Swedish-Style Sweets

December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Swedish Style Sweets, originally published in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

For a fresh twist on Christmas candy this year, try authentic handmade polkagris, a traditional treat in Sweden that’s available at Solvang’s Swedish Candy Factory (swedishcandyfactory.com), which claims to be the only bakery in the U.S. making the confection.

“Polkagris is the main Swedish candy that we make,” says Rob Taylor, owner of the family business. “Our family is all part Swedish, so it’s kind of a neat thing to do.”

“Peppermint Polkagris is probably the number one seller for the holiday season,” says Taylor’s sister Amy Freedman, who works at the Solvang store. In addition to that red and white–striped traditional flavor, the company’s polkagris sticks come in an array of colors
and cinnamon, licorice, piña colada, and several sour fruit flavors.

Chocolate is also in plentiful supply at the candy factory, with special holiday flavors and wrappings for December, says Taylor, who heads up the family’s Staffords Chocolates Company. The family’s other 805-area stores include Stafford’s Chocolates (opening soon in San Luis Obispo) and Mama Ganache Artisan Chocolates in San Luis Obispo.

Cover of 805 Living December 2020 Click here to see this story as it originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

See-Worthy Ships

See-Worthy Ships, originally published in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

See-Worthy Ships, originally published in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

A new exhibit at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum (SBMM, sbmm.org) spotlights the work of artist of the fleet Arthur Beaumont, who used impressionist techniques to paint the rich history of the U.S. Navy, from the USS Constitution to atomic bomb tests to expeditions to the North and South Poles.

“SBMM is proud to be one of only 10 museums in the United States selected to exhibit Arthur Beaumont: Art of the Sea,” says the museum’s executive director Greg Gorga. “This exhibit fits in perfectly with our other military displays,” Gorga adds, pointing to the museum’s appropos location inside the former Naval Training Center building and the area’s rich naval history, including visits by the Great White Fleet, the USS Constitution, and the USS Ronald Reagan; as well as some of the tragedies like the Honda Point Disaster and the Shelling of Ellwood Beach. In the last show on the West Coast, the artist’s 53 works are on view from December 3 through May 30, 2020.

Cover of 805 Living December 2020 Click here to see this story as it originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Dreamy Bedding

Dreamy Bedding, originally published in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Dreamy Bedding, originally published in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Sleep is such an important component of our overall health and happiness, so why not gift your loved ones (or yourself ) with eco-conscious luxury bedding this holiday season?

Westlake Home (westlakehome.com) is a dream come true for brothers Charles-Etienne and Julien Roy, founders of the Westlake Village–based business, who spent more than two years traveling the world doing research to create luxurious bedding made from chemical-free, environmentally friendly products.

“Our dedication to creating heirloom pieces demands nothing can be overlooked,” says Julien. Not even the package. “The goal of our packaging is to convey reusability and reduce our trash impact,” he says.

Sheets, duvet covers, pillowcases, and bundled sets are all available online, and every purchase comes with two gifts—a 100 percent organic mulberry silk eye mask and a
striking agate coaster from Brazil.

Cover of 805 Living December 2020 Click here to see this story as it originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Flavor of the Month: Gingerbread

Flavor of the Month: Gingerbread, ed in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Flavor of the Month: Gingerbread, ed in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

“A delicious gingerbread man with a cold glass of milk is a holiday staple for me,” says Kyle Kent, bar supervisor at The Lark, who created his Gingerbread Clarified Milk Punch
Cocktail for this holiday season. The aromatics of gingerbread—molasses, cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, and clove—evoke the holiday spirit, so it’s no wonder local chefs, bakers,
and mixologists have been inspired to concoct new riffs on the classic treat.

