Author spotlight: Kelly Mahan Herrick

Kelly has been editor at large for the Journal since 2007, reporting on news in Montecito and beyond. She is also a licensed realtor with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, and is a member of Montecito and Santa Barbara’s top real estate team, Calcagno & Hamilton.

Meet the GM at Montecito Sanitary District
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 23, 2021

The last five months have been busy for new Montecito Sanitary District General Manager Bradley Rahrer, who took the reins at the District in June of this year. Rahrer, who was hired after multiple interim managers came and went following the retirement of Diane Gabriel last year, hails from the city of Santa Barbara’s Public […]

Lotusland Benefit
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 19, 2021

Ganna Walska Lotusland and the Lutah Maria Riggs Society are collaborating to screen the award-winning documentary, Lutah – A Passion for Architecture: A Life in Design, this Saturday, November 20, at the Lobero Theatre in Santa Barbara.  Lutah Maria Riggs is an integral part of Santa Barbara architectural history. Lotusland’s archives contain several drawings by […]

Summerland Farm Prevails
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 16, 2021

Escrow closed earlier this week on a 6.84-acre property at the top of Temple Street in Summerland; the property has been the subject of much community discussion over the years, as its fate was uncertain until about two months ago, when the Carpinteria/Summerland Unified School District, which has owned the property since 1955, accepted a […]

Montecito Association Meets
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 16, 2021

At this month’s Montecito Association Board of Directors meeting, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Lieutenant Butch Arnoldi reported that Pierre Lafond Market in the Upper Village was broken into earlier this week, in a similar fashion as a burglary that occurred in July. Both glass doors were broken, and suspects removed cash registers and quickly fled […]

Grand Opening of the Nature Lab
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 16, 2021

Last Wednesday evening, hundreds of Montecito Union School parents, kids, teachers, staff, and members of the Montecito community came out to celebrate the grand opening of its Nature Lab, a project which has been in the works for nearly 15 years. “I want to thank the Montecito Union School board members, past and present, for […]

Nature Lab to Officially Debut
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 9, 2021

Montecito Union School will host a ribbon-cutting event this week, to showcase its unique 2.5-acre Nature Lab, a facility that allows its students to grow their own crops, learn outside, and even interact with a tortoise and some chickens. The students at the enviable elementary school were a big part of the process about how […]

Beautyhabit Opens at Montecito Country Mart
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 9, 2021

After a successful pop-up location over the summer in Montecito Mercantile, Beautyhabit, a company known as a renowned online resource for offering the best in beauty, has launched a full retail location in Montecito Country Mart. The “modern luxe apothecary” concept offers the best in global indie beauty brands, now gathered together for the first […]

Beautification Day, COVID Style
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 9, 2021

In an effort to remain as COVID-safe as possible, Montecito Association is hosting a smaller-than-normal Beautification Day this Saturday, November 7, beginning at 9 am. This year’s event will be based at a new location: the upper green on the corner of East Valley Road and San Ysidro Road, in front of Pierre Lafond. After […]

Cold Spring Seeks to Build New Building
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   November 2, 2021

Nearly a year after the marginal failure of Measure L2020, the $7.8 million Cold Spring School bond measure that was on the ballot last November, school staff, admin, and parents have dusted themselves off to launch a capital campaign to fund a much-needed expansion of the school. “We still have a need. That did not […]

Ghost Village Road Resumes
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 28, 2021

After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ghost Village Road, the popular trick-or-treat event along Coast Village Road, is set for this Sunday, Halloween, from 3 pm to 6 pm. While the event typically draws roughly 2,500 costumed kids, parents, and pets each year, it is expected that this year’s event will be […]

MUS Improvements to Start Next Summer
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 26, 2021

Montecito Union School is moving forward with some much-needed – and long anticipated – improvements to campus next summer, which will take over a year to complete. “This project has been fifteen years in the making, and has gone through a huge number of changes,” said Superintendent Anthony Ranii, who sat down with us earlier […]

Alisal Fire is a Sobering Reminder of Lurking Dangers
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 19, 2021

At this month’s Montecito Association Board Meeting, the Board of Directors touched on many community topics, including fires, crimes, transportation, the holidays, and more.  During community reports, Montecito Fire Chief Kevin Taylor, reporting from the front lines of the Alisal Fire, said the 13,000-acre fire (as of press time) was a good reminder for everyone […]

Jeannine’s With a View: Expansion Pays Off for Beloved Eatery
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 12, 2021

Quickly and quietly opening in time to capture the summer tourism rush, Jeannine’s at the Shore, which opened early July, is the latest – and the largest – outpost opened by Alison Hardey of the Hardey Family, who have operated the locally-owned family bakery business for over 30 years. “We’ve always wanted to be at […]

Montecito’s First Michelin Star
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 5, 2021

