FROM Kathryn Barnes
California is on fire year-round. Is climate change to blame? When it comes to heat waves, fires, and severe flooding, a lot of attention is given to how they started -- from faulty electrical lines and drought conditions to major storms and weather patterns. But one UCSB professor thinks the media is leaving out the larger cause: climate change.
Santa Barbara votes to ban plastic straws in city Councilmembers voted this week to ban them, along with styrofoam to-go containers. Environmentalists applauded the decision, saying plastics account for a substantial amount of the trash in our oceans. But some restaurant owners say government officials shouldn't be telling them what products they can and can’t hand out to their customers.
Did Goleta residents get Holiday Fire emergency alerts in time? Officials in Santa Barbara are discussing what went right, and what went wrong the night the Holiday Fire broke out in Goleta earlier this month. One major issue was getting timely emergency alerts out to the people who needed them the most.
Drones, lasers and smart water sensors: new technology on California grape fields What are drones doing flying over vineyards, and why are they playing hawk noises? Winemakers are trying out all sorts of new technology to get the most out of their crop, and certain products could have major impacts on the entire farming industry.
Ventura greenlights year-round homeless shelter, discusses future water supply Ventura is moving forward with plans to open a year-round homeless shelter. The news comes just three months after a brutal murder involving a homeless man that shook the community. We take a look at why the city has decided to step up now, as well as some new long-term water supply options on the table.
Animated short films from around the world, under the stars in Santa Barbara A traveling selection of the year's best animated short films is making a stop in Santa Barbara. Curated and presented by Acme Filmworks founder, Ron Diamond, the Animation Show of Shows kicks off UCSB’s Arts & Lectures free summer film series at the Santa Barbara Courthouse.
What’s the story behind Canon Perdido Street in Santa Barbara? Many listeners have written into Curious Coast to ask about the origins of certain street names in Santa Barbara. One, in particular, is Canon Perdido. In Spanish, “canon perdido” translates to “lost cannon.” But, whose cannon was it, and why did it go missing? Reporter Ted Mills does some historical digging.
A senseless stabbing in Ventura angers citizens, sparks action on homelessness In April, a brutal murder took place in Ventura. A man was eating dinner with his family at a restaurant along the city’s promenade when a homeless man approached the table and stabbed him with a knife. The fatal attack sparked a conversation about how to address people on the street who may be a threat to themselves and others. Following that stabbing, KCRW’s Jonathan Bastian spent time in Ventura speaking with police, mental health professionals, and outreach workers about how to prevent something like this from happening again.
Forget smoking it - the new cannabis trend is in your kitchen We’ve come a long way since pot brownies. As more and more states legalize recreational marijuana, people are learning not only where to buy cannabis-laced artisanal treats, but how to make them from scratch at home.
The battle over water in Santa Barbara's high desert In California, we talk a lot about water: where it comes from, how much we need, and when it’ll dry up. In the Cuyama Valley, which sits in the high desert between Santa Barbara and Bakersfield, “drying up” isn’t just an abstract fear. Cuyama is a farming town that’s pumping its water faster than the rain replaces it. Now, the community must come together and figure out a way forward before there’s nothing left.
Reintroducing grizzly bears to coastal California Today's North American grizzly bears are mostly found in the remote mountains of Montana, Wyoming, and Alaska, but back in the 1800s, coastal California was prime grizzly country. Brown bears were some common in the coastal ranges that they were known as the “chaparral bear.” Now, a group of Californians wants to reintroduce them to the state, but not everyone’s on board.
Santa Barbara's top surfer Conner Coffin lays down new tracks Conner Coffin is no longer a teenage surfer impressing the locals at Rincon Beach. He’s now ranked as the 16th best surfer in the world, and the only Santa Barbara local in the men’s World Surf League. He’s trying to qualify for the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2020 -- when surfing will make its debut. But his love of surfing is matched with a love of something else: music. Flexing his guitar and singing skills, Coffin just released a new record of classic rock covers.
New FEMA map helps homeowners rebuild after the Montecito debris flow The debris flow in Montecito this past winter changed not only people’s lives but the physical landscape of the community, too. Some creeks widened and deepened, others are now filled with rocks, and in many places, the risk of future flooding has intensified. New flood risk maps released this week by the Federal Emergency Management Agency will help homeowners figure out how -- and where -- it’s safe to rebuild.
Mud from Montecito fertilizes a Los Olivos vineyard At a vineyard in Los Olivos, a winemaker is using a special type of fertilizer: mud from the January 9th debris flow in Montecito. And while high levels of harmful bacteria were found in most of the mud that made its way down from the mountains, winemaker Fred Brander says the mud from his Montecito home is packed with high levels of nutrients.
A mailbox in Santa Barbara holds letters of grief and gratitude On the corner of State and Anapamu Street in downtown Santa Barbara sits an eight-foot-tall mailbox. You don’t need a stamp or an address to drop a letter inside; it’s an interactive art installation. After the Thomas Fire and mudslides in Montecito, artist Danielle Siano said she wanted to create something to help people process loss by acknowledging that grief and praise are intimately linked and give voice to the story of both in each of us.
Santa Barbara Zoo now a certified autism center The Santa Barbara Zoo has become the first zoo on the West Coast -- and the second in the world -- to become a Certified Autism Center by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. From designated quiet spaces to trained staff and sensory backpacks, the zoo’s staff provides special services to those on the autism spectrum.
White House budget proposal slashes and burns President Trump's first budget request is considered dead on arrival in Congress — a familiar development in Capitol Hill. We hear what it reveals about the priorities of the new administration. What's likely to die… and what might survive?
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.
Trump's new look at civil rights and global warming President Trump is reportedly ready to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. We look at the possible consequences. On the second half of the program, we hear about cuts in Obama-Era civil rights programs called for by the Trump Administration's first budget plan.