Tuesday, January 27, 2015     Volume: 15, Issue: 46
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Why do you think car thefts are on the rise in Santa Maria?

Santa Maria is an unsafe place, and it's getting worse.
People are dumb and leave their keys in the ignition.
It's because unemployment is so high.
All of the above.

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Weight loss roulette: With so many fads and diets to choose from, which is the healthiest bet?

Cover Story

Weight loss roulette: With so many fads and diets to choose from, which is the healthiest bet?

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

A woman with dark brown hair, a paisley-print top, and brown slacks points to a mass of words projected on a classroom wall in the Elwin Mussel Senior Center. She talks to an audience of 11 about sugar and healthy food. “A lot of these so-called health foods aren’t even healthy,” she says. “Check the sugar, check the fat—no matter if it's org... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Articles

Cover Story: Weight loss roulette: With so many fads and diets to choose from, which is the healthiest bet?
News: Political Watch 1/22/15
School Scene: Area students get real-life adventure books from a local writer
News: The art of combat: Use martial arts to shape the mind and body
News: Santa Barbara County swaps fire chiefs
 

Breaking News

Local high school teacher arrested in child pornography possession case

A Santa Maria High School teacher was arrested on Jan. 22 for alleged possession and distribution of child pornography, according to a press release from the San Luis Obispo C...
Friday, January 23, 1:13pm

 

News

Santa Barbara County swaps fire chiefs

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors hearing room erupted with applause on Jan. 20 after the county officially honored retiring County Fire Chief Michael Dyer for his...

Witness describes moments before Ibarra's death in ongoing murder trial

BY DAVID MINSKY

The trial for the alleged killers of 28-year-old Anthony Ibarra began its second week of testimony on Jan. 20 at the Santa Maria Juvenile Court, with Angel Escobar being call...

Man arrested on suspicion of assault with a fire extinguisher

BY DAVID MINSKY

On the afternoon of Jan. 15, officers from the Allan Hancock College Police Department arrested a man who they said entered an apartment without permission in the 900 block of...

Student suspension and expulsion rates drop in California

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

For the second year in a row, the California Department of Education released figures that show a significant drop in the number of students suspended or expelled. On Jan. 14...

The art of combat: Use martial arts to shape the mind and body

BY DAVID MINSKY

Before a small crowd of onlookers and guests at the Rising Sun Martial Arts Academy on Orcutt Road, owner Jim Risinger puts on a demonstration with each of his students on Jan...

Hobnobbing with Helen

BY HELEN ANN THOMAS

No one was more surprised than Jim Bray at the 100-plus turnout for his talk on the heritage of the oil industry in Santa Maria Valley. “Truthfully,” he told me, ...

Community Notebook 1/22/15-1/29/15

MONDAY, JAN. 26 • 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 1/22/15

• State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) introduced a bill on Jan. 16 to streamline and expedite the environmental review process under the California Environme...

Biz Spotlights

Spotlight on: Connect Fitness Studio

BY DAVID MINSKY

After spending the last four years teaching Zumba at several different venues around Santa Maria and searching for a more permanent location, Rosalie Fortner is now proud to n...

Letters

There's no food shortage--just a healthy food shortage

Robert Sachs - San Luis Obispo

About a month ago, on Dec. 15, 2014, NPR reported something that is significant to all of us locally and nationally. The Obama Administration is going to fund a number of expe...

Supervisors get raises in a vicious circle

Terri Stricklin - Nipomo

Why is it that our supervisors, when pushing through raises for themselves, always refer to what other counties are paying? And I’m not just talking about SLO County. Th...

Support for currency and law enforcement is maintained

Jim McKrell - Atascadero

Modern civilized societies worldwide place great value on stability and high living standards. Two important supporting features include law enforcement and currency. Taken ou...

Sports

Rushing and reading: A former Hancock football star heads to the Senior Bowl as a draft pick for the NFL

BY SEAN MCNULTY

Before Cameron Artis-Payne finished 2014 as the lead rusher in the Southeastern Conference and bounced into the national spotlight as a second- or third-round pick for the NFL...

