New Beginnings Hosting Two Fundraisers, Including Gala With Popular Author
By Nick Masuda   |   September 23, 2021

New Beginnings is hosting a pair of events over the next two weeks to shine a light on its ongoing quest to address homelessness in Santa Barbara County, including its Annual Fundraiser Gala on September 30 at the Santa Barbara Club. The gala will feature an interview from local award-winning journalist Beth Farnsworth, as she will […]

SBUSD Proposes Mandatory Vaccinations for Staff; Potential for Mask Mandate at Events Larger than 250 People
By Nick Masuda   |   September 22, 2021

The Santa Barbara Unified School District board will hold a special meeting on September 23 to vote on a proposed resolution that will make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for staff, while the Montecito Journal has learned that two school board members are gearing up to also propose requiring masks at events larger than 250 people, regardless […]

Despite Objection, County Will Not Move Cannabis Meeting from Yom Kippur
By Nick Masuda   |   September 14, 2021

Days after an editorial from local lawyer Jana Zimmer ran in the September 2 edition of the Montecito Journal that challenged the timing of a meeting over a potential Santa Claus Lane cannabis dispensary slated for Yom Kippur (September 16), the County of Santa Barbara has indicated it will not reschedule the meeting, despite a […]

County Decides to Switch Cannabis Meeting Originally Slated for Yom Kippur
By Nick Masuda   |   September 9, 2021

(Editor’s note: This story is updated with information attained after our print deadline for the September 9 edition of the Montecito Journal) After initially rejecting multiple requests to change an upcoming meeting pertaining to a potential Santa Claus Lane cannabis dispensary due to a conflict with Yom Kippur, the County of Santa Barbara acquiesced late […]

Welcome to The Boroughs. Your Neighborhoods. Your Stories. A City Bountiful
By Nick Masuda   |   September 9, 2021

Just how is it September already?! Who allowed that to happen? It should be an interesting one locally, as politics will garner headlines for much of the next two months, with a six-person mayor’s race, as well as key showdowns for District 4 and District 6. But we haven’t lost sight of the day-in and […]

‘Lifestyle Change’: Sansum’s Weight Management Program Focuses on Long-Term Results
By Nick Masuda   |   September 9, 2021

Let’s face it, we’ve all glanced in the mirror a few times during lockdowns and health scares; it’s natural to eat unhealthy foods when one is stressed, particularly about situations that are out of your control. According to the American Psychological Association’s “Stress in America” report, nearly 42% of U.S. adults have gained weight since […]

The Battle for Downtown: Where Do District 6 City Council Candidates Stand on Key Issues?
By Nick Masuda   |   September 9, 2021

“The best part of competition is that through it we discover what we are capable of — and how much more we can actually do than we ever believed possible.” — Anonymous When it comes to Downtown Santa Barbara, these words ring truer now than ever before. The pandemic has brought massive change to the […]

A Product of Their Environment . . .
By Nick Masuda   |   September 9, 2021

Both Giuseppina (Jo) D’Ambrosio and Flavid Montoya don’t need to drop their masks for one to see their smiling eyes. Amid an unprecedented 18 months for medical personnel across the globe, their Environmental Services team at Cottage Hospital might not be the team that is applauded on the nightly news. But internally, they are a […]

Debate This: We’ll Ask the Tough Questions — LIVE
By Nick Masuda   |   September 9, 2021

Four races. Thirteen candidates. We’ll go ahead and shave that to 12, as Eric Friedman is running for Santa Barbara City Council’s District 5 spot unopposed. But that leaves District 4 (Coast Village Road), District 6 (Santa Barbara’s downtown), and mayor (the whole enchilada). These are critical races, responsible for major tourism corridors and the […]

Oh, Baby! Santa Barbara Zoo Overrun with News of Little Critters
By Nick Masuda   |   September 9, 2021

Just weeks after announcing the addition of a rare baby Amur leopard named Marta, the Santa Barbara Zoo has announced that both of its endangered female giraffes are pregnant. Adia is due in January 2022 and Audrey is expected to give birth in July 2022. Michael, the Zoo’s adult male, is the sire of both. […]

Play Ball! As SBCC Athletics Returns, There’s a New Man in Charge
By Nick Masuda   |   September 9, 2021

A recent Friday afternoon stroll down Cabrillo Boulevard brought about a sight that hasn’t been seen in more than 18 months — the Santa Barbara City College football team getting in an afternoon practice at the recently refurbished La Playa Stadium. With SBCC Athletics shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic since the spring of 2020, […]

Remembering Peter Clark: An Incredible Musical Talent and Even Better Man
By Nick Masuda   |   August 31, 2021

Dingle is a quiet port town along Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, a little cove for some 2,050 people best known for its resident dolphin, Fungie. But on this particular night in 2005, it was another fun guy that captured the hearts of locals and the dozens of Santa Barbarans that had made the trek to […]

Smells Like Compromise: Cannabis Farmers, Activist Group Strike Deal to Address Odor Issues in Carpinteria
By Nick Masuda   |   August 27, 2021

