Jungle Habitat at MUS

Longtime Montecito resident Joann Rounds’s talent and travels have taken her into many environments over the years. For example, after studying Engineering Draftsmanship she found herself working for Douglas Aircraft, where she composed a series of drawings that became the nose wheel of the A26B light bomber. She has worked on geological illustrations for the California Institute of Technology, and her illustrations have appeared in several children’s books, including “The Bat In My Pocket.” Ms Rounds has also served as a courtroom artist, and her sketches have been used for television coverage.

You might recognize her work from the mural she created at the Santa Barbara Museum of Natural History this summer, or the constellation drawings for projection in the planetarium. Montecito Journal did an article a number of years ago on her collection of various art work, including a life-size camel made of wood blocks (that is in her living room to this day). Joann is currently collaborating on a book on the Civil War with an emphasis on personal family histories; she will be doing the illustrations.

“Jungle Habitat” (framed by the good folks at Village Frame & Art Gallery) is a recent creation of Ms Rounds, and she donated it to Montecito Union School, whereupon Superintendent Dr. Dick Douglas found the perfect location to hang it. So, next time you climb the stairs at MUS and come upon the gleeful flora and fauna decorating what was a blank wall, give a little nod to Joann Rounds, in recognition of both her talent and her generosity.

Larry Larsson’s a Granddad

Montecito real-estate agent, investor, tennis player, and Pierre LaFond discussion group leader Larry Larsson became a grandfather “to a beautiful young lady named Kianna Claire Larsson,” recently. The proud parents are Anne and Garrett Larsson.

Kianna was born at 12:55 pm, Wednesday, September 5, at Sequoia Hospital in Redwood City. She was 8 lbs 6 oz and 21 1/2 inches long, “with long fingers, wide eyes and light brown hair.” Her eyes are currently newborn-slate blue, “but who knows what they'll become...” says blue-eyed Larry.

Third Boy for the Wilczaks

Bryce Wilczak arrived on Earth Tuesday, September 4 at 5:47 pm, weighing 7 lbs, 12 oz. and measuring 20 inches in length. Bryce’s mom, Janet, delivered Bryce and dad, John Wilczak, assisted. Bryce’s brothers Sean (born August 23, 1993, graduated from Montecito Union School and now an 8th Grader at Dunn Middle School) and Kyle (born March 31, 2002, a kindergartener at the Family School in Santa Ynez), greeted their new brother as he left the delivery room headed for his first weigh-in and bath.

The Wilczaks were longtime Montecito residents who relocated to Santa Ynez Valley. John was co-founder of Metatools, a Carpinteria-based software company, now called Viewpoint and headquartered in New York.

Let’s Hear it for Ballet

The following is strictly from a press release, but it is so well written, so completely informational, with no hyperbole, no excessive use of adjectives and adverbs, no superlatives of any kind, that it warmed our hearts; so we are passing it on to you intact:

“State Street Ballet will host an elegant evening of new choreography created and performed by the dancers of State Street Ballet on Friday, September 28 at 6:30 pm.

“Ticket prices are $20 for advance reservations, or $25 at the door. To reserve a ticket, send an email to evenings@statestreetballet.com or call 805-965-6066.

“Meet the dancers afterwards, and enjoy wine, light food, and innovative dance at the studios of State Street Ballet located at 322 State Street. All are invited.”

Aaaah, if only most press releases were delivered in such a pithy and straightforward manner! (See you at the ballet?)

Called To Duty

U.S. Marine Corps Colonel James D. McGinley was called back to Washington, D.C., just 24 hours before he was supposed to have delivered a lunchtime talk to the Channel City Club; more than 175 eager listeners had gathered to hear from the Colonel, whose subject was Iraq, and whether the U.S. can win there. Colonel McGinley was called back for consultation and is expected to testify before a Congressional committee on the progress of the war. Channel City Club Executive Director Judith Hill said she would re-invite Colonel McGinley at another time; McGinley has volunteered to return to Iraq in February. A complete no-show for the Channel City Club, however, was averted when the Colonel arranged for his wife, The Honorable Maribeth Walton McGinley, to fill in for him. She proved to be an articulate and knowledgeable fill-in and delivered the Colonel’s prepared slideshow with aplomb, although the hoped-for Q & A with Colonel McGinley had to be postponed.

Assuming the following speakers aren’t called to Washington, D.C. at the last minute to testify in front of yet another Congressional committee, here’s the Channel City Club’s agenda for the remainder of the year:

Thursday, October 4, Mike German, who spent 16 years as an FBI agent specializing in domestic terrorism and covert operations. German is an adjunct professor at the National Defense University School of National Security Executive Education, and a Senior Fellow with Globalsecurity. His theme: “Thinking Like a Terrorist – Insights of a Former FBI Undercover Agent.”