What: Clarified Milk Punch Cocktail, a mix of gingerbread spices and rich, creamy milk in a cold, dessert-style cocktail
Where: The Lark, Santa Barbara (thelarksb.com)

What: Gingerbread Gelato, traditional holiday spices warm up an authentic Italian frozen dessert
Where: Solvang Flavors, Solvang (solvangflavors.com)

What: The Gingerbread-Latte Macaron, the classic French-style sandwich cookie meets all-American gingerbread flavors in a confection from pastry chef Ron Viloria
Where: Goat Tree café at Hotel Californian, Santa Barbara (hotelcalifornian. com/santa_barbara_restaurants/goat_tree)

What: The Gingerbread Latte, delicately sweet gingery heat mingles with espresso and steamed milk in a seasonal cuppa
Where: Libbey’s Market at the Ojai Valley Inn, Ojai (ojaivalleyinn.com/dining)

What: Gingerbread-spiced Morning Buns, classic buns get a gingerbread flavored twist in this holiday special from executive chef Jason Paluska
Where: Helena Avenue Bakery, Santa Barbara (helenaavenuebakery.com)

What: The Get Rich or Die Chai-ing Cocktail, a gingerbread-reminiscent mix of chai, blended scotch, orgeat, Cocchi Vermouth di Torino, Fernet-Branca, lemon juice, and herbal liqueur by mixologist-co-owner Brandon Ristaino
Where: The Good Lion, Santa Barbara (goodlioncocktails.com)

Cover of 805 Living December 2020 Click here to see this story as it originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Take Part in Art

Take Part in Art, originally published in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Take Part in Art, originally published in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

At a time when people are thirsting for new activities they can do safely, the new Museum of Sensory & Movement Experiences (MSME, pronounced miss me; seehearmove.com) in Santa Barbara is a welcome addition to the cultural scene.

The exhibits are all interactive and primarily hands-free, “as a way for people to still feel connected even during this time of social distancing,” explains executive director Marco Pinter.

Pinter hopes in particular to attract visually savvy teens and young adults with extended evening hours, which he suggests are “great for date nights,” and interactive experiences that are sure to be great fodder for Instagram. Each visitor is an energy source that fuels
the results, so as they engage with the artworks, what they see responds in new and unexpected ways.

Pinter is himself an established media artist as well as a prolific inventor with more than 70 patents in the categories of live video technology, robotics, interactivity, and telepresence. Six of his installations are on view at MSME. Among other artists featured are Ethan Turpin, Alan Macy, Elisa Ortega Montilla, and Douglas Lochner.

Cover of 805 Living December 2020 Click here to see this story as it originally appeared in the December 2020 issue of 805 Living Magazine.

Holiday Gift Guide 2020

Where and What to Buy During This Holiday Season in the Time of COVID

If there were ever a year we could use some holiday cheer, it’s definitely this one. Our holiday gift guide for 2020 spotlights some of our favorite stores and shopping hubs, as well as some other ideas to help you get into the spirit of the giving season. You might even find a little something for yourself.

As Oprah Winfrey, one of our favorite Montecito residents, says, “Every gift I’ve ever given has brought as much happiness to me as it has to the person I’ve given it to.” In a year where supporting locally owned businesses is more important to our community than ever, here are some ideas to help get your generosity flowing.

Click here to see the gift guide as it originally appeared in print in the Santa Barbara Independent on December 3, 2020.

2020 Schools of Thought

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

Here are the links to all of the stories in this special section:

