• 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:
  • 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, or email [email protected], or call (805) 563-0463.

  • Hobnobbing with Helen

    Hobnobbing with Helen


    As published in the Santa Maria Sun June 11, 2015:

    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.

  • Santa Barbara County Action Network to honor North County residents

    June 05, 2015 12:00 am  •  Ryah Cooley [email protected]

    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

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

  • 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.”

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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."

  • Lompoc recreational field owner seeking permits

    Santa Maria Times, September 12, 2013 12:15 am  • 

    James Mosby’s field of dreams in Lompoc has slowly deteriorated into a nightmare. But he’s hoping for a happy ending.

    The Lompoc man, who seven years ago built a practice soccer field for his daughter Amanda on land he owns near River Park, has encountered obstacles to creating youth recreation facilities.

    Mosby is seeking to have the county zoning changed on two parcels, approximately 10 acres each, to a designation that would allow him to get a conditional use permit for them to be used for recreation. He said he is trying to get the county’s approval for a use that has been going on there for many years.

    “I guess one of my mistakes is I shared with the public,” Mosby said, not really lamenting the fact that local youth enjoy his property.

  • County hears from public on emissions

    Santa Maria Times, August 09, 2013 12:30 am  • 

    A sparse crowd turned out Thursday for a public hearing on Santa Maria Energy’s proposed oil and gas drilling project in the Orcutt hills.

    The hearing, held by the Santa Barbara County Planning and Development Department, focused on the recirculation of the air quality section of the proposed final environmental impact report for Santa Maria Energy’s oil and gas drilling and production plan for its project on the Careaga Lease south of Orcutt. Citing concern about the project’s projected greenhouse gas emissions, the Planning Commission ordered recirculation of the document with a proposed 50-percent reduction threshold for GHG.

    The project calls for drilling 110 new wells on the lease east of Highway 135 and using cyclical steam injection to extract oil. It has a 26-well pilot project already in operation.

    It will use recycled water from Laguna County Sanitation District that will be piped to the lease and flare gas from its own wells to produce the steam.