FROM THE PUBLISHER
Happy New Year! As we head into a new year, it’s a good time to reflect on all that we have accomplished and to look forward to the possibilities of the year ahead. It is a time to set new goals, make new plans, and start fresh.
This year, moreover, in the last three years, we have all been through a lot. We have faced challenges and hardships and had to adapt to a new way of living. But through it all, we have persevered and shown our resilience.
As we embark on this new journey, it is important to remember that we are not alone. We are part of a larger community, a global family, and we have the support of countless others who are also striving for a better, brighter future.
So as we enter into the new year, let us be inspired by one another. Let us draw strength from the achievements of those who have come before us, and let us support and encourage one another as we pursue our own dreams and goals.
As the great philosopher, Aristotle once said, “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Let us remember this as we enter the new year, and let us work together to achieve great things.
This month’s cover story inspires just that “bring in the new year and wash off the old.” The Avila Beach Polar Bear Plunge founders Alan Raul and Cary Geihs share with us the 11-year history and why they felt a polar plunge was an impactful way to bring in the new year. In addition, Barbie Butz shares a few light recipes, Mira Honeycutt educates us in wine terminology, and Chuck Graham takes us on another journey. We are so grateful to all our contributors, writers, and team for helping us bring you the Central Coast Journal every month.
We are local business owners and depend on the community’s support to bring you the Journal, and we will continue to do so. It is time, however, to start looking at our impact and the stories we bring you and share. Next month we will be rolling out our new monthly themes, along with a few new contributors and designs. We look forward to creating a publication that is not only informative but fun and interactive, all while keeping with the legacy and history that got us where we are today.
San Luis Obispo has so much to offer, and we look forward to connecting closer with the community to bring you the stories of our small town that we love with bigtime charm, all while living the SLO Life.
Here’s to a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year for us all! Let us embrace the possibilities and opportunities that it holds, and let us support one another as we strive for a better future for all. We hope you enjoy this month’s issue of the Central Coast Journal, your magazine of the Central Coast.
Hayley and Nic
if thou wouldest win immortality of name, either do things worth the writing, or write things worth the reading.
— Thomas Fuller, 1727
This month’s edition of Central Coast Journal is brought to you by all the local advertisers that fill our pages. Thanks to them, we are able to bring you, your Magazine of the Central Coast.
Looking Forward to an Optimistic New YearBY IAN PARKINSON, SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY SHERIFF
Flores, as well as his sister, mother, and father. Physical evidence recovered during these searches led to the service of an additional search warrant at Flores’ residence in April of that year. In March of 2021, detectives served a search warrant at the Arroyo Grande home of Ruben Flores, the father of Paul Flores. Additional evidence related to the murder of Kristin Smart is discovered at the site.
And then, on April 13, 2021, the Sheriff’s Office arrested Paul Flores for the murder of Kristin Smart. That same day, his father Ruben Flores was arrested as an accessory to murder.
The trial for both got underway in a Salinas courtroom on July 18, 2022. The jury heard evidence that a clandestine grave was located beneath the deck of the home of Ruben Flores, believed to have previously held Kristin’s body. Kristin’s remains have never been recovered.
Before I begin this column, I want to first wish everyone a very happy, safe, and prosperous 2023. That’s my usual greeting for the new year and the way I’ve begun my column the last few years. The one thing that I’ve mentioned in past years that I won’t be going into detail this time around is the pandemic. Thank goodness. Cases are down. And the resulting fear about the pandemic is also down. With that in mind, we can start 2023 on a note of optimism. And so, I present to you my fifth annual State of the Sheriff’s Office.
Perhaps, there was no story bigger this past year than the conviction of Paul Flores for the murder of Kristin Smart. After a three-month trial in Monterey County, Flores was convicted by a jury of first-degree murder. It’s been a long process to get to this point. A 26-year-long process.
Many of you know the story. In May of 1996, Kristin went missing from the campus of Cal Poly. The last person to see her alive was Paul Flores, who was the prime suspect in her disappearance. Over those many years, investigators doggedly tracked down leads, evidence, and witnesses. A podcast about the case by Chris Lambert helped shine new light on the investigation.
The investigation began to intensify in 2020. In February of that year, sheriff’s detectives served search warrants at the home of Paul
On October 18, two separate juries returned their verdicts. They found Paul Flores guilty of the first-degree murder of Kristin Smart. Ruben Flores was found not guilty of being an accessory to Kristin’s murder. Sentencing for Paul is set for December 9 where he could receive 25 years to life in prison.
I am grateful to District Attorney Dan Dow and Deputy District Attorney Chris Peuvrelle for the successful prosecution of this case. My thanks as well to all the members of the Sheriff’s Office who worked on this case over the years. Because of them and their tireless commitment, we were able to bring this case to a successful resolution and a verdict that is right and just. My thoughts are with the Smart family. I thank them for their patience and support during this most difficult of times.
But this case will not be over until Kristin is returned home. I remain committed to that fact. We don’t take a breath. We do not put this aside. We continue to pursue this until we bring Kristin home to her family. It is my hope that we are able to bring some closure to the Smart family. Peace to our community. And justice, once and for all, for Kristin.
I think it only appropriate to finish this column like the way I started it, with my words from last year’s column. I’m extremely grateful to the men and women of the Sheriff’s Office who day in and day out, provide safety and security to all who live in San Luis Obispo County. And I am thankful to you, the community, for making the place we call home, a better place to live. So, here’s to a new year. Be good. And be good to one another.
2023 Farm Bill What Does it Mean for SLO County?BY BRENT BURCHETT, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY FARM BUREAU
Every five years, Congress is supposed to pass a major package of legislation authorizing federal spending on farm, nutrition, conservation, and a host of rural programs known as the Farm Bill. Congress has until September 30, 2023 to pass a new Farm Bill. Before your eyes glaze over thinking this is a nerdy policy article, appreciate that the Farm Bill affects our entire San Luis Obispo County community.
The 2018 Farm Bill cost about $428 billion, 76 percent of which went to nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps), National School Lunch and School Breakfast Programs, and the Emergency Food Assistance Program (food distributed locally through groups like the SLO Food Bank).
The balance of Farm Bill spending went to Crop Insurance (9 percent), Commodities (7 percent), Conservation (7 percent) and Other (1 percent). Specific spending levels in the 2023 Farm Bill may look different, but these categories will be generally the same.
Crop insurance is increasingly important to SLO County farmers and ranchers. Here’s how it works: Farmers pay insurance premiums based on their preferred level of coverage, private crop insurance companies administer policies, and the federal government subsidizes about 40 percent of the premium cost paid by farmers. Absent this taxpayer support, no insurance companies would sell crop insurance given the inherent volatility in agriculture from frequent natural disasters like drought, wildfire, and flooding.
Crop insurance is important for seven SLO County commodities:
Pasture and Rangeland — Local ranchers insure about 540,000 acres of grass pasture and rangeland. This is essentially rain insurance, as no rain means no grass for cattle to graze. Apiculture (honey producers) also participate in this type of program, with 20,944 acres insured.
