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Santa Barbara Straw Poll

With two months to go before election day, Santa Barbara View asks… how will you likely vote on Measure P, the Santa Barbara County Fracking Ban Initiative?

If approved, this measure would prohibit what are called “high intensity” oil and gas operations such as fracking, acid well stimulation treatments and cyclic steam injection. The measure would not impede conventional drilling or “low intensity” operations.

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Fall Cruise Ship Season in Santa Barbara

It’s September in Santa Barbara… which means the fall cruise ship season is upon us. Over the next three months, eleven (11) cruise ships will come to town with passengers disembarking at Sea Landing and flowing into downtown shops and businesses from approximately 8 am to 4 pm. Here is the official fall season calendar, 2014:

  • Friday, September 19 Crown Princess
  • Wednesday, September 24 Crown Princess
  • Saturday, September 27 Grand Princess
  • Tuesday, September 30 Golden Princess
  • Wednesday, October 1 Crown Princess
  • Wednesday, October 8 Crown Princess
  • Wednesday, October 15 Crown Princess
  • Monday, October 16 Star Princess
  • Monday, October 23 Star Princess
  • Friday, October 31 Golden Princess
  • Friday November 28 Golden Princess

As always, volunteers are needed to help staff the hospitality tents set up as passengers get off the tenders at Sea Landing. Volunteers welcome passengers and offer information about Santa Barbara. Information will be available on what to do and see, where to shop and dine and how best to get to where they are going. The shifts are: 8 am – 11 am, 9:30 am-12:30 pm and 11 am – 2:30 pm. The early shift will help with unpacking literature and the last shift will help repack.  To sign up to volunteer for cruise ships, click here.
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Local Views of Santa Barbara

By Dan Seibert

I was wandering through my computer and I saw these lush landscape photos of the Lily Pond at the El Encanto—summertime 20 years ago. Back then, the whole town was a lush landscape. (click to enlarge photos)

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Ecofacts: What We Drink, Part 2

Weekly column by Barbara Hirsch

Water has returned to first place in popularity of beverages in the U.S.. Water consumption has increased in the last decade with the sales of bottled water, to 58 gallons per year, more than a third of them – 21 gallons – are bottled. Soda was in first place before, peaking in the late nineties at a rate of 54 gallons per year average, which means for 300 million Americans, including all those infants and people like me who don’t drink the stuff. Now average consumption of soda is down to a mere pint a day here, 44 gallons. Coffee is third in the U.S. (PDF).

Globally, water has always been number one. Tea is second, partly because India and China both grow and drink tons of it. Third, apparently, is beer.

But more important from an environmental perspective, is not what we drink, but how we get it. In the U.S. few people outside of restaurants drink soda made from carbonators and syrups, most is purchased in resource intensive single use containers – plastic, cans, bottles. Most of the billions per year of water and soda bottles sold end up in the landfill, and even if recycled (downcycled actually), use tons more water and energy to remake them into something else – playground equipment or whatever. Same with glass, even if infinitely recyclable, the process of crushing it and remaking it into a bottle is many steps removed from refilling or reuse.

And so I wonder, how will this scenario change in a decade or two, as resources, especially water and energy, become even more of a global issue?

If you haven’t seen this Chris Jordan photos.

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Depicts two million plastic beverage bottles, the number used in the US every five minutes.

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Detail at actual size

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15,000 Friends & Followers on Social Media

buy twitter followersSanta Barbara View continues to grow on social media, this week hitting big milestones of 12,000 likes on Facebook and another 3,000 friends on Twitter. Thank you Santa Barbara! In the coming weeks viewers will see some site advancements to include: a mobile and tablet-friendly site, quicker load times, added features and more integration with our social media platforms. So, if you are not one of the 15,000 people who follow Santa Barbara View on social media, now is a good time to become part of our growing social community.

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Hurricane Driven Swells at the Breakwater

“There were jets of water spraying out from the pressure on the ocean side. And the color of the water was green, sometimes translucent,” writes in Dan Seibert who continues to monitor the big waves generated by hurricane Marie.

