County 4-2

Of the county’s 111 gas stations, only 36 will fail to meet the state’s new pump emission requirements when they take effect 4/1. Of those 36, 24 are located in South County. The new vapor recovery equipment was mandated in 2004, after state regulators discovered that most pumps leaked vapor. The new equipment costs thousands of dollars and takes at least a day to install, prompting many businesses, already bruised by the ailing economy, to seek further delays. (/gas42)


In need of repairs after weathering the elements for 60 years, Vandenberg Air Force Base will be the recipient of $32 million from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds. Part of $5.9 billion set aside for Defense Department facility repairs and construction, most of Vandenberg’s money will be used for infrastructure repairs and facility improvements, base officials said, especially concerning corrosion plaguing seaside rocket launch pads.


On 3/29, the County Parks Department held its first round of beach lifeguard tryouts. This year’s audition process marked a change for the County Lifeguard Program, modifying the previously laid-back program into one more similar to an emergency medical service provider. The new training regimen will emphasize medical skills and live-rescue scenarios, testing the guards’ ability to recognize dangerous situations as they arise. (/lifefguard42)


John Torell, Santa Barbara County’s director of Housing and Community Development, retired on 3/30 after 16 years of service. Torrell, 66, was hired in 1990, and worked his way up to the position of assistant auditor-controller. Following a departure in 2005, Torell returned to Santa Barbara two years later to lead the County Housing and Development Department. (/torell42)


The Santa Ynez Band of Chumash is supporting legislation-Senate Bill 170-that would allow tribes to declare eminent domain over rural Williamson Act lands in much the same way that public agencies do. The Chumash are the legislation’s strongest supporters, hoping to add cultural, commercial, and housing facilities adjacent to their 135-acre Santa Ynez reservation. County 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr countered that preservation of agricultural land is paramount.

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