The Big CASA Golf Tourney

The 12th Annual CASA Golf Tournament takes place Monday, September 17 at Sandpiper Golf Course. Cost is $250 per player, and along with a terrific day and company, there will also be putting contests, a longest drive contest, the straightest drive, a hole-in-one prize, closest to the hole on all par 3s, and prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place teams.

The format, as it has been in the past, is a Texas Scramble, whereupon all golfers hit from the same location, after having chosen the most advantageous location for all four players’ previous shot. Below-par scores are common and required in order to win. But, winning isn’t everything, as Vince Lombardi once said and although Vince went on to opine that “winning is the only thing,” CASA players are less intense. In a “Coming & Going column in September ‘06, I called that year’s tourney “the most pleasurable and organized events I’ve ever attended or been party to,” and look forward to this year’s event being even more so.

Assistant Pro Joel Pyron of La Cumbre will be the designated long-hitter, most likely stationed at hole # 15 (the nearly 600-yard par 5). Players can choose to pay Mr. Pyron a small stipend (which will be donated to CASA), and have him hit their drive. Major sponsors include Golf-Tec, which will have one of its golf swing analyzer units on site. Etched wine bottles (underwritten by Diana Starr Langley) will be presented to winners. Event co-chairs include Fred Benko of Condor Express whale-watching expeditions (whose wife, Hiroko, reported over 50 blue whales have been spotted recently in Santa Barbara Channel), Diana Starr Langley, and Betsy Turner. Sponsors include Paseo Nuevo, Debbie Adams, Jim Crook Chrysler /Jeep, which is tempting golfers with a new jeep for making a hole-in-one at a designated hole, probably #4.

If you are interesting in joining this group, call 805-879-1730 for an application and more info, or go to their website at: or e-mail: There may be a few openings left.

Thank You MFD, from Montecito

Montecito Fire Department Administrative Secretary Geri Simmons sent us a series of photos of MFD personnel, along with a “Thank you” sign made by local resident Richard Wilke, and signed by several other residents. She wanted to say a public “Thank you” to Mr. Wilke and his friends, who left the sign on the front lawn at Montecito Fire Station on San Ysidro Road Sunday morning August 26

“The members at MFD are very grateful for the support given by our community!” she says, and added a footnote that “We still have 6 members working on the ZACA fire at this time.”

Short Bits

When Gerrie Fausett became Santa Barbara Junior High principal in 1995, she set to work to revive the school and make of it an enticing learning center. Once that was accomplished (by 1997), Ms Fausett began making personal and repeated pleas to Montecito Union and Cold Spring students, parents, and teachers, asking that they consider sending their children to her school, rather than off to a private school, where historically most Montecito students had headed. Her entreaties proved so successful that nearly the entire graduating classes from both schools registered at SBJHS in 1998 and the following few years. But, that was then. When Gerrie left to accept an administrative position with the school district, she was replaced by a woman who almost immediately went on pregnancy leave and turned the school over to her assistant principal. Without Ms Fausett’s rigorous attention, the outreach to Montecito students faltered; this year’s SBJHS entering 7th-graders include just 12 MUS kids… At least one insurance company, worried about possibly massive losses, sent a team to Montecito to spray fire retardant around some of their more expensive insured mansions when it looked like the Zaca Fire might spill over into this area...

A Barack Obama Pool Party

Barack Obama’s people have been talking to Oprah’s people about finding a suitable abode for the junior senator to stay while he’s in town to attend the big fundraising bash scheduled for September 8 at Ms Winfrey’s Tara II estate. Now that at least some of the rooms have been cleared for some of the high-profile guests – Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, for example, were spotted driving together in a sports car along Cabrillo Boulevard near East Beach last weekend, so they could perhaps be likely attendees (although they already have a place to stay), along with the likes of George Clooney, Willy Brown and many, many others. Mr. Obama is not likely to stay at a hotel, for security reasons, and has apparently found a more secure redoubt: the private Montecito estate of a Democrat bigwig…

If you are a Barack Obama supporter but don’t have the $2,300 (or weren’t invited) to attend one of two Montecito events, there is still a way to become involved: Drs. Charity and David Thoman are planning a fundraising party open to the public, and free of charge on Saturday September 1, from 3 pm to 6 pm. The Thomans plan to entice partygoers to put a price on themselves that they will accept for jumping into the Thomans’ ice-cold pool. That money will be donated to the Obama campaign. Raffle tickets at $25 a pop will be sold, and the winner of the raffle wins the right to attend the Obama luncheon at the home of Nancy and Larry Koppelman in Montecito on September 8.

“Everybody can put a price on their head to show how much it would cost for them to jump in the pool,” says Charity during a short conversation. “My husband has been teasing me that I’ve never jumped in our pool, because it’s freezing! So I said ‘okay, for $500, I’ll do it’.” They will videotape the whole thing and send it to Obama campaign headquarters. “I’m sure it will end up on YouTube,” Charity says. We’re sure she’s right.

