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Planners applaud massive interchange project

Planners applaud massive interchange project
The Caltrans design plan for the Linden Casitas Interchange Project and Via Real Extension and Improvement includes bridges over Linden Avenue and Casitas Pass Road and new bridges for Highway 101 and Via Real over Carpinteria Creek. There will also be a roundabout on Ogan Road and extended on and off ramps near the connection of Casitas Pass Road and Via Real.

By Peter Dugré
City planners unanimously voted to approve what they described as the largest project ever put on their plates with a 4-0 vote (Commissioner David Allen absent) at the City of Carpinteria Planning Commission meeting on May 18. In total two votes passed, one to permit it and one to amend the city’s coastal plan, to advance the complex Linden Avenue and Casitas Pass Road Interchange and Via Real Extension and Improvement Project, which still must gain approval from the Carpinteria City Council and California Coastal Commission.

The massive project, phase 3 in the four-phase widening of the freeway between Ventura County and the City of Santa Barbara, will alter the way traffic flows in and around Carpinteria. It includes replacement of three bridges and the creation of one, punching Via Real through from its eastern segment to Casitas Pass Road and the addition of six traffic lights and a roundabout to Carpinteria streets, to name a few aspects of the project.

In order to achieve the infrastructure overhaul, city planners had to carefully concoct mitigation measures to offset some of the impacts on sensitive lands that are protected by both city and state planning codes. Mainly, the city’s Local Coastal Plan will need to be amended by the Coastal Commission in order for the project to proceed. As is, the project violates city mandates to preserve agricultural land uses and wetlands.

A nine-acre avocado ranch, known at the Whitney Ranch, lies in the path of where two traffic loops will connect Via Real and Casitas Pass Road to the freeway when the project is completed. The new road will consume five of those acres. In order to offset the depletion of ag land, which requires an alteration of the LCP, the city must dedicate the four remaining acres permanently to ag use. Additionally, the land must be put to use for agricultural education. Funds will be set aside for the educational component and more funds for the construction of community gardens and high school ag curriculum as well as cooking classes.

Also in a gesture to preserve agricultural land, the Coastal Commission would like the city to turn two parcels of land over to Santa Barbara County. The parcels, located on Via Real between Norman’s Nursery and Casitas Village condominiums, are seasonally planted in row crops. Carpinteria Community Development Department Director Jackie Campbell explained that the Coastal Commission believes that taking the land out of the city’s sphere of influence will make it far less likely to be targeted for development. A look at the land on the city’s periphery at similar sites to the parcels in question shows that most have been developed in residential property, whereas county land is more likely to remain agricultural.

“The history is that the city has annexed and converted land out of agriculture and created urban development and the county hasn't,” said Community Development Director Jackie Campbell.

The process to make the change must gain the approval of the Local Agency Formation Commission. The planning commission recommends that the city council apply for the change, but LAFCO approval is not necessary for the Local Coastal Plan amendment.

Wetland overlay
The city must also create what is called a wetland overlay district that will border the freeway in order to allow encroachment of wetlands and wetland buffer zones in the corridor. To mitigate wetland encroachments, funding will be provided for a pedestrian path between Carpinteria Avenue and Santa Claus Lane and from Carpinteria Avenue to the Rincon Trail. The SCL path will encroach wetlands with its own footprint, but balancing the reduction of wetlands by increasing coastal access and coastal recreation opportunities. “What you’re seeing has at least consensus of the Coastal Commission staff,” commented city consultant Jonathan Leech of the odds that the Coastal Commission will approve the LCP amendment and mitigations.

Linden Casitas Interchange Project and Via Real Extension
Carpinteria’s transportation overhaul moved a step closer to being permitted when the planning commission voted to recommend approval of a Coastal Development Permit and Conditional Use Permit for construction of the project. The city council will still need to give the project the final city stamp before applying for coastal commission approval.

The new bridges over Highway 101 on Linden Avenue and Casitas Pass Road will provide more clearance for freeway traffic and have wider sidewalks and bike lanes and increased vehicle lanes. Both will have traffic lights at each side.

Project planning requires one lane to remain open during construction of the bridges. Carpinteria Public Works will oversee staging of the project.

The planning commission recommendation constituted an approval of the Environmental Impact Report for the project.

