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.

Cocktails at Caruso’s
By Richard Mineards   |   January 28, 2021

Rick Caruso’s Rosewood Miramar beach bar is now open for walk-up service for locals and guests alike, given the pandemic. A full bar is available, in addition to a limited menu of the bar’s most popular cocktails, wines, and beers. The Miramar Food Truck, conveniently parked adjacent to the bar, will continue to serve existing […]

Chock Full of Chanel
By Richard Mineards   |   January 28, 2021

New York auction house Christie’s is selling more than 100 pieces of rare vintage Chanel jewelry estimated to be worth more than $163,000. The 106-piece hoard of designer necklaces, earrings, brooches, and more comes from the collection of Susan Gutfreund, an interior designer and Manhattan socialite, who was a good friend of the Kate fan […]

Paul Walker’s Shelby Cobra
By Richard Mineards   |   January 28, 2021

The late Santa Barbara actor Paul Walker was an avid car collector and one of his prized autos is coming up for auction. The Fast & Furious franchise star, who died in a car accident in 2013 in Santa Clarita aged 40, had a number of exotic cars in his collection, including the 1965 Shelby […]

Lending a Hand to Broadway
By Richard Mineards   |   January 28, 2021

Montecito mega director Dick Wolf, 74, is coming to the aid of Broadway, which has suffered major damage during the current pandemic. His long-running NBC TV show Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, which has been on the air for more than two decades, has been turning to actors more used to the stages on […]

Happy News
By Richard Mineards   |   January 28, 2021

Oscar winning Montecito actor Jeff Bridges, 71, who revealed he has lymphatic cancer in November, is making great progress in his medical battle, I’m delighted to report. The Big Lebowski star says in a statement on his website that a “new protocol” he’s under seems to be a success. “I go in for a CAT […]

A Friend in Need
By Richard Mineards   |   January 21, 2021

Montecito singer-songwriter Brad Paisley, who was generous with his music and contributions during the 2018 mudslides disaster, as well as being a major supporter of the Unity Shoppe along with fellow musician Kenny Loggins, brought major help to Nashville, Tennessee, after the Christmas bombing, I learn. Brad, 48, who has sold 11 million albums and […]

Compliments to the Chef
By Richard Mineards   |   January 21, 2021

On a personal note, I remember Albert Roux, the French-born chef whose London eatery, La Gavroche, was the first in Britain to earn three Michelin stars, who has died aged 85. Albert and his brother, Michel, who moved to more heavenly pastures last year, opened their restaurant, named after a character in Victor Hugo’s novel […]

Return of the Condor
By Richard Mineards   |   January 21, 2021

To the Ventura Harbor Boat Yard with my trusty shutterbug Priscilla, where the beloved Santa Barbara whale watching vessel, Condor Express, owned by Hiroko Benko, has been undergoing a major transformation. The 100-ton, 74-foot catamaran, which was rebuilt in 2011, still had the original engines from its 2002 launch, and had to meet new environmental […]

Valley Heart Ranch for Sale
By Richard Mineards   |   January 21, 2021

Montecito’s only coffee plantation, Valley Heart Ranch, spread over 9.5 acres on three parcels, is up for grabs for $14.9 million. The estate, which produced 2,500 pounds of coffee last year, has four bedrooms in the main house for a total of seven bedrooms, 12 bathrooms, and 4,469 square feet of living space. Other amenities […]

The Wall Street Bump
By Richard Mineards   |   January 21, 2021

Retired high tech executive Jan Wesemann is getting priceless publicity in the Wall Street Journal this week as she puts her 20-acre French country-style Montecito estate on the market for $12 million. Jan moved into the 7,600-square-foot, five-bedroom, seven-and-a-half-bathroom house, built in 2001, 10 years ago and brought up her four daughters on the Park […]

Holiday Roundup
By Richard Mineards   |   January 14, 2021

Given the lockdown, I spent Christmas Day virtually streaming a host of entertaining Santa Barbara events that I was unable to attend, as I have done annually for the past 13 years. Susan Keller’s Santa Barbara Revels Venetian Celebration, taped at the Marjorie Luke Theater, “was as close to a live performance as was possible […]

Here’s to Howard
By Richard Mineards   |   January 14, 2021

Santa Barbara stockbroker and former TV executive Howard Jay Smith is facing the music again! Howard, a member of the board of the Santa Barbara Symphony, wrote his third book, Beethoven in Love; Opus 139: Concerto Quasi Una Fantasia, five years ago, and has now penned a suitable follow-up, Meeting Mozart: From the Secret Diaries […]

Let’s Hear it for the Girls
By Richard Mineards   |   January 14, 2021

Having completed five years leading Girls Inc. of Greater Santa Barbara, Barbara Ben-Horin is leaving the pro-girl nonprofit. Since joining the organization in January 2016 it has expanded its Teen Center programming, overhauled its emergency planning, and advanced its advocacy efforts on behalf of girls’ rights and opportunities. “I deeply believe in Girls Inc.’s vision […]

