A a helicopter flying by a patch of burning mountain above SB (timed exposure).
Though Firefighters remain cautious, the Jesusitas Fire in Santa Barbara seems to be backing off a little. Fire Crews have been blasting the mountainside with water drops, and the winds though erratic, are behaving for the time being (relatively still in the mountains though it's gusting northeastward here in downtown sb).
Officials blocking off Los Olivos St at the Mission around 2:30. No residents were allowed in - even to get pets. Some folks were so angry that they decided to hoof it. After parking her car on constance, one woman who was walking in her work clothes towards the riviera yelled at the traffic officer, "HOW THE HELL THIS MORE SAFE THAN DRIVING!?"
Santa Barbara City College Students and Teachers Watching the Wind Change
Locals Watching the Jesusita Fire after (and before) surf sessions at the Pit.
"Occupying an entire city block in downtown Santa Barbara, the courthouse hosts many events, particularly at the Sunken Garden, site of the 1872 courthouse.
The courthouse is composed of four buildings, totaling 150,000 square feet (14,000 m2). The courthouse also contains a Jail Wing; however, the wing is no longer used to hold prisoners. Visitors may take elevators to reach the summit of the 85 ft (26 m) "El Mirador" clock tower. The clock tower also has labeled photographs that show what the viewer is looking at in all directions.
Currently, the Santa Barbara County Courthouse is undergoing several restoration projects in the various wings, and working to fix the disintegrating fountain in the front."
I had never really given much thought to what government buildings might have existed prior to the current 1929 William Mooser courthouse. Maybe I'm the only local who doesn't know all of this, but apparently there were three previous courthouse buildings since the formation of Santa Barbara County in 1850. According to santabarbaracourthouse.org, "County government was housed in an adobe located at Santa Barbara Street and East Carrillo Street, the Aguirre Adobe."
In less than 10 years, the local government had outgrown the Aguirre Adobe, and purchased the city block between Anapamu, Figeuroa, Anacapa and Santa Barbara Streets, and moved into the larger, pre-existing Kays Adobe. County government operated from Kays for roughly 10 years until the California State Legislature approved the building of a 'more modern' structure in keeping with other government buildings throughout the country. A cruciform building was then constructed and built upon for the next several decades, eventually necessitating the demolition of the Kays Adobe to make room for newer buildings. New additions kept popping up right up until the 1925 earthquake, in which the Hall of Records and Courthouse buildings were 'damaged beyond use' along with a huge portion of other Santa Barbara structures.
Above: The 1872 'modern' cruciform Santa Barbara Courthouse. Not sure from which street this was taken, but if enough of you guys are curious, I'll go to the Records office and do a little bit more blueprint digging.
On Sunday, I rode my bike a few sweaty blocks to the Earth Day festival - which always seems to land on unbelievably hot days. I almost didn't bring my camera (the extra weight and awkwardness of riding with an SLR in the heat didn't sound fun) but decided to do it hoping that I might get lucky and snap a few nice shots for City2.
When I got to Alemeda Park, I did some milling around, looking for tents that had something new, or interesting (or shade). As always, the folks there (sweating in the afternoon heat) were far more pleasant and upbeat than they should have been.
After a few interesting conversations (about the proposed expansion of Elings park or or how to get organic food delivered to your doorstep etc) I weaved through the hula-hooping hippies, nearly naked (possibly drunk) 20-something party girls and fire dancers, to talk to a friend I saw hanging out near the Twin Productions music tent. As soon as I shook his hand, I heard over the loudspeakers that Elon Musk and Louis Capps (among others) were due on stage shortly to receive Earth Day Environmental Heros Awards. I was suddenly thrilled to have been lugging around my camera (which was now stuck to my back). I asked my friend, "did he just say Elon Musk?". My friend nodded, and then nervously scanned the area with his eyes (maybe for clues?) feeling a little self-conscious that he had no idea who Elon Musk was - especially after seeing the excited expression on my face. He finally said, "yeah, he's that really cool musician right?"
At that point, we had a wonderfully awkward conversation. My friend (we'll call him Chuck) was embarrassed to not know who Musk was (and I started making self-deprecating comments about myself being a big enough internet dork to know who he was in the first place). Anyway.. now we're on the same page and have agreed that:
A: Musk is God. B: I am still a big dork. and C: It was high time to hunt down smoothies to prevent total heat stroke.
