Hope to see you at SM Open Streets on Sunday, March 31!

We hope to see you at Santa Maria's first Open Streets event on Sunday, March 31 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

This will be the first time Main Street will close from Broadway to Blosser for a street party! There will be about 180 booths with free activities for the family. About 15,000 people are expected to attend.

SBCAN will be giving away vegetable seedlings in our Central Coast Green Team booth and native plants in another booth co-sponsored by California Native Plants Society. Both are in the Eco Zone.

Staff and board members are also involved in other organizations that have booths there. We invite you to stop by those booths: 

In the Art and Culture Zone, check out Santa Barbara County Animal Services and Santa Maria Camera Club (which invites you to take street photography).

In the Cesar Chavez Zone, stop by CAUSE, NAACP Santa Maria-Lompoc and Women’s March Santa Maria Valley.

In the Eco Zone, visit Buena Vista Beautifiers, Food&Water Watch, Los Padres ForestWatch and Safe Energy Now.

If you feel like lending a hand with any of these booths, let them know when you stop by. They might just need the extra help.

SBCAN has been involved in the planning of this event, which is coordinated by SBCAG Traffic Solutions. Parking is on the side streets or at the Town Centers (east and west).

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Oppose ERG oil project with emails to Planning Commission

We need your support now to encourage the County Planning Commission not to certify the Final EIR for ERG’s Cat Canyon oil project, which would add nearly 200 new cyclic-steamed oil wells in Cat Canyon, southeast of Santa Maria, and to deny the project.

We urge you to send an email before the noon, March 25 deadline for items to be considered at the March 27 Planning Commission hearing at 9 a.m. in Santa Maria. We also encourage you to attend the March 27 hearing. The commission does not plan to accept further public testimony at this meeting, but expects to at future meetings.

This meeting follows the March 13 meeting when a large crowd of opponents of ERG's oil project rallied at 8:30 a.m. before the Planning Commission's hearing in Santa Maria. After 4½ hours of public testimony, which was more than 80 percent against the project, the Commission continued the item to its March 27 meeting, at which they will question staff on the adequacy of the Final EIR and possibly begin their deliberations.

Opponents are not planning a rally before this meeting, but rather we are encouraging emails to be sent to the Commission. We also encourage attendance at the meeting, so the Commissioners will know we are concerned and listening to their questions and deliberations.

Below are some points drafted by SBCAN to include in an email to the Santa Barbara County Planning Commission. Below that are additional points you could include in the email, or which could be brought up at a future time. The more you can personalize your input the better, but the total volume of email and testimony from volunteers and interested members of the community like you usually has great impact on the decision makers.

Here is a sample email you can send or personalize:

To: [email protected]

Re: March 27 Planning Commission Hearing on ERG Oil Project

Chair Parke and Commissioners,

As you begin asking questions and deliberating on the questions of whether to certify the FEIR for ERG’s project and whether to approve or deny the project, please consider these points:

In light of the weak statement of overriding considerations, the Class 1 significant and unavoidable impacts stated in the FEIR ought to be sufficient reasons to deny the project, without certifying the inadequate FEIR.

At the conclusion of your last meeting you directed staff to carefully analyze the Environmental Defense Center’s letter and be prepared to address the issues raised in it. In the 112 pages of the letter there are hundreds of significant issues that you should address.

Please be sure to carefully consider all of the environmental impacts deemed by the FEIR not to be Class 1, but which EDC (and others, including SBCAN) argued should be Class 1:

  • trucking emissions
  • mortality on endangered wildlife, Impacts BIO 2 through 7 should all be Class 1
  • geological impacts with oil and water being extracted from one formation and wastewater injected into another
  • wildfire impacts exacerbated by climate change
  • additional noise impacts related to the number of well work-overs not being considered
  • the impact on groundwater quality due to cyclic-steam injection and re-injection of toxic produced wastewater.

Also, please carefully consider all of the Project’s inconsistencies with the County’s Comprehensive Plan as detailed by EDC, including tanker trucks travelling too close to residences, as well as protection of oak trees.

