Thursday, November 27, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 38
Signup

Weekly Poll
Is Prop 47 (reduces charges for nonviolent crimes like drug possession) good or bad?

Terrible. It will make crime worse.
Necessary. We need to reduce inmate populations.
Good. Drug possession shouldn't result in jail time.
Bad. Criminals need to be punished.

Vote! | Poll Results

RSS Feeds

Latest News RSS
Current Issue RSS

Special Features
Delicious
Search or post Santa Barbara County food and wine establishments

Shifting sentences: Critics fear Proposition 47 will be a danger to public safety

Cover Story

Shifting sentences: Critics fear Proposition 47 will be a danger to public safety

BY DAVID MINSKY

Consider the following scenario: A man walks into a 7-Eleven store and walks out with a loaf of bread, a bottle of wine, and a bar of soap—but without paying. He gets arrested and charged with second-degree commercial burglary. That was a felony. It’s not anymore. Committing this crime two more times would have landed him in prison for life under California&r... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Articles

News: Capps' weighs in on Obama's executive action on immigration reform
News: The Nuclear Regulatory Commission releases a tsunami assessment of Diablo Canyon 11 years later
News: Community Corner: Scarecrow makers get their long-awaited due
News: Community Notebook 11/27/14-12/4/14
News: Lompoc denies appeal to halt cell tower installation
 

News

Water rate hike approved in Nipomo

BY RHYS HEYDEN

After a lengthy study and discussion process, the Nipomo Community Services District (NCSD) Board of Directors approved a substantial rate increase at its Nov. 21 meeting in o...

Police make gang arrests through enforcement sweeps

BY DAVID MINSKY

Police in Santa Maria conducted DUI and gang enforcement sweeps on Nov. 21 and 22, resulting in the arrest of several people, according to press releases from the Santa Maria ...

Lompoc denies appeal to halt cell tower installation

BY DAVID MINSKY

The Lompoc City Council on Nov. 18 denied a resident’s appeal against Verizon installing a 50-foot tall cell tower in a northwestern residential neighborhood, opting ins...

Capps' weighs in on Obama's executive action on immigration reform

BY SUN STAFF

The back-and-forth, extremely elongated debate over what the United States should do to tackle immigration reform hasn’t come to a close yet, but President Barack Obama ...

Clarification

In the Nov. 20 article “An epic holiday adventure,” the Sun misidentified the familial relationship of Robert, Marco, and Rocco Zappia, who are credited with the o...

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission releases a tsunami assessment of Diablo Canyon 11 years later

BY COLIN RIGLEY

After more than 11 years, a 63-page report focused on the tsunami hazard at the Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant has been made public. On Nov. 6, the Nuclear Regulatory Comm...

Fighting students: Righetti has a bad day that sends echoes into the future

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

What happened at Ernest Righetti High School on Nov. 19 sucked. It wasn’t a good day for the district; the high school; its students, parents, or teachers; law enforceme...

Community Corner: Scarecrow makers get their long-awaited due

BY RYAN MILLER

Eco Wine Furniture owner Jose Pedro Meza Santos has plenty to brag about these days--at least in the scarecrow-building world. On Nov. 18, Santos accepted the 2014 Harvest Cu...

Hobnobbing with Helen

BY HELEN ANN THOMAS

Sister Janet Corcoran is to Santa Maria what Peyton Manning is to Denver: an icon. Like Manning, Sister Janet watches to see if the ball is dropped in important plays, which&...

Community Notebook 11/27/14-12/4/14

MONDAY, DEC. 1 • The Solvang Planning Commission has its regular meeting at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1644 Oak Street, Solvang.   TUESDAY, DEC. 2 • T...

Political Watch 11/27/14

• The illegal immigrant population leveled off nationwide from 2009 to 2012 and decreased in California, according to new Pew Research Center estimates. California is one...

Biz Spotlights

Spotlight on: Reflections Photography Studio

BY DAVID MINSKY

When Luis Escobar moved to Santa Maria from Atascadero in 1984, one of his first jobs was working at Reflections Photography Studio. At the time, Joe and Bella Jackson owned i...

Commentary

Celebrate the spirit of Christmas and Old Orcutt

BY KEN McCALIP

No one better exemplifies the pioneer spirit of Old Town Orcutt than this year’s Christmas Parade Grand Marshal, Berto VanVeen. The histories of Old Orcutt and La Gracio...

Letters

I'm appalled at Capps' deceptive moves

Glende St. Jean - Santa Maria

Lie: an untrue statement intended to deceive. Liar: one who tells lies. The Capps campaign ran a TV ad in which they edited a statement by Chris Mitchum to make it sound as if...

