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Top Rated Stories
- Sabrina Cadini's La Dolce Idea -- The sounds of music add magic to your perfect party...
- A morning at BlogPaws conference with Mike Arms, Helen Woodward Animal Center director
- Bonnie Russell Observes: Tax Lady Roni Deutch Missing from late night TV
- Michael Mercury does Rancho Santa Fe for 2012 (astrologically speaking, that is to say)
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Most Viewed Stories
- Sabrina Cadini's La Dolce Idea -- The sounds of music add magic to your perfect party...
- A morning at BlogPaws conference with Mike Arms, Helen Woodward Animal Center director
- Bonnie Russell Observes: Tax Lady Roni Deutch Missing from late night TV
- Michael Mercury does Rancho Santa Fe for 2012 (astrologically speaking, that is to say)
- Got Rid of Gaddafi...WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO GET RID OF DEADBEAT SOLANA BEACH CITY MGR. OTT
Le Style Francais
The French have a legendary sense of style. French Country design is characterized by charm, warmth, and sophistication with roots in the sunny hillsides of rural France. The versatility of being relaxed, yet refined, draws its inspiration from the country homes and rustic farmhouses in the south of France.
With the comfort and tradition French Country design offers, it gives life and a reference to the past in a room. French Country interiors can be rustic and humble, or sophisticated and glamorous. It’s all about creating a space that is inviting, elegant, yet relaxed, and full of comfort and character.
French Country furniture has the ambiance of curved panels, handcrafted details, rush seating, and other natural materials. The emphasis for furniture leans towards a rustic feel. The more lived in, the better. Furniture is often distressed in finish, but ornate with detailed carvings. Dark woods are often used, as are pieces that have been stripped and softly washed with paint. Well worn and loved antiques, and eclectic furnishings from different eras mix well, as they have that sense of being passed down through generations. They bring personality to a space that is French Country at its best.
Large scale furniture and accessories bring an authentic note into a French Country interior. Even in a smaller space, scale up pieces to suggest roominess and individuality to be appreciated more.
Textures are important in creating French Country rooms. Rooms are more interesting when you layer an intriguing mix of textures. Chipped paint, rusted iron, crackle, or weathered patina finishes with a timeworn look, create that undeniable sensuous French feel. Ironwork is very popular as well. Iron accent pieces such as wall grilles, sconces, candleholders, and wire baskets are often used when designing a room. Adding chicken wire to cabinetry, especially when you show off your finest china and glassware, is another very French detail.
The colors of Provence are the centerpiece of French Country design. When you think of the Provencal countryside, you think of rich vivid hues such as sunny golden yellows, azure blues, soft lavender, deep reds, bright greens, and creamy whites. Part of the fun of French Country decorating is that you can use these colors at the same time by combining them so they compliment each other without competing. Add fresh color by pairing an exuberant yellow paisley with a blue check fabric, or mix a rustic red Provencal floral with a green plaid, and c’est si bon! In France, a room isn’t finished unless it has many different patterns and colors, so throw away the idea that everything has to match.
One of my favorite lines of French furnishings, fabrics, and accessories is Pierre Deux. I spoke with their marketing director in New York, Heather Ryan, about some of their recent introductions. She said, “In French Country decorating, color, often vibrant, sunny colors reflecting the natural elements of the countryside dominate. We continue to feature lots of our signature yellows and blues. Last but not least, Pierre Deux has gone to the dogs. We know the French love their pets, and now we have introduced our first collection of pet accessories.”
The French certainly do have a way with their approach to design. Every detail in designing their interiors is well thought out. By combining natural materials, a mix of unique textures, vivid Provencal colors, traditional French Country fabrics, and a little je ne sais quoi, French Country style can turn your home into a cheerful refuge!
Swedish design uses pale colors to lighten rooms...
White and the palest, powdery soft shades of blue are often seen in Swedish design, and bring a lightness to the interiors of this northern European style.
Subject to many influences, Swedish design closely identifies with the Gustavian style, named after King Gustav III. Inspired by French court pieces, Swedish style simplifies the ornateness and busy details of the French influence, as this region has plainer taste.
The Swedes love their simplicity. Pared down versions in furnishings with clean lines, minimal carved detail, gentle curves and legs that are delicate and taper to the floor are common in Swedish homes.
Wood is crucial in Swedish style. Much of the country is forested and virtually all of the furniture is made of those woods. Through the centuries, the Swedes have developed a talent for painting pieces to make them look sophisticated and refined with soft finishes and subtle backgrounds.
Painted, bleached or stained woods in pale tones of white or gray with distressing retains its elegance that is 18th century Neoclassical design.
Today, reproduction furniture is made by Swedish craftspeople. Ann Millang, owner of St. Barths Home in Laguna Niquel (formerly Swedish Blonde Furniture Inc. in North Carolina), recently had her home photographed in Laguna Beach by Edie Van Breems who authored a book titled “Swedish Interiors in America.”
“Things are changing in the industry due to competition from China,” Ann said. “I have tried very hard to remain loyal to my Swedish factories since we have developed most of the designs with them and want them to do well. They are still using Swedish hardwoods and doing hand carved details on all the chairs and our bed finials. We are working with other countries such as Belgium, that still have the Northern influence of light finishes and woods, but with a bit more edge.”
In traditional Swedish interiors, accessories are kept to a minimum, allowing open space and light to take center stage. Chosen for their usefulness and their virtual appeal, accessories include crystal and painted chandeliers, wood gilt framed mirrors to reflect what light there is, natural raffia or light colored woven textured rugs, soft, pale ceramics and clear glass pieces in simple shapes.
Simple woven and textured cotton and linen fabrics are commonly used for upholstery, window treatments and bedding in Swedish design. Padded headboards and canopy beds are popular.
Yards and yards of white fabric mounted on a coronet or attached with ring on the ceiling are often seen. When patterns are used, they are in the form of checks, stripes or delicate florals.
Predominant colors are pale blues and soft grays on a white background. The overall effect is minimalist. There is a lot of harmony with the simplicity of these colors and fabrics that create a serene Scandinavian feel.
Calm interiors, soothing pale color palettes, elegance with a lightness in color and mood, formal but not stuffy with a comfortable, casually aged feel – that is the essence of Swedish style.
Casting Couch: Real Housewives San Diego seeks Rancho Santa Fe women...
It looks like the Real Housewives concept is coming to San Diego, and for more than just the great weather. The company making the TV show - Asylum Entertainment - has a casting call out right now looking for women who live in the area.
The producers are looking for upscale, women who live fabulous, glamorous lives along with their busy social calendars. They say they are looking for the best and brightest, so to speak, when it comes to wealth, glamour, and if you've seen those type of shows, a certain amount of panache and drama.
A series of 50 Tweets sent by the casting agents this week said they were focusing on the La Jolla and Rancho Sante Fe areas.
No word yet on a production schedule or when the show might hit the air.
Alex Shaw, Director of Casting at Asylum, reached out to a variety of influential San Diegans and media reps via Twitter. Her post read: “Bravo CASTING Housewives of affluent SD areas (Rancho, La Jolla etc). Gorgeous, living the life!” Sources followed up with Shaw for the real story behind the Tweet.
Journey to the top of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. (from the lemon twist to artesian road)
Me, and tired at top of Hill#2
Heading up the road feeling glad...
Anonymous secret lake
Gravel rock trail
Crosby Estate featuring golfing opportunities for the .1 percent.
Trail on top of Hill#1, Hill#2 in the background
High fallutin' stables
Going up Hill#3
Cutting through the haze towards home...
Actually, needed to jump this due to page break glitch, really, sorry...
Want to learn about Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. -- Let the Manions be your guide (VIDEO)
Living large with multimillion dollar real estate
Then, Shelly Curtis has got the estate for you.
That would be the mega-estate known as Montagna De La Paloma in Fairbanks Ranch encompassing 12 acres and previously owned by the late Joan Kroc.
"I'm one of the buyers' agents for the Joan Kroc House," Curtis said. "People buy the agent before they buy the house. To get the listing takes a little bit of luck, being at the right place at the right time and your being knowledgeable about the area."
The 92067 ZIP code area in Rancho Santa Fe has a mother lode of expensive properties in its flat-out high-end market. As of this month, 73 properties listed at more than $5 million. Forbes.com ranked 92067 as second most expensive ZIP code real estate market in the nation for 2005 with a median sales price of $2.45 million. This was just behind Sagaponack in Suffolk County, N.Y., at $2.79 million and ahead of Newport Beach at $2.39 million.
Topping the local price list was a modest little place at 16337 Los Arboles in the covenant referred to in its marketing campaign as The Ultimate Estate. The $40 million, nine-acre property even has its own Web site, www.theultimateestate.co
Next in line was an estate at 15651 Puerta del Sol, also in the covenant, listing for $36.5 million. The Joan Kroc estate at 17897 Cira Oriente was being offered at $28 million. Rounding out the Top 8 list, all with asking prices greater than $10 million were an El Montevideo estate at $21.5 million, the former C. Arnholt Smith estate on Calzada del Bosque at $18 million, a $14 million estate on Ladys Secret Drive in Del Rayo Estates, a $13 million property on El Camino del Nort.
With Sterling Properties, Curtis noted, as did other agents representing the most upscale homes and estates around town, the high-end homes practically sell themselves although hard work always is required in the end.
"It's harder for me to sell that $350,000 condo to a first-time home buyer than it is to sell a $10 million property," Curtis said. "The high-end buyers come in knowing more what they want."
CACHET DOESN'T FADE
While the highest end homes are caught up somewhat in a general real estate market slowdown, they also have a certain cache that never seems to fade. The $40 million estate at Los Arboles features a 12,889-square-foot main house with six bedrooms, seven full and three half-baths, a nine-car garage, horse training centers — two — as well as catering kitchen, separate two-story guest suite, caretaker house, orchid greenhouse and 50-foot pool.
Financing can be complicated, but owning "The Ultimate Estate" probably comes along with $204,371 in monthly mortgage payments, according to real estate analysts.
