Santa Ynez Valley Star • April 16, 2024

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Flying Miz Daisy makes its presence felt in Solvang

A city resident since 2020, founder Char Goetz runs her vintage market for sense of community, and for a cause close to her heart

Visitors to Mission Santa

Inés on Saturday, April 6, got to experience an event that's becoming a little more frequent in Solvang: Flying Miz Daisy Vintage Market.

With a little cooperation by the Central Coast weather, the market was able to happen on the first weekend in April, albeit in a slightly different location.

"We usually have this on the lawn next to the mission," said Char Goetz, the founder/proprietor of Flying Miz Daisy. "However, with the threat of rain, we had to move it to the parking lot. Of course, we were able to get some sunny weather today, so it's working out fine."


Spotlight | Pg. 8

Rainy forecast can't curtail egg hunters at annual Eggstravaganza

News Briefs . . . . . . . . . Pg. 2

• Old-Time Ballard Jamboree coming April 21

News . . . . . . . . . . . . . Pg. 3

• Solvang City Council prioritizes goals during latest meeting

Opinion . . . . . . . . . . Pg. 10

• Thomas Elias: Recall's real reason: GOP wants Newsom off the road

Sports Pg. 11

• Fish will be biting this weekend at Cachuma Lake derby

Travel . . . . . . . . . . . Pg. 14

• Moon over Buffalo: Witnessing a celestial event

Arts & Nonprofits . . . . . Pg. 17

• 'Under the Same Sun' art exhibit opens April 20 at Elverhøj

Community . . . . . . . . Pg. 18

The Flying Miz Daisy market is not you're typical "swap meet" or "flea market." While some of the vendors deal in straight antiques, many handcraft their products out of repurposed materials, whether it be furniture, home decor, jewelry, or clothing. It was exactly what Goetz was going for when she first began the outdoor market, originally called Driving Miz Daisy, approximately 10 years ago in Orange County.

"I was an antique dealer for

quite a number of years, maybe 15 or so, and my kids were growing up, and I decided, you know, Orange County could use a really cool winter market," she said. "Since I was shopping at them all the time, I thought I could do it in a different way. I wanted to

bring in the whole community where kids and all different ages just want to spend the day.

"I had a row of vintage trailer shops, a vintage barber, and a farmers market. I had a children's play area. It was beautiful to see


• Roar and Pour returns to the Santa Barbara Zoo

Food & Drink . . . . . . . Pg. 21

• Farm Stand: Berries and cheese coming into season at Farmer’s Markets

Calendar Pg. 23

• Government meetings and events

APRIL 16 – MAY 6, 2024 Making Communities Better Through Print.™ SANTAYNEZVALLEYSTAR.COM
Solvang resident Char Goetz, founder and proprietor of the Flying Miz Daisy Vintage Market, stands in front of the vintage trailer that serves as the market's "office," in the parking lot of Mission Santa Ines on April 6. Photo by Mike Chaldu


Old-Time Ballard Jamboree coming April 21

Travel back in time to an 1800s children’s carnival! The Old-Time Ballard Jamboree will celebrate Ballard School's 100-year heritage on Sunday, April 21, with old-fashioned carnival booths, games, treats, prizes and so much more in this epic bi-annual community event that is a simply magical experience for kids. All SYV families are invited to attend and join in the unforgettable fun.

Kids earn "Jamboree Bucks" at each carnival booth that are used to purchase prizes at The Mercantile, a beautiful room of quality wooden toys and games (no plastic here!). Something that makes it extra authentic is that most attendees dress up in 1800s attire … with the Little Red Schoolhouse as the backdrop, it feels so special.

Among the other fun things for kids and adults to do include:

• Barbecue lunch & live music

• Largest game of musical chairs on the Central Coast

• Sno-cones, sweets, and treats

• Petting zoo

• Pie-baking contest

• Tour the Little Red School House Museum

• Schoolhouse Vintage Pop-Up Shop (think onsite Ballard Estate Sale)

• Pizza and wine after-party at the nearby Ballard Inn (optional)

Every penny of your Jamboree purchase directly funds the school’s programs, garden, and other needsm such as a new roof!

For those who would like to support our

school but not attend the event, check out the Jamboree’s online auction with bespoke packages and bucket list experiences.

To get Jamboree tickets and info, go to


Donations sought for SYHS's Safe & Sober Grad Nite

For more than 25 years the parents of the Santa Ynez High School senior class, with the help of the community at large, have thrown an all-night extravaganza for the graduates on their graduation night.

For the students, this is a well-earned celebration, a last "hurrah" with their classmates before they head into the world. This 2024 class of seniors, like the class before them, have had their celebrations disrupted by the COVID pandemic as they were in lockdown for their eighth-grade graduation experience and much of their ninth-grade year was spent on lockdown and in remote learning.

The 2024 SYHS Safe & Sober Grad Nite Committee, The Santa Ynez Pirate PTO, and the senior class parents aim to make this year’s Safe and Sober Grad Nite a celebration for them to remember!

This event ensures that our seniors are celebrating in a safe, sober, drug-free, and alcohol-free environment. Every year there are reports of seniors who do not survive their grad night, due to drug or alcohol use. We all want to see these young people launched safely into their next chapters to pursue their goals and contribute back to our community.

The Safe and Sober Grad Nite Party has always included age-appropriate entertainment

including a DJ, games, hypnotists, tattoo artists, music, dancing, food, and drink specifically designed to attract ALL the graduating class. This year’s event will take it to a new level with the courtyard filled with carnival-style rides, dancing /DJ, games, and food and beverage offerings.

To make this event a reality, we need your help with funding. Your monetary assistance helps pay for entertainment, food, and decorations but most importantly, scholarships to any student who needs help in attending, as our goal is to get 100% attendance. Without the generosity of our community partners, this event would not have been successful year after year.

Contact for more information:

Shannon Hazard , SYHS Safe & Sober Grad Nite Chair, 805-886-1955

Brian Robinson, Santa Ynez Pirate PTO Board & SYHS Safe & Sober Grad Nite Fundraising Chair


SEEAG to host Earth Day Plantopia 'U-Pick Your Garden' Fundraiser in Los Olivos

Students for Eco-Education and Agriculture (SEEAG) will host its 2nd annual Plantopia “U-Pick Your Garden” fundraiser to celebrate Earth Day. The event will raise funds to support SEEAG’s agricultural education programs where students learn about the farm origins of their food, water resources, soil health, entomology and locally grown fruits and vegetables.

SEEAG’s Plantopia is Saturday, April 27, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Refugio Ranch Tasting Room (2990 Grand Ave., Los Olivos).

For a $35 donation, participants can select a combination of 12 small plants to fill two six-pack containers. Participants who order in advance can also select seedlings that produce vegetables that makeup three types of food specialty gardens: salsa garden, soup garden and salad garden. The organic seedlings are from Plantel Nurseries. Pre-order online and receive a free bag of compost from Agromin.

Plantopia will also take place Saturday and Sunday, April 27 and 28, at Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival (Alameda Park, Santa Barbara), Growing Works Nursery (1736 S. Lewis Road, Camarillo), and SEEAG’s headquarters in Ventura Harbor (1575 Spinnaker Drive, Ventura).

“Plantopia is a perfect opportunity to plant a garden and celebrate Earth Day,” says Mary Maranville, SEEAG’s founder and CEO. “It’s a great way to kick off Spring.”

For more information about SEEAG’s Plantopia and to select and reserve/pre-order your plants, go to pre-order directly through my805tix/e/ plantopia-2024.

SYV Jewish Community to hold Bluegrass in the Vineyard on May 4

Experience Bluegrass music and a delicious dinner in a fantastic setting on Saturday, May 4. Immerse yourself in the soulful tunes of the world-famous artist Sara Shiloh Rae and her phenomenal band, Bluebird Junction. Joining Sara on this magical night are musical virtuosos Max Hoetzel, Grammy Award-winning fiddler Gabe Witcher, mandolin maestro John Mailander and bass extraordinaire Alan Hampton.

The evening will begin with a delicious

2 APRIL 16 – MAY 6, 2024
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Solvang City Council prioritizes goals during latest meeting

City also addresses SYV Transit operator's request for amemdment of current five-year contract

The Solvang City Council held its regular meeting Monday, April 8, and a good portion of it was spent discussing the council's prioritized list of goals that was reached at a March 9 workshop.

Mayor Mark Infanti was not present physically at the meeting due to not feeling well, but he did participate via Zoom, with Mayor Pro Tem Dave Brown running the proceedings.

However, the mayor's seat was not empty, at least not for the start of the meeting, as Solvang School second-grader Finley Henderson fulfilled her duties as "Mayor of the Day." Finley had won the honor through a school contest, and also got to light the city Christmas tree at Solvang Park back in December.

On April 8, she called the meeting to order and led the council in the Pledge of Allegiance. Then she told the council and staff what she learned as honorary mayor that day.

"I learned about the Fire Department, all the water and how you clean it in the city, and how a building gets done," she said. Finley was then asked by Brown if she had any recommendations, and she said she had suggested a mini-golf course in Solvang "where kids and families can go to have fun."

Brown then presented her a gift on behalf of the city, a package of donuts, noting Finley's love of the treats, and thanked her for "running the city."

scope. (To see the list of prioritized goals, go to and

The Measure U representative will be determined during a meeting for that committee.

The first of the discussion items on the evening concerned the City Council's prioritizing of its city goals over the next two years. During the City Council workshop on March 9, the city staff established 33 goals after input from the public and city officials.

The council concentrated on the top 15, which ranged from the city parking situation (which was ranked No. 1) to affordable housing, local law enforcement staffing, traffic congestion, developing more local events to even it out with tourism events, and drawing business conferences and events to the city.

The council discussed and prioritized the goals with Special Advisor Rod Wood, who advised them on how they could move forward in implementing the goals and even consolidated some that were similar in


The Ballard School District seeks proposals for the replacement of an existing roofing system on the historic Red School House and water tower at Ballard School located at 2425 School Street, Solvang, CA 93463

Copies of the RFP are available at Ballard School or on the school website at, the office is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:00 pm. The District is an EOE employer and encourages proposals from minority, women-owned, and Disabled Veteran Business Enterprise (DVBE) businesses.

Proposals are due by May 3, 2024 at 3:30 pm and can be hand delivered or sent electronically to

"What we don’t want is a list of goals and two years later nothing gets done," Wood said. "My task is to make sure you move forward with what you have approved tonight.

"Money’s never the problem, getting to ‘yes’

During public comment, Friends of the Solvang Library Board Member David Goldstein and Solvang resident Cary McKinnon advocated for the library improvements, which was among the top 15 of the city goals.

"A great city deserves a great library," Goldstein said. "Right now, our services require three times the space that we currently have."

"Thank you for considering the library on your list," McKinnon said. "What is needed is more meeting space; it has none right now, and I get a lot of questions about that."

At the end of the item, city staff was directed to move forward with the top 15 items, and Wood said after that they could rework them to fit budget concerns.

