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  |   by MrPottyMouth    Bookmark and Share

Come show your support against the Crimes of the Financial Industry

Monday the 3rd 12:30 pm De La Guerra Plaza

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Today's Prescribed Pile Burning

  |   by ws1    Bookmark and Share


SANTA BARBARA - On Monday, April 18, the Santa Barbara City Fire Department will be conducting a hazardous vegetation reduction project by prescribed pile burning. In cooperation with local homeowners, the Santa Barbara City Fire Department, through the Wildland Fire Suppression Assessment District, will conclude its North Ontare Fuels Reduction Project by burning the remaining cut and dry vegetation. Since the implementation of the Wildland Fire Suppression Assessment District in 2006 over 70 acres of vegetation management have been treated. 

The burn will be conducted on property identified in the City of Santa Barbara’s Wildland Fire Plan as part of the Community Fuels Treatment Network. Vegetation management in this area is focused outside a property owners required defensible space area. This project requires the Fire Department to work with individual property owners and neighborhoods to accomplish education, assist with fuel hazard reduction projects, protect natural resources unique to the area, and help outline a maintenance program for these areas. By working with multiple property owners there is a greater impact on reducing the community threat from wildfire.

The pile burn plan has to meet specific weather requirements, be cognizant of managing smoke, and consider safe and efficient ways to administer the burn. Relative humidity, temperature, and wind speed and direction are considered among others. Adhering to specific parameters ensures firefighter safety, proper smoke management, and overall success of implementing the burn.

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-Pat Mc Elroy, Division Chief

Santa Barbara City Fire Department

photo: illustrative stock photo (and not of today's burn)


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Forecast: Unusually Cold Weather this Weekend for Santa Barbara

  |   by ws1    Bookmark and Share

According to the National Weather Service, Santa Barbara County could see snow at the 500 to 1000 ft level.  The forecast is for temperatures dropping into the low 40s and high 30s on Friday February 25th and Saturday February 26th. 

With this information the Santa Barbara City Fire Department and Office of Emergency Services would like to remind you to bundle up for coming cold weather. The following is from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) website to assist in identifying the signs of Hypothermia.

“Note the following: 

Low body temperature may make you unable to think clearly or move well.

When exposed to cold temperatures, your body begins to lose heat faster than it can be produced.

You may not know you have hypothermia.

If your temperature is below 95°, the situation is an emergency—gets medical attention immediately.

Prolonged exposure to cold will eventually use up your body’s stored energy. The result is hypothermia, or abnormally low body temperature. Body temperature that is too low affects the brain, making the victim unable to think clearly or move well. This makes hypothermia particularly dangerous because a person may not know it is happening and won’t be able to do anything about it.

Hypothermia is most likely at very cold temperatures, but it can occur even at cool temperatures (above 40°F) if a person becomes chilled from rain, sweat, or submersion in cold water.

Victims of hypothermia are often (1) elderly people with inadequate food, clothing, or heating; (2) babies sleeping in cold bedrooms; (3) people who remain outdoors for long periods—the homeless, hikers, hunters, etc.; and (4) people who drink alcohol or use illicit drugs.

Recognizing Hypothermia 

Warnings signs of hypothermia:


shivering, exhaustion 

confusion, fumbling hands 

memory loss, slurred speech 




bright red, cold skin 

very low energy 


What to Do

If you notice any of these signs, take the person’s temperature. If it is below 95°, the situation is an emergency—gets medical attention immediately.

If medical care is not available, begin warming the person, as follows:

Get the victim into a warm room or shelter. 

If the victim has on any wet clothing, remove it. 

Warm the center of the body first—chest, neck, head, and groin—using an electric blanket, if available. Or use skin-to-skin contact under loose, dry layers of blankets, clothing, towels, or sheets. 

Warm beverages can help increase the body temperature, but do not give alcoholic beverages. Do not try to give beverages to an unconscious person. 

After body temperatures has increased, keep the person dry and wrapped in a warm blanket, including the head and neck. 