Michael Taylor, Andrea Dougherty and K. Ann Brizolis of Rancho Santa Fe are listing agents working out of their boutique estate division for Prudential California Realty based at Del Rayo Plaza. Prudential Orange County estate agents Nancy and Kevin Casebier also are part of the team necessary to move such a large property sale.
"We've had maybe five serious showings," Taylor said. "One person ended up buying a $19 million property in Rancho Santa Fe nearby. The Web site has had over 14,000 visitors, but it's one of those properties where your buying pool is small."
The Web site even includes an eight-minute video regaling the estate's splendors. The estate sale went through a "quiet phase" with lower-key publicizing, then went a bit more public with advertisements in the publications one expects to check for such listings, including a front cover spread in Dream Homes International showing mega-dream homes only $10 million or more, Taylor said, as well as the Wall Street Journal and Stratus Magazine that goes into upscale private airports only.
"We're trying to let the community know we've got one of the high end properties," Taylor said. "Agents need to know how to deal with high end buyers and sellers who are always very successful in what they do."
BIG PRICES = BIG PROFITS (FOR AGENTS)
Any sale can be lucrative for agents. Typically, listing agents split 3 to 4 percent of the sale price, according to Taylor, while buyer's agents split 2 to 3 percent as well. Sometimes, a top agent might luck into being both listing and buyer's agent, Curtis said.
Those trafficking in the uppermost crust of the upper crust of home and estate sales also know it can take some time sometimes to move a property. For one thing, the serious potential buyers must be separated from the general public just wanting to gawk at the fabulous estates. So, serious buyers they must be identified through rigorous financial checks. Then, estates must be prepped and readied for in-depth visits and tours.
"The Ultimate Estate" is the pride and joy of Rick Nicholas and his family. While reluctant to provide too many personal details in order to maintain family privacy, Nicholas agreed to discuss the sale to help acquaint others with the overall process of high-end real estate transactions from the seller's vantage point.
"This is not an immaculate conception," Nicholas said. "You have to open up a private part of your life and how you live when you do this, but it is part of the process. You, and your lifestyle, become a source of speculation, cocktail party chatter. Your kids hear about it at their school. People are always intrigued."
Nicholas bought the property in 1992. He and his family moved in there in 1999. His family put in considerable time and energy over the last seven years developing the property into a magnificent estate. After selling, the plan is to relocate to another Rancho Santa Fe property and do it all over again.
WAITING FOR THE RIGHT OFFER
"It's not like this is a fire sale," Nicholas said. "One of the really cool things as an owner, you are creating a canvas, your own private resort. The property is unbelievably wonderful, a great place to entertain friends, where you can put up multiple families. It's like another little, very private world."
Nicholas has been developing such properties for the last decade, including one on the ocean at Laguna Beach he sold before moving to Rancho Santa Fe. Recently, he sold a high-end estate in Aspen, Colo. That property went in two days. The $40 million Los Arboles estate will take longer, obviously.
"We knew it was not going to be a quick sale," Nicholas said. "But even though the chatter is the market is soft and on a decline, our analysis was at a certain level of the market you're selling something that is one of a kind and not so subject to the ebb and flow of market pricing…We know the process could take 12 to 24 months."
The Rancho Santa Fe multi-multi-million dollar properties rank behind the top listed property in the county. That's a $50 million, 10,700-square-foot property at 2808 Ocean Front Ave. in Del Mar with 120 feet of beach frontage, health spa, theater, pool, tennis court, greenhouse and two guest houses listed in July.
Crush On Orange - A Daring Pick For Fall
The color orange punches up a room like no other color. Orange's bright hues and sunny disposition add zest and surprise to any style interior. Wake up any room in your home with bold spashes of orange accents. Use it sparingly or get drenched in it.
Orange glows with warmth and positive energy. Without a doubt, orange is the happiest color in the spectrum. Its uplifting and ivigorating qualities makes using orange in a room up-to-date, exciting, daring and very stylish.
Introduce orange into a room in a variety of ways from paint to fabric, to an infinite number of decorative details such as window treatments, furniture, art, and collections. For example, the new dining room wall color this season instead of classic red, is orange. This great, unexpected color adds a sense of warmth and fun while bringing a room to life. Try using just a touch of bold, brave, outgoing orange on a fabric, or a funiture piece, would be all it takes to perk up and add a radiant surprise to a room.
In small rooms, choosing orange as the overall coloration can be dramatic. All of the contrasting accent pieces - lamps, pillows, throws, etc. gain greater impact in small spaces that may not otherwise have great architectural interest.
You can also layer this citrusy color by choosing a similar intensitiy in fabrics and textiles. Mixing and matching patterns and solids adds to the fun in accenting a room.
Today, you can use a bright orange along with hot pink and a bold yellow, and it's not considered garish anymore! It's important to keep this modernized combination to no more than three colors. The key is to ensure that all the elements work well together in a pleasing way when using this fresh picked color scheme.
Why is orange considered the warmest hue? Because it incorprates two different hot colors, red and yellow. Add a little yellow to red and you get a wonderful shade of pumpkin. This sumptuous fall shade enhances a space in an intimate way and shows off neutral furnishings. Black or beige solid pieces are striking in a room enveloped in pumpkin.
If you're ready to paint on the orange, but not daring enough for the bright version, try toning it down in small doses of an amber or tangerine shade.
A designer friend of mine just finished a dining room project for his client. The natural lighting in the room was fantastic, with great windows offering wonderful views. He opted to paint the walls in a delicious shade of orange, a mango color. He used white on the moldings, trim and windows. It may have seemed daring at first for his client, but the end result could not have been more stunning.
In a kitchen, orange stimulates the appetite and imitates the glow of a fire. Orange is also associated with high-tech culinary gadgets Mixed with popular stainless steel appliances, this bold color is a great way to bring the space to life. Brighten other kitchen areas with modern light fixtures with orange accents, artwork and natural floral/fruitful arrangements. There are some amazing new dyes and stains for wood cabinetry in great orange palettes from mandarin to peach. They're unique and very modern.
Orange can be timeless and classic in a traditional room. An orange toile-patterened fabric is fabulous in any room of a home. A powder room with upholstered walls in an orange document toile fabric is always perfect. Bronzy sconces with accented antiqued silvered mirrors, sisal rugs and spice scented candles colored in amber hues create warmth, texture and an elegant feel.
Orange provides a modern, bright element when used in a contemporary space. For a fresh point of view, balance a space with a subdued neutral or off-white palette to create a striking contrast. In a contemporary, sophisticated bedroom, use neutral linens, walls, and flooring tones. Add a pair of bold, daring orange chairs upholstered in a chenille, and a pair of architectural lamps with crystal bases and platinum brushed details to bedazzle and lift the spirits of anyone who enters the room.
What comes to mind when I think of orange are the changing colors of nature. There are several mature, large liquid amber trees in my yard in Rancho Santa Fe, which I planted over 20 years ago. Every fall, they burst into spectacular shades of oranges and reds. It's magical to see my lawn turn into a "sea of orange" as I've been told. While shopping for a few cheerful doses of orange to add to my home's seasonal decor, I bring along several of the leaves in various shades for a perfect match for fabrics or artful accents. After all, every well-decorated room should begin with an inspiration. Mine is the changing colors of autumn, highlighted in shades of orange. As fall approaches, consider adding a burst or two of brave, vibrant and exciting orange.
Be my guest
Whatever the occasion, or season, we're all going to have the pleasure of houseguests. The not-so-often used bedroom now becomes the most important room in the house.
Anyone who has stayed at a luxurious hotel knows how addictive all the amenities are, and how difficult it can be to leave them behind. Hosting visitors in a comfy 5-Star luxurious guest space is a fun and exciting challenge. Guest bedrooms, decorated with carefully chosen furnishings, fabrics, and bedding are the rooms that can truly pamper your guests in an intimate, private retreat, and make them feel welcome.
When designing your guest bedroom, a good place to begin is with the bed. A high quality mattress with sink-in comfort, dressed to the nines in sumptuous linens, that take their cue from boutique hotels, is an important element that will ensure a relaxed night's rest.
A fluffy featherbed or mattress topper, such as memory foam or other natural alternatives make a bed luxurious. High thread count sheets, lots of soft sleeping pillows, and a cozy down or down-alternative comforter can make a bed feel like you're diving into a cloud. The options are endless.
I recently spoke with the assistant manager, Peggy Watson, at Between The Sheets in Flower Hill Promenade. She stated, "We are seeing some specific trends in duvets and sheets in our area. All the hues of Aqua and Ocean colors are trending, as well as Gray - from Pearl with silver thread enhancement to deep Charcoals. Patterns in Gold and Taupe remain very strong, and there are requests for Purples and Lavenders. We are also very excited about our Equestrian themed bedding from one of the fine Italian producers that we import."
Recently, I completed a guest bedroom in a gorgeous Rancho Santa Fe home. I used a beautiful silk fabric in a distinctive buffalo check in bold blends of plum and purple hues. My client was a little surprised at first at the lively colors in the fabric. You can get away with more daring combinations of colors and designs in a guest bedroom.
I combined the fabric to canopy antique iron twin beds, dressed in traditional mattelasses, then continued the fabric on the window treatments for the drapery and cornice. At the foot of the beds, I had upholstered benches repeating the fabric. The final look was daringly bold, yet sophisticated. My client was thrilled at how striking the guest bedroom had transformed. "I love the surprise factor," she happily said.
In creating a cozy sanctuary for weary travelers with all the comforts of home, close the door and let the pampering begin. A reading spot with a comfortable chair and pleasing lighting makes a guest feel relaxed to enjoy a little downtime alone. A bench at the foot of the bed for ease in unpacking a suitcase, and a table with a workspace for a computer would ensure your guest a blissful getaway intended for enjoying peaceful solitude. Add thoughtful touches such as a bouquet of fresh flowers, assorted bottled waters, homemade munchies, soft pillows and extra blankets and throws, a daily newspaper, current magazines, and scented candles.
Kudos should go to the hosts and hostesses who thoughtfully plan rooms with their guests needs in mind. With welcoming spaces that beckon the tired traveler in such an inviting ambiance, even homeowners may be tempted to check into their own grand guest getaway.
