Save a life

The Vikings of Solvang ask all residents to take the first step toward becoming a bone marrow donor by attending their bone marrow drive 2 to 6 p.m. Tuesday at the Santa Ynez Valley Presbyterian Church at 1825 Alamo Pintado Road in Ballard.

The drive was initially started to help one of the Vikings’s members, Jeff Miller, who is currently at the City of Hope in Arcadia waiting for a bone marrow transplant. There is an added urgency in identifying possible donors, as another Valley resident, Beka Malloy, a fellow parishioner at the Presbyterian Church, is in need of a match. While Jeff’s brother is a match, Beka is still waiting.

Anyone age 18–60 who is willing to donate to any patient in need and meets the health guidelines can join. You’ll complete a short health questionnaire and sign a form stating you understand what being on the registry means. Then you give a swab of cheek cells or small blood sample to be tested, and your information is added to the registry

The Vikings will serve refreshments at the event. For more information, call either Glen Jacobsen (805-325-1290), Doug Riedy (805-448-8590) or Harry Crosby (805-550-2038).


Empty Bowls feed people

Santa Ynez and Los Alamos Valley restaurants and winery tasting rooms will donate a portion of their gross proceeds from their daily sales on Oct. 15 to People Helping People’s Food Program.

The event is part of the eighth annual Empty Bowls campaign, a national movement to increase awareness of hunger. The empty bowl symbolizes the adults and children in the U.S. who do not have enough to eat.

Restaurants and wine tasting rooms participating in Empty Bowls will display the Empty Bowls poster. Organizers ask that you please thank the participating establishments for their generosity.


Local nabs 2nd in All Around

On Saturday, Los Alamos resident Luke Branquinho — 2008’s PRCA World Champion Steer Wrestler   took home $5,000 and placed second in the All Around award at the 99th annual Pendleton Round-Up Pendleton, Ore.


‘Try to Remember’

Valley residents are invited to “Try to remember the kind of September when life was slow, and oh so mellow.”

 “The Fantasticks” is coming to the Valley Community Theatre. The musical, about two neighboring fathers who put up a wall between their houses to ensure that their children fall in love because they know children always do what their parents forbid,” will have a two-week run at the Grange Hall in Los Olivos starting Nov. 5.

The curtain rises at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights Nov. 5, 6 and 7 and Nov. 12, 13 and 14. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased in advance at El Rancho Market, The Bookloft and at SYV Coffee Company. A limited number of tickets will be available at the door. 

For more information call Carol Bridgeman at (805) 450-5725.


Prehistoric game preserve

A computer-generated program by local resident Ken Doud, “Figueroa Mountain Game Preserve,” will be the feature of the Wildling Art Museum’s Free Friday Flicks Oct. 2.

Co-hosted with the Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society, the program focuses on renderings of animals that once existed in our area, back in the Late Pleistocene period.

Prehistoric elephants, lions, saber-toothed cats and many other large beasts were part of the now-vanished megafauna in California. This presentation is made as if the creatures had not become extinct and can be viewed at a local game preserve on Figueroa Mountain.

Doud’s photo simulations use state-of-the-art digital technology to depict accurate restorations, and they are based on Rancho La Brea Tar Pit fossils of the extinct animals.

Doud is a Los Olivos resident who holds a master’s degree in fine arts from UCSB. He uses computer technology to create special effects and photo simulations for land-use planners, scientific publications, and architects. 

The program begins 7:30 p.m. in the museum’s gallery at 2928 San Marcos Avenue in Los Olivos (next to the Corner House Coffee shop).

The Museum provides free popcorn and cookies, water, soft drinks and wine. For more information, call (805) 688-1082 or consult wildlingmuseum.org.


Paradise Road fire snuffed

Two firefighters were treated for heat-related injuries while crews successfully contained a five-acre fire off Paradise Road on Friday, U.S. Forest Service spokesman Joe Pasinato said.

The fire started about a half-mile from the Los Prietos Ranger Station by a trailhead just off Highway 154. The cause of the blaze is unknown and under investigation.


Comedy comes to Valley

The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre will converge on Solvang for the Ultimate Comedy Bash on Oct. 9 and 10.

The first show, Fresh Faces, will be at

The Maverick Saloon is the setting for the first show Oct. 9, hosted by Paul F. Tompkins (“Comedy Central Presents”) and featuring young UCB performers on the rise.

On Oct. 10, the theater’s signature improv show will be at the Solvang Festival Theater.

And finally, it’s the Greatest Comedy Show Ever, also at the Solvang Festival Theater on Oct. 10. Tickets are $10 to $35. For tickets and more info, visit ultimatecomedybash.com.


Spine elevations

Elementary and high school students have an opportunity to have their spines evaluated by chiropractor Dr. Pat Daily and certified trainer Diane Curriden 6 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Neary Chiropractic office in Buellton, behind Burger King. For more information, contact Daily at (805) 688-8884.


Trains, trains, trains

The 27th annual Depot Day takes place Sunday. The annual event celebrates the preservation of the Southern Pacific railroad station building, built in 1901 by the Southern Pacific Railroad during the completion of the Coast Line route connecting the cities of San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The Goleta Depot is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the official U.S. listing of buildings, sites and other properties declared worthy of preservation.