Introduction: Schools of Thought 2020

Crane Country Day School’s Flexible Approach

Montecito Campus Embraces Its Outdoor Superpowers

Laguna Blanca’s New Center for Science and Innovation

Hope Ranch Campus Provides Proper Home for Project-Based Learning

Coding Meets Community at Providence School

Students Create App to Connect Kids with Nonprofits

Big Learning on the Littlest Little Farm

O’Connor Family and AHA! Engage Students on a Hope Ranch Annex Property

Waldorf Education Honors the Head, Heart, and Hands

101-Year-Old Tradition Offers a Holistic Approach to School

S.B. Middle School Pedals Through the Pandemic

Riviera Campus Finds Creative Challenges to Keep Kids Active

Montessori Center School Creates Positive Kids with Positive Forces

Developing Well-Rounded Students with Time-Tested Techniques

S.Y.V. Charter School Grows Green Thumbs

Irises—and Intellect—Bloom When the Garden Is a Classroom

Midland Boarding School’s COVID Advantage

Historic S.Y.V. Outdoor School Is Great Fit for Today’s Teens

Marymount School Embraces a Broad New Vision

Independent School Welcomes Diverse Backgrounds

SBCC Foundation Delivers the Promise

An Update on the College’s Signature Project

SBCC Career Center Opens Job Pathways

Helping Students Begin School with the End in Mind

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020. To read the section as it appeared in print, please click here.

 

Schools of Thought

Schools of Thought introduction, originally published in the November 19, 2020 issue of Santa Barbara Independent.

Schools of Thought introduction, originally published in the November 19, 2020 issue of Santa Barbara Independent.

Our Annual Education Guide Looks at Schooling in the Time of COVID-19

What a difference a year makes, particularly when that year is 2020.

As I revisited some of the latest news and trends related to education in Santa Barbara County for the second year in a row to prepare this special issue, priorities have shifted dramatically. Outdoor space is at a huge premium — not only for its educational value and the boost to our Zoom-fatigued spirits that nature provides, but also simply because being
outside has a much lower risk for COVID-19. With depression and anxiety at high levels for people of all ages, social-emotional learning and strategies that embrace the whole child as a priority over straight academics are also more important now than ever before. And as always, so is keeping in step with the latest technologies, both programmatically and with new facilities.

Unfortunately, like just about everything else in 2020, the pandemic has amplified the inequities in education even further. I’m a public school daughter of two public school teachers, and I’m a big believer in and supporter of our public school system. That being said, if I had a K-12 age child at home right now, this would be the year I would be scrimping and saving to send them to an independent school. For one thing, they’re
actually able to open.

And make no mistake, the inequity here is not about political will — it’s all about the money. The independent schools simply have drastically fewer students to worry about with far more resources to take care of them right now, which translates to much better teacher/student ratios and the ability, in some cases, to devote separate teachers to online and on-campus teaching cohorts. They enjoy much more outdoor space to spread out and be physically distanced, and they have the money to make facility improvements more easily — both indoors and outdoors — to accommodate health and safety concerns. They also have more resources to test and regulate student and staff health and to enforce consequences on those who don’t follow the safety rules.

That being said, Midland Head of School Christopher Barnes summed up the way I think most everyone in every kind of educational institution is feeling these days. “With all of my
heart and soul, I’m pouring everything I can into our particular little project, but also being a participant with other schools … that aspire mightily to follow all of the recommendations of public health, and be their partner, not their adversary,” he said. “Do I have too much stuff to read and figure out? And does it sometimes contradict itself? Yes, absolutely. In any case, we’re dealing with a global health pandemic. This is not some little thing.”

For this special section, we asked the issue’s sponsors about what’s exciting in their schools and organizations, and then produced the editorial content independently.
SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020. To read the section as it appeared in print, please click here.

 

Marymount School Embraces a Broad New Vision

Marymount School Embraces a Broad New Vision, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

Marymount School Embraces a Broad New Vision, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

Independent School Welcomes Diverse Backgrounds

Founded as an all-girls Catholic school in 1938, Marymount School is an evolving educational story. Over the decades, according to Head of School Christina K. Broderick, the Riviera campus has made “this slow progression from an independent Catholic school to an independent school with a Catholic tradition to an independent school with a couple of Catholic traditions to now where we are as an independent school that really focuses
on the cultural and spiritual diversity of every background.”

Kaleidoscope, the school’s signature curriculum developed more than a decade ago in collaboration with UCSB, “uses the top 10 world religions to allow students to find out about how we decide on our moral decision-making and ethical decision-making through
the lens of different ethnic cultures and backgrounds, both religious and nonreligious around the world,” said Broderick.

