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03 20

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



Cover Photo: Nora Davis LIV Sotheby’s Realty • 805-340-3774 See Page 46



Tips & Tactics. See more at the OJAIHUB.COM

Pr ic e ffe ri n g O Ne w

EAST END CONTEMPORARY This newly remodeled and completely renovated contemporar y masterpiece on the bucolic East End exemplifies good taste and quality construc tion. Clerestor y windows, French doors and vaulted ceilings with exposed beams create a light and spacious environment. The floors are beautiful white oak and the k itchen counters are Statuarietto marble. I t has been built with the finest quality doors, appliances and fix tures. The bathrooms have mosaic traver tine floors and Cararra marble -tiled bath and shower. The master bedroom balcony has mountain views in two direc tions with decorative Granada wall tiles, Porcelanosa floor tiles and an outdoor shower. 1701McNellRdOjai.com Offered at $2,885,000


25 years matching people and property in the Ojai Valley


OM — March 2020

SIGNAL STREET SPLENDOR Peace and serenity welcome you to this incredible compound on almost 8 acres in one of the most desirable areas of Ojai, Nor th Signal Street. The main house is perched on a hill, with expansive views of the valley, from sensational sunrises to pink moment sunsets. The proper ty has multiple struc tures, including two finished guest houses and a third waiting for your magic touch. Two other buildings could ser ve as a yoga or recording studio, R V storage, a workshop or a secluded writing cabin. The grounds include pepper, bottle brush and fruit trees. I t is walk ing distance from town and only moments away from some of the most spec tacular hik ing in Ojai: Pratt Trail, Shelf Road and the Ojai Preser ve. Don’t miss this amazing proper ty in a secluded countr y setting that has not been on the market for over 40 years. $3,100,000 1203NorthSignalStOjai.com


(805) 340-3774

pattywaltcher.com OM — March 2020



OM — March 2020

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

1054 / 1056 Bath Lane, Ventura - $1,749,000

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!

507 Park Road - 2 units - $799,000

180 N. Poli Street - $669,000

5 bed/2.75 bath, 1,977 sq. ft. total on a .23 acre lot in the heart of Ojai! Saltillo tile floors in main house, each unit has its own private yard space. Just a short stroll to downtown!

Beautifully remodeled 3 bed/2 bath, 1,530 sq. ft. home with bonus room. Newer wood floors, lighting, updated kitchen and baths, and plenty of room for RV parking. Located just .25 miles from Meiners Oaks restaurants.

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 — March 2020




Editor’s Note


Calendar of Events


Featured Events: “Mending the Divide”


Featured Professional:

Peggy Russell


Bankruptcy or Foreclosure?


What You Need to Know About Leaks


Sold in Ojai


Who’s Who In Ojai


Stay Ojai — Hotels Guide


Chef Randy — Za’atar Eggplant


Eat in Ojai — Restaurant Guide


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 Nora Davis, LIV Sotheby’s Realty



03 20

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






Cover Photo: Nora Davis LIV Sotheby’s Realty • 805-340-3774 See Page 46



Tips & Tactics. See more at the OJAIHUB.COM

OM — March 2020



OJAI MONTHLY TIPPING POINT “It’s so convenient a thing to be a reasonable creature, since it enables us to find or make a reason for everything we have a mind to do.” — Ben Franklin

Bret Bradigan

Tipping culture — which thankfully hasn’t spread much beyond the U.S. and Canada — began back in the 1870s. The Pullman Company figured out how to avoid having to pay their porters, who were mostly freed slaves, by shifting that burden on to their railroad customers. It spread far and fast. A large part of our Ojai economy is based on restaurants and other service and hospitality industry jobs of whose workers largely depend on tips for their living. I’ve worked a few of those jobs myself, and I can state confidently that the best and most reliable tippers are those who once depended on tips themselves. That’s not to say I like it. In fact, it reinforces unhealthy inequality and subservient, soulcrushing behavior on the part of wait staff. It’s a dilemma; restaurant owners are working with narrow margins, feeding us more out of a sense of hospitality and kindness than any wish to get rich, and if they paid a living wage to their help so that those workers didn’t need tips, their competitors would crush them on price. It would be unilateral disarmament. According to an article in Inc. magazine, “There are much bigger problems with our current tipping practice. For one thing, research shows that tipped workers, such as servers, are much more vulnerable to sexual harassment from customers than their non-tipped co-workers. It’s easy to see why. If a drunken diner is making unwanted sexual advances, telling him to stop or complaining to the manager may mean losing that customer’s tip, which is part of your livelihood. It’s much safer to just put up with it.” In Robert Cialdini’s seminal “Influence,” he showed how the best waiters make twice of their peers’ average through gentle nudges and suggestions, building credibility and instant connection. It’s a fascinating section in a fascinating book. Yet still, it reinforces the unequal power dynamic. “There is ample evidence that servers can increase their take by doing things like writing thank-yous and smiley faces on checks, kneeling next to tables while taking orders, and touching patrons gently on the shoulder-all of which emphasized their lower status and the extent to which their livelihoods depend on pleasing others,” according to the Inc. article. It’s ironic that tipping culture in America — land of self-reliant king slayers — is so deeply ingrained. It seems like a relic from an age of monarchs and noblesse oblige, antithetical to our notions of “every man’s his own master.” Danny Meyer, the billionaire Shake Shack founder, and David Chang, the celebrity restaurateur who founded the Momufuku chain, are ardent anti-tippers, paying their staff a living wage, but their practices have not, yet at least, caught on.

