Can You Dig It?

Drought Is Not Just a Theory

Thursday, February 27, 2014
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DROUGHT OPTIONS: How to stop worrying and cut your water use by 20 percent or more: Easy. Rip out your lawn.

Get this: Long Beach is PAYING people to do it, $3 per square foot to replace turf with drought-tolerant stuff. (Limitations apply.) Talk to a city councilmember or water district trustee about it.

It’s only money. Water is gold.

Other options:

Shower with a friend.

Rub-a-dub: or two in a tub, together or serially. I know a mom and daughter who’ve done it for years.

Don’t wash the car: This isn’t a beauty contest after all.

Water bottle in the toilet tank: Where’s my 1980s brick? And the “if it’s yellow, let it mellow” flushing system.

Barney Brantingham

A woman I know suggests this: Take a long vacation somewhere in water-plenty-land. Save your own while using theirs. Problem is, all over California in H₂O-stressed towns, people are probably saying, “Hey, let’s take a vacation in sunny Santa Barbara and save our own water. Or book one of those four-day coastal cruises, get off the ship in Santa Barbara, eat, drink, shop, and flush toilets without worrying about our meter at home.”

Is this the time to promote Santa Barbara tourism?

Since the last drought, 1980s-91, we’ve developed bad habits. Like washing down sidewalks or taking long, leisurely showers long past the point of getting clean. I heard of a guy who takes 45-minute showers once or twice a day.

Time to get serious, folks.

TY FACES APPEAL: Tax cheat Ty Warner’s troubles aren’t over. The feds are appealing his sentencing. The Beanie Baby billionaire got no jail time, despite pleading guilty to concealing over $100 million in a secret Swiss account. A federal judge last month sentenced Warner to two years’ probation and 500 hours of community service, plus back taxes and penalties. Warner, who’s worth $2.6 billion, should find it easy to pay up while avoiding jail chow. In a wonderful plutocracy like the U.S., what are the odds that Ty will be sent behind bars?

TOM BIRD MYSTERY: He’s listed as founder and publisher of the commentary website, but Santa Barbarans wanting a word with him over snarky items aimed at them have been unable to locate Bird. A former contributor, Ray Estrada, claims in his blog that Tom Bird does not exist and is just a fictitious cover for Erik H. Davis, the real boss, who is also PR man for Old Spanish Days and Pacifica Graduate Institute. When I asked Davis if he had any connection with the site, he denied it, other than doing minor help. He also denied knowing the mysterious Mr. Bird.

NOISES OFF: The Brits are famous for their madcap sex farces, and Noises Off is one of the craziest. As performed at Ventura’s Rubicon Theatre, it’s two-hours-plus of pratfalls, a blonde in her underwear, and much slamming of doors. If you missed it, the Theatre Group at Santa Barbara City College will stage Noises Off March 7-22.

MARIMBA-ETTE: Who knows what Bach would have made of the marimba? My guess is he would have gotten a big kick out of Korean-born Ji Hye Jung’s zesty version of his Violin Sonata No. 1 in G minor with Camerata Pacifica. On March 7, the marimba will be rolled away, replaced by Camerata at Hahn Hall with good old Brahms and Benjamin Britten.

FOUR GUYS FROM USC: They formed the Calder Quartet, and now it’s rated as one of the top classical quartets in the U.S. They got a standing ovation at Hahn Hall Thursday night. (Sponsored by UCSB Arts & Lectures.)

UNFINISHED SYMPHONY: We’ll never know why Franz Schubert never picked up where he left off. But he was a busy man, and maybe just forgot to complete it. It’s a natural for the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, coming to the Arlington on March 5, presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures.

DOWNTON ABBEY: Fans of the long-running PBS series jammed (60 were turned away) the Santa Barbara Library’s Faulkner Gallery Sunday for tea, a talk by Westmont prof Alister Chapman on The Decline of the English Aristocracy, and a screening of the series’ final show of the season. Next year’s is now under production in the U.K. Who will Lady Mary marry? What new scandal will erupt and have to be dealt with? Will Downton Abbey itself survive the decline and fall of the Brit manor-house elite and idle rich?


Independent Discussion Guidelines

"Tom Bird" and his anonymous blog/bitchfest SB View had a display table during Earth Day a couple of years ago, but no body ever was at their table.

We need Blogabarbara again, please.

John_Adams (anonymous profile)
February 27, 2014 at 10:42 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I can dig it all the way to China.

dolphinpod14 (anonymous profile)
February 28, 2014 at 3:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)

how do you dig with those flippers?

DrDan (anonymous profile)
February 28, 2014 at 3:43 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Hey folks of SB, I visited your lovely city 5 years ago, and I have some very special friends there including one who works for one of the nearby water authorities. I weep for you at this time of drought, as I sit at my desk in Surrey, England, drying my clothes from the drenching I got while cycling back from shopping in the local town. Some folks in this country couldn't dig up their lawn because they haven't seen it in several weeks, since it became submerged in flood water. If only there was some way of averaging things out in different parts of the world!

NeilinEngland (anonymous profile)
February 28, 2014 at 11:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Is this by any chance Neil the former DJ? If so, I have a lot of good memoires of when you were on the air.

billclausen (anonymous profile)
February 28, 2014 at 5:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

What happened between Estrada and the SBV? Even his many past columns are no longer there. He seemed to be a mainstay. So now there are only two, Sharon and Loretta.

As for blogabarbara, been there, done that and there's now a different mayor who's not likely to be so sharing and the writer of bloga has different interests. It was great for a while, but the blog world is now much more into personal attacks, as JA knows, something that blogabarbara avoided.

at_large (anonymous profile)
February 28, 2014 at 10:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Speaking of Long Beach, they have an R&D desalination plant in partnership with the US Bureau of Reclamation. While they were able to produce water more efficiently than the desal plant that supplies the community on Catalina Island, Long Beach currently has no plans to build a desal plant:

Comparing output capacities of a few desal plants here on the west coast:

- Catalina Island = 200K gals/day
- Long Beach R&D = 300K gals/day
- Santa Barbara's plant = 2.8M gals/day
- Carlsbad's Poseidon plant = 50M gals/day

Carlsbad's desal plant isn't scheduled to go online until at least 2016. Which means our drought should be ending around then :)

EastBeach (anonymous profile)
March 9, 2014 at 1:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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