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Real Estate


The Dish



BY Wendy JENSON, P. 6


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once a week from pier to peak



SANTOS CLAUS IS COMIN’ TO TOWN Everybody loves Milpas


mean, come on, how many times have you hit Chapala Market for some Ranchera Marninada and Coronas or Sols and limes before a summer barbecue? And what about those long lunches (or early dinners) at La Super-Rica or Los Agaves or Taqueria El Bajio? What about Winchell’s for those mornings when the wife and kids are demanding donuts, calories be damned? A burger at the Habit? Some fresh fruits and veggies and other fine foods at Tri-County Produce? My family even hits Blockbuster on occasion to pick up a movie for the kids. The fact is that we Santa Barbarians are on Milpas all the time, and our community wouldn’t be the same without it. Milpas is a part of us, a good part of us, and it deserves our love and affection. It turns out, however, that sometimes Milpas doesn’t get it.

Everybody Deserves a Little Christmas Spirit, Right? It’s Christmas time, you see, and for many years a generous community benefactor covered the costs associated with adorning Milpas with holiday decorations and lights. When that generous individual lost ...continued p.2 PAGE 10


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Mazza’s Missive – Editor-in-Chief Matt Mazza talks to Milpas business and community leaders about the wonderfully successful grassroots effort to get the Christmas lights up on Milpas. Congrats on a job well done, everybody, and Merry Christmas.

L etters to the Editor – Insider Scott Ingraham likes Crime Time; Mark Leisure “reviews” some locally-produced Irish music; the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation is up for a national prize (so go vote, damnit!); Former Council candidate Terry Tyler agrees with the Sentinel’s Take last week – those City Council meetings are indeed dreadful; Briana Westmacott learns more about Bhutan and a related locally produced documentary film; Bryan Rosen reaches across the aisle (or maybe down the same aisle, who knows anymore?) and buries the hatchet on Prop 37; and H.T. Bryan brings us some national debt doom and gloom… in Latin.


The Dish – Everybody’s favorite restaurant gal, Wendy Jenson, talks Little Alex’s chicken soup on a cold day and helps us all to remember to act like tourists in SB and hit Brophy’s. (Hey Wendy, we hit Brophs all the time… and we actually do live here. Garlic baked clams and a beer from Ara? Get outta town!)



Crime Time – The holidays bring out the best in us – but they bring out the worst too. Thanksgiving was no different this year… rednecks screaming racial epithets, drunk women stuck on toilets. You know, the usual.

P.14 P.16 P.18

S anta Barbara View – Sharon Byrne catches up with Ellen Strickland at Livingreen and discusses everything from the benefits – health and otherwise – of living greener to the van crashing through the shop’s wall last week (nice story, we’re rooting for you, Ellen); Tom Bird stares at (brusheating) goats; Ray Estrada fills in the gaps on State Street business comings and goings and recognizes Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf, LLP for its recent award related to its (terrific) work environment (congrats BPW!).

P eople & Places – Jim Buckley spills the beans for the Sentinel about the impending re-opening of the illustrious El Encanto Hotel. Thanks for sharing, Jim, great story. We’ll see you on the patio next summer.

 Presidio Sports – Kyle and Jeff Petersilia are recognized as coSports Person of the Month for their efforts in the local football community; UCSB volleyballer Leah Scully and DP cross country runner Max Davis are SBART Athletes of the Week; the Amgen Tour returns to SB; Westmont men’s hoops coach John Moore gives thanks (and praise). And all the local sports scores and the weekend sports calendar too.  You Have Your Hands Full – Mara Peters considers whether letting her three-year-old go Gangnam Style is actually a good thing in The Miseducation of Charlie Peters. (No worries, Mara, it is.)

by Matt Mazza ...continued from cover his ability to cover the costs three or four years ago, nobody stepped up in his place. So Milpas went dark, year after year, while it watched State Street light up brightly and cheerfully across town. But this year was different. This year, a few strong-minded Milpas business and community leaders took charge. It all started with Taqueria El Bajio owner Santos Guzman and a meeting he called with the Milpas Community Association a few weeks ago at his restaurant. That simple meeting resulted in the mobilization of an entire community. And the results are brilliant. “I was frustrated that nobody had done anything to decorate Milpas since this is a good thing not only for Milpas residents and businesses but for the entire Santa Barbara community as well,” Santos told me. “If tourists come and see Milpas decorated and lit up, then that benefits everybody. I thought that if I gave a few dollars to the cause, then that might encourage others to do so as well.”


Santos Guzman’s dream of lights on Milpas came true this year—and his Caldo de Camaron at Taqueria El Bajio will knock your socks off on a cold and rainy day. (Great to meet you, Santos.)

“And hey, everybody deserves a little Christmas spirit, right?”

Milpas Comes Together It turns out that Santos was right. In fact, John Dixon at Tri-County Produce echoed the sentiment. “I’ve been on Milpas a long time,” he said, “and once I heard that there was an effort to get the lights back up, I reached out to friends and neighbors to see what I could do.” ...continued p.5

 LOVEmikana – Style File Bird Briana Westmacott brings us beautiful local jewelry from The Hand of Oz and Kim Wisely makes your holidays brighter with a few fantastic new drinks. And be sure to check LOVEmikana’s Weekend Guide before making plans for Saturday and Sunday.

P.20 P.21 P.22

Goleta Girl – Jana Mackin gets weird and suggests a few Wacky Tacky Gifts for the holidays this year. (What? Goleta Girl gets weird? Weirder than two-headed cars and nude beaches? Awesome.)

 The More Things Change… – Hattie Beresford reminds us of St. Francis Hospital and Saint Barbara’s journey to her namesake mission.

D  eck the Malls – The Sentinel checked out the La Arcada Christmas Walk and found some happy Christmas revelers even despite the inclement weather. Perfect night for some Christmas cheer!


Residential Real Estate – A few deals actually closed over the holiday… so give thanks! Michael Calcagno and Justin Kellenberger break them down for all of us voyeurs. Thanks guys.

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30 Year Fixed, NO Points, 3.625% (3.660% APR), $1,500,0001 New Payment: 1-360: $6,840 30 Year Fixed, NO Points, 3.375% (3.480% APR), $417,0002 New Payment: 1-360: $1,843

Adam Black | VP, Senior Loan Officer

805.452.8393 | Payment examples do not include taxes and insurance; actual payment will be greater. Example #1 assumes a loan of $1,500,000 loan amount financed at the rate, APR, term noted above at maximum 80% loan-to-value, 34% DTI, with a 740 credit score and 1 year prepayment penalty may apply. Example #2 assumes a purchase or refinance loan of $417,000 loan amount financed at the rate, APR, term noted above at maximum 75% loan-to-value, 45% DTI, with a 740 credit score and no prepayment penalty. Nothing herein is or should be interpreted as a commitment to lend. All loans are subject to credit and property approval. Rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) stated above are as of 11/26/2012. The payments noted above are principal and interest payment. Terms may vary, conditions and restrictions apply. Actual rate for the loan is determined at time of rate lock based upon program and terms requested. Rates and terms are subject to change without notice. NMLS# 401422 ©2012 Bank of Manhattan, N.A.



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GO KAYAK! Letters Whether it’s a day of casting, paddling, pedaling or sailing - we got you covered.

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

Crime Time Is Prime Time



SAN LUIS OBISPO 667 MARSH STREET 543-1676 Mon-Sat 10-6 Thurs 10-8 Sun 11-4 Plenty of FREE Parking Locally owned and Operated for over 30 years!

Editor-in-Chief • Matt Mazza Design/Production • Trent Watanabe Advertising/Sales • Tanis Nelson • Sue Brooks Contributing Partners Opinion • Sports • Santa Barbara Skinny • Columnists Goleta Girl • Jana Mackin She Has Her Hands Full • Mara Peters Plan B • Briana Westmacott The Dish • Wendy Jenson Journal Jim • James Buckley Real Estate • Michael Calcagno Commercial Corner • Austin Herlihy The More Things Change • Hattie Beresford The Weekly Capitalist • Jeff Harding Man About Town • Mark Leisure Published by SB Sentinel, LLC, Tim Buckley, Publisher PRINTED BY NPCP INC., SANTA BARBARA, CA Santa Barbara Sentinel is compiled every Friday 133 EAST DE LA GUERRA STREET, #182, Santa Barbara 93101 How to reach us: 805.845.1673 E-MAIL:

ear Matt – I feel compelled to respond to Jill Anderson’s letter condemning the Crime Time column. As a person who has worked in the criminal justice system for 27 years, I think it is great for the public to get an idea of what the people on the “front lines” deal with on a daily basis. I can also tell you with absolute certainty that if you don’t have a sense of humor in my business, then you might very well end up jumping off the Cold Spring Bridge or blowing your brains out, or at least have thoughts along those lines. We can certainly laugh at the foibles of human behavior, while at the same time having sympathy and compassion for the humans who engage in said behavior. Part of my job involves interviewing people who have committed crimes, and there have been many instances in which I and my clients have shared a good laugh over the stupidity of whatever it was they did that brought them before me. We can laugh at ourselves but at the same time be serious about changing our behavior. I think Jill Anderson means well, but just because she doesn’t like the column, that doesn’t mean she is speaking for the majority. She should just skip past that part of the paper and let the rest of us continue to enjoy it. Scott Ingraham Santa Barbara (Editor’s Note: Thanks for reaching out, Scott, I appreciate the perspective. The fact is that I think you’ve put quite a fine point on the whole Crime Time conversation and it’s well taken (by me, anyway). At the end of the day, we are telling real stories that are actually happening on our streets and putting them out there in a (hopefully) humorous manner.

Debra Ann Galin First Vice President Wealth Advisor 1014 Santa Barbara Street Santa Barbara, CA 93101 805-564-7987

© 2012 Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC. Member SIPC. NY CS 7181360 BC007 07/12


And while I wouldn’t necessarily call Crime Time a “public service,” as Robert Ornstein did a couple weeks back, I also wouldn’t call it a “juvenile attempt to exploit the poor and diseased among us,” as Ms. Anderson did last week. My own read is that Crime Time is a refreshing look at some serious issues facing us as a community, and we will indeed keep running it to see where it goes. The truth is that we’d love to get closer to some of these issues and hear what those in the business have to say. Who knows, maybe we could even do a ride-a-long one night to see law enforcement from a new side of the table. Thanks again for the letter and for the hard work on the front lines. – MSM)

Mark Leisure… Music Reviewer? Hi Mark Leisure – I recently saw your review of Spencer the Gardener in the Sentinel and thought maybe I should send you a copy of our latest CD, Breton, which was officially released on Thursday, March 15, 2012. Hopefully, you’ll be able to review it. It was recorded, engineered and mastered by Dom Camardella at Santa Barbara Sound Design – our world-class studio here in Santa Barbara that records the likes of Depeche Mode, Flora Purim, Joe Cocker, Kenny Loggins, Ottmar Liebert and others. Breton is our fifth CD to date and took the better part of two years to complete. I’ve also sent a copy of our previous CD, The Galway Train, so you can hear some of our background. If you’d like to see the band, then please come to one of our regular gigs – Thursdays at Dargan’s and Sundays at The James Joyce. Thanks for listening. Russ Doherty Dannsair Santa Barbara (Russ, thanks for the CDs. I’m no professional when it comes to reviewing Irish (or any other kind of ) music, but I listened to both of them a few times and must say that my own personal favorites are the more lively songs on The Galway Train and upbeat portions of a few tunes on Breton. With that said, your music is clearly tight and professionally done… and I’m sure that there are aficionados among us who would better understand and dig the whole set. Most regrettably, I wasn’t able to make your shows this past weekend but will soon come by and buy you a pint or two. – Mark Leisure)

Support the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation Matt, thank you for running the story about Gwendolyn’s dream to run in the Santa Barbara International Marathon and our nonprofit fundraiser a few weeks back. We appreciate the support! I thought you and the ...continued p.8

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...continued from 2

John Dixon helped lead the charge to get the lights up from his Tri-County Produce offices on lower Milpas. (Thanks for taking the time, John.)

