Avila Beach Life • June 2022

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LOCAL NEWS ... BEACH VIEWS • JUNE 2022

AVILABEACHLIFENEWS .COM

Happy Father’s Day MEET LILY, KIKI, AND MOLLY PAGE 4

AVILA PIER PROJECT REHABILITATION FUNDS PAGE 5

BIRD WATCHING

MALLARD DRAKES AND HENS PAGE 6

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PETS OF THE MONTH

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ALSO INSIDE THIS ISSUE:


2 | Avila Beach Life — JUNE 2022

Making Communities Better Through Print™

Summert ime C omm unit y Love

Publishers

Hayley & Nicholas Mattson editor@13starsmedia.com

“One of the marvelous things about community is that it enables us to welcome and help people in a way we couldn’t as individuals. When we pool our strength and share the work and responsibility, we can welcome many people, even those in deep distress, and perhaps help them find self-confidence and inner healing.”

LAYOUT DESIGN Lauren Miller

Ad Design Jen Rodman

— Jean Vanier

Ad Consultant Summertime is here once again, and this year we are ready to enjoy some of our much-loved events and gathering that we missed last year. Summer brings with it a sense of adventure and endless possibilities, long summer days soaking up the sunshine at the beach, and lots of visitors! Fresh produce and watermelons are a must this time of year so don’t forget to enjoy the fresh produce that is made ready for us by our local farmers at our Farmers Market (see page 5) In June this year, on the 19th, we celebrate our father’s for all the love, support, and guidance they give to us and our families. Watching Nic guide and mentor our boys as they grow fills my heart and soul. He is an incredible father and friend. We are truly blessed to have him. Happy Father’s Day to all the dad’s and men who step into that role when one is needed. I miss my dad each and every day—much love to you all who are missing your loved ones.

Administrator

Cami Martin office@13starsmedia.com

CONTRIBUTORS Mary Foppiano Betty Hartig

Chris Munson

Dr. Cindy Maynard John Salisbury Rick Cohen

Contact Us 805.466.2585

In June, we also celebrate Juneteenth; the California legislature recognizes Juneteenth as the third Saturday of June, “Juneteenth National Freedom Day: A Day of Observance.” The now federal holiday is culturally significant to all Americans as the announcement of the end of state-sanctioned slavery following the end of the deadliest war in American history. As a correction to last month, we want to thank the Avila Beach Community Foundation (misspoke and stated center) along with the incredible members and advertisers in the Avila Beach Community for keeping Avila Beach Life in publication. Without them and our team, it would not be possible. We hope you have an excellent June, and we hope to see you out soaking up the sunshine! Please enjoy this issue of Avila Beach Life. Hayley & Nic

Visit our website! avilabeachlifenews.com

Through Print

avila beach life is published monthly. all rights reserved , material may not be reprinted without written consent from the publisher . avila beach life made every effort to maintain the accuracy of information presented in this publication , but assumes no responsibility for errors , changes or omissions . avila beach life is a product of 13 stars media.

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Dana McGraw Brooke Brinar


JUNE 2022 — Avila Beach Life | 3 FOUNDATION NEWS AND VIEWS

In the summertime, when the weather is hot...

Rick Cohen

avila beach foundation

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reetings, fellow Avilones. “In the summertime, when the weather is hot, you can stretch right up and touch the sky, when the weather’s right you got women, you got women on your mind. Have a drink, have a drive, go out and see what you can find.” If you recognize the opening lyrics to the song made famous by musician Mungo Jerry, you qualify as a ‘60s music aficionado. Quite a catchy tune and peppy kickoff to the coming of summer, which officially begins on June 21. Two days before that, of course, is Father’s Day. In case you didn’t know, the name June is of Latin origin and means “young.” It is derived from the name of the Roman goddess Juno. Other popular uses of the word June includes: June Gloom; a California term for a weather pattern that results in

cloudy, overcast skies with cool temperatures during the late spring and early summer. June Swoon; a baseball phrase, something that every team has to hear when they go on a losing streak in June. June Bug; refers to any of the 100 species of beetles that are related to the scarabs familiar from ancient Egyptian iconography. And my favorite is June Cleaver; a principal character in the popular American television sitcom of the 1950s, Leave It to Beaver. Moving forward to matters of more importance, the Foundation Board of Trustees recently met and decided to resume the organization’s competitive application and grant-making processes of the past. More than once, I informed our readers that due to the 2020 pandemic that stressed the financial fitness of local nonprofit agencies over the past two years, we relaxed the usual annual process for those we historically support and simply rolled over the same amount of funding given them in 2019. Additionally, these funds could be used by the agencies in whichever ways they needed to keep the doors open, instead of being tied to specific programs or projects. From what I’ve been told, this was extremely helpful. Now that these agencies have begun to recover financially, those seeking funding for 2023 will be invited to apply later this year.

