Yearly Archives: 2008

LITTLE CHARMER : Baby's winning smile takes her to semi-finals of national photo contest

Local cutie Isabella Masuno was one of eight babies that drew the most “awws” in Good Morning America’s cover contest for Babytalk Magazine. The Santa Barbara baby had one person in her corner that offset the effects of jet lag — her father, a chemistry professor at Westmont College. more

Chorale gives grand seasonal prelude : Tea Fire, illness couldn't deter bout of holiday cheer

From the earliest majestic strains of Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, grandly presented this weekend by the Santa Barbara Master Chorale, at the First Presbyterian Church, one could sense extra measures of passion from the orchestral and choral forces gathered. Chorale director Steven Hodson, a Westmont faculty member, lost his house in the blaze. But the concert went on and it was dedicated to Mr. Hodson and the many others affected by the ferocious conflagration. more

Sorting through the Rubble: Westmont College rebuilds after fire destroys 20 percent of its campus

Westmont College professors and students began sifting through the ashes yesterday as some coped with the loss of their homes and departments. Classes were canceled until December 1 to give the campus time to recover from the November 13 fire that destroyed 20 percent of its buildings but injured no one. The fire destroyed three academic buildings, more than 30 dorm rooms, and 14 of the 41 college-owned faculty houses at the Christian liberal arts college in Santa Barbara, California. more

TREASURES OUT OF RUBBLE : Families express regret and gratitude after Tea Fire

Amid the ruins of her home, Jenna Fikes found the shoe that would keep her safe on her “planet of nightmares.” “It was a ceramic shoe that I made in the 5th grade,” the 16-year-old Montecito resident said. “I wrote a story about it being on a planet where all the nightmares go.” The shoe survived a real-life nightmare — the total loss of the Fikes’ home. Jenna found it Monday while digging through the rubble for the things she and her parents wished they had packed as the Tea Fire charged their home on Westmont Road. more

Whitworth to send support to Westmont students

Whitworth plans to send notes and gifts of encouragement this week to peers at Westmont College, whose campus was ravaged by a wildfire Nov. 13. The fire, known as the Tea Fire, burned through 1,500 acres in Santa Barbara County, Calif., last week, including eight buildings of the Westmont campus. more

Fired-Up Westmont Wins Conference Championship: A Victory Amid the Ruins

Westmont College’s soccer team overcame fire with fire Monday. The Warriors, whose coach and several players lost their homes to the Tea Fire four days earlier, put forth a blazing effort at both ends of the pitch and defeated Azusa Pacific 2-0 for the championship of the Golden State Athletic Conference. more

Sorting Through the Rubble

Westmont College professors and students began sifting through the ashes yesterday as some coped with the loss of their homes and departments. more

Tea Fire: Westmont Recovery

Thousand of student and faculty were forced to evacuate Westmont College after the destruct Tea Fire broke out last Thursday. The university’s president announced classes will not resume until after the Thanksgiving holiday, on December 1st. more video

Focus on recovery : Residents look ahead as reality of Tea Fire sinks in

As authorities make progress containing the 2,000 acre burn area, victims of the Tea Fire are focusing on recovery. The giving nature of Santa Barbarans had an impact on Westmont communication professor Greg Spencer and his wife Janet, whose house on Las Barrancas was damaged in the fire. “It looks like a war zone in our neighborhood,” Mrs. Spencer said. The Spencers had not even begun to evacuate when they got a call from a church friend offering shelter to the couple and their pets, Mocha and Willy. more

School still out at Westmont College due to Tea Fire

School is still out at Westmont College in Montecito, where crews are busy cleaning up the mess the Tea Fire left behind.

Flames destroyed several buildings on campus, including the physics, psychology, and old math buildings. The fire also damaged faculty offices and four residence halls. more