The FEIR can’t be certified as is. Once corrected it should be clear to all that the Class 1 impacts far outweigh any benefits.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

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SBCAN NC Roundtable meeting is Thursday in Orcutt

We hope you'll join us for the

SBCAN North County Roundtable

Thursday, March 14, 2019, 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM

Giavanni’s Pizzeria, 1108 East Clark, south side of Bradley, Orcutt


  1. Call to Order: SBCAN Co-President Janet Blevins. Introductions; Agenda Review. (5 min.)
  2. Debrief on March 13 Planning Commission hearing on the Final EIR for ERG’s proposal and on rally. (10 min.)
  3. Status ofAera and PetroRock Proposals. (10 min.)
  4. ExxonMobil Trucking Proposal to Restart Offshore Wells. Draft Supplemental EIR expected in March. (15 min.)
  5. Plains New Pipeline Project. Information prepared by SBCAN Board Member Carla Frisk, which was discussed at length at last Friday’s South County Roundtable, will be presented and discussed. There is mounting opposition to this replacement pipeline, but there are also many nuances to the issue relating to the trucking proposal, which we will discuss.
  6. Santa Maria Open Streets Event, 11 AM – 5 PM, March 31. (5 min.)
  7. SBCAN General Membership Meeting. May 11 in Los Olivos, 1 PM, Gregg Hart guest speaker. (5 min.)
  8. SBCAN North County Awards Dinner, June 23, 2019. (5 min.)
  9. Brief updates from participants. (2 to 5 min. each)
  10. Open discussion about other items of interest. All. (5 min.)
  11. Next meeting. Our next meeting is scheduled for April 11.

Oppose ERG oil project Wednesday in Santa Maria at a rally and Planning Commission hearing

The first County Planning Commission hearing on ERG's Final EIR is this Wednesday in Santa Maria. 
For the last several years, SBCAN has been commenting on the three big on-shore oil projects being considered by our County. We have written to you many times to alert you to the dangers of these projects. Groundwater basins, surface water courses, air quality, habitat for endangered species, and much more are at risk. The first of these projects to be considered by the County Planning Commission is ERG's proposal and it will be heard this Wednesday, March 13, 2019. 
The Planning Commission meeting begins at 9 a.m. in Santa Maria at the County's Betteravia Government Center, 511 E. Lakeside Parkway. The item will come up after 10 a.m. and public testimony will be heard for sure at 1 p.m. and likely through most of the afternoon. Some testimony may be heard before the lunch break. Testimony can be given in Santa Barbara at the Planning Commission's hearing room at 123 E. Anapamu St. 
A rally to oppose the project is planned for 8:30 a.m. in front of the Betteravia Government Center; we hope you will attend. 
We also hope you will sign up and give testimony to encourage the Planning Commission to direct staff to prepare findings for denial for consideration at a future Commission meeting. We are dismayed that County staff has recommended approval of the project. We need your help to urge the Commission to deny the project. 
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SC Roundtable is Friday, March 8, 2019 in Santa Barbara

You're invited to our SBCAN South County Roundtable. Feel free to bring a lunch.

SBCAN South County Roundtable

Friday, March 8, 2019, Noon to 1:30 p.m.

Santa Barbara Foundation, 1111 Chapala Street, Suite 200, Santa Barbara, CA 93101


(times are approximate)

  1. Call to Order by Chair and SBCAN Co-President Dick Flacks. Introductions; Agenda Review (5 min.)
  2. Update on Just Cause and Inclusionary Housing efforts in the city of Santa Barbara. (30 min.)
  3. Brief updates from participants. (2 to 5 min. each)
  4. Discussion of Upcoming Oil Projects. (a) ExxonMobil’s proposal to truck crude oil to Santa Maria and Kern County, allowing their offshore platforms to resume production after the oil spill 3 ½ years ago, (b) Plains Pipeline’s proposal to rebuild its pipeline to Santa Maria and Kern County, also to allow offshore platforms in the Santa Barbara Channel to resume production, (c) the relationship of the two projects regarding advocacy, and (d) the Cat Canyon onshore proposals coming before the County in the immediate future, including the ERG project with its Final EIR before the County’s Planning Commission on March 13. (40 min.)
  5. Open discussion about other items of interest. All (5 min.)
  6. Our next meeting is scheduled for April 12, 2019, at this same location.

Speak up for rental protections in Santa Barbara

Help our partners at CAUSE and the Rental Housing Roundtable advocate for protections against unjust evictions. The City of Santa Barbara's Ordinance Committee with be considering the Tenant Protections Ordinance on Tuesday, February 26 at 12:30 PM.  Here is a flyer for a call to action.

Help us emphasize that protections against unjust evictions needs to be part of the ordinance.



