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.

Staying Civil
By Richard Mineards   |   October 26, 2021

Former corporate attorney and Harvard Law School graduate David Gersh has published his seventh book, The Whisper of a Distant God, an historical fiction of the Civil War. “It explores a little-known battle in that war and the struggle with duty, honor, and compassion by the Union commander’s wife, Louisa Canby, which made her the […]

What a Wild Night
By Richard Mineards   |   October 26, 2021

The party animals were out en masse when Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network hosted its annual Wild Night Out at the Carousel House at Chase Palm Park with 200 guests raising more than $150,000 for the popular group. The boffo bash, co-chaired by Gretchen Lieff and Connie Pearcy, had decided Hawaiian overtones with dancers from […]

Birnam Birthday Bash
By Richard Mineards   |   October 26, 2021

It was social gridlock at the Birnam Wood Club when real estate investor and inventor Ray Winn, 87, hosted a birthday bash for his partner of 33 years Peter Kevoian, who was celebrating the 15th anniversary of his half century. Ray did an excellent job in pulling the event together in a short time after […]

That Montecito Scent…
By Richard Mineards   |   October 26, 2021

Our rarefied enclave now comes in a bottle! Bling king Erik Laykin, scion of the founder of the 90-year-old Los Angeles jewelry company Laykin et Cie, which is opening a branch at the Rosewood Miramar next month, is launching an exclusive perfume called “Montecito” to coincide with its new presence in our Eden by the […]

‘Good to be Back’
By Richard Mineards   |   October 19, 2021

United Way’s 24th annual Red Feather Ball was a two-act affair. The 130-guest Birds of a Feather-themed fête, which raised nearly $150,000, was staged at two handsome estates on Hot Springs Road, two hours apart. The boffo bash, chaired by Shari Liu Fellows, launched at the former home of Lady Leslie Ridley-Tree, now owned by […]

The Engines Were Revving
By Richard Mineards   |   October 19, 2021

Horsepower of a very different kind took over the Santa Barbara Polo Club when the 9th annual Montecito Motor Classic, with more than 200 exotic and luxury cars on display, was staged on the expansive fields. “We could have had a great many more but had to cut off the applications given fire regulations,” says […]

A Garden Treat
By Richard Mineards   |   October 19, 2021

Santa Barbara Choral Society certainly had something to sing about at its annual Canto Garden party at the Montecito aerie of Todd and Allyson Aldrich. The sunset soirée for 30 guests also celebrated the birthday of veteran conductor JoAnne Wasserman, who dug into a luscious chocolate cake from Renaud Gonthier, after a hearty “Happy Birthday” […]

Pure Class
By Richard Mineards   |   October 19, 2021

John Daly, the Santa Barbara Foundation’s 78th Man of the Year, and his wife, Marti, celebrated his accolade with a bash for 50 guests at their charming Samarkand home. John, who I’ve known for many years, founded the Key Class, recognized for helping high school students learn skills needed to create a lifetime of opportunities. […]

What a Concept
By Richard Mineards   |   October 12, 2021

More than 200 exotic and historic automobiles will be participating in the ninth annual Montecito Motor Classic at the Santa Barbara Polo Club on Sunday, which founder Dolores Johnson tells me is a record. This year’s theme for the free-admission event, presented by the Armand Hammer Foundation, is “The Concept Car,” which will focus on […]

Lovin’ Literacy
By Richard Mineards   |   October 12, 2021

Santa Barbara’s 36-year-old Education Foundation hosted its first Love of Literacy lunch at Godric Grove at Elings Park, attracting 150 guests and raising $50,000 for the cause. The boffo bash, the first in-person event since March 2020, featured Montecito uber philanthropist Sara Miller McCune, who said she became “angry and upset” when she read about […]

What a Classic
By Richard Mineards   |   October 12, 2021

The Amazons ruled at the ninth annual Santa Ynez Polo Classic hosted by former Santa Barbara Polo Club billionaire patron Tom Barrack at the Happy Canyon Vineyard at his sprawling Piocho Ranch. The popular event, co-chaired by Nancy Hunsicker and Alanna Tarkington, featured four all-female teams watched by 350 tony tête topper wearing guests, while […]

Opera Santa Barbara is Back with a Bang!
By Richard Mineards   |   October 12, 2021

The singers, under artistic director Kostis Protopapas, launched its first post-pandemic season with mariachi opera Cruzar la Cara de la Luna (To Cross the Face of the Moon), a 2010 commission from the Houston Grand Opera with music and lyrics by Jose “Pepe” Martinez. With inspiring music from Grammy winners Mariachi Los Camperos, the production, […]

A Force To Be Reckoned With
By Richard Mineards   |   October 12, 2021

A sea of blue swept over Bella Vista, the sprawling Summerland estate of hotelier Pat Nesbitt and his wife, Ursula, when they hosted the seventh annual Fun with the Force, with a record 1,000 guests raising a record $2 million for the 12-year-old Santa Barbara Police Foundation. The popular organization provides financial support for injured […]