City Manager Randy Murphy said the list of priorities has been shared with grant writers in the hopes that Solvang could get extra funds for some of the projects.

In other business:

The council established a new Ad Hoc Budget Committee, which Murphy said earlier could be helpful in dealing with the City Council goals. The committee consists of the mayor (Infanti) and additional City Council member and a member of the Measure U Citizens' Oversight Committee.

Councilmember Robert Clarke was appointed to the committee along with Infanti.

The council heard the item of RATPDev, the operator of Santa Ynez Valley Transit, requesting an amendment of the five-year contract between the operator and city reached in 2022. Mainly, RATPDev requested an increase in fixed rate for non-transit costs, variable costs based on revenue hours, and to recover unforeseen escalation of costs estimated at $103,158.51, a 13.5 percent hike.

Public Works Director Rodger Olds said renegotiating with the transit operator was recommended so that they don't risk having an unhappy vendor, but Councilmember Elizabeth Orona questioned the request when she found out that RATPDev could not provide any figures for ridership or finances. Orona also pointed out the operator was already getting a 12 percent increase under the current contract.

"We need to be transparent," she said. "I want to see some match because now they're asking for essentially 24.5 percent when they're already getting 12 [percent]"

Solvang resident Denise El Amin, who's been a frequent participant in public comment, thanked Orona for bringing up the lack of information, but took the council and operator to task.

"How can you have a five-year contract and just decided to redo it after one year," she said. "I go outside where I live and see a bus go by and there's like three people in it, and now they won't give us the ridership figures. It's a disgrace to give a presentation without figures."

At the end, it was agreed that Olds would bring the presentation back to council after he was able to get some figures from RATPDev.

The City Council will meet next on April 22 at 6:30 p.m.

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Mayor Finley Henderson is shown in the mayor's chair during the City Council meeting on Monday, April 8. Finley won the honor of serving as Solvang mayor for a day at a school contest late last year. Screenshot from YouTube


dinner catered by the iconic Los Olivos Wine Merchant Café, and will include fine wine from their amazing collection of wines. It’s a match made in heaven — an unforgettable fusion of musical brilliance, culinary excellence and the rustic charm of a Los Olivos vineyard. Besides dinner and the show, the ticket price of $225 includes complimentary valet parking.

Don’t miss out, as tickets will only be sold through Friday, April 26th. To purchase tickets, please go to For more information, please email or call (805) 693-4243.

This event is a fundraiser for the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community, which will use some of the proceeds to make donations to other Valley nonprofits.

SANTA ynez valley

Artisan’s Market expanding to Santa Ynez and Los Olivos

Artisan’s Markets will be held in Solvang, Santa Ynez and Los Olivos every month.

A market in Solvang has been held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of every month in the parking lot of PARc PLACE, 1623 Mission Drive, Solvang. The next one will be held April 27.

Now, another Artisan's Market in Santa Ynez will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the first Saturday of each month — the first one was held April 6 — in the parking lot of Farmacy — Santa Ynez, 3576 Madera St., Santa Ynez. The next one in Santa Ynez is coming May 4.

Another Artisan's Market in Los Olivos is held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the third Saturday of each month starting April 20 at Saarloos & Sons Park, 2971 Grand Ave., Los Olivos.

The Artisan’s Markets feature a variety of kiosks manned by local artisans displaying their wares, including jewelry, clothing, gifts, soaps, crafts, candles, art and food. Farmers are also welcome. Vendors interested in participating in any of these Artisan’s Market locations can call Georgina Guttman at (505) 270-2332 or on Instagram @solvangartisansmarket.

Visit The Santa Ynez Valley announces

Cynthia Gonzalez as new director of sales

Visit the Santa Ynez Valley (VisitSYV.

com) is pleased to announce the appointment of Cynthia Gonzalez as the organization’s first director of sales.

As Visit the Santa Ynez Valley’s new director of sales, Gonzalez will be responsible for leading the development and implementation of long-term sales strategies and tactics with the objective of attracting overnight group business to the Santa Ynez Valley. Gonzalez will head the organization’s sales efforts in promoting and selling the destination to meetings, small groups, and leisure tour/travel markets in an effort to maximize the economic impact for Santa Ynez Valley tourism and its related stakeholders. Additionally, Gonzalez will lead the promotion of a Group Sales action plan with the goal of delivering value to Santa Ynez Valley’s customers and additional group business to the organization's tourism partners.

Gonzalez brings nearly two decades of hospitality and tourism knowledge to the organization, from a wide range of business segments, including leisure travel, online travel distribution, luxury programs, meetings and events. A Central Coast native, Gonzalez attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) where she earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration. While at UNLV, Gonzalez garnered sales experience in trade show shipping and exhibition logistics services. Post-graduation, Gonzalez transitioned into the Las Vegas hotel industry, working at various properties along the famous Las Vegas Strip, eventually becoming a sales executive for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), where Gonzalez spent most of her time traveling overseas to promote Las Vegas as a destination.

After 14 years in Nevada, Gonzalez returned to the Central Coast taking up work at The Kimpton Goodland hotel in Goleta, as well as the Santa Ynez Valley Marriott in Buellton, then shifting to Hotelbeds, where she expanded her contract and sales management skills. Most recently, Gonzalez worked as Director of Sales for Visit SLO CAL in San Luis Obispo County.

“We are excited to have Cynthia join the team as our first designated salesperson. Her wealth of experience and Central Coast knowledge will be an incredible asset as our organization moves to the next level,” said Shelby Sim, CEO of Visit the Santa Ynez Valley.

Visit the Santa Ynez Valley is the official Destination Marketing Organization for the Santa Ynez Valley, formed in 2010 to promote tourism in the wine country communities of

Solvang, Buellton, Santa Ynez, Ballard, Los Olivos, and Los Alamos.


Highway 101 lane closure south of Arroyo Quemada Bridge now in effect

The closure of the US 101 southbound No. 2 (right) lane, south of the Arroyo Quemada Bridge, will began on Monday, April 8, at 9 a.m.

This lane closure will allow Caltrans to begin work to repair a retaining wall.

This lane closure is expected to be in place for 4 to 5 weeks, weather permitting.

The contractor for this $1.5 million project is John Madonna Construction, Inc. of San Luis Obispo.

Travelers are encouraged to be aware of electronic message boards, flaggers, and all highway workers within this work zone.

Road information and updates can also be found on Caltrans District 5 social media platforms: Twitter at @CaltransD5, Facebook at Caltrans Central Coast (District 5) and Instagram/Threads at @Caltrans_D5.

HICAP to hold Zoom presentation on Medicare

Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) will sponsor free virtual presentations for people interested in better understanding Medicare benefits. Understanding Medicare information will be presented on Tuesday, April 23, at 3 p.m.

“HICAP is offering the presentations to help beneficiaries and caregivers better understand this comprehensive health care program,” announced Julie Posada, HICAP program manager.

Topics will include a comprehensive introduction to Medicare including Medicare coverage, supplemental insurance, Part D prescription coverage, Medicare and employer group health plans and retiree health plan considerations.

HICAP offers free, unbiased Medicare information and counseling. HICAP does not sell, recommend, or endorse any specific insurance products. HICAP services are provided through the local Area Agency on Aging.

For more information on HICAP presentations contact HICAP at (805) 928-5663 or (805) 434-0222, or Registration is required.

Cottage Health earns 2024 Great

Place To Work® certification

Cottage Health, a not-for-profit healthcare system serving the California Central Coast, is proud to be CertifiedTM by Great Place To Work® for a sixth time. The certification is based on what current employees shared in confidential surveys about their experience working at Cottage Health. This year, Cottage Health’s employee survey scores were 24 points higher than the average U.S. company.

Great Place To Work® is the global authority on workplace culture, employee experience and leadership skills to foster employee retention and increased innovation.

“We are honored to once again be recognized as a Great Place To Work®,” said Ron Werft, president and CEO of Cottage Health. “Each day, our teams dedicate themselves to caring for the communities we serve. It’s important for Cottage Health to maintain a workplace culture that supports our employees, who work together to provide high-quality care for our patients.”

Cottage Health empowers employees closest to the work to have a voice. Through Shared Governance, every employee in the organization can suggest ideas, solutions and new processes. Shared Governance is a system of accountability that establishes a positive staff and management partnership for continuous improvements in the workplace.

"Great Place To Work Certification is a highly coveted achievement that requires consistent and intentional dedication to the overall employee experience," says Sarah Lewis-Kulin, the vice president of global recognition at Great Place To Work. She emphasizes that Certification is the sole official recognition earned by the real-time feedback of employees regarding their company culture. “By successfully earning this recognition, it is evident that Cottage Health stands out as one of the top companies to work for, providing a great workplace environment for its employees."

According to Great Place To Work research, job seekers are 4.5 times more likely to find a great boss at a certified Great Place to Work employer. Additionally, employees at these workplaces are 93 percent more likely to look forward to coming to work and are twice as likely to be paid fairly and have a fair chance at promotion.

To learn more about what makes Cottage Health a Great Place To Work® and explore current job openings, visit cottagehealth. org/careers.

4 APRIL 16 – MAY 6, 2024

Parking, traffic dominate discussion at latest Buellton City Council meeting

Council also reviews

proposed hotel/shopping center on Highway 246 and Avenue of Flags

The Buellton City Council met for its regular meeting on Thursday, April 11, without Mayor Dave King, so Vice Mayor David Silva conducted the proceedings through most of the meeting as the councilmembers discussed a couple of business items involved proposed parking policy changes.

The council also conducted a conceptual review of the proposed "Highway 246 Commercial Center," which included an eye-catching drive-thru coffee shop.

After approval of the Consent Calendar, and a proclamation recognizing National Donate Life Month — promoting organ donation — the council went ahead with Business Item 7, the conceptual review. Councilmember Hudson Hornick recused himself from the item, but was allowed to stay and listen to the presentation.

Contract City Planner Irma Tucker introduced the item and described the "Highway 246 Commercial Center," which has been proposed by applicant Lonnie Roy.

Tucker said the center, located at 20 E. Highway 246 and 220 Avenue of Flags (north of the Flying Flags RV Park and Ellen's Pancake House) would consist of a spacethemed hotel with 24 units, a market/deli with an art deco architecture, and a drive-thru coffee shop

that changing the 18-inch ordinance would open up the city to liability if there was an accident.

The other three councilmembers also agreed that the proposed parking area was not a good idea.

"It doesn't seem like something that would work; I'd be against it," Silva said. "We should look at a place for truck parking but not there — if engineers and law enforcement say it's wrong, that's saying something."

Council directed staff not to pursue the parking proposal, and councilmembers then started discussion on the restriping of South Avenue of Flags.

with "I understand, but we actually want to slow it down."

Ultimately, Hess was directed to move forward on the restriping.

The final business item, Item 9, had to do parking issues on McMurray Road by Valley Vineyard Circle. Silva recused himself because he lives on Valley Vineyard Circle, and left the meeting, with Councilmember Elysia Lewis being handed the gavel.

that promises to get the attention of passersby.

