Skateboard Competition Next Month!

Lompoc Parks and Rec Annual Skateboard Competition is a community event and fun for all ages!   We have been partnering with Lompoc Parks and Rec since 2000 on this competition featuring Best Run (skate jam format) and Best Trick in six different age groups.  Registration starts at 10AM with competition to begin shortly afterwards by age group, youngest to oldest.  Prizes will be awarded for first through third place in all categories and there will also be opportunities to win some great raffle prizes throughout the competition.  Lompoc Foursquare Church will be joining the fun again with popcorn, snow cones and water!  

We are so very thankful and grateful for everyone that makes this competition possible each year including the skateboarders and the spectators, the businesses that provide sponsorships, Lompoc Parks & Rec staff, Lompoc Foursquare Church Elevate Youth Group, Charles-our emcee and our judges.  Without all of these wonderful people this great event wouldn’t be possible.  

So bring your skate, helmet and pads or perhaps your lawn chair and some sunscreen this Saturday and we’ll see you at College Park for some fun!

Celebrate Lompoc Flower Festival with Us!


The Lompoc Flower Festival this year is June 26th-June 30th but it traces its roots back to the 1950’s when an annual parade and two day rodeo was held during the summer in Lompoc.  George Miller, a prominent citizen, began advocating to change the celebration from a rodeo (arguing they were common and rather mundane) to something more unique and aligned with what Lompoc had to offer.  The Alpha Club Flower Show had been established in 1922 and it was decided to develop the Festival around this key event.  Since those days the Lompoc Flower Festival has grown to a 5 day event with local entertainment on stage at Ryon Park, food booths run by community organizations and nonprofits, a parade on Saturday which includes floats and marching bands and of course the opportunity to visit and catch up with all your friends that you haven’t seen in the past year.  

An important part of my summer activities, the Flower Festival has always been close to my heart and I have participated on many different levels through the years.  I have performed on stage and worked at some of the beloved food booths but also taken my turn as an audience member and enjoyed food purchased to support our local nonprofits.  It is also fun to stroll through the park, peruse the arts and crafts and visit with friends and the community.  

Then there’s the parade.  A parade that delighted me when I was much younger, I enjoyed with my children when they were little and I have also had the experience of being a part of.  From walking in it when I was in high school (just a couple of years ago) to gluing flowers to a float, being part of the parade is a special experience. And it is a special experience I am humbled to be a part of again.  The Flower Festival Association asked me to be the Grand Marshall for the parade this year and I gratefully accepted the honor.  

So join me Saturday, June 29th, as I join the Lompoc Flower Festival Parade once again and celebrate Summertime Fun and Friends and the Lompoc Community!  See you at the park!

https://www.lompocvalleyfestivals.com/flower-festival/parade

https://www.lompocvalleyfestivals.com/flower-festival/entertainment-schedule

https://www.facebook.com/lompocvalley.flowerfestival/

Celebrate National Small Business Week With Us on Saturday May 11th!

We believe small businesses should be celebrated every week but there is an official National Small Business Week which was established in 1963.   Over 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation citing the importance of small businesses in job creation and building strong, viable communities. 

Though many years have passed and many things have changed since the first National Small Business Week over 50 years ago, one thing that hasn’t changed is how important our local small businesses are.  More than 50% of Americans own or work for a small business, every 2 of 3 jobs in the private sector is created by a small business and the success of small businesses is critical to growing the US economy.  Also, on a local level, a healthy small business community contributes positively to the local economy, allowing money to circulate within the same community for an extended period of time.  Local business owners tend to use the services of other local businesses and employees spend money where they work.  This, coupled with the resulting tax dollars for infrastructure that then stay within the community, make for a stronger local economy and community.  

Please join us this year and celebrate National Small Business Week on Saturday May 11th. We’ll have special sales that day and our prize wheel will be spinning!

Sources:

http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/mainlinetimes/opinion/as-i-see-it-national-small-business-week-over-years/article_173736b5-dfb6-553d-9b78-9a6cc95f0231.html

https://www.business.com/articles/small-business-week-2018/

https://www.sba.gov/node/1615232

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-m-kirby/small-businesses-can-make_b_13127000.html

Celebrate Earth Day 2019 With Us!

Celebrate Earth Day 2019 with us!

The first Earth Day was celebrated over 40 years ago on April 22, 1970.  It was founded by Gaylord Nelson, a US Senator from Wisconsin, after seeing the impact of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.  At that time it was the largest oil spill in US history and still ranks at number 3, behind only the Deepwater Horizon and Exxon Valdez oil spills.  It was Mr. Gaylord’s vision to have a “national teach-in on the environment” and energize the public to protect the environment by addressing water and air pollution concerns.  Over 20 million Americans participated in that first Earth Day celebration uniting many in a common cause that had been previously fragmented over several specific environmental concerns.  

