Tag Archives: Santa Barbara Independent

Tibetan Buddhist Monk to Conduct Workshop

Published on the 5th July 2010 by the Santa Barbara Independent

Khenpo Tsering Samdup, a Tibetan Buddhist monk, will return to Santa Barbara to conduct a weekend program entitled “A Friend in the World: The 37 Practices of a Bodhisattva.” According to the advance publicity, he will explores how the Bodhisattva ideals of compassion and loving kindness can transform our lives and the lives of others.

khenpo is a Buddhist scholar who has studied the Buddha’s teachings for anywhere from nine to 15 years. Khenpo Tsering Samdup began his training at the Shri Karma Nalada Institute on the border of Tibet, now part of India, and in 1990 received the degree of acharya, which is characterized as the equivalent of a PhD in Buddhist philosophy. In 2002 he was appointed the headmaster of Shri Diwakar Vihara Buddhist Institute in Kalimpong, India, and he also continues to teach throughout Southeast Asia, Europe, and America.

“Khenpo Tsering combines a rare blend of great humor, kindness, and superior knowledge that make meeting him a pleasure and learning from him an experience,” said Dawa Tarchin Phillips, resident teacher of the Bodhi Path Buddhist Center of Santa Barbara, in a written statement. ”Santa Barbara benefits from his visits and lectures especially in times like these when people are looking for answers that offer alternatives to existing ideas.”

4-1-1: The weekend course is scheduled on Friday, July 9, from 7 to 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11, from 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon and 2 to 5 p.m.. It will take place at the Bodhi Path Buddhist Center, 30 West Mission Street, #7. The fee is $100, or $25/session, and everyone is welcome. For information or to preregister, call (805) 252-6137, or visit the Bodhi Path Buddhist Center Web site.

Internet Photo Gallery Raises Money For Haiti

Published on the 29th June 2010 by the Santa Barbara Independent


Printsforhaiti.com has donated $5,000 to Direct Relief International, funds that were all raised from its Internet photo gallery sale.

Founded following the earthquake by Santa Barbara-based Specialty Color Services and Greg Lawlor, the special collection consists completely of donated photographs.

These currently include award-winning Western art and horse photography by Norm Clasen; several contributions by Amit Gupta, the founder of Photojojo; and a single edition of the iconic “Suzanne” by Joyce Tennyson. Discount codes on the site are designed to make purchases possible at any budget. Once purchased, museum-quality archival silver-halide prints are produced by Specialty Color Services, a custom photo lab, and shipped to the buyer.

In a written statement, Lawlor, a photographer and technology solutions consultant, said, “Our next donation will be allocated to the American Red Cross. We hope that people will continue to support our effort. There is still a massive amount of recovery work to be done. The great thing about this project is that contributors have the opportunity to build a beautiful collection of photography for themselves at very reasonable prices while helping others.

The earthquake in Haiti occurred on January 12, 2010, after which the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies estimated that 230,000 people died while as many as one million people were made homeless.

The Berry Man and McConnell’s Join Forces



Published on the 29th June 2010 by the Santa Barbara Independent 

The Berry Man, Inc. is now distributingMcConnell’s ice cream out of its two distribution centers in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.

Jim McCoy, owner of McConnell’s Ice Cream — a Santa Barbara fixture for the last 47 years — stated, “I remember when [Berry Man owner Guy De Mangeon] used to rent space from me. He had one truck and one employee. I would never have guessed that 20 years later I would be sitting across from him in his office pitching my products, but there we were. Life is funny like that.”

“It’s a sweet partnership anyway you look it,” said De Mangeon, owner and president of The Berry Man, Inc. “I thought it was a great idea from the moment Jim mentioned it. McConnell’s delivers two days a week but I deliver seven and I’m already going to most of the places Jim sells his product…It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

UCSB Charity Yard Sale Breaks Record

Published on the 29th June 2010 by the Santa Barbara Independent

UCSB project GIVE will donate a record-breaking $27,000 to various Isla Vista non-profit and community organizations at a ceremony on Friday, July 2, following the organization’s 20th annual sale held June 19 and 20.

