Author spotlight: Richard Mineards

Richard covered the Royal Family for Britain’s Daily Mirror and Daily Mail, and was an editor on New York Magazine. He was also a national anchor on CBS, a commentator on ABC Network News, gossip on The Joan Rivers Show and Geraldo Rivera, host on E! TV, a correspondent on the syndicated show Extra, a commentator on the KTLA Morning News and Entertainment Tonight. He moved to Montecito 13 years ago.

Pay It Forward
By Richard Mineards   |   July 23, 2021

It was a case of kids helping kids when youngsters from Mountain View Elementary School donated $1,600 – 20 percent of their tickets sales from their annual school fundraiser – to Cold Spring School, which lost two pupils in the January mudslides and is currently trying to raise $485,000 after property tax revenues were impacted […]

Rowe-ing in a New Direction
By Richard Mineards   |   July 22, 2021

Former attorney turned successful financial management analyst Matt Rowe has been elected chair of the Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara. A native of Melbourne, Australia, Rowe, who began his two-year term last week, earned a law degree at the city’s Monash University and later immigrated to New York, where he transitioned from law into wealth […]

Return to Miraflores: A Site to be Seen
By Richard Mineards   |   July 22, 2021

Miraflores, the charming 10-acre estate that has been the Montecito home of the Music Academy of the West since 1951, was the site of major social gridlock when it hosted its annual gala with a sell-out crowd of more than 300, raising nearly $450,000 for funding and scholarships. The boffo bash, “Return to Miraflores,” was […]

Let the Shows Begin!
By Richard Mineards   |   July 15, 2021

Santa Barbara’s venerable Granada Theatre is back in business! The eight-story icon that towers over State Street, originally built in 1873 and rebuilt in 1924, has been eerily silent for the past 15 months, other than intermittent audience-free video filming by the Santa Barbara Symphony under maestro Nir Kabaretti. But it will finally be all […]

Celebrating a Different Red, White & Blue
By Richard Mineards   |   July 8, 2021

Santa Barbara music man Alan Parsons’ organic avocado ranch in the Goleta foothills turned into a colorful outpost of his native England when 150 guests turned out to celebrate his newly awarded OBE — Order of the British Empire — from Queen Elizabeth in her birthday honors list. The red, white, and blue of the […]

Merry Chrismans
By Richard Mineards   |   July 5, 2021

The party animals were out in force when Roger and Sarah Chrisman hosted a nautical bash for the Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network on their new 78-foot cruiser, Polaris II. The 30-year-old nonprofit, which cares for 3,400 animals each year and has more than 200 volunteers, has just launched a $1 million capital campaign to […]

With Charles in Charge, Polo Community Soared into New Territory
By Richard Mineards   |   July 1, 2021

On a deeply personal note, I remember Charles Ward, the longtime Texan publicist and promoter for the Santa Barbara Polo Club, who left us for more heavenly pastures at the age of 80 in his hometown of Dallas. We first met in 2007 when I moved to our rarefied enclave from Hancock Park in Los […]

A Birthday Bonanza
By Richard Mineards   |   July 1, 2021

Teresa Kuskey Nowak’s deliciously decadent La Boheme Dance Company, who were attired in Versailles 18th century Marie Antoinette costumes at the Santa Barbara Polo Club earlier this month, were back at the picturesque locale for the birthdays of ubiquitous KEYT-TV reporter John Palminteri and former Cottage Hospital orthopedic nurse Rochelle Mirabello. As guests feasted on […]

Tip of the Hatter
By Richard Mineards   |   June 24, 2021

More than 30 volunteers attended a Transition House auxiliary lunch at Arnoldi’s celebrating the annual Mad Hatter fundraiser which was held virtually this year given the pandemic. Thanks to a $100,000 matching gift, the event raised more than $240,000 to continue the charity’s mission to address the needs of Santa Barbara’s homeless children and their […]

