President's Message

Spring 2019 President's Message


We're finally getting the El Nino they've been talking about for years.  Even though the drought designation has been lifted, the US Drought Monitor has listed our area as "Abnormally Dry" which is down from "Extreme Drought".  As much as the rain is welcome, when the natural vegetation begins to wither and dry-out in the summer and fall, we will once again be in high fire danger status.  Make sure to review your emergency evacuation plan, create and update your emergency kits, and prepare your home defensible space.  If you would like a free evacuation of your defensible space, you can contact City of Santa Barbara Fire Services Specialist Chris Braden at 805-564-5737 or email him at

Also, be sure you are signed up for AWARE and PREPARE emergency notifications!

Our Annual Meeting is be held on Sunday, May 5th, from 3 - 5pm at the magnificent Hull Estate at 815 Cima Linda Lane.  Please join us for a beautifully catered affair in which you will experience an afternoon with your neighbors, learn information about your neighborhood, meet Board Members and your Block Captains and listen to informational speakers.  In addition, some lucky attendees will go home with great emergency raffle items!

Our guest speaker at this year's EHIA Annual Meeting will be our new Fire Chief Eric Nickel.  He has worked in six southern and northern California fire departments in his thirty-one years of service.  Come welcome him to our neighborhood and listen to his "strategic planning and strategic doing" ideas for Santa Barbara. 

I recently attended a "Coffee with a Cop" event down at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on State Street, to find out what is happening with crime in our neighborhood.  If you haven't ever attended one of these events (they are held monthly at different locations throughout SB), I highly recommend it.  The coffee is free and you can talk directly with your neighborhood beat cops about all kinds of neighborhood issues.  I was told crime is down in our neighborhood thanks in part to neighbors putting in surveillance/video cameras (like RING), neighborhood watch, lockable mailboxes, and neighbors being more vigilant about keeping their cars and homes locked.

Communication between neighbors and law enforcement is our best defense.

Be Safe!

Sue Burk - EHIA President


Fall 2018 President’s Message

Hope you were able to join your EHIA Board & neighbors at our last Annual Meeting at the magnificent Hull Estate on May 6th.   Our guest speaker was Tanya Atwater, Professor of Tectonics Emeritus at UCSB’s Department of Geological Sciences who discussed the structure and geology of our local foothills and helped us understand what happened in the recent mud flows.

The guests at our October Board Meeting were Police Chief Lori Ludlow accompanied by officer Adrian Gutierrez.  They updated us on what is happening with crime in our neighborhood and I’m happy to report that the crime rate has been very low over the past year.  The board also addressed the issue of speeding on APS, Alston Road, Eucalyptus Hill Road & Barker Pass and they gave us some helpful ideas on how to deal with this situation.  We also discussed increasing police presence in our neighborhood and on our streets and they agreed to help with more patrols.  We believe increased patrols will also help prevent criminals from “casing” our neighborhood for burglary possibilities. 

Please remember to be vigilant in reminding your neighbors, friends, family, contractors & vendors to SLOW DOWN while driving in our neighborhood!

Now is the time for you to join the Eucalyptus Hill Improvement Association (EHIA). We can only continue to improve services to our neighbors with a growing and active membership; both through dues and volunteering.  Our mission is to enhance the safety & quality of life in our neighborhood and to accomplish this, we rely on the participation and input from residents like you!   We want to “Thank” all our volunteer Block Captains because their involvement is invaluable to our organization. 

One of the major benefits of our organization is our communication network that allows our Block Captains & Board Members to communicate in emergencies with hand held radios.  We also have radios to communicate with MERRAG (Montecito Emergency Response & Recovery Action Group). 

Your annual membership in the Eucalyptus Hill Improvement Association is an investment in your neighborhood and helps our association build a safer community.

Stay Safe!

Sue Burk

EHIA President



                President's Message - Spring 2018

                As we are all aware, the Thomas Fire & Montecito Mudflow event caused immeasurable devastation to our                        community and changed the lives of hundreds of residents.  Mere weeks after the largest wildfire in the state's                     history burned the foothills of Ventura, Carpinteria & Montecito, disaster struck again with the devastating                            mudslides.  It was hard to fathom the scope of the tragedy, and we must give thanks to all the                                            thousands of firefighters, first responders, news reporters & volunteers who dedicated endless hours of                                assistance to help those in need.  Our thoughts & prayers go out to those who lost family members                                       and those whose homes have been destroyed or damaged.  I also urge you to make a special effort to                               support the small businesses which have been adversely affected by this tragedy as well.  
                    Think of Montecito when you go shopping and dining.

