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Spanish Street Names of Santa Barbara

Don Gaspar Orena

ORENA (oh-reh’-nee-ah) Avenue takes its name from the old three-story Gaspar Orena residence located where the Roosevelt school now stands, directly at the end of East Mission Street. Don Gaspar Eugenio de Orena Gomez de Escaudon, native of Northern Spain, studied medicine before embarking for California in 1842. his destination was the house of Captain Jose de la Guerra y Noriega, a cousin, whose daughter, Maria Antonia, widow of Cesario Lataillade, he would marry.

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Vintage Views of Santa Barbara, California

When the Santa Barbara Mission was the only thing around…

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.

Heading into Election Week…

Weekly column by Sharon Byrne, as seen in the Santa Barbara Sentinel

Alan Bleecker (caveman) gave out 296 ice cream cones during Halloween on Milpas.

Halloween, Day of the Dead, and Election Day in the same week. Is it just me, or is there something ominous in that strange combination? Masquerading, tricks, and elections…no linkage there… and no quarter here! No matter what our political persuasion, we should all be unified in scrutinizing our multiple levels of government daily. As my dear half-brother (now encountering Sandy in upstate NY) relishes saying: it doesn’t matter who you vote for, the government always gets in!

Big week for Milpas – Halloween Trick or Treat, Dia de Los Muertos at Casa De La Raza, road construction for pedestrian upgrades, and benefit concert for Sergio. Sergio Romero was killed trying to cross Milpas in a non-signaled crosswalk one year ago. His tragic death brought full focus to the reality of a neighborhood that has become increasingly high-density surrounding a vital traffic artery designed a la 1950’s LA. Milpas has not previously been updated, other than one-off installations of traffic signals. Now we’ll have a bike lane, two yellow-flashing light pedestrian intersections, and a newly paved street. The concert Friday night is at San Marcos high school, to celebrate a young life that united a community for pedestrian safety for everyone.

Thoughts for the day
(while experiencing a full pat down by TSA for constituting a terrorist threat. My crime: wearing an underwire bra):
Some days it feels like we are steadily dividing into two societies. There’s a group you can count on to regularly get up, go to work, mostly not speed, consume alcohol responsibly, not take illegal drugs, and not kill others in a fit of rage.

Then there’s that other group. It feels at times like society is becoming ever more oppressive on those of us that obey its laws, while anarchists and the lawless roam free.

Second thought: TSA should stand for Total Shakedown of Americans.

You can drive the Queen Elizabeth into Santa Barbara harbor loaded with cocaine, and not serve time in prison. You can be arrested 50 times for drug dealing, and not serve time in prison. Thanks to our legislature for AB109 for that egregious outcome (Williams voted yea, Strickland nay). The state would save millions of dollars by diverting all but the most serious felons to county jails. Sheriffs’ and Parole groups initially supported this, as money was to be allocated for them to handle it. That evaporated, naturally. Murderers and rapists still face prison sentences, but for everyone else: jail. The net reality is that our county doesn’t have the ability to jail anyone but the most serious offenders, due to overcrowding, so offenders turn right back up on the street. DA and police are sorely frustrated, as is the community. With Governor Brown beating down on us for more money for schools, it’s clear we didn’t save any money or increase safety. So Gordon Auchincloss, Chief Deputy District Attorney, has come up with a misdemeanor diversion program to take the non-serious and non-repetitive offenders, and deal with them via programs and classes that the offenders pay for. The program has been tried in other counties, with great success rates. Go Gordon!

Not a current election topic, but should be: I am confident, as an interested student of US history, that the founding fathers did not intend the 2nd amendment the way pro-gun forces purport. Having just kicked out the British empire, the greatest military force in the world at that point, I rather think their concern was some other monarchy deciding to have a go of their own at these newly liberated colonies. Therefore, arms should be at the ready, and presumably, some trained military types to organize a defense. Bearing arms was thus a response to the threat of invading nations, very real in that time. I am quite convinced Jefferson et al never intended for American citizens, as descendents of their utopian vision, to gun each other down at movie theaters, shopping malls, post offices, and honky tonks.

OK, an election topic: I don’t like murder-by-state, but I don’t buy the argument to abolish the death penalty. If it costs too much, takes too long, and has too many appeals, then that’s a problem with the process of carrying it out. Texas, as a true Republican state, executes early and often. They started that up after a steep increase in murders in the 80’s and early 90’s. Today they have almost the same number of murders today that they did in 1966, when their population was less than half that of today.

Perhaps we just need to get more efficient.

Still thinking of the early days of this nation, I am also fairly certain the death penalty was dreadful to witness, public hanging being what it was. Liberty, so hard won, was not to be taken lightly. Men were supposed to live together in peace and all that. How quickly the liberated forget the days of oppression when mere annoyed utterances, the equivalent of “Bush is a dweeb”, were enough to justify charges of treason, immediate conviction, and public hanging. One wonders how the murderers, rapists, drug dealers, child molesters, and batterers of our day would have fared in that time? Do they not see how precious freedom truly is?