Announcements will be forthcoming in July. Some folks have asked me how the Foundation determines the amount of money allotted for grants. The answer is that each year we visit the value of our investment portfolio on Oct. 1, as well as the amount on that date the prior two years, then we calculate the three-year rolling average. The board then determines what percentage of that three-year rolling average (usually around 3 percent) will be used to fund grants for the coming year. Using this method enables us to maintain a somewhat stable funding rate, regardless of any spikes that may occur in the stock market in any given year. Giving Now and Later: An Overview of Donor-Advised Fund Rules Donor-advised funds have been around for almost a century. The first donor-advised fund (DAF) emerged in the early 1930s. DAFs became more popular and commercialized in the 1990s with the creation of charitable arms of large financial institutions. Tax law evolved over the years to distinguish public charities from private foundations, without codifying DAFs until 2006. Congress passed the Pension Protection Act (PPA) of 2006, which introduced DAFs formally into the tax code and defined the rules related to DAFs. Since the passage of the PPA,

the rules regarding DAFs have remained relatively unchanged. A DAF is a separately identified account that a donor establishes with a sponsoring 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. This DAF allows the donor to irrevocably dedicate assets for charitable purposes and generate an immediate charitable income tax deduction, while retaining flexibility to later recommend which charitable entities should receive grants from the DAF. Many donors gravitate to DAFs due to the flexibility and advisory control they offer. If you are interested in establishing a DAF of your own to benefit the communities of Avila Beach, please contact Rick Cohen at: avilafoundation@gmail.com. Last but not least, this alert comes from Cal Fire Battalion Chief Paul Lee. “As the weather warms, please get in front of all weed abatement projects and complete them before the grass is cured. Any burning should be done using caution. Feel free to reach out to the fire department before burning if you have any questions.” I think we all appreciate the hard work of Chief Lee and his colleagues at the Avila Beach fire station to help keep our community, with its concentrations of vegetation, safe. That’s it for now, fellow Avilones. See you at the beach!

Is It Finally Time for Fixed Income? For the last year or so, our managed client portfolios have held few bonds and risk was managed using cash. Interest rates for “safe” bonds were historically low, creating a serious potential for loss if rates increased. Well, rates have risen and that risk has been realized. Average bond values have plummeted by -10%* this year, destroying the coupon payments on bonds for years. The flip side of the bond armaggedon is, it is now possible to start earning a decent rate on fixed interest investments without having to take huge risks in quality. For years the Fed has suppressed rates such that a $500,000 portfolio may have earned interest of less than $5000/year. That has all changed with fixed rates now above 3.5%^ and some preferred stocks paying well over 6%.* There are many ways to de-risk your portfolio and increase your income so you can enjoy your life now. To learn more, please visit our website and/or call for a time to review your situation (no obligation or fee). *Source: Yahoo Finance—Preferred stocks may lose value. Dividends not guaranteed ^Guaranteed by the claims paying ability of the issuer

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4 | Avila Beach Life — JUNE 2022

Making Communities Better Through Print™

OPINION

A view from the beach …

Mary Foppiano

Avila Beach Civic Association

H

i All – One of my least favorite things to do is spring cleaning…especially cleaning out my closet.

I really don’t think of myself as a hoarder, but I just donated four big black bags of jeans and shorts and tops that I haven’t worn in several years, which is a good thing for people who shop at Goodwill…and now I have lots of room to buy more clothes… wrong. As much as I love to shop, I am really beyond wanting to fill up my shelves again. Of course, this feeling will probably wear off the next time I am forced to shop…okay, forced may be a bit too strong of a word…lol. The Avila Beach Civic Association is hosting our annual