                    In light of these recent disasters, I can't stress enough how important it is that you are signed up for
                    AWARE & PREPARE notifications.  Go to Aware & and click on the red "Register for Alerts" tab.

                    ANNUAL MEETING - I hope you will join us for delicious appetizers and wine on Sunday, May 6th from 
                    3 - 5pm for our EHIA Annual Meeting; once again at the magnificent Hull Estate at 815 Cima Linda Lane.                             Enjoy an afternoon with your neighbors, meet your Board Members & your Block Captain while you find out                        the latest information about emergency preparedness.

                    We have planned an exciting Keynote Speaker, Tanya Atwater, Professor of Tectonics at UCSB's Department                     of Geological Sciences, who will talk about the structure and geology of our local foothills and give us some                        insight into the reasons for our recent mudflows and how this geology, and our proximity to it, may shape our                     lives in the future.

                    Don't forget that some lucky neighbors will go home with some useful raffle prizes to enjoy or add to their                            emergency kits.

                    I look forward to seeing you all there!

                    Sue Burk
                    EHIA President


                President's Message - Fall 2017

                As the cleanup continues after the devastating fires in Napa & Sonoma, we must all review our
                Personal Wildfire Action Plans.  The following are ways you can make sure you are prepared:

                Aware & Prepare - be sure you are signed up to receive local emergency notifications, go to Aware 
                    & and click on the red "register for Alerts" tab.  DO THIS TODAY!!

                    An important reminder is to NOT turn off your cell phone or tablets at night!  If you are signed up to receive                         your notifications by cell phone, email or text on these devises, they DO NOT come through when your cell                         phone is turned off.

                    Reverse 911 Alert System - Register your landline or cell phone at

                Have a Personal Wildfire Action Plan -

                    Plan several escape routes

                    Have fire extinguishers on hand and train your family how to use them.

                    Designate a meeting location outside the fire hazard zone.

                    Put together emergency supply kits as recommended by the American Red Cross or FEMA

                    Make sure your family knows where the gas, electric & water main shut off valves are located.

                    Have a portable battery/solar radio so you can keep up to date on the fire.

                    Have a list of emergency contact numbers posted near your phone & in your emergency kits.

                    Defensible Space - Defined as a perimeter of 100 ft. from your home.  Remove "ladder fuels" by trimming all                     trees & bushes away from your home & clean out debris from gutters, under trees & bushes.

                    ICE (In Case of Emergency) - Identify a contact, such as a friend or relative who lives out of the SB area for                     your household members to notify that they are safe.

                    Program the person as "ICE" on your cell phone.  If you are in an accident, emergency personnel will often                        check your ICE listing in order to get a hold of someone you know.

                    Don't wait until it's too late.....Be Prepared!

                    Sue Burk
                    EHIA President


                 President's Message - Spring 2017

                   I hope you will be able to attend our EHIA Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 7th from 
                   3 - 5pm at the magnificent Hull Estate at 815 Cima Linda Lane.  It's a superbly catered 
                   affair in which you will experience an afternoon with your neighbors, learn information about 
                   your neighborhood, meet Board Members & your Block Captain and listen to informational
                   speakers.  In addition, some lucky attendees will go home with great emergency kit raffle
                   prizes!  This year, our guest speaker will be local historian & author (and always entertaining)
                   Neal Graffy who will be sharing his insightful knowledge of writer & Santa Barbara historian 
                   David Myrick.

                   Remeber, Santa Barbara is still in a drought and we need to continue our vigilance in 
                   conserving water.  The rain this season was welcome, and our home landscapes and trees
                   will not need watering for a while, but it was not enough to fill our reservoir.  When the
                   natural vegetation begins to wither and dry-out in summer, we will again be in HIGH FIRE
                   ALERT STATUS.  Review your emergency evacuation plan, create & update your emergency
                   kits, and prepare your home defensible space.

