Saturday, June 24, 2017     Volume: 18, Issue: 16
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Protect the plain? The Carrizo Plain National Monument is under review by the federal government

Cover Story

Protect the plain? The Carrizo Plain National Monument is under review by the federal government

By CAMILLIA LANHAM

At about 6 a.m. on April 2, I feel like I’m the only thing awake for miles. Yellow goldfields, tidy tips, and green grass on the Caliente Range across the valley are starting to pick up that special blend of orange and red as the sun’s first rays rise behind me. Below, Soda Lake Road is carless, a lone dirt road stretching 37 miles down the center of the monum... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Articles

Music: 805 Country Music Festival to benefit Band of Brothers
Art: The Great American Melodrama delivers a hit production of 'The Karaoke Kid'
Biz Spotlight: Spotlight on: VTC Enterprises
Humor: Bring out your dead weight!
Art: Margie Bowker celebrates 20 years of creating art in Santa Maria
 

News

Lompoc rallies around teen battling leukemia

By REBECCA ROSE

A Lompoc police officer’s son took a turn for the worse in his battle with leukemia as the community continues to rally around him. Noah Scott, 14, was diagnosed with a...

Santa Barbara supes pass budget, discuss doing more for revenue

By CAMILLIA LANHAM

With passage of the largest budget in recent memory ($1.08 billion), Santa Barbara County is cutting the equivalent of 178 full-time employee positions for the 2017-18 fiscal ...

Santa Maria to appoint new acting police chief

By JOE PAYNE

Santa Maria Police Chief Ralph Martin is set to pass on leadership of the department to acting Police Chief Phil Hansen on June 23. Martin was hired as police chief at the en...

Santa Barbara County's agricultural revenue decreases year over year

By CAMILLIA LANHAM

Labor shortages continue to affect Santa Barbara County agriculture, according to the recently released agricultural production report for 2016. The report from the county&rs...

County grand jury report questions water agencies' management of Cachuma Reservoir amid continuing drought

By JOE PAYNE

A recent Santa Barbara County grand jury report questioned the efficacy of local water agencies and their ability to collaborate effectively in managing local water supplies. ...

Political Watch 6/22/17

• Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) addressed the June 14 shooting in Alexandria, Virg., at the beginning of a speech made later that day for the National Partnership for Wom...

Hobnobbing with Helen: Philharmonic fun

By HELEN ANN THOMAS

Blackberry pie, a la mode. Doesn’t that sound oh-so-summery and too divine for words? That was dessert at the Santa Maria Philharmonic Society’s annual busines...

Biz Spotlights

Spotlight on: VTC Enterprises

By CALEB WISEBLOOD

This year marks the third in a row that VTC Enterprises’ candidate for the Santa Maria Elks Rodeo Queen Contest took home the crown. St. Joseph High School student Madis...

Commentary

Renewable power sources misleading

By JUSTIN RUHGE

Those who oppose the use of nuclear power and think that solar, wind, and others will be substitutes do not understand that the real issue is in the numbers. Those nuclear pow...

Letters

Partnerships have made the difference

By Bill Cirone - Santa Barbara County superintendent of schools

Partnerships are the central thread that runs through the fabric of all we have done here at the Santa Barbara County Education Office for the past 3 1/2 decades. I would be r...

Always negative press

By Kevin Leitner - Orcutt

As a newer legal immigrant to the U.S.A., I have unfortunately seen enough California newspapers, radio, and TV programs go on about President Trump and how he is “a hor...

Sports

Take a hike: The Benchwarmer thinks everyone should opt for more time outside

By KRISTINA SEWELL

If you aren’t a teacher you’re going to be wildly annoyed by the following sentiments, but I just can’t help myself—it’s summer break. After just...

Alex Ketcham

By CALEB WISEBLOOD

When Alex Ketcham walks her dog, she tends to take “the scenic route” as much as possible. Rather than a casual stroll through their neighborhood, the 20-year-old ...

