City dedicates Tom Urbanske Levee Trail

This article by Logan B. Anderson was published in the Santa Maria Times on June 10, 2016: http://santamariatimes.com/news/local/city-dedicates-tom-urbanske-levee-trail/article_1de607a8-92f2-5642-a2f0-f19302e5f9f2.html

The Santa Maria River Levee is there to protect city residents from potentially dangerous mountain water runoff and as a place for folks to gather along its trail to exercise and see Santa Maria’s plants and wildlife.

Earlier this year, some residents reached out to the city with an idea to dedicate the levee’s trail to someone that, like the levee, has worked to protect residents and bring them together.

Thomas Urbanske served as a city councilman and county supervisor for decades. Before entering into public service, Urbanske touched many lives as an educator in Santa Maria.

City officials and others gathered Wednesday morning at the Seaward Drive entrance of the multi-use levee trail to rededicate it the Tom Urbanske Levee Trail.

“Today is a special day for all of us in Santa Maria,” Mayor Alice M. Patino said in a letter read during the ceremony.

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Santa Maria River Levee Trail Recognizes Tom Urbanske

This article by Janene Scully was published in Noozhawk on June 10, 2016: https://www.noozhawk.com/article/santa_maria_river_levee_trail_recognizes_tom_urbanske

A multipurpose trail in Santa Maria sports a new name to recognize a former member of the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors and his years of service to the Santa Maria Valley.

“This will be a lifelong legacy for our community and the Urbanske family,” Recreation and Parks Director Alex Posada said during a ceremony celebrating the naming of the Tom Urbanske Multipurpose Trail.

The City Council earlier this year agreed to recognize Urbanske's service by naming the trail for him. Urbanske is credited with spearheading efforts to allow recreational uses on the levee trail.

The approval process for naming the trail took approximately a year after Jeanne Sparks and Barry Stotts first presented the proposal to city officials. 

“It took awhile, but it got done,” said Sparks, who worked as Urbanske’s aide while he was a county supervisor and now is with Santa Barbara County Action Network.

“And we have to thank the staff for their effort on it because it did take coordinating with the county and they made that happen. We’re just happy,” Sparks added.

“Tom has been such a driving force in this community. He’s done so much as a county supervisor, as a city councilman and before that as a high school teacher and counselor and he’s still involved in nonprofit boards. He’s just so deserving, I'm glad to see this trail named after Tom.”

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Buena Vista Beautifiers Speak Up to Protect Key Features of Santa Maria Park

Buena Vista Beautifers Speak Up to Protect Key Features of Santa Maria Park

The group wants the park's bell-shaped concerete sidewalk to stay, but it's not included in the renovation design approved by city officials

Some of the biggest supporters of Buena Vista Park in Santa Maria are upset at the city’s proposed design for the park’s renovation.
Some of the biggest supporters of Buena Vista Park in Santa Maria are upset at the city’s proposed design for the park’s renovation. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)
This article by Janene Scully ran in Noozhawk on May 16, 2016: http://www.noozhawk.com/article/buena_vista_beautifers_speak_up_santa_maria_park_20160516
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SBCAN receives $7,500 grant from Fund for Santa Barbara

            The Fund for Santa Barbara recently awarded a $7,500 grant to Santa Barbara County Action Network to support the organization as it addresses environmental, social justice and civic engagement issues.

            “We appreciate the generous support from the Fund for Santa Barbara,” said SBCAN Executive Director Ken Hough. “This award will help us with our mission to promote social and economic justice, to preserve our environmental and agricultural resources, and to create sustainable communities.”

            During 2016, SBCAN plans to develop initiatives and seek implementation funding in the following areas: 1. Healthy communities coalition, building on the State of California’s Health in all Policies Program, 2. Bicycle and pedestrian safety in North County, seeking to emulate similar initiatives in South Coast, and building on the Santa Barbara Bike Coalition’s plan to retain staff in North County, 3. Risks from transport of highly volatile oil to the proposed Phillips 66 rail terminal, 4. Community Choice for Clean Energy, 5. Promoting raising the minimum wage, and 6. Promoting even-year local elections to help ensure more voter participation.

            SBCAN received the grant on January 4.

