The Santa Barbara-based nonprofit Vitamin Angels Alliance (founder Howard Schiffer pictured) launched a plan that will provide vitamins and health education to 55,000 children in Honduras, where malnutrition during formative years sometimes causes blindness and stunted growth. The program aims to give students daily multivitamins at school for the next three years. Similar programs the organization already operates in Honduras have proven successful. Local surfer Charley Cover took to the ocean with his paddleboard last weekend to help raise awareness and money in the fight against breast cancer. Paddling more than 60 miles on the open sea, Cover departed from Jalama Beach County Park near Lompoc on Friday and arrived at Rincon Point in Carpinteria to the warm welcome of family and friends on Sunday afternoon. Cover’s journey was a personal one, as his sister Carolyn was diagnosed with cancer earlier this spring.

United Blood Services, formerly known as Tri-Counties Blood Bank, is “critically low” in supplies this month. Fairs and festivals in early August apparently interrupted the average flow of daily blood donors needed to ensure fresh supplies for local hospitals. To donate blood, call 965-7037.

The Pacific Pride Foundation hosted a meeting last week to discuss the hiring by the Santa Barbara News-Press of Dr. Laura Schlessinger – an avowed critic of homosexuality – to replace Barney Brantingham as the daily “Voice of Santa Barbara” columnist. Organizers emphasized that they had no wish to interfere with free speech rights, but did want to express their displeasure with the NP’s decision.

Staff from the county’s Department of Social Services (DSS) shut down a new foster home run by the Devereux Foundation, citing insufficient staff to supervise the nine youths, ages 13-17, who were there for psychosocial assessment to help the county place them in appropriate care. Ken Jensen, deputy director of the department’s child and adult programs, described the facility as “chaotic.” During the shutdown, two of the teens ran away but later turned themselves in. One child was returned home, while the rest of the teens were sent to other foster homes in Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties.

In honor of their first-ever World Baseball Congress champion­ship, the Santa Barbara Foresters are celebrating the big win with hometown fans this Friday evening. The Carriage Museum adjacent to Pershing Park on Castillo Street will be the backdrop for the community barbecue, complete with beer, margaritas, and music by Spencer the Gardener.

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