During public comment George Lehtinen voiced concern over gaps in sound walls. Residents had opportunities to vote on where sound walls would be placed during project design, and Via Real and Ogan Road residents opted to have the walls placed on the freeway side of the road rather than in their backyards. “I recommend city planners demand that every sound wall that can be built should be built,” Lehtinen said.

Lehtinen also asserted that Caltrans procedures for measuring decibel levels resulted in underestimating noise impacts. David Beard of Caltrans assured the commission that decibel level models were standard procedure and the readings provided a basis for modeling noise levels.

Commissioner John Callender said, “It’s going to be painful for the construction period but in the end it’s a huge improvement for the city.”

Of the long process from planning to permitting, Commission Chair Jane Benefield said, “It used to be Caltrans would come in and tell us what to do ... now it’s an inclusive democratic process.” 

Mingee to step down as fire chief

Mingee to step down as fire chief
Fire Chief Mike Mingee has resigned.

By Lea Boyd
The Fire Board unanimously voted on May 19 to release Chief Mike Mingee from his employment contract with the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District more than a year before its close. The fire chief’s request to step down, effective Aug. 1, came on the heels of the settlement of a lawsuit brought on by three firefighters against the chief as well as a failed bond election to fund new fire stations.

Mingee will leave with a $150,000 severance payment, which was negotiated when he was hired in 2007.

In a prepared statement he read aloud during the fire board meeting, Mingee said that plans to leave the district early have been in the works since last September. He told Coastal View News that he is “not being forced out” by the lawsuit, though his decision to leave early was assisted with the settlement of the lawsuit. He declined to comment further on the lawsuit.

The suit, filed in November 2013, alleged that Mingee and the fire district failed to act in the interest of firefighter safety and retaliated against the plaintiffs, Christopher Blair, Han Domini and Michael Hayek, when they raised safety concerns.

Mingee told CVN that he stands by his initial claims that the allegations in the lawsuit are false.

The Santa Barbara Independent reported this week that Mingee’s early departure from the district is a direct result of the settlement. The lawsuit was settled outside of court, and the parties involved have been asked not to speak on the terms. CVN does not have details on the settlement.

At the board meeting, Mingee said he had been “kind of beat up at bit in the press” and added, “They’re fishing in the wrong pond here; this is no scandalous issue.”

Measure Z, which aimed to raise $10.65 million for a new fire station in Summerland and a remodeled Carpinteria station, failed to obtain the two-thirds voter approval necessary to pass in the May 5 election. The bond measure and station plans were of great importance to Mingee, who said he is disappointed by the outcome. “I’m convinced that the Board will continue to seek a solution to this critical issue,” he stated.

The lawsuit alleged misconduct by Mingee starting in 2012 after Blair was hired as a battalion chief. Blair began reporting concerns over unsafe workplace conditions and health and safety violations, which Mingee failed to act on and which led to a firefighter getting hurt. The suit also claims Domini was unfairly held back from a promotion due to testing manipulation by Mingee, and Blair was fired by the chief for whistleblowing.

The district’s Insurance Services Organization score downgrade in late 2012 is cited in the lawsuit as an indicator of health and safety conditions declining under the chief’s leadership. ISO, however, evaluates water delivery effectiveness, and workplace safety concerns fall under the purview of California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal-OSHA). Mingee pointed out at this week’s board meeting that the district has received no citations or recorded complaints from Cal-OSHA.

In addition to labor code violations, the lawsuit alleges intentional infliction of emotional distress by Mingee and the district. Mingee, the lawsuit states, began referring to the plaintiffs as the “cancer shift” after Blair’s brother died of cancer in August of 2012.

When the suit was filed, Mingee, who has held a leadership role in the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life for years, said those allegations were particularly painful. “What hurts me personally is the allegation that I would use the word ‘cancer’ as a bullying tactic,” he stated.

The fire board voted without comment to release Mingee from his contract but released a statement later that evening. “After much deliberation and negotiation over the past few weeks, we have entered into a separation agreement with Chief Michael Mingee,” the board stated. “The Chief has faithfully served the communities of Carpinteria and Summerland over the past 8 years and the board thanks him for that service. We wish him the best in his retirement.”

It went on to state, “Because this matter is associated with litigation against the Fire District initiated by current and former employees, we feel it is in the best interest of the district to not comment any further.”

During the meeting, Craig Murray, general manager of the Carpinteria Sanitary District, spoke briefly about the positive professional relationship he has had with Mingee. Carpinteria resident Dave Vega also commended Mingee for his service to the community.