Monday, October 15, Pat Clark Doerner, author of “The Judge – the Story of Justice William P. Clark.” Clark served as National Security Advisor to President Reagan, and was a California Supreme Court Justice.

Tuesday, October 30, Rachel Stohl, a senior analyst at the Center for Defense Information, speaks on international arms trade, small arms and light weapons, landmines, failed states, and children and armed conflict.

Tuesday, November 27, UCSB Professor of Political Science Benjamin Jerry Cohen delivers a lecture of “America’s Looming Foreign Debt.”

Finally, lightening things up a bit from current events and affairs, Channel City Club’s Annual Holiday Luncheon on Thursday, December 6, will feature Art Linkletter and the Montecito Union School Chorus!

If you’d like to join the Channel City Club and stay informed by listening to and questioning the club’s first-rate speakers, you are invited to call Judith Hill at 805-884-6636.

Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week

Former young communist turned conservative activist David Horowitz is among our favorite troublemakers, and so we were pleased to hear that he has arranged to hold Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week (October 22-26) on college campuses across the nation.

David has rounded up the usual suspects to flood campuses like Columbia (Sean Hannity), Tulane and USC (Ann Coulter), UCSB (Dennis Prager), UCLA and Berkeley (Nonie Darwish), and Stanford (Wafa Sultan), to speak of and offer insights into the other side of the War on Terror. Horowitz expects to bring his message himself to five colleges and universities: Columbia, Emory, Ohio State, Michigan, and Wisconsin, presumably on five succeeding days.

We look forward to witnessing the “tolerance” and “respect” of campus administrators towards these distinguished speakers, and students,’ and faculty’s willingness to allow these speeches to occur without incident.

On A Short Political Note…

Former CIA employee Valerie Plame and her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, are coming to Santa Barbara on Saturday, November 3. Ms Plame will deliver a luncheon speech to the Democratic Women of Santa Barbara County at Fess Parker’s DoubleTree…

Paying Off His Debt

Jim Anderson said “there were a lot of accomplishments” during his four years as Santa Barbara County Sheriff, during a small brunch gathering in the Biltmore’s Loggia Ballroom on Sunday September 16. Included in that list of accomplishments, were “the largest animal cruelty case in the county’s history,” during which his department had to impound over 400 horses taken from former Third District Supervisor candidate “Slick” Gardner. Another accomplishment: Sheriff’s deputies spent over four years tracking down Jesse James Hollywood, found him in Brazil and brought him back. “I was very proud to stand in front of the media,” Anderson noted during his remarks, “and say, ‘We’ve brought Jesse James back to Santa Barbara’.”

Anderson also had to deal with the Michael Jackson case, where, the Sheriff says, he “was exposed to the international media for over two years.” Although the case was lost by the prosecution, Anderson says “Never once did the media say we didn’t do our job, but they turned that case around and made it about the mother; that’s the reason the jury found Michael Jackson not guilty.” Anderson feels he ended his 32-year career on a high note, and says he is pleased to now be able to spend more time with his family, something he’d been unable to do before.

As to the future, when asked by your humble correspondent whether he was considering a run for Third District Supervisor, he said he “wouldn’t rule it out,” but that no decision had been made. He said he’s had “a lot of discussions” about what he should do now, including being a consultant on security and law-enforcement issues, an expert witness in court, “something in construction… the options, in my opinion, are endless,” he states, but adds, “I do plan to stay involved,” and promises he is not leaving Santa Barbara County.

At the end of what Anderson called a “dirty” campaign for re-election (which he lost), “a lot of things were said that weren’t true,” and he was left with $80,000 of debt. After this luncheon, which was a combination “thank you” and fundraiser, it was reported he is down to “only” $30,000 left to pay off.

During his own brief remarks, Andy Granatelli, a longtime supporter, called Anderson “a fair and honest guy,” and quipped that “Sheriff Anderson didn’t know how to lie, but that if he did he may have been able to hold onto his job.”

Roman Garden Tours

Lisa Finerty left Montecito and moved to Rome, Italy, with her family in 2002. While there, she created a company called Secret Gardens Italy that arranges tours of gardens in Lazio, Umbria, and other areas. Earlier this summer, she was asked to develop a set of historic garden tours for Rome, which she has just finished organizing.

“Arrangements were made for access to some of the private family gardens inside the city walls,” Lisa writes via e-mail from Italy. “We were given exclusive access to many of these and so, for the garden and/or history buff, we developed this piece of eco-tourism in Bella Roma.” The first tour was given only weeks ago, but if you think this is something you’d like to do during a trip to Europe, you can go online to: www.SecretGardensItaly for more info. You can also e-mail Lisa at info@secretgardensitaly.com or call her at: 39-320-6077-749.