April 3, 2024
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Street Smarts: Westmont will bring author Michael Lewis back to Santa Barbara


Bestselling author Michael Lewis will keynote the 17th annual Westmont College President’s Breakfast on March 4 at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.

Lewis is best known for “Moneyball,” “The Big Short” and “The Blind Side,” but his pandemic book, “The Premonition” made prescient calls about COVID-19 and it made a hero out of Charity Dean, the former Santa Barbara County and California public health officer who put out early warnings about the virus.

In some ways this is the continuation of a conversation that began in the before times. Lewis’ book on human decision making, called “The Undoing Project” profiled Nobel Laureate Daniel Kahneman, who spoke at Westmont’s 2020 President’s Breakfast. That talk in early March was one of the last major public event in the region before the pandemic shut everything down. Information at westmont.edu/breakfast; COVID protocols will be observed.


Former Santa Barbara County Supervisor Mike Stoker is hoping to get the last word on his time as regional administrator for Environmental Protection Agency in the Trump administration. His book, “Inside Trump’s EPA,” is available on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble online.

The regional administrator job on the West Coast involves travel to Pacific Island territories, and Stoker blames EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler for undermining the agency’s mission to serve a vast territory including tribes and islanders. Policy and ethical differences eventually led Stoker to step aside. If you buy the book, let us know what you think.


The Templeton Chamber of Commerce and the Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center are merging, creating a much larger chamber for North SLO County. The move, which mirrors developments in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, will foster greater collaboration and provide enhanced member services, networking and mentorship, the chambers said.


• Happy Canyon Winery in the Santa Ynez Valley is teaming up with Jean-Michel Carre and his Chocolats du CaliBressan confectionary shop in Carpinteria, with pairings just in time for Valentine’s Day. Check out the mixed white-rosé-red flight or the all-red flight at the tasting room.

• Flying Goat Cellars in Lompoc combines methode champenoise offering like its Goat Bubbles Rose with traditional offerings like chardonnay and pinot noir for its Valentine’s Day fare.


• Grover Beach puts some life into the winter season with a $25 city-funded gift card for shoppers who spends $100 or more at small business. Participating businesses include restaurants, breweries, wineries, fitness, and salon/personal services providers. Businesses can still apply to be part of the program.

• Book two consecutive nights Sunday through Thursday at a San Luis Obispo lodging property of your choice, and the SLO Chamber will throw in a $100 gift card bundle good at participating bars, restaurants and other venues.


Happy 20th birthday to the city of Goleta, whose official born on date was Feb. 1. The Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution honoring the Goleta for hitting the big 2-0. No word on whether the proclamation offered to revisit the property and sales tax split between the city and county.


A $50,000 grant was awarded to The Lynda Fairly Carpinteria Arts Center from the American Rescue Plan’s provision for National Endowment for the Arts funding. The NEA recovery grants were awarded to 56 recipients in California, but only the Fairly Center on the Central Coast.


Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, R-San Luis Obispo, has introduced a resolution to name a segment of Highway 101 in San Luis Obispo County after late Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian. The resolution would name a segment between Arroyo Grande and Pismo Beach the Katcho Achadjian Memorial Highway. Achadjian served 12 years on the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors and six in the Assembly.


• ON BOARD: The Hancock College foundation board unanimously elected Gloria Soto head of Santa Maria-based Future Leaders of America, and Larry Lahr of Buellton, president of Rincon Corp., to serve three-year terms. Both are Hancock alumni.

• BGC HONORS: Boys & Girls Clubs of Oxnard and Port Hueneme has named Carlos Perez as Youth of the Year. He is 16 and a junior at Oxnard High School.

• SERVICE NOTED: Ensign Kellen E. Peddicord from Santa Barbara is serving on the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Benfold (DDG 65), recently on patrol in the South China Sea.