Wrong way driver dies near Rincon

An unidentified man driving a Ford Mustang reportedly entered Highway 101 driving southbound in the northbound lane at the Highway 150 offramp at around 10:45 p.m. on Aug. 27, according to the California Highway Patrol. The Mustang struck the left front of a semi-truck, causing the Ford to roll onto its roof and its driver to perish. Northbound 101 was closed for several hours to investigate the collision and cleanup the scene. Investigators had not determined if alcohol or drugs could have been a factor in the collision at the time of the report.

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Back in action: 2014-2015 school year launches in Carpinteria

Summer ended on Aug. 25 for kindergarten through 12th grade students across Carpinteria, and a new school year—full of book bags and bright clothing—in new classrooms began. Coastal View News spread its photographers across the six Carpinteria Unified School District campuses to document the massive production of welcoming over 2,000 students to re-engage on their educational voyage. (Photos by Annette Samarin, Garrett Combs and Bill Swing)

Pacific Boom

(photos by Glenn Dubock dubock.com)
The winds of Hurricane Marie disturbed the Pacific and blew its 10-foot swell to Backside Rincon for an historic summer session on Aug. 27. Local surfers, including Spencer Davis who’s pictured getting into a wave, flooded the waters for a chance to blow off their pent up appetite for surf while sliding down the faces of glassy sets that rolled in all morning. According to surf photographer Glenn Dubock, the magnitude of gift enjoyed Wednesday morning at Backside is served up only once every couple of decades.

CHS boosters raise the energy bar

 CHS boosters raise the energy bar

By Peter Dugré
The cha-ching of a cash register sounds every time a local high school sports team needs new equipment. Budgets rarely meet demand for the robust local sports program. It’s the behind-the-scenes energy of the all-volunteer, non-profit Carpinteria High School Boosters Club that ensures enough funds are raised to bridge budget gaps and purchase items like new jerseys, scoreboards and bus rides.

In the spring of 2013 a new set of faces and fresh ideas took on leadership of the Boosters. Their focus aligned with what the boosters have always represented, a fundraising organization that supports CHS athletics. Yet, under the leadership of President Chris Kelsey, the newly minted board has driven membership up and has injected enthusiasm into the club that has paid off with $10,000 in annual contributions to the CHS athletic department to continue operations and to additionally support grants for numerous sports programs.

Board members often start due to their children’s involvement but continue even after their student-athletes graduate. Kelsey’s son, Connor, graduated from CHS last year. His daughter graduated in 2012. He’s still active as the club president and the announcer at Warrior football games.

Kelsey, a CHS alumnus, will continue on with Boosters in much the same way as Lori Bowles, the spirited hot dog server and concessionaire. She’s the vice president of Boosters and has not had a child at CHS since 2009, when her son graduated.

“Growing up I witnessed my parents donate endless hours to my high school, and I committed many years ago to pay it forward,” Bowles said. “Boosters has given me the opportunity to support the school and my son, make new friends, experience personal growth, and help make a difference for the betterment of the students.” She considers investing in local sports a community investment that pays dividends.

Club secretary Christie Cooney has been a voice behind the drive to refine the organization. The club meets the first Monday of every month at 6 p.m. at the CHS cafeteria, 4810 Foothill Road. At the meetings, 13 board members and anyone else interested in the progress and needs of local sports teams, can hear the latest news.

The primary ways funds are generated remain membership drives—it’s $20 a year to be a member—concessions at football games and track meets and shrimp cocktail sales at the California Avocado Festival.

While an energized board is throwing ideas back and forth for more fund raising and creative new ways to support local high school sports, the goal of funding sports has never changed. And according to Cooney, the motivation remains “to encourage the moral and physical development of CHS students through the schools athletic program.”

Cooney, along with husband Pat, are motivated by three young daughters to continue supporting local opportunities for students-athletes through 2029, when their youngest daughter will graduate CHS.

Across all sports last year, CHS had 618 participants on 42 teams in 18 sports. Seven varsity teams made playoffs, three won league championships and girls varsity tennis won a CIF championship.

For the 2014-2015 school year, the Boosters plan to pick up the tab for new boys soccer and girls volleyball uniforms, contribute to golf range and course fees and assist with football helmet concussion prevention equipment, among many other projects. Last year, the Boosters supplied more than 1,000 sports balls.

The annual membership drive kicks off in September. Last year, the club gained eight new Lifetime Members, the highest level of membership earned with a $1,000 donation. Help is always welcome to staff the concession stand and avocado festival. To get involved, contact boosters@warriorcountry.com.

Claassen, Adams-Morden named Cox Conserves Heroes

Claassen, Adams-Morden named Cox Conserves Heroes

by Jane Benefield
At the city council meeting on Aug. 25, Mayor Brad Stein looked up from the dais and remarked, "Who's minding the gates of Carpinteria, because it looks like the whole town is here?"

Indeed there was an overflow audience to honor two outstanding Carpinteria volunteers who were finalists for Cox Conserves Heroes awards. The winner was unknown until Arlene Tendick of Cox Communications presented the award of $10,000 to winner Rebecca Claassen and $5000 to runner-up Andrea Adams-Morden for their dedication and commitment, both awards are forwarded to the recipient’s non-profit of choice. A Hero, according to Cox, is someone who has helped to create, protect and/or care for an outdoor place available for public relaxation, reflection or recreation by the community.