Get medical attention as soon as possible. 

A person with severe hypothermia may be unconscious and may not seem to have a pulse or to be breathing. In this case, handle the victim gently, and get emergency assistance immediately. Even if the victim appears dead, CPR should be provided. CPR should continue while the victim is being warmed, until the victim responds or medical aid becomes available. In some cases, hypothermia victims who appear to be dead can be successfully resuscitated.”


Other tips:

Portable Heaters

If you will be using a portable space heater, ensure you follow these safety tips: 

Do not place heaters under desks or other enclosed areas. 

Heaters must be monitored when in operation. 

Plug heater directly into a wall receptacle. Never plug it into an extension cord. 

Do not use heaters in rooms that will not be continually occupied. 

Keep space heaters away from exit ways, walkways and paths of travel. 

Do not use space heaters in wet areas like bathrooms or kitchens. 

Do not use portable space heaters if small children or pets are expected in the area. 


Carbon Monoxide Can Be Deadly

When it get’s cold citizens can get creative when heating their homes. You can’t see or smell carbon monoxide, but at high levels it can kill a person in minutes. Carbon monoxide (CO) is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal is burned. Hundreds of people die accidentally every year from CO poisoning caused by malfunctioning or improperly used fuel-burning appliances. Fetuses, infants, elderly people, and people with anemia or with a history of heart or respiratory disease can be especially susceptible. 

As the cold weather approaches please stay mindful to watch out for your neighbors that may have functional needs. Also remember your pets to bring them inside and out of the cold. 

-Nina Johnson
City of Santa Barbara 
Fire Department

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SB Fire Dept to do High Rise Drills at Granada [Downtown Street Closure Info]

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SANTA BARBARA, CA – The Santa Barbara City Fire Department will be conducting a series of high-rise structure firefighting training sessions at the Granada Building beginning this Saturday morning.  The drills are designed to reinforce response standards and allow firefighters to experience the complexity of working in a high-rise building.

The drills will take place on the following Saturdays:  February 12 2011, February 26 2011 and March 12 2011.  The training sessions will take place between 7:30 am to 9:30 am so as to cause as little impact on State Street as possible.  

The following closures will be in effect on State Street between Anapamu and Victoria Streets:  All vehicle and bicycle traffic in both directions.  Additionally, all sidewalk traffic on the east side of State will be closed for the duration of the drills.  Pedestrian traffic on the west side of State Street will be allowed.

Firefighters will be using a variety of firefighting techniques including the aerial ladder truck. Additionally, a non-toxic theatrical smoke will be utilized and may be visible from the upper floors of the Granada building.

Businesses may remain open and the fire department will provide volunteer escorts within the drill area.

The City Fire Department appreciates the public’s cooperation and understanding during these training sessions.


- Captain Gary Pitney 

** Thanks to: Still Burning for use of photo.

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Dr. Gus Frias Appointed to Coordinate South Coast Youth Gang Task Force

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SANTA BARBARA, CA, December 9, 2010: After an extensive recruitment, the Community Action Commission of Santa Barbara County selected Dr. Gus Frias to tackle the problem of youth gangs on the Santa Barbara south coast.  

The Task Force Coordinator position is the result of a two year effort headed by South Coast Task Force on Youth Gangs.  The Coordinator position is funded from contributions from the County of Santa Barbara, City Santa Barbara, City of Goleta, City of Carpinteria, County of Santa Barbara and the Community Action Commission.  

Dr. Frias bested a field of 80+ applicants from coast to coast. He grew up in East Los Angeles.  He is a graduate from Garfield High School, the University of Southern California, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. 

Throughout his life, Dr. Frias has dedicated his talents to write books and develop programs that teach students how to replace self-destruction with a commitment to life and higher education.  For example, he is the author of Leaders And Achievers and is the coordinator of the Students and The Police project. 

Dr. Frias’ work experience includes stints as a Management Analyst at the Los Angeles Police Department, Program Manager at the Orange County Department of Education, and Academic Specialist for the United States Information Agency.   

