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St. Joseph Festival in pictures

A full moon rose over St. Joseph Festival during this year’s whirlwind weekend of rides, prizes and treats between July 11 and 13. By the time the Ferris Wheel made its final loop on closing day, thousands of Carpinterians had taken their traditional strolls through the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the annually erected carnival at St. Joseph Church. CVN lens man Garrett Combs compiled highlights of the bright lights before the entire scene vanished into memory for another year.

Wondolowskis soak up World Cup

Wondolowskis soak up World Cup

By Peter Dugré
During his recent World Cup trip to Brazil, Carpinterian Mike Wondolowski found himself in a juggling circle knocking the soccer ball around with Team USA Captain Clint Dempsey. “It was just a family picnic, regular guys hanging out, and then I stopped to think about who these guys are,” Wondolowski said. He and wife Diane traveled around Brazil with other family members of Team USA players. Team USA striker Chris Wondolowksi, the 31-year-old scoring specialist, is Mike’s brother’s son, AKA Mike’s nephew, so the Wondolowskis hung out with the guys the whole country was pulling for.

Memorable moments were many as they watched the world’s biggest sporting event first hand. The Wondolowskis attended U.S. matches against both Portugal and Belgium. They were supposed to attend USA versus Germany, but rivers replaced roadways in water-logged Recife, a rainforest town with a soccer stadium, and the motorcade of Team USA family members was unable to reach the stadium. Television commentary in the hotel was in Portuguese.

When the motorcade did take to the streets for other travel purposes, the families were escorted by officers who carried automatic weapons, a memorable sight to Mike.

The atmosphere at the games was stratospheric. Chris has a 6-month-old daughter who became a favorite of camera people. Her image was shown on the jumbotron in the stadium. Then, Chris’s wife received a call from friends in France who had recognized the babe on television. The jumbotron feed was the same as the international broadcast of the event. “That’s when I thought, ‘I’m in the middle of the biggest sporting event on the planet,’” Mike said.

Inarguably, he said the greatest highlight was having the chance to watch his nephew play. They knew it might be the only World Cup in which to see him. “There’s no guarantee in sports that there’s going to be a tomorrow,” Mike said.

Chris, a San Jose Earthquakes Major League Soccer Captain, is tied for the league record for goals in a season with 27 in 2012. Before his breakout year in 2010, another year in which he led the league in goals, he was a relative unknown who hadn’t found the field as often.

The World Cup was a whole new level. “Getting to see my nephew after having watched him since college and watching him get into games and really contribute was remarkably exciting,” Mike said.

Chris subbed into the games against both Portugal and Belgium. Team USA had exceeded expectations by qualifying for the knockout rounds out of its difficult group, which had been labeled, “the group of death.”

Chris had probably the best chance to put USA into round two of the knockout round. In extratime of the 0-0 match against Belgium, Chris received the ball at point blank range with the Belgian goalie charging him. He flicked the ball over the goalie, but it also sailed over the cross bar. The deadlocked 0-0 match went into overtime, and the U.S. lost 2-1. Mike called it a “breath-holding moment” when the ball fell at his nephew’s feet in front of the net, and that was followed by a collective gasp when he missed.

Following the match, in a stadium that was flooded with USA fans, Mike said the crowd was supportive and forgiving, filled with hope about a U.S. soccer team that had fought until the end.

500 block of Maple purchased, improvements planned

By Lea Boyd
Escrow closed last week on a real estate transaction that encompasses the entire east side of the 500 block of Maple Avenue. Baker Bradford Holdings sold the property, which includes several residences, an office building and two commercial buildings, to Thom Vernon, the recently retired co-founder of Fresh Produce clothing company, who sees his purchase as a “fun” opportunity to convert the patchwork block to a spruced-up, mostly residential neighborhood that pays respect to the “history and charm of Carpinteria.”

Vernon and his architect, Dylan Chappell, submitted conceptual plans to the City of Carpinteria to complete the multi-phased project. The first phase would be conversion of a two-story, 9,600 square foot commercial building at 550 Maple Ave. into two multi-unit residential buildings. Vernon hopes to achieve this by, essentially, “cutting a swath through the middle” and remodeling the remaining two pieces into a four-unit building and a six-unit building. The structure was built in the 1960s. “It’s a pretty good building,” Vernon said, “It’s just ugly.”

Vernon plans to improve the cluster of four cottages on the corner of Maple Avenue and 6th Street without any changes to their structure. “They just need a little tender loving care,” Vernon said. He added that the cottages are longterm rentals, and he will likely make improvements one by one as tenants turn over.

The third element of the plan is the demolition of a commercial building and a single family residence in the southeast corner of the property and construction of a triplex of one-bedroom residences.