Interestingly, John sits on the boards of both the Milpas Community Association as well as Casa Esperanza (among others), and I think it is fair to say that there has been some tension between the two organizations for a variety of reasons lately. But that didn’t stop John from seeking contributions from Casa Esperanza, which, in turn, pitched in and participated too. A real grassroots groundswell was forming. People and institutions were actually setting their differences aside for the greater good. For Christmas lights. “The Milpas corridor really has its own flavor and has sometimes been overlooked,” suggested Milpas Community Association President Alan Bleeker (who also owns and runs Capitol Hardware), “and when I saw that there were a bunch of people willing

Feeling Lucky? Olga Villarreal and her perro Tommy contributed to the cause from Olga’s Hair Salon on Milpas.

to jump in and get this done, I wanted to do anything I could to help and encourage people to make a difference.” ...continued p.13

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by Wendy Jenson A former magazine editor, Wendy worked at

Harper’s Bazaar, Glamour, and Us Weekly in NYC, before moving west with Santa Barbara Magazine. Currently a public relations consultant, she relishes being out and about working on this column.  (All photos by Wendy Jenson)

Soup to Make Your Spoon Swoon


hicken soup wasn’t originally on the menu at Little Alex’s Mexican Grill in the Montecito Country Mart, near Vons. A few of the counter girls, City College students, used to ask the chef to make a batch of chicken soup with rice and vegetables. Now listed as a “Little Craving” on the menu, the Mexican soup is served with flour or corn tortillas. Question: Who opts for pre-packaged flour tortillas over fresh (made daily!) house-made corn tortillas? Little Alex’s serves a quality soup. The meat is chicken breast; no mystery cuts here. The rice and vegetables aren’t overcooked. There’s nothing worse than mushy veggies. “Whenever it’s cold or rainy, we know it’s going to be a soup day. We know to make an extra-big batch,” says Lynette Briner, an eighth-generation Santa Barbaran and co-owner of Little Alex’s. Married 44 years, Lynette and Dan Briner opened Little Alex’s back in 1989. “Customers come in saying, ‘I’m under the weather and in need of your soup.’”

Brophy Bros. rooftop aerie is located in harbor central.

Sea Bass With a View Sometimes it’s fun to act like a tourist in your town. Case in point: A visit to Brophy Bros. Seafood Restaurant in the Santa

Chicken soup is listed as a “Little Craving” on Little Alex’s wall menu in the Montecito Country Mart.

The sensational soup is served in three levels of sinus-clearing spiciness, aka Mild, Medium or Hot. Though in this case, the zing may more accurately be described as House-made chicken soup with rice and vegetables.

Get On Our Wish List

Mild, Hot and Hottest; Serranos provide the kick. The longer the chilies sit in the soup, the spicier it gets, so some customers order the chilies on the side. Next time you’re picking up groceries, get an order of chicken soup to go-go! Diners looking to avoid carbs, order rice-less soup. Little Alex’s even packages the soup to go properly, so there’s no leaking in the car on the way home. At $5.59, this little craving is one of the best values in town.

Unloading abalone during the Christmas season.

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butter. The sea bass is similar in taste and texture to lobster.

A Recipe So Good We Have to Run It Twice

Brophy Bros. Sous Chef Lolo Aguilar.

Barbara Harbor. In terms of views and people watching, this place can’t be beat. Mountains and water everywhere! Make the trip at sundown when the fishermen bring in their hauls. Boatfuls of abalone! Truly, abalone by the boatload! The Dish recommends Brophy’s BeerBattered Fried Fish & Chips, $10.25, and Beer-Battered Fried Shrimp ($8.95 appetizer, $9.75 plate). Crisp perfection. Brophy’s Sea Bass is dusted in Cajun spices, and panblackened in a red-hot skillet; $23.95. The Dish skips the spices, preferring to eat the sea bass like lobster, dipping it into the drawn

Any recipe that calls for a “cool water bath” is not easy. Making Ayda Robana’s Warm Chocolate Pudding is an investment of time and ingredients. Imagine the disappointment when a first attempt resulted in a less-than-amazing batch of pudding. Apparently, instant espresso coffee is not the same thing as instant espresso powder. Ayda’s recipe calls for 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder. Memories of the warm chocolate prepared by Ayda – at her Om Sweet Mama popup dinner – inspired a second, much more successful, effort. Still unable to find instant espresso powder, two shots home-brewed espresso were used to fine effect. To find out about Ayda’s next pop-up dinner, visit The information is also featured on Om Sweet Mama Catering’s Facebook page.

Ayda’s Awesome Warm Chocolate Pudding Serves 6-8 people 6 extra-large egg yolks 1/2 cup sugar 1/4 cup corn starch

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3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder or 2 shots of espresso Pinch of salt 2 cups milk 3 ounces quality semi-sweet chocolate chips (The Dish recommends Ghirardelli.) 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 1-1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 2 tablespoons heavy cream Using an electric mixer on mediumhigh speed, beat the sugar and egg yolks until they are thick. Add cornstarch, cocoa powder, and salt and mix on low speed. Bring the milk to the brink of a boil on the stovetop. Just before the milk boils, stir in the espresso powder. Once the combination boils, gradually pour it into the chocolate mixture. Mix well on low speed, then return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook the mixture in the saucepan over low heat, constantly whisking until it thickens. Place the pan in a cold water bath to cool a bit. While it is cooling, add the chocolate chips, butter, vanilla, and heavy cream. Using your third hand, whisk until the chocolate and butter melt. Serve warm in an espresso cup or small bowl. Talk about how good the pudding is throughout consumption. Eagerly awaiting tips, tips, tips: If you have any restaurant information, please contact me at wendy@santabarbarasentinel. com.  

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New life has been breathed into the expansive mixed-use condo development project previously known as Chapala One. Thanks to the diligence and determination of Radius agents Austin Herlihy, Steve Brown and Chris Parker, a new owner is set to pick up the baton and bring this much anticipated project to light with a new and improved identity. While none of the roughly 100,000 sq. ft. of residential and

austin herlihy 805.879.9633

steve brown 805.879.9607

Chris ParKer 805.879.9642


commercial space on the corner of Chapala and Gutierrez Streets has been occupied since construction originally wrapped in 2008, all of the units will undergo a meticulous overhaul, according to the new owner. The 46 residential and 7 commercial units are expected to hit the market next spring/summer at very attractive pricing.

205 E. Carrillo, Suite 100 | Santa Barbara, CA 93101 805.965.5500 |

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...continued from 4 Sentinel’s readers would like to know that the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation (GSF) was selected as 1 of 25 charities nationwide vying for donations ranging from $125,000 to $1,000,000 through the American Giving Awards (AGA). Voting will take place on Facebook from November 27, 2012 through December 4, 2012, and the results, along with features on all 25 participating charities, will be announced during the AGA program airing nationwide on NBC on December 8, 2012. Please check out, which will take you directly to our official AGA profile page on Facebook where you can learn more about the GSF, view the AGA video, and most importantly vote! Any help would be appreciated. Bill Strong The Gwendolyn Strong Foundation Santa Barbara (Editor’s Note: I’ve learned quite a bit over the past few weeks about your family and the Gwendolyn Strong Foundation, Bill, and am really rooting for you here. You already have my vote, and I hope that this paper can generate even more local support for the GSF than you already have. To that end, everybody who is reading, please take a moment out of your day to learn about a truly special local family doing some amazing and inspiring things. Then go vote for Gwendolyn. – MSM)

Zombie-Land City Council I appreciate the great column in the Sentinel’s Take last week regarding the SB City Council meetings. For several years I attended those Tuesday meetings as a freelance writer of guest editorial opinion columns for the local daily. I always wanted to point out the self-congratulatory nature and the frequent waste of time, but ultimately did not for a variety of reasons. Here’s the best part: you have probably seen only the tip of the iceberg regarding the buffoonery and self- appreciation. Stay with it for a few months, and you will be in zombie-land. I like what you are doing with the paper, so keep it up.

Terry Tyler Santa Barbara (Editor’s Note: Thanks Terry, I’m glad you enjoyed the Sentinel’s Take last week. It’s tough, frankly; we don’t want to personally attack anyone but our experience is that the process is indeed stupefying at times. As we discussed it internally, we kept finding ourselves considering the cumulative effect of all the local, state and federal governments and governmental and quasi-governmental bodies across the country. It’s mind-boggling. And as we said, we, the taxpayers, foot the bill. I personally often wonder what these “public employees” actually earn when salary, benefits and other compensation are all added up. I imagine it’s not readily available information for a reason… but I’ve been wrong before. In any event, I hope to stay out of “zombie-land” as the Sentinel continues to cover local government. I’ll do my best. – MSM)

The Happiest Place on Earth Hi Briana, I enjoyed your article and since you expressed some interest in further exploring Bhutan I thought that I’d let you know about a documentary film that my son Ben is currently producing called “The Happiest Place.” He is in the process of editing the film in preparation for entrance into several upcoming film festivals. Check and Happiestfilm for more info. Thanks. Bob Henretig Santa Barbara (Hello Bob, what a pleasure it was to receive your note and watch the trailer for your son Ben’s film. His journey across Bhutan looks quite intriguing and inspiring. I do hope you will keep us at the Sentinel informed on where and when “The Happiest Place” will be screened (especially if it is in the SB Film Festival). I not only showed the preview to my students at SBCC but also to my husband who is a film producer and editor. You can inform Ben that his fan base is growing here in Santa

LEGACY Coast Village Road Montecito, CA 1137 1137 Coast Village Road Montecito, 805.845.3300 CA 805.845.3300

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Barbara as we are all now anticipating the film’s release. Happily, Briana Westmacott)

Burying the Prop 37 Hatchet Dear Matt, thank you for your response a few weeks back in connection with Proposition 37. I appreciate your newspaper creating a public forum. This is very important, even if we don’t agree. Many newspapers have cut this out, except for online. If there’s ever going to be any healing in the world, people are going to have to learn to communicate. Your newspaper fosters this. Separately, I hope you change your paper to allow more guest articles, like the local daily does. Bryan Rosen Santa Barbara (Editor’s Note: Nice to hear from you again, Bryan. I agree that a public forum that provides for open communication and reasonable debate is a good thing, and am glad that you see that in the Sentinel (even if we disagree on a few issues!). As for “guest articles,” please know that we are always on the lookout for new and talented writers with interesting perspectives… and we hope to showcase more of them for SB in the coming weeks. Thanks for the note, Bryan, and please keep reading!– MSM)

