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Pearl Chase Society Newsletter for March, 2013

Santa Barbara View is proud to publish The Capital, a monthly newsletter of the Pearl Chase Society. You can read the complete March newsletter by clicking on the PDF icon, left.

In this issue, Kellam de Forest looks at: the brick paved sloping entrance to the Lobero Theatre, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden’s Conditional Use Permit, the City’s Urban Forest Management Plan, and landscape architect Bob Cunningham’s interested in hearing about specimen trees that deserve recognition.

Also, the Pearl Chase Society Board of Directors considered a grant request from the Maritime Museum to assist with their plans to create an exhibit featuring the historic First Order Fresnal lens at the Pt. Conception Lighthouse. The lens, built in Paris in 1854, was installed at the lighthouse in 1856. It was decommissioned in 2000.

For more about the Pearl Chase Society, and to become a member, CLICK HERE.


Violence Afoot

By Cheri Rae

While a whole host of experts blame video games, movies, and music for the appalling violence and frequent massacres that occur in our country, they might take another look in places they never imagined.

Like at the shoes their kids are wearing.

A few months ago, as I often do, I accompanied my son to the Van’s shoe store on State Street. Van’s is a brand I have known since my own youth, since the company started its unique waffle-soled deck and skate shoes in Orange County, where I grew up.

So I’ve always had a positive feeling about the brand, and have purchased many pair of Van’s for him over the years.

I bought him a pair of black suede shoes that looked pretty much like every other pair of low-top skate shoes on display; the popular “Half-Cab” design I’ve bought in many different colors because they fit well, last a reasonable length of time, and look pretty good on this kid who has always been hard on his shoes.

He’s worn this particular pair for a while, and I never paid any attention to them. Never dreamed I needed to. Not until he left them in the kitchen over the weekend and I noticed the inside of the shoe: A bright red label stitched inside caught my eye. It says, “Kill ‘Em All.”

A little investigation revealed the model is a collaborative effort between Van’s and the heavy metal band Metallica, in honor of its 30th anniversary of its debut album of the same name. This is a line of shoes that Van’s now sells in its stores, distributes across the country in all kinds of shops, and markets heavily to teens on its website.

On closer look at the shoes, the manufacturer has engraved the following on the rubber soles, a lyric from the group’s song “Motorbreath,”  “Those people who tell you not to take chances…they are all missing on what life’s about.”

Just added to this commemorative line of shoes that debuted last fall is a bolder, brighter bunch that reproduces the look of the album—a graphic depiction of a hand holding a hammer and blood that appears to splash onto the shoes. And other models read “Kill Em All” emblazoned right across the top of the shoe. And on the bottom of it, the red streaks look like the wearer has stepped in a pool of blood.

And parents—unwittingly or not—are likely footing the bill for these things.

This one is not too happy about it.

In the couple of decades I’ve been a parent, I’ve become attuned to the mass-marketing of inappropriate and violent imagery in items designed for kids. I once even returned a wallet that had an Iron Cross on it—to the disappointment of my then-very young son, who had never even heard of the Nazi symbol.

We have lots of talks at home about video games; discussions about current events; conversations about lyrics and music videos; and debates about the “fun” of an afternoon with the airsoft rifle or at the paintball park with a big group a friends—and their dads. I’ve done my best to be on top of this stuff, but really, never, ever anticipated I would have to police a pair of shoes.

And I can’t imagine what parents would ever want their kids to wear anything that appears blood-spattered, or that reads “Kill ‘Em All.” And with zero-tolerance policies about everything these days, I can’t imagine any kid being allowed to wear them to school.

There’s something afoot in this opportunistic glorification of violence for the young ones among us—right down to the soles of their shoes. It smells like money made at any price, and I think it stinks.


