Sara Donates $1.5 million: Sara Miller McCune, although nursing a shoulder injury suffered in a fall, has donated $1.5 million to CAMA (Community Arts Music Association), the highest single gift in its 88-year history.

The gift, which puts CAMA at 85 percent of its $6.7 million endowment goal, was announced at Wednesday night’s Arlington concert by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

Montecitan McCune, founder of Sage Publications, one of the world’s leaders in higher education and professional educational publishing, underwent shoulder surgery Thursday. Her arm in a sling, she was also honored last week at a State Street Ballet fundraiser.

On the Beat

At the CAMA concert, who should I run into but Nir Kabaretti, new music director of the Santa Barbara Symphony. Nir said he was there, in part, to hear how music sounds from the audience side of the Arlington. CAMA, along with the Santa Barbara Symphony, will be moving to the Granada when renovations are finished.

What’s the Rush?: Why, wondered one concert-goer Wednesday night, do some people leap from their seats to rush out of the Arlington even before the last echo of the final number has died out? If you enjoyed a concert, it’s not only rude to dash without appreciative applause, he told me, but ungracious to acclaimed orchestras that come from afar in the case of CAMA, as well as our own Santa Barbara Symphony musicians. The final applause, he pointed out, is their psychic income, our audible appreciation of their talent and hard work. It happens, regretfully, at virtually all the concerts, abandoning the orchestra without even waiting to see if there will be an encore-which there was Wednesday night after most of the audience remained to give a standing ovation and were rewarded with a lovely rendering of Sibelius’ Valse Triste. For some, no doubt, there may be a real need to hit the pavement but when Sue and I emerged after the encore, the line of buses remained waiting to give concert-goers their ride. How about holding our horses?

Zant Rides Again: As readers of the Santa Barbara Independent noted this week, John Zant-38-year veteran sports writer for the News-Press fired recently by owner Wendy McCaw-has joined the Indy. Our sports coverage gets a big boost. Welcome, Z.

Bone-Head: At an “always jammed Italian restaurant, a man ordered the branzino, a tasty (and expensive) sea bass from the Mediterranean,” reports former 1st District supervisor Frank Frost. “When the grilled whole fish was served the man made a noisy fuss about the bones. The server apologetically said that was the way the fish was served in Italy. ‘You’re not in Italy now!’ the man yelled. ‘This is America!’ I laughed to think that any red-blooded male Amurrican would admit he didn’t know how to bone a fish! ‘Buy him a subscription to Field and Stream,’ I said under my breath.”

Frank, I found an Internet quote from chef Luigi Bomparola, a longtime member of the Il Fornaio family and one of the partners at Canaletto Ristorante Veneto inside the Venetian, Las Vegas. “I order from a fish vendor in Santa Barbara, California, that specializes in small fish that are ideal for cooking whole.” When in Santa Barbara, eat as the Italians do, eh?

For Women and Children: St. Vincent’s, the oldest social service agency in Santa Barbara, will be holding its annual art show fundraiser April 29. It’ll benefit the single women and their children and its child care center. Among the noted artists slated to take part are Ralph Waterhouse, Meredith and Whitney Abbott, Glenna Hartmann and Dennis Doheny. More info at 683-6381, Ext. 107 or 127.

(Barney Brantingham can be reached at or 805-965-5205. He is a staff writer for the Santa Barbara Independent, with a print column in the Thursday print edition and online columns on Tuesdays and Fridays.)


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