Catherine Boyer, the Isla Vista/UCSB liaison, described GIVE as an initiative that encourages students to donate their unwanted items rather than discard them. As students moved out of their apartments, condos, houses, and residence halls earlier this month to embark on summer holidays, the GIVE staff and volunteers accepted donations of clothing, books, furniture, kitchenware, household goods, electronics, bicycles, and other miscellaneous items and sold them over the weekend at Embarcadero Hall in Isla Vista.

Some of the beneficiaries of the sale will be the Isla Vista Elementary School Latino Parent Night, Science Camp Scholarship Fund, and Viva el Arte; as well as the Isla Vista Recreation & Park District’s Adopt-a-Block program, Isla Vista Teen Center, Isla Vista Youth Projects, IV Arts, the Olive Tree Initiative, the Optimist Club at UCSB and the Breakfast Optimist Club of Goleta, St. Brigid Fellowship, St. Michael’s University Church, Santa Barbara Student Housing Co-op, and the Business Club Youth Outreach Program at UCSB.

The major sponsors of GIVE include the Isla Vista/UCSB Liaison Office, the Isla Vista

Tenants Union, Associated Students Community Affairs Board,UCSB Housing and Residential Services, and the Environmental Office at UCSB. Additional support is provided by Associated Students Recycling, County of Santa Barbara Resource Recovery &Waste Management Division, Isla Vista Recreation & Park District Adopt-a-Block, Isla Vista School Afterschool Grant, MarBorg Industries, Society of St. Vincent de Paul, UCSB Community Housing Office, UCSB Office of Student Life, UCSB Parking Services,UCSB Physical Facilities, and UCSB and community volunteers.

Highway 154 Roadwork to Slow Traffic

Published on the 28th June 2010 by the Santa Barbara Independent

A $1.5 million repaving project will begin on Wednesday, June 30, on a section of Highway 154 between Stagecoach Road and Highway 101.

According to a Caltrans spokesperson, work will take place overnight — 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. — from Sunday to Friday morning. Motorists can expect delays of up to 20 minutes, said the spokesperson, and there will be one-way traffic control present to aid movement through the area. All businesses and attractions in the Santa Ynez/Santa Barbara area will remain accessible via Highway 154, which will stay open at all times throughout construction.

The project is to be carried out by Granite Construction of Goleta, which expects it to be completed by the end of August.

For traffic updates on other state highways in Santa Barbara County, motorists can call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at (805) 549-3318 or visit the District 5 website.

Construction to Slow Airport Vehicle Traffic

Published on the 22nd June 2010 by the Santa Barbara Independent

Traffic on Fairview Avenue between Hollister Avenue and James Fowler Road will be slower than usual as the Goleta Sanitary District begins a six month-long sewer line replacement project this week. According to a spokesperson with the Santa Barbara Airport, near where the construction will be taking place, the project will include the installation of a new trunk sewer main, with construction taking place on weekdays between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. with some night work as well.

Vehicles driving into the Airline Terminal (at 500 James Fowler Road) will be subject to 1-5 minute delays each way, said the spokesperson. To avoid delays while traveling northbound on Highway 101, it is suggested that passengers and other visitors heading to the Airline Terminal use Highway 217, taking the Sandspit Road exit onto Moffett Place.

With passengers, airline terminal employees, rental car turn-arounds, parking lot shuttles, taxis and Goleta Beach visitors, this stretch of road is already very busy, and alternate routes and avoiding the area are advised whenever possible, said the spokesperson.

Passengers are also advised to arrive earlier than the usual (two hours prior to flight departure time) if they plan to use Long Term Parking Lot 2 off Hollister Avenue, as the complimentary airport shuttle travel time to the airline terminal will be affected by the construction

Alleged Drug Dealer Leads Detectives on Chase

Published on 21st June 2010 by the Santa Barbara Independent

Just three weeks after 12 people were arrested for methamphetamine related offenses, on Friday, June 18, Santa Barbara Sheriff’s narcotics detectives arrested another man suspected of dealing methamphetamine and heroin in Santa Barbara County.