The board will appoint an interim chief to take over on Aug. 1 and begin its search to hire the next Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Chief.

Fire Chief statement
I want to thank the board for entering into a mutual agreement to release me from my contract year early and allowing me to submit for my retirement. As you know, we have been discussing my desire to leave in 2015 since September of last year. I wanted to wait until the Measure was decided to make my official announcement. As in any business, there may come a time when the CEO has fulfilled his goals and the agency may need to change direction. I believe that time has come for CSFD.

I’m comforted by the fact that I leave the agency with a vetted Master Plan, in a healthy financial position, a brand new reliable front line fleet, a staffed and in-service Rescue Squad and a management staff that is fully capable of a successful transition.

While I’m disappointed that the District was not able to secure the funding necessary to address our aging fire stations, I’m proud that we were able to provide the opportunity for the citizens to be informed about the issue and decide upon the solution. Also, I’m convinced that the Board will continue to seek a solution to this critical issue.

The District is poised to be even more healthy and prosperous in the future. Since it still has available large estate sites, our District has ample room to flourish and become even more financially sound. With a positive employee culture, and values of service before self, this fire District can prosper and only continue to improve over time. I would advise the Board to settle for nothing less than these values and be very protective of this Fire District and its potential. I look forward to working with the Board over the next few months to ensure a smooth transition. My immediate goal will be to assist the next Chief in this transition and the Board in developing a feasible plan to address our infrastructure needs.

We sold our home last year in preparation of this move. (My wife) is securing employment at Eisenhower Medical Center and has given notice at her work. As we move onto the next phase of our life, I want to thank this wonderful community for all the personal support I have received over my eight years as their Fire Chief. It has been an honor to serve as Carpinteria’s and Summerland’s Fire Chief.

Bonning reflects on retirement: 39-year Cate teacher calls it a career

Bonning reflects on retirement: 39-year Cate teacher calls it a career

By Peter Dugré
Cate School science teacher Bob Bonning considers the first day of class—fresh faces filtering in, blank slates finding their way into empty seats—the first frame in a coming-of-age film that’s ready to roll right before his eyes. “You see a ninth-grader—or even a senior—you see them on the first day, and that’s a snapshot. Then you get to run the movie the whole time you work with them. That floats my boat,” said Bonning, who will retire at the end of the school year after 39 years at Cate.

On his very first day teaching on the Mesa, a bright young student sat in the front row of that opening scene to Bonning’s career. The student, Paul Denison, graduated and later became a teacher at Cate, where he has been for 25 years. Bonning considers Denison one of the many success stories he has witnessed and helped nourish to bloom.

He has seen students go from Yale to Juilliard to an acting career. He has seen them go on to owning a chop shop for Harley Davidson motorcycles. “They’re all valid success stories; just different,” he said.

Bonning is a scientist by nature, a man driven by curiosity, who is more into biology than physics, but he has taught the whole gamut of high school science classes, most recently freshman physics and senior oceanography and a class focused on the California coast. He has been at it long enough to know that teaching life lessons to young people is just as important as the textbook scientific knowledge he is imparting.

“Regardless of what I teach; I know kids aren’t going to remember a bazillion details in three years. Why would you? The most important piece I try to hammer home is the world is a pretty cool place, and the more you learn about it, the more questions you ask and the cooler it becomes,” he said.

His methods of teaching the mind and feeding greater curiosity have given him keys to molding students that aren’t easy to access. “He’s just got that magic touch with kids. He understands them, appreciates them. He reaches them in ways other teachers can’t,” commented Headmaster Ben Williams. The school has held several ceremonies recognizing his long tenure, and will again acknowledge his career at commencement.

Bonning has worn many hats at Cate. He has been Dean of Students, Dean of Faculty, Director of Residential Life and Science Department Chair twice. True to a piece of advice he lends to young people—“Don’t take yourself too seriously”—Bonning called the leadership roles “baloney,” simply part of being a private school teacher. He emphasizes that he is a teacher first and never spent more time in an administrative capacity than in the classroom.

Some of his proudest accomplishments are on the tennis courts. The boys tennis team captured the 1985 CIF Tennis Championship, the first CIF crown of any sport in Cate history. The final boys tennis team of his career just won the Tri-Valley League championship in its first season as a TVL competitor.

In addition to teaching at Cate, Bonning and wife Ellen have called the Cate Mesa home. “It’s basically been amazing,” he said. After the school year, they will relocate to their home near Mount Shasta, where Bob plans to do “some pretty serious fishing.” He said they look forward to not having a lot of plans.

