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Whether you’re buying, selling or vacationing in the Carpinteria or Santa Barbara area, Gary Goldberg will provide you with in-depth assistance for all your real estate needs. Locally owned and operated, Gary’s brokerage, Coastal Properties, has been assisting sellers, buyers and vacationers for 22 years. His team of experienced and knowledgeable agents specialize in all aspects of real estate, including residential, commercial, land development, property management, long and short term leasing, and vacation rentals. We invite you to stop in to our office and experience the friendly, professional and confidential service Coastal Properties provides.

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When we invest in our youth, we enable them to do big things – and in turn families, our community and society as a whole are stronger for it. You can help make a difference. Your gift will help provide girls in our community with a brighter future and ensure essential programs to help them overcome barriers and achieve overall success. All contributions are tax-deductible.



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FiRST FRiDAY January 5 February 2 March 2 April 6 May 4 June 1 July 6


Celebrate the New Year in Carpinteria Where the Heart Is Think Green Carpinteria In Bloom Celebrate Art Artist Studio Tour Sounds of Summer Surf ’s Up America the Beautiful

August 3 September 7

October 5, 6, 7 November 2 December 7

Art & Art-niture Chalk the Walk/ Celebrate Education California Avocado Festival Fall Harvest Light Up the Season

LIVE MUSIC Linden’s Seal Fountain 4-7 pm MERCHANT PROMOTIONS Sunrise to Sunset • 12

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CARP features



There’s an architecturally classic home tucked off Foothill Road, and its second set of owners celebrates the interior and exterior beauty of this jewel.


Not only do Chris and Jenny Keet own and operate the local surf camp Surf Happens, the couple also runs the nonprofit Surf Happens Foundation and oversees the annual Rincon Classic surfing contest. Family, though, is most important.


Forget the GPS. Here’s your guide to Carpinteria’s outposts. (Think bathing suits.)

56 Q & A: L EE HEL L ER

56 49

When was the last time you saw a box of free kittens or puppies for the taking? You might want to thank animal advocate Lee Heller for that. The tireless crusader has made the world a better place for all living things.


With all the economic talk focusing on tourism, ever wonder how businesses remain viable during the off-season? The answer may surprise you.


Those who say that Palm Loft denizen Stuart Carey has lived a number of lives most definitely will say that he’s lived them to their fullest.


Motorhead, gearhead, hot rodder … Call ’em what you will, just see if you can catch up with the fastest men in Carpinteria.


Eating vegetables is fun! Especially when you have recipes for locally grown and seasonal vegetables. 14

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MAG departments

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ON T H E COVE R PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST Camouflaged amid his canvases and creations, Stuart Carey is captured in the lens at his Carpinteria studio. Photo by Michael Kwiecinski


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Welcome to the 23rd issue of Carpinteria Magazine. As always, thank you for your loyal readership and steadfast support of our advertisers. We wouldn’t be able to print these pages without the community behind us. As the saying goes, “what’s old is new again.” And the lovingly maintained mid-century modern residence on Foothill Road epitomizes style coming full circle and earning classic status. Now-retired architect Don Bensen designed the “Slocum House,” which now serves as the Boersma family home. Turn to page 32; you’ll enjoy visiting them. If running a surf camp out of the best place to live on the planet sounds like living the dream life to you, then may KARLSSON I introduce you to Jenny and Chris Keet. Following their passion, the couple makes surf happen for all walks of life. Chris also has been running the always highly-anticipated Rincon Classic surf contest for the past 17 years, bringing local and world champion surfers together every winter to the Queen of the Coast. And just as surfing is a year-round activity in Carpinteria, so is earning a living. Summertime is the busy tourist season, so how do local businesses stay humming all year long? Once again, it’s the fully evolved commitment to community by the community that keeps money circulating around town. See how spending locally makes sense in writer Peter Dugré’s story on page 62. What do songwriter Xenia Flores, filmmaker Steve Nicolaides, political activist Diana Thorn, educator Jen Baron, martial arts expert Matt Chung and marathoner Anita Pulido have in common? They are all featured in our Carpe Diem pages this issue, that’s what. Photographer Joshua Curry’s portraits and various Carpinteria Magazine writers come together to profile six of the town’s doers, believers, thinkers, and dreamers. It starts on page 24. We couldn’t resist putting Michael Kwiecinski’s vibrant portrait of artist Stuart Carey on the cover. Writer Ted Mills profiles multi-faceted artist beginning on page 68. Other nuggets in this issue include writer Lea Boyd’s Q&A session with animal advocate Lee Heller, a lesson in our school district’s Dual Language Immersion class, and a trip to El Mirage Dry Lake with some of the “fastest men in Carpinteria. ” Food writer Pascale Beale introduces us to some warming – and delicious – vegetable side dishes, and as always, her recipes are special enough for a holiday meal while remaining true to the simplicity of seasonal ingredients. If I may say so myself, it’s easy to get lost in the pages of Carpinteria Magazine, though fear not! We’ve got you covered for finding your way around town with the Four Far Corners of Carpinteria photo spread by Glenn Dubock. Finally, for some wintertime adventure, read the excerpt from “The Voyage of the Cormorant,” a nonfiction account of Coastal View News editor Christian Beamish’s three-month solo journey in the Pacific. Enjoy the read! I look forward to being back in touch with our Summer 2018 issue.

WINTER2018 EDITOR Amy Marie Orozco PRODUCTION & DESIGN Kristyn Whittenton WRITERS Pascale Beale Christian Beamish Lea Boyd Glenn Dubock Peter Dugré Ted Mills Alonzo Orozco Amy Marie Orozco Leslie Westbrook PHOTOGRAPHERS Joshua Curry Glenn Dubock Peter Dugré Paul Hoffmeier Robin Karlsson Shelli Kenlein Michael Kwiecinski PRODUCTION SUPPORT Rockwell Printing SALES Dan Terry (805) 684-4428 ON THE WEB Facebook All articles, photographs and artwork appearing in this publication are the copyrighted intellectual property of RMG Ventures, LLC. RMG Ventures, LLC aggressively protects its intellectual property rights. No part of this publication may be reproduced or copied in any form without the express written permission of the publisher. ©2018 RMG Ventures, LLC.

Michael VanStry, Publisher

RMG Ventures, LLC Michael VanStry, President • Gary L. Dobbins, Vice President 4856 Carpinteria Avenue, Carpinteria, California 93013 Tel: (805) 684-4428 Email: 18

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The Carpinteria Arts Center What will YOUR legacy look like? At the Carpinteria Arts Center, we are building a home for the arts to benefit everyone, now and in the future: children, adults, and the whole community. Art sparks innovation in business. Art improves students’ academic performance. Art is fundamental to our humanity, and at the Carpinteria Arts Center we are making the arts accessible to all, including music, visual arts, poetry, film, dance and so much more. Come enjoy the arts with us, and as you consider your legacy, consider a gift to the Carpinteria Arts Center.

Go to our website, and click on the membership button to get started. Gallery Hours: Thursday - Monday, 10am - 4pm 855 Linden Avenue Downtown Carpinteria 805.684.7789


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Chatterbox Planting a dream, harvesting a community Carpinteria Garden Park isn’t the Cadillac of community gardens; it’s the Tesla. Impeccably designed for form and function, and as green as it gets, the .67-acre addition to Carpinteria’s park system will soon feed 100 local families with organic, hand-grown produce. The garden, which should have its first seeds sown by late fall of 2017, formerly housed an annual crop of weeds and a perennial population of gophers. Located along the railroad tracks at 4855 5th Street, the property belonged to Union Pacific Railroad until the City of Carpinteria purchased it in 2012. At that time, the concept du jour was a skatepark/community garden, but neighborly opposition shifted the skatepark plans down the road to city hall. A hefty state grant funded most of the $537,000 garden project and paved the way for a facility befitting luxury car analogies. Individually rented garden plots represent just a portion of the park’s allure. There are trellises shading picnic tables, a 1,500-square-foot plaza for community events, compost bins, a fruit tree orchard, a Chumash foraging garden, a pollinator garden, and a bioswale to capture runoff. The city incorporated a historic Southern Pacific Railroad office into the park. Wearing its fresh yellow coat of paint, the pre-1910 building plans to have a commercial kitchen with a bathroom added on. It also boasts solar panels and a water catchment tank. Concrete-lined rental plots make up the centerpiece of the garden. They measure 5- by 10-feet and come filled with high quality soil. Sixty-eight of them are 12-inches high, and 32 are 27-inches high for greater accessibility. Garden members will pay $60 per six-month period, an amount that should cover the park’s operating costs: water, soil, repairs, maintenance and internet. Four hours of volunteering each three-month quarter also will be required of members. If interest exceeds availability, the city will hold a

amy orozco

lottery to decide garden membership. Priority will be given to people who live within 1,000 feet of the park and those who don’t already have access to gardening space. Everything within the park is designed to be organic. Bat and owl boxes were installed to encourage natural predators to do the work of pesticides. Integrative pest management may be among the topics for classes Garden Coordinator Aleena Steen will schedule at the park, where the community also can expect educational courses in composting, cooking, ecology and ethnobotany. “I’m really excited to bring a lot of hands-on, how-to classes to the garden,” said Steen. Caltrans funds to mitigate the environmental impact of the Linden-Casitas Overpass Project will pay Steen’s part-time salary for the first five years. The garden itself will serve as her office, and the gate will be open when she is there. – Lea Boyd


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° ° °

Inglés/español English/Spanish The 2017-2018 school year brought something completely new to Carpinteria Unified School District. After much anticipation and years of planning and petitioning the school board, two kindergarten classrooms at Canalino School got the go-ahead to instruct in Spanish on a pilot basis, and the catch is one-third of the students in each Dual Language Immersion class do not speak Spanish. While their classroom teachers instill the finer points of numbers, colors, letters and days of the week to the 5-year-old students, at least eight of 24 kindergarteners begin the year not understanding a word.


Canalino School Principal Jamie Persoon, who helped to spearhead the DLI program, said the benefits are threefold based on the mixed makeup of the classrooms. Given that one-third of the 24-student classes speaks English only, one-third speaks Spanish only, and one-third is bilingual, each subgroup benefits in a different way. “Our population is made for this kind of thing,” Persoon says of a school district with over 50 percent Spanish speaking students. “Over half our students every year were already in the same situation.” With DLI, the Spanish speakers, who chronically underperform compared to their English speaking peers,

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Chatterbox acquire their earliest academic foundation in their native tongue. English speakers benefit by becoming bilingual and programming their brains for being more adaptive and open to learning. The bilingual students become more equipped as translators and leaders in the classroom. In a nearly two-year discussion leading up to the launch of DLI, opponents of speaking Spanish in school reiterated many of the arguments that led to a ban on instructing in languages other than English with passage of California Proposition 227 in 1998. Students need to learn in English in order to assimilate, they say. Voters reversed course last year passing Proposition 58, and DLI programs had already gained popularity throughout the state despite Prop 227. DLI is in vogue for English-speaking families wishing to deliver a European-style model of multilingualism to their children. Persoon said there was some concern that Spanish-speaking slots in the classes would be harder to fill, partially due to a language gap in promoting the new program, but in practice it wasn’t an issue. More families volunteered for the program than space allowed so a lottery was held last spring to fill the two classes. Canalino also has two English kindergarten classes. The students will eventually receive instruction in English. In kindergarten it’s 90 percent Spanish, but by fourth grade it’s 50/50. For the next six years, DLI will follow the 2017-2018 cohort through fifth grade while also expanding to include new students each year, so by 2023, if the pilot proves successful, half of Canalino School will be in the DLI program. Beyond the campus, Persoon says that DLI will break down language and cultural barriers in Carpinteria. “We don’t have an integrated community,” Persoon says. “When you’re an English speaker you don’t see that. When you’re in public education, you do.”

its mission statement To keep Carpinteria “Clean, Green and Beautiful” for over 25 years. Its Bus Bench Painting project is one way it accomplishes that goal. With a splash of blue here and a painted flower there, the organization has been brightening up bus benches from Mark Avenue to Toro Canyon since April 1992. In that initial year, Claudia Herczog and Marian Smith from the Carpinteria Woman’s Club helped coordinate the new endeavor, and the Metropolitan Transit District (MTD) of Santa Barbara delivered approximately 30 bus benches to the Boys & Girls Club where the painting took place, according to Bill Crowley, who serves as chair of the beautification project and has been a Carpinteria Beautiful member since 2002. Many contributors and volunteers helped it off the ground: Rudy Perez provided the sander, a hardware store the paint, McDonald’s and Dominos the food. Dave Walsh of Carpinteria Boys & Girls Club supplied labor as did Girls Inc. Kids ages 4 to 17 made the benches their easel that first year. The program has a threefold goal: to enhance the beauty of the town, to help eliminate graffiti, and to create a theme (such as caterpillars or whales) to get children involved, says Crowley.

