Dobbins selected president of 30th Annual California Avocado Festival

Dobbins selected president of 30th Annual California Avocado Festival

The California Avocado Festival Board of Directors recently elected Coastal View News Co-Publisher Gary Dobbins to serve as the board president for the 30th annual festival, scheduled to take place Oct. 7 to 9. “I’m so proud to represent the festival for this milestone anniversary,” said Dobbins, an AvoFest boardmember for over 20 years.
For the 30th Annual California Avocado Festival, Dobbins and the board have decided to bring back the Ferris wheel, a popular addition in 2015. Festival attendees can also look forward to a new dessert court showcasing the tastiest treats produced in the area. “I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth myself, and I’m happy to introduce visitors to the amazing variety of desserts whipped up locally,” Dobbins said.

Brickley releases two new songs

Brickley releases two new songs

Local musician Mark Brickley recently wrapped up two new songs for public consumption. The pieces, “Love Finds Everyone” and “Lincoln’s Lament,” are available at Also, filmmaker Larry Nimmer shot a music video for the song “Lincoln’s Lament,” which is viewable on Brickley commented that his new love song delivers a timely message. “I wanted to write a love song for everyone this Valentine’s Day. Its three verses are about searching for love, from twenty-one to eighty-one,” he said smiling. Inspiration for the Lincoln song came from viewing historical documents exhibited at the Reagan Library. Both songs were recorded and produced in Carpinteria by Dan Boss of True Tone Studios.

Angels Antiques: Treasure hunter heaven

Angels Antiques: Treasure hunter heaven
Angels Antiques owner Wayne Babcock loves old stuff—particularly old and interesting surfboards.

By Megan Waldrep
Wayne Babcock sits in a chair in front of Angels Antiques, his shop on 4846 Carpinteria Ave., dipping glass bottles into buckets of soap and water. After a heavy soak he takes the glassware and wipes away the dirt and grime, revealing a unique purple hue buried beneath. He dries the bottles with a towel and they sparkle in the late afternoon sun as he places them on the vintage patio table in front of him. “I found these on my garage roof,” he explains. “The bottles are from an era when manganese was put in the glass so if you leave it out in the sun, it turns more and more purple.” He turns to greet a group of ladies, curiously lingering through the entrance of the shop. “Hi ladies!” he greets. “Let me know if you need help.” The customers thank him and enter with wild-eyed amazement, a theme not foreign to this particular place.

In October, Babcock will have owned the 1893 Victorian home-turned-shop for 30 years. A former gemologist, he acquired the space from his mother at a time when she needed help and he needed a job. The avid surfer and surf board collector jumped at the chance to work so close to Rincon. Babcock told his mother he would stay for two years but as her passion to run the antique store dimmed, his brightened.

With Babcock’s love of collecting leading the way, the property turned into a purchasable museum, of sorts. It’s jam packed with goods found at garage and estate sales, thrift stores (most notably Carpinteria’s bygone Salvation Army), swap meets, private sales, and, at times, trashcans. During the winter months, when retail business in Carpinteria slowed, Babcock used the Rose Bowl Flea Market to supplement income and make a living. This strategy worked well enough for him to finance his business while also raising three children on his own in a home on the property.

In addition to his antique treasures—which range from Hawaiiana shirts to chandeliers, toys, yard tools, house wears, skateboards, art, and thousands of items in between—is the diverse stock of surf boards he’s obtained over the years. “As an added bonus when I sold at the Rose Bowl, I used to write ‘Wanted: Old Surf Boards. Top Dollar Pay!’ on a chalkboard,” he said. ‘That was a big way I got a good collection together.” His current off-site collection is in the hundreds and spans a history of surfing over a century.

The next evolution of Angels Antiques came seven years ago when Zelda Prune, Babcock’s now significant other, found her way to the shop. Prune, in town to print a children’s book she authored on a friend’s vintage printing press, accompanied her friend to search for silver iced tea spoons. Knowing Babcock would have some, she brought Prune to Angels where Prune became fascinated with the space and soon enough, Babcock as well.

Now, Prune is the self-titled, “ambiance director” who helps keep the shop’s vibe authentic by staging items at a minimum to keep the integrity of the hunt. She explains it’s a walk down memory lane for some and new discoveries for others. “Kids come in here and they see a rotary phone and literally ask their parents, ‘What’s that?’ They look at their iPhones and back at the box phones a little confused,” she laughs. “It’s a history lesson for them.”

The store hours fluctuate depending on time of year, so it’s best to call ahead. Retirement, at the moment, is a thought for Babcock, but his eagerness for the next great thing continues to guide him. “To this day, I still have dreams I’m in the (Carpinteria) Salvation Army with amazing stuff I’ve never seen before. I’ll wake up and I’m just so happy,” he admits. “I’ll say, ‘Honey, I just had a dream I was in the bin and you wouldn’t believe what they had!’”

