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Smarter Shopping for the Holidays

Those of us not blessed with that creepy “I get all my holiday shopping done by Thanksgiving” gene are likely currently in crisis mode, facing overcrowded malls, credit card meltdown, long lines, bad music, and the kind of time-is-running-out panic that drives us to spend hundreds of dollars on useless crap that nobody wants to find under their tree. But before the most wonderful time of the year turns you into a Scrooge, check out these tips for smarter, saner holiday shopping.

J7 Surfboards Goes Downtown

For a town steeped in homegrown surf culture, something funny has been happening recently in Santa Barbara proper. The classic surf shop-a simple affair offering the basics of custom boards, bikinis, leashes, wetsuits, and the occasional T-shirt-has become an endangered species.

Doll-ing for Dollars

When it comes to dolls, Montecito doesn’t toy around. Village resident Ty Warner, for example, parlayed some beanbag dolls into three South Coast golf courses, two Montecito high-end hotels, and one beach club-along with a few billion bucks in the bank.

Class Differences

The Senior File asks, “What does S.B.’s socioeconomic divide mean for students?”

Fire ‘Burns’ Cold Spring

The Zaca Fire may nearly be contained, but its effects continue to burn one beloved landmark. Though Cold Spring Tavern, located at 5995 Stagecoach Road, was closed for only one week, business continues to take a huge hit. July and August, generally the tavern’s best months, were essentially lost, and it’s in need of our support.

Showdown Over Wide
Open Spaces

This year, for the first time in human history, more people will live in urban areas than in rural lands. Though the tipping point will most likely be reached-or perhaps already has been-without fanfare, its significance cannot be overlooked. With this new age comes a whole new set of rules, values, and views that threaten to leave many of our most celebrated traditions behind as we work to reconcile past methods of survival with a less agrarian lifestyle. Here in the United States, with the ever-growing beast of urban sprawl spilling from cities toward the horizon, the rural, agricultural spaces that were the societal backbone of previous generations are fast becoming zigzags of highways connecting suburbs to shopping centers.

The Man Who Would Remake the Miramar

Rick Caruso, L.A.’s bling-mall developer, is gambling millions that he can do what Ty Warner and Ian Schrager failed to do: Get the Miramar Hotel up and running. Last January, Caruso reportedly paid Warner $50 million for 14 acres in Montecito, some dusty permits, and broken-down cottages near the water’s edge-even after Warner warned everyone within John Davies’s reach that Montecito’s exacting building policies and process cause exasperation and exhaustion.

Outstanding In Our Field

Many Tri-County newspapers show strong in the annual competition for journalistic excellence, sponsored by the California Newspaper Publisher’s Association. Ventura County Star wins General Excellence for the second year in a row.

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