Santa Barbara News Press

Up and Down: Former SB resident launches Yo-Yo Legacy Project, explores toy’s local connection

After retiring from careers as a minister and executive recruiter, Virgil Leih has been spending his time as a woodworker, turning tree logs into huge pieces of sculpture.

A more recent interest is taking the toys of his childhood and increasing their size to create sculptural art. They are around 18 inches in diameter. … That Mr. Flores lived in Santa Barbara caught Mr. Leih’s attention because he had lived here as a youth when his father, Cornelius Leih, was assistant to Roger Voskuyl, then president of Westmont College. more

A Big Opening Night: Foresters kick off 2018 campaign with home victory over Inland Valley at Pershing Park

It will be a few weeks before the Santa Barbara Foresters have their complete team.

A number of soon-to-be Foresters are still with their respective college teams, playing this weekend in the NCAA Super Regionals with the hope of landing in the College World Series. It’s not anything new to Santa Barbara manager Bill Pintard. He deals with late arrivals every season. … Because Gaydos just graduated from Westmont and is out of college eligibility, he can’t, by rule, pitch for the Foresters in California Collegiate League play. more


Following on the heels of its performance of Handel’s “Samson” in April, the Santa Barbara Master Chorale returns on Sunday afternoon to its regular venue, the First United Methodist Church, to bring the choral music-hungry Santa Barbarans Rossini’s “Petite Messe Solennelle (Little Solemn Mass).” Timed with the 150th anniversary of Rossini’s death, in 1868, the Master Chorale’s programming casts light on a rarely performed, non-operatic work by Rossini, written towards the end of his life, and freely mixing solemnity with celebratory spirits. Stephen R. Hodson, also a music professor at Westmont College, directs the Chorale, with soloist spotlights going to soprano Christine Hollinger, and alto Elena White. more

Foresters to get their fill of Coffey this weekend

Local reinforcements will help the Santa Barbara Foresters open their summer collegiate baseball season at Pershing Park this weekend while players trickle in from colleges throughout the country.    

The situation will enable two Goleta brothers — Luke and Isaac Coffey — to play together for the first time since their youth. … Pintard noted that Coffey’s older brother Luke, a junior third baseman for Westmont College, will play both corner positions of the infield for the Foresters this summer. He batted .373 with 10 home runs and 59 RBIs for the Warriors. The Foresters have also picked up Westmont pitchers David Gaydos, Bailey Reid, and Lance Simpson. more

LOCAL ROUNDUP: Hauschild, Neushul sisters lead USA Water Polo



Santa Barbara’s David Goss and Marcelo Duarte defeated Andrew Johnson and Sebastian Jung of San Luis Obispo in the finals of the California Beach Volleyball Association’s Men’s A Tournament at East Beach. … Former SBCC star Shannon Friend joined forces with Torrance’s Lexi Michaelsen to capture the women’s A event, beating former Westmont star Kayta Goyich, now the girls’ volleyball coach at Providence School, and Santa Barbara’s Kira Grebel in the final. more

PETRE, Sharon Lee (Johnson)

Sharon Lee (Johnson) Petre was born January 15, 1938, in Kenmare, ND, to Harry and Arlene (Duerre) Johnson. She was raised with her older sister, Rosemarie, on the family farm near Norma, ND and graduated from Kenmare High School in 1955. She attended Northwestern College and after graduation in 1961, moved to California to take a job at Westmont College. Sharon married Phil Petre in Santa Barbara in 1963, and together they ran his engineering business for many years. more

Reframing the soul

Any writer will tell you about the power of words. But for Santa Barbara author and Westmont College professor Gregory Spencer, the real power of words is how we choose to frame them. Dr. Spencer has recently released a book that examines the connection between life’s experiences and the words we select to reference them. In “Reframing the Soul: How Words Transform Our Faith” (Leafwood Publishers, $15.99), he says the words we use to frame past experiences ultimately dictate our perception of them, but we each have the power to change that. “We don’t just remember the past, we remember it as we have framed it,” Dr. Spencer told the News-Press during a recent visit to Westmont College. “We have chosen the words used to describe our experiences. more

Faith based groups say new conversion therapy bill threatens free speech, religious freedom

Proponents of a new conversion therapy bill that passed in the California Assembly earlier this month say that, if signed into law, will add the practice to the state list of what’s considered consumer fraud. … It’s not clear how it would affect religious institutions. Scott Craig, the manager for media relations at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, told the NewsPress that they will need more time to read and understand the bill to determine if it might apply to the college. more

DP’s straight family line to success

Isaac Coffey didn’t pretend to be Babe Ruth and call his third home run against Ventura last week.

A triple-shot order of Coffey would’ve been out of character for the steady hand of the Dos Pueblos High School baseball team.

But he did receive a call — from older brother Luke, who is having a Ruthian season of his own at Westmont College — about his biggest day at the plate.

“It was pretty cool,” Isaac said. “He was just saying that he was proud of me for having a three home-run game, and asked me about the details, and how it felt ? What it was like.” more

LOCAL ROUNDUP: Dons take consi title at Kiraly event

Host Santa Barbara won the consolation bracket of the annual Karch Kiraly Tournament of Champions on Saturday, beating San Marcos 3-1 on set scores of 25-23, 25-16, 26-28, 25-20. … Scott Singh went 2-for-4 with a game-tying two run home run in game two and Henry Hedeen went 3-for-7 on the day with two home runs and six RBIs as Westmont (33-14, 25-11 in Golden State Athletic Conference) swept the double-header at Russ Carr Field. more