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Big Wave Wednesday in Santa Barbara

Local Views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

I woke up at 2:30 this morning and heard a rumbling off in the distance, like in the area of the harbor or west beach. Sounded like front loaders dropping soil into trucks. I thought it might be surf but I have never heard it in the past ten years.

Left the house at 6:00 and stopped at Stearns Wharf. Wow, it looked like a winter storm with waves breaking under the wharf. The harbor patrol was involved in a rescue of one boat, while another was capsized near the wharf.

Then I noticed the many surfers at Sandspit, or is it Sand Spit? Sand Bar?

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Re: Bicycles Over Cars Which Do You Prefer?

In his recent article, Councilmember Frank Hotchkiss proposed that a poll be taken to really gauge the type of transportation infrastructure Santa Barbarans want. But as is so often the case in these matters, how a question is phrased both reveals the biases of the questioner and influences the answers likely to be received.

The premise of Mr. Hotchkiss’ proposed poll is that our transportation infrastructure is a direct consequence of our desire: we desire to drive, therefore we should build roads for cars. By backward inference, the roads that have already been built are an indication of our collective preference for driving.

bikegreenBut it is equally true to say that what we desire is a consequence of what has been built. My desire to drive my car is greatly influenced by the existence of wide, fast streets, low-cost gas available every couple miles, freeways, free parking, and all the other affordances that make driving remarkably painless and guilt-free in our culture. (Can you imagine driving without all those things?) Conversely, the lack of equivalent bicycling infrastructure kills my desire to ride my bike. Ride where there is no bike lane? No thanks, I just don’t want to.

Additionally, Mr. Hotchkiss presumes that one transportation mode must necessarily come at the expense of any others. But, as the recent examples of the restriping of Cliff Drive and Haley Street have shown (in which there has been no impact on car traffic that I have observed), some of our streets are over-provisioned for cars, and our civil engineers have proven their skill at designing multi-modal solutions. In any case, my garage, like many others, contains both cars and bicycles. Why not support both?

Lastly, if Mr. Hotchkiss is permitted to stereotype bicyclists as showing up “en masse to promote any expanded biking plans” (emphasis original), may I be permitted to call out the car-only advocates who predict gridlock and catastrophe whenever pedestrian or bicyling improvements are proposed? Their dire prophesies invariably fail to materialize.

The question is not as simple as, Do you want to drive or bike? Our desires and our built infrastructure influence each other in complicated and subtle ways. I propose that a better question is: What infrastructure will foster the transportation choices that will in turn create the kind of community we want to live in? For me, that community includes being able to drive, and equally to walk and bike.

Greg Janée
SB 93111

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A Message to the Coastal Commission

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Dale Francisco, Santa Barbara City Councilmember

I read with interest an editorial in the San Diego Union Tribute on Aug. 12, titled “For Coastal Commission, a little history is in order,” especially the warning with which it closed: “No end to the drought in sight.” The editorial calls for expedited assistance from the Coastal Commission for California communities developing desalination plants. This message is pertinent for Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara is in the process of reactivating its desalination plant in the midst of a severe, prolonged drought. Not only was 2013 California’s driest year on record, dating back to 1895, state officials are predicting that 2014 may be even drier. Tree-ring studies have shown that in the last two millennia, California has experienced decade- and even century-long droughts. California’s extremely brief history as a state may have occurred during a relatively wet period, and we may now be returning to a much drier “normal.”

CCC_bluewave2Given this reality, permit-granting authorities such as the Coastal Commission need to approach approvals in the light of a pending emergency — a lack of fresh water for communities around the state. Santa Barbara’s water supplies are dwindling rapidly. If water levels continue to drop, our main fresh water supply, Lake Cachuma, will not be able to deliver water to the city by 2017. While conservation and water recycling are critical — and we are pursuing both — they are not sufficient to sustain us. The city needs other sources of water. Desalination is a reliable, local supply source and should be fast-tracked into production.

Up and down the California coast, cities are turning to desalination as a method of ensuring adequate supplies of water in the face of extended drought. As noted in the State’s Water Action Plan, desalination can be a tool to improve reliability and self-reliance at the regional and local levels. Jurisdictions seeking to include this source of new water in their portfolios should be encouraged and assisted by the Coastal Commission, and other agencies, with the understanding that the drought has in fact created an urgent need for water.