“I’ve been immersed in Cate School and that immersion in a community is probably thing that kept me here as long as I’ve been here,” he said. 

Sportel named County Teacher of the Year

Sportel named County Teacher of the Year
Canalino School special education teacher Brandon Sportel, center, is introduced as County Teacher of the Year by Santa Barbara County Superintendent Bill Cirone.

CVN Report
Brandon Sportel is having quite a year. The Canalino School special education teacher received his third major accolade of 2015 when he was named Santa Barbara County Teacher of the Year on May 14. The honor comes with a stipend and a chance at top state and national honors.

“I am invested in changing the face of education,” said Sportel upon acceptance of the award at the monthly meeting of the Santa Barbara County Board of Education. The nine-year Carpinteria Unified School District teacher iterated how grateful and inspired he felt to receive the award.

In January, Sportel was named as one of two educators of the year by the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce, and last month he received the highly prestigious Milken Educator Award—an honor bestowed on just one teacher in the state.

“(Sportel) brings remarkable energy, innovation and compassion to the classroom every day,” said Bill Cirone, County Superintendent of Schools. “And it’s not just those in his classroom or school who benefit. His contributions to Special Olympics as well as his involvement with local colleges that are grooming our next generation of special education teachers make him an extraordinary asset to our community, too.”

Canalino School Principal Jamie Persoon stated, “(Sportel) has a unique ability to reach students with a combination of warmth, understanding, and structure that allows them to find success in the face of often significant challenges.”

Sportel, who holds a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a master’s degree in education from CSU Northridge, was one of several nominees for Teacher of the Year honors. He was selected after a comprehensive review by a six-person committee made up of administrators, a PTA representative, local business leaders and last year’s Teacher of the Year

This fall, Sportel will be considered for California’s Teacher of the Year. The state winner will then move forward in the competition for 2016 National Teacher of the Year.

“Our teachers serve over 67,000 students in 20 school districts,” Cirone said. “Being selected Teacher of the Year — and representing all the fine teachers throughout Santa Barbara County — is a tremendous honor. We are delighted to count Brandon Sportel among our ranks of great educators.”
(Lea Boyd)

This & That

Not too late: Larry Nimmer’s video of The Water Security Symposium, which includes Steve Nicolaides film “Eyes on the Sky” as well as the panel discussion following, is now playing daily at 9 a.m. on Government Access Television, Channel 21. Several people were turned away from the April 19 event that filled Plaza Playhouse Theater.

Dump delay: Employees of E.J. Harrison and Sons will enjoy a work-free Memorial Day, which means customers will have their garbage and recyclables collected a day later than usual, on Friday, May 29.

Just moved: Free mental health counseling services recently relocated from the Carpinteria Community Church to the Veterans Memorial Building, 941 Walnut Ave. The entrance to the new office is at the back of the building. Counseling, which is provided by the county’s Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services, will continue to be offered on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Rain check: CycleMAYnia events planned for last week were canceled due to rain and rescheduled for the same days and times this week. The Bike to Work celebration will take place on Thursday, May 21 at 5 p.m. at Seaside Park, 5103 Carpinteria Ave. The next morning, festivities continue with a Bike to Work Week Breakfast from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at lynda.com, 6410 Via Real.

Drought undented: Last week’s storm added just .16 inches to this year’s rain total for Carpinteria. Though well received by parched landscaping, the downpour left Lake Cachuma at just 27 percent and Carpinteria at just 40 percent of its annual average. 

Arts Center regroups without ED

The Carpinteria Arts Center has entered a transition phase between executive directors and is looking to a team of dedicated volunteers to bridge what board co-chair David Powdrell envisions as a one-year gap without a paid staff leader.

Sherri Frazer, who was hired in 2013 as the organization’s first executive director, accepted a position with the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum this month. Powdrell said that Frazer accomplished quite a bit in her two years with the Arts Center, including completing a successful rebranding campaign and expanding the center’s connection to other area nonprofits. “We’ll miss her terribly,” Powdrell said.

Rather than hire a new ED immediately, the organization has opted to gather a transition team to focus on building programming, fundraising and public awareness. The “dream team” is made up of Marty Selfridge, Susan Misemer, Zoe Iverson, Ellen Johnson, Miguel Bernal, Teda Pilcher, Michael Kramer, Chris Sobell, Aurora Valentine, Gary and Geri Campopiano, Beth Schmohr and Powdrell.

