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March 21 - April 3, 2017 • Vol. 2, No. 4

Every Issue Complimentary Every Time


Winemaker continues his arduous journey Chris Bratcher hopes Cal Poly students can provide him a high-tech hand by Drew Esnard


hris Bratcher hasn’t allowed the loss of his right hand to slow his roll through life. He’s taken on the challenges resulting from a traumatic winemaking accident with a sense of curiosity and enthusiasm. And, when an unexpected offer arose from a group of Cal Poly engineering students to devise a custom prosthetic, he greeted the opportunity with the same spirit. Wine industry folk, and perhaps many other locals, will remember the story—a grape de-stemmer severed Bratcher’s hand just above the wrist while he was making wine for his Bratcher Winery label in September 2014. The accident “certainly created physically challenging issues for me, but my life isn’t any harder than it was. It’s not any less full. I’ve always been somebody who loves challenges, and in that way this has been an intense challenge. I find that interesting,” Bratcher said. The world of prosthetics has proved to be an interesting challenge in and of itself. Bratcher is currently using a conventional, body-powered hook prosthesis. The experience has been rather dismal as the straps are difficult to secure and the different sockets have presented Goldilocks-like problems. They’re meant to fit snugly yet comfortably over his residual limb, but the sub-par fit of each socket causes great discomfort. Additionally, Bratcher has been experiencing significant pain from the overuse of his left

Photo contributed Local vintner Chris Bratcher is working with a group of engineering students in Cal Poly’s Quality of Life Plus Student Association, who develop innovative medical devices.

arm that has resulted in tendinitis. Cortisone shots have been effective in relieving the pain temporarily, but he had to stop the treatment, as long-term use would likely cause irreversible damage to the tissue. Not surprisingly, Bratcher became a bit nervous over the prospect of becoming more dependent on others for basic tasks, consistent denials from his health insurance company for a better prosthesis, and the progressively

debilitating pain in his left arm. Nervous, but not discouraged. “I’m determined to get back. I just need to get over the hump and get both sides working well enough,” Bratcher said. “I hate not being able to do the things that I love, that’s what’s most frustrating. The only thing that’s really going to help my left arm is rest.” Resting his left arm is dependent upon acquiring a more efficient prosthesis.

A possible solution arose last summer when a group of engineering students at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo expressed an interest in making Bratcher a custom prosthetic called a myoelectric hand. The project has gained traction after an initial meeting on Feb. 4. Cal Poly’s Quality of Life Plus (QL+) Student Association develops innovative medical


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2 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017

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March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 3

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4 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017

star news Relay for Life returns, raises funds for cancer care


American Pickers looking for antique discoveries Staff Report

by SYV Star Staff


ike Wolfe, Frank Fritz and their team are returning to California this spring to film episodes of their television series “American Pickers,” and they want to hear from people who have large accumulations of antiques. The show is a documentary series that explores the impact of antique ‘picking’ on history. It follows Wolfe and Fritz, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them. As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Wolfe and Fritz are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant

Photo contributed The “American Pickers” are coming to California to look for unique antiques.

objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way. Spokesmen say the show is looking for leads from anyone who has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through. The are inviting those people to send their name, phone number, location and description of the collection, with photos, to americanpickers@cineflix. com or to call 855-OLD-RUST.


ore than 200 local residents will gather at the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life of Santa Ynez Valley on Saturday, March 25, to raise funds and awareness for cancer treatment and research. The annual event, billed as an effort to free the world from the pain and suffering of cancer, starts at 1 p.m. with an opening ceremony and cancer-survivor-only lap at Dunn School in Los Olivos. The Relay For Life movement, founded by Dr. Gordy Klatt in Washington in 1985, is the world’s largest fundraising event to save lives from cancer. The events celebrate people who have battled cancer, remember loved ones lost, and take action for lifesav-

ing change. Members of each Relay for Life team take turns walking or running around a track or path. Teams participate in fundraising in the months leading up to the event. Funds raised help the American Cancer Society provide free information and support for people facing the disease, and also fund cancer research that will help future generations. The Cancer Society has invested more than $4.3 billion in research since 1946 and has funded more than 20,000 scientists at more than 1,000 institutions nationwide. In addition to the support from individuals, the local Relay For Life has sponsors that include Dunn School, Rabobank, El Rancho Market, Pacific Western Bank and Zaca Mesa Winery. To participate or donate, visit or, or contact Nichole Takeda at 805-9631577 or

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CONTACT US: Santa Ynez Valley Star LLC P.O. Box 1594 Solvang, CA 93464


PRODUCTION STAFF Aimée Reinhart Avery Art, Design & Pagination

The SY Valley Star is proud to be a member of: ©2016 Santa Ynez Valley Star LLC No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or distributed without the authorization of the publisher. Digital copies available at:

March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 5


Jodi House expands service to SYV by SYV Star Staff

Fundraiser planned


roup sessions in Solvang for brain-injury patients have been well received as Jodi House in Santa Barbara expands its services into the Santa Ynez Valley, according to Program Director Susan Cass. “While Jodi House offers much-needed information, education and resources, one of the most valuable aspects of our organization is the network of support that we create for a brain-injury survivor as they navigate the unfamiliar, often challenging, road to recovery,” Cass said. The mission of Jodi House is to empower brain-injury survivors not merely to survive, but to thrive. The orgaPhoto by Drew Esnard Classes and activities, such as painting, are designed to encourage a brain-injured person’s cognitive, physical and social nization was founded rehabilitaion. in 1982 by the parents of Jodi Wustman, a Barbara and Santa Ynez Valley, Jodi House the leading nonprofit organization in Santa 19-year-old college stuprovides support and education to adult Barbara, Ventura and San Luis Obispo Jodi Wustman dent who was suffered survivors of traumatic and acquired brain counties specifically serving brain-injury a traumatic brain injury injury and their families,” Cass added. patients and their families. In 2015, the when she was struck by a drunk driver. Classes and activities are designed to organization was selected as one of seven After searching the community for rehabiliencourage a person’s cognitive, physical sites statewide to receive state funding for tation and reintegration support and finding and social rehabilitation. They include but serving adults with traumatic brain injury, nothing, the Wustmans decided to start an are not limited to restorative yoga, memknown as TBI. organization of their own. ory strategies, communication skills, tai “Through our programs in both Santa More than 35 years later, Jodi House is

Join Jodi House members and volunteers at their annual fundraiser, the “Jodi House Hike, Walk and Roll,” on Saturday, April 8, at Elings Park in Santa Barbara. To get more information or to register, call 805-563-2882, ext. 3, or go to chi, mindfulness meditation and healthy cooking. “When we heal from a broken bone, we look forward to the day the cast comes off or the doctor gives the all-clear to go back to your regular routine. With brain injury, there is no cast that comes off and there is no definite date that we can say our life is back to ‘normal.’ Many survivors feel the effects of their brain injury for months, years and decades after,” Cass said. In addition, Jodi House also offers case management services in the tricounties. With the help of case managers, a survivor can receive help with anything from applying for disability benefits, finding housing or learning how to manage their finances. “If a survivor is interested in returning to the workforce, we can support them in doing so by enrolling them in our Immersion Services program,” she said. “In everything we offer at Jodi House, our ultimate goal is JODI CONTINUED ON PAGE 8



Forum shows possibilities for nonprofits to collaborate within the community. As specific needs were identified, tunities for strategic collaboration between organizations became evident. ore than 50 members of local “I was very pleased with the nonprofits’ philanthropic organizations spent commitment to collaboration and interest the evening Feb. 21 brainstorm- in cultivating thoughtful partnerships with ing ways to communicate and coordinate one another,” Jessup said. “And also with their activities in the hope of maximizing how supportive the nonprofit community is the impact of their efforts. of a gathering like this.” The Santa Ynez Valley Foundation The Santa Ynez Valley Foundation, hosted the forum for groups to talk about founded in 1991 by Stuart C. Gildred, acts their greatest unfulfilled needs and discuss as a wellspring for growing and distribpossible solutions. The foundation’s goal uting funds of supporters and donors to in creating the forum was to discern how it provide for the greater good of the comcan best leverage its funds to support and munity. In 2016, the foundation provided elevate the efforts of the nonprofits. more than 30 local nonprofits with grants Foundation directors Hayley Firestone totaling more than $200,000, in addition to Jessup and Kyle Abello prompted the awarding $63,500 in scholarships to local group with questions, facilitated idea genstudents. eration, and compiled notes for later use as As its mission, the foundation is comaction items. mitted to improving the lives of people in The participating nonprofits spanned the Santa Ynez Valley and Los Alamos by a variety of sectors — youth, education, investing in programs that feed the poor, seniors, arts and culture, health and human promote health, nurture seniors, challenge services — and expressed wide-ranging youth and inspire the community to make needs. Nearly all, however, shared an over- a difference. whelming need for more volunteers to help For more information on the foundation serve their organizations and a desire to and the programs it supports, visit www. foster a more robust spirit of volunteerism

by Drew Esnard



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6 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017


Olympic-sized facility to replace aging one at HS 2018. The committee has raised just over $1 million, which was needed as a down payment, with the help of an anonymous donation of $800,000. “The new aquatics complex’s configuration will ensure the community will have far by SYV Star Staff greater access to water-related activities even during the school day, with opportunities for programming from city recreation departments, the YMCA and others,” said foundaore than 300 people, ranging from tion board member Bruce Porter. small children to Olympic chamThe complex will be built with the world’s pions to state dignitaries, helped most modern pool technology, using modto welcome the Olympic-size swimming pool ules that greatly decrease costs for both that eventually will be built at Santa Ynez Valconstruction and long-term maintenance, ley Union High School. according to the foundation. The ceremony organized by the Santa Ynez “The current pool is failing badly, with Valley Community Aquatics Foundation, spalling (chipping) concrete, rebar popping which is raising money to finish buying and up through the deck, imploded underground building the pool, filled the parking lot at piping, cracks, etc. During its 51 years, it has Mission Santa Ines on March 3. already seen two major overhauls and many “The Santa Ynez Valley community will be Photo contributed numerous repairs. Mechanical systems are forever changed when the Olympic-size pool This sketch shows what the new Olympic-size pool and a smaller one will look like once they are installed at Santa Ynez constantly failing,” Porter said.   is installed at the high school, and I am so Valley Union High School. The Aquatics Foundation is purchasing excited that it will give everyone the opportube installed in the parking lot between the the modular components from the manufacnities to use it, and bring water athletics in the teachers, board members and students, as Old Gym and Refugio Road, and another turer that installed one of the pools that was valley to another level,” said valley native and well as families and business leaders who helped get the pool this far along. smaller pool will be installed on the site of used for this summer’s Olympic swimming Olympic gold medalist Kami Craig. “I think it’ll help the water teams get the current pool. trials in Omaha. She also hopes to be one of the first to prepared for tougher competitions, and I am The foundation envisions not just new Gary Hall Jr., a five-time gold medalist jump in, she said. really excited to go swimming in it,” said opportunities for recreational swimming from previous Olympics who lives in the Foundation members and many other Lili Torres, 15, who is on the high school’s and high school competitions, but what it Santa Ynez Valley with his family, provided community members came out to welcome swim team. calls “a modern aquatic, wellness and sports commentary and interviews with swimmers the pool, which was seen on television last during the trials.  The Aquatics Foundation was established medicine facility,” including new buildings year during the U.S. Olympic swimming For more information about the planned to replace the 50-year-old high school pool, bordering the pools. trials. Solvang Mayor Jim Richardson and Buellton Mayor Holly Sierra joined Santa which is crumbling and undersized, with The cost will be about $5 million, and the community pool or ways to volunteer or Ynez High School administrators, coaches, a new full-sized one. The new pool will foundation hopes to complete the facility by donate, visit

Site will benefit students and community


March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 7

Big trucks thrill kids and kids at heart

and farm tractors, and a booth set up by Babe Farms in Orcutt offered vegetable starter plants for the kids to take home. “It’s fun that the kids get to see the tractors and we get to show them how to grow vegetables,” said Brad Samuel, a junior at Orcutt Academy. Another big hit were the emergency by Raiza Giorgi vehicles, including a fire truck from the Solvang station of the Santa Barbara County Fire Department, a police car from the he second annual Santa Ynez California Highway Patrol, and a motorValley Touch-A-Truck drew a cycle and the SWAT truck from the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department. large crowd of families with “The church is a place where anyone kids of all ages who enjoyed learning can come together and share this space to about a wide variety of vehicles. “I think I enjoy seeing the big equipment experience joy and fun of the community. I want people of all faiths to feel at home and emergency vehicles as much as my great-grandson,” said Knud Jacobsen, who and have a great time,” said Pastor Chris Brown as he strolled the grounds. brought Torben, 3, to the event. The Santa Ynez Valley Union High The event, organized by Lisa Petersen Kekuewa, was held on Saturday, March 4, School race car team brought their vehicle, in the Bethania Lutheran Church parking Marborg Industries brought a trash truck, lot. All the proceeds benefit the Bethania and Vet’s Here opened up its mobile veterinary unit. Preschool and after-school programs. There was also food provided by Tower “There are so many kids that come here, not just the preschoolers, that enjoy Pizza, Face Painting by Crystal, bounce the outdoor space, and that was what the houses by M&J Jumpers, music by Dylan Ortega band, a petting zoo, KnitFit craft fundraiser was created for, to make the grounds fun for all kids,” Kekuewa said. booth, and Safety Day activities, including low-cost bike helmets provided by Santa The family-friendly event provides Barbara Cottage Hospital Trauma Services. a chance for kids, and kids at heart, To become a participant or a sponsor to climb on, climb in, honk horns for next year’s event, or to get more inforand turn on sirens of all kinds of mation, send email to syvtouchatruck@ vehicles. The display included heavy equipment such as excavators, backhoes

