Who is Sean Kenney

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SPOILER ALERT! S.Y. Kitchen is Valley’s “Insider” foodie hub. Now, better go before the crowd reads this . . . (page 28)




Jacquelyn De Longe takes a stroll back in time at 37-acre Lotusland, clandestine home of the late Madame Ganna Walska and her foundation.

THE MONEY MAN PAGE 6 The top 1% already pay 45.7% of all income taxes; how much

more do you redistributionists want to squeeze out of them?


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State Street Scribe – When your first big acting role is as the hideously mutilated original captain of Star Trek’s USS Enterprise, you’d better get your lines right! Fortunate pilgrim Sean Kenney describes the view from the bridge, as told to Jeff Wing.

Sharon’s Take – The race for SB’s next Congressional representative is a crapshoot, writes Sharon Byrne, who names and explains the primary players T he Bi-weekly Capitalist – It’s a fragile world, and Jeffrey Harding surveys recent polls focused on what your average taxpayer assumes about paying taxes; the results are anything but surprising L etters – Eric Kelley in defense of the Book Den; William Lockwood gets fired-up about marijuana; John Seymour on lawyers and the Bard; Edo McGowan sounds off about cyclists; while Leoncio Martins and Jeffrey Harding are on the money (again) Beer Guy – Zach Rosen discovers that man cannot live by beer alone, so he recommends making your own liquid bread and offers the recipe for a kvass act

The Fortnight – The coming Fortnight is peppered with marvelous doings, many under starlight, including a lush balletic interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, grand pianists, French-Chilean rap, the discovery and explanation of exoplanets, wine-assisted art appreciation, and tipsy lumberjacks log rolling in the middle of the Mississippi. Maybe not that last one. Also, Jeff Wing raises the curtain on Riley Berris, head of San Marcos High’s theater department.

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Up Close – Jacquelyn De Longe takes a stroll down memory lane, back in time at Lotusland, home of the brave, late Madame Ganna Walska and her foundation Santa Barbara View – Sharon Byrne tells of an Eastside story involving Carol Ashley, who oversees Demo2Design; tastes some tasty sandwiches at McDonald’s around town; and gives a shout-out to Dons Net Café and Telegraph Brewery Man About Town – Despite his misleading surname, Mark Léisuré has entertainment all covered: Lynda.com and UCSB Arts & Lecture; favorites of foodies; Santa Barbara’s festival season, classical music corner; film focus; and the sounds of radio

Cinema Scope – James Luksic isn’t furious but can only shake his head at Furious 7’s boxoffice haul; he prefers the star-studded Danny Collins and, to a lesser degree, Woman in Gold Behind The Vine – Hana-Lee Sedgwick raises a glass to salute Wine + Beer for its one-year anniversary at the SB Public Market


Moselle Valley, Germany


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Stylin’ & Profilin’ – Megan Waldrep chronicles the literary rise of Dana Thomas and reads between the lines of her fashionable new book, Gods and Kings Plan B – Briana Westmacott dissects the fine line between loving and hating technology; in fact, she hesitated to write this column on her smart phone – which she’d prefer to go without for a day or three

ShopGirl – In search of healthy relation and rejuvenation, Kateri Wozny discovers Salt Cave Santa Barbara is worth its salt, thanks to owner Mike McCaskey In The Zone – Tommie Vaughn puts pen to paper in reporting about musicians and the process of songwriting; they tend to love “somebody done somebody wrong” songs, as does the listening public

Santa Ynez Valley Snapshot – Eva Van Prooyen satisfies her hunger and quenches her thirst at S.Y. Kitchen; her favorites of the week include Buttonwood vineyard, Buellton Bargain Day, “Go for Baroque” concert, Rancheros Visitadores, and Scandinavian songs at Solvang Library


Driver’s Seat – Randy Lioz looks under the hood of the automotive service companies around Santa Barbara, flipping his “brights” on Haik’s German Autohaus and The Garage, among others

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San Marcos High School Performing Arts Department presents


Music and Lyrics by George Gershwin & Ira Gershwin Book by Ken Ludwig Co-Conception by Ken Ludwig & Mike Ockrent Inspired by Material by Guy Bolton & John McGowan Originally Produced on Broadway by Roger Horchow & Elizabeth Williams Vocal Music by Carolyn Teraoka-Brady Orchestra conducted by Michael Kiyoi Directed by

Riley Berris

April 30th, May 1st, 2nd, 7th, 8th, & 9th at 7pm San Marcos High School Theater, 4750 Hollister Ave, Santa Barbara, California, 93110 Buy tickets at: the door, online at shopsmroyals.org or by phone at (805) 967- 4581 x5568



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Pike’s disfigurement, courtesy of explosive Delta Rays and Levi Strauss

by Jeff Wing

Jeff is a journalist, raconteur, autodidact, and polysyllable enthusiast. A long-time resident of SB, he takes great delight in chronicling the lesser known facets of this gaudy jewel by the sea. Jeff can be reached at jeffwingg@gmail.com

Who is Sean Kenney, and Why isn’t This Man Smiling? Please remain seated: William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy confer over a severely burned and Scotch-taped Sean Kenney/ Captain Pike


hen Spock reports a distress call from Starbase 11, the easily distracted USS Enterprise takes another whimsical warp-speed detour from her Five-Year Mission and hustles over to the troubled Federation outpost, Kirk, Spock, and McCoy beaming down in their columns of sparkly stuff to see what the trouble is. The Starbase 11 commander is quizzical. “We didn’t call you guys.” Kirk reaffirms huffily that Spock reported a distress call from captain Christopher Pike himself. “Impossible,” the base commander says. Pike had been horrifically injured months before in an accident and is now a staring, slackjawed, radiation-burned mute. As in all good sci-fi, the horror-specifics of Pike’s accident are alluded to in Future Space Injury argot. It seems a “baffle plate ruptured” during his inspection of a Class J vessel, catching Pike and his young charges unawares and coating them with toxic space propulsion junk. The Starfleet folk seem unified in their alarm, and there is an awkward pause. Finally, McCoy gives voice to their dread. “The Delta Rays?” To which the base commander merely nods. When the group enters his room, Pike slowly turns his torso-encasing 25th-century wheelchair to face them (and us), and we see the full effect of Delta rays on selfsacrificing Starfleet brass determined to save as many cadets as possible in the face of faulty baffle plates. “If you remember that scene, I’m facing the window,” Sean Kenney says, “and I have to turn around. And you could turn around fast in that wheelchair

thing, because it had a joystick, but at 24 frames a second you have to move one-tenth slower, or it looks too fast on the film. We got it in two takes.” The camera lavishes great attention on the expressions of pity and horror on Kirk and McCoy as they gaze upon their ruined colleague, the director opting to have the close-ups linger a beat too long. Even Spock’s Vulcanized poker face betrays a little something at the sight of his desiccated former captain, Kirk’s predecessor. The music swells minutely to a muted, minor chord with piccolos as the camera smoothly closes on the disfigured Pike, staring with lifeless but pleading eyes, his mouth open. Speaking of Spock now, Kenney says of the scene, “I had to look at this guy like I hadn’t seen him in 6 or 7 years. If you watch my eyes in that, Spock is scary to me. Why is he here?”

These are The Voyages of Sean Kenney

Three hundred and thirty-one years (and a couple weeks) earlier, and about four miles away, Sean Kenney readies himself for that night’s performance at the Gallery Theater, near Santa Monica Boulevard. It’s 1966. A packed house of jostling, coughing theatergoers is settling in for an evening of stirring theater, a play called The Deputy. Kenney is the sound effects guy and has a couple of walk-on roles in the play. For the moment, that’s as close as he can get to center stage in the thronged, hothouse atmosphere of L.A. in the early ‘60s, with Hollywood in the ascendant and aspiring actors from all over the place

pouring into southern California like bees into a hive. Kenney can’t know that tonight he will succumb to a “ruptured baffle plate” of his own. The energies that will shortly bathe him, though, are not scarring radioactive poison, but the benevolent rays of a dawning new gig, a new life, really; Kismet rays. Starfleet will reach him this night on a hailing frequency. Just out of the Air Force, Sean Kenney had been scrambling, but he knew what he wanted. During his last assignment, on an air base outside London, he’d begun to hesitantly dabble in stagecraft, working with a coach who lived near the base, learning how to read from a script during an audition, how to speak written lines. One evening, the 21-yearold airman had gone into town and experienced a heart-turning epiphany watching Olivier and Caine tear it up in a London stage production of Ira Levin’s house-of-mirrors story, Sleuth. When some days later his commanding officer asked if he wanted to “re-up,” as his obligatory four year enlistment was coming to an end, Kenney respectfully declined. “No, sir. I have to get home.” “Trouble with family?” “No, sir. I have things I want to do.” “What do you want to do with your life, airman?” “I want to be an actor, sir,” Kenney said. “An actor? You’re kidding!” the CO said, to which Kenney’s response was a sudden, rhapsodic pouring out of his feelings about Olivier, Caine, the play he’d seen. “It just moved me no end, sir!” Kenney remembers holding his hand to his chest as he spoke. Picture a fresh-faced kid in Khakis who has just glimpsed his place in the firmament. After a few minutes, the CO waved his hands in surrender. “Okay, airman, I can see by the way you’re talking and the way you’re feeling you are not going to re-up. I’ll drop it.” Back in the States, Kenney was determined to become an actor but had to earn a living. He and a girlfriend

worked at the San Antonio ranch of FedMart millionaire Morris Jaffe, and through that connection was promised a job at the FedMart corporate office in Covina. Kenney jumped at the chance, which didn’t pan out, though he’d finally made it to California. He worked days as a draftsman designer (the trade he’d learned in the service) and nights doing whatever he could to get into the acting game, finally joining the only theater group in the Los Angeles phone book with an opening, and taking what they had to offer; sound effects and a couple of non-speaking walk-ons in a production of The Deputy at the Gallery Theater. “I go in, it’s my big shot,” Kenney says now. The house was packed, the lead actor was “out in the desert doing a Gunsmoke episode,” and suddenly the understudy calls in sick. The producers are going to cancel the show, tell the ticketholders to line up for refunds. They’re pulling their hair. Kenney raises his hand. “Hey, uh… I know all the lines.” Heads swivel and they look at the kid, blinking. “Yeah, I know every word, man.” They hurriedly start throwing scene and line references at him in the wings. He knows every word, comma, and period. By heart. “I was the sound guy,” he says, laughing. “I knew everyone’s lines!” Flabbergasted and seeing a way out, they rushed him into costume and crossed their fingers. Kenney took the stage and killed it, saving the evening, quelling the producers’ acid reflux, and opening a door.

Fate: The Final Frontier

Unbeknownst to Kenney, a talent agent had sidled into the audience. She’d been scouring the town at Gene Roddenberry’s desperate behest, looking for a young actor with a particular quality. They’d almost given up, and the fate of a struggling new series hung in the balance. Forty years later, Star Trek’s supervising producer, Bob Justman, would tell Sean Kenney, “if we hadn’t found you, there wasn’t going to be a ...continued p.31

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by Sharon Byrne


Sharon’s education in engineering and psychology gives her a distinctive mix of skills for writing about and working on quality-of-life, public safety and public policy issues. Her hyper-local SB View column can be found every other week.

Who Will be Our Next Congressional Representative? It’s a Free-For-All.


t’s spring, and the city’s District Elections lawsuit only just settled. People are starting to look at newly carved-up city maps and wondering if their district is up this year, who will run, etc. And out of nowhere, the long-awaited shift in the Congressional District 24 seat hurtled into prime time, completely eclipsing city electoral processes. Lois Capps announced she is retiring. She has served nine full terms in Congress, since 1998. Suddenly, a seat many have longed for is wide open. This seat has always leaned Democratic and still does. But the redistricting exercise of 2011 and the ‘”jungle” primary of 2012 shifted make-up of the district. Politico recently noted: “The 24th District has been competitive for multiple cycles and instantly becomes a more likely pick-up opportunity for Republicans in 2016 with Lois Capps’s

retirement,” said Zach Hunter, regional spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Now that it’s an open seat, expect a free-for-all, with everyone getting in. Politico is already speculating the seat could go to Laura Capps, the daughter of Lois Capps, though her tweet on her mom’s retirement was fairly coy on whether she’d run. The local residents, however, lost zero time jumping in. Within hours of Capps’s announcement of her retirement, mayor Helene Schneider announced she would run for the Congressional seat. This may have surprised some, including the second candidate to announce, supervisor Salud Carbajal. Helene clearly believes in the bold move. Some chafed online that “the body wasn’t even cold yet” before Helene announced her run, which itself is a bit of a chilling commentary. But politics is about the here-and-now, and Helene is not one to sit on the sidelines

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and wait to be wooed into the race. She’s showing her campaign style on the big stage, so take note. Supervisor Carbajal announced that his Congressional run the next day, touting his work on the Climate Task Force in D.C. and his bi-partisan work on the SB County Board of Supervisors. Those two getting in the race will introduce some serious heartburn for the local Democratic party ranks around here. They’ll both be chasing Democratic party endorsements, including the Democratic Central Committee, Democratic Women of Santa Barbara County, and the Santa Barbara Women’s Political Committee. Both candidates are well-regarded and respected within their ranks, making the choice painful. It could end up rather like the city council race of 2013, where endorsements were split between competing candidates. There are also elected Democratic officials’ endorsements to pursue. Expect some wailing and gnashing of teeth as they grind through the machinations of the Democratic party endorsements process. William Ostrander, a Democrat from San Luis Obispo who played the high school thug in the film Christine, is also running for Congress in the 24th District. He currently heads the nonprofit Citizens Congress. So what about Das Williams or Hannah-Beth Jackson for Congress?

Das is termed-out of the Assembly in 2016 and probably would be expected to enter the Congressional race as an upward career move. Instead, he’s entering the First District supervisor race for the seat currently held by Carbajal. That seat is up in 2016, and Carbajal can’t run for Congress and reelection to his supervisorial seat at the same time. So the plan is for Carbajal to win Congress, and for Das to become the new First District supervisor. Looking at the Republican field, well, it could include everyone and anyone from Chris Mitchum to Dale Francisco to Justin Fareed, with the last named already announcing his run. Justin fired up some conservatives in 2014, invigorating them with his energy and youth, as he’s in his 20s. He placed second in the 2014 primary. Some have wondered if former State Senator Sam Blakeslee will get into the race. Katcho Achadjian, 35th District Assembly rep, is also a possibility. Both of these gentlemen hail from San Luis Obispo, which has proven to be the place Republicans go to die in Congressional elections. Fielding a SLO Republican who can garner robust support up there is probably their best shot at winning the seat. It’s only April 2015, and we’re already looking at a pretty crowded field for this race. Let the free-for-all begin!


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Bi-Weekly Capitalist by Jeff Harding

Jeff Harding is a real estate investor and a writer on economics and finance. He is the former publisher of the Daily Capitalist, a popular economics blog. He is also an adjunct professor at SBCC.

