Firefighter loses fight to cancer

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department has announced the death of Dean Moore, a fire heavy equipment operator with the department. He lost his hard-fought battle with cancer on Sunday with family and friends at his side. A Fire Department Funeral Service is planned for 10:30 am on Thursday, December 10, 2009. The service will take place at the Santa Ynez Mission, located at 1760 Mission Drive in Santa Ynez. Immediately following the Funeral Service, a reception is planned at the Veterans Memorial Hall located at 1745 Mission Drive. All Santa Barbara County Fire Stations will maintain their flags at half staff until further notice, by order of Fire Chief Michael W. Dyer.

Goleta has new mayor

At Goleta’s City Council meeting Tuesday, Mayor Roger Aceves passed on his gavel to Councilman Eric Onnen. In Goleta, the job of mayor rotates between the elected council members and the mayor serves for a one-year period. Both Aceves and Onnen were elected to the council in 2006. Onnen is the owner of Santa Barbara Airbus. Onnen and Councilwoman Margaret Connell were appointed as chair and vice chair of the Redevelopment Agency and the Planning Agency, and the council shuffled appointments among themselves to various committees and agencies within the city and the county.

Old fashioned party

The Santa Ynez Valley Historical Society presents its annual Old Fashioned Holiday Party 3 to 5 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Santa Ynez Valley Historical Museum, 3596 Sagunto Street in Santa Ynez. Santa will drop by at 4:30 so bring the kids for photos. Stop in for wine, hot cider, cookie decorating, carolers and holiday cheer. Admission is $5 per person and free for museum members. Please RSVP to the museum at (805) 688-7889.

Party at the museum

The Elverhoj Museum of History and Art invites the community to celebrate the holiday season at its Members and Friends Christmas Party 6 to 8: 30 p.m. Sunday. The evening includes Danish specialty foods, homemade Christmas cookies, chocolates and Christmas cheer. Santa and Mrs. Claus will stop by between 6 and 7 p.m. with treats for the kids. The Elverhoj Museum is located at 1624 Elverhoy Way in Solvang. For more information call (805) 686-1211 or visit elverhoj.org.

LO man sentenced to 210 years

A Santa Barbara County judge has sentenced 50-year-old Los Olivos resident Javier Aguila to 210 years to life in prison for molesting five boys over several years. Aguila was sentenced Monday by Superior Court Judge Jed Beebe on multiple counts of sexual crimes. He also got four years in prison on two felony counts of dissuading a witness. Prosecutor Kevin Duffy said the defendant robbed the boys of their innocence. Defense attorney Michael Scott says his client steadfastly claims he is innocent and did not receive a fair trial. The attorney says that will be decided by an appellate court. (Associated Press)

Solvang Library book sale

The Solvang Library will hold its Holiday Book Sale 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Dec. 12. This year, the sale will also include crafts created by the library volunteers. The book sale includes many nearly new donated books, books recently cleared from the shelves and holiday gifts for sale. Proceeds from the sale will benefit both the Solvang Library’s volunteer program and the library’s collections. The library welcomes book donations for the sale. Solvang Library is located at 1745 Mission Drive, Solvang. For more information call (805) 688-4214.

Theatre Group presents comedy

The Santa Ynez High School Theatre Group opens its fall season with “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” The holiday comedy, made into a film in 1944 starring Bette Davis and Monty Wooley, involves a 1930s radio celebrity, Sheridan Whiteside, who takes up residence in the home of an Ohio family after he accidentally slips on ice and is injured on their front steps just before Christmas. The Man Who Came to Dinner is appropriate for all ages. Showtime is 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and again Dec. 10 to 12 in the Santa Ynez High School Little Theatre. General Admission is $10 and $5 for students. For more information call (805) 688-6487, ext. 2361.

Grants for teachers

The California Table Grape Commission’s Innovation in Teaching program is offering 10 mini-grants for up to $500 each to teachers in California’s grape-growing regions. The mini-grants are available to elementary, junior-high and high-school teachers. Mini-grant flyers and applications can be downloaded from the commission website at grapesfromcalifornia.com, within the Kids & Teachers section. Teachers can contact the commission at info@grapesfromcalifornia.com for more information.


Reward offered in man’s death

A $25,000 reward announced by Gov. Schwarzenegger is raising hopes that the offer will lead to the conviction of those responsible for the beating death of Gregory Ghan in Isla Vista May 31, 2008. The Governor’s Office announced Monday it was offering rewards for four unsolved crimes in California including the attack on 53-year old Gregory Ghan. Early that morning two people discovered Ghan unconscious on the front steps of a neighborhood clinic. Ghan was placed on life support at a local hospital where he died 10 days later. “We welcome the reward being offered by the Governor’s Office,” said Sheriff Bill Brown. “Our investigators have done a tremendous job in gathering evidence and interviewing potential witnesses; however, they’ve exhausted all avenues in this case. Hopefully this reward will shine a light on the crime and reveal more information to help bring to justice those responsible for the murder of Gregory Ghan.” Anyone with information regarding this investigation is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Department at (805) 681-4150 or the anonymous Sheriff’s Tip Line at (805) 681-4171.

