Archive | February, 2011

RE: Notice of Council Meeting to Discuss Plan Santa Barbara

Letter to the Editor
planadThe Notice (left – click to enlarge) does not mention that the motion to adopt Plan Santa-Barbara at Councilmember Williams’ last meeting failed. That ended the process related to the General Plan as recommended to the City Council by the Planning Commission. The City Council did not at that meeting continue the item to a date certain–as required for a continued consideration of a proposed General Plan. As a result, the process must start over. The general plan adoption process as set forth is state law and the Charter, requires a recommendation from the Planning Commission to the City Council.

The discussion announced for March 1 sounds like a time for decisions regarding adoption of a General Plan. The notice does not solve the legal status based upon the prior rejection of the recommendations of the Planning Commission. Even if the Planning Commission part of the process is ignored, this Notice does not comply with State laws, including the Brown Act, which requires a minimum of ten day notice in the newspapers of a new hearing date for a General Plan hearing.

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Stearns Wharf Sunset

Virtual Reality View of Santa Barbara by renown local photographer Bill Heller

Well I didn’t get the winter wonderland photos I was dreaming of this weekend. But the clouds were just amazing.

Controls from left to right:
+ Zoom in;
- Zoom out;
change the way the view moves when you drag;
toggle full screen

(and still working on a new touch interface)

-Bill Heller

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Spanish Street Names of Santa Barbara

FotoMICHELTORENA (mee-chel-to-reh’-nah) for General José Manuel Micheltorena, the kindly Mexican governor who ordered the main missions placed again under the administration of the Franciscan Fathers (twelve of the twenty were restored). Although his government sent him to California with a ragamuffin convict army of almost four hundred which constantly hampered his actions, he charmed the populace with his gentlemanly ways. His wife, La Gobernadora, for a time ably ruled the land while her wise husband was away attending to native uprisings. He also had some difficulty finding horses to pull the carriage he brought with him, as draft animals were almost unknown then (spoke and wheel wagons began to be imported about 1843). He introduced a military service measure which materially helped the revolt against him. In the final battle, Micheltorena lost one horses and one mule and left, hearvy-hearted over the impending war with the United States, which he foresaw. He stopped at the house of Gumecindo Flores whenever he was in Santa Barbara since his nephew was married to the niece of Comandante Flores’ wife.

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Petrini’s Italian Restaurants: Keeping Santa Barbara Santa Barbara

sbawardWith authentic Italian food, a comfortable dining setting, over 50 years of service in the community and a new store opening in Goleta… a Keeping Santa Barbara Santa Barbara Award goes to Petrini’s.

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Toon Op: Redevelopment Repo

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This cartoon is copyrighted and licensed to appear on the Santa Barbara View. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. By local cartoonist Steve Greenberg.

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EcoFacts: Food Travels

Weekly column by Barbara Hirsch

How few people in our familiar world of western society eat mostly local food, ever since motorized vehicles connected us so quickly. The diversity of foods available to us now would be truly incredible, if it weren’t so entirely credible by today’s standards. No doubt this is a wonderful aspect of modern life, other than the costs to the planet. But food must be fundamental to the world economy. Even so, when olive oil from Italy is cheaper than the local stuff here in Santa Barbara, one must ask why. Even IF real estate and labor is cheaper in Italy, over 6,000 miles away.

Santa Barbara County is a truly bountiful place. More than 75 kinds of fruits and vegetables are grown here. It is among the top 1% of farming counties in the country, producing over a billion dollars worth annually. There is also local dairy, beef, pork, fish. We produce plenty of wines. (We don’t grow our grains, which is, granted, a large portion of our diets.) And yet, 99% of our county’s food is being exported, 95% of all that we eat here is imported. A study by David Cleveland at UC Santa Barbara has explored this conundrum as part of its associated greenhouse gas emissions and the potential for localizing our economy. The results point to large scale ag. production, fertilizers, processing and packaging as being far worse than the final transport of the goods.

Surely though, some improvement – low hanging fruit, so to speak – is possible. Some years ago the BBC offered a fun science quiz that included this fact: “The energy used to import a kg. of fresh spinach from California to the UK is equivalent to running a 100 watt light bulb for: 1 month!” – this being about half of my daily use of electricity at home for that month.

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Santa Barbara Garden Post

Weekly Column by Cerena Childress – Sustainability, Eating Fresh and Organic

First Week of March, First Summer Planting!

Go get your seeds, transplants, any amendments that make you happy, clear your space, and go for it! Poke bean seeds in at the base of finishing peas, tomatoes, artichokes from transplants, corn, New Zealand spinach, cucumbers, summer and winter squash! If you have room and want to, plant last rounds of cool-season crops – broccoli (with cilantro & lettuce), cabbage, potatoes. Add more year-rounds, beets, carrots, chard, bunch onions, radish, turnips. Remember to leave space for your succession plantings!
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True heat lovers next month – eggplant, limas, melons, okra, peppers and pumpkins. Wait, wait…you can do it. Unless you live in the foothills with a south facing wall, many wait to plant tomatoes until next month. That means if you haven’t already, get those babies started in the greenhouse to get a head start!

