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Westmont Warriors Walk off Winning

Michael Rishwain

Ahh, baseball. America’s favorite pastime, and no wonder. Is there a better way to spend an afternoon than watching a live game and cheering on the home team? Under sparkling sun, and breeze just strong enough to float a few butterflies? Even the weather was perfect this Saturday as the Westmont Warriors faced off in a non-conference double-header against the Bethesda Flames at Russ Carr Field. The 33rd game of a 50 game season set to wrap at the end of April, the Warriors were favored to win after spanking the Flames 6 to 1 Friday, but Westmont was in for a surprise.

After a rousing chorus of the National Anthem, the Flames blazed a fiery comeback. Scoring a whopping 4 runs in their first at bat, the Warriors made error after error.  While the home team rallied to tally a respectable 2 points in the bottom of the 6th inning—runs made by Conrad Turner and Alex Bush–the final score of the first game was a disappointing: 4:2.

It’s hard to say if the absence of Friday’s starting pitcher Daniel Butler played a role in the upset, since at least one of the three relief pitchers filling the gap was being observed by a major league scout. Pitching at speeds ranging from 91-93 mph, Michael Rishwain could have been the poster boy for the right way to play ball, and it isn’t the first time this well-seeded team was so scrutinized. Last February’s competition against British Columbia’s Thunderbirds saw a record 26 scouts in attendance, a number due in no small part to the team’s standing, currently ranked 7th out of the 275 schools in the NAIA–National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.

It bears mention that the Warrior’s inclusion in the opening round of the post-season NAIA tournament these past 2 years has happened under the guidance of head coach Robert Ruiz, who came on board in 2010, and turned the floundering team around, begging the question: can they do it a third time? Winning the second game would certainly help, and this is precisely what they did.  In the bottom of the 7th and final inning, Michael Valentin Jr. ran in the only point scored by either team all game, allowing the Warriors to walk off with the victory, splitting the doubleheader.

Did I say walk-off? More like whoop, run, and jump off, as the understandably exuberant Warriors celebrated the end of a hard day on the diamond. Not overly long, while the conscientious team hurried to maintain the facets of the field—raking the baselines, and tidying the plate with the pride of ownership—Michael Rishwain took a moment to answer a few questions before doing the same.

A Lodi native and kinesiology major, Michael spoke of a desire to ultimately influence younger people in a positive way with as much enthusiasm as he exhibited when talking of aspirations to major league ball. The camaraderie and competitive nature of baseball are what Michael enjoys most about the game, a sport in which he’s participated all his life. Influenced by former Yankees pitcher Mariano Rivera, and grateful to Westmont’s pitching coach Coach Cougoule, the rising star credits his athletic prowess to his family, friends, and mentors as much as himself.

The cheering of the home crowd helps, too. While the bleachers boasted a respectable number of fans, some 60 people or so, there was still room for more. Remember to check the schedule at Westmont Athletics website when you’re making your weekend plans, and come out to support the Warriors. You never know, you might just catch that lucky fly ball, and you’re sure to catch fan fever, as the team that embodies what baseball is all about: good wholesome fun, take the field.






Helping Hands of Santa Barbara


rescue 2

photo courtesy: CIMWI

Any outdoor enthusiast living in Santa Barbara is bound to gravitate to the beaches the city boasts, since diving into the wealth of activities our shores offer presents an irresistible allure. From swimming and sailing, to wind-surfing and surfing, sometimes the most rewarding experience can be found strolling down the strand that cradles the briny blue. I was on such a stroll this past Monday, heading in a northerly direction along Hendry’s beach, when I came upon a cluster of community members who had paused mid-ped to care for another kind of ped. A pinniped, to be precise, and for the layperson out there that means: sea lion–in this instance beached, and in significant distress.

rescue_for real

shot of the poor baby, used by CIMWI to insure staff came properly equipped

Sporting gashes on the left side of his neck, upper torso, and flipper—that latter the “feather-foot” to which the term pinniped refers—the mammal’s limpid brown eyes showed his exhaustion, while the simple act of beaching himself showed he was near the end of the line. Thank goodness for the sea lion there was a landline to be called for such situations, and citizens concerned enough to break routine and find it. Through a circuitous route of calls placed to government offices, a young lady by the name of Brooke was able to track down the number to the agency best suited to respond to emergencies of this nature. Indeed, the only resource that could help, as disturbing beached sea life is a federal offense unless licensed to do so.