The coffee shop would have a giant coffee pot with an opening to let customers' cars through as part of the drive-thru.

Tucker said a drive-thru is not allowed on that parcel, but an amendment could be made to the plan to allow for it.

The reaction from the council was mostly positive, with Silva calling it "shockingly exciting" and saying "it would be fun to say I drove through a coffee pot." Councilmember John Sanchez liked the fact that any drive-thru line would be contained in the center's parking. "I'm pro drive-thru," he said.

Councilmembers' comments would be forwarded to the Planning Commission.

Business Item 7 was to discuss potential truck parking and the restriping of South Avenue of Flags jointly, but Sanchez requested the two aspects be discussed separately.

Sanchez had suggested an ordinance change that would make it legal for semi-trucks or other large vehicles to park in a part of the road that straddled the right lane leading to Ellen's Pancake House and the left lane leading to Highway 246. The councilmember said he's seen truck drivers use the space just south of the median with no trouble.

Public works director Rose Hess in her presentation said the city ordinance doesn't allow for any vehicles to park more than 18 inches from the curb, and suggested an area on the curb where semi-trucks could be parked. However, Sanchez said he just wanted to legalize parking on the street area; he was not intending to have any existing parking taken out.

Hess said that was not an option, saying there potential issues with letting anyone park at the spot Sanchez proposed. In public comment, Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Lt. Mark Valencia backed Hess, saying

Hess proposed modifications to narrow the two-lane road to one in front of Flying Flags going northbound, and Shadow Mountain Drive going southbound.

Sanchez pointed out there was no accomodation for people turning into the RV park, and said that would potentially back up northbound traffic. He suggested a rightturn lane into Flying Flags, but as the discussion continued he admitted he just was not in favor of narrowing the road to one lane.

Hornick said he liked the idea of the right-turn lane, but was in favor of one lane in each direction.

"I agree that [people turning into Flying Flags] could be a problem, but I like the one-lane idea," he said. "I see it as more pedestrian friendly."

Sanchez then continued his opposition to the one-lane idea in talking about the southbound lane.

"People going right [on Shadow Mountain Road] toward Zaca Creek Golf Course would be holding up traffic for people wanting to get to work," he said.

However, Hornick answered that

Hess said there have been multiple issues with parking in the area, partly because there has been a lot of construction there, with heavy vehicles and equipment required on site. There have also been complaints of vehicles parking too close to the intersection, blocking sight lines for those trying to turn onto McMurray.

Hess introduced a map proposing red curbs (banning any parking) all around the field formed by Valley Vineyard Circle and McMurray Road. The reaction to that was negative, with three residents (one by email) criticizing the idea.

During public comment, one resident said "This is extremely aggressive [the amount of red curbs]; it just seems like a lot to me."

Lewis said she was not in favor of the amount of red curbs. "It causes more problems than it solves," she added.

Sanchez agreed with Lewis, and went even further, saying there should be no red curbs at all. "I don't understand limiting parking on any public street," he said.

The discussion ended with City Manager Scott Wolfe saying they will come back with another proposal for the area at a future meeting.

The City Council will next meet on Thursday, April 25, at 6 p.m.

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These artist renderings shown at the Buellton City Council meeting on Thursday, April 11, show a proposed coffee shop at Highway 246 near Avenue of Flags. Note the giant coffee pot that serves as a drive-thru. Screenshot from YouTube

Solvang takes second place in USA TODAY Travel Award Category

City finishes behind Seward, Alaska, for 10Best Readers' Choice 'Best Small Town in the West'

Solvang (, affectionately known as “The Danish Capital of America,” has been voted as second-best in the “Best Small Town in the West” in the 2024 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards, the results for which were publicly announced on April 10. The unique Southern California destination joined category winner Seward, Alaska, and thirdplace holder, Grants, New Mexico, in the top three spots.

In 2024, Solvang was nominated by a panel of experts and the 10Best editorial team for the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards in two different travel categories: “Best Small Town in the West” and “Best Main Street.” The travel awards contest and online voting launched for the “Best Small Town in the West” category on Monday, March 4, and online public voting ran through Monday, April 1. (Results for the “Best Main Street” awards category have not yet been announced.)

No stranger to the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards, Solvang was one of the 10 Best Historic Small Town winners in 2016 and 2018. In 2017, USA TODAY named Solvang as one of "10 great places to enjoy global Christmas traditions in the USA." More recently, Solvang was nominated for the 2022 USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards in two different categories, “Best Historic Small Town” and “Best Small Town Cultural Scene,” and secured seventh place in the 2022 winners’ listing for the latter category.

Solvang is the only California town rep-

resented in the top 10 winners’ list for 2024’s “Best Small Town in the West,” and jostled for first place among the top finishers throughout the voting period. The fourth through 10th place winners in the category are: Cody, Wyoming; Manitou Springs, Colorado; Gig Harbor, Washington; Bainbridge Island, Washington; Williams, Arizona; Durango, Colorado; and Ashland, Oregon.

The annual USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice awards feature the top 20 nominees in contests covering travel and lifestyle topics such as food, lodging, destinations, travel gear, things to do, seasonal family fun, and more. The 10Best Readers' Choice Award contest launches new

Your subscription will begin with the first issue after payment received and continue for one year.To subscribe, email, visit us online at, or fill out the provided form to the right and mail to: Po Box 6068, Atascadero, CA 93423

categories every other Monday at 12 p.m., revealing each category's 20 nominees. After four weeks of digital voting, the contest closes on the 28th day at 12 p.m. Rules allow the public the right to vote online for one nominee per category, per day. More information about the USA TODAY 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards may be found at

Dog-friendly and ideal for kids, Solvang, known for its Danish-American vibe, architecture and design details, pastries and bakeries, and array of wine tasting options, also boasts dozens of unique boutiques, restaurants and gourmet food purveyors. Carefully curated

indie booksellers and high-end home goods suppliers mingle with fairy tale-like children’s stores and museum gift shops. Solvang’s foodie destinations offer everything from elevated street cuisine – like locally-sourced fish tacos on hand-made tortillas, and comforting ramen noodles – to European-style pretzels and sausages, to Italian standbys or iconic Danish dishes, to elevated new-Californian fare in the form of MICHELIN-honored menus. Solvang visitors sip small-batch, locally-roasted coffee, shop for exotic, hand-bottled spice blends, or enjoy Tiki cocktails and craft beer, all part of an indulgent and one-of-a-kind, year-round shopping and playing escape.

6 APRIL 16 – MAY 6, 2024
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Rainy forecast can't curtail egg hunters at annual Eggstravaganza

Somewhat truncated annual Easter event goes on at Buellton's River View Park despite clouds, raindrops

The day before Easter Sunday drew sizable crowds, despite the threat of rainy weather, to Buellton's River View Park for the 33rd annual Easter Eggstravaganza on March 30.

The leadup to the popular egg hunt was greeted with mostly sunny skies, although the event had to be curtailed somewhat with the possibility of the wet weather.

"It looks like the egg hunt will come along just fine," Recreation Coordinator Kristen Thomsen of Buellton Rec said before the start. "However, we had to cancel a few things that were part of it. No petting zoo, no games and a lot of the vendors canceled out, but we still have the Easter Bunny coming."

As the time for the hunt came closer, Buellton Recreation Coordinator Allison Firey warmed up the crowd by running along the rope trying to get a good crowd shot with her cellphone camera.

Meanwhile, Fred Lageman of Solvang Recreation was out in the field with a bullhorn, reminding the participants how much time was left before the hunt, and the ground rules for the hunt.

Then, finally, Lageman counted it down and the kids, some with parents in tow, took off to get as many eggs as they could, and many were seen just minutes later with a full basket of the plastic eggs. The eggs had candy inside (of course), but some were "golden eggs" hidden somewhere in the park grounds and redeemable for a bigger prize from the Rec Department.

Of course, the rain did make an appearance, as a quick cloudburst passed over the park as kids and their parents were sorting out the collected eggs.

James Downing and his family — wife Sydney, and kids Tylee and Sawyer — were among those prepared as he held up an umbrella while the kids were going through their loot.

"It's a good thing I brought this," James said referring to the umbrella, "it said on the

news the rain would come, but at least it waited until the hunt was over."

While many of the booths and activities were canceled due to the threat of rain, one group that showed up was the Valley Christian Fellowship where Pastor Jon Firey and Sherri Noble were selling toys and other Easter goodies to raise money for the VCF.

"This has always been a good event, and I just wanted to support Buellton Rec," said Firey,

who is also a professional musician and married to Allison, who works for the rec department. "We were coming here rain or shine."

Also able to make it for the event was the Easter Bunny, who was taking pictures with a long line of event attendees.

Despite the somewhat abbreviated event this year, Thomsen said the event was a success, and now they can look forward to next year's Eggstravaganza, slated for April 19, 2025.

8 APRIL 16 – MAY 6, 2024
And they're off! Kids run out to grab some plastic eggs after getting the signal at the Eggstravaganza March 30 at River View Park. Photos by Mike Chaldu Violet Lopez (left) and her mom Diana, both of Mission Hills in Lompoc, gather eggs at the Eggstravaganza on March 30 at River View Park in Buellton. Kids fill up their bags with plastic eggs during the Eggstravaganza on March 30 at River View Park in Buellton.


Recall's real reason: GOP wants Newsom off the road

Republicans behind the new recall drive against Gov. Gavin Newsom made a bit of a slip the other day, revealing the real reason behind their effort:

Get Newsom off the road, where he’s been about the most effective surrogate President Biden has had during his reelection effort.

Everywhere Newsom goes, he picks up IOUs from local Democrats, too, non-fungible currency he will be able to use in four years or so, if and when he makes his own run for the White House.

Yes, California Republicans realize Donald Trump is the current frontrunner in his campaign to oust Biden and regain the White

MHouse for four more years (or more, if he can somehow engineer an end run around the Constitution’s 22nd Amendment and its twoterm limit for presidents). But they also see that Newsom has become enough of a thorn in Trump’s side to rate a skit on “Saturday Night Live” and a disparaging nickname from Trump (“New-scum”).

Newsom has also advertised on his own in Republican-run states, getting sufficiently under the skin of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to engineer the first nationally televised debate between two governors with no known future in some other office at stake.

So Republicans are doing what they can to keep Newsom off the national road by trying to make him the first California governor ever to face two ballot recall drives. (Others have faced more attempts, but only two ever made a ballot).

They haven’t been able to find anything criminal about Newsom or any moral failings Newsom hasn’t already confessed to and apologized for (like his long-ago marital infidelity and the infamous French Laundry restaurant incident, where he dined out with friends in a swank eatery while ordering other state residents to lock down in the

midst of the Coronavirus pandemic).

Instead, they’re going after him for policy differences: They don’t like his okay of Medi-Cal health benefits for undocumented immigrants, they don’t like California’s taxes and its high spending on efforts to reduce homelessness, they didn’t like school closures during the pandemic.

