Riding high on the wave of recent election success, PUEBLO supporters and volunteers celebrated the opening of their new Santa Barbara office last week. Operating their brand of grassroots neighborhood activism out of La Casa de La Raza’s building since 2003 and the SEIU Local 620 office before that, the nonprofit organization now calls 114 East Haley Street, Suite E, home. PUEBLO also opened a Santa Maria office in 2005.

Transition House’s main homeless shelter reopened on Saturday after a year of reconstruction. Some 40 people – including more than two dozen children – moved from a temporary Olive Street shelter into the made-over building on Ortega Street. Volunteers helped with the move and also helped decorate all of the 16 new family rooms. Transition House is still fundraising for the $2.6 million project, and is seeking $250,000 to cover a matching grant from Sara Miller McCune and the SAGE Publications Foundation. Transition House aims to lead motivated clients permanently out of poverty.

The Bush administration has appointed a new chief of family planning at the Department of Health and Human Services, a move the local branch of Planned Parenthood sees as a step in the wrong direction. Dr. Eric Keroack, a gynecologist, is medical director of A Woman’s Concern, a nonprofit organization “persuaded that the crass commercialization and distribution of birth control is demeaning to women, degrading of human sexuality, and adverse to human health and happiness,” according to its Web site. Santa Barbara Planned Parenthood’s VP of Public Affairs Christine Lyon said, “As far as we’re concerned, the appointment of someone who is anti-birth control and anti-sex education [shows] that this administration is completely out of step with the American public.”

Against all odds, the UCSB men’s soccer team shocked the NCAA tournament last week and secured themselves a spot in the final Elite 8 of the tourney with a quarterfinal match against Northwestern this Saturday at Harder Stadium. Despite being unseeded in the tournament, the Gauchos took out top-ranked national powerhouse Southern Methodist University by a score of 3-1 last Wednesday, and went on to a dramatic come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Old Dominion University on Saturday.

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