Touch-A-Truck benefits Bethania children’s programs


Giorgi Photos by Raiza . nt me uip eq construction with tractors and e ng th alo g , rin hit du r big a ca y vehicles were ol Pirate Racing d other emergenc y Union High Scho TOP: A fire truck an joys sitting in the Santa Ynez Valle l en BOTTOM: A little gir t. en ev ck ru A-T hTouc

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8 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017

Committee needs support for safe, sober grad party

star view

free event. The party includes age-appropriate entertainment, games, activities, food and drink, music and dancing that are designed to attract all graduating students. Historically, 85-95 percent of the graduating class attends Grad Night, and we expect at least that number this year. Grad Night will run from 9:30 p.m. or over 20 years the parents and friends of every SYVUHS graduating on May 26 through 5 a.m. on May 27, class have thrown an all-night extravaganza and students are not able to leave early during the event unless a parent picks for the graduates on their commencement them up. day. The PTSA is pleased to carry on the To make this event a reality, we need tradition with Grad Night 2017 on May 26. your help with funding, as well as merFor the students, this is a well-earned chandise and gift certificates. Monetary celebration, a “last hurrah” with their donations are needed to pay for food, decclassmates before they head into the orations, entertainers, etc. Gift certificates world. For the parents and community, and merchandise are distributed as prizes this event assures that our young people are celebrating in a safe and sober environ- to the party-goers (every attendee will win at least one item). Without the incredible ment. generosity of our community partners, this Every year there are reports of seniors across the nation who do not survive grad- event would not be nearly as popular as it is year after year. uation night, usually due to the effects of If you are able to make a monetary donaalcohol. It is every parent’s worst nightmare. The PTSA Grad Night Committee is tion, make checks payable to SYVHS PTSA and mail them to P.O. Box 926, committed to assuring these tragedies do Santa Ynez, CA 93460. Donations of not happen here in our valley. merchandise or gift certificates can be As a community, we all have an interest dropped off with Terry Westfall in the in seeing these wonderful young people high school office or you may contact safely launched into adulthood. Safe and Sober Grad Night, supported by Shelley Algeo at or Natalie Warwick at nat2mom@yahoo. the PTSA, provides a safe, sober, supercom to arrange pick-up. Your donations are vised, drug-free, alcohol-free and smoke-


tax deductible (Tax ID # 77-0278834); also, everyone who contributes will be recognized at the event and in the Santa Ynez Valley Star and Santa Ynez Valley News. We would like to thank you in advance for contributing this year. Shelley Algeo and Natalie Warwick Prize Committee Donations/Grants

WE Watch opposes annexation of Camp 4 land


am writing on behalf of WE Watch, an environmental watchdog group in the Santa Ynez Valley, formerly known as Women’s Environmental Watch. The organization was founded in the early 1990s to help develop the valley-wide Community Plan. Now members of both genders work to promote the sustainability of the Santa Ynez Valley, its natural beauty and agricultural way of life. Because of its commitment to the Santa Ynez Valley Community Plan, which was incorporated into the county General Plan by action of the Board of Supervisors on October 6, 2009, WE Watch has opposed the development of the 1,400 acres known as Camp 4 in anything other than the 100-acre-minimum lots specified in its agricultural zoning. A similar development proposed by Fess Parker, the former owner, was turned down. We understand the Chumash Tribe’s need to build houses for its current 143 members, and we are willing to support a modification of the General Plan in order to accommodate this housing and a new tribal center, but we believe that all available parcels should be considered, including the 350-acre triangle property adjoining the town of Santa Ynez that the Chumash

already own. The last thing we want is leapfrog development. At the same time, we stand firm in our opposition to the annexation of Camp 4 to the reservation either through federal legislation or by administrative action, because it would exempt this 1,400 acres from current zoning and building regulations and from local property taxes. Once it is in trust, not even the federal government can control what is built there. In order to prevent this from happening, WE Watch has joined a coalition of like-minded organizations in the valley that are pursuing political and legal remedies. In the belief that there are better solutions to the dilemma before us, the SYV Coalition, with WE Watch, is urging Santa Barbara County to continue the fruitful discussions with tribal leaders through their Ad Hoc Committee. We hope your readers will do the same. Penny Knowles WE Watch president Santa Ynez

Letters to the editor should be no more than 300 words in length. Send letters to: Raiza Giorgi Santa Ynez Valley Star PO Box 1594, Solvang, CA 93464 or email to: Please include your name and address and phone number.

Photo by Drew Esnard Jodi House hosts group sessions on Thursday afternoons at Bethania Lutheran Church, where people can learn more about local resources and classes available for those suffering from brain injuries.


to assist the survivor in successfully returning to his or her community at the highest possible level of functioning.” Jodi House is based at 625 Chapala

Street in Santa Barbara. It offers its local group sessions from noon to 2 p.m. every Thursday at Bethania Lutheran Church, 626 Atterdag Road in Solvang. For more information, call Jodi House at 805-563-2882, ext. 3.

March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 9

Photo contributed Using a 3D scan of Bratcher’s left arm and hand along with precise measurements and a 3D printer, the QL+ team of students created a socket for an artificial right hand.

HAND CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 devices by harnessing the creativity and skills of engineering students. “We saw an article about him struggling to get the prosthesis he wanted and we reached out to the author of the article, who put us in touch with Dr. Bratcher,” said Johnathan Dewing, senior vice president of QL+. “Our goal is to create an electrically powered prosthetic hand that will serve Dr. Bratcher better than his current prosthesis.” In contrast to conventional prosthetics, myoelectric technology offers superior precision in movement and a more intuitive user experience. The artificial limb is controlled with sensitive electrodes that respond to the natural movements of muscles. Bratcher first met with his design team — seven engineering students with mechanical, electrical, biomedical, and programming backgrounds — in the QL+ lab at Cal Poly. Together they determined which features were most important to the tasks Bratcher needs to perform: driving a stick shift, lifting 35-pound wine cases, typing, leveraging, holding, and greeting someone with a handshake. “To me, it’s more about function over form. I don’t care much for how it looks, it just needs to be able to do what I need it to do,” Bratcher said. The students performed an electromyogram (EMG) test to determine which of Bratcher’s forearm muscles would provide the best feedback to the prosthesis. Several hours later the

team had made impressions of his left arm and taken precise measurements of his left hand. Several weeks after the first meeting, the team has moved into building the socket, ordering electronic components, and printing parts for the palm and digit with a 3D printer. They expect to have a prototype by the end of the academic quarter in late March. “We are gradually putting together the hand. So far the electronics and programming is the slowest process, as we are finding it challenging to source components like sensors, but we are constantly working to clear these hurdles,” wrote team leader Aaliyah Ramos in an update. Bratcher is eager to see the results of the design team’s efforts, but his hopes are balanced by reasonable expectations. Perhaps the final product will enable him to finally enjoy a round of golf again and go rock climbing at the crag near his other home in Chattanooga, Tenn. Or perhaps not. Either way, he’s not one to wallow in the sentiment of loss. “I’ll be as patient as I have to be, and as persistent as I need to be. I don’t sit around thinking to myself, ‘Oh man, that was so great when I had two hands.’ I just don’t have time for that, I really don’t,” Bratcher reflected. “For better or for worse, I’m always looking forwards. It’s just a part of my personality. I don’t dwell on the past, at all. That, probably more than anything else, has been my saving grace.” Keep reading the Santa Ynez Valley Star for further updates on Chris Bratcher’s journey. You can learn more about the QL+ club at


















BOX OFFIC E Photo contributed The artificial hand will be controlled with sensitive electrodes that respond to the natural movements of muscles.




80 0.248.6274


10 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017



Business leaders honored at banquet by Raiza Giorgi


packed house of community members, dignitaries and business owners gathered to honor local businesses at the Solvang Chamber of Commerce’s annual awards banquet Feb. 16 at Root 246 in Solvang. “‘Grow Your Community; Think Solvang First’ was the theme …, selected for its enthusiastic message that reflects the growth within our chamber and in our generous community,” said Chamber President John Martino. Executive Director Tracy Beard said she was very thankful for the hundreds of people who participated in the event. “We are really stepping up our economic development and promotion of our business owners this year with videos, maps and more,” she said. About $10,000 was raised at the event for the Solvang Chamber to help the community with economic development and help chamber members. The evening began with cocktails and a silent auction, followed by dinner, dessert and a live auction. Entertainment was provided by the Santa Ynez Valley Jazz Band led by Kay Dominguez. Tickets were also sold for raffle items. The businesses honored were: n Large Business of the Year - Nielsen’s Building Materials n Small Business of the Year - Book Loft n Retailer of the Year - First Street Leather n Restaurant of the Year - Solvang Restaurant n Winery of the Year - Brander Vineyard n Ambassador of the Year - Esther Jacobsen Bates

Photos by Raiza Giorgi Solvang Mayor Jim Richardson spoke to the more than 250 people at the Solvang Chamber of Commerce annual Community Awards Banquet, which recognized local businesses and organizations that made a difference in the community throughout the past year.

n City Employee of the Year - Matt van der Linden n Nonprofit of the Year - Vikings of Solvang n Most Philanthropic of the Year - Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians n Philanthropic Person of the Year Kenneth Kahn n Linda Johansen Spirit of the Community Award - Dennis Bales n Solvang Chamber Volunteer of the Year - Lisa Mesa n Public Service Awards - Santa Barbara

County Sheriff’s Department n Tourism Award - Visit SYV n Merit Volunteers of the Year - Max Hanberg and Donna Inemen For more information about the Solvang Chamber of Commerce, log onto www.solvang Deborah Knight and Chris Parker of Atterdag Village of Solvang enjoyed an evening of honoring community members and businesses during the Solvang Chamber of Commerce annual Community Awards Banquet.

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March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 11


SY Valley market was solid by Rodney Smeester Contributing Writer


t’s time to analyze what happened last year in our real estate market and determine what might happen in 2017. The market in the Santa Ynez Valley performed solidly in 2016. Sales might have slowed somewhat toward the end of the year, but sales and prices for the entire year were up significantly. Our recovery from the recession nine years ago continues. The country has pretty much recovered; California and Santa Barbara County are close to pre-recession prices, but not quite there yet. The UCSB economic Forecast Project indicates that the state is 91 percent there, and the Santa Barbara County housing market is 82 percent of the way back. The forecast for 2017 is more of the same. As indicated in the accompanying table of annual sales for 2016 vs. 2015, the Santa Ynez Valley had eight REO sales (meaning the properties were owned by a lender) and four short sales in 2016, compared to nine and six, respectively, in the prior year. The year-to-year decrease is an indication that homeowner equity has grown. Most distressed homeowners do not have to walk away anymore. Now they are able to get some cash out of the sale of their homes. Breaking down last year’s numbers, starting with the December, sales of single family residences in the Santa Ynez Valley dropped from 25 units sold in that month of 2015 to only 16 sold in 2016. Despite this temporary slowdown, the median price increased 29.9 percent from $570,000 to $740,540. The average sales price increased 12.5 percent from $749,672 to $843,073 for the same period. Comparing the fourth quarters of 2016 to 2015, sales decreased minimally from 72 units sold in 2015 to 66 sold in 2016. During the same period, the median sales price increased 2.9 percent, from $636,500 to $655,000, and the average sales price increased 5.4 percent, from $793,942 in 2015 to $837,084 in 2016. Sales slowed slightly, but price appreciation stayed solid. Analysis of the annual sales numbers for 2016 shows consistent improvement. The number of single family homes sold in the valley increased from 258 units in 2015 to 291 in 2016, up 12.8 percent. The median sales price increased 1.6 percent from $685,000 in 2015 to $696,000 in 2016. The average sales price increased 4.4 percent from $871,937 in 2015 to $910,099 in 2016. The median sale price increases for California, Santa Barbara County, and the Santa Ynez Valley for 2016 differed, but all increased. California led the way with an increase of 5.4 percent while the county recorded an increase of 2.9 percent. Our valley followed with 1.6 percent. The difference in the numbers is not a concern, especially for the Santa Ynez Valley. The valley is a small area, and a small change of a few sales affects our statistics more than larger areas. Price appreciation

Graph contributed, photo RD file Analysis of the annual sales numbers for 2016 shows consistent improvement. The average sales price increased 4.4 percent from $871,937 in 2015 to $910,099 in 2016.

appears to be solid, consistent, and not overheated for the addressed areas. The last quarter and the last month, December, of 2016 showed a slight decrease in sales volume for the valley. Again, this statistic may not mean anything when considering the small size and corresponding low

sales volume locally, but this statistic is part of something more. The average days on the market (DOM) increased in all of the timeframes addressed here. Also, the California Association of Realtors (CAR) predicts that the Housing Affordability Index, which held steady at 31 percent in 2015 and 2016, will drop to 28 percent in 2017. These facts combined indicate that our real estate market could be going through a phase of slightly slower growth. This data tends to confirm the CAR forecast for 2017. However, the data and forecast indicate that the Santa Ynez Valley real estate market should perform well again this year. Rodney Smeester is a Realtor at Central Coast Landmark Properties.