Tax Fragility


ax time is when we all gripe about how unfair and stupid the tax system is. No one likes to pay taxes. People are angry because they think they are paying too much and everyone else – especially the rich – are paying too little. There’s a lot of polling data on how people feel about taxes and here is a summary of some of it: Taxes are too high (52% to 42%, Gallup) Americans in general pay too much in taxes (63% to 32%, Gallup) The taxes paid by the following groups of income earners (Gallup): Lowest pay too much (33%), their fair share (41%), too little (23%) Middle pay too much (49%), their fair share (42%), too little (7%) Upper pay too much (13%), their fair share (13%), too little (61%) By a substantial majority (52% to 45%) people think the government should redistribute wealth by imposing heavy taxes on the rich (Gallup). Another poll (AP/GfK) said 68% think the rich aren’t being taxed enough; only 11% said they were paying too much. The AP/GfK poll also revealed that 60% of taxpayers believe the middle class were paying too much and only 7% said they are paying too little. According to Pew Research, the bottom line is that most people think they are paying their fair share but the “others” aren’t. That makes sense, because when you fill out your 1040 and cut a check to the IRS you think, “Hey, look how much I’m paying; I’m paying my fair share.” The polls show that people think the “rich” aren’t paying their fair share. In one quote from a Christian Science Monitor article, “I think the more you make, the more taxes you should pay... I can’t see where a man makes $50,000 a year pays as much taxes as somebody that makes $300,000 a year.” He’s wrong, because they don’t. People vastly underestimate what they think the “rich” pay as a share of their income, which, according to various polls, is from 10% to 30%, when in fact, as readers of this fine journal know, the top tax rate is almost 40%. When asked in polls how much rich folks ought to pay, it ranges from 15% to 25% (from a poll of delegates to the 2008 Democratic Convention) to 30%. It’s easy to see why “tax the rich” is a popular slogan, especially among Democrats and Progressives (polls say this, not me). The fact is, we tax the rich more than other countries. According to two studies of the top 24 world economies by the OECD (Organization of Economic Publisher/Editor • Tim Buckley | Design/Production • Trent Watanabe Managing Editor • James Luksic | Opinion • sbview.com Columnists Shop Girl • Kateri Wozny | You Have Your Hands Full • Mara Peters Plan B • Briana Westmacott | Food File • Christina Enoch Commercial Corner • Austin Herlihy | The Weekly Capitalist • Jeff Harding Man About Town • Mark Leisure | In The Garden • Randy Arnowitz The Beer Guy • Zach Rosen | The Drivers Seat • Randy Lioz Girl About Town • Julie Bifano | In The Zone • Tommie Vaughn Stylin’ & Profilin’ • Megan Waldrep | Fortnight • Jeff Wing State Street Scribe • Jeff Wing | Holistic Deliberation • Allison Antoinette Up Close • Jacquelyn De Longe | Behind The Vine • Hana-Lee Sedgwick Cinema Scope • James Luksic Advertising/Sales Tanis Nelson • 805.689.0304 • tanis@santabarbarasentinel.com Sue Brooks • 805.455.9116 • sue@santabarbarasentinel.com Judson Bardwell • 619.379.1506 • judson@santabarbarasentinel.com Kim Collins • 805.895.1305 • kim@santabarbarasentinel.com Published by SB Sentinel, LLC PRINTED BY NPCP INC., SANTA BARBARA, CA Santa Barbara Sentinel is compiled every other Friday 133 EAST DE LA GUERRA STREET, #182, Santa Barbara 93101 How to reach us: 805.845.1673 • E-MAIL: tim@santabarbarasentinel.com

Cooperation and Development), “Taxation is most progressively distributed in the United States…” and the ratio of taxes paid to income received by the top 10% was the highest in the U.S. The truth is that the top 20% in the U.S. pay 84% of all income taxes. The other truth is that the lowest 40% income group effectively pays no taxes because they get back more than they pay in (from Earned Income Tax Credit, American Opportunity Credit, Child Tax Credit, etc.). This chart shows each group’s share of income versus their share of income taxes: Check out the two right columns, which show a group’s share of income compared to their share of income taxes paid (as reported on tax returns). The only income group that paid more in taxes than their share of income was the highest quintile, those making $134,000 or more. What does this mean? It means that the “rich” are paying more per their share of income than any other income group in America. The Wall Street Journal broke it down further and came up with some rather surprising results:

Only when you get to the top 5% income earners does their share of income tax exceed their share of income. This means that the top 5% pay 64% of all U.S. income taxes based on their 29.2% share of income. If you break it down even further, the top 1% (only three million people) are paying 45.7% of all income taxes! If this doesn’t shock you, it should: since onehalf of federal government revenues comes from the income tax, that means only 3 million people (0.9% of the population) are supporting one-quarter of all federal revenue. One could say that we citizens are being carried by a tiny fraction (0.9%) of the population. If we listen to Progressives like Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, the rich don’t pay enough taxes and most people would agree with them. But based on real data, we know that isn’t the case: the rich pay more than their fair share of income taxes. Does the fact that we rely on a small group of high income people to pay most income taxes bother you? It bothers me, not because I pay a lot of taxes, but because it reveals that our system is rather fragile. It’s not healthy for a society to free-ride the rich and demand that they pay higher taxes in order to fund more social benefits for the rest of us. In his book, Antifragile: Things That Gain From Disorder, Nassim Taleb of Black Swan fame says that systems like free markets are robust and adapt, and even thrive from chaos and disorder; they are what he calls “antifragile.” For example, entrepreneurs disrupt the status quo with new products. Steve Jobs invented a product no one realized they needed until he made it: the iPhone. The result was that most of his competitors went (nearly) broke (Blackberry, Motorola, Nokia). On the other side are “fragile” systems that tend to break when subjected to disorder and chaos, such as socialist economies (see Venezuela). Taleb’s point is that unforeseen events in the world regularly occur and can and do cause chaos and disruption. When they occur, some systems thrive (antifragile), while others fail (fragile). If our society is to thrive, if our government is to survive, we can’t rely on the very few to support the many. These systems are fragile and eventually collapse. The problem with our society is not that we, rich or otherwise, don’t pay enough taxes, but rather that we expect too much from a system that can’t provide what we demand of it. We can’t expect a high standard of living and at the same time act to destroy it. Raising the tax burden on the very people who produce wealth will eventually break us.

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Although you might not believe it, we actually want to hear from you. So if you have something you think we should know about or you see something we've said that you think is cretinous (or perspicacious, to be fair), then let us know. There's no limit on words or subject matter, so go ahead and let it rip to: Santa Barbara Sentinel, Letters to the Editor, 133 East De La Guerra Street, No. 182, Santa Barbara, California 93101. You can also leap into the 21st century and email us at tim@santabarbarasentinel.com.

One for the Books


n your issue of April 4 [Sentinel 4/7], page 12, in The Newspage by Lennon James, appears this sentence: “... there isn’t a full-service bookstore in the downtown corridor.” For the owner of the Book Den, this hurts. We have been in downtown Santa Barbara for 82 years. We sell both new and used books, which is more fullservice than a store that deals only in new, in-print titles. More than half our in-store revenues last year came from the sales of new books. And we carry Matt [Mazza]’s book. To add insult, the article refers to both Chaucer’s and Tecolote bookstores in the last sentence, but fails to mention us. It’s frustrating that failure is more newsworthy than success. I can live with a story about Granada Books that doesn’t mention the Book Den, but not with one that says we don’t exist. Yours, Eric Kelley The Book Den

Blaze It

Those who believe that legalizing marijuana would be beneficial to our society should be reminded that Osama bin Laden and all nineteen of his 9/11 skyjackers had been raised in Arab cultures in which smoking hashish — a distillation of marijuana — has been legally and socially acceptable for centuries. Marijuana smoke is laced with deadly toxins such as hydrogen cyanide and nitrous oxide* which systematically destroy the sensitive vital organs of the body, including the ultra-sensitive brain. And that explains why Arab cultures have long been far behind those of Europe and the United States in terms of technological development. Mental impairment and cultural envy were obviously part of the 9/11 equation. It’s been 14 years since that coterie of envious Arab potheads sharpened their box-cutters, left behind their bongs, boarded those four airliners, and reduced our once-proud and prosperous democracy to a politically insecure, fiscally bankrupt, quasi-police state. They are now celebrated as heroes throughout the pot-smoking Arab world. Leave it to our current president, Barack Hussein Obama, to recently declare that “marijuana is no more

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Over $1 Billion in Sales!

dangerous than alcohol.” William G. Lockwood Santa Barbara

Kill ’em All

From the little bit of research I did, Shakespeare’s “kill all the lawyers” quote is actually a lawyer-bashing joke (see www.spectacle.org/797/finkel. html). Other than this, what Jeffrey Harding/Tim Buckley fail to note is that it’s usually lawyers who write the irritating, stifling, and nonsensical regulations on behalf of special interests, including the government. Sincerely, John Seymour Santa Barbara

Round and Round

There is evidently a new law requiring drivers of cars to maintain a three-foot clearance from bicycles while on the road. I live on Via Real and the street is narrow, twisting, and fast. Thus, maintaining a three-foot separation when a bunch of bikes spill way outside the bike lane means you either break the law by crossing the double line or reduce speed until the gaggle decides to be polite and pull back into the bike lane. This does not always happen, and an abundance of arrogance is demonstrated by getting the bone flipped by one of the bikers. That attitude really helps cement a happy accord. The other day, a single smartly dressed biker came through a stop from a side road right into the intersection, swung wide because his speed and angular momentum prevented him from making a sharp turn. He found himself nearly on my bumper and gracefully flipped me the bird when I honked. I ride a bike and have been a member of a bicycle club. Some members are so “for bikes and against cars” that they will key cars as they ride by. I have also actually been the object of a crazy woman who got behind my bike and pushed me through a red light into oncoming traffic. I was riding in the gutter, can’t get closer to the curb than that – didn’t matter. She went before a judge, had a record of chasing people with her car and was recommended for anger-control sessions twice a month. But then, I also walk along the roadway to reach the hiking trails and ...continued p.18

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A P R I L 1 8 – M AY 2 | 2 0 1 5


by Zach Rosen

Make Your Own Liquid Bread


eer is often called liquid bread and for good reason too. The first beers were produced in Sumeria five thousand years ago using water, loaves of dried-out bread called bappir, honey, dates and other seasonings that remain unknown. While the characteristics and procedures of Sumerian beer are still debated, the Russian table beer (meaning low-alcohol), kvass, is a living fossil of these original brews. Kvass is a traditional bread beer that has been continually brewed in Eastern Europe for more than 1,000 years. The word “kvass” is derived from the antiquated Slavic word for “leaven,” and the key ingredient of this brew is the use of dried-out loaves of bread. Although historically any kind of bread could be used, over time rye bread has become the most popular. There are not a lot of fermentable sugars in the bread, so a small amount of sugar or honey is added. Other fruits, herbs, and spices can be used as flavorings with lemon, mint, and raisins being the most classic combination. Researchers know that kvass goes back a long time, but they’re still unsure of its exact origins. It is likely that the beverage came to the area through the near-east trade routes. The first mention of the word “kvass” is in The Primary Chronicle, a 12th-century history book thought to be written by a monk named Nestor that detailed the history of the Kievan Rus’s people from about 8501110 A.D. In the book, kvass is only mentioned in passing and it is not until more than 500 years later that we see the first recipe for it. For most of its existence, kvass was produced and served in the home, which is why we don’t see a lot of records of its production. The Domostroi, literally meaning the “domestic order” in Russian, is a 16th-century book that is basically a “how-to” guide for a wide variety of domestic affairs. It is here that the first recipe is described, and for centuries the procedure and ingredients remained largely unchanged.

Communism and Kvass

If you’ve explored European markets and delis in America, then you may have seen a 2-L bottle of kvass on the shelves. Pour yourself a glass of this bottled kvass, and you will notice that it tastes nothing like the traditional product. The kvass industry over the last century has been at the mercy of

Zach Rosen is a Certified Cicerone® and beer educator living in Santa Barbara. He uses his background in chemical engineering and the arts to seek out abstract expressions of beer and discover how beer pairs with life.

A wide variety of flavorings can be used in kvass including lemon, mint, cranberries, and dates

the sociopolitical turmoil that has taken place in Eastern Europe. For much of its existence, kvass has largely been a domestic product produced in the home for the family. In the 19th century, industrialization helped move kvass out of the home and into factories. When Communism took over, kvass producers became government-controlled factories where it was distributed by street vendors. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the new government came along with new laws and regulations that banned the sales of kvass on the streets. No longer having the financial support of the government and street vendor market, many of the traditional kvass factories soon closed. The fall of the Soviets also opened the door for western companies to move into the new market, including Coca-Cola and Pepsi. These two giants went after the void left from the collapse of kvass and quickly took over the market. In the late 90s, the local soft drink producers began bottling kvass and marketing it as a patriotic, anti-cola product. In fact, one kvass, Nikola, sounds like “not cola” in Russian. As these soft drink kvass producers began to steal market share, Coca-Cola and Pepsi responded by producing their own brands of kvass and buying up other kvass factories and distributors. The result being that today most commercial kvass resembles soda more than beer. In recent years, Russia has been going through a kvass revival, and there is a resurgence of interest in the traditional product. But why buy kvass when you can make your own?

Making Kvass

If you have ever homebrewed, you may notice that brewing kvass is considerably easier and loose. Kvass is

a quick fermentor and does not have any preservatives, so it will go bad in about a week. Kvass can be served flat or carbonated, depending on your preferences. A good portion of the water will be retained in the bread, so this recipe will produce roughly one gallon of kvass. The amount of liquid obtained will depend on how dry the bread is and how long you allow the liquid to strain.


16-Quart Pot Large Stainless Steel Spoon Funnel Sieve or Fine Strainer 2-3 2-L Soda Bottles


2½ Loaves Rye Bread 2 Gallons of Water 3 Lemons ½ Bunch Mint, chopped 2 oz dried, sweetened cranberries (no preservatives) 10 oz Brown Sugar 1 Packet Brewer’s Yeast (Baking yeast can be used as well, but is not as ideal) 1. Preheat your oven to 275 F. Line baking racks with rye bread, and bake them until dry and crunchy but not browned. Make sure to place the bread in a single layer. If the bread overlaps on the trays, it will dry inconsistently so it is best to take your time and bake the bread in several rounds. Crumble the bread into small chunks. 2. Slice lemons in half and juice. Save the peels of 1½ lemons. 3. Place water in the pot and add dried, bread chunks. Bring to a boil.

To make kvass, rye bread is dried out and then crumbled

4. Once the water has reached a boil, take the pot off the burner. Slowly add the mint, lemon, cranberries, and brown sugar into the pot while stirring. Once everything has been added, cover the pot with a lid and allow to cool to room temperature. About 4 hours. 5. Crack open the lid, quickly sprinkle the yeast over the liquid and then replace the cover. Let the covered pot sit at room temperature for 24 hours. 6. Place the sieve in top of the funnel. Place the funnel into the first 2-L bottle and begin to strain off the liquid. Leave 1-2 inches of airspace in the top of the 2-L bottle and close the lid tightly. Repeat with the other soda bottles. For a flat kvass, drink immediately. For a carbonated kvass, allow bottles to sit at room temperature for two to three days before opening. These instructions have been written to use household kitchen items. For those with home-brewing equipment in their house, double the ingredients and allow the beer to ferment in a 5-gallon food grade bucket with an airlock-equipped lid. This will produce a cleaner fermentation and allow less chance of infection (which produces undesirable flavors). Also, using a food grade sanitizer like Star San from Five Star (available at any local homebrew shop such as Surf Brewery or Valley Brewers) to clean all of the equipment will greatly improve the quality of the kvass and the consistency of its flavor. This recipe is a tweaking of the traditional flavorings in kvass, though part of the fun of this beverage is the endless possibilities of breads, fruits, and seasonings that can be used. Instead of lemon and rye bread, try using a loaf of sourdough to give it a more lactic tartness. Replace the brown sugar, lemon, mint, and cranberries with 8 ounces of pitted dates and 8 ounces of honey for a more Sumerian influence. With its easy brewing process and the infinite combinations of flavors, there is no reason why you shouldn’t always have kvass in your home.

