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02 20

D I S C O V E R M O N T H LY Real Estate & Visitors Guide




Cover Photo: Patty Waltcher, LIV Sotheby’s Realty • 805-340-3774 See Page 2


Tips & Tactics. See more at the OJAIHUB.COM


Fe at ur ed


Co ve r


EAST END SPACIOUSNESS On 40 acres, this magnificent East End estate has panoramic views of the Ojai Valley. The main structure features a great room with vaulted ceilings, a huge family room and a large eat-in farmhouse kitchen. The property includes a sauna, a wine room, a 75 ft infinity pool, a 4-car garage, a guest suite, an EV charging station, horse corals, solar and a well. Beautifully landscaped and built with green materials, this is a truly unique property. 2661L adera R dO j a i .co m


O ffered at 5, 400, 000

OM — February 2020

SIGNAL STREET SPLENDORT On nearly 8 acres at the top of North Signal Street, this property has amazing views of the entire Ojai Valley. In addition to the main house, there are two ďŹ nished guest houses and a third utility building with many possible uses. The dwellings are surrounded by pepper, bottle brush and fruit trees. It is walking distance from town, Shelf Road and Pratt Trail. 1203Nor thSi gnalStO jai .com

O ffered at $3,100 , 0 0 0


I will help you discover the home that brings peace to your mind and heart

(805) 340-3774 pattywaltcher.com OM — February 2020


2144-2150 BALDWIN ROAD OJAI Private Estate 85 plus acres 6 legal parcels $5,000,000

1615 McNELL Casual Farm House in Ojai's East End. This open floor-plan includes a great room with vaulted and beamed ceilings and a massive rock fireplace, and an open kitchen with custom mahogany cabinets.$1,800,000.


CLDRE 01173283 In the Real Estate Industry Since 1986 (805) 798-0960 • cathytitusojai@gmail.com


OM — February 2020

4821 GRAND AVENUE Ojai East End. Highly desired area of Ojai Valley. The spacious living room offers a La Cantina folding door, floor to ceiling rock fireplace, wood-beamed ceiling and wood floors. $2,395,000

1133 EL CENTRO 1939 Farm House on 1+ Flat Acre. Affords Sustainable Living; Front and Rear porches, open floor plan with fireplace in living room, large dining kitchen area that includes an island with work area sink, built-in appliances, walk in pantry, granite counter tops, Roomy master suite including a walk in closet, jetted tub and dual sink areas, $1,120,000

OM — February 2020




Editor’s Note


Calendar of Events


Featured Events: “Harvey” Returns


Featured Professional:

Dr. Tiffany Morse


Interest Rate Regrets - The Re-Fi Plan


Five Top Tips for Spring Cleaning


Sold in Ojai


Who’s Who In Ojai


Stay Ojai — Hotels Guide


Chef Randy — Bessara Appetizer


Eat in Ojai — Restaurant Guide

14 26

40 Top 7 Hikes Into Ojai’s Backcountry


44 Ojai Facts & Founders

Editor & Publisher, Bret Bradigan Realtor/Partner, Ross Falvo Contact Us: Ross Falvo, 805.207.5094 editor@ojaiquarterly.com The contents of the Ojai Monthly may not be used, reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without the written consent of the publisher. Cover: Property by Patty Waltcher, LIV Sotheby’s Realty


02 20

D I S C O V E R M O N T H LY Real Estate & Visitors Guide






Cover Photo: Patty Waltcher, LIV Sotheby’s Realty • 805-340-3774 See Page 2 OM — February 2020



Tips & Tactics. See more at the OJAIHUB.COM

OM — February 2020



OJAI MONTHLY THE QUIET RIOT “Silence is not the absence of something, but the presence of everything,” — Gordon Hempton.

Bret Bradigan

It’s been two years since the Thomas Fire and already we feel that communal spirit diminishing in every Facebook feud, every fist-shaking public pronouncement over water, every antagonistic approach to civic life. It’s a good time to remind us that we should feel so lucky that we can afford to be so divided. Here’s an account of the 1906 earthquake that leveled San Francisco to its foundations: “Never even when the four walls of one’s own room in a new city shall close around us again shall we sense the old lonesomeness shutting us off from our neighbors. Never again shall we feel singled out by fate for the hardships and ill luck that’s going. And that is the sweetness and gladness of the earthquake and the fire. Not of bravery nor of strength, not of a new city, but of the new inclusiveness. They in the other fellow.” Sound familiar? That’s still us, even if it doesn’t feel like it so much lately. One attribute Ojai has going for it, has always going for it, is the serenity of our surroundings; nestled into an east-west valley with abundant sunshine and clement climate, even in these days of the low winter sun, when the Pink Moment is at its most glorious. I like to imagine that on these early winter evenings, there are hundreds of people like myself, taking a moment to slow down and ground themselves in the present moment; a shared experience, each to ourselves, all together at the same time. In Jenny Odell’s important new book, “Doing Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy,” she opens with “Nothing is harder to do than nothing.” As an infrequent meditator, I know well the truth of that. The ceaseless chatter of the monkey mind makes us feel as though we are missing the essence of our brief window of life. And the worry about missing out makes that existential anxiety even more stressful. It’s a vicious cycle of distraction and frustration. Unfortunately, in the past 20 years, the social media engineers have figured out how to hack our brains with constant drips of serotonized click-bait. But it goes back even further: In 1877, Robert Louis Stevenson wrote, “A sort of dead-alive, hackneyed people about, who are scarcely conscious of living except in the exercise of some conventional occupation.” To me, that describes perfectly the stupor of awakening from a Twitter binge to realize that most of a beautiful winter day is gone, the sun slipping below the horizon, feeling like a passenger standing on a pier, watching the ship they missed vanish into the distant mists. Ojai is changing. That’s always been the case, but it feels like the pace of change is accelerating in 2020. There are a cluster of Arcade stores closing, including Human Arts, which, after 45 years, feels like an institution. The theater, around which much of Ojai life revolved, appears no closer to re-opening than ever, more than five years since the busted water main flushed the flourishing community center out of operation. The Oaks has yet to reopen, a Thomas Fire victim still. Yet you can hardly turn on the television, pick up a magazine, or listen to the radio without Ojai being mentioned; our profile is high. As the world gets more complicated, the Ojais of the world, quiet places for contemplation and rejuvenation, become more necessary. We’re the place people go when you’re tired of being plugged in all the time. Maybe, Odell suggests, instead of #FOMO — fear of missing out, we should have #NOMO — the necessity of missing out.

OM — February 2020




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OM — February 2020

1101 N. Montgomery Street - $1,289,000

1054 / 1056 Bath Lane, Ventura - $1,899,000

3 bedroom/2 bathroom, 2,180 sq. ft. home on .50 acres with gorgeous mountain views, sunrises, and sunsets. Updated kitchen and bathrooms, located in a quiet neighborhood and just a mile to downtown Ojai!

Located just 550 feet from the beach at Pierpont Bay, this modern 2,690 s.f., 5 bed/5 bath property (built in 2002) features ocean and mountain views. Two units, plus parking for 7 vehicles. Great rental $$ potential!

501 Vallerio Avenue - $769,000

1442 S. Rice Road - $1,299,000

3 bedroom/2 bathroom, 1,893 sq. ft. home on .34 acres w/Venetian plaster walls, a huge family/entertainment room, “Pink Moment” sunsets, remodeled bathrooms, and room for a pool or large garden. Turn-key!

Spacious 7 bed/5 bath, 6,484 sq. ft. home on 1.17 acres. Separate permitted 1 bed/1 bath guest suite allows for potential rental income. Gorgeously landscaped grounds. Horses allowed!

Sale pending

Sale pending

1674 Ladera Road - $1,750,000 5 bedroom/3 bathroom, 2,409 sq. ft. home with detached guest house on one acre on Ojai’s East End. Refinished wood floors, new paint inside and out, one level, views, pool - this one has it all! Sale pending

DRE# 01761150, 00780642, 01877842

Phone: 805.272.5221 ~ Email: Team@DeckertDePaola.com ~ Web: www.BestBuysInOjai.com OM — February 2020


15% Discount Restrictions apply. Not to be used with other offers or discounts.

