A Final Word on Harry and Meghan’s Montecito Estate

••• Signage has gone up at the Mar Monte Hotel at 1111 E. Cabrillo, formerly known as the Hilton Centric. I assume Monte is pronounced Spanish: mohn-tay.

••• From UCSB: “Rising junior swimmer Dan Marella has organized and will be completing a 10-mile ocean swim on Saturday, August 15, in support of Covid-19 relief for Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital. […] Money raised will support two funds, the first of which will go toward Covid Home Kits, which provide essential supplies for individuals who test positive but don’t need to be admitted to the hospital. […] The second fund will support Cottage Hospital employees from double-income and frontline worker households who require additional income for child-care and other unexpected expenses arising during the pandemic. […] Donations of any size are welcome and can be made by clicking here, designating Cottage Emergency Response Fund, and tribute the gift to Daniel’s Fight Against Covid Swim. Or swim a mile or more with Dan for a contribution of $100 per mile.” For the latter, email [email protected] or call/text 805-453-0917. And in case you’re not a swimmer, trust me when I say that 10 miles is a lot of ocean swimming.

••• The cops told the Montecito Association that the recent burglary of Ellen Degeneres’s and Portia de Rossi’s house was likely an inside job.

••• From Lotusland: “It’s been a long journey, but our Japanese Garden is almost finished, the wood pavilion is open, and the benches are installed.”

••• From the city: “The City of Santa Barbara has released a Draft Sea-Level Rise Adaptation Plan for public review. The draft plan identifies areas of the City that are vulnerable to up to 6.6 feet of sea-level rise and recommends actions to adapt over time. […] The plan provides detailed recommendations for necessary actions in the near-term (approximately the next ten years) and a structure for future decision-making in the mid- and long-term (beyond ten years).  Some of the near-term actions recommended include: developing a Shoreline Monitoring Program with other regional agencies; increasing beach nourishment and formation of sand berms or dunes at East Beach, Leadbetter Beach, and Arroyo Burro Beach; relocating or flood-proofing sewer mains and other infrastructure currently located along the Waterfront; replacing the Laguna Creek Tide Gate and Pump Station that currently function to keep high tidal waters from flooding the low-lying areas of downtown; raising the Harbor breakwater and groins, which protect the City’s Harbor, West Beach, and Santa Barbara City College; and help retain sand along Waterfront beaches; modifying regulations to require additional flood proofing of new development and redevelopment in areas south of Highway 101 that could experience increased levels of flooding with sea-level rise.”

••• Unless they start flipping houses, this is the last I’ll write about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex: their $14.65 million house is on 5.4 acres in Montecito, and if you like, you can read more about it on Page Six and the Daily Mail. He never chose fame and has no clear way out of it, so I encourage all of us to leave them alone and, if you see one in the wild, smile beneath your mask and keep moving. That said, I do hope their desire for a “normal” life excludes a disruptive security presence around town. And while I sympathize with their efforts to keep their new address a secret, part of me does find it hypocritical to want to be like everyone else while still reaping benefits of fame—such as getting the county assessor to wipe your address from its database of transactions (see here and here). P.S. I spat Grape-Nuts across the kitchen when I read about the real estate agent who said of Montecito, “It’s not unusual to run into Oprah Winfrey at the grocery store.”


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