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.

Mail Thief Arrested
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   March 4, 2021

Thanks in part to a vigilant Montecito resident, a suspect was arrested late last week for mail theft and numerous other theft-related charges. Juan Carlos Coronado-Mendoza, 31, of Santa Barbara, was arrested at his home on the 1200-block of Liberty Street last week.  According to the Sheriff’s Department, on December 29, 2020, a victim of […]

Baby Boom at ELMO
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   March 4, 2021

El Montecito Early School Director Suzy Dobreski reports that six families at the beloved preschool are currently expecting babies! She sent over this photo of the expectant mothers, with prayer shawls that were knitted by members of El Montecito Presbyterian Church.  Closed for almost two months around the holidays, the small preschool reopened in late […]

Deterring the Birds in Summerland
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   March 4, 2021

With ongoing construction on the Sheffield Drive bridge as part of the Highway 101 widening project, many drivers have noticed mylar streamers and balloons in the eucalyptus trees on the nearby bluffs. Both the Audubon Society and Heal the Ocean have received many concerns over what looks like broken mylar balloons in the trees. Kirsten […]

San Ysidro Bridge Ribbon Cutting
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   February 25, 2021

Last Thursday, February 11, several community leaders and nearby residents came out to a small ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the opening of the new bridge across San Ysidro Creek at East Mountain Drive. Public Works Director Scott McGolpin, First District Supervisor Das Williams, Public Works Deputy Directors Julie Hagen and Chris Sneddon, Bucket Brigade […]

New MPC Commissioner to be Appointed
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   February 25, 2021

The Santa Barbara County Executive Office is seeking to fill a vacancy on the Montecito Planning Commission, effective immediately. The vacancy is left from the departure of Charles Newman, who stepped down from the Commission at the end of his second term in December.  Newman was appointed to the Montecito Planning Commission in January 2017, […]

Sepi Consignment Closes
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   February 18, 2021

After six years in business, Coast Village Road consignment boutique, Sepi, has closed. Owner Sepideh Babri took over the shop in early 2015, when it was named Matti & Me after then-owners Matti Bourgault and Wendy Nanon Smith.The high-end luxury consignment store featured women’s clothing, handbags, shoes and boots, belts, sunglasses, jewelry, and accessories, in […]

New Stores at Montecito Country Mart
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   February 11, 2021

Two new stores are calling Montecito Country Mart home as business picks up throughout the Mart following the lifting of the state’s stay-at-home order in January. “People are here, they are shopping and eating, all in a safe way,” says Mart rep Kristin Teufel, who introduced us to the new shops earlier this week.  The […]

In Business in the Upper Village: CODA Studio
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   February 4, 2021

A new design studio and custom furniture showroom is open daily in the Upper Village, located next to Tecolote Book Shop, in the space once occupied by Oliver and Espig. CODA Studio offers an elevated style of distinct furnishings, artwork, home décor, and lounge wear.  The studio, which is a subsidiary of their manufacturing business, […]

Festival of Hearts Goes Virtual
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   February 4, 2021

For the last 22 years, Montecito’s Friendship Center has hosted a fun-filled pre-Valentine’s event to raise funds for the Center’s HEART (Help Elders At Risk Today) Program, subsidizing the cost of adult day services for low-income aging and dependent adults and their families. This year, thanks to the pandemic, the event is going virtual, and […]

New Bridge at San Ysidro Creek
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   February 4, 2021

Nearly three years to the day after the 1/9 Debris Flow that damaged or destroyed over 600 homes as well as debilitated Montecito infrastructure, the Santa Barbara County Public Works Department made a significant step in the rebuilding process with the replacement of the East Mountain Drive Bridge over San Ysidro Creek. The bridge, which […]

Covid Restrictions Crush Local Businesses
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   January 21, 2021

Earlier this week, Jeannine’s Bakery owner Alison Hardey announced the closure of her downtown store; the latest local casualty of the Covid-19 pandemic and the ongoing stay-at-home order that has shuttered most California restaurants, allowing them to be open solely for takeout orders. “It wasn’t an easy decision, it’s kind of like ‘which child do […]

New ADU Revisions
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   January 21, 2021

Santa Barbara County Long Range Planning Staff is once again hard at work updating local ordinances pertaining to Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) that comply with state laws. We’ve been reporting on ADU laws since 2017, when Assembly Bill 2299 and Senate Bill 1069 reduced barriers, streamlined the approval process, and expanded the capacity to accommodate […]

Homeless Camp Cleared Prior to King Tides
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   January 21, 2021

An abandoned homeless camp surrounded by trash, bicycle parts, car batteries, flooded tents, and more became an eyesore on the “Graveyards” beach in Montecito, at the base of the cliff below the Santa Barbara Cemetery. In a recent newsletter, Heal the Ocean says they received a call about it from a concerned citizen last week, […]