Wine Grapes — Wine grapes are increasingly subject to risk from smoke taint caused by wildfires. Local growers insure 28,251 acres of wine grapes, and many wineries require growers to have coverage as a condition of their purchase contract. Right now, we have too much uncertainty and discretion about how crop insurance companies are determining smoke taint loss. This is a difficult issue, but one that should be addressed somehow in the next Farm Bill.
Barley — Local barley production is down significantly from its historical levels, but SLO County farmers insure 10,802 acres. Barley is still an important crop in North County communities where groundwater supplies are insufficient for irrigation.
Avocados — SLO County’s third highest-value crop is subject to damage from occasional freezing temperatures. Grown in South County and coastal areas, 3,312 acres of avocados are insured.
Lemons — The need to mitigate freeze risks also drove farmers to insure 1,153 acres of lemon groves. Though not a significant crop in SLO County, 213 acres of pistachios are also insured.
The Conservation category helps farmers and ranchers implement practices to be better stewards of the environment. This includes the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), one the most competitive and utilized conservation programs in SLO County. EQIP provides technical and financial assistance to producers to improve water and air quality, conserve water, increase soil health, reduce soil erosion, create wildlife habitat, and mitigate against climate volatility.
The Commodities category supports prices for crops grown predominately outside of SLO County like wheat, soybeans, corn, peanuts, rice, and others. These crops are higher yield and lower value compared to the Specialty Crops (fruits and vegetables) that comprise the bulk of SLO County agriculture’s $1 billion annual production.
The “Other” category may only account for 1 percent of Farm Bill spending, but it has an outsized impact. All SLO County commodities benefit from a robust network of plant and livestock disease monitoring and protection programs authorized by the Farm Bill. As Ben Franklin famously wrote, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Likewise, research funding to develop new crop varieties and technologies that reduce labor, water, fertilizer, and pesticides are small investments today for a significant return in the future.
Our work on the 2023 Farm Bill is already underway, and our county is fortunate to have Congressmen Panetta and Congressman Carbajal as partners in the challenging months ahead.
Are You Called to Public Service?BY JAMES BRESCIA, ED.D. COUNTY SUPERINTENDENTOF SCHOOLS
Happy New Year! Do you have what it takes to serve in the public sector? If so, the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education may be able to help. Grants, scholarships, and partnerships with local university preparation programs are available. January’s article reflects on the past, a call to service, and assistance in becoming a public sector employee. The private and public employment sectors have benefits and drawbacks. I encourage anyone considering the public sector to weigh the advantages, priorities, and preferences to make an informed choice, as I did more than 35 years ago.
As I completed my undergraduate education at the University of California, San Diego, my career path suddenly came to a screeching and confusing halt. While applying for graduate school to become a clinical psychologist, I realized this was not my path. As part of the graduate school application process, I had been volunteering at a group home for children in San Diego for a year. However, I did not see myself serving the community as a psychologist. During the next few weeks, I spoke with family and friends about my uncertainty. My father, an engineer, encouraged me to follow the emerging boom in high-tech, grandma wanted me to become a priest, and the rest of my family or friends said to pursue something I enjoyed. Finally, I phoned a former mathematics teacher from my high school with whom I had maintained contact throughout college.
Brother Jerome Gorg, a Marianist who dedicated his life to service, had encouraged me to work in the math lab at my high school to tutor other students for credit and then as a volunteer. He often quoted Ben Franklin, “Tell me, and I forget. Teach me, and I remember. Involve me, and I learn.” Brother Jerry involved me in mathematics and teaching. He had a Socratic way of responding to a question with another question designed to make one think. During our phone conversation, he reminded me of my service and asked why I continued volunteering after completing my required elective time. I responded that I enjoyed assisting others and grew in my passion for learning as a tutor. Brother Jerry said, “I think you have an answer to your question.”
In dedicating my career to public service, I have worked as a custodian, teaching assistant, classroom teacher, college instructor, and administrator. The first ten years of my teaching career were in service to English language learners and students living in poverty. The past twenty-five has been as an administrator dedicated to promoting high-quality programs. Gandhi said, “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” Public service is a place to promote social justice for a democratic society.
It is the responsibility of all concerned about our country to encourage highly qualified and dedicated public sector employees. The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education has written and received several grants offering scholarships, program subsidies, and tuition reimbursements that can address the recruitment of public sector employees.
California continues to experience employee shortages across the state because of the economy, retiring baby boomers, and a reduction in avenues for training. Business leaders in private industry, the public sector, and local small businesses are experiencing a shortage of employees. Surveys conducted by organizations such as Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and the Society the Human Resource Management (SHRM), report that some sectors have nearly 48 percent of current employees considering leaving for better work opportunities. Will the tight labor market continue in 2023, and how can business leaders address employment challenges? Research indicates that employees are empowered to go where they feel valued, directly impact positive workplace outcomes, and have opportunities to improve skills.
The San Luis Obispo County Office of Education works with all districts, charters, and childcare centers to scholarship pre-apprentices, apprentices, interns, substitutes, and current employees interested in obtaining additional training. Individuals interested in public sector employment found in our local school districts, such as administration, classroom service, fiscal services, human resources, IT, maintenance and operations, support services, and transportation, should consider the support we can provide. Please contact your local school district or the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education for additional information. Our taxpayer-funded system controls whom we train and employ in our organizations. We should prioritize the value of highly qualified and locally trained employees. We must now encourage intelligent young people to consider public-sector employment. Our secondary and post-secondary education leadership should promote expanding capacity and recruiting highly qualified public sector employees. It is an honor to serve as your County Superintendent of Schools.
Studios on the Park A Community Treasure for 15 YearsBY ANNE LADDON
Studios on the Park in Paso Robles is home to the Kids Art Smart Program which offers enchanting free art classes to local school children. Once a fun addition to school art programs, it is often the only art classes many of the kids experience in their grade school years. Begun with a grant from the Central Coast Wine Alliance in 2009 the program has grown over the past 13 years and serves over 4,000 children ages K-6 each year.
Funding is provided by individual donations from community members and grants from local businesses and organizations.
In fall 2021 and spring 2022, 3,780 students visited Studios on field trips from local schools, such as Kermit King, Lillian Larsen, Cappy Culver, Almond Acres, Pat Butler, Monterey Road, Georgia Brown, Virginia Peterson, Winifred Pifer, Trinity Lutheran Elementary, St. Rose Elementary, North County Christian School, Vineyard Elementary, and Templeton Elementary. The classes are free. Studios provides a variety of art supplies and professional art teachers. Once the projects are completed they are professionally matted and presented in an exhibition in the buildings’ atrium and classroom space.
Studios on the Park has been a central element of the Paso Robles Art Scene for over 15 years. Visitors and guests of this downtown community art center find a magical blend of ever changing art exhibitions, artists creating fine art in studios, engaging art classes for kids and adults, guest speaker, themes special events, “how to” demos and a gift shop filled with enticing fine craft by regional artists.
An ”Art After Dark” event is held every first Saturday of the month with live music and world-class wine from celebrated winery partners.