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APRIL 18 - MAY 2

by Jeff Wing

Tell us all about your art opening, performance, dance party, book signing, sale of something we can’t live without, or event of any other kind by emailing fortnight@santabarbarasentinel.com. If our readers can go to it, look at it, eat it, or buy it, we want to know about it and will consider it for inclusion here. Special consideration will be given to interesting, exploratory, unfamiliar, and unusual items. We give calendar preference to those who take the time to submit a picture along with their listing.

Can’t Make This Stuff Up


OO BOY. What a fortnight this has been! Lois Capps declines to run again, insisting that walking is just as healthy and easier on the joints, the seasonal political machine trundles out its adorable talking stuffed animals (they look so real), and Das Williams continues to insist on using a Deutsch definite article as a first name. The day he changes his last name to Wienerschnitzel is the day he wins my vote. Das, are you listening? In Saint Babs, life goes on, and the absence of rainfall has, of course, set off a class war between those whose shower stalls feature elaborate buckets and those who must settle for pails. Will this mad struggle never end? Fear not: our jewel-encrusted petri dish is aswarm with culture. For instance:

Terpsichore, Astronomical Unit, and Fringe Festival


n Saturday, April 18, at 2 and 7:30 pm you can witness some mind-opening Terpsichore (you heard me) when choreographers from all over the place converge on SBCC’s always-surprising annual spring dance concert, Collective, brought to you by artistic director Tracy R. Kofford. The evening will feature works presented by SBCC Dance, featuring choreography by SBCC faculty, student choreographers, danah bella Dance Works, UCSB Student Company, the Los Olivos Dance Gallery, Thacher Dance Ensemble, and other Santa Barbara dancing fools. Don’t miss this one. Speaking of Stories, On Sunday April 19, at 2 pm and Monday, April 20, at 7:30 pm a cadre of master storytellers will take the Center Stage Theater’s... um… center stage, mesmerizing with masterfully woven storytelling and reminding us that moving pictures seen in the head and not on a screen are always more vibrant and memorable. Tell the kids! On April 19, 25, and 26 at Center Stage, mindblowingly talented kids from the Adderley School for the Performing Arts present musical theater performances to stop and restart your


April 19, All day ■ Join Snook the Sloth for Earthday at Alameda Park heart. These amazing performers will give rise to the rumor that there is yet hope for our iKidnapped youth. Check it out, you will not believe what you see. You’ll never guess what they found! Thousands of planets outside our homely little solar system. Because we are famously the center of the universe (haven’t you heard?), they have coined these exoplanets. Join the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History


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on Friday, April 24, from 7 to 9 pm for an astronomy-packed evening wherein you will be convinced of the presence of other planets beyond our solar neighborhood. They’re probably not as nicely furnished as Earth, but they deserve a hearing. Local astronomer Rachel Street will hold court and expand your thinking beyond the front lawn. Did you know that Zoe Reifel, a local high school student, confirmed the existence of a planet beyond our solar system? Think of all the time she could have been spending on Snap Crap, or whatever it’s called. Members of hipster club Santa Barbara Astronomical Unit will be present to point your gaze upward. Ninja Malware Attack! UCSB computer science professor and cybersecurity expert Giovanni Vigna will present “The Evolution of Malware” at 4 pm, Tuesday, April 28, in the UCSB Library’s Pacific View Room on the eighth floor. If you bring your laptop put a surgical mask on it. Get it? UCSB’s never predictable MultiCultural Center presents professor Abbas Barzegar on Thursday, April 16, as he presents his talk “Not Quite Conquered: Identity Politics and Free Speech in a Secular Age” in the MCC Lounge. Someday the words Free Speech will be redundant all over the world. We shall bide our time. Also coming to UCSB’s MCC; Comanche filmmaker Julianna Brannum celebrates Comanche activist and national civil rights leader LaDonna Harris with her aptly titled film LaDonna Harris: Indian 101. Harris has been fighting the fight since the 60s, and is one of thousands of unsung activist/enlighteners we are lucky to have periodically cross our somewhat blinkered paths at events like this. There are whole worlds out there, folks! The film will screen on Wednesday, April 22, 6 pm at the MCC theater on


May 2, 9 am to 3 pm ■ Evie Vesper is the May Madness Chair for Music Academy of the West UCSB’s campus. Oh, brother! Not another Award-winning FrenchChilean rapper! Ana Tijoux’s album Venga was chosen by the Los Angeles Times as Best Female Rap Album 2014, but don’t hold that against it. She’ll be doing her thing at UCSB’s The Hub on Friday, April 24, at 8 pm, if you haven’t had your fill of French-Chilean rap. Come on out and get down to this unpredictable mélange of styles and messages, and wear that one shirt I like. Thirteen graduating art majors will display their capstone art projects April 9-May 9 at the Westmont Ridley-Tree Museum of Art in an exhibition/ reception they’re calling “Maker’s Dozen. Come out come out wherever you are. Support art and artists or we’re scr*wed as a culture, peeps. Russian pianist Vassily Primakov, performs Saturday, April 25, at 3 pm in First United Methodist Church, 305 E. Anapamu Street. In his publicity photo, he is wearing an earring, so he is likely a rabble-rouser, but then so was Liszt, I guess. Westmont is at it again. This year’s Fringe Festival is afoot and most bets are off. The fest will be comprised of 28 pieces of theater, dance… oh, all kinds of strange stuff! Be there April 16-17, and 19 at 7 pm, and April 18 at 3 pm. The fun centers around Westmont’s Porter Theater, of course… The Santa Barbara Music Club will take over the Faulkner Gallery on Saturday, April 18, at 3 pm and will have audience members swooning through a program that seems almost mad in its variety, from The Beatles to Chopin and back again, with stopovers in the German Renaissance, a little Blakesian word painting, and the obligatory 19th-century paean to the daughter of King Christian IX of Denmark. The capper? This edifying

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April 28, 4 pm ■ Ninja Malware Attack! Giovanni Vigna presents “The Evolution of Malware” at UCSB afternoon of aural gossamer is free to you and me. Art for art’s sake. How to Train Your Dinosaur. Oh. Shall I say it again? Okay. How to Train Your Dinosaur. There! Don’t miss that and the other live zoo performance California Tails, Saturday, May 2. You won’t. Believe. What you’re seeing. And you are here put on notice that this Saturday, April 18, is Ape Awareness Day. See you at the zoo (or the “Animal Garden”, as the Dutch call it…)! Tennessee Williams was always confused and disappointed at the way the closing line of his A Streetcar Named Desire had so firmly entered the lexicon as a cry of pathos. Williams himself thought it darkly funny and never understood the unmediated gravity ascribed to that, the closing line of Streetcar. André Previn wrote a soaring, jazz-influenced opera around the play in 1995 and on Friday, April 24 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, April 26, at 2:30 pm at Granada Theatre, you will hear the critically lauded results. Beverly O’Regan Thiele (Blanche), Gregory Gerbrandt (Stanley), Micaela Oeste (Stella), & Casey Candebat (Mitch) will bring this one home. Hey Stellaaaaa!! Fine Wine + Stirring Art + a leg up for a troubled young person = the 3rd Annual Magic on the Urban Wine Trail; Parks & Recreation Community (PARC) Foundation’s annual fundraiser. The two featured artists are Francis Dawson and Tajo McBurnie, and there will be many other artists on hand and much to take in. The show benefits the Youth Culinary Arts Program and the Summer Camp Scholarship Fund. Tickets $45, or $60 at the door. Win-win-win! Your attendance helps a drifting, conflicted kid find a way into the big warm happy

room the rest of us call Ordinary Life. Appetizers and sweets prepared and served by students and mentor chefs of the aforementioned Youth Culinary Arts Program. This is a feel-good, dogood afternoon. Sunday, April 19, 3 to 6 pm at the Carrillo Rec Cen. Bring your happy. Dutch theater group Hotel Modern and composer Arthur Sauer bring an “unbearably touching” multimedia performance to Campbell Hall commemorating the centenary of WWI. The Great War will be performed on April 25 at 8 pm & April 26 at 2 pm at UCSB Campbell Hall. I wouldn’t miss this one. The Dutch have their own vision and way with a narrative. And it ain’t all windmills and wooden shoes, trust me. Wet je wat ik bedoel? Miss Representation? Yes. There will be a local screening of the controversial film Miss Representation on May 1, 7 pm, at The Narrative Loft, located at 1 N. Calle Cesar Chavez #240. The film’s target is mainstream media’s subversion of women and the way the media culture emphasizes youth and beauty and sexuality in women, tacitly leaving the “leadership” to men. That hasn’t always worked. The film was written and directed by Jennifer Siebel Newsom and made a splash at Sundance in 2011. Check this one out, and in this cool, nearly private viewing. Music Academy of the West’s May Madness will take place from 9 am to 3 pm on Saturday, May 2, at (wait for it…) the Music Academy of the West, 1070 Fairway Road, Santa Barbara 93108. Now in its 39th year, May Madness is organized by the Women’s Auxiliary of the Music Academy. Everything that isn’t nailed down can be found here, donated by generous local residents in support of the Music Academy’s Full scholarship program. No promises, but some visitors to this sale have come away with the ability to play Rachmaninoff’s Concerto #3. How cool is that! What would Earth Day be without a lumbering eight-foot sloth? Fortunately, we won’t have to find out. Snook the Sloth (known to viewers of PBS’ It’s a Big Big World) will be roaming the Earth Day celebration at Alameda Park this April 18 and 19, showing kids how to save water, eat local, eschew (not chew) plastic, and generally celebrate and protect mother Earth. There will be no lying around in trees for this busy sloth come Saturday. Stop in at Alameda Park, shake his outsized sloth paw and have a picture taken with him. And while you’re at it, let the kids have a photo op, too. On Friday, April 24, prepare to swoon as the Santa Barbara Festival Ballet dances Company Spring Showcase takes Center Stage with a program of

A P R I L 1 8 – M AY 2 | 2 0 1 5


Nice Work if You Can Get It


or 30 years, David Holmes made a name for himself and for San Marcos High School’s theater program with a long winning streak that, even in a town that prides itself on theatricality and blue-chip talent in its high school thespians, was amazing. Under Holmes, San Marcos’ stage productions garnered a longstanding rep that put an evening in the Chargers’ auditorium on par with a night out at the actual Theater. With a capital T. So when Holmes inevitably retired, Marcos High School’s Riley Berris, a former the shoes that needed filling were San student-teacher who now heads up the theater desuper-sized. Riley Berris was, and is, partment, is right at home on the set of the upcoming up to the task. Despite coming from, Gershwin musical Crazy For You arguably, unfriendly turf. Riley, who was hired for Holmes’s position following an exhaustive search of candidates, is a… Santa Barbara High School Don. You know, once a Don, always a Don? Given the milieu, we could be looking at a kind of Jets and Sharks, West Side Story sort of thing. Except in this town, the rumble would have to happen on the mean sidewalks of Shoreline Park. All that angry pirouetting would surely upset the kite flyers there, and even Sondheim might have trouble crafting a lyric around that scenario. And the Berris name has a pedigree in the local high school theatrical firmament. Riley’s brother Blake (later a player on a daytime television staple and today that rarest of laborers, an employed and employable actor) had a hand in founding SBHS’s yearly and well-reputed revue, Music of the Night. So the footlights are in Riley Berris’s blood. In an awkward manner of speaking. The two schools have always been neck and neck in their theater offerings, such that locals looking for an affordable evening’s entertainment could always count on an enthralling night out at one or the other of the performance spaces. But Riley, who student-taught under Holmes for a year or so while finishing her masters, couldn’t feel more at home at San Marcos. Mr. Holmes graciously, and even excitedly, saw to that. “Last year, I found out at the beginning of April that I had the job, and so he’d had a long time to train me, and at that point just said, ‘Let me give you as much information as I possibly can,’ and I’m really, really grateful for what he gave me. From the beginning, he was incredibly supportive and had me sit in on the fall show auditions, had me sit in on everything, really. He was just really great and taught me so much.” But Riley had had some substantial training of her own, through her masters and even through her undergrad theater studies at Loyola Marymount, which program sent Riley and her cohort on a semester abroad to the storied Moscow Arts Theater in Russia and its vaunted Stanislavsky method. She’s acted in indie film projects and even founded a theater company while at LMU. So, she brings chops to the new gig. And an enthusiasm that she practically radiates. An enthusiasm that is perfectly suited to the musical she is directing for San Marcos this season. Her first there. Naturally, it’s a Gershwin vehicle. Songs like “Nice Work if You Can Get It” and “Someone to Watch Over Me” should put the audience into a soft-focus orbit of melody and dance. Thespian roman candle Riley Berris probably couldn’t have dreamed up a better opening gambit. “I just want people to come out and see the show. It’s been such a pleasure. It’s a bright show, the dancing and costumes are great, the kids are having a blast. I just want the audience to leave happy, and they will. It’s a really fantastic show.”

rhapsodic dance, music and movement. (Paseo Nuevo @ 8 pm) …. and then Down the Rabbit Hole! Yes, it’s Alice in Wonderland as performed by, yeah! the celebrated Santa Barbara Festival Ballet (Home of The Nutcracker at the Arlington, by the way) Friday, May 1, at the intimate Center Stage Theater, in Paseo Nuevo Mall. This gorgeous, balletic, and mildly hallucinatory production at Center Stage will color your world, lift you out of your seat, and send you out into the evening

floating like gossamer on an evening breeze. And when you get home, you will likely Google “Lewis Carroll diagnosis.” For tickets, visit centerstagetheater.tix.com The curtain rises on an evening of lovely surprises at 6:30 pm. Happy Earth Day, everyone! And remember, if you sleep too soundly out-of-doors this weekend, you may be picked clean by a carrion bird with poor judgment. Circle of Life, baby!

