Rona Barrett Foundation: Golden Inn & Village Breaks Ground in Santa Ynez Valley

Rona Barrett Foundation: Golden Inn & Village Breaks Ground in Santa Ynez Valley



042815-Golden-Inn-630From left, Mickey Flacks, commissioner for the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara; Robert Havlicek Jr., executive director of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara; Doreen Farr, Third District supervisor; Rona Barrett, founder and president of the Rona Barrett Foundation; Lois Capps, Congresswoman for the 24th District; Alfred Holzheu, president of Surf Development; and Jessica Mackenzie of Union Bank. (Rona Barrett Foundation photo)

By Amy Bernstein for the Rona Barrett Foundation | Published on 04.28.2015 2:14 p.m.

The Rona Barrett Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide affordable housing and supportive services for low-income seniors, broke ground at the site of the new Golden Inn & Village in Santa Ynez Valley this past Friday.

The Rona Barrett Foundation in partnership with Housing Authority of the County of Santa Barbara and Surf Development were joined by local representatives and dignitaries, including Rep. Lois Capps and Third District Supervisor Doreen Farr, in celebrating the construction of the GIV at the groundbreaking ceremony.

Between planning, fundraising and filing deadlines, the GIV has passed through many hurdles on its journey to completion. In 2014, the property was completely paid off and the Santa Barbara Planning Commission gave its unanimous approval for the GIV, followed by approval from the county Board of Supervisors.

So far in 2015, the RBF raised $800,000, which then paved the way for a $23 million tax credit that will allow construction to begin on the site. The GIV received $23 million in tax credits allocated by the California Tax Credit Allocation Committee of the state Treasurer’s Office and are a function of the low-income housing tax credits program, which provides equity funding for affordable housing construction.

After its GIVhope campaign, the Rona Barrett Foundation successfully raised funds in time to meet the low-income housing tax deadline and will be able to begin construction on the Golden Inn & Village.

The next major milestones on the GIV’s path include the acceptance of resident applications in April 2016, followed by its grand opening in August 2016. While the GIV has moved closer and closer to becoming a reality in the Santa Ynez Valley and a solution to the lack of affordable housing for low-income seniors, significant funding needs remain for start up costs and program funding.

The Rona Barrett Foundation, a non-profit organization, seeks to provide a solution to affordable housing and supportive services for seniors in need with the development of the Golden Inn & Village, where seniors may access a variety of care that meets their needs as they age in place.

To make a donation or to learn more about the Golden Inn & Village, please visit theRona Barrett Foundation website by clicking here.

— Amy Bernstein is a publicist representing the Rona Barrett Foundation.

Rona Barrett Foundation: Old’s cool – not old school

Rona Barrett Foundation: Old’s cool – not old school


Raise your hand if you know what Throwback Thursday means. tells me — and any of you who didn’t raise your hand — that it’s “the name of a weekly social media posting trend game that users participate in to share and look back fondly on some of their favorite memories.”

With all these 21st-century words that are being thrown at us of a certain age, it got me thinking nostalgically of words that no longer have a place in our language. So, here are some “old-school” words that have passed so far from our lexicon, college students 25 and under, when recently asked, had no clue of their meaning.

Penny Candy: The students’ best guess? Penny Candy was an actress. XXX-cuse me if I don’t mention which type of film she would star in. I hear “penny candy” and I immediately taste fruit slices, Annie Rooneys, Boston drops, Trilby cuts and Humbugs.

Green stamps: I remember when the S&H Green Stamps’ reward catalog was the largest publication in the U.S. The students’ response? “Like what they do at Disneyland when you want to re-enter?”

Rumble seat: They thought it had something to do with professional wrestling. This flesh jiggling exterior seat at the rear of a jalopy finally disappeared in 1949. 

Gams: Our generation’s slang for a nice pair of female legs. Their guess?  “That orange potato thing.”

Galoshes: They: “Aren’t those the eyelashes sold by Lady Gaga?” If you grew up in any state east of Arizona you must remember the rubber outer shoes worn in the rain or snow.

Instamatic: As ubiquitous as our cell phone cameras are now, remember the easy-load cartridge “Pocket Instamatics” when you wanted to grab a moment? The students guessed “Instamatic” was some sort of coffee machine.