E Pluribus Unum…Bro Editor-in-Chief – When historians state what caused the Decline and Fall of our Nation, it will be our Debt. Due to incompetent leadership, we have become the Greatest Debtor Nation in history. The Federal National Debt is now over $16.3 Trillion, and it will be $16.5 Trillion or more by January 20, 2013, a 4-year-increase of $5.9 Trillion or 55.6%, since the beginning of the Obama Administration; it’s increasing, uncontrolled, presently at $3.8 Billion, per day. Our Debt Ratio to Gross Domestic Product is over 106%, and projected to be 131% by 2016, a situation that economists advise cannot be sustained. The Yearly Interest on the Debt exceeds $256 Billion,

estimated to be $520 Billion in 2016. We are presently spending $3.8 Trillion, per year, and borrowing 38% for every Dollar spent. The Debt is projected to increase to over $22.7 Trillion in 2016, which would be a $12.1 Trillion or 114.1% increase, since January 2009. Demand our elected leaders take steps to control the debt and cease deficit spending, or it will be soon all over for our Nation, but the crying, yelling and dying. “Actum Est De Republica.” “Morituri Te Salutamus Politiciani.” H.T. Bryan Santa Barbara (Editor’s Note: Wow, H.T., there is a lot of doom and gloom in there. I actually had to look up your Latin phrases, which read “It’s All Over With the Republic” and “We Who Are About to Die Salute You, Politicians,” respectively. The bottom line is that I have not confirmed any of the numbers and statistics you cited but generally understand that (1) we have a massive federal debt, (2) it continues to climb and (3) the present fiscal circumstances are unsustainable. The fact that you point the proverbial finger at President Obama is interesting to me, since at least one major contributor to the debt problem is the fact that not one but two wars were started under his predecessor without any tax increases of any kind to support them. (Remember, wars cost money, a lot of money, and governments have typically raised that money by levying taxes and selling bonds to support the effort—but not this time.) There are other contributing factors, to be sure, but my thinking is that rather than pointing fingers and name-calling, we’d be wiser instead to focus on how best to solve the challenges that face us today. My confidence in our elected officials to get that done is waning in a political environment that places most of its emphasis on rhetoric and grandstanding rather than actually addressing the most pressing issues of the day head-on in a meaningful fashion. Anyway, here’s some Latin for you: E Pluribus Unum. My vote is to roll up the sleeves and work on getting back to that unifying principle and effecting positive change. Simply whining about the challenges in front of us is not just unproductive, it’s entirely un-American. Thanks for the note. – MSM) 

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r e s t a u r a n t unique mexican dining experience

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Opinion, stories, events, and people that shape Santa Barbara

Milpas on the Move Livingreen’s showroom, recently demolished by a van careening in reverse out of the parking lot of La Super-Rica.

By Sharon Byrne

Livingreen: Environmentalism That’s Healthy, Attractive, AND Convenient


he building trades are a major industry in the Milpas-Eastside area, a mecca for architects, builders, stone and marble yards, lumberyards, tile showrooms, and hardware stores plying everything from basic bolts to high-end fixtures guaranteed to produce spontaneous drool in the aspiring remodeler. A relatively new breed is springing up of green builders, designers and materials providers striving for sustainability and reuse. One of these, Livingreen, has a unique formula. I’d long been attracted to Livingreen from dropping in periodically with the intent of enlisting them into joining our latest community endeavor. I’d peruse the merchandise while waiting to speak to owner Ellen Strickland, and discover unusual finds, attractive wares, and great gift ideas. Livingreen offers environmentally-safe products, but you can forget gnarled gray hemp mats, lint tablecloths, weak cleaners, and ugly, utilitarian ‘stools’ hewn out of old railroad ties (ideal for a former-Soviet Union work camp, maybe) with astronomical price tags. The merchandise at Livingreen is hip, stylish, and affordable. Who knew environmentalism could be so sexy? I popped in to see Ellen after her showroom had been demolished by a van careening in reverse out of the parking lot of La Super-Rica, late at night. The damage was devastating: The police found the van up at the Bowl, but the driver had vanished, and nobody seems to know who he was. The investigation appears stalled, and the insurance company isn’t exactly leaping to settle the claim, leaving Ellen with large repairs, inventory to replace, and a lot of unexpected expense. It’s a disappointing turn of events for a business that’s worked hard to be a great community member. When I visited Ellen, the demolished windows had been boarded over, and the showroom put back together. Gone was one of my favorite displays – the sea glass collection of dinnerware made entirely out of recycled glass, in beautiful, delicate hues. Despite this disaster, Ellen surprised everyone on Milpas Street when she enthusiastically stepped up to help us get the holiday lights back up this year. While some of us might turn into a Grinch on the spot, Ellen was determined to support the neighborhood, despite her terrible loss.

Livingreen owner Ellen Strickland didn’t let the recent accident drop her spirits; she volunteered to help get the holiday lights on Milpas back up this year.

Holiday gift items at Livingreen, made of recycled materials. Ellen Strickland showing an ornament made out of recycled magazine materials.

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. showed me around the store, I couldn’t believe this same lively lady was once wheelchair-bound. As a designer, Ellen saw that a lot of products used in the design and building trades are quite toxic, and repeated exposure over time puts tradesmen at elevated risk. Livingreen carries paints, cleaners, building materials, furniture – even beds – that are top quality, nontoxic, and don’t aggravate chemical sensitivities or immune disorders. Being environmentally friendly doesn’t have to equate to being overly restrictive, or a constant downer. Environmentalism can be achieved if products are cost-effective, convenient, and attractive. Health and environmental benefits are an added bonus. In Ellen’s vision, living green just becomes easier overall for the consumer, a vision very evident in Livingreen’s offerings. I picked up great gifts for friends on my visit, including reclaimed-glass holiday lights. A very modern ceiling lamp, shaped into a twisting fish, was crafted from reclaimed wine barrel clamps from Arroyo Grande. She had a floor lamp, locally made from an old clothing rod, bike and computer parts, and a handmade lampshade. Non-toxic child finger-paints, dog beds filled with recycled polyfill, and recycled materials made into ornaments make convenient holiday gifts for friends. Livingreen is a must-see if you’re remodeling, decorating, trying to reduce health issues from environmental stressors, or looking for a unique gift for a friend this holiday. Livingreen’s always got a smile ready for you, and gorgeous goodies to peruse. From all of us on Milpas to Ellen… Happy Holidays, you community angel!

Santa Barbara’s Brush Goats by Tom Bird We were stunned at her generosity, and deeply moved by her community spirit. Her story inspired neighboring merchants to similarly step up to help get the holiday lights back up on Milpas. Neighbors like this are priceless in our community. She was upbeat on my visit, and related a fantastic story of how she came to be in this business. She’d had the usual start in environmentalism – active in the antinuclear proliferation movement of the ‘70s, working tables at environmental

state fairs, and so on. But it was her own desperate health struggles that moved her in a new direction. Ellen has multiple sclerosis, and was in a wheelchair 25 years ago. She made the connection that toxins in the environment can contribute to serious health issues. Cleaning up the exterior and interior environment in which we dwell can ease health problems. “How much is your health worth to you?” she asked herself. She started living it, and it worked. As she


ith brush fires always a threat, Santa Barbara View caught up with one of the region’s most unique businesses, Brush Goats 4 Hire. Lorraine Argo and Ian Newsam run the company that uses goats to help clear vegetation in areas susceptible to fires. “We were running cattle on a private ranch in the Santa Ynez Valley, however half of the acreage was brush and not suitable for cattle consumption,” said Lorraine when asked how they got started. “The landowner asked us to run goats on his land to convert some the brush into

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Brush Goats 4 Hire offers an eco-friendly alternative to brush thinning or land restoration needs, among other uses.

Ray Estrada

Ray Estrada is a writer, editor and media consultant who has worked for newspapers, radio news, wire services and online publications for the past 40 years. He has taught journalism at the University of Southern California and now runs his own consulting business based in Santa Barbara.

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Ultimate Bagels, 1226 State St., which have no new tenants yet. And, Café Blu, 506 State St., has closed. It opened last June.

South Coast Accounting Firm Honored Again S

pasture land. We agreed, started Brush Goats 4 Hire and learned a lot through the good ol’ school of hard knocks, eventually finding the best methods for our area. We started helping family and friends with their weed abatement and restoration projects. Our business began to grow, primarily through word of mouth.”

So What About The Goats…


oats have the largest livers of all the ruminants and therefore can process plants that would be deemed as toxic to other livestock. This includes Cape Ivy and Poison Oak. Contrary to popular belief, goats are relatively selective in what they will consume. Sorry, no tin cans. Therefore, using target browsing, we rotate the herds through smaller pens to ensure that they eat not only the ‘candy’ plants, but also the less favorable ‘broccoli’ foliage.” “We have found that Boer, Kiko and Spanish goats and crosses of such are best fit for brush clearance. We sometimes acquire goats that have been slated for slaughter (wethers, which are male castrated goats), so we offer a reprieve from such a fate. However, to be a brush goat can be more difficult than being a stabled or pastured animal in the sense that it is a life closer to nature. This closeness to nature exposes the livestock to predators and fluctuations in feed, the effects of which can be mitigated by predator control dogs and free choice nutritional supplements. However, eating brush can be healthier for goats than cut hay. Also, moving up and down our Santa Barbara hills and canyons helps with muscle strength and stamina, versus standing around in a pen waiting at the gate for the next flake of alfalfa. We had a brush goat doe (female) give birth to triplets at age nineteen. So there is something to be said about being a brush goat.” The company and the goats have taken on some high-profile local projects including: the Santa Barbara Bowl, Casa Dorinda, Cate School, several sites for the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Department, Saint Mary’s Retreat House, and the Tunnel Road Trailhead for the Mission Canyon Association. However, their services are not just for large businesses or government agencies, they can be retained by private land owners, home owner’s associations, and all businesses who want fire fuels reduction, brush thinning, invasive weed removal/eradication or land restoration needs. For more information, call (805) 7052554 or visit

