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The Creative Commuter

Last March, Kent Epperson bought a house in Ojai after months of fruitlessly searching for an affordable place in Santa Barbara. With that move, his short bike commute to his office near the intersection of Calle Real and North San Antonio Road in Santa Barbara abruptly changed to an hour and a half drive every day between the two cities.

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The Baby Boomer Bikers

Recently, Eva Inbar and her husband, Michael, purchased a set of road bikes. Avid cyclists, the two have been biking for decades, and they don’t have plans to quit anytime soon. No matter that they are in their late 60s.

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Intern Spotlight: Becky Dempsey

Becky Dempsey works as the Marketing Programs Manager for GreenBiz Group in the Bay Area. Becky completed a six-month internship at CEC following graduation from UC Santa Barbara with a double major in Environmental Studies and Business Economics.

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The Naked Truth: About Measure P by One of Its Drafters

Measure P – the Healthy Air and Water Initiative – would protect our air, water, and public health by banning new risky, polluting oil extraction techniques in Santa Barbara County. Unfortunately, the oil industry that is funding the opposition is spreading misinformation regarding the true impact of this measure. As an attorney who assisted in the drafting of Measure P, I am compelled to set the record straight so the voters can base their opinions on the true facts.

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How Daniel C. was saved by a blueberry

Just a few years ago, Daniel Corry would have been lost at the farmers market. He never went, he wouldn’t have known where to start, and he would have been astounded that someone would pay that much for a box of blueberries. He was happy with Trader Joe’s. Now, Daniel is a farmers market regular; he goes at least once a week, he has his favorite stands, and he happily pays that much for a box of locally-grown blueberries. He wouldn’t dream of buying produce at Trader Joe’s anymore. “It has no taste!” he says.

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The Probiotic Woman

There are people who hear "fermented" and think "spoiled." Not only would they avoid eating something fermented, they would steer clear of a festival dedicated to all things fermented. But those are people who haven’t yet met Katie Falbo.

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Take the Pledge to Eat Local

Take a pledge to eat and drink local products October 1–31. Eat only foods produced within a 100- or 150-mile radius of your home, or within the tri-county region, or within California. Decide if you are going to make any exceptions (such as for coffee, tea or spices), but try to stay as local as possible. By taking the pledge, you will be automatically entered to win a basket full of locally-produced goodies.
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The Accidental Chef

Leslie Thomas does not just have a green thumb. It’s more like a green arm. Her backyard is overflowing with kale, cabbage, peppers, cucumbers, artichokes, strawberries, eggplants, tomatoes, ghost peppers, and 35 different grape vines -- just to name a few.

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Modern Day Money Trees

Ten years ago, Stephen had realized that he could either continue to pay his power company for increasingly expensive electricity, or he could invest in solar. Once he recouped his initial outlay on the investment, he reasoned, he could bask in free electricity for the duration of the panels’ life — between 30 and 40 years.
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CEC to showcase electric vehicles for every style and budget

With 18 models of electric vehicles (EVs) now on the market—from the affordable to the luxurious—attendees of CEC’s upcoming Green Car Show at the Goleta Lemon Festival will have plenty to talk about. Join us Sunday, September 21 between 10 am and 5 pm at Girsh Park to talk directly with local owners of various pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

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Who’s In Your Food Network?

For many people, the words ‘food network’ bring to mind faces of celebrity chefs like Rachel Ray, Guy Fieri, and Emeril Lagasse. When Alison Hensley, local food enthusiast and co-founder of the SOL Food Festival, hears those words, she sees a different set of faces.

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We Urge You to Vote Yes on Measure P

On November 4, we will be going to the polls to make Santa Barbara County the first major oil-producing region in the nation to ban high-risk oil extraction techniques. It is a chance to protect the people of our county from extreme forms of oil development that are severely damaging communities around the US.

 

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Ditching Plastic from Day One

3,292. That’s how many disposable diapers the typical baby uses in its first year, and all of them go into a landfill.

80. That’s about how many cloth diapers Dexter used in his first year, and none of them went into a landfill.

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The Kellys Are Driving on Sunshine Thanks to Solarize Santa Ynez Valley

Rick Kelly and his family are self-described “energy hawks,” always looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of their home. After switching all their lighting to LED bulbs, Rick -- a business manager at UCSB -- was looking for more. Intrigued by solar electricity, he attended a homeowner workshop about Solarize Santa Ynez hosted by CEC and the Santa Ynez Valley Alliance. At the workshop, another homeowner brought up the topic of combining home solar and electric vehicles (EVs), and it spurred Rick to do his own research.
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Intern Spotlight – Kelly Rae Kacmar

Kelly Rae Kacmar currently works as a fire inspector for the City of Burbank Fire Department in Southern California. Kelly interned for CEC while in her last year as an undergraduate student majoring in Environmental Studies at UC Santa Barbara.
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Reducing Plastic Through Refills #ditchplastic

For years, Peter Tatikian and his wife, Kelley Skumautz, have made a game out of avoiding buying single-use plastic bags. This has been especially interesting when it comes to picking up after their terrier/chihuahua mix, Ollie. It takes a little more creativity on every dog walk. “We have become very inventive in finding bags to pick up poop,” Peter says. This has included paper wrappers, tortilla chip bags, frozen vegetable packaging, and even the plastic mailing sleeves that magazines get mailed in.

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Measure P Will Protect Santa Barbara County from Extreme Oil

Here in Santa Barbara County we have co-existed with the oil industry for a long time and if Measure P passes in November, will continue to do so. The initiative exempts all current oil operations and so does not affect any current oil jobs or revenue. It also doesn’t limit future oil wells using conventional techniques.

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Our Favorite Things: What We’re Reading

We recently asked CEC’s Staff, Board, and Partnership Council about their roles as thought leaders in the Santa Barbara community, asking what books, articles, films, apps, podcasts, and other multimedia are influencing their work. Today we’re hearing from Megan Birney, Dennis Allen, and Karl Hutterer. Stay tuned for the next installment of this series!

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