Wishing you peace and the happiest of holidays!

Monte ito Miscellany
by Richard Mineards
Richard covered the Royal Family for Britain’s Daily Mirror and Daily Mail before moving to New York to write for Rupert Murdoch’s newly launched Star magazine in 1978; Richard later wrote for New York magazine’s “Intelligencer”. He continues to make regular appearances on CBS, ABC, and CNN, and moved to Montecito five years ago.

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itness fanatic Nora Tobin is a billboard beauty! The Santa Barbara-based personal trainer has just renewed her contract with the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania health and nutrition giant, GNC, which has 6,000 stores across the U.S, as well as locations in 49 other countries. Nora, 24, who grew up in Lake Tahoe, where she was an avid skier, snowboarder, rock climber, mountain biker and dancer, became the brand ambassador for the vitamin colossus last year, serving as an educator to its customers proffering advice on fitness and lifestyle. “I had a friend at the CNBC cable network who put me in touch with GNC’s chief marketing executive and I put a proposal to them regarding rebranding, as well as magazine and billboard advertising.” she says. “They wanted to be known as a health and wellness brand, rather than a stock up shop for bodybuilders. To live well you have to have various components, not just build up your muscles.”

Nora started to be featured on billboards across the nation earlier this year, including Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Pittsburgh, as well as appearing in ads in People, Glamour and ESPN The Magazine’s annual Body Issue. “Seeing myself on a billboard was really something!” she gushed. “I was with my mom, Amy, catching a flight from LAX to New York when I first saw it. We started screaming and stopped the car to get a photo. When we got to Manhattan billboards of me were also up in Times Square and the East Village. “I obviously get some recognition from it, particularly friends who tell me where they spotted it. Next year I am doing another billboard photo shoot and will be doing a lot of traveling attending various events where I will be speaking to large audiences on the topics of nutrition, fitness and mindset.” Nora, who spent six years as an ocean lifeguard and played a lot of beach volleyball when her fam-

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• The Voice of the Village •

Nora Tobin, GNC brand ambassador

ily moved to Del Mar nine years ago, recently started writing a weekly column for Shape.com and is being featured in the eponymous magazine’s Earth Day issue in April. She has just completed a series of workout videos for the website and is now working on her first book. “It’s a guide to achieving your best body using plant based nutrition, efficient fitness programs and having a positive mindset,” adds Nora. “I represent health on every level – mind, body and soul. I’m a young woman who empowers my clients, who are aged five to seventy, as well as my friends and family to reach optimum health.”

Football Fate For nearly 30 years Trish Davis has not missed Notre Dame’s football team when they’ve visited Los Angeles, but that streak was nearly broken until fate played a very winning hand. Trish, who lives in Montecito with her retired engineer husband, Bill, tried to acquire tickets, but the Coliseum game against USC last month, featuring 94,000 cheering fans, was totally sold out. “Then a good friend, Kelly Moncur, who lives in Hope Ranch, called and asked us if we’d like to go,” explains Trish. “She said the tickets were from Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly’s family. “I couldn’t believe it until she had Brian’s sister, Kim, call me out of the blue to say the tickets were for real.” And so it was the tony twosome found themselves just three rows away from the sideline with other Fighting Irish family members. “They were the best seats we’d ever had,” says Trish. “The ESPN anchor desk was just twenty feet from us. It doesn’t get much better than that!” Before the game, which Notre Dame won 22-13 capping an impressive 12 game winning streak in the 86-yearold rivalry between the universities,


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miScellany (Continued from page 7)
Trish and Bill Davis, Geonine Moriarty and husband, Kerry – who played for Notre Dame in 1973 – and Mike Ferraro (photo credit: Angie Ferraro)

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• The Voice of the Village • 6 – 13 December 2012


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More Woes for Oprah Could former TV talk show titan Oprah Winfrey be closing O magazine? With her Los Angeles-based TV network, OWN, reportedly losing $330 million, she would shutter her eponymous Hearst glossy if it started losing money, she says. The magazine has already lost more than a fifth of sales since The Oprah Winfrey Show ended its 25-year run 18

