Wednesday, October 26, 2016     Volume: 17, Issue: 33

Weekly Poll
How do you celebrate Halloween?

I take the kiddos trick-or-treating in the safety of our neighborhood.
I hand out healthy snacks--and my business card.
Full haunted house mode!
I put on my best lingerie, throw on a pair of wings, and I'm ready to party!

Vote! | Poll Results

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Special Features
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Techno teamwork: Local robotics teams like Orcutt Academy High School's Spartatroniks build, program, and compete with their custom bots

Cover Story

Techno teamwork: Local robotics teams like Orcutt Academy High School's Spartatroniks build, program, and compete with their custom bots


Orcutt Academy High School’s classroom No. 18 buzzed with the chatter of two groups of teenagers on either side of the room. Some worked silently on compact laptops, while others talked and laughed, or intently discussed various topics. It wasn’t the middle of the school day, but rather 7 p.m. at night. In the center of the room sat coaches, a couple of parent... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Articles

Canary: Politics is elementary
News: Conservation groups sue federal agencies over fracking in Los Padres
Cover Story: Techno teamwork: Local robotics teams like Orcutt Academy High School's Spartatroniks build, program, and compete with their custom bots
News: State aims to restrict pesticide use near schools
News: Pacific Coast Energy Company appeals denial of cyclic steaming project expansion, bringing issue to Santa Barbara County supervisors


State aims to restrict pesticide use near schools


Jimenez Elementary School sits nestled among acres of farmland in Santa Maria, separated from neighboring fields by only a stretch of road. For the hundreds of school children...

Settlement reached in wrongful death lawsuit


A settlement was reached in the lawsuit against a trucker and his employer accused of negligence in the death of a pedestrian, according to Paul Kiesel, one of the attorneys r...

Conservation groups sue federal agencies over fracking in Los Padres


Three environmental conservation groups are bringing a lawsuit against federal agencies including the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National...

Sheriff's Office releases identity of inmate found dead in his cell


The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office identified a Santa Maria man as the jail inmate found dead in his cell on Oct. 16.  Kelly Hoover, a public information of...

Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes to stay open to the public for next 15 years


Attention birdwatchers, history buffs, nature lovers, and scenery junkies—there’s good news from the Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes National Wildlife Refuge. Once facing c...


• In the article published Oct. 13, called “What a school wants,” the Sun inaccurately reported that Santa Maria Joint Union High School’s bond measure ...

Pacific Coast Energy Company appeals denial of cyclic steaming project expansion, bringing issue to Santa Barbara County supervisors


Appealing a denial from the county Planning Commission in July, the Pacific Coast Energy Company (PCEC) has brought its Orcutt Hill oil drilling project proposal back to the t...

Biz Spotlights

Spotlight on: Santa Maria Olive Company


In 2002, when Lourdes and Michael Clayton bought the 12-acre piece of property located at 2610 E. Clark Road just outside of Santa Maria, all it had was four oak trees.  ...


The motorsports park will provide recreational opportunities to youth

The recent commentary by Justin Ruhge, “Lompoc is at a very dangerous crossroads,” Oct. 6, was almost completely absent of facts. Unfortunately, the Motorsports Pa...


He's such a Boy Scout

By David Brown - Solvang

How often have you heard this colloquialism as a negative connotation? Knowing that the person in the room as a Boy Scout will not participate and indeed spoil your scam becau...

Santa Maria needs Alice Patino

By Bob Orach - Santa Maria City Council member

Mayor Alice Patino has spent most of her life dedicated to and actively involved in the betterment of our community as a wife, mother, educator, business owner, and elected of...

A lot is at stake in the Allan Hancock College board of trustees election

By Mark James Miller, president Part-Time Faculty Association of Allan Hancock College Santa Maria

When we go to the polls on Nov. 8, we are going to be doing more than choosing a new president. We will also be choosing who will govern Allan Hancock College. Hancock employ...

Current and past Sheriff's Command staff support Bruce Porter for 3rd District

The below listed retired Sheriff’s Command staff have joined the Deputy Sheriff’s Association in supporting Bruce Porter for 3rd District supervisor. All of these ...

It's time to stand up and fight

By Mason Robertson - Santa Barbara

People always say they want change in our government and the way we are represented by those in office. Unfortunately, people often forget that words without action are meanin...

