Wednesday, June 29, 2016     Volume: 17, Issue: 16
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Weekly Poll
Should all fireworks be banned on the Fourth of July?

Hell no! It's not the Fourth withouth them.
Thanks for protecting us like the children we are, government officials.
Yes. Pets don't like them and even the legal ones can be dangerous--especially in the hands of idiots.
We're in a drought!

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Defining homelessness: Santa Maria continues to see an uptick in homeless people, but locals find themselves living on the street for a variety of reasons

Cover Story

Defining homelessness: Santa Maria continues to see an uptick in homeless people, but locals find themselves living on the street for a variety of reasons

By JOE PAYNE

It’s a sunny day at Waller Park in Santa Maria; children run about the playground; disc golfers leisurely stroll across the grassy, tree-dotted hills; and the water fountain sparkles with the afternoon sunlight. A gray-haired retiree who goes by the name Kat sits alone in a sedan, a clean looking vehicle outside and in, if you were close enough to peek inside. She&rs... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Articles

Commentary: The real threat
Art: PCPA's props department brings out the puppets for production of 'Shrek The Musical'
Cover Story: Defining homelessness: Santa Maria continues to see an uptick in homeless people, but locals find themselves living on the street for a variety of reasons
News: What does it take to move the 40-ton historic Enos Ranchos House half of a mile?
Art: The Great American Melodrama gets punny with 'Under the Boardwalk'
 

News

Diablo Canyon Power Plant to shut down by 2025

Diablo Canyon Power Plant—the only nuclear power plant left in California—will be shut down by 2025, according to the plant’s operator, Pacific Gas and Elect...

California's proposed budget lifts limitations for welfare recipients

By BRENNA SWANSTON

California’s proposed 2016-2017 budget would repeal the Maximum Family Grant (MFG) rule, which prevents cash aid from California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to K...

Mayoral race underway in Lompoc

By BRENNA SWANSTON

Summer is here, and with it comes a nice distraction from this headache of a presidential election: local elections. In the coming weeks, we'll hear election bid announcement...

Sherpa Fire grows to nearly 8,000 acres

By DAVID MINSKY

Firefighters across the region continued to battle the Sherpa Fire that broke out on Scherpa Ranch, located just south of Santa Ynez, on the afternoon of June 15.  Accor...

Buena Vista Beautifiers continues to push for park preservation

By BRENNA SWANSTON

Santa Maria’s Parks Commission finalized renovation plans for Buena Vista Park more than a month ago—but that hasn’t stopped the Buena Vista Beautifiers from...

What does it take to move the 40-ton historic Enos Ranchos House half of a mile?

By DAVID MINSKY

Have you ever wondered about the old white house that sits at the Betteravia exit along Highway 101 in Santa Maria? It’s known as the Enos Ranchos House, and it’s ...

Hobnobbing with Helen

By HELEN ANN THOMAS

Community support for law and order (no, not the TV show) brought together about 200 people for a Police Council-sponsored fundraiser for the Santa Maria Police Department. T...

Community Notebook 6/23/16 - 6/30/16

MONDAY, JUNE 27 • The South County Advisory Council has its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the Nipomo Community Services District Headquarters, 148 S. Wilson St., Nipom...

Political Watch 6/23/16

• On June 15, the Legislature voted to pass the 2016-17 state budget, a plan that includes two California Legislative Women’s Caucus priorities, a significant multi...

Biz Spotlights

Spotlight on: Blue Eyed Daisies Antiques and Vintage Furniture

By DAVID MINSKY

For seven years, Samantha Castillo worked as a field executive for an insurance company. The pay was “amazing,” she said, but there was something unfulfilling abou...

Commentary

The real threat

By JIM MALLON

When I woke last June 12 to news of the worst-ever mass shooting in the history of the United States, I found myself hoping that the shooter wouldn’t turn out to be Musl...

Letters

Current trade policy is destructive

By Rogan Thompquist - Paso Robles

I really appreciate Zaf Iqbal’s editorial commentaries including: “Dump Trump,” (June 9). However, I disagree with Zaf’s brief comments on trade w...

Bedrock principles

By Bill Cirone - Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools

It’s very clear that what sets America apart from other civilizations is our value system. Our respect for life, liberty, democracy, and social equality, and our toleran...

