April 2, 2024
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Street Smarts: St. Patrick’s Day parade returns to Ventura; Wall Street Journal discovers Central Coast


It’s back, and Nan Drake is in the lead. Entries are now being accepted for the Ventura Elks Club’s 2022 County of Ventura St. Patrick’s Day Parade, beginning at at 10 a.m. on March 12, along Main Street in midtown Ventura.

The parade was dark in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID, but it returns in full force this year. The grand marshal will be Nan Drake, longtime co-chair of the parade committee. Drake is the governmental affairs and public relations director for E.J. Harrison & Sons, a sponsor of the annual parade since its first year, in 1987.


The Feb. 12 issue of the Wall Street Journal takes readers on several road trips including a run up the California Coast. Stops include Santa Barbara’s Shop Kitchen, the Carrizo Plain National Monument’s blooming flowers, SLO County’s Pismo Reserve and an obligatory stop at the Elephant Seal rookery at San Simeon.


Alabama-based Orchestra Partners, a redevelopment company helmed by former MLB player Hunter Renfroe, has named LaGrant Communications CEO Kim Hunter to its independent corporate advisory board. Hunter, a Santa Barbara resident, will serve a three-year term. Orchestra specializes in redeveloping Main Street businesses in smaller cities — maybe State Steet could use their help.


Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, R-San Luis Obispo, has introduced a bipartisan bill to increase access to financial literacy courses in high school. Assembly Bill 2051 would create a grant program to assist schools in the creation and administration of high-quality financial literacy curriculum.


The city of Goleta is looking for insight regarding housing issues in the community. As part of the Housing Element update, the city is asking the public to provide input on housing patterns, concerns and needs. A survey can be found in English at surveymonkey.com/r/GoletaHousing or in Spanish at surveymonkey.com/r/ViviendasenGoleta. How about starting with permitting enough housing to let UCSB flourish as an innovation hub?


MOXI, The Wolf Museum of Exploration + Innovation, has added six new members of its board of directors, including Donna Barranco Fisher, Angela Krablin, Mieko Kusano, Austin Lampson, Chetan Nayak and Jackie Schaffer.

The MOXI board executive committee continues to be led by Alixe Mattingly (chair), Susan McMillan, (vice chair), Justin Anderson (treasurer), Andy Winchester (secretary), Jill Chase (at large) and Jill Levinson (at large).


• DINNER MOVE: The 9th Annual Yummie Top Chef Dinner hosted by the Cassar Family moves to May 13 at Rancho De Las Palmas in Moorpark. The dinner has previously been held the Friday before the Casa Pacifica Angels food, beer and wine festival, which is now slated for June 5.

• WHAT’S IN A NAME: The Goodland hotel in Goleta is changing its name to “The Leta.” AWH Partners has purchased the property and Spire Hospitality is the new management company for the former Kimpton Goodland. Please cancel any “No Leta” jokes.

• RESTAURANT WEEK: Conejo Valley Restaurant Week runs Feb. 18 to 27 with specials in Thousand Oaks, Agoura Hills and possibly parts of Westlake Village. Check out #ShopConejo for info.

• JUDGE FOR HIMSELF: Santa Barbara County Court Commissioner Stephen Foley will run unopposed for a Superior Court seat being vacated by Judge James Voysey. Some 23 current and former judges are backing him.

• FINAL SCORE: The Archdiocese of Los Angeles’ annual priests vs. seminarians charity basketball game at Santa Clara High School in Oxnard ended with the seminarians winning 54-48, according to reliable sources.