One of these areas most important to Powdrell is art classes. “Our site sits idle most of the time,” he said. “We want to radically change this during the next year … Let’s get paint brushes into the hands of all Carpinterians, ages 5 to 95.”

Plans for a city-approved, two-story building for the site have been put on hold but not dismissed completely. Powdrell said that the $6.9 million necessary to fund construction and create an endowment for operations still remains out of reach for the organization. The center has applied for a four-year deferral on its City of Carpinteria building permit.
-Lea Boyd

Water District declares a Stage 2 Drought, seeks 25 percent water use reduction

Submitted by Carpinteria Valley Water District
What is now called a millennium drought by some experts continues unabated north and south in California. Cachuma supplies are diminished, State Water supplies are expected to be even lower in the coming year with the lack of Sierra snowpack, and local groundwater levels continue to drop without much rainfall.

We do not know when the drought will end. But by conserving as much water as possible now we can prolong the use of existing supplies until a decision must be made to begin a rationing or allocation program.

As a result, on May 13 your Water Board approved Drought Ordinance No. 15-2 declaring a Stage 2 Drought Emergency and requesting customers reduce their water use by 25 percent. A complete text of Ordinance 15-2 is published in this edition of the Coastal View News on another page.

Below is a list of the prohibited and restricted uses of water found in the ordinance now in effect. Some are continued from Ordinance No. 15-1 and some are new, as marked.

Prohibited:

a) running water from a hose, pipe, or any other device for the purpose of cleaning buildings and driveways or sidewalks except in the event the General Manager or designee determines that such use is the only feasible means of addressing a potential threat to health and safety;

b) washing of driveways and sidewalks except in the event the General Manager or designee determines that such use is the only feasible means of addressing a potential threat to health and safety;

c) irrigation of outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes runoff such that water flows onto adjacent property such as patios, decks or driveways, private and public walkways, roadways, parking lots, or structures;

d) use of water in a fountain or other decorative water feature except if a recirculating system is in place;

e) manual irrigation by hose or moveable sprinkler at any time from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. of any yard, park, recreation area, or other area containing landscape vegetation;

new - f) outdoor irrigation through fixed irrigation systems, either manually or by timer controller at any time from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., of any yard, park, recreation area, or other area containing landscape vegetation, except for testing system or repairing leaks;

new - g) irrigation of turf or ornamental landscapes during and 48 hours following measurable rainfall;

new - h) irrigation of landscapes outside newly constructed homes and buildings that is not delivered by drip or micro-spray systems;

new - i) irrigation of ornamental turf on public street medians;

new - j) use of water through free-flowing hoses for all uses. Automatic shut-off devices shall be attached on any hose or filling apparatus in use.

Restricted:

a) All restaurants located within the Carpinteria Valley Water District that provide table and/or counter service shall post, in a conspicuous place, a Notice Drought Condition as approved by the General Manager or designee and shall refrain from serving water except upon specific request by a customer;

b) Boats and vehicles shall be washed only at commercial car washing facilities or by use of a bucket and/or hose equipped with a self-closing valve that requires operator pressure to activate the flow of water;

c) Breaks or leaks in any customer's plumbing shall be immediately repaired upon discovery. If repairs cannot be completed within 72 hours of detection or within 72 hours of notification by the District, water service to the property may be turned off by District staff to prevent water loss until such time the repair has been completed;

d) Operators of hotels, motels and other commercial lodging establishments located within the Carpinteria Valley Water District shall post in each room a notice of drought conditions containing water conservation information and a separate notice.

new - e) Operators of pools, exercise facilities and other similar establishments providing showering facilities shall promote limitation of showering time and post a Notice of Drought Condition;

new - f) Draining and refilling up to one third of the volume of a pool per year is allowed as necessary to maintain suitable pool water quality. Draining and refilling in excess of one third per year is prohibited, except in the event the General Manager or designee determines that such further draining is required to make needed repairs, or to prevent equipment damage or voiding of warranties;

new - g) Commercial, Industrial, and Public Authority properties, such as campuses, golf courses, driving ranges, and cemeteries, immediately implement water efficiency measures to reduce potable water usage by 25 percent for each month as compared to the amount used in the same month in 2013;

h) Landscape irrigation by Residential, Commercial, Public Authority and Industrial customers shall be limited to no more than two days a week.