Some of those were among the grounds they gave for the other recall the GOP engineered against Newsom, that one soundly beaten back in 2021, barely a year before Newsom was due to face the voters anyhow. Many voters saw it as a colossal waste of money, and voted “no” on those grounds alone.

This time, recall sponsors will need to gather 1.38 million valid voter signatures before the end of May in order to get a recall question and a list of alternative candidates for governor onto the November general election ballot. That’s hundreds of thousands more signatures than are needed to qualify an ordinary initiative or referendum for a statewide vote, making the new recall unlikely to get a November vote.

So this recall — if it qualifies — will likely need a special election, costing tens of millions of dollars and coming less than two years before Newsom will be term limited out of office any-

how. This from a party that often grouses about excessive and pointless government spending.

If it all sounds like an unnecessary exercise in futility, that’s because it may be. And not merely because the GOP has virtually no one ready to step up as a credible alternate candidate, the way muscleman actor Arnold Schwarzenegger did in the state’s only successful gubernatorial recall, against ex-Gov. Gray Davis in 2003, when he had three years left in his second term.

Nevertheless, Newsom’s team insists he won’t ignore the new recall effort. “We are taking it seriously,” said longtime Newsom spokesman Nathan Click. “These Trump Republicans are targeting Gov. Newsom because he’s out there defending democracy and fighting for the reelection of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. He’s not going to be distracted from that fight. Democracy is on the ballot, and he’s going to keep fighting.”

If that eventually helps Newsom raise money for a presidential bid of his own and makes him the Democrats’ de facto leading spokesman should Biden lose this fall, so much the better for him. Just like the last time, the recall advocates might again be doing him a big favor.

Thomas Elias is an independent opinion columnist; you can email him at

Mental Health: Enhancing cognitive functioning

Examples include taking up drawing, painting, playing a musical instrument, gardening, cooking, photography, or studying a foreign language. Anything that expands your horizons encourages you to think, plan and act in new ways.

Joining a group book club, meeting, and discussing books or articles combines both social interactions as well as intellectual stimulation.

The main point is to be challenged and stimulated. So, for example, I have tried learning different types of computer operating systems and different types of cameras to that end.

walking, hiking, sailing, golfing, or offroad mountain biking. In addition, regular exercise, even simply walking, can result in improved thinking in just months.

any experts agree that the more people challenge themselves, the less likely they will be faced with cognitive decline. The experts specifically suggest that anything that encourages a person to think in new and different ways may help to fight cognitive decline. There are many ways to be challenged. Of course, this should be tailored to the individual, building on their particular interests, abilities, and strengths.

Enrolling in your local junior college or university and taking courses is potentially enriching. Some courses can be taken without actually receiving course credits. There are typically a wide variety of available courses; reviewing the school's catalogs would be a starting point in learning what is available.

Other approaches to obtaining intellectual stimulation and being helpful to others would be to volunteer at your local continuation or high school. For example, I used to assist middle school students in their computer lab.

One source suggests that instead of new hobbies or activities, just do more of what you love, which can be as simple as reading daily newspapers or playing Monopoly or similar games with your children or grandchildren.

It has been pointed out that there are both physical and mental benefits of regular exercise. The suggestion is to participate in outdoor activities, such as taking up walking, hiking, sailing, golfing, or offroad mountain biking. In addition, regular exercise, even simply walking, can result in thinking improvement in just months.

Besides the previously mentioned, it has been suggested that there are both physical and mental benefits of regular exercise. It has been suggested to participate in outdoor activities, which could include

Strength training is also beneficial because it is not the only exercise that can improve thinking, but it can also minimize the risk of falling.

Besides regular exercise, it has suggested that a Mediterranean style of diet, including eating at least two servings of fish a week, such as salmon, helps to slow cognitive decline. Additionally, note that excessive alcohol consumption has been linked to cognitive decline.

Writing this article was one example of risk-taking. I was taking the risk of being seen as being stupid or not presenting anything valuable.

On the other hand, if anyone finds this article meaningful or helpful, then this has been rewarding for me and worthwhile for the readers.

Your comments or reactions are welcomed.

10 APRIL 16 – MAY 6, 2024
Commentary Daniel Rich Commentary


Fish will be biting this weekend at Cachuma Lake

12,000 pounds of trout already planted for 27th Annual Neal Taylor Nature Center Fish Derby

The fish will be biting at Cachuma Lake the weekend of April 20-21, and multiple anglers will be looking to take advantage of that as the lake's Neal Taylor Nature Center will be holding its 27th Annual Fish Derby.

The Fish Derby is the major fundraiser for The Nature Center at Cachuma Lake, which is a nonprofit organization.

This year’s Fish Derby will again include prize categories for multiple types of fish such as crappie, bass, catfish, trout, and carp. The prize pool has been increased this year which means everyone has a chance to win great cash prizes, fishing gear, and more!

Anglers of all ages are encouraged to enter the derby on April 20 and 21. Registration fee for adults is $40 if sent in advance or $45 if paid on-site Friday, April 19 to Sunday, April 21, and Youth Registration for ages 4-15 years old is always $10. Registration forms are available at Cachuma Lake Park entry gate, store, marina, Nature Center, and local businesses. To receive information and a registration form in the mail, leave your name and address on the hotline (805) 693-8381 or visit

Cash prizes amounting to more than $5,000 plus thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise prizes will be awarded in many categories and to anglers of all ages. Certain prizes are designated for children and for teens.

All anglers 16 years and older must have a fishing license, which may be purchased at the marina.

Free arts and crafts activities will be offered to children Saturday afternoon of Derby weekend and the Nature Center will also host a special Books & Treasure Sale on Saturday.

The Derby fishing begins at 6 a.m. on Saturday, April 20, and ends at 12 noon on

April 21. Contestants must fish in Cachuma Lake during the tournament hours and may fish from shore at any time during the Derby including Saturday night. A flare will be fired at the harbor to start the Derby on Saturday and to end the Derby on Sunday.

Due to the threat of quagga mussels, Cachuma Lake has a 30-day quarantine and inspection of all boats except those with a Cachuma Lake Tag and kayaks/canoes.

Please check for updates to the inspection protocol at

Other Fish Derby activities include: Visit the Neal Taylor Nature Center: Thursday through Saturday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Admission: Donations welcomed.

Children's Activities will be on the lawn in front of the Nature Center from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday. Donations welcomed.

Purchase raffle tickets (open to general public) for valuable prizes starting at 12 p.m. on Friday, April 19, and throughout the Fish Derby. The winning tickets will be drawn at the Sunday Awards Program, which begins at 1 p.m. at the Fireside Theater. You need not be present to win the raffle.

One-and-a-half hour wildlife cruises on the lake, led by the Park Naturalist, are $18 for adults; $12 for children 5 to 12 and 62+ years. Reservations required: Call the Naturalist office at (805) 688-4515

Books and Treasures Sale: At the Nature Center from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Awards Program at the Fireside Theater on Sunday, April 21, at 1 p.m.

To make reservations for cabins, yurts, individual campsites, or full hook-up sites go to or call (805) 686-5050. For other camping information, call (805) 686-5054.


The Neal Taylor Nature Center (NTNC), a 501(c) (3) nonprofit organization, is located within Cachuma Recreational Area in a picturesque old ranch house. Developed and operated by a corps of committed volunteers, it offers exhibits on the local valley and mountain environment for all ages, emphasizing hands-on exhibits for children of all ages. There is also a Native Garden behind the Nature Center.

Staff Report (From left) Brody Gheno, 11; Domenic Stilwell, 8; and Roman Stillwell, 11, from the Santa Maria Valley celebrate Domenic's catch during a past Fish Derby. Local fisherman Henry Hepp shows off his catch last year at Cachuma Lake. Anglers will gather at the lake this weekend, April 20-21, for the Neal Taylor Nature Center Fish Derby. Contributed Photos

Santa Ynez beats Dunn again in cross-Valley rematch

Pirates boys golfers come out on top in Sunset League tournament in Nipomo

After going up to Los Olivos and defeating Dunn School a month earlier, the Santa Ynez High baseball team played the Earwigs again April 10, and won 12-5 in a non-league game at the Pirates' diamond.

Santa Ynez posted the victory thanks to two big innings in a game that was a little more competitive than the score would suggest.

Dunn held a 1-0 into the bottom of the fourth, but Santa Ynez rallied for six runs in that frame. Then after the Earwigs closed to 6-5 going into the bottom of the sixth, the Pirates put up six more runs in that inning to break it open.

For SYHS, Bradley Lood went 3-for-4 with two runs, two RBI and a stolen base, while Adam Stephens went 3-for-4 with two runs, and Dallas DeForest was 2-for-2 with a run, RBI, and steal.

On the mound, Ryan Henrey went 5.2 innings, allowing three runs and striking out nine for the win.

For the Earwigs, CJ Hollister went 3-for-4 with a run and RBI.

The Pirates raised their overall record to 9-5, pending their April 11 game against Dos Pueblos, another non-league matchup. SYHS will try to improve on its 1-3 Sunset League record with games against Pioneer Valley on Wednesday, April 17 (at home), and Friday, April 19 (away).

The Earwigs, 7-9 and 1-5 in the Tri-Valley League, will return to action with games against St. Bonaventure on Monday, April 22 (at home), and Thursday, April 25 (away). They then will close out the regular season with a doubleheader at home against Legacy Christian Academy on April 27.

Pirates boys golf tops Sunset League foes

The Santa Ynez Pirates played in the third Sunset League tournament of the season on Monday, April 8, at Nipomo's par-35 Monarch Dunes Golf Course and came out on top in the nine-hole competition with a team score of 197. The Pirates

were led by Von Gordon with a 36 and Brayden Mlodzik with a 37. The medalist of the day was Talon Hawk of Morro Bay with an even par 35. Team results: 1. Santa Ynez, 197; 2. Morro Bay, 220; 3. Paso Robles, 221; 4. Cabrillo, 230; 5. Nipomo 248

Santa Ynez scores: Von Gordon, 36; Brayden Mlodzik, 37; Seb Perez, 40;

Marcelo Andrade, 41; Cody Armenta, 43; Ernesto Suarez, 46.

Santa Ynez beach volleyball defeats AG 2-1

The Lady Pirates earned their first Mountain League win of the season in a tight one with the Eagles at Sunny Fields

Park in Solvang.

“All three of our matches went to three games. Each game was a battle," said Santa Ynez head coach Melissa Rogers. "AG is well-coached and the adjustments were constant throughout the duel, which made for some well-fought games. All three of our teams were new pairings. The girls had a few rough patches, but did a stellar job of lining out their games and playing some solid volleyball.”

Pirates No. 1 duo Helina Pecile/Natalie Bailey (SY) defeated Riley Glanville/ Grace Kennedy (AG) 20-22, 21-19, 15-10. Arroyo Grande's No. 2 Tana Long/Bella Strickland (AG) defeated Sadie Lishman/ Kailyn Snekvik (SY) 21-15, 14-21, 15-10.

Santa Ynez's No. 3 Haley Spry/Ella Miller (SY) defeated Caroline Talley/Bixby Hardy (AG) 21-14, 18-21, 15-8.

