Friday, February 12, 2016     Volume: 16, Issue: 49
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Weekly Poll
Do you think there should be tighter controls on pesticide use?

Definitely. They are decimating bee populations at an alarming rate.
Yes. They are harmful to our health.
No. They are the most effective way to protect crops from certain pests.
Nah, pesticides are a tasty part of a nutritious breakfast.

Vote! | Poll Results

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Watching over Orcutt: An uptick in graffiti and theft has motivated members of the community to band together and take back their neighborhood

Cover Story

Watching over Orcutt: An uptick in graffiti and theft has motivated members of the community to band together and take back their neighborhood

By DAVID MINSKY

One morning in June 2015, Debbie O’Campo awoke to an unpleasant surprise: All of the tires on her 2013 GMC Terrain Denali were gone. She was notified by a stranger’s knock on the door of her Orcutt home shortly before she started her day as the plant services coordinator at Allan Hancock College. It was apparently the work of thieves. They left the passenger ... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Articles

Cover Story: Watching over Orcutt: An uptick in graffiti and theft has motivated members of the community to band together and take back their neighborhood
Commentary: Debating fire
News: Isla Vista massacre lawsuit moved to Santa Barbara County
News: And they're off! The first major 24th District congressional debate sees wide array of issues, ideologies, and approaches
News: Reflecting on a legacy: 24th District Representative Lois Capps stops by the Sun's office for an exit interview
 

News

American Lung Association report fails North County cities on tobacco control policies

By BRENNA SWANSTON

The American Lung Association released its State of Tobacco Control report last week, scoring Santa Barbara County with a "B" for overall tobacco control—no th...

Rail spur hearing draws hundreds

By CHRIS MCGUINNESS

Hundreds of individuals from inside and outside SLO County gathered for a two-day Planning Commission hearing on a proposed rail extension project by the Phillips 66 oil compa...

County supervisors commit to healthy initiatives

By BRENNA SWANSTON

Santa Barbara County supervisors have adopted a Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) resolution, making Santa Barbara the second California county to officially support initiat...

Dry spell doesn't mean the end for El Nino

By BRENNA SWANSTON

Local temperatures approached record highs in early February, raising suspicion that this year’s “Godzilla” El Niño may have more bark than bite on th...

Isla Vista massacre lawsuit moved to Santa Barbara County

By DAVID MINSKY

A civil rights lawsuit brought by a victim from the 2014 Isla Vista massacre has been moved from Los Angeles County to Santa Barbara County Superior Court.  Originally f...

Clarification

The Sun incorrectly reported the location of Joelyn Lutz’s Valentine’s Day concert in last week’s Local Notes column, “Healing Harmony.” The conc...

And they're off! The first major 24th District congressional debate sees wide array of issues, ideologies, and approaches

By JONO KINKADE

From here, it can only get more interesting. Cal Poly hosted the first major debate of the 24th District congressional race on Feb. 4, where KCBX-FM News Director Randol Whit...

Reflecting on a legacy: 24th District Representative Lois Capps stops by the Sun's office for an exit interview

By DAVID MINSKY and BRENNA SWANSTON

Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) has represented California’s 24th Congressional District for 18 years. She announced in early 2015 that she’s retiring, setting the st...

Community Notebook 2/11/16 - 2/18/16

TUESDAY, FEB.16 • The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors has its regular meeting at 9 a.m. in the Board of Supervisors Hearing Room, 105 E. Anapamu St., Santa Bar...

Political Watch 2/11/2016

• On Feb. 5, Rep Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara), co-chair of the bipartisan Congressional Heart and Stroke Coalition, led efforts to highlight the impact of heart disease ...

Biz Spotlights

Spotlight on: Argent Data Systems

By DAVID MINSKY

The website for Argent Data Systems says the company manufactures “electronic products for amateur radio, education, and commercial users.”  But the Santa Ma...

Commentary

Debating fire

By ZAF IQBAL

The gun-control debate has mostly revolved around interpretation of the Second Amendment. It would be more productive, instead, to focus on societal ramifications of the preva...

Letters

CrossFit injury rates comparable to other activities

By Derek W. Fields - CrossFit Inc.

I’m writing about the article “Too much CrossFit? What can happen if you overdo it?” (Jan. 28). I noticed that you did not include the injury rate from Dr. ...