Business Beat By Ray Estrada

State Street Scoop


hoppers who stroll down the South Coast’s best-known commercial district this holiday season will see some new businesses, the departure of several that failed, as well as some of the same storefronts that have been vacant for several years. Perhaps the most interesting changes on State Street this year are on the 700 block. The recent opening of Le Relais de Paris, 734 State St., fills the three-year vacancy left by the closure of the popular salsa dancing spot Ruby’s Café. The new, white-linen eatery serves a late night Parisian dinner. Sadly, the new late-night dining spot comes as the transplanted Mimosa French restaurant closes at 714 State St. Mimosa moved from De la Vina Street earlier this year. Another addition to the 700 block is the Salt Cave, 740 State St., which offers treatments, massages, beauty and bath supplies, jewelry and other items. The storefront next door, which housed a Halloween shop until last month, remains vacant. Alas, the former Left at Albuquerque spot at the corner of State and Gutierrez streets looks the same as it did three years ago when the restaurant closed. Panera Bread is supposed to move in sometime in the New Year. Across the street, the defunct Snack Shop, which lasted about two months, remains without a new tenant at 700 State St. In one of the more bizarre business developments on State Street this year, the former site of Sharkeez Baja Cantina may not open under its new name, Santa Barbara Cantina, because its owner is in jail facing 13 felony charges. The district attorney’s office filed charges against Michael John Stinchfield, 55, who has been accused of hate crimes and sexual abuse. Stinchfield had been renovating the former Sharkeez until his recent arrest for trying to elude police in a high-speed chase. He later was arrested for the other charges he faces. Meanwhile, at 411 State St., La Aroma de Havana Cigar Lounge has opened in what used to be a boutique. The former Zia’s Café, 532 State St., appears to be showing signs of life after being closed

for more than three years. The former Michael Stars clothing shop, 613 State St., soon will open as Hats Unlimited, and they are hiring workers. Looking at the malls on State Street, shoppers will find only one vacancy each in Paseo Nuevo and La Arcada. That’s quite a turnaround from a couple of years ago. Changes on the 900 block include the seasonal Yes Store, 930 State St., which will close after Christmas, and the renamed Good Cup coffee shop, 918 State St., which used to be Café Zoma and before that North Star Café. However, the former sites of Z Gallerie, 915 State St., and Taj Café Indian eatery, 905 State St. remain vacant. Other closed restaurants include the East Sushi & Thai, 1208 State St., and

anta Barbara’s largest locally based accounting firm, Bartlett, Pringle & Wolf, LLP, has been named as one of the “Best Accounting Firms to Work For” by Accounting Today magazine for the second time. BPW is the only firm on the Central Coast to make the list and one out of 10 firms in California to be so honored, company officials said.  The list is made up of 100 companies. Accounting firms across the country participated in a survey, which consisted of an employee questionnaire to measure the workers’ experience, and an evaluation of the firm’s workplace policies, practices, philosophy, systems and demographics. The combined scores determined the top firms. BPW is ranked among the mediumsized companies group. The complete list and rankings will be released in Accounting Today’s December issue. 

Up-and-Comings Saturday

The wonders of the world brought closer to home: A National Geographic photographer, Mattias Klum of Sweden, will come to UCSB’s Campbell Hall at 3 pm to present a lecture about his travels to the most remote corners of the globe and stress sustainability in the new and ever-interconnected world we all live in. To buy tickets, visit, or call the box office at (805) 893-3535.


Light up a life: Hospice of Santa Barbara hosts its annual 29th annual Light Up A Life Celebration to celebrate the lives and memories of loved ones by accepting donations and lighting up a memorial tree. Much in the spirit of the holidays, this event brings the past and present together in the most touching of ways and in the true spirit of giving as we look to the New Year ahead. PJ’s Hallmark in the Camino Real Marketplace and the Lobero Theatre will be selling stars on site in December. For more information, call (805) 563-8820. For a full list of activities in Santa Barbara this weekend, click on over to SBView. com. You can also submit an event for free.

Licensed, Bonded and Insured 


License # 936794

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...with the SBPD

A variety of crimes are committed every day in Santa Barbara; most of these crimes are petty but they do offer a window into if not the soul of the perpetrator, at least his or her thought process. Our following (and totally unsolicited) thoughts, observations, and comments are put forth for your consideration.

Hapless Holiday Happenings


hanksgiving. It’s a special time each year to gather with family and friends and give thanks for the bounty of mutual love and respect between us. A time to rejoice with good food and good drink prepared honestly, with care and tradition and much revelry. Yes indeed, Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of the year, remarkable for its simple virtue and casual festivity. Most of the time, anyway. The fact is that all this love and togetherness often pairs with a fair amount of liquor – and the results are not exactly something to be thankful for. Domestic disputes skyrocket at this time of year as ancient disagreements between brothers and sisters and cousins and uncles and husbands and wives rear their often ugly heads. Fights and DUIs spike, and drunks on the streets remain a constant problem. Nothing changed this year over the Thanksgiving holiday. There were good times, for sure, but there were bad times too. Wouldn’t it be nice to make it through the holidays this year without so much crime and debauchery? Keep dreaming. And pass the turkey.

Redneck Rampage

CRIME: A 31-year-old homeless man in a shelter started arguing with another shelter-dweller at around noon on Thanksgiving. When he was asked to leave, the man refused and was eventually escorted out by a security guard. Once on the sidewalk, the (white) man turned to the (black) security guard and yelled, “I’m going to kill you, n*%$#@!” as he pulled out a knife and took a “fighting stance.” SBPD was called and the man was arrested for hate crimes and brandishing a weapon, among other charges.

OBSERVATION: This kind of crime is disgusting and intolerable anywhere but perhaps especially here in Santa Barbara, where we pride ourselves on being generally open and accepting. There are exceptions to this, of course, but we are a pretty tolerant corner of the world. And that’s a good thing, generally. But there must be limits. This type of behavior cannot be tolerated. Neither can the ever-expanding population of young and abusive bums pissing all over State Street and smoking crack in the city parks. It’s time, as a tolerant and reasonable community, to put an end to this nonsense. And we’re not afraid to say it. COMMENT: With the foregoing comments in mind, first, if you are 31 and homeless, you have likely made a series of bad choices. Go get clean or seek the help you may need. The services are there. Stop making excuses, take control and responsibility for your life and go get a job. Second, if you are 31 and homeless, don’t be such an asshole to those people who are trying to help you out on a holiday. Show some respect and you just might get some in return. Third, and last, to all of you who give money to panhandlers and sympathize so much with the plight of the young homeless, think about this guy the next time you reach for some change. We’re not saying all homeless are like him but some (or more) are and seem quite emboldened these days, and you’re only feeding the problem. Period.

Stuck on the Throne CRIME: A 56-year-old Carpinteria resident was too drunk to get off the toilet at a State Street gas station on Thanksgiving and was detained for public intoxication.

OBSERVATION: Wow, that must’ve been one hell of a Thanksgiving feast. Maybe next year

this guy should consider bran muffins instead of Hawaiian sweet rolls to mop up all that gravy. Or lay off the third helping of candied yams with pecans. Or maybe he should just lay off that eighteenth beer or twelfth glass of wine. (On second thought, we recommend going with the bran muffins. Just stay the night after dinner and sleep all that booze off.)

COMMENT: Imagine being 56 years old and too drunk to get off of a gas station toilet while

the cops are there, doing everything they can to avoid having to pick you up, wipe your ass and take you to jail. Now imagine having to wake up in the drunk tank the next morning with a debilitating hangover next to a dry (and probably half-eaten) baloney sandwich, only to be forced to face the very same officers that arrested you eight hours earlier. Now imagine you’re a woman. One word: Horrifyingly humiliating. (Oops, that’s two.)

Moronic Movie Mayhem CRIME: A bunch of Thanksgiving families were gleefully enjoying a film at Fiesta Five on State when a drunk and disorderly 45-year-old transient broke into the theater and began

drinking and harassing patrons. The man was repeatedly asked to leave but didn’t until he was escorted out and detained for public intoxication by SBPD – but that happened only after the guy fell directly on top of a number of terrified moviegoers.

OBSERVATION: Here we go again, another disrespectful drunken homeless guy. Imagine taking your excited kids to a movie on newly holiday-decorated State Street over the long weekend, and having to explain to them that the stinky drunk guy who just fell on top of them didn’t mean any harm. Or that police officers wrestling with an obnoxious filthy moron in the movie theater is perfectly normal. We’d almost rather talk about the birds and the bees. (Almost.) COMMENT: We get it, homeless folks. Life is hard. (It’s hard for those of us with jobs and homes, too, but we digress.) You have problems. (So do those of use with jobs and homes, but we digress.) You demand services and generally get them (or at least have them available). But then you go out and defiantly deface our beautiful city, harass local businessowners and generally have no respect for law and order or your generally accommodating neighbors. So why should we keep wasting time and effort and money providing services to you? Why shouldn’t we just pass incredibly strong legislation outlawing the types of activities in which you openly and brazenly engage and then assign a task force to strictly enforce them all day every day? Yeah, we might spend more money incarcerating all of you in the short run, but our feeling is that you’d eventually leave the area if all you ever did was sit in jail instead of on State Street and our local beaches. So maybe we’d do better that way. Don’t get us wrong, that’s probably not the best solution – not by a long shot – but the homeless community must make a serious effort to clean up its act at this point. People say it takes two to tango, and our perspective is that the only people dancing right now are the advocates and sympathizers. It’s time for the transients themselves to step up to the plate and start being a part of the solution rather than worsening the problem. Ok, all right. We’ll get off the soapbox. There’s so much more to talk about. Like the young (underage) UCSB student from Santa Rosa who mumbled to cops that he was “walking to IV” from State Street at 2:30 am and then vomited all over himself. (Twice.) Or the lunatic gang member who threatened security at the Wildcat, telling them that he knows “where they live” just before being slammed and arrested. (How tough.) Or the 48-year-old SB resident who was found passed out in the gutter on Garden Street (seriously). Or the 43-year-old crack head who smoked a big crack rock and then called police to turn himself in on outstanding warrants that didn’t exist. (When SBPD told him that they couldn’t bring him in on any warrant charges, he told officers that he would “rob someone for crack” if he wasn’t taken to jail… and he was locked up. Remember that crack head on Chappelle’s Show? Classic.) We can keep going… but it’s time to stop. Happy Thanksgiving everybody, even despite the foregoing. The bottom line is that we had a great holiday and hope you did too. Be good out there this week… Christmas and New Years are coming soon! 


A caller who wishes to remain anonymous reported that a jewelry and gold/silver emporium on upper State Street was the victim of some “highly sophisticated” criminals. Sort of. CRIME: A couple guys (at least) backed their truck through the front of the small shop at around 3:40 am on November 28, 2012, in an apparent effort to loop a fire hose tied to the bumper around the super heavy duty safe and drag it down State Street. (Imagine the inconspicuous get-away involving a rooster-tail of sparks and dreadful high-pitched squealing.) But when they backed the truck up, they pushed furniture and loads of other stuff against the safe, thereby rendering any such plan unworkable. (It wouldn’t have worked anyway given the nature of the safe.) They took off completely empty-handed after the alarm went off. OBSERVATION: Even though these would-be thieves got nothing, they destroyed antique display cases and caused a huge amount of damage to the store itself. COMMENT: It’s hard to know what to say to something like this…these masterminds literally annihilated a long time local shop and got nothing for it. Tell the cops if you know anything about what happened and let’s hope for some justice here. And hey, outlaws, stop driving vehicles into businesses—it almost never actually gets you anything of consequence and causes a big mess.

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Come join us Thursday December 6th for first Thursday Art Walk 5pm - 8pm 20% of sales will be donated to Lobero Theatre

Olga’s brothers, Eddie (above) and Hector Villarreal, also donated from El Potrillo Western Wear. (Hey Eddie, el foto esta bien, hombre, y ya lo sabe que “Potrillo” significa “Little Horse,” pero gracias para la translacion.)