The large warehouse facing the railroad tracks, which was part of Vernon’s purchase, is not included in the plans submitted to the city. Vernon said that improvements to that building would be a final phase that might be years down the line. “In the long term, I would like to see some type of industrial use with a retail piece to it. The view from the dock is pretty incredible,” he said of the warehouse.

Vernon emphasized that the large Torrey pine on the property, which neighbors have expressed concern for, will remain. “We will do nothing that will affect that big Torrey pine,” he said. “That is the prize of the block.”

A few years ago, Vernon purchased a 7th Street property with a collection of ramshackle cottages and remodeled them into quaint, vacation rentals that have since been featured in numerous Southern California magazines.

The retired apparel company owner, who now divides his time between Santa Barbara and Colorado, notes that his discovery of the 7th Street property marked the beginning of his relationship with Carpinteria, a town for which he now has great affection. Like his new Maple Avenue project, he said, the 7th Street project was motivated more by an interest in restoration than a need to make a profit. “It was a complete dump,” he said of the 7th Street cottages, “and I thought, ‘This looks like fun.’”

City efforts reduce water use by 12 percent

By Cat Neushul
The drought throughout California has affected water use in the local area in many ways. Carpinteria residents have been asked to reduce their water consumption by 20 percent, and the city is doing its part as well. During this week’s city council meeting, city staff detailed measures taken to reduce water use, such as installing a well at El Carro Park and irrigation control devices in local parks, and discussed water conservation plans for the future.

Erin Maker, environment coordinator for the city, said “The city has worked closely with other agencies on water conservation.” She added, “We have reduced water use in all roadways and public parks.”

The city’s water reduction hasn’t hit the 20 percent target requested by the Carpinteria Valley Water District; it was estimated to be at about 12 percent by the end of this fiscal year.

Parks and Recreation Director Matt Roberts said that weather conditions had made water conservation tricky. He said that the city had adopted a number of conservation techniques before the drought emergency was declared, but that dry conditions had increased the need for watering and made implementation of some conservation methods problematic. He said, “This last winter we had a total of 4 inches (of rainfall). It didn’t allow us to use those tactics,” he said. Adding, “It was exceptionally dry.”

In fiscal year 2013-2014, the city used approximately 33,700 units of water, mostly in local parks. The previous fiscal year, when there was greater rainfall, 31,450 units of water were used. Roberts said the city spends about $100,000 a year for water use. “We’ve always been cognizant of water use and water waste,” he said.

When the CVWD declared a stage one drought in February, the city had many water conservation methods already in place. Irrigation controllers had been replaced with smart controllers in areas reliant on CVWD water to ensure that weather conditions were used to determine water usage. The city had installed an irrigation well in El Carro Park, made landscaping changes at Monte Vista Park to replace some areas of turf with drought-resistant plants, and put in waterless urinals at Viola Fields and half gallon flush toilets at beach areas (reducing water consumption by 50 percent). Low flow toilets have also been installed at the Veterans Memorial Building and city hall.

Since the declaration, other steps have been taken, including the development of a city drought plan. “We are in an area that’s deemed one of exceptional drought,” Roberts said. For this reason, irrigation devices have been turned off in the public right-of-way (hand watering is being implemented), irrigation times have been reduced or suspended in city parks, and messages have been posted at beaches and the community pool encouraging people to conserve water.

Roberts said that the Parks and Recreation Department is being forced to make difficult choices. Staff has to prioritize when deciding which areas to water and which to leave dry. Areas receiving a lot of public use, such as sports fields, are deemed a priority. Maker said, “They are vital to the community for sports and other events.”

Some of the things Parks and Recreation has planned for the future include:
Installing an irrigation well in Monte Vista Park. Permits have already been obtained.
Retrofitting the urinals at the community pool with half gallon flush models.
Installing reverse osmosis devices at city hall and in the public works buildings.
Using drought resistant landscaping at city hall, in the Seaside Park Project, at Franklin Creek Park, in Memorial Park and in the Linden-Casitas Interchanges Project.

Roberts said that small changes, such as planting drought-resistant landscaping or adding an irrigation well, can make a big difference. “The objective is to save a lot of water for the long term,” he said.

Commotion by the Ocean

Carpinteria basketball players hosted their summer tournament last weekend, the John Ward Memorial Commotion by the Ocean tourney. (Photos by BIll Swing)

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Over 55+ breweries! Live Music, Surfboards Shapers & More!

Surf 'n' Suds is a beer festival with a surf twist! Over 55+ breweries will be at Surf 'n' Suds with some amazing craft beer! Local surfboard shapers will be on hand with their latest designs and 3 live bands will be jamming on stage!


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