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Art Critics, the 2014 Earth Day Poster

EdayposterThe Film Festival, Summer Solstice and Old Spanish Days/ Fiesta posters get a lot of attention around town, so here’s the 2014 Santa Barbara Earth Day poster for the many local art critics. It was created by Lillian Edwards… Viewer thoughts?

The Community Environmental Council will host the 2014 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival at Alameda Park this 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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Mallory Rae Dies Petition

malThe family of Mallory Dies has started an online petition in hopes that the Santa Barbara County District Attorney will call for the appointment of a special prosecutor by the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the purported and potential federal crime, which cost Mallory her life. The petition, Vow4Mal, has 346 signatures with a goal of 20,000. Click here to view and/or sign.

This week, attorney Robert Stoll filed a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of Mallory.

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An Alternative View: Why a Ban on Fracking is Critical for the Climate


Re: Why a Ban on Fracking is Critical for the Climate (April 15)

Dr. Gautier of UCSB has her science wrong in her recent letter to the editor regarding hydraulic fracturing and climate change. A hydraulic fracturing ban would actually hurt the state’s goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions. If we care about scientific consensus, the scientific community is unequivocal on this point.

frack_baby_frackThe recognized global leaders on climate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), recently released a report saying that hydraulic fracturing has a low-carbon footprint and could significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions. President Barack Obama concurred when he said, energy production advances have “helped drive our carbon pollution to its lowest levels in nearly 20 years.”

Other trusted entities such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) , the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the International Energy Agency have also cited the link between reduced carbon dioxide emissions due to natural gas production.

Safe, domestic oil extraction benefits the environment through improved clean energy production, but it also reduces the state’s reliance on oil exports. All of the oil produced in California is used here, which means that without safe in-state production we will have to rely on oil from foreign sources which do not have the same stringent environmental standards. This imported oil will also be sent to California by rail or by large tanker ships, resulting in increased air pollution.

A local ban is not necessary because the state has passed the strongest regulations in the country for hydraulic fracturing. Under Senate Bill 4, a law signed by Governor Brown last year, California has struck a balance between environmental protection and energy independence. The law requires pre-notice to surrounding land owners, mandatory public disclosure of the content of all chemicals used, well integrity testing before and after fracturing, regular testing of nearby drinking water sources, an independent, science-based study of hydraulic fracturing, and the development of a comprehensive Environmental Impact Report.

An ill-fated ban on proven, safe techniques will not only hurt our economy and rob the state of billions of dollars in local and state revenues, but will also slow down our progress in improving our environment.

To learn more about safe energy production, visit

Greg Sefain
Central Coast Energy Alliance

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Art Critics: 2014 Summer Solstice Poster

The poster for the 2014 Summer Solstice Celebration, designed by local artist Pali-X-mano, was released this week, below. It features a sun and a moon playing hopschotch on a colorful board. The Solstice festival takes place June 20-22nd. It’s a tradition on Santa Barbara View to weigh in on the annual posters… art critics?


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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


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.”

Continue Reading →

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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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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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EcoFacts: Another Earth Day

Weekly column by Barbara Hirsch

EarthDayTuesday is the 44th Earth Day, an idea born after a senator came to Santa Barbara to experience the devastation of the ’69 oil spill. The international site states that over a billion people are participating in one way or another. Wow, that is one large percentage of the global population!

To some or many, perhaps, it seems silly to have an Earth Day, because  1. every day should be one, or 2. they are so cynical as to think that all of the efforts we make to be better stewards of the planet are ridiculous. That category can be further divided into those who could care less and those who do care, but feel the futility of it.

Between those extremes, there is the reality that people like to have a reason to gather in a celebrating community fashion,  be amidst visual displays with a theme of some substance, visit booths to learn about cool programs and technologies, hang out with other kindly responsible folks, maybe buy some stuff and eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die.   Oops, did I just say that?