The Thrill of the Grill
No one can turn down a barbecue. Americans love to cook and they love to eat outdoors. Increasingly, people are claiming the outdoors as an extension of the comforts and convenience of home. Cooking and dining alfresco is more popular than ever before. Whether it's the fresh air, soaring coals, or a relaxed atmosphere, food just tastes better when it's cooked outside.
The most coveted room in the house, the kitchen, has moved outside into the great outdoors. Outdoor kitchens offer a perfect place to prepare meals without missing out on all the backyard and poolside fun.
Like all outdoor spaces, an outdoor kitchen should have a style that matches its surroundings. Its location should be convenient for entertaining and relaxing. Extra space used for dining tables and chairs, or for a counter bar with seating where you can mingle with the chef while he's concocting his favorite dish is important. Dining areas outside need to be more generous than their counterparts inside. Room for a table and chairs, plus space to move around easily is best. Outdoor fireplaces should have plenty of space for comfortable seating and lounging for guests as well.
Outdoor kitchens can be an a tremendous asset if they're well planned and well equiped.
Choosing materials that withstand the weather, are durable, and shed water, is practical. Weatherproof surfaces for counter tops and workspaces such as ceramic tile or granite, guarantees years of durability and good looks throughout the seasons. These materials also add a sense of luxury to the outdoor kitchen.
Cabinet storage is an important element to an outdoor kitchen. Cabinets alleviate the need to bring out necessary cooking equipment and utensils from inside that are used outdoors. Storage is a luxury in any space, but especially in the outdoor kitchen. Preparing meals with everything at hand as you would in the kitchen inside your home makes good sense. No need to leave the party and make trips into the house time and time again.
Barbecuing has gone high-tech. And the market for barbecue grills is hot. "Consumers are grilling much more than burgers and chicken today - and they are looking for quality tools and a greater range of accessories to have the versatility to cook any meal on the outdoor grill," said Trace Weskamp, Director of Accessories Product Development at Weber, the world's leading manufacturer of outdoor gas and charcoal grills.. New smoking accessories are one of the areas of focus for Weber. Some of these accessories includes smoking woods such as hickory, apple, mesquite, cherry, pecan or beech, depending on the chef's choice of flavor. Other new product lines are stainless steel smoker boxes which when placed on the cooking grates transforms any gas grill into a smoker. I find the new Plancha Universal Griddle, very interesting. This flat top griddle enables grillers to cook a variety of dishes on the barbecue. The Plancha features a slightly angled cooking surface, draining fats away from the food. The cast-iron construction retains heat, while the porcelain-enameled surface resists sticking.
Spicy Italian outdoor kitchens whould likely feature an imported wood-fired pizza oven, perhaps from Naples. They're integrated into a wall, create amazing flavors, and retain heat very well. You can cook other foods beside pizza in these ovens such as fresh veggies.
To cool things down, how about a swim-up bar with benches that have "zero-depth access" to give the impression you swam up from the beach, for an apres dinner beverage? Chill after you grill, and watch a movie or catch a game on a pop-up plasma while "beaching" it. And then there's the swimming pool misting system that fogs for those special evenings when you want to create a certain mood while you take a dip.
By expanding indoor life outside, outdoor activities become a part of everyday existance. Turning a blah backyard into a spectacular backyard kitchen where you can entertain, cook together, and have fun with family and friends, suddenly takes on a new and exciting dimension. The outdoor kitchen is the perfect place for good food, good friends and great surroundings that can be enjoyed anytime of the year. Now how would you like your steak cooked?
Style Matters with Penelope Voisen -- 'Spring Trends Are In The Air'
Living responsibly with eco-awareness in furnishings and accessories continue to be a definite trend for Spring 2012. Green design, using resource efficient and healthy materials, is good design. Luxurious organic bed and bath linens, eco-silk draperies and table linens are making a strong debut. Eco-friendly furniture made of recycled or reclaimed woods is very popular for the spring season, and are showing up more than ever throughout designer showrooms. Bamboo, cork and other natural materials not only are a trend, but contain a certain character and texture that create a wonderful feel to a room.
Color palettes for spring include beautiful upbeat yellows, fresh blues and lively pinks, along with a wide variety of clean whites. Cheerful, happy and right-this-minute yellow for example, is popping up in furniture, linens, dishware and other accessories. The power of optimistic yellow in interiors will bring a smile to everyone.
Other influences from cultures around the world are design trends that will be evident this spring season. Furnishings from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East will be making a strong statement.
Hollywood glamour has caught the eye of the interior design industry as well. Metallic home furnishings, fabrics, and accessories are a hot trend this spring. New collections of rich opulence and couture flair in shimmering silver, pewter, gold and bronze are popular in everything from furniture and fabrics to the tabletop.
We want our home to be stylish, comfortable and increasingly eco-friendly. The trends for Spring 2012 offer many terrific options for creating and up-to-date home with classic past and present design elements that will create a spring-like ambiance of comfort and elegance.
Machel Penn Shull of 'Machel's Ranch' TAKES CHARGE AT MILLE FLEURS Mardi Gras 2012...
Think its easy organizing social events? Check out Machel Penn Shull, of Machel's Ranch Social Column, taking charge of the photo opp at Mille Fleurs on Mardi Gras Day for an upcoming column. Identify the ladies in the photo for bonus points. Or check them out next month at Machel's Ranch.
And then there's the observer from fringe unit...
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE ABBEY...
View from Machel's Ranch: 'Sunshine fills Rancho Santa Fe with inspiration and parties'
(From left: 1. Timothy Nunn, Artist Joelle Blouin and her agent, Edward at Legends Gallery in La Jolla; 2. Make your Valentine’s reservations at Mille Fleurs this year! Chef Martin Woesle is featured here with Jill Drouin and Joe, two of Mille Fleurs’ fantastic staff members; 3. Order you flowers or chocolate covered strawberries from Lemon Twist on Valentine’s Day, located on Del Dios Highway across from Cielo. Photos: Machel Penn Shull.)
I admit the reason I am writing this is because I encountered these feelings this week. Yes, I too, can find the eucalyptus trees and the design of the perfect landscape in California just a bit on the blah side. While winter is happening elsewhere in the world, we are constantly blessed with pretty amazing weather. No reason to whine about that, right? Well, we must hibernate, recharge, regroup and reinvent ourselves. Even though there are moments that can eclipse us that make us feel bored, we must remind ourselves of each and every blessing. I recently looked through some of my photos and thought, “These pictures show a beautiful life.”
I soon realized that although it’s tempting to indulge in idleness, we must stop ourselves from this pitfall. The challenge is to remain upbeat, youthful and hopeful with each new day. We may think we know what’s going to happen and that we’ve got it all figured out. However, life still remains a mystery … just like the nature of true love. With the “Month of Love” upon us, I found some fun events in and around the Ranch. Happy Valentine’s Day Rancho Santa Fe!
On Jan. 28, Karian Forsyth, one of the top five women I love to feature in “Machel’s Ranch” held her first 2012 monthly spa party in The Crosby. On a hot Saturday afternoon, these ladies enjoyed fine pampering, good company and excellent food that day.
I turned out to be the unlucky one that at the last minute was unable to make it due to some unexpected events, which prohibited me from indulging with some of my favorite friends. I have included a stolen moment from that day that shows these women making the most of their time by sharing their souls and time with each other. How wonderful.
On Jan. 30, I received some exciting news about one my favorite friend’s family members. Claude Whitney — a superior judge in Orange County for over 30 years — turned 81 on a fabulous Sunday with his loved ones. Talk about making life fun and worth living; Claude is a black diamond skier who “Skis for Free” as he is more than 70 years old. From Skiing in Aspen and Telluride to Deer Valley, nothing is going to slow down Claude Whitney.
(From left: 1. Hostess, Karian Forsyth poses with some of her gorgeous guests at the Forsyth’s Super Bowl party Sunday; 2. Claude Whitney celebrates his birthday with his wife Cici Whitney and the MacDonald clan; 3. First Spa party of 2012 under a golden sun.)
On Feb. 1, I stepped into my husband’s shoes and helped out at Lemon Twist — the flower shop/fruit-stand in the Ranch across from Cielo. While the sunny day brought in steady customers, I helped organize and figure out new exciting gifts for Valentine’s Day for locals in the Ranch. Lemon Twist is famously known for the delicious chocolate-covered strawberries, which is a mouth-watering, pleasing gift for any loved one. But did you know Lemon Twist is also a gift/floral shop with specialty items, gift baskets, orchids, caramel chocolate popcorn, and beautiful bouquets? For any questions or to order in advance, call (858) 756-0826.
Ask about the “special” for chocolate covered strawberries, too. I will be there all day on Valentine’s Day. Stop in and see us. I will have my camera to capture this wonderful holiday we love to celebrate at Lemon Twist.
On Feb. 2, I stopped in at my favorite restaurant in Rancho Santa Fe — Mille Fleurs. If you have read my column over the years then you know that this restaurant has always had a special place in my world. From amazing birthday parties to summer parties, I have enjoyed the ambience, the food and the staff at the best French restaurant in Southern California. I met briefly with Chef Martin Woesle. Chef Martin has been the chef at Mille Fleurs for more than 27 years. I found out the skinny on Valentine’s Day at Mille Fleurs. Check out millefleurs.com for details on this amazing special going on if you want to woo your loved one. Call (858) 756-3085 for details.
On Feb. 3, I ventured to La Jolla to Legends Gallery where I work part-time weekly, which I absolutely love. Art has been one of my passions and obsessions most of my life. So when I met Roree Mayhew, the director of Legends, a few months ago, you can just imagine me doing a little “Audrey Hepburn” smile all the way to my car parked a couple of blocks away, ironically next to a chapel. (Prayers do work wonders you know.) A few months later, I am excited to be selling art and meeting the artists there. On that note, Joelle Blouin — a top selling Canadian artist from Quebec City — has risen to quick acclaim in the art world. Only 26 years old, Joelle has gone from one gallery to seven in under one year. Her bold colorful paintings of city skylines are magnificent. Visit joelleblouin.com or contact me directly for more information on her paintings.