Thank you for moving Guadalupe forward

Gary L. Hoving - Guadalupe

The voters of Guadalupe sent a very strong message during the recent election; they want their local government to remain intact even if it cost them more. In fact, all three ...

Sports

Road ready: Santa Maria High School's drag racing team competes against the pros

BY AARON SALAZAR

Learning to drive is a rite of passage for high school students. Driver’s education classes and age requirements are the only roadblocks standing in the way. For student...

Mateo Becerra

BY AARON SALAZAR

The St. Joseph High School varsity football team won its first round of CIF Southern Section playoffs against Eastside High School on Nov. 14. The Knights tamed the Lions 24-9...

School Scene

Folk rock takes the stage at Righetti High

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

A professional folk rock band brought songwriting, life as touring musicians, and the recording and production process to life at Ernest Righetti High School on Nov. 17. Jare...

St. Mark's Episcopal hosts Gingerbread Wonderland

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

On Dec. 6 from 4 to 8 p.m., St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church and Preschool, located at 2901 Nojoqui Ave. in downtown Los Olivos, is inviting the public to atten...

iThink encourages Santa Maria High students to dream

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

Two assemblies featuring the iThink organization on Nov. 20 focused on inspiring Santa Maria High School students to dream bigger and make the right choices in their lives. T...

Get tickets for the Holiday Shopping Spree Raffle

BY AMY BLASCO

One lucky family’s wish will come true this December, thanks to the Discovery Museum’s $1,000 Holiday Shopping Spree Raffle! Will it be yours? The family that wi...

Canary

Get serious

The rumor was that there was going to be a shooting at Righetti High School. That’s what made it to my ears, anyway. And if it made it to my ears, it made it to other pe...

Street Wise

Do you think Proposition 47 is a good idea?

Dennis “Catfish” Miller Rhonda Cannon Jan Dungan Erik Stein

Arts

Everybody Can Dance and Santa Maria Civic Ballet features local students and parents performing 'The Nutcracker'

BY JOE PAYNE

The Everybody Can Dance Studio has educated fantastically trained and skilled dancers thanks to longtime owner and teacher Diane Zink for more than 20 years. The school has al...

The Santa Maria Civic Theatre offers hilarity in 'The Foreigner'

BY JOE PAYNE

The Santa Maria Civic Theatre began its 56th season strong with its production of the heartfelt play The Dixie Swim Club, but that was just a warm-up for the next and current ...

Kiwanis will serve up cocoa at Santa Maria Christmas Parade

BY JOE PAYNE

The Kiwanis Club of Santa Maria Valley and the Kiwanis Sponsored Leadership Youth Clubs will be preparing and serving fresh hot cocoa at the Santa Maria Christmas Parade on De...

Gifts of nature in Solvang

BY JOE PAYNE

The Wildling Museum in Solvang is offering a Holiday Marketplace event for locals seeking naturally inspired artwork and gifts for the holiday season. The event happens Dec. 6...

Transitioning with art

BY JOE PAYNE

Transitions-Mental Health Association (TMHA) has launched a new enterprise, the Growing Grounds Gallery and Gifts, which is run in the same spirit as the association’s G...

Local youth win at Paderewski Festival

BY JOE PAYNE

The annual Paderewski Festival in Paso Robles welcomed youth from across Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Monterey Counties to compete in a classical solo piano competition...

Humor

Things were different

BY SHELLEY CONE

Most Sundays, for as long as I can remember, my family has gathered to barbecue and eat. So it’s funny to me that my favorite holiday is one in which my family gathers t...

Music

Christmas comes early to concert venues in Lompoc

BY JOE PAYNE

The exalted sounds of the holidays are handed down year after year with generations worth of sacred Christmas music and favorite holiday songs all enjoying the limelight. From...

Film

Hungry for more

In the third installment of The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) comes to grips with her role in the center of a growing rebellion of the districts against T...

Eats

Figueroa Mountain Brewery sets up shop in Santa Maria and soon in Arroyo Grande

BY WENDY THIES SELL

Beer lovers rejoice! Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company has expanded operations and production, much to the gratitude of the local craft beer crowd. The award-winning, Buellt...

Hot Stuff

Celebrate the season

The Pacific Conservatory Theatre (PCPA) premieres the new musical play Christmas is Here Again that tells the adventure of Sophiana and her quest to save Christmas. Complete w...

Wig out with Wiggins

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Sean Wiggins is often welcomed to perform on the Central Coast because of her strong country sound and powerful voice. Equally comfortable ...

Yoga for the young

Treetop Yoga in Santa Maria is offering an upcoming Kids Yoga program meeting weekly. The class offers kids the chance to learn basic yoga poses, breathing techniques, and rel...