– Peter Dugré

° ° °

Waiting for the bus is a beautiful thing

Walking up and down Linden Avenue, locals and tourists alike can look either north or south and take in the beauty of the beach or majestic mountains in the background. But for the parts of town that aren’t so pretty, in comes Carpinteria Beautiful. The nonprofit Carpinteria Beautiful has been doing its best to adhere to

robin Karlsson

Originally, the benches were shipped on a rotating basis to a variety of locations such as Cate School, the Boys & Girls Club, and Girls Inc., but the Carpinteria Arts Center, coordinated by Gary and Geri Campopiano, took over the yearly event in 1993. The city also has played a role. “When we moved over to the Arts Center, they had put up fences, and it was real


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Chatterbox hard to set the benches into the area to start the painting. So, we incorporated the help of the City of Carpinteria to bring a forklift,” said Crowley. After the MTD delivered the benches to the back of the Arts Center building, the crane came in and hoisted the heavy benches over the fence. It’s now a part of the transformation that always takes place the week before the organization’s popular Home & Garden Tour held in April. “It’s just really, really gratifying to see how good the benches look, and see how it’s helping Carpinteria to stay beautiful,” explains Crowley. And the multitude of decorated benches throughout town are a vivid testament to that. – Alonzo orozco

° ° °

Senior lunch special

Quinoa wasn’t a popular item on the lunch trays of the 15 seniors gathered at Carpinteria Veterans Memorial Building Hall on a rainy day last spring. The nutty grain, a trendy staple that’s impressively nutritious, pushed the palate envelope for some in the crowd who, on average, had spent over 70 years developing their tastes. Not that there was a lot of fuss about the less familiar grain. The daily lunch appointment is as much about affordable nutrition as it is about gathering on weekdays for greetings with a chatty circle of friends. Otherwise on the balanced tray were steamed chicken, mixed veggies, and beans, partnered, of course, with the cafeteria-style carton of milk. Cookies for dessert. For a recommended donation of $3, the meal provided by Community Action Commission hits the mark with the group of seniors, ages 60 and older. Joanne Defreitus, who moved to Carpinteria last August from Seattle and quickly found the lunch program, settles into her seat next to Jane Hadley, a 90-year-old who’s less interested in eating than chatting and giving away her milk and cookies. “I’m 90. I don’t need it,” Hadley says, holding up her cookies. “I won’t eat them.” Defreitus, decades her minor, intones, “Jane, now, you need to eat your food.” The group knows each other ’s habits and is of such an age range above 60 that multiple generations fall under the “senior” umbrella. Younger helps the older. Even in the division between cafeteria staff and patron,

robin KArlsson

seniority isn’t clear. Food preparer and server Chikki Satow has volunteered at the lunch since 1997, the year she retired from the cafeteria at Canalino School. She said the nearly 20 years she’s been walking trays out from the kitchen to dining room tables where seniors are socializing have kept her engaged. “I get bored at home. Here I get to see people, to chat with them. I enjoy that part,” Satow says. Geraldine Ortega has been the site host for nine years and has been a welcoming, anchoring presence. The big days, pre-Thanksgiving and Easter dinners, special occasions to celebrate, are when the building fills up with around 50 seniors. Ortega and volunteers recognize patrons when they walk in and stand at the ready with coffee. Whether it is a special occasion or a Wednesday in March, the lunch is steady and always available for seniors from nearby Shepard Place Apartments and GranVida or shuttling in from neighborhoods throughout the area. Lunch regular Betty Coffey walks over from the Carpinteria Valley Museum of History, where she volunteers on Tuesday as a docent. The senior lunch is part of her full schedule of engagements and volunteer appointments. “I just love CAC and come here to support what it does,” says Coffey, also a volunteer at Cottage Hospital and a believer in filling her plate, whether at the senior lunch or keeping a busy, productive schedule in retirement. ♦ – Peter Dugré


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The open beam ceiling is a hallmark of mid-century design.

Fabulous on Foothill Mid-century modern still sparkles S t ory by L e S L i e W eStbr o o k Ph ot oS by JoS h ua Cu r r y


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n 1960, John D. Slocum, Aliso School principal, and his wife Patsy, a homemaker and secretary at Carpinteria Community Church, hired architect Don Bensen to design a three-bedroom, two-bath house on Foothill Road. Pretty much given free reign but with a limited budget, the then 29-year-old architect came up with a cross design. “Each segment is exactly the same width. Each piece of wood for the roof is the same length and there was minimal waste. We used natural materials, including western red cedar siding inside and out. I love wood and I love using natural materials,” says Bensen, who retired in 2000 from Kruger Bensen Zimmer, the firm he helped create and that is still going strong. The home’s plan includes outdoor living spaces.

ABOVE, retired architect Don Bensen at home, also a mid-century modern residence designed by him. His other Carpinteria designs include Carpinteria Middle School, Carpinteria High School, several faculty residences at Cate School, the lumberyard on Elm Avenue, and city hall, which was originally built as Chevron oil company offices. BELOW, large glass windows allow light and enhance appreciation of the outdoors.

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Original elements include the closet doors on the left.

Many of the home’s furnishings were bought at local stores, like Whimsy and Angels Antiques, as well as on

A majestic oak tree shades the home and garden.


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Indoor and outdoor living blend together.

Today, Maude and Ben Boersema live in the Slocum house with daughter Poppy, son Warren, and dog Penny.

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“In Mid-century modern, form follows function. The structure becomes part of the aesthetics and the wood structure is part of the aesthetic. You can have smaller rooms, but if they open up to the outside, the outside becomes a part of the space and it appears larger,” Bensen notes. A tract house in those days cost about $16,000. The Slocum home was built for less than $22,000. The initial house was 1,620 square feet plus a two-car carport. Subsequently, the carport was converted to a recreation room and a two-car garage was constructed for a total of 2,200 square feet. Featured on the Carpinteria Beautiful 2017 Home & Garden Tour, the Slocum House, as it is still known, has been preserved and now is inhabited by Maude and Ben Boersema, their daughter Poppy, 4, son Warren, 2, and a menagerie of pets that include Penny, a miniature Australian shepherd, Dora and Maggie the ducks, and a brood of nameless egg-laying chickens. “We were living close by with family in Carp and we fell in love with the property. We bicycled by and it was so overgrown you couldn’t see the house,” says Maude. The house set on an acre came on the market, and the couple put in an offer as soon as they saw it a week later – but there were nine offers WINTER2018 35

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First a carport, the now office features a wood burning stove. 36

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A fruit and vegetable garden is part of the landscaping. in all, six were cash – and it sold to another couple for $160,000 over the asking price. “I cried that we didn’t get it,” Maude recalls. “We were not the strongest offer, not the highest offer, or all-cash offer. But being a real estate agent, I understood how important it was to stay persistent.” The original escrow fell through and the Boersema family got their dream house thanks to luck and persistence. They moved in when Maude was eight months pregnant. “We had zero furniture, but we let it happen organically. We wanted to stay true to Mid-century modern style. We owe it to the house,” says Maude, who remodeled the kitchen and bathrooms using natural materials and keeping them light and airy and easy to clean, while Ben scraped paint, much to the neighbors delight in seeing the neglected house being brought back to life by the dedicated couple. Other aesthetic improvements included relandscaping while staying true to the original vision of indooroutdoor placement. “The house project has been a creative outlet for the entire family with the young children helping in the garden with composting, weeding, and moving rocks! We planted over 50 fruit trees. We weren’t thinking we’d like to garden, but it turns out we do like to garden!” admits Ben. ♦

Raising chickens is a family activity.

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S u b m it t e d p ho t o

2017 Home & Garden Tour committee members include, from left in front, Valerie Nair Galvez, Donnie Nair, Patty Manuras, and Judy Mulford. From left in back are Carla Stein, Carla Mager, Clyde Freeman, Richard Weinberg, Donna Jordan, Barbara Smith, Sally Galati, Susan Everett, Marlene Hazen, Deana McMillion, Valeria Powdrell, and Sally Brooks.

Home & Garden Tour turns 20 Yo u j u st p or e d ov e r p i c t ur e s of t h e B o e r s e ma ’ s ho me, d i d n ’ t you? Ma yb e you p au s e d be c a u s e yo u’re i n se a r c h of i n sp i r a t i on f or yo u r o wn h o me , o r yo u’re j ust d r a w n t o b e a ut i f ul t h i n g s . A n d ma y be , l i ke mo st h um a n s, you’ r e i n t r i g ue d b y t h e liv e s a n d habi tats of ot h e r s. Wh a t e v e r your mo t iv a t io n t o l i nger i n t h i s p or t i on of C a r p i n t e r i a M a g a z in e , it is exactl y wh a t m a k e s t h e C a r p i n t e r i a B e a u t if u l H o me & Garde n T our w i l d l y suc c e ssf ul ye ar a f t e r y e a r . R eti re d r e a l e st a t e a g e n t D on n ie N a ir c o o ke d up the c on c e p t f or t h e t our i n 1 9 9 6 wit h h e r f r ie n d Li bby We i n b e r g. N a i r r e c a l l s, “ I w a s w e ll a wa r e t h a t mo st peop l e w h o c om e t o op e n ho u s e s a r e n o t buyi n g a h om e . I sa i d , ‘ L e t ’ s m a k e s o me mo n e y o n the l o o ky l ous.’ ” An d t h e y d i d . T h e t our , w h i c h c e le b r a t e d it s 20th year l a st sp r i n g , h a s r a i se d t e ns o f t h o u s a n ds o f do l l a r s f or l oc a l b e a ut i f i c a t i on p r o je c t s . T h e Wo rl d’s Sa f e st Be a c h m ur a l b y J o h n W u llb r a n dt , the pi ng p on g t a b l e a t t h e e n d of Lin de n A v e n u e , the to mol t i l e a r t on t h e c or n e r of 8 t h S t r e e t a n d Li n den A v e n ue – t h e se a r e a f e w of t h e wa y s t h a t Nai r’s “l ook y l ous” h a v e i m p r ov e d Ca r pin t e r ia ’ s do w n to wn . Tour success year after year relies on a tested formula. An event committee annually chooses a new batch of homes, among which are a beach house, a home in the foothills, a “little gem,” a remodeled tract house and a wild card. Beach houses behind gates are the biggest draw, Nair says. Gran d h om e s m a y b e sh ows t o p pe r s , bu t Carpi n te r i a Be a ut i f ul i s c om m i t t e d t o v a r ie t y . T h e

