Our network

'Rancheros Visitadores' Tough Enough To Wear Pink

The historic 'Rancheros Visitadores' ride again!

An estimated 850 men on horses and in carriages, and wearing pink, kicked off the 84th annual ride through the Santa Ynez Valley on Saturday.

The week-long event began with a parade in Solvang, then moved to the Mission Santa Ines, where the riders and their horses received a traditional blessing.

Founded in 1930, 'Los Rancheros Visitadores', or the 'Visiting Ranchers', is a group of men commemorating traditional rides that were made from ranch to ranch.� Some past riders have included President Ronald Reagan, Bob Hope and Walt Disney.

For the third year in a row, the 'Rancheros Visitadores' joined forces with Wrangler and the "Tough Enough to Wear Pink Foundation" to raise money and awareness for local breast cancer programs like the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic.

Over the past two years, their members have contributed over $165,000 to the organization.

Community Sponsors

County Econ Meeting Brings Business, Community Together

Santa Barbara County business leaders and community members gathered at the Granada Theater Thursday for the 33rd annual UCSB Economic Summit.

More than 900 people from all different backgrounds and areas of Santa Barbara County spent the morning listening to experts in the field of economics. UC Santa Barbara's Peter Rupert put the report together and addressed the crowd.

"I say the recession is over," Rupert said. "Our employment is now higher than it was in 2007 when the recession started, incomes are up, home sales are up, home prices are up. So over all it's a pretty robust recovery."

A panel of economic experts also took a look at the job market and possibilities for future success in the county. Most believe the next few years are brimming with economic developments that will have a positive impact.

Central Coast Pot Eradication Getting Underway

Its that time of year again when law enforcement ventures into the Central Coast backcountry areas to sniff out and wipe out pot farms growing on public and private land.

The annual marijuana eradication program is federally funded and includes personnel from local county sheriff's departments, the U.S. Forest Service and the California National Guard.

"Everything is so quiet, peaceful and beautiful you don't expect that type of thing to be going on in your own backyard", says Theresa Plastino who owns more than 300 acres of rolling backcountry hills in southern San Luis Obispo County.

"I believe I have angels around this place that protects me and the whole area", Plastino says.

Law enforcement agencies involved in marijuana eradication efforts often find the illegal pot farms in the backcountry are maintained and secured by armed members of Mexican drug cartels.

Rancheros Visitadores Wear Pink on their Ride this Week in the Santa Ynez Valley

The Rancheros Visitadores will kick off their week long ride in the Santa Ynez Valley wearing pink to raise money for the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara.

The group has been on the trails each May since 1930.

This year, as they have for the past two years, the riders will start off Saturday wearing pink in coordination with� Wrangler and the Tough Enough to Wear Pink Foundation to raise money and awareness of local breast cancer programs for the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara with Sansum Clinic.

There will be a procession through the streets of Solvang at 3 p.m. followed by a ceremony and blessing at Mission Santa Inez.� About 700 riders are expected.

The ride will take them to ranches behind Lake Cachuma were they will enjoy traditional horseman activities, and entertainment.

Community Sponsors

MiIestone for Proposed Fracking Ban in SB County

A milestone for those seeking to ban "high intensity" oil and gas extraction, like fracking, in Santa Barbara County.

Organizers of a countywide petition drive to let voters decide on a ban say they have enough signatures to put the measure on the November 2014 ballot.

The energy industry says "high intensity" extraction has proven safe track record and any ban would kill an unknown number of good paying jobs.

Petition campaign organizers, "Santa Barbara County Water Guardians", say in about three weeks time hundreds of volunteers countywide collected more than 20,000 signatures of registered voters opposed to any future fracking or other "high-intensity oil and gas extraction including steam injection in the unincorporated areas of the county going forward.

"A vast majority of people who know about fracking were very passionately supportive of this measure", says petition campaign organizer Rebecca Claassen.

Cloud Seeding Gives Mother Nature A Boost

We have another shot at rain tonight and another chance to give Mother Nature a boost.

Matt Naftaly, manager of Santa Barbara County's Water Agency, hopes Tuesday's storm system will bring ideal conditions for cloud seeding.

A grove of so-called "flare trees" -- metal, tree-like sculptures -- sits high above Santa Barbara and Goleta off West Camino Cielo. Each cylinder contains a flare-like device that shoots silver iodide into the clouds, which helps create rain.

"The silver iodide acts as a nucleus for the vapor to freeze to," said Naftaly. "Once that process has started, it grows and grows as an ice crystal. Around here, it normally ends up melting as rain."

During Monday night's storm, a county weather expert stationed in Santa Maria used a remote system to shoot off twenty three flares from the grove, aimed toward the Twitchell Reservoir and Cachuma Lake.

Chefs Compete in 2nd Annual Buellton Chili Cookoff

It was the battle of the best chili and salsa masters this weekend in Buellton.

This is the second year the Buellton Chamber of Commerce has put on it's Wine and Chili Festival.

Competitors ranged from local residents and business owners to restaurant chefs.

Contestants competed in 3 categories: red chili, chili verde, and salsa.

This years first place winners included Willows, Creekside Buffet, the Santa Ynez Marriot, Standing Sun Wines and Becca's Mom.