Depot Day will feature four different rides, involving three types of rail vehicles. A day-long silent auction will feature about 200 valuable items for all ages (auction list available at goletadepot.org/DDAY.htm). A chicken barbecue meal prepared by Woody’s Catering will be served noon to 3 p.m., and other food and refreshments include hot dogs, soft drinks, and other beverages.

There will be continuous showings of train-theme films, including rail-travel documentaries and, for children, videos featuring the lovable character, Thomas The Tank Engine.

The event is 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the South Coast Railroad Museum, located at the Goleta Depot, 300 No. Los Carneros Road, Goleta

A donation of $1 per person will be requested upon admission. Discount barbecue tickets may be purchased in advance at the railroad museum’s Trackside Shop. For further information, contact the museum office at (805) 964-3540.




Winds may stir ash and soot

County residents are being urged to pay attention to changing wind conditions in the next few months. Winds in the fall and winter may stir up ash and soot from burned areas.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department and the Air Pollution Control Division will issue Air Quality Watches when events are forecast.

The departments say to be cautious and use common sense if you sense ash and soot particles in the air. People with heart or lung disease (including asthma), older adults and children are especially vulnerable. They should limit their time outdoors when there are high levels of particles in the air.

All residents are asked to avoid stirring particles in the air when cleaning up ash and soot, especially avoiding leaf blowers. Visit ourair.org to sign up for air advisory updates.


County gets top honor

Santa Barbara County’s multi-jurisdictional effort Avoid the 12 was named best multi-jurisdictional enforcement and public information effort in California by the California Law Enforcement Challenge Monday.

Commander Dominick Palera and Deputy Win Smith began the program four years ago.

The county effort beat out second-place Avoid the 100 in Los Angeles County along with Fresno County’s Avoid the 21 and Monterey County’s Avoid the 18, which tied for third. California has 41 Avoid campaigns, each named for the number of law enforcement agencies in each county.

The competition is sponsored by the California Office of Traffic Safety and the California Highway Patrol. Entries are judged on officer training, policies and procedures, public information, recognition programs, enforcement efforts and results.

Palera and Smith recognized Deputy Tom Green, the campaign’s staffing director; Jacky Green, who handles financial matters; and Jan Ford, public information director, for their contributions to the effort.


Join Search and Rescue

The Santa Barbara Search and Rescue, an all volunteer branch of the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department, covers all 2,550 square miles of Santa Barbara County. The team is trained to use specialized equipment to handle a variety of emergencies such as high-angle rock rescues, car over the side accidents, downed aircraft, swiftwater rescues, search for lost hikers and other incidents. The team averages 80-100 calls per year.

People interested in joining the Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team will now find Search and Rescue listed with the United Way of Santa Barbara County volunteer matching website. The website allows people to find the perfect volunteer opportunity through its unique search engine. There is no charge for volunteers to use the site. More information at volunteer.united-e-way.org/uwsbc.

For more information about the Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue team, or to find out if volunteering with the group is for you, please contact Nelson Trichler at (805) 963-5822.


A day for caregivers

With more than 52 million Americans providing care to family and friends, the act of caregiving is fast becoming a national epidemic. To provide resources and support to Central Coast caregivers, the Caregiver Media Group will host the Fearless Caregiver Conference 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at Earl Warren Showgrounds in Santa Barbara. Cindy Laverty, host of The Cindy Laverty Show on KZSB AM-1290, will provide the luncheon address.  

Complimentary tickets, which include lunch, are available by calling (800) 829-2734 or registering online at caregiver.com.


Cancer checks important

It is well known that firefighters consider other firefighters as family. The bond becomes even stronger when one of them is sick or injured. Recently, one of Santa Barbara County’s firefighters contracted cancer.

He is currently undergoing extensive chemotherapy treatment at UCLA Medical Center. As a show of support to their bed ridden brother firefighter, four Santa Barbara County Firefighters are running from Santa Barbara to UCLA to surprise him at his hospital room.

They aren’t looking for donations, publicity, or anyone’s time. They are simply doing it to show their love and support for their seriously sick brother. The only thing they ask is that you get periodic cancer checks and support your local cancer research.


Want to serve in the military?

U.S. Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Ventura and Santa Barbara counties) will host Academy Information Night for young adults interested in attending one of America’s military academies.

The informational night starts at 7 p.m., Wednesday in the Cabrillo High School (Vandenberg Village) cafeteria, 4350 Constellation Road, Lompoc.

Applicants must be U.S. citizens; have reached their 17th birthday but not their 23rd; and be unmarried, not pregnant and have no legal obligation for support of a child or other dependents. High school students are welcome to preview what will be expected should they wish to apply. Parents and siblings are also welcome.

Representatives from each branch of the U.S. military will be on hand to discuss the application process. Information on the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the U.S. Air Force Academy will be presented.

For more information, contact Deputy Director Steve Lavagnino at (805) 686-2525. Interested students may also visit Gallegly’s academy nominations webpage at house.gov/gallegly/services/academies.htm, which includes links to the different academies.