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A View of Santa Barbara in 1835

As January 2011 ends, here’s a view of Santa Barbara in January, 1835

“lie the mission and town of Santa Barbara, on a low plain, but little above the level of the sea, covered with grass, though entirely without trees, and surrounded on three sides by an amphitheater of mountains, which slant off to the distance of fifteen or twenty miles. The mission stands a little back of the town, and is a large building, or rather collection of buildings, in the center of which is a high tower, with a belfry of five bells,” Richard Henry Dana, Jr. wrote is his classic, Two Years Before the Mast.

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Housing the Homeless in San Roque

The City of Santa Barbara is paying $1.1 million to buy an apartment building near the family-friendly enclave of San Roque… the 8-unit building will likely be converted into housing for the homeless.

The Santa Barbara Housing Authority is in the process of purchasing the complex at 2904 State Street, with escrow expected to close February 15, 2011. The Santa Barbara City Council then plans to approve a grant which will allow Willbridge, a local non-profit organization that focuses on the homeless, to purchase the property.

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Sandpiper Golf Course Sunset Path in 3D

Santa Babara photo to start the week by Bill Heller

This evening I actually stopped because the sun looked so beautiful through the trees at the far end of Hollister. The first shot was a telephoto shot from the parking lot of the golf course, and I was pretty happy with the results. As I got a little closer however I found there were all sorts of beautiful scenes that lent themselves to a panoramic view. What an amazing, relaxing walk that path must be! Well, as long as the little white ball doesn’t frustrate you too much!

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-Bill Heller

EcoFacts: Climate Change

Column by Barbara Hirsch

The climate is changing, NO ONE COULD DENY THIS. CO2 levels in the air and oceans, which for millennia were locked under the planet’s surface, are the highest ever. And as long as coal, oil and gas are priced as they are, their extraction subsidized by and controlling our governments (and being well supported by our way of life) these changes will keep having tragic consequences for all creatures.

Here are a few of the many recent weather records broken and extreme weather events:

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Santa Barbara Film Festival Animation

Few things at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival generate as much chatter as the introduction video, which shows before every movie. This year’s animated version was created by Harry Bossert, a London teenager. Below is the orginal version of video, but Bossert notes, “there were several edits created from this for the trailers, and I changed the ending to feature the SBIFF poster. Parry  re-worked the music, too.”
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Soil and Seed Time in Santa Barbara

The Garden Post by Cerena Childress – Sustainability, Eating Fresh and Organic

With these warm days, it is ever so tempting to plant up summer veggies! Don’t do it. Not yet. Start seeds.


Depending on how much space you have, plant a last round of your very favorite winter crops – lettuces, beets, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, celery, chard, kale, kohlrabi, potatoes, radishes, turnips. Bare-root asparagus and artichokes. I forgot to tell you last month, you could start zucchini! At Pilgrim Terrace we had an elder gardener who always started his in January and had great zucchini way before everyone else! Other than zuchs, really look at those days to maturity, and add the number of days you expect for harvest duration. If you plant a long maturing plant that would be harvested for some time, think if you would rather have that space for an early round of a summer veggie you love more. Choose mildew and disease resistant varieties for your late peas.

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The Friday Film Festival View…

Report by Film Festival correspondent Charis Robertson

The lines for the Friday morning shows started around 7:45 AM. “Crazy,” we were, said Roger Durling and rightly so. At 8 was the East European TILT, the US Premiered German-Bulgarian co-production about young love in cold war Bulgaria. It’ll be shown again two more times. I look forward to it.

Crazy like a fox, I chose SIMPLE SIMON, Sweden’s Academy Award entry, which didn’t quite make into the final five. It’s a treat of a film about, of all things Aspbergers Syndrome, but really about being different and how, really, with a bit of effort, if not understanding, we can get along. It, too, will show again two more times. Catch it if you can!

Smiles in the Metro 4 lobby this morning: a wonderful beginning to this year’s festival. Viva la Festival, Viva!

Palin-Cheney: A Disservice to the Gipper

To honor one of the great presidents in United States history, a “uniter” who captured 49 states with a record 525 electoral votes in 1984, Santa Barbara’s Young America’s Foundation is bringing Sarah Palin and Dick Cheney to town to headline Ronald Reagan’s centennial birthday celebration. Palin and Cheney are two of the most divisive personalities is modern politics, and Dick represents the opposite view of Reagan’s peace through strength. This new conservative movement portrayed by the Foundation looks nothing like Reagan Revolution and the headline ticket of Palin (February 4th) and Cheney (February 5th) is a disservice to the Gipper.

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Film Festival correspondent Charis Robertson was right… Thursday night’s opening film, Sarah’s Key, was an exception and it did break the opening night curse – a fact that people wanted to talk about all night. Playing to a packed house at the Arlington, the heavy and moving film about a dark time in French history stirred the soul. Many wept, most were on edge, and you could hear a pin drop in the Theatre. Bravo!
The crowd then meandered down State Street to a dressed-up Paseo Nuevo. Live bands, food, free drinks, and a swanky setting. The “who’s who” were out in force on a clear, chilly and beautiful night. Making appearances were; the Palm, Mayor Schneider, a bow-tied Dale Francisco, the handsomely paid Jim Armstrong and his wife, John Dickson, firefighter of the year Rob Heckman, and a whole host of others.
Friday brings a full slate of movies which started at 8 am – over 170 films will be shown at the 2011 Festival. Then the spotlights return to the Arlington for some star power… Warren Beatty, Annette Bening, and local legend Kevin Costner.

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