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Made In Santa Barbara, 2006

For this year’s Made In issue, we’ve decided to do something a bit different than previous years. Since it’s our 20th anniversary, we thought we’d find out what-if anything-our little hamlet had created that has broken through the county boundary and become nationally recognized. It was surprisingly easy to come up with 20 fabulous things. For example, did you know that Motel 6 was started in S.B.? And Hidden Valley Ranch dressing, Earth Day, and the Egg McMuffin, for that matter? Read on to learn of the other now commonly known national products that germinated here.

Local Heroes 2006

They’re surrounding us, and we don’t even know it. People from all walks of life, doing special deeds to help their fellow human. These are heroes of the highest order, individuals and groups who dedicate their time, money, and skills to helping the less fortunate, empowering the powerless, and teaching the students who require it most. These are Santa Barbara’s Local Heroes, a breed that we at The Independent honor every year with this annual issue.
So here we go again. We give to you 23 individuals and groups who deserve our thanks and praise. Read on and be inspired to do your own works of good.
Click Here to read the Local Heroes Honor Roll 1986-2006

Six Knots Toward Enlightenment

Sailing (and Surfing)
Around the World

A year has passed since Swell and I set forth from the Santa Barbara Harbor and began our southern migration in search of surf, adventure, and a different way of life. Traveling 3,900 nautical miles at a slow and steady six knots, my perspectives have evolved as gradually as the landscapes passing by. Southern California’s busy blacktop transformed into the dry, desolate dunes of Baja and then into Central America’s steamy, green jungles. The changes came slowly-a new smell in the air, a different bird in the sky, or a slight climb in the water temperature. Instead of seals and kelp, I now wave to sea turtles and get tangled in jellyfish…

Also in this issue, don’t forget to check out the
New Local Surf Products for the Coming Season

Best of Santa Barbara Reader’s Poll, 2006

Superlatively speaking, isn’t this town the best? Not too big like that megalopolis to the south, or too teeny-tiny like the host of little villages sprinkled between Buellton and Old Cuyama. Surprisingly cultured for a town its size, with great museums, lively stages, and resounding music halls and clubs, it’s also a good place for eats, which comes as a result of its part-time job as a tourist town. We’re well-educated as well, exposed to many smart people from two colleges and a major university. It’s a land of parks and beaches and mountain trails and sunsets over red sails. But beyond all these generalizations is a town full of individuals who go to work, keep their homes nice, barbecue, and get out in the fresh air whenever they can. From those individuals we gleaned a list of voted-upon preferences in 225 categories of daily life here, in maybe a not perfect but definitely best of many possible Southern California worlds.

The Independent’s 2006 Endorsements

Since the absentee ballot has become an increasing popular method of voting in recent years, and since those ballots are beginning to arrive in mailboxes this week, we will be publishing our recommendations to readers in a series of endorsements during the next three weeks. As has always been our policy, we will not endorse in every race, but only those in which we believe we can offer informed opinions. The most important point we want to make, whether you agree with our endorsements or not, is to encourage you to vote. For those not registered yet, you have until October 23. Information about registration can be found in the News of the Week section of the paper and on our Web site.

Growers’ Pains

On a recent Saturday morning, the action at the downtown Santa Barbara Farmers Market is absolutely dizzying. A line of cars 13 deep stacks down the block waiting to park for this paradise of produce. The sidewalk swirls with shoppers, smiling children, signature-gathering liberals, and a man with snakes offering up photo opportunities next to a nearly full bike rack. Inside, hundreds of happy people casually make their way down aisle after aisle of plump tomatoes, glistening table grapes, sprouts, cucumbers, peaches, peppers, and cherries-the sound of guitar drifting across tuber rose-scented air. The full harvest moon of fall is but a few weeks away and the dozens of family farm stands that line the aisles are showing it well, each of them pregnant with the bounty of a season’s hard work. A man and his wife-both sporting the telltale contrived casual appearance of a couple on vacation-share a laugh and a love-filled smile as they approach Lane Farms’s stand at the far end of the market.

How to: Buy a Home in Santa Barbara

I confess: I am not a homeowner. During my quarter century in Santa Barbara as a student, desk clerk, gardener, cashier, tutor, and journalist, I have rented. Breathtaking lack of foresight, some of you might be thinking. Perfect example of social Darwinism and the wisdom of the marketplace. Time to move on down the road to Ventura along with the rest of the South County’s workforce.

Creature Features

“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans,” said James Herriot, author of All Creatures Great and Small. So the people featured on the following pages must be part animal, because they have nothing but love, loyalty, and gratitude for the four-legged creatures they care for. You’ll find stories about a human touch technique that heals dogs, cats, horses, and all their brethren; a sanctuary for racehorses that are past their prime; and a man’s ode to his best furry friend. Enjoy.

Fiesta 2006

Cover image courtesy S.B. Historical Society
Born out of the tradition of history-based civic celebrations, Fiesta became an annual event in 1924 and continues to be a grand tribute to Santa Barbara’s past. In this special issue, you’ll find a complete schedule of events to the weekend’s festivities, everything you can expect to see in the parade, plus the scoop on the spirits and El Presidente Roger Perry. Also in this issue, Barney Brantingham recalls some
of the more memorable Fiesta mishaps; Bob Isaacson dishes on the rodeo; and Walter A. Tompkins separates truth from legend in an excerpt from his posthumously published book, The Yankee Barbare±os. ¡Viva la Fiesta!


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