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Persons of the Week: Santa Barbara Conservancy

Just when it seems like no one cares about historic preservation of Santa Barbara anymore, we’re reminded once again that there are hard-working and very knowledgeable individuals who join together and give their all as good stewards of this unique community.

Quietly and coherently, this small group of standout citizens has produced impressive publications—“Stone Architecture of Santa Barbara,” and a striking architectural poster—and lent its voice to supporting the historic designation of Mattei’s Tavern, the addition of an historic element to the General Plan Update and other efforts to recognize and protect historic cultural, architectural and natural resources.

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Ouch!! There It Is

Supreme; nevertheless, a $4 gallon of gas spotted in Montecito. (picture below)
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Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic’s 16th Annual Record-A-Thon

Just in time to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Seuss, mark your calendars for the annual volunteer record-a-thon sponsored  by Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic.

Rec-a-Thon LogoIndividuals, groups, and businesses are invited to join local authors and other community members for Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic’s 16TH annual Record-A-Thon, taking place Monday, February 28 through Thursday March 3 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Friday, March 5 from 9:00 am to noon at RFB&D’s Santa Barbara offices/recording studios, located at 5638 Hollister Avenue, Suite 210 in Goleta.

RFB&D, a nonprofit volunteer organization, is the nation’s leading educational library of recorded textbooks serving students with visual impairment, dyslexia or other physical disability that make reading standard textbooks difficult or impossible.

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Building Relationships for Historic Preservation

a report by Betsy Cramer

Building relationships was the topic of the first workshop presented by the Santa Barbara Conservancy, Wednesday, at 914 Santa Barbara Street. Stephen Shafer, President of the San Buenaventura Conservancy and a professional photographer, described some of Ventura’s architectural history, illustrating his lecture with archival photos, contrasting with contemporary views. Not everything can be saved, he pointed out, but saving our history is worth the struggle.

Attending were representatives of the major land use-preservation organizations: the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation, the Pearl Chase Society, Goleta Valley Historical Society, Santa Ynez Valley Alliance, various neighborhood associations and individuals, including Board members of the SB Conservancy.

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County Solutions Take Flight

The County of Santa Barbara hired a falconer to keep seagulls away from the Tajiguas Landfill and droppings out of the neighboring watershed. Here’s the story:
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Construction Noise that Never Ends

Some citizens are wondering how they’re going to get through the day—and night.

With heavy equipment banging, rumbling and pounding all day at St. Francis, local residents have a right to think they thought they might get a break at night. But last night through the wee hours of the morning, the same kind of noises, presumably from the Milpas underpass construction, rumbled and reverberated loudly, incessantly through the area.

If Eastside residents are a bit bleary-eyed today, they have a good excuse. But the question is how long can they go with such disrupted work—and sleep?

Is anybody who planned this cacophony listening at all?

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When the Japanese Bombed Ellwood

69 years ago today, a Japanese submarine bombed the Ellwood Oil Field in Goleta, triggering an invasion scare along the West Coast. According to local historian Walker A. Tompkins, “no event in Santa Barbara history, with the possible exception of the 1925 earthquake, created more excitement at the time, or evoked more discussion in its wake, than the abortive shelling of Ellwood on February 23, 1942.”

goletaThis, not Pearl Harbor, was the first attack on the American mainland during World War II. Although only a pump house and catwalk at one oil well were damaged, Captain Nishino Kozo radioed Tokyo that he had left Santa Barbara in flames. No casualties were reported and the total cost of the damage was officially estimated at approximately $500-1000.

“According to Japanese military records seized after V-J Day, Captain Nishino went down with his sub when it was destroyed by Allied planes off New Caledonia on August 19, 1943. He took to his watery grave the details of why he chose to attack Ellwood or what actually took place on the evening in 1942,” concluded Tompkins.

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Blasting Off for Climate Change

The third of eleven rockets to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base in 2011 lifts off Wednesday morning at 2:09 a.m. The Taurus XL rocket will carry NASA’s “Glory” climate satellite into orbit. Scientists will use the satellite to get more information about climate change and global warming.

UPDATE: This morning’s launch was scrapped due to a mysterious problem. The countdown was officially stopped at T-minus 7:41. The launch  has been rescheduled for Thursday morning at 2:09 a.m.; however, weather forecasts call for clouds which will hamper the view for spectators. For live updates CLICK HERE.

UPDATE II: After spending most of Wednesday troubleshooting the mysterious problem, NASA officials have decided to delay the launch until at least Friday. Officials are now shooting for 2:09 a.m. launch Friday morning.

UPDATE III: The launch of a Taurus XL rocket from Vandenberg Air Force Base has been postponed another time.

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