Wedding Crashers: Guests were arriving at the
Old Mission, but soon what should have been a heavenly nuptial
experience turned hellish. According to a Superior Court suit filed
by former Fiesta El Presidente Al Pizano and his family, they were
“assailed” by Mission personnel “demanding money” and threatening
to cancel the wedding if certain rules weren’t obeyed. As the
September 4, 2004 wedding was about to begin, Mission “agents,
servants and employees” objected to “flower arrangements,
processional arrangements, vehicle parking and other
ceremony-related matters, all without warning or notice, all rudely
and peremptorily expressed or demanded,” claimed Pizano, his wife
Lillian, and bride Sonia Pizano and groom Philip Nicholas

Pizano declined to comment when I called him, but I have heard
numerous complaints in recent months claiming that the Mission had
imposed draconian rules restricting what can and can’t happen at a
wedding, including a ban on a father walking his daughter down the
aisle and strict rules against music not considered “sacred.” The
suit was filed only after numerous attempts to discuss the
situation with the Mission staff and parish lay council, but they
weren’t interested in discussing it, said the Pizanos’ attorney,
Desmond O’Neill. “Even a mild apology would have been okay,”
O’Neill said. Mission pastor Fr. Daniel Barica did not return my
phone calls seeking comment.

According to the Mission’s music rules included with the suit,
“ALL music which is sung must express a SACRED and liturgical
viable text.” As opposed to wedding options at nonsectarian chapels
or country clubs, “Musical selections which might be appropriate at
the wedding reception but which speak of love purely in secular
terms are NOT appropriate in a sacramental ceremony. “Also, please
be aware that secular music, although very beautiful, is not
appropriate to liturgy.” The rules ban flash photography, runners
along the aisle, and a reception line after the ceremony, and
require three large flower arrangements to be left for Sunday
masses. “No rice, bird seed, rose petals, etc., may be thrown.”

The Pizanos say that they were surprised by the 11th-hour
demands because they had made arrangements during the months before
the wedding and signed a contract. The wedding went on but the
family “suffered humiliation, mental anguish and emotional and
physical distress and have been injured in mind and body as
follows: stress, anxiety, depression, frustration, loss of sleep
and loss of enjoyment and pleasure in the occasion of the wedding.”
The suit seeks general, exemplary, and punitive damages but cites
no amount.

Betrayal: Harold Pinter had an idea. Write a
play about two men, best friends, and one of their wives, having
affairs. But have the play run in reverse, the breakup first and
the passionate start coming last. So goes Betrayal, being presented
by Ensemble Theatre. It’s a pretty cool, stiff-upper-lip evening
among the three Brits, played by Geoffrey Lower, Hayden Adams, and
the marvelous Ann Noble, as Pinter explores their relationship. The
play runs through October 22.

Two More Split NP: Al Bonowitz was a
prize-winning travel editor at the News-Press — first place last
year in the Society of American Travel Writers contest for papers
of this size — but he quit this week. Also leaving is reporter
Starshine Roshell, whose funny, pithy column was cut recently
(maybe because Star was a leader in the successful fight to form a
union). In resigning, Star announced: “For 11 years, I have been
proud to work for this company. I was honored to have managers who
were smarter than me, and had something to teach me. They weren’t
bullies. They weren’t liars. And remarkably, they were able to
manage our newsroom by employing scruples rather than lawyers. But
they’re all gone now, and the only thing our current leaders have
been able to demonstrate is the heartbreaking mess that ensues when
ambition far exceeds talent, and hubris trumps wisdom.”

Meanwhile, former News-Press managing editor George Foulsham,
one of the first to split during the NP meltdown, is the new
assistant managing editor for presentation at the L.A.-area Daily
News. Reporter Camie Cohee, another of the departed ones, has gone
to work in PR for the Chumash Casino. Kim Burnell has joined
Foulsham at the Daily News, on the copy desk.

Wendy at Sea: According to Dallas Morning News
columnist Alan Peppard, “Last week, megawealthy Californian Wendy
McCaw had more pressing business than putting down the staff
insurrection at her Santa Barbara News-Press. She pulled her
193-foot helicopter-equipped yacht, Calixe, into harbor at St.
Tropez in the south of France to attend the wedding” of
British-born Dallas businessman Horatio Lons­dale-Hands. Co-best
man was “McCaw’s fiancé, Baron Arthur von Wiesenberger,” Peppard

Nobel Prize: It would surely be the first time
that a travel writer wins a Nobel Prize for literature, but
Montecitan Bill Tomicki, publisher of ENTREE travel newsletter, has
been nominated by Andrew Simmons, professor emeritus at Cal State


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