The Milpas-to-Hot-Springs Highway 101 expansion project will continue, thanks to a 1/16 decision by California’s Pooled Money Investment Board to unfreeze approximately $650 million in Prop. 1B money. The decision allots funding for projects throughout the state, including a yet-do-be-determined amount of the $53 million needed for the addition of a lane to both northbound and southbound stretches of the 101, as well as other improvements. On 1/15, the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments board voted to lend Caltrans up to $2 million to keep the project going but it is no longer needed. (/highway122)
Bearing signs with such slogans as “Green Jobs Now,” the Santa Barbara chapter of progressive political organization MoveOn.org rallied outside the office of Congressmember Lois Capps on 1/14 to encourage her to support President Barack Obama’s proposed economic stimulus plan, which aims to bolster employment through eco-friendly infrastructure. Capps later released a statement saying she would. (/capps122)
Visitors to the northern half of Rincon Beach-which is operated by Santa Barbara County Parks & Recreation-may have noticed the presence of a large fifth-wheel trailer in the parking lot. The trailer is occupied by a “host”-or someone who lives for free on the property in exchange for 20 hours of work per week-and is the county’s answer to both budgetary constraints and a need to stymie such criminal activity as vandalism and vehicular burglaries.