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Santa Barbara Harbor Golden Hour

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Satnta Barbara Harbor Golden Hour
Just after the sun dipped below the mountains in the distance the sky still had some amazing color. An evening walk on the breakwater is a great place to watch the sunset especially on those warm days.

-Bill Heller

EcoFacts: Cool II

Weekly column by Barbara Hirsch

In the 1920s movie theaters began to lure people in during the summer with images of icicles. In the 30s, trains, department stores and some offices got cooler, increasing business and productivity. Much later, large computer systems could not exist without cooling technology.  Growth of the south in the U.S. and other southern climes has happened because of air conditioning.

As always there’s a flip side to the benefits of air conditioning. There have been health issues and research is showing it may even be contributing to obesity. But the bigger hugeness is simply energy use. Temperatures rise, the chances of power outages increase, and then there is no relief whatsoever. And most of us have experienced buildings that are simply too chilly, over air conditioned. NY’s mayor just implored people to help avoid blackouts in the summer heat by setting their thermostats to 78 degrees.
ImageProxyMid day heat is peak energy use time, when the grid is most stressed. What if the work to cool us could happen at night?  Recently a very cool company relocated to Santa Barbara – Ice Energy systems. Energy is stored in ice. If it is made at night and used for cooling during the day…. pretty simple, eh? And so effective that Edison has teamed up with them.

Sadly, this ice could not be used in the summer.

Drought Tolerant‏

Local Views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

You would never know we are in a drought by looking at the Park memorial next to the Santa Barbara cemetery. All of these plants seem to be thriving on little to no irrigation.

Getting Ready for Fiesta at the Flag Factory

Next Wednesday is the official opening of Old Spanish Days and the Santa Barbara View caught up with a local company who helps make Fiesta festive… the Flag Factory.

fiesta1“We became the “official Fiesta Flag makers” in 1975, said Jonathan Alburger. “The former owner, Carl Adelhardt, who passed away in 2005, offered to HAND-PRINT the Old Spanish Days Fiesta Dancers on cotton fabric.  Old Spanish Days committee members were thrilled to have a local artist and flag-maker champion production of beautifully crafted Fiesta decor.  Carl personally worked on the artwork to create a more screen-friendly version of the now-famous dancers that was more graphic, less painterly.  The print ruby was traced and cut by hand. I remember how we at The Flag Factory would do small, hand-drawn runs of the dancers, then hand-paint in the floral rosettes and other accents.  Some years later we started to print the image on outdoor flag bunting nylon, which continues to this day.  The tradition continues: Fiesta Buntings and Spreads are all produced in our Carpinteria factory by hand to this day.”

Fiesta flags and decor are available to the public, as well as to all Fiesta-related corporate functions and events, CLICK HERE to check out all of their Fiesta gear. Jonathan told that the best sellers at Fiesta time “are the flags with the DANCERS, of course!” The Flag Factory also offers fans and flags with the Fiesta colors, along with more modern vinyl banners, plaques, signs, flagpoles, and hardware. So take a drive down to Carpinteria, 5095 Sixth Streetcall (805) 684-8111, or order online to get ready for Old Spanish Days. Viva la Fiesta!

31 Years Ago Today: Santa Barbara the Soap Opera Debuted on NBC

sbopera31 years ago today, the soap opera Santa Barbara originally aired. The day-time drama, which revolved around the fascinating and tumultuous life of the wealthy Capwell family of Santa Barbara, California, debuted on NBC on July 30, 1984, and last aired on January 15, 1993. Santa Barbara aired in over 40 countries, won 24 Daytime Emmy Awards, and was even watched by the Reagans in the White House.

Civilized Behavior

By Cheri Rae

cherilogo-150x150There have been a couple of recent national-news cases of hungry toddlers acting up in restaurants, and the reactions of adults on the scene. Both kids cried, fussed and threw the kind of tantrums that only two-year-olds can throw.

In the incident at a busy diner in Maine, the owner was so unnerved at the child’s disruptive behavior during the long wait—and the parents’ failure to remove her from the scene—that she finally yelled at the out-of-control little girl. The mother later posted about the incident on Facebook, and in the Washington Post, and millions have weighed in on social media, supporting one side or the other.

In the incident at a crowded fish house in North Carolina, once the little boy melted down, his mom took him right outside to calm him down; when she returned to the crowded restaurant, he started up again, and this time the dad took the boy out to the car, leaving mom to settle the bill and usher the other kids out. But the waiter delivered the unexpected news: another diner, who had witnessed the incident—had already paid the $86 bill.

Two very different ways of responding to a universal issue: one that escalated the situation, one that calmed it down.

Oh, did this bring back a particularly cringe-worthy memory in my own parenting: It was a long-ago Christmas open house for Santa Barbara Magazine, put on by a new publisher from out of town who had proudly just purchased a beautiful historic home in El Caserio. The place was filled with nice things—and adults—and it was clear from the horrified look on our gracious host as we entered with our little darling one-year-old in our arms that she was not a welcome guest.

After a few uncomfortable minutes, my husband and I exchanged the look—like what the heck were we thinking?. We hastily said our goodbyes and got of there fast, before our parenting faux-pas got any worse.

