This year-end wrap-up started out to be a look at the top stories of 2007, but trying to choose the most interesting entries was difficult, so I have left it for you to make up your own mind! Listed below are all the tidbits Montage brought to your attention this year. It’s like a map of Montecito – our joys, sorrows. trials, tribulations, and a few secrets to boot.

If a topic catches your attentions and you want to read the whole thread, just click on the date, and it will take you directly to the full report. Or just go here for the entire collection of Montecito Montages, and scroll through until you find the column you want.

J'amy Brown

Today, we are listing Montages from January through June. Next week, on January 1, we’ll list the Montages from July through December. Let me know your favorite stories by leaving a comment at the end of the column or by sending an email to to reach me privately.

Happy Holidays and Merry Montaging!

January 2, 2007

After six months in the making, MBAR rolls out a new checklist for MBAR applicants

Oprah goes to Africa to open her girls’ school, and some Montecitans tag along

Pricilla Presley buys a house in Montecito

Steve Strong and Denise Adams are elected Westmont Trustees

Montage Crystal Ball predicts Bob Bierig to be MPC Chair (correct), Miramar rising like a Phoenix (correct!); No Pres. Candidates will measure up to Gerald Ford in the kindness category (correct), and David Myrick will step down early form MA (wrong, but seven others departed, so erroneous prediction is neutralized)

January 10, 2007

Voices of Montecito stymies Carbajal’s MPC appointments

MA adjourns annual meeting without electing officers

“Sony” and “Meltzer” start Montage blog-a-thon

January 16, 2007

Leaders Depart: Montecito Water District announces death of board member Robert Puddicombe; Westmont’s Ron Cronk retires

Leaders Installed: Deirdre Cannata (MSD); Roy Jensen (MFD); Jan Able (MWD); Troy Harris (MERRAG) Michael Cooney (SB PC)

Coast Village Rd. landlord, the late Mary Jane Barton, leaves $2 million to Philly’s Curtis Institute

Montage leaks Tom Cruise and Sacha Baron Cohen will attend SBIFF and Thomas Friedman will be Westmont’s breakfast speaker

Mug Shots: Rob Lowe plays a Senator in new TV hit; Michael DeGruy, natural history film maker, plays with squids; DAWG offers playful pet portraits

Breaking News: Supes cave in; Carbajal says his MPC commissioners will be seated.

January 22, 2007

Rick Caruso

LA Bling Mall developer Rick Caruso to purchase Miramar

BoS officially approves MPC Comish Bob Bierig, Michael Phillips, and Sue Burrows

Film Festival 2007 gears up with “A Native’s Primer” lunch at the Biltmore

January 31, 2007

Insights on Ty Warner, Rick Caruso, and the future of the Miramar

Montecito’s Mike DeGruy to introduce Al Gore at SBIFF

Plow and Angel re-opens

MA’s Dick Shaikewitz ambles into Caruso’s media event

$200K Biltmore’s Birthday Bash held in conjunction with Film Fest

A rendering of the new Westmont campus.

MPC’s Westmont’s decision faces BoS double appeal-from Westmont and neighbors

Balloonist Julian Nott speaks at Institute for Theoretical Physics

Breaking News: Bob Collector withdraws from MA prexy consideration (2/5)

February 5

Robert Collector drops out of Montecito Association leadership race

February 6, 2007

Bill Palladini
J'Amy Brown

Bill Palladini nominated as MA’s new president

Supervisor Janet Wolf walks for heart health

Highlights of Film Fest 2007 (Photo-Montage)

BoS denies neighbors’ appeal to curtail Westmont’s expansion

Coral Casino gets go-ahead after Cynthia Ziegler’s appeal options run out

San Ysidro Ranch manager Duncan Graham departs after a two year stint

Caruso to holds a meet-and-greet at community hall

EXTRA: February 12, 2007

Jack Overall departs MA Board to fill Dick Thielscher’s vacant MPC seat

February 13, 2007

Interview with new MPC Comish Jack Overall

Carbajal appoints Michael Cooney to study Montecito planning process

Nearby Miramar neighbors send Valentines to Caruso

MA and Caruso plan private reception for select group at community hall

Richard Gunner previews ideas for the Tom’s Pharmacy corner

Montecito Water Dist. holds public meeting to discuss of higher water rates

Designer Bunny Williams speaks at Casa del Herrero event

National conservative stars Tom DeLay and David Horowitz to honor Andy Granatelli