Call for free design consultation


the art of organization

closets | garages | home offices | entertainment centers | wall units | wall beds pantries | craft rooms | laundry rooms | mud rooms | wine rooms ©2019 Closet Factory. All rights reserved. CA Lic. #937353


OM — February 2020


www.1320carne.com Price upon request





DRE # 01438966

DRE # 01761197

W W W. 8 0 5 P R O P E R T I E S . C O M OM — February 2020


We’llOjai,get you there! Meiners Oaks and Mira Monte From and to: For Just $1.50!

ADA and Medicare Card Holders .75¢, Seniors 65 and up .75¢, Children under 45” tall and Seniors 75 and older (with ID) FREE

The Ojai Trolley Service The Ojai Trolley Service, established in 1989, is owned and operated by the City of Ojai. The Trolley provides daily fixed-route transportation to approximately 9,000 riders per month throughout Ojai, Meiners Oaks, and Mira Monte. The Trolley is a well-known feature in the Ojai Valley, and in addition to the daily fixed-route services, participates in many local community events, fund raising activities, community service, and educational functions. Photo: Michael Transfer Locations/ Punto de transbordar

Ojai Trolley Route Legend

Transfer to and from Gold Coast Transit at this location


Trolley A Services

Whispering Oaks & East End


Trolley B Services

408 South Signal Street, Ojai, CA 93024 • Phone: (805) 272-3383 • www.ojaitrolley.com trolley Stops/ Paradas

Ojai Valley Inn

(805)272-3883 trolley@ojaitrolley.com WWW.OJAITROLLEY.COM

Timed Trolley Stops/ Paradas Mayores

El servicio de Ojai Trolley opera diariamente, excluyendo los siguientes días feriados: Día de Año Nuevo, Día de Conmemoración de los Caídos, Día de Independencia, Día del Trabajador, Día de Acción de Gracias, y Navidad.


Ojai Trolley operates daily, except on the following major holidays: New Year’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day.

www.Ojaitrolley.com Effective 1/1/18

The Ojai Trolley is a Service of the City of Ojai & the County of Ventura

(805)272-3883 • trolley@ojaitrolley.com


OUTSIDE SALESPERSON Days of Operation/ Días de Operación 25 tokens for $30


Community Connection

Ojai Valley’s

Join the team at Ojai Quarterly, Ojai Monthly & Ojai Hub Seniors (75+) /Mayores de 75 años Kids under 45” tall /Niños menores de 45” de altura Transfers/Pases de transbordo


Ojai Trolley Service - 408 S. Signal St, Ojai, CA. 93023 or


Mayores de 65 años, Discapacitados, Medicare

contact / Para mas informacion, escriba por favor a:

*Seniors (65+), Disabled, Medicare /

For additional information or to file a complaint, please

Single Fare/Una Tarifa … … $0.75 Day Pass/Pase de Dia …… . . $2.00

805-272-3883. 1964 en su forma emendada. Para más información, llame al nacional según Título VI del acto de las derechos civiles de

Reduced Fare*/Tarifa Reducida

• must be friendly, outgoing. “A people person” • Flexible hours • Must be conscientious and reliable. • Must be fluent with technology — email, dropbox, google drive • base pay plus commissions • Comes with steady base of loyal customers • Above All, Must love Ojai

ventajas de sus servicios a base de raza, color o su origen excluye la participación, o negar a ninguna persona las

Ojai Trolley esta comprometido a asegurarse de que no se


Aviso de Derechos Civiles de Título VI

For additional information, please call (805)272-3883. as amended.

Single Fare/Una Tarifa … … $1.50 Day Pass/Pase de Dia … … . $4.00

General Fare/Tarifa Regular


origin as protected by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, benefits of its services on the basis of race, color or national

person is excluded from participation in, or denied the

The Ojai Trolley Service is committed to ensuring that no

Title VI Civil Rights





MONTHLY Real Estate & Visitors Guide


Second Ojai Short Film Festival Acts Local, Screens Global DO YOU HEAR? The Story Behind the Songs



applications to





SATYA & HER HATS Taking Care of Her Mother, Business


‘Much Ado’ About Shakespeare’s Return



Dan Lopez & Ojai’s Rancho Days

Clark Ready for Next Adventure

Cover Photo Ojai Valley Trail Riding Company, See page XX

Visitor Information • Hikes • Events • Activities • Lifestyle Tips & Tactics See More At OJAIHUB.COM OM — December 2019

Check out the smartphone app GoVCBus for stop-time arrival predictions.

Note: Boss is kind of odd,



but he will grow on you


OQ / SUMMER 2019


OM — February 2020

Can of th on th time calle

CAFE EMPORIUM: Ojai Cafe’ Emporium, a turn key, well established breakfast and lunch restaurant , located in the heart of downtown Ojai . Prime location steps away from all of Ojai’s events and attractions. Ojai Cafe’ Emporium has for over 34 years addressed the need in the

community for a warm and friendly dining experience for family, friends and business. A family tradition for every generation serving high quality, fresh and healthy food. And if you crave something sweet, there is an adjoining bakery producing fresh baked goods every morning. Take advantage of this prime piece of commercial real estate with a fully operational up and running business. $2,200,000

TOM WEBER Broker 805-320-2004

TomWeber@OjaiTom.com CalDre# 00805061

952 EAST OJAI AVENUE: Excellent exposure on Ojai’s main street. Just a short few blocks walk to downtown. This was the Ojai Surplus Store for more than 30 years. Free standing building of appx. 2758 Sq. ft. with a detached 800 Sq. Ft. storage building with roll up door. With proper approvals you may be able to divide into two or more smaller units. apx. 7+ parking spaces. Alley access behind for ease of shipping in and out. $1,099,000

Whitman Architectural Design

www.whitman-architect.com Providing the highest quality custom residential & commercial Architectural Design and Construction Services.


Stephen Adelman “Your Family Man Realtor”

“We Shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”

Winston Churchill

805.640.5563 | www.ojailuxuryrealestate.com | DRE# 01786486

OM — February 2020



FEBRUARY 8 ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY WORK DAY Location: Wheeler Gorge Visitor Center, 17017 Maricopa Highway Time: 9:30 a.m. Contact: 805-640-9060 moblfstore@earthlink.net FEBRUARY 8 A SALUTE TO TONY BENNETT with the The Lola Haag Jazz Quartet, featuring Jimmy Calire, Danny Young and David Hunt Location: The Underground Exchange, 1016 West Ojai Avenue Time: 7:30 p.m. Contact: 805-340-7893

A combination of tasty classic jazz standards and cool favorites. THROUGH FEBRUARY 9 DISNEY’S BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, JR. Location: 907 El Centro Road Times Fridays at 6 p.m. Saturdays at 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Sundays at 2:30 p.m. The Lions Cast of Ojai Youth Entertainment Studio will perform the weekend of. February 7-9, with a special tots performance on Sunday at 11 a.m. Contact: info@ojaiyes.org or 805-646-4300. THROUGH MARCH 8 ELEMENTAL — Works by Victoria


Pearson and Douglas Tausik Ryder. Dates: Through March 8th Location: Porch Gallery 310 East Matilija Street Contact: info@porchgallery.com or call (805) 620-7589 Whether exploring a collection of sticks, a sheep, or in Tausik Ryder’s case, the female body, both artists use their respective mediums of photography and sculpture to explore the form and intrinsic beauty of their subject matters. FEBRUARY 8 GREAT BOOKS SEMINAR— The Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio Location: Agora Foundation,

Contact: 295-8687 Historical Walking Tours of Ojai venturafoodtours.com Date: Saturdays, October through June Certified Time: 10:30 a.m. Date: EveryFarmer’s Sunday Market Date: Every Morning, Guided and Full Moon Location: Departs from the Ojai Valley Time: 9 a.m. Sunday to 1 p.m. Time: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Meditations Museum, 130 West Ojai Avenue Contact: 698-5555 Contact: 698-5555 Date: TBD Contact: 640-1390 Location: Matilija Street city parking lot Location: Matilija the Arcade. Location: Meditation Mount, 10340 ojaivalleymuseum.org behind the Arcade.Street city parking lot behind Open air air market market featuring featuring locally locally grown produce, plants, musicians and handmade items, including Reeves Road soaps, baskets, beeswax Open candles and olive oil. Contact: 646-5508 ext.103 “Eating Ojai” Food Tour grown produce, plants, musicians and meditationmount.org Date: Call to schedule handmade items, including soaps, basHistorical Walking of Ojai Note: Meditation Mount has been on hiTime: 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. kets, beeswax candles Tours and olive oil. Date: Every Tuesday through Sunday atus since the Thomas Fire. Check their Location: Varies Time: Please call the Museum office to schedule 14

OM — February 2020

OPPOSITE PAGE: Lola Haag will play “A Salute to Tony Bennett” on Feb. 8 at the Underground Exchange. The Great Books Seminar on Feb. 8 will focus on Boccaccio’s “Decameron.

