Santa Barbara County supervisors voted unanimously to get the
ball rolling on the possible implementation of a short-term loan
program for farmers impacted by last month’s vicious cold spell and
late December’s wild wind storm. While Governor Schwarzenegger has
already declared a state of emergency in the county and President
Bush is slated to make a similar call sometime this week, the
windfall of assistance programs in which these declarations result
often takes too long to kick in for smaller farming operations.
Looking to remedy this, 1st District Supervisor Salud Carbajal
proposed a stopgap program for 6 to 18 months that would provide
low-interest loans of up to $30,000.
In related freeze fallout news, Governor Schwarzenegger released
some $800,000 in funds this week for foodbank programs throughout
the state. The Foodbank of Santa Barbara, besieged by a nearly 50
percent increase in demand at its Santa Maria agencies and running
low on supplies due to Mother Nature’s sucker punch, received a
much needed $53,000 shot in the arm from the governor’s handout.
According to local Foodbank Executive Director Jim Mangis, the
money arrived “just in the nick of time,” though the food it has
helped purchase will no doubt be gone before the end of
At this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Janet
Wolf urged constituents to apply for 2nd District vacancies on the
county’s Board of Architectural Review, Assessment Appeals Board,
Retirement Board, Human Relations Commission, and Affirmative
Action Commission, as well as the advisory boards for Alcohol and
Drug Problems and Historical Landmarks.