Montecito Association Tackles Multiple Land Use Issues
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   January 14, 2021

The Montecito Association Land Use Committee met earlier this week, and took a look back at the major land use projects the committee worked on in 2020. “We recognized early on after the debris flow that there would be multiple large scale projects to tackle,” said MA Executive Director Sharon Byrne, adding that the projects […]

Jules Coast Caviar
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   January 14, 2021

A new gourmet food boutique is slated to open for business this weekend, in the new commercial space next to Folded Hills Wine Tasting Room in developer John Price’s mixed-use building at Olive Mill. Jules Coast Caviar is an emporium for the finest foodstuffs from the West Coast and beyond, carefully curated by owners and […]

In Business: Persona Pizzeria
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   January 7, 2021

Persona Pizzeria on State Street has reopened under new ownership, despite statewide stay-at-home orders that have shut down indoor and outdoor dining in the majority of counties in California. “We know it’s not the optimal time to open a new business, but we are super COVID-safe and looking forward to offering the same delicious, freshly […]

Miramar Compliance Update
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   December 31, 2020

Last Wednesday, December 16, reps from the Rosewood Miramar Resort were in front of the Montecito Planning Commission providing an annual compliance update related to parking, events, and hours of operation of the hotel’s Beach Bar. “Our primary goal is to be a good member of the community,” said Miramar owner Rick Caruso’s Vice President […]

Rebuilding & Recovery Update
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   December 31, 2020

Also at MPC last week, County planner Joe Dargel gave an update on the rebuilding following the Thomas Fire and 1/9 debris flow, nearly two years after the debris flow damaged or destroyed 631 structures in Montecito, and took the lives of 23 members of our community.  When the County first took stock of the […]

Montecito Association Meets
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   December 24, 2020

Last week, the Montecito Association Board of Directors held its monthly board meeting via Zoom.  During Community Reports, Montecito Union School and Cold Spring School superintendents Anthony Ranii and Amy Alzina reported that in-person learning continues to go well, despite increased COVID-19 cases in Santa Barbara County and beyond. Both schools have increased staff testing, […]

Chief Widling to Retire
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   December 24, 2020

Also happening at MFPD, Montecito Fire Division Chief of Operations, Alan Widling, is set to retire on December 30. The #2 in command at MFPD, Chief Widling has worked the last 31 years of his life in the service of others.  Widling was hired as a full-time firefighter by the Montecito Fire Department in September […]

New Storm Map to be Released
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   December 24, 2020

This Thursday, December 17, the Montecito Fire Department, in partnership with the Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management (OEM), the Carpinteria Summerland Fire Protection District, and First District Supervisor Das Williams will host a virtual community meeting to provide winter preparedness information and to publicly release the updated Interactive Storm Impact Consideration Risk Map. […]

Real Estate Snapshot
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   December 24, 2020

To say that Montecito real estate was “hot” in the third quarter of 2020 is a gross understatement; in fact, the market activity in late summer/early fall broke records across the board in both sales price and number of transactions, in both the 93108 and beyond.  Q3 sales in 2020 were up a whopping 156% […]

Tina Frey Designs
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   December 3, 2020

A new home design store has opened in San Ysidro Village; TF Design Montecito softly opened earlier this month. Namesake owner and designer Tina Frey has personally curated the space with a comprehensive collection of her simple and modern resin designs. All pieces are conceived and hand-sculpted by Frey, and handmade by a talented and […]

A Chat with the Fire Chief
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 13, 2020

As record-breaking wildfires affect millions of people across the state of California, we recently sat down with Montecito Fire Chief Kevin Taylor, who has been at the helm of the District for one year. From getting to know Chief Taylor and his family better, to learning about Montecito’s future fire and debris flow risk, we […]

MUS Named a 2020 National Blue Ribbon School
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   October 1, 2020

US. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos recognized Montecito Union School (MUS) as one of the 367 National Blue Ribbon Schools for 2020. MUS won the coveted honor in the “Exemplary High Performing Schools” category which honors each state’s highest performing schools. Montecito Union School is a one-school district serving the community of Montecito with transitional […]

Cassandria Blackmore Opens Gallery on Coast Village Road
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 24, 2020

Artist Cassandria Blackmore, along with her husband, Jon, have opened a new gallery on Coast Village Road, in the space once occupied by Viva Oliva, which moved to downtown Santa Barbara earlier this year. Blackmore, with her eye-catching reverse paintings on glass, is world-renowned for her unique work, which has been exhibited and collected internationally. […]

Kitchen Fire at Coast & Olive
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 17, 2020

Coast Village’s newest bustling eatery, Coast & Olive at the Montecito Inn, has been closed for nearly a week following a kitchen fire on Saturday, September 12. Following a busy brunch service, staff started to notice a burning smell, and the Santa Barbara City Fire Department arrived on scene to investigate. With smoke developing above […]