417B Bryant Circle Date: Saturday, February 8, 2020 Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact: 805-231-5974 FEBRUARY 16 OJAI CHAUTAUQUA CONTINUING SERIES ON EDUCATION - Addressing Declining Public School Enrollment in the Ojai Valley​ Location: 417 Bryant Circle Time: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Contact: 805-231-5974 agorafoundation.org

website at meditationmount.org. Big new coming soon. “Third Fridays” Date: Third Friday of the month Time: 5 to 7:30 p.m. Location: Downtown Businesses Contact: 640-1390 OjaiVillageExperience.com “Ojai Fiction Writing Workshop” Date: Every Thursday

THIS PAGE: The Ojai Art Center Theater is co-hosting with Gai Jones the “Sage to Stage” workshop. Great Books will take on William James’ pragmatism Feb. 29.

FEBRUARY 22 GREAT BOOKS SEMINAR — Pragmatism by William James Location: 417 Bryant Circle Time: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact: 805-231-5974 agorafoundation.org FEBRUARY 29 GREAT BOOKS SEMINAR - The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer Location: 417 Bryant Circle Time: 10: a.m. to 3 p.m. Contact: 805-231-5974 agorafoundation.org

Time: 5:30 to 8 p.m. Location: Ojai Library, 111 East Ojai Avenue Contact: 640-6865 vencolibrary.org “Shakespeare Salon” Date: First and third Mondays Time: 7 to 9 p.m. Location: Ojai Library, 111 East Ojai Avenue Contact: 646-1639

OM — February 2020

SIGNUPS: “SAGE TO STAGE ACTING WORKSHOP with instructor Gai Jones” Dates: March and April, March 25, April 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29. Final performance, May 2 at 6 p.m. in the Ojai Art Center Gallery. Location: Ojai Art Center, 113 South Montgomery Street Contact: gai.jones@sbcglobal.net prior to March 22. Call 805-640-6472. Coursework: Acting and Improvisation work to stimulate creative writing. Then to write and perform poems, spoken word, monologue and scenes based on the participants’ life stories.

“Ojai Seeker’s Bike Tour” Date: By reservation 48 hrs in advance Meditation Mount Time: varies hosts Full Moon MedLocation: varies itations. Check their Contact: 272-8102 or emailat ride@ website meditationthemobshop.com or online ator call 646mount.org porchgalleryojai.com 5508 for more updates. Ojai bike tour features agricultural, artistic, culinary, cultural and historical landmarks in Ojai.



furniture & art • custom upholstery • rugs window coverings • interior design

250 E. Ojai Ave. Ojai, CA 805.640.7225 DownHomeFurnishings.com 16

OM — February 2020

Rotary Club of Ojai seeks projects to fund Deadline for proposals March 15

The Rotary Club of Ojai


‘Harvey’ Opens OPAT’s 2020 Season

public agency.

3-5, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30, In the 21st century, Sundays at 2 at Matilija Auditorium. many would expect to “There is nothing trivial about its see more evolution in themes,” said Director Richard Camp. how we relate to other “This is a work about society’s perenhuman beings. “Harnial need to crush individuals who vey” shows us that even do not conform to majority thinking. well-meaning amiable It is also about our inability to listen characters who don’t fit to our fellow humans.” the societal norm can Most of “Harvey” takes place in be judged and shunned. a mental hospital, where Elwood’s Especially by the ones sister Veta tries to have the man they love the most. committed. All of this sounds heavy, A relevant and combut what makes this play unique is plex play, “Harvey,” is Jimmy Stewart played Elwood and Harvey ramble along in about a man who invents an imaginary companion, a Elwood P. Dowd in the 1950 comedic form. A loveable, well-meanfilm version of “Harvey” ing middle-aged tippler and his giant giant bunny named Harvey, 6-foot-tall imaginary bunny, who who, even in the chaos and seems to have a strange effect on people it dysfunction of life, helps balance the ordinary encounters, bring a lightness to this story. and not-so-ordinary complications the main A reviewer from the recent Broadway character endures. All because he sees and revival starring Jim Parsons had this to say approaches life differently. about “Harvey,” “Elwood is onstage, spreading “Harvey” is the first play of the 2020 season infectious good cheer amid the chaos he and for the Ojai Performing Arts Theater. The proHarvey leave in their wake. I can’t say I spotted duction will run weekends March 27-29, April

One proposal per organi-

Snyder Guest Artist at Poppies Art & Gift

will be awarding Community Grants in the following areas for 2019: 1. Educational activities for youth, adults or older adults within the Ojai Valley. 2. Proposals for educational activities within the Ojai Valley with a specific focus on promoting peace will receive special consideration.

Each applicant must be a not-for-profit community-based organization or

zation will be allowed for grants between $500 and $2,500 Community grants are intended to assist in starting new programs or projects for the first year. To apply, go to ojairotary. org and follow the link for Rotary Club of Ojai Educational Foundation. The deadline for applications is Friday, February 28, 2020.

ings are held in private collecPoppies Art and Gifts antions around the world. nounces its February guest artSnyder is thrilled to show her ist Virginie Snyder, of Ojai. She work in Ojai for the first time. will exhibit her oil paintings Native Californian flora and and prints Feb. 1-29 at the shop, fauna, as well as homegrown 323 E. Matilija Street, Ojai. fruits and vegetables, fascinate A reception in her honor will and inspire her. She is drawn to take place Feb. 21 from 5:30Virginie Snyder’s “Invisible the imperfect beauty of heirloom 7:30 p.m. Cindy Kalmenson, to the Eye.” fruits and sees their malformaOjai singer and songwriter, will tions, scars and bruises as analperform. Refreshments will be ogous to our own psychological available. condition. For her, these meditative studies are Born in Northern France, Snyder received an act of cathartic healing. art instruction from her uncle, a Flemish Poppies Art and Gifts features all local fine painter. She later studied at the prestigious art and photographs, handcrafted items, and École nationale supérieure des arts et induslocally made products at affordable prices. tries textiles (ENSAIT). This formative experiStore hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily. For ence led to an extensive career as a decorative more information, visit poppiesartandgifts. painter throughout Europe, Asia, North and com. South America. Her watercolors and oil paintOM — February 2020



Ojai’s community website 18

OM — February 2020

Events • News • Explore


Gallery • Workshops • Pottery Parties • Free Tours

Open 10-6 Daily • 1804 E. Ojai Avenue • 805.272.8760 • www.firestickpottery.com

The Agora Foundation

Seminars and panels The Agora Foundation offers groups of interested people a unique opportunity to consider and discuss important themes over a series of inspiring seminars and panels. Explore the questions that have been debated through the centuries by the greatest minds of civilization and participate in meaningful, civil discourse. Scholarships available for teachers and discount subscriptions available. Saturday, February 8, 2020 The Decameron (selections) by Giovanni Boccaccio Sunday, February 16, 2020 Ojai Chautauqua Continuing Series on Education - Addressing Declining Public School Enrollment in the Ojai Valley Saturday, February 22, 2020 Pragmatism by William James Saturday, February 29, 2020 The Canterbury Tales (selections) by Geoffrey Chaucer

Visit our website to Register:


OM — February 2020

(805) 231-5974


Ojai’s locally owned and operated magazines.




