• SB Can hosts Looking Forward Awards Dinner

    Santa Maria Times, May 31, 2013 12:00 am  • 

    When Karen Evangelista talks to young persons at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts and Education Center, she asks them if they know their heritage. She wants them to talk to their parents to learn their stories.

    This was one message the executive director of the center in Guadalupe gave to attendees at the North County Looking Forward Awards Dinner put on by Santa Barbara County Action Network (SB CAN) May 19 at the Santa Maria Inn.

    SB CAN member Joyce Howerton presented the awards to Boys and Girls Club Executive Director Bill Libbon, Judge Rogelio Flores, Mary Ellen “Marell” Brooks, Jan Martinez, Dan Mally and the Lompoc Co-op Development Project.

  • Environmental Groups Keep Close Watch on Onshore Energy

    KCOY News, May 10, 2013, By Keith Carls

    SANTA BARBARA COUNTY - A surge in onshore oil extraction on the Central Coast has the industry pointing to immediate economic benefits while environmental groups and other skeptics are wondering out loud, at what cost?

    Oil and gas companies maintain their industry is creating jobs, raising badly-needed revenue for local and state government, operating in a safer, cleaner and more efficient manner than ever before and working under the strictest environmental regulations and oversight in the world.

    "These are compelling arguments", says Ken Hough, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara County Action Network, or SBCAN, "but why not also mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and make it as safe as we can?"

  • SB CAN Receives $8,000 from Fund for Santa Barbara to Review More than 100 New Proposed Oil Wells

    Santa Barbara Independent, Saturday, January 5, 2013

    Santa Barbara County Action Network recently received an $8,000 grant from the Fund for Santa Barbara to review Santa Maria Energy’s proposal to drill more than 100 new onshore oil wells between Lompoc and Orcutt.

    “Santa Barbara County Action Network is trying to assist local community groups and their members to better understand and know how to participate in reducing the impact of this type of project,” said Ken Hough, SB CAN executive director.

    SB CAN is part of the North County Oil Coalition which includes the Environmental Defense Center, PUEBLO, Get Oil Out! and the Los Padres Sierra Club. It was formed to review the oil company’s proposal and its enhanced drilling technique called “cyclic steam injection” (also referred to as “huff and puff” or “steam soaking”) which is somewhat similar to “fracking” (hydraulic fracturing).

    For more information about SB CAN, visit


  • SB CAN names new executive director

    Santa Maria Times, September 10, 2012 12:00 am  • 

    Joyce Howerton of Lompoc has retired as executive director of Santa Barbara County Action Network (SB CAN), with the vacancy filled by Ken Hough, the advocacy organization announced.

    Howerton, a former Lompoc mayor and recent candidate for 4th District county supervisor, worked for SB CAN for nearly three years, first as advocacy director and then as executive director.

    “Joyce Howerton has been a political leader and activist in North County for decades,” said Joann Marmolejo, SB CAN’s board president. “... Joyce was a founding member of SB CAN and served as North County vice president for many years.

    “Joyce says she would like to take a break for a while, but will soon return to community life. We welcome her continued involvement with SB CAN,” Marmolejo added.