Santa Barbara City College Receives Award for Excellence in Community College Education

Santa Barbara City College was just named as a co-winner of the 2013 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, which includes a $400,000 prize. The Director notes, “at both of the 2013 winning colleges—Santa Barbara City College in California and Walla Walla Community College in Washington—more than half of full-time students earn a credential and/or transfer to a four-year college, far above the national average. While both are comprehensive colleges, each achieves exceptional outcomes by focusing on a different, equally important goal. Santa Barbara orients most of its programs to four-year transfer. Not only do unusually large numbers of students achieve that goal, but the majority of transfers go on to complete bachelor’s degrees as well.”
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Whatever Floats Your Boat

Column by Loretta Redd

It wasn’t the Irish who floated up to the beaches near Refugio on St. Patrick’s Day, but there was plenty of green to go around!  Yet another panga boat was discovered, along with its bales of marijuana, but like little leprechauns, the transporters were nowhere to be found.

A proliferation of panga boats seem to be heading into our Central Coast faster than the cruise ships and blue whales this season.  Recent Coast Guard notices suggest that these drug and human smuggling vessels are launched from Mexico every three days.  The distance between Mexico and the Central Coast is roughly 500 miles, and they travel along shipping routes sixty miles offshore.

Guess their gas prices must be lower than ours.  Some make it to their destinations undetected, others may be lost at sea altogether, but at least twenty have made their way to Santa Barbara County shores in the last year.

The volume of marijuana carried by these broad hulled, lightweight, camouflaged boats is significant: 2000 pounds in this most recent haul, 2500 pounds found at Pt. Magu, 1500 pounds at Malibu, and just last week, 1700 pounds on the beach at Vandenberg Air Force Base.  Combined street value of just this recent flotilla?  Over $14 million.  Maybe Governor Jerry Moonbeam should start selling the stuff to pay off California’s debt, instead of holding it as evidence.

In addition to weed, the panga often carry illegal immigrants who pay $5-10,000 apiece to make the journey, and often end up as shark food if a lighter boat ensures having the necessary fuel to make it to shore.  Besides the idiocy of landing at a popular public beach and a U.S. military base, the truth is very few arrests have been made.  Perhaps if the smugglers would call ahead to the Sheriff’s Narcotic Investigation Unit, or to Homeland Security,  they’d be able to intercept the occupants, rather than the cargo.

We’ve heard a lot from politicians throughout the last election and since on matters of illegal immigration.  But where was the discussion about the “war on drugs” that carries a $238.2 billion (FY 2013) Federal Drug Control budget?  This doesn’t even factor in criminal justice, crime victim, emergency room and treatment costs, lost productivity,  police enforcement  and corrections costs.

The website DrugWarFacts.org states that in 2012, the total cost of our Federal drug ‘control’ was $1.5 trillion.  That’s a lot of money, even though the shock value of  $1 trillion (a one followed by twelve zeros) has worn off considerably in today’s fanciful world of federal funding.

The budget for the DEA has increased forty-fold since its 1973 inception under Pres. Richard Nixon.  From its initial $65million and 2800 employees carrying out five goals of “drug eradication,” it has been so successful in NOT meeting its mission, that it’s now grown to over 11,000 employees with a budget of $2.6 billion.

Which doesn’t include the Arlington, Virginia DEA Museum, where “admission is free,” for the self-guided tour and you can purchase stuffed K9 dogs and holiday ornaments in their gift store to remind you of the various tributes and displays to their overall utter failure as a drug-deterring agency. Open 10-4:00 Tuesday through Friday…must be those government furloughs.

Let’s come back to California for some up-to-date reality checks on the Mexican and American government’s attempts to eradicate illegal drugs.  Stated succinctly by Eduardo Porter in a recent New York Times article, “…the struggle on which they (Mexico and the U.S.) have spent billions of dollars and lost tens of thousands of lives over the last four decades has failed. Its threadbare victories– a drug seizure here, a captured kingpin there– pale against its cost in blood and treasure.  And its collateral damage, measured in terms of social harm, has become too intense to ignore.”

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Poll: A Half-Cent Tax Increase for Santa Barbara

This month, the City of Santa Barbara will take bids from several polling companies to ask residents if they support increasing the sales tax by a half-cent. The poll would “ask voters what they think,” said Mayor Helene Schneider. With 35,000 local Viewers, let’s save the City the cost of hiring a polling company with the Question of the Week:

Some of the unfunded projects that the tax would pay for include: $216 million in street maintenance; rebuilding Fire Station 7 for $5 million to $7 million; building a new police station for $54.5 million; renovating the Cabrillo Bathhouse for $10 million; renovating the Ortega Pool for $6.2 million; and installing an elevator in City Hall for $1.2 million. The tax-increase measure could appear on the November 2014 ballot.