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Taking a closer look at the people, places, and things that make Santa Barbara so unique. This freelance writer’s credits include newspapers, magazines, and copywriting. When Jacquelyn is not writing, practicing Pilates or yoga, you can find her chasing her two kids and dogs around Santa Barbara. Contact Jacquelyn at www. delongewrites.com

Bob Craig gave a friendly informative tour through the various and diverse gardens on the 37-acre property

Get Lost in Lotusland Mike Furner, who has taken care of the grounds for the past 36 years, and David Heinz, who volunteered more than 200 hours last year, keep Lotusland looking its best

Gwen Stauffer Lotusland’s executive director and FLOCK guest curator Nancy Gifford


few minutes east of the 101 freeway, down a winding road past the iron gates and private drives of Montecito, lay a wonderland of horticulture, a unique place to appreciate the beauty of nature and the mindful landscape design of man. Behind faded pink stucco walls that run along the properties 37-acre perimeter, defined pathways guide visitors through otherworldly gardens of prehistoric plants, cartoon-like cacti, a rich, colorful tropical oasis and an idealized Japanese inspired landscape. This secret place with a history dating back to the 1800s has only passed though a handful of owners and exists today as a sanctuary for plant life around the world. Named Lotusland by its final owner Madame Ganna Walska, it was acquired by her in 1941 with the intention of

creating a retreat for Tibetan lamas but evolved into a collection of historical gardens. Aside from the beauty and intrigue of Lotusland, it is clear the legendary Walska was as prized and rare as the plants she collected. Like that of a Hollywood Noir starlet, her colorful character illuminated the lives of those around her, performing as an opera singer and living all over the world. In her 1943 autobiography There is Always Room at the Top (currently in the final stages of editing before its republication) Walska writes passionately about her decision to settle in Montecito. It was after a brief California stay she concluded “people are decidedly more interested (here) in your being than in your pocket.” She also believed strongly that “One need not be in California long before he feels his soul beginning to stir.

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The legendary Madame Ganna Walska picking Eureka lemons from her tree arbor

The air is magnetized… the consciousness awakens… the soul must speak.” With six unsuccessful marriages, love seemed fleeting for Madame Walska, yet it did not deter her dedication to a deeper spiritual human connection which continued until the end of her days. She created the Ganna Walska Lotusland Foundation, which took over the responsibilities of the property after her passing in 1984 and maintains the flamboyant socialite’s vision much to the delight of visitors. On my visit to Lotusland, the morning fog seemed to lift just as I pulled down the gravel drive, perfectly timed for a big reveal. It was a quiet, closed-to the-public day and while walking the grounds with marketing director Bob Craig, I noticed a tranquility settling in often only experienced on an isolated beach or hike. We passed the original residence, an impressive 1920s Mediterraneandesigned home with intricate iron work, tile roof, and pink stucco, and then crossed the main lawn, which was still green but will ultimately succumb to the summer drought and water rationing of Southern California. The blooming Rose Garden bustled with busy bees, and arms of intimidating needles towered overhead as we strolled through the Cactus Garden. Vibrant green lotus plants thrive in the estate’s converted swimming pool of the Water Garden. In the tranquil Japanese Garden, a stone Buddha held a fresh gardenia

Plant healthcare coordinator Corey Welles concocts his special brew of “Compost Tea” to enrich the property grounds

(something Madame Walska insisted upon) under a blossoming cherry tree, yet it was the unexpected find in the Cycad Garden that gave me the big picture of the conservation work happening here. Perched above a small pond were three odd palm trees, but as Craig explained those were the last of their kind and will eventually become extinct. Nicknamed the “Three Bachelors” because of their male sex (yes, plants are male and female) those specific Cycads that have been around since the Jurassic period (think dinosaurs) will never breed or repopulate because there are no more females left on Earth. Hearing this fact was a bit sobering, since environmental issues often get glossed over for more dramatic spectacles. I met numerous groundskeepers, some of whom have worked at Lotusland since the day of Madame Walska. They are a close-knit, dedicated family often called upon by landscape architects and educational institutions for their unique knowledge and experience with exotic and endangered plant species. Corey Welles, Plant Healthcare coordinator, has given lectures on sustainable gardening (Lotusland has been pesticideand chemical-free since its creation) and is a great promoter of their house-made Compost Tea, which takes tradition compost further by adding kelp and fish. He says, “It’s about getting life back into the ground. We garden with intuition.” Madame Walska fostered a symbiotic relationship between people and

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One of artist Gary Smith’s installations “Nests for Lotusland” currently on display in the Water Garden

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surrounding environment. Her Foundation continues to get the word out beyond their exemplary gardens with their biennial art exhibitions. Located next to the main residence that now houses the offices of the Lotusland Foundation is the guest bungalow where I had the pleasure of seeing the exhibition FLOCK: Birds on the Brink, currently displayed until the end of May. With the help of guest curator Nancy Gifford, the show successfully stirs up conversation regarding the global loss of the wild bird population and how this is a reflection of our planet’s well-being, or more acutely its lack of. I was struck by the progressive artwork: audio and video installations, interactive sculptures, striking paintings, and photographs, and site-specific creations on display throughout the grounds – some of which are still available for purchase with proceeds supporting Lotusland. I spoke with executive director Gwen Stauffer about the progress of Lotusland. “We are trying to find creative ways to discuss important issues. We are doing a lot of relevant work here.” It seems finding ways to accommodate the founder’s

vision and comply with numerous city ordinances, all while maintaining a friendly relationship with neighbors, can be incredibly challenging. There is a misconception that Lotusland is a private institution with deep pockets, but in fact it is a stringently regulated public charity with a yearly operating cost in the millions that is only limited to 15,000 visitors a year (that’s the same the zoo pulls in during one weekend). Thanks to Stauffer’s multifaceted fundraising and programming, and the generous donations of members and volunteers, Lotusland continues to provide a horticulture wonderland of conservation and preservation. As Lotusland is a public garden in a residential neighborhood, reservations are required before visiting. While there was too much to take in on the first visit, I’ll be returning for their summer LotusFest, complete with live music and wine tasting. What a way to spend a beautiful afternoon!

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Santa Barbara’s Online Magazine, Published Twice Daily


From Ruin to Reclamation and Reuse: An Eastside Story by Sharon Byrne


arol Ashley is a quiet, busy resident genius in the Eastside’s industrial zone. Nestled in among the construction trades just west of Milpas, she runs Demo2Design, a humming hive of harvesting construction materials, building casitas out of them, and educating college kids on how you turn old doors into display kiosks and more. Carol started with the intention of diverting construction materials from the landfill. So she’d turn up at every remodel job site, armed with a screw gun, and busily deconstruct whatever was being remodeled. Then she’d haul it back to her shop on Union Avenue, between Quarantina and Nopal, and look to resell it to homeowners looking for authentic fixtures, designers, and architects. Need a Tiffany lamp shade? Some vintage stained glass windows? Doors and hinges for your Craftsman home? A Victorian lamp post? Go see Carol. Her door inventory alone is like a walk through the history of architecture and building trends in this town. Over the years, she’s developed a keen eye for what can be reused from remodels and demolitions in other building and design projects. There are some real jewels and surprises in her inventory. She’s got the arched doors and arch from the Van Halen estate and a front door from a historic landmark home. Over here is the sink from the first home in Hope Ranch. Upstairs are vintage Victorian lamp fixtures. In a drawer are the glass globes that used

Sharon Byrne

Sharon Byrne is executive director for the Milpas Community Association, and currently serves on the Advisory Boards for the Salvation Army Hospitality House and Santa Barbara County Alcohol and Drug Problems.

Demo2Design for questions about reuse. Construction trades call her for demolition work before they start a remodel. And City College Construction Academy students turn up for work sessions to learn how to harvest, reuse, and revision materials in hands-on projects at Demo2Design. She also takes on UCSB interns to help with marketing and organizing the constant flow of materials. She puts on workshops for homeowners for $10 to come learn how to take old materials and do creative things with them in their homes. She has been a treasure in this area, dominated by construction trades. She’s moving to a new spot soon, and won’t say more than “Come buy a piece of history, and find out where we’re going to be.” I hope she stays in the Eastside, as she’s one of the hidden jewels in this bustling area.


Milpas on the Move: In The Headlines Big News in a Small Pond

Carol Ashley shows her part of her inventory of reusable, vintage materials at Demo2Design

to adorn the old Stateside bar in La Arcada. They were throwing them into a dumpster. Carol got them and used them to architect a gorgeous lights display for a wedding. And so on. This woman knows materials, and what they could be used for in future. Her birthday is Wednesday, April 22 – Earth Day, of course. Over time, her genius evolved from demolition, harvest, and reuse into creative repurposing, and here is where she shines. Her creations can make you stop, scratch your head, and exclaim, “Huh. Would have never thought of that.” A 1960’s aqua toilet serves as a planter for a bright and colorful flowerbed. She

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Sinks from a junior high + 1930’s picket fencing + old shutter = new yard art planter

created a portable show kiosk that can be assembled/dissembled in minutes using old doors, shutters, and other materials. She crafted garden benches out of furniture bits and old wrought iron. She’s got a casita in her driveway constructed totally out of harvest materials. It’s got a bit of a modern and funky architecture to it. She teaches people to build these using reclaimed materials, and the dimensions she uses render them outside of the city’s planning scrutiny. She made flowerbed planters out of Montecito gutters. She put some 1930’s picket fences together with a couple of sinks from an old school, and voilà – yard art. She created a giant rolling podium/work table out of old bed frames and doors. She can see the quality material in something old, deconstruct it, and revision it into something new, creative, and useful. There’s a genius to that, a particular, rare genius, and Carol’s got it. MarBorg refers customers to


ur little community is making some big news this week. First, I got a chance to taste some new sandwiches coming out at one of our local eateries. I sampled chicken grilled in olive oil with guacamole and pico de gallo on an artisan roll. I tried a burger with applewood smoked bacon and white cheddar. I also tried a crispy chicken sandwich with a spicy mayo on a potato roll. They were all surprisingly good. Why surprisingly? I was tasting them at the McDonald’s on Milpas. When I was a kid, McDonald’s was the bar for the American standardized experience. A Quarter Pounder at the Milpas McDonald’s tastes exactly the same as one in Spartanburg, South Carolina, or Munich, Germany. Okay, when I was a kid, the Euro McD’s did taste kind of funny, and they had some different menu items, but the experience McDonald’s trotted out to the American consumer was universal, and it was their strongest marketing tool in going international. No matter

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Monte Fraker, Gabriela Vasquez, and owner David Peterson at the Milpas McDonald’s with new artisan sandwiches in hand

where you are, you can count on the McDonald’s experience to be absolutely standard. Other industries followed the McDonald’s lead. When you check into a Holiday Inn or get your latte at Starbucks – you know what to expect, whether you’re in Freeport, LA, or L.A. in California. So this idea of custom artisan sandwiches is a big departure from the “standard fare everywhere” concept McDonald’s pioneered and continues to dominate. Owner Dave Peterson told me the idea came from McDonald’s customers, and the company listened.

Today’s restaurant patrons are a more sophisticated, health-conscious set, and they want to see menu choices that reflect this consciousness. So they changed their cooking methods for these sandwiches, and adapted the kitchen to handle freshly made guacamole, pico de gallo, and more. The second reason these new sandwiches are newsworthy: McDonald’s is test marketing them in our area. You can order these new customized artisan sandwiches at the McDonald’s in Santa Barbara, but you can’t get them in Ventura, San Francisco, or L.A.

Fast food has always been an intensely competitive space. Burger King and Wendy’s historically cropped up across the street from McDonald’s. Chickfil-A carved out a niche in crispy chicken sandwiches. The Habit, a local phenomenon, was named best fast food burger nationwide. The space is always churning with big players, nimble competitors, and continual downward pressure on profit margins. The latest trend in fast food is the breakfast market – everyone’s jumping in. You can now get breakfast at Taco Bell, for example. McDonald’s pioneered the breakfast sandwich when Herb Peterson hatched the Egg McMuffin, at the McDonald’s on Milpas. McDonald’s once proudly displayed “over 1 billion served” signs. Now, they’re pioneering again, and going into customized artisan sandwiches. If the concept proves successful in our local test market, it will go nationwide. Stop by and try one for yourself.

Congrats to the Dons Net Café


hey’re in the Big Apple! This group of budding entrepreneurs at Santa Barbara High School starts and runs their own businesses as a way of spurring young people into becoming future entrepreneurs. Instructor Lee Ann Knodel puts them through the

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paces of business planning, startup, and execution. The Dons Net Café currently has 14 student-run entrepreneurial businesses, and they are presently on a serious bi-coastal hot streak. Underclassmen won 2nd place out of hundreds of schools at a UCLA competition last week. The seniors took their yearly trip to New York City, paid for by their businesses. We’ve been tracking them on Facebook as they went on a private tour of CNN, the Ground Zero Museum, Wall Street, Intrepid, and an International Business Trade Fair. Way to go, Dons! You can follow the Dons Net Café on FaceBack, Instagram, and Twitter. Give them a “like” and send them a note of congratulations!

On the List


udos to Telegraph Brewery for making USA Today’s list of the top 25 beers you need to try before you die. Their Reserve Wheat was declared “the best wheat beer you’ll ever drink” by the magazine. Their tasting room makes a great happy hour spot in this area, open till 9 pm Tuesday through Thursday, and 10 pm Friday and Saturday. They also do rotating art displays to keep it fresh. We’re delighted to have you guys here on the Eastside

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...continued from p.7

bikes will pass me with about six inches clearance. For those over 50, many can’t hear a behind-coming bike. The age of impaired hearing will probably be dropping as we see increasing early hearing loss from many factors. Turning around to see what’s behind you at the wrong time could see a bike slamming into you. Back in 1999, an old man was hit in Isla Vista by a bike and he bled out in the street. That’s the same day I got hit by a bike and I fell over like a broom stick. My skull was split in two places and I had significant brain damage. After recovery, I needed to stop practicing medicine because my memory was shot due to the damaged brain. There seems to be some kind of collective mindset among some of these elite biking groups that they own the road, stop signs are not for them, and cars are the bad guys. I suspect that all this new law will do is act as a revenue source for those crossing the doubleyellow line to give rude bikers a bit of space. Dr. Edo McGowan Carpinteria