Pancake Breakfast and Doggie Parade. Breakfast on Monday, July 4, from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at the Community Center with tables inside and outside in our Healing Garden. We will have puppy sitters in the garden to allow pet parents to either eat inside or outside with their dogs prior to the parade. Tickets are $7/person ($5/person for members) and $3/ child six and under. The breakfast is delicious and a great start to your holiday. Following breakfast, our Doggie Parade will be at 11 a.m. on the Avila Beach Prome-

nade. Registration and check-in will be outside the Center from 9 to 10 a.m. and in front of the Old Custom House from 10 to 11 a.m. You can download your registration form at avilabeachcc.com. We are in need of volunteers for both events, so please get in touch with me at (805) 627-1997 or avilabeachcc@ gmail.com. We are also in the beginning stages of planning for our Avila Apple Festival on Saturday, Sept. 24, from 3 to 5 p.m. in our Healing Garden. Sylvia Remmenga is our Events Chair and can

be reached at (805) 245-9352 or sylvia.remmenga@gmail.com if you want to get involved in this fun event. We need silent auction items and volunteers to help us with a fun afternoon. If you haven’t had the chance to visit our Free Little Library outside the Post Office by our Healing Garden, please stop by when you have time. We are also in need of additional books to place in the library for everyone to take. If you have any books to donate, please drop them at our office or let us know if they need to be picked up.

COMMUNITY SPOTLIGHT

Suzy Watkins By MARY FOPPIANO For Avila Beach Life

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must admit that I was a bit intimidated by Suzy Watkins’ resume when I read it. She is a talented operations and finance leader with over 20 years of experience combining technical expertise with broad skills across management and operations functional areas. She is experienced working in both government agencies and private firms and facilitation of public/private partnerships. She also excels in identifying obstacles, locating appropriate resources, and taking initiative to complete projects successfully. That being said, I was very pleased to meet Suzy in person and learn more about her besides what a great new leader she is for the Port San Luis Harbor District. After obtaining her Masters of Business Administration in Finance from the California Lutheran University, she began working for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP as a senior associate in San Jose. She said the work was fascinating and transferred to their Los Angeles office, from which she traveled every week for over a year. Her older brother worked for the County of Ventura and encouraged her to consider a move to Ventura and a position with the County. Suzy became the Program Management Analyst in the County’s Executive

Office for four years. During that time, she was responsible for capital planning, project financing, including debt issuance and compliance, oversight of departmental budgets and operations, and program implementation. She performed studies of management and organizational policies, procedures, and systems to determine compliance with the Board of Supervisors’ adopted policies, facilitated the issuance of County debt financing instruments, and led countywide debt service and capital projects budgets of $114M. Suzy became the Deputy Director of the Harbor Department in 2006 and led the team of 35 full-time and 45 part-time employees in the financial and administrative operations of a 310-acre facility, including 600 residences, two hotels, over 200 businesses, 2,150 boat slips, seven park areas, and beaches, as well as several miles of public facilities and associated infrastructure. One of her most proud accomplishments was coordinating the multi-agency completion of an $8M boating and marine education facility, which included an active waterfront facility, classrooms, and interactive educational exhibits. Another accomplishment was to lead a County mass vaccination clinic in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, meeting the challenge of continuously evolving guidelines while exceeding the production target and providing a positive customer

Suzy Watkins

experience. She unified a diverse group of strangers into a cohesive team to deliver more than 44,000 vaccines to the community. Suzy said that she really enjoyed the work in Ventura but needed new challenges while staying on the waterfront. The Port San Luis Harbor District gave her the best of both worlds…new challenges on the waterfront and keeping that small-town feel. She has always enjoyed the outdoors and loves to hike, backpack, camp, and explore open spaces. She has traveled throughout the US and

internationally. Her favorite location is Iceland, with the glacier, volcanos, waterfalls, and a beautiful coastline. She enjoys cooking and baking and trying new recipes from around the world. She also treasures recipes from her great-great-grandmother, who came over from Sweden and worked as a cook for a family in New York. She looks forward to making her great-greatgrandmother’s Swedish holiday meal which has become a family tradition on Christmas Eve. Suzy has made Polish pierogi, Spanish paella, and French pastries. Four years ago, she ran a 5k, 10k, half marathon, and marathon over four consecutive days for a total of 48.6 miles on her feet. She had never previously ran a full marathon, but she trusted friends who had done it before, had a good training plan, and followed through with the steps. In the end, she said it just takes continuing to move forward, even when it gets tough. She loves Avila Beach because of the sense of community and meeting people who engage and care for the community. She has felt welcomed by everyone’s friendly attitude, which reminds her of the small town in which she grew up. We are very fortunate to have Suzy and her leadership skills to help with the repair of the Avila Pier and beachfront. I know she is making many new friends here while continuing with the hard work which is ahead.

