Special afternoon with PCPA -- Resident actors and designers will share their creative inspirations during Inside PCPA, a "behind the scenes" conversation at 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 21, on the Hancock College campus.

Gain insight into what inspires designers Jason Bolen and Abby Hogan as they create the environments seen on PCPA’s stages. Hear from Erik Stein on his creative process and learn what fuels the artists’ passion to continue to bring the magic of live theater to the Central Coast. PCPA’s own Brad Carroll will conduct the interviews.

General admission tickets are $25, and $50 for VIP tickets, which include a reception with the artists following the event. For tickets visit www.pcpa.org/insidepcpa/ or more information, call 805-928-7731, ext. 4109.

Patch opening weekend -- The Patch, Santa Maria Valley’s first student-run pumpkin patch, will host its opening weekend celebration Saturday, Sept. 29, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Los Flores Ranch Park, 6245 Dominion Road.

Bring the whole family, and purchase student-grown pumpkins, enjoy DJs, food vendors, animal exhibits and free crafts for the first 200 children in attendance.

The Patch, open Thursdays through Sundays through Oct. 28, will be open Monday, Oct. 29 through Wednesday, Oct. 31, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

For more information and to register for special events, visit www.thepatchsantamaria.com.

The Patch is a partnership between the city’s Recreation and Parks Department and Betteravia Farms to provide free agricultural education programs to more than 60 high school students in the Santa Maria Valley. Students participate in monthly workdays and outreach programs to gain experience in land and crop production, leadership, teamwork, and commitment.

Pool bash for teens planned at Paul Nelson Aquatic Center -- The Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department and Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Safety will hold an “End of Summer Pool Bash” for teens in the seventh through 12th grades from 6 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, at the Paul Nelson Aquatic Center, 600 S. McClelland St.

Free hot dogs, snacks and drinks (while supplies last) will be provided by the “Crowd” car club. The task force and community organization One Nation 805 will have information booths, and music will be provided by DJ Tymless.

The event is free with an Abel Maldonado Community Youth Center membership or $5 for nonmembers.

The Mayor’s Task Force on Youth Safety exists to ensure safe and healthy opportunities to reduce youth violence by mobilizing and aligning community resources through prevention, intervention, enforcement and re-entry.

For more information, call 805-925-0951, ext. 2260.

Makerspace expands to twice weekly at downtown library -- The Santa Maria Public Library’s popular all-ages makerspace program is now twice a week.

Now on Wednesdays from 4 to 6 p.m., there will be free instruction on use of machines and technology in the program, as well as a separate project to complete independently.

The library will continue to host free maker activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. Mentoring will be provided, but makers are encouraged to work both independently and with other makers to explore new avenues of creativity.

Join library staff, volunteers and Hancock College student interns in the Edwin and Jeanne Woods Learning Center for a variety of projects each week, ranging from technology to crafting.

View upcoming dates and projects at www.cityofsantamaria.org/library.

Funding for makerspace program is provided through a grant from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office in partnership with Hancock.

The library is located at 421 S. McClelland St. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and closed Sundays.

For more information, call 805-925-0994.

Dia de Los Muertos Festival set at Veterans’ Memorial Community Center -- The lives of passed loved ones will be celebrated at the Dia de Los Muertos Festival from 4 to 8 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Veterans’ Memorial Community Center, 313 W. Tunnell St.

Th free family-friendly event will feature entertainment, activities for youth, food and crafts vendors.

Be part of the celebration by creating a colorful altar (ofrenda) to honor a passed loved one, family member, friend or celebrity in the Dia de Los Muertos tradition. The offerings are the centerpieces of the festival and participants are encouraged to be as creative as possible. The deadline to register for an altar is Oct. 19.

There will also be a Catrines and Catrinas Contest. Dress up in the spirit of Day of the Dead. Awards will be given to the best catrin/catrina ensemble. Registration will take place on-site.

For more information, call the Santa Maria Recreation and Parks Department at 805-925-0951, ext. 2260, or visit www.cityofsantamaria.org.

Exercise classes offered for adults ages 50 and up -- To promote health and wellness among community members, Santa Maria’s Recreation and Parks Department is offering exercise classes for active aging adults.

Held weekly at the Elwin Mussell Center, the classes are designed for participants ages 50 and older.

