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Earn 12%-14% annualized return with no stock market risk. Fixed DOUBLE DIGIT returns and predetermined results. STUART HUTCHISON • FINANCIAL ASSURANCE GROUP Call 805-698-5778 • email SHIRLEY KIMBERLIN Everything I list turns to SOLD! 805-886-0228 This week’s listings on the back page Flipping amazing DUBOCK.COM Carpinteria made national news when a visiting pod of dolphins decided to photo bomb the Rincon Classic on Sunday, Jan. 19. The marine mammals stole the show, surfing a crystal clear wall of water to the delight of the massive crowd on the beach at Rincon Point. Video footage and still photographs quickly made their way onto the internet and were eventually featured on news programs far and wide, including “ABC World News” with Diane Sawyer. The photogenic dolphins were among the many surfers to enjoy the warm weather and perfect conditions presented for the 31st annual Rincon Classic. For final results and photos of Carpinterians in the Classic, see pages 12 and 13. 101 widening through Carpinteria clears hurdle The Santa Barbara County Association of Governments board of directors voted 11-2 in support of moving forward with Caltrans’ proposal for widening Highway 101 between Carpinteria and Montecito at its Jan. 16 meeting. After months of analyzing an alternative widening project proposed by Montecito Association, Caltrans had concluded that the original plans to widen the 10 miles of highway between Bailard Avenue and Hot Springs/Cabrillo would be safer, better for traffic flow, cheaper and faster to complete. In a letter to SBCAG dated Dec. 19, Caltrans Director Malcolm Dougherty outlined several reasons to proceed with the original widening plans. Montecito Association had proposed an alternative project that involved retention of the left-hand ramps on and off the freeway through Montecito. The alternative, which the association argued would cost less and result in better traffic flow in the Montecito area, had gained significant support. Last spring, SBCAG instructed Caltrans to analyze the alternative project. At last week’s SBCAG meeting, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and Fourth District Supervisor Peter Adam cast the two votes against a motion made by First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal to proceed as expeditiously as possible on the Caltrans-proposed project. The next step, certification of the Environmental Impact Report, is expected to take about six months, after which the design phase will begin and Caltrans will seek permits from municipalities involved in the project, such as Carpinteria. Construction on the $425 million project is currently slated to begin in 2018. SBCAG spokesman Gregg Hart said that the alternative analysis has set back the project about a year. Meanwhile, the widening of the highway from Mussel Shoals to Bailard Avenue is expected to be complete by the end of 2014, and the City of Carpinteria permits for the $100 million Caltrans Linden Avenue and Casitas Pass Interchanges Project are expected later this year, followed by Coastal Commission action in early 2015. That phase of the multi-phase project to address traffic issues between Ventura and Santa Barbara is anticipated to begin in 2015 and is fully funded. ––Lea Boyd

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