Roundabout or no?

Officials seek public comment on plans to widen the intersection of Highway 246 and Alamo Pintado Road at the eastern edge of Solvang. At a community meeting Jan.19 at Solvang City Hall, potential plans for the intersection will be displayed during a public workshop 3 to 7 p.m. After the workshop, public comment is sought to determine the best course of action for the intersection. Plans are to widen Highway 246 — Mission Drive inside the city limits — to include two through-lanes in each direction. Then there are three options: one is a standard configuration with traffic lights, and the other two involve roundabouts. During the first three hours, the public can view diagrams and other information and ask questions of engineers from the city’s consulting firm. At 6 p.m., engineers will give a presentation on the three alternatives for about 20 minutes and then take more questions and public comment.

Reward for animal abuse

The San Luis Obispo County Crime Stoppers program in cooperation with Varian Arabians is offering a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person(s) responsible for the shooting of two mares Dec. 30. One of the mares was put to sleep as a result of her injuries. The shooting occurred in the 1200 block of Corbett Canyon Rd. in rural Arroyo Grande at approximately 8:30 p.m. The horses were discovered early the next morning. People with information are asked to call Crime Stoppers at 805-549-STOP (7867), or text SLOTIPS with your message to CRIMES (274637), or log on to slotips.org to provide information.

Donate old cell phones

Rotary is collecting old cell phones to help create scholarships for students. For six years, Los Olivos Rotary Club has collected and resold old cell phones with all of the receipts going to scholarships. A few of the phones are donated to People Helping People to provide victims of domestic violence a way to call 911 in an emergency. “This is a win-win for valley residents,” said Allan Pacela, past president of Los Olivos Rotary Club. “When donated, your old cell phones don’t go into the landfill; they are sold to a wholesaler, which deletes phone numbers and all data and cleans and resells them.” You can drop off old cell phones (they don’t have to have chargers, batteries or instructions) at the following locations: Santa Barbara Bank & Trust, Solvang branch at Alamo Pintado and Mission; Nielsen’s Market at the Nielsen’s Center; the Cleaners in Nielsen’s Center; Performance Fitness at the Solvang Village Square (the former factory store buildings on Alisal); and at El Rancho Market on Mission (look for the old pickle barrel just past checkout). The Rotary Club of Los Olivos meets at 5:15 p.m. each Thursday at the Grange Hall in Los Olivos. For information about Rotary, call Toni Coble, the club’s president, at (805) 688-3736.

Free Day of Dentistry

Dr. Steven Johnson will host the 6th annual Free Day of Dentistry — Dentistry from the Heart — at all his Johnson Family Dental offices Feb. 20. Johnson and his staff, sponsors and volunteers will help low-income people in urgent need of dental work by treating them with fillings, extractions and cleanings for free. Johnson Family Dental sponsors Dentistry from the Heart each year on the Central Coast in association with hundreds of dental practices nationally. Founded in 2001 by a dentist in New Port Richey, Fla., the program was created to aid those in need, including the growing population of under-insured and unemployed Americans. During the day, patients will be seen on a first-come, first-serve basis and may choose a filling, tooth extraction or cleaning. The offices are located in Solvang at 678 Alamo Pintado, (805) 688-9999; in Santa Barbara at 200 N La Cumbre Rd #H, (805) 687-6767; and in Ventura at 88 N Oak Street #2A, (805) 643-5026.

Award for good works

Teens in the Santa Ynez Valley have an opportunity to be recognized for the good works they’re doing and earn $36,000. The Diller Teen Tikkun Olam Awards recognize young Californians who have distinguished themselves as leaders and have initiated community service projects that impact their communities in meaningful ways. This is the fourth year for the statewide philanthropic endeavor. Any teacher, civic leader, or non-family member may nominate a young California resident who is between 13 and 19 years old. Nomination forms are available at sfjcf.org/diller/teenawards, by contacting (415) 512-6432, or by emailing: dillerteens@sfjcf.org. Nominations must be received by the application deadline of Feb. 19.

Botanic Gardens takes root

The Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Gardens will begin its planting process from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at River View Park off Sycamore Drive in Buellton, and volunteers are asked to bring rakes, hoes and spades to help in ground preparation. Shrub planting is scheduled for the following Saturday, Jan. 16, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Volunteers for that day are also asked to bring their tools. For more information, call Maren at 680-3522 or e-mail maren_lcb@hotmail.com.

State of the City

Buellton’s State of the City Address and luncheon is slated for noon Feb. 10 at the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton. The cost to attend is $20 and includes a sit-down lunch. Reservations must be made by Feb. 5 and can be done through the Buellton Chamber of Commerce by calling (805) 688-7829 or by logging onto buellton.org and paying with PayPal.

