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We’ve all heard stories about the Mayflower and the First Thanksgiving—how the colonists left England in September of 1620, spent an arduous 66 days crossing the Atlantic before arriving at Cape Cod, suffered the loss of half the original passengers during that first disease-ridden winter, a…

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Some notable developments have occurred since my last, admittedly impassioned, column about the Surfline company’s camera trained on the Rincon from somewhere in La Conchita. My position remains unchanged: I view the camera as an imposition on our community, and, by extension, the wider surf…

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“Facing Ourselves,” the recently-closed art installment that centered on portraits by Patricia Houghton-Clarke of Carpinterians and immigrants from around the world hung throughout our community and at the Carpinteria Arts Center. The Arts Center’s website explained, “The exhibition is inten…

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The Cow Fire burned brightly to the south, smoke wafting skyward and colliding with billowing, puffy monsoonal clouds hovering above the Eastern Sierra.

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As we hope for winter rains as nourishing as last year’s, now is the time to prepare perennial garden space. Many vegetable farms and gardens operate on a seasonal cycle of annual plants whose short lives span the longer, warmer days of spring to fall. In contrast, perennial plants have life…

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Picture yourself driving in slow-and-go traffic toward Santa Barbara on a sunny fall day. Suddenly a little red sports car zooms past you on the shoulder, cuts in front of you, and zigzags its way through the traffic ahead.

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Ask any Carpinteria High School (CHS) student, “What are your post-secondary plans and more than likely you will learn about a “10yearPLAN” created in the freshman “Get Focused ...Stay Focused!” (GFSF) college and career readiness course at CHS.

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Major Roy McBride of the United States Space Command is a cool customer. He’s got ice in his veins. Strap him to a rocket, knock him off his footing thousands of feet in the air, shoot at him, yell at him, punch him—he won’t blink.  

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We all know a child that has special needs. We all know these children need and deserve specialized and unique educational services. What we don’t always consider is how the cost of special education in public school impacts the entire school budget.

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For my coworkers and I, October means having a moment to breathe after a busy September and the Avocado Festival and getting ready for what passes for winter on our little slice of coastline. In California, over 90 percent of precipitation falls between Oct. 1 and April 30, but on the Centra…

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I thought I had it all. I’d gone through all the places where photos and letters and gems and artifacts would be saved. Gramma was fully on board with my search—it was her memories and treasures we were after to write her life story—but my thoroughness at some point taxed her. She didn’t com…

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Now Rincon is not what you’d call a “secret spot.” The Queen of the Coast is an international celebrity, and always well-attended with even a hint of swell. It certainly does not belong to me, nor to any individual, although some surfers seem to own the place through sheer skill, and more th…

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The final Shore. Sounds ominous, like crossing the river Styx to reach Hades. But this, the final Shore that I’ll write, feels more like coming into harbor, stepping off onto warm sand for a nice walk on the beach.

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This column is not uplifting, not light-hearted; but I need to say some things. We have to look at the hard stuff sometimes. We must not be silent; we must not turn the other way and pretend it’s not happening when we are worried for a child. Children didn’t choose to be brought into the wor…

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A couple weekends ago, my wife Diane and I were in Memphis and had a little free time. We heard about the National Civil Rights Museum and, even though we knew nothing about it, we thought it sounded interesting, so we found the address and headed there.

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Nestled on the edge of town where tidal ebbs and flows inundate the shore, the Carpinteria Salt Marsh spans over 230 acres of some of the most biologically productive and diverse land remaining in Southern California. It is a place of overlapping boundaries, where habitats such as tidal zone…

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I love surprises when Mother Earth serves them up. A few years ago when I kayaked from Santa Cruz Island to tiny Santa Barbara Island, I just wanted the 42-mile slog to be over.

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Tucked along the business strip that shares a wall with John Wullbrandt’s mural, “World’s Safest Beach,” you’ll find the Carpinteria Cotton Co. For 30 years, fashionable fans have flocked to this boutique to shop its latest clothing selections. Cotton Co.’s distinct style grabs hold and tran…

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Global California 2030 is the newest initiative and call to action of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, and it’s mission “is to equip students with world language skills to better appreciate and more fully engage with the rich and diverse mixture of cultures, heritage…

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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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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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Some moments in life are so dramatic they stay vividly seared in our memories. I was a high school freshman sitting in my history class when the announcement came through on the intercom: President Kennedy had been assassinated. I was a sophomore in college when we waited fearfully for draft…

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Have you found yourself this summer in a verdant park next to a glassy lake, surrounded by 80 familiar faces of all ages, eating and laughing and catching up, making new friends with old cousins? Did the celebration make you stop to think of the wondrous journey that brought you all together…

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The joke about “Good Boys” is that none of the main characters are old enough to see the movie. There’s lots of cussing. It’s crude. There’s sex and drugs and alcohol, and plenty more talk about these for-mature-audiences-only topics. It has a well-earned R-rating.

