Author spotlight: Kelly 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.

Montecito Association Meets
By Kelly Herrick   |   June 17, 2021

It was a meaty agenda at this month’s Montecito Association Board of Directors meeting, which featured updates on the Highway 101 expansion through Montecito, the beginning of Smart Meter technology at Montecito Water District, and updates on proposed state housing bills that could have a significant effect on Montecito.  Kirsten Ayars with the 101 widening […]

Lemondrop Opens in Upper Village
By Kelly Herrick   |   June 17, 2021

“When life gives you kids” is the catch phrase for a new store in Montecito called Lemondrop, located in the Upper Village. Owned by Montecito mom of four, Ana Rudnicki, the new shop caters to the pre-teen or “tween” set: kids between the ages of 8 and 14. “I know I am not the only […]

A New Path for the Revitalization of Coast Village Road
By Kelly Herrick   |   June 10, 2021

After more than a year helping many of their business constituents navigate through catastrophic blows to business, the Board of Directors of the Coast Village Association has one primary goal for 2021: To form a Community Benefit Improvement District, or CBID, in order to take control of the street’s aesthetics, safety, and marketing ventures.  “We’re […]

Butterfly Pedestrian Undercrossing Project
By Kelly Herrick   |   June 10, 2021

Earlier this week, the Montecito Association Land Use and Transportation Committee heard from Caltrans reps regarding a new project that will bring the pedestrian freeway undercrossing at Butterfly Lane up to ADA compliance. The project will begin in late fall of this year, through late spring 2022, and it will cause the closure of the […]

Freeway Projects Accelerated
By Kelly Herrick   |   June 3, 2021

At a kick-off celebration on May 24, community leaders and stakeholders gathered under the Santa Claus Lane underpass of Highway 101 to mark the next phase of the freeway widening, called the Padaro Project, which includes the construction of seven- and-a-half miles of congestion-relief work between Carpinteria and Summerland. The project cost is approximately $200 […]

A New Beginning: Husband’s Closet Spurs Kate McHale Jensen Clothing Line
By Kelly Herrick   |   June 3, 2021

Montecito alum Kate McHale Jensen has opened a brick-and-mortar shop in Santa Barbara to house her four-year-old sustainable clothing company, KMJ. It was nearly 12 years ago that Kate was on the cover of this newspaper after opening a Coast Village Circle studio and showroom to debut her first fashion foray, a line of fit […]

Montecito Dental Relocates
By Kelly Herrick   |   May 27, 2021

After nearly 25 years in business, Montecito Dental Group, the largest and longest running dental practice in the Santa Barbara area, has relocated to two different offices, after leaving their longstanding home in Paseo Mariposa on Coast Village Road. The practice has opened in Santa Barbara at 3714 State Street (in the new Estancia development), […]

‘Craving Community’: Kate McMahon Returns to Coast Village Road
By Kelly Herrick   |   May 27, 2021

Local fashion fixture Kate McMahon is back on Coast Village Road, opening a pop-up in Montecito Country Mart to offer her full clothing collection called Covet. McMahon took a multi-year hiatus from the brick-and-mortar retail scene, focusing instead on selling her luxury knitwear — including her famous sweaters — online. “It felt like the right […]

TBCF Plans In-Person Picnic
By Kelly Herrick   |   May 27, 2021

With fingers crossed that California will “reopen” on June 15, the team at Teddy Bear Cancer Foundation (TBCF) is planning their first in-person event in over a year. Like all local nonprofits in 2020, TBCF cancelled numerous fundraising events, held a virtual event, and pivoted at every turn, all while providing more support than ever […]

Montecito Association Meets
By Kelly Herrick   |   May 20, 2021

Earlier this week, the Montecito Association Board of Directors was shown preliminary renderings of the design of the widening of the 101 Freeway, which will eventually widen the freeway to three lanes in each direction between Sycamore Creek in the city of Santa Barbara up to Romero Creek in Montecito.  Design engineer Zach Siviglia showed […]

Wish Upon a Montecito Star: MUS Fundraiser Gets Help from a Legend
By Kelly Herrick   |   May 13, 2021

Saturday, May 22 will be a very exciting evening for Montecito Union kids, parents, and the greater community, as Montecito Union School hosts a virtual gala featuring professionally produced musical performances from MUS students. Dubbed “Montecito Star,” the event is in lieu of the Montecito Union School Foundation’s annual gala, which raises money for various […]

Randall Road Debris Basin Groundbreaking
By Kelly Herrick   |   May 13, 2021

On Monday, government officials, staff, contractors, and community partners broke ground at the future site of the Randall Road Debris Basin; a project outlined at length two weeks ago in the Montecito Journal.  “It’s amazing we’ve gotten to this point,” said County Public Works Deputy Director Tom Fayram. “A project like this can often take […]

San Ysidro Ranch Spa Debut
By Kelly Herrick   |   May 13, 2021

This weekend Montecito’s famed San Ysidro Ranch will host a preview of its new Salon & Spa, located in a classic board and batten style cottage on the picturesque property. With plans to fully open next week, the Salon & Spa also features a relaxing courtyard surrounded by fragrant gardens and shaded by vine-covered pergolas.  […]