In Ojai, we have seen quite a few new counter-service restaurants opening, which is a partial solution. But the experience of dining out is greatly enhanced by competent, caring service. In fact, there is no substitute for excellent service — it turns what’s in essence mere sustenance into a coveted experience. I just wish they didn’t depend on the fickleness of diners to make their living. OM — March 2020







Love is greater than everything.

205 Nor t h Sig nal Street LoveSocialCafe.co m


Dail y 7am -2pm Mo bile Orders

OM — March 2020

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

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

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

12841 TREERANCH RD Moonview, a wonderful Upper Ojai home situated on 1.30 acres near the end of a private lane. Graced with inviting and comfortable living areas both inside and out. $1,299,000


CLDRE 01173283

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

Whitman Architectural Design


Michael O Malone, CFP®


Financial Advisor

305 E Matilija St Suite D Ojai, CA 93023 805-640-0426

edwardjones.com Member SIPC

Providing the highest quality custom residential & commercial Architectural Design and Construction Services.

805-646-8485 “We Shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”

Winston Churchill

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.

Ojai Café Emporium

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 — March 2020

Prime Commercial Real Estate in Downtown Ojai with Well-Established Business. Prime location steps away from all of Ojai’s events and attractions. Ojai Cafè Emporium has for over 34 years had a reputation as a warm and friendly dining destination for family, friends and business. Included on the property is an adjoining bakery/coffeeshop producing fresh baked goods every morning. Real Estate and Business, $2,200,000

Tom Weber - Broker CalDRE# 00805061

805-320-2004 TomWeber@ojaitom.com


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 — March 2020


For your breath of fresh air

Your home is more than a building or an address. It’s where you experience life, family, connection, growth. Your home should be as exceptional as you are, and as you are going to be. Only LIV Sotheby’s International Realty offers a lifestyle inspired by your potential.

livsothebysrealtyca.com | Ojai, California | Property ID: M86P4J 727 W Ojai Avenue, Ojai • 805.646.7288 Cal DRE 01904034


OM — March 2020







7 Beds • 6 Baths • 6,999 SF • $13,500,000 Patty Waltcher | DRE 01176473 805.340.3774

3 Beds • 2.5 Baths • 2,300 SF • $2,650,000 Robin Williams | DRE 01435322 805.798.2025

3 Beds • 2 Baths • 2,384 SF • $1,295,000 Dennis Guernsey | DRE 04992913 805.798.1998

4 Beds • 3 Baths • 2,650 SF • $2,950,000 Larry Wilde | DRE 00521627 805.640.5734

4 Beds • 3 Baths • 3,565 SF • $1,495,000 Larry Wilde | DRE 00521627 805.640.5734

3 Beds • 2 Baths • 1,098 SF • $625,000 Kristen Currier | DRE 01314850 805.798.3757

LIV Sothebys International Realty | 727 W. Ojai Avenue Ojai, CA 93023 © 2020 LIV Sotheby’s International Realty. All rights reserved. All data, including all measurements and calculations are obtained from various sources and has not and will not be verified by Broker. All information shall be independently reviewed and verified for accuracy. LIV Sotheby’s International Realty is independently owned and operated and supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act.

OM — March 2020



THROUGH MARCH 15 “LEGALLY BLONDE” Location: Matilija Middle School, 703 El Paseo Road Times: 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. Contact: NHSmusic.com The Nordhoff High School music department will present performances of “Legally Blonde” at Matilija Auditorium, 703 El Paseo Road, Ojai, March 5 through 15, directed by Marty Babayco. Show times are Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.

MARCH 15 “TWISP: THE POWER OF COMMUNITY” Location: Greater Goods of Ojai, 145 West

El Roblar Drive Time: 7 p.m., will host a screening of the award-winning film, “Twisp: The Power of Community,” March 15 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and admission is by donation. Following the 40-minute documentary, a panel of Ojai leaders, activists and business owners will share their thoughts on strengthening local community. Audience perspectives are invited and encouraged. THROUGH APRIL 5 OPAT’S “HARVEY” Location: Matilija Auditorium 703 El Paseo Road Times: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. on Sundays.Contact: ojaitheater.org


805-646-5433 This is the first play of the 2020 season for the Ojai Performing Arts Theater. The production will run weekends March 2729, April 3-5.

