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On the Docket: Sit-Lie Panhandling Ordinance

Today, the Santa Barbara City Council will discuss the Sit-Lie Panhandling Ordinance. According to the Agenda, “Councilmembers Hotchkiss and Rowse (are) requesting that Council receive a report regarding specific proposals to update the Sit-Lie and Abusive Panhandling Ordinance and consider enacting a new ordinance prohibiting urination and defecation in public.

homelesssleep2The municipal code currently prohibits sitting or lying down on public sidewalks and paseos along the first thirteen blocks of State Street during the hours between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. The recommendation is to expand the hours of prohibition and add a prohibition on sitting, standing or lying down upon any planting, railing or statue place or installed on a public sidewalk. The municipal code currently prohibits abusive panhandling anywhere in the City. “Active” panhandling—meaning a verbal request seeking a donation of money or other items of value is prohibited in certain locations only, ie: within 25 feet of an ATM. The recommendation is to increase that to 80 feet and expand the ban on solicitation to buses and other transportation vehicles.

Finally, neither the municipal code, nor state law, directly prohibits urinating or defecating in public. The recommendation is to add a prohibition on urinating or defecating in public in order to facility enforcement gainst this “nuisance” behavior.

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Earth Day, A Santa Barbara Story

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Senator Gaylord Nelson

Earth Day was conceived by Senator Gaylord Nelson following a trip he took to the Central Coast where he witnessed the ravages of the 1969 massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California. The Senator was so outraged by what he saw that he went back to Washington and helped pass a bill designating April 22 as a national day to celebrate the earth. An estimated one in 10 Americans took part in the first Earth Day, observed across the country on April 22, 1970. Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders. The first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water, and Endangered Species Acts.

It was a gamble,” Gaylord recalled, “but it worked.”

Earth-Day-2014-v2In the wake of the same oil spill tragedy, the Community Environmental Council was born. Some 44 years, later The Community Environmental Council will host the 2014 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival at Alameda Park on Saturday, April 26 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 27 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.

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Councilmembers Step Up to Improve the Quality of Life for all Santa Barbara Residents

homeless2Tomorrow, councilmemebers Hotchkiss and Rowse will ask the Santa Barbara City Council to direct the City Attorney to undertake research and report back to the Ordinance Committee on the legal feasibility of adding to the municipal codes the following considerations:

• A prohibition on groups of people congregating in a manner that blocks the free movement of pedestrian traffic on downtown sidewalks;
• A prohibition on the use of public benches and street furniture for the storage of sale or display of merchandise or personal items;
• A prohibition on active panhandling within a prescribed distance of a queue of persons waiting to gain admission to a place of business and outdoor dining areas.
• A require for appropriate signage to inform the public of these regulations.

More specifics to update the Sit-Lie and Abusive Panhandling Ordinances tomorrow.

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Coffee with a Cop in Montecito

CWC Flyer 042214.jpgThe conversations continue this week as the Santa Barbara Police Department invites you to have Coffee With A Cop on Tuesday at the Starbucks in Montecito.

The SBPD has been holding these series of informal community meetings at different venues throughout the City. There are no agendas or guest speakers, just an opportunity to sit and talk to a Santa Barbara Police Officer about anything that may concern you.

The last event took place on De La Vina, Tuesday’s conversation will be held in Montecito:

Tuesday, April 22, 2014
9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Starbucks Coffee, 1046-A Coast Village Road

Please contact the SBPD Beat Coordinator Unit with any questions (805) 897-2407.

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Happy 232nd Birthday Santa Barbara!

Today marks the 232 anniversary of the Founding of El Real Presidio and the City of Santa Barbara by his Majesty King Carlos III of Spain.

Next Saturday, the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation will lead an observance and ceremony in honor of the official Founding Day. The free event takes place April 26, 2014, from noon to 3:00 p.m., at El Presidio de Santa Bárbara State Historic Park, 123 East Canon Perdido Street.

