••• Interesting report from Sharon Byrne of the Montecito Association, who was involved in this year’s homeless count:
While the area near Coast Village was lighter in camps than previously, the area near the Miramar on the railroad tracks was far heavier. Our guide, who’d camped for years in this area prior to being housed, explained that when the Miramar was vacant all those years, many gravitated there to avoid SBPD. Construction disrupted their camps. Now that construction is over, they’ve moved back near the Miramar.
Finally, the number of Hispanic men sleeping on East Beach was eye-opening. We learned they had been evicted from their rental homes, and could find no other place to live. Most had jobs they were heading off to when we encountered them in the early hours.
••• A friend of a friend was mountain biking on the West Fork of Cold Spring Trail when he came across a mountain lion lying right on the trail. Be vigilant out there, folks!
••• Caltrans now says that the sinkhole on the southbound 101 onramp at Turnpike Road won’t reopen till mid to late February. “Caltrans began excavation work under an emergency contract three weeks ago and has discovered additional damage to the deteriorated corrugated steel and reinforced concrete pipe 30 to 40 feet below the surface. This will result in additional excavation near southbound US 101 to complete these repairs.”
••• Three films that won awards at this year’s Santa Barbara International Film Festival are being shown for free this weekend at the Riviera Theatre.
••• According to the consent agenda for city’s Architectural Board of Review meeting last Monday (although the agenda was emailed out a few days later…), 305 Montecito Street (at Bath) is requesting a “change of use from office space to a market and ice cream parlor.” The background materials have been removed from the board’s website, but I’m pretty sure they said the market will be an outpost of Mercado El Rey.
••• The beachfront house at 4581 Avenue del Mar in Carpinteria, put on the market in October for $6.85 million, closed for $6.4 million.