Santa Barbara Recovery Maps were developed so that communities and citizens make better informed decisions about rebuilding. The new Recovery Maps are based on sound science and engineering, new analyses, and are derived from post-fire flows and post-debris flow ground conditions. Click here is the much-anticipated new FEMA Advisory Recovery Map.
The I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival will celebrate its 31st anniversary from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on May 26, 27, and 28 at the Santa Barbara Mission. A ceremony at noon on Monday, May 28, on the Mission steps will introduce and thank the major festival sponsors and featured artist Meredith Morin as her street painting is concluded.
Plaza de la Guerra, in the first block of East De la Guerra Street, has been a focal point of the city’s social life since the 1820s. During the Spanish and Mexican eras, the plaza was often the scene of dances, fiestas, and bullfights. Just to the north of the plaza, across De la Guerra Street, stands the former home of José de la Guerra y Noriega, perhaps Santa Barbara’s most prominent citizen during its early history.
In 1855, the city’s common council designated the plaza, along with Plaza Alameda and Plaza Vera Cruz, as a public square or park — the first official parks in Santa Barbara. There the matter rested for the next 20 years, as the plaza remained simply an open area. In 1875, a new City Hall arose in the middle of the plaza. Initially, the two-story brick building housed all city offices, the jail, fire house, and the municipal court.
Construction of the City Hall sparked more development around the plaza. Frenchman Louis Raffour opened the Raffour House at the northeast corner of the plaza in the late 1870s. José Borderre, a Basque sheepherder, opened his French Hotel in the southeast corner of the plaza in the 1890s. These and other businesses maintained the plaza’s position at the center of city life.
In 1910, the City Hall received a facelift with a new red metal roof and cement facade in the popular Mission Revival architectural style. By the early 1920s, it was apparent that the creation of new city departments and expanding government services dictated new quarters. The city already rented office space around town to accommodate its growing bureaucracy. Voters passed a $200,000 bond issue in 1922. Most of the funds were to go toward construction of a new City Hall at the site of the old Raffour House.
Ronald Sauter and E. Keith Lockard rendered the new facility in the Spanish Colonial style, in keeping with El Paseo and its “Street in Spain” across De la Guerra Street. The move to give Santa Barbara a unified architectural look based upon the Spanish Colonial Revival style was in full swing before the 1925 earthquake, which accelerated this trend. The new City Hall included not only city offices, but the police department and the city jail. The old City Hall in the middle of the plaza was razed, and the plaza landscaped with lawn and flowers.
Anchoring the plaza on the south side was the Santa Barbara News-Press building, designed by George Washington Smith and completed in 1922. At the time of construction, the building housed the Santa Barbara Daily News. In the 1930s, Thomas Storke would buy the rival Morning Press to form the News-Press. In 1951, the tower and the east wing were added to the building.
Shortly after the turn of the 21st century, controversy began to stir when plans were broached to ban autos from the plaza and transform it into a strictly pedestrian area. A number of businesses protested the proposed changes, and the plans were eventually shelved. The plaza continues to play host to a number of festivities during the year including the Fiesta Mercado and Cinco de Mayo celebration to name just two. Taken all together, Plaza de la Guerra, Casa de la Guerra, and El Paseo form a wonderfully evocative complex that is still, in many ways, the heart and soul of the city.
#MONTECITOSTRONG #MONTECITOLIFESTYLE #COMPASSMONTECITO
Well Spring is in full swing in Montecito and what better way to spring-into-action by sprucing up your garden. What's missing in your garden? Discover practical ways to get your hands dirty + plot out that gorgeous garden you've always wanted. Take your cues from Veranda and add wildflowers to the mix this year.
The creation of Lake Cachuma took almost 20 years. The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors commissioned a report early in 1938 regarding the “utilization of water resources.” This report, completed the following year, called for a new dam “between the mouth of Santa Cruz Creek and Cachuma Creek” on the Santa Ynez River. The report further stated that “the future of Santa Barbara County depends upon the prompt execution” of the proposal.
Montecito, CA – Boutique shopping, complimentary food tastings, live music, kids’ activities and much more are in store on Saturday, February 24, from 2 pm to 6 pm at various locations in Montecito’s Upper Village.
All local businesses are open and ready to welcome shoppers following the devastating Thomas Fire and subsequent mudflow that shut down business for multiple weeks in December and January. Celebrate Montecito’s Upper Village is an opportunity for the community to show love and support to the restaurants and retailers who help to make the Montecito community the magical place that it is.
“The businesses in the Upper Village have really suffered during the recent events,” said event committee chair Ted Simmons. “We have heard that some businesses lost as much as forty percent of their annual revenue during closures over the holidays. The idea of this event is to gather and show that we appreciate them with our presence and by buying gifts, flowers, home decor, clothes, food and more!”