Transportation & Land Use Committee Discusses 101 Design
By Kelly Herrick   |   May 13, 2021

Earlier this week, the Montecito Association’s Transportation & Land Use Committee received a presentation from representatives from the Highway 101 HOV project, who gave the committee a preliminary sneak peek of design elements for the highway widening through Montecito.  The project will eventually widen the freeway to three lanes in each direction between Sycamore Creek […]

2021 First Quarter Recap: Housing Market Simply Staggering
By Kelly Herrick   |   May 6, 2021

The real estate market in Santa Barbara and surrounding areas continues to be stronger than ever, with the first quarter statistics confirming that sellers currently have the advantage over buyers. With staggeringly low inventory, and an influx of out-of-town buyers adding to our already strong local buyer pool, home prices are at an all-time high.  […]

Read ‘N Post Closes
By Kelly Herrick   |   May 6, 2021

Jan Hendrickson, longtime owner-manager of Read ‘N Post in Montecito, was honored by staff members and friends during the store’s last day on Saturday, April 24. Jan was presented with two books of pictures and handwritten messages from dozens of customers and others, created by Read ‘N Post staff member Carol Finston. The beloved store […]

Montecito Author Releases New Poetry Book
By Kelly Herrick   |   May 6, 2021

OPEN, the newest book of poetry by Susan Read Cronin, explores issues of love, life, death, and family. Sometimes written as seen through the eyes of a child, Cronin’s poems remind the reader of what it is like to try to make sense of the world around us. Weaving steadily between dark and light, her […]

Montecito Rotary’s “Back 2 School” Fundraiser
By Kelly Herrick   |   May 6, 2021

The Rotary Club of Montecito is virtually hosting its annual “Back 2 School” fundraising event for Santa Barbara City College student scholarships on Wednesday, May 19, 2021 at 4 pm. Providing funding to the Santa Barbara City College for more than 25 years, the Rotary Club of Montecito continues to organize around raising money for […]

Library Plaza to Honor Michael Towbes
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 29, 2021

At a hearing last week, the Santa Barbara City Council approved a proposal to name the soon-to-be revitalized library plaza at the Santa Barbara Public Library in honor of the late philanthropist, Michael Towbes.  The project to remodel the plaza, which is located between the library and the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, has been […]

Last Days at Read ‘N Post
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 29, 2021

Read ‘N Post at Montecito Country Mart will host an informal all-day “final fling” this Saturday, April 24, with free light refreshments and “a chance for us to say ‘thank you and best wishes always’ to our customers and friends,” said Jan Hendrickson, principal owner of the beloved shop. “Read ‘N Post has had more […]

Biltmore Employees Seek Legal Action
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 29, 2021

Over 250 employees of the Four Seasons Biltmore Resort are seeking back pay to account for being out of work for over 13 months, according to a recent memorandum sent to Montecito Journal. Local law firm Anticouni & Ricotta, which is representing the employees, is scheduled to mediate with the Four Seasons at the end […]

Coastal Commission Upholds Roundabout Projects
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 29, 2021

At a hearing last week, the California Coastal Commission upheld approvals for two upcoming roundabouts in Montecito after considering appeals of both projects.  The two roundabouts – one at the intersection of Olive Mill and Coast Village roads and one at San Ysidro Road and North Jameson Lane – have had a polarizing effect on […]

Lotusland Art Sale
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 22, 2021

In an effort to rethink traditional in-person fundraising efforts, Lotusland has announced a new benefit event, Sanctuary.  Earlier this year, 36 local artists were asked to create new work inspired by Lotusland. The artists were given three days to visit the Garden and only eight weeks to create, capture, and complete their muse at Lotusland. […]

Montecito Association Meets
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 22, 2021

At this month’s Montecito Association Board of Directors meeting on Tuesday, April 13, executive director Sharon Byrne gave an update on several housing bills at the State level which the Association is watching; Byrne wrote about the issue in last week’s Montecito Journal.  The MA has hired former state senator Hannah-Beth Jackson as a legislative […]

Turner Medical Arts Opens on Coast Village Road
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 22, 2021

Dr. Duncan Turner, longtime Santa Barbara-based gynecological surgeon and women’s health advocate, has moved his practice to 1250 Coast Village Road, upstairs from Village Properties, The Warner Group, and Synergy Lending. “We are thrilled to be here, and to be able to offer our services more conveniently to our Montecito patients and those further south,” […]

Gorjana Opens in Montecito
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 15, 2021

Contemporary jewelry store Gorjana has opened on Coast Village Road, bringing its popular mid-priced and fine jewelry to Montecito. Founded in 2004, the Laguna Beach-based jewelry brand is owned by wife and husband team Gorjana and Jason Griffin Reidel, who set out to build a casual jewelry line that was “quintessential California.”  Originating from the […]

Land Use Discusses Highways 101 & 192, and Walking Paths
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 15, 2021