Holiday Special

months ago. Oprah says holding the magazine in her hand was something she cherished, but faced with a 24 percent slump in advertising sales from $48.8 million to $34.2 million, she has to be realistic. “Obviously, the (old) show was helping in ways that you know I hadn’t accounted for. I’m not interested in bleeding money. “Ultimately, you have to make money because you are a business. I let other people worry about that. I worry about the message. I am always, always about holding true to the vision and the message, and when you are true to that, then people respond.” The Montecito-based media mogul, who is reportedly worth $2.7 billion, has endured arguably the toughest 18 months of her career since she became a household name in the ‘70s. She has admitted that the launch of OWN nearly two years ago has been so bad that in hindsight she might not have bothered at all. After its blockbuster opening week, which saw one million people tune in, ratings have tumbled with just 150,000 daytime viewers, layoffs of 150 staff and chief executive Christina Norman stepping down, with Oprah assuming overall control. Matters could be improving though

with a deal with cable provider, Comcast, meaning OWN will be seen in an additional 83 million homes. Stay tuned... Partying for Pets Social gridlock reigned at the Montecito Provencal-style home of Adam and Penny Bianchi when Nancy Koppelman hosted a bash to debut the Diana Basehart Foundation with co-founders Toni Frohoff and Lynne Shaw. The new non-profit is dedicated to helping elders and those on low incomes to keep their pets by providing support for veterinary needs, training and basic care. The tony triumvirate came up with the idea in the summer and showed a two-minute film, featuring recipients and their pets, made by retired National Geographic editor-in-chief, Bill Allen, and Tipper Gore, ex-wife of vice-president Al Gore. “The stories really are heartbreaking,” says Diana, widow of the late veteran actor Richard Basehart, who started a similar organization in Los Angeles “Actors and Others for Animals” in 1971 championing animal humane causes, which is still going. “When I came to Montecito and got involved meeting the homeless, I saw

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miScellany (Continued from page 19)
Diana Basehart (seated), with Nell resting on her lap, is surrounded by her daughter Gayla Basehart, Lynne Shaw, Sarah Gore Lee, Toni Frohoff, PhD (photo by Priscilla)

a similar need. Keeping people and their companion animals together is enormously important and means less animals coming to shelters. “These people are invisible, but there are hundreds out there. The only other organization like this is in Maine.” Among the 130 guests cramming into the house – appropriately enough it was raining cats and dogs outside! – were Hiroko Benko, Ginny Vanocur, Kerrie Kilpatrick-Weinberg, David Dobreski and Mo McFadden... Bling and Book Bash It was definitely a delightfully, dashing, divinely decadent soiree when Kendall Conrad and Hollye Jacobs

hosted a bling and book bash. The party, at the rustic Montecito manse of Hollye and her husband, Jeff, celebrated the launch of Los Angelesbased author Cameron Silver’s hefty 200-page lavishly illustrated tome, Decadence: A Century of Fashion, which took him five years to write. “It involved a great deal of traveling, but finding appropriate photos from over the decades was particularly difficult,” says Cameron, who owns a popular vintage couture store in West Hollywood. “I didn’t want the usual shots and a lot of the older images had to be restored. “But it seems to be very successful. Just forty-eight hours after the book came out it went back for a second

Hostess Hollye Jacobs, Kendall Conrad and author of Decadence: A Century of Fashion Cameron Silver (photo by Priscilla)

Mattie Hawkinson and Susan Ruttan, stars of Ensemble Theatre Company’s Bell, Book and Candle (photo by David Bazemore)

printing. It is rather unique and visually very satisfying, featuring different icons from each decade. It is a hybrid coffee table book. “It’s not history, but my history. Everybody in the book has really inspired me.” While Cameron, who was named one of Time magazine’s “25 Most Influential Names and Faces in Fashion,” signed his book, a perfect Christmas present for any fashionista, a bevy of leggy models circulated wearing beautiful bling from Marina B, the recently resurrected label of Marina Bulgari, who designed for the famous Italian jewelry company in the ‘70s before setting up her eponymous label in the ‘80s and ‘90s. She now lives in Monte Carlo in retirement. Among the tony throng were Amanda Masters, Gina Tolleson, Lisa Hearst Hagerman, Kimberly Phillips, Jennifer Smith Hale, Blue Caleel, Carolyn Miller, Beverley Jackson, Debbie Kass, Dewey Nicks and Ricardo and Dinah Calderon... Bewitching Performances Just in time for the Christmas season, the Ensemble Theatre Company stages Bell, Book and Candle, a forerunner of the popular ‘60s TV series Bewitched. The witty play, written by John van Druten and directed by Brian Shnipper, who helmed the successful production of Opus here last year, features Mattie Hawkinson as a lively and free spirit living in a Manhattan apartment in the ‘50s, with Thomas Vincent Kelly as the straight-laced