El Presidio de Santa Bárbara was the birthplace of Santa Barbara and home to the original founding ceremony, held on April 21, 1782. Next weekend’s reenactment of the founding of the Presidio, will be followed by a celebratory mass held in the Presidio Chapel along with early California music and dance, pottery, Chumash storytelling, archaeology, adobe brick making and a birthday cake. Happy 232nd birthday Santa Barbara!

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Saturdays with Seibert: Happy Easter

By Dan Seibert

I want to share what I look forward to every Saturday night at 6:00. Reruns of the Lawrence Welk show on KOCE, channel 10 on Cox cable.

It takes me back to my childhood or adolescence, and while I didn’t watch the shows back then, now I love how it captures a moment in time.

Tonight, April 19 at 6:00 the show is from 1979, an Easter celebration including, “Easter Parade,” “Give Me That Old Time Religion,” “Tiptoe Through the Tulips,” and “Love Lifted Me Up.”

Here are some photos from last week that I took of the show. Can you tell which photo is them singing, “Leaving on a Jet Plane?”

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10,000 Facebook Likes

droughtIn honor of reaching 10,000 Facebook likes today, here is a recent fan photo that is representative of the mobile uploads and humorous observations:

Daytime Dirt Watering During Drought.

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A Bird’s-Eye View of Santa Barbara, California

Happy anniversary… to Santa Barbara’s iconic news personality Paula Lopez who has been with KEYT-TV News Channel 3, for 18 years this April.

In honor of national parks week, April 19-27, our national parks will be free this weekend, April 19-20. To help restore our national parks, pledge to volunteer.

Did you know… there are 392 National Parks in America; of which, the Channel Islands National Park, five remarkable islands and their ocean environment, is the least visited?

The City-sponsored Eggstravaganza is this Saturday, 10 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. and is for toddlers to 8-year-olds. Egg hunters are organized by age group at Chase Palm Park. Families interested in a more intimate hunt are invited to Parque de los Ninos.

Think the Golden State’s highways are full of potholes? Not true says the Department of Transportation. In a recent pavement survey, Caltrans bragged that the percentage of lane miles deemed “healthy” rose to 84% in 2013, up from 75% in 2011.

Thank you for your social support… Santa Barbara View just hit 10,000 likes on Facebook! If you haven’t checked it out, the Facebook page has mobile photos, custom content and additional commentary that is a lot of fun.

Speaking of socialWhat is my Twitter worth, values @sbview at $1,905.12 or the equivalent of 476 Big Macs. Thank you to our 2,645 followers there too.

Local history isn’t lost on a Philadelphia-based company… Hersha, new owners of Hotel Oceana at 202 W. Cabrillo Blvd., will rename the property Hotel Milo in honor of Milo Potter who opened the former West Beach hotel in 1903.

More on Milo… Although the Potter Hotel was not a commercial success, it introduced America’s wealthiest families to Santa Barbara and the City acquired the image of an ideal place for the wealthy to retire and establish vacation homes. The hotel also lured business tycoons and the brightest stars of show business – not to mention the 40th president of the United States. The man who did the most to bring about that image change was the handsome Milo Milton Potter, 1854-1925 – Walker A. Tompkins.

Royal Pride… San Marcos High School puts out a 2014 prom promo video.

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On the Docket: Drought and Water Rates

Santa Barbara View photo: Cachuma Lake, April 2014

SBView.com: Cachuma Lake, April 2014

Today at their weekly meeting, the Santa Barbara City Council will talk drought along with proposed changes to local water rates. According to the Agenda, “while the Santa Barbara area has had some recent rainstorms, the rainfall has not been enough to end the area’s persistent drought condition. Extraordinary conservation to meet the 20% demand reduction is needed. Staff anticipates the need to declare a Stage Two Drought Condition in May 2014.” Continue Reading →

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Death on the American Riviera

Peter Lance Photo: Raymond Victor Morua III and Congresswoman Lois Capps.

Peter Lance Photo: Raymond Victor Morua III and Congresswoman Lois Capps.

Controversial journalist Peter Lance returned to the local scene on Sunday with an investigative report on “the Congresswoman, the Iraq war vet and the cover-up of a DUI scandal”.