The Hills are Alive
By Richard Mineards   |   June 24, 2021

It was the perfect pairing when Folded Hills winemaker Andy Busch, a former patron at the Santa Barbara Polo Club, debuted his 2018 Polo Syrah at his rustic Gaviota locale, which produces 3,200 cases of wine annually. The new vintage was made by winemaker Angela Osborne, who has now moved on to devote her time […]

68 Years and Counting . . .
By Richard Mineards   |   June 24, 2021

Hillside, the residential care community for adults living with intellectual and developmental abilities, celebrated the 77th birthday of its most senior resident, Barbara Williams, who has been living at the home since 1953. She has the double distinction of not only being the oldest resident, but the one who has lived at the 78-year-old home […]

Penning on Polo
By Richard Mineards   |   June 24, 2021

Carpinteria artist Robyn Geddes is not only putting paint to canvas, but pen to paper, launching a new monthly newsletter at the Santa Barbara Polo Club condos. Robyn, who I have known for more than four decades since he worked with Andy Warhol at The Factory in New York, is a board member at the […]

Santa Barbara Music Man Alan Parsons is Being Elevated — and How!
By Richard Mineards   |   June 24, 2021

Alan Parsons, 72, who lives and works from a multi-million dollar recording studio on an organic avocado ranch in the Goleta foothills with his wife, Lisa, has been awarded an OBE — Order of the British Empire — for his work over the decades in Queen Elizabeth’s birthday honors list. “I actually heard from the […]

It’s My Cake, I’ll Eat it if I Want To
By Richard Mineards   |   June 17, 2021

Even the pricey horseflesh got upstaged at the Santa Barbara Polo Club when the La Boheme Dance company, colorfully dressed as courtesans from 18th century Versailles, held its cast and crew wrap party. The talented dancers, founded by director Teresa Kuskey Nowak, have participated in the Summer Solstice Parade for the past seven years, but […]

A Royals Record
By Richard Mineards   |   June 17, 2021

I went to the historic Rockwood Woman’s Club to speak to a record turnout of 80 guests for a Royal Tea. After British-born Janet Bullock, who served finger sandwiches and clotted cream scones on her Royal Crown Derby china, alongside dainty cups of Earl Grey tea, I regaled the club members — many wearing colorful […]

When Harry Met America . . .
By Richard Mineards   |   June 17, 2021

Prince Harry, Montecito’s latest celebrity resident, is apparently suffering an identity crisis. The Duke of Sussex, 36, may be known in major metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles, but when it comes to small-town America, he’s an unknown. Britain’s Daily Mail, for whom I used to scribe in the mid 1970s for Nigel […]

In the National Spotlight
By Richard Mineards   |   June 10, 2021

Laura Flores, a Girls Inc. of Carpinteria member and high school senior, was one of 100 students across the U.S. invited to participate in a virtual graduation ceremony with Vice President Kamala Harris, a primetime special that aired on CNN. Laura was one of three Girls Inc. seniors — all Teen Advocacy Council members — […]

This Inside Joke is Headed for the Mainstream
By Richard Mineards   |   June 10, 2021

Santa Barbara High Junior singer Sydney Rae is going global! A self-taught musician who plays guitar, bass, and ukulele, says she has been singing since she could talk, naturally leading to the launch of her first original song “Inside Jokes” on Spotify, one of the world’s largest music streaming service providers, with more than 356 […]

Telly Us More About It
By Richard Mineards   |   June 10, 2021

TV Santa Barbara, the area’s community access center that operates channels 17 and 71, is the recipient of four 2021 Telly Awards, including the prestigious Gold Award for the production of “Make Goleta Count!” Silver and bronze honors were also earned for video productions created in partnership with the Central Coast Division of the American […]

Concerto Cream Rises to the Top
By Richard Mineards   |   June 3, 2021

During a year when the performing arts faced challenges beyond measure, the Santa Barbara Youth Symphony held its Concerto Competition virtually, featuring some of the county’s finest young musicians. Participation allows students to showcase their best efforts and hard work in performances scheduled for next season, with one lucky musician winning the opportunity to perform […]

