Macduff Everton

Mission Possible: Thomas Fire and Flood Recovery

A Look at Post-Disaster Efforts So Far, from the Bucket Brigade to Jack Johnson’s Benefit

By most measures, the past three months will go down as the most challenging in Santa Barbara County history, from December’s flame, smoke, and ash to the devastating debris flow of January 9. But these events also triggered an unprecedented outpouring of generous service, from tidal waves of financial donations to tornadoes of volunteers digging their neighbors out of the mud. The Independent is proud to publish the following collection of articles describing the many efforts to bring our community back to blue skies and sunshine.
—Matt Kettmann

  1. The Bucket Brigade Conquers Grief and Destruction: The Bucket Brigade is an all-volunteer band of neighbors and strangers dig together to reclaim Montecito and conquer grief and destruction.
  2. Jack Johnson’s Montecito Memories: UCSB-educated rock star reflects on beach days and watching disasters from afar.
  3. Memories Rescued from the Mud: The belongings that survived and the stories they tell.
  4. After Montecito, All the Ways Folks Lending a Helping Hand: Here’s how the community is contributing and how you can, too.
  5. The Working-Class Champions of the 93108 Fund: “No Social Security numbers, no 1099s required.”
  6. An Info Center Opens in Montecito: Answers to questions and resources are available.

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Disaster Relief Rundown for Santa Barbara 

A tally of nonprofit giving since the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow.

Santa Barbara County to Consider App-Driven Rental Two-Wheelers

A meeting is scheduled November 6 for ordinance regulations.

Indigenous Peoples’ Day Established in Santa Barbara County

Supervisors unanimously approved the second Monday in October.

Newly Restored Wetlands Opens Public Trails

North Campus Open Space near UCSB is seeing wildlife returning already.

Mental Health Experts Consider More Psychiatric Beds

Hospital leaders are in talks with county Behavioral Wellness and Sheriff's Office.