Three branch libraries won’t have to cut hours or reduce programs after the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to make up deficits in their operating budgets totaling $68,447 by using cannabis tax revenues.

By increasing the county’s contribution, the previously approved budget for providing library services will rise to a little less than $3.86 million.

Orcutt branch will receive $12,261, Vandenberg Village will see an additional $11,229 and Montecito’s additional allocation will be $44,956.

Lompoc community members are encouraged to ride, skate, roll, walk or scoot downtown for this week’s Old Town Market sendoff, which will carry the theme of “Healthy Lompoc Night.”

The celebration is scheduled for 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 16, in the 100 block of South H Street. While the Old Town Market series is coordinated by the Lompoc Valley Chamber of Commerce, this week’s event will be primarily hosted by the Lompoc Valley Community Healthcare Organization (LVCHO), which is using the occasion as a replacement for the Open Streets event that had been held in downtown Lompoc each of the past two years.

Ashley Costa, the executive director of the LVCHO, said the organization was “sad” to not be able to put on an Open Streets event this year, but that it was “thankful for the opportunity to showcase some of our other partnerships and initiatives.”

As part of the city’s efforts to prioritize recreation and other activities for kids, the Guadalupe City Council voted Tuesday to reconstitute its Recreation and Parks Commission, which was eliminated seven years ago as a cost-saving measure.

The five-member commission, which will meet at least once a month, will be responsible for making regular reports to the City Council and guiding the development of youth programs.

On Tuesday, the City Council voted to create the committee with a 4-0 vote. Councilman Tony Ramirez was absent.

Though classes don't start at Hancock College until next week, hundreds of incoming students flooded the Santa Maria campus Tuesday afternoon for a student orientation event designed to showcase the myriad groups and services available on campus.

Featuring campus tours, roughly two dozen workshops and 60 booths from campus groups, student groups and community organizations, Hancock Hello gives new students an opportunity to get to know the campus before classes start.

"I love seeing all the excitement and enthusiasm of all the incoming students," said Coordinator for Student Services Stephanie Robb, who helped plan the event. "They're excited to be moving onto that next chapter in their lives."

Several Lompoc Unified School District campuses were once again filled with activity on Tuesday as students, parents, and school staff members prepared for the start of the 2019-20 school year.

Multiple sites throughout the district hosted back-to-school kickoff events Tuesday, giving students and parents a chance to meet with their new teachers and visit their classrooms — as well as learn about partnering organizations — ahead of Wednesday’s official first day of school.

The new school year will usher in several changes throughout LUSD, which will welcome four new principals, continue a reading program that saw success over the summer, and expand a nutrition program that provides free daily meals to students.

Low-interest federal disaster loans are available to businesses and residents in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties affected by earthquakes that occurred July 4-12, a U.S. Small Business Administration spokesman said.

Acting Administrator Christopher M. Pilkerton said SBA acted under its own authority to declare a disaster in response to a request the agency received Aug. 5 from Mark S. Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

A former emergency manager for an Orange County water district has been named the new director of the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management.

Kelly Hubbard was chosen “following a competitive recruitment of candidates from across the country” and will assume her new duties Monday, according to a release from the county.

She succeeds Rob Lewin, who left in May after leading the County Office of Emergency Management for three years following a long career with Cal Fire.

Hubbard has extensive experience in emergency planning, assessing facility vulnerabilities, disaster finance, coordination with nonprofit organizations, public-private partnerships and crisis management, the county said.

Most recently, she served as emergency manager at the Municipal Water District of Orange County, a Metropolitan Water District member agency, for the past 15 years.

“Kelly will bring a highly collaborative approach and perspective to our committed and talented Office of Emergency Management team,” said Matt Pontes, assistant county executive officer and interim director of emergency management. “She will lead efforts to ensure our communities are prepared for future emergencies and challenges.”

While at the Municipal Water District, Hubbard served as emergency services manager for the Water Emergency Response Organization of Orange County to manage emergency preparedness, planning, response and recovery efforts among 37 water and wastewater utilities, managing an annual budget of $650,000.

She also served as an Emergency Operations Center manager, public information officer, local assistance center manager and evacuation center manager for 15 presidentially declared disasters through mutual aid agreements with other agencies across the country, the county said.

Highway 1 will be closed to thru traffic between Jalama Road and Santa Rosa Road near Lompoc from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. today to allow the installation of a girder on the Salsipuedes Creek Bridge.

Motorists traveling in either direction will detour using Highway 246, a Caltrans spokesman said.

Highway 1 will remain open for local traffic between the Highway 1 interchange with Highway 101 and Jalama Road, with access maintained to Jalama Beach County Park, the spokesman said.

In addition to the girder installation, the Salsipuedes Creek Bridge Replacement Project includes construction of a retaining wall and fish passage.

CalPortland Construction of Santa Maria is the contractor for the $5 million project, which is expected to be complete in summer 2021.

A traffic signal operating 24 hours a day through May 2020 will maintain one-way reversing traffic control, and those driving larger vehicles are advised the width of each lane has been reduced from 12 feet to 11½ feet, the spokesman said.

The Santa Maria Public Library and its four branch libraries — Cuyama, Guadalupe, Los Alamos and Orcutt — will be closed Aug. 28 for staff training.

All five libraries will operate as regularly scheduled the following day. 

The library’s website will be available for access to online resources, item renewals and patron account information.

Exterior book return drop boxes will be available and open at all locations. Library items may be renewed by phone by calling toll-free 800-354-9660. 

Other area libraries in the Black Gold Cooperative Library System that will be open for service on Aug. 28 include:

  • Arroyo Grande Library — 800 W. Branch St., 805-473-7161, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
  • Lompoc Public Library — 501 E. North Ave., 805-875-8775, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Nipomo Library — 918 W. Tefft St., 805-929-3994, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Questions may be directed to the library’s administrative office at 805-925-0994, ext. 2321.

The Valley Reads book club will discuss former President Bill Clinton and James Patterson's "The President is Missing" at its next meeting from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Aug 27 in Shepard Hall at the Santa Maria Public Library.

The book, a collaboration between the former U.S. president and the novelist, follows an embattled president trying to save the county from a cyberattack. 

The club meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month, and complimentary coffee is served.

To join Valley Reads, sign up with the staff at the second-floor information desk at the library, located at 421 S. McClelland St.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and closed Sunday.

For more information, call 805-925-0994, ext. 8562.


Foggy early, becoming sunny this afternoon. High 81F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.


Generally clear. Low 54F. Winds W at 5 to 10 mph.


Mainly sunny. High near 80F. Winds WNW at 10 to 15 mph.

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