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12 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017

New members join hospital foundation board tion in Buellton and Allan Hancock College Foundation in Santa Maria. He co-founded the Santa Barbara Foundation Roundtable, a consortium of private grant-makers servhe Santa Ynez Valley Cottage ing the tricounties. Hospital Foundation welcomed As an ordained minister, he has led large Jeff Cotter and Judith Dale as new and diverse multi-staff congregations, board members in January. including international pastorates. He has They join Charles “C.J.” Jackson, preslived in the Santa Ynez Valley since 1980. ident; Sid Goldstien, vice president; Lana Dale has more than 40 years’ experience Clark, secretary; and Kathleen Campbell, in higher education as well as volunteer treasurer; as well as directors Barbara community service. After working in teachAnderson, the Rev. Dr. Randall Day, Kate ing, coaching, and sports and recreation Firestone, Dr. William Heringer, Rich Naadministration at UCSB, she was elected to gler, Tresha Sell and Ernie Zomalt.  the Buellton City Council from 2010-2014 Cotter has provided financial developand served as mayor in 2013. ment services in all areas of fundraising, She serves as the Santa Barbara County including counsel for annual, capital and 3rd District Parks Commissioner and a endowment campaigns, as well as providmember of the County Library Advisory ing staff support in administrative and fund- Committee, among other volunteer roles. She was raised in Buellton and proud of raising posts for more than four decades. the fact that her father and family farmed in He has been CEO of several grant-makthe area long before Highway 246 existed. ing foundations, including the SG Founda-

Staff Report



Local attorney offering estate planning seminar Solvang attorney Lana Clark is hosting a free estate-planning seminar covering the topics of probate avoidance, property transfers after death, wills and trusts from 4 to 7 p.m. March 30 at her office at 1607 Mission Drive.

There is no cost for the event and there is no sales pitch, she said. The event is intended only to be informative and provide education about how assets are handled and transferred. “There are many different methods of planning your estate, the probate process, how assets are distributed to heirs or beneficiaries after your death, including methods of transfer that don’t involve probate or trusts,” Clark said. Topics include how the titling of assets affects whether a probate is necessary or not; evaluating whether someone needs a

Photo contributed The 2017 Board of Directors of the Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital Foundation are, seated left to right, Tresha Sell, Treasurer Kathleen Campbell, Barbara Anderson, Secretary Lana Clark, Judith Dale and Kate Firestone. Standing, left to right, are Dr. William Heringer, Jeff Cotter, President Charles “C.J.” Jackson, Ernie Zomalt and Vice President Sid Goldstien. Not pictured are the Rev. Dr. Randall Day and Rich Nagler.

will or a trust; understanding how a simple trust works; determining a need for a more complex trust for estate-tax avoidance; detailing how an existing trust may be more complicated than what you may need; how to simplify a trust; how to make changes to a trust, and how to implement those changes so they are not likely to be challenged. Out of the 700 attorneys in Santa Barbara County, Clark is one of only 13 who are certified specialists in estate, trust and probate law. Call her at 688-3939 or go to

Businesses sought to host students for ‘job shadowing’ A program of the Solvang Rotary Club


and the county education office is seeking businesses who are willing to host students for a brief “job shadowing” experience to give them insight in possible future careers. The goal is for students to experience a “Day in the Life” perspective by interacting with customers, attending meetings, appointments, and other activities that relate to the specific business. Students are expected to expand their awareness of careers and work environments, make connections and observe how employees apply job-specific skills. For more details on participation, log onto or email


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March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 13

spotlight JOHN MARTINO

Retiring from hospitality but not from service manager for. His former partner was Vincent B. Evans, who had tragically perished in a plane accident,” Martino said. Martino recalled that in 1980 the valley he phone rang and John Martino and Solvang were just sleepy little commuinstantly knew who was on the other nities that were busy during the summer but end when a distinct voice said, “Hello, pretty quiet during the other seasons. The only John? Julia here.” wineries he could recall from that time were A self-proclaimed foodie, Martino almost Firestone, Brander and Zaca Mesa. jumped out of his skin with excitement as “I became friends with Palmer Jackson, Julia Child introduced herself. who owns the Alisal Guest Ranch, and they “Over the course of a few years I got to hired me to revamp their food and beverknow Julia and we would have lunch, and I age department … I was there for 16 years. had to pinch myself because I had admired her It was some of the best times of my life,” for so long,” Martino said over lunch at his Martino said. restaurant, Succulent Cafe in Solvang. After leaving the Alisal in 2000 he went Martino has a following of his own. He to the Santa Ynez Inn, which was just being recently retired as general manager of Hotel built. Martino wrote the business plan and Corque in Solvang but continues to be a helped with getting the rooms designed and valued member of the Solvang and Santa opened in October 2001. Ynez Valley community serving in several “It was an incredible time to open a hotel organizations. Among other roles, he is the as 9/11 just happened and people weren’t new president of the Solvang Chamber of traveling, but we survived and got through it,” Commerce board of directors. Martino said. “People think just because I retired that I’m It was while at the Santa Ynez Inn that not going to be involved, but just the opposite. Martino was contacted by Child after a mutual I have more time to donate now,” he laughed. friend introduced them. They talked about Martino was born and raised in San Jose opening a culinary school, but she started and has been involved in hospitality since he declining in health so it never happened. fell in love with Lake Tahoe in his early 20s, “Just even getting to talk with her and have left the banking industry and took a job at the the possibility was good enough for me. She Harris Club. was a great lady,” he said. Martino got married and had a daughter and When the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash saved money to buy his own hotel and restau- Indians were building their original four-story rant in Palm Desert in 1965, then operated it hotel, they brought Martino aboard to help for 15 years. with designing the rooms and then he took “When my marriage ended I needed a over at Hotel Corque, formerly the Royal change of scenery and came to the Santa Ynez Scandinavian Inn, when the tribe bought it. Valley, as a friend of mine had a restaurant, “The guest room is the most important bethe Belle Terrase in Solvang, he needed a cause the layout has to be practical and it has

by Raiza Giorgi


first. The most important part of the room is the comfort of the bed and linens. “When we renovated Hotel Corque, we took it down to the studs to make sure all the rooms were generous sizes and every detail was looked over with a fine-tooth comb,” he said. During his tenure in hospitality in the valley, Martino has also enjoyed being in several organizations such as the Rotary Club and on the board of the Solvang chamber. “As I spend more time with the chamber, we really want to tackle getting all of the (downtown) trees lit up and that our businesses thrive,” he said. Martino has always had a passion for food, and with partners he bought the Succulent Cafe several years ago. He also works out six days a week because, he laughed, he Photo contributed can’t enjoy all the food without getting in John Martino recently retired but continues to serve in some exercise. several organizations, including his new post as president “I love food. I love trying new restaurants of the Solvang Chamber of Commerce board of directors. and places all over the Central Coast. That’s definitely my main hobby,” Martino said. “If only Julia could have come to Succulent to be luxurious,” he said. when we took over. I think she would have Any time Martino stays at other establishments he notices the flooring and the carpeting loved it,” he added.

“I’m so thankful this level of health care is offered in our area.” Joannie had cataract surgery at Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital. Soon after, she had clearer, brighter and more colorful vision.

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14 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017

star lifestyle

Designing a different life with fabric become a vintner and farmer in 1982. LOV: How did you get into sewing your own clothing? My mother had studied dress design at art school and always made clothes for my sister and me. I learned to sew doll clothes when I was about 5, and by age 8 I was By Robbie Kaye sewing clothing for myself. I’ve had long periods when I haven’t sewn, but I began we were already in love with it. We origagain about 10 years ago. inally planned to have a second residence argy Houtz is an adventurous, inLOV: What are your influences? spirational and extremely talented here but decided to “go for it” and plant a I’ve always loved fashion. The way I lady of the valley. When she’s not vineyard and establish a winery in 1982. clothe myself tells a lot about me without Margy worked in retail fashion at Joseph engulfed in creating a new design for her words. The Internet has hugely influenced clothing, she is out somewhere in the world, Magnin during summers and holidays in enjoying family, life and the absolute joy of high school and college. After she graduated me; sewing is usually a very solitary from UCLA with a degree in English Lit, she activity, but with the advent of sewing and it all. fashion forums and blogs, there is a large moved back to San Francisco and went to I love her blog, “A Fool For Fabric,” and worldwide community to draw on. I also work for Del Monte as a business forms deso will you. like to challenge myself in most areas of my signer. It was her entryway into computers. Margy and her husband bought properShe traveled for a year in Europe in 1964 life. Venturing outside of my comfort zone ty in Los Olivos in 1979 and moved here is my favorite place to be! full-time in 1982. Prior to that she had lived and returned to Del Monte and became asLOV: Favorite designer? in Santa Monica and West Los Angeles, the sistant manager of the credit union. Moving I can’t choose just one! I’ve always been back to Los Angeles, she had several jobs as Bay Area and Hawaii. drawn to a Japanese esthetic in clothing, a systems analyst in financial institutions. LOV: What brought you to the valley? Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, Yohji YaLOV: Have you reinvented yourself We had a tragedy in the family, which Photo by Robbie Kaye mamoto. Also Isabel Marant, (French) and along the way? caused us to reassess our life and how we Margy Houtz and her husband bought property in Los I’m always reinventing myself! It took me Dries Van Noten (Belgian). wanted to spend the rest of it. Dave and I Olivos in 1979 and moved here full-time in 1982. Prior to LOV: Favorite thing to sew? both used to drive through the SY Valley on a long time to figure out how to balance my that she had lived in Santa Monica and West Los Angeles, I think I like sewing jackets and coats the the Bay Area and Hawaii. left/right brain. The biggest change was to our way to UCLA in the ’50s and ’60s, so most. It’s kind of ironic, since our climate is not always conducive to outer layers, but and fashion can be in a different culture and that’s what I love to sew! language. LOV: What is the favorite piece of The number of times a woman in India or clothing that you’ve created? in Africa would communicate interest and That’s kind of like asking me which child approval of my clothing and jewelry without I love the most! One of my favorites is a a common language would astound you! knock-off of an Isabel Marant studded jackLOV: What’s a good way to get started? et that I saw online. It was a big challenge, Lessons, I guess, or find a mentor who and I had to learn several new techniques to will teach you. Quite a few younger people make it happen. But I did it, and loved it! are getting into sewing these days, according LOV: Do you sew for other people? to what I see on the Internet. It’s no longer Very rarely. I occasionally make somea way to save money, as it was many years thing for my best friend, also for my young- ago, as fabrics are way too expensive. But est daughter and my husband. there’s a lot of satisfaction in it and it can (excluding Port) LOV: What was the hardest thing be an art form. There are quite a few online in case quantities, mix or match you’ve ever sewn? videos and lessons. Supplies are limited to stock on hand Probably the vintage Claude Montana You can sign up on Margy’s blog at fooljacket I made in 2014. It had a lot of pattern She’s had well over a All remaining merchandise also pieces, a lot of details ... but I love his designs million “hits” since she started in 2011. and was very happy with how it came out. LOV: Do fashion and trends inspire Robbie Kaye is the author of “Beauty and you when you travel? Wisdom” and the “Ladies of the Valley” One of my very favorite things to do is to documentary. Her photography, paintings plan and sew a travel wardrobe. When I was and design work can be seen at www.robbie traveling to India a lot in the ’90s, I became and aware of what a fabulous connection dress FB, Instagram and Twitter. Dan & Robin Gehrs want to thank our local community for its support these past 17 years 1673 Fir Ave • Solvang, CA 93463 at this location. Walk-Ins

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March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 15

