By Cheri Rae
“It’s a little like Darth Vader welcomes you to Santa Barbara” – Santa Barbara City Councilperson
Speaking of murals… in January 2014, a black and white mural went up on the side of the Indigo Hotel. It was painted by Raphael Vargas Suarez along with at-risk youth who had been in trouble for tagging. The mural was created for the opening of an art show inside the hotel. It went through Santa Barbara Historic Landmarks Commission and was approved for only one year; however, as of Saturday, the Darth Vader mural (pictured below) remains.
Yesterday, the Santa Barbara City Council designated the Joseph Knowles Mural at 38 West Victoria Street as an official City Landmark. According to the resolution, the Joseph Knowles Mural is significant for its historical and cultural influence on the heritage of the City. It was designed in 1958 by noted Santa Barbara artist, Joseph Knowles, who made a significant contribution to the heritage of the City. The mural represents the largest, mid-twentieth century public art piece in Santa Barbara. The mural consists of six panels made out of polychromatic tiles. The panels depict six historic epochs in the history of Santa Barbara County in sequential order from left to right (north to south). The first panel depicts the area’s first inhabitants, the Chumash, the successive periods are represented by the Spanish explorers, Mission Santa Barbara, the California rancho, the American settler, and finally the modern era. When the mid-century grocery store building upon which the mural was originally installed, was demolished, the mural was carefully removed, cleaned and installed on the west elevation of the new Public Market building facing Chapala Street.
On April 12, 2013 the the Santa Barbara City Council unanimously approved a 20-foot public art installation of two glass wings for the front of the new Santa Barbara Airport terminal. The piece of art has been designed to commemorate the men and women who served in World War II at the airport, which was once the site of the Santa Barbara Marine Corps Air Station. The installation, pictured above, will be shaped to resemble wings and will be installed in an arch on one of the grassy knolls in front of the new terminal. Once complete, the wings will be the largest cantilevered glass sculpture in the world. Yesterday, the giant glass sculpture with self-cleaning glass and light-emitting diodes received support from the Santa Barbara Architectural Board of Review and leads to Santa Barbara View’s question of the week:
Forty-five years ago, on January 28, 1970, The Santa Barbara Declaration of Environmental Rights (SBDER) was proclaimed at a gathering of Santa Barbara citizens and nationally prominent educators, scientists, and government officials, the date marking the first anniversary of the infamous Santa Barbara Oil Spill. The gathering was the first of its kind in the United States and was followed by the nation’s first Earth Day observances around the county later that year.
The gathering was convened by a coalition of Santa Barbara citizens and groups dubbed the January 28 Committee, whose members included Robert O. Easton, Pearl Chase, Bud Bottoms, Selma Rubin and was chaired by Marc McGinnes. Here is that declaration:
The Santa Barbara Declaration of Environmental Rights (January 28, 1970)
All people have the right to an environment capable of sustaining life and promoting happiness. If the accumulated actions of the past become destructive of this right, men now living have the further right to repudiate the past for the benefit of the future. And it is manifest that centuries of careless neglect of the environment have brought mankind to a final crossroads. The quality of our lives is eroded and our very existence threatened by our abuse of the natural world.
Moved by an environmental disaster in the Santa Barbara Channel to think and act in national and world terms, we submit these charges:
We have littered the land with refuse.
We have encroached upon our heritage of open space and wildland.
We have stripped the forests and the grasses and reduced the soil to fruitless dust.
We have contaminated the air we breathe for life.
We have befouled the lakes and rivers and oceans along with their shorelines.
We have released deadly poisons into earth, air, and water, imperiling all life.
We have exterminated entire species of birds and animals and brought others close to annihilation .
We are overpopulating the earth.
We have made much of the physical world ugly and loud, depriving man of the beauty and quiet that feeds his spirit.
Recognizing that the ultimate remedy for these fundamental problems is found in man’s mind, not his machines, we call on societies and their governments to recognize and implement the following principles:
We need an ecological consciousness that recognizes man as member, not master, of the community of living things sharing his environment.
We must extend ethics beyond social relations to govern man’s contact with all life forms and with the environment itself.
We need a renewed idea of community which will shape urban environments that serve the full range of human needs.
We must find the courage to take upon ourselves as individuals responsibility for the welfare of the whole environment, treating our own back yards as if they were the world and the world as if it were our back yard.
We must develop the vision to see that in regard to the natural world private and corporate ownership should be so limited as to preserve the interest of society and the integrity of the environment.
We need greater awareness of our enormous powers, the fragility of the earth, and the consequent responsibility of men and government for its preservation.
We must redefine “progress” toward an emphasis on longterm quality rather than immediate quantity.
WE, THEREFORE, RESOLVE TO ACT.
WE PROPOSE A REVOLUTION in conduct toward an environment which is rising in revolt against us. Granted that ideas and institutions long established are not easily changed; yet today is the first day of the rest of our life on this planet.
WE WILL BEGIN ANEW.
Today, the Santa Barbara City Council will be an updated on the states of current drought and related efforts. Here is the summary that they will receive:
Water Supply Outlook
Despite moderate rainfall in November and early December, our water supply outlook remains unchanged. We need prolonged wet weather to make a significant impact on our current water supplies. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) is projecting above-average rainfall through March. Unfortunatley, January has remained dry, and any significant rainfall is not projected until mid-February. Due to the uncertainty in projected rainfall, staff is planning for continued drought conditions. Staff continues to work on securing additional supplemental water, accelerating drought related capital projects, and sustaining a strong message for extraordinary conservation. The most recent water conservation numbers for December 2014 show a 33.5 percent reduction in water use as compared to average water use in December 2013. This positive news means that the community continues to be responsive to the request for conservation, and that we remain on target with our goal of a 20 percent reduction in water use.