                   I want to THANK everyone who signed the petition to have a new entrance installed in Upper
                   Hale Park.  SB Parks & Recreation has proposed a 5-year rehabilitation project for Hale Park
                   that will cost about $525,000!  The project would involve more than just new entrance steps,
                   so their plan is unclear.  The City is also unsure about where the money will come from.
                   The rain storms in January created an unexpected event by collapsing a section of the park's
                   stone retaining wall and now there is uncertainty about what effect that will have on any
                   rehabilitation project.  Will this speed things up?  We can only cross our fingers.  It's unfortunate 
                   that city workers removed the wooden access ladder that had been in place for over 40 years, 
                   but we want to send out a special "Thank You" to our "Steps Angel" for creating a sturdy set of 
                   steps where the ladder used to be.  We hope the City will leave these in place.

                   Crime is still a problem in Santa Barbara, and we need to keep our eyes & ears open and continue 
                   to support our Neighborhood Watch Program.  If you see anything out of the ordinary or suspicious, 
                   please don't hesitate to call the police who have repeatedly asked us to do this.  Consider 
                   installing lockable mailboxes, trail cams or video cameras around your property.  Share photos of
                   suspicious behavior can help other neighbors and the police.  Consider letting neighbors know
                   when you will be away, so they can keep an eye on things or call the authorities if appropriate.
                   It's unfortunate, but the police say that Ventura & LA gangs are targeting Montecito & SB 
                   neighborhoods.  Our best defense is communication among neighbors and law enforcement 
                   personnel.  Be vigilant and safe!!

                   Sue Burk 
                   EHIA President


Spring 2016

El Nino

We were all hoping for the El Nino the experts had been talking about but it seems to be falling far short of their expectations, at least in the south.  So we still need to remain vigilant about conserving water and making sure we are ready for fire season as we remain in High Alert status.  Be sure to review your evacuation plan, create or update your emergency kits and trim all trees & bushes away from your home.  Defensible space for fire is defined as a perimeter 100 feet from your house.

Block Captains

We want to give a special “Thanks” our volunteer Block Captains as they are the backbone of our Emergency Preparedness Program.  Thirty (30) of our Block Captains have been provided with Wireless Emergency Radios and we plan to purchase another 10 to distribute to other block captains.  In addition, over the last few months the EHIA board purchased and distributed Emergency Kits to all Block Captains. Our association becomes more effective as we incorporate more Block Captains into our neighborhoods so, if you have an interest in becoming a Block Captain to support your street, please contact Frank Randall,  for all details.

Stay Informed

New this year is the FREE internet emergency notification service called “Aware & Prepare” which will be replacing the current notification service; NIXLE.  To subscribe or to find out more information, go to Aware& (even if you are already signed up for Nixle) which will send you instant emails & text alerts to let you know about local emergencies, road closings, bad weather, etc.

Annual Meeting

Please join us for our informative and festive Annual Meeting on Sunday, May 15th from 3 – 5pm at  815 Cima Linda Lane.  Come and experience an afternoon with your neighbors, meet EHIA Board members, Block Captains and enjoy the ample appetizers, scrumptious  delicacies, desserts, wine, margaritas and other beverages.

This year, our guest speaker will be local author & historian, Hattie Beresford who will be joined by other informational speakers discussing issues like “Reverse 911”, water conservation and emergency services.

Hope to see you there,

Sue Burk



FALL 2015

Our Eucalyptus Hill Asso. covers a lot of territory and serves a lot of residents but depends on only a few committed people to be an effective and responsive organization.  All are volunteers, some serve as "Block Captains" and some serve as board members.  

We lost one of the latter recently.  Our dear friend and fellow board member, 
Homer Smith, passed away on October 12, 2015.  Homer was a huge asset to the EHIA community and our Board.  Besides having a friendly and calm style, his past employment with the City of Santa Barbara brought vast knowledge and perspective in getting things done.  He will be greatly missed.  A Celebration of Life will be held at the Santa Barbara Yacht Club on November 23, 2015 at 3 - 5pm.

Eucalyptus Hill may seem sleepy at times but there is a lot going on........

    Issue - Speeding on APS, Eucalyptus Hill Road & Alston Road - This seems to be the biggest issue this season.  Despite our efforts of traffic calming with various signs, new stripping on Alston Road and having the stop sign moved plus re-striping at the Barker Pass/Eucalyptus Hill Road intersection, numerous accidents have occurred in the past few months resulting in injuries and also one where a pet was injured in a hit & run while being walked by a local resident.
    The Struggle - Our traffic committee continues to work with the City Traffic Engineer with continued efforts in traffic calming & local police who are out there citing drivers who speed on these roads.  Please be vigilant in reminding your neighbors, friends, family contractors & vendors to SLOW DOWN while driving in our neighborhoods. 
"PLEASE RESPECT 35" - MPH that is.........

