Author spotlight: Gwyn Lurie

CEO and Executive Editor of the Montecito Journal Media Group.

Zooming it in, yes. Phoning it in, no.
By Gwyn Lurie   |   January 28, 2021

Someone once said, “Journalism is what somebody doesn’t want you to know. The rest is advertising.” I find that quote not just clever, but true, and precisely why local journalism is so vital. With so much overwhelming national news, not to mention two diametrically opposed sets of news to choose from, both biased, I often […]

Senior Moments
By Gwyn Lurie   |   January 14, 2021

Happy New Year! 2021 is finally here and while I’ve never been more ecstatic to watch the ball drop in Times Square, I know a number does not a miracle make. As much as we crave instant relief from the dumpster fire that was 2020 and the pandemic that defined it, unfortunately none of the […]

For 2021, Let’s at Least do the Least
By Gwyn Lurie   |   December 31, 2020

It’s hard to believe that this decade (and by decade, I mean this past year) is finally coming to an end. However, for those of us fortunate enough to have made it through, it does seem we are about to see the backside of the most tumultuous, trying, and confusing year in memory. 2020, don’t […]

Just a Few Miles from Home
By Gwyn Lurie   |   December 17, 2020

Just hours into what is hopefully our final lockdown order, it’s deja vu all over again. I’m worried about my mother in Los Angeles and my in-laws cooped up in assisted living at Maravilla. As we head into the holidays, I’m missing my family and friends, I’m feeling bad for my kids, and I’m concerned […]

The Giving List
By Gwyn Lurie   |   December 10, 2020

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving, even if it wasn’t the raucous family-packed affair we’re all used to. Hopefully by next year it will be safe for all of us to return to that long-cherished tradition of gathering with loved-ones even if we dread being seated next to that one random cousin with whom […]

Giving Thanks for Giving
By Gwyn Lurie   |   December 3, 2020

There are certain holidays I appreciate less for their historical importance, than for the opportunity they afford us to stop and reflect upon our lives, and to feel gratitude for all we have been given. As well as all we are able to give back. At the risk of retreading well-travelled terrain, I won’t go […]

Santa Barbara’s Next Mayor?
By Gwyn Lurie   |   November 25, 2020

The 2020 political season is over. Mostly. But like California’s fire season, once reserved to only certain months of the year, election cycles now seem to be with us 24/7-52-365. I guess there’s no rest for the weary. So let me be the first to welcome you to the early days of the next important […]

We Must Recover the Lost Art of Compromise. On This There Can Be No Compromise.
By Gwyn Lurie   |   November 19, 2020

The election is finally over. Or maybe it isn’t. But one thing is clear: for some of us this moment brings exhilaration, joy, relief. For others, this moment is profoundly disappointing and downright hard to take.  American Democracy has arrived at a crossroad. If you listen to almost any news outlet, down one road lies […]

A Little Good News Goes a Long Way
By Gwyn Lurie   |   November 12, 2020

By the time we go to press the long-anticipated election will be over, but as I write this letter, I’m in the dark as to what that will mean. What I do know is this past year has been like no other I’ve known; and I suspect I’m not alone. 2020 has moved us from […]

Shouldn’t We Try to Do Better?
By Gwyn Lurie   |   November 5, 2020

My friend’s mother used to say: “Just because you’re the loudest, doesn’t mean you’re right.” From time to time I invoke this during vociferous dinner table debates amongst members of my family. But in a world where facts go unchecked on social media platforms, where vocal minorities can represent anything as truth, it can be […]

Vote.
By Gwyn Lurie   |   October 29, 2020

I’m told that when we have something important to say, we should say it as succinctly as possible. I don’t always adhere to this, but here goes… Don’t fear. Don’t dread. Don’t complain. Don’t regret…. VOTE! Or, as said by others more esteemed and eloquent than I: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate […]

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, […]