upstairs neighbor, who is suitably mesmerized by her beguiling and magical personality. Susan Ruttan, a Emmy-nominated veteran of the popular ‘80s TV show L.A. Law, is perfect as the naughty but nice aunt, while Zachary Ford, the mischievous brother, and Leonard Kelly-Young as an investigative writer, round out the wonderfully comedic cast. Dianne K. Graebner’s costume designs perfectly evoke the era, as does Stephen Gifford’s scenic creativity. A most bewitching production, indeed. It runs through Dec. 16... Potential Plot Executives of Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center have been accused of plotting to entice the late reclusive copper heiress Huguette Clark to make hefty donations to the hospital by tapping into the elderly woman’s childlike love of the Flintstones and the Smurfs. Clark, who died last year at the age of 104 leaving her $100 million 23-acre oceanfront Santa Barbara estate, Bellosguardo, as an art museum for our Eden by the Beach, was a voluntary patient at the center for two decades, during which time she made a number of sizable donations to the institution and some staff. But, according to the New York Post, officials planned to get even more money from her, with one executive suggesting sending the then 86-year-old a birthday gift of Smurf or Flintstone balloons.

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• The Voice of the Village •

Hospital CEO Dr. Robert Newman is said to have enlisted the help of his elderly mother to befriend Clark and would allegedly force her to go to the heiress’ room on a daily basis with the sole objective of “obtaining even more purported gifts,” court papers say. At one point, Newman, who referred to Clark as “the biggest bucks-contributing potential we’ve ever had,” roped in his mother, who was directed to keep asking her for a cash gift “ even if she changes the subject to Smurfs or Flintstones.” Executives were said to have discussed the fact she had not made a will by that time though worried if they raised the issue, the legal department “might push the question of whether she should even be living at the hospital.” Clark had few visitors when she resided there and was said to have spent her days playing with her dolls and watching cartoons. A new filing by Public Administrator Joy Thompson seeks the return of more than $40 million in gifts to her estate, including $4 million she gave to the medical center, $34.5 million she gifted her private nurse Hadassah Peri and her family, and $2.3 million she presented to a hospital doctor and his wife. Thompson alleges that Clark’s physical and mental condition left her “subject to Beth Israel’s influence and control and not able to make a free and intelligent decision in response to any request Beth Israel might make for a gift.” A hospital spokesman, responding to the allegations, thunders: “We are disappointed at the attempt to take back charitable donations that Ms. Clark freely made to Beth Israel to express her gratitude for the hospital’s lifesaving and compassionate care and her recognition of the hospital’s important mission.” Watch this space... Westmont Christmas Festival Westmont College’s eighth annual Christmas Festival at the First

Presbyterian Church was absolutely heaving with a long waiting list for tickets, with all three performances sold out within 48 hours. With the full force of the college’s musical talent on display, including the orchestra, women’s and men’s chorale, and the chamber singers, the two-hour concert was a wonderful blend of traditional carols and Yuletide works by the likes of Monteverdi, Rutter, Poulenc and Tavener. Under the capable batons of Michael Shasberger, JoAnne Wasserman, Robert Rockabrand and Steve Hodson, the musicians put on a glorious display of classical music, wrapping the show with Forrest’s “Arise, Shine!” And shine they did in a most exuberant and colorful kickoff to the festive season... Christmas History

Christmas in Santa Barbara authors Christine Lewis and Susan Lang with graphic artist Karen Sketch in back

Not satisfied with bringing out their first book Christmas in Santa Barbara, authors Christine Lewis and Susan Lang are now busy working on a new Advent Calendar. The dynamic duo, who launched their first calendar featuring illustrations from the Mission three years ago,