FURRY SPOTLIGHT

Lily, Kiki, and Molly are the Pets of the Month! By MARY FOPPIANO

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eet Lily, Kiki, and Molly, three sweet King Charles Cavalier litter sisters who live the good life in San Luis Bay Estates neighborhoods. Molly lives with Sheila Lawson in Indian Hill, and Lily and Kiki live with Sheila’s daughter Laurie Blaising in Mallard Green. As a result of their close location, they share lots of overnights, their birthday, play dates, and the

Lily, Kiki, and Molly with Sheila Lawson and Laurie Blaising

4th of July and Christmas parades. Their highlight of the day is riding in the golf cart to pick up the mail. They also love meeting their friends and sniffing the flowers…and other things…at the park on Country Club Drive. The sisters bring love, joy, comfort, smiles, and companionship to Sheila and Laurie. They are so very thankful for having them in their lives.

NEXT MONTH’S PET OF THE MONTH

Please send your pictures and a short paragraph about your pet to avilabeachcc@gmail.com Thanks, and introduce us to your furry friend next month!


JUNE 2022 — Avila Beach Life | 5 HARBOR DISTRICT

Friends of Avila Pier Make $245,000 Donation to Rehabilitation Project By CHRIS MUNSON Facilities Manager

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n April 26, the Friends of Avila Pier presented the Port San Luis Harbor District with a check for $245,000 toward Stage 1 of the Avila Pier Rehabilitation. Funds will be used toward light posts and utilities, which will be replaced as the pier is being repaired. With completion of Stage 1, the pier will have the structural capacity to allow opening to its full length. The pier has been partially closed since 2015 due to concerns of its condition. A pile survey had been previously conducted, which showed significant loss and damage to the piles. During the summer of 2015, humpback whales visited the bay, which caused hundreds of visitors to use Avila Pier to get a closer look. After the pier began to sway excessively from the whale watchers, the Harbor District closed the pier in an abundance of caution. Since that time, engineers have re-evaluated the pier. The results showed that while the pier has experienced loss and damage to some piles, it retained much of its capacity due to the sheer number of piles. In short, the pier was over-built and could be spot repaired rather than completely rebuilt or demolished. Harbor District staff has been working since that time to obtain grant funding,

permits, and a repair plan. They were successful in obtaining grant funds of $1.25 million from Wildlife Conservation Board, $250,000 from State Coastal Conservancy, and $10,000 from Avila Beach Community Foundation. In late 2021, the project was issued a Coastal Development Permit, and the repair plans were finalized. Grant funds will be used to repair or replace about 50 damaged piles and to make repairs to the trestle or narrow stem of the pier. The project includes replacing all the decking on the trestle and will close the sizeable gaps which currently exist, facilitating better ADA access. The current grant funds, however, cannot be used toward other important parts of the full pier’s rehabilitation. These include the replacement of the aging utilities and lamp posts, replacing the terminus (wide portion of the pier) decking, repairs to the boat landing, and repairing the restrooms and bait shack at the end. Through the generous donations made available through Friends of Avila Pier, the Harbor District has sufficient funding to complete Stage 1, which will reopen the pier. The Harbor District anticipates the start of repairs in the coming weeks when they receive final authorization from Wildlife Conservation Board, the primary granting agency.

The Port San Luis Harbor District presents the donation check.

Friends of Avila Pier (FOAP), Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization that was formed by volunteers from the Avila Beach community for the sole purpose of assisting in the raising of funds to maintain, renovate and preserve Avila Pier. Friends of the Avila Pier continues to collect donations toward the later stages of the project to fully rehabili-

tate the pier. A fully rehabilitated Avila Pier will restore a local landmark for current and future generations to enjoy. Donations can be made by visiting AvilaPier.org, mailing checks to Friends of Avila Pier, Inc. P.O.Box 685, Avila Beach, CA 93424, or by donations slips located outside the San Luis Yacht Club at the base of the pier.

june–july *Due to COVID-19 all events are tentative and dates are subject to change. Please call ahead or check online for more details.

