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Saturdays with Seibert

Local Views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

A few random photos from this week. A cute couple in cheap folding chairs enjoying the million dollar view, a few minutes later I followed a Rabbit. Top speed was about 20mph, but off the chart in terms of cool.

On Friday this tree forced me to pull over at the courthouse. Wow. I can’t remember ever seeing so many blossoms on it.
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EcoFacts: Surfing Sustainability

Weekly column by Barbara Hirsch

Sustainable_Surf_logo_stacked_300x300_400x400Surfers are certainly passionate about the ocean environment, and riding the waves is pretty darn clean fun. But what do they ride? Generally boards made of oil derived chemicals – foam cores, fiberglass and resins – polluting and toxic in their manufacture. And what do they wear? Neoprene wetsuits, also a synthetic petro product, which can be bought from China for a buck a yard. One wonders about the conditions at those factories, like so many others.

The main maker of the boards’ foam cores for decades – Clark Foam – was shut down by the EPA in 2005, being unable to comply with various regulations, including its use of a carcinogenic chemical. Time magazine called it “Surfing’s Sudden Wipeout“, and it began a shift in the production of surfboards, including to more eco-friendly types.

surfNow, with the help of non profits like Sustainable Surf’s Ecoboard Project, some boards, at least, are being made more environmentally sound with recycled foam cores, and bio-resins. Wood boards have also made a come back from the ancient Hawaiian sport, wood being sustainably grown or reclaimed, and with old fashioned finishes such as linseed oil. Among these makers are a local fellow - John Birchim – who builds them lovingly here in SB. A small company in Maine made the NY Times doing the same thing, or you can buy kits from them to make them yourself.

One of the coolest pieces of news on this front is in the wetsuits realm, a replacement for neoprene: Patagonia’s partnership with a company that makes natural rubber – get this – from desert grown plants in Arizona! The stuff is Yulex from Guayule plants.

Also thanks to Patagonia and the Waste to Waves project, people can drop off styrofoam at collection points (including Ventura) to be used in the making of surfboards. There is no styrofoam recycling in SB County, so I sure am glad to know this!


Santa Barbara View’s 5th Birthday!

Five years ago today Santa Barbara View appeared on the scene with a fresh logo, new URL, and a custom color scheme. Below is that first post that ran on SBView.com. Since then, there have been nearly 4,000 posts (3,991 to be exact), 21,000+ comments and nearly 17,000 people have joined the fun on social media. All this would not have been possible with the many great contributors over the 5 years and of course all our Santa Barbara Viewers. Thank you!

Did you know that Santa Barbara has an official color scheme?

First what they’re not: Definitely not tropical. And not very Mexican.
Earth tones, yes, but not so subtle. Mediterranean is getting closer.

According to a local historian and writer, Santa Barbara’s distinct colors are white, ivory, adobe, a darker red (on red-tiled roofs) black on wrought iron, and Santa Barbara blue, a blue with a fair amount of green in it. It’s a hard color to describe and match. A lot of local designs use blues, but they’re more a Pacific blue than a true Santa Barbara blue. Santa Barbara blue reflects a town on the coast.

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What really makes Santa Barbara colors so special is the way the light shines on the town.

Most of the California Coast extends north-south; not so in Santa Barbara. The city, its shoreline, and the mountains behind it extend east-west. What that means is Santa Barbara is bathed in a soft, often magical south light.


District Elections Coming to Santa Barbara, Fall 2015

“It is virtually certain the judge will find racially polarized voting, and the remedy imposed will be district elections,” wrote Sharon Byrne in January. She was right, district elections are coming to Santa Barbara for the City Council races this fall where three seats will be in play.

“The immediate need now is to find a way for citizens to participate in the drawing of the district lines,” said Byrne. That opportunity come this Saturday, at the Faulkner Gallery in the Central Library, 9 a.m. City officials will reportedly have web-based mapping tools available for residents to indicate where they think the lines should be drawn and your participation is encouraged. The City Council will then conduct two public hearings at City Hall on March 24th and 30th to finalize the district map which will play a large role in shaping our next City Council.

A map of the districts circa 1940 on the wall of the Cajun Kitchen at De la Vina and Mission.
A map of the districts circa 1940 on the wall of the Cajun Kitchen at De la Vina and Mission.