‘Transformational festival’ to return to local campground by Ryan Mandell Contributing Writer


ucidity Festival, billed as the Central Coast’s most popular transformational campout festival, will return April 7-9 to the Live Oak Campground with art, yoga, healing, organic food vendors, and live music. This year’s theme is “Eudaimonia,” a Greek word for happiness rooted in virtue. Lucidity’s producers say they have worked hard to create “a counter-culture playground that promotes all the fantastical aspects of human connection and positivity.” Writer Ryan Mandell sat down with Jonah Haas, Lucidity Festival’s marketing director and cofounder, to find out more. Mandell: Why should someone attend if they never have done something like this before? Haas: This is a heart-opening experience, an opportunity to play, to grow, and to dream. Lucidity creates a mystical container where anything is possible and a foundation for people to create their dreams into reality. For some it’s just a fun party, for others it’s

week, and you are purchasing land in Oregon to expand the educational element too, correct? Haas: We began incubating the Lucid University within the Lucidity Festival a number of years ago. We started a permaculture course during the week before the event in 2015. Last year, we decided to expand to include five courses in five categories: BodyWorks, CommunityWorks, SpiritWorks, CreativeWorks, and EcologyWorks. Mandell: Who will be headlining the musical acts this year? Haas: Ott, Random Rab, Delhi 2 Dublin, Dirtwire, Ayla Nereo, and Christian Martin, to name a few. I love the diverse and eclectic nature of the music curated by Lucidity. There’s Photo by Edward Clynes Photography always something for everyone, and since we Lucidity Festival, billed as a “transformational campout festival,” will return April 7-9 to the Live Oak Campground near Lake Cachuma. focus our musical selection on up-and-coming an inclusive approach to culture and spiritual- stars, you’re bound to discover new favorites. a nurturing experience of community that This year we will be featuring three stages: ity. Lucidity Festival identified with the genre they’ve been yearning for, and for others it’s The Lucid Stage, West Coast and UK bass immediately. an opportunity to be a more authentic version Mandell: Is Lucidity Festival family-friendly? music; The Nest, live music with emphasis on of themselves. Different people find different Haas: Absolutely! We love kids of all ages, bluegrass, folk, singer-songwriter, and devoreasons to come to Lucidity, and almost all of tional; and The Nook, house, techno, trap and and elders too! One of our seven villages is them find reasons to continue to come back. a variety of other electronic genres. Mandell: What exactly is a transformation- the Family Garden. This is where parents and For more information, visit 2017.lucidity families with children camp year in and year al festival? Enter the promotional code Luout. There are playshops, theater performancHaas: The term … was coined in a Ted cidityFest2017 to receive a discount on ticket es, and interactive games to keep the kiddos Talk by Jeet Kei Leung in 2011. The original purchases. active all day. The best thing is, children 12 intention was for the term to refer to events that were participatory, interactive, immersive and under are always free. Mandell: Lucidity has developed another and collaborative, integrating educational workshops, healing arts, music and dance, and component called Lucid University Course-

Concert to benefit SYV Jewish Community Performance of Great American Songbook will include a sing-along at Lobero Theatre Staff Report


ward-winning musician Hershey Felder will take listeners through 100 years of American music — from the works of the Gershwins, Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, and Rodgers and Hammerstein through Bernstein, Sondheim and many more — from 5:30 to 7 p.m. April 2 at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara. What’s more, the audience will be invited to sing along. The benefit for the Santa Ynez Valley Jewish Community is a one-night-only show. Felder’s recent off-Broadway production of “Maestro” was named as one of the “Top Ten Plays and Musicals of the Year” by Time Magazine. Over the past 20 years he has played more than 4,500 solo performances at some of the world’s most prestigious theatres and has consistently broken box office records. His shows include “George Gershwin Alone,” “Monsieur Chopin,” “Beethoven,” “Maestro,” “Franz Liszt in Musik,” and “Lincoln: An American Story.” In addition, he performs concerts of “The Great American Songbook Sing-Along” at every theater where his shows are presented. Felder premiered his newest work, “Our Great Tchaikovsky,” in January and is working on a new musical, “Chosen By God,” for which he is writing music, book and lyrics. His compositions and recordings include “Aliyah, Concerto for Piano and Or-

chestra;” “Etudes Thematiques for Piano;” and “An American Story for Actor and Orchestra.” Hershey is the adaptor, director and designer for “The Pianist of Willesden Lane,” a very successful play with music, and the producer and designer for the musical “Louis and Keely: ‘Live’ at the Sahara,” directed by Taylor Hackford. Felder has operated a production company since 2001. He has been a scholar-in-residence at Harvard University’s Department of Music and is married to Kim Campbell, the first Photo contributed female prime minister of Canada. The versatile and celebrated Hershey Felder will take the The event is a benefit for the Santa Ynez Valaudience through 100 years of American music — and ask ley Jewish Community. VIP tickets, limited to them to sing along — on April 2 at the Lobero Theatre. 100 guests at $95 per person, include a pre-show reception at 4:30 p.m with appetizers and wine. chestra;” “Fairytale, a Musical;” “Les Anges General admission tickets are on sale for $75 de Paris, Suite for Violin and Piano;” “Song through Settings;” “Saltimbanques for Piano and Or-




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16 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017


Little island provides a range of options for every kind of vacation


ith more than 3,000 miles of beautiful coastline and six major mountain ranges, California is a traveler’s playground. What is even better than having sea, sand, and snow available to us in one great state? Central Coast living. With a full tank of gas, a weekend duffel and a thirst for adventure you can get to your destination of choice in six hours or less. In the next few months, these little tips may inspire you to explore and find your favorite California “staycation.” Destination: Santa Catalina Island Distance: About 173 miles Duration: 4-5 hours Roughly 25 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, Santa Catalina Island is a severely underrated escape. Many Californians have heard of it or read about it, but sadly many have never actually been. This island paradise is by far a personal favorite. With ferry terminals in San Pedro, Long Beach and Dana Point, it’s easy to book your trip with plenty of options. Round-trip tickets run about $72, with a $17 per day parking fare. Always ask for a AAA discount if you are a cardholder. Here are a few tips: n Pull out your electronic calendar, set a reminder to put on your birthday to put in for some vacation time, then visit www.catalina and sign up for your free pass. (Your departure must be on your date of birth.) n In addition, most places on the island offer up to 20 percent off on date-of-birth bookings. n There is no fee for extra luggage on the ferry, so you can pack provisions to help save money. Regardless of your style of vacation, Catalina has you covered. If you are looking for a busy port with water sports, museums, bars, restaurants, and beaches, stay in Avalon, the main harbor. Nestled against the mountainous terrain, Avalon is layered with houses upon houses in a way that is reminiscent of the Greek Isles. Cobbled streets give off romantic charm, hidden courtyards beg to be found, and crystal clear waters encourage even the most fearful swimmers. Enjoy a leisurely walk to Descanso Beach and stop by the casino to see what movie is playing; seeing the beauty of the building is the best part of the show. If you’re feeling brave, zip-line your way down the canyon or venture out on the Green Pier and get on the next parasailing boat. You will not be disappointed. Looking to stretch your legs while getting a little education? Take a bus up to the Botanical Gardens and hike your way up to the magnificent Wrigley Monument. Skip the bus on the way down and walk along the golf course, get lost in town, and find yourself again at Catalina Coffee and Cookie Company; a chocolate bacon brownie will be waiting. Check out the art gallery two doors down. You may even want to stay a while and paint your memories — she gives classes.

By Robin Laroche

When it’s time for a cocktail, head down to the waterfront and find Maggie’s Blue Rose Mexican Restaurant for the best happy hour margaritas ever. (Note: do not consume excessively right before catching the ferry home.) If tourists and crowded streets make you want to run in the other direction, Two Harbors might be more your speed. Primarily a mooring community, Two Harbors is aptly named for being home to Isthmus Cove on the channel side and Cat Harbor on the Pacific side of the island. With a population of around 300 people, crowded is not in the vocabulary. One hotel, one restaurant, one market. One amazing vacation. Find The Banning House Lodge on the Visit Catalina Website, and book your holiday. Built in 1910 and hosting only 11 rooms, this intimate B&B style hotel will make you yearn for days past. With open beams and wood floors, antique furniture and a terraced patio, charm is everywhere. Don’t be surprised when your shuttle driver is also your concierge, who is you’re your barista, who is also your housekeeper. Bring a deck of cards, your favorite book, and your best hiking boots. No television sets are hidden in the armoire, nor are coffee makers or refrigerators. But the gorgeous 360-degree views wipe out any longing for a TV, and the smell of fresh ground beans beats the attraction of any generic one-cup coffee pot. Pack a couple bottles of wine, some cheese, crackers, and snacks, and store your refrigerated items in the communal fridge — They provide labels for you. Head to Isthmus Cove to rent stand-up paddleboards or kayaks. The water is crystal clear and calm. If you are a land dweller, hiking trails are everywhere. Pick a direction and go walking. The vistas will take your breath away. After taking in some fresh sea air, wander back to the lodge and pull out some games in the great room. Sit by the fire and get back to basics. Look into the Harbor Reef for dinner, well priced and delicious. You will want to come back. If you want to cover the island in a weekend, look into arriving in one port and leaving from the other. Once a day, the Safari Bus runs from Avalon to Two Harbors and Two Harbors to Avalon. Fare is $55 and, though the island is only twenty-two miles long, you’re looking at a twohour sight-seeing excursion over dirt roads and rugged terrain. It passes quickly, with every herd of bison you see and every bald eagle you find. For a vacation you will not forget, check out for hotel and boat package deals as well as booking a Safari Bus trip For events and more ideas, visit www. catalina Both sites offer historical content as well. Look online at www.santaynezvalleystar. com for a photo gallery on this story.

March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 17

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18 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017

Protect colon health, especially as you age by Denise Holmes Contributing Writer


Photo contributed Solvang Rotary President Tom Olmsted is pictured with the club’s Vocational Service Director, Larry Edwards, and Director Tommy Speidel of the Stuart C. Gildred YMCA.

Solvang Rotary donates to YMCA Staff Report


he Solvang Rotary Club has donated $500 to the Santa Ynez Valley YMCA to support the Y’s Youth in Government program. One of the goals of Rotary’s Vocational Service program is to promote and support the growth and interest of youth in the workforce, said Larry Edwards, the club’s Vocational Service Director. Solvang Rotary supports several student programs, including scholarship pro-

grams for valley students, RYLA Youth Leadership and a stock club challenge. The club recently initiated a new program, “Promoting Student Awareness through Job Shadowing,” which provides high school students opportunities to be hosted at local businesses to learn about potential careers. The program is a partnership of Solvang Rotary, Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District and the Santa Barbara County Education Office. For more information about being a potential host business, go to www.

Kindergarten and Transitional Kindergarten (TK) Registration BUELLTON Oak Valley Elementary School March 28th & March 29th • Kindergarten registration and screening is open to students born on or before September 1, 2012

ost people don’t want to think about colon health, but if you’re over 50 it’s something you definitely should not ignore. Those 50 and older have a significantly higher risk of developing cancer in the colon, which makes up most of the large intestine and measures roughly 3 to 6 feet long. Cancer of the colon and rectum (colorectal cancer) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths for women and ranks second as the leading cause of death in men. Certain lifestyle factors increase the chances of colorectal cancer, with diet, weight and exercise playing the biggest roles, according to the American Cancer Society. Being overweight raises the risk, and so does eating a diet with plenty of red meat and processed and cured meats, such as hot dogs and deli meats. Lack of exercise and physical activity can lead to a greater chance of cancer, while being more active can help lower the odds. High consumption of alcohol, including wine, has also been linked to colorectal cancer. The American Cancer Society advises that men consume no more than two alcoholic drinks a day and women no more than one.  To find out if you are at risk for colorectal cancer, I urge everyone over 50 to schedule a colonoscopy. If you have a family history of colon cancer, polyps or other risk factors, you may need a screening at an earlier age. Colon cancer is one of the few cancers that can be prevented and cured if caught early. A colonoscopy takes only about 30 minutes, and patients are given sedation to keep them relaxed and comfortable. Some may also get deeper anesthesia if needed.  Preparing for the procedure is often considered the hardest part. A good prep

Image by GraphicStock Cancer of the colon and rectum (colorectal cancer) is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths for women and ranks second as the leading cause of death in men.

requires eating low-fiber foods – that means no raw fruits and vegetables -- for several days prior to your appointment. The day before the screening, only clear liquids can be eaten, and a bowel prep is also taken to completely clean out the colon. As part of National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month, Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital is hosting an informational event at 5 p.m. on March 22. Gastroenterologist Dr. Edward Bentley will give a presentation on colorectal cancer risks and prevention, and attendees can also tour the area where colonoscopies are performed. For more information, visit www.cottage or call 1-888-999-8262. Registered Nurse Denise Holmes is clinical manager of surgical services at Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital.