The Pirates (7-10, 1-6 in the Mountain League) will finish the regular season with games against Mission Prep (home) on Tuesday, April 16, and Arroyo Grande (away) on Wednesday, April 17.

Pirates boys tennis suffers narrow loss on Senior Day

The Santa Ynez High tennis team lost 5-4 to Arroyo Grande on April 11 after celebrating the final match of the Pirates' six seniors: Dominic Day, Lucas Doman, Jonathan Hansen, Clayton Madill, Elias Thomas, and Matthew Wolfe. Freshman McCall Halme had a great win in the No. 5 singles line, defeating his opponent 6-4, 6-4. Day also won at line 6 in singles with a 6-0, 6-0 victory. The doubles team of Wolfe and junior Adam Angel won easily, 8-1, while junior Bryce Wilczak played a tough match at the No. 1 singles line against the Eagles' Lance Willkomm, taking the win 7-5, 7-5.

Singles 3-3

1.Bryce Wilczak won 7-5, 7-5; 2. Lucas Doman lost 5-7, 2-6; 3. Cooper Haws lost 1-6, 2-6; 4. Elias Thomas lost 4-6, 5-7; 5. Mac Halme won 6-4, 6-4; 6. Dominic Day won 6-0, 6-0

Doubles 1-2

Wilczak and Haws lost 7-9; 2. Doman and Thomas lost 2-8; 3. Wolfe and Angel won 8-1

12 APRIL 16 – MAY 6, 2024
Santa Ynez High's Elias Palmer slides into home during the Pirates' six-run fourth inning against Dunn on April 10. Santa Ynez won the game 12-5. Photos by Mike Chaldu Dunn's CJ Hollister gets ready to swing during the Earwigs games against Santa Ynez on April 10. The Earwigs lost to the Pirates 12-5 in the non-league game.

Firestad: California's premier high-pressure fire sprinkler company

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Moon over Buffalo: Witnessing a celestial event

Author shares her experience viewing the solar eclipse from western New York

Seeing a total solar eclipse is a phenomenon for the ages. For many, viewing this celestial event is a once in a lifetime experience. For others, a first viewing leads to a lifetime of eclipse chasing.

Planning to see an eclipse takes a little science and researching weather conditions, luck in finding accommodations, and patience. Honestly, once you have arrived at your destination for chasing an eclipse, it’s like waiting for the Great Pumpkin: Have you been a good boy or girl? Is your pumpkin patch sincere? And most importantly, will the weather hold clear skies?

After much effort and a little luck, I successfully saw the Great American Eclipse in 2017, alone with my son in a wide open field in Salem, Oregon. It was a spectacular sight to see my first total solar eclipse under perfect conditions.

For this week’s eclipse, I chose to chase it in Buffalo, New York, for no particular reason other than I had never visited Buffalo before and was curious about its fascinating history of opening American commerce to the Midwest in the early 1800s with the construction of the great Erie Canal.

The weather Sunday, April 7, was gorgeous, blue cloudless skies and in the 60s. The forecast for Buffalo on April 8 didn’t look promising with a prediction of clouds.

It seemed my fate and the hopes of 1 million visitors to Buffalo would be dashed by Monday morning under a thick layer of overcast.

Crowds began gathering at the lawn of the former Buffalo State Asylum for the Insane, reimagined into the new Richardson Hotel, a perfect location for viewing. The architecturally significant building is an imposing Romanesque tower and campus. The grounds were designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, best known for Manhattan’s Central Park.

As a live band played for an eclipse watching party folks lined up in eclipse finery including T-shirts and hats.

I wasn’t the only person from LA who came to Buffalo. Tiffany Begin from Cypress,

California, wanted to view the eclipse in the path of totality which includes Buffalo. “We planned this trip in October,” Begin said as the crowd started cheering as the clouds parted.

The city of 273,000 residents was expected to swell to 1 million by April 8. I was turned away for dinner Sunday night at two separate restaurants because they literally ran out of food.

With cloudy skies on Monday, even a minute before the eclipse started, I was unsure if the weather would allow for even a glimpse.

While my last eclipse was special because it was just solely my son and myself, this was special due to the community feel. People of all backgrounds and ages united in awe and wonder each time the clouds parted revealing the gradually increasing eclipse. Snatches of blue sky elicited cheers from the friendly crowd all wishing each other a great experience.

As the moment of totality approached, the event’s loudspeakers switched from playing Bonnie Tyler’s “Total Eclipse of the Heart” to the Beatles’ “Here Comes The Sun” as the sky drew eerily dark and lamp posts lit up along with large windows of the former asylum.

Fortunately, Buffalo had over three minutes of totality allowing the assembled crowd to witness the corona of the sun peeking out from the sides of the moon’s blockage. We witnessed solar rays without the need of eclipse glasses.

With the path of totality stretching across North America from Mexico over 15 states and into Canada, my family members near Austin, Texas, were able to view totality before New York. Austin, also cloudy, got lucky as Buffalo did with clouds parting as if on cue. Buffalo public schools were closed Monday so parents could supervise their children’s viewing while hopefully using eye-protective lenses.

Buffalo native Carol Pasek took in the spectacle of the day with humor, saying, “The best part about looking up at the eclipse for a person of age is we have no double chin.”

For anyone interested in seeing an eclipse, it’s worth noting that outside the band of totality, you will only catch a partial eclipse and, of course, weather depending, you may not see it at all.

Jeff Goldberg of Pasadena, California, said, “Wow! We just all saw it and the clouds moved away for us. Unbelievable! I would have to say that the difference between 99.9 and totality is literally the

difference between night and day.”

As the crowd dispersed in search of Buffalo chicken wings and roast beef on weck, Buffalo specialties, some were heard to remark that they needed to start travel plans

for the next eclipse.

The next eclipse will be in parts of Europe, including Spain and Iceland in 2026. For those staying closer to home, the next coast-to-coast U.S. total eclipse will be in August 2045.

14 APRIL 16 – MAY 6, 2024
People gather on the lawn by the Richardson Hotel in Buffalo, New York, to view the total solar eclipse on Monday, April 8. Photos by Nina Skriloff The total solar eclipse of Monday, April 8, is shown in the sky from Buffalo, New York.


Despite wet year, fish protections limit allocations

Regulations to protect endangered fish make it hard for San Joaquin Valley farmers to anticipate water supplies

CALIFORNIA — State and federal water providers have increased promised allocations after accounting for recent storms that improved snowpack and reservoir levels.

The California Department of Water Resources doubled the amount of water it expects to deliver this year to most contractors that rely on the State Water Project, increasing the allocation for water users south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta from 15 percent to 30 percent of requested supplies. Those north of the delta are expected to receive 50 percent of their allotment, while Feather River Settlement Contractors will get their full allocation.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which manages the Central Valley Project, increased allocations for south-of-delta agricultural water users from 15 percent to 35 percent of their contracted allotment and from 75 percent to 100 percent for those north of the delta. The revised allocations followed a new snow survey measurement released on March 1 and a spring runoff forecast released on March 8. As of April 1, statewide snowpack was 104 percent of average for that date. A final water allocation for the year, accounting for springtime precipitation, is expected in May or June.

In their initial allocations, water agencies are “cautious about not overcommitting water supplies that may not materialize,” said Chris Scheuring, senior counsel for the California Farm Bureau, adding that water allocations may still increase.

“We’re optimistic,” he said. “Hopefully, the season finishes out with another blast or two of rain, and we hope everybody is able to get full deliveries in a decent year like this one.”

Agricultural water users in the San Joaquin Valley voiced frustration at receiving roughly a third of their contracted allotment during a year with above-average precipitation, following historic rain and snow events last year that replenished California’s reservoirs.

“This is very disappointing and not because our expectations are unrealistic,” said Allison Febbo, general manager for Westlands Water District, a major water provider that supplies

farms in Fresno and Kings counties. “The broad public discussions surrounding water management in California have led us to believe that higher levels of delivery would be possible in better hydrologic years, such as this one.”

Allocations for farmers and other contractors south of the delta were limited by the presence of protected fish species near pumping facilities, which resulted in reduced pumping from the delta into the San Luis Reservoir. The reservoir serves state and federal water systems.

“While the series of storms in Northern California improved the water supply outlook, a number of factors, particularly anticipated regulatory constraints throughout the spring, continue to limit the water supply allocation for south-of-delta agriculture,” said Karl Stock, regional director for the Bureau of Reclamation.

DWR director Karla Nemeth said the state agency was doing its best “to balance water supply needs while protecting native fish species.”

The threatened and endangered fish species found near pumping facilities include delta smelt, winter-run chinook salmon and steelhead trout. Regulations designed to protect those species have made it hard for San Joaquin Valley farmers to anticipate water supplies from year to year, Scheuring said.

“Oftentimes, we find that species-related re-

strictions hamper the flow of water from north to south,” he said. “It is not so much a supply problem as a regulatory problem and, some would say, an infrastructure problem.”

DWR emphasized the need for the Delta Conveyance Project, which would move water south from the delta through a 45-mile tunnel. The $16 billion project would “make it possible to move more water during high flow events while helping fish species like steelhead trout avoid threats posed by current pumping infrastructure,” the department said.

In December, the water agency released a final environmental impact report, approving the project. The tunnel still needs buy-in from water users that would fund the project, and it faces challenges from opponents trying to block it in court.

Febbo said the inability to move water south through the current system has consequences for crop production and the people who make their living from agriculture.

“Inadequate and unpredictable water supplies have a direct impact on the communities and farms in the San Joaquin Valley and their ability to feed the nation and the world,” she said. Febbo called the most recent allocation “a missed opportunity to celebrate what appears to be good outcomes for fisheries and to also provide water supplies that are essential for the San Joaquin Valley, an area already struggling

with economic challenges and rising unemployment.”

Nicole Nicks, general manager at Westside Transplant in Merced County, which supplies tomato transplants to farmers across the state, said last month that growers in the Westlands Water District were hesitating to plant processing tomatoes because of uncertainty around water supplies.

While tomato acreage is largely dictated by the supply needs of canneries, which are contracting less tonnage this year, Nicks said water supplies also play a role.

“It was kind of shocking,” she said last week, that the allocation for farmers south of the delta was not increased more. A larger revision, in line with the state’s water supplies, might have prompted some growers to order more tomato transplants, she said.

“Depending on how things go,” Nicks said, “they could still change the allocation. But by that time, it’s kind of too late.”

Westlands Water District said it conducted an analysis that found steelhead trout and winter-run chinook salmon “are expected to trigger further restrictions on delta pumping into June,” which is after farmers of many crops will have made their cropping decisions for the year.

“The hydrology this year is good,” Scheuring said. “If we have folks that are getting shorted, that’s a problem.”

The San Luis Reservoir, which provides water deliveries to the San Joaquin Valley, was at 65 percent of capacity when this photo was taken on Feb. 16. By April 1, the reservoir had risen to 73 percent of capacity. Photo by California Department of Water Resources.