Justin Fareed understands women

By Kacie Silva - Lompoc

With so much going on in the presidential election, we often lose track of what is going on in the other elections. Congress is where laws are written that directly affect all...


History on display: Santa Maria Valley Sports History Club to show decades of women's softball memorabilia


The Santa Maria Valley Historical Museum and the Santa Maria Valley Sports History Club will be hosting an open house featuring Women’s Softball.  The Santa Mari...

School Scene

Family donates 1,000 pumpkins to students at Mary Buren Elementary School


For the third year in a row, the Almaguer family of Guadalupe made sure every student at Mary Buren Elementary had a free pumpkin to take home. On Monday, the family showed...

District moves forward with futuristic 38-room classroom complex for Righetti High School


The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District board of education is moving forward with the construction of a futuristic 38-room classroom complex for Righetti High School....

St. Mary's students participate in STEM and bike safety programs


Students at St. Mary’s School had the chance to do some hands-on learning recently. As part of the St. Mary’s School STEM program, eighth graders were set to test...


Politics is elementary

I  know it’s kind of a weird thing to say, but I like going to my mailbox every day. There’s usually something fun in there—you know, like my latest cop...

Street Wise

How would you feel if some day a robot replaced your job?

Edson Gonzales Rosalia Garcia Julissa Walle Alyssa Enos


Find a haunting experience near you on the Central Coast


Adrenaline junkies get their fix in many ways. Some skydive. Others drive way too fast when they think no one is looking. But some wait silently all year until Halloween makes...

C. Wood explores cows and kimonos in Los Alamos exhibit


Artists often dedicate much of their education and career to classical modes of expression, discovering their own style along the way. Los Alamos-based painter C. Wood is no d...

Chalk Festival of Scarecrows in Los Alamos


Los Alamos celebrates the seventh annual Santa Ynez Valley Scarecrow Festival with a mini Chalk Festival on Oct. 22 from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. The theme is Scarecrows and Fall ...

Nipomo High School Drama Department starts season with 'Radium Girls'


Nipomo High School Drama will open its season with the fast-moving, highly theatrical piece, Radium Girls. The ensemble piece shows at Nipomo High School’s Olympic Hall ...

Lompoc Civic Theatre presents 'California Suite'


The Lompoc Civic Theatre (LCT) presents Neil Simon’s classic comedy, California Suite, as the final show of its 43rd season. The production shows Oct. 21 through Nov. 6 ...

Santa Maria Valley Genealogical Society hosts presentation


The Santa Maria Valley Genealogical Society will host a presentation on analyzing records for its monthly meeting on Oct. 20. The speaker will be genealogist Mary Alice Dell, ...


The Best Lunatic


Like most little boys, when I was a kid I knew that when I grew up I wanted to be either an astronaut or a race car driver. I’m assuming the large helmets for whatever r...


The Tri City Sound Chorus welcomes local ladies to join the chorus in rehearsals for an annual Christmas concert


Choir music and the holiday season go together like pine and tinsel, with many classic Christmas carols sounding most idyllic when sung by a four-part choral. But one local c...


‘Jack Reacher: Never Go Back’ is a formulaic and flat male fantasy action flick

Edward Zwick (Legends of the Fall, The Last Samurai, Pawn Sacrifice) directs Tom Cruise as he reprises his role as Jack Reacher, a character from Lee Child’s book series...


Let's taco 'bout it: Once a truck, Vaqueras flourishes as a sit-down restaurant


You know the place from its taco truck days, with its constant, frustratingly long lines and famous lime-spritzed Cali fries. It hasn’t even been two months since Vaquer...

Hot Stuff

After it Happened

Santa Maria dancer Irene Kleinbauer, (shown center) will perform with Invertigo Dance Theatre at Santa Barbara’s New Vic. The piece follows a community rebuilding in the...

Save the sphinx

The Guadalupe-Nipomo Dunes Center has unearthed a few parts of one of the sphinx statues from Cecil B. DeMille’s silent version of The Ten Commandments, which was filmed...

Fill bowls and bellies

The annual Empty Bowls event is a fundraiser for the Foodbank of Santa Barbara County where participants get to buy an artistic, handmade bowl and enjoy a lunch of gourmet sou...