Good Neighbors

By Montecito Journal   |   May 28, 2024

I am pleased that the Miramar is proposing adding affordable workforce housing for their employees alongside apartments and shops. Workforce housing helps local residents build a stronger foundation in the neighborhood: it helps both community and business.

As the retired Director of the All Saints by the Sea Parish School next door, I was continually impressed with Caruso’s professionalism and community-mindedness. As they built the hotel, we met together frequently and they were immediately responsive to any question or concern we had. Caruso went above and beyond, even building a large plexiglass square window inside the sound-wall for the children to watch the tractors doing their work, and then holding an event with special cookies, ice cream, plastic hard-hats and small Tonka tractors to take home.

The first Christmas at the newly opened hotel, each classroom was invited to visit the Miramar Santa and have a picture with Santa to take home. Caruso also considerably discounted the cost of holding preschool fundraisers at the hotel.

That level of professionalism and responsiveness has continued since the hotel’s earliest days. I also understand as part of their current plans, they have listened closely to the community and made several substantial changes to their plan based on the feedback they heard, including removing a full floor.

With the experience I had as the school director, I know that Caruso will continue to be a good neighbor and keep working with the church and neighbors as they proceed with their workforce housing plan.

Padric Davis
Retired Director
All Saints by the Sea Parish School

A Helping Hand for Finding a Home

There has been a lot of misinformation in the news lately about pending changes coming to the real estate industry and what they mean for homebuyers and sellers. As a dedicated REALTOR® in Santa Barbara, I’d like to clarify any confusion your readers may have.

Because of a recent settlement by real estate brokerages and the National Association of REALTORS®, two things are changing. First, properties listed on the multiple listing service (MLS) will no longer include an offer of compensation to buyer’s agents. Second, homebuyers who want to work with an agent will need to sign a written agreement with that agent before touring a home. That means before homebuyers start their home search, they’ll need to discuss and agree with their agent what the agent will do on their behalf, and they’ll need to decide how much and how to pay that agent. 

Historically, nearly 9 out of 10 homebuyers have opted to work with a real estate agent or broker in what is possibly the most important purchase of their lives. That’s because we help buyers and sellers navigate a maze of forms and complex paperwork; coordinate with lenders, inspectors, other agents, escrow companies, title companies, appraisers and other professionals; and ensure that our clients’ interests are represented in pricing, negotiation and closing.

In my over 50 years as a REALTOR®, the transactions that gave me the most satisfaction involved helping home buyers find their first home. I love being able to assist them with what may be the largest purchase of their lives. 

The pending changes will not affect what makes REALTORS® valuable – a commitment to work in their clients’ best interests. REALTORS® throughout the state will continue to serve their clients every day and help make homeownership a reality for all Californians who aspire to it.


Michele Allyn
2024 President Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS®

Smiles at the Y

While the Montecito family YMCA is in the midst of its fundraising campaign, I feel compelled to share my fondness for this local institution and its long history.

Origins of the YMCA stem back to England in 1844, and in the USA and Canada in 1851.

There are currently 2,700 facilities in the U.S. The Montecito Y’s present facility, established in 1966, is located on Santa Rosa Lane, steps away from the Union School. 

My daily trip to the Y has become a treasured ritual, nurturing my moods and motivations. My day starts with a very positive outlook. The building’s welcoming design is reminiscent of Montecito early days, tucked away along a stream on three acres of land. The staff is friendly and so accommodating. The front desk is often graced with orchids donated by Gallup and Stribling and proceeds from the flower sales go towards their annual campaign.

The Y offers many different programs throughout the day designed for a range of members and their abilities. 

Being an early bird at the Y, I enjoy my morning swim followed by yoga with Katie Coo, a committed and skilled instructor, or Chantal Evrard, a long-time teacher and healer. Daniel Bowen is another popular and dedicated Yoga/stretch coach.

My early schedule allows me to share a delightful parade of children and parents to the pre-school.

My 7 am swim is a daily ritual supervised by incredible lifeguard Duane Turner. A legend at the Y!!! Duane has worked for the Y since 1998. He displays the best attitude as he performs his job with a sense of responsibility and a twist of humor. Every morning Duane writes on a white board a new vocabulary word, an inspirational quote, and a joke to make a smile.

The Montecito Y is a unique facility and important center for the community where the older members, the teens and very young children can gather. The concept fosters a true sense of connection in honoring its diversity.

Their annual campaign is full swing and hopefully will meet its projected goal. I would encourage the support of this unique institution.

Respectfully submitted,

Genevieve Antonow

Roundabout Answers

Surely there is a typo or misplaced decimal point. $18 million for a roundabout!? 

As for the celebration, nothing to celebrate about the cost! As for completion, when the on ramp is completed, then we can call the project done but still in need of the tire-killer NE curb redesign and modification. 

Doug Norberg

The MPA Guarantee

As a kid, I was constantly at the beach, its vast ecosystems inspiring me to pursue a career in a STEM field. To this day I chase the wonder I felt looking at the mini ecosystems of tide pools, fascinated by the diverse life my two sisters and I found within them. 

In order to do my part and push the legislature to truly start gearing towards passing more climate conscious bills, I went to Sacramento for Ocean’s Day, a massive coalition of environmental organizations all working towards one important goal: ensuring California’s oceans and coastlines remain the important social and environmental asset they are. We hosted a press conference where various senators and assembly people spoke on the sheer importance of the bills, they were championing and their hopes to make strides towards a more equitable, environmentally sustainable future
for California.

To ensure that future generations can be instilled with the same wonder I was as a child, we need to push for the expansion and continued protection of our Marine Protected Areas to guarantee that we are not just idly waiting for the inevitable collapse of California’s amazing coastline. MPAs are shown to be a critically important tool that we need to utilize if we want to protect the immense biodiversity and cultural significance of our coastline as they protect marine species from threats like overfishing, pollution, and habitat destruction.  

Hudson Truchard


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