According to Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Drew Sugars, detectives and Sheriff’s deputies attempted to serve a search and arrest warrant on the suspect, 29-year-old Brandon Gaffke, while he was in his vehicle at the corner of Calle Real and Kellogg Avenue. When they tried to stop him, Gaffke reportedly raced away. Deputies then chased him for approximately two miles through residential neighborhoods until he stopped on Patterson Avenue, south of Cathedral Oaks Road.

Brandon George Gaffke

Click to enlarge photo


Brandon George Gaffke

Narcotics detectives determined that Gaffke threw approximately one ounce of crystal methamphetamine and three ounces of brown powder heroin from his vehicle onto the passing streets while driving. He also had prepackaged ecstasy, heroin, and methamphetamine on his person, estimated at a street value of more than $10,000. Around $1,500 was seized from him pursuant to State Asset Forfeiture Laws. His El Sueno Road residence was later searched and drug paraphernalia and a small amount of pills were discovered there.

Sugars said that he did not believe there was a connection between this and prior arrests as this had been a seven-month-long investigation dating back to before any other arrests had been made.

Gaffke was charged with possession and transportation of methamphetamine for sales and possession and transportation of heroin for sales. No bail was set as he has several outstanding drug-related warrants.

Mize Trial, Day 11

Published on the 16th June 2010 by the Santa Barbara Independent

The trial for Ruben Mize, Bryan Medinilla, Raul Diaz and Ricardo Nava continued Monday, June 14, with several officers of the Santa Barbara Police Department testifying.

Detective Kenneth Kushner was the first witness to take the stand, beginning his testimony with information regarding Mize. He said that Mize, while at the station with Kushner, without being questioned or provoked, said “You guys got me on this one” and “I’ll never see my dad again. He’s an ex-con so he can’t come visit me.”

“[His] eyes were bloodshot and it seemed like he was fighting back tears,” Kushner had noted.

The rest of Kushner’s testimony was about the interview he had with Emilio Mora about the incident. He said Mora had described Nava, Mize, and Medinilla in a truck, driven by Carlos Diaz, showing off knives and yelling “Eastside” and “Traviesos” once they arrived at their destination, near San Pascual and Ortega Streets.

Kushner said Mora maintained that his position throughout the incident was a look-out, claiming he was not involved in the murder but solely placed to watch for police or Westsiders. Kushner also said that Mora claimed Mize stabbed the victim two to three times but was unaware as to what Medinilla was doing. Kushner said Mora’s worried demeanor could be attributed to his concern about “ratting” to a police officer, an action obviously contrary to the laws that govern the gang world. Kushner said that during the interview Mora asked if what he had said was considered ratting. Kushner said Mora’s answers changed throughout the interview, progressing from reluctance to talk and giving false information, to giving more honest answers.

“I didn’t see nothing. I was just making it up to cover for people,” Mora allegedly said, maintaining his hands-off participation. “I’m probably going to go to prison and I didn’t do anything.”

Next on the stand was Detective Jaycee Hunter, an officer who interviewed Medinilla on July 20, 2007. Hunter said he asked Medinilla about two incidents; the first, a fight in the early evening on Victoria Street on July 16, 2007, and the second, the homicide later that night. Hunter said that Medinilla told him that he had been with two friends that evening and had stopped by Council on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, or CADA — where he had been getting help — to get some water. His counselor at CADA, Sofia Murillo, had asked him the next day if he had been involved in the Victoria Street fightt, he told Hunter, but he said no, considering he was atCADA around the same time as the fight. Hunter said that during the interview on July 20, he inquired about a bruise on Medinilla’s left eye; Medinilla said that three men had beat him up two days earlier, July 18, while he was walking down Salinas Street; he did not know who they were or why they attacked him. When asked about the homicide on the night of July 16, Hunter said Medinilla said he was at home all night.

Hunter had also interviewed Lucero Uribe, the former girlfriend of Ruben Mize and the sister of Carlos Diaz. He said Uribe was not forthcoming toward the beginning of the conversation, but he said he reminded her of the seriousness of the issue and how her brother was in custody. He said her demeanor was “confident and positive” when he asked her to choose from photos who had gotten in the truck with her brother, despite being in tears during other parts of the interview. Hunter said that Uribe admitted to arranging for her brother to pick those boys up and intentionally didn’t tell him the purpose of the trip they were about to make. Attorney Sam Eaton addressed the issue of the language used by Hunter and Uribe; Uribe had said the trip was to “to go look for Westsiders” which Hunter said was “synonomous with gangbanging,” though Eaton couldn’t get Hunter to say that Uribe didn’t actually say “gangbanging.”