MARCH 29 RANCHO GRANDE HOSTS LITTLE LEAGUE WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS Location: 7674 Rose Valley Road Times: Varied Contact: gm@ranchogrande.com Kitasuna, Little League World Series Champions from Japan, will hold a baseball skills training clinic at Rancho Grande. All local 11- and 12-year-old boys

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 — March 2020

OPPOSITE PAGE: Natasha Kislenko will perform in Ojai on March 15; the World Champions Kitsuna, Japan team will conduct a workshop at Rancho Grande on March 29.

and girls are invited to join them in this two-hour workout. Admission is free.

APRIL 4 “TOMATOMANIA!” Location: Topa Mountain Winery, 821 West Ojai Avenue Times: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Contact: tomatomania.com One of the region’s premier events for tomato growers, for general enthusiasts as well as master gardeners of rare heirloom varieties.

MARCH 15 CHAMBER MUSIC CONCERT Location: The Ojai Art Center, 113 South Montgomery Street

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: Ojai Studio Artists will be displaying at the Ojai Valley Museum and the Ventura County Museum in March; Tomatomania! will take place April 4th at Topa Topa Mountain Winery.

Time: 2 p.m. Contact: 805-640-1158 The Art Center will host a concert by Moscow-born pianist Natasha Kislenko, March 15 at 2 p.m. She will present an all-Russian program of works by Rachmaninoff, Tchaikovsky and Alfred Schnittke. Tickets sold only at the door: $15 general, $12 Art Center members and students. MARCH 20 to APRIL 12 “VANYA, SONIA, MASHA AND SPIKE” Location: Ojai Art Center Theater, 113 South Montgomery Street Times: 7:30 p.m. and 2 p.m. Contact: 805-640-8797

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 — March 2020

The Art Center Theater will host performances of the Tony Award-winning play, “Vanya, Sonia, Masha and Spike,” March 20 through April 12, directed by Linda Livingston. Shows will be Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. SIGNUPS: MUSIC FESTIVAL SEEKS INTERNS The Ojai Music Festival is accepting applications for its ars management internship program through March 15. Applicants must be 18 or older and enrolled in an accredited college. The 74th Ojai Music Festival will run this year from June 11 through 14. For more information regarding internship, email info@ojaifestival.org or call 805-646-2094.

“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.





OM — March 2020


Ojai Studio Artists (OSA) will be at The Museum of Ventura County on February 29 – April 11 with the opening reception held on Saturday, February 29 . Pamela Grau, OSA President explains the exhibit this way: “We live in divided times politically, culturally and personally. Today we are at risk of being manipulated into separation by the information we consume, our social interactions, our places of worship.

“This exhibit asks Ojai Studio Artists to depict the divide and determine how it can be healed. As visual artists, their responses are metaphorical, textural, realistic and abstract. We invite you to ponder these artistic responses.” The Ojai Studio Artists is a collective of 81 artists. Its mission is to encourage and support he development of art in the Ojai Valley. OSA encourages emerging artists, raises funds to award local educational scholarships and introduces the public to

OM — March 2020

the talents of professional artists at work in their studios, vibrantly reflecting the meaning of community. Join us for Second Saturday’s, our free mini-tours every month culminating with our annual open studio tour the second weekend in October. More information on our website at: www.OjaiStudioArtists.org



Ojai’s community website


OM — March 2020

Events • News • Explore


Gallery • Workshops • Pottery Parties • Free Tours

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

Come Home To

Available at Frontier Paint 227 Baldwin Rd, Ojai 805-646-0459 • Frontierpaint.biz Selling quality in Ojai for over 37 years

OM — March 2020



OM — March 2020

Refined Country Living on 10+ Acres | $3,295,000

Provence in Ojai | $1,695,000

Ojai Redevelopment Opportunity | $1,595,000


OM — March 2020


Stephen Adelman “Your Family Man Realtor”

805.640.5563 | www.ojailuxuryrealestate.com | DRE# 01786486




“I am grateful to have worked with you, Therese. You are the MVP! Thanks for saving the transaction.” Oscar Lopez, RE Agent Dammeyer & Associates

(805) 798-2158 | HEARTLOANS@SBCGLOBAL.NET | HEARTLOANS.COM 236 W. OJAI AVE., SUITE 105, OJAI CA 93023 This licensee is performing acts for which a real estate license is required. C2 Financial Corporation is licensed by the California Bureau of Real Estate, Broker # 01821025; NMLS # 135622. Loan approval is not guaranteed and is subject to lender review of information. All loan approvals are conditional and all conditions must be met by borrower. Loan is only approved when lender has issued approval in writing and is subject to the Lender conditions. Specified rates may not be available for all borrowers. Rate subject to change with market conditions. C2 Financial Corporation is an Equal Opportunity Mortgage Broker/Lender. BRE #01048403 NMLS #298981


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

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

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 wraparound 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.

