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The Santa Barbara City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to exempt applicants of accessory dwelling units from having to install a separate water meter. A new state law is forcing local governments to allow homeowners to build so-called "granny units" as a way to ease California's affordable-housing crisis.


This Tuesday's courtroom drama over embattled landlord Dario Pini called to mind the old joke, "How many lawyers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?" The punchline was not as obvious as "It depends what their rate is," but there were no less than 12 attorneys making their case before Judge Colleen Sterne over what at first blush might appear an intense but highly procedural squabble. The stakes, however, are exceptionally high and involve Santa Barbara real estate worth $62 million.


The holiday tree that will illuminate a downtown Santa Barbara intersection arrived Tuesday near the Arlington Theatre , but the festivities won't kick off until next week's tree lighting and annual nighttime parade. The 42-foot white fir comes from Grants Pass, Ore., and it was donated and transported to State Street by Consumer Fire Products Inc. , the holiday parade's presenting sponsor.


A Solvang man was arrested on DUI charges late Monday night after crashing his pickup truck into several parked vehicles on Foothill Road near Santa Barbara, according to the California Highway Patrol . Emergency personnel responded shortly after 11:30 p.m. to the crash on Foothill Road near La Combadura Road, the CHP said.


For 1st Thursday, Hotel Santa Barbara will open its doors for an exploration of the senses, 5-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7. In the hotel lobby, 533 State St., participants will hear the live performances of the Santa Barbara Chamber Singers and taste the flavors of Sanford Winery's world-class wines. A few doors down at 527 State Street, the hotel is hosting a pop-up Scent Studio and gallery with the Santa Barbara Museum of Art.


Peoples' Self-Help Housing has announced that when Jardin de las Rosas apartments are officially opened in Santa Barbara on Thursday, Dec. 7, Michael Towbes and Jeanette Duncan, who played key roles in the organization's history of serving local residents, will be honored. If anyone understood the meaning of community, it was Towbes, Peoples' Self-Help Housing said.


Bruce Velasco passed peacefully on Nov. 16. He was 86 years old. Bruce was born on Nov. 6, 1931, and was raised in South Central Los Angeles.


Sunny skies with temperatures well above normal are expected through Thanksgiving Day in Santa Barbara County, according to the National Weather Service . Wednesday calls for the hottest temperatures on Santa Santa Barbara's South Coast, with sunny skies and highs in the upper-70s and 80s.


Why does Santa Barbara have such a long literary history? What does our area offer to kick-start the brains of writers and readers? Local book history began in 1836 when Richard Henry Dana wrote in his classic Two Years Before the Mast about his visit to our small Mexican village. It included a three-day wedding of Bostonian Alfred Robinson to Ana Maria de la Guerra from an early ranchero family.


Maestro Nir Kabaretti has found a captivating collaborator in Pablo SA inz Villegas, the Spanish guitarist who performed with the Santa Barbara Symphony on November 18 and 19, and who has been the orchestra's inaugural artist-in-residence this fall. The program featured two substantial selections featuring SA inz Villegas, Rodrigo's classic Concierto de Aranjuez and a world premiere of an adaptation for guitar and orchestra of themes from Isaac AlbA©niz that was composed by Patrick Russ, a graduate of .


Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown awarded the Distinguished Service Medal to Senior Deputy Michael Durant at the 65th annual Peace Officers Research Association of California's Conference of Members. Durant's career with the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office spans more than 30 years.


The Boys & Girls Clubs of Santa Maria Valley showed off its recently renovated operations center and exterior beautification project during an open house attended by some 50 visitors on Nov. 16. The center includes a conference room, lobby/reception area, copy room, storage room, and dedicated workspace for seven staff members. Aera Energy, BGCSMV's Foundation Board, the Santa Barbara Foundation, and private donations funded the project.


The UC Santa Barbara women's volleyball team was dealt a 3-0 loss by UC Riverside on Saturday night at the SRC Arena in a Big West match. Set scores were 25-20, 25-18, 25-20.


Transition House, Domestic Violence Solutions and Good Samaritan Shelter lost a combined $130,000 in federal funding for programs that support homeless children and their families. Transition House, which helps 115 homeless families each year, lost a $62,939 grant which has supported their family emergency shelter since 1993.


The historic Chase Palm Park carousel will move to a new home in Oregon come early December, after nearly 20 years of operation on the Santa Barbara waterfront. The carousel's owner is breaking its lease early with the city because operating costs exceed the revenue it brings in, said Jill Zachary, director of the city Parks & Recreation Department .


Schools Superintendent Cary Matsuoka has announced the appointment of Anna Scharfeld as interim assistant principal for Santa Barbara Community Academy Dec. 4 through June. Scharfeld most recently served as assistant principal at Santa Barbara High School and a consultant for neighboring school districts.


This story has been reproduced numerous times since its release in 1934 , with the 1974 film version being one of Hollywood's best productions, starring Albert Finney in the prime role along with 14 other A-List stars. This new version has Kenneth Branagh as the world-renown detective along with another bevy of stars, ranging from bad guy Edward Ratchett to the elusive Princess Dragomiroff .

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