Help us with Santa Maria Open Streets March 31

We'd like your help giving away plants during the first Santa Maria Open Streets event on Sunday, March 31 in Santa Maria. 

We'll be one of many groups providing fun activities for the community on Main Street -- in the street! This is the first time West Main Street will close for a community event that promises to have tons of activities for hundreds, if not thousands, of people who attend.

Please contact us and let us know you can help. The event will be from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. We need people to help bring some tables, chairs and canopies to the event, to help set up the booths and to give away the plants during the event.

Felicity Lazo is organizing a booth for SBCAN to give away organic seedlings from Plantel Nurseries and would like you to contact her at [email protected] or 805-441-6782 (voice and text) to let her know how you can help. 

Kathy Sharum is organizing a booth for SBCAN, along with the California Native Plants Society, to give away native plants. We'll let you know later if she needs additional help.

SBCAN has been involved in the planning of this event, which is coordinated by SBCAG Traffic Solutions. 


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SBCAN Membership Meeting CANCELLED due to storm

We are cancelling tomorrow's (Saturday, February 2) membership meeting because of the incoming storm with its high wind warning and flash flood watch.

We are saddened by the accident on Thursday on the Nojoqui Grade that killed two people and injured a third when a car hydroplaned from the water on the highway. And Montecito residents are already evacuating today.

We don't want to put anyone at risk by traveling to our meeting. We plan to reschedule it at a future date.

Thank you for your support of Santa Barbara County Action Network. We will let you know when we reschedule the meeting.

Be careful. Be safe.

Ken Hough, SBCAN Executive Director and Jeanne Sparks, SBCAN Associate Director


SBCAN 2019 Membership Mtg. Feb. 2 - Meet Gregg Hart, 2nd District County Supervisor


Second District County Supervisor Gregg Hart will be the guest speaker at Santa Barbara County Action Network's annual Membership Meeting on Saturday, February 2. We hope you will join us to welcome the newest county supervisor and hear his plans and priorities for the new year.

The meeting begins at 1 p.m. at St. Marks-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church, 2901 Nojoqui Ave. in Los Olivos. The social hour with refreshments will be a great chance to renew friendships and build support for SBCAN’s future. Mark your calendar!

If you know you're coming, let us know by emailing [email protected] so we can get an idea of how many are coming. If you don't know now, that's okay. Just show up. We'll be happy to see you!

If you haven't paid your dues for 2019 yet, please do so soon. We appreciate the support you have shown us over the years that has made it possible for us to continue nurturing our strong local network of progressive folks and creating bridges between environmental and social justice activism.

If you haven't been a member before, now would be a good time to join!

For seventeen years Santa Barbara County Action Network (SBCAN) has been the preeminent nonprofit organization working on both sustainability and social justice issues throughout the county. We have many partner organizations, to be sure, but we always strive to be countywide and working on a wide range of progressive issues — especially looking for issues that might fall through the cracks otherwise. Please look at the attached Issues and Actions paper highlighting what we have been working on. We are especially proud of our leadership on several North County issues.

With increasing competition for foundation support, we are all the more reliant on our members, major donors, and fundraisers. Therefore, we hope that you will make a membership donation that suits your budget and helps SBCAN continue its educational and advocacy roles.

It is easy — as always — to contribute at: https://sbcan.nationbuilder.com/membership_annual_dues.  

There is also an option for automatic monthly payments athttps://sbcan.nationbuilder.com/membership_monthly_dues.

If you prefer to mail a check, please send it payable to: SBCAN, P.O. Box 6174, Santa Maria, CA 93456.

We look forward to hearing from you and seeing you on February 2 at our annual membership meeting.


Janet Blevins and Dick Flacks, Co-Presidents

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Women's March in Santa Maria Saturday, Jan. 19

We invite you to come out for the first Women's March in Santa Maria on Saturday, January 19 starting at 10 a.m. at Buena Vista Park, 800 S. Pine St. to support progressive values and celebrate achievements of the 2018 elections.
City Councilwoman Gloria Soto will be a featured speaker, along with others.
Around 11 a.m., participants will march east on Morrison Avenue to Broadway, then south to Enos Drive, then west to Minami Park at 600 W. Enos Drive.
Around noon, there will be several speakers at Minami Park, including Rep. Salud Carbajal, Santa Maria Mayor Alice Patino, Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann and Planned Parenthood Central Coast CEO Jenna Tosh.
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