On Feb. 5, I attended Karian and Tom’s Super Bowl party in the Crosby. What can I say? These photos speak for themselves. Here are two group shots of the guests that came in high style for one of America’s favorite past times.
SAVE THE DATE
On Feb. 16, don’t miss out on a must-attend Fashion event happening in La Jolla. San Diego Food Bank’s Chris Carter was kind enough to invite me to this fabulous day at the second annual Fashion Plates Luncheon and fashion show designed by TV personality Leonard Simpson. The silent auctions starts at 10:30 a.m. sharp, which is followed by the luncheon and fashion show. This event will be held at the Hyatt Regency in La Jolla. To reserve your tickets, contact Megan Mills at (858) 863-5121 or visit sandiegofoodbank.org.
MY DAY (OCCUPYING) AT THE CROSBY ESTATE -- REDEFINING WEALTH, HEALTH AND MINTY MELTS...
Yes, well, it's a fabulous day around Rancho Santa Fe. However, having no money, food and gasoline, to name a few of life's pleasures, it was necessary to do a little foraging in the immediate neighborhood of La Hacienda. Sorry.
OMG! Will you look at that? The back gate to Crosby Estate, somehow ajar.
You know what this means.
-------- TIME TO OCCUPY AT CREEPY ESTATE.
ENTERING THE MAGICAL KINGDOM OF CREEPY ESTATE CLUBHOUSE...WHERE IS HARRY POTTER WHEN YOU NEED HIM? FRODO BAGGINS?
Time to get back to business. Looks like dinner in the dumpster for us tonight, dears. Perhaps Devorah Rose will come!
I'M HENEREY THE EIGHTH I YAM...SECOND VERSE SAME AS THE FIRST...I'M...
see ya later...
July Real Estate Sales Not So Hot:Rancho Santa Fe Down 26.7 Pct. Solana Beach Down 71 Pct...
Prospective homebuyers in July worried about national and international economic problems, from a potential U.S. government default to European debt to high unemployment, real estate agents said. Buyers who did enter the market bid low on houses attempting to score deals.
Meanwhile, some sellers decided to wait it out for better prices. Yet others decided to rent their houses instead of selling. But it all added up to a historically slow July.
"It was rough," said Fred Bradley, a Rancho Penasquitos broker. "July isn't supposed to be rough, but it was."
The 721 houses sold in July in North County were the fewest since 1984, down 11 percent from June and 8.7 percent from last July. Rancho Penasquitos, Rancho Bernardo, Rancho Santa Fe and Carmel Valley sold 35 percent fewer homes in July than in July 2010.
Normally, summer is a real estate agent's busiest season as people try to make purchases and move before school starts.
The median price fell to $425,000, down 5.3 percent from June and 7.6 percent from July 2010, according to the assessor records.
"I think there's a lot of folks right now that are really concerned about the global economy," said Brian Westre, a Rancho Bernardo broker. "Anytime markets are rocked, they start to worry about their own job."
Overall, North County foreclosures in the first half of the year are at their lowest since 2007; mortgage interest rates are well under 5 percent; and the median price of $425,000 is at the same level it was in 2002, or 33 percent off its 2007 peak.
But prices may be too high for local buyers: Many tried to get deals with low offers.
"The buyers, by and large, are waiting for prices to go down, and sellers are waiting for prices to go up," Bradley said. "We're stuck in the middle."
Some sellers are choosing to rent their houses instead of selling. The house rental market is hot, as credit-troubled residents still need somewhere to live.
"Rents are pretty good. A lot of people are renting their property out; if they have the equity, they do it," said Sharon Johnston Mead, a Vista broker. "I'm not having any trouble renting mine, knock on wood."
LISA LEONDIS NAMED SAN DIEGO COUNTY AGRICULTURAL COMMISSIONER/SEALER
(Photo: Lisa Leonids, left, with Tina Thomas and San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob)
Lisa Leondis has been selected to be the permanent director of the County of San Diego Department of Agriculture, Weights and Measures, and to serve as the County’s new Agricultural Commissioner and Sealer of Weights and Measures. Leondis was named as the department’s interim director in June, when Commissioner/Sealer Bob Atkins retired.
“We are delighted to have Lisa Leondis as the new County Agricultural Commissioner and Sealer of Weights and Measures,” said Sarah Aghassi, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for the Land Use and Environment Group.
“Lisa’s vast experience in the field, along with her expertise in pest management and plant protection will help ensure the viability of our agricultural community; and her displayed levels of professionalism and dedication...
SDSU WATCHDOG INSTITUTE - 'Empty Seats Costs School Districts Millions'
Student 114 is a sophomore at Lincoln High in southeast San Diego. What makes her exceptional is the number of school days she missed last year – 87— nearly half the tenth grade.
She cost her school $2,464.71.
A KPBS-Watchdog Institute investigation found there are thousands of chronically absent kids in San Diego County schools who together cost their districts millions of dollars in state funding.
During the 2009-2010 term, traditional public schools in San Diego County lost out on at least $102 million in state funding because of absences, according to data gathered by KPBS and the Watchdog Institute, an investigative reporting nonprofit based at San Diego State University. That figure totaled $624 million over the past five years.
The attendance-based funding formula puts a bounty on the heads of students, forcing schools to meticulously track their absences – placing dollar amounts next to their names. Number 114 is one of 357 students on a list of the chronically absent at Lincoln High. A student is considered chronically absent if he or she misses 10 percent or more of the 180-day school year.
At Ramona Unified, 465 chronically absent students cost the district $345,816.89 last year. Twenty-four of them missed at least a quarter of the school year. Two were absent more than 100 days.
On average, a student with perfect attendance is worth about $5,230 to a school district in San Diego County. Every day missed reduces that amount by about $29. It may not sound like much, but the multiplier effect can be financially staggering for some schools.
A total of twelve schools in the county cost their districts more than $1 million last year in missed revenue. This was the case for five schools in Grossmont Union High District, and for the single school in Fallbrook Union High School District.
“Certainly when the state of California changed its financing of public education from enrollment to average daily attendance, it had an adverse impact on school districts, including ours,” said Fallbrook Superintendent Dale Mitchell. “That presents a problem for us.”
Schools used to be paid for excused absences, which included sick days if students had a parent or doctor’s note. But the law changed because the existing formula “encourages schools to accept excuses and discourages them from investigating possibly fraudulent excuses,” according to an Assembly Committee on Education hearing in 1998, when the law was passed.
Many experts agree that districts should have a financial incentive to get kids to class, but across the country that level of incentive varies.
“All 50 states base funding on student population and students are counted in different ways,” according to Deborah Verstegen, a University of Nevada education professor who studied school finance across the country.
Some states use enrollment; others count attendance on a specific day of the school year.
Verstegen says the average daily attendance, or ADA, formula tends to favor schools in suburban neighborhoods, where attendance is generally higher than those in city and rural areas.
The inequities in California are compounded by the existence of basic aid districts, which do not rely as much on state funding as most other districts, and “necessary small schools,” which typically serve large, rural areas and receive state funding based on an enrollment system.
For its analysis, KPBS and the Institute analyzed enrollment figures for more than 450 traditional, non-charter schools from 21 districts. The analysis compared enrollment to attendance figures schools report to the state. The difference between those figures was multiplied by a state-calculated, per-student revenue limit for each district to arrive at the potential funding losses. (Read more about the analysis.)
San Diego Unified School District, one of the largest districts in the state, lost out on $34 million last year. That’s nearly 6 percent of the $595 million the state would have paid for perfect attendance.
Of the 170 traditional schools in San Diego Unified, Hoover High lost out on the most money — $1.3 million — because of poor attendance. Lincoln High wasn’t far behind at $1 million. The majority of students in both schools are from low-income households, with more than 96 percent and 85 percent of their students, respectively, eligible for the free and reduced lunch program, according to state data.
“Our poverty families have a more difficult time getting kids to school. Access to health care, access to transportation, and that does affect attendance levels in those schools,” said Bernie Rhinerson, chief of staff at the district.
Schools keep lists of chronically absent students not just to track financial losses, but to determine who is at risk for low academic achievement, Rhinerson said, adding, if you’re not at school, you can’t learn.
“It’s really important that we look at that data and we see which students are missing school at a high rate because then we can focus on how can we help them, how can we work with the family,” he said.
Randolph Ward, superintendent of San Diego County Office of Education, said he believes the funding formula for schools is flawed and unfair in many ways.
“Are we really just paying for kids sitting in a seat? I don’t think so. We expect achievement,” he said. “But the paradigm doesn’t say that. The paradigm says we’re paying for sitting in a seat.”
Some schools go to great lengths to get kids in those seats. The Sweetwater Union High School District has in the past raffled off a refurbished car to seniors with perfect attendance. In the Poway Unified School District, administrators post running tallies of dollars lost to motivate students to show up more often.
Despite the efforts, few if any schools will ever have perfect attendance and get full funding from the state.
Fallbrook Superintendent Mitchell pointed out that just because students are absent some of the time doesn’t mean the schools aren’t spending resources on them.
Districts can use the law to get kids in class, but the process is long and complicated. In California, kids are considered truant after three or more unexcused absences.
The student must appear before the school’s Student Attendance Review Committee. Then, the county department of education steps in, and the Student Attendance Review Board gives the student a contract.
The District Attorney’s office will go to court after all those steps have been taken, according to Michele Linley, chief of the District Attorney’s Juvenile division.
Last year, the DA processed 284 truancy cases, a fraction of the number of students appearing on chronic absenteeism lists gathered in the KPBS-Watchdog Institute investigation.
“What choices they (school districts) make about who is sent to us and who is not, I can’t speak to – they vary from school district to school district,” Linley said.
The DA also requires a representative from the district to appear at truancy hearings, a requirement that may deter some cash-strapped districts from pursuing more cases through the courts , Linley said.
A law, passed in January, holds parents of children in 8th grade and below responsible for chronically absent children. They can face up to a year in custody and a $2,000.00 fine. Linley said no one has been prosecuted under the new provision.