On the Firing Line with Travis Escalante

u ary 2 01



By nationally award-winning


MONTHLY Lifestyle & Visitor Information

writers and photographers. OjaiHub.com 805.798.0177

Ojai by Design:

book spotlights famous architects

Visitor Information • Hikes • Events • Activities • Lifestyle Tips & Tactics - December 2017 See More AtOMTheOjai.net

Let us heLp you get it out! • AwArd-winning writers & editors • we cAn heLp you with everything From First drAFt to First sALe

(writing coAches • editors • designers • pubLishing) editor@ojaiquarterly.com • 805-798-0177 • ojaihub.com


OM — February 2020

The barthelemys have more in store

Cover Sponsored by Oak Grove School “Where the World is Our Classroom • See More On Page 19


• FuLL service pubLishing house

Ojai’s toy story:



OM — February 2020


Your FriendlY neighborhood gYm

• Full Service Workout Facility • Large variety of free weights & machines • Cardio equipment • Fully equipped Pilate’s studio • Personal Training • Over 50 weekly fitness classes • Yoga & Qigong • Great club atmosphere • Helpful and friendly staff

The once-calmed mind is vast.

• Spa Services • Massage • Microdermabrasion skin treatment • Watsu (water massage)

- Alan Watts

• Steam room • One to three day health retreats

Let us help you undo the clutter.

Ojai Self StOrage www.ojaiselfstorage.com

• Convenient Hours • Discount Rates Available

Call us for a tour 805 . 646 . 2233

Authorized Dealer

406 Bryant Circle Ste. “Q” Ojai, CA 93023

U-Haul 805-646-5334 404 Bryant Circle Ojai Self Storage 805-646-8742


OM — February 2020

Donna Sallen

Enter through the gates of Rancho Matilija and instantly feel the majestic beauty of the area. Surrounded by the Los Padres National Forest, Rancho Matilija is one of the best-hidden secrets in all of Ojai. This neighborhood features estate homes that appeal to those who appreciate the tranquility and privacy of a secluded, gated community, in a country setting. As you wind your way through the tree-lined, roads you will feel the security and privacy that this property offers. +Sitting perfectly on nearly three acres, this modern Spanish home is reminiscent of the infamous Ojai Valley Inn designed with elegance and style. Once inside you will be delighted with the open, spacious floor plan, showcasing views from every room. With the style and size of this home, you will be able to enjoy the lifestyle of a city escape or immerse yourself in the community for full time living. You will enjoy hiking on the private trails of Rancho Matilija. Horses are welcome.

Donna Sallen 805-798-0516 w w w. D o n n a S a l l e n . c o m D o n n a 4 re m a x @ a o l . c o m

There’s no place like home ... Let me find yours. OM — February 2020

2019_Aug_Donna Sallen 1 Page.indd 2

23 12/27/19 5:27 PM

Donna Sallen

Fabulous and charmingly inviting, this two-story Victorian estate is nestled in the magical East End of Ojai. Surrounded by organic orchards and meticulous landscaping, this home is filled with Southern Charm. The wrap-around porch looks out to the gardens, as the country kitchen and breakfast nook looks out to the pool and tennis court. Perfectly situated nearby are the spacious guesthouse, separate cottages, and a writer’s studio creating plenty of living space for friends and family. This relaxing and inviting estate is truly elegant.

El Viaje was inspired by architectural design of an Italian Luxury Villa where Old World Charm and the modern conveniences of every day life come together perfectly. As you enter through the gates to a private, secluded yard you will love the mix of mature trees, the rose gardens, and the cozy seating areas.

Sitting on over three acres in the prestigious Persimmon Hill area of downtown Ojai. This five-bedroom, three-bathroom sprawling ranch style home showcases open-beamed vaulted ceilings, a stunning great room with a massive brick fireplace, formal dining room, hardwood floors and a large master suite.

There’s no place like home ... Let me find yours.

Sitting perfectly on over an acre of land with citrus fruits and a driveway of Cypress trees. Located minutes away from trails, organic grocer, coffee shops and yoga studio. This home has the modern design that unites family spirit, cozy atmosphere and large open spaces. Recently renovated, this light filled house has a spacious floor plan with vaulted ceilings, polished concrete floors and custom doors leading out to a private backyard. The property’s meandering paths lead to an artist studio and a sleeping cottage. This home is made for a true Ojai lifestyle.

WOW, two houses - one lot...Located in the heart of downtown Ojai, there are two homes on one oversized lot to give you a flexible lifestyle. The main home has hardwood floors, nice open kitchen to the dining room and has been tastefully updated. There is a bonus room in the main home allowing for a third bedroom or recreation room, or an in-law suite.

Donna Sallen

805-798-0516 w w w. D o n n a S a l l e n . c o m D o n n a 4 re m a x @ a o l . c o m

Located on the edge of the Historic Arbolada of Ojai, this ranch style home and guest house is gated and private. You are welcomed into this light-filled home with vaulted ceilings, large windows and an open, spacious floor plan with gleaming hardwood floors throughout.

By Ted Cotti



R e p re s e n t t h e C o m m u n i t y ’s Va l u e s

As the Superintendent of the Ojai Unified School District, Dr. Tiffany Morse made it a priority this past summer to “take the pulse of the community.” Having spent three months listening to staff, students, parents, volunteers, donors and other residents, she is now hard at work trying to make sure Ojai’s public schools — four elementary, a middle school a high school, Independent Study and a continuing education school — “offer an education that reflects the values of the community.” Morse moved here with her husband, Dr. Tom McCoy, who is the Assistant Superintendent for the Oxnard School District. She has two stepchildren: her daughter Riley attends Loyola Marymount University, and her son Curran is studying sound engineering at Moorpark College. “At our house it’s all education all the time,” she quipped. When she’s not working, Morse enjoys hiking, biking and reading. “I just love to read,” she said. “A few years ago I actually set a goal to read a book a week, 52 books a year.” Morse, who has bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees from the University of Nevada, Reno, comes to Ojai from the Ventura County Office of Education where she served as executive director of Career Education helping secure nearly $30 million to fund a series of career pathways to prepare students for jobs in some of the county’s leading industry sectors. Morse said she hopes to bolster Ojai’s CTE offerings: “There’s lots of room for CTE growth here,” she said. “There’s a lot of creativity in Ojai, and we want to harness that energy and bring it into the district.” “Basically it means that our schools reflect the values of the community,” Morse explained, “which means I needed to listen and learn.” As such, upon arrival in June, Morse jumpstarted her “Engage to Impact” program: a series of three community 26

OM — February 2020

engagement meetings, one each month, seeking to identify “values we want to replicate in our classrooms and how those values fit in with strong academics.” As a result, Morse said, she knows that Ojai values: first, environmental stewardship and regeneration; second, creativity, which includes the arts but also creative problem solving; third, wellness; and fourth, creating a culture of inclusiveness, valuing diversity and teaching it explicitly.

