Monday, July 6, 2015     Volume: 16, Issue: 17
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What should be done with the Santa Barbara County Main Jail once Santa Maria's jail is completed?

Keep it, lock more of 'em up!
Demolish it, it's a waste of money.
Turn it into a museum a la Alcatraz.
Move it to Casmalia.

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Keep it brief: 28th annual 55 Fiction

Cover Story

Keep it brief: 28th annual 55 Fiction

BY SUN STAFF

Editors note: This year we kept it simple, just like submitters kept it brief, and Sun staff members from different departments wrangled through the stacks of words that made up the last year’s worth of 55 Fiction entries. They corralled the chosen ones into a short pile meant for print in our 28th annual 55 Fiction issue. The judges were Sun Arts Editor Joe Payne, P... [ Read More ]

Top 5 Articles

Canary: The biggest things
News: Record algal bloom producing neurotoxin that affects ocean shellfish
News: Clinically underserved: Guadalupe is slowly losing medical services
Commentary: Save water, go vegetarian
News: Isla Vista victim sues Sheriff's Office, UCSB
 

News

Thousands evacuated as brush fire burns near Lompoc

BY DAVID MINSKY

More than 1,000 residents in the Mission Hills area were evacuated as a brush fire scorched hundreds of acres on June 29.  According to Santa Barbara County Fire Depar...

Isla Vista victim sues Sheriff's Office, UCSB

BY DAVID MINSKY

More than a year has passed since the massacre in Isla Vista. The aftermath continues, and one of the victims filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles County Superior Court on June 23. ...

El Capitan, fishing grounds reopen after spill

BY SEAN MCNULTY

The California Department of Fish and Game lifted its closure of the fishing grounds around Refugio State Beach on June 29. The long stretch of fertile coast, spanning more th...

Oil bills engendered by Refugio spill pass out of committee

BY SEAN MCNULTY

Two bills coauthored by state Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson (D-Santa Barbara) in the early wake of the Refugio State Beach oil spill passed out of committee on June 29.  Sena...

Bull shot by CHP officer after getting loose on Hwy. 101 near Buellton

BY DAVID MINSKY

Duties of a California Highway Patrol officer include maintaining safety on public highways, enforcing traffic laws, and apparently attempting to wrangle angry bulls, which ha...

Clinically underserved: Guadalupe is slowly losing medical services

BY DAVID MINSKY

Where Esteban Perez lives in Guadalupe, he can simply walk to the Marian Community Clinic in the Plaza de Guadalupe along Main Street. The 72-year-old former nightclub bouncer...

Record algal bloom producing neurotoxin that affects ocean shellfish

BY SEAN MCNULTY

There’s something in the water off the coast of Santa Barbara County: It’s a horde billions strong, breeding in numbers not seen in years, producing a neurotoxin t...

Community Notebook 7/2/15 - 7/9/15

MONDAY, JULY6 • The Solvang Planning Commission has its regular meeting at 7 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 1644 Oak Street, Solvang. TUESDAY, JULY 7 • The Santa ...

Political Watch 7/2/15

• On June 30, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a contentious bill that mandates vaccines for almost all children. The California Legislature passed it on June 29. The LA Times rep...

Biz Spotlights

Spotlight on: R Taco Truck

BY DAVID MINSKY

The length of Highway 166 between Guadalupe and Santa Maria is skirted by quintessential California agricultural land. Farmland stretches for miles on either side of the road ...

Commentary

Save water, go vegetarian

BY ZAF IQBAL

Editor’s note: Included in this commentary are numbers associated with agricultural water use. That information was sourced from a variety of sources: Worldwatch Institu...

Sports

Orcutt proud: Soon-to-be senior Jacob Smith prepping for next baseball season

BY MEAGAN FRIBERG

An avid athlete, baseball and soccer keep him on the playing fields, 17-year-old Jacob Smith plays first base and back-up pitcher for Orcutt Academy High School. A senior when...