4-H club’s record sales

Lucky Clover 4-H club members spent time in December selling See’s candy as a fundraising activity. Its members tried to sell as many boxes of candy as they could. Alexandra Jones sold more than $1.200 of the candy. All together, almost 330 pounds of candy was sold by the members of Lucky Clover 4-H. Club members say it was the most money they had ever made during the fundraiser. All the proceeds support the club’s activities. Lucky Clover’s next meeting is scheduled at 7 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Grange Hall in Los Olivos. For more information, visit luckyclover4h.org.

Princess Ball tickets on sale

Tickets are now available for the Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA’s fourth annual Princess Ball, 6 to9 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Solvang Veteran’s Memorial Building. Themed Hollywood Glitz and Glam: A Night on the Red Carpet, doors open at 4:30 for photos by Christine’s Photography. Refreshments will be available at 5. The dance officially begins at 6 with entertainment provided by AMS Entertainment of Grover Beach. Daughters will be given a tiara upon entrance down the red carpet and can pick up a glitzy coin purse goody-bag at the end of the night. Purchase tickets ($30 for dad and daughter; $5 more for each additional daughter) at the YMCA located at 900 N. Refugio Rd. in Santa Ynez. Financial Assistance is available.

Animal rescue benefit

New Frontiers Natural Marketplace at 1984 Old Mission Drive in Solvang, donates 5 percent of its sales for the day each third Wednesday of each month. This month, on Jan. 20, the recipient of the donation is Happy Endings Animal Rescue Sanctuary.. The animal rescue group is devoted to the care and rehabilitation of domestic animals and has been recognized and honored by the SPCA for its outstanding dedication and work.

Goleta to give grants

The City of Goleta is accepting applications for its annual Community Project Grants Program. The grants support projects benefitting the Goleta community. Grants of up to $2,500 are available to civic and community organizations that show they enhance the quality of life for Goleta residents. Applications are being accepted through Feb. 17 and are available on the city’s website at cityofgoleta.org. Call City Hall at (805) 961-7523 for more information.


Book drive

The AmeriCorps Reading Literacy Program of the Santa Barbara County Education Office will host a book drive from 11 a.m. to 5 p m. Monday at several bookstores throughout the county in recognition of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. All books collected will be donated to K-12 public-school students of low-income families. The AmeriCorps Reading Literacy Program serves more than 900 students each school year (americorpstutors.org). As part of the book drive, AmeriCorps members will be at Borders and Chaucer’s Bookstore in Santa Barbara and Borders in Goleta to receive donated new books. Customers at the stores that day will receive a flyer with a suggested list of the books needed, and then volunteers will to collect the donated books. AmeriCorps members will also engage children in reading and coloring activities throughout the day at both Borders locations. For more information, call Tom Spadoro at the Santa Barbara County Education Office, at (805) 964-4710, ext. 4405.

Casting call

PCPA’s casting and audition tour will wind down with a stop at home in Santa Maria at the end of January. The tour seeks to cast the professional actors and theatre technicians needed for PCPA’s summer season, as well as audition students who are applying for the two-year acting and technical theatre training programs at PCPA. Local auditions are at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Jan. 30 and 31 at the Columbia Business Center-PCPA Rehearsal Rooms, 900 E. Stowell Rd. in Santa Maria. To schedule an appointment or for audition requirements, call (805) 928-7731, ext. 3100 or email audition@pcpa.org. The complete audition tour schedule can be found at pcpa.org.

Let’s talk gangs

The Santa Maria Police Department hosts a town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Veterans Memorial Community Center, 313 W. Tunnell, to address the topic of gang injunctions and the effectiveness on gang-related crime. A diversified panel of experts from the police department, the Santa Barbara County Probation Department, the District Attorney’s Office and the private sector will answer questions from the public regarding gang crime in the community and the complex aspects of a gang injunction, and to discuss potential solutions. The public is invited to attend and join in the discussion. The meeting will be held in English, but several Spanish translation devices will be available. Bilingual officers will be available to answer questions at the end of the meeting. Refreshments will be served.

Driving delays expected

A project to improve the Highway 101-Turnpike Road interchange and State Route 192 (Foothill Road) between Ontare Road and Alamar Avenue begins Jan. 13. Caltrans plans to build new ramps on the corners to comply with the American with Disabilities Act, and modify the location of traffic signals. There will be intermittent one-way traffic control on Foothill during the daytime hours. There will also be intermittent ramp closures Monday through Thursday on the Highway 101 northbound and southbound off-ramps at Turnpike Road from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The El Sueno Road and Patterson Avenue off-ramps will remain open. Motorists can expect a delay not to exceed 10 minutes during one-way traffic control on Foothill Road. This project is expected to be completed in May 2010, weather permitting. The contractor for the $428,000 project is Granite Construction.