On the Money

So, Mr. [Jeffrey] Harding, there are now 1,826 billionaires with a combined

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wealth of $7.05 trillion [The Biweekly Capitalist, Sentinel 4/6]. This beats last year’s amount by $650 billion, but is this good news? In my view it is not, and as Forbes themselves point out in the introduction to the list inequality, even at the dizzying top is in a dangerously farcical state as the wealthiest 500 individuals collectively hold $4.7 trillion of the $7.05 trillion total. That’s 500 of the 1,826 people listed, which equates to less than a third of these individuals owning more than half of the collective wealth. This is yet more evidence that things are getting much better for the very few mega rich at the top, while at the other end of the scale, some 1 billion people will still live in extreme poverty in 2015. Such extreme inequality should concern us all, not only because it is moral outrage, but also because it is undermining growth and creating one of the most significant barriers to ending poverty. We need to debunk the myth that economic growth inevitably trickles down to those at the bottom. We must expose the fact that money can buy power regarding rigging rules, regulations, and policies that only further benefit the wealthiest. This creates a huge void between the rich and poor, and between those who can and cannot access opportunities. Unfair tax rules are a stark example of this. I believe a fairer global tax system, which clamps down on multinational corporations shirking their responsibility to pay tax would help close this gap and tackle the growing problem of inequality. HSBC’s Swiss branch helped [more than] 130,000 wealthy people dodge their taxes. This is yet another shocking scandal making tax dodging appear more like a film franchise than a damaging global practice. Tax badly needed to plug government spending gaps in, for example, health and education services across the world instead flowed into the pockets of the already wealthy. We urgently need a world tax summit, where tax rules are rewritten and where world leaders deliver a road map toward ending this scourge once and for all. Washington should stop subsidizing the wealth of the 1 percent and invest in a living wage. If you open your paycheck – or in our modern era, check your deposit statement online – and feel a crushing sense that it’s just not as big as it should be, odds are you’re not an egotist or delusional. Working Americans increasingly just don’t make enough to pay the bills, in no small part because the wealthy people we work for just keep that money for themselves rather than share it with the people

who earned it for them. It’s a sad state of affairs that is becoming economically untenable for this country. A lot of the reason for this growing gap in wealth between the rich and the rest of us is due to income inequality. “The bottom 60 percent of Americans have experienced a lost decade of either stagnant or falling wages since 2000 despite increasing their productivity 25 percent over the same period,” Bryce Covert at Think Progress writes. “But wages for the 1 percent grew by about 200 percent since the 1960s.” Subsequently, wealthier people can sock away their money – the top 1 percent saves one-third of its income – while the idea of a “savings account” is becoming a pipe dream for the rest of us who can barely pay the bills. In fact, it’s a stretch to even say that we’re successfully paying our bills, since we have to borrow so much money to get by. And is not because we’re buying TVs and smartphones. It the basic bills – housing and education – that are putting us so deeply in dept. “Many middle-class families also have much higher mortgages consumer credit and student loans to service than before. In the past, middle-class people made enough money to pay off debts and save money on top of it, but with stagnant wages and rising debt levels, instead we’re just borrowing to get by, with no real hope of getting into the black. Employers of middle-class workers get away with not paying workers what they’re worth by relying on the lending industry to pick up the slack. But employers of minimum wage workers instead are turning to the taxpayers to cover the difference between what they want to pay employees and what employees actually need to survive. If employers won’t pay their workers enough to feed and house their families, that leave us, the taxpayers, to handle the shortfall by providing housing assistance and food stamps to people that work for companies who refuse to pay a living wage. These wealthy companies know that they are foisting their financial responsibilities onto the taxpayer so they can profit off the difference. McDonald’s even has a resource line to help employees sign up for food stamps and Medicaid, so that they can have healthy employees with the confidence that the rest of us will foot the bill. Taxpayers pony up a full $7 billion a year in social services to fast food workers, so that fast-food companies can make more money by continuing to pay poverty wages. Finally, Mr. Harding, the rich are getting richer while the rest of us fall behind for a very simple reason: we are

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subsidizing them, with our tax money and our credit lines, as they gobble up all the country’s wealth. We don’t want to get into a situation like the 1920s, where the gap between the rich and everyone else created an economic situation that collapsed on itself. It’s time to start making changes, such as raising the minimum wage and returning to a more progressive tax system, to help working people get back to a place where they’re not just working to make their bosses richer, but so that they can keep some of that money for themselves. Sincerely, Leoncio Martins Santa Barbara (Jeffrey responds: Thank you for writing in, again, on the topic of wealth redistribution. Once more, you comment on what you consider to be the unfair distribution of wealth. We have had this discussion now many times. I have asked you to prove your assertions that the wealthy are making the poor, poor – and yet again, all we have from you are assertions not based on fact, economic principles, or historical evidence. You still believe that wealth is a fixed pie that needs to be sliced up by politicians and that bureaucrats or dictators can wisely distribute it to those who need it. All of your arguments are based mainly on Marxist principles of economics (need is the determinant of income; government has the right to confiscate wealth from the rich and will wisely redistribute it to the poor; redistribution alleviates poverty; wealth is the cause of poverty; capital and entrepreneurship is exploitative; and so on). Unfortunately, as I have pointed out to you, that is the road to hell and poverty, as history has proven every time. Instead of using my articles as a sounding board for your Marxist ideology, it would be nice to have a discussion of the economic principles that my articles deal with. Why can’t you just admit the proof of history that capitalism has made us all wealthier and healthier, and still does? – J.H.)

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with Mark Léisuré

Mark spends much of his time wandering Santa Barbara and environs, enjoying the simple things that come his way. A show here, a benefit there, he is generally out and about and typically has a good time. He says that he writes “when he feels the urge” and doesn’t want his identity known for fear of an experience that is “less than authentic.” So he remains at large, roaming the town, having fun. Be warned.

Foodie Favorite


anta Barbara must have more benefits per capita than any other city in the country, and a good number of those are food-and-wine events that pair pourings from local vineyards with tasty hors d’oeuvres offered up by area restaurants and caterers. But it’s always seemed a little ironic to me when nonprofits whose clients are underfed or under-nourished produce one of these shindigs where everyone imbibes and engages in near gluttony to raise funds to help redistribute food. Nevertheless, Foodbank’s Fork & Cork Classic – which takes place 3-6 pm on Sunday, May 3, and basically kicks off prime season – hosted its inaugural event at the Montecito Country Club after taking over the space and time slot created by Taste of the Nation last year. I’ve gotta admit, it was an awful lot of fun. For one thing, the panoramic views from the country club’s hillside are breathtaking, and they do a pretty decent job of

securing appealing providers. Among the restaurants participating this year are the Santa Barbara Yacht Club, Succulent Cafe, Ca’Dario, Cielito, Patxi’s Pizza and Julienne, whose chef Justin West shares 2015 honors with winemaker Blair Fox. Turiya, Nagy, Beckman, Ampelos and Consilience are among the wineries on site.

Classical Corner

The big news around these parts this fortnight is that individual tickets for the 2015 Music Academy of the West (MAW) summer festival go on sale Saturday, April 25, meaning that’s the first day nonsubscribers can purchase single tickets for any event if they’re still available. Highlights of the season, which runs June 15 to August 8, are numerous, including the return of MacArthur “Genius Award” pianist Jeremy Denk, conductor Nicholas McGegan and the Takács quartet, plus performances by pianist Leon Fleisher,

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the JACK quartet, cellist Alban Gerhardt and tenor Anthony Dean Griffey, and symphony concerts led by Christoph von Dohnányi, Courtney Lewis, and Osmo Vänskä. Then there’s the New York Philharmonic concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl, led by music director Alan Gilbert on Monday, August 3, when the world-famous orchestra will perform an all-American program including music from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story and Aaron Copland’s Appalachian Spring. The vast majority of those tickets are selling for $10 as part of the Music Academy’s new community initiatives. Get details about the season online at www.musicacademy.org. Coming a couple of weeks sooner is the 69th Ojai Music Festival, with Steven Schick serving as music director for the prestigious long weekend of concerts and recitals June 10-14 at Ojai’s Libbey Bowl. This year’s fest is a celebration of 20thand 21st-century composers boasting an unprecedented 34 works by living composers, 28 of whom are new to Ojai including Alberto Ginastera, Michael Gordon, Julia Wolfe, David Lang, and Pauline Oliveros. Peruse the program and purchase tickets online at www. ojaimusicfestival.org.

Giving Back

Meanwhile, in more MAW news, violinist Frank Huang, who attended the summer school and festival in 199899, has been named the New York Philharmonic’s new concertmaster, replacing Glenn Dicterow, who retired last summer as the orchestra’s longestserving concertmaster following a 34year tenure and is now a MAW faculty member.

Focus on Film

Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s The Wave Film Festival celebrates Spanish and Latin American cinema with 11 new movies screening over the course of five days, April 29May 3 at the Riviera Theatre. The long weekend is all about the films, so there’s nothing like the sort of hoopla that accompanies the main festival in winter, when Academy Award nominees and their entourages/paparazzi flood State Street. But passholders do get some extra benefits, like an opening-night reception and “in-between film bites” from Savoir Faire Catering at a daily happy hour. More importantly, the movies are uniformly of high quality. Tickets and info at www.sbiff.org. Surely, you’re kidding. No, I’m not: Co-writer/director Jerry Zucker and star Robert Hayes will be on hand on Thursday, April 23, when Hillel offers a special 35th anniversary screening at the

Riviera of Airplane!, the 1980 disaster movie spoof that launched too many careers and comic filmmakers to mention. Come prepared to hyperventilate – the jokes are packed in so tight, it’s hard to find space to breathe. And stop calling me Shirley!

Radio Radio

Vin Scelsa, the longtime New York area free-form radio icon, has announced his retirement. Scelsa was a staple on WNEW-FM back in the days when DJs actually had a say in what they play – and nobody did a better job communicating what it meant to be a real fan of the music. When Patti Smith’s released her cover of Bruce Springsteen’s “Because the Night”, Scelsa did what many of us record lovers would have done with our own turntables back in the day – he played the song over and over again, actually over the air, about four times if I remember correctly, making different comments in between. That became a staple of his on-air shows, and when commercial radio could no longer accommodate him, he moved over to public stations. The 67-year-old Scelsa’s final installment of his longrunning show “Idiot’s Delight” – which began on a major station before moving to WFUV in New Jersey – takes place Saturday, May 2. (Available on WFUV’s iPhone app, iHeartRadio, and Sirius/XM Satellite Radio). Talk about timing: KCLU is bringing NPR’s game show Ask Me Another to the Lobero Theater on May 2, with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner serving as VIP (very important puzzler, for those who don’t listen to radio show or podcasts). Weiner will join regular host Ophira Eisenberg and house musician Jonathan Coulton for the hilarious night of trivia, comedy, and musical parodies just as his iconic TV series is coming to an end. It’s not too late to apply to be a contestant: visit www.amatickets.org.

Top of Pops

Here’s where you might find Mr. Léisuré taking in some tunes this fortnight: Quebe Sisters at the Plaza in Carpinteria on April 23.... Beso’s Santa Barbara debut for Sings Like Hell at the Lobero on Saturday, April 25, and/or back at the same venue for In My Life, a musical theater tribute to The Beatles, on Sunday, April 26.... Jason Paras’s release gig for his new CD produced by recent Santa Barbara import Adam Zelkind at the Blind Tiger on Monday, April 27.... Songwriters at Play’s Tribute to Cat Stevens at SOhO or Jazz @ Lobero’s concert with Charles Lloyd & Friends (featuring Bill Frisell, Greg Leisz, Reuben Roers, and Eric Harland), both on Tuesday, April 28.

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CINEMA SCOPE by James Luksic A longtime writer, editor and film critic, James has

worked nationwide for several websites and publications – including the Dayton Daily News, Key West Citizen, Topeka Capital-Journal and Santa Ynez Valley Journal. California is his eighth state. When he isn’t watching movies or sports around the Central Coast, you can find James writing and reading while he enjoys coffee and bacon, or Coke and pizza.

Serious and Not So Much


aving witnessed a pair of trailers for The Longest Ride, which appeared to be soft porn by way of another syrupy novel by Nicholas Sparks, I couldn’t drag myself to sit through the actual movie. By now, a couple of attractive, lovestruck 20-somethings who can’t resist tearing off each other’s clothes – while bathed in buttery, golden-brown lighting to the tunes of elevator music – plays more like a broken record than a motion picture. Meanwhile, the concurrent True Story has more to offer not only because of its captivating focus on disgraced New York Times journalist Michael Finkel (portrayed by Jonah Hill, getting serious) and not only for my respect for James Franco as the accused killer – but also the presence of Felicity Jones, who embodied the best of everything in The Theory of Everything. On a lighter note, the indie film Desert Dancer – initially in limited release last year – looks tempting enough, in part due to its peek behind the scenes of Iran and that country’s restrictions against dancing. From this vantage point, whether its plot (involving a handful of students who commence an underground class and pursue their dreams against the system) and cinematography prove adequate is immaterial compared to the presence of Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire and You Will Meet A Tall Dark Stranger), who can do no wrong in my sore eyes.

Not Fast, Not Furious


n the wake of Paul Walker’s fatal car crash, it’s no coincidence the word “Fast” has been removed from the title of Furious 7. No matter what the movie’s name, its momentum as the year’s unrivaled blockbuster has been unstoppable and out of control. It has shattered April boxoffice marks – perhaps not a feat to shout from mountaintops, but no small potatoes, either. Most of the popular franchise’s participants are back in the driver’s seat, foremost Vin Diesel and Michelle Rodriguez, who are among the targets of a vengeful brother and rogue in the shape of Jason Statham, really wearing out his welcome in these typecast roles with the greasy, glistening arms, snide remarks, and seething, snarling grunts. At this stage, interested viewers know who else and what to expect: car chases as lengthy as they are outlandish; fight sequences that come across as so carelessly framed and shot, you can’t discern what in hell is going (worst of the worst: Rodriguez’s combat stint with UFC’s Ronda Rousey, whose existence was so marginal, she may as well have worn a Venetian mask); along with wisecracks sprinkled among the strategies and threats. Not one scene is remotely credible. Aside from the considerate, walk-off tribute to the late Walker – whom I always found genuine and agreeable on screen – the only sensible reason to endure this 145-minute drive is the perpetually underrated Kurt Russell. Although some think of Russell merely from Escape from New York, his impersonations of Elvis, or as Goldie Hawn’s significant other, my opinion has been that Russell should’ve won an Oscar for either of his air-tight roles in Tombstone and Miracle. This time, amid all the vehicles’ sound and fury, the crafty actor strikes a proper balance of sincerity and panache, even while tasting a Belgian beer: “Oh, man. Those monks got it right.”

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of Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline”.) We also have lovely Annette Bening, as a hotel manager and the hero’s reluctant love interest; Bobby Cannavale (Blue Jasmine) as his estranged, biological son; Jennifer Garner as the pregnant daughter-in-law; and Christopher Plummer, the musician’s manager who uncovers an undelivered note written by none other than John Lennon. I had no idea what to anticipate from writer-director Dan Fogelman, most of whose previous feature-length efforts either eluded my vision or my curiosity, but the upshot here is a valiant and heartfelt effort about a washed-up star’s second act. Although tinged with melodrama – we could’ve done without the subplot about the grandkid’s learning disability – and a peculiar prologue circa 1971 that literally sets the stage, the filmmakers have fashioned a stand-alone work that’s nuanced, fleshed-out, and the most enjoyable movie of this calendar year.

Lacks Luster


oman in Gold, based on a real-life lawsuit and pursuit of justice regarding the titular Klimt painting (the artwork’s actual name: Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I), stars Helen Mirren as an Austrian-born Jew now living in California. The heroine’s quest to reclaim her family’s heritage – including the portraiture, which happens to spotlight her aunt – gets imbued with flashbacks of Holocaust-ravaged Vienna and the Nazis’ raiding her childhood home. In spite of detailed complexities about the case, the film is rather straightforward, a bit stuffy, and predictable. Director Simon Curtis lords over this production with the same technical prowess, chiefly during the wartime evocations, reflected in My Week with Marilyn four years ago. Except for Ryan Reynolds – too uneven and stiff as the intrepid attorney, until his profane, climactic outburst – the stellar cast keeps a firm hold on our attention throughout this two-hour history lesson. Daniel Brühl (also superb in Rush) supplies a needed jolt of élan as the European liaison; Katie Holmes subtly impresses as the lawyer’s expectant wife; and it was comforting to see veteran Jonathan Pryce (Evita and Glengarry Glen Ross), wholly plausible as a Supreme Court justice. Mirren is a given, so it’s gotten to the point where praising her work is tantamount to declaring the Eiffel Tower is tall.




