Santa Barbara Independent

Stories of Heroism, Heartbreak Emerge from Montecito Mudslides

Mere weeks after the largest wildfire in state history scorched the foothills of Montecito, disaster struck yet again Tuesday morning as devastating mudslides triggered by heavy rainfall reduced much of the coastal community to what officials described as a scene resembling a World War I battlefield. … Westmont College did not sustain significant flooding in the storm, but due to the compromised water service, canceled classes through Friday. more

Westmont’s Men’s Basketball Coach Hits 500th Win

Five hundred is a significant number in John Moore’s life. Until the age of 14, he lived in Japan, where his father was Far East manager for Goodyear Tires. … That early inspiration led to Moore’s taking up basketball with a passion after his family returned to the States. While playing, he absorbed the methods of his great coaches — Don Johnson, John Wooden’s first UCLA All-American, at Cypress Community College, and Chet Kammerer, an NAIA Hall of Fame coach, at Westmont College. more

The S.B. Questionnaire: Pat Burns

This time of year, you will undoubtedly stumble upon a viewing of Frank Capra’s holiday classic It’s A Wonderful Life, which tells the story of George Bailey, who loves his town and is willing to do everything for its residents. … He came to Santa Barbara to study Christianity at Westmont College, and then traveled for five years through New Zealand, Fiji, Thailand, Malaysia, and China. more

The Thomas Fire Strikes Back

It was a day few in Santa Barbara will ever forget. Early in the morning on Saturday, December 16, as howling winds developed overnight, the Thomas Fire roared through the canyons above Summerland and Montecito, cresting ridges toward Westmont College, Parma Park, and dozens of small neighborhoods tucked away along narrow mountain roads. more

LIVE: Thomas Fire Incident Commanders to Lead Town Hall Amid Firefight in Montecito

Fire officials announced at Saturday’s daily briefing that the Thomas Fire had charred 259,000 acres. It was 40 percent contained. At 4 p.m. the fire was near Westmont College, working its way down to Parma Park. “It hasn’t passed Gibraltar Road, but it is definitely headed in that direction,” said Santa Barbara County Fire Chief Eric Peterson. more

‘Worst Day Yet’ on the Thomas Fire as Firefight Continues in Montecito

Today marked the toughest day so far in the battle against the Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara County, as the blaze flared up early this morning under heavy, steady, and predicted winds. … As of about 5 p.m. the most active front of the Thomas was above Cold Springs Road and Westmont College. “It’s working its way down toward Parma Park,” Peterson said. “It hasn’t [reached] Gibraltar Road, but it’s headed that way.” more

Thomas Fire Pushes South and West into Montecito Foothills, Triggers Evacuations in Santa Barbara

Sheriff’s deputies are reporting fire around Ashley Road in Montecito, directly south of East Mountain Drive and east of Westmont College. Despite fire burning in that area, throughout the Montecito foothills, and now towards Gilbraltar Road, County Fire spokesperson Dave Zaniboni is reporting that no structures have been lost in this morning’s firefight. “It’s been a true firefight out here today,” Zaniboni said. more

Santa Barbara Mobilizes Buses to Shuttle Eastside Evacuees to Shelters

As the Thomas Fire continues to burn above Westmont College, Spanish-speaking city workers are informing Eastside residents about evacuating warnings in areas east of Salinas Street and north of Highway 101. In the city, 20,000 residents are under mandatory evacuation orders. more

Thomas Fire Friday Morning Update: Slow Growth Overnight but Bad Winds on the Way

Considering the low humidity and the terrain in the hills above Montecito — steep, craggy, and loaded with boulders and thick chaparral — the fact that firefighters, both on the ground and in the air, have been on the offensive against the Thomas Fire the past couple days is just shy of miraculous. … Major staging areas at Westmont College, Manning Park, and the polo fields east of Summerland have been busy with engines and crews regrouping for rest, sustenance, and updated attack plans for their next shift in the mountains. more

In Memoriam: Silvio Dante DiLoreto, 1925-2017 Santa Barbara Businessperson, Mentor, Philanthropist

Silvio Dante DiLoreto died peacefully in the company of family on March 17, 2017, at age 91. He had been an active member of the Santa Barbara community for 61 years. … He also worked with the March of Dimes, Project Concern, and Direct Relief International. He supported the Community Prayer Breakfast, SBCC Culinary Arts, S.B.Scholarship Foundation, Westmont College, Museum of Natural History, S.B. Maritime Museum (where he was a docent), Cottage Hospital, Sansum, Prime Time Band, American Institute of Food and Wine, and Alpha Resource Center. more