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

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.

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






Peggy Russell is adoptive mom to injured, abandoned and rescued pigs, horses, donkeys, peacocks, turkeys, quail, rabbits, emus, and has even fostered an alpaca or two. Along with her husband, John, they have been lovingly rescuing and boarding animals for decades in Altadena/ Pasadena, and now in Ojai, where she and John tend their own private animal reserve. Born in Aurora, Illinois, Peggy moved to California in 1960 where she went to Alhambra High, then California State University. She loved math and, after college, became a bookkeeper for J and J Equipment Company — which manufactured wholesale lockers for various industries, and which happened to be owned by John Russell. Peggy worked there for a few years, but shortly after marrying a man in the United States Army Honor Guard, she found herself in Germany where she received a top security clearance while working as a secretary to G-1, United States Army Headquarters in Heidelberg. A year later, Peggy was back in Alhambra with her husband and was rehired at J and J Equipment, now Rusco, Inc. Not long after returning to California, her son Derek, was born, but by the time


OM — March 2020

Derek was two, her marriage had ended. As Peggy learned more about accounting and took on more responsibility at Rusco, she was promoted to Secretary/ Treasurer of the company. During this time, Peggy and John, who was also divorced, began dating. Their relationship flourished. Not a conventional guy, John didn’t go down on one knee to propose, or take her out for a fancy dinner and surprise her with an engagement ring while a violinist serenaded them at their table. No, he proposed by phone. But what a proposal it was! Backstory: a friend of John’s who worked at JPL was in charge of two tracking stations used to monitor American spacecraft launched into the atmosphere. One of those stations was in Spain and, when his friend was assigned there, John thought it would be fun to take some time off from his business and tag along. While in Spain, he found himself in a laundromat, missing Peggy. He decided to call her and, right there during the spin cycle (figuratively speaking), he asked her to marry him. After that $400 phone call, John had a fiancé and, presumably, clean clothes. He regards it as a great bargain.

Married and living in Altadena with their blended family (her son, Derek, and his children, Tim and Jenny), Peggy’s and John’s love for animals blossomed as they rescued traditional pets (dogs, cats, birds). The first “wild” animal they rehabbed was Scamper, a baby tree squirrel that was knocked out of his nest by tree trimmers. With the help and advice of their devoted veterinarian, Peggy and John fed Scamper every two hours around the clock, until he survived and became a beloved household pet. Peggy took him to work every day where he became the office mascot, but when the flu felled the office staff, Scamper also came down with a virus. Although touch and go for what seemed like an eternity to Peggy, the little squirrel recovered, but was never the same. Eventually, Scamper became too ill, and emergency surgery by the vet on their dining room table couldn’t save him. Peggy’s and John’s grief was profound and their experience with Scamper only increased their devotion to save as many animals as they could.

the many nonprofit organizations Peggy has championed are the Ojai Holiday Home tour (co-chaired) which raises money for the renowned Ojai Music Festival, and the Ojai Festival Women’s Committee as President and Treasurer. She also co-chaired the formation of the Ojai Valley Community Hospital Foundation Guild and is a past treasurer of the Mountain Lion Foundation.

LEFT: Peggy and John Russell. BELOW: Brooke, the mule deer fawn that the Russells rescued.

When the Pasadena Humane Society alerted them that a baby fawn had been abandoned with its umbilical cord still attached, Peggy and John didn’t hesitate. They picked her up and took her to an exotic vet specialist who put her on an IV because she was in a coma. John and Peggy took turns just holding her close for four days, until she woke up. They named her Brooke, took her home and cared and bottle fed her. She continued to live with them and grew into a full-grown mule deer. She went to work with them every day and played with the neighborhood kids. However, with many other health issues, Brooke only lived to be 3-1/2 years old. While John and Peggy rescued animals, Peggy also served as Secretary of the Board of the Pasadena Humane Society, got funding for a wild life rehab training course, and became a member of the PAT program (Pet-Assisted Therapy) at Huntington Hospital where she visited patients with her dog, Tess. But, her continuing desire to serve her community led Peggy to become President of the Altadena Guild of Huntington Memorial Hospital and Home Tour Chairman, as well as a Board Member of Pasadena Heritage, and co-founder and Board Member of the HMH Huntington Collection Thrift Shop. Children grown, Peggy, who currently holds a certificate in Wildlife Rehabilitation, moved to Ojai in 1999 with John. They bought a home with enough property to continue rescuing, feeding and caring for abandoned and injured animals until a good home could be found or they could be returned to the wild or until they passed away.

