I was driving home tonight on Chapala at about 5:45 and saw some protesters on the corner of Carrillo St. The picture I took is pretty self-explanatory.
While I was standing there, snapping a few photos, along with the KSBY folks (who were shooting footage) I started noticing the different kinds of responses from other rush-hour citizens driving by in their cars. There were lots of honks-of-support, with some very heated opinions flying out of rolled-down passenger windows. The only one that I heard clearly was "anti-semites!".
I also noticed that the event made pedestrian passers-by more friendly and sometimes very talkative. One man passing by me squinted to see the signs, and upon reading them said, "Yup, sheesh...pretty intense what's going on over there right now.. It's always something!".
If you want to learn more about what's been in the news lately surrounding this (very complex) issue, check out this Google News search.
If you have strong feelings, information, or links to share, or just want to touch base with other locals about the issue (from any perspective), check out the forums at City2 to talk with other Santa Barbarians.
Tags: sbnews, gaza, santa barbara, news, political protest, rally
Often, during this time of year (especially when it's particularly cold outside), my thoughts turn to the folks who are less fortunate than the rest of us. It is always my intention to spend some time volunteering at a local soup kitchen, or shelter - but what often happens, unfortunately, is that the holidays sneak up on me and I wind up stressing and sprinting to get those last few gifts for family members and friends.
This year, we're not doing presents. The recession has definitely impacted the flow of gift-funds around the house, and none of us really need anything. So I thought this would be as good a year as any to volunteer.
I made a few calls this morning to the main groups in town that provide food and shelter.
The Santa Barbara Rescue Mission is having their annual feast today! Though we missed the opportunity to volunteer for this particular occasion, but the woman I spoke with assured me that they are always in need of volunteers during other times of the year. To get in touch with the Rescue Mission, call 805-966-1316.
The Transition House has individual and group volunteer opportunities year round as well. Though the volunteer coordinator is out for the rest of the week.
Casa Esperanza is another fabulous organization that will be taking volunteers both during the holidays and beyond. I spoke briefly with executive director Mike Foley about volunteer opportunities. When I asked if there had been an influx of volunteer help during the holidays, he said that though there has been an increase, there are always ways to help. He directed me to the volunteer coordinator Imelda Loza at 805-884-8481. Or visit them on the web at http://casa-esperanza.org/cm/Home.html
I also called 211 Santa Barbara County and spoke with Alex who mentioned several other organizations. United Way of Santa Barbara has an array of volunteer opportunities from Career Day Mentors, to Fundraising to Office Support. The Unity Shop is also a good place to look 805-965-0474.
Though not exactly a soup-kitchen type place...Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic seems like a fantastic group. They need volunteers to help record books for folks with disabilities, and can't function without the help of gracious folks willing to donate their time and voice. Call them at: 805-681-0531
Perhaps the nicest surprise resource mentioned by Alex was the Volunteer Santa Barbara County! which lets users search a database for specific kinds of volunteering opportunities.
Hopefully (pending a call back from Imelda) I will be volunteering with a few family members at Casa Esperanza on Christmas morning.
It is also worth mentioning that while these organizations are grateful for holiday support, we might be wise to remember that people are hungry, and hurting and in-need year-round. I for one, am going to try to make some kind of monthly habit out of it.
Tags: volunteer, santa barbara, rescue mission, soup kitchen, casa esperanza, transition house, community, Unity Shop, 211, SB County, sbopinion, sblifestyle
This picture is not of Platform A ( aka, 'the culprit' ), but was the
only one spouting a little flame from my vantage point above
Summerland, which I thought better for dramatic effect.
I did a quick Google News search for 'Santa Barbara Oil Spill' yields
these results.. Most of the headlines say that the 1000 gallons has
been 'mopped up' or 'corrected'. I have to admit though, that I am
more than a little skeptical the thoroughness of the 'clean-up'..
Naturally, oil floats on top of the water, and is probably relatively
easy to spot the bigger globs of the stuff with boats and helicopters
etc. But what I have noticed, as a surfer and swimmer, is that there
is often a residual iridescence to water that oil (or gasoline for
that matter) has been spilled into. I guess I am just wondering what
effect the less obvious oily nastiness has on the ecosystem..
have time, I'll do a little digging tomorrow.
I took a little drive with my uncle around the Tea Fire burn area
It's hard to believe it's been a full 30 days since the
fire. All the TV vans and fire engines have been replaced by,
landscaping trucks, cranes, tractors, and a lot of hard work. As far
as we've heard, there has been only one major landslide since the fire
as a result of the rain (Coyote and East Mountain). Largely because
burn victims are doing the right thing and preparing their potentially
landslide prone properties for the rain with the appropriate
materials. I'm not sure what this particular method is called
(pictured above), but it's obviously meant to keep the newly exposed
hillside from sliding into the creek above Conejo.
pretty beautiful to see the contrast of the freshly laid grass, and
the blackened earth below it.
I will update soon with more images.
Tags: sbnews, santa barbara fire, montecito fire, good pictures, recovery
I took a few shots of the astronomical conjunction over by the mission this evening.
An Astronomical Conjunction means that from a certain point (usually here on earth) two or more celestial bodies (planets, moons etc.) are visible in faux proximity. Apparently, this kind of astronomical event can also be called an 'applause'. I hear that we won't see these three bodies together again for another 44 years.
Here is more information on it, including diagrams. :)
More photos (along with a few time-lapse goofy moments) can be seen here via Flickr.
Tags: conjunction, santa barbara, santa barbara mission, riviera, astronomy, moon, venus, jupiter