Photo: Santa Barbara mayor-elect Cathy Murillo
FROM THIS EPISODE
At the Air Tanker Base in Santa Maria, air crews fighting the Thomas Fire reload their planes with fire retardant before heading back to the blaze. In addition to 3 million gallons of water, nearly 3 million gallons of retardant has been dropped on the flames so far. We meet the people in charge of refueling and flying those planes.
Pilot Delbert Hunt shows us his MD-87 jet, which he flies above the Thomas Fire to drop retardant on the flames. (Larry Perel)
It's hard to recall what predated the Thomas Fire here along the Central Coast, but before the flame was sparked, Santa Barbara elected a new mayor, Oxnard fought against a new power plant on its coast, and leaders across the tri-county region began drafting new pot regulations before recreational marijuana becomes legal next year. We take a look at the top stories of 2017, and what local journalists will pay close attention to next year.
More From The 805
Building a memorial for Montecito Will more granny flats fix Santa Barbara’s affordable housing problem, or just overcrowd neighborhoods and make parking impossible? We speak with a reporter tracking the story. New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof comes to town to speak about building resilient communities after disasters - both at home and abroad. And a stone cutter and artist wants to build a memorial for Montecito.
In Santa Barbara, a clinical trial addresses early childhood adversity A clinical trial in Santa Barbara is testing intervention techniques for children experiencing toxic stress. Vandenberg Air Force Base is going green with one of the largest solar farms in the county. And videos of people swimming through trash will be projected on the Santa Barbara County Courthouse this weekend.
Who’s jumping aboard the new commuter train? There’s finally a morning commuter train between Ventura and Santa Barbara, but how many people are taking it and will it reduce traffic along Highway 101? San Luis Obispo braces for the closure of Diablo Canyon, and the loss of 1,500 jobs, while a Congressman tries to help mitigate the economic blow it’ll have on the county. Winemakers along the Central Coast worry about Chinese tariffs. And public art is popping up along State Street.
As Santa Barbara’s sheriff faces re-election, the union calls for change Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown is up for re-election, and a larger group of deputies have decided to support one of Brown’s competitors. Recent ICE audits in the Central Valley have farmworkers and farm owners along the Central Coast worried they may be next. And as Women's History Month wraps up, a story of a Mexican orphan who became one of the first female landowners in California.