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Sandpiper Sunset Clouds

Santa Barbara photo of the week by Bill Heller, click to enlarge.
Sandpiper Sunset Clouds
Sandpiper Golf Course is one of the best places I can imagine to spend a few hours, especially this time of year when the sunsets are really getting spectacular. There is something about their beautiful little slice of our coastline the clouds seem to do particularly magical things just as the sun hangs low in the sky to highlight their amazing texture and beauty.

-Bill Heller


Happy Birthday Pearl Chase

classic pearl chase with flower 80 years oldToday we celebrate the birthday of Pearl Chase, which ought to be a day of recognition in this city that owes her so much. So much of the natural and architectural beauty we see around our community is directly attributable to her influence and vision.

In her day she wielded great power, but never held political office. Throughout her long life she was honored by organizations and individuals near and far. In her later years, the community gathered for commemorate her milestone birthdays.” – Cheri Rae


New Street Signs for Santa Barbara

Local Views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

Regarding the new street signs the city is putting up. I walked around the corner and took these photos towards Castillo Street from 400 west Montecito street.

I find these new signs awful, ghastly might be better. Did the Sign Committee approve of these?
signs2
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EcoFacts: Waste as a Cultural Signifier‏

Weekly column by Barbra Hirsch

Eco FactsAs we approach Thanksgiving and the holiday season, I hope to explore our notions of abundance and waste. Just a little bit!

The word waste plays a huge role in recent human civilization. It is meaning-full – as a noun – trash or garbage, or a failed opportunity; and as a verb, to squander or destroy. Archeologists and anthropologists of the future will find much to say about human civilization in the last century or so by our garbage, our landfills, our wasteful use of resources and perhaps our wasted human potential seen in retrospect.

How was it that in the last century, we, especially in this huge nation, became a society of wasters? Those who were born before the Depression had a different idea of the use of goods, water and energy. I am grateful for my mother’s influence on me in these ways. Her parents lost their wealth in the crash and then struggled for the rest of their lives. Everything had its own inherent value, like a piece of clothing passed down again and again, Things were used until their useful life was over, and then they were often turned into something else, because what went into them often still had some value.

The decades after WWII brought such material wealth with it, and with it came waste. As things were mass produced and dropped in price, their value dropped too, waste became much more justifiable. Our resources in this great land were so plentiful, seemingly endless, and their cost low, so the waste could happen in industry and production just as easily as in the home. Everything came easily. Easy come easy go.The landfills were far from our homes so we need not be reminded by the amount and contents of our trash. And things became a much bigger part of our lives.

We have come to be defined by our possessions. Whether or not we are materially wealthy, buying things has become a chief form of entertainment. We have been surrounded by abundance and now our closets, garages, storage units and landfills are full. But as Thanksgiving approaches we usually realize that most of what we have to be grateful for is not the stuff in our closets.


Live and Let Live

By Cheri Rae

cherilogo-150x150One of our neighbors passed away last week. His name was Richard Springer; 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. In the old-fashioned neighborhood lined with modest bungalows, Richard parked his early-model silver-gray and red Toyota minivan and lived there for 16, maybe 18 years, no one is quite sure.

He lived right across the street from the Victoria Market, the little corner store that has been a fixture in the neighborhood for decades. When the little kids who grow up here are old enough to walk to the market for an ice cream or a cold drink, it’s almost a rite of passage to sit on the little bench outside and savor the moment. The view from the bench has long included Richard’s home. It’s been as much a part of the scene as the tall palms that framed it, and the brilliant bougainvillea that formed a colorful backdrop.

richard's spot[2]It’s jarring now that it’s gone. Although there is a makeshift memorial there, with flowers and artwork marking his spot, it just looks empty.

He moved that minivan every Monday morning, carefully staying one quick step ahead of the street sweeper. And he reminded neighbors to do the same, saving them hundreds of dollars in tickets. That van was once towed away by the police, when Richard was out on one of his long walks around town. Ruby, one of the owners of the Victoria Market, begged the officer not to take it, but her words fell on deaf ears. She ended up paying the $480 in impound fees, and Richard promised to pay her back—not an easy feat on his limited income—and in time, he did.

Richard was born in Ohio; he grew up on a farm, and liked the connection to nature that simple life provided. He once traveled to Alaska and served as a cook’s helper, and had spent some time in the Bay Area. He served our country in the Army as a medic.

neighborsSo it was fitting that on Veteran’s Day, neighbors gathered to share memories of Richard, to pay respects for his service, and for the life that he lived. Ruby and Shala of the Victoria Market, who were his surrogate family members for years, hosted the event attended by more than 30 neighbors who offered their observations: “I always gave him a nod; I felt like I knew him,” said one neighbor who exchanged brief moments with Richard when he walked past. “You could always tell what kind of a day he was having from the look in those blue eyes.”

