Community Partners Help Keep Santa Barbara Santa Barbara ™ Partners

Mission Santa Inez Artifacts in Virtual Reality

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller.

The California Missions are rich with history. Each one has an amazing story to tell. The Santa Inez Mission is no exception. Walking through the museum rooms attached to the working church, you can read about a working and fighting history that would rival any fictional wild west story.

Be sure to zoom in or go full screen, this shot is a bit higher resolution to allow exploration of the artifacts. Controls from left to right:
+ Zoom in;
– Zoom out;
change the way the view moves when you drag;
toggle full screen

-Bill Heller

Sign of the Times…

City Ventures Residences are using bike billboards to market their East Beach Collection. Bicyclist hauling signs for “Santa Barbara’s smartest, most- sustainable new homes” circle the waterfront. Bike billboards are part of the green outdoor advertising market.

Regarding the Homeless: Santa Barbara’s Loss, La Jolla’s Gain

Hot Topic Reset: Originally Published on April 25, 2012, by Cheri Rae

While in a Los Angeles home recently for a family event, I had a conversation with the couple next door who for years frequently visited Santa Barbara for a weekend getaway. These hard-working people of modest means saved up for their favorite splurge and, in typical tourist fashion, always enjoyed staying in our nice hotels, shopping, dining and strolling the waterfront. I had often given them suggestions about where to go and what to see, and they always reported back to me on their Santa Barbara adventures.

But never again. They told me that after their last trip a few months back, they will not return.

La Jolla, CA

They were shocked and offended to encounter homeless individuals trying to take their food at a sidewalk café, pawing through trash cans, and wafting their strong aroma as they passed by. “I am sorry for their situation,” said the woman. “But I am afraid and upset to deal with it during my little vacation. I don’t know what to do to help them.” From now on, reported her husband, they’re going to La Jolla. “It’s just as nice as Santa Barbara,” he said, “but we don’t have to deal with the homeless there. I can’t imagine what Santa Barbara is thinking, letting a nice place like that get completely ruined.”

When I told them about the shelters, the parking program, the RV campers, the lawsuits, the many housing projects built to house the homeless, they just shook their heads, and he noted, “It doesn’t make any sense for an expensive place like Santa Barbara to even try to take care of so many homeless people.”

One couple, one conversation, one conclusion.

Spanish Street Names of Santa Barbara, California

PORTOLA (por-to-lah‘) honors Gaspar de Portola, first Spanish Governor of California, the man who led Padre Junipero Serra and his first settlers (1789) to San Diego, the diplomat whom the padre wept to leave. Portola’s men were soldaldos distinguidos, distinguished soldiers, some even entitled to the prefix of “don” to their names. Notwithstanding his successful governorship, he was a homesick Spaniard (pictured right) whom the Western Hemisphere neither pleased nor satisfied. Continue reading…

Campus Point Beach in Santa Barbara, California

This month Santa Barbara View unveiled a Guide to Santa Barbara, above. The Guide will help unlock the secrets of the Central Coast, including a detailed overview of all Santa Barbara County beaches by Outdoor Editor, John McKinney @TheTrailmaster.

A popular surf and body boarding spot on the UCSB campus, beach patrons here are a mixture of students, faculty, families and surfers of all ages and abilities. At low tide, walk around the point to visit other campus beaches; at high tide walk over the point on hiking trails and partake of fine ocean views as well as vistas inland over the beautifully situated university. Continue reading…

EcoFacts: Consumption

Consumption. It was a tragic problem in previous centuries, very infectious, especially among the urban poor, causing suffering and death. Today, Tuberculosis still kills, is still sanitation and class related and so appears less in rich countries.

Now, it is our consumer class that has a disease of sorts, also very contagious, but the activity is often entertaining, the suffering is more of a spiritual kind, and it is not usually fatal.

Consumption is a function, in some ways a fundamental doctrine, of our social and economic system. But there are two giant, looming reasons why we cannot continue buying and disposing of things at the same rate as we have been: limited resources and waste/pollution – what goes into them and what comes out. Besides burning gasoline, heating our homes and watering our lawns, every thing we buy uses lots more resources than the thing itself contains…… jaw dropping amounts. Continue reading…

Santa Barbara Garden Post

Merry Magic May & Happy Mother’s Day to you all!