In 2015, she and Karen Evenden formed the Ojai Women’s Fund, a collective circle of women that has raised more than $300,000 dollars for deserving Ojai non-profits. But all “work” and no play, makes for a dull girl/boy, so don’t be surprised to find Peggy and John on the tennis court or playing ping pong … or seeing Peggy ensconced in her kitchen. Cooking is another passion. She has received baking Sweepstakes Awards (an honor bestowed only after points have been earned by winning a certain amount of blue and other ribbons) at both the L. A. County and Ventura County Fairs. She has appeared in Better Homes & Gardens Magazine and in a segment of “Calling All Cooks” on the Food Network channel. Her cookies have won the National Land O’ Lakes Cookie Contest and, if you’ve ever gone to the Ojai Art Center’s chamber music concerts and savored her cookies at intermission, you’ll know why.

Peggy and John also jumped into the Ojai valley community with both feet by volunteering to serve on various local boards, including Ojai’s hospital. Among

As a chef, a community leader, a businesswoman and an animal advocate, Peggy makes sure she tends to all creatures great and small. OM — March 2020


Bankruptcy or Foreclosure? What you need to know about Derogatory Event waiting periods By Therese A. Hartmann

A woman called me this morning needing help with her loan. It seemed like it was going to be a straightforward refinance since she was a W-2 employee, making a great salary with very little consumer debt. The refinance would save this woman over $600 a month so I was eager to get her loan going for her. However, in researching her property profile to get an idea on the value of her home, I noticed there had been a bankruptcy in 2015. So, did this close the door on a new loan? The happy news is no, she will easily qualify!When we look at the waiting period for a “derogatory event” such as bankruptcies or foreclosures, you do need to take a look at the overall picture. Was the mortgage a government loan such as a VA, FHA or USDA loan? Was it a conventional Fannie or Freddie loan and if so, were there extenuating circumstances? If you, or someone you know, has had one of the following events, they can use this quick guide to determine eligibility to refinance or, buy a home: · Foreclosure — Wait period is 7 years from date foreclosure was completed and transferred back to the bank if no extenuating circumstances.


· Foreclosure — Wait period is 3 years from foreclosure date if there is a down payment (or equity) of 10 percent and if there were extenuating circumstances. · Bankruptcy Chapter 7 — When all debts have been discharged through bankruptcy, the wait period is only 4 years from discharge date or 2 years if there were extenuating circumstances · Bankruptcy Chapter 13 — In this case, debts are paid back on a monthly scheduled payment plan. The waiting period is 2 years from discharged date or 4 years from dismissal date. Foreclosure waiting period for a conforming loan is typically seven years. However, when bankruptcy includes your foreclosure, you may qualify for a shorter waiting period. The key here is knowing if your foreclosure occurred before or after your bankruptcy. Different rules apply depending on those dates. · The above information is based on a conventional loan (Fannie/Freddie) so if you have a government loan, the waiting period will be slightly less. Your best bet is to speak with a qualified loan officer to see what your options are as each case is different. OM — March 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.

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 — March 2020




In the past three days, I’ve become estranged from some important people in my life, gotten a poison pen letter from someone I deeply love, and had to sever a business relationship with yet another one — she’s had her last temper tantrum at me, by golly!

These are the things that sometimes happen in complicated families. I have a pal, Scott Charles, a brilliant poet and a quick draw with a metaphor, who says that these problems are the junk drawer full of the electrical cords of unknown origin or value in every family.

And no, it’s not my fault. This is Ojai ... the explanation is likely that Mercury is retrograde.

After telling him my troubles today, I asked him, “What would you do? I’m by nature a cord-untangler.” He answered, “I have no family.” That’s a hell of an alternative, don’t you think?

I will digress, but only apparently: the only thing worse than exercising authority you do not have is failing to exercise authority that you do. And confusing authority with power. If you fail to exercise your own authority, some dolt will move into the vacuum you’ve created and assume it for you, while you stand there like a mop, dithering. And the part of the neighborhood that you are responsible for will descend into chaos and disorder — if those are different. If your brain is wired with something called “learned helplessness” — (look it up or ask an expert) — which is common to some victims of severe abuse, you will not even recognize your own authority, much less be able to exercise it. If that should change for some reason, you will be surprised. So will everybody else.

I live in a nest in a live oak — a very very tall live oak — in a beautiful garden on North Ventura Street. I am awake before my other nestmates, as is usual. They are lazy and don’t get up till at least nine or ten. I am up and working by four a.m. at the latest. So much to do! I have recently come out of a coma and resumed my place as Matriarch and Big Mouth of my family, which is why I find myself living in a tree with two strangers. You know what Czeslaw Milosz says: “When a writer is born into a family, the family is finished.” I over-email. Today is Ash Wednesday. For Lent, I am giving up being in electronic contact with my clan — to either their great relief, or not to even be noticed by some. No matter. I have


stationery. My name is Elle. The other Harpies are Kay and Dee. We went through the expected chaos and nonsense of any triangle of women living together that the devil can devise and have now settled in to spring planting, the feeding of feral cats, writing more bestsellers, and making jewelry. All three of us are in varying degrees of estranged from our kinfolk, for reasons that have put several psychiatrists’ kids through Harvard, and have settled into our little substitute, taking care of each other and ourselves in downtown Ojai. We live modestly. Kay lives on royalties from a best-seller, Dee is too circumspect to disclose, and I live on handouts from ex-hubands and relatives in a place that they no longer charge me for and on a little bit from writing.