This year, Earth Day celebrations will focus on community volunteer clean ups world wide.  Green spaces, urban spaces, waterways, beaches and more will be patrolled by volunteers looking to pick up trash and dispose of it correctly.  Most of these clean ups are scheduled for Saturday, April 20th but Earth Day is officially April 22nd.  I couldn’t find an organized clean up for our area scheduled so I challenge everyone to take some time during the month of April, while walking down the sidewalk, through a parking lot, along a walking trail or beach to stop and notice what is in the environment.  Appreciate the plants, trees and flowers you see, the birdsong you may hear but also take note of any trash that may be present and pick it up to dispose of properly.  It only takes a moment and it is a way of sharing some love with Mother Nature.  If you would like to share with us on Facebook or Instagram your contribution to Earth Day, take a pic and post it to our Facebook page or DM us on Instagram and we will choose a picture at random on April 23rd.  The winner will receive a Final Straw collapsible travel straw worth $24.50!

Lastly, consider making every day an Earth Day.  Join us here at the store as we strive to continue reducing the number of single use bags that are used by saying ‘No’ and entering for a chance to win a $25 Gift Certificate back to the store.  A winner is drawn each month from all the entries!  Also, think of ways to reduce other plastics you use, like single use water bottles, straws, plastic lids, plastic wrap and many other items that have become an integral part of our lives.  Many times there are alternatives and when there aren’t please consider reusing, recycling or repurposing the item.  Together we can make a change!

Sources-

https://www.earthday.org/about/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1969_Santa_Barbara_oil_spill

https://cleanup.earthday.org


Celebrate National Small Business Week With Us!

We believe small businesses should be celebrated every week but there is an official National Small Business Week which was established in 1963.   Over 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation citing the importance of small businesses in job creation and building strong, viable communities.  This year the SBA National Small Business Week officially begins Sunday, April 29th but we are celebrating our local small businesses beginning Monday, April 30th through Sunday May 6th. 

Though many years have passed and many things have changed since the first National Small Business Week over 50 years ago, one thing that hasn’t changed is how important our local small businesses are.  More than 50% of Americans own or work for a small business, every 2 of 3 jobs in the private sector is created by a small business and the success of small businesses is critical to growing the US economy.  Also, on a local level, a healthy small business community contributes positively to the local economy, allowing money to circulate within the same community for an extended period of time.  Local business owners tend to use the services of other local businesses and employees spend money where they work.  This, coupled with the resulting tax dollars for infrastructure that then stay within the community, make for a stronger local economy and community.  

Please join us this year for National Small Business Week with our other local small businesses neighbors!  Visit http://www.lompoc.com/small-business-week.html to find out more and click on our logo to see how we are celebrating!

Sources:

http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/mainlinetimes/opinion/as-i-see-it-national-small-business-week-over-years/article_173736b5-dfb6-553d-9b78-9a6cc95f0231.html

https://www.business.com/articles/small-business-week-2018/

https://www.sba.gov/node/1615232

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-m-kirby/small-businesses-can-make_b_13127000.html

Surf Beach and the Snowy Plover

Surf Beach, a beautiful, untamed stretch of coastline, is our local beach and possesses a rather unique history. From race track, to train station, to city, and back to undeveloped sand dunes, it is home to many shore birds, including the Western Snowy Plover.  The impact this small seemingly insignificant bird has had on Surf Beach is almost as great as the train station that is again in existence above the dunes today.

A modest, tiny shore bird, The Western Snowy Plover is approximately six inches in length with grey, brown upper plumage and white under plumage.  It primarily forages for small invertebrates in wet or dry beach-sand and among tide-cast kelp.  The birds nest in the dunes with a breeding season March through September and nests typically host three small eggs.  The parents share in the incubation duties but unlike many other birds, within hours of the eggs hatching, the small fledglings will leave the nest in search of food.  

In 1993 this unassuming, small bird was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and has since become the fulcrum point for Surf Beach visitation seven months of the year.  As Surf Beach is on Federal property, strict interpretation and enforcement of the Endangered Species Act has been observed.  During the nesting season of March 1st to September 30th each year, only a 1/2 mile of the coastline at Surf Beach is open to the public.  No fishing, kite flying, dogs, bonfires or camping are allowed on the beach and the dunes are off limits during this time period as well.  The number of violations allowed each season before the beach is closed completely to the public is limited to 50 and can be as vague as a set of footprints in the off limit areas.  Thankfully beach closures and limitations are just one aspect of Vandenberg AFB’s management program for the recovery of this species.  Others include predator management and habitat restoration through the removal of nonnative plant species. 

With all this focus on the recovery program at Surf Beach some are surprised to find the Western Snowy Plover’s habitat extends along the West Coast from Washington through Baja Mexico and beyond.  Indeed, many contend the bird is not truly threatened and cite reliable sources, information and data.  An appeal has been submitted to USF&WS to delist the bird but to date no response has been received.  It is not, however, our position at this time to debate the fairness or accuracy of the listing or the measurements taken by VAFB mandated through the ESA.  Rather, we are asking everyone to observe the rules in place and help keep our beach open all year so that we may enjoy the beauty of this untamed area in its natural glory.  Currently, after just one month, violations are listed at 9 of the 50 allowed for the season.  If they continue at this rate complete access to Surf Beach will be lost again prior to the end of the nesting season.  

Truly, whether you believe the bird is threatened or whether you agree with the restrictions, we strongly believe we should always strive to be better stewards of our incredible planet and work to live side by side with nature everyday, not just seven months of the year.