On second thought, they’d probably be the very lot conscripted into the military to carry out arrests and hangings. That’s one way to control law-breakers: turn them into the oppressors.

You can’t win.

So go vote!

Questions for the Candidates: What is the Difference Between Capps and Maldonado?

Santa Barbara View asked the two candidates running for the 24th Congressional District, what is the biggest difference between them and their opponent?

After having 5 debates with Mr. Maldonado, it’s clear that we do not agree on many policies. But first, let me say that I’m a great admirer of his family’s success in business and wish them many more prosperous harvests.
I also respect his long dedication to public service in Sacramento, starting in 1998 in the California State Assembly, then in 2004 in the California State Senate, and finally chosen by his good friend Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2009 as California’s Lieutenant Governor.
The biggest difference with my opponent comes from my background as a school nurse. I was always a pragmatic problem solver as a school nurse, and that’s how I’ve been in Congress. As a school nurse, I’ve always stood strongly for the rights of women to control their own healthcare decisions.
Recently in Congress, I opposed laws the partisan efforts to eliminate federal funding for Planned Parenthood and to block access to birth control. In fact, I helped lead the fight to ensure that comprehensive preventive care for women – including birth control – will be covered by all insurance plans, with no copays. Mr. Maldonado opposes this law.
The contrast is clear: in 2005, Mr. Maldonado voted against a resolution calling on the President and Congress to protect and uphold Roe v. Wade. He has consistently voted against Choice in Sacramento, and was given failing scores by Planned Parenthood.
On this issue, Mr. Maldonado’s record is very extreme, just like the Republican House leaders who are bankrolling his campaign.

There are two very big differences.  First, I will never let party bosses dictate to me what is best for the Central Coast.  When Republicans are right, I’ll work with them.  When they’re wrong, I’ll fight against them.  It’s that simple.  Lois Capps has voted with her party bosses 97% of the time.

The other significant difference is our backgrounds.  One of the great public policy ironies is that the majority of folks in Washington who are responsible for shaping economic policy in this country have no actual background in creating jobs.  Think about it.  The politicians who pass, amend or stop economic policy have never owned a business or signed the front-side of a paycheck.  Could you imagine if you went to the doctor’s office and the person responsible for your care had never spent a day in medical school?  Or if you had an attorney who didn’t graduate from law school?  We have a little more than a week left of this campaign and to this point, the Congresswoman of 14 years has yet to talk about how she will create jobs and grow the economy.  She’ll spend a lot of her time and money saying how bad I am but has yet to offer a solutions-oriented agenda of any kind.  Where’s her plan?  What’s her solution?  Lois Capps has never started a business.  She has never signed the front-side of a paycheck.  Maybe it’s not reasonable to expect someone with no background or experience in private enterprise to have an economic plan.  But if that’s the case, does it really make sense to hire a mechanic who doesn’t know how to use a wrench?

Pearl Chase Society Newsletter for October

Pearl Chase Society Newsletter

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

The October issue includes a great article by Steve Dowty titled, Adaptive Re-Use: the Greenest Building is the One that’s Already Built. Showcased is the old muffler shop on Chapala Street which was turned into a new administrative office building for the fire department. The pieces also details Five Imperatives for Adaptive Re-Use.

Questions for the Candidates: It’s All About the Economy and Job Growth

Santa Barbara View asked Congresswoman Lois Capps and Abel Maldonado, “what is the most important issue that you will address for Santa Barbara residents?“….

“It’s the economy, stupid.  It’s simple, but it helped define the campaign that would ultimately elect a no-name Governor from Arkansas President of the United States.  According to virtually every poll in the universe, creating jobs and growing the economy are the most important issues to the American people.  That’s why I have publicly released a specific framework that details what policies and initiatives I will introduce and support to advance the goal of removing government barriers to job creation so we can get the economy moving forward again.  I believe we need to repeal the dangerous cuts to defense that Lois Capps helped put in place. I believe we need to provide meaningful tax relief for small businesses, which Lois Capps opposed. I believe we need to repeal the tax on medical devices that threaten local enterprises like Hardy Diagnostics in Santa Maria. That’s the same tax that Lois Capps helped write. I believe we need certainty and consistency in the tax code so job creators can plan for the future. Lois Capps thinks we need more regulations from Washington bureaucrats. Which way works better – that choice belongs to all of you.” – Abel Maldonado

“Creating jobs and growing our economy remains my greatest legislative priority.  We are doing much better than when economy was in a free-fall 4 years ago – but we must do more.
I have already voted to cut taxes for every working American, saving the typical middle-class family $3,600 in taxes over the last four years.  Now, we need to extend the tax cuts for middle class families and small businesses immediately and I have already voted to do that.
As my opponent stuck Californians with the largest tax increase in state history, we’ve cut federal taxes for small business owners 18 times, giving $200 billion in tax relief and incentives to businesses.” – Lois Capps

Back on the Docket: Potential Naming of New Santa Barbara Airport Terminal

Today, the Santa Barbara City Council will once again discuss and consider naming the new Santa Barbara Airport Terminal.

