Santa Barbara Unified Mandates COVID Testing
By Nick Masuda   |   January 18, 2022

With COVID-19 numbers skyrocketing all over Santa Barbara County, mostly due to the Omicron variant, the Santa Barbara Unified School District installed mandatory testing for students and staff on January 10. While the county deals with an overall shortage of tests, SBUSD indicated that it had plenty on hand to test every student (roughly 13,000) […]

SBUSD Puts Sports on Pause
By Nick Masuda   |   January 11, 2022

Instruction returned to campuses throughout Santa Barbara Unified School District on January 3, with a flurry of communications helping both staff and students navigate an expected rise in COVID-19 cases throughout the area. Superintendent Hilda Maldonado delivered a message to the district on January 3 that provided clarification on health protocols, as well as some […]

Golf Classic Brings in $120,000
By Nick Masuda   |   January 11, 2022

The United Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara County, the North County Rape Crisis and Child Protection Center, and the Technology in Schools Program each received $40,000 as part of the 2021 Chumash Charity Golf Classic at Alisal River Course in Solvang. The tournament returned after a one-year hiatus, with proceeds aiding funding for […]

Taking a Moment to Remember
By Nick Masuda   |   January 6, 2022

On Sunday, January 9, at 6:30 pm, multiple Montecito organizations will band together in remembrance of the 23 victims lost in the 1/9 Debris Flow. You can sign up to watch the fourth anniversary livestream and telecast of “Raising Our Light” here: westmont.zoom.us/j/96145574354 The event will kick off with an invocation from Montecito Fire Chief […]

A Walk on the Wild Side
By Nick Masuda   |   January 6, 2022

Click. Click. Click. My wife is normally annoyed by my obsession with my Nikon camera, but this time she was shushing me for good reason. I was in Max’s crosshairs. He knew I was taking photos of his absolute adorableness. So, he calmly turned around and seemingly posed. I was soooooo hoppy. (Listen, I live […]

Year in Review: Top 25 Stories on MontecitoJournal.net
By Nick Masuda   |   January 4, 2022

We know that you love picking up the Montecito Journal on newsstands, and it’s always a joy for us to see that. What’s been great in 2021 is to see how you’ve also come to enjoy what we have to offer online, both through our best-in-class newsletter, The Morning MoJo, as well as our revamped […]

A Unique Cover for a Unique Year
By Nick Masuda   |   January 4, 2022

How do you blend businesses closing, a school scandal, a royal interview, the return of in-person events, and an inclusive playground? You just ask artist extraordinaire Karen Folsom to take on the project. On the cover, you will find a playful moment with 13-year-old entrepreneur Marco DiPadova (upper left), the return of live concerts at […]

‘There’s More’: Cate School Community Calls for Change in Leadership After Radioactive Faculty Sex Abuse Report Released
By Nick Masuda   |   December 28, 2021

In the shadows of a 35-page investigative report executed by the Oppenheimer Investigations Group LLP and released on December 15 that delves into decades-long alleged sexual abuse and misconduct at Cate School, the prestigious private boarding school is facing a growing undercurrent of disgust over the quality of the report from both victims and alumni. […]

Court Rules in Favor of SBUSD, Just Communities
By Nick Masuda   |   December 28, 2021

While Superintendent Hilda Maldonado knows there is plenty of work to come, a three-year-long court battle with Fair Education Santa Barbara (FESB) concluded last week, with the Santa Barbara Unified School District (SBUSD) and Just Communities Central Coast (JCCC) victorious after a three-justice appellate court panel ruled in their favor. The lawsuit filed by FESB […]

A Pair of Local Last-Second Shopping Options
By Nick Masuda   |   December 28, 2021

With the hustle and bustle of Paseo Nuevo or Montecito Country Mart, or either the Upper or Lower villages, there are a couple of other local options if you’re looking for last-second holiday shopping ideas. And they’re just a short drive down the 101 — OK, depending on the time of day, it can be […]