History Made
By Richard Mineards   |   October 5, 2021

Social gridlock reigned at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum when it opened its latest exhibition “Borein and His Circle of Friends,” which runs through January 22. More than 50 works by Borein, who died in our Eden by the Beach in 1945, are on display over three galleries, including 25 watercolors loaned anonymously by a […]

What’s That Sound?
By Richard Mineards   |   October 5, 2021

VIP donors were on the crest of a wave, a sound wave that is, when the venerable Granada Theatre unveiled its new $800,000 sound system installed by multi-Grammy Award-winning producer Allen Sides. Allen, who has produced more than 1,000 albums, also installed the audio system at the Riviera Theatre, home to the Santa Barbara Cinema […]

Please Call It a Comeback
By Richard Mineards   |   October 5, 2021

Susan Keller’s 13-year-old Santa Barbara Revels, after what seems an eternity of pandemic doldrums, is revving up for action and hosted an Equinox concert at the University Club for 80 guests. Susan also announced the group’s Yuletide concert, with a California 1830s theme, at the Lobero on December 18-19, its first live performance in three […]

The Show Must Go On
By Richard Mineards   |   September 28, 2021

COVID-19 reared its ugly head when Natasha Bedingfield, considered one of the top 100 vocalists of all time, who was scheduled to be one of two principal performers at the One805 fundraiser at the charming Montecito estate of Alastair and Ann Winn, and Travis and Amanda Twining, cancelled just 48 hours before the sell-out boffo […]

Bringing Down the House
By Richard Mineards   |   September 28, 2021

Ubiquitous KEYT reporter John Palminteri hosted the Heart of New House fifth annual lunch at the Hilton, which raised around $30,000 for the nonprofit that is staffed entirely by clients recovering from problems from alcohol and drugs. The charity was founded in 1955 with the first New House, followed in 1978 with a second version, […]

Grand Reveal
By Richard Mineards   |   September 28, 2021

It was music to everyone’s ears when veteran maestro Nir Kabaretti outlined the Santa Barbara Symphony’s upcoming season at the venerable Granada Theatre at a program reveal party at the Lobero. Symphony chairman Janet Garufis enthused: “It will be so nice to hear live music in person again. We are active and thriving!” The season […]

Quite the Sendoff
By Richard Mineards   |   September 28, 2021

Montecito music man Peter Clark, who moved to more heavenly pastures at 87, was remembered in suitable style by his widow Gloria Clark on what would have been their fifth wedding anniversary at the Montecito Club. The iconic English-born pianist rose to fame in the 1950s appearing on Australia’s Amateur Hour at 17 and appearing […]

Quite the Deal
By Richard Mineards   |   September 21, 2021

Opera Santa Barbara has come up with a most novel way to sell tickets to fans after the pandemic lockdown. Artistic director Kostis Protopapas has announced that a limited number of tickets for this season’s productions will be available to patrons on a name-your-own-price-basis. The name of this new initiative, made possible by a grant […]

Prince Perfecting Polo Prowess
By Richard Mineards   |   September 21, 2021

An accomplished polo player, Prince Harry has been honing his mallet skills “stick and balling” at the Santa Barbara Polo Club, I can exclusively reveal. The Duke of Sussex, 37, who lives with his wife, Meghan Markle, at Riven Rock, just a short gallop from the Carpinteria equestrian facility, is following in the stirrup-steps of […]

All About the Famiglia
By Richard Mineards   |   September 21, 2021

Everybody was in the right aria when Opera Santa Barbara’s Marylove Thralls hosted a sunset soirée to launch an entertaining new book, La Mia Pazza Famiglia by Kay Lemke. The dynamic duo met when Lemke, who hails from a small community, San Fior di Sopra, north of Venice, volunteered to help the opera and the […]

The Dogs are Heading Out
By Richard Mineards   |   September 14, 2021

Billionaire developer Rick Caruso’s Rosewood Miramar resort has gone to the dogs! The tony Montecito hostelry hosted its first annual dog adoption event to coincide with National Dog Day, partnering with a number of local shelters, including Apollo’s ARC, Spark Rescue Santa Barbara, and the Aussie Rescue Networking Group on the Great Lawn. Pampered pooches […]

‘The Wait is Over!’
By Richard Mineards   |   September 14, 2021

After 20 months of forced inactivity because of the pandemic, UCSB’s popular Arts & Lectures program is back with a bang! “The wait is over!” declared Miller McCune executive director Celesta Billeci at a Creating Hope launch bash at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum for 170 guests. “This is a big step for us. The […]

A Rockin’ Good Time
By Richard Mineards   |   September 14, 2021

Social gridlock reigned at the Montecito home of Justine Roddick and Tina Schlieske when the dynamic duo hosted a Coney Island-themed, sold-out bash for 120 guests, raising nearly $200,000 for CADA (Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse). The fun fest, entirely underwritten by local real estate magnate Earl Minnis, featured singer-songwriter Patti Smith, 74, dubbed […]

