Tuesday, July 22, 2014     Volume: 15, Issue: 19
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How would you fare in solitary confinement?

I'd be fine. I'm not a people person.
I might be able to tolerate it, if I had a book or two.
I don't even want to think about it.

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A former SLO inmate draws on real-life experiences for his role in the Web series 'Solitary'

Cover Story

A former SLO inmate draws on real-life experiences for his role in the Web series 'Solitary'

BY JOE PAYNE

Every day in California and the rest of the country, throughout state and federal prisons, thousands of individuals are being held in solitary confinement. An inmate can be removed from the general population for a variety of reasons, and can end up spending months, years, and even decades alone in the tiny cells. “Solitary confinement in this country is just amaz... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Articles

Cover Story: A former SLO inmate draws on real-life experiences for his role in the Web series 'Solitary'
News: Learn more about Huntington's disease
News: Empower Santa Barbara County expands to include all of the Central Coast
Sports Lead: The SB Bicycling Coalition and New Belgium Brewing join forces for the Clips and Brews Tour
News: Political Watch 7/17/14
 

News

Sea lions make a big splash at the Santa Barbara County Fair

BY AMY ASMAN

The irresistibly catchy chorus of Will Smith’s late-’90s hit “Getting’ Jiggy Wit It” is bouncing out of the built-in speakers of an attraction ...

Learn more about Huntington's disease

BY AMY ASMAN

In 2008, Melissa Billardi’s oldest son received a life-altering diagnosis: Huntington’s disease. A neurodegenerative genetic disorder, Huntington’s affects ...

Strawberries continue to reign supreme in Santa Barbara County

BY RYAN MILLER

Broccoli, wine grapes, and strawberries tend to jockey for the top spot each year in Santa Barbara County in terms of production value. The raw ingredient in pinots and chardo...

San Luis Obispo County Assistant District Attorney Tim Covello resigns, comes to Santa Barbara County

BY COLIN RIGLEY

San Luis Obispo County’s assistant district attorney, Tim Covello, has resigned from his position and transitioned to a new role with the Santa Barbara County District...

Empower Santa Barbara County expands to include all of the Central Coast

BY SHELLY CONE

More people will have access to energy-efficient upgrades, thanks to an expansion of a program that began in Santa Barbara County. EmPower Santa Barbara County has become e...

Community Corner: Tranz Central Coast organizes a forum on transgender surgery

BY AMY ASMAN

Interested in learning more about the transgender lifestyle and the transitioning process? Tranz Central Coast, a local support group for transsexuals, and local trans acti...

Community Notebook 7/17-7/24/14

TUESDAY, JULY 22 • The Santa Barbara County Planning Commission has a special meeting at 9 a.m. at The Betteravia Government Center, 511 Lakeside Parkway, Santa Maria. T...

Political Watch 7/17/14

• U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara), along with U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-New York) and U.S. Sen. Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts), recently introduced the Ban Poisonou...

Biz Spotlights

Spotlight on: Poetry and Pose Yoga

BY EMMA FUHS

A  yoga mat can be much more than a place to stretch and unwind. It can also be a place of discovery and learning, for those who are willing to listen. Jenya Hubbard b...

Commentary

It's time to fight

BY HEIDI FLANAGAN

A few months ago, the city of Pismo Beach voted to end invocations during their council meetings, buckling to legal pressure by Freedom From Religion Foundation and the San Lu...

Letters

What sort of change are we talking about?

Michael Southern - Santa Maria

An opinion piece by Heidi Harmon offered a perspective on climate change (“Climate crisis has no party affiliation,” July 10). But I have questions. If all human ...

Our climate is bad and getting worse

Scott Secrest - Arroyo Grande

Heidi Harmon really put her finger on the uphill battle we’re having against global warming (“Climate crisis has no party affiliation,” July 10). It’s ...

We need to pay off our climate debt now

Tom Murray - Arroyo Grande

Heidi Harmon eloquently addresses the fact that climate change is affecting all us right now (“Climate crisis has no party affiliation,” July 10). When the well ru...

Sports

The SB Bicycling Coalition and New Belgium Brewing join forces for the Clips and Brews Tour

BY KRISTINA SEWELL

The 150-mile stretch of coastline from Santa Barbara to San Luis Obispo is a cyclist’s paradise, with an unparalleled climate, limited rainfall, and unbelievable views...

