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Peter Sklar (1962-2012)
updated: Dec 11, 2012, 1:00 PM

Peter Sklar, creator and publisher of Edhat, passed away December 9, 2012 after a fifteen-month struggle with cancer.

Peter was born March 7, 1962 in Palo Alto, California. He attended Cubberley High School in Palo Alto and the Menlo School in Menlo Park.

After high school he attended Cornell University, and graduated from UC San Diego with a degree in Applied Mathematics. While at UCSD, he developed a lifelong love of horses - the ones who had numbers on their backs and ran around the racetrack at Del Mar. He began work on a probability-based handicapping system for determining horseracing outcomes.

Peter loved to ski, so after college, decided to set out on a journey to ski every mountain in the US. He made it as far as Lake Tahoe, where he met Sue Foley, his future wife. For a time they lived in Truckee, California where the two founded the Truckee Software Company, and created one of the first point of sale inventory control systems.

Peter and Sue married in 1987 and moved to Santa Barbara in 1988. In 1990, he received a Masters in Applied Statistics from UC Santa Barbara, and taught Statistics at SBCC for several years.

Peter saw things in a unique way, and as a result was often ahead of the curve in terms of innovation. He was a true visionary who perceived problems that others didn't, and elegant solutions that seemed obvious once he voiced them. He was motivated and entrepreneurial, creating countless implementations of his many ideas. In the early nineties, Peter became intrigued by the potential of the Internet and started coolmaps.com, among the first of the "dot com" companies. Coolmaps produced software tools for web designers. Peter realized the value of enabling these designers from all over the world to communicate and share information with one another, and developed the Coolmaps Components Club. This proved to be the idea that later manifested itself in Edhat, an online community to mirror the real community of Santa Barbara.

In the late nineties, Peter created DataDrill, a company that patented a unique method of database search. This technology was later used by Microsoft in theirs Windows software.

In 2003, he started Edhat.com. It was his dream of drawing the community together in a very unique way.

Peter loved Santa Barbara. He was an avid runner, skier and backpacker. He ran five marathons, including Boston. He was a loving husband and a loving father to his two sons.

He is survived by his wife Sue Foley, their sons Nick and Zack Sklar, his brother Michael Sklar and his family, his mother-in-law Lucy Foley, and countless friends.

Peter, you left us too soon. We will miss you more than you know, and we will always love you.

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 352855 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-11 01:07 PM

We miss you Peter.


 COMMENT 352859 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-11 01:14 PM

I knew Peter, and his wife and his kids (through SBHS Water Polo) and they all super great folks and i'm sorry for their loss. i look at edhat everyday.


 COMMENT 352962 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-11 04:00 PM

A fitting tribute to him by anyone who spends time on EdHat would be to purchase a six month membership. If one cannot afford a standard membership, it is possible to purchase a discounted one. Let's keep EdHat going, in his honor and his memory!


 COMMENT 353074P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-11 08:00 PM

Another way Edhat readers can honor Peter's vision is to share questions, answers, pictures, and stories about our community.


 COMMENT 353108 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-11 09:43 PM

What a wonderful obituary. I would add one item: After the Zaca, Gap and Tea Fires, Peter approached the County Board of Supervisor about creating a better county emergency communication plan. The result was Salud Carbajal initiated a "Media Committee" made of media members and communications specialists who worked to review local public information flow. Peter was an important part of that committee.

The BOS also awarded Peter a resolution, honoring his community work on Edhat. The resolution noted Peter was was more than a publisher--he was a public servant as well! So true!


 COMMENT 353131 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 06:11 AM

I am buying a membership in honor of Peter but also to help the future of his family...I ask you all to do the same...great Xmas gift from one SB person to another...Merry Christmas...miss you and love you Peter......


 COMMENT 353141 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 06:46 AM

Buy a subscription - if you can afford $52 that's a WHOLE YEAR of edhat! Unbeatable value for an excellent site! Thank you Mr Sklar.


 EZ2 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 07:00 AM

Thank You for the obituary..Peter was an amazing person and we have a lot to thank him for..He will be missed Eric Zahm
Highlights Hair Salon


 COMMENT 353208 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 09:38 AM

12.12.12 is a fitting day to honor Peter because it reminds us how important every day is in life. One day you are running and find your balance is off; next day the doctor says they've found an inoperable tumor at your brain stem. That didn't stop Peter, or more importantly, his wife, Sue. They researched therapies and fought hard to give Peter a normal life. She took him to Alaska because they hadn't been there. The two of them were the most courageous couple I know. They weren't dour or self-pitying about the tragic turn in their young lives, but kept on with life - and even more than that - helping others. The community of Edhat can support Peter's vision of democratic journalism by reporting what they SEE, rather than listening to media spin, and joining up. Lisa Burns


 COMMENT 353396 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 03:31 PM

The best way to honor Peter is to make this a decent place and stop with all the irrational bashing of bicyclists, the homeless, Helen Schneider, et. al., the ungrounded speculations, the just making stuff up, etc.


 COMMENT 353466 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 06:50 PM

I worked for Peter at Data Drill as a database consultant for while. This is very shocking and so sad!


 COMMENT 353485 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-12 07:40 PM

Peter is a funny guy, part comedian , part Gladys Kravitz , that's what popped to mind when I first met Peter at Rogers house a few years back. He told a joke, I told a joke, then Roger told on of his classic stories that topped everything, after laughing for a wee bit Peter would start rubbing his hands together and say tell me everything that's going on in SB.. He had that look in his eyes, he loved it all and he loved SB, but above all he loved his family, both the ones at home that call him husband and dad, as well as the ones online on there pc, and phones that send in pictures and stories and yes even the people that called him and that wanted this person fired or that retracted, he would tell them to buy a subscriber membership and tell the person your self. Peter loved his Edhat family!!! To Sue and family, my familys thoughts and prayers go out to you during this ruff time. Peter's better now and a little bit of him remains in all of us. Love to you all Shakey....... Just a thought, how long do you think it will take Peter to add Heaven as a Edhat town ?


 COMMENT 353537 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 06:33 AM

Will there be a memorial?


 EZ2 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-13 08:01 AM

I also just wanted to mention his beautiful BLUE EYES..
only the good dye young!


 COMMENT 353902 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-14 07:11 AM

Peter asked me to write for Edhat after the New-Press meltdown, and it was the best writing job of all time - unlimited space for text and photos, total editorial freedom, no pressure. The local audience was great, and occasionally columns got national attention. I wrote some things I'm really proud of on Edhat, and I'm grateful to Peter for the forum. He had a fine sense of humor, and a deft, light touch in his own writing. His early death is a true tragedy and loss for a community he loved and changed for the better.


 COMMENT 354289 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-12-15 06:14 AM

I am sad that Santa Barbara has lost a truly unique innovator who participated so completely and promoted others to fully enjoy the "good life" available here in his "adopted" town. Edhats off to Peter, heartfelt thoughts for his family and friends -- his memory and Santa Barbara spirit will surely be with those whose lives he influenced for a very long time to come.


 COMMENT 363416P agree helpful negative off topic

2013-01-14 03:23 PM

I am so very behind on the daily Edhat doings, and I just happened to log on today. I am so very very sorry to hear this news, albeit belatedly. What a huge loss. Condolences to all who loved him.


24% of comments on this page were made by Edhat Community Members.



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