Every sunday

weekdays in june

Central Coast Follies Free Dance Lessons

Van Curaza Surf School AVILA BEACH

DELLOS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 519 5 CITIES DRIVE, PISMO BEACH

8:30am – 1:30pm Choose from 1-day, 3-day, and 5-day 2pm – 2:45pm Tap and 2:45pm – 3:30pm Jazz opportunities. For more info and to register for Join Choreographer Jason Sumabat as they teach lessons, visit vancurazasurfschool.com free dance classes open to children, teens, family, guardians, and friends to come and try out.

June 5

June 6 – August 26

June 3 – 5 36th Annual Classic at Pismo Beach Car Show DOWNTOWN PISMO BEACH

Free to the Public, Hundreds of Classic Cars, Live Music, and Vendors, right by the beach and worldfamous pier; visit experiencepismobeach.com for more information.

June 12

Spring Concert Series

Kids Surf Camps

Pacific Breeze Concerts

HISTORIC JACK HOUSE AND GARDENS 536 MARSH ST

ADDIE STREET SURFER PARKING LOT 163 ADDIE STREET, PISMO BEACH

DINOSAUR CAVES PARK, PISMO BEACH

1pm – 4pm Bring the family to enjoy a picnic in the park with games, dancing, and LIVE music by The Wavebreakers Band!

8:30am – 1:30pm Week-long day camps run Monday through Friday each week starting June 6; visit ampsurf.org/summer-camps

June 17 – 19 Live Oak Music Festival

June 18 Avila Beach Mac & Cheese Fest

EL CHORRO REGIONAL PARK

AVILA BEACH GOLF RESORT

A fun-filled weekend of great music, art, camping, and activities! For more info, visit liveoakfest.org.

2pm – 6pm Join the 9th Annual Mac and Cheese Fest as local Restaurants go head to head for the title of “Best Mac and Cheese on the Central Coast!” For more info and tickets, visit themacandcheesefest.com

June 25 & July 9 Point San Luis Summer Concert Series PT. SAN LUIS LIGHTHOUSE, AVILA BEACH

8:30am – 1:30pm For more info and to purchase tickets, visit pointsanluislighthouse.org • Band Line Up Includes: June 25: Jill Knight Trio • July 9: Upside Ska

JULY 4

1pm – 4pm Enjoy Dante Marsh & The Vibe Setters playing for free at the park with kids’ activities and food available. For more info, visit pismobeach.org

June 19 Happy Father’s Day Juneteenth National Independence Day

Thursdays San Luis Obispo

FIVE BLOCKS OF HIGUERA STREET BETWEEN OSOS STREET AND NIPOMO STREET IN DOWNTOWN SAN LUIS OBISPO

6pm – 9pm

Fridays Avila Beach AVILA BEACH PROMENADE

4pm – 8pm

sat & Wed JuLY 4

July 4 in Pismo Beach

July 4 in Avila Beach

PISMO BEACH

AVILA BEACH COMMUNITY CENTER

Details to come.

8:30am – 11am Pancake Breakfast 8:30am – 11:00am Doggie Parade at 11:00am. To register, email avilabeachcc@gmail.com

Arroyo Grande SATURDAY: OLOHAN ALLEY IN THE ARROYO GRANDE VILLAGE

12pm – 2pm WEDNESDAY: SMART & FINAL PARKING LOT AT 1464 EAST GRAND AVENUE

8:30am – 11am


6 | Avila Beach Life — JUNE 2022

Making Communities Better Through Print™

WILDLIFE

Dabbling Ducks of the Bob Jones Pathway By BETTY HARTIG For Avila Beach Life

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here are various water bird viewing areas along the Bob Jones Pathway. The meandering San Luis Obispo Creek provides an optimal environment for aquatic fowl to thrive. A prime location to spot water bird activity is where the creek meets the ocean. Beginning at the weir and ending at the estuary opening to the Pacific Ocean, there are numerous species of feathered friends actively engaged in daily living activities, such as preening, snoozing, taking care of their young, and of course scanning for a meal. Some of the more vocal birds can be heard honking and quacking at high decibels as if a lecture or some type of disagreement is being communicated to their peers. One handsome fowl that stands out is the mallard duck. The mallard male, called a drake, has an incredibly iridescent, emerald-green head and neck. If the drake angles his body to

