Loss of The Vineyard House a hit for Valley

The Santa Ynez Valley has just lost one of our best restaurants, The Vineyard House in Santa Ynez. Proprietor Jim Sobell was unable to continue his masterful combination of wonderful food at reasonable prices because of the refusal of the corporation that owns the building to extend his lease.

The Vineyard House was a special place, not only for the quality of the food but for the rare quiet ambiance so lacking in most of the other restaurants in the Valley. Jim was always there to take reservations, greet and seat his guests, and serve the tables or assist in the kitchen if need be. On occasion he would also tickle the ivories of his old piano by the door.

His service to the community went far beyond the restaurant. He has led numerous fundraiser events for worthy causes and never hesitated to speak his mind on these pages when it came to negative influences on the economy and quality of life in the SYV.

On Sunday, March 11, Jim went out with a typical “bang.” He hosted one more fundraising event at his restaurant, this time for the Santa Ynez Historical Museum. Thanks Jim, it was a great ride. I hope in the future, after your well-earned vacation, you’ll consider returning to the business you know so well. There are a few restaurants in the Valley that could use your steady and talented hand.

Dennis Beebe and Family


Failure on the Avenue

Proper lighting of the flags on the Avenue of Flags in Buellton has been an ongoing issue.

This past week has been another glaring example of Buellton failing at proper flag etiquette.

The power along the median has been out all week. No street lights and no lights on the flags. All flags have been flying in total darkness at night.

Ronald Reagan, who dedicated the Avenue of Flags in 1968, would be saying "shame on you, Buellton" I am saying it too. Shame on you, Buellton. Get your act together on this.

Two guys could have taken the flags down in about an hour the day the power went out. Take them down until they can be properly lighted at night.

According to the U.S. Flag Code, all American flags should be displayed from sunrise to sunset every day. Lowering the flag at night is an ultimate sign of respect for Old Glory.

But like many rules, there is an exception. You can keep your flag flying 24 hours if it is properly illuminated during all hours of darkness.

Rick Lee


The nature of violence

Mentally-ill people commit mass shootings in gun-free zones, including schools.

No changes are made to our dismantled mental-health system. Chaos is an integral component of socialism.

Schools don't employ TSA screening at the entrance. Schools don't closely monitor visitors.

In Nebraska, a kindergartner was sexually assaulted by a stranger in the school bathroom during the school day.

Laws and law enforcement expand. As children continue to be massacred at school, they beg to be protected and march for gun control, as they have been taught.

Officers stand down and don't engage the shooter.

Under the current protocol, a mentally-ill person could walk into a school and throw a bomb or a glass of flaming liquid.

If schools cannot keep children safe, they should be shut down. Leave my gun alone.

Deb Andrews




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