  • Build Your Own Body (BYOB) -- The class helps participants maintain cardiovascular health, strength and flexibility. It uses music and handheld weights that are designed to increase muscular strength and range of movement. Sessions are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to noon.
  • Yoga -- This introductory course is intended for beginning and intermediate yoga students. The class, which will cover basic poses and breathing techniques, will be Tuesdays from noon to 1 p.m.
  • Zumba Gold -- The class incorporates a calorie-burning workout for all experience levels. It will be held Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 to 10 a.m.
  • Zumba Gold Chairobics -- The chair exercise class is a combination of low-impact routines designed to increase bone and muscle strength, and flexibility for everyday life and has both sitting and standing exercises. The class is recommended for those with medical or physical limitations with their everyday activities. It will be held Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m.

Participants can register online at www.cityofsantamaria.org/register or at the Recreation and Parks Department administrative office, 615 S. McClelland St.

For more information, contact the Recreation and Parks Department at 805-925-0951, ext. 2260.

City has new portal for council, committee information -- In a bid to make it easier for the public to access important information, Santa Maria has introduced a new website portal that connects the community to public meeting agendas, minutes and videos, as well as similar material for various city boards, commissions and committees.

With the portal, residents can use the calendar to find an upcoming or previous public meeting, subscribe to email updates about meetings, view meetings organized by type, watch meeting videos, search the city’s resources for specific topics and read council agendas and minutes.

Email addresses of those who had previously requested to receive City Council agenda updates have been imported into the new system. Those individuals will continue to receive updates until they unsubscribe.

During the transition, the city will discontinue its previous method of sharing information about City Council meetings. In the near future, the existing boards, commissions, and committees websites also will be phased out.

The portal is within Santa Maria’s website (www.cityofsantamaria.org) and can be accessed directly by visiting cityofsantamaria.civicweb.net.

Anyone with questions is asked to contact the City Manager’s Office/Records-City Clerk Division at 805-925-0951, ext. 2307.

Walk-in Live Scan services offered on Wednesdays -- The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is accepting “walk-ins” for Live Scan fingerprinting at both the Santa Maria and Santa Barbara stations.

No appointment will be needed for service on a first-come, first-served basis between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. every Wednesday, a sheriff’s spokesman said.

Appointments can still be made for service between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday by calling 805-934-6175 for the Santa Maria Station and 805-681-4357 for the Santa Barbara Station.

The Live Scan fingerprint stations assist the public with pre-employment fingerprinting and can transmit fingerprints to the California Department of Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Those getting Live Scan fingerprints must bring a Live Scan request form completed by the agency or person requesting the fingerprinting, photo identification, such as a state ID card or driver’s license or a passport and cash for the fee.

Checks and credit cards are not accepted, and the fingerprints can’t be processed without the documents.

With a billing number, the cost is $7. Without a billing number, the cost is $39 for the Department of Justice, $56 for the Department of Justice and FBI and $81 for the Department of Justice and FBI for jobs related to children.

For more information about Live Scan service, call the phone numbers listed above or visit www.sbsheriff.org/home/fingerprinting/.

Utilities Department awarded Green Business Certification -- The Santa Maria Utilities Department has been awarded Green Business Certification through a county program that recognizes local businesses for becoming more environmentally sustainable. 

Organized as a public/private partnership by Santa Barbara County, the Green Business Program is comprised of local government, special districts, nonprofits, utility companies, waste haulers and chambers of commerce. 

To qualify for certification, the Utilities Department took steps to conserve water and energy, such as making more environmentally friendly purchasing decisions and installing a drought tolerant landscape around the department's administration office. 

In addition to its recent certification, the department has been a partner of the Green Business Program for many years, assessing local businesses to determine if they meet the requirements to earn certification.

For more information, call 925-0951, ext. 7270.

Phase 2 of utility art box project complete -- The city of Santa Maria has announced the completion of Phase 2 of its utility box art project by five local artists.

Recently, mini-murals with scenes inspired by the community were hand-painted by five local artists -- Autumn Jennings, Angelina LaPointe, Frank Dominguez, Laura Lozano and Ruben Espinoza -- and chosen by a panel of 13 judges to paint on traffic signal utility boxes along Betteravia Road, west of Highway 101.

