Gala for Gaviota

By Richard Mineards   |   June 6, 2019
Walter and Sandra Stingle with Gaviota Coast Conservancy’s past president Phil McKenna (photo by Rick Carter)

The 23-year-old Gaviota Coast Conservancy went paddling at the El Encanto with its third annual premier benefactors’ reception for 60 supporters of the organization dedicated to preserving the 76 miles of pristine coastline, the longest stretch of undeveloped coastal land remaining in Southern California.

The sunset soirée, co-chaired by Joyce Macias and Donna Senaur, also presented awards to Shaw Leonard and Tamlorn Chase, who made the 42-minute film Gaviota: The End of Southern California over a five-year period, premiering it at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

Among the supporters raising their paddles for emcee Geoff Green with a tidal wave of support for the environmental non-profit raising more than $50,000 were executive director Doug Kerns and wife Tanja from Montecito, Lois and Laura Capps, Candace White, Marianne Partridge, Nancy Black, Mike Brown, Marc Chytilo, Steve Forsell, Virginia Gardiner, Phil McKenna, and Peter Sperling.

The Belmond Riviera hostelry hosted the boffo bash.

Gaviota Coast Conservancy’s new executive director Doug Kern with his wife Tanja, and Laura and Lois Capps (photo by Rick Carter)
One-of-a-kind awards made of ceanothus burls by board member, artist, and 6th generation family member on the Ornella Ranch Gunner Tantrum, filmmakers Shaw Leonard and Tamlorn Chase, and Gaviota Coast Conservancy vice president Karen Feeney (photo by Rick Carter)

Rob Flips Their Whigs

Montecito actor Rob Lowe has inadvertently found himself in a right royal row!

Rob, 55, who has been in Britain filming an ITV drama Wild Bill, where he plays an American cop policing an English town, poked fun at 36-year-old Prince William‘s dramatic hair loss, calling the transformation from his once enviable mane “a traumatic experience.”

“British men set a low bar when it comes to vanity,” he told London’s Daily Telegraph, while reflecting on his latest role. “There’s a pill. The first glimpse that a single hair of mine was going to fall out, I was having that stuff mainlined into my veins.

“And that’s what I did for the next thirty years,” citing his personal efforts to keep his lustrous locks.

But his remarks about the follicly challenged heir to the British throne, after his father, Prince Charles, did not go down well with avowed royalists, with critics dubbing him “incredibly rude,” “a cheap shot,” and “an unintelligent idiot.”

While others said it would be good to have an heir apparent with some hair apparent…

So Long, Montecito 

Cellular phone billionaire Craig McCaw seems to be severing all ties with Montecito where he has lived with his wife, Susan, 52, former U.S. ambassador to Austria, and their three children for many years.

McCaw, 69, just sold his five bedroom 4,179 sq. ft. half-acre Fernald Point beach property for $12.2 million, which he bought in 2009 for $8.3 million, to Gary Newman, former co-CEO of the Fox TV Group, and his entertainment attorney wife, Jeanne.

He has also put his five-bedroom, ten-bathroom 13,445 sq. ft. 3.31-acre Park Lane estate on the market for $28 million, which includes a movie theater, wine cellar, game room, cabana, and a one-bedroom guest house.

McCaw, who sold his company in 1994 to AT&T for $11.5 billion, was formerly married to Hope Ranch resident Wendy McCaw, owner of the Santa Barbara News-Press. He is heading back to Seattle, I’m told…

Mesa in Montecito 

Mesa Burger, known for its handcrafted cuisine, is expanding into Montecito.

Having just opened its latest branch at the Camino Real Marketplace in Goleta, the company, which looked at the vacant Trattoria Mollie space a couple of months ago, is now taking over the recently vacated Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf space on Coast Village Road.

Construction is set for late fall, says my man with the martini.

Stedman Speaks Out

Oprah Winfrey‘s longtime beau, Stedman Graham, 68, an author and educator, has opened up about his 33-year relationship with the 65-year-old TV talk show titan.

“I’ve been able to find my own happiness, and to find my own skills, my own talents, my own abilities, and I’m satisfied with that,” he says.

Stedman told fellow Montecito resident Ellen DeGeneres on her Burbank-based talk show he was “dedicated” to Oprah’s happiness.

“I want her to be the best she can possibly be and she’s done a pretty good job of doing that.”

The tony twosome first met at a charity event in 1986 – the same year The Oprah Winfrey Show debuted in Chicago.


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