Twenty-seven California restaurants were awarded Michelin stars earlier this week, and for the first time ever, three eateries on the Central Coast made the list, including Montecito’s Sushi Bar, located in the Montecito Inn on Coast Village Road. “This is all I’ve wanted for a very, very, very long time,” owner Phillip Frankland Lee said.  […]

Redistricting Will Impact Montecito
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 5, 2021

The Citizens Independent Redistricting Commission, which is comprised of 11 commissioners representing all five supervisorial districts in Santa Barbara County, is seeking input from the public regarding redrawing our district map, which will be in place for the next 10 years. “We’ve been working on this for over a year, and we are now at […]

‘DUI Hunter’ Now Patrolling Streets of Montecito
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 28, 2021

Each month during the community reports segment of the Montecito Association Board of Directors meeting, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Lieutenant Butch Arnoldi rattles off about a dozen crimes that happen each month in our area. These almost always include vehicle break-ins at trailheads; stolen mail or packages; maybe a residential burglary or two. Last week, […]

Cava on Coast Village Road to Close
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 21, 2021

After 24 years of serving up elevated, authentic Mexican food on Coast Village Road, Cava Restaurant & Bar closed its doors on Wednesday, September 15.  “It’s certainly sad to see this wonderful chapter close, but we are absolutely making the right call,” said owner Carlos Lopez-Hollis. “There is virtue in decisiveness with a difficult but […]

Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation Is Dreaming Big
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 21, 2021

Each September, Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) invites the community to join it in recognizing National Childhood Cancer Awareness month through its much-cherished Gold Ribbon Luncheon. After multiple cancellations last year, TBCF has announced a smaller luncheon event, to take place under a tent at the Hilton Santa Barbara’s Plaza Del Sol on Wednesday, October […]

Montecito Association Meets
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 21, 2021

At this month’s Montecito Association Board Meeting, the board heard from Jon Frye of Santa Barbara County Flood Control, who gave a photographic update on the Randall Road Debris Basin, which began construction in May.  Following the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow in 2018, the debris basin project was proposed along Randall Road in […]

Montecito Deli Celebrates 20 Years
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 14, 2021

This Saturday, September 11, marks the 20th anniversary of Montecito Deli on Coast Village Road. Owner Jeff Rypysc closed escrow on the purchase of the business on the fateful day of September 11, 2001, and since then has been feeding Montecito locals and tourists at the casual deli. Rypysc has always attributed his success to […]

Gas-Powered Generators Being Installed; 101 Widening to be Reviewed
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 14, 2021

At this month’s Montecito Association Land Use & Transportation Committee meeting, the group heard from Carla Leal of Cox Communications, who reported on new gas-powered generators being installed in Montecito. The project, which aims to install 49 generators throughout the Montecito area, stemmed from a decision issued by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) earlier […]

This Should Be Fire: One805 Returns
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 7, 2021

After a long 18 months of attempting to execute a follow-up event to its widely successful Kick Ash Bash following the Thomas Fire and 1/9 Debris Flow, local nonprofit One805 has announced a smaller scale donor appreciation event, slated for September 18. The special event, which is limited to 350 people, will be held at […]

Connecting the Community: Hot Springs Neighborhood Trail Complete
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 31, 2021

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this week on the newly completed Hot Springs Neighborhood Trail, which connects Olive Mill Road from Casa Dorinda to East Valley Road.  Since the debris flow in January 2018, the Bucket Brigade, led by Abe Powell and a committed team, has worked to restore many areas of the community, and […]

New Face at Montecito Village Grocery
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 31, 2021

Customers at Montecito’s quaint upper village grocery store may notice a new face behind the meat case: Don Fortin is the store’s new meat manager and butcher. “I have big shoes to fill,” he told us during a recent visit. Fortin was brought on the team to fill the position left by longtime butcher Tony […]

MWD Urges Reduced Water Usage
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 19, 2021

At a Montecito Association Board of Directors meeting earlier this week, Montecito Water District general manager Nick Turner reported that intensifying drought conditions and increased water usage by district customers has prompted a request from the district that all residents reduce their water usage.  “Over the last five years the board has been dedicated to […]

Community Reports at Montecito Association Meeting
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 19, 2021

Also at the MA meeting, Santa Barbara County Sheriff Lieutenant Butch Arnoldi reported on a plethora of crimes that occurred in the area this summer, including a theft from an unlocked vehicle on Butterfly Lane, vehicle broken into on San Leandro Lane, construction trailer broken into on Woodley Road, residential burglary on Cota Lane, vandalism […]

COVID-19 Provisions Extended
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 19, 2021

Last week, the Montecito Planning Commission voted unanimously to recommend to the county’s Board of Supervisors to extend local ordinance provisions related to COVID-19.  The provisions have been in place since last summer, when the Board of Supervisors approved the Temporary Development Standard Suspension Ordinance Amendments to implement regulations regarding the temporary suspension of compliance […]