Studios on the Park is located at 1130 Pine Street in Paso Robles. For more information, visit StudiosonthePark.org
The Impressive PeregrineBY BETTY HARTIG
Whoosh! That is the sound of a peregrine falcon zipping by. The bird’s rapid flight can buzz overhead, causing a passerby to flinch with uncertainty. Quite startling! The raptor is speedy with crafty aerodynamic movements. It is easy to understand how the F-16 Fighter plane bears the name “Fighting Falcon.” When a peregrine falcon stoops, its speed increases tremendously. The peregrine’s diving speed can reach more than 186 miles per hour, which makes it not only the fastest bird but the fastest animal on earth.
The falcon is about the size of a crow, predominately dark bluegray in color, with black above and white below its head. The bird is easily identified by the distinctive thick black sideburns. In flight, an adult’s feathers appear checkered with white and black sides and underwings. As with most raptors, the female falcon is larger than the male. The avian prefers to nest on tall coastal
cliffs or buildings. No actual nest is built; eggs are laid in simple scrapes or small depressions made in the soil or gravel of a cliff’s edge. During nesting, peregrines are extremely territorial. They will chase away anything that comes close to their family. The female stays with the chicks, referred to as eyas, at first, while the male dutifully brings food for her and the young. Usually, eyas take their first flight at about six weeks. After their first flight, they are called fledglings. Unfortunately, the mortality rate for young falcons is about 60 percent. The average lifespan is 12-15 years old.
Peregrine falcons can be spotted regularly on the sea stack between the north- and south-bound lanes of Highway 101 in Pismo Beach as well as Morro Rock in Morro Bay. However, they can be seen elsewhere along the Central Coast, including Avila Beach. Their perching preference is a high vantage point that allows them to view, aim, and snatch at targets with ease and accuracy. Peregrine falcons have been known to use ships at sea as a high post to hunt for seabirds. Like all animals in life, sustenance is required to survive. Medium-sized birds are their meals. Shore birds are a top menu item, along with ducks, pigeons, and occasionally larger game such as geese, all of these are plentiful along the coast, especially in creek estuaries like the one along the Bob Jones Pathway. Peregrines are designed to make swift aerial assaults. Grasping their prey in flight with no problem. Keen eyesight, smooth feathers, and pointed wing tips allow the falcon to have superior aero efficiency. The falcon can see at least one mile in distance and keep track of three moving objects at the same time. They are magnificent to watch while in flight, thermals and updrafts are masterfully utilized to gain height and ultimately take their target in mid-air. Teamed with the falcon’s expert hunting skill is a sharp hooked beak used for tearing food. The upper beak has a smartly formed notch for severing the spinal cord of the victim. Powerful talons are used not only to capture other birds but as brakes. The bird positions its yellow talons downward to increase drag and reduce speed to 10-20 miles per hour.
In ancient times falcons were considered the birds of royalty. These raptors of high distinction were at risk of becoming extinct in the United States during the 20th century due to pesticides, specifically DDT, which made its way into the food chain and affected the female peregrine’s ability to lay healthy eggs. The banning of DDT in the 1970s increased the peregrine population. The bird’s successful recovery enabled their elimination from the endangered species list in 1999. Learning about issues that affect wildlife and people is critical to our environment. Impressive birds, such as the peregrine falcon now exist because of changes that were made in the use of chemicals. Monitoring how humans use land, and evaluating what is put into the earth, should always be considered as we strive to protect habitat. Conserving birds is in our hands. Let us work together to carefully preserve all wildlife.
How to Talk to Your Doctor or Primary Care ProviderBY DR. CINDY MAYNARD
The dynamics of healthcare have changed radically in the past 50 years, especially with technological advancements and new treatments. Within this mix, there is oftentimes an array of bewildering or confusing options for the patient who has a difficult time navigating the healthcare system. This can be intimidating and frustrating and an all-too-common scenario.
What do we need to navigate the healthcare system so that it meets our medical, physical, or emotional needs? Having a collegial relationship with your healthcare provider is paramount. Communication is key. Women usually have the edge here, as we are more likely than men to talk about our feelings or what is going on with us. Healthcare providers are looking to you to provide the background story for your symptoms. Let them know what your goals are. You, the patient, should feel that you are working together with your provider as a team, collaborating, and coming up with an effective treatment plan together. You should not feel rushed through your appointment or leave without having your questions answered.
Knowing that healthcare professionals are usually strapped for time, I typically take a list of questions with me to the appointment and either record or write down the answers to refer to later. I also am cognizant that my MD only has a limited time, and if my time has ended, I will schedule another appointment or a follow up phone call if I have lingering questions or need more information. Covid has also changed the dynamics of healthcare. Since Covid, I have experienced a greater reliance on zoom meetings, texting, the company’s healthcare portal, or even conference calls. See if those are options for you.
Be honest with your provider. Some people are reluctant to discuss what they might term “private or personal matters” such as memory, depression, or medication over usage, but the provider optimally can’t help you if you don’t give them the full picture. If you’re having a
complicated procedure and the doctor is speaking in medical jargon or words you don’t understand, ask them to slow down or better yet, use visuals. If you’re uncomfortable with something they said, be direct and discuss it. If you’re concerned about their recommendations, tell them you need time to think about it. Ask what your options are. If you’re a patient in the hospital, talking to the social worker can be helpful, especially for discharge planning. You may have benefits you didn’t know about. Take someone with you to the visit who is familiar with the healthcare system and can act as an advocate for you. When my father was going through cancer treatment, I always brought a tape recorder (of course now it would be my iPhone), to record the session and go over important points after the appointment. It was amazing to me how much I hadn’t heard or retained and listening to the taped session afterwards helped me provide better care for my father.
If this is a new healthcare provider, and you didn’t hit it off it’s OK to look around for another provider. Where to go? Many times, good referrals come from other healthcare professionals, such as your local pharmacist who works closely with doctors. Nurses are a great source of information, and of course, asking your friends. See how the providers are rated on their website or try healthgrades.com. If it’s important, find out which hospital they refer to. Do you want them to support clinical research and trials? Where will you go in an emergency? These are all important and valid questions to ask. I have a friend who is an RN who advises, “Consider a nurse practitioner (NP) as your primary provider.” She feels that her NP spends more time listening to her than some of her other providers have. She also recommends the County’s Fall Prevention Program (see link below) covering several health topics for seniors.
The National Institute on Aging (see link below) also puts out some excellent worksheets to peruse or bring into the doctor’s office ahead of time that can be a real time-saver for you and your provider. They are especially helpful if this is a first-time visit. For example, some of the worksheets include what to consider in choosing a new doctor, your family health history, life changes to discuss with your doctor, prioritizing concerns to share with your doctor, and tracking your medications.
Ultimately, we, the patient, are the directors of our healthcare. Just make sure you and your provider are communicating as a team and that you’re being heard. This will go a long way to getting the most out of the healthcare system and promoting your optimal physical and mental health.
