Robert Hart Project to play Rotary fundraiser

The Robert Hart Project, a six-member band performing jazz, rock, pop, standards and original compositions, will plan for the Solvang Rotary Club’s annual fundraiser on March 10 at the Solvang Veterans Memorial Building.

The event beginning at 6 p.m. will include dinner and both silent and live auctions.  Net proceeds will support the club’s activities during the following Rotary year (July 1, 2018, through June 30, 2019).  Funds raised will directly benefit youth programs and scholarships as well as meals and transportation services for local seniors.

Through its foundation, the Solvang Rotary Club has provided more than three-quarters of a million dollars since 2000 in scholarships for students in the Santa Ynez Valley and grants for other local causes and international needs.  The time-value of its members’ volunteer hours add up to the tens of thousands of additional dollars.

Tickets are available at and (type “Solvang Rotary” in the search box). For more information, call 805-688-1122.



Naturalist to describe ‘mysterious’ San Nicolas Island

A naturalist will give his view of the most remote and mysterious of the Channel Islands, San Nicolas Island, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 8, at the Solvang Library.

Photo by William Hoyer
A lecture on San Nicolas Island’s natural resources will be given at Solvang Library on Thursday, Feb. 8.

William Hoyer of the U.S. Navy, the island’s natural resources manager, will review its botanical, animal and biosecurity programs as well as some of its land-use history.

San Nicolas Island is filled with carefully managed and diverse natural resources but is controlled by the U.S. Navy and is not accessible to the public. The island is classified as uninhabited, but Hoyer has spent four days a week on the Island for the past five years.

San Nicolas supports three endemic vertebrates, including the San Nicolas Island Fox, a host of endemic mollusks, three native plant communities, and important seabird colonies.  The island is surrounded by a spectacular marine and intertidal environment teeming with harbor seals, California sea lions, southern sea otters and northern elephant seals.

Hoyer, a Santa Barbara resident, also serves on the board of directors for the California Invasive Plant Council and is a member of the California Botanical Collaborative. He spends his free time outdoors and practices wildlife photography.

Before his career with the Navy, he earned a bachelor’s degree in plant science from Cornell University and served in the Peace Corps in the Republic of Vanuatu, working on sustainable agriculture and marine resources projects.

Admission is free to the lecture sponsored by the library and the Santa Ynez Valley Natural History Society.

For more information, go to, send email to, or call 805-693-5683, or call Carey McKinnon at the library, 805-688-4214.



Chumash benefit raises $25k for Toys For Tots

The popularity of country music star Clint Black helped fill the Chumash Casino Resort’s Samala Showroom to help the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians raise $25,000 at its 14th annual Toys For Tots benefit concert.

Gary Pace, a member of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Business Committee, and his wife, Ruth, present a $25,000 check to 1st Sgt. Soledad Kennedy and Commandant George Moran.

The funds go toward the Central Coast Marine Corps Reserve’s Toys For Tots campaign, which serves families in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties through partnerships with local agencies such as Unity Shoppe, People Helping People, the Salvation Army, Community Action Commission, Tribal TANF Program and the Boys & Girls Club.

“We’re proud to support local organizations that make the holidays a little brighter for families that are facing tough times,” said Tribal Chairman Kenneth Kahn.

Gary Pace, a member of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Business Committee, along with his wife, Ruth, presented the check to 1st Sgt. Soledad Kennedy, the Marine Corps League 1340 Toys For Tots Coordinator for Santa Barbara County, and Commandant George Moran.

To find out more about the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians Foundation and its giving programs, visit