Christmas in Santa Barbara

I know that a couple of my readers are in the midwest and the eastern part of the country. So I wanted to share this: At mid afternoon today, the ambient temperature on my parents’ back yard deck – on the southern, sunniest side of the house – was 87 degrees. Humidity about 45 percent.

Neener neener neener.

Perhaps a visit to Santa Barbara at the holidays would be nice for you.

You are most welcome! Though I have to admit, all this sunshine does not make for a traditionally picturesque Christmas.


But I imagine having to dig your car out of a drift doesn’t set you to singing carols either.

much rejoicing

Well it’s been a grateful week in Carpinteria, my small home town on the California coast.

My last post was on Tuesday, June 8, election day here in California. Posted as I sat waiting for the first returns, as I recall. And if you’ve been following this blog at all, you know that I was adamantly opposed to a certain Measure J. By this, an oil company from Denver tried to bypass the City government and get the voters to permit expanded oil exploration here. I mean right here, within the city limits, near my home and close to hundreds of other homes as well.

The centerpiece of the company’s plan – known as the Paredon Project – was to be a massive drilling rig, 140 to 175 feet tall. It would be on our ocean bluffs, adjacent to a residential tract, the bluffs nature preserve, and the seal rookery. We’re talking about a federally protected wildlife sanctuary, folks.

the drill rig

Happily, Measure J went down in a thunderous landslide of Oh Hell No. 70% of the voters didn’t fall for it at all. 

Election Blowout 4

And there was much rejoicing. There was a very large exhale of relief.

It’s a long and tawdry story, most of which I would rather see you spared. Suffice to say the magnificent defeat of Measure J comes not just as a welcome result, but a rightful vindication. The vast majority of us stuck together. We remembered the natural beauty that makes Carpinteria the place where we want to live in the first place. Our little town is not for sale.

We still have a stable local government. No shots were fired. Democracy abides.

As for the folks who voted the other way … well, we still love you. Take a walk on the bluffs sometime. Remember that all who wander are not lost, and all that glitters is not gold.

Signal Fires

The rain is mingling with light from the streetlamp
and light from my window
and soaking
into the long animal grass.

I know you cannot see these lights.
I have put ten miles between us
and the creeks, trees and hills.
An entire world of separation.

What will become of me?
The night is useless,
cold, and you are somewhere in the dark,
in Santa Barbara, dreaming.

The moon was rising out of Ojai
when I left you and drove home.
All the birds
in El Estero were asleep.

The moon is shining on the Channel now,
and maybe shining on Fort Ross,
the Russian cupolas and crosses
flashing signals from the cliffs.

A far and lonely place
where the road
makes love to gravity, clinging high
above the rocks and pounding surf.

My heart is dizzy like that road tonight.
Narrow, slick and dangerous.
I think of you
then watch the sky until my breath returns.

I walk the dog over the tracks
and down to the bluffs, into a shroud
of eucalyptus trees that watch
the sea in anguish as it rises and falls.

The sea does not care about me.
I love you but the sea does not care.
I need you but the sea is just rising and falling,
so I will light a fire on the edge, and wait.

Inspired by Carpinteria, the coast of
California, a little dog, and a girl.

Creative Commons License
Signal Fires by J. Kyle Kimberlin is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.


This great rally throughout downtown Carpinteria last Friday…

was covered on and in the Santa Barbara Independent.

I’ll be downtown with my sign this afternoon, and if you’re local I hope to see you.

Since the election is tomorrow, there won’t be many more posts on this topic. I hope. I may take some photos today and post them, but I don’t have much more to say. Except Vote No on Measure J.

Don’t just agree No on Measure J, and forget to vote.

Don’t let complacency creep in, because it’s not over ’til it’s over. And as obvious as it may seem that we shouldn’t vote our own City government out of power – and hand the whole process over to an oil company – if we won’t beat this power grab – we could have a mess to clean up.

Yep, that was a seagull.

our town

The following letter was printed in yesterday’s Coastal View News, here in Carpinteria. Actually, 2 words were excised by the editor, which I have emphasized below.

The future of beautiful Carpinteria should be up to us, the citizens of Carpinteria, not Venoco. A vote for Venoco’s Measure J means giving the oil company too much control of our future. We should not vote away our rights for local government and environmental protection.

Venoco’s claim that onshore drilling is better than offshore is a clever deception. Venoco already operates offshore oil rigs off Carpinteria. Their plan is to drill onshore also, not instead.

It is not true that the Paredon project would impact only the Concha Loma area. It would affect our entire community. Besides, is there any number of homes and families that we are willing to turn our backs on? No, in Carpinteria we are all neighbors and we care about each other.

I am voting NO on Measure J, and I hope that you will join me.

Kyle Kimberlin

The Paredon Fields

The following map shows the locations of the Paredon oil fields,  the deposits in which Venoco Inc. hopes to drill, if Measure J passes on June 8.

The source of this map is Section 5.0, Alternatives Analysis, in the Paredon Project EIR (Environmental Impact Report).

Paredon Fields Map from EIR

Click the map to view a much larger version.

Oil deposits are shown by the blue shapes.  

CPF stands for Carpinteria Processing Facility, and marks the location of Venoco’s property near Tarpits Park and the Seal Rookery, the Carpinteria Bluffs Nature Preserve.

oh the irony

“So the fishermen came to receive training in how to clean up the oil spill that was creeping up on the nearby coastline. They were hoping to be hired by BP, the company blamed for the spill and responsible for cleanup efforts.” – NT Times

A disaster of Biblical proportions is unfolding there. And we don’t need one here.

I’m going to Vote No on Measure J – on shore exploratory oil drilling in Carpinteria. And if I get a chance to vote on offshore exploratory drilling near my home, I’ll vote no again.

Citizens Committee Against Paredon Initiative