Shamblin named high school Educator of Year

Shamblin named high school Educator of Year

Carpinteria High School teacher Julie Rubio Shamblin commands respect from students by raising expectations and not divvying out participation awards for just showing up. Her methods have most recently led to the CHS Virtual Enterprise class winning high marks at the state competition and to her cheerleading squad qualifying for nationals, not to mention the teacher earning Educator of the Year from the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce.

“There’s a problem with society: we give everyone awards and pats on the back, even when they don’t deserve it. I say, let’s go ahead and be competitive and keep raising the bar instead of lowering it,” said Shamblin.

The history teacher and former owner of 14K Jules Dance Studio took on the task of training young entrepreneurs in VE eight years ago, and she has a passion for honing the seniors for a real world with real consequences in the business course. Students in the course start their own virtual company and develop everything from marketing materials to a human resources department. They earn virtual money and must pay virtual rent.

Recently the class took second place out of over 100 programs at the state level in the marketing plan category. She likened the competition to an episode of television’s “Shark Tank,” in which the students must defend their product in front of a panel of judges.

“It’s a really cool thing for today’s students. They see this type of thing on TV. This is the real world. It doesn’t matter if you have a good idea. You have to have a solid plan behind it,” she said. The students also finished in third place in the job interview skills competition.

In April the class will attend the International Virtual Enterprise Trade Convention in New York City. In addition to curriculum, Shamblin values the NYC trip for all the teachable moments it offers the 36 students. “They check themselves into the airport and navigate the city and the subway and budget their money. They need to know how to advocate for themselves and ask questions,” she said.

While she has spent the past eight years building the VE program, Shamblin has been at the helm of the cheerleading program for 25 years. “It’s my Golden Anniversary,” she said. The program has a reputation of excellence that precedes it at the Regional and National level. At Regionals in January the squad qualified for Nationals, which has happened in nearly every year in the past 25. The accomplishment is most impressive considering there are no divisions in competitive cheerleading. CHS competes against schools with over 3,000 students.

Shamblin considers her efforts at CHS a continuation of the pride she developed as a student at the school before graduating in 1990. Her current students see her dedication, from 6:30 a.m. cheer practice, to the classroom, football field and as head dance organizer for events like the homecoming dance. She is adviser to the Associated Student Body, the group in charge of organizing events. In each activity, hard work remains the theme.

She said winning the Educator of the Year award tied it all together. Her parents, also CHS graduates, along with her husband Brian Shamblin, a fellow 1990 graduate, and her two children attended the Jan. 23 banquet to celebrate her tending to the school’s tradition.

Amanda Furden named elementary Educator of Year

Amanda Furden named elementary Educator of Year

Summerland School teacher Amanda Furden considers now an exciting time to be a teacher. It’s a fast paced world, and her mission is to keep her second- and third-grade students ahead of the curve. The 30-year-old, fifth-year educator has an insatiable thirst for professional development opportunities and to instill that same value of lifelong learning in her students. “They have to want to do it on their own,” she said. “I try to foster that culture in the classroom to get kids excited about learning.”

Furden’s award as Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce Educator of the Year for the elementary level came as she is still in the trenches, pulling long hours to guide Carpinteria Unified School District through the conversion to Common Core Curriculum. As the district’s Grade Level Chair for third-grade, she has set the tone in steering the grade into Common Core, an approach to education which reinvents the wheel. New report cards, new classroom assessments, new textbooks and new models of student interaction within the classroom are vast reforms in the works to fully implement Common Core.

In 2012 when the district began its conversion to Common Core, Furden was there as a leading proponent to “rally teachers” and “start the discussion.” Since then she has created district-wide lesson plans in lieu of having all the teaching materials that will come in the next couple of years. During the transition, the district has been piloting new texts and programs, but as Grade Level Chair, Furden has piecemealed information and classroom activities to bridge the gap until all the materials are in order.

Furden has been all-in for Common Core from the beginning because it mirrors her classroom values. It encourages investigation and critical thinking rather than rote memorization and recitation. “(Common Core) imparts a thirst for learning in students,” she said. To Furden, education is a journey with no destination. “One of the most amazing things about being an educator is you’re always learning. The day you stop learning and no longer have an interest, you cease to move forward,” she said.

Another area in which Furden’s vitality has found its way into Summerland School was the creation of Fit Fridays. She and colleague Nichole Hughes, the school’s fourth- and fifth-grade teacher, dreamed up the concept of emphasizing physical and mental well-being while on a hike last summer. Furden, a certified yoga instructor, teaches yoga every Friday morning and Hughes teaches a cardio activity or sport. At lunchtime the teachers emphasize nutrition.

“(Fit Fridays) is about team building, school community building and healthy lifestyle building. It creates a conversation,” she said. Students come back each Friday with stories about how they apply fitness lessons to their home lives. 

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