Fiesta Season is Here
By Richard Mineards   |   January 8, 2021

Montecito Bank & Trust’s main State Street branch suffered major social gridlock when it hosted its third annual Fiesta party for more than 300 traditionally garbed guests. Quaffing magnificent margaritas and noshing on traditional fare from Los Arroyos, partygoers were entertained by Chris Fossek playing classical guitar, with flamenco dancing from Junior Spirit of Fiesta […]

Animals in the Valley
By Richard Mineards   |   December 31, 2020

Former California State Assemblyman Brooks Firestone is giving paws for thought! Brooks, 81, who will be moving with his wife of 62 years, Kate, a former Royal Ballet dancer, into Casa Dorinda from their Santa Ynez Valley home in the New Year, has just published his second volume of animal stories from the valley. The […]

Aloha from Hawaii
By Richard Mineards   |   December 31, 2020

Oracle tycoon Larry Ellison, who has owned a number of homes in Santa Barbara for many years, is quitting California to live in Hawaii. Ellison, 76, the world’s 11th richest man, owns 98 percent of Lanai, the state’s sixth largest island at 140 square miles. He bought it in 2012 and employs the majority of […]

Loading Up on Real Estate
By Richard Mineards   |   December 31, 2020

Montecito actor Rob Lowe who sold his 10,000 sq. ft. Picacho Road estate for $46 million has lost no time in spending the money, having purchased three new residential properties in Southern California since the sale just three months ago. Having spent $13 million on a new 6,000 sq, ft. five-bedroom, six-bath estate, Stonehedge, on […]

Art of Titanic Proportions
By Richard Mineards   |   December 31, 2020

Gordon Frickers, an old friend who used to be my photographer on The Falmouth Packet when I started my career, has morphed into a very competent maritime artist. Now living in Brittany in the north of France after 25 years in the seafaring city of Plymouth, Devon, Gordon has just completed a two-year project of […]

Remembering John le Carré
By Richard Mineards   |   December 31, 2020

On a personal note, I mark the passing of the prolific author John le Carré, who has died at his home in Cornwall aged 89. For six decades his 25 gripping thrillers dominated the bestseller lists and review pages using his pseudonym, although his real name was David Cornwell. His enormous body of work goes […]

Margerum Hits Top 100
By Richard Mineards   |   December 24, 2020

Santa Barbara winemaker Doug Margerum has certainly got something to smile about during these gloomy times. Wine Enthusiast Magazine has recognized his Margerum M5 white Rhône blend, Margerum Esate Vineyard, Los Olivos district, as a top 100 wine of the year, ranking it at number 30. The publication’s global team of editors and tasters cumulatively […]

The ‘Resilience Tree’
By Richard Mineards   |   December 24, 2020

Montecito accountant and inveterate travel writer Frank McGinity is raising the Christmas spirit! Frank, a longtime resident of Riven Rock, the new home of Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle, has continued a long-held tradition and erected a 120-foot-tall Yuletide tree on his estate. “Stanley McCormick, who lived here for forty years, always had […]

Forever 21 Club
By Richard Mineards   |   December 24, 2020

I am saddened to hear New York’s iconic 21 Club is closing its doors after 90 years in business given the coronavirus pandemic. The five-story midtown Manhattan eatery, with its famous colorful jockey figures decorating the West 52nd Street facade, was a haven for the rich and famous since it opened in 1930 as a […]

A (Sadly Muted) Jubilee Celebration for a Longtime Scribe
By Richard Mineards   |   December 24, 2020

This column marks a major benchmark in my life! I celebrate my half-century as a journalist, which has seen my career spanning my time in London, Manhattan, and Los Angeles on newspapers, magazines, and television, with the last 13 years living in Montecito, 11 years of them as a columnist for this illustrious organ. If […]

Number One Stunner
By Richard Mineards   |   December 24, 2020

An interesting article in last week’s The Wall Street Journal by Amanda Eberstein about the charming red-hot tapestry of real estate ownership in Montecito. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdown in mid-March has only bolstered our rarefied enclave’s desirability, she concludes. Marsha Kotlyar, a local realtor at Berkshire Hathaway, says: “I’ve been […]

Stern Talking
By Richard Mineards   |   December 24, 2020

Top lyricist Toni Stern is waxing poetic again with her third and latest work, Loops. Unlike her two previous collections, Wet in 2015, and As Close as I Can three years ago, Toni, who enjoyed a highly productive collaboration with singer-songwriter Carole King, describes the new work as “freewheeling within the medium of prose, poetry, […]

Shining On
By Richard Mineards   |   December 17, 2020

Hillside House’s fourth annual Shining Light on Abilities was decidedly illuminating! More than 100 cars, with drivers and passengers staying in their autos, turned out to see the holiday lights and decorations at the 75-year-old charity’s headquarters on Veronica Springs Road where 59 residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities are housed. Nearby properties join in […]

A New Role for Roling
By Richard Mineards   |   December 17, 2020

Santa Barbara Symphony has appointed Rebecca Roling as vice president of patron and community engagement. A lifelong classical music fan, patron of the arts, and musician, Roling will build upon and leverage the popular organization’s impact and momentum, and be responsible for the growth of donation and ticket revenue through patron connection and loyalty. Five […]

