Ornamental Water Fountains in Santa Barbara

After publishing drought discrepanciessome ornamental water fountains flow in Santa Barbara while others are turned off due to drought regulations; a viewer writes in with a photo to say the fountain in Loreto Plaza has been drained and turned off.

Here are two more… can you identify these beautiful fountains?

Photos taken Saturday, July 12

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Local Media Outlets Object to Partnership of Noozhawk and Mission & State


Joint letter from SB media to the SB Foundation Trustees

News organizations from around Santa Barbara met with the Board of the Santa Barbara Foundation to object to the partnership arrangement made between Noozhawk and Mission & State, PDF left.

As detailed in May, Noozhawk, the for-profit online news website which started in 2007, took over management of Mission & State June 1. Mission & State started as the Santa Barbara Investigative Journalism Initiative, a heavily-funded (via a Knight Foundation Grant through the Santa Barbara Foundation) non profit intended “to enhance the delivery of impactful journalism to Santa Barbara.”

Mission & State burned through a majority of its $1 million initial funding before operational control was handed over to Noozhawk. Local news organizations and at least one funding partner asked for a time out to reassess the awarding of the management contract. Tuesday’s meeting ended without a resolution.

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Dry Silt and Hot Air

Column by Loretta Redd

Asking hot air-filled floatation devises we refer to as “elected officials” to rise together and resolve a challenge by applying practical and long range solutions is sheer folly.

It’s becoming increasingly obvious why the words “successful” and “government” rarely appear in the same sentence. Common sense solutions are unachievable, especially when they involve multiple layers of bureaucracy.

Assuming Congresswoman Lois Capps wants to win her race in November, here is a daring feat, that if she can pull it off, will endear her to every thirsty voter now paying increasing water rates in order to reduce consumption.

It won’t be easy. It may not be quick, and it isn’t a ‘forever’ solution, but it will help ensure that the quantity of water available in our area is significantly increased. It’s also far from a new idea, as you will read as I quote frequently from the May, 1987 City of Santa Barbara report entitled, “GIBRALTAR LAKE RESTORATION PROJECT.”

The Gibraltar Lake Desiltation Project (proposed 1977, funded in 1978) report was submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency “Clean Lakes Program” almost three decades ago, and had the process been continued, we would not be in the water crisis we find ourselves today.

Here's their Executive Summary:
The reclamation program was proposed by the City of Santa Barbara in May 1977 to the U. S., Environmental Protection Agency's Clean Lakes Program. A Clean Lake EPA Grant to restore Gibraltar Lake was awarded to the City of Santa Barbara on May 15, 1978. This Funding and desiltation method of Gibraltar Lake was the first of its kind in the United States.

Within three years from the initial construction of the desiltation project, approximately 445 acre-feet of wet silt had been dredged from the lake at a total cost of $4,197,316.84.

Gibraltar Lake is a 273.6 acre reservoir located within the rugged Santa Ynez Mountains about seven miles north of Santa Barbara City. The reservoir provides an average of 35% of the City's drinking water supply in conjunction with the other supply sources such as Lake Cachuma 53%, and the City's 12% ground water source.

The lake's water capacity has been decreasing since the completion of the Gibraltar Dam in 1920 and subsequent enlargement in 1948, because of siltation. The reservoir formed by the damming of the Santa Ynez River had an initial maximum capacity of 14,500 acre-feet and a subsequent capacity of 22,500 acre-feet in 1948. The lake's last capacity measurement in 1986 was reported to be reduced to about 8,241 acre-feet or 37% of the total volume of 22,500 acre-feet. Over this 66 year period between 1920 through 1986, 14,259 acre-feet of silt entered Gibraltar Lake at an average rate of 216 acre-feet of silt per year.

The purpose of the Gibraltar Lake Restoration Project was to safely attempt to reclaim a portion of the reservoir's lost water capacity. The construction and dredging operations took nearly three years to complete. The actual project length satisfied the proposed 36 months originally stated in the Federal Assistance Application. EPA and representative of the Federal Government are to receive "thanks" from the citizens of Santa Barbara for participating in this grant. The purpose of the "Clean Lakes" grant has been fulfilled and this report is documentation of that participation between the agencies (EPA and the City of Santa Barbara).

A cubic yard of silt typically displaces 200 gallons of water.

I’m neither a mathematician nor a geologist, but two things seem rather obvious: first, we certainly could use the additional storage capacity in today’s Lake Gibraltar for when future rain falls, and secondly, I imagine dry dirt due to the drought conditions is far easier to remove than wet silt, though I envision the truckers dressed in white hazard suits, the dump trucks requiring union drivers and an Environmental Defense League escort.

The challenges remain numerous. How many various governmental entities would it take (this sounds like a riddle…) to approve a road being cut to allow the heavy moving equipment ingress and egress to the lake bed?