The effort paid off, and ultimately around 100 businesses raised the money that was needed. The decorations and lights were installed, and they were lit on November 28. Just in time, too…the 59th Annual Milpas Holiday Parade is only two weeks away.

A Tree for Milpas? “I’m glad to see the lights up,” John Dixon told me as we walked toward the front of Tri-County, “I think it will lift holiday spirits for everybody traveling Milpas and be a real benefit to Santa Barbara at-large. Maybe next we will try to raise money for a big Christmas tree for the roundabout.” I hope you will, Santos and John and everybody else who helped make Milpas more beautiful this holiday season, and I hope you’ll call the Sentinel when the time comes. This is just the type of community story that needs to be told, and we are thrilled to be a part of it. Congratulations to everybody, and Merry Christmas to you all.

Stuff I Like I generally enjoy booze. (Not too much, don’t worry kids.) I especially enjoy trying cocktails that are new to me, even if they are old classics that one doesn’t see much of anymore. Unfortunately, pouring a proper cocktail was, until fairly recently, a lost art. But I am thrilled to see that art returning with a vengeance in hipster bars and restaurants all over the nation. Very cool.

That’s why I will be participating in the Second Annual Celebration of Prohibition Repeal Day in Santa Barbara on Wednesday, December 5. Featured bars include Roy, Cadiz and the Wildcat, and each will be offering its spin on five vintage cocktails. Discounts and special deals are available to revelers in vintage garb so consider dressing up (especially if you’re broke). This is going to be fun. The celebration begins at around 5:30 pm. Check out

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I also like music. My wife and I had season tickets to the symphony in SF before we returned to SB many years ago, and I truly loved getting into that comfortable chair and falling asleep to some gorgeous piece played beautifully in Davies Symphony Hall. That’s why I am excited for the young musicians of Santa Barbara Strings to play their Winter Concert on Sunday, December 9, at 6pm, at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Barbara. This should be a fun show, so come out and support art education and some amazing kids. Go to for details. Finally, Santa Barbara Symphony will do its annual New Year’s Eve Pops Concert at The (Beautiful) Granada Theatre on December 31. I haven’t been, frankly, but have heard it’s great. (Think Broadway, Hollywood, Gershwin and more.) Tickets go quickly so hurry up and call the SB Symphony Office at 805.898.9386, or check out See you there. 

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Introducing the Bernardaud Holiday Collection

by James Buckley Jim founded the Montecito Journal some 17

years ago. He is an avid golfer who currently sports a 12.5 SCGA handicap index. His goal in life is to get that index into the single digits, even if for only a two-week period

The Orient-Express’ El Encanto To Open Soon

Coast 2 Coast Collection La Arcada Courtyard 1114 State Street, Suite 10 ~ Santa Barbara, CA 93101 Phone: 805.845.7888 ~ Store Hours: Mon-Sat 10am-6pm & Sunday Noon-5pm El Encanto is still very much a construction site, but neighbors and eager potential guests have only a few more months before the hotel is ready to settle down and become an integral part of the Riviera neighborhood it inhabits.


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he wait and the noise and the inconvenience of the ongoing construction that has devoured the quadrangle between Lasuen and Mission Ridge, better known to most people as El Encanto (“The Enchanted” or “Charming”), is almost over at the nearly 100-year-old hotel now occupying 7 ½ acres of prime Riviera real estate. Its 92 “keys” have all been remodeled and updated at a cost approaching $70 million. Add the $26 million cost of the property, and we’re talking something over $90 million, or nearly a million dollars per room. Which, you should know, is no longer an uncommon price for an iconic and/or luxurious “name” hotel. It does, however, require a different price structure. Fortunately, interest rates are lower now than they have been for decades, so those reduced borrowing costs may be reflected in lower room rates. Or not. Estimates are that a room at El Encanto should go for somewhere around $700 a night, with the one-bedroom and two-bedroom cottages and suits going for $1200 and up, depending upon demand and the season. These are our estimates and not those of El Encanto or OrientExpress management. In addition to the cottages and other rooms, the main building has been completely rebuilt with an enhanced patio featuring full-on and expansive views of the city of Santa Barbara below out to the Pacific Ocean and the Channel Islands in the distance.

Kicking The Tires Plans call for a “soft” opening in March and a Grand Opening in May or June. The soft opening is for the hotel’s new owner – Orient-Express – to inspect and inhabit the rooms, the cottages, the dining room, the pool, the patio, to walk the brick paths, to amble around the Wisteria-festooned lily pond, to make sure the waterfall works and the pond pump functions properly. An army of Orient-Express staffers from around the world will be there to see that the valet parking service to the two underground parking garages runs smoothly, that the electric carts designed to carry guests and their luggage to their assigned quarters work, that the elaborate non-scalable wall and hedges surrounding the 25-ft x 57-ft pool are safe and effective. They’ll check the beds and bedding, the airconditioning and the heating. Toilets will be flushed and re-flushed, coffee will be made, microwave ovens will be used and graded. Fireplaces will be lit. The restaurant can accommodate 60 diners inside, with an additional 14 in the glass-walled private dining room that looks out onto the dining room. The patio can handle at least as many and during most of the year, that patio will be a favored choice, at least for breakfast and lunch. Since one of the requirements from the Planning Department and the Historical Committee was that the main building’s footprint not change, the architects devised a way

1 3 3 E A S T D E L A G U E R R A S T R E E T | N O.1 8 2 | S A N TA B A R B A R A  Montecito real-estate agent Wes St. Clair (right) joined Orient-Express founder Jim Sherwood at an intimate Birnam Wood gathering. Mr. Sherwood is holding his recently published book, Orient-Express, A Personal Journey, available on amazon. com.

of digging into the hillside to expand the dining facilities. By doing so, El Encanto will now be able to handle events for up to 220 participants.

Founder and CEO Emeritus Orient-Express founder Jim Sherwood and his wife, Shirley, spent a long weekend a couple weeks ago at the Montecito home of Sheila and Frank McGinity. Sherwood is the man that negotiated the purchase of El Encanto from the Friden family when then-owner Eric Friden passed away after a fatal polo accident during a practice match at the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club in Carpinteria. That was in 2004, and now, eight years later, the Sherwoods were here to inspect their purchase after having spent over $90 million buying and improving it. Dr. Shirley Sherwood is a noted collector of botanical paintings. The prestigious Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art in London’s Kew Gardens is the first gallery in the world dedicated solely to botanical art. Mrs. Sherwood’s doctorate from Oxford is in biochemistry. She was a member of a small team of ten that worked on the research that led to the development and marketing of Tagamet, one of the bestselling drugs of all time. It was an effort that led to a Nobel Prize in Medicine for Sir James Black, the man that led the team. Jim Sherwood’s interest in the hotel business began circuitously, as his early career featured his being among the first to introduce containers to the shipping world. Before Malcolm McLean converted his ships to container ships, they were all laden by hand, a time-consuming and expensive proposition. From that, Sherwood founded Sea Containers Ltd., and began buying his own containers and leasing them to shipping companies. Sea Containers Ltd. grew and went public in 1969. In 1976, with his company operating in 80 countries, Sherwood decided that he had too many of his eggs in the sea container basket and looked for ways to diversify. His purchase of the Hotel Cipriano in Venice for 900,000 British pounds began his foray into hotels. When the Orient-Express train stopped operations in 1977, he bought the old first-class railroad cars, refurbished them, and restarted the London-Paris-Venice Orient-Express route to extraordinary press and much success. It didn’t hurt that at the end of the line in Venice his Cipriano hotel was available for railroad passengers to spend the night.

He recently sold the shipping business (for a reported $2 billion) and today the Orient-Express empire consists of hotels, luxury trains, river cruises and more. Its newest holding, or at least its latest opening, will be El Encanto when it joins the 50 other iconic hotels in the company’s treasure chest of highly rated first-class hotels.

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Still A Construction Site The 100 underground parking spaces ensure that no automobile traffic interrupts the bucolic surroundings. The waterfall is in working order once again, as is the lily pond and the streamlets of re-circulating water emanating from the waterfall. The entire property is Wi-Fi friendly and there are access points throughout the canvas, so there shouldn’t be any drop-offs anywhere on the property. All the heating and cooling equipment has been placed in a separate area; noise from the equipment has been over 70% mitigated, and underground heating and cooling ducts will bring temperature control to each individual unit with absolutely no sound. Doors between rooms and bathrooms are extra thick and all the walls are double-walled constructed inside with air pockets between each wall. There is virtually no sound from room to room. Architecture and plantings are combined to give the entire property a contiguous feel. Project Manager James Jones gives high marks to Courtney Miller of Katie O’Reilly Rogers’ Landscape team. Cottages still have names rather than numbers, such as Wishing Well, Honeysuckle, Camellia, Ivy, Pepper Tree, Palm, Olive Tree, etc. With a soft opening still nearly four months away, El Encanto remains very much a construction site. But, it is beginning to take its final shape. Project Manager Jones says during a short tour along with the Sherwoods that now he and his team are “polishing the jewel and adding the finishing touches.” And a jewel it is. After the soft opening in March, and after staffers share information and observations, make recommendations, suggest changes, point out the flaws, efficiencies and deficiencies, and everything is corrected, El Encanto will open to the public and begin receiving paying guests. When that happens, the hotel will once again be a live and thriving part of the Santa Barbara scene. See you on the patio. 

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Powered by Presidio Sports is a provider of local sports news and information for the Santa Barbara community. Founded in 2008, the small team at Presidio has covered hundreds of local sporting events and published thousands of articles connected to Santa Barbara’s athletic community. Please visit their website for more local sports news and information.

Kyle & Jeff Petersilia Awarded at SBART Luncheon By John Dvorak

Jeff and Kyle Petersilia, co-Sports Person of the Month.


yle and Jeff Petersilia were honored at Monday’s Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheon as coSports Person of the Month. A familiar sight on the San Marcos football sidelines, Kyle and Jeff have always been a big part of the local football community since they were students at San Marcos in the 1990s. Former Royals head coach Bob Archer recalled his experience with the Petersilias with fondness. “They came out and wanted to help anywhere they could. So they were managers, they were assistant coaches, they were whistle blowers, they were towel swingers... Whatever needed to be done, they were so enthusiastic about doing it,” Archer said. There have been newer head coaches at San Marcos but the Petersilias have remained constant. “It’s not like they’ve come lately to do this, they’ve been doing this sixteen to seventeen years,” noted award presenter and Round Table board member Dave Pintard. Kyle and Jeff also frequently help out at SBCC football and San Marcos basketball games. As a result of their continuous commitment to Royals athletics, they have received numerous San Marcos spirit awards through the years.

SBART Athletes of the Week


os Pueblos cross country runner Max Davis and UCSB volleyball player Leah Sully were recognized as Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table Athletes of the Week at Monday’s press luncheon held

Santa Barbara has been chosen to be a host city for the Amgen Tour of California cycling stage race.