Kirsten Ayars, rep for the Highway 101 widening project, reported on Tuesday at the Montecito Association Land Use and Transportation Committee that recent attempts at deterring the double crested cormorants in the construction area at Sheffield Drive have been negatively affecting neighbors, and that plans have shifted in order to deter the birds while not […]

Easter at Montecito Country Mart
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 15, 2021

This past Saturday, Montecito Country Mart hosted a socially-distant photo op with the Easter Bunny, welcoming more than 200 families over the course of the day. County Line Florals created an Easter floral backdrop for the photo moment, and popped up with their 1965 VW Transporter, Betty, with Easter blooms for the day.  All proceeds […]

Montecito Club to Reopen Next Week
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 15, 2021

Ty Warner’s Montecito Club is set to reopen Tuesday, April 13, after being closed for more than a year during the COVID pandemic. The Club, which features a Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course and social club, has expanded its offerings to include new outdoor amenities, including tennis lessons and clinics for all ages, movies on […]

Women Recognized by CSS and MUS
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 8, 2021

Montecito school superintendents Dr. Amy Alzina, Superintendent of Cold Spring School District, and Dr. Anthony Ranii, Superintendent of Montecito Union School District, recognize the leadership of three outstanding women leaders in the local community in honor of Women’s History Month, including Montecito Association Executive Director Sharon Byrne. In addition to her work with Montecito Association, […]

Read ‘N Post To Close
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 8, 2021

Late last week customers at Read ‘N Post were surprised to learn that the Montecito retail landmark, located in Montecito Country Mart, shared plans to close at the end of April. In business in Montecito for nearly 40 years, Read ‘N Post is a favorite among locals who go to peruse the extensive collection of […]

Electric Bikes Coming to Coast Village Road
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 1, 2021

At their monthly board meeting on Thursday, March 18, the Coast Village Association Board of Directors heard from Jesse Rosenberg, General Manager of Santa Barbara BCycle, as she pitched the group on bringing electric bicycle docking stations to Coast Village Road. The private bike share company has been working with the City of Santa Barbara […]

Hot Springs Pathway Project
By Kelly Herrick   |   April 1, 2021

Over the weekend, volunteers with the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade were out in full force beautifying a newly-built pathway on the lower portion of Hot Springs Road. The next phase of the project, which will start at Casa Dorinda and end at East Valley Road, is set to begin in early May and will take […]

State of Our Schools
By Kelly Herrick   |   March 26, 2021

Next Tuesday, March 30, Santa Barbara Unified School District Superintendent Hilda Maldonado will share the status of the district’s schools. The presentation is hosted by the Santa Barbara Education Foundation and sponsored by Atkinson, Andelson, Loya, Ruud & Romo, LogMeIn, UCLA Health, DA Davidson, KBZ Architects, Hohbach-Lewin, Oniracom, and Lazy Acres.  The virtual event features […]

(Most) Local Businesses Permitted to Open Indoors
By Kelly Herrick   |   March 25, 2021

At a Board of Supervisors hearing on Tuesday, Santa Barbara County’s Public Health Director Van Do-Reynoso announced that the county, after meeting several decreasing COVID-19 case rate thresholds, would be entering the less restrictive Red Tier outlined in California’s pandemic blueprint.  Do-Reynoso reported that COVID-19 case rates have decreased 42% over the last two weeks, […]

Latest on School Reopening
By Kelly Herrick   |   March 18, 2021

In addition to the majority of the business sector permitted to reopen indoors with modifications earlier this week, most county public schools – bolstered by happy and tired parents and caregivers – reopened in early March. Montecito public schools, Montecito Union School and Cold Spring School, have been open for in-person learning since late September, […]

Emergency Ordinance Extended
By Kelly Herrick   |   March 18, 2021

On Tuesday, February 23, the Santa Barbara City Council extended its Emergency Economic Recovery Ordinance until March 8, 2022. The ordinance, which was adopted last May, continues the temporary closure of certain streets, on-street parking, and public parking to allow outdoor dining and outdoor business uses in the public right-of-way or on private property, which […]

Colonial Williamsburg at MUS
By Kelly Herrick   |   March 18, 2021

In an effort to provide a special experience to their 5th grade class, teachers at Montecito Union School brought Colonial Williamsburg to MUS. “Most years, fifth graders are able to attend the D.C./Colonial Williamsburg trip as a culmination of their studies of the early history of our country. Clearly, that wasn’t in the cards this year, but our […]

Coast Village Association Seeks to Form Improvement District
By Kelly Herrick   |   March 11, 2021

At a City Council hearing on Tuesday, March 2, the Council voted unanimously to approve an ordinance related to forming a Community Benefit District on Coast Village Road, an initiative set forth by the Coast Village Association Board of Directors. “This is just the beginning, the first starting block,” said CVA Board President Bob Ludwick, […]

Food Donations at La Cumbre Deli
By Kelly Herrick   |   March 11, 2021

For the last several months, Larry Balducci, the beloved owner of Plaza Deli in La Cumbre Plaza, has been offering his expansive and easily accessible patio as a drop off location for pet food donations. “After hearing all of these stories about how people can’t afford to feed their pets during the pandemic, I knew […]