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Balking at Governor Schwarzenegger’s recent state budget proposal that earmarks any royalties from PXP’s on-again off-again plans to drill oil from under Tranquillon Ridge to the cash-strapped State Parks system, a coalition of Santa Barbara-based environmental groups called for the projected multi-million dollar payout to go instead to the state’s General Fund. Specifically, the Environmental Defense Center — which controversially supported the PXP plan when it was voted down at the State Lands Commission last year — the Citizens Planning Association of Santa Barbara County, and Get Oil Out! cried foul.

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Lauren Katz, a veteran of the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara’s Board of Directors, was named board president this week. The Federation — an organization that provides community and family services to the Santa Barbara area — also has a slate of other new officers on the board, including Arnold Brier as vice president, George Rusznak as secretary, Joan Rothenberg as treasurer, and Santa Barbara County Senior Deputy District Attorney Ron Zonen as 2010 campaign chair.

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