We Are Now Montecito’s Weekly Publication

This is the first official weekly edition of Montecito Journal; last week’s cover announced that we were “Now Weekly,” but that was really our last bi-weekly issue.

The question arises: why weekly? The answer is obvious to anyone that has been in and/or around Montecito for the past decade or so. When Montecito Journal first began, in 1995, life was, believe it or not, lived at a slower pace. Children still rode their bikes to school in large numbers; the traffic light on 101 had only just been removed, the water moratorium lifted. Coast Village Road really was “Ghost Village Road,” and not just on Halloween. There was simply no traffic. There was no four-way Stop on Coast Village Road at Middle Road. Radio traffic reports on what was KTMS (1250 AM) were monotonously dull – “no accidents to report; no tie-ups on Highway 101.” East Valley Road was never jammed. Montecito Association’s very first Village Fourth of July parade and celebration, in 1996, traveled from Upper Manning Park, down School House Road to Montecito Union School, through the parking lot, across San Ysidro Lane to Lower Manning. Kids riding in the back of Dana Newquist’s vintage fire truck fired water pistols at parade watchers, who lobbed water balloons back in response.

But, somewhere along the way, traffic increased. Montecito became busy. New homes and “scraper” renovations proliferated. A Stop sign appeared on Coast Village Road at Middle Road; talk of a roundabout at Butterfly Lane was squelched, but seriously considered. The price of a home in Montecito tripled and quadrupled. Business boomed along Coast Village. Today, the line never ends at Starbucks or Jeannine’s. Lucky’s, Los Arroyos, Cava, and Trattoria Mollie offer valet parking. Even the Biltmore has seen a resurgence in local attendance, at least on weekends, as live music and dancing have returned. This paper began as a monthly in a quieter age, but now there is just too much going on to be covered once every two weeks.

In 2000, we became bi-weekly in order to cover the increased activity. And now, in response to the abovementioned trends, we have been forced to become a weekly publication. Which shouldn’t surprise anyone: Montecito has had a weekly publication – on and off – for over half a century. There was the weekly Montecito Gazette in the 1950s; our predecessor, Montecito Life, was weekly from 1985 to 1994. Goleta has a weekly paper (Goleta Valley Voice), as does Carpinteria (Coastal View). Santa Barbara has had at least one weekly, sometimes two, in the recent past. The South Coast Beacon, for example, was a weekly that made a short but lively local appearance. The weekly Santa Barbara Independent is for many downtown residents, a reading staple.

Anyway, here is what weekly means for us:

The paper we are printing on is brighter and heavier, which means photos will be clearer and advertisers’ messages sharper. We’re still working on a new layout; what we’ve done so far is not permanent and if you like the changes – or hate them – let us know (see box below).

Our Calendar of Events, page 30, takes up as much space as it did when we were every other week, meaning we now list twice as many events.

A Tide Chart will appear in the Community Calendar, page 9, so you can plan your daily walk better, or enhance your ability to chaperone your guests along the shore.

If you are a film fan, with our movie clock, page 31, there will be no reason to ever pick up another publication.

When the Montecito Journal 93108 Open House Directory is fully functioning, it should become the definitive weekend open house guide, at least for this community.

Now that we are weekly, we can, most importantly, cover events and news in a more timely fashion. We encourage you to call us with news and/or information about Montecito, or about people who live in Montecito, or about people who might be moving to Montecito, or… you get the idea. As far as Montecito Journal is concerned, Montecito is the center of the known universe.

A New Real Estate Guide

When we do unveil our new 93108 Open House Directory, we’ll tag team it with a real-estate guide on our website (www.montecitojournal.net). Featured will be an interactive 93108 real estate guide and open house directory along with a search engine to find any articles or events you may have missed in the last year.

Montecito Journal Suggestion Box

We’re looking for both advice and criticism as we plug along with these changes. We’d also appreciate suggestions as to what you think ought to be covered regularly; if you have any advice, criticism, or suggestions, please go online at: www.montecitojournal.net and respond to this editorial, or simply e-mail me at: tim@montecitojournal.net. Or, if you are tech-averse, call me at 805-565-1860; these days, I’m almost always at the office!