Meet Dave Emerson, Interim Highway 101 Corridor Manager
By Nick Schou   |   February 4, 2021

Last time inthis ongoing series of profiles of the people leading the 101 Freeway widening project currently taking place in Carpinteria, Summerland, and Montecito, we introduced you to the project’s head honcho, Fred Luna, director of project delivery and construction for the Santa Barbara County Association of Governments. This month, we introduce readers to another […]

Imagining the Downtown of Tomorrow
By Zach Rosen   |   January 7, 2021

An earthquake a century ago shook Santa Barbara but united the city. Can today’s housing and economic crises coalesce to effect similar change? The retail closures of State Street and local housing crisis are familiar topics in the area and have been discussed for years. In 2017 the Santa Barbara chapter of the American Institute […]

 

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101 Freeway Construction Holiday Update
By Nick Schou   |   December 31, 2020

Note to readers: This update covers the time period from Dec. 20, 2020 to Jan. 9, 2021. Crews will not work on Dec. 24, 25, 31, and Jan. 1 in observance of the holidays. Drive safe and enjoy the break! Closures: Northbound Highway 101 Sunday nights, 9:00 pm – 5:00 am, 1 lane: N Padaro […]

Meet the Head Honcho for 101 Freeway Widening Project
By Nick Schou   |   December 31, 2020

Assuming that Montecito makes it through the next few years without any major wildfires, floods, mudslides, earthquakes, or tsunamis (okay, so that last potential natural disaster seems about as likely as a meteor strike), then the biggest story that will affect everyone in town for the foreseeable future is the 101 Freeway widening project. With […]

Rebuilding & Recovery Update
By Kelly Herrick   |   December 31, 2020

Also at MPC last week, County planner Joe Dargel gave an update on the rebuilding following the Thomas Fire and 1/9 debris flow, nearly two years after the debris flow damaged or destroyed 631 structures in Montecito, and took the lives of 23 members of our community.  When the County first took stock of the […]

New Storm Map to be Released
By Kelly Herrick   |   December 24, 2020

This Thursday, December 17, the Montecito Fire Department, in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Carpinteria Summerland Fire Protection District, and First District Supervisor Das Williams will host a virtual community meeting to provide winter preparedness information and to publicly release the updated Interactive Storm Impact Consideration Risk Map. […]

Santa Barbara’s Bucket Brigade Unveils New Trail Project in Montecito
By Nick Schou   |   December 10, 2020

If you’ve ever trekked up the walking path on the west side of San Ysidro Road between the 101 Freeway and East Valley Road, or along the north side of North Jameson Lane between San Ysidro and Olive Mill Road, then you are already familiar with Montecito’s recently established community trail network. While sidewalks were […]

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Montecito Planning Commission Approves Plan to Keep Debris Nets Up For Next Three Years
By Nick Schou   |   December 3, 2020

In a unanimous vote last week, the Montecito Planning Commission extended the permits for several Swiss-built flexible steel debris nets that were installed above town after the tragic mudslides that occurred in the wake of the Thomas Fire nearly three years ago. Thanks to a multi-million-dollar fundraising effort by The Partnership for Resilient Communities (TPRC), […]

Transportation, the 101, and Bears, Oh My!
By Sharon Byrne   |   November 19, 2020

The Montecito Association Transportation Committee deals with all things roads, bike paths, and pedestrian walkways in Montecito. At our October meeting, we got an update on the Highway 101 project, including the reasons why the backup was so bad when the Sheffield segment started. The state switched the construction schedule from night to day due […]

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At Long Last, the Apocalyptic 101 Freeway Widening Project is Upon Us
By Nick Schou   |   November 12, 2020

By the time you read this, the outcome of the U.S. presidential race may not be decided, but one thing will be certain: The much-anticipated 101 Freeway widening project, which will add two new lanes between Summerland and Santa Barbara over the next three years, will not only not be over, it will have already […]

Struggling with Homeowner’s Insurance?
By Sharon Byrne   |   October 29, 2020

Revelations From the California Insurance Commissioner’s Marathon Virtual Hearing The good news from the pandemic: the state has learned how to do Zoom. We no longer have to trek to Sacramento to work with state officials; we can now do it from our living rooms. Direct democracy in action! We met Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara last […]

Congressmen Carbajal Secures FEMA Funding for Randall Road Debris Basin
By Nick Schou   |   October 28, 2020

Congressman Salud Carbajal’s office announced today that it had secured a $13.5 million grant from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on behalf of the Santa Barbara County Flood Control District that will allow the county to purchase several properties along Randall Road in Montecito and begin construction on a new debris basin near San […]

Montecito Trails Foundation Goes Ass First into Second Phase of San Ysidro Trail’s Restoration
By Nick Schou   |   October 22, 2020

After an almost monthlong closure aimed at preventing new fires in what is already one of the busiest fire seasons in California history, the National Forest Service reopened the Los Padres National Forest on October 9. At just after 9 am that morning, 13 mules and a horse led by a trio of wranglers hired […]

Controversy Erupts Over Cold Spring School District’s Measure L
By Nick Schou   |   October 22, 2020

There’s a long history in Montecito of well-intentioned yet pricey local school bond measures that have failed to win at the ballot box. In 2012, Montecito Union School unsuccessfully sought to raise $27 million for various campus improvements, an effort that collapsed under the weight of criticism by property tax paying opponents who viewed it […]

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