County 11-19

Next Monday, 11/23, the Carpinteria City Council is expected to certify the 1,004 citizen signatures needed to qualify Venoco Energy’s controversial Paredon Project for a spring 2010 special city election. A Santa Barbara judge earlier dismissed a lawsuit from the city challenging Venoco’s effort to get around the planning process by holding a special election-and bypassing the normal approval process- on its plans to slant drill offshore oil wells. The wells would be located on an old Chevron facility in Carpinteria. Should the certification take place, the board will then decide come December when the election will take place.


According to travel experts who spoke as part of an outlook session at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree on 11/16, Santa Barbara’s hospitality industry can expect to start a slow crawl back to normalcy in 2010. One consultant confirmed that S.B. County is hurting less than the rest of the country, but everyone predicted a long recovery. “We’re expecting a return to 2007 levels by 2011,” said Dan Mishell of the California Tourism & Travel Commission.


A press conference held on 11/16 announced the final allocation tallies from the Tea Fire Recovery Fund to 101 applicants, more than 90 percent of whom were renters. Donations totaled $435,512 from more than 500 donors. In addition to money given for rebuilding, finances were doled out for temporary housing, clothing, furniture, medical services, and counseling services. Almost 80 percent of total donations were received in the weeks immediately following the fire, and most often funds were transferred directly to suppliers, such as landlords and local stores, rather than given directly to recipients.


In the wake of the Carpinteria Valley Water District’s decision to not fund a redundant section of the South Coast Conduit-the South Coast’s main water artery-the Montecito Water District Board of Directors voted 3-1 Tuesday to help pick up Carpinteria’s share of the $10 million project, provided Carpinteria agrees not to accept deliveries when the original section of pipeline is out of service.


Nearly 150 student protesters gathered at UCSB on 11/16 to voice concerns that Chancellor Henry T. Yang has not openly opposed the UC Regents’ proposition to raise student fees by 32 percent. The assembled protesters claimed that Yang has not been active enough in speaking against the potential fee hikes. In conjunction with the rally, a small group of students planned to hold a sit-in at the chancellor’s office; however, officials were tipped off and locked the office doors, restricting the student activists to the corridor.

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