July 21, 2024
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Street Smarts: Deckers plans to halt alpaca use to curtail animal cruelty


Deckers Brands will be joining Land’s End, Williams Sonoma, UNIQLO, Columbia and others in halting the use of alpaca wool. Deckers had announced early in 2022 that it would stop in the most recent update to its “Ethical Sourcing and Animal Welfare Policy.” 

Deckers, owner of UGG, Koolaburra, Sanuk, HOKA, and Teva, earned a box of vegan chocolates from PETA, the animal rights organization, which earlier made the treatment of alpacas the subject of an undercover investigation.

According to a release from PETA, the investigation turned up cruel treatment of the wool-bearing mammals during the shearing process. Some 70 companies have now banned alpaca wool and PETA said it is targeting Anthropologie next.


Santa Barbara County has named Mouhanad Hammami, MD, MHSA as public health director, beginning Jan. 23. He will take over from Interim Public Health Director Daniel Nelson, who will continue to lead the county’s social service department.  Dr. Hammami has more than 20 years of experience in public health and was recently Chief Health Strategist for Wayne County, Michigan, where he worked on COVID-19 response.

Jose Chang is the new Agriculture Commissioner/Director of Weights & Measures for Santa Barbara County, replacing Cathy Fisher, who is retiring. He has worked in agriculture/weights and measures for 2006 for Napa and Monterey counties, including assistant agriculture commissioner in Monterey County.

He  grew up in a farming family and studied ag at UC Davis.


Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D-Thousand Oaks) was on hand recently when California officials announced some $4.5M in funding from the state budget toward completion of the Simi Valley Metrolink Safety Improvement and Quiet Corridor Project.


 Sixty-one students graduated from Allan Hancock College’s nursing program on Dec. 8, including 31 graduates from Hancock’s registered nursing program and 30 graduates from the college’s vocational nursing program. On Dec. 9, Hancock’s fire academy hosted its graduation and a special celebration of the academy’s 50th anniversary.


The Association of Women in Communications in Santa Barbara has announced that Dr. Katrina Mitchell is the recipient of the Lois Phillips Founder’s Award in recognition of her passionate and outspoken advocacy for women’s health. Dr. Mitchell is a breast surgeon, lactation consultant and perinatal mental health provider at Sansum Clinic and Ridley Tree Cancer Center. During the pandemic, Dr. Mitchell wrote and published the Physician Guide to Breastfeeding to address the breastfeeding challenges and complications resulting from isolation.

John Doordan and Kate Ford will join the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum in January 2023. Both have a history of volunteer involvement in the Santa Barbara community.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Ventura County completed their 13th annual Bags, Bling & Bubbly champagne luncheon at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks.


Alexandra Chambers has joined Farmers and Merchants Trust Company as a Vice President and Trust Officer. Prior to joining Farmers and Merchants, she managed her own law practice specializing in estate planning and charitable giving. She earned her J.D. from the Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law and enjoys equestrian sports.


A slew of notables were on hand for the Ventura Chamber’s can’t miss 2022 Poinsettia Awards at the Ventura Beach Marriott. Among those spotted were: George Leis, Vanessa Bechtel, Maria Ventura, Mary Jarvis, Mike Salacci, Rudy Gonzales, Melissa Baffa, Pattie Braga, Peter Godinez, Linda Braunschweiger, Kathy Odell, Lysa Urban, Mark Hartley.


• UNITE PARTNERSHIP:  Unite California is partnering with the Ventura County Human Services Agency to deliver services in the Santa Clarita Valley.

• COASTAL STUDY: CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) Professor Sean Anderson is one of four CSU researchers who will share an $865,884 grant to help the state manage the coastline.

• RELEASE THE TROUT: The second of four scheduled 4,000-pound Rainbow Trout releases for the 2022/2023 season took place recently at Lake Cachuma. The fish come from Mt. Lassen Trout Farms.

• LAWYER APPOINTED: Sabrina Ashjian of Camarillo has been appointed to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board by Gov. Gavin Newsom. She has been affiliated with the environmental law clinic at UC Berkeley since 2021.