Sports

Euro trip: Danish exchange student to host St. Joseph's teammate for grueling week of tennis training

By PETER JOHNSON

In a few weeks, a pair of St. Joseph High School tennis teammates will step onto an airplane—destination: Copenhagen, Denmark. Avnish Bhatt, an incoming senior at St. J...

Jessica Bautista

By PETER JOHNSON

It took a little while, but recent Pioneer Valley High School grad and wrestler extraordinaire Jessica Bautista has found a home for herself next school year. Bautista will a...

School Scene

Triple Threat All Stars win national titles in Las Vegas

By SHELLY CONE

Triple Threat All Stars Cheerleading teams traveled to Las Vegas on May 14 for the Cheer Power National Championships and brought home honors.  Triple Threat All Stars...

Righetti High School offers JumpStart Academy

By SHELLY CONE

Incoming freshman will find out what life at Righetti High School is all about later this summer. The students are taking part in the JumpStart Academy, a transition program ...

State preschools enrolling for the 2016-2017 school year

By SHELLY CONE

Children ages 3 through 5 years old in Lompoc, Los Alamos, and Santa Ynez whose parents are income-eligible can receive free preschool instruction in centers operated by the S...

Canary

Give me Libertine, or a good reason to deny them

In many small business circles, you’ll hear that the city of Santa Maria has a pro-business stance. You’ll hear that there is less paperwork, fewer restrictions, a...

Street Wise

Is Santa Maria spoiling all the fun with its crackdown on fireworks?

Mike Dugan Marlene Montano Elizabeth Moriarty Sandra Ayala

Arts

PCPA's props department brings out the puppets for production of 'Shrek The Musical'

By JOE PAYNE

Tucked away into a small room just offstage of Allan Hancock College’s Marian Theatre is a winged, red-scaled, and lipstick-wearing dragon, ready for her big number. We...

The Great American Melodrama gets punny with 'Under the Boardwalk'

By CAMILLIA LANHAM

The Great American Melodrama definitely has a thing for puns, but Under the Boardwalk might be as punny as it gets on that little stage in Oceano. Rapping clams, roller-skati...

Santa Barbara County Animal Services hopes to expand kids reading program

By JOE PAYNE

Santa Barbara County Animal Services shared a post on its Facebook page announcing the expansion of a program that gets young people involved in volunteering and socializing t...

Temple Beth El will host bluegrass music July 4

By JOE PAYNE

Temple Beth El in Santa Maria hosts an Independence Day celebration with a barbecue lunch and live music by bluegrass group Blue Moonshine. Described as “high octane blu...

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. holds Americana Festival at Buellton brewery

By JOE PAYNE

Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co. announced a day of concerts at its flagship brewery in Buellton, scheduled for July 3, and featuring a lineup of Americana-style bands. Four band...

Humor

Do you feel lucky?

By ARIEL WATERMAN

The month of June has become a little more wistful for me because of Father’s Day. My dad passed away in 2001 and my lovely stepfathers, Clarence and then Joe, died in 1...

Music

Music with the maestro: Santa Maria Philharmonic Society fundraiser to feature performance by Michael Nowak

By JOE PAYNE

Fresh from announcing the appointment of new Music Director Michael Nowak, the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society scheduled a couple of fundraiser concerts to help aid the growi...

Film

‘The Lobster’ reels you in with premise, but loses audience on plot

Colin Farrell stars as David, a man who has just been dumped by his wife. To make matters worse, David lives in a society where single people have 45 days to find true love, o...

Eats

Crumbly goodness: Crumbles Cafe and Bake Shop in Santa Maria rocks old diner vibe and killer cookies

By BRENNA SWANSTON

Once upon a time, a young journalist divided between her food column and her low-carb diet decided to venture from the warm, safe embrace of her calorie counting app and into ...

Hot Stuff

Sharing their story

The Poetic Justice Project presents its latest production, a one-time only show titled Time Will Tell, featuring several actors from the organization who will share their stor...

Family fun

The Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department along with the People for Leisure and Youth Inc. (PLAY Inc.) begin this summer’s free Movies in the Park event with a scr...

Indie kids

Standing Sun Live welcomes acoustic indie pop songsters The Fairground Saints on their West Coast tour on June 24 at 7:30 p.m. at the winery. The trio will perform their harmo...