Sarah House holds SBIFF black tie party

February 21, 2007

BoS grants Westmont’s appeal of MPC traffic restrictions and decal mandate

Gayle Beebe selected as new president of Westmont

Westmont offers pre-visit lecture on Tom Friedman’s work

Water District votes to increase residential water rates

MA / Caruso open previously private reception to the public and over 70 attend

Jim Wolfe, elected to MA 1/16/07, resigns; Gene Sinser takes his place

February 27, 2007

Q&A with MA’s new Prez, Bill Palladini

Garden Lane’s tastemaker Nancy Salvucci goes on line at

Caruso socializes with Miramar neighbors at Montecito Country Club, hopes to open Miramar in 18-24 months, and introdudes William Reich as Hotels VP.

Biltmore Spa Beautician Susan Ciminelli offers epidermis enlightens

March 6, 2007

Supervisor Salud Carbajal
J'Amy Brown

LA-style vehicle and pedestrian traffic jams San Ysidro Road

Carbajal sets up 18-person fact-finding group to review safe routes to Montecito schools

Coral Casino members get construction update, and there’s speculation the initiation fee for the 85 open memberships could go for as high as $65K

Over 800 people hear Thomas Friedman at Westmont’s President’s Breakfast

March 13, 2007

MBAR votes to leave the community hall and move their meetings downtown

Montecito Union School receives transportation survey

Jody Thompson named the new supervisor of Montecito Branch Library

Music Academy gets revised MBAR approval for possible August start to its previously approved rehabilitation master building plan.

Locals complain about Plow and Angel’s packed house

Rudi Giuliani to visit Montecito on March 25

March 20, 2007

Barry Siegel

COAST to honor Barry Siegel

Montecito’s Grace Tynan gets national media attention for Girl Scout cookie efforts

Oprah’s steady, Stedman Graham, speaks at Planned Parenthood

David Horowitz Freedom Center honors Andy Granatelli and hosts conservative think tank at the Biltmore

Music Academy is accepting donations for May Madness Sale on May 5

March 27, 2007

Over 100 Montecito Supporters greet Rudy Giuliani

Assembly Member Pedro Nava honors Barry Siegel with commendation

Montecito San borrows $14.7 million for system rehabilitation

Heal the Ocean / Montecito San. Discuss pending ocean water study

Sandy Stahl talks to Montage about the local real estate market

Richard Dicker speaks to Human Right Watch at Montecito Country Club

April 3, 2007

Victoria Greene, executive director of the Montecito Association.
J'Amy Brown

MA names Victoria Greene Executive Director

Caruso will unveil Miramar Plans at April 10 Town Hall meeting

Hank Hurst gets MPC preliminary approval for dream home in hotly debated 3-2 vote

Tagger hits Santa Barbara Bank and Trust and gets snapped by security camera

Ted Tedesco named MA’s Land Use Chair

MERRAG opens membership drive

Concerned Citizens attorney Barry Cappello files lawsuit over Westmont expansion

Demographist Bella DePaulo speaks to Women’s Political Committee at Montecito CC

Montecito turns out at Chamber of Commerce State of City Mover and Shaker Breakfast

April 11, 2007

Carbajal announces engineering study to look at pedestrian options on San Ysidro Road

Tony Harbor appointed to MA Board to fill Jack Overall seat and Retired MPC Comish Bob Meghreblian joins MA Honorary Board

Both Maria Herold and Community Sheriff Isaiah Tchobanoff return to work after medical leaves

Allan Nishimura, Westmont chemistry professor, installed in Kathleen Smith Chair

MBAR holds their first meeting at downtown county hearing room

Heal the Ocean receives $300K grant to study Hammonds Beach

Westmont biologist Jeff Schloss to be Westmont Downtown speaker

Montage called to jury duty

EXTRA: April 11, 2007

An overview depiction of the future Miramar.

