County 2-19

Despite Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s decision to stop all state public works projects until the state budget impasse is resolved, construction on Highway 101 from Milpas Street to Montecito will continue if the City of Santa Barbara and the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments (SBCAG) can muster up $3.5 million in the next few days. SBCAG has already committed to “loaning” the state $2 million to continue the work, and the city is attempting to secure the remaining money.


There are numerous vacancies now open for those looking to serve in government advisory positions. The county is seeking residents of the 1st District-which spans from Santa Barbara to Carpinteria-to fill spots on the South Coast Board of Architectural Review, Veterans Service Advisory Committee, Agricultural Advisory Committee, Mental Health Commission, Advisory on Alcohol and Drug Problems, and County Riding, Hiking, and Trails Committee. Call 568-2186.


Chainsaw-wielding Caltrans crews will be holding up traffic on Highway 192 between Mission Canyon and Glen Albyn roads for the next two weeks, felling 14-31 trees as part of a $1.7 million project designed to place storm drains in ditches running from the 2600 to the 2800 block of Foothill Road, and pave new shoulders over them. Caltrans says the work is necessary to improve drainage and to improve access for emergency vehicles. (/192219)


The public comment period on the controversial, one-mile-long 101 project between the Casitas Pass and Linden Avenue interchanges in Carpinteria-which Caltrans has determined is necessary to raise the bridges and improve flow but would have significant impacts to mountain views and riparian ecosystems-has been extended to 3/23. It had been slated to end on 2/14.


A post-Tea Fire debris-hauling project forced the closure of Gibraltar Road this week and will last until 2/27. County Public Works will be working from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day to remove rock and soil that were deposited when burned, unstable rocks were scaled back. The road is closed for all nonresidents, though contractors working in the area will be admitted.


The fate of a 60,000-square-foot hotel and resort proposed for construction beside Lompoc’s La Pur-sima Golf Course will now go before the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors, as of a 2/11 decision by the County Planning Commission. The project would necessitate rezoning the site from “agricultural” to “resort/visitor serving commercial.” (/purisima219)


The Board of Supervisors on 2/17 unanimously okayed Dan Eidelson, former president of the Montecito Association and current president of the Montecito Sanitary District Board, as the replacement for Bob Bierig on the Montecito Planning Commission. Bierig is stepping down after being an original member of the MPC. First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal selected Eidelson out of a group of four and recommended him on his “very distinguished background.”


The Santa Barbara Writers Conference has officially been put on hiatus for 2009, as the economic recession has reduced expected attendance. Conference head Marcia Meier said the 36-year-old event had run at a loss recently. She is now considering restructuring into nonprofit status to allow grant funding. Those who already registered can get a refund or apply their fees to 2010 and bring a friend for free.

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