School Scene

Arellanes Builders Club honors Olympic boxer Carlos Balderas

By CARMEN AGUILA-TORNERO

Arellanes Junior High students gathered on campus June 14 to honor former student and Olympic boxer Carlos Balderas, unveiling a new banner that reads “Home of Olympian ...

Hancock launches new community relations program

By CARMEN AGUILA-TORNERO

Allan Hancock College is looking for locals to join The Community Ambassador Program, the college’s new community relations outreach. The program offers a leadership op...

Lompoc offers free summer lunch for kids

By CARMEN AGUILA-TORNERO

The city of Lompoc’s Recreation Division and Public Library have teamed up with the Lompoc Unified School District (LUSD) to serve free lunches to kids 18 years old and ...

Hancock offers more college credit classes to high school students

By CARMEN AGUILA-TORNERO

Allan Hancock College extended its concurrent enrollment program to include college credit classes to more local high school students. The program allows students to take coll...

Canary

Ain't it grand?

I don’t know about you, but when I think of people throwing shade, the last thing that comes to mind is “grand jury report.” These days, people mostly tal...

Street Wise

If you were to go to the Olympics, what sport would you compete in?

Alexis Chavez Monica Novoa Angela Espinoza Javier Pinon

Arts

Margie Bowker celebrates 20 years of creating art in Santa Maria

By REBECCA ROSE

When she was a 9-year-old student in South Africa, Margie Bowker’s teacher pulled her aside one day and told her she was going to be a famous artist someday. “She...

The Great American Melodrama delivers a hit production of 'The Karaoke Kid'

By REBECCA ROSE

In 1984, a little film came out about a lonely boy who had just moved to a new town and had trouble fitting in. He met a beautiful girl, befriended a wise man with a lot of un...

Lompoc announces Mobile Mural winners

By CARMEN AGUILA-TORNERO

In an effort to connect to the community through artwork, the city of Lompoc’s Public Works and Utilities Departments held its first Mobile Mural Contest in the 2017 Nat...

Santa Barbara Library System receives grant for bilingual children's books

By CARMEN AGUILA-TORNERO

The Santa Barbara Public Library System was given a $10,000 grant to purchase bilingual books for children. The grant comes from the California State Library as part of the Ca...

Humor

Bring out your dead weight!

By ARIEL WATERMAN

My husband, The Brit, and I have been living together since January 2006, marrying in March of that year. When two people of our generation forge a connubial relationship, t...

Music

805 Country Music Festival to benefit Band of Brothers

By JOE PAYNE

The Central Coast is celebrated for many things, but the level of philanthropy found here is definitely a jewel in the area’s crown. Locals are generous for sure, but th...

Film

The Book of Henry offers a ray of hope for humanity

Editor’s note: This week’s Split Screen was written by New Times Arts Editor Ryah Cooley and Staff Writer Karen Garcia while Glen and Anna Starkey partied it up at...

Eats

Rock Front Ranch's exotic jujube fruit is superfood for your body and good for the planet

By HAYLEY THOMAS CAIN

The first thing I noticed about Alisha Taff was her electric smile and bright, glowing skin. Even under the less than flattering fluorescent lights of the SLO Guild Hall, the ...

Hot Stuff

Music in the park

The city of Santa Maria presents Concerts in the Park with the Drive-In Romeos at Rotary Centennial Park, 2625 S. College Drive, on June 25 from 1 to 3 p.m. The Drive-In Romeo...

Obon fun

Learn traditional Japanese cultural dances to prepare for the 2017 Obon Festival. Lessons meet Wednesdays, 6:30 to 8 p.m. through July 19. Classes are free at Santa Maria Vete...

Peace and tranquility

Barbara and Floyd Snyder present their photographic art at Longoria Winery and Tasting Room through July 31. Cost is free. The gallery is located at 415 E. Chestnut Ave., Lomp...