Santa Barbara County

Environment
12:14 pm
Thu May 21, 2015

Clean up efforts continue at Refugio Beach after pipeline rupture

Clean up crews gather seaweed, sand and debris among the rocks at Refugio State Beach.
Credit Jordan Bell

Governor Brown declared a state of emergency for Santa Barbara County Wednesday to aid in cleaning efforts after an oil pipeline rupture at Refugio State Beach.

The ruptured pipeline could have released 105,000 gallons of crude oil into the water off the Santa Barbara County coastline. Crews are working, on and off the shores, to ensure safety and rehabilitate marine life. 

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Environment
3:24 pm
Tue May 19, 2015

Santa Barbara County's Refugio Beach and Campground closed following oil spill

Credit Map: Santa Barbara County Energy Division

Federal, state and local emergency crews were on the scene of a large oil spill along Santa Barbara County's South Coast Tuesday evening.

The US Coast Guard said Tuesday afternoon that the spill stretched roughly four miles in the area of Refugio State Beach.

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Services said Tuesday night that both the campground and beach areas were closed at Refugio. There was also a warning at El Capitan State Beach.

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Agriculture
6:20 pm
Thu May 14, 2015

Tiny wasp used to combat Asian citrus psyllid in Santa Barbara County

Parasitic wasp attacks Asian citrus psyllid nymphs.
Credit University of California

Efforts to control the spread of the Asian Citrus Psyllid in Santa Barbara County are ramping up with the use of micro-organisms.

Keeping the pest in check is key to protecting the state's $2 billion citrus industry from a disease known as Huanglongbing, or Citrus Greening.

Dr. David Morgan with the California Department of Food and Agriculture said scientists are using a small parasitic wasp that feeds on the psyllids, ultimately killing the pest.

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Agriculture
6:32 pm
Thu May 7, 2015

New pest is growing problem for organic growers on the Central Coast

Bagrada bug adults and nymphs feeding on a green bean.
Credit Surendra Dara - University of California

The ongoing drought is causing headaches for local farmers, but according to numbers released Thursday by Santa Barbara County, it hasn't yet hurt the local agriculture industry enough to reverse overall production values.

2014 was another record year for the county's growers, who grossed nearly $1.49 billion. This number is the total of all ag sales in the county and should not be confused with profits.

Strawberries remain the county's top crop, with wine grapes coming in second. Broccoli placed third.

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Environment
11:12 am
Thu April 30, 2015

Santa Barbara County set to vote on greenhouse gas emissions

The Santa Barbara area as seen from the air, with the airport in the foreground and LaCumbre Peak in the background.
Credit Flickr member Doc Searls

The Santa Barbara County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) is scheduled to hold a special meeting Thursday to update guidelines for greenhouse gas emissions within the County. Specifically, the District is looking at pollution generated by business and industry.

The APCD's Molly Pearson said Wednesday that members will vote on one of two options for updated guidelines. The public will get a chance to speak prior to that vote.

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Business
7:02 pm
Thu April 16, 2015

Santa Barbara County business leaders meeting to address broadband access

Credit Flickr member Sean MacEntee

Business leaders in Santa Barbara County are coming together Friday in an effort to ensure high speed internet access is available county-wide.

The Santa Barbara Broadband Task Force will meet in Buellton with a goal of expanding the service, says Ken Oplinger with regional Chamber of Commerce.

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Politics
6:46 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Das Williams set to run for Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors

Assemblymember Williams during the introduction of the Immigrants Shape California Legislative Package.
Credit Assemblymember Das Williams

State Assemblymember Das Williams (D-Carpinteria) announced Monday that he's running for Santa Barbara County's First District Supervisor seat, come 2016.

Salud Carbajal currently holds the First District seat, but Carbajal is one of several candidates now running for Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) congressional office.

Term limits will keep Williams from running for a fourth Assembly term. He easily won re-election back in November with more than 58 percent of the vote.

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Community
4:52 pm
Mon April 6, 2015

Is Isla Vista's party culture showing signs of change?

