Thursday, April 18, 2019     Volume: 20, Issue: 7
From the earth: Natural building techniques aren't part of modern society, but some want to change that

Cover Story

From the earth: Natural building techniques aren't part of modern society, but some want to change that


Wisps of wind whip soft sand up from a private road that began in and meanders to what could rightfully be labeled the middle of nowhere. Low-slung buildings creep into view between the squat, stocky vegetation that covers the desert hills outside of Cuyama. Goats snack on shrubs, and a couple of white sheep dogs bound next to the car, barking. A trail takes visitors from... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Articles

News: Yearbook employee had more young victims, sheriff says
News: A new county ordinance outlines exemptions, permits for hoop houses
Cover Story: From the earth: Natural building techniques aren't part of modern society, but some want to change that
News: Political Watch 4/18/19
School Scene: SNAC Culinary Academy event teaches healthy eating amid national, statewide changes to school meals


Inmate dies two days into stay at SB County Jail


A 62-year-old man died after two days in custody in the Santa Barbara County Jail, marking the second death at the facility in 2019. Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office off...

City plans law enforcement shooting range at Los Flores


After nearly four years without a shooting range for its police department, the city of Santa Maria plans to start construction on an outdoor range at Los Flores Ranch this su...

Yearbook employee had more young victims, sheriff says


Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office investigators said they have identified more victims in connection with a 53-year-old Buellton man accused of committing sexual crimes ag...

County outlines efforts to divert mentally ill from jail in 2019-20


Santa Barbara County is looking to address challenges with diverting individuals with mental illnesses out of jail and to a facility where they can receive help. In a present...

State of the City speech highlights successes, lays out budget challenges in Lompoc


The sound of glasses clinking and silverware scraping against plates died down as Lompoc City Manager Jim Throop took the stage at the Dick DeWees Community and Senior Center ...

A new county ordinance outlines exemptions, permits for hoop houses


Santa Barbara County farmers have a new ordinance to navigate. It requires a permit to use hoop and shade structures for crop protection, unless growers meet certain exemption...

Political Watch 4/18/19

• U.S. Rep. Salud Carbajal (D-Santa Barbara) and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-California) re-introduced the Central Coast Heritage Protection Act on April 10. The bill, Hou...

Biz Spotlights

Spotlight on: Downtown Fridays


Springtime comes with about 70 more things to do in downtown Santa Maria on a Friday evening than any other night of the week. This year marks the fourth that the city is host...


Let's ban glyphosate

By Ethel Landers - Arroyo Grande

Remember, as a child, how we delighted when we saw dandelions in the lawn? Possibly our parents gave us an allowance if we pulled them with a tool. Remember how weeds would po...

Oil oversight

By Larry Bishop - Buellton

A recent letter in the Santa Maria Times touted the wonderful history and benefits of oil development in the Cat Canyon area. The writer criticized the "few" opponents of the...

Changes in the bus schedule are bunk

By Suzanne de St. Jean - Santa Maria

To quote Forest Gump, "Stupid is as stupid does." The Santa Maria City Manager's Office and the transportation department decided to change the Breeze bus leaving the Transit...

The root cause of the world's problems

By Mike Robertson - San Luis Obispo

I'd like to say a word about torture. We hear a lot about it these days; it's all over the news. We recoil at the thought of torture. And yet, every single, solitary day, we a...

Justin Jones


As a junior at St. Joseph High School, Justin Jones is a dual athlete on the school's swimming and water polo teams. His coach for both teams, Bianca McNeil, said Jones was p...

School Scene

SNAC Culinary Academy event teaches healthy eating amid national, statewide changes to school meals


With opposing national and statewide policy changes recently enacted regarding the food served in public school cafeterias and the drinks served with kids’ meals at rest...


Lip reading in Lompoc


How do you pay for something you want but don’t have money to pay for without bringing in any additional revenue? That’s a tough one, but have I got an easy answ...


PCPA's new musical, 'A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder,' features one actor in eight challenging roles


For a typical actor, it can take months of detailed preparation to create one role that audiences will find believable, relatable, and engaging enough to invoke their suspensi...

Valley Art exhibit features local artists John Card, Beverly Johnson, and more


It's always refreshing to see the work of Orcutt painter John Card on the wall at any gallery or public exhibit. This time it was at the Santa Maria Public Airport, where mem...

Sign up for Mother's Day perfume workshop at Wilding Museum


The Mother’s Day Natural Perfume-Making Workshop at the Wildling Museum of Art and Nature in Solvang takes place on Saturday, May 11, from 1 to 4 p.m. The class size is ...

Sinbad to perform at Chumash Casino


Standup comedian Sinbad will perform at the Chumash Casino Resort in Santa Ynez on Friday, April 26, at 8 p.m. The popular comic was named one of Comedy Central’s &ldquo...


American Idol winner Scotty McCreery brings his own brand of country to Solvang Festival Theater


The song “This Is It”—no, not the Michael Jackson documentary—could have gone one of two ways. The lyrics spell out a play-by-play blueprint for countr...


'Missing Link' is cute but not especially memorable

Writer-director Chris Butler (ParaNorman) helms this stop-motion animated adventure about Sir Lionel Frost (voiced by Hugh Jackman), who’s invited to the Pacific Northwest b...


The Hitching Post remains a steadfast icon in changing times


I need to start this column off on a somewhat bittersweet note and tell you all that this will be my last Eats column for the Sun. It’s been a great ride getting to kno...

Hot Stuff

Go fish

The Neal Taylor Nature Center hosts the 24th annual Fish Derby at Cachuma Lake on April 27 and 28. Fish anglers of all ages are welcome to compete for both cash and merchandis...

Wreaths and wine

Zest it Up Inc. hosts its DIY Succulent Wreath Workshop at Zaca Mesa Winery in Los Olivos on April 27, from 4 to 6 p.m. Attendees will create their own succulent wreath on a g...

Feather weather

Gala De Arte Plaza hosts The Chicken: Intermediate Painting with Catherine Lemoine on April 24, from 2 to 5 p.m. Lemoine will guide participants through the creation of a chic...

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Weekly Poll
What do you think of the county's new permitting process for hoop houses?

Farmers already have too many regulations to adhere to.
It was necessary to clarify the permitting process.
The process will help protect wildlife.
Cannabis growers are the problem, not other farmers!

| Poll Results