Engage to Impact culminated with a school board retreat in August where they produced a mission statement and a vision statement. “When we reach out to the community, it’s not just about asking for money or love or support; it’s about building relationships,” Morse explained. “ If we have public schools that reflect the values of the community, then people will

money,” she said. “That’s not a compelling narrative, so the first thing we want to do is change that. We want people to know that being part of a small school district is great, it’s advantageous.” In an attempt to push that narrative Morse sent handwritten notes to all new employees and new families in the district and intends to continue to do so; she meets quarterly with staffs at each site at something called “Soup with the Sup”; and she has introduced something called “Community Classroom” at the elementary schools. “It’s an hour one Friday per month to go learn from a volunteer member of the community who wants to come share his or her passion with the kids, whether that be baking bread, bee keeping, Tae Kwon Do or whatever,” Morse explained. “We hope to bring a number of speakers to each site and give the students a choice every month. It’s a way for folks in the community to share their drum circles. “We want people to see that being part of a small school district offers opportunities to make personal connections,” she added. “We’re hoping to bring personalized attention from the superintendent down to the bus driver. That’s the kind of thing that will ultimately draw families back to our public schools.” Morse also plans to do some rebranding and increase the district’s social media presence. “We have to have a cohesive plan to tell our story,” Morse said. “That’s part of our work, and schools historically have not been good at it. We want visitors to know why moving to Ojai is great and why you’d want to bring your family and attend the public schools.” A native of Grass Valley, California (near Sacramento), Morse says she will look to draw on her experiences of growing up in a small town.

say ‘Yes, I have the resources to help.’ Sometimes that’s money. Sometimes time.”

“When I was a kid, I thought Grass Valley was the most boring place in the world,” Morse said, “but when I went back as an adult, I thought it was exactly the kind of town I’d like to live in: no Target, no fast food, no chains but plenty of hiking and yoga and even a Farmer’s Market. “Some places you live because that’s where you end up,” she added, “and some places you choose. I chose Ojai.”

Garnering support has long been a top priority for Ojai Superintendents because Ojai has struggled with reduced enrollment issues for more than a decade now. Yet, Morse doesn’t necessarily see being a smaller district as a disadvantage. “The past couple of years all people hear from the schools here was about declining enrollment and the lack of OM — February 2020


But I Just Refinanced! What to do when interest rates keep dropping By Therese A. Hartmann

It’s a GOOD problem to have. You just refinanced in the past two years and you’ve noticed rates are down again. Question is, is it worth your time to refinance again? Some of the reasons to consider refinancing besides rates falling are not only to reduce the monthly payment but to cut time off of your loan. In switching from a 30-year fixed to a 15year fixed, you might be surprised and find that your payment is about the same! Another reason to refinance is to use some of the equity in your home to do improvements, pay off consumer debt or sock away some cash to offset uncertain times. Combining a first mortgage and a second home equity loan is yet another reason and, in Ventura County where the high-balance conforming loan limit is now $713,000, you might be able to convert your jumbo loan into a government-backed loan with lower pricing When deciding whether to refinance, consider how long it will take to recover the closing costs. The down-and-dirty formula


we loan officers use is to find out how much you are going to save monthly and, using that number, see how many months it will take to recoup. The rule of thumb is it should take less than 24 months to recover costs. You’ll also want to make sure you’re planning on staying in the home for more than two years or refinancing might be pointless. If you plan to stay in your home another five years, it typically will make sense to refinance. Also, you’ll want to look at the length of time you have left on your current note. If you just refinanced into a 30-year fixed and the current rate is now a 1/2-point lower, you might be in a prime position to do another 30-year fixed. However, if you last refinanced 15 years ago, we will want to look at a 15-year, or 10-year fixed rate. A good loan officer will be able to give you no-pressure options and guide you to know whether or not to take the plunge again. Call me to schedule an appointment and let’s make sure you’re squared away while rates are low!

OM — February 2020

Therese A. Hartmann has 20 years’ lending experience. She is a Licensed Broker, California Dept. of Real Estate #01048403, NMLS # 298291, affiliated with C2 Financial Corporation. For a free consultation, call Therese today at (805) 798-2158.

Dale Hanson

Ojai Valley Real Estate (805)646-7229

B.R.E. 01229522 Notary Public

dale@ojaivalleyrealestate.com Call me for your real estate needs. Residential, commercial, or business opportunity.

Great location for commercial business or restaurant. Large parking in back. The building is updated and very clean. Forced air and heating, 3 private offices. A bath room and small wet kitchen. Separate attached unit with 3/4 bath and private entrance and address. $775,000

OM â&#x20AC;&#x201D; February 2020


APPLY NOW www.ovs.org

Prekindergarten to 12th grade

College Preparatory Boarding & Day School Ojai Valley School offers a challenging academic program led by dedicated teachers who encourage critical thinking, problem solving, leadership, creativity, and collaboration. Across the grade levels, students enjoy an educational experience that extends beyond the classroom. Campus life is enriched by participating on sports teams, camping trips, community service projects, robotics, performing arts, equestrian, and more. OVS enrolls day students in grades PK-12 and resident students in grades 3-12. OM â&#x20AC;&#x201D; February 2020


Five Spring-Cleaning Tasks to Start the Year Off Right By Aimee Jo Davis-Varela

As we move away from the rainy season and the temperature begins to rise, it is time to prepare our homes for the next season. So, as you make your to-do list for this year’s spring cleaning, be sure to include these five home maintenance tasks to help you start the year off right. 1. Service your HVAC system: It is a good idea to change your filters and service your HVAC system at least twice a year: once before winter when you will be using your heater more and once before summer when you will be using your air conditioner. Most homeowners can change their filters, but you should hire a local professional to service the system. 2. Clean and repair window screens and screen doors: As the weather warms up, you will likely be leaving your windows open more often to allow the fresh air and cool breeze to move through your home. So, spring is the perfect time to remove your screens, clean them with water and a mild detergent, allow them to air dry, and then reinstall them. While you are cleaning them, look for bent frames or


holes in the screens. Even a tiny hole will allow insects to enter your home, so hire a handyman to repair them or pick up a screen repair kit at ACE Hardware to fix the holes yourself. If you are having your windows cleaned as part of your spring cleaning, make sure your window washer includes cleaning the screens. 3. Clean your gutters: Clogged gutters and downspouts do not function properly, attract critters and can result in damage to your home. Therefore, as the rainy season comes to an end, it is time to have them cleaned. Remember, in areas like Ojai, we keep our gutters clean to prevent damage from both water and fire, since dried debris can easily catch fire from errant sparks. 4. Clean your refrigerator coils: Cleaning your refrigerator coils is an easy home maintenance task, but most of us forget to do it on a regular basis. In most homes, it is a good idea to vacuum the coils about every six months, but if you share your home with furry friends, you will want to do it more often. So, while

OM — February 2020

you are giving the interior of your refrigerator a thorough scrub down as part of your spring-cleaning routine, don’t forget to clean the coils as well. 5. Check your irrigation system: We are all about to start using our automatic irrigation systems more as the temperature rises and we move towards summer. This makes spring the perfect time to make sure your system does not have leaks and is functioning properly. If you have a landscape maintenance company that cares for your property, you can ask them to check the system for you. If you do not, you can check the system yourself. Manually run the system through all of the zones and walk through your property to check for leaks. While you are doing your walkthrough, look for broken sprinkler heads and adjust any sprinkler heads that are spraying your driveway, sidewalks, fences, or structures. Irrigation leaks can waste a lot of water and cause a significant increase in your water bill, so be sure to check your system regularly.

SOLD IN OJAI Homes Sold Last Month


249 Mahoney Avenue, Oak View, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1,993 Sq. Ft. Listed $587,000. Sold $499,000

11504 Oakcrest Avenue, 5 bed, 3 bath, 2,463 Sq. Ft. Listed $840,000. Sold $725,000

99 Taormina Lane, 1 bed, 1 bath, 760 Sq. Ft. Listed $500,500. Sold $500,000

9614 Sulphur Mountain, 3 bed, 1 bath, 884 Sq. Ft. Listed $775,000. Sold $750,000

1243 Cruzero Street, 3 bed, 1 bath, 1,644 Sq. Ft. Listed $525,000. Sold $535,000

416 A/B South Ventura Street, 5 bed, 4 bath, 2,827 Sq. Ft. Listed $995,000. Sold $950,000

628 Mahoney Avenue, Oak View, 2 bed, 1 bath, 936 Sq. Ft. Listed $574,900. Sold $565,000

11945 Sulphur Mountain, 2 bed, 1 bath, 980 Sq. Ft. Listed 1,325,000. Sold $1,025,000

11819 Mirror Lake, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1,282 Sq. Ft. Listed $589,000. Sold $580,000

13001 Koenigstein, Santa Paula, 5 bed, 3 bath, 3,300 Sq. Ft. Listed $1,499,000. Sold $1,120,000

509 North Ventura Street, 3 bed, 1 bath, 1,189 Sq. Ft. Listed $592,000. Sold $589,500 950 Hackamore Street, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1,376 Sq. Ft. Listed $625,000. Sold $609,000 351 Larmier Avenue, Oak View, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1,697 Sq. Ft. Listed $599,000. Sold $621,000 210 Padre Juan Avenue, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1,711 Sq. Ft. Listed $650,000. Sold $650,000 201 Portal Street, Oak View, 2 bed, 1 bath, 1,157 Sq. Ft. Listed $675,000. Sold $680,000 411 Park Road, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1,200 Sq. Ft. Listed $685,000. Sold $685,000