Coming Up Rosés
By Richard Mineards   |   December 17, 2020

Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network is launching a Wild Rosé limited edition fundraiser. The Grenache Rosé wine, available for a limited time, was made specifically to benefit the popular charity by renowned winemaker Kris Curran, voted one of California’s highest profile winemakers with grapes from Montecito animal activist Gretchen Lieff’s Alamo Creek Ranch. Donor premiums […]

Gersh Makes Good on the Laughs
By Richard Mineards   |   December 17, 2020

Retired Montecito attorney David Gersh has just completed his new novel Pot Luck, the sequel to his laugh-out-loud award-winning book Desperate Shop Girls, which is being published by Open Books in the New Year. It is the Harvard Law School graduate’s sixth tome, to be closely followed by his seventh, The Whisper of a Distant […]

Old Friends Over Eggs Benedict
By Richard Mineards   |   December 17, 2020

To the Rosewood Miramar for breakfast at the Malibu Farm with London Sunday Times travel writer Jonathan Thompson. The meeting was organized by my former News-Press colleague Karna Hughes, now an executive with Visit Santa Barbara, who thought my 13 years of experience living in our rarefied enclave might be of some use to the […]

Collection of Artifacts Up for Auction
By Richard Mineards   |   December 17, 2020

The extensive Chinese collection of the late society doyenne Beverley Jackson is being sold by Kaminski Auctions in, appropriately enough, Beverly, Massachusetts. The former society editor of the News-Press for 22 years, who died in August aged 91, was an avowed Sinophile after a visit to China during the Cultural Revolution changed her life. The […]

Dinner for 300
By Richard Mineards   |   December 10, 2020

Having volunteered at the Rescue Mission for the past 13 years, I had to miss acting as a waiter at the Rescue Mission’s annual Thanksgiving Feast this year because of the pandemic restrictions. However, as the 55-year-old shelter is designated as “an essential service,” 40 homeless at a time were allowed in to nosh on […]

Promotion, Partnerships, and Polo
By Richard Mineards   |   December 10, 2020

Dallas dynamo and former TV anchor Charles Ward, who has been promoting the Santa Barbara Polo & Racquet Club for nearly two decades, is expanding his empire. Charles, who plays President George Washington with my King George III in the village parade each year, has forged a strategic alliance with the international luxury glossy Polo […]

Viva La Paloma
By Richard Mineards   |   December 10, 2020

It was back to the past when my trusty shutterbug Priscilla and I attended the opening night celebrations of La Paloma, on the site of the former Paradise Café owned by Randy Rouse and Kevin Boss for 37 years. The wonderfully reconfigured eatery, a tiara’s toss from the Santa Barbara News-Press HQ on Anacapa Street, […]

Goodbye to a Unique Lady
By Richard Mineards   |   December 10, 2020

On a personal note I remember Barbara Tellefson, founder and president of the Unity Shoppe, who lost her valiant battle with a terminal illness aged 84. A woman of extraordinary fortitude and passion, Barbara was without doubt a force of nature who devoted her life to the century-old nonprofit, working innumerable hours directing operations for […]

A Safe Space
By Richard Mineards   |   December 10, 2020

Santa Barbara creative marketing agency Oniracom is giving back to the community during the COVID-19 crisis, particularly during the holiday season. The company, whose studio facilities are located near the Funk Zone, is providing at-cost pandemic friendly media space and live stream technology solutions. “We are all part of an incredible community that it’s our […]

Big Tech Bigwigs Buy Montecito Residence
By Richard Mineards   |   December 10, 2020

The nearly one-acre Montecito Residence, built barely a decade ago for Chicagoans John and Dorothy Gardner, has been sold for $7.2 million to Silicon Valley entrepreneurs Mark Armenante and Young Sohn, co-founders of Vlocity, the cloud-applications software company acquired by Salesforce for $1.3 billion earlier this year. Built almost entirely from steel and glass, the […]

The ‘Disturbing Drama’ of the Duchess of Sussex
By Richard Mineards   |   December 3, 2020

An old friend, Sean Smith, former gossip columnist of London’s Sunday People newspaper and now a successful celebrity author, has sent me his latest book, Meghan Misunderstood, on the Duchess of Sussex. Sean, who has also penned bestselling tomes on singer Adele, George Michael, Tom Jones, Ed Sheeran, Kate Middleton, Kim Kardashian, Justin Timberlake, Britney […]

Happy Anniversary
By Richard Mineards   |   December 3, 2020

Karl Storz Imaging, which has been of a pillar of the Central Coast’s technology industry and is one of the area’s largest employers with nearly 400 staff, just celebrated its 30th anniversary. KSI is a subsidiary of Karl Storz SE and Co. KG, a family-owned company based in Germany that employs more than 8,000 people […]

Here’s to the Heroes
By Richard Mineards   |   December 3, 2020

Montecito dynamic duo Bill and Sandi Nicholson, who recently sold their 11-acre estate Solana to Google billionaire Eric Schmidt for $30.8 million, have joined forces to honor Nurse Heroes with an all-star concert to be broadcast worldwide on Thanksgiving Day, which will provide much needed funds for programs including scholarships for nurses and their children. […]