But first, we had to listen to the award ceremony.
Now, liking Louis Capps is kind of a given if you live in Santa Barbara. Even people who disagree with her politics have a fondness and respect for her many years of honest and genuine service to our community. So it was great to see her all fired up to present the awards.
I had a similar happy feeling about seeing 14 year old Kids vs Global Warming founder Alec Loorz receive his award. Awesome person. It's great to see people so young so committed to making positive change.
But Elon Musk! If you don't know who he is, don't feel bad..The crowd didn't seem to either. He isn't exactly a household name (yet).
Musk is a stunningly successful (and impressively young and altruistic) entrepreneur. At 37, his resume looks a little like this: He dropped out of a Stanford High-Energy Physics grad program to found 'Zip2' (which provided online publishing software for news organizations) and sold it for $307M (in cash) plus another odd $30Million in stock options in 1999. He went on to co-found X.com which later became PayPal. He is currently the founder and CEO (and CTO) of SpaceX (Space Exploration Technologies), which develops efficient space launch vehicles. And if that weren't enough new-model-entrepreneurship for you, he also launched Tesla Motors, which is a car company builds high end EV roadsters (which were of course on display - and stealing the show - at the car show portion of Earth Day). Musk is also the Chairman of the board at Solar City. Both companies underlying purpose is to combat global warming. If you'd like to know more about him, try here.
Getting to shake his hand (and nearly fall over myself telling him that I was a fan) was an unexpected and happy surprise. He was very polite and humble as we spoke for a minute. Then, quietly excusing himself, he was off (in the direction of the smoothies - now I couldn't go or I'd look like I was a stalker).
It is great to see (and sometimes even meet) entrepreneurs who realize that 'doing the right thing' and 'making money' aren't necessarily diametrically opposed. In an age with so much corporate corruption and looking out for #1 mentality, it's refreshing to see an increasing number successful companies (Google, Patagonia, etc) and individuals who are slowly proving that this new humanistic model for business is viable. I'm looking forward to seeing what Mr. Musk does next. My guess is Tesla Motors will be a household brand in less than 5 years and he'll have his hands full with interviews, and even more globetrotting to promote the project. But knowing him, he could be terraforming Mars at the same time.
Burnt, tired and perma-grinning, I walked my bike home. Happy to have been ambushed by a much better-than-expected day.
A final note on Earth Day: Each year, I am more and more impressed with the scope of the Earth Day Festival. My hat is off to the wonderful folks at the Community Environmental Council for orchestrating a meaningful local event.
Bystanders here are saying a man claiming to be armed after attempting to
rob Citibank is hiding in Motel 6 on upper State st. In Santa Barbara.
More to come soon. Posted at 2:25pm.
UPDATE: Well I had to leave the scene early due to a personal emergency, so I am not able to update this post in any substantial way. I thought I'd cruise some of the other local news sites for info, but found very little. Though I saw KEYT3, The Daily Sound and several other papers at the scene with photogs, there was almost no mention of the robbery. KSBY6 has a little piece here, but makes no mention of the Motel 6 part of the story. Anyone know anything else about the outcome of this thing?
UPDATE 2: Turns out the 'suspect' was just a parolee staying at the motel. The real suspects whereabouts remain under investigation.
Tags: robbery, bank, santa barbara, motel 6, state street, sniper, swat, police, standoff, criminal, sbnews
I was flagged down by a car full of Swedish tourists last week while walking on Victoria Street. After thirty or so seconds of of pidgin english and euro-hand gesturing, I figured out that they were asking for directions to a nice park where they could lay down on the grass and picnic. Naturally, through a veil of (I'm sure) equally cryptic gestures, english, and surprisingly creative pointing, I was able to direct them to Alameda and Alice Keck parks (for all I know they could be lost in the foothills behind the Riviera now).
This got me thinking about parks that aren't frequented by tourists that much - where you might go for a quiet barbeque with friends, or shoot some quiet hoops with your dog. My mind immediately went to Ortega park. Maybe not. Too many syringes and broken beer bottles. Franchesci? Too many snogging teenagers and no grass or post-dusk hanging out. Oak park is nice, but often too filled with Medieval people having faux sward fights, or someone blasting by on their Harley. Of course, I could name a few more but that's about where I run out of ideas.
