Santa Barbara Independent

Chet Kammerer Gets Floored: Former Westmont Basketball Coach to Be Honored This Weekend

Chet Kammerer, a man of considerable modesty, was floored when Westmont College wanted him to be the men’s basket­ball coach, and now he is being floored again. On Saturday, December 13, the playing surface at Westmont’s recently renovated Murchison Gym will be dedicated as Kammerer Court. The ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. before the Warriors play Cal State San Bernardino in a non-conference game. more

Art Event Commemorates the Life of Wes Nishimura

I remember very clearly the day Wes Nishimura died. I was standing in front of the cafeteria at Westmont College, listening in disbelief as a friend told me that Wes had killed himself by siphoning the exhaust from the tailpipe into a car with the windows rolled up. His father, Allan, a chemistry professor at Westmont, had found him in the family’s garage. more

Three Reasons to Celebrate Form and Function at Westmont College

Although the Tea Fire ravaged many parts of Westmont College’s campus, the school’s faculty and students have forged forward toward as much normalcy as possible. One of the departments affected by the fire was Reynolds Gallery, which, after being closed for two weeks, has reopened to the public. Rising from the ashes, both figuratively and literally, Reynolds is currently featuring the exhibition Ceramics: Form and Function as its annual fundraiser to support the gallery, one of Santa Barbara’s richest venues for the visual arts. more

Frown and Gown

I felt that not releasing the names of the 10 adults allegedly responsible for the Tea Fire was appropriate until formal charges were filed, mainly because of the debacle caused by an overzealous district attorney during the Duke Lacrosse team misconduct incident. It was necessary but not sufficient. Had the 10 students been from UCSB or Westmont, both schools would take a proactive approach because both schools understand the importance of town-and-gown relations for their universities. more

Westmont Okayed for Expansion — Once Again

A year after a Santa Barbara Superior Court judge rejected a lawsuit from the Concerned Citizens Over Westmont Expansion group, the California Court of Appeals on Dec. 3 denied an appeal by the same group of that decision, which means Westmont College can proceed with plans which will drastically change the landscape of the campus. The Westmont Master Plan, already with its first phase underway, will add roughly 345,000 square feet to campus. Opponents were arguing that Westmont had “slapdash analysis” in its final subsequent environmental impact report, and that the FSEIR (Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Report ) issued in 2006 didn’t meet California Environmental Quality Act standards. They argued this in part because—of the approximately 345,000 square foot expansion project—they said only 145,000 of it has been subjected to environmental review over the years 44 years Westmont had been talking about updating its Master Plan. more

Burned Couple Upgraded to Serious Condition

Recovery continues to be taken a day at a time, “sometimes a minute at a time,” according to Blanca Flor Benedict, the mother of Carla Hoffman, who, along with her husband, Lance, experienced the gravest of injuries related to the Tea Fire three weeks ago. The two received second- and third-degree burns as they tried to leave their home. The husband and wife’s status has been upgraded from critical to serious and both are scheduled for skin graft surgery later this week. Westmont College — a community that has also suffered greatly as a result of the fire — has also responded. Hundreds of students, faculty, staff, and neighbors gathered Monday for an emotional chapel service of “Hope and Renewal.” more

Four Reasons to Harness the Healing Power of Poetry

For those who love the written word, poems are great life companions. We choose poetry as a means of expressing the depth of feeling in profound moments and to communicate our joys. In times of loss and sorrow, poetry can remind us of our shared humanity, and even help to make pain more bearable.

For poet and Westmont College English professor Paul Willis, as for many other Santa Barbarans, the Tea Fire has been a devastating episode, as well as a reminder of what’s most important in life. Along with his family home, Willis lost his extensive collection of poetry by area and contemporary writers. This Saturday evening, December 6, friends and colleagues will gather for a poetry reading and benefit for Willis and other Westmont faculty who lost their houses and belongings to the fire. The reading will take place at SBCC’s Fé Bland Auditorium at 8 p.m. Here are a few reasons to attend and take part in the healing power of poetry and people. more

Tremblay Bowl Kicks Off Saturday at La Playa Stadium: THANKSGIVING SATURDAY

Admission will be free to Saturday’s NAIA Men’s National Soccer Championship first-round game between Westmont College and Holy Names at UCSB’s Harder Stadium. Game time is 7 p.m. Westmont plans to honor the firefighters, officials and volunteers who came to the aid of the school and the communities of Montecito and Santa Barbara during last week’s Tea Fire. more

Westmont College Owed A Public Apology: School Was Savaged by the Way Sheriff Brown Handled Tuesday's New Conference

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown should have known better. At Tuesday’s news conference in which he announced that a multi-agency investigation had determined the cause of the Tea Fire, Brown described the suspects as “ten young adults between the ages of 18 and 22 who all attended the same school. For whatever reason known only to Brown and perhaps those close to the investigation, he declined to answer any further questions regarding those involved other than to say there were both males and females in attendance at the Tea Garden bonfire party. more

Westmont Soccer Scores Big Despite Being Burned Out of House and Home

The ashes were still smoldering Monday when Westmont College basketball coach John Moore took the podium at the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table luncheon and declared, “Out of the ashes rise the Warriors.” At that very moment, 115 miles away, a Westmont Warrior team that had been underdogs throughout the Golden State Athletic Conference men’s soccer tournament was about to rise. more