So I have been thinking and writing about family discord for the last few weeks – and if you think it’s not a serious matter but just squabbling at the dinner table, re-read the story of Cain and Abel. Mother Theresa — St. Theresa of Calcutta says, “If we’re supposed to love our enemies, just imagine how we’re supposed to treat our families.” She also says, “If you want to save the world, go home and love your family.” She didn’t escape any of the problems of family life — she just enlarged them by being a nun and then founding an order of sisters. The problems possible in such an undertaking are unimaginable unless you’ve got Divine guidance. The same for any family. Even a family of Harpies.

We are very happy here. Like I said, the garden is very beautiful and where we really live. The house is inconvenient but almost has a kitchen and food is important to us. It is likely a substitute for the men lacking in our lives. Two of us are old — Dee and I are in our seventies. But Kay is young and beautiful and I am on the look-out for a neurosurgeon who can dance and has nice table manners for her to marry. Contact the magazine if you know one.

‘Hope to see you next month with our news. XXXOOO Elle

OM — March 2020


Things You Need To Know About Leaks By Aimee Jo Davis-Varela

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), one in every 10 homes has leaks that waste at least 90 gallons of water per day. Across the country, we are wasting about one trillion gallons every year — just from minor water leaks. Every home is going to get a water leak at some point, which is going to increase your water bill, possibly result in a fine, and, of course, waste water. So, let’s go over some basic questions about water leaks to help you identify and handle a leak quickly. Whose responsibility is it to repair a leak? If the leak is at the street, it might be on the water company’s side of the meter, so you will need to call your water company right away so that they can assess the situation and complete a repair. If the leak is on your side of the meter, it is your responsibility to repair it. How do I know if I have a water leak? If you see standing water in an area where standing water shouldn’t be or an active drip coming from a faucet, this is an obvious indicator that you might


have a leak. This also helps you quickly pinpoint the location of the leak so that you can address it right away. It would be great if all leaks were this easy to identify and find, but most are not. Sometimes, you may not see any indication of a water leak until you see an increase in your water bill. If you suspect a water leak, one way you can check is to turn all of the water off in your house and on your property. Then, go to your water meter and look for the low-flow indicator. If the low-flow indicator is spinning when all of the water is turned off, you have a leak. What do I do if I have a water leak? The easiest thing to do is to turn off the water and call your plumber or landscaper so they can come find it and repair it. If you have a serious leak, do not wait for your plumber or landscaper to arrive. Turn the water off as soon as possible. This is easiest if you have a customer service valve, which is located on your side of the meter and allows you to turn off the water to your entire property. If you do not have a customer service valve,

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I recommend installing one. For smaller leaks, you may be able to locate the leak and turn off the water just to that area. If your meter is spinning but you do not see standing water, start with your irrigation system. When one of my clients has a leak, it is almost always in their irrigation lines. Turn on all of the zones and walk your property to look for leaking sprinkler heads or drip lines. When you find it, turn off the valve going to that area until you can get the leak repaired. If the culprit is a leaky faucet or toilet, turn the water supply off at that location. This allows you to continue to use the water in the rest of your house while stopping the leak until you (or a handyman or plumber) can repair it. You may also locate interior water leaks by listening for water dripping or looking for wet spots in drywall or inside cabinets. If you hear water trickling in the walls or find moist, soft spots in your wall or ceiling, turn off the water going into your house until you can arrange for a repair.

SOLD IN OJAI Homes Sold Last Month


203 North Alvarado Street, 2 bed, 1 bath, 800 Sq. Ft. Listed $500,000. Sold $475,000

12617 MacDonald Drive, 5 bed, 4 bath, 3,200 Sq. Ft. Listed $1,765,000. Sold $1,705,500

59 West Calle El Prado, 4 bed, 2 bath, 1,584 Sq. Ft. Listed $549,000. Sold $530,000

11020 Rodeo Drive, Oak View, 5 bed, 4.50 bath, 6774 Sq. Ft. Listed $1,995,000 Sold $1,720,000

162 Olive Street, Oak View 3 bed, 2 bath, 2,034 Sq. Ft. Listed $625,000. Sold $610,000 172 El Camino Drive, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1,658 Sq. Ft. Listed $650,000. Sold $615,000 501 Vallerio Avenue, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1,893 Sq. Ft. Listed $880,000. Sold $745,000 1115 Drown Avenue, 3 bed, 2 bath, 1,958 Sq. Ft. Listed $1200,000. Sold $1,200,000 1175 Rancho Drive, 5 bed, 3 bath, 2,571 Sq. Ft. Listed $1,500,000. Sold $1,260,000