            For more information about SBCAN, visit www.sbcan.org, or email info@sbcan.org, or call (805) 563-0463.

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Hobnobbing with Helen

Hobnobbing with Helen

BY HELEN ANN THOMAS

As published in the Santa Maria Sun June 11, 2015: http://www.santamariasun.com/news/13283/hobnobbing-with-helen/

When I went to an event Sunday night, June 7, at the Santa Maria Inn, I did not expect to see the likes of Congresswoman Lois Capps, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, and 1st District Santa Barbara County Supervisor Salud Carbajal.

But there they were in a room full of 140 folks who came to the Santa Barbara Community Action Network’s (SB CAN’s) North County “Looking Forward” annual awards dinner.

The trick of making an awards dinner something other than a big ho-hum is injecting something unexpected and fun into the program. SB CAN did just that.

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Santa Barbara County Action Network to honor North County residents

Awards dinner slated for Sunday

What: Santa Barbara County Action Network's North County Looking Forward Awards Dinner

When: 5 to 8 p.m. Sunday

Where: Historic Santa Maria Inn, 801 S. Broadway in Santa Maria

Tickets: Dinner tickets cost $65 per person for members and $70 for nonmembers. Tickets can be purchased at sbcan.org

Here are the awards to be presented — and their recipients: 

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SB CAN fetes five during its North County Looking Forward Awards Dinner on June 7

            Santa Barbara County Action Network will honor five individuals and organizations during its North County Looking Forward Awards Dinner on Sunday, June 7 at the Historic Santa Maria Inn, 801 S. Broadway, Santa Maria. Reception starts at 5 p.m.; dinner at 6 p.m.

            Members of the public are invited to attend.

            The awards are as follows: Deborah Tobola and the Poetic Justice Project, “Looking Forward Award” for leadership and vision; Al Thompson, “Environmental Protection & Sustainability Award;” Lawanda Lyons-Pruitt; ”Social Justice Award;” Peoples' Self-Help Housing, “Working Families Award;” and Laura and Ron Selken, “Giving Back to the Community Award.”

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Refugio spill rekindles debate about oil industry risks

SB CAN Executive Director Ken Hough was interviewed by Keith Carls regarding the May 19, 2015 oil spill at Refugio. Click below to read the article, or click here to read the article on KCOY/KEYT's website.

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SM Energy project before SB supervisors

Santa Maria Times, November 10, 2013 12:55 am, by

Santa Maria Energy’s proposal to drill 110 new wells in the state designated Orcutt oil field and use cyclical steam injection to extract crude will be discussed Tuesday by the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors when it meets in Santa Maria.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. in the Betteravia Government Center, 511 E. Lakeside Parkway.

The supervisors will be discussing the project because its approval by the Planning Commission in September is being appealed by a host of environmental groups including the Environmental Defense Center, the legal lead organization, Get Oil Out!, Los Padres Chapter of the Sierra Club, Santa Barbara County Action Network and the Santa Ynez Valley Alliance.

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Online Petition Drive Targets SB County Oil Project

KCOY, November 7, 2013, By Keith Carls

SANTA MARIA - Santa Maria Energy is proposing to drill 136 oil wells in the 100 year old state-designated Orcutt Oil Field between Orcutt and Los Alamos.

The company plans to use a "cyclic steaming" process by employing giant steam generators to heat recycled water which is injected deep underground to heat and extract the crude oil.

Despite approval of the project by the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission, the Santa Maria Energy project has been appealed to the County Board of Supervisors next week.

Opponents say the project will create dangerously high greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to thousands of more cars on the roads and highways every day.

"This project uses a lot of steam and really high pressure to pump into the ground to extract this thick oil, and creating the steam creates a lot of greenhouse gas emissions", says Ken Hough of the Santa Barbara County Action Network, or SBCAN, which has joined a group of environmental organizations appealing the project, "so this is a pretty energy intensive operation to get the oil out of the ground and we're advocating they be required to mitigate those greenhouse gas emissions."

http://www.kcoy.com/Global/story.asp?S=23911437&autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=9505513

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Santa Barbara County Action Network
Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN) works to promote social and economic justice, to preserve our environmental and agricultural resources, and to create sustainable communities.