At the urging of administrators at San Diego Unified, District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis sent a letter to parents about the new law. ”If you are facing problems getting your child to school, I urge you to resolve the issues before they become serious,” she said.
Joe Johnson, Executive Director of the National Center for Urban School Transformation at SDSU, travels across the country studying high-achieving schools in urban neighborhoods, schools that are successful in getting kids to class.
“Most people would agree that students are not likely to learn from school if they don’t attend school,” he said in an email, contending that state funding formulas should provide districts enough money to run schools “in ways that help schools make regular attendance practical and even attractive for students and families.”
For example, he said, making it easy to get to school could help, but ironically, school buses are among the first things to be eliminated when districts are forced to deal with budget cuts.
Three years ago, the Fallbrook district reduced bus routes and instituted a transportation fee. That fee is going up again this year so the buses can keep bringing students to school, Mitchell said.
A bill making its way through the state legislature would simplify some aspects of categorical school funding, base more funding on the needs of students and make district financials more transparent. But, the new law wouldn’t change how revenue funding is calculated.
“We base funding on students’ attendance in school. That’s where they’re losing their money,” said Assemblywoman Julia Brownley, D-Santa Monica, who introduced the bill. “Should we change that? I certainly would like to,” she said. “The problem being the state doesn’t have the money in order to do that.”
Ward thinks the structure of public education funding in California needs to shift.
“What if we were to have a system that was based on a basic tier of enrollment, but then another tier on achievement?” he mused. “Not just achievement on a straight level, but achievement on a growth level, so even the high districts need to maintain a certain growth.”
Rhinerson said tinkering with the way funds are allocated doesn’t get to the heart of the problem – California does not spend enough money to educate kids.
The debate should be about how to fund schools “at a level we need to provide quality education,” he said.
KPBS and the Watchdog Institute have invested four months so far examining school funding in San Diego County. Andres Barraza, a KPBS intern, contributed to this report.
FALLING UP -- COMINGS AND GOINGS AROUND RANCHO SANTA FE, CALIF. AREA WITH DAN WEISMAN
Some short takes from around town this week, A few of these are in the what da ya know variety, but if you didn't' see them here, you wouldn't see them anywhere. Somewhat surprising stuff if I do say so myself in best Ed Grimley fashion.
Actually, I first wrote an amazing 5,000 word diatribe to go with this update. a lot of it was talking about what a little money would do for us here, but then it sounded kind of whiney although totally true. So, I'll skip it for now.
The story began: "I'm continually amazed about the quantity and quality of stories around Rancho Santa Fe, Olivenhain, Del Dios, etc. that go unreported and unrecognized..."
And away we go...
Ranch Deli Market has put the market in Ranch Deli big-time. Landmark -- and four-star rated in the informal dining world -- Fairbanks Ranch Deli has blown up like a Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Balloon glomming over the space occupied by the Farm Fresh Market convenience store.
The deli is a well-known way-station dating to 1984. It's at 16236 San Dieguito Road., otherwise known as Fairbanks Village Building # 2-13. The expansion doubled the size of the dining area as well as added wine and sundry sales.
Farm Fresh Market always was a bit of a misnomer. Oddly out of sync with this, the most upscale of areas
I've spoken to Gracie a few times over the years and have so much respect for her it's funny, since I don't usually think much of...well, anyway, this lady so has it together I'm sorry we're not married. So there, I said it.
Sadly, however, she closed her Del Rayo Village store after a dozen years, and after closing her Paseo Delicias shop last year. The shops were doing surprisingly well in these economic times, but Gracie wanted t take personal time to spend with family and such.
Joining the glorious heritage of the dearly departed Robyn Nussbaum Shoe Lounge, these two stores should be in the Fairbanks Ranch Merchants Hall of Fame as charter members.
Salutations and salute....
DUMPSTERS (DIVING OPTIONAL)
I've said it before and I've said it again. Rancho Santa Fe has the BEST of everything, including the BEST DUMPSTERS FOR DIVING IN THE WORLD.
Not only are these dumpsters state-of-the-art, they contain an incredible assortment of goodies from foodstuffs to financials. What's more they are totally unsullied by the horrible stench of poor -- UGGH POOR -- people rummaging through the goodies. These dumpsters are pure as melting Arctic iceberg water.
In my humble opinion, however, these particular dumpsters reign supreme. I am naming them the #1 dumpsters for diving in San Diego County and possibly the West Coast (haven't been to Montecito or Atherton lately).
A special Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News shout-out then. Do you recognize these dumpsters. the finest dumpsters in all the land. IF you do, we will be having a special flash mob meet-up there 4 p.m. Sunday, June 19. See ya there.
RANCHO SANTA FE FIRE STATION #3
This is your big boy. The $5 million uber-fire station and training facility at 6356 El Apajo, across the street from Helen Woodward Animal Center is WAY behind schedule and...Cool, but did you know there were some political shenanigans taking place behind the scenes, too. Maybe that has something to do with the delay. That story continues to develop and will be addressed later in June.
As for Fire Station #3, Rancho Santa Fe , we sing praises of thee...Once promised for May, May has gone and now the new date is when? Whenever they get round to it, I guess, they haven't provided an update. Oh well.
Lemon Twist now open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday at 8175 Del Dios Highway Rancho Santa Fe, CA 92067 - (858) 756-0826. Good stuff!
But what about this outrage?
I'm "outing" this "scoop" at the end since it's such a scandal, but a dumb scandal. The former proposed site for the ill-fated moronic 'The Lilian' mixed-BS development -- it went belly-up and couldnt get any county permits by the way -- has morphed and phoenix-like risen from its own ashes as THIS...Plaza de Acacias monstrosity. Same song, different verse. You will be reading it's unfiltered PR line soon enough at the Ecinitas Coast News and Rancho Santa Fe at Carmel Valley, San Diego Review, but this is the first of what it looks like and good luck to this piece of tomfakery.
YEAH THAT'S HOW WE ROLL! All for now folks....
Weight loss, how about real estate loss as Jenny Craig cuts Rancho Paseana sale price at Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.
Known as Rancho Paseana, the property's 229 acres include a ¾-mile racetrack, two guest houses, an olive orchard, five barns and a veterinarian's suite. Also for sale, for $9 million, is Ms. Craig's 3.4-acre gated estate in Rancho Santa Fe. On a bluff overlooking the equestrian estate, that property has a four-bedroom main house, gardens and a private car museum. That's a grand old place. Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News carried the Real Estalker's coverage of this continuing weigh house loss sage. For the coverage, visit here.
Mrs. Craig and her late husband, Sidney, co-founded the weight-loss company bearing her name. Jeff Hyland with Hilton & Hyland/Christie's International Real estate in Beverly Hills, shares the equestrian listing with Catherine Barry and Jason Barry of Barry Estates in Rancho Santa Fe. The Barrys also have the listing for the smaller property.
This is from the previous coverage of the "small" property at Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News. For the full scoop visit here...
Miz Craig and her deceased huzband/bidness partner Sidney founded the eponymous Jenny Craig weight loss and weight management system in Austrailia in the early 1980s and in the mid-1980s they exported their weight loss wares to the United States and around the world. In 2002 Mister and Missus Craig's lucrative diet plan enterprise was acquired by a private equity firm (MidOcean Partners) and in 2006 the company was sold to Nestlé in a deal worth approximately $600,00,000.
Your Mama does not know how much moolah Mister and Missus Craig pocketed from either transaction, but from the looks of their real estate holdings in the Rancho Santa Fe area, the company and the sale of said company was enormously profitable for the pashas of the low-cal pre-planned meal.
Certainly the Jenny Craig diet plan (or whatever it's called) has helped a lot of people down size their denims but the program is not without critics and controversies. At least one website dedicated to the fine art of dieting claims it costs a person to lose every single pound on the Jenny Craig weight reduction regimen. By the rudimentary calculations of Your Mama's bejeweled abacus, iffin a person needs/wants to lose 100 pounds–and there are an unnerving number of people who waddle the streets and clog up the drive-thrus at Mac-Donalds who need to lose 100 pounds–it'll cost them an astonishing eight thousand dollars.
State Superintendent Says Unequal Funding For Rancho Santa Fe School District And Other Basic Aid Districts Could Lead to Lawsuit...
By Joanne Faryon, KPBS and Kevin Crowe, Watchdog Institute
For a KPBS audio report on the issue go here...
In an interview, Torlakson responded to an ongoing investigation into K-12 education funding in California by KPBS and the Watchdog Institute, an investigative reporting nonprofit based at San Diego State University. The investigation has found a system of inequity: some districts in wealthy neighborhoods benefit from high property values and property taxes; districts in middle-class and poor neighborhoods rely on the state to make up for their falling property values and taxes, a losing proposition in today’s economy.
The Institute’s analysis of education funding data found that some districts have doubled per pupil spending because of increased local tax revenue.
Statewide, 125 basic aid districts have generated a combined $644 million in excess tax revenue. But, the increased funding per student varies greatly across the group, with one district bringing in an extra $4.85 per student while another has more than $13,000 in additional funding to spend per student.
“There are certainly big differences between the resources for various communities, that’s a fact,” said Randolph Ward, San Diego County Superintendent of Schools.
In a 1968 case, Serrano v. Priest, the California Supreme Court ordered the state to address the gap in funding between schools in poor neighborhoods and those in wealthy communities, which could raise more money from property taxes.
In an effort to close that education funding gap, the state introduced revenue limits in 1972, which put a ceiling on how much money schools could raise.
Then, the passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 caused property tax revenues to drop. Most neighborhoods didn’t – and still don’t – raise enough money in local property taxes to reach their school revenue limit. So, the state has made up the difference.
But, rising property values and state cuts to education funding have once again created a widening gap between rich and poor districts.
“Some districts, very few, about 124 or so in 2009-2010, have more than enough property taxes to meet their entitlement,” said Margaret Weston, an analyst with the Public Policy Institute of California. “They used to be called basic aid, and now we tend to call them excess tax districts.”
The excess tax districts get to keep the extra tax revenue and can spend it on students.
Revenue limit funds typically make up about 70 percent of a district’s funding. The rest comes from a mix of categorical funds, grants and stimulus funds.
