By Raiza Giorgi

The Santa Ynez Valley Star begins its fourth year of publication this month, and we want to thank all of our readers and advertisers for their incredi-ble support.

The last year has been hard for the community, as we dealt with our neighbors to the south having the worst year in decades after the devastating Thomas Fire and subsequent Montecito debris flows. Our sister publication, Santa Barbara Family & Life Magazine, did an excellent job of keeping people informed as our photojournalist Daniel Dreifuss spent days documenting the ar-ea and letting people know where they could and couldn’t be during the disas-ters.

In response to the tragedies, we saw heroic work done by our Santa Bar-bara County firefighters and sheriff’s deputies, who performed rescues and pa-trolled the vacant neighborhoods to keep looters out. Other local officials tried to help the affected businesses get through the hard times.

We thank the many valley residents who donated items to charities, vol-unteered with rescue operations and sent money to organizations to help the victims.

Meanwhile, with Highway 101 shut down for weeks, businesses in the Santa Ynez Valley suffered mightily, and our locals went out of the way to sup-port others’ businesses to make sure they stayed afloat. That is what we love about our community, that we help one another through hard times.

This next year we look forward to covering so many wonderful events, from major news events and community celebrations to the SYV Touch A Truck fundraiser and the second NatureTrack Film Festival.

We hope that you will keep reading the Star and keep giving us feedback. If you have a news story idea or know someone who deserves recognition, please email us at

Let’s make this year the best one yet!