The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced on 11/23 that two Santa Barbara County businesses were awarded American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants from the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs. The awards are part of a DOE initiative to invest $18 million to support small business research and deployment of clean energy technologies. Dehlsen Associates, LLC of Carpinteria will receive $150,000 to develop its Centipod Wave Energy Converter, and Asylum Research Corporation of Santa Barbara will receive $146,777 for its nanoscale probe system.
Santa Barbara City College hosted the second of two community forums on 11/20 about the college’s continuing education program. As the college deals with intense budget cuts, public concerns over the future of the popular program have risen to the forefront, as was evident by the forum’s large turnout. Cuts in classes-evenly spread among learning areas but totaling about 100-have taken place, and work is now being done on the spring 2010 schedule with suggestions accepted on how to avoid more cuts.
Increasing the gender and ethnic diversity of local candidates was the goal of a workshop held 11/19 at the Faulkner Gallery. Sponsored by the S.B. Women’s Political Committee, the event featured Santa Maria City Councilmember Hilda Zacarias, a candidate for the 33rd State Assembly seat in 2010, and Port Hueneme City Councilmember Maricela Morales. The next workshop in the four-part series will analyze local governments and is set for 1/19, 6:30 p.m., at Presidio Springs, 721 Laguna Street.
Women’s rights advocates rallied at UCSB’s Storke Plaza 11/23, raising awareness about the U.S. Senate health-care bill and the Stupak amendment, which aims to separate federal subsidies from abortions, resulting in some women being unable to access those services. Former State Assemblymember Hannah-Beth Jackson told the crowd that women of her generation had to seek abortions in Tijuana. Activists on both sides of the abortion issue are lobbying for health reform proposals to reflect their respective values.