He has also served on violence prevention advisory committees for the California Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning, the California Commission On Teacher’s Credentialing, and the United States Department of Education.  He also participated as a national finalist in the White House Fellowships Program.

Prior to his new position, Dr. Frias served as Coordinator of School Safety Programs for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. In that position, he helped educators to develop comprehensive violence prevention initiatives to make schools safe and successful learning environments.  

--Fran Forman


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Diesel Spill Closes Coast Village Road

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SANTA BARBARA, CA – At 06:15 this morning, a large semi truck and trailer was attempting to make a delivery at the Coast Village Shopping Center. As the driver pulled into the parking area, he punctured a 25 gallon diesel tank which supplied the trailers refrigeration unit. 

Santa Barbara City Fire Department Engine 2 and Hazardous Materials Unit 1 responded and found a significant amount of diesel fuel had spilled across Coast Village Road. The diesel fuel spill was made more substantial due to the wet road way from the recent rains. There was approximately five gallons of diesel and water that had made its way into a nearby street storm drain. Engine 2 contained the spill and used absorbent on the roadway. Additional clean up will continue this morning and afternoon.

--Hank Homburg

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Construction Begins on APS

  |   by ws1    Bookmark and Share

Santa Barbara, CA - Beginning in late July and continuing through August 2010, the City of Santa Barbara, Public Works Department, will begin construction to replace the street surface on Alameda Padre Serra (APS), from Sycamore Canyon Road west to Los Olivos Street, and on Mountain Drive from Los Olivos Street, east to Foothill Road (State Route 192).  Construction will also affect Garcia Road and East De La Guerra Street below APS.  The streets will receive a “cape seal” treatment; a three step process involving pavement preparation, chip seal, and slurry seal application to maintain and restore the street surface.

Construction will be conducted Monday through Friday, between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Full street closure and detours will be required during construction; however, emergency vehicle access will be maintained at all times.  Residents in the area may experience noise from grinders, truck back-up alarms, and other equipment noise associated with street construction. 

This maintenance project, funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will help maintain the City’s transportation infrastructure.  When construction is complete, a smooth and safe driving surface for travel will be provided along the APS and Mountain Drive corridors. The Public Works Department appreciates the community’s patience and cooperation during the construction. 

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Sustainability, Stimulus Funding, and Jesusita Fire Top the Year’s Accomplishments: SB Public Works Report

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SANTA BARBARA, CA – July 20. 2010 - The City of Santa Barbara’s Public Works Department has released the inaugural 2010 Public Works Department Annual Report.  The report highlights the Department’s organization and services, City infrastructure improvements completed in Fiscal Year 2010, day-to-day operations, and special programs and events accomplished by the dedicated staff over the past 12 month period.

The 2010 Public Works Department Annual Report is intended to give the public an overview of the work accomplished and successes achieved by the Department for the benefit of the community, similar to an annual report prepared for private business investors.  The Annual Report provides the reader with an overall picture of the Department; work accomplished for the year, and explains how the Department leverages each and every dollar to extend the City’s buying power.

“Through this Annual Report, we invite you to learn about our employees and the services they provide to the community, along with some of the innovative approaches to getting our work done.” said Christine Andersen, Public Works Director.

The Public Works Department is committed to maintaining our dedication to public service through the maintenance work and infrastructure projects that the Department carries out throughout the year.  The 2010 Public Works Department Annual Report is available on-line at:

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City Council Responds to Target - Airport Not Suitable

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SANTA BARBARA, CA – 7/16/2010 -This week, the Santa Barbara City Council met in closed session to consider a possible long-term lease with Target Corporation at a 15 acre property near the Santa Barbara Airport.  The City Council expressed appreciation for Target’s interest in developing a retail location in Santa Barbara but determined that the Airport site was not a suitable location for a Target store. 

The retail operation was not considered the best fit for the light industrial site due to traffic impacts on neighboring City of Goleta and other issues.  While the Airport site was ruled out, the Council indicated their interest in helping Target find a more appropriate location in Santa Barbara.  The Council sees Target as a quality retail operation that would benefit Santa Barbara.  