Lance, who has most recently penned lengthy reports on Santa Barbara DUI police corruption, published PART ONE: Memories of Mallory in the Santa Barbara News-Press and online.

The first report suggests that former Lois Capps’ aide, Raymond Morua, who allegedly killed Mallory Rae Dies while drunk driving, was actually on the job 45 minutes before the fateful incident, working for Representative Capps. If so, the government could be responsible for Mr. Morua’s actions, click read PDF, Part I.

The second of this five part series, in Monday’s issue of the Santa Barbara news-Press, continues with the theme that Mr. Morua was working for the Congresswoman at a local holiday party and at a cigar bar after that on December 5, 2013, an issue critical to whether Mallory’s family can recover damages from the government.
Part Two: Everybody Loves Raymond, click to read PDF.

Update: Peter Lance was back at it Wednesday with his 2014 DUI Series PART THREE The “Hero” And The High Speed Chase, click to ready PDF. Today’s piece notes that Mr. Morua is expected to plead guilty to manslaughter which will likely bring a sentence of 15 years to life.  Lance writes about government officials who first sought to protect Raymond, but then rapidly distanced themselves from Morua. Lance also writes about the young man who tailed Morua after the accident. However, the important part of the story is that Mallory’s family has filed a claim for damages with House Speaker John Boehner. The legal position reportedly taken by Lois Capps’ office and the counsel for the US House of Representatives is that Raymond was out and about on his own volition that night and was not on the job. If that theory prevails, the Dies family will purportedly have little hope for proper legal compensation.

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Why a Ban on Fracking is Critical for the Climate

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High-intensity oil production could triple County greenhouse gas emissions.

No-fracking-logoWorld powers are running out of time to slash their use of high-polluting fossil fuels and stay below agreed limits on global warming. This is the conclusion of a draft U.N. study to be approved this week at a meeting of government officials and climate scientists in Berlin.

Santa Barbara County voters will likely have a chance to choose whether they want be a part of the solution or part of the problem. An organization called the Water Guardians is currently collecting signatures to qualify an initiative to ban fracking and other high-intensity petroleum production in Santa Barbara County for the November ballot. Whether this effort succeeds or fails will likely determine greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade in our County – a critical period during which we need to reduce emissions in order to head-off the worst impacts of climate change.

The Water Guardians Initiative proposes to ban high-intensity oil production: Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in which water, chemicals and sand are blasted underground to break up the rock and extract oil; acidizing, which adds hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid to dissolve the rock to extract oil; and cyclic steam injection, which uses large amounts of water, steam and energy to heat the thick, heavy oil so it will flow more readily. There are many local environmental concerns with these techniques which can lead to air pollution and water contamination, and expansion of these techniques would also lead to large increases in greenhouse gas emissions in the County.

Unlike in other parts of the country where fracking for natural gas occurs which produces less carbon dioxide when burned than coal and oil, in California, the fracking of the Monterrey Shale is for oil with no potential climate benefit. Since the Monterey Shale formation that extends throughout California is potentially one of the largest shale oil reserves in the country, a ramp up in unconventional oil production would increase state emissions and hinder the state’s ability to take a lead in reducing emissions and transitioning to cleaner sources of energy.

In Santa Barbara County, one company alone (Santa Maria Energy) has 7,700 possible well locations. Using the same rate of emissions per well as their current well project, that works out to 4,971,029 tons of greenhouse gases per year. That is the equivalent of almost one million cars, and it is nearly three times the total current total Countywide emissions. That is just to extract the oil. It doesn’t include additional emissions from transporting, refining or burning that oil.

That is a staggering number. It means that Santa Barbara County could eliminate a hundred percent of its emissions — stop driving, get all our power from solar and wind, eliminate all agricultural emissions — and still triple emissions in the County just from this oil extraction.

Nor is Santa Maria Energy the only company making big investments in these carbon-intensive forms of oil production. One Chinese mining company, Beijing-based Goldleaf Jewelry Co, just invested $665 million and is ramping up production in North County. The Water Guardian’s Initiative would protect the air, water and environment that make the County a desirable place to work and live from these outside speculators.