And, what do we do with all that ‘silt?‘ I am fairly certain some environmental elitist will declare it unsafe to reuse, even though it should make some of the best top-soil additive imaginable for our Central Coast farmers.

From the time of the proposal in 1977 until now, much has changed in Washington, in California and in Santa Barbara…and yet little has changed in government. Can Congresswoman Capps work with State Senator Jackson, Assemblyman Williams and Mayor Schneider to pull off this miracle or will they, too, remain blather-filled floatation devices more focused on the problem than on the solution?

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The Reclaimed Water Shell Game

By Dan Seibert

Last week I read a couple comments about the dead grass in Chase Palm park and the green grass at Fess Parker Doubletree hotel. It’s quite a contrast.

The odd thing is the hotel “park strip,” the very green grass between the hotel and street is owned by the city and is being watered with reclaimed water. Presently the reclaimed water system is under repair, the reclaimed H20 is being supplemented with city water. I think about 75% of reclaimed water is actually city water. If my info is wrong please feel free to correct me.

I don’t want be the water cop, but this photo was too strange not to post.

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Lance Orozco Catches Up with The Trailmaster

Walks-SBKCLU’S legendary newsman Lance Orozco caught up with, John McKinney, aka The Trailmaster, who has written many outdoor articles for Santa Barbara View, to talk about a new series of trail guides and mini books that every local should have.
Click here to listen to the 4-minute audio report:

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On the Docket: Funding for Visit Santa Barbara

Today at their weekly meeting, the Santa Barbara City Council will discuss and likely approve $1,380,00 for a community promotions contract with Visit Santa Barbara, formerly the Conference and Visitor’s Bureau and Film Commission.

According to the Agenda, the funding will come from the Mayor and Council’s Office Arts and Community Promotion budget to “promote Santa Barbara as a tourist destination and location for film production. This contract will help support year-round administrative expenses for Visit Santa Barbara, including salaries and benefits, advertising, consumer and trade information services, public relations, and sales. The term of the contract covers the period of July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015.”

Last year, Visit Santa Barbara used this money to developed a $1 million ad campaign that rubbed many residents the wrong way. $10,000 was spent on a new logo that depicted Saint Barbara as a mermaida logo which has not been used to date.


Mayor and City Council
Post Office Box 1990
Santa Barbara, CA 93102-1990
City Hall Voice: (805) 564-5318; FAX: (805) 564-5475
735 Anacapa Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
HSchneider@SantaBarbaraCA.gov (805) 564-5323
Cmurillo@santabarbaraca.gov (805) 564-5322
DFrancisco@SantaBarbaraCA.gov (805) 564-5324
FHotchkiss@SantaBarbaraCA.gov (805) 564-5320
Ghart@santabarbaraca.gov (805) 564-5319
HWhite@SantaBarbaraCA.gov (805) 564-5321
RRowse@SantaBarbaraCA.gov (805) 564-5325

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11,000 Facebook Likes for Santa Barbara View

Santa Barbara View hit another milestone today with 11,000 Facebook Likes! Our Facebook page is incredibly active with a different style of commentary and social engagement, plus custom content. So if you are not already one of the 11,000+ people who like Santa Barbara View on Facebook, please join us. And if you are, thank you for your social support. PS: Click to follow @SBView on Twitter.
Continue Reading →

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Distinctive Framing ‘n’ Art in Santa Barbara

IT’S YOUR LIFE, Advice for  the Soul of Body and Mind with Dr. Kathleen Boisen

Recently my husband and I inherited some valuable paintings and lithographs. They need re-framing and we are in disagreement about how to do this. My husband wants to do it himself and I think it should be done professionally. I see that you also are an artist, what do you suggest? Hopefully you can save us from one more argument over this project, it’s becoming a big issue. – Thank you MZ of Santa Barbara

This week’s column might seem like an episode of Antiques Roadshow, but believe me you definitely need some experienced advice. I am personally familiar with this issue since a few years ago I inherited some valuable framed prints. Unfortunately, back in the 70′s they were unprofessionally framed and over the years some mold got on the prints. They would have been worth from $1,500 to $ 3,000 each (there were two) but because of the incorrect framing they were only worth $500 each. Ouch!!! When I showed them to my framer, he said the damage could have been easily avoided and showed me how.

All art is a valuable investment. Even if it is not by a famous artist, or worth thousands of dollars. If you divide what you spent on the art by how many hours of pleasure and even healing you receive from it, you’ll find that even in one year it has paid for itself. The Art that is inspiring to you is a form of visual therapy that you live with and your environment is as powerful a healing tool as Psychotherapy, or any form of medicine. Let’s see if we can stare at the flat screen TV less and daydream more while looking at something you find intriguing and beautiful on your walls.

