Saturdays with Seibert

Local views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

Thursday morning I smelled if before I saw it.  The Bird Refuge is blooming, something nasty.  The water should reflect the blue sky, but this other color is what the neighbors are smelling. – Dan

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EcoFacts: the Internet of Things

Weekly column by Barbara Hirsch

….So yes, all those devices we now require may be nothing compared to a “modern” household of the future, where ubiquitous objects interact with us continuously.

Early uses of electricity in the 19th c. were for telegraphs, automobiles and lighting, and then a hundred years ago communications took a leap when telephones and radios in our homes allowed us to connect with the world in ways never before imagined.

iocWe seem so very connected now, but soon it will be ever moreso, not simply to each other and abstract information and entertainment, but to things in our environment, and I don’t mean nature. That is, until they figure out a way to make sensors attached to trees which allow them to talk to us.

The term Internet of Things, has become empowered since a mention 15 years ago by a fellow who helped to create a global standard on RFID at MIT, that’s radio frequency identification, e.g. those tags or implants for tracking goods, people and animals. This term, now IoT, represents the coming world of internet connected, or smart devices. An example being an umbrella which glows when you should take it with you, as rain is predicted for that day. An EU initiative predicts “an ecosystem of smart applications and services which will improve and simplify EU citizens’ lives.”

Coming out this month is a book titled Enchanted Objects by David Ross, and Amazon’s offer of reading the first pages was certainly appreciated by me, anyway! It’s provocative stuff, even if not so exciting to a luddite like myself, but for me, more for reasons such as the environmental and even human tolls that may result, and that the ever dwindling natural world will be the only place we can disconnect. Or will we be able to?

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It’s You Life, Advice for the Soul of Body and Mind

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

Our daughter is now 24 and she has been having headaches almost daily for the past four years. Fortunately our Doctor has made sure she had all the medical testing, they have done blood panels, MRI, and even a cerebral angiogram. Thankfully they are all negative and it is a medical mystery for her doctors. What experience do you have with this, any advice? LM of Carpinteria

Boisen cartoon July 14, 20140001

illustration by

Migraines and headaches are probably among the most commonly treated conditions with Oriental medicine, Acupuncture and Herbs. Once serious problems have been ruled out, ie brain tumor, cancer or any kind of structural issue, patients often seek an alternative. I explain to people that once all else has been ruled out, it is often an electrical problem, and Acupuncture does address these kinds of issues. Today we understand that everything has an electric Magnetic field, even our planet.

For the past four to five thousand years Acupuncture has been used consistently on a large population. There is probably more experience with this modality than any other. I am continually amazed at the consistency of the methods, theory and practice of oriental medicine, whether Korean, Japanese, Chinese, or Vietnamese. So you can explore this modality with a certain hopefully inspiration.

I have had many, many headache and migraine cases in my years of practice. There are two that really stand out. One case was a gentleman who had a long history of migraines, and had self medicated with Excedrin (Tylenol with caffeine). Then the stomach ulcer hit, and after a stint in the hospital for a bleeding ulcer he was told, “no more Excedrin.” The month before I saw him he had 23 migraines in 30 days and the medications weren’t helping very much. So we got to work, treatment and some herbs, and a little dietary change. Within three months he was down to a rare mild headache once a month. That was years ago and I’m happy to say that except for an occasional wine induced headache, he is pain free. Continue Reading →

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Sign of the Times in Santa Barbara, California

The stage-two drought isn’t the only ordinance being ignored… sign laws designed to protect (pdf) and enhance the City’s historic character continue to be mocked:

10.36.020 Advertising Vehicles.
No person shall operate, drive, tow, draw, transport, move, park or stand any vehicle used for commercial advertising purposes, or for the purpose of displaying such vehicle for sale, or as a prize, on or upon any public street or alley at any time, excepting that the City Council may grant special permission to organizations when it so deems worthy. (Ord. 2713 §1(part), 1959; prior Code §31.57.)

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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 (805) 564-5323 (805) 564-5322 (805) 564-5324 (805) 564-5320 (805) 564-5319 (805) 564-5321 (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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