UCSB volleyball player Leah Sully had 558 kills this season, fifth most in UCSB history.

at Harry’s Café. Davis placed 12th in the Division 2 race at Saturday’s State Championships in Fresno. The senior helped lead Dos Pueblos to a fourth-place finish, the best in school history. Davis was timed at 15:39 on the 3.1-mile course. Sully finished her season on a high note, collecting 25 kills and 19 digs in UCSB’s five-set victory over UC Irvine in the season finale. Sully closed out the year with seven-straight double-doubles and 15 in her last 16 matches. Sully’s 558 kills for the season are the fifth most in UCSB history. Honorable Mentions include Bryan Fernandez, Dos Pueblos Cross Country; Preston Branson, Westmont Basketball; Sweets Underwood, UCSB Basketball; Esther Lee, Westmont Basketball; Lexy

Dos Pueblos cross country runner Max Davis.

Gulden/Olivera Tadijin, Santa Barbara High Tennis.

Amgen Tour Returns to Santa Barbara


or the first time since 2008, Santa Barbara has been named a host city for the Amgen Tour of California cycling stage race. One of 12 host cities, Santa Barbara will serve as the finishing site for Stage 4, which begins in Santa Clarita, and the beginning of Stage 5, which finishes in Avila Beach. For the first time, the race will run south to north, beginning in Escondido on May 12 and finishing in Santa Rosa on May 19. Cyclists will pedal into Santa Barbara on Wednesday, May 15 and leave on

Thursday, May 16. The Tour of California has becomes cycling’s most important North American race and continues to draw global attention as one of the most anticipated cycling events in the world – one that attracts Olympic medalists, World Champions and the top Tour de France competitors. “I’m very excited to hear about the new south to north route for the 2013 Amgen Tour of California,” said Chris Horner, 2011 Amgen Tour of California champion, in a statement. “After growing up in San Diego, I love seeing the race back on the roads I’ve ridden for the past twenty-five years. Being welcomed by thousands of fans in Escondido in 2009 was a highlight of my career, and I’m sure the crowds will be even more amazing for the 2013 edition. The Amgen Tour of California is one of my favorite races of the year, and I’m already looking forward to battling it out on the California roads again this May!”

Press Luncheon: Moore Touts Community Feeling


estmont men’s basketball coach John Moore likes to work the room at the weekly Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table press luncheons after patiently listening to all the other coaches’ reports and award presentations before him. On Monday Moore came last, starting with the day’s best one-liner after getting perfectly set up by UCSB women’s basketball assistant Heather Zurich.

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Westmont basketball coach Kirsten Moore reports on her team from the podium at Harry’s with daughter Alexis Renee.

Talking about Gauchos head coach Carlene Mitchell, Zurich mentioned keeping 11 women happy. “Let me be clear, it’s tough to keep one woman happy,” quipped Moore as he approached the podium. He then congratulated Phil Womble Award recipient Duncan Gordon, Carpinteria High School Coach of the Year Henry Gonzalez, and co-Sports Person of the Month Kyle and Jeff Petersilia. Moore even got in a zinger at Carpinteria boys basketball coach Johnny Ward. There was a running theme of community in his address, underlined by his acknowledgment of the passing of Kirsten Moore’s husband in May. Kirsten Moore was at the luncheon for the first time this winter to report on her 7-0 Warriors. With her was baby daughter Alexis Renee.

John Moore was still in the Thanksgiving mood and thanked the athletic community, especially the Westmont family, for their support of Kirsten Moore. “What we’ve done to come around Kirsten is a real tribute to who we are as a community and who we’re supposed to be as a community,” Moore said. On the court, Moore’s men’s team is also off to a terrific start with a 6-1 record and a No. 8 national NAIA ranking. “This is a great time to come watch the Warriors play. Both the men and women are going to be very good this year,” Moore said. With high school basketball starting competition this week, both of Carpinteria and Santa Barbara High’s teams were represented. Each has their first games this week. “It’s really hard to talk about a team or a season when you haven’t played a game,” said Santa Barbara boys head coach David Bregante. Carpinteria girls coach Dan Mercer gave a taste of what was going to be his season-opening pre-game speech about the importance of Title-IX’s legacy. It must have been good as the Warriors began their season later that night with a 49-21 victory. Dons girls coach Andrew Butcher was another basketball coach making his first luncheon appearance of the 2012-13 season, bringing with him his trademark sweater and witty humor. After introducing players Ivette Gil, Desirea Coleman and Melissa Lemus,

Butcher reported that recent alum Tess Emerson is seeing increased playing time at Pepperdine this year and was just named to the Thanksgiving Classic All-Tournament Team. “We don’t have games yet in high school so we’ll live off the laurels of our past players,” Butcher said.

Weekend Sports Calendar By Barry Punzal


inter sports season arrives like a lion this weekend for area high schools. The first weekend of the season is heavy with boys and girls basketball games and soccer matches. Among the marquee prep events is the Bishop Diego at Carpinteria girls soccer match on Friday. Also on Friday, the Dos Pueblos girls soccer team, featuring one of the best players in the county in USC commit Rachel Smith, opens at home against Thousand Oaks. Santa Barbara High’s boys basketball team tips off against Oxnard. The Dons will be looking to beat the Yellowjackets for the first time in five years, said coach David Bregante. FRIDAY Girls basketball: Santa Barbara, Dos Pueblos at Lompoc Tournament – Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table player of the year Ivette Gil returns to lead Andy Butcher’s Dons. Former boys coach Phil Sherman returns to the bench as coach of the

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Charger girls. Girls soccer: Bishop Diego at Carpinteria, 5 pm – The area rivals open the season with new coaches. Former Dos Pueblos High star Tessa Binkley takes over at Bishop Diego and Charles Bryant is the new coach at Carpinteria. Bryant, who played soccer at UCSB in the mid-1980s, coached the Warriors girls tennis team to a CIF title in the fall. Girls soccer: Thousand Oaks at Dos Pueblos, 5 pm – With several returning players from a CIF playoff team, the Chargers have high expectations this season. Boys basketball: Oxnard at Santa Barbara, 7 pm – The Dons open the season with a lot of new faces. The team has only one starter returning from the team that made the CIF playoffs last year. SATURDAY Women’s basketball: St. Mary’s at UCSB, 2 pm – Carlene Mitchell’s Gauchos take on the Gaels of the West Coast Conference. St. Mary’s, coming off a 22-win season, is picked to finish third in the WCC. SUNDAY Running: Santa Claus Run, 8 am – A 5K run and 1K kids fun run has moved from its previous State Street location to La Cumbre Plaza this year. Runners are encouraged to participate in Santa Claus costumes and the first 100 registered runners will be provided with a free Santa suit, ensuring a jolly event. The race benefits Kidz For a Cure. 

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You Have Your Hands Full

“We need to talk with you Mrs. Peters. What, exactly, is going on in your house?” They’d be thinking bad things to themselves. Things far worse than what actually happens in my house. “Charlie where on earth did you hear that?” I tried to stay calm but he was reading me right; I was freaking out. “Teddy,” he said calmly.

play with building blocks or stuffed animals. He follows his older siblings like a mini-me, pretending to be 11, 9 and 7, typically all at the same time. Which leads me right back to that seven year old. I cornered him after school and demanded why he was telling Charlie what sexy meant. I was so mad I couldn’t see straight. “Teddy, what are you doing talking to Charlie about sexy? What else have you been telling him?” “MOM, you’re not listening,” he protested. “I told him first off, sexy is a very inappropriate thing to say – ESPECIALLY AT SCHOOL.” “Did you also tell him what inappropriate means?” I asked sarcastically. “Mom, how dumb do you think he is? He already knows.” He threw his hands up, exasperated.

The Older Sibling Syndrome

Korean Rappers Do It Gangnam Style

So there you have it. The answer to why I’ve heard whispers and watched knowing side glances for years when I’d ask someone about a new friend of one of my kids. “He’s nice, but he has older siblings. You know what I mean, don’t you? A little too… aware.” To be honest, I never got it. I’d always argue for the bigger family. The sibling influence, in my book, is essential in raising a happy, well-adjusted family. So Charlie doesn’t watch Elmo or Thomas. He doesn’t

We were walking together toward the house where the other kids were huddled around the computer in the kitchen watching “Gangnam Style,” the most watched video on You Tube ever – over 800 million views. The song plays incessantly on 103.3 and 104.7, and it’s on television constantly, including on NFL Sunday and ESPN. It’s everywhere all the time, 24/7 – the Korean rapper (I think that’s what you’d call him) with his break out dance moves simulating horse riding (again, I think that’s accurate), done repeatedly while belting out, “Hey, Sexy Lady!” There is just no getting away from it. Charlie had opted for a cowboy hat as he loped around the kitchen island mimicking the outrageous dance. He wiggled his hips like Michael Jackson. He pouted like Mick Jagger. He roped on his pretend horse like Billy the Kid. Charlie was in heaven, singing at the top of his lungs “Hey, Sexy Laaaddy!” Teddy and I both watched from the sidelines. “You can get mad but we have

by Mara Peters Former editor for the fashion/lifestyle section of the New York

Post, Mara moved to London and worked as a contributing editor for the Daily Mail’s You Magazine, freelancing for Look Magazine, NY Post and the Style Magazine for The Sunday Times. To remain sane during diaper years she writes a mommy blog, You Have Your Hands Full –

The Miseducation of Charlie Peters


ey Mom, I know what sexy means,” my three-year-old told me matter-of-factly as I drove him to pre-school. Had I not been on the 101 I’d have pulled over to the side of the road. But, things being what they were, I had to settle for a quick look over my shoulder to gauge his face – a bit smug. Confident. “Oh yeah?” I said, playing it off, “And what exactly do you think it means, Charlie?” He got a little giggly. A glance in the rear view mirror showed he was even pink in the cheeks. “Umm, when you see a really pretty girl and you think she is cute,” then he paused, briefly, and whispered under his breath, “…and you want to kiss her.” A bit stunned, I turned around to catch a full look and we came close to becoming another statistic on the highway as I almost rear-ended the car in front of me. I had a flash of Charlie at his posh school telling his latest best friend McKenna that she was sexy. I’d come in for pick-up, get the stern look from all the teachers and the dreaded,

American Beauty Supply Salon & Gifts Santa Barbara’s Finest

Three-year-old Charlie Peters, preparing to go Gangnam Style.

been playing ‘Gangnam Style’ for like two weeks now. I thought he needed to know what he was singing about,” Teddy explained quite reasonably. He wasn’t even defensive.

It Takes A Village He had me. After all, I had been watching their antics and laughing right along with them. There was not much more to do other than retreat, reflect and regroup. And that is when I recognized the conundrum. Alpha and I are not the only “parents” raising Charlie. Jackson sleeps with him when he gets nightmares, Olivia cuddles him when I give him a time out, and Teddy sneaks him treats from the snack cupboard. We’re all raising him. And, the truth is, I think they are doing a hell of a job. So as I watch him unabashedly gyrating to the latest Korean sensation (to the applause of the household), I can’t help but giggle, even laugh. He is definitely exposed to some inappropriate things – that’s the downside. But if he’s going to get kicked out of preschool, at least he’ll be going out Gangnam Style. 

Peters’ Pick

A One Stop Shop For Christmas

No, that’s not some remote desert… that’s Teddy and Olivia Peters enjoying a late afternoon surfing the Oceano Dunes in Pismo Beach.