At least eight excess tax districts districts statewide – two of which are located in San Diego – more than doubled their revenue limit spending per pupil through excess revenues. Rancho Santa Fe received an additional $5,871per student over the $4,963 state-determined revenue limit, and Solana Beach brought in $5,080 per student more than its $4,965 revenue limit.
Carmel Unified in Monterey County topped the list with an additional $13,094 per student over the $5,208 revenue limit.
More than one-third of the districts are located in the bay area, and eight are located in San Diego County.
But not all basic aid districts are swimming in funds. Santa Barbara Elementary School District received an additional $4.85 per pupil based on local tax revenues, and San Dieguito Union High got an additional $111 per student. In all, thirteen districts received less than $200 per student in additional funding.
For per-pupil figures, the Institute examined excess tax districts with at least 500 students average daily attendance.
A bill that aims to clarify district financials and simplify school funding is making its way through the state legislature. The bill, AB-18, would base funding on the needs of a district, rather than outdated spending formulas. Torlakson said he is in favor of the legislation.
“I think a wiser way to go is to look at the increase in revenues that come back in to the state budget and differentially target those increased revenues towards the districts that are at the low end of the totem pole,” he said.
State and local education officials have known about the inequities created by basic aid districts, but have been at a loss for what to do about them. They’ve cut funding to the districts twice. The 2009-2010 cuts totaled $104 million.
According to the independent Legislative Analyst’s office, the state has the power to redistribute funds among districts within a county. But Torlakson said that’s not the solution.
“That’s just going to create turmoil and conflict between legislators from different regions of the state and between school districts in different regions of the state,” he said.
State of California-mandated Solana Beach affordable housing is not just a river in Egypt, according to officials...
(Photo: Solana Beach-supplied artist's conception of "The Pearl" proposed mixed-use affordable housing project.)
Faced with state of California-mandated affordable housing requirements, Solana Beach officials Wednesday unveiled a mixed-use development project proposal called "The Pearl" that would add 10 apartments and 1,300-square foot market. The apartments would house an estimated 44 residents.
That leaves only another 130 to 135 affordable housing units to go before 2020.
Solana Beach officials held a sparsely attended workshop detailing the first small steps towards affordable housing for Solana Beach-kind. The proposed site at South Sierra Avenue, just north of Via de la Valle is a parking lot on the bluffs above Highway 101.
A public-private development partnership with developer Ginger Hitzke will go threesies with a cherry on top with three each of 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, 3-bedroom apartments topped by the exclusive -- albeit "affordable" -- 4-bedroom suite. Families of four who make between $27,500 and $48,700 per year would be eligible to apply. Solana Beach’s is $78,500.
As per the general Solana Beach NIMBYism, a few residents of the neighborhood kind called the project "completely inappropriate for our neighborhood."
Interim City Manager David Ott -- he "retired" in September 2010 -- was quoted as saying, “Low-income housing has to be throughout the community to integrate with the whole community,”
Said councilman Dave Roberts, according to sources, the project was a “gift that fell into this community’s hands that would help the city avoid costly lawsuits for violating state housing rules as well as provide housing for local teachers and police officers.
MORE ON DAVID OTT'S INTERIM CONTRACT WITH SOLANA BEACH
Solana Beach City Manager David Ott, who announced last month that he would retire at the end of the year, has agreed to stay on into 2011 to help the city transition to his eventual replacement.
Ott, 56, said last month that “personal circumstances” led to his decision to leave his position as of Dec. 30. He will serve on in an at-will, interim basis from Jan. 1 through June 30. His agreement has the potential for two 180-day extensions. Ott will earn $78 an hour, have a monthly vehicle allowance of $450 and a cell phone allowance of $50. He will not receive any medical, dental or retirement benefits, saving the city an estimated $84,000.
Real Estalker Celebrity Musings: Liz Taylor, Joan Collins, The Beckhams, Prince and their real estate stuff, stuff...
1. The executor(s) of Dame Elizabeth Taylor's estate have reportedly heaved her house in Bel Air on the market with an asking price of $8,600,000. No official listing has hit the interweb but according to the Wall Street Journal Miz Taylor acquired the gated 1.2 acre estate and the approximately 7,000 square foot ranch-style house in 1981. It has previously been owned by Nancy Sinatra Sr.
The house has 5 bedrooms including a master lined with Dame Elizabeth's signature lavender, the color of her eyes, don'tcha know. The living room has a beamed ceiling and an office was fashioned from a former screening room.
The grounds include a swimming pool, koi pond, hothouse for growing orchids and a terraced English garden.
Your Mama suspects this house will be snatched up by a developer before it ever hits the open market, knocked down and replaced with something more than twice its since. Such is the residential real estate "progress" in the 90201 and 90077.
2. Joan Collins, the lacquered lady best known as Alexis Carrington on the 1980s evening soap story Dynasty, has put her New York City apartment on the market with an asking price of $2,895,000 with monthly maintenance of $2,914.
The 1,900 square foot combination spread at The Dorchester building on E. 57th Street has 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, hardwood floors throughout and a lot of 1980s day-core that includes–horror or horrors–black mini blinds in the Barbie pink-colored den, a zebra-striped sofa and ottoman in the living room and–natch–a Blackamoor statue or two.
According to the New York Post Miz Collins had a going away party at the apartment attended by a bunch of old ladies like Arlene Dahl and a gaggle of gays that included Alan Cumming and Bravo's Andy Cohen.
3. According to the Daily Mail Victoria and David Beckham have leased an ocean front house in Malibu, CA to the monetary tune of more than $60,000 per month.
Listing information shows the newly built and boxy contemporary sits on 1.1 bluff-top acres, measures 10,180 square feet and includes a total of 7 bedrooms, 5.5 bathrooms divided between a main and guest house.
Glass panels open the house to the ocean view balconies, backyard terraces, a 50-foot long swimming pool, spa and shallow lawn the runs to the edge of the steep bluff that tumbles down to the sand.
30 Rock's Jack McBrayer Buys House in the Hills
YOUR MAMAS NOTES: Emmy nominated actor/comedian JackMcBrayer began exercising his southern-accented funny bone in the mid-1990s with The Second City Theatre in Chicago where he first came into contact with comedy's reigning queen Tina Fey.MiztoobMcBrayerParcelldeMcBrayerTalladegavee
In the early- to mid-naughts, long before Miz Fey's boob-toobjuggernaut 30 Rock ever hit the airwaves, Mister McBrayer created and honed his bubbly, wide-eyed and simpleminded NBC page character Kenneth Parcell on The Conan O'Brien Show. Eventually that character, a quirky half-witted hillbilly who goes to New York with stars in his eyes and a bus ticket home in his pocket, wound up on Tina Fey's tour de sitcom force, a turn of showbiz events that earned him fame, fortune and legions of fervent fans. Mister McBrayerhas also appeared in the films Talladega and Forgetting Sarah Marshall as well as on a number of tee-vee programs including Arrested Development and Phineas and Ferb..
Given that 30 Rock tapes in New York City it seems strange that the Macon, Georgia-born Mister McBrayer would want or need a multi-million dollar house in Tinseltown but, according to our eerily well-informed celebrity real estate whistle blower Lucy Spillerguts, MisterMcBrayer recently plunked down $1,975,000 for a fully-rehabbed residence in the Hollywood Hills above the historic and charming Beachwood Canyon neighborhood.
The "contemporary" but architecturally unremarkable residence, according to listing information we cajoled from the interweb, measures 2,594 square feet over two floors and includes 3 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. The nearly one-third acre hillside property recently underwent an extensive two-year overhaul during which the hillside at the back of the house was re-engineered and a large retaining wall added that created a flat promontory with million dollar views of the surrounding canyons, the Hollywood Sign, Griffith Observatory and downtown. Say what you will about Los Angeles but living in LalaLand with a view like this house has is akin to living in Chicago with a view of the lake or in Brooklyn with a distant view on Manhattan.
A front-facing two-car garage dominates the narrow street frontage. The somewhat awkward entry to the house is around the side through a see-through gate that swings opens to staggering views and a wide terrace that continues past the front door and wraps around the back of the house. Iffin Your Mama were to have overhauled this house we would have done this front area differently with a walled courtyard entry that would not only provide additional semi-private outdoor space but also a gratifying sense of drama and anticipation as the eye is drawn through the courtyard to the front door and the dynamic and iconic views.
The main living space, a glass-lined living/dining room with powerful city views, connects to the updated and upgraded kitchen through a wide doorway. The honey-colored hardwood floors in the living/dining room run into the cozy but well-arranged kitchen that includes a vintage range, built-in wine fridge, pantry storage, a center work island and flat-fronted cabinets with nipple-like knobs. A day-dreamy corner window that allows the dishwasher to ponder the iconic Hollywood sign as they scrub the devil out of the frying pan.
A bank of cabinets perfect for storing bongs and board games surrounds the staircase to the lower level where a celebrity-sized master suite has a hookah lounge-sized sitting area wrapped in windows with panoramic views. Mister McBrayer's new boo-dwarincludes a walk-in closet and bathroom with double sinks, separate soaking tub, frameless glass shower with multiple shower heads and a separate cubby for the terlit. The walls into which the sinks are sunk in the master bathroom are papered with a shiny silver wall covering printed with over-scaled white flowers. Nobody loves shiny like Your Mama loves shiny so, in theory, silver wallpaper makes us pee with decorative glee. However this particular choice of wallpaper feels a little forced and trendy, particularly when paired with that snippet of electric apple green paint that surrounds the doorway into the closet.
Thankfully, a spiral staircase connects the second level living spaces with the lower level backyard, otherwise Mister McBrayer's pool party guests would be required to traipse through his private quaters in order to get from the kitchen to the pool and spa. A shallow covered patio directly off the master bedroom's sitting area looks like it barely provides any real shade. Pity that because it's damn sunny in Southern California and shade is a desirable feature for all but the most viciously over-tanned. The concrete patio extends halfway around the amoebic glass tiled swimming pool where it abruptly ends and becomes a narrow strip of lawn large enough only for small to mid-size pooches to do their dirty bizness. The strip of grass wraps around the remainder of the pool and the raised circular spa that can both be light in a variety of theatrical colors including lavender. To be honest, puppies, Your Mama isn't entirely positive that the spa is not at least partially visible from a couple of the nearby houses so it may not be the best place for Mister McBrayer to get romantic with whomever it is he gets romantic with. However, if your idea of relaxation is wallowing in a vat of near boiling water like you're a damn carrot in a stew than this is probably a perfectly impressive and glittery spa in which to do it.