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March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 19

Books appeal to those who want to get away from it all Spring can bring a longing for a simplier way of life


nding of short, fast-passing February may propel us into spring cleaning.  Prospects of clearing out two or three closets tend to appeal more than tackling our taxes. And this is the time we are likely to long for a simpler or restructured lifestyle. It is possible.  Do some armchair planning.  There are many books of inspiration. Take a look at the newly published “She Sheds: A Room


of Your Own,” by Erika Kotite (Cool Springs Press, $25).  You could think of a “she shed” as women’s version of a “man cave.” Usually it is some sort of outbuilding, not attached to the house, that started as a storage place for garden tools, sports equipment, holiday decorations, etc., and was then converted to a woman’s space.  Ms. Kotite’s book presents a thrilling variety of she sheds in a how-to and picture book. “A Woman’s Huts and Hideaways” by Gill Heriz ($29.95) features more than 40 “she sheds” and other retreats. Described as “an inspirational collection

of stunning small spaces,” the book gives tells the story of each hut and hideaway. Published by Cico Books (an imprint of Ryland Peters & Small), “Woman’s Huts” is filled with beautiful spaces created by women, for women. Showing everything from yurts to Airstreams, beach huts to cabins, the beautiful photography underscores these tiny retreats’ appeal. How can you pass up a book called “Cabin Porn?” This 300-plus-page book is filled with stunning photographs of rural escapes that invite the reader to slow down, take a deep breath and enjoy what happens when nature meets simple construction. Begun as an online project by a group

of friends, the site attracted thousands of submissions and a passionate audience of more than 10 million people. What started out to be a collection of ideas designed to inspire their own homebuilding culminated in an appropriately scaled-down “coffee table book.” Published by Little, Brown and Company ($30), “Cabin Porn” will rouse one’s inner builder. Also available on the subject of huts, sheds and retreats: “Living Large in Our Little House,” a $24.99 Reader’s Digest publication; “Tiny House Living” by Ryan Mitchell (Betterway Books, $26.99); and “Compact Cabins” with 62 plans for simple living in 1,000 square feet or less. There is also Jay Shafer’s DIY book of “Backyard Sheds & Tiny Houses,” with floor plans, photographs and designs for “large living” in 100 to 120 square feet. It’s a delightful “small package” collection by Fox Chapel, and a bargain at $19.99.

Some changes are fads, some become classics by Paula Parisotto

Personal Stylist / Owner of Dettamoda


ou’ve heard that there are two things in life that are inevitable, death and taxes. Let me give you a third: changing trends in fashion. A fashion trend is a general direction in which style is moving. For instance, you may read in fashion magazines that there is a trend toward oversized shoulders in men’s and women’s spring fashion. A fashion trend can be a fad, a style that quickly rises into popularity for only a season or two because of exaggerated details. Remember hammer pants, Mom jeans, leg warmers, popped collars, disco or zoot suits? Fashion trends that gain widespread popularity for an extended period are called classics. These styles generally have simple

design elements keeping them from being easily dated. Examples are blazers, cardigans, button-up shirts, T-shirts and jeans. Trends are developed by big-city designers, artists, musicians, actors, athletes, young people and the wealthy who have a inkling as to what will look good and aren’t afraid to try it. So who dictates whether or not a fashion trend will become a fad or a classic? It’s the consumers. No amount of sales promotion can change the direction in which fashions are moving. We ultimately choose to reject or accept a style, making it a fad or a classic. Spring silhouettes for women will include shirt dresses, jumpsuits and off-the-shoulder garments in polka dots, patchwork, kitschy florals, geometric prints and hot pink with fold-over waistbands, ruffles, sleeve slits and cut-outs. Men can expect to see a trend toward looser suiting, V-neck sweaters, shorter shorts, track suits, ball caps and backpacks.

Both men’s and women’s trends will include oversized shoulders, relaxed jeans, knee-high socks, statement T’s, bright yellow, khaki, camo, stripes, and the continuation of “athleisure” wear and sneakers. Which trends will quickly fade away or never even take hold, and which will become, or remain, classics? You decide.

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TV meteorologist found love in her own forecast she said. Her dedication to her craft recently earned her the American Meteorological Society’s Certified Broadcast Meteorologist designation. Radio and television meteorologists pursue the CBM designation as a mark of distinction and recognition. To earn the CBM, broadcasters must hold a by Raiza Giorgi degree in meteorology or the equivalent from an accredited college or university, pass a rigorous written examination, and have their onair work reviewed to assess graphical content eteorologist Meredith Garofalo as well as explanation and presentation skills. does more for the community than In addition to the initial educational and test forecasting the weather. requirements, CBMs have to earn professional She and Emily Nordee have been named co-chairs for the 2017 Cooking Up Dreams, a development points to maintain their certification by attending scientific seminars or “flavorful” benefit for at-risk youth on March meetings and similar activities. 31 at the Fess Parker Doubletree Resort in “The society’s Certified Broadcast MeteSanta Barbara. orologist designation clearly recognizes that “As a television personality I consider it a privilege to be on camera and that people look the holders have the educational background and have been tested in their knowledge and to us for … how to help others. I love that I can help make a difference in our community,” communication of the sciences needed to be an effective broadcast meteorologist,” said Garofalo said. AMS Executive Director Keith Seitter. Cooking Up Dreams is a unique fundraisA big perk of her job, she said, is that as a ing event featuring a culinary competition reporter she gets to do things like paragliding between leading chefs at local restaurants, and taking surfing lessons to show the public. including First and Oak in Solvang. Guests will also enjoy complimentary wine One of her memorable segments was an inside look with the meteorologists at Vandenberg provided by Grassini Family Vineyards and Touring and Tasting and beer, a full bar, music Air Force Base. “That was by far one of my favorite beby DJ Scott Topper, silent and live auctions, a cause, being a weather geek, I got to have an red carpet entrance, a premium photo booth, inside look at the forecasters’ jobs there, which and much more. are the deciding factors if a rocket launch hapGarofalo has been a meteorologist with pens or gets scrubbed,” she said excitedly. KEYT Channel 3 in Santa Barbara for three Her typical day starts with getting ready years, after moving from a station in Sarasota, for work at 2 a.m. and arriving at the station Fla. around 3 a.m. Then she prepares her forecasts “I knew I was supposed to be on the West and maps for the day by 4 a.m., does her own Coast and jumped when this position came hair and makeup, and is on camera from 5 to available. It’s been such a great time so far, 9 a.m. She does another mid-day forecast and and I look forward to many years in Santa then ends her day around noon. Barbara and making this my forever home,”

from 6:30 to 10 p.m. on Friday, March 31, at the Fess Parker Doubletree Inn in Santa Barbara. The fundraising event features a culinary competition with samples by leading local chefs and restaurants. The competition will be fierce as 300 guests and celebrity judges vote on the top dish that will win the People’s Choice or the Judge’s awards. Proceeds from the event support Family Service Agency’s youth enrichment programs, including Big Brothers Big Sisters, schoolbased counseling, and youth behavioral health – all programs targeting low-income, at-risk youth. For more information, read the March edition of Santa Barbara Family and Life Magazine or log onto

Meredith Garofalo enjoys her job as well as volunteering


Thrift Store Eclectic Collection of Previously Owned Treasures & Goods All Volunteer Local Thrift Store Supporting Worthy Local Causes If we don’t have it, you don’t need it.

Photo by Tenley Fohl Photography Local meteorologist Meredith Garofalo and her boyfriend Scott Wallace love to taste wine and travel to communities on the Central Coast.

In her free time she loves to work out or spend time with her boyfriend Scott Wallace, a real estate developer and amateur chef. They love to travel up and down the Central Coast, going wine tasting, walking on the beach or hiking. Not only does Garofalo bring an informative outlook on the weather, but she also is a strong presence in Santa Barbara with all of her involvement in charitable events for organizations including Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys and Girls Club, and Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties. “One of my favorite events is ‘Cooking Up Dreams,’ a fundraiser for the Family Services Agency, which helps kids all over the Central Coast. We love that valley native Andrew Firestone is our emcee and he does such a great job,” she said. This year’s “Cooking up Dreams” will be

Chefs, restaurants competing at ‘Cooking Up Dreams’ include: n Angel Oak at Bacara Resort & Spa n Boathouse at Hendry’s Beach n Chef Michael Hutchings n Convivo n Finch & Fork n First & Oak at the Mirabelle Inn n Les Merchands Wine Bar n Nimita’s Cuisine n Oveja Blanca/Black Sheep n Patxi’s Pizza n Persona Woodfired Pizzeria n Renaud’s Patisserie & Bistro n Santa Barbara FisHouse

Wildling Museum names president, board members a special dedication to the museum and look forward to working with the board, staff, volunteers, museum members and the community, Power said. ristine Power is the new president A graduate of the Colorado School of of the board for the Wildling Mines in chemical engineering, PatterMuseum of Art and Nature, son had a 38-year career with a major which has also added Kevin Patterson, international oil and gas company. His Gene Sinser and June Sochel as new assignments included many all over North members. America and also two assignments in A museum spokesman thanked Suzi Kazakhstan and Indonesia. Since retiring Schomer, who served three years as the to the Santa Ynez Valley in 2015 he has board president. “Her dedication, vision become active with NatureTrack Foundaand enthusiasm have guided the Wildling tion and attends lectures and hikes at the and, fortunately, she will continue to serve Sedgwick Reserve. as a board member in 2017,” the announceBorn and educated in Europe with ment said. post-graduate studies at UCLA and USC, “With a background in education focusing on art and the environment, I feel WILDLING CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

Staff Report

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March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 21

‘Shadows’ includes photography, sculpture at C Gallery Staff Report


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hadows of My Former Self,” featuring still photography by Blue: cmyk 88-77-0-0 / no PMS match screenwriter, director and producer Jeffrey Bloom, cmyk will be on52-43-41-0 exhibit until Gray: / no PMS match April 12 at The C Gallery in Los Alamos. Photo contirbuted “The collection of shadows have been Los Alamos resident Jeffrey Bloom, a former Hollywood manipulated to elevate them to fine art, both screenwriter, director and producer, is showing his still evocative and unique,” said gallery director photography at the C Gallery through April 12. Connie Rohde. Type version: Rohde said. Bloom moved to Los Alamos in 2012 Morlan has been making art his entire life with his wife, Carole, and says he quickly and recently began to focus on non-objecfell in love with the town, the climate, the people, the surroundings, and the pace. He tive sculpture, noting the depth of explorareturned to shooting still photography after tion that is so appealing in abstract work. He credits three mentors from Hancock 30 years of screenwriting, directing and College — Nat Fast, George Muro, and Bill producing. He is known in the area for his Shinn — as having a great influence on his coffee table books, “Characters,” collecevolution as an artist. tions of local heroes and beloved scounHe has shown widely throughout the drels, now in its 12th edition. Central Coast of California with early days Bloom will be sharing the exhibit with in Solvang at St. John’s Gallery. Lompoc sculptor Eric Morlan. His conFor information about the exhibit, email temporary metal works on pedestals, titled or go to www. “Small Works Thinking Big,” are a perfect complement for Bloom’s moody shadows,

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Iwerks brothers to speak ing these geological layers for universities, which is why the Wilding chose him to create its Valley Oak mural, which was completed in September after John spent rothers John and Larry Iwerks will months planning and executing the mural provide the next presentation in the of the iconic species and its inhabitants. yearlong Artist Talk series at 3 p.m. John not only creates paintings, murals, Sunday, March 26, at the Wildling Museand sculptures, but also often pulls from his um of Art and Nature in Solvang. family history and enjoys creating cartoons. Both artists will discuss their body of Also represented in “Private Collecwork, what inspires them to create, their tions of the Santa Barbara Region,” Lartechniques, and much more. ry’s oil painting depicts a view from the With a family history rooted in Walt Dishills of Santa Cruz Island. The Wilding ney animation and theBlue: creationcmyk of Mickey 88-77-0-0 / also no has PMS Museum onematch of Larry’s paintings, Mouse, the brothers have immense creativity “Santa Ynez Buttes,” in its permanent Gray: cmyk 52-43-41-0 / no PMS match and talent, a museum spokesman said. They collection. also share a deep passion for nature; they He also values and strives for scientific both are members of the Oak Group, whose perspectives when creating his works. artists donate 50 percent of their art sales to “Through studies, I have subsequently environmental protection organizations. found that the study of geology is fundaType version: Represented in the Wildling’s newest mentally essential in landscape painting, exhibition, “Private Collections of the as it comes to the understanding of the Santa Barbara Region,“ John’s landscapes various constructs of mesa, canyon, and depict the Santa Ynez River and the San mountain. And so, now to continue the Julian Hills. research into botany, anatomy, and cloud “My love for landscape painting is root- studies to somehow put some meaning, ed in the knowledge of geologic processes and ‘real-ness’ into a picture,” he said. that have formed the landscape we live The Wildling Museum offers visitors a upon. The large forces of shifting tectonic unique perspective on the importance of plates, particularly the interactions bepreserving our natural heritage. Through tween the Pacific Plate and North America the eyes of artists, education and field exPlate, forming the San Andreas Fault, are periences, guests can renew their relationof extreme interest to me as I interpret the ship with the wilderness and understand its gesture of the land I paint,” he said. fragile nature. For more information, visit www. Pulling from this understanding of earth’s formations, John has created murals depict-