In Tune


anny Collins is a modest romantic-comedy (focused more on the dramatic side), one of those spring sleepers with a powerhouse cast that keeps it afloat. Sure, there’s Al Pacino, ideal as the eponymous rock/pop star who isn’t averse to tipping the bottle and snorting cocaine, even in his 70s. (Kudos to the wily veteran for at least attempting to sing and dance, though his first number sounds too redolent



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Four flights of fancy and a trio of vino

by Hana-Lee Sedgwick Hana-Lee Sedgwick is a digital advertising executive by day and wine consultant and blogger by night. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, she fell in love with the world of wine while living in San Francisco after college. Hana-Lee loves to help people learn about and appreciate wine, putting her Sommelier certification to good use. When not trying new wines or traveling, she can be found practicing yoga, cooking, entertaining, and enjoying time with friends and family. For more information and wine tips, visit her blog, Wander & Wine, at wanderandwine.com.

Wine + Beer Turns One


pril marks the one-year anniversary of the Santa Barbara Public Market and all of its vendors, including the oh-so-popular spot for libations, Wine + Beer. Located in the back of the Public Market in a glass-enclosed space, Wine + Beer is a great place to stop in for an after-work drink or to buy a bottle and stay awhile. There’s wine plus beer for every taste and budget (both on tap, by the bottle, by the glass and to go) and excellent people-watching! The best part? You can order food from any of the market’s vendors and have it delivered to you inside. A Belcampo burger and a beer? Check. Santa Monica Seafood’s fish tacos and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc? Yes, please. I’ve always enjoyed the selection of local, regional, and international

Pairings at Wine + Beer, celebrating its anniversary at SB Public Market

wines, but now they’re offering flights of wine and beer… perfect for those times when you just don’t feel like making a decision. Wine flights are

$20 and include three healthy tastes of wine; beer flights are $11 and include 4 samplings of beer. Recently, Wine + Beer started a few weekly events that I’m looking forward to checking out. Every Tuesday is Craft Beer Tuesday and, just like the name implies, featured are a few specialty craft beers that aren’t on the regular list. There’s also Mystery Wine Wednesdays, complete with a brownpaper-bagged, red-and-white wine and prizes for the winners who guess correctly. I’m a huge fan of blind tasting because it takes away any preconceived notions, so you can really focus on the wine without being influenced by a producer or price. Even if you’re not into the educational aspect, who

UCSB Alumni Association

All Gaucho Reunion Celebrating UCSB's Unique Environment

Come Home to UCSB!

April 23-26


Kick Off Bash

Taste of UCSB

presented by Montecito Bank & Trust Saturday, April 25, Science Green, UCSB

presented by Montecito Bank & Trust Thursday, April 23, Downtown Santa Barbara Join Gauchos and friends in kicking off the Reunion at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum!

Kim & Jack Johnson

Better Together: An Evening of Conversation, Film & Music Friday, April 24, Corwin Pavilion, UCSB


doesn’t enjoy prizes for drinking wine? To celebrate its one-year anniversary, Wine + Beer is throwing a few special events over the next couple of months. On Sunday, April 19, check out their Wines of Argentina tasting, and on Sunday, April 26, there will be a special tasting featuring wines from Lutum and Three Sticks. If you read my story on Gavin Chanin and his wines, you already know that I am a fan of Lutum, so this should be a nice precursor to the Lutum wine dinner at Wine + Beer in June. Fun stuff. The next time you’re yearning for Empty Bowl’s spicy noodles and a German Riesling, just remember that you can have both at Wine + Beer! Happy anniversary. Cheers.


Join in the celebration as alumni Kim ’97 & Jack ’97 Johnson are honored and receive the 2015 UCSB Distinguished Alumni Award.




The excitement is brewing as we prepare for the weekend’s food, beer, and wine festival showcasing over 50 Gaucho chefs, brewers, caterers, and vintners! This year we are featuring a VIP lounge!

A Conversation with Harvey Levin: The New Journalistic Environment

Gaucho Gallop

Saturday, April 25, Pollock Theater, UCSB Mr. TMZ himself will share insights on his career as an attorney, TV news reporter, host of “The People’s Court,” & creator of TMZ!

Milestones: Environmental Studies’ 45th, Sociology’s 50th, and Natural Reserve System’s 50th Anniversaries, Class of 1965’s 50th, a celebration of Gaucho Football, and the Bren School’s First-Ever All-Bren Alumni Reunion Celebrating 1,000 Graduates!

Saturday April 25, UCSB’s Harder Stadium Grab your running gear and race around UCSB’s beautiful campus. Choose from the 5K Run/Walk, Kids Dash, or the Gaucho Challenge!

alumni association

UC Santa Barbara


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by Megan Waldrep Megan is a writer with a fashion designer past.

After 10 years designing for her own label, she started writing because “it just felt good”. Now a freelancer for various publications, she loves interviewing people to learn how they got from point A to present day. She co-authored the children’s book Spice & Little Sugar. The literary world is home, sweet home. www.meganwaldrep.com

Gods and Kings


he had almost forgotten about them. Two large trunks in the basement held notes, memos, photographs, and interviews spanning several decades of her work. It was what writer Dana Thomas needed to further shape her second book, Gods and Kings – The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. It’s all there – the sex, drugs, and rock ‘n roll; the chew-youup-and-spit-you-out industry spelled out in black and white; the suffocation of fashion from art to mass production; and the ultimate demise of its heroes – years of reporting from fashion’s front lines resurfaced for us to see. Two hapless events prompted the search: the suicide of fashion designer Alexander McQueen and, a year to the month later, the anti-Semitic rage of John Galliano (his termination as lead designer of fashion house heavyweight Dior was the result). While many in the industry were left shaking their heads, Dana went to work. It’s ironic she did not seek to become a fashion writer. Born in Washington, D.C., Dana grew up outside of Philly on the “Main Line”, the Montecito of Philadelphia. Her grades in English Literature were mediocre and book reports became a struggle as teachers focused on misspelled words, imperfect grammar, and poor penmanship rather than the content of her work. Finally, a fifth-grade teacher saw her talent and “sparked the light” to keep it up. “It just felt great,” Dana reflects. “I had fun writing the report and really enjoyed it, and I guess that came through. Then I finally got applauded for it.” Eventually, she was back into the cycles of teachers who were more focused on fundamentals than the art of the written word, but a class in expository writing and another in journalism would soon change that. At the time, it was a new idea to have journalism classes in high school and her teacher took full advantage of the talented students; in a three-year span, four went on to become full-time journalists for The New York Times or became Times bestselling authors. “He obviously touched the soul of more than one of us,” Dana

Gods and Kings. Signed copies available at The Book Den

The New York Times bestselling author Dana Thomas

commends with a laugh. With a career as a political correspondent in mind, college was next and a position at The Washington Post was the goal. She spent two years at a state college in Pennsylvania then transferred to American University in D.C., bringing her closer to the political scene. She needed to pay her way through college and, with the encouragement of her parents, pursued modeling as a means to an end. Jobs in Paris and Milan supplied the money she needed while perfecting her French and familiarizing her to European cities she would, unknowingly at the time, call her own. But political writing remained Dana’s focus, and she returned to “The Hill.” Back in the states, she interned for her hometown congressman, studied politics at American University, and began writing for the student newspaper. Her skills launched her to the features desk and eventually to editor. During her

senior year, she was awarded the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation Scholarship and the Ellis Haller Award for Outstanding Achievement in Journalism. Her dreams were becoming reality: a position at The Washington Post followed suit. Dana worked briefly on the national desk as the news aide with political writers, but the fashion editor at the time, the late Nina Hyde, needed new assistants. Dana was first choice because, as she puts it, “I spoke French and knew who (fashion designers) Givenchy and Saint Laurent were.” Dana concedes it was a good fit. “I always compartmentalized the two, that I wanted to be a journalist and that I had done the modeling to become a journalist,” she reflects. “It never occurred to me that I could actually fuse the two. When I (was able to), it made sense.” An expansive fashion writing career ensued: Newsweek, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, Vogue, The Wall Street Journal, Harper’s Bazaar, and The New York Times Style Magazine among others and a teaching stint at American University in Paris (her current home) livens her resumé. Writing a book was a natural progression, though Dana admits it was a huge transition. “I tackled it like a gigantic magazine piece,” she describes. “I would do reporting, write each section, and I would keep copious footnotes for reference.” She succeeded.

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Her first book, Deluxe: How Luxury Lost Its Luster, became a New York Times Bestseller. Gods and Kings was a much bigger project than her first, one that took four years to complete. “I spent the first year working on John Galliano’s life in the 1980s and from there was able to build on (John Galliano and Alexander McQueen’s) lives, their careers, and their stories.” She constructed a threeact story, weaving two lives together while making it work in a narrative way. Dana’s passion for her work is apparent, with every turn of the page resulting in fluid writing that pulls you in. “The most important thing no matter what you do is, you gotta have fun and be happy – and if you’re not having fun, you should not do what you are doing.” In her work, we can read it loud and clear.

Gods and Kings – The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano By Dana Thomas $29.99 Purchase at The Book Den, 15 E Anapamu Street, Santa Barbara

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Plan B by Briana Westmacott When Briana isn’t lecturing for her writing courses

at UCSB and SBCC, she contributes to The Santa Barbara Skinny, Wake & Wander and Flutter Magazine. Along with her passion for writing and all things Santa Barbara, much of her time is spent multi-tasking through her days as a mother, wife, sister, want-to-be chef and travel junky. Writing is an outlet that ensures mental stability... usually.

Hold the Phone


he other day, I had a mother share something quite disturbing. The horror unfolded when her eight-year-old daughter was pulling up images for a school report on butterflies. Butterflies, you must be thinking, could never be horrific. The girl was working on an iPad issued from her elementary school when all of the sudden, buttplug images appeared on the screen. Yes, you read that right. Full screen. The daughter ran into the kitchen and held the screen up, “Mommy, what is this?!” Not surprisingly, screaming and crying that ensued, possibly more from the mother than the daughter. My guess is that the little girl will forget, but I know for a fact the mom is forever scarred. That’s just it; technology is both a blessing and a beast.

Tied to Tech

I have always had a love/hate relationship with the latest and greatest

tech stuff. It took me a while to start texting, long after everyone else was doing it. I also didn’t jump onto the social media thing quickly; I was years behind my younger sisters, who finally convinced me to join Facebook. Do I use it? Yes. Am I addicted to it? I don’t think so, but sometimes I wonder about my dependency on these devices. I don’t write in my journal anymore. My ideas and notes for this column are oftentimes typed on my smart phone. I find myself glancing down at that screen while waiting for anything, in the grocery line or at a stoplight. That message “ping” derails my train of thought. This is why I make an effort to remove technology from as many parts of my day as possible.

Mentoring Mindfulness

The first day of spring quarter at UCSB, I took all 60 of my freshfaced writing students on a walking

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meditation. I set the stage with a short lecture about mindfulness, and then I forced them all to leave their phones and tablets and computers behind. I saw a few panicked faces upon announcing these instructions. With some hesitation, we all walked in silence down to the lagoon… and we sat. The quiet was pinching; they squirmed. Their eyes darted around. I could sense the urgency. And after a while, they began to settle. The purpose of the walk wasn’t just to disconnect from the constant deterrent of our devices. I was setting the stage for a position paper that they would write debating whether our smart phones are making us smarter. Students proceeded to track their screen time. They surveyed others about technology usage. They questioned what they saw on social media and what emotions are tied to these efficacious sites. I also provoked them to get lost and to ask a stranger for directions, to handwrite someone a love letter, and to take some “time-in” where they write or think or draw without technological influences. My hope is that they see the world a little bit differently than before.

A Call to Action

Have you left the home and panicked when you realized you forgot your phone? Do you sleep with that little, beastly device? Is it the first thing you look to in the morning, even before your coffee? Have you ever tracked just how much time you spend looking at that screen? You should. It may be quite shocking. Why don’t we challenge ourselves to embark on a day (or weekend!) without the phone, to start a conversation with a stranger on the street, and to go somewhere without having to take a photo of it? Let’s let go of the ping in our pocket. Sadly, life is losing its serendipity. Coincidence is being knocked out by status updates and check-ins. Thoughts are being altered by the all-powerful autocorrect. (And please be careful when you type butterfly!) I think there are many rewards from all of the technological advances we have made as humans, and I celebrate them. However, I am also quite happy to have walked the Earth in a time when we found our way by chance and prior to the invention of the selfie stick.

Briana’s Best Bets Did you know that we have an amazing rock labyrinth right here in Santa Barbara? The Labyrinth at the Lagoon is tucked away on the bluffs at UCSB. To get there, you can park in lot 6 on campus (be sure to buy a parking pass) and walk out toward Campus Point. Continue along the path on the bluffs for approximately 10 minutes, and you will stumble My two girls, peacefully navigating the Labyrinth upon the Labyrinth. Since ancient times, labyrinths have stood as a symbol for contemplation and meditation. By walking the whole thing, into the center and then out, you will walk over half a mile in peace. I can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday morning. VOTED BEST ANTIQUE STORE 8 YEARS IN A ROW

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Tranquility awaits in the main salt cave

by Kateri Wozny Kateri is an award-winning journalist with a

background in print, online, radio and TV news. A native of Minneapolis, MN, she has written for the Chicago Sun-Times Media Group, Pepperdine University and Acorn Newspapers. She works full time as a public relations manager locally and loves exploring the Santa Barbara fashion scene. Follow her on Twitter @kitkatwozny.

Relax and Rejuvenate at Salt Cave Santa Barbara Mike McCaskey and wife Pamela are proud owners of the nation’s largest underground salt cave

the products are and that they work well,” Mike said. Mike says that the store has heavy traffic, with 3,000 customers a month. The store also gives back by complimentary cave sessions for nonprofit events and raffles. “We are successful because of the community faith in our business, and we are happy to give back,” Mike said. As our business grows, our goal is to return five percent of proceeds to the community and charities.”

Salt Healing


-a-achoo! With the springtime officially here, everything is in full bloom, literally. My allergies had been acting up and with medication failing, which called for an alternative to relieve my respiratory system. After a friend mentioned how Salt Cave Santa Barbara could help, I gave this a try. On First Thursday, I was greeted by Spa and event director Jenny Prince, who immediately shared a glass of her delicious Sangria and led the way to one of the two salt caves. While in the pull-out chair, I started feeling relief from the micro particles of salt traveling through the air. This is also used during a Cave Session, where the salt is absorbed through the skin and lungs while soft music plays for 45 minutes. For $25 a session, this is something that one’s system can benefit from over time. “Salt releases negative ions and raises serotonin in people,” Prince explained. “It’s also a great respiratory treatment.” Salt to the rescue! With two crystal cave rooms that contain a combined 45 tons of 250-million-year-old of Himalayan salt, the mineral is sourced from the Himalayan Mountain foothills located in the Khewra Salt Range in the Punjab province of Pakistan. “There are many benefits to salt,” said owner Mike McCaskey. “Salt is 100 percent anti-bacterial, and has 84 minerals that detoxify the skin and open up pores.” According to Mike, there are about 20 salt caves in the U.S. and Salt Cave Santa

Barbara is the only one underground – quite impressive. “It’s what sets us apart and makes us unique,” he said. “We want to be a place where people can come and relax.”

