Friday, July 27, 2012

Opa! Be Greek on July 28 and 29th

Santa Barbara Greek Festival
11 am - 7 pm

Oak Park

Santa Barbara's 38th Annual Greek Festival
Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31, 2011

[Blue dome on Greek church]Santa Barbara's Annual Greek Festival is taking place from 11 am to 7 pm on Saturday, July 30 and Sunday, July 31, 2011 in beautiful Oak Park. The festival evokes the sights, sounds and tastes that define the traditional Greek way of life. Stroll through Santa Barbara's beautiful Oak Park, and experience the simple pleasures of life in a Greek village.
Dozens of volunteers enthusiastically staff their booths, creating a convivial, welcoming atmosphere. Festival-goers return year after year for the food. — Delectable festival favorites like gyros and moussaka. And no Greek village would be complete without homemade pastries from Yiayia's traditional recipes: baklava, melomakarona, and kataifi are just a few of the sweet treats to delight you.
Listen to the distinctive sounds of the bouzouki and other exotic instruments played by authentic Greek musicians who perform traditional and popular songs. Delight in the beauty of the elaborate costumes worn by performers as they share their carefully practiced steps and intricate dances with the enthusiastic audience.
Take advantage of a free Greek dance lesson, and enjoy participating in the same dances you would perform in the traditional villages of Greece. Dance the afternoon away, eat a little (or a lot), shop in the Greek marketplace, relax and enjoy yourself under the oaks in the warm embrace of the best Greek culture has to offer.
So maybe you can't make it all the way to Greece this year. The Santa Barbara Greek Festival is the next best thing to being there!

(all information and photos from Greek festival website)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Summer Concerts at Chase Palm Park, Thursdays

Free Thursday Evening Concerts
6 - 7:30 pm
Chase Palm Park
across from the Beach!
on Cabrillo Boulevard, Santa Barbara

July 19th
Hot Club Sandwich
Acoustic Swing and Gypsy Jazz

Bring your friends, family, a picnic 
and your dancing shoes, and
go to the great meadow at Chase
Palm Park for a fabulous free
concert! Dogs are welcome on a
leash.  Alcoholic beverages are not

Presented by the 
City of Santa Barbara
Park and Recreation Department 
and many generous sponsors!

for information call 805 897-1946

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The Wondrous Transformation of Caterpillars

Through September 3, 2012
Santa Barbara
Museum of Natural History
2559 Puesta del Sol

Learn about the life of and work of the remarkable 17th century artist and naturalist, Maria Sibylla Merian. For a woman of her era, she led an independent and productive life. She was the first artist to emphasize the life cycle of the butterfly and its interactions with a host plant from her book on European caterpillars in 1679 to her most famous work on the insects of Surinam in 1705. Besides creating visual images of great beauty, she made observations that revolutionized both botany and zoology.

As a young girl, Merian was fascinated by caterpillars. She collected and reared them, observing their changes as she took notes and made detailed drawings, trying to unravel the mystery of metamorphosis. Her diary entries reveal much about her time-consuming and intensive working methods. For more than fifty years she raised silkworms in glass jars and wooden boxes covered with gauze. Unusual for the time, she worked from life, trusting only her own observations.
Merian came from a family of entrepreneurs and saw art through the prism of business. She developed into an entrepreneur, a businesswoman who published her own books and traded in flower paintings, preserved butterflies, reptiles and painting materials.

In 1699 at the age of 52 she sold her paintings, household goods and personal affects to finance a trip to the Dutch Colony of Surinam on the coast of South America. She travelled with her daughter, Johanna. The two women spent two years in that inhospitable tropical climate collecting, rearing and painting the transformation of exotic insects. Back in Amsterdam in 1701, Merian commissioned the engraving of sixty plates based on her drawings. Her descriptions of insect metamorphosis were set in letterpress and bound with the hand-colored plates. She published the book from her home and studio and sold it on subscription.

Featured in the summer exhibit in the gallery are hand-colored engravings and counterproofs from the 1705 edition of The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Surinam as well as rare specimens from our Department of Entomology.

While you are there, be sure to visit

Butterflies Alive

Experience the magic of Butterflies Alive! as you walk through a beautiful garden filled with flowers, luscious greenery, and more than 1,000 free-flying butterflies. Watch as the butterflies flutter past you, and see them as they drink nectar from nearby flowers. Butterflies Alive! will offer many memorable opportunities, so bring your family, friends and cameras.