Staff Report


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22 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017

Dance studio to celebrate famous artist


6 directors join board

Staff Report


ancers around the world are mourning the death of Marta Becket, who owned, operated and performed at the unique Amargosa Opera House in isolated Death Valley Junction for more than 40 years. She died in February at the age of 92. Local ballet teacher Christine Fossemalle is organizing a celebration of life on April 22 at her studio for her mentor and friend, whom she met more than 25 years ago. “It was customary for her to greet her audience, speak with them, and we had an immediate connection because of our love for ballet. From then on, I brought many groups of students to witness her performances and her accomplishments, in addition to being present at… opening and closing-night performances of each new season,” Fossemalle said. Becket was a dancer at Radio City Music Hall and on Broadway, appearing in “Showboat,” “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” and “A Wonderful Town.” Then she decided she wanted to operate her own stage, according to the Amargosa website. In the spring of 1967, Becket and her husband were camping in Death Valley when their trailer had a flat tire and they were directed to Death Valley Junction. As she waited for repairs, Becket walked around the town and found a broken-down theater. For $45 a month, they leased the building, renamed it the Amargosa Opera House, and presented their first show on Feb. 10, 1968. In January 1983, Becket’s husband left to follow other interests, but Thomas J. “Wilget” Willett stepped in as stage manager and emcee and stayed with her until his death in 2005. A natural comedian, Willett acted as a performing stage manager, playing parts, co-starring with Becket, and adding humor to the classical ambience of the performances. As she aged, Becket continued dancing and created roles more suited to her abilities till she developed a “Sitting Down Show” with

Relations Organization named Alarcio its Professional of the Year. After retiring from Hancock, Alarcio served two years as the director of the CoastHills Community he Hancock College Foundation’s Foundation. board of directors has added a diverse Two of the new directors, Frost and group of new members, includDaane, are familiar faces who previously ing a retired army sergeant and federal law served on the board. enforcement officer, a former public relations Daane also serves on the Santa Barbara manager, a retired accounting professor, a County Board of Education and the Court retired member of the U.S. Air Force, and the Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) college’s former director of public affairs. board of directors. Rebecca Alarcio, Frank Campo, MagFrost returned to the board to be a part gi Daane, Judy Frost, Glenn Owen and Ricardo Velasco were sworn in as directors of the new energy and excitement at the during the board’s first meeting of the year. college and foundation. “I’ve been a part of the Hancock commu“We are fortunate to welcome six strong nity since 1990, and it is where philanthroleaders to the foundation board,” said py become a part of my vocabulary,” said Valerie Moya, president of the foundation Frost, who is also a member of the PCPA board. “Each one has succeeded in both Foundation Board of Directors. business and community service. They are While the board welcomed six new the kind of leaders who will make an impact on student success in our communities.” members, directors Bruce Coggin, Terry After retiring from the United States Dworaczyk, John Everett, Susan Moats and Army as a sergeant, Campo started a Ken Ostini completed their years of service career with the United States Department with the board. of Justice as a federal law enforcement The Hancock Foundation board includes officer. He went on to become a public nearly 30 community members from the safety officer and teacher in San Bernardino Santa Maria, Lompoc and Santa Ynez County before serving as the local veterans valleys. employment representative for the state’s This year the foundation has reached a Employment Development Department. He milestone, its 40th anniversary. Through is also a former Hancock student. overwhelming support from the community, He already serves on numerous boards, the foundation has awarded more than $7.4 including the Good Samaritan Shelter and million to Hancock students over the last the Lompoc Boys & Girls Club. four decades. Owen joined the board to maintain The foundation will add to the total contact with his former colleagues and to during its annual Scholarship Awards Bancontinue supporting students. He retired quet on Thursday, May 25. In recognition of last year from Hancock after serving 21 its 40th anniversary, the foundation will hold years as an accounting instructor. a gala on Saturday, Oct. 21. Alarcio spent 30 years as the director of  For more information, call 805-925public affairs and publications at Hancock. 2004. In 2013, the Community College Public

Staff Report

Photos contributed Local dance teacher Christine Fossemalle hands a bouquet of flowers to famed dancer and teacher Marta Becket at her Amargosa Opera House in Death Valley Junction after Becket danced the last performance of her “Sitting Down Show.”

various characters, singing and acting, allowing her to perform till 2012. “Besides being an incredibly talented artist living for her art, she truly taught me and countless others to have a dream and follow it despite all obstacles... always looking at the positive aspect and pursuing your goal and passion,” Fossemalle said. Fossemalle came to the United States to study jazz after an injury from ballet. She studied in New York City with famed choreographers Martha Graham and Alvin Ailey at the Alvin Ailey Dance Theater. Then she ventured out West and found Santa Ynez by chance. A space for rent on Sagunto Street, which is now Valley Grind, was her first location when she opened in June 1986. She now has a larger studio on Numancia Street, just around the corner. For more information on the Amargosa Opera House, log onto To contribute to Becket’s legacy, contact Fossemalle at amargosaoperahouse

Celebrating a unique life The local celebration of life for Marta Becket will include a screening of Todd Robinson’s documentary “Amargosa” and a video performance of the “Sylphides Ballet” by Fossemalle dancers at the Amargosa Opera House. The celebration will be at 2 p.m. April 22 at Fossemalle Dance Studio, 3595 Numancia St. in Santa Ynez. To RSVP, get information or donate, email or call 688-8494.


who are participants in the Kindness Project at the school. Other helpers included Bernice Small, Linda Linton, Merrill Clayton, Jim Nichols, Gracie Love and Pam Gnekow from the Buellton Senior Center. Among the raffle prizes were flowers and plants and a gift certificate for two for a A sellout crowd of 60 enjoyed a dinner of future dinner. salad, smoked pork chops, rice, a mushAfter dinner, an enthusiastic group of Bunroom-veggie mix, garlic bread and cake on ko players gathered for three lively games. Feb. 28, all prepared and provided by the Attending the dinner is not necessary Hitching Post II restaurant in Buellton. for those who want to join the fun at the This dinner was a belated Valentine’s Day event, with the senior center decorated monthly Bunko games, which are held immediately after the senior dinners. with hearts and flowers for the occasion. For more information on Bunko at the The volunteer servers were Leslie Luquin center, call 714-7033. and Jackie Quijas, Jonata School students


Hitching Post II provides Senior Center dinner




175 McMurray Rd., Suite E • Buellton, CA 93427

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March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 23

ag & equine Valley-born filly sets auction sales record Price of $1.55 million expected to break 30-year lull in Arabian horse industry by Jessica Schley Contributing Writer


he most expensive Arabian yearling filly ever sold at auction was bred, foaled and raised on a farm in the Santa Ynez Valley. At eight months old, unshown and unproven, the petite rose-gray bombshell sold for $1.550 million on Feb. 24 in Scottsdale, Ariz. Om El Erodite, born in June at Om El Arab in Rancho Estates, is one of the most expensive female Arabians – of any age – ever sold at auction. “We are thrilled about the record-breaking sale, yet naturally it was really hard to see her go. We knew without a doubt she was incredible the moment she was born,” said Janina Merz, daughter of Sigi Siller, the famed Photo by Stuart Vesty breeder and founder of Om El Arab. Siller died of cancer in May, just six weeks before the filly The most expensive Arabian yearling filly ever sold at auction was bred, foaled and raised at Om El Arab in Rancho Estates, a farm in the Santa Ynez Valley. was born. that her sale was a boost for the entire Arabian Gallun Farms assisted Jeff Sloan of Sahara work within her own family, beginning with Merz knows the farm’s matriarch would industry. This is a pivotal moment for us. There Farm near Scottsdale, along with two other have been extremely proud of the filly, and she her grandfather, who purchased Siller’s first partners, in creating the auction. hasn’t been an auction sale like this since at wishes that their lives would have overlapped, breeding mare for her in 1969. least the 1980s.” The annual sale is expected to become an “This filly is everything that we have ever if only just briefly. The new Marquise Invitational Arabian international standard for the industry, with “Erodite is the culmination of our program’s strived to produce, in one package. She is a viHorse Auction, where Om El Erodite was sold, this filly’s sale marking just the beginning sion. She looks like a painting,” Merz gushed, entire focus and vision from day one. She is of what is speculated as a new era for fourth-generation Om El Arab,” Merz said, not with pride in her voice and emotion in her eyes. also has ties to the Santa Ynez Valley. Local residents Greg and Nancy Gallun of “What makes me the most thrilled is the fact Arabian horses. to mention the product of three generations of

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24 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017

Local boy is living the cowboy dream At 12, Parker Jones of Solvang has made a name for himself in Junior Rodeo competition by Raiza Giorgi


any little boys dream of becoming a cowboy, but 12-year-old Parker Jones of Solvang is already one of the best cowboys in the Santa Ynez Valley as he makes a name for himself in the Junior Rodeo system. “I have been riding horses and roping since I could remember. I try to ride or practice roping every day, because I want to be an equine veterinarian when I grow up,” Parker said. He has already won 50 belt buckles and more than five saddles at competitions all over the Central Coast, but he can’t use most of the saddles because they’re still a little big for him. “Even as a baby he was obsessed with ropes, and we enrolled him in the Branquinhos’ roping camp when he was five, and he was hooked,” said his mother, Brooke Jones. Both her sons are involved in the rodeo lifestyle, but Parker has been doing it longer than little brother Corbin, 7. “I like roping too and riding horses,” Corbin said with a shy smile. Parker has competed at different levels

Parker has had an affinity for cowboy culture since he was a toddler, his mom says.

al Finals Rodeo) in Vegas someday,” he said. Parker trains with local cowboys Mike Monighetti, Anselmo Ramirez and Dustin Noblitt, who help him with his skills on and Photos contributed off the horse. Parker is now sponsored by Cactus Ropes. Parker’s dream is to make it to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas some day. Locally there are several chances to watch in youth rodeo from the West Coast Rodeo, Junior Rodeo Association. He loves going to the up-and-coming cowboys like Parker. To see schedules, log onto or Antelope Valley Youth Rodeo Association and Santa Barbara Fiesta Rodeo every year and the the site of a new organization, Santa Barbara Central Coast Classic Association. This year he roping competition at the Ventura County Fair. “My dream is to make it to the NFR (Nation- Ranch Rope Series, at began competing in the California High School

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March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 25


Local pizzeria celebrating 24 years Tower Pizza is always looking for ways to be a community resource by Victoria Martinez Contributing Writer


hen Tower Pizza celebrated 24 years of business in Solvang with a customer appreciation day March 20, owners Torey and Monica Dunn said the event was just one more way to give back to the community. Tower Pizza has been a family-owned business since its opening, and the Dunns took the reins three years ago. “We’d been married around a year, and it was a perfect opportunity for us,” Monica Dunn said. Since then, the Dunns have been focused on not only providing good food to their customers but also creating a community-focused space and attitude within their establishment. After their son Karsten was born two years ago, both Torey and Monica began to realize the many ways they could give even more

Photo contributed, above; Photo by Victoria Martinez, right Tower Pizza owners Torey and Monica Dunn say they love giving back to the community, one slice at a time. The Dunns are pictured with their son Karsten outside Tower Pizza in Solvang.

back to the community, especially in ways that would benefit youth programs and schools around the valley. Whether it’s giving away 10 percent of a day’s proceeds to a group or sponsoring a T-ball team in need, Tower Pizza is always looking for ways to be a community resource. As a restaurant, Tower Pizza has a commitment to freshness and quality each day. Almost all of the produce they use is fresh, local, and organic when possible. Their dough is pre-

pared and cheese is grated daily. As Tower Pizza looks ahead, Monica believes the business has even more to give to their customers and the community. She’s also quick to state that everything she and Torey do at Tower is only possible because of their employees. “I love our staff,” Monica said. Tower Pizza is at 436 Alisal Road. Contact them at 688-3036 or at Towerpizzasolvang. com.