Brandon Pita

BY SEAN MCNULTY

Brandon Pita spent his childhood racing motocross. When he quit, he said, he wanted to keep racing but in a different style. So, in 2009, he took up BMX at the age of 11. And,...

School Scene

Young recruits make it through Central Coast Law Enforcement Explorer Academy

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

After two weeks of physical and mental challenges, 24 local men and women, ages 14 to 20, from five different law enforcement agencies graduated from the Central Coast Law Enf...

Hancock brings in new administrative leaders

BY CAMILLIA LANHAM

In June, Allan Hancock College hired two new associate superintendent/vice presidents. Michael Black moved into the finance and administration slot and George Railey Jr. slid ...

Canary

The biggest things

The U.S. Supreme Court decided some big things this week. BIG THINGS. The same-sex marriage debate is finally over. News flash: It’s legal. The Obamacare debate is final...

Street Wise

Should complaints of police officers using excessive force be publicly available?

Elvispresley Nave Nick Cornwell Thomas Jordan Nikkole Haddock

Arts

Local families prepare Bon Odori dance for the upcoming Obon Festival

BY JOE PAYNE

The traditional Japanese style of dance known as Bon Odori opens and closes annual Obon Festivals across the globe, including Santa Maria’s organized by the Guadalupe Bu...

Summer at the Great American Melodrama sure to sizzle

BY HAYLEY THOMAS

For an actor of the melodrama, there’s nothing worse than coming off stage without a whole lot of boos and hisses to show for it. That is, if you’re a melodrama a...

Lompoc Theatre Project offers outdoor screening of 'Grease'

BY JOE PAYNE

The Lompoc Theatre Project, in association with the Lompoc Recreation Division, will present a screening of the classic musical comedy Grease on July 10 in Ryon Park. The scre...

Songwriters At Play comes back to Santa Maria

BY JOE PAYNE

The Songwriters At Play series will present its first showcase at The Market in Santa Maria on July 8, marking a return to the Santa Maria Valley by the songwriter-themed conc...

Cypress Gallery features work of Tonya Romano Schultz

BY JOE PAYNE

The Lompoc Valley Art Association features the work of Tonya Romano Schultz at the association’s gallery, the Cypress Gallery in Lompoc through the month of July. The ex...

Capps brings Congressional Art Competition winner in Washington

BY JOE PAYNE

U.S. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Santa Barbara) played host to Mission College Preparatory High School junior Jenna Skiff on Capitol Hill on June 24. Skiff’s the winner of the 20...

Humor

Paranoid delusional

BY ROB KRIDER

My wife truly believes that during this very second there are countless nefarious villains lurking around our suburban home just waiting for the perfect opportunity to commit ...

Music

California Country rocks the Maverick on Independence Day

BY JOE PAYNE

As the rockets’ red glare over Mission Santa Inés dies down on July 4 another celebration will begin not far down Highway 246 at the historic Maverick Saloon, onl...

Film

‘Max’ is a flawed crowd pleaser

After U.S. Marine Kyle Wincott (Robbie Amell) is killed in action in Afghanistan, his family agrees to adopt his traumatized military dog, Max. Dad Ray Wincott (Thomas Haden C...

Eats

Jack's Restaurant in Orcutt gets new owners

BY SHELLY CONE

Can a restaurant be the happy ending to a love story? As the new owners of Jack’s Restaurant celebrated with a recent ribbon cutting surrounded by friends, family, and f...

Hot Stuff

Skyrockets at night

The night skies will ignite on Independence Day, July 4, across the Central Coast. As dusk settles, cities in Santa Barbara and SLO Counties will enjoy professional fireworks ...

Swoon for Swon

The Chumash Casino Resort welcomes the sibling duo that made their national debut on The Voice, The Swon Brothers, for a live performance in the Samala Showroom. The crooning ...

Get out and paint

Sanford Winery is playing host to a plein air painting event by Gypsy Studios on July 1 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Attendees can learn landscape painting techniques while sipping ...