Dia de las Comidas

July 4, 2014  |  News  | 







A Classic Event at MCC

July 3, 2014  |  News  | 



Santa Barbara at-risk students get help from $7,500 Bank of America grant




A classic event at MCC

July 3, 2014  |  News  | 



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Orchestra provides summer music lesson





SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning Summer Term Enrolling Now!

July 3, 2014  |  News  | 

regional business voice


Summer is officially here and so is the CLL Summer term! Registration is still open for many evening, weekday, weekend classes and workshops starting throughout the term.

Register now! Sign up for classes starting now through August 23rd!

There are classes for everyone – from professionals, to parents of young children to retirees – all at the CLL, the educational, cultural and social hub for the Santa Barbara community. The CLL offers evening, weekend and one-day workshops, in addition to multi-meeting and weekday.

Discover old favorites and new classes, including:    

Keeping an Art Journal

Grilling Beyond the BBQ

De-Clutter and Sell Your Treasures on the Internet

Messages from the Ancestors, Wisdom for the Way

Intro to Stained Glass

Past Life Regression Workshop

… and many more!


The SBCC Center for Lifelong Learning Summer Term continues through August 23rd. Come choose from over 147 evening, weekday and Saturday classes, including one-day workshops starting and ending throughout the term. Register today at www.sbcc.edu/CLL.

Rona Barrett: Advance Care Directive Can Provide Peace, Comfort Toward the End

July 2, 2014  |  News  |  ,


gray matters

By Rona Barrett | Published on 07.02.2014 3:10 p.m.



Woody Allen wrote, “Forever is a long time, especially toward the end.”

“Toward the end” is what I write about today.

So many of my friends and co-workers in the entertainment business seem to wear a sheath of “live forever” invincibility. Perhaps it’s because so many of our careers are built on a high-grade, plutonium-like core of self-confidence — the sureness to gamble on oneself.

A friend of mine had this moxie. More than a friend, I called him my brother (and that’s how I will refer to him from now on). I had known him since I was a teenager. I became executor of his estate. He was in the entertainment industry and a multimillionaire.

But toward the end he lost everything — except his ability to carry out his last wishes.

He had been in and out of hospitals. In his final board and care, my brother fell out of bed and severely cracked his head.

Because he was in a coma state, the doctors had no other choice but to send him to a hospital for the severely injured who were dying.

One day he suddenly awakened and whispered, “Rona, let it happen. Just let it happen.”

I kissed him and said, “Everything is going to be OK.”

I immediately called his doctor and said, “He just told me he wants it over. No more treatment.”

This difficult decision was not made quickly, irrationally or based on the emotions of the moment.

In fact, the decision was made many years before, by my brother, based on his own philosophy and religious beliefs. He was of clear mind and took time to think through his final wishes, then detailed them in writing. In this case, my brother had specifically spelled out that he did not want to be sustained with any form of life support if it was clear that it would only prolong the inevitable.

The process of letting him go was gradual. Within four days, my brother for more than 50 years was gone.

I was able to respect his last wish to pass away with a degree of dignity for one simple reason: an advance medical directive.

He had a written document that told his doctors, family and friends how he wanted to be treated should he become physically or mentally unable to make informed decisions.

The California Hospital Association has a wonderful sample document available by clicking here.

In addition, Aging with Dignity’s “Five Wishes” is an easy-to-complete, step-by-step guide that walks you through the entire process of discussing, deciding on and documenting what goes into an advance care directive. More than 40 states, including California, recognize the results as a legal document.

Also, the Santa Barbara-based Alliance for Living and Dying Well has support resources you may find helpful, “especially toward the end.”

Completing a directive is as much for your loved ones as it is for yourself. By considering your options early, you avoid having your family making difficult decisions under duress.

It usually takes a bit of a scare before most people to do it. But please, don’t wait!

Until next time … keep thinking the good thoughts.

— In honor of her late father, entertainment journalist, author, senior activist and Santa Barbara County resident Rona Barrett is the driving force behind the Golden Inn & Village, the area’s first affordable senior living and care facility, scheduled to begin construction in early 2015. Contact her at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are her own.


Music Program for Underserved Kids in Community





Music Academy of the West and Montecito Bank & Trust host some 300 students for event.

Montecito Bank & Trust, Music Academy Give Kids the Opportunity to Get ‘Up Close and Musical’

July 2, 2014  |  News


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From left, Scott Reed, president of the Music Academy of the West, Janet Garufis, president and CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust, Melinda Hodge, community impact coordinator for United Way of Santa Barbara County, and Paul Didier, executive director of United Way of Santa Barbara County at Wednesday’s “Up Close and Musical” program for local children. (Tyson Blades photo)

By Andy Silverman for Montecito Bank & Trust | Published on 07.02.2014 7:45 p.m

Montecito Bank & Trust teamed up with the Music Academy of the West on Wednesday for the third year to host 280 local children for a unique musical outreach program titled “Up Close and Musical,” featuring the Music Academy’s Festival Orchestra and special guest conductor Christopher Rountree.

