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"Where's Your Bag" Event Scheduled for Aug 29th

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Where’s Your Bag” is a comprehensive voluntary single-use bag reduction program.  The City of Santa Barbara’s Environmental Services Division, in conjunction with local partners Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, Choose to Reuse, Tri-County Produce, and the California Grocer’s Association, has worked to create an effective single-use bag reduction strategy and we’re proud to announce the rollout of the “Where’s Your Bag” program.  In the coming weeks, we’ll be training participating store staff and management and distributing several types of signage designed to remind shoppers to bring their bags with them into the store.  These items include parking lot signs, window decals for customers’ cars, in-store placards and buttons for grocery employees.

When? The “Where’s Your Bag” program will be launched on Friday, August 28, 2009 at De La Guerra Plaza with a kick-off event from 2:00 to 5:00pm.  We’ll have entertainment by the “Banana Slug String Band,” art projects for kids provided by Art from Scrap, informational tables, giveaways from local non-profits and much more!

Why?  Plastic bags are causing huge problems in our oceans – animals like sea turtles die when they mistake them for food and the plastic breaks down into small bits that end up in the fish we eat.  They are also a large source of unintentional street litter. The average person uses over 500 paper and plastic bags per year and our goal is to dramatically reduce that number.  Paper bag production is extremely energy intensive – far more than plastic bags.  Only a small percentage of each type of bag is recycled.  “Where’s Your Bag” aims to educate the community about the problems associated with single-use bags and an easy solution – bringing reusable bags whenever you shop.

How?  We’re partnering with local chain and independent grocery stores, providing them with starter kits of “reminder signage” and in-store employee training sessions.  We’ll also be tabling at community events and in front of participating stores on Saturday, August 29th as well as other dates.  


To share your outreach ideas or ask questions about the “Where’s Your Bag” program, please contact Kathi King

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Finance Director Robert Peirson to Leave City of Santa Barbara

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  • Robert Peirson Finance Director City of Santa Barbara

SANTA BARBARA, CA – JULY 8, 2009 - After 27 years of public service in California and Alaska, Santa Barbara City Finance Director, Robert Peirson, announced today that he is leaving the City on August 28, 2009.  

“Bob has done an outstanding job over the past 20 years and will be difficult to replace,” said James Armstrong, city administrator.  “He is a top notch chief financial officer with the ability to explain complex financing issues in ways everyone can understand.  Bob has been especially effective over the past year as the City dealt with major revenue shortfalls," added Armstrong.

Peirson hopes to combine his extensive public sector financial management expertise and his desire for travel by providing training in public sector finance internationally.  Peirson recently had an opportunity to work with the International City/County Management Association and the World Bank in Washington, D.C. to provide such training to local government finance officials from the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia 

“The City of Santa Barbara has been very fortunate to have such a high caliber finance professional lead our Finance Department.  Our City Council will miss his expertise and quick wit.  While we’re happy for Bob, we’re sorry to see him go,” said Mayor, Marty Blum.

Peirson began his career with the City of Santa Barbara as Accounting Manager in 1989.  Two years later, he rose to Assistant Finance Director.  Peirson has served as the City’s Finance Director since 1995, the chief financial officer for a full service charter city with an annual operating and capital budget now exceeding $250 million.

Accomplishments under his administration with the City of Santa Barbara include: 

Multiple receipt of "Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial
Reporting" and the “Distinguished Budget Presentation Award” from the Government Finance Officers Association 

Completing over $250 million in financing packages for such projects as the Santa Barbara Airport improvements, the Granada Garage and various water and wastewater projects, among others

Prior to joining the City of Santa Barbara, Peirson spent eight years in Alaska.  He worked for the City of Seward, Alaska, as the Director of Finance and Administrative Services from 1984 to 1988 and as an accountant from 1983 to 1984.  Peirson also worked for the National Bank of Alaska from 1981 to 1983 as the Manager of the Seward Branch. 

Peirson received his Bachelor of Arts in History from Colgate University, Hamilton, New York, and a Master’s of Business Administration from Babson College, Wellesley, Massachusetts. 

Peirson is an avid hockey player and a devoted member of “Red Sox Nation.”  “My departure will allow me to spend more time following the best baseball team in the world,” added Peirson.


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The Santa Barbara Bowl's 'Goat' the Right Idea: Goes Green for Sold-Out Incubus Show

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For the sold-out Incubus concert on July 10, 2009 at the Santa Barbara Bowl, the venue is continuing its efforts to reduce its carbon footprint, one step at a time.  With this concert, the Bowl will be implementing three new programs that go beyond the venue’s existing eco efforts.  Through different and unique community partnerships, this concert will be the ‘greenest little show’ the Santa 

Barbara Bowl and Nederlander Concerts have ever presented. 


Major Land-Fill Reduction:  In partnership with the Community Environmental Council the Bowl will be implementing its newly established volunteer GREEN TEAM with a goal to divert 99% of the venue’s waste from landfills.  This would be an increase from the current sorting that diverts on average 70% of all concert waste from landfills.   


The GREEN TEAM will pre-sort waste and help educate concert-goers on what items can be recycled, composted or reused from the true landfill items.  The GREEN TEAM will also lead a post-show sort to insure all waste materials are properly sorted. 


Bicycle Valet Parking:  Incubus will also be the inaugural offering of complimentary bicycle valet parking.  Located within the Santa Barbara Bowl‘s VIP parking lot, this bicycle valet program will be hosted in partnership with the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition  who will be providing the staffing and expertise for safe, secure and monitored parking.  All concert-goers are encouraged to ride their bicycles to the venue to take advantage of this new program.  


Goats at the Bowl:  The Santa Barbara Bowl has contracted with the company Brush Goats 4 Hire as an eco-friendly approach to thinning the brush and vegetation on the 17 acre Bowl property.  This process will help decrease potential fire danger.  The goats are ideal for this type of work as they are able to navigate the extreme topography and heave vegetative growth of the Bowl’s property.  The goats will be penned and out of public view during the Incubus concert, but they will certainly be singing along. 


-By Eric Schiflett 

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