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By Bonnie Carroll


Old Spanish Days Officials, Community Partners & Mayor Randy Rowse at City Hall

Officials from Old Spanish Days held a press conference on historic Plaza De La Guerra in front of City Hall attended by representatives from the City of Santa Barbara Downtown Organization, Santa Barbara Historical Museum, Mayor Randy Rowse and a bevy of community partners to unveil plans for Fiesta 2022. David Bolton, La Presidente Maria Cabrera and Mayor Randy Rowse were all pleased to announce that for the first time in three years, Santa Barbara will have a complete Fiesta in August 2022 with the return of the historic parade, both Mercados and a variety of dance and celebrations throughout the community.

Speaker Judith McCaffrey, Fiesta Pequena Chair

Speakers from individual production segments of Old Spanish Days Fiesta included Maria Cabrera Presidente OSD, David Bolton 1st Vice Presidente OSD, Brian Schwabecher 2nd Vice Presidente OSD, Randy Rowse, Santa Barbara Mayor, Robin Elander, Downtown Organization, Dacia Harwood, Director SB Historical Museum, Janice Howell, OSD Division Chief, Celebration, Patricia Orena, OSD Division Chief, Dance and Entertainment, Marge Romero, OSD Division Chief, Mercados, Isis Wills, Co-Chair Mercado del Norte, Tony Miller, OSD Division Chief, Pageantry, Diana Vandervoort, Chair Noches de Ronda, Judith McCaffrey, Chair Fiesta Pequena, Tara Mata 2022 Spirit of Fiesta, Layla Gocong, 2022 Junior Spirit of Fiesta, Lyn Kirst 2022 Saint Barbara.

2022 La Presidente Maria & Francisco Cabrera - Tara Mata Spirit & Layla Gocong Jr. Spirit

The 2022 Fiesta will commence with the first night of Noches de Ronda on Thursday in the sunken garden of the Santa Barbara County Courthouse, and the Fiesta Rodeo at Earl Warren Showgrounds. On Friday, El Desfile Historico will have a new route, running the length of Cabrillo Boulevard from the traditional parade start at Castillo Street to the Hilton Hotel, and then will return to Carriage Museum on Cabrillo Boulevard. The temporary build out of State Street parklets has ruled out the traditional Fiesta parade route this year. During the weekend, the Fiesta Arts and Crafts Show returns to the sidewalks of west beach along Cabrillo, with the Mercados, Rodeo and Noches de Ronda finale on Saturday evening.

Mayor of Santa Barbara Randy Rowse shared a few words on the importance of the history of Fiesta to the people of Santa Barbara and that having the historical parade once again return for Fiesta 2022 is very special to the citizens of Santa Barbara. “After what we have gone through these two past years, we are so excited that Old Spanish Days is able to bring a full Fiesta to our community and visitors once again” said 2022 La Presidente Maria Cabrera. “Fiesta is about community, family and cultural traditions. It’s truly Santa Barbara’s premier Festival!”

Lynn Kirst, 2022 Saint Barbara

“98 years ago, a group of businessmen met and formed a committee to arrange the celebrations of the opening of the Lobero Theatre.” Said Cabrera. “Charles E. Pressley, who was elected chairman by the committee, said at the time ‘This is to be a carnival for Santa Barbara and our first aim is to furnish a few days of merrymaking for the town people’ and the first Fiesta was held in 1924 and was tied in with the grand opening of the Lobero Theatre.

Award Winning Flower Girls Lead Fiesta Parades

Old Spanish Days Fiesta 2022 will run from August 3-7. Viva la Fiesta 2022! For schedule and information visit: www.sbfiesta.org.



VIKING endows new CHAIR OF polar marine geoscience
at university of cambridge

New Fund Builds on Existing Partnership and Will Create First-Ever Professorship
at the Scott Polar Research Institute


Viking® (www.viking.com) today announced it has partnered with the University of Cambridge to establish a new Professorship aimed at advancing research in the field of polar environmental science. The Viking Polar Marine Geoscience Fund will endow the University’s Scott Polar Research Institute with its first-ever fully funded professorship—the Viking Chair of Polar Marine Geoscience. This new post will enhance the scientific leadership at the Institute and will enable the development of new lines of research into the behavior of polar environments, including polar ice sheets, sea ice and ocean circulation. The research fund builds on Viking’s existing partnership with Cambridge University’s Scott Polar Research Institute, which played a significant role in developing the scientific enrichment program for the company’s new expedition vessels that launched earlier this year.