Lessons from Montecito
By Nick Masuda   |   December 21, 2021

Joan Hartmann, the Santa Barbara County Third District Supervisor, didn’t even hesitate when asked why a portion of her district was evacuated with the Monday and Tuesday rain along the South Coast. “We learned a lot from Montecito,” Hartmann said. In the wake of October’s Alisal Fire that destroyed thousands of acres of land, the […]

To Control (Rent) or Not to Control ‘Tis the Hot Question
By Nick Masuda   |   December 21, 2021

While Kristen Sneddon has long been an advocate for tenant protection, particularly against inordinate rent hikes, she was also the first person to question the rushed timing of the controversial proposal to cap annual residential rent increases as 2% — brought to council by outgoing Mayor Cathy Murillo and councilmember Oscar Gutierrez. The District 4 […]

The Zoo is Sooooo Hoppy
By Nick Masuda   |   December 21, 2021

Pardon the dad joke, but it’s not every day that kangaroos move into one’s backyard — but the bouncy beasts have arrived at the Santa Barbara Zoo. Three male Western grey kangaroos — Max, Aspen, and Coolibah — complete the new inhabitants of the 15,000-square-foot Australian Walkabout at the Zoo, slated to open on January […]

Help is On the Way
By Nick Masuda   |   December 21, 2021

More affordable housing is en route to Santa Barbara, as the Housing Authority City of Santa Barbara broke ground on Vera Cruz Village at 116 East Cota Street with a ceremony on December 15 attended by multiple city council members and Congressman Salud Carbajal. The new project aims to aid in Santa Barbara’s fight against […]

‘Investment in Our Future’: The Key Class Provides Life Skills
By Nick Masuda   |   December 21, 2021

John Daly can remember when the rest of his life began. He was sitting inside a Soup Plantation, his treat for a 15-year-old he had befriended as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). It was the teen’s birthday and Daly wanted to treat him to a meal, something that not every foster child experienced while […]

It’s a Bird. It’s a Plane. It’s Santa!
By Nick Masuda   |   December 21, 2021

The Jolly Ol’ Guy will be doing a special Santa Drive-By through the Montecito community on December 19 courtesy of the Rosewood Miramar Beach, making stops along Coast Village Road (11 am), Montecito Country Mart (11:30 am), Butterfly Beach (Noon) and the Miramar Beach Bar (1:30-3 pm). Saint Nick has a pretty sweet pink ride […]

Hone Your Shopping Craft by Going Local
By Nick Masuda   |   December 21, 2021

The pandemic has brought about a lot of changes to people’s everyday lives, with eating out replaced by delivery services, while brick-and-mortar shopping took a temporary backseat to online services. But, along the South Coast, small business is the spine of our community, the glue that keeps us all together. And that has never been […]

‘Mistakes Were Made’: Seven Former Cate Faculty Members Banned From Campus Due to Sexual Misconduct and Assault Allegations
By Nick Masuda   |   December 16, 2021

Former Cate School boys’ soccer coach and current local school administrator Dave Mochel is one of seven former Cate faculty members that were named in a damning and exhaustive investigative report released by the private boarding school on Wednesday afternoon. Amongst other improprieties, the report details how Mochel was allowed to remain on campus for nine additional […]

Hotel Santa Barbara Sold to Wisconsin-Based Hospitality Group
By Nick Masuda   |   December 14, 2021

The iconic Hotel Santa Barbara has been sold for $41.9 million to the Geronimo Hospitality Group, ending a 46-year run by the current ownership. Hotel Santa Barbara, located at 527-533 State Street, has seen renovations as recently as 2019, but the new ownership will be utilizing 2022 to prepare upgrades to the 75-key facility. “We […]

CommUnify Embraces Urgent Needs of Santa Barbara County
By Nick Masuda   |   December 14, 2021

Tea was served in copious amounts as CommUnify invited dozens to an outdoor event at the gorgeous Santa Barbara Club on December 2. Good thing, because one simple statement was quite sobering. Santa Barbara County is essentially tied for first in California for highest poverty rate. With the sale of countless multi-million-dollar homes in the […]