So I went back to my office (happy to have something to procrastinate with) and started searching Goolge Maps for the one or two Santa Barbara parks that I knew I was missing. I was shocked (ok not shocked, but definitely impressed?) to discover that there are over 30 parks in Santa Barbara proper - many of which were on the West Side that I had never even heard of.
So I hopped in my car and headed to the West Side for a little 'research' (did I mention I'm self employed?). I visited 3 parks that day that were previously unknown to me, but that hasn't satisfied my curiosity - I just came away with more questions. Why is there a 15 foot tall black security fence surrounding 90 percent of Escondido park (which appears to contain only a unused reservoir)? Where is the 'rest' of the Hilda McIntyre Ray park (there's a huge discrepancy between the geographical size of the park and it's 'official' perimeter).
I may be the only man in town who finds this fascinating, but in the next few weeks I will be attempting to do a little bit more digging to find the answers to these and other questions in my upcoming posts.
** the above picture is from the Hilda McIntyre Ray park overlook (and yes, there were in face two snogging teenagers in a parked car just to the right).
Tags: santa barbara, parks, recreation, alice keck, mcintyre park, tourists, sblifestyle
A picture from Forum Lounge at CAF during 'Outward Model' - A multimedia
performance designed to (supposedly) expose the politics of celebrity,
politics & contemporary art. I wasn't totally convinced, but it is good to
see art like this in our sometimes contemporary-art-deprived town.
Cofounder and Executive Director of the San Francisco Museum of Craft + Design, JoAnn Edwards leading a discussion about the merging of 'arts' with 'crafts' in recent years. Most of these open end lectures are very interesting and engaging. This weeks speaker left a little to be desired, but as always, the CAF crew were especially adept at starting up a meaningful group discussion.
I'm looking forward to the next lecture in this series.
The current exhibition (An Expanded Field of Possibilities) at CAF is also very worthwhile, and features: Amy Bessone, Nicole Cherubini, Mari Eastman, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Klara Kristalova, Franco Mondini-Ruiz, Kristen Morgin, William J. O’Brien, Eduardo Sarabia, Anna Sew Hoy, and Stephanie Wagner.
Tags: santa barbara, sbarts, contemporary art, craft, franco, contemporary arts forum
If you were considering a brisk walk on the jetty with a side of
shallow-water whale spotting - tough luck. It's been closed off for
phase III of the 'Breakwater Cap Repair Project'.
Guess I'll try the Wharf.
Tags: santa barbara jetti, breakwater, harbor, stearns wharf, whale, construction
Last time I drove up Gibralter it was snowing. I was so obsessed with getting to the 'snow part' (yes Im one of those southern californian 'OMG it's SNOWING!' flip-out types) that I didn't really think about anything other than the road, falling rocks and having my little internal (typically snow-ignorant coastal californian) conversation about tire chains.
Yesterday, my fiancee and I were in a much more meditative mood. We decided to take one of our favorite hikes today off of West Camino Cielo to have some uninterrupted time to talk and strategize about our wedding (gulp).
On our way up, we passed the usual universally ignored 'Road Closed' signs and started to see all the (now tragically familiar) devastation of the Tea Fire burn area. What was wonderfully different this time, was the thousands of wonderful little green sprouts all over the red-brown and black sandstone slopes. It was hard not to feel generally hopeful, and maybe a little peaceful.
Obviously, for those who are just beginning to rebuild their lives and homes, a bit of green is not going to speed up the battle with the insurance company, tame flakey contractors, or bring back countless possessions lost in the fire. But it was an oddly pleasant feeling that came over us when we started seeing the immensity of natures rebuild effort coming up from the blackened earth and charred tree limbs.
Intellectually we already know that ash is a great fertilizer, and that some of the seeds were spread to prevent erosion by the forest service and fire dept - so it shouldn't be that shocking to see all the new plant life. But it is shocking (or at least it was to us) that life can spring back in such a robust vibrant way. Eventually, as we climbed beyond the burn area, our conversation became of those 'you know, if humanity just disappeared in some horrible explosion, there would still be beautiful sunny days like this one' conversations - which may seem a morbid to some - but it was a relief to not be at the center of our own world for a moment.
Or maybe I was just grateful not to be talking about the wedding yet.
Tags: gibralter, tea fire, damage, devastation, snow, santa barbara, sblifestyle