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042618 Hoffman teacher of the year

Aniela Hoffman conducts the Arellanes Junior High School band at the Chords of Compassion benefit concert in Rotary Centennial Park on Saturday. Hoffman will succeed Cabrillo High School music teacher Garson Olivieri as the county's performing arts teacher of the year.

Santa Maria

Hoffman named county's performing arts teacher of the year

Arellanes Junior High School music teacher Aniela Hoffman has been named the 2019 Santa Barbara Bowl performing arts teacher of the year for Santa Barbara County.

The award, which was created through a partnership between the County Education Office and the Bowl, is dedicated to supporting performing arts in the community. Hoffman, an 18-year music teacher, will succeed Cabrillo High School music teacher Garson Olivieri as the performing arts teacher of the year next academic year.

"Aniela is dedicated to enriching our students' lives with music not just here and now, but for their futures," Arellanes Principal Genevieve Beaird said. "She never stops supporting her students’ growth and passion for music."

County Superintendent of Schools Susan Salcido praised Hoffman's "passion, energy and enthusiasm for the performing arts," crediting her with inspiring "young students to develop an enduring appreciation for music and the arts."

Hoffman will be honored at the County Education Office's sixth annual "A Salute to Teachers" gala, which recognizes award-winning educators from across the county. The gala, co-sponsored by the County Education Office and Cox Communications, will be held in the fall.

San Luis Obispo County

Santa Maria man dies in motorcycle crash near Arroyo Grande

The California Highway Patrol has identified a Santa Maria man who died after losing control of his motorcycle while traveling near Arroyo Grande early Wednesday evening.

CHP identified the decedent as Andy Ismael Castillo, 34. 

Just after 7:30 p.m., Castillo was riding his 2005 Yamaha R6, traveling eastbound on Los Berros Road at Dale Avenue, just west of Highway 101, when he veered away from the roadway and lost control of his motorcycle, according to the CHP.

As the motorcycle overturned, Castillo was ejected and sustained fatal injuries. There also was major damage to the motorcycle. 

CHP said Castillo was wearing a helmet, and that alcohol/drugs are not suspected to be a contributing factor in the collision. 

The crash remains under investigation at this time. Witnesses with any information are urged to contact the CHP in San Luis Obispo at 594-8700.

Santa Maria 

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.
 
“The Utilities Department wanted to be more than a partner in this endeavor and pursued its own Green Business certification," director Shad Springer said. "We are proud to be the first city department to be green business certified, and we are determined to continue our efforts toward sustainability in the future.”
 
For more information, call 925-0951, ext. 7270.

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-- Staff Reports

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