••• “Santa Barbara County reported 847 new Covid-19 cases over the three-day New Year’s weekend, averaging 282.3 daily new cases during the period. […] To advance out of California’s most-restrictive purple tier of the four-level Covid-19 framework and into the slightly less restrictive red tier, the county must average fewer than 32 new cases per day. […] Santa Barbara County reported a 24.7 percent ICU availability as of Sunday, up from the 19.7 percent on Saturday. However, the county’s adjusted ICU availability, using the methodology defined by the California Department of Public Health, is 1.4 percent. Covid-19 patients account for 39 out of the 57 staffed ICU beds available in the county.” —Noozhawk
••• From an op-ed on Edhat by former mayor Sheila Lodge about how Santa Barbara came to have such a stunning array of trees: “In 1769 Santa Barbara was described as ‘dismal.’ The Presidio was built in 1782 on a largely ‘treeless plain.’ A visitor in 1793 said that there were ‘a few dwarf trees and groveling shrubs.’ […] Starting in the mid-19th century, noted horticulturalists imported plants from all around the world to this place where just about everything grows. Eventually Santa Barbara acquired its substantial urban forest. One-quarter of the city is covered by tree canopy.”
••• “At the intersection of Stanwood Drive and Sycamore Canyon Road, a memorial fountain approaches its 100th year. Known as Jack’s Trough or Courtney Fountain, it was designed in 1925 by Lutah Maria Riggs of the George Washington Smith architectural firm for thrice-married Marguerite Doe. […] ‘Jack’s Trough,’ a memorial to her favorite saddle horse, was a gift to the horses and other animals of the area, a reliable watering hole at which to quench their thirst.” —Montecito Journal
••• “Bill Dalziel spotted a mini monolith at the Andrée Clark Bird Refuge on Christmas Day. He described the strange structure as being three-sided and 10 feet tall with lettering on top that reads ‘Peace on Earth!'” —Independent
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