As noted on Santa Barbara View, feedback from the community was solicited, and according to the Agenda, “the Airport Director received 76 emails and letters with recommendations.  Community comments were also posted on online newspaper websites and in the print media Letters to the Editor. The recommendations ranged from maintaining the current name for the airline terminal building to names reflecting California and local history and culture.  There were also recommendations made for a number of local individuals who contributed to the community.”

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Mitt, Barack, and Mercury Retrograde

Weekly column by Loretta Redd

Astrologically speaking, when Mercury goes ‘retrograde’ 3 or 4 times a year, communication goes absolutely bonkers… and the American Presidency is not immune to such planetary influence.

I’m  not referring to Nancy Reagan’s White House psychic, Joan Quigley, who helped Ronnie and Nancy plan Presidential travel, press conferences, his cancer surgery, and even the nuclear treaty with the Soviets…nor do I speak of Hillary Clinton’s channeling of Eleanor Roosevelt.

The planet Mercury rules intelligence, communications of all types like messages, texting, talking, computing, and travel.  Bad time for any decisions; worse time for new projects.  Its rather like the astrological signature for Murphy’s Law: “If something can go wrong, it will.”

Although Mercury is a more practical than emotional planet, seeking truth, intelligence and education, the word ‘retrograde’ indicates a backwards moving motion, which of course puts all of those attributes in reverse.  Contracts and mail gets lost, software glitches, computers crash…ah, the trickster of the Universe, Mercury, is at is again.

Unfortunately, Mercury enters his ‘retrograde’ moment on November 6th…the day of our Presidential Election.

Remember Bush-Gore?  Another retrograde of history changing proportions…and this one is likely to be no less dramatic.  Mercury tends to have its strongest influence at the beginning and end of its mischief: Bush and Gore at the end of 2000 and Obama-Romney at the beginning of this potential catastrophe.

Already we are dealing with tropical storm/hurricane/drenching Sandy, forcing the shifting of schedules and rock concerts and -darn it all- giving us something to angst over OTHER THAN the absolute end of ‘the American Way of Life As We Know It’ that the other candidate portends.

You aren’t convinced that the star alignment with the planets actually rule our Presidential race, are you?  You might actually think that the outcome has more to do with the nine hundred million dollars of advertising paid for by loyal ameri-cuns at Crossroads USA, or billionaire corporate moguls living in Beijing or Oman.

Not only did the Bush-Gore debacle occur during a retrograde, but more recently, Rick Perry- Republican party darling with absolutely every reason to win the nomination, kicked off his candidacy during a retro.  Don’t know about you, but I thought the guy had it in the bag…good looks, swagger, ‘Gubner ‘ of the great state of Texas, smart and well-spoken…until he spoke, that is.  Yes, the MIS-communication of Mercury raised its mischievous head and his hand-made boots were firmly planted in his mouth time after time until he exited the candidate stage.

As Mercury zips between forward and backward pressure, between two worlds, between the two halves of our brains, we have this juxtaposition between acute clarity and wobbly reality.  I’m guessing most voting Americans by now feel that they’ve been on a flight between heaven and hell with loss of cabin pressure one minute and suddenly gaining altitude the next.

Unfortunately, this is not a time to put your life…or our Presidential election…on autopilot.  Astrologically speaking, we have President Obama– a Leo who loves the stage and limelight, but has a steady hand of leadership opposed by challenger Romney– a Pisces, who swims against the tide of doubt, but is slippery as a fish when changing directions.

Mercury may have well been in cahoots with Mother Nature today, trying their darnedest to alter the date of the Presidential election by drowning the East coast and destroying communication and power lines along most of the original 13 colonies.  We will likely recover, given our post-Katrina standards, and the polls will be open on November 6th…just in time for Mercury Retrograde to turn this election on its head.  I wouldn’t expect a decision as to who takes the White House until several days later…


The Burger Bus

The fall tour of local businesses continues as Santa Barbara View catches up with Michael and Cheryl Gardner, owners of The Burger Bus. “Michael had wanted to enter into the restaurant business for a while but opening a brick and mortar was a bit overwhelming,” they said, when asked about their start. “The food truck scene had not yet started in SB so we figured, Why not open a food truck?. 3 1/2 years later and we’re still running a successful BUSiness.”

The Burger Bus serves up the best grass fed and hormone free burgers around! They also have a killer grilled cheese and a homemade falafel for vegetarians or anyone who wants something different. Cooks hand dip the beer battered onion rings and pickle chips and they also serve hand cut yam fries that are delicious.

Michael and Cheryl have a commitment to all local ingredients, “We believe in locals supporting locals, which seems to have a strong following in SB,” they said. “It takes 6 local distributors to make our burgers and our sides. The less amount of time our ingredients have to spend traveling in a truck, plane, train, or ship, the lower our carbon footprint!”

As a mobile BUSiness, they have many different locations between Goleta on Tuesdays and Thursdays and Downtown Santa Barbara on Wednesdays and Fridays. The Burger Bus is often open on Saturdays too. The best way to find times and locations near you is to visit their website,