Tag archives: local people

Sincerely, Stella
By Stella Haffner   |   July 9, 2024

Dear Montecito, Four years later and here we are. This column started during the first COVID-19 lockdown, when I found out that half of my exams were being canceled. “Hey Gwyn… mind if I start a column?” And, well, you know the rest of the story! One hundred hours of phone calls, emails, and interviews […]

Mason Lender: Who Finds the Unicorns?
By Stella Haffner   |   June 25, 2024

This week I spoke to Mason Lender, the 23-year-old founder of an alternative investing company powered by artificial intelligence. Mason grew up here in Santa Barbara, attending Crane Country Day School and Santa Barbara High School before packing his bags to start as an undergraduate in Statistics & Data Science and Global Affairs at Yale […]

Attorney to Hippie to Beloved Literary Gadfly. Steven Gilbar? Yep.
By Jeff Wing   |   June 25, 2024

Yes, there are people in the area you are more likely to have heard of than to have actually met. Jeff Bridges. Carol Burnett. Beloved local mononyms Ellen, Oprah, and Harry. Steven Gilbar is in this category, but with a caveat. The name rings a deafening bell, but where the hell have you heard it? […]

Miki Dora Was Here
By Jeff Wing   |   June 18, 2024

Troubled Surf legend Miki Dora – the Dark Prince of Malibu – remains a cipher. His lifelong desire to live in the moment has made him a mythic figure in the surf pantheon; a stature that in his lifetime royally pissed him off. Pop culture shorthand has reduced Dora to a James Dean for the […]

Makena Tate
By Stella Haffner   |   June 11, 2024

Preparing for her final year at Berklee College of Music, Makena Tate – a Crane Country Day School and San Marcos High School alum – reflects on how her relationship with music has changed over the years.  Dear Montecito, Last month I Ubered to a gig and the driver immediately asked: “Why do you like […]

Puzzlin’ Pete Produces ‘More Time’
By Steven Libowitz   |   May 28, 2024

Pete Muller didn’t set out to make a record in Memphis with an entirely new band when he visited producer/engineer Matt Ross-Spang (Jason Isbell) on the advice of his manager. But the two hit it off, and when his previous producer Rob Mathes proved too busy with his Sting projects to get away, Muller committed […]

Charlie Kaller Markham
By Stella Haffner   |   May 21, 2024

Have you guys read The Giving List? If not, you should go check it out. Lots of great nonprofits featured in there. And I should know – I covered some of those stories. Three years ago, I was given the opportunity to interview the team at the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. Fascinating! Of course, […]

Beatrice Tolan
By Stella Haffner   |   May 7, 2024

Come one, come all! Beatrice Tolan is getting ready to put on her first art showcase: HORSE$H*T. The exhibition opens May 2nd and continues until July 2nd. Join Beatrice at Elsie’s Tavern to see her new collection and join me below to hear about the creation process! Q. Thelast time I spoke to you, you […]

Natalie Martinez: Carpinteria High Senior Accepted into Eight-Year Medical Track at Brown
By Stella Haffner   |   April 23, 2024

“I didn’t always know I wanted to be a doctor. Actually, I hadn’t really considered medicine until my sister was diagnosed,” says 17-year-old Natalie Martinez. Natalie and her family are Carpinteria locals. On the weekend, they enjoy hiking the Franklin Trail and visiting family in Ventura. But their lives were upended when Natalie’s 13-year-old sister, […]

Dear Montecito: Emily Stone
By Stella Haffner   |   April 9, 2024

This week I met up with Emily Stone, an MUS alumna and current graduate student at the University of Oxford. After earning her bachelor’s degree at Barnard College, Columbia University studying Environment Sustainability and Human Rights, Emily made the move to the U.K. to pursue her passion for conservation science. In our conversation, Emily introduced […]

Women’s History Month 2024: Fashion Designer Catherine Gee
By Joanne A Calitri   |   March 26, 2024

When I read Editor-In-Chief Edward Kobina Enninful OBE’s final issue of British Vogue, which he dedicated to 40 women, I realized that it is fitting fashion designer Catherine Gee be featured in my Women’s History Month issue.  From 2016 – with her hand-painted designs for the prints on her signature silk line of women’s clothes […]

Dawson Fuss
By Stella Haffner   |   March 19, 2024

Dear Montecito! I miss you! I can’t wait to be home for Spring Break next week! I’m getting ready to finish my second year at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, and a lot has happened since the last time we spoke about my single “Oblivious,” which at the time was […]

Let’s Hear it for Tom Snow
By Jeff Wing   |   March 19, 2024

Third-grader Tom Snow came home from school one day with the devastating news that most parents regard as the sum of their deepest fears. “I told my mom that I wanted to play the trumpet.” When the poor woman had regained her composure, she gently but firmly took Tom by the shoulders and aimed him […]

Alice Tran: Tough as Nails
By Jeff Wing   |   March 12, 2024

In the war’s aftermath there were hundreds of thousands of scores to settle, and the new government wasted no time getting down to business. Former army officers, religious leaders, those who had worked for or with Americans or the old government; they were all asked to register with the new authorities, who would call them […]

A Journey of Resilience and Reinvention
By Jamie Knee   |   March 12, 2024

You may know her name from her time on The Girls Next Door or perhaps from her show Kendra Sells Hollywood. But there’s much more to Kendra Wilkinson than meets the eye. Beyond the glitz and glamour of Hollywood, Kendra’s story is one of resilience, reinvention, and compassion. As a single hands-on mother of two, […]

Meet the Neighbor
By Richard Mineards   |   March 12, 2024

Montecito animal rights activist Gretchen Lieff didn’t have to look far when she moved into a new estate. The property, built in 1964 and designed by architect Carl Hillmann, was right next door to her former Arcady home! To mark the occasion Gretchen, owner of the La Lieff vineyard and Funk Zone tasting room, hosted […]

Dear Montecito: Joan Curran
By Stella Haffner   |   February 20, 2024

“I hadn’t imagined myself working in the nonprofit sector when I started college,” says Joan Curran. Joan was a freshman at the University of San Francisco when she began her federal work study and – as she would later realize – began her career. Joan joined the team at a San Francisco–based nonprofit called Career […]

Dear Montecito: Kristine Carrillo 
By Stella Haffner   |   February 6, 2024

Who doesn’t love a full circle moment? Today we have yet another wonderful featuree who is an alumna of the Mission Scholars program. Inspired by her time in the program and her upbringing here in Santa Barbara, Kristine Carrillo is a current senior at Brown University where she studies International and Public Affairs and Education […]

Dear Montecito: Annika Wagner
By Stella Haffner   |   January 23, 2024

New schedule, new workload, new classes and more. Moving from the end of high school to the beginning of freshman year is one of the biggest transitions a student will experience, even when they are as college-ready as Annika Wagner. Last year Annika graduated from Dos Pueblos High School with a 4.85 GPA, 34 college […]

Montecito’s Dirt Bike Days
By Jeff Wing   |   January 23, 2024

Montecito! (excuse me) While our fairly liquid little village has never been known as the “Home of the Mink Stole,” neither has it ever sported the tagline “Central Coast Epicenter of Tweens Helling around on BMX Bikes.” That branding would likely have been discouraged by the Montecito Association. The descriptor, though, would not have been […]