New Arrivals
By Leslie Westbrook   |   December 17, 2020

Congratulations to Senator Monique Limón,who was sworn in as our new state senator in Sacramento on December 7 and is also a new mom to baby Gianna. 

Home, Sweet Hacienda
By Leslie Westbrook   |   December 3, 2020

Hacienda, by Bonita Lifestyle, the latest incarnation of retail shopping therapy in Summerland by Rita Villa, opened its doors mid-November. Located just down the street from the Summerland Beach Café (and in the same row as Garde on the street behind the liquor store), the shop is the culmination of the many years of Rita’s […]

 

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Going With the Flow
By Leslie Westbrook   |   December 3, 2020

Have you noticed how the Highway 101 traffic flow has changed with the construction work now in full swing? Heading north from the Padaro Lane onramp through Summerland, most of the traffic was traveling in the right lane – due to the white cement barriers, which do make the fast lane scarily hairy! There are […]

Warning: Follow the Rules, Please!
By Leslie Westbrook   |   December 3, 2020

Even movie stars and the rich and famous need to play by the rules, so it should seem simple for the rest of us mere mortals. At a Summerland Architectural Board of Review meeting a few years back, the board approved a 26,000-square-foot house (by virtue of a variance on the 25-acre beachfront property) for […]

Offshore Oil Well Clean Up! A Post-Election Day Gift
By Leslie Westbrook   |   November 19, 2020

Construction crews are carrying out important cleanup work on two of Summerland’s leaky, abandoned oil wells located just offshore. The work should be completed by November 15, but in the meantime a portion of Lookout Park’s parking lot and the beach area are temporarily being used. Thanks to Heal the Ocean and former longtime Summerlandian […]

Virtual Vacation to Honduras
By Leslie Westbrook   |   November 19, 2020

We could all use a virtual vacation. Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuary board member Leslie Rugg reached out to me enthusiastically via email to get the word out about the parrot haven and rescue center in Summerland whose director of the Sanctuary is longtime Montecito resident Jamie McLeod. Birds with chronic conditions remain at the Sanctuary […]

Sports Legend Maria Sharapova buys Summerland Ranch
By Leslie Westbrook   |   November 5, 2020

A warm Summerland welcome to sports legend Maria Sharapova, who has purchased one of my favorite properties. The retired (in February of this year) tennis player has purchased a five-acre ocean view compound in the hills for $8.6 million. The 33-year-old Russian has won more than $38 million in prize money – that’s not counting […]

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101 Widening – Fasten Your Seatbelts!
By Leslie Westbrook   |   November 5, 2020

Will freeway noise be louder or quieter, during construction and/or when it is finished? How long will the construction take (spoiler alert: asteroid Bennu)? Will commuters take a short cut on the “Banner Avenue freeway” instead of the 101 or Lillie Avenue?  All these questions and more were answered during an informative 1.5-hour presentation by […]

More Messages from ‘The Great Beyond’
By Leslie Westbrook   |   September 17, 2020

Congratulations to Summerland-based author Cynthia Hamilton, whose latest mystery book, the fifth in her private investigator Madeline Dawkins series, The Patience of Karma, came out this week from her new publisher, Severn River Publishing. This story revolves around three crimes, including a tragic boating accident off the coast of San Diego, some Santa Barbara shenanigans […]

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Porch Opens: It’s in the Cards (Tarot Cards, That Is)
By Leslie Westbrook   |   September 17, 2020

Porch, the popular Santa Claus Lane home, garden, and gift store, has moved from Santa Claus Lane and officially opened in its new location in the space long known as Just Folk on Lillie Avenue. With a new coat of white paint and the two-story space filled with lots of tempting items, large and small, […]

Not Safer At Home
By Leslie Westbrook   |   September 3, 2020

Quarantine can heighten the risk of domestic violence, but help is available Maria Carbonell gratefully remembers the week she took refuge at a Domestic Violence Solutions safe house eight years ago. “A lot of people didn’t know I went to a safe house. I never shared it with anybody,” says Carbonell, 52, in a recent […]

Santa Barbara Magazine Summer Issue Out: A Secret Message?
By Leslie Westbrook   |   September 3, 2020

A reader called me to ask whether I knew why the summer issue of Santa Barbara Magazine with a wonderful, whimsical piece of cover art by Pedro de la Cruz included the number “45” on it? “Was the magazine promoting the re-election of our 45th president?” she pondered. Nope, this is not some subliminal message: […]

Space Opens in Carpinteria: You’re Invited!
By Leslie Westbrook   |   September 3, 2020

Congratulations to Zelda Prune and her business partner Jonathan Brandan, who have opened the doors to their new home and garden showroom, Space, at 4856 Carpinteria Avenue in Carpinteria. Stop by for some socially distant shopping, mint lemonade, and “safe” nibbles this Friday, Saturday, or Sunday (August 28-30) from 11 am to 6 pm. Vintage […]

Summerland People: Nancy Aviles
By Leslie Westbrook   |   September 3, 2020

Her faith, and the views, help her through One Summerland family that is looking forward to the changes at Lookout Park is Nancy Aviles, her husband, Rodrigo Campuzano, and their two young children, Amy and Roy. “Living in Summerland is a wonderful experience,” says Nancy, a child development specialist who works for an early intervention […]

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