Santa Barbara County should take a lead in rejecting the most polluting forms of oil production and transitioning to clean sources of energy. Of all the things we can do locally in regard to climate change, this would have the highest impact and is critically important at this time. The stakes could not be greater. Our actions now will determine the future liveability of the planet.

Dr. Catherine Gautier is professor emerita with the Geography Department at the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was one of 21 climate scientists who signed a letter to Governor Jerry Brown calling for a halt to fracking and other unconventional well stimulation techniques in the state due to climate concerns. She is also co-author of a recent academic book on fracking and Shale gas extraction published in November 2013 by Odile Jocob, France.

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Fire Razed Potter Hotel on April 13, 1921

On this date in Santa Barbara history the magnificent Potter Hotel was destroyed by a fire. Crowds watched in horror as flames quickly engulfed the Potter Hotel on April 13, 1921. The hotel opened on January 19, 1903 and cost over $1 million to build.

100+ guests were safely evacuated, but with winds gusting from fifty to eighty miles per hour, the fire spread quickly and burnt the hotel to the ground within three hours. Flying debris even set fire to Stearns Wharf and to the tall palms that line the boulevard along West Beach. Only few chimneys were left of what had been one of the finest hotels on the West Coast.

Faulty wiring was found to be the cause, although many historians suspect it was arson. Several attempts were purportedly made to burn down the hotel which had been heavily insured and was steadily losing money, and the fire department believed that all the fires they extinguished has been deliberately set. Although arson was suspected, it was never confirmed.
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Saturdays with Seibert: The Fog Returns

Local Views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

I guess summer is starting as the fog has returned. The Granada theater flags on State street were nicely back lit by the morning sun. While the massive, horn blowing, infection carrying, tourist depositing, wrecker of life as we know it cruise ship was barely visible offshore. This was Friday. – Dan

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Bicycling Blunders

Shame on locals who don’t read Steve Cook’s weekly Santa Barbara by Bicycle column, which promotes bike safety. Steve will share another adventure Friday.
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A Bird’s Eye View of Santa Barbara, California

The place to be for Earth Day… when it comes to celebrating all that’s green, Santa Barbara was voted by SaveOnEnergy.com as as Top Ten City to visit for Earth Day.

Recommended reading… Matt Mazza, the likeable Editor-in-Chief of the Santa Barbara Sentinel, has published a new book called Leaving It All Behind: One Family’s Search—a true travel tale told in real time about his family’s voyage around the world.

Huell Howser had a love for Santa Barbara… this Friday, Santa Barbara will plant a tree to honor the legacy of the gregarious television host. The ceremony will take place at the Santa Barbara Mission lawn, 2201 Laguna St. at noon, info@sbbeautiful.org.

This date in Santa Barbara County… W.W. Broughton published the first issue of the weekly Lompoc Record on April 10, 1875. Two weeks later, when the Lompoc dairy lands were sold at auction, the trustees of the Lompoc Valley Land Owners’ Association voted another $1,500 to assist Mr. Broughton in publishing his newspaper.

Speaking of local anniversaries… yesterday, Santa Barbara’s historic Granda Theatre celebrated 90 years since first opening its doors on April 9, 1924. You will see their black and gold flags flying over downtown Santa Barbara this week.

Santa Barbara celebrity Julia Louis-Dreyfus poses nude for Rolling Stone.

Today is the due date for the first installment of one’s property taxes… a day when Santa Barbara homeowners have to write absurdly large checks to Harry Hagen, county tax collector. The County website is up-to speed with credit card and electronic check payment options. You can also pay by phone, 1-866-308-8872.

Rusty’s lighthouse is closing… the seven other pizza locations remain. The lighthouse location was made famous by George Virginio Castagnola, who started as a Depression-era, door-to-door fish salesman, who then became synonymous with seafood in Santa Barbara via The Lobster House at 15 E. Cabrillo Blvd.
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