California agrees to lasting cuts to Colorado River use

River supplies water to 40 million people in the West and irrigates more than 5 million acres of farmland

CALIFORNIA — California has agreed to make long-term cuts to the amount of water the state uses from the Colorado River, according to a proposed plan for managing the river released earlier this month by California, Nevada, and Arizona.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation and the seven states in the Colorado River Basin, as well as 30 tribes and Mexico, are negotiating a plan to protect the river after a decades-long megadrought depleted flows and left key reservoirs Lake Mead and Lake Powell in danger of running dry.

Under the Lower Basin states’ proposal, which would take effect after 2026 and potentially last decades, California would forfeit about 10 percent of its allocation in most conditions, with Nevada giving up 17 percent and Arizona 27 percent. Mexico, if it agreed, would reduce its use by 17 percent. The reductions would apply when a range of reservoirs along the river are between 38 percent and 58 percent full. They would conserve a total of about 1.5 million acre-feet of water per year.

“It’s a matter of trying to thread the needle between ensuring that we have a long-term viable water supply in the Colorado River and respecting the water rights of the states and agencies,” said Tina Shields, Imperial Irrigation District water manager, who has been involved in the talks about the river’s future management. The river supplies water to 40 million people in the West and irrigates more than 5 million acres of farmland.

California, the water rights of which are senior to those of other states, is entitled to the largest share of the river. The state is allocated 4.4 million acre-feet of water per year, about a third of the river’s total supplies. Farmers in the Imperial Valley, who are entitled to 3.1 million acre-feet per year, use most of the state’s Colorado River water to irrigate alfalfa, winter vegetables, and other crops.

If river reservoir levels were to fall below 38 percent full, it would trigger steeper cuts on a sliding scale. In that scenario, which would conserve up to 3.9 million acre-feet per year, Upper

Basin states would also face reductions.

If reservoirs filled to 58 percent of capacity, Lower Basin states would face smaller cuts. At 68 percent full, no water reductions would be enforced. Lake Mead, the largest reservoir on the river and in the country, is currently 37 percent full, well below its historic average but not as low as a couple years ago.

“Implementing our alternative will be extraordinarily difficult. It will represent billions of dollars in investments to manage the reductions,” J.B. Hamby, California’s Colorado River commissioner and vice president of the IID board of directors, said at a briefing this month. “We’re proposing it anyway, because that’s what we must do if we want a sustainable Colorado River Basin for future generations.”

A competing proposal from Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, and New Mexico would base mandatory reductions on the levels of Lake Mead and Lake Powell, without factoring in the levels of smaller reservoirs, and would spare those states any cuts even in the most dire circumstance.

Federal officials and negotiators on both sides of the debate said they will continue talks to try to reach a consensus.

“We very much want to keep the system out of long-term litigation,” Shields said.

The Lower Basin states, including California, have yet to hold intrastate discussions to determine how much of their allocation individual water users, such as IID, would conserve under the scenarios considered in their proposal.

“We recognize that they’re not going to solve the structural debts on the Colorado River without participation from agriculture,” said Imperial Valley farmer Larry Cox. “More than likely, that means participation from Imperial Valley. But we would prefer not to have it mandated to us.”

Because of the seniority of the Imperial Valley’s water rights, the region has so far shared and conserved water through voluntary programs that compensate farmers for water savings, allowing growers to make economic decisions on whether to participate.

Since 2003, IID has transferred 16 percent of the valley’s entitlement to cities such as San Diego in exchange for funding to install water-saving irrigation systems. More than 70 percent of the Imperial Valley’s farm acreage participates in that “on-farm” conservation program funded through IID’s water transfers to urban water districts.

From this year through the end of 2026,

Imperial Valley growers aim to conserve an additional 8 percent of their allocation through federally funded programs that are part of a short-term plan to manage the river. In total, the Lower Basin states plan to conserve around 3 million acre-feet of water over three years.

In the Imperial Valley, the programs could cost more than half a billion dollars, with the federal government paying IID $776 per acrefoot of water saved. The funds would be used to manage the programs, compensate farmers and improve irrigation infrastructure.

IID is awaiting authorization from state and federal wildlife agencies to finalize two programs it plans to use to conserve water through 2026.

One program would use the funds to expand on-farm conservation efforts by compensating farmers at a higher rate to install efficient irrigation systems. The other program would pay farmers to stop irrigating alfalfa for 45-60 days during the summer. That program would sacrifice some hay cuttings without killing the perennial crop.

Farmers had hoped to have a green light for those programs early this year. But wildlife agencies raised concerns that the water conservation could result in habitat loss for two endangered species, the desert pupfish and the clapper rail bird, which live in the drainage ditches and wetlands at the edge of the Salton Sea. The inland sea has been fed for decades by irrigation runoff and is shrinking as farmers cut back on water use.

The wildlife agencies have requested a formal biological consultation to determine the potential impact of agricultural water conservation on those species.

“It’s been a little frustrating,” Shields said, referring to the length of the environmental review process. She added that getting environmental authorization for a water transfer that large might typically take around two years, “but we also know that this is a short-term commitment.”

The federal government has allocated $250 million from the Inflation Reduction Act to fund habitat restoration at the Salton Sea in exchange for the region’s Colorado River conservation efforts.

Shields said she hopes the environmental review will conclude by April or May, in time for farmers to take advantage this year of a deficit-irrigation program that would run between June and September.

“Obviously, we had some conservation goals

that we will not be meeting this year because of the delayed implementation,” she said. “We’re going to do the best we can, and certainly our growers have committed to do what they can as soon as they’re allowed to move forward.”

Federal officials said those conservation plans and above-average precipitation over the past two winters have lessened the near-term risk of reservoirs sinking to critically low levels.

For the Imperial Valley, the next three years could be a roadmap for the region’s role in long-term management of the Colorado River. “We’re going to learn a lot from our near-term conservation plans,” Shields said.

Farmers said their primary concerns for longterm management of the river are to ensure their senior water rights are protected, be compensated for conservation and avoid programs that take farmland out of production.

“Fallowing would have to be a last resort, and if it ever were used, it would need some conditions on it so that we don’t dry up the Imperial Valley,” said Mark McBroom, who grows alfalfa, citrus and other crops in Calipatria and chairs IID’s Agricultural Water Advisory Committee.

The Imperial Valley’s economy depends on its agriculture sector, which generates nearly $3 billion a year and employs one-sixth of Imperial County’s workforce. For that reason, “Fallowing is kind of the F-word for us,” McBroom said.

Growers said there is still room to save a lot of water through land leveling and installation of more efficient irrigation infrastructure such as pump-back systems, sprinklers and drip irrigation.

“There are more things we could do, but it doesn’t make economic sense to do it under the current funding mechanism,” said Cox, who grows alfalfa, lettuce, onions and other crops in Brawley, referring to compensation rates under the San Diego water transfer. He added that with the rising cost of materials and labor, it has become more expensive to install new irrigation systems.

In discussing California’s long-term commitments, Shields said the Imperial Valley “certainly would not want to agree to any long-term reductions” because of its “untouchable” water rights, but would instead look to save water through partnerships with other water users and compensated conservation programs.

“The water rights priority systems are going to be an important calculus as we start to break up those reductions on an agency-by-agency basis,” she said.

16 APRIL 16 – MAY 6, 2024


'Under the Same Sun' art exhibit opens April 20 at Elverhøj

Works displayed from five visual artists based in Central and Southern California

Staff Report

Debuting April 20 at Elverhøj Museum of History and Art is "Under the Same Sun: From Low-riders to Farmworkers." The exhibition features works by five visual artists based in Central and Southern California with their own unique approach as seen in the diversity of the work on display and the variety of styles.

The works on display are vignettes that relate to this contemporary moment in California, acknowledging the daily occurrences of shared region. The exhibition celebrates

the diverse stratum of communal being and that we are all a part of this everyday experience

The public is invited to meet and celebrate with the artists at the opening reception on April 20 from 4

Viewers can learn more about the artists’ tools, techniques, and motivation when they gather for an artist demonstration and dialogue on Saturday, June 29, from 4 to 6 p.m. There is no charge for admission.

Elverhøj Museum of History and Art, located at 1624 Elverhoy Way in Solvang, is open Thursday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is no charge for admission. A suggested donation of $5 is gratefully accepted.

Under the Same Sun remains on display through July 7. For more information, call the Museum at (805) 686-1211 or visit

to 6 p.m. Refreshments will be served; there is no charge for admission. Featured artists are Priscilla S. Flores, Narsiso Martinez, Oscar Pearson, Luis Ramirez, and Jacqueline Valenzuela.

A work of Luis Ramirez is shown. Ramirez is one of five California artists to be featured in the Elverhøj Museum exhibit "I Hurt the Whole Way Through" by Jacqueline Valenzuela is one of the works featured in the Elverhøj Museum exhibit

Roar and Pour returns to the Santa Barbara Zoo

Zoo is still accepting wineries to participate in May 4 event

SANTA BARBARA — It’s time to raise a glass at Roar and Pour, a “wild” wine tasting event at the Santa Barbara Zoo on Saturday, May 4, from 5 to 8 p.m., with a VIP hour from 4 to 5 p.m. Roar and Pour is a community favorite where guests get the chance to sip, stroll, and take in the spectacular zoo’s views! Tickets are on sale now, and can be purchased online at

Don’t miss this roaring good time! Not only will guests enjoy unlimited tastings from the region’s leading wineries, but they will also have the opportunity to feed the giraffes, ride the zoo train, and have exclusive access to zoo grounds after hours. Guests will also take home a souvenir Roar and Pour 2024 wine glass. Roar and Pour VIP ticket holders will enjoy early entry, as well as animal encounters and appetizers. Food and non-alcoholic beverages are also available for purchase.

Wineries wanted

The success of Roar and Pour is due, in great part, to the generous donations from our local partners. 2024 participating wineries so far include Arthur Earl, Brick Barn Wine Estate, Ca' Del Grevino, Cutruzzola Vineyards, High Seas Mead, J Dusi Wines, Lavender Oak Vineyard and Winery, Longoria Winery, Lumen, Melville Winery, Riboli Family Wines, Rincon Brewery, Single Fin Cider, Summerland Winery, and Turiya Wines. Wineries interested in participating can get more information at docs. Register for Roar and Pour early, as space is limited. General admission tickets are $95 and VIP tickets are $130. All proceeds benefit the ani-

mals at the Santa Barbara Zoo. For ages 21 and over only. For more information about Roar and Pour and to see participating winery and brewery partners to date, please go to or call (805) 962-5339.

