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I push open the shaping bay door, emerging in my Tyvek suit, goggles and mask, covered in foam dust. My son Miles is standing there with a short length of two-by-four he’s found, and Natasha tells me he’s been there quite a while, “shaping” with his “planer,” making the high whine of the pow…

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I love research. Send me off to the deepest basements in county records buildings near or far, and I’m one happy camper. Yes, these caverns are mostly cold and creepy; yes, you risk running a gauntlet of misinformed clerks who don’t mind sending you on wild goose chases. But, oh, the rewards…

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Yippie!! School is out! At its best, summer provides a break in the action, a chance to sleep in and get a mental health break. It is also an opportunity to focus on all aspects of well-being, and to pursue one’s interests. But the flexibility can lead to a little more pushback from young pe…

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I play “Pokémon Go” with my six- and three-year-old sons. Yeah, that’s right. We play it. Laugh it up. We like it. It’s fun. I’d never played or watched anything Pokémon-related before, so I never developed any particularly deep love for the franchise. Still, when I recently took my six-year…

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Someone recently asked me about the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and how it will affect our community. I didn’t have an immediate answer for that, since I am still learning about it. But it seemed like a good opportunity to dive into the world of groundwater management and r…

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Spending the extra effort to start with good soil is an investment in your summer crops, as well as an acknowledgement of the Carpinteria Valley’s limited and precious water resources.  As southern Californians facing a future where the effects of climate change remain uncertain, we must do …

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Surfers are a hardy lot. Those in the “dawn patrol” have their wetsuits on and are paddling out in chilly water at Rincon while many of us are still warm and toasty under the covers. They may not arrive at work exactly the same time I do, but they definitely have more fun before breakfast th…

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So, what happened to May? It flew by with the speed of a peregrine falcon, the fastest of all birds, only lingering long enough to douse us with some surprise showers. May days passed a blur of change, fog, cold, sun, wind, wet. It was a promiscuous month, subject to whim, sudden fits and tu…

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May every spring be like the last! Our backcountry has received record amounts of rainfall this winter including late showers in May to replenish depleted reservoirs.  Lovely, cloudy days for weeks have allowed spring’s wildflowers to unfurl at a leisurely pace. This welcome reprieve from th…

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I’d barely begun bushwhacking up a side canyon in Scorpion Canyon—located on the southeast end of Santa Cruz Island, the largest isle in the Channel Islands National Park—when I felt an annoyingly familiar pinch on my upper back. A dreaded something was burrowing in.

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Dear Readers, I really appreciate your questions and comments. I need to hear from you to keep this column interesting.  Please send questions and comments to me at Donnie@coastalview.com or mizdoni@gmail.com. All names are kept confidential and all questions will be edited for brevity and clarity.

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Children and teachers are gunned down while in school. Riots break out over racial prejudice. Foreigners are under suspicion and threatened with deportation. Places of worship become targets for angry militants brandishing assault rifles. All of these tragedies could—and should—have been pre…

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Light rain fell in intermittent showers across south LA as I motored north late in the evening on Cinco de Mayo. I’d spent the afternoon with my cousin and his wife and two kids in their Aliso Viejo, Orange County in their tract-house paradise, overlooking other tract houses and Laguna Canyo…

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Rod Lathim said he could see the spirits gathering, townspeople from the past when Summerland simmered with spiritualists and mediums living in tents and cottages and holding séances in Liberty Hall. Lathim, who is not a medium, said his visitations were visual.

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This month I had the unexpected pleasure of being the interviewee instead of the interviewer for a blog post by Karen Dustman of Clairitage Press. Karen wanted me to share my experience of working with my father on his memoir, “A Sense of Humor,” recently published by Your Stories Written an…

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Real estate in 2019 is off and running in Carpinteria. One quarter is behind us as April comes to a close.

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Please join us in thanking Carpinteria Unified School District teachers, as they are special people who transform the lives of children. In 1982, Senator Joseph Montoya wrote a bill for California Day of the Teacher, May 8, to celebrate teachers in a way similar to Mexico’s traditional “El D…

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At its April board meeting the Summerland Citizens Association announced the formation of several new committees charged with reviving, protecting and beautifying our little town.

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Fran Davis is an award-winning writer and freelance editor whose work appears in magazines, print and online journals, anthologies and travel books. She has lived in Summerland most of her life.

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Imagine a company that wants to build a polluting factory, and local residents who don’t want to breathe polluted air. The company argues that if it can’t build the factory, it needs to be compensated for all the money it imagines it would have made. Local politicians urge everyone to “be re…

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The warmer, longer days of spring are a call to gardeners everywhere. Now is the time to stay outside until darkness drives you in, tending your garden with care. For those with limited outdoor space, growing in pots is a simple way to bring plants into your life and home. Even a tiny patio …

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Don’t miss the amazing student art show at the new Lynda Fairly Carpinteria Arts Center – Charles LoBue Gallery, featuring artwork by CUSD students, and sponsored by the Carpinteria Woman’s Club and the Santa Barbara County Alliance for Arts Education. This annual art contest highlights stud…

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You know it’s the real deal when you have to employ traffic cops in a tiny southeastern California desert town to stem the massive flow of wildflower seekers. If the cops weren’t there, I think there would’ve been utter chaos in Borrego Springs located inside Anza Borrego Desert State Park.