Latest from Montecito Association
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 17, 2020

At a monthly board meeting last week, the Montecito Association Board of Directors heard from Brett Balint, CEO of Onward & Upward, who presented a very conceptual idea of modifying airspace over Santa Barbara and Montecito. Balint, who was in attendance on the Zoom meeting with Jasenka Rakas, Ph.D., from the University of California at […]

The Future of Montecito Library
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 10, 2020

Next Monday, September 14, the City of Carpinteria’s Ad Hoc Library Committee and Working Group will make a presentation to the Carpinteria City Council, which could impact funding and management options for both Carpinteria and Montecito libraries. In response to a Request for Qualifications for Library Consulting Services by the City of Carpinteria issued last […]

Cold Spring School Bond Measure Moves Forward
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 10, 2020

Earlier this summer, the Cold Spring School Board of Trustees approved a school bond measure on the upcoming November ballot, the first of its kind in 12 years. Measure L2020 is a $7.8M bond that will be used to fund much-needed infrastructure improvements and to fund a new classroom building to replace the dilapidated portables […]

Casa del Herrero to Reopen Next Week
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 3, 2020

Montecito’s Casa del Herrero will reopen to the general public next Wednesday, September 9. Closed since mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Casa is ready to safely welcome tour guests back to the estate. While indoor spaces remain closed, guests will now engage in a reimagined self-guided garden tour. “The Casa’s original owner, George […]

UCLA Opens Medical Offices on Coast Village Road
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 3, 2020

In a project that has been nearly a year in the making, UCLA Health has made accessing its world-class health care easier and more convenient for Santa Barbara-area residents by opening a new practice in Montecito on Coast Village Road.  UCLA Health Montecito medical services include routine exams, physicals, preoperative consults, same-day sick appointments, immunizations, […]

BOS & Land Use Committee Discuss Short-Term Rentals
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 3, 2020

On Tuesday, September 1, the Board of Supervisors considered revisions to an ordinance pertaining to short-term vacation rentals (STRs) in unincorporated Santa Barbara County. The last ordinance drafted was in 2017/2018, but was quickly denied by the Coastal Commission, which cited the failure of the ordinance to protect existing overnight accommodations in the Coastal Zone. […]

Hoping to be Back in Class
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   September 3, 2020

As local students settle into virtual or distance learning, school administrators and teachers are working hard to reopen campuses, working within the guidelines set forth by the State of California and the Santa Barbara County Public Health Department. Last Friday, August 28, both Cold Spring School and Montecito Union School superintendents submitted applications for a […]

Stonehouse Honored for Outdoor Dining
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 27, 2020

Last week, the Stonehouse at San Ysidro Ranch was honored in an article by the Michelin Guide, marking it as one of 11 “Must-See” outdoor dining venues in the United States. With restaurants across the country forced to make the most of outdoor dining venues given the ongoing pandemic, the article makes note of nearly […]

Montecito Country Mart Welcomes New Stores
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 27, 2020

Two new shops have popped up at Montecito Country Mart, just in time for the last few weekends of the summer shopping season. Studio C is a brand-new concept from C Magazine founder and editor Jennifer Hale, who, along with her team, have curated an array of California-made items including ready-to-wear clothing, bathing suits, beauty […]

Olive Mill Roundabout Update
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 27, 2020

At an over nine-hour joint hearing on Thursday, August 20, the Santa Barbara City Planning Commission and the Montecito Planning Commission went over the proposed roundabout project at Coast Village Road and Olive Mill Road with a fine-tooth comb, digging into design details, functionality, aesthetics, and conditions of approval of the project, which is in […]

Ginger Salazar Joins Cottage Health Board of Directors
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 20, 2020

Montecito’s Ginger Salazar has joined the volunteer Board of Directors of Cottage Health. Salazar, born and raised in Lompoc, has spent the last decade working to improve health and opportunities for Santa Barbara County residents. She leads branding at Kate Farms.  Her professional career began in brand management and marketing for Procter & Gamble. She […]

Casa Dorinda Scholarship Fund
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 20, 2020

Due to the ongoing pandemic, Casa Dorinda residents and staff missed out this year on celebrating the recipients of the Casa Dorinda Scholarship in person, an annual tradition dating back to 1998 when a group of Casa residents began a fund to help staff members and their families achieve their educational goals. But the pandemic […]

Kate Farms Partners with Foodbank
By Kelly Mahan Herrick   |   August 20, 2020

The Foodbank of Santa Barbara partnered with local company Kate Farms last week to support those most impacted amid the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic through accessible nutrition. On Tuesday, August 11, 15 volunteers came together to package 8,000 meals to be delivered to the Santa Barbara community.  Santa Barbara-based Kate Farms was founded by […]