23Strong Memorial Finds Its New Resting Place
By Nick Masuda   |   December 14, 2021

Susan Venable can’t help but get choked up a bit, as the mental images that come from weeks of helping clear out other people’s homes amid natural tragedy are something that will stick with her for the rest of her life. As an artist, the Montecito Debris Flow was chockful of visual reminders, but none […]

The Upper Village is Bustling with Holiday Shopping Options
By Nick Masuda   |   December 14, 2021

Shopping local isn’t just something that Montecitans say, it’s something that they do — 365 days a year. That becomes especially apparent over the holidays, when boutiques, pop-ups, and mom-and-pop shops get the opportunity to help all of us provide a bit of holiday cheer through locally crafted gifts. The Upper Village in Montecito has […]

Helping Victims Arise
By Nick Masuda   |   December 14, 2021

Leadbetter Beach was bustling with activity early Saturday morning, with ARISE Women’s Conference hosting the 2021 5K Walk and Run that supports the Santa Barbara Mission’s Bethel House Women’s Residential Treatment Program. ARISE is a nonprofit organization that supports women from domestic violence shelters and drug rehabilitation homes, helping them “arise from their past to […]

A Place to Celebrate the Lives of Those We’ve Lost
By Nick Masuda   |   December 7, 2021

For Sharon Byrne, gazing at the 15-foot tree that stands in the grassy knoll in front of Pierre Lafond in the Upper Village has a new significance in 2021. For the first time, a silver star will have the name of a loved one on it for Byrne — for her father, who passed away […]

Holiday Cheer in High Gear at Country Mart
By Nick Masuda   |   December 7, 2021

The Montecito Country Mart might be a bit small, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t pack a big punch. Just ask Kristin Teufel how busy she is nowadays trying to coordinate a multitude of events, pop-ups, and marketing of the holidays at the MCM. “I feel like I’m going around the clock,” Teufel said. “We […]

A Can’t-Miss Christmas Party
By Nick Masuda   |   November 30, 2021

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” And Zooey Deschanel hasn’t stopped doing so ever since her musical introduction to the world in the holiday cult classic, Elf. As a 21-year-old at the time, Deschanel feels fortunate to have identified the script as one that was timeless — […]

Congratulations, Cate!
By Nick Masuda   |   November 30, 2021

It’s been a championship season for the South Coast, with the Cate 8-man football team capturing its first CIF title with a 50-30 throttling of Grace Brethren on November 19 at Carpinteria High School. The Rams finished the season 10-1.

Feting the Unsung Superheroes New Fund Focuses on Celebrating Educators During Unprecedented Times
By Nick Masuda   |   November 30, 2021

The past 20 months for educators have been ones of great angst and innovation — with the need for patience and a willingness to embrace the unknown paramount to serving thousands of students in the Santa Barbara Unified School District. It has also been thankless. Educators have not only had to teach students through computer […]

Holiday Spirit Returns, and It’s Worth the Trek to Paseo Nuevo to Experience It
By Nick Masuda   |   November 30, 2021

‘Tis the season to hit the pavement to find the retail steals of your dreams, even if you are tempted to stay in your pajamas and do the ordering from the comforts of your cushy couch. But then you wouldn’t get to experience Mary Lynn Harms-Romo’s favorite holiday tradition. The longtime marketing director at Paseo […]

Opportunities to Give Back: Unity Shoppe, Organic Soup Kitchen both raising funds for those in need
By Nick Masuda   |   November 30, 2021

‘Tis the season for our little slice of heaven to showcase its robust heart, with nonprofits across the South Coast hosting a plethora of events and fundraisers to aid those in need. Throughout the season, we’ll highlight companies that need help in order to hit their goals. This week, we take a look at the […]

Book signing with Patricia Houghton Clarke on December 1 to benefit Human Rights Watch
By Nick Masuda   |   November 29, 2021