The event, organized by a group of community volunteers and neighbors, is kid friendly, with various activities including face painting and crafts geared toward the youngest members of our community. There will also be several musical guests at various locations in the Upper Village throughout the afternoon and evening.
Upper Village Businesses will be open and most will be offering discounts and donating to local non-profits to support mudslide relief.
The schedule is as follows:
2:00 to 4:00 pm: Face Painting, Station for Writing Thank You Cards for Firefighters and Rescue Workers in the grassy circle in front of Tecolote Bookstore.
3:30 to 6:00 pm: Music located near Pan e Vino; bands include Bryan Titus Trio, Paradise Kings, Tina Schlieske & the Graceland Exiles. There will also be a DJ spinning tunes in front of Village Wine & Cheese. Dan & the Dairy Queens with Leslie Lembo will be performing in the courtyard by Pierre La Fond & Wine Bistro
source: UPPER VILLAGE BUSINESSES
Our Montecito community has been hit with two devastating blows from the Thomas Fires to the Floods that destroyed homes and lives. Many are grieving, trying to make sense of what happened and dealing with the stress of the situation. These events have created a tremendous amount of stress and anxiety for those directly and indirectly affected.
In the days and weeks following the disaster, you may begin to have some of these common reactions:
- Disbelief and shock
- Fear and anxiety about the future
- Disorientation; difficulty making decisions or concentrating
- Apathy and emotional numbing
- Nightmares and reoccurring thoughts about the event
- Irritability and anger
- Sadness and depression
- Feeling powerless
- Changes in eating patterns; loss of appetite or overeating
- Crying for “no apparent reason”
- Headaches, back pains and stomach problems
- Difficulty sleeping or falling asleep
- Increased use of alcohol and drugs
Tips for Coping
It is ‘normal’ to have difficulty managing your feelings after major traumatic events. However, if you don’t deal with the stress, it can be harmful to your mental and physical health. Here are some tips for coping in these difficult times:
- Talk about it. By talking with others about the event, you can relieve stress and realize that others share your feelings.
- Spend time with friends and family. They can help you through this tough time. If your family lives outside the area, stay in touch by phone. If you have any children, encourage them to share their concerns and feelings about the disaster with you.
- Take care of yourself. Get plenty of rest and exercise, and eat properly. If you smoke or drink coffee, try to limit your intake, since nicotine and caffeine can also add to your stress.
- Limit exposure to images of the disaster. Watching or reading news about the event over and over again will only increase your stress.
- Find time for activities you enjoy. Read a book, go for a walk, catch a movie or do something else you find enjoyable. These healthy activities can help you get your mind off the disaster and keep the stress in check.
- Take one thing at a time. For people under stress, an ordinary workload can sometimes seem unbearable. Pick one urgent task and work on it. Once you accomplish that task, choose the next one. “Checking off” tasks will give you a sense of accomplishment and make things feel less overwhelming.
- Do something positive. Give blood, prepare “care packages” for people who have lost relatives or their homes or jobs, or volunteer in a rebuilding effort. Helping other people can give you a sense of purpose in a situation that feels ‘out of your control.’
- Avoid drugs and excessive drinking. Drugs and alcohol may temporarily seem to remove stress, but in the long run they generally create additional problems that compound the stress you were already feeling.
- Ask for help when you need it. If your feelings do not go away or are so intense that they interfere with your ability to function in daily life, talk with a trusted relative, friend, doctor or spiritual advisor about getting help. Make an appointment with a mental health professional to discuss how well you are coping with the recent events. You could also join a support group. Don’t try to cope alone. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
On a Personal Note
My Father is a retired 30 year veteran of Santa Barbara County Fire Department, Station 31 Buellton. When our County is facing a firestorm like we are now, it brings back childhood memories of my Father being called for duty, fire alarms at all hours (we lived at the firehouse) and never knowing if he was going to return to us. There were fires where he was stationed in Big Sur in a lookout tower in the forest, by himself, Mc Donald’s his only meals. He spent days protecting two large jet fuel storage tanks under brush fire threat at Vandenberg, talk about scared!
Every goodbye had the possibility of being extremely final.
He is still the bravest man I have ever known
Please be safe,
Susan J. Pate
The Latest Update on the Thomas Fire
The good news is that the Thomas Fire grew by maybe 1,200 acres Monday, as compared to the 50,000-acre-growth spurt it experienced the day before, bringing the inferno’s total shoeprint to 231,700 acres. It’s also 20 percent contained, as measured by the fire’s Incident Command.
