Santa Barbara Daily Sound

Westmont to break in new track on Saturday

For many sports fans, nothing says spring like the crack of a baseball bat. But for others, the season can best be measured in meters, and enjoyed most thoroughly in the presence of jumping bodies, racing hearts, spent legs and the pure snap of a starter pistol that commands much of the action at a proper track and field meet. more

Westmont holds public viewing at Carroll Observatory

Astronomy enthusiasts and curious local residents will get the chance to peer through the recently installed Keck Telescope at Westmont College’s observatory tonight during a free public viewing. If clear skies prevail, visitors could catch a glimpse of Saturn’s rings after 9 p.m., along with the red surface of Mars, several galaxies and Milky Way constellations once the sun dips below the horizon. more

Former Mexican president calls for partnership Fox says U.S. needs to work with Mexico, Latin America

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox did not shy away from the hot-button topics of immigration, drugs and free trade during a speech at the Westmont President’s Breakfast yesterday morning that focused on the major issues facing the United States and its neighbors to the south. Describing the United States a land of hope that has drawn many immigrants from Mexico and Latin America in pursuit of opportunity and success, he called on the nation to be a partner and friend to other countries in the region. more

Westmont faculty homes harness solar power

Forty faculty homes on the campus of Westmont College will soon harness the power of the sun, using photovoltaic panels to generate enough energy to power the neighborhood. As the first fully solar community in the county, Las Barrancas neighborhood’s solar arrays will generate more than 157,000 kilowatt-hours of energy annually, equivalent to removing more than 3,000 tons of carbon dioxide from the environment, school officials said. more

Student filmmaking competition gets underway

Local student filmmakers and screenwriters paired up with film industry professionals yesterday during the kickoff of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s annual 10-10-10 Student Filmmaking Competition…The screenwriting finalists are Stephen Amspoker, SMHS; Erik Choquette, SBHS; Dylan Douglas, SMHS; Katie Elster, SMHS; Frances Rozhko, SMHS; Koriayn Christensen, UCSB; Ramsey Feaver, Brooks Institute; Cora Hirashiki, UCSB; Peter Manthei, Westmont College; and Brittany Sandler, SBCC. more

Minus a $75M gift, some Westmont projects put on hold

Westmont College’s hard-fought effort to construct several new buildings on campus hit a kink in recent months after school officials were informed that they would not be receiving the bulk of a $75 million gift. The donation was given to the school in 2006 and would have gone toward building a new chapel and residence hall. However, after school officials learned in late September that much of gift wouldn’t be honored, these two structures were put on the back burner. more

Spinners raise funds to aid Cambodian village

An indoor cycling fundraiser, called “Spin for Cambodia,” is planned this weekend at an upper State Street business to help 12 area volunteers perform humanitarian work in that ravaged Asian nation. The fundraiser will be from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the Spectrum uptown gym, 3908 State St., Santa Barbara. Cyclists will be asked to donate $20 per hour of participation for a at least one hour and up to six hours. more

Local business develops new iPhone app

Some online sellers have just given up trying to use services such as eBay because they may believe there must be a better way to sell items. Maybe there is. “I like gadgets that solve problems,” said Tyler Gildred, owner of Santa Barbara-based Zuujit, a firm that develops software applications. … A Santa Barbara County native, Gildred is about to launch an iPhone application that he said takes most of the hassle out of selling on eBay. After four years in development, the user-friendly application known is expected to be available in the Apple Store by mid-October. Gildred was born in Santa Barbara and raised in Santa Ynez Valley. He has a bachelor’s in art from Westmont College and was the lead designer for People Helping People in 2003. more

Westmont, UCSB move up in rankings

College students bound for UC Santa Barbara and Westmont College this fall can rest assured that the institutions charged with educating them are among the top of their kind in the nation. According to U.S. News and World Report’s “America’s Best Colleges, 2010 Edition,” Westmont ranked 92nd out of the nation’s 266 liberal arts colleges, while UC Santa Barbara, in the category of “Top 50 Public National Universities,” finished at 11, statements from the schools said. Westmont leapfrogged 19 spots, busting into the top 100, making it one of only two liberal arts colleges among the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities to reach that bar. more

Brush-eating goats go to work at Westmont

Instead of the buzz of weed whackers, anyone visiting or attending Westmont College will soon hear the munching of goats. School officials yesterday announced they’ve hired a herd of brush-eating goats to help clear flammable foliage from areas north of Page Hall, the south side of the bridge on La Paz Road and a spot northwest of Chelham Way. more