Santa Barbara Restaurants of Yesteryear

George Virginio Castagnola, who started as a Depression-era, door-to-door fish salesman became synonymous with seafood in Santa Barbara where he operated The Lobster House at 15 E. Cabrillo Blvd. It’s now a Rusty’s Pizza Parlor.

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Gas Powered Leaf Blowers

The disregard for City laws continues… a gas-powered leaf blower is used across the street from the Santa Barbara Community Development Department. A ban on gas-powered leaf blowers passed by ballot initiative in 1997, but has been ignored.

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Keeping Santa Barbara Santa Barbara

“On a calm evening in late 2010 we paddled from Santa Claus Lane beach on Stand-Up paddle boards,” said Cathy Armstrong of Paddle Sports of Santa Barbara. “Only a minute or two into our paddle came a dolphin visit. The water was super clear and from the SUP boards we could see many 6-8 foot dolphins swimming below us. I had my dog Lexi on the front of the board and one dolphin become very curious and stayed with us. This dolphin surfaced and locked eyes with Lexi for what seemed like almost 5 seconds before diving back under-water. It was a very cool experience to see two animals that would never meet under normal circumstances engage as they did. And the rest of the paddle was just as spectacular with a dolphin escort for the first mile.”

sbawardOne local company which showcases our coastal treasures and captures the region’s outdoor mentality is Paddle Sports of Santa Barbara (PSSB). PSSB opened in 2002 in it’s current harbor location and offers kayak and stand up paddle boards rentals and demos. PSSB offers three types of fitness memberships (Fitness, Couple/Family and Limited) to locals and visitors who come to our beautiful harbor as well as expanded offerings to the Channel Islands National Park.

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Rolling Hills Shady Garden

Santa Barbara Photo to Start the Week by renown local photographer Bill Heller.

Another one of my favorite stops when I’m on the other side of the mountain. This is the front garden area at Rolling Hills nursery. If you like tomatoes, they have an absolutely amazing selection this time of year!

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-Bill Heller

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Santa Barbara Stories of Buried Treasure

By  Gayle Baker

Exciting stories of buried treasure in Santa Barbara have been passed on through the generations… one favorite story is the tale of pirates landing at Hendry’s Beach and traveling inland up the Arroyo Burro to bury a chest of gold and jewels under a tree. Some say an old treasure map identifies this tree on the east bank of San Roque Creek and State Street, near today’s Burger King. Treasure seekers continue to dig all around it. If anyone has found any treasure, no one is telling. Many suspect that this treasure remains buried under one of the huge nearby stumps.

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The Santa Barbara Garden Post

Weekly Column by Cerena Childress – Sustainability, Eating Fresh and Organic

Starting Summer Lettuces from Seed!

may21Soak your seeds overnight in a bowl/glass of water.  Put on paper towels to wick off the wet.  Plant!  OR, Cornell University says:  Soak lettuce seeds for 20 minutes in a 10% bleach solution (add 1 part household bleach to 9 part deionized or distilled water). Then rinse five times. This kills fungal spores that can interfere with seed germination.  Some people soak them in a nonfat powdered milk solution.  It nourishes the seed and deactivates any viruses.

Seed soaking in Africa
Primed, soaked, seed will only germinate if it takes up additional moisture from the soil after sowing.  If it dries, it dies.

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Leadbetter Beach

Series on Santa Barbara County beaches by John McKinney, the TrailMaster.

This beach is largely a manufactured creation; construction of the harbor breakwater in 1929 caused large amounts of sand to be deposited here. Leadbetter Beach extends from the breakwater along a little cove to Santa Barbara Point. It’s a popular launch site for sailboarders and kayakers, and picnic spot for families and groups who enjoy sharing food and fun in a landscaped area just back of the beach. Snacks and meals are served up by the Shoreline Café.  Leadbetter is walkable at low tide up-coast to the base of the bluffs of Shoreline Park.

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Vintage Santa Barbara Photo: Granada

Photo Credit for Vintage Series: Early Santa Barbara Photos taken by J W Collinge and other Santa Barbara photographers. Solely for use on the Santa Barbara View.

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Wild Romance: Cold Springs Tavern

By Georgina Stassi – Food, Wine, & Travel

So every time this friend and I go on a road trip we end up somewhere very unusual and this day was no exception. I’m perfectly comfortable handing over the reigns to her,  providing that the end result is the two of us sharing a good bottle of Central California Wine. Her itineraries are excellenct and adventurous and she’s obsessesd with dive bars — that’s what happens when you grow up too well I guess – one feels the need to slum .