Resources: slocounty.ca.gov/Departments/Health-Agency/Public-Health/All-PublicHealth-Services/Fall-Prevention.aspx nia.nih.gov/health/talking-with-doctor-worksheets
Cayucos Polar Bear Dip
Wash Away the Old, Ring in the NewBY NEIL FARRELL
For the past 43 years, folks in Cayucos have rung in the New Year and helped ease New Year’s Eve hangovers with a wacky January 1 tradition — a polar bear dip.
Named after Carlin B. Soulé, a local artist, surfer, and local yokel, who, in 1979, decided to jump in the Pacific Ocean on New Year’s Day. Some say he had a hangover; others that he was just bored and wanted to do something different.
Several of his buddies joined him and decided to make this polar bear dip an annual thing.
Flash forward four decades, and Soulé’s little wake-me-upper has turned into one of the biggest and wackiest events of the year in Cayucos, “Where the Old West Meets the Sea.”
It’s not the biggest such polar plunge and certainly wasn’t the first, but you’d be hard-pressed to find a more fun one anywhere.
The day starts early on January 1 with dozens, then hundreds, and eventually upwards of 6,000 people turning out on the beach to, well, party.
And what a party it is, with many folks dressed in costume, with a cocktail in hand. On any given Dip, you could see anyone from Elvis to the Flintstones. There’ve been Where’s Waldo crews, pirates, minions, witches, sea creatures, Three Blind Mice, La Lucha Libre wrestlers, and even a Thing One or Thing Two.
You may see a grown man with a beard, dressed in a blonde wig
and mermaid tail, hairy beer belly hanging out, with a tiara on his head. There will surely be a few mermaids and mermen, jellyfish, sharks, and even a few polar bears and T-Rexes, too.
Yes, the pre-dip festivities on the beach can be a blast, especially during the rather unruly costume contest where they give out “Certificates of Awards” — suitable for framing — to winners in several categories and costume types, including scariest, funniest, weirdest, best family group, farthest traveled, plus awards to the youngest and oldest polar bear dippers. The costume contest alone is worth the drive to Cayucos on New Year’s Day.
In years past, the youngest polar bear dipper has been as young as two years old, and the oldest in 2020 was in her 90s. Folks have come from as far away as Mexico, Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and Spain, with the farthest traveler also getting a certificate.
Walking the beach before the dippers hit the water finds folks of all walks of life — from elementary school kids dragged to Cayucos by their grandparents to grandparents dragged to Cayucos by their grandkids.
College students make the Polar Bear Dip an annual rite of passage, which it really is.
Now no one would believe that jumping into the Pacific Ocean is going to solve their problems, but it is a refreshing and symbolic way to wash away the old year and start the new one with fresh hopes and dreams.
As high noon approaches, thousands of polar bear dippers gather en masse at the water’s edge, jumping with excitement and anticipation. Above, folks have lined the Cayucos Pier five deep to watch the spectacle.
If you like photography, the Cayucos Polar Bear Dip is a must-shoot.
Then with a countdown from 10, everyone makes a mad dash into the water.
Members of Cal Fire, with help from the Morro Bay Harbor Patrol, Morro Bay and SLO County ocean lifeguards, the Coast Guard, and ambulance paramedics, with a few undercover Sheriff’s deputies roaming the beach, are on hand to make sure everyone is safe. Though it takes just a few minutes to do, the public safety preparations are extensive, covering the beach, the waves, and the water further out.
The mad dash into the water is quite a spectacle as the folks who paraded around for the costume contest quickly discover that the ocean will rip your costume to shreds. As a piece of advice, don’t wear anything into the water that you don’t want ruined, or lost.
HERE ARE A FEW OTHER TIPS FOR FIRST-TIME POLAR BEAR DIPPERS:
• Wear shoes, as Cayucos beach this time of year can be very rocky, with lost of driftwood sticks everywhere.
• Wear a bathing suit (shorts?) and a T-shirt.
• If you want to record yourself with a video camera or cellphone, make sure it is in a water-tight case because it will get wet, or the ocean might just rip it right our of your hands as you tumble around in the waves.
• Bring a towel and dry clothes to change into. If it’s a warm day, you probably won’t need them, but there have been a few Polar Bear Dips when it was raining and cold. By the way, cold and rainy weather will not stop the Polar Bear Dip; neither can a pandemic. In 2021 and ’22, when the dip was officially canceled due to the Covid pandemic, hundreds of people still turned out to take the plunge.
• In order to get a free “Certificate of Stamina” suitable for framing, one must go completely underwater — a true “dip.” So my advice is to grab your friend or spouse’s hand, wade into the water about thigh deep, and when the next wave comes rolling in, dive under it. It’s best not to think too much about it.
• Look out for your fellow dippers, as wave action can knock someone off balance, and they may need help getting back on their feet.
• The goal is for everyone to have fun and make it out of the water safely.
The Carlin B. Soulé Memorial Cayucos Polar Bear Dip begins at noon every year on January 1.
Avila Beach Polar Bear Plunge Rings in its 11th YearBY CAMILLE DEVAUL
Eleven years ago, two friends sat in a Shell Beach cafe and decided to take a dip in the ocean to ring in the New Year. Now, every year since, Alan Raul and Cary Geihs are joined by hundreds for the Avila Beach Polar Bear Plunge.
Countries all over the world celebrate the New Year with a “polar bear plunge” to signify washing off the old year and welcoming new beginnings. Some plunges in the United States date back as far as 1904. In Avila Beach, the plunge is a celebration of fitness, nature, a New Year, camaraderie, and, finally, dessert. The dessert comes as a celebration of braving the cold-temperature waters and can be embraced with a cup of coffee, or something sweet from one of the local Avila Beach establishments. And if you haven’t had enough cold in your day, some ice cream.
The first plunge came at noon on January 1, 2013, with large waves crashing down the beach.
“The ocean gods have been very kind to us. They have not had that big of waves since that time,” Alan says, remembering that first day.
Alan, who in his own words is a “water person,” likes to hold his own plunges throughout the year. He and Cary were brought together through their love of water sports and photography. Both reside in Shell and Pismo Beach and have a fondness for Avila Beach that is unmatched.
NEW YEAR TRADITION
a fun event to bring in the new year and wash off the old year”
The friends’ plunge went from two people to 20 friends plunging the ocean waters together to 200 plungers the following year.
Cary, who watched their innocent dip grow into a thousand participants, says, “I see it continuing to grow each year.”
After the dip drew 200 participants, Alan was approached by the Port San Luis Harbor District while having some lunch in the Avila Market. Turns out the plunge did not go unnoticed and Alan and Cary would have to make this event official with permits and insurance.
To give back to the community, Cary and Alan developed a partnership with the local nonprofit Friends of 40 Prado. With its origins beginning in 1993, the mission of the Friends of 40 Prado is to provide support funding for the nonprofit’s operations and help homeless people in the community find a level of self-sufficiency appropriate to each individual.
To accomplish this supportive effort, Cary and Alan began designing and selling T-shirts at the polar plunge. Proceeds from the shirts help pay for the plunge’s expenses, and the rest go to Friends of 40 Prado.
In 2021, the polar plunge had nearly 1,000 plunging participants and raised nearly $4,000 for the nonprofit. This year, Cary and Alan say they hope to raise enough to give some of their proceeds to another nonprofit, Friends of Avila Pier.