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



1674 Ladera Road, 4 bed, 3 bath, 2,409 Sq. Ft. Listed $1,750,000. Sold $1,750,000 627 East Villanova Road, 4 bed, 3 bath, 2923 Sq. Ft. Listed $2,175,000.Sold $1,800,000

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

608 Palomar Road, 3 bed, 3 bath, 2,722 Sq. Ft. Listed $1,700,000. Sold $1,680.000

221East Matilija Street, Ojai 805-646-4911 ojaivalleyrealestate.com OM — March 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


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there’s no place like home

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

Dawn E. Shook - Executive Officer, Ojai Valley Board of REALTORS Yes, I have returned from my vacation in Florida! After all the planning it takes to get out of town, with travel arrangements to get to the airport, what flights we need to traverse, and how to get to the housing we have chosen, it was worth it. Good thing I am an organized person, otherwise, it would have been daunting and confusing to make the trip as seamless as it appeared…. We had a great time in Northern and Central Florida, visiting friends, and family at each stop during the week. Interestingly, the food is different, the clothes the locals wear are “island living” looking, and the lifestyle of many is very laid back. We enjoyed each moment as it was so different from what my husband and I do each day. Work!

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.

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

So, lots of time to do something or nothing, as we drove to different areas of Florida and experienced other ways of living. Great time was had by all, and after a week, we longed for Ojai. Nice to get away… however, great to come home again. 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

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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

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Za’atar-Coated Eggplant This za’atar-coated eggplant is earthy, spicy, and delicious. What is za’atar, you ask? Za’atar is the Arabic word for thyme and also for a Middle Eastern spice mix. The main ingredient of the spice mix is — you guessed it — fresh thyme. I’m told that when za’atar is mixed with olive oil and eaten with warm pita bread, it sharpens the mind. You can find za’atar spice at Middle Eastern food stores, or you can make your own. I like to make my own. I also like the technique of scoring the eggplant. By scoring the eggplant, the inside will be soft, but where the scores meet, the top will be crisp. It creates a nice contrast of soft and crispy textures that, when rubbed with the za’atar spice mix, are guaranteed to make you smile.


1 large globe eggplant .5 teaspoon salt 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons za’atar spice (*see recipe below if you want it fresh) 1 clove garlic (minced) 2 tablespoons parsley (chopped) 1.5 cups cooked rice Pita bread

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


*Za’atar Spice Mix Ingredients: 4 tablespoon fresh thyme (leaves stripped from stems) 1 tablespoon ground sumac 1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds .5 teaspoon fine sea salt

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper. Slice the eggplant in half, then score deeply with diagonal crosshatching at one-inch intervals. Be careful not to cut through the skin. Season each cut side with 1/2-teaspoon salt sprinkling it inside the scored areas if possible. Mix olive oil, za’atar spice, and garlic together. Rub one tablespoon of the za’atar paste into the top of each crosshatched eggplant slice and place the slices on the prepared baking sheet cut side up. Place sheet in the middle of the oven and bake for one hour, rotating the sheet after 30 minutes. After an hour, pierce with a fork. If they are very tender and juicy, they are done. If not, bake for another ten minutes and check again. Remove the eggplant from the oven. Garnish the eggplant with parsley and plate with cooked rice on the side. Oh … and don’t forget to bring warm pita bread to the table!

DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place the thyme leaves on a baking sheet and bake for about ten minutes or until just dry. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the thyme leaves. Remove thyme from the mortar to a small prep dish and set aside.

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Place the sumac and salt in the mortar and grind until fine. Add the thyme leaves back in and grind the sumac, salt, and thyme together. Add the sesame seeds and stir to combine. Store in an airtight at room temperature until ready to use. This recipe makes about six tablespoons.


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


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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

“...The feel is fun, energetic & evokes the perfect Ojai picnic...” 469 E. Ojai Ave.



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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.

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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 — March 2020




turtleconservancy.org info@turtleconservancy.org.