May is more of April, plus Cantaloupes!

Melons!  Choose small early varieties, cool and damp weather tolerant, if you are coastal!

Now you can plant all you did in March, if you did. Santa Barbara night temps were so cool many of us waited. And you can do more of the April heat lovers if you did them! Smart gardeners plant when the time is right, not just because it is that month, time of year. It’s still a bit cool, so many of us are getting a late start this year. Our April 1 jicama planters didn’t put them in until the 3rd week of April this year! Consider growing plant varieties with less days to maturity. We have already lost a month to 6 weeks of planting time.

Some beans are up now if you hit the window right, plant some more if you love beans and don’t mind all that harvesting. Limas too. Plant corn in blocks. Wilt resistant cucumbers with dill, and with radishes to repel the cucumber beetles. Snuggle peppers and eggplant, with radishes as trap plants for flea beetles that attack the eggplant. Okra likes heat. Probably going to be better to wait until June unless you are in the hot foothills? Summer squashes, that includes zucchini and all their friends, pumpkins and melon vines. Winter squash for sure – don’t wait any longer since it needs time to harden as well as grow. Summer lettuce varieties with New Zealand spinach, SloBolt cilantro, arugula. Tomatoes, wilt resistant/tolerant varieties with flavorful basils. Put in Heirlooms only if your soil has no wilts fungi. Tomato planting tips!

Continue reading…

Update: Santa Barbara Filmmaker Makes Good

A few weeks ago we reported that Santa Barbara native, Earthling daughter and Santa Barbara Middle School graduate Dorien Davies won an award at the Cleveland Film Festival. Her film, “Missed Connections,” just took home two more awards (one from Boston and one from Colorado Springs) and is now headed to a screening in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on June 2nd and 3rd at an historic theater as part of the Cinetopia International Film Festival. Here’s hoping the hometown girl—and the rest of us—get to see the award-winning romantic comedy screened at the next Santa Barbara International Film Festival, scheduled for Jan. 24-Feb. 13, 2013.

Vintage Views of Santa Barbara, California

Do viewers recognize this famous hotel lobby from the Thomas Schmidt treasure trove?

Photo Credit for Vintage Series: Early Santa Barbara Photos taken by J W Collinge and other Santa Barbara photographers. Solely for use on the Santa Barbara View.

Open letter to Taggers:

By Sharon Byrne and Joel Garcia

Westside gang: you defaced the Cacique underpass Tuesday morning.

You might think you had a bit of fun. Maybe you did it as an initiation. Maybe you did it to mark some turf, and put a rival gang on notice.

It’s highly unlikely that you’d be willing to come and sit down with us and talk about this, but we need to find some way to reach you. Thus, we’re writing to you, from two viewpoints:

–       the personal, in the form of an ex-gang member that knows where this path leads

–       the collective, from a neighborhood activist working with an area struggling to revitalize itself.

Joel Garcia was a San Diego gang-member, federal prisoner, and now street evangelist. He works to get kids out of gangs, one at a time. I brought Joel in to help the lower Eastside after neighbors there contacted us. The area had been struggling with violence, intimidation, and vandalism for years. A brutal beating death in the neighborhood in late 2010, followed by a stabbing at Art’s market in early 2011 was the final straw.

No one should have to live this way. No one should be afraid to get out of the car to go into their home. No one should have to live with police constantly speeding to their street to respond to the latest 911call. No kid should fear trying to make it to the bus stop just to get to and from school.

Everyone deserves a safe neighborhood. It is our right as citizens of this city.

We worked together with the neighbors to create a safer place. Safety is one of our most basic human needs. The police gang unit moved in, calming things down. Neighbors started a watch, and began clean up efforts. Joel began to work with the kids in the area.

For the past year, it’s been relatively peaceful. The underpass at Cacique opened at the beginning of April, and marked a huge improvement to the area. A neighborhood formerly closed off now had an easy two-block walk to the beach. Families began using it for evening strolls with children and dogs…. enjoying it.

You marred that ray of hope for this area.

We’re inviting you, with this letter, to participate in a conversation, even if only as a fly on the wall to start:

Sharon: While irritated by graffiti, I have often felt wall scribbles were somebody’s way of saying “I was here. I am trying to matter. Somehow.”

Continue reading…