Ojai Valley Real estate Sales/Property Management/Notary (across from Ojai Farmers Market)



10710 Encino Drive, Oak View, 3 bed, 3.5 bath, 4,498 Sq. Ft. Listed $1,988,000 Sold $1,750,000 1175 McNell Road, 3 bed, 2 bath, 2,300 Sq. Ft. Listed $2,295,000. Sold $1,918,000 1400 McAndrew Road, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1,775 Sq. Ft. Listed $2,399,000. Sold $2,240,000 1612 Garst Lane, 4 bed, 2.50 bath, 2,805 Sq. Ft. Listed $2,395,000. Sold $2,280,000

Office space from $250 to $3,000 per month Furnished/Unfurnished 200 square feet to 2,500 square feet First floor or second floor Month-to-month or long leases available CALL RON AT 646-4911

221East Matilija Street, Ojai 805-646-4911 ojaivalleyrealestate.com OM â&#x20AC;&#x201D; February 2020






Logan Hall Logan Hall Photography 805-798-0337 loganhallphotos. com

Clinton Haugan LIV | Sotheby’s International Realty 727 W. Ojai Ave. Ojai, CA 93023 C: (805) 760-2092 O: (805) 646-7288 chaugan@livsothebysrealtyca.com DRE# 02019604

Sharon MaHarry Keller Williams Realty, 109 North Blanche Street, Ojai. 805) 766-7889

Vivienne Moody LIV Sotheby’s International Realty 805-798-1099 vmoody10@ sbcglobal.net OjaiLifestyle.net

Larry Wilde LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Wilde-Wilde. com 805-640-5734

Anne Williamson Keller Williams Realty Anneshomesinojai.com 805-320-3314

Donna Sallen Remax Gold Coast Realtors Donna4Remax@aol.com DonnaSallen. com 805-798-0516

Amanda Stanworth LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Phone: 805-2188117 • E-mail: amandastanworth77@gmail. com Web: Rooney-Stanworth.com

Erik Wilde LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Wilde-Wilde.com 805-830-3254

Patty Waltcher LIV Sotheby’s International Realty Call me for your Real Estate needs. 805-340-3774

Marsha Kaye Home Mortgage Consultant Phone: 805640-0654 Cell: 805-7469055 marsha.kaye@ homebridge. com

Stephen Adelman Broker Associate “Your Family Man Realtor” LIV Sotheby’s realestateojai@ gmail.com ojailuxuryrealestate.com 805-640-5563

Kristen Currier LIV Sotheby’s International Realty 805-798-3757 thehoffgroup. com

Ross Falvo Keller Williams Realty “The Ojai Real Estate Guy” RossFalvo.com 805-207-5094

Dennis Guernsey LIV Sotheby’s International Realty

Stacy Cadenasso Keller Williams Realty, 109 North Blanche Street, Ojai. 805-217-2676


OM — February 2020

Happy Birthday, whenever it may be

Nora Davis LIV Sotheby’s International Realty OjaiValleyEstates. com 805-207-6177

Joe Davis Full service property management, residential • Commercial • Industrial JoeTheRentalGuy.com. 805-574-9774

Dale Hanson Ojai Valley Real Estate 211 E. Matilija Street, Ste. J, 206 E. Ojai Ave. 805-646-7229 dale@ovhl.com

Kathy Hoff LIV Sotheby’s International Realty (805) 290-6907 thehoffgroup. com

Kirk Ellison LIV Sotheby’s International Realty KirkEllison@ me.com 805-340-5905

Don & Cheree Edwards RE/MAX Gold Coast Ojai’s Top Selling Team LivinginOjai.com 805.340.3192 805.350.7575

Therese A. Hartmann is a local loan consultant affiliated with C2 Financial Corporation, and is a Licensed Broker, California BRE #01048403. NMLS # 298291. For a free consultation, call Therese today at (805) 798-2158.

Dawn E. Shook - Executive Officer, Ojai Valley Board of REALTORS Birthdays are our special days, and how you celebrate each one is a personal choice. Some like to go hiking, biking, camping, shopping, having a spa day, dining with family and /or friends ... there are lots of ways to celebrate our birthdays. I am reflecting on this subject because today is my birthday. Spending it with my husband, son and daughter-in-law (the best) and my two grandkids is one of my favorite birthday celebrations. Another is my “Friends Birthday Luncheon” that we all share together at each of our birthdays. There’s always lots of laughter, food, drinks, presents, and love! Any way you celebrate your birthday is the best. Happy Birthday to us all this year, whenever it may be!

Hildegard Tallent CalBRE# 02047013 Keller Williams Realty, 109 N. Blanche Street Tel: 805-798-1872 email: hildegard. tallent@kw.com

See you about town!

Deckert / DePaola Keller Williams Realty Cheryl Deckert, Broker Associate Ray Deckert, Broker Associate Maria DePaola, Realtor Associate Team@DeckertDePaola.com 805-272-5221

OM — February 2020


BLUE IGUANA INN & SUITES Spanish-style inn offering rooms, suites & cottages with Southwest décor. Easy access to the Ojai Valley Trail. 11794 Ventura Ave | (805) 646-5277 blueiguanainn.com CAPRI MOTEL Hip, quirky option with retro rooms and cool pool scene. Free Wi-Fi 1180 East Ojai Ave | (805) 646-4305 hotelojai.com CARAVAN OUTPOST A beautifully curated garden of Airstreams, located in the heart of Ojai. Free wi-fi, nightly entertainment, dog friendly, complimentary bicycles, camp store. Instagram: @caravanoutpost Web: caravanoutpost.com 317 Bryant Street I (805) 836-4891. CHANTICO INN & SUITES Relaxed, cozy rooms in a Mission-style hotel offering free breakfast & WiFi, plus an outdoor pool. 406 West Ojai Ave | (805) 646-8100 chanticoinnsuites.com


EMERALD IGUANA INN Upscale inn with lush gardens, pool, hot tub, spa services, breakfast, & rooms with local artwork. 108 Pauline St | (805) 646-5277 emeraldiguana.com HUMMINGBIRD INN Lodge-like inn offering modern, casual rooms, plus free wi-fi breakfast, & an outdoor pool. Across the street from Soule Park Golf Course. 1208 East Ojai Ave | (805) 646-4365 hummingbirdinnojai.com LAVENDER INN Quaint bed-and-breakfast in an 1874 building featuring country-style rooms, plus a spa, yoga & cooking classes. In the heart of downtown Ojai. 210 East Matilja St | (805) 646-6635 lavenderinn.com

OJAI VALLEY INN & SPA Upscale Spanish-style hacienda with contemporary rooms & a spa, pool, golf & several restaurants. One of California’s premier destinations. 905 Country Club Road | (855) 6978780 ojairesort.com OAKRIDGE INN Functional budget hotel offering an outdoor pool, plus complimentary continental breakfast & WiFi. 780 North Ventura Ave | (805) 6494018 oakridgeinn.com OJAI RETREAT Serene, hilltop bed-and-breakfast offering traditional rooms, some with terraces, plus a buffet breakfast & yoga. 160 Besant Road | (805) 646-2536 ojairetreat.com

THE OAKS AT OJAI Serene weight-loss retreat offering 3 meals daily, plus a wellness spa & free fitness classes. 122 East Ojai Ave | (805) 646-5573 oaksspa.com

PEPPER TREE RETREAT & EDUCATION CENTER An oasis for the mind in a peaceful setting where individuals, couples and small groups can relax and enjoy the beauty of the valley. 1130 McAndrew Road (877) 355-5986 peppertreeretreat.com

OJAI RANCHO INN Borders Ojai Valley Trail, easy stroll to downtown. Hip, rustic-style inn offering country-chic rooms, plus free Wi-fi, a pool & a sauna. 615 West Ojai Ave | (805) 646-1434 ojairanchoinn.com

SU NIDO INN Artfully designed, Mission-style inn with traditional rooms, with stunning courtyard, an easy walk to downtown. Free Wi-Fi 301 North Montgomery Street (805) 646-7080 sunidoinn.com

OM — February 2020


Bessara, Party Pleaser Traditional hummus is made with garbanzo beans and tahini. This Moroccan version, called bessara, substitutes fava beans for the garbanzo and tahini and is a little thinner than hummus. It is a staple in Tangier and other cities of northwest Morocco and is thought to have originated as part of Berber cuisine. If you like traditional hummus, you will like this too.


