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Last Minute Local Gifts: The Yes Store

A Santa Barbara treasure is back for their 47th year! Support your local artisans at the annual Yes Store, which has opened for the holidays at 629 State Street. One-stop shopping for arts, crafts, jewelry and other wonderful gift items at the co-op shop like no other.
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Make a Promise, Don’t Drink and Drive

photoIt’s holiday party season in Santa Barbara, so please make a promise to yourself… don’t drink and drive. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office will be aggressively looking for drunk drivers over the next few weeks with plans in place for 7 DUI/Driver’s License Checkpoints and 15 local roving DUI Saturation Patrols.

The cost of cab fare is nothing compared to a $10,000 DUI or the cost of someone’s life, and the ‘inconvenience’ of not driving your own car home is nothing compared to the inconvenience of spending the holidays behind bars. In addition to reminding all drivers to drive sober, Sheriff Bill Brown is calling on everyone to be alert. If you see a drunk driver on the road, Report Drunk Drivers – Call 911! — you could save a life.  If someone you know is about to drive after drinking, take their keys and help them get home safely. “We’ve got to work together to make our roads safer this December and year-round,” says Sheriff Brown.

pdf-logoIf you need a ride, call or text Pete’s Preferred Taxi at (805) 403-5912.

The PDF left talks about rates and provides tips for taking a taxi in Santa Barbara, California.


Stop Venoco from opening up oil wells at Ellwood

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Dear Editor:

There is a key meeting today that is critical to the future of Goleta.

The State Lands Commission is meeting on Wednesday, Dec 17 in Newport Beach to consider Venoco’s proposal to drill right on the beach from an aging platform between the Bacara and UCSB that has been shut down for the past 20 years. Venoco wants to restart drilling and keep drilling on the beach for the next 20 years despite rising sea levels and storm waves that increase the risk of spills. This beach is zoned and used extensively for recreation, is surrounded by sensitive beach and wetlands, near dense residential and business areas and includes significant impacts to water quality and quality of life in our city. Tell the State Lands Commission that this is unacceptable, and that they should not certify the EIR because it is based on processing the oil at the Ellwood Onshore Facility, which the City of Goleta is looking at phasing out.

Please send something to State Lands Commission even if only a few words in an email, CSLC.Commissionmeetings@slc.ca.gov


Stage Two Drought Update

Yesterday, the Santa Barbara City Council received an updated on the status of the current drought and related efforts. According to the Agenda:

Water Supply Outlook
Cachuma2The water supply outlook remains unchanged from the November 18, 2014 drought update presentation. The Santa Barbara area received some moderate rainfall in early December, but the area needs pro-longed wet weather to make a significant impact on water supplies. The National Weather Service is projecting a weak El Nino weather condition and equal chances of above, below, or normal rainfall for Santa Barbara over the next few months. Due to the uncertainty in projected rainfall, staff is planning for continued drought conditions. Staff continues to work on securing additional supplemental water, accelerating drought related capital projects, and sustaining a strong message for extraordinary conservation. The most recent water conservation numbers for October 2014 show an ongoing 20 percent reduction in water use. Staff is hopeful that the drought water rates that went into effect on July 1, 2014 will encourage the community to continue sustaining the 20 percent water use reduction.

Drought Response Capital Projects
Staff is moving forward with the design and construction of capital work projects to assist with water supply during the drought. This includes the acceleration of groundwater well replacement and projects that use poor quality groundwater in place of potable water for irrigation. Groundwater wells include the Corporation Yard Well, which is currently online and whose water is being treated at the Ortega Groundwater Treatment Plant; Valle Verde Well, whose water is being pumped into the City’s recycled water system; and the new Alameda Well, that was recently awarded a contract for construction.

At the direction of Council, staff is moving forward with the reactivation of the City’s Desalination Facility. On November 17, 2014, the Request For Proposal to design, build and operate the facility was sent to the three pre-qualified firms. Responses are due back on February 5, 2014. Staff is currently working on applying for a $40 million State Revolving Fund loan for the project.

Conservation Efforts
Staff has increased the Water Conservation Outreach Program through an enhanced drought media campaign: additional targeted outreach, including increased weekly messaging through social media; online news outlets and industry contacts; presentations to community and industry groups; additional printed materials with drought messaging; targeted utility bill messaging; drought signage at City facilities; and additional trainings and workshops.


Miramar Project on the Ropes?

After not getting the green light he was looking for from the Montecito Planning Commission last night, Los Angeles developer Rick Caruso issued the following statement to the press:

“For the past 18 months we have worked to redesign our Miramar project; the result is a smaller, more efficient project, with fewer impacts on the community and consistent with all of the input we’ve heard from Montecito residents.

Despite a recommendation from County staff to approve the project, a unanimous endorsement from the Montecito Association and overwhelming community support, the Montecito Planning Commission chose to delay approval of our revised Miramar hotel project.

We are obviously very disappointed with the result, in particular with the apparent interest of some commissioners to seek significant changes to the project, which would result in months of further delay.

We appreciate the support of so many in the community and are sorry their wishes were not heard.

The result of yesterday’s meeting has now delayed our planned groundbreaking in June. We will take some time to consider whether there is still a viable path for building the Miramar hotel.”

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Local views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

I think I’ve worked for these homeowners for ten years. Doing the gardening, weekly maintenance. The small flagstone patio has turf that was planted too high, although the other hardscapes look great. I spent a good amount of time every week edging around the outline of each stone then mowing the area. Plus the homeowner had to water it three times a week in the summer otherwise it would dry out.

With the drought this year the owners decided to remove the turf and replace it with a ground cover. That idea was abandoned in favor of Mexican river stones. Now the owners save on water and I save by not mowing or edging every week. – Dan
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