Friends of Avila Pier is another nonprofit that was organzied by volunteers from the Avila Beach community with the sole purpose of assisting in raising funds to preserve, renovate and maintain Avila Pier.
The nonprofit says, “We need to raise money from our amazing community to augment grant funds secured by the Port San Luis Harbor District. This will ensure that the Harbor District can repair and preserve the marine heritage and character of the local port for future generations.”
The Avila Pier has been under renovation and repairs since about 2015. With much of the typical wear and tear damage caused by years of storms, it wasn’t until the humpback whales’ arrival in May of 2015 that ended in closing the pier for public safety. The whales’ arrival in the harbor attracted high amounts of spectators to the pier which caused the pier to sway as people ran from one side of the
pier to the other to catch a glimpse of the whales.
Donations received by Friends of Avila Pier from 2019 through 2021 were used to facilitate the start of Stage 1 repairs in the summer of 2022 — now they are raising funds to help the final two stages of the pier’s restoration.
The pier itself could be considered the heart of Avila Beach and it is where all the action happens on plunge day.
On New Years Day, families and plungers of all kinds gather around the pier, getting pumped up to embrace the chilly waters. A DJ plays music under the pier, getting everyone excited. Since the very first plunge, everyone runs for the waters right at noon. The build up and countdown to the run is one of Cary’s favorite part of the event.
“It’s a fun event to bring in the new year and wash off the old year,” says Cary. “The fact that were doing it for some good causes [adds to the fun].”
People have started to come to the plunge in creative costumes, adding to the fun of the day. While the beach is full of plungers, there are even more spectators on the pier and boardwalk.
Alan, who is contemplating wearing his own costume this year, says, “We have quite the spectator audience.”
Polar Bear Dip T-shirts will be available on the day of the event, and both Alan and Cary recommend coming early to find a good parking spot and to enjoy as much camaraderie as possible. And if years prior are any indication, it is sure to be a good turnout this year.
“We used to have flyers and post on windows and everything,” says Alan. “We don’t even do that anymore. It’s almost a given. Everybody in this area knows.”
Some people, like Cary, view the New Year’s Day plunge as a symbolic start to the year. But others, like Alan, just do it for fun.
“Any excuse to do something extreme, I’m game for it,” he says.
Whatever your reason for being a polar bear on New Years Day, remember to “Be Bold ... Get Cold.”
For more information on the Avila Beach Polar Bear Plunge, visit avilabeachpolarbearplunge.com
“It’sBY BARBIE BUTZ
Starting the New Year with Lighter Fare
Ihave a little book titled simply “Christmas” and it has 463 pages full of Christmas traditions from around the world. The author, David Baird, offers 1000 suggestions for creating beautiful decorations and gifts, and planning a Christmas feast, as well as offering the traditions of other countries.
I imagine you’re wondering why I’m mentioning the book now that Christmas 2022 is behind us. Well, I remember reading the following quote toward the back of the book and it certainly reso-
nates with this time of the year. It reads: “Roaring fires, rich food, exotic cocktails, an array of wines, strenuous games, late nights, yet more food, candies, liqueurs, cigars — with luck, the worst will be only a bout of ingestion!”
The new year is a time to change our diets to lighter fare and I hope that the recipes I’ve selected will help. Each are from my copy of “The American Kitchen — Homestyle Cooking with Flair”, authored by Dinah Shore, published in 1990.
Sea Scallops with Orange-Butter Sauce
1½ pounds sea scallops
Salt and white pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil 4 sprigs fresh thyme or 1 teaspoon dried 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary or 2 teaspoons dried 2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes 2 tablespoons lemon juice
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice, pulp included 4 tablespoons butter or margarine, at room temperature ¼ cup peeled, seeded and diced tomatoes ¼ cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped Salt and pepper to taste 1 tomato, peeled and coarsely chopped
Place the scallops in a mixing bowl with salt and white pepper to taste, the olive oil, thyme, rosemary, garlic, red pepper flakes, and lemon juice. Blend well and refrigerate for 1 hour to marinate. Meanwhile, place the orange juice in a saucepan and cook over high heat until it is reduced by half. Add the butter or margarine, tomatoes, and cilantro and cook briefly until the combination is well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm. Heat broiler or grill until it is quite hot. Divide the scallops into 4 equal batches and place them on 4 skewers. Brush with some of the marinade. Place the skewers on the grill or under the broiler and cook for 2 to 4 minutes. Turn the skewers and cook for 2 to 4 more minutes on the other side, or until they are opaque. Add the coarsely chopped, uncooked tomato to the warm Orange-Butter Sauce. Serve immediately with the Orange Butter Sauce.
Know Your Wine GlossaryBY MIRA HONEYCUTT
The world of wine is rich with its own vocabulary. When visiting a winery or tasting room, you’ll hear words like bung, lees and chaptalization as part of the wine lexicon. Here’s a glossary that will help you navigate your wine experience.
Acidity — a wine’s crispness and liveliness that activates our salivary glands. Aeration — addition of oxygen to round out and soften the wine.
Aging — holding in wine barrels, tanks and bottles to advance them to enhance their state.
Appellation — a legally defined region known to produce fine wine.
Astringent — a bitter and drying sensation in the mouth as a result of high levels of tannin.
Balance — a harmonious relationship between acids, sugars, tannins and alcohol in wine.
Barrel — oak vessel used for fermenting and aging wines.
Body — a sensation of fullness on the palate; wine can be light, medium or full-bodied.
Botrytis Cinerea — a beneficial fungus, also known as “noble rot” that pierces the grape’s skin causing dehydration, resulting in high sugar. Botrytis is responsible for some of the fine dessert wines such as Sauternes from France’s Bordeaux region.
Brettanomyces “Bret” — a wine spoiling yeast that produces barnyard aromas.
Brut — French term for dry champagnes or sparkling wines.
Bung — the plug used to seal a wine barrel.
Cellar — a temperature and humidity-controlled area to store wine.
Chaptalization — adding sugar to wine before or during fermentation to increase alcohol levels. A practice illegal in many parts of the world and highly controlled in others.
Corked — a wine that has suffered cork taint (not cork particles).
Cuvée — a blend of wine.
Demi-sec — a French term meaning half dry, used to describe a sweet sparkling wine. Dry — a taste sensation attributed to tannins that can cause puckering in the mouth.
Earthy — an odor or flavor reminiscent of damp soil. Enology — the science of winemaking.
Fermentation — the conversion of grape sugars to alcohol triggered by yeast.
Fining — adding of egg whites, gelatin or other agents to clarify the wine.
Finish — impression of textures and flavors that lingers on the palate after swallowing the wine.
Full-bodied — a wine high in alcohol and flavors, often described as “big.”
Herbaceous — a tasting term describing flavors of fresh herbs. Hot — a wine that is high in alcohol.
Lees — sediment of dead yeast cells, grape pulp and seeds accumulated during fermentation. Length — lingering sensation, the amount of time that flavors persist after swallowing the wine.