Restricted use of non-District water per Governor’s Executive Order B-29-15:

new - Commercial, Industrial, and Public Authority facilities with an independent non-District source of water supply shall limit outdoor irrigation to no more than two days per week.

Penalties in the Ordinance are to help the District achieve its goal of water use reductions.

Please call the District at 684-2816 x116 for a free water use check-up and advice on how to reduce your water use. The District’s website cvwd.net is a good source of information about the drought and conservation tips.
 

To incorporation and beyond

To incorporation and beyond
Carpinteria’s first City Council was made up of residents from all walks of life. Allan Coates, the city’s first mayor, was a teacher at Carpinteria High School. Later he was hired and served as a longtime city manager for Carpinteria.

By Eydie Kaufman
On Sept. 28, 1965, the City of Carpinteria came into existence after a contentious campaign to incorporate. Carpinteria is fortunate to have longtime residents who still recall that time with much passion and nostalgia. One such resident, Nilo Fanucchi, is a charming man who has lived in Carpinteria since 1960.

Fanucchi was present during and participated in the process of incorporating the city in 1965. He ran the campaign headquarters for the city’s incorporation and believes the incorporation process was difficult largely because of the fear of change. At the time, Fanucchi said, many ranchers controlled the area and had done so quite well for a long time. Younger people like Fanucchi living in Carpinteria “had different ideas” and “wanted to control our destiny.”

There were different ideas on whether the town should become more industrial based or whether it should have the bluffs and other areas preserved for tourism. Fanucchi said that “the idea of tourism was the worst thing in the world” to some of the locals. However, he added that the lifestyle in the community was changing; Carpinteria was moving away from a sleepy little beach town to something more active.

Police protection was also a concern. Although Fanucchi confirmed Carpinteria was very safe in 1965, just one officer patrolled the area. The local kids knew the officer’s schedule, Fanucchi said, and would time their drag racing accordingly.

Initially there were 21 candidates for City Council. Rallies were held and Fanucchi reports that despite the difference in opinion, both sides of the incorporation debate treated each other with respect and, in typical Carpinteria style, decided to work together for the good of the community regardless of the outcome. Fanucchi noted that despite the controversy, “It was a lot of fun ... It was a very interesting time in Carpinteria.”

Ultimately the top five vote-getters in the council race were Allan Coates, a high school teacher who became the first mayor; James Gray, a dentist; Margaret Mills, a drug store owner; Ernie Wullbrandt, a plumber, and Robert “Olly” Olivas, an automobile and body repairman. Interestingly enough, Wullbrandt was against incorporation at first. He only ran for a council seat to keep an eye on the city’s operations, but he wound up serving 23 years with two terms as mayor.

James Christiansen, the city’s first and long-time attorney, lives in Goleta now and still practices law. He recalls there were four lawsuits filed over the city’s incorporation, but he “won them all.” The County Board of Supervisors had been “calling the shots” for Carpinteria prior to incorporation, but incorporation brought the control to Carpinteria residents. There was even a lawsuit over the beach and whether it could used by the public, but Christiansen’s efforts helped ensure the existence of our “World’s Safest Beach.”

Finding a base for city operations proved to be a more challenging task than anticipated. The first City Hall opened in a house on Nov. 1, 1965, and had two full-time and one part-time employees. In 1967, plans to expand its police department motivated the city to rent larger quarters in a warehouse building at the corner of 6th and Maple, adjacent to Colson’s Towing. City meetings were held at various locations including schools and the Veterans Memorial Building.

It was not until 1975 that the current City Hall, located at 5775 Carpinteria Ave., came into existence. The building had been the Western Area Headquarters for Chevron USA. The building and its 4.5 acres of land was purchased by the city from Chevron in 1974 for $275,000 cash. In February 1975, after remodeling it, the city officially settled into its new home. (At that time, beachfront homes in Carpinteria were selling for approximately $25,000 to $45,000). The new City Hall provided space for the five departments at the time: administration, community development, police, public works and community services.

Since incorporation, the city has established itself as a viable governmental entity that continues to thrive. Fanucchi believes proof of the incorporation’s success can be seen in how the city operates today. “It is run so well,” he said.

Watch for upcoming announcements about the City’s Golden Jubilee Anniversary Celebration and related events.

Eydie Kaufman writes a monthly installment on the City of Carpinteria’s incorporation as part of the 2015 celebration marking 50 years of cityhood. Her next article will appear in the June 18 issue of Coastal View News. 