DPSAlthough there are quite a few good Frame Shops in Santa Barbara, and any professional framer will save your art from decay, I have had the privilege of working with one for ten years who had saved me from mistakes, saved me money and educated me along the way. It is Distinctive Framing ‘n’ Art located a few doors up from the Arlington, the owner is David Lombardi, pictured left. What I particularly like about his approach is that he carries a very wide variety of frames and especially a wide variety of price range in framing materials. You would be amazed at the complication of differences between frame materials, mating and glass selection. Its a little like buying materials for remodeling your house. Especially today the options are crazy extrensive, it makes you dizzy. Mr. Lombardi has an old fashioned code for doing business, customer satisfaction is absolutely essential, and patience is key. So many framing choices, so little time.

Most artists, including photographers do not stretch canvases or build their own frames. It is just a hassle and time lost that we can’t afford to lose. Sometimes I change my mind about the size of a painting I’ve done and I can have him cut it down and re-stretch it, and then there are our modern day giclees which need to be stretched.

There used to be a little sign in the window at Distinctive Framing ‘n’ Art. It was
“a good painting without a frame is like a fine wine without a bottle.”

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Casa of Santa Barbara County

Ali Azarvan volunteered for 25 local non profits in May and shares his chronicles:

After recently becoming a father, my entire outlook on life has changed. I’ve become a hell of a lot more sensitive and aware of all the things wrong with the world. I’ve also been exposed to so much that I was not aware of during my May Days campaign. Recently, I spent an unbelievable day with some amazing women with Casa of Santa Barbara County who made me very aware of a serious problem – there are so many abused, abandoned and neglected children who have nobody fighting for them in the court system.

Casa’s goal is to assure a safe, permanent, nurturing home for every abused and/or neglected child by providing a highly trained volunteer to advocate for them in the court system. An amazing goal, right? Sure beats my “shed a few pounds of fat in the next 30 days” goal. . .


I spent the first-half of my day with Crystal Jensen-Moreno (Volunteer Manager) and Tara Gross (Outreach Coordinator) who gave me the ability to witness something that most people do not get a chance to see – juvenile court in session. It is extremely difficult for me to articulate the emotions that overwhelmed me throughout this morning.

I knew I was going to see some heavy stuff. . . I just didn’t know how intense it would be. I saw parents losing all parental rights to their children. fathers and mothers in shackles, and children getting verbally reprimanded for smiling at their incarcerated father (“it’s illegal to communicate with an incarcerated person in court”). This was the stuff you only see on TV shows. The most disturbing scene for me was a VERY pregnant woman losing all parental rights to her 3 year old – and she showed NO EMOTION whatsoever. She didn’t care. Oh, where was the father? Nobody knows. He has disappeared and has never shown up to any court date. They had to serve the father via publication (ie publish it in a newspaper) that his parental rights were terminated. That child has to overcome more obstacles right now than I have ever faced in 37 years.

After just a few hours, it became VERY clear to me that these children need help, they need support, they need someone to look after their best interest. Casa does exactly that. Continue Reading →

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Cypress Super Moon

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Cypress Super Moon
The view from last night above Butterfly Beach. At the time I did not realize this was a “supermoon”. A full moon that coincides with the moon’s perigee, the closest part of the moon’s orbit to Earth. But the crowds of people out along the beach watching seemed to suggest something was up. Of course the moon needs to be very close to the horizon to really notice a difference in size, but then every moonrise is beautiful here.

-Bill Heller

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EcoFacts: All Those Devices

Weekly column by Barbara Hirsch

home-electronics-13The state of electronics today – wow, it’s a big one, probably even a country’s worth! We are wed to them and the manufacturers must continue to produce and sell as many as they can, so one is never enough, or quickly needs replacing. And they are so cheap as to be disposable, fast fashion of a sort. We pay a thousand or two per year for the connectivity and a thousand or so to buy the things, but the hidden costs are a much bigger issue.

In 2012-2013, we in the U.S. (PDF) purchased close to:

  • 125 million computers, 150 million tablets and e-readers, 75 million TVs, 250 million cell phones
  • In 2010 (last count) in the U.S. we disposed of around:
    384 million assorted devices – computers peripherals, phones, etc. and 19% of them were recycled.

Continue Reading →

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Saturdays with Seibert: El Encanto Parking Update

Local Views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

pdf-logoThree months ago I posted about the neighbors of El Encanto objecting to employees parking on APS, in violation of agreements made in the planning process.

Two weeks ago I drove by Orpet Park on APS and noticed very few cars parked below the El Encanto. I counted 8 in the entire block. This is a huge reduction from earlier this year. My contact in the neighborhood sent me the PDF, click image left, letter sent by the City to the El Encanto.

Looks like the hotel worked things out. Good for them.


