Second District Supervisor Janet Wolf took over as chair of the Board of Supervisors on 1/5, a position she will hold for the next year. Wolf, who is up for reelection come June, slides into the seat 5th District Supervisor Joe Centeno held. Centeno is entering his last year on the dais before he retires at the end of the year. As chair, Wolf runs the weekly board meetings, authors letters, and speaks on behalf of the board.
Fourteen percent of Santa Barbarans under the age of 18 are without health insurance compared to 11 percent statewide. Likewise, only 38 percent of Santa Barbara County 3rd graders are reading at grade level, compared to 45 percent statewide. The good news is that Santa Barbara’s dropout rate, 14.5 percent, compares favorably with the statewide average of 19 percent.
Carpinteria residents will decide the fate of Venoco oil company’s plans to build a new offshore facility during regularly scheduled elections this June rather than in a special election earlier this year, as Venoco had hoped. Opponents of Venoco’s proposed oil initiative -which bypasses the city’s normal environmental review processes-pushed for the June election on the theory that more voters would cast ballots then than during a February special election, and that a larger turnout would work against Venoco. The oil company apparently came to the same conclusion, having offered to reimburse the city for any and all costs associated with a special election.