Malolactic fermentation — a secondary fermentation when the tartness of malic acid in the wine is converted to smooth lactic sensation also referred to as “buttery” or “creamy.” Mouth-feel — a wine’s feel on the palaterough, smooth or velvety. Must — unfermented grape juice including seeds, skin and stems.
Noble rot — also known as “botrytis.”
Split or Piccolo, 187.5 ml (milliliters), quarter of a standard bottle.
Demi, 375 ml, half a standard bottle.
Standard, 750 ml, holds five servings (an industry standard) of 5-oz pours
Magnum, 1.5 L (liters) = two standard bottles (10 servings).
Double Magnum or Jeroboam, 3.0 L = four standard bottles (20 servings).
Rehoboam, 4.5 L = six standard bottles (30 servings).
Methuselah, 6.0 L = eight standard bottles (40 servings).
Nose — a tasting term describing the bouquet and aroma of wine.
Oak — tasting term referring to smells and flavors of vanilla, baking spice and cocoa contributed by barrel-aging. Oxidation — chemical changes in wine caused by exposure to air.
Phenolic compounds — natural compounds present in grape skins and seeds.
Racking — siphoning wine from one container to another to get rid of sediment and clarify wine.
Sur-Lees — aging wine on remaining yeast deposits after alcohol fermentation.
Tannins — the phenolic compounds in wine that leave a bitter, “puckery” mouth feel. Terroir — French term for geographical characteristics unique to a vineyard site.
Ullage — the space left in bottles and barrels as wine evaporates.
Vegetal — tasting term detected on the nose or palate characteristic of fresh or cooked vegetables such as bell peppers and asparagus. Vitis vinifera — common European grape vine cultivated worldwide.
Weight — similar to “body,” indicating wine’s richness on the palate.
Yeast — a microorganism endemic to vineyards, also produced commercially that converts grape sugars to alcohol.
Salamanzar, 9.0 L = twelve standard bottles (60 servings).
Balthazar, 12.0 L = sixteen standard bottles (80 servings).
Nebuchanedzer, 15.0 L = twenty standard bottles (100 servings).
Melchior, 18.0 L = twenty-four standard bottles (120 servings).
Sovereign, 26.25 L = equals thirty-five standard bottles (175 servings).
Goliath, 27 L = thirty-six standard bottles (180 servings).
Melchizedek or Midas, 30.0 L = forty standard bottles (200 servings).
Call of the Wild Little Hooligans of the High VeldBY CHUCK GRAHAM
She convulsed mightily, standing watch on the eastern fringe of her maze of burrows. Her black milk ducts protruded through buff and tan-colored fur as her belly swelled with rich milk, warbling while she belted out a series of quavering trills, warning her kits of potential danger.
The watchful San Joaquin antelope ground squirrel (Ammospermophilus nelsoni) guarded her territory with utter aplomb. Standing 8 inches tall, she feasted on new green growth as spring hovered across California’s Southern San Joaquin Valley.
She also kept a keen, attentive eye on all six of her tiny, frenetic kits, who were busy foraging on their own. Between nibbles, they also roughhoused through and around their complex series of burrows, the entry and exit points ideal for seemingly infinite games of chase.
However, once a red-tailed hawk soared overhead, the mood surrounding the burrows quickly shifted. The presence of the majestic raptor casted shadows over the antelope ground squirrel burrows, sending all the rambunctious kits scurrying underground in the sweeping semi-arid veld.
TIME IS FLEETING
Their pace was feverish, cheeks nearly bursting with blades of brome grasses. Then, running back to their underground highways they stashed their precious morsels. Their actions appeared as if they were performing a daily chore, and they were. After all, the average lifespan of San Joaquin antelope ground squirrels is a paltry one year, so they’re busy squirrels as if every moment counts, except in times of extreme heat when they choose to lay low underground.
Their habitat throughout the San Joaquin Valley has greatly diminished over the last couple centuries, mostly due to agriculture. In California, they are listed as a species of special concern, but on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, they are listed as endangered due to habitat loss. Pockets of habitat remain, though, and California Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) environmental scientist Craig Fiehler is in the process of translocating antelope ground squirrels back to their old stomping grounds attempting to reestablish their historic habitat.
“I have wanted to study San Joaquin antelope squirrels for some time,” said Fiehler, who has worked for CDFW since 2006. “I had been thinking about testing translocation strategies for antelope ground squirrels.”
In 2011-12 the CDFW accepted the 12,000 acres of mitigation land that was secured as part of the Topaz Solar Farm Project. Fiehler was placed in charge of managing those lands just north of the Carrizo Plain National Monument. These lands were finally designated as the North Carrizo Ecological Reserve (NCER) in 2020. Most of those lands had been in dryland farming and cattle grazing, some right up until the lands transferred to CDFW.
Initially, Fiehler and his team collared three groups of 20 squirrels. One group was collared and remained in the National Monument as a “control” group, and they were not moved. One group was collared and moved up to the NCER into an area with no giant kangaroo rats (GKR). The last group was collared and moved to a neighboring parcel that is under conservation and managed by Sequoia Riverlands Trust. This area had GKR present. Fiehler was interested in determining in what way underground habitat (GKR burrows in this case) affected translocation success. It was learned that having an abundance of excess burrows in the translocation area would benefit newly translocated antelope squirrels.
“In general, it seems like the squirrels like to expand to adopt burrows that have been already dug by GKR or even Heermann’s kangaroo rat (HKR).” Continued Fiehler. “These burrows serve as a refuge for the squirrels during daytime activities and at night as well when they are sleeping.”
Currently, this study is still occurring in the Carrizo Plain and the surrounding regions to the north. Until the study is finished, squirrels will not be moved throughout the San Joaquin Valley. It is hoped that the results of this study will inform future conservation efforts for antelope squirrels in the San Joaquin Valley.
“However, as some lands go into retirement from agriculture,” said Fiehler, “there is some hope in connecting these islands and perhaps connecting larger squirrel populations together.”
OF GRASSLANDS, BURROWS, AND RANCHLAND RELICS
For over 150 years, ranching took place on California’s historic grasslands. Old ranchlands in the San Joaquin Valley that have come and gone are then sometimes reclaimed by wildlife. A perfect example of this is the Carrizo Plain National Monument, a 250,000-acre semi-arid grassland haven that possesses more endangered species than anywhere else in California.
Historically, the San Joaquin antelope squirrel ranged from northwestern Merced and eastern San Benito counties south to the northern border of Santa Barbara County, skirting the edges of the Los Padres National Forest and the arid Cuyama Valley. Prior to cultivation, the area within which this species was distributed was approximately 3.5 million acres. In 1979, an estimated 680,000 acres of uncultivated habitat remained and only about 101,962 acres was of fair to good quality.
“In general, I am impressed with just how tough these animals are,” said Fiehler. “They are physiologically adapted to a desert environment and it’s fascinating to me that they can persist with no water to drink for months at a time. They can be active during the heat of the day and use their little tail as a parasol when there is not shade available. I also find it interesting that they live in loose colonies and look out for each other.”
