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A View of Santa Barbara in January, 1835

As we ring in 2015, here’s a historical view of Santa Barbara in January, 1835

“Lie the mission and town of Santa Barbara, on a low plain, but little above the level of the sea, covered with grass, though entirely without trees, and surrounded on three sides by an amphitheater of mountains, which slant off to the distance of fifteen or twenty miles. The mission stands a little back of the town, and is a large building, or rather collection of buildings, in the center of which is a high tower, with a belfry of five bells,” Richard Henry Dana, Jr. wrote is his classic, Two Years Before the Mast.

“The town lies a little nearer to the beach – about half a mile from it – and is composed of one-story houses built of sun-baked clay, or adobe, some of them whitewashed, with red tiles on the roof. I should judge that there were about a hundred of them; and in the midst of them stands the Presidio, or fort built of the same materials and apparently but little stronger. The town is finely situated, with a bay in the front, and an amphitheater of hills behind,” Dana Jr. concluded in his 1835 voyage around the California coastline.

New Year’s Stories from Santa Barbara County

On New Year’s Day of 1874, all of Santa Barbara County which lay east of the Rincon broke away to become Ventura County. This was brought about by the Ventura district supervisor, Thomas R. Bard, who later became a State Senator.

Within a few years, according to Walker A. Tompkins, the people in Lompoc also decided that it would be handier for them if Lompoc could also be a county seat. “It takes all day by horse or stagecoach to reach the courthouse in Santa Barbara,” complained the Lompoc farmers. “That is too far to go every time we need to transact business. If Ventura can be a county seat, why can’t Lompoc?
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Santa Barbara Year in ReView: December, 2014

Santa Barbara View takes a look back at the stories that made news in Santa Barbara, California this year. Here are ten stories from December, 2014.

  1. The midterm election served up some surprises, even within predictable outcomes.
  2. When the Italian Stone Pines that line Anapamu Street began to suffer from the combined effects of the drought, a beetle infestation and the intrusion of modern life into their living space the Pearl Chase Society decided to move into action.
  3. What’s the matter with John Muir?
  4. History of the founding of the Santa Barbara Mission.
  5. “Simplify, simplify,” wrote Henry David Thoreau in his classic meditation, “Walden.” Of course, he could have simplified the statement by reducing it to simply “Simplify.”
  6. Developer Rick Caruso didn’t like a decision by the Montecito Planning Commission.

Santa Barbara Year in ReView: November, 2014

Santa Barbara View takes a look back at the stories that made news in Santa Barbara, California this year. Here are ten stories from November, 2014.

  1. UC Santa Barbara led the campaign against Measure S.
  2. Councilman Randy Rowse started to do some things to help State Street.
  3. The City of Santa Barbara put up new street signs around town.
  4. Election results in Santa Barbara, California.
  5. is now optimized for desktops, tablets and mobile devices!
  6. The City Council approved $338,491 for a new “bicycle module”.
  7. The SBPD cracked down on bicyclists in the downtown corridor.
  8. Memories shared by Penny and Terry Davies, who owned the Earthling Bookshop and worked with Pearl Chase to defeat the El Mirasol condominium project, below.
  9. Richard Springer passed away; he was 73 years old, a gentle soul who found his final home on a quiet street on the East side, just a few blocks from downtown.

Santa Barbara Year in ReView: October, 2014

Santa Barbara View takes a look back at the stories that made news in Santa Barbara, California this year. Here are ten stories from October, 2014.

  1. The Santa Barbara City Council continued the discussion about sidewalk and behavior panhandling ordinances.
  2. Some locals thought the Rob Lowe commercials crossed the line.
  3. Locals rallied to save the unapproved Gator Boy mural on the side of Cajun Kitchen.
  4. The Man Who Planted Trees: Dr. Augustus Boyd Doremus.
  5. Sometimes, the city and its advisory boards can take on Dark Overlord tendencies.
  6. did you know, a car-free drag in Santa Barbara was part of The 1964 General Plan?
  7. Due to the drought, the City Council was forced to discuss suspension of projects that would add any new development and demand to the system.
  8. An exaggerated, hand-carved sign for the Housing Authority building.
  9. Vaccine-preventable whooping cough was back in Santa Barbara.
  10. The Dodgers of Santa Barbara, Laguna Ball Field Circa 1940 pictured below.

  • Santa Barbara Year in ReView: September, 2014

    Santa Barbara View takes a look back at the stories that made news in Santa Barbara, California this year. Here are ten stories from September, 2014.

