The 100-foot-tall Tree of Light, located on the corner of Carrillo and Chapala streets, received its own kind of “greening” this year. The holiday landmark was previously decorated with 500 40-watt incandescent lights that consumed 20,000 watts of power and cost around $29 a night to operate. Now, thanks to a new electrical system donated by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, the tree will be draped with 3,300 LED lights that will consume less than 200 watts of power and cost about 29• a night to operate.


Roger Durling, executive director of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (BIFF), announced this week that Sandra Bullock will receive this year’s American Riviera Award. Presented by Chopin Vodka, the award recognizes an actor who “has had a strong influence on American cinema.” Past winners include Mickey Rourke, Tommy Lee Jones, and Forrest Whitaker. The nonprofit SBIFF is set to run from 2/4-2/14 and is expected to draw more than 70,000 viewers to 200-plus film screenings.


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