Based on a few short minutes of entirely unscientific research and a leg up from a New York City-based editor, Your Mama is pretty sure that Mister McBrayer's New York City crib, a one bedroom and one bathroom condo in a fairly new and architecturally undistinguished building near Lincoln Center, was purchased in August of 2008 for $1,350,000.
Soap opera continues at Whispering Palms, Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. now playing in EIR form at San Dieguito Planning Group on June 9.
Whispering Palms soap opera continues due to play out, or act out depending on one's viewpoint -- This time before the San Dieguito Planning Group following an appearance at Vista Superior Court...
It is the neighborhood controversy that will not die. Whispering Palms once again goes center stage at yet another agency as local planners consider Richard Cavanaugh's long-standing plan to build something, anything, at the giant vacant lot at his luxury development. However, his demeanor, past history of conflict with homeowners, and controversial plans to put in condos, rental units and even continuing care facilities has raised hackles, lawsuits and the usual suspicions.
The latest: Cavanaugh's environmental impact report for the project, attached here in pdf form. Interested parties have until June 15 to tell planners what the heck they think.
The Wild Wild West of Deadwood and Dodge City had nothing on Whispering Palms.
Perhaps a Joseph Heller screenplay with a splash of Thomas Pynchon novel tossed in the mix could do the place justice.
Move over Peyton Place, Pine Valley and Port Charles. Whispering Palms is in da house. And this time, there’s no Erica Kane on a forklift to clear the way.
In the latest chapter of 'As Whispering Palms Burns,' Vista Superior Court Judge Earl H. Maas III ruled controversial Whispering Palms developer Richard Cavanaugh's long-desired mixed-use project at the vacant 4.3-acre lot at the community's entrance had to go back to ye olde drawing board.
Prompted by a 2007 lawsuit from Whispering Palms residents at odds with Cavanaugh, Maas ruled the project lacked a full environmental impact report, despite the project's approval by San Diego County Supervisors. Maas found the traffic impact section of the report to be inadequate.
Cavanaugh's attorney Wayne Bechtel said the developer would prepare that report although the previous report was done properly.
Cavanaugh’s proposal to develop the final 4.3-acre open space parcel at the community’s only entrance/exit includes a mixed-use commercial center featuring 9,600-square-feet of retail space, 19,500-square-feet of office space and 54 apartments, each 900-square-feet.
Before the mixed-use proposal, Cavanaugh sought to build an assisted living facility at the vacant lot raising the community's wrath and opposition. County officials rejected this concept.
The property as now constituted represents a prominent eyesore dating back to the inception of the development in the mid-1960s.
The parcel has been zoned commercial for quite a while. All Cavanaugh lacks is that environmental report which will allow him to secure a grading permit before he can proceed.
Well, a grading permit and the cooperation of Whispering Palms residents who threaten noisy opposition and litigation should he proceed with plans.
Not that residents oppose development of that hallowed piece of empty ground. Indeed, they want it to become something useful and attractive in the worst way.
There’s just this Cavanaugh thing. Residents say he promised a smaller commercial development at Palma de la Reina with fewer, larger homeowner-owned condominiums rather than his proposed rental apartments. Cavanaugh says whatever he proposes will be opposed by residents because they hate him.
Although the judge focused on traffic impacts in his ruling, Brechtel said the environmental impact report will have to address all aspects of the project, along with public comments. That draft report was submitted to the San Dieguito Planning Group and will be considered June 9, 2011.
Pat Boone Salute at Tommy V's on Thursday. Be There or Be Square. Exclusive Interview...
It’s hard to say the name Pat Boone without attaching the word legendary. That is truly the correct description of Pat’s career, which includes 45 million albums sold, 38 Top 40 hits and appearances in several Hollywood movies. His talent as a singer and actor, combined with his old-fashioned values, contributed to his popularity in the early days of rock and roll and continue to this day.
According to Billboard, Pat Boone was the second biggest charting artist of the late 1950s, behind only Elvis Presley. He is ranked at No. 9 in its listing of the Top 100 Top 40 Artists 1955-1995 and Pat Boone still holds the Billboard record for spending 220 consecutive weeks (that’s over 4 years) on the charts with more than one song. Pat continues to perform today and he enjoys speaking as a motivational speaker, a television personality, a conservative political commentator and even a preacher on occasion.
Pat will be the very special guest for the aptly-named “An Evening with Pat Boone and Friends” on Thursday, May 26th at Tommy V’s restaurant in Del Mar. He will share some thoughts, sing a few songs and join local favorites, The North Coast Quintet (featuring members The Joe Satz Trio) on stage as the entertainment for the evening. The Event will celebrate America and our military both past and present, with proceeds benefiting Ryan’s Reach, one of the many charities Pat supports, plus the Rancho Santa Fe Rotary Club, known for the many worthwhile causes they support.
Pat Boone Exclusive Interview
We caught up with Pat at his office on famous Sunset Boulevard where he shared some thoughts and a few of his many stories.
Q: You look great! I can’t believe how busy you are; it’s been so hard to track you down. Tell our readers what you been up to lately.
Pat: My wife has been begging me to think about retirement for a few years now because certainly I’m around retirement age (laughs), but I still feel very vigorous and vital and energetic. And I still think of myself as 30, 35. I still play singles tennis – real hot, competitive tennis – with a kid. He’s only 73 or 74. I’m 76.
I tell my wife and others, my problem is I know how to spell “n-o,” I just can’t pronounce it. I just keep saying yes to almost everything that anybody asks me to do because I see it’s a good thing. I think, “Well maybe I can wedge that into my schedule.” And as a result I find myself constantly on the go with a tremendous diversity of things.
I’ve been writing weekly columns for World Net Daily and News Max and have been recording still. I have a recording company featuring other performers, other business investments, as well as working with all kinds of charitable endeavors. Plus, I still try to wedge in some tennis and golf and spend time with grandkids too. It’s such a busy active life, at least for me, seems to keep me younger instead of wearing me out.
Q: Let’s go back a few years. At the tender age of 20 you started recording. You had your 1st #1 single in 1955…
Pat: Yes, I had my first #1 single in 1955. It was my second record. The first record was a top 10 million-seller called “Two Hearts, Two Kisses.” I recorded that one when I was 20, maybe 21. The second record in 1955 was “Ain’t That a Shame.” It was a million-seller and went to #1. The next record was a song called “Crazy Little Mama (At My Front Door).” I was doing nothing but Rock and Roll at that point. It was Rhythm and Blues done more Pop, but still really Rock.
I find hard to believe myself, but from March of ‘55 when I made my first record, to February of ’56, I had 6 million-selling singles. And two of them were #1s. The other #1 after “Ain’t That a Shame” was “I’ll Be Home,” it was also a Flamingos’ hit in the R&B field. I did a Pop version of it. That came out just before Elvis hit with “Heart Break Hotel.” I thank God I had an eleven month head start with two #1s and a few million-sellers. It helped me weather the Presley ‘storm.’ A lot of other singers went by the wayside in that time.
Q: Tell us how everything changed in that year for you.
Pat: Starting in ‘55 and right through ‘58 when I graduated from Columbia University with honors, Magna Cum Laude, it was a whirl wind. I was on the cover of TV Guide in my cap and gown. I had already done several big movies and had already started the weekly Pat Boone Chevy Showroom TV show. Chevrolet had sponsored my show, sometimes #1 in the Nielson Ratings. I was married with four children at 23. All of that set the tone for the rest of my life. I’ve never been able to catch up.
Q: You’re very humble, but I read some data on a survey back then that among High School students you were a 2-to-1 favorite over Elvis among boys and were preferred 3-to-1 by girls. I think you held your own in that period of time. And you were busy with children and a family. Talk briefly about the challenges that presented.
Pat: Well, God bless my wife. Shirley is one of the great blessings of my life. We married at 19 and by the time we were 23 we had four children. I probably should have been jailed, or neutered, but Shirley had this strength. She even had a ‘show biz’ background because of her father Red Foley who is a country music legend. Shirley helped me weather the storm and help me do everything I had to do and still be an active daddy, involved with my kids. We just found the ways to keep getting everything done, and using every second and every minute of every day. We made sure that included family time and togetherness.
We were always in church Sunday mornings, Sunday nights, and Wednesday nights. I was a congregational song leader, sometimes Sunday School teacher, and that facet of our lives is what helped us keep our heads on straight with all the glamour, the money, the girls screaming, the success. I knew because of my family roots and our involvement in our church that all the other stuff was superficial. It was wonderful and we appreciated it greatly, and I enjoyed it, but my real life was with my wife and my girls.
When we were all on the cover of all the teen magazines it was amazing to me that the teenage kids and girls would still scream when I walked on stage with my white buck shoes, knowing I was married and having a child a year. I wasn’t available but I think that they saw in me something they aspired to. I was somebody that was living by the rules and winning. On the other hand, Elvis seemed to be breaking a lot of the rules and winning big. Elvis appealed to a different instinct in us; he was fascinating. We were two Tennessee boys living different lifestyles and both succeeding.
Q: Was it love at first sight with you and Shirley?
Pat: It was for both of us, but at different times. She remembers when we first met. We were 13. I was playing American Legion Ball when a girl that was a friend of hers and a girl I thought was pretty cute introduced me to Shirley. But I was more interested in a hot grounder, not a hot date, so I didn’t really remember that meeting.
Three years later, when we were 16, she transferred to our high school. This time I saw her in the hallway talking to the captain of our basketball team and I walked up and asked to be introduced to this girl. We started holding hands right away and we still are, almost 60 years later.
Q: What’s the secret to almost 60 years of marriage?