Viking’s first expedition vessel, the Viking Octantis®, debuted in January 2022 and spent the Austral summer in Antarctica. She is currently sailing toward the Great Lakes region, where she will be based for voyages throughout the Boreal summer. Scientists from the Scott Polar Research Institute—as well as other renowned academic institutions—have been undertaking fieldwork on board Viking Octantis and have joined voyages to share their expertise with guests. A second, identical sister ship, the Viking Polaris®, will join the fleet later in 2022. "Our intention increating 'the thinking person's expedition' is that every voyage should provideopportunities for scientific discovery--for our guests and for our partners," said Torstein Hagen, Chairman of Viking. "In addition to offering our guests the ability to explore some of the world's most pristine destinations in comfort and in the most responsible way possible, we are proud that our expedition vessels can also be utilized as ships of opportunity for important research that might not be possible otherwise. By establishing the Viking Polor Marine Geoscience Fund, we are also encuring that the Scott Polor Research Insititue is able to continue critical work in perpetuity--some of which will be conducted onboard."

Viking & University of Cambridge’s Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI)

Viking has created the world’s leading scientific enrichment environment in an expedition setting with the help of partnerships with esteemed scientific and academic institutions. Scientists from SPRI are part of the onboard 36-person Viking Expedition Team, a diverse group of experts that lead guests on shore excursions and provide world-class lectures on each sailing. University of Cambridge specialists were also consulted in the development of The Science Lab on Viking’s expedition vessels; the 380-square-foot lab is comprehensively appointed with wet and dry laboratory facilities and supports a broad range of research. Julian Dowdeswell, Professor of Physical Geography at the University of Cambridge and former director of SPRI, serves as the Chair of the Viking Research Advisory Group, a consortium of scientific leaders from Viking’s partner institutions who have been actively involved in overseeing the field research being undertaken on board.

"We are delighted with the support offered by Viking through both the endowment of a new Professorship at the Institute and the opportunity to use their expedition ships as well-equipped platforms for our scientific investigations of the icy world," said Professor Dowdeswell.

Established in 1920, the Scott Polar Research Institute’s mission is to enhance the understanding of the polar regions through scholarly research and publication, educate new generations of polar researchers and communicate the history and environmental significance of the polar regions to the wider community.

Additional Viking Cultural & Scientific Partners

           In addition to SPRI, Viking’s other scientific partners include: 

  • The Cornell Lab of Ornithology: Ornithologists are regularly on board Viking’s expedition vessels, undertaking post-doctoral research on new observation methods and providing guest advice and interaction.
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory (GLERL): Conducts innovative research on the dynamic environments and ecosystems of the Great Lakes and coastal regions to provide information for resource use and management decisions that lead to safe and sustainable ecosystems, ecosystem services, and human communities. Viking’s expedition ships have been designated official NOAA / US National Weather Service weather balloon stations, from which regular launches are undertaken.
  • Norwegian Institute of Water Research, NIVA: Scientists from NIVA are engaged in cross-disciplinary research programs on water-related issues. On Viking’s expedition ships, NIVA FerryBoxes are installed to sample sea and lake water to provide continuous information about chlorophyll, oxygen, temperature, salinity, microplastics and related meteorological data.
  • Norwegian Polar Institute: The permitting authority for our Norwegian flagged expedition vessels, who review and approve all of Viking’s expedition and science activities in Antarctica.
  • Oceanites: Viking has partnered with Oceanites, an American Not-for-Profit field research entity that has led on Antarctic penguin monitoring for the past thirty years.
  • The Polar Citizen Science Collective: Creates opportunities for research and public education through citizen science, leveraging the reach of polar travelers to enhance understanding and protection of the polar regions.
  • The IUCN Species Survival Commission Species Monitoring Specialist Group: Viking has partnered with the group to develop marine biodiversity monitoring systems that will enable expedition vessels to collect data of value to scientists and conservationists.

Viking Expeditions

       With the launch of Viking Expeditions in January 2022, Viking is now exploring all seven continents. Destination-focused expeditions are currently available in Antarctica and North America’s Great Lakes. Viking’s expedition fleet includes the new Polar Class Viking Octantis and Viking Polaris, which host 378 guests in 189 staterooms. Designed for discovery by the same team that designed the award-winning Viking Longships® and ocean ships, the new vessels are purpose-built for expeditions, at an ideal size for safety, comfort and to support an unrivalled range of activities in remote destinations. With more indoor and outdoor viewing areas than other expedition vessels, guests are as close as possible to the most magnificent scenery on earth.

About Viking

Viking was founded in 1997 and provides destination-focused journeys on rivers, oceans and lakes around the world. Designed for experienced travelers with interests in science, history, culture and cuisine, Chairman Torstein Hagen often says Viking offers guests The Thinking Person’s Cruise® in contrast to mainstream cruises. With more than 250 awards to its name, Viking has been rated the #1 River Cruise Line and #1 Ocean Cruise Line by Condé Nast Traveler in the publication’s 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards. Viking has also been consistently rated the #1 ocean cruise line and one of the best river cruise lines in Travel + Leisure’s “World’s Best” Awards. For additional information, contact Viking at 1-800-2-VIKING (1-800-284-5464) or visit www.viking.com. For Viking’s award-winning enrichment channel, visit www.viking.tv.



