Saturday, January 31, 2015     Volume: 15, Issue: 47
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To rail, or to rail against?: As decision time approaches, the Sun examines the pros and cons of a controversial Phillips 66 oil-by-rail project

Cover Story

To rail, or to rail against?: As decision time approaches, the Sun examines the pros and cons of a controversial Phillips 66 oil-by-rail project

BY RHYS HEYDEN

When viewed from the proper angle, the central conflict here bears a peculiar type of poetic symmetry: A local refinery would like to transport much of its crude oil into San Luis Obispo County via train, while opponents would prefer such plans to be driven out of the county on a rail. Many stakeholders adamantly support the project, while many locals virulently oppose ... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Articles

Cover Story: To rail, or to rail against?: As decision time approaches, the Sun examines the pros and cons of a controversial Phillips 66 oil-by-rail project
Sports Lead: A family game: A local father-son duo takes their love of water polo to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado
News: Southern Santa Barbara County water agencies get state drought funding
News: Santa Maria High School teacher arrested in child porn possession case
News: The Santa Maria Police Department forms task force to combat auto theft problem
 

News

Southern Santa Barbara County water agencies get state drought funding

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

State Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson and Congressman Das Williams (D-Santa Barbara) announced on Jan. 23 that $2 million in state funding for water agencies that depend on the flow ...

Attorneys in Ibarra trial cross-examine a crime scene technician

BY DAVID MINSKY

Now in its third week, the trial for the alleged murder of Anthony Ibarra resumed in Santa Maria Juvenile Court the morning of Jan. 27 with defense attorneys cross-examining a...

County appeals BIA's Camp 4 fee-to-trust decision

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

Santa Barbara County isn’t the only entity that filed a recent appeal to the Bureau of Indian Affairs January decision to place the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Ca...

Allan Hancock College won't be offering a four-year degree

BY DAVID MINSKY

Allan Hancock College was not among the 15 colleges selected on Jan. 20 by the California Community College Board of Governors to begin pilot programs offering bachelor’...

California tightens regulations on a popular strawberry fumigant

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

After two years of public conversation surrounding chloropicrin, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced on Jan. 14 that it strengthened the regulati...

Santa Maria High School teacher arrested in child porn possession case

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

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...

The Santa Maria Police Department forms task force to combat auto theft problem

BY DAVID MINSKY

Editor’s note: Darlene Carpenter is the mother of Sun Arts Editor Joe Payne. For our story, she recently opened up about her experience of having her car stolen. On the...

Community Notebook 1/29/15-2/5/15

MONDAY, FEB. 2 • The Solvang Planning Commission has its regular meeting at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1644 Oak Street, Solvang. TUESDAY, FEB. 3 • The Santa...

Political Watch 1/29/15

• The California Transportation Commission recently announced the allocation of $174.8 million to 85 transportation projects that will repair aging roads and bridges and ...

Biz Spotlights

Spotlight on: CovenTree Books and Gifts

BY DAVID MINSKY

Where can you find dragons, chain mail, and idols of ancient gods all in one place? At CovenTree Books and Gifts, which recently opened a location in the La Brea Plaza at 722 ...

Commentary

Higher education: location, location, location!

BY KEN PARKER

Recent news that Allan Hancock College competed unsuccessfully for a four-year viticulture degree speaks loudly of the undaunted future vision that Hancock President Dr. Kevin...

Letters

'Illegal' is just fine

Rosario Angelica Kaye - Nipomo

I just wanted to comment on your piece in the Santa Maria Sun (“(Un)documented rift,” Jan. 15). I disagree with Maya’s comment: “offensive to the Latin...

Sports

A family game: A local father-son duo takes their love of water polo to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado

BY SEAN MCNULTY

Over winter break, 14-year-old Layne Porter spent a week playing water polo for eight hours a day with the best youth water polo players in the nation. He trained from 7 a.m. ...