The Turtle Conservancy, located in Ojai’s East End, is dedicated to protecting threatened turtles and tortoises and their habitats worldwide, and to countering the illegal trade in such animals, which is decimating their numbers. Working with partner organizations, they’ve purchased land and established preserves for endangered turtles in Africa, Asia and Mexico. They’ve established a captive breeding center with the ultimate goal of re-wilding species to their native habitats when it is safe to do so. The Turtle Conservancy depends on donations to fund its programs, and welcomes volunteers to help out with numerous projects at our Ojai facility.


info@lockwoodarc.org phone: 661-220-5505

The Lockwood Animal Rescue Center (LARC), founded by Dr. Lorin Lindner and Matt Simmons, offers a therapeutic work environment for returning combat veterans and a “forever home” to wolves, wolfdogs, coyotes, horses, parrots and other animals. Located on a 20-acre facility with a 3,000-acre buffer, we offer both the veterans and animals an opportunity to heal and thrive in a back-to-nature setting. “Though not open to the public, we cater to veterans suffering from trauma, and are welcome to participate in our work therapy program. We offer an immersion program for veterans to stay and participate, and to learn basic skills for caring for animals and self healing,” Dr. Lindner said.


ojairaptorcenter@gmail.com phone: 805-649-6884

ORC was founded and is directed by Kimberly Stroud, who started her training at the Raptor Rehabilitation and Release Program in 1992. In 2000 she went on to found Ojai Raptor Center. First and foremost, Ojai Raptor Center is a fully functional and permitted wildlife rehabilitation center, specializing in birds of prey. Every year they take in 500 to 1,000 sick, injured or orphaned birds (including many non-raptor birds, and a small percentage of mammals) with the hopes of rehabilitating them and releasing them back to the wild. Our four-acre campus is comprised of a medical room and hospital, as well as outdoor flights, aviaries and mews. The center also features the largest flight in California.


animals@hsvc.org phone: 805-646-6505 or 805-656-5031


Nestled in the rolling hills of the Ojai Valley lies a 4.4-acre hidden haven for wayward animals. Founded in 1932, the Humane Society of Ventura County has been serving not just the animals of the Ojai Valley, but all of the animals in Ventura County. Traditionally, an animal shelter is thought of as solely a place for animals to seek refuge until a permanent home can be found. While here at the Humane Society of Ventura County they provide this safe refuge, they also strive to remedy the greater problem of animal overpopulation, abuse and neglect.

OM — March 2020

OM — March 2020


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

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




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


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.

745 OM — March 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.”

OM — March 2020


We know Ojai.

Custom Spanish Revival Home in the East End on 7.5 Acres with Gated Entry, Courtyard, Multi-Room Master Suite 5180ReevesRoad.com $3,599,000

Hacienda-Style Upper Ojai Ranch on 5+ Acres. Caretaker’s Quarters, Horse Facilities, Pool, Tennis Court and Gorgeous Views. 12605HighwindsRoad.com $2,649,000

Turnkey country charmer with wood floors, remodeled kitchen and bathrooms, separate office or studio, custom touches and upgrades throughout. $588,000

Custom Four-Bedroom Home on 5.43 acres near Downtown with Formal Living & Dining, Butler’s Pantry and Much More. 1436NorthMontgomeryStreet.com $1,650,000

The Davis Group ojaivalleyestates.com

Nora Davis

BRE License #01046067



We’re lifelong residents.

106+ Acre Country Retreat with Mountain and Lake Views and Custom, Stone House. LuckyQRanchOjai.com Price Upon Request

Four-Bedroom Arbolada Home with Guest House, Pool, Four Fireplaces & Mountain Views 407TicoRoad.com $2,199,000


Meticulously renovated three-bedroom, two-bathroom oasis with pool, cabana and views on large lot one block from downtown and adjacent to Ojai Valley Trail. $1,900,000

Kellye Lynn

BRE License #01962469


Rare opportunity to buy Gateway Plaza! Oak View shopping center with long-term occupants, large parking lot and great location. $1,300,000

The Davis Group ojaivalleyestates.com

GAB R I E LA C E S E Ă‘ A THE NEXT LEVEL OF REAL ESTATE SERVICES Realtor | Luxury Specialist Berkshire Hathaway

Unwavering commitment to my clients’ satisfaction. Driven by passion for the work I do 805.236.3814 | gabrielacesena@bhhscal.com CAL BRE# 01983530 Gabrielacesena.bhhscalifornia.com

608 COUNTRY CLUB DRIVE: Timeless, classic, sophisticated Ojai living at its best! This delightful property, only moments away from the famous Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, offers all the best Ojai has to offer. Set against a backdrop of majestic Topa Topa mountain views and surrounded by colorful, inspiring gardens, this exceptional property embodies the essence of Ojai with unrivaled tranquility and natural beauty. This turnkey, 4BD/3BA uplifting and blissful home is flooded with natural light designed to integrate interior and exterior living

seamlessly. The home is centered around a sensational great-room featuring an epic stone fireplace, connecting living, dining, and kitchen into one flowing open living space. Outside, a poolside terrace invites outdoor dining and entertaining, with a built-in BBQ and numerous sun-drenched patios for quiet moments of reflection or occasions both large and intimate. The lap pool, luscious lawn & eclectic gardens are delightful. Welcome to your Ojai Oasis. Remarkable Value for the special property! Offered at $1,895,000

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Ojai Monthly - March 2020