Business of Life

The idea to open a salt cave happened after co-owner and Mike’s wife, Pamela, visited a Vermont holistic spa in 2010 that featured a similar cave. With a background in health and fitness and Mike having experience with geology, the two opened their soothing business in November 2012. “We thought it would be a great idea to bring a salt cave to Santa Barbara because the locals are so comfortable,” Mike explained. “It has been a great business for the community.” Mike and Pamela also opened up a second location at 32 West Anapamu called Salt Lab, where the oils and soaps are created and more products are sold. “All of our products are made right here in Santa Barbara,” Mike said. “We also just launched an online store.”

Just Breathe

The store features a variety of products that all contain the magical mineral, including gourmet bath salts with different seasonings, masks, cooking slabs, salt for cooking (it tasted light), lip balms, hair sprays, skin care, salt lamps, and soaps and scrubs, the most popular sellers. Prices range from $3.95 for lip balm to $38 for a mask. “Customers always tell us how great

With all the salt benefits I learned, the store offers affordable classes such as yoga, movement, workshops, Tai Chi, and meditation. “Sound Healing is our most popular class because the instructor brings in crystal bowls inside crystal cave, and it sounds like a communal sound therapy,” Prince said. Salt Cave also offers treatments such as a salt stone and therapeutic massages, and a Nexneuro Vibration Treatment, where vibrations from the soothing music relax the body. “Our signature treatment is salt scrub massage,” Prince said. “A lot of clients

Santa Barbara

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who receive the treatment also take it home with them to use.” Events can also be held in the caves, ranging from birthday and bachelorette parties to business meetings and weddings. “Our underground caves are a very unique environment for a variety our events,” Pamela told me later. “The experience taps into all of the five human senses.” At the end of the day, Mike and Pamela’s goal is to make Salt Cave Santa Barbara the ultimate hot spot for locals and tourists. “With everything we provide, we want to be downtown’s number-one spot where people can come and relax,” Mike said. Ultimately, I felt light as a feather, sinuses cleared. Now when people say to take life with a grain of salt, I know where to go.

Salt Cave Santa Barbara 740 State Street (805) 963-7258 Hours: Monday-Saturday: 10 am – 7 pm, Sunday: 12 pm – 7 pm Sign up for the newsletter and learn more: www.saltcavesb.com


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with Tommie Vaughn Tommie adapted her love of the stage to the

love of the page. As lead singer for the band Wall of Tom, she created This Rock in My Heart and This Roll in My Soul, a fictional book series based loosely on her experiences in the L.A. music scene. Now she’s spending her time checking out and writing about all things Santa Barbara. Reach Tommie at www.TommieV.com or follow her on Twitter at TommieVaughn1.

Diary of a Song Kate Graves takes the stage for Bushwick Book Club (photo by Mikki Brisk)

Mikki Brisk singing her song inspiration from East of Eden

love to write moody songs about heartbreak and demise, so that song you are longing for may not always sound like music to your ears.

to Kate and her ever-changing lineup of local and traveling musicians on the last Wednesday of every month, for their book club performances. “We are actually the fourth chapter of the Bushwick Book Clubs, the first derived from a group of great musicians in Bushwick, Brooklyn, who thought it would be fun to get together and write songs inspired by different books each month, and the idea took off from there. Some artists would write songs, some would take a narrative approach, all with different styles as unique as the artists themselves. It kinda spiraled up from the underground, to this hip happening scene, combining people’s love of songwriting and literature.” Kate is explaining the history as we sit in the middle of the Guitar Bar itself, and I get excited at the thought of being in a room full of talented songwriters. “We just started out a few months ago, and we have had some really fun shows, spotlighting a group of eight to ten songwriters. Some have come back each month and some are just traveling through town, so each show is different and exciting to see who is going to show up and how they will interpret the book. It’s also good for artists who need a deadline – it’s a wonderful writing tool – and the deadline forces them to work and show up, which is great for an artist who procrastinates.”

Art Imitates Life, or is It Life Imitates Art?

Kate Graves is at home on the Guitar Bar stage


song can be like the internal combustion of one person’s soul. No musician knows exactly where that song will derive from, what will inspire it, or when that haunting lyric line will hit you – but when it does, we are pretty keen to always carry a pen and paper as our emergency memory tools, or a small pocket-sized recorder called a cellphone, so we can begin the creation of this elusive gift from the universe. But how on Earth did that song find

you? What was your muse? For a lot of artists, it is their own experiences that pen most of our pain away, let it be from heartbreak or happiness; for most, it’s the same damn thing when it comes to creating a song. Nothing is sacred and no one is safe: when a songwriter is near and the nearer you get to a songwriter, the better your chances are to inspire their art. It sounds really romantic, but let me blow away all those clouds your head is dancing in, because musicians

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It’s hard to be sure, as the lines get blurry after so many years, but I do know that our song inspirations are indeed the chapters of a book that is uniquely our own. So could an actual book itself inspire? Of course it could, and local musician Kate Graves, who started The Bushwick Book Club of Santa Barbara County, has organized the most creative songwriting exercise, set in the rocking backdrop of The Guitar Bar, for some of the West Coast’s most talented musicians. Kate, a heart-wrenching talent herself (think folk stylings such as those of Patti Griffin) is a native Santa Barbarian who spent a lot of time touring, living out of her suitcase, and lugging around her guitar, living in the wet and wonderful city of Seattle. That’s where she first heard of this one-of-a-kind book club and was able to join in with some legendary songwriters, as they hashed out some of the world’s most beloved literature. “It’s an amazing chapter Geoff Larson has in Seattle, and they have been doing it for years now and have it down to a science. Even offering recordings and radio programs for their performers, it’s quite a show and so inspiring to the artists who participated, like myself ”

Back in the 805

Now Kate’s back living on the Central Coast, so inspired that she decided to take the Bushwick idea of Art inspiring Art to Santa Barbara for her very own chapter. With monthly performances on the Funk Zones Guitar Bar stage, Kate approached Jamie Faletti, owner of GBSB, who loved the idea and opened up his shops

Procrastinating Artists? Never “It’s basically a really fun gig for the artists and anyone who comes for the show. You get to put yourself out there in a less personal way, since the musicians are usually not writing about their own experience but the books. But still, some will take it and run in a direction you never see coming, and that’s truly where the beauty of a song and literature can

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The Paris Wife is the muse for April

meet.” April’s book club book is The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, following the love affair of Ernest Hemingway and his wife, Hadley. With May’s book being any of Dr. Seuss’s history of books and June’s Stranger Music, selected poems and songs by Leonard Cohen. Kate is trying to keep the books different and interesting, but encourages artists to join even if the book is not your favorite, since that might make for even more depth in your art. Do you have to be a pro to play the book club? Yes… but not really, not all

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the time, just get in line quickly because the show books out fast to bigger names who follow the Bushwick chapters, and this month’s is already full with names such as Bobby Hartry, Kathleen Sieck, Daena Jay and Rom Prasado Rao. The greatest part is this is a live show that anyone can attend, with intimate performances that are truly unique, and the audience is encouraged to read the books as well, so nothing is lost when each artist takes the stage. Artists who are looking to join the club need only to show up and talk to Kate herself, or contact her through the Bushwick SB Facebook page. Not a songwriter but a poet? Or a rapper? Don’t hesitate, because Kate is happily opening the book club up to a broader range if the talent strikes her. I know where I will be from now on, the last Wednesday of every month. Won’t you join me?

Santa Barbara Seafood Pasta

Fresh Fish and Succulent Shrimp simmered with tomato, vegies, fresh basil & garlic tossed with Fusilli pasta & topped with shredded Parmesan.



Wednesday, April 29, at the Guitar Bar, The Bushwick Book Club of Santa Barbara County presents The Paris Wife by Paula McLain. Doors open 7 pm; show at 7:30 pm; $5-10 suggested donation. More info at www.facebook.com/bushwicksb or email Kate Graves at kategravesmusic@ gmail.com


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by Eva Van Prooyen Keeping a finger on the pulse of the Santa Ynez Valley: what to eat, where to go, who to meet, and what to drink. Pretty much everything and anything situated between the Santa Ynez and San Rafael Mountains that could tickle one’s interest.

S.Y. Kitchen & Spring Mixology 101


estled just a half a block off of Santa Ynez’s main thoroughfare Sagunto Street - at 1110 Faraday Street, is an Italian-inspired California farmhouse-styled restaurant called S.Y. Kitchen. This friendly Valley insider’s foodie hub and stylish (yet relaxed) bar is a modern-day renaissance alcove showcasing food, wine, cocktail mixology, and the restaurateur vision of Kathie and Mike Gordon. Twenty-six years ago, the Gordons opened doors to their first restaurant, the acclaimed Toscana in Brentwood, and in April 2013 they partnered with chef and co- Mixologist Alberto Battaglini shows you what’s owner Luca Crestanelli to open S.Y. shakin’ on Tuesday, April 21 at S.Y. Kitchen cocktail class (Photo credit: Rob Stark) Kitchen. Born and raised in Verona, Italy (and fluent in Italian, Spanish, and English) Chef Luca has a degree in Gastronomy and the Culinary Arts from Verona, serves up fresh modern Italian dishes and says, “Our concept of ‘farm to table’ is too obvious for me. Of course, surrounded as we are by all of these fresh, local ingredients, why wouldn’t we go from the field to the kitchen? There is no other way,” says Luca adding that preparing brightly flavored, fresh food is his purpose in life. Meals are served in the Front Room in the bustling view of an open kitchen, on the porch with cushioned banquet seating and a bit of fresh air, in the cozy dining room – which also hosts family seating and private parties – and the outdoor courtyard lounge area for pre-dinner cocktails or to enjoy the restaurant’s complete menu. Rustic wooden cocktail-style tables nestle between cushioned settees that can be arranged and rearranged for couples or larger groups up to 20. Heaters, blankets, and soft tree lights combine to create an intimate dining atmosphere. Luca’s younger brother and sous-chef Francesco Crestanelli is also in the kitchen bringing his fresh pasta-making skills, and the staff each hold a breadth of wine and food knowledge… rumor has it, a master gelato and sorbetto artisan from Calabria is in house, too. At the bar, which is designed with rustic sophistication and shelves rivaling the


From Verona to Santa Ynez: sous-chef Francesco Crestanelli brings the art of fresh pasta making to S.Y. Kitchen (Photo credit: Rob Stark)

Co-owner and chef Luca Crestanelli has a playful and passionate drive to bring brightly flavored, fresh ingredients to every corner of his restaurant (Photo credit: Rob Stark)

inventory, style, and abundance of a 16th-century apothecary, one can find another Verona native – expert mixologist and bar manager, Alberto Battaglini. Alberto reports after attending Scuola Alberghiera in Verona, he further honed his mixology skills in London, Spain, Mexico, and in Los Angeles at Bar Toscana before coming up to Santa Ynez. “The soul of mixology is found in all the old recipes that we twist with modern ingredients and tools, in order to play with tastes to give every customer an extraordinary experience,” says Alberto. Chef Luca says absolutely everything is handmade in house, a standard he extends through to the bar, where the “dry wall” shelves are stacked high with clear mason jars for all to see, labeled and filled with dried herbal and floral concoctions including: lemon verbena, jalapeño, mango, licorice root, coconut coated coffee beans, mango, star anise, lemon with cayenne pepper, pineapple powder, scented sugars, and rare salts – including “the very hard to find Cypress black lava salt,” says Alberto, twisting open a jar of black flake salt to sample. “The bartenders work in front of you, so you can see what we are creating for you,” says Alberto while gesturing to the shelves and glass-front refrigerators. Every seat at the bar and from many seats in the restaurant, guests can watch Alberto and his mixologists at work – a buzz of seemingly choreographed movement at a seamless, feverish pace. “We squeeze a case of lemons and limes every single day,” says Alberto, emphasizing fresh, simple, ingredients and adding, “The simpler the drink, the better it is.” Vodka infused with lavender, gin infused with juniper, fennel, and lemon, and a bottle of spirits labeled “hot botanical” infused with cucumber, basil, and jalapeño join the line-up of handcrafted spirits and bitters stored in amber glass dropper bottles. Picking up a small bottle of bitters labeled OFT, Alberto says, “I designed this ‘OldFashioned Therapy’. It took me two months to craft it and a year to perfect it.” A Lavazza espresso machine sits center stage, there is a glass for every type of drink, and a large oblong wooden bowl on the bar is perpetually piled high with fresh herbs and fruits for purées, juicing, garnish, and muddling, “I can’t wait for strawberry season. Luca and I go out to Finley Farms Organic and handpick flats of strawberries,” says Alberto. Rounding out the tools of the trade, Alberto says, “When I start to speak about ice, I get a little obsessed. Ice and water are the two most important things.” Straight

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out of a pioneering western film, Alberto has been known to take out a band saw and a nearly seven-pound block of solid ice at the bar to carve a perfect ice cube. “I never place an order; I just let [Alberto] do his thing,” says a guest, and as she takes her seat Alberto peels a fresh loquat and adds peppercorn simple syrup, lime, Peychard bitters, one raspberry, a “specialty high-end Slovakian vodka made with winter wheat called Double Cross,” vigorously shakes it over ice, and pours it into a martini glass – garnishing it with a dried pear. “Lately, I am into bourbon and mescal, which are true beautiful spirits and hard to mix. The flavors and complexity keep coming up from the drink,” says Alberto, mixing up a cocktail with bourbon, blueberry grappa, blackberries, raspberries, lemon, honey, and vanilla with a dried cayenne-lemon garnish – and admitting his drinks often are inspired by mistakes and tinkering in his “lab.” This is all clearly serious play for Alberto and on Tuesday, April 21, from 5 to 7 pm, guests can come join in the fun as Alberto will host a cocktail class featuring four of his new spring cocktails inspired by the warming temperatures, local market produce, botanicals, and seasonal specialties. The lesson will include a welcome cocktail, recipes, detail of methods and S.Y. Kitchen appetizers. The price is $75 per person and class size is limited to 10. S.Y. Kitchen is open for lunch Wednesday through Saturday from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm and dinner daily from 5 pm to close. It is located at 1110 Faraday Street in Santa Ynez; for more information, visit www.sykitchen.com or call (805) 691-9794.

Eva’s Top Faves:

My personal picks, best bets, hot tips, save the dates, and things not to miss! Vineyard Walk, Scavenger Hunt, and Bunch

Buttonwood winemaker Karen Steinwachs invites you to get a close-up look at the 2015 vintage with a stroll through their sustainably farmed, heritage vineyard. Karen’s guided tour will have guests searching for natural items and points of interest on a scavenger hunt that make their 33-year-old vineyard distinctive. The “not overly exertive” walk through rolling hills and dales is complete with wine tasting along the way to “taste the place.” Prizes will be awarded for the best scavengers, and the excursion ends with brunch under the Cottonwoods at the vineyard pond

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while raising a glass to Mother Earth. Sunday, April 26, 10:30 am to 1 pm $35 per person. For more information call (805) 688-3032

Buellton Bargain Day

It’s a citywide sale! Bargain hunters and treasure seekers can explore the annual Buellton Bargain Day Citywide Garage Sale. Spring-cleaning has inspired homeowners, businesses, and residents to turn trash into cash throughout the city. These sales take place right at their homes Saturday, May 2.