The second phase was developed by the city with the support of the public-private partnership between the City of Santa Maria Community Development Department and local sponsors. The city expressed its appreciation to five local sponsors that supported the project: Diane and Kieran Adam, Tri W Enterprises Incorporated, Santa Maria Arts Council, People for Leisure And Youth Inc. (PLAY Inc.) and BMLA landscape architecture.

The first phase of the Utility Box Art Project was completed in April 2017 when four local artists beautified utility boxes along Main Street.

It is unknown when Phase 3 will take place, as there is currently no funding available.

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Aspiring artists are encouraged to watch the Recreation and Parks Department’s Facebook page for the next call to artists.

The newly painted boxes will be added to the city’s Public Art Map on the city’s website.

City Twitter page available -- The city of Santa Maria has created a City Twitter page at www.twitter.com/City_SantaMaria.

Content focuses on the wide variety of city services, programs,and opportunities. The Twitter page supplements city news releases, which are posted on the city’s website at https://www.cityofsantamaria.org/news.

For more information, call 925-0951, ext. 2372.

Adult coloring program in Los Alamos -- The Los Alamos Branch Library is offering a new adult coloring program on the first Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

The coloring activities are designed to relieve stress and provide a creative and artistic outlet for adults of all ages. Participants  are offered a choice of designs to color and all materials are provided for use during the program. A similar coloring program at the Santa Maria Public Library has been a success since its introduction 17 months ago.

Sign-ups are not required for this free program. Seating is limited and offered on a first-come, first-served basis. The program is sponsored by the Friends of the Los Alamos Library.

Call the library, at 405 Helena St., to confirm dates and times.

Library hours are 2 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 2 to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday.

For more information, call 344-1025 or 925-0994, ext. 8562. 

Guadalupe library offering coloring program for adults -- A new coloring program for adults, sponsored by the Friends of the Guadalupe Library, continues at the Guadalupe Branch Library from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of the month.

The free coloring activities are designed to relieve stress and provide a creative and artistic outlet for adults of all ages. Participants are offered a choice of pictures to color, and all materials are provided.

Sign-ups are not required, but seating is limited and will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Attendees are encouraged to call the library to confirm the dates and times.

The library, located at 4719 W. Main St., Suite D, in Guadalupe, is open 12:30 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday.

For more information, call 343-1405 or 925-0994, ext. 8562.

After-school homework help offered -- The Santa Maria Public Library, 421 S. McClelland St., is offering free after-school homework help for grades K-6 from 4 to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday. No appointment is necessary.

Elementary school students will be assisted by volunteer tutors in completing homework assignments or practicing skills for improved mastery, according to the library. Participating students will also have access to Chromebooks, computers, study aids, databases and will be introduced to online tutoring options students can use at the library and at home.

Homework help is also available at Cuyama, Guadalupe, Los Alamos and Orcutt library branch locations. For more information, call 925-0994.

This program is provided with funding assistance through the Santa Maria Public Library Foundation.

For branch locations, visit www.cityofsantamaria.org/library.

For more information, call Dawn Jackson, Library Youth Services, at 925-0994, ext. 2319.

Library receives photograph display -- The Cuyama Valley's history is now represented in a series of historical photographs displayed in the Cuyama Branch Library.

Thanks to the research and efforts of two longtime residents, Jane Slama and John Mackenzie, eight photographs from local family archives have been located, reproduced, enlarged and donated for permanent display. The photograph series dates from the 1920s to the present and reflects eras in Cuyama’s history, including homesteading, ranching, farming, oil discovery and community activities.

The donors hope that the collection will inspire other local residents to search their family archives and donate historical photographs to enhance the display.

The photograph series adds to the Cuyama library’s local history collection of books, newspaper and magazine articles, and the Cuyama Valley living history DVD series that Slama and Mackenzie recorded and donated in 2015. In the DVD series, 24 longtime Cuyama inhabitants talk about their history and past experiences in the valley, its changes and its diverse community. The DVDs are available to library users outside of Cuyama Valley via interlibrary loan request from any library branch.

To view the historical photographs, visit the Cuyama library Mondays from 2 to 6 p.m., Wednesdays from 3 to 7 p.m. or Fridays from 3 to 6 p.m. The Cuyama Branch Library is located at 4689 Highway 166. 

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