There was a dive bar on every corner in my neighborhood, so I must have less of a need to check them out and not quite the romantic notion of them. Now, just seeing the pleasure she gets out of visiting them is well worth it to me. It’s rather amusing and to her credit, from San Francisco to Los Angeles, all of them have been very fun and unique.

cscreekNow, I have a very good and adventurous attitude, and my philosophy is that when in doubt, every girl should approach here escapades in a flattering dress and spike heels; you can always change into yoga pants and hiking shoes, but you never get a second chance to make a first impression. Nevertheless, Cold Spring Tavern is not the place for that ensemble.  When you drive up, park and you get out the car, you are immediately struck by the beauty of this place.  The trees are fragrant and rustling and you can hear the water rushing down the mountain — it’s absolutely enchanting and you really want to be prepared to take a hike or walk.  I was sorry that my shoes weren’t sensible and even though the heel might have allowed me some traction providing it didn’t snap off while negotiating the rocky bank of the spring, I thought it not prudent to take that chance.

cscabinCold Spring Tavern on a weekday, appears closed – abandoned – like a shanty town.  The only sign that anyone is alive in there, is the smoke from the chimney but still you wonder if you are about to find that everyone has expired due to carbon monoxide poisoning.  The place is fascinating.  The history is that Cold Spring Tavern was established in 1865 as a stagecoach stop for travelers going over the San Marcos Pass from San Ynez to Santa Barbara. It was originally called Cold Springs Relay Station because it was a place to get fresh mounts and to offer rest and meals to travelers. It appears as though not much has changed.  There are ruins of old stairs with hand carved railings, the jail remains, and the wooden floors are very uneven.  The dining area is warmed by a glowing fireplace which provides the majority of  light and is small but very inviting. The tables are so heavy and solid that you can’t budge them — you can only move the sturdy wooden chairs.

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Shaking Up State Street: A Walk of Stars

“The Walk of Stars enhances the tourism experience at no cost to the city or taxpayers,” said Bob Alexander, President of the Palm Spring Walk of Stars.

starStarted in 1992 under Mayor Sonny Bono, the Palm Springs Walk of Stars was designed as a tourist attraction. Over the last two decades, they’ve dedicated 334 stars to some of the greats of all time, bringing exposure and money to the City of  Palm Springs. Twenty years later, what do locals and tourists think of the Palm Springs Walk of Stars?
Bob Alexander told that, people “love it”.

Would a walk of Stars work for Santa Barbara’s very own State Street?

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Same Place, Different Priorities:

The Associated Charities in Santa Barbara, Circa 1920

The interesting Old Adobe at Santa Barbara and De la Guerra streets houses the equally interesting activities of the Associated Charities. More than one newcomer to Santa Barbara has exclaimed “Why a charity organization here? Surely there is no misery or poverty in the midst of all this beauty.” But the mother whose sick child is crying for the milk which she has no money to buy, cannot hear the music of the waves. The aged gentlewomen quietly starving, too proud to ask assistance, can no longer see, with their dimmed vision, the wonderful blue-ness of the sky. To the frail wife, left suddenly penniless and alone with five little ones, the mountains are but pitiless piles of stone unless their strength is interpreted to her in terms of human sympathy and helpfulness. Tragedies like these explain why the community, desiring to make life beautiful within as well as without, maintains the Associated Charities to relieve distress wherever found, and to prevent it whenever possible. In contributing its share to the community welfare the work of the Association falls rather naturally into the following divisions:

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Playing Politics

By Cheri Rae

cheriThe recent endorsement of three hand-picked candidates by the Democratic Committee—far in advance of the filing deadline or the declaration or any other possible candidates worthy of our votes—brings to mind our not-so-distant political past. It was just six months ago, when so many citizens stepped up to serve the community, impressing many with their experience, commitment to high ideals and willingness to serve on the City Council. (None of the chosen trio did so, by the way.)

With three seats at stake, three incumbents expected to run, and three already-endorsed challengers—and the amount of money and influence it takes to run a campaign and win a local election—dozens of citizens who once stepped up to serve hardly have a chance to stand up to be considered. But we haven’t forgotten the voices, expressions and qualifications of so many who tried to represent those of us not aligned with partisan politics in a city election.

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Weekend Getaways From Santa Barbara: AmpSurf & Wine Waves & Beyond

By Georgina Stassi – Food, Wine, & Travel

surferIn ink on my calendar, is June 2-5 when Pismo Beach hosts Wine, Waves & Beyond to benefit AmpSurf, a non-profit organization founded by Gulf War Veteran Dana Cummings. At this event, Central California’s Wine Country meets the breathtaking Central Coast. Some of the best Wineries, Breweries and Culinary Artists will be participating such as Ancient Peaks, Laetitia, Palmina, Chamisal, Firestone Brewery and Cayucos Beach Ale. There are a wide-range of lodging choices in Pismo and Shell Beach from which to choose. If you wish, you can park your car and never return to it until you are ready to go home which is how I prefer to spend many of my weekends getaways. You can stay in a modest, clean comfortable beachfront place like The Edgewater or you can spring for something much more lavish like Dolphin Bay.

surfThe luxurious Cliffs Resort, an oceanfront resort with world class amenities, beautiful pools with topnotch poolside service and pristine beach access, will be hosting Barrel to Barrel, a casual, festive event to taste the best of Central California wines and cuisine. Other classic California activities will include long board surfing competitions for amputee surfers, winemakers and brew masters; a classic Volkswagen exhibition; a surf film screening at the historic Fremont Theater and an awards ceremony.

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Santa Barbara City Employee Perk

Straight out of the employee handbook: “Use of a City Car to do personal errands during lunches and break, or to commute home if the employee must work overtime, misses his/her carpool ride or bus, or has a family emergency.”

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A Historic Event: The Art of Travel

Invitations (pictured below) have arrived for the Airline Terminal Grand Opening Gala! The six-figure party for the airline terminal, which takes place exactly one month from today, is being dubbed a once in a lifetime event. The historic gala is open to the public with tickets starting at $125 each.

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