After months of back-and-forth stemming from ongoing concerns over what some claim is a stench of cannabis throughout Carpinteria Valley, the Santa Barbara Coalition of Responsible Cannabis and CARP (Cannabis Association for Responsible Producers) Growers have struck a deal to “resolve odor issues in a proactive and cooperative way” across the valley. According to a […]

Don’t Know if Your Doc is Vaccinated? Mandate Will Now Fix That — Mostly.
By Nick Masuda   |   August 24, 2021

For a local cancer patient, the alarm bells rang loudly — while recovering from an outpatient surgery at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, she received a call. A member of the patient’s medical treatment team had tested positive for COVID-19. The patient has been unable to get vaccinated due to their ongoing treatment. Already dozens of […]

Proceed with Caution: Back in Schools, but Will it Stay that Way?
By Nick Masuda   |   August 24, 2021

On Tuesday, the bulk of Santa Barbara County snapped “first day” photos for Facebook and returned to the gnarly drop-off lines at area schools — but the cloud of uncertainty surrounding the longevity of in-person instruction remains. With the COVID-19 Delta variant creating disruption at hospitals around the state, local school districts are having to […]

A Tiny Bundle of Joy: Amur Leopard Born at the Zoo
By Nick Masuda   |   August 24, 2021

Less than a year since the Santa Barbara Zoo welcomed a baby lion, the nonprofit has added a new member to the family, Marta, a 517-gram Amur leopard born on August 6 — the first birth for this endangered species in more than 20 years at the zoo. Much like Pauline the lion, Marta will […]

Promoting Inclusivity: Community Helps Rethink SBMA’s Mission
By Nick Masuda   |   August 24, 2021

For Kandy Luria-Budgor, it was like looking at a very good-looking person, only to see them wearing the wrong clothes. So, she and dozens of other donors did something about it. And now the Santa Barbara Museum of Art looks glorious — both outside and inside. “The museum it was didn’t fit the scholarly and […]

Brouhaha Brewing?
By Nick Masuda   |   August 19, 2021

Meanwhile, just down the road in District 6, the race between incumbent Meagan Harmon and well-known challenger Nina Johnson took an unexpected twist due to a local podcast featuring Ed St. George, the owner of St. George & Associates, who has historically been outspoken when it comes to politics and small business topics in Santa […]

Reed vs. Sneddon: Challenger Takes First Pointed Swipe in Council Race
By Nick Masuda   |   August 19, 2021

With fire safety and the state of small business as key issues, the race for the District 4 seat on Santa Barbara City Council is officially set. It’ll be incumbent Kristen Sneddon against challenger Barrett Reed, with the filing deadline having expired on August 6. Sneddon says she is focused on showcasing what she has […]

Marc Gelinas, Known for Interior Design, Now has a Store for his Antiques
By Nick Masuda   |   August 12, 2021

That look? That’s Marc Gelinas smiling from ear to ear — and he has plenty of windows to check out his pearly whites at his new digs on East Valley Road in the Upper Village. It’s the perfect space to not only promote his flourishing interior design business, but also his budding career as an […]

Nothing More Important than Home
By Nick Masuda   |   August 12, 2021

Over the past 18 months, the world has been put on its axis, not knowing which way it would spin due to a health crisis that is not only deadly, but unpredictable. But it has done one thing — it’s emphasized the importance of having a place to call home. Whether it be a studio […]

Home is Where the Heart Is
By Nick Masuda   |   August 12, 2021

The 101 is synonymous with a need for patience, particularly along the South Coast corridor. But for Jennifer Cheyne, that trip up the coast from Los Angeles was one she treasured each and every time — after all, the destination was Montecito, which was quickly becoming a home away from home. “Who wouldn’t want to […]

Key Santa Barbara County Contacts: Websites, Emails and Phone Numbers
By Nick Masuda   |   August 12, 2021

A One-Stop Shop for Key Contacts within Santa Barbara County

Former Cate School Teacher, Under Investigation for Sexual Misconduct Here, is Arrested in Colorado for Alleged Sexual Assault
By Nick Masuda   |   August 5, 2021

Former Cate School Teacher, Under Investigation for Sexual Misconduct Here, is Arrested in Colorado for Sexual Assault

Santa Barbara Triathlon Returns for 40th Anniversary
By Nick Masuda   |   August 5, 2021

Elizabeth Rodrigues understands the angst of what amateur athletes around the world have felt for the past 18 months — particularly those who would partake in a triathlon that tests every aspect of an athlete’s will. Working out in the garage just isn’t the same. So, forgive her if she’s a bit energetic about the […]

‘Artwork that Comes to Life’: A Look at the Profant Foundation’s Fiesta Finale Gala
By Nick Masuda   |   August 5, 2021

After 61 years, Gil Rosas will return to the El Paseo Restaurant    on August 8 to recreate a photo made in 1960, helping the Profant Foundation host the Fiesta Finale Gala that has created hundreds of scholarships for artists of all ages over the past 21 years. The gala, organized by Musette Profant, includes […]

The Boroughs
By Nick Masuda   |   August 5, 2021

With COVID freedom has come a return of hugging friends — or maybe strangers — and gathering at breathtaking art exhibits. Or maybe you’ve celebrated by buying a ticket to a comedy show at the Santa Barbara Bowl, a nice treat for anyone that participates in the Santa Barbara Triathlon at the end of August […]