“Go For Baroque” Spring Concert

The Santa Ynez Valley Master Chorale and Concert Orchestra present a concert of Baroque favorites on Saturday, May 2, at 7:30 pm and Sunday, May 3, at 3 pm at the Solvang Veterans Memorial Hall, 1745 Mission Drive in Solvang. Celebrating the work of J.S. Bach and G.F. Handel. Under the direction of Chris A. Bowman, the concert will open with the orchestra’s presentation of Bach’s “Sinfoinia” followed by the blending of choral voices and orchestra in Bach cantatas including, “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” and “Dona Nobis Pacem”, and Handel’s oratorio “Messiah” with its “Hallelujah” chorus. Tickets are available by calling (805) 350-4241, online at www.syvchorale.org, and at the door.

Rancheros Visitadores

In its 85th year of tradition, the “Visiting Ranchers” made up of more than 700 horsemen, riders, cowboys, and carriages from around the country gather for a weeklong private ride through the Santa Ynez Valley. On Saturday, May 2, around 2 pm the ride kicks off with a parade through the streets of Solvang to Old Mission Santa Ínes at 1760 Mission Drive, where a blessing is pronounced for the riders and their steed.

Troll Tales and Scandinavian Songs

Best for ages four and up, Solvang Library presents international duo Stina Fagertun and Ross Stutter in a humorous toe-tapping performance weaving together song and story on Tuesday, April 21,at 10:30 am. Admission is free. Solvang Library is located at 1765 Mission Dr. For more information, call (805) 688-4214

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by Randy Lioz Randy is an automotive enthusiast with more than a decade of experience in the industry. Originally hailing from New York, he came to Santa Barbara by way of Detroit to work for an automotive forecasting company. You can regularly find him at Cars and Coffee with his Porsche 911 or Speedster replica.

The Little Guys

Kurt Richter and Haik Hakobian of Haik’s German Autohaus


he auto service market in Santa Barbara is a bit of a unique one. Its character is dictated by the size of the town. Perhaps a non-automotive story to illustrate. On my first visit to this city eight years ago, I struck up a friendship with my seat-mate on the flight in. She invited me to see a friend’s band at Creek Side Inn that night, and we hung out with them after their set. The next night, the company I was interviewing with took me out for a night on the town, and we ended up at Dargan’s. Naturally, I ran into the guys from the band there. My first and lasting impression of Santa Barbara: this is a small town. It’s easy to feel like you know everyone… and everyone knows you. This dynamic tends to impact the way people interact with one another, and when it comes to car service, it’s especially true. This may account for the sizeable number of relatively small, independent specialty shops, with a fairly narrow focus. If you visit one of these shops, you’ll likely talk to the guy (mostly) who will be wrenching on your

car, and who also might own the place. Haik Hakobian (pronounced “Hike”), of Haik’s German Autohaus, has been working on German cars since 1979. He talks about his shop in comparison to going to a dealer for service. “In some ways, we don’t give as good of service,” he says. “We don’t give rental cars, we don’t even give rides, usually because there’s just two of us.” While there may be other perks at a dealer, such as car washes, Hakobian points out that he’s able to provide more “personal service.” “When they go to a dealership, the mechanic has to come out of the back to talk to them.” Hakobian acts as his own service writer, so his clients can talk to the same person each time, and he feels it elicits more confidence from them. He also gets business from people who have bad experiences at dealerships. “I think some of them are being driven away by some of the attitudes” of the dealership service departments, he says. The Garage is a business that’s built


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Mercedes • BMW•Audi Rolls Royce• Mini•VW



424 N. Quarantina Santa Barbara, CA

entirely on word of mouth. Christian “Critter” Mooney is a specialist in British marques, and he’s one of the most trusted Land Rover wrenches in town. In contrast to L.A., which has much bigger shops, Mooney talks about the intimate nature of Santa Barbara. “Here it’s a very small community. Everyone knows everyone,” he says. “You’ve gotta keep your name very, very clean in Santa Barbara.” This prompts him and his partner, Bert Linau, a German car mechanic who works most often on Audis, to go the extra mile for their customers, with loaners and rides, and occasionally eating the cost of some service to help someone out. Of his formative years, Mooney says, “We all worked at the dealer, and this is like a lot of people, so we got a lot of our schooling and experience from the dealership, and then after we left the dealership… all of us went to private shops.” Some shops are actually just one person, as is the case with Der Volks Werks. Dana Steele has owned the business for 31 years, and used to have some help, but it’s just him, since his assistant went on disability due to health issues. If you bring your air-cooled Volkswagen to him, he’ll not only fix it, but he’ll also explain literally every little nut and bolt that he touched in doing so. He sticks to servicing the cheap stuff, and enjoys his rapport with his customers. “The people that own these cars work for a living, and they value labor,” he says. “I actually choose not to work on people’s cars that have more money, because they’re [bloody] pains in the [butt].” Roy Miller is one of the more widely known mechanics in town, but he’s begun to wind down East-West Motors, which he’s owned since 1983. At this point, his business mostly consists of long-time customers, who have since become friends of his. With those relationships can come the fraught issue of charging his friends money for work. “That’s a real dilemma for me,” he says. “My wife is so critical of me. She says, ‘You know, everyone loves you, and you do a great job on these cars. Why don’t we have any money?’” He tends to think more about fixing someone’s issue than about the business aspect of it, but the result has been a karmic bonanza. “We’ve had some amazing things happen to us because of camaraderie with fellow car people, and it turns into something completely different.” Jack Bianchi has a similar story, though he actually closed his shop in 2006. Now he mostly just works on his own cars and those of friends as a

“hobbyist,” and occasionally takes on more specialized projects. If you’ve got a Lotus engine or anything involving a Grand Prix racer, it might be worth your while to seek out his expertise. But he has fairly broad praise for the extant shops in town. “The town supports itself, and there’s really very few bad shops, so if a guy rolls in a fairly new Porsche, I’ll send him to Henry [Hinck] up at Schneider [Autohaus],” also mentioning longterm relationships with Mike Brown and Julio Limon at Santa Barbara Auto Group. “That’s that small-town stuff. It’s pretty neat.” Things seem to be getting a bit more difficult for the smaller shops, though, especially in the lower Eastside industrial corridor where many of them are located. While there’s been a steady decline in the number of air-cooled VWs in town, Steele of Der Volks Werks stays busy, since the number of shops that service them has also dropped. “A lot of other businesses that used to work on them have generally been forced out of business by land speculation,” he says, “and the lot being bought to be turned into a wine tasting room.” The building he operates out of, on East Gutierrez, “has been perpetually up for sale,” he says, but because the property would need to be fixed up for that, “I keep on outliving landlords.” Mooney’s shop, The Garage, has had its own share of uncertainty, with rising rents and the threat of a land sale by the owner. He says his type of business is also targeted by the city with Byzantine codes that make it difficult to establish a new operation before running out of money. He believes there’s a strong need for the independent shops as a counterweight to the clout of the dealership groups. “Mainly why we’re all here, these specialists that you see – we all worked at the dealer – ‘cause we don’t like the dealer so much,” he says. “A lot of our clients don’t like the dealer. A lot of people just hate going to the dealer, and they go there because they have to. And that’s the reason, to an extent, that we exist.” It may grow increasingly challenging for those businesses to survive if there’s no place for them, though. Mooney points out that with the success of the Funk Zone, there are well-funded investors looking to replicate it in his part of town. “Who needs to listen? That’s a really good question,” he says. “Because we’re not asking for any handouts from anyone, but we love what we do in Santa Barbara.”

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...continued from p.4 Sean Kenney, absent his latex complexion as Lt. de Paul, glares, helmsman-like, at that big light we always wondered about

next season. When Gene found you, he was so elated.” Roddenberry had been looking high and low for a young guy with the face of actor Jeffrey Hunter, whose Captain Pike character in the rejected Star Trek pilot episode “The Cage” would be Kenney’s role, but as a hideously burned and staring shadow of his former self. Now, as Kenney was scraping off his makeup backstage and exulting in the evening, the agent approached him in his dressing room. Would Kenney care to interview with Paramount? She dropped Roddenberry’s name and Kenney had never heard of him, but that didn’t matter. Roddenberry had a show he was trying to put together and she would like to introduce them. “Yeah! Sure!” Kenney went to the casting office at Paramount on the appointed day and was shown into Gene Roddenberry’s cozily lit and comfortably furnished office. “It’s like a living room,” Kenney says. There is a little metal starship of some kind on Roddenberry’s desk. “Then it’s, ‘Hi I’m Sean Kenney; hi, I’m Gene Roddenberry’. We shake hands and he starts walking around me, holding my picture. He says, ‘You have a striking resemblance to an actor we are making use of. Do you have any aversion to having your hair dyed?” Kenney says no. Roddenberry has more questions, and Kenney laughs lightly as he tells the story. “Then he asks me, ‘Are you allergic to latex?’ and I said, ‘Uh, no.’ And Roddenberry said, ‘Well, we might want to dye your hair white and use a little latex on your face. Just wanna make sure you don’t have any allergies.’ ‘Okay’. ‘Also,’ Roddenberry then adds, ‘you might not be able to eat normally during the job, because we’re going to have to tape your mouth down. You might have to eat through a straw during the workday – just liquids.’ And I say, ‘Okay.’ When you’re young like that, you do not say no! You don’t want any barriers to your career, you know?” Roddenberry had taken a shine to the young actor. They discovered in conversation they had both served in the same service group, the 8th Air Force,

Roddenberry a B-17 pilot. “After we discovered that, we had a real rapport,” Kenney says. After filming Kenney as Pike, Roddenberry would have him back for two more episodes – “A Taste of Armageddon” and “Arena”, as the character Lt. DePaul. Within days of the Roddenberry appointment, Kenney was on set, being made up as the disfigured Captain Pike. When NBC rejected Star Trek’s original pilot episode, “The Cage”, they ordered Roddenberry to come up with another pilot for the series. In the lost pilot, Jeffrey Hunter had played Captain Christopher Pike, captain of the USS Enterprise and Kirk’s predecessor as the Big Guy on the bridge. Roddenberry was deeply wounded by NBC’s rejection of the episode. That first pilot would not be seen in its original form until 1988. “Roddenberry was so hurt by that,” Kenney says. “I mean, really sad.” Roddenberry said to the newly minted young actor, almost as if talking to himself: “That one didn’t go, but this one will.” His idea was to resurrect the lost Captain Pike episode by writing a new episode around it as a framing device. Roddenberry was driven to prove the mettle of the original episode, and in the end “The Menagerie” did indeed vindicate him – winning a Hugo award and a number of other prestigious writing and production accolades. Today, that two-part episode is legendary, and Sean Kenney was at the white-hot center of television history being made. At the time, he was just wonderstruck to be working in television.

A Menagerie of Personalities

“The Menagerie” was shot over six days on Stages 4 and 5 at the Desilu Studios. Kenney’s makeup took five and a half hours to apply the first day, and by the last day the makeup artist for the show, Freddie Phillips, who had also lorded over the unnerving makeup effects for The Outer Limits and The Twilight Zone, had got it down to three hours or so. Kenney learned a lot in that time. For one thing, movie magic is sometimes a little more prosaic than the public

Sean Kenney today says, “At my age, I’d be perfect for the Pike role now!” Some beg to differ.

realizes. When they couldn’t figure out how to render the ghastly dark radiation burn that dominates the right side of Pike’s ruined face, assistant makeup artist Ray Sebastian had a brainstorm, cut out a dogleg-shaped strip of denim from his Levi’s and glued it to Kenney’s face with spirit gum – and that’s what you are looking at on screen. For his part, Kenney, in his first big acting breakthrough, had to sit stock still in the makeup chair for hours, and then once shooting began had to sit encased to the shoulders in a futuristic prop wheelchair and do all the necessary emoting with his eyes. His role also gave him a privileged fly-on-the-wall position from which to observe the goings on around him, the young acting arriviste staring straight ahead through his latex radiation burns, while his eyes and ears worked overtime to soak up the dynamism of a bunch of disparate personalities working together for 15 hours a day and trying to hold it together. Kenney started to pick up on things. What were the stars of the show like? “Shatner would bark out his orders, and I was just this young guy sitting in a chair, nobody’s going to talk to me, because my character can’t talk, so you become an eavesdropper. You don’t know you are, but you become that. And I knew he was not well-liked by anybody. Nobody really liked him at all. It was all ‘Me, myself and I’, you know?” He laughs. “And they’d catch Shatner stealing their light! Check this, man: you’re on the set, you’re up on the bridge, this is when I was dePaul, right? And you turn around and you see Shatner moving to where the light was the best for him, and he would almost body-check Jimmy a little bit. So he’d get the best light! And you know, D would catch it! He’d be saying his lines, you know, “Jim, Jim, we’ve got to get these people to safety…” and then he’d see Shatner moving and he’d say to Jimmy, “What the **** is this? “And Leonard was very into Spock, and he was a method actor, and he never broke out of character, even on the set.

My mother and his mother got to be good friends, we come from the same town in Massachusetts, and I said once, ‘Hey, Leonard; your mom and my mom are shopping together,’ and he looks at me and says, “Oh, really. Fascinating.” And he walks away from me (laughs).” Some of the cast were a little more approachable, and Kenney treasures the ready friendships that grew on the set. “Jimmy (James Doohan or Scotty) was fabulous. You know, he showed me his bullet holes. He had five of them. He was shot almost to death at Normandy, and I said, since I was in the service, “Hey man, you were there, you got a Purple Heart,’ and he was ‘F!@# that stuff,’ just like that. ‘I just was happy to get out of there.’ What a great guy he was. Always laughing. Great.” “D Kelley, he was so great. You know I came on later as DePaul, and he didn’t know I’d played Pike. You know, it’s three weeks later and I’ve got my hair back, I’m 24, 25. And I’m sitting there on the bridge and Jimmy says, ‘D, this is Sean Kenney’ and D is like, ‘Yeah, how are you? D Kelley” and Jimmy says, ‘You know he played pike” and Kelley turns to me and says, ‘You played Pike? Holy shit, man! They made you up like a Christmas turkey!’ (laughs hard) “D was a real guy and Jimmy was a real guy.” Kenney went on to do television during the arguable last Golden Age (Get Smart, Police Story) and a series of Independent films whose directors today typify the outlier auteur. Today, he is a successful celebrity and portrait photographer in the Los Angeles area and continues to make the rounds of the Star Trek conventions, where his role as the disfigured Captain Pike seems to make him more of an attraction and curiosity with every passing year. He has written a book about his Star Trek experience and his other adventures in the acting trade, and it can be found at captainpikefoundalive.com. Kenney marvels at the endless fascination with the Star Trek phenomenon. “There’s a guy named Marc Cushman who has written this thing, a compendium, really. These Are the Voyages, it’s called. Every scribbled liner note, every little factoid. These three books are 1,500 pages each. The last word, man. He spent twelve years writing these things!” Does Sean Kenney ever sit back and realize that his role in Star Trek puts him squarely in the great and timeless pantheon of iconic television characters? “My wife was showing me this U.S. post office catalog that a friend sent us, and I saw myself as a postage stamp. ‘Honey!’ she said. ‘You’re a stamp!’ He sighs and pauses. “And it does hit me sometimes. It hits me. It’s… wow.”

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