May 22, 2024
You are here:  Home  >  Regions  >  Central Coast  >  Current Article

Street smarts: Carpinteria hosts annual community awards banquet


Hundreds of Carpinterians gathered at the Girls Inc. of Carpinteria headquarters on April 6 to celebrate the city’s annual community awards banquet, an event that celebrates the people and businesses of Carpinteria.

The event’s most prestigious award, Carpinterian of the Year, went to Rick Olmstead.

Olmstead is a staple in Santa Barbara County, especially in the volleyball scene winning a state title with the Santa Barbara High Dons as well as a national title with the Santa Barbara City College team.

A Carpinteria native, however, Olmstead noted his love for the city on multiple occasions during his speech. 

In recent years, Olmstead has worked extensively with the homeless population in Carpinteria.

“The 37 years I spent working in education were unbelievable, I loved it. But these last 10 years, working with the homeless has been just as rewarding,” Olmstead said.

Business of the Year went to Coastal View News, Carpinteria’s weekly newspaper dedicated to keeping the community informed. 

Despite falling on hard times last year, the community rallied around the paper, flooding it with multiple donations and businesses taking more advertisements to keep the paper afloat.

The team is led by co-founders Michael VanStry and Gary Dobbins, Managing Editor Evelyn Spence, Assistant Editor Jun Starkey, and Sports Editor Ryan Cruz.

“Gary and I have always been blessed with a dedicated and professional staff that goes above and beyond expectations every week to go toward a product Carpinteria can be proud of,” VanStry said.

Junior Carpinterian of the Year went to Lizbeth Alpizar Farfan with fellow high schoolers Camryn Bernstein and Sara Fakinos being the two runners-up. All three will receive money toward college.

Carpinteria educators of the year went to Arturo Monarres and Luis Quintero. 


Oxnard College and the Oxnard College Foundation are partnering with researchers at California Lutheran University and the University of California Los Angeles to host an event on April 17 marking the publication of the annual U.S. Latino GDP Report. The event is free and open to the public. To learn more and to RSVP, visit


• The Community Environmental Council’s annual Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival, one of the largest and longest-running Earth Day events in the nation, will be returning this year and be held on April 27 and April 28. Thousands of individuals will get together to celebrate the planet and engage in climate action. CEC’s Green Car Show has become a central feature of the Festival and continues to grow each year with new models to view and test drive. 

• For consumers seeking to be more sustainable in their spring shopping Buffalo Exchange’s beloved Earth Day $1 Sale is coming up on April 20. 


Livingston Memorial Visiting Nurse Association & Hospice presents its 13th annual Mother’s Day Luncheon at Las Posas Country Club on April 19. Mustang Marketing CEO Dianne McKay and the late Carol Gilbert will be honored. Board chairs are Laura McAvoy and Bill Kearney. The luncheon supports the Livingston Cares Programs. Information about sponsorship available via email to Heather Huffman at or check out 


Antioch University in Santa Barbara will host a panel discussion in honor of the UN’s International Women’s Day for the April “Fantastic Friday” program. The title is “Leading with Emotional Agility in the New Workforce Culture” held on April 12, from 1:00 until 2:30 pm at SBCC’s Leni Fe Bland Auditorium. 


The Big Bounce America 2024 tour is returning to Santa Barbara from April 26th through April 28th at Elings Park. Featuring The World’s Largest Bounce House, The Big Bounce America is the biggest touring inflatable event in the world and includes seven massive inflatable attractions.


NEW SELECTION: Jaime Valdez, a longtime Goleta resident, has been appointed as the new assistant city manager following an extensive search that included applicants from across the country. Valdez currently serves as the Director of Neighborhood Services and will began his new position on April 8.

GREAT ENVIRONMENT: Cottage Health, a not-for-profit healthcare system serving the California Central Coast, has earned CertifiedTM’s Great Place To Work for the sixth time. 

NEW CHAIRS: Pam Tanase, co-founder of the coworking space Workzones in Santa Barbara, and John Nelson, chief administrative officer of Prolacta Bioscience in Duarte, have been named co-chairs of the Santa Barbara Human Resources Association (SBHRA) for the 2024 to 2025 fiscal year.