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Multi-agency drill to prep for high risk fire season

Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District will host a large wildland urban interface firefighting exercise with over 130 firefighters on Saturday, May 9. The exercise will simulate a large wildland fire threatening the communities of Carpinteria and Summerland and will include fire departments from San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, as well as the U.S. Forest Service.

In preparation for what fire behavior experts are predicting to be a very active fire season, fire crews will gather at Pacifica Graduate Institute for a presentation on Santa Barbara County’s storied fire history, local factors influencing fire behavior and lessons learned from past local fires. Following the presentations, crews will deploy to sites in some of the wildland fire high risk areas above Carpinteria and Summerland to practice common wildland firefighting tactics and skills.

Crews will rotate through three scenarios, including protecting structures in the Hidden Valley Lane area. Residents can expect to see a steady stream of fire engines and support personnel in the Summerland, Ladera Lane and Hidden Valley areas. The drill will begin at 9 a.m. at Pacifica Graduate Institute and wrap up in the late afternoon at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club. An overview of the drill area, including the flow of fire engine traffic and event sites can be viewed at the CSFD website carpfire.com/. 

Rincon Trail plans stride forward

By Lea Boyd
A trail proposed to safely connect the east end of Carpinteria Avenue with Rincon Point earned another small victory on April 16 when the Architectural Review Board supported the trailhead design in preliminary review. The full project, championed by Matt Roberts, Director of Parks and Recreation, spans city, county and railroad properties and will require approval from several agencies, as well as funding, before groundbreaking.

The ARB’s support applies to just the city portion of the trail, which includes the trailhead and first 650 feet of the 12-foot-wide path for pedestrians and bicyclists. Board members considered a design with 17 parking spaces, solar powered LED lighting and a rest area with three picnic tables and a water filling station.

Roberts, who described the multi-jurisdictional project as “complex,” sees the Rincon Trail as a critical connection in the Carpinteria Coastal Vista Trail that now includes a number of segments along the Carpinteria coastline. Another key link in the Coastal Vista Trail that is missing now but poised to be filled in is a connection between Carpinteria and Santa Claus Lane. This trail portion has been worked into Caltrans plans for Highway 101 expansion.

The Rincon Trail plans include a bridge over the railroad tracks west of the county parking lot for Rincon Beach. When the project receives environmental clearance, it will be more attractive for alternative transportation grant funding, Roberts said. The project should take 18 months to two years to complete after funding is secured.

“The user experience of this trail will be magnificent,” said Matt Roberts, director of Parks and Recreation. “The project will make a significant regional bike and hike trail connection between Ventura and Santa Barbara in a spectacular setting that connects users to the stunning visual beauty of the coastal environment and entreats emotions to experience, protect and preserve it.”

Proposed rest home finds support in ARB
The 51,539-square-foot office building between Casitas Plaza and Carpinteria Creek is one step closer to becoming a 76-bed licensed Residential Care Facility for the Elderly. On April 16, plans to make improvements to the building’s exterior and demolish structurally unnecessary interior walls to construct 70 living units were recommended for preliminary approval by the Architectural Review Board.

Steadfast Assisted Living’s plans for 5464 Carpinteria Ave. include adding a covered porch area to create a more easily accessible entrance to the facility. Other proposed changes to the 4.1-acre property include the addition of new windows in the building, construction of a trellis to cover an outdoor dining area and outdoor amenities such as garden, walking paths, courtyard patios and sitting areas.

Plans are to reduce parking spaces on the site from 187 to 176, still plenty more than the 80 spaces required by the city for such a use.

ARB gives nod to condo project
Back before the ARB for a continued preliminary review, a project to construct a four-unit, two-story condominium complex on the west end of Carpinteria Avenue was recommended for approval on April 16. The Sanctuary Beach townhouses consist of four, three-bedroom units located at what is now a mostly vacant lot at 4295 Carpinteria Ave.

A private tennis court now exists on the 13,616-square-foot lot, which borders the railroad tracks and Carpinteria Salt Marsh to the south, a condominium complex to the east and a small single-family residence to the west. Each proposed Spanish-style unit would include its own two-car garage and private yard.