“lit t le g e m” t y pic a lly o f f e r s in v e n tive small space s o lu t io n s , a n d t h e r e mo de l ig n it e s ideas for tick et h o lde r s ’ n e x t h o me impr o v e me n t project . M ost impo r t a n t ly , t h e r a n g e o f s iz e s a nd st yles reflects t h e t o wn it s e lf , a p la c e wh e r e u n iq ue people create u n iq u e liv in g s p a c e s . “T h e ide a is to showcase the div e r s it y o f Ca r pin t e r ia , ” N a ir s a y s . H u n dr e ds o f v o lu n t e e r h o u r s g o into mak ing the a n n u a l e v e n t a ppe a r e f f o r t le s s between 11 a.m. a n d 5 p. m. o n t h e la s t S a t u r da y o f A pril. A nd the e v e n t h in g e s o n t h e g e n e r o s it y o f five homeowners willin g t o o p e n t h e ir pr iv a t e s p a c es t o the public. S o me b e g in pr e p a r in g f o r t h e b ig day mont hs a h e a d. I mp r e s s in g a s t e a dy s t r e am of t ourists in o n e ’ s h o me c a n b e da u n t in g , but N air says t h a t h o me o wn e r s u n a n imo u s ly r eport a posit ive e x pe r ie n c e a n d t h a n k h e r f o r be in g included. A c o c kt a il a n d din n e r pa r t y t h e night bef ore t he e v e n t s e r v e s a s a min i- t o u r f o r h o meowners who wo u ld o t h e r wis e mis s a n o p po r t u n it y t o check out t h e o t h e r h o u s e s f e a t u r e d. N a ir s ays that many of t h e pa r t ic ipa n t s e n d u p in v o lv e d in Carpint eria B e a u t if u l, a n d mo s t c o mmit t e e members have had t h e ir h o me s o n t h e t o u r o v e r t h e last t wo decades. T we n t y y e a r s a f t e r N a ir a n d W e in berg concocted t h e ir p la n , t h e t o u r h a s s h in e d a s potlight on over 1 0 0 Ca r p in t e r ia h o me s . W e in b e r g retired f rom t he e v e n t a bo u t 1 0 y e a r s a g o , b u t N air remains at t h e h e lm. R e c e n t ly , s h e s po ke t o a prospective h o me o wn e r f o r t h e t o u r wh o t o ld her, “ It’s always be e n my dr e a m t o b e o n t h e Home & Garden Tour.” ♦ – LeA BoYD


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C a r p int e r ia is t he wond e r f u l p la c e it is b ec a u se o f C a r p int e r ia ns . I nd iv id ua l s fo llo w ing t heir b liss, re ma ining t r ue t o t he m s e lv e s , o r sha ring t heir rea so n fo r be ing a r e p a r t of t he c olle c t iv e fo rc e t ha t ma k es t h i s c om m u nit y s p e c ia l. T u r n t he p a ge t o meet so me o f thos e who s e iz e t he d a y, t ho se w ho Ca rp e Diem.


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C arpe Di e m

Singer, songwriter, guitar player By TeD mills “My family all agree they could never see me doing this kind of thing,” says Xenia Flores. The singer-songwriter is admittedly very shy. Only the tattoos on a bicep hint at a rebellious and musical spirit. One reads “Lights will guide you home,” a Coldplay quote. The other of a guitar with Johnny Cash lyrics “One piece at a time,” designed by 805 Ink’s Chadillac Green, is a tribute to her brother. The “kind of thing” is sing over her own guitar accompaniment. With a plaintive, soulful delivery Flores dips into covers by artists old – Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young – and young – Colbie Caillat, First Aid Kit – as well as her ever increasing roster of self-penned songs. “I’ve come to like artists that have that natural tone,” she explains. A Carpinteria resident her whole life, the singer-songwriter has played Island Brewing Company, Plaza Playhouse Theater, the Avocado Festival, Copper Blues in Oxnard, and busked outside The Palms. Flores started developing her talents as a singer and musician at 13, 10 years ago. First, she just wanted to write songs, but soon found she’d have to learn guitar first. She taught herself through YouTube tutorials, especially the hundreds made by Marty Schwartz aka MartyMusic. By 15 she was seeking collaborators, not just for music, but for that extra boost to get on stage. Flores credits her mother for her first public appearance, playing at the Carpinteria Talent show, at 15. “I didn’t want to do it, but my mom told me to,” she says. “I just pushed myself. Even when I am nervous I tell myself it’s what I love, so I have to do it.” At Santa Barbara City College, she took songwriting classes because “it motivated me to write more when I wasn’t motivated,” she admits. “I really like the process of writing your feelings out. It’s kind of therapeutic.” She’s had some things to write about. Flores met her boyfriend Ruben in preschool, but it was only recently they reconnected through Facebook. “We just clicked,” she says. “It’s crazy! It’s one of those things that make you think about soulmates, and if there is such a thing.” For him she wrote “Home.” The flipside is loss. Two years ago her brother died. For him she wrote “Night Train,” which she played at hospice. She hopes the song helps others get through a traumatic time. Despite the therapeutic nature of her songwriting, Flores says it’s a struggle. “I’m my worst critic; I think that most of my songs don’t get out there,” adding that an album is still some ways off. For the last four years she’s auditioned for NBC’s “The Voice,” refusing to give up. This most recent time, she went in with her guitar instead of just solo. “I’ve been discouraged, but you have to go back,” she says. “I want to do most of this for my mom, she believes in me, and she doesn’t want me to give it up.” 42

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C ar pe Di e m

A filmmaker ’ s drought By Lea BoyD

Hollywood-producer-turned-water-warrior Steve Nicolaides enjoys an ironic view from his Shepard Mesa home. The Pacific sparkles, vast and seductive, from the tall windows of his living room where he sits discussing the shortage of water to drink, irrigate crops, and sustain life. Nicolaides realizes that California got some rain last winter – lots of rain. But he also realizes that the times they are a-changing, and people need to make big changes in their relationship with water. Fortunately, Nicolaides knows a thing or two about telling stories and captivating audiences. He grew up in Los Angeles in the 1960s without wealth or aspirations of fame. But in the 1970s, the UCSB student was offered a foot on the bottom rung of the Hollywood ladder. He proved to be a fast climber. From his first $100-a-week job working for a production company, Nicolaides became part of the crew of Saturday morning kids shows then TV movies. “I worked hard. Everyone thinks that the movie industry is a vacation with good pay. Not when you do what I did,” he says. Nicolaides’ first big film was “The Princess Bride” in 1987. A born problem solver, he gained the trust of the movers and shakers in the business, and the producer credits started rolling in. “When Harry Met Sally,” “A Few Good Men,” “Misery,” “Boyz N the Hood,” “School of Rock,” “Nacho Libre,” – all produced by Nicolaides. He met his wife, Caroline Thompson, on the film “Buddy,” and she squared their household starpower. Thompson wrote “Edward Scissorhands,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and “Corpse Bride.” Nicolaides effectively divorced Hollywood about a decade ago, leaving its glitter to the corporations that now dominate the industry. “I pretty much said I’m done with this nonsense,” he recalls. Sitting idly and enjoying the view of the Pacific wouldn’t be the end of the Steve Nicolaides story, however. Driven by water worries related to the mounting drought, Nicolaides conceived the film that may prove to be his most important of all. “Eyes on the Sky” puts a human face on the water crisis, chronicling Nicolaides’ journey around the country talking to people affected by drought, pollution, and water politics. Released in 2014, the documentary has been viewed by thousands. Schools are using it to inspire their own young documentarians and activists, which Nicolaides finds particularly rewarding. “The kids are the ones who will inherit the mess we leave behind,” he says. In 2017, still fiercely committed to water conservation, Nicolaides has taken on a new cause. Under the new administration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers have been “let out of their cages,” Nicolaides says, and good people now live in fear of deportation and imprisonment. Nicolaides, along with filmmaker Larry Nimmer and retired Carpinteria Librarian Tara O’Reilly, are producing a series of public service announcements to inform immigrants of their rights and what to do if arrested. Many politically charged individuals fume about what caused the problems we face today. For Nicolaides, whether it’s a tight movie budget, water conservation, or a humanitarian crisis, the question is always, “What are we going to do about it?” WINTER2018 43

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C arpe Di e m

A woman of letters By peter DugrÉ That Diana Thorn provokes passionate responses with her every succinct missive to Coastal View News proves only that her deeply held convictions induce equal and opposite reactions. The oft-vilified letter writer, who openly supports President Donald J. Trump and America first, however, publicly has no platform. She’s an invisible woman at a keyboard. Aside from getting tired arms from perpetually waving the American flag, Thorn’s a witty, blues-loving woman who’s happiest in gardening gloves and is, above all, a self-proclaimed pragmatist. “I’m a practical person. I like to stay organized and keep things simple and clear,” she sums up. Thorn found her letter writing inspiration in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attack. “It was just like a bolt of lightning hit me and woke me up,” she says. With a knack for pushing liberal buttons with her nationalistic and conservative opinions circulated in newspapers around the bluer confines of South Coast media markets, she’s regularly trolled by liberal opposition on newspaper opinion pages but stays on message without falling for any ad hominem bait. “I’ve been called everything in the book,” she says. After writing her first letter, an anonymous person sent a series of threatening messages containing the names of dead soldiers to her home. She took it up with the Sheriff’s Department, where the threat was rated too vague to investigate. When Thorn asked authorities if she should quit writing letters, the officer responded he thought whoever sent the letters would not send anymore letters. “He was right. After talking with him, I was relieved and we both realized no further action needed to take place,” says Thorn, a natural skeptic of mainstream media sources. She gathers the material for her letters from alternative sources. Trump represents too great a change for the establishment to swallow, so the unwarranted attacks are mounting on the patriotic Commander in Chief. “I feel like the other side’s not being represented. I like Trump. He’s the only one strong enough to change things.” An excerpt from a “Your Views” in Coastal View News earlier in 2017 reads, “Your choice, America. Do you want a Constitutional Republic or Socialism, where government controls your life?” The pot stirring has won her plenty of support and encouragement. Claiming to be more of an independent and a maverick than a Republican, Thorn is one-half of a set of identical twins and concedes that could fuel her desire for a strong personal identity setting her apart. Her dad was an oil man, and she grew up around the business mainly in Ventura and Bakersfield. She taught four years as secondgrade teacher before she and husband Donald had their two children. Now in her big yard, she harvests Mandarin oranges and avocados among other produce and is quick to share the bounty with grateful neighbors. Writing letters is an exercise in unburdening her mind from some of the more troublesome stories disseminated in the mainstream media. “It’s kind of venting. I sit down and write and then I quit worrying about it,” she says. 44

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c Ar pe Di e m

Black Belt, Linden Avenue style By Amy OrO zcO Before 2010, Matthew Chung was an East Coast transplant living in Santa Monica with a career as an auctioneer and fine and rare wine specialist (think Christies, Zachys Wine Auctions). He and his wife had separated, and to visit his two sons, he spent a year going back and forth between Carpinteria and Santa Monica. The thought of earning a black belt in karate, much less owning and operating a martial arts studio, never had crossed his mind when he purchased a membership to the United Studios of Self Defense for his son at a Lou Grant Parent Child Workshop fundraiser. When his son was at the Linden Avenue dojo, “the teacher noticed how intently I watched every move of the classes,” says Chung. “One day after class, he threw the key at me and said, ‘see you at 1 p.m. for a lesson.’” That was roughly eight years ago, recalls Chung. Soon after he had committed to a martial arts practice, the owner announced the dojo was closing. Chung didn’t want it to close and neither did fellow student Amy Dunn. With a shared mindset of rising to a challenge, the two bought the studio. Dunn kept her “day job,” and also teaches at the studio. Chung made martial arts his more than fulltime job. The focus is Shaolin Kenpo style karate, a complete martial arts system incorporating jujutsu, Japanese karate, aikido, and Shaolin kung fu. He also studies and teaches tai chi chuan and qigong. He teaches adults and children. The largest group of students is from age 7 to 13, and the youngest students are 3.5- to 4-yearsolds. “Children show an interest around age 5,” notes Chung, who earned his black belt in 2016 and manages to tally three hours of personal workouts throughout the day. Open six days a week and closed on Sunday, the United Studios of Self Defense is a franchise and adheres to strict standards. Group classes, such as Tiny Tigers and Dragon Puffs, begin at noon. “Martial arts is all about physics: speed, timing, and power,” says Chung. “Karate is not for everybody. It benefits people who push themselves consistently. You get self-knowledge and confidence in all areas of life – dealing with people, asking for what you want and understanding how things are earned.” Though he never set out to own a dojo, Chung found he has an aptitude for it and that teaching comes naturally. By setting goals and offering successes he helps turn around children who are unable to focus and assists in developing character. Beyond martial arts, he enjoys participating in the community at large with involvement such as talking at school career days, hosting CPR trainings in the back room of the studio, auctioneering at fundraisers, and is thinking of starting a mah jong tournament. Often hearing adults wish they had learned karate as kid, he says, “Everyone wishes that. You can still do it now and have success. You’ll never have to hurt yourself.” WINTER2018 45