142 Years of the Lobero Theatre

The Lobero Theatre is celebrating a birthday this week, their 142nd!

Credit for establishing Santa Barbara’s first community theatre goes to Italian Senor Jose Lobero.  As the story is told…  in July of 1870, Lobero advertised in the Santa Barbara Press that he intended to form a band, and soon a brass band was playing around Santa Barbara at places like the old post office building. In need of a home, Jose began building an adobe theatre. The new facility, which took some time to complete, was formally opened on February 22, 1873, with a “grand Italian Operatic Concert” directed by Lobero himself.

Lobero’s original theater (pictured below), with over 1,000 seats, was too large for the Santa Barbara population of around 3,000. The theatre struggled for many years before it was condemned and eventually torn down. A fund-raising campaign to restore the theatre started in 1922 and preliminary work on a new Lobero Theatre commenced in January, 1923. The new playhouse was re-opened on August 4, 1924 for a sold-out play titled, “the Beggar on Horseback.” Santa Barbara celebrated this opening with the inaugural Old Spanish Days Fiesta.


Thank You Santa Barbara Viewers!

gildaThe fundraising drive to restore Gilda Radner’s plaque was a success! Multiple donors chipped in and an official Request for Plaque Replacement will now be made. We will ask to have the plaque read: Dedicated to Gilda by unknown donor, and replaced by the readers of Santa Barbara View. Thanks again Santa Barbara!


Keeping Santa Barbara Santa Barbara

By Cheri Rae
imageI wrote to the Santa Barbara Beautiful to figure out how to make this right—for Gilda Radner and her memory. I received a very nice note back from Jacqueline S. Dyson, VP-Public Relations for the organization.

She advised that the plaque has been there for quite some time, and that typically the original donor requests a Replacement Plaque and assumes the costs to do so.

gildaIn this case, the original donor is unknown, so it’s to a third-party to initiate a Request for Plaque Replacement and payment of related costs, which are approximately $100 for the new concrete base and metal marker.

It’s not often it takes just $100 to do something special in Santa Barbara.

Usually we’re talking many times that for consultants, surveys and reports. So here’s our chance, Santa Barbara Viewers, to initiate a Replacement Request Application and make a positive response to a negative act.

Editor’s Note: If you’d like to help us fund a replacement plaque, below is PayPal donation button where any amount is accepted, and all funds will go to the plaque. We want it to read, dedicated to Gilda by unknown donor, and replaced by the readers of Santa Barbara View. Thank you for helping keep Santa Barbara Santa Barbara!





Gilda Radner and Santa Barbara

As Roseanne Rosannadanna said, “It’s always something.”

There was a time when just about everyone I knew remembered every line uttered by the huge-haired and long-winded “Saturday Night Live” character played by Gilda Radner.

Last week’s 40th anniversary show honoring “Saturday Night Live” included a tribute to the talented Radner by actress Emma Stone—who did her best, but couldn’t come close to the original.

It was a reminder of a uniquely talented entertainer who died at the age of 42. Gilda Radner has a star on Hollywood Boulevard, and a tree dedicated to her on State Street. I remember being delighted and intrigued years ago when I spotted the commemorative tree and Santa Barbara Beautiful plaque with her name on it. I always wondered about why it was there, and thought maybe now it was time to find out.

I took a stroll over to the spot near the Arlington Theatre, and my heart dropped to see that the plaque has been vandalized and defaced. If you didn’t already know it was originally inscribed with her name, you wouldn’t likely be able to figure it out.

This seemed so wrong; just when the loopy silliness of Saturday Night Live was on full display, and presented like an early historical treasure, the Santa Barbara connection felt like a sad and disrespectful downer.
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Similarities Are Uncanny

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Ernie Salomon
I was living in Rheine, Germany, when a group of Nazi thugs stormed into a restaurant, terrorized the owners and their employees, and intimidated their customers, telling them that they should not patronize the restaurant.

The owners were so frightened for their safety and the safety of their staff and patrons that they called the police.

The police made no arrests, the city council did nothing and the district attorney did nothing.

poder_1I was living in Santa Barbara when a group of PODER thugs stormed into a restaurant, terrorized the owners and their employees, and intimidated their customers, telling them that they should not patronize the restaurant.

The owners were so frightened for their safety and the safety of their staff and patrons that they called the police.

The police made no arrests, the city council did nothing and the district attorney did nothing.