Another Shooting in Santa Barbara, California

Local gun violence continues to escalate as police are investigating another shooting that took place in Santa Barbara this weekend. Here is the official statement from Sergeant Riley L. Harwood, Santa Barbara Police Department, Media Relations.

“On March 17, 2013, at 12:04 a.m., officers and detectives from the Santa Barbara Police Department responded to a call of a subject that had been shot on the 600 block of Wentworth Avenue. Upon arrival they located an 18 year old male victim with a gunshot wound to the abdomen lying on the west sidewalk. The victim was transported from the scene by paramedics to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital for treatment.

He is expected to survive. Investigation indicates the following. The victim is a Santa Barbara resident and was attending a family gathering at a residence on the 600 block of Wentworth Avenue when he was shot. The victim is a Santa Barbara area gang member, however there is no indication thus far that this incident is gang related. The victim has been uncooperative. This investigation is still ongoing; no arrests have occurred and no determination has yet been made as to whether the victim’s injury was the result of a criminal act, accident, or was self-inflicted.”


Sunset at Shoreline Bluff

Santa Barbara Photo of the Week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.

Yesterday we took a nice walk at Shoreline Park in the evening. We decided the best use of our daylight savings hour was to spend it on the beach, or at least overlooking it. It was a bit of a hazy evening, but I think most of it was sea spray, and it made for an amazing sunset! – Bill Heller


EcoFacts: Salt of the Earth

Ever flown into San Francisco and wondered about those brightly colored ponds at the base of the bay? I sure have, assuming the worst. But they are salt evaporation ponds and the colors are caused by algae, different kinds at different salinity levels.

Besides being an excellent flavor enhancer, salt has been used to preserve meat and fish for thousands of years. The word salary comes from salarium, salt being part of Roman soldiers’ pay. There have been salt wars, salt laws, salt taxes, salt trading, salt rites. The stuff is and has been elementally essential to us.

We are saline. Our bodies contain about a half pound of salt. But the association with health dangers came from the fact that salt intake temporarily increases blood pressure.  As hypertension and heart disease increased among westerners, the campaign against salt began. Recently, meta analyses and even more studies are still not able to prove a link between salt and increased risk of death. And as salt licks would prove, other creatures need it too. Continue reading…


Paula Lopez Update

Even though she still is recovering from an undisclosed medical condition she suffered earlier this month, KEYT anchor Paula Lopez appeared to receive received an honor Friday at the Santa Barbara High School Theatre.

Lopez and several other Dons alumni were named to the “Wall of Fame,” which honors graduates who have made significant community achievements. Lopez is a ninth-generation Santa Barbaran.

“I just want to thank in terms of being recognized, a lot of it is due to my KEYT family over the decades and our wonderful, wonderful viewers who have been so supportive of my career,” Lopez told the crowd at the ceremony.

Lopez is recovering from a medical incident where she was reported missing a few weeks ago. KEYT anchor C.J. ward said on air Friday night that Lopez will be resuming her job soon.


Karma Chow’s Korean-Style Tempeh Tacos

Recipe of the Week by Santa Barbara resident and natural food chef, Melissa Costello

Tacos: We all love them, but they are usually laden with fatty, high-cholesterol toppings, such as sour cream and cheese.

This plant-based, Korean-style version, made with high-protein tempeh, offers a delicious twist on the classic originals. Using simple ingredients, this dish will quickly become a favorite in your healthy household offering up an array of flavors and textures. They are so scrumptious and satisfying. You won’t even miss the meat!

Top them off with some avocado slices or fresh homemade guacamole for an even more decadent dish.

 

Korean Style Tempeh Tacos with Dijon Slaw
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or sesame oil
1 8-ounce package tempeh, crumbled
3 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon maple syrup or raw dark blue agave nectar
4 to 6 organic soft corn tortillas
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