Between ARB hearings, the applicant reduced the maximum height of the project from 29 feet to 28.5 feet and reduced the Carpinteria Avenue-facing building height from 28.5 to 26 feet. The board also had requested a friendlier street-facing design, so architects added a front door with a porch and a second floor balcony facing Carpinteria Avenue.

Chili champs cook the competition

(Photos by Justin Rowe and Peter Dugré)

The Carpinteria Chili Cookoff at the Woman’s Club on April 18 had 11 contestants vying to see who was the best, and two professional chefs cooked the competition. Judges chose The Food Liaison owners Nirasha and Jason Rodriguez as top dogs, and attendees to the event chose Nutbelly Pizzeria & Deli owner Jana Gonzalez for the People’s Choice Award.

The event, a Mardis Gras-themed fundraiser auction for Kinderkirk Preschool & Daycare, had folks bidding for deals on generously donated items from supporters throughout the community. Judges Mayor Gregg Carty, Coastal View News publisher Gary Dobbins and Barbara McCurry, aka the Waffle Lady of Star Pine Road, tasted all 11 and had Mike Prather, last year’s winner, as runner up. In People’s Choice voting, Prather, Deb McCarty of California Avocado Festival and Jim Linder, a La Conchita Chili Champ, all tied for second place. 

Bici Familia Carpinteria to kickstart CycleMAYnia

Bici Familia Carpinteria to kickstart CycleMAYnia
Carpinteria Family School students, from left, Noah Wang, Juan Ceja-Lopez, Gavin Lohuis and Ramon Wang were part of a swarm of bicyclists who biked to school last fall and are perfect candidates to learn the rules of the road at Carpinteria Family Bike Night on May 1.

By Peter Dugré
Most everything in Carpinteria is less than a mile away. If the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition had its way, that means families would saddle up on bicycles to zip from spot to spot. Born of this enthusiasm to put more people on bicycles, Lori Lee Collins, a teacher at Carpinteria Family School and cheerleader for pedaling two-wheelers, is spearheading Bici Familia Carpinteria/Family Bike Night at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 1 at Carpinteria Children’s Project at Main, 5201 8th Street. The event kicks off many that celebrate the bicycle over the month of May for CycleMAYnia.

The event, a bilingual bike fest, will inform families about safety, skills and mechanics of bicycles, all for free. Bici Centro, the SB Bike Coalition-operated bike shop in Santa Barbara, will provide valet bike parking with tune-ups. Loaner bikes are available for use on safety courses that will be set up in the parking lot for kindergarten through 5th grade cyclists.

Collins said the goal is simple. “We want to get kids on bikes. Educate them. Educate families. And get families on bikes.” The bicycle lifestyle is something she wants to instill in the next generation of Carpinterians.

Getting kids on bikes is only part of the battle; they also must learn the rules of the road, which can be a treacherous place shared with cars. They will wear helmets and follow traffic laws. They will exercise while reducing pollution-causing car trips, Collins said.

This will be the inaugural Bici Familia in Carpinteria. It comes on the heels of several Bici Familia outreach events in Santa Barbara. “The goal is to make it sustainable, to have the event every year. Besides being a teacher; it’s my passion to get kids on bikes and teach them skills,” Collins said.

CycleMAYnia local events
May 1, Carpinteria Family Bike Night/Bici Familia Carpinteria, bike skills, education and fun for families. 5 to 7 p.m, Carpinteria Children’s Project, 5201 8th Street
May 2, Beach to Bluffs, Carpinteria bike ride and brunch, 9 a.m. to noon, ride starts from Carpinteria State Beach picnic tables
May 11 – May 15, Bike to work week
May 15, City of Carpinteria Live Music & Refreshments, 5103 Carpinteria Avenue, 5 to 7 p.m.
May 15, Carpinteria Breakfast by lynda.com, 6410 Via Real, Carpinteria Ave., 7:30 to 9 a.m.

There's a science to it

Photos by Antony Marchiando
Pint-sized scientists overran Aliso School on the evening of April 16, soaking up learning in the form of hands-on experiments and activities. The annual Science Night transformed classrooms and the cafeteria into laboratories where visiting professionals led interactive lessons incorporating –ologies galore. 

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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