A mallard drake is shown in flight, with its colors providing a lovely palette. Photos by Victoria Morrow

reflect sunshine it creates the most striking shiny color. As if the vibrant green is not enough, it is accented with a bright white neckband leading down to a chestnutcolored breast and a bright yellow bill. Now, that is a lovely palette. Interestingly, like most wildlife species, the female is not as exquisitely designed. The female, referred to as a hen, has mainly brown-speckled plumage, with a pale orange and brown bill, which serves as excellent camouflage. In flight, both sexes have a purplish-blue spectrum patch bordered by white revealed on their wings. Spectacular! Drake and hen pairs are most often seen paddling about together or slowly waddling on nearby land. They seem to be a devoted couple, always hanging around together, but contrary to popular belief, mallards do not mate for life. Their companionship is seasonal. A somewhat comical characteristic of mallards is feeding in the water by tipping forward and grazing on underwater plants and seeds. A process referred to as dabbling. Bottoms up! This unique eating posture can easily be observed along the estuary bridge on the Bob Jones Trail. The action resembles a synchronized swimming routine. The ducks also find nourishment on the shore by picking at vegetation, foraging on bugs, snails, and grains on the ground. Mallards can live in just about any natural wetland habitat. However, it is not unusual to see them in an artificial water location as well, like a city park or a backyard pool. Mallards are extremely sociable and, like most ducks, they form large groups. A group of ducks flying are commonly referred to as a flock, but when a group is on the water,

Drake and hen pairs are most often seen paddling about together or slowly waddling on nearby land.

A mallard duckling is spotted in the water. Ducklings can swim, run, and find food soon after they are born.

they can be called a raft or paddling. Mallards may move awkwardly on land, but in the air, they are quite adept and can fly up to 70 miles per hour. Twice a year, mallards molt their flight feathers, temporarily grounding them for several weeks until the feathers grow back. Despite this vulnerability period, in the wild, mallards can live from five to ten years. Ideal nesting sites for mallards are close to water on moist ground. Cooperatively, mallard pairs search for a proper place together; nonetheless the female takes on the task of forming a nest. Hens will strategically conceal their hideaway in grasses and overhanging vegetation, smartly designing her shallow depression like bowl to protect herself too. The laying beds are lined with leaves, grasses, and twigs from nearby. After incubation hens pluck down feathers from their chests to further insulate and cover the eggs. A warm comfy environment is masterfully created by mom. Clutch size is usually 8–13 eggs. The mother lays eggs

at one-to two-day intervals, and incubation begins when all eggs have been laid. These hatched fluffy ducklings are covered in down and alert to their surroundings. Amazingly, they are ready to leave the nest within 13-16 hours. Newborns are led to water as soon as their downy feathers are dry. Ducklings can swim, run, and find food right away. The hen does not get much of a break before having to keep all her ducks in a row. Such are the responsibilities of parenthood. The mother will protect and watch over her ducklings for a few months. Then fledglings are on their own. Ducks use vocalization and body language to communicate. Mallards are no exception, females use a classic quack sound, which are usually given in a series of 2-10 quacks. The male does not quack; he produces a quieter raspy call. Little ducklings make a soft shrill whistle when alarmed. While strolling along the Bob Jones Pathway take time to observe the action and listen to the quacking sounds. One can only imagine the conversation topic.

HEALTH & MENTAL WELLNESS

How Self-Compassionate Are You?

Dr. Cindy Maynard contributor

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ost of us know that having compassion for others represents a hallmark of maturity, spiritual evolution, and well-being. But we often forget that the most important and overlooked person to have compassion for is ourselves. Which is not something we are often taught in our society. And yet, it’s important to learn because research shows self-compassion boosts our feelings of self-worth and resilience, we make more social connections, and it decreases anxiety, depression, and fear of failure. So, why are we so critical towards ourselves? We are harder on ourselves than anyone. We think if we are critical

of ourselves that we will do better, be better. But it’s just the opposite. Thoughts of “I’m not good enough,” “I’m overweight,” or “I might as well give up” are destructive to our psyche. Would you talk to a friend that way? And yet, it is common to talk to ourselves in this way. One friend relates, stating, “Having selfcompassion seems to be a difficult mindset to achieve. Self-care is lacking in society, especially among women. How to achieve it? Maybe by writing a gratitude journal that emphasizes what one is grateful for regarding personal qualities instead of what is present in one’s life would be a good way to remind us to take time for self-care.” I have always been somewhat of a perfectionist, which at times has caused me a great deal of suffering. Why exactly do I need to spend 60 minutes writing a 2-sentence email anyway? Recently a friend of mine in a 12-step program shared a slogan with me, “Good enough is good enough.” In a few words, she had given me a life-altering lesson in self-compassion. So, how do we build this muscle? Dr. Kristin Neff, a pioneer in the field of self-compassion research,