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he Los Olivos Wine Merchant & Café has refined its “Final Friday Featured Winemaker” series by adding food to the event. Beginning Friday, March 31, with winemaker Ryan Carr of Carr Vineyards and Winery, guests will be able to enjoy small bites while chatting with the winemaker as he pours tastes of his wine matched with the appetizers. Tastings in the series are held from 5:30 to 6:30pm on the final Friday of each month at the restaurant, 2879 Grand Ave. The cost $25.  Carr has 15 years of experience in the wine industry. He opened his own award-winning winery in Santa Barbara in the spring of 2007. For more information: 805688-7265 or www.winemerchant 

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26 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017


Locally made Mr. E’s Freeze makes big strides

A resilient optimist with a buoyant personality and a knack for coming up with fun banana puns, Kiel was aptly suited to help Shiffman develop and launch the business. Not much impressed by other dairy-free ice creams on the market — she considers many of them “too icy” — Kiel was initially a bit skeptical of Shiffman’s notion that together they could create and market a better alternative. However, a single taste of Shiffman’s

original college recipe caused Kiel to have a change of heart: “Once I tried it, I was like, ‘You’re right, this is really creamy!’” Kiel then went to work perfecting Shiffman’s recipe through the age-old process of trial and error, adjusting one ingredient at a time. Within about three months, she and Shiffman had developed three flavors — chocolate, strawberry, and original. In November, the

added a fourth flavor, Goodland Chai Spice. “Nicole was able to perfect the process,” Shiffman said. Kiel, now designated Top Banana, made the first batches of Mr. E’s Freeze in a kitchen on Industrial Way in Buellton, and the two co-founders officially debuted their frozen treat in 2015 at Buellton’s Earth Day Celebration. Sampling their product to the public in grocery stores and at public events has enabled Kiel to convert banana haters — they exist; Google it if you must — into fans of the banana-based dessert. “The banana can be polarizing because a lot of people don’t like bananas, so we try to get out there and have people taste it.” While the two co-founders considered finding a manufacturer to make their product, they ultimately decided otherwise, “Most of the manufacturers want you to have bags of chemicals, flavored powders, and liquid that they can just throw in and push a button,” Kiel said. “I just couldn’t make it like that.” Instead, they moved the production operation to a kitchen in downtown Santa Barbara, closer to home for Kiel. “This whole process has been about learning by doing and doing things organically. I took a lot of meetings with people that told me I was crazy,” Kiel said, “but the enthusiasm people have when they first try it keeps me going. My motivating factor for pretty much everything in life has been: If other people can do it, why not me?” she said. To contact Mr. E’s Freeze, email Sales@ or call 805-364-2367. For a list of stores carrying their products, visit www.

Barbara County Civil Grand Jury, is a past board member of the Arts Fund of Santa Barbara, is a business coach for Maui Mastermind and SCORE, and is a board member for the Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestra and the Montecito Fire and Protection District.

Sochel spent several years teaching government and history in Santa Barbara schools. While working on a graduate degree in public administration she accepted a position with Citizens Planning Association, a nonprofit environmental agency dedicated to land use planning and resource management.  The 1969 oil spill propelled her fully into the environmental

movement and politics, where she managed a number of political campaigns for local candidates. As Executive Director of the Gildea Foundation she continues to work with numerous nonprofit organizations throughout the county. In the public sector, she spent three years working as special assistant to the county administrator.

by Drew Esnard


r. E’s Freeze, a locally made frozen dessert, is the product of a partnership between a “big idea” man eager to carry out a nearly 40-year-old ambition and the right “top banana” to bring it all to life. The dessert is a non-GMO, dairy-free, gluten-free and soy-free “sort-of ice cream” made primarily with frozen bananas and coconut milk. Pints of Mr. E’s Freeze have found their way into nearly every freezer aisle in the Santa Ynez Valley and most specialty grocers in Santa Barbara. After less than two years in business, the non-dairy “ice cream” company was recognized last month by Food Business News as one of the “six standout start-ups” at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco show. Long-time Santa Ynez Valley resident Eldon Shiffman is the Mr. E behind the frozen treat’s mysterious name. While attending Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the late ’70s, Shiffman and his college friends regularly used a juice machine to make small batches of soft banana ice cream. “Wanted to make a big batch so we’d be able to store it,” Shiffman said. “We tried a few times but were unsuccessful. I’ve always wanted to find a way to make it work.” Enter Nicole Kiel. Kiel met Shiffman when she began working with his wife, Karen, at Santa Barbara Bank and Trust right out of college. “She was my boss, then became my mentor and friend. The both of them, they’re like family,” Kiel said.

WILDLING CONTINUED FROM PAGE 20 Sinser ran a Division at S.E. Rykoff and Company for 12 years and then opened and managed his own art gallery from 1984 to 2000. He served three terms on the Santa

Photo courtesy of Mr. E’s Freeze Santa Barbara County locals Nicole Kiel and Eldon Shiffman, co-founders of Mr. E’s Freeze, were a big hit when they exhibited their dairy-free dessert at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco.

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March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 27


education Spelling Bee attracts kids from all over the county by Natalie Parker Cub Reporter

Photos contributed Layna King scores in the CIF championship match against Diamond Bar High.

SYHS girls water polo team wins very first CIF title tion that the next season begins the day after the previous one stops. These girls practiced incredibly hard for months and months and decided they wanted to go after the teams that hey needed double overtime in their fi- would give them the best matches. There were nal match, but members of the Pirates no easy games,” Coach John Connolly said. girls water polo team won the first CIF “I have never felt so proud as I did that day. championship for their sport in Santa Ynez They amaze me,” he said. Valley Union High School’s history. Connolly returned as head coach after sev“It was kind of surreal because it was a eral years away from the sport. His daughter fierce competition, and even though we knew Shannon is a freshman and wanted to be on the we were coming out of it in either first or team, so he decided to get back into coaching. second place, it still felt amazing. Then we Shannon was named the team’s Most Valuwon, and it was a three-hour drive home with a able Player on March 13 after she broke every bunch of smiling, tired, happy girls,” said team school record in girls’ water polo for shooting, member Olivia Sparkes, 17. scoring, assists and steals. The Pirates team clinched the championship “We all had a really great season and worked by defeating Diamond Bar High for the CIF hard together. I am so proud of all of us,” she Southern Section Division 7 title on Saturday, said. Feb. 25, at the Woollett Aquatics Center in The Pirates had only one loss all season, to Cabrillo High School, but Cabrillo plays in DiIrvine. “Our entire season was built on the realizavision 4, which is a tougher level, Olivia noted. Local & open year-round

by Raiza Giorgi


The Santa Barbara County Spelling Bee is a place for kids who won their school’s Spelling Bees to compete to see who will go on to the California State Spelling Bee. When the Spell Master says a word, students can raise a red card to ask a question — but they can’t ask how it is spelled. (Trust me, kids have asked that.) They can ask for a definition or to have it repeated in a sentence. Then they get 20 seconds to write the word when the Spell Master says “Begin.” When the buzzer goes off and the Spell Master says “Pencils down,” students must stop and put their pencils down. Before the second round, there is a break for snacks and a bathroom break.

Photo contributed Oak Valley students Natalie Parker and Charley Hrehor participated in the Santa Barbara County Spelling Bee.

In my opinion, the words in the second round this year were much easier than in the first round! I got out in the first round, but as I watched the second round I wrote the words and got them all right! So that’s why I think that they were easier. You are only allowed to get three words wrong before you are out of the competition. The Santa Barbara County Spelling Bee is amazing, and I feel honored to have been able to attend the past two years. Natalie Parker is a fifth-grade student at Oak Valley Elementary School in Buellton.

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28 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017

HS students put their creative skills to the test

YMCA creates a youth swimming community

Architecture Competition is now in its 26th year

by Victoria Martinez

by Drew Esnard

Contributing Writer



f you’ve tried to do some lap or recreational swimming recently at Stuart C. Gildred Family YMCA in the late afternoon on Tuesday or Thursday, you’ve probably been turned away because “the Seals are practicing.” Those Y employees aren’t referring to the marine mammals, but rather to their thriving youth swim team. Since Greg Hughes became the aquatics director in March 2015, he has focused a great deal of attention on improving the quality of instruction for swim lessons and the Seals swim team. He feels his current instructors have found a great balance between knowing the curriculum and loving the students they work with. “Y programs are awesome because, first or last place, all leave feeling good about themselves,” Hughes said. Although quality of instruction is valued more than the size of the team, Hughes and his coaches have grown the team from one student to about 20 in the past two years. Students from 6 to 15 years old can

Photo by Victoria Martinez The Seals swim team at the Stuart C. Gildred YMCA competes in monthly swim meets against other teams in the Channel Islands Swim League.

participate in Seals practices and compete in monthly swim meets that include teams from the Channel Islands Swim League. The league is made up of teams from the other Channel Islands YMCA locations along with a handful of other swim clubs. The Seals swim team welcomes youth swimmers at all levels who can comfortably swim 25 yards, the length of the pool. The team practices year-round and competes during three designated seasons. For more information about the Seals Swim Team or swim lessons, contact Aquatics Director Greg Hughes at or (805) 686-2037, ext. 232.

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ozens of students displayed their creative skills when they were challenged to redesign the Old Gym at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School into a two-story education and activity center to be shared by students and senior citizens. Seventeen local high school students — 10 from SYVUHS and seven from Dunn — were among 50 competitors in the first round of the county-wide High School Architectural Design Competition on Feb. 28. At 8:30 a.m. the competitors received their challenge, and they were given until 3:30 p.m. to complete their designs. Many competitors found space management to be the primary challenge. “It’s tough making sure you’re precise with every detail, keeping up with every last measurement, and coming up with something creative yet simple,” said SYVUHS freshman Henry Allen. “It’s a lot of work to do in one day. But, it’s a fun way to express myself, and I’m into design ” Clayton Davidson, a freshman drafting student at SYVUHS, finished the first round as one of the top-12 finalists. Looking ahead, he said that if he won he would apply his prize money toward buying a car. He said one day he’d like a career in either architecture, automotive design or film direction. Four days later, after the finalists gave pre-

sentations of their designs to a jury on March 4, the winner was Annebel van der Meulen of Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta. Second place went to Blanca Diaz of St. Joseph High School in Santa Maria and third place went to Sullivan Israel of Laguna Blanca in Santa Barbara. Honorable mention went to Allison Larinen of Dos Pueblos and Vivian Zhan of Dunn School. Very few high schools in the county still have drafting classes, but according to David Goldstien — founder of the event and owner of David Goldstien Architecture Inc. in Solvang — those technical skills aren’t absolutely necessary to be successful in the competition. “In fact, last year about 50 percent of the finalists were art students with no technical drafting experience at all,” he said. The quality of the design concept, not drafting skill, is the emphasis throughout the competition. “The idea is to encourage kids to really think about design,” Goldstien said. “The experience of participating in this kind of event serves students with interests in a variety of different fields and encourages problem-solving and quick critical thinking.” Goldstien started the competition in 1991 with his wife, Linda, when he recognized that, while his two high school-age daughters had plenty of opportunities to explore their interests in jazz and theater, there weren’t any outlets for students interested in “tackling design and architecture.” Thus, the competition was born 26 years ago. Goldstien is still involved in the event, but the competition is now organized by the Architectural Foundation of Santa Barbara with large support from the Santa Ynez Valley Rotary Club.

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Photo contributed After the 12 finalists gave 15-minute presentations of their designs on March 4, the jury chose Annebel van der Meulen of Dos Pueblos High School as the winner.

March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 29

Zaca Center gains momentum with fundraiser Preschool’s future bright but will require continued community support by Drew Esnard


f the community turnout for Zaca Center’s fundraiser on March 4 at the Mendenhall Museum is any indication, the future looks bright for Buellton’s “little preschool that could.” Concerns that the preschool could face closure were raised last September when the Santa Barbara County Education Office announced they would not be providing funding or operating the center after the end of the school year. Advocates of the full-inclusion preschool and members of its parent board rallied with its board of directors to fight for the preschool’s survival. Members of Zaca’s parent board wanted to raise $10,000 from the event. “The numbers haven’t been finalized yet, but so far, they’ve far exceeded their goal,” said Zaca Director Shelley Grand. The continued success of the school, now in the process of becoming a nonprofit organization, will require consistent community support. “Remaining open is not a done deal, and we need support from families and

profoundly affected by their experience there,” said Leanna Watson, who’s been an advocate of the school since her children, now 14 and 18, attended years ago. “What I love about Zaca is the openness. They give each child exactly what they need in order for them to learn. Having both of my children on the autism spectrum, it has been an amazing few years watching them grow and develop. The community needs this school. They need these teachers,” said parent Janson Harwood. “If this school closed due to lack of funding, my heart, along with many others, would be broken. I would be scared to know where my autistic daughter would go, knowing that she is absolutely thriving in this environment,” Harwood said. The fundraiser featured a silent auction with donations from local businesses, Photo contributed such as Zoom! tooth whitening from Art Guests at the fundraiser were treated to live music, appetizers, local brews and other refreshments as they bid on auction items, Kaslow, dinner for 10 at Grappolo, eight socialized, and marveled at Mendenhall Museum’s collection of memorabilia. hours of landscaping by Greenscapes, two nights in a vintage airstream or safari tent the community to make it happen. We learning and playing, while having access at Flying Flags, and more. are cautiously optimistic that everything to support from physical and occupational All funds generated through the auction will come together, but it takes consistent therapists. The preschool also serves as a and ticket sales will go toward the opereffort, cooperation and diligence from model for the Outdoor Classroom Project, ating costs of Zaca Center. Figures of the numerous members of the school and com- and students get to spend a substantial total funds raised during the event will be munity to make it happen,” said Erin Zivic, portion of their day outdoors — explorposted online at www.santaynezvalleystar. the parent board president. ing, experimenting and investigating their com as soon as they are available. Zaca Center has a unique role as one of environment. For more information on Zaca Center, only a few full-inclusion preschools in the “Zaca is the best possible example of a email director Shelley Grand at zacacenter county. There, children with special needs full-inclusion education and was a pivotal or visit www.outdoorclass are fully immersed with their peers in part of my children’s lives. They were