    Issue-Emergency Preparedness - We now have 30 handheld emergency two-way radios distributed to the Board Members & volunteer Block Captains in our neighborhood.  Our network will be able to communicate with each other during an emergency, as well as with emergency services in the City & County.  For many years Michael Ditmore has graciously provided the equipment to enhance this operation but will be retiring from this effort soon.  We are fortunate and delighted that Bob Meltzer has stepped up to help in this regard allowing us to move the radio tower to his home.  
Thank You Bob and welcome to the Board!
    Reminder:  I would like to remind everyone that "FREE" MERRAG training classes are held once a month.  These classes are invaluable for emergency preparedness and encourage you to take one (or ALL).  You can access the schedule by going to our website calendar or MERRAG's website at

    Issue-Burglary - There have been several recent auto & home burglaries in our neighborhood.
    Solution - Vigilance!  Our "Neighborhood Watch Program" encourages you to report any suspicious activity to the police.  CAll 911 or 965-5151

Through the work of our Board Members, Block Captains & volunteers, we work to create a safe community and we need the support of all neighbors.  The association is one of the first lines of defense for your community and there is power in numbers.  Your dues also help support the EHIA's activities & services in our neighborhood.  Membership is open to all residents and homeowners in the Eucalyptus Hill area.  We are now 187 strong and growing.  Please renew or start your membership this year, annual dues are only $35 per family or residence.

Sue Burk



Dear Fellow Association Members:


Our community has experienced a number of unauthorized entries involving unlocked vehicle from September 2014 to March 2015. REMOVE your valuables from your vehicles and LOCK IT.  This should be checked every time you leave your vehicle unattended. If everyone follows this procedure, we can dramatically reduce the number of incidents in our neighborhood.  In addition, we have had a number of residential burglaries in the western section of our neighborhood.   As you may have heard, burglars caused major damage when entering and sorting through belongings.  Be alert to suspicious behaviors and contact police via 911.

         Please continue to remind your friends, contractors, vendors, and family members to slow down while traveling our neighborhood streets.  The police have been very active in citing drivers thanks to our traffic committees work. 

         Remember the Wild-land Hazard Abatement chipping program begins May 11th.  This is another example of our Wild-land Assessment District at work for our wildfire safety.   We're paying for it - let's make use of it.  Information regarding the program can be found on the City of Santa Barbara Fire Department web site, or by calling or emailing Chris Braden: or 805-965-5254. He will be glad to answer any questions.    Let's enjoy a secure and fire safe summer.

 I Hope to see you all at our Annual Meeting,


John Ahlman



PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE                            WINTER 2012-13

All of us who live in the Eucalyptus Hill Improvement Association (EHIA) area can be thankful that there was no wind on November 6th this fall.  


On that day a small fire started near Cold Spring Trail and was contained and extinguished within a matter of several hours. If there had been any wind the outcome could have been very different and would have certainly resulted in a major threat to our neighborhood. 

This was a wake-up call for all of us and a good test of our emergency preparedness systems that your association has been working to establish for the last 6 years. Within minutes of the start of the fire our communications network and phone trees were activated. Newsletter alerts were emailed to everyone on our association list providing the latest status of the fire.  

In the event that power was lost we were prepared to activate our radio network to keep communications open around our neighborhood.  

By putting the resources that we have obtained through your dues and donations to work on emergency communications we feel confident that we have made our neighborhood a safer place to live. 

The EHIA Board has been working in many of the following ways to enhance the quality of life in our neighborhood:

  ·       EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS - We continue to improve our emergency preparedness  which benefits everyone in our neighborhood area. Our emergency radio network that will be active in the event of a power failure in a major emergency now has over 25 handheld emergency radios distributed strategically throughout our neighborhood with volunteers who will be able to communicate with each other and with emergency services in the City and County. We have established a close working relationship with City and County Fire Departments and Montecito Emergency Response (MERRAG). We owe a great deal of thanks to board member Michael Ditmore for setting up the radio network and for hosting our training and monthly checks of the system to ensure its availability in an emergency.