The 127-acre estate of William Randolph Hearst in San Simeon, Calif., underwent a $13.7 million project to access roads. Located along the California Pacific coast midway between San Francisco and Los Angeles, the ornate Hearst Castle will reopen to the public on May 11.

The 127-acre estate of media magnate William Randolph Hearst was originally designed by architect Julia Morgan over 100 years ago and has been shut down since March 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak. The attraction then remained closed after a storm caused damage to its access road in January of 2021.

"Hearst Castle is a state treasure and we are thrilled to reopen this wonder to the public to enjoy in a safe and responsible manner," California State Parks Director Armando Quintero said in a statement.

Credit: George Rose/Getty Images

The stunning location atop La Cuesta Encantada (The Enchanted Hill) in San Luis Obispo County's San Simeon sets a fairytale-like backdrop for the estate, but also requires access via a steep and winding road that ascends 1,650 feet across five miles. "The road navigates rocky outcroppings and steep canyons by splitting into separate, narrower, one-directional sections for uphill and downhill traffic," California State Parks described in a release.

The 2021 storm brought 20 inches of rain to the area and exposed the failure of the drainage system that included 27 outdated clay-pipe culverts from the 1920s along an upper 2.25-mile section of Hearst Castle Road. Since its original construction, the delicate culverts and drains had to be cleaned every winter, and issues with both draining and washouts started in the 1940s.

Pre-pandemic, about 850,000 visitors a year and nearly 22,000 bus trips were made along the road—as frequently as every 10 minutes during peak periods, putting pressure on the old system. The $13.7 million upgrade project was focused on visitor safety for years to come, with a stronger roadway, enforced retaining walls, and a new drainage system that can withstand major storms.

"We are confident that these once-in-a-lifetime repairs and improvements to the road facility will serve countless generations to come," Quintero added.

As part of the reopening, as well as a belated 100-year anniversary celebration of the landmark's construction, which began in 1919, a new two-hour tour will be offered, honoring Morgan, who was the first certified female architect in the state. The remaining tours will also have a new pricing structure that integrates all fees and saves most visitors about $3 to $6 per ticket. Reservations can be made starting March 31.


Earlier today, a federal judge in Florida ruled that the federal mask mandate on public transportation including planes, trains and buses is “unlawful.” News and misinformation are spreading faster than  wildfire.

After researching diligently for hours, I was seconds away from doing a national television spot on News Nation when news broke that the TSA will no longer enforce the mask mandate.

Per White House reporter Kaitlin Collins: “An administration official says agencies are still reviewing Florida judge’s decision but “in the meantime, today’s court decision means CDC’s public transportation masking order is not in effect at this time.” TSA is NO LONGER enforcing the mask mandate.”

That’s great but I don’t think the general public realizes that the TSA doesn’t control airports. They enforce security. Mask policies are still in place until airport authorities and airlines say they’re not. Which it looks like they’re about to start doing. Also Visit:  JohnnyJet.com for valuable credit card and travel information.


Office of Historic Preservation Announces Recipients of the 2021 Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards

The California Office of Historic Preservation (OHP) is pleased to announce the seven recipients of the 2021 Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards. Each of the projects represents exemplary achievements preserving California’s richly diverse heritage.

Established in 1986, the Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards program recognizes the innovation, creativity and dedication that are at the heart of the efforts to preserve California’s richly diverse heritage. The program is distinguished from other preservation awards in two important respects: It emphasizes involvement by community groups, and it recognizes a broad array of preservation activities, from building rehabilitation to archaeology, education and preservation planning.

“Especially in these ever-challenging times, we are proud to honor citizen efforts to celebrate and commemorate traditions, places and buildings that are the rich mosaic of our shared heritage,” said State Historic Preservation Officer Julianne Polanco.

This year’s award recipients range from a public-private collaboration to preserve a building with strong ties to the life and history of a community, to interpreting through video, exhibits and social media, the human heritage of an iconic California property.