Entrance into exhibition included with Museum admission. Museum Members free; Non-members $11/adult, $8/senior, $8/teen, $7/child.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

National Flood Insurance Program Saved!

National Flood Insurance Program 
Saved by members of the
National Association of Realtors

Congress finally acted on one of 
the key legislative priorities of the National 
Association of Realtors Political Action 
Group: a 5-year re-authorization of the 
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). 

The 5-year re-authorization will bring certainty to
real estate transactions in more than 21,000 communities
nationwide where flood insurance  is required for
a mortgage.  The bill ensures the program will continue
long-term for more than 5.6 million business and
home owners who rely on it. 

Thanks to all the Realtors for their call to action!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wine, Food and Live Music! July 19, 20, 21

Santa Barbara's 9th Annual
California Wine Festival!

Thursday, July 19th
6:30 - 9 pm
Casa de la Guerra Courtyard
Old Spanish Nights Wine & Tapas
Great Wines, Appetizers
Flamenco Dancers, Live Music

Friday, July 20
4:30 - 6pm
Fess Parker's Double Tree Resort
Reserve Wines
Includes Riedel Wine Glass Set

Special WineAuction

Friday, July 20
6:30 - 9pm
Chase Palm Park Plaza (Carousel)
Sunset Rare and Reserve Wine Tasting
Champagne Reception, great wines, appetizers

Saturday, July 21
1-4 pm
(VIPs 11 am)
Chase Palm Park at the Beach
Beachside Food and Wine Fest
250+ Wines, Craft Beers
Appetizers, Cheeses, Live Music

Special Event:
2:30 at the main bandstand

Winner gets $10,000 prize at the 
"Cooking Challenge" against Emmy award-winning
foodie Mark DeCarlo!

Wine, food, music, sun and sea. Experience the quintessential 
California wine tasting and enjoy hundreds of California's 
finest vintage wines, delicious gourmet foods and lively music. 
Discover new wines at every Festival, find a new favorite and pair it 
with a dizzying variety of fresh gourmet appetizers like 
just-shucked oysters, sizzling bbqed meats, artisan breads, 
cheeses, olive oils and so much more. Enjoy an afternoon of 
unlimited fun, food and music – 
at the biggest wine festival under the sun!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Tuesdays Music At The Ranch - Summer Concerts

July 17th, 5:30 - 7:30pm
First of Summer Concert Series
Free Music Concerts 
at Rancho La Patera and Stow House

This Every Tuesday Music series brought in 
large crowds each week last year.
Families, friends and neighbors bring 
blankets, chairs and picnics
to enjoy these fun community oriented evenings.

These concerts are memory making 
Summer Evenings especially enjoyed by kids.

Rancho La Patera and Stow House is a popular venue 
for weddings and community events.
Just having completed their annual Old Fashioned
July 4th Celebration,
Rancho La Patera is geared up to party!

Line Up for the Six Week Series:

July 17th: Tony Ybarra - classical jazz, Latin and flamenco guitar
July 24: The Goodland - harmony driven folk, rock and reggae
July 31: Somos Son - traditional Cuban and contemporary salsa
August 7: MissBehavin - Latin, funk, reggae, R&B and a little County
August 14: Area 51 - Santa Barbara's favorite cover band
August 21: Spencer the Gardener - legendary mix of big band,indie and pop

(information and photos from Goleta Valley Historical Society) 

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Bastille Day - French Festival Returns to Santa Barbara

Come Celebrate Bastille Day
Saturday July 14, Sunday July 15th
11 am - 7 pm

Oak Park
300 West Alamar, SB
Free Admission

The Food! The Music! The Can-Can
The Poodles!

Bon Apetit!

France comes to Santa Barbara! Fresh baked french breads and pastries. Classic and nouvelle cuisine and regional specialties. Crepes, onion soup, quiche, pates, sausage, escargots, Cajun and French Moroccan food, salads and cheeses. Beer, wine, sparking Champagne. Orangina, Perrier, and frothy cafe au lait. Chef Michel Richard says it's like going to France without paying for it. 

The Favorite Event is the Poodle Parade
Sunday at 6:15
All kinds of poodles participate each year: we've seen pedigree world champions (a.k.a. “canine topiary”) to shaggy cockapoos. Sometimes Mademoiselle Pseudo-Poodle shows up (she's a great dane with big crêpe paper puffs).