Judy Hearn

BY DAVID MINSKY

Judy Hearn isn’t your typical athlete. She doesn’t climb mountains or run marathons. In fact, she doesn’t compete in any sports. However, at 76 years old, s...

School Scene

Authors and illustrators visit Santa Barbara County students

BY RYAN MILLER

Santa Barbara County upper elementary and junior high school students from the Santa Maria-Bonita to Carpinteria districts are gearing up to meet writers and illustrators at t...

Area students get real-life adventure books from a local writer

BY RYAN MILLER

Central Coast author Jennifer Best recently donated cases of her book, Best Family Adventures: Santa Barbara County, to northern Santa Barbara County schools for use in school...

Canary

The state of the Onion

There are a lot of layers to this country. It’s like a pungent vegetable waiting to be peeled and browned in butter—maybe even caramelized. Maybe I shouldn’...

Street Wise

What do you do to stay healthy?

Sadie Hernandez Jenny Ybarra Michael Christie John Castillo

Arts

Plein air painter Susan Belloni shares her latest show and the benefits of working outside

BY JOE PAYNE

View a slideshow of painter Susan Belloni's work. The lifestyle of a painter is hardly considered strenuous, as most of the artists enjoy working while seated in the privacy ...

Santa Barbara County Probation teaches Los Prietos Boys Camp wards the various facets of wellness

BY JOE PAYNE

Young people are infamously immune to advice regarding a lot of things, and wisdom doled out by wellness experts seems to rank high on the list of information ignored (read: j...

Lompoc offers 
father/daughter dance

BY JOE PAYNE

The Lompoc Recreation Division is preparing for the annual Father Daughter Sweetheart Dance of 2015. The semi-formal event includes two nights of music, dance, refreshments, g...

Local places in Miss 
and Mrs. Asia USA

BY JOE PAYNE

Oceano resident Zhanna Stinson (pictured right) earned the second runner up in the annual Miss and Mrs. Asia USA pageant event in Redondo Beach during late November 2014. Repr...

Elverhoj Museum 
features Ro Snell

BY JOE PAYNE

The Elverhoj Museum of History and Art features the work of Ro Snell in the exhibit Ro Snell: Outside In showing 
Jan. 24 through April 26. The exhibit features the abstract...

Lompoc Concert Association welcomes husband 
and wife duo

BY JOE PAYNE

The Lompoc Concert Association is welcoming the New York-based husband and wife duo of Eric Cecil and Kaori Fujii to perform a live concert on Jan. 30 in Lompoc. Cecil and Fuj...

Humor

To the moon silver balloon

BY SHELLY CONE

The only balloon that would work was a clear one with silver curls and snowflakes decorating the outside. I kind of knew it, but I still thought it was a little too fancy. My ...

Music

Folk duo honeyhoney brings contemporary roots music to Standing Sun Wines in Buellton

BY JOE PAYNE

Local lovers of contemporary folk rock and Americana music have been flocking to Buellton for Standing Sun Wines’ concert series Standing Sun LIVE, which has been showca...

Film

Pathological patriotism: 'American Sniper' paints a portrait of a deadly sniper unencumbered with critical thinking

Nominated for Best Picture at the 2015 Academy Awards, American Sniper stars Bradley Cooper as Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle, whose memoir is the basis for this film directed by...

Eats

One-woman winery: Orcutt native Angela Soleno brings passion and principle to her high-end wines

BY WENDY THIES SELL

When hard-working Angela Soleno followed her heart, starting her own wine label in 2008, she still worked full-time at wineries in Los Olivos, bartended on weekends in Ventura...

Hot Stuff

Bringing the banda

Thirteen is not always an unlucky number, just ask the members of Banda Machos, whose collected number makes 13. The Latin Grammy-nominated ensemble will be sharing their big ...

Galloping spirit

The Wildling Museum in Solvang teamed up with the Return to Freedom wild horse sanctuary in Lompoc for the exhibit Wild Spirit: Horses in Art showing through June 1. The exhib...

It takes two

The Lompoc Concert Association is welcoming guest musicians Kaori Fujii and Eric Cecil, who play flute and guitar respectively, for a live performance on Jan. 30 at 7:30 p.m. ...