About the Santa Barbara Zoo

The Santa Barbara Zoo is open daily from 9 a.m. for members and 9:30 a.m. for general admission until 5 p.m.; general admission is $25 for adults, $15 for children 2-12, and free for children under 2. Parking is $11. The Santa Barbara Zoo is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA). AZA zoos are dedicated to providing excellent care for animals, a great visitor experience, and a better future for all living things. With more than 200 accredited members, AZA is a leader in global wildlife conservation and is the public’s link to helping animals in their native habitats. Visit


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18 APRIL 16 – MAY 6, 2024
Those attending the Santa Barbara Zoo's Roar and Pour event on Saturday, May 4, can sample numerous wines and enjoy all the trappings of the zoo, including the train. Santa Barbara Zoo attendees can enjoy the grounds as well as a variety of wines during the Roar and Pour event Saturday, May 4. Contributed Photos


Spring is here — time for some cleaning


We’re gearing up for a fashion adventure this season and what better place than Elna’s Dress Shop in Solvang to lead the way with our glamorous and fabulous take on style for you. Since spring is finally here, take a look at our new arrivals. We definitely can help with wardrobe planning, always keeping in mind what is best for you, our customer.

Color, size, fit, versatility for work, casual or dressy. What makes a great fashion image? Proper fit, good color, and great proportion for your age, size and height.

For “fashion lovers,” Spring cleaning is inevitable — we are ready to put winter dressing away. This is a good time to look over the clothes you didn’t wear and donate them to a charity. Out with the old and hardly worn, and in with the new seasons pieces. The classic pairing of black and white adds

sophistication to black prints and graphic punch to knits and stripes. Also, black and gold is a striking combo and can take you from work to an evening get-together. For Spring you will be seeing matching floral bouquets, contrasting prints and textures, and crayola-bright colors to mix-and-match prints.

We cannot forget the natural selection of beige and khaki and soft versions of brighter hues for prints, patterns, and knits.

What can I say about denim? Denim fabrics go with everything, and have continued for many years. You can’t go wrong with deep shades of indigo and/or navy denim. When in doubt, bring in your favorite pieces from home and our staff will assist in helping you build your spring wardrobe. Visit us soon.

All sale merchandise is 50 percent off regular prices. Come in now for the best selection. Elna’s Dress Shop is located at 1673 Copenhagen Drive in the heart of Solvang, and open Monday, closed Tuesday, open Wednesday thru Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness invites the community to Light Up Green

Countywide lime glow sought in honor of Mental Health Month in May

Staff Report

SANTA BARBARA — Santa Barbara County is once again inviting the community to join the County of Santa Barbara as well as other counties, and our nation, to light up buildings with lime green during the month of May. Light Up Green is aimed to show community members that nobody is alone facing mental health challenges, beginning May 1 and going through May 31 in recognition of Mental Health Month.

For Mental Health Month this year, the 2024 Mental Health America theme is “Where to Start: Mental Health in a Changing World.” In a world that is constantly evolving, it can be overwhelming to navigate the various challenges and changes happening around us. The pressures of work, relationships, and societal factors, like politics, climate change, and the economy, can significantly impact our mental well-being, sometimes even more than we realize.

A variety of events will be taking place

throughout the community over the course of the month, beginning with the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors proclaiming May as Mental Health Month at their May 7 hearing.

This May, Behavioral Wellness encourages community to:

• LEARN how modern life affects mental health and learn resources to navigate our changing world

• ACT by building a coping toolbox to manage stress, difficult emotions, and challenging situations

• ADVOCATE to improve mental health oneself, those we love, and our community

And remember, you are not alone. Help is always available; speak with someone today. The Behavioral Wellness toll free Crisis Response and Services Access Line can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at (888) 868-1649 for assistance in receiving services. To learn more about County of Santa Barbara Department of Behavioral Wellness, please visit countyofsb. org/behavioral-wellness.

Now that Spring is upon us, Elna's Dress Shop has plenty of brightly-colored additions to your wardrobe. Come to 1673 Copenhagen Drive in Solvang to see.



everybody come together."

Goetz said it was important to bring a sense of community and personal touch to selling goods, something she feels has been lost.

"You know, we're living in the age of technology, right?" she said. "And people are just shopping online all the time and losing that one-on-one experience. With this [Flying Miz Daisy], it's so cool to see people go 'Yes, I know what that is, and let me tell you a story about that.' Then you know it's going great."

On the vintage market's website (www., Goetz describes its vendors community as "a family" that "welcomes those who seek a different kind of relationship with the goods that surround them."

"A lot of them have been with me for years and years, and they follow me where I do my shows," she said. "There are some new ones, which is great, from the Central Valley and up, but I usually like to have the antiquing community with me on these."

While Goetz treasures her vendor "family," her real family is also very dear to her. Goetz and her husband, Bob, have lived in Solvang since 2020, and she keeps in touch with her four adult sons, Peter, Bobby, Corey and Dusty. In fact, two of them made appearances during our interview: Peter, who has a production company that works with TV network like the Discovery Channel, facetimed Char from the Amazon, where he was doing some work; and another son, Corey, who recently moved to the area and has a health and fitness podcast, came in person to say hi to his mother.

However, a driving force in Char Goetz's efforts with Flying Miz Daisy and her philanthropic efforts is her late daughter, Ashley Goetz, who was born with cystic fibrosis, and passed away from the disease at age 25 in 2014.

Char said it was Ashley who had an important role in the establishment of Flying Miz Daisy.

"Before she passed, we sat down and actually did a dream board, or we like to call it a vision board, and she said 'Mommy, what do we want to do with this trailer? Where do you want to go with it?'" Char said. "And I said I really wanted to open a vintage market, and we put it on the vision board.

"I took it to the city of San Juan Capistrano, and they were like, 'this is great,' and that's how I got it started. So, Ashley was the one who pretty much inspired this."

Ashley also inspired Char to create a foundation bearing her daughter's name to contribute to deserving causes. Details can be found at ashleygoetzfoundation. com. Recipients of the foundation currently shown on the site, include Slave 2 Nothing, a foundation that aims to eliminate human trafficking and helps those in the throes of drug and alcohol addiction; and Womencraft, a community-driven social enterprise that designs, produces and exports hand-woven home décor items made from natural fibers and vibrant fabrics of East Africa.

"We're in the process of changing it up, because we like to change up who we give it to," Char said. "We have all women-based organizations we donate to, because she was all about that. So we donate every year to these causes, and [Mission Santa Ines] is one of them.

"Our goal is just to help as many people as we can and keep her legacy alive."

A trip through the Flying Miss Daisy Vintage Market shows a number of dif -

ferent kinds of vendors. One of them was Anything Rustic, which sells furniture and home decor obtained from far and wide.

"We items sourced from around the world," said Audrey Rivera, who runs the Anaheim-based business with her husband Hank, and their two sons, Zavier and Jeremiah. "We get stuff from far away as Germany and France."

"We hand-pick every item we sell," Hank said. "A lot of love went into it."

The Riveras said working this show represented the first time they came to Solvang.

"We do at least 12 shows a year for our business," Audrey said. "Sales have been amazing here for us today, so it's definitely a success."

Nearby, Pamela Amrine of Ojai was selling her wood products out of her trailer, along with Samantha Simpson. There, the selection ranged from small wooden signs with various sayings to flowerboxes to benches, all made with salvaged wood.

"Everything we have here is repurposed and recycled through my business, called Pamela's," Amrine said. "I've been doing this for 20 years to support my kids and grandkids."

Amrine said she makes the rounds at all the big antique shows.

"Yeah, I do this show, Three Speckled Hens in Paso Robles, Great Junk Hunt, Barn Chicks; there's a lot of them."

Other kinds of merchandise spotted for sale at the market included clothes and antiques as well as a few food trucks.

Since starting it in Solvang last year, Goetz has run the Flying Miz Daisy twice a year, with the next one scheduled at the mission for Sept. 21.

"We got it scheduled right in the middle of Solvang's Danish Days, so we should do pretty well with that one," she said.

Goetz said the market will continue to have a presence in Solvang as long as she resides there, and talked about how much she's enjoyed the area since making the move in 2020.

"Solvang really has that small-town feel we were looking for when we moved from Orange County," she said. "It really is so beautiful here. We live here, but I always feel like I'm on vacation."

To find out more about the Flying Miz Daisy Vintage Market, go to flyingmizdaisy. com. For more info about the Ashley Goetz Foundation, go to

20 APRIL 16 – MAY 6, 2024
Pamela Amrine of Ojai fixes up her flowerbox display at the Flying Miz Daisy Vintage Market at Mission Santa Ines on April 6. Photos by Mike Chaldu


Berries and cheese coming into season at farmers markets

As the weather is starting to warm up, our local farmers have even more delicious produce to choose from. You should start to notice more berries and fruits as they come into season. There are still plenty of leafy greens and you might even find a few early tomatoes. We must buy the big box of strawberries because if we buy anything smaller, there’s a little empty container by the time we get back to the car. They just smell so amazing when they are in season and are irresistible.

Here are some in-season fruits and veggies that you should be able to find at most of our local farmer’s markets:

• Avocados

• Cherries

• Rhubarb

• Strawberries

• Blueberries

• Artichokes

• Asparagus

• Cabbage

• Celery

• Green Peas

• Kale

• Onions

• Spinach

• Radishes

• Swiss Chard

Mother’s Day is a perfect reason to visit the Saturday Morro Bay Market. Bring your mom and treat her to all the wonderful foods, flowers, and sweet treats available. You

can pick up everything you need to make your mom a truly special Mother’s Day meal and some beautiful flowers. Don’t forget to stop by Stepladder Creamery’s booth to pick up her favorite cheese for avocado toast. Amanda from Stepladder Creamery recommended the super fresh and brand new Chevre, which you can spread on the toast with the avocado, or the nutty, salty Cabrillo, which can be grated on top. They make everything at their farm in Cambria, so it is always fresh and delicious.

cheese (Stepladder Creamery)

• Fresh dill, to taste


1. In a medium skillet, heat a thin layer of olive oil over medium heat. Add eggs and cook for about 3 minutes or until cooked to your liking.

• 2 cups of mixed berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)

• 2 cups of Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla flavored)

• 1/4 cup of honey or maple syrup (adjust according to your sweetness preference)

• 1 cup of granola

If you have a mom with a sweet tooth, be sure to pick up some fresh berries from the market. Serve them alongside the avocado toast just as they are or make a sweet Berry Parfait. Bacon and sausage are my favorite part of breakfast, so be sure to check out one of the local butchers or ranchers at the market for the best sausage flavors and tasty bacon. GreenLove Elixir has some amazing granola and syrups for your parfait treat. They also sell some chocolate truffles and bars for an extra sweet treat. You can also make mom a super special dessert and make some chocolate-covered strawberries, too.

Goat Cheese Avocado Toast Serves 2


• Olive oil (check out The Groves on 41)

• 2 eggs

• 2 slices sourdough bread, toasted

• 1 avocado

• Salt, to taste

• Black pepper, to taste

• 1 tablespoon crumbled or spreadable goat

2. Mash avocado flesh with a fork and divide between the toast. If using spreadable goat cheese like Stepladder’s Chevre, mix it with the mashed avocado and spread on the toast. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top each slice of toast with a fried egg and sprinkle each with crumbled goat cheese. Sprinkle with fresh dill, and enjoy!