News in brief

News in brief
A new Fallen Veterans' Memorial will be dedicated this week at Carpinteria Valley Memorial Park.

Fallen Veterans’ Memorial to be dedicated Friday
After a year of planning, fundraising and finally construction, the Fallen Veterans’ Memorial in Carpinteria will be officially dedicated this week. Kicking off Memorial Day weekend, city officials will unveil the new memorial wall located at Carpinteria Valley Memorial Park on Friday, May 22 at 4 p.m.

Carpinteria teen Duncan Smith coordinated the effort to have the wall built for his Eagle Scout project. Duncan is a Life Scout with BSA Troop 50 in Carpinteria. Wanting to focus on a project that would honor veterans, his idea for a memorial wall with the names of Carpinteria’s veterans who died during combat operations was approved by the Carpinteria Architectural Review Board in August 2014. Local service organizations, private donors and the City of Carpinteria have all contributed to a project that will eventually link to a full pathway around Memorial Park. The completion of the memorial wall marks the completion of the first phase of the city’s path.

New museum exhibit celebrates city’s 50th anniversary
The Carpinteria Valley Museum of History will unveil its new exhibit, A City is Born: Carpinteria Celebrates 50 Years of Cityhood, on Saturday, May 23. The exhibit chronicles the city incorporation debate, victorious election of 1965, the various temporary city halls, creation of the city’s seal and the formation and eventual dissolution of the city police department.

Artifacts included in this special exhibit include the first flag to fly at city hall, an early city hall sign from its location at 601 Maple Ave., the original wooden police department sign and the police chief’s badge, and memorabilia from anniversary celebrations of the last 50 years. The exhibit will remain on view at the museum, located at 956 Maple Ave., through the end of the year.

Carpinteria Library needs ESL volunteers
Carpinteria is experiencing a shortage of tutors to teach conversation, reading, writing, and other basic skills to adult English learners at the Carpinteria Library. To that end,
the Santa Barbara Public Library System’s Adult Literacy Program will offer a “fast-track” volunteer training for new English as a Second Language tutors. The one-session class meets Tuesday, June 2, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Carpinteria Library, 5141 Carpinteria Ave.
                      
Free library tutoring helps adult learners reach their personal goals, including building job skills, communicating more clearly and learning how to help their own children with schoolwork. Tutors are asked to make a six-month commitment to tutoring, and to sign up for the training course by calling 564-5619 or contacting literacy@SantaBarbaraCA.gov.
 

Traffic stop leads to 5-pound meth bust

Traffic stop leads to 5-pound meth bust
Johnny Salamanca-Rodriguez was found to have over 5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine in his car early Sunday morning.

A Santa Clara man was arrested for possession of over 5 pounds of crystal methamphetamine and ¼ pound of brown powder heroin at about 3 a.m. on May 17 in Carpinteria. Johnny Salamanca-Rodriguez, 25, was first contacted by a deputy from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department after the deputy noticed the subject’s vehicle parked in the red zone near the intersection of Bailard and Carpinteria avenues. Salamanca-Rodriguez had multiple aliases; his true identity was connected to a theft warrant out of Sunnyvale, Calif. He was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail with bail set at $100,000.

A starry night

May 16 Boys & Girls Club Auction raises the roof and big bucks. (Photos by Robin Karlsson)

Sea Glass Festival springs up in Carpinteria

Sea Glass Festival springs up in Carpinteria

The first ever Carpinteria Sea Glass Festival is in the works for this summer. Coordinated in partnership with the Carpinteria Arts Center, the festival will bring together hundreds of sea glass lovers to celebrate the treasures of the sea on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 29 and 30, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 700 Linden Ave. Dozens of sea glass artisans and experts will offer their original ocean inspired artwork, from sea glass jewelry, home décor, art, accessories and rare sea glass collections, including Krista Hammond’s prize specimen cases for the public to view.

The festival, which also will include music and local food vendors, will benefit the Junior Carpinterian of the Year Scholarship Fund and the Carpinteria Arts Center. Sea glass vendors interested in displaying and selling their works at the festival should visit carpinteriaseaglassfestival.com/vendor-info and submit an application by May 31, 2015. Admission to the Sea Glass Festival is $5, and on Saturday, Aug. 29, a special preview will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. for $15. For more information, visit carpinteriaseaglassfestival.com.

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