Hats Off to You!
By Richard Mineards   |   September 7, 2021

For the 15th year my millinery skills, garnered from attending the Royal Enclosure at Ascot, England, where outrageous hats are de rigueur for ladies attending the centuries’ old races attended by Queen Elizabeth, for more than four decades, were called on by the Santa Barbara Polo Club to judge the annual hat contest during the […]

A ‘Wild’ Party
By Richard Mineards   |   September 7, 2021

The party animals were out in force, vaccination passports in hand, when the Santa Barbara Zoo hosted Zoofari Ball XXXV Return to Basecamp, attended by more than 630 supporters and raising nearly $200,000 for the popular menagerie. Guests in their safari gear and Harrison Ford lookalikes joined the party on the hilltop for sunset cocktails, […]

Whale of a Time
By Richard Mineards   |   September 7, 2021

It was a case of High Cs on the high seas when bubbly Condor Express owner Hiroko Benko hosted her fifth annual opera cruise on the popular 75-foot whale watching vessel. Given the pandemic uptick, guest numbers were kept to around 50 instead of the normal 145 for the two-hour maritime recital by soprano Chelsea […]

Got Loon Loot?
By Richard Mineards   |   August 31, 2021

California’s most expensive residential property, a 22-acre spread known as the Sanctuary at Loon Point, has just surfaced for sale in Carpinteria for a hefty $160 million. The titanic price tag makes it the priciest property in the Golden State, beating out a $135 million retreat up for grabs in Woodside and a $115 million […]

‘No Substitute for Live Theater’: ETC Raises its Curtains
By Richard Mineards   |   August 31, 2021

It was just the ticket when the venerable Ensemble Theatre Company, which is fully reopening after 15 months of pandemic lockdown, hosted 150 guests and raised a hefty $250,000 with its “Curtain (Back) Up!” bash at the Santa Barbara Club. “When the New Vic theater opened in 2013, we had a Curtain Up fête,” says […]

Quite the Crescendo
By Richard Mineards   |   August 31, 2021

Santa Barbara Symphony celebrated the founding members of the Crescendo Society, a group of visionary supporters who have each made a five-year pledge to support the orchestra at levels ranging from $2,500 to $100,000, with a boffo brunch at the Santa Barbara Club. This means the next four seasons of the symphony, under maestro Nir […]

Finishing with a Flurry
By Richard Mineards   |   August 19, 2021

While Fiesta Pequeña at the Mission and Noches de Ronda at the Courthouse Sunken Gardens were cancelled after the significant uptick in coronavirus infections, La Recepcion del Presidente at the Carriage & Western Museum with 200 guests went ahead as planned, raising nearly $50,000 for Old Spanish Days. Drew Wakefield served as emcee and auctioneer, […]

Catching Some Fiesta Fever
By Richard Mineards   |   August 12, 2021

Fiesta fever was palpable at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum when Tablao Museo, an energized flamenco show for 230 guests, took place under the stars. The pulsating event on a sultry summer night was organized by museum director Dacia Harwood and featured musicians and dancers from our Eden by the Beach to Spain who shared […]

A Hippie Throwback
By Richard Mineards   |   August 12, 2021

It was Pucci, Gucci, and a dash of Fiorucci when YouTube influencer Rebecca Brand celebrated the 10th anniversary of her half-century with a ‘60s-themed bash at the historic University Club. Tie-dye reigned, along with Mary Quant miniskirts and white plastic go-go boots, as hits from that swinging decade that spawned The Beatles and The Rolling […]

Putting Polo Grounds to Good Use
By Richard Mineards   |   August 12, 2021

A gleaming red firetruck from the Carpinteria Fire Department stood guard when Teddy Ru, son of former Santa Barbara Polo Club president Wes Ru and his wife, Victoria, celebrated his third birthday. The event also coincided with Firefighter Appreciation Day for the Montecito and Summerland stations, who utilized the sprawling Carpinteria polo fields as staging […]

‘Spectacular Showcase’: Lotusland Gala a Show of Luxury
By Richard Mineards   |   August 5, 2021

Millions of dollars’ worth of exotic horsepower was on display when Lotusland, the 37-acre paradise founded by the late Polish opera singer Ganna Walska, hosted its 26th annual gala, raising nearly $500,000. The botanical bash, co-chaired by interior designer Caroline Thompson and David Jones, chair emerita Belle Hahn, and honorary chair Hania Tallmadge, had a […]

‘Nothing Could be Finer’ Than This Birthday Bash
By Richard Mineards   |   July 29, 2021

It was a super sunset birthday soirée by degrees when yours truly marked the 18th anniversary of his half-century with a boffo bash at the University Club hosted by Gretchen Lieff and her beau, Miles Hartfeld. Having been scheduled to wing to an old friend Cat Pollon’s home outside Marrakech for the past two years, […]

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 […]