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photo courtesy: CIMWI–sea lion pup on the road to wellness…

Though the recently changed number was hard to come by, once contacted, the Channel Islands Marine & Wildlife Institute was quick to respond. Long established as Ventura County’s go-to for the rescue and rehabilitation of stranded marine mammals, the Institute took over this role in Santa Barbara County from the Santa Barbara Marine Mammal Center as recently as the end of June, but that didn’t stop them from jumping into action. Within an hour of receiving the call, trained professionals were on the scene, including CIMWI’s Chief Marine Mammal Veterinarian himself, founder and executive director: Sam Dover. Equipped with gear and know-how particular to the distressed animal, the compassion  the CIMWI staff exhibited was equal to that of those who had lingered to ascertain the mammal’s ultimate well-being.

And not just lingered. I myself ran to and from the Ranger’s station in search of help, while another lady approached coastal residences in an effort to find the correct number to call, while passersby were quick to leash their dogs when informed of the mammal’s plight. Brooke was the gal that spearheaded the connection between sea lion and sea help, spending close to four hours at the animal’s side until aid arrived.


a passerby offers healing energies

During this time, person after person stopped to express concern, and the outpouring of community caring was palpable in all ways, the most significant of which being Brooke’s persistence, and the availability of trained marine biologists and medical staff to take over when able. It bears emphasis that all the professionals working in this capacity are volunteers, and that the Institute itself is a non-profit organization reliant on charitable contributions to manage its considerable overhead of medicines, equipment, food, and facility. Its very existence proves that we here in Santa Barbara value the quality of life for all inhabitants, marine or marooned, and are more than willing to provide resources that enable this vital Institute’s continued ability to function.

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Brooke and volunteer vet: Sam Dover

I’ll end this SO with the phone number for CIMWI, (the institute’s abbreviated name) hoping all locals will enter it into their Smart Phones to be that much the wiser on their next beach-side visit should such a situation present itself. I’m including their web address, too, noting Paypal or credit card donations can be made directly from their gorgeous website that showcases what it is they do—and the beautiful sea life they care for—in more depth.

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photo courtesy: CIMWI

Rescue Hotline: (805) 567-1505

Non-emergency: (805) 567-1506



Santa Barbara Protests Big Oil

stand in the sand

A crowd of more than 500 gathers at De La Guerra Plaza, including our mayor, the Sierra Club, and…



On the march to West Beach. We block several streets in progress, with police protection ascertaining our safety.

beau monde

Inspiring speeches, mantras, drums, and a mock-up pipeline embellish the message: END BIG OIL NOW!

Paulina and me_1

 Activist Paulina and myself at West Beach…

water protest_perspective

 the protesters arrive by paddleboard…


it’s no fluke so many turned out…


just ask our mayor: Helene Schneider…

brown is black

Time for our governor Jerry Brown to get on board! Senator Mike McGuire is saving him a spot…Bill SB788 stands to close the loophole that would allow oil drilling in state waters–a euphemism, really, since these spots are as close as Point Conception & the Gaviota Coast.