More Electric Bike Stations Slated for Coast Village Road
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 12, 2021

In March, we reported on a plan to install electric bikes and docking stations on Coast Village Road by BCycle Santa Barbara, a private bike share company. Now, the company is seeking three additional docking stations in the area. “In order for us to be successful on Coast Village Road, we realized we needed more […]

Juniper Moves to Coast Village Road
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 12, 2021

Upper Village clothing and accessory boutique Juniper has moved to the Lower Village, next to Sakana in Coast Village Walk. Owner Marie Ferris, who originally hails from the East Coast, moved to Montecito in 2017 to open the store after operating a successful boutique in Del Mar for more than 16 years. Ferris’s well-known Del […]

Mid-Year Montecito Market Update
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 12, 2021

The real estate market in Montecito continues to exceed any and all expectations, creating records in both prices and number of sales. The first six months of the year have been incredibly active, with 140 homes* closing since January 1. This is nearly double the amount we saw last year, when 79 homes traded hands […]

Countywide Contest Recognizes Beautiful, Water Efficient Gardens
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 5, 2021

The 2021 WaterWise Garden Recognition Contest recognizes beautiful, water-efficient residential gardens throughout Santa Barbara County. The Santa Barbara County Water Agency and participating local water providers encouraged residents to apply for the contest and enter into the running for an agency award and the countywide grand prize. A winner from each of the participating water […]

Local Businesses Burglarized
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 5, 2021

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating four recent burglaries at local businesses where the suspects forced entry overnight and stole items. The first incident was Friday, July 23, 2021 in the 5800-block of Hollister Avenue at Old Town Coffee. A suspect smashed a window to gain entry, stole various items from inside the business, […]

Mid-Year Santa Barbara Market Update
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 5, 2021

The Santa Barbara County real estate market continues to be a strong seller’s market, with 823 homes sold in the South County (which includes Carpinteria to Goleta, and includes Montecito and Hope Ranch) the first half of the year, which is a 54% increase over last year. In a pre-pandemic year, that number would hover […]

Montecito Concierge Medicine: ‘A Practice Within the Practice’
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 5, 2021

Back in April, we reported on the opening of Turner Medical Arts on Coast Village Road, located at 1250 Coast Village Road, upstairs from Village Properties, The Warner Group, and Synergy Lending. Now, Dr. Duncan Turner has brought on a new internal medical doctor, Dr. Alan Viglione, who launched his “practice within the practice,” Montecito […]

Beating Long Haulers Syndrome
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 29, 2021

Montecito resident and medical journalist Michael Bowker has penned a new book, Beating Long Haulers Syndrome, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath. “I really wanted to shed light on Long Haulers Syndrome, and convince people and politicians that it is striking millions of COVID survivors. We need to allocate far more funds […]

Montecito Club’s Sports Complex Latest
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 22, 2021

Last Thursday, after more than four hours of discussion, the Santa Barbara City Planning Commission voted unanimously to give Montecito Club owner Ty Warner and disgruntled neighbor Angelo Mozilo two months to cooperate enough to conduct a noise study at the Club’s “Sports Complex,” which was built on the property’s upper lawn without the benefit […]

All Saints-by-the-Sea Reopens
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 22, 2021

After an extensive 2.5-year remodel project coupled with a complete shutdown due to the COVID pandemic, All Saints-by-the-Sea Church in Montecito reopened last weekend, welcoming dozens of parishioners eager to reconnect with one another. “It was a true homecoming,” said Reverend Aimee Eyer-Delevett.  In 2012, engineering consultants advised leadership that the church’s iconic bell tower […]

Glamour House to Close
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 22, 2021

One of Montecito’s longest running businesses, Glamour House, will close at the end of the month. Owner Ann Picciuto calls the closure of the intimate apparel store a “happy ending and a new beginning.” She and her husband, Rick Gehrke, sat down with us earlier this week.  Picciuto took over the long-standing Upper Village fixture […]

Montecito Mercantile Opens
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 15, 2021

Two months after the closure of Read N’ Post in the Montecito Country Mart, the shopping center’s newest store, Montecito Mercantile, has opened, a sister store to owner Carrie Schei’s beloved Salt House Mercantile on Bainbridge Island.  The shop, which is managed and overseen by longtime retailer and merchandiser Kelly Finefrock, has been transformed to […]

YMCA Project Moves Forward – Finally
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   July 15, 2021

After nearly 13 years in the making, plans for expanding and remodeling the Montecito YMCA are once again moving forward, with the YMCA’s project application expected to be submitted to Santa Barbara County by the end of the month. “We’re still here, and the project is still happening,” said YMCA executive director Mike Yamasaki, who […]