Below is a brief description of the 2021 award recipients:

  • Arts District Liberty Station, in San Diego, is a successful, adaptive reuse of a former naval training complex that preserved the historic buildings while transforming them into a center for community arts, retail and business activity.
  • Beckman Instruments Inc., Administration Building, in Fullerton, represents a highly successful public-private partnership that rehabilitated and reused a signature mid-century modern building with strong ties to the social and economic history of Fullerton.
  • Guilford Hall-Penn Court, in Whittier, is the result of a community-driven preservation effort that gave a building, associated with Whittier’s early history new life, as affordable housing for present and future residents.
  • Pacific Electric Railway Substation 14, in Santa Ana, represents the successful adaptation of a historically significant building for use as a much-needed and valued community wellness center while preserving the building’s historic character and features.
  • Paramount Theatre of the Arts Facade Restoration, in Oakland, succeeded in repairing and restoring the mosaic-tiled facade and neon sign of one of Oakland’s iconic theaters, preserving the historic venue’s character and presence in the history and civic life of the city.
  • “The Spirit of Chicano Park,” in San Diego, is a children’s book that creatively preserves through illustrated text and oral histories, the story, art and voices of Chicano Park, a site of cultural and artistic significance.  
  • Unsung Heroes of Hearst Castle, in San Simeon, represents a creative public program incorporating videos, social media posts and visitor center exhibits to share the lesser-known history of the many individuals involved in the building of Hearst Castle.

California State Parks Director Armando Quintero and the State Historic Preservation Officer will present the awards on behalf of Governor Gavin Newsom to seven project award recipients on Wednesday, April 27, in Sacramento. The public is invited to view the awards ceremony on OHP’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.

The OHP is now accepting nominations for the 2022 Governor’s Historic Preservation Awards. Nominations are welcomed for projects, groups or individuals demonstrating excellence in all areas of historic preservation, including resource restoration and preservation; civic efforts to preserve, interpret and educate about community history; and preservation of places, traditions and objects of cultural, historical and archaeological significance. The deadline for nominations is Friday, May 6, 2022.

To learn more about the 2021 award recipients and download nomination forms and instructions for the 2022 awards, please visit the OHP website at ohp.parks.ca.gov/GovernorsAwards.



Cappadocia, in eastern Türkiye enthralls visitors with its unusual conical structures called “fairy chimneys,” its centuries-old underground cities and its early Christian-era churches carved into caves in the rock. Türkiye’s tourism officials are expecting visitor numbers in 2022 to skyrocket. The signs are clear: Cappadocia hosted an extraordinary number of visitors in the first quarter of 2022, a whopping 54% increase over the first quarter of 2021.
Cappadocia gained fame in antiquity for its topography born millions of years ago as the African and Asian tectonic plates created a landscape like no other on planet Earth. Some say the best way to see Cappadocia’s landscape is on a hot air balloon ride. The colorful balloons launch around five ‘o clock in the morning from the village of Göreme, and give visitors sweeping views of Pigeon Valley, Zemi Valley, Love Valley and Pasabağ Monks Valley, along with the famous fairy chimneys and other fanciful rock formations.
The ultimate bucket-list experience is to stay one of the many “cave hotels,” ranging from simple to five-star. Rock-carved rooms bring history and modern amenities together in a luxurious blend. Many cave-hotel rooms have both views, and private floodlit indoor pools deep inside mountains.
Known since antiquity as the ‘land of beautiful horses,” many visitors go horseback riding, particularly phenomenal at sunset. The Ihlara Valley is perfect for strolls or hikes, with stops for Turkish coffee at gazebos along the Melendiz stream. Jeep and ATV safaris take travelers to hard-to-reach churches and hidden valleys.
A UNESCO World Heritage site, the Göreme Open Air Museum is a complex of frescoed, rock-carved churches that recall the area’s earlier inhabitants, including Assyrians, Hittites, Phrygians, Hellenes, Romans, Byzantines, early Christians and the arrival of Islam. The Three Beauties fairy chimney formation in Ürgüp is one of the region’s most-photographed sites. The 18th-century Church of Saints Constantine and Helena in Mustafapaşa was built during the reign of Sultan Ahmet I. Ortahisar Castle is a striking citadel carved into the rock.
Cappadocia has been inhabited for centuries, often underground. Multi-level subterranean cities, carved entirely from rock, date to the seventh and eighth centuries BC. The underground cities of Kaymaklı, Derinkuyu, Özkonak, Mazi and Tatlarin open a window into the daily life of their inhabitants, where rock-carved tunnels connect dozens of living, worship and storage areas.
Like the cuisines of every other region in Türkiye, Cappadocian cuisine was shaped by the area’s cultural heritage and its local seasonal products. A delicious egg dish, menemen, is complemented by fragrant Turkish tea. Apricot stew, pottery kebabs and zerdeli saffron rice are musts, as are Cappadocia’s wines produced from centuries-old vines.
Cappadocia’s fairy-tale landscape makes it a popular wedding and honeymoon destinations…romantic nights in caves, sunset wine on the terrace, hot air balloons, and Turkish baths amount to an unforgettable combination.
Cappadocia is a little over an hour's journey from Istanbul – and a “must-include” for many American visitors to Türkiye.
Images: (header image) Cappadocia's iconic hot-air balloons;
(inset image) the unusual fairy chimney rock formations; Mithra Cave Hotel's rooftop terrace; Göreme Open Air Museum

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