Santa Barbara’s Camino Rio Verde Fire–the latest

March 24, 2015

There are several instances when lighting an outdoor fire is a bad idea, but I think everyone can agree that high wind conditions has to be right there in the top 3. After several days of just such conditions in Santa Barbara county, residents in the Goleta foothills are left scratching their heads as to why a permit was issued for a controlled burn in the first place. With winds holding steady at 13 mph, and gusts in the 25 mph range, the Alert 1 wind advisory the National Weather Service issued seems reason enough to postpone any intentional blazes–indeed, is reason enough, as the agricultural burn started early Tuesday leapt its containment lines as evening fell, and the wind built momentum.

Momentum that even an armchair meteorologist could have predicted given the current weather patterns.

Concerned residents came out in droves as the sun set; on foot, on scooters, and in cars; to converge at the top of Camino Rio Verde—a street in an upscale neighborhood located just west of old San Marcos Road. All too familiar with emergency evacuation from the devastating Gap Fire of 2008, the possibility of mandatory evacuation was the topic on everyone’s lips as a Santa Ynez based aerial firefighter arrived. (a helicopter outfitted with water buckets) As of 10 pm. firefighters are still on the scene, presumably aerial and ground teams, both, though this last is purely speculation, as the Sheriff’s department is keeping mum as to both the size of the blaze; reportedly 1.5 acres at sundown, and its level of containment.

Kev’s Author Interviews Presents, Karen Robiscoe! (Text Interview)

Hi everyone. Kevin Cooper and I just knocked noggins for a bit, chittery-chatting about all and sundry undry the Sun..He was nice enough to collaborate with me on this aweSUM (awesome and THEN some) interview, and post it on his really cool blog. An author and musician himself, please do come by and “meet” us both!! (with a gorgeous please attached…:)

Joe Bonamassa plays Arlington at Santa Barbara

Joe Bonamassa sings & writes the Blues. Correction. Make that: Joe Bonamassa plays Blues guitar. Scratch that. Joe Bonamassa is the Blues, the way Poe was muse, Michelangelo sculpture, and Vincent Van Gogh, art. Like a combination of Stevie Ray Vaughn & Eric Clapton, the onetime child prodigy is almost a quarter century into reshaping the Blues landscape, and still better, his driving beat and forward-moving lyrics make it obvious this is one Blues Man who’s going to be in the pink again, soon.

Charrons Chatter dba shenanigans

From the crashing start of his 8 o’clock show at Santa Barbara’s Arlington theatre last night—the New York native started on time, and latecomers be damned—to the final chord two and a half hours later, I was captivated. Jiggling like a palsied person in my plush seat right along with the other 2K attendees in the grand but small venue. (a venue wherein cameras are apparently allowed, so note to selfie about that!)

Karen Robiscoe dba CHARRONs CHATTER

As hot as revenge sex, lead song Slow Train grabbed me by the hair, making it stand on end like an ovation, a tingle that went clear down to my toe-tapping tootsies. Was it really an acoustic guitar inciting and exciting me so? It was. Accompanied by band members the gracious star introduced 2x (I still don’t remember their names..;) a seated, sun-glassed Joe on acoustic guitar went off the tracks as soon as he pulled out of the station, backed up by bass, bongos, & drums. By fiddle, mandola, & second guitar. By maracas, keyboards & even washboards at some junctures, since there was plenty more dirty laundry to come.

Videe of acoustic guitar rendition of Slow Train

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Because this is one band that skipped changing outfits to change my perception of them. After an hour or so of each song better than the last—ranging from covers to originals that included such tunes as Jelly Roll, Jockey Full of Bourbon, & Athens to Athens—they flat-out changed instruments during the 15 minutes of intermission. Exchanging acoustic for electric while audience members exchanged pleasantries in the lobby, the throwback, interlude tradition was reminiscent of grander times to which the elaborately appointed Arlington theatre is well-suited. There was a bar on the patio (I think so, the crush was too amazing to negotiate) tables stacked with free-music download codes, and premise-leaving permitted, thus insuring a pampered crowd returned to the auditorium to find the stage transformed.