Current populations include elevations of 50 meters (165 feet) on the floor of the San Joaquin Valley to around 1,100 meters (3,609 feet) in the Temblor Mountains on the eastern fringe of the National Monument. In 1979, substantial populations were located within the areas around Lokern and Elk Hills in western Kern County and on the Carrizo and Elkhorn plains in eastern San Luis Obispo County. Since 1979, San Joaquin antelope squirrels have disappeared from many of the smaller habitat clusters on the valley floor.
However, the Carrizo Plain offers a look into what the entire San Joaquin Valley once appeared as so many decades ago. Observing wildlife like the antelope ground squirrel reveals just one of many inner workings of that grassland habitat. Once their burrows are established and parental bonds are confirmed, the best entertainment begins when the kits (or pups) arrive. An average family size consists of six to nine kits. After 30 days, those kits are on their own, weaned from their mother and are off foraging around their intricate burrow systems.
“They do eat lots of invertebrates, probably much more so than any plant material,” said Bryan L. Cypher, Ph.D and director for the Endangered Species Recovery Program, a research and conservation group associated with the California State University at Stanislaus. “Also, they (like many other squirrels and other rodents) will scavenge on dead animals.”
Some moms are more tolerant than others and will accept the pres-
ence of a low-lying photographer. Scooching along on elbows and toes is well worth experiencing the ongoing antics of the tiny kits. Dads are known as “bucks” and mothers are known as “does.” The mothers raise the kits acting like a diligent sentry, standing watch while the kits frolic. They also multi-task eating while looking out for their offspring.
“The males are love ’em and leave ’em types,” continued Cypher. “Not much that the males can really do for the young. The young nurse until they begin foraging on their own. They may continue sharing burrows with the female for some time after weaning and then eventually disperse.”
Especially eventful is observing the antics of the kits in and around old ranching implements of yesteryear, such as partially buried piping, rusty rakes, and trailer hitches. The more kits around, the more entertaining the antics become, and the weathered relics transform into grassland jungle gyms. Beyond chasing each other through their territories, adults and kits alike perform series of planks and stretches while reveling in their furious dust baths.
However, once either parent lets out a warning trill, the parents and kits will scamper for cover if a threat is in the area. They also respond to the warning calls of white-crowned sparrows and horned larks, both of which are abundant in the Carrizo Plain and can be seen around antelope ground squirrels. Once a potential threat subsides, the kits can’t help themselves, their curiosity forcing them to venture outside their burrows once again.
“It would not surprise me that they would use the alarm calls of co-occurring species as an early warning system,” said Fiehler. “Horned larks are especially common on our study sites. Since our sites lack a shrub component, the white-crowned sparrows are not present in any appreciable numbers.”
With so much habitat fragmentation in the San Joaquin Valley, I asked Fiehler if he felt it was only a matter of time before the San Joaquin antelope ground squirrel goes the way of the dodo? He answered my question by referring to a study he did back in 2008 on an oilfield in the San Joaquin Valley.
“At that time, we found that antelope squirrels were able to persist up to moderate habitat disturbance levels,” he said. “This leads me to believe that they may not have as narrow habitat requirements as some of the other rare species in the valley. If this is the case, I don’t fear for their survival as long as there are enough pockets of habitat and more of a focus of connecting newly acquired conservation lands to the other pockets of existing habitat. The results of our current study may help in developing strategies in which areas of the valley could potentially be repopulated with antelope squirrels. This could end up in an increase in the antelope squirrel population which would be great to see.”
Across 1. Survey the joint
. Sundance's pal 10 With a twist?
.Council Bluffs neighbor
.Tony Shalhoub role
.British imperial treasures
.Like good beds
.New World flycatcher
.National Park animals
.Nob's accessory, perhaps
.Wagon train cry
.Moves to and fro
.What each pro is once
.Thing to groom
.It comes before penta-
.Business card abbr.
.Woodland myth creature
."Jesus ___" (Bible's shortest verse)
.It may follow the pitch
.Open line indicator
.Park Avenue film name
.Stadium in which to see Venus?
.Minor, in law
.Subject to ablation
.Where to find time on one's hand?
.Eponymous life jacket
.St. George ___ the dragon
.Griffith and Gibb
.Egypt's early goddess
of a sort
with AFL in 1955
JANUARY Calendar of Events
*Event dates and times are subject to change. Please call ahead or check online to confirm details.
SUN JAN 1
Avila Polar Bear Plunge
EAST SIDE OF AVILA BEACH
The 11th annual Polar Bear Plunge is a celebration of fitness, nature, camaraderie and a New Year! Leave your wet suit at home and come with friends and family to the Avila Beach Pier. Bring costumes, floaties, etc, but no dogs, please. Commemorative shirts are available for purchase, and proceeds benefit the 40 Prado homeless shelter. For more info, go to avilabeachpolarbearplunge.com.
SUN JAN 1
First Day Beach Walk
MORRO STRAND BEACH
Starting at 8am, take a walk along the beach at low tide to celebrate the New Year and to see what ocean curiosities show up. Meet at the Morro Rock parking lot restrooms, dress for the weather. Strollers and wheelchairs encouraged, but should have big tires for sand. Easy, and fun for families.
Cayucos Polar Bear Dip
Each year, thousands of brave individuals and teams start the new year with a dip into the Pacific Ocean in Cayucos. Cayucos Chamber of Commerce puts on the family-friendly event, in partnership with multiple county agencies. Commemorative t-shirts (designed by local Cayucos elementary school students) and participant certificates will be available. Proceeds of shirt sales cover event costs and local Cayucos Chamber flagship events.
sat JAN 14
Atascadero’s 7th Annual Tamale Festival
6500 PALMA AVE., DOWNTOWN ATASCADERO & THE SUNKEN GARDENS
Enjoy a variety of tamales, including gourmet, traditional or sweet, from vendors all over California. While indulging in tamales, there will be entertainment from Emcee Francisco Ramirez along with Medina Light Show Designs and over 50 vendors displaying merchandise and crafts, as wells as adult beverages. There will also be a tamale eating contest and Chihuahua & Pet Costume Contest.
mon jan 16 fri feb 3 fri jan 27 - 30
Martin Luther King Jr. Day World Surf League Contest
Men and Women’s professional surfing contest where young California athletes are able to compete at the most important and recognizable events in their sport without having to leave the state or travel great distances. This includes the ability to earn valuable WSL Qualifying Series points, compete against international athletes, and gain valuable competition experience.
Father Daughter Dance (ages 12 and under)
PAVILION ON THE LAKE, ATASCADERO
Bring your special girl to the FatherDaughter Dance at the Pavilion on the Lake for a semi-formal evening of music, dancing, refreshments, & more! A photographer will be on-site with affordable picture packages.
tue feb 14 SAT feb 4
Father Daughter Dance (ages 12 and over)
PAVILION ON THE LAKE, ATASCADERO
Bring your special girl to the FatherDaughter Dance at the Pavilion on the Lake for a semi-formal evening of music, dancing, refreshments, & more. A photographer will be on-site with affordable picture packages.
sat feb 11
Paso Robles Chamber Gala
Welcome the 2023 Board of Directors and thank the 2022 outgoing Board members. They will also honor the Roblan of the Year, Citizen of the Year, Beautification Award recipient, and Business of the Year, as they share the Chamber’s accomplishments from 2022 and look forward to the year ahead.