Mary Janes: They had no idea about the tooth-extracting peanut butter and molasses candy or the children’s shoes. Their guess was “something you smoke at a party.”

Mercurochrome: Try describing the orange chicken-like glow of the topical antiseptic now banned because of its mercury content. One student thought that it might be a science fiction movie from the ’50s.

Service station:  “A place you visit in Las Vegas,” one student joked.

Bouffant:  Remember those ’60s beehive hairstyles balancing on top our heads? The closest student guess was a puffy shirt — like those made famous by Seinfeld.

Rabbit ears:  Students thought the top-of-the television antenna that brought in VHF signals was something you ordered in a restaurant—like Buffalo Wings.

LOOK: “At what?” was all they could say when they heard the name of the magazine that biweekly sold 7.75 million copies.

Oh well, despite the vast new knowledge of the under 25 set, I still think these 20th-century “old-school” words are very cool.

Well, maybe I shouldn’t use the word “cool” (year of origination: 1930). Neat (1806)? Just dandy (1794)? Nifty (1865)?

I think I’ll go with my 21st-century buds (translation: pals) and just say, “They’re sick!”

Until next time … keep thinking the good thoughts.

Rona Barrett: All Our Community Is a Stage — So Get Up There!

Rona Barrett: All Our Community Is a Stage — So Get Up There!




By Rona Barrett | Published on 04.07.2015 2:50 p.m.

“If you don’t try it, you’re not going to know.” That’s what Al Pacino said in a recent Charlie Rose interview.

The “it” he referred to were the roles he’s played, and is playing, on stage or in the movies. As an actor, the only way he knew whether he would be successful in a role was to try it. He took the risks, sometimes going where he hadn’t gone before.

Al and Charlie also talked about the difference between the roles Al played as a 19-year-old shy novice with the roles he now gravitates to — and their risks — as a 75-year-old Oscar-, Tony- and Emmy-winning veteran.

That really resonated with me. Whether we’ve played one role in life or several, we should take a cue from Mr. Pacino. Maybe ours isn’t as big a stage as his, but I know, in the long run, it’s just as important. And that’s because our stage is our community.

Right now you might be saying, “But I’ve done my part, Rona. I’ve played my role. I like not having much to do but read, work crosswords and watch TV.”

Well, since Al has all kinds of people advising him, including an agent, please allow me to step into the role of your agent.

As your agent (doing my best Hollywood agent impression) I would say to you, “Look, darling, you know me, I don’t play games so let me give you the straight poop. I know it’s been awhile since your last major role on stage. But you gotta trust me, boobala, your life is not done. You still got it, baby! You know, your skills, talents and knowledge that so many in our community can benefit from. Capeesh?”

To which you might reply, “Time better spent doing what?”

Examples of the supporting roles you can play for your friends and neighbors abound, but here are a few: Making sandwiches to feed the hungry, driving the elderly shut-ins to their appointments, a retired teacher reading special books to students on special days, and all those who volunteer in their churches. I know you can do this, my bambino. All I’m saying is don’t hide yourself away in your living room.

I bet some of you are smiling, nodding and saying, “But, Rona, at my age it’s just too hard to get out there again.”

And again as your agent I say, “Pepperino, it’s hard for everyone!” Even for someone like Al Pacino. Al was reading a rave review about a play he was in. Raves for everyone — except him. He hurt, but he still got up on that stage. And that’s because he finally “… recognized that I was lucky to have what I’ve been given. You gotta use it.”

Whether you will be in a starring or supporting role on our community stage, I guarantee you’ll be more active, more engaged and less passive and less static. So take the risk. Take the stage for an encore performance and use it!


Until the next time … keep thinking the good thoughts.

— For more than 30 years, Rona Barrett was a pioneering entertainment reporter, commentator and producer. Since 2000, she has focused her attention and career on the growing crisis of housing and support for our aging population. She is the founder and CEO of the Rona Barrett Foundation, the catalyst behind Santa Ynez Valley’s first affordable senior housing, the Golden Inn & Village. Contact her at [email protected]. The opinions expressed are her own.

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