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6 – 13 December 2012
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now plan a totally new production for 2013 showing local events, including the Christmas parade and the Parade of Lights off Santa Barbara’s harbor. The sexagenarian twosome’s new 274-page soft cover tome, full of photos and illustrations, is “a history of cultural traditions over the decades,” starting with the Spanish in the late 1700s. “It has all happened under three different flags – Spanish, Mexican and American,” says Susan, a marriage and family therapist. Working two mornings a week, Susan and Christine, a clinical psychologist, researched their work, plowing through the archives of the SB Historical Museum and the Mission. “Did you know there were bull and bear fights during the Spanish era?” asks Susan. “And Christmas trees were pretty thin on the ground, so they actually used ladders as decoration, a reference to Jacob’s ladder in the Bible.” What next? “We have several ideas,” she adds. “It was wonderful collaboration for us, a real local production in all ways.” Perfect Performance Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, under conductor Heiichiro Ohyama, played an eclectic program at the Lobero with the second concert of its

miScellany (Continued from page 37)
Board President Don Lafler, Concert Master Amy Hershberger, soloist Saeka Matsuyama, and conductor Heiichiro Ohyama (photo by Priscilla)

35th season. Janacek’s 1877 work Suite for Strings kicked off the show with Bach’s glorious Violin Concerto No. 2 in E Major, with Japanese soloist Saeka Matsuyama, a product of Juilliard’s pre-college program in New York, in fine form, wrapping the first half. Two Elegaic Melodies by Greig and Russian composer Vladimir Martynov’s 1985 work “Come in!,” with Matsuyama changing into a shimmering outfit for the occasion, concluded the entertaining production... Shen Wei Dance Arts New York’s Shen Wei Dance Arts mesmerized the audience at the Granada with its ambitious and

Her 30-year-old company is looking for a compound-type property for a six-day, all exterior shoot in the New Year. “Though an ocean view or even being on the water would be a big plus, anything with an area of at least an acre for parking and staging tents will do for a large crew,” says Ronnie. “Really any area where they can get a variety of shots and textures. It is being shot by one of the most renowned photographers around for a major fashion client.” If you think you can help, not to mention banking a very healthy

Doug Margerum, Mitchell Sjerven, chef Nik Ramirez, and Matt Tickett at Intermezzo (photo by Priscilla)

breathtaking work, weaving Western dance forms and Chinese opera. The show, part of the popular UCSB Arts & Lectures series, featured a geometric, energized “Rite of Spring,” with music by Stravinsky, but the best “Folding” was left for last, using ethereal compositions by John Tavener combined with Tibetan Buddhist chants. Wei is probably best known as the lead choreographer for the opening ceremonies of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, which won worldwide acclaim for the thousands of performers involved. Although on a vastly smaller scale, his Santa Barbara debut with his 12-year-old troupe, which has traveled to 130 cities in 30 countries and features 2007 UCSB graduate, Chelsea Retzloff, was equally breathtaking... Invitation to Intermezzo Wine Cask owners, Mitchell Sjerven and Doug Margerum, threw a boffo bash at their downtown bar, Intermezzo, to celebrate a major expansion and renovation, as well as welcoming new chef, Nik Ramirez. Nik, who also serves as sous chef at the Wine Cask with chef Brandon Hughes, has also been employed in the kitchens of Bouchon and Mimosa. Guests quaffing the rose champagne and noshing the canapés included David Sigman, Jerry Lee, Jennifer Guess, Kris Zacharias and Kelly Martin... Location Wanted Ronnie Mellen of Santa Barbara Location Services needs your help.

check, contact sblocationservices@ gmail.com. Royal Baby on the Way St. James’s Palace’s announcement that Prince William’s wife, Kate, is pregnant will come as no surprise to readers of this illustrious organ. Last year my palace mole said the couple were holding off any baby plans until the end of the year, as William did not want to overshadow his grandmother Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. Now, given the laws of accession to the British throne have undergone a radical overhaul, doing away with the centuries old rule of primogeniture – meaning the first born male succeeds to the title –, if the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have a girl, she will be the next monarch after William, irrespective if sons should be born later. Sightings: Beach Boy Bruce Johnston, country singer Brad Paisley and his wife, Kimberly Williams, eating ice cream at Here’s the Scoop... Former Lakers and Chicago Bulls coach Phil Jackson checking out the Lobero... Philanthropist and car collector Michael Hammer sipping a cocktail at Lucky’s Pip! Pip! for now Readers with tips, sightings and amusing items for Richard’s column should e-mail him at richardmineards@verizon.net or send invitations and other other correspondence to the Journal •MJ 6 – 13 December 2012

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• The Voice of the Village •