shares some ways to do this. We practice self-kindness. We give ourselves a word of encouragement, a pat-on-the-back, so to speak. Second, we acknowledge our common humanity. In other words, we are all going through this together, and we’ve all felt these feelings of inadequacy at some time or another. Lastly, we practice mindfulness, which means we don’t ignore painful thoughts or feelings, but we hold them in our consciousness with openness and acceptance so that we can keep our hearts open. How self-compassionate are you? Take this quiz to find out. After each question, indicate which behavior is most like you using the following scale:

1

Almost Never

2

Occasionally

3

Half the time

4

Often

5

Always

Quiz 1. I try to be understanding and patient toward those aspects of my personality I don’t like. 2. When something happens, I try to take a balanced view of the situation. 3. I try to see my failings as part of the human condition. 4. When I am going through a very hard time, I give myself the caring and compassion I need. 5. When something upsets me, I try to keep my emotions in balance. 6. When I feel inadequate in some way, I try to remind myself that feelings of inadequacy are shared by most people. 7. When I fail at something important to me, I become consumed by feelings of inadequacy. 8. When I’m feeling down, I tend to feel like most other people are probably happier than me. 9. When I fail at something important to me, I tend to feel alone in my failure. 10. When I’m feeling down, I tend to obsess and fixate on everything that’s wrong. 11. I’m disapproving and judgmental about my own flaws and inadequacies.

12. I’m intolerant and impatient toward those aspects of my personality I don’t like.

Scoring Total up all 12 scores. Divide your score by 12. 1.0–2.5

low self-compassion

2.5–3.5

moderate self-compassion

3.5–5.0

high self-compassion

We are imperfect human beings doing the best we can. Remember, next time you are berating or being critical of yourself, act as though you were comforting your best friend…yourself. Cindy Maynard, Ph.D., RD, is a health psychologist, registered dietitian, a health and f itness writer. You can contact her at drcindymaynard@live.com


JUNE 2022 — Avila Beach Life | 7

the

Just Facts Continued

John Salisbury contributor

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long with the high use of toxic non-recyclable chemicals and minerals in ZEV half-ton batteries presented last month, solar panels also have toxic elements in the processing of the panels. Changing silicate into silicon needs processing with hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrogen fluoride, trichloroethane, and acetone. Plus, they also need gallium, arsenide, copper-indiumgallium-diselenide, and cadmium-telluride, which are most highly toxic. Silicon dust is a toxic hazard for the workers in the plants, and, again, there are products in the panels that can not be recycled yet, so off to the dump they go along with the batteries. Solar panels are now being made to have a useful life of about 25 years, and then they start losing efficiency. With the recent boom in the last couple of decades, we have a bunch coming offline and need to be replaced. China supplies 80 percent of the world’s solar panels relying on coal-powered electricity to produce them. Our tariff war with them is severely curtailing deliveries. So installing solar panels to reduce emissions, how long using them on your roof before being truly emission-free after all the embedded costs of the coal, silicon, and other scarce rare earth metals to be dug, hauled to processing sites, processed, shipped overseas, stored, and hauled around the states to be installed using on the most part non-renewable energy? Then have to start all over again in 25 years and shell out another 15 grand for a home or, worst yet, massive solar farms. We installed solar panels in the mid-’70s on our home on an island in the Sacramento River Delta for $8,000 with 50-years-ago money. They were big thick heavy panels that never really worked well, especially when needed during our cold heavy tule fog season that would last for weeks. We have solar on our roof here in San Luis Obispo going on five years recouping the installation cost from the power price saving and in another four years might break even. However, PG&E wants to charge us a new hefty user fee plus cut back on what they pay us for our extra produced energy going to the grid. According to Nate Berg in Green Biz, solar panels are hard to recycle because they are made of many different materials,

