Author spotlight: Gwyn Lurie

CEO and Executive Editor of the Montecito Journal Media Group.

As Supervisors’ Pay Rises, Should Constituents’ Confidence Lower?
By Gwyn Lurie   |   October 21, 2020

On October 7, in a 3-2 vote, our County Board of Supervisors voted to give themselves an optional 3% pay raise. Supervisor Joan Hartmann justified her vote by explaining that “this job is a very demanding one with a lot of responsibilities that are very diverse.” Das Williams and Steve Lavagnino expressed similar justifications for […]

COVID-19 As Metaphor — A Russian Master Strategist Weighs In — And Our Pick For President
By Gwyn Lurie   |   October 13, 2020

Four years ago this newspaper was one of a handful of publications nationally to announce its support for Donald Trump for president. It did so largely because of Trump’s positions on deregulation and renegotiating many of our trade agreements. In his 2016 endorsement, my predecessor wrote, “We do hope Trump lives up to his promises […]

Elections Have Consequences…
By Gwyn Lurie   |   October 1, 2020

Who we vote for, in many ways, determines how, and how well, we live. This has never been more obvious than it is right now. And not just at the highest levels of government; from the ballot’s top to bottom it matters. The dangerous perspective that a single vote does not make much difference allows […]

Recycle, Upcycle, Bicycle
By Gwyn Lurie   |   September 17, 2020

As people flee crowded cities to more peaceful and less congested towns like ours, places like Santa Barbara become less peaceful and more congested themselves. The fact is, as urbanization and population reach unprecedented levels, and road congestion has become a daily tax of tedium. And it doesn’t just grind at our psyches. Heavy traffic […]

The Cards COVID has Dealt our Schools
By Gwyn Lurie   |   September 3, 2020

Sometimes life’s big questions come with choices, not right or wrong answers. History is kind or unkind to these choices which are evaluated through the lens and luxury of Retrospect. MUS’s then-newbie superintendent, Anthony Ranii, was acutely aware of this on January 8, 2018 when he made what turned out to be one of the […]

Whose Montecito?
By Gwyn Lurie   |   August 27, 2020

by Gwyn Lurie As scores of people flee various pandemic-claustro places for the sunny hills and shores of Montecito, it is time to ask ourselves the inescapable question, “Whose Montecito is it?”   This point was underscored by local reaction to last week’s issue of this newspaper which gently poked fun at tabloid culture and expressed […]

“Tabloid Culture” – A True Oxymoron
By Gwyn Lurie   |   August 20, 2020

For a few decades before and one decade after the Millennium, there was a well-known restaurant in New York named Elaine’s, known as the “it” celebrity hang-out and “the private place where public people go to be private in public.” There was a rigorous selection process to get in (which was conducted by Elaine herself). […]

Pitch Imperfect
By Gwyn Lurie   |   July 30, 2020

Remember the movie Home Alone? It’s a fantasy, a comedy, and a horror film wrapped in one. The parents leave for a family vacation and amidst the chaos of preparing to leave, they forget the most important thing… their son. So the kid gets left home alone with no grown-up in charge, no one to […]

Pride and Prejudice
By Gwyn Lurie   |   July 23, 2020

These days discussions about race are like a knot where the more you work on it, the tighter it gets. I do not recall a more racially charged time and I have been through several of them. To give just a brief summary of the last few days: the entertainer Nick Cannon made some comments […]

Masker-Aid
By Gwyn Lurie   |   July 16, 2020

There’s an old saying, “If you don’t plan on doing it right, you’d better plan on doing it again.” As I write, Governor Newsom has just stepped way out ahead of the federal government and ordered sweeping rollbacks of businesses in 30 counties across California, including our own. In Santa Barbara, not so long ago […]

Our Forefathers, Forecasters? Forthright?
By Gwyn Lurie   |   July 9, 2020

I wrote this letter July 4th-5th, 2020. Growing up, Independence Day was one of my favorite holidays. It was a celebration of the strong shoulders upon which this great nation was built; a celebration of the principles our Founding Fathers fought for and a celebration of the Founding Fathers themselves. The food was great and […]

Pundit-Palooza!
By Gwyn Lurie   |   July 2, 2020

When I made the decision to create the consortium to purchase this newspaper I did so with one primary goal: to create a forum for our community to talk with and to each other, not at each other. Nor to avoid each other. From where I sat, there was a vast diversity of political and […]

Will Desal Have its Day?
By Gwyn Lurie   |   June 25, 2020

Water has historically been Montecito’s (and one of California’s) most critical and controversial issues. We hope you’ve found helpful Nick Schou’s deep dive into the complicated nature of Montecito’s proposed “Water Sharing Agreement” or WSA, with Santa Barbara; and Montecito’s historical relationship to Santa Barbara’s desalination project and how the MWD has finally been able […]