1.5 cups dried fava beans 2 cloves garlic 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice 2 tablespoons reserved cooking liquid 1 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika 1/2 teaspoon hot paprika For garnish: cumin, sweet paprika, olive oil, and chopped parsley

DIRECTIONS: Randy Graham is a writer, author, and private chef. He enjoys cooking for friends and family using ingredients from backyard vegetable and herb gardens. His food is often called “vegetarian comfort food.” He and his wife, Robin, live in Ojai, California, with their dog, Willow. Robin and Willow are not vegetarians.


Quick + Easy

Soak the dried fava beans overnight in a large bowl of water. The next day, drain the beans and peel them (if necessary). Place the fava beans in a pot and cover with a generous amount of water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer the beans until tender (about one hour). Drain the beans, reserving the liquid. Transfer beans to a food processor and add the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, two tablespoons of the reserved liquid, and spices. Process on high speed until smooth, adding additional liquid if necessary to thin the bessara. It should be thin enough to pour or spread out on a plate. Taste the bessara, and adjust the seasoning if desired. Garnish with any of the following: ground cumin, paprika, olive oil, and chopped parsley.


Vegan OM — February 2020


AGAVE MARIA Fresh, wholesome Mexican food & drink 106 South Montgomery Street (805) 646-6353 agavemarias.com

JIM & ROB’S FRESH GRILL Mexican-American & regional favorites 214 West Ojai Avenue #100 (805) 640-1301 jimandrobsojai.com

AJ EXPRESS CHINESE EXPRESS Gourmet Chinese food to eat in or to go 11566 North Ventura Avenue (805) 646-1177 ajchinesecuisine.com

JJ’S SPORTS ZONE The go-to place for food & sports 820 North Ventura Avenue (805) 649-4655 jjssportszone.com

OJAI PIZZA COMPANY 331 Ojai Ave. (Downtown Ojai) 545-7878 TheOnlyGoodPizza.com OJAI ROTIE Rotisserie, sourdough, winebox 469 East Ojai Avenue (805) 798-9227 ojairotie.com

AZU Spanish & Mediterranean comfort food 457 East Ojai Avenue (805) 640-7987, azuojai.com

HIP VEGAN Vegan sandwiches, salads & bowls 201 North Montgomery Street hipvegancafe.com (805) 669-6363

PAPA LENNON’S Family owned, original & Italian cuisine 515 West El Roblar Drive (805) 640-7388 papalennons.com

BOCCALI’S Pizza & Pasta, from our farm to our tables 3277 Ojai-Santa Paula Road (805) 646-6116 boccalis.com

HOME KITCHEN OF OJAI Breakfast and lunch in a warm space 1103 Maricopa Highway (805) 646-5346 HomeKitchenofOjai.com

RAINBOW BRIDGE A community gathering place 211 East Matilija Street (805) 646-6623 rainbowbridgeojai.com

BONNIE LU’S COUNTRY CAFE Traditional American breakfast & brunch 328 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-0207

KNEAD BAKING COMPANY An artisanal family bakery 469 East Ojai Avenue (310) 770-3282 kneadbakingcompany.com

THE RANCH HOUSE An Ojai culinary destination for more than 60 years 102 Besant Road (805) 646-2360 theranchhouse.com

CAFE EMPORIUM Locals’ favorite breakfast and lunch 108 South Montgomery Street (805) 646-2723 ojaicafeemporium.com CASA DEL LAGO Ojai’s original Mexican restaurant 715 E Ojai Avenue (805) 640-1577 THE DEER LODGE An Ojai legend since 1932 2261 Maricopa Highway (805) 646-4256 deerlodgeojai.com

MANDALA Pan-Asian Cuisine 11400 North Ventura Road (805) 613-3048 THE NEST 401 East Ojai Avenue (805) 798-9035 thenestojai.com NO SO VITA Ojai’s social cafe 205 North Signal Street (805) 646-1540 nosovita.com

FARMER & THE COOK The best of organic Ojai 339 West El Roblar Drive (805) 640-9608 farmerandcook.com

OAK GRILL @ THE INN Al fresco dining under vine-covered pergola 905 Country Club Road (805) 646-1111 ojairesort.com

FOOD HARMONICS Nutritional Love 254 East Ojai Avenue (Arcade) (805) 798-9253

OJAI COFFEE ROASTING COMPANY Salads, sandwiches & superb service 337 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-4478


OM — February 2020


SAGE MINDFUL MEALS The full farm-to-table experience 217 East Matilija Street, Ojai Phone: (805) 646-9204 sagemindfulmeals.com SAKURA OJAI A locals’ favorite for Japanese food 219 East Matilija Street (805) 646-8777 sakuraojai.wix.com SEA FRESH Serving Ojai for 30 years 533 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-7747 seafreshseafood.com SOULE PARK GOLF COURSE BAR & GRILL Patio & indoor dining with Ojai’s most tranquil views 1033 East Ojai Avenue (805) 646-5685 soulepark.com

Visit our Honey Tasting Room 206 East Ojai Avenue, in the Arcade, downtown Ojai Ask us about our Honey Club! www.heavenlyhoneycompany.com | 805-633-9103 OM â&#x20AC;&#x201D; February 2020



7 WAYS TO GET LOST By Bret Bradigan

Photo by Caitlin Petersen

1. SHELF ROAD Directions: From Ojai Avenue, head north on Signal Street until it ends. Length: 3.5 miles return trip. Difficulty: Easy. It takes about an hour at a brisk pace to walk the length of the trail and back between the trailheads at either North Signal Street or Gridley Road. This hike is perfect for visitors or residents to get “ the lay of the land” in Ojai. It is also one of the most “dog friendly” walks around.

2. VENTURA RIVER BOTTOM TRAILS Directions: From Highway 150, there’s a trailhead just east of the Ventura River bridge. From South Rice Road, there’s a trailhead just north of the intersection with Lomita Road. Also from South Rice, take a right on Meyer Road to the Oso Trailhead. Length: Varies. Difficulty: Easy to Moderate. Three trailheads lead you into the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy’s 1,600-acre Ventura River Preserve. This three-mile stretch of the Ventura River offers a spectacular glimpse into old-growth oak canopy, splendid vistas from rocky ridgelines, deep swimming holes, lush fern grottoes, rare wildflowers and many miles of trails to choose from.

6. COZY DELL TRAIL Directions: Head east on the Maricopa Highway (Highway 33) for 3.3 miles. The turnout is on the left, just before and across from Friend’s Ranch packing house.. Cross the street to the trailhead. Length: 1.9 miles to Cozy Dell Creek. Difficulty: Moderate. The trail begins along a seasonal creek and quickly climbs about 640 feet in elevation along a well-forested and wild-flowered canyon to a ridgeline knoll with spectacular views of the Ojai Valley.