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I shaped myself a fresh Twin Fin for the Rincon Classic this year. Being a competition model, I added two black and white checker stripes over silver/grey paint for that vintage racing look. I gave serious consideration to shaving my hair into a modified Mohawk/mullet, complete with a couple…

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Before filming “Us,” writer/director Jordan Peele had his cast watch certain horror movies so they could all be on the same page. They included “The Shining,” “Funny Games,” “Let the Right One in,” “The Birds” and “The Sixth Sense.” These movies are all super atmospheric. They make impending…

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It sounds like something from a 1950s horror film, when movies like “The Blob” were popular. But this invasion actually is horrific. Invasive species of both plants and animals can outcompete the native species by overtaking habitat and food sources. It happens on both land and water and can…

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April is National Child Abuse Prevention month. According to the 2017 Children’s Scorecard published by the Department of Social Services of Santa Barbara, our county’s Child Welfare Service (CWS) receives around 5,000 reports of suspected child abuse or neglect each year. CWS investigates a…

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Have you become the keeper of the past for your family? Are you the one who has inherited boxes of unidentified photos that appear to be from the 19th century? Don’t throw in the towel and toss them away. All is not lost. You can do a bit of detective work and discover who they are.

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We were hiking through the fragrant forest, enjoying the huge trees and spectacular views. On this camping trip my oldest brother was at home working at his summer job, but the rest of us were there with our dad for our annual outing. (As a kid, I felt sorry for my mom since she didn’t get t…

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This winter’s glorious rainfall is a poignant reminder of the life-giving potential of water after several years of lower-than-average rainfall and emergency drought declarations. Water pouring off the front ranges cascades into waterfalls that haven’t been seen in years, and the mountains b…

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I think after midnight I gave up on those stiff, piercing, westerly winds lying down. It was blowing 50 mph and the temps were in the mid-20s on Wildrose Peak, but the views were easily worth every frigid gust the Mojave Desert had to offer.

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Warm weather. Daylight savings. California poppies. Spring is here as well as the school budget season! Throughout California, school districts are completing their 2018/19 Second Interim Budget Reports and discussing budget proposals for the 2019/20 school year.

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A few years ago, when I applied to colleges, it never entered my head that a school wouldn’t accept me. My high school in Lindsay, deep in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, only had about a hundred seniors, out of which less than 10 ended up in four-year schools. Most of my graduating cla…

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Heading for Denver, Amtrak’s Coast Starlight was on schedule, gliding into the dark Santa Clara Valley when we came to an abrupt stop. No familiar explanation like a halt on the siding to wait for another train to pass.

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We are local residents, tax payers, mothers, fathers, sisters and brothers. We are patrons of local businesses. Some of us are authors of books, attorneys, medical assistants, nurses, teachers, realtors, firemen, welders, painters, therapists, retired older people and business owners. We lov…

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With the days getting longer and the lush green singing off the hillsides, thoughts of summer days with the family down at fourth beach begin to stir. Never mind the past two days of 45-knot winds, cold air and the dump zone that the beach has become, summer is out there waiting for us all. …

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Climate change, which has been used interchangeably with global warming, is a highly politicized term, much to climate scientists’ chagrin. It is often discussed in ways intended to confuse or sway public opinion, so let’s stick with the basics: Climate change refers to the change in the usu…

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Construction is well underway on 8th Street for a new home. Sadly, an old craftsman style cottage was demolished to make way for our city’s new vision of how our downtown district will look in the future. The old house wasn’t really anything special but, it was our family home since 1943 and…

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As we all enjoy Carpinteria and its surrounding area, let’s think about what is going to happen if cannabis cultivation continues. The avocado orchards will disappear and be replaced by condos, apartments or more greenhouses. The cultivation practices required for growing cannabis will force…

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In the last few years—since the release of the first “Lego Movie”—a lot of people have come to realize, or at least come to feel, that everything is not awesome. Like, in the world—not everything’s awesome. Nor is everything cool, even when you’re part of a team.

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“My mother used to tell me and my brothers stories about when she was young, stories about our grandparents that didn’t seem possible. Those stories were like fairy tales to me then, but what I remember most now was her voice and the look in her eyes while telling them, and feeling like I wa…

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In a recent column, CUSD Superintendent Diana Rigby encouraged parents to read with their children so they grow up loving to read and are successful in school (“Reading Is Key,” “From the Desk of the Superintendent,” CVN, Vol. 25, No. 23). Yes! For so many reasons, the love of reading is a g…

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This is a story about Tom and Bill. Tom and Bill live in Lavaville, a wonderful little mountain town filled with happy, friendly people. Lavaville was prosperous and had many visitors who enjoyed its natural features. The most striking of these was the source of the town’s name—the remarkabl…

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Hidden along the coast of Carpinteria stands a grove of eucalyptus trees that provide a sheltering winter home for monarch butterflies gathering from points throughout the western United States. Early in the morning, giant clusters of monarchs huddle together, hundreds or thousands softly fl…

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February is kindergarten registration month and preschool parents are asking, “What can I do to ensure that my child is ready for school?”

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Driving slowly along Soda Lake Road in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, I noticed a flash of a four-legged critter 50 yards away to the west. An endangered San Joaquin kit fox had just dived into its grassland den.

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I have decided that I am a gray person, and I’m not referring to the color of my hair. So many times, life issues or decisions or choices that one has to make require serious consideration. How will you support yourself? Who will you marry, if you marry? What is your religious belief? Will y…

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