David Mitchell: Blue Ridge Honey
By Carly Williams   |   May 17, 2022

Hot tea or golden toast topped with a drizzle of locally crafted honey in the morning is therapeutic… and delicious. Crafted locally in Ventura, each drop of the delicate, sweet molten gold of Blue Ridge Honey is 100% pure, raw, and unfiltered. Beginning as a family hobby in the late 1970s, Blue Ridge Honey has […]

Joe Donnelly’s SoCal is a Strange and Stirring Cornucopia
By Jeff Wing   |   May 3, 2022

The pantheon of male American writers is a grab bag. Terkel, Mailer, Hamill, Hemingway — these tough guys and their generally hormonal prose are almost a literary brand. Plimpton — with his willowy erudition, patrician accent, and Paris Review creds — runs with another herd. Our Joe Donnelly is a third species, as evidenced by […]

 

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Ukraine War Hits Close to Home
By Scott Craig   |   May 3, 2022

The war in Ukraine is leveling cities and devastating lives, including friends and family of the Westmont community. Igor Rozhko, Westmont’s network manager since 2005, has shared the desperate need from his sister-in-law, Vera, in Kyiv, where she and her husband are missionaries with Ukraine Christian Radio and Video and where they attend the large […]

Setting Sail with Commodore Andra Escola
By Joanne Calitri   |   April 19, 2022

As the third female and a second-generation Santa Barbara Yacht Club (SBYC) Commodore, Andra Escola led the club renovations that started last year and were completed this April for its 150th anniversary. Escola held the position in 2021, following Joanne Gordon (2015) and Francie Lufkin (2013), the only females of the 149 commodores in the […]

Lean on Me
By Stella Haffner   |   April 5, 2022

A 2007 study from the Community College Journal of Research and Practice noted that 87% of students surveyed were experiencing moderate to high levels of stress. To cope, students reported enjoying exercise and talking to friends, but cited that they would often use alcohol, cigarettes, and hard drugs to self-medicate. Given our understanding of the […]

Lola Blanche
By Sigrid Toye   |   March 22, 2022

One of the gems presented in the short film program of the 2022 Santa Barbara International Film Festival was a 13-minute beautifully shot piece titled Kissy and the Shark helmed by writer/director Lola Blanche. In its brief running time, the film covers a myriad of topics that include nuanced views of interpersonal relationships, humanity’s deep […]

Harry and Erik Van Wingerden
By Carly Williams   |   March 22, 2022

Nestled in the foothills of the beautifully green Carpinteria Valley, just five miles south of Santa Barbara, sits a family owned and operated fresh cut flower farm, Myriad Flowers.  Lush, exotic, vivid in color, and fascinating in their most pure and natural state, the Van Wingerdens specialize in local blooms of roses, tulips, lilies, sunflowers, […]

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Author Michael Lewis Offers Insight to Bestsellers
By Scott Craig   |   March 15, 2022

Bestselling author Michael Lewis shared insight into his blockbuster books such as Moneyball, The Undoing Project, and The Fifth Risk, at the 17th annual President’s Breakfast on March 4 at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.  Exactly two years ago, Daniel Kahneman, the subject of Lewis’ book, The Undoing Project, spoke at the breakfast on […]

Teaching Teens News and How to Cramm
By Carly Williams   |   March 8, 2022

“I was twelve years old when I decided I needed to change the world.”  Olivia Seltzer, an 18-year-old Santa Barbara local, was shocked and scared by the results of the 2016 election and by what that meant for her and her peers.  While attending Santa Barbara Junior High, many of Seltzer’s friends came from families […]

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The Isla Vista Compost Collective
By Stella Haffner   |   March 8, 2022

When I first heard the term “Dirtrider,” I imagined something á la Mel Gibson in Mad Max. But far from being chrome and oil junkies as we might associate with the apocalyptic franchise, Dirtriders are the lean, green worker bees of the Isla Vista Compost Collective. Founded in 2017, the Isla Vista Compost Collective (IVCC) […]

Senior Wins Top Oxford Scholarship
By Scott Craig   |   March 1, 2022

Westmont senior Lexy Gillette, a double major in physics and chemistry, will attend the University of Oxford in the fall after earning the prestigious John and Daria Barry Foundation Scholarship. The award, given to about 10 students a year from select institutions, covers tuition, fees, and living expenses, and also provides a stipend and research […]

Author Liani Kotcher on Copywriting and Her Latest Novel, Ski Weekend
By Megan Waldrep   |   February 25, 2022

Liani Kotcher is kind of a powerhouse. Not only has she written three novels under the pen name Rektok Ross, but she once practiced law, too. That’s right. She’s an author and a lawyer. And her latest book Ski Weekend launched last fall to five-star reviews. How dope is that? Even more dope is that […]

Reitman Was Righteous
By Les Firestein   |   February 22, 2022

I reconnected with showbiz vets James Widdoes and Tim Matheson on the passing of Ivan Reitman, the prolific director and producer and founder of the wildly successful production company The Montecito Picture Company. All four of us (including Reitman) are connected through the National Lampoon, a magazine where I was once editor but which has […]

Learning Life Skills from The Key Class
By Stella Haffner   |   February 22, 2022

“My parents don’t work in an office, and they never went through interviews. So they wouldn’t be able to teach me this type of stuff,” says Fatima Lopez. A first generation American and the first in her family to attend college, Fatima reminds me that details such as how to conduct yourself at an interview […]

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