Videe of electric guitar Slow Train

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As was the song Slow Train, though Bonamassa didn’t lead with the reinterpreted number. Prowling the stage in a suit reminiscent of the Fab Four with gesticulations still more fabulous, Joe led us Around the Bend, through Dislocated Boy & John Henry, and poured on a Sloe Gin that was anything but. Riffing like the Dead & jamming like Floyd, the playlist was as linked as you’re about to be, when I close this shout out with a every link to the “Blues Rock Titan” I could find.

Subscribe to: Elexmage on YouTube for more great Joe Bonamassa videos!

a Whale’s Wail

1024px-Blackfish_documentaryI saw the movie Blackfish the other night, and man it was hard to watch. Tears streamed down my face from the get go–every bit as salty as the sea wherefrom the killer whales showcased in this documentary are harvested by Sea World. Commissioned by the mega-marine-park corporation, rogue fishermen herd killer whales into coves by use of speed boats, bombs & nets, drop open ocean barriers into place, and then net the baby killer whales—the babies!!—as so much future revenue for Sea World. Whales die in the process—and it’s illegal, or has been made illegal as a direct counter tactic in many places—but they do it, anyway. Once freed, the pods of mommas and poppas—aka devastated families—stay for the duration in the vicinity, calling to their babies in the most heart wrenching songs of distress, as their progeny is kidnapped, and toted away like cargo.

 © Dr Michel Royon / Wikimedia Commons

© Dr Michel Royon / Wikimedia Commons

This movie documents the plight of killer whales kept in captivity as related to trainer deaths at Sea World, and as a person that once worked as a tour guide at the San Diego Sea World, I can tell you the smoke-screens this corporation blows are even more substantial than their nets. I was absolutely instructed to keep an eye out for “dolphin molesters” at the petting pool (I’ll leave you to guess what that is) to say that dorsal fin collapse is entirely natural in killer whales (it isn’t) that animals were simply engaging in “social behavior” when they were patently fighting or having sex (the walruses all the time) and absolutely no animals ever died at Sea World (except they do, and far sooner than their naturally habituated counterparts) they were sent to “our Ohio park.” That, and a host of other half-truths so substantial I took notes.

Karen Robiscoe dba shenanigans

actual notes I made and studied for this gig

Because the actual truth didn’t bear scrutiny then, and it doesn’t now. Marine “parks” are barbaric to the animals imprisoned there, worse still than Zoo cages & circus rings combined, and an abomination our species must cease to support in all ways. Confining naturally far-ranging, animals to bathtubs, and a life of imprisoned servitude is as great a moral desecration as the gestational crates for factory farmed sows, the veal crates for factory farmed baby cows, or the killing and caging of people in wartime—and perhaps worse.

Sea World is a fucking evil coorporation

How it’s supposed to be…

Worse because these amazing marine mammals have a more highly developed limbic system than ours. A limbic system is the area of the brain that regulates emotions. Let’s make this even easier to understand. You know how cats lack the necessary cones in their eyeballs to see more than shades of greens and blues when they look at the world, whereas human physiology is such we’re able to see a much broader spectrum of colors that includes a multi-colored rainbow? Like that. We can only feel blue and green, but these animals are feeling a spectrum of emotions the nature of which we lesser developed beings can only imagine.

So in effect, we are caging God.

photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; User:Zaui

photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons; User:Zaui

For 3 shows a day, and a bucket of mackerel…

how it should be...

how it should be…

A whale in captivity will die a full 50 years sooner than his/her wild brethren. Watch the movie and be convinced that these “parks” are anything but a park.

Official Blackfish site

National Geographic: SeaWorld vs. the Whale That Killed Its Trainer

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Sea World

Bare Naked Ladies Cancels Concert at Sea World

Macy’s Parade Features Sea World Float Despite Backlash

Sea World Trainer Death Debunked as “Pony Tail” Tale…

India First Nation Ever To Acknowledge Dolphins As Nonhuman Persons; Outlaw Cetacean Captivity

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