    1. SB Girl took readers on a 2 mile hike to Inspiration Point.
    2. A legacy from the era of Dr. Francesco Franchesci, remains on East Anapamu Street in the form of Italian Stone Pines.
    3. The Santa Barbara City Council hosted public workshops to get your thoughts on the condition of the City’s basic infrastructure, including streets, sidewalks, libraries, community centers, police and fire stations, and park and recreation facilities.
    4. The Safe Passage Initiative, a combined plan to celebrate the historic resources in the lower Mission Canyon area, moved forward.
    5. A story about Santa Barbara’s only known pirate, Hippolyte de Bouchard.
    6. the Santa Barbara City Council began the process of reactivating The Charles E. Meyer Desalination Facility.
    7. Every time I see a bike rider roll right through an intersection without heeding the sign, I’m reminded of the time I did the same thing. It didn’t turn out too well.
    8. State Street was designated as one of the 10 Great Streets for 2014, pictured below.
    9. The Italian Stone Pines on Anapamu were suffering from drought and were on our minds.
    10. The Milpas Community Association turned trash cans into art!

    Santa Barbara Year in ReView: August, 2014

    Santa Barbara View takes a look back at the stories that made news in Santa Barbara, California this year. Here are ten stories from August, 2014.
    1. For the roundabout at Las Positas, the total project cost will be over $1.6 million.
    2. Coexisting with Bicyclists, Motorists and Pedestrians.
    3. An Appreciation: The Library.
    4. The Santa Barbara City Council looked at a $4 million plan to renovate Library Plaza.
    5. UC Santa Barbara dropped to number three in the party school rankings.
    6. Illegal food vendors were shut down over the course of the 2014 Old Spanish Days Fiesta.
    7. Huge waves hit Santa Barbara California thanks to hurricane Marie, pictured below.
    8. As the first day of school approached, parents and kids of all ages anticipated, speculated and calculated the days ahead.
    9. The City of Santa Barbara cracked down on gas powered leaf blowers.

    Santa Barbara Year in ReView: July, 2014

    Santa Barbara View takes a look back at the stories that made news in Santa Barbara, California this year. Here are ten stories from July, 2014.
    1. The Saga of ‘Sambo’s,’ The ‘Racist’ Restaurant Chain America Once Loved.
    2. The 4th of July holiday weekend ushered in the highest prices for a gallon of gas since 2008.
    3. On the 4th of July in 1876, the famous Moreton Bay Fig was planted!
    4. Viewers weighed in on Jim Armstrong’s tenure as Santa Barbara City Administrator.
    5. Five things to do for Santa Barbara’s next City Administrator.
    6. Sign laws designed to protect and enhance the City’s historic character were mocked.
    7. Ornamental water fountains in Santa Barbara were turned off due to drought regulations.
    8. Neighbors of El Encanto objected to employees parking on APS.
    9. Need Help From The City of Santa Barbara? Here’s Where To Get It!
    10. A controversial crosswalk sting took place throughout the Santa Barbara and Goleta areas.

    EcoFacts: Lunar Happenings

    Weekly column by Barbara Hirsch

    Last Sunday brought us the winter solstice – the shortest day ushering in the winter, and the southernmost sunrise and sunset in our northern hemisphere skies. As the new moon corresponded closely with the solstice we also had very high and low tides here is Santa Barbara and great beach walks for the holiday time.

    Low TideTides are at their greatest range with new moons and full moons. From new moon to full is 14 3/4 days. With such a great effect on our large bodies of water, how about us living creatures, also sustained by water?

    A wise older friend of mine suggested planting while the moon was waxing. According to the Farmer’s Almanac, root vegetables should be planted during the waning of the moon, and above ground fruits and veggies should be planted during the waxing of the moon. These guides are based on the gravitational pull of moisture in the soil.

    Activities of sea creatures are at least affected by the light of the moon if not the tides. At fish markets on an island of the Phillippines, reef fish are plentiful during the new moon, and not at all during the full, when they retreat into the reefs.

    Some experience that our appetites and cravings are greater when the moon waxes, and that dieting or fasting is easier as it wanes.

    My neighbor is an emergency room nurse and agrees with the common understanding among hospital workers that full moons are not good times for the ER. And though studies have refuted this “lunatic” connection, the nurses have their own experiences to gird them.

    One correlation that has recently been proven is with our sleep. Participants in a study unaffected by amount of light from the moon or knowledge of its phase slept less AND less deeply during the full moon.

    Here’s to greater connections between us and the natural world, and explorations thereof, in 2015!