The next officer to testify was Michael Ullemeyer, a forensic technician with the Santa Barbara Police Department. Prosecutor Hans Almgren simply showed him a series of photos, some taken by Ullemeyer himself, some depicting a car jack, and others, the wounds on a body. After questions from the defense, he conluded that there was no way to determine the jack was involved in the crime, since no hair, blood or any sort of DNA sample could be seen or gathered from the car jack, and since he was not given any other blood samples, knives or weapons to examine.

Detective Gary Siegel was the final person to testify Monday. Siegel, as lead investigator, has been present throughout the trial and went on the stand earlier. Monday, Siegel gave the court an intensive look into the gang world and what some of the rules are that regulate it, considering his years of training and experience with gang crime and culture. Siegel said that, according to an interview he conducted, Robert Martinez told him that Mize and Medinilla knocked at his bedroom window the night of the incident, and Martinez decided to drive them to get “rid of some knives.” Martinez told Siegel that they went to Goleta Beach, where Mize and Medinilla exited the car and he turned it around. He told Siegel that he didn’t remember Mora being there, and at some point during the interview mentioned how he didn’t always remember everything due to his drug use. Siegel said that Martinez also told him that he “jumped”—meaning initiation by beating—Medinilla into the gang a couple days later.

Three Arrested for Saturday Assault

Published on the 8th June 2010 by the Santa Barbara Independent

Three people have been arrested following an attack on Bradbury Avenue near Ortega Street in the early hours of Saturday morning, June 5. David Campoverde, 18, Jhovanny Reyes-Canales, 18, and a 16-year-old youth (who cannot be named for legal reasons) are all charged with assault with a deadly weapon (fists and feet), with an added allegation of causing serious bodily injury. The 28-year-old-victim, who was returning home from his job in a downtown nightclub, suffered a broken nose, fractured eye socket, and wounds on his face and head.

It is alleged that at 2 a.m. on Saturday, the suspects were harassing another couple when the victim emerged on the scene, shining a flashlight on the suspects in an attempt to scare them off. This is when the suspects purportedly approached the victim, confirmed that he was not a police officer, and began an attack. A commotion created by a passing motorist and bystanders in an attempt to draw attention to the assault alerted a nearby police officer. Paramedics and fire rescue were then called. So were officers with the Gang Suppression Team, who specialize in street-level gang enforcement.

The victim, who stayed conscious throughout the ordeal, provided a detailed description of the suspects. Two were discovered immediately in the surrounding area, one hiding in an unlocked car. Both reportedly had fresh blood on their clothing and shoes. The third was tracked down after authorities obtained a search warrant. At least one more suspect is sought as the investigation continues.

UCSB Installs Emergency Alert Speaker

Published on the 8th June 2010 in the Santa Barbara Independent

UCSB has installed the first of five campus communication speakers on the roof of Kerr Hall, designed to alert students and staff in the event of an emergency. The speakers have a range of 2,400 feet, and are tentatively planned to be located at the Recreation Center, Kohn Hall, Santa Rosa Hall, and the Faculty Club within the next 12 months.

This safety measure adds to existing text and email systems, and will be controlled at the dispatch center in the UCSB Police Department. “Police department dispatchers will use a telephone to speak directly into the system speakers,” Associate Vice Chancellor Ron Cortez said in a press release. “They will also have 12 prerecorded messages they can use, depending on the emergency.”

He added, “One of the keys to our success in handling any type of emergency is redundancy of communication. It can’t be just one type of communication to notify the campus in the event of an emergency. Any time we’re using technology, one of the systems might fail, so we need to have different ways to reach people on campus.”

Tom Bauer, public safety director of Westmont College, where a text and email system is employed, said that nothing similar is planned for the college, but that “every campus has different needs.” A representative with SBCC said the school also operates an emergency text system called Alert U, and acknowledged that speakers could be a good idea but that there were other issues at play, like the funding and logistics involved.