What Difference 10 Years Make
By Gwyn Lurie   |   June 25, 2020

It was March 2004 and I was pregnant with our first child when my husband and I bought our home here. We’d married nine months earlier at the San Ysidro Ranch and we would drive up for weekends, rue L.A.’s show biz culture and roam around Montecito, fantasizing about raising our kids in one of […]

The Right to Be Imperfect
By Gwyn Lurie   |   June 18, 2020

My kids don’t appreciate when I publish what I write about them. Let me clarify, they hate it. We live in a small, one-degree-of-separation town. And they’re kids, which is hard enough without your mother writing about your travails in the local paper. I get it. So, we made a deal: As long as I […]

Upstanders, Bystanders, and Grandstanders
By Gwyn Lurie   |   June 11, 2020

There’s so much to unravel from last week. And a lot to thread back together. In the much maligned 2020, I think there’s more news, coming from more sources, than any of us can efficiently process. To make matters harder, my theory is we have at least two different nations happening at the same time. […]

3 Dylans, 2 Zimmermans, 2 Coopers, and 2 Junes in Minnesota:
By Gwyn Lurie   |   June 4, 2020

What Are We Going to Tell our Kids? The George Floyd video is a Zapruder film of not just the final moments of a man’s life, but a snapshot of race relations in this country, at this particular inflection point. What each of us finds most disturbing about that video is as unique and diverse […]

Masks Matters. As Do You.
By Gwyn Lurie   |   May 28, 2020

The cover of this week’s Sunday New York Times was stunning in its simplicity, yet powerful in its portrayal of the gravity of this moment. The headline: “U.S. DEATHS NEAR 100,000, AN INCALCULABLE LOSS” loomed above a thousand names of human beings, in tiny print, one after another, row after row – a newsprint version […]

Even the Best of Intentions Come with Their Challenges…
By Gwyn Lurie   |   May 21, 2020

During this challenging and bizarre pandemic moment, the Montecito Journal, like every other business, has tried to pivot to meet this unexpected time. One of the ways we have tried to do this is to initiate free home delivery (thanks to some local angel sponsors), so that community members who did not feel safe to […]

A Thing or Not a Thing, That is the Question
By Gwyn Lurie   |   May 14, 2020

Recently and apparently out of nowhere, one of my daughters got “blocked” by one of her closest “friends.” For those of you who don’t have screenagers and are missing out on a front row seat to millennial and Gen Z social mores, “blocking” is the Boomer equivalent of “unfriending” on Facebook. It’s what a “friend” […]

Many Things Can Be True at Once
By Gwyn Lurie   |   May 7, 2020

The coronavirus and the related deaths of seventy thousand Americans and nearly two hundred thousand more people around the world, would seem to be a shared enemy that could bring people together – even people in a country as divided as ours. Instead, this pandemic has handed us new beliefs over which to divide. Stay […]

Having Montecito’s Back
By Gwyn Lurie   |   April 30, 2020

These days, there’s no shortage of things to get emotional about. Like most of us, other than essential workers for whom I feel deep gratitude, I’ve been home for almost six weeks. Reading and watching the nightly news is painful, but I do it. I worry about my elderly mother. I feel horrible for my […]

It Takes a Village to Save a Village
By Gwyn Lurie   |   April 23, 2020

The world is going LOCAL. Or at least it should be. Every day we have more proof that food, information, energy infrastructure, and leadership have the most integrity and most power to do good when they have the least distance to travel. When it’s locally sourced. Distance dissipates. It is a fact of life. How […]

The Importance of Building Bridges
By Gwyn Lurie   |   April 16, 2020

Thank you to Montecito realtor, Cristal Clarke, for sponsoring this week’s MJ home delivery. Bringing the MJ to your doorstep (or at least your driveway) is one way we are working to meet the challenges of this moment. Thanks to Cristal Clarke’s support, we are once again able to deliver. I’d also like to give […]

Voting to the Moon and Back
By Gwyn Lurie   |   April 9, 2020

Huge thanks from the Montecito Journal to Maureen McDermut & Associates for sponsoring this week’s home delivery! We are doing everything possible to get to you during this difficult moment! In the blink of an eye, the world has changed. On Sunday evening my daughter wanted takeout from a local Mexican restaurant, but my husband […]