·     ANNUAL MEETING - This year over 100 of our residents attended our annual meeting. It provided everyone with an opportunity to meet people in the neighborhood and to learn from our speakers from City police and fire departments, emergency medical personnel, and Erin Graffy who spoke on the history of our area.

  • RED FLAG ALERT SIGNS - Red Flag Alert Signs purchased by EHIA were posted on major streets to warn residents when the SB Fire Department issued a red flag alert regarding condition for high fire danger in our neighborhood.
  • ALSTON ROAD SPEED CONTROL - We continued working with the City Traffic Engineer to devise ways of slowing speeding on Alston Road through techniques that will not hinder normal driving traffic flow.
  • ALSTON ROAD WALKING TRAIL - Board members Terry Tyler, Kathy Marvin, and volunteers have completed a walking trail along the south side of the road from Augusta Lane to Summit Road for the safety of our neighborhood walkers.
  • NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH - With the increase in auto burglaries and vandalism, we have contacted the Police Department for Neighborhood Watch signs and organized watch groups on participating streets.

·        WEB SITE ADDRESS ALERT!- EHIA has a new web site address: Check it out for more EHIA information and announcements.


·        DOG CLEANUP SIGNS - EHIA will have new signs available to post in our neighborhood to remind people that they are responsible to pick up after their dogs when walking them along our streets.


·        "NEXTDOOR" - The City is participating in a web-based network that will have restricted access to neighborhood residents only. It provides up-to-date announcements from City Departments regarding projects that will affect our neighborhood. You can sign up on the City of Santa Barbara web site.


Our mission is to enhance the quality of life in our neighborhood. To accomplish this we rely on the participation and input from the residents in our area. If you have a neighborhood concern or want to participate in our activities, please contact me or one of the board members. You are welcome to come to our monthly board meetings which are usually held on the second Tuesday of each month at a Board member's home. 


Thanks to all of our dues-paying members who help make all of our work possible.  






David Gress, President




President’s  Message                                                                                    Spring 2012


Hello Neighbors,  


You are all invited to the Annual Meeting of the Eucalyptus Hill Improvement Association, Sunday, May 6th, from 3-5:00 p.m., in the expansive back garden at 815 Cima Linda Lane. 

This event is a wonderful chance for you to learn about the latest Association activities – and to enjoy an afternoon garden party with friends and neighbors in a beautiful, historic setting.  Delicious hors d’oeuvre tables, beverages, and interesting guest speakers make for a delightful afternoon.  

During the meeting, we will highlight EHIA’s recent activities and accomplishments, including:


·       The expansion of our “Block Captain” program - now composed of 40 volunteers who, in the event of general emergencies, will be able to distribute information about ever-changing area conditions and can assistance their block neighbors in getting help.


·       The establishment of our own “radio repeater station”- which provides the Association with direct radio communication to fire and police personnel during emergencies, such as wildfires and earthquakes, when electrical power, cell phone coverage, and landline phone service are shut down.


·       The acquisition of over 15 emergency two-way radios - which have been distributed strategically throughout our neighborhood to volunteers who will be able to communicate with each other and, through our radio repeater station, with City and County emergency services.


·       The purchase of our own “Red Flag Alert” signs – which are set out along our primary roads in the neighborhood when high fire danger conditions exist.


·       The bolstering of the “Neighborhood Watch” program – including the posting of several more program street signs . 


·       The creation of the “Alston Walking Trail” – which provides a safe, graveled pedestrian walkway along that busy traffic corridor - spearheaded by Terry Tyler, Kathy Marvin, and Homer Smith, and completed with the help of neighborhood volunteers and contributors.


·       The upgrading of the EHIA Web Site,  - where you can find information on all Association activities, as well as important announcements about emergency situations as they occur in our neighborhood.  It also contains links to other valuable web sites in the City.


The Annual Meeting is the time to renew your annual EHIA membership, or a great time to join.    Membership is open to all residents and homeowners in the Eucalyptus Hill area. 

Annual dues are only $35 per family or residence.  Your dues support EHIA’s activities and services in our neighborhood.  Please bring your check with you to the annual meeting - or mail it soon to:  EHIA, P.O. Box 40182, Santa Barbara, CA  93140.


The EHIA Board Members are working to sustain and improve our neighborhood.  EHIA consists entirely of volunteers and its programs and activities are supported solely by your help, contributions and membership dues. 


Hope to see you all at the Annual Meeting!


David Gress, President