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30 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017



Country singer Leann Rimes to perform Staff Report


rammy-winning country vocalist Leann Rimes will perform an evocative set list of her hits on Saturday, July 15, at the Santa Barbara County Fair. Her vocal stylings grabbed the attention of country music audiences when she was just a young girl, and she soon became a powerhouse in country music. Rimes first earned worldwide acclaim at just 13 years old with “Blue,” a Patsy Cline-inspired song that showed vocal depth and maturity. In 1997 the song’s success made her the youngest person ever to win a Grammy. She took home the award for Best New Artist and Best Female Country Vocal Performance. She followed “Blue” with several country pop hits such as “One Way Ticket (Because I Can),” “The Cattle Call,” “The Light in Your Eyes,” “Nothin’ Better To Do,” “How Do I Live,” and “Til We Ain’t Strangers Anymore,”

a duet with Jon Bon Jovi. “Ms. Rimes has an extraordinary voice, and she has the ability to captivate the audience with her vocal range, catchy tunes, and stage presence,” said Santa Maria Fairpark CEO Richard Persons. Rimes recently released the single “Long Live Love” off her album “Remnants.” She has also embarked on a world tour in support of the album. Rimes will perform at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 15. Like all other performances, admission to the concert is free with paid admission to the fair. General admission for the fair is $8 for ages 6-11; $10 for ages 12-61; and $8 for ages 62 and older. Kids 5 and younger are always free. Parking costs $7. The 2017 Santa Barbara County Fair runs July 12-16. For more information, visit www.santa or the fair’s Facebook page. Photo contributed Leann Rimes broke out with a Grammy Award when she was just 13 years old. Soon she was a powerhouse in country music.

Vince Gill, Lyle Lovett to perform at casino Staff Report

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ince Gill and Lyle Lovett’s “Songs and Stories Tour” is coming to the Chumash Casino Resort’s Samala Showroom at 8 p.m. Thursday, March 30. The two Grammy Award-winning artists initially joined forces for a tour in 2014. Without a set list, the two played both together and separately with each artist serving as his own accompanist. That tour was so well received that they have continued to tour each year since, giving their audiences an unforgettable evening of impromptu acoustics and story-telling.  Gill is a country singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who first achieved commercial success in the 1970s as lead singer for the country-rock band Pure Prairie League. In 1984 he kicked off his solo career with the release of his first album, “Turn Me Loose.” He has recorded more than 20 studio albums, charted more than 40 singles on the Billboard charts, and has sold more than 26 million albums. He has won 18 Country Music Association Awards and 21 Grammys, more than any other male country music artist. Lovett is a country singer, songwriter and

Photo contributed Vince Gill and Lyle Lovett have continued to tour each year, giving their audiences an unforgettable evening of impromptu acoustics and story-telling.

instrumentalist as well as an actor. Initially a songwriter, he took his musical career mainstream in 1986 when he signed with MCA Records and released his self-titled debut album. He is admired for his unique composition of country, folk, swing, blues, jazz and gospel music. He has recorded 13 studio albums, released 25 singles and won four Grammys, including Best Male Country Vocal Performance and Best Country Album. He began acting in the 1990s and can be seen in popular television series including “Mad About You,” “Brothers & Sisters,” “The Bridge,” “Castle,” and “Dharma & Greg.” Tickets are $75, $85, $95, $105 and $115, available at the casino or at www.


March 21 - April 3, 2017 H H Santa Ynez Valley Star H 31

Events pages sponsored by To submit an event for to be listed in the Santa Carbohydrate Counting for Diabetics Class-11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Hospital. Ynez Valley Star, email news@santaynezvalFree. For the online calendar www.


Solvang Farmer’s Market-2:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. along First Street;


Cholesterol & Fats, Oh My!-12:00 p.m. to 1:00 Santa Ynez Valley Cottage Health. Enjoy this free seminar that discusses the effects of cholesterol and fats. Mother and Son Luau- 5:30 p.m.-8:00 p.m. Solvang Vets Hall. $13 per ticket or $9 for sibling ticket. Contact 688-7529 for more information.

Quilt Camps-April 3 to 7 and April 10 to 14. The Creation Station Fabric and Quilt Shop, Buellton. $150 plus the cost of materials. Visit www.thecreation


Creative Play at Knitfit - 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 473 Atterdag Road in Solvang. Learn more at Exercise for Life - Weekdays except Wednesdays from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. with Barbara Owens at Church at the Crossroads, 236 La Lata Drive, Buellton. Call 688-8027.

Cachuma Lake Recreation - Wildlife cruises and Shen Yun World Tour-March 24-26. Show times boat rentals, fishing, nature walks and Nature Center. fluctuate. The Granada Theater. $70-$165. Advanced ticket purchase recommended. Visit Visit College Admission Community Workshop-10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Family Partnership Charter School, 320 Alisal Rd, Suite 206, Solvang. Collage admission information event offered to high school seniors. Free. R.S.V.P. at (805) 348-3333 ext. 7 or


American Cancer Society Relay for Life-1:00 p.m. at Dunn School. Visit for registration information and a schedule of events.

26 27

Artist Talk: The Iwerks Brothers-3:00 p.m. Wildling Museum. $5 museum members, $10 all others. Visit Tinkergarten Class-9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Hans Christian Andersen Park in Solvang. Interactive outdoor activities to achieve cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. Free class.


Solvang Farmer’s Market-2:30 p.m. -6:00 p.m. along First Street

Clairmont Lavender Farms - Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 2480 Roblar Ave., Los Olivos. www. Zaca Creek Golf Course - Perfect little 9-hole course, daily from sunrise to sunset. No tee times. 691-9272.


Senior T’ai Chi - 9:15 a.m. at the Solvang Senior Center, 1745 Mission Drive. Call 688-1086. Arthritis Classes - 10:15 a.m. at the Solvang Senior Center, 1745 Mission Drive. Call 688-1086. Adult Coloring - every other Monday at 1 p.m. at the Solvang Senior Center, 1745 Mission Drive. Call 688-1086.


Knitting 9:30 a.m.; Computer class 9:30 a.m.; Tai Chi at 11 a.m.; Brush-up Bridge 12:45 p.m.; Poker at 12:45 p.m. and Mah Jongg at 1 p.m. at the Solvang Senior Center, 1745 Mission Drive. Call 688-1086.

Vince Gill & Lyle Lovett-8 p.m. Chumash Casino. Come enjoy these two legendary singer/songwriters telling stories and singing songs. $70-$115. Visit


Silver Striders – Meet at 10 a.m. at the Buellton Senior Center and walk around the community. In bad weather the group meets at the Buellton Rec Center and walks on treadmills. No RSVP needed and water provided.

Comedy Night-7-9 p.m. Figueroa Mountain Brewing Company. 45 Industrial Way, Buellton. Visit www.

Bridge - 1 to 5 p.m. at the Buellton Senior Center Every Tuesday

Probate Avoidance, Property Transfers After Death, Wills and Trusts Seminar- 4-5 p.m. Law Office of Lana Clark, 1607 Mission Drive, Suite 107, Solvang. Free. Limited availability. Contact 688-3939 or to sign up.

April 1 3

Tennic Clinic-1:00 p.m.-2:00 p.m. 2742 Quail Valley Rd. Free. Contact (805) 688-6820 to reserve a spot. Tinkergarten Class-9:30 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Hans Christian Andersen Park, Solvang. Free.


Art class- 9 a.m.; Book Club (1st/3rd Wed) 10 a.m.; Canasta at 12:30 p.m. and Bingo at 1 p.m., Solvang Senior Center, 1745 Mission Drive. Call 688-1086. Santa Barbara County MS meetings - 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at High Sierra Grill in Goleta. Call Mike Jack at 886-3000 for more details. Crafts - 1 p.m. at the Buellton Senior Center. After School Club – 2 to 5 p.m. at the Creation Station in Buellton. Cost is $20; supplies not included.

For ages 7 and up. Call 693-0174 or log onto www. Beginner Acrylic Painting - 10 a.m. to noon at Buellton Rec Center - Designed for the absolute beginner to intermediate painter. Learn the basic techniques and fundamentals of composition and color theory with artists Christi Schaeffer of Gypsy Studios. Cost is $240 for the semester.

Soiree Thursdays at Refugio Ranch - 5 to 7 p.m. Featuring live music, food pairings and wine by the glass; 2990 Grand Ave in Los Olivos. www.refugio


Tai Chi at 9:15 a.m.; Beginning Mah Jongg 10 a.m. and Pilates - 10:15 a.m. at the Solvang Senior Center, 1745 Mission Drive. Call 688-1086.

Manga Club-3:30 to 4:30 p.m. at the Solvang Library. For young adults and teens 8th grade and higher who Bingo - 1 to 3 p.m. at the Buellton Senior Center. like to draw Manga- style art and/or create stories. Materials provided. Live music - 5 to 7 p.m. at Carr Vineyards and Winery, 3563 Numancia St., Santa Ynez. www.carrwinery. Arthritis com. Exercise 10:15 a.m.; Live music - 8 - 11 p.m. at Copenhagen Sausage Texas Hold’em Poker at 12:45 p.m. and Basic CarGarden, 1660 Copenhagen Drive in Solvang. www. tooning at 1 p.m. at the Solvang Senior Center, 1745 Mission Drive. Call 688-1086. Firkin Friday at Figueroa Mountain Brew Texas Hold ’em - 1 p.m. at the Solvang Senior Center, 5 to 10 p.m. at the Buellton and Los Olivos Figueroa 1745 Mission Drive. Call 688-1086. Mountain Brewery locations. For more info log onto Easy Does it Chair Exercise - 10 a.m. at Buellton Senior Center. Work on balance and strength while n n n seated.



Check out our April Santa Ynez Valley Star issues for Easter events and Summer Camp information. Our April issues will be out April 4 and April 18. Look for them throughout the Valley and Santa Barbara County.

32 H Santa Ynez Valley Star H H March 21 - April 3, 2017

$6,498,000 | 800 E Highway 246, Solvang | Winery Claire Hanssen | 805.680.0929

$3,700,000 | 2651 Long Canyon Rd, SantaYnez | 4BD/4BA Bill Grove | 805.350.3099

$3,395,000 | 4150Tims Rd, SantaYnez | 5BD/6BA Claire Hanssen | 805.680.0929

$3,395,000 | 3169 Montecielo Dr, SantaYnez | 4BD/4BA Brett Ellingsberg | 805.729.4334

$1,999,000 | 2989Woodstock Rd, SantaYnez | 3BD/3½BA Laura Drammer | 805.448.7500

$1,579,000 | 2096 Still Meadow Rd, Solvang | 4BD/3BA Claire Hanssen | 805.680.0929

$1,495,000 | 9400 Santa Rosa Rd, Buellton | 4BD/3BA Bob Jennings | 805.570.0792

$1,330,000 | 1489 Country Cir, SantaYnez | 5BD/5BA Deanna Harwood | 805.325.1452

$1,250,000 | 1090 Alamo Pintado, Ballard | 9± acs (assr) Laura Drammer | 805.448.7500

$1,195,000 | 465 Bell St, Los Alamos | Commercial Brett Ellingsberg | 805.729.4334

$1,050,000 | 2461 Grand Ave, Los Olivos | 4BD/4BA Nina Stormo | 805.729.4754

$849,000 | 2875 Calzada Ave, SantaYnez | Suzy Ealand & Ken Sideris | 805.698.9902/805.455.3158

$789,000 | 475 Quail Run Rd, Buellton | 4BD/2½BA Deanna Harwood | 805.325.1452

$549,500 | 51Valley Station Cir, Buellton | 3BD/2BA Bob Jennings/Kathy Spieler | 805.570.0792/895.6326

$529,000 | 160Valley Station Cir, Buellton | 3BD/3BA Sharon Currie | 805.448.2727

$425,000 | Grand Ave, Los Olivos | 1± acs (assr) Nina Stormo | 805.729.4754

Visit us online at Montecito | Santa Barbara | Los Olivos ©2017 Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties (BHHSCP) is a member of the franchise system of BHH Affiliates LLC. BHH Affiliates LLC and BHHSCP do not guarantee accuracy of all data including measurements, conditions, and features of property. Information is obtained from various sources and will not be verified by broker or MLS. CalBRE 01317331

Santa Ynez Valley Star March B 2017  

The Santa Ynez Valley Star covers topics regarding news features, arts, nonprofits, business, education, agriculture, equine, food and drink...

Santa Ynez Valley Star March B 2017  

The Santa Ynez Valley Star covers topics regarding news features, arts, nonprofits, business, education, agriculture, equine, food and drink...