Stay up on all the events and happenings SLO County!
SUBMIT UPCOMING EVENTS TO: email@example.com
Baywood / Los
668 SANTA MARIA AVE, SAN LUIS OBISPO
2pm – 4:30pm
2650 MAIN ST. SPENCER’S PARKING LOT 2pm – 4:30pm
11TH & SPRING, PASO ROBLES, CA 93446
9:30am – 12pm
1000 MAIN ST, VETERANS HALL PARKING LOT
2:30 – 5pm
6505 EL CAMINO REAL, ATASCADERO, CA 93422
3pm – 6pm
Avila Beach: Starting May 6 AVILA BEACH PROMENADE
4pm – 8pm
WEDNESDAYS: SMART & FINAL
PARKING LOT AT 1464 EAST GRAND AVENUE
WED: 8:30am – 11am
SATURDAYS: OLOHAN ALLEY IN THE ARROYO GRANDE VILLAGE
Sat: 12pm – 2:30pm
WED + SAT Saturdays
CROCKER ST & 6TH ST, TEMPLETON, CA 93465
9am – 12:30pm
Morro Bay 2650 MAIN ST. SPENCER’S PARKING LOT 2pm – 4:30pm
San Luis Obispo
FIVE BLOCKS OF HIGUERA STREET BETWEEN OSOS STREET AND NIPOMO STREET IN DOWNTOWN SAN LUIS OBISPO 6pm – 9pm
Paso Robles: County Farm & Craft Market
11TH & SPRING, PASO ROBLES 9am – 1pm
Government and Business
County of San Luis Obispo
All meetings below meet at the County Government Center, Board of Supervisors Chambers, 1055 Monterey St, Room D170, San Luis Obispo.
•Subdivision Review Board • first Monday, 9 a.m.
Board of Supervisors • first and third Tuesday, 9 a.m.
Parks & Recreation Commission • fourth Tuesday, 6 p.m. Airport Land Use Commission • third Wednesday, 1:30 p.m. Air Pollution and Control Board • fourth Wednesday of every odd numbered month, with some exceptions. 9 a.m.
Local Agency Formation Commission • third Thursday, 9 a.m.
Planning Commission • second and fourth Thursday, 9 a.m. County Phone Directory: 805781-5000
*Visit slocounty.ca.gov for virtual & up to date meeting info.
San Luis Obispo Regional Transit Authority Phone: 805-541-2228 253 Elks Lane San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Visit: slorta.org
San Luis Obispo County Office of Education Phone: 805-543-7732 3350 Education Drive San Luis Obispo, CA 93405 Visit: slocoe.org
San Luis Obispo Office Phone: 805-781-5080 Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM, excluding holidays 1055 Monterey Street Suite D120 San Luis Obispo, CA 93408
San Luis Obispo
Chamber of Commerce Phone: 805-781-2670 895 Monterey St. San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Visit: slochamber.org
Cambria Chamber of Commerce Phone 805-927-3624 Open Monday through Friday 9 to 5
Please call first on weekends. 767 Main Street Cambria, California 93428 Visit: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chamber of Commerce Phone: 805-995-1200 Mailing Address: PO Box 106 Cayucos, CA 93430 Visit: cayucoschamber.com
Chamber of Commerce 695 Harbor St Morro Bay, CA 93442 Phone: 805-772-4467 Visit: morrochamber.org
Avila Beach Community Services District Phone: 805-595-2664 100 San Luis Street Avila Beach, CA 93424
Mailing address is: PO Box 309, Avila Beach CA 93424 Visit: avilabeachcsd.org
Point San Luis Harbor District
3950 Avila Beach Drive P.O. Box 249 Avila Beach, CA 93424
Los Osos / Baywood Park Chamber of Commerce Phone: 805- 528-4884
781 Los Osos Valley Road, Los Osos, CA 93402 Mailing: P.O. Box 6282, Los Osos, CA 93412 Visit: lobpchamber.org
Pismo Beach Chamber of Commerce Phone: 805-773-4382 Visit: pismochamber.com 649 Dolliver St Pismo Beach, CA 93449
SUBMIT UPCOMING EVENTS TO: email@example.com
(805) 466-2585 • centralcoastjournal.com
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
Photographer based in Arroyo Grande, focusing on portraiture, lifestyle, and nature.
To submit your Photo of the Month, send a high resolution (300 dpi) jpeg photo by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with where in SLO County the photo was taken and the photographer’s name.Sea Anenome by Robbie Bruzus
Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness
America’s 38th celebration of Martin Luther King JrBY HAYLEY MATTSON
In 1963 on August 28, Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. In the speech, Dr. King drew directly on the promises made in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to call for civil rights and an end to racism.
“When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the unalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
King’s most important work applied America’s founding ideals to the cause of civil rights. The last best hope for true racial progress, King realized, was solidarity: For people to see and treat one another as equals, they had to feel the tugs of a bond far stronger than either race or politics, and for King, that bond was America.
After all, there are two words in the phrase “civil rights,” and King grasped that both are crucial. Civil rights are about the fair and equal participation of all citizens in the American community. For those rights to have any power, the bonds of that community must be close-knit and resilient.
“I criticize America because I love her,” King said in a speech about the Vietnam War, “and because I want to see her to stand as the moral example of the world.”
All Americans alike can learn from King’s example: “In the United States of America, every citizen should have the opportunity to build a better and brighter future. United as one American family, we will not rest, and we will never be satisfied until the promise of this great nation is accessible to each American in each new generation.”
The premise and promise of King’s dream is that we don’t need to replace or transform our nation’s shared ideals to make our country
a better place.
We simply need to live up to them.
On April 3, 1968, the eve of his assassination, King gave his “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address at the Bishop Charles Mason Temple in Memphis, Tenn. In standing with the Memphis sanitation workers on strike, Dr. King struck a familiar chord in tying the striking workers’ economic rights to their natural human rights and their civil rights, as promised in the founding documents.
“But somewhere, I read of the freedom of assembly. Somewhere I read of the freedom of speech. Somewhere I read of the freedom of press. Somewhere I read that the greatness of America is the right to protest for right. And so, just as I say, we aren’t going to let any dogs or water hoses turn us around; we aren’t going to let any injunction turn us around. We are going on. We need all of you.”
In that same speech, he went on to say,
“Because if I had sneezed, I wouldn’t have been around here in 1960, when students all over the South started sitting in at lunch counters. And I knew that as they were sitting in, they were really standing up for the best in the American dream and taking the whole nation back to those great wells of democracy, which were dug deep by the founding fathers in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.”
King left a legacy of hope and inspiration that continues on today; his love and admiration of the founding fathers, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution were unwavering and gave him hope of what could be and what was to come.
Monday, January 16, will mark America’s 38th celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s life and legacy. Honoring King with the sacred status of a federal holiday, of which there are only 10, none other named for a 20th-century figure, is a testament to the unifying power of his legacy.