Farr letter opposes tribal annexation
By Julian Ramos, Santa Ynez Valley News
In a letter to Alaska Congressman Don Young, 3rd District county Supervisor Doreen Farr has detailed her opposition to placing the Chumash tribe’s rural “Camp 4” property in Santa Ynez into federal trust.
The four-page letter addresses a recent request by the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians to Young, an Alaska Republican who is chairman of the House Indian and Native Alaskan Affairs Subcommittee, to help the tribe add the 1,400 agricultural acres into their reservation through direct congressional legislation.
Annexation to the reservation would make the property exempt from local and state taxes and local planning and zoning laws.
The significant loss of tax revenue to the county and to all of the special districts, including schools, which depend upon it would impact all county services,” Farr said. “We cannot afford to lose any of this revenue, particularly during the current severe economic downturn.
“Any proposed development has many other potential impacts including impacts to police and fire services, to traffic and circulation and to the continued viability of agriculture, both on the property in question and on all the properties that surround it. If gaming were also on the property it would obviously only exacerbate those impacts.”
She sent copies of her letter to U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, Central Coast Congress members Lois Capps and Elton Gallegly, Santa Barbara County CEO Chandra Waller, the other four Santa Barbara County supervisors, and Armenta.
City opens first electric-vehicle ‘fueling’ stations in county
By Marga K. Cooley, Santa Ynez Valley News
Drivers can get a charge in Solvang
Drivers of electric vehicles are now able to plug in at three public charging stations in Solvang, the first to be installed in Santa Barbara County through a public-private partnership intended to encourage the use of electric cars.
In Solvang, the program is also intended to bolster tourism, the city’s primary industry.
“There are about 40 more stations in the queue to be installed in Santa Barbara County,” added Dave Van Mullem, director of the Air Pollution Control District.
Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr, whose district includes the Santa Ynez Valley, said the goal is an integrated system that will connect regionally, so that drivers from out of town know they can check a phone app and find the next charging station.
“I think that will help people who have had concerns about buying an electric car because they’re perceived as being for shorter trips,” Farr said.
“It’s particularly nice that it’s not just going to be in Santa Barbara and on the South Coast, but all over the entire county,” she said.
Guadalupe Library Needs a Hero
By Brian Bullock, Santa Maria Times
Unless a hero rides to the rescue, the final chapters in the story of the Guadalupe Branch Library could be written over the next four months.
The small, but popular library will close on June 30 because the city can no longer afford the $20,000 annual rent on the building at 4719 West Main St
The library has Mayor Lupe Alvarez and 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr in its corner. Both pledged any support they could muster,
Farr said there was also some money available to the library that had not been allocated for this fiscal year that could help with rent or moving expenses.
Boydstun said around 1,000 people utilize the library each month, and it has 2,534 cardholders. The city has a population of about 7,000.
“There’s a lot of mothers and children who use it. A lot of oldsters use it. The computers are going constantly,” Boydstun said. “I just can’t feature a city without a library.”
Santa Ynez Valley Union High School Opens Doors to New Experiences
By SaraLloyd Truax, Santa Ynez Valley Journal
Ever on a hunt to broaden student experiences, especially in our increasingly global world, Santa Ynez Valley Union High School is opening its doors to international experiences within the confines of its limited budget. Actually, in an unusually positive twist of fate, the opportunity is a financial gain for the school, says superintendent Paul Turnbull.
This fall, 30 students from the Niels Brock Copenhagen Business College (Niels Brock) will attend the high school as tuition paying students if enough local host families can be found. Host families will be paid $475 per month per student.
“It will be a life-changing experience for all the students involved,” says 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr.
Hazardous Materials Banned on Highway 154
by Kevin Zambrano, Santa Barbara Independent
Authorities announced Monday that trucks carrying hazardous materials are no longer allowed to travel Highway 154. With Supervisors Doreen Farr and Janet Wolf at his side, along with the mayors of Goleta and Solvang, Assistant Chief Scott Howland of the California Highway Patrol’s Coastal Division Office said that this marked the completion of a process put in motion in December 2010. In August of that year, a truck careened off of the 154 — commonly known as the San Marcos Pass — and crashed into a home on State Street, killing three residents. Since then Santa Barbara County officials have been stepping up efforts to improve safety along the highway
Hazardous waste was already not allowed on route 154, but now all hazardous materials fall under the ban. Trucks delivering HazMats to locations along the route will be exempt from the new restrictions, but all other trucks marked as carrying dangerous materials will have to use Highway 101 or else face hefty penalties: $500 and up to 60 days in prison.
“This is really a great day for Santa Barbara County,” Farr said. “Now the volume of large trucks will be reduced, and drinking water from Lake Cachuma will be ensured.” Farr also noted that the CHP was “fantastic to work with” and thanked her colleagues for support. “I live in the Santa Ynez Valley. I travel the pass all the time,” she said, adding a personal touch to her remarks.