The two day event is a family friendly venue at one of Santa Barbara's 
best Parks.  The Event offers entertainment, all day, both days, lots 
of arts and crafts vendors, music, costumes, dancing and lots of fun!
Tres French!

Here's how the 3.8 percent Medicare Tax formula works

New Medicare tax creates incentive for home sales
The Patient Protection And Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare") will affect everyone in the United States one way or another. But some people will be affected more than others. Among these are high income taxpayers. Starting in 2013, they will be subject to a brand new Medicare tax on their "unearned income."
Who is subject to the tax?
Starting in 2013, 3.8 percent a Medicare contributions tax will be imposed on the lesser of (1) the taxpayer's net investment income, or (2) any excess of modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) over $200,000 ($250,000 for married taxpayers filing jointly). Thus, all single taxpayers with MAGI over $200,000 and married taxpayers with MAGI over $250,000 will be subject to this tax. This is a small proportion of the population, but a significant one for the real estate industry.
What income is taxed?
The tax applies only to investment income. This includes:
       gross income from interest, dividends, annuities, royalties, and rents other than those derived from an active business
       the net gain earned from the sale or other disposition of investment and other non-business property, and
       any other gain from a passive trade or business.
This includes just about any income not derived from an active business or from employee compensation.
Example: Sue and Sam, a married couple filing jointly, have a MAGI of $300,000 in 2013 which includes $100,000 of net investment income. Their MAGI is $50,000 over the $250,000 threshold, thus they must pay the 3.8 percent tax on $50,000 of their investment income. This results in a $1,900 tax.
Can the tax apply to the profit earned on home sales?
Yes. But, in the case of the sale of a principal residence that qualifies for the special tax exclusion on such income, it would apply only if the net gain from the sale exceeds the $500,000 exclusion for joint filers or $250,000 for singles, and then only to the extent that taxpayer's income exceeds the $200,000/$250,000 MAGI threshold.
Example: Lucy purchased a home in San Francisco in 1995 for $250,000. She sells it in 2013 for $750,000. She also earned $100,000 in employee wages in 2013. She earned a $500,000 profit on the sale of her home ($750,000 - $250,000 = $500,000). She qualifies for the $250,000 home sale exclusion, so she is left with $250,000 of net investment income from the sale. This, added to her wages, gives her a MAGI of $350,000 -- $100,000 over the Medicare tax threshold. Therefore, she must pay $3,800 in extra Medicare taxes (3.8 percent x $100,000 = $3,800).
This new tax gives homeowners who have very substantial equity in their homes a strong incentive to sell them in 2012 before the new tax takes effect.
information from Innman Newss - a Real Estate News format

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Free Movies at the County Courthouse Sunken Gardens

Friday, July 20th
8:30 pm
Sci-Fi Movie Night!

Bring you blankets, beach chairs and picnic dinner 
for a fun free evening at the movies...
under the stars at the
SB Courthouse Sunken Gardens!
It came from Outer Space

No one believes an amateur astronomer’s spaceship sighting until 
people in the desert town of Sand Rock begin disappearing. 

Based on a story by Ray Bradbury. (Jack Arnold, 1953, 81 min)

Outdoor screenings under the stars in the Sunken Garden. 

Bring blankets, beach chairs and a picnic.

Part of the FREE summer cinema series, ROBOTS! SPACE ALIENS! 
BODY SNATCHERS! Science Fiction Film Classics of the 1950s

Films presented by UCSB Arts & Lectures, Santa Barbara County Arts Commission, Santa Barbara County Park Foundation and the Community Services Department of Santa Barbara County.
With support from the UCSB Summer Cultural and Enrichment Program and the Freshman Summer Start Program.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Summer Real Estate Sales Continue to Sizzle

Along with 2012 this chart incorporates the sales for the previous 5 years as well. It is not hard to see that the central coast real estate market is continuing its strong growth well into this summer. 

(Computer Originated County Recordings)

The market has definitely heated up.  We could start "feeling" the
activity in December, as the chart shows.  Spring is the typical
selling season, although in Santa Barbara we see sales spread over the
entire year, due to our favorable climate.  However, as the chart
shows, June slows down some, also quite typical, as school is out
and vacation time starts occupying people's attention.

