President’s Letter – July 28, 2015

President’s Letter – July 28, 2015

Santa Barbara’s history for today focuses on the house at 31 East Pedregosa Street that is currently for sale.  The house is known as El Descanso that means rest, take a break or breathing space. Built for teacher Mattie More Storke in 1886.  We are all familiar with More Mesa, named after Mattie’s father T. Wallace More, a wealthy cattle rancher and Storke Rd. named after Mattie’s husband (or son, I’m not sure of which one) Charles A. Storke, teacher, attorney and politician.  The home was the childhood residence of the Santa Barbara News Press publisher Thomas Storke.

I lived off More Mesa where Charles had a wharf at the end of Patterson Avenue. There is a historical sign there for all to read. Statistics of the house include 6,000 square feet, 36 rooms and is built in the Queen Ann style.  The house is estimated to be worth $6 million dollars.  (Article in the Independent, based on information from among other sources, Survivors: Santa Barbara’s Last Victorians, a publication of the Santa Barbara Historical Society). When I moved to Santa Barbara in 1994 the house was in disrepair and painted bright pink!

 Tuesday was the club’s first Board meeting.  Everyone is welcome to come to the meetings as we budget, plan and review what our wonderful committees have planned and their progress.  We will continue our vision to make what we have bigger, better and bolder.  My vision is that each of you take part in that vision.  Board meetings are currently on the third Tuesday of each month.  Next Board meeting is at noon August 18 at 15 East Carrillo.

Speaker Dave Davis of CEC-Community Environmental Council, gave us many insights into the comparison of the 2015 oil spill of 21,000 gallons to the 1969 oil spill of 3 million gallons!  Vastly different in amount.  He touched on many issues and that with the gain of new technology he sees electric vehicles and solar power as the common in the future.  There is a long way to go, however, California has let the world in new environmental technology for many years and will continue to be the leader in the future.  He even mentioned how Earth Day came out of the 1969 oil spill concerns and how CA, Santa Barbara and the Community Environmental Council has led the way in many environmental reforms and changes including recycling.

Kathleen Blake
Rotary Club of Santa Barbara
Club President 2015-2016


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