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18 Publisher’s Note
It may be time (again) to consider buying residential property, especially
in Montecito. Interest rates are as low as they’ve been in nearly fifty years,
credit is available to those with good payment records and a healthy equity
position. And there’s plenty to choose from, especially in the $2-million to
$5-million range.
Real Estates
Russian-born billionaire Sergey Grishin surprised many longtime Montecito
residents with his quick purchase of fabled Val Verde in August 2009; a
month later, he picked up El Fureidis, a grand property that historian David
Myrick has called “one of Montecito’s most beautiful estates of all time.”
Sergey purchased his first house in Montecito ten years ago and he and his
family became permanent residents in 2008.
Life at Sea
The lineup of early morning surfers at Hammonds Reef begins just before
sunrise on a winter’s day. Just beyond, California sea lions perform their own
dawn patrol, barking and slicing through the water, joined by harbor seals
and a pod of bottlenose dolphins as they too head for Hammonds in search
of breaking waves... and breakfast.
Made in Santa Barbara
Housing contractor Michael Conner has created and assembled Life Cube,
an ingenious six-sided 52”x 52”x 52” package that unfolds into a 12’x12’x12’
rescue shelter complete with five days’ food for five, communications gear,
sleeping bags, lighting, flooring, table, chairs, and other elements of civility.
He’s got FEMA, the Red Cross, maybe even the military interested and he’s
looking for investors.
Birnam Wood Golf Club lies at the heart of Montecito. It was former Santa
Barbara News-Press publisher Robert McLean and Realtor Pete Sears who
hired Robert Trent Jones to design the golf course; the two men also hired
Jack Warner to convert what had been a lemon-packing house into the
unique clubhouse that so delights members and newcomers alike.
Heart of a Horse
Eleven-year-old Pinto, called “Sweet Pea” by Heart of a Horse founder April
Horowitz because of the horse’s mild and friendly disposition, died from
neglect, despite the efforts of April and her veterinarian. Pinto had been
“a very good horse” and didn’t deserve what happened to her, said a
neighbor, who admitted feeling ashamed for not being able to help. This is
Pinto’s story.
Illustration by
rendered from a photo taken
by Tai Kerbs of El Fureidis