Listing inventory is down, which is not typical.  However, the best 
buys on the low rung have sold, so the next level steps up the
price range, and with new inventory lagging, we may see a small
bump in prices as competition for the best buys continues.

New Listings,  year-to-date (Inventory)
(information from SB MLS)

TYPE: Home/Estate
Total Active
New Listings
Last Year
This Year
Last Year
This Year

TYPE: Condo/Co-Op 
Total Active
New Listings
Last Year
This Year
Last Year
This Year

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Santa Barbara Museum of Art hosts Music Academy concert series

Music Academy of the West 

Concert Series

Thursdays, July 12, 19, 26; 
August 2, 9, 2 pm
An intimate 60-minute concert features 
Music Academy of the West Fellows 
performing at the 
Santa Barbara Museum of Art
 1130 State Street | Santa Barbara

Tickets are required. Complimentary tickets 

will be distributed
 on a first-come, 


basis beginning at 1:15 pm 
at SBMA's Park Entrance. 

No advance ticket distribution.

Mary Craig Auditorium 


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Visit Oprah's favorite rose garden right here...

At Rose Story Farm in Carpinteria

This amazing secret garden is tucked away in the Carpinteria foothills
where you can step into a fields of 18,000  rose plants in 150
varieties. Take an intimate guided tour through these magical
fields and end your visit with a scrumptious catered picnic lunch in
one of the garden area, complete with sandwiches, salad, fresh 
fruit, Rose Story Farm desert, and rose petal infused
ice tea and lemonade.


Visit this 15 acre farm during the rose growing season (the middle of April through the end of November).  Blooms rotate in six-week cycles, so over three quarters of the roses will be in majestic bloom for your visit. 

New! Executive Rose Garden Tour Rose Story Farm is offering a NEW Executive Rose Garden Tour beginning May 2012. This tour will be held on the last Saturday of every month from 3-5 pm. The tour will be led by Danielle or Bill Hahn (owners of Rose Story Farm). Guests will visit the growing fields and enjoy an opportunity to see and smell over 20,000 individual roses. Fragrances, colors, plant selection, growth requirements, and microclimate will be discussed. After seeing the rose fields, there will be an exclusive tour of our newly developed White Tranquility Garden with over 1000 white roses grown together with white companion plants. Tea will be served in the garden following the tour. Guests will depart with a special gift to remember the day. Space will be limited to 20 guests. Please book your tour in advance by phone.

  • Tours are scheduled every Wednesday and Saturday (unless a Special Event is being held).
  • Tours begin at 11.30 a.m. on Wednesdays and 11.00 a.m.on Saturdays, and run approximately 1 hour, followed by a picnic lunch in the garden.
  • Please wear comfortable shoes and bring a hat, as this is a Walking Tour.
  • No smoking, pets, or video camera equipment allowed on Tours.
  • We regret that we cannot accommodate people who drop in hoping to join a tour at the last moment. We recommend that you telephone the farm in advance to check availability for particular dates. This allows us

    to give you intimate tours through the rose fields and it better helps our guides talk to you about our varieties and rose growing techniques. Each walking tour is followed by a catered gourmet picnic lunch in one of our garden areas, complete with farm made dessert and ice tea blended with rose petals.
    If you are interested in a custom-designed tour focusing on your favorite rose themes, these can be arranged on a limited basis. We can also tailor your lunch menu to incorporate some of your favorite fare.
    'Like' us on Facebook and you will receive 10% off your next tour at Rose Story Farm! Make a Reservation:
  • Tours are $38 per person,April through November 2012 (excluding May)
  • Tours include Rose Story Farm's booklet, pencil, and fresh rose samples.
  • All tours are payable in advance via any Major Credit Card or Check.
  • Please fax or mail your completed Rose Tour Booking Form at least one week prior to your tour, or call us at (805) 566-4885 (M-S 8 A.M. to 2 P.M.).
  • If your plans change and you cannot join us, please allow 48 hours notice for a full refund.Visit our listings on VRBO at and

    Awake  to fragrant roses in your Rose Story Cottage...
    If you'd like to stay awhile, 2 cottages for vacation or short term
    rentals are available  (3 night minimum during peak rose months)
    Old world charm cottages are stocked with continental 
    breakfast and snack food, coffees, teas and fresh farm produce.
    (all photos and information from Rose Story Farm Website)