HIGH USE OF TOXIC, NON-RECYCLABLE CHEMICALS AND MINERALS many hazardous, that are put together with adhesives and sealants that make it hard to break them apart (de-manufacture). Besides, 75 percent of the stuff that gets separated is glass and not worth much, which is a disincentive to mess around with recycling. Companies are trying to figure out ways to come up with an economical way to recycle some of the material, mainly reuse of the glass into new panels. But with big solar farms, more rooftop installations, and mandates, there is going to be a whole lot more in the next few decades to handle, which means increased dump disposal. Windmills are also problematic and we have a big project offshore from Morro Bay being proposed amid concerns about the potential negative impacts on fishes, marine mammals, invertebrates, birds, and bats from collision, habitat displacement, and exposure to electromagnetic fields, visual pollution, and underwater noise confusing migrating whales and fish species passing along our coast. Windmills are probably the worst of the technologies because of the embedded cost and environmental destruction. Each large windmill weighs around 1,700 tons (23 average homes). They contain 1,300 tons of concrete, 295 tons of steel, 48 tons of iron, and 24 tons of fiberglass, plus hard-to-dig-andprocess rare earth neodymium, praseodymium, and dysprosium. The three blades each weigh 81,000 pounds, the width of a football field. The turbine has over 8,000 parts, and has a life span of 15 to 20 years, then needs to be replaced. These huge used fiberglass blades also cannot be efficiently recycled, and are expensive to transport by diesel trucks to the dump. Each windmill holds 700 gallons (2.5 tons) of oil and hydraulic fluid and, like a car, needs to be replaced every nine to 16 months. Say what — oil to produce wind electricity? It is a sad fact, and not much is reported, that an estimated 1.2 million birds and bats are killed every year by wind turbines in the United States. Most big wind farms, and the same for big solar projects, are located far away from the power grid and require new power lines. These new lines will add to the estimated (2014 study) of the astounding 25.5 million birds killed by collisions with the power lines and another 5.6 million killed by electrocutions. Then there is the problem of landowners, cities, and other stakeholders not wanting large powerlines passing through

or over their properties which is holding up many new projects. Build it, but how in the heck are you going to get the energy to where it is needed. Wind power is a direct threat to raptors (hawks, eagles, falcons, owls, and vultures) — many already endangered — and also other large birds, such as geese, ducks, swans, and cranes. I have a friend who leased out his grazing land for a large windmill farm on Highway 12, between Fairfield and Rio Vista, and he has told me the carnage of birds killed daily on his ranch is horrible. Bats, a farmer’s friend because of the numerous insects they devour, are particularly drawn and killed by the windmills: The swishing sound makes them become disoriented, they chase insects that are also attracted to the windmills, and use them as places to roost and mate, among several other reasons. It is also believed bats are killed by barotrauma, which is a type of decompression from the rapid air depression reduction near the blades. Bats have large and pliable lungs, which are overly expanded and exposed by the sudden drop in pressure causing them, I suppose, to explode. This does not happen to birds that have compact and rigid lungs that do not expand. If you want windmills in San Luis Obispo County, how about the Los Oso Valley road corridor from Morro Bay to Tank Farm Road, perhaps Morro Bay to the Men’s Colony on Highway 1, and the whole coastline from Montana del Oro to the Diablo Canyon Power Plant and while at it, throw in all the needed power lines? Perfect places for them. I am not completely against big solar farms, ZEV batteries, and windmills but I just don’t think in the present form they going to be sustainable in the long run because of their embedded costs, damage to the environment, earth’s crust, wildlife, and materials either in short supply or controlled by offshore countries that are not our friends. Throw in cheap convict labor in China and child labor in some of the countries like the Congo where kids are pulled out of school, many barefooted, to work the toxic cobalt mines where 69 percent of it comes from for ZEV batteries for $1.60 per day, six days a week and 10 hours a day (not even a “Hamilton”) where too many become sick, die, and doomed to a horrible life. Oh well, out of sight out of mind, like the large solar farms and ocean windmills. It is just green energy transference away

from our plentiful fossil fuels, which now surely could be beneficial in so many ways if allowed to increase production here. It is needed now with Russia shutting off pipelines to Europe and other countries, our present administration canceling offshore lease sales and needed almost-finished pipelines, unsuccessfully begging the Saudis and other OPEC countries for more fuel, and impossible to meet one-man federal and state mandates especially since just a few years ago we were energy independent and an exporter. Green energy is not ready for “prime time”, so let’s use more of what we can produce here while transitioning to “green” and put more energy into developing safer environmentally homegrown new sustainable power sources. Next month, new gamechanging ideas for homegrown energy.

“If I am mad, Willie, and everyone thinks I am, then I’ve the right to tilt at the odd windmill or two.” Ian Macintosh, “ The Sandbaggers”

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8 | Avila Beach Life — JUNE 2022

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