Surf ‘n’ Suds marries beer and boards in Carpinteria

Carpinteria got its second taste of beer at the beach on Aug. 9 when Surf ‘n’ Suds brought all the ingredients of a smashing time to Linden Field. The second annual event, presented by DEEP Surf Magazine and sponsored by Trek Bicycles of Ventura, had 1,500 attendees sampling over the products of over 50 craft breweries and wineries while playing games and surveying the latest in surf boards offered by a dozen Central Coast shapers. Setting the tone for the jubilant warm-weather atmosphere were bands Afishnsea the Moon, UnUsual Suspects and Cornerstone. All the buzz also fueled hours of bean bag toss along with a life-sized beer pong tournament played across the field using trash barrels as targets. Event organizers Michael VanStry and Andres Nuño considered the elaborate production a success. VanStry said, “We could not have asked for a better vibe on a day that really celebrates the Carpinteria beer and surf scene.”
(Photos by Patrick Muniz)

Art is all around us: Music, fine art and function converge at Art-niture

Over 50 original art pieces and two talented R&B artists claimed the spotlight of last Friday’s Art-niture event at the Carpinteria Arts Center. Powerhouse singers Tata Vega and Carl Graves had hundreds of art supports toe tapping, head bobbing and getting down to the rhythm. Prices for artistically altered furniture grew over the course of the evening in a silent auction benefiting both the art center and The Rhythmic Arts Project, an organization that uses music to teach people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. (Photos by Garrett Combs)

Local author weaves Carpinteria into teen mystery

Local author weaves Carpinteria into teen mystery

By Lea Boyd
Jake Brown is just a regular Carpinteria teen. He surfs, runs cross country, loves Rusty’s pizza and talks to his friends incessantly about girls. His typical trajectory changes course, however, when he and a buddy find the body of their Carpinteria High School math teacher bobbing in the waves at Tar Pits. Brown, the protagonist in Jeremy Gold’s debut novel, “Death at Carp High,” stumbles into a mystery and then pulls readers along on an entertaining romp through a landscape as familiar as, well, home.

Author Gold, a longtime Carpinterian, started penning the tale four or five years ago. His son, Dan, a teenager at the time, gathered regularly with friends at the Gold house, immersing his parents in the no-holds-barred banter of high school boys. The conversations beguiled Jeremy, inspiring him to jot down a short story spotlighting a teenager with some resemblances to his son. “It was just going to be a few pages,” Jeremy said. “I started writing, and it was just really fun, so it turned into a book.”

Despite a dearth of experience as an author—Jeremy had never stepped foot in a writing class—he found himself swept up in a process he invented along the way. He started with a basic concept of plot and every time he faced the question “What happens next?” he jotted down every idea that came to mind. Then he whittled them down to one and moved Jake Brown’s story forward.

Writing dialogue captivated Jeremy most, though it also presented one of the biggest challenges. He knew how 17-year-old boys talked—he’d been one and he’d raised one. Keeping the conversations authentic without slipping too far into R-rated territory was a struggle he encountered at every character interaction. Ultimately, he dabbled in the risqué but significantly censored the material he’d collected listening in on his sons’ chatter.

While “Death at Carp High” tracks two buddies on a quest to bring the math teacher murderer to justice, it also delivers a sizable dose of romance. Jake is smart, athletic and well-adjusted, but lacking experience with the opposite sex. Readers witness his first kiss and follow him down the path of first love.

The novel contains coming-of-age elements, but Jeremy intentionally kept Jake’s character upbeat and uncomplicated. “I didn’t want to get bogged down in heavy teenage angst,” he said.

For Carpinterians, the novel has unique appeal. It feels a little like discovering the diary of the kid next door—everything is local. The boys deduce that the body was dumped at Santa Claus Lane; they take their girlfriends out to Zookers before a school dance; they even read Coastal View News.

“Death at Carp High” hit bookstore shelves last spring, and Jeremy is pleased with the response by readers so far. “People are pretty nice,” he said. “No one has come to me and said, ‘God that really sucks.’”