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Grab your boogey boards, sun hats and definitely a towel for the sand. And make sure to bring your four-wheel drive. Oceano Dunes in Pismo Beach is one insane ride. 200-foot dunes as far as the eye can see – the landscape is more Dubai than Southern California. Surf on boards, tumble or race down the dunes. (Just remember you also have to climb back up.) It’s the perfect chance to let your kids ride on the roof and get behind the wheel. Do expect to come home with sand in the ears, the hair, even in-between your toes. Oh, there’ll also be sand in your teeth since you won’t be able to protect them; you’ll be smiling all day long.

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weekend guide

What: 60th Annual Downtown Holiday Parade: A Diamond Holiday Where: State Street (Sola Street down to Cota) When: Friday, November 30, 6:30pm Why: Marching bands, festive holiday floats and a visit from Santa himself are sure to get you in the holiday spirit. How: ‘Tis the season to be jolly.

By Briana Westmacott

Beads, Brass, Brilliance… Oh My!


ren’t we lucky that our yellow brick road leads right to Santa Barbara? This is truly a magical land painted colorfully with stunning mountains, striking beaches and an abundance of talented people. One of those talented people is local girl Michelle Ruggles, the owner, designer and producer of The Hand of Oz Jewelry. Each Hand of Oz piece is handcrafted and unique – absolutely no two are the same – and always inspired by the surrounding area beauty. Michelle emphasizes mixing and matching her treasures to reflect your way of life. So, ask yourself, do you like them wrapped or stacked? Or maybe you’re more into cuffed? Whichever way you favor, The Michelle Ruggles handcrafts each bracelet in her Hand of Oz Hand of Oz has your flavor. And gifts, need Jewelry line; she will be showcasing these beauties at Yoga we remind you about your holiday list? These Soup’s holiday market this Saturday, December 1. treasures would be perfect to stuff in some of your stockings. Michelle’s adornments can be found locally in Lola Boutique and at Summerset Farms in Solvang. You can order online at or, better yet, head down to Yoga Soup on Saturday, December 1, from 6 to 9 pm. There you will find Michelle (together with many other local artisans) selling her goodies at an art bazaar extravaganza complete with good cheer and good treats. And why, precisely, should you plan on heading down to see Michelle at Yoga Soup? Because, because, because, because, because… of all the wonderful things she does. We’re off to see the jewelry, the wonderful jewelry of Oz! *Use the code LOVEMIKANA to receive 20% off your online purchase! 

What’ll It Cost Me: This diamond anniversary celebration is free!

• LOOSE CHANGE What: Snow Leopard Festival / Sledding at the Zoo Where: Santa Barbara Zoo, 500 Ninos Drive When: Sunday, December 2, 10am – 3pm Why: More than 80 tons of snow are fashioned into sledding runs, piled into a children’s play area and placed in exhibits for snow leopards, elephants and other animals to romp in. There’s even an “iceless” skating rink. Watch out Michelle Kwan! How: Walk into a winter wonderland. What’ll It Cost Me: Snow/sledding areas – $3 for all-day access; iceless skating rink – $10/ adults, $7/children (2-12)

• HEY BIG SPENDER What: Hautebox Where: DNA Imagery, 529 East Gutierrez Street, Units D & A When: Saturday, Dec 1, 7:30pm – midnight Why: It’s getting haute in here (i.e., our fashionable coastal community). How: See and be seen at this progressive event where couture fashion and local art are combined for a night of glitz, glamour and networking.


What’ll It Cost Me: $20/ticket (includes an open bar from 7:30-9:30pm). Purchase tickets online at Proceeds benefit Heart Ventures.

By Kim Wiseley Photos by Jess Wilcox

Making Spirits Bright


Touch-of-Sage-Sangria - 1 bottle of rosé wine - 1/2 cup cognac - 1/2 cup puréed guava (or any other type of tropical fruit) - 1/2 cup pear juice - 1/2 cup cranberry juice - 1 cup Sprite - Thinly sliced orange spheres - 2 tbls. Boiled and strained cranberries - Fresh sage




here’s nothing like a little booze to make your holidays a little brighter, and we found the perfect seasonal sips as we perused Santa Barbara Chic. If you’re not familiar with SB Chic, creator Kelly Oshiro blogs weekly about everything from weddings and shoes to the most luscious libations. And when Oshiro and mixologist Melissa Traub came up with the recipes below, we just couldn’t help but sample and share. So from Kelly’s and Melissa’s kitchen (and ours!) to yours, Cheers!

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- Cinnamon (for glass rim) *Muddle mint with lime wedge and raw sugar in martini shaker, add the rest of the ingredients over ice, shake well and serve on the rocks with a raw sugar and cinnamon rim. Makes 1 drink *Add all ingredients (except the sage) in a pitcher, tasting as you go. Set fresh sage aside and serve as a garnish for each glass to achieve a hint of sage flavor in your sangria – sage can be quite potent so make sure not to add it in the pitcher! Serve on the rocks. Makes a pitcher (8-10 drinks)

Cranberry Mojito - 1 1/2 shots of rum - 1 teaspoon of raw sugar - Lime wedge - Fresh mint - 2 tbls. Boiled and strained cranberries - Splash of cranberry juice - A splash of Sprite to taste

Persimmon Margarita - 1 1/2 shots of gold tequila - Heaping spoonful of puréed persimmon (purée in blender/food processor with skin on) - Lime wedge - Small splash of Triple Sec - Heavy splash of homemade sweet n’ sour (1 part simple syrup, 2 parts lemon juice) - Small splash of Sprite - Kosher salt and cinnamon (for glass rim) *Add all ingredients in martini shaker over ice, shake well and serve on the rocks with a salted cinnamon rim. Makes 1 drink Visit for more creative concoctions.  


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“People like to laugh,” says Tim Pettit, whose The Encyclopedia of Immaturity is available at the Front Page featuring Mona Lisa’s face with a mustache, beard and an arrow through her head.

by Jana Mackin

A journalist and a poet, Jana has lived everywhere from New Orleans and Butte, Montana to Saudi Arabia, where she taught English to children. Her articles have appeared in numerous publications, including The Washington Post and San Francisco Examiner. She now lives in Goleta.

Wacky Tacky Gifts


like tacky. To paraphrase one of my favorite movie lines (sorry, I don’t remember the name of the movie), “If tacky is bad, I want to be bad.” But, nowadays, going tacky is as difficult as spotting a manger scene in San Francisco. At one time it was easy finding Billy Bob teeth, Santa Dirndls or dashboard pole dancer stocking stuffers; I used to be able to buy Blitzed (the infamous flying reindeer) pulling a snockered Santa in a sleigh in any number of stores, but not any more. Oh, there are a few shops such as Old Town Antiques, Front Page, and Pier 1 Imports where I can pick up cute or tastefully naughty gifts. But for pure, unadult-erated bad taste... I pretty much have to go online. So in the spirit of Sister Mary Stigmata, aka Nunzilla, Goleta Girl found herself on a mission to compile the Santa Barbara Sentinel’s First Annual Tacky Christmas gift list. Be it Punkin’ Paul, Trailer Trash Barbie, Jesus Face Toaster or the Fairy Swatter (fairies of all persuasions), Goleta Girl invites you to revel in the spirit of tacky. Here then is this year’s tackiest gift ideas in no particular order since tackiness eschews good taste. Puke till your heart’s content with the Pukin’ Paul Solar-Powered Puker. No gag order can stop this hurler. Pukin’ Paul accessorizes any vomitorium. Paul bobs his head up and down. He kneels before a porcelain throne. He pukes his guts out in real time. What a man; he still clutches his beer bottle. Oh, damn, the toilet seat is down. For the happy couple that has lost everything in the financial collapse, there is the Wall Street Victims, a plastic couple who watch in horror as their investments plummet. These lifelike figures resister emotional shock. The wife clasps her head while her husband reels back. The Wall Street Financial Expert features a cigar-smoking chimpanzee in a chair in front of stocks on a computer screen. For a little fowl play, I picked up a Chicken n’ Egg squeeze toy. “All you have to do is squeeze down (on the rubber chicken) and out comes the egg,” said store manager Matt Diaz, 32. “It’s fun,” he says. “It relieves stress.” “That is so gross!” said customer Dana Zylstra, 18.

You Want Gross? There is the anatomically incorrect Bill Clinton Corkscrew. “Perfect for opening that vintage Beaujolaid.” Just keep Bill’s head down and his corkscrew up. Makes a wonderful gift for an ex-boyfriend you’re still on talking terms with.

Just squeeze the chicken and out comes the egg, says Pier 1 store manager Matt Diaz of his stress-relieving gift.

The pastoral Sunrise in Meatopia Puzzle will delight the most diehard vegan. Watch the glittering sunlight play on a nitrite-packed hot dog cabin, a fatty bacon waterfall and a greasy sausage canoe bobbing in a gray lake. Painted in the Thomas Kinkade lard-landscape technique. “We have tastefully tacky gifts (that are) thoughtful and never forgotten,” said David Wahl, director for Archie McPhee in Seattle. “You can spend $50 on a gift and never have someone mention it or $5 on a novelty gift and have them talk about it for the rest of their life,” he promises. Cat Lady Action Figure wears a robe, messed-up hair, slippers and has a houseful of strays. Add the refrigerator Cat Butt Magnet Set and the cat-food scented, Crazy Cat Lady Soap. To help you up your cussing game, there is Shakespearean Insult Gum. A set of seven Shakespearean volumes packed with gum-chewing insults from Macbeth, Othello, King Lear, Hamlet etc., such as: “Thy breath stinks with eating toasted cheese.” Even more fun (and free) is the Shakespeare Insult Kit at www. Craft your insults from Shakespearean words beginning with “thou,” such as “Thou artless, claybrained, flap dragon.” SkyMaul: Happy Crap You Can Buy from a Plane parodies the SkyMall airplane

Larry Zajic, Linda Guidotti and Paul Lewis at Old Town Antiques have some fun (but really tacky) Christmas suggestions for you to chew on.

catalogs. Peruse the impossible: You can purchase a lama cycle, the adultery detector, DUI mask, Buddhist racing sandals, and reality canceling headphones. Another local merchant, Front Page, has some funny and unusual gifts. What caught Goleta Girl’s attention was The Encyclopedia of Immaturity, a reference book designed to nurture your inner brat. The cover features the Mona Lisa’s enigmatic smile with a mustache and beard. An arrow is drawn through her head. “People like to laugh,” said Tim Pettit, Front Page sales associate. “Things that we have are cute and funny.” Goleta Girl also wants Front Page’s “I avoid clichés like the plague” t-shirt. On the topic of clichés, Harlequin Romance lovers might enjoy the gift of Jane Austen bandages for bleeding hearts.

