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Dancing with the Stars

San Ysidro Solutions, Face Changes, MBAR Moves, and More


First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal (pictured) is doing the quickstep to alleviate problems along San Ysidro Road. Only two months after hearing from his constituents that they want this long-standing Montecito traffic and pedestrian problem solved, the supervisor has taken the first strides to reach that goal.

Carbajal announced on Friday he has secured county funding for a preliminary engineering report focusing on alternatives for San Ysidro Road. The engineering account, to be performed by the county’s Department of Public Works and due by the end of July, will focus on pedestrian access, particularly on routes used by children. Specifically, Carbajal said the report would look at traffic circulation, right-of-ways, ADA requirements, utilities, environmental review, vegetation removal, and maintenance issues.

While Public Works’ engineering report will focus on walking routes for San Ysidro Road to Montecito Union School (pictured), Carbajal also took steps to help alleviate pedestrian safety problems near Cold Spring School. He explained that because 192 is a state highway, the county does not have full authority to make improvements on this thoroughfare. However, Carbajal said his office would be working with Caltrans to find some resolution to community concerns raised about 192 pedestrian jeopardy.

Carbajal’s early solutions include reevaluating the height of the current stop sign on 192 and Cold Spring Road to be certain it is visible to vehicles. Additionally, the supervisor has asked that a culvert along 192 be examined to see if pedestrians might be able to safely cross it safely and, in the Chelham Way / Paso Robles Road area, Public Works will try to identify county implemented methods to improve pedestrian safety, including trimming vegetation and creating parking restrictions.

Since February, Carbajal has held two fact-finding meetings with community representatives, but he’s ready to step up action. He said, “This issue is about safety of children and significant attention must be given to the safety of children.”

HIPPINAND A’ HOPPIN’: Like a bunch of bunnies in a field, Montecitans are hopping into new or habitual-but-vacated positions around the village.

Bob Meghreblian, former Montecito Planning Commissioner and former president of the board of the Montecito Association, has been newly elected to the Honorary Board of the Association. He joins Dan Eidelson, Sally Kinsell, Naomi Schwartz, and Joan Wells in that capacity. The Association’s honorary board members have the same rights and privileges of regular board members, with the exception of voting, and Montage expects ever-energetic Meghreblian will not see new designation as passively ceremonial.

Tony Harbour, a resident of Montecito since 2002, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Montecito Association to replace Jack Overall, who resigned to take a seat on the Montecito Planning Commission. Harbour, a Brit, is an internationally recognized designer, planner, and building design consultant. He worked for the architecture and design firm of Gensler, often tagged as the largest architecture firm in the world. Harbour studied architecture at both the University College of London and at UC Berkeley. Montage hears Harbour will act as the association’s public comment rep to the Montecito Board of Architectural Review. In the past, MA Board volunteer members have rotated this chore and Tony Spann, MBAR chair, says he welcomes not only the consistency of one MA voice, but also Harbour’s appropriate professional background.

Maria Herold, the Montecito Association’s long-time History Committee curator, returns to her post after a month off on the injured reserves. Maria has been the guardian of the Montecito archives since 1990 and has worked in that capacity worked under three different committee chairs: Kit McMahon, the founder, Maria Churchill, and David Myrick, the current chair. Herold says during a mandatory convalescence that kept her at home for nearly six weeks, two stalwart dedicated volunteers kept the archives open. “We were never closed, not even for one day,” Maria reported with pride. The Montecito Association History Committee houses a treasury of important historic photos, plans, and records of Montecito’s past. It is open to the public on Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Isaiah Tchobanoff, Montecito’s Community Resource Deputy, comes back to Montecito this week after eight months on the injured reserves. Isaiah told Montage that while on an August vacation, he was wakeboarding on Lake Almanor and suffered a severely broken foot. “I was jumping from wake to wake when, during one of the jumps, I landed with all my weight on my left foot.” He said the impact of the landing broke three metatarsals and ripped a ligament, which required surgery to repair. “The boat I have has a ballast system which actually brings about 800 to one thousand pounds of water into containers in the hull to increase wake size - hence the bigger ramp to jump.” While the accident grounded Tchobanoff from walking the Montecito beat (not to mention putting a big curb on his wakeboarding fun), he has been working dispatch from the Sheriff’s central station. As of Tuesday our wake-jumping safety officer was back at his Montecito desk content, we assume, to handle any Montecito crime waves!

Allan Nishimura, professor of chemistry at Westmont College, will be installed in the Kathleen Smith Chair of natural and behavioral sciences. This is the college’s first endowed faculty chair in the sciences. There will be a reception Wednesday, April 11, at the President’s Patio outside Kerrwood at 4 p.m. Nishimura has been at Westmont for 26 years and received numerous honors. He was the first recipient of the Faculty Research Award in 1984; he was named a Professor of the Year in 1998 and a Distinguished Professor in 2003. Specializing in physical chemistry and molecular spectroscopy, Nishimura has received more than 15 external grants, including funding from such sources as the American Chemical Society, the National Science Foundation, the National Institute of Health, the Pittsburgh Conference of National College Grants, and the American Physical Society.

MBAR, those formidable masters of Montecito design review, are also on the move (as this photo from their former Montecito office suggests). On Monday, as reported in Montage last month, the Montecito Board of Architectural Review held its first meeting downtown, and according to MBAR chair Tony Spann there were few complaints about the new location.

Spann said all but one applicant easily found the new site and the board found the new location, a hearing hall in the planning department, to be a bonus. As each case was heard, the assigned planner ventured into the hearing from their offices in P&D to answer questions and make observations. (New digs pictured here.) Spann said he thought the new location seemed to expedite the process, but the move is on a six-month trial period, so time will tell. The downtown site is located at 123 East Anapamu.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

Heal the Ocean will make a courtesy presentation to the Board of Directors of the Montecito Sanitary District on Friday, April 13 at 2 p.m. Heal the Ocean has received a $330,000 grant to research Hammonds Beach as part of a statewide clean beach initiative. The meeting, which is open to the public, will begin at 2 p.m. at the Sanitary District’s office, 1042 Monte Cristo Lane.

Westmont Biologist Jeff Schloss will explore the topic of “Evolution, Religion, and Intelligent Design: Scientific Debate or Culture War?” on Thursday, April 12, at 5:30 p.m. at the University Club, 1332 Santa Barbara Street. The free lecture is part of an on going series, Westmont Downtown: Conversations About Things That Matter, sponsored by the Westmont Foundation. Seating is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Schloss has been invited to deliver lectures on evolution and religion at Stanford, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, Emory, Oxford, Cambridge, Heidelberg, and Edinburgh Universities.

MONTAGE TAKES A BREAK: After 37 straight weekly columns, breaking 81 news stories, and tossing in a few Extras to keep you on your toes, Montage is taking a spring sabbatical. Guess where I am going? Not Paris, Venice, or the Bahamas. Nope.

Montage, believe it or not, has once again been called for that fishbowl experience called jury duty! Why, I ask? Why is Montage called every year, while the rest of you go years without summons?

Ponder this while I’m swimming in the jury pool and by the way, Montage Readers, you are on your honor not to create any news until I return - as I SO much prefer reading it here first!

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