In last Sunday’s New York Times Magazine is a certain deeply pertinent (to earth day) piece on one environmentalist’s road to despair and what follows. It is a good read, and even better if you go on to read the comments. Here are excerpts from a few:

“He’s no longer trying to change the big picture, just the one he lives in.”
“You don’t have to save the world, just don’t destroy it.”
“Man’s attempt to control the natural environment will doom him.”
“Nature will take it all back, it’s just that we may not be around to see it.”
“Better to face the facts, and go down fighting the good fight. Drive less, bike more, eat vegan and have fun!”
“…Perhaps we will not pollute every molecule of land, air and sea. Not trying is the greatest moral failure.

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The Milpas-Eastside Community Steps Up to Embrace Better Health

Milpas on the Move by Sharon Byrne

Chance conversations can provide seeds that produce amazing outcomes. I had a chance conversation in January with Luis Diaz of Milpas Chiropractic in the Milpas McDonald’s after a meeting. Diaz teaches at Santa Barbara Business College, and one of his subjects is community health. I wondered how you measure that? And how would we go about improving it?

It turns out that we are embarrassingly rich in resources for healthy living on the Eastside. First, we have great markets: Tri County Produce, Trader Joe’s, Fresh Market, Fresh & Easy – where you can get organic produce, grains, wild-caught fish, supplements, and more.

For fitness, we have Aggressive Soccer, personal trainers, the batting cages, fitness classes, and more.

We also have medical and well being resources: Franklin Clinic, the Santa Barbara Neighborhood Clinic, and Milpas Medical are all here, as is the Santa Barbara Body Therapy Institute.

Add to that those pushing me to do a Milpas Biggest Loser competition to lose weight… well it all that got rolled into the Milpas Healthy Community Initiative, whose big sponsor is McDonald’s.

Cue the catcalls on McDonald’s, but they do offer healthy items on their menu. When I traveled a lot for business, and despaired over poor airport food choices, my go-to solution was a fruit and yogurt parfait and a bottle of water from McDonald’s. The hardest part of losing weight is dining out – you have to navigate past a sea of temptation to find the healthier items. Make it easier on us, please! McDonald’s separated out their healthy choices on their menu for the Healthy Community Initiative.

They also have a McFit program for their employees. I met Claudia Hernandez, the manager of the Milpas McDonald’s, who lost 20 pounds on that program. She’s gorgeous. And tiny. And she got that way while working at McDonald’s!


Claudia Hernandez of Milpas McDonald’s with giveaways at Milpas Moves! event.

Dave Peterson, the owner, is a fit and healthy guy. He connected us with Choo Choo – a tall, slender nurse from Cottage Hospital that oversees weight loss programs for their employees.

We felt we had the start of something that could be really fun and healthy for this community.

So we kicked it off April 12th with the Milpas 1000 Challenge – we’re losing 1,000 pounds on the Milpas-Eastside. Cottage nurses were on site on that cold, foggy Saturday morning to weigh us, advise us on healthier habits, and give us support materials. Teams from the neighborhood signed up for the Challenge. When you lose 10 pounds, you’re eligible for a drawing for prizes like a brand new bike from Hazard’s, a $100 shopping trip at Tri County Produce, gorgeous gift basket from Fresh Market, massage from the Body Therapy Institute, and more.

After weigh in, it was time for Milpas Moves! We’re bringing a free workout class every month to the neighborhood and moving together as a community. Casa De La Raza brought in a Zumba class that kicked mine and Monique Limon’s butts. People from 6 to 75 were out there moving to Latin dance music, doing Salsa moves on steroids.  It was a total blast!


Esteban Ortiz teaches first Milpas Moves! Zumba

Being a gym rat….well…it’s just not appetizing for some of us. So we want to introduce the community to fun fitness activities with free classes! If you like the class, you can take more of them right here on the Eastside. The Zumba classas at Casa De La Raza are only $5 Mondays and Wednesdays at 7 PM. That’s fitness everyone can afford!

Want to get in on it? Weigh in at the Milpas McDonald’s Tuesdays or Thursdays at 6 PM. The next Milpas Moves! is May 17th 9-11 AM. We weigh in 9-10 AM, and workout 10-11 AM. Follow the Milpas Community Association on Facebook so you can stay abreast of all the offerings. It’s free and fun!

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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 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

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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