A growing group of Obama supporters meets monthly on Thursdays from 7-9 pm at 402 E. Gutierrez. Members include the Obama campus representatives for UCSB and Santa Barbara City College. If you’d like to learn more, call 805-448-3601 or RSVP at where you’ll find the directions to the house.

Sewers for Rincon

The Carpinteria Sanitary District certified the assessment engineering report for the South Coast Beaches Community Septic-to-Sewer project (Rincon, Sandyland, Sand Point, and Padaro Lane) on August 7, reports Heal The Ocean head Hillary Hauser. More than 170 homeowners along the above-mentioned beach enclaves began voting yea or nay to sewer hookups on August 24 and the votes are due by October 16, whereupon CSD will announce the results.

“It has taken us exactly eight years of hard work, and thank you all for your most vital help! Heal the Ocean could not have done this alone,” Hillary writes in an e-mail sent to supporters.

“By October 16, 2007,” she continues, “we will all know whether septic systems will be removed from seven miles of beaches on the Santa Barbara South Coast. This is hugely exciting, but one of the most exciting things about this is that the homeowners finally get to have a choice.”

Cleaning Up For The Fire

“Those dumpsters were supplied by MarBorg, but paid for by the County,” says First District Supervisor Salud Carbajal when contacted by telephone recently. Word was that it was Mr. Carbajal who came up with the idea of placing large dumpsters in the Mission Canyon area for homeowners to dump their clippings, tree branches, green waste, brush, and other fire hazards, during the recent fire emergency. It turns out, however, that it wasn’t Mr. Carbajal, but , Paul Relis, a resident of Mission Canyon.

“Paul called me personally,” relates Salud, “and said ‘You know, with the fire on the horizon, I bet if you put containers in the community, people will go above and beyond to reduce the fuel on their properties.’” Paul suggested that what might be reduced in fuel in one week or two could be as much as could be accomplished in a year. “I said ‘That’s a great idea,’ and ran with it,” Carbajal reveals.

The large containers were meant to be out for a week, but were kept longer, at Carbajal’s request. Salud has since asked his staff to notify other communities in his district if they wanted to do the same, but has received no response so far.

Twenty-Three Years of Art

Diane Waterhouse, a trustee for Santa Barbara Historical Museum, says her Waterhouse Gallery in La Arcada is about to celebrate its 23-year anniversary with a figurative show featuring two top names in art. “The finest artists in the country will be participating,” Diane says during some down time at the recent and enormously successful Casa del Herrero “Preserving Precious Spaces” event, where her husband, Ralph Waterhouse, sold most of his paintings, as did virtually all the twelve artists that participated.

Artists such as Nelson Shanks, Burton Silverman, and others will be featured at the upcoming Waterhouse Gallery reception scheduled for November 17, from 4 pm to 7 pm. “Many of them will be there in person and it is going to be a visual feast,” Diane says, adding that the show itself will run through mid-December. “When I say ‘figurative,’ I mean conversational pieces, I mean the gamut. They won’t just be strictly nudes. They’ll have a figure and they’ll be doing something. There’ll probably be fifty to sixty paintings, of all different sizes and they’re doing them all specifically for this show.”

The Waterhouse Gallery is at 1114 State Street (Suite 9) near the old Acapulco (805-962-8885).


We credited three fine watercolors to Ralph Waterhouse in Issue # 13/31’s coverage of the “Preserving Precious Spaces” event at Casa del Herrero; unfortunately, we got that wrong. The watercolors were actually done by Ray Hunter, who was pleasantly and graciously nonplussed: “I got all but one of my art sold [at the Casa del Herrero] event, and more phone calls and more credit from the mistake than I would have if it had been done right. So, it all came out very nicely. You can mis-apply my name any time you want,” he said as buyers carted off the watercolors he had brought to sell. “It was an extremely successful event. The docents supported us beautifully; painting here was just an honor. And a whole lot of art went out the door.”

Velvet Jones ExtraVaganza

Wearing a cap and a tee shirt among the large group of fans from all over Santa Barbara was 23-year-old actor/heartthrob Taylor Handley, a Montecito kid who made it big with “Phantom of the Megaplex,” later as Oliver on “The O.C.,” and now in “Hidden Palms.” There were on hand at Velvet Jones on lower State Street until well after 1 am to enjoy a concert by local band “Them Terribles.” Montecito fans included Lynn and Wayne Barker, Randy and Roxy Solakian, Stephen and Maria Black, Nick Koutoulas, Alexander Black, Ruth and David Green, Leslie von Weisenberger, Max Scher, Chris Dabney, the Buckleys, James, Helen, Lily, and Tim (with Jacqueline Cox), Paula and Tom Ackerman, Nathaniel Jones, and Cindy Quarre, among many others out late on a steamy recent Saturday night. “Them Terribles” lead singer Matt Green and lead guitarist Jonny Black both grew up in Montecito…