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Santa Barbara Non Profits: Portraits for Causes

Ali Azarvan volunteered for 25 local non profits in May and shares his chronicles:

As any of my Facebook friends will tell you, I LOVE pictures. I especially love taking pics of my family. They are fun reminders of great times. Well, once my wife, Nicole, and I had our baby about 10 months ago, I reached out on Facebook and asked for input regarding the best local photographer. Many mentioned Kacie Jean Fowle and after seeing some of her work, we had to give her a call.

Needless to say, she did an amazing job and took some awesome shots. More importantly, we had an absolute blast with her. She had a killer sense of humor and we immediately became buddies. Over the past few months as I’ve been growing Just a Little Push, Kacie has been arguably my most supportive friend – she has a huge heart and she just “gets it”. She had reached out to me to discuss a brilliant idea she had to donate photo sessions to those who are terminally ill or to other local non-profits. You see, Kacie had been donating photo sessions for those in need for over 6 years – but to make a bigger impact and help more families in need (she is, after all, only 1 person), she wanted to scale this concept quickly.

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I couldn’t have been more excited or more proud of her. . . I immediately understood the value and need for a charity like this. Imagine that your wife is battling stage 4 breast cancer – the doctors are giving her a timetable of weeks, not months, to live. Your financial situation is a mess thanks to 3 years of outrageous hospital bills. You want to capture one last moment with your entire family – something that you will cherish for the rest of your life. Portraits for Causes is here for this exact situation. Not only does she provide the images to the family, but, she also creates a gorgeous album for them to hold onto. I’m convinced that the most brilliant ideas are those that elicit the “why didn’t I think of that?” reaction. This is one of those ideas.

Kacie asked me to be on her board of directors and I gladly accepted. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this awesome nonprofit and hopefully help her grow it quickly. The sad truth is that there are a lot of people who can use her services. I was clueless before May Days – but now my eyes are open. . . there are so many people suffering with life threatening illnesses who can use a nonprofit like this. In fact, Kacie is teaming up with some locally-based charities like The Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation and Dream Foundation in order to find deserving families!

I wouldn’t normally just cut and paste testimonials – but I think these quotes do a much better job of summarizing this beautiful charity than my mediocre writing can:

The Strong Family (http://thegsf.org)- “when I realized we didn’t have a family photo of all four of us yet, I lost it — unsure if we’d ever have the chance to take some. But… Now we have these and they mean the world. I cherish photos of Gwendolyn and professional photos are extra special. I remember each shoot, what Gwendolyn was wearing, how I felt that day, where we were on our journey with SMA at that exact moment. Maybe it is silly that photos mean so much to me. Trivial. But they feel tangible and help me hold onto so much that can feel so fleeting”.

Breast Cancer Survivor- “Going through cancer shreds your life into pieces. Kacie’s pictures though reminded me how alive I still was, despite what I was going through. It reminded me that my family was still intact, strong and beautiful. This gave me some added strength at one of the lowest times in my life. Thank you for your gift of photography.”

Last week I was lucky enough to help her with a photoshoot for a beautiful young girl named Eliana – at 4 months old she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and she recently got some bad news. But she is a fighter- and she could NOT be any cuter. I can honestly say that had to be one of the easiest shoots Kacie has ever done – she may be the most photogenic little girl ever! Eliana’s mother, Samantha, has become a friend and is now focused on finding a cure for children’s cancer – in fact she is very active in the CureSearch walk here in Santa Barbara.

In addition to Kacie’s award-winning photography business, she has been spending countless hours over the last 6 years donating her amazing work to these beautiful families. Every donated photo session costs her approximately $1,000 in total production costs. Her biggest need as she awaits her 501(c)(3) approval (hopefully any day now) is money – the more money she has, the more families she can help. Please help her in her quest to create lasting memories for those in need by visiting her page here. Trust me when I say that you will feel a certain pride years down the road when you can look back and know that you helped a huge charity get off the ground!

