvis’ job as Superintendent of the Santa Barbara School Districts.

The fleecing of Santa Barbara…. Vote No on Measure S to avoid a 9.25% sales tax.

Recommended reading… purchase Erin Graffy de Garcia’s new book at Chaucer’s for a compelling look at the history of the Santa Barbara Yacht Club and waterfront.

Do websites need emotional support? Yes, according to a subscription renewal email from Edhat, “we really need your CONTINUING SUPPORT… Trust us when we say that the money is important, but the emotional support is important as well.”

Become a Friend of the Santa Barbara View… join over 1,500 people who follow us.

Did you know… the oldest active hotel in Santa Barbara is the Upham, which is still doing business at the same address where it started out in 1871 – four years before the Arlington Hotel was built and more than twenty five years before the Potter Hotel?

No apostrophe needed… can we please learn to spell Stearns Wharf correctly?
s Wharf sign

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Views of the Season…


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A Santa Barbara Tradition

Every two years when elections are held for seats on the School Board, candidates must face the candid questions posed by the students at

Santa Barbara Open Alternative School.

This year all four candidates—incumbent Kate Parker and challengers Dean Nevins, Loren Mason and Monique Limon—faced the student council questioners at a forum held yesterday at the public school.

Candidates fielded a dozen questions including:

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Making Marks and Sowing Seeds

By Cheri Rae

cOur comfortable old bungalow gets a good number of welcome guests, many of whom bring simple gifts—flowers, a bottle of wine, a loaf of bread—as thoughtful reminders of their visits.

And then there are the unseen, unknown visitors, those who make their presence known in what they leave behind.

Just this week, the same graffiti “artist” who attacked Santa Barbara High School and my next-door neighbor’s historic sandstone wall with silver spray paint hit my property, too.  Now that sturdy concrete wall—which has stood for nearly a century without anyone thinking it appropriate to spray initials on it—needs major clean-up, and the tagging can’t be removed without destroying the fine old finish of the wall.

We will get out the graffiti kit supplied by the city, and apply the strong solvent, which likely won’t work, and ultimately have to resort to painting at least a part of the wall that was built in 1912.

I guess we should just be grateful it wasn’t vandalized before now. But tagging in my neighborhood, and around town, has obviously multiplied in the last year or so.

We will spend our time, and likely our cash, to take care of this intrusion, just as we did this summer, when our garage door was completely graffitied over, twice in two days—requiring a full day’s work to paint over the mess it took some disrespectful narcissist just a few moments to make.

And just as our friends who own the corner market down the street had to spend $200 to paint out the graffiti that hit them—right after they’d spruced up the place with new awnings and a new paint job a couple of weeks ago.

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A View of the SB City College Trustees

In an effort to provide information about the candidates, the Santa Barbara View asked those running for political office, what are the major issues of concern. Here’s a reply, including a paragraph on the Parent-Child Workshops, on behalf of the four incumbents running for the Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees.

On behalf of the four incumbents, our primary issues, and our positions, are as follows:

1. College Budget and Reserves: Over the last few years, as the State of California has gone into the hole, money allocated for education has been steadiily decreasing, and City College has been cut almost 10% in the past two Budget years. This has forced belt-tightening all around, and since, in the present Recession, more and more students are coming to City College for their educational goals, we have had to budget our available funds very very carefully in order to provide classes necessary to Transfer and for Basic Skills and Workforce Preparation – our three State-mandated priorities. This we have done, more prudently than any other California community college, and when the State of California was unable for more than one hundred days to pass a State Budget, and therefore did not make its monthly payments to schools and colleges, we had sufficient reserves to cover all College expenses and operating costs for five months, a full semester, without borrowing, lay-offs, or furloughs – Expedients to which many community colleges, school districts and local governments have been driven.

Since we are pretty sure that these State Budget trapeze acts in Sacramento will continue into the next few years, we have to maintain adequate reserves to deal with these recurring funding cut-offs into the future, and the Board is committed to doing that. We have the experience and the will to keep the College operating through tough times, and are not beholden to any group of groups urging us to spend money on their own particular programs or classes, to the detriment of our overall fiscal situation and the delivery of educational services to the community.
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Learning from a Bad Decision for Santa Barbara Neighborhoods

By Dale Francisco, Santa Barbara City Council

Last Tuesday, October 19th, in what I believe was one of its worst decisions in quite some time, City Council voted to deny an appeal of an Architectural Board of Review (ABR) approval of a radically incompatible home design in a traditionalist Westside neighborhood. I think the council failed to grapple with the most important underlying issue—unfortunately not for the first time.

Last year the applicant, a homeowner at 903 West Mission Street (corner of Mission and Gillespie), came to the ABR with a plan for a second-story addition, an “accessory dwelling unit” (granny flat). The neighborhood consists mostly of bungalows on small lots in period architectural styles (mainly English Cottage, Mission Revival, and Craftsman). The applicant’s Ventura-based architect presented to the ABR a modernist design with metal cladding and a metal roof. This design was turned down because of stylistic incompatibility with the neighborhood and a failure to meet the minimum open space requirements in the zoning ordinance.

The applicant then hired Clay Aurell, a young architect who serves on the ABR. He came back in May of this year with an improved design, but still a modernist, metal clad building that failed to meet open space requirements. This design was approved by a 3-1 vote  (Clay and a landscape architect also hired by the applicant and also serving on the ABR had to recuse themselves). The only opposing vote was by Gary Mosel, who had consistently opposed the intrusion of an alien design aesthetic in a traditional Santa Barbara neighborhood—in this he was following ABR guidelines.

A next-door neighbor appealed this decision. Forty of her neighbors signed a petition supporting the appeal.

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