Let’s Try This Again: LCCCA’s Launch was Stunted, but Mission Remains the Same
By Nick Masuda   |   August 5, 2021

Mike Cregan will be the first to admit that there have been sleepless nights over the past 15 months; that’s what happens when one’s big idea is launched just prior to a global pandemic. Built on the concept of bringing together various artistic communities in one place, lockdowns and health protocols aren’t the easiest obstacles […]

‘Jack Brought Us All Together’: After 42 Months, Community Finds Its Lost Son
By Nick Masuda   |   August 5, 2021

For roughly 1,225 days, Kim Cantin didn’t have answers. A mother searching for her first born. Her 17-year-old Eagle Scout was missing amid the catastrophic Montecito Debris Flow of January 9, 2018. Other deceased were found. But not Jack, not her kind-hearted, gentle soul of a young man. But in late May of this year, […]

Summer of Stones: How Heat & Diet Impact Combating Kidney Stones
By Nick Masuda   |   August 5, 2021

Quickly look around your workplace — or your morning Zoom call — and there’s likely 10 people. One of those folks will get a kidney stone at some point in their lives, according to researchers. And that number is seemingly growing, with the rate in the United States shifting from 3.8% in the late 1970s […]

Santa Barbara Unified Mulls Mandated Vaccines for Staff, Teachers
By Nick Masuda   |   August 5, 2021

With the school year less than two weeks from starting, a pair of Santa Barbara Unified School District board members are calling for all district staff and teachers to be vaccinated or be tested for COVID at least once per week. The proposal from Board President Kate Ford and Board Member Laura Capps will be […]

Real Estate 2021: A Record-Breaking Year
By Nick Masuda   |   August 5, 2021

A deep dive into real estate’s incredible first half of 2021, and the trends it has kickstarted in Montecito

The Culture of Cate? How Multiple Investigations into School are Revealing Decades of Potential Abuses
By Nick Masuda   |   July 29, 2021

Wendy Ward Hoffer kept her secret for nearly 35 years, recently revealing she was sexually abused by a faculty member during her sophomore and junior years at Carpinteria’s Cate School (1984-86), describing herself as a 15-year-old torn between trying to win the support of her teacher and the ongoing fear of what would happen if […]

Out Goes Another SBCC President; In Comes New Identity for Private School
By Nick Masuda   |   July 22, 2021

The seemingly revolving chair that is the top job at Santa Barbara City College is turning over yet again — the latest presidential resignation a partial byproduct of ongoing disagreements over COVID protocols as the school sets to reopen August 23. In an abrupt announcement after a Board of Trustees special meeting on July 12, […]

Marymount To Become “The Riviera Ridge School”
By Nick Masuda   |   July 22, 2021

Christina Broderick has been receiving plenty of congratulatory calls from her predecessors at Marymount Santa Barbara — er, The Riviera Ridge School (RRS). After years of discussion, the K-8 private school on Santa Barbara’s Riviera — which serves roughly 20-25 students from Montecito per year — has a new brand for the 2021-22 school year, […]

Whale of a Show
By Nick Masuda   |   July 22, 2021

“I’ve never seen it like this. Business has never been better.” That’s quite the statement from Hiroko Benko, the CEO of the Condor Express, the booming whale-watching outfit that takes daily trips into the Santa Barbara Channel to give locals and tourists a glimpse at nearly every species of whale, as well as dolphins, seals, […]

Oh, Baby!
By Nick Masuda   |   July 22, 2021

So, who’s throwing the baby shower? The Santa Barbara Zoo announced that Ajax, a female Amur leopard, is pregnant — the first time for the critically endangered species in more than 20 years for the Zoo. As the most endangered of all big cats, the conservation efforts are critical, so this news sent positive shockwaves […]

Culture of Cate? How Multiple Investigations into School are Revealing Decades of Potential Abuses
By Nick Masuda   |   July 22, 2021

Cate School is mired in two investigations of alleged sexual abuse and harassment, with victims stepping forward and claiming the school has tolerated misogyny and sexual misconduct for decades. Our Nick Masuda talked with alumni and current students that say they are speaking out in order to enact change at all levels. See the full […]

Traffic? Yeah, Still a Pain. But the Cavalry IS Actually Coming.
By Nick Masuda   |   July 15, 2021

With housing opportunities limited in Santa Barbara, some 60,000 people — or 33% of the county’s workforce — commute from neighboring counties to work here. Lauren Bianchi Klemann has been there, rising before the sun, dropping off her infant daughter at daycare, and hitching a ride with her husband to work — knowing that she […]

Underfunded or Overhyped? Defining the California Coastal Commission’s Impact on Montecito
By Nick Masuda   |   July 8, 2021

For Sigrid Wright, she can’t help the fleeting thoughts that she has as she drives down the 101 toward Ventura, and it has nothing to do with the anger-inducing traffic caused by endless construction. She wonders if the roadway will even be visible in 10 or 20 years. What will the impacts of climate change […]