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County 12-17


Congressmember Lois Capps and the House of Representatives voted this week to approve the Consolidated Appropriations Act, which will provide funding to several area programs: $13 million for the construction of a new, larger child development facility at Vandenberg Air Force Base; $500,000 for Marian Medical Center’s Neonatal Intensive Care Unit; $2.5 million for the Watershed Education and Training Program; $500,000 to help implement the West Coast Governors’ Agreement on Ocean Health; and $300,000 for the California Seafloor Mapping Program.

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The U.S. Air Force 30th Space Wing, based at Vandenberg Air Force Base, announced the successful launch of a Delta II rocket on 12/14. The rocket carried NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) satellite, which is designed to provide more detailed information about the origin of planets and stars than has been previously available by scanning the heavens with infrared technology.

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On 12/8, the Goleta Water District’s Board of Directors elected Bill Rosen as its president for 2010. Rosen, a retired lawyer, began his four-year term by introducing legislation designed to make the district’s policy and procedures more transparent. This year, the board is scheduled to revise the district’s urban water management plan and create a groundwater management plan.

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Santa Barbara County Agriculture commissioner Bill Gillette retired on 12/11 after more than three decades with the county. Gillette, 60, took advantage of the county’s early retirement incentive, which was designed to save the county money by offering two years’ service credit to employees. As ag commissioner, Gillette enforced local, state, and federal agricultural industry and environmental laws, and also helped promote the farming industry.

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On 12/15, UC researchers, technicians, and postdoctoral scholars protested at all UC campuses, including in front of UCSB’s Cheadle Hall. They argued that salary cuts, layoffs, and furloughs do not reflect the more than doubling of grant funding since 1997. Unions present were the UAW 5810, which includes more than 6,000 postdoctoral scholars, and the UPTE/CWA 9119, which includes 9,000 researchers and technicians. Scholars doing cutting-edge research, they say, are assets to the UC who deserve more funding.



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