Since 2004, Target Corporation has searched for a South Coast site to develop a retail store and submitted several proposals to the City of Santa Barbara to lease the Airport site.  The 15 acre site is located at 6100 Hollister Avenue, bounded by Hollister Avenue, Frederick Lopez Road, Francis Botello Road, and David Love Place.  The City Council has considered Target proposals on three occasions since 2004 and each time found the site unsuitable for retail development. 

The City of Santa Barbara says it looks forward to working with Target to find an appropriate store location. 

Editors Note: the image above is a digital illustration. 


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  |   by ws1    Bookmark and Share

SANTA BARBARA, CA – 6/29/2010

After two months of deliberations, the Santa Barbara City Council unanimously adopted a budget for Fiscal Year 2011.  The budget includes a total operating budget of $246.9 million and a capital budget totaling $26.8 million.  The General Fund operating budget is $101.6 million, providing funding for police, fire, parks, recreation, library, community development, and administrative services.   

The City faced an estimated $8.9 million deficit in the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2010, if no corrective actions were taken.  This represents approximately 9% of the General Fund operating budget.  The budget was balanced with a combination of the following strategies:

·         Department budget reductions and enhanced revenues

·         Structural budget changes

·         Reduced funding to community organizations

· &nbs p;       Reductions in employee salary and benefits

The final budget includes approximately $4 million in cost savings from secured and pending labor concessions.  To close the budget deficit, Managers, Supervisors, and General and Confidential Employees, committed to labor concessions equivalent to a 6% - 8.5% salary reduction.  These concessions include cost savings from an employee furlough or mandatory leave without pay.  As a result, administrative offices and non-emergency facilities will close to the public over the December holiday and three other dates throughout the year. 

 While labor agreements with the Police Officers Association and the Police Management Association expire this month, an agreement has not been reached for a salary and benefits package.  The City is also in discussions with the Fire Association on potential reductions in salary and benefit costs, including the cancellation of a planned 3% salary increase in July.  

 Contingent on achieving labor concessions with the remaining bargaining units, Council added $1.1 million back to the budget to provide funding for four police officer positions, one fire captain position, park restroom maintenance, library materials, Ortega Pool Recreation Summer Swim, Planning Commission stipends, Santa Barbara Channels, New Beginnings, and the City's reserves.  The implementation of these items will be delayed or cancelled if labor concessions are not fully realized. 

 The budget will eliminate 32 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions, most of which are vacant positions that have not been filled due to a hiring freeze.  The staffing reduction could impact services available and projects underway in many departments.  Slower turnaround times are anticipated for building plan check services, zoning enforcement, street tree maintenance, and requests for stop signals, speed surveys, and other traffic issues.   Delays are also likely for planning and transportation projects related to ordinance revisions and other special projects.  Staff anticipates delays to the implementation of Plan Santa Barbara (General Plan Update) policies and programs.

 The Central and Eastside Libraries will close on Mondays.  Repairs and improvements to many facilities, parks, and critical software systems will be deferred.  Several capital projects are included in the General Fund budget including Shoreline Park Safety Improvements, Mesa Lane Steps Renovation, Playground Re placements, and a Police Records Management System Upgrade.  The Fenton Davis Trust provided a generous donation of $250,000 for a renovation project in the Central Library. 

 Funding for several community organizations will be reduced, including funding for the Conference and Visitors Bureau, Summer Solstice, Visitors Information Center, 4th of July Symphony concert, and Santa Barbara Public Access Channel 17.  The budget eliminates full funding for the Fourth of July parade (Spirit of ’76) and Semana Nautica festival. 

 To generate additional revenue, planning fees and library meeting room rental fees will increase.  New beach and park concessions will be established at Chase Palm Park and East Beach and more revenue would be sought from community partners for their use of the City’s park and recreation facilities.