Pat: Shirley and I made commitments not just to each other when we got married at 19. We knew even then that we would meet obstacles, that there would be pressures. We actually got married as young as we did because her dad was moving to Springfield, Missouri and was going to take his family with him. I couldn’t stand to let her go. She didn’t want us to be apart either. So we asked for his permission and he gave it tearfully. We got married. We eloped, I say. But she says, “We didn’t elope, you asked my dad’s permission.” But I didn’t ask my parents. They had just said, “Not on your life. Get your college education and then you think about getting married.” So we didn’t ask them. So I like to say we “half-eloped.”
As far as the secret to a good, long marriage, it is the commitment we made to God as well as to each other. It was “till death do us part, for better or worse, in sickness and in health.” It was all of those things. As we had kids so young in our lives, even when we met the stresses and strains of the entertainment business and all that goes with it, it was looking at our kids, being involved in our church life, knowing we had made commitments to God, knowing He had made commitments to us and to our marriage; that helped us greatly to weather the storms that are inevitable.
Q: Your girls have performed, you have recorded them, produced them, sung with them. That had to present some challenges. Talk about the family performance dynamic.
Pat: Well, as a performer in the middle of my career, I saw my four daughters all becoming teenagers. They are only a few years apart, so they would all be teenagers at once. They were pretty teenage girls. I had been a boy, so I knew there were going to be boys flocking around wanting to peel off my daughters too soon. So Shirley and I formed a family act that became the Pat Boone Family. And for seven years, my four daughters, who sing beautifully, performed in Las Vegas, on TV specials, on Bob Hope’s and Glen Campbell’s shows, and many others. We also had our own series and specials. We were a family act. That was not something a pop singer would normally do – bring his wife and four kids on stage and even record with them. But it kept my pretty teenage girls in sight at all times and we had a lot of fun doing it.
Some may consider me overly protective. Okay, I was. But they all met wonderful guys and married them, eventually, when they broke through my defenses. And we’ve had 15 wonderful grandkids now as a result. It was a great blessing. Not everyone can do that, but for me as an entertainer it was a tremendous blessing.
Q: You’re starting a one man show. What can fans expect in your show?
Pat: I have started something new after all these years. It’s really what Cary Grant was doing in the last couple years of his life. He would walk on stage and show film clips from his movies and talk about some of the behind the scene stories he experienced working with people like Sophia Loren and Frank Sinatra. The last night of his life he had just done one of those elegant nights. He walked off stage and an hour later had died. The applause were still ringing in his ears, I’m sure.
Now that’s not what I’m looking for, but I am doing something similar called “Music and Memories.” It’s a night like that except in my case I’ve got more than just movie clips. I’ve worked with Ann Margret and Debbie Reynolds. I’ll show scenes from the movies and musical scenes especially. I will also show clips from my television shows. So instead of just seeing me for the evening you’ll be seeing Nat Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Count Basie, and on and on. I also sing live with a pianist.
I won’t just show the great moments from my career either. I have also decided to show the other side as well. I’ll show some of my most embarrassing moments on television. I show the audience those clips and bring them into the moments in my life from which I’ve recovered. At least I think I have. I let the audience ask questions as well. It is a happy and informal night, highlighting some of the great moments and some of the embarrassing moments of my career.
Q: You’ve really done it all in your career. You are a hit singer, variety show host, product spokesman, record producer… What’s your favorite job description?
Pat: I’m at a time in my life where I’ve enjoyed everything that I’ve had the privilege to do: movies, television, and recording – which I love the most. When I walk into a studio and stand in front of the microphone with some great musicians and some good songs, it is up to me to create something right there on the spot. Once it’s done, it’s permanent. The recording is a legacy. I’ve recorded some 1500 songs of all types, more diverse than any other singer. I am in the gospel music hall of fame. And if I had to choose one kind of music to sing it would be gospel music because I know I’m going to keep on singing that kind of song from here on out. I’m going to sing that kind of song for eternity. Singing songs is always meaningful to me. Some songs I write myself to express what is important to me. These songs seem to communicate emotionally with others. What I do these days is much more personal than just performance.
And also what I truly enjoy the most are situations like the one we’re doing in Del Mar where I get to give some testimony about my faith and what has motivated me. I want to share that with people who are looking for guidelines in their lives and ways to make it through the turbulence and the uncertainty. Plus, as you know, I have such a strong heart for this country so to be honoring the military means so much to me. Plus, thanks to the generous giving spirit of the Sexton Advisory Group and The Financial Knowledge Institute, we’ll be generating money for some very worthy causes.
Q: Pat thanks so much for your time. I know a lot of folks are looking forward to attending “An Evening with Pat Boone and Friends” on May 26th in Del Mar, to not only celebrate our great country, but have the opportunity of meeting you in person as well.
Pat: Well I know I’m looking forward to it.
Join Pat Boone, North Coast Jazz Quintet (featuring members of the Joe Satz Trio), and others to celebrate our military and veterans on Memorial Day!
Event Proceeds go to Rancho Santa Fe Rotary Club and Other Charities
Every guest will be treated to:
VIP Tickets include Meet & Greet with Pat Boone & Wine Tasting with Sommelier Gino Campbell. All VIP will receive a $25 gift card to Tommy V's. Cost: Additional $19.95
VIP event begins @ 6:30pm, Doors open @ 6:00pm
Space is Limited. Reserve Today:
BRIEF MESSAGE ABOUT WHAT'S HAPPENIN' NOW: State of the state at Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. News by Dan Weisman...
However, to make ends meet, I have had to take on freelance copywriting jobs. As much as my landlord loves Rancho Santa Fe and Del Dios, he also does not accept ad space in lieu of rent.
This is the only source for legitimate information and journalism about the community and will continue.
In fact, as those who have followed the "war" between the Encinitas Coast News and Gilroy-owned Rancho Santa Fe Review at Carmel Valley know, both print outlets have been hemorrhaging money for years due to poor content, no readership, huge overhead and despicably, poor management. They now have turned against each other with threats of blackmail and litigation in a cat fight to the death.
The point is these two faux outlets will be out of business much sooner than later and Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News will be the only community journalism outlet moving forward.
HOWEVER PART TWO: Quality journalism needs a little, and a relatively amazingly little, quality funding
Despite some fine advertisers, whose banner and mid-rise ads we proudly display -- patronize them please, people -- these ads alone have not paid the rent.
Many people come up to me on a daily basis and say how much they enjoy Ah-Ha Rancho Santa Fe News and appreciate the effort. Many of these people are millionaires living in amazing estates, driving around very fine vehicles.
Now, if you want to talk about trickle-down economic theory, wake up call. It's not too late, but understand if you want quality to continue, it only takes AS MUCH MONEY AS ONE MEAL AT DELICIAS OR MILLE FLEURS from a few special people to make it so.
With that said, the tremendous, unique, invitation-only beta test content management system we use is going to change. The founder left the company last year and they have phased out operations. Through my contacts as a fellow at Knight Digital Media Center, University of Southern California, we have an equally exciting, state-of-the-art CMS lined up and ready to go.
Exporting all of this web site -- and I mean ALL of this site -- and transferring material to the new site will take a period of time. I am estimating it at two weeks, but do not know for sure. So, there will be a brief disruption in information level....
...The fact is this site can continue indefinitely due to low overhead and cutting edge web journalism techniques. But it will take money -- and we're talking maybe $100 a day -- to do all the amazing things for the community that are possible.
It will get done one way or another, but that's the tale of the site through June. We got a lot of stuff here and I will be posting when time allows, so ENJOY!
” Let’s Cook Together” at The Rancho Santa Fe, Calif. Garden Club with California Greek Girl, Mary Papoulias-Platis...
Welcome to my cooking classes!
Just recently I have partnered with the Rancho Santa Fe Garden Club to teach and direct a new culinary program for the community. My goal and emphasis for the program is to build a relationship with our community by scheduling educational programs, introducing new foods, and experiencing the practice of ”eating daily as close to our homes” as our motto. Our menu will represent what is in season locally from our nearby farmers as the source of our class ingredients which will support and encourage our farmers to continue bringing us farm fresh ingredients to our tables.
We are beginning a C.S.A. (Community Supported Agriculture) delivery with Suzie’s Farm for our neighbors, also purchasing locally from our organic health-food stores, and in the future building a children’s program for our younger audience. I ‘m just thrilled to have the opportunity to organize and develop my own program of inspiring events, involving the talents of our local writers, chefs, and artists surrounding our beautiful city.
My joy will be when we can gather together for a meal and enjoy many “culinary discussions around the open table”. The center began from the garden community in town as far back as 1926 and many of my classes will continue to be focused around the family garden. A few classes I will be teaching include the use of herbs in our daily dishes, vegetables grown from our gardens, and seasonal fruits and berries for your summer entertaining. The complete class schedule will be available soon. Classes are scheduled to begin May 10th, every Tuesday morning at 11:00 and Thursday evening at 6:30 in the kitchen.
More about Mary Papoulias-Platis
Mary stayed in Southern California to pursue a college education. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a teaching credential, and a Master in Computer Education. She has always been most passionate about teaching students how to read and write. Mary has taught many years in North County San Diego, and over the years has continued to create innovative ways of engaging her students. One of her favorite tactics is to include cooking classes into her lesson plan!
In addition to her teaching career, Mary opened the first children’s bookstore in North County San Diego called “The Reading Patch”. Here, she held author signings, live events, art classes, and wrote a children’s newsletter that was sent out to the local teachers and parents. While Mary has enjoyed her many years as an educator, she has also loved being a chef.
More than 15 years ago she combined her love of cooking with her entrepreueial skills to become Co-Owner and executive chef of the Greek Gourmet, a family run concession business and catering business. Her successful business has provided Mary with an array of opportunities to express her culinary talents, as well as the perfect outlet to provide her community with fine Greek Cuisine. Mary is currently working on her first collection of recipes for her first Greek cookbook. Mary’s blog is about her travels along the beautiful California coastline, as well as her enjoyment of Greek cooking, gardening, and the lifestyle that she has created with her family and friends over the years.
You can reach me for special engagements, food demonstrations, cooking classes, or catering events at: Thme4Mary@sbcglobal.net.