County 2-12

While rain on 2/9 may have temporarily shut down the Highway 101 construction aiming to add lanes between Milpas Street and Hot Springs Road, the project has funding through next week at least. Involved parties hope the state’s budget crisis will be resolved and, consequently, funding will continue, but alternative funding sources are nonetheless being considered, including the purchase of state bonds specifically for transportation projects. (/101212)


Hopeful Naples developer Matt Osgood filed paperwork last week to void his Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Santa Barbara County, likely as a response to the Board of Supervisors’ closed-session vote to revisit the terms of that agreement. Should Osgood’s cancellation stand as of a March hearing, a long-dormant, multimillion-dollar, Naples-related lawsuit against the county could see new life and all coastal zone portions of the 71-unit development would be taken off the table, including public beach access and a conservation easement. (/naples212)


The County Mental Health Commission convened on 2/3 to discuss current and impending budgetary woes, foremost among them Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s plans to cut $200 million from statewide mental health and $31 million from Santa Barbara County specifically. With state funds possibly nine months away from arriving, County Mental Health Services has adopted tactics of maximum efficiency and prevention to ensure care for the maximum number of clients. (/mhealth212)


The Santa Barbara County Children’s Health Initiative is helping more children than ever, the Board of Supervisors were informed on 2/10. In 2007, the board approved $1 million in funding for the program, which provides health insurance to children who do not qualify under the state’s Medi-Cal or Healthy Families programs. In a one-year span, 661 children received health coverage at the county’s expense. This practice decreases visits to hospitals and keeps kids in school, program managers said.


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