Larry Wiemers

BY RYAN MILLER

What makes an athlete? Is it skill, dedication, perseverance? All of the above? No matter which of those criteria you pick, it’s clear that Larry Wiemers meets the stan...

School Scene

Santa Maria-Bonita talks school boundaries for new campus

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

When Santa Maria-Bonita School District’s new elementary school opens at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, an estimated 850 students will be attending. But whe...

Middle-class 
scholarships available 
for UC and CSU students

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

California university students left more than $50 million in state scholarship funds untouched in the 2014-2015 school year, according to Diana Perez with Central Coast Cal-SO...

Canary

In for a penny, in for a sovereign

Santa Barbara County Supervisor Peter Adam is not known for quietly mumbling softball opinions to himself and then sitting quietly while twiddling his thumbs. When he has some...

Street Wise

How do you prevent your car from being stolen?

Irene Camarillo Matt Barcus Christian Bird Maria Hernandez

Arts

North County ag industry showcased in photo exhibit

BY JOE PAYNE

View a slideshow of photographer Lee-Volker Cox's work. Local photographer Lee-Volker Cox is a retired Air Force operations commander who served at Vandenberg Air Force Base ...

Ro Snell explores the expanse of nature at the Elverhoj Museum

BY JOE PAYNE

The work of an artist is colored by a lifetime of experiences. Thoughts, memories, and emotions swirl together in an alchemical dance, crystallizing into a creation that could...

Lompoc Mural Society puts out a call for artists

BY JOE PAYNE

The Lompoc Mural Society is holding a call for artists in anticipation of its 2015 mural, slated for placement in the downtown area’s Art Alley. Interested artists are r...

Local author debuts new graphic novel

BY JOE PAYNE

Local author and art instructor E. Monks Hack will be signing the first edition of her new graphic novel The Eyes Eshnunna Part I on Feb. 7 in Lompoc. The event will include l...

Santa Maria Valley Open Space announces new board, upcoming public hike

BY JOE PAYNE

The Santa Maria Valley Open Space has announced its newly elected board of directors, which includes new president Chad Hinkle, treasurer Will Cronan, membership and events co...

Hancock professor to appear on Jeopardy!

BY JOE PAYNE

Allan Hancock College English professor Jim Read will be appearing on the Jan. 30 episode of the popular trivia game show Jeopardy! The episode will show on the local NBC affi...

Humor

God of Speed

BY ROB KRIDER

There is absolutely nothing in the world that gives me greater joy than go-karts. I love the squealing of the little tires, the feeling of wind in my face, and the sound of my...

Music

D'Vine Wine Bar features regular jazz, hip-hop, funk, and soul mash-ups

BY JOE PAYNE

Watch a video of Andrew Beal and VineLyte. The saxophone is an enigmatic instrument. A member of both the brass and woodwind families, the saxophone is revered across genres ...

Film

'Cake,' although Oscar snubbed, displays Jennifer Aniston's considerable talent and depicts the horror of chronic pain

Daniel Barnz (Phoebe in Wonderland, Beastly, Won’t Back Down) directs Jennifer Aniston as acerbic chronic pain sufferer Claire Bennett, who becomes obsessed with Nina Co...

Eats

Municipal Wines remembers the Alamo: You don't need to be a visitor to enjoy their hip tasting hangout in Los Alamos

BY HAYLEY THOMAS

Dusk is falling in sleepy Los Alamos, but the Alamo Motel is just beginning to heat up. Motel visitors and locals alike spread out colorful Mexican blankets on the front lawn,...

Hot Stuff

Set a course

Locals have the chance to attend the debut book-signing event for local author E. Monks Hack’s first book in her Compass Rose Voyager series. Hack will be signing and ta...

Legend live

Don Rickles has a long and illustrious reputation as one of America’s favorite insult comics, lampooning everybody from Frank Sinatra to the president of the United Stat...

Keenest of eyes

Flying Goat Cellars in Lompoc is currently featuring the work of local painter Nancy Yaki, a lifelong professional painter revered for her photorealistic style and deep depict...