Drivers cautioned

Caltrans reminds motorists to be cautious during the Santa Barbara International Marathon 6:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Sunday. The event begins on Cathedral Oaks Road near Hollister Avenue and includes a portion of State Route 225 (Las Positas Road/Shoreline Drive) to Santa Barbara City College. Motorists and cyclists are asked to use caution during the marathon. Volunteer staff and law enforcement will be located along the route to ensure the safety of cyclists, motorists and pedestrians.

Children’s parade Friday

The Lompoc Annual Children’s Holiday Parade takes place 6 p.m. Friday. The parade begins by heading south on H Street, then turns west on Ocean Avenue and south to I Street. After the parade, participants and spectators are invited to gather at Centennial Park, on the corner of Cypress and H Streets, for the announcement of parade winners, light refreshments and the lighting of the Community Christmas Tree and a chance to visit with Santa. A rain date is slated for 6 p.m. Dec. 11.

BikeFest needs you

The local nonprofit Kids and Bikes Foundation needs volunteers for BikeFest 2009, the fifth annual Kids and Bikes bike assembly event Saturday. Hundreds of community members are needed to assemble 650 bikes, which then will be given to local charities including The Unity Shoppe, The Teddy Bear foundation, Bishop Garcia Diego High School (Project Santa), Catholic Charities, Transition House, Devereux Foundation, United State Army Reserves, Santa Barbara Police Activates League (PAL) and the Goleta Boys and Girls Club. With each bike, a new safety helmet is included. The bikes are bought with generous donations from sponsors and individuals. With more bikes needed for charities, Kids and Bikes Foundation is reaching out to the community to provide funds to purchase more bikes. To date, Kids and Bikes Foundation has collected $28,000 of the $50,000 needed to complete the purchase of the bikes earmarked for the 2009 holiday season. BikeFest 2009 is a community event in which volunteers — from family and friends to local business owners to people from all industries — spend the day together assembling all types of bikes for kids. To sign up to volunteer, please email kidsnbikessb@gmail.com. Volunteers are promised a good time, with live music and plenty of food and drink. For more information or to donate to buy more bikes, please visit kidsnbikes.org.

Holiday safety tips

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department offers the following suggestions to keep your holiday safe: When purchasing a live tree, look for signs of freshness. A fresh tree is green, the needles will be difficult to pull from branches, and a minimum number of needles should fall off. To keep your tree fresh, cut off about 2 inches of the trunk to expose fresh wood for better water absorption, and check the water level daily. When placing your tree in your home, make sure it is kept away from heat sources like fire places or heater vents. Also, make sure no exits are blocked by the tree. Check your lights before placing them on your tree. Look for worn or frayed wires and broken bulbs. When you leave your home or go to sleep at night, turn off the lights on the tree. Take care when using candles. Keep them away from other flammable decorations. Place them where they cannot be knocked over or reached by children. Do not leave lit candles in an unattended room. Make sure your smoke detectors are working properly. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department says “Fires don’t take a holiday.” By taking some precautions, you and your family can celebrate a fire-safe holiday.

Pet adoptions this weekend

To help homeless pets get a home for the holidays, County Animal Services is discounting all adoptions Saturday and Sunday. Santa Barbara County Animal Services reports it has been bursting at the seams in all three community shelters for most of 2009. By adopting your perfect match you can add a family member and save a life this holiday season. For this weekend only, all animal adoptions will be significantly discounted. Dog and cat adoptions will be reduced by $55 each. A dog adoption will cost $35 and a cat adoption $10. Rabbit adoptions will be $20 and all guinea pig adoptions $5.50. The shelters will be open Sunday in honor of the event. For the adoption fee you will receive a companion that has been spayed or neutered and is current on all vaccinations. All three county shelters will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. Visit the Santa Barbara Shelter at 5473 Overpass Road, the Lompoc Shelter at 1501 West Central, or the Santa Maria Animal Center at 548 West Foster Road.

SBCC celebrates 100

In honor of the College’s Centennial anniversary, Santa Barbara City College, the Foundation for Santa Barbara City College and the Santa Barbara County Arts Commission present “A Century of Success: Santa Barbara City College Historical Photo Exhibition” at Santa Barbara City Hall, 735 Anacapa Street, now through May 28, 2010. More than 30 historical photographs depicting different decades of the college’s history and growth will be on display at the City Hall’s Gallery on the first floor hallway. The exhibit is free and open to the public.