‘Fabulous Feeling’: Music Academy of the West Finally Enjoys a Sunset Soirée
By Richard Mineards   |   June 3, 2021

The Amazons of the Music Academy of the West were positively unleashed after more than a year of monthly meetings via Zoom for a “Sip n’ Stroll” sunset soirée on the picturesque terrace of Hahn Hall on the Miraflores campus. “It is an absolutely fabulous feeling,” exclaimed event chair Roberta Grant. “Everybody has been absolutely […]

Worth More than Two Grand
By Richard Mineards   |   June 3, 2021

It was all two grand for words when Roger and Sarah Chrisman, just back from their home in Indian Wells after six months of lockdown, opened the doors of their charming Ennisbrook home for a concert by singers from Opera Santa Barbara’s Chrisman Young Artists Program. A pair of grand pianos, a Steinway and a […]

‘Fiesta Has Definitely Returned’: La Primavera Kicks Off Summer-Long Party
By Richard Mineards   |   May 27, 2021

After Old Spanish Days was all but cancelled last year because of the pandemic, Fiesta fever was palpable at the Carriage and Western Art Museum with La Primavera, as the unveiling of the colorful festival’s new poster and pin helped kicked off the festivities in front of nearly 100 guests, led by gloriously attired La […]

Toasting a Visionary: Dozens Celebrate Kostis Protopapas’ 50th Birthday
By Richard Mineards   |   May 20, 2021

It was all Greek to many when Kostis Protopapas, general director of Opera Santa Barbara, celebrated his half-century with a delightful evening of music and song at the University Club. Kostis, who was born in Athens and moved to the U.S. in 1993 on an Onassis scholarship to study piano at The Boston Conservatory and […]

Getting High Notes
By Richard Mineards   |   May 20, 2021

The light truly is at the end of the tunnel! As an example, Santa Barbara Symphony, under longtime maestro Nir Kabaretti, invited 100 suitably vaccinated VIP supporters to the Granada, to watch the talented musicians perform Beethoven’s “Symphony No.7,” part of the season’s Triumph finale, which honors strength, perseverance, hope, creativity, and community. All of […]

Extraordinary Moment: SB Polo & Racquet Club Makes Welcomed Return
By Richard Mineards   |   May 13, 2021

Crowds of members packed the clubhouse and tiered seating at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club when the Carpinteria equestrian facility opened its doors for the first time in more than a year after the pandemic restrictions were eased. “This really is an extraordinary moment,” said club manager David Sigman. “It couldn’t have been […]

Pillows Offer Soft Landing for Musical
By Richard Mineards   |   May 6, 2021

Bubbly Janet Adderley, founder of the Santa Barbara Youth Ensemble Theatre, was getting back to her roots when the talented young members staged the Stephen Sondheim musical, Into the Woods, at the Montecito estate of Terry Pillow, former CEO of Tommy Bahama, and his wife, Kelley, whose 14-year-old son, Sam, was in the thoroughly entertaining […]

Montecito Miscellany: Down for Earth
By Richard Mineards   |   May 6, 2021

Earth Day, which started in Santa Barbara after a disastrous oil spill of more than four million gallons in 1969 which killed thousands of seabirds, dolphins, seals, and sea lions, has certainly been celebrated by Jennifer Smith, the publisher of Santa Barbara Magazine and C Magazine. Jennifer, daughter of Anne Towbes, tells me they have […]

A Magical Evening
By Richard Mineards   |   May 6, 2021

It was who’s-who of magic lovers and masters of the mystifying when they gathered virtually from New York to Hawaii to celebrate the patriarch of illusion Milt Larsen’s 90th birthday. The virtual event was followed by an intimate COVID-friendly gathering on the grounds of Hollywood’s Magic Castle, sister branch of the Montecito locale, where Milt […]

A Spring Sing
By Richard Mineards   |   April 29, 2021

Opera Santa Barbara hosted an evening of high note with its fifth annual Sings For You! at the University Club, with soprano Alaysha Fox from the Young Artists Program of the Los Angeles Opera and Nicholas Roehler at the piano. With an eclectic program of works from Wagner, Verdi, Strauss, Cole Porter, Rodgers, and Hart, […]