“We are really here to welcome all faiths and traditions and to make sure that we have a very inclusive and welcoming community to all faiths and ethnic backgrounds,” said Broderick, who recently formalized the inclusive values of Marymount with new Mission
& Vision statements.

Discipline also looks a bit different than the old-school ways. “It’s not about disciplining kids — it’s about restorative communication,” she said. “My middle schoolers here at Marymount will always know that Mrs. Broderick will say ‘self-reflection leads to self-correction.’ We don’t really do detention here or punitive discipline. It’s all about how we figure out how we made a mistake based on our own ideas about something. And how do we then restore ourselves and the community and say I’m sorry, change your actions, move on.”

Marymount also recently announced a forward-thinking policy on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI), while expanding its offerings to include 3-year-olds. A new director of student wellness and DEI and a licensed clinical social worker, a full-time learning specialist, a full-time school nurse, and a full-time director of student wellness are available
to work with all students and families.

“We don’t have a traditional org chart,” said Broderick. “We have learning and leadership teams, and we all make very collaborative decisions. It’s fun — it’s a lot of fun.”

Though she admits it sounds “super smarmy,” Broderick is proud that her favorite social media hashtag is #HappyKidsLearn. “If they’re happy, their brains are going to be open, and they’re going to be able to take in all the information we’re going to give them,” she
said. “But if they’re anxious or they’re worried about their social interactions or worried about stuff at home, they’re not going to be paying attention in class. There’s a ton of research to support that, but whether the discussion is inclusivity or social emotional wellness or the pandemic, we want these kids to feel comfortable and safe.”

marymountsb.org

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020. To read the section as it appeared in print, please click here.

 

Midland Boarding School’s COVID Advantage

Midland Boarding School’s COVID Advantage, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

Midland Boarding School’s COVID Advantage, originally published in Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020.

Historic S.Y.V. Outdoor School Is Great Fit for Today’s Teens

While every school struggles with COVID restrictions, Midland School’s 2,860-acre campus and nine decades of outdoor-minded, college preparatory education lends itself to an easier pivot than most. Students returned to the boarding school for grades 9-12 in late October.

“I’ve never seen a senior class that’s more vested in our collective good,” said Head of School Christopher Barnes, who’s been working round the clock for months to make their return to the Los Olivos campus possible. “The seniors are like, ‘Yeah, we’re going to make sure everybody wears their mask.’ Inside of these challenging moments are also these incredible opportunities for students to learn how to tolerate adversity, to find the grit and really evaluate what the needs are versus the wants, and really discover the very best version of themselves. That is profoundly exciting as an educator.”

Clearly Midland’s experiential, place-based curriculum is more desirable than ever right now. With health guidelines in place, students will still be able to work on the farm and in the garden, ride horses, go hiking and camping, and all of the other special things they normally do.

Enrollment is up at least 10 percent from last year. “The phone was ringing through the summer, and we definitely had to tell some people no,” said Barnes. “As much as I would love to welcome even more kids, we’re sort of at capacity relative to the situation we find ourselves in now. It leaves us with a few spare cabins for isolation or quarantine if needed; we need to reserve some of that bandwidth for that.”

They’ve gone “very deep into the four Ws,” said Barnes. “Wear your mask, watch your distance, wash your hands, and, finally, we are in this together.”

He’s excited to be an educator at such a pivotal time. “We are living through some major inflection points in history, and at the same time we’re not just dealing with a global health pandemic,” said Barnes. “We’re dealing with Black Lives Matter and a profound shift in perspectives with regard to social justice issues — and we are and want to continue to be a participant in that. We are in the midst of a straight-up economic depression, and we’ve had to dole out lots more financial aid and double down in terms of supporting our families
and make sure that we can honor our promise for them.”

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

SB Independent Cover, Schools of Thought, November 19, 2020.

Originally published in the Santa Barbara Independent on November 19, 2020. To read the section as it appeared in print, please click here.