UW_NZH_2Music Academy of the West special guest conductor Christopher Rountree addresses the orchestra. (Tyson Blades photo)


Kids from the United Way’s Fun in the Sun program, Boys & Girls Club of Santa Barbara, and United Boys & Girls Clubs of Carpinteria and Goleta arrived at the Music Academy’s Miraflores campus for outdoor activities, including musical chairs with live music, face painting, arts and crafts, and a photo booth.

The real treat awaited inside Hahn Hall, where the children had the chance to hear Ludwig van Beethoven’s and Sergei Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphonies. Guest conductor Rountree led the Academy Festival Orchestra in the performance, and engaged in lively discussions with the kids about various elements of the musical pieces and the different instrument families used by the musicians.

Rountree is artistic director, conductor and founder of the experimental classical ensemble wild Up, a 24-piece orchestra that blends new music, classical repertoire, performance art and pop. Known for his lively conducting style, he has been praised by the Los Angeles Times for his “infectious enthusiasm” and The New York Times for his “elegant clarity.” Last season, Rountree debuted as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella series, as well as with the San Diego Symphony, the Colorado Symphony, the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, and Ensemble LPR.

A lecturer in conducting at UC Santa Barbara, he has served as assistant conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and has conducted the Winnipeg Symphony, the Bohuslav Martinu Philharmonic and the American Youth Symphony, among many others.

Last fall he began a series of collaborative concerts featuring wild Up and the Colburn Conservatory of Music, where he serves as both guest conductor and guest lecturer in music business.

Montecito Bank & Trust became the Music Academy’s Festival Corporate Season Sponsor during its 65th anniversary celebration in 2012, and it was then that the idea of creating the concerts for children was hatched by Janet Garufis, president and CEO of Montecito Bank & Trust, and Scott Reed, president of the Music Academy. The collaboration between Montecito Bank & Trust and the Music Academy of the West continues to grow, and this particular event has quickly blossomed into a highly-anticipated tradition.

“Montecito Bank & Trust is committed to making the communities we serve better places to live and work, and today’s event reinforces exactly why we dedicate ourselves to making that mission come true,” Garufis said. “Every child here had a unique opportunity to interact with world-class musicians and learn how they all work together to create something extraordinary. I know these children will go home with a story to tell and that this day will stick with them for years to come, and maybe even inspire them to pursue music and follow in the footsteps of the Fellows of the Music Academy. We are proud to be the Corporate Sponsor of the Music Academy and of the partnership we’ve built with Scott Reed and his team. Together we are working to inspire appreciation of classical music for the next generation.”

Music Academy President Scott Reed said, “The Music Academy of the West prides itself on community engagement, and we are especially grateful to be partnering with Montecito Bank & Trust on this very important initiative. We could not be more pleased by the enthusiasm of this year’s young participants.”

Montecito Bank & Trust would like to thank Silvergreens, Easy Lift and DJ Patrick B for helping make Wednesday’s festivities possible.

 UW_NZH_3Montecito Bank & Trust associate Ally Diamond helps kids at the face painting table. (Tyson Blades photo)


Founded in 1947, the Music Academy of the West is among the nation’s preeminent summer schools and festivals for gifted young classical musicians. The Academy provides these promising musicians with the opportunity for advanced study and frequent performance under the guidance of internationally renowned faculty artists, guest conductors, and soloists. Academy alumni are members of major symphony orchestras, chamber orchestras, ensembles, opera companies, and university and conservatory faculties throughout the world. Many enjoy careers as prominent solo artists. Based in Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West presents more than 200 public events annually, including performances by faculty, visiting artists, and Fellows; masterclasses; orchestra and chamber music concerts; and fully staged opera. Click here for more information.

Montecito Bank & Trust received a 2013 designation of a Premier Performing Bank by The Findley Reports, an independent service which rates the annual financial performance of California banks. The Findley Reports has designated Montecito Bank & Trust as a Premier Performing or Super Premier Performing bank 28 times in its 39-year history.

Montecito Bank & Trust, an S Corporation, is the oldest and largest locally owned community bank in the tri-counties. Founded in 1975, with nine branch offices located in Santa Barbara, Goleta, Solvang, Montecito, Carpinteria, Ventura and Westlake Village, the bank offers a variety of competitive deposit and lending solutions for businesses and consumers including business loans and lines of credit; commercial real estate finance; SBA loans; consumer loans; credit cards; merchant services; and online services, including mobile banking and cash management. Its Wealth Management Division provides full investment management as well as trust services for all branch office markets.

— Andy Silverman is a marketing coordinator for Montecito Bank & Trust.


Workplaces with Heart

July 1, 2014  |  News  |