In July, Cox Communications and The Trust for Public Land announced Claassen and Adams-Morden as the 2014 finalists for Santa Barbara’s Cox Conserves Heroes program, which recognizes volunteers throughout Santa Barbara County for creating, preserving or enhancing outdoor spaces and holds a public election to determine the winner. Nominees were voted on by the general public, and both finalists are Carpinteria residents.

Claassen will donate her $10,000 to the Environmental Defense Center for legal costs many related to challenging climate and environment degradations she is working to reverse. Inspired by her two-year old daughter, Claassen used her healthcare background to educate local citizens on the impact of toxins in the local water supply. She’s been the catalyst behind creating a group of informed and engaged volunteers who promote clean water and clean air.

A dedicated volunteer and permanent Salt Marsh fixture, Adams-Morden is donating her $5000 to the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden. She stated that plants equal life. To insure that end, she envisions a program through the SB Botanical Garden that will design edible gardens and useable plant materials using native growth. After her many decades of habitat restoration—weeding, planting, and educating—she said she may even try her hand at creating an "app for that.”

While the monetary award was cause for celebration; commendations, resolutions and honors were generously heaped upon the volunteers from Congresswoman Lois Capps, State Assemblywoman Hannah Beth-Jackson and Supervisor Salud Carbjal, Assemblyman Das Williams and the Carpinteria City Council.

City reviews projects present and future

By Cat Neushul
On Aug. 25, the Carpinteria City Council heard a status report on its annual work program that included updates on proposed developments along the bluffs, the Rincon Trail and a pavement rehabilitation project for Carpinteria Avenue.

Community Development Director Jackie Campbell said its been a busy time for development proposals within her department. Projects included a proposal for the Bluffs II property, East of S&S Seeds, a revised plan for the Via Real hotels, a concept review for the 500 block of Maple Avenue and discussions regarding the Bluffs III resort-zoned parcel. Campbell said the city was also monitoring S&S Seed’s building improvements and Island Brewing Company’s expansion.

She said her department also had a busy year dealing with animal control issues. City staff impounded 26 dogs, and orchestrated nine successful adoptions. At this time, she said there is a Chihuahua named Nelson and a Pit bull called Tigre waiting to be adopted.

Public Works juggles 101 expansion
The Public Works Department has been working on several large projects including the Highway 101 Expansion Project. Charlie Ebeling, director of public works, said that project review is “continuing to take an enormous amount of time.” At the forefront are issues relating to the flood plain and the need to incorporate ancillary projects like the Rincon Trail and Santa Claus Lane bike path, two segments linking the coastal trail that have been wrapped into freeway expansion.

Ebeling said that future public works projects include a Via Real infill east of Casitas Pass Road, improvements on Ash Avenue and a sidewalk repair and tree replacement on Camino Trillado.

Vice Mayor Gregg Carty asked whether public works also had any plans to improve the bike lanes in the downtown area. Carty said, “Is there anything in the works to make them safer?” Ebeling said that the bike lanes hadn’t been discussed yet, but that there were other safety measures planned for western Carpinteria Avenue. He said that an electronic sign that monitors traffic speed for motorists would be installed along this corridor in the near future.

The parks department is also working on several projects, including the development of a community garden on a parcel of city-owned land near the railroad tracks. Director of Parks and Recreation Matt Roberts said the project was in the preliminary stages and there was discussion involving the possibility of adding a pedestrian undercrossing, parking and trails.

Roberts said that the Seaside Park project is near completion. One of the final touches will be the addition of a millstone to serve as a fountain. He said, “One of the things we are looking forward to this week is the 5,000 pound millstone … it will serve as the center piece.”

Another topic discussed at the meeting was the Carpinteria Avenue/Casitas Pass Road Repavement Rehabilitation Project. The city council voted unanimously to sign a contract with El Toro Enterprises to repave the roadway. However, city council members questioned whether this was the best time to do this work. With construction to begin in the near future on the Linden-Casitas Interchange Project, they asked whether the newly-repaved road might sustain damage.

Ebeling said that this was a valid concern, but the road had been deteriorating rapidly and the cost of rehabilitation increased with each year it was left uncompleted. “We felt that it was important to release the project to get the vast majority of Carpinteria Avenue and Casitas Pass Road repaved,” he said.

City Manager Dave Durflinger added that the city can document the pavement before and after nearby construction. “We can ensure it gets properly repaired,” he said.

Another concern city council members expressed was the fact that trench cuts made to accommodate utility lines could also prove a challenge. Mayor Brad Stein said, “Is anyone going to be digging up the road after we repave it?”

While Ebeling said he did not know of any immediate plans, he said that an ordinance regarding this issue was in the works. He said, “It looks like one of the best ways to pursue a trench cut ordinance is through warrantees.” He said a utility company would be required to maintain a trench cut for a certain amount of time.” Mayor Stein added, “I think we need a trench cut ordinance as soon as possible.”

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