Embracing sin attracts bad things

By Tom Kill - Santa Maria

As you know there are consequences to allowing bad things. When you allow them, you open the door to worse things. Santa Maria and Santa Barbara County have made it their busi...

Sports

Cabrillo High takes rivalry games

By PETER JOHNSON

Cabrillo High School’s soccer teams squared off against Lompoc’s last week, and the classic crosstown rivalry matchups didn’t disappoint. Cabrillo boys&rsqu...

Matt Willkomm

By PETER JOHNSON

Matt Willkomm has been spectacular at guard for the Allan Hancock College men’s basketball team this season. The sophomore scored a career-high 38 points in a win over O...

School Scene

Kindergarten registration begins

By SHELLY CONE

Kindergarten registration for schools in the Santa Maria-Bonita School District will begin on Wednesday, Feb. 24. Children who turn 5 years old on or before Sept. 1 are eligib...

Career Day planned for Solvang School

By SHELLY CONE

The North County Volunteer Corps will be holding a career day for grades six through eight at Solvang School on Tuesday, Feb. 23, from 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. This will be the fir...

High school district gets $2 million tech grant

By SHELLY CONE

The Santa Maria Joint Union High School District received a $2 million Career Technical Education Incentive Grant to help students get ready for careers and college. The fir...

Canary

Let's avoid being all chirp and no flap

This week presented a lot of flying days, wings-in-the-sun days, and a few step-away-from-the-desk-and-get-to-know-your-community days. A free fly day gives a bird time to t...

Street Wise

Why should or shouldn’t Orcutt be a part of Santa Maria?

Michael Bryant Andrea McClenathan Eddie Flores Ramiro Sanchez

Arts

Valley Art Gallery features the pastel landscapes of Martin Johnsen

By JOE PAYNE

Local landscape artists are never wanting for inspiration, including pastel artist Martin Johnsen, who’s lived in Santa Maria for 40 years. The local artist and picture ...

Santa Maria Civic Theatre presents Alan Ayckbourn's playful comedy 'Relatively Speaking'

By JOE PAYNE

It’s an unfortunate truth about humanity, but not all of us are always honest. That’s the hinging plot device that swings Alan Ayckbourn’s Relatively Speaki...

American Pickers looking for California collections

By JOE PAYNE

The popular antiquing show American Pickers comes to California this March, and the hit series is looking for locals with vast collections of antiques to share, haggle, and se...

Lompoc Theatre Project takes official ownership of historic theater

By JOE PAYNE

The Lompoc Theatre Project has cause for celebration. The nonprofit organization now owns the deed to the historic Lompoc Theatre building, the first step in its plan to remod...

Dunes Center seeks help for sphinx excavation

By JOE PAYNE

The Dunes Center is asking the community for help in supporting the excavation of the sphinx still buried under Guadalupe dunes sand. The set piece from Cecil B. DeMille&rsquo...

Humor

Balancing marriage and racing

By ROB KRIDER

I consider myself a man of many titles: husband, father, writer, racecar driver, and gentleman adventurer. These are the titles I use to categorize myself, of course. Other ...

Music

Chris Lambert gets personal in his 10th studio album 'The Blue Hour'

By JOE PAYNE

It's not easy putting yourself out there as an artist, let alone as a person, but that's exactly what local 27-year-old singer/songwriter Chris Lambert set out to do with his ...

Film

'Hail, Caesar!' should appeal to most film junkies

The Coen brothers (Fargo; The Big Lebowski; O Brother, Where Art Thou?; No Country for Old Men; True Grit) helm this new farce about a day in the life of 1950s Hollywood &ldqu...

Eats

BBQ In The Stix launches tri-tip food truck

By SHELLY CONE

Santa Maria Valley loves its signature tri-tip barbecue: oak wood, open fire grill, just a bit of salt, and salsa on the side. So what could make it better? A couple of entrep...

Hot Stuff

Big band holiday

The Santa Maria Senior Club and the city’s Recreation and Parks Department host a Valentine’s dance party event. The event features the Riptide Big Band, with voca...

Taste the vine

The annual Garagiste Festival features wineries from throughout Santa Barbara and SLO counties pouring their wines to benefit the Cal Poly viticulture program. The event happe...

Healing harmony

Joelyn Lutz performs songs from her album Just Breathe in the name of healing, hope, and love for a Valentine’s Day pre-dinner concert. She hopes the concert can help br...