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Good Grief, It’s Great Here!

NUTS FOR PEANUTS: If you ask Montecito
resident Jill Schulz what Charlie
Brown
would say about Montecito, she is quick to respond,
“Only my father (Peanuts creator Charles M.
Schulz
) can put words in Charlie Brown’s mouth.” But
gregarious PR maven Mo McFadden (pictured with
Jill), a woman with few limitations, chimes right in: “He’d say,
‘Good Grief …it’s great here!’”

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It’s clear that Jill agrees with that sentiment, no matter who
says it. The daughter of the creator of the famous Snoopy cartoon
strip moved to Montecito eight years ago with her husband
Aaron Transki. The couple lives in Riven Rock with their two children and, after almost a
decade here, Jill’s enthusiasm about Montecito has not waned.

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“When we first came here, we were looking to rent. We drove
everywhere and when we got to Montecito and saw the trees we said,
‘This is beautiful, this is home,’” Jill recalled. She says as a
child she used to play on the beach at the Miramar Hotel while her
father attended the S.B. Writers Conference. “I love the sense of community
I’ve found in Montecito and the diverse backgrounds. There is the
great common denominator — we all want to be here! That alone makes
for a great community!

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“I am so happy here that I wanted to give something back,” she
said. To that end, Jill will produce a special engagement of
It’s
Christmas Snoopy! On Ice
. This fully costumed, opulent
skating extravaganza has been performed in Santa Rosa, near where
her father lived, for nearly 25 years, but this is the first
performance in Santa Barbara. The ice show, benefiting
DAWG (the Dog Adoption Welfare Group), will
debut on December 1 and 2 at the Arlington Theater and run for four
performances.

The production will, of course, feature the world’s most famous
beagle and VIP ticket holders will get a personal introduction.
Jill’s creation will also showcase a cast of champion ice skaters,
performing Olympic skating routines choreographed by
Karen Kresge. To accommodate the
short-run show, the Arlington stage will be transformed into an ice
rink complete with falling snow — which might, in itself, be worth
the price of admission.

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According to Jill, the Schulz family has had a long tradition
with ice shows. One time, after putting on the Santa Rosa show,
Charles Schulz commented, “The thing I enjoy most of all, even more
than drawing cartoons, is putting together an ice show.”

Jill carries on that ice-interest legacy. She joined the Ice
Follies at 21, skating with pros like Peggy
Flemming
, and was featured in Holiday on Ice at
the Radio City Music Hall. A move to L.A. took her off the
ice and onto rollerblades. She toured the world with Team
Rollerblade
, choreographing and directing roller skate events.
It was in that venue that Jill learned how to produce full-scale
events, and now she says she is excited about sharing that talent
with Santa Barbara.

“I am hoping this show will be the first of many annual holiday
performances, because I’d love to make this an tradition. I’d love
to have Snoopy to be synonymous with Santa Barbara!” Tickets are
available through the Arlington ticket office, by calling 963-4408,
or by visiting snoopyiceshow.com.

IT’S TREE TRIMMING TIME! It seems we are hardly
past Halloween and here we are trimming holiday trees — or at least
that’s what Kevin Costner, Julia
Louis-Dreyfus
, and Peggy Flemming have
been doing.

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These community-minded celebs have decked out miniature trees
(Costner’s is pictured) that will be auctioned off as part of the
third annual Casa del Herrero’s Annual Christmas Gala,
“Noche de los Pinitos.” The auction will be held December 9 from 5
until 8 p.m. Other locals offering artistic trees are Fanny
Flagg
, Barnaby Conrad, and Lee
Wardlaw
, along with some of Santa Barbara’s best known and
talented interior designers and architects.

In its third year, this is a delightful and creative event, put
together to support one of Montecito’s most beautifully preserved
historic homes. The auction is preceded by two weeks of daily
holiday tours at the Casa, which is decorated for the season and a
not-to-be-missed holiday stop. Tickets for the event are $100 for
members and $125 for non-members and may be reserved by calling
565-5653.

WESTMONT’S NEW DEAN: Warren
Rogers
, professor of physics at Westmont College, will
serve as the new interim academic dean, filling a vacancy left by
outgoing provost Shirley Mullen. Rogers has agreed
to serve while the college continues its search for a president,
who will then be tasked to launch a national search for a new
academic dean or provost soon after arriving on campus.

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For the time being, Rogers will supervise the college’s academic
program, including the budget, faculty development, and curriculum.
He has served in several important leadership roles, including
chair of the Academic Senate, member of the Faculty Personnel
Committee, and Faculty Council, and vice chair of the faculty for
two terms.

“I love this institution very deeply,” Rogers says. “I’ve
enjoyed my various administrative roles at Westmont, especially as
faculty vice chair, and look forward to serving as interim academic
dean. I’m honored to be in a position to help the college navigate
this season of transition and prepare for new leadership. I look
forward to working with Chancellor David Winter
and my faculty and administration colleagues in this important
task.”

Faculty nominated Rogers for the position, and he was then
considered by the Faculty Council before being selected by Mullen
and Chancellor Winter. Rogers recently was appointed to the
prestigious position of fellow of the American Physical Society. He
earned his bachelor’s degree at Harvey Mudd College before getting
his master’s degree and doctorate at the University of Rochester. A
Westmont faculty member since 1994, Rogers chairs the physics
department.

mm%20hh.jpgWHAT’S YOUR 10-4 GOOD
BUDDY?
At the very tranquil installation of ocean art at
Gallery 113, on exhibit to support Hillary
Hauser
’s Heal the Ocean, the tide was flowing toward a brand new
Santa Barbara cocktail party game.

Guests were divulging their blog names! Peals of delight went up
when “Hiall” found out who” Sponge Monitor” was — and then things
got serious as two Montecito residents pondered the unexposed. Who,
their inquiring minds wanted to know, is “First District,” “Ex
Inmate”, “dd,” and “Moteofdust”? With more noms de plume to be
revealed, this intriguing new amusement has high hopes for carrying
us right through that normally dreary December party
chitchat!mm%20art.jpg

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