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Saturdays with Seibert

Local Views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

The Floss Silk trees are raining down pink petals this time of year.  This block is in west beach. – Dan
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How Are You Cutting Back During the Drought?

photoThe City of Santa Barbara is not watering lawns and even live public art installations have gone dry. Succulents are pretty hardy and will likely come back, but it begets the question—how are you cutting back water usage during the drought?

We have heard all kinds of conservation ideas like keeping a bucket in the shower and reusing it on plants. Some others are very granola-headed… so here is a chance to share your stories and tips:

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Coexisting with Bicyclists, Motorists and Pedestrians… and Skateboarders

A week ago, we published the California Vehicle Codes that pertain to crosswalks following a two-day sting. With a police crackdown on skateboarders taking place this week in Santa Barbara, below is the related City Ordinance, Chapter 10.06:

SKATEBOARDING, ROLLER SKATING AND IN-LINE SKATING

Sections: 10.06.010

(a), PROHIBITION. No person shall ride a skateboard, roller skate, in-line skate or similar device upon any public street, or upon the following City sidewalks, City walkways, City boardwalks, or public ways owned or maintained by the City:

(1)Within the area of the downtown bounded by the following streets (including the perimeter streets): Sola Street on the north, Chapala Street on the west, Santa Barbara Street on the east and Cabrillo Boulevard on the south.
(2) The south sidewalk of Cabrillo Boulevard from Santa Barbara Street to Milpas Street.
(3) The sidewalks on either side of and along the entire length of Coast Village Road.
(4) On and along the following sidewalks, adjacent to the Santa Barbara Harbor: i) the sidewalks directly adjacent to the Harbor seawall, beginning at a point adjacent to the public launching ramps and extending to Harbor Way, and ii) the sidewalk along the southerly side of the Harbor beginning at the intersection with the sidewalk described in i) and continuing southerly and easterly to the most easterly point of the Breakwater.
(5) On the docks, floats and ramps in the Santa Barbara Harbor.
(6) Public parking facilities, public parking lots, or other public areas the entrances to which are posted with signs prohibiting skateboarding and roller skating.
(b) The Department of Public Works shall post appropriate signs as necessary to advise the public of the requirements of this Chapter.
(c) This Section shall not apply to any person skateboarding, in-line skating or roller skating on a public street while participating in an event that has been issued a special event permit by the Chief of Police specifically allowing skateboarding, in-line skating or roller skating on public streets. (Ord. 5159, 2000; Ord. 4954, 1996; Ord. 4910, 1995; Ord. 4622, 1990; Ord. 4439, 1986; Ord. 4133, 1982; Ord. 4016 §1, 1979; Ord. 3991, 1979.)

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This Date in History: Santa Barbara’s First Mass

crespiOn this date in local history, Santa Barbara’s first Christian religious service was held on the site now known as Campanil Crespi. The white bell tower, left, on a glorious Santa Barbara hilltop was built to commemorate Fr. Juan Crespi’s first Mass during the Portola Expedition on August 20, 1769.

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Santa Barbara’s Chromatic Gate

First, thank you Loretta Redd! Loretta began writing columns for Santa Barbara View in October of 2011, and had produced some of the most informative, important and commented-on posts to date. More importantly, she is a wonderful person and a pillar of our Santa Barbara Community. The synchronicity among contributors at Santa Barbara View has always been unique and Loretta touches on a directional sway that is taking place—a renewed mission to find what’s good and right and wonderful in Santa Barbara. Moving forward, Santa Barbara View will focus on a positive approach to people, places and events around town that Santa Barbara should know about; hopefully making a positive difference by just by being positive.

One of the positive victories that Santa Barbara View is proud of is the restoration of Santa Barbara’s Chromatic Gate. Dan and others helped bring awareness to the once-dilapidated art installation by Herbert Bayer which pays tribute to art and artists who make the city unique. And what better image to use for SBView 3.0. “Sunday morning at the Chromatic Gate, the light was beautiful and the art had a bit of a glow,” writes Dan Seibert. “Some students making a short video added a few more colors.”

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