3. PRATT TRAIL Directions: From Ojai Avenue, turn north on Signal Street and drive about 1.2 miles until you see the Forest Service sign on the left. The trailhead is a further half-mile. Length: 4.4 miles to Nordhoff Ridge. Difficulty: Moderate to Strenuous. The Pratt Trail criss-crosses a seasonal stream through the backyards of private properties before opening onto a natural bowl formed by the slope of Nordhoff Ridge. Follow the signs through about two miles of dry and dusty switchbacks until you reach the ridgeline. From there, it’s another two steep, dusty miles to Nordhoff Peak, 4,426 feet above sea level.

4. GRIDLEY TRAIL Directions: From Ojai Avenue, turn on the Gridley Road.


Follow it to the gated end, about two miles. Length: 3 miles to the Gridley Springs, 6 miles to Nordhoff Peak. Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous. Elevation gain: 1,200 feet to the springs. This trail, at the north end of Gridley Road just to the left before the gates to Hermitage Ranch, begins with a steep climb, then follows an orchard road through avocado trees before making a northeastward turn along the rocky western flank of the mountainside. The trail winds along the steep flank of the mountain until it enters the cool, dense side canyon wherein lies Gridley Springs.

OM — February 2020

Directions: Head east on Highway 33 for about 4.7 miles to Matilija Canyon Road. Follow the road to the end — about another two miles. Length: Up to 7 miles (14 miles return). Difficulty: Moderate. Follow the trailhead at the end of Matilija Canyon Road through the gated property to the west side of the creek. The trail, more of a one-track road at this point, heads towards the gates of Blue Heron Ranch, a historic farm with orange and lemon groves. The trail then clambers through thickening chaparral scrub for another 1.5 miles until you can see tilted slabs of weathered granite and a long, green pool to the right. The trail descends back into the creekside sycamore and willow forest through a series of campsites, swimming holes and geologic marvels. The shifting and often-concealed trail eventually leads you to the fabled Three Falls of the Matilija.


SHELF ROAD 3.5mi EASY | Elev. Gain: 200 ft | Overlooks downtown Ojai.


520 ft (Wills-Rice). Trailheads at end of Meyer Road, South Rice Road and Baldwin Road. Great for birding.

5 HORN CANYON 5.5mi STRENUOUS | Elev. Gain: 1,600 ft.

Trailhead near Thacher School’s gymkhana field. Goes to shady stand of 80-foot tall pines.

8 ROSE VALLEY 1mi EASY | Elev. Gain: 100 ft

Trailhead at Rose Valley Campground. Leads to a spectacular 300-foot, two-tiered fall.



PRATT TRAIL 8.8mi STRENUOUS | Elev. Gain: 3,300

GRIDLEY TRAIL 6-12mi MODERATE | 3 mi to Gridley Springs



COZY DELL 2.2mi MODERATE | Elev. Gain: 740 ft |

MATILIJA CANYON 12mi MODERATE | Elev. Gain: 1,200 ft |

ft | Trailhead off North Signal Street. Goes to Nordhoff Peak. Clear day? See forever.

(Elev. Gain: 1,200 ft) 6 mi to Nordhoff Peak. Trailhead at north end of Gridley Road.

Trailhead 8 miles north of Ojai on Maricopa Highway. Short, intense hike that also connects to trail network.

Middle Fork. Trailhead at end of Matilija Road. First 1.5 miles of trail well-maintained, the rest a scramble.



SISAR CANYON 22mi STRENUOUS | Elev. Gain: 4,800 ft to

SULPHUR MTN. 22mi MODERATE | Elev. Gain: 2,300 ft |

Topa Topa Bluffs. Trailhead at end of Sisar Road. Trailhead on eastern side of Sulphur Mountain Road. Only for experienced, f it hikers. Views are unsurpassed. OM — February 2020





GIFT www.RainsOfOjai.com (805) 646-1441

FOUNDING FATHERS & MOTHERS While Edward Drummond Libbey is rightfully regarded among Ojai’s chief benefactors — having been behind the buildbing of such Ojai landmarks as the Ojai Valley Inn, St. Thomas Aquinas Church (now the Museum), Post Office Tower and the Arcade — others have been very influential in shaping Ojai’s identity. Here’s a few: Annie Besant. Free-thinker, feminist and noted Theosophist. Though she only spent a few days in Ojai, she brought Krishnamurti to Ojai, and helped buy hundreds of acres of property in Ojai, (now the sites of Besant Hill School and, along with A.P. Warrington, the Krotona Center) which she called “the smiling vale.” She is considered one of the pioneers of introducing Eastern mystical thought to the West, and was an early advocate of India’s independence. and the labor movement. Jiddhu Krishnamurti. The spiritual teacher and writer, came to Ojai in 1922, sponsored by the Theosophical Society, though he later broke with that group (“The Leaderless Path.”) He gave talks to many thousands of people each year, in the Star Camps in the oak groves west of Ojai (now the site of Oak Grove School. He once held the Guinness Book of World Records for having spoken to the greatest number of people.

Weather in Ojai Jan Feb March April May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Nov. Dec.

Ave. High (°F) 67 67 70 74 78 83 89 91 87 80 73 66

Sherman Day Thacher. After coming West to farm and care for an ailing brother, the Yale-educated Thacher realized that he was going to need another source of income. So he founded The Thacher School in 1887. Now one of the most prestigious preparatory academies in the country, its founding creed was “teach a boy to ride, shoot and tell the truth.” Also, in 1896, his brother William founded “The Ojai,” the country’s oldest amateur tennis tournament. Among Thacher’s more illustrious students were industrialist, aviator and film producer Howard Hughes and three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and novelist Thornton Wilder, who wrote his first play while a Thacher student.


Ave. Low 36 38 41 43 48 51 56 55 53 47 40 35

Precip. 5.04 5.24 3.35 1.22 .47 .12 .04 .005 .2 .98 1.69 2.95

Average Annual Rainfall:


Record High Year 115° 2018



Valley: (est.)


Record Low Year 16° 1990




Beatrice Wood. The famed ceramicist’s (“The Mama of Dada”) greatest work of art may well have been her life. The irreverent, avant-garde Wood lived and worked in Ojai for decades until her death in 1998 at age 105. She inspired two classic movies, Francois Truffaut’s “Jules et Jim,” and James Cameron’s “Titanic.” She attributed her longevity to “chocolate and young men.” Her autobiography was appropriately titled, “I Shock Myself.” Many of her distinctive, whimsical, luminous luster-glazed pieces are on display at her former home, now the Beatrice Wood Center, in upper Ojai.



OM — February 2020

The name “Ojai” is believed to be derived from the Ventureño Chumash word ‘awhaý, meaning “moon.” In 1837, Fernando Tico received a land grant and established a cattle ranch. Thomas A. Scott, who had financial success with oil and railroads, bought the Ojai Valley in 1864 for oil exploration. By 1868, Scott, through his agent Thomas Bard, began selling properties to homesteaders. By 1874, R.G. Surdam plotted out the town he would call Nordhoff, renamed Ojai in 1917. Ojai is about 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles and 30 miles east of Santa Barbara. The valley is about 10 miles long by 3 miles wide, surrounded by hills and mountains; the rare east-west orientation with a slight southward tilt gives the valley an extraordinary sun exposure; Ojai’s citrus and avocado crops are highly prized. This orientation also gives rise to Ojai as a spiritual destination. It was due to the resources and organizing energy of Ohio glass manufacturer Edward Drummond Libbey that Nordhoff was rebuilt and renamed Ojai, inspired by the City Beautiful Movement. By 1917, with the construction of the Arcade and Post Office Tower, the town took its present shape. The city’s self-styled nickname is “Shangri-La,” based on the story that Ojai was the backdrop (later left on the editing room floor) from the 1937 movie as the mystical sanctuary of James Hilton’s novel “Lost Horizon.”

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OM — February 2020

Profile for Ojai Quarterly

Ojai Monthly — February 2020  

Ojai's premier lifestyle and events publication.

Ojai Monthly — February 2020  

Ojai's premier lifestyle and events publication.