Deliverance People The Trailer Trash doll is pure Daisy May couture. Her short-shorts could aircondition the great outdoors. She carries her pet pig, a six pack and drags off her cigarette. She proudly proclaims, “My daddy says, ‘I’m the best kisser in the county.” $125. Her cousin Trailer Trash Turleen wears rollers in her hair. Her pregnant belly sticks out from stretch slacks. She has a bikini top under a faux leather jacket. Her history is “a waitress at the Bowlarama and moonlights collectin’ shoppin’ carts at the Honk N Holler. Has seven children and she comes complete with ‘Bubbah Jr’ doll in her arms.” Push her belly button and she says “Pour me a double, I’m drinkin’ fer two!:” What redneck’s Christmas would be complete without the Big Mouth Billy Bass? Talk about whoppers!... Billy Bass turns his

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Of course, another local merchant, Old Town Antiques, offers the best in home décor gifts: Texas Wind Chimes. What better to soothe the savage beast then the music of empty Lone Star beer cans clanking in the wind? “It makes people happy,” said Linda Guidotti, 64, Old Town Antiques store employee.

Gifts That Keep On Giving

A Wrestling Federation Brawlin’ Buddies action figure may be just the thing your four-year-old nephew was hankering for but was afraid to tell Santa; Freddy Hicks at K-Mart can help you find one.

head, moves his mouth, and flaps his tale as he sings, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” Also, instead of using corporate headhunters, choose your path the white trash way with the Redneck Life Board game. With a roll of a couple dice, you choose such prestigious “careers” as sheriff, monster truck announcer, or town drunk.

Move over Spam. Canned Unicorn Meat is California’s newest foie gras with “Magic in every bite.” Ah, yes, nothing better than butchered unicorn stuffed in a can. “As far as our Canned Unicorn Meat, we went out and saw there wasn’t a great supplier of canned unicorn meat,” said Steve Zimmermann, undersecretary for Ministry of Misinformation at ThinkGeek, Inc. in Fairfax, Virginia. “so we decided to fill the niche. We are never tacky but we take the far side of whimsical and fun.” You could give your favorite Death Row inmate the Last Supper Paper Placemat. He is sure to belly laugh over his pie a la mode while he gets a little jailhouse religion. A classic is Nunzilla. Mother Superior meets Godzilla in a character straight out of those black and white, penguin-genre, B-movies. Wind her up and she trudges toward you armed with a ruler. Her mouth shoots sparks. Merry Christmas everyone. May you find the gift you are looking for. 

By Hattie Beresford Former teacher and long-time resident of Santa Barbara, Hattie Beresford writes a history column for the Montecito Journal and has contributed two Noticias to the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. In addition, she wrote supplemental text and co-edited My Santa Barbara Scrap Book: A Portrait of the Artist Elizabeth Eaton Burton.

Statue Of St. Barbara Gift Of Appreciation For Hospital

Morning Press, December 1912: Gazing down over the fair city that bears her name and across the channel up which sailed the intrepid explorers of where she was the patron saint, the statue of Santa Barbara will be unveiled Wednesday afternoon at 2 o’clock on the grounds of St. Francis hospital. The unveiling of Santa Barbara’s first life-size statue will take place on the 126th anniversary of the founding of the historic mission, but 310 years after Sebastian Vizcaino sailed into the channel from the south. It was December 4, 1602 that Vizcaino, skirting the coast of California with his daring little crew, entered the channel, and the day was beautiful to behold. It was the day of Santa Barbara, the patron saint of the mariners and artillerymen of Spain. So he named the channel after the saint…. The statue comes to St. Francis hospital as a grateful gift from the fathers and brothers of the Divine Word of St. Joseph’s Institute, Techny, Ill., located near Chicago. Brother Michael of that institute was at St. Francis in January, February and March of this year, suffering from illness, and so careful and attentive care was he given by the faithful sisters, that when he returned to the institute and reported upon their conscientiousness, it was decided it was worthy of some mark of appreciation. The brothers are adept at art work, and so it was decided that a life-size statue of the city’s patron saint would be fitting. … While the statue is not as costly as those created in enduring bronze, this is not lacking in beauty. The life-size figure is of cement and concrete and as permanent as granite. A special preparation of green gives the statue a decorative hue which at the same time makes the material impervious to the weather.

St. Francis Hospital as it appeared circa 1913 with the statue of St. Barbara in front. (Courtesy Santa Barbara Historical Museum)

Ride ‘Em Cowgirl

All Aboard! Hop aboard the 20th Annual Candy Cane Train at the South Coast Rail Road Museum in Goleta. This festive train ride is a must-do holiday staple. The event continues daily through Dec. 24, except for Dec. 3-4, and Dec. 10-11, when the museum will be closed. The museum will be open every day during the week before Christmas — including Mon. & Tues., Dec. 17-18. The museum will also be open for Candy Cane Train revelers on Christmas Eve, Mon., Dec. 24. Candy Cane Train souvenir tickets are the boarding pass to holiday activities, including holiday treats, favors, a cherry-flavored candy cane, and ride on the festively decorated miniature train with its candy-striped cars. There will also be the Toy Trains & Teddy Bears display in Goleta Depot’s Waiting Room. Candy Cane Train tickets are $4 and can be purchased at the museum or through the museum’s online store which will earn a coupon for a free second train ride with each ticket. For advance purchase tickets visit: Call the museum for event times- (805) 964-3540


The More Things Change…

Jana’s Picks Get on your high horse and ride on down to the Tribal Cup, a new charity equestrian event held at Modoc Arena on Saturday, December 8th from 1-4:00 p.m. Modoc Arena is located at 4317 Modoc Road (near Hope Ranch) The Tribal Cup features award-winning horse trainers and equestrians and benefits. the Tribal Trust Foundation’s Maya Project which attempts to educate women and children in Mexico and preserve indigenous cultures in their environment. The event will feature an art performance by Maria Hupfield, an internationally recognized Native North American artist. There will also be a silent auction featuring a collection of equestrian art, photography, unusual jewelry and tribal artifacts. For more information visit

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or St. Francis Hospital, things really have changed in one hundred years. Completely demolished, the buildings and site where the Sisters of the Sacred Heart established a hospital in 1908 have sprouted work force housing for Cottage Hospital. When St. Francis closed its doors in 2003, Saint Barbara and several other statues became homeless. Luckily, she was taken in by her namesake mission where Ozzie da Ros, longtime local mason, spruced up the aging saint, and Father Nevin Ford presented her with a new sword and ciborium. Interestingly enough, she no longer wears a mantle of green. (Source: News-Press article by Karna Hughes, 25 July 2006) 

Ousted from St. Francis Hospital grounds, St. Barbara has found a home at her namesake mission. (Courtesy author)

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DecktheMalls La Arcada Christmas Walk Shines in the Rain


peaking of Merry Christmas, we went by the La Arcada Christmas Walk on November 28 (what can we say, we were feeling quite festive after the whole Milpas love-in experience) and found a remarkable little thing happening, despite what some Santa Barbarians call inclement weather but what the rest of humanity (at least the Australians) might see as a bit of the wet. Truth be told, we think the rain may have enhanced the experience—it was just super…Christmassy. (That’s actually a word.) The lights seemed a bit brighter, the already cozy shops and restaurants seemed even cozier, the carolers seemed cheerier, and the people of Santa Barbara laughed and smiled and ate and drank (cider and hot chocolate) in a magical setting. No, the event wasn’t as “well-attended” as in years past— undoubtedly due to the inclementness (that’s not a word, so how about inclementation? Nope, not a word either), but the thinner crowds allowed those who did attend to move more freely, see more shops and perhaps spend a bit more time talking with friends and neighbors. We had a lovely time. Christmas has definitely come to SB, and we’re getting eager to start on that list we’ve been making. (Honey, hide the checkbook!)

Dan and Ann Flanigan enjoy a festive night out with the kids (see you soon, Ann!).

The Santa Barbara Noel Carolers let it rip for an enthusiastic crowd and really set the Christmas scene at La Arcada.

Christian and Maggie Saunders and family are caught toting a Sentinel just after talking to Santa—looks like your wife wants something from one of our advertisers, Christian. Don’t disappoint her.

Santa Claus made a pit stop at the corner of State and Figueroa—have you been naughty or nice?

Emilisa Schaefer came up from Ventura to welcome Santa and really dressed up for the occasion. (Looking great, Emilisa!)

Volunteers Cole Erickson (left) and Michael Guzman cover the popcorn needs of hungry revelers. Thanks guys.

The Duffy Family came out in the rain to check out Santa and a few shops. Looks like they found something—a new baby!

Owner/Proprietor Marisa Moran together with Savannah Flynn, Brett Maikovich and Dean Lopez (front to back) bring great food and service with a smile to the patrons of State & Fig. (Thanks for the hot chocolate, guys, much appreciated.)

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670 Russell Way

By Michael Calcagno Michael has consistently been ranked in the

top 1% of Sotheby’s agents worldwide. Shortly after joining Sotheby’s, he partnered with Nancy Hamilton to form one of the most successful real estate teams in Santa Barbara. Michael can be reached at

Closed Sales


ast week we saw a shortage of new listings come on the market, which is typical for the Thanksgiving weekend. We also saw a good number of properties go pending as well as close, which is not always the norm. Here are three properties that did indeed close last week– good buys, all of them, and the new owners should be thankful.

325 North Ontare

Originally on the market for $699,000 and sold for $660,000. A 3-bedroom, 2-bath single level home with approximately 1,650 square feet of living space on .21 acres. Located in San Roque and in the Monte Vista school district, the home is bordered on one side by a creek. Being sold as a Trust Sale and in “as is” condition, it is in good shape but will eventually need some upgrading.

670 Russell Way

Purchase Price: $665,000 Down payment 20%: $133,000 Loan amount: $594,000 Loan payment: $2351

(30-yr fixed at 3.375%(3.45% APR))

Property taxes estimate: $609 Home insurance estimate: $80 Total monthly payment:

Originally priced at $759,000 and sold for $665,000. This property is an absolutely charming 3-bedroom, 2-bath farmhouse on a quiet private lane, and is located in the Hope School district. The home has been tastefully updated and cared for by the original owners and features gorgeous gardens and red brick paths behind a fence and gate. The home is centrally located close to shopping, parks and schools with La Colina Junior High School located at the end of the street.

1413 Shoreline Drive

Originally priced at $1,795,000 and sold for $1,300,000. Boasting ocean and island views, this is a charming remodeled beach cottage with 2 bedrooms and 2 baths, and a sunroom. The home was updated with Viking and Sub-Zero appliances and hardwood floors. Located close to Shoreline Park, beach access and all of the Mesa shopping. 

325 North Ontare


1413 Shoreline Drive Purchase Price: $1,300,000 Down payment 20%: $260,000 Loan amount: $1,040,000 Loan payment: $4670 (30-yr fixed at 3.5%(3.57% APR)) Property taxes estimate: $953 Home insurance estimate: $80 Total monthly payment:


Purchase Price: $660,000. Down payment 10%: $66,000 Loan amount: $594,000 Loan payment: $2626

(30-yr fixed at 3.375%(3.45% APR))

Mortgage insurance: $306 Property taxes estimate: $605 Home insurance estimate: $80 Total monthly payment:


Mortgage statistics provided by Justin M. Kellenberger, Senior Loan Officer at SG Premier Lending Group, Inc. Justin can always be reached at Note: The foregoing economic breakdowns do not include potential tax benefit analyses since that will ultimately depend upon a number of additional factors. But home ownership can indeed have tremendous tax-savings potential and should be considered with your realtor and/or tax accountant as part of the ownership decision.

Santa Barbara Sentinel  
Santa Barbara Sentinel