Judgements-Be-Damned
By Gwyn Lurie   |   April 2, 2020

A shout out of gratitude to Realtor Dusty Baker for sponsoring this week’s Montecito Journal home delivery. Hemingway famously said, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter… and bleed.” Which certainly has been true for me on occasion. But on the positive side of the ledger, writing has […]

Superheroes and the Everyday Heroism of… Waiting
By Gwyn Lurie   |   March 26, 2020

This week we have increased our distribution to 15,000 papers. In the spirit of supporting this challenging time of necessary social distancing, we are pleased to announce that we will be delivering to homes in Montecito, Summerland, and many parts of Santa Barbara. A special thanks to VILLAGE PROPERTIES for making possible this week’s MONTECITO […]

Social But Not Emotional Distancing
By Gwyn Lurie   |   March 19, 2020

I was talking to a young friend on Friday. She grew up in Montecito and is in her sophomore year of college in Santa Barbara. We were commiserating about her school, and my daughters’ local schools, all coming to such an abruptly surreal halt when my friend looked at me and said, “Same thing happened […]

Against All Odds
By Gwyn Lurie   |   March 12, 2020

Last week, when Senators Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar suspended their presidential campaigns, you could hear a coast-to-coast collective sigh of female frustration. “Are we ever going to see a woman be elected president of the United States?” I strongly believe we will. But not until (we) women make it so. As Elizabeth Warren said, […]

What Would Pearl Do?
By Gwyn Lurie   |   March 5, 2020

The California Primary is finally over and our sincere congratulations go to Das Williams for the win. Now let’s get to some serious bridge-building – something we’re all too familiar with in Montecito. Hopefully these bridges will take less time to build than the one at Parra Grande. Am I pushing for a Kumbaya moment? […]

Our Endorsements
By Gwyn Lurie   |   February 27, 2020

This political season feels tedious and interminable. Like watching Joaquin Phoenix’s Oscar acceptance speech on a continuous loop. Set to elevator music. And then the elevator gets stuck. Unfortunately, for many of the races that matter to us, we still have eight months to go till November – eight months of promises, sniping, wooing, and […]

Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word
By Gwyn Lurie   |   February 20, 2020

Why is it so hard for politicians to say: I’m sorry? Why has the apology become the very last resort? I wondered this when Bill Clinton took so long to pseudo apologize for his behavior with Monica Lewinsky… and lied to Congress about it. I wonder this about Donald Trump – who seems to operate […]

Sitting Down with Salud
By Gwyn Lurie   |   February 6, 2020

I asked Salud Carbajal, our Congressman from the 24th district, if he would sit with me for an interview. Three plus years into his job in Washington, he is playing a far different role from the role he played for 12 years as our 1st district County Supervisor. These are challenging times for anyone in […]

My Two Cents
By Gwyn Lurie   |   January 30, 2020

By all accounts, Monday night’s candidate debate at Hahn Hall was a rousing success. Over 300 of Montecito’s finest showed up and packed the house to hear First District Supervisor Das Williams and challenger Laura Capps respond to questions from community leaders and to hear the candidates make their case why he or she should […]

A Bias for Bias
By Gwyn Lurie   |   January 23, 2020

A story you may have missed while you were busy celebrating the holidays was the December 31 closing of the gargantuan (half million square foot) “Newseum” – just steps from the White House on Pennsylvania Avenue – after 11 years and ten million visitors. Various news outlets decried the poignancy and irony of the 450 […]

Resolving to be More
By Gwyn Lurie   |   January 9, 2020

The second week of January has always been important to me because by this time I have broken all my New Year’s resolutions so I can get back to the serious business of enjoying pasta. Someone needs to support Montecito’s myriad of northern Italian restaurants, so I nominate myself. Typically, the third week of January […]

Loco For Local and a Happy New Year
By Gwyn Lurie   |   December 26, 2019

As 2019 comes to an end, I’m choosing to focus on what’s right in front of my nose and how grateful I am that Montecito is my home. Today, seated at Merci near Vons in my favorite corner booth (for which I really should be paying rent – thank you Elizabeth and Stephane), before I […]

Montecito Takes a Seat at the Table
By Gwyn Lurie   |   December 19, 2019

In a little more than 80 days (March 3) we will have the opportunity to vote for, among other things, one of two candidates vying for the First District Santa Barbara County Supervisor seat: the incumbent Das Williams or his challenger, Laura Capps. Why does this election matter to the nine thousand plus residents of […]

High Net Worth
By Gwyn Lurie   |   December 12, 2019

For all of us who live or work in Montecito, the rainy season brings up a still fresh mix of emotions. We’re grateful for the hydration of our mountains as they continue to recover and revegetate. We’re thankful to no longer be in an active drought. But still we struggle with the residual trauma from […]