Berry Parfait

2 servings


• 1 cup Greek yogurt

• ½ cup granola (GreenLove Elixer)

• ½ cup strawberries (about 6), hulled and quartered

• ½ cup raspberries (about 8-10)

• ½ cup blueberries (about 10-12)

• Honey


1. In two glasses, divide the yogurt and top with a layer of strawberries.

2. Continue with another layer of yogurt, granola, and berries.

3. Drizzle with honey.

Berry Parfait

4 servings


• Fresh mint leaves (optional, for garnish)


1. Wash the berries thoroughly under cold water and pat them dry with a paper towel. If you're using strawberries, remove the stems and slice them into smaller pieces.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the Greek yogurt and honey or maple syrup. Stir well until the sweetener is evenly incorporated into the yogurt.

3. Take serving glasses or bowls, and begin layering your parfait. Start with a spoonful of the yogurt mixture at the bottom of each glass.

4. Add a layer of mixed berries on top of the yogurt. You can alternate between different types of berries for variety.

5. Sprinkle a layer of granola on top of the berries. This will add a nice crunch to your parfait.

6. Repeat the layers until you reach the top of the glass, ending with a final layer of yogurt.

7. Garnish each parfait with a few whole berries and a sprig of fresh mint, if desired.

8. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together before serving.







At Santa Ynez Valley Union High School, Administrative Building, 2975 East Highway 246 Santa Ynez

For more info:



At Community Services District Building, 1070 Faraday St.

For more info:



At Solvang City Council Chambers, 1644

Oak Street, Solvang

For more info:


At Council Chambers, 140 West Highway 246, Buellton

For more info:



At Solvang City Council Chambers, 1644 Oak Street, Solvang

For more info:



Betteravia Government Administration Building, 511 East Lakeside Parkway, Santa Maria

For more info:



At LACSD Board Room, 82 Saint Joseph Street, Los Alamos

For more info:



At Council Chambers, 140 West Highway 246, Buellton

For more info:



At Solvang City Council Chambers, 1644 Oak Street, Solvang

For more info:



At Solvang City Council Chambers, 1644 Oak Street, Solvang

For more info:



County Administration Building, 105 E. Anapamu St., Santa Barbara

For more info:




The Economic Summit, held at Craft House at Corque in Solvang, promises will focus on crucial areas such as tourism, education, and housing, with the goal of fostering economic growth and innovation in the Santa Ynez Valley.

The keynote speaker for this prestigious event will be Danna Stroud, the community-based solutions regional manager at the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz). Stroud brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, and her insights should contribute significantly to the discussions surrounding the community’s economic development.

Other speakers at the event include Alison Laslett (CEO, Santa Barbara Vintners), Joan Hartmann (Santa Barbara County 3rd District Supervisor), Shelby Sim (CEO, Visit Santa Ynez Valley), Steve Golis (Co-Founder, Radius Group), and Jim Knell (SIMA Corporation).

General Admission tickets are $50, which includes breakfast.

At Craft House at Corque, 420 Alisal Road, Solvang

For tickets and more info: events/santa-ynez-valley-economic-summit/



The Fish Derby is an annual event that has been taking place at Cachuma Lake in Santa Barbara, since the mid 1990s. Every year, hundreds of people venture out for weekend of fun, fishing, and festivities.

The event hosts a variety of activities. People of all ages are welcome to participate. Ages 5 and up can participate in the fish-weighing Dcontest, and earn cash and fishing gear prizes. There are also several raffles, with prizes that include fishing gear, gift baskets, local restaurant gift certificates, lake cruises, and more.

At Cachuma Lake, 1 Lakeview Drive (off Highway 154), Santa Barbara For more info:



Join co-owner and founder Kim Busch and the Folded Hills Team for a special Earth Day hike.

Starting at 9:30 a.m. at our Farmstead, enjoy a meet and greet with our new baby piglets, feeding the animals. Receive a little farm education from our Farmstead manager, Hayley Francis. From there, we will head out on a casual hike led by Kim across the Folded Hills hillside vineyard during bud break! We will end at the private lake on the ranch to enjoy a tasting of newly released Folded Hills wines. Savor light bites from our Executive Chef Mark Gonzales.

Tickets are $60. This is an easy to moderate 1.5-mile hike (or 3 miles if you decide to hike back.

At Folded Hills Winery Ranch Farmstead, 2323 Old Coast Highway, Gaviota For tickets and more info: foldedhills/event/471115/folded-hills-earthday-hike-tasting


The California Nature Art Museum celebrates Native Plant Appreciation Month with native plant sale, coffee, and used books. Enjoy a large variety of native plants for sale from Yes Yes Nursery and Manzanita Nursery. Be inspired by educational materials from Santa Ynez Valley Botanic Garden and Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, cozy-up to a cup of coffee (and a bag of compost!) from Considered Coffee Co. Peruse a selection of used books benefitting Museum education, and get creative with a free planter-painting activity. From 11 a.m.

to 1 p.m., enjoy a free guided planter-painting activity. Bring your own planter or recycled container (pickle, peanut butter, or mason jars work great for this!), or take one of ours (while supplies last). Decorate a home for native plant seeds or seedlings! General admission to the museum is $5, with museum members, children 17 and under, military with ID, and Museums for All with ID all admitted free.

At California Nature Art Museum, 1511-B Mission Drive, Solvang

For more info: california-poppy-day-63d9n



A must see — the 2024 Solvang Custom Knife Show happens beginning Friday, April 26 in Solvang.

One-day and two-day passes are available for purchase at the door on the days of the event. One-day passes will be $20 and two-day passes will be $35.

This specialized art show is a must for you, whether you are a seasoned collector wishing to add a one-of-a-kind piece to your existing collection or a new knife enthusiast wanting to collect and educate yourself.

At Craft House at Corque, 420 Alisal Road, Solvang

For more info:


22 APRIL 16 – MAY 6, 2024
Star File Photo
The 37th annual Datsun Roadster Classic will show off a sea of the classic car model on Saturday, April 27, on 1st Street in Solvang, right next to Solvang Park.


The 35th Annual Solvang Datsun Roadster Classic legendary show is traditionally held the last Saturday in April each year in Solvang. Nearly 100 Datsun Roadsters descend on the town for a get together on Friday night and the day-long show and shine on First Street with Datsun Roadster enthusiast attending from all over the world. Raffle proceeds go to the American Diabetes Association. To register for the show, go to

At First Street and Copenhagen Drive, Solvang. For more info: solvangroadstershow.


Look at what is coming, Buellton Rec's third annual Spring Peddler Faire! Our community has incredible artistic talent and local artisans will be to selling their fine handmade crafts. Examples: industrial arts such as metal or woodworking, crochet, fabric creations, etc. Free admission for the public at River View Park, 151 Sycamore Drive, Buellton


An Artisan's Market is held in Solvang's PARc Place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the fourth Saturday of each month. The Artisan’s Markets feature a variety of kiosks manned by local artisans displaying their wares, including jewelry, clothing, gifts, soaps, crafts, candles, art and food. Farmers are also welcome. Vendors interested in participating in this Artisan’s Market or the ones in Los Olivos (every third Saturday of the month) or Santa Ynez (first Saturday) can call Georgina Guttman at (505) 270-2332 or on Instagram @solvangartisansmarket. At PARc Place, 1623 Mission Drive, Solvang

For more info: Call Georgina Guttman (505) 270-2332, Instagram @solvangartisansmarket



Formed in Santa Barbara in 1995, the Mad Caddies quickly emerged as a unique force in the music scene with their original name "The Ivy League." Known for their energetic

blend of ska and punk rock, they add unique touches of reggae and jazz to create a distinctive and catchy sound. Famous for their dynamic and party-like live performances, they have garnered a loyal fan base worldwide. Ticket prices are $35, $45, $60, and $70. With special guests Bad Cop Bad Cop and Jon Snodgrass. Preceded by a Garden Party from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

At Solvang Festival Theater, 420 2nd St., Solvang

For tickets and more info: solvangtheaterfest. org/show-details/mad-caddies


and participate in an enticing raffle. Families with sensitive ears will appreciate the designated “No Horn Hour” from 10 to 11 a.m., ensuring a quieter and more relaxed experience for all. Don’t miss out on this thrilling day filled with hands-on fun and unforgettable memories. All proceeds benefit the Solvang Bethania Preschool and After School program. At Bethania Lutheran Church, 603 Atterdag Road, Solvang

For more info: TouchATruck


The Buellton Chamber of Commerce and Rio Vista Chevrolet proudly presents the 11th annual Buellton Brew Fest on Saturday, May 4, at River View Park! “May the 4th Be With Brew!”

A sellout every year, the Brew Fest celebrates with over 55 craft breweries, wineries, ciders, kombucha, and spirit companies on site!

“May the 4th Be With Brew!” Bring out those Star Wars costumes and we will pick some lucky winners on stage!

Live musical entertainment, a variety of food trucks and merchant vendors, mega-sized beer pong, cornhole, and plenty of places to soak up the sun! Bring your lawn chair and blanket, and enjoy the scenery!

At River View Park, 151 Sycamore Drive, Buellton

For more info:





Experience the excitement of the 8th annual Touch A Truck event, where three parking lots will be transformed into a fascinating showcase of construction, safety, farming, and specialty trucks. This family-friendly extravaganza offers a unique opportunity for both children and adults to get up close and personal with an impressive array of vehicles. From towering construction trucks to sleek safety vehicles, there’s something for everyone. In addition to the truck exploration, attendees can indulge in delicious concessions, enjoy the creativity of face painting,


Join us indoors on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings.

Come to enjoy songs, stories, movement, and a warm welcome. Please make a reservation at goleta-valley-library

At Solvang Library, 1745 Mission Drive, Solvang

For more info: Solvang Library (805) 688-4214



Each week, the farmers in the marketplace

display a colorful bounty of agricultural products grown right in our backyard. Seasonal diversity is available year-round rain or shine. Come. Shop. Socialize. Certified — the only way to buy! Join us in downtown Solvang every Wednesday on First Street, between Mission Drive (Highway 246) and Copenhagen Drive.


Please join us for an evening out with family fun for all in Buellton, hosted by Esfuerzo Wines and The Birria Boyz. This event will take place each Wednesday from 4 to 8 p.m. Each week we will have guest food vendors, live music and much more to be announced. We hope to see you there!

At 140 Industrial Way, Buellton

For more info:




Pickleball — part Ping-Pong, part badminton, lots of momentum — is one of the fastest-growing sports in the country. The games can be fast-paced and deliver a good workout. 2 person teams/ or singles. All are welcome!

At Buellton Rec Center, 301 Second St., Buellton

For more info:


Start your day with a pick up game of basketball with friends.

At Buellton Rec Center, 301 Second St., Buellton

For more info:


Start your day with a pick up game of basketball with friends.

At Buellton Rec Center, 301 Second St., Buellton

For more info: FOR

kinds of construction, utility, emergency, law enforcement, and other vehicles and equipment can be viewed and explored at the Bethania Lutheran Church on Saturday, May 4. Star File Photo
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