The bad news is that for the first time, the fire is now — as of nightfall — visible to City of Santa Barbara residents. While the visual impact is decidedly unnerving, Santa Barbara City Fire Department Public Information Officer Amber Anderson said, “The fire is moving up the slope. It’s moving as expected.” She added, “I understand it’s causing concern, but we have a lot of resources on it.” Her boss, City Fire Chief Pat McElroy added,” It’s going exactly where we want it to go — back up the hill to patches that have already burned.” As for resources, he said Carpinteria, Montecito, and Summerland had 15-20 strike teams, which translates to about 80 engines.” McElroy said one reason the fire is so visible now is because much of the smoke has cleared.
As of this writing, about half the involved acreage is located in Los Padres National Forest, but the part of the fire backing up against the fuel-laden backyards off Toro Canyon is still giving fire commanders gray hair and keeping them and the 6,400 assembled firefighters up late at night.
Toro Canyon — just up above Highway 192 — was the real point of attack today, with a DC-10 and a 747 aerial tanker dumping retardant when smoke allowed and about 28 helicopters dropping water. Keeping the fire contained to Toro Canyon is Plan A and B. Today’s winds were less forceful in pushing the fire westward, and tonight’s winds are predicted to be mild, said Santa Barbara County Battalion Commander Chris Childers. “We had some success putting it out and holding it in its place,” said Childers at a community forum held Monday afternoon at the San Marcos High School auditorium. “I’m optimistic and hopeful we’re going to stop it today.” Childers then added, “Optimistically, I’m hopeful, but don’t count on it.” At a previous forum, Childers had stated, “Hope is not a plan.”
Should the fire get past Incident Command’s clutches in Toro Canyon — and some unconfirmed Facebook posts indicate that might have taken place, with flames showering down Romero Canyon — Childers outlines a succession of backup plans. The ultimate line in the sand is Highway 154, but that’s still a long way away. A phalanx of eight divisions has been assembled along the front-country interface between human habitation and undeveloped wildland. Each division has four to eight strike teams, and each strike team has five engines, each with three to five firefighters. They are prepared to engage the fire in house-to-house combat as much as possible. The hope, however, is either to contain the Thomas Fire where it is, or to funnel it into the pathway of fires that burned in the past decade, where the fuel load is notably lighter.
Of the six major fires in Southern California, the Thomas Fire is by far the biggest and has been declared the top priority for state and federal firefighting agencies. Although Thomas started in Ventura County, the real action is now taking place in Santa Barbara County. To date, 100,000 people have been evacuated because of the fire. Of those, 7,200 are in Santa Barbara County, though another 34,000 county residents have been placed on warning they could soon be evacuated. No new evacuation notices have been sent out today, though rumors to the contrary have popped up.
County Undersheriff Bernard Malekian announced that one would-be looting suspect was arrested near Highway 192 and San Ysidro Road, an evacuated zone. “That person has now been evacuated to the main jail,” Malekian told the crowd. He also announced that the sheriff and the district attorney were putting price gougers on notice they will be arrested and prosecuted if they try to take unfair advantage of the fire. That, he said, constitutes raising prices more than 10 percent.
For those seeking a statistical smorgasbord, Monday’s forum had plenty to graze on. To date, 1.7 million gallons of water has been dropped on the fire, and more than 200,000 air respirator masks have been passed out free of charge by Direct Relief and County Public Health officials. About 100 law enforcement officers have helped execute the evacuations, and the CHP has blocked off 26 roads heading up the hillside from Highway 192. No firm number, however has been released on structures destroyed or damaged in Santa Barbara County. The Thomas Fire total to date has claimed 798 structures — one reportedly the caretaker’s residence at the Juncal Reservoir — but the exact number of those in Santa Barbara County is something “less than 20” but more than a handful. That information should be released Tuesday.
In the question-and-answer portion of the forum, one attendee asked why any effort was spent saving the backcountry. “Why not just let it burn?” he asked. He was informed that Los Padres Forest was created by the federal government in the 1930s specifically to create a safe watershed for the emerging South Coast communities. If the forest were allowed to burn, he was told, the water supplies impounded in Lake Cachuma, Juncal Reservoir, and Gibraltar Dam would all be seriously compromised. As it is, the deposit of ash and mud will compromise all three to extents still unknown.
Another attendee asked about satellite mapping that seemed to indicate the fire had spread down San Ysidro Road south of Highway 192 in one location and in another close to Cold Spring School in Montecito. If true, he stated, the fire would have spread four or five miles from the rest of the fire. “Is there something burning there?” he asked. The answer, he was told, was no. While fire agencies also subscribe to the same satellite imaging services, the results are not always reliable, and false positives have proven problematic. “No. There is no fire by Cold Spring School,” he was told.
Monday, December 11, 2017
It's more than a home, it's a lifestyle