That incident instantly raised our consciousness from clueless to careful, and we quickly established some rules about how not to be “those parents” ever again. We never wanted to struggle with a potentially squirmy kid while disapproving onlookers shook their heads. Thinking of how we felt when encountering out-of-control children in restaurants, we came up with some simple guidelines:

  1. Stay Away: Do not take a baby or a toddler to a nice and or expensive restaurant—stick to family places, pizza parlors, even quality fast-food joints. No one wants to hear or look at a fussy kid. Especially anyone who is spending a lot of money for a quiet time in the presence of adult company (many who are away from their own kids), and likely paying top dollar for a babysitter.

EXCEPTION TO THE RULE: If you must attend a special event due to family obligations—and cannot get out of it—then be prepared to leave that restaurant at a moment’s notice if your little one begins to act up. And do not complain about it.

Case Study: On Mother’s Day, my in-laws insisted that we attend a family brunch at a packed-full fancy French restaurant, Beau Rivage in Malibu. My darling toddler behaved adorably long enough for the family to exchange hugs and kisses, and coo over her cute little outfit and bright smile. Then she began to squirm in my lap in that way that I knew was the point of no return. I spent the rest of the afternoon walking her around and hanging out with the valet. It was fine: We walked around, I had plenty of snacks that kept her going, and she finally fell asleep in my arms—and the rest of the family and the patrons in the restaurant enjoyed their Mother’s Day celebration. And so did my daughter and I.

  1. Plan Ahead: Little children have an uncanny ability to meet the level of noise and chaos in a large, crowded room. Plan accordingly and time your visit to a restaurant to mostly “off” hours, certainly not during a rush time for breakfast, lunch or dinner, no matter how casual the place.

Case Study: The children who made the national news for their bad behavior may have had more tolerance for the situation if their parents had brought them there before or after the big rush hours, or even occupied and fed their tired, hungry and overwhelmed little ones with snacks from home. Be good scouts and be prepared—even if that means leaving sooner than you wanted to, packing the food in a to go container, or having mom or dad take the fussy one for a walk or a wait in the car.

  1. Teach your Children Well: Children need to learn how to behave in a restaurant, so they need some practice. We took our daughter to the local Red Robin (now the site of the upscale Marmalade) about once a week when she was between two- and four-years-old. As she began to understand how to behave appropriately, we expanded our horizons, and took her to better places, including Harry’s, where Alex the long-ago bartender prepared Shirley Temples garnished with extra fruit. She learned from positive reinforcement that it was fun to go out for a meal.

Case Study: When visiting my sister in the Bay Area, she insisted on treating us to dinner at the Chez Panisse Café, a more casual version upstairs from Alice Waters’ acclaimed restaurant. We deliberated over our five-year-old’s ability to cope, and based on several positive experiences with her, decided to give it a go. She was amazing! She loved the food, the funky ambience, and the way the waiters fussed over her. She even ordered her own personal pizza (wood-fired, of course) and politely inquired about how long it might take. It was one of those special moments in parenting when we felt we might have got it right!

Remember, unlike adults who like to linger over a meal and socialize with their dinner companions, little kids don’t. They want to eat—immediately—when they’re hungry, and then get up to do something else when they’re done. They might be persuaded to look at a book or play with a small toy or phone (something we didn’t have when this parenting journey began) while they’re waiting for Mom and Dad to finish, but a half-hour to them is a long time. An hour is beyond their ability to manage.

Be proactive parents: everyone in the dining room will thank you. And be patient, it takes time and effort,  but it’s better than making the national news!

Bon Appetit!

Warm Water, Wet Winter?‏

Local views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert.

ds1For the past twenty years I have attended the Santa Barbara Outrigger State Sprints Championships at Leadbetter beach. Held each year on the last Saturday of July.

As I walked into the water I felt none of the usual shock of cold, in fact it felt warm. Warm for SB water. Many people commented that this was the warmest water they had ever felt at this time of year.

Today I saw this graphic on a friend’s Facebook page. Showing ocean temps from November, 1997, the peak of that El Nino. And also showing the temps from this month, below. Draw your own conclusions. I’m buying an umbrella.



Haggen: Part II

cherilogo-150x150I went to Von’s uptown on the weekend and the place was packed. The checker told me that they keep getting Haggen employees shopping there in Vons, because they can’t afford the prices in the store where they work!  Now comes word that Haggen has laid off the employees with developmental disabilities who worked as courtesy clerks—many of whom had been there for years. Yet another reason to avoid shopping at Haggens, a company that is seriously out-of-touch with this community, and lacking good business sense and knowledge about how to treat valuable employees.

PS: How terribly ironic that this news of the layoff of these workers comes at the 25th anniversary of the American Disabilities Act which protects the civil rights of individuals with disabilities.

Editor’s Note: Here is a petition asking Haggen to rehire all developmentally disabled employees or offer a generous severance package.

Haggen Terminates Developmentally Disabled Employees

b5b560b2a3012ca61a56502deffb05f0Last week’s hot topic was the corporate takeover of Santa Barbara grocery storesA recent report by the Santa Barbara Independent really underscores the loss of small-town kindnesses and compassionate outreach that used to exist.

According to the disturbing report, “every Haggen store in the Santa Barbara area has terminated long-term developmentally disabled employees: one in Carpinteria, two in Five Points, four in the Mesa, one at Turnpike, and six at the Fairview location.”