 Videos of Council budget discussions are available on the City’s website at:  When completed, the budget document will be available to the public at the City’s website, the City Clerk’s Office at 735 Anacapa Street and the Public Library at 40 E. Anapamu Street.  


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Mayor Schneider Joins Delegation of Mayors in New Orleans to Support Local Officials

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SANTA BARBARA, CA - Mayors across the country gathered in New Orleans to stand in solidarity with the Gulf community affected by the oil disaster.  Mayor Helene Schneider met with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu and other mayors of the impacted region to urge federal leaders and BP to accept recommendations from the United States Conference of Mayors for more coordination in disaster clean-up efforts. 

Mayors from across the nation were represented, including Long Beach, CA; Houston, TX; Philadelphia, PA; Everett, MA; Fort Myers, FL; Baton Rouge, LA; and other officials from the Gulf Coast states.  The mayors visited the Laffite, LA Emergency Operations Command Center, where they participated in a briefing by Lafitte Mayor Tim Kerner, BP representatives and Coast Guard Incident Commander Captain Roger Laferriere, followed by a tour to view the damaged area by boat.  Mayors discussed federal Fair Share Legislation that would share funds from new oil and gas leases with the four Gulf energy-producing states for the purpose of coastal protection and restoration.

Last week, the U.S. Conference of Mayors passed a resolution on the oil disaster, requesting the Obama Administration to create a special task force of appropriate senior federal officials to direct the actions of all the federal agencies involved, provide timely and updated information to mayors and local officials on mitigation efforts, and ensure that lead federal agencies are working closely with cities and local governments.

Mayor Schneider said, “This is not only a Gulf crisis, it is an American disaster. As the mayor of a coastal community, especially with the 1969 Santa Barbara oil spill still on the minds of our residents, I was saddened to see the damage the oil spill has created thus far. With the possibility of capping the oil well at least two months away, it is imperative that mayors across the country assist our colleagues in the Gulf Region in containing the spill, cleaning the coastline, protecting marine life, compensating the local businesses and fishery industry who have lost their livelihood, and then start the recovery efforts.”

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Upper State Street and De la Vina Street Construction Begins June 14th 2010

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SANTA BARBARA, CA – June 10, 2010 - On Monday, June 14, 2010, and continuing through July 2010, the City of Santa Barbara, Public Works Department, will replace the street surface on upper State Street and De la Vina Street.  Construction will affect most blocks on State Street from La Cumbre Road south to De la Vina Street and all blocks on De la Vina Street from State Street south to West Alamar Avenue.  The existing street will be ground down and replaced with an asphalt overlay to restore the street surface.

Construction will be conducted at night between the hours of 9:00 PM and 6:00 AM.  One lane of traffic will be provided in both directions at all times during construction; however, traffic speed may be reduced. Residents and businesses in the area may experience noise from jackhammers, grinders, truck back-up alarms and other equipment noise associated with street construction.

The new asphalt overlay is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) and will maintain the City’s transportation infrastructure.  When construction is complete, a smooth and safe driving surface for travel will be provided along the upper State Street and De La Vina Street corridors. The Public Works Department appreciates the community’s patience and cooperation during the construction. 

For the exact location of the project, please visit the Upcoming City Road Maintenance Work Info and Street Map at  If you have further questions, please contact Tim Gaasch, Supervising Engineer, at (805) 897-2502.

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New SEIU, Santa Barbara City Agreement Equal to 6% Salary Reduction

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SANTA BARBARA, CA - City negotiators reached a tentative agreement today for labor concessions with City’s largest bargaining unit, represented SEIU Local 620.  The agreement, equivalent to a 6% salary reduction, will provide almost $2 million in labor cost savings in the coming fiscal year, almost $1 million of that in the General Fund, and will restore twenty-one jobs to the budget. 

Under the agreement, each General Bargaining Unit employee must take 116.5 hours of time off without pay (unpaid furlough) during the next fiscal year, and will again give up the vacation cash-out benefit provided under their labor contract. 

The agreement also restores positions for twenty-one General Bargaining Unit employees that would otherwise have faced layoff or displacement. 