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C arpe Di e m

Giving girls a solid rock foundation By alonzo orozCo Although Jen Baron, founder and executive director of Girls Rock Santa Barbara, was raised in Carpinteria, she spent much of her childhood commuting about the South Coast. Whether it was attending Crane School in Montecito or visiting her mom, Robin Baron, in Santa Barbara. Then, later studying at Santa Barbara High School, it seemed that the younger Baron was always on the go. “I was part of a split-household,” she explains. She continued the trend as a young student, studying abroad at Oxford University in England. “I have been all over the place … I spent like eight years traveling,” says the songwriter who went on her own at 17. Following her travels, she lived in Carpinteria but now resides in Santa Barbara. For a while, Baron tried her hand at working for the local family business, Blue Gem Sunglasses, started by her father David Weinstein, who passed away in 2012. “It [the position at Blue Gem] wasn’t really filling my passion, all I really wanted to do was play music or teach music,” says Baron, whose inspiration came from one of her father ’s hobbies, playing guitar and piano. However, she wasn’t looking to follow a conventional career path. “I wanted to do something where I felt like it was a form of activism … I really wanted to do something to empower young girls,” explains Baron. At Antioch College, where she earned her bachelor ’s degree in Environmental Studies and Liberal Arts, she had an assignment to write out her “dream job.” In her research, she discovered the Girls Rock Camp Alliance, an international organization that helps girls build self-esteem by combining music education, performance, social justice workshops, along with other courses that aid in developing leadership skills. After spending a year with some mentoring faculty at Antioch, Baron realized that her dream job would become reality through the creation of her own version of Girls Rock. Her vision, engulfed in the Girls Rock Santa Barbara’s mission statement, is to empower girls through music education, creative expression, and performance while promoting an environment that fosters self-confidence, creativity, and teamwork. The basic program is for girls ages 6 to 17 to work with their peer group to compose and perform a song in a 12-week session. An accompanying video is created by photography and film students. Girls Rock offers a variety of programs, including working with girls from the Chumash tribe in Santa Ynez, a sleepover camp in Ojai, a journalism program, and a curriculum geared toward adults. “Seeing shy, young girls who are very unsure of themselves … afraid of trying to be who they are because they’re trying to fit in … a week later, you just see such drastic changes,” says Baron of her organization, which is now the largest division of the Girls Rock family. Baron plans to continue providing an environment where young girls learn to value their differences. It’s all a part of her journey. 46

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C ar pe Di e m

Catch her if you can By p eter Dugré It’d be a feat to keep in stride with the sure-footed Anita Pulido, 78, as she keeps a steady, 20-mile jog from Sea Cliff to beyond Ventura Pier and back as she trains for her annual Los Angeles Marathon. In spring she completed the LA 26.2-miler to make it her 22nd marathon. Though she’ll tell you she thinks it’s no big thing, when the award for second place came as a surprise in the mail a few weeks later, she beamed with pride. “As long as you go through and finish, that’s your goal,” Pulido says. “I’m not going to bonk out and kill myself over a marathon.” At her Concha Loma home last summer, the energetic runner laughed through tales of putting mileage on her petite frame, her suntanned skin helping her lime green top glow. She started running reluctantly in the late 1970s, her husband Alex, a retired professor and Carpinteria Unified School District board member, had started a routine and gotten into shape. He hoped she’d join him. “Of course, you know, when your spouse recommends you do something, at first you say, ‘No,’” Pulido giggles. She went along with the idea eventually and running became a central part of their lives. “For a while, [Alex] would be up ahead of me saying, ‘come on,’ but later I was the one waiting for him.” She didn’t imagine she’d ever complete a marathon. “I was just a happy little runner,” she says. It all changed during a conversation with a fellow runner at Cal State Los Angeles dinner party with some of Alex’s colleagues. She bit off her first marathon in 1996 after having only done 10Ks (6.1 miles). To maintain endurance, the almost octogenarian starts a gradual build up in October for the March race from Dodger Stadium to Santa Monica, or how it’s stated in event literature, “from the stadium to the sea.” In 1996, her son-in-law, Ed Saenz, ran with her. Pulido’s also had her three children and a grandchild along over the years. One year, she fell ill and missed it. Three years ago, a heat wave made the event torture. She had to walk some and wasn’t satisfied at the end. A couple of months later to get her fix, she signed up for the San Diego Marathon. Still, her heart is with the LA Marathon. She loves the mix of cultures and ages, a scene that has taken her in and made her comfortable. Pulido typically runs/hikes Franklin Trail four times per week and tries to get in a weekly long jaunt on PCH. She’s had a couple of setbacks, but says Hoka shoes have set her right, though she modifies them to accommodate bunions. She never stretches, never has. As an endurance athlete climbing in age, Pulido has built an identity around her sport and doesn’t plan to throw in the towel any time soon. When she encounters old friends she hasn’t seen in a while, the first question always is, “Still running?” ♦ WINTER2018 47

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f r su n e p p a h STO RY BY CH RI S T I A N BE A M I S H PH OT OS BY JOS H UA CURRY

Jenny and Chris Keet with sons Jack, 4, and Maddox, 6. WINTER2018 49

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hris Keet moved onboard a 47-foot clipper in the Santa Barbara Harbor when he was 3 years old with his mother, sister, and stepfather. He tells of becoming friends with the ocean through tumultuous times, finding solace in the water and discovering a very real sense of aloha—the breath of life—from the ancient Hawaiian art of surfing. “Surfing has given me everything in my life,” Keet says. And for the past 17 years he has run Surf Happens, working to bring the joy of surfing to generations of Santa Barbara-area youth and visitors through surf camps and individual classes, as well as provide competition venues for more advanced surfers. Keet’s wife, Jenny, came into his world eight years ago. Having grown up in Nipomo on the Central Coast in a surfing family, she had been living on Maui for a couple of years when they met, and like Chris, Jenny has a deep-seated love for surfing—her eyes sparkling as she describes the beautiful waves she’s ridden. While Surf Happens might seem like a mainland version of Surf Happens camp, summer 2017.

The family that surfs together, stays together. Clockwise from top, Jenny, Jack, Chris, and Maddox. 50

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From front, Adriana Campuzano, Diana Manriquez, and Yaritza Hernandez of Carpinteria Girls Inc. at surf camp last summer. Modeling a surfing stance.

Sophie Morales copycats her surf mentor.

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Stoking the fire at Rincon.

The Surf Happens Foundation fundraises for after school programs and surf camp scholarships.

the Hawaiian beach boy ideal with the Easy-up tents, the surfboards and endless days at the beach, it is more than a full-time, year-round grind. A new space on Santa Claus Lane in Carpinteria, a small fleet of vans and a panel truck, not to mention a mortgage payment, make the simple vision of sharing the joys of surfing somewhat more complicated. And this was before the great white sharks showed up. Summer 2017 had an unprecedented number of sightings, most of these at Santa Claus Lane where the surf camps are held. Yet as bad for business as white sharks undoubtedly are, Chris seems to take it in stride: “We all [the other surf camps at Santa Claus Lane] look out for each other. If one of us sees a shark, we blow a whistle and bring all the kids in.” His strategy for dealing with concerned parents is “to tell them exactly what’s going on,” he says with his characteristic steady gaze— eyes glazed with pterygiums from a lifetime on the water, his face weathered-but-youthful from the surfing life. “I have my own kids out there every day,” he adds about his and Jenny’s boys—Maddox, 6, and Jack, 4. Jenny just shakes her head with her hands held open, as if to say “it’s out of my control.” She has a fluid way about her and her general demeanor is of calm within the swirling storm, even if sharks at the surf school are not an ideal situation. “Everything always works out,” she says, “and Chris has so many skills from building this business


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Kilian Garland, Rincon Classic 2017. Du b o c k . c o m

The Rincon Classic

Dancers are part of the program at the Rincon Luau fundraiser. and working with kids, that he could do anything.” Chris has doubled-down on his vision, recently purchasing a panel truck and having it professionally painted with the Surf Happens logo to complement the two new vans they have, also adorned with sleek graphics of a beautiful wave at their beloved Rincon. And there is logic to “going big”—the statement being one of full commitment to providing the premier surf school experience in the area. Chris’ approach to teaching surfing boils down to a particular method, which he has franchised to operations in both China and Indonesia. Additionally, with his background in the upper echelons of amateur competitive surfing (he was the captain of the UCSB surf team in the years leading up to and including their state championship in the late 1990s) his coaching services are sought by numerous pro-surfing hopefuls. Jenny holds the operation together, administering the programs and serving as Executive Director of their Surf Happens Foundation to provide surf days for underserved youth and those suffering from serious illness, while also caring for her wily and loving sons. In the midst of it all, the Keets make time for family surf days and both Maddox and Jack have, perhaps not surprisingly, caught the bug of surfing. And to see Jenny, Chris and their boys all in their wetsuits down on the sand at Rincon with late-afternoon sun glowing on their faces, is to see a family for whom surf truly happens. ♦

p ho t o b y :

W it h h is b a c kg r o u n d in running and competing in s u r f c o n t e s t s , Ch r is K e et was a natural to t ak e o v e r t h e R in c o n Cla s s ic in 2001 f rom his ment or at t h e B e a c h H o u s e s u r f s h o p in Santa B arbara, Roger N a n c e , wh o h a d r u n t h e event f or many years. H a v in g lit e r a lly g r o wn u p on the beach at Rincon wit h h is mo t h e r t a kin g h im there from t heir home on a b o a t in t h e S a n t a B a r b a ra harbor, K eet point s out t h a t h e ’ d be e n t o t h e v e r y f irst Rincon Classic as a b o y in 1 9 7 5 , t h o u g h h e o nly remembers playing in t h e c o b ble s t o n e s o f t h e p oint . “W it h o n e lit t le t e n t o n t he sand at Rincon, at t h e s a me p la c e I g o t ma r ried, the same place I’d b e e n g o in g t o my wh o le life,” K eet says, he’s grown t h e Cla s s ic f r o m a s ma ll- t ime local event t o a st ill lo c a l b u t n o w h ig h ly a n t ic ipated annual happening wit h t h e v e r y b e s t s u r f e r s f rom Santa B arbara and V e n t u r a b a t t lin g f o r br a g ging right s and cash priz es. T h e wide r s u r f wo r ld t a ke s note as well, as did t he n a t io n a l me dia wh e n a s t ellar sunrise ride in t he wo me n ’ s div is io n wa s a c c o mpanied for hundreds of y a r ds by g a mb o lin g do lp hins. Co mp e t it o r s do n c o lo r e d jerseys, which a judging p a n e l u s e s t o ide n t if y in d ividual surf ers, who are a wa r de d po in t s f o r t h e le ngt h of ride, the diff iculty o f t h e ma n e u v e r s t h e y perf orm, and the mores u b je c t iv e c r it e r ia o f s t y le—an obsessively argued a s p e c t o f wa v e - r idin g c u lture. T h e p r o - div is io n o f t h e Rincon Classic is stack ed wit h t h e wo r ld- c la s s t a lent of t hree- t ime W orld Ch a mpio n T o m Cu r r e n , f o r mer W orld Championship T o u r c o mp e t it o r B o bby Martinez , t he elect rif ying D a n e R e y n o lds , a n d a h o s t of other up- and- comers, a ll o f wh o m r e s ide wit h in 2 0 miles of the Q ueen of t he Co a s t . A t h r e e - mo n t h wa i ting period in t he winter a llo ws K e e t t o p ic k o pt imu m swell and local weather c o n dit io n s f o r t h e Cla s s ic . A s t he elements align the c o mmu n it y a n x io u s ly a wa its his call—which he has ma de wit h u n c a n n y g o o d f ortune f or many years r u n n in g , s in c e t h e s u r f a n d t he sun always seem t o s h in e o n t h e R in c o n Cla s s ic week end. ♦ – CHRISTIAN BeAMISH

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1. The Northwest Corner is located on private property behind Sandpiper Mobile Home Park, and one needs to take a number of little dirt roads to get there. The Northwest Corner is home to the most beautiful persimmon tree, which is lovingly cared for by maintenance workers Martin Almanza and Barry Pickup.