Crowds from Deltopia 2015 in Isla Vista
Credit Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department

    

Santa Barbara County law enforcement is saying a big thank you to the Isla Vista community for its cooperation during Deltopia this weekend.

The sheriff's department estimates the Deltopia crowd at roughly 10,000 people, a major decrease from last year's nearly 25,000 party-goers.

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Community
5:17 pm
Thu April 2, 2015

Isla Vista community working toward a riot-free Deltopia weekend

Deltopia 2014
Credit Santa Barbara County Fire

A crackdown by law enforcement will start Thursday night in the Isla Vista area in anticipation of this weekend's Deltopia celebrations.

Safety preparations are coming from several fronts. More than 200 officers from a variety of local agencies and university campuses statewide  are involved with keeping the peace this weekend in Isla Vista.

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Politics
5:48 pm
Tue February 24, 2015

Central Coast as wedding destination serves as initiative behind new assembly bill

Local Assemblymember Das Williams introduced a bill Monday that aims to mitigate issues surrounding large events such as weddings.

Williams says the Central Coast hosts many large weddings every year and big events like these create traffic and public safety problems for locals.

He says a lot out-of-towners host these weddings and many of them do not get permits.

The bill proposes that local governments can assess a larger fine for county land use and development code violations.

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Health
5:49 pm
Wed January 28, 2015

UPDATE: Test for possible measles case in Santa Barbara County comes back negative

Credit Centers for Disease Control

UPDATE: Jan. 29, 2015 at 4:50 p.m.

The Public Health Department in Santa Barbara County said Thursday afternoon that it has received the laboratory test results for a possible measles patient, and says they came back negative.

All those who were potentially exposed will be notified directly and immediately released from any quarantine or isolation status.

The department still wants to urge residents to get vaccinated.

Original Story

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Water Issues and Drought
5:48 pm
Fri January 23, 2015

Lake Cachuma emergency water system gets state funding

A boat ramp at Lake Cachuma sits well above the current water line. Nov. 2014.
Credit Randol White - KCBX News

An emergency addition to the water uptake system at Lake Cachuma will allow the Santa Barbara area to continue pumping, even as the lake level continues to drop.

Cachuma's gravity-fed system was near bottoming out due to the historic drought.

State Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson along with Assembly member Das Williams announced Friday that $3 million dollars in state funding was being provided to help pay for the upgrade, with a million of that coming from Prop. 84 grant.

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Business
6:28 pm
Thu January 22, 2015

Montecito's Miramar Hotel project passes Planning Commission vote

Developer Rick Caruso wants to build an updated resort where the abandoned blue-roofed Miramar Hotel once stood.
Credit Flickr member Damian Gadal

Plans to re-establish Montecito's Miramar Hotel now have a green light from the local planning commission.

The approved project is smaller than what was originally proposed, and as of Thursday, there was no word on whether developer Rick Caruso plans to move forward with the modified design.

If Caruso Affiliated does continue with the project, it would still needs to go through an appeals period and will also need approval from the Board of Architectural Review. There is no requirement for a Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors vote, unless it's appealed to that body.

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Health
5:26 pm
Wed January 21, 2015

Several Central Coast cities receive 'F' grades from American Lung Association

Credit Flickr member: Fried Dough

The latest annual report from the American Lung Association shows smoking on the Central Coast is still a problem in many communities.

The report gives mixed grades for Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties. Not a single city got an "A" grade, but Carpinteria and San Luis Obispo got B grades, as did unincorporated Santa Barbara County.

Vanessa Marvin is a senior director with the Lung Association and says there's still a lot of work to be done by many of the other the area's other communities.

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Environment
3:45 pm
Fri January 16, 2015

Volunteers asked to take photos of upcoming King Tides event in California

King Tide on December 12, 2012 at Port San Luis in San Luis Obispo County.
Credit Gordon Hensley - San Luis Obispo Coastkeeper

Volunteers are set to record thousands of images of the California Coast next week as the highest tides of the year are expected to hit the area on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The volunteers are part of an effort to help people visualize how sea level rise will impact the lives of coastal Californians. It's called the California King Tides Project, and Central Coast representatives are on board to help document the event.

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