On December 1, from 5-8 pm, Montecito Journal Magazine and art gallery Silo118 are co-sponsoring a “Facing Ourselves: Reckoning” book signing by Patricia Houghton Clarke, with proceeds from the book designated to Human Rights Watch.  This book is featured in the upcoming Montecito Journal Magazine as part of a retrospective of Houghton’s significant body of work. […]

Preparing for the Next 100 Years New Chair of Sansum Clinic Board Ready to Take on Competition
By Nick Masuda   |   November 23, 2021

Arnold Schaffer is aware of the obstacles that Sansum Clinic faces as the last remaining independent not-for-profit medical clinic in the state of California. The pandemic? It shut down or delayed outpatient surgeries and imaging centers — services that are needed not only for the community, but also to allow the clinic to operate. Competition? […]

Congrats are in Order
By Nick Masuda   |   November 23, 2021

The Carpinteria High School boys’ water polo team won its first-ever CIF title with a 12-9 win over Burbank on Saturday afternoon, riding Asher Smith’s seven goals. It’s the school’s second CIF title of the calendar year, as the Carpinteria boys’ swimming team also took home the championship in the spring. Giving Hugs for Thanksgiving […]

Preparing for the Next 100 Years New Chair of Sansum Clinic Board Ready to Take on Competition
By Nick Masuda   |   November 22, 2021

Arnold Schaffer is aware of the obstacles that Sansum Clinic faces as the last remaining independent not-for-profit medical clinic in the state of California. The pandemic? It shut down or delayed outpatient surgeries and imaging centers — services that are needed not only for the community, but also to allow the clinic to operate. Competition? […]

Finding Your Path: Book Delves into Issues of Representation
By Nick Masuda   |   November 22, 2021

Nikki Barthelmess knows what it’s like, to look Caucasian on the outside, her appearance failing to showcase her bicultural background. She’s heard the quips about Latinas — those around her not aware that she is Mexican American. She’s seen the ignorance, from the halls of local schools to the business world. “We’ve got a long […]

Holiday Party at Paseo Nuevo! Impressive Lineup Will Put You in the Holiday Spirit
By Nick Masuda   |   November 22, 2021

Mary Lynn Harms-Romo readily admits that at 5:30 pm every day, she plans to step away from whatever she is doing to take in the snow. Yes, the snow. It’s a holiday benefit to her role as senior marketing director and local leasing manager with Paseo Nuevo — and a welcomed sight after the pandemic […]

Welcome to The Boroughs Your Neighborhoods. Your Stories. A City Bountiful
By Nick Masuda   |   November 22, 2021

We can’t help but smile a bit brighter this time of year — the holidays just elevate the already epic nature of our slice of South Coast heaven. With this being our final issue of 2021, we naturally sat back and tried to highlight some ways you can enjoy the holidays, both alone and with […]

Don’t Doubt the Data: District 4 Swings Election Toward Rowse
By Nick Masuda   |   November 16, 2021

“People are sick of party politics,” says Mayor-Elect Randy Rowse. And Santa Barbara’s District 4 is a prime example of it. A glance at the details of 2021 Election results for both mayor and city council make one thing quite clear — Santa Barbara’s District 4, portions of which lie in Montecito, is a definite […]

To Stem Cell or Not to Stem Cell: A Q&A with an Orthobiologics Expert
By Nick Masuda   |   November 16, 2021

There is nothing shy about Richard Scheinberg — he believes orthobiologics is a cutting-edge solution to treat joint and musculoskeletal problems. The owner of Scheinberg Orthopedic Group at 401 North Chapala knows that anything associated with “stem cell” treatments comes with a stigma but is adamant that orthobiologics utilizes the body’s own stem cells to […]

‘Tis the Season, Part I
By Nick Masuda   |   November 16, 2021

This community seemingly has a heart of gold, from massive fundraising projects that save farms in Summerland (read Kelly Mahan Herrick’s piece on page 8 this week) to the San Marcos Foothills. This holiday season, a new project is making the goal far more personal — the Santa Barbara Education Foundation wants to shower teachers […]