Tommy Herrera

BY KRISTINA SEWELL

Tommy Herrera is a busy 12 year old. A student at Tommie Kunst Junior High School, Herrera has spent his summer playing baseball with Northside Little League. Earlier in th...

School Scene

Future farmers

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

Students in the Santa Maria High School FFA showed off their chapter’s feature booth at the Santa Barbara County Fair July 9 through 13. The board captured what FFA me...

Hancock adds manufacturing safety class due to industry demand

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

The demand for machining and other manufacturing employees is expected to increase by 22 percent through 2020 in Santa Barbara County—that’s information from the C...

The Santa Maria Public Library gets 'ooey gooey' for science

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

Fizz. Boom. Read. That’s the theme for this year’s summer reading program at the Santa Maria Public Library. All of the summer activities offered by the youth ser...

Discovery Corner: From Barcelona, with love

BY ERIN KINIRY

Oriol Roche, a foreign exchange student from Spain, came to Santa Maria this summer with a heartfelt purpose. He wanted to make a difference. His love for education lead him t...

Canary

I think I'm alone now

This week’s cover story about a former prisoner who spent time in solitary confinement prepping to perform in a series about a prisoner spending time in solitary confi...

Street Wise

How do you feel about internships?

Naomi Ramirez Marsha Stevens Nicole Diaz Nancy Barbosa

Arts

Ride on: Santa Barbara Segway takes a different route

BY EMMA FUHS

I love working. Having specific tasks to accomplish and the feeling of finishing them to my best ability—that’s what makes a job well done feel satisfactory. But...

The Great American Melodrama sings, dances, and delivers laughs with West

BY JOE PAYNE

The Great American Melodrama, smack dab on Highway 1 in the heart of Oceano, always plays to its strengths. The melodramatic style has typically been reserved for intimate h...

Santa Maria Civic Theatre stages free shows for families

BY JOE PAYNE

The Santa Maria Civic Theatre offers its annual Free Summer Fairy Tales event for kids and families, featuring an original story and a well-known tale. Each production will in...

Shepard Hall showcases duo

BY JOE PAYNE

The Santa Maria Public Library’s Shepard Hall gallery usually showcases solo artist exhibitions, but now includes a show by collaborating artists Juan Manuel Perez Salaz...

DANA Adobe opens an art gallery

BY JOE PAYNE

The historic staffers at the Dana Adobe Rancho Nipomo has reserved space in the preserved building to include an art gallery. After the successful showing of the historic exhi...

Frame Gallery offers event with Alloway

BY JOE PAYNE

The Frame Gallery in Orcutt will be host to a special event with showing artist Barbara Alloway that will include art, wine, food, and the artist on July 23 from 6:30 to 8 p.m...

Summertime crafting

BY JOE PAYNE

Michaels offers a DIY Day: Paracord Bracelet class for free on July 19 from 10 a.m. to noon. Fun Bug Display Mount is for ages 3 and older on July 19 from 10 a.m. to noon. Cos...

Humor

Krider has baggage

BY ROB KRIDER

We have a game we play at my house called “Where is my…?” It can be a fun game, if you think being frustrated is really fun. We usually play the game earl...

Music

Listening to and playing music excites lobes and cortices throughout the brain

BY JOE PAYNE

You have a song stuck in your head. Completely unbidden, out of the blue, you hear the familiar notes, instruments, and perhaps words. It doesn’t matter that you are s...

Film

'Life Itself' is a fascinating and poignant biopic about film critic Roger Ebert

Based on renowned film critic and social commentator Roger Ebert’s memoir of the same name, "Life Itself" chronicles Ebert’s life and career. (118 min.) ...

Eats

Campus crush: Allan Hancock's new winery prepares for the next crop of viticulture and enology students

BY WENDY THIES SELL

Allan Hancock College’s viticulture and enology students have a lot to be excited about when they return to school in Santa Maria mid-August. Not only will they be ha...

Hot Stuff

Get bent

The Bent Axles car club began in 1980, and ever since then it’s been dedicated to displaying the collected passion of its members: the pre-1949 modified American cars us...

Best behavior

The Lompoc Valley Kennel Club’s upcoming dog show is the real deal, widely considered one of the finer American Kennel Club dog shows. Breeders and showers from across t...

Oh, what a beautiful mornin'

The musical theater classic Oklahoma! comes to PCPA Theaterfest, with PCPCA resident artist George Walker as Curly and Jackie Vanderbeck as Laurey. Oklahoma! was Rodgers and H...