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Need Help From The City? Here’s Where To Get It!

Milpas on the Move by Sharon Byrne

In the process of working to improve Milpas, we’ve engaged with the city of Santa Barbara repeatedly. One of our first lessons we learned in urban renewal was to find all the services the city provides that can help you to help your community. We’re pretty fortunate around here that our city has several helpful numbers you can call for various concerns. To get the list, call (805) 897-2526.Call list f

Post it up on your fridge, and start dialing!

See an abandoned shopping cart? Call the Shopping Cart Hotline at 1 (800) 252-4613. They’ll come retrieve it and return it to the store of origin.

photo[3]FHow about dumping on the sidewalk? The first of the month always produces a plethora of mattresses, TVs and other urban flotsam on our sidewalks.

Yes, it’s irritating, but there is something you can do. First, there is a Junk On The Sidewalk hotline. Call (805) 564-5413 to report dumping, and they will come pick it up. Second, if you happen to catch someone in the act of dumping, Sue Sadler in Code Enforcement is your new best friend. For Sue to be able to prosecute an illegal dumper, she needs an eyewitness, a photo (whip out that cell phone), or other proof of the identity of the dumper. I once found a dump pile on the sidewalk with the dumper’s mail conveniently included, so I turned it in to Sue to pursue. She told me they catch a lot of folks that way! Sue is at (805) 564-5669.

We pride ourselves on being very walkable as a city, but some of our sidewalks are in need of repair. If you see uneven pavement, cracking, rupturing, or other sidewalk issues, call the Pothole and Sidewalk hotline at (805) 897-2630. They will take your sidewalk complaint, and put it into a queue of repairs, so don’t get miffed when a city truck doesn’t immediately pull up to start repair work. They will eventually get to it.

There’s also the ever-popular Graffiti Hotline. Caveat emptor here: the city removes graffiti from public property only. So if you find it on a bridge, city building, public trash can, park property, road sign, or other public place, call it in. If your property was vandalized, you should report it to SBPD so they can photograph it for their graffiti database. When they catch vandals, they search through their photo database for similar tags, and prosecute for all matches. So it’s worth reporting. And if they catch the vandals, the District Attorney’s office has a restitution program – very good reasons to report graffiti.

One number on the list reflects Santa Barbara’s rather unique set of problems – the Leaf Blower hotline. If someone fires up a noisy gas-powered blower nearby, call PD Dispatch at 897-2410.

Finally, if you want to be active in making our city a cleaner place, you can participate in the Giant Annual Community Clean Up Day! Looking Good Santa Barbara, run by Lorraine Cruz-Carpinter, puts this on with a huge assist from Marborg. Over 500 volunteers come out for 3 hours on a Saturday morning to scrub off graffiti, pick up trash, remove dumped items, corral shopping carts, plant trees, and more, all in service to a cleaner community. It’s a wonderful activity for families, and creates a great sense of ownership and pride in our city. The first 200 volunteers to sign up online will receive a $5 Starbucks gift card at the event. Sign up at http://www.santabarbaraca.gov/services/recycling/community/cleanups.asp


So quit whining, make some phone calls when you see problems, and come to the clean up! If we all do just a little, it can add up to making a huge difference!

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14 Years Ago, Wendy McCaw Bought the Santa Barbara News-Press

On July 10, 2000, billionaire Wendy P. McCaw beat out chains to buy the Santa Barbara News-Press, one of California’s oldest newspapers. The purchase bucked the trend of newspaper consolidations and corporate ownership. Here is how the 2000 story read:

Media analysts say a sale to a wealthy individual like McCaw could mean that the News-Press won’t have to face many of the financial pressures that come with being part of a large, publicly traded newspaper chain, but they also question whether McCaw will allow the paper to operate independently or use it as a sounding board for her social issues.

McCaw–who is worth about $1.5 billion, according to Forbes magazine–declined to be interviewed. But aides say she was motivated by a desire to bring local ownership to the newspaper she reads every day and save its historic downtown Santa Barbara office.

‘The News-Press has long had a central place in the community, and she thought it should be owned by a resident of the community,’ said Joseph Cole, general counsel at McCaw’s Ampersand Holdings. ‘She didn’t want to see the kinds of cutbacks that might come from a new owner.’”

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To Do List for Next Santa Barbara City Manager

Jim Armstrong, the City’s retiring Administrator, graded out pretty well on this week’s Santa Barbara View poll. Moving forward, Henry Dubroff, publisher of the Pacific Coast Business Times, offers up five things to do for Santa Barbara’s next City Administrator:

1. Complete the waterfront buildout
2. Revitalize the Downtown Organization
3. Keep an eye on the airport
4. Continue to innovate on the homeless issue
5. Finally, don’t ignore pensions

What would be on your list to help Keep Santa Barbara Santa Barbara?

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