Keep Up That Racquet, Please!
By Richard Mineards   |   April 29, 2021

It’s all systems go at the Santa Barbara Polo and Racquet Club! As the Carpinteria equestrian facility marks its 110th season with its official opening on May 2, the club will be open to spectators as pandemic lockdown rules are eased. “It will be nice to have people back in the stands,” said club manager […]

A Royal Farewell
By Richard Mineards   |   April 29, 2021

As expected, I was much in demand over the weekend for the somber and muted funeral for Prince Philip at St. George’s Chapel, Windsor, built in the 14th century by King Edward III. Most of it was spent on Fox News where I sat for three hours at the CBTV studio downtown with New York […]

Does Money Grow on Trees? Asking for a Friend.
By Richard Mineards   |   April 22, 2021

Forbes’ 35th annual “World’s Billionaire List” includes a record-breaking 2,755 billionaires, with Amazon founder Jeff Bezos topping it for the fourth consecutive year. This year’s billionaires are worth a combined $13.1 trillion, up $8 trillion from last year. “The very, very rich got very, very richer,” says Forbes chief content officer Randall Lane. Needless to […]

Girl Power!
By Richard Mineards   |   April 15, 2021

Luz Reyes-Martin, executive director of public affairs and communications at Santa Barbara City College, and Barbara Ben-Horin, former CEO of Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara, are being honored by the local chapter of the Association for Women in Communications at the 13th annual awards presented by Women Connect4Good via Zoom later this month. Independent […]

A Wish Comes True
By Richard Mineards   |   April 15, 2021

Montecito Bank & Trust on Coast Village Road was the focal point when a parade including firefighters, law enforcement, and representatives of the community honored a Make-A-Wish Tri-Counties recipient, Carmelo Bisquera, 16, a student at Santa Barbara’s Olive Grove Charter School. Carmelo, whose hobbies are video games and reading, was born with an endocrine disorder […]

Smart Like a Fox
By Richard Mineards   |   April 15, 2021

Ensemble Theatre Company isn’t letting the pandemic interfere with its production schedule. The popular company, helmed by Jonathan Fox, is presenting five live-streamed performances of the critically acclaimed 90-minute, one-act play An Iliad, with each live performance being aired and viewable on computers, smart TVs, iPads, and iPhones. Translated by Robert Fagles from Homer’s 3,000-year-old […]

Take That, COVID
By Richard Mineards   |   April 15, 2021

Since its founding in 1948, the Santa Barbara Choral Society has never missed a performance. Despite wildfires and mudslides, the show always goes on. And even during the worldwide pandemic, veteran director JoAnne Wasserman, who has conducted the talented singers for 28 years, was determined to carry on the tradition with a virtual concert at […]

She’s Our Hero
By Richard Mineards   |   April 8, 2021

Annie Leonard, executive director of Greenpeace USA, is the recipient of the Santa Barbara’s Community Environmental Council’s 2021 Environmental Hero Award. “Her work exemplifies what it means to build the broad, boots-on-the-ground base of activism that we need to go all in together on the climate crisis,” says the CEC executive director Sigrid Wright, who […]

Poof! The Magic Castle Cabaret is Gone
By Richard Mineards   |   April 8, 2021

Two years after it opened, the owners of Montecito’s Magic Castle Cabaret Milt and Arlene Larsen are moving on, I can exclusively reveal. “The Cabaret has been closed for a long year and we are not getting any younger,” laments Arlene. “When we started, we seemed a lot younger. “After talking it over for many […]

Call it a Comeback
By Richard Mineards   |   April 1, 2021

Montecito artist Allison Armour, whose huge global figures have been collected by former Beatle Ringo Starr and even Russian President Vladimir Putin, is getting back to prominence in Goleta, and I’m delighted to hear it. Eight years ago, Goleta Valley Hospital held a competition for a new art installation outside the complex and Allison’s work […]