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The beginning of the school year is here! Kids (and parents) hope they like their teachers, teachers hope they get a class that gels, and everyone hopes things go smoothly. Let’s capture that warmth and positivity and keep it going! In fact, a 2019 Harvard study found that the positive effec…

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Recycling and plastics was not always a hot topic in the news. For years, the people who followed the market-driven recycling stream were primarily managers of recycling programs, commodities brokers who worked in the recycling markets, waste haulers and anyone else with a financial stake in…

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After work the other day, I went for a run along the salt marsh and then onto the beach at Ash Avenue. I slogged through the loose dry sand down to the water line and turned left. As I ran along the firm moist sand, I noticed how clean the entire beach was. Just about anywhere was a great pl…

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Last month I wrote about the new store coming soon to downtown Summerland, decrying what I saw as frivolous offerings on the website. Turns out it was the wrong Field and Fort or Fort and Field.

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It’s Monday and you’ve just sat down to your computer. You place your coffee mug in its usual spot and settle in. Your phone rings and as you stretch your arm to turn off the ringer, your elbow brushes the mug, toppling it onto your laptop.

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Where I live in the mountains just outside town, the early mornings are chilly lately, with a cool and dry wind blowing down the canyon—a sure sign that fall is on its way no matter the recent sunshine. 

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We welcome new and returning families to the 19-20 school year and look forward to greeting our students on the first day of school, Monday, Aug. 26.

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I found them curled up tightly together, fending off a combination of chilly northwest wind and wispy fog—island fox pups keeping each other warm on windswept Santa Cruz Island.

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Fog loves Summerland, lingering on our doorsteps, caressing the hillsides long after it’s deserted Carpinteria and Montecito. I used to joke that there was a fog vacuum on Ortega Hill that sucked the long, misty streamers into town. Lately, the fog machine has been fully operative.

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Dear Readers, please send me questions. You can email to Donnie@coastalview.com or mizdoni@gmail.com. Don’t worry about how to write it because we will edit for brevity and clarity.

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Every morning I enjoy coffee and a newspaper. I usually check the sports page first, so I don’t have to think too much while I’m waking up. We read the Los Angeles Times so several days a week Bill Plaschke gets me worked up about how the Lakers blew their latest recruiting negotiations or h…

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I was recently interviewed on “The Boardroom” podcast by a surf-industry colleague, Scott Bass. We riffed on growing up surfing in Southern California, the notion of surfing values and the ethical implications of bringing surfboards—and by extension, surf culture—to isolated coastal communities.

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Two men, one woman—one of them real-life, two fictional. One at the beginning of a career, one at the end, and one without much of a career at any point. Seemingly disparate stories are intertwined by a fateful history, or, rather, they could have been intertwined, if only in our imaginations.

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Last month I wrote about La Casa de No Problemas, the house my parents built in Campo Lopez, Mexico, in 1981. The home has given my family nearly 40 years of rest, relaxation, perpetual projects and memories.

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Several years ago, I wrote about community choice energy (CCE) in this column, and as the city of Carpinteria nears a decision regarding who has the buying power of our energy, I thought a reintroduction to the topic would be helpful.

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“Doctor, it hurts when I move my arm like this.”

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The plum tree was loaded, even a few branches broken under the weight of the ripe fruit. Santa Rosa plums littered the ground, plundered by ants. It’s been a very good year for fruit.

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Carpinteria’s beauty lies in the natural world that surrounds us: steep bluffs crumbling into the ocean, the sprawling, tidal world of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh and the rugged peaks of the Santa Ynez Mountains. These wild spaces, which community members and local government work to preserve…

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Carpinteria’s beauty lies in the natural world that surrounds us: steep bluffs crumbling into the ocean, the sprawling, tidal world of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh and the rugged peaks of the Santa Ynez Mountains behind town. These wild spaces, which community members and local government work…

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The skies were dark gray, which allowed spring wildflowers to prolong their brilliant bloom well into summer. Northern elephant seals appeared sickly on the windswept beach of Piedras Blancas but it was only their annual molt, shedding old, tired skin and beginning anew. Their annual molt ca…

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Raw foods guru Gerri French led a garden-to-table inspired cooking class at Carpinteria Garden Park on July 13. A professional dietitian, French demonstrated the preparation of a gourmet raw foods meal featuring legumes, grains and dressings. Following the cooking demo, class participants en…

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We suspected that the various $50-per-head “adventure tours” on offer near Lake Arenal in Costa Rica would leave us feeling confined, under-inspired and ripped off. So, we asked the nice lady at the hotel where she and her family went for outings, and she told us about a river spot just past…

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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 …

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My husband and I bought our first home in Carpinteria in 1974 for less than $30,000. We thought we would never leave this area, but about 16 years ago we went a little crazy and moved to Ojai, a charming small town with lots of quirkiness (if that’s a word). We kept our Carpinteria house bec…

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The stories of our lives come from what we’ve done and where we’ve gone. But more than likely, the dearest memories are mined from within the walls that cocooned us from the outside world. And sometimes those memories come from how those walls came to be…

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If you have read this column before, you know that I have a personal mission to reduce the amount of waste I generate. I don’t always succeed, in fact sometimes I fail spectacularly. But I try, and I encourage others to do the same. Individual behavior change is important, but large-scale re…

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The judge asked, “Has the jury reached a verdict?”

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