Promotion is a crucial step in getting a book into readers’ hands, and Jeremy admits that it’s his least favorite part. He describes himself as naturally shy and said that in a perfect world he would remain anonymous. Motivated by his wife, Calla, the extrovert to his introvert, Jeremy held a book signing at Curious Cup Bookstore just after “Death at Carp High’s” release. This weekend, he has another signing scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 17 at 2 p.m. at Chaucer’s Books, 3321 State Street, in Santa Barbara.

Fans of the first book should expect more. Jake Brown seems to attract mystery, and Jeremy now has completed a series of six books about Jake’s crime-solving escapades. Though Jeremy doesn’t seek out the limelight, he admits, “It’s fun seeing your book in print … There’s this visceral satisfaction you get holding it in your hands.”

Danny’s Deli burglarized

 Danny’s Deli burglarized

Overnight between Aug. 9 and 10, Danny’s Deli, Carwash and Bait and Tackle Shop had its window broken and safe stolen by unidentified burglars. Store manager Will Kellogg said the crime was likely committed between 3 and 4 a.m. but the store’s digital video recorder was also stolen along with the surveillance footage it contained. Kellogg estimated that between the DVR, safe and cash from both register and cash box the business’s loss was $6,000. The safe also contained keys to the store’s carwash and vacuum machines, which had to be changed after employees discovered the theft upon opening the store at 7:30 a.m. on Sunday. Kellogg said it’s hard to tell whether burglars knew where to find the stolen items. A piece of carpet was found in the store, which is believed to have been used to slide the safe across the floor.

What is common core? New standards emphasize doing, not memorizing

By Peter Dugré
You’ll notice that the standards introduced by the new Common Core curriculum all begin with verbs. A standard for third-graders, which conveys an expectation for what the young students should be capable of, states, “Report on a topic or text. Tell a story or recount an experience with appropriate facts and details.” Action words, “Report” and “Tell,” are meant to spur students to learn through doing, not through multiple choice testing. The new emphasis on activity and student engagement is a reaction to the recent regime of standardized testing that had influenced schools to teach to the test.

According to Summerland School third-grade teacher Amanda Furden, teachers will now be facilitators, guiding students as they “grapple with concepts on their own.” Furden, the third-grade chairperson for Carpinteria Unified School District said, “This is why we become teachers, to get in the classroom and teach our students to be creative thinkers like we are.”

In Furden’s classroom, a combination second/third grade class at Summerland School, a school day will flow much differently than it had prior to Common Core. In the past, the elementary school teacher would chunk the day into different subjects. “Instead of saying, ‘okay, now close your writing books and open your science books,’ it’ll be more fluid,” Furden said.

Whether the subject is science or social studies or language arts, student activities and lessons will invariably include writing. The standard, “Report on a topic or text,” can be taught across subjects. The individual writing or reading book need not apply.

In middle school language arts, according to Carpinteria Middle School teacher Robin McCulley, Common Core will make reading less about memorizing plot and characters and more about exposure to a range of texts and comprehending them in a meaningful way.
“We want our students to be able to read any level of reading, to be able to gain a deep understanding from it and then use that understanding to create a thoughtful-yet-focused response to any prompt,” McCulley stated. A standard for middle schoolers will be, “Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.”
McCulley stated, “We really want to get our students to be able to think, read and write well. This is, of course, nothing new, but these new Common Core Standards will allow us to focus on these tasks across the curriculum. That will be our focus for this year.”
Furden said teaching strategies across subjects will emphasize discussion and hands-on activities. Teachers will do less talking at students. The students will be encouraged to engage in academic discourse to share ideas and be independent thinkers, “for the next big step,” she said, meaning college or a career after their K through 12 experience.
In the math classroom, a third-grade standard is “Generate measurement data using rulers marked with halves and fourths of an inch.” Another directive geared toward activities and application of skills.
Across subjects, Common Core is designed to force students to be masters of the material taught in classrooms through usage. The pendulum swing in educational paradigms diminishes the importance of memorization while increasing the importance of critical thinking, which educators believe will better prepare students for whatever their futures will bring.  

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