The agreement comes as the Council prepares to adopt a budget for the new fiscal year that will address an $8.9 million budget gap.   The City has sought concessions from all of its employee groups to help address the problem.  Talks with the Police Officers Association, the Firefighters Association, and the Police Management Association are ongoing.

Unlike the Police Officers Association and the Police Management Association, whose labor agreements expire this month and who are required to be in active labor negotiations with the City, SEIU Local 620 had a valid bargaining agreement through September 2010. This is the second year in a row that SEIU came to the table voluntarily before the expiration of the labor agreement to offer concessions.  In fiscal year 2010, employees took 104 hours without pay and no vacation cash out. 

  “SEIU came to the table early in a problem-solving mode”, said Kristy Schmidt, the City’s Chief Negotiator.  “Our talks have been ongoing since January.  We appreciate the willingness they showed to understand the depth of the problem, and to be an active part of the solution.” 

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Noted Ocean Environmental Leader David Helvarg to Speak at the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum

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A very special opportunity unfolds this week!  The Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History will host a free evening with author and ocean environmental leader David Helvarg.  On WEDNESDAY, JUNE 9, 2010 from 7 to 9 PM, join a cadre of local environmental non-profits, including Channelkeeper, the Ty Warner Sea Center, Ocean Futures, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Ocean Conservancy, Save the Mermaids, The Origami Whales Project, and more for information about Santa Barbara ocean-related issues and a discussion about Mr. Helvarg’s new book, “Saved by the Sea, a Love Story with Fish”. Local marine biologist and naturalist Holly Lohuis of Ocean Futures will introduce Mr. Helvarg.   A book signing will follow the discussion.  Mr. Helvarg and Ms. Lohuis are both passionate about how the ocean has touched their lives, and how our care of the oceans affects each of us in Santa Barbara.  Space is limited at this event and will be on a first come, first served basis!  Doors open at 6:30 PM.

David Helvarg is the president of the Blue Frontier Campaign, whose mission is to promote unity, provide tools to and raise awareness of the solution-oriented marine conservation community. Mr. Helvarg is President of the Blue Frontier Campaign ( and the author of five books: Blue Frontier, The War Against the Greens, 50 Ways to Save the Ocean, Rescue Warriors and his latest, Saved by the Sea, a Love Story with Fish. He’s editor of the Ocean and Coastal Conservation Guide, organizer of several ‘Blue Vision’ Summits for ocean activists, and winner of Coastal Living Magazine’s 2005 Leadership Award and the 2007 Herman Melville literary Award. Helvarg worked as a war correspondent in Northern Ireland and Central America, covering a range of issues from military science to the AIDS epidemic, and reported from every continent including Antarctica. An award-winning journalist, he produced more than 40 broadcast documentaries for PBS, The Discovery Channel, and others. His print work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, LA Times, Smithsonian, Popular Science, Sierra, and The Nation. He’s done radio work for Marketplace, AP radio, and Pacifica. He’s led workshops for journalists in Poland, Turkey, Tunisia, Slovakia and Washington DC. He is a licensed Private Investigator, body-surfer and scuba diver.
This event is coordinated by Channelkeeper, Choose to Reuse, the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History and the “Where’s Your Bag?” Campaign. 


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Santa Barbara Fire Dept. Responds to Structure Fire

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SANTA BARBARA, CA  - At approximately 7:15pm the Santa Barbara City Fire Department responded to a report of smoke in an apartment on Oceano Ave.  The first engine on scene discovered a working fire in a second story unit.   Three engines, the truck company and a battalion chief responded and had the fire extinguished within 10 minutes of the first report.

After an investigation by the City Fire Investigator it was determined that the fire started in the kitchen area. The cause is classified as accidental but most likely the result of a malfunctioning refrigerator. 

There were no injuries as a result of the fire however an occupant was transported to the hospital with a complaint of chest pain after exiting the apartment.

The Santa Barbara City Fire Department would like to remind everyone that it is important to inspect all old appliances for signs of potential malfunction. 

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