Another noted, “He was spiritual without being religious. He was almost like a monk, at peace with himself and with the neighborhood.”

A neighbor who had frequently enjoyed wide-ranging conversations with Richard observed that he was an avid reader who was “thoughtful and intellectual.” He arrived with a book tucked under his arm, one that Richard had loaned to him. Titled, “Better: A Surgeon’s Notes on Performance,” it is a collection of highbrow essays about medical ethics, procedures, and health care by award-winning medical writer Atal Gawande. Richard was skeptical about modern medicine, particularly after treatment at the VA hospital. Remembering that Richard frequented the library, he noted that he was there to read the books, not just to pass the time.

Others recounted personal characteristics that Richard had: his long, purposeful strides, his penchant for cleanliness, down to his shined and polished shoes; the red bandana or the straw sunhat he often wore. His kindness in trading organic fruit and avocados with neighbors, and bringing flowers when Ruby had surgery; his concerns about politics, the environment and global warming; his interest in technology, with his iPod and the solar panel on his van.

Richard was not homeless; he chose to live a very simple life rooted in the community, making his rounds on foot to Farmers’ Market, the Cabrillo Bathhouse, Trader Joe’s, the library and the Courthouse. He mostly kept to himself, bothering no one, and in this neighborhood, no one bothered him. We were good for each other in this way. In his quiet and dignified way of living, he taught many of us to rethink our beliefs. As one neighbor observed, “His presence was very important; he bent, broke some stereotypes and provided us with a different perspective. We went way beyond tolerance into acceptance.”

Another agreed, “I saw him all the time, and unlike a lot of the other guys around town, there was very good energy around him.” Clean, sober, respectful and kind, Richard Springer was a part of our cherished neighborhood, and he is missed. May he rest in peace.


Santa Barbara’s Pearl: Pearl Chase Week


Pearl Chase was born on November 16, 1888. Each year during her birth week, Santa Barbara View likes to look back at her accomplishments, share stories and remember Pearl Chase—the woman who fought for everything that is great about Santa Barbara.

“Pearl Chase was unique among women,” wrote local historian Walker A. Tompkins. “A national magazine dubbed her ‘Santa Barbara’s Pearl’.  Navajos made her an Indian chief; she became a Kentucky Colonel and an honorary Forest Ranger. She lost count of her honorary doctoral degrees and other national awards in many fields of endeavor. She did more to beautify her adopted home town of Santa Barbara than any other individual.

Today, the Pearl Chase Society is dedicated to continuing Miss Chase’s life-long vision to ensure the beauty and history of Santa Barbara. In 1995, a group of citizens, seeing that there was no conservancy group at that time that was addressing the assaults by builders and developers on the historic sites of Santa Barbara both in the city and in the county founded the Society. The Pearl Chase Society is an all volunteer, not-for-profit conservancy dedicated as Miss Chase was to preserving Santa Barbara’s historic architecture, landscapes and cultural heritage. For more information, CLICK HERE.


All of Santa Barbara is Now Bag Free!

newbagsOn October 15, 2013 the Santa Barbara City Council adopted the Single-Use Carryout Bag Ordinance. The ordinance prohibits stores from providing single-use plastic carryout bags to customers at the point of sale and requires a 10-cent charge for each paper bag provided to customers. For larger supermarkets and stores with a pharmacy the bag ban began on May 14, 2014. For smaller food, convenience and drug stores the bag ban begins today, November 14. Last year, approximately 47,300,000 single-use plastic bags were distributed in Santa Barbara.


Mural Passes Architectural Board of Review

The controversial graffiti mural on the back of the Church of Skatan, 26 E Gutierrez St., received a permanent permit yesterday from the Architectural Board of Review (ABR). Living on a one-year permit, the mural, taken from a children’s picture book by American writer and illustrator Maurice Sendak, was slated to come down before the unanimous ruling. The ABR justified keeping the mural, painted by David Flores, by concluding that it has actual artistic merit.

Two other murals, the Gator Boy on the side of Cajun Kitchen in downtown Santa Barbara and one on the side of the Indigo Hotel are living on one-year permits and are slated to come down.

SkatanSign


Good People of Santa Barbara

Local views of Santa Barbara by Dan Seibert

I witnessed a random act of goodness this morning.

As I wandered through the harbor area, camera in one hand and Peet’s coffee in the other, a guy rode by me then stopped and locked his bike to a tree. Earlier I noticed a number of pieces of trash, like someone had dropped a bag full and the sea gull went through it. This good man proceeded to pick up all the trash and deposit it in the trash cans, then he hit the beach.

dans