Sycamore Canyon/Barker Pass Stop Sign Supported

As the MJ reported earlier this month, Cold Spring School is circulating a petition requesting the installation of a Stop sign on Sycamore Canyon Road at Barker Pass Road. Westmont is making copies of the petition available on campus at the post office, in the provost’s office and at the physical plant office. The college doesn’t take positions on community issues of this type, but interim president David Winter says he’s pleased to make the petition available for those who may wish to support this proposal.

The initiative by Cold Spring School resulted in part from a federally funded program to encourage children to walk and/or bicycle to school, both for the health and fitness of the children and the environmental benefits of reducing traffic around schools. It is called the Safe Routes to School program.

Cold Spring School and the Santa Barbara School District support this program and will be active partners in promoting walking and bicycling to school and improving traffic safety around school areas.

“We have the same basic concerns for Westmont as well as for the children attending Cold Spring School,” says Winter.

Head in the Clouds

The weather didn’t cooperate with this month’s public viewing of the stars at the Carroll Observatory. Fog rolled over the Montecito foothills, blocking the skies from Westmont’s new 24-inch reflector telescope. College officials and the Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit will shoot for the stars at another public viewing Friday, July 20.

Hoop Dreams

The Westmont High School Invitational Basketball Tournament (HSIBT) gets underway this weekend and continues for the next two weekends. The tournament was the brainchild of Chet Kammerer more than 30 years ago. Kammerer compiled a 357-158 record during his 17 years as head coach at Westmont, before leaving to work for the Los Angeles Lakers and the Miami Heat.

About 170 high school players take part in the tournament, which puts great emphasis on team building. Many other summer high school tournaments have teams that play upwards of 15 games in a weekend. But at Westmont, some teams may experience just one game a day, focusing instead on the time players spend with their teammates and coaches, who hold creative team-building exercises.

The tournament is also a recruiting tool for the college, allowing the players to get to know the facilities and coaches. Head Coach John Moore says he stresses how important stability is in a college basketball program.

“Westmont has had two coaches over the last 33 years and in those 33 years we have had one losing season,” Moore says. “UCLA cannot say that; Duke cannot say that; Stanford cannot say that; Azusa Pacific cannot say that; you get the picture. It is our way of speaking about our tradition and the heritage of Westmont basketball.”

And it must work. Five players on last year’s team were involved in the tournament.

Summer At Westmont

Westmont’s campus plays host to dozens of groups during the summer with guests coming from as far away as India and Great Britain. The college’s 110-acres of tranquil gardens, manicured lawns and wooded trails combined with the college’s five residence halls, meeting rooms and athletic facilities attract visitors.

The Westmont Conference Center also welcomes many local groups, such as Tri-County Gifted and Talented Education (GATE). About 130 local seventh-graders took part in a leadership development program so they can better serve in leadership roles when they return to junior high school. They were also the first group to use the new telescope at Carroll Observatory.

Next month, Just Communities’ CommUnity Leadership Institute will be on campus for eight days, preparing 50 Central Coast high school students to understand injustice in the world and translate that understanding into positive action in their schools and communities.

Youth Music Outreach is bringing 50 teenage musicians to campus for a Christian music camp. The students, ages 12 to 18, will experience top musical training with a deep spiritual commitment.

The Santa Barbara Soccer Academy returns to Westmont this summer for players 8 to 17 years old. The camp was co-founded 34 years ago by UC Santa Barbara Head Coach Alan Meeder. Players are grouped by age and ability into teams that compete under the supervision of a staff of college coaches and professional players.

For 31 years, campers have flocked to Snow Valley Basketball School, held every year at Westmont. This is one of the most highly regarded sports camps in the country, with staff from an array of the nation’s top collegiate and high-school coaches. About 250 campers attend Snow Valley for three weeks.