Caruso unveils new Miramar plans to a packed town hall meeting

April 17, 2007

Montecito Sanitary District votes 3-2 to support collaboration with Heal the Ocean on their upcoming study of shallow-water sewer outfall near the end of MSD’s line

April 24, 2007

New high tech, high-powered telescope installed at Westmont, as culmination of $625K project

May 1, 2007

Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Colleen Graffy speaks to Channel City Club

Music Academy gets ready for world-class rummage sale on May 5

Crane School holds annual “Green” Fund raiser on May 5

Former MPC Comish Dick Thielscher honored by BoS Commendation

Cold Spring School kids read essays at Montecito Association meeting

May 8, 2007

Cal Trans Head visits Cold Spring School to discuss pedestrian routes on Hwy. 192

"Chainsaw" Don Miller is turning his concerns to wildfire management and evacuation in Montecito.
J'Amy Brown

“Chainsaw” Don Miller cuts roadside vegetation that prevented walking to Cold Spring School

Ralph Baxter, past MA president, takes early retirement from MA Board

J. W. Colin is appointed to MA Board to fill Baxter’s seat

Ralph Baxter and Dick Thielscher elected to MA’s Honorary Board

Paula Lopez does KEYT spot on Montecito

Westmont holds graduation 2007

Assembly Member Pedro Nava holds Cinco de Mayo Luncheon

May 10, 2007

On April 18, 2007 P&D rolled out some new tools for the Montecito area planning. The refreshed guidelines include a revised MBAR application, a conceptual review checklist, a neighborhood compatibility database, a Montecito square-footage overlay map and a common features area map.

May 15, 2007

Montecito Fire District urges wildfire preparedness during third driest year on record

MERRAG hosts responses and recovery training sessions on June 7

Montecito Journal Editor Guillaume Doane announces his departure

Landscape designer Pat Brodie tells how to create a Zen garden space.

May 16, 2007

Montecito Association’s Victoria Greene leads planning workshop with Citizen Planning Association and Environmental Defense Fund

County Public Works fixes rascal root on High Road

Chef Anne Cooper addresses Montecito Union School community breakfast.

Montecito residents Harold and Annette Simmons donate $1millon to Westmont

May 22, 2007

Vons is considering upgrade their Montecito supermarket

Victoria and Carter Hines host lithograph exhibit

Montecito Water District’s Mike Clark will teach a conservation gardening on May 26

May 29, 2007

With 500 businesses and $677K in annual sales tax, Coast Village Road draws attention

San Ysidro Ranch names Marco Perry Managing Director at posh ranch reception

LA Times reviews the Biltmore

June 5, 2007

Supervisor Salud Carbajal gives a county resolution to Guillaume Doane.
J'Amy Brown

Chainsaw Don Miller grows frustrated by slow response to installing safe route to school

Hacks and Flacks toast departing Journal Editor Guillaume Doane; Carbajal presents with a BoS commendation to Doane

June 12, 2007

Caruso delivers his Miramar Plan to P&D and Miramar locals dub plan “perfect!”

Music Academy gears up for final building fundraising spurt and gets OK on final traffic plan

Arts Funds hosts Teen Art Mentorship Show, showing works of several Montecito students

Artist Lily Sanders shows off Montecito watercolors at one-person show

Architect Jeff Sheldon produces whimsical renderings for a proposed Cold Spring Pedestrian footpath

Montage enter Team Bike Challenge on electric bike

Largura’s hillside development heads back to MBAR on June 18

June 14, 2007

The Montage Village Cheat Sheet answers 12 question only locals know how to answer

June 19, 2007

Jerry Roberts
Paul Wellman

Montage attends a fundraiser for Jerry Roberts’ legal defense fund

Local author Stephen Murdoch has a new book: IQ: A Smart History of a Failed Idea

Ebb/Flow Gallery shows off surf art

Jana Zimmer mixed media art in new show, “Through the Eyes of Survivors and Children of Survivors” will soon to travel to the Prague Jewish Museum

Music Academy Master Classes are in full swing

Writers Conference is set for June 29

June 27, 2007

MA hosts semi-annual homeowners meeting where Chainsaw Don Miller seeks to get 144 opened on high fire danger days

Carbajal and Fire Chief Wallace promise community-wide evacuation drill in April 2008.

MERRAG distributes “Disaster Preparation Tips” via email

Architect Bob Easton promises Largura’s hillside home project, slated for MBAR on July 2 will be substantially reduced in square footage

Writers Conference gets under way with a slew of Montecito writers on hand

EXTRA: June 30, 2007

Fire in the backcountry burns 200 acres, gets people on edge.


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