The Four Far



Carpinteria S t ory a nd Pho to S by Gl e n n du bo ck


ver wonder where and how City of Carpinteria borders are drawn? If one could actually stand in the unique four corners of this piece of heaven? Turns out, most of Carpinteria is soaking wet, according to the City of Carpinteria-LAFCO map. About 4.7 square miles of tidelands off the shoreline between Ash Avenue and The Bluffs were added to the 2.6 square miles of the total existing area of the municipality in 1969 and 1970 in an effort to control the destiny of what would and could occur directly offshore. This gives the City of Carpinteria a total of approximately 7.3 square miles. The town is literally swimming in undeveloped property. Pueblo Lands of Santa Bรกrbara

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2. Known as 4th Beach or the Boat Launch, the Southwest Corner is a very popular sandy shoreline at the end of Ash Avenue. It is the last piece of dry land still within city limits. As the winter storms gnaw away at the shore, precious real estate seems to get lost but is recovered with the gentle tides of spring and summer.

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11/9/17 12:26 PM

3. The Northeast Corner is behind the gleaming white buildings located in the bustling Industrial Park off of Via Real. It has a tranquil setting that offers a peaceful respite to those that seek a breath of fresh air.

4. At the Southeast Corner, one small step off of the ledge of Thunderbowl launches the windy day paragliders into the skies that smile so brightly on this beautiful place. Their telltale flags are very near the actual southern land boundary of the city. A direct flight of a few miles from here and the paragliders are floating above our other sea boundary. ♌ WINTER2018 55

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Tireless animal advocate Lee Heller and her dog Henry in Summerland.


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question & answer

Lee Heller I n t e rvI e w by L e a boyd Ph ot os by M I ch a e L K w Ie cI n s K I


he first indication of Lee Heller ’s animal obsession is the license plate on her Volkswagen station wagon: K9KARMA. The rest are scattered throughout her three-bedroom Summerland home: a trio of shy kittens in a bathroom, a pair of dogs that follow Heller from room to room, three adult cats that pop in and out of the scene, and a mama pit bull nursing her 10 puppies in a pen along the side of the house. And this number of animals is “way down,” Heller reports. At her peak she owned six dogs, and one spring, she fostered 43 cats and dogs on her property. Heller, a tireless animal welfare advocate and environmental activist, reduced her foster animal numbers recently in preparation for a move. After spending the last 14 years in Summerland – a town she loves – Heller is relocating to an expansive property in New Zealand. She’ll return home to the states for a couple months a year, but the move closes a chapter for a woman who has long raised her voice for the voiceless of Santa Barbara County.

Feline roommates guard the home.

Have yo u ke p t t r a ck o f al l t He ani mal s y o u ’ve f o s t e r e d?

I think I’ve done 600 or 700 kittens; I haven’t done so many in the last few years because the numbers have gone down. Not as many dogs, but a couple hundred if you include litters of puppies. I often adopt. They call it “foster failure” when you keep your fosters, and I tend to keep the ones nobody wants. And they’re often sick, or otherwise end-of-life animals, so I’ve had lots of old dogs and cats that haven’t lasted very long because they’re already on their last legs.

i s a l l yo u r a n im a l w o r k vol u nt eer ? Yes.

d o yo u H a ve a da y j o b ?

No. I am fortunately retired, so I am a fulltime volunteer, I guess you’d call it. I also work on policy issues regarding WINTER2018 57

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animals, things like the spay-neuter ordinance, policy and program work, like helping Carpinteria with its animal control program. I’m also the Humane Society of the United States district leader for the 24th Congressional District. So, I’m responsible for organizing people to get active around legislation that benefits animals at the congressional level and at the state level as well.

W ha t d id yo u do b e f o r e r e t ir e ment ?

I was initially a college professor, and after I moved out here, I was an educational consultant helping people to apply to colleges and universities.

h o W f ar b a ck do yo u t r a ce y ou r l ove of animals?

Being born! As far as I can tell I’ve always loved animals. My earliest memories involve the dogs in our house, and I was always the one agitating, “Can we bring home that stray dog?” “Can we get a kitten?” When I took a year off between college and grad school, I got a job at the Chicago Anti-Cruelty Society. It was just a front desk receptionist job, but it gave me a taste for the world of rescue. And then when I moved out here, I got involved pretty quickly in 1997 in animal rescue work.

d e sc r i be a t yp ica l da y f o r yo u .

Oh God. I get up at about 6 or 6:30 to start feeding animals, cleaning up after animals, walking the ones that need to be walked – and that’s a couple of hours usually. Then I’m working on grants, organizing people to contact elected officials about upcoming votes on legislation, going to veterinarian appointments – we have two today. The cats went this morning, and then Henry’s going this afternoon. I also work a lot on environmental issues so I’m often working on fundraisers to raise money for nonprofits that I’m involved in. And then in the evening I watch TV and relax, finally, with animals strewn all over the place.

t el l u s ab ou t y ou r most moment s Wi t h ani mal s?

challe ng ing

Some challenging moments have to do with specific animals. When you get an animal that you just really can’t save, you have to make a difficult decision about it. And that, frankly, is less about health than it is about behavior. Most of the time if an animal has a health problem it can be resolved. I’m fortunate that I’m financially able to pay, so I do whatever ’s necessary. And if it’s beyond that, and the animal’s suffering, it’s time to euthanize it and end the suffering. The really challenging cases are the behavioral cases where they just don’t seem amenable to training and they’re not adoptable as a consequence. Several years ago, I took a border collie that obsessively herded all day long and was intransigently aggressive to children. She ultimately bit me, not intentionally but just because she was out of control. I tried acupuncture, Chinese herbs and Prozac and all kinds of things, and I tried placing her with someone and got her right back because she was just so obsessive. I just couldn’t make it work, so I made the decision to euthanize her. That was tough because she was a nice dog, but she was really neurologically damaged in some fundamental way. I didn’t feel safe putting her in the world. So that’s hard.

What c hal l enges are l ess abo ut s p e cific ani mal s?

On the other side are the policy issues – trying to get improvements in, particularly, government agencies doing their jobs. So I’ve put a lot of work over the years into making sure that Santa Barbara County Animal Services was doing a better job in areas where it was not. And that’s come out pretty well, but that took about four steady years of politely but persistently pushing to get new money for additional staffing to ensure we had enough staff and the right staff. Henry enjoys the view.

W ha t kin d o f e n vir o n m e n t al Wor k do y ou d o ?

I am the past board president of the Environmental Defense Center, which is the premier environmental nonprofit on the Central Coast. It’s environmental lawyers fighting to protect clean water, open space and resisting oil and gas development. And I was down in Carpinteria during the Measure J campaign. I work a lot on oil and gas development issues because Summerland beach was the first place in the world that offshore oil and gas development happened, and we have a lot of leaking wells, so one of my chief areas of activism was in getting the state to remediate this, starting with the Becker wellhead. And the governor just agreed to fully fund that project so they will finally properly re-abandon the Becker wellhead, probably this fall. These are orphan wells that have no companies around to take responsibility for their remediation. 58

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A happy and healthy twosome.

Heller fostered a nursing mother and her litter of puppies last summer.

Heller rescued Henry when a family couldn’t afford to pay his medical bills.

Heller estimates she has fostered 600 to 700 kittens. WINTER2018 59

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Unconditional love.

The City of Carpinteria has its own challenges, too. It has struggled a little bit with its decision to no longer have a contract with County Animal Services because the city doesn’t have a shelter, and it has a limited number of code compliance staff with a limited amount of training and multiple commitments. The clinic that has the city contract is not built to house animals long-term, but it sometimes does. And I think there’s a lot of good intention at the clinic to really save a lot of animals, which I love about them, but the challenges of these limitations need to be addressed.

You have foster animals coming to You from various organizations, like kittens from the animal shelter assistance Program (asaP). are there other PiPelines?

Yah, often I just hear about them and I offer. I was in the clinic when the kittens I have now were there. Rather than have them just sit there for four days in a small cage, I offered to take them home and hold them in a larger enclosure so that could have more quality of life while they were waiting. My dog Henry was from Animal Medical Clinic. He was brought in from a family who had run over him with a car and didn’t have the money to address the damage. So they were just going to euthanize him, and the clinic called me and said, “Please, can you hear the desperation in our voices? He’s such a sweet puppy.” He was three months old, so he was supposed to have been a “rehab and rehome,” but his problems were too complicated for too long. And that will be nine years ago next month. Red [another dog] is through a group called Australian Shepherd Rescue of Southern California and he was relinquished to the Camarillo Shelter because he had too many foxtails embedded and his owner couldn’t or

wouldn’t pay for the surgical removal, so I agreed to foster him, and now he’s kind of permanent. So wherever they come from, if I can do it, if it’s a good match for my situation, I do it.

What is being done to reduce the number of homeless animals out there?

One of the things we have in this county that’s pretty remarkable is an organization called C.A.R.E.4Paws, which focuses on providing free spay and neuter and very low cost vaccines to pretty much everybody. And unfortunately along with that there often needs to be a mandatory component. That’s why Carpinteria passed the mandatory spay and neuter ordinance. Because some people will refuse, even with all these free services, and they’re not willing to take responsibility for the consequences of that refusal, so that’s where the law sort of provides the stick. And the free services are the carrot.

can You articulate What it is about animals that draWs You to them?

I’ve loved them my whole life, so I guess it’s sort of innate. I think the childhood me was just drawn to them because they’re just cute and fuzzy. Also, you know, it’s that unconditional love thing where animals will engage you and not judge you. And you don’t have to be pretty or smart or whatever. And I think in adulthood I have a more intellectual and philosophical perspective, which is that all living beings are entitled to live with as little suffering as possible. And it’s my job to contribute where I can. As humans, we are pretty crummy about how we treat other living beings, so I’ve got to do my part to undo some of the damage that we as a species do, which is why I’m also an environmentalist. ♦


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Residents keep the Farmers Market viable year round.

robi n Kar l s s on



Rincon Brewery caters to a local crowd.

Spending locally makes sense P e t e r D ugr é

– and dollars S t ory by Pe t er D u gr é


arpinteria State Beach campground books solid six months in advance. Eager campers know the instant the six-month window opens to book sites for their desired dates. They go online and click and click and click in a race against invisible competitors obsessively waiting for the screen to show availability for the perfect weekend in July. It’s beyond evident that tourist dollars are essential to Carpinteria’s economy, but there’s a catch. That model is only sustainable for a few months a year, and in the doldrums to follow, merchants at small businesses finger tap their countertops waiting for the next familiar, local face to walk through the door. “Tourists are fine,” says TV Horvath, owner of Carp Sports in Casitas Plaza. “They’re here for a few months, and then they’re gone. I appreciate the people I see on a day-to-day basis. That’s how [small business owners] build relationships.” The sentiment is the same for most small business owners in Carpinteria. They exist as part of the fabric of the community and imbue the small city with some of its most visible charm, their assorted storefronts, all reflecting part of the owner ’s character. Taylor Bush, owner of clothing boutique Seastrand, says the downtown merchants offer a personal touch that won’t be found on a trip to the mall. “I know my customers. I know what they like and their sizes, so I can help them find what they’re looking for.” She keeps a list LEFT, events such as the California Avocado Festival depend on visitor dollars. WINTER2018 63

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Kar l s s on p h ot os

Throughout the year, vendors and shoppers benefit from the Carpinteria Valley Museum of History’s Marketplace. Summer equals crowded beaches and raised revenue thanks to tourists.

of girlfriends’ sizes behind the counter for men who need help with a gift. Straight arithmetic makes attracting local shoppers difficult. Online shopping, outlets and big box stores satisfy the most basic desire of consumerism: the lowest prices. City Councilman Al Clark, a slow- to no-growth voice on the council particularly in the case of hotel development, argues that shopping local takes a more complex calculation. Making a local purchase from a local shop owner benefits communities in hidden ways. “There are a kajillion studies about how more money spent in local businesses is retained in the local community,” Clark says. “Local store owners tend to use other local businesses for their needs, from banking to other services.” Economist Michael Shuman’s book “Local Dollars, Local Sense” and organizations like American Independent Business Alliance (AMIBA) rigorously outline ways both locally and globally that supporting small businesses lift communities and their residents. Quality of life improves in economically vibrant communities. According to AMIBA, a nonprofit advocacy group for local economic success, customers who shop at local stores have a better experiences from friendly and knowledgeable staffs who are personally invested in the operation and product. The experience justifies marginal price differences.


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Visitors and their dollars are welcome in town. Kar l s s on

TV Horvath of Carp Sports.

Nathan and Whitney Noll of Pacific Health Foods. Taylor Bush of Seastrand.

D u g r é ph ot o s

Shopkeepers live in the community and support local organizations. Horvath doubles as the local sporting goods merchant and a volunteer high school tennis consultant. Most locally owned small businesses donate to the dozens of fundraisers happening every year. Nathan Noll, owner of Pacific Health Foods on Linden Avenue, understands the pressures his customers face to shop big chain stores. As the operator of a small grocery store, he adapts to specific community needs. He and wife, Whitney, revamped their market a couple of years ago tailoring it to local shoppers. Nathan says he’s frequently approached by cottage industry food makers wanting shelf space for their smallbatch edibles like granolas and jams. He doesn’t have to bring it to the board for a decision. Local products take precedence. “This is a family-owned business that was started by my grandparents,” Nathan says. “If we get a chance to help another small business we do.” Again in terms of arithmetic, pressure remains to grow Carpinteria’s tourism. Small business owners love tourist dollars, but locals bear responsibility for being a larger part of the local economy to strike a balance. At an April 2017 city hearing on the issue of how many vacation rentals to permit in the city, Rachel Nunez, Blue Orchid Boutique owner, said her clothing store has struggled and she has to work a second job. She needs the tourists who occupy vacation rentals. “If you feel that tourism isn’t important, then I need every one of you to come in and shop in my business.” Clark was a leading voice in restricting vacation rentals to preserve housing for residents. Nunez’s comments illustrated how much is at stake for locals to shop local. Allowing greater tourism would improve the health of small merchants but would change Carpinteria. Curtailing tourism threatens shops. In the absence of local businesses, chain stores stand at the ready to take over. “If somebody kidnapped me and let me out of the car in Los Angeles,” says Clark, who favors the experience of exploring hand-selected merchandise at local shops versus homogenous chains. “I wouldn’t know where I was because it’s all the same,” ♦

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Stuart Carey at home. 68

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Carey hanging outside with some of his canvases.

The Painter, the Singer, and the Alter Ego Maker


S t ory by t e d M i l l S Ph ot oS by M i ch a e l K w i e ci n S K i

azz is the soundtrack of artist and performer Stuart Carey’s second-floor space at the Palm Lofts. It’s easy to look around his space and see the jazz in his art, which hangs all over the living room and the loft area above the kitchenette. His modified jackets and his painted shower curtains explode with color and brush strokes. His large figures on canvas vibrate with what could be sound waves, and there is an improvisational air to all his work. “I’ve been accused of doing various things [in art] and I’m guilty,” he laughs. “I think [my art] has gotten more symbolic, and more satirical for sure. More political. More my own. The more I do it, the more unique the work.” He comes at a painting with nothing preconceived, playing music to set the mood, throwing his whole body into it, and “allowing the image to emerge from the canvas rather than imposing one.”

Carey grew up in the rural San Fernando Valley. His father was a systems analyst and CPA for the Department of Defense; his mother was a homemaker, but later would return to art school and earn a teaching credential. In 1970, the family moved to Santa Barbara. A self-taught artist, he left school at 16 and became a professional actor, singer, dancer, and choreographer. Credits include “Annie Get Your Gun” with Debbie Reynolds, “Pal Joey” with Lean Horne, and “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” with Howard Keel and Jane Powell. When all signs were pointing to New York, including being cast by Bob Fosse in his production of “Dancin’,” he gave it up for the woman who would become his wife. “I don’t think anything should pre-empt love,” he says. The couple immigrated to Canada in 1990, protesting the direction of the country under George H.W. Bush. Carey had returned to school, becoming a marriage WINTER2018 69

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“Legends I” 2016, 14” x 18,” acrylic, oil bar, and graphite on canvas.

“It’s just a gender difference,” 2003, Acrylic, oil bar, and pastel on canvas. 133” x 63.”

“Portrait of my father,” 1997, Oil on canvas, 24” x 20”


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Mixed media artist and musician.

and family therapist after earning a master ’s degree from UCSB in 1988. He opened an art gallery, where he first started showing his work. Carey still splits his time. During the week, he works for the county public health department; the rest of the time he is making art. Carey returned to Santa Barbara in 1996 to help his mother after his father died, and found himself building his art and exploring music, sidling into the jazz group X-Tet. At the same time, his marriage was falling apart. The couple are still friends. “Marriage was very important to me,” Carey says. “When it didn’t last after 15 years I was devastated.” He was also coming to the conclusion that as much as he loved both women and men—“I’ve always been sexyflexi,” as he calls his orientation—it was easier to live with a man. He’s been with his partner, Steven, for nine years. In 2007, having sung for 35 years, he decided to explore drag. The chanteuse Amber is Carey’s drag creation/ alter ego. Last year, Amber and the X-Tet performed at a SB CAST benefit for Pacific Pride, and Carey made his transformation into Amber part of the performance. “I never aspired to it because I made a very ugly woman,” he says. “But I found it was a wonderful way to sing songs as a female that I never would have sung as a man. And rather than worry about being a beautiful

Jackets serve as canvas too. WINTER2018 71

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PhoTo By PATrICIA houghTon CLArke

Carey in his studio. Amber is pictured on the right.


woman, especially as hirsute as I am, was to try to express the kind of inclusive loving qualities that the women I know have.” Those initial drag performances led him to photographer Patricia Clarke. She had been documenting Santa Barbara’s drag scene for a series of exhibitions. When they met, it was like meeting a soulmate, he says. “We threw our arms around each other and said, we are going to make projects together, and sure enough it exploded after that.” Clarke documented Carey’s work as Amber and made him the subject for other work, exploring sexuality and the body. Carey takes those photos and then paints over them in what the two call “Metamorphographs,” which showed at MAI in Montecito in 2015. More than three years ago he moved to the Palm Lofts, steps from his favorite spot: the beach. “My family would come here and camp. And I knew at that time I wanted to live here someday,” he remembers. “People here are not too stodgy. There’s a conservative aspect, yes, but there’s lots of progressive people here too who fought fiercely for the Bluffs and other environmental concerns. There’s a lovely community of artists in Carp, a vital community. And I’m a Carpinterian.” ♦


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o y f ll Vintage Home


Art & Collectibles


Open Daily 11-6 Closed on Tuesday

Visit and shop at our online store

Tel: 684-2700 4786 Carpinteria Avenue

small business of the year 2014

500 Maple Avenue Carpinteria by appointment

805.695.0910 805.637.2842 TRA



Records Posters Vinyl Wall Art Themed Apparel & More! 5285 Carpinteria Avenue 805-318-55O6 Open daily at 10am

Open Daily! 771 Linden Ave.

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Discover Carpinteria’s Rich & Colorful Past at the

Carpinteria Valley MuseuM of History Featured Exhibits: Native American Chumash • Summerland Spanish & Mexican Ranchos • World War I Carpinteria Pioneers • Victorian Homes Agriculture & Tools • 19th Century School House


956 Maple Avenue Carpinteria

Exhibits Hours: Tues.-Sat. 1-4 p.m.

Established 1949


AUTO REPAIR High Performance Vehicles Tire Sales and Alignment Open Monday - Friday 8 am to 5 pm 5096 Sixth Street • Carpinteria



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Fastest Men in


it ze r Ti m ot hy R oc hl m ad e. he r in th e ra ce


S t ory a n d Ph ot oS by Pe t e r dugrĂŠ

lat cracked earth at El Mirage Dry Lake lies under the 6 a.m. sun as a smoky sheet of dust and vaporized dew floats in a haze portending the punishing heat. Somewhere in the distance, out there over miles of silent, unearthly terrain, thousands gather at what amounts to Burning Man for gearheads. It’s opening weekend, May 2017, for El Mirage Dry Lake Racing in the desert east of Lancaster, where backyard mechanics and sophisticated

teams can finally run their meticulously constructed vehicles over the two-mile course lined by the RVs of devotees congregated for the sanctioned event. Soon the stretched bullets of customized power will roar across the scorched earth, some approaching 300 miles per hour and all vying for a spot in the record books. Carpinterian Brian Rochlitzer, a welder by trade and garage tinkering virtuoso, has been part of the El Mirage

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Brian Rochlitzer cruising the Carpinteria streets. scene since before he can remember. In the late 1950s, his dad Timothy, who passed away in 2014, first fabricated a racer out of a tip tank from a Korean War-era plane. Of when his dad first got involved in building cars before he was born, Brian says, “There were just a bunch of hot rodding buddies using war surplus, and they were like, ‘Wow! All these things look like tear drops. Let’s build a frame and fly.’” Timothy, Brian, and brother Brad, as well as fellow Carpinterians Mike Dawson and Alan Fogliadini, are all in the coveted 200 mph club. And Timothy belongs to the Dry Lakes Racing Hall of Fame. Brian has the culture etched into his DNA. “You just get around the smell, the exhaust, the fuel, and you get fired up. It’s a big family out there,” Brian says. Carpinteria mainstay Mike Dawson, owner of The Big Red Crane company, eventually got behind the wheel of one of Timothy’s creations after it was acquired by Seth “No Nitro” Hammond of Montecito. The car, known as a lakester, was also fashioned out of a Korean War plane’s drop tank. Dawson was part of Hammond’s crew from 1986 to 2003. The

Timothy Rochlitzer on State Street in Santa Barbara.


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Timothy Rochlitzer’s Razzberry Rocket.

Mechanical joy.

Mounting a motorcycle.

Racing at El Mirage.

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Mike Dawson at Bonneville Salt Flats. team continued to upgrade and advance the streamlined and stretched tank until it hit 305 mph in 2003. Dawson himself was strapped into it and holds a Bonneville Salt Flats record at 255 mph (254.685 mph) from 1987. “It’s one of the best feelings ever. I’m shifting into high gear at 200 miles per hour, and the motor is basically between your legs, the exhaust pipes are booming at your sides,” Dawson said. Dawson set his record at Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, the place for beating land speed records. Bonneville, which dwarfs El Mirage, was 500 feet underwater thousands of years ago and its vast eeriness is highlighted by the visibility of earth’s curvature. Bonneville’s modern history is a timeline marked by pushing the envelope of land speed records. By 1997, the Hammond team was rewriting the record books in its lakester class – without nitro – using straight gas and turbocharged power from a small block Chevy engine to achieve even fuel records. “You get salt fever,” says Brian, also a regular at Bonneville. “Once you watch a sunrise on the salt flats, you’ve gotta go back.” Racing across Bonneville in 1996, Brian hit his personal top speed of 271 mph in Timothy’s Razzberry Rocket, a

Dawson at home in Carpinteria. 78

car built after Hammond’s lakester. “Two-hundred miles per hour is a football field a second. [Things] happens really quickly, and when it hits the fan it spreads really far,” says Brian. Both Brian and Dawson have witnessed their share of wrecks. People die out there. At El Mirage in May, a car went spinning at 270 mph, kicking up dust in the distance and causing gasps on the sidelines, but the driver was able to deploy his chute and get it under control before any serious disaster. At the height of Dawson’s time on the Hammond team, two days at Bonneville went from elation to sorrow and loss on Oct. 17, 2003. The team set the record at 305 mph after decades of sweat, inspiration and money poured into the vehicle originally built by Timothy. The very next day, their sleek machine was irredeemably destroyed when debris tripped it up as it eclipsed 320 mph. Driver Seth Hammond survived the wreck. A high-speed spinout deterred Brian from hopping back behind the wheel after 2007. His throttle stuck and the car went sideways and started barreling toward spectators. “Right now, I’m raising kids. I just can’t do it. It’s on hold,” he says. Even at El Mirage, the little sister to Bonneville, the event and people breathe life into a remote wasteland. It’s about more than tear-drop shaped rockets flying across the desert. Everyone there belongs to the tinkerer and enthusiast club, marveling at machines. An ancient jalopy, resurrected from the Depression era, bounces across the desert on the sidelines, just because. Any car or bike can enter to set a record in its class, including a moped snailing up the course attempting to beat 40 mph. Hundreds of men and women dig underneath hoods

Timothy Rochlitzer’s dry lakes race car made from a F-86 wing tip fuel tank ran at Bonneville, 1962. putting finishing touches on their showy vehicles. Brian once built a sidecar motorcycle and set a record at 62.3 mph. “It was scarier than driving Dad’s car 200,” he says of keeping the unstable bike under control. “There’s no money to be made at Bonneville. It’s just pure backyard gearhead joy,” Dawson says. ♦

El Mirage Dry Lake, east of Lancaster, draws gearheads from all over. WINTER2018 79

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M e dia 2 7


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recipe s B y pa s ca l e Be a l e

Food writer Pascale Beale’s third cookbook, “Les Legumes: Vegetable Dishes from the Market Table,” celebrates all varieties of vegetables from each season. “Les Legumes” is the third in her Market Table series. The following recipes will make your winter a little cozier and whet your appetite for more good stuff. Bon appétit!

Roasting onions in their skins transforms them into tender, soft, sweet vegetables to which one can add a plethora of ingredients. You can serve these onions as part of a larger vegetarian meal, as an accompaniment to any roast, or with simply a plain green salad. Serves 8 people

8 l a r g e r ed c i p p o l i n i oni ons — r i n s ed c l ea n , l eft unp eeled o l i ve o i l 8 – 1 0 B r us s el s s p r o ut s — tr i mmed a n d t h i n l y s li ced salt B l a c k p ep p er 2 o z fet a c h ees e— c r umB led Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Place the onions in a shallow baking dish and drizzle with a little olive oil. Roast 45–50 minutes or until completely soft when pierced with a knife. Let cool, trim ends and peel the outer layer. Slice each onion vertically down the middle, stopping 1/2 inch from the bottom. Heat a little olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat and add the Brussels sprouts, a pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until browned and lightly crispy, about 5–6 minutes. Remove from the heat, let cool for 1–2 minutes, and then stir in the feta. Spoon the Brussels sprouts-feta mix into each onion and serve warm. Pascale Beale

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Med i a 2 7

Be al e

Be al e

For th e v i nai g re t t e : 2 tables p oons yog ur t This might sound like an odd combination—radishes with olives—but it works. The saltiness and texture of the olives and lemony yogurt vinaigrette, paired with the pepperiness of the radishes, give the salad just the pop it needs. Serve this with some warm focaccia or crusty bread. You can make a nice variation of the dish by adding feta. Serves 8 people

F o r the s a l a d : 2 b u n c h es r a d i s h es — en d s t r i m med, v ery th i nly sli ced 3 b u n c h es wa t er c r es s — t o ug h s tems tri mmed 1 cu p p a r s l ey l ea ves — c h o p p e d 1 cu p m i x ed o l i ves — p i t t ed a nd ch op p ed 1/2 c u p c i l a n t r o l ea ves

1 tables p oon olive oil Z est and ju i ce oF 1 mey er lem on p i nch oF sea salt Whisk all the vinaigrette ingredients together in a medium salad bowl. Place salad utensils over the vinaigrette. Place all the salad ingredients in the salad bowl on top of the utensils. When ready to serve, toss together well.


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I often make myself a toasted avocado sandwich for lunch. This takes that buttery treat to a different level of lusciousness. I would quite happily eat these for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Serves 8 as an appetizer

2 lbs fav a beans Oli v e Oi l salt black p ep p er 2 tablesp OOns fine ly chO ppe d basil 1 tablesp OOn fi ne ly chO ppe d m int 1 tablesp OOn fi ne ly chO ppe d ch i v es 8 sli ces Oli v e bre ad—t Oast e d lemOn Oli v e Oi l 1 bu ffalO m Oz z are lla—slice d 4 sli ces p rOs ci u tt O 2 ri p e av OcadOs—halve d, pe e le d and sli ced 2 lemOns —qu arte re d Shell the fava beans. Slit open the pods and remove the beans. Boil them in heavily salted water for 1 minute. Drain and immediately plunge the beans into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking and set the bright color. Tear the tough skin at the rounded end and squeeze out the bean. Heat a little olive in a medium pan. Add the shelled fava beans, a pinch of salt and 4–5 grinds of pepper, and cook for 3–4 minutes. They should be fork tender but not mushy. Place the fava beans in a mixing bowl and drizzle with a little more olive oil. Roughly mash the beans with a fork. Add the basil, mint, and chives and mix well. Drizzle a little lemon olive oil over each toast. Place the sliced mozzarella on top. Cover 4 slices of the toasted bread with a slice of mozzarella, a slice of prosciutto, and some sliced avocado. Cover the remaining toasts with a slice of mozzarella and some sliced avocado. Spoon the fava beans over each toast. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Serve with lemon wedges to squeeze over the toasts. ♦ Med i a 2 7

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Recommended J a Ck’S B iS T R o

Healthy California Cuisine. Enjoy our freshly baked bagels with whipped cream cheeses. Breakfast, lunch, and beyond! Must Try: Blackstone Benedict: w/avo, bacon, tomato 5050 Carpinteria Ave., Carpinteria, CA 93013 805-566-1558 •

s t a E

If you’re looking for anything from a snack to a nice dinner out with friends or family, try some of Carpinteria’s favorite local restaurants.

P a da R o B e a Ch g Ri l l

T he Pal MS

Ch o Co l a T S du Cal i BRe SSan

Rey nal do’ S Bak eRy

T h e S h o a l S R e S T a u RanT

RoBiT ai l l e’ S F i ne Cand ie S

da n n y’S de l i

Si aM e l ePhanT T hai Re S TauR anT

delgado’S MexiCan ReSTauRanT

Sl y ’ S ReST au RanT

FoSTeRS FReeze

unC l e C hen ReST auRanT

giovanni’S Pizza CaRPinTeRia

zook eR S R eST au RanT

Great food, spectacular views, friendly service, pet-friendly, and a family-style atmosphere make Padaro Beach Grill the perfect place to dine. Must Try: California Burger 701 Linden Ave., Carpinteria, Ca 93013 805-566-9800 •

“Tempting your taste buds” with confectionery delights expressing a true joie de vivre! Must Try: French Bisous: Dark and milk chocolate ganache flavored with tangerine liquor. 4193 Carpinteria Ave., Ste 4, Carpinteria, CA 93013 805-684-6900 •

Fresh seafood selections, steaks, rack of lamb, pasta and many housemade desserts, cocktails, craft beers and fine wines. Must Try: The Banana Reef 6602 Old Pacific Coast Hwy, Ventura, CA 93001 805-652-1381 •

Danny’s Deli has been serving Carpinteria for 32 years with Tri-Tip, Turkey and Roast Beef all cooked on site. Must Try: Famous Tri-Tip Sandwich 4890 Carpinteria Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013 805-684-2711

Carpinteria’s Classic Mexican Restaurant since 1965, family-run restaurant offering enchiladas, fajitas & other Mexican eats, plus cocktails. Must Try: Traditional Burrito 4401 Carpinteria Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013 805-684-4822 •

Locally owned branch of a longtime Californiabased fast-food chain serving traditional burgers & delicious soft-serve ice cream. Must-Try: Chocolate Dipped Soft Serve 5205 Carpinteria Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013 805-684-3602

Specialty pizzas (meat & veggie), pastas, calzones, sandwiches & games in a casual, sit-down space, delivery or to go. Must Try: Giovanni’s Original Lasagna 5003 Carpinteria Ave. Carpinteria, CA 805-684-8288 •

Mouth-watering steak and seafood you can cook yourself, delicious salad bar with to die for croutons! And live music on the weekends! Must Try: Filet Mignon dinner 3765 Santa Claus Ln, Carpinteria, CA 93013 805-684-3811 •

Mexican & European Bakery. Handmade, traditional Mexican fare to the finest quality wedding cakes & desserts. Must Try: Chile Verde Pork, Eggs & Cheese. 895 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013 805-684-4981 •

Unique handmade candies, sugar free candies, and gigantic selection of packaged candy have been pleasing Santa Barbara County for over 40 years! Must Try: Presidential Mints 900 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013 805-684-9340 •

Our reputation of authenticity and excellence, Siam Elephant stays true to the culinary culture and influences of Thailand. Must Try: Pad Thai Contact: 509 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013 805-684-2391 •

Sly’s is known for great food, with an emphasis on farmers market and local produce, great cocktails and great times in Carpinteria. Must Try: Dover Sole Meunière Contact: 686 Linden Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013 805-684-6666 •

Since 1991, Uncle Chen has been proud to serve local produce from the farmers market and homemade recipes. Must Try: Casitas Green 1025 Casitas Pass Rd, Carpinteria, CA 93013 805-566-3334

Local organic produce, fresh fish, and sustainably raised meats. Our “FARM TO TABLE” approach ensures that we have the freshest, food in town. Must Try: Bacon wrapped, Filet Mignon 5404 Carpinteria Ave, Carpinteria, CA 93013 805-684-8893 •


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The Palms Tradition since 1912

Hungry Locals & Travelers Enjoy Family-Style Good Times

…simply fine wines at great prices!

Wines for all occasions


Steak as you like it because you cook it yourself Original Salad Bar • Filet • 16 oz. T-Bone • Ribeye Steaks Teriyaki Chicken • Beef Kabobs • Norwegian Salmon Halibut • Alaskan King Crab • Rack of Lamb

Cocktails • Happy Hour • Live Bands • Dancing Linden Avenue at 7th St., Downtown Carpinteria • 805.684.3811

Stop in and shop our excellent selection! 4193-1 Carpinteria Ave.

684-7440 M-F 10-6pm Sat 10-5pm Take the Carpinteria Avenue exit from 101 South - 4th building on the right



4850A Carpinteria Avenue Carpinteria, CA 93013

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a n e x Ce rP t

The Voyage of the CormoranT M e Moi r By Ch ri s t i a n Be a Mi s h il l us t ra t i on s By K e n Pe rKi n s /Pa t a gon i a Bo o Ks

After building an 18-foot Shetland Isle beach boat in his garage, Coastal View News editor Christian Beamish, set sail to the Pacific coast of Baja for a three-month adventure. Here is an excerpt from his book “Voyage of the Cormorant,” which documents his travels. “Voyage of the Cormorant” is published by Patagonia Books. These days, Beamish sails the Cormorant off the Carpinteria coast – keep an eye out! Morning broke calm with gray skies, and I rowed ashore to the cobblestone landing beach, nosing Cormorant onto dry ground and heaving her a few inches further up by the breasthook, before tying the bow line to a rusted truck axle and wheel. The dog appeared on the low bluff above the beach and barked at me again. A German shepherd with a hint of blue in his dark coat, he might have been a little intimidating if he wasn’t such a puppy under all his

barking, and bringing my fishing rod was enough to scare him off when I went to walk the coast. The feeling of desolation was great. There were abandoned shacks that wouldn’t have been much to look at even if their roofs weren’t caving in, and on the bluff were odd pieces of machinery that had long since melted into amorphous shapes with rust, but that may once have been mining or fish processing equipment. The ground gave way underfoot, the entire bluff area a warren of burrows and bird feathers, but no birds. I saw the dog standing there, watching me, and took a knee and called for him to come over, but he would have none of it. He barked half-heartedly and trotted off, disappearing around the next wall of cliffs. I watched a wave break hard onto one of the rock platforms, whitewater rushing across like a flash flood, and decided that that would not be a good place to fish. The lighthouse stood a few hundred feet above, and I climbed up there to get an overview. From the top, I took in the whole stretch of coast 10 miles north and south—the point I had sailed and rowed from way away up the coast and the high mesas of the Viscáino Desert plains farther down. The big wave out on the reef was not stirring, but a series of reefs directly below the lighthouse held good-looking surf. Walking back down, I tried to pick a path over steady ground that would not cave in beneath my feet, but by the time I reached the water my shoes were caked with the fine, tan dirt of this place. I sloshed along a keyhole beach of white seashells, trailing plumes of mud in the clear seawater. The farthest rock shelf to the north stood higher than the others, and the swells seemed to pass it by, and here I set up to fish.


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My second cast brought a solid strike with a sharp pull on the line, which disappeared into a thick patch of kelp. I was unsure whether I had a fish or not, but either way, I didn’t want to lose the rubber lure. I patiently pulled and reeled, pulled and reeled, until the kelp lolled in a big lump like a subdued whale against the wall of the shelf where I stood. Carefully, I climbed down the face of the rock, the water surging into the keyhole and back out again, welling up to my knees. This would be a great way to get sucked in by the swirling water, but the footholds were wide enough that I could lean down and lift away the strands of seaweed. I discovered that I had hooked another bass, though not as big as the one I caught back on Isla San Martín. Still, it was a good fish and I lifted him out of the water onto the rock shelf, smacked his head to end it, and then walked back to the boat the way I had come. The lighthouse on the ridge had a metal roof and lens suggestive of the classic lighthouses of maritime age America, although the structure it sat on was an uninspired block of concrete. I walked a path below the lighthouse, holding the fish by its gills, and clomped over the bluff again to drop into the little cove where I had left Cormorant. After filleting the bass, whose coloration was a darker, more olive green than the previous one, I went through what had become my routine of making fish stew. I set the pot aside to cook, enjoying the sound of the hissing stove and the look of the steam billowing out from under the lid in the cool gray of the day, and then pulled the dry bags out of the boat and spread my things on the cobbles to at least air them out before repacking to be better organized. The winds remained slack and the sky gray. I climbed to the bluff top to look out at the rock shelves where solid, clean waves were still coming in. Stowing everything back in the boat, I put a big, flat rock over the top of the pot with the remaining fish stew so the dog couldn’t get it, and then put my wetsuit on. I walked slowly across to the rock shelf that held the wave I thought looked the best, and made my way out to the end, breathing deeply, watching carefully. It was a long, keyhole cove between two jutting rock shelves, but rather than leap from the very end and risk getting caught by the surf, I chose to paddle from the inside, keeping to the deeper water as I found my lineup for the spot. The wave rose up in a peak about 30 feet off the end of the shelf, and broke fast across, hollow, and then dissipated in the keyhole channel. I was a little spooked being alone and did not like how hard my heart was beating, worried that I was transmitting signals of solitary, mammalian vulnerability. After all, with the seals that lived around here and the remote, skeleton coast feel of the place, why wouldn’t there be great whites? The water was aquarium clear, and I watched the dark shadows sway in the current, pushing and pulling. Gray sky and a slate gray sea, darker gray rocks, and the waves

pouring open with silver roofs. This was true wilderness surfing. I let another set come through and just paddled up the waves, watching how they stood and advanced on the reef before throwing over. I looked down from the tops of each one to gauge the line and how much room I would have before running up on the dry shelf. After watching a few, I saw that it was OK—that I would be fine if I could hang through the eight or 10-foot drop and make the bottom turn. Although still wary of the environment, I hunted down the next wave that came. It all went perfectly, and for some seconds the world was framed by a sheeting crystal water roof and curved and shimmering surfaces. And then release, and a burst of speed, and a skimming across the water with no evidence of any wave remaining but the froth of the spent foam and crash of white water on the rocks behind me. Paddling back out, I put my head underwater and watched the blurry shapes of the reef and sea grass and darker forms of fish. Once outside again, waiting for the next set, a few harbor seals swam nearby and then a few more, until about seven of them floated in a loose

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circle around me, keeping about 20 feet off. These are the seals of the Selchie legends in Ireland and Scotland, and the way that they watch, silent and intent, lends a sense of fellow feeling. The seals darted away from me nervously when I paddled for a wave, but they seemed to figure out what I was doing after a few times, and as the session wore on, I saw them swimming under me in the swells as I lined up to take off. Since they were hanging about so contentedly, it didn’t seem likely that any big sharks were lurking, and I was able to relax and enjoy the surfing. The sky hung low and gray throughout the afternoon, and when I pushed Cormorant off the beach to anchor again in the cove, a light wind started up from the south, ruffling the surface slightly. The thick kelp outside kept the swell action down in the cove, and I put the boat tent up and slept for an hour or so before dark. A light rain was falling when I awoke. I saw the dog walking the cove beach, his coat soaking wet, and he looked at me across the water, and then turned and walked back up the bluff, disappearing like a ghostly apparition. I heated another helping of stew, and then made coffee with the smaller pot I had, and sat drinking it and looking out at the dreary evening. Morning came and I rowed out to the edge of the kelp and set sail to continue the journey, but the wind fell off not 20 minutes after I started, and with no shelter for another 15 miles, I decided to turn back for the cove anchorage. I felt anxious to move on, but not so anxious that I wanted to drift again in open water, and so I waited. The wind did not come up that afternoon, nor did it come up the next day either, except for very early in the morning, before first light. I scrambled to sail out, only to get tangled in the kelp, and I worked myself into a fury cutting the boat free from the heavy, slimy clumps, dunking my arms and getting soaked in cold sea water. My cove anchorage was beautiful in its rugged isolation, but the coast here had an oppressive quality that began to work on me. There was a reason no one came around except for a few pangeros who pulled traps and then went home. The swell had subsided when the front came in, but

the gray sky persisted and it seemed the weather was in a holding pattern—completely undecided about what to do next and content to hang in its gray mood. On the third day, I resolved to leave no matter what. Perhaps it was that I could not shake the habit of accomplishing things, moving from place to place. Perhaps my culture had made me unable to accept and to wait, but I could not wait—not any longer anyway. And then I was granted a reprieve once I cleared the kelp, and a breeze, a true steady breeze, started up from the northwest. Soon I was coursing along again, with that lovely sense of tension and pull the sails give and the solid-yet-giving feel of the hull through the waves. The headland of Punta San Carlos lay below the prominent mesa, and there I hoped my friends Aurelio and Rudy would still be doing their daily fishing runs. With luck I would arrive in the evening and see them. I had sent a Christmas card to Aurelio at his home in Ensenada before I left, telling him that I would be coming through again, but I was a couple of weeks later than I had predicted. ♦


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Successfully Serving Carpinteria Real Estate for 25 years

Looking to vacation in Carpinteria?

Fantastic, fully stocked, 3 bedroom, 2 bath roomy condo with large front yard and private hot-tub area. This condo is perfect for a large family. It is walking distance to the beach and downtown Carpinteria.

This charming 2 bedroom, 1 1/4 bath vacation property is located one block back from Carpinteria’s Worlds Safest Beach. This craftsman style condo has hardwood floors, fireplace and vaulted ceilings.

The Beachcomber is located right across the street from Carpinteria Beach, where you can swim or just relax. At night you can enjoy the beautiful sunsets. The downstairs apartments with patios are available for weekly rentals.

805.684.4101 5441 Carpinteria Ave. Carpinteria, CA 93013 92

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Seascape Realty Buying or selling a home with us is like a walk on the beach!

SoLd! very cute 2-Story, 2/2 a-fraMe houSe nestled in the hillside above the Santa Barbara Mesa! Sweeping views of the ocean & islands from all front windows and 2 outdoor decks—stunning sunsets and starlit nights. The house itself is a 2/2 with a detached guest studio and a small fenced yard. Very private, very quiet. offered at $1,070,000 please call terry Stain, at 805-705-1310

you WiLL Love it… Upscale, head-to-toe quality remodel. desirable ocean-side of freeway location, stunningly beautiful 3 bedroomms, 2.5 baths and a 1700 sq. ft free flowing floor plan. Enjoy estuary, island and mountain views, 2 private and serene patios, gourmet kitchen, luxurious bath, dramatic fireplace, attached garage. offered at $739,000 please call Sylvia Miller at 805-448-8882

Located at the end of a private Lane…this 4 bedroom, 2 bath home has an updated kitchen which opens to the light and airy living room with a cozy fireplace. The backyard features a pool, spa, pool house and open area for gardening and patio. There is a one car attached garage and driveway parking. offered at $849,900 please call Shirley Kimberlin at 805-886-0228

enjoy coaStaL Living in this charming 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath home in a favorite neighborhood, Board and batten wainscoting, attractive hardwood floors, and convenient kitchen with granite counters. On a 1/4 + acre parcel with lush gardens and fruit trees. The large open patio is a perfect spot to enjoy outdoor entertaining. The Ocean is just a short stroll away! offered at $1,699,000 please call Shirley Kimberlin, 805-886-0228.

great Location acroSS the Street froM the “WorLd’S SafeSt Beach… Two bedrooms, two baths. Private deck off the living room. Perfect beach retreat for a vacation home or full time enjoyment. Also an excellent rental investment. Amenities include: Two pools, hot tub, clubhouse, gated parking, and on-site management. Stroll to the nearby Nature Park Preserve and downtown Carpinteria. reduced to $749,000 please call Shirley Kimberlin 805-886-0228


4915-C Carpinteria Ave. Carpinteria • 805.684.4161 WINTER2018 93

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Cookbook from Chaucer’s

Ooh, that’s difficult – depends on the season

Modern Mediterranean

Would rather not, but yes when on the road


Un poco.

info@ pascaleskitchen. com

Christian Beamish

Pint of IPA at Island Brewing Company



Yes, setting a good example for my kiddos.

The Cormorant

Si, yo hablo español.


Lea Boyd

Vampire cape at St. Joe’s Resale


Paid for

Helmet (I’m a mom)

Red tailed hawk

Mas o menos.


Joshua Curry

Surf wax from Matt Moore



Helmet free


Muy poquito, pero siempre aprendiendo más.

joshua@ joshuacurryphoto .com

Glenn Dubock

Car wash at Risdon’s

Brussels sprouts

Bohemian beach shack

Brain bucket for sure

Sea otter

Un poquito.

Peter Dugré

Flip at PacHealth



Plead the 5th


Only the bad words.


Big juicy bacon cheeseburger from The Spot

Snow peas

Pacific lodge

Not a big biker

Sea lion

Muy poquito.

Pascale Beale

















Paul Hoffmeier photographer




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Robin Karlsson








Coffee from Lucky Llama





No but I speak Swedish.

robin@ coastalview .com

Lions Mane Mushroom Elixir

Sweet potato

Bungalow with modern/vintage mix interior



Muy poco.

instagram @ WonderTribe

Cocktail at Sly’s!

Eggplant all the way

A cozy Craftsman, but with a studio out back

Bike helmet of course

Boston Terrier

Enough to order cafe con leche por favor in Barcelona.







Un poquito.


A succulent at pool fundraiser




Exuberant, untrained Golden Retriever

Intento hablar español.

amymarie@ amymarie

Dreaming of a golf cart


Un poquito!

LeslieA Westbrook@

Not. I like living on the edge.


Donde el baño? Thats it.

kris@coastalview .com



Michael Kwiecinski photographer


Ted Mills writer


Alonzo Orozco






Amy Orozco



Leslie Westbrook writer


Kristyn Whittenton designer

Vintage Mid-century Anything in “recycled” blouse season from The modern or modern from Heritage day bungalow Farm Cart Goods & Supply Bread and fruit from Smart & Final



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Final Frame

CA L L I N G I T A DA Y Evening draws the shade on another day of perfect weather. While rain has remained elusive, recent meteorological headlines include record-busting temperatures pushing the three-digit envelope along the coastline . â—† PHO T O BY PA UL HO FFM E I E R


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A family owned nurser y in Carpinteria since 1978 Phalaenopsis Cymbidiums Tillandsias Succulents Foliage Plants Arrangements Pots, Baskets, Tins


M o n d a y- Fr i d a y 9 - 4 : 3 0 • S a t u r d a y 1 0 - 4 3 5 0 4 V i a Re a l • C a r p i n t e r i a • C A 9 3 0 1 3 w e s t e r l a y o r c h i d s. c o m • 8 0 5 . 6 8 4 . 5 4 1 1

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Profile for Coastal View News

Carp mag winter 2018 lr  

Carpinteria Magazine 2018 Winter. Free magazine for and about Carpinteria Valley

Carp mag winter 2018 lr  

Carpinteria Magazine 2018 Winter. Free magazine for and about Carpinteria Valley