County 12-11

First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal on 12/5 commended the county on its multifaceted efforts in assisting Tea Fire victims rebuild their lives and homes. As part of the ongoing recovery response, county officials have issued 102 permits for demolition of burned homes and debris removal and 12 permits for temporary trailer homes. The county also assigned a project case manager to all 81 parcel owners affected by the fire.


A year after a Santa Barbara Superior Court judge rejected a lawsuit from the group Concerned Citizens over Westmont Expansion, the California Court of Appeal on 12/3 denied an appeal of that decision by the same group, meaning Westmont College can proceed with its master plan, which calls for the addition of 345,000 square feet of buildings to the campus. The first construction phase, already underway, calls for a new chapel and residence hall to be built in less than three years. (/westmont1211)


County registrars certified final local results for the 11/4 election last week, revealing that Tony Strickland defeated Hannah-Beth Jackson by 857 votes-0.2 percent of the 415,095 ballots cast-in the race for the 19th State Senate District seat. Strickland took in 207,976 votes altogether (50.10 percent of the total cast), while Jackson took 207,119 (49.89 percent). Jackson snagged 55.68 percent of the vote in Santa Barbara County, but less from Ventura and Los Angeles counties. (/strickland1211)


A 12/10 ceremony celebrated the start of construction on the new Cuyama Aquatic Complex. Funds for the complex breaking ground in New Cuyama were approved earlier this year to give the Cuyama community a spot to enjoy hot summer days without having to leave the area.


The Santa Maria Fire Department was awarded nearly $49,000 from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a part of the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, a federal program that secures funding for emergency response services. Santa Maria was one of 10 California city fire departments to receive funds, reaching a combined total of more than $1.3 million in grants.


Santa Barbara County’s Domestic Violence Solutions (DVS) will be closing its Intimate Partner Abuse Counseling Program and S.B. Counseling Center at the end of this month. Executive Director Beverly Engel